Lanier Scott Isom on Courageously Finding Her Own Path | IT 018

Apr 29, 2020

Do you listen to your gut when it comes to your health? Do you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own? How can you step back, let go and liberate yourself?

In this podcast episode, Kathryn speaks to Lanier Scott Isom about her writing work and courageously finding her own path after her battle with breast cancer.

Meet Lanier Scott Isom

A former educator, publicist, and editor, Lanier Isom is an author and journalist living in her hometown, Birmingham, Alabama. She co-wrote the life story of Alabama native Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of President Obama’s first piece of legislation, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. A film based on the memoir, Grace and Grit: How I Won My Fight at Goodyear and Beyond, is in the works. Lanier’s articles, editorials, and essays have been featured in numerous publications, including the LA Times, Huffington Post, and The Bitter Southerner. She is a frequent contributor to al.com.

Lanier is a cum laude graduate from Tulane University where she ran Division 1 track. With her son attending college in California and her daughter a junior in high school, she’s currently at work on her next book. She and her husband Hugo split time between Birmingham and Mentone, Alabama, atop Lookout Mountain, where she’s most inspired to write.

Visit Lanier’s website and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Writing Grace & Grit
  • Battling Breast Cancer
  • Navigating being a part of the sandwich generation
  • Avoiding slipping back into old patterns
  • Lanier’s advice for getting closer to your best life

Writing Grace & Grit

You have to spend your whole life doing the work and staying in the process of writing.

Lanier talks to Kathryn about the three-year process of taking her book from concept to publication. It’s important to keep at the work. Pull focus away from the results, stay process-focused, and enjoy the process.

Battling Breast Cancer

Every day I make a choice to live in fear or in faith.

At the end of the summer in 2017, Lanier was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. She was hit with shock, pain, fear, and chaos while dealing with the shattering reality of facing your mortality.

  • Listening to her gut and choosing herself – The journalist in Lanier kicked in, resulting in a great deal of research, which led her down the path to Immunotherapy, against the wishes of her friends and family. Lanier started listening to her gut and my body. Because in the end, illness is always a teacher and whether you live or die, you’re forever changed by what happens. You need to show up for yourself and believe in whatever path you take.
  • The journey to recovery – Lanier had to relearn her independence, especially having to do multiple solo flights to California for treatments and being afraid of flying. Being so family-focused and in a routine heavy comfort zone, her diagnosis led to a radical lifestyle change.
  • Cutting out the negativity – Radical lifestyle change resulted in a detoxed life, literally and metaphorically. A cleansing overhaul was needed to keep Lanier alive and to give her new life.

Lanier is now living a different, better life now with the all-clear, and won’t go back to her previous lifestyle. She has developed a heightened sense of appreciation for everything and knows to live in the present moment.

Navigating being a part of the sandwich generation

Caring for others like your kids and aging parents has to take the back burner. You have to make your health the priority and they basically have to adjust. You realize that you can’t put everyone else first. It doesn’t mean that you’re neglecting or abandoning anyone, they just have to step up and do more for themselves.

Avoiding slipping back into old patterns of codependency

When we step back and let go, we’re not just liberating that other person, we’re completely and totally liberating ourselves from that anxiety.

Lanier realized that codependency was part of her sickness. She had to get rid of that before she could get better. Caring for others at the expense of yourself can be deadly. You need to let go and step back, you need to let others make their own decisions. You need to learn how to be more patient and let things unfold as they will.

Lanier’s advice for getting closer to your best life

Go paint a painting for fun!

Lanier thinks that we don’t have enough joy and play in our lives. She would love for people to just go and try to write a poem, draw a picture, or do something artistic out of a sense of childlike wonder and playfulness, not out of the sense of creating something perfect.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful links:

Kathryn Ily

Meet Kathryn Ely

I’m Kathryn Ely and at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds” like “women should always care for others” and “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.

As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.

Thanks for listening!

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Imperfect Thriving is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[KATHRYN]: Imperfect Thriving is a part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Imperfect Thriving podcast for all of us women in midlife to discover yourself limiting beliefs, determine exactly what you want your life to look like and the imperfect actions to get you there.
This is the Imperfect Thriving podcast and I’m your host, Kathryn Ely. Today we have Lanier Scott Isom. Lanier there is a brilliant writer and an incredible woman. We are going to have a conversation about letting go of rules and shoulds and forging your own path that’s in line with what you want and what’s important to you and how to navigate caring for children and aging parents because we’re all a part of this sandwich generation. So, I can’t wait to get started on our conversation, but let me tell you a little bit more about Lanier.
She is a former educator, publicist and editor. She’s an author and a journalist living in Birmingham, Alabama. She co-wrote the life story of Alabama native Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of president Obama’s first piece of legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. In a film on her memoir, Grace and Grit: How I’ve Won my Fight at Goodyear and Beyond is in the works. I can’t wait to see that. Lanier’s articles, editorials and essays have been featured in numerous publications including the LA Times, Huffington Post and the Better Southerner she’s a frequent contributor to aol.com.
I have a little true story to throw in there. Lanier happens to be my cousin and one of my dearest friends. And one day I was working out at the local Y and I heard a woman calling across the gym and I’m just, you know, jogging, walking, huffing and puffing on the treadmill. And I hear, “Lanier, Lanier.” This woman is like shouting across the whole gym. I didn’t pay much attention since, that’s not my name, but she came up to me on the treadmill and started talking to me. I had no idea who she was but I just started talking to her and I realized she thought she knew me. Finally, I just said, “I am so sorry. How do we know each other?” And I can’t remember exactly what she said, but finally she said, “Oh, you’re not Lanier.” And I said, “No, Lanier is my cousin. I’m not Lanier.” And that is not the only time that has happened because we live in the same city. So, Lanier, I’m so glad you are here today to have this conversation.
[LANIER]: Well, thank you. Thank you, Kathryn. I’m thrilled to be here and very, very grateful.
[KATHRYN]: Yay. So, I can’t wait to just dive in. So, this is a little bit harder for me and that I’m going to be asking you to tell our listeners things that I already know much about. So, what, pretend nobody knows you, although some of my listeners will. Tell me a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today.
[LANIER]: Well, like you said, I was a school teacher for 11 years. I taught high school English and then I transitioned from that into some PR work that led to becoming an editor. But when my daughter Francis was about two years old, I decided to step back from full time working because I was working for a small family-run company that produced the magazine or several magazines, but I was just the editor of one. So that was just a monthly production cycle that was so much fun, but very, very time-consuming obviously. So anyway, when Francis was two and my son Clint was around five, I decided I would start freelancing and I did and it was wonderful. But I had no idea that an article I wrote about an Alabama woman, Lilly Ledbetter would lead to a book. And so that was in 2009 when I started writing the book about Lilly.
[KATHRYN]: So, for those of us that have never written a book, I want to, one day, I will one day, but I haven’t yet, how long did it take you to go through that process from the beginning until publishing.
[LANIER]: Well, everything I’ve ever done, whether it was teaching or PR or being an editor, I learned by doing on the job. And so, I’d never written a nonfiction book. I’d written a lot of articles and I had even written a young adult novel, but it was unpublished at the time. However, it was that manuscript that I was able to show Lilly and her agent to show them that I knew how to create a book-length work. So, how long or what does it entail to write a book, for a nonfiction book, you have to write a book proposal first. And that’s basically a marketing tool. It’s a summary of the book where you have the first two chapters and then outline of the rest plus the marketing piece. How’s this book like other books? How’s it different? Who are you? So that took nine months and then the agent took the proposal and sold it to a publishing house in a couple of weeks. And then it took another nine months to write the book and then another nine months of production. So, it was like three years total. I like to say it was similar to the gestation period of an elephant.
[KATHRYN]: I bet it many times it felt like that.
[LANIER]: Yes, it did. It was a process because when you’re writing the nonfiction book proposal, you’re interviewing, you’re researching. So, it’s all happening at the same time.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah. But it sounds like it happened really quickly like an agent picked up on it or the publisher picked up on it quickly, right?
[LANIER]: That’s right. It did happen quickly. But there are a lot of different ways to publishing and there’s no one right way in there, standard protocols and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. And it just so happened that in this situation I’d written the article and at that point, Lilly had literally the world at her doorstep in Jacksonville, Alabama. The bill had just been signed into law and so she had journalists from Italy and all over the world knocking on her door. So here comes me this nobody from Birmingham, Alabama, and I write this article for a statewide magazine and she really, really liked the article and how it was written. And it just so happens that Linda, the agent had contacted Lilly’s attorney and had said, I want to represent Lilly and when John told me that, I said, “Well, would y’all please consider me?” They were considering several writers and one thing they knew is that they wanted somebody from Alabama and from the South. Now the agent did not necessarily want that. She had a stable of Washington Post writers and you know, a lot of different writers she could choose from, but John and Lilly were and insistent and they really liked how I wrote and Lilly and I clicked.
So, but what I learned from that is you have to spend your whole life doing the work and staying in the process of writing. You might have certain, or I had certain ideas of what I wanted to happen, but that was very different from what actually happened but that manuscript that is still unpublished served the purpose. I want that manuscript to be published, but it’s probably not good enough. It’s my first book. And you hear writers talk about all the time that first book they wrote, that wasn’t any good that’s still under the bed, but luckily it showed Lilly and the agent that I could sit down and sustain a project of that magnitude.
[KATHRYN]: It really is so true that we never know what good is going to come out of our work when we’re doing it. But I love that you stay process-focused on just doing the work, doing what you loved and look how it turned out.
[LANIER]: Right. So, here’s the deal with the writing life. You know, you’re, or I’m responsible for doing the labor, for doing the work, for sitting down every day and producing something and I’m not responsible for the fruits of my labor. That is something that I can do everything in my power to set myself up to be successful. I can show up, but then you have to a certain degree, let it go and just keep doing the work.
[KATHRYN]: I love that. That is something that I work on with clients all the time, is to pull away from being so result-focused and hanging all of our emotions on our results because then we’re spending a great deal of our time building up to that what is either going to be elation or let down on one enjoying the rest of it.
[LANIER]: Well, writing is a spiritual endeavor in the sense that you have to have faith. And you know, I thought publishing the book would change my life in certain ways and it did and it didn’t. So, you have to let go of the outcomes, you have to let go of trying to control the outcomes.
[KATHRYN]: Okay. So, you finished the book around 2012 and I know you did some like touring and promoting for that, but what kind of work did you do after that?
[LANIER]: So, after that I focused on continuing to freelance writing magazine articles and essays and I started working on another book project doing the interviewing and raising Clint who was in high school and Francis who was by then in elementary school.
[KATHRYN]: Okay. And so, your life was, was going along just fine, raising kids, working, writing articles, and then something happened in 2017. Tell us about that.
[LANIER]: So, at the end of the summer in 2017, so that would have been, Clint would have had his freshman year in college, I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. So that was a bit of a shocker to say the least.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah. So, tell me what went through your mind when you received that diagnosis?
[LANIER]: Well, when you receive a diagnosis like that, you’re shattered. I mean it is all shock and pain and fear. A lot of fear, a lot of chaos, you know, and a lot of grief just, you know, this deep, deep, deep grief and fear because you’re facing your mortality and it’s very scary.
[KATHRYN]: So, what did you do next after you received your diagnosis? Was there a lot of waiting involved? Just tell me what that was like for you, what you did next.
[LANIER]: Okay. So yes, there is a lot of waiting. You get a diagnosis and then you have to wait for the biopsy, and then you have to wait for the appointments with doctors and it’s just this, it is an endless waiting game in one sense. So, I was waiting for the testing, the genetic testing to come back. That took about a month and during that time I look back now and see that my journalism skills kicked into place and I started researching. I just started doing a lot of research about breast cancer and treatments and so when I was doing that, I discovered a book called the Cancer Revolution by Dr. Erin Connealy and she had a practice out in Irvine, California. And that just happened to be close about 30 minutes, well an hour if you drive in California, 30 minutes or an hour from where Clint goes to school. And so, when we went to visit him, which we had already had planned a few weeks after that, I decided I’d just go by and check out Dr. Connealy. So, I did a lot of research and went to my appointments and learned everything I needed to learn at the local hospital at UAB and then had to make some decisions about what to do.
[KATHRYN]: So, I guess I want to know what your doctors here were recommending and what your research pointed you to that you thought you wanted to do that your path was going to be for this.
[LANIER]: So, the gold standard of breast cancer treatment in a more traditional setting is what people refer to as cut, burn, and poison. So that would be either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, radiation and chemo if you need it. So that was one path and another path was what the California doctors offer, which is based more on immunotherapy techniques and some different treatments. Like for instance, instead of having a lumpectomy, I did have cryoablation, which is, they freeze the tumor. The tumor was small enough. I could do that. You can’t do it with all tumors. Instead of doing radiation, I chose hyperthermia, which is a super, super high heat. I did some IV therapies out in California at the Cancer Center for Healing.
So, I did do chemo, but it was low dose chemotherapy as opposed to a full dosage of chemotherapy. But what I learned as I researched and met with a lot of different people is that I started listening to my gut in my body because you know, in the end, illness is always a teacher and whether you live or die, you’re forever changed about what happens. And I listened to my gut and I knew that if I was more afraid of a treatment, say like radiation, it terrified me. It terrified me to think that it was going over my heart and it just did not feel right. And so that’s why I chose hyperthermia because if I was more afraid of what the solution was going to do to me, the side effects of the solution, the treatment, then it wasn’t going to benefit me because my fear would have just overtaken every cell in my body.
Now that’s my choice. And you know, another thing I’ve learned is there’s no right way to do this. Everybody has to make their own choices., everybody has different insurance, different lifestyles, different incomes. So, there’s no judgment on my part about anything. I just knew I had to do what made sense for me. And for the first time in a very long time I listened to myself and went against, you know what a lot of people wanted me to do. The doctors, my family, my friends, they were terrified. They didn’t understand why I was making the choices I was making and it was very hard because up until then I had put everybody’s opinion as somehow more valuable than mine. And you know, the doctors are authorities, but doctors are guides. They’re not gods, they’re just humans with a lot of good information and a lot of heart working in what I would think is very challenging medical system.
[KATHRYN]: So, you just said that for the first time in a long time you went against everyone else and trusted yourself. How did you do that in such a difficult time? How did you rely on yourself when everybody else was trying to get you to do something different?
[LANIER]: Because if I was going to die, I was going to die. The way that I thought, I don’t, I’m not even sure I know the answer to that except that I just knew that my life depended on my showing up for myself, that I could not be silent anymore, even if it’s the wrong decision.
[KATHRYN]: You just had to believe in it?
[LANIER]: I had believed in it.
[KATHRYN]: Whatever path you were going to take, you had to believe that it was the right one and it would work.
[LANIER]: Right. So, a lot of faith.
[KATHRYN]: And so, tell us what that journey was like for you, what it entailed and how long it took.
[LANIER]: Well, and over the course of two years, I went to California 12 times and it took a lot of just facing my fears and doing the things I didn’t want to do. For instance, before I went to California, because I had to go out there on my own several times. At first, my husband could go, when we went out there and stayed for five weeks, he went with me and I went back and forth several times for different checkups and immunotherapy treatments. But it got to the point where I needed to go by myself because he had to work and it was expensive. And so, before then I had not flown on a plane by myself since maybe my early twenties because I was scared of flying and I had just gotten out of the habit. So, you know, even just getting on that plane by myself and doing that was a huge deal. And then it just got to the point and I did it so many times that it became my comfort zone.
So, I had sort of had to relearn my independence because I had been so family-focused and inside the bubble of being a mother and a wife and a daughter and living in my comfort zone and I like routine. So, staying in my routine —
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, I think what you said right there about your comfort zone is so important that we have to step out of our comfort zone to enlarge it and we just stay in the distance for a little while. That becomes comfortable to us.
[LANIER]: That’s right. I realized and remembered that I could do these things because when I was in college, I went my junior year abroad, I flew over to England by myself all the time. Not all the time, but you know, and I traveled around. So, I had lost a piece of myself through the years very gradually, and I will say that the book tour with Lilly and having that book published, that was a regaining of a separate sense of self. When I quit working full time, it was both a blessing and a loss. So, I told a young mother the other day, it’s just an impossible situation because I can remember when I was at work, I would feel guilty and be thinking about the kids. And then when I was at home with the kids, I wouldn’t be agonizing about trying to do some work and revising a layout. And so, you know, it’s just a tough situation for mothers and working women.
[KATHRYN]: Yes, I think so many of us can relate to that story for sure. So, it took like two years for the course of your treatment?
[LANIER]: Right.
[KATHRYN]: Then what happened?
[LANIER]: Let’s see. Well, I did what’s called a dendritic self-vaccine. So again, it’s immunotherapy and that was sort of the last big thing I did and when this all started, when I was diagnosed, I had a radical change of lifestyle. I radically changed the food, I detoxed my life, literally and metaphorically. I mean, we’re talking, I quit drinking alcohol, I quit going to restaurants for the most part, I cut out people and places and things that did not serve me. So, you know, I continued to live that way for the most part.
[KATHRYN]: What do you think all of that did for you, cutting out the negative and cutting out the different types of toxins, whether it’s toxic relationships or food?
[LANIER]: It was a cleansing. It was an overhaul. It was a cleansing, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. It was just a complete shift in being and how I show up.
[KATHRYN]: And what did that do for you, making that shift?
[LANIER]: That kept me alive. Well it, yeah, it kept me alive. I mean it gave me new life. It’s, you know, this is just a different chapter, a different phase. There was a lot that needed to be let go of.
[KATHRYN]: And so fast forward through those two years, and what was the ultimate outcome or what is your diagnosis now?
[LANIER]: Well, everything is clear. And so, from here on out, I’ll do imaging and different types of checkups to monitor my body and make sure that everything stays cancer-free. So, I live my life, but I live it differently. There’s no going back to the way it was. I mean there’s no going back to the old habits, there’s no going back to the old diet. So, for me it’s a different life and it’s such a better life even though —
[KATHRYN]: That’s what I was going to ask. Like what if you didn’t, if you’ve chosen not to shift back, what keeps you on this path?
[LANIER]: Because I have a heightened sense of appreciation for everything from the food I eat to the everyday simple things to the beauty and divinity and just looking outside at nature. You know, Francis my daughter asked me one day because I don’t eat sugar and she, I mean I’ll have fruit now, make like these little cashew date bites and, that’s sugar, but it’s a different kind of sugar. I don’t eat processed sugar. So, she said, “Don’t you miss chocolate? I love chocolate and, so she gave me, she said, “Please, please try this,” because it had been, you know, a couple of years since I’d eaten anything sweet like that. So, she said, “Just try this.” So, I took the teeniest tiniest bite of chocolate, like minuscule and it was an explosion of taste in my mouth. I mean, I would have had to have eaten like two chocolate bars to get that sensation. So, I just have a heightened sense of appreciation for everyone and everything, and I know to live in the present moment and I know that my illusion of control, my, I still have my to-do list. I’m so still sort of obsessive in that sense, but you know, you get sick and that shatters your illusion of any sort of control but at the same time as you sort of give over to this powerlessness of anything greater or something greater than yourself, you learn how to be empowered in the ways that you can.
So, every day, you know, I make a choice to leave live in fear or in faith. In faith, I mean spirituality. I mean it in the sense that, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that saying, and I hope this is not offensive. I don’t mean it as offensive, but church is for people who don’t want to go to hell, spirituality is for those who’ve been through hell. So that’s what I mean when I say spirituality. So, when I have a greater sense of a connection to something greater than myself than I did before all of this, you know, you’re meditating and praying. During all of this, the power of prayer, Lord, I had no idea. It was very, I mean, that was so healing for me when people would tell me, you know, they would pray for me or that a church group was praying for me. I mean it really was phenomenal and I have no doubt that that was a huge part of my healing.
[KATHRYN]: Wow, that’s amazing. I love that. So, I mean, what a journey. And along the way, it wasn’t just you, you still had a family, you still had children. One was still at home and a wonderful mother who was also aging. So, you were caught and you’re very close to your mother and very close to your children. How did you navigate sort of changing how you cared for yourself and how you looked at caring for yourself versus always caring for others?
[LANIER]: Well, I realized that if I put, well first, you know, I made my health such a priority in the sense of practically speaking, preparing food and my supplements and all of that. That takes up a lot of time. So, I would, you know, they basically had to adjust to me and so I realized that I could not continue to put everybody else first. I wasn’t going to neglect or abandon anybody, but they just had to step up and do more. I mean, it was that simple.
[KATHRYN]: And they did, didn’t they?
[LANIER]: And they did. Yes. Yes, they absolutely did.
[KATHRYN]: And so, yeah, what can we all take away from that? Because I think as women, at least women of our generation, we kind of grow up and get to this position of mother and wife and caregiver and we just think it has to be all about everyone else or we’re some kind of awful selfish person. So, I know it was probably hard for you to put yourself first?
[LANIER]: Right. But my codependency was part of my sickness and you know, cancer is created by cascade of things. And you know, it can be genetic, it can be environmental, it can be trauma, unresolved trauma. It could, I mean, it can be all of the above. I mean, it is a cascade. It can be viral. I mean, there’s so many tipping points that can, the immune system can get compromised. You know, cancer cells are circulating in everybody’s body on any given time, just like viruses. And it’s when your immune system is compromised that you go down. And all this caring for everybody else at the expense of focusing on yourself in healthy ways is deadly. And so, my codependency was definitely part of my sickness. I don’t need to be doing anything for anybody else that they can’t do for themselves. And it’s very arrogant to assume that I’m so God-like that I’m going to know the answers for everybody and have to perform all those, my mother’s a grown adult and she’s very independent minded and my children are getting older. So, I think they are getting to the point where they can manage their own lives.
And that’s what’s tricky because as mothers, you know, we are supposed to do everything and be everything for everybody and you know, cook, clean, run errands, manage the household, counsel, soothe, make everything better, protect our kids, guide our kids. The list is endless, and it can be confusing. Where are you, where is it where you’re supposed to step in and be a mother or a parent and where are you stepping in that is really detrimental? So, it takes a while to sort of figure that out.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, absolutely. But it sounds to me like as you let go of some of the control and had to have everyone around you do more for themselves, it was probably beneficial to them in a certain way too.
[LANIER]: Yes, very beneficial.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, absolutely. So, what did that look like for you navigating being, I guess part of this sandwich generation? Say after you made the decision that you were going to have to put your health first and once again, not cause a complete neglect of everyone but really put it to the forefront and then you got the good news that you were cancer-free and you’re sort of assimilating back into a different kind of normalcy again. What was that like for you with how you care for others? Did you slip back into old patterns? Did you continue the sort of road of everyone having more independence? What was that like?
[LANIER]: Well, when I was first doing my treatment in California and I was out there for several weeks, it was in December and I came home for one week for Christmas, the week of Christmas and that week my mother fell. I was in the hospital and at that point I couldn’t even go into the hospital and see her because the flu was really bad that year. And so anyway, so I had to stay out of the hospital and that was really hard. But you know, she’s fallen a couple of times since then, so I’ve obviously shown up and my brothers and I not do what we need to do practically and morally and ethically to be there for her. But yeah, I did slip back into an old pattern with my mom recently, after her latest fall and there were some decisions that had to be made or I thought it had to be made about what she could still do and not do. And we were budding heads and I was getting this old, old feeling in the pit of my stomach of anger and frustration and, understood then that I had to step back from that and let it go because I needed to not be pulled into that quicksand of old feelings of powerlessness and frustration.
So, I did, I stepped back. I just accepted that she was to make the decision she was going to make and I would step back, like I said, and because I realized if I wasn’t careful, I’d be called in an old dynamic that wasn’t good for anybody. It’s not good for her either.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, and when we’re in these, we have these pictures of what we think other people in our lives, what their lives should look like and what they should be doing and we hide on the thinking that we have some control there but when we step back and let go, we’re not just liberating that other person or completely and totally liberating ourselves from that anxiety.
[LANIER]: Right.
[KATHRYN]: Because we can’t control what anybody else does, no matter how much we want good things for them and think there should be a certain way. We can’t control it.
[LANIER]: And even if we think we’re, you know, helping them be safer then we might very well, but it’s like forgiveness too. I mean, we forgive other people and one of the main reasons and, we forgive others by saying something like we forgive others so we can live. I mean it’s that when we resent other people, we are drinking the poison and expecting them to die or what is that how the saying goes? Something like that.
[KATHRYN]: No, but that sounds close anyway. That’s close enough for me.
[LANIER]: But so yeah, we cannot control other people and you don’t know what the next day brings and what I might think is the right action or solution the following day, you know, something might be revealed that negates that. So, I’ve learned to be more patient with letting things unfold.
[KATHRYN]: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I’d tell you, you know, I could talk to you all day. I have absolutely loved this conversation. I’m so happy that you agreed to come on and share all of this with us because I just think there are a lot of lessons in it.
[LANIER]: Oh, good.
[KATHRYN]: Thank you. Lanier.
[LANIER]: You’re quite welcome.
[KATHRYN]: And, y’all, if you’ve liked this podcast, please go on iTunes and rate and review it. But more so if you have learned anything from it or enjoyed anything about it and you think there’s this one other person in your life that might benefit from it, please share it with them. That’s all we’re trying to do here; is to sort of create a community of women who are nudging each other in our, in the best direction we can go, leaning on each other, supporting each other. So, if there’s anybody that you think could benefit from this, please share it with them.
And Lanier, I like to end every podcast with asking my guest if there’s one piece of advice or one imperfect action that our listeners could go out and do today, what would you say that is? That could get them maybe closer to their best lives?
[LANIER]: Wait, that’s too either a piece of advice or an action like that?
[KATHRYN]: Like one imperfect action that we could all go do today.
[LANIER]: I think that we all lack, we don’t have enough joy in play in our lives. And so, I think I would love for people to just go try to write a poem or draw a picture or do something artistic out of a sense of childlike wonder and playfulness. Not out of a sense of I’ve got to create something perfect that I can publish or I can hang on the wall. Just go paint a painting for fun.
[KATHRYN]: Oh, I love that. Great. And I’m going to do that this weekend for sure.
[LANIER]: Oh good.
[KATHRYN]: So, but before we end our conversation, where can our listeners learn more about you and your upcoming work?
[LANIER]: Well, you can go to my website, which is www.lanierisom.com.
[KATHRYN]: I will put that in the show notes along with a link to your book.
[LANIER]: Okay, that sounds wonderful.
[KATHRYN]: Thank you so much, Lanier. Love you.
[LANIER]: Love you too. Thank you.
[KATHRYN]: If you loved this podcast, will you rate and review it on iTunes or your favorite podcast player? Also, I have a free nine-part Blue Print to Thrive email course. It’s a step by step guide to find out what you want your life to look like, exactly what’s holding you back and how to get to that life you want. Head on over to www.imperfectthriving.com/course to the course today.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice or guests are providing legal, mental health or other professional information. If you need a professional, I encourage you to reach out to one.

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About Kathryn

I’ve created Imperfect Thriving to help you get back to who you really are, and live your best life possible, imperfectly.

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