123 Transcript: Make Yourself Happy First (with Lisa Corduff)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 123.

We moms and women tend to put ourselves, last giving us 0 energy to manage our lives. But what happens when we start putting our own happiness at the very tip top of the list? My guest today, Lisa Corduff, shares her exact formula for being 100% responsible for her own happiness no matter what happens, and how this new approach to life has completely changed the dynamics in her family. Stay tuned.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hey, hey, welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women, I'm Jen Riday, your host, and I love you guys. Thank you so much for listening, thank you for getting up in the morning, doing your day, really, you are Rockstars. Reach back right now and to give yourselves a pat on the back and say this out loud, “I freaking rock” (Laughs). Welcome back. Last week, I spoke with Geneen Roth and we talked about your messy magnificent life; what it means to show up in your body and be completely present and the nurture your body in the way you would a child; super great episode if you want to be healthier, if you want to be less stressed, and you can listen at jenriday.com/122. Today, I will be talking with my friend Lisa Corduff and she is amazing. And she is an Aussie; yes, she is from Australia. She is a mom of 3 and that she has the most amazing website where she shares recipes with people and they are good and healthy. So Lisa is healthy, she's rocking the mom thing and she's going to share some great tips on choosing to be happy no matter what. Lisa's world just came completely crashing down in January of this year. She had shingles, she had just moved, she talks about that in this episode. She says, “You know what? I just had to choose to be happy no matter what and put my happiness first.” And that's largely the message I'm sharing with you through all these episodes in the podcast. We have to take care of our energy first so we can show up as our authentic self for everyone else.

Before we dive into that awesome interview, I want to share our review of the week, and it comes from Dijana Romero, and she wrote, “Every time I listen to an episode, I am in awe by how synchronized these episodes are to what I'm thinking about or struggling with. Sometimes this podcast offer is confirmation that I'm on the right track. Thank you Jen for being real and vulnerable with listeners because it allows others and myself a genuine connection which is oftentimes difficult in the isolated world of a mom.” Thank you so much for writing in, Dijana, I love it, it's accurate. And I love the connection here, I can feel the energy of all of you and I imagine us as this giant Vibrant Happy Women sisterhood; so, so great. If you would like to leave a review of the week, I would be so grateful. And you can do so at jenriday.com/itunes. And I read reviews of the week every week and I would love to read yours on the air, so go ahead and leave one at jenriday.com/itunes. Lisa's episode is amazing, I promise, this is a must, must, must, must, must listen. I love Lisa's advice and it's all kind of about the mindset of not feeling guilty for taking care of yourself. Let's go ahead and the dive in.

My guest today is Lisa Corduff and she is the CEO of Small Steps Living and from Melbourne, Australia. She lives with her husband of almost 10 years along with her 3 kids who are 7, 5, and 3. Lisa loves sharing healthy family friendly recipes and helping women move out of overwhelm and into a simple more nourishing and enjoyable life. One of her favorite things to do is jump on a plane; it doesn't even matter where she's going. She looks forward to more travel with her kids now that they're getting a little older. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Lisa.

L: Thank you for having me, Jen.

J: I just read the bio before we turned on the recording and Lisa spelled the word ‘plane’… well, she spelled it aeroplane , a e r o p l a n e, I was so confused (Laughs). But I guess being Australian, that's how you spell it. (Laughs)

L: That's how we spell aeroplane. How do you spell aeroplane?.

J: We spell it a i r, like air plane.

L: Oh, air plane, airplane, and we call them aeroplanes. That's so funny.


J: It is. I was reading this and I'm like, “Jump on an aeroplane, what?” It's so funny.


J: All right, Lisa, silliness aside, you are amazing and have met you through this online space, but first things first, share one of your favorite quotes with us to get us started.

L: Okay, one of my favorite quotes that I came about last year when I was kind of a feeling all of the feels, I was stuck in my (unclear) [05:13] and the big changes had happened to me, our family last year. And my mentor, James Wedmore (who you probably know about as well), He said, “Lisa, I just don't think you're taking any responsibility for your life.” And I was like, “What?

J: (Laughs)

L: “I have all the responsibility. I have 3 children and I have a business (Screams)! We just moved in to stay,” I couldn't have more responsibilities. And he's like, “No, you're not taking responsibility for your life,” and I sat with it. And what I realized he was seeing was that, I kept on thinking that things were happening to me, I didn't realize that, what was happening around me was… a lot of it was in my control. And he said this quote and I've got it up on my wall because I like reminding myself of it. And that is, “If Lisa is 100% responsible, then anything is possible.”

J: Mm.

L: So the reason why I love this quote is because if I am…. and because what happened in that moment was that the… “Okay, well, I'm responsible for this feeling that’s drained right now or whatever. No one else can fix that for me.”

J: Mm-hmm.

L: “But I know what I'm going to do, wait until are in school, until I've got more space, or wait until I'm better set to make better eating choices. Like hang on a minute, the only person responsible for turning this around, this feeling that I had inside myself, the only person responsible for changing that is me.”

J: Mm.

L: And what I realized was, I was so powerful because I had created all of this around me. It was actually coming from me, from my inside state; it was being reflected to me in my outside world. And I thought, “If I can tap into that inside and the shift my internal compass, then whoa, what can I do on the outside? Like, how will my life change?” And I've just been practicing and practicing and practicing, taking responsibility, and not having more responsibilities like doing more cleaning or doing more things, but taking responsibility for what doesn't feel right and seeing if there was something that I can do about it from the inside, and it's just been extraordinary what's been happening in my outside world as a result. Does that sound way too woo?

J: No, I love it. And let's go right into the nitty-gritty. Can you tell us more about what you're struggling with and how changing what's on the inside shifted what's on the outside?

L: Sure. So last year, it was probably about a year ago actually, my husband had been struggling for a little while with his mental health, but it was all sort of undiagnosed. So it was just basically struggling with life big time. And it all came to a head in May when I was actually overseas in New York; he had kind of a breakdown of sorts. And I flew home, and from that point onwards, he had to take time off work. He was hospitalized for some time. My business became our family income. At one point when things were really, really bad, I made a decision to just… to leave where we were living, which was about 2000 km, (whatever that is in miles; another Australianism) away from our family. We've been living away from our family for 10 years, and I just decided to move us home. So in 3 and a half weeks, we packed up our house and left. And I had to pull kids out of school and kindergarten and daycare and… and then resettle us down here. My husband wasn't in the best state at that point so I was pretty much doing all that by myself while trying to run a business.

J: Wow.

L: And I'm dealing with all the emotions. Like, I am not good at saying goodbyes, like definitely not my strength (Laughs). And then I kind of got to our new City and I had to find somewhere to live, took a little while; about 5 weeks of living with my parents, with the kids, none of them were in school, so they were with me kind of 24/7. And then, you know, we finally moved into this house, I have to get them set up in schools and kindergartens and daycares; still running a business! (Laughs)

J: Wow, wow.

L: And also just trying to deal with my own grief over what had happened. And… and then I got shingles.

J: Ugh.

L: And I was so… physically…

J: ^. Geesh!

L: … my body was like, “Enough!” And then I had someone saying to me, “You know, I'm just really not too sure you’re taking responsibility,” and I found it like… it was like a slap in the face because I didn't get that, it’s not about… like, as moms and as, you know, working women, you know, we see the word ‘responsibility’ and we feel heavy.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: Well, I did. I was just like, “No, no more; cannot take on any more responsibility.” But I actually see it now as kind of ownership, that I would get myself into the state of just feeling like a victim in my own life.

J: Ooh, yeah.

L: Like, “This is too hard. How am I meant to do this?” The kids this, my husband that, our circumstances this, it was all just working from this place like I had no power whatsoever in how I felt. I was just feeling what I was feeling because, of course, I was meant to be feeling that way.

J: Ugh, wow.

L: Because it had…


L: It had been a really tough time. And so I realized, you know, I got shingles because I hadn't taken responsibility for myself, taking care of myself, feeding myself all the good foods that I knew would help me. Putting everybody else first all the time meant there was just nothing left for me. Like, my body was physically burnt out.

J: Wow. And it's at this moment, everything's crashing down, and James Wedmore says, “You're not taking responsibility for your life,” whoa! (Laughs)

L: Right, right.

J: Oh my goodness

L: And then like, “I hate you, I hate you, you don't understand me, you don’t…” like victim.

J: Yeah.

L: Or like, “You don't have kids! You don't have this! Your life is this! You don't struggle for money!” like all the excuses that I could come up with to like deny the advice that he was giving me in that moment.

J: Yeah.

L: And then I just kind of sat with… I was in the car by myself and, you know, you're a mom with lots of kids, but being in the car by myself is like a mini holiday.


L: In the car by myself; I often just to put on just really cheesy music and have a cry. And I was having that moment and I was thinking about this responsibility piece. And I thought about… I thought, “You know what? Okay, I'm taking responsibility.” It kind of feels like a 2017, I was being thrown around, you know, in a clothes dryer; I hope you call that the same thing.

J: Yes, yes, correct.

L: You know, the machine that dries clothes. (Laughs)

J: You've got it; we've got the same word.


J: No, actually, we call that a… no, anyway, I could make up a word, but I won’t.


L: Don't mess with me. So I was like, “It feels like I'm being thrown around inside this machine.” And I thought, “What I need to do is upgrade my dryer. I need one that's going to just gently kind of dry me off; just gently. Like, I don't need to be thrown around, put on a spin cycle, just give me gentle breeze.”

J: Mm-hmm.

L: Then I thought, “Oh, no, no, I don't need any dryer, I am the dryer.”

J: (Gasps) Ooh!

L: And then I thought, “Well, because I'm spinning myself around, hang on, what I need to do is just recognized that if I'm the dryer, I can also be the person who is hanging the clothes out on the freaking line, letting them sway in the breeze, getting the sun on them. I am the clothesline, I am the person putting the clothes on the clothesline, I am the clothes, I am all of this, I am creating this; I create my own reality.” And when that pin dropped for me, that was when I got what responsibility was. If you don't like the way things are happening or if you’ve winged about it till the cows come home, take ownership of that. Recognize that there's some other things in your life that get completely out of your control. But what I could control was how I was showing up for them, was how I understood my inner world, and how I then… you know, what then I was creating on the outside.

J: Mm.

L: So now, I'm not too sure (Laughs)… I completely lost you. But that was my way of working out like all of this, like this life I'm living right now, it's actually… it's a reflection of me. I am the like creatress of it all. And if I wasn't liking what I was creating, then it was only mine. And so what… in that moment, I gave myself the power to choose; choose to stay, like my kids… choose my kids. And I think that's something that I could… I was starting to sort of see them as this drainer on me. And what I realized was (Laughs)… I was like, “Well, I could choose to outsource them.”

J: (Laughs)

L: “I could adopt them all out.” (Laughs)

J: Yeah.

L: And then I thought, “You know what? I'm not going to do that. So if I'm going to be parenting these children, how could I make that really fun for myself? How could I make it joyous? I'm responsible for it feeling like a drainer; it's not their fault.” And it just changed the conversation in my head like, “Everyday, how can I make today cool, awesome, fun for me, not just for everybody else?”

J: Cool. I have lots of ideas going through my head. So I want to help our listeners wrap their brains around this. So let's see if you and I together can do this, but I'm going to present some of phrases that I hear often and let's figure out how we change our thinking to be responsible for it, okay? This is a little game.

L: Okay, okay.

J: Okay.

L: Let's just try it. Because, I mean, this is something… I'm sorry if this is confusing because it’s still something that I’m just very new at talking about.

J: Me too, me too, yeah.

L: Yeah, yeah, okay, cool.

J: So, “My life is crazy busy, I can't keep up with it all, how do I change it?”

L: Okay, I love this question, because I help women with this all the time. So, you know, my business has been about helping people with food.

J: Yes.

L: And what I realized is, I can make food… and just eating simple whole foods, family foods that the kids actually eat, I can make that as simple as possible for women. But if their life is so overwhelming that they don't even have 4 or 5 minutes to watch a simple video each week, then they’re never going to change their food habits.

J: Yeah

L: Like, we've got to tackle the overwhelming and the busy first; it is actually the priority. And so when people say that to me, I mean, once again, we have to take responsibility for our business. So I… I get women to think about their life as juggling balls. So let's just say we feel only to the side all the time, got all these balls in the air, like I… you know, I'm just trying to manage them all, I'm just trying to keep everything afloat, I'm so busy, like I've just got so much on. And I… I say, “You know what? Most of those balls, 80, 90% them are rubber balls and they can drop; we could let some of those balls drop because they'll just bounce, they'll bounce a bit. But some of those balls are glass, and if they dropped, well, it wouldn't be pretty and there'd be a bit of a cleanup afterwards.

J: Yeah.

L: So name your glass balls; there's probably only 3 or 4. Once you have worked it… because I think the thing is we spend so much time being busy with things that do not matter.

J: Yeah.

L: They don't matter. And so if we can get clear on our glass balls, the things that really do matter, then we'll kind of feel okay in those overwhelm moments just letting a few balls drop. Just let in those rubber balls have a bit of a bounce, we can always pick them up again, they're pretty sturdy, they'll come back, they'll bounce high once again, but we don't have to be doing all the things all the time.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: We need to, as women, learn to give ourselves a freaking break.

J: Yeah.

L: Like, I don't want to be showing my children that life is just one thing to the next to the next to the next to the next to the next, and it's our responsibility to put some pauses in there for ourselves, to hear ourselves think. So I think it's like a combination, I think it's allowing… but, you know, in my community, people say, “I feel so guilty, I did nothing today.”

J: Yes, I hear that a lot too.

L: And I’m like, “What do you mean?”

J: (Laughs)

L: “You still probably dressed multiple children, fed multiple children, fed themselves, cleaned up after that, put some washing on,” but they still did nothing.

J: Mm.

L: Because they might have put their feet up and watched their favorite Netflix show in the afternoon while, you know, the kids were watching some TV or having a bit of a lazy afternoon, “What? We feel guilty if we're doing nothing sometimes?”

J: Right.

L: It just… I just find it so crazy that we have built a life we're busy is the norm and stopping is so… like it's this guilty… it's not even a pleasure, we can't even enjoy it…

J: Mm.

L: … because we're so wrapped up in the need to be productive all the time. I sent out an email last week which was like, “Can we just be honest, do you take your phone to the toilet with you?”


L: I got so many responses. They were like, “Oh, that's disgusting.” People are like, “Oh, my husband does that, that's gross,” 90% of people reading this on the toilet, they're like, “Yeah, I'm doing this.”

J: (Laughs). Yeah.

L: Because we can't even sit on the loo and do our business without thinking, “Oh, I can check and see if something's come through or blah-blah,” like every moment has to be productive. I think we need to raise our awareness that that isn't normal, give ourselves permission to create some space in our lives, and then work out, you know, which of the balls that we really need to keep in the air and how much in our life that we're being busy with doesn't matter at all.

J: Yeah. Well, what are your glass balls, just as an example?

L: My number one glass ball now that I know what I know is my own health.

J: Mm.

L: But nothing else works around here if I am feeling like (I don't know if I can swear on your podcast)… like poop.

J: (Laughs). Sure, sure, that's perfect.

L: If I'm not feeling great then nothing else works, and yet my health, my happiness was coming… was kind of dead last all the time.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

L: So raising that as a glass ball. My other glass ball is my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my children; so not even the food that I'm giving them, that stuff all takes care of itself if I am feeling good in myself.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: That's just like a consequence of it. If I feel rested, I can feed them better, if I feel, you know, on top of my work, feeding myself good foods, everything else works well.

J: Yeah.

L: But the relationships with them, that's the thing that… you know, that requires daily attention.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: Because, you know, that's what this busy, overwhelmed life can sometimes strip us of is those connections. That's, for me, that's what I have definitely noticed. So at the moment (and this is the thing though), my glass balls change…

J: Mm.

L: … over time; and everyone's glass balls change over time. You know, you think about being the mom of small kids and your glass balls are like showering daily. (Laughs)

J: Yeah, right.

L: It’s like the amount of self-care that you're kind of capable of and keeping a baby alive…

J: Yeah.

L: … would be a glass ball, and overtime they change. So these… like, I always come back to my glass balls analogy, like, “Right now, what do I not want to let drop?” What would you say your glass balls are?

J: Mine would also… I put my health spirituality first, like you, then my family and then my career after that, I suppose, similar to you.

L: Mm, yeah.

J: You said you're the clothesline and the dryer and the breeze, would you say you're essentially deciding, “Hey, I'm responsible for how I feel, and if I want to feel good, I have to put my glass ball, first my health and my happiness first so I can do the rest,”? Is that kind of a good summary?

L: Yeah. Well, I mean, don't you think that as moms and even, you know, as a businesswoman, those… what happens is, if I am all worked up, you know, we know it. I run webinars at nighttime, 8:30 PM usually, so the kids are all asleep, and there will be the nights when I'm kind of on edge, feeling nervous, you know, there's a couple of thousand people lined up to come along to the webinar; I’m feeling all the nerves just like I would if I was walking out onto a stage. And of course, there are the nights that the kids are like right ramped up too.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: They respond to our energy.

J: Yes.

L: You know, we know it, we see it all the time. You know, they enter a birthday party and the energy is high, and suddenly, they're bouncing off walls, they're just like moving around like these little weird robots without an off switch, and it happens in our homes too. It also happens in my business where if I'm kind of losing… like, if… you know, if I'm not feeling my best, I can't show up in the way that I want to, my community feel it, they lose out because I'm not my best. You know, at home, my kids are… are losing out because I'm distracted and, you know, kind of heightened. So I feel like, if I'm taking care of myself as a priority, my kids and my husband win and so does my business; everything around me does. So I kind of feel like also knowing that I have the ability to reset that internal compass by choosing happiness and just sort of honoring whatever I'm feeling in that time, not trying to be anything else other than, you know, where I'm at right then. When I do that, I can shift myself and I can shift the people around me without even saying anything; it's quite extraordinary.

J: That's amazing; yeah. I find that to be true as well. I guess my long story made short is, I had burnout just like you're talking about. I started putting myself first, and at first, I felt guilty, but then I realized, “Oh, everyone else was becoming happier and everything felt better for everyone,” it's so true. So how has this improved your marriage would you say? Have you noticed a difference there as you've put yourself first and become responsible for your happiness?

L: Yes, so much. Because I think a lot of us… you know, I was riding the highs and lows with my husband, and my happiness was a very much dependent on how he felt. So if he was really down, that would really affect me and I'd really… I'd be there with him. And I found it hard to detach myself from that; I didn't even know it was kind of possible to do. So I would always think like, “When he feels good, I’ll feel good.”

J: Ah.

L: I realize now that what I needed to do was actually see him in his journey for his life and me on my journey with my life. Like, I feel like I was relying on him to feel happy and well again in order for me to feel happy. And I realized I could choose happiness any moment just for me.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: And what that has done has actually been quite profound because it changed the dance that we've been dancing for years together.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: And it's forced us to kind of find new steps. Because if I make his journey his responsibility by not taking it on as my own, if I'm just like, “This is yours and I trust you with this and I know you can get through this and I am here for you, but this is yours,” then it saw him take action like he really never has taken action before.

J: Ooh! Ooh, that's good.

L: Well, but it was a scary thing to do because we have like a full codependency thing kind of going on. And I didn't want him to feel unloved, I just knew that I could feel happy and I've kind of, in the process, made myself unflappable. Like, things can be riding out for him however they're riding out, but because I've been practicing taking responsibility for my own happiness, I can be like, “Okay, this is okay. It's okay that this is happening. It's okay that he feels like this. I can come to him with compassion because I've been filling my own cup, and because I know that this doesn't determine my own happiness in my own life, this is the journey that we're on right now,” it's just been extraordinary.

J: I love that story. And that word ‘codependency’, I haven't talked about that in a while, but it's amazing, and I think sometimes in every marriage, even if someone is having a mental health issue or whatever, we've become codependent on our spouses to make us happy in terms of helping with the housework or, “Why aren't they cooking dinner? Why aren't they putting the kids to bed?” Have you been able to separate those kinds of things and be able to be happy even if he's not doing those things, you know what I mean; not just emotions but tasks?

L: Yeah. Well, it's funny because he's… he's working from home and he's kind of resetting things, he's actually a really proactive guy and he keeps me in check. Like, he’ll be paying the bills, like he's a really… he's not a ‘sit around and think about it’ kind of guy, he's a ‘doing stuff’ kind of guy.

J: Uh-huh.

L: Which means, you know, he keeps on top of the washing and all these little stuff…

J: Nice! So lucky!

L: It’s really… I know, it’s really great. But I hear this in my membership a bit when I talk about responsibility and they're like, “You know, who else is going to do it?” There was one woman who's, you know, “I say I want you to do these things, but… and then it doesn't get done and then it falls back on me.” And this is the thing about responsibilities, if that is the case, then what are you going to do about it?

J: Mm-hmm.

L: We can't expect the people around us to change. If you're feeling like you're overwhelmed with your daily tasks or with the chores, you know, running the household and working or just being at home with your kids and never getting any time for you, it's not his job to fix that for you.

J: Yep. (Laughs)

L: Sure, you know, you can find new ways to talk about it, and I think that's been a lot of my learnings has been like, “Okay, it's my responsibility to think, ‘Okay, this… I'm not being heard here, so I'm not going to keep doing things the same way that get me the same result that mean I'm constantly frustrated.’”

J: Mm-hmm.

L: “I’ve got to find a new way to do this or talk about this. Well, how do I need to show up to change this situation? Because he just gets grumpy that I'm grumpy at him and blah-blah-blah-blah.” And then, you know, if he's a person who is going to deny you consistently over and over and over helping, then how else can you get the support into your life?

J: Yes.

L: Do you hire an au pair to come and live with you? Do you outsource a part of the… the housework? Do you do online shopping and just have it delivered to you? Do you create a meal plan and just know what's going to be coming ahead and do some stuff on the weekend? An amazing woman from my membership who does… who’s a brilliant food prep person, she's actually creates the meal plans and she does amazing stuff for me in the membership, and she always does hers on the weekend. She started to take responsibility for the fact that she feels like she's missing out on time with their kids. Her husband gets to go out and be the fun guy with them and she's at home doing all the things for the week. And so now, she also has a… like a toddler at home with her and they have 2 days together at home, so she's now started to do the food prep on the Thursday…

J: Mm.

L: … so she can just putter about at home and so she gets to enjoy a weekend. That's what taking responsibility means, that, “No one else can change this for me except for me.”

J: Yeah.

L: So let's think creatively.

J: Yes. And it's so disempowering to wait for someone else to do it. And once in my marriage, I experimented with playing with the idea of, “What would I do here if I were single?” and that was the most empowering question I could have asked because I realized, I could fix everything that was wrong, I didn't need to wait for my husband to do something. And then the funny thing is, once I started to change all those things, he came along for the ride and started adjusting too. It's like you can't change yourself without everyone else kind of shifting right along with you; it's so empowering.

L: It's so true. It's so funny because I ran a series of TV episodes called The Overwhelm Series, and in it, I was talking about how I almost find it easier when my husband's not around…

J: (Laughs)

L: … because I'm not… and everyone was like, “Oh my gosh, me too!”

J: (Laughs)

L: “Everything just gets done,” you know?

J: Yes!

L: “It's just one less person to think about.” And it was so funny that we kind of… but then as soon as he kind of gets back, I’m like, “Ah, I feel really… this… I'm not on top of things anymore,” because in my mind, I'm waiting for him to do this…

J: Yes.

L: … or, you know, it's really quite crazy.

J: Yes, it's so true, it's so true. My husband's out of town right now as we're recording this, I had the most productive day of all time because I had to do it. (Laughs)

L: Right. And this is the thing though, we have to do it, but we're not victims in our mind about it.

J: No, no.

L: We're not like, “Oh, I have to do this because he's just come home from work and he's just sitting down,” we're just doing it because it has to get done. We've taken… like, that victim kind of thing is gone.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: So that chatter in our brain is also gone. And, for me, there was a month where I was by myself just recently and it was school holidays so I had my kids around and, you know, all sorts of things, Easter, and I thought, “Right, how am I going to do this so I don't lose my mind?”

J: Right.

L: “And how can I make this as easy as possible for myself and actually enjoy this time? What would it mean for me to enjoy this time?” So I just… I took responsibility I thought, “Okay, I don't want work to fall behind,” so I… my older 2 kids who are in school, I put them in a school holiday program for 2 days a week, and my other daughter’s in daycare for 2 days. So I knew I always had 2 days a week to work.

J: Nice.

L: Perfect. I booked us on a holiday and just got an Airbnb and went down the beach and just had, I think it was 4 nights away with them; best thing ever.

J: Ah.

L: I would do the dishes, but put on, you know, the latest episode of Billions or something… (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

L: .. and just watch that while I let them watch a bit of TV after dinner. And it was just such a lovely time because I thought, “I could either sit here and feel like a victim that I'm by myself and that I have to do this all over or I could just go ahead and try to make this as good for myself as I can,” and it was awesome.

J: Wow, I love that. Were there any struggles, moments where you try to slip back into the old patterns and you catch yourself or..?

L: Oh, totally, yeah, yeah. There was one night we were away and all 3 children were awake. So it was a holiday house, there was a lot of trees around, so there's a few spiders sort of, you know, inside; just really harmless, tiny, little spiders, but my son was all fearful about it. So he woke up, they were all sleeping in bunk beds in one room, and then the other one woke up because she can just… she's like very tuned in with her brother, and then the 3-year-old woke up, and suddenly, they were all crying.

J: (Laughs)

L: And then I started to cry.

J: (Gasp) Aww.

L: And I’m just like, “This is the worst.”

J: (Laughs)

L: “Like, what the hell! It's 1 o'clock in the morning,” and I chose the place where I had no access to any Wi-Fi.

J: Ah.

L: So we were totally off the grid. I couldn't distract myself with anything, the TV didn't even work.

J: (Laughs)

L: So I ended up just going, “Okay, what am I going to do right now?” So I put them all in the queen-size bed and I slept in the bunk…

J: (Laughs)

L: … and we all had a lovely sleep. I woke up in the morning and they woke… they came in and I said, “Guys, I need to sleep in; mommy, did not get much sleep last night,” and they're like, “

“Okay.” And then suddenly, they're slipping little notes under my pillow.

J: Aww! (Laughs)

L: Like, “We love you mom.”

J: Aww.

L: And the just got their own breakfast, like the older one was helping, you know, get everyone breakfast, they just left me alone, and I had about another hour and a half of sleep.

J: (Laughs)

L: And it was all okay, you know, it was all okay. But in that moment at night, I was like, “This sucks balls.”

J: Yea, yeah.

L: “Like, get me on a plane somewhere. This is not my life, I don't want these anymore!”

J: (Laughs)

L: But then, you know, I found ways like a new day and I can, you know, “Let’s… how are we going to do this?” So everyone was pretty tired and we just spent 5 hours at the beach just playing the frisbee and running in and out of the water and it was just perfect.

J: Yeah. And speaking of the beach, I kind of feel like after a while as you're trying this process of not being a victim and, “I'm going to feel how I want to feel,” kind of just see everything that's happening in your life as an observer like you're noticing these waves, you know, speaking of the beah…

L: Yes.

J: … thinking of surfing, and you just start to ride them, “Oh, that was hard. That was easy,” and you become more detached and just think, “Oh, interesting.” Do you find that to be true?

L: I totally agree; 100% agree. It's like it gives you this perspective while you're in it.

J: Yeah.

L: So, you know, I last week had a webinar and we had 2 and a half thousand people registered and there was a glitch with zoom and 100 people could get on.

J: Ooh.

L: My inbox was exploding, people were writing nasty comments on my Facebook page about how they couldn't get on, and it was just… it was so, so bad in that moment. Afterwards, I went on live on my Facebook page and apologized to people, I personally apologized to everyone who wrote and said that they were disappointed, “We're running an encore tomorrow night, you know, to try and repair it.” And on that Thursday night, I thought, “You know what? I'm just going to cry all the tears because I'm feeling very sad. I don't want to make myself feel better right now, I just want to feel all the frustration,” and it's like I need to give myself permission to feel it because, so many times, I think I'm on to the next thing or I'm trying to… you know, I don't want to intellectualize myself out of my feelings.

J: Yes.

L: So I was just feeling it and then I thought, “You know, because I really need… I want to feel all this right now.” I cried to my husband, he just hugged me. And then I woke up the next morning and I thought, “You know what? It's only me who has the ability to turn this around for myself. I can go and let everyone in every single group, Facebook group, that I'm in know about this disaster or I could just go on ahead and just try and turn my day around.” And it was the launch of a product and so it didn't go the way I wanted to. And so I walked the kids to school, it was a really cold fresh winter’s morning, and then I went had a coffee in a croissant with my husband afterwards. And then I came back and I did the work I really wanted to do, and then I shut down my laptop and I went and did a Pil… my first ever Pilates lesson.

J: Mm!

L: And then a friend came over and we decided… she was visiting from interstate with her son, and we decided to go out that night, which I don't really do all that often, had a few drinks which I regretted the next day, but at the time was awesome.


L: And I just thought, “You know, like this is it. That is where the responsibility piece comes in is honoring your emotions, but don't get stuck in them and just sit in them…”

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

L: “… when they're not serving you anymore. Do things that make you feel happy, and funnily enough, as bizarre as it sounds, you actually start to feel happy; it's weird,” quite profound that one. (Laughs)

J: Yeah.

L: And I know you've heard it before, but sometimes just choosing to be happy and do things that make you feel good has this end result of making you feel good.

J: Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

L: (unclear) [35:49]

J: Feel it to heal it when you need to and then…

L: Yes.

J: … choose how you want to feel the rest of the time, yeah.

L: Yeah!

J: Well, Lisa, where can people find you if they want to learn more about Small Steps Living and Small Steps Back To You and all of the great things you're doing online?

L: Well, my website is smallstepsliving.com. I am actually on Facebook and Instagram as Lisa Corduff; so just my name. But, yeah, there's stacks of stuff on the website, there's all old episodes of Small Steps TV, there's also my free 5-day small steps little mini course where I just give people like… I think what I like to do is kind of take some of these bigger concepts like we've been talking about today and sometimes, you know, with food, it's always been about breaking down, like we can understand the concepts of good gut health or, you know, that we should be eating Whole Foods, but like how do you actually do that…

J: Mm-hmm.

L: … in your daily life when you are, you know, in that overwhelm and… and life is feeling pretty crazy around you? So that 5 days mini course is just the simplest things that can start changing the way you feel in an instant. So definitely lots to explore over there.

J: Cool. And we'll have links to all of that on the show notes page at jenriday.com/123. And, Lisa, we always talked a little bit about the guest’s favorite things.

L: Mm-hmm.

J: Tell me about your morning routine. I've been wanting to ask you this and now I get to. Do you have a morning routine?

L: So I used to.


L: My morning routine changes with the seasons.

J: Uh-huh.

L: So right now it's winter time here and I like to get up before everybody else; that's like pretty much the extent of my morning routine. So if I'm up and dressed and showered and ready for the day and then my 3 little hurricanes wake up, I feel so much more prepared.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: I used to do… there's been many times where I would get up and do an hour's worth of work because it's my most productive time.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: But at the moment and after the shingles episode…

J: Mm.

L: … and especially in these winter months down here in Australia, I'm actually just honoring my need for rest…

J: Mm-hmm.

L: … and really try to not engage with social media, like don't… you know, the call of the phone and just to make sure… you know, see if anything's happened overnight is so strong.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: And as long as I kind of stay clear of that for a little bit, have a big glass of lemon water as I'm getting their school lunch has done, like it's not very sexy, my morning routine at this stage…

J: Lemon, water that's perfect; it's like almost like a cocktail. (Laughs)

L: Oh yeah. I just think it just… for some reason, it's so satiating, but it also… it just takes the edge off. What I've realized… I don't know, I think because for 6 years, I was pregnant or breastfeeding.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: And I used to wake up just so hungry every morning, and now, I just don't; so I can kind of wait a little bit for food.

J: Yeah.

L: I'm not racing to put something in my mouth while I'm, you know, getting the kids’ porridge done or whatever. I can just kind of have my lemon water, take it slow, and then often after I've done all the drop-offs, I can come home and sit down to something really nice.

J: Well, so you're a food guru in my eyes, at least a mom food guru, what is your favorite easy meal for your kids? Let's do breakfast and dinner just to give us an idea.

L: I really find it hard, and I don't know if you guys… do you call it ‘porridge’ or do you call it ‘oats’?

J: Yeah, we call it ‘oatmeal’.

L: Yeah, oatmeal, yeah, yeah, yeah. So… but with actual proper oats.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: So what I do the night before is you get, you know, proper oats; so not the fast ones or ones with sugar in them or whatever, you just get…

J: Oh, get ours are called…

L: … oats.

J: … old-fashioned oats, yes.

L: Old-fashioned oats is what we want.

J: (Laughs)

L: I soak them in some tepid water and a squeeze of lemon juice the night before.

J: Okay.

L: And that just helps kind of, not sprout, but it helps reduce the… I don't want to get too technical, it makes them way more digestible. So what happens then in the morning is you add that to a pan and they're already going to be quick oats because you've already sort of started the process, they’ve all… they're so soft and delicious. And add some butter to that and a little bit of milk if you want to add milk or just a bit more water, and you just stir that, and then we just choose our toppings. So use some pureed fruit, some berries, the kids love a little bit of maple syrup on theirs because, yum. And if it wasn't that, you know, I’d do like a smoothie, they love banana smoothies; some cashews and avocado and some frozen banana with water and a little bit of yogurt and whiz that up, and that's a delicious breakfast.

J: Yum.

L: So they would be my 2 absolute go-tos for them.

J: For the oatmeal, I mean, for the porridge, you said put it in a pan, so you're kind of cooking it till it bubbles.

L: So you put it on a stovetop on the stove.

J: Gotcha, gotcha.

L: Yeah, heat it up, stir it, stir it, stir it with a bit of butter and then a little bit of added liquid, some people like milk or you could just use water, whatever you need. But soaking it the night before, it just makes it next level, you have to try it; and there's so much more digest…

J: You don't microwave it, you do the stovetop.

L: I don't even have a microwave.

J: Yeah, tell me about that, why not?

L: Well, we moved into a house once and there wasn't really much room for it and then it exploded.

J: Oh!


L: And I just didn't replace. It I think microwaving is kind of an odd way to heat food.

J: Yeah.

L: And there's so many question marks about microwaving. I guess maybe I would feel differently if I formula-fed my babies, I was lucky enough that I was able to breastfeed them, so I wasn't waking up in the middle of the night and having to heat up water and a stove and whatever.

J: Right, right.

L: So, yeah, I mean no judgment about microwaves at all.

J: No.

L: It was just a way, I thought it just… there was just a few question marks about it…

J: Yeah, ooh.

L: … and what it actually did to the food. So I just was like, “I think we could actually get away with not having a microwave.” I have not missed it, not even one time do I even think about a microwave.

J: Oh. So what about your leftovers, how do you reheat them or you don't have leftovers?

L: Put them in the oven…

J: Oh yeah!

L: … or put them in the stove.

J: How clever.


J: Okay. I mean, I did… you know, you're giving me a total brain shift here, maybe I'll try that someday (Laughs). Because our microwave has caught on fire again twice because the kids cook…

L: Whoa.

J: … like spoons or aluminum foil inside. So, anyway…

L: No, no, no.

J: Yeah, I know, bad.

L: Yeah.

J: Bad.

L: Yeah. Well, I mean that's sort of what I would do would just be just to heat it up in a pan or in the oven.

J: (Laughs). You go, “In the oven or on this stove, oh yeah, right!” (Laughs); so funny.

L: Oh yeah, that’s how you eat food; so weird.

J: (Laughs)

L: Unless you make a fire in your back garden and…


J: Solar cooker, yeah, right; oh my goodness.

L: And then for dinner, I would say one of my favorite easy dinners is… I actually have it on the blog and it's called ‘easy sausage and veggies’. So with them… with young kids, sausages and good quality sausages like sausages… I just like meat some herbs and a bit of salt or whatever and a binder, you know, there's sausages and there's sausages. So finding a good butcher that has really good sausages has been a godsend because, with young kids and getting them to eat meat, it's… well, it's been hard for me with one of my kids in particular. So I have this meal I just decided I would just throw everything into an oven dish, just chop up some sweet potato… what do you call that, kumara?

J: Mm.

L: You know, I don't know what you guys… anyway, so it's just like the orange long potato.

J: Oh, you mean like… we call it sweet potatoes or yams.

L: Yams, that's right, yams, yams, yams.

J: Yams, okay.

L: Okay. So, yeah, some potatoes, some broccoli, some zucchini, whatever, some carrot, whatever your kids will eat or not eat, it's important for you to eat the good food too. And then you just lay… like, cover that with some olive oil and a little bit of salt and then lay sausages on the top.

J: Ah.

L: These good quality sausages, and you just put it in the oven and it comes out with these kind of roasted veggies and roasted sausages; sounds really weird.

J: Wow.

L: Once again, good quality sausages made, and dinner is done…

J: So…

L: … in one dish.

J: So are all the recipes in Small Steps Living that easy? Because that's awesome.

L: Yeah, I can definitely give you the link to my easy sausage and veggies. And my other one would be my simple stir fry.

J: Oh.

L: Which just being able to cook off some garlic and onion in some olive oil and then adding whichever veggies you've got on hand and whichever protein, so we often have chicken or we have little, you know, beef strips or whatever. But to make a really delicious sauce, you actually only need 4 ingredients.

J: Mm.

L: And what I do is I put in a tin of coconut cream…

J: Okay.

L: … and then I add honey…

J: Mm-hmm.

L: … and then I had some peanut butter…

J: Oh.

L: … and then some tamari, which is like soy sauce.

J: Yeah.

L: Yeah. And those 4 ingredients make the most delicious sautéish sauce. And my nieces who are extremely fussy 6-year-old twin girls never eat stir-fry, and they eat that stir-fry. And it's just a really great way to get veggies and protein.

J: Wow.

L: And you just pop it on top of some… yeah, delicious.

J: And you just thought of blending those 4 things together and it worked? That's amazing, hmm.

L: I just love keeping things simple. Like, good food does not have to have complicated ingredients lists.

J: Right, right; wow, that's amazing. Well, what's your favorite book, Lisa?

L: I was thinking about this because you said you were going to ask it, and the book really… because then I thought about what we're going to be talking about, ‘The Inside-Out Revolution’ was a really great introduction to me to this whole like, “We're creating on the… in our outside world what is actually going on internally for us. So change in our lives has to start with us; like, it's not going to be dependent on things in our external world.” So ‘The Inside-Out Revolution’, I loved.

J: Yes, perfect. And what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?

L: I love this question. For me, I think it means choosing happiness.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: So knowing I have a choice and choosing happiness as kind of the goal.

J: Yeah.

L: And it just means, if I'm choosing happiness, I feel really vibrant, I'm doing things that lift my vibration and obviously, you know, I'm happy because I'm just I feel like.. you know what? I wrote this today; it's my daughter's 4th birthday today so my youngest has actually turned 4.

J: Mm.

L: And I decided that, for her, I wanted to show her what it was to be a joy chaser.

J: Oh.

L: That in our lives, like I want my daughters to see and my son to see that, you know, we should go where it feels good or where the joy is. And just because we're moms, just because I'm a mom and I had my kids in 3 and a half years (3 kids in 3 and a half years) and that there's been a lot that's happened, you know, in our life, it doesn't mean that we still can't chase joy and feel good. So, yeah, maybe being a vibrant happy woman, to me, means being a joy chaser.

J: Hmm, you've got to write a book with that title. Nobody steal it, that's Lisa's.


L: ‘Joy Chaser’ (Gasps), oh my gosh, I’m writing it down.

J: Did you get chills? Yeah?

L: I did, yeah.

J: It's like… it's like ‘Happiness Whisperer’; ‘The Joy Chaser’, ooh do it.

L: Oh my gosh. (Laughs)

J: You know you have to write it now, you can feel the energy, right?

L: You can write the intro.

J: Okay, I will.

L: You can write the intro then.

J: Yeah, I’ll do it. (Laughs)

L: (unclear) [47:12] on a podcast when she used the word.

J: (Laughs). Alright, Lisa, let's have a challenge from you to our listeners and then we'll say goodbye.

L: Well, I had something, but now… now I want to say like, “Well, what's one small step that you could take to feel happy today? How could you be a joy chaser in your life? What would that even feel or look like? Does it even feel possible that you could feel really good today?”

J: Yeah.

L: So maybe it would be to seek the joy today; like, not wait until that deadline is done or, you know, your daughter's not 3 anymore. (Laughs)

J: Aww, so sad. (Laughs)

L: I know, it’s so sad, but I mean, 3… 3’s a tough age for every body.

J: Yeah, 4… 4 is light at the end of the tunnel; that's true.

L: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

L: But this is the thing, we can wait for all those things or we could just try to find the joy today. So, “Take a step towards joy today,” would be my challenge.

J: Beautiful. Ah, Lisa you're one of my favorite guests ever, so thank you so much for being on the show; this was great.

L: I was really honored to be asked so thanks for having me, Jen.

J: Bye, Lisa. Take care.

L: Bye.

J: Thank you so, so much for listening and I will be back next week talking about the circle of sisterhood with Jalaja Bonheim, super great episode about authentic connection to real-life women. And who would have thought that, in this day and age, that would be so difficult? 100 years ago, no one would even have thought that we would have such isolation in such a connected world. And so we have the opportunity to fix that through movements like Vibrant Happy Women and you're going to love that episode next week. So I will to you then, and until that time, make it a fantastic week. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.