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Ali is the host of the hit international podcast “Challenges That Change Us”. She was running three successful businesses and raising 3 little girls when she suffered a major stroke at age 30.

Her fortitude and ‘find what works’ attitude helped her recover, which included learning to read and write again. It also helped her weather life’s many other ups and downs that came after.

Ali’s stories will make your jaw drop – and then minutes later she’ll make you laugh. Ali shares many strategies that she uses daily- and walks you through how to stand back up when you’re in the thick of it. A must-listen episode guaranteed to make you feel ready to face anything that comes your way.

Guest Spotlight: Ali Flynn

Ali Flynn

Ali is the Co-Founder and CEO of three Tri-Altitude Performance, Altitude Fitness Armidale and Vera Vidya Yoga Studio.

She is also now the host of the international podcast “Challenges that Change Us”. Ali has a background in psychology, law, trauma counselling, business strategy and fitness coaching.

She works with thousands of Australians to explore their core beliefs, eliminate fears and break through mental blocks. She shares strategies that enable anyone to operate in a state of peak performance and achieve personal and professional growth.

Ali knows first hand what it takes to start at the beginning having experienced a stroke in her early thirties. This experience only drove her to want to help individuals and leaders understand more about human behaviour, communication and mindset. She believes in finding “the right strategy for the right person at the right time in their life”.

Connect with Ali Flynn:

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Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Ali Flynn

Hello and happy last week of the year. The holidays are almost over. And if you're like me, you're taking a bit of a breather right now. . There can be a big energy shift from the end of December to the beginning of January. December. Can be a big energy suck. If you haven't listened to episode 44 yet.
I encourage you to go have a listen and hear about my secret weapon. When it comes to keeping my energy more consistent and even while getting just tons done and dealing with the holidays, whichever of the 20 plus December holidays, you honor. But the reality is. If you've done a ton of December, you may be in a bit of an energy lul.
Which is totally okay. I talk all the time about the importance of evening out that inflated energy, highs and lows by using different tools to get kind of a more neutral energy flow. But it's important to know that within that neutral energy flow, we still each have our own natural energy cycles with highs and with lows.
So if you're experiencing a bit of an energy low, or you're taking a breather, like I am. There could be a swing. Going into January. Depending on a couple of different things that you might be doing. If you're looking to start a fresh game in January, you could be trying to psych yourself up, right? You could be getting ready to take off with new goals and new habits and changes and whatever you want to do. And that's fantastic. If you're not planning any type of new beginning in January, which is totally fine.
You're still starting a new month. A new year. You're going to be surrounded by that new energy, that newness, that everyone seems to have. And sometimes even if you're not necessarily playing that new year's resolutions game, It can be nice to ride that new energy. Wave the whole rest of the world seems to have.
But then there can be another option. It's too. Continue resting. Continue doing your thing to take care of you, whatever that looks like. And treating next month, like just any other month. You may not feel ready for all of that new energy, all of that newness. And that's okay. January does not have to be anything. Other than just another day.
So all of these options for how you handle your new year are great. And if there's one thing that I stress on this podcast is that you need to do what's best for you. And only, you know what that is. But regardless of how you're planning on spending the next few weeks. This podcast with Ali, Flynn is going to help you. What I love about this interview is that Ali is such a great motivator. But her words work for you. If you're ready to take on the outside world.
Or if you're ready to cocoon and heal your own inner world. Either way. This is a feel good episode. That's going to leave you knowing in your bones. That you can do it. Whatever it may be.
So please enjoy this week's episode. And visit Andrea Hanson, for more. On Ali Flynn. Resources that we talk about in the show and transcripts from today's episode. Welcome to the live your life, not your diagnosis podcast. I'm Andrea Hanson, author, motivational speaker. And master certified coach. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was told. I would never reach my goals. But I did. And I'm on a mission to prove that life with a chronic illness can still be expansive and quite remarkable.
Everyone has their own unique path. I'm talking to people, living with a chronic illness that come from different backgrounds, have different points of view and are achieving amazing life goals of all kinds. To you inspire you To achieve what you thought was impossible. These stories are raw. Uncensored and judgment free.
Listener discretion is advised
[00:03:53] Andrea: I'm here with Ali Flyn. Ali is the co-founder and CEO of three businesses.
[00:03:58] Andrea: Tri altitude, performance, altitude, fitness, Armidale, and Vera Vidia yoga studio. She is also now the host of the international podcast challenges that change us. Ellie has a background in psychology, law, trauma counseling, business strategy, and fitness coaching. She works with thousands of Australians to explore their core beliefs, eliminate fears, and break through mental blocks.
[00:04:25] Andrea: She shares strategies that enable anyone to operate in the state of peak performance and achieve personal and professional growth. Allie knows firsthand what it takes to start at the beginning, having experienced a stroke in her early thirties. This experience only drove her to want to help individuals and leaders understand more about human behavior, communication and mindset.
[00:04:48] Andrea: She believes in finding the right strategy for the right person at the right time in their life. Allie. Hi, welcome.
[00:04:57] Ali: Hello. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited this morning about being on this podcast.
[00:05:02] Andrea: So excited. The last time we talked, we were just like going off I think we lost crack of time. It was one of those things where it felt like we talked for about five minutes.
[00:05:11] Ali: we do actually said to you this morning, I have another appointment today, so we're on a timeframe cause we can talk.
[00:05:19] Andrea: I know. I know. So, so you have such an incredible story. I can't wait to dive in. There are so many things to talk about, but I like to start with just the idea of success, because what I love doing on this podcast is highlighting people with a chronic illness that are doing really successful things in their lives.
[00:05:39] Andrea: They are creating a really fulfilling life. They're doing amazing things, but. I know from the outside, looking to you, you have three businesses, you have a hit international podcast. That's amazing. I would say yes, you're very successful, but we all have our own definitions of success. So I would love to know what your definition of success is and where you really see that show up in your life.
[00:06:06] Ali: Yeah, that's a great question. I love challenging that space with people around what success looks like. And success changes over time, right? A lot of people often define se success as a moment in time, I have a company or I got first in a race, or I now have 14 employees or whatever it is for the person.
[00:06:26] Ali: But for me personally, success is about having no regrets and living into your life the way you wanna live it in the best possible way. And life ebbs and flows. And we'll get into that today. So, there's lots of ups and downs, but it's living. True to yourself. So I always come back to what my values are and what motivates me, growth and contribution.
[00:06:47] Ali: Like helping people are two things that drive me and my family is a huge value of mine. So success for me is when I'm living into those three things, spending time with the people I care about the most and living into my growth and helping people.
[00:07:03] Andrea: I love that. And especially when you say it ebbs and flows and it looks differently, not just to different people, but at different times in our lives. And so it's the idea that success is not a, oh, I've reached it. Oh, I've got the, I got there. I did this. That can be a successful moment, but the idea of success is much more of that journey of that process.
[00:07:27] Ali: And it's the way you define it yourself. I think it's really important to get clear on what it means for each, like for your listeners out there, if you're not sure what success looks like for you, spend some time in that space, thinking about that and exploring that and get curious about that.
[00:07:41] Ali: Because it, yeah, it does change and it can help you. It can, it can make the hard days easier and it can make the tough decisions, a simple answer. Mm.
[00:07:52] Andrea: And it can change. I know that and we'll get into this, but I know that for, for a lot of us, we have what we think success is before we were diagnosed. And then after a diagnosis and after working through whatever challenges that we're having and learning to learning to live with them, learning to work with them, then success looks very different.
[00:08:12] Andrea: Not necessarily, I'm not saying that it looks like a lower bar or anything like that. I don't think that's true at all. It's just that it looks different. Did it look different to you?
[00:08:20] Ali: Well, my challenges started when I was a child. So , it's a bit hard to say, you know, we'll get into stroke, but that's just part of the journey. , it started for me at a very young age. So success for me as a child was, was around survival and then post that it was about finding a life that I enjoyed living that was safe.
[00:08:40] Ali: And, I didn't have to worry about um, things happening or how people were gonna respond. Like I learned really early on that you can't control other people's behaviors. So it's up to you, what you do with your life and you get to wake up every single morning and choose the attitude that you get out of bed with.
[00:08:56] Ali: No one else has any control over that. You have a hundred percent control over what attitude. You choose. And if you make that decision and set that intention before you even put your foot on the ground in the morning, it can fundamentally make a difference to your day. And the challenges I experienced in my twenties and thirties just reinforce that,
[00:09:15] Andrea: Yeah. That's so let's, let's look into that just a little bit more. So you have, you've got a diagnosis when you were really young and then you also had a stroke at 30, is that right? Mm
[00:09:27] Ali: well, I would say I grew up in quite a violent home and at times I lived on the streets. So, my childhood, I, I lived in this fear space, but I also lived in privilege. So, which is quite a it's not uncommon, but it's, it's something that people. Only just coming to terms with, particularly in Australia, that you can still live with privilege and, and your home life not be safe.
[00:09:47] Ali: So I went to amazing schools and got an amazing education, which allowed me to fly as an adult. But then in my thirties, when I was 32, I had a stroke. Yeah. Which was probably um, medically, when you talk about diagnosis, that, that, and then last year have been the two biggest kind of pivoting points in my life.
[00:10:07] Andrea: Tell me what those first months were like after your stroke. It sounds like the stroke was the, kind of the, the defining time, a defining point in your health.
[00:10:17] Ali: Absolutely.
[00:10:18] Ali: Yes.
[00:10:19] Ali: I probably even start with the day that it happened. So I was 32 super fit running. I just opened a business six weeks earlier. My background was in trauma counseling and I was working with kids that had been sexually assault, were living in domestic violence and then had three little girls and decided to step away from the industry.
[00:10:38] Ali: And from that this opportunity arrived to potentially open my own business. And I thought, great personal training. This can still help people like this is amazing. Let's, let's give that a go because I wasn't in a space at that time. I had three kids under three, so I wasn't in a, in a space where I could actually go back into any kind of therapy work.
[00:10:56] Ali: So I opened a business and I was about to go and run a boot camp with 20 people. And I was up in my bathroom and I got this headache. Like when they say, what's your pain outta 10. I'm like. Compared to my stroke because that pain was like 30 outta 10. Like I knew in that second that something serious was happening in my life was in danger.
[00:11:16] Ali: I had a headache on my left and pins and needles down my right two stroke symptoms. And I remember thinking, am I having a stroke? And then straightaway was like, no, no way. And then . So I screamed out to my husband. He said, when he got to the bathroom, I was on the floor trying to like get up and couldn't get up.
[00:11:36] Ali: And he did the same thing cause he works in the hospital and he straightaway went to stroke and then he's like, no, can't driving into. And we were driving into town and, and this is my last memory was looking at the Speedo thinking. I'm gonna die here. He's gonna kill me cuz we're gonna have a car crash, forget the stroke.
[00:11:55] Ali: We're gonna have a car crash. And so when I got to the hospital I'd lost I didn't know who my husband was. My mother. I couldn't recognize anyone at the hospital that where my husband worked. And so they thought I'd had a migraine being so young and fit. And then the next morning. The doctor came in to talk to me.
[00:12:10] Ali: And he was standing there chatting, and I was like, I can't see you. And then he moved and I was like, oh, there you are. And that was in that moment. They were like, whoa, something's going on here? And he moved back and I couldn't see him so straight in for MRIs. They flew me to Sydney, which is five hours away from where we lived to a major hospital down there.
[00:12:28] Ali: And I lost my short term memory and my vision in both eyes in the top quadrants that was while I was in Abidal I had two strokes and they had caused that damage. And then when I got to Sydney, they had me, me on medication to keep the blood, getting to the sites of my brain, where I was having the constriction.
[00:12:43] Ali: So the condition I have is reversible vasoconstriction syndrome. It's pretty rare. And only 5% of people that have that condition result in a stroke. So I was in the bottom category and there's not a lot of research out there about it. And so I spent quite a long time in hospital, a couple of months.
[00:12:58] Ali: And during that time it was really challenging, but for different reasons, I, from my childhood that I've mentioned, had always had this little mantra that said you could hurt me, but you can't touch my mind. And so I got smarter, I studied harder. Yeah. And I was like, no one can touch that.
[00:13:14] Ali: This is, and that's where that really strong belief comes in. That it's my life. And if I wanna do something, it's only up to me. No one else is gonna walk the mile for me at the end of the day, I've gotta be clear on where I'm going and why I'm doing it. Because when you understand your why, hard days are easy.
[00:13:32] Andrea: Right. Yes. I love, I love that with the why it's
[00:13:35] Ali: Yes.
[00:13:36] Andrea: that I work with people on because it's, it's so important. I mean, you have to like, why else are you? Why else are you doing it? If you
[00:13:42] Andrea: don't know your, why
[00:13:44] Ali: but it's true. Right? So when you talk about recovery, I had a really clear why I wanted to get home to my three girls and my husband. That was it. And I remember the doctor saying to me, at one stage Ali, you need to stop working so hard. You like you, I, they were saying that I was just working so hard on my rehab and I turned around to them and said, you're gonna need to get outta the way if you don't want me to work this hard, because I have a really strong mission. I wanna get home to my children and my husband and nothing in this world is gonna stop me from giving it 110%. And from that day, like every day I'd get up and I'd just work on what is one thing today?
[00:14:20] Ali: I couldn't read and write. I couldn't stand on one leg. I remember post. Hospital sitting at home with my four year old. I don't know if you have these books in America. Do you have the spot books? The little dog?
[00:14:32] Ali: No. They've got
[00:14:33] Andrea: spot run.
[00:14:33] Ali: yes. Yes. So we used to get those books and I couldn't read them, but my daughter could, who was four.
[00:14:39] Ali: And so I'd sit up in a room every night and I would sit there and I'd try and sound out the words and she would come over the top and be like, mom, it says when or mom, it says run. And so we, I remember thinking I'm gonna have to go to kindergarten with her when she goes next year. I, I might just have to sit in class with her and start to learn how to read and write.
[00:15:01] Ali: No, I didn't need to. By, by the time she went to kindergarten, I, I was starting to really improve. I was really fortunate. I had amazing support systems, amazing doctors and an amazing drive and
[00:15:13] Ali: purpose.
[00:15:14] Andrea: I was gonna say, and you had such an amazing drive to actually to do something about it. I mean, that's pretty, that's pretty amazing because I also, whenever I'm looking at things like the point of diagnosis and those, those months, sometimes years after it there's a lot of trauma, there's a lot of stuff to process that has nothing to do with healing, your body.
[00:15:34] Andrea: It's, it's almost like healing, your emotions and your, and your mind, your sense of identity, all of that kind of stuff happened. What was that like while you were also learning to do things like read and write
[00:15:46] Ali: absolutely the physical recovery. Wasn't the hard part, learning to walk, learning to read that wasn't hard. The hard part was the grief for the person I was before I had my stroke and learning who I was in the world now with a short term memory loss and not meeting someone one moment and then not knowing who they are the next, I dunno.
[00:16:05] Ali: Have you seen 51st dates that movie?
[00:16:07] Andrea: Yes.
[00:16:08] Ali: Yes. That's how I used to describe it to people. I was like, I look and sound normal, but I'm not gonna remember you three minutes after you walk out this door. And that was hard, right? Because I'm a people person and my whole life had been built around helping others.
[00:16:22] Ali: And now I can't even remember who they are. So that was the mind games that played was the hardest by far. And some of the things that I like I used in that space was like repeating mantras. They, I always come back to, if you sit at the kitchen table for 30 days and get told you are no good.
[00:16:43] Ali: Or told you are fat at the end of 30 days, you're gonna start to feel fat or no. Good.
[00:16:48] Ali: Why do people think it doesn't work in the opposite direction, fake it till you make it. So I would sit there every day and say, I got this. There's no problem I can't solve. There's no problem. I have gotten to where I am today.
[00:16:59] Ali: And I'm standing here in front of people, which means I've gotten through every single problem I've been faced in my life. This is just one more problem. And it's seasonal, right? So I can't possibly be where I am today. If all I think about is just having a Lego mat and getting one piece of Lego a week, it's impossible to remain where it's impossible to remain still.
[00:17:20] Ali: And so that self talk and that reminder, and it, it wasn't easy some days, like some days I had to force that conversation in my head, but I believe, and trust that process of, choosing the perspective that you see life through and knowing that over time, When you constantly coach yourself and talk kindly to yourself and look after yourself, it pays off
[00:17:47] Ali: in dividends .
[00:17:48] Andrea: Yes. Yeah. I, I think it definitely compounds. I think it just, it gets a little easier and a little easier. And when you start telling yourself these things, and it's not even necessarily that you have to have affirmations, it's, a belief it's, really meaning like, Hey, I did great work today when I was, you know, reading to my daughter or my daughter was reading to me,
[00:18:10] Andrea: and, it gets easier and easier and easier to believe. And that's when you start looking and you see more examples every single day, because you're priming yourself to see all of these amazing things. And so that snowballs.
[00:18:23] Ali: I was gonna say that what you just mentioned there is really important point is that those examples, sometimes it can be helpful to spend some time and think about those examples from your past so that when you're having dark days or when you're having moments that you're just not sure how you're gonna get through it, or you're just feeling really low.
[00:18:41] Ali: You can pull on those examples because you've already reminded yourself of what they are. You can pop them up around your room. You can write them in a journal or a diary. Don't wait for the moment that you need them to try and think about them. My advice would be to think about them when you don't need them.
[00:18:57] Ali: So that in that moment, they're right there. Ready to tap into.
[00:19:01] Andrea: yeah, yeah. In the moment is not generally the best time to do the hard work
[00:19:07] Ali: Mm.
[00:19:07] Andrea: because it's just, it's that much more difficult when you're, when you're in there. And all of a sudden, you're feeling all those emotions and you're upset or whatever it is like that's, that's generally not the time to begin the work of, self affirmation and being kinder to yourself.
[00:19:22] Andrea: It's so much easier to do it when it's a normal day.
[00:19:26] Ali: Well, and the best example of that is our athletes like look at a hundred meter sprinter. They don't decide where their knee drive's gonna be in the race, on the Olympic games. Like they spend months to years training that knee drive and with position of their technique before the day on the day, you just pull on everything you've learned and you trust the process.
[00:19:48] Ali: And our mind isn't any different to that. We, we can learn a lot from the way that our athletes train. They always have a coach. Why, why don't we like, you know, a coach, a mentor, someone in your corner, cheering you on someone, holding a mirror up to you to show you, the things that you're doing.
[00:20:05] Ali: Great. And the things that perhaps you could work a little bit on, I'm a huge believer of that. And I think we can take a lot from sport.
[00:20:11] Andrea: I agree. I mean, a lot of times when you're in it, you don't see everything that's happening. You're not necessarily objectively seeing your situation or your thinking or, or the results that it's giving you. And so that's why having somebody else out there to, to, like you said, hold that mirror up.
[00:20:30] Andrea: so beneficial.
[00:20:31] Ali: Yes. Yes. And when you talk about being in the thick of it, like we've just come through a phase of that. So I've gotten sick again in the last 12 months. And, and I feel like that, like we're in the thick of it. And one thing that I, I think about or not think about one thing I know to my core is that I have steps I can take when I'm in the thick of it.
[00:20:52] Ali: And I don't need to know how that's gonna play out. I just know those steps I've gotta take. And those steps are things like we are just talking about. It's come back to one step at a time, focus on your mindset. Go to task, if life feels hard and you're feeling overwhelmed and you're starting to feel the anxiety creep in, think about the task at hand, what, what do I need to do here?
[00:21:12] Ali: Try and measure things so that you can manage it. They're the things I come back to when I'm in the thick of it. I don't worry about what does it look like on the other side? Because no one knows like tomorrow, no one knows what tomorrow looks like, but we all have an opportunity of how we live today.
[00:21:27] Andrea: And, and how we feel today
[00:21:29] Ali: Mm
[00:21:30] Ali: that doesn't mean don't be strategic about tomorrow.
[00:21:32] Andrea: right.
[00:21:32] Ali: be strategic, but live in the present.
[00:21:35] Andrea: Yeah. I always scoffed when people ask what's your five year plan, even like a one like one year is about as
[00:21:41] Andrea: far out as I like to go and even then it gets like squishier and squishier the farther out
[00:21:48] Andrea: that I get it. But I do think that, looking just, what is tomorrow gonna look like?
[00:21:53] Andrea: What is next week gonna look like? I think you can do that and still stay in the present. And I think it's actually beneficial to stay in the present because you're focusing on like, how am I feeling right now? And how do I wanna feel in the, future? I love mindset, but I also love the emotional part of mindset, which doesn't get talked a whole lot about because people think it's thinking and strategic and, and all of these things and I'm like, no, but how are you feeling today?
[00:22:17] Andrea: That keeps me in the moment. most is noticing how I feel and knowing how I wanna feel tomorrow.
[00:22:24] Ali: Yeah, that's a great question. And when people set their new year's resolutions, one of the great, one of the questions they can ask themself is how do I wanna feel
[00:22:33] Ali: throughout the year? What are the feelings that I, I wanna say, I feel like that, I feel content or I feel inspired or. I feel loved, and sometimes we, it can be really helpful to consider that I was thinking, as you said, that one thing that I do do every single morning, and I know it kind of sits between that mindset thought space and the mindset emotional space is I ask or think about three things.
[00:22:58] Ali: I think about how far I've come. So I raise awareness to something that I've done well in the past or something that I've achieved. I think about gratitude for where I am now, like what have I got now in my life as opposed to what I don't have. And then I set an intention for the.
[00:23:17] Ali: Or an intention for the week. Like I summon up that determination on what is it that I wanna do today. And that might be, I wanna feel grateful for things, or it might be, I wanna do one kind act for someone, or I wanna laugh as much as I can today. It doesn't have to be, I wanna tick all these boxes.
[00:23:35] Andrea: Right. Yeah. And again, it's going back to like it, it's not what it is that we accomplish or something in time. It's this is how I wanna feel. This is, I wanna feel more grateful. I, I love, I love setting intentions first and for, I love that. It's one of my favorite tools that I use, especially when I'm kind of in, you know, sometimes you get in like a dark spot and it's not even necessarily that something happened per se.
[00:24:00] Andrea: It's just that sometimes that emotion is just common up and it just kind of, colors, everything that you see. And I. Want to, of course, always honor that emotion and feel that emotion, but then it's you know what, here's my intention. I want to see the good in somebody. I want to feel grateful and, and the really amazing part of it.
[00:24:20] Andrea: And I think this is why there's a mindset to emotions. I think I would love to hear, hear what you think is that it's not, when we say like, I wanna feel loved that love doesn't depend on somebody else. Right. Cuz us feeling love is about us receiving it and us acknowledging it and letting ourselves feel it regardless of what's going on outside. But I would love your take on that.
[00:24:46] Ali: Well, there's so many things, first of all, around the love is you can't experience and feel love from others. If you don't love yourself, we have to have experienced nurture from our primary caregivers and be able to nurture ourselves before we can then as adults, start to be in a space of accepting that from other people.
[00:25:02] Ali: So it is so critical and important to, to do the work in that space. It is different for everyone and the work does not always look like a counseling room or self-help books. You gotta find what works for you as an individual, but if you are sitting there listening right now and, and you do, you find it really challenging to sit there and say, I do love who I am.
[00:25:22] Ali: And I, I do love myself and I feel like I have self-worth and I would strongly encourage you to think about, well, what can I do in this space? Because one really important step to create the life that you wanna live, regardless of what your diagnosis is or what your history's been or where you're at, or what challenges you have is you've gotta come back to a really strong core within yourself. The other thing that I was thinking about when you were talking about that is, which is a topic as I've been playing around with lately is around the difference between there is so much buzz around gratitude, right? And you and I have both discussed that. We love that as a strategy. That's the key, it's a strategy that you can implement every day that can make a difference in your world.
[00:26:07] Ali: But there's a step before that, which is what you are talking about and that's honoring the emotions. So the very first step is to honor your emotions, whatever they are, if you are grieving, if you've just been given a diagnosis and you're in the thick of it, it is okay to grieve. It is okay to be scared.
[00:26:22] Ali: It is okay to feel overwhelmed and not be sure how you're gonna get through this. It is after you've honored that space that you then start to think, well, what strategies can I use now for me to prop me up or to propel me into the future? And one of those strategies is gratitude. Another strategy is setting your intention.
[00:26:42] Ali: Another strategy might be movement like activating your body. Another strategy might be meditation. So there are strategies that come after honoring
[00:26:50] Ali: the emotion and the experience
[00:26:53] Andrea: , it's a buzzword and people talk a lot about gratitude and I, I do love it, but I think it gets, it gets a bad rap and people are starting to say things like toxic positivity and what is that? And I think what that is is when people don't honor those emotions, because I mean, let me be clear, like honoring your emotions is tough.
[00:27:12] Andrea: It is tough work, especially if it's not something that you're used to doing, like that is scary. And so I think a lot of people don't necessarily, for whatever reason, I'm not saying it's, it's, they're not right, but for whatever reason, they don't first honor their feelings, their emotions, and then they try to gratitude themselves out of it.
[00:27:34] Andrea: And that's never gonna work.
[00:27:36] Ali: yes, they're squishing the emotion and they're pretending it doesn't exist. Yes. And I can I can give a really clear example of what we are talking about right now in the last 12 months. So, leaning into that, we I'd had a lot of stress, so my mom had just been diagnosed with dementia. I'm a sole carer.
[00:27:51] Ali: My daughter had been diagnosed with losing her hearing. They said she could go completely deaf. This is all in the space of about four months. I went up to, oh my daughter, my other daughter got really sick with her kidney disease. And so she'd put on about 15 kilos in a 48 hour period. And her skin had started to split.
[00:28:08] Ali: She was real. I, I thought we were gonna lose her. I was so worried. I went on to do a half iron man, which is an extreme event. I'm sure you guys have, I mean, it's not extreme for someone that does ultra, but you know, for the everyday person,
[00:28:20] Ali: like for me, it's extreme, right. I've had a stroke, so getting up and doing any kind of fitness.
[00:28:26] Ali: It's about a for some people it's a four hour event for me, it's a six hour event, it's a leisure, go out there. There's no rush, but yeah, it's, it's a full day that you're out there. It's a two K swim, a 90 K bike ride, a 21 K run. And I normally love these events, but this one was really tragic.
[00:28:42] Ali: We went up with 33 people and we lost one of our mates on course. And so we came home with 32 and that it happened right where I was running at the time. And when I got back one week post that event, I was first on scene to a car accident with someone that was non-responsive. And then I got sick. And now the doctors are saying it's probably not psychological.
[00:29:04] Ali: It seems to be really organic and there's really clear clinical lines as to what's going on for you. They still don't know, but in my head I kept thinking, how can this not be psychological? Right? How is my, my body has just said, I'm given up on life.
[00:29:16] Ali: Like it has gotten too tough. And I started to get really sick. So I got pins and needles and numbness in my left leg. And then it went to my right and then it went to both my hands. And now I live every day with numbness and pins and needles in or all four limbs. I got a massive wave of fatigue and headaches.
[00:29:33] Ali: Like I hadn't experience since my stroke and every day I just got worse and worse and worse. And on my 40th birthday, I couldn't even get up to have a cup of tea with my children. That was hard. I couldn't stand up. And, I thought I was dying. Like really? I thought this is it. Like I've been through a lot, but I'm just slowly dying, which is how the podcast came about.
[00:29:51] Ali: Right? Like when you are knocked down, find, find something to do on the ground. If you can't get up, just look around you and see what resources you have. And that's how I started podcasting, cuz I was like, I'm not, I'm not done. I'm not done helping people. I'm not done having conversations.
[00:30:07] Ali: There's there's conversations. I need my children to hear and they're too young to hear it. So let's podcast. And the reason why I'm telling all of you this, this is a really long way around to get to. I was in the thick of it for 18 months and it would've been very easy to say, push that away, squash that down, just get on with life toughen
[00:30:27] Ali: up. You've been through worse than This Yeah. This isn't the hardest thing you've been through. Crack that whip on yourself, but this is what you and I are talking about. I needed to honor that space and I needed to heal my body and my mind, I'm still not there yet. Like we're still working on it, but it's in that moment that you need to acknowledge and feel the emotions.
[00:30:45] Ali: I, I was sad. I was scared, I felt overwhelmed. I had three companies to run and I couldn't stand up. So it was like, it was a tough, tough time. And it's not until probably I would say November. So from March to November, I, I honored everything. I didn't try and flip my mindset. I was sick and it was okay to be sick.
[00:31:08] Ali: It was okay to be scared. In November. I was like, all right, now I'm ready. Now I'm ready to start putting in all the strategies. And I made a big list who are all the people I can see? What am I not doing? If the doctors gave me a diagnosis, what, what would I change in my life that I'm currently not doing?
[00:31:24] Ali: Could I improve my nutrition? Can I increase my meditation? Is there alternative therapies I could look at? Do I need counseling? Like I made a list and then I got to work on my mindset. Right? Work it like a muscle. Don't just assume it's gonna be there and do it for you. You need to train it. You need to train it and
[00:31:41] Ali: then You need to call on it.
[00:31:42] Ali: Then you need to be like, what have I got? We've all got the resources within us. We, we've got amazing ability to tap into this phenomenal personal power when we need it. And that then in that moment, I started to tap into it and started to, I don't think I wasn't ready before that. And had I done it. I probably would've continued on that burnout phase, whatever it is that I've got, it probably would've the trajectory would've been to keep getting worse, but it's stabilized now.
[00:32:08] Ali: And then My daughters just got sick again, and we did it again. We bubbled it, what do we need to do in this space? Let's just funker down and do the basics. Spend time, quality time together. As a family have experiences, nothing else matters in the world right now. Let's just be with my daughter.
[00:32:23] Ali: And then yesterday I was like, alright, that's done. Let's close that loop. And now what are the mindset tools I have? And what are the strategies I have at my fingertips that are gonna get me back into life and back into the world. And it's like they've opened gates and I've come out flying. But again, I couldn't have done that three weeks.
[00:32:38] Ali: Can
[00:32:39] Andrea: right. Yeah. I mean, oh my gosh. So much there so much. Um, I know I'm like I've had five points I would like to address each with subset.
[00:32:51] Ali: you see why we chatted so
[00:32:52] Ali: much? The
[00:32:53] Ali: first
[00:32:53] Ali: time
[00:32:54] Andrea: It's 0.2 subset.
[00:32:56] Ali: I get too
[00:32:57] Andrea: um,
[00:32:58] Ali: See, I get too excited.
[00:33:00] Andrea: get excited cuz this is, I mean, this is freaking gold. I love it. Cuz I mean the one thing that I, the one thing, one of the things that I thought about when you were talking about that is the idea of how important it is to process what's happening. And I look at when we're processing, there's, there's a couple of things that need to be done when you're processing.
[00:33:22] Andrea: Like one of 'em of course is to actually feel it. But I think even before that we have to acknowledge it. Like we have to say You know what I'm feeling, this I'm feeling scared. And I acknowledge that and I accept that. That is the emotion that I am feeling right now. And it is okay to feel that emotion.
[00:33:41] Andrea: And cuz I think a lot of times, even though we know the emotion that we're getting, we don't feel like we should be scared or we think something like, well being scared, isn't gonna help me or being sad. Isn't gonna help me. And so let's just push through it. And so we don't necessarily just sit and it, and it does take that still that stillness, it, it, that you have to sit and say, okay, I acknowledge that this is how I'm feeling.
[00:34:04] Andrea: I acknowledge that this is it. And I think in that stillness is the acceptance that our body needs. And when we give our body that acceptance even about something that seems so small as I accept the fact that this is the emotion that I'm feeling, it stops the resistance at least for a moment. And I think that is so important for healing.
[00:34:29] Andrea: It's so important for lowering, lowering that stress level within your body for lowering the tension. There's so much in just acknowledging okay, let's just feel this let's acknowledge that this is what we're feeling.
[00:34:42] Ali: Yes, absolutely. And it's in that moment that you have acceptance that you have a choice from there not before then from there that you can either get bitter or you can get better. It's a, you're in a fork of a road, but if you haven't got to that acceptance piece, sometimes you can't choose which road you wanna take.
[00:34:57] Ali: So accepting is the fir very first step and being okay and looking at what you can control and what you can't control. I've got a beautiful strategy around that. I ride out when I feel like that. When I haven't quite come to an acceptance phase of what's going on in my world, regardless of whether it's due with medical or something to do with work or something in my personal life, I write down because when we get it out of our head on paper, we can measure it and then we can manage it.
[00:35:22] Ali: So I get two pieces of paper and I write down everything I can control in the situation. And on the other page, I write down everything I can't control. So when we talk about COVID, you can't control the government rules, you can't control other people's behavior around it. You can't control probably even if you're gonna catch it or not, you can take measures to reduce risk, but at the end of the day, that's out of your control.
[00:35:43] Ali: And then I have a very strong mantra at the bottom of that page. And I put on repeat and I use. All the time in my life is I choose to let go of the things I cannot control. And I repeat that. I choose to let go of the things I cannot control. And then I get to work on the things I can control I make from that list.
[00:36:00] Ali: I pull all those things out and I choose from there. I prioritize, work out what I can do, work out all my options, 101 things I can do for each of those steps and then get to work.
[00:36:10] Andrea: right. Because there's so many things that we can do. And I think that there's so much, going back to the language there's so much power in just the language and saying, not just, I'm gonna let it go. I can't control it. I'm gonna put it aside. But I choose
[00:36:27] Ali: Yes,
[00:36:28] Andrea: What? I can't control like that.
[00:36:30] Andrea: Just saying I choose to do this is huge.
[00:36:34] Ali: it's the same as I always think about the other really great mantras around nutrition, I can have this, but do I really want it? it's a choice then
[00:36:41] Andrea: Right.
[00:36:43] Andrea: Right.
[00:36:43] Ali: Yeah.
[00:36:44] Andrea: That is our power is what we choose to do and what we choose not to do. And so reminding ourselves of that very big piece that we have in our world and creating our reality and the results that we're seeing, it's what we choose to do or what we choose not to or what we choose to bring in or what we choose to let go like
[00:37:05] Ali: Yeah.
[00:37:06] Andrea: power.
[00:37:06] Andrea: And it's so important to remind ourselves.
[00:37:09] Ali: And then, from there, like it's kind of these steps, like we've said, like acceptance and honoring the space and then choosing, what you can control and what you can't control. And then when you get into what you can control, that's where your life toolbox comes in. That's where the strategies come in.
[00:37:24] Ali: That's where, if we wanna talk around meditation or how do you anchor yourself and feel grounded or that's when you can step up the inner chat or there's so many things where you can ask for help. That's now we, in that face, it's like a whole new chapter of the process. And sometimes we forget to get on board that chapter, right?
[00:37:40] Ali: Like we stay back there and this
[00:37:42] Ali: is where,
[00:37:42] Ali: this is then when the gratitude comes in and the setting attentions.
[00:37:46] Andrea: right. So, so important. So you hit on something and I'm always very curious meditation. It's so many, it's kind of like gratitude, right? People have so many thoughts about meditation. I certainly used to and I'm by no means, do I meditate, every single day and do it perfectly or anything like that.
[00:38:03] Andrea: But I used to have a different view of meditation. I can't get outta my head. I can't sit still all that kind of stuff. And so I had a very specific way of kind of working my way into it. Cause I know it is really important. What is your, do you meditate? Do you have a practice? What does it look like?
[00:38:21] Andrea: Talk
[00:38:21] Ali: Yeah, well, I was a little like you, right?
[00:38:24] Ali: I thought, what is this? I can't sit still I'm way too, like energetic and bubbly and like active and I have a hundred things on the go. Um, It's a powerful tool meditation. It actually, the research is now showing that it, it, it makes cha it actually has changes in our brain.
[00:38:41] Ali: So our prefrontal cortex increases and the cortical thickness of our hip campus also increases. And I use meditation like a performance drug if I wanna. Yeah. If I wanna think clearer and I wanna have a better memory as, as I said, I've had short term memory. If I wanna make better decisions in the world I think, well, what can I use other people?
[00:39:02] Ali: If they have a headache, they go and get neurore Panadol. If I wanna perform at my best, I go and grab meditation off the shelf and it doesn't have to be long. Right. There's, I think we're catching up to that now, I think, but for a long time, we thought you need to lie down on the ground and do half an hour, an hour of meditation, or it doesn't count.
[00:39:21] Ali: We are so far from that. Now what the research is saying is we only need 75 hours. Now, if you break that down over a year, who can't do 75 hours for us to see those changes in the brain
[00:39:32] Ali: or over a few months. So I did think, I don't know if it's appropriate or not, but I, I can do like a two minute meditation for people.
[00:39:39] Ali: Just so they can get a taster. Right. just, yeah. And, and what I wanna set you up with, for the listeners is that. I think the biggest shift I'm seeing in the meditation space right now is that our men are getting on board. So in my podcast for anyone that goes and listens, every man that I've now interviewed, but by one, and that's cuz we weren't talking about this sort of stuff has referred back to some form of breath work or some form of meditation as a fundamental strategy they use to get through their challenge.
[00:40:15] Ali: And I think that's amazing. And so I'm really, that really excites me and like in our yoga studio now we have there's times that we have more men than women. And for me, I actually had to change the name of our classes to get the men in there. So I changed it from yoga flow to mobility and core and wrote the description as this is the class you need to do.
[00:40:35] Ali: If you're an athlete. And then we started getting men coming in so, it's like if we, if we were to change the words and I told you right now that you can take this Panadol and Han it's gonna improve your performance dramatically on a daily basis, would everyone listening be like, yeah, it's only two minutes.
[00:40:51] Ali: I can do that. So I think we need to shift the way that we think about meditation. Trust the process, trust the research. That's out there at the moment. Yes. Research, research changes over time, but meditation goes back centuries, right?
[00:41:05] Andrea: Right.
[00:41:05] Ali: been doing it for so long across multiple cultures. It's not just this Western new idea.
[00:41:12] Ali: Or
[00:41:12] Ali: an Eastern idea, right?
[00:41:13] Andrea: Yeah.
[00:41:13] Ali: Yeah. So let's do one. Let's do one
[00:41:16] Andrea: let's do it. Oh my gosh. So
[00:41:17] Ali: for the listeners. Okay. So what I want everyone to do is wherever you are, if you are sitting or lying, just coming to a comfortable position, whew. Just letting go of the day that you've had so far, perhaps you wanna. Close your eyes down, or maybe just soften your eyes and let your eyes eye gaze fall down to the ground and just take a moment, just a big moment, whatever you've been doing, whatever you need to do today, all that job list, that task list.
[00:41:51] Ali: Just pop it on the shelf for now. There's nowhere else you need to be. There's nothing else you need to do right now. And just start to take in the space around you. Take in a couple of big, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth
[00:42:19] Ali: and with your next big breath out, just start to soften through the shoulders, the neck, the jaw. It's often where we hold all our tension. As you start to notice the weight of your body and the contact of your body with the chair or the floor beneath you,
[00:42:47] Ali: noticing how your body feels right now, a sense of heaviness or lightness, a sense of restlessness or stillness. Don't worry too much about the thoughts. Just allow them to come and go. And
[00:43:09] Ali: as you pause, just starting to notice your breath, the rise and fall sensation. Maybe you feel it in the stomach, the chest, and if you can't feel anything, just placing your hand on your stomach. And noticing there's nothing really to do. Just allow your body to breathe in its own way. It doesn't matter if the breath is fast or slow and when your mind races off and you realize that you're feeling a little distracted, just guide your mind back to your breath, the rise and fall sensation.
[00:43:59] Ali: And right now, today, just coming back to that feeling of contact on the chair or the floor, starting to notice the space around you. The sounds
[00:44:15] Ali: when you're, Ready's gently opening those eyes and taking a moment.
[00:44:30] Ali: And that's our little couple of minute meditation. I just thought it might be nice, for listeners to have a practice.
[00:44:36] Andrea: I love it. I was almost like, I don't wanna speak again because I feel like everyone's so calm and relaxed.
[00:44:42] Ali: yeah. And the beautiful.
[00:44:44] Andrea: like a
[00:44:44] Ali: I know.
[00:44:45] Andrea: everybody.
[00:44:47] Ali: No, but the beautiful thing about that is, if, if you do nothing else, you could just sit in your chair and just do that. So just any time throughout your day, your breath is with you 24 7. Again, it's like my mind, no one can take your breath away from you. So just using that, it's one of your strongest tools, your breath and your mind,
[00:45:09] Ali: and when you get those two working for you, and then when you understand them and you can just tap into them whenever you need it.
[00:45:16] Ali: Wow. Your life. Woo. It can
[00:45:18] Ali: change.
[00:45:19] Ali: It
[00:45:19] Ali: gets easier.
[00:45:21] Andrea: One of the surprising things that I found when I started meditating. And again, I don't do this daily. I don't, I'm not, I, I'm not that consistent with it, but I know when I need it because I it's it's, I don't know. It's just, I queue into a feeling and I'm like, you know what, I need that calm.
[00:45:37] Andrea: I need that. It's like ultra attention to what's happening right now. And it, you know what I mean? There's nothing more current than you're breathing or for me, I love it's that point of feeling the chair below you or the floor below you or whatever you're sitting on or laying on or standing on.
[00:45:58] Andrea: And just being aware of that and just being present even for just a little bit and. it's amazing. Like it really does just calm you down and make it like, okay, this is so much easier. Like I now have instant clarity on what's
[00:46:16] Ali: And feel like you can face the world. I always think if I'm not sure if I need to tap back into meditation one way, I always, for those that are visual learners out there I always think about a mountain. And if you think about a mountain, it is anchored on the earth and the seasons come and go and the winds come and go the snow, the hurricanes, the tourists, everything else around that mountain comes and goes, but the
[00:46:41] Ali: mountain remains still grounded and anchored in the earth.
[00:46:46] Ali: And that is what meditation allows us to do is when we feel like we're getting like blowing with the wind and we're feeling a little flaky and we're feeling like we don't know if we're coming or going visualize that mountain and be like, ah, it might be time for me to do a couple of minutes of meditation.
[00:47:03] Andrea: Right, You feel like you're blowing a little too much with the wind
[00:47:06] Ali: Yeah. Yeah. And, and when we're talking about diagnosis, that's, I mean, I don't know for everyone else, but man, that's exactly how I feel. You, it takes one conversation from a doctor and your whole world changes
[00:47:20] Ali: and it feels like that wind is blowing so hard. It's blowing a Gale and you just can feel like you are trying to step into one and you don't know, but remember planes take off into the wind.
[00:47:32] Andrea: Hm. So good. That's so good. Yeah. I mean, I remember when I was still pretty newly diagnosed and I was diagnosed at a time, at least in the states where insurance was very squirrly and they could cancel your insurance
[00:47:49] Andrea: company could cancel
[00:47:50] Ali: to go back? Did you say squirly or squirrly, that's not a word we use.
[00:47:54] Andrea: squirrly oh yeah. Squirrly
[00:47:56] Ali: I was
[00:47:56] Ali: like, what did,
[00:47:57] Andrea: that out. Actually.
[00:47:58] Ali: did
[00:47:59] Ali: squirrel did?
[00:48:00] Andrea: Yeah. I love that. And that is staying in there. Squirrly like a squirrel if you think about a squirrel walking like you're driving in, like a squirrel comes in the street and then it's like it freezes and then it's like
[00:48:12] Andrea: you don't have squirrels stop it.
[00:48:15] Andrea: I love it. Oh
[00:48:18] Ali: oh,
[00:48:18] Ali: we're completely off track now, but
[00:48:19] Ali: yes. Tell me about
[00:48:21] Andrea: I love it. Okay. So squirrels are, they it's their attention just goes like here and there and here and there. And it's they literally don't know if they should
[00:48:29] Andrea: move forward or go backwards. And so you can just get squirrly
[00:48:34] Ali: that's exactly how you feel though. Isn't it? When you get a
[00:48:36] Andrea: yes. yes. And I would, but it would, it would affect me. So because of, because of that insurance and it's a little better now, but I would get these, letters in the mail from your insurance about something. I would be so freaked out that I literally would be looking at the piece of paper and not be able to read what it said.
[00:48:56] Andrea: Like it wouldn't like I wouldn't be able to process it. I wouldn't be able to understand. I'd like I would get hot. My, my pulse would race. I mean, it's, it gets crazy.
[00:49:09] Ali: Yes. And, I always think about too, like when you're in, it's similar when you're in a medical appointment, I dunno if this is for you actually, but definitely for me, when I'm in a medical appointment, my husband and I walk out and we have a conversation and we both have said completely different things.
[00:49:22] Ali: It blows my mind. Like
[00:49:23] Ali: we're both, Smart people. And we walk out, we heard completely different stories and we have to ring the doctor more often than not. We have to ring back and be like, did you say X or Y and there's not a consistency in that. We're both often wrong, but it's just that you, it's a squareish
[00:49:40] Andrea: Yeah. Mm-hmm
[00:49:41] Ali: you know, your mind's not working.
[00:49:43] Ali: And that's the moment that if you just pause and just tap into your breath, do nothing else other than my feet are grounded. And how is my breath? The simple act of becoming aware and observing your breath can calm that nervous system, which is our performance drug, as we're talking about that allows us to get clarity, memory to improve and allows us to focus.
[00:50:04] Ali: And so, even in those medical appointments, that's a very powerful tool you can use in the moment that can take
[00:50:09] Ali: seconds.
[00:50:10] Andrea: yes. And it's something that I think from what I found kind of transcends, no matter how tired I am or how much fatigue I'm feeling or how much brain fog is going on in my head or anything like that, like really just taking a moment to center yourself, focus on breath, focus on your feet on. I love like I'm barefoot 95% of the time.
[00:50:37] Andrea: so it's like
[00:50:37] Andrea: going
[00:50:38] Ali: we were talking about that when we met weren't we, we were both
[00:50:40] Ali: saying that we're both barefoot.
[00:50:42] Ali: I don't know I've got short term memory loss, but I feel like we were
[00:50:45] Ali: cause
[00:50:46] Ali: I'm my barefoot woman as well.
[00:50:48] Ali: And it's a, does that help you feel grounded?
[00:50:51] Andrea: Yeah. A hundred percent, even if it's inside. Cuz I mean where I live, it's you can't go out in snow when you're barefoot, but even when you're just on the carpet or inside on something, it's it helps no matter what is going on, no matter what state is going on in your mind or in your body, it really helps you to come back
[00:51:09] Ali: Yes.
[00:51:10] Andrea: Like you said, calm that nervous system
[00:51:12] Ali: Yep. And I think for the listeners, the, the message here to pick up on is that it's knowing what works for you. We're talking about barefoot that may or may not work for our listeners. Each of us is so unique, but the more we know what works and what we can tap into in those moments, going back to looping back to what we said before, it's you do your training so that when you're in the race, you can apply it. And so same as this, you learn the strategies when you're up and when you're feeling well. And when you're feeling like you have the energy to do it that when stuff gets challenging and hard, you can just tap into those.
[00:51:48] Andrea: Right. Yes. And, and I also think it's, it's so important to try different strategies because sometimes they work
[00:51:57] Andrea: for you and then sometimes they're not gonna work just depending on what's happening. What's going on in your life, where you are in your own individual growth, your personal growth. Like for me, it's like meditation used to be a hard, no, I, I just couldn't.
[00:52:12] Andrea: I just couldn't get into it until I
[00:52:13] Andrea: found
[00:52:15] Ali: I was gonna say it might be a hard, no, for a few people after we just did that exercise too.
[00:52:19] Andrea: no, I think people are gonna be like, this is amazing. I had no idea. It could be like this I know. I mean, for me, I had to do a walking meditation cuz I couldn't sit still because I would, I was just, I had just had this nervous kind of energy so discovering the walking meditation, which is amazing, that really helped me get into it and soften to the idea.
[00:52:41] Ali: And I think, the hardest step is going from zero to one, right? So, this is the fitness trainer in me coming out. But if you don't know how to go from zero to one, that's where you pick up the phone and you ask people, you can ask questions such as, what do you say? For example, we're talking about sleep.
[00:52:58] Ali: What strategies do you try when you can't fall asleep at night or when you wake up and you can't get back to sleep and ask as many people as you have in your world and get a whole list and then start to practice them and see what works. Cuz I think we, we too often think that we should just know it.
[00:53:13] Ali: Sleep's one of those, right? So often I say to people, what strategies have you got? And they're like, I don't, I don't have any. And that blows my mind because sleep is our number one recovery tool. The research is overwhelming in that space. And so if we think about that, when we're talking about a performance drug with meditation, sleep is another performance drug.
[00:53:31] Ali: It is what allows us to be our best. And if we're not getting quality sleep or enough quantity sleep. We're starting behind the eight ball before we even get up in the morning.
[00:53:40] Andrea: Right. It, goes back to the idea, that idea where you have to do things like. Heal, you know, feel your emotions and get that sleep and have, it's almost like you have to, well, not have to, I don't like that term have to, but you need to um, start at all of the resting type of tools.
[00:54:03] Andrea: Before you ramp back up with all of these strategies to help you with your performance, you've gotta have that slowing down. And that moment where you almost stop and it's like a reset where you come just to yourself, and this is what I'm feeling right now.
[00:54:22] Andrea: This is what is happening right now. This is my breath right now. This is, this is how my body is sitting right now. And it's almost like you have to stop before you make that turn towards implementing all these new strategies and all these new things that are gonna help you going forward.
[00:54:41] Andrea: I think it's really important
[00:54:42] Ali: yeah. And the world is made up of opposites, black and white. Night and day, and so if you wanna be a high achiever, the rest is as equally as important. And you, and, again, coming back to our, our athletes, they, they factor and in their rest period. So, for me to run three companies have a podcast, have three children.
[00:55:02] Ali: I actually rule out time in my diary for resting or relaxing or doing something that inspires me. Sometimes we think about self-care and we only think about it in the space of bars, massage, taking time out, reading a book, but self-care is also about what excites you and what makes you feel alive and what puts you into the lane of your geniuses.
[00:55:21] Ali: And so, if you, no, one's done it before, jump on and do the six human needs by Tony. Robins it's amazing because it allows you to work out what buttons to press when you're feeling a bit flat or plateaued or a bit depressed, and for my, for me, it's growth and community and working with people. And so if I'm feeling a bit flat, I've got an option again, it's that fork in the road, right. I can rest. I can take some time out. I can do things that are nourishing for my body and my mind that are on the lower kind of still space. Or I might go into another course so that I feel inspired and I pump the tires up in a car that I feel like I'm ready to go.
[00:55:58] Ali: And
[00:55:58] Ali: I'm my best self. Both are great.
[00:56:01] Andrea: Yeah,
[00:56:01] Ali: acknowledging that, at different times we need different aspects of self care.
[00:56:06] Andrea: right. Yeah. And, and you're right. It doesn't, I think the majority of self care is not the Manny petty.
[00:56:16] Ali: Yes.
[00:56:16] Andrea: it's, it's going to be listening to yourself, acknowledging yourself
[00:56:22] Ali: And
[00:56:23] Andrea: and
[00:56:23] Ali: you tick right.
[00:56:24] Ali: Knowing Knowing what to do. Do you know, do you need to put the car on cruise control or do you need to pump up the tires?
[00:56:30] Ali: And
[00:56:31] Ali: it's almost like a recipe. I think wellbeing, I don't know in America, but in Australia it's like, again, another buzzword, but, but
[00:56:37] Ali: we haven't kind of.
[00:56:39] Ali: Sold people on it yet. It's we're expecting them to do it. I just think about wellbeing as a recipe, and all the ingredients that go into it. So you can cook a dinner and leave a few recipe, a bit of the recipe out, but it just may not taste as good, or it might look a little bit different.
[00:56:53] Ali: So with wellbeing, it's like finding the ingredients that work for you. And there are fundamental ingredients that we know do help with wellbeing, sleep, nutrition, movement, mindset, connections, being connected to people, place and purpose, you know, gratitude and being able to reflect on your life and your day.
[00:57:12] Ali: And what's happened in the past. These are all the ingredients that go into the recipe, how you choose to then cook. It is up to you. You can follow the recipe or you can create your own meal. It's important when you think about that, coming back to what you were just saying is that you can overdo it so you can
[00:57:30] Ali: have too much garlic or too much chili, or if you're cooking an Asian dish, you might not have enough sweet and sour. So it's your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.
[00:57:39] Ali: Whatever makes you brilliant will pull you under in times that you are vulnerable and stressed. So one of my greatest strengths is my drive, but at what cost, at times it costs me instead of helps me. So we wanna I always think about turning our unresourceful reactions into resourceful actions.
[00:57:56] Ali: And so our greatest strengths, our greatest weakness. So when we're feeling like it's pulling us under, what can we do to either give ourself a little bit more self care, take a break. get some of these, we've used the word quite a lot, like performance drugs, which is
[00:58:10] Ali: like meditation or working out what your intention is for the day.
[00:58:14] Ali: Like what can you do to then turn it into a resourceful action for you?
[00:58:19] Andrea: Right. Right. And be aware of when it is turning into more detrimental and
[00:58:26] Andrea: something that is spinning you out opposed to actually helping you.
[00:58:30] Ali: yeah. Like that bell curve, if you don't have enough stress, you will, your performance will waiver. You'll feel fatigued. You might feel anxious, you might feel depressed, but there's this sweet spot in the middle. But when it flips over the other side, it looks the same where you can feel overwhelmed, stressed, it can be too much, too much of anything can be detrimental to us.
[00:58:50] Ali: So
[00:58:51] Ali: it's finding that sweet spot and knowing how to pump your ties up. So you get into that optimum space or how to let the tires out so that you can come back to that optimal.
[00:59:01] Andrea: And being okay with letting the tires, the air
[00:59:04] Andrea: out of the tires. Right.
[00:59:05] Andrea: I think
[00:59:05] Ali: And
[00:59:06] Andrea: thing is that we get afraid of backing off.
[00:59:09] Ali: yes. And sometimes we have to say no to the things that we love.
[00:59:14] Andrea: Oh, I know.
[00:59:15] Ali: Yeah.
[00:59:16] Andrea: no,
[00:59:17] Ali: Yes. But we, but I don't think there's enough conversations around saying no, doesn't just always mean saying no to the things you don't wanna do sometimes saying no is saying no to the things you love, because you don't have the space or energy
[00:59:29] Ali: right now in this moment to do that.
[00:59:32] Andrea: right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Allie, thank you so much. I have taken up so much of your time that I could keep talking, because this is amazing. You're like dropping like truth bomb after truth bomb.
[00:59:45] Andrea: like
[00:59:45] Ali: much, too
[00:59:46] Ali: much. We talk all day. I think It's the squirrel effect. I think it's the squirrel effect.
[00:59:52] Ali: I was starting darting
[00:59:53] Ali: darting.
[00:59:54] Andrea: all your friends now that you know about the squirrel
[00:59:58] Ali: I actually have two new American friends that have just come over. So I'm
[01:00:02] Ali: gonna use that today. I'm
[01:00:04] Andrea: Oh yeah.
[01:00:04] Ali: for lunch and just drop the squirrel effect.
[01:00:07] Andrea: The squirrel effect. Say it's, squirrly, it's a little squirrly you're feeling a little squirrly about something. I love it. So we're gonna put it all in the show notes at Andrea Hanson,, but tell everybody how they can find you, what you're doing and how they can join.
[01:00:26] Andrea: You.
[01:00:27] Ali: Well, we're not international yet within my company. So I would love, to get to that. But I guess the main place to go would be to challenges that change us, which is the podcast. And that's where we talk to people about challenges they've faced and how it's impacted them today. And really just talking about all the strategies that they've used for the very reason that we've spoken about in this podcast, building up your life, toolbox, what works for someone else may or may not work for you, but it's, it's getting those ideas and hearing other people's experiences.
[01:00:55] Ali: And, particularly like we spoke about all the men talking about their breathwork and meditation might just encourage another man somewhere else to try it. for example. So absolutely I'd love people to come on and have a listen
[01:01:08] Andrea: It's the best podcast. It's so, well, one of the best podcasts
[01:01:14] Ali: In Australia.
[01:01:15] Andrea: it's it's it's right. It's so good though. It's so good.
[01:01:19] Ali: I just wanna say thank you. It is always such a privilege. I know it, it's a big decision on who you bring into your podcast um, and talk to. So I feel really honored to be here today. It's really special. And as we've spoken about you and I disconnected, right?
[01:01:33] Ali: Like we, we could chat all day and this is one of the really beautiful things about podcasts. Everyone's thinks that our audience are taking stuff away, but I think we gain more than our audience because we get to meet fabulous people and have these beautiful conversations. And, I just, I feel so honored to be here.
[01:01:48] Ali: So thank you so much for taking the time and thank you to the listeners for um, they may not wanna go and listen to my podcast after hearing my voice for this hour, but anyone that's still on here now, thank you so much for giving up your time today to listen to
[01:02:00] Ali: this conversation. And I hope that you take something away.
[01:02:04] Andrea: I am sure people are sitting here thinking I don't want this done because this has been so amazing. And so, so good. And I am, I am so glad that you were able to come on and speak to everybody today. It's just, it's been amazing. Like I said, it's been just one thing after another of just all these amazing nuggets that people can take away and will help them because it really is about your own choice and what is going to help you individually.
[01:02:29] Andrea: And you've given them so many things to try and to put into their own toolbox, moving forward. So it has been amazing. And I think you so much,
[01:02:41] Ali: I just wanna say one last thing, just to sum up everything we've said, because I know it's about living your life, not your diagnosis. And I just wanna go back to that one line that we said, where it's, if you get knocked down, find something you can do from the ground. You know, It, it can be just as fabulous from that view.
[01:02:56] Ali: Don't let whatever's happening in your world. Define you right now. You can do anything and you have all the resources that you need within you. You just need to tap into them. If you like the show, don't be shy. Please give us a five-star rating and review. Follow us on apple podcast, Amazon music or wherever you're listening right now. To see complete show notes and resources mentioned in this episode
visit Thank you for joining me And until next time take care

About Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis podcast

Hear inspiring discussions with people living with chronic illness. These people went after their passions and big goals -even when everyone told them they couldn’t. Listen to stories of resilience and gratitude in the face of uncertainty.

I’m your host, Andrea W. Hanson, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Autoimmune Rebel living with multiple sclerosis. You’ll not only fall in love with these guests, but you’ll soak up positive mindset tips and ideas to find your own unique path to success.

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