Inner Architecture

September 3, 2021

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We have seen the catalytic power of conversations in the work that we do, as well as the impact that it brings to our world. In this conversation, we are joined by Rebecca Roberts as we discuss on exploring the limiting beliefs and inner narratives that shape our behaviour, wellbeing and performance.

Transcript

Living Room Conversations: Inner Architecture

Caroline = Caroline Seidel (Host)

Rebecca = Rebecca Roberts (Guest)

CAROLINE: Hello everybody and welcome to our sixth episode of our Living Room Conversations, brought to you by our LIVEForward Institute. And before we get into what we’re going to talk about and who our special guests is, let’s hear a little bit what LIVEForward Institute is and what we’re doing. So in case you’re interested and want to learn more about the LIVEForward Institute, feel free to visit our website and learn more about our trainings, the tools we share with you there, and our events. And now, I hope you’re ready, and have your cup of tea just like me and let’s welcome today’s guest. Her name is REBECCA Roberts. I’m super excited and super honored to have her with us today. She is a mindset coach storyteller, story shaper, in general just a wonderful human being, she gives different trainings, and she is a public speaker as well. Originally from Louisiana, and she’s now based in Basel, and here she has been working with countless private clients, teams with small startups and big corporations. So she has all the variety of experience, and I’m just very happy having her here with us today. We’re going to talk a little bit about Inner Architecture. We’ll explore a little bit more of why this is really interesting, and a huge part of our work, as well as storytelling and mindfulness. And first of all let’s welcome, Rebecca! Hi! Good to have you here.

REBECCA: Hi! Super happy to be here, thank you for the lovely introduction. Yeah, I’m just excited to share the virtual sofa, right? We get to play together a little bit today, and hopefully get some fun questions from the audience. Yeah? 

CAROLINE: Exactly. So we welcome you at home there as well on our sofa just like REBECCA said, so in case you want to join our conversation, have some questions, want to explore a little bit more and please feel free to use the chat function, and send us your questions. Alright REBECCA, I’m excited!

REBECCA: Me too!

CAROLINE: So your company’s actually called Inner Architecture and I think in order to understand what you’re doing. Also with this bigger piece of storytelling,I think it’s really interesting to hear, you know why this is such a huge part in your life and in your work. 

REBECCA: Yeah, you know sometimes it’s funny because every now and then people were like super, like so Inner Architecture, I know what Interior architecture is and that’s a bit where the name came from because that’s my background. My background is in interior architecture and workplace strategy and so I’ve always loved understanding how a space makes us feel, how we react to different types of spaces, those that are big and expansive, the spaces that are much more intimate. You know, I think that’s if we even look at the name of this the idea of Living Room Conversations, it’s meant to instill this feeling of comfort and ease. And I always love that the different spaces can inspire us in different ways. And more and more as I went further along in my career in the design world, I fell more in love with understanding the mindset, the psychology behind how we experienced space, how we experienced our LIVEs and that’s what I realized a lot working. 

We always did a lot of workshops, a lot of interviews from C-Suite, all the way down to janitorial staff right looking at everybody and seeing what do you want more of, what do you want less of. And it was so interesting that you will have these same companies, same companies, sometimes even under the same manager, and people are having completely different experiences inside of the company and that sparked a curiosity point in me. I don’t understand why is that? And so as I dug in more and more I realized it’s very much around the stories that we’re telling ourselves, and that plays back to our attitude and mindset that we have and I got really curious about this and I started diving more and more in to it and further I dove, the more I fell in love. And so that’s a bit the transition, is from looking at the spaces around us that’s vital, and the space that we exist in absolutely influences us, but the first space and the space that gives us the most control, the most stability, the most power to bring ourselves fully out is this internal space. So that was it about building the inner architecture, the inner stability, to be able to bring our voice out into the world, to build those connections that are really vital to us.

CAROLINE: When I listen to you, it sounds a little bit like you moved from being an architect for  the outside world to become an architect for the inner world of people but obviously it’s not the only thing you do, you also create spaces with teams to flourish within. It’s really interesting. How does storytelling play in this, like how does one fit into this inner architect topic?

REBECCA: I love this because I used to think that it was kind of two different aspects. I used to love the aspect of storytelling and trying to understand because I feel like communication is such a powerful connector. And what I realized and back to that whole inner architecture piece is that if we take one step back from the stories that we tell each other. It’s the stories that are first happening within our minds. The way that we are shaping our belief systems and the inner dialogue that happens that shapes our relationship with ourselves, that shapes our belief system of what is possible and what is not possible. 

What is completely out of reach? And as I started looking more and more at that it was, I found it to be such an accessible point to look at storytelling, because when we talk about inner dialogue, when we talk about mindset where it’s beautiful, and there are so many access points to inspire change and growth. And I love storytelling because I find it’s such an accessible point, because we’re playing with it all the time. And it’s just about slowing down and taking notice of what are the stories that I’m telling myself on consistent basis. And can I first be aware of that? Can I see how I’m framing my life? And then is there a possibility to reframe it? So that’s how I see these playing so intimately together and yeah I love it, whether it’s a team or individuals, I like being able to watch people just find themselves in new ways. 

CAROLINE: When you talk about these inner stories, and these dialogues that we have with ourselves and the stories that we tell ourselves, just from your, like, from your day to day work, like how do you see the connection between our own stories and the way we, you know, do storytelling or share and present ourselves outside? Is that something you can share with us? 

REBECCA: Yes, yes. Actually, I have one client that I had actually over pandemic times right in 2020. At the end of the year he needed to give a big presentation to a huge group, and it was virtual. And I was brought on to coach him in speaking. And everyone was asked to first write down some of the points of their career through this large company, and I read it and I thought there’s something here, there’s something really special as I’m just reading his words I hadn’t met him yet. And I had to almost convince the team who was organizing and I said, I think you need this guy, and they said “Oh” but I mean, he’s an analyst right, like he’s not going to be that exciting and I said “No, there’s a lot more”. So the first time he and I are having this conversation, I’m asking him just a few questions and he’s telling me his story but it’s clear that he’s telling me the facts and the figures but he doesn’t find himself to be anything special, he just wants to contribute. And so, I feel like I have a bit of a gift to be able to pull out stories now. And so I said, “Can I be a little cheeky? Can I tell your story back to you but in first person?” and he said “Okay sure, go ahead.” So as I’m telling you story back to him I’m pulling together these beautiful factors that he hasn’t seen these intimate connections, and these specific choice of words but all of a sudden he became fascinating, and I’m looking at him in the screen and tears are forming in his eyes and afterwards he just stops for a moment and he says, “Oh my God, I’m interesting!”.

And it was one of these moments that just, you know, in that instant when we allow ourselves to step back and this is why a lot of times I use the term, creating some space. I know it’s used a lot, but what I mean by that is create some distance, sometimes we’re so close to the topic that we’re working on, or in this case so close to ourselves that we haven’t stepped back to see the wonder and the magic that was right in front of us. We framed it in the way of this fellow thought he was boring, you know, and so, in that moment, he had a completely different view of himself, you got to see himself from the outside. And the feedback came back that up the six speakers, he was the best one. Because he was so well I’m so excited about his own story. So this is, that’s probably one of my favorite ways to illustrate that mindset shift that then comes out through the way that we interact, because when he found himself interesting, he felt more trust in himself to be able to stand up in front of a crowd and say, “Hey look, I’m not saying I am anything more special than you but I’m special look at my experience, maybe this can inspire you.” So yeah.

CAROLINE: Comes all back to authenticity, right? And you know to have a standing and you know, being able to see yourself in maybe tiny little way how others see you and this is a thing that you’re actually really really good at. Also, the way you just described it, whenever I think of you and how you do work. I always think of you as yeah, maybe bringing back this space architect, you know, creating the environment, you know, taking care of a little bit of the lighting here making sure the background is okay, you know, to make someone shine and then hold up the mirror and say see, this is how people perceive you, if you just trust a little bit in yourself, so this is a wonderful gift you have. 

REBECCA: Thank you. Yeah, it was. We talked briefly about this in the past, growing up I was terrified of speaking. Actually, I can’t say I was terrified to speaking, I loved conversing in small groups when it was informal and it was clear that, you know, we were all standing together but being up on stage, absolutely terrifying. I was the one that I like to be painting the sets and doing all the background stuff like you say adjusting the lighting, or putting that spotlight on somebody else not on me. And it wasn’t until my senior year so my 12th year or  the last year of high school when I was, what is it called? Maybe asked to be in a certain position, so I was voted on to a position that required me to stand in front of my entire school three times a week, to introduce speakers, to cold call speakers and ask them to come up. But it was, I mean it was an absolute nightmare I thought oh this year is gonna be horrible. But what it did was it gave me, yeah, I’m also a bit stubborn and so I wasn’t gonna pass up the opportunity but I was terrified again and again and again because I like being behind the scenes, like pushing somebody else and making them shine like you say, and what I realized was in those moments, I had three times a week where I needed to experiment and try to find ways to get the bubble out of my throat when I sounded  like a chipmunk for the first, you know 30 seconds of the talk, clearing my throat, trying to find my way. And through that year I learned so much but very painfully. And this is part of what I kind of realized is that I still love being behind the scenes. 

Now, I’m much more comfortable being in front as well but I love being able to share some of these mindset tips, some of the strategies, but also these awareness so that people don’t have to go through a year of pain. It’s still experiential, but there are a lot of ways to cut down on that page to say, hey look like here’s how you can play with the mindset that shifts how you view yourself so that you can make those connections, whether it’s a presentation, or whether or not you’re standing in front of you know, your team or a group of 5000 people, when yeah, it’s a pretty exciting opportunity. 

CAROLINE: True, that is absolutely true. When we were talking about these you know, realizations and a little bit also of playfulness, you know I heard through the lines, how does all of that play into storytelling? I know that they do a lot of training about this and or that you do workshops around it, so like how do you perceive storytelling as such a really you know, powerful tool these days like what are your experiences?

REBECCA: I love that you bring up the playfulness also curiosity comes in. These are the things that you feel them more than you hear them. For example, you can have the most eloquent speaker, but if they’re not curious about the topic that they’re sharing, if they’re not feeling a desire their intention is not clear. They will be much less engaging, no matter how beautiful it sounds people might be in the moment going “Ah, this is so nice.” But will they walk away and it really hit them? I’ve had this experience so many times where somebody spoke beautifully and I walked away and I thought that was nice, I don’t take away much. And then I’ve also had those that they are so passionate and so aligned, they’re so curious that you have so much lightness and playfulness around it, even if it’s very serious topics. 

So, when we talk about playfulness, it doesn’t mean to diminish something, it means to bring that curious attitude, it means to look at this and say, okay this might be the way that it is, but if we believe that we can create something different, that curiosity that playfulness helps so much with innovation and creativity, and that’s where new things form, that’s what we make shifts. And so when these people speak, they may not be the most eloquent, they may not be the most polished and have the perfect vocabulary, but my God, their point hits home and you feel it. And so that’s that aspect of bringing our curiosity, bringing the playfulness, bringing all of our interest and then like you said the authenticity behind it, it doesn’t so much matter about exactly what words we’re using, it matters where the energy is pointing, how we’re bringing that attitude forward. 

CAROLINE: Yeah. It sounds really simple how you describe it. I know that you’re aware that it’s not simple at all. But you know, when I listen to you, obviously there is this piece of lightness, light hardness maybe even you know, this playfulness, curiosity and stuff, but there was also this huge piece about awareness, awareness that you actually have a story that is worth telling and that you’re truly passionate about it, and I could imagine that this is something that is very hard at the beginning to you know realize a lot of people were then again being the inner architect comes in again, you know, to find out and look for these not like easter egg hunting, but you know like looking for these tiny little snips and pieces that are, you know, maybe hidden somewhere or so obvious that they never even looked in these spaces. How is that? How do you, does that resonate.? 

REBECCA: Yes! Yes, it does. Because this is part of what it is to develop a storyteller mindset. And I love that you talk these little easter eggs. I a lot of times use the word gems like the little jewels. And I think many people have the idea that our stories need to be big and bold and the most extraordinary thing and when I was talking you know climbing to the top of Mount Everest and there are those that have these beautiful stories, absolutely. But when we start to see ourselves as storytellers, when we start to look around in our LIVEs, some of the greatest storytellers that I know don’t have extraordinarily interesting LIVEs. By nature of what we would qualify you know, they’re not living in the Sahara and constantly, you know, trying to save all of the animals of the world and these are lovely places, and they’re wonderful things, But to be able to recognize those special moments when perhaps you’re in line, getting your coffee in the morning and you hear a conversation going on in front of you with the barista and the person in the line. Sometimes these little gems come up where you recognize, in this moment, there is something extraordinary happening. And it may not look like it, again it’s like this little Easter egg hunt, I really love the idea of easter eggs, actually. Because just that, is that it’s not always about the extraordinary, sometimes it’s about the extraordinary in the very very ordinary things of our LIVEs. And I know that, also through the work that you guys do, you know there it’s also these things and this is where the awareness comes in, it’s listening beyond just the words that are being spoken. It’s again being curious and to give yourself that space to give yourself the distance from something to be able to hear, to be able to ask the question well, so when you say that what does that really mean to ask to go a couple of layers deeper. So yeah.

CAROLINE: It sounds like, I mean when we talk about storytelling, we have these two parts right we have first of all, the part that is within us becoming aware that there was a story to tell, or having this passion to share something. And then there’s the other part of actually sharing it with the world and hopefully making an impact, sparking interest and talking to make a change happen right or whatever it is. So we talked a lot about this, this first piece about this personal awareness, finding strength and then finding the story that you want to share. Like, do you have some tips and tricks? Suppose someone knows what kind of story he or she wants to share, like and wants to make sure that this message is being shared and wants to use storytelling as a tool. What are some pro tips from you? 

REBECCA: There are two that come up, almost every time I get into a discussion and so let’s see. I’ll start with the first which is essentially being clear on your intention. So, not what I want to do but the why I want to do it. So what I want to do is I want to share a story. Well, that’s obvious, but a lot of times where people get a little lost and confused in their stories is that they either have a lot of facts that they think they need to share everything, or they’re struggling to find what would be actually interesting in the story, and so they think that they don’t have enough facts. So it’s either too much or too little. When we get clear on the intention, this is when we start to recognize, okay, so maybe I don’t need to share every single detail, but if I really have the desire, I’ll give an example, let’s say I’ve got a story that I wanted to share it with a team that was specifically talking about building trust. So if I want to share a story, perhaps, then I begin to look for, again, these little gems where I specifically realized where it is that I started to trust myself more. And so, in that I might realize that there are big chunks of the story, that in this case, because I specifically have an intention of sharing about trust, then I might leave off a good 40 or 50% of the details of the story, because what I really want to share is about trust. So my intention can help calm down and get clear on what it is that I want to share. But as well if you’re in that flipside where you think you don’t have enough, when you’ve got a clear intention, then you can start to say, okay, where did I start to feel some trust? Where did that confidence start to be built? And in that place, that’s a time where often we can have this experience of, ahh actually there are more details that I forgot about, oh I can share this and I can share this, so it can actually help bring up more interest in the story, or help us cull down a bit, where we’ve got too much going on. And the second piece with that is the aspect of knowing where you want to go, which is directly tied to that intention. Because if you have that desire within you, what is the feeling also that I want to inspire? Then this is the place where we ended up being able to take people on a journey, but when we don’t know where we’re going, it’s hard to be clear on the path that we take. And this is something that one of my teachers told me the best that I’ve ever heard and he said, “Look, here’s the deal, if you know where you’re starting, and you know where you’re ending, at a minimum the rest can take care of itself.” Right? And so often this is what it is, is that we have an easier time getting started so oftentimes this is not such a difficult part but we lose our way, we ended up meandering down random paths. And so to get clear with that intention of where do I want to go? And if it’s trust, then this is where I want to end up, what did what did I learn about trust through this story? And that’s my endpoint, and that will help me no matter how much I get lost when I start seeing the faces in the audience, you know, with the one eye up I like where is she going with this one, and I go, ah yeah this bring it back, this is where I’m going. So yeah, these are the two greatest things is be very clear on intention, and if you need call out some things you don’t need to talk about everything. But then the second is to know where you’re going and where you’d like to end up.

CAROLINE: Thank you. I think these are really really great tips. While we were talking one thought that crossed my mind was when I listen to you explaining what storytelling is and how to do it, it kind of sounded a little bit to me also like life advice, like having a clear intention and being aware where you want to go, what kind of impact you want to have, they can all these kind of little, little things that play into this is, is that reasonable or? 

REBECCA: I think it’s totally reasonable and I think if you look at the reason why storytelling itself is something that is so deeply embedded in human nature is that this is exactly what it was, is that this is how we learned at some point in time, we were sitting around the fire and this is how the children learn how to watch out for danger is that you know the stories that were coming back from, from the jungles of, you know, we were chased by this bore or this thing and this is what we did and this is how you stay safe. Stories were the ways that they learned how to function in life. And so often, because we have such in many ways beautiful structure when it comes to our education system, but also there are things that the education system for the large part are missing out on. And these stories are so much of connecting the whole human, the emotions that we feel, the ways that we experience things, you know, a lot of times people talk about, yeah it’s just entertainment.

But how many of you out there right can remember the words to like an entire album, but you don’t remember the things that you studied in school or the thing that made you need to present next week, right? Or lines from movies, it’s because they hit us, it’s because the story meant something and this is also back to the mindset aspect is that when we have heightened emotions, our minds literally say, this is important,let me take that in. The other thing that sometimes comes and it’s a counterintuitive part of storytelling is also knowing when to shut up, like the intention and I mean I say there was so much love because I very much have learned this lesson. Is that there are times when I wanted to share because I wanted to be heard but for me that intention is no longer enough. So, is it bringing value more than my silence? This is one of my favorite stoic quotes, you know, like, do your words bring more value than silence and if not, maybe as well it’s not the time to tell a story, maybe it’s the time to listen.

CAROLINE: It was really powerful.

REBECCA: Yeah.

CAROLINE: Really powerful. We have one question in our chat from Timm and he wants to know whether you can share with us some small daily practices that you can recommend to get a better, being curious about yourself and uncovering these stories that then can be shared. 

REBECCA: Yes, yes. Okay, so there are two that i’ll actually give because one is more about how to make your stories better, and the other is how to be more aware of your stories. One of the things that I started doing, one of my speaking coaches suggested this and this feels like so much. But, whether you’re a digital person or an analog person, so if your analog piece of paper, if you’re digital or maybe it’s the notes in one of your apps, you know, but begin to look each day for a story, and look for in the ordinary. Look for those moments when you catch yourself pausing, laughing, smiling, or being like hmm. These are the moments that naturally catch your attention. So, for example the other day I was watching this man and his little girl at the coffee shop, and I happen to know them and so I was talking with him and he was saying, you know, this is how I go on a morning date every day with my daughter and I was like, “Okay so tell me how this works” and he says, “Well, I decided that the investment of the money because it’s you know in Switzerland, our coffees are not you know, the most inexpensive things but they’re delicious. But he’s decided I want to take the time to share this space with my daughter, both to have a feel like it’s something special and it’s a treat, but also these years we’ll go fast, and she’s quite young. And so this is guaranteed an hour out of every day that she and I have together to really bond and I found myself going “uhh”, write it down. And the way to write it down is just the key topic that you’ll remember in the future, so don’t write down cafe, you’re going to forget that, but you know, father- daughter coffee bonding something like this. And then just a couple of bullet points, what time of year was it, you know, who was there, who were the key players, and what struck you. 

What was the emotion that you felt? And if you do this once a day, every day, just these little moments, or even at the end of your week look back and see what it is, you will start to find that you naturally are looking for the stories in your life and you naturally start to see a whole lot more stories that come up. And the other thing with that is to look for the texture, so when I was saying what time of year was it, sometimes that’s exactly what it was, was it sweet because she was wearing the hat, you know, with a little pom pom and the leaves crushing under her feet. These are the things that make a story exactly what you just did, right? You just go “aww”.

CAROLINE: Yeah, it’s texture. 

REBECCA: Because you can feel it. You know what it feels like to have been that little one at some point in time with leaves crushing under your feet, to be wearing the hat to be chilly, unless you grew up in a place like me where we didn’t have hats, it was too hot. But exactly this and so you can start to bring that language into your conversation, instead of saying it’s sunny outside and the sun is a scorcher, immediately you know that it’s warm, people begin to feel these things. And so, Tim that’s what I would say these are two practices. One is to start to notice the stories and it’s a beautiful spiral, right, upwards of awareness, you start to see them more and naturally you start to pick up on them without even having written them down, and then to add a little texture.

CAROLINE: When you explain that and thank you for for answering this question, I also felt that this is, it also reminded me a little bit of gratefulness, especially the way you shared that story and maybe it was just because it was this particular story. A good story is something that creates emotion and usually positive emotions are much more stronger and go much deeper than negative ones. So, what do you think that was an accident or do you think naturally we’re picking up positive stories around us and that make us more grateful and aware and thankful for the little things in my life at least this is how it feels when we listen to you and sharing the story. 

REBECCA: It’s such a good question and I’ll say it has two different sides, because I will say, moving from a place of gratitude, let’s also throw in hope and trust that things can be different, so a little bit of this dreamer mentality. Not dreamer as in I just dream for the day that it comes but dreamer with an active presence behind it. Then, I believe that is the most powerful place to inspire change. And most of the time, if we’re opening our mouths, we’re trying to convey information, to inspire some sort of change, whether it’s how can we do a process better, how can I give you more information so that you’re better informed so that you can possibly change some things or bring some things forward. I will say that a lot of times, actually, anger, frustration, agitation, all of these can be incredibly powerful.

I had a scenario like this the other day and I won’t go into it but I was watching somebody, I have a puppy and I love him very very much and I was watching somebody treat their dog not so nicely. And man, that was also one of those where it really hit me and if we stay in that space,  I will say anger, frustration, all of these different intense emotions are amazing catalysts but they do not provide sustained action for real transformation, in my experience. They are great for getting the fire going but then if we don’t believe that something can change then it just becomes us waging war against, and that just creates more division. And so, if we have that dreamer mentality and that’s where the gratitude comes in, I have a voice, I can say something. Or, in that case where I was really frustrated with myself is that I didn’t say something. I had that old story of who am I to tell somebody how they should handle their dog and now I have a story because I want to talk more about how to stand up in the face of massive discomfort, but I know that I can change. So, if it was just me shaming myself in that moment then I’m not going to want to talk about it.

CAROLINE: Honestly, yeah. This is a really really interesting place sparked a  lot of questions. Also Mariana, she’s joining us all the way from Asia, awesome that you’re with us today. And she wants to know how can we train our children, not just tell stories but want to listen to the stories of others. Maybe also coming back to this educational gap that we talked about earlier. 

REBECCA: Do you know, thank you Mariana for this because that is such a beautiful thing to know so often children are such natural storytellers. One of the greatest things that I see in so many folks is the encouragement of let’s call it encouragement of imagination, because this is often times children are taking things that they don’t yet fully understand because that’s one of the benefits of growing up is that you understand a lot more, but they’re connecting the dots in their world. And when there are so many big gaps in actual understanding of the logic behind things. If we start to listen and encourage their imagination, this is one of those places where when we listen, beyond just the words you know, kids talking about an imaginary friend or playing with a tea party where there’s nothing in the cups but you know all of their bears and stuffed animals are around enjoying. These are the places where it’s simply actually to give space to let them be the storytellers that they already are. A lot of times, I can imagine and I can remember hearing this from a number of friends growing up is, you know, am I teaching them how to LIVE in a fake world. And part of that is it, right? Part of the recognition of storytelling and especially this inside world is that it is our perception, I mean how many times have we had that?

I’m working with a team right now of farmers and growers. I love them very much and I had a meeting with them the other day and I said, ‘Oh the sun is so beautiful. You guys have a lot of sunshine isn’t that wonderful?” And they made the comment, “Well, yeah but for our farmers we really need rain so actually it’s not so great.” And I had this moment of, you know, my reality is absolutely true for me but their reality is that they wish it was storming, they wish it was pouring down rain. And so these little moments of recognizing that our stories are our own, that they are built upon truths and perhaps some universal truths, but to recognize that our kids are the places where there’s so much freshness and to encourage that, to encourage that playfulness, so that’s what I would say is actually to give space to it and encourage it when you see it, to ask a couple of curiosity questions when they say something to inspire them, to keep digging a little bit deeper and feel like they can play. Yeah. 

CAROLINE: Thank you, REBECCA. So now, we learned a little bit about how to nurture our children, not just to tell stories but also to listen to the. What am I gonna do with my personal inner child? So we come again to this place of playfulness, curiosity and one sad thing is that the older you get, the less light-hearted a lot of people are, not everyone of course but some certainly. And we all have this little inner child in us that comes across here and there and it also has a lot to do with mindset, so how can we feed this a little bit and bring back a little bit of light heartness and playfulness in our life as adults. 

REBECCA: Yes, yes, yes, yes! Do you know I love that you bring it full circle with the children and the child that LIVEs within us, right? Because if you see parents when their children are very young, they’re encouraging them to play, they’re saying be outside, go do things, be out in nature, go experience things. And then slowly, as we get older, this shift happens that it’s like, okay, now it’s time for you to be an adult, now it’s time for you to grow up be responsible for doing all of these different things. And I will say, honestly, I believe that there is no good or bad, between the two. I feel like a lot of times we’ve had this idea that being playful is something for children, and that it’s childish and this is somewhere where I love to talk about like conscious language. Because the difference between childish and childlike, right? It’s all in the semantics, it’s all in the words, but I think that everyone can do with being more childlike, being more innocent, asking more questions, this goes back to the listening more, getting curious about what’s actually there. And in many ways I feel like children, assume no harm, right? When something happens, they’re just trying to figure out why it is. They’re not immediately going to logic says this, so this must be the case, this is either good or bad. They’re much less on judgment. 

And so when we can do the same thing with ourselves, when we can bring down that judgment and talk about bringing ourselves full circle so we integrating that child likeness but with all of the wisdom and learning and experience that we have as adults. Like, this is where magic happens, this is where creative forces go, this is where companies talk so much about wanting to increase innovation. Yeah, you can’t do that in a space where everyone’s afraid of being judged or judging themselves as what if I ask a stupid question, or whatever it might be. It’s about creating that childlike innocence, even though we know we’re not innocent anymore, right? In many ways we feel like man I’m jaded, but that’s where bringing that curiosity comes back in. Well, what if I could see it in a different way? What if I honestly looked at this and tried to understand why you see it that way, instead of just thinking, “Oh obviously you’re just a nut job”, right?

CAROLINE: Yeah, that’s a really good point. Very often in another life, we’re not listening to understand, but rather listen to answers.

REBECCA: Yes, hundred percent. 

CAROLINE: This definitely please them. We have one more interesting question also going into this lifespan between childhood and then adulthood, and that is from Ricardo. And he wants to know from you whether if we have early on in life some limiting beliefs and maybe even if you have, you know, gotten a lot of positive feedback from others, whether there was a chance to change perspective like yourself, whether you have some ideas for yourself or so?

REBECCA: I love that Ricardo because exactly this I see so often. People will completely ignore all of the things around them, the feedback that they get, they’re like, “Oh yeah, everyone is telling me I’m so wonderful, but they all must be totally blind”, right? Like obviously they’re missing it all that, they don’t see, they don’t know, they’re all just really good at pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes. And yeah, I would say with limiting beliefs, there are two things that I would suggest. One is to start being a balanced skeptic. And in this I mean I work a lot of times with folks from the sciences and the exploratory industries and the whole point is that we’re trying to search for the truth, not for confirming our bias and so sometimes exactly that getting curious. So if we have certain limiting beliefs, the first thing is to understand it to see it. So identify it clearly frame it in front of us and then with that skeptic right, that says like “All of my friends are just crazy they have no idea obviously”, to balance it out by saying “Okay, well if I’m truly skeptical I’m looking for all of the evidence”, so what is the evidence against this belief? What is the evidence that proves this belief wrong? And it’s a very interesting process because it’s something that happens inside of you, it’s not something that anybody else needs to do, but oftentimes we listen to ourselves a bit more than we listen to others and so this would be one of the key ways. 

The second is to look for places to do pattern interruption and to start just proving yourself wrong through experience. And this requires a little bit more “umph” but when we get really curious as to whether or not those beliefs are true, if we label them as a limiting belief, there is something in us that knows that there is something that is off. It may not be a total falsehood, write me wanting to be in the back, you know, not wanting to be on the front of the stage, there was truth to that, right? Because I love helping other people shine. I love putting the spotlight on other people. The part that wasn’t true was that I can’t do that too. And so I had, I was actually forced to disprove that belief, because I did it for an entire year, very much against my will, but I believe. But, you know, these are the opportunities that sometimes it’s just about proving yourself wrong, but you have to want to. In the end, this is about whether or not the pain of that limiting belief is high enough, or your desire for shifting it is strong enough.

CAROLINE: But when it comes to these limiting beliefs it already shows that there is some certain way of awareness, but the question is whether we just, you know, put the light on a certain. Just like you said, just on a certain piece of evidence of whether we’re true little scientists and look at all the different evidence, yeah. 

REBECCA: Yes!

CAROLINE: Thank you Ricardo for this question. We have one more question from Tin also from Asia and she is asking how do you know when your story is not worth telling? And so maybe we start with this question, and then how to craft a story so that it goes from ordinary to super interesting, is there a format? 

REBECCA: Yes, okay. How do you know when your story is not worth telling? This is a multi-faceted one but I’m going to try and bring it down into kind of something tight. This also plays into the intention that we talked about before. So, if you can’t see a reason why your story would add value to the conversation, the discussion, all of this, and sometimes I will say you may not see it at first but this is why it’s important to pause for a moment. Because some of us have had that dialogue so long my stories aren’t important, my stories aren’t worth telling, that even when it could be the most valuable thing for a group we’re like, we let somebody else talk right. So in this, it’s about slowing down a little bit, maybe even taking a couple of deep breaths and thinking, what value would this story bring to this person, to this conversation and then if you see that to frame your story with that intention, you can even start it like that. You know, I feel like, what would be valuable in this moment would be boost in trust and a story comes to mind, right? 

When we find that we’re trying to find a way to kind of shove a story in just to be heard, this is oftentimes where I recognize it’s about just taking a step back, maybe the space naturally opens but you feel that energy when you want to push something in, versus when you want to offer it because if nobody takes it it’s also no problem. And the second part is how to craft a story so that it goes from ordinary to super interesting, one of the biggest things there are a lot of different technical ways but how to craft that story is the first thing is honestly to find it valuable. So it really goes back to that if I find the story valuable, I will share it in a different way than if I’m going in going “Why am I sharing this? I have no idea”, you know. The energy behind it is just kind of like yeah versus this may not be perfect, it may be sloppy but man this I think this is going to be valuable. So yeah, that would be, again, these tie in together through your intention and that oftentimes helps when we own our stories.

CAROLINE: Which bring us back to beginning, the beginning of our conversation around with what kind of mindset do you come and what do you truly believe yourself when you share stories. Wow! Thank you so much, REBECCA!

REBECCA: Well, thank you guys for the questions and thank you for hosting this is so lovely. 

CAROLINE: And I must say one thing that I really appreciate about you is your openness and how you share your thought process. And if you guys out there are interested to hear more from REBECCA in general, what I can really recommend are her inner architecture minis, which is a super fun, small video clip series, where they share on a regular basis. I usually see it on LinkedIn. It’s very funny how, how many times people just randomly send me this videos and say “Hey, look I saw that maybe you’re interested in it”, like “Yes! Show me!”. Yeah, so this is something that, if you guys are interested, definitely I recommend you to check out REBECCA’s videos and also her homepage. We have a tiny tiny time left, is there one last question from our audience or anything else to share from your side, REBECCA?

REBECCA: Do you know there’s one thing that came up that just comes back to that point of of telling your stories is also to have a whole lot of compassion and grace for yourself as you start to play, because this is a playground, right? Like when we think of it again when I choose that word because I could say it’s a battlefield, right? But in this way, I truly believe that when we want to connect the greatest places to get curious, to start on this playground and to experiment and to explore different ways, to ask yourself even some of the questions and some of the thoughts that are going on in your mind. Maybe you think I’m not a storyteller or my conversations are boring or I don’t have any stories to tell my life is not interesting. This is where I would say start to challenge that a little bit. Let your inner scientist, your inner skeptic come to the front. And I can imagine, I believe that everybody is at their heart, a storyteller and we have many different forms. And so maybe you just start to challenge this idea, and start to explore and play and see what comes up. 

CAROLINE: Thank you, REBECCA. And speaking of coming up, in case you really enjoyed this conversation and you’re interested to find out what other cool things that LIVEForward Institute is doing, please make sure to follow us on social media, like us, we’re on all kinds of social channels that you can think of. And feel free to take a screenshot or scan these QR codes for upcoming events and you see there’s a lot of other really, really interesting things happening in August. And we’re also having besides our Semco Style Courses, coming up at the 18th of August  and our Virtual Experience Design Course at the 23rd, we have another Living Room Conversation so exactly the way we did it today, with Michele Zanini. So make sure that you are not missing out on these upcoming events and with that a huge, huge, huge thank you, REBECCA. A big thank you to everyone out there who joined us. If this went a little bit too fast and you wanted to hear small wisdoms that REBECCA shared with us again, no problem, this video will stay on YouTube so in case you want to rewatch it feel free to do that. And with this, I give the closing words to you, REBECCA and wish everyone at home a wonderful rest of the day. 

REBECCA: Thank you guys so much. I appreciate LIVEForward for this opportunity, for Carol for playing with me in this playground, and for your questions. This is what makes it fun in the exploration, to dive in together and to start sharing our voices a bit more in the massive wisdom that exists out there in all of us. Thanks, guys.

CAROLINE: Thank you. Anything else REBECCA? Any upcoming events or things, how people can connect with you?

REBECCA: Best way is if you want to connect on LinkedIn, that’s probably where I’m sharing either new programs that are coming out. But also just so many of these little topics like the questions that you asked, I’m definitely going to be sharing some more on these topics just daily bits of wisdom on LinkedIn so that’s probably the best way to keep track and keep in touch.

CAROLINE: Well then, cheers guys! Thanks for joining and wishing you all a wonderful day and hopefully seeing you soon for our next Living Room Conversation. Bye!

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