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Lola Pickett, Dyana Valentine
Lola Pickett 30:03
Welcome to the Empath To Power Podcast, where through interviews, stories and science, I help you the highly sensitive person, the empath, the recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, move from stress, overwhelm and anxiety, to self-trust and power. I’m Lola Pickett, and it’s time to stop fearing success. Dare to be seen and embrace the gifts of your sensitivity. Welcome everyone, to really what I know already to be a powerful conversation, a connection. This human that I get the pleasure of sitting across from on my screen has been present in some of the bigger moments of my life, you know of the last 10 years of my life. I’m bringing Oracle and agitator Dyana Valentine here today. And have asked her to come and share her. Pardon me, ask them to come and share their wisdom, share their questions, share their presence, their deep connection with beyond the ordinary, beyond the typical reality. They are someone who I knew to look to when I wanted to create a powerful ritual of union with my husband. I knew they facilitated really meaningful looking and feeling rituals for others. I thought, who better? We had been connected online but I just thought I want to reach out and see if this could be possible. It was and continues to be the best decision that I made, because this is someone who knows how to show up.
I get messages from you, Dyana, regularly just genuinely caring for the wellbeing of me, my family, and my relatives. That kind of caring is not always the story. We went into this conversation with you asking me, “how am I as a person”? It makes my heart feel so full to be genuinely met in that way. This is what I’ve always received from you, from the beginning of my inquiry around, is this possible for you to help facilitate this union? The sacred promise, in front of our community in a really fun way. So, thank you for your caring. Thank you for your way of being. It really means a lot to me, and I noted many, many others as well. So “how am I being as a person” and then I’m going to turn it back to you. I am a person in this moment, who is tired. I want to present that this has been a grueling period of my life. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while you knew that first, we got sick as a family with something mysterious that seemed very COVID-like very early on in March. We’ll never know what it was, never tested positive for it. Then right after we got better, T. Gray’s dad got diagnosed with Covid as well as his mom, and we almost lost his dad. Since that time his dad has gotten better, it’s just been kind of one series of really high-highs, really amazing moments of synchronicity, promise, delight, pleasure, abundance, and very quickly followed with the next challenge. It’s a year of, how present can you be for all of it? I feel like in this moment, my body’s just like, “Yeah cool, that’s been awesome and so valuable.” Also, “let’s sit on the couch for a little bit. Let’s be kind to this being that is carrying you through this life, this vessel”. So, by being a little tired, my spirit is pretty good. I feel like my spirit and my soul are still feeling pretty sparky. I know that’s good. What about you? I mean, it’s been an intense time for so many of us.
Dyana Valentine 04:30
Yeah, I feel pretty soft right now and it’s different to tender. It’s different to a bunch of other things. It hadn’t occurred to me really until I let myself re-enter the space. So, I’ve been gone in prayer and ceremony, and visiting relatives for a little bit and I didn’t announce that. A few people knew in my closer circles. I did that intentionally. I really felt I needed to protect myself, in a kind of way. It’s interesting to feel both protected and soft. I wonder if they’re related, if the softness allows that protection to be there, and if the protection allows a kind of softness. While you were talking, I was thinking about some advice that I got from a very, very wise person in our prayer families who said, “Dyana, do you ever just like be a person? Ever just like be a person, just like every day normal life, like just be a person?” I was honestly immediately confused by the question, because the only thing I could hear was a criticism or correction, right? Then the words sort of traveled behind it and I thought, “I am. That’s all I’m doing. That’s all I’m doing. That’s all I’m doing. That’s all I’m doing.”
I knew that I was totally not only not getting the question, but not really even it hadn’t even really arrived at my body like in my 15 second conversation. But once it did, it was probably several days later and I’m grateful to TJ for this, for asking me this and he asked me fairly regularly, “You ever just be a person?” I don’t really know what he necessarily means. I know there’s more behind what he’s asking me. But a few days later, I realized I was in my mind, I was busy earning love. I was busy making a kind of agenda subconsciously for being a good guest, for being a good relative, for being a good sister, for being a good auntie for whatever the list was, I sort of was automatically doing that. And I thought, “Oh, that’s what he might have meant. Maybe he really is watching me and knows exactly what I’m about to do”. I didn’t know, but it took me hanging out with a question for a while. So, I just want to invite anybody listening who can relate to that sort of agenda of being that is sometimes really comforting. It’s sometimes very, it’s very reinforcing in a lot of ways to like systems that I know I belong to as a mortal on the planet. So, part of that is really clean and good energy. Then the other parts are really keeping me from softness, and I think they also keep me from protection. I think they also kind of set up little circumstances where I’m more vulnerable in a negative way than I would be otherwise. So, all that goes into I feel both soft and protected. Also, I’m learning how to be a human.
Lola Pickett 38:19
I feel so fed.
Dyana Valentine 08:21
I don’t know, it’s kind of deep.
Lola Pickett 08:22
Well, of course it is. That’s how we go. That’s what we do. It’s how we are, it’s who we are. I think that really relates to what I was saying, because part of the reason I’m so tired, physically, you know, not necessarily spiritually, but physically is, I do feel as though I’m showing up in so many different parts of my life as a specific role. Whereas, maybe it’s mom, maybe it’s good mom, maybe it’s good daughter, maybe it’s good friend. Maybe it’s wise counselor, wise teacher, brilliant marketer, whatever the role is. Of course, the role is just a fraction of who any one of us really are. It’s so easy and tempting to just give it all to the role, kind of give a power away to the role in a way. Like, I don’t have to be in my fullness and vulnerability, softness, if I’m being a good mom, that’s gonna keep me busy.
Dyana Valentine 09:29
Yeah, and I think that where we have a lot of it depends on our assignments on the planet. I really feel committed to anti-racist activities. I’m committed to lifting up people who are protecting culture and language that has been suffered under genocide. Also, I’m very aware of the reality that there’s systematic impotence there for me for voice in a lot of ways. Some of that is self-soothing behavior. Some of it is just waiting. I don’t mean waiting to act, I don’t mean I’m as active as I can be with what I’m available for in terms of where my resources go and what conversations I’m open to having has a lot to do with it. To support people who are on the front lines. I’m not on the front lines, not available to be on the front lines right now. I have been, I will be again. I do take a front-line stance where I am.
I think that to me, I’m okay with putting some of my super deep ongoing individualized work on a lower priority than that. When you talk about roles, and we talk about title, or the entitlement that comes with an assignment. For example, I’m not confusing that with white privilege, but I’m saying there is a sort of responsibility that comes with these roles. And even in using Oracle, I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently. About how that is a title someone else gave to me, someone else used repeatedly and used in a public way to introduce my work on multiple platforms. When we talked about it, I said, tell me about where that comes from. They really felt like it was the closest thing that made any kind of sense. At least let people sort of open the door, those sort of marketing ideas developed these analogies for the front door and the doorbell of what everything kind of looks like to attract people in. I recently made a pretty radical change to my business and I think the name might go with it, because I don’t practice in a lineage of Oracle’s, I don’t have it. My work is not predictive which can be confusing to people. It’s kind of a sexy, attractive word. It has worked for me in a lot of ways. It’s been something that’s been, it has opened doors, it has created pathways, but I just wonder about those pathways. As we’re talking about it, a restructuring on a lot of levels, prioritization of work availability. Without a structural plan, no for me.
Lola Pickett 32:47
Scary a little bit.
Dyana Valentine 12:49
Creator told me two years ago, actually like either today or tomorrow. Oh, it’s Thursday, right? Yeah, so it would have been today or tomorrow, but I implemented it two weeks ago, a very clear message Creator gave me and said, “This is what your website looks like. And this is what’s on there.” Now, of course, I’m a human, so I do what I’m told. So, it’s at half the price point and there’s some more words there is and they suggested that I put, but I’m getting there. That was part of a gesture. I call it a gesture as opposed to, it’s not complete. It’s not a quest resolved. It’s not I’m not making it precious or anything in terms of what it is. I did my best and it took me a long time to do it. So, I think that when we’re talking about how we really are, it’s sort of a progressive conversation as opposed to an individual transaction.
Lola Pickett 33:58
Dyana Valentine 33:59
That was long, I’m going to try to keep my responses a little bit shorter.
I don’t know, I feel like I’m very circuitous for listeners.
Lola Pickett 34:09
I love the wandering path because so much of that territory is the lived experience of the people who tuned into this show. Taking a long time to follow through on something that they know they need to do, or they’ve been called to do. There is a temptation to either keep resisting that, or to make it precious, like you said. Make it like, I’m living my purpose now. Put a bell on it or to lambaste ourselves, for humanity and for our moments of not feeling certain about making that decision, even though it’s like the right decision. It’s what we need to do.
Dyana Valentine 34:56
Funny thing is not even a decision
Lola Pickett 34:59
Dyana Valentine 35:01
It was a very clear direction. I trusted where it came from. I heard it without any interference. It wasn’t like, I wonder if that’s what they meant. There was actually not much of an invitation. It was a command. Then I argued about it for two years and it wasn’t even a decision. So, I can’t even claim any power in it. Sometimes it’s power, choice, territory, even the words “lambaste”. We use these words that really drive up the value of something,
Lola Pickett 35:51
Dyana Valentine 35:52
We do it without thinking about it. I wonder what it would be like for myself to follow instructions without expectation or without them needing to create like a three to five year whatever, or label it having resisted. Well, it took me two years minus two weeks plus 20 minutes. I mean, it was effortless in a lot of ways. It was also like that was the right time. Creator doesn’t have a timeline that has anything to do with days, or years or anything. So, I don’t know, could be.
Lola Pickett 36:33
Yeah, it’s so good because I feel…
Without expectation or pride, I think that’s the part that I get really sticky on.But then I go, “ahh the cookies.” Then I listened to myself talking about it then I go, “first of all, you don’t have to tell everybody what happened. Second”. Except I do. I think I do. I think I do, right now. I mean, I checked in with myself about what I wanted to share. I’m glad that I shared that. But I have to be sure it’s clear to me. I didn’t actually do that for anything other than, I knew I needed to follow that instruction, because I know that there are things around that instruction, behind it, the size of it, underneath it, above it, in front of it, that I can’t see without taking that action. I think all of our instructions that we get, there all in forms that only we understand. Sometimes we have interpreters and have helpers. I have a lot of human interpreters and helpers who support me and my work and help me get out of that power struggle with myself, that perceived power struggle, because it doesn’t really ever build anything. Anything that is actually powerful when I’m really efforting. Never. They always go sideways. Every time it’ll look really good in the package for a while, and then you open it. It’s just rotten…
Lola Pickett 38:18
yeah, it’s so true.
I’m still very attracted to the packaging. Sparkly…
Lola Pickett 38:28
Yeah, I was just talking about this today with a client and the ways that we negotiate on the instructions, or the ways that we pretend we don’t know. It’s not conscious most of the time. We’re not like, I’m gonna argue with this or I’m gonna ignore my intuition. Most of us aren’t being willfully ignorant on that front. I would say this client was talking to me and they said, “How do I know my real motivation for something?” How do I know?
That’s a really powerful question. How do we know? Like what comes through for you with that? And does it even? Is it even the right question to ask? Or if I don’t know, a powerful question.?
No, I have. I think about questions a lot. The wrong…I’m trying to get a new word for these, right?
Right now I have wrong, right and real. Those are the wrong questions. So the ones that make us feel like like shit. So, if when you ask that question of yourself, how do I know? How can I discern? What is that motivates me?
Lola Pickett 39:47
My real motivation, like the real trailer for action,
The real driver, how do I trust that or how do I know? If when you ask that you feel like crap, or you feel like a bad person, I’d say it might be sitting in that category of these “questions harm me”. Then the second category is these questions or these questions that are sort of socially sanctioned. So, we have these questions because we know we’re going to have company. We know we’re going to have witnesses; we know we’re going to have people who approve of the question, right? Those kinds of questions have to do with reputation, membership, belonging. They have to do with the reflection of that question back from other people. To me, the real question comes underneath motivation or whatever we label as the things that are measurable or seen in ourselves or our lives. Underneath that is going to be, how trustworthy am I? How can I be more trustworthy?
To myself, to other people… How can I believe myself? What’s one thing that I could do today to be reliable to what I know needs to be done for my family and my community? How could I lift someone up? Maybe we even go outside of ourselves. How could I lift someone up today? What can I do? Let me look at my list of memories of things. I like to track things in people’s lives.
I was just thinking about that the other day because I do check in with you all but I don’t know the kids’ birthdays. I don’t even know Tigre or your birthday, but other things that have come across in our connection, I think about those. So sometimes when I’m adrift, I really try to play around with questions that feel more real, questions that really go through you and when you ask them.
When I say, “how can I be more trustworthy?” I feel that pretty much everywhere. If anybody’s doing somatic work or checking in with your body, I feel that in several places in my body. I feel that even outside myself, it’s almost even though I have this headset on, I felt that go to the corners of the room. So, that gives you some indication that you’re on the real question. I almost always like to look around a question, unless when someone asks me a question, it does that same kind of ping, it feels a little different when it’s someone else’s question than when it’s mine. When I see that in them, sometimes I don’t feel it, but I feel it and then I hear it from them. So, I would say, “let’s get a little bit out of the habit of harm, no harm or harm of others. Let’s look critically at our desire for reputation, for approval for that kind of structure. And let’s look into our sort of deeper part of questions that almost like, if I could answer the question of how do I be more trustworthy?” It would probably answer many other questions in the reputation and harm levels that would make those more clear to me. So maybe I’ll hang out here and work a little bit. I found it to be very helpful to have people reflect back to me, “that doesn’t sound like a real question. That sounds like you’re beating yourself up.” So, when loved ones, you can get some level of or even some really shrewd strangers, who you believe are good at their job.
And say I want to tell you a story, and you listen for the lie. And then just try that out. You know, yeah, because it’s always there and we could sniff it out because our BC minds love the live smell we’re like, weakness. Oh really, what is that?
Lola Pickett 34:04
Something stinks in there. Smells like food.
Dyana Valentine 34:12
I want that. That’s something that we were like, just like all the algorithms, whatever all this stuff is, all meant to keep us really escalated. We actually have really good trained radar for escalation and people, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between trauma, pain, availability, protection, like it’s just hard sometimes. It sounds very lazy but actually that’s what all this marketing and educational training has done for us. As I think it’s made us very sensitive to things like that and usually, we sometimes misunderstand them. We get into codependent symbiotic relationships with other people’s pain, but I think that’s a transferable skill.
Lola Pickett 35:05
Totally.I totally resonate with how you brought us into that four corners of the room feeling of that’s what would be most nourishing, beneficial to self and others. “Contributive” if that’s even a word. Whatever beneficial to really sit with and digest and internalize and integrate and explore. I think we are caught up with “up here”, we’re living in our heads so many of us as it is. Then our culture, you’re right when you were talking about “sniffing out the lie and how delicious that feels to our peace self.” I thought about reality TV, most bro marketing on Facebook, the latest catastrophe porn. This is the diet that people are being fed. If we want to nourish ourselves and also nourish the soil that we grow our food and nourish our children, nourish our communities, members of our communities be able to be that advocate. We can’t subsist on disaster porn.
Dyana Valentine 36:15
Yeah, it takes a lot more resources to do it. I mean, I think a lot of us do it. We know if the headline is clickbait. We can’t help but we just want to get a little bit of soap opera in our day. We just want to be riled up because feeling a feeling of hopelessness around what’s happening, depending on where you are and who you live with and what’s happening to your community and whether or not you are in a community where you’re attending three to five funerals a week or if you’re in a community where you just barely gotten to adulthood or even middle age. You’ve only maybe had minor losses or losses that felt like they made sense. Now we’re in a very different state as a community, I mean that state in a lot of different ways. So sometimes it’s like, you just need to survive the day. To be on my purpose,everything is aligned. If somebody tells me that they’re perfectly aligned right now, then I’ll tell you the lie.
Lola Pickett 37:38
You’ll sniff that out real quick
Dyana Valentine 37:41
That’s also, I feel like that is part of privilege.
I don’t mean we should all be walking around with gaping pussy all the time. I don’t mean that, I want to be functional. I want to be able to teach with some glee instead of like, do I really have to do this right all the time?
Lola Pickett 38:01
Dyana Valentine 38:05
But I think that goes back to TJ and my family members being like, “just relax”. There’s plenty of stuff going on, there’s always going to be something for you to work on at all times. Should you be available for that? So, let’s just have a meal without thinking about the third meal from now. What’s it gonna look like and making sure everybody has something to eat and eat because that’s my pattern. Right? I don’t know. I felt like there was something I don’t know. I’m not remembering it. I had an idea in my mind, because when we talked, we talked about something I felt like couldn’t be missed today. It feels like it’s kind of tied to what we’re talking about. But also, can I take a minute while you’re thinking about that, and say thanks to the people watching or listening
One thing I really want people to understand about who I am as a person and how I work, I mean, this is about my forward facing, my public facing work, and person and what I’m offering. If anybody is listening to this right now, wherever you are in time and space, whether it’s close to when this is published or a ways out, I am very available to have conversations about anything we’ve talked about here or other things. I always really encourage people to just email me. My phone number is actually on my website, which is my full name.com and I’m here for you. I am also wanting you to hear that what I’m saying is, I don’t have anything figured out. I’m working on it continuously. I’m very bad at it at many points. I screw stuff up all the time. I have major conflicts, my friends and family, I, all of these things are true. Also, a lot of what I do in my life is to make myself available to support people however I can. For me that is, I’m 51 so I’ve had a few miles on the road, and not as many as many and not as little as some. Age doesn’t necessarily determine that. But I just want you to know all the jobs that I’ve had, all of the things that I’ve read, all the ways of learning how to be a person, I feel that it’s my spiritual and social responsibility to share what I can. I want to offer that and I want people to really understand while they’re listening if people didn’t go to my website, or check out what the work is before they listen to this, that there is commerce but it’s really energetic commerce on multiple planes. So, when I say email me, or text my number, give me a call I actually really mean it.
And I hope you’ll do it. I hope some of this was like wait, wait, what? Or I disagree with you, I want to talk about it. Or I don’t get that.
Lola Pickett 31:34
Yeah, I encourage you to take them up on this because it’s a conversation that can bring you forward and back in a way, like back to what’s real. But also forward in your life where you’re not feeling overwhelmed and at a distance all the time by all the things that are happening, connecting with someone else who is real, in the mess, in the question, and willing to make mistakes, willing to look at how they can be more trustworthy.
Dyana Valentine 32:09
I want to say willing, what I would say, it’s inevitable.
Lola Pickett 32:16
Yes. You’re just not avoiding it.
Dyana Valentine 32:17
I’m gonna fuck shit it up. Y’all know I avoid it all the time. I’m not even going to give that pretend gloss on it. What I’m going to say is, it has happened enough in my life that this happens consistently enough that I can avoid it and I can do all of my ways of trying to be perfect, and it’s still going to happen. One thing that I really only recently learned is… one hair that just tickling me, (okay, I know I talked too long) that I keep surviving.
Lola Pickett 33:01
Yeah, you’re here.
Dyana Valentine 33:04
I don’t know how that happened. I don’t know that. I hope that there will be a time when I just trust that, and I know that. But I don’t feel that right now. I don’t feel like I trust myself to survive. I only have my above the eyebrows, my life above the eyebrows that says, “we must collect data”. The data is that every single time something happened that felt not survival-like somehow made it. For me personally, I think it would be great to shorten, and maybe this is some kind of competitive capitalist thing. I’m questioning myself as I’m saying this but shorten the trust cycle. It takes a long time for me to figure out trust, which is why one of my real questions was, how can I be more trustworthy because I have difficulty with trust? I think for sure the sky is falling at all times. Many people don’t believe that because I’m a fairly enthusiastic person but I’m like “Doomsday” inside here for a lot of it, you know?
Maybe that trust cycle just needs a little more agility training, a few more steep hills. Sometimes the physical…I checked out of my body for a few years when I woke up no one came through because it was “my above the eyebrow person” was like, “What are you doing? What is happening now?” We have to rearrange everything. Quit that! Down the hatches! I didn’t even realize I stepped out. Also, I think there was something really attractive in the liminal, half of my body here and half my body there. It felt kind of amazing.
Lola Pickett 34:59
Dyana Valentine 35:01
I was standing there, there’s a huge library in this house. Did you know there’s all these resources we didn’t even see? I had no idea I had those rooms in my house. So, I was like, let me go sit in one very still and eat a lot of nails, and study what this is about. Every once in a while I’ll snap back in and it was really only about three years ago that I started to get the value of being back in corporal form and knowing that that information is accessible and not having to be like Daffy Duck. Hoard it and I’d be like “mine mine mine”. Do you remember that or are you too young?
No. I remember.
Yeah. Hoarding that treasure that you don’t even know what’s under it. Is it like a mound of dirt with just the layer coins? I don’t know, but it’s I think that trust cycle and being aware of it. Being aware of how it operates in my body has really helped a lot, and helped me be much more available to people or at least know when I’m available and when I’m not.
Lola Pickett 36:18
Exactly. Because that’s trustworthiness. That it is “trustworthiness”, to know that they can trust your presence is not only halfway there no matter what it seems. Do you say “yes”? If you’re consulting yourself about your availability, and it’s really there, you mean that yes with your whole being, trustworthiness.
I’m pausing this conversation for just a second, to ask you a question. Are you here because you want to create change in your life, but you don’t want to compromise who you are, and you want to honor the fact that you are a highly sensitive soul? I’m going to invite you to listen to what becomes possible when you say a wholehearted yes to joining empathology and our incredible community of students.
“LolaPickett.com/waitlist, and when you subscribe to the waitlist, you’ll also get instant access to our anxiety training for empaths, to help you experience your anxiety in a totally new and different way. So once again, go to Lolapickett.com/waitlist to get on the waitlist for the next round of empathology and get that instant access to our anxiety training. I will see you inside.”