Today’s guest is Elizabeth DiAlto. Elizabeth has such great, fabulous energy. You can definitely tell that she is untamed and has been doing this work for some time because she speaks so confidently about her whole framework of self-awareness, self knowledge, self acceptance, self trust, and self respect, which are so important on our journey to living in an embodied way that is authentic, untamed and free.
Each of us can take actions and have behaviors and make choices. Those are the ABCs that you can learn more about from Elizabeth’s websites as well. Those contribute to the life that we create.
Elizabeth has invited us to look at the way that we talk to ourselves this week. And I hope you will take her up on that invitation. Where can you be a bit kinder to yourself this week? What can you notice? What can you name? What feelings do you experience that you can actually sit with? What can you observe and where do you need to soften?
In last week’s episode, the invitation was to tense and release the different parts of your body. And so if you continue these regular challenges, you start to see how the pieces fit together and how we can transform our lives by taking small, consistent actions.
Known for her raw, honest, and grounded approach to self-help and spirituality, Elizabeth DiAlto specializes in helping women embody self love, healing, wholeness, and liberation. Her body of work has evolved out of 12+ years of experience across several fields including: Fitness, Self-Help, Wellness, Spirituality, Coaching, Personal Development, and Healing — the last seven of which she’s spent helping women untame themselves.
Everything she does is also informed by her own healing and education around embodiment, energy medicine, self love, collective liberation, boundaries, body image, trauma, healthy relationships, and identity. Elizabeth is the creator of Wild Soul Movement and the Wild Soul Archetypes Quiz, founder of The Institute for EMBODIED Living, and host of the EMBODIED podcast – which has been downloaded over 3 million times.
On a more personal note — she’s an avid Latin dancer, novice container gardener, and has a laugh that has been described as, “a sound bath of sunshine and joy.”
We recorded this episode on May 4, 2021.
Timeline of the Chat
* I could not find any evidence that Emma Bomback was the first one to say “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past”.
02:02 – Becoming Untamed
05:22 – The Importance of Embodiment
08:01 – The Difference between Judging And Discerning
09:50 – Components of Embodiment
12:28 – Wild Soul – Tears of Truth
15:47 – Softening into you body
18:13 – The relationship between self-love and self-acceptance
20:29 – Compassion and forgiveness
25:39 – The Hawaiian Hoʻoponopono practice
29:27 – Self Acceptance is not an excuse
33:35 – Self-acceptance in community
38:36 – Working with Elizabeth
41:27 – Invitation/Challenge
42:58 – Elizabeth’s Mantra
44:26 – The Wild Soul Archetype Quiz
45:01 – Fast Five
Embodiment is a way to integrate the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.Tweet
Support the Podcast
Contact and follow Elizabeth at https://untameyourself.com/ or on Instagram. Her linktree is https://linktr.ee/elizabethdialto.
You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.
Slow down. Pay attention.Tweet
- Untame Yourself: Reconnect to The Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being A Woman, Elizabeth DiAlto
- The Embodied Podcast, in particular episode 341
- Wild Soul Archetype Quiz
- Atomic Habits, James Clear
- The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy, Caroline Dooner
- The Expected One (and other books in Magdalene Line Trilogy), Kathleen McGowan
Love After Love by Derek Walcott
Learn about Hawaiian practices and Hoʻoponopono
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.Tweet
Transcript of the Episode
Becoming Untamed [02:02]
Damianne President: [02:02] So let’s get started with the whole idea of untaming because that’s prominent in your work and in your business. What does it mean to have a woman untame herself?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [02:14] Yeah. So my first book that I self-published in 2015 was called Untame Yourself. And so it’s been the name of my website for a while. It’s basically about deprogramming and deconditioning yourself from anything that culture, society, family, school, religion, or anything like that, that tends to be rooted in systems of oppression or domination, anything that has been put on you that isn’t actually authentic or true for you, so taking the time to sift through what you have taken on and what is actually yours?
Damianne President: [02:54] How do we know that? How do we recognize when we’ve been tamed?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [02:59] Oh my goodness. So all my work is about embodiment because in my world, how you know is because how you feel, right, how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and if you have a spiritual practice or you identify as someone who is spiritual, how your connection to that aspect of your life feels. Do you feel connected or do you feel disconnected from that?
A lot of people who have certain chronic health conditions or mental health issues, or who struggle in relationships or with food or lack of motivation, lack of creativity, feeling blocked or stuck in their life or things like this, struggle with these things, because they are living, not in alignment. They’re living out of alignment with who they really are.
The 5 Steps Self-Love Framework [03:53]
I teach a course on self-love and I have a framework. The framework is self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-acceptance. So I was excited to talk to you about self-acceptance because I talk about this all the time. Self-acceptance is like the bridge and like the glue in my self-love framework, and then self-trust and self-respect. So to take the time to actually get to know yourself, like, who are you? How are you built? What are your values? What are your priorities for real? And to just question what we think they are and then what are they really, and notice if there are any disparities and if there are, what those are. That’s how we know. That’s how we start to find out.
Damianne President: [04:37] Last season, I had a series of episodes on finding your calling, finding the things that are interesting to you, attractive to you, that you’re curious about, and that is really resonating with me about self-knowledge being very important before you can get to that self-acceptance space, because what are you even accepting otherwise?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [05:00] Exactly. Exactly.
Damianne President: [05:02] Now I really love the word embodiment, which you brought up earlier. And I don’t know when I first heard that word, but the first time I remember hearing it is from a guest in the first season, Sebene Selassie. She’s a meditation teacher and she talked about embodied presence and embodied awareness.
The Importance of Embodiment [05:22]
Since then, I’ve really been attracted to the word because I think a lot of people, I don’t think it’s just women, get caught up in our heads, and we kind of prize that way of knowing. What does it mean to you, and I know it’s pretty big, but in brief, what does embodiment mean to you and why is it so important?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [05:41] So it’s exactly this; it’s about getting out of your head and into your body. When I talk about getting out of your head and into your body, I’m not saying we should ditch the mind. I don’t want to vilify or demonize the mind or even the ego because those things are really there to protect us in some ways. Our intellect is very important. However, what I am inviting people to, when I talk about getting out of your head and into your body, is to reverse the order of operations. More often than not, people are using their minds to override the wisdom of their body, their body’s feelings, emotions, and sensations, which are often how the body signals to you, how your internal guidance or even your divine guidance, depending on your relationship to that, is signaling to you, communicating with you. So my invitation for people when I talk about embodiment and when I teach embodiment is a way to integrate the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual by first checking in with the wisdom of the body, seeing how you feel, what you sense, what’s going on, and then taking that wisdom, that information and using the mind’s brilliance to carry out what you’ve learned through the body first.
I like how you said we prize the knowing of the mind; that’s where all the conditioning is. Another way to think about this is when we are embodied, we could be more discerning and we could be less judgmental because the mind is where judgment happens.
The mind is where we evaluate things. This is good. That’s bad. This is better. That’s worse. Right. Wrong. Those are all mental assessments. The body doesn’t do that. The body just goes yes or no. This is for me. That’s not for me. That feels good. That feels right. That feels wrong. That doesn’t feel good. Eh, something feels off about that. The body just literally gives us information, whereas the mind is what does all of the evaluating. So to be able to integrate the two in a way, again, that aligns with who you are, how you’re built, what you desire for your life, what’s important to you, what you value, what are your priorities, to me this is like embodiment across the board. Does that make sense?
Damianne President: [07:45] Yes. You went through it really quickly and you said there is a difference between judgment or judging and discerning. I think that that might have gone so quickly that people didn’t even pick up on that. But I think that’s a very important point.
The Difference between Judging And Discerning [08:01]
What’s the difference between discerning and judging, because some people might think that they’re very similar.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [08:07] They are, and I bet if you looked them up in a dictionary, they are probably synonyms. But the difference for me, that I always teach in my embodiment work, is that judgment evaluates things. Judgment says this is good or that’s bad, or that’s right and that’s wrong or I’m better than that person or that person is better than me. Judgment is always evaluating.
Discernment is just feeling into whether something is for you or it’s not for you. Discernment is more like yes or no. Does that work for me? Does that not work for me without all the judgment, when we’re tuned into our body.
Damianne President: [08:48] Yeah. And actually, there is an author that I was recently reading a book by, Shirzad Charmine. I don’t know exactly how to pronounce the name, but he talks about how when we’re in judgment, there’s a lot of emotions and often tension, whereas when we were discerning, it feels much looser. We don’t feel as entangled with the emotions that we’re feeling.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [09:13] Yeah, because the discernment is really just, it’s like your internal barometer, right? It’s your internal gauge for again, whether something is right and true for you, in that moment. So it can shift and change over time as well, where again, judgment is reacting, often not even responding, cause it’s not even usually carefully considered. Judgment is usually just like reacting to the external world and circumstances and people and things whereas discernment is really an internal kind of, yes, no system.
Components of Embodiment [09:49]Damianne President: [09:49] Now, if we think back to embodiment, what are the concepts or the constructs that make up embodiment?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [09:58] On my website, I actually have an embodiment Bible in order to introduce people to the concept and the practice, because there’s so many tools, there’s so many practices, there’s so many ways to get out of your head and into your body. So for me, I break it down.
First of all, breathing. Just breathing, period, is one of the easiest ways, because we breathe automatically, but to pay attention to the sensations of our breath and to bring our awareness to what it feels like to actually breathe and what’s happening in the body when we breathe. We feel the air coming in, we feel our throat open up, our lungs expand, our chest lifts. We feel our belly and our diaphragm expand. And then when we let it go, everything softens and relaxes. I love bringing people’s attention and awareness to just that simple function of the body as a way to notice that’s just one function of the body. The body does all these other things all day, every day, and again, just bringing presence and awareness to what the things feel like, what are the sensations is a cool way to introduce people to just paying attention to what different things feel like in their bodies.
When I work with clients in workshops or privately, I’m often talking to people about very deep things that do trigger emotions, or around healing their traumas, or letting go of limiting beliefs and all kinds of different things. And I’ll often, when we talk about things, pause and ask people, so when you’re thinking about this, when you’re talking about this, what do you feel and where do you feel it? What is it bringing up for you?
In the embodiment Bible, there’s four different things that I offer for people as embodiment tools. One of them is naming. Just being able to name what you feel and where you feel it is huge because so often people are just going through their days, paying zero attention to their bodies. They don’t even notice that they’re clenching their jaw or they don’t even notice that their shoulders are scrunched up to their ears, or they don’t even notice that their heart feels tight and constricted and clenched around a certain person or in a certain place. All of that is information for us. Then there’s the feeling and sensing. And so the word feeling gets blanketed over emotions as well as senses. So I like to distinguish between feelings and sensing states. So for example, if I feel like a tingling sensation somewhere, that’s a sensing state, there’s not necessarily an emotion that goes with that, though I could be feeling an emotion and also feeling the tingling.
Wild Soul – Tears of Truth [12:28]
I like to teach people on a deeper level how to learn to speak their body’s own unique language of the senses. So for example, I have something that I call tears of truth. For many years now, I notice when something comes up, is brought to my attention or awareness, or someone said something, or I read something or I’m watching something and I just feel overwhelmed with an urge to cry apparently for no reason, what I’ve come to notice is there’s a reason; something about whatever it is wants my attention, like something in me. I usually feel like this is a more intuitive, like a higher part of me is like, hey, pay attention, this is important for you. There’s something here for you. I call it my wild soul, my higher self’s way of getting my attention. And then there’s also the observing, just observing all of these things without needing to again, put meaning on them or make anything out of them.
But I love to observe for the sake of pattern recognition. So the reason I even have tears of truth is because, and I remember actually the first time it ever happened, I was reading a book and a passage from the book was sitting in a coffee shop in New York City. It was like, maybe 2012 and I just started sobbing uncontrollably. And it was like, why is this paragraph affecting me this way? Well, let me pay attention to that. And then I started to notice other times when that would happen. There was always something significant, but not obviously significant to me. So I was like, okay, got it. Definitely something in my unconscious or subconscious or higher self going, hey, this is important, pay attention to this.
So those are a couple of things. Naming, just like paying attention to our sensations, how we’re feeling, what’s happening in the body, distinguishing between feeling states, sensations, and emotions, observing so you can recognize the patterns, and even just allowing yourself to have that experience.
Damianne President: [14:27] I am having an experience similar to what you just described right now. And I did when I was reading your website recently as well, where I read on your website that embodied living means feeling safe and at home in your body and as yourself. And when I read that, yup, those were going off for me, for sure.
And even now, I feel emotional as I relate this back to you. So yes, that definitely resonates with me. And so I will also invite listeners to pay attention and see when do you feel that experience of, okay, there’s something here for me. Slow down, pay attention.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [15:10] Pay attention and be with it, because you know, for different people, it might be different things. Some people might feel that way because they don’t feel safe and at home in their body and they want to. Some people might after working on it for a long time, feel safe and at home in their body and the emotions they’re feeling are because they’re so proud of themselves, you know? So it will be individual for everyone.
Damianne President: [15:31] Yeah. And what I was reflecting on for myself is that I feel this for me and I so want this for everybody. I know that this is not the experience of so many women and yeah, that really touches me.
What does it mean to soften [15:46]
The other concept that you mentioned in the embodiment Bible is softening, and that seems to be a very important part of it as well.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [15:57] You’re amazing because as I was listing the things, I was like, I feel like I’m leaving one out and you got it. It’s the softening. So softening, when we are so tense, stressed, anxious in our lives, and listen, there’s a lot of things, especially you and I are having this conversation and the pandemic isn’t over, the global pandemic that we’ve all been experiencing for over a year. And that has stressed and taxed a lot of people in a lot of different ways. And so a lot of us are holding more tension and more stress and more strain than we’re used to. And when we are holding things like that, our body can literally be tight, could be constricted. We don’t even realize it.
I always think about, this was many years ago, I remember I was in my New York City apartment, so it had to be around 2011. And I remember I was a personal trainer at the time, so I was often just like out and about, on subways, walking around all over Manhattan. I didn’t have a Fitbit then, but if I did, I was probably easily getting my 10,000 steps, if not like 20,000 steps every day, not to mention lugging around a backpack or a bag and who knows how heavy those things were. And so, you know, my body was often tense and tired, and just, I was using it every day so much.
And I remember one day I sat down on my couch. I was on the phone with my friend, Aaron, and after just a few minutes of unintentionally relaxing, I felt this shooting pain in my shoulder. Sometimes we just don’t even, or we can’t even feel how we actually feel whether that’s physically or emotionally or even our energy, like if we’re tired or not, when we’re just pushing through or when we’re just braced and just getting through, which is how a lot of us live a lot of the time in our lives for so many different reasons. So the softening is what gives us access to even feel what’s really going on under the hood for us.
Damianne President: [17:54] I want to invite everybody to listen to well, all episodes of your podcast, but there are a lot of them. And so there are a whole series on this model, on the five steps, and episode 341 is about self-acceptance.
The relationship between self-love and self-acceptance [18:13]
You address the relationship between self-love and self-acceptance. What is the relationship between those two and why are they so important?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [18:22] Okay. I love this conversation because there are other people out there who I know really disagree. Some people are like, I don’t want acceptance, I want love, like acceptance is bland and love is where it’s at. Because I am a healing professional, and because I’ve worked with so many thousands of people over the years, through different energy modalities, through embodiment, through different types of trauma healing and stuff like that, I am always tuned into process. We can’t always just jump from point A to point B.
Some people, especially people who have had trauma, especially people who have had a lot of insecurities or for whatever reason are really down on themselves, to get to self-love they have to cross through self-acceptance. They have to just be okay with things as they are before they can even attempt to be in love with them. Does that make sense?
Damianne President: [19:19] Well, I am definitely sold on the idea because I think the other important thing about self-acceptance is the whole self-knowledge piece too. You have to accept what is right now because that’s when you really recognize what’s true, what’s here. How can you change anything if you don’t even know what’s true right now?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [19:40] Yeah. And so there’s no bypassing, right? Something I really dig about acceptance is it’s fairly neutral. It’s like, okay, this is literally how it is. I personally find that from a place of energetic or emotional neutral, most of us can make better choices in any direction, and we have more of a choice over the direction if we’re coming from more of like a neutral, accepting place, rather than if we’re super fired up or hyper-focused on something. From neutral, there’s just more of a likelihood that we’re going to be able to honestly evaluate or assess or consider something and decide whether or not it’s appropriate for us.
Compassion and Forgiveness [20:29]
To get to acceptance requires two things that I’m a huge advocate and practitioner of, which are compassion and forgiveness, especially when it’s towards the self. There are so many things that we are way too hard on ourselves about, that we blame ourselves for, and that we really hold against ourselves. We’re not going to love ourselves, we’re not even going to like ourselves if we can’t find a way to bring compassion and forgiveness to those things. I see you smiling.
Damianne President: [21:10] Yes, because you just dropped those two little things into the conversation.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [21:16] Just two little things, compassion and forgiveness, no big deal.
Damianne President: [21:21] And actually I am doing that 10-day challenge right now through Tara Brach and she interviews various people on compassion. And so it’s a 10-day compassion challenge with a meditation and also with an interview with somebody on the topic. Today’s conversation was with Kristin Neff, who’s a researcher and it was on the topic of compassion and empathy, and how you can let things be just as they are, even when life doesn’t turn out exactly as you expected, and even when people are telling you that you could have a different life if you made different choices. The key is staying true to yourself and yes, forgiveness is also a big one for a lot of people.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [22:09] Yeah. And you know, I always like to clarify. Some people have mega resistance to the concept of forgiveness because their relationship to it comes from religion, where forgiveness was really presented as letting people off the hook for crappy things that they did, just like this automatic thing that people were expected to do, and that’s not always a religious context. Sometimes it’s just the way people’s families are or whatever. But when I talk about forgiveness, that’s not what I mean.
Forgiveness, to me, as an energetic practice, is about taking your energy back from things that you’ve been giving them to that you can’t control, that are over, said, and done, and that you can’t change. You can’t do anything about them.
Forgiveness is about how you relate to it then, and there’s so many great things about forgiveness, like forgiveness is for the forgiver and that’s really true because it’s not accountability – that’s when it’s about the other person when we want to hold people accountable when we want people to be accountable. But when it’s forgiveness, it’s not about the other person, even though there might be another person involved, or a circumstance or situation. It’s about you. It’s literally about taking your energy back or just shifting how you relate to something that has happened, even if it was harmful or hurtful to a way that’s just more conducive to you living your life how you want to live your life.
There’s another thing about forgiveness that I love that is forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past. At some point, I knew who said that, but in this moment, I’m forgetting. It might be Erma Bombeck I could be wrong about that, but for me, that’s what forgiveness is about.
Forgiveness is about just shifting our energy around how we relate to something. It’s not about letting anyone off the hook for something that they should repair or be accountable or make amends for. I do also want to say, though, it is possible to forgive without getting that repair, apology, accountability, or anything like that because again, it is an energetic practice and it is about how you relate to things.
Damianne President: [24:11] I’ve had long conversations with people, with friends, with colleagues about this whole concept of forgiveness and what does forgiveness actually look like? I think people have a lot of different ideas and it could be based on cultural or religious traditions or based on their own experiences of what they think that forgiveness has to look like. I remember somebody saying that if you truly forgive somebody, then that means you should be okay having a relationship with them. And I was like, no, that’s not really how I define it. I think you can forgive them and be like, I want the best for you, I’m not carrying this with me anymore, but we’re still not good for each other.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [24:47] Well, and what you just said comes back to discernment, right? I acknowledge we’re still not good for each other; it’s not a fit. I can forgive someone and absolutely let them go, which comes back to acceptance because I can also accept that it’s not a good fit.
Damianne President: [25:05] Well, when it comes to self-forgiveness, what’s coming up for me is that it’s kind of necessary because like you said, the intention or the hope is that we’re different people now than we were at the time when we made that decision or that choice. And so it really is like saying to that other person okay, I know you wanted the best. I know, you know better now, but I forgive you for what you did in the past. I think it might feel a bit clumsy for people like I don’t know that we quite know how to do that in a lot of situations.
The Hawaiian Ho’oponopono Practice [25:39]
Elizabeth DiAlto: [25:39] Totally. And again, this comes back to that a lot of people don’t have processes for things, right? Because I love forgiveness so much, I’ve studied it over the years and how different people do it and how different people approach it. There’s the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono practice, which was actually the first forgiveness practice. The context in which I learned it, it had been co-opted and stripped of its name and edited. Even in that state, the process really worked. But then, later on, I learned where it had come from. So I always like to acknowledge the roots, but that practice, the Ho’oponopono prayer is I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
In the process that I learned It starts with, I forgive you and you’re basically just like listing… The way I’ve used this is around topics or categories of people, where it’s like listing everything that you want to be able to forgive someone for and then saying, I’m sorry. And I’m sorry, isn’t just about things that you might be sorry for, although that’s included. It’s also acknowledging I’m sorry about situations and circumstances that made the person do the thing they did.
One of the things I talk about a lot in my work is that I don’t actually believe people are toxic. I believe we behave in toxic ways sometimes. I believe choices can be toxic. I don’t believe people are shitty. I believe people do shitty things for all kinds of reasons of things going on inside of them, often trauma. But inherently, I really do believe people are gifted, talented, beautiful, genius, all unique and lovable in their own ways. And then, you know, life happens, whatever happens, and they start behaving in these ways that are not who they really are. That is not what’s in their soul. And this is what healing work is about, untaming, and to come back to that first question you asked me about, peeling back, peeling, back peeling back. Who am I really? Who am I really? How do I repair? How do I make amends? How do I become a better person? How do I behave better, make better choices? And so that’s all connected.
If I’m forgiving somebody, I might be like, I’m so sorry that you don’t realize what an amazing person you are. I’m so, so sorry that you don’t have the support to help you see, to help you heal. I’m so sorry you don’t have access to the awareness that you could heal this, that you could do things differently, things like that. And so what I love about that I’m sorry piece is that that brings in a lot of the compassion.
When I do this, when I take people through this process, fairly often, they’re forgiving someone in their family, often a parent. And the look on someone’s face when they realize that their parents behaved that way because someone behaved that way to their parent when they were a kid, maybe even worse, they’re like, Oh. And so something I always remind people around is that explains it, it doesn’t excuse it though. It’s kind of like what you were saying, doesn’t mean we have to bring these people back into our lives if they’re still behaving that way. We don’t have to tolerate abuse or poor treatment, but we can understand, and we can have more compassion and we could rehumanize the person.
And then the thank you is anything you might genuinely be grateful or thankful for around that person or the experience, maybe because you learned something or maybe because they’ve been great or generous with you and other ways. And then that I love you part, something that I’ve edited over the years is to say either I love you, or I send you love because again, we can’t always access love.
Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t and it doesn’t work if we are going to say something that we don’t really mean.
Damianne President: [29:16] I love how authenticity keeps coming up in your presentation. And I think often we try to trick ourselves and it doesn’t work and we will not sure why it doesn’t work.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [29:24] It doesn’t work.
Self-Acceptance is not an excuse [29:27]
Damianne President: [29:27] Now, Elizabeth, I know there is somebody listening, who’s saying, okay, if I forgive myself and I love myself and I accept myself and all of those wonderful things you’re talking about, how do I make sure that I don’t do the same thing again? Aren’t I just letting myself off of the hook? How is self-acceptance going to get me to the place where I am being a better person?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [29:50] Oh my God, I love this question because again, you’re alluding to people might use it to bypass, right? Well, I love myself no matter what, and then they just keep doing crappy things and being like, well, I love myself anyway, right? And that’s not what we need.
On the website, there’s the wild soul woman manifesto. And one of my favorite lines of it many years ago that I wrote is, I am a work in progress and a work of art. We are all always growing, healing, evolving, and transforming. And no one is above a relapse.
By the way, earlier today I was actually interviewing my friend Terry Cole on my podcast. And one of the things Terry and I were talking about was codependency. She actually was the first person who really helped me start to heal from codependency many years ago. And at this point, you know, for a couple of years, I was like, I’m not codependent anymore. This is great. Some people call themselves recovering co-dependents and I was like, I don’t want to say that; I don’t want to put that on myself.
But then I had an experience last year where I had a big relapse and I was like, okay, no one is above a relapse, myself included. But that thing that I said earlier, my behavior, there might be things that explain it, but the same way we don’t want to just excuse other people for poor treatment or poor behavior, we don’t want to excuse ourselves for that either. We want to be accountable by being like, Oh man, I messed up. Apologize to whoever we need to apologize.
We apologize with words and actions. Some people say the best apology is changed behavior. I do believe we need words. Some people are no longer accepting verbal apologies; I just want to change behavior. I’m like, I want both. I want to hear that you understand what’s even going on here and then I want to see you do better next time and forever. But this is also a compassion thing too, because we need to leave room for people to try to do better, do better, maybe mess up sometimes, realize it, adjust that. That’s how you learn.
My grandpa was a teacher so one of the things that’s always in my mind that he used to say is repetition is the mother of all learning so we have to practice. We have to practice over and over and over again even if we mess up. One of the other lines actually from the manifesto is when I want to be harsh with myself, I choose gentleness instead.
So probably the bigger, better answer here is when you do stumble because you will, we all do, instead of beating yourself up about it and berating yourself, going man, okay, got it. I did that. Forgive yourself again. Keep going. Repair anything you need to repair. Keep going, rather than trying to bypass it with self-love and acceptance.
It’s kind of like have you ever done tapping.
Damianne President: [32:37] Only a little bit and only from watching it on YouTube, not with a proper practitioner.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [32:42] Absolutely the same, but I love that script. Even though _______ (insert the thing that you’re judging about yourself or making yourself wrong for), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. That’s what it is. So we can hold both at the same time. Even though I messed up at this thing I’m really trying not to mess up at, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. So we could hold both at the same time. A misstep doesn’t negate any of the other work that we’ve done. Does that answer the question?
Damianne President: [33:10] Yes. And I guess another way to say that, and I’m not sure who said it first, but it’s about progress, not perfection, right? And so when we mess up, we recognize that we mess up. Then we regroup.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [33:22] Literally, I mean, that’s called being a person. Show me the person who doesn’t mess up. I’d love to meet them.
Damianne President: [33:30] I love how you make it so simple.
Self-acceptance in community [33:35]
So what can we do? What do we need to be able to have self-love and self-acceptance, what can we do? And you’ve already given us practices in terms of embodiments. Some of those things are definitely related, but what can we do for ourselves and what can we do within our communities and in community?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [33:55] Okay. I love that you’re putting it in the context of community because one of the things that I love about community is the accountability and is being able to have other people hold us to those standards that we are trying to hold ourselves to for self-love. We’re to have people who care for us enough, who we have close enough and trustworthy relationships with, who can call us out or in when we’re behaving in ways that are not self-loving.
In fact, this reminds me that the very first time I was even introduced to the concept of self-love, I was in my early twenties and it was a friend of mine who sat me down. He was my boss. He was my mentor. And he was also a dear friend at the time. I was acting out; these were the years of my life where it was like weekend binge drinking and misbehaving was kind of like where I was at in my life. And he was like, you know, when you behave this way, I see you doing things that I feel don’t value who you are as a person. And I was like, damn. It was so amazing.
I thought about that moment so many times throughout the course of my life, because the way he said it was so, was coming from a place with so much love and care and valuing of me. He was like, I want to see you treating yourself how you should be treated, and these behaviors don’t match that. And so I think that’s part of how we do this in community.
We need to have people that we trust enough to check ourselves with like, hey, how am I doing? Is this, am I being congruent? Are my words, my actions lining up. Am I being who I say I am or I want to be. And when we ask the questions, having people we actually can get feedback from and give feedback to who will not only shoot us straight, but do so in a loving way, and in a useful and productive and helpful way, not in like any kind of critical or strange, manipulative or condescending way.
Damianne President: [35:51] I’m also thinking that these have to be people that you’re close enough to, that you have the kind of relationship with, where you are vulnerable and they do know you. It doesn’t have to be conceptualized as an agreement, but you know that you are that for each other, that you are there for each other in this kind of way.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [36:09] Yeah. And then, and then in larger communities, like I think about I have the Embodied Living Center, which is a membership community that I have, and there’s like 175-200 people in there right now. Even though so many of these women, they’re all over the world, they’ve never met each other, they’re there for each other.
We have agreements. We have standards for our community for how we will show up that are rooted in love and respect, compassion, and generosity, so many of the things that whether we named them or not have been woven into this conversation today. Because those are values and our shared agreements and intentions, we show up that way for each other, even though we’re not necessarily super close; many of us will never even meet in real life.
So I think that’s part of it too, is having a container for community and having some spoken agreement, standards, shared values, and stuff like that, that reflect an environment and a culture of self-love and acceptance.
Damianne President: [37:11] And I think the important thing here is that people can also create this for themselves. So for example, I met a lady at a workshop that I was doing, and we were both very interested in having an accountability partner for something that we were working on. We agreed that we would meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and we also set agreements. Okay, this is how we’re going to show up for each other; this is what we would like from each other. And so I had to tell her, okay, this is how I like to work with people. When you notice me doing this kind of behavior, it would be great if you could respond in this way. And then she said the same to me. So she’s like, okay, this is what I’m struggling with and I would really appreciate it if you would catch me when you notice me doing that. That has been so very helpful for both of us.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [37:59] And it’s so helpful too because people can see us in ways that we can see ourselves. The metaphor that I’ve used for this so many times, cause I’m originally from New York is, it’s the difference between the view of the empire state building when like you’re standing on fifth Avenue right in front of it and you’re looking up at it. You don’t see the whole thing cause you’re too close to it. Whereas if you get one of those New York City helicopter tours and you’re above, you could see the whole freaking thing because you have a different perspective. So this is why we need each other and we need community because sometimes we’re just too close.
We can’t see ourselves fully, but somebody else from the outside looking in could be like, well, what about this, this and this? And you’re like, damn, I didn’t even notice that, or I didn’t think of that, and it’s so helpful. But again, it’s helpful when it’s coming from someone who has your best interest at heart, who cares about you, who honors and respects you, not someone who has anything to gain from you not feeling good about yourself.
Damianne President: [38:55] Absolutely.
Elizabeth’s Programs [38:56]
This is a good time to mention that you have a number of programs that people can learn more from. You have a book Untame Yourself: Reconnect to The loss, Art Power and Freedom of Being a Woman. You also have some mini-courses and some membership programs. Tell us a bit about how people could work with you.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [39:12] Everything is on the website at untamedyourself.com or in the little link and my bio on Instagram, I’m @elizabethdialto. So the membership is great because everything is included in the membership. I run a themed workshop for anyone who wants to take it every month. Those are all included in the membership, the two different mini-courses Embodied Self Love and my Wild Soul Archetypes. That’s included in the membership and then for people in the membership, I live stream several embodiment practices every month, and we also have an on-demand library of close to 200 practices between wild soul movement classes, erotic body classes, healing, meditations, and stuff like that.
I also have other talks and workshops and stuff that I’ve taught over the years. I just throw it all in the membership. I like to call it if anyone’s ever seen the movie Aladdin or the movie Mary Poppins, it’s like a cave of wonders or like a Mary Poppins bag. Literally, if you need something, we probably have something for it. We got a meditation for that, we got a mantra for that. As you can tell, I’m obsessed with the membership. I love our community. It’s on Mighty Networks. I love that platform. I love not having my groups on Facebook, so good.
Then the mini-courses are just for people who don’t want all that stuff. They just want to focus on the thing that they’re interested in. Those workshops, if you go to you can actually see all the different workshops I’ve run, any upcoming workshops, and they’re all recorded and available after the fact.
I’m just such a geek. I’ve worked with so many people in so many different things under this umbrella of embodiment. And I love being able to dive into more niched and specific things that, you know, any given phase of somebody’s life might be useful for them.
Damianne President: [40:44] You just light up when you talk about your work, which is always fabulous to see.
If somebody is just getting started and curious to even know more, I definitely suggest that they go to your website untameyourself.com because there are lots of resources there also just for people to understand the work as a first step towards knowing what this whole embodiment process is like, untaming themselves and becoming free and wild.
Thinking about your work and your experience, knowing that the focus this season is on self-acceptance, do you have an invitation or a challenge for people, if they have a few minutes today, of something that they could do to get started on this journey, to make progress on this journey.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [41:27] Absolutely. Well, first of all, you mentioned it episode 341 listen to the self-acceptance episode. There will be deeper things there, but pay attention to how you talk to yourself when you mess up or when you do something that goes against how you would rather be doing it. Some people call it the inner mean girl. I love the concept of talking to yourself the same way you would talk to a child or talk to your best friend or talk to someone you really love. And actually the metaphor I love for this is, you know, when a little kid is learning to walk, it’s like the most exciting thing in the world to see a kid.
I don’t have my own kids. I have a niece and I love everyone else’s kids, but they’re like figuring it out. They’re standing up, they’re stumbling a little bit, they’re falling over. And what are we all doing? We’re like, yay, good job, right? No one is being like, come on, kid, get up. Why aren’t you running yet? Yet as adults, when we’re trying to learn new things or change behaviors, or shift our habits, that’s how we talk to ourselves.
We’re like, why are you eating this? You’re supposed to want to be healthy? Or like, why didn’t you do that thing? Or why didn’t you go to this class? No, you need to be celebrating every damn little bit of progress you have, just like we celebrate that little kid standing up for 0.2 of a second before he falls back down on his butt, you know,
Damianne President: [42:42] Yeah. I did a reel last week and it was about that topic too, about how, when you find yourself caught up in being unkind to yourself, think about what would your best friend say or try to take on that kind mind perspective.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [42:56] Kind mind, I love that. Yes.
Elizabeth’s Mantra [42:58]
Damianne President: [42:58] You also shared a mantra in one of your episodes of, I am enough, I have enough, I do enough. I just love those three sentences.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [43:07] I started using that mantra in 2011. I was in New York. I was a personal trainer. I was struggling financially and there was so much discouraging stuff happening at that time. But I knew I was meant for greater things, and that was just temporary. There’s a saying your temporary circumstances do not have to be your permanent reality. Like I knew that that’s where I was.
I knew I was in an early chapter of the book that I would get through, you know, like hero’s journey. I’m struggling right now, but it’s not always going to be this way. And so literally, as I mentioned earlier, I spent so much time commuting around New York city, walking on the subway and taxis, whatever.
I would repeat that mantra to myself all the time. I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. And what I love about that mantra is it starts to bring your awareness to, yes, where is that true? Where is that already true? How can it become truer? So I use mantras in my work in Wild Soul Movement as invitations for things we can embody.
The difference between, to me, a mantra and an affirmation, an affirmation is something people try to convince themselves of. A mantra is something that we’re thinking all day, every day anyway. Why not choose an intentional thought to start to embody, to start to deprogram the programming that’s keeping us doing the things that we don’t want to do anymore, or having the experiences we don’t want to have. The Wild Soul Archetype Quiz [44:25]
Damianne President: [44:25] Yeah, people can also go to your website and they can do a quiz. It’s the Wild Soul Archetype Quiz. I did the quiz and I was 43% warrior goddess, 35% erotic princess, et cetera, et cetera. And I’m curious to find out more about that and I’ll definitely be delving more into that. As our time winds down, I would like to ask you the fast five.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [44:53] I love these types of things. I’m excited.
Damianne President: [44:57] One sentence or one word for every question.
Fast Five [45:01]
Number one, you have a high power meeting coming up, something very important to you and it’s in 12 hours. What are you doing before that?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [45:09] Dancing and praying.
Rowena President: [45:11] Nice. Do you have a phrase or a pep talk that you give yourself for motivation?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [45:17] I can do this.
Damianne President: [45:19] Where do you live? And if you have guests, what’s the first thing you show them, or the first place you take them to?
It’s funny cause I’m moving in two and a half months to Miami. I don’t love living here, but currently, in Oakland, I would say if I had guests, which I haven’t cause freaking COVID, I would take them to the Lake.
Sounds good. What is the thing that is guaranteed to recharge you and increase your energy?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [45:42] Dancing.
Damianne President: [45:44] You have been given the gift of time. You have a free day, so you have some time affluence and you can do anything you want. What are you doing on that day?
Elizabeth DiAlto: [45:52] Oh my God. The truest answer for me right now is reading books. There’s so many books I want to catch up on.
Damianne President: [46:00] You know I’m going to have to ask another question then, which is tell me a couple of books that are on your reading list or on your bookshelf.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [46:08] I’m currently reading a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Damianne President: [46:12] Okay. That’s on my list.
Elizabeth DiAlto: [46:13] And it’s so good. Really, really good.
I’m reading a book. It’s called The Fuck It Diet. It’s an anti-diet book. I’m super interested in that movement. And I just restarted actually a series I’ve already read.
It’s a historical fiction by a woman named Kathleen McGall and it’s called the Magdalene Line Trilogy. So I’m in the first book, which is called The Expected One. I love these books.
Damianne President: [46:36] Hey, you’ve given me something for every, for both of my bookshelves.
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