Alena00:00

Hello and welcome back to the Unboxable podcast I have with me today. A gorgeous lady. Her name is Yumi Penn. Welcome. Yumi.

Yemi00:09

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm really excited to do were meant to meet a while ago, but like I'm more. Rearing to go now and yeah. Have open heart conversations and thank you for having me.

Oh,

Alena00:19

such a pleasure. The fact that you even said that tells me we are in the right place. we, we have a resonance. We can't quite work out why yet? So let's explore that. It's very exciting. I would love for you to tell me just a little bit about you, where you are, who you are, what you do, anything you'd like to share with.

Yeah,

Yemi00:37

this, this is ever evolving. I better start off by telling people that like most of our technology I have version. So I think I'm Yumi Penn version, possibly 11.7 at the moment. I was, I think version nine a couple of months ago. So I do change quite radically. I'm so many things and I, I get concerned of giving myself titles and labels because it genuinely changes.

And. Almost is the fabric of who I am. I mean, if you were to check with anyone now on how would you describe Yemi? I'm curious, beyond belief, almost insatiable, but if I was to give myself a label, typically I describe myself as an engineer by profession. That's why I studied at uni, and went into, did that for about two decades.

but also an entrepreneur by passion. I like starting up businesses. I like being the one who fills the gap rather than. Complain about it. but I think more recently and probably what I've always been, but only like really owned up to it is a thought leader. I, I have views on a number of things and that's also a bit tricky cuz you know, that kid who has an opinion about everything.

I think, I think that might be me, but I'm doing it with compassion, with love, with curiosity and inviting people to do the same. And so, you know, I've. You know, I've opened up a gym, I've sold a gym, I've opened up a cafe. I've lost a cafe. I've got my consultancy. I, I do documentaries. So literally anything that puts my, puts my soul in a good dance.

That's what, that's what Yemy is about. Oh,

Alena02:05

beautifully said, Yemi gosh, I relate to so much of that. It's ridiculous. we need to have another chat. I think where I tell you all the things we have in common. Yeah. The two that jump out, it must

Yemi02:16

be a reason why we've attracted each other without actually knowing each other.

Yeah. Tell me the two

Alena02:21

things. Well, I was a builder. Oh. And, and I was a filmmaker, so, wow. so we have those two things in common for sure. And I sense, we're gonna discover a few more things as well. So the way that we came to be together, I always like to tell a little origin story about my guests, cuz quite, quite often, actually I have guests on this podcast that I don't know, and that I've never met that I just feel a sense of story sharing is important and often it is.

It's really beautiful. So. The reason that I think I came across you was that there was something you did with business checks on LinkedIn. And there was a few women in that chat, but there was something about the way you spoke and the same just now you speak in a way that is very inclusive of ideas and like an open mind.

You clearly that curiosity you're talking about, it really shines through I'm. I would love to hear a little more on that. Like where do you think that comes from? When did you become clear? Yeah. You know, I

Yemi03:15

only, okay. Oh, this is where I start going all over the place. Go for it. I'm I'm currently doing my PhD.

I really didn't wanna do it. I just need to put that for the record. I didn't wanna do it, but now I'm loving it because I had this story that surely we couldn't study things we enjoy, or we want to . And when I eventually found out that I could do research on, you know, the topic that I'm really passionate about, I'm curious about which is distress and events that we call trauma.

I found. Through my research so far that the reason why people love therapy and love talking is because we get to give a language to how we feel. Oh, beautiful. And right. And I mean, that is so simple, but it's come up in my research. And even though it wasn't worded like that, I realized that for me, when I say the term, which I think comes either Swahili or Zulu and I, I need to get this right.

It's an African word. which is Saban, which means I see you, that feeling of being seen. even though we don't have the words it's because someone has said something that your brain just attaches to. And I think I've realized that that's kind of my superpower, my, my gift. We all have a gift and I say this as humbly as I can, but I, now I now own, I own my superpowers.

So even though I didn't know, it, me being the why girl. Is kind of always there. I think it's always been there, but it only really sprout probably about five, six years ago. Wow. So not that long ago, I've only just hit 40 and really it's still fresh, but it was always there. And that's why I think things are going really fast for me, according to the standards of the world on, on how people should progress and what success should look like.

And you know, me being a single parent with this one, Household income. I really wanted to defy that. And I think it's my curiosity. And I dunno if my, my dear friend and strategist is gonna kill me for saying this first. We've just reworked my position in cuz people always struggle. What is Yemi about? I don't into a box.

First of all, same, you know,

Alena05:17

the name of this podcast. Unblockable. Did you know that? Yeah,

Yemi05:22

I loved it. When you said that I was like unblockable. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm, I really don't. I don't like being put into a box even when I, you know, have brand strategists say, oh, ye me get a color scheme. I'm like, yeah, but I like this color, but tomorrow I might like a different color.

So. we've now worked on a new strategy, which I meant to do a grand opening, but I've got to say it and, and it's just, it's the epitome of who I am and what my work will be doing with others is I'm Rebell curious. it's, it's, it's not just my tagline. It's the essence of who I am. And, and I know rebellious needs to have its own its own definition, which I'm, I'm sure I'll do over my social media posting coming weeks.

It's it's challenging status. That that's that for me is what it is not because status quo is wrong, but because it doesn't work for everybody and to assume. That I am the same as everybody is. it's unkind and borderline and responsible. If I can use words, I have a potty mouth. I'm clean. Keeping it

Alena06:19

clean.

Oh no, you don't need to, by the way. No. Okay. No, this is a sweary podcast. Yay. You're okay. Yay. Because I'm a sweary person too. Another thing we have in common, So rebellion is definitely, you know, one of my middle names also. And, and I love, I love what you're saying there, rebellious and curious together is such a brilliant thing.

And I also think that there is a bit of a culture in our kind of Western society where, you know, questions are dangerous, correct. Don't question, don't ask the difficult questions and I really lament that and I really challenge it because we have to, we must it's our human. Not only need, but responsibility to question.

Yes. And we've lost the fine art of it a little bit.

Yemi07:04

We, we have, but if I can just put my hand up for a second, I have to start with myself. Mm. We, if I can invite everyone to start with themselves, because I have an eight year old son who has just come back from being with his dad for almost two years consciously co-parenting it was very hard for me, however, It's the epitome of the work I do.

Like, just because I've been told I needed to be the sole and only carer. Yeah. I had to question that. Why is that? And I was man, you know, managed to comfortably let that happen. So my son has now returned after 20 months. My goodness. He talks so much, he's asked so many questions and then I found myself.

Getting irritated. And what I love doing the most is checking with myself an observer. Why are you irritated when he's doing the very thing you talk about? Yeah. And, and so what I love about the work I do is that because I use myself as a Guinea pig constantly. Yeah. It's first, it's the discomfort of, I don't have the time to answer all your questions, then it's the, why are you questioning my authority?

And that is a big reason why I think authorities, governments struggle and may struggle with the movement that really, really is gonna stem around rebellious curiosity. So you're right. We, we haven't these, there are some things, a lot of things we're told not to question, but if we start with ourself or those who do ask questions, find out what that discomfort is in our.

Because that will help us dismantle this. The wrongness we've attached to being curious. Oh, I saw with you there

Alena08:33

and it, and it is so personal. Like it's a very personal thing. What we're talking about here, how we navigate this, but if I can be general and I, and I do loath to generalize, but sometimes it's useful.

Yeah. That, that humans, you know, we like certainty. We like yes. conformity, because it gives us certainty. Yes. And certainty gives us a sense of power. Like we know what's gonna happen. Yeah. So we feel. Yeah, and that is perfectly natural and I'm all for it. Yeah. So what I'm sort of down for is like, how can we maintain a sense of safety through change and how can we yeah.

Actually become, I guess, less discomfort averse. because the more comfortable we can become with discomfort and uncertainty and risk and those kinds of concepts, the stronger we can feel and the safer we can feel as we explore absolutely those uncertainties and that messiness, you know, like we've sort of become very tidy, I think.

And there's lots of reasons for that. And I, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Yeah. And I don't, I don't despise it and I give anybody who needs. All those tidy things, all the power in the world to, to pursue that. Yeah. But I also think it would be great to challenge a little bit. why, why do we need that tidiness?

Why do we need this comfort and certainty and all the time? And I think we've just had a world full of uncertainty for a few years and it's coming and there's more of it coming, I believe. Yes. Yes. so, so the better we can be at navigating that without shutting down without kind of necessarily becoming, I guess, Yeah, just shut down for each other through that messiness, how can we stay connected?

Yeah. And safe and, you know, as safe as possible as we navigate these changes because they're happening.

Yemi10:16

Yeah. We gotta look at they're going to happen. Yeah. Yeah. And they like that. I, I just, I'm so glad this is being recorded. I mean, I literally feel like I'm just having a conversation with you over tea C so I can't wait to, because there are so many things you said that my brain has just gone really.

That's interesting. No, because well, and, and I believe it or not, I'm an introvert, so I don't get, I don't get out much, which I'm fine with. but I, I long for these conversations where. Not only do I get excitement from the fact that we agree on certain things, but things I haven't thought about, because I was thinking why, as you were talking, I was thinking, why do we need certainty so much in this part of the safety and it's story, but it's not to demonize that because it, it has worked and continues to work and we need it.

Yeah, we do it. Let's acknowledge that, but I love what you did, which you may or may not know was that invitation to. Just a little bit, just be a little bit curious. Yes. See it just a little and it, oh my gosh. It's enough to change your world. Yeah, it's

Alena11:17

beautiful. I have a friend, very wise friend of mine and she I'm gonna say her name.

She's a remarkable woman, Janet Cohen. You would adore her. She says to me, we, we can exist on our growing edge. And what I love about that is it's about, it's an understanding of where we feel safe, but also can we just sit on the edge of that and look at upon the things that we are not comfortable with and just edge gradually and slowly to expand ourselves?

Yeah. And it's similar, I'm a martial artist, so that's very similar. When we train, we need to know that edge. We need to understand our limit. And if we stay within our limit, we never improve. So we must understand our limit and push it ever so slightly forward. Every time we train. And it's really important because if we don't, if we stay safe, too safe in our training, we cannot improve the nature of martial arts.

Is that you, you are taking risks. You are. It's just part of. Yeah. To push the body to the limit. So it's a, it is a very interesting thing. And I think being able to do it in the martial arts helps me to do it in

Yemi12:29

life. Yeah. Damn. You are a woman of many things and talents.

Alena12:33

Oh yeah. Many colors. Just like you can, don't ask me to choose no way.

I

Yemi12:39

love it. wow.

Alena12:41

Okay. Okay. I wanna know how that plays out for you in your work. So, so what's your at the moment, can I ask you, what is your growing edge, whether that's personally or, oh, by the way, I was a single parent as well. Also relate to what you were just saying about, I meant to say about, you know, creating your own way of doing that.

It's a very, yeah. We also had some interesting stories around that and I think. Sometimes that's our, our edge is it's personal. You know, we was doing something in our personal lives. Sometimes it's career, sometimes it's all happening at once. Mm. So, so where's that happening for you right now? Where is your edge?

Yemi13:14

I think my edge has to be the reintroduction of caring for two children. You know, you think, I mean, I, I have been the single parent in, in the genuine, full sense, not to mean I haven't had support, but for it, was it 14? It was about 14 years before I had what you. I had my first kind of parent in break, if we can even give it a word.

And, and parents in break is real because that always happened in communities and still does today. But I think sometimes because we're so busy in our own world, we don't get the chance to build communities. So having my sun back is, is probably my grown edge because I'm having to deal with. Anxiety, you know, I, if, you know, some people are predisposed to depression.

Some people anxiety, my anxiety doesn't render me like useless. I'm actually the opposite. I start to put in more things to do because for some reason my energy's all over, so I identify it differently. And I think it's just an opportunity to. To witness myself, to love myself, to figure out the things I wanna change and doing that whilst doing a PhD and continuing to build my brand.

It, I, I gotta be honest with you. It's it's uncomfortable. and, and also the fact that, you know, I've kind of made this decision to really put my engineering consultancy on ice for a bit, which was my huge money income, Emma. and, and now I'm having to create a different paradigm. that says money.

Doesn't have to just come from the field you studied at university. And that is a tough one. Yeah. So quite a few things. Yeah,

Alena14:43

that is,

Yemi14:44

mm,

Alena14:45

that is fascinating. Yummy. I would like to change gears ever so slightly. Now, I don't know a lot about your history, but I know you have an interesting one and I know you talk a little bit about trauma in your work. You are a trauma informed practitioner. Can you tell me what that means to you? How does your past and your present, how do they intersect and gimme a bit of background.

Yemi15:06

Yeah. So I'm still very, Hmm. Okay. I was gonna say I'm still very new on the journey and that would be a lie. That's me. That's almost a form of imposter syndrome, right? So you even know throughout this whole conversation, interesting. Just acknowledge myself, which is to downplay it. But I, I have been doing work in trauma for a while.

I think a number of us have, but we tend to know how long it's been once we acknowledge what we've been through. So for me, the whole concept of trauma, even being part of my vocabulary started. Probably maybe seven, eight years ago, eight years ago when I relocated to Australia and I realized, okay, Yemi come on.

What are you doing on the other side of the world? What is the south London girl from Briston doing on the other side of the road, the other side of the world with a seven month old and a seven year old with no family. It just, I, I knew something was up a

Alena15:53

brave, right? Very,

Yemi15:55

very brave, very brave. Yeah, courageous.

I used to tell people back in the day that I was running away and, and maybe I was at the time, but it was to come and heal. It's just, once again, I didn't have the language for it, but you're also running

Alena16:09

toward yes, exactly,

Yemi16:11

exactly. And that's what people are saying to me more and more. so my vocabularies changed again and then obviously a few years later, but three, four years after I relocated here and having.

DED in a bit of alternative modalities for healing and understanding myself. I wrote my first book and the chapter that seemed. You know, click with everybody was the childhood trauma. And once again, I just thought why aren't people in my circle talking about it. And it just turned out that people in my circle weren't talking about it, but there were other circles.

And that's when I delved further into it. And I did my first documentary in 2020, which was looking at my particular story. And we also just been inquisitive of other cultures. And when I tell you that the acceptance of, of doing work in trauma, even at that thought leadership perspective opened up doors, like no others.

When I got invited to go over to America, Jack Canfield house to talk just about my work and trauma. And then I got that's to do a TEDx talk. It was, it just opened. And there's, so there's this belief that when we really open up, because like I say, I did not, I didn't want to do trauma cuz I didn't, I, I.

I was one of those people potentially who would roll her eyes at people who sat in a victim story, you know? Yeah. I, I probably wondered too. They're like, can we just move on? It's not happened anymore. I really was. And, and I understand the reason why people still have that because. Most people don't wanna have to deal with stuff that they think is gonna hold them back.

But I think we're under the, an illusion that it doesn't hold us back. I think we are under an illusion that it doesn't get, transferred to

Alena17:51

other people. I totally agree. Yes. That's a wonderful way to

Yemi17:54

put it. Yeah. Abso and that, and, and that's a big one. And if we could just repeat that is the fact that even though it doesn't bother you, there is usually some form of transference.

And even if you don't have kids, it's transferred to someone hundred percent. And we just, my, my dedication to wanting to speak about that, but in, in a palatable way, cuz I appreciate trauma the minute you say trauma people, they, they, to be honest, they probably already block, they already choose their methodology to protect themselves.

and so yeah, being aware of it. So when I'm in conversations, whether it's myself, other people. My knowledge and my research on trauma, which is exactly what I'm doing my PhD on. Can trauma be transformed and what role do traditional and indigenous culture play?

Alena18:38

Oh my gosh. Really love it. Yeah. I can't wait to read your PhD just saying right now.

Wow. That's amazing.

Yemi18:45

It's and it's really good. Apart from fact I've got this aversion for like writing really academically , but it. It's not just making me more credible. It's making me more responsible. I wanna know who else has done stuff out there. I wanna know what indigenous researchers and scholars have done.

And my goodness, the stuff I'm already finding is, is mind blowing. Wow. and so that. My dedication to the work is huge because you know, the stats show more than one in two. And if you can split people in half, you would even get more, but more than one in two have experienced the traumatic incident.

This is adult, and we're doing this in the Western world. So imagine the non-Western world that's right. What those figures would be. and I just don't, I don't believe we can ignore it. And one of. My go-to lines at the moment, I say more and more is I appreciate we talk about sustainability of the planet and I think it's absolutely necessary, but we've completely forgotten that humans are the custodians of this planet.

This is what my, and we don't sustain them. How the hell? So

Alena19:43

this is my, this is my work. What you're talking about now. So, so my way into what you are talking about, first of all, my gosh, so many lights just going off in my brain while you're speaking and in my body as well. And the thing is that I believe there is an I, it.

It just irreversible, an absolute link between the way we are mothered and the way we exist in early life and the way we then live our lives as custodians or not custodians of our natural world. I just think that link to me is so clear and that there's no way we can possibly look after our ultimate mother, the earth.

Yes. If we are not, yes. In healing with the way we were mothered. So there's this healing, the mother wound and healing, the. The relationship with the earth and our roles as custodians of the earth. Wow. Is so interlinked. I believe they are the same thing. So the work that I do is to heal women from depletion and trauma just quietly.

I haven't quite got to that bit yet, but I'm getting there and you know, like I'm building up to that. cause that's definitely what I've had to do and. by healing, the mothers, the literal mothers would then heal our relationship with the mother, the earth. Yeah, the real mother. Right. Which is a very first nations indigenous Aboriginal kind of concept that, that the earth is our mother.

Yeah. So I am not a first nations person. However, I am. The inheritor of intergenerational trauma around genocide. Yeah. So I have a natural kind of inclination towards understanding what that feels like. I haven't experienced it in my generation. It was two generations prior. I am not black. I have a lot of things about being a first nations person, indigenous person that I do not understand.

And I'm very, very humble about that. And I'm very clear about that, but I also feel a great affinity and understanding with people who are. and I always wanna amplify those voices and I always want to take as much of a role as I possibly can in allyship, in being an ally to those stories. And so it's a funny thing to kind of navigate.

Right. And, The book I wanna write is, is the book about how do we bring back? I wanna interview people like you. I want to interview Aboriginal people and first nations and indigenous people all around the world about how to support mothers and how they traditionally supported mothers and how they believe supporting mothers in the future will change our relationship with the ultimate mother with the earth.

Oh, so that's the book I'm about to write. I haven't, oh, God haven't really started yet. I sort of started, you thought your mind.

Yemi22:41

it's now just putting pen to paper, make it happen. It's yeah, it's

Alena22:44

there. It's coming. Excuse me. So I think, you know what you're talking about, that link between trauma and the way that we live and the way that we tread on this earth is absolutely strong.

And I just feel like they're the same thing. So yeah, it's no surprise to me that, that, that you. Deep in that. And I'm fascinated to hear more about what you discover. I mean, what are your findings so far? Tell me.

Yemi23:17

Hmm, if you can. Okay. No, I, I can. And to be honest, I, because I think this will be good for me as well.

On my social media platforms, I'm gonna just stop taking people on the journey, kind of like the most fascinating thing I've read, per week. Great. And having come back from holiday, I think, and going back into it, the different types and definitions of trauma, Whew. At first, I would've said complex and simple trauma, which they are typed.

So whether people who have little tea, correct. Exactly. And then as I start to read more, but now reading from indigenous scholars, it's the westernized definition of, of trauma. And then they've got historical trauma and they've got cultural trauma. So, and I, and I haven't figured out a name for that types of trauma.

but that's quite interest. and you know, and I, and I think I always get nervous about saying it because my research is inconclusive. I think even when I, no, it's in process four years. Oh yes. It will still be inconclusive people. I just, you know, I remember my supervisors asking, do you think you want to go into academia into industry?

I'm like, Industry. But then when I speak to people like yourself and others, you are researching all day. Every day we research when we read a book, when we I'm

Alena24:25

definitely a researcher.

Yemi24:26

Yeah. Hundred percent. Exactly. So I think it is a lifelong thing. Yes. I think those are the biggest things that, oh, the big, the biggest one with historical trauma.

And I wanna honor you for saying the things you said, which you may not even realize you said it, you. Without looking for a reward or a pat on the back, you expressed what allyship was. There was no shame. There was no guilt. You, you owned it. And I, gosh, that's important knowledge and on you for that. because yeah, yeah.

It even be there. I think we, you and I have more work to do so

Alena24:57

we do. Oh my gosh. We do don't we

Yemi24:59

do. We do. We do because oh, exciting. There's so many things you said that would just, but I think, yeah. With the trauma what's becoming really open is even though they're not using the word, it's the acknowledgement, the acknowledgement piece is really huge.

It's just being called something else. Yes. and I haven't figured out what that name

Alena25:17

that's so interesting. So I am a teacher, as well. I have an education qualification and. I am very interested in the, the role that education has to play in responding to culture. That's perhaps my most passionate topic in education that, and emotional, I guess, incorporating emotion and feeling into education and emotional intelligence.

Yeah. In the way that we educate and, aware, educating, you know, when we allow children and teenagers and. to experience feelings in the classroom is so powerful and so important. so they're, so they're the kind of things that I get really excited about. Now. I know that there are a lot of educators who are being mandated now to incorporate Aboriginal perspectives in education.

Okay. but they dunno how to do that. And they also are not necessarily. Healed or aware, or even pursuing awareness around the stuff we're talking about. So often there's that narrative of the, you know, just get over it. It was a long time ago, that sort of stuff around Aboriginal perspectives, which I always find incredibly challenging and.

We'd love to know how you respond to that. So, so when you get people say you come across someone in your research and, and you say I'm researching trauma or, and there's resistance to that idea. Do you think that's just part of that protective mechanism you mentioned a moment ago. Do you think, what, what do you think about that?

How do you respond to that? When someone sort of just. I guess dismisses this kind of conversation that we're having now around the importance of acknowledging and listening and researching and you know, what, how do you respond to that?

Yemi27:01

I think it's with most of the time, cuz I'm definitely not perfect and still learning it's empathy.

Yes. because unless most of us, I can't say all of us, most of us. Most of us were the things we dislike in life at some point. Yes, of course. And if we weren't and that might be hard for people to accept. And if we weren't, we know someone who we love dearly, who was yes. Yet we managed to love them.

Absolutely. And so there's, there's a part of me that genuinely. Sees a part of myself in the person who is resistant to get that because I, I was there once. And so the work I do, especially when it comes to coaching thought leadership, creating programs, I think that emotional intelligence you spoke about is really important for me.

you know, people talk about, you know, the flight freeze response. Yes. And I think there's another one. Forgotten or there there's always, oh

Alena27:55

yeah, there is. Isn't there now. Yeah. yeah. Flight freeze. Cause research

Yemi27:58

keeps on bringing up, but the, the flight, the flight where you just run away and for some people can be different for me.

I used to disassociate like, yes, I just literally changed the subject without even knowing. Yes. But I needed to do that as a safety. And so I think maybe they're doing that. yes. Sometimes it's too difficult to take another example. When you know, there's so much road kill certain parts of, of Australia, I'm driving through Tasmania in particular with my partner.

And I find, I cannot look at any animals who sadly have been hurt on the road. I. And so I sit with that emotion on myself thinking, well, if you can't even look, it's highly unlikely, you're gonna stop the car, get out and just check if that animal's okay or move

Alena28:42

it to the, yeah, I'm gonna rate

Yemi28:44

somebody else.

Who's stronger than me. Great analogy. And, and so. You know, I, I get it. I, I still dunno the answers and I, and I'm not worried. I'm a bit sad. It won't be in my lifetime, but I do the work that somebody else can carry is that it's, it's tough. And so my, my response is not to push it down their throat. Yes. And to just let it be because when they are ready, they will be ready.

Just like I became extremely ready. You know, three, four years ago to start telling my story. Yeah. And I've gotten more comfortable and I've gotten better at, at delivering the news. So it doesn't retrigger others who may resonate

Alena29:22

with it. Yes. Yes. Interesting. I, I love that and I think what's really fascinating about what you said.

Is that, that is a practice in itself to be able to listen and receive almost the opposite view to your own or the opposite perspective or any kind of polarization, to be able to sit with that. Yeah. And receive it and listen to it and respect it. Yeah. As that is where that person is at right now. And they are entitled.

Yeah. And it can be challenging. Yeah. But it's about, I think us being enough of a container. And again, I'm not a master at this. no master at this but I practice it quite consciously because I wanna be better. And I, I wanna be able to allow, and this is sometimes in your own, you know, in my marriage, I have to do this, you know, something challenging happening for my husband.

I wanna help, I wanna fix, I wanna change. I want, but he might need me to just be there and just allow the feeling. And that is a skill that, that holding space skill one that I, you know, am always approaching, I think. Yeah. And there's a really interesting other part of this, which is that certainly. In my path through all kinds of experiences in my life, there's been, sometimes we experience the polar opposite of what we desire.

Sometimes we experience, what we intuitively don't want or what we intuitively, is not helpful to us. Yeah. In order to define. That edge and that, you know, the pendulum swings all the way over there before it can come back through the middle and all the way over there and the direction of your dreams, you know?

Yeah. It's like sometimes you need to, and that certainly was right for me, you know, there was abuse and addiction and all kinds of things that came out of my shame and, and early life trauma and, you know, things that on the outset you wouldn't think would take a person down, but they took me down, you know?

Yeah. And it's really interesting. I think. I look at it now as something that defined the life I didn't want. Yeah. And, and it allowed me to be better at defining the life I do want, you know, and that's a really powerful thing. And I think. If you're going through shit, keep going. You know, it's that kind of like, sometimes we need to, and in fact now, and it sounds always really trite and cliche to say it now, I feel deep, immense gratitude for all the crap I went through because it kind of forged something for me.

And, yeah, that I need, you know, it always feels

Yemi32:00

uncomfortable to say that. And yes, you know, you said a few things and it's just kind of caught onto me, but. I don't wanna take it down a different realm and, and I wanna try and deliver things so it can reach as many people. But what you described is contrast, right?

It's absolute, it's absolute contrast. You knew what you wanted to do differently and better. Yeah. fundamentally from this experience, you really didn't want that happened. Yeah. And figured out, well, what's the antithesis for that. It's actually to create something like this and. And having heard a few people who aren't necessarily in the traditional trauma space from an academic it's, it's the contrast when you know what you don't want, you tend to figure out what you do want

Alena32:36

and don't get me wrong.

It doesn't, it doesn't downplay that when you are in that position, if you're in one of those situations that is spiritually, physically, emotionally dangerous. Yeah. It. It's awful and it's absolutely. and, and you need to find a way out. I'm not saying, you know, just stay there, keep going through it.

That's not what I mean at all. We need to own

Yemi32:56

that as well. I think you're right. And we do need to highlight. Cause I think some people think, oh, this, sometimes this can be overly toxic, positive psychology. It's not that it's, it's acknowledged that. We're just saying the minute you find that energy to get out of.

Please do, cuz we need you hundred percent. That's my call to people like we need, you don't wanna put pressure on you, but we need you. So

Alena33:16

yeah. And, and please, you know, cultivate some faith that, your life has a certain divine pathway and some of it will be. Incredibly unpleasant. You know, there is that Buddhist concept of like suffering is part of life and it is, we can't spend our whole lives feeling good and happy.

Yeah. It's not, it's not the human experience and it never will be. And I think when we do do that, we can limit very greatly our appreciation for the shadow, for the side of things that was difficult or uncomfortable or traumatic. Those things are important as well, you know? Mm. Those stories are important as well.

And I feel like that's also. Appreciating the underbelly of our history and the underbelly of, of so much of our cultural experience, you know, we need to look at it and value it. And yeah, it's so important to me, but I mean, I'm at the very beginning of talking about this in a real sense, I guess, and it it's, again, like you, I'm always learning to talk about it in different ways, cuz it's such a sort of, I dunno how to say it.

It's such a wishy washy kind of thing to talk about very deeply personal spiritual experiences in words. Yeah. Because it's so deeply personal.

Yemi34:20

It is. And this is where the, the, the gift of language comes is when we can find something. And that's why I love analogy because sometimes it just reaches maybe yes.

The back row of an audience that typically. Yes. but I think we do that. Continuing to have these conversations. Yes. Most of the time, I don't know what I'm gonna say. Yes, really when it comes out. And if I have a great post, like you, who's asking these like so and enriching questions you find out, so yeah, the, the journey can be sweet as well.

Alena34:45

Oh, I agree. Yumi so. I would love to know from you. You say you, you live in Sydney now, do you? I do. Yes. How wonderful. And you are currently working on a doctorate. Yes. You have a consultancy. Yes. You wrote a book. Can you tell me what your book was about?

Yemi35:03

so the book was titled, did you get the memo? Because I fucking didn't.

literally, that is the title. And it was, it was about the fact that when I relocated to Australian, you know, managed to sit down and realize, oh, there's a lot of shame here. I am about to get divorced. I got two kids are two different dads. It was, it felt like I was failing, but every now and again, I'd speak to people and.

You know, I thought I was following a particular memo, which was you get married 2.4 kids, white picket fence, get a nine to five job retire, try for one holiday a year. That's the memory that I was following, but it, it like, it didn't, it wasn't