Embodying your growth means that you’ve healed and shifted at a cellular level, that you don’t just know something cognitively, but that you can actually BE that person in your body.
In episode 23 of The Authentic Wife Show, you’ll learn ways to heal through your body so you can truly become everything you’ve learned by moving from your head to your heart. My guest is Michelle Grosser, a motherhood coach, litigator, and host of The Motherhood Podcast. She and I discuss healing through somatic experiencing. sitting in joy, and what she calls the five different personality patterns.
You can also watch today’s show on my YouTube channel!
(This is the largely unedited auto-transcription.)
Beth Rowles: [00:00:00] I am so happy to have Michelle here today. Michelle, we met when I was on your podcast. So I think that what you’re doing in the world is amazing. You are a. Lawyer, former lawyer, not wearing that so much. But you are such an achiever and it’s so cool. Like your, your website, your podcast, everything is so like professionally done and perfect , and, and I just love it.
Looks like you’ve been doing this forever. And they could just tell like, you’re an organized, awesome person, but now you’re working with parents. Right? Your motherhood coach. Yeah. How did you end up here? Yeah. School
Michelle Grosser: quite a transition. And I don’t even know if it really makes sense. I. Up here, but kind of my story.
So I spent the better part of the last decade as a, as an attorney, as a litigator, so a trial attorney, and then mid pandemic, like probably [00:01:00] a lot of you listening. I just had this like 3:00 AM moment where I. Kind of sat up in my bed and I’m like, Holy mo. Like, it just kind of hit me that all of the women in my circle, my friend group, my church, like every every group of women I’m around had the same story and struggle.
And it was just a lot of like, I feel like my marriage is on the rocks. I don’t know how to parent through pandemic and nobody does. So I can’t even, I don’t even know where to turn for guidance. I’m burnt out. I’m exhausted. I’m finding that I have no time for myself. I’m just, I’m just at my wits end.
And I really don’t know what it was, but it was just this inner tug pulling me to try to be part of a solution and fill some of that gap. And I had a lot of skills, not many of which transferred to really pouring into women and helping them. So I decided to as fate would have it, I just listened to a podcast and heard about this master coach.
Certification program that was opening up, I was like, wow, that would be [00:02:00] cool because I could really just learn some skills and have some tools in my toolbox to really help empower these women and equip them and, you know put some science behind, like the recommendations that I was giving them. And I heard that podcast on a Thursday and this program actually opened on the following Monday.
So like, the timing was crazy. It was a 10 month program and going into it, I, again, I was going in just to try to get these tools and I thought I was coming from a place. That was, that was pretty good. Like, I’m, like, I, I can’t think of, or I don’t know of, I’m not aware of any capital T traumas. I kind of got my stuff together.
I have my family, I have a good marriage, I have all this stuff. I’m just gonna go to like, I want skills and I go into this program, into this container, and my whole world is just turned. Upside down. And I just have incredible new awareness about myself and my nervous system and my past and my upbringing and how all of this is coming in and affecting my [00:03:00] marriage and my parenting.
So it’s been an evolution over the past few years. It’s been a beautiful journey. It’s been a 180. I am still practicing less, so I do get to use some of that. But my passion is really just in helping moms, particularly I coach millennial. And it’s really just life coaching. With a deep understanding of the fact that I’m in it side by side with them on the motherhood journey.
You know, I’ve had coaches before and I had one coach once. I remember I had small kids and she was like how would it feel to have like a 60 minute wind down, like before bed? And like that sounds amazing. If I told you I could commit to that, like you have no idea what it’s like to be a mom of a newborn.
That’s just not something I can commit to right now. Right? So just to be able to be coached, I think and be led in this journey by someone who’s in it with you, just a few steps ahead of you in some ways is is really powerful and empowering. Oh
Beth Rowles: yeah. I can’t even imagine six minutes to myself with a newborn.
Like that’s, that’s [00:04:00] insane. Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, I would love that sign. Sign me up for the like, baby doll baby who just automatically goes to sleep. That’s when I want them to, That’s on my schedule. Right, right. Oh, I love it. So isn’t that so true though? The coaching journey seems like it’s gonna be about skills and then it’s even, I had done a ton of work before I got certified and still in that pro like coaching is really a powerful if, if you, you know, whoever’s listening hasn’t experienced it.
Like it is a very powerful process to be coached. It’s. I had a client tell me it was 90 times more helpful than therapy. It’s just like a bigger transformation somehow. It’s very, it’s like magic. I remember doing a video like this is like magic to to talk to a coach. It’s a whole different thing. So that’s very cool that you were able to go through and get not only the tools, but your own transformation.
That’s [00:05:00] awesome.
Michelle Grosser: Yeah. And I think part of it too, kind of what what you’re referring to is that in order for us to be effective as coaches, we really do have to embody it. A lot of that’s true in parenting too, right? It’s like it’s hard to ask our clients to do these things if we haven’t been through them and embodied them ourselves.
Like there’s, there’s authority or connection that’s lost there. So yeah, to live it and do it and then be able to teach and coach through it is a whole different level.
Beth Rowles: Oh, yeah. No, people need to have somebody who has been through the. Struggle. Right. And it’s like knows, you know, once you do this, this is gonna happen.
And here’s what I did. , you know, even sharing some of those stories sometimes are helpful. Embodiment is so important. I think that a lot of people who begin the work get it cognitively. They get it up here, they think about it, but they don’t really do it. Has that been your experience? Like what, What does it mean to really embody.
Michelle Grosser: we’ve learned. [00:06:00] Yeah, so I mean, the way I like to think about it a couple ways. The first one is that it’s kind of that tip of the iceberg metaphor, right? We’ve all seen a picture. It’s like the tip of the iceberg is what we see above water. And you’re right, that’s like what’s going on all up here in our brain.
Like we can understand all the concepts, we can learn it, we can read the books and listen to the podcast and do all these things, but to actually be able to embody it and do it, Is everything that’s under the water, the huge part of the iceberg that’s under there, and that’s our body. Mm. And that’s why a lot of times people do traditional talk therapy.
Like we were talking when, yesterday, when we were recording for my pockets. It’s like I don’t want my clients to have to coach with me for six years. Like the point is I wanna be them to be able to embody these practices and learn and grow and then be able to carry them out on their own right. And a lot of times with tradit.
Talk therapy, that’s what’s missing. It’s like, you know, the practice of somatics and that’s that mind body connection work that I do. I mean, the word soma and Greek is just the wholeness of the body. So if [00:07:00] we’re just doing coaching or teaching, or even parenting, really just in the head. Which, which gets messy with us, right?
Like the head can trick us so quickly and we can spiral on this anxiety and the overwhelm and all this stuff that the head allows us to do. But when we really tune into the body and everything that’s going on and all the wisdom that our body holds from the neck down and have both work. Together, man.
That’s where the power comes. Like I can read, I don’t know, I can read a book about how to beat Serena Williams in tennis or something and understand like a forehand and a backhand and, and all of her weaknesses maybe, but a completely different thing to throw me on the court and expect my body to be able to do that.
Like this is a practice. So another, Thing I like to think of when I think about somatics and the mind body connection too, is that think of our bodies as like the little kitty pool that you have in your backyard, Like the kind that’s like filled up with a hose, right? Yeah. That’s our bodies, right?
And it’s a small little pool in our backyard. And then [00:08:00] imagine that that pool is just filled with a bunch of beach ball. And each one of those beach balls, it’s our life experiences. It’s, you know, big tea, little tea, trauma. It’s things that have happened since childhood, our in our lives. Right? It’s someone said something to us.
Someone did something to us the way our body reacted something and another ball gets thrown in and thrown in and thrown in, and then we get married and whoa, you know, someone just like dumps in a whole bag of balls into our pool, or we have a child and a ton. Life, Right? Just comes into our pool, and if we don’t do any somatic work, that pool being our body to grow the pool, our body, then all of those balls come in in one.
We can’t even move or operate because we’re so inundated with. Life that, that’s really hard to learn and see. And then figure out one, which of these ball, what balls do I have in here, first of all, right? And then second of all, which ones are serving me and I’m allowing to stay in here? Or which ones do I need to heal and grow through and [00:09:00] process and release so that I’m able to move around in this pool?
With a number of balls that are serving me. And the only way we grow that pool is by growing our somatic bodies, and it’s through somatic work. And then once we grow the pool, then we have space to go from ball to ball and decide, am I keeping this? Is it’s serving me, or is it something I need to heal and grow through and release because it’s no longer serving me?
But we can’t even begin that analysis until we have the somatic awareness and the somatic body to do. Mm.
Beth Rowles: I’ve never heard that metaphor before. I love that. Yeah. Like I could just picture somebody drowning . Yeah. A speech ball’s like, can’t lose that.
Michelle Grosser: Yeah. Like when like life’s just coming at you and you’re like, Ah.
Like I can’t take one more thing. Right now it’s being in that pool with a million balls and you can’t even see the sky.
Beth Rowles: Yeah, I remember when I was in a management class way back when I was in engineering, and my [00:10:00] friend boss at the time, he is like, I don’t like any of this touchy-feely stuff and I just wanna check out when I get to the touchy-feely stuff.
And then when I started my coaching certification, there was a guy in our class and the. leader was demonstrating like empathy and like mirroring and stuff, and he was so uncomfortable with it that he left. Mm. What do you think holds people back from going into their body? Like are there beliefs there?
Like what is it that feels shameful about? Understanding emotions and where we’ve been and where we’re going and, and what does that prevent us from doing,
Michelle Grosser: you know? Yeah. So I think our beliefs are a huge part of it. Right. And it’s just the paradigms that we have around emotions. I know, I remember before I really started this journey through coaching and, and all these things that I had I like had pride maybe.
And the fact that I was proud of the fact that I was like, Oh, I’m not like one of those emotional women. Like I, like I don’t, I don’t really cry. And I didn’t even [00:11:00] realize like, Whoa, that’s really messed up. Like that is a normal, acceptable response to certain stimuli. That’s how my body is wired and the fact that I don’t do those things is not the natural, strong, tough, good, quote, unquote way to.
Going through this journey of life. Right. And I think a lot of people think that, right? So I think that’s, that’s probably the first thing. And then I think the second thing is that we’re just not taught educated condition to understand the power that our body holds, the freedom that our body holds, even the energy that our body holds.
And a lot of times if I, you know, in a come across clients who are hesitant to. Let’s say anger work. And they’re like, No, it’s super uncomfortable. I mean, these patterns run deep and that’s, that’s part of another thing, right? We’ve been patterned to do things in a certain way for decades, probably. So to change that pattern, our, our, our brain is wired to keep us safe.
Anything new feels unsafe. So to do something like that, [00:12:00] it’s so easy for a body to wanna stay in its old shape and its old pattern, and to resist anything that’s new and scary. But like I was saying, with the. What I tried to get across to my clients is that it’s in there, right? You can deny it, you can not wanna do the work with it, but regardless, it’s in there, right?
Our as human beings, we’re in and out beings. The air, the ox, the air we breathe in, it comes out, the food we breathe in, food we take in, it comes out the liquids we drink, they come out, everything comes in and out. And the same is true with our emotions. So when that anger’s coming in, if you don’t have a practice in place to release it and a healthy, safe way whether that includes somatic work or some other modality to, to move that through your body, it’s in there and it’s gonna affect you.
So why not give it a. Right. Why not give it a shot and we’ll take it? So, and we’ll create a container that feels safe because nothing, no progress is gonna be made until your body, your nervous system, not just your mind, but your nervous system feels safe. And then [00:13:00] let’s give it a shot and see what happens.
Mm-hmm. . Um, But it’s very usual. It’s very common. I think that people, I mean, even when I started doing somatic work, I’m like, I was like the ultimate eye roller. I’m like, There’s no way. Like this is, it’s too good to be true. This feels very like woo woo to me and I’m not into this. Like, give me something with like, A like five steps and I, I would rather just go do that, right?
Like, I don’t wanna sit here and like do breath work and feel into my body and, and ask it what it’s telling me, and then give my emotions a color or shape. Like that sounds ridiculous, right? But I kept going and I just allowed myself to trust the process. And what I realized, it’s these. I think microsteps of growth all of a sudden, you know, my husband makes a comment and six months ago, that’s something that I would’ve maybe bit at and I would’ve responded a certain way, and now I hold it differently.
Or six months ago, my daughter taking five minutes to, you know, zip up her hoodie, would’ve like drived me nuts. And I’ve been like, Come here, let me put that on you. We gotta get going. And [00:14:00] now all of a sudden I could take a deep breath and. Do something in the kitchen and come back when she’s, when she’s done.
And I’m noticing that the, you know, that change in my shape, in my in, in my nervous system and my ability to react and respond in different ways is a result of the work that I’m doing in connecting with my body and rewiring my nervous system so I can hold more life.
Beth Rowles: Mm. Wow. It when I remember like 2012, I was sitting in my office and I was thinking about joy and trying to think of when the last time I really felt joy was, I was like, I, I couldn’t remember anything since I had been a little girl where I’d actually felt it.
Yeah. And I remember laying and just like laying in the floor, like, how do I feel? Something like, how do I can’t feel? I’m so, we. Get so guarded and shut off from our emotions. Did you find that the somatic work that you were doing, that sitting, asking your body what at once, was it easy for you to then [00:15:00] tap in through that work?
Or was it still a challenge to kind of open your
Michelle Grosser: heart? Yeah, that’s a great question. I think it’s actually BNE Brown that’s done a lot of work on it that I’ve run. But essentially like our nervous system, if it’s going, if it’s overstimulated, right, and we’ve been living for years. Fight or flight or whatever, and our nervous system does what it, what it has to do for us to survive.
A lot of times what it does is shut down or mute our ability to feel right? Mm-hmm. so it doesn’t decide to only mute the pain and the anger and the, you know, all of that, all of that hurtful stuff. It also mutes the other feelings that we can experience, like the joy and the happiness and all this stuff.
So you’re right, if one is being suppressed, it’s all being. And it’s funny you say Joy because my husband and I, every year we choose a word of the year and that’s gonna be like one year I did like the word accelerate. This was like in the pandemic, and I just meant like ramp up my business, that that went to that, what I thought.
And little did I know, like the world was shut down and I would become a [00:16:00] runner. And literally like I couldn’t run 10 minutes, I think before the, before the pandemic. And then through it I became, A runner to for survival, . Oh. And I was like, wow. Accelerate. Like it took on a new form this year, my word has been boldness and it’s just been like crazy.
What I’ve done business wise and all these things that, just, that word in my head all year, like boldness. Boldness has really pushed me. But I’ve already decided my word for 2023 and it is Joy. Oh. And it’s because, Exactly for that. Like, I’m like, man, I want to build in even more practices than I have now to experience joy.
Like I have joy alarms on my phone that go off three times a day. Really? And when they ring I, wherever I am, I express it in different ways. Sometimes if I’m just in the car, it is like one minute that I’ll just play my favorite song and dance like a fool and put the, you know, the roof open and I’ll just.
Allow myself to linger, enjoy, because [00:17:00] previously I could land a new client and. In my, like, you know, previous life that brought me joy, but it brought me joy for six seconds and then I had to move on to the next task and the next goal. And learning to sit in that learning to sit in pleasure and time with my children.
Quality time with my husband, learning to sit in joy. That is a practice for me. That was a practice that was so new. Sometimes it’s, you know, just sitting down and really allowing my body to experience g. Because gratitude is not saying thank you. Right? Gratitude is an embodied experience to really just sit there and like, think about my four year old and like how grateful I am for like her little blonde curls and her smile and just everything she’s taught me and like allow myself to sit in that for a few minutes and then go on with my day.
It’s a practice. It’s beautiful. I
Beth Rowles: am gonna steal that. Joy alarms . As you know, we talk [00:18:00] about energetic coherence in the third month of my program, and that’s exactly what is that shift, that taking the time to move up into joy or happiness. I love that. So smart.
Michelle Grosser: Yes. And those are just patterns, right?
Like it’s a new pattern that we’re creating, a new way that we want our brain to function a new a little path that we want those neurons to travel. And I want mine to go and know how to go to Joy.
Beth Rowles: Ah. And you’re absolutely right about gratitude being an embodied experience, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I feel like we can embody.
It’s such an instant shifter. I don’t know how many times where I start to feel depressed or low, and all I focus on is gratitude For a minute it’s like, Oh yeah, thanks. Not so mad like, life is so good. I just wasn’t focusing on the good. Sure. Did you couple your practice of somatics with meditation?
Did you do like mindfulness work as well?
Michelle Grosser: Yeah. Okay. That’s a huge part of it. [00:19:00] So meditation body scanning, breath work, just anything that allows you to quiet your mind and just tune into your. For a moment is really how any somatic work is gonna start. Because until we’re in tune or able to notice, like everything around us, right?
Wow. I can feel, you know, the air conditioning blowing on my neck. I can feel my legs sitting on this chair and my feet touching the ground. I can feel, as we started this interview, my heart racing a little bit, right? Yeah. Just that energy there. Until we can notice any of that, you know, quiet our. Enough to be able to notice any of that.
Then we can work with what’s presenting. Ah,
Beth Rowles: I love it. And that part is so important. , the quieting the mind cuz we can get caught up in those stories and go into fear. I love this, I love the work that you’re doing. This is what you do with your clients, really help them to do the emotional work and the embodiment work.
Michelle Grosser: Yeah. Yeah, I do. It’s a [00:20:00] big part of my practice and part of it is because I’ve just seen, experienced and, and really believe that we can’t work with part of the body, right? If we’re going to see real change, it co it has to be a mind body connection. Our nervous system, working with the things that we’re learning and understanding and comprehending, and then both of them working in tandem for us to be able to.
Things differently. Like a lot of with somatics too, it’s like I have this idea of who I wanna be or what I wanna be able to do, and we have to be able to connect the body with that idea to be able to effectuate that and really be able to live it out.
Beth Rowles: Do you find that, that like figuring out who we wanna be Hmm.
And connecting our body to it. Is that something that helped you? Because I know you’re an engram three, you’re an achiever. Was there some idea of success in your mind that has changed as you’ve done this work? Like when you actually sit down and think about who you wanna be, did that give you [00:21:00] like some freedom to not.
Do so much and and accomplish
Michelle Grosser: so much big time. Big time. I mean, I hadn’t even understood the fact that I was a human being and not a human doing before I started this work. Right? And the more I actually learned about myself and the more I grew to. Love myself on a deeper level and see how my we talked about personality patterns a little bit yesterday, but how my personality pattern, which was showing up as the rigid pattern was actually just, I thought that was just how I was, right?
Like, I, I do things, I show up. I am my work. Like you gimme something to do. It’s, I’m, I’m the overachiever. You can count on me. I’m gonna get the other people in, in, in involved. I’m such a great encourager and, and, and I love that team aspect that a lot of those. Traits were actually things that I’d picked up as survival mechanisms Yes.
Through my growth. So just learning and understanding that and [00:22:00] being able to change my paradigm around what I need to do to be loved, which is, Exist. That’s it, right? There’s nothing else that I need to do to be loved. I need to exist. And really allowing myself to remove a lot of that pressure that was self placed and self-inflicted through years of, you know, society and family and schooling and all of the things of life has opened up so much freedom and changed my whole pace and also truly impacted my parenting.
Beth Rowles: Oh yeah. Yeah. To be able to not put that onto our kids and know just to, I know when I was learning child development and about the different stages and chakras and all that stuff, and I’m like, Oh my God, I gotta really get it together for four through seven. Or they’re gonna be like this . Like, just to be aware that those, just those little messages we can send our children.
Are can be devastating. So you mentioned being the rigid personality type and I know you know a lot about personality types. I [00:23:00] think you even have a quiz on your website. Right. Can you tell me a little bit more about those? Cause I’ve heard of these, it’s like character structures before, but I think you have a very cool take on them.
Michelle Grosser: Yeah. So they’re actually one of my favorite things. Mm-hmm. , when you find these things that are kind of nerdy, but they, like, for some reason they light you up so much. Like, this is mine. I, I could talk about personality patterns. Still the cows come home. Oh. But there’s five different personality patterns.
Okay. Patterns. And they’re different from like, we’re talking. Well, the Engram, okay. Myers-Briggs or another personality test you would take because those kind of place you into a type I am a three on the engram, but with the personality patterns, they’re not actually types, but they are defense patterns that we drop into when our nervous system is feeling.
Overwhelmed or stressed. So subconsciously, this is just what our nervous system has known and is able to resort to when it’s feeling stressed. So sometimes that pattern is running the show, oftentimes, [00:24:00] probably, and we’re not even aware of it because we’ve been doing it almost our whole life. So the five patterns, the first pattern is the leaving pattern.
And that you might notice that you tend to fall into this pattern. If you’re someone, when you feel stressed or overwhelmed, your inclination right away is to just dip out. I’m gonna leave, I gotta get away. Like that voice starts coming up, like, I gotta get out, I gotta get away, I gotta get away. Then you probably tend to fall into the leaving pattern when your system’s overwhelmed.
And then the next pattern’s, the merging pattern. And you might notice you have this pattern if when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, you tend to all of a sudden shift all of your energy into how you can help and serve others or what they can do for you. Right? And that’s the merging part.
It’s that like, I’ll, I’ll only get my fulfillment or my needs met through others. I’m not able to do that for myself. Another pattern is the enduring pattern. So that pattern you, you might notice that that’s your pattern when you’re getting overwhelmed or [00:25:00] stressed. If you just tend to like, you feel stressed and you hunker down and you just endure and make it through, you wanna fly under the radar.
And just like not be seen and hold out until it ends. And then there’s an aggressive pattern if you get overwhelmed or stressed and you notice that all your energy is going out to others. But it’s a lot of blame or control or aggression, anger being expressed outwardly. Then you probably tend to run the aggressive pattern.
Mm-hmm. . And then the last pattern is the rigid pattern, and that’s the one that I would notice that I would fall into. The first four patterns typically result from some sort of trauma really early in life for the leaving pattern. It could even be. In utero or during childbirth, a lot of people that run that pattern have experienced some sort of traumatic childbirth.
They’ll go back and talk to their mom and their, and either she experienced something when she was pregnant or their birth had to be like an emergency C-section or something like that. And the, your spirit just never really felt comfortable or welcome in the body. And that’s why [00:26:00] you tend to wanna get away when you’re feeling stressed.
But the pattern that I. The rigid pattern and I, I catch myself now because I have an awareness, but the minute I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed, and life as a mom, Wife, attorney, coach, like it just happens and I’ll catch when I start to slip back into it, and my survival pattern is just to look to the rules and order and what everyone else is saying needs to be done instead of ever connecting with my own intuition.
You know, self-referencing when I make decisions. All of that was something really new for me. So the mind body connection, somatic work breath work, embodying joy, embodying gratitude, all of that pushes against my pattern and helps to heal all of that, re the rigidity of that pattern and really allow me to tru.
Live, you know, authentically and, and who I am without the survival pattern running the show. Wow.
Beth Rowles: Yeah. Thank you for sharing all those. I’ve, like I said, I’ve heard of them as character structures [00:27:00] before. It’s very cool to think about them as defense patterns. And I think, don’t they also, like I’ve heard that if you tend to be like, say rigid, then your body actually holds a different posture.
Then like as I’ve seen pictures, like we can identify what you are , by
Michelle Grosser: the way, you Fascinating. Yeah. So you, anyone listening that’s like, this is so interesting, or I’m curious what pattern I run. Michelle grosser.com/quiz and you can take the quiz there. It’s just a few minutes, but one of the questions is, What, which of these pictures best represents or most closely represents your body shape?
And the thing with these patterns is that it is, it’s all about energy. How we store energy when we’re stressed and how energy flows, right? So with the rigid pattern, energy will come up and then, because I’m very judgmental towards myself, my emotions, whatever it gets. At my mouth and never comes out.
Right? Or the aggressive pattern, all the energy’s out towards [00:28:00] everyone else. So you’ll notice that people who tend to have a leaving pattern, their bodies tend to be very they have like a very small frame and they’re kind of like wavish and wiring. People with the enduring pattern, they tend to be like shorter and stockier and Yeah.
Cuz they endure, They hold in at you. Yeah. And they hold in all that energy. So people with the emerging pattern, they tend to be like softer and rounder because they’re the caretakers, they’re the, you know, they, they, they wanna hold all of that for everyone else that, that warm grandmother that just kinda hugs everyone in.
And I, I’m sure. To some extent is a, a generality, but man, for the amount of times that I’ve seen the body shape match up with someone’s personality pattern, it’s, it’s kind of bonkers. .
Beth Rowles: Yeah, it’s, I think it’s really cool. I also read that there is, for the rigid, there’s also like a counterpart to it, the hysteric.
Which occurs more in women. And, [00:29:00] and I thought a fascinating thing about that one is like they tend to have like curvy bodies with big hips . I was like, what is how interesting , that’s what
Michelle Grosser: it’s, Yeah. It’s really fascinating.
Beth Rowles: Very, because I think that the, like once you, even knowing that and then knowing how important it is to recognize that that’s your pattern.
They, you’ve got like all those beach balls in the pool, you need to go do this somatics work. You need to go address those repressed emotions, right? Cause then you can actually make changes. You said that as the rigid, like your mode of survival is rules and what is everybody else doing and not relying on your intuition.
What has helped you reconnect to that intuition? Or at least like let go of this need to. Other people tell you like, this is exactly what to do, or this is how you fix it. Because as parents, I think we’re so tempted to go to what [00:30:00] does the child development guide say? Like, what does the expert say instead of, What do I feel, you know, my child needs right now?
How did you reconnect to that?
Michelle Grosser: I think the biggest, the first step and maybe even the biggest step is probably just awareness, and I think. Before I wasn’t even aware that I was doing these things or my pattern or how disconnected I was from my body and my intuition. So once I gained that awareness, I was able to, Pause, Right, And check in.
Without that awareness, like you can’t intervene in a world you can’t see, you know, you can’t change something you’re not aware of. So once you have that awareness, once I have that awareness just pausing and then it really is just a practice. That I have been doing and I’m still doing. It’s, it’s a journey of just really getting in touch with my body, learning to trust my body, learning to understand how it’s communicating with me.
It’s always communicating with me, right? My shoulder’s hurting for a [00:31:00] minute, feeling something in my back. My heart starts racing sweaty palms. My, my leg is jit, like jittery at the dinner table. It’s communicating with me all the time. And when we’re stuck in. Western, 21st century mom, wife, boss mom, whatever world, we don’t have time to notice any of that or deal with it, or we don’t even understand what it is that’s going on.
Right. We just ignore it. So awareness and then really growing and understanding, working with coaches and understanding the practice of like, Learning how my body communicates with me and then how my body best likes to release that energy so I can grow my pool and just hold more life and operate from that calm, grounded, centered place, which is really, I think, how all of us wanna be able to, To operate.
Beth Rowles: You said that so clearly , I’ve tried to explain this to clients before and be like, Well, you do like this, this, this. It’s a dope. You’re right. It’s really just [00:32:00] awareness and listening to your body and what it’s feeling. Cuz all those emotions are guidance, right? I don’t What do you, Is that how you teach about emotions and how people understand what, what they want?
Circum to what we’re
Michelle Grosser: talking, I think to a certain extent, their guidance, certainly how they express somatically is guidance, right? So the things that we would feel or notice or sense, that’s guidance. But emotions are also very, Normal, very expected responses, nervous system responses to what’s going on around us.
Like it’s a very expected response that when X happens, my body will feel y. And so many times just giving my clients that permission that this is normal and you’re not doing anything wrong and you’re not, you’re not weak, you’re not missing the point, you’re not a bad mom, you’re not a bad wife. When someone says this and your body responds like that, that’s totally normal and expected.
Like, that’s okay, and we’re gonna learn ways and I’m [00:33:00] gonna give you tools and you’re gonna practice them where you’re gonna notice it, and then be able to move that emotion out, release it so you can move on.
Beth Rowles: Wow. What would you tell somebody who’s in the middle of a conflict? You know, I work with wives and a lot of times their husbands come to them with a great deal of fear and get very defensive, and they’re like right in the middle of that conflict.
Is there anything that you work with people on, like in the moment, calming that nervous system?
Michelle Grosser: Yeah, so the first thing is exactly that. Nothing good is going to happen until you’re regulated. Mm-hmm. , right? Because literally that learning part of your brain that is allow. Yourself to see something from someone else’s perspective or think of options and ideas for resolving conflict is just shut down, right?
And that reptilian Hulk mode is on, and nothing good is gonna come from that because you’re just simply reacting and there’s no response. So what I coach my clients to say, Catch yourself. That’s the first thing, right? Catch yourself. I know I’m [00:34:00] agitated and we talk about being in a green light, yellow light, or red.
Zone of regulation, right? Mm-hmm. . So if you’re climbing into that yellow or you know, you’re about to go to red, and again, it’s awareness and a lot of that is sematic cues. So when I start to become dysregulated, what are the things that my body does? Oh, I noticed this tightness in my throat. Oh, I noticed that my hands will tensor, whatever it is for you, right?
It’s noticing that catching yourself. And then in the heat of the moment, looking at your partner, hey, say it’s me and Jeff. Jeff, I love you. I love myself. I’m gonna take 20 minutes and we’ll come back and talk about this. Mm. And I think that’s a beautiful way to just put a pause there and then we’ll separate.
And again, like all of this stuff, this is a practice and a journey and it takes time. We’re much better at doing that now than we were. Seven years ago. But it’s been a beautiful journey. And now we both have practices in our pocket to regulate. Jeff loves to walk. He’ll just go walk around the neighborhood and come back.
And his [00:35:00] whole, you know, persona, energy, everything is different. I noticed that my body really calms well with breath work, maybe tapping just like being with my kids sometimes calling a best friend, jumping, you know, taking a hot shower. You can try all of these. Practices and then note, note, try them.
Otherwise, not in the moment, right? But you try them at other times when you’re feeling agitated, when you’re driving, right. Today I’m gonna try this that my coach said, Right? Help me until you have three or four in your back pocket that are your go-tos. And the point with is these regulation resources is that they should be quick 30 seconds, right?
One minute. You should be able to get your nervous system from a red light back to a green light where you can operate and think. And then. Another part of that too is if that’s something that’s coming up often. With your partner or just in life, you find yourself moving from a green light to a red light fairly quickly.
That happens to a lot of us, right? Like men, I can get, I can just turn [00:36:00] on so quick and become dysregulated so quick. Is really a practice of growing that window of tolerance, growing what you’re able to. In your pool, how many beach walls you’re able to hold in your pool without getting dysregulated.
And I like to do this practice with my clients called e. Where literally I just have them drop in and I drop them through this meditation essentially, where I have them think of something that gets them super dysregulated, something really painful that makes them angry, whatever. It’s, they don’t, they don’t even have to tell me what it is, but I keep pushing it and magnifying it and growing it in their mind until they tell me I’m at a red light.
I am so dysregulated right now. Like they, they either start crying, I see their body shaking tenses, and then we work through different regulation resource. To get them back to a green, and what that does is twofold. One. It grows that window of tolerance. They push themselves to the edge and then come back.
And every time they do that, their edges expand, they can hold more. And then it’s really like playing with your nervous system. [00:37:00] And then second, they start to learn what kind of things bring them from red to green so they can start practicing and getting comfortable with those the practice of them and then also their nervous system.
Ah, this is what we’re doing now. Mm, this feels safe. This feels good. This brings me back down to a regulated place where I can use. , all of the things I’ve been working all my life to, to get right. My maturity, my responsibility, my rational thinking, my problem solving, my critical thinking to have access to all of that.
Beth Rowles: gosh, that’s cool. I’ve heard of doing that in like somatic experiencing that that’s a part of it. It’s you you don’t, you probably don’t work with like trauma when you do.
Michelle Grosser: Sometimes, mm-hmm. If it gets a big key trauma, I should say. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , A lot of it depends on how much work the client’s already done and how comfortable they are accessing that trauma.
I do a lot of trauma work, but there are trauma cases that come through that I refer out to. Right. The specialists and the big guns who are, who are way more qualified on that work. Yeah. [00:38:00] Like em,
Beth Rowles: they, I recommend EMDR a lot. That’s one. That’s good. I’m curious, do you wish that you had known all this when, like when you were just full-time lawyer?
Cuz I feel like in the court, I don’t know exactly what you do. like, Yeah, I’ve watched these lawyers do stuff. I’m like, how do they stay calm while they’re like arguing this thing? Like, how did you do it before?
Michelle Grosser: I think I think my answer is actually. No, because I think part of this practice and this journey for me and where I’m at now is just understanding that everything is perfect.
Yeah. Everything is perfect and it’s timing. Everything is perfect as it is, and the fact that I didn’t have maybe words or wasn’t so aware of what I was doing at that time, you know, one, there’s, it’s done. There’s nothing I can do. Go back to changing. I can use what I know now going forward and just believing.
God’s perfect timing, and I got through that time and I trust that I said the things I needed to say, and I did the [00:39:00] things I needed to do and, and let that go. But man, like the, the, the bag of tools that I have now is so much bigger. Like I can be such a greater force for good in this world with the things that I’ve learned.
They say Right when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And I probably was not ready seven, eight years ago to do the work that I’ve been doing. So now I am, Now I know. Now I, you know, no more, no better do better, right? So now that I know better, I can do better parenting, my marriage, my friendships with my parents, my siblings in my workplace.
But it’s all gotten me here as it was. Yeah,
Beth Rowles: it’s always, it’s absolutely a hundred percent true that you’d have to trust your timing. And I feel like, you know, I was thinking that you’d be in stressful situations in the courtroom, but there is like no more stressful situation than. Like a toddler who wanted to push the buttons and you like the other kid do it, right.[00:40:00]
Michelle Grosser: So it’s way harder to a lawyer and I’m so much more invested, you know, like I, my clients pay me and I take it very seriously. But pales in comparison to raising. Yeah. Which is why sometimes, you know, so many moms come to me with mom guilt. It’s like, almost like a term that everyone just throws around these days, Mom guilt.
And like, the first thing I say is like, you, you, you feel that we’ll work through it. I have steps and frameworks, and we’re gonna get through all of this. Yeah. But you feel that way because you, you’re such a good mom, because you care so much. Yes, Sure.
Beth Rowles: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I love that you’re helping people that I was just talking to a client about that last night, like the the mom guilt when we have to hold limits because we tend to, like if our parents were very structured, we tend to go to like very lenient.
And if they were the other way, then we tried to go to structure and we’re like, Where’s the middle ground? So this tapping into your body has gotta really [00:41:00] help them to trust, you know, okay, this is the way this, this one feels well with my soul. Kind of, you know, parenting then. And trying to follow.
Michelle Grosser: Probably a lot of the work you do too with conscious parenting is like really embodying that. There is no way some way, like there’s, there’s things that are better to do than others, but man, every family dynamic is so different. Every mom, every child, like I even parent my two kids differently because they’re different human beings.
They require different things of me, they teach me different things. So just surrendering a lot of. Is is part of the work.
Beth Rowles: Surrender is the work. , motherhood, surrender and grieving every day cuz they’re different than they were the day before. There’s just surrender to all of it, isn’t it? Michelle, I love this.
You’re so smart and I love what you’re doing with women. Tell people where they can find you. I know you mentioned it earlier. What do you want them to go look at and how can [00:42:00] they learn more?
Michelle Grosser: Yeah, so they can go on my website. It’s just my name, michelle grosser.com. The quiz is there, so if they’re interested in learning more about their pattern once you get your quiz result, you can really read about your pattern and how you might have, how it might be showing up, how you might have gotten into it.
But the key with that pattern is once you notice it, how to get out of it. And there’s like some quick tips in. About how to really get outta your pattern if you notice that you’re in it. They can follow me on Instagram, Michelle gross.coach. And then I also have a podcast that you have been a guest on that episode will be forthcoming.
It’s called the Motherhood Podcast with Michelle Grosser, and it’s available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Beth Rowles: Awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to be here. Michelle’s also been helping people in Florida cuz that’s where you are who have been affected by the hurricane.
She’s put on her lawyer hat and is helping them. She’s got a beautiful big heart. I just love it. Thank you for sharing yourself with the
Michelle Grosser: world. Been my pleasure to be [00:43:00] here. Thank you. I appreciate you.
More About This Guest:
Michelle is a motherhood coach and host of The Motherhood Podcast. Michelle spent the better part of the last decade in the courtroom as a trial attorney, and from the outside looking in, she had it all together. But in reality, she was exhausted, overwhelmed, and burned out. So, she flipped the script, became certified as a Master Coach, and is now on a mission to help other women redefine motherhood. She deeply believes that the most profound thing we can offer our children is our own healing. Through somatic and neuroscience-based modalities, she coaches women through discovering what’s beneath their triggers and emotions, so they can begin their healing journey and find peace in the present. She and her husband Jeff have two daughters and live in Miami, FL.
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