Tending Your Self-Relationship through Values & Shadow Work

Tending your self-relationship through values & shadow work helps you engages the roots of your motivation and how you live your life. Our values form the basis of our core motivations. Shadow work helps us acknowledge and heal the wounds that inhibit awareness and access to our full self. While we live in a world full of obstacles to self-expression, this work will always be an ongoing process. By engaging focused value and shadow reflections, we can better align our actions with what really matters most to us, nurture important relationships, and live purposefully.


Valerie Friedlander 0:00
Hello, my friends and welcome to another episode of unlimited today we are talking about tending the roots of self relationship through values and Shadow Work. Values and Shadow Work are two core components to understanding our self. They emphasize the layers of motivation that move us through the world and not just influence our relationship with ourself, but thereby also influence our relationships with everyone and everything else. Because as I’ve mentioned before, our relationship with our self is the foundation for our relationship with everything else in our life. If you’ve listened to pretty much any other podcast episodes, you’ve probably heard me talk about values because it is a core component of the work I do. And I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest today because it is also a core component of her work. And I heard her on a podcast years ago now and was like, Wow, this woman is amazing. I would love to talk with her. And then I just didn’t because of all the amazingness I got a little overwhelmed. And yes, I was just talking about not pedestal and people, but we’re all human. And there’s a lot of that energy. Well, anyway, I had the opportunity to be in a community with her recently and was like, Oh my gosh, would you be willing and she was like, absolutely. And I’m so glad that that connection happened because this conversation was just a joy, and I’m excited to share it with you. So let me introduce her to you. I’m speaking today with Erica Courdae who is committed to shifting focus, power and resources to support individual healing to foster a thriving community collective. She takes action through being an author, coach, mentor, speaker and 25 plus year beauty industry veteran. In 2018, Erica co founded the pause on the play podcast, which also expanded to include a consultancy. Eric has wisdom has been featured on podcasts, workshops, books, stages, and online communities with a combined reach of over 50,000 people. Her first book, who are you a shadow work journal for self exploration Volume One is available now. Some of what we talk about on this episode are exploring values for the foundation of your decisions and relationships. Making values actionable and measurable, to ensure alignment to be able to receive feedback and see are you actually living in your values because our intent and our impact are not the same thing. And this is especially true when we’re talking about organizations, whether it is our own personal business or whether it is the space that we are in values work is ongoing. It is a nonlinear journey that involves seeking into our shadow. You will notice that in this conversation, how we keep picking things back up as it seems like maybe we moved to a different focus, we always come back around and pick something up because it’s almost like this circle journey, rotating coming back around and how important it is to remember that it’s not a linear journey. And that is ongoing because it is so important that we do intentionally come back to this work as well as overcoming fear and false security to genuinely lean into healing and growth with courage. I’m so excited to share this with you. Before we jump in. I want to remind you that this is a listener supported podcast there is a link in the show notes if you’d like to support the show anything is greatly appreciated. Be sure to sign up for my email list as well for some bonus content. I’ve started including a little video from either my guest if I have one or from myself if I did a solo episode. So if you want a little extra about this particular episode, make sure you’ve signed up I send the email out about a week after the release of each episode. And if you would like to send me a message I love to hear from you and there is a cool feature now where you can text me technically it goes to my email but for you at sending attacks Next, and I would love to hear your thoughts. You can also send me a DM on social media, or send me an email. And now without further ado, let’s get started. Hey there, I’m Valerie Friedlander, Certified Life business alignment coach, and this is unlimited. This podcast bridges the individual and the societal, scientific and spiritual, positive and negative, nerdy and no, there’s just a lot of nerdy. come on board. And let’s unlock a light. This is badass as you are.

Valerie Friedlander 5:42
Welcome, Erica, I’m so excited to have you on unlimited.

Erica Courdae 5:45
I am so excited to be here. Thank you, Valerie.

Valerie Friedlander 5:48
Absolutely. So let’s start off with this question about what is a limit that you took for granted that you have since unlearned?

Erica Courdae 6:01
I have unlearned and I’m continuing to unlearn a limit to my capacity for rest.

Valerie Friedlander 6:07

Erica Courdae 6:09
I was, like kind of raised from family of origin and societally to work a lot. And to hustle and the 25/8 of everything. And I have hit a point in my life to where I’m like, No, number one, my body is just like, Absolutely not, this is not how this works. And from a generational perspective, it is very much a deconditioning of the exhaustion that has been passed down. And me happening to be the one I guess that is taking this on. And my ability to rest when I need it. And to not wait before the exhaustion fully has depleted me has has taken a lot. Because before it was just like no, rest can’t rest I have things to do. And now it’s like, rest is nothing to do.

Valerie Friedlander 7:08

Valerie Friedlander 7:08
Yes, yes, rest is absolutely a thing to do. I’m gonna say that again. And I feel like that also really brings us very beautifully right into what I wanted us to talk about today, which was integrating values and understanding our values and our relationship to our values. And so often people value things like productivity, and you know, all of the other busy things accomplishment, all the things that almost seem like, well, that’s why we say we can’t rest. So I would love for you to first of all, share a little bit about yourself and your relationship to values work.

Erica Courdae 7:54
Absolutely. So it’s a lot of what I do. And my company Eric accord a LLC, as far as mentorship and coaching and supporting, writing, all of the aspects of that it definitely shows up and, and a lot of it really shows up beautifully. In the worth of my business partner, India, Jackson. And I do and pause on the play. We have a values workshop called from implicit to explicit. And that really came about because for years as entrepreneurs and business owners, we were just like, everything is telling me that I need to have this ideal client avatar, which is really a Frankenstein monster of a client. It’s not a real person. It’s this like archetype based on societal indicators. You are 28 to 35, you’re a nurse, you read this magazine, you make this amount of money, you wear this kinds of clothes, you you know it, this is how many kids you have. This is what kind of car you drive. And it’s this false amalgamation. And it’s not a human. And because it is constructed the way that it is, and it’s prescribed to us to construct it in this way. We’re often leaving people behind, and including the wrong people. Because we’re not going with values we are going with, how they spend their money. We are going with what we assume about them, based on where they live, where they work, how they spend their money, how old they are, what the color of their skin is, what size they are these things that have absolutely nothing to do with what they actually valued. And so for us, we were just like not only are these harmful, and appropriative and racist, we were just like, we cannot prescribe this and now we understand why we could not like we would just always have that like, doesn’t feel right but we just couldn’t put our finger on and we were like now we get it. So we created something that is more about attracting and repelling based on values, which means that you are getting people to actually connect and collaborate based on what matters to them do’s and don’ts, wills and won’ts. And it’s much more aligned, it’s much more ethical. And it allows for people to be able to evolve and to be who they are, and not be like, Oh, well, I’ve aged out, you’re not talking to me anymore, or I don’t live in this area, this isn’t for me, you are able to follow what your values have reminded you is important and actually, you know, takes you in the direction of the impact you want to create, which is what’s important.

Valerie Friedlander 10:40
That makes me think very much about how can you speak to what people are looking for versus what people are afraid of. There’s that whole marketing thing about, like, poke on the pain and been so opposed to that. And then also, what you’re describing is the fact that you use a Frankenstein monster, I have a thing about zombies. I really, I don’t do zombies. And so like, Yes, I mean, Frankenstein is essentially like a zombie, right, like, and so anyway, I’m like, Oh, well, no wonder I am not a fan of the avatar for business because I don’t like zombies so much. But would you tell us because I mean, I do a lot of values work. I love values work. It’s one of the core things that whether we directly go into it or go about it, like kind of around what’s coming up, I dig into, but I’d love to hear your take on. When you say values, what are you talking about?

Erica Courdae 11:42
For me, it is… What is it that contributes to the foundation of all the decisions that you make? What is it that contributes to the way that you maintain friendships? The way that you spend your money? Yes, is one aspect of it. And it’s an interesting one, just because people will think, Oh, well, I don’t shop in this one place. And that’s a very surface level, if you continue to pull back the layers and kind of do one of those coaching kind of not tricks, but tactics, I’ll call it of like, the five why’s and like you keep asking why? To see what you get to, you know, if you think about money, it’s like, Well, okay, well, why, what else? Well, because I want to shop more ethically why? Well, actually, because I want to shop less as a whole because I value experiences more. Why? Because when everything else is gone, what I’ll have are the memories and the time that I spent with people. So that is really where that kind of goes to. And I think what happens is is again, societally we’re prescribed as to what it is. And we’re really trying to get to our own core. We’re really trying to get to that root. And it requires us to not go with the least viable product as the answer. And to keep going deeper, because we are given so much of what people from a systems perspective want us to believe, to keep things going, which doesn’t serve us. So we have to push the envelope in that way.

Valerie Friedlander 13:22
Yeah, I love that you said, how it forms our friendships. Because we may have those surface level disagreements, but it’s those deeper things that make a difference. I remember a sociology professor that I had in college talked about. It’s not the big political questions, like political orientation questions or whatnot that will determine whether a marriage survives, it’s where you squeeze the toothpaste. It’s like the little habits. And I think that speaks to like, it’s not those things that you think to ask. It’s those underneath things of how you show up in the world and with other people. And so what friendships are actually sustained and what ones you move on from?

Erica Courdae 14:14
Well, and that’s part of the fact that over time, like if you hit, if you’ve ever had a friendship, where you one day, we’re just like, Yeah, this this isn’t working anymore. It likely wasn’t a big blow up that got you there. There was just that kind of final little strand that had just finally was like, it’s broken. That’s it. And it often is something that just feels like the final dismissal or the final time that you are okay with somebody just not witnessing who and how you are the last time that you were willing to feel invalidated. And it isn’t somebody’s: I don’t believe in you, it’s that thing of just like, I asked you to do this one thing, and you just won’t. And I’m done. So it’s a I think, whether it’s the letting go of something, or the building up and maintaining of something. It’s a lot of little pieces that gets you there no matter what. And so this is where we also have to just pay attention to which bucket are we really adding to consciously?

Valerie Friedlander 15:27
Yeah, well, and that’s one of the ways that I’ll conceptualize our values as we think of that whole, like, you can’t pour from an empty cup. But our values are like many cups, correct? It’s not, we don’t have just one cup. So like, maybe you have one cup that’s overflowing, but all the other cups are empty, then it’s going to be an issue.

Erica Courdae 15:48

Valerie Friedlander 15:48
Versus like, if we’re paying attention to are we pouring into all of the cups? And one of the things that you said, just now about the friendship and those little things? I wonder, what does it look like to engage that?

Erica Courdae 16:05
So, one of the things that I find is a large reason why relationships and partnerships can be strained is because there isn’t clear understanding. And so if both people are sharing that I value, I value honesty. Well, what does honesty mean to you? And what comes to mind is at one point, like, my, my son said something, and he was like, “yes, but sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy if you’re just being hurtful.” So it’s very important to be able to think about, are you being honest, for the sake of just being brutal? Are you being honest, because you want clarity, and you want transparency, and you want to make sure people understand, but you also were seeking to build them up, as opposed to tearing them down? Honesty? You know, the delivery still matters, tact and when and how and why? Those things don’t matter. So I think part of what comes to mind when you’re asking this question is, if there’s no shared understanding of what the value means, and you supposedly have this in common with someone else, then you may be executing it very, very differently, which can lead to a lot of confusion and hurt feelings.

Valerie Friedlander 17:38
I’m hearing and that, that it’s not just about the value itself, but your principles in conjunction with the value, right?

Erica Courdae 17:45
Like it’s almost like that whole, like, how do you show it and how do you want someone else to show it to you kind of thing?

Valerie Friedlander 17:51
Mm hmm. I have a friend who we were talking about making amends. And there’s like direct amends, and then there’s lived amends, and how one of the reasons why in like, 12 Step work, there’s a saying make direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. And that stood out because she had somebody come up and apologize for saying mean things to her behind her back. And she’s like, now I’m upset. Because I didn’t know like what you’re talking about, honestly, it’s like, I didn’t know that you were saying mean things about me behind my back until you apologized for it? And really was that? Who was that for?

Erica Courdae 18:36
Well, so, and again, that goes back to that whole like, Okay, why did this happen? Was this for you? Or was this for the other person? Because, you know, it makes me think about that whole piece of I want both. And so I want you to apologize, and I want you to live it. But if I had to pick one, I would rather you live it, because I don’t care what you set in this moment to me. If I then go forward with you, and you continue to have the actions that got us to that, you know, crossroads to begin with. Then I don’t know if I want to stay here. So for me, it’s really important to acknowledge the fact of if you are saying typing, texting, emailing these words, but your actions don’t line up with them. Just save ’em. Just save ’em.

Valerie Friedlander 19:37
Yeah, yeah. Well, and that sounds like, again, we have a values and principles misalignment. Yep. Because what someone is saying is not the same thing as what they’re doing. And we have to trust the behavior, not the words.

Erica Courdae 19:54
Well, especially because I think sometimes in like when you mentioned like the 12 step, I think sometimes when people are experiencing trauma, there’s what, maybe, purposely or not purposely inflict it on others, and there’s what you’re inflicting on yourself, you may not have the capacity to recognize how it’s impacting me because you haven’t recognized how it’s impacting you. Of course, you can’t get there yet. You can’t show me because you don’t know how to show you. So there’s also that place of having to be realistic about are you expecting something from someone that simply just is not in that place at that moment? That doesn’t mean you have to be okay with it. But I think that this is real.

Valerie Friedlander 20:41
Yeah, well, and it goes back to that idea of capacity. And, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, because it makes me also think about, so values and business to kind of come back to that values and our ability to communicate our values, both to ourselves, and to other people have a really powerful impact on our honesty with ourselves about like, how are we able to live into these values? And there are a lot of people who might say, well, these are my business values. But is your business actually living into that? And what happens when you’re working with somebody and you’re like and eat? And you notice that, oh, you know, what, I imagined that a lot of times people haven’t even articulated their values. So I think of it like first getting to that point of articulating and understanding but then actually being able to look at well, what does that look like in execution, or you’ve articulated this, but like, what happens now?

Erica Courdae 21:40
Well, so if we think about it, kind of as a linear process as much as possible, because I don’t think that any of this work is truly linear, there’s a lot of forwards and backwards circle around again, wait, let’s go back to. So it’s, it’s honestly a very global process in that way, it is not a straight line. But what I have found is that some people feel like they’ve already done it. And I have yet to have gone through this process in DNI with anyone, and then not be like, Oh, I take it back. To that moment of like, Ah, I thought I did. This is different, though. And because it’s, it’s just kind of requiring you to go some levels deeper, especially if we are thinking about a team, because you’re not doing this alone. There’s other people whose values do influence this, and they should be taken into consideration. And so there’s what you thought you did, then there’s the like, oh, okay, well, now we’ve kind of gotten to a different consensus. And then there’s this part of the process that’s reminding them that if these aren’t actionable, then this doesn’t work. So there has to be that cognizant, understanding that values that are not actionable, are pretty words that sit in a binder on a dusty shelf, nobody’s gonna benefit from it. So it needs to be actionable. And it’s important to be able to, and this is a, you know, long game, this doesn’t all happen in like, one three hour, we’re just going to sit and like hammer it out kind of thing. But part of of the plan is also to figure out, how was this measurable? How do we figure out the ways that we are not only doing this in action, but we are demonstrating this to attract the right people and to repel the wrong people? Where is there room to grow? Is this still in alignment with the direction that we want to go in? Because this is something that you should check in with at least, you know, once or twice a year, at the very least. And it’s important to be able to figure out what is it mean to get feedback as to how it’s working. And make adjustments when you find that there’s opportunities for growth because certain things are possibly limiting you or they’re not working, or maybe there maybe it’s it’s harmful, like things happen in life moves quickly. So the problem isn’t, oh, my gosh, this is terrible. What do I do? It’s just no, no, no. What’s possible.

Valerie Friedlander 24:27
Mm hmm. Yeah. Well, in our I mean, our intention is not the same as our impact and are you actually learning? Well, I intended this but that is not the way it actually showed up for somebody else. And whether you’re talking about potential clients or collaborators or anybody like or your employees, how that shows up is not necessarily the same. Sorry, I appreciate that. Like we have to understand our values. We have to look at the actual boldness of those values, and then how do we measure what Do the action is having the impact that we intended? Or is there an adjustment that needs to be made? Right? Yeah. So you also have a focus, I know you do a lot on values, that’s a core thing. But you also have a focus on Shadow Work. And I can see how there would be a lot of like integration, but I would love for you to express like, what do you see as the connection between those two?

Erica Courdae 25:30
So the thing that’s so connected for me is that everything is going to always come back to values. And I think sometimes we can lose a grasp around why we’re making the decisions that we make, or what’s impacting us. And whether or not it’s conscious or unconscious, you know, is this mind kind of like that thought of like, is the story I’m hearing in my head in my voice? Or is it in someone else’s voice that was given to me at some point in my life? And so I think that awareness of again, what matters to you? Why does why it doesn’t wills, and won’t do’s and don’ts, and how that is impacted by Shadow Work from the past. But how does that impact the choices that you will make going forward? Shadow Work is essentially, you really going into that place of, you know, what is it that I have not dealt with? Or what have I ignored? You know, it’s the act of exploring who and how you are within the frequently unexplored parts of yourself those like to deal with that later, or I don’t really want to think about that. Or maybe that’s really not an issue. And these types of experiences that maybe you haven’t finished, or thoughts that you have, that maybe came from somewhere else, they sit in almost the inner parts of your brain in your body, and they languish in the corners. And they jump out at the most inopportune times. It’s like having company over and the dust bunny comes out at those like, Oh, no. And now it’s that everybody sees it. And it is very much an act of is this who I cognitively am and want to be. This may have been who I had to be to get here. And that’s not about judging that, but it is about acknowledging it. And is this what you want currently? Is this what you want going forward? Values are actually the base of even the way that you go into shadow work? Do you verbally process it? Do you need to write it out? Do you need to do it with someone else, because doing it on your own, you need that external accountability. So your values are going to show up also in the way that you’re processing. And it’s important because it’s a part of your evolution. Shadow Work helps you to be able to figure out more and more about who and how you are, and whether or not this is you by choice, or by obligation.

Valerie Friedlander 28:13
Yeah, that makes sense that well, the conditioning that we have around things. And I, I have found that to be so integral when we start looking at the layers of the values we get below the surface and the why and sometimes we come across something where it’s like, oh, that’s not what I want to be motivated by, like that’s not in alignment with who I consciously choose to be. But yet it is this deeper thing that is motivating. When you do shadow work with people. Where do you find it comes up? Like where do you find that you you notice it? Or? I mean, is it your people tend to come to you and say alright, I’m ready to do shadow work, or is it like you’re doing work? And it’s like, oh, yeah, okay, now we need to go here. Now. Put your seatbelt on, we’re about to go in!

Erica Courdae 29:13
That.. Well… It’s funny because I am the person that it’s like, I think people can almost no like I am not the person to show up with if if you’re not already buckled. I have friends that are like, you don’t really want to know she’s not the one to talk to. Because I am kind of that person because I am not skittish, so to speak around the shadow work of it. I’m not nervous to go into the feelings of it. I have some people that are like, I don’t want the feelings and emotions that’s not and I’m like nope, give me all of them in so yes, there are people that are like, I’m ready. Sometimes the I’m ready is more about I know that there’s something I’m trying to get to and I’m ready for that. And whatever it has to be So be a little less of the, you know, I’m ready for Shadow Work verbatim. What happens is, is I’m ready for a change, I’m ready to let something go, I’m ready to do something differently. And I know I have to do something differently. And then there’s the other side where it’s just like, You know what? I don’t know. So let’s go ahead and follow the scientific method and see what happens. Let’s just try it out. And you get in it, and you start talking. And you’re like, Oh, well, I didn’t see that coming. All right, here we are. Like, I had a client that, you know, in the one to one guide coaching that I do. It’s through asynchronous voice coaching. And so it gives you that place to verbally process which there’s a lot of value and and as a verbal processor, there are some people that are like, no, no, hurry up and get to the point or what we need to know the point before we start talking. And this client was like, I don’t, I don’t always feel that way. And I said, Well, you don’t know the point yet, because you haven’t been allowed to start talking. And that was just kind of like a lightbulb moment. And it’s very true. When you are having a pivotal conversation. You don’t start off with knowing what that important aha moment is, before you have the conversation. You don’t write a speech and know exactly what that thing is that is going to rouse everybody to their feet. Even if you in your head think you know what it is you don’t know that until it happens. And so, you know, the reality is, is that a lot of people have no idea how this is going to go. And it really just requires them to be curious enough about what can be on the other side, and being willing to be open to the process, because that’s really what it is. Because this is again, not linear. It’s very global. It’s involves some back and forward, because it’s all about where you are. And what you need this. It’s it’s not prescribed bubble. It’s you.

Valerie Friedlander 32:19
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and as you were talking, that was exactly what I was thinking of like, the process is, what is key is to be open to the process. And I mean that, I love that you mentioned the scientific method, because it’s like, that’s what I would say, like, we need to put our science goggles on now and like release the attachment because you’re not going to have a scientist who’s like, Okay, well, we’re going to hear some illness, let’s, you know, mix these things together, up that didn’t work, I guess I’m a failure. Forget that by, you know, they’re gonna be like, Okay, well, what didn’t work? What, what of it that we got? Did we want? And how do we build off of that?

Erica Courdae 33:02
Absolutely. And what’s so pivotal about that, and thank you for laying that out is also that piece of, there are so many beautiful, necessary lessons in what you could try to tell yourself as a failure. And it’s not, it’s a part of the process. This, those discoveries are necessary. There is so much data and insight and nuance in there that should not be left behind because it is immensely valuable. And so if we are able to look at it as being more about the journey and the experience than the outcome and the destination, as to whether or not it is viable or successful, I think it would make a big difference.

Valerie Friedlander 33:50
Yeah, I was doing a reflection a while back about, you know, so often they say, you know, people don’t want to go through, they want the end of the change. They’re where they are, and they want to be done with the change. They don’t want to walk through the changing part. But if I reflect on every piece of of my life where a change has needed to happen, had I not gone through the process of changing I would never be on the other side. Like obviously, like logically you’re like, Yeah, of course you can’t change unless you go through the process of change. But the process was so critical. Who being the person that I am, on the other side of that change?

Erica Courdae 34:38
Absolutely. I mean, it’s it’s like the butterfly effect. You know, the tiniest of things can change everything. So I’m a firm believer in, you know, you change the part you change the whole. So when you’re like, Oh, well, I wish I didn’t go through this. Yes, but who would that make you now? Yeah, because then everything behind it changes

Valerie Friedlander 35:00
And I love that you brought up butterflies because you know, when we think about change, a lot of times people use the butterfly as the analogy like, Oh, they’re a beautiful

Erica Courdae 35:08
Go to goo!

Valerie Friedlander 35:09
Yes! They digest themselves into goo! Oh my god, it’s gross! I mean, no wonder it’s so gross. But one of the things I didn’t realize until I was like really looking into it is that while they digest most of themselves into goo, there are key parts that don’t change. There are like foundational blocks that are always part of there being besides just the goo, you know, like, it’s still the goo like matters neither created nor destroyed, whatever, right, like, but there are parts that don’t change. There are parts that don’t do, as it were. Yes. And I think of those as the core values, not the internalized values, but the core values. And I was like, I bet,

Erica Courdae 36:00

Valerie Friedlander 36:01
I bet, you’d have something to say about that.

Erica Courdae 36:03
Oh, yeah, and you’re 100% accurate, because I have been through a lot of evolutions in my life. However, I’ve always valued conversation. I’ve always valued supporting people. I know how a true heartfelt hug will change everything, it can brighten your day, or it can allow the floodgates to open. I value reading, good books, education, poetry, always valued it. And so there are these pieces of myself that no matter how much goo I’ve changed through, have always been there, the way that I interact with them, the way that I display, it may shift, you know, when I was a kid, I would, I would sometimes read 300 page books in a night. And now it might be an audio book, or I might be listening to it, or it might be on, you know, a Kindle. But I still want the information and the storytelling of so, you know, I think it’s so interesting to really pay attention to those aspects of ourselves that maybe change clothes, but they’re still present.

Valerie Friedlander 37:37
Yeah, I love that. And I have found that to access those things take space that we don’t often give ourselves that this is something that, you know, we will I’ll look at like, Okay, what did you enjoy doing as a child, and sometimes you will really have trouble finding that. But one of the things that I think helps is working with somebody who will hold that space for you to go there. Because I think I’ve run into one, it’s hard to make the space. But there’s also fear in that space of what am I gonna find of how did I change in ways that weren’t the butterfly? Right? Like, what did I lose? What did i What did I discard? What got trampled and just, you know, damaged, maybe not destroyed, but like, the pain that that can bring forward. When we actually pull the band aid off and look at the wound.

Erica Courdae 38:42
Right. I think there’s a false sense of security that we’ve been conditioned to believe exist, and stagnancy. We have been conditioned to think that staying the same is somehow admirable. And it’s something that we should seek to do, as opposed to acknowledging that, that is really more about being resistant, and being stuck and unwilling to grow and evolve. And there’s no, there’s no celebration in that, because again, the core building blocks will stay there. But you have to figure out how to grow. But there also is an unknown in it. And so I think part of it also been a harkens back to parts of us that maybe weren’t safe at some point in our lives. And so that’s where I think the Shadow Work can come up. Because you’re trying to you’re trying to, to, you know, figure out this incongruency between what you know to be true and what you were told to be true, because there’s like the thing you think Then there’s the thing you feel like your body is like, no, no, no. But your head is like a ha. Like, something is very disjointed here, it doesn’t, this duality does not work well together. And one of my favorite prompts from my book is, who have you been that you never, you never consented to be. And so when you’re acknowledging that there are parts of you that had to show up in this specific way, but you never got a choice in it, you’re really having to recognize that. Oh, so I guess there are some things for me to heal. And I think that healing is done in community beheren, you know, in the, in the States, especially, like, we’re told that healing is about being horizontal on the proverbial couch. And I don’t think that that’s where I think that that’s a part of the healing journey as a totality. I think therapy goes along with being in community with other people, and community with, you know, the artistic aspects of it, whether it’s dance, whether it’s painting, whether it’s writing, I think art is a huge part of therapy that has been discarded. And, you know, this is where I think the shadow work shows up in all of it. And what I appreciate is when I do it, I’m like, no, no, keep your therapist, we don’t let go of the therapist, these things go together. It’s not about one or the other. And the reality is, is that as you’re healing, it’s being with your people, that helps you to integrate it. Because you don’t go get a recipe and say, I learned the recipe, but I’ve never cooked it. Not once. It’s not how it works. It’s about utilizing it. And so, you know, so much of this is about figuring out how does this become a part of the life that I want to live? And how can I continue to move in that direction? And we don’t do anything truly alone. That’s just not how this life is set up.

Valerie Friedlander 42:04
Yeah, well, and it reminds me of what you said earlier, which is about, you know, when we’re making an apology, the most important part is the action that follows that it’s not just about the words, though, they can be really important to speak it into the world, right? Like we’re talking about to be able to say it allows that away, you know, we can hear ourselves. I’m an outloud processor, too. So like, I won’t notice something until I’m saying it. I’m like, Oh my gosh, did you listen to me? But to say, you know, the it’s not just about talking either, though, it’s about bringing it into the world. And apology can be to another person that making amends. But it can also be to yourself.

Erica Courdae 42:51
Ooo, that part! I think so many people forget that. It’s worthwhile to apologize to others. But is there an apology that you owe yourself?

Valerie Friedlander 43:04

Erica Courdae 43:05
And that’s okay.

Valerie Friedlander 43:07
It is. It is okay. And it’s so important. Because as you were saying before that, bringing it into the world, and then being able to show up to yourself, show up to that, like, what does it look like to do a living amends to yourself, because if you can’t acknowledge the harm you’ve done to yourself, how are you going to be able to show up to hearing and receiving and then engaging any harm that you’ve done to others? And so to be able to apologize to others and actually make amends? We have to be able to do that to ourselves for ourselves?

Erica Courdae 43:42
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Valerie Friedlander 43:45
Yeah. Ooo, thank you so much for this conversation. I needed to hear it for sure. Oh, yes, thank you. And I feel like this is a perfect movement into that question that I always ask people as we wrap up, is, what does it mean to you to be unlimited?

Erica Courdae 44:07
To be open to evolving and growing into the next best version of yourself at any given point.

Valerie Friedlander 44:16
Yeah. And before I ask you my final question, I would love to invite you to share with others, of course, I’m gonna have links in the show notes. But where can people connect with you.

Erica Courdae 44:27
You can connect with me. And again, my name is Erica Courdae. You can come on over to the website, which is EricaCourdae.com. The website is going to tell you more about the book, which is “Who Are You?” That is my first book and it is a part of the journey from curiosity to community, which also you can learn more about that in the free Shadow Work course that is on the website. It’s a little mini course in case you’re like what does this mean over here? That will tell you more about that as well. It tells you about the guide coaching that I do, speaking engagements, and things like that. And of course, there’s social media if you want to come on over to Instagram, and Threads, and it’s @EricaCourdae

Valerie Friedlander 45:13
Awesome. Well, I hope everyone there was to check that out. And finally, when you want to welcome in that unlimited feeling, what song do you listen to?

Erica Courdae 45:27
Oh, it’s so hard to pick one. There isn’t there isn’t there isn’t one, there’s never one. But right now the thing that feels very unlimited for me is Cowboy Carter. I’m not necessarily a car carrying Beehive member, but I’m gonna tell you what, I’ve enjoyed Beyonce since way back in the day. So there’s just so much beauty and reclamation in history, and I absolutely adore, adore it for a number of reasons. And it just takes you through a whole journey, which is part of what I love about music. Music is really about being a backdrop and a soundtrack to your life.

Valerie Friedlander 46:08
Yeah, it is an amazing album, just everything. So, okay, so part of the reason I asked is because I have a playlist, where I put songs that everyone who’s been a guest on the show has listed so it’s a whole playlist of unlimited songs. It’s such a variety. So if one or two songs that I could put onto the playlist that stand out to you.

Erica Courdae 46:33
So, this is what I’m going to do then I’m going to actually give you my favorite song, because it has stuck with me through life for my 44 plus years. And that is Rock With You by Michael Jackson.

Valerie Friedlander 46:47

Erica Courdae 46:48
It came out the year that I was born. And there’s just something about that song that it is like one of those very iconic 70 ish video. Like the old 70s made me the 80s raised me kind of thing. But that is definitely my favorite song. So I’m gonna sound want to contribute that to the playlist.

Valerie Friedlander 47:09
Awesome. Yes, that is such a well and we were just talking about that connectivity and I feel like rock with you is absolutely

Erica Courdae 47:18

Valerie Friedlander 47:18
About being connected. So alright, so y’all if you have not listened to Cowboy Carter, definitely go check out the album because it is incredible. And also check out the Unlimited Playlist because I will have rock with me on there as well. Erica, thank you so much for joining me for this conversation. It has been just chills and fabulous. I don’t have words.

Valerie Friedlander 47:44
Pleasure’s all mine. Thank you, Valerie.

Valerie Friedlander 47:46
Thanks for listening. I so appreciate you being here. If you got something out of today’s episode, please share it. Leave me a review. Take a screenshot and post it on social with a shout out to me. Send it to a friend or you know all of the above. Want to hang out more join me on Instagram, or better yet, get on my mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. And remember, your possibilities are as unlimited as you are. Allow yourself to shine my friend. The world needs your light. See you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

In this episode of Unlimited, I invited Erica Courdae (she/her) to join me in a conversation about the practical wisdom that supports tending our self-relationship through values & shadow work.

Some of what we talk about in this episode includes:

  • Exploring values for the foundation of your decisions and relationships
  • Making values actionable and measurable to ensure alignment
  • Values work is ongoing, non-linear journey than involves seeking into our shadow
  • Overcoming fear and false security to genuinely heal and grow

Cowboy Carter
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