How the Corporate Ladder Isn’t Built to Withstand Unresolved Trauma with Lucie Ritchie

ON THIS EPISODE

Believe it or not, our bodies are designed for trauma, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to face it or try to heal from it in order to be successful leaders. My guest this week, Lucie Ritchie, guides us through how trauma can impact our leadership abilities and that our search for compassion is a lot closer to home than we think.

Lucie is a Psychotherapist passionate about helping others heal from unresolved trauma. Our conversation covers the whole range from concentrating on the body to process trauma, looking inward to find compassion and recognizing that our patterns do not dictate who we truly are inside.

ABOUT THE GUEST
Lucie Ritchie

Lucie Ritchie is the founder of Heal Psychotherapy Inc.. She holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology degree, a Clinical Traumatologist Certificate, and a Professional Post-Graduate Trauma Certification. Lucie is also a Doctoral Candidate (Ed.D) in Community Care and Counselling specializing in Traumatology, and she is a certified NARM Therapist. She is also a skilled Neurofeedback clinician who works with her clients from a psychoeducational & neuroscience-informed lens.

SHOW NOTES

We discuss:

  • How trauma isn’t just reserved for the huge catastrophic moments in our lives

  • How the corporate ladder isn’t built to withstand unresolved trauma but instead will lead to frustration and burnout

  • How to lower reactivity by engaging in physiological practices like 3-6 breathing and letting our conscience lead our decisions

TRANSCRIPT
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Carolyn Swora  08:45

Well, I’m really excited listeners to bring this next guest on her name is Lucy Richie. And we met in December when Lucy reached out to inquire about some training that I do. And next thing you know, I’m asking her all about what she does. And here we are now welcoming, welcoming her on to the Evolve podcast. Lucy, welcome.

 

Lucie Ritchie  09:33

Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.

 

Carolyn Swora  09:36

Yeah, it was, you know, that conversation that we had a few months ago. It was kind of funny, because I know you’d reached out to inquire about my services, but I mean, I think it was within two sentences. I was like, what is it that you do tell me more? So yeah, it’s um, it was it was pretty fun.

 

Lucie Ritchie  09:54

Yeah, totally serendipitous. Right. Yeah. We were talking about leadership and there seemed to be so much depth and passion right at the beginning of our conversation, and it sort of led to us connecting and, you know, you think we have to do a podcast together.

 

Carolyn Swora  10:10

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And so and Solusi. So I know you studied at the masters level in counseling psychology, and you have a special focus in trauma. And what I thought we could do today is, is explore that as it pertains to leadership. And in particular, I know you have this ruler method that I thought was just so practical and useful and helpful. But before we get there to that ruler method, can we talk a little bit about why we need to talk about this word trauma and how it impacts leadership from your perspective?

 

Lucie Ritchie  10:50

Yes, so humans are designed to go through trauma. And so it’s not really a negotiable thing. When you think about it. We are built for this. And when people think of trauma, they usually think that it’s you know, a big car accident or somebody was, you know, beaten to the bones and that’s just not always the case. And of course, yes, that is highly traumatic. But trauma actually goes even to having example, emotional deprivation in childhood, or having a parent that wasn’t attuned to you. This is where our needs actually don’t get met. And therefore we don’t get to really develop our authentic self. We don’t get to have the option to thrive as who we are, when our needs are not met. This is trauma, and this type of everyone and I only know that because there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. So this is not something to shame parents to tell them they didn’t do a good enough job, because they are human too. We are not perfect beings, right. So we will go through adversity and the thing is that trauma with kids, it’s the differences that you know, the difference with kids sorry, then the example of a car crash is that they are experiencing, I’m gonna use the lack of attunement here. They’re experiencing lack of attunement over and over and over again. So they’re having this sort of built into their understanding of who they are like people don’t meet my needs. I can’t rely on someone else to understand who I am or to reflect who I am or to honor who I am. So it sort of shapes their personality from a really young age, and it shapes their fears. And this is very traumatic. And so when we bring that into the you know, to leadership, if this isn’t healed, and you know, this person never got praise, for example, they may want to do work. That gives praise, they’re hungry for it. And so often that’s reached for the next level, keep, you know, putting your resume towards the next position, climb, climb, climb, and that climb actually acts as a significant distraction, where they can further avoid their their pains right trauma is all about avoidance when you want to look at the pain, it hurts. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to feel it. I just want the praise, right? We go up, up, up, and once we get to the top, there’s no more climb. There’s no more distraction. And then it’s like what is wrong with me? Right? Yeah, I’m in question and first of all, there is nothing wrong with anyone who’s experienced trauma. It’s what they’re feeling is a natural reaction to unnatural events. Right? Right. It is supposed to connect with their child is supposed to be attune. This day and age is so busy, right? There’s so many demands on parents. So it is very difficult to expect. You know, parents to first of all understand the importance of, you know, connecting with their kids at that level. They’re pulled in so many directions and, you know, obviously we have that intuition of what how to parents, but unfortunately, it gets missed sometimes.

 

Carolyn Swora  14:11

Well, oh, there’s so there’s so many things in there. I know. You know, when you were when you were talking about the different types of trauma. I know Gabor Ma Tei. Renowned in this work calls that big T and little T trauma. And I know for myself, I didn’t even understand some of the big T trauma that I had been living through. And I think this notion of small t trauma is really helping us understand that really to be human is to have some level of trauma. And I also know that word is a little scary. It can it can sort of bring a sense of fear and why do we need to talk about it. And I want to be clear, like in the work that that I’m doing and what we’re talking about on this podcast. We are inviting people to consider the impact that trauma has on how they’re able to lead. And what I’m hearing you say is that there’s going to be some level of of rising to the top and trying to be the best that we can be that we’re all going to eat. We’re all going to experience and so we are going to hit this, I guess, block where our ego gets in the way and stops us correct.

 

Lucie Ritchie  15:28

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the workplace is is run by humans. Right? It’s not run by machines. So what you’re what a human is made of is what a human is going to project in the workplace. And like I mentioned before, like what we like in our emails and stuff, but what we reject, we project Mm hmm.

 

Carolyn Swora  15:51

So what we reject we project what would be an example of that, that that you could share with us that, you know, could apply to the average person going to work today? Who’s trying to do the best they can? What might that look like?

 

Lucie Ritchie  16:07

Yeah. So you know, it goes back to that avoidance piece. So let’s say in childhood, needs weren’t met. Right? And it could be a well intended parent. It could be, you know, by accident, or it could be deliberate, that the needs weren’t met. But over time when the need one or many needs are not consistently met, this develops a schema in the brain that sort of suggests, you know, a very common one is I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this. And so what people will do is they’ll either believe that and sort of cripple to that idea, or they might overcompensate, for example, to try to disprove what they believe about themselves and consciously, so we sort of try to hide and this kind of goes with the, like, we were talking before about a blanket, the ego in the blanket, right? It’s kind of like leading with the ego. Which only looks at what’s good about you, it only looks at, well, this is what you can do. This is what you’re good at. Let’s run with this and nevermind all this I’m not good enough stuff. It puts a blanket over it. In other words, it’s suppressing it. It’s rejecting the imperfective imperfections, excuse me of the self. But as we move through life, we’re not really able to capitalize on our unconscious like our unconscious is a huge part of who we are. The stuff bleeds out in other ways, and this is what you know, we refer to as our blind spots, so it bleeds out in other ways. So when we look at leaders for example, who have not done their healing, it could bleed out onto their team. They’re in it for themselves, not that they know that consciously. They want it for the ego they they go Hi, this is not everybody. By the way. There’s a lot of people who’ve done their work and and some people who aren’t touched by trauma really and, you know, I’m just saying in this particular case, you know, so they could be high, like ranking high at work, and all of their, you know, their add in that possession in that position, excuse me for themselves. Instead of being in that position for the organization. And therefore, they’re not really looking to develop their team. In fact, they could get threatened by their team. Like if they see someone that is doing better than them. Oh my gosh, my, my spot is threatened. Right, this person is going to climb and take my spot. Yeah, so maybe then they start reacting and projecting against that person, because that looks like the threat. And the threat, quite often is a reflection of, you know, the threat that they perceived in the past. So it’s all sort of like with their parents. So it’s all kind of it’s fascinating to me, like it’s all sort of entangled and we do see it in the workplace and it’s, it’s everywhere.

 

Carolyn Swora  18:58

I really liked that analogy with the blanket and how you talked about the ego only allows us to see the good parts of ourselves. And I know I fell into that I really focused on on the good parts. And I do believe in strengths based leadership. But the difference is, is when we don’t allow these other sides of ourselves to be acknowledged, then we they become derailleurs they become things that stop us from really leading from the place that we want to lead from, which is, you know, a fuller like being on are like authentic and being real because people can kind of sniff through the BS. Yeah, yeah. Whether we do or not. Yeah. Now when we do suppress some of these things, what does that do to us in terms of our nervous system?

 

Lucie Ritchie  19:55

Yes, it keeps us on. In other words, the nervous system is always on. Because we’re not it’s sort of like an incomplete response. So think of it this way. If you were reaching out for love as a kid, and you were met with neglect or you were met with an anxious parent, you always need this or you’re always bugging me or whatever it is, or even an abusive parent, right? It becomes threatening to need. So, you know, you don’t really get the opportunity to express that need out really fully. You don’t need to also expand if you will, the pain that the rejection caused to getting your needs met. We’re just holding it in and holding it in. And so we’re getting our nervous system is rigged, always in anticipation for threat. And it’s almost like that response is hovering, wanting to be complete, but we’re refusing to let our emotions out to feel a sense of complete emotion. So in other words, you don’t feel safe with your parent you can’t express how you’re feeling you can’t cry or go nervous system to nervous system to calm your own. That’s what cones the kids nervous system, by the way is proximity to their parent. looseness to a calm nervous system is what calms the child’s nervous system. And this is the same thing for adults. Just look at how you feel when you give a hug, right? Yeah, as long hug. You can like feel your nervous system calming. So when we don’t have the option to process the emotion at that time, that emotion is incomplete. It’s unresolved. And so therefore, it’s staying inside of us causing havoc inside, on our physiology, on our emotional health, even psychological health. So, you know, this is really important to process and one of the ways that we can process is to look at the body. You know, trauma lives in the body. It impacts the brain of course, but the imprint is in the body in the nervous system. So you know, I I’ll just say this quick anecdote I remembered, you know, I’ve always lived a wellness life everything was about you know, fitness, joy, laughter as much as I possibly could, but I held my own trauma, and I didn’t even know it. And that’s the thing people just don’t know. And I went to my first yoga class, I never liked the idea of yoga, I must have been 16 or something at the time. And anyway, I went and it was great. And by the think the 55 minute mark, you know, you lay down and the practitioner is saying this beautiful stuff and you just stretch all your muscles and you’re feeling relaxed. I just started bawling my eyes out. Wow. And I was by myself I didn’t have a friend like I was alone. I started looking around and you know when you cry like so I was really trying to hold it in. I didn’t understand what was going on. Until later when I you know got really interested in psychology and understanding trauma. My emotions were being released my incomplete emotions from the past were actually being complete in that moment of safety. Hearing this woman’s voice sort of almost like a motherly voice. It was it was beautiful. It was definitely the wrong spot for me to cry in that moment for it on my terms anyway. But it helped me understand like, wow, this really is in the body. And I always go back to that moment and I remembered how I felt. And that sort of drives a lot of my understanding with the body is that you know, I was shaking. I was breathing heavily. I was like, Whoa, something’s happening to me here. So it is it is accurate that it works like, you know,

 

Carolyn Swora  23:45

yeah, what would you say? It works like Yoga works and like releasing it from the body?

 

Lucie Ritchie  23:51

Yes, yeah. Doing any kind of somatic movements or body movement, intention, movement. too. So not necessarily, you know, thinking about work. It’s really thinking about your muscles, thinking about your body, thinking about the movement you’re making, like just being as present as possible. Breathing through it, noticing your muscles stretching, noticing everything that’s happening and the breathing through the difficult process. And staying connected is sort of like in a way for me anyway, it allows me to move my body in a way that it wants to move. So getting out of my head and just getting into my body letting it move because it knows more than I do really silly as that sounds, but it works.

 

Carolyn Swora  24:39

Well and I think it’s funny that you said that as silly as it sounds because I think we so many of us have been conditioned to push through work through it like this real like keep a stiff upper upper lip and drive through it. And what we know from so much research in trauma is that as you said, it’s stored in our body and it’s not accessible through our cognitive you know, quote unquote thinking brain it sits in a lower part of our brain the brainstem. And we don’t have control over that. And and I think that’s why I feel so compelled to talk about this in the leadership space because we talk about authenticity. We talk about inclusion, inclusion and diversity. And there are there are things that are getting in our way that are not at the cognitive level level, which means we as leaders, when we walk into organizations and we take on that accountability to lead. We really do owe it not only to ourselves, but to the whole, like organization and people that we’re working with infor to understand our ego and to understand how we’re showing up. Yeah. And so I know you’ve got this ruler method. Yes. Can you share a little bit with us around what it is and how it works?

 

Lucie Ritchie  26:10

Yeah, I sort of just thought of this. When we were talking like maybe a week before we were talking and so the ruler just stuck. So that’s where that’s where I might develop it a little bit more but basically I’m in the process of writing two books. And originally, I wanted it to be one book, but the editor said no, no, like, this is two books. It doesn’t make sense. To put it in one, it would be way too long. And the idea that I was trying to get across in one book was that first you have to heal your trauma. You cannot basically capitalize on your authentic potential until you’ve dealt with your trauma. You’ve got to work through it, period. And before we go, sorry, go ahead.

 

Carolyn Swora  26:57

And to be human is to have some level of trauma. And I think after the pandemic, that is something that impacted every single person globally. And there will be if we look at trauma as a simply as an emotional wound. Obviously it can be you know, we talked earlier about Big T little T, but it’s fair to say that all of us will have some sort of emotional wound wounding that is going to need some sort of resolution. Fair. Yeah.

 

Lucie Ritchie  27:30

Oh, yeah. Okay, physiologically, yes. Yes. Okay, so yeah, if we’re, if we’re then trying to climb the ladder, let’s say, use a corporate ladder, trying to climb the corporate ladder has 1-234-567-8910 Let’s say 10 steps. Well, here comes you know, little missy, let’s call her and she’s climbing the ladder without healing her trauma. It’s the equivalent of climbing the ladder with tons and tons of weight in your backpack. You’re going to fall off the ladder, because the trauma was not healed.

 

Carolyn Swora  28:05

So we can call little Missy Carolyn.

 

Lucie Ritchie  28:08

Okay, sure. That’s

 

Carolyn Swora  28:10

a really big backpack that was unknown to her. So, yeah. So So trying to climb that ladder and achieve my full potential. I thought it was starting at zero correct.

 

Lucie Ritchie  28:26

If you thought you’re starting at zero, so the idea is, you know, the ladder is not strong enough to hold that. So the ladder is going to collapse. This is where you see people with burnout. You see people questioning who they are not understanding their identity anymore. Just being angry, resentful, and they don’t really know why. And it is, like you said you know, traumas and brain, it’s at the bottom part of the brain. The top part of the brain is logic and they don’t necessarily communicate with one another. The trauma is in the body, the brainstem, you know, that connects the nervous system. So anyway, so for you, we would have to get off the ladder, process, your bag, process, all of this unresolved, all of this incomplete stuff. The when you process this, not only do you lighten your load, you strengthen your base, you strengthen the foundation that your light your ladder is on. So then when it comes time to Okay, I am now ready and able to climb this ladder because a my foundation is good. I’ve processed all this incomplete stuff. I’ve completed it. Of course I’m going to be changed in some ways after this this often looks like post traumatic growth. You know, an increase in perspective sometimes, you know, gained wisdom, if you will, and you are changed in a way that’s like more whole because you’ve integrated what was once severed away. What was once pushed into your bag is now integrated into your heart, if you will. So basically your mind like Yeah, yeah. So now when it’s time to climb the ladder, you don’t need to stop at 10 You know, you can just keep going. You’ve got a really strong foundation to put an extension on this ladder, and you can climb as high as you’re able to go, right that works for you that authentically works for your hole not for you know the ego and what’s been blanketed off through this heavy bag. So this analogy you know, needs a little fine tuning because it is still pretty new but this is part of what I’m writing about in one of my books. So it’s um, it’s very important to understand that trauma does stay with us if we avoid it if we don’t try to heal it.

 

Carolyn Swora  30:52

Yeah, yeah. Well, and I mean, I just kind of giggled when you said little missy, because, I mean, that was me. I didn’t I couldn’t acknowledge I didn’t know what the word meant. I thought it it. It was a word that was reserved for very, very catastrophic things that that frankly I didn’t have the right to co OPT. And, and so I thought, you know, it didn’t it just wasn’t something that had been in my life. But it had been it had been and and I think now when we look look at our current workplace, you know, the talk of mental health and burnout, I mean, I received an email from from someone, a few people last week, just, you know, they’re just burned out and they’re trying their best. They want to do their best. They’ve got families, and they just don’t know where to turn. And I think part of it if I look at my own my own story was acknowledging and just understanding and giving myself a pretty, a bit of compassion to say, hey, that that is trauma and it’s okay to say that you’ve had trauma in your life. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make anyone around you bad at all. It’s it’s part of life. And that that was a big part to me finally, finding that foundation to build a ladder and climb upon.

 

Lucie Ritchie  32:13

And that speaks volumes, right? Because look at the position that you’re in, look at all the work that you’ve done, you know, in the business world, but then also on yourself. It’s very obvious, you know, that you’ve overcome a lot of things that you’ve gone through, and you’re being open about it and vulnerable about it and sharing it with everyone. So that shows a lot of strength and understanding and I love the word compassion because compassion you know, is what we need to do. It’s actually part of the self you know, if you’re being compassionate with who you are and others that’s your most authentic self. The Authentic Self is a compassionate self doesn’t

 

Carolyn Swora  32:54

realize that so so that’s a good sort of setting a lot of people want to have compassion, and don’t know how to get it. It sort of becomes this outside thing we grasp before. But what I’m hearing you say here is that it’s naturally going to show up when we look inside.

 

Lucie Ritchie  33:14

Kind of Yeah, so basically the compassion part and this is probably for another episode if we want to do another one. But you know, I have another analogy there. But basically, without going into all the details, I can share that our brain and nervous system are conditional this is what you know how we learn about our worlds is through the brain and the nervous system. Everything we’ve gone through in our childhood, in our lives, sort of starts to form ideas in our brains and nervous system about the way things are based on how we experience them. We then learn how to cope with these painful things. So we take on not only understanding what is the pain, and I’m going full circle in a second, but also you know, how do I cope with it? A lot of this is more of a pattern instead of who you are. It’s almost like your machinery brain and nervous system. acts as like a machine and isn’t really you. So when we step away from this sort of patterned parts of ourselves and sort of use consciousness consciousness is like noticing that you’re having a thought noticing that your nervous system is activated. It’s the noticer without judgment. Yeah, so it’s almost like you’re listening to those automatic thoughts, those hypothesis, like everything going on. And you just look at it like oh, man, wow, I’m having compassion. Like I feel like you must have gone through so much. At this is the consciousness talking to sell to the person, you know, you must have gone through so much to you know, be in this position to feel this pain and I just I’m so sorry that this is your experience. We got this, you know, so the conscious part is the one who notices and that is the authentic self so it doesn’t get mixed up in this machinery of the brain and the in the nervous system, it just notices.

 

Carolyn Swora  35:14

So so the machinery or like the patterns, the mental or emotional patterns that have been built and then notice, sir, I love that the noticer helps us find our authenticity and to create like when we hear people say creating a bit of space. It’s that space to notice,

 

Lucie Ritchie  35:37

creating the space to notice and I love that you mentioned space. So I’m gonna cram this in. So let’s rewind if you must. But basically, the space part is interesting and it kind of goes back to what we were talking about, you know, brainstem and prefrontal cortex like the logic part of the brain. That you don’t really connect. What happens is when you are noticing, like, oh my gosh, I’m activated or my partner said something or my my boss said something and you kind of feel your heart rate going up or maybe your muscles get tense. That’s your warning right there that you’re about to go in probably a small version. of fight or flight. Yep. Where you kind of get into a panic and it’s like, am I going to protest to my boss and say something regret or am I going to sort of walk away and you know, try to come back to this later. But in either case, if we allow that stimulus, whatever is happening to us, like the boss, let’s say the boss is giving a reprimand. And we don’t try to create space. When we noticed the muscles tensing and the heartbreak going, if we don’t try to create space where our logic brain is going to start to shut down a little bit, right and this is done, you know, this is a normal response. And what your brain is trying to do is to keep you safe from perceived threat. So it needs reactivity. There is no time to weigh pros and cons with the logic brain. We need to be reactive and let’s go. This is why we say things we don’t mean, We’re protesting or angry. We’re trying to fight for our own in this day and age self concept, not necessarily our our lives anymore. Like we’re not living in the jungle, like we used to. But, um, so creating space is important to make sure that the prefrontal cortex the logic brain doesn’t shut down. So when we do notice the muscles are tightening the heart rate is going up. You know, this is where you can set a boundary and go you know what I’m I’m sorry to say this, but I think I just need a minute to collect my thoughts and I’m going to come right back. Right? Excuse yourself, and literally create the space. Create the space for breath, create the space for the noticer to come back online to say, Okay, I’m noticing this is like a trigger for you. Let’s explore what that is when there’s you know, whether in that moment or later, like let’s not forget that this was a trigger because this is something that we need to work through. Right. But in that moment, breathe and that is what builds our tolerance for all of this. This stimuli, that stimuli

 

Carolyn Swora  38:11

Yeah, yeah. I think there’s a lot of reactions happening for people in the workplace. We’re not creating enough space. We’re reacting versus responding. And so what what sort of insight Could you share with the listeners that can help them find the noticer in themselves?

 

Lucie Ritchie  38:38

The noticer can sort of move you out of being hijacked by the experience. I got this like, amazing, not really advice, but like I had an amazing conversation with someone and basically she said to me, if you’re doing something out of fear it’s not you you’re getting hijacked Yep. And you know, you’re gonna start appeasing, you’re gonna start reacting or whatever it is. So if you’re getting sucked in by the fear, that’s not you. Right? That’s you trying that’s the body trying to say let’s fight this or let’s run away. From this, right? But if you can just notice that you’re experiencing fear. Even in those moments where there’s a lot of people around you, they don’t need to know what you’re doing. Just take a deep breath. There’s a thing, three, six breathing you breathe in for three seconds and breathe. out for six seconds and do that four times. What you’re doing is you recruiting the parasympathetic branch, which is a calmer branch, the sympathetic branch is what’s going to throw you in fight or flight. Yeah, when you exhale more than you take in, it’s actually going to put you in the parasympathetic branch, you’re going to be able to have more tolerance for what’s going on. Yep. So if you want to get to that noticer start practicing that. No one needs to know your breathing anyway. No one needs to know if you’re changing the rhythm. Yep. And then you’ll know how to respond. You’ll you’ll know based on you know who you are authentically how you want to respond and how your values you know, like what your values are. And you kind of lean into the values when you’re leading consciously instead of leaning into fears and what you think you should be saying and what would protect your self concept and what are others gonna think of me? And it’s like, no, no, no, no, if I lean into my values, yes, it’s vulnerable, but it’s also your biggest power. Yeah, power. Right.

 

Carolyn Swora  40:39

And the simplicity of breathing. Again, back when Carolyn was trying to go up the ladder with it with big heavy backpack I used to dismiss, in fact, I still remember specific moments when I would mock this notion of breathing like whatever. And that was just an indication of how unstable I was to be on that ladder. And so I cannot stress enough to focus listening if you haven’t tried box breathing or what Lucy just share the three six breathing but that exhale out. It is doing something physiologically that allows you to notice to create a little bit of space and that’s where you will find your authenticity that’s where you will lower your reactivity. in little bits can do a lot like little moments and and the power of noticing. Without this is where the compassion was will loop the compassion back in because you didn’t say Judge or you didn’t say evaluator you said noticer. And so that’s that’s an important piece in this obviously.

 

Lucie Ritchie  41:53

Yeah, yeah. It doesn’t judge it can’t it doesn’t have the capacity to judge it’s your authentic. It’s your consciousness, it’s consciousness. And when we use consciousness to just notice, but also lean into values instead of fear. Then you really start to lean into authenticity, you start to build more patterns of who you truly are. Right? The more you lean into values, consciousness, this is where you can start to shift and build new patterns that sort of say, Hey, I’m safe now. The stuff I went through that was then this is now right and I’m gonna heal that stuff. I’m not gonna accept that stuff. Those are my imperfections. Those are the things that are bringing me this wisdom. Those are the things that are giving me this amazing perspective. Not to say that trauma is something that we should want. You know, that’s never something I would ever suggest to trauma was really challenging. But if you can work through it, and start to accept, like, yeah, I went through this, I’m going to stop avoiding it. And working through it. Yeah. And using consciousness and values. It’s yeah, it can be a nice a nice nice ingredients for a path forward.

 

Carolyn Swora  43:13

Yeah. I love how you said that. Yeah, I mean, it really is about accepting those imperfections and not letting the blanket cover them up. Mm hmm. Yeah. So Lucy, How could our listeners find out more about your work? Where can they learn more about you and what you do?

 

Lucie Ritchie  43:32

Yeah, so I actually do a lot of psychoeducation on my Instagram page. It’s at heal psychotherapy all one word. I also have my website heal psychotherapy.ca I offer my practice basically focuses on trauma. So anyone looking to heal trauma. I also do coaching on you know, what happens after healing trauma. Now what right yeah, I also do some coaching on that. And where else can they find me LinkedIn?

 

Carolyn Swora  44:04

Yeah, well, I think those are good. Those are good, good places to start. And it seems like we have so many ways to get in touch with each other. I feel like the one or two ways seem to be like the best direct direct way forward. So and we’ll make sure to put those in in the show notes as well. And Lucy I end all of my podcast by asking the guest three questions that relate back to the three elements of being an evolved leader, which is essentially helping us show up in our full authenticity. So can we go there? Are you ready? Absolutely. Absolutely. So the first question has to do with self awareness. So can you share a moment with us that was full of insight, maybe a little uncomfortable, but just really deepened your self awareness?

 

Lucie Ritchie  44:52

Mm hmm. I think a lot of it actually has to do with work. I’ve had supervisors and there’s two instances. I’ve had a manager, sorry, who just lit a fire under me, like when I was working, it was banking at the time, and I was number one in so many different banks in Ontario. And so she kept promoting me. And so she lit a fire but the others and I was aware of my abilities. And not so much of my downfalls

 

Carolyn Swora  45:26

make a blanket the blanket was

 

Lucie Ritchie  45:29

the whole time I didn’t feel like I was good enough for this but I just kept going for it. But then I had a supervisor a different situation where I had a supervisor who was heavily threatened. And I didn’t experience pain from that because by that time, I had done a lot of healing on why I didn’t feel good enough for being recruited all the time. So anyway, I had done a lot of work and when this happened and this woman felt threatened, I was kind of I was laughing in a way inside because I was like, I’m seeing it in front of me that this woman has pain and I wasn’t even mad at her. I was so compassionate. Wow. And that to me was like oh my gosh, I feel like I’ve healed a lot of my own insecurities, because old me would have been like, Excuse me. Right. Right, infested with anger. But this was one of these things where I did sort of, probably for the first time realize how impactful my healing was to be able to withstand that. And just look at her with genuine compassion and passion.

 

Carolyn Swora  46:35

Fantastic. All right. Second question. What is a practice or ritual that keeps you in a calm regulated state?

 

Lucie Ritchie  46:44

Yeah. So yoga for sure. Which is just a part of it. But the second part is weightlifting. I do a lot of weightlifting. You wouldn’t be able to tell looking at me, but I lift a lot of weights. And that’s something that I do sort of three times a week and just eating really clean. I don’t eat preservatives that actually there’s a lot of studies on that like how bad it is for anxiety. So to keep myself regulated, I do eat very clean. And yeah, that well and of course, time with family so a nice balance with my worlds if you will so playing spontaneously with my kids and right. Yeah, dating my husband as much as I can, but limited through

 

Carolyn Swora  47:28

Yeah, I’m having two little guys so yeah, when they’re that young. And then last but not least, what is a song or genre of music that makes you feel connected to others? Or part of something bigger than yourself?

 

Lucie Ritchie  47:43

I like to this is, you know, to complete parallels here, but I love old country music. I grew up on that. And yeah, yeah, like who

 

Carolyn Swora  47:56

like them and artists from Old Country Waylon. Jennings. I was gonna say, Waylon Jennings. Yeah,

 

Lucie Ritchie  48:01

that’s actually my son’s middle name. My dad insisted that instead of his name, he wanted Waylon. So, Ross Whelan. Whalen physical name. But then on the flip side, I also have to go to like 90s Rap, like hip hop rap. Yeah.

 

Carolyn Swora  48:16

Nice and like is there a certain song out of the 90s?

 

Lucie Ritchie  48:20

Um, I don’t know if I was certain song but definitely Biggie Smalls. I love Smalls. Yes, yes.

 

Carolyn Swora  48:27

I love music. And that’s why I asked this question because to me music is the great connector. It just touches us and makes us feel part of something bigger. I think when it really truly gets into us. So well, Lucy, I’m so glad that we were able to make this work and that you found me on my website, that that did that day in December and really appreciate you sharing your insight today about you know, this concept of the blanket and the foundation and the ladder. And yeah, wishing you all the best with your two, your two books that you’re working on.

 

Lucie Ritchie  49:05

Thank you so much. And thank you so much for taking the time and making space for this conversation.

EVOLVE Podcast Episodes

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