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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com. That’s wellness with an E on the end, my new line of hair care, toothpaste, and other personal care products. Check those out at wellnesse.com. This episode is all about reversing limiting beliefs, ideas like, I’m not good enough, I’m not enough. I’m not lovable. I’m here with Marissa Peer, who is the creator of the award-winning Rapid Transformational Therapy, which is a really fascinating and I find a novel type of therapy that works really, really quickly in many cases. She’s also the founder of Iamenough.com. She has multiple best-selling books and she is a speaker and expert that speaks all around the world. And the reason I wanted to have her on today is to really go deep on some of these therapies she does with people, both from the perspective of how we as adults can kind of rewire and undo some of these limiting beliefs that stem from childhood but also to better understand the core needs of children, how many of these problems stem from things in childhood when kids don’t feel safe or loved or important for various reasons, and how we as parents can help to hopefully guard our children against some of those pitfalls. Certainly, none of us are gonna do it perfectly but she gives some really practical advice both in how we as adults can let go of some of these limiting beliefs often much more quickly than we think and also how we can set our kids up with a strong foundation going into adulthood. So, a very fascinating episode. I learned a lot. I took notes. You actually might hear me take a second to respond a couple of times in this episode. And it’s because I was writing down notes. And all of my notes and all of the things she mentioned are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So we’ll definitely start there if you wanna keep learning from her. But without further ado, I cannot wait to share her with you. So let’s jump in. Marisa, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Marisa: Thank you for inviting me. I’m flattered and honored to be here.

Katie: I’m so excited to share you with everyone listening today because I think you have so much value that you bring, and especially for all the women listening, just so, so many words of wisdom. But to start off, I’d love to hear, for anyone who isn’t familiar with you already, just a little bit of your story and how you came to be who you are now and to do all this work that you’re doing.

Marisa: Well, my story is I always wanted to be a child psychologist but I found that very painful, not as much painful, a job where you couldn’t really get the results you wanted. And I’ve always been fascinated my entire life by human behavior. And so I left training in child psychology and went to work in L.A. for Jane Fonda teaching aerobics. And that got me really interested in psychology of eating disorders, which led on to me fascinated by infertility. And so everything I’ve done has led on from something else. But I didn’t plan this career, but I certainly found it and I’m very glad I did.

Katie: And I’ve read quite a bit of your work and you have several books out. I’ll make sure we link to all of those. But I love the work that you do, especially surrounding limiting beliefs. And that’s been something that really has been helpful and resonated with me. So, for anyone who’s not familiar, can you explain to us in a high level what limiting beliefs are?

Marisa: Yes, I mean, you know, we all believed that our feelings are ruled by our behaviors, but it’s actually the other way around, our behaviors are ruled by our feelings. So, if you’re looking at the law of control, our thoughts control our feelings, our feelings control our actions and our actions control our events. So if you peel that back, events, actions, feelings, it all starts with thinking. And it’s very easy to change your thinking. For instance, imagine you’re a binge eater, and you try to control that by going to the gym or putting yourself in a really restrictive diet or taking appetite suppressants, what you’re doing is dealing with the behavior but it’s the thought that runs it is I’m not enough and I need more. Indeed with any addiction, if you’re addicted to alcohol and you treat the alcoholism but not the underlying feeling, which is I’m just not good enough.

And so, when you can change your thinking, it really can and does change your entire life. And that’s very good news for many reasons. One, of course, is that changing your thinking is free. It’s pretty easy. It doesn’t require hard work. It’s not like changing your body and having to do 600 sit-ups and the plank every day. And once you start to do it, it stops being what you do and actually becomes who you are. So it becomes a really powerful tool to start living the life you want without it being effort, and hard work, and disappointments. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to work for what you want but it means it’s easier when you go at that knowing and believing that you’re worthy of it and deserving of it.

Katie: Yeah, I think of an example from my own life was that for a lot of years, I had this script in my head that I was trying to lose weight, and if only I lost weight then I would be happy or then I would love myself. And what I ended up realizing in my own journey was that I could choose to change that belief, and to love myself, and to choose happiness in that moment. And then it actually became so much easier to do all of the things that led to weight loss because I wasn’t fighting myself anymore. But I think often for anyone struggling, you mentioned some big problems, you know, eating disorders or alcoholism, things that are very serious issues, there often is that perception that it’s going to be very hard or that it has to be very, very difficult or an uphill battle or a hard process. And I love that about your work because you really have this message that these shifts, like you said, there’s still work involved, but they don’t have to be this really, really difficult thing that we often make them out to be. But I’m curious what are some of those common limiting beliefs that people run into? I know that you have a lot of work around the idea of I am not enough and that seems to be an incredibly common one.

Marisa: Yeah, it’s the most common one. I would say that at least a third, if not 50% of all my clients come in with that belief, “I’m not enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not interesting enough. I’m not worthy enough.” And that lies behind things like hoarding, compulsive shopping, addictions, destructive eating, even having wealth blocks and love blocks, you know, self-sabotaging yourself all originate in the feeling of not being enough. The good thing is, it’s very, very easy to change it because it’s not true. No baby is born thinking they’re not enough. We can pick that belief up very, very fast but we can also get rid of it very fast.

Katie: So, walk us through that a little bit. Like, what are some of the ways that people can begin to…? I know that you have programs specifically for all of this and I’ll make sure we link to those. But I feel like when I first heard about this, I was a little bit in disbelief of, like, can it actually be that easy? Like, it seems like it should be hard.

Marisa: Yeah, that’s so interesting because that’s such a misconception I come up against all the time. Like, doctors will say, “Well, this person’s got anorexia. That’s a very complex illness, therefore the treatment is complex. This client has bipolar depression, that’s so complex that the treatment must be complex.” I’ve met people who say, you know, bulimics need 40 sessions to get better. But I’ve never believed that. But I believe that the many of us are presenting problem, I have depression, I have anxiety, I have panic attacks, I have an eating disorder, they’re complex. But the treatment doesn’t need to be complex if and when you can find what causes the problem and treat that.

When you’re treating the problem itself, I’m trying to treat an eating disorder, or a compulsion, or an addiction, but all I’m treating is the behavior, then that can take a long time. But if I treat the origin of the behavior, if I go back to the not-enoughness and treat that, it’s a different game. I mean, recently, you know, I can’t believe I’ve been denying myself love for years and years and years because of a thought. My thoughts have allowed me to deny myself love. And I did all these things. I lost weight. I got a little bit of tweaking here and there. I had a makeover. I joined a dating agency, I joined a dating app, and none of it worked. But when I decided I was lovable, I found someone in the street just walking to the bus stop.

Because that’s the thing, you have to treat the source of the pain. A bit like you going to the doctor and saying, “I have headaches.” And he might say, “Well, you know, your headaches are caused because your posture in your back is wrong.” So now we know that the source of the pain is not the source of the problem. And if you said, “Yeah, I know that but I only wanna take headache pills. You can keep telling me my spine is wrong and my hip’s wrong but I insist on taking headache pills for spinal problems,” we think, “Well, that’s crazy.”

But it’s very much the same thing. The source of your issues is usually not-enoughness, I feel inadequate, I don’t feel good enough, and you must treat that. And when you treat that, you fix all the other problems simultaneously. And that’s why it’s easy because you’re treating the source and the root of a problem rather than the problem itself. And in treating the source and the root, you treat all the offshoots too.

Katie: And it seems like so much of this…You mentioned…I love that line that…I’ve read that in your writing before too that newborn babies aren’t born with the idea that they’re not enough. So this is obviously a learned thing. Do you find that all or almost all of these things go back to a point in childhood for most people?

Marisa: Almost everybody goes back to childhood. I mean, a lot of scientific and medical studies say that our character is set by the time we’re 5, some people say 7. I mean the Catholics say, “Give me a boy until he’s 5 and I’ll give you the man.” And I think Roman said until 7, some will say until 3. But we know…you know, eminent child psychologists know that our childhood shapes our adulthood. And so, for instance, if you were to go to Romania and adopt a little 3-year-old child and bring them back to Florida, and love them, and love them, and love them, that doesn’t mean they’ll get better because so much damage is done in our formative years.

And the biggest problem in our formative years is that when we’re little, we don’t have that many needs. I need to feel safe, that’s important. I need to feel loved. I need to feel I matter so you’ll take care of me. So as a little baby, we only have a few needs. Safe, loved, important, significant. And when those needs are not met, what happens is we don’t blame the parents. We blame ourselves. The child never stops loving parents, they stop loving themselves. Well, “My needs not getting met, I guess I’m not worthy of it.” And they’ll never get met. And now that child becomes an adult who still has this belief, “No one’s gonna meet my needs. I’m not lovable, I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy enough.”

And that’s the terrible sadness because every baby is worthy of love. No baby says, “I won’t cry because no one’s coming. I won’t demand to be fed because I’m greedy. I won’t expect my parents to play with me because they’re exhausted.” A baby has a belief, “I’m worthy of all of this.” And it’s sad that we think we’ve lost it, but we haven’t lost it, we’ve just forgotten we ever had it. And so you can get all of that back and very easily too.

Katie: Yeah, I’ve read a quote similar to that recently that completely stopped me in my tracks. And it said, you know, “When you criticize your children, they don’t stop loving you, they stop loving themselves.” And that really made me think a lot. And, kind of, to your point of all of these things, going back to childhood, and when I’ve read your work, I’ve been able to see some of those patterns in my own life. And I feel like from here, there’s kind of a two-part question. Many of the adults listening probably are recognizing some of these limiting beliefs or that, kind of, core feeling of not feeling lovable or not feeling enough.

But also, the majority of the people listening are parents. And so I always think when I hear things like this, like, what can I do as a mom to help my kids have the best foundation and the best mindset going into adulthood? Certainly, I think all moms, we do our best, and still, our kids are gonna probably have things they have to work through. None of us are gonna do it perfectly. But what can we do to give them the best foundation?

Marisa: Well, you know, all children ever need…I wish I’d known this when I was a parent, I didn’t, I found it out later. But what children need is for you to be present with them. That’s all they want, you to be present with them. They don’t really want stuff. I mean, I’m not talking about 15-year-old kids who want the latest Gameboy and the latest Nikes. But little children want you to be present. And if you ask children what their happy zone is…For me, my parents had a house in the South of France, we went every summer. But my happiest memory, without question, was picking berries with my grandmother, making homemade jam, or going to, like, what we used to call a “jumble,” I don’t know what we call them in America, and buying a stack of magazines, and going to, I guess it’s equivalent of like a car boot sale.

So, children’s memories are always like playing puzzles, cooking together. It’s not really about doing stuff that costs a lot of money. So being present with them is vital in raising their self-esteem. As a parent, your child’s self-esteem is a mark of how successful you are or not. And that can be very difficult when kids go to school, and they are judged on what grade they’re in, and what they look like. And it’s very, very difficult as a parent to get it right but the most important thing is to make your kids believe in themselves, to raise them with healthy, high self-esteem.

Katie: And then for the parents, I mean like I said, I’ve recognized some of these things in myself, and these have been things I’ve worked through in my own life. And certainly, I think a lot of the things that you work with people on are so timely and relevant right now. And these limiting beliefs can impact our adult life in so many different ways. You have something called Rapid Transformational Therapy. Can you talk about that a little bit at a high level?

And then I’d love to go a little bit specific on that as well. Because to circle back again, and just really highlighting that idea, I think for years, I made the process harder on myself than I needed to because I expected it to be hard. I thought it had to be hard for it to work. And once I finally realized that wasn’t the case, it was amazing how rapidly things shifted. But walk us through how you work with people in therapy so people can, kind of, understand just how drastically and quickly things can shift.

Marisa: Yeah. Well, a lot of people believe that…I mean, I’ve been told by many other people, the words rapid and therapy should not go together, that therapy isn’t rapid, indeed, it’s long and painful without even any guarantee of a resolution at the end. But there’s no other treatment model that says, “Bring me your pain and we’ll discuss it.” No dentist says “Yes, you’ve got a very bad cavity. Come along and we’ll have a conversation with you every week, and when you trust me enough, we’ll start to do some work.” No cardiologist, no dermatologist says, “We need to discuss your heart problem or your skin problem every week and maybe after some time, you might feel better.”

Therapy is the only model that says, “Turn up with your pain, and we’ll discuss it, and we’ll build a relationship around our discussion, and then when we build a relationship together, we might just be able to crack through your pain and help you or help you live with it.” And that’s not a therapist’s fault but it’s such a strange model to offer people because if you bring your pain to anyone else, a chiropractor, a doctor, a dentist, they tend to fix the pain as fast as they possibly…And no one says in ER, “I need to develop a relationship with a surgeon before they operate on me.” That often we never even meet them because we’re anesthetized by then.

And so, I wanted to create…I mean, I had the same model, which is bring me your pain and let me fix it for you as fast as I possibly can. And if you can participate in the fixing, even better. So people come to me with every kind of pain you can imagine, from physical pain, from migraines, or irritable bowel, or polycystic ovary syndrome, or fibromyalgia. So we have real physical pains. And nearly 70% of ailments now are diagnosed as psychosomatic, which means the headache is absolutely real, the nerve pain is real, but what’s causing them is not broken parts of your body, but broken parts of your thinking. And that’s very easy to fix.

And then we have emotional problems, which don’t have the same physical pains, but they have other issues. I feel depressed, I feel sad, I have panic attacks. I have self-sabotaging behavior. I’m self-destructive. I don’t have love. And very much the same thing, whether you’re in emotional pain or physical pain, you shouldn’t have to wait any time at all to get better. It should start to happen immediately. So RTT immediately begins to look at why. So, when we train people, we say, “Look, your first job is to be a detective. Put on your detective hat and find out when did this happen? What was going on? Why did this client suddenly become morbidly obese? Why did this client go from straight-A student to failing? Why did this client suddenly get panic attacks?”

So we’re gathering information like a detective, finding out why. And many clients say, “Well, you know, when I found out why, it’s because my dad left when I was a baby. Because my mother cried throughout the pregnancy. I had no idea that I blamed myself for that.” And the minute they find out why, they feel so much better. And then the second part of the session is moving from being a detective to almost like a dentist and removing toxic matter, toxic beliefs, toxic thoughts, toxic decisions people have made, getting rid of them and replacing them with something better. And then the third and final part is being a coder. And just as a coder wires into a computer better software to make it function better, we wire into our clients much better software to make them believe in themselves to reactivate the confidence they were born with but they forgot they ever had.

And also, it’s recorded, the one that’s terribly important is a client is given a recording that’s personal, it’s not a generic relaxation. It’s made in the session. It’s a recording made for them. The coding bit is recorded. The client takes that home. They play it for 20 days because RTT is based on the rules of the mind. And the rules of the mind say the mind learns by repetition. The rules of the mind say every thought you think is the blueprint that your mind and body work to make real, that the strongest force in you is that you act in a way that matches the way you define yourself. And that emotion is way more powerful than logic. So I’ve put all these rules of the mind together to form a therapy based around our own mind rules that make our mind accept new beliefs while letting go of old ones quite rapidly, very rapidly, actually.

Katie: So to follow up on those three points, which I love that it’s that clear cut, so, you said the first part is trying to figure out why or where that comes from. And as an example, I know for me, I went back to several times in childhood where I had made a mistake or dropped something and kind of gotten yelled at by my mom and had internalized that I wasn’t good enough or that I was always making mistakes or whatever it was. And even just being able to recognize that that’s where it came from and reframe it now understanding also a mom’s perspective and realize that likely had nothing to do with me, it was maybe she was having a bad day or she was stressed out, and I could totally understand that now when I was able to look at it differently. But do you find even just people being able to pinpoint and know that why is a big step?

Marisa: It’s a huge step because when you’re little, you know, here’s the truth for any child, when you’re a little baby, you know one thing, if your parents like you, you’ll survive. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baby kitten, a baby puppy, or a baby human, we understand innately that if my parents love me, I’m gonna make it. And so when our parents get angry with us and shout at us and scream at us because they’re having their own issues, we always think it’s our fault because we must idealize the people that we believe our survival depends on.

So when mom screams at you, dad flounces off, dad leaves mom, whatever is going on, a child can’t work out, “Oh, you see, my dad’s an alcoholic. My mom’s got depression. My parents should never have never gotten married.” All a child can think is, “Oh, they don’t love me because I’m not enough.” Because it’s safer to blame yourself than to blame the person that your survival depends on. So that makes perfect sense. The problem is that we never get to a stage where we think, “Oh, right, let me go back now and reset that because I always thought it was my fault my mom was unhappy. Now I understand my mom made very bad choices. She was a bit of a victim and it wasn’t my fault.”

We don’t have a reset button to press so we go through life believing what it must be. If my mom was unhappy and she didn’t love me, who’s gonna love me? You know, I saw that with Princess Diana a lot because her own mother left when she was little and didn’t come back. She always believed, “Well, if she didn’t love me, who could love me?” That was very much the same thing with Marilyn Monroe. You see if you look at Whitney Houston, or Amy Winehouse, or Heath Ledger, and even Michael Jackson, or George Michael, whenever the child has to perform to get the parent’s praise, or has to achieve, has to work for love, they will believe, “Oh, no, I don’t get love. I have to work really hard to earn it, and at any time it will be taken away,” and they often go into self-sabotage because of this belief, “I’m not lovable the way I am. I’m lovable if I look perfect, act perfect, produce something perfect.”

Katie: Wow. That makes so much sense. So, how can we, as parents, help kids not to internalize that or not to feel like they’re not worthy of love? Because certainly there are times there’s going to be people who have separations or divorce or who go through tough times and their kids are gonna have to go through those things too. Are there ways to help kids?

Marisa: Yeah. Good question. This is so good for parents. So the best thing is to own it. You know, all parents, certainly me, I mean, I messed up many, many times. You know, I was a single parent with my own issues, of course, I shouted at my child and said things I should never have said that I will always regret. But it’s very hard to be a perfect parent. All you can do with your kids is go out and say, “You know what, darling? Mommy was not very nice today. Mommy loves you. Mommy’s…That was not your fault. Today mommy was cranky. Today mommy had a lot of worries and I shouldn’t have made you the butt of that.” And they do understand that. I used to say to my little girl, “You know, darling, today mommy had her period and she was a bit ratty.” And one day she said, “Mommy, I think my teacher had her period today because she was not very kind.”

So she had it all worked out in her head because I would always apologize, “That was my fault. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have reacted like that.” I may have…She said to me, she goes “Mommy, it doesn’t feel like you love me when you speak to me in that nasty voice.” Because I was saying, “Come on, hurry. I love you but you’ve gotta hurry up.” And they’re not silly children but they don’t expect you to be perfect, they just expect you to not put it on them to say, “That was my fault. You know, I have no right to shout at you as we’re running through the airport or running for the bus, or everything went wrong, I dropped the dinner, or I burned it, I smashed something, I shouldn’t turn around and scream at you because that wasn’t your fault. And even if it was, you know, you are just a kid if you broke something.” I mean, they do that. They get nail varnish on your carpet and do all kinds of things you prefer them not to do.

But as long as you can own it and say, “I didn’t handle it very well today. I’m really sorry,” they like that because it allows them to understand that other people won’t handle it. The teacher may have a bad day, the friend…And, of course, kids take it out on each other too. They’re not averse to some kid picks up their toy truck, smacking them around the head with it. So they do understand that it isn’t all perfect Pollyanna. But apologizing to your child, owning and saying, “You didn’t deserve that. I was out of line. I shouldn’t have done that,” that makes them stop blaming themselves, which is the big thing you want to wire into children. That was my fault.

You see, even children who get abused, that’s the heartbreaking thing, most pedophiles say to a child, “You wanted that. You know, when you were running around in your bikini or sashaying around in your nightie,” or you’re so pretty, or you’re so cute, you wanted that.” And they don’t understand how to say, “No, I didn’t,” because it’s very easy to make a child believe it’s their fault. And so you have to give your kids to go, “No, it’s not my fault. I didn’t cause that. I’m not to blame.” And also, when you can go to your child and say, “You know, today, daddy was really out of line and I behaved like a child. I lost my temper. I was a child. You were smarter than me today.” What that does is it allows them to go and say, “Mommy, I lost it, I acted out. I did something really wrong today,” because you’ve allowed them to see that they don’t have to be perfect and you’re not, then they can come to you and say…

My daughter came home one day when she’s about 13 and said, “Mommy, I spoke terribly to my friend’s brother. He stole all these baseball hats in a shop and he gave me one and I didn’t want it. I didn’t know what to do.” And I say, “Well, that’s good that you told me.” And I’d always say, “You will never get punished for telling the truth ever, even if you do something really wrong.” And I said, “You know that feeling in your tummy, that’s a feeling that it’s not good and you just have to say to him, “No, thank you.”

Or, you know, if he’s 15, you’re 11, and you feel embarrassed, then, you know, when you get home, you did the right thing, you said to mom, “I don’t want this baseball hat. I felt really bad accepting it.” So the more you can allow them to see that they don’t have to be perfect comes from you owning your mistakes and not trying to be perfect. And the worst thing is when parents say, “Don’t you answer back. Don’t you have an opinion. Don’t shout. Don’t cry. I’ll give you something to cry about.” That’s very confusing for a child. You get angry when they’re angry. And they get punished for being angry, but you’re allowed to be angry. So that’s really confusing for them. And let them have an opinion because when they get to 14 or 15, you know, you want your kids to be able to have an opinion against a bully or somebody who’s gonna pressurize them to have sex or drink or smoke. But if you never let them have an opinion with you, then how are they ever going to do that? You’re the first person they’re going to learn to debate and argue with.

Katie: That is such a great point. It’s one I’ve definitely not done perfectly, but I have tried to do. My oldest is now 14. And even from the time he was little, I would encourage them to ask questions. And I remember when he was really little, maybe like 3, I said, “You know, always ask questions if you’re curious. And if you don’t understand something or something doesn’t make sense, always question it.” And he said, “Even you?” And I said, “Even and especially me because I’m here to help you learn.” But I think you’re right, so often that gets suppressed with kids. And it’s been amazing to watch him now, largely, even though he’s 14, like an adult at this point, and how responsible he is and to see our relationship shift. And like I said, I don’t think I’ve done it perfectly by any means but that’s something I’m glad I did from a very young age with them.

And another thing I’ve tried to always say to them every day, I have six kids, so I say it a lot but that, “I love you unconditionally. There’s nothing you can ever do to reduce that and there’s nothing you can ever do or need to do to increase that either.” Because I feel like I didn’t get that second part very much as a kid. I knew that my parents loved me but I always felt like I had to earn approval or that it was tied to my achievements. And I wanted to, hopefully, help my kids know that they never had to earn that, that it would always be there.

Marisa: And it’s such a beautiful thing because, you know, so many adults have this belief, I need to earn love. I need to work for love. I need to chase love. I need to be really good. I need to have things snipped off or injected in and I need to, you know, add stuff to myself. And that just isn’t true. Love is just there and you don’t have to earn it, work for it, or run after it. And so saying to a child, “You know, I love you and you don’t ever have to earn my love and there’s nothing you could do to make me love you more and there’s nothing you can do to make me love you less. If you mess up, you know, I won’t be pleased but I’ll be there.”

Because, you know, some parents say to their kids, “If you get pregnant, don’t ever come home. If you take drugs, you’re out of this house.” And they say it to scare them but imagine if your child of 14 takes drugs and feels they can never come home, then where do you think they’re going to go? It’s much better for you to say, “I don’t want you to take drugs, I don’t want you to get pregnant, but whatever is going on, you will never get punished for telling the truth.” And I remember my little girl when she was little said, “Mommy, I’ve got green nail varnish all over the carpet and I know you won’t punish me because I just told you the truth.” And I said, “Well, I’m very upset you did that, but I won’t.” And she said, “Mommy, it’s such a relief. I’ve been so scared to tell you.” But I knew in that moment it was a test. Should I get really angry or shall I do…?

I gave her my word, you will never be punished for telling the truth. And, you know, all kids do crazy things. And you can’t always stop them, but you can be there to mop them up. And, you know, I had my daughter’s friends turning up at my house, having been thrown out of their own house because their mother found contraception in their bag or in one case the morning after pill. And you have to be a safe place for your children when they’re going through rough times because the last thing you want is them to go to someone else’s house because they can’t talk to you.

Katie: Yeah, that’s such a good point. We’ve kind of become that place for a lot of my kids’ friends as well and I’m so grateful to be that place. I’d always said when they were young, I hope to be the place where all the kids feel comfortable coming to hang out and that they also feel like they can talk to me. But it does make me sad as well when kids will talk to me, but not their own parents. And I always try to encourage them to open the lines of communication with their parents.

Marisa: Of course. And so many of them are just so scared of being judged. I mean, you know, I work with infertility a lot and I always take people back to why they can’t conceive. And you’d be amazed at how many women go back to this classic scene, “I’m 15 or 14 and I think I’m pregnant. My dad will absolutely kill me. My parents will be furious. They’ll disown me. They’ll kick me out of the house or they’ll be so upset I’ve let them down.” And that doubt they have with themselves, “This is the worst thing ever, this is a nightmare, this is a disaster, this is shame,” that feeling of horror they feel thinking they’re pregnant becomes the first block. The mind says, “Oh, you don’t wanna have a baby.” And 15 years later, when they’re happily married to some great guy, the mind is still acting off this old belief it would be a nightmare, a disaster, the worst thing ever to have a baby.

Because the mind is always listening. Every word you say is picked up by the mind. And unexplained infertility is a fascinating thing because it’s unexplainable. Explainable infertility means, well, your fallopian tubes are blocked. You haven’t got any eggs, your womb lining is too thin, your husband’s sperm swims backwards and there’s not much of it. But unexplained means everything is perfect but you have some blocking belief. And it always often starts at the first thoughts you have about having a baby. Having a baby when we’re teenagers or we’re not married or even beyond that, “Oh, this boy is gonna reject me now. He’ll think I’ve trapped him. It’s a sense of shame. I don’t want this at this time in my life.” Because the mind is always listening and the words we form, a blueprint that we react to 15 years after the event has come and gone.

Katie: Wow. That’s really drastic. And okay, so you said the second step is that you remove these pain points or you remove these blocks. Can you walk us through just a high level of how that happens or how you do that?

Marisa: Yeah. So, I’ll give you a very good example, I was thinking about a particular client. So I had a particular client, who’s an Arabic girl, very nice, came from a very religious family, where the father’s word was everything. And she was dating a white boy and thought she was pregnant. And of course, her parents would have just been horrified. It would have been awful. And so when she thought she was pregnant, she went into absolute terror, and stress, and anxiety, and in the end, arranged privately to have a termination they never knew about and carried all the guilt about that. And now, 15 years later, she’s 30-something, she’s got a lovely husband from the same Arabic like her, parents adore him, adore her, long need to be grandparents, but she can’t get pregnant because of this memory.

So, the first thing we do is go back, people don’t always know about the moment, we go back to why? Let’s find out why you can’t conceive, up comes this memory. And when she describes it, she’s crying, her lip’s trembling. She’s really feeling the terror, the shame, the anxiety, the stress, the worry, the uncertainty, and then more shame after she has this termination, the fear that when they find out, they’ll disown her because she’s no longer this perfect little girl that they think she is. And now, we go to 15 years later where she’s got a lovely husband and her parents will be running up and down the ward elated when they know she’s having a baby. It will be their much-wanted grandson or grandchild.

So, to separate it, I make my client say, “That’s not me. That girl of 15 who’s crying and going up to London to have a secret termination and has got secret papers, that’s not me. If I say to my parents, ‘Oh, I’m pregnant,’ they will be crying with happiness, it’s all they want.” So it’s the ability just separate then from now. Yes, when that was me, I was 15 and I did some silly things but I had only been on the planet for 15 years. I didn’t know then what I know now. I was acting with a life experience of a 15-year-old, very different to a 32-year-old. It’s not me. So, you have to look at the scene then and the scene now and see the difference because most people look at the scene and they see the comparison. You see, I wasn’t loved when I was 2 and here I am, I’m 32 and I still can’t find love. Every guy I meet dumps me. Everything goes wrong.

So, a lot of people look at how it’s the same. I was stupid at school, I still feel stupid. I felt ugly at school, I still feel ugly. I wasn’t the smartest kid and now I’m scared to ask for something because I don’t feel smart. And it’s very important to not look at what is the same but to look at what is the difference because that’s another rule of your mind, whatever you look for, you can find. So, they have to go through this first thing, that is not me because, and that can’t be me because, and that will never be me ever again because…And once they’ve been able to really identify what is different rather than what is the same, they’re ready to go on to the final step, which is convincing the mind that in her case, she’s ready to have a baby, that she’s gonna be an amazing mother, that everything is perfect. And she couldn’t have been an amazing mother at 15 but she can be an amazing mother today. So, it’s looking at what’s different, making sense of it, and then becoming free of it. And all of those things are, kind of, equally important.

Katie: How does a person start to go about that? Like, you call it coding, giving a new software. I also think of this in relation to the earlier question of programming our kids, hopefully, in a good way, and you’ve given some great tips for that. But once a person recognizes the problem and they know what the pain point is to remove, what does that look like to rewire or recode the brain and how long does that process take?

Marisa: I mean, it can be almost immediate. The only reason I call it coding is people…you know, we live in a…We use the word, like, hacks, and you could call it something else, like having a conditioning recording. I’ve got a hypnotic conditioning audio to play. But you see, if your computer has a bug, you know that the computer has slowed down. And then when you take it to somewhere, they take out the bug, they put in your software, they upgrade it really, and then it works perfectly. And rather like a computer, we get bugs in our thinking that slow us down, dim our potential, dim our light. And just like the best software person, we just have to take those bugs out and upgrade our own thinking.

And so, upgrading your thinking really works like this. You need to look at the thoughts you think. For example, “I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel important enough. I think I don’t matter.” Where does that come from? Without a doubt, a little child. Well, why did you think those thoughts? Well, because my mom said she wanted a boy and I was the third girl or she didn’t really want to have a baby or, you know, my dad left her and it ruined her life. And so, I thought these beliefs that I didn’t matter but I was 4 years old, I came to conclusions when I’d been on the planet for four years. And that’s okay because any kid at 4 would have thought what I thought but now I’m 44, it will never again be relevant or necessary, appropriate. It wouldn’t even be interesting to think what I thought when I was 4. So that’s how you start to change the software. You say, “I thought that when I was 4…”

It’s a bit like if I went to the store with my mother when I was 4 and I got lost in the shop, I probably would have wet my pants and cried. But at 32, I’d sit down and wait for her to page me or I’d call her on the mobile. You know, I’ve never lost my daughter in an airport but I remember being in an airport, funny enough it was in Florida, and I see this little boy in the plane, and he walked past me on his own, and I grabbed his hand and said, “Stay with me.” And about five minutes, this mom came running around the corner hysterical, and she recognized, she said “Thank you so much for holding onto him.” And for her it was terror. But imagine 20 years pass and she’s at the airport with that little boy of 2 and she loses him, she’s not gonna cry or run around the airport hysterical. So she’s gonna page him or call him or say, “Well, I’ll just go to the gate because he knows which plane we’re getting so I’m sure he’ll make his own way to the gate,” which they do.

So, the belief that if you lost your mother at 17 and you cry hysterically, just like you would at 2, is something nobody would do. And you just tell these stories to recognize that how you behave at 2 is called age-appropriate. It’s the end of the world when your mom shouts at you or screams at you. And I remember coming out of the store not long ago and I saw something, I really hate to see this but I’ve seen it a little bit, which is a mother pretending to leave her kid in the car park and drive off without him. First of all, it was so dangerous because she just drove away and he was screaming. She knew she was coming back but she was playing a game and he had no idea what the rules of the game were, which is I stand on the pavement and cry, you come back, I get in the car, and I promise never to do that again.

But I don’t understand this game because I’m only 2, and it’s not a game to me, “My mom is leaving me forever because she doesn’t like me because I’m not good.” And so, these are the rules that we expect children to play and they don’t understand the rules. And so, now, all these years later is this 2-year-old kid who was left in the store still has this belief, “Well, my wife will leave if I’m not good. My friends will leave if I’m not good. I’ve gotta be good all the time because if I’m not good, people just abandon me.”

And so that’s the difference that what we feel when we’re 2, we suffer when we’re 32 because we still don’t quite understand the rules. And that’s why we shouldn’t play games with other people. We should be very honest. Never threaten to leave a relationship unless you really want to leave. Don’t go, “Well, I’ll walk out if you do that. I’m leaving if you do that. I’m off if you do that.” Because it’s so unfair. You know, I mean, I love my husband, he loves me, we have issues, but I would never, ever say, “If you do that, I’m off.” Because I’ve seen too many people do that to their children and indeed, to their partners, when, you know, they even pack the case and walk out of the door when they have no intention of leaving them. But the pain they cause other people who don’t understand the rules is very unfair.

Katie: That’s such a clear way of explaining it. And especially with kids, I mean, I think that analogy is perfect and really, really important. And I also think, like, this is something I’ve noticed in my life, and I’m probably still working on, is I for a long time felt like I needed to, like, do everything for everyone else all the time and I would go out of my way to help people or to get things for people. And I don’t think that was inherently a bad thing but I can also recognize that it largely came from that idea that I wasn’t lovable or good enough on my own, and so that I was only valued for what I did for other people or my achievements. And so even if the actions themselves were good, maybe the motivation behind them wasn’t quite so healthy.

And I love that quote that, “Whatever you look for, you’ll find.” And I think of that in our relationships or any interaction, I heard it explained one time, you know, if you have the idea that you’re not likable, you’re gonna find proof of that in all of your interactions. It might be the way someone looks at you, whether they don’t respond quickly enough, or whatever it may be, when really, the reality of that might be that they have something else going on, or they’re busy, or it has nothing to do with you at all. But when we look for that, we’re gonna find it. And I guess I, kind of, relate that to that we’ve become what we think about and the question that we ask ourselves.

Like, as an example of my own life, when my internal questions used to be like, why can’t I lose weight, why is this so hard for me, my brain would answer those questions with all of the ways I couldn’t lose weight and why it was so hard. And when I shifted my thinking and stopped asking those questions and started asking better questions, it became so much easier to do that. Is that, kind of, the same idea as this is like retraining those patterns and questions internally?

Marisa: Your mind will answer any question you give it. So, why can’t I find anything? Well, because I’ve got a memory like a sieve. You have to ask a different question. How can I always find where things are? So, if you give your mind a better question, what could I do to have the body I want? What could I do to have the love I want or the family life? What could I do? Your mind will go ahead and find something real. If you say why do my relationships always go wrong, it will just look for something random like, “Well, you’re not lovable enough.” So you gotta be very clear with how you…again, it’s the computer…you have to ask your mind very, very specific questions.

If you’re searching on Google, you’re asking a question, you know, for instance, I was looking at Google yesterday to see which countries are now shutting out the U.K. because of this virus. But I was getting answers from May because I hadn’t put in the date in December. So that’s a silly thing. But when you ask a question on Google, if you don’t put in exactly the date you’re looking for the question, you’ll get the right answer, but from three years ago. And often we do this, “Oh, you know, I’ve just realized this article is out of date.” But it’s very much the same thing with your mind when you ask it questions. Make sure it understands the question so clearly.

So here’s a question, I want love. Well, okay, you want love but do you want it for an hour? Do you want it for an evening? Do you want it for the rest of your life? You gotta be really clear, what kind of love do you want? You know, a night of passion or something different? I want money. Well, how much money do you want and how do you want to get that money? Do you want to earn it by doing something amazing that will make you feel you’re doing good in the world, you can earn money while you sleep, or do you want to get money by any means necessary? So, our mind will always answer questions, but we have to be careful to give it the right questions that it can answer for us because it will be our ally and our best friend. And we’re so much wanting to get what we want when we ask the mind in a much more specific way.

Katie: And you have programs very specific to this. Can you talk a little bit about that and how people can find those and know which one that they should start with?

Marisa: Sure. Well, we have a lot of programs free. If you go to marisapeer.com, we have audios on wealth wiring, love wiring. So we have audios that are designed to locate and then dismantle your money blocks or love blocks or health blocks or success blocks. So there’s plenty of those. They’re all completely free. We don’t ask for your card. You can just take those. So if you want some free stuff to help you be the best you can be, go to marisapeer.com. If you want to learn how to do RTT, it is an amazing therapy. It really is taking the world by storm. It’s won so many awards. And you don’t have to have any background in therapy to train with us. If you want to know how to do what I do, go to rtt.com. Indeed, you can find there how to work with someone like me in your area because we train people all over the world.

And if you want to just really work on joining the “I am Enough” movement, knowing how to put that in your life, we have fridge magnets, little bracelets, and all kinds of things that we give away over on iamenough.com. So iamenough.com, marisapeer.com, rtt.com, take your pick. But do join the “I am Enough” movement, even if it just means that you are writing on your fridge in fridge magnets, saying it when you clean your teeth, writing it on your mirror in liner or marker pen. I really recommend that small statement can be absolutely life-changing and is to so many people.

Katie: Yeah, and we’ve incorporated that in our house. We’ve been building out what I call a culture wall in our hallway. And it has a lot of our family mottos like, “You were made to do hard things,” and, “Happiness is a choice and a skill,” and, “Ask hard questions,” things like that. And that’s one that we’re adding as well is, “I am enough,” so the kids see it every day. That’s been a fun project to work on together as a family. And I’ll make sure I link to the show notes at wellnessmama.fm to all of the programs that you’ve mentioned and to all of those websites so people can find those and keep learning from you.

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Another question I’d love to ask toward the end of interviews is, other than your own, if there is a book or a number of books that have had a profound impact on your life, and if so what they are and why?

Marisa: Gosh, so many books. That’s a hard thing to pick. Well, and actually, I remember when I was a kid, I read “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy. He was my favorite writer. And I loved that because he was describing this girl and he said, “You know, her eyes are not blue or brown and her lips are lopsided and wonky. And her imperfections made her perfect.” And I love “Jane Eyre” because I loved that quote when she says, “You know, I’m small and plain but I feel in love and passion just as if I was tall and beautiful.” And so, I love quotes from books. And Thomas Hardy wrote about this girl and he said, “She was a little more sinned against than sinning.” And I thought that was such a beautiful quote.

But my favorite quote, which comes from a medical doctor’s book is this, “It’s the feeling that cannot find its expression in tears and will cause other organs to weep.” And so I read his book, I was at Maudsley Hospital, and that was a guy called Henry Maudsley, who was an eminent psychiatrist. And I was looking in his diaries, and there was that quote, and that was probably the best book I’ve ever read because he just nailed that in one with that amazing moving expression. If we all could know that, because what he’s saying is something and I say to people, and I say, “Look, you can choose to speak about yourself however you like. It’s free. You can choose to be super negative.” Like, you’re saying to your children, happiness is a choice. There’s no terminal you arrive at called happiness. It’s the journey you’re on every day.

So you can choose to be negative or you can choose to be happy but what you can’t choose is what you do to your body when you’re negative. If you could look in your body and see what you do to it when you’re negative, you would stop thinking negative thoughts because they have to come out somewhere, and they come out in asthma, and eczema, and dermatitis, and nervous habits. And so I love books, all books that show people that, you know, your word is everything. I say to my clients, “If I could say abracadabra and you tell me what you want, I’m gonna do my very best to give you what you want.” And then I discovered after me saying that word for years that abracadabra is Hebrew for “my words create,” as I speak, I create. And I didn’t even know that but I’ve been using that word for years and years and then I realized what I was saying.

So I love all books that have the magic of words and quotes. And even Roald Dahl who you all know as a children’s writer said, “The thing that makes you beautiful is kindness. If you’re a kind person, you’ll be beautiful, and if you’re not kind, you won’t be beautiful.” And he also said, “Only those who believe in magic get to see it and experience it.” And I love that because it’s so true.

Katie: Such beautiful quotes. I really love that one, “The feeling that cannot find its expression in tears may cause other organs to weep.” And that speaks to a lot of the things you mentioned in this of how those things can physically express in the body and reminds me also of the book, “The Body Keeps The Score” and how…

Marisa: Oh yes, I love that book, “Body Keeps Score,” and I love also “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die.” And another great book called “It’s All in Your Head.”

Katie: I am writing these down. I’m gonna…The two you just recommended, those are new to me. I cannot wait to read them. But Marisa, like I said in the beginning, I really appreciate the work that you’re doing. I think it’s really profound and helpful. And especially for women and many women listening, I think it’s really gonna be a dramatic, hopefully, help to them and also very helpful for me. I love your advice on how we can help our kids and hopefully give them a strong foundation with this view of limiting beliefs as possible as they go into adulthood. Do you have any parting advice for the listeners today on the best starting place for all of this or someone who’s maybe recognizing that they have some of these limiting beliefs or they’re struggling with some of these things, the best advice for getting started?

Marisa: Well, I have a very simple book called “I Am Enough,” I mean, I think it costs $10. And if you go to iamenough.com, we give away chapters of it. But even though I’m promoting my own book here, it’s because I wrote that book as a, kind of, manual to help anyone who feels not enough. I have it in schools, I have it in some prisons actually, and a lot of parents use it. And so, it talks you through how to go from feeling not enough to knowing with unshakable certainty that you’re enough. And so, I would really recommend just that because it’s so easy and it’s so simple. Because there’s that thing, again, it has to be complicated. It really doesn’t change. It can be easy becoming the best you could ever hope to be.

I mean, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And I only wish I’d known when I was going through it that it was easy, you know, the breakups and being kicked out of college and all the trauma we go through when we’re finding our way in life. If only I’d known that change is actually easy, it doesn’t have to be painful, or hard or sad, or it doesn’t even have to be a struggle, but we’re told, life is struggle, life is difficult, life is hard. And I sometimes wonder why we tell people that when it doesn’t even have to be true.

Katie: I think that’s a perfect place to wrap up. But like I said, I’ll make sure that all of the links you mentioned are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm so people can continue to learn from you. And I’m so grateful for your time today and for all the work that you’re doing. Thank you for being here and for sharing.

Marisa: Well, thank you. And I have to say, six children, I just take my hat off. I’m just trying to imagine how you would fit that into your life. I envy people that have got lots of children. I’m sure you do it beautifully but that’s an amazing job that you’re doing too.

Katie: Oh, thank you. And thanks to all of you as always for listening, for sharing your most valuable resource, your time, with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.