Elaine Dizon (she/her), Life and Mindset Coach
Elaine and I share an eerily similar traumatic loss that happened long ago. She shares about processing through therapy, the steps she took and the exact words she used when a conversation needed to happen with her son, and an important dialogue that helped keep the bond of friendship alive when life drama felt like it was getting in the way. Elaine gives several examples of what it takes to have conversations that lead to impact and change.
Make sure you follow her on Instagram and check out her daily posts that offer you a moment to pause, reflect and consider what you want for yourself, your physical vitality and how you spend YOUR time and energy. If you DM her she'll even send you free book on her reflection practice, too!
Keep in touch with Rochelle on Instagram or Twitter at @rochellesanch
Elaine Dizon is a life and mindset coach, writer, mother of 2, and a recognized AT&T Business Cultural Champion. She supports busy mompreneurs who are grappling with work/life integration to nourish the next courageous conversation they are longing to have for personal and professional growth. As someone who believes that everyone is on a hero’s journey, Elaine is eager to support an individual’s growth as challenges appear ushering in resilience, hope, and inspiration along the way. Elaine leverages her Bachelor of Arts from UC Irvine in Comparative Literature towards her love of writing. She is a monthly blogger for The Mag on milowekids.com where she supports parents in looking at how they show up in life for themselves and their families. An avid runner, she earned her Brazen Racing permanent bib number – 263 – from the organization for running 26 races in person for two years.
[00:00:00] Rochelle: Hey there. Welcome back to Compassionate Side hustle Strategy. My name is Rochelle Sanchez and we're here today to talk about different ways that you can be... have a little bit more compassion for yourself and for the people that you want to serve with your business, your marketing, and pretty much all of the things that seem kind of sales-y and gross.
[00:00:20] When you look at them on the surface, but with a little bit of tweaking, with a little bit of extra thought and careful strategy, you can create your own marketing strategy that feels good to you and is actually a pleasure to continue doing for your business so that you don't burn yourself out.
[00:00:38] So today we have a special guest. Today is an interview episode with a life and mindset coach.
[00:00:44] Before we get into it. I just want to let you know that starting after next week's episode, you're going to hear from me on another solo episode next week. And then after that, we're going to switch over to being a fortnightly podcast. And I'm going to go through the details on why I'm deciding that next week.
[00:01:04] Um, but just to give you a little heads up so that you know what's going on, okay. So without further ado, let me introduce you to our guest speaker today.
[00:01:14] Elaine design is a life and mindset. Coach writer, mother of two, and a recognized AT&T business cultural champion. She supports busy mompreneurs who are grappling with work-life integration to nourish the next courageous conversation they are longing to have for personal and professional growth.
[00:01:33] As someone who believes that everyone is on a hero's journey, Elaine is eager to support an individual's growth as challenges appear ushering in resilience, hope and inspiration along the way. Elaine leverages her bachelor of arts from UC Irvine in comparative literature toward her love of writing. She is a monthly blogger for The Mag on milowekids.com where she supports parents in looking at how they show up in life for themselves and their families. An avid runners, she earned her brazen racing, permanent bid number 263 from the organization for running 26 races in person for two years.
[00:02:17] So let's get into it.
[00:02:19] Hi, Elaine. Thanks for coming.
[00:02:21] Elaine: Hey, Rochelle. I am so happy to be here.
[00:02:23] Rochelle: I'm glad to have you. So I know that we heard a little bit about you, but, um, you want to introduce yourself?
[00:02:30] Elaine: So my name is Elaine Dizon and I am a life and mindset coach. And I would love to support working moms, mompreneurs in a way that allows them to have courageous conversations in their personal and professional worlds.
[00:02:47] Because I think we're all in a moment to deepen where we're at in life. And if you're on a journey to elevate your leadership, elevate your business, I want to be here to support that conversation that can change the trajectory of where you're at today and where you can be in a couple of days and a year. Whatever you foresee for yourself in the future.
[00:03:12] Rochelle: I love that. And especially at this time when everyone has probably had a lot of time to think about what they want, what they're okay with, what they want to change, it's so appropriate and I'm so grateful that you're doing this work.
[00:03:26] Elaine: Thank you.
[00:03:27] Rochelle: So I'm curious about the courageous conversations. Can you dive into that and talk about that a little bit?
[00:03:34] Elaine: Sure. So I think we have chats throughout our day, which is great because it keeps us connected to the people that are in our life: friends, family, coworkers. And then I'm getting a sense that we move from chats to business conversations and then business conversations started changing into candid conversations. When I talk to individuals who work in corporations or in big business, there's quite a movement to offer diversity inclusion and equity conversations and things like that. And it's all in an effort to create a space for candid conversations. And I find in candid conversations, it's really great because it allows people to say and put a voice to the things that they're seeing and feeling and put it out there.
[00:04:31] For me, when you shift into a courageous conversation, that's the conversation where you're starting to think about the outcome of what you say as well as creating a space and possibility for what you might hear from the person you're having that conversation with, because it's not a certainty. All that is certain is that there is a conversation to be had. How it goes is up in the air. And being in a position to give and receive your ideas, and your thoughts, and that space towards an outcome that you want but also an outcome that, if it's not what you want, that you're still okay with.
[00:05:14] To me, that's the courageous conversation. It's the one you really want to have, but you haven't had it yet, but you're just really striving for it because you know that's the one that can make a difference.
[00:05:26] Rochelle: Oh, yeah. Okay. I think I'm following. Like, just bringing up the topic, understanding that the courageous act is really in just doing it, and bringing up what's important to you and what's on your heart, and then letting go of basically what the other person is going to be saying or the other people. Is that right?
[00:05:44] Elaine: Yeah. And I think once you have one, it's that moment where, "Whoa, what just happened?" Because you don't necessarily train to have a courageous conversation. And I think what's been bubbling up for me, especially over the last year and a half where, time, we've had a lot of it, yet for some of us with all of that time, what did we do with it?
[00:06:06] And I was just reflecting back on my life. What was really meaningful to me was those courageous conversations that let me move on? And I think the first one I had was I was in therapy where I was going through grief management because I lost my mom at 13 and it wasn't until I was 26 or 27. So this is over half my life where I've just been carrying this thing that I couldn't put a finger on.
[00:06:34] And my dad was in a session with me. And I actually asked him the question that I always wanted to ask him, but I never had the guts. And in a space where I wasn't really trained yet but I was in this place where I could ask the question.
[00:06:51] And I asked my dad, "Were you disappointed that it was me who got to live in the car accident instead of mom?" And he said, "That was never my decision to make."
[00:07:06] And at that moment, I had just this wellspring of relief and, "Wow. I can't believe I felt guilty for being alive for over half my life."
[00:07:21] And at that moment, that courageous conversation with my dad led to many more where I got to appreciate him as a person, as a man who lost the love of his life. And as well as I grew into my own person where I just really shed a lot of this pain that I was carrying and grief, and I was able to start moving forward with more courage to keep having those kinds of conversations.
[00:07:52] Rochelle: Wow, I can resonate with that so much. And I had no idea about this, um, about you, but I also lost my mom at 13 years old. And, yeah, just talking about relationships with your remaining parents, my dad, and, um, the idea of, like, therapy and how a therapist can literally be that bridge that you need between you and someone that you're close to but apparently not close enough to be able to save the things you want to say, right?
[00:08:24] Elaine: Right. And I think for my time spent relooking at the past and understanding what took place and therapy, there's a lot of great work there that one can do and really lose that sense of shame or stigma to get the help you need to go through, and think about, and process the grief, process the abandonment issues, process different things.
[00:08:54] And in my time with my therapist, it always came to a point where I look at my therapist and I say, "Oh, you understand me."
[00:09:06] Rochelle: Yeah.
[00:09:07] Elaine: And with coaching, I find that when all of that past and all of that behavioral stuff gets addressed, in coaching, you work with a coach. And in that space, you come to a point where you think, "I understand me and now I can move forward and take action on all these things that I've been dreaming about, visioning about, and really see it in outcomes and results, or I could get a sense of it with one or more of my five senses."
[00:09:42] I should be able to see my dreams, and thoughts, and visions in what I can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch because I'm doing that action.
[00:09:53] Rochelle: Wow. That's beautiful. And I love that distinction of, um, seeing the therapist and how they get you, and then you understanding yourself, and just reaching that point where you're like, "No, I get it now. And I'm, uh, understanding of myself and ready to take the next steps." That's such a great way to put it.
[00:10:15] Elaine: Thanks.
[00:10:16] Rochelle: So you have that courageous conversation with your dad, and I know that it was probably more pivotal than just you finding out, right? It's not just the information that he gave you or the relief that you felt, although those are huge, right? But what would you say just in your reflections and maybe even in what you do now, what kinds of things did that conversation open up for you?
[00:10:47] Elaine: Understanding that you can be bold in terms of really going there with a person or really going there with a client or a stakeholder that you have the capacity to say yes to a conversation you haven't had yet.
[00:11:09] And once I had that conversation with my dad, it freed up energy, you know? It freed up time to explore what inspires me. It freed up the creativity to think about, if I were to engage in my next courageous conversation, how could I do that? Would I enjoy it? If I don't enjoy it, what else can I get out of it, you know?
[00:11:36] You just find on the other side of these conversations, there's something to be had. And when all is said and done, you will always have the experience. And, you know, that experience lends itself to the kind of life training, the kind of brain training and continuous learning, I think, that makes us feel uncomfortable, but it's in that discomfort that we grow.
[00:12:00] And it doesn't need to be like a level 9 or 10 of discomfort. A level 1 or 2 of just that, what I would call, the inklings of Broadcast News where Albert Brooks is starting to sweat, like that's when I know I'm up to something that's really important.
[00:12:21] So when I get that feeling, I'm sensing like, okay, I could put some energy into this and, you know, kudos to our dads, right? Or any male figure who has to embark on raising an adolescent young woman at 13 without that maternal figure who was pretty constant, right? And so he gave me the courage to keep having the conversations because of that one.
[00:12:48] And so I found myself in situations where if I wanted more responsibility at work, if I wanted to stretch myself in terms of leadership, that I was able to have a conversation with a male superior or supervisor and just say, "Hey, I would like an opportunity to do A, B and C," and be cool with it.
[00:13:10] And if I'm given the opportunity, great. If I'm not great, I had the conversation. And then as I continued working, and then children coming into the fold, and now you're doing the whole work-life integration, having the capacity to say yes to the conversation and really state your case that my family's really important to me.
[00:13:34] And this really became clear to me last year when shelter-in-place started distance learning and the world started changing.
[00:13:42] Having courageous conversations last year meant having the opportunity to voice that my family's important to me, my children's education is of utmost importance to me, and I need to be present and I need to be present in a way that I'm not just physically in the same space. I need to be available for when they have questions, for when they might need me. And just saying that your child is in a distance learning situation, you have a couple of people in the home who are trying to share a Chromebook and you're getting the next one, and just being very open and saying, "Is that okay that I turn off my camera to address something? And I will be right back." And if I miss anything, I have contingency plans with my peers or my coworkers to catch up.
[00:14:34] And for somebody to receive that and show grace and gratitude for having that big moment to just simply state what you need in a time where a lot of unknowns were present, a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and complexity, and just say, you know, yes.. And we still need to talk about those times when we need 100% of your attention, because there's just some things you can't miss.
[00:15:05] Rochelle: Absolutely.
[00:15:06] Elaine: For me, you know, that was a big thing where you're negotiating, you're having an open conversation about what looks right, what feels right. And you come to a conclusion where both of you feel good about what you're deciding together.
[00:15:22] Rochelle: Oh, yeah, I wish that more conversations would go that way.
[00:15:27] Elaine: And sometimes they don't, right? And so, you know, let's think about those times when they don't. I think one of the things that came through over the last year and a half, and especially as we move in a direction where we're trying to run our business from a more heart-centered space. Arriving in a moment where you're minding your mindset and being very mindful of the energy you're bringing into the conversation. And attaching energy to an outcome of the conversation, I think, is when things can go sideways, because now are you really giving the space you need to give to have that courageous conversation or are you, you know, armoring up maybe your arm, your shin guard? Maybe you're bring in that invisible...
[00:16:19] Rochelle: Full body armor.
[00:16:20] Elaine: Right? You know, it's like, so how courageous are we going to be? Because I think when we talk about courage, it's really showing up in a way where you're very, very open and receptive to what can be said and what you're willing to let go of.
[00:16:38] Yeah, and I think things go sideways is when you expect something and you were just like, "Oh, no."
[00:16:45] Rochelle: Yeah, that was not what I wanted.
[00:16:47] Elaine: Oh, no. You're asking me to do what? You're asking me to spend how many nights, like, working on something. So that's three all nighters. I don't know. We need to talk about that or I think sometimes the conversations that go sideways, if you give it more space and more breadth, it'll surprise you. And I say this because of my children, because you never know what a 10 or a 7-year-old might throw your way. It's a crapshoot, and they don't always, uh, come from a place of logic.
[00:17:21] So the things that I had to discuss with them is... And I was really surprised because it's easy to dictate and be very prescriptive with what your kids need to do. And there was a moment where we were winding down this school year and they were acting a little out of sorts. So now this is a courageous conversation from a parent to a child level where typically there's hierarchy involved. And in this ongoing, continuous work around censoring your conversations from a compassionate point of view in different capacities and areas of your life, I needed to stop being so prescriptive and give them that space to be courageous in their own way.
[00:18:12] And when they were acting a little out of their norm, I had to just sit them down and say, "I need to understand what's happening because you're not demonstrating the same level of cooperation you normally would with me. You are very frustrated. I just need to understand what's happening." And my seven-year-old, normally I would expect him to get up, leave, play, come back, not listen to me and things like that, but he sat there and just started to go looking and finding the right words. And because I was not speeding up an answer, offering him options, like a multiple choice question, he really had to find the words and his words were, "Mommy, I'm just really lonely."
[00:19:02] Rochelle: Wow.
[00:19:05] Elaine: And that's something I didn't expect because he's at home with people. He has access to, you know, things and cartoons, FaceTime, all these options. And I said, "Man, I am so impressed that you found the words and I understand because even when you're surrounded with people and technology and things, it can still be lonely, huh?" And he said, "Yeah." And I asked him, "What would help you right now in your loneliness?" and he said, "I need play dates and a camp."
[00:19:53] And you know, how beautiful is it to offer your child that space to just say what they need and not rush that conversation? Yeah.
[00:20:07] Rochelle: And, and to hear what they actually need, have them voice it and not have you say, well, I provide this and this and I were doing all this stuff and I don't know why it's not working or not good enough for them or why it's not working as well as for other families.
[00:20:21] Like, no, well with this child, this is what he needs. He just said so.
[00:20:27] Elaine: And so I said, this is a great answer and let's own the answer together. So you find the camp you would like, and I will figure out a way to finance the camp you would like, and let's put that date somewhere where you could see it. So, you know what you envisioned for yourself, what you believe can help you right now in this moment of lonely.
[00:20:53] Becomes very real to you with a date on the calendar. And when you're at the camp on the first day that you did what you said you would do. And so did I,
[00:21:05] Rochelle: What did he say to that?
[00:21:07] Elaine: Yes!! And so we found it and he knows the date because that's his grandma's birthday.
[00:21:16] Rochelle: Wow. Wow. What, what an ending to a courageous conversation and not really an ending, but like the beginning of like the next, you know, stage of your relationship together, right? Understanding each other of him, knowing that you, you care what he's going through.
[00:21:35] Elaine: Absolutely. I think one of the things that really informs me and moves me in, in my relationship with my kids is I need to continue to give them experiences that allow them to continue to invite me into their life because you know, that invitation is not guaranteed. And I only learned this through my dad. And when you, when you lose a parent and you realize right, that your solo parent is doing the best they can and camaraderie and there's conversation that lasts for years, hopefully.
[00:22:23] I'm lucky that he continues to invite me into his life and it's likewise, and that's what really helped me understand that this invitation my children have with me can be... I could be disinvited. The RSVP is no longer needed, mommy. It's cool. I'm 18. I'm out. And, and that tome is not what I envisioned for myself. And so how do I show up and demonstrate that willingness to be a part of their life in a way that they enjoy, and that would carry the invitation to continue to be extended.
[00:23:05] Rochelle: Wow. That's so powerful and I'm, I don't have kids myself, but I can absolutely, um, understand in my own way, why that, you know, that would be powerful to, to have that kind of control, not control, but knowing that you're doing what you can. That you know what you would like. And you're kind of putting the pieces together within your power, but also just understanding that we're all individuals. Like you're our parents, our children, us. We're, we're all kind of are doing our own thing, but um, leaving...
[00:23:44] Leaving that out there and being okay with it.
[00:23:48] Elaine: It's that relationship. And it's over time, that relationship grows through every experience and I believe relationships deepen in ways. When those conversations go to that next level. It's, it's a little like inception, right? You know, you've got Christopher Nolan, great director who just does insane things with his movies.
[00:24:13] And so when you look at inception and the depths of a dream and how the deeper you go in the dream, the more intense it gets, the, the feelings get much more heightened. The senses are heightened. And to bring you back into reality, you know, can take a lot because you go through this experience where you're exploring your yourself in deeper ways.
[00:24:38] And when you come back, it's like, whoa, that just happened. And you start living differently because of this experience. And I feel like courageous conversations offers that. It takes you to deeper levels where you. You are just giving space, sharing space, being very open or receptive to ideas. And you have to just develop that skill over time.
[00:25:02] And I feel with, with the coaching I offer, right. And the support that I would create for people. And it's, it's something that you start doing naturally, but in, in different settings and situations, there's so much more focus on, you know, when you're planting the pause for reflection in the business of busy-ness of life, how often do you pause to reflect and consider your life?
[00:25:29] And what you want.
[00:25:30] And then when you decide what you want, there's a lot of stuff that starts surfacing. That chatter. The woulda coulda shoulda. The regret. The remorse. So lending space to help somebody churn chatter into courage. And that courage filtering into those courageous conversations. That's where I feel life happens, things move and shift because you got to say what you need.
[00:26:06] Rochelle: I am I'm. So with you, I'm in. I'm like, that's it! It's important to have these conversations. I'm I'm wondering if you could talk about, like, why are we don't embrace that boldness? Like why, why don't we be bold and go there more often in your experience?
[00:26:27] Elaine: I think it comes from a position of fear. Am I ready to hear the truth? Am I ready to be truthful? And I think it's. Also a case of not attaching yourself to the outcome of the conversation. Because there are some conversations where I've had, where in these are personal ones where the courageous conversation came from a friend.
[00:26:58] And there was a moment where my friend said, "You know, I love you. But I don't really like you right now because you're dramatic. And every time we hang out, the dances around your drama versus us doing the dance of life and our friendship. And if we want to keep dancing together in this friendship, I need you to start living out this friendship with me, instead of bringing this stuff into our friendship."
[00:27:34] And I was wowed out. Because how many friends do that?
[00:27:42] Rochelle: Yeah. Wow.
[00:27:43] Elaine: You know, you think about your, your friendships with other people it's it becomes, you know, you're Filipino, right?
[00:27:51] Rochelle: Yup.
[00:27:52] Elaine: Okay. So the chismis can happen. It's just so easy to gossip backtalk behind people's back, right? And, you know, rather than have that conversation, it's just easier to go radio silent, not take the calls, not respond to texts, to start creating this alternate reality of your friendship versus just can we be friends or not?
[00:28:14] Rochelle: Right. Right! Oh my goodness.
[00:28:16] Elaine: And I think that's when I realized, you know, how treasured friendships should be. And how this relationship of friendship can be harder in a breakup than a romantic one. And at that moment, I decided, you know, "You're right. I would rather dance in friendship with you than lose our friendship because I'm too immature to deal with the drama in a productive way."
[00:28:43] So that was where I feel you just need to work with that intention around the purpose of this courageous conversation. And if the purpose is to elevate your relationship with somebody, heal a relationship with somebody or negotiate a different criteria around what you do with your job or your salary or your bonus structure, or how you mitigate your time that spent between your work, your life and your self care.
[00:29:20] There's a lot of conversations that sometimes just happens in our head and not necessarily externally. And so making the time to show up with no attachment and to be very open and receptive, I think is the remedy to those who think they don't have the time, who think they know all the answers who are afraid to hear the answers or confront the truth of the situation and may not enjoy it, but that's okay because sometimes you've got to go through it to get through it.
[00:29:58] And it's not always going to be this, you know, a louds and Laurel trumpets blaring guns ablazing, happy moment, because it's in that discomfort. Do you realize how, how strong you are and how hopeful you can be to just know at the end of the day that you had it and you heard it, and now you can make a different set of decisions and actions to carry forward.
[00:30:27] Rochelle: I have a final question for you just to, um, help our listeners figure out what conversations they want to have. Like, how do we, how do we figure out which ones are important to us right now versus something that's, you know, maybe we can push off till later? And there's something underneath it. And also, how do you start that conversation?
[00:30:48] Like, because with you and your kid, you know, you sat down and you asked, you know, what's happening. You're not acting how you usually do.
[00:30:55] Um, with your friend, they told you, you know, it can be, can we be about the friendship instead of the drama? And then even with your dad, you know, it was facilitated with a therapist so, you know, the, the conversation happened there. So taking from, you know, what we just learned, how do we decide which conversations we want to have? And then what, what steps can we take to see how we can go about it?
[00:31:23] Elaine: So how does one decide which one to go after? And I think that goes into, in alignment with what's most important to you right now.
[00:31:34] What's most meaningful to you. And we're all here for a purpose.
[00:31:39] So if you're finding that your attention and your energy should shift to taking care of yourself a little better, and you are lacking the time and support, because you may be committed to certain things, and you're just needing that time and support.
[00:32:04] You get a sense of... anything that you need to have a conversation around, it starts out with maybe some missed commitments and then frustration. And your frustration showing up in ways that may not be demonstrating who you truly are. If you're a kind and loving person and you're torquing off short answers and things like that, that's not who you truly are.
[00:32:30] And so I think over time you get a sense and a trend that I'm doing things that's a little out of the normal for myself, or I'm noticing somebody's getting frustrated and it's now impacting me. Where I'm getting frustrated too, or I'm doing things that are out of the norm and they're doing things out of the norm.
[00:32:51] So at some point, those things surfacing and bubbling up there becomes a tension and a moment where it could snap into something else. And I would imagine that you would want to address it before this thing snaps. That if you could just have this conversation that you keep postponing because you haven't had enough time to prepare or you haven't had enough time to get in the right mindset, deciding which one you want to have, because it's going to impact your ability to be less frustrated, more joyful, more loving, and more who you are.
[00:33:29] I think that's step one. Just realizing that moment and how long those moments could go on and say, you know, I think this is a thing I need to have a conversation around. And once you identify the conversation you need to have, finding time to pause and think about the outcome you would prefer. And how do you show up to create that conversation around the outcome you prefer while being very mindful that I can't guarantee what this other person will say or how the conversation will go.
[00:34:08] So knowing that I may have a preference. Because once you know something, you could see it and work your way around it and have just some options and contingencies for a different set of possibilities. Then you could just start thinking about, okay, knowing that I prefer that and it doesn't go that direction, am I still going to be in a position to hear and see this person as they are in this conversation and see myself and hear myself saying what I would like to say that is supportive to the conversation and that is respectful and dignified?"
[00:34:49] And that we both have our answers and hopefully our answers will align. And if they don't, maybe we can just agree to be heard and seen. And we take it from there and decide what we do next together.
[00:35:07] Rochelle: Wonderful.
[00:35:08] I could talk, have you talk about this for like a long time, but I'm, I'm just so appreciative of you being here and, um, sharing your knowledge. Uh, where can we find out more about you and work with you and all of the things?
[00:35:23] Elaine: Sure, Rochelle. I just love how you create this really great conversational space here. And I appreciate you doing what you're doing in helping people understand how we operate in this post pandemic, new normal with more compassion in our personal life and our professional life and for ourselves.
[00:35:43] So you can find me on Instagram. My handle is @yourcoacheleaine. And I post daily. And it is a moment where I show up being very mindful around what can I offer people to pause and reflect on today? And it's usually a prompt to just think about what you would like to consider around physical vitality, how you spend your time and how you spend your energy and make sure where your energy goes, your attention will flow. So you can find me there.
[00:36:16] And if you DM me on at, on Instagram on @yourcoachelaine I'll send you a free little book about my reflection practice and just learn more about me. And I would love to learn more about you.
[00:36:31] Rochelle: Okay. Well, we'll definitely keep in touch and again, I'm so grateful to you. Thank you for being here and uh, we'll keep in touch, okay?
[00:36:40] Elaine: You got it, Rochelle. Thank you.