Episode 80 Rediscovering Your Feminine Essence with Casandra Austin McDonald

On: May 28, 2024

I’m thrilled to welcome you to another delicious episode of The Scrumptious Woman. Today, I’m joined by the wonderful Casandra Austin McDonald, a coach and mentor dedicated to helping women reconnect with their true selves, their femininity, and their innate sensuality. We dive deep into the themes of self-awareness, the power of breath, and embracing joy in everyday life.

Episode Summary:

In this episode, Casandra shares her journey of staying connected to her femininity from childhood, the lessons she learned from observing her mother, and the importance of never losing touch with who you are. We discuss the challenges many women face in the corporate world, the burnout that can come with it, and the ways to reclaim your sense of self. Casandra provides practical advice on how to reconnect with your body, the significance of joy, and the healing power of breath.

Key Takeaways:

Embrace Your Breath: Casandra emphasises the importance of connecting with your breath as a way to ground yourself and reconnect with your body. Placing a hand on your heart and feeling the rise and fall of your chest can remind you of your aliveness and help you stay present.

Rediscover Joy: Finding joy in small things, whether it’s a smile or enjoying the sunshine, can open your heart and connect you to your feminine energy. Joy is a powerful emotion that can lead to greater pleasure and creativity.

Be Compassionate with Yourself: It’s crucial to be kind to yourself, especially when you fall into old patterns of behaviour. Instead of beating yourself up, practice self-compassion and gentle self-talk.

Observe Without Judgment: Learning to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment can lead to greater self-awareness and personal growth. This practice allows you to break free from unconscious patterns and live more authentically.

The Power of Relationships: Casandra and I explore how relationships, whether in marriage or entrepreneurship, can act as mirrors, reflecting our shadows and helping us grow. They challenge us to be better and more aware of our inner selves.

We hope you enjoy this insightful conversation with Casandra Austin McDonald. Remember to embrace your breath, find joy in the small moments, and be gentle with yourself on this journey of self-discovery.

Thank you for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and leave a review. Your support means the world to me!

Stay Scrumptious,

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The Scrumptious Woman EP80

[00:00:00] Juliette Karaman: Welcome to another episode of The Scrumptious Woman. I have with me another incredibly scrumptious, delicious, yummy, look at that woman. Purple wrap dress. I’m like, I don’t know. I’m getting hot here. Casandra Austin McDonald, you are a coach, mentor, helping, incredible woman. Basically live the life that they want, right?

[00:00:26] Juliette Karaman: With a hell of a lot of centrality and yumminess and truth. In a short, bite sized. You can expand further.

[00:00:36] Casandra Austin McDonald: Yes.

[00:00:37] Juliette Karaman: Welcome. I’m so pleased to have you on the show.

[00:00:42] Casandra Austin McDonald: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:00:44] Juliette Karaman: It’s super cool. You and I met on a mastermind, right? And that kind of had a little Facebook thread, a little messenger thread, and we meet from time to time.

[00:00:58] Juliette Karaman: It’s cool. This woman is pretty hot, super cool, I want

[00:01:03] Casandra Austin McDonald: to have a conversation with her. I’m excited. I love the title, scrumptious woman. I was like, ooh, that sounds good.

[00:01:10] Juliette Karaman: When we talk about sexuality and pleasure, we get so banned. So for me, it’s what is that orgasm, that chi, that life force?

[00:01:18] Juliette Karaman: For me, that feels like scrumptiousness. So that’s my word.

[00:01:23] Casandra Austin McDonald: I love it. I love it.

[00:01:25] Juliette Karaman: Tell me, you exude centrality, ease in your body, flow, chi. You can almost touch it. It’s palpable. Wow.

[00:01:36] Casandra Austin McDonald: I don’t even know where to begin. As a little girl, I feel I’ve been in tune with my femininity since I was a little girl.

[00:01:44] Casandra Austin McDonald: I remember I used to go through my mom’s pictures. Before me and my sisters, I’m the oldest of three girls, and her with my dad. And I just remember seeing this really beautiful, powerful, magnetic woman. And then the woman I was seeing in my childhood was not the woman I was seeing in the pictures. And I just remember it stuck with me, where I was like, I’m never going to do that.

[00:02:06] Casandra Austin McDonald: I’m never going to lose myself. I’m never going to disconnect from that because I felt like there was something she detached from. And so I, it’s I had this knowing as a little girl, like there’s something about you as a woman. Don’t ever lose touch with that.

[00:02:20] Juliette Karaman: So beautiful. And it’s such a good message to give to our daughters and to give younger generations.

[00:02:27] Juliette Karaman: It’s Hey, We don’t have to lose touch of who we are on the inside.

[00:02:32] Juliette Karaman: Yeah. And I love that you’re bringing the femininity in because, so many of us have done corporate and have had to hustle and a lot of us are like, have burned out or have gotten really tired or have hit rock bottom or have had some kind of aha moment.

[00:02:50] Juliette Karaman: It’s this has got to stop. Something’s got to give.

[00:02:54] Casandra Austin McDonald: Yeah, I’ve had many seasons of that.

[00:02:58] Juliette Karaman: We continue to have them,

[00:02:59] Casandra Austin McDonald: right? And it’s it’s that knowing that I talked about with remembering how I saw my mom one way in the pictures, and then who she was, she climbed up and, It’s burning out.

[00:03:11] Casandra Austin McDonald: It was in a dysfunctional, abusive relationship with my dad. And so for me, it was like, anytime I went through a season of burnout or misalignment or disconnecting from myself or feeling like I wasn’t myself, that never left me, it was like, go back to her, go back to who you are, go back to that, knowing, be back in your body, be present again, smell the flowers.

[00:03:35] Casandra Austin McDonald: And. Simple things of when’s the last time you felt pleasurable sex and erotica? When’s the last time? Like just little simple things that I could put my hands on and touch and it was like, if I can’t track simple things like that, I’ve lost touch with myself.

[00:03:52] Juliette Karaman: I love it that you like dropped a bomb, simple thing.

[00:03:54] Juliette Karaman: Like when did I last have pleasure in erotica and sex? Like for most people that’s not so simple, but I do understand where you’re coming from.

[00:04:02] Juliette Karaman: Maybe the simple thing is like, when did I actually just go outside, enjoy the sunshine on my face and actually realize that I could take a breath. And it’s like pleasure and sexuality. It’s like the two bombs that people are like, Whoa, not sure if I dare to go there. But yet that is. What femininity, what scrumptiousness, what pleasure is all about, right?

[00:04:26]Casandra Austin McDonald: Absolutely.

[00:04:28] Juliette Karaman: So beautiful. So let’s just get into it. Give the listeners two, three things to actually get back to that knowingness. Because as babies, as little girls, we had that knowingness. We were sure about ourselves. We were like strutting our stuff, cocky as anything. And just how do you, how what do you say?

[00:04:49] Juliette Karaman: To, to people how to get back to that.

[00:04:52] Casandra Austin McDonald: The first thing is just connecting with your breath. And even, you notice I put my hand on my heart because there’s something about feeling the rise and fall of our chest with each breath and feeling our heartbeat as we’re breathing that reminds us I’m alive and connecting with that aliveness.

[00:05:11] Casandra Austin McDonald: Because it’s that aliveness that wakes us up to sensations in our body. It’s that aliveness that wakes us up to, Oh, there’s more to life than what I’m doing, or these titles, or these labels, or this bank account balance, or this next goal, or this next achievement. I am alive. Can you feel what that feels like in your body?

[00:05:33] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And with that, I feel like that creates a ripple effect. Because I’m even feeling tingling sensations now where it’s like, Ooh! So something as simple as smiling. Are you intentionally smiling? When’s the last time you smiled? I’ve been known to have resting bitch face when I’m serious and I’m in my mind and I’m thinking deeply and I’m contemplating.

[00:05:54] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It’s after remind myself sometimes smile. And it trains the mind too. If you’re feeling down or sad or stressed, reconnect with joy because joy is one of those emotions that I believe is what connects us to pleasure and sensuality and femininity because it’s such an opening. It opens your heart.

[00:06:15] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It opens your energy. It’s inviting. It’s welcoming. It opens your eyes to see what’s around you that maybe you may not have been aware of when you are in here in the head instead of in the heart. Joy comes from the heart. I have

[00:06:30] Juliette Karaman: the monkey mind, right? And also, so me putting my hand on my heart, it’s whoa, what does that feel like from my hand?

[00:06:38] Juliette Karaman: my fingers to give that energy to myself. And what is it to receive from on my skin, to receive that from my hand? And it’s like the energy exchange between that, it’s getting warmer and then a little bit cooler, and then it speeds up and then it cool, it calms down a little bit and it slows down. I’m like, Whoa, it’s a lot of awareness.

[00:07:00] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. Like I just feel in the heartbeat, a little pitter patter. It’s Whoa, there’s something working in my body without me having to think about it.

[00:07:12] Juliette Karaman: That’s sweet. We’re such doing machines, right? And we’re such meaning making machines that it’s like, Oh, I have to do this because I’m anxious and I have to make money and I have to like, I do it.

[00:07:25] Juliette Karaman: Even I, like after fucking years of this, I still notice my patterns. This weekend, it was my sister’s birthday and I didn’t clock it, my late sister’s birthday, and I didn’t clock it. And I was like, I went downstairs and I was going to make coffee for my partner and me early in the morning. And all of a sudden I was cleaning the microwave and I was straining the stock.

[00:07:46] Juliette Karaman: And then the stock fell all over the kitchen floor. And then I started cleaning the kitchen I was like that’s a hella wonky energy here. What’s going on? And I’m like, energetically clearing myself. It calms down a little bit. I’m like, okay, let me just leave all of this. Go upstairs, make the coffees, go upstairs.

[00:08:04] Juliette Karaman: And then afterwards again, connected with him and had some beautiful moments, but it was like, That doing machine was just on and I’ve had a hip operation so I can’t do that much yet. So I went down and our guests were there and they’re like, hey, let us do it. Boss people around.

[00:08:21] Juliette Karaman: It’s okay, you do the microwave, you do the oven, you help me clean up the stock. And I was just like, Wow. Okay. This is really interesting. And I recognize it, but I recognize the pattern. I didn’t quite flag what it was. And it was only after we’d gone out for a walk and for a drive and Matt, we sat down for some lunch, for some salad.

[00:08:43] Juliette Karaman: And I looked at my phone just before sitting down and I saw the message from my nephew and it clicked. I’m like, Oh, It’s my late sister’s birthday. Oh, I’ve done everything in order not to feel. My company is called Feelfully You. My brand is Feelfully You. So it’s like everything about feeling and yet, I’m the pro at helping others.

[00:09:06] Juliette Karaman: And sometimes I need a definite little kick up the butt. Hey, remember to feel. Yeah. It was an interesting interesting awakening again.

[00:09:17] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah, I think we all need those reminders, and that and it’s that’s part of being in the feminist, the receiving, in this modern world, we’re so conditioned to be good doers.

[00:09:28] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And it’s, I like to say we have two different parts of our human that are Either working for us or against us. And it’s our program selves, our human lived experiences, and it’s our primal selves through our lineages and our ancestral coding. And so if we have a combination of human lived experiences, where we’ve been programmed and conditioned to be good doers, and then through whatever lineages we come from, so for me, I have the combination of I’m biracial.

[00:10:01] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so primal. Part of my lineage is Black American, where there’s a history of slavery here. And then my lived experience is my dad was an abusive alcoholic and authoritarian and a disciplinarian. And so I had a lot of programming and primal coding to untangle and unwire. And it’s a constant work in progress to remind myself, be in your body and connect with your heart.

[00:10:25] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Because living in my head is how I survived in life. I was able to survive the world as a woman of color, at all the different demographics through being in my head. That’s how I survived. But then when I started my awakening and realized that I’m not my head, that I have a body

[00:10:44] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It was this crazy awareness, like I could start to notice. When I was getting in my head and what that and where that train would take me, it would take me to stress, burnout, disconnection, dis ease. Whereas when I’m with my, in my body was like, Oh, pleasure connection, creativity, inspiration. So I, it’s I start playing with, I can notice.

[00:11:07] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: What’s going on when I’m living in my head versus in my body and in my heart. And I think the next piece of that is how are we talking to ourselves when we disconnected? Because a part of the thing I had to work through was not shaming and judging myself when I realized I fell into unconscious patterns.

[00:11:26] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And I fell into self sabotage and I fell into, so it’s are you beating yourself up? Are you being hard on yourself? Is that inner critic active? And so that’s the next layer I’ve had to work through is, how are you talking to yourself when you fall into the unconscious patterns? Because I think that’s what keeps people there longer than what needs to be because they’re beating themselves up that whether if it’s their mother’s voice, their father’s, whoever’s voice it is, it’s like tearing them apart instead of can we be more compassionate toward ourselves?

[00:11:56] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Can we be more gentle with ourselves? Can we love ourselves back into alignment?

[00:12:01] Juliette Karaman: And that’s it, right? It’s so often, it’s, I love how you say programmed and primal. Because those two are definitely where it’s at. And it’s what has your church said? What has your environment said? What do the magazines say?

[00:12:17] Juliette Karaman: What did you say? What were your peers? These days it’s Instagram and influencers. It’s not the magazines anymore. But yes, Yeah. What have you heard? Has someone looked at you a certain way and you felt uncomfortable and it’s Oh, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t be so loud or I shouldn’t wear a short dress or cleavage or this and that.

[00:12:34] Juliette Karaman: It’s what have we made it mean about ourselves? Yes.

[00:12:38] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yes, absolutely. I don’t remember who I heard this from, but I remember hearing recently somebody teaching about, It’s not about what other people do, but it’s about how we feel about ourselves when we’re in relationship or we’re in interactions with those people.

[00:12:57] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And that was such a light bulb moment for me because it’s like, where did I make other people’s way of living mean something about me? And how did I feel about myself? When engaging, whether it’s through a conversation or observation or whatever. And so it’s like my new level currently is I stop and ask myself if I feel triggered or I feel activated or I feel irritated.

[00:13:21] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It’s like, how am I feeling about myself in this before I jumped to a conclusion or an assumption or a judgment? It’s what, how do I feel about me in this experience?

[00:13:34] Juliette Karaman: And

[00:13:34] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: is it true?

[00:13:36] Juliette Karaman: Beautiful. Becoming the observer, right? Really like observing your pattern, observing your thoughts, observing the emotions, and then how that keeps looping.

[00:13:44] Juliette Karaman: It’s okay. And it doesn’t necessarily, you don’t have to change anything, but by observing it already, Everything changes, energy changes, right? And this is the beautiful thing about coaching and especially about group coaching. And I know you do beautiful retreats as well, where you get it’s not a massive group, but it’s it feels like it’s always a really beautiful, intimate group of women.

[00:14:07] Juliette Karaman: I’m going to say polish the edges, but that’s not, but it’s cutting the ragged bit a little bit off and in relationship, that’s what we do, right? We keep polishing each other because we’re, Oh gosh.

[00:14:23] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I always say my husband is my greatest mirror.

[00:14:27] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Oh my gosh. I, there’s two things I feel can support us best in self actualization and it’s the me. Marriage and entrepreneurship. Oh, that’s good. All your shit. All your shadows. It’s going to come out, it’s going to come out

[00:14:46] Juliette Karaman: Completely under the spotlight. I remember one of my mentors used to say like really relationship is for awakening.

[00:14:53] Juliette Karaman: That’s Yeah, we used to do, oh my God, loads of stuff like relationship we’d try like a relationship with someone for a month and we’d really like document everything and how it was, yeah, it was interesting. It was an interesting time of my life, but yeah, definitely entrepreneurship, marriage, kids are another one.

[00:15:14] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Oh yeah, for sure. My son, I feel like he came here to teach me something rather than me to teach him. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:15:23] Juliette Karaman: Isn’t it beautiful how they choose us, right? And it always reminds me of Khalil Gibran, this Lebanese poet and, my ex husband’s Lebanese Palestinian, so of course I’ve got a bit of affinity with it.

[00:15:36] Juliette Karaman: But where he says children come through us, not made from us, right? And all we have to do is just, for me, it’s like we give them roots and wings. Oh, that’s beautiful. We let them fly, but at the same time also still be rooted enough that they don’t like . Go. I love that. That’s beautiful. Yeah, I really enjoy it.

[00:15:59] Juliette Karaman: So what I love about you is that it’s no bullshit. This is where it’s at. Yeah. It just feels like it’s mostly women that you work with.

[00:16:08] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah. I’ve actually worked with men before too. Usually they’re men who are, I would say they, that they. are gay or homosexual, however they want to define themselves, but I’ve always had, they’ve always had a resonance with me and me with them and they feel safe with me.

[00:16:24] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so mostly it’s been women, but I’ve worked with men too. And it’s interesting you say that because I just had a friend recently saying you’re just so Real. And I don’t know any other way to be. I just, I’m like, I don’t know how to do anything else. I’m a combination of neuro divergent and intuitive and spiritually prophetic.

[00:16:45] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I don’t know how to human like other humans human. You

[00:16:50] Juliette Karaman: are authentically you. Like I just don’t. Right? And that’s why people love you. Oh, thank

[00:17:03] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: you.

[00:17:03] Juliette Karaman: But that’s it, right? It’s that’s what leaves the mark, where it’s you don’t just blow of the wind. It’s oh, a bit of this, bit of that.

[00:17:10] Juliette Karaman: It’s no, this is your standpoint. This is what you stand for. This is your authenticity. And people are going to love it, or you’re going to trigger people. And then it’s also you’re welcome. You’re welcome. I’m showing you where you’re not free yet.

[00:17:26] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah, I feel I didn’t really own that until these last couple years diving deeper into my human design and learning that I have a 5 1 profile and that 5 1 was all about being really like the leader that people either want to walk with or They get triggered by.

[00:17:47] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And that really helped me to accept myself on a much deeper level because for a long time I could, I, it’s like that old wiring, that old programming of something’s wrong with you sometimes would creep in because I’d never fit in. I never belonged. I always marched to the beat of my own drum.

[00:18:05] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: When everybody was going left, I wanted to go right. And I didn’t know why I was wired this way. I just didn’t understand. So there were times where And that’s where that primal piece comes in, right? Like we’re wired as humans for connection and belonging. And so when I feel like that was missing in my life, there have been times I would acquiesce a little bit and dim my light and shrink and hide and play small to try to fit in.

[00:18:29] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I’m not saying that I have to fit and squeeze myself into spaces to maintain some sort of connection and belonging, but it was through human design where I feel like I really got to love and accept myself on a much deeper level where I was like, this is who I am. I’m wired this way. There’s nothing wrong with me and it really helped me to keep releasing and letting go of that old conditioning where I was told, you need to basically fit in and get along and shut your mouth and be quiet and don’t do this and don’t do that.

[00:18:58] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: So it’s. It’s, I feel like this has been a constant walk of unlearning, but deeper self acceptance.

[00:19:04] Juliette Karaman: Yeah. And how many people, how many listeners can relate? How many have heard that, Oh my God, you need to fit in. Just, calm down, have less wild hair, be less, less loud, be less outrageous. Laugh a little bit, laugh a little bit more ladylike.

[00:19:21] Juliette Karaman: Don’t sit like that. Don’t wear this. Don’t wear that. Oh my God. What have I let back at? All the stuff that I’ve been taught is like, whew. And the thing is then you become a mother and then you wake up and you’re like, Ooh, what have I done to my children? Yeah last 10, 15 years, I’ve made a lot of amends to my kids.

[00:19:39] Juliette Karaman: I’m like, Hey, I wasn’t always the best mom. And, we’re learning. That’s the beautiful thing about being in relationship with these humans all around you. Kids, ex partner, whatever, clients people learning from us. It’s just like we are in a relationship with everyone and everything and all the energy around us.

[00:20:02] Juliette Karaman: And the more authentic that we are and the more that we can say, Hey, yeah, I fucked up. And Yeah, listen, I recognize that hurt you or that, that, that wasn’t cool. I got triggered and I just lashed out at you.

[00:20:15] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah.

[00:20:15] Juliette Karaman: Make amends. It’s a beautiful place to actually repair stuff to do over, right?

[00:20:22] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It is. It is. And I think it’s like, it takes so much, not only humility, but just self responsibility of being self aware and introspective enough to know you know what? Yeah, I jacked up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had these conversations with my son because I was 19 when I got pregnant with him.

[00:20:43] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: So he’ll be 21 this year. I was young. So we grew up together. So there’s been many times where I’ve had conversations with him, like when you were this age, I know where I was at. And, I know that I was not who I am today. I know that I was still dealing with my traumas and dramas and dysfunction.

[00:21:03] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so I think one beauty about people like you and I is we can have those conversations with our kids. My parents never had those types of conversations. conversations. It was basically you’re a kid staying in a kid’s place and even if there was abuse and harm happening, there was no owning that or honoring that or acknowledging that.

[00:21:24] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so I just learned from my own childhood experiences and took it with my relationship with my son and do my best. And I tell him all the time, I am a imperfect human being and I’m going to learn just as much from you as you’re going to learn from me. And we’re going to just figure this thing called life out together.

[00:21:43] Juliette Karaman: That’s the beauty of it, right? Figuring life out together. Staying in connection. Because that’s what we see in relationships. That’s how I started with relationship coaching with people. And what you just see is People are out of connection. They’d come to me and they’re like, Oh my God, we haven’t had sex in 25 years.

[00:22:01] Juliette Karaman: So we want to have sex. It’s sex. It’s the problem. Sex is the problem. And I’d always tell them, I said, listen, we’re going to take sex off the table the first three weeks. And they’re like that’s not a problem. We can take it off for the next three years because we haven’t had sex in so long. But then when they start actually being in connection, usually by week two or three, they’ll like, They’ll come in smirking and they’re

[00:22:25] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: like, you

[00:22:27] Juliette Karaman: know what?

[00:22:28] Juliette Karaman: The thing that you told us not to do. I’m like, yeah. It’s Oh my God, we’ve had sex in the first time in 20, 20 odd years. I’m like, Oh, good. And how was it? Oh my God. I’m like, yeah, I love that. I managed to ask him to slow down or I managed to ask her to just Take a moment and, breathe or we didn’t have penetrative sex but we had like touch and it was incredible.

[00:22:54] Juliette Karaman: Because you start connecting again. Yes. That’s it. If we can connect with ourselves, with the humans around us that we love, life is not that tough.

[00:23:06] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Exactly. Yeah. My husband is an engineer. He’s a very logical, linear thinker. And he often says that things are not that complex. Humans just make them complex.

[00:23:20] Juliette Karaman: Because we’re emotional, right? And we may mean something. This is what I keep, when I work with people, and especially intense intense experiences, trauma, I’m like, listen, it’s never the trauma alone, but it’s, How you feel about it. How does it suck? What’s the emotion? I said, I can’t change the intense experience.

[00:23:41] Juliette Karaman: I can’t change experience for you, but we can change how you feel about it. And then they’re like, oh, the other day I was working with someone who completely felt like she was psychotic and she was losing her mind and it’s just and just in such fear that she couldn’t breathe and she was like leaving her body almost and she’s Whoa, so the somatic stuff came out.

[00:24:01] Juliette Karaman: It’s okay, let’s breathe exactly what you did, hand on the heart. Let’s out breath a bit more. And that’s let’s actually, Feel that emotion. What is it? She’s like fear. Fear. I can, I’m like, okay, let’s just see if we can breathe there for three seconds. One, yeah. You just build it up.

[00:24:20] Juliette Karaman: Yeah. And then after 30 minutes, she’s oh, okay, I’m good. I’m gonna go see my baby now. I’m like, there you go.

[00:24:26] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah. It’s interesting when you can, I remember the first time I was part of my multiple practitioner trainings is Qigong, and part of our Qigong ongoing work is we experience the medicine for ourselves, right?

[00:24:44] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so a couple of years ago, I was at a Qigong retreat and our Qigong Sifu was leading a breath empowerment session. And I remember it was the very first time in my life that I processed a really deep, trauma on a cellular level, but the stories in my mind weren’t going. And I knew, I was like, whoa, I was, I tapped into something.

[00:25:07] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I was like, I don’t know what that was, but I felt the feelings, the pain. I,

[00:25:13] Juliette Karaman: but there was no story. You can feel the pain, but we don’t have to link it to suffering. And that’s it. When there’s no story, it’s just Oh, okay. But this is like how we can just let go of the charge. And then it’s Okay, it’s something that happened, but we can talk about it now.

[00:25:29] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah, it was such a huge game changer and I feel again, that was another reclamation of more power for myself of, you can feel this without attaching a meaning or a story or a narrative to it and just let it be and let it move through you. And yeah I’m just, I’m so grateful for these different tools that we have access to because.

[00:25:56] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: For a long time, I remember I had this prayer where I was like, God, who am I? without all this trauma. Because by the time I was eight, I had been physically, sexually, emotionally abused by family members. And so I felt like my identity was so tangled up with trauma. I did, I was like, who am I without this?

[00:26:17] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Because This is like the monkey on my back. This is the thing that’s always following me. And I feel that through these different somatic practices and tools, it’s like I’m reclaiming more and more of myself and realizing like who I am, my Sifu calls it our original states. Before the acquired came on, the acquired emotions, the acquired stories.

[00:26:40] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And so it’s such a beautiful experience to realize like the core of who I am is joy, is peace, is love, is abundance, is vitality, is vigor. It’s not depression and anxiety and fear and worry and doubt. That’s not who I am.

[00:26:56] Juliette Karaman: It’s so true, right? Because I call it infinite self or infinite being or universe, whatever, you call it whatever you want to call it, but you recognize when you are in those states.

[00:27:08] Juliette Karaman: Yeah. And then, from time to time, yeah, a worry comes in and it’s Oh my God. And yes, I have this bill to pay and I don’t have enough money and they can’t at the moment. How am I going to do this? Yeah. And then before you know it, you’re like. interfered with, and it’s oh, okay, my body is starting to ache.

[00:27:25] Juliette Karaman: My mind is taking me to places like, oh, let me just put my hand on my heart for a little bit. Let me breathe a little bit for me. It’s okay, so what’s the body sensation? What’s the emotion? Is there an image that comes up? Is there a thought? It’s and then when you duplicate that, you remove the charge and it’s you can get back to that state of expansion again.

[00:27:47] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Yeah. And it just shows how powerful we really are.

[00:27:51] Juliette Karaman: I remember the way William said, where she always said, yeah, we’re not afraid of, yeah, we’re actually afraid of ourselves and how, just how powerful we are. It’s oops. When I first read that, I didn’t really understand it.

[00:28:03] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I get it now. I, the more I tap into it, the more I allow myself to be more of me, the more I realized, oh, it wasn’t a fear of.

[00:28:15] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Or what are they going to think? It’s really a fear of who am I really when I fully am unleashed? And I just, this is me. Like I’m a, there’s a, there was a fear and I feel like I’m still. navigating that because I still haven’t experienced everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m still, I think we’ll be doing that thing for the rest of our lives while we’re on this planet.

[00:28:39] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: But I’ve noticed the more and more I allow myself to be more of myself, the more I’m realizing, oh wow, like I was really playing small. I was really Shrinking or hiding or dimming my light or whatever I was doing. And yeah, it’s now it’s how can I just be more light?

[00:28:57] Juliette Karaman: And beauty is like, how can we be more light?

[00:29:00] Juliette Karaman: And there are so many of us teaching this, right? And I think it’s like, Everyone thinks that they’re unique and they’re giving it a special their special touch, which is true. No one can be the way that you transmit, and this is why I also started this podcast. I’m like, okay, there are certain voice codes that I carry, and my guests will carry, and that will just spread out into the world and will activate people.

[00:29:25] Juliette Karaman: Yeah. That was why I started this. But at the same time, it’s it’s not rocket science. People have said this over and over again. And it’s until we actually realize that it’s okay, enough now. I want to change my life a little bit. And I’m actually worth more. I want to get in touch with myself, with my, with me, my family.

[00:29:45] Juliette Karaman: And that’s, I think, where we see The coaching world is an interesting world, the coaching and therapy world. And I know that you and I like sometimes are like, holy shit, there’s some of these again. Yeah. People just tear each other down. I’m like, Oh, And we have this in normal life as well, where it’s does it really have you feel so much better when you tear someone down?

[00:30:10] Juliette Karaman: Or can you look at yourself and say, Oh, I don’t like what she’s doing, but what does that tell me about me? Yes. Yeah.

[00:30:21] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I feel that I have had this unique ability to see. Because I have the trauma informed background, because part of my career before I started coaching was I worked with offenders who were incarcerated, and they were court ordered to me because they had committed a crime due to addiction, mental health, Behavioral issues.

[00:30:43] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: So I have that background and then it’s like coming into the feminine, spiritual work. And I started to see this intersect where it was like both sides were competing to be right. That’s what I was starting to see. The trauma informed therapy world wants to be right in the coaching world wants to be right.

[00:31:00] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And I’m like what if we can just, build a bridge between the two and realize that they’re both necessary. There’s going to be times where people need this service and there’s going to be time where people need this service or desire rather, because I feel like coaching is more of a luxury, although it should be a need.

[00:31:18] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: For self actualization, but I’m not going to get on my little show today about that. But I see that too. And part of the thing I think is the issue is there’s a lot of people getting into coaching, trying to help themselves by helping other people. And so there’s a little codependency there. And I, and I see this with a lot of the younger generations.

[00:31:39] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I know you and I are more of the seasoned women. In this thing. And I feel like that’s why women like us need to be in this space because we’ve been through some things. We’ve lived through some things. We’ve done the work. We’re still doing the work. Whereas I see a lot of younger people are getting into the online coaching space for, from this I can make a lot of money.

[00:31:58] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I can be famous. I can be popular. And. The way that I’m perceiving that is there’s something there, either you’re trying to help others to help yourself or you’re thinking the fame, the money, the popularity is going to do something. And something I’ve noticed about people who became known for their work, whether it was Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer Louise Hay Maya Angelou Toni Morrison, there’s just different authors and speakers and leaders.

[00:32:29] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: I don’t see them as them trying to be known and famous. Their work made them known and famous because they were so devoted to the work and that work put them on a platform, whether it was Oprah or whoever, that made them known and famous. And so I think there’s something lost with the online space about there’s a devotion that’s missing to the work.

[00:32:54] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Because that’s why we’re here. We’re here for the work. We’re not here to bicker back and forth and who’s better than who. We’re here because we all have a sacred calling and we all have a unique way to bring forth that calling and we can focus on that. There’s this quote that oh, who was it? I think it was Oprah that said, become so good that you can’t be ignored.

[00:33:17] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Where when your work speaks for itself. You don’t need to do all this back and forth and who’s doing what, just be devoted to

[00:33:25] Juliette Karaman: the

[00:33:25] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: work.

[00:33:26] Juliette Karaman: Be devoted to serving, right? To serving others. And it becomes so easy. You don’t even have to have a certain method you follow anymore. And I know you and I talked about having multiple tools.

[00:33:38] Juliette Karaman: And I call it my Juliet box of jewels. Ooh, I love that. I love a lot of tools. But every time it’s okay, so who needs what? And it just exactly. If you just have it, everything becomes intermixed. I don’t even know what to call stuff anymore because I’m like, oh, it’s a little bit from NLP. It’s a little bit from EFT.

[00:33:58] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: It’s

[00:33:58] Juliette Karaman: a little bit from this. It’s a little bit from that. I’m like, okay, there’s some hypnotherapy. I’m like, oh, okay. And I’ve just now added energetics to it. Oh, a bit of Kundalini, a bit of, yes. I’m like, okay, interesting. What do we call it? Doesn’t matter.

[00:34:15] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And if you think about an artist Whether it’s a musician or a painter or a singer, they all have different instruments and approaches they use to formulate the final product.

[00:34:28] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And I see us in the healing arts, if you will, no different, transformational arts. It’s no different. We’re pulling on all these different approaches and it’s like we’re collecting. All these different ways to support people because as humans, we’re so dynamic and complex. It’s almost impossible to say that this one way is the way when depending on what their lived experiences are and what their ancestral lineages, we may need to do a little bit of.

[00:34:58] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: Combination and mix it up to give them ideal transformation. And so I think if we can bring it back to the service, the devotion to the work, I think that’s why people like ourselves become so intuitively gifted at. Oh, they need a little breath work. Oh, they need a little this. Oh, they need a little that because we’ve been devoted to the work.

[00:35:18] Cassandra Austin-McDonald: And when you start to learn, this works best for this works best for that. And it’s like putting a puzzle piece together to create the whole picture.

[00:35:26] Juliette Karaman: It’s so interesting, right? I used to teach other coaches and therapists. I used to train them in this training and then I’d have to test them and to make them to up level their skills.

[00:35:38] Juliette Karaman: And they’d always say, it’s like, what process do you use for what? I’m like, just learn them all. Make, give them your own space. And then intuitively you will start using whatever feels natural to you. And you might have one or two things that you gravitate to, and then all of a sudden you add a hono prono prayer, forgiveness prayer to it, or you do some extra breath work, or all of a sudden you’ll stand up and do some dancing, or do some EMDR with it.

[00:36:07] Juliette Karaman: And it’s and that’s what makes it yours. And they’re like, yeah, but how do you, can you teach us? I’m like, I can teach you my way, I can give you what, five sets, different sets that I might use. But yeah, best thing is just to actually watch it and see me in an interaction with someone.

[00:36:22] Juliette Karaman: And then you’ll, if you know all the processes, then it’s oh, she took a bit from there and there. I get it.

[00:36:28] Casandra Austin McDonald: Yeah. Yeah, it’s fine. Yeah, I’m just obsessed with the work, man. That’s I just care about the work. I don’t care about all that other stuff going on out there. I’m so obsessed with it because my life is, I should not be sitting here.

[00:36:45] Casandra Austin McDonald: I survived a near fatal suicide attempt many years ago, and I feel like when God allowed me to survive, I had a grandma seizure that knocked me unconscious because I tried to take my own life. And when I survived that, I told God that whatever. You want me to do however you want me to do, I am at full surrender at this point because you gave me the grace to live another day.

[00:37:09] Casandra Austin McDonald: So I’m just grateful to be here and be alive.

[00:37:13] Juliette Karaman: Beautiful. And you are serving so many others and helping so many others. Beautiful. Cassandra, tell us, how can people get in contact with you if they want to go on retreat with you? If you want to, they do want to do courses with you? Do you teach Tai Chi? Tell us a little bit where they can find you and what yeah, what you offer.

[00:37:32] Casandra Austin McDonald: Yeah. So I, to be transparent, I’m in the midst of reorganizing a lot of things. And so if you go to my website, you’ll be able to access So I’ve been doing a lot of different pre recorded trainings that are already there. And some of them may have a little bit of somatics. And then I also am currently accepting one on one, but I have held off on planning a retreat and all that.

[00:37:55] Casandra Austin McDonald: I’m shifting some things and practicing what I preach, putting myself back into alignment with my sacred calling. And you can connect with me online on Facebook Instagram and Twitter. whenever I have things coming out, I do share them.

[00:38:10] Juliette Karaman: Perfect. So we’ll put everything in the show notes. We’ll put Cassandra’s website, her Instagram and her Facebook.

[00:38:16] Juliette Karaman: So if you want to follow her, please follow her on this, on the social media and on her website. And I’m sure there’ll be yummy scrumptious things in the future. Thank you so much. It was wonderful having you. Thank you so much for being on.

[00:38:34] Casandra Austin McDonald: Thank you. I appreciate it.

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