of course I'm not OK

If you’re having a hard week, this episode is for YOU. Karen & Katie chat with Lisa Pepper-Satkin, MFT, founder of Integrated Therapeutic Coaching, about how to identify and “fire our inner bullies (yes, please!), how we can manifest our dreams, and how to fight those pesky “what if” fears (of which there are many these days!).

Resources from this week’s episode: Check out Lisa’s free PDF on how to fire your inner bully; Sign up for Lisa’s free coaching call at 12 p.m. PT on Wednesdays; Check out Lisa’s many amazing offerings on her website; Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Instagram.

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, and email us with questions/comments/concerns at notokpod@gmail.com. This episode is sponsored by Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. 

Keep in touch with co-hosts Karen Hawkins and Katie Morell on Twitter and Instagram.


Karen: Welcome!

Katie: Hi, I’m Katie Morrell. I’m a creative and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Karen: And I’m Karen Hawkins. I am the founder of Rebellious Magazine for Women and co-editor in chief of the Chicago Reader.

Katie: You are listening to Of Course I’m Not Okay: An Audio Project. Join us as we talk about mental health, coping with quarantine and what conversations we wish the world was having and isn’t.

Karen: For some of our episodes we’ll chat with writers and creatives to get their take. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Katie: Hi Karen.

Karen: Hello.

Katie: I’m so happy to see you.

Karen: I’m happy to see you too, Katie, thank you.

Katie: Yes. Happy new Friday, and new week, and yeah. How are you doing?

Karen: I am so glad it’s Friday. I know I say this every episode. I’m so glad it’s Friday. I’m so glad to be talking to you. And you said new Friday, and I think I read this week that it’s the super moon.

Katie: Yes. Oh my gosh. I forgot about that.

Karen: Two days ago, right? Was this? No wait, maybe it was yesterday, was the super moon?

Katie: Yes! I think it was the 17th. Is that right?

Karen: Yes. Sure.

Katie: And it’s like the Virgo supermoon?

Karen: Let’s go with it.

Katie: But it’s all about new beginnings and manifesting the life you want. Isn’t that right? Is it something like that?

Karen: Yes. That is what my witchy friends sent me. Yes. That like, new opportunities, new like-, surprise, like things that you weren’t even thinking of. Like both, like, it’s a good time to manifest what you want the next three months to look like. But it’s also things just pop into your life that you weren’t even expecting.

Katie: Cause I’ve heard that like, whenever there’s a new moon, like there’s so much new energy in the world. And then a super moon! It just seems like there’s just, I mean, it’s like the time for everyone. Like, it seems like it’s just so much more energy and so much more space and freedom and beauty and light and all of it and who doesn’t need that right now?

Karen: We all need a ton of it. And I mean, I’m my moon sign. I’m a Cancer. I’m supposed to know a lot about the moon. I feel like when I, the only times I feel in touch with the moon are when I’m like, ‘Man, everybody’s being crazy right now. Is the moon full? Oh yes it is.’

Katie: Oh my gosh. How is that actually a thing? That’s definitely a thing.

Karen: Definitely a thing.

Katie: Like when the full moon happens, it’s like, you know, the whole like werewolf concept. Like sometimes I’m just like, ‘I am a raging bitch today.’ And then I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a full moon.’ That’s interesting. And why is that a pattern every month? I don’t know.

Karen: I don’t know either. And that’s a guess for another day. We’ve got to find-, if you are a lunar expert or know someone who is a lunar expert, please email us at notokaypod@gmail.com.

Katie: Please do. We are very interested in hearing all of the things about moon signs and, like, lunar? I don’t even know the words because that’s how little I know about moons.

Karen: Oh my God. For some reason when you said the word lunar, I thought apocalypse. That’s where my brain is. Wow. Wow. Lunar apocalypse. Karen. Wow.

Katie: Oh my gosh. Right. I mean, that’s, I don’t think you’re far off from where a lot of us are right now. Today, I’m very excited because we have a very exciting guest that we just finished talking to. So we’re kind of doing another reversal like we did with Dr. Israel. But our guest is, her name is Lisa Pepper-Satkin. She is an executive therapeutic coach that is based in the Bay Area. So I met her a few years ago. We’re both members of the same coworking space called The Hivery. And she’s just a really cool person. I really enjoyed our conversation. We touched on so many different things.

Karen: I know, and I feel like it was really perfectly timed, and it’s a culmination of so many of the conversations we’ve already had. But she is a therapist and she’s this coach. And I feel like she has these beautiful things to say about blending both of those things. Fear and anxiety and how to be resilient at this time and how to fire your inner bully. And I mean, I feel like just, you need something to help you deal with having a bad COVID week? This is the episode for you.

Katie: I totally agree with you. It was super uplifting to talk to her. She’s kind of this bright, shiny light. And so I just, I so appreciate her and how she gave us her time. And yeah, I hope that people get a lot from this episode. It was really fun. So.

Karen: Yes, and if you always wanted to learn how to manifest, definitely keep listening.

Katie: Oh yeah. There is a manifesting masterclass within this episode, so it is very, very fun. So enjoy Lisa!

[musical interlude]

Katie: Oh, welcome Lisa Pepper-Satkin. Thank you so much for being with us today!

Lisa: I’m thrilled to be here.

Katie: For people who are listening, who might not understand the difference between a therapist and a coach. Can you kind of break that down a little bit? Like in terms of, executive coach to me feels like someone who, okay, they’re-, let’s say a CEO of a company and they’re really, you know, they’re roadblocked and they’re trying to kind of break through different barriers. And so that’s why they would hire a coach. But then a therapist, I think of, like, ancestral trauma. And so yes.

Lisa: Yes. Beautiful. Okay. So, and that’s why changing the name to Integrated Therapeutic Coaching because it isn’t just with executives. And I was, I think, missing out on working with all these wonderful people because they were like, ‘I’m not an executive.’ And I say, ‘Well, actually you’re the executive in your life.’ So let me go back to answering your question.

I think therapy helps people look back and see what happened ancestrally, culturally, financially, spiritually, racially, collectively, community, and all of that that had an impact on who I am today. And coaching is about like, ‘Okay, I know where I am today. And I know what’s getting in my way. I think I know what my obstacles are and I need help moving forward.” And I think the two separated out don’t work. Well, I know that I have the secret sauce. It’s about bringing it together so that you can understand all of those dynamics from your past and then take it and dream big or think big. This is where manifesting comes in. Like, ‘What do I want to create in my life?’ It’s mindset, right? Manifesting is just a fancy word for mindset. I’m bringing it all together so that you don’t get stuck. And you don’t only like move forward. You got to understand how you got to where you are, right?

Karen: No, I think it sounds perfect. And I feel like I – Katie and I are both huge therapy fans, traditional therapy fans, right? We’re stans – And I feel like I have found myself in therapy being like, ‘No, but how do I, how do I do this thing?’ And I feel like it’s not, and she does it with me cause I’ve known her forever, but I also realize ‘That is actually kind of not your job.’ At the same time, it’s not your job to help me figure out this particular, like, this trajectory that I’m looking for, right? Like, I feel like traditional therapists help you get unstuck, but they’re not necessarily gonna push you in the direction you want to go. They’re not as goal-oriented. Can you say a little bit about what a session might look like? Can you kind of describe what that, what does it look like? What does it sound like?

Lisa: On Zoom or on the phone or taking a walk? I mean, I do so many different things with people. I’ll just talk about today, what went down. Cause I had a really powerful session with a young man that I work with pretty regularly, you know. And that comes from privilege and desire and hard work. But he got on the call talking about how, we always check in about what’s working well, what’s challenging, and then what’s the focus for today. That’s a difference. Like, I have people really set intentions for our work. Cause if we don’t set the intentions, then we can just like, like ‘Whatever. I don’t know what I want to talk about.’ Right. It’s like somebody said to me, ‘When I have an appointment for a haircut, I know what I’m going to get.’ Right. I’m like ‘Good. Then come to our session with the same intention.’ But anyway, he came to the call and he was rather agitated and anxious. This guy responded to him, it was about a big deal. This guy responded to him and ignited some old trauma with him. It ignited his inner bully. And so I said, ‘Well, let’s change your thinking around it. Let’s look at a new way of thinking about it.’.

And so he’s talking, I’m taking notes around a different way to language the possibility of what was going on in the situation. So instead of making it mean that he sucked and that he’s never going to be successful and he doesn’t know how to sell, we just opened the possibility to, ‘Well, maybe the guy’s really full right now. And maybe the guy’s trying to challenge him. And maybe the guy’s really interested in the deal. He just wasn’t interested the other day. Right.’ And about 20 minutes after our session, he said, ‘You’re not going to believe it. The guy called me. He was like, “So sorry, I’ve been really busy. I’ve come up against my own stuff. I’ve got a lot going on. I really want to do the deal with you. And I know your family’s great and I really care about you and your family. And I didn’t treat you very well the other day and Hey, let’s see how we can move forward.’ Right. And so it was just, it’s like he could have stayed stuck in, I suck, but he didn’t. He stayed, he tried on new ways of being.

Katie: I think one thing that I’m wondering, Lisa, is you touched on the words inner bully. And I would love to kind of dive a little bit deeper into that right now because I feel like, you know, the timeliness. I think people deal with their inner bullies all the time, but I feel like we’re also at home right now. We’re all in quarantine. We’re kind of in our own heads a little bit at, in some, in some perspective or in some ways. And I guess I’m wondering, you know, what are some ways? Because for me, at least with my inner bully, I am so much more mean to myself with my, my inner bully is an asshole. I mean, it’s like, there’s not even, it’s not even an asshole. It’s like, it’s like a word that doesn’t exist. Like it’s a horrible word. And so the thing is, is that I think that one thing that really helped me, pre-COVID, was to be in community and be with, you know, be with friends. And I do have a semblance of that with, you know, small one-on-ones. If I’m going to, you know, social distance meet-up, or you know, talking to Karen every week is an enormous benefit for me. And also just being on Zoom with friends, if it’s a bigger group. But I guess I’m wondering, you know, can you speak at all to what you’re seeing with some of your clients and their inner bullies and how that might be actually changing since COVID started? Or is it even changing? And I guess that’s part one of the question. Then part two is some strategies to make friends with those bullies or whatever, how to deal with them.

Lisa: I have a great PDF that if you follow it, I mean, they’re really good tips on how to fire for your inner bully, and we’ll give it to your listeners. I’ll send it to you guys. But I think you’re talking about something so key here, and I want to separate it out, right? We have our own wrestling match with our inner bully, but we also have an external fear and anxiety and global pandemic, which is a big bully, right?

And so I really am helping people separate out our entering anxiety, right? And our wise mind. And when we know our inner bullies’ voice, in a time of a global pandemic like we are right now, you’re able to tap into wise mind more easily and not get sucked into anxiety. You gotta be able to hear it before you can fire it. Right. I have this whole thing, like ‘Fire your inner bully! Tell her to go to hell.’ Right. And we do need work around that because it’s deep unconscious. This is where therapy’s awesome, right? That inner bully voice is deep unconscious programming. And so when you are aware of it, that’s bringing it to consciousness, which means you can then do work with it, to tell it, to take a leap, take a hike.

But it’s there to train, protect you. So that’s tricky, right? Your inner bully wants to keep you safe, like, ‘Oh, don’t go out with that new person. You could possibly get hurt.’ That’s your inner bully. And it’s really, they’re like, ‘I’m just trying to protect you like cashmere, you know.’ But we have to hear our inner bullies’ voice, acknowledge it and then say, ‘Hey, I got this. I don’t really need your added wisdom right now. It’s not serving me.’ Let me just tell you a little bit about my inner bully. Speaking of not being okay, right? So in ninth grade, Mrs. Smith, she was like quaffed and had [a] terrible long skirt on. And we all knew about her before I was in her class. And I was in her class and she let me know, she told me ‘You’re the worst student I’ve ever had. You’ll never amount to anything you can’t write. And I can’t even stand to have the likes of you in my classroom.’ This is because I think I talked too much, right? And it’s interesting about writing, thinking about writing. Like anytime I have an opportunity to write, it brings up all this stuff. Right. And I’ve done so much work on myself that now, privately in my own journal, I write Mrs. Smith thank you notes. Because of her, I think I’m in the world doing the work that I do, right? People like that, like, ‘I’ll show you Ms. Smith,’ right?

So we have to identify the core of our inner bully. Where did that voice come from? Or when did I first hear that? Or, or how has that had an impact on me or an influence on me, and how does that serve me? And how is that no longer serving me? And what am I going to choose to believe? And what do I know is just pure bullshit? Right? And you can really know if it’s your inner bully, because would you ever say that to a friend? Your answer’s no. And so, you know, like, Oh hell no, I would never would. Then, you know, that’s your inner bullies’ voice.

Katie: So, that’s like a way of identifying, like the actual tone of the voice. Like if you would never say that to someone you love, that’s a good kind of signal?

Lisa: Totally. You know, so many women. I hear so many women, like I’ll get on group Zoom calls and people get on. They’re like, ‘Oh, I look like shit. I don’t feel-,’ And it’s like, just even that little low grade thread of that is, is a part of your inner bully.

Karen: What if the inner bully, what if you do the work and you realize that the inner bully is someone you love, who ostensibly loves you, who was still in your life? Like it’s not Mrs. Smith. It’s, yeah, it’s a loved one.

Lisa: My mom. No, sorry-

Karen: *wheezes* ohmygod. I mean-

Lisa: God [she] won’t be listening to this, but I get it. I get it. It’s your mom. Can I tell you what to do? You have to choose to not believe or listen to anything that they say. If you don’t value their wisdom, then it’s like, you got to just seal up. ‘Oh, I’m not taking that on.’ It’s hard freaking work.

Katie: Yeah. I think it’s, I think Karen’s question is so spot on because I think that the inner bully is so deep for so many people that it’s, you know, it’s the Mrs. Smith’s. It’s the moms. It’s the people who are in, you know, potentially our inner circle that, to Karen’s point, have still an influence on our lives. And I feel like there’s a piece, Lisa, and I wonder what you would say about this in terms of this human need to belong. And so like, there’s this human need to belong to, let’s say if it’s someone that you love, or if it’s someone who is in, within your inner circle and, you know, realizing that their voice is the inner bully or at least an iteration of the inner bully. And then saying, okay, and I totally know what you mean about saying, like, ‘I want to fire the inner bully. I want to kind of turn away.’ But then how do you reconcile that with this need to still be part of something that you love?

Lisa: Right. Okay, here we go. Now we’re going, we’re going deep. So we have a part of ourselves that wants to be in relationship with the other, in spite of the fact that they trigger some stuff in us that doesn’t feel so good. And so, what I do when that happens to me is like, ‘Oh, I acknowledge the part of me that needs that relationship for whatever reason that I need that relationship for. And I’m not ready to say goodbye to that person, or I’m not ready to say goodbye to that dance that we do or to that dynamic.’ And I just, I make space for that. Like, ‘Oh. Well, that’s not the most evolved part of me. It’s just a part of me.’ And what I do, when that gets triggered in me – And I know exactly who I’m thinking about – I have tools in my toolbox to take care of myself. So I may come out to my office. I may do some collaging. I may do some journaling. I may take a bath. I may call a friend like, Oh my God. Can’t believe this is going on. Right. It’s like, I have my safe spaces to not be so fricking evolved. Cause I’m pretty evolved. And I do a lot of work on myself, but I have my moments when I’m like honking the horn. And like, you know, I try not to flip people off too much. But I have some underdeveloped parts of me too! I’m not okay. Even though a lot of the time, I am, right? So we gotta make space for all of us. You know, if you think of a flower, like all the petals on the flower matter, all of the petals. And so we can have our petals that are under developed or not ready to speak up or leave or cut off the relationship.

Karen: I think that does help. It’s really powerful. And I feel like it really also, hopefully makes people aware of the power they have in relationships, and that you are choosing to still have a relationship with that person. Because I feel like sometimes what happens is your inner bully makes you feel powerless. You become paralyzed. Like this person is berating you, especially if it’s a parent or someone, or an authority figure in your life, you just feel paralyzed. And I feel like we’re all socialized to not stand up for ourselves and to not talk back and to not mouth off. And I feel like as adults, it’s hard to remember, like I am choosing this relationship with this person and I get to set the parameters for what that relationship looks like. I get to set the boundaries around actually, ‘You know what, we’re not going to talk about that. You can’t be kind about my body or whatever. So we’re just not going to talk about it.’.

Lisa: That’s right. You don’t, you don’t get to bring that stuff to our relationship.

[musical interlude]

Katie: I’d love to switch gears and talk about something that I find so expansive to talk about, which is manifesting. And I think there’s, you know, some people listening might be like, ‘What are you talking about? Like what, like what is manifesting? Like what does that mean?’ And you know, I think that, you know, I think some people might think like, ‘Oh, they know exactly what we’re talking about.’ So I think it would be really helpful to kind of start that branch of the conversation. And just, can you give a little bit of a definition of what your definition of manifesting is and then kind of your thoughts around it? Cause I think it’s, it’s a really interesting conversation right now with everyone inside trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. I think so many people are having those existential questions at the moment.

Lisa: Yeah. Beautiful. So manifesting is about speaking and writing as if something is already taking place and happening in your life. And it’s a matter of aligning your thoughts and feelings with your desires and believing that you are going to receive that which you desire. I encourage people to put their manifesting practice, piggyback it with a habit that’s already, that you’re already a big fan of. Like drinking coffee. You know, nothing gets in the way of me and my coffee in the morning. I love it. So then I get my manifesting journal and write out what I want to create. What I want to manifest. Right?

Katie: Yeah! Can I ask you, so when you’re actually manifesting, the actual act of manifesting to write down, it sounds like you’re writing things down that have not physically happened, but you’re writing them as if they are happening in present tense. And then you’re also doing it in a routinized way. Like you’re making it a routine. Is that, is that what, to strengthen that practice?

Lisa: It’s a practice. It’s a daily practice for me. It’s a daily practice I’m manifesting. I want to do more of this work inside of companies. Like, can you imagine if people inside of companies had a similar language or similar way of like, ‘Hey, that sounds like your inner bully.’ That would have a huge impact on the culture. And I know the way I teach and the way who I am is unique. And so I’m manifesting more of that. I get a text today, ‘Hey, do you have anything for my employees?’ Like, it’s just, I don’t know if it’s magic. I don’t know what it is, but it’s working. It works.

Karen: I just think it’s really powerful. And I feel like, I, I think a lot of our listeners are also like-minded people, but I do hope that you reach some people who, whose minds are just blown, who have never heard these things before and who go Google “manifesting” or Google all of these things, you know, or yeah. Dig into your research. And I want to get into how people can find you and find the work that you do. I do hope that you reach some people who, this really transforms how they think about their lives.

[musical interlude]

Lisa: Here’s the thing with anxiety. When you notice yourself saying like, ‘Well, what if?’ There’s a lot of ‘Well, what if I give my parents COVID or what if I get COVID and give it to another person?’ And I really truly hope we can, in this podcast, cause this goes globally, can put a kibosh on the ‘What if?’ It’s really much healthier to do what I’m about to tell your listeners to do. And that is, ‘Who is going to be on my team in case that happens? Who am I going to turn to if blank were to unfold in our lives? Who am I going to turn to, and how am I going to get more grounded and centered and feel safe?’ Because the what if just takes us into future tripping. That stirs up anxiety. And anxiety really lives in us as, you know, I break it down into three general categories: You have general worry; You have anxiety, which is fear of the unknown; and then you have something that feels life threatening. And when anxiety kicks us in the ass, it’s because we treat all of that as life-threatening.

Now here’s, what’s interesting, right? COVID is life-threatening to certain people. It isn’t life-threatening to everybody. I mean, I don’t even understand it. So I’m not giving medical advice here. I’m giving emotional wisdom. So what I noticed in particular, when I was going to the ICU regularly to visit my sister, I had to engage my wise mind. Right? Was I doing everything in my power to visit her and be clean and safe? I think so? I didn’t know. But what I knew for sure is that no matter what, I could rally people around me to help take care of her if, God forbid, something had happened to me. So my mind didn’t go to, ‘I cannot go to the store because what if I get COVID.’ It was like, ‘Well, if I got COVID, ick. And who’s going to be fellow team members to help take care of my sister?’ That’s what we all had to do. Even though we knew that we could gather support, we still had to use our wise mind to be smart and grounded. So we didn’t go to ‘What if she, what if she gets it?’ It wasn’t going to do us any good. It was more like ‘I am able to and willing to take really good care of myself and those around me, if we were to get our asses kicked by COVID.’ Does that make sense?

Katie: Yeah, I think it really makes sense because it’s kind of like, I equate my anxiety to kind of taking me on like a magic carpet ride, which is not magical at all. Like, it’s kind of like the, what ifs, just take you and just kind of, you know, you’re just in the air and you’re like, ‘What if this happens? And I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this?’ And what you’re offering, Lisa, it sounds like is to kind of ground yourself in the practical realities of how you would actually handle a situation. And I think that that’s really helpful because I think that, you know, a lot of people, if something actually happened, then they would have the tools or hopefully they would know someone to ask for those tools to help them navigate through a situation. And so I think it’s, I think the term that you used, future tripping, is something that I only learned about this week. But basically I think it’s just, you know, getting in your mind about what’s, I mean it’s pretty self explanatory, but getting in your mind about what could happen, the what ifs. I think all of us are doing that on so many different levels right now and just to kind of ground ourselves. And also I think something that helps me is to ground myself in the fact that like, I am a capable human being. Like I, to know that in myself and to trust that in myself. And it sounds like that’s what you’re also advocating for is to really have that self-trust. To be able to, when, if, if anything actually did happen, you’d be able to figure it out.

Lisa: So I’m not saying ‘Wait, don’t feel your fear.’ But if your fear-, if there isn’t a strategic answer to your, then, then you have to ground it in, like you said, I’m wise and I’m capable.

Katie: Right.

Lisa: I will figure it out.

Karen: There’s a masterclass on Calm by Elizabeth Gilbert. And it’s based on the book I have not read, I will admit, Big Magic.

Lisa: Oh, one of my most favorite books.

Karen: I love what she says about fear, which is like, ‘Dude, you’re in the car with us. I understand you have a role to play. I’m going to let you be here, but you don’t get to drive. Like I get it. We’re all going on. This adventure. You’re here with us, but this is where you go.’ And I do love that idea of like, don’t block your fear. Don’t try to not feel it. But give yourself a way to feel it that is productive, that gives it a place. Like I love what you said about creating this safe space for it.

Lisa: You know, it’s so funny. I’m sitting here, like my family knows I’m on a podcast. The dog needs to stay in. Right? Somehow the dog is right here next to me. So this is a great example. Like, okay, if she starts going bat shit crazy, then I know I can figure it out, but I can’t sit here and be distracted or lose contact with you guys because I’m worried that she might start barking. Right? It’s a perfect metaphor. I don’t know which little teenager brought her in, but they will get it at the end of the call.

Katie: That is such a good metaphor, Lisa, because my dog is six feet from my body right now. And if she decides that she hears the UPS person, then this podcast is over.

Lisa: And all that shopping the teenagers are doing online means that we might get a bark.

Katie: Right. Oh my gosh. So just a few more questions for you though. How can people find you Lisa? Like how can, if people are listening to this thinking like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the best thing ever! Like, she’s just so fantastic.’ Which of course you are.

Lisa: They can get me for free. You know what? I do a free call. I do a free group coaching call every Wednesday at noon. But they can find me on my website: Lisapeppersatkin.com. And on Instagram and on Facebook.

[musical interlude]

Karen: Thank you for your generosity with us and for other people. I just, I love that noon on Wednesdays and that’s noon Pacific time?

Lisa: Yeah. Thank you. Noon Pacific. Oh, right! I have to think like that. Yeah. Noon Pacific, Karen.

Karen: I know.

Katie: And anyone can come? It’s male or female?

Lisa: It’s group coaching. I mean, you gotta be one, you gotta be willing to sit in the hot seat if it gets hot. No, it’s warm, but I include people. I wrap people into the conversation because if not what happens? We stay listening to our inner bully. We stay in our old habits or patterns. It’s ridiculous. So I get you out of that.

Katie: That sounds fantastic. Thank you so much, Lisa. We really appreciate your time. I think, you know, to go to, let’s see Lisapeppersatkin.com. Definitely check out Lisa and yeah, this is just so fun. Thank you so much for catching up with us.

Lisa: Keep doing it, you guys. The world needs your voices.