Episode 33: Five Pillars to Turn Challenge Into Resilience with Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe






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Brief summary of show:


How do we become more resilient? Are there people in life who are simply ‘luckier’ than others, and get to experience true resilience and freedom? Or is there a science and framework that can help you develop resilience?

This week on the podcast, I sit down with Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe to explore the topic of resilience and becoming more resilient humans.

Robyne’s writing and speaking interests focus on resiliency and wellness including topics such as the intersections of stress, optimal challenge, navigating change and self-identity, in her own backyard and around the world. She has worked within post-secondary education in a variety of roles bringing wise practices for professional development, research, learning and authentic change.



Listen in as we talk about:

  • Dr. Robyne’s life-changing event of being trapped in a car under water and surviving

  • Her five pillars of resilience

  • How to find resilience in really hard moments

  • What your comeback rate is

  • How to support your kids with their comeback rate


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Resources mentioned in the episode:

Connect with Dr. Robyne


Connect with Me





Podcast Highlights:


[00:02:18] Where Dr. Robyne's awareness around resilience came from


[00:04:45] Dr. Robyne's life-changing moment and rock bottom that changed everything


[00:12:02] Dr. Robyne's Five Pillars of Resiliency


[00:19:10] What a Comeback Rate is


[00:27:48] Tips to being a more present parent



Click Arrow to See Full Transcript of this Episode

Hi everyone. Well, something I have really worked on over the course of my life is resilience bouncing back from hardship, pushing through what maybe subconsciously I don't want to do also staying positive, overcoming some really tough stuff. And I know that you relate because I hear this from many of you in messages and in emails. [00:00:51] I don't think that we are necessarily born with a sense of resilience. I think some people are naturally more upbeat, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're resilient. My guest today is an expert in resilience, Dr. Robin Hanley Defoe. She's a multi award winning psychology and education instructor, and she is amazing. [00:01:11] I loved this conversation. It went by in like three minutes, even though it was longer than that, I just learned so much. So wait until you hear her story, how she got into this, also her tips on building resilience for yourself, but also for your kids and those around you, how you can help other people in your life. [00:01:32] And before we get started, I want to ask you a big favor. Have you subscribed to this podcast? I don't want you to miss anything that I have in store because they have some really great episodes ahead. And if you feel so inclined while you're there, it would mean the world. To me. If you would leave a review of the podcast, also share it with your community, your family, and your friends too. [00:01:52] Okay. Here we go. Let's learn about resilience with Dr. [00:01:56] Natalie: Robin Hanley Defoe. [00:01:57] Well, Robin third time is a charm. We have tried several times to make this interview happen. It was meant to be, and I've really been excited on your topic and what you are all about because it's very much in line with what I believe and what I do here on my podcast. So we're going to jump right into resiliency. [00:02:15] And tell me a little bit about how this came about [00:02:18] Dr. Robyne: for you and your. Yeah, of course. Well, first and foremost, thank you for this opportunity to connect. I've been looking forward to this as well. So where resiliency started to unfold actually came not from that kind of academic place where I'm working with it. [00:02:33] Now, it very much started with just this kind of observation as I was growing up, experiencing a lot of challenges and a lot of adversity, really that I started to kind of see that there was, there was something that was helping me find a way through even some of the most challenging. Seasons of my life. [00:02:50] There was this capacity. And at the time, I didn't know it was called resiliency, but in reflection and on the other side of some of those challenges and then going to pursue my education, I was able to realize and name it very much. It is that resiliency that helped me see a see-through some very difficult experience. [00:03:09] So was it at a [00:03:10] Natalie: young age? Was it, you know, I look at teenage years with teenagers in my house as where you really build your character and who you are in getting through hardships. When was that? [00:03:21] Dr. Robyne: Yeah again. Great question. So for me, and it's a wee bit of a long story, but I'll tell it to you briefly. So I was a child who grew up in a really solid house. [00:03:30] I had very devoted and caring parents that met my needs and everything from the outside was like, okay, this should be really smooth sailing for this family. We had the resources, the support, all that we needed yet, there was a way. That somehow I got off course, and it was a, almost a slow, steady erosion where it started kind of early in school. [00:03:51] I wasn't doing very well in school. Not necessarily hanging out with the best crowd. And unfortunately, by the time I hit 16, I was in a very dark season of my life and my parents, they loved me so hard, Natalie, but totally helplessly. And at this point I had already dropped out of high school. I was navigating some major mental health challenges and I was fighting through some pretty aggressive addictions. [00:04:17] Now my parents stood by me and my mother in particular always had this steadfast belief in me naturally that I could do hard things. She knew I was in a really challenging place, a difficult season. But she had that steadfast confidence that I was going to find a way to figure it out. And it was actually one of the interventions, I guess you could say my parents tried in that really hard time is our family naturally actually moved. [00:04:45] We moved from a busy city scape into a rural, kind of a more remote area, quiet, simple way to give me a chance to heal and to recover. And when I got there, I did do those. I invested in my recovery. And the other thing naturally I did was get my driver's license and it was pretty remote. So I needed a driver's license. [00:05:06] There was no transit, and I'm happy to share this story with you on how this really is the origin story as to how I understood human resiliency in a very, very different way. I think then a lot of folks talk about it and what happened when I moved up north and got that driver's license. I had it for just one week when I was able to drive alone and I was driving home late at night by myself and a snow storm rolled in, you know, I'm from Canada and uh, it was February and a snow storm rolled in real quick. [00:05:40] And I lost control of my view. And the vehicle actually went off the road and went off an embankment. And my vehicle actually crashed through the ice and my vehicles sank in the Teton river with me trapped inside. Oh, so I was in this, this moment where all of a sudden, you know, my car is submerged. [00:06:02] I'm trapped deserted road in the middle of the night. And Natalie, I had this moment. Where I realized I wasn't feeling scared. I wasn't even feeling afraid in this moment. I was feeling a little bit of anger. I know I was feeling anger at the thought that I could not protect my mother from what was about to happen. [00:06:25] Oh. That my mother is going to lose her daughter like this. And that's really what I thought about my mom. It was like this emotional. Rang through my bones. And I was so overwhelmed with this feeling that I can do hard things like my mother had been telling me since I was a little girl. And in that moment I made the decision to survive. [00:06:49] I was able to get out of that vehicle. I was able to escape through the window. Wow. I got to the other side though, naturally, and I actually couldn't tell which way was up or down. They estimate the vehicle was almost 20 feet underwater. And in that moment of just kind of, almost like you surrender to the situation, I had this idea of just a. [00:07:13] To let go of all of my breath that I'd been holding on to, because I knew my bubbles would rise. And I remember swimming as hard as I could not see after those bubbles thinking. And I had this little surge and I'm going to make it, like, I actually had that moment thinking, okay, I'm going to find a way out of this. [00:07:32] And then all of a sudden there was this like smash and I couldn't figure out what it was. And I realized my face was actually hitting the ice. Because I was pinned under ice, the vehicle that had crashed the whole upstream, but now I was dragged downstream and that's the, I just kept trying to find a way to get out. [00:07:51] And eventually in the middle of this channel, I was able to get through the ice and I was holding the edge of this ice shield. And that night there was a gentleman by the name of Joseph. His name was Joseph Todd and Joseph Todd. Somehow saw my car tracks in that snow. And he somehow decided to like drive all down that deserted road to see if he could see anyone. [00:08:17] And he pulled up like his pickup truck over and he sees my body out on the ice. He grabs wood in a chain, And he crawls out onto that ice. He slides out that Chaney wraps it around my body and he drags me to shore. Now, Joseph Todd was awarded the governor General's award for bravery, for risking his life to save a stranger is the highest award of bravery week of civilians in Canada. [00:08:44] And the last a little bit I'll share with you is when I woke up from the hospital, like in the hospital, my mother was. And my mother asked me very clearly, how did you do it? How did you get yourself out of this predicament? And I said to my mom, it's very much because you told me I could do hard things. [00:09:02] And my mother said that's not actually quite what we had in mind, but I'm glad it worked in your favor. So me too, mum, I'm glad it worked in my favor. Um, Believable [00:09:12] Natalie: story as a teenager, correct. How old were you then? Were you 16 years old? I have teenagers and I. I put my kids in situations like that. And you just hope and pray that they will have that resiliency, be it an accident or any difficult thing that they have in their life. [00:09:33] Wow. What a story was. Was a turning point in your life, obviously, for many reasons. And for some people, you know, it might not be, I'm still wiping away. Tears. Your story is so incredible. [00:09:45] Dr. Robyne: It might not be such a big [00:09:48] Natalie: event or accident, but they still have to find. that resilience to push through something hard. [00:09:57] Yes. So you, you found this, this focus in your life and let's [00:10:02] Dr. Robyne: go into a little bit more [00:10:03] Natalie: of what you have found the pillars of resiliency, what those are and [00:10:09] Dr. Robyne: how we can learn from them. Of course. So. Yes, that experience was this, you know, sensational event that very much was this awakening realizing that there is purpose. [00:10:21] There's a, there's more at play than we can see and really trusting that we're going to be able to find our way through even the darkest hours. And I think one of the pieces, and again, that really started that recovery for me, where, for me, the recovery really became about education, about getting back into school, kind of getting steadied after such a challenging season and then learning. [00:10:45] And so then I spent the next 20 years studying and learning and working with persons really all over around the world about, okay, what is it that creates that capacity? To do those hard things to be able to show up. And I really appreciate what you're saying is that this idea that it doesn't always have to be this huge accident or this huge moment, what it comes down to is it's these daily decisions every day resiliency. [00:11:09] And for some persons it's. Getting up in the morning, getting out the door and maybe it's making that difficult phone call or even showing up or whatever that is. As, as, especially as a parent, we're stick handling and navigating that every single day. So it doesn't, it's not reserved only for these big catastrophic events. [00:11:30] It's the everyday things that count. [00:11:32] Natalie: it comes down to me. And I think because I made a big change in my life in the last year, and I hear from a lot of people are trying to make a change and they don't know how to do that. So sometimes physically like through an accident or physically, but I think a lot of, a lot of this resilience. [00:11:51] Also comes in an emotional way. How do I get through the relationship that's difficult or, you know, so we're looking at physical and emotional. It all kind of comes [00:12:02] Dr. Robyne: together, right? Sure, sure does. And it comes in to those five pillars, which you brought up. So the first one we've come upon is this idea of belonging. [00:12:10] Each and every one of us needs a home team. We do need a person in our corner. That's going to rally around us. That's going to protect us, or we feel the need to protect them as well. Like, we are very powerful when we are in that place of protecting our family systems. And so for some, it might be family for others. [00:12:29] It's chosen family, but each and every one of us, we need to be seen. We need to be heard and honored as our flawed self. Right. So. People, it's not that we're holding this perfection. People see all of the bumps and bruises and they, they still hold space for us. So belonging is the first pillar. Now the second pillar we came upon is actually perspective. [00:12:51] It's the way that people see the world, what they choose to look at and. As you already mentioned, it's the way that they feel the world is this alignment between our head and our heart. And when we can honor that head and heart connection, we operate from our values. So resilient people know how to make what matters most matter. [00:13:12] Most they know where to put their focus. Now, the third pillar we talk about is acceptance. And I can share with you, this is a challenging one because. as inner society, we're very much conditioned to think that acceptance means we have to like, like it or get to that place of like, okay, fine. This is, you know, this idea of resolution or we have to let it go. [00:13:35] What we've come upon in our work is that acceptance really is about first learning, how to decipher your controllables. So once you figure out what you're in control of and what you're not in control of, then we get to that place of learning how to co-exist with the parts that we don't like. We don't actually have to like any. [00:13:55] But we make that daily decision to coexist and that might be grief. It might be lost. It could even be a diagnosis, whereas like we didn't sign up for this, but we are going to understand that it is going to be part of our story and we're going to find a way to move through it. Now, the fourth variable, and again, there's five. [00:14:13] So I got two more quick ones for you now I'm loving this. Awesome. The fourth one is. Choosing to live hope-filled and living in hope with others. That is probably the most powerful place that we can make decisions from in this idea that we trust that we might not know what's on the other side and we know there'll be obstacles, challenges, difficulty, but we have that steadfast confidence trust, faith that we're going to get. [00:14:40] That we are going to find a way to the other side and the last one. So we, bit of a wildcard because it's actually humor. It's like play and joy and lightheartedness. Even Mary mint actually helps us in a biological way, navigate difficult days and seasons of our lives. And we often talk in my work about how. [00:15:01] When you laugh, your body releases is like natural tranquilizer. So your pain receptors are blocked. And other example is, you know, for example, we know people who swear they live longer who knew some of us might be a mortal, but the idea is we, we let moments happen. We don't brew or bottle. We let things flow through us. [00:15:21] And we. What we see in our work is that those five variables, when we foster and lean into those, not to late that's when we're able to weather the challenges and the changes and the hardships that we know, inevitably, we're all going to face. Yeah. Oh, [00:15:36] Natalie: I just, I relate to every single one. I'm every time you said when I went [00:15:40] Dr. Robyne: oh yeah, that, that uh, [00:15:42] Natalie: one of my daughters she just loves improv comedy and she is an actor. [00:15:46] And so laughing. So big to her. And I find that when she walks in a room, whatever problem I'm having and that kind of like, oh, it, it is it's that physically, when you can just release that and have that and get through with that. So each one of those, I like something came up in my mind. That was, yeah, that [00:16:05] Dr. Robyne: one. [00:16:06] So when someone's [00:16:07] Natalie: going through. A difficult time as we all do. And sometimes for longer periods than others, how do you incorporate these things? Like, it's hard to find laughter and I think through the last year and a half in our world, belonging. Has been hard. We've seen a lot of isolation. Like how do you, if I can say manufacture these things when you're going through hardships. [00:16:32] Dr. Robyne: Yes. And actually this is where my background as a behavioral scientist comes in, which I think is helpful because that's what we do. We look at the behaviors and the traits, the systems. Yeah. That we can do. That's going to cultivate it. Now. This is kind of like, I would say a bit of a, a bit of a radical idea, but I do hope people can latch onto this. [00:16:52] We don't do resiliency for resiliency sake. Okay. We don't just bounce pack. Cause it's like, oh, we're supposed to bounce back. We do that resiliency. So we can get to that place of being able to feel good and to live a good life. So these are tools that we're using that are going to elevate us back to that place of safety of security, where we're feeling like we can show up wholeheartedly. [00:17:15] So we don't practice resiliency again, just because, oh, it's bad. And we have to deal with it. It's the idea that it's the tool or the gateway. That's going to get us to that place of living the good life. And those tools that we have seen that are the most effective are really around wellness tools. And again, These wellness practices or self care. [00:17:35] It's not just doing self care for the sake of self care. It's because we want the freedom. We want the freedom to be able to feel well, to be able to look after those relationships, to have the flexibility in our day, to be able to make what matters most matter most. So those are some of the, kind of the theory behind. [00:17:54] Now, what do those systems look like? And what I talk often with the persons I work with is that you need to have, you need to have a game plan. We don't, this doesn't happen by accident. So when we go back to the very basics or where do we take our first step, the first step is to making sure that you have a system that helps you feel good. [00:18:14] You need to have a system. You need to know what your source is. To be able to hold good feelings again in your body. For some persons, it could be through movement. It could be through like walking outdoors. It could be time with loved ones. It could be music as your daughter's using. It's that joy of laughter. [00:18:32] You need to know what is your source and you want to build system. That make that readily available to you naturally, because we want to dial in on what we call our comeback rate. Now our comeback rate is when we're in a mood or we're experiencing something challenging and we want to be able to get back to that place where we feel solid, grounded, and safe. [00:18:54] So our systems are what do it, and that is. [00:18:57] Natalie: Amazing. And I'm also thinking from a parenting perspective because that's the filter. I put a lot of things through my world with college student, a high school student and a middle school student. And I'm thinking they might not know what that come back. What did you call it again? [00:19:10] And come back, come back rate is, but can I help them identify for my wonderful. It's laughter but can I help them identify? What is that thing that brings you back so that when you go through hardship, you go to that thing, is that, is, is that a good parenting? [00:19:28] That is exactly. Okay. What are some other examples of what. Those things might be those come back rates might be [00:19:35] Dr. Robyne: a hundred percent. So as a mom of three as well. So I can share this with you. For our daughter, for her, the big comeback rate is that we actually have to like, take a check out of social media. [00:19:44] Right. We actually have to like, okay, yeah, we need to take a little bit of a break and we need to go back to the, those, like those values in our family, which is like hard work it's commitment. It's, you know, our faith it's like showing up for the people who need us. So for Ava, it's this idea of putting her in that place where she needs to go into, be of service, right? [00:20:04] So maybe it's helping her grandpa on the weekend rake leaves, or maybe it's her you know, walking someone's dog, like Ava can get back to that place where she can get settled and grounded where she doesn't feel all the pressure of being a 15 year old young woman. And so for her. It's volunteering at the gymnastic club and helping the little ones like it, it puts her in that place where she can reconnect to where she feels like her most authentic self. [00:20:28] And you saw the signature strengths. [00:20:31] Natalie: So a lot of kids that, that acts of service, like you feel important. We talk about this with a B kind of in that sandwich generation and ours, or our parents who are starting to retire and have this, like giving back could keep them so that. Yeah. Helps you feel important in life, right? [00:20:49] Absolutely. Sorry, side note there, because it made me think of insurance, but okay. So, and [00:20:53] Dr. Robyne: for your other kids. Okay. So for our oldest hunter, he is the he's in his senior year of high school hunter very much is we kind of joke that like Hunter's like kind of love language is just like that deep connection. [00:21:04] That one-on-one time. So for hunter, it's that like, maybe he, and I'll go for like a drive or we'll go for a walk or we'll go do something just he and I. 'cause he and I we've, we've navigated a lot that he and I together. And so he very much needs that, that one-on-one time. And that's a way that he can kind of get back to what matters most. [00:21:23] He feels like his needs are met. Like he really needs to have that assurance that there's someone in his corner that you are not alone. You're not stick handling any of this by yourself. You're always going to have your mom in your corner. So for him it's that, that we really have to carve out that one-on-one time. [00:21:38] And I can share with you just a quick little tip that I use as a parents. These kiddos were babies. And hunter, I would say by far is the one that like he, and I've been able to figure this out, whatever. I would say to parents, like when you give your child and embrace, so when you're hugging your child, let your child let go for. [00:21:57] Sometimes it's good. Good tip. Sometimes Natalie, it's so brief, right? It's kind of like the quick, like kind of quick hug and go. And other times we, they linger and that's when we know that they need that just a little bit extra support and you don't have to say anything. It's just that connection that. [00:22:17] You're safe. I got your back. There's nothing that we can't figure out together and we'll, we'll make it through this, but the best part is we don't even have to say it. It's just that, that hug. And again, he's this big six foot five, you know, basketball player and he'll come in sometimes and he'll stay there for. [00:22:35] A minute and that connection is so powerful. So that's hunters come back strategy and they will also have their own strategies that aren't involving us either. Like they've learned things as well, but the last one I'll showcase for you. Jack's, he's our littlest he's 13 and, and for jacks, It's hands-on shared activity. [00:22:56] So it's one of those things where Jack's is the one who likes like sit down and do some Lego with him, or do some type of activity where we're actually talking ear to ear. So Jackson's not, we don't do the, like the eye contact when we're talking to Jack. Sometimes when he needs to have that reconnect, it's when we're actually ear to ear, it takes the pressure off the conversation. [00:23:16] So we'll be doing something like building some Lego or. The dogs or even, well right now, or regular leaves, but it's this idea that he just wants to be beside you. So what I've learned, Ava needs me to be behind her, to support her in service. Hunter needs me to be like shoulder to shoulder, like looking at him like eye contact Jack's needs me to stand beside them. [00:23:38] So as a parent, my invitation to other parents. It's just try our best to kind of tune into what it is that really helps your child with that comeback rate. And when we give them that confidence that we know that they're capable, they'll start coming up with more ideas, but they at least know what it feels like naturally they'll know what it feels like to feel safe and grounded. [00:24:00] Now you go find some other things [00:24:01] Natalie: so do you identify these things with words with them and you know this as a parent, your husband, like, you probably know how to navigate that, but do you talk about these things with them? Do they know that you have these strategies with them? [00:24:14] Dr. Robyne: 100%. So one of the things I would say probably about like, you know, growing up with the parent who does, you know, behavioral science research and behavior, like we talk about a lot. [00:24:24] So letting them know naming things is so powerful and kids are just going to keep telling you that they're fine. And they're okay. Because they don't have other vocabulary, they need to know other things like, are you feeling fired up? Are you feeling nervous? Are you feeling anxious, tired, weary, wobbly. [00:24:44] So I want to give children as much language as they possibly can. So we name it all. Like we named the good, we named the bad, we named the ugly because when we have words and language, all of a sudden, that's the first step towards managing this like feeling factory that we try to manage through. Yeah. [00:25:01] And you have those words [00:25:03] Natalie: in your background, but I don't think as a journalist and I know everybody else listening, they're in different careers. You can identify with your own words. They don't have to be scholarly words for these things. Like, you know, give them words, make them up. They can be funny words. [00:25:19] and so much of what you've just talked about with your children. Also, I feel like are very applicable to spouses, friends somewhat relationships with coworkers or, you know, being able to identify and even like, you might have someone that's difficult to work with, but as soon as you can start to identify how they want to be approached or how you work through hardships with them based on their personality or what they might be going through, it applies to that as well. [00:25:50] Dr. Robyne: Right. Absolutely. And I love what you're saying about like, make it work for you and when we can get to that place and to be able to do any of this work, what's really important is that we're actually present. And what I mean by that is when we're stuck in the past and we're feeling depressed and down, or, you know, regretting things that we did. [00:26:10] Or we're stuck in the future where we're forecasting and feeling anxious all the time and worrying about what's around the corner. It's much harder to do those things. So really it comes down to like, how do I, how do I be a present parent? And I often talk about like, our kids don't need perfect parents. [00:26:25] They need a present. Grown-up a present person that says, okay, I'm in this with you and doing our best to pull ourselves out of autopilot because the busier, we are the more hustle, this kind of feeling of scarcity we're chasing all the time. We don't have the spaciousness or the ease in our day to be able to have these conversations, to be able to show up this way for one another, whether it be our family system or as you said, our colleagues, or even our community or our new. [00:26:53] Natalie: one thing I think of often is I don't ever want to look back and go. Oh, wow. I wasted that time cause I was so busy, you know, it's one of the reasons I left my longtime careers. I just didn't want to look back. I had this fear of looking back and saying I missed so many opportunities to connect. [00:27:15] so if that's encouragement to anyone okay boy, I could talk to you for it. I've learned so much, so much your pillars, like all of these things. So, so, so valuable. So I want to ask you a couple of questions, a few things I like to wrap up with somewhat. But I always learn so much here at the end of the podcast from, from other professionals and people in the first question is your favorite tool for productivity you're busy. [00:27:42] And yet we try to be productive at the same time be present, but how do we do that? Well, give me one a year. [00:27:48] Dr. Robyne: Yeah, tell you right now. So my best tool I can offer people is to have a morning system, like have a morning system that is like this kind of predictable way that your day starts. And sometimes it means that we have to you know, credit carve out a little bit of sacred time, but something I've learned about myself naturally is I need just a few minutes. [00:28:06] First thing in the morning before I opened myself up to the world. Where I can set the intention. I can get a little bit of activity, maybe walk the dogs. I can, you know, say my prayers have that hot cup of coffee. Like I have to make up my mind. Before I start my day, what kind of day I'm going to have. [00:28:22] And some days Natalie will be like, I am going to be a powerhouse productive. I am just going to knock these to-do lists these to be lists like I'm going to get it all done. And other days in that time, in the morning, and I say, okay, well, you know what? I've been going pretty hard this week. Today. I might need to walk down. [00:28:38] Today, I need more of a tender approach to how I'm going to meet my work. And one of the things that I found is being able to honor the energy that I have and showing up with the, essentially the, you know, the tasks at hand with the right amount of energy is actually my best strategy for productivity because I don't burn myself out or empty all of the. [00:29:00] When I don't have any, like when my head's not in the game, right. If it's, it's one of those days where it's, I, I know I don't have the energy, then I'm not going to put things on my agenda. That's going to require top shelf, Robin energy. I'm going to do some of those easier tasks. And then what happens is when I'm restored and I'm refreshed and I have more energy. [00:29:18] The next day, I'm going to knock out all of those big, heavy tasks that I have to do. So I let my energy work for me. Yeah. So [00:29:26] Natalie: what I'm hearing from you is so different from what I've been doing for so long, because I do that at night. I make my list at night of what I need to have done the next day. [00:29:36] But yesterday, for example, I woke up just feeling like, I think I dreamt a lot and then I woke up feeling a little groggy and I looked at that list. Like I just didn't wake up with the energy I needed to fulfill what I had set the night before. So I love what you're saying, because I then felt like a failure because through the day I didn't have what I needed to get through. [00:29:59] So to wake up and set that and almost give yourself grace in saying, yeah. No, today's not that day. I mean, you might have the like essentials that are at the top of the list. Yeah. But to do that in the morning, I'm going to change my I'm going to change how I do that. Thanks, [00:30:15] Dr. Robyne: Natalie. Just so honest. It's so true. [00:30:17] And I can so many times that people get a wee bit nervous and they say, well, Robin, what happens if like every day I don't have that energy to do the big deliverables. When you start honoring your energy flow and you get back into alignment. You are going to be so energized to do the heavy lifting on those days where you are going to do it in like half the time, because we're working with our body and attunement and we're embodying that sense of productivity and those like easier days, those lighter days, like, I want you to just fill those up with like, Even like puttering activities. [00:30:52] I often talk about those are the days where I just kind of like wanna kind of putter around the house. Maybe do a few emails, maybe send some thank you's or some gratitudes tidy my office. And then the next day, oh my gosh. I blast through even more of the to-do list because I have the right. [00:31:09] Natalie: Yeah, that's beautiful. [00:31:10] Okay. How much time do you give yourself in the morning? Is it a half hour? Is it an hour? Because I think setting the alarm and then actually getting up with enough time. Like I know what time my son needs to be up, so I try to give myself 20 minutes before that, but I think I might want another 10 to 15 minutes of just. [00:31:29] Dr. Robyne: Yeah. So that's a great question. And I think it varies right at different seasons and stages of our lives. It's going to vary when the children were little. It was very brief, right? There was tiny little windows. Now that they're a wee bit older. I find for me like optimal is to be able to like, get some, a few minutes outside, like outdoors. [00:31:48] Like I have to physically leave the house, walk the dogs, and thankfully dogs are great to keep us on a system. Right. They let me know that they'd like to go out. So doing that outdoor time is absolutely crucial coming back in, you know, listening to a podcast, having that cup of coffee, just having a few minutes, that might be five minutes. [00:32:05] Sunday. It could be 20 minutes Sunday, but something that I know is I physically have to get out of the house, come back in that door with my mind map. And that I find, and again, even rain, snow you know, it doesn't have to be optimal weather. I'll still, I trust that system now often what I think happens sometimes is people try to base it on motivation, right? [00:32:27] Like, am I going to feel like going for a walk in the morning, then they see the rain and they're like, I'm not going outside. What I've learned is like, you gotta trust your sister's. I know, even if it's raining and I walk for 20 minutes, half an hour, I will feel better. I'll have a clean mind. My heart will be aligned. [00:32:42] So you trust your system. Don't rely on our motivation. Cause it's pretty fickle. It doesn't always show up for us. Yeah. That's [00:32:49] Natalie: great. Systems are important. And I like that. That's your tool for productivity is your morning system. Okay. And then my second question. Think maybe I know the answer because you told your, your whole story, this accident, but maybe it's changed. [00:33:03] And that is what is your purpose? I love your overarching theme of what you do and who you are, but when did you discover and what is your purpose? [00:33:14] Dr. Robyne: What a beautiful question. So I think it's always evolving. I don't think finding your purpose as a finished line that you cross. I think every season in our lives, we're going to be able to, for it, to grow in it, to expand and maybe get a little bit more aligned and very much what I've come upon. [00:33:30] And I would say probably only in about the last three or four years, and when I started to move my work outside of the university setting and started to work with more persons everyday people doing the work. I realized that me being of service and being, being able to share knowledge and tools and resources, not just in that university setting, but for the people who have the boots on the ground, being able to help reframe some of these narratives. [00:33:56] That for me is very much where I started to feel as though this is the most authentic version of myself that I'm able to show up for others. And also coming to that realization that some of the most complex hard, challenging experiences in my life have actually fueled a sense of purpose that otherwise I never would have learned. [00:34:17] So knowing that my, my hardest. Yeah, that those tests very much are me in a place now where I can be of service and share it. And to share that knowledge with others in an accessible way. I don't want people to only have to go through hard times or go to university to be able to learn this. I want this to be something we can have these conversations with all over the. [00:34:37] Yeah. And [00:34:38] Natalie: to really know that purpose is meant to shift. Sometimes I think we we come up with a purpose early in our life and then we feel like, well, that that's who I am and we don't give ourselves enough grace and time and flexibility to say, no, I don't have to, I don't have to be what I decided I was going to be when I was 22 years old, going to college, I can change. [00:35:00] Dr. Robyne: And that's okay. Yeah, absolutely. And I think if anything, that's just such a beautiful Testament to your growth. The fact that you've grown that vision of yourself at 22, I want you to outgrow that. I want you to take it to the next level. Right. And not in a way of that. We're always like chasing. I wanted in this way that we're all. [00:35:20] we're expanding to have a bigger reach, to do the greater, good to be of service with that real deep intention of being able to, to help one another. We're not meant to do any of this alone. We're meant to be in community. And even briefly at the beginning, you mentioned this idea about belonging and how hard it has been. [00:35:37] These last 19 months for persons. We very much are in a season of and belonging. We feel so disconnected from. People, but also even a sense of who we are and what we are about. We see all these people that are even exploring these talent migrations thinking about is this really what I want to do? And all of those are really normal, reflections and abnormal times. [00:36:00] And if we don't go through these abnormal times, we won't have these big opportunities to learn and grow and to change. So these are, and it's not that there's a silver lining in everything because some things just. Right. There are some things that there aren't a lesson to be learned. It literally is just the fact that it hurts and it's no good, and there's always opportunities to learn and to grow and expand. [00:36:23] So we don't have to like it, but it's again, it's that spaciousness that we're willing to put ourselves in these new opportunities and see what's possible. Yeah. Oh, [00:36:31] Natalie: great, great, great stuff. I was starting to take notes and I'm like, no, I can just go back and relisten. That's what I love about podcasting. [00:36:39] I can just listen. You've given me so much. Where can people learn more about you read about you. I know you have a book and tell me more. Where can people find. [00:36:47] Dr. Robyne: There you go. So the best way is just Robin, R O B Y N E H d.ca on our website. There's lots of information there, all of the socials as well, Dr. [00:36:57] Robin on socials. And again, I do hope that our paths will cross again. I love to build community to connect, to answer folks questions and, and to keep this learning and sharing going. So, Natalie, thank you for this opportunity to be part of your. I appreciate it. I [00:37:12] Natalie: encourage people to, to follow you. [00:37:14] That's how I found you on Instagram, but on your website too, because you have so many great resources to help people. So thank you so much. I appreciate you. And I do want to do this again soon. Cause I know you, aligned so closely with the people who listened to this podcast and, and follow me because we share so many of the same values. [00:37:33] So thank you, Dr. Robyn, it's been great [00:37:36] Dr. Robyne: to talk to. Take good care, Natalie, anytime.





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