The best self love and healing comes from relentless inquiry. We should be questioning everything; every thought, every belief and every habitual behavior that doesn’t serve us anymore.
As a part of my series about “Connecting With Yourself To Live With Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Laura Di Franco, MPT. Laura is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s a 6-time published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She was born to build a revolution of brave healers who are getting their badass, authentic voices published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, is on Amazon! www.BraveHealer.com
Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s Get Intimate! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
Sports medicine was my first passion. As a lifelong athlete I loved knowing how the body worked and especially what created peak performance. A degree in physical therapy was the result, with continuing education in the more holistic and alternative ways our minds, bodies and souls thrive. That led to a journey toward understanding authentic healing and the passion for integrating mind and body to not only feel good physically, but really live a life of joy.
Now I know that we can heal ourselves and the world by writing, speaking and sharing our stories. It’s my Brave Healer mission to help healers leave the legacy they were born for so they can serve others from an overflow.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
Great relationships are built on a foundation of awareness and great communication. Many of us are dealing with doubts, fears, unworthiness, and shame that get in the way of being the aware, conscious partners we want to be. My new book will address those fears and provide a toolkit for not only overcoming them, but completely reframing them! I’m working on that new message as well as getting out to speak about it. With awareness we have a choice to go for the joy. It’s my goal to spread more of that kind of awareness this year.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?
I’ve battled a lifelong pursuit of worthiness. Those wounds stemmed from childhood but the turning point was about three years ago when I decided to take my power back, ask for a divorce and begin to point my life toward joy. When I started to be fully responsible for my life and everything in it, including my own happiness, even though that was terrifying some days, I began to really be able to see a clear path. What felt like the worst year of my life ended up being the pivot toward the best life I could imagine.
While we’re going through something difficult it’s hard to see the possibility. But that’s something I trust on a daily basis; the divine order of what is happening in my life. When you trust in this, nothing that happens to you needs to be labeled good or bad, or a mistake or failure. All of the events become stepping stones leading you down the perfect path.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
When you grow up in a society that values beauty by what we measure in the media, you’ll live a life of constantly thinking you’re not good enough if you do not possess each of the physical attributes the men and women depicted possess.
Who is measuring beauty anyhow? We grow up learning that’s based on what the media, and the people around us tell us it is. And the media is interested in selling you something. So if they can make you believe you’re less than desirable, and that they have the perfect product to make you desirable, they will sell you that product, and the idea you’re less than.
Wow, what do you think would happen if we all woke up to our innate beauty, and the magnificent beauty of each of our individual differences? What if we decided we were good enough just as we are and stopped buying up every last thing that promises to make us more beautiful?
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Loving yourself is the first step to authentic healing and love toward others. Loving yourself is how you love others. We are all one. How you treat yourself is how you’re treating others. It all starts with you and how you love on yourself.
As a healer I’ve learned to unapologetically love myself first, because it’s from that overflow and energy that I can serve the world. I would be any good to anyone if I was burned out and depressed all the time.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
It’s safer to stay in your comfort zone. If you’re living a life that feels content, or “meh” it’s not so bad, right? Problem is you’ve become resigned to that zombie kind of life and relationship. That little feeling inside that there’s got to be something more is just a flicker. You tend to ignore it in the name of not wanting to screw things up with the safe, steady thing you have going on.
Many of us were taught what we should want in a relationship. Our definition of love formed from some twisted thoughts about stability, safety, financial comfort and living the “good” life, whatever that was for you.
But if you’ve been living in a relationship that feels constricting, limited or painful, it’s time to wake up and listen to the messages of your own soul. There’s so much bigger love to experience out there.
When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
The best self love and healing comes from relentless inquiry. We should be questioning everything; every thought, every belief and every habitual behavior that doesn’t serve us anymore. Here are some of the questions I’ve asked myself to wake myself up to what’s possible:
What else is possible?
What if this could be easy?
What if there’s something you haven’t learned yet that could change everything?
Your fear is boring, what are you waiting for?
Do you really think that?
If you weren’t afraid what would you do?
If there were nobody left to offend, upset or disappoint, what would you do?
What do you need to give yourself permission to feel?
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
While we are here on the planet to connect with others, the capacity to be alone and truly feel nourished by our own company is necessary. It goes back to the idea that we’re all one. If you can be alone and fully accept and love yourself through all the shadow parts of yourself, then you can be with anyone and practice true love and compassion.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
It gives you the capacity for awareness, compassion, understanding, kindness, love, gratitude and patience. It helps you really know what matters.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
We can practice awareness of thought and feeling. With awareness we have a choice. Without it we’re living like zombies for the next paycheck. With awareness we get to move toward the lives we crave, with purpose and intention. Without it we feel out of control and victimized by life. With awareness we can conjure up the courage to live fiercely alive and experience more joy, more love and more adventure.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
1. I practice learning the language of my soul and intuition through body awareness.
2. I practice breathwork, the fastest way to anchor into those physical senses
3. I practice journaling, a tool for enhanced awareness and clarity
4. I practice getting in touch with what brings me joy on a regular basis
5. I practice being unapologetic about my positivity and the way I want to live
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle was my introduction to awareness. I loved having a new perspective that started to help me break out of my unconscious patterns.
Everything Esther Hicks does and writes brings me to another level of awareness and understanding about myself and the life I want to live. She’s a Law of Attraction master.
Brene Brown’s books are all amazing, and her TED talk on vulnerability is a must. My life changed after those twenty minutes of listening.
Honestly there are so many authors and teachers who’ve influenced my healing and awareness journey. When you’re a seeker of the truth (which is your own truth) the resources tend to appear on your path just when you need them.
The most influential book I ever experienced was the one I wrote. You’ve heard that before, right? That’s because when you make the leap from student to teacher and you’re standing up tall inside your worthiness, something shifts. Writing for the world to read requires another level of brave.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I’ve started a revolution of Brave Healers who are writing, speaking and sharing their words to heal themselves and the world. There’s healing in the telling and there’s healing in the receiving of our stories. And that’s why your story matters.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
Your fears of not-good-enough are boring. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about the person whose life you could change or save. Be brave. Share your story.
That’s my quote by the way. Over the years I’ve realized through many brave authors and teachers that it’s really up to me to use my fear as fuel, share my stories and give my gifts. I create my own inspirational quotes to help me do that along the way!
The last note I’ll leave you with is another one of my own, similar to the last:
You were born, so you’re worthy. Your message matters. What if the thing you’re still a little afraid to share is exactly the thing someone needs to hear to change their life. It’s time to be brave.
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!
About the Author:
Sasza Lohrey is the Founder & CEO of BBXX, a digital platform for intimacy and wellbeing. She is also the host of the BBXX podcast, “Let’s Get Intimate!” which hosts provocative and entertaining conversations with experts in order to challenge the way our culture conditions us to talk about sex, intimacy, and healthy relationships. BBXX was created in order to help people better understand themselves, so that they then can form deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others. Sasza is a former D1 athlete with a background in psychology and digital media. She is a member of the Women of Sex Tech collective, the co-mentorship community Dreamers and Doers, and a regular columnist for several online publications. Originally from the Bay Area, Sasza founded BBXX during a Stanford entrepreneurship program in Santiago, Chile. Learn more on our website and listen to more interviews with experts on our top-rated podcast!