Vulnerability, with Laura Tremaine

Eudaemonia Podcast: Transcript

Laura Tremaine is a Los Angeles-based writer and podcaster. In her blog posts and on her podcast, 10 Things To Tell You, Laura introduces topics that help women connect more deeply with others. Laura has just released her first book Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. On this episode, Kim Forrester chats with Laura to explore how we can live happier, healthier lives by embracing vulnerability, openness, and a willingness to share. 

Kim Forrester 0:00
In 2010, Brené Brown rocketed onto the world stage with one simple message. Vulnerability, she said, is the birthplace of creativity, joy and wholehearted living. But how can we share our most intimate selves while protecting our emotional well being? You’re listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. I’m Kim Forrester, and today it’s time to get real about vulnerability.

Intro 0:30
Welcome to Eudaemonia, the podcast that is all about flourishing. Plug in, relax and get ready for the goodness as we explore the traits and practices that can help you thrive in life … with your host Kim Forrester.

Kim Forrester 0:50
Laura Tremaine is a Los Angeles-based writer and podcaster. In her blog posts and on her podcast, 10 Things to Tell You, Laura introduces topics and questions that help women connect more deeply and more vulnerably with others. Laura has just released her first book, Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. It’s my pleasure to be chatting with Laura today to discuss how we can live happier and healthier lives by embracing vulnerability, openness, and a willingness to share. Laura Tremaine. It is such a delight to have you here on the Eudaemonia podcast. And I’m so grateful. I know you’re very busy at the moment with the launch of your new book.

Laura Tremaine 1:31
Thank you so much for having me. It is a super exciting time to be launching a book, in the middle of a pandemic. It’s fine, but I am glad to talk to you.

Kim Forrester 1:41
Laura, I’ve spent the last couple of decades as an immigrant, right, and a global citizen. I’ve moved all over the world. And I’ve learned that not just every country, but every city has its own culture and its own vibe; its own way of doing things. At the very beginning of your book, Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First, you write about your transition from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California. What did your early L.A. experience teach you about the ways that we try to connect as human beings, and our relationship with vulnerability?

Laura Tremaine 2:19
Well, I’ll tell you right now that when I moved to Los Angeles, from a tiny town in Oklahoma, that I noticed immediately that the girlfriend code was completely different. Like, making friends with other women. And I was young; I was 22, I was in the prime of girlfriend-making time. It was really difficult for me. Girlfriends in Oklahoma, where I experienced a lot more open, a lot more able to, you know, include others in the crowd. You know, it was just a lot more casual, I guess I should say. When I moved to Los Angeles, I felt like there was a lot of motives and “What can you do for me?”, and, “Who do you know?”, and, “What kind of lists can you get us in the door at the club?” Like, there was a lot of strange motivations. And then there was also just a general flakiness. And I hate to say that, because I love Los Angeles, and I love the people in Los Angeles. But it felt like there was that kind of stereotypical, like, “Oh, I’m going to cancel last minute, I’m not going to show at all.” And maybe that’s just part of that age range – is that flakiness. But for me coming from, you know, decades of childhood friends and wonderful friends in college, it was real eye-opening to not be able to make real friends, you know, not just surface level friends. Here in L.A., I just felt like the women were very different. And in fact, I didn’t find like a handful of deep, meaningful relationships with other women in L.A. until I became a mum. So it was years. I had one or two, but it was just a really different girlfriend code here. It’s different.

Kim Forrester 4:08
That’s interesting. It’s almost like we have to be aware that we have a history of vulnerability then, perhaps, based on where we’ve grown up, and the culture and the expectations of that particular society.

Laura Tremaine 4:19
Yes, exactly. I mean, I do think that women in L.A., if you grew up in L.A. – and I have a lot of dear friends now who grew up here – they just have kind of a different mentality around friendships in some way. Because, you know, it’s a big city. They know a million people. Whereas where I grew up from relationships were like, from the cradle to the grave, like you are still going to know that person in 15 years, so you can’t really stab them in the back. Like, that would be a complicated relationship. Whereas, I feel like city women were kind of a little more disposable with their friendships when I was younger.

Kim Forrester 4:58
Yeah, that’s interesting. But I’ve lived in many cities around the world and my experience is every city can be different, too. Let’s stay with L.A. though. L.A., right, surrounded with celebrities and influencers. Is sharing the same as vulnerability? And I ask that question, Laura, because celebrities and influencers share all sorts of moments of their lives, right? They’re very keen to do so. Are they truly being vulnerable when they share these moments? What is it that takes sharing, and turns it into a vulnerable expression?

Laura Tremaine 5:35
Well, I think it’s kind of a heart thing. Because, no, I do not think that simply the act of sharing is the same thing as vulnerability, at all. Because we all have different thresholds for what we think is really brave or vulnerable to share. So online, for a long time, I’ve talked a tonne about mental health and my lifelong struggle with anxiety. This is not vulnerable for me to talk about it; I talk about it very openly, I do not consider it brave. I do not consider it, you know, anything like that. But I always get these messages back, like, “Thank you for being brave, I could never share about my anxiety. Though, I really have it, like a lot of people, you know, I wouldn’t be able to do that.” But for me, I just have no energy around it. So in terms of celebrities, I think the same is true – or influencers – they are most likely, most of the time, from what I have observed, they are sharing what they want you to see. And it’s probably not something that they have a tonne of stakes in. You know? I mean, as the observer as the follower, it might feel really brave to you a lot of the time. It’s not or they wouldn’t do it. This isn’t a knock on them. I just explained how I do this exact same thing. We have different things that we’re willing to talk about and share about and we have things that we’re unwilling to talk about and share about. And so it’s a sliding scale based on the person and the topic. But I do not think that just sharing or just crying on Instagram, or any of the things that maybe we think is showing real vulnerability, it isn’t always. But then I do think that there are some expressions that we all understand to be a really big deal. Let’s take Chrissy Teigen, for example, lately, sharing the loss of her child. I don’t think anybody – well, I mean, there’s some trolls that did – but most of us could see that as anything but incredibly vulnerable. And whether you would choose to share in that same way as she did. It read, immediately, as this is completely honest; this is her real heartbreak and we are seeing it. And that’s an example of a celebrity who did share something she did not have to. And she chose to. And it shined a light for so many women who have suffered that same heartbreak.

Kim Forrester 7:59
I love what you’re saying. It’s so powerful. Vulnerability does not lie in the act itself. Vulnerability comes from the expansion of our comfort zone, our emotional comfort zone. Is that what you’re saying there? It’s not about the act. It’s about what makes us feel uncomfortable and doing it anyway.

Laura Tremaine 8:19
That’s what I think it is. You know, I am not a licenced therapist. I have not studied this deeply. Everything that I write about is just from my own experience. But I have been sharing myself online for almost 12 years, and really observing people’s reaction to me sharing and how other people are sharing. I’ve always been very interested in you know, “Is this authentic? What is happening here? Is this expanding people’s hearts and minds? Or is this you know, for show and for profit or something like that?” I care a lot about the type of sharing that I think is moving the cultural needle. And I think that that’s happening every day on the internet.

Kim Forrester 8:59
Let’s stay there. Let’s talk about expanding our capacity for sharing. Right? Expanding our emotional, vulnerable bounds. Why is it important for us to test these boundaries? What is it that we gain from it? Or what is it that we offer others, perhaps, when we do so?

Laura Tremaine 9:17
I just think it’s personal growth. And I think we should all be trying to grow and evolve, whatever that means for you. I don’t think it always has to be a big striving thing, every single day. But I do hope that in the arc of our life, we are moving towards growth. And I think that doing something a little scary, doing something a little vulnerable, is helpful in our growth, but, more importantly, in our relationships. You know what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone who is just a brick wall. Like it’s, it’s very hard for that relationship – be it romantic or a friendship or whatever. Like, it’s always just gonna be ‘it is what it is’. Like, there’s just nowhere to go with that. However, if you’re trying to be in a friendship, or you’re trying to be in a romantic relationship with someone, or a mentorship or any of the other types of relationships we have, you want it to evolve. You want it to go deeper or expand. And that is going to require some sharing on your part. You have to share yourself, and the other person has to share themselves. And it is like an exchange of energy. It is an exchange of connection. And I think in my life, that’s what makes life so much richer. That’s what makes it worth living.

Kim Forrester 10:35
Yeah, I guess in order to truly be ourselves, we have to truly share ourselves as well.

Laura Tremaine 10:40

Kim Forrester 10:41
Laura, as you’ve mentioned before, your sharing journey started online. But many people, I imagine, would consider the online space to be the very last place that they would lay their souls bare and share their most intimate selves. Are there places and spaces that are healthier, more conducive, when it comes to being more vulnerable, in your experience?

Laura Tremaine 11:09
Yes, I never want anyone to think that I am encouraging them to put their deepest darkest secrets on the web. Like, in fact, please don’t do that. I am able to share online because I write online, and I podcast, and I do these things online. But my book, or my message, is about sharing, primarily, in your real life. If you have that luxury. Some people can only share online for, you know, certain life circumstances. But most people don’t want to share online. They have a career that might be impacted. They have many, many relationships that might be impacted were they to overly-share themselves on the internet. So instead, I really want people to, you know, think about their friend groups, their mommy groups, their book clubs. Maybe their work environment, you know, if that environment is conducive to real relationship and, like, a team building atmosphere. There’s so many places in real life where we really crave connection and where we really want to have stronger, deeper relationships and where we want to show up more ourselves. Because this is the other thing. It is about growth, of course. But it’s also about, like, being the best version of ourselves. We’re not presenting perfection, but we’re not overly falling apart in front of everyone either. Like, the more that we share ourselves, the more surefooted we become in our life. And this is a benefit.

Kim Forrester 12:41
Let’s talk about oversharing. Is this such a thing, in your view?

Laura Tremaine 12:48
I would have said ‘yes’ a few years ago, and now I’m going to say ‘no’. Unless, of course, you know, a caveat to that is unless you’re putting someone in danger. Or, you know, you’re really affecting someone’s livelihood or something like that as an unintended consequence. But in terms of oversharing, all I have seen when I see people complain about people who are oversharing, is that you’re just trying to silence someone; you want them to be quiet. Now listen, someone’s sharing – whether it’s the style of it, or it’s the, you know, amount of it, which would be an overshare – may not be your cup of tea. Like, I totally understand that there are people in my life that I also feel like, “Okay, this person is sharing a lot for my taste.” But I no longer want to put those limits because what is a lot is sharing? Is once a day too much? Is sharing five times a day too much? You know, there’s different people I want to hear different things from; there’s different people who are getting some kind of benefit from in real life, if we’re not talking about online. Maybe over sharing the details of some sticky situation is very helpful for someone else to hear the details, instead of talking in generalities. So I no longer want to tell people that oversharing – as long as, you know, it doesn’t impact someone else in a way that it shouldn’t – but I no longer want to tell people that they’re oversharing. I think it’s just a way to make people feel smaller or to silence them, and I don’t want to participate in that anymore.

Kim Forrester 14:31
That’s really beautiful. Allowing people to be vulnerable in the ways that they need to be vulnerable, without judgement. I think we could do with a little more of that. When I think about being vulnerable, Laura, I am confronted with feelings of shame. Or, you know, I have memories of things that I’ve done in the past, there’s a fear of humiliation and a sense, sometimes, that my stuff’s really just not that important. What are the greatest hurdles you’ve had to overcome, as you’ve learned to be more vulnerable?

Laura Tremaine 15:04
I’ve had all those exact same thoughts. I’ve thought, “Who cares about this story I’m about to tell?” I have thought I might be judged for something. I have been openly judged for something, you know, that I shared between friends and family. Like, my worst nightmares have come true. Not my worst nightmares but, you know, if you really fear that someone’s going to judge you and then it turns out they really did judge you, it’s a hard pill to swallow. I think we all have a lot of those same fears. But the more that I did it – and this started when I was blogging so I’ve been doing this a long time now- but the more I shared myself online, and then as I made real life friends, eventually, in L.A., the more that I shared myself in person, the more sure I became about who I am. So a lot of those fears that I had before were steeped in insecurity. And we all have insecurities. We all have hesitations. There’s, like, nothing wrong with that. It’s very normal. But the more that I shared myself, like, the taller I could stand. I could feel like, “Oh, this is what I meant. Yeah, like, I’m a little embarrassed”, or, “Man, I am having a vulnerability hangover from having shared that thing. But this is who I am, this is what I believe. I’m glad that I shared it.” So the more that I, like, experienced that emotional benefit, then the more I was able to share it like anything else. It took some baby steps until I started to feel really confident in what I was saying. Whereas you could live your whole life fearing the sharing. And also fearing “Was what I think wrong or right?” or, worse. Anything you won’t know, until you actually share.

Kim Forrester 16:53
You’re also a very vocal advocate for the power of journaling. Why is it important, do you think, for us to share openly with ourselves?

Laura Tremaine 17:04
Well, because you cannot connect deeply with other people if you don’t know yourself at all. I mean, you can try but it really works best if you are self-aware enough of what’s going on with you. It will just enhance all of your relationships. And I believe that journaling is, you know, a fairly free and easy way for all of us to do that. I think that adults often get hung up on the idea of journaling, because it seems like something like you know, heartbroken teenagers do. Or it’s like, “Oh, you’re an adult woman who journals.” Like, it’s in the same category as like a cat lady or something. But I think that adult journaling does not look like it looked when you were 13 and angsty. Adult journaling can be, you know, documenting. It can be bullet lists of things that happened or things that you felt. It can be thrown away. That’s another big thing. You don’t have to keep all your journals in a hope chest somewhere, forever, for your grandchildren. You can journal out your feelings or help, you know, process something or gain some clarity on something. And then you can throw those papers away. You do not have to hold on to things that have bad energy, you do not have to hold on to things that you would really be afraid someone might read. The journaling to me – and I’ve been doing the journal part of this for literally decades – I tried to go back and read some of my older journals. I’m glad I kept most of them from when I was younger. But I’ve realised now – I’ve come to the point where I’ve realised – you know, the part that was the most beneficial was actually the writing it down in real time. I don’t need to revisit it, necessarily. Some of them, again, I’m glad I kept. But it’s different than I thought it would be. The real magic isn’t in reading it 20 years later; the real magic is in writing it down, right now, and getting some real clarity in yourself and in your spirit, and having an a-ha moment and, you know, releasing some stress by putting it on the paper, and all the different ways we can benefit from writing something down. It really happens in real time, I think.

Kim Forrester 19:14
Does vulnerability have to be serious, though, Laura? Can we keep vulnerability light-hearted and fun?

Laura Tremaine 19:22
I think so. I love lighter questions; fun questions. People will loosen up if you’re, like, starting with humour; if you’re doing something fun together. And then maybe that conversation will turn deeper, but maybe it won’t. You’ve still connected. You still, you know, open the door to future conversations. And that’s what relationship is. My friends and I during the pandemic – we’re in L.A., of course we’re very locked down, have been for almost a year – we couldn’t see each other. So we had text threads throughout the year where we did sort of silly challenges. We all showed our prom pictures one time. We all showed, sort of, our favourite childhood pictures. I would ask, like, “What’s your biggest joy right now?” Because while, of course, I believe in sharing your struggles and sharing what’s hard, and you know, we can really be there for one another, it’s also amazing to just say, “What’s your biggest joy? Tell me what you’re most proud of for yourself right now? Like, what do you deserve a trophy for?” And someone on the text thread said, you know, they’d vacuumed the whole downstairs. They got a trophy, you know. Those are light, you know, those are fun prompts. Those are easy prompts that you can do over text, you know. You don’t have to be having, like, this deep heart-to-heart beside a fire or something.

Kim Forrester 20:41
In your answer there, you’ve really touched on the foundation of your book, which is the power of questions when it comes to vulnerability. You share ten questions in your book, and they’re all designed to facilitate more open, more vulnerable connection – like you’ve just shared there, with your friends. What strikes me though, Laura, is that the questions in your book are really quite simple. Right? “Who are you? When did you belong? What do you believe?” Do you think that vulnerability is perhaps less complicated than we can make it, or we assume? Can it be that the key to vulnerability is to actually start with those fundamentals of our lives – right, those really simple, fundamental facets of who we are – dive deeply there, and see what we find?

Laura Tremaine 21:32
Yes, I think it is truly that simple. And most of the questions are designed to be taken either deeply or, you know, very shallow. The very first question is, “Who are you?” Well, I think it’s super interesting to see how people answer that question, because it says a lot about what they value and how they see themselves. When they answer “Who are you?” if they answer what their job career is, if they answer what their marital status is, if they answer where they live, like, it tells you a lot about the person, and what they value even more than, like, you know, the facts of their answer is. So it can be so simple, like that. But then, also, “Who are you?” can be this very deep, soul-searching question. And depending on the relationship, or depending on the personalities at play, you can take all of these questions – they are simple, and they are big and broad – and answer them however you want. In most of the chapters, I answer the question three different ways. And they’re usually three different levels of vulnerability, just to model for the reader that it doesn’t have to be super scary. I think people hear these words like vulnerability, shame, authenticity, you know, sharing, and they just are like, “Why would we want to do any of that?” It doesn’t have to be like that. It can be fun and light, and just a little ‘get to know you’. And in those conversations, you might get to know yourself a little better. You may lay the foundation for that friendship going forward. There’s a lot of different ways that you can take, and it doesn’t always have to be scary or super deep. It just doesn’t.

Kim Forrester 23:15
Throughout this conversation, there is an awful lot of talk about connection and friendship and relationship building. And truly, that’s what vulnerability allows us to do, right? It’s what it’s all about. And when I was reading your book, I was being reminded of Billy Joel song, The Stranger, in which he sings about the masks that we all wear over our authentic selves. And it struck me that maybe a lack of vulnerability, right, and the various masks that we hide behind in life, could compel us to think that we’re more different from each other than we actually are. Laura, do you feel that if we were all a little more vulnerable, a little more open about ourselves, we’d likely discover that we’re all more alike and all more normal than we realise?

Laura Tremaine 24:06
Yes, absolutely. I think the internet has made this sort of divide in that you cannot share something of yourself unless you fall into a certain box. You cannot share in the middle. You either have to be this, or this. You have to take this stand, or that stand. I mean, it’s really black and white and absolute, online. But when you talk about things with people in real life – all kinds of things, politics, parenting, you know, home decor, it doesn’t matter – when you talk in real life, you start to realise like, “Oh, you know, we may not see this the exact same way, but it’s okay. Like I can see who you are. You can see who I am.” I wish that there were more people posting from that middle place of “I’m not in this box, or in this box”. Or – this would be very big vulnerable for most people to share – “I’m not sure what I believe about this.” People do not post that, even though the vast majority of people aren’t 100% sure what they believe on this, that, or the other thing. But the loudest voices in the room are just so absolute. And if you don’t agree with either side, then, you know, you’re put in the opposite box. And a lot of us are just, like, “Well, I’m not sure what I believe about this, you know, I voted this way. But I have some mixed feelings. And here’s why.” Or, you know, I mean, there’s a million middle places that we could talk about, and they don’t know have to be as charged as politics, of course. But nobody posts from this middle place of, “I’m not sure what I think”, or, “I used to believe this and now I believe this. What do you think?” Nobody posts like that. People wait until they have it all figured out, or where they can wrap up this story in a bow with a happy ending. People keep waiting for, you know, that kind of packaging with the thing that they share instead of just saying – for example, like, one of the questions in the book – instead of just saying, “I was really broken by this event that happened and I think I’m still broken.” Nobody wants that. Everybody wants you to talk about how you were broken, and then you healed, and then it was all amazing. And people are allowed to say that they’re broken at the beginning, and they’re allowed to say after they’ve healed and fixed it and everything’s fine. It’s really hard for others to take in your middle place of. “Yep, still broken, just letting you know.” I mean, that’s just not the way people share. And so we’re uncomfortable with it when that happens. And I wish we weren’t. I wish more people were posting from a place of uncertainty on all kinds of topics, because I think a lot of us live there.

Kim Forrester 26:57
I agree. I think the phrase “”I don’t know, is also really vulnerable phrase. And I think it’s one that we, if we were being honest, we would use a lot more often. “I don’t know, I haven’t got the facts. I haven’t researched that.” And I think that we could add that to that beautiful pile of phrases that really could change society in really positive ways. You are really quick to point out that listening is as important as sharing in this process of vulnerability, Laura. Is vulnerable listening the same sort of concept as vulnerable expression? Are there ways that we can enhance our ability to be there for others who are attempting to be open and vulnerable with us?

Laura Tremaine 27:40
Well, I think a lot of us are working on this. I certainly haven’t nailed it. But I’ve really tried to teach myself, when I’m listening to someone to hear what they’re saying – what the possible undercurrent is of what they’re saying, you know, what they’re not saying – instead of trying to think about what I’m going to say in response or what story I’m going to tell that will match their story. We do this as a way to connect, right? Like, I don’t think most of us are trying to story-top one another. Someone shares a story, and then we want to say, “Oh, I understand you. And here’s why I understand you. I have my own story of this.” And that is one way to connect, of course. But it’s also sometimes nice to not be thinking about the story you’re going to tell next. Instead, to just say, “I hear you. I understand you. I’ve been there.” And then let it be – unless they ask. Just to say, “I’ve been there, I really do understand what you’re saying. And I’m so sorry to hear it.” But without having to stomp on their space, if you will. You can … wonderful conversations can go that way. But I’m trying to train myself out of thinking about what I’m going to say next, and really trying to be present with the person. Especially if they are sharing something, you know, hard or complicated or very vulnerable for them. Now, again, this goes back to what we talked about. I have a friend who’s not very vulnerable at all in the way that she shares. So when she does share something, on my vulnerability scale – because I share so much all the time – it wouldn’t … it’s not that deep. You know what I mean? But because I know her, I realise it’s a big deal for her to be telling me this story. And so, on her scale, this is a real moment and I don’t want to take the air out of her moment. You know, I’m going to just listen to her. So a lot of this is the self-awareness piece. But, believe me, I’m still working on myself.

Kim Forrester 29:43
Aren’t we all, Laura. Aren’t we all. Your message is very much about emotional vulnerability, but your book did have me wondering about this concept of physical vulnerability; the sharing of one’s body. I am a bit of a prude. I’ve never been one to flash my boobs at a TV camera, right, or or go to the nudie beach-swim in the middle of winter. I’m not totally comfortable in a changing shed being naked. In your experience, do you think that there’s a link between emotional openness and physical openness; you know, the willingness to be seen at our most naked?

Laura Tremaine 30:22
Well, I’m sure there are professionals that can speak to this, like, a lot more clear than I can about, you know, exhibitionism. Or like, you know, trauma response or anything like that. But just on the most basic level, I think it’s the same when we’re talking about our bodies as when we’re talking about sharing, like, emotional stories or whatever in that, everyone has their own scale. For some people, they don’t have a tonne of energy around their body. Like, cruising around on the nude beach, it’s just not a big deal for them. Whereas for other people, that would be, like, the most literal naked day of their whole entire life. And, you know, I don’t even know how to how to judge that or think about that other than, I do think there are parallels. And to some people, that would be a big deal, and some people there wouldn’t. But on the body topic, I do think that there are some parallels – not to nudity, necessarily, but that we really do need to be paying attention to how our bodies are speaking to us when we are vulnerable, or when we’re being shut down. So if you have a lot of headaches, if you have a lot of physical pain in your body – your joints ache; you, you know, have digestion trouble. I mean, there’s a lot of ways that our bodies speak to us. And that can be a real sign of our emotional health. Now, you know, it may or may not tie to vulnerability, necessarily. But for me, I know, I have had seasons in my life where I felt very closed off. I felt lonely, I felt stuck in my life. And it is not a coincidence that in those same times of life, I had a lot of physical problems. You know, I had an ankle issue, I had a lot of tightness in my back. But I kept trying to get worked out with massages, and whatnot. And it was absolutely a correlation that I didn’t put together at the time. But it’s so obvious to me now, that the tightness in my body and the, like sort of injury-prone moment I was in was absolutely tied to me being in a season where I stuffed down my feelings a lot; where I wasn’t open and able to express. When I started working with some body stuff – I started doing Pilates after I had children and that’s a whole other story. But when I started working on opening my physical body – so like, I’m doing it right now, opening my shoulders, and stretches and, like, opening my arms wide – when I started physically opening my body, it opened my spirit. And I would not have believed that like, you know. I just wouldn’t have believed that because I just wouldn’t have. I don’t know. Until I experienced it myself. And then I was like, “Oh, the mind-body connection, which goes to our heart”, which goes to our, you know, everything. We’re talking about our soul-level things. It’s absolutely tied. Of course I was tight when I was feeling silenced. And now that I am open, I am more limber. Like, it is just absolutely true and we just can’t deny it.

Kim Forrester 33:18
I’m sitting here nodding vigorously Laura, and pulling my shoulders back at the same time. I just love that answer. My final question, Laura is one that I asked every guest on the Eudaemonia podcast. Can you share a morning reminder – so this may be a practice, a mantra, perhaps a favourite affirmation – something that can help my listeners become more vulnerable in their daily lives.

Laura Tremaine 33:43
So I love this question. I have a whole morning routine. It’s been a little out of whack in the last year. But in general, I have a morning routine that I love. And the thing that I really have come to value in my own morning routine is, five minutes of stillness. I set the timer on my phone. I do not try to meditate, I do not try to focus on my breath. I do not try to clear my brain. I do not do any of those things. I don’t do anything. I sit there for five minutes and I notice what comes to the top. So, there is a little bit of mindfulness happening. But I’m not trying to wrangle my crazy brain. I’m not trying to, you know, relax my body. I’m not trying to do anything. I sit for five minutes in stillness. And that’s all. And it has really made a difference in my day. And I posted this on Instagram a few months back, that I was doing this five minutes of stillness, and so a lot of people started trying it too. And I’ve gotten so many messages of people saying it works for them. Because a lot of people, they have a mental block against meditation, or they have hang ups about morning routines. I mean, you know, people have all kinds of thoughts. But everybody can sit there for five minutes without any distraction; without playing a podcast or music, without trying to, you know, become a better person or whatever. It’s … there’s no striving in it.

Kim Forrester 35:08
Love it a lot Laura. Laura Tremaine you have just released your first book. Congratulations to you. It is called Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. If people want to find out more about you your book, your fabulous podcast, where can they find you?

Laura Tremaine 35:23
They can go to There, you can find my podcast, Ten Things to Tell You, my book, Share your Stuff. But, really, my heart belongs to Instagram right now. That’s where I’m really thriving and loving being and I’m @laura.tremaine on Instagram.

Kim Forrester 35:38
It has just been so fun chatting with you today, Laura. Thank you so much from my heart, for choosing to be a part of the Eudaemonia podcast.

Laura Tremaine 35:45
I loved this. Thank you for having me.

Kim Forrester 35:48
As the author Haruki Murakami wrote in his novel, Norwegian Wood, “What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” You’ve been listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. If you’d like to learn more about how to live a truly flourishing life, please subscribe and check out for more inspiring episodes. I’m Kim Forrester. Until next time, be well, be kind to yourself, and dare to be more vulnerable.