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Interview Episode with Lara Zielin

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

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[00:00:00] Laurin: Welcome to the curiously wise podcast. I'm your host Laurin Wittig. This podcast is all about women supporting women, mind, body, and spirit. It's a place where we will honor, celebrate, and share women's natural and experiential wisdom through curiosity provoking conversations, shared stories, and tips we've all gathered along this journey. I invite you to join in the fun as we uncover the unique wisdom, we each carry within us. Ready? Let's get curious

[00:00:45] Hello, friends and welcome to Curiously Wise. I am so honored to have a person who has been a mentor to me, but also I really feel like she's a good friend though we don't see each other often enough. I want to introduce you to Lara Zielin. And I was telling Lara that I usually let people introduce themselves but her bio is so fun.

[00:01:05] I just called dibs. So Lara Zielin is a personal growth strategist who helps super smart women stop face planting on their biggest goals. I love that. She is the creator of the HAPPE Method of journaling, which has been featured in the wall street journal. She's a contributor to the forthcoming great book of journaling, and she's a member of the international association of journal writing.

[00:01:33] And I also want to add, cause she forgot that she's written this fabulous book called “Author of Your Life”. So you can get that one as well. Lots of good books. So welcome, Lara. I'm so happy to have you here.

[00:01:46] Lara: Oh, Laurin. It is my pleasure to be here.

[00:01:48] Thank you so much. And I have a little dog that you might hear in the background, so apologies to anyone who’s listening.

[00:01:54] Laurin: I've got one snoozing right next to me. So we're good.

[00:01:56] Lara: All right. Oh, I'm so honored to be here. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:00] Laurin: Oh, well, you are such a fabulous light in the world, and I always get a big smile on my face when I'm with you and you have this amazing ability to bring journaling as a real healing tool. I've been a journaler off and on in my life. Usually when life is hard is when I journal a lot.

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[00:02:18] But I went through a program that you had before that I don't think you're running anymore, but it was a wonderful opportunity to really dig deep in a structured form of journaling that was still open enough to really get out what I needed to get out. So I just want to thank you for creating this amazing program.

[00:02:37] Lara: Thank you for taking it. And thank you for being a fan of journaling.

[00:02:40] Laurin: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, we're both writers, so

[00:02:43] Lara: Yeah, we love words.

[00:02:46] Laurin: I always call myself a word girl. So, so tell us a little bit about how you came to journaling.

[00:02:53]Lara: So I came to journaling the hard way, the very hardest way, because like you Laurin, I decided not to do it until everything was wrong. And when I say everything was wrong, everything was wrong. I was really in a dark place. So my husband had started a brick and mortar food business, which if anyone listening knows, this is a very tough kind of business to run.

[00:03:19] It was in financial, you know, is in young business, just in its first few years, I won't say in financial straits, but just, kind of struggling to get off the ground. So things in our financial life were very different. It caused friction between us. We were sort of in a really distant place from each other.

[00:03:37] I was drinking a ton. I was pulling away from the people around me. I was having my own professional crisis because I had been writing young adult and romance for a number of years. And both of my publishers pulled the plug on me with this. Just a few weeks of one another.

[00:03:53] So it felt like the universe was just slamming all these doors in my face. And I was really reeling. I was lost. I was just feeling like such a loser, failure, just eating, drinking too much, just in a dark place. And in this dark place, I really was just struggling for a light, struggling for a way out. And as a fiction writer, I thought, alright, what if I just decided to start a book where I just write this story as if this was all fiction and I'm a character and I felt well, what I have happened to the character of Lara to get her out of the situation?

[00:04:29]What would happen in her life? And so I just started writing in this journal by hand, I went old school. I just picked up some journals from TJ max, and I started writing in these journals by hand. And just started out as a bunch of really affirmations, just, , , Lara has joy in her heart money flows to her with ease , , I just started writing.

[00:04:46] I turned to trying to put her in situations where she felt happy and where she was able to connect genuinely with people. And she and her husband had a better relationship. And. After doing this for about a year, the results were so transformational that I had to reverse engineer the whole thing and try to figure out what, what, what just happened.

[00:05:07] Laurin: What did I do?

[00:05:09] Lara: What did I just do? I wanted to not only reverse engineer to figure out like why in the heck did this work, but I also wanted to see if I could shorten the timeframe for results. And so that is part of what led me to the HAPPE Journaling method that you mentioned in the intro, which is sort of a the reader's digest, condensed version, of all of this.

[00:05:29] And it's kind of how, how to get started with it essentially. And it's a technique I tell you what, I still use it today. I use it every day. It freaking works. It's like the greatest thing I've ever done in my whole life. And. Laurin. I just can't even tell you, we're almost, I'd say we're almost four or five years on from me the first time I ever put pen to paper doing this, the transformation I can't even tell you it just some days I just sit there and I just marvel that this is my life. This is my life. I get to have this life. Cause I feel like it just, I created it in my journals and now it's here and it's just amazing.

[00:06:05]Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's manifestation on paper. I mean, where you can go back and look at it and go, wow. I created that. I thought it, I wrote it, I believed it, I made it. Yeah. It's crazy.

[00:06:18] Lara: And, and for the folks who don't like the M word, some people don't like the manifestation word. Personally, I love it. I believe in it. But if you don't like the manifestation where just know this is rooted in some good science, and we can talk about that today about the deep science that this is rooted in.

[00:06:33] Laurin: Do that. Tell us a little bit about the science. Cause I know the handwriting there's a scientific reason. And as a writer, I know when I get stuck, I turn back to handwriting.

[00:06:41] Lara: Yes, right.

[00:06:43] Laurin: So tell us why that works.

[00:06:45]Lara: Well, there's a few things going on here with our little brains. so the first thing that happens is that if we look at the science of sort of rumination and brain spiral, as intelligent people, we really want to believe that we can think our way out of our problems.

[00:06:58]So, picture me back four or five years ago in this dark place, depressed, drinking too much. The whole thing, I really wanted to be able to like, think my way out of my problems, but everytime I thought about them. They just seem to grow larger and grow bigger. And it was just, it felt like this toilet spiral, down the drain, right.

[00:07:15]Of just like, this is not helping me. And that is, actually what happens in our brains is that when we only bring sort of this cognitive labor to it, We're not helping ourselves. So there's research by a guy named Ethan Cross. He wrote a really good book that's called “Chatter” and everyone should get it.