Breaking the Invisible Corset of Body Shame With Lauren Geertsen

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Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This podcast is sponsored by Olipop… delicious soda that is actually good for you. Did you know that most Americans consume more than the recommended daily intake of sugar, by a lot, and sweetened drinks like soda are the leading source of extra sugar? And most of us also don’t get enough fiber! I’ve found a delicious answer to both of these problems and it’s called Olipop. I was so excited to find a truly healthy soda alternative! Olipop uses functional ingredients that combine the benefits of prebiotics, plant fiber and botanicals to support your microbiome and benefit digestive health… and that taste just like soda without the junk! Olipop is much (much) lower in sugar than conventional sodas with only 2-5 grams of sugar from natural sources. No added sugar. Their Vintage Cola has just two grams of sugar as compared to a regular cola which has 39g of sugar. We’ve worked out an exclusive deal for the Wellness Mama podcast listeners. Receive 20% off plus Free Shipping on their best selling variety pack. This is a great way to try all of their delicious flavors and find your favorite. Go to drinkolipop.com/wellnessmama or use code WELLNESSMAMA at checkout to claim this deal. This discount is only valid for their variety pack. Olipop can also be found in over 3,000 stores across the country, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Wegman’s and Erewhon

This podcast is sponsored by Wellnesse, the personal care company I founded to take on some of the worst offenders in the personal care world! Did you know that many haircare products contain harsh detergents? But your hair isn’t dirty laundry and doesn’t need to be treated like it is! Instead, we created nourishing and natural “hair food” products that support hair’s natural balance and strength over time to leave it stronger and healthier! To help you see and feel the difference, we’re hosting a hair detox challenge! Try it for 30 days and show us the difference in your hair! Just snap a picture and tag us on any social media. To make it even easier, you can save 15% on all of our haircare products with the code hairdetox15 at wellnesse.com

Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com, my new line of personal care products made from completely natural ingredients. You can check them out at wellness with an e.com.

Today’s episode is about the invisible corset and learning how to connect with our bodies from a place of love versus a place of fear. I’m here with Lauren Geertsen, who’s the author of “The Invisible Corset: Break Free from Beauty Culture and Embrace Your Radiant Self.” She’s a body connection coach who’s done a lot of work and research and coaching related to helping women heal their relationship with food and body image. And we go deep on this today, how certain body practices and images are really psychologically harming women, how we can recognize and change these things, and how we can help our children start life with a much better perception of their own bodies and a much better relationship with their own bodies. So, let’s join Lauren. Lauren, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Lauren: Thank you so much, Katie. I’m so excited to be chatting with you.

Katie: This is such an important topic and I think one that is probably gonna have a lot of implications for a lot of our listeners. I know that you have a book coming out about this, probably coming out right about the time people are listening to this. And I wanna start kind of broad. And then there are so many directions we can go with this topic. But to line up with the name of your book, explain to us what is “The Invisible Corset.”

Lauren: So, it is a set of culturally inherited beliefs that basically keep women as restricted and physically uncomfortable in our bodies as whalebone corsets once did. And so, we’ve had women’s liberation where, you know, we’ve gotten the vote, we’ve gotten equal educational opportunities, we have taken off these physical corsets but this is like the one big piece that’s still holding women back through our own internalized oppression, basically, because we don’t see these beliefs. We’re acting unconsciously from them. And it gets in the way of a woman’s health, in terms of first cutting us off from our own intuition. It profoundly disconnects us from our body’s wisdom. It leaves us to do really body harming practices in the name of beauty as well. And kind of finally, but also, very importantly, it really prevents us from knowing what true self-expression is when it comes to choices with our appearance because we end up making a lot of choices out of fear, and inadequacy, and a sense of shame about our natural bodies, instead of seeing our bodies as our soulmates and, you know, basically our first most enduring soulmates and being able to truly express ourselves with either beauty products and beauty practices or the lack thereof.

Katie: That’s really, really interesting. So, I love that you brought up, like, the idea of body harming practices. And I think maybe that’ll bring to mind some probably extreme examples for a lot of people listening, but from what I know of your work, there’s a lot of also much more subtle things that people may not even associate with this. So, walk us through some examples of that, some of the ways that this idea of that invisible corset is harming women directly.

Lauren: So, one big piece is fear of our natural appearance. So, I’ve worked with a lot of women and also women in my audience on social media who are afraid of their aging process. And they have start to get preventative botox at age 25, for example, or use very expensive anti-aging creams and products and procedures because they’re afraid of their body showing essentially the truth of their life and the story of their life. Now, this is what I call age dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a common term. And it’s basically where we obsess and fear about normal manifestations of the human body, whether that’s cellulite or, you know, a rounded belly, things like that. Now, we have age dysmorphia, which is this deep-seated unconscious fear of our bodies telling the truth of our age. And, you know, that fear itself leads to more of these explicit body harming practices, like injecting neurotoxins into our face and freezing our facial muscles. But also that fear itself is a body harming mechanism. Does that make sense? Like, that fear puts us into the fight or flight state of our nervous system. It makes us feel chronically unsafe and chronically unworthy, which has huge repercussions in every aspect of our life. So, you know, we also have fear of natural, you know, like, cellulite that’s been exploited, this natural manifestation of the human body, we’ve been taught to see it with fear. You know, skin issues. I struggled with acne throughout my whole life and my whole adult life. And I realized that I was saying that through the lens of feared inadequacy, rather than just seeing it as basically a normal expression of a human body. So, that fear itself is a major body harming practice. And it’s one of the five strings of “The Invisible Corset” that I explain in the book. It’s one of those invisible mindsets and beliefs that we don’t see.

Katie: So if you don’t mind walking us through, what are the other strings of the corset? I love the symbolism and, like, just having that as a concept to think through.

Lauren: Yes, so it’s fear, and the second one is domination. So, in the book, I go through a history lesson that most of us aren’t aware of, where kind of pre-agriculture time and the early goddess worshipping societies that were across the globe, there was much more of a mindset of partnership with the earth, which also led to a concept of partnership with our bodies, and listening, and connection, and kind of a oneness, both with ourselves and with other people in our environment. And we’re not taught this in school. We don’t know that this was our lineage and that we actually as a global culture transitioned more into a domination-based society, where we began to see the world and therefore, our bodies through a lens of hierarchy and control. So that’s a big piece.

And then the other string, the next string is disconnection, which is basically being cut off from our intuition and our sixth sense. And I talk about this in the book and all ancient cultures, humans had another way of interacting with each other and with nature by basically the subtle energy, right, that we as a culture have forgotten. But in all ancient cultures, they had a word for this subtle energy. it was as universal concept as, like, mother, or father, or brother, or sister as those concepts were. So, it’s really important that we can kind of reconnect to that universal energetic language through which our body communicates with us, through which our body communicates with nature. I talk about my experience being a plant intuitive in this chapter and somebody who can basically hear the energetic communication of plants and flowers.

And the next string is mechanization. And again, we need to do kind of a history lesson here, which is how Western culture through the beginning of Christianity and how that mindset was what led to our current scientific paradigm and how that paradigm is based on a reductionistic materialistic view of nature, which leads us to see our earth as a machine and therefore, our body as a machine. And that’s really been quite indoctrinated through centuries. So, these are beliefs that we really have to do a deep dive to recognize, kind of to see the water that we’re swimming in there.

And then the next string is coercion. And this is basically brainwashing or mind control. It’s a nice word for that. And women especially have to recognize the coercion that’s at play from the beauty industry, how we’ve been indoctrinated to make choices about our bodies and our appearance that don’t reflect our best interest but reflect the best interest of the beauty industry. And then we actually are so brainwashed that we say that we’re doing it for ourselves or we say, “Oh, no, I’m doing this for me. This is my choice,” when in fact, we have been mentally manipulated into making those choices. Does that all make sense?

Katie: Yeah, it does. And so, like, at the core of this, too, I wonder how do we start to begin to unravel and separate, like, the idea of fear versus love, because in some ways, I feel like they could, in some cases, lead to the same actions. So, like, at the core, is this a mindset shift and an awareness versus necessarily an action shift? Like, I can see, obviously, instances, like you mentioned, botox, that can be both physically and psychologically harmful, that would be an action shift but one might choose to eat really nourishing foods and to get enough sleep out of love for oneself. And those things also do help the body to look and feel its best. But one might also, like, deprive the body of food to try to lose weight to look a certain way. So, like, is there a mindset shift here that’s present as far as, like, the loving oneself versus fear that could still have some of the same actions involved?

Lauren: Absolutely. That’s such a great question. And, you know, one comment and question I get a lot on social media is regarding beauty practices and things like makeup and hair products can be used as love, rather than used out of fear. And that is absolutely the case and I give examples of, like, Dita Von Teese, or what’s that Southern blonde singer with the big hair and the makeup? I forget her name. But she’s just a bright light. But those women are using makeup and big hair as a form of self-expression. And that really is evident to me when I read their energy or, you know, see them on screen. It’s coming from a sense of love and a sense of I know who I am. So, that’s really important that I want to explain upfront is, like, beauty products are neutral most of the time when they’re not inherently body harming like plastic surgery. And they can be used either as a form of self-repression, And that would be coming from fear or they can be a form of self-expression, which would be coming from love.

And so, the key here is to find out what is true for us. To be able to express our true selves, we actually have to do the mental work of understanding and discovering our true selves. And that’s kind of the mental practices that I offer in this book. I offer very specific brain rewiring practices and journaling practices to help people do that work. So very concrete action steps to do this self-reflection work. And at the end, you will have an idea of who is my true self outside of the brainwashing of the beauty industry and be able to express that true self. And then, of course, there are… You know, love is an action. That’s something I talk about in the book, too.

So, when we talk about, what does it mean to love your body? It does not mean you look in the mirror and you approve of your appearance. That is absolutely a very shallow definition. Like, if we’re talking about a spouse, true love for a spouse is not you look at them and you think, “Oh, I completely approve of your appearance and you are so beautiful.” And that’s it. No, love is an action. It is how are you communicating with them? How are you showing up with them? How are you setting boundaries for yourself and then love as an action? And so the same thing comes into play in the relationship with our body. You know, how are we making choices where we are truly listening to our body, where we’re making long-term life choices that reflect a body partnership, what our body wants, as well. And I give specific tools in the book for how to do that, how to listen to your body like a life partner.

Katie: Yeah, that seems like a great place to start with that work. And I don’t think I’ve really thought of some of these points in relation to the beauty industry so much. I know I’ve thought of them somewhat in relation to, like, weight and body image in that sense, and that was something that I struggled with for many, many years. And I learned over a lot of time and a lot of trial, and mostly error that I had to start with the mindset and the inner work, not the outer work. And that when I addressed it from that perspective, the physical shifts became almost effortless and they were no longer a fight. But I had to learn the lessons of the mindset and self-love first.

So in other words, I had this kind of story in my head that If only I could lose weight or look a certain way or look like I did before having kids, then I would be happy. And I had to realize that I had the power in that moment to connect with my body and appreciate it. And, like, so your point, not just love it, but have a solid relationship with it, and still have a desire to always improve things and to get stronger or to get healthier, but to, like, accept and love the things that were the reality right now. And it’s totally shifted my perception. And then I was able to easily choose habits that nourish my body versus feeling like I needed to fight it or to deprive it. And it completely transformed my relationship, not just with myself internally, but my own body physically. And I love that you’re bringing awareness of this from a beauty perspective as well because I know not all women struggle with their weight. And I hope that many don’t, but the beauty perceptions, these seem to be, like, almost universally targeted at all women and they seem to intensify as women age. And certainly, now I’m seeing these things targeted even as women are not, I would consider aging at all yet, women in their 20s, like you mentioned, who are getting botox. What are some of the other examples of ways that we’re seeing this in the beauty industry, like, really targeting that marketing against aging?

Lauren: Well, first of all, I love hearing your personal experience of how you shifted more from this kind of fear-based motivation with your body. It sounded like the sense of, “I’m not enough” so I have to change into what I talk about with my clients, which is love-based motivation, right? Where it is coming from a sense of worthiness and enoughness. And the other piece that you said, where you reflected on how you thought you would be happier if you looked different or if you weighed less. Like, that is one of the biggest signs of the invisible corset. This concept… And whether it’s weight or whether it is another aspect of our appereance, but the belief, “I would be happier if I look different.” This is, like, the number one most insidious, most powerful lie that the beauty industry tells us. And yes, it absolutely comes into play with the fear of aging. But what’s interesting is I would say that weight struggles and weight concerns are right up there with my clients with fear of aging. I would say those are the two biggest ways that my clients are disconnected and afraid of their bodies. So, can you tell me the question again? I kind of went off on a tangent, but what was it? Other ways that fear of aging comes up for women?

Katie: Yeah, or things that, like, how they can start kind of noticing these things happening in the subtle marketing because it’s so pervasive. I feel like it’s like one of those things we probably don’t even notice anymore because it is so common and pervasive in almost everything we’re exposed to.

Lauren: Yeah, yeah, good point. So, anytime that you find yourself believing you need to look differently to achieve something you want or anytime you believe you have to look differently to earn love, or respect, or success, or a better sex life, where anytime you believe your worthiness or desirability is in any way connected to what you look like, that is due to this subtle, powerful propaganda of the beauty industry. It does not reflect reality. It does not reflect biological reality, either. And I talk about that in the book. Because we have this idea, well, oh, it’s only natural, and evolutionary, and biological for women to go to these extents to change and harm our bodies to look a certain way. No, it’s not. Because these are inherently body harming, and fertility reducing, and psychically distressing practices. It’s not biological. So anytime we act from those fears or beliefs, that is a sign that the propaganda of the beauty industry is in your head.

Katie: Got it. And another thing I think about when these topics start coming to mind, is the idea of how do we start creating a better foundation with the next generation, and especially with our daughters for this? Because that was actually the thing that made me, like, wake up to my own fear-based attitudes toward my own body, was seeing my daughter seeing how I was looking at myself in the mirror, and I saw it register on her face. And I, at that moment, realized I was gonna do whatever I had to do to figure out how to work through it because I was not willing to pass on that mental prison to my daughter. But this is obviously something that’s very pervasive in society and beauty standards, like, all these points that you’ve brought up. What are some ways that as parents, we can start from the beginning, creating and cultivating a much healthier mindset and relationship for our daughters, so that they hopefully are at least a little bit more immune to this as they get older than we are?

Lauren: Yeah, that is so key and that’s really a powerful wake-up moment that you had. And I have to say, a lot of my clients find me and want to do the work because they’ve had a similar moment where their daughter is, you know, 8, 9, 10, 11, somewhere in there, and they’re like, “Wow, if I don’t change this now, I’m gonna imprint some negative stuff on my daughter and I wanna end the cycle.” And that is one of the biggest reasons why I wrote this book because I am hell-bent on ending this generational cycle of female body hate.

One thing I know deep, deep, deep in my soul is that I am not here on Earth this time around to have kids but that I am supposed to do this work to help the next generation come into their lives and do their soul work unshackled with body shame and insecurity. And my own personal experience was I pinpointed and I talk about this in the book, but I could pinpoint the origin of my body hate as an 11, 12, 13-year-old because I had watched how my mom talked about her body. And my mom was trying to end the cycle in her own way. Her mother was extraordinarily body critical and criticized my mother’s body as a child. And my mom thought, “You know, I’m never gonna do that to my daughters. I don’t want them to grow up with, you know, this body hate that I have.” But it’s only partly breaking the cycle because kids are essentially psychic, but they also have ears and eyes. So, whatever a mother’s relationship to her body is she’s gonna pass on to her daughter. So, I have gotten these custom-made criticisms for my body. And then as my body went through puberty, suddenly, I had this moment where I looked in the mirror. I can remember the moment, one day, I think I was 12 years old. And I was just horrified because looking back at me was my mom’s face, my mom’s hair, my body changing into my mom’s body.

And it was such a moment of sheer terror because this was the body that I had been taught to hate and fear. And it actually led to my eating disorder. It led to all these obsessive body practices when I was young, trying to prevent my body from changing into that and looking like that. So, the biggest thing, like, the number one thing is doing the work yourself as a mother. It’s the hard work, but that’s really truly what it is.

So, changing the language and the energy that you have with your body. I would say the other big piece here is combating or addressing body comments when your child is in the same room. So, for example, if another woman is saying body hating things or she’s, you know, looking at her plate of food and saying, “Oh, my God, I can’t eat this. It’s too much. It’s too fattening. I haven’t earned it,” blah, blah, blah, or criticizing her own appearance, saying something, like… You know, it’s really important to me that my daughter, my child, my son, hears women who are at peace with their body or have a positive relationship with their body because there’s just so much body negativity in the world. So, I would really appreciate it if, while you’re around me and my child, if you could say only positive and kind things about your body, like your body is somebody you love. So it’s really uncomfortable to start saying those things and setting those boundaries, but actually combating that body hatred and those many insidious comments that just go unnoticed, will go a really long way.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, like, to build on what you said, there’s a tendency in society I’ve noticed even with very young children, to comment so much on their physical appearance and how cute they are or how pretty they are or I don’t think it’s even just related to beauty and physical image at all but just there’s a natural tendency to compliment innate things versus things that they actually have control over, which I’ve had podcast guests before that explain on a more broad level, that actually can make it harder for them in other areas.

For instance, if you tell a child that they’re smart, they don’t necessarily think that they have the ability to control how smart they are, but they now feel the pressure to be perceived as smart. And so, it actually makes them more hesitant to wanna try things or to have the possibility of failure because that might prove that they aren’t smart. And so, one piece of advice that I’ve gotten from a lot of different people on this podcast is to compliment and pay attention to the things that, like, are related to effort or to something tangible that children have the ability to effect. So rather than just praising their appearance or their intelligence, praise their hard work or, like you mentioned, something very specific to something that they’ve done that you liked, like the colors or the creativity or something like that. So that gives them something tangible, that also then they want to keep working toward and they have the ability to keep improving versus I think making comments about children’s appearance, even just telling them that they’re so cute, maybe subtly, just like telling them that they’re smart, creates a subtle pressure for them to continue to appear physically attractive in a certain way, if that makes any sense.

Lauren: Yeah, I love that. And I think that’s really clear and spot on. And another thing that totally fits into that idea is I like to compliment on how somebody makes me feel, like, “Oh, you know, whenever I talk to you, I just feel like you totally have my back. I feel so supported” or “Wow, you’re just somebody I admire so much with your choices in X, Y, Z area that, you know, it just inspires me to be a better person or, you know, every time you smile, it just makes my day.” So, you know, giving those similar compliments to kids or letting kids hear you talk to somebody else in that way, I think that would be in alignment as well.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, like, in many of these things, even just starting to have awareness about it can make such a difference, or at least that’s what I noticed in my own transformation is just kind of those lightning bolt moments and realizing the internal talk and realizing the patterns, it helped me to start paying attention to them. And it wasn’t by any means that suddenly overnight, I was able to just make a complete mindset shift. But having an awareness about them, led me to start being able to ask better questions and make better statements internally. And I’ve said before on here as well, I think we are very much a sum of the questions we ask ourselves and the statements that we make to ourselves but it’s hard to be cognizant of those things and it’s very difficult sometimes to start changing those things. But I think the subconscious is incredibly powerful there. One example I’ve used is, you know, when I was asking the internal question of, “Why can’t I lose weight?” My subconscious did exactly what it was supposed to do and gave me all the reasons why I couldn’t lose weight. “Well, you have thyroid disease and you have six kids,” and etc., etc. Whereas when I switched it to, how can I support my body the best or how can I love these things about myself, or how can I nurture my body to make it happy and healthy? And my subconscious started working toward those goals. And so I think, like, for me, at least starting on the inside and just learning to become aware of those patterns that I didn’t even recognize myself and then, as an extension, we then learned to start really paying attention to those same things in relationship with others, especially our children.

Lauren: Oh, I love that. And something I talk about in the book as well and work that I do with all my clients is having them change those internal questions. And, you know, a lot of time, the self-help arena tells us to make affirmation statements, like I am thin, or I am beautiful, or I am confident. And what I see with my own experience and with my clients is when we make those internal statements that subconsciously we know are false because we’ve been so indoctrinated into that or because we have all these stories, like you mentioned, with thyroid and stress, etc., basically, our subconscious every time we say one of those affirmations, our subconscious kicks it out and is like, “No, that’s not true.” So we actually are just reinforcing the negative. And what I recommend is doing instead “afformations”, which is switching it to a positive question, exactly like you did. So, like, one I use with my clients is why is it that I feel so confident and comfortable in my body? Why is it that I have such a nurturing and satisfying relationship with my body? Why is it that my relationship with my body brings in positive relationships in other areas of my life? So things like that.

Katie: I love that. I’m writing that down and I’ll mention that in the show notes, as well.

This podcast is sponsored by Olipop… delicious soda that is actually good for you. Did you know that most Americans consume more than the recommended daily intake of sugar, by a lot, and sweetened drinks like soda are the leading source of extra sugar? And most of us also don’t get enough fiber! I’ve found a delicious answer to both of these problems and it’s called Olipop. I was so excited to find a truly healthy soda alternative! Olipop uses functional ingredients that combine the benefits of prebiotics, plant fiber and botanicals to support your microbiome and benefit digestive health… and that taste just like soda without the junk! Olipop is much (much) lower in sugar than conventional sodas with only 2-5 grams of sugar from natural sources. No added sugar. Their Vintage Cola has just two grams of sugar as compared to a regular cola which has 39g of sugar. We’ve worked out an exclusive deal for the Wellness Mama podcast listeners. Receive 20% off plus Free Shipping on their best selling variety pack. This is a great way to try all of their delicious flavors and find your favorite. Go to drinkolipop.com/wellnessmama or use code WELLNESSMAMA at checkout to claim this deal. This discount is only valid for their variety pack. Olipop can also be found in over 3,000 stores across the country, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Wegman’s and Erewhon

This podcast is sponsored by Wellnesse, the personal care company I founded to take on some of the worst offenders in the personal care world! Did you know that many haircare products contain harsh detergents? But your hair isn’t dirty laundry and doesn’t need to be treated like it is! Instead, we created nourishing and natural “hair food” products that support hair’s natural balance and strength over time to leave it stronger and healthier! To help you see and feel the difference, we’re hosting a hair detox challenge! Try it for 30 days and show us the difference in your hair! Just snap a picture and tag us on any social media. To make it even easier, you can save 15% on all of our haircare products with the code hairdetox15 at wellnesse.com

And definitely, of course, also, I should have mentioned this, in the beginning, have a link to your books. People can find it and check it out. But I’d love to as we get closer to the end of time, kind of go through some of the common misconceptions or things that people still misunderstand about this because I think you bring up so many good ones in the book. And I think that some of them, it’s hard… Like once you see them, it’s easy to be aware of them. But some of these, people just don’t fully still understand. So walk us through some other common misconceptions when it comes to this.

Lauren: Can you clarify? Is it just misconceptions when it comes to the relationship with our body?

Katie: Yeah, and or to, like, subtle things within the beauty industry or marketing, in general, but just anything kind of related to this whole idea and how it impacts women.

Lauren: Well, I would touch on weight loss here because like I mentioned, so many of my clients come to me with this as their primary goal and this belief of, I can’t love my life, or I can’t love my body, or I can’t find love in my life until I force my body to a certain size. And something that I work with as an intuitive eating coach is that all the scientific literature that shows that traditional dieting and chasing weight loss in a traditional way, it doesn’t work.

And insisting on weight loss and forcing our body towards that goal is controlling our body rather than trusting our body. It’s using external rules and an external yardstick. And the thing is, like, I talked about love as an action. When you love someone, you don’t control them. You listen to them. So, what I work with with all my clients is I always take weight loss as a goal off the table. Because, first of all, scientific literature shows that if you actively pursue weight loss through traditional dieting and body control, 90% of the time, you’re gonna regain back the weight. Two-thirds of the time, you’re gonna regain back more weight. So it backfires that way. But also, it keeps us in that mentally unhealthy cycle. And I help my clients get into a place of complete body trust, learning their hunger cues, again, undoing the toxic mentality of diet culture, getting in touch with their intuition, and then addressing the underlying spiritual problems in their life, that are causing them to unconsciously make unhealthy choices around food or cope with food.

And, you know, what will happen is they may or may not lose weight. Like, in your case, your body felt comfortable and safe and was like, “I don’t need to carry around this extra weight” because you did the internal work first. And that happens for some people. And for some people, their body keeps the weight because that is what is best for their body. But they get to a place where they feel the same degree of confidence and connectedness with their body that’s really healthy and helpful. And they’re able to live their most fulfilled life. So I would say that’s one really, really important foundation to understand.

And then something else that is really important for people to understand when they’re on this journey of reconnecting with their body, especially women, is that you’ve been intentionally disconnected from your body. You’ve been intentionally brainwashed and intentionally manipulated to harm yourself in order to profit the beauty industry. And I talk about the beauty industry as a psychological abuser. One of the biggest wake up experiences in my life was having a personal relationship with a psychopath. And it was the darkest night of my soul and the hardest experience in my life. But I am so profoundly grateful. And I know that my soul was led into that experience so that I could actually comprehend the depth of manipulation and darkness and evil that goes on in these mindsets that intentionally manipulate and brainwash people. Now, I’m not saying everybody who’s involved in the beauty industry is a psychopath or abuser. Absolutely not. But I’m saying that the industry as a whole, which dates back through centuries of beliefs that the female body needs to be controlled and dominated, that that is based on some really dark origins. So, understanding that you have been intentionally separated from your life force and intentionally coerced to act in ways that are opposite of your lifeforce and your soul’s best interest, that’s a key part of this journey so that you can consciously make choices that will allow your truest self to flourish and allow your soul to do the work that it came here to do on the world.

Katie: I love that. And like I said, I’ll make sure that your book and your resources are linked in the show notes so that people can find you. Another question I love to ask for the end of interviews is obviously other than your own, which I think is deeply impactful, if there’s a book or a number of books that had a really dramatic impact on your life and that you would recommend. And if so, what they are and why.

Lauren: Well, you know, the strange answer, it’s gonna be a novel that I read when I was 21, 22 years old. And it’s called “Gilead,” it’s by Marilynne Robinson. And it’s a spiritual novel. And at the end of the book, there’s this quote, that when I read it, I put the book down, and I cried for a few solid hours. And that quote is, “The Lord absolutely transcends any understanding I have of Him, which makes loyalty to Him a different thing entirely, from loyalty to whatever doctrines and customs and memories I may have associated with Him.” And why that has been so important at that point and at every point in my life is because I’ve been able to apply this concept, not only to my spiritual journey but to my journey with science and intellectualism and other ideas that I have to kind of grow beyond in order to heal the relationship with my body. I have to understand, for example, that loyalty to whatever the divine is, it transcends what I was taught as a child in my religious upbringing. And loyalty to the scientific paradigm transcends the materialism and the reductionism that I was taught in school. And loyalty to my fulfillment and my confidence transcends, you know, the customs and doctrines that I had associated as the only avenue to confidence through the beauty industry. So, that mindset shift to be loyal to the truth, and to love, and to the true desires of my soul, how that always transcends the perceptions that my culture has given me, has been a really key piece in my life.

Katie: I love that. I’ll make sure that is linked in the show notes as well at wellnessmama.fm for all of you guys listening. Lauren, any parting advice you would like to leave with the women listening today?

Lauren: Yes, I think the most important thing to understand in the world right now is that the human body is the most sensitive and attuned instrument we have for determining truth from fiction and determining good from evil. Like, it is better than any scientific tool that we’re ever gonna develop. It’s better than any fact-checker we’re ever gonna have on social media. And, you know, we’re living in these difficult times where there is conflicting information about everything, whatever way we turn. And that sense of confusion can be really disruptive to our health and our psyche. And so, I think, well, I know in order to steer humanity in the right direction, and for every human being to really understand what their sole purpose is and what their direction is in life, we need to cast off our corset so that we can be reconnected with that compass in our body. That has been the most profoundly liberating and powerful thing in my life is being connected and getting more and more connected to that, like, internal truth meter within me.

Katie: I love that. That’s a perfect place, I think to wrap up. But for anybody who this has resonated with you guys, definitely check out “The Invisible Corset.” It’s linked in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm as are Lauren’s online profile, so you guys can find her and connect directly. Lauren, thank you so much. I know that you and I have known each other for many years and I love seeing the shift in your work and this new way that you’re helping women. And I think it’s very needed right now. It’s very appreciative of you and your time today.

Lauren: Oh, thank you so much, Katie. It’s been really wonderful chatting with you.

Katie: And thank you guys, as always for listening, for sharing your most valuable resource, your time with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.



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