The 'Inspire your Life' Podcast with Arthi Rabikrisson

S3 E9 In conversation with Lara Augusta: Undoing Complicated Narratives

June 29, 2023 Arthi Rabikrisson and Lara Augusta Season 3 Episode 9
The 'Inspire your Life' Podcast with Arthi Rabikrisson
S3 E9 In conversation with Lara Augusta: Undoing Complicated Narratives
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In Season 3 episode 9, Arthi is joined by fellow Forbes Coaches Council member Lara Augusta, founder of Embracing Potentiality, talking about undoing complicated narratives. 

Lara opens  up about her family & childhood where experiences led her to create a  narrative in her mind of being an inconvenience and not belonging. This mindset stemmed from having to keep a massive family secret for her whole life and Lara goes into detail about how her family dynamic impacted her journey.

Lara has always had a natural curiosity  in learning & connecting with people from different countries & cultures, so it is no surprise that her world travels began at the tender age of 15 when she had convinced her father to allow her to attend schooling in the UK for a year. This was the first time that Lara was able to simply be herself and make her own choices. However the narrative remained the same in her thoughts.

Lara tells us how important it is to change the unproductive narrative that we carry with us and to have grace & patience with ourselves in undoing the narrative and allowing new choices to be made

Some wise words from Lara:

  • “..surviving mode was not allowing me to thrive..
  • “Choose yourself”
  • “Honour the choices you have made”

 Listen to the full episode for so much more insights and ideas offered by my wonderful guest.

 About Lara Augusta:

Lara is a coach, student and facilitator in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D.E.I.), Core Energy Leadership Coaching, Energy Leadership Index (E.L.I.), Social-Emotional Learning and Positive Intelligence (PQ).  She does corporate work in a number of sectors, since pivoting away from International relations, industries that include biotechnology, insurance, sports, food, hospitality, and entertainment, the Olympics even. Having lived in many countries such as south Korea, China, Russia, Switzerland, UK, US and of course her native country Brazil, plus having travelled to more than 57 counties as well, Lara brings this varied experience into her work with individuals where she helps them deepen their understanding of self towards greater personal and professional levels of joy and satisfaction. She does this through using neuroscience and psychology practices, with some key techniques grounded in energy shifting too.

Connect with Lara  in the following ways:

●       LinkedIn

●      Instagram

●       Website

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Arthi Rabikrisson:

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the inspire your life podcast with me your host Arthi Rabikrisson. I believe we find inspiration all around us, especially from the stories that we all have in us. My aim with the inspire your life podcast is to bring some of those real stories to light, stories of my guests that resonate with you and me.It's by listening to the stories that we can be inspired and motivate ourselves to overcome, find a new path and rise even higher than we thought possible. Joining me on the show today is Lara Augusta, founder of embracing potentiality. Today we are going to be talking about undoing complicated narratives. Laura is a coach, student and facilitator in dei, core energy leadership coaching, energy leadership index, social emotional learning and positive intelligence or PQ. She does corporate work in a number of sectors since pivoting away from international relations in industries that include biotechnology, insurance, sports, food, hospitality, entertainment, and even the Olympics, everyone. Having lived in many countries such as South Korea and China, Russia, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and of course her native country, Brazil last having traveled to more than 57 countries to. Lara brings this varied experience into her work with individuals where she helps them deepen their understanding of self towards greater personal and professional levels of joy and satisfaction. And she does this using neuroscience and psychology practices with some key techniques grounded in energy shifting to. Lara, this diversity and variety sounds so fascinating, I must say along with your experience, I'm keen to know more. So welcome to the Inspire life podcast today.

Lara Augusta:

Hi, Arthi. Thank you so much. Wow, what a great energy you put on to the introduction I appreciate you. I appreciate you for having me here.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Oh, no, it's my absolute pleasure to have you here. And you've got such an interesting background and experience. But you know, as Lara, I've just shared a tiny bit of what you're about please to share, but more tell us what Laura is all about.

Lara Augusta:

I find it challenging actually to define Lara.This is something that I put into my work and how I choose to show up in life for myself and for my family, for my friends for those around me for the people that I get to work with and can leave myself open to be discovered. Hmm, my background, I do often have to simplify what Lara, you know who Lara Agusta is in order to me connections. So you've done a great job on that, you know, by introducing me through the bio, right. And however, my background professionally is in international relations and education. And it's something that I've always been in touch with since really, really small. I've always been very interested and different ways of being in different cultures, in different ways of connecting with people, in different ways of understanding, living and different ways of how is it that we learn, because people learn differently. We understand what's being passed on to us differently, which what to do with what's being passed on to us differently. There's something that I've always been naturally curious with. I am originally from Brazil, and I did get to grow up most of my life in Brazil. My earlier years I'm just getting used to that since I'm already 40 Now however, my older years has been spent throughout the world not traveling but also studying working and exploring.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, I love that. I love that exploration but I could certainly get that you know just even from your bio and it just means that there's a wealth of experience and expertise and life experience specifically. But I know Lara, when when we were sort of chatting ahead of us doing the episode, you mentioned to me that there were some really complicated narratives in your background, as you mentioned in when you were growing up in childhood, is there a way you could maybe help us understand some of those internal narratives that were that were happening at the time?

Lara Augusta:

That's correct. Arthi. Well, I was born, like I mentioned, I was born in Brazil, out of a situation that at the time, I had to learn it was a complicated one. I had to keep it a secret. Well, I'm, as I was born out of a relationship in which my parents were not married to each other, my father was married, and he had a relationship outside of his marriage with my mom. And my mom, as a single mom, she really taught me how to keep that situation secret, we've always maintained a very good relationship, however my father wasn't always necessarily present in my life, he was present in my life, the way that he was able to be present in my life. He was a public figure at the time. So we had to be extra protective of my, my mom had a lot of fears and a lot of insecurities naturally around the situation. And without going too much into their own stories, I'm very comfortable sharing my experience of that story and how I came into this world.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Absolutely.

Lara Augusta:

However, for a really long time in my life, you know, for as long as I can remember, because I did grow up in that environment in which like, I had to keep this a secret. It wasn't something that I could expose or share, which is so natural for children to share. Who is your dad? Who is your mom? Right? Yeah, still being such a paternalistic society. Most people, especially a lot of the places that we got to live in, they were very curious to learn who my father was, okay. And a lot of the times that meant they would also assign different meaning and value to our exchanges into our relationship based on who my father was. Okay. Whose daughter is she, hmm. And they had very little interest in learning who my mother was, and there was a little bit of a stigma already around her being a single mom. So there was extra curiosity around who my father. That was painful for me to, you know, I understood that I had to respect and protect to this part of our story. Yes. But as a child, especially someone who is not shy. I love connections, I love meaningful , forming meaningful connections, you was a huge violation of my being to have to not only hide this part of my story,But also not be able to introduce myself as the daughter of my mom as a daughter of my dad, without without the backlash of it without the consequences to it.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yes, yes. Yes.

Lara Augusta:

So I lived in there was there was some shame involved. There was some fear involved, there was really not that. At first, I felt it myself as a child. But eventually, that was the environment my mom was in and passed on to me.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Okay, okay. And there was there were certain things that I that I remember you sharing came up for you in terms of that inner voice and those phrases that were coming up for you, as you were going through, you know, this growth process in this environment, could you share some of those with us?

Lara Augusta:

Well, as a child, and that's for pretty much any child. We have the need to attach, right? That's all survival. So our instincts puts us into that place in which we accept the environment we're in. We adapt to it and we integrate to that environment, that story, those narratives into our lives in order to be able to be loved, cared for accepted, to be able to be to be able to grow and be strong, right to survive, to be able to be to only then be able to question our choices only then to question the choice of those around us choose again and start making our own choices around them. Yes, we're for a really long time, you know, as I can remember, like, I grew up with this main narrative in my mind that unfortunately, you know, for my early years, I felt like I was an inconvenience that I didn't, that I was inadequate that I didn't belong or if I was wanted, you know, this child outside of a marriage, unsure if I was accepted, unsure if, you know, if I was loved, I mean, this is very strongly associated with with what I had to learn to keep it a secret, keep it in fact, my mom and I, we moved her lot around. And mostly what I have been told at that time was to keep ourselves in hideout to be away, be detrimental to my father's permanent career and status and exposure of, you know, our families. Yes, yes. So for that reason, I was like ofte in new schools and having to make new friends to adapt to assimilate, to connect somehow, like real fast, that was like my survival skills, like we're gonna get to know each other really fast. Because I dont know how much longer I'm gonna be here, though I adapted i, which, in a way, it's a gift. Really, I regret this, it's a gift that I'm able to walk into absolutely any environment, and talk to absolutely anyone and not present myself as a threat.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Absolutely. I mean, in in that sort of environment to still be able to take away gems like, that's like you saying, it's actually made it, it's become a gift for you to be able to do that, because many people aren't able to do that. Right. So that's beautiful as well.

Lara Augusta:

Its really hard to have that kind of self awareness and self conscious as as a child, you don't have that as I am grateful for this having been my go to as my survival mode, But at some point in my life, I learned that at that choice, as a surviving mode was not allowing me to thrive, he was still hurting me, that I will show up as my whole self.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Okay. Okay, maybe that's an important point as well, right? Because you know, the self awareness component, especially in the child, in circumstances, like what you've shared, When did you realize this though, that the Survivor Mode is actually not helping you in any way? And then what did you actually do then, to begin a process of altering that sort of survival? Sort of state or mindset?

Lara Augusta:

Well, every time that someone asked me, which was really often, you know, who my father was, of this new environment, it wasn't just my sense of self that was at stake. It was also my sense of community. I often question like, if I tell you who my father is, how does that change your opinion of me? Will you change the attention that it's invested in this interaction. So each time that I kept questioning all these external factors for my need and passion for meaningful connection, it felt like a punch in the gut, really. And I was internalized that for a really long time. I questioned that a lot. It was something that I wasn't willing to easily accept, because I, when I feel I feel really strongly, and so much so that even like when I had birthday parties, you know, my mom was like, would make birthday parties for me and she would invite all this people from my school and all. I was I remember being sick at most of my birthday parties as a child, I would get physically ill because of how much I was afraid to show up in community, and how upset I was to show up in community without being able to show up as myself whole. And, and your body does keep the score, doesn't it? And at some point, again, when I you know, when I was old enough, it's strong enough to make some of my own choices. I rewinding like backtracking first at first, you know, how in the United States and a few other different countries you have the sweet 16 And you know, so in Brazil is 15 in a lot of Latin American countries also like a 15. It's the quinceañera. My father asked me if I wanted to party or if I wanted to travel, and I told him at the time I wanted to travel. For me at first my first reaction wasn't I can stay here, and you know, keep going through this. I have to run away I want it to run away so badly. However, I chose to do it in a way that was somewhat responsibly. Right? I wasnt just really going to like get out on the streets and like, leave my home and whatnot. I figured out a way that I could get my parents buy in into removing myself from that situation because it was suffocating it was absolutely suffocating me. So I told my parents I wanted to travel and my father at the time, he thought it was I don't know, maybe like a 10 days in Disney World with friends and whatnot. And I was like, no, no, I want to live abroad. And he didn't give me much credit at first. As a matter of fact, his way of not getting you know, this a lot of credit, he posed a lot of different challenges to me. Okay, well, you know, you're gonna have to find out a good school, you can go to have credit transfers the year the school year is not the same in Brazil as it is because it starts in January in Brazil, mostly. It's and you need to find, you know, fly tickets, you need to be able to budget your time there. You, know, he gave me like, he posed all these different challenges to me. And that was pre Google. That was pre computers at home, at least in my household, i didnt have one. I mean, there was no search engine, and 15 years old. What I did at the time, I was so looking forward to like escaping that situation. Yeah. In fact, I took about a two hour bus ride to Brasilia, which was the capital and I visited embassies like Canadian and British embassy. And I took like those huge books, because at the time, they were the schools, they they used to have like some enormous books, looked like phone books, you know, introducing, like all of their programs, and, you know, research, I went into travel agencies, I found out how to budget asked helped through my school of English as a second language. So I very resourceful, and try to find a way to get out of that situation. And within three months, I came back to my dad with like this full on business presentation. Hmm, my top three choices of school and my reasoning behind each one of them. Obviously, I already had my own choice. But I show him that I had done the work that I had done, and that I was ready for this experience. And he was flawed,I really surprised him with that.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

You took it so seriously. Yeah, you invested in this.

Lara Augusta:

She means Business

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Absolutely

Lara Augusta:

He was like, okay, all right, then you're going and I went to England for a year, I studied in a school in Oxford for a year. And that was my first time to be completely removed from the environment that I had grown up in. People could not care less who my father was. Nobody would ask, right. And it was it was the first time that I was allowed to experiment with my own choices as well.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, just be you.

Lara Augusta:

Yeah, just be me. You know, my mom was so afraid of our situation that she had controlled every single choice in my life up until then, yeah,eve which backpack i would use for the school year, you know, like, I wasn't allowed to make choices. That's how much control like she needs. And it was it was extremely freeing, going back. And I was able to question my choices, experiment with my choices, make my own mistakes deal with the consequences of them. So when I when I went back to Brazil, I felt a lot more empowered to question my parents. Hmm. And so, at that time, when I went back to Brazil, I started actually teaching English as a second language, okay. And my parents because of a different situation, they emancipated me. So by the time I was 16, I was making crazy money for a 16 year old because it emancipated. So I started just letting my parents know what I was up to. I wasn't, I wasn't, I was like, Listen, this, you know, this weekend, I'm gonna be traveling and I'm gonna be doing this. They're like, No, you're not you have to do that. And like, no, no, no, I'm letting you know. And this is where I'm staying, these are the phone numbers, you know, but I had ownership of what choices I wanted to make. And I still had that narrative, though. And I only understood that I had that narrative that I was an inconvenience that I didn't belong when obviously it was very challenging for my parents to deal with my newfound independence. And one day I ran away, you know, to go to this concert. I didn't. I was so upset. I didn't even let them know. I was like, What's the point? You know, we're going to argue again. So just left And it was a Gloria Gaynor concert. And when I came back, my father was so upset, he took me on this car ride to like, really lash out on me. So in a confined space, he wasn't much conversation, nor did I have control of what where we were going. Very one sided conversation, and he really took the reins on it. And for some reason, he felt the need at some point to say, you need to look at your mom and your dad as examples in life because we've never made a mistake.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Hmm.

Lara Augusta:

And I was like, Excuse me. That was the first time that it was like the loudest, loudest alert to myself. And it was very clear about it. He didn't call me a mistake. He didn't say that nobody has ever called me a mistake or anything. It was a calling to me because when he said that, my first reaction was like, What do you mean, you've never made a mistake? I am your walking,talking, feeling, living, breathing mistake?

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Lara Augusta:

And that tore me apart that I was able to think that like that. We have a triggered by his, you know, self righteousness trip It was a trigger to me. And it was a huge thing. And that's what sometimes like triggers? Well, a lot of the times. Yeah, that's what triggers do to you. They're they're hauling your attention to something that you need to address. more versus it.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

So I mean, yeah, I love I love how you're putting forward the story to us and, and sharing with us your triggers. And at that time, potentially, and also how that narrative started to change, you know, given your level of independence, and given this new awareness based on what your dad, you know, sort of said to you in that car ride. And it's making me think now, you know Lara, why, and maybe articulate this for our listeners, why is it then so important, that we all undertake this process of, you know, undoing unraveling the narratives, especially these unproductive ones that we have in us? What would you say?

Lara Augusta:

Such a big question. It is key, because a lot of a lot of us, we can go through our entire lives, just carrying on unserving narratives through different phases of our lives, and they just become too heavy to carry at some point. And we can't pinpoint you know, why is it that I've ended up here? So many people ask themselves to you know, that today, they've asked themselves that throughout history, how did I end up here, you know, and that comes from that missing the opportunities that the challenges give you, the triggers give you, those negative feelings give you. We put such a bad rap on what I call catabolic feelings. You know, the nagging ones, the ones that, that that really weighed you down. Such a bad rap on them, but what they're doing is actually they're informing you at all times, that something's not right with you. That something's not right with your environment, that something's not right, with the choices that you are allowing to be made in your life. And when we are responsible for our choices. As a child, not necessarily again, we're looking at we're looking, we're adapt very quickly to survive.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Lara Augusta:

At some point what you've carried as narrative, as a child or as a teenager in order to be accepted in order to be loved in order to be carried forward in order to be fed in order to be safe. At some point of your life. You've just got to look at that with grace and compassion yourself for having done that for yourself or having allowed yourself to go through that in order to survive. If that was the case, right? but if that was the case, case, you love yourself for having done through, you know for having done that for yourself. And then check yourself in with with yourself in the present. Yeah. Where are you at? What does it still serve you? Because if it no longer serve you, that's okay. Honor it for what it was and start choosing what will serve you from today on so you can builds that reality. So you can build the circumstances. So you can experience what you choose to.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Hmm. I mean, that's, that's powerful in terms of, you know, having that check in, and then having that knowledge about the choices, you know, in terms of steps to move forward. That's so important that I think we forget that, Lara, oftentimes, you know especially when that narrative is so loud in your in your head, right, it consumes and drowns out every other sort of rational thought that come in. But I guess what you're suggesting is, is that there's some work that needs to be done in that internal sort of component of, you know, love yourself, give yourself permission, hear what it has to say, but then take the mantle up of the challenge to sort of say, alright, I hear you, I acknowledge you. But I don't need to continue in that way I can choose something else choose to behave in a different way to her. That's quite powerful.

Lara Augusta:

And even though I had, I had often offered myself those opportunities, I also often questioned it, it's important to have because you're in that loop. Right? That's all you know, that's all you've been accustomed to. So it's something that happens overnight. Yeah. You don't go to the gym one time, and then you leave the gym fit, you know,

Arthi Rabikrisson:

If only

Unknown:

Oh, my God. I know three gods Totally agree.

Lara Augusta:

It's constant work. It's constant, self check. And it's constant, allowing yourself as well to have the rights ruined. And sometimes that support comes because you saw it. And as sometimes that support comes because you're just doing the work and open to it. And that's what happened to me about like, three years ago, about three years ago, I was completely emotionally deregulated for having shear, and in a coaching session, I was being coached through it. And then I hopped into a neuroscience course where an amazing scientist, you know, Coach, neuroscientists, psychologists, she's outstanding, should show she was she asked that this was like, 700 people in the room. Yes. And she asked for someone to come up on screen to be coached through something going through. And I just, I just put there in the message super shyly, because I was so afraid to show up, I was so afraid to expose myself I was so afraid to speak up for all of those things that, you know, all those back of the mind narratives, yes. Now, it doesn't matter what I have to say, I don't matter, I don't belong and not welcomed, you know, in fact, that I just put their very shyly among like, you know, hundreds of people putting their what they wanted. I was like, I can't spend another day without showing up authentically, I want to show up as myself you know, flaws and all. And so she, I'm ready for that. And so she put me on screen and I was like, Oh, what did i sign up for, But my Pandora Box was already open. Like I said, I had just like 20 minutes before had just left a coaching session. I was I was still emotionally deregulated because of the process. I haven't integrated or reset myself yet. Yes. So as I show her up here, I have like, my face is still like, you know, puffed up and all in when she starts coaching me that I'm like, boom, I derail again. And she offered me such a beautiful gift. Uh huh. She was like, I see you. It's so simple. That's it. I see you. And she's like, No wonder, you feel this way. Hmm. Anyone who have gone through this would have felt the same. . You know, that compassion, that grace that I've have tried so many times to to offer to myself? Yeah, I found it was I was open to the experience. I'm scared but i was open.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, of course.

Lara Augusta:

And with that, she asked me some incredible questions, you know, in which, eventually, everybody was in tears with me. I had like, your people reaching out and all of that there was so much love, and it's warm in room for that, in that some people were asking at some point and you you're in coaching, some people ask what's between, you know, psychology and coaching is what just happened? And it was a very fine line because I was very emotionally deregulated and working on a story that had kept me stuck in the past, obut she also shown On this brilliant light on the experience for every all the coaches in there, you know for like all those people in there, which, right? Yes, she she was like pouring herself pouring a lot of herself out. Yeah. But at the same time she was present with herself as she support herself out. There wasn't an amount of self awareness and the willing to not stay stuck to move forward with that story. And to choose a different narrative around it.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Beautiful, beautiful.

Lara Augusta:

That was why it was a coaching session.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yeah, I mean, it's, that was powerful and publicly powerful, too, right. But there you were, you know, I could I could, I can picture it absolutely can picture.

Lara Augusta:

It was so healing, it was so healing.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

So Lara we are having such a beautiful conversation today. And you, I mean, you sharing so much of your experiences, things that we can do as well, to actually start the process or continue the process, even if we are on this journey of these narratives and trying to uncomplicate them so well for ourselves. As we as we come to the close, I'd love it if you could share an overarching thoughts that you want to leave with our listeners today about their journey, about their process, and something that can motivate them to keep going on this journey. Because there's so much more in store for them, what would you say?

Lara Augusta:

Choose yourself. Just choose yourself, we can't pour from an empty cup. And once we choose to take a good look at ourselves and to be present with ourselves, man, there's a lot of beauty that can come out of it. Now to offer ourselves grace, to offer ourselves compassion, to offer ourselves love, and to honor all the choices that we've made to this day that brought us to where we are today. We are here And how empowering it is to look back and, and instead of completely dissecting everything that has gone wrong, to shine a light on everything on everything that has gone, right.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Absolutely, absolutely that perspective that reframe right,

Lara Augusta:

that among parents and all throughout life, we could have chose, you know, to to argue we could have chosen to, you know, have this animosity among the family, we could have choked, it could have gone so many different we could have chosen, you know, all kinds of different ways of supporting each other. But we each did the best that we could with what we knew, at each of you know, the different times of our lives. And today, we've already had this conversation as well today. It was like I'm so grateful for you haven't you know, each one of them to haven't been in my life the way they did. They could show up for my life. Yes. And whatever it was that made them show up, whether it was obligation where there was fear, whether it was the need for control, whatever, whatever was their reason, whether it was love, whatever was their reason, they showed up they way they could. You know, and I did it. But we also have the freedom of choice. And today we do get to keep each other in each other's lives.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Yes,

Lara Augusta:

choosing to do so.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Absolutely. So choice, choosing yourself. Lovely. I love that. Larra, it's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you today getting to know more about you and your experiences. And thank you for inspiring all of us on the show, it has been such a pleasure. i

Lara Augusta:

Thank you so much for having me Arthi, this is this is great.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

Wonderful. You take care, Lara,

Lara Augusta:

Likewise have a great one.

Arthi Rabikrisson:

You too,bye. Hi. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode today. If you like what you heard, rate, the episode and podcast and feel free to write a review. Plus, of course, share with others too. I love talking around topics like these. So if you like my perspective or insight in a subject close to your heart, or something that you're grappling with, reach out to me in your comments or send me an email via my website or connect me via LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, all my social media are on the podcast information. If it's important to you, then it's important to so I'm happy listening to the inspire your life podcast and catch you soon on the next episode.

Welcome Lara
Defining Lara
Lara's Childhood Narrative
Adapting To The Environment
Self-Awareness & Self-Consciousness In A Child
Altering The Survival Mode
The Start Of Lara's Travels
Making Her Own Choices
The Start Of Changing Lara's Narrative
Why Undo The Narrative
The Opening Of Pandora Box
Lara Final Thoughts