Coaching Versus Therapy: How To Fully Invest In Yourself And Know What Is Best For You With Sara Ashley BakerJan 11, 2023
Mental health and personal development are not destinations; they are processes. In this episode, licensed marriage and family therapist Sara Ashley Baker shares the personal development journeys she has witnessed (including her own!) and discusses the difference between therapy and coaching. Tune in as she discloses golden nuggets on therapy, personal development, spiritual connection, and more!
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Coaching Versus Therapy: How To Fully Invest In Yourself And Know What Is Best For You With Sara Ashley Baker
I am so excited because I have a super special guest, Sara Ashley Baker. She's a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor, and Coach. She specializes in mindfulness-based therapy and building a deeper connection to the mind, body, and soul. I love Sara so much. We met each other through our personal development journey because we are always going through it. We are very similar. We are nerds when it comes to learning. We always want to invest in ourselves so we can show up for our clients. She's someone I've admired deeply since I met her and I am so grateful and honored to be interviewing you, my friend. How are you doing?
I'm doing so well. Thank you for having me.
I'm so excited because of something that I love about you and your practice. One, you're a therapist and a coach. There is so much wisdom within yourself. One of the things that I would love to explore is the difference between therapy and coaching and how to know when to go to each one of these modalities are equally powerful. First things first, who is Sara? What's your background? Where were you born? How did you gain clarity on this beautiful career that you have created for yourself?
I love that. Thank you. I was born in Los Angeles. I didn't live there long as a kid. We moved to Palm Springs out in the desert pretty quickly. I grew up in this very desert, earthy energy, small town and it's gotten a lot bigger since recent development, but that's where I grew up with this amazing mountain behind me and beautiful desert energy. I always felt grounded being here and taking that energy with me into the world.
In terms of my career and how I found it, I always had this natural ability to connect with people, build rapport with them, or be able to hold space when they were going through challenging things. I remember my parents always telling me, "You have this natural ability to talk to people, make them feel comfortable, or guide them in certain ways."
I always intuitively knew that was a part of me. When some of my friendships in high school would go through challenging things or experience some loss, I had this way of being able to hold space and help people get to this new place within themselves despite being there. I always knew that was part of my path. I was always interested in Psychology.
I went to UCLA and at first, I wanted to be a Communication major. I'm like, "I'm going to do Journalism," and it was super impacted. I found this calling to move toward Psychology and once I was in it, I was like, "I love this. I want to take it deeper. I want to know more about the mind. I want to know more about humans, why they are the way they are, why my friends and family are the way they are, and why I am the way I am." I pursued that a bit more.
After college graduating with my Bachelor's in Psychology, I went on to work at a couple of different places which gave me more understanding of where I wanted to take that journey. I went from working at the Betty Ford Center and runaway shelters for teens, and what I learned when I was there is that I want to be able to take people deeper.
I want to be able to help them and give them some tools and resources that go a little bit beyond sharing the story, so I did my Master's. I went through the whole experience of becoming licensed as a therapist, which is quite a journey. It's going through the Master's and in California, it's getting 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. I'm doing all of these hours, seeing clients, working with a supervisor, and perfecting the craft in my own unique way.
After getting licensed, I went on and worked at a crisis walk-in center for a long time where it was intensive and a lot of acute psychological things going on. From there, moving into working with another group practice. I found that I loved being in the environment of these teams and I also knew that I had the ability to lead and create a business of my own, so I did.
I created my private practice, where I would see quite a lot of clients. There was one point when I was seeing 28 to 30 clients a week. I got to this full caseload and I was loving it. That was my big goal at the time to have it. I then recognized that I couldn't keep going like this and that it was going to be a lot. We were still getting a lot of referrals and a lot of things coming in. I decided to move that into more of a therapy business and have other amazing therapists come onto the team. It was important for me that all of these therapists had somewhat of a holistic background, too.
Along with my therapy journey, I've always been involved in yoga and have been teaching yoga for a long time, involving mindfulness, breath work, different types of spirituality, and also transforming through travel. All of these things were big parts of who I was personally that I also wanted to bring into the therapy room. As I started my group practice, I wanted the other practitioners to also bring in some of this magic and bring in some of their special holistic qualities that could help clients transform in new ways and maybe ways that they hadn't been introduced to in the past.
I started to build a team and found some amazing therapists. Now, I have a team of about ten therapists. We're still growing. They're all unique and special and have this holistic background. I love being in this leadership position and being able to mentor them and help them perfect their craft in the therapy world while also now pursuing my experience as a coach. That journey was interesting and how happened as well.
The time you were talking, I was like, "I need to ask her this and that." I have so many questions. When you were a kid, it's interesting that your parents were also able to recognize this innate ability that you have of understanding people and showing interest in your emotions. Are your parents into energy work? You're super spiritual. How were your raised compared to who you are?
My dad has always been into more spiritual things, had his own perspective, or always turned back to spirit when answering a question. My mom was always very open to these things. She always encouraged travel and discovering myself in new ways. For me, not having kids or getting married until I was 40 so that I could experience so much of life played a big role in allowing me to have this freedom to explore and experience different things with the foundation of spirituality.
One of the biggest keys in my family foundation was my great-grandmother. She was interesting because she was a big part of the Catholic church and so she had a lot of connections to that. She was also curious about the metaphysical world. While she was involved in that, she was also studying people like Carlos Castaneda. She was interested in hypnosis.
I remember that as a kid she would have people travel from all over the world to do readings with her. They were her own special reading. She would use the tarot a little bit and then she would have her own intuitive way of doing things. I remember people flocking to her and as a kid, she would read my cards as well. I don't remember what she said at the time, but I remember feeling connected to what she was saying, and this was a big part of my development. When we're young those ages and all of this is going on, it seeps into our unconscious and becomes part of who we are.
I feel that growing up in that energy and her being very spiritual and very grounded at the same time, and having this connection to an ethereal world shaped me in some ways and also gave me permission to explore it. I remember later in life, going to my parents and being like, "What was Nana studying? Who was she into? What was going on with her?" I feel like I'm on a similar path and it's like influenced me in a big way. I didn't even know that we were necessarily on the same path or studying the same things until we dove more into it, me and my parents.
That is so beautiful. Sara and I have studied similar things like neurolinguistic programming and energy. We believe that not all knowledge is in the same school. I love how your grandma, at that moment, was starting different things, but when we chunk up or the bigger picture, we are all talking about the same things. It doesn't matter what religion or spiritual practice we are talking about.
I love that you brought up the example of the tarot cards because I have a memory of my childhood. I was in Cuba and my grandmother and my mom would always go to a card reader and they would take me with them. It was part of me growing up and experiencing all of those things. I love that we have that in common. It's a beautiful practice. We believe in everything. That's beautiful. When you graduated from being a therapist, what persuaded you to work for yourself and have your own practice or business versus working for someone else?
I've always had this creative sense about me and again, this ability to lead. I wanted to create something that was so authentic and unique to me and that had all of the elements of what has helped shape me in the biggest way, what's helped me grow in my personal development and my spirituality and all of these different realms. It was important to me to create something new because a lot of the therapy practices that are out there right now are starting to be a lot more connected to mindfulness and spiritual things, which is amazing.
It hasn't been necessarily the norm or the biggest thing connected to therapy so I wanted to create this niche or this ability for other practitioners to come in who had similar values or connections to other spiritual things or holistic modalities and have all of that in one place for our clients to be able to experience. That was important to me in starting my own practice. I wasn't finding it anywhere else. I love being an entrepreneur, leading, and creating things. It was always a part of my blood to create my own thing.
I love that. I have never thought about it. I've had two experiences with therapy and now that I think back, it is true. I haven't seen that holistic approach to therapy. It sounds like you identified a gap in the system in terms of the therapy world and you are taking the action to fill that gap. That's amazing that you did that. From graduating to your business to your own private practice to creating a team, I feel that's such a big difference. What do you think was the main mindset component for you to be able to go through that to build a successful team with a holistic approach? It seems like you were doing a lot of new things at the same time.
That deeper level why that I had around wanting to help clients, whether they were seeking these holistic practices or they'd never experienced them before and were open to experiencing them and bringing these therapists together with similar values and modalities and being unique in their own ways was so important to me. I had a lot of experience in leadership as I was a clinical supervisor and ran teams before. I felt this natural ability to lead, manage, and grow a team and to be able to do it in a way that was so important, purposeful, and powerful to me. There was no stopping me.
Once I got the ball rolling and had gotten the experience from some of the other practices I was a part of, I was like, "I can do this." It takes a certain will and energy to create a business, whether you're a solopreneur, running teams, or whatever it is, you have to be focused and ready to take on whatever is thrown your way. I was ready. I knew it was what I was meant to do. I knew that once I had reached my goal of seeing 30-plus clients in my own private practice and got there, I was like, "Great. I accomplished this and there's something more for me, too."
It takes a certain will and energy to create a business. Whether you're a solopreneur or running teams, you have to be really focused and ready to take on whatever is thrown your way.
I'm continuing to grow and continue to bring in there are amazing therapists together in the community. The community kept my ability to keep growing, building, managing the ups and downs of having a business, learning from everything, and getting the feedback that I needed to make the business more successful and allow it to thrive. It was something that was innate to me.
That's beautiful. Something that you mentioned that is so important is having that bigger why or vision of yourself, which for you was very clear. I always remind my clients and the audience that clarity in your direction is way more important than speed because you can go fast and end nowhere. It seemed like the long-term direction was clear for you no matter what, which is your why.
That's such an important element that sometimes we don't invest enough time in creating the person we want to be and the things we want to be doing long-term, and not only in short term. That is amazing. Creating a team and being a supervisor in this field, what have you learned about people and people development through all these years of leadership in the industry?
I learned so much.
I feel like that's an extensive topic, but the first thing that comes to mind.
The first thing that comes to mind is being open to growth, open-minded, somewhat flexible like being connected to your values and a deeper level of why, and open to whatever's being presented to you along the path. As I'm able to do that, I meet some amazing people who have contributed so much to the field and our community. Sometimes there are people who have a different energy or who are maybe not the best fit for the team.
I've learned to have patience and also be able to communicate my needs and my values in a specific way that's going to help me build a team that's congruent with these deeper-level purposes, bigger goals, and bigger whys. What I've found in regard to people in general, which has been so interesting, is that everyone is so different and no one is absolutely right or wrong in the way that they do things.
Everyone is so different, and no one is absolutely right or wrong in the way they do things.
As we know from NLP and personal growth, everyone has different models of the world, so being able to have some behavioral flexibility and how I manage a team using all of the skills that I've learned from personal development and applying that to how I communicate, run the team, build rapport with them, and communicate boundaries, values, and needs. This ability to also listen to them and their needs and boundaries and be able to create this cohesive congruent down-to-earth environment where the right people can thrive.
The people who maybe aren't a good fit, it's not because they're not a good person or anything like that. We just have different energy. What I've learned the most is to accept people for who they are and accept the people who are coming through and meant to stay long term and the people who are meant to come and teach me a lesson for a little while.
That is so true. I love that you said that because I went from being in my corporate career to full-time entrepreneurship. A message that has been showing up for me in my romantic relationship, my business, and everywhere is to let go of the attachment to the outcome, accept what is and what's meant to be, and surrender without resistance. It's knowing that what happens is meant to happen. The other one is surrendering this control that sometimes we have for people to respond the way we respond and act the way we are.
Everything you said is so applicable to anyone in any context of life. It's such a beautiful gift. What I've found also with my clients and my business is that people are our biggest spiritual teachers. A lot of times they will bring up challenges or they will trigger things in us that we need to work on before facing that challenge or facing that issue.
As we say in NLP, perception is projection. Many times, they bring things that we need to work through ourselves. For the readers to understand, sometimes when clients are not doing their homework, I need to start asking myself where am I not taking action. It's this self-empowerment of looking inside and realizing that the outside energy matches your inside energy too. Working with people is such a beautiful process.
I love that because that's one of the biggest things that I tune into when things feel out of harmony in my external world. It's exactly what you said. I need to go internal and look at, "Where are things out of harmony inside of me?" Everything that I'm experiencing outside of me is a direct reflection of what's going on inside of me.
Everything that you’re experiencing outside of yourself is a direct reflection of what's going on inside of you.
I was having this conversation with a client before we started. It's the same thing. She was feeling chaotic in our world, "I'm stressed." I'm like, "We have to go inwards. What's out of harmony? Where are your thoughts? Where's your mind? Where's your emotion? What's going on in this internal world? Start there and work on that first. It's going to help you shift that external world sometimes without you even needing to do anything in your external world."
Sometimes it's an understanding inside and then everything starts shifting on the outside. I'm an immigrant to this country. Your grandmother was half Mexican and half Italian. I find also that when immigrants come to this country, or even if you're a minority, many people may feel that they are at a disadvantage. I was having this conversation with a client and I was telling her, "What is outside of you, you cannot control. If you truly believe within yourself that you are at a disadvantage, you start showing up."
It's a hard truth to understand, but what we're saying here is that you got to manage this internal state because even if there is an advantage or not, it's true on the outside. You got to show up empowered and give your best. It doesn’t matter what the context is. It's such a beautiful lesson that I've been mindful of myself all the time, to be honest. Thank you so much for bringing that up. The understanding of that, I feel you can create a manifested life you are meant to live with that concept.
What you said about whether you've had some disadvantages in your external circumstances, dealt with bigger things, or had more challenges or obstacles in your life, it's all about the mindset and your perception around these, "How do you allow those things to impact you? What's your story around them? What's your belief around them?" recognizing that in any situation. In a bad economy, are there still people who are making money? In a bad economy, are there people losing money? What's the difference? It's that mindset, energy, behavior, values, actions, and that deeper level of belief in yourself to create the change that you want to change or have what you want to have.
You can see it in a positive light. Being an immigrant in this country, my superpower is resilience because I show up every time without knowing the language. I totally agree with what you say. It depends on the lens through that you look at reality. We get excited about these things.
I get excited about obstacles and challenges.
I have you read the book by Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is The Way?
I don't think I've read that.
It's good. He's short. He's a super stoic author. He's all about stoicism. He published a book about discipline. I don't remember the title, but he's an amazing author. You would identify with him because he's into everything that we are talking about. As a leader in the industry, you have a team of ten therapists, also you're a coach. What drove this interest in you? Tell me about it.
It started when I was already building the foundation of my team. I had been working with clients for a long time, bringing in these holistic modalities and seeing some good results. They would feel better for some time, and then I recognized that they were cycling around through some of the same stories, patterns, or problems over and over again.
Clients of mine who had severe panic disorder and PTSD with the holistic modalities that would bring some relief and these clients would feel better, but I was also seeking something that was going to take it even deeper. I was asking myself like, "What am I missing? What's going to help these clients fully uproot these energies, these problems so they can live the life that they're meant to live? It was right around that time when NLP fell into my lap and a friend of mine was like, "You need to go to this training. You're going to love it." I'm like, "I'm going to check it out. I'm going to give it a chance."
As soon as I got there, I was so connected to the energy, especially as a therapist and as a human of being able to learn these new ways of working with the mind and learning about ways that I'm communicating with myself and my outside world, and how that's creating my reality and how to get more empowered. I then saw people release years of anger, sadness, PTSD, and traumas within minutes with some of these techniques.
I was completely taken aback and I was like, "1) I'm meant to be here. 2) I've got to go deeper with this." I kept going right away and right into master pack and learning about hypnosis, Huna, energy, and all of the deep trainings, and immediately bringing this to my clients because I saw what I was experiencing inside of me and also what the people around me were experiencing.
I took this new perception because the main difference was that we weren't cycling around in these stories. It wasn't just talk therapy, processing, and saying some of the same things over and over again. Sometimes, in a new way, but a lot of times in the same way and wanting that space to vent about the emotions, which is fine.
I recognize that as being the biggest difference between why NLP and some of these other techniques get such great results with clients. It takes you out of that story, those patterns, and those old perceptions. It helps you change the way that you are thinking about things. When I learned all of these things and when I learned about hypnosis and breakthrough sessions, I started bringing that work to my therapy clients specifically.
Some of the processes or techniques take an extended period of time. Sometimes eight hours and different things like that. It was challenging to navigate some time with some of my clients being that insurance is only allowed 53 minutes of therapy at a time and things like that. I was getting creative with the way I was bringing it to my therapy clients. I saw the power that it was having on them.
One of my clients had a severe panic disorder. She would have panic attacks all the time and she couldn't work and drive. She's a beautiful woman. After going through this work, she's back in her music career. She's making great strides in the industry like putting herself out there. It's a complete 180 from where she was before and all because of this work.
From there, I knew the difference between therapy and coaching. To me, therapy is that space where you need time to process and talk through whatever it is that you're going through. It's a venting process and gets some validation for the emotions that you're having. That's necessary for some people. For me, coaching is where you're ready to take action on those things, make a change to fully uproot the problem, and be willing to face it and do something about it.
Sometimes therapy can take years to see results because we're spending so much time processing. Again, different people are at different stages of their journey. For some people, that may be what they feel is best for them, and it's wonderful. There's room for therapy and room for coaching. In therapy, you can get great results as well.
With coaching, when you're ready to do it and go all in and change the story, get out, talk about it, and be ready to let it go because we can let it go like that. Let go of those energies, old emotions, and patterns and be able to see the world differently. Take action on how we're seeing it differently towards our bigger goals. That is the biggest difference for me between therapy and coaching.
That's beautiful. I'm so grateful that you're here because a few months back, I did an episode about the difference between therapy and coaching. I interviewed people. You being here and doing both provides more clarity and validates the content of that episode. I appreciate it. One of the differences that I've seen also is that therapy is looking at the past and understanding the emotions.
Coaching is action-oriented and forward-looking. It's like, "Let's go there and take action together." Both of them are beautiful practices as you mentioned. Both of them help the individual to live their highest potential, whatever that might be for every single person. I love that. I took my NLP Master Prac on July 2019. Did you take it then?
No, I took it right after you. I took it in November 2019.
We didn't meet there. We met Huna, which is a native ancient Hawaiian way of seeing and perceiving energy. It's basically like being able to do what we do with NLP but with energy. It's a very holistic approach also. That's a good reminder. We saw each other and I've always thought highly of you, but it wasn't until this past Huna in September 2022 that we got closer, which I appreciate.
We were there for three and a half weeks.
We were there together working on ourselves. I lost my glasses. There were a lot of adventures in that Huna.
It's so much fun.
I love it. You're focused on coaching, therapy, and retreats with another one of your business partners. What's next for Sara?
There are so many things. I have big goals with a therapy group as well. We have about ten therapists right now. I want to bring on ten more amazing therapists because there's a need within the community and with people to have the space to start the process of creating change in their life. For myself, there are some amazing experiences that I'm working on.
There are the retreats, as you mentioned. We go to Mexico once or twice a year to this magical area. That's my favorite place to go to. It's in Nayarit called San Pancho. We bring a group of women there who are successful driven professionals and may be living through some anxious chaos and in these stuck states of feeling burnt out, overworked, or disconnected from their self, purpose, and the things that are important in life.
We like to use travel for transformation. When I say we, it's me and my business partner. Her name is Andrea Martin, an amazing metabolic health coach. We love to have these experiences where we use to travel for transformation. We change up the energy and go to places where the energy's powerful. There's a big energetic grid there so you can feel this shift by being there.
In the Nayarit where we are, it sits on a bed of quartz so you can feel this energy pull you in and prepare you to do some deep work. These retreats are so much different than going on a yoga retreat because it incorporates all of the modalities of coaching into this retreat experience. To go through some of the deep work, change your perceptions, shift out of old energies and old patterns and gain some clarity, what you want to shift, whom you're meant to be at this point in your life, and connect to an amazing group of women while you're traveling in this beautiful jungly, ocean paradise.
It's getting to experience the magic of traveling too. Some new cultural experiences, connection to some of the ancient wisdom, the food, and the tacos, and that for me is so amazing because I remember when we hosted our first retreat in Peru in 2018, being up in Machu Picchu after leading this beautiful meditation experience with the group and thinking to myself, "This is my work right now. This is what I get to do. This is so magical and empowering." It's like what I'm meant to be doing.
One of my biggest purposes is helping people and women specifically in these retreats and other experiences get a connection to who they truly are and know their ability to create more purpose and impact in the world that they're living in, whether it's through their career or relationships, whatever it is. It's helping them find that deeper sense of themselves and have that sense of awe, wonder, and connection to the beauty of the world and who they are, and how they're co-creating and creating the life that they want to have.
I love that so much. You have been doing these retreats for a while. I haven't had the opportunity to go yet, but they look amazing. I remember when Cody and I got engaged, I was in Sayulita, which is close to where you do your retreats.
I love it. It's an amazing energy and area. I love using travel for these experiences and being able to combine all of these holistic things like ancient ceremonies. We do this Temazcal ceremony where it's like this lodge that's built out of this Adobe Earth. You go in there and you sweat it out, connect to spirit and all of the elements, chant, and feel all of these layers being peeled back so you can see yourself for who you truly are. I love these travel experiences and being able to bring in also yoga and breath work, the things that have shaped me on my path, especially the travel. All of those things together are such a magical experience for me and everyone who gets the opportunity to join. Those are super fun.
I ran this group a few times and I'm getting ready to run the next one, but I host a women's empowerment group experience. It's a seven-day experience where I take women through what we do in this one-on-one work. We go through this breakthrough session experience and get to do it in this community of empowered women. We go into the depths of what's lying under the surface, what is all the unconscious blockages, what are the things that are holding us back, and go into that world and pull up everything that's been blocking us from being whom we're meant to be.
The group is called Meant To Be. It's about peeling back these layers and getting back to your true sense of self. Interestingly enough with these, you probably have this experience as well, when I do the detailed personal history portion of it, which is the big chunky portion of these breakthrough sessions, it's so much different than therapy. In therapy, when I'm asking you questions, it's more the conscious mind picking and choosing what it wants to talk about. "I feel like this. Maybe this is where the root of it is." The conscious mind picks and chooses where it identifies the problem on a surface level.
These questions that we go into in the breakthrough session experience automatically activate the unconscious. You're at a different level of consciousness. You're more in the theta brainwave state. Your brain is more open to the resources that you have and to the memories that maybe you thought were lost or repressed. You have all of this access to information.
As I'm asking these questions, you are flowing and trusting what's coming through for you. Some people are like, "I don't know why jelly beans are connected to my dad, but that's what's coming up." They tell me, "I don't have any memories from my childhood and then they start spilling it all out as we're talking." They're not even aware of what's going on as we're going through this process. They're in a light trance. Being in a light trance is this deeper meditative space where you have more access to these resources and deeper level learnings or are able to install new learnings.
That's such a fun part of the process. One of the biggest tools that feel different than therapy to me is activating that unconscious part of the brain and getting into the parts where the root because of these emotions, traumas, and beliefs are stuck, and being able to fully let it go and uprooted from that deeper place than the surface level conscious identifying place.
I had a breakthrough session last time and I have one coming, and I completely agree with you. Clients are so surprised by anything and everything. Even their patterns, how they don't realize that this situation is related to the root cause of their limiting belief that shows up in areas of their lives. The breakthrough session is a mind-blowing experience. I tell everyone and my clients the relationship I have with Cody and even being able to manifest Cody happened after the breakthrough session in Master Prac.
Being able to transition from corporate to entrepreneurship happened after the mega breakthrough session MP1. I haven't made the decision before. Sometimes people feel they have this limiting belief that creating change takes years. Tony Robbins says, "Change happens in a matter of seconds. It's a decision, and many times, it's subconscious." That's why we're obsessed with the subconscious mind's work.
It's like getting ready to change takes a long time. I agree. I had the same experience when I went through Master Prac and had these huge shifts. That was when I was starting my therapy business and transferring from being in solo practice to bringing on the team. That's where I set my big goal to create the team. My ability to do that and have all of these things come true that I put out there energetically was so huge.
Master Prac, the breakthrough session had this profound effect on me and my life and who I am. I don't even know who I would be without these tools and the experiences that we've had. It allowed me to live my purpose, feel connected to my deeper sense of self and values, have this total soul fulfillment in me, and be able to continue creating experiences that are fulfilling for me, so much fun, and full of purpose and impact. With the therapy business, the retreats, and then hosting this group experience, I'm always able to stay open to what it is that's important to me, that I resonate with it, and that feels so fun. Fun is a big value of mine.
It’s being able to stay connected to these things and being fluid with shifts, changes, and what it is that's important for me to be putting out into the world. I feel so passionate about the therapy group, the retreats, and this next group experience. The thing that lights me up the most, whether it's with my one-on-one clients or in this group work is seeing the transformation in these clients. It's night and day from when they start and when they're in their stuff, anxiety, and this chaotic world.
Even in the first session, starting to talk about some of the foundations of NLP, empowerment, and mindsets, you can see their wheels turning and starting to shift even in those moments. We go through the detailed personal history and they have these big a-ha moments. There are so many shifts. We then do the release work and can't even connect to that old sense of self. They're ready to go out into the world and create what it is that they want and live empowered.
One of the other biggest things that they get and that I've learned is that it's not a one-time thing. It's not a one-and-done like you do the work once and you're done. It's a lifestyle. It's something to be living in for the rest of your life, staying in this empowered mindset and being willing to show up to you to do the work and keep connecting to those deeper level values however it might be.
I couldn't agree more. Everything shows up this way. I love that you said it's not a one-time thing. It's a mindset and a lifestyle. That's how we create sustainable change. For change to be sustained, it's something that you got to practice every single day. That's the truth. The ups and downs will be there, but now, we have the tools and skills to ride the waves.
Celebrate them and have fun because you have fun in the waves. I did in Hawaii and you did, too. I remember when the first drink concluded, we were in the ocean at night, singing. It was such a good time. You have shared this beautiful moment with all of us. As we conclude, I have a rapid-fire question for you to make it fun. Are you ready?
What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is called Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I love Thich Nhat Hanh. Who is your biggest role model?
I would say, my mom and my dad.
That's so cute. I love it. What is the lesson that you're working on right now?
The lesson that I'm working on right now is this ability to be grounded and to find this space where I'm totally content in the present moment and not feeling this need to always be doing more. In this society and energy that we're in, there's always this little voice inside my head that says, "There's another thing you can do or do more." It's like, "Enough is enough," and feeling grateful and present in the moment and knowing that everything is perfect as it is.
You were talking about this because this question is not listed in my document, but I'm like, "I'm going to ask Sara this." I feel we communicated energetically here. The same lesson I'm working through is these conflicting views of the hustle versus it's okay to rest and the world is not going to break. I've also been practicing that. What's the most important piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
It's to know that you're enough. Again, this energy that I'm even still working on around not doing enough or needing to do more has always been present for me. This knowing of, "You're enough, doing enough, and good enough." It's having that at a deep core level is something that I would love to tell my younger self and would've made a big impact.
At a deeper unconscious level, I knew that and that allowed me to move through the world as I did. It's being able to tap into it even more now and share that with so many clients and the younger generations that, "You're enough. You're doing enough." Be present. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the moments and the things that are most important to you. Do your best to not get caught up in the energies and the waves of all the things that we think we need to do to be in space.
You're enough. You’re doing enough. You’re good enough.
What a powerful lesson, being the bigger picture energy that leads everything else that doing and having. That's amazing. One last question that came to mind because we're having fun here. When you have an important decision and you're like, "I don't know what to do. How do you ask for guidance?
It's going inwards. I've learned a lot to go inwards with it and to check in with myself and some of the things that you probably tell your clients about are the four requisites for change. "I need to make a decision. I need some guidance. Do I have any baggage around this? Do I have any big negative emotions that are out of proportion? Do I have any big beliefs? Where can I do my work to clear that first? I'm a clear channel."
Once I've checked in with that, I've done my release work around it, I asked myself, "With this, what is it that I want? Maybe I am needing to make a decision about something. What do I need to take action on and stay focused on to get there?" I do those things. The other thing that I do is maybe funny, but I always check in with my pendulum too. The pendulum is a way to tap into the unconscious and intuition a little bit more and get some of that validation. After I get my messages from me, I'm always taking my pendulum out and checking in. "Is it a yes or no?"
I love that you mentioned the four requisites for change. Any one of my clients that read this episode, they'll realize that it's not me who repeats this. I've been also reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Have you read that book?
I'm reading it.
I love it. He talks about prayer therapy, not in a religious way, but it's like, "Infinite intelligence within myself, please guide me towards the right answer," as simple as that. That's something I've been practicing more, just asking for guidance from my subconscious mind that knows everything. Even the collective consciousness is there. I see a lot of signs in numbers, too. I don't know if that happens to you.
It's always triple numbers, reading the signs, seeing hawks, or whatever it is, and being able to tune into that. "What do these things mean to me? What's the lesson? What's the message that I'm meant to get?" Another big part of making decisions is making sure I'm grounded. Being out in nature, if I have a big decision or if I'm feeling a lot of like, "This way or that way. I need to take a break from all of this. I need to connect with nature. I need to get into that earth element energy so I feel grounded in my foundation."
I then get more clarity from there and just being able to open up that unconscious realm where, as you said, all of our resources, collective consciousness, and answers are there. We're clouded by all of this anxious energy or all of this old stuff. Again, going through the four requisites and getting out into nature. I love to journal, so I always write through my thoughts a little bit, and that helps me to gain the biggest level of clarity that I need, and it's all within me.
That's such a good reminder. It's all within us. We're whole already. We have all the answers inside. That's beautiful. Sara, thank you so much for being here. How can our audience find you? Is it Instagram or your website? Tell us more about it.
It's both. Instagram and the website are the same. Instagram is at @SaraAshleyCoaching. My website is also Sara Ashley Coaching, so either of those two places will give you more information, resources, and ways to connect with me if you want to say hi and are curious about anything that I've said. Those places are the best way to connect.
Thank you so much for adding so much value to this episode. To all of our readers, if this episode helped you, please share that with your family and friends. Let's continue creating a more empowered community by sharing this knowledge and all this actionable content that we have talked about. Thank you so much, Sara. I appreciate you.
Thank you for having me. This was so much fun.
Thank you, everyone.
- Sara Ashley Baker
- The Obstacle Is The Way
- Therapy And Coaching – past episode
- Peace is Every Step
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
- @SaraAshleyCoaching - Instagram
- Five-minute Routine
- Facebook - Yanet Borrego Coaching
- Instagram - Yanet Borrego Coaching
- LinkedIn - Yanet Borrego Coaching
- YouTube - With Clarity & Purpose
About Sara Ashley Baker
Sara Ashley Baker is a licensed psychotherapist turned mindset coach making her mark on the world by empowering ambitious women to transform their anxious chaos into clear aligned action, so they can live their purpose, make a bigger impact in their career, & experience optimal levels of health, wealth, & love. She began her career as a holistic psychotherapist and later expanded into a successful entrepreneur building several successful businesses filled with purpose, passion, & profitability.
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