EP 66: Communication, Relationships and so much more with Dr. Gina Senarighi

This week’s episode is all a conversation with someone I met online and thought - how often can I repost her content before it gets weird? Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a therapist, coach, host of the Swoon podcast and author of Love More, Fight Less: Communications Skills Every Couple Needs. We talked about how she *STOP THE PRESSES* has MET and trained with BRENE BROWN. I KNOW. Gina is a shame resilience advocate, tends her money the way she does her garden (daily) and sets clear email boundaries. We talk about envisioning the future you want, experimenting with action plans versus thinking and how the relationship we have with ourselves is the foundation of every other relationship.


Tami: Good morning. 

Gina: Good morning. Thank you for having me. 

Tami: Okay. 

Gina: I, we 

Tami: just had this whole conversation, as you all know, we do the pre we do the pregame and we decided to hit record finally. So Gina, can you tell my friends, who are you and what do you do in the world? 

Gina: I'm Gina center Regi. who am I? currently I am a mom of two.

Small children, a three year old and a one year old. And I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and I work with people all over the world. helping them build more intimate and deeply connected relationships. so sometimes that's doing couples work and sometimes that's doing, you know, solo coaching or. It used to be a lot of retreat and workshop leading, not in 2020, but doing a lot of work with people to help them nurture their relationship with themselves, which I think is what ultimately did bring me to you on Instagram is where I know I follow you the most closely because they're your work with people and my work with people around like relating to themselves, trusting themselves, creating like.

Strong and healthy boundaries. Like all of that stuff just aligns so well, I was, I told you before we started recording that almost every morning, I'm like, Oh, there's Tammy. And there's like a thing that she says that's wise, how often can I share content before my people are just like, you know, like, ah, maybe we should just work.

Tami: I'm just saying exactly this thing, because I'm always like, Oh, wait, I can't like repost Gina every day, so I'll try to do it like I like once a week and I'm like, Ooh, is that a lot? I hear you. Okay. So, so what do people come to you? 

Gina: For 

Tami: are they like they want help? Cause I, cause you're you have a pocket cast called Swoon and that's about sex.

So when you're talking and just tell us more, tell us about your podcast. Tell us more about why people would say. Hey, Gina. I need some help. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: a lot 

Gina: of folks come stuff I like to work with the most. Let me tell you the stuff I like to work with the most is people show up and there, let's say the relationship component, couples work.

They're like. Goddammit. We are smart people. Who's done a lot of self-work and somehow we keep ending up relating in these ways that are not serving us, like stuck in a conflict pattern or we're like recreating her parents' relationship or were more distant than we want to be. And like, we've tried quite a few things.

We're like aware, we've read some books. We'd like, watch some things we're thinking about it, but dang, we end up. In this spot where one or both of us isn't really feeling fulfilled or connected or something like that. so I do a lot of like fine-tuning with people around like their communication skills, their like, like vulnerability resilience.

They're like shame, resilience, they're stories around, intimacy and meaningful connection. That kind of stuff. And that stuff's beautiful. 

Tami: Cause I, it would be interesting. And somebody named Gina wrote a book. 

Gina: Oh yeah. Yeah. So I did. Yeah. I also, wrote a book. yeah, and that really kind of like outline and a lot of that stuff because the thing for me has been, you know, I was a therapist before I switched over to coaching and I therapy is super important, super duper important and all kinds of ways.

And it tends to be really healing focused. It comes out of like, a healthcare model. So it's about illness and healing. And I just don't have a lot of folks who are really. I mean, they're unwell maybe, but it's not like they're unhealthy. they just are like really needing skills. And so, gosh, now I'm like on a tangent, but, so I kept finding that like I want, and part of it is also, I want people to have actionable steps that they're looking at taking and trying out and experimenting with to create some change.

And so much of therapy tends to be really heady and thinking about reflecting and changing thought patterns. Totally. Again, important. I'm definitely still a part of coaching, but like, I just, I get impatient and most of my clients come to me at a point when they're pretty impatient. They're like, I am ready for this thing to shift.

I'm super frustrated with it or I see how it's not serving me. I don't want it anymore now what? Right. Like, they're not like let's sit and think about it too much. I want to have some action steps, even while I'm thinking about it. Right. 

Tami: Yeah. It's interesting because I look at therapy as like swimming around in your trauma and I believe I'm a believer.

Like, you need to swim, you need to like backstroke, you need to get comfortable. You need to deal with stuff. But in my own, like I have been in and out of therapy since I was 10. yes, sexual abuse. That's where it comes from. But what I found is, as I grew up, I was like, okay, so we've dealt with this part.

And what's next. And so when I found coaching, I was like, Oh my God, it answers the question of what's next. It helps you envision the future that you want. Now that you've like, but the solve on you, but the clean bandage on like your scabs getting healed, but so what do we do next? And so I love the idea and I think this.

I'm going to predict, I think there's a big part of a lot of therapists going into the coach approach model 

Gina: where they're like, I've got all the skills. yeah. And that's some of why, you know, what helped me do this? It also helps me have really good boundaries in my work about, you know, there are certainly people who need like actual health care and medication management and sometimes hospitalization for mental health issues.

And that's not what I. What I specialize in and having the background in it does help 

Tami: me be like, Oh, 

Gina: Hey, you need therapy in addition to coaching or first, and then come back. Right? Like we both are helpful for just about it, everyone. But sometimes there are plenty of reasons and traumas and crises in people's lives that you want to, maybe have a more medical model there for support nothing wrong with that.

but anyway, having the training does help me kind of discern. who I can best serve and when, right. Absolutely. Yeah. Like, can you 

Tami: tell us more about your book? 

Gina: I love helping people have actionable steps. Like. Little tools and worksheets. I'm a big worksheet, like workbook person, myself.

I have, I mean that whole rainbow books behind me, people listening, dancing right in front of me. 

Tami: Yeah. 

Gina: All of those are, most of them are like full of like reflection, tools and things. And I really, I mean like you could, if you open them, you'll see my written answers or my highlighted a lot of that I do personally.

and I, and because of that, I've generated a lot of content over the years that are like, Downloadable worksheets or things that I just send and share with my clients. And last fall, I had created all this stuff and I've had a lifelong goal of getting a book published by a big-name publisher. and so I'd like accumulated all these worksheets and workbooks over the over 10 years.

And I was about to have a baby and we were moving across the country. And my desktop on my computer was just full of all these little things. And I said, I. It's coming up on 2020. I did not know what 20, 20, it would hold for all of us, but I was like, I'm either going to use it or lose it. I'm going to like, create like brand this stuff and make something out of it.

Or I'm going to, I can't carry all this clutter into another decade. So I started clearing it off. And when I did that, I had three different publishers out of the blue, within a period of like a month, contact me and say, Hey. have you ever thought about writing a book and, you know, for people who believe about like that kind of like energetically creating space for something right.

To me, it really spoke to that idea, I got very clear about what I was going to do or not do. And, then I got some really clear feedback from the universe or from these publishing houses saying, do you want to do these things? And, two of them, weren't a great fit, but penguin random house.

Said they wanted someone to create workbook about communication for all couples, like all kinds of diverse relationships. And that's been a huge area of my specialization. And so I did it. and luckily for me, because I've been writing for so long between blogs and creating these worksheets, it was pretty well already written.

I mean, I got it at the first draft to them and within two months, which is pretty quick. 

Tami: That's remarkable. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Yeah. I was contacted by a publisher twice this year, or like in 2020. it's weird because 2020 feels like an eternity. So yes, it was earlier this year, but I ultimately decided I don't want to write that kind of book.

I want to write this other kind of book. So worked with a, book coach, for a couple of months this summer. And I've got to start. So by the end of 2020, I'm like just, I just want to collect, cause I've been writing on a blog and doing stuff for also like a decade where I'm like, I'm pretty sure you have a lot to say on these 

Gina: topics.

Yeah. Go ahead. 

Tami: Right. Yeah. 

Gina: They didn't love that because getting it out there is really the first step. You and I were talking earlier about getting our podcasts out there and, just like getting it out of thought formation onto the page or onto the desktop or whatever helps you then start to like, sift through right.

And say like, Oh, there's a theme here. that either I knew about, or I haven't quite put together, I mean, I just, before our call, I have these notes because I was putting together. Themes about some things that are starting to sync up, and what I'm seeing in my work over and over again. and I don't have perfect language for it yet, but at least having this rough draft sketch note gives me something to work with.


Tami: Totally. I mean, this podcast was born out of conversations. I was having with my one on one clients over and I was like, every hour, I felt like I was having the same conversation. I was like, I have some education to do here. Let me just go ahead and share what people are saying and doing. And it's because it's not about one person and it's about women.

Like that's the through line here is like, cause I it's weird. I haven't had a male client yet. And so what I'm seeing is these themes repeated over and over. And I don't know if you noticed, but in 2019 or 2016, I interviewed a hundred women about self care. Because I was like, if I'm going to put my whole coaching practice in this lane, I want to see if it's a thing.

Ooh, it's a thing. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Is that like, so of that a hundred women, I think 80 plus said that self care was selfish and I was like, shut up. Cause that's not the story I tell myself. Because other people were like, no, it's cool. I'm broken. it was like, Oh, that's me. Right. But there was, and there were a handful of women who were like, it's the best thing ever.

And I was like, but how did you get there? And they're like, Oh, I lived in self care, selfish land. And then I got divorced and decided to be okay myself. 

Gina: Do people have to get 

Tami: divorced and they're like, I don't think so because 

Gina: yeah. Okay. tell me about this trend. Cause this is the one that these are the ones that I see I work with.

This is a lot of where I think our work really overlaps, because I didn't work with a lot of those women coming out of. initial relationship, one longterm relationship or whatever, or a PA a long string of them who are like, fuck that. I am not doing that again. Helped me figure out how I don't fall into that pattern again.

And, and the other time I see a lot of people is when a lot of women, most of my solo clients are women wanting to work on their relationship patterns, where their kids get to about four or five, six. and they're suddenly like above water, a little bit with the parenting and are like, Whoa.

Again, self care seems selfish because I put my kids or my relationship or both. In front of my own like self identity, self care, all of that. And there's this like super duper hate 

Tami: them right now. Yeah. We did do something to restore order in my house. I have a lot of clients who come here to me who are like, kids are back in school and I need to get a job.

The kids are back in school and I needed to get my confidence back so I can get it. And I'm like, I hear you. Yeah, I hear you. Because the zero to five, I call it a zero too. Full day school. So it's really zero to first grade, like easy to go underwater because your people can really hurt themselves if you are not full on.

Gina: Totally. 

Tami: Yup. And. You can really resent your people 

Gina: who are not taking 

Tami: care of yourself and holding boundaries with everyone in the house. So I was come back to this analogy because there's three members of my immediate family and I say, we're a stool. And so there's three legs. And if one of the stool legs is wonky or broken or pissed because she never gets her needs met, everyone suffers.

So it's just like, so I like to try to turn it around, like, Like we were, we are as healthy as our 

Gina: weakest leg. 

Tami: So you got to shore up your everybody's legs have to be short of equally so that we can all continue to work. 

Gina: Yes. Yeah. I, my quote and I think it's actually somebody else's quote, but I don't know where it starts, where it started from, but just that the is that the relationship you have with yourself is the foundation for it.

Every other relationship you have. And, I see so many folks, I was just talking with a client the other day and we like, you know, she was like, she's pregnant. And so she's like taking special vitamins and making sure she gets enough sleep or really taking care of her body. And she was like, wait a minute, if I can do this now, because I'm just stating a human.

Why am I not doing this for myself outside of this context of being like the pregnancy will be a short period in my long history of life, I should be taking my vitamins and drinking my water and listening to my body other times too. Maybe, you know, just for myself, 

Tami: glad to witness your light bulb moment.

I know. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Interesting. Cause I. I don't. I mean, it's, I didn't start with that selfish story. My story was like, if I don't take care of myself, who's going to do it. And so right. I mean, that's, I feel like that's a telling a story, but it's also the realization of, I there's only one me and there's also a realization that I'm super self-aware in that, like, I'm an Enneagram one.

So when I'm not taking care of myself, I'm going to take everybody down around me. So it's super comfortable for all of us involved. So just let me do what I need to do so that we can all live peacefully in the world. 

Gina: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: Yeah. We're finally, 

Gina: this is great. This is going to be a day long podcast.

Everyone listening? Yeah. Get a snack. 

Tami: Get your water. Gets what you need friends. Okay. So tell us last thing on the book for now. What's it called? What is it out? 

Gina: Oh, right. It just came out, July 28th. So it's. It's fresh off the presses and it's called love more fight, less communication workbook for every couple.

You can get it at Powells or your favorite indie bookstore, or really easy on Amazon. and if you love it, please leave me a 

Tami: VO. 

Gina: Cause that helps with all the algorithms of sharing it with more people. So, yeah. Yeah. I'm really proud of like reaching that goal and the fact that. I did it in a pandemic with two tiny children.

Feels like extra triple gold stars or something like that. 

Tami: Yes, I do know. I'm like, yeah, this year again, I can't believe it's only August and I can't believe that it's August already because everyone's lived a hundred lifetimes in the last eight months. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: There you have it. Alright, Gina, what, how does here affect your work?

Gina: I mean, that one, it re it's so much of what people come to me is like coming back to themselves like that, like surfacing I'm talking about after, their little ones grow. So, or like they leave the nest or after a marriage, right. People kind of come back to themselves and they're like, Hey. I used to have hobbies that I really set aside, or like I used to be interested in these things.

I don't even know what I'm interested in anymore, or like, you know, I used to be expressive in these ways. Who am I? Right. And a lot of self care, you know, I think people think about it like fitness and health care law, which is certainly a component of it. But it's, I think about it more in this wider context of like, Monitoring and checking in with my self awareness, my spirit, my financial wellbeing, like my goals and my dreams.

Right. My creative expression, like all this much more holistic version of that, which is, you know, a lot sometimes I think they're probably people listening right now who are like, Holy crap. I can't imagine holding all of that and managing my daily life. 

Tami: You're like, I just need to get more sleep. And I'm like, let's start there.

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: And, Oh my God. Everything does feel better when you have more sleep. 

Gina: Totally does it totally does. 

Tami: It's like meeting everybody where they are. 

Gina: Yeah. And as a coach, you know, the other, when you ask, like how does self care affect my work? Like I, Certainly this year. I set aside like some of my like movement practices, like my, I liked to go for a walk every day and get a certain number of steps in.

And, just being out in fresh air in, hopefully the sunlight breathing a little heavy, moving my body, looking around instead of just at my computer screen, simply those things once a day. It changes the Nate, the way I'm able to connect and listen and think through, and problem solve with my clients.

It helps me sleep better. It helps me be better with my kids, like, you know, so, those having those kinds of practices, I do better work when I take my vitamins. I do better work when I'm seeing my friends. I do better work when I've gotten in the garden. Right? Like all of those things just help me be cleaner and more clear and grounded in my work with people too.

So I don't have like a real clear, measurable with that, but the census so clear to me. 

Tami: Okay. But that brings me to, what did you learn about growing up? Are you, I have no idea what generation I'm a gen X gal. 

Gina: And do I think I'm gen Z. I'm like right before millennial. what's right before Mo like just sketch older than millennial.

Tami: believe that's elder millennial. 

Gina: Okay. We'll find out. I'm an elder millennial. Maybe there were not computers in my schools until I went into grad school. Okay. So 

Tami: you were born in the 

Gina: eighties, late 

Tami: seventies. Okay. I'm 1970. Okay. So you're late. So yeah, you're an elder millennial 

Gina: slash 

Tami: hella young gen exer.

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Okay. So what did you learn about self care growing 

Gina: up? I, A couple of things. I think I had parents who modeled self care in a couple of different ways. They were both, I was raised by two therapists, and, who worked with kids and adolescents. And so, I remember my dad coming home every day from work every single day.

And he would like arrive change into his running gear and be gone. And we just like, wouldn't see dad for a half an hour, 45 minutes, you know? And that was just like his very regular ritual. My mom was really explicit with me about it. at some point in my life, I remember her saying to me, You know, something like, you know, part of why dad and I have been able to see they happily married is because we have our own friendships and interests that we take time for.

He goes fishing. I go for a weekend with my girlfriends. She has this women's group that I think has been going for 40 something years where they meet like every other week, every third week or something like that. You know, and they've like moved around the country, all kinds of stuff, but they've stayed connected to their interests.

and that like being able to balance like autonomy and connection, it ends up fueling a lot of the conversations I have in my work. I mean, we were just talking about it, right? Like not totally losing yourself. Right. So that you're like completely codependent or in meshed and also not being so completely independent that there's no connection or no, like overlap.


Tami: autonomy, and sovereignty are two of my favorite words in the 

Gina: English language. 

Tami: Yeah. Yeah. From boundaries, freedom 

Gina: structure. 

Tami: Nexion interdependence, but not. Dependent 

Gina: what again? Yeah, I'm really, I feel really fortunate actually, when you sent that question along, it was like, Oh, I haven't thought about it that way.

But they modeled, pretty effective self care. you know, and like anyone, I think they also are totally imperfect human beings who, didn't sometimes either. Right. 

Tami: But there, but there's, I feel like there's a, there is a thread of intent and like your mom having that explicit conversation, like my mom, so I'm like almost a decade older.

So my, I think my parents were probably a decade older than yours. So my mom, her message to me was don't do what I did. And I was like, 

Gina: Oh 

Tami: Yeah, because that doesn't look attractive to me, but there was no, like, let me show you the way I was like, 

Gina: Oh yeah. 

Tami: So it's that like, you hear it with your ears, but you're like, but I'm not really sure what to do next.


Gina: I think it's, two of the things that made me think a little bit about two other messages. I know I got very clearly from my mom. they waited a long time. They were, old, they're always, they were always the oldest parents at all the things. and I actually followed in this, but my mom said, wait a long time and live a full life before you have kids.

And for me, you know, that there's all kinds of things. You know, like privilege and access to birth control, that can be wrapped up in that. But like, but I was able to do that in my partner did too. Now we are old parents and there's certainly a trade off of being in our forties and having a one year old.

Physically quite demanding. I know. Yeah, 

Tami: I'm 50 and my daughter's nine. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. and the trade off is also if I had done it in my twenties, I wouldn't have had as much for me. and certainly some of the things I think of observed in the mom groups I'm in, my twenties, I didn't have as much self awareness and like emotional, Emotional maturity or practice with relationships is what I think I would say in practice with knowing myself.

and I see that get really stirred up with some of the other moms in the groups that I'm in, who just haven't, it was much like the practice getting to know themselves, right? So they, they get more stirred up in some of that or some of the relationship stuff. We're pretty grounded in our relationship stuff.

I'm pretty humble at this point. but we're exhausted in a way that it's different than when I was 23. If I had been up all night. 

Tami: Oh, absolutely. but it's funny too, because my husband's a little bit older than me. So we were, you know, we're in our fifties. I'll just say that, like by the time, so my brother had kids in his early twenties and I had kids in my early forties and he's only three years old and he's like, Oh my God, I can't believe you do this when you're so old that I was like, I can't believe you did it when you were so young, 

Gina: because 

Tami: I'm like in my twenties and thirties, I was traveling and.

Drinking a lot and like moving all over the country and doing all of these things. And yeah, I had tons of energy, but I don't know about you, but, by the time I was in my forties, I'm like, I'm not that interested in like, Going to bars and hanging out and be an outlier because I'm already tired. Right?

Gina: The adventure

Tami: I'm seeing the world in a very different light because my, we like to wake up the birds at our house. We like to get up really early. but, as a 50 year old lady, I'm already getting rolled up real early. 

Gina: So yeah. Yeah. Or 

Tami: you 

Gina: have it. Yeah. I don't know how we got onto the parenting part, but thinking about that, like, Oh, I know.

Cause we were talking about, that was one of the pieces of advice that my mom gave me an another really clear one that she had seen, you know, she's from a generation where she really saw a lot of people come to divorce for the first time in their family history. Right. Nobody had ever gotten divorced and and she had said, she said, make sure.

And she, my dad are still together and have they're actually. Quite well connected. It's amazing for how long they've been together, but they, she said never let yourself be completely dependent on another human for your wellbeing. And I think that came from like seeing her people in her family and also, people around her who really had their whole framework disrupted and were suddenly like really, reeling, just like.

Into the unknown when they did have to divorce for whatever reason, or did need to leave for maybe safety or something like, and again, there's like a certain amount of, privilege and access of being able to do that for a lot of folks. And, it's helpful to me think about like, what are my, like, Financial and like resource, frameworks for self care.

Right. And preserving intending to those things, you would asked him the questions about what some of my stuff, self care practices are. And of course there's like I garden, I drink water. I take my vitamins Abe, but, In the last 10 years, 15 years, I feel really good about coming to a practice of tending my money in a way that's wise and boundaried and intentional and conscious.

and I, you know, I used to be someone who would avoid that part and it really led to a lot of like financial insecurity and panic and frustration and fear and scarcity and, I tend to like my garden, like every day I just do a little, one thing here, a little, one thing here, pay attention. and I think about what do I want to plant?

And then what, how do I nurture whatever I'm a planting. just like my garden a little bit every day. And, it's helped me create like a really beautiful baseline for myself and my family. 

Tami: So how, what methods did you use to learn about the tending the money garden? It's funny. I have a book called tending the money garden.

Oh, you do 

Gina: love that. I saw a talk at a wanderlust speakeasy where Kate Northrup used that metaphor and really talked about like perceiving bills as gratitude for gifts already received. And I am a huge gardener. And so I thought like, gosh, if I want, if I'm wanting this thing to grow, I turn to it everyday.

If I want my kids to grow, I turned to them every day. if I want my money to grow or if I want it to be sustainable, I can't just ignore it and not. Pay attention to it. And I, you know, I can't try and like binge and purge kind of with it. I need to have a sustainable practice of showing up for it, with the kind of energy I want.

And so, so big stuff, but I like, you know, each day I just like check my balances and move some stuff around if I need to. And. I pay a little closer attention to there's a lot of stuff I just set and forget in wise ways too. Like I, I round up all my bills, to the next 25 bucks. Again, this I can do because I've built up some savings, but what that meant last year, my partner lost his job.

And just from rounding up our cell phone bill and our electric bill by 2055 or $7 or whatever it is, it accrued. You know, a balance, a credit balance, so that it floated us through a couple of months that we didn't just didn't have to pay those bills, which was a huge relief. Right. And I was so grateful.

Oh, I, because we had the score thought we did this thing that was within our means, but really intentional 

Tami: ease. And it was also. I'm going to say relatively painless because you're like, you did a little bit at a time and it's like training for a marathon. You didn't run out, run 26 miles. You're like I put my shoes on and then I went to the block down the block.

It's funny. My, So I had a milestone birthday this year and I am kind of a money is a funny thing for me. I'm still, I'm a saver and I'm an accumulator, but then I'm like, now I'm kind of stuck. So my thing, but this year, so my word of the year is system. So I'm putting systems in place to make everything in my life, work better, like everything in my life, in every aspect.

But also I do a 20 for 20 lists. I don't know if you listened to the happier in Hollywood. And the happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft, and Sarah 

Gina: Fe, I'm writing it down. 

Tami: Those are two great podcasts, but one of the things I do like a 24 20 lists and an 18 for 18. So I took my 20 for 20 lists and I wrote 20 financial things I wanted to do this year.

Like hire a bookkeeper, read 12 books about money, automate my retirement savings and all these things that were like. Like, it's building that tending habit in another aspect of my 

Gina: life. Cause 

Tami: like I have 55, five minute things I do for everything else. Why not have, you know, add a few things for money.

Gina: And it's not opponent. A lot of folks think about with, within the realm of self care. but I really like to look at like, what are my resources, right? And one of them is a financial resource in the world that we're living in right now. There's also time. Physical energy, emotional energy. Really, these are all my resources, but if I don't check in with those account balances on the regular, I do, I have a tendency and I've seen this in plenty of my clients to like overspend in some or like hoard in others.

Right. Of like, I'm not gonna to, you know, because I'm getting reactive if I'm not aware. Right. Absolutely. 

Tami: And it's interesting because how I look at self care or one way to look at it is. What drains your energy and nothing drains your energy more than something that you're avoiding or something that you're sweeping under the rug or something.

That's kind of running you instead of you running it. So if you're not running your calendar, it's running you. If you're not running your money, it's running you. If you're not one of your sleep friends, it's running you 

Gina: like a coaching session for you. I'm just going to keep taking notes. 

Tami: But this is a thing like.

I think another place where our work really, overlaps is in that piece of like, I would say that my biggest self care, apifany lesson, all of it is learning about self-compassion. Okay. And I, and because I feel like for me, that drives everything. Yeah, I'm being kind to myself and I'm realizing that I'm in perfect and you're imperfect and it's okay.

And we're all in this together and we're paying attention to we're doing that thing, which is judging and criticizing and comparing. once I brought that into my life, it was like, God, this, everything so much easier. And peaceful. I can sleep better. I can get along with people better. 

Gina: Yeah. You're one of your wise questions was where is your self care going?

I think, and I had written it, I'm coming to a place of shame, resilience and, really not, allowing shame to take up a lot of space in my life anymore specific. The one that stood out specifically the 

Tami: part where we're going to talk about Bernie Brown, cause I've talked about her in every episode at 

Gina: some point.

Tami: All right. Great. 

Gina: so I did a big training with her, a few, a number of years ago now. And it was the life. I mean, because Darren greatly was life changing for me when I read it. And her Ted talks or maybe the other way around. And then I was like, I need to go train with this woman. So I went to Texas to train with her and it changed.

Tami: Whoa. Did you actually get this training directly with Bernay like you were talking 

Gina: to them? Yeah,

my goodness. conversation about probiotics over dinner at one point, I mean, you know, like, I wouldn't say we're best friends, but we definitely have interacted in her teaching. I was really moved by her and her team's, integrity, like the things they are telling everybody to try and do. I would see them enacting in front of everyone, but 

Tami: also like 

Gina: you could overhear them in the hallway, having conversations, using the things they were suggesting we all use.

And that to me was such, it was profound as far as like seeing the teachers. Really walking their talk. Right. And having a really high integrity model. I, so I have a very high respect for her and her team. 

Tami: Okay. It's so funny. 

Gina: I, 

Tami: you meet a lot of people online highlight you and then you meet them in person.

And then they're like, 

Gina: yeah, 

Tami: you're just like, you are online, but better. How is that even happening? That happens to me when I go places. And I went to all summit a couple of years ago and I sat next to somebody and she goes, You're so quietly confident. Ooh. Let's just sit by each other. I was like, okay.

I was like, I don't have anybody to be, but me that's it. I don't know what to tell you. Okay. So you met Renee. Can you explain that? So I know it's shame, resilience says, but tell us all Gina, when you speak those words, what does that mean? 

Gina: Yeah, I think, I mean, for a lot of folks they'll use the term like self-critic or like inner gremlins or like how I beat myself up a lot of that.

Yeah, like is shame. It's the stuff that tells you to keep small or keep quiet or don't like, but, shame is like the voice that says this thing in you is so messed up. Anyone ever found out they would leave you that, you know, like nobody would want to be around someone like this. It's like so gross and so 

Tami: ugly bits, all the things seen people.

Gina: Totally. And the more shame we have, I mean, there's like, Direct correlations between like wellness, on a number, in a number areas in life and the amount of shame we're carrying around. Right. And the amount of like internalized, like I believe that message. I got it from someone directly or indirectly, and I truly believe.

This thing about me is so yucky. Nobody would love me if they figured it out. And so it leads us to like, live this like life in the shadows where we sneak foods for food shame as big, or we like sneak videos are guilty pleasures. I'm never going to tell anyone I watch reality TV because that would be so embarrassing or, We would like sneak and hide and we do all these things to like, keep it from coming out into the light.

I work a lot with people around sexuality. There's a ton of sexual shame saying like, Oh, you're weird because you have an orgasm this way. Something's wrong with you because you fantasize about this thing, right? Like, and the more we can come to a place where we, so shame resilience is all about discerning environments, where that we can be vulnerable with somebody like someone's trustworthy enough to share like, this is this thing I'm working on.

I'm thinking about. And the person or the container is safe enough to say like, 

Tami: Hey, bud. 

Gina: okay. You got a thing, you got a thing. Let's look at how we work on that thing, right? so it's not judging it. It's not shutting it down. It's also not totally fanning the flames. Right. It's we want to be held with like a, 

Tami: huh?

Okay. Let's look at that. 

Gina: Right. Like just purely gentle holding right there. Like that's what true compassion is. It's like 

Tami: not judgment. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: And just 

Gina: enough accountability where if I did. do something that was harmful, you know, that container's going to say like, Hey bud, leave me not that choice again, but it's not like you are, is that going to repeat the shame and say, you're, something's wrong with you?

You're terrible. Put that away. Yuck. but it's gonna be 

Tami: like, okay, we're going to learn from this. 

Gina: We're going to not repeat this pattern. So shame resilience is kind of like building up systems in your life where you have that discernment to know, like, is this a safe enough place for me to show up in these ways?

and where I can like deal with that, even showing some of my Shamie bits to myself, right? Like, can I name them and own them that they're there. and then, Kind of getting to a place of deciding what to do with them. Because like I said, if we're just like living shame, we're often like living out of reactivity and we just do things on autopilot.

Bernay talks about, you know, fi like losing time is one of the things that like, suddenly I've lost. Three hours on Facebook or I've lost time and I'm in a pantry eating or lost time, and I've been watching porn for days, or, you know, like, Whoa, This like time-suck happened. I don't even know how I got here, but I know I said something mean, or I know, you know, like, and the more we can get into a place of.

Owning things and building shame, resilience, the less we're going to get into that time, suck and end up with like the double shame of trying to clean up wherever we ended up. Right. Like, Oh, I drank a time and I barfed all over and I said something nasty or whatever. Like, Ooh, that's a lot of cleanup literal and figurative.

Is it that I should never drink for some people? Yeah. 

Tami: For 

Gina: plenty of people yet, or is it that like, I want to be more in a place of choice when I interact with drinking. Right? Or like, what did it, what led me to that place of choosing a lot of drinking? 

Tami: Let me just check that out. 

Gina: Is this making sense?

I don't know if I'm being really clear about it. 

Tami: Hi, I'm over here. Like, 

Gina: yeah. And 

Tami: for 

Gina: me, one of the ones I noticed is like my body shame. That's actually the one I wrote about in response to here. There's so many messages about body shame. And especially for women in our culture of like, your body should look like this or do this thing.

And if it doesn't look like this or do this thing, there's something wrong and you got to fix it. It's broken. You know, you're not taking care of yourself, whatever. And for me, it's been huge to come to a place of like, this is my body. I'm not going to spend a lot of time, like hating it because I've only got this one chance with it and hating it.

Doesn't actually do me any good shame, 

Tami: hating your body. Doesn't make it change a, a. Stereotypical like, 

Gina: right. 

Tami: Do you know Anna guest jelly of, curvy yoga? No. 

Gina: I know curvy yoga. Yeah. 

Tami: Okay. Anna is the creator of curvy yoga, and she wrote a book called creatively Kirby yoga. She has her studio she's in Portland.

Now. She was in Nashville for a long time, but she and her work. And then her, the work of Rosie Molinari who wrote the book. Beautiful. You, they really helped me flip the script on the body shame too. And I love the idea, Anna and I talked about, I think in episode 13, about the idea of. Body neutrality.

So between right, you don't have to run from one polar and to the other, you can find this place of curiosity and gratitude for what your body is doing the day in this moment. Yeah. Oh my God. I'm still so excited that you met Bernie. I'm looking 

Gina: at all of her books, other, you know, the people who helped me come do a lot of really good work around my own body.

Really? For me, it was in Portland. You must know Dana and Hillary from be nourished. I'm guessing 

Tami: they followed their work. Yes. 

Gina: Okay. You will have them on it sometime and you're going to love it. Cause I think you all need to be buds. but they have a whole program to help, like working through body trust and it's so.

Tami: Intuitive eating thread. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: And do you know w Cole? 

Gina: Yes. Yeah. Okay. I mean, not personally, but yes. Same thing. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, coming to that, it's like, it's so empowering. not to feel terrible about my body and also to be like, I don't have to, I'm not like forced to like, love it all the time either.

Right. Like I can just be, like you said, neutral. caring. Right. Compassionate. Right. And accepting more than anything. 

Tami: I feel like, self-acceptance is my life's work. Like if I had to like, like put a stake in some territory of like, really, what is my, what am I doing here in the world? It's like, that obviously benefits me.

But let me tell you if you're sitting next to somebody that has a. That self acceptance piece. I think that's the quiet, that's where the quiet confidence comes from because like your anxiety isn't like shooting out of every poor getting on everyone's stuff. Cause you're kind of contained of like, I'm within these limits here.

Gina: My stake is in a shame Slayer, so it's probably right next door to yours. And, I am remembering when I had my wedding, we're queer and I had this big. Queer wedding, and have small handful of folks from my relatively  hometown, came out and it was their first exposure to a lot of, very colorful, queer culture.

And I remember sitting down with one of my dad's best buds, longtime mentor. He would probably not identify himself as conservative, but he certainly was in this group. And I just was like, Hey, how's it going? And he said, uncle Bob, he said, you know, do you know this place is fucking zoo, but it is an awesome fucking zoo.

And he said that he had never seen so many people so comfortable in their own skin in one place. And I was, you know, it's not completely inherent in queerness. But for a lot of the people I have chosen to surround myself with, and especially the folks who have worked with their own issues around sexuality and internalized depression, there is this like inner life.

Like I'm good with myself. I'm good with myself. that makes it easier than. For other people, right? Like there's like a ripple effect of like, Oh, you can be good to yourself. Cause we're all good here. We're not, we don't do X do that. It's I don't do the judging stuff. 

Tami: It's like, you can see, you gotta be able to see it to be it because a lot of people like, wait, that's an option.

Yeah. Like not hating your body's an option. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: I didn't know that. I didn't know we were doing that. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Yeah. And I do want to create that. I want to create a world where everyone can lean into that and lean into where we're not there yet, but I do want to create the world where. Women, all women, all, everyone is safe and they're just, I'm here with 

Gina: that.

Tami: Yeah. Okay. So 

Gina: what 

Tami: do you think in terms of your self care? What could use more attention at this point? 

Gina: I think, the. There are ways that the pandemic has been great for my self care. And I miss community. I miss hugging my friends. I miss like the ease of meeting with people in person. And we have been following a pretty strict.

Social distancing guideline. And I feel really good about that to protect my health and my family's health and other people's health. And also it, I it's really hard. we've been maintaining friendships online and that is lovely, but I miss people. I miss people and that like sense of belonging and big community celebrations and outdoor music festivals and hugging, like all of that, like relaxed.

People relaxed people, stuff. And I'm trusting that things will work themselves out, that we can get back to something like that again, in my lifetime. But right now I miss it. I miss it. There's a hole there. Yeah. 

Tami: I'm glad that you said that I had a conversation with the woman who used to co I was like, so I'm just going to call her.

She still cuts my hair, even though she has touch my head in like eight months, I'm hacking away at my own hair, but she lives around the corner from me. And I was sitting on the porch yesterday and she walked by and I was like, how are you doing? She's like, I'm doing great. I'm on unemployment. Like it's okay.

Everything's fine. I'm really, I'm healthy. I'm safe. I'm glad everyone has to have too. I said, great. And then she said, I'm S w we had this moment of agreement where we're like, are we ever going to go inside with people again? And I was like, I don't know, but we are lucky because we live in California and we can be outside 365 days a year.

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: And so I'm like 

Gina: dreading the winter here. I mean, I really am dreading it. We have been putting a lot of systems in place to try and sort out, how will we survive winter here? Right. And some of it for us is going to be embracing outdoor sports and outdoor activities more than we ever have.

Yep. And some of it is we expanded our bubble, partially for childcare, so that we've got another family. but that also means another home that like, we can go. So Ray and I are going to go work there some days with the other, one of their partners and the kids are all going to be at this house. And then our kids get a different house to plan.

Otherwise our house. Yeah. It would feel very small, very quickly. Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: So what, tell me about it, your mornings. 

Gina: I have two tiny children, so my mornings start promptly at 5:55 AM when the eldest wakes up and says, right. And then the other one, it's usually six. So five, six and eight. and so there, you know, like I am, for me, I am not an early riser.

I will sleep until they get me up. for me, my like solo time comes after bedtime at night, but so we're up and, you know, it's both sort of chaotic and it's also like that's my grounding for the day is I get, I do breakfast with my kids in the morning. We've lately been reading books and doing puzzles kind of while breakfast, snacking is going on.

And that feels really good because it's kept us more grounded and focused and present at the table. we all do vitamins and water with our breakfast, and that is part of my self care ritual. And then once, Our little childcare system is going. I can check email and start my, I like to clear out all of my admin stuff as much as I can first thing in the morning.

And then I don't check email all throughout the day. That's a really important boundary for me that I had to create during this pandemic time, because, It's been so hard for me to find a set focus, time to really respond thoughtfully that I create it. And then, I have an outgoing message that's like set up in order to like, maintain that boundary of like, I just, I can't give you my full attention.

Until the next cycle of email time comes back up. 

Tami: and how have people responded to that? 

Gina: I have had, you know, the only thing I've had is, good, really positive feedback. Like other professionals saying, I want to steal your message and just cut and paste it into my inbox. And I say, go for it. if anybody wants it, they can email [email protected] and you will get it right back immediately.

Tami: It's so funny. Like I, I had a phone thing, so I need to redo mine, but I put my office hours like, 

Gina: and you can expect to hear back from me 


Tami: like two days. Like it's either going to be two minutes, two days or never. I don't know what to tell you, but that's how I roll. but when I was a teacher, so I don't know, I spent a decade as a classroom teacher.

And so I had office hours where I was like, I answered email. At this time, and this time, if you send an email at some other time, I'm not going to get back to 

Gina: you. Yeah. 

Tami: Cause in my mind, I'm like, no, if we're, if you're having an emergency, the last thing you want to do is email someone. 

Gina: Yeah.

Tami: That email is not for emergencies. And so I'm going to, I'm going to respond thoughtfully after 30 minutes after the bell. And then I'm going to respond thoughtfully at 6:00 PM. Because perhaps you were in a meeting at three o'clock and you and or your kid forgot their thing. And this is the first time you're seeing them as at six.

Gina: Yeah. Okay. 

Tami: And I will check it before work to see if anything fell apart overnight, but, and people are like, but how do people respond? And like, they were great. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: They were really happy. They weren't like, am I not? I was like, I just gave them a really clear container of when it happened.

Yeah, and I never put it on my phone. I just, this is where I 

Gina: do it. I like to have, I mean, I have all of the people who. I am comfortable with them approaching me for emergencies, my clients, my family, my friends, they know my phone number. They will text or call if they need me immediately. Right.

And the truth is my life is built. And I think yours is probably this way too, where there are. You know, an hour and a half at a time when I'm in session with someone, when I'm giving somebody else my full presence and my family all knows. You know, even if you text me, I may not get it for 45 minutes to an hour until I'm done with this conversation.

And, I've given that sometimes to clients as an example. Cause I've had some folks say like, Oh, I want, you know, my expectation is that my partner is available to me immediately over texts all the time. And, you know, I, you know, we can have a good conversation then about like, huh? how does that give them an opportunity to be available to other people and build other connections or be present to their work or to their book or their jog or whatever.

Tami: Right. I in, I'm having judgy face. I do that sometimes. Cause I'm thinking, but as I'm like, I don't want there to be a sense of urgency on something that isn't truly urgent because I already live in kind of a, a state of that naturally that I'm like, please don't throw gasoline on my internal fire.

Like we just need to like ramp it back down where it belongs for my comfort. Yeah. Okay. So what else should people know about you and where can people find you online? 

Gina: the, let me think, what else should folks know? I feel like we've covered most of the big stuff that I really like working with love and relationships and communication and shame.

Big two good one. Yeah. They could know that I'm a gardener and I have a tiny children, and then I live in the Midwest. Now I do all my work online and tell, hopefully sometime soon we can. Meet in person. I am trying to figure out a way to do couple the intensives, where it would be very small group, maybe two or four people at didn't go and we could meet in person.

I think there's gotta be a way to do that outdoors. I just need to work through the like logistics and comfort and risk assessment with people. And then they can find me on my podcast, phone or online at  dot com. and then my practice that is more focused on nontraditional relationships is alt relationships.com or non-monogamous dot com.

They can find me over there 

Tami: too. I like all your you're, like I've got all the ways you can reach me. 

Gina: Yeah. Come find me. 

Tami: Yeah. I mean, so good. Okay. So did you ever watch inside the actor's studio? I did not, 

Gina: but how long do I have on the quickfire? 

Tami: Okay. As long as you want, 


Tami: can make this quick fire, but it ends up being like soup.

It's like the slowest burn ever. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Okay, Gina, what 

Gina: does it give you? Quick answers. Okay. I got them. 

Tami: and I'm going to talk your ear off, cause that's what I do because apparently I'm started for company, Gina, what's your Enneagram? 

Gina: I am a strong eight with a seven wing. 

Tami: You know, I love that because, and if you, if anybody knows, I struggled with the eights because Ooh, There is not a lot of healthy eights in the world.

There's some, like, I believe the word megalomaniac came out about the eights. 

Gina: Like 

Tami: they're strong, they're undeniable, but man, a healthy eight woo and a healthy 

Gina: woman. I mean, it's really clear when my stuff is out of balance and the eight, like I just dig in and I'm going to be in control and in charge of everything.

And no one, I was at this retreat this weekend and I got from the instructor. That was good, but she was like, you know, you're good at setting boundaries. And then there's a fine line to where it can feel like an energetic, like. Slamming the door in my face or something like that. And I was like, Oh, that's the eight right there.

you know, it comes out for sure. Yes. It took me a long time to claim that eight because it also there's a lot of like yucky stereotypes and stories about eight, because we don't have enough models of what it can look like when that director is. Has is in balance, right, 

Tami: right. Especially of they're culturally female eight.

So if you guys forgot eights or leaders, So Kamala Harris right now. Hi, I don't know she's an eight, but just using her as an example 

Gina: of that way. 

Tami: but, the how culture, how people that are swimming in our culture deal with strong female leaders is we need to take her down like a crab, trying to crawl out of a bucket.

We're going to grab her leg and yank her back in the bucket. 

Gina: I'm like, 

Tami: We could do this differently 

Gina: friends. Yeah. It 

Tami: would all be better served with more leadership. 

Gina: Yeah. And I think especially for a women, I think we all get a lot of messaging about don't be too much. I think that like in this eight role, we're the ball Buster.

We're like, we're taking up too much space. We're bossy, right? Like there's a lot of, Terrible stereotypes. And especially women of color who are an eight, right? Like, just like the angry black woman, all of that can come out. when a woman is purely acting assertively. Yeah. 

Tami: Yeah. It's funny. I, I'm a one, but I thought for sure, I was an eight and then I talked to my therapist and she was like, 

Gina: Let's look at that. 

Tami: Yeah. And I was like, but she's like, look, you've been telling me your secrets all these years. I'm just going to let you know. It's like, and then I loved it. Like. Like the secrets part of the one I was like, Oh, you're right. She's like, 

Gina: yeah. Okay. 

Tami: Introvert, 

Gina: extrovert. UNFP. But the older I get, the more my eye is getting cleared up, you know, like I feel like it's shifted.

I really do. 

Tami: And I will just add I'm an inf J. And I kind of wiggled between the J and the P boy, having a little kid makes that, I think a way up it's because you're like, Oh, hi, little energy vampires. Would you like all of me? And they're like, yes, 

Gina: right now, 

Tami: do you have extra? And you're like, no, they're like, that's okay.

I'm going to take it all. Yeah. Okay. So on the four tendencies from my girl, Gretchen Rubin, so upholder, questioner, obliger, 

Gina: rebel.

Yeah. I mean, yeah. Yep. I mean, and it fits with everything that I do, right. Like if that's are my job in this world. Absolutely. 

Tami: and I have to say, and as I've gotten more. More healthy. My questions go less from you think, are you sure I have to do that more too? Like how could we make this work? My questions have gotten more refined.

Gina: Yeah. Okay. 

Tami: Love language, 

Gina: huge advocate for my love language. because it gets like, Overlooked, I think by a lot of people, but I met giant acts of service person. If you like change the oil in the car and I don't even have to think about it. Holy shit. Do I love that? Or like my partner does the dishes every day and has now for 11 plus years, I haven't touched a dish.

It's like so good for me, right? Yeah. That like, how could you make your life easier? What's your secondary. you know, 

Tami: the 

Gina: secondary one, maybe quality time, but, it kind of fluctuates between quality time. And words of affirmation. 

Tami: Okay. and my number one is words, but very closely, like they're basically married of acts of service.

And my spouse is the same, but he is acts of service and, word second. And once I found that out, I was like, Oh my God, we never have to buy another gift. We never, it was like, Oh, I can let all these. 

Gina: Neither of us are gifts. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. 

Tami: The reason I started a podcast, what's your favorite last book you've read?

Gina: I'm still in the middle of it, but the Greenwich, It's really gorgeous. I've been coming back to my own like spiritual practices around like witchcraft and intuition and stuff. And, there's a particular author. I'm looking behind me to see if I even have it. Cause I started this one. That's it right here.

Nope. It's I started this one and it's so good. I went and downloaded every book by this author. I should be able to quote you her name, but. yeah, if you're looking for something about like which genus or which, like identity, there's a whole like self care practices for the modern, which, that she wrote Erin.

Let me look, 

Tami: wait, I think I might have that, 

Gina: which is book of self care would be a perfect one for you, 

Tami: dude. I think I have that on my Kindle. 

Gina: Yeah. So good. I, yeah, I just love it. There's like clear practices and there's like a lot of spaciousness about like, instead of, I mean, at least this one talk, I could talk about witchcraft for a while, but instead of, I think a lot of people try and think about witchcraft, like a religious practice, like.

As a dogma. And there's certainly plenty of that in paganism or in Wiccan practices, but witchcraft is just far more, there's like just a lot of spaciousness in how you implement practices. And so a lot of it is right in alignment with self care stuff. So anyway, the green, which is good, I'm about to start the house, which I already read the, which is what self care cause that one was like so easy to me.

That's great. Okay. And you love it when you find an author and then you want to just like deep dive into all their stuff. Okay. 

Tami: So how I found out about self-compassion as a practice and the book is I was reading Bernay Brown so closely that I was reading the footnotes and all of the reference points and the articles.

So what deep readings said what? Yeah. Okay. And now I'm super intrigued by your whole witchcraft thing. Okay. What's your favorite book of all time? 

Gina: I'm nervous to say this because I'm just nervous about saying this, but when I read it's more about the experience than anything, even about this particular book, the, when I read the red tent, the first time it like hit me.

So perfectly with where I was coming into being a woman, what I was thinking about like spiritually, I was traveling internationally. And so there were, there just were, I, it was the first book I ever read where. I stopped myself from it. I was like, devouring it. And then I realized I was like 12 pages from the end.

And I stopped myself and started crying about the book that, you know, over and had to like pace it out because I didn't want my reading experience to end. Like that was my passion for that book. so even more than the book itself, like my connection to it, that's that reading experience is like of all time.

My favorite reading experience. 

Tami: I love that. And so has it passed the rereading test? 

Gina: Is that it here to reread it? That's some of I'm like nervous about it because I'm in a totally different place in my life. I mean, I read it 20. Three years ago now, you know, 

Tami: and what's funny is I read, I started reading that book and was like, Hey, and then a few years later I picked it up and I was like, Oh my God, this is so 

Gina: good.


Tami: Like I think that's one of those books that if you've tried it before, try it again. Cause it's something that you do. I feel like you have to be in the right space in your life, in your, whatever for it to resonate. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was just like fireworks for me. 

Tami: What about, what's your favorite personal development book?

I mean, 

Gina: we've mentioned this is not going to be shock to anyone who's listened, but if you have not read Darren greatly. Everyone. It needs to be like mandated reading, I think for everyone in the world. That is so good about, just about shame, resilience, about personal relationship, but relationship to others.

I'm about healing trauma for so many people. I mean, it's just phenomenal. and then if you want a couples one, my favorite couple stuff comes anything Astaire Parral writes. I love her writing and she's got such a gorgeous accent. If you download the audio books, she reads them herself and it's like yummy to listen to her talk through.

Tami: And she wrote mating in captivity. What is another one 

Gina: fairs? And you know, if you ever know anybody dealing with infidelity, that is the book I recommend for everyone about infidelity, figuring out, like, what is this about? Yeah. I heard her, 

Tami: I think I heard her on dear sugars talking with Cheryl strayed, how that go wrong, but just talking about the idea of infidelity, not being the end of a relationship, I was like, thank you.

Yeah, thank you. 

Gina: Yeah, 

Tami: sure. It can be, but it doesn't have to be. 

Gina: Yeah. I love that. She's like, relationships are way more complex than we like to try and make them be. We like to think about it, like all this or not, or this, and it's just not that way. Right. 

Tami: But also if you want to weigh out and your part, if you secretly want to weigh out and your partner cheats on you, that is sure.

Yeah. Everybody will be like, yeah. What a dog. Woo. Also. Yeah. Yeah, I have. I agree. Okay. 

Gina: Yes. 

Tami: Yes. I have feelings on that. I will, I'll just leave it at that. We could have a whole other conversation just on that. and people's minds will be blown. They're like what? I've never thought about that like that before, like I had a conversation with a guest one time just talking about the shame around marriage and.

And divorced. And I was like, but what if we rebranded, divorces getting unmarried? 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. I talk about it as relationship transformation, because most of the folks, especially that I'm working with once you're married, you have like a coal community or a financial network or children, and that family you've created, like you've got all this stuff you've created that stuff doesn't end just because you legally.

Untied yourself. It can, but like often it's more like, how do we want to relate to each other when we run into each other at the kids' school? And how do we want to be when I, you have a new partner in, am I going to, how are we going to, how are we going to be, you know, around our, around the house that we bought together or the timeshare that we're in?

Like, how do we want to be together? Even if we're not together in the same context. 

Tami: and also what I mean, I, so one of the things that I wish that we did here in life is what about if every five years we sat down with our partners. And instead of having this pretend like, I got married at 23 and until we're dead.


Gina: These are our agreements. They never change. 

Tami: Yeah. Obviously that's a lie. So, but what if we ever sat down every five years and we're like, are you in, are you out? What do you want? What do you don't like re I call it renegotiating the terms, every relationship every few years, so that it gives everyone a chance to evolve.

and if you're like, if you decide at the end of your fourth contract, so at 20 years you decide. This is a good one, right? You're like I had a 20 year relationship and we decided to part ways. 

Gina: Yeah, 

Tami: boy, that sure changes the dynamic of this. Like I'm nothing without you. And like, 

Gina: yeah. I, have an assessment tool that I asked my folks to do on an annual basis every year on their anniversary around then, where we look back on like what were cause if okay.

If we were making a. A thoughtful decision to create an, a business together with someone, it would be wise to hire a couple of expert coaches or accountants or lawyers, right. To look over some of our agreements in the beginning, premarital counseling right there. and, then we would meet every, at least every quarter, but like every year, or, and.

Every five years to reassess like renegotiate terms. Are you still a stakeholder in these ways or do you do these roles and responsibilities still fit for you? Do we need to outsource, do we need to hire a nanny? Do we need to outsource and, get a landscaping team? Do we need to, what are our goals now?

Like what are our measurables, all this stuff, right. 

Tami: And we call all the ancillary people in our lives. Our family success team. 

Gina: Oh, I love 

Tami: that. I love that. We need to bring it on too. Our family success team 

Gina: now, 

Tami: obviously 2020, or like, so I give up my whole family success team because we don't, we're not in, we're doing the safety protocol of not, we have a bubble of three.

And so that's it. So however we are still like, okay, so since we're not outsourcing stuff, who, how are we taking care of house cleaning? And what we did is we put every single job on a PostIt. We have ended a post, we have it on a poster and we moved jobs and everybody is re is, 

Gina: and 

Tami: it's not clean the bathroom.

It's like scrub the sink, scrub the toilet scrubbed of this. And it's like, Because it makes it to where every, have you heard of that book? Fair play.  it's good because it's about distribution of labor at home. And the idea is that each person takes one thing and they take it from idea all the way through a completion.

Gina: I love this. Right. 

Tami: And so, but I just want everyone to know. Like we can reframe things and make them work for us. One of my favorite books is the, the art of possibility. Do you know that book? So great. It's by Rosenman stone, Zander and Benjamin Zander. And one of the chapters is called it's all made up.

Okay. Right. And so that's the thing, all of these contracts that we talking about are made up. So if the construct isn't working for you, like change the thing. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. and we don't like, I think what you were saying in the beginning, we just don't check in. We pretend like something we agreed on when we were 24 is still going to be applicable when we're 54 and we've gone through three career changes, two houses, a few dogs, you know, and like lost a parent.

Like our life is entirely different, right? Like you've got a different healthcare needs and. Our schedules are different. All of it. so of course we need to adjust. and I think all too often, folks, don't very intentionally create those agreements in the beginning. We just kind of default into them.

Like somehow you ended up being the one who does all the laundry. We don't know how we got there. And five years later, you're like, why the fuck am I doing all the laundry? Why don't you ever pick up a piece of underwear? Right. Like that kind of thing. But we've never talked about it to get there. And so we don't know how to talk about it, to undo it, you know, or to redo it.


Tami: One of the funniest questions I get is your husband's in charge of your daughter's hair. And I'm like not the doing of it, but I don't ever take her to her haircut. I also don't take her to the dentist, but I'll take her to the dentist. I don't take her to get her haircuts. Like I just was like, that's your job.

I don't want to do that. 

Gina: Yeah, that's funny the opposite. So he is the regular, like the daily routine ritual. He's better at showing up for that stuff. And I'm the, like, excetera like the call, the gutter cleaning people. And have we changed the filters in the something and like all this like random one off all the time kind of stuff.

Cause that's bad. I'm just better at tracking is my skillset. Right. And I mean, at least quarterly. One or the other of us is like, Hey, are you still good? Like, you know, come tax season. I do all of our taxes and that's not in my skillset. And so he clears a bunch of space so that I can focus. Right. He takes on some other stuff.

Right. Like, but there's this ebb and flow. And we're checking in about like, does it still work for you to do the taxes? Are you okay with the fact that you've done all the dishes for 11 years? Okay. Alright, fine. 

Tami: Great. We had the, he did all the dishes for awhile because he, cause he was tired of me not doing it.

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: And he finally was like, just don't even bring them to the kitchen. I'll take care of it. And I was like, this is like a dream come true. So then after a couple of years he's like, I totally didn't think you would take that seriously. And I was like, I just believe what you say. 

Gina: Yeah. We also have a rule about, if you're not participating in the workload, you don't get input in how it's done.

Right? So like, I don't do the dishes. I don't choose the dish detergent. I don't get to say it's not being done on my timeline or how we load their unloads, the dishwasher or whatever. Like he does it. And if I want to start giving input, I can participate in that, in the workload. Right. 

Tami: That made me catch my breath.

Yes, it's so funny. Cause a lot of times, especially when my daughter was little, we definitely were in the divide and conquer for a long time. And people were like, but how are you still doing X and Y? And I was like, I married a true partner. I trust him implicitly to make sure that she's alive and well cared for in my absence.

However long that absence is because I married a grownup. 

Gina: Yeah, and that brings us back to both of what we were saying about boundaries and self care, right? Some of self care is saying, this is not mine, or I can't do everything. Can't always be done all my way, or I will stir myself crazy because I'll feel like I need to control or have it done that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

There's not enough time to do all the things. You know, and I see a lot of folks like get so anxious and resentful because they are trying to do all the things all the right ways, all the perfect. Right. And there's just not room for that. So some of really good self care is saying like, that's not my thing.

Or I don't want to take that on or taking that on will burn me out. It's an energy suck. Right. So, 

Tami: it's funny cause it's on any gram one. So my any ground ones thing is like perfection and doing everything right. And so. But so my inner work is deciding when that makes sense. And when it doesn't like, do I need an, a plus in laundry and a plus and bed making an, a plus and childbearing like, 

Gina: yeah, 

Tami: there's not enough a pluses in the world.

So I need to pick and choose where I need to be strategic with my time and my energy. Yeah. So that I don't turn into a giant asshole and ruin everyone's life. I mean, that's what it comes down to like, Nobody wants me to be a resentful jerk. 

Gina: Yeah, no, 

Tami: yeah. It's funny. I'm laughing. Cause I'm like I almost said, especially me and I was like, Nope, I have some real big buy in for my family because the Enneagram is very new to our family.

And it's only been a couple of years, but when I read like the description of the Enneagram in disintegration, My husband went, Oh my God, that's never going to change. My daughter was like, are they following you around on a really bad day? And I was like, so we really need to take care of this so we can all be happier, like, okay.

Yeah, surrender into this. Isn't going to change. So let's make the changes that are necessary. I just I'm sitting here realizing that we're celebrating a giant anniversary too. Like we, this weekend, 25 years of dating. 

Gina: Wow. Oh 

Tami: yeah. November 20, 20 years married. Whoa, 

Gina: cool. How are you going to honor that?

Tami: We're going to get out of town because we're escaping some heat. it's so funny. The other day, my friend was like, are you getting a babysitter? I'm like during a pandemic? No, we're not. how are we going to celebrate? We're going to hang out. We're going to go on a hike. We're going to have a meal.

We're going to laugh. We're going to play games. We're just gonna, like, I feel like we've been renegotiating our contract all along. Of our relationship. You know, we have family meetings every week, so we're really trying to be intentional with how we are, being with each other in the close quarters.

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Even more so, since it's funny, we have a tendency to do family meetings, infrequently, but the moment that Pam Demmick hit and we are in shelter in place because you know, California's numbers are still going up. we have been doing family meetings every week. And it just now just comes down to, we ask each member of the family, what do you need this week to be successful?

What do you need 

Gina: this and that so that we 

Tami: can make sure that everybody's needs are being met because when people's needs, aren't being met, it's when, like all the stuffing falls out of their head and you're like, Now we have to stop everything to do this. Yeah. And so we even asked for nine year old, like, what do you need this week?

And she'll say, I need connection. Like this, I need attention like this. We're like, okay. 

Gina: Yeah, 

Tami: thanks for being upfront because now we know what we need to give in order to get what we need for us. Which is you being more independent, you being a player in this family system. 

Gina: Yeah. I love that. The way that, that you frame those questions.

My three came out of my training with Bernay. And we ask, what is it success look like in this, whatever time period or experience, what are your hopes and what are your concerns? And then what is meaningful support gonna look like? Right. And that's that like creates our whole, I do that in sessions.

I do that. Like, I mean, that frames out experiences so nicely, I think about 

Tami: right. 

Gina: what are my worries? and then, yeah. What does meanings of full support actually look like? Not just, what do I think it's going to feel like, right? 

Tami: Yeah, totally. But what's your favorite social media channel? Like what do you, where do you hang out on social media?

Gina: You got an Instagram. I just added Twitter or not Twitter. I just added pick, talk to my phone and I don't quite understand it yet. But I think I will soon and I think I'm going to really like it. Okay. That's my prediction. 

Tami: Okay. I'm sticking it. Cause you know, reels just came out on Instagram and I think that here's my prediction.

I think it's going to replace tick doc. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: Yeah. Maybe not for the super young people, but those aren't my people like yeah. You know what I mean? 

Gina: Yeah. 

Tami: But your people might be there. 

Gina: maybe I feel a little like, ticktock is kind of young. a lot, but, especially in queer community, 

Tami: that's what I was going to say.

Gina: Young people tend to run a lot of things, especially stuff like that. And so, 

Tami: but you could be like an elder of the, of the education sort. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: Okay. What's your TV, favorite TV show past present and or future 

Gina: I'm on such. I came to this late, but I cannot stop. You're catching me in the middle of a binge.

Like I watched an episode already this morning of shits Creek. I just, I came to it late and I'm in the third season right now and I. I don't know why it took me so long, but it is right where I need to be right now. It's so good. 

Tami: I watched part of the first episode, I was like, is this for me? Is it for me?


Gina: stick with it. I would even maybe just let yourself buzz through a fair amount of the first season, just to get the context, but by the second season, I mean, the actors, the like the comedy of, The Levy's and, Catherine O'Hara right. That's her last name? Yeah. 

Tami: she's a genius. 

Gina: Brilliant. Yeah.


Tami: Beetle juice. That's Catherine O'Hara is like, she made beetle juice. What it is. Yeah. Do you ever see that movie? 

Gina: Yeah. Oh yeah. It's a thousand times slumber party. Cause as a kid, if you, if you want to skip ahead to just really get a good sampling, there's an episode called family dinner in season two that I feel like if you don't like that episode or you're like, nah, after that, then it's not for you, but 

Tami: okay.

Alright. I'm I find it hilarious. I'm here. I'm here for it. I, and I think I'm like, everybody loves it. I'm like, what? Why don't I get it? Why isn't it for me now? I know now I know that the first season sets up what is to come. I should not think that genius is going to happen right out of the gate.

Gina: Yeah. There's a Turkey hunt episode there. I'll send you a list. There's a couple episodes. I'd watch that first for sure. If you want to 

Tami: make sense. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Gina, this is the one question that I would literally watch inside the actor's studio for. I didn't care about the, the craft of acting I wanted to know what is everyone's favorite swear word, which, you know, what's your favorite swear word, 

Gina: love the versatility of fuck.

I just, you know, I love that it is. It can show up for you just about anywhere you want it. I just watched, that, I don't know if I'm supposed to say WAP video, right? Is that what? Yeah. and it's not, swearing, but people have been talking about it because it seems so vulgar. And I'm like, actually, this is the same conversation people were having what salt and pepper, you know, 30 years ago, or whatever of like, Oh God, women of color have owned their sexuality and.

Naming explicitly what they want the way men have been for however long. Anyway. So that's on my mind right now, I'm thinking about. Naughty talk. but my favorite ever moment of swearing, I worked at a Christian college for a little while that had some very, strict rules about behavior and what was appropriate or not appropriate.

Swearing was not appropriate. And one of my most pious young students, was playing a game. We were like, like camp. Kind of style games with teams and stuff, and she got stuck and couldn't think of something and out of her mind, this like very collected. hi. Boundaried around her language.

Woman said, fuck me in the face 

Tami: was like 

Gina: the whole room, just like burst out because it was amazing. Then that could come out of her. It was so out of character. 

Tami: Right. You're like, what did we do? yeah. Which he was just like, 

Gina: so stuck in wanting to win this game. I said, she shouted, fuck me in the face really loud.

And so forever. That's one of my favorite, like exclamations, they haven't found great uses for it all the time. Cause it feels like it's the Supreme sort of, and I love it. 

Tami: Yeah. and again, given the context of where that came out, you're like, I feel like my work is done here. I'm going to go. I'm going to is going to get fired for this.

It's not useful. It's probably going to be me that story with me. Forever. Yeah. I love it. I wonder how that story sits with her and her shame cycle 

Gina: of life. Yeah. Yeah. I have watched most of the students, I worked with back then unfold into. far less rigid, let's say versions of themselves now.

And I'm happy to see that. not that religion is always bad. but rigidity doesn't seem to serve anyone. I have yet to find a way that a lot of rigidity serves folks well, so it's wonderful to watch them relax. Yeah. 

Tami: yeah. Yeah. And I want to say, but I know it can't, it's not true is that. Age, mellows people, but that's not necessarily true.

I know some super uptight people in their seventies, so 

Gina: yeah. Yeah. I think one of the great things about this school is that they did have a very strong belief and, I think they would have said it was diversity. That led folks down a path to more social justice stuff and like exposure to more interactions with different people helps you relax into seeing, Oh, there's lots of ways to do things my way.

Isn't the only way it might be right for me, but, huh, that's right for you. That's interesting. Right. it like helps you soften, I think quite a bit. 

Tami: It's so interesting. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area in the seventies and eighties. And so, I feel like that person, I'm the person who was like born on third base and they're like, why isn't everybody here?

Because I'm like, of course there's this. And of course there's that. And then I realized, wow. And also not that far from where I grew up. Cause I'm in Sacramento now. Like there is, there's, it's much more segregated in places and I'm like, wow. And this is in California. So 

Gina: yeah. Yeah. I mean, I wouldn't, I, where I grew up, we, We had to drive.

Now, this isn't true. They do have stoplights. We had to drive quite a ways is to practice in our driver's ed class with stoplights. That was not a thing in my hometown, nor most of my home town in McComb County. and it might 

Tami: drive to stoplights to practice stopping and traveling 

Gina: in a city. We had to go to the city then.

Practice stoplights. And I remember learning parallel parking and thinking, when the fuck am I ever going to use this as a dumb skill, who's going to need parallel parking. I was like, who needs this? And I, yeah, you need it, all the time. And, I, we had to go. my church group, I grew up in a UCC church and part of the confirmation process is, attending services and other denominations.

And so we had to drive to Chicago three hours away, to experience anything other than Catholic Lutheran or my UCC congregation. So, Yeah. I mean, it's a lot of folks grow up in little bubbles where they don't and even within cities, sometimes I know when I lived in Seattle, my bubble, I remember shocked, Al Gore didn't win the election.

I was like, who voted for him? I don't know anyone who didn't vote for Al Gore. And clearly a lot of people didn't, you know, like w but I was so shocked to my core. Because my bubble right. Had become pretty rigid about who I was or wasn't interacting with. So I say, 

Tami: yeah. Dina, thank you for spending this morning with me.

I'm glad that we finally got to connect. Not just be a video, but now we actually talked to each other's faces in real time. That is amazing. I love technology. 

Gina: I like sharing some real time with you and actually getting to see your face. It's so affirming to when you have that feeling like you were saying, you have that feeling online of like, Oh, I think I would really like this person.

And then when you meet them in it, true. I really do like this. 

Tami: We have so much in common. You're like, yeah. I'm super excited to get your book. Remind everybody, the name of your book 

Gina: love more fight, less a communication workbook forever couple. 

Tami: I just feel like there's a period. Like I'm pretty sure everyone can use that, especially since we are so loving, we're spending so much loving time with our people.

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Tami: Maybe that can be on everyone's holiday list. Maybe. I think I'm going to think I'm going to do a gift guide and put it on there because it's fun. Yeah. Seriously. One of the things I have said repeatedly to my partner over the shelter in place time is, Oh my God. I'm so glad we got most of our shit worked out before we were forced to 

Gina: live 

Tami: in the 

Gina: same four 

Tami: walls for months at a time.

Yeah, that is not everyone's experience. 

Gina: You will like, one of the compliments I've been getting about the book is, they, the publisher had an idea of how they wanted me to start it. And I was like, no, I want to start with like self-awareness before we get into any of them, the relationship B stuff.

Cause. Like we don't have that. We're not, there's no use in trying to do relationship work. And so, you know, again, it like starts with self care, self relationship, self trust, self Acuff, accountability, all of that is so, so important. So, and 

Tami: don't you think that's important or how I'm reading that is? Is when you have one per one whole person. Plus another whole person, then you get a separate entity called a relationship. There's no like becoming one and all that. So I'm like, I don't want to be a fraction of something. And I certainly don't want to try to fill up this other person as a fraction. I definitely need these things to be, I need there to be entities.

Gina: It's that 

Tami: sovereignty piece that I'm like three nations. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So, It's just so clear to me, like our work is like really good buddies and I really, I love that I was able to have a call with someone where I took all these notes for myself. Now I have at least six more books that I want to read.

And, so really beautiful language. that I'm gonna, I love this. If you're not running it's running you. I wrote that down cause I have some thinking to do on that for myself. Yeah. Good. 

Tami: Alright, friends, go find Gina on the Instagrams. Go to, Hey gina.com. And until next week, remember that you matter too.

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