EP 29: Katie Brauer on Disarming the Heart through a Divorce, Mastectomy & Death

In this episode, Katie shares how striving to be the best at everything she did formed her limiting belief that she had to do it all on her own. By uncovering the grief that stemmed from her childhood she has created the space she needed to peel away the layers of armor around her heart.   

She shares with us how her divorce, a mastectomy and having no choice but to ask and receive support, stripped her bare, transforming her life and business. 

 

 

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“So daily, I asked myself these three questions. How am I feeling? What do I need? What can I, and am I willing to do today to meet my own needs? It changed my life.” – Katie Brauer 

 

“If people listening actually sit back and say, okay, where am I out of alignment? Typically, it’s a place where you’re avoiding having a conversation, a difficult conversation with someone.” – Katie Brauer 

 

Listen to Episode 29, as Katie Uncovers:

 

[3:54] Layers of Armor

  • Her parents lacked emotional attunement.
  • She developed a core belief that she couldn’t rely on anyone.
  • She put up layers of armor that hardened around her heart. 
  • Her career as a professional snowboarder provided a discipline and outlet for her emotions.
  • Back then it wasn’t natural for her to be open hearted or vulnerable. 
  • In her 20’s she began to explore spirituality and be curious about her personal growth.

 

[9.07] Her Marriage Breakdown

  • She had several surgeries for the breast cancer gene. 
  • Realised she was in an unhealthy marriage and had recreated her childhood within it. 
  • She learnt to let go, soften and ask for support, all of which was difficult for her to do. 

 

[12:14] Opening Her Heart

  • She believes that acceptance and forgiveness are gateways that we all need to go through. 
  • She’s moved from an intellectual understanding of her childhood to having an open heart and recognising her parents were doing their best. 
  • Through really feeling her emotions, and not trying to numb or distract herself she’s been able to tap into a well of grief that stems from when she was 6 years old. 
  • Tapping her well of grief was the crossing of a threshold to disarm her heart.

 

[17:08] Her Parents Divorcing

  • Recognised from her family dynamics there was no conversation about her parents divorce. 
  • There was no context, invitation for questions or space for emotions. 
  • At 6 years old, she believed it was her fault and she’d done something wrong to create the outcome. 
  • She believed that if she did her best, and be the best, that would be enough. She carried this into her professional career and life.  
  • It took huge life changing events to happen, for her to realise her strategy of being the best wasn’t working. 
  • Over a period of three years, she went through a transformative period where she felt she needed to be burnt to the ground, in order to shift out of her old strategies of being.  

 

[22:18] Her Story

  • She chose to marry someone who wasn’t emotionally or physically present. 
  • She had a daughter, ran her own company and worked non-stop. 
  • Her Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and it was confirmed she also had the cancer gene. 
  • She chose to have a mastectomy as there was a high chance she’d eventually get breast cancer. 
  • This forced her to recognise that her needs in her relationship were not being met, and that she really struggled to ask for support. 
  • After her surgeries she learnt to ask for and receive help, and felt how her communities showed up for her. 

 

[29:09] Integration of Masculine and Feminine 

  • She recognised how unhealthy her relationship was and that it was abusive. 
  • Her divorce became a disillusionment of the fantasy she was buying into. 
  • After her divorce, she couldn’t get out of bed. It felt like she’d been to war. 
  • She reflected on what she’d done to get herself into that situation. 
  • She needed a year to rest, and asked for the support so she could do that. It was a huge healing part of her journey to ask and receive support. 
  • Each day she asks herself three questions to identify what she needs from the day. 
  • With her online business, she recognises her patterns of being in the masculine, and now reframes to support her embodying more of her feminine in her work. 

 

[38:35] Coming Through to the Other Side 

  • She feels self compassion that she never learned how to be vulnerable in her friendships and relationships. 
  • She learnt to let go of control in her business and allowed her team to support her. She feels a level of flow and ease she didn’t feel before. 
  • Her old patterns do sometimes creep back in, and she’s able to recognise and address them quicker.
  • She feels her life is pleasurable, there is tenderness, a slowing down and beingness.  

 

[42:57] Being Brave

  • To be brave is to be willing to look at where you are, with compassion and tenderness, and recognise what it is you need in order to grow, expand and heal. Ask for it, step into that. And celebrate yourself. 

 

Power Quotes from the Show

 

“Simultaneously through that experience, I realized that I was in a very unhealthy marriage that really was an environment where I had recreated my childhood essentially. Where it wasn’t safe for me to express myself, it just wasn’t a safe environment period. So that armoring just continued, and until it didn’t, until I was okay, I got to eject myself from this salutation which was terrifying. That really was a period of sort of three years of the dark night of the soul, being brought to my knees all the strategies that I had used up until that point in my life, which was sheer willpower and strength, I’m just going to push through, those strategies were not working.” – Katie Brauer  

 

“The only thing that I could do was let go and dissolve, and soften, and arresting to support, and ask for support and ask for help. Oh boy, was that difficult.” – Katie Brauer 

 

“And for the first time, I could feel myself as a six year old, I remembered exactly where I was, it was like my parents were divorcing, I wept, like sobbed, for probably three weeks.  And that, looking back now, was me crossing the threshold of the beginning, the real beginning of the disarming of my heart.” – Katie Brauer 

 

“And in this willingness to feel, I can feel that sort of potency, even as I’m talking about it, excitement, and then also, or it was so profound and such a catalyst for me for nurturing myself in a way that I never really had. That was the beginning of a whole new experience of life for me.” – Katie Brauer

 

“Wow, I’ve been given this gift of understanding the probability that’s very, very high I’m going to get breast cancer and I can minimize it by taking these steps and the surgery.” – Katie Brauer 

 

“To be brave is to be willing to look at where you are, with compassion and tenderness, and recognise what it is you need in order to grow, expand and heal. Ask for it, step into that. And celebrate yourself.” – Katie Brauer 

 

Links from Today’s Show

 

Free Book:

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Subscribe to the Brave Women Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-brave-woman-podcast/id1548724581

 

Katie’s Gift:

Develop Conscious + Confident Communication: A 5-step framework to navigate tricky conversations

 


In this masterclass you will learn how to:

* A 5-step framework for handling sticky situations with your manager + your peers (bonus: family + friends)

* How to assert boundaries and honor your truth 

* How to minimize conflict + hurt feelings (yours + theirs)

* The structure and tools to address difficult conversations with confidence

* Why conscious communication leads to deepened relationships +  connection 

 

http://www.katiebrauer.com/communication 

 

About Katie

 

Called a “powerhouse yogi and rising leader” by Forbes, Katie Brauer is the leader at the intersection of yoga, mindfulness and entrepreneurship.   An Aussie native and former professional snowboarder, Katie’s been featured in TEDx, Wanderlust, Entrepreneur, Gaiam TV, and more. 

She was the creative force behind the fastest growing boutique yoga studio in the U.S, and offers live and online training and programs for people ready to get shit done, make a real impact, and create their own destinies.

 

Her Website: www.katiebrauer.com 

Her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/katiebrauer108/ 

Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katiebrauertransform/  

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