Finding Purpose, Trusting Your Instincts & Creating Healthy Habits with Dr Libby Weaver – Your Dream Life Podcast Episode 5
Please note: this is a full transcript of Kristina Karlsson’s conversation with Dr Libby Weaver. Listen and subscribe to the inspiring audio podcast here>
Kristina: 00:00:04 What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? If you had all the money, all the time, all the knowledge, all the resources that you needed. What would you do with your life if you simply knew that anything was possible for you? My name is Kristina Karlsson, founder of global Swedish design and stationery brand kikki.K and author of the book Your Dream Life Starts Here. And I love exploring these sorts of questions to inspire people to dream. Before I started kikki.K, I had a dream that I could bring Swedish design to the world to create beautiful products that brings sparks of joy into the everyday lives of millions.
Kristina: 00:00:48 Now that I have achieved that dream, I want to help you dream big. I want to create a global movement to inspire 101 million dreamers to transform their lives and transform the world in return. Each episode, I’ll be talking to some of the world’s most inspiring people, exploring the powerful impact that dreaming has had on their lives. We’ll be diving deep into the power of dreaming with real insights and ideas you can use immediately to build a dream life of your own, whatever that means for you.
My guest this episode is the wonderful Dr Libby Weaver, a world leading nutritional biochemist, a 12 times best selling author, international speaker and entrepreneur, who has followed her passion to create a business with a purpose to make the world a healthier and happier place. She’s been described by Hugh Jackman and Deborah Lee Furness as a “one stop shop for achieving and maintaining ultimate health and wellbeing.” Her mission is to educate and inspire, enhancing people’s health and happiness, igniting a ripple effect that transforms the world. Now, that’s quite a mission.
Kristina: 00:02:10 She’s also one of my dearest friends who I admire greatly and I personally have been so inspired by the way she has followed her passions to create her dream career, and have learned so much from her about health and wellbeing. Dr Libby is a fantastic example of how you can make a living and live your dream life by following your passions and purpose, doing what you love. One of my favorite things about her is her ability to explain complex nutritional and scientific topics in a clear, human and empowering way, which I’m sure you’ll get a sense of throughout this episode.
Kristina: 00:02:47 In this podcast you’ll learn how Dr Libby has pursued a life that follows her purpose and values, giving her a true sense of feeling connected to something meaningful and worthwhile, and a sense that her life matters. And you’ll learn how you can apply that approach in your own life. You’ll also discover how she looks for and finds the silver lining in any challenges that arise in her life and how you can do that too. And, you’ll get great practical insights into how you can listen to and trust your instinct, your inner voice when making decisions. And how to avoid being held back by self doubt.
I know you’re going to find her story truly inspiring, so let’s get right into it.
Kristina: 00:03:31 Hello and welcome Libby. I am so, so excited to have you on our podcast and can I just say it was like Christmas this morning realizing that I was going to chat to you and I know you very well and I know how amazing this chat’s going to be. So thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Dr. Libby W: 00:03:48 It’s my absolute pleasure. It’s an honour to talk to you. I love you so much and I’m very thrilled to be doing this. So thank you.
Kristina: 00:03:56 Oh, thank you. I guess there’s so much to talk about, but I wanted to start just by saying that you’ve achieved so many amazing things in your career, including being an 11 time number one best seller, which is just mind blowing on its own. So we’ll chat about that and I cannot wait to explore that. But first I’d love to start with what you dreamt about being or doing with your life as a child.
Dr. Libby W: 00:04:17 I really had no idea other than I knew I would write a book. So my mum gave me a diary when I was four years old, and we had chickens in the backyard, so as a four year old, my job was to collect the eggs each day, so my diary entries each day was how many eggs I collected.
Kristina: 00:04:34 Aw, beautiful.
Dr. Libby W: 00:04:36 That got me in the habit of daily writing and so just at the end of the day thinking through what had happened, what I’d done, what I’d loved, what might’ve felt uncomfortable. So that daily writing habit began when I was four for me and it’s something that … I miss the odd day here and there now I must admit as an adult, and sometimes I write for work rather than personal thoughts in a journal style these days. But there are still many days where I do do that journaling and it’s something I’ve done pretty much my whole life and it’s one of the ways that I’ve… I find it gives me insight and it helps me work not just myself out, but understand other people. So I wanted to one day write a book, but as a child that was the only thing that I knew.
Kristina: 00:05:15 You didn’t know what kind of book that was going to be, obviously with what you’re doing now.
Dr. Libby W: 00:05:19 No, I had no idea, but it was, the desire to write that led me originally to go to university and study journalism. But I realised very quickly that I wasn’t interested in writing about general news. I really only wanted to write about nutrition and human behaviour. So the next step at uni was to study psychology and that wasn’t totally my jam either. And so that was when I decided to study nutrition and dietetics and from the very first day of that I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. So my writing of course has led me down that track enormously and I’m very grateful for that.
Kristina: 00:05:55 Absolutely. And so are we, thank you. So I’ve given our listeners an introduction to you, but I love you to quickly share your story with us. Your story is so amazing, but maybe a short version so we can fit in as many questions as we can.
So where did you come from and how did you get to where you are today?
Dr. Libby W: 00:06:12 So I grew up in Tamworth in country New South Wales in Australia, and I loved growing up there. Life was very simple. We had chickens in the backyard and we grew some of our own vegetables. My Dad was a real farmer at heart even though he wasn’t an actual farmer, but he taught me about the importance of great quality soil, and my mom taught me the value of nutrition. So I grew up in an era where a lot of people counted calories and measured their food by how low in fat it was and how many calories it had. And I was very fortunate that my mother wasn’t geared that way and she used to … We had an orange tree in the backyard and so we’d eat an orange and she’d say to me “An orange is rich in vitamin C and that’s very good for the immune system and that then helps you to stop getting a cold.” So she taught me about nutrition and the importance of it, just very gently and just in general conversation. I remember that from a very young age.
Dr. Libby W: 00:07:00 So I grew up in Tamworth. I really loved school, I enjoyed learning languages, I liked maths. I found chemistry really difficult. So it’s quite ironic to me that I ended up doing a PhD in biochemistry. You actually get to appreciate, I think, when you find a subject at school at high school difficult, and then once it’s got relevance to your life and you can see its meaning, it makes it a lot easier to learn, I think that.
Dr. Libby W: 00:07:23 And then tennis was my sport. I loved it. I played numerous times throughout the week and still today play tennis. Really love it. So I grew up playing tennis, loving school, and when I was 17 I got a scholarship to go to school in Germany. And that was a big deal because my beautiful parents, they didn’t have passports, they’d never left Australia. So it was a really big deal for them to have their 17 year-old head off overseas. And also remembering that there was no internet, there were no mobile phones. So to let your child set sail for three or four months to an unknown family and an unknown land, I understand now obviously how enormous that would have been for them.
Dr. Libby W: 00:08:02 But that really changed my perspective on the world because although I very much loved my country roots and growing up in Tamworth, obviously you go and live in a European city and it opens your eyes to everything and you start to appreciate possibility. You see not just different architecture, different art, but you have to survive on your own and speak another language. And I learned very rapidly that I was resilient and that I could handle life on my own. And that was huge for me.
Dr. Libby W: 00:08:33 And again, I can only say this in hindsight, the difference that made to a very quiet belief in myself that everything was going to be okay. And also that there were so many adventures to have in the world and just how magnificent architecture and nature and meeting people from other cultures was. So that was a great gift. And then of course it was off to university after high school, as I said, I spent 14 years at the University of Newcastle, loved my learning there very much so originally studied nutrition and dietetics as I mentioned, and then did honors and then I did a PhD in biochemistry. So there’s a lot of science in my background.
Dr. Libby W: 00:09:09 But since then I’ve worked with people one-on-one for 20 years and I think that’s where the rubber really hits the road. That’s where you get to see what makes a difference in people’s lives and also what doesn’t. So I’ve combined my education with my clinical experience to create what I call my three pillar approach to health, which is where I look at everything through three lenses, the biochemical, the nutritional and the emotional. So they form the basis of everything I do, my books, my online courses, my weekend women’s events, everything.
Kristina: 00:09:38 Love it, love it. To many people who know you and look at your life from the outside, it looks like you’re living your dream life now. You are doing something you love, working for yourself. You’re traveling the world, writing successful books, but of course no life is perfect. To what degree do you feel like you’re living your dream life now and what is it that you really love about your life?
Dr. Libby W: 00:09:58 I love this question so much. I have so many moments, multiple times a day, where I get the biggest grin on my face looking at my surroundings wherever I am, and am just truly overwhelmed with gratitude. It is my dream life. I get to work in a way that that is … I kind of don’t really know how I got to have the education that I received. No one in my family had been to university before and when I first went to university, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as I said, I just knew I wanted to write. So because I received this incredible education, I feel like it’s the way that I say thank you to the fact that I got this education and even to the fact that I have my life. I share what I know or what I’ve learned and what I’ve worked out. I share that as a way of saying thank you.
Dr. Libby W: 00:10:49 Where I live is very special to me and I grow my own vegetables and that’s something that’s really important to me and it’s also a learning experience because you get to see when you fiddle with the soil, you get to see the difference that then producers in the food. I have a team of people who work with me now and they’re like my family, they’re beautiful souls as well as very good at what they do. And I have beautiful relationships in my life. So probably if there was one thing that I would change, it’s, there are people very close to me who I don’t see very often. It would be really beautiful to see them a bit more frequently.
Kristina: 00:11:24 Absolutely. Do you have a regular practice for the gratitude?
Dr. Libby W: 00:11:28 It just really, it just comes to me. I think of it every morning no matter what because I look outside, I go outside every morning, but I look outside before I go outside and so every morning I am really quite overcome with a sense of gratitude and the immense beauty in the world no matter what’s going on in my life at the time. I don’t feel like I really ever detach from that to the point where my eyes can fill with tears just looking at the hills or looking at an extraordinary tree or seeing a bird do something hilarious, so that that comes easily. So it’s not something that I find I really have to cultivate. It’s just sitting there all the time really.
Dr. Libby W: 00:12:06 But certainly if there’s a day that’s been particularly challenging with whatever might have unfolded, I will then at the end of the day, be sure to think … I try to find the gifts in the challenges. So rather than thinking, well, that’s not ideal or that didn’t go the way that I potentially anticipated it would. I try not to leave the things that I experienced as being one sided. I try to see the gifts in it. So if that challenge hadn’t happened, what would not have occurred? And so then you can see the ripple effect and why the challenging thing potentially had to happen. I try to find the gifts in everything if I can.
Kristina: 00:12:41 That is such a beautiful thing to do. I have that in my book: there’s always a silver lining in everything and sometimes the most challenging times are the most rewarding in hindsight, but it’s not always easy to see that in the middle is it?
Dr. Libby W: 00:12:56 No, it’s not, but it’s I think, and I know that you write about this, Kristina, in your beautiful book. It’s when you’re in the middle of it, that’s when we need to remember and it’s very easy to have all of our gratitude practices. It’s very easy to know that there’s a silver lining in everything when life is going smoothly or there’s no problems, but we need to always remember it I think in our challenging times, and sometimes we can just pause and think, okay, this might not look how I thought it was going to look, clearly this chapter of my life is not yet finished. It’s got an unknown title, who knows where it’s going, but we need to remember that often in hindsight we’re going to see that if x, y, and z didn’t happen, then the rest of it wouldn’t have unfolded. So yeah, I think that’s so important to remember that when we’re in the middle of the tough stuff, if we can.
Kristina: 00:13:43 Yeah, absolutely. I have this belief that everything in life is 50/50, so every positive experience has a negative side to it and the other way around. So I find that really helpful for me to think that way because then there is no really any bad thing because it’s always 50/50, so that’s the way that I kind of deal with that in challenging situations.
Dr. Libby W: 00:14:04 Yeah. Love it.
Kristina: 00:14:05 You have said that your mission is to “educate and inspire, igniting a ripple effect that transform the world.” Can you please tell us a little bit about this mission and what led you to create and chase it?
Dr. Libby W: 00:14:15 So I learned or witnessed very early on that when someone’s health is not in a great place, it can sometimes make it very difficult for them to express their authentic self. So let’s say someone has a heart full of kindness and thoughtfulness. If they are suffering in some way, their behavior might be expressed as impatience and anger and intensity.
Dr. Libby W: 00:14:44 So let’s say you’re checking into a hotel and things aren’t that great with your health, and of course people whose health is suffering can demonstrate kindness and thoughtfulness, of course, I’m not saying that for a second. But what I mean is sometimes when we’re not in a great place with our health, we can display behaviors that we don’t really want to display or we don’t understand why we display them.
Dr. Libby W: 00:15:06 And I thought if people were able to truly look after themselves and if their biochemistry was balanced, then it helps people be kinder and more patient with others, including people they don’t know as well as the people they love the most in the world and as well as, of course, the way that they speak to themselves, their own self talk.
Dr. Libby W: 00:15:26 So my sense was that if each person had the tools to be able to take steps to sort out, for example, a sex hormone imbalance or if they’re massively over producing stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. So if you’ve got things like that happening it sometimes leads us to behave in a way that really might be incongruent to who we are or our value system. And sure we do it once or twice. It doesn’t really matter, but when it’s day after day, year after year, that can have a really big ripple effect on all the people that we’re coming into contact with.
Dr. Libby W: 00:15:57 So the extension of my … My original mission was to help people obviously be healthier. And then of course you notice that when people are healthier, they tend to be happier. And then when we’re happier and we like who we are, the way we speak to everyone in the world starts to change. Because we often ask after others, for example. And we have no idea of the ripple effect of the questions we ask, or a smile on our face, or helping someone out who’s struggling to carry luggage or whatever it might be. We have no idea that these simple little acts, they’re not necessarily even acts of kindness. There just how we conduct ourselves. You don’t know what that does to someone’s day. You might ask a taxi driver how their day is and they end up telling you their life story about how they’ve moved countries and the difference having a job has made to their families and it just can really foster, I think, beautiful and authentic conversation and that can be very uplifting to someone and make their day sometimes, being able to share their own stories.
Dr. Libby W: 00:16:54 So the idea of the ripple effect sort of came across to me when I was first thinking about the idea that a lot of people I think sometimes feel like it’s selfish to look after themselves or to prioritise their own self care. But when we do that, we’re not just looking after ourselves. Because when we do that, it usually impacts the way that we relate to everyone that we come into contact with. So that’s what I mean by the ripple effect. And if only just a few people in each community take responsibility for both their physical wellbeing, their emotional health, their mental health, it can have such an extraordinary and wonderful ripple effect I think throughout their communities, and certainly foster really wonderful self worth in this generation and also I hope the next generation.
Kristina: 00:17:40 Absolutely love that. Thank you so much for sharing. There’s lots of great tips for our listeners in there to make sure that ripple effect continues. So thank you.
You’re clearly someone with strong values and you’re very passionate about changing lives of others, which is such a beautiful thing. Where do you think that this comes from?
Dr. Libby W: 00:17:58 As a child, I remember having to do a written project in English. The topic the class was given was to write about conflict. And I was really studious, a complete goody two shoes at school. And we had six periods, we had six lessons over the week to write this story about conflict. And I sat there for the first lesson thinking, I don’t know what that is. As in I don’t know what I can write about. And so I wrote nothing in the first period and I can remember going home and chatting away to my mother about it. What should I write about?
Dr. Libby W: 00:18:37 And then it hit me and I started to see, or my sense was that there was a conflict almost between the earth and the people. It was when people were starting to become incredibly aware of the impact of certain choices on the environment. And back then when I was growing up, it was all leaded petrol, unleaded petrol hadn’t even happened. And it was around the time when all of that was starting to change. So I had suddenly become aware of what I perceived with my 14-15 year old eyes to be this conflict between the earth and humans. And I can remember thinking, well, how do we solve this? And it took me hours of thinking, trying. Because I try to, and still to this day I do this, I try to work everything out to its absolute core.
Dr. Libby W: 00:19:18 So of someone’s polishing off a packet of chocolate biscuits after dinner, it’s not a lack of knowledge that leads them to do that. It’s emotional. So I want to get, I just don’t want to say to someone, probably stop eating the biscuits if you want to feel a bit better, because they’re intelligent, they already know that that’s not helping them. And if it was that easy, they would have stopped doing that already. So I’ve always tried to get to the heart of the belief that drives that behavior.
Dr. Libby W: 00:19:43 I started doing that back at this time and I thought, well, what’s really creating this? Because there’s all these little pockets of society where there are these environmental problems unfolding, or certainly they’ve been going on for ages, I’d become aware of them at sort of age 14, 15. And I thought, well really it’s overpopulation, it’s the population is expanding rapidly. And I started to try to think, well what do we do about that? So we’ve either got to change that or we’ve got to evolve too to not be as destructive as a species.
Dr. Libby W: 00:20:14 And so my story for English class at high school ended up being about that. So that insight and working through that in my mind was a real turning point for me in the way that I looked at everything. So I suddenly saw that when you throw something away, you weren’t really throwing it away because it had to go somewhere. And I started to think about the way food is grown and how some people have way too much food and some people don’t have access to any or enough food. So I started to see all of these imbalances in the world.
Dr. Libby W: 00:20:47 And I’ve cared very much as I said about the soil, I’ve cared about nutrition. And so one of the ways that I’ve tried to assist and help to bring, I guess more balance, more consideration, just more thought, I guess back to the way we look after ourselves, the way we look after the earth. The consequences of all of our choices at that came from that thought process, trying to work out what I would write about there at high school.
Dr. Libby W: 00:21:12 So that had a profound impact, I think, on me wanting to … It’s not necessarily, it’s not that I want to make a difference and I don’t believe, I don’t see myself as someone who does that. People will say to me, “Oh thank you. You’ve changed my life” and my response in all sincerity is “I didn’t change your life. You did.”
So you might have read one of my books or you might’ve come to hear me speak, but you know, if there’s a thousand people in a room and I’m speaking to them, I don’t change their lives because they’ve then got to go away and act on that. And not everybody does of course, and not everybody needs to of course. But I want people to see that they’re in the driver’s seat of their own health. It’s their choices, the way that they eat, drink, move, think breathe, believe, and perceive. All of that, they’re the ones that can change those choices. But all of that stemmed from me seeing this imbalance between humans and the planet back when I was a teenager.
Kristina: 00:22:05 Love that. You know, it’s funny, I always ask myself, why do I do what I do when I know what I know. I love that because it’s interesting and you know, we see that all around us all the time, but that’s a really good insight to maybe look a little bit more about the emotional imbalance perhaps.
Dr. Libby W: 00:22:24 It’s so true. When I first finished nutrition and dietetics, ww were taught that to help people change how they eat, you just need to sit with them and write a plan and they’ll go away and do it and it’s laughable because very few people do that. They might follow what you’ve suggested for three weeks or three months at the outset really, and then they’re going to go back to what they used to do because … And so I witnessed that as a young person working as a nutritionist and thought, it doesn’t make sense to me because these people want to change, they want a different outcome and yet they can’t act on what’s going to help them get to that outcome. And that was when I stopped to think, okay, well why do people do what they do? Even though they have the knowledge that they have?
Dr. Libby W: 00:23:07 And that was how the third pillar of my work formed, because it’s very juicy. There’s so much beauty and gold when we start to explore our own beliefs. It’s our beliefs that drive our behavior. And I think in this day and age, a lot of us are very good at knowing what we believe about things externally to us. It might be about politics or about environmental policy, we’re often good at knowing about the things outside of us. But when it comes to knowing what we believe about ourselves, it’s not always clear. And I’ll sometimes say to people, tell me who you have to be to be loved or liked or fit in. And it takes people often a really long time to be able to answer those questions, and it drives a lot of our behavior, that desire to be liked or loved or to fit in or to be accepted. And so understanding that can be very, very powerful when it comes to changing our choices.
Kristina: 00:23:58 Absolutely. Thank you.
Kristina: 00:24:00 I’ve been really inspired by how Stella McCartney’s strong values around care of animals, equality and the environment, have shaped her life and her work. What are some of your core values, and how have they helped you define what you do with your life?
Dr. Libby W: 00:24:15 Health, obviously, is right up there. And it was … I think our voids create our values. So I think it’s a beautiful exercise for people to do to actually do an exercise in exploring their own values. It helps you to live in far more alignment with the truth of who you are. And without getting too philosophical, I think that’s a big reason that we’re here on the planet … is to truly, authentically be ourselves. And to do that, I think we do need to know our values.
Dr. Libby W: 00:24:45 So health is right up there for me, and it was born from a time when I didn’t have good health. Not from anything that I purposefully did, but it was very frightening and very concerning. And in my situation, conventional medicine was able to do some wonderful tests, and let me know that there was nothing sinister going on. But they didn’t have the answers for me. After all the testing was done, and I was still suffering … when I said to the specialist, “Well, what on earth am I supposed to do now?” His response was, “Well, you’re the dietician. You work it out.”
Dr. Libby W: 00:25:20 So I remember the flash of tears that flew into my eyes with frustration, but also, right behind that frustration was immense fear and sadness at having to try to do this myself. But had that not happened, I don’t think I would have written the books that I’ve written. And I wouldn’t speak the way that I speak. Because that experience, very early on in my life, led me to think almost like a health detective.
Dr. Libby W: 00:25:47 And I’m very determined, in that I usually don’t give up until I’ve pursued absolutely everything for anyone that I’ve ever worked with, to try to get to the heart of what’s actually going on for them. Because the body doesn’t lie, and the body is not here to betray us. It’s not trying to frustrate us or upset us. It’s our best friend, if we allow it to be. And it doesn’t have a voice, but it gives us symptoms to let us know whether it’s happy or not with our choices and I try to, in my work now … try to give people the insight behind what might be happening, that leads the body to give you the symptoms.
Dr. Libby W: 00:26:22 Whatever symptoms they are, that you then experience. I try to give people the information to work out what might be going on. So had I not had that ill-health experience, and then been forced … wonderfully so, to try to work out for myself … I had to solve it myself, and I did solve it myself. And that gave me wonderful insight and experience that then led me to think, “Well, I can do this for others.” And also, it taught me that without our health, we have absolutely nothing.
Dr. Libby W: 00:26:53 If you can’t leave the house, if you are housebound, of course you can make an extraordinary quality of life if that is something that you can’t change, but for me at that age, I was determined to get the quality of my life back, and I did. So I learned very early on that without our health, we have nothing. So as a result of that, I have truly nurtured it. Not just my body, but my mind and my soul, as well.
Dr. Libby W: 00:27:14 Because I think some people live in fear of food. I think a lot of people have a lot of rigidity around food. They have a lot of rules. And sometimes rules can help people. Of course, they’re necessary if someone has a true allergy. But I see the other end of the spectrum now, especially with a lot of younger women. They feel like they have to be perfect, and I put that in inverters commas … with food.
Dr. Libby W: 00:27:35 I think perfection is a mask that fear wears. And I try to help those women and girls to get to the heart of where that desire, that drive for so-called perfection, is coming from. Because it’s usually very fear-based. It comes through for a lot of women today in their food choices. They feel that they’re not allowed to have certain things, or they’re very frightened of certain foods. And if you’re frightened of food, you’re usually quite frightened of yourself. That can have a big impact on all the choices that you make, with your career, the jobs you apply for, the friends that you make … I really try to help them to see where all of that’s coming from. So that value of health came for me, or rose to the surface for me, when I went through that challenging time at a pretty young age, and had to work it out for myself. It never ceases to amaze me when something you go through, that you find tricky and challenging, turns out to be one of your greatest gifts, and one of the best things that ever happens to you.
Dr. Libby W: 00:28:34 That’s another way, I think, that we can see that it was supposed to happen like that. Because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have the ability to think independently and decipher what the body is actually doing. And it led me on a real crusade to truly understand how the body works. Which is a big reason why I ended up doing a PhD in biochemistry. Because that runs everything inside of us.
Kristina: 00:28:56 I love that. It’s coming back to that silver lining again, isn’t it? I just love it.
Dr. Libby W: 00:29:00 Yeah.
Kristina: 00:29:01 I’m so aligned with you that health is everything. Without that, we don’t have a lot. So, it’s a great, great story. Thank you for sharing. In my book, I challenge readers to explore the idea of, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could make a living, or spend a large part of your life, following your purpose. And doing what you really love. And I’ve used you as an example in my book, which I love. In particular, I wrote that you shared with me many times, that you just love seeing light return to people’s eyes as they reconnect with their passions, purpose, and ability to take even better care of themselves.
Kristina: 00:29:36 Can you share how you pursued a career that follows a purpose, and how that impacts your life? I know you’ve shared a lot about it, but in case you have anything more to share on that … what advice you can share with our listeners, how they can make that happen for themselves, too?
Dr. Libby W: 00:29:51 One of the best ways I can describe it, and it probably makes me sound a little bit funny, but I feel like there’s a voice inside every single person. There’s a voice inside of us that has our back. And it knows what’s best for us. It knows what we need to eat, it knows when we need to go to bed, it knows when it’s time to shut the computer. But we don’t always listen to it. And that same voice is there, I think, as a guide for our life.
Dr. Libby W: 00:30:19 I sometimes think of it as following a thread. For example, you might be in a shop, and a song comes on. And you think, “Oh, I remember this song. It was from 1986.” And then suddenly, you’re thinking about 1986. And you link it to somewhere you were, or the friends you had then, or a boy you were sweet on, or whatever it is. But you start to think about … it reminds you of a time in the past.
Dr. Libby W: 00:30:49 That then leads you to start to think, “Oh, I wonder where that person is now. I haven’t talked to her since we were 20 years old. I’m going to try and find her.” You then reconnect with that person, and a beautiful friendship forms, or you find out that, in my case, “Oh, she went off and studied something health-related, as well.” So you’ve got all this common ground, and you haven’t had a conversation for 25 years, and so you reconnect.
Dr. Libby W: 00:31:15 And all of that, for me, comes from following a thread. And that’s what I’ve done to follow my purpose. ‘Cause I never set out, and went, “Oh, my purpose is to become a nutritional biochemist, and I’ll write books. And I’ll do online courses, and I’ll do women’s health weekends.” I never constructed any of that in my mind. It’s just, as things have arisen, I have a yes or no monitor inside me. We all have this.
Dr. Libby W: 00:31:42 And things work out when you honor the yes, and honour the no. Even though, on the surface, it might not totally make sense at the time. You might be thinking, “I really want to say no to that, but I can see, on the surface, it looks like a great opportunity.” Or there’s a lot of possibility in that, and yet every cell in your body is going, “No.” And it’s trusting yourself to honour that. Because that voice, I feel like that voice can see … I’ve got goosebumps even as I say this … that voice can see beyond what’s here right now.
Dr. Libby W: 00:32:13 And if you say no when you feel like you need to say no, even if it might not make sense, it will lead to something completely different, than if you say yes when you’re really not committed. ‘Cause then, if you say yes, and you’re not really committed to it, you end up resenting the whole situation. And that doesn’t work for anyone. But it’s the same with the yeses. It’s immediate. When someone says, “Would you like to do this? What about this?”
Dr. Libby W: 00:32:37 You get all these opportunities, and we can get really confused. Especially in this day and age, where we’re asked to make so many decisions very rapidly, on a daily basis. It’s listening to that voice. Because it’s always clear, it just gets a bit muddled, a bit masked. The voice can, I think, get a bit quieter. But I didn’t ever set out to go, “This is my purpose. I’m going to follow that.”
Dr. Libby W: 00:32:58 I’ve literally just followed the threads on a daily basis … of, that’s a yes, that’s a no. I have not at all times honored that. And things don’t work out when it’s … I’ll see it down the track, and go, “I originally didn’t want to do that.” And you learn over time, with experience, to honor that voice. ‘Cause it’s never wrong, in my experience.
Kristina: 00:33:19 I couldn’t agree more. But you know what? I’d love to ask you a question about how you actually get time, or take the time, to listen to that voice. Because I see it, and I’m guilty of it, as well, that you don’t have a lot of down time. Obviously, there’s a much faster pace in the world. But also, we’re all so connected to each other, and to the world. So I rarely see someone sitting on an airplane or train without doing anything. So we’re all addicted to our phones. So how do we actually take the time to listen to that voice?
Dr. Libby W: 00:33:53 If you’re in a meeting, and you’re being asked to make a decision about something, I think some people can do it rapid fire. They’re very clear. I think they probably can be clear with … it doesn’t have to be a voice, it could be the instinct. As I said, I think sometimes when I call it a voice, it makes me sound a bit nutty. [crosstalk 00:34:11]
Dr. Libby W: 00:34:11 But it’s an instinct, if you like. So yeah, sometimes if you’re in a meeting situation, or it might be with a group of friends, and you’re being asked, “What about this?” I think sometimes we can be in tune with that. It doesn’t have to be still and silent, and phones off, and no traffic noise, and no music, or whatever. I think it’s always there. And the more we practise listening to it, we can tune into it. I do that in meetings.
Dr. Libby W: 00:34:38 However, I also, in meetings, if I’m uncertain, if I feel like I do need some more silence or stillness, or just time to get in touch with whether it is a yes or a no, I will say that. I will just ask for a pause, and say, “I actually can’t decide that right now. I’ll come back to you in a few hours, or I’ll come back to you tomorrow.” And I’ll spend 10 minutes looking out the window, or whatever it is, not dealing with my computer or my phone. And the answer’s then there.
Dr. Libby W: 00:35:05 In saying all of that though, Kristina, I am someone who really values stillness. I value nature. And I have absolutely no problem on the planet, not being on my computer or my phone for a day. And often when I do that, it’s so much gold that flows and so much insight that comes. And the yes/no meter is even clearer in those times. But we can’t always cultivate that stillness and spaciousness, as you mentioned. And so I think the more we tune into that voice, the louder she becomes when you’re in a meeting or having to make a decision on the spot, that … In saying that, I think we also need to give ourselves permission to pause when we’re not comfortable with making a decision on the spot, and think, “I’ll come back to you about that a little bit later.”
Kristina: 00:35:51 Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And I’m also very much a nature person. I’ve spent hours just walking, thinking, and that’s where most of my ideas arrive. But another thing that I do, is journaling. So I do my morning pages, which is unstructured writing in the mornings. And I find that that is so helpful. Because often, if I am grappling with a decision, or an issue, or something that I’m not sure about … If I write about it, unconsciously whatever comes to mind, that also sometimes helps me get clear on what I need to do, say yes or no to.
Dr. Libby W: 00:36:26 Yes. Love it. I love it. And I love that about you, too. That you’re so committed to those morning pages, and I know it brings you great clarity, and a lovely sense of spaciousness to start your day. It’s a beautiful ritual. You’re very inspiring, the way that you’ve cultivated that beautiful morning ritual.
Kristina: 00:36:42 Thank you. Thank you. In your book, Exhausted to Energised, you mention how having a lack of purpose can have a negative impact on our energy levels. Can you explain that for us a little bit?
Dr. Libby W: 00:36:53 When we know our purpose, I think it gives us an extra spring in our step. Now, your purpose doesn’t have to be your job. Your purpose doesn’t have to be anything related to a career. Your purpose can be to truly be your authentic self. Your purpose can be to have the most fun life possible. It can be to contribute, in any way, shape or form you see on a daily basis …
Dr. Libby W: 00:37:17 So, if your whole purpose is contribution, if you see rubbish in the street, you pick it up. If you see someone who is struggling to get across the road in time before the traffic lights change, you might stay with them and walk with them, so that they’re not the only person who’s last across the road. So whatever your purpose is, no matter how big, no matter how perceivingly small it might be, it gives us, I think, an incomparable energy.
Dr. Libby W: 00:37:45 Because you wake up every morning, and the energy that comes from having the gift, having the opportunity, having the absolute privilege to live a life aligned with your purpose … I feel like that gives us an extraordinary level of energy. Because, from a neurological perspective, and a nervous system perspective, it’s like everything’s connected up. What you want to do, what’s meaningful to you, and what you are actually doing, the actions you’re actually taking … are all linked up and in sync.
Dr. Libby W: 00:38:16 So that gives us, I think, incredible energy. I think joy gives us great energy, as well. And when I think about joy, a big concept, I think, around that is, or that helps us to experience more joy quite effortlessly, is letting ourselves have what we already have. A lot of us, and beautifully so, live our lives in pursuit of things. So, constructing things, creating things, building things, growing, learning … it’s all, there’s so much beauty in all of that.
Dr. Libby W: 00:38:45 And I encourage all of that. It’s incredible, and it makes such a difference in the world. However, sometimes when we only do that, we can miss what’s already here. So I think, beautiful … pursue the creation of anything you want to create. You go for it, of course. But don’t miss what letting yourself have what you already have right now, whether that’s an incredible sunset …
Dr. Libby W: 00:39:07 Yeah, which I love to watch the sky change. I try to close the lid of my laptop each evening, so that I watch the sun actually set. Sometimes I’ve got to back to my computer after the sun has set. I can’t always finish for the day then, but I do take a point of watching … I love watching the light change in the evenings, so I do that. That’s what I mean, or watching your children sleep. ‘Cause how often do parents … they often just put to bed, but if you go and stand in the doorway of their room, and just soak up how precious they are, it can bring you such incredible joy.
Dr. Libby W: 00:39:35 So they’re the sorts of things that I mean about letting ourselves have what we already have. Because when you talk to people who are dying, and you ask them what they’re going to miss the most in this world, they usually tell you really ordinary things. They’re going to miss seeing the night sky, or being able to pat their dog. And we have all of those things right now. So I think we need to also let ourselves have what we already have. Because that gives us incredible joy, and that joy gives us great energy. And when you combine, I think, that acting on purpose and appreciating what’s already here, you combine the best of both worlds. That fosters incredible energy, which obviously we need for a really wonderful quality of life.
Kristina: 00:40:14 I absolutely love that. And the way that I incorporate that into my life, is to do the gratitude with the kids at night. So we do a thing we’re grateful for, and that’s really looking at … because we do it every night, we all try to come up with different things. And that’s really, it’s about looking at what we already have. I’ve learned that from you, and I absolutely love that. So, thank you for sharing.
Dr. Libby W: 00:40:36 I love how you do that with your children. And it’s … the ripple effect that you’ve embraced that in your family, the ripple effect of that, I think, goes a really long way. Because I can imagine all the people who’ve sat around your dinner table, who’ve been very blessed to be part of that conversation. I’m sure they take it into their own lives. And I agree, that’s a beautiful way to appreciate what’s here right now.
Kristina: 00:40:58 Thank you. I’ve found it really helpful when contemplating my own purpose in life, to reflect what gets me out of bed every day. What else gets you out of bed every day?
Dr. Libby W: 00:41:08 If I’ve got a tennis lesson in the morning, I bounce out of bed with extra excitement. I played tennis growing up, and then I stopped when I was about 20. And every year when the Australian Open is on, I watch it on television, and think, “I really need to go back to coaching. I love this sport so much.” And every year I, so far I hadn’t acted on that, so this year I did. ‘Cause I couldn’t just go back and start playing, ’cause I knew I’d be dreadful, compared to the way I was as a child.
Dr. Libby W: 00:41:37 There are some tennis courts about 10 minutes from my house, and so I just rang the coach who worked there. So every Tuesday and Friday morning, I go and have a tennis lesson. And I come off that court, no matter how dreadfully I might have played, or the few shots I might have hit that were okay, I still come off that court elated. I think more excited than I was as a child.
Dr. Libby W: 00:41:59 And I think, for people, that can be anything. It’s as if I’m so connected to, I guess that it was my sport as a child, but it’s being outside in the sunshine. It’s running around. It’s fitness. It’s coordinating things with your body. But it’s just this uplifted feeling that you’re doing something that you love. So for me, reconnecting to that has been incredibly exciting for me. So that gives me great energy.
Dr. Libby W: 00:42:25 I’m always pretty excited when I’m going to catch up with my favorite people, or my favorite person across that day. Of course, those quality relationships, and nurturing those relationships, always brings great excitement for me, as well. I get pretty excited if I have … there’s very few days where I don’t have anything scheduled. If I have a day where there’s not something scheduled, that can bring as much of a skip to my step as a day where I might have a podcast scheduled to do with you.
Dr. Libby W: 00:42:56 I was very excited to do this with you, too. I get excited by lots of different things, and really varied things. So when my eyes pop open … I think, though, I was actually taught this by a patient. I ran a workshop. There was a man in the room who, how do I put this? On paper, if he was to write down the attributes of his life, he had absolutely everything that most people in the western world would say, “That’s a very successful life.” But the whole room could see how unhappy he was.
Dr. Libby W: 00:43:29 And then there was another man in the room who had sort of become friends with everybody. He was just so friendly and supportive and outgoing and chatty, and always smiling. And I did an exercise where I asked people to write down what had to happen for them to feel happy. To cut a very long story short, the man who was very successful but didn’t seem so happy, he had a very, very long list of all the things that had to happen for him to feel happy.
Dr. Libby W: 00:43:55 And when I asked the other gentleman in the room if he would mind sharing what he wrote down, that had to happen for him to feel happy, he said, “Oh, I just have to wake up.” And he was sincere in that. That was true. He was just so elated with life, with living. And it showed all over his face, and it showed in his interactions with others. And I feel like I’ve got a little bit of that, as well. I truly feel so fortunate to be alive. Waking up is a great thing. Hearing birds is a beautiful thing. Even that gets me excited.
Kristina: 00:44:26 Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. Thanks for sharing that. So, many people I talk with about chasing their dreams, tell me that self-doubt is something that really gets in their way. My experience is that we all feel self-doubt. And it’s funny, when I was starting this podcast, that was definitely a challenge for self-doubt. ‘Cause I wasn’t really sure if this was my strength, or if I could do it. But we all deal with self-doubt differently. And it’s something I get a lot of questions about. I’d love to hear about your experience with self-doubt, and if you have any suggestions to our listeners, how we can deal with that.
Dr. Libby W: 00:45:01 I was working in a big health retreat at the time, when I had my first memory of reflecting on self-doubt. I worked alongside Nurse, who was not just really good at her job, she was just a super special person, as well. And I can remember one day, walking out of my office, and her office was opposite mine, and we ran into each other in the hallway. She said, “What’s happening?” And I shared some stuff that was happening. And she put her hands on my shoulders and she stared into my eyes, and she said, “Libby, never doubt yourself. Don’t you dare doubt yourself.”
Dr. Libby W: 00:45:36 I was really overcome with emotion, with her saying this to me. Because I hadn’t even realised that obviously, whatever I had just said to her was full of self-doubt. And here she was telling me to never doubt myself. It was such an incredible gift to me, because I then, of course, started … I wasn’t even aware of it. So, from that moment on, whenever it would creep in to my language patterns or the thoughts, I would think back to what she said to me, “Don’t doubt yourself.”
Dr. Libby W: 00:46:05 Of course we all experience it, and so I have a thing now that happens in my mind where, if I catch a glimpse of that, the word “trust” … it’s like a train coming into a station. The word “trust”, it zooms across my brain. It’s like I write it on my forehead. So I try to have awareness inside myself of when the doubt bubbles to the surface. And then it’s as if, in my nervous system now, it’s so conditioned … that the word trust then comes across my forehead. As in, trust yourself. Trust the unfolding of life. Trust that life happens for you. Life doesn’t happen to you.
Kristina: 00:46:42 That was quite great advice. Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing. My belief is that a key part of living your dream life is about feeling healthy, happy and full of energy, which we have spoken a lot about. I would like to ask you some questions that would provide real value to our listeners around this topic. So, how do stress and busy lifestyle affect our bodies?
Dr. Libby W: 00:47:03 We have to look at history to really understand that. So, even if we’ve only been here for 150 thousand to 200 thousand years, obviously that’s a very long time. So if we then look at the rate of change as a species, that we’ve undergone with how we are living in the last 30 years …
Dr. Libby W: 00:47:19 You know, it wasn’t that long ago that when we left the house, no one could get hold of us. Social media’s only just over 10 years old. The food supply has changed dramatically in a very short space of time, with a lot of processed and packaged foods now available to us. It wasn’t very long ago, really, when we had to chase our food down. That wasn’t that long ago. So, so much has changed, and in a very short space of time.
Dr. Libby W: 00:47:42 Historically, the only time we ever made adrenaline, one of our stress hormones, was when our life was physically threatened. Someone from another tribe might have started to chase us with their spear, and we, in that moment, would gasp, and we’d put into what’s called the fight or flight response.
Dr. Libby W: 00:48:00 When we go into that place a whole host of biochemical changes go on in inside of us, blood pressure elevates, digestion is compromised, the fuel that we use, whether it’s glucose or body fat, the ratio of the combination of both of those, that alters significantly when we’re thrown into that fight or flight response because all the resources inside your body go into saving your own life. So that adrenaline has meant your life is threatened forever.
Dr. Libby W: 00:48:24 But fortunately in modern times, we are relatively safe in a physical sense, which is a great gift, however what leads us to make adrenaline in modern times is … some listeners are going to want to block their ears right now because you won’t like what I say, but it’s caffeine that leads us to make adrenaline and also our perception of pressure and urgency. And I put the word “perception” in front of the words “pressure and urgency” there for a reason and that’s because those things usually are.
Dr. Libby W: 00:48:53 I’m not denying for a second that there aren’t things that aren’t urgent … if you get a phone call from school and your child’s been injured then that’s urgent, you want to get there as quickly as you can, but what most people have done is made what they get to do each day full of stress and pressure and urgency.
Dr. Libby W: 00:49:06 And I speak at health conferences, for example, one where the room was filled with women who had, either the gene for breast and/or ovarian cancer or one of those cancers, or they were cancer thrivers, and in a room like that you can imagine a lot of the women can face all of life’s biggest, toughest things all at once with a poor prognosis, or an unknown prognosis, a lot of them are suffering with their treatment so much they’ve had to stop work and there were financial challenges that were coming with that, challenges with their marriages, with teenage children, the list went on and on.
Dr. Libby W: 00:49:38 So those women were facing life’s biggest, toughest things all at once, a lot of them, and I spoke to them all individually after I presented at a conference for them, and I asked them each individually if they felt like they were living in a world full of stress and pressure and urgency, and the essence of what they communicated back to me was, no, that they didn’t, because they just felt so privileged to still be alive. And so we don’t want it to be a health crisis that wakes us up to the gift of life I don’t think, we want to live our lives in touch with it now and … because what we’ve done is we’re taken … we have this ancient biochemistry where when we made adrenaline, it meant danger, and now when we make adrenaline it’s often due to our perception or the massive over consumption of caffeine. And the body hasn’t yet learnt to discern the difference between the adrenaline we make if a car drives out in front of us and we have the suddenly slam on our brakes, and the adrenaline we make if we’re worried about our to-do list.
Dr. Libby W: 00:50:31 And even further to that, I would say that, a lot of people, when they describe their everyday stresses to me, so I’m not talking about trauma right now, I’m talking about everyday stressors like your to-do list or an email inbox that’s overflowing or running late, and when you are in those moments, if you actually pull the curtains back on that experience of stress, I think stress has become almost an achievers word for fear, but it would be sort of weird if we walked around going, “I’m totally scared of my emails,” although I am at the moment to be honest, my emails are very ugly at the moment, bit scared of them.
Kristina: 00:51:06 Mine too.
Dr. Libby W: 00:51:08 But if we … pick on running late, you’re running late and you’re all worked up on the inside, let’s say, if you pause and think, okay, if this is actually showing me something that I’m frightened of, and you bring curiosity to that and you think, I wonder what that might be, what you’ll see is what stresses most people out is what other people think of them.
Dr. Libby W: 00:51:26 So if we can be, I guess, try and bring some clarity to those situations it can foster much more authentic conversations as well as help us to reduce our stress hormone production because if you can pause and see, well, okay, I’m really stressed about running late for this meeting, and that’s because I’m worried that my boss is going to think I’m disrespectful or disorganized or that I don’t care, and the opposite is true, I actually care enormously.
Dr. Libby W: 00:51:51 In fact one of the things I often say to people is, “You’re stressed because your heart’s so big and beautiful, you’re stressed because you care so much. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t worry.” So we have to see the beauty in our caring, but then take steps so that the stress obviously doesn’t hurt us and that’s where I think it’s very important to be honest with ourselves about how much caffeine we’re having. I do think it’s also really important to explore our perception of pressure and urgency in the way I described it with those conference ladies I talked to.
Dr. Libby W: 00:52:21 When you feel that there’s a lot of pressure and a lot or urgency, you want to save it for when you really need it, you don’t want to make what you get to do each day full of stress and pressure and urgency and I think … the first step in beginning to lower those stress hormones is beginning to have an awareness about what we’ve just said.
Kristina: 00:52:39 Yeah, absolutely, I love that. And one thing that I often … when I get a bit worked up about my to-do list, I always think, lucky me, to get to do what I get to do, which is also a reminder. And in one of my first podcast episodes, Doctor Tererai Trent shared about her upbringing in Zimbabwe, and I now think about that every single day, thinking lucky me to have been born in a country where we have the freedom to do what we want to do. Yeah, it’s always a good reminder.
Kristina: 00:53:09 But sometimes of course that’s easy to forget in the modern world where everything needs to be done yesterday, kind of thing.
Dr. Libby W: 00:53:18 Absolutely. But, yes, I agree, isn’t freedom just the most magnificent gift.
Kristina: 00:53:23 Absolutely amazing. So your work takes you to various countries and puts you in direct contact with thousands of people. I Love coming to your events and I had a friend actually texted me yesterday when you were talking in Melbourne and she just said, I just love Dr Libby and I can never go too many times to your events because I just absolutely love them, so thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Kristina: 00:53:47 But thinking about all the challenges the people that you get to meet share with you and the glimpses you get into their lives, what is one thing you want to share with them that would help them live their dream life?
Dr. Libby W: 00:54:00 To live every day in touch with how precious life is, and how precious they are, and to treat themselves accordingly. Because I think when we’re very little we haven’t separated from our specialness, from our uniqueness. You know, when you’re two, you’re still in touch with that and it’s not until we’re older that a belief in our own deficiency has crept in.
Dr. Libby W: 00:54:20 And the belief in our own deficiency usually comes in the form of, I’m not something enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not tall enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not loud enough, I’m not quiet enough, it’s some form of not enough-ness has crept in by the time that we’re seven.
Dr. Libby W: 00:54:35 When that happens, it’s as if we’ve put on a pair of goggles and we now look out upon the world through those goggles so every experience we have is filtered through those lenses. So if you have a rough day at school, you think it’s because you’re not ‘something’ enough. If you have a challenging conversation with a colleague in the office, you might think, well, they think they’re better than me, but for you to even … that language pattern is insightful because for you to think that someone is better than you, you have to perceive yourself as not enough.
Dr. Libby W: 00:55:05 And that’s what I mean about … I said earlier that beliefs can be really slippery, they can be really difficult to pin down what we believe about ourselves because it’s all tied up in our language patterns and the language that we express we believe it’s real, that’s why we’re saying it, but it’s often a reflection of a belief that we have about ourselves and part of my work is listening for those beliefs and helping people to find them.
Dr. Libby W: 00:55:29 So the one thing that you asked me to identify, it’s helping people to live back in touch with how precious they are and then treating themselves accordingly because if you knew who you truly are, you would be in awe of yourself and you wouldn’t do half the things that you do and as I said at the start of this when we were talking about ripple effect, when we do step up and take care of ourselves, it doesn’t just impact us, it impacts everyone around us.
Dr. Libby W: 00:55:49 So don’t ever think that it’s selfish or a luxury, it’s vital to you as an individual but to all your relationships.
Kristina: 00:55:58 Love that advice, thank you so much. You released a new book, The Beauty Guide can you tell us a little bit about it, and I haven’t read it yet and I am kind of savouring it to a special weekend where I’m just going to read it in one hit because I just love all your books. But what are the key messages, and how do you hope it will help people?
Dr. Libby W: 00:56:20 Okay, so beauty is, it’s not something that I really, sort of, love talking about if I be honest, but I wrote it because I realised not everybody cares about their health, which is a little bit unfathomable to me, but that’s okay. But if people are honest, most people care about how they look, and so I wanted people … it’s not a fluffy beauty book, but I did want people to know how to have lovely fingernails and skin and hair, all those things, what I call the beauty bits, of course people want to know that.
Dr. Libby W: 00:56:49 Because often a lot of people treat things from the outside in, and obviously my message is from the inside out because everything that is happening inside, if there’s degeneration happening inside, it’s then going to be expressed on the outside. Aging, for example, it’s all happening inside, and then it becomes visible on the outside.
Dr. Libby W: 00:57:07 So, it talks about aging, the scientific ways we age, they’re called oxidation, inflammation and glycation, which they’re all processes of degradation essentially. And it talks about how to have lovey hair, skin and nails.
Dr. Libby W: 00:57:18 But it also talks about, for example when things change, so your nails might suddenly become really brittle and break all the time, or your hair might start to fall out, or the outer third of your eyebrows fall out, now we’re fortunate that we live in a time where we can make lots of choices that allow us to get fake everything; you can get fake nails, you can put hair extensions in if your hair is falling out, you can have eyebrows tattooed back on so aren’t we lucky that we live in a time where we can make those choices which can be really good for our confidence or uplift our spirits and by all means, if you love those things of course you do them. But the message in the book is, by all means do those things, but don’t also address what’s potentially caused those problems to happen.
Dr. Libby W: 00:57:59 So for example, if your hair’s falling out, it can be a sign that you’re iron or zinc deficient, that there’s a thyroid problem, or that your sex hormones are imbalanced. When the outer third of your eyebrow hair falls out, again, it can be a reflection of what’s happening with your thyroid gland or a sign of iron deficiency.
Dr. Libby W: 00:58:15 So if you don’t also address the information being conveyed in the changes in these beauty bits, you can miss a much bigger message and there can be must bigger consequences down the track. But beyond that, there’s a deeper conversation about our self worth and how we perceive ourselves. Another big conversation that I’ve called, “Where have all little leaders gone?” Because you see little girls in the school yard and their eyes are bright and their posture’s upright and they could run the world, and then you go back to that same school yard by the time they’re 12 or 13, and I’m generalising of course, and this certainly doesn’t happen to all girls, but it happens to too many, you go back when their 13 and their posture’s dropped, they’re self conscious, they speak differently and you just think, what happened to that six year old with all that self belief? And that breaks my heart, so there’s a conversation in the book about that.
Dr. Libby W: 00:59:02 Also about the culture of comparison that we’re currently living through and ways to deal with that, so there’s a lot of deeper conversations in there about how we perceive ourselves of course.
Kristina: 00:59:12 I cannot wait to read it and will link to it in our show notes and I hope everyone who’s listening will get themselves a copy and learn from you. So thank you for sharing that. There’s so much I want to ask you and I decided I’ll just have to get you back on here.
Kristina: 00:59:28 But I’d like to ask you a couple of questions about dreaming, because obviously that’s one of my big passions is that it all starts with a dream, so I just would like to ask you one question: what would you do if you knew you could not fail and you had all the money and the resources that you needed, what would you do?
Dr. Libby W: 00:59:45 Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I’d do anything differently, I love my life and I’m so grateful for my life, that’s really tricky. What would I do? I know, I would grow even more food and I would give it to as many people as possible. I can’t grow cruciferous vegetables, I am terrible at growing broccoli and cauliflower, every year they don’t form properly, so I would work out what on earth I’m doing wrong in growing my brassica vegetables because I love them, but I would expand my food growing so that I could spend a lot more time in those gardens myself and share all of that food with all the people I love and also with strangers. That’s what I would love, that would be joyous.
Kristina: 01:00:29 A very beautiful dream and definitely not an impossible dream. Because I love your vegetables and I love seeing photos on your Instagram and how they are going.
Dr. Libby W: 01:00:38 Well I know how difficult it is, I created a food based supplement company called Bio Blends and I have to have, well, not have to, I love having conversations with the farmers who actually grow all the foods and the herbs and the plants that go into those products because I’m very fussy about the ingredients that I put into those and I understand obviously that … I don’t want pesticide residues, I don’t want heavy metals to be there.
Dr. Libby W: 01:01:02 And then of course you’ve got to have great quality soil for there to even be any nutrients in the food so I have a personal interest in that and then of course with my work I have an interest in really knowing about that all as well.
Kristina: 01:01:15 And I have to say that I love your Bio Blends products, so thank you for creating beautiful products for us to enjoy, so thank you.
Kristina: 01:01:23 So I’m just going to do a couple of really last questions that are a little bit faster, so do you have any particular morning routine to set you up for a productive day? You know how I’m so obsessed with morning routines.
Dr. Libby W: 01:01:34 Yes, I used to have a very rigid one, and quite a few years ago now I actually let the rigidity of that go, and I still have the spaciousness but I do what ever I like. So sometimes that’s writing, sometimes that’s making a hot drink and just going and sitting outside, sometimes it’s going for a walk, meditation, Pilates, there’s always something but it’s whatever my heart and soul wants to do on that morning. But it’s that time commitment to myself and it creates a great sense of spaciousness and gratitude to start the day.
Kristina: 01:02:02 That’s great, thank you.
Kristina: 01:02:04 Do you have any other particular rituals that helps you to live your dream life?
Dr. Libby W: 01:02:08 Yes, so closing the lid of my computer as the sun sets is a big one, and it was actually borne from a dream session that I did not so long ago because I thought, what would I be sad about, I’m not someone who ever regrets anything, I don’t think like that because I trust what unfolds, but I thought what would I … if I’m sitting on my verandah when I’m 80, what would I regret if I was going to regret something, what would I regret not doing more of?
Dr. Libby W: 01:02:33 And the first thing that flew into my head was seeing more sunsets. And I thought, I can do that right now, so that’s why I close the lid of my computer and go outside wherever I am to watch the light change.
Dr. Libby W: 01:02:43 Or if that’s not possible if I’m in a hotel room, you know, just standing at the window and watching, looking out there for 10 minutes, that’s a big thing for me, I absolutely love it. That’s an important ritual for me.
Kristina: 01:02:53 Yeah, it’s a beautiful ritual and I have it, but i have the opposite, so I love the morning part of the day, and I love sunrises, and it’s funny because I often bring one child with me when I travel for work, and it’s often Axel because he’s a bit older, we have this thing where we at least see one sunrise in each city we go to.
Kristina: 01:03:13 And it’s such a beautiful thing, because you just feel so alive and being outside, and especially in a new city, because you would need to find out where would you see the sunrise in the best possible way, I love that. So thank you for sharing your ritual.
Kristina: 01:03:25 What’s your favourite kikki.K product, if you have one?
Dr. Libby W: 01:03:28 Your diary, your yearly diary, I use it every single year, and it’s the minimalist one, and changes my life. I’m a pen and paper girl, I’ve got an electronic diary as well, but everything that’s in my electronic diary is also in my paper diary because it makes my brain just relax. So, yes, your diary is my life saver for my level of calm, so thank you.
Kristina: 01:03:51 Thank you so much for sharing.
Kristina: 01:03:54 I can’t have you on here without asking your favorite book and why because we’re both so passionate about our books.
Dr. Libby W: 01:04:02 It was one of the ways we first became friends, wasn’t it, with our love of books?
Dr. Libby W: 01:04:07 So, it’s really hard to pick one, but certainly a book that changed me was a book called Quiet by Susan Cain. Never before had I felt more understood than I read this book. She has so thoroughly researched and beautifully articulated the power of being an introvert in a world that can’t stop talking, and what introverts bring through their way of being and doing, and that’s the book that I tell a lot of people to read because I am introverted in my nature, I obviously do the work that I do to try and be of assistance if I can, but in my own nature I’m very energised from being by myself, from being in nature, or just from sharing time with one person, I really love one person, one on one type conversations, so I am very introverted in my nature.
Dr. Libby W: 01:04:52 And that book helped me to really understand myself in a way that, yeah, I hadn’t seen it like that before. So the catch line of that book is, “the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”, and I do do a lot of talking but I loved her insights into the benefit of … the way introverts for example are often very keen observers and yeah, I love that, because it helps you to then observe patterns and potentially pass those observations onto others to see if they’re useful.
Kristina: 01:05:21 Beautiful, thanks for sharing.
Kristina: 01:05:23 The last question: if you could go back to your younger self, say when you were around 16, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
Dr. Libby W: 01:05:31 What would it be? Probably the advice that I shared, that I wish everybody knew and that is to treat myself as the precious person that I am. I do that now, but of course to get to that point, you usually go through a period where you don’t do that, and you’re incredibly judgemental of yourself and harsh with yourself so there’s no need for that.
Dr. Libby W: 01:05:53 And I probably would also tell myself to not worry so much, I am a worrier in my little heart, and I would tell myself, that, yeah, it’s all beyond your wildest dreams and it’ll all be okay. But it’s that message that we’re all so worth taking care of I think that always sings true out of my heart.
Kristina: 01:06:11 Yeah, beautiful thanks for sharing, and I so, so agree with that, so true.
Kristina: 01:06:16 Well, can I just say a massive thank you, I realise we could speak for hours and hours as we do when we get together, but anyway we will definitely have to get you back here because there’s so much I could talk to you about and share with our listeners.
So thank you so much for all that you do for the world and sharing the wisdom and I will link to all your social media things so that people can follow you and I really encourage everyone who is listening to go and see your amazing talks in whatever topic. I always walk away so inspired and I absolutely love everything you do and also what you share with the world.
Kristina: 01:06:53 And I also wanted to mention here, because I know you do women’s weekend, I don’t know if that’s … what are they called, what’s the right word for them?
Dr. Libby W: 01:07:02 Yeah, they’re called Essential Women’s Health Weekends.
Kristina: 01:07:04 Yeah, and I haven’t been to one of those but every time I see that you have them, it’s one of my dreams to come there, and I will, but I have heard a lot about them and highly recommend if anyone is interested to attend them as well.
Kristina: 01:07:19 But thank you so much, Libby, for this amazing chat, and I’m now starting the day here because I’m in Sweden at the moment and I’m sure our listeners are as well so thank you so much.
Dr. Libby W: 01:07:32 Thank you so much, it’s been so special to have this chat, Kristina, thank you for everything you share with the world, too.
Kristina: 01:07:39 Wow, what a wonderful conversation that was, and what an amazing person Dr Libby is. I’m always so inspired by everything she has to say.
Kristina: 01:07:48 I hope you enjoyed hearing her story and her thoughts about health, happiness and living with purpose as much as I did. One of the most powerful lessons that I took from her story was having a clear sense of your own passions and purpose in life not only fills you with an incredible energy and zest for life, but also how having a lack of purpose can negatively impact on our energy levels as well.
Kristina: 01:08:12 The way she spoke about overcoming self-doubt and trusting our inner voice also really inspired me. Personally, I’m very aligned with what Dr Libby spoke about in this episode, and you’ll find helpful chapters devoted to finding and following your passions, and the power of purpose in my new book, Your Dream Life Starts Here. It’s well worth reading and exploring for yourself to help you create your dream life, whatever that means to you.
Kristina: 01:08:38 I really hope this episode has left you feeling inspired and excited to consider how you can follow your own passions as a key element of creating your dream life. If you haven’t got a copy yet, I encourage you to get hold of my book and the Dream Life journal that I have created to go with it, which is a great starting point if you want guidance on your journey of uncovering and chasing your dreams.
Kristina: 01:09:01 Another great way for you to tap into the amazing power of dreaming in your own life if you haven’t already, is to check out my 101 dreams audio guide at kikki-k.com/dreamlife. It’s a really powerful step-by-step audio guide I have created to help you tap into your heart and get down on paper a long list of potential dreams you may want to chase.
Kristina: 01:09:26 I’ve helped thousands of people around the world with this, and I think you’ll find it a great use of your time. And I would really appreciate your support with my big crazy dream to inspire 101 million people around the world to write down three dreams on paper and go and chase them.
Kristina: 01:09:43 So if you found this episode useful, be sure to subscribe to my podcast and leave us a review to help us inspire even more people. And please help us to spread this inspiring dreaming message and dream life movement to even more people by posting about it on social media, with the hashtag #101milliondreamers and #kikkikdreamlife
Kristina: 01:10:06 Finally, I’m so excited to announce our upcoming Dream Life Master Classes in Melbourne and Sydney in late October. Join me live with Opera Winfrey’s all time favourite guest ever, Dr Tererai Trent, as well as a remarkable Olympic gold medalist, Alisa Camplin-Warner in Sydney, and the wonderful Dr Libby Weaver in Melbourne. It’s said to be a magical three hour event where we will all share much of what we’ve learnt about chasing and achieving dreams. Find out how to get your tickets via the show notes, and I would love to see you there. Until next time, dream big.
Please note: this is a full transcript of Kristina Karlsson’s conversation with Dr Libby Weaver. Listen and subscribe to the inspiring audio podcast here>