I Chose Healing! Rakale Hannah | OYNB 106

One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 106 – Rakale Hannah

The One Year No Beer Podcast has a new co-host! Kristine Laping will be joining host Chris Laping to bring you guests, stories, and insights on the One Year No Beer Podcast. In today’s episode, Chris and Kristine talk with Rakale Hannah. Rakale is a one-to-one coach in the ONYB community, but that’s not her only important role. Rakale is also a gifted musician who has just released an album entitled Other Side of Blue. Rakale has a moving personal story to share, and in today’s episode, she discusses her own journey and how she ended up in a position to help others in their journeys.

Music has always been part of Rakale Hannah’s life. She grew up as the daughter of a Baptist preacher and both of her parents were singers, so Rakale has been singing since she was very young. But there was also a darker side to Rakale’s upbringing. She reveals that as a child, she experienced a lot of religious control as well as physical and verbal abuse at home. She talks about experiencing shame and feeling as if she had to present a face to the world that suggested everything was beautiful, even when the opposite was true.

“I've had times where I'll be on stage singing a song and someone will come to me and say, you were coaching me while you were singing like I felt the energy of change in your music.”

Rakale discusses how her childhood experiences left her with pain and trauma, and how her journey involved working through those experiences. She talks about what helped her through her difficult childhood – notably, her own imagination played a big role, as well as connections that she made with others in her church. 

She explains how she chose healing and transformation, and how that changed her life’s journey. Rakale discusses how her changes weren’t instantaneous – she spent time working with different therapists until she found the right one and she had to work through the unfinished business of her life one step at a time. Rakale states that it’s consistency that people need to seek, not perfection. She talks about the importance of showing up and making progress, even it doesn’t go as quickly as you’d prefer.

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Episode Transcript

Chris: Welcome to another episode of the OYNB Podcast. I'm your guest host, Chris Laping, and I am so excited about today's show for so many reasons. First, over the coming weeks and months, we're going to be working to improve this podcast.

When I'm coaching the MasterMind program, I always emphasize that we only need to get 1% better every day, and it can make a huge difference in our lives. Well, it's the same with this podcast. Hopefully, you're going to notice a little 1% improvement here and there. One of the improvements that I'm excited about is that I now have a co-host, the smart and talented Kristine Laping. Say hello, Kristine.

Kristine: Hello.

Chris: How did you like that intro?

Kristine: That was pretty bold, but I must just get it out of the way. You're pretty sneaky because when I was a guest on a couple of the previous episodes, were you auditioning me? I did not know. I think I was in an audition.

Chris: It was better that I didn't formally tell you that I was interested in you being a co-host, just in case it didn't go well when we were recording.

Kristine: Okay, you're probably right. Well, I'm happy to be here.

Chris: You did a great job on those episodes. We got great feedback from people about it. I know you're an introverted person, so thank you again for agreeing to go further than being a guest and actually be a co-host.

Kristine: Well, I hope I pleased the public.

Chris: We will find out.

Kristine: Yeah, we will.

Chris: Okay, so listen, I'm excited you're here, but here's what I'm most excited about this week. I'm most excited about this week's guest, Rakale Hannah. If you watched any of the OYNB lives, you may have already seen Rakale. She is a one to one coach in the OYNB community, but in addition to being a coach, she's also a musician and has an album out titled Other Side Of Blue.

Kristine: Can I tell you—in preparation for this conversation—I listened to her album today twice. Back to back. Yes, I was scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets, but I had the same emotion as I did years ago when I was introduced to John Legend's album Get Lifted.

I kid you not. I was singing. I had headphones on, so you probably heard me trying to sing along and I do not sound like Rakale. But I loved it and I am so happy this is part of my library now. 

Chris: I am so geeked out too that we're going to have this conversation with Rakale. When I downloaded her album from iTunes, I didn't know what to expect. But I was jumping in, supporting, and wanting to make sure that an OYNB coach had her albums downloaded, and I just love it.

Kristine: Yeah. Can I tell you her title track song—the Other Side Of Blue, I wrote these lyrics down. “I haven't told you yet, but I've already started grieving you patiently. Waiting to come out renewed on the other side of blue, on the other side of you.” I'm sure it was written about a relationship but that was so applicable to the alcohol journey because you have to grieve your old self. I just found little bits and pieces that were so relevant to the alcohol-free journey throughout the entire album. Again, I loved it. I'm a fan.

Chris: Well, we're like immediate super fans here, and so we'll have a chance to talk to her in a minute about all of this stuff.

There are two parts to Rakale's story that I think all of you listening will enjoy today. First, she has an important story about breaking the cycle. When I say breaking the cycle, I mean breaking the cycle of our upbringing and breaking through all of the baggage we carry consciously and unconsciously from our childhood. I think especially about people on their alcohol-free journeys, who are mostly drinking because they grew up in homes where it was highly normalized. 

The second part of Rakale's story is about how we can live a life of abundance and bliss. Of course, we are going to talk about her wonderful music. I want to welcome to the show, Rakale Hannah. Hello, Rakale.

Rakale: Hi there, Chris and Kristine. I'm so delighted to be here with you. Thank you for that beautiful introduction.

Chris: Well, we are excited to have you here, Rakale. I should say to everyone listening that you agreed to do this recording with us on a Saturday in the middle of a move. You're in the middle of a big move right now, yes?

Rakale: I am, I am. I'm moving to San Diego. I'm currently in Los Angeles, California. It wasn't terribly planned, but I think it was the stillness of the time that we're in right now that I was able to realize that I needed to make this change, and I'm very excited. But yes, I am looking at boxes. I'm packing up today, and I'm so delighted to have the opportunity to chat with you while I'm in the midst of all of this.

Kristine: Well, thank you for taking a break. We have moved so many times in the Laping house, and it is not an enjoyable activity. Thank you for taking the break and meeting with us.

Chris: What would you have done, Kristine, if I ever asked you to stop in the middle of packing up boxes to do a podcast like this?

Kristine: There was a big eye roll happening right there for anybody who can't see us. One time Chris went out of town on a business trip during the move and I ended up packing up by myself.

Chris: And watching three kids while that was going on. I was not in the hall of fame of husbands at that point.

Rakale, let's jump right into our chat. Here's where I'd love to start. I want to start where I normally start in these podcasts, which is to focus on like here and now. You have such an interesting mix of skills. On one hand, you're a life and transformational coach, and on the other hand, you're a wildly talented musician. My question to just kick this off is how did that happen? And when you meet new people, how do you describe yourself? Do you first mention being a musician? Do you mention the coach side? Or do the two of these things fit a lot more closely together than I'm giving it credit for?

Rakale: That's a beautiful question. I actually did my little dance with this for many years. I was trying to pick one or the other. But ultimately, as my life played out and my work played out, it came together as one. My passion for music, I've always known that was there. I'm a Baptist preacher's kid, both of my parents sing. I'm in the family of singers, and so that's always been there. 

I didn't know I'd end up as a coach. I think that just came as a result of my own transformational journey. It was a natural progression, but over time, they've come together. I've had times where I'll be on stage singing a song and someone will come to me and say, you were coaching me while you were singing like I felt the energy of change in your music.

There are times where I might sing when I'm doing a coaching video in AFM or Alcohol-Free Me mini program. I've done that a couple of times, and it sometimes has helped to relay the message and also opened the heart. I think they worked fairly well together at this time in my journey.

Kristine: I feel like I'm going to cry right now.

Chris: Yeah. I think there is a good chance sometime in this podcast one of us is going to cry. I was asked, would you cry with our client? When you're coaching someone, you will sing to someone you're coaching?

Rakale: I've done that before. Yes, I have. When inspired I will. It doesn't happen often but it has happened.

Chris: When you were younger, you could imagine the singing part when you got older, but you didn't necessarily picture the coaching part.

Rakale: Not at all. I had no idea this was part of my journey. I think there were times in my life where I didn't have access to my voice, even as a singer. There were messages that I was given that just relayed to me that I wasn't the real thing.

Over time, I just wasn't using my voice at all, and I think while I was reclaiming my singer voice, I found my coach voice. They just have merged together and come together. When I look back at my childhood, there were moments where I always had a few people who would come to me for advice. It was probably always latent and there, but I just didn't know it. I had no clue.

Kristine: I love what you're saying. In the introduction, I talked about the lyrics that came out of the Other Side Of Blue. Throughout your entire album, I picked these lyrics and I found motivation, I found comfort, or I found strength. Again, it is so applicable to the counseling or coaching world. Music is just so impactful and moves us. 

Your #Timesup song, when that track started, I was like, oh, this has a little bit of a Justin Timberlake beat. I'm moving around as I'm mopping the floor, and then all of a sudden your lyrics come in that, “Girls are here to stay. It's time we make a change.” I'm like, yes. We need this message right now. I love what you're saying. It's so beautiful.

Chris: I think it's wonderful that you're using music as a platform to do something positive because that goes in all different directions in the music world.

Let's go back in time now because the part of what draws me into your story—and you mentioned this a little bit when you talked about your upbringing. The thing that draws me in is the weightiness of your childhood. I want to read an excerpt from your website, and I want to talk about it. On your website, you say, “Because of what I observed as a child, as an adult, I was committed to achieving true health, true abundance, true happiness, true romance, not a false picture of the same.”

Rakale, will you tell me more about your childhood and the things that you're talking about or referencing in that excerpt?

Rakale: Yes. As I mentioned, I'm a preacher's kid raised in the Baptist Church down in Houston, Texas. We went to church every single Sunday, Wednesdays, some Fridays, every first Saturday. We were at church all the time, and I always had this question in the back of my mind. Why are we going to church so much and nothing is changing at home? I had a mother who was raised by a father who was an alcoholic. Her mother was mentally ill, my grandmother, and she had a lot of wounds.

My father was a little bit healthier but still had his own story, had his own path, and there was just no transformation. There was no healing. There was no evolution. Even though we were going to church and listening to a message of change all the time. 

I wanted more. I wanted to see change. I wanted the spiritual work that I did to become something, and this question that I had as a child ended up influencing my decisions as an adult to pursue what I wish for, what I wondered, what I question.

There was a lot of religious control in my childhood because there was pain and trauma from my mother's side. It was religion and abuse mixed together at home. It just created a lot of hardship for me in finding my identity. 

I felt very alone throughout my entire childhood, and I just couldn't find my way. I didn't know where I fit, where I belonged, and it created a big gap, a bit of separation for me in my identity. As well as it created a pathway of having a really hard time building close intimate connections and friendships. These are imperative for me. This is the only thing that I wanted was a connection, but it escaped me often because of the system that I was raised in.

Chris: I can't even imagine. If your dad was a preacher and you're in church, it feels like you'd have all eyeballs on you and your family just watching your every move, your behaviors, and if you would misbehave or say something out of line. How that would impact even your father in that situation must have been tough.

Rakale: Yeah. I playfully say one of the sentences is probably still playing out in my unconscious mind on a repeat script is, don't you know your daddy is a preacher? Everything that we did we were reminded that all eyes were on us. There was an idea that we have to keep this perception, but we didn't land into actually making that perception real like our authentic life.

It would have been beautiful to have that perception and the actual experience, but the focus was on creating that perception, which is what I believe created the biggest disconnect in my childhood experiences. That we had to show up like it was beautiful, but it was the opposite.

Chris: Can you paint the picture a little bit of what that looks like when you say the opposite? What kinds of things were going on at home that you knew in the back of your mind that if the parishioners at the church were to see this, it would be really bad? 

Rakale: There was some physical abuse and some of it they justified—there was a Bible scripture, spare the rod, spoil the child. There was a Texas-sized belt, hanging on our stairway banister that was a constant reminder that there was a punishment on the other side of any mistake.

When I look back at my childhood, I really tried to be obedient. I still can't justify the number of whoopings that I received. That was part of the physical abuse. It was not about discipline, it was about releasing anger. But it was used in a way like it was justifiable because of that Bible scripture.

There were other times where it wasn't a belt, it was a fist or a lot of verbal abuse. That part of it was obviously difficult, but even more insidious was the system of shame that my family operated. There's a book called Healing the Shame that Binds You by a gentleman named John Bradshaw.

He talks about family systems when one parent is particularly wounded—like my mother, and they don't know how to be an adult, and how to be a parent, and they’re not whole, self-actualized, or healed. They will unconsciously create a family system that serves them, that creates safety for them, and that protects them instead of the children, which is the system that we all dream of.

In my family system, I was given the role of scapegoat. There are also other roles like […] role, the child that proves that the parent is good. And then there's always the child that carries the shame, that carries whatever goes wrong in the family system because that's what the parent needs. They need somewhere to put that because they don't know how to relate, grow, and transform. 

I was a lucky child with that role, and that also created such hardship to know that I was trying so hard to be exactly what they asked, but I didn't stand a chance. Because I had that role, there was no chance for me to be accepted, to be seen, to be received fully because she needed me in that role. That probably was harder than even the physical things because there was no hope for change, being seen, and acknowledged for who I really was and who I was trying and striving to be my entire childhood.

Chris: That is so heavy. What did you do during that time? How did you get solace and escape from this? How are you coping with this?

Rakale: I fantasize a lot. I daydreamed a lot about better, about connection, and having a community. Because I went to church so much, I also created some bonds with people at church. That was also very healing and healthy for me to have people that could see me at least two or three times a week, wherever I would go. I think those two things together—my imagination and the connections at church supported me.

Chris: On other podcasts, I've mentioned this and I talked about this in MasterMind when I'm coaching the MasterMinders. When we have these traumatic things that happened in our lives, we have three choices. The first choice is to just avoid them. Especially for people on their alcohol-free journey, they had chosen for years to mask the pain and struggle with alcohol. It was just an avoidance tactic. 

The second choice is that we have to change our beliefs about those things that have happened, it's our beliefs about those events. Then the third option is if something really bad happens. We learn from it, and it shapes and changes our behaviors going into the future. 

Where do you think you were falling on that spectrum—as perhaps a teenager or even in your early adulthood—when you were carrying around this burden and struggle that came with some of these pain and heartbreak of your upbringing?

Rakale: I probably fell in plan A of the unconscious pattern of just finding ways to cope. I actually had a therapist share this with me, and it's a mantra that I live by now. Something that probably all of my clients hear me say at least once or 15 times.

In our adult lives, we are always working through our unfinished childhood business. We’re either doing it consciously or unconsciously. I think for many of us when we end up in our habit loops around alcohol or codependent relationships—food, other substances, gambling behaviors. That's the unconscious, attempt to find peace, attempt to soothe or numb what journey we are in. 

The subconscious script that is playing in the back of our mind about who we are, our identity, that unfinished business, those wounds that need to be healed, those emotions that need to be felt. We are just playing them out as best as we can, but it's in an unconscious way. I think that when we begin to wake up, this is what I share with all of my clients at One Year No Beer and otherwise. It's a gift.

It's the gift of these habits. It's the gifts that we even have them. Because we have them, we wake up. Even if we can't see what we need to wake up to, the pain of our habits create a requirement that we must wake up to see what's really going on, and to do the deeper work to become conscious of what needs to be healed, and transform those beliefs that need to be changed.

I started out in just the habit loop of coping. I still have questions. I was always curious, but I started out there. Eventually, that evolved into the conscious working out of my unfinished childhood business, which brought me to where I am today.

Chris: Was it a breakthrough moment that caused you to start processing this, or was it just a lot of small things over time?

Rakale: I would say it's probably a combination. Many of my habits, while I was trying to work it out, I just didn't know-how. I didn't have enough support to do it without the habit at the time, but I didn't have a moment in my life where I was so overwhelmed. I was so lost. I was so lonely, and I was very hopeless. 

I spent many years of my life in a bit of depression. Even from childhood—very early on—I was depressed. There were moments where I wasn't even sure I would survive, but I had this one particular moment. I was crying. I was just so lost, and I could see my future. I don't know what happened. It was like a vision. It was like a moment of clarity for me where I could see what was before me. It was like a fork in the road moment where it was either I was going to repeat what my mother had done. I was going to stay in the pain. I was going to stay in the wound like she did. 

There's a quote by Amanda Owen, she says, the woman I was meant to call my mother, but silence before I was born. I know now more than ever that my mother was a beautiful person who was just silenced before I arrived, and she never found her way to freedom. She never found her way to peace and wholeness. I could see that was a possibility for me as well, but the alternative was something else, which I didn't even know what it was.

I often say when I've given a speech, I didn't even know what to call this something else, but it was the opposite of whatever I knew, what I could see I could become. I had a clear vision of what I could become, and I knew I didn't want that, and then I just knew I wanted the other—whatever that was.

I now realized at that moment, I chose healing. I didn't know what to call it, but I chose the path of transformation. It was just one step at a time. It was one moment at a time. I've had probably like four or five different therapists, and each one had their own skill set until I found the real one, the one that really helped me transform. But I just stayed in the conversation for years until I could figure it out.

While I was moving, I still had some of the time. I was still working through the unfinished business, but I was just slowly becoming conscious one step at a time. This is something that I share with my clients often that it's more important that you build your relationship with yourself than you create perfection in your transformation.

Many times we're seeking perfection in the transformation, and that's not necessary. It's consistency. It's follow-through, that's what's most important, and doing it with the foundation of wanting to connect with yourself will make it so much easier and even speed it along, but from the right place.

Chris: Don't you find people are so tough on themselves. Like even when they consistently show up, I think people expect linear progress that every day, they're going to improve the same amount for all of their effort. It doesn't work out that way, so they start to really get down on themselves. 

I saw a post the other day from someone who has a goal to write a book, and the first step in that process for her is to write 400 words every day. She said she woke up that day feeling like a lot of energy and thought, I'm going to write 1000 words. Actually some very healthy habits in her life, she just got really caught up in her quiet time and working out. She couldn't write her 1000 words, which was the stretch goal, so she only got 600.

The goal is 400 every day. She shows up thinking she's going to do 1000, so she gets to 600, and she actually thought that she failed that day. It's crazy because I just think so many people do make progress when they show up. You just show up every day.

Kristine: I love what you said in the storytelling about your mom too—and I just want to call that point out—because you chose to break a cycle. I think that is so important that people need to give themselves credit just for that step in the process.

So many people unconsciously just repeat the same behaviors as their parents had, and their parents had, and so on. My sister and I talk about this a lot because we grew up in a household of daily drinking and neither one of us drink right now. We consciously chose to break that cycle. The power, the energy that comes just from that decision is so amazing. I just want to celebrate you because clearly, like you said, you didn't quite know what your future looks like, but you did that.

Look at you now and look at how many lives you touch in such a positive way both through your counseling and through your music. It's just amazing and beautiful.

Chris: Going back to that excerpt that I shared earlier on the website about seeking true abundance for yourself. What I'll say is it's not just in that excerpt, I spent a lot of time on your website. If anybody did the word count on the word abundance, it's just all over the site. I would love to know what does that mean to you personally when you talk about true abundance and bliss?

Rakale: Thank you for that question. I have a smile on my face just with you asking it. I connected with what you said a few minutes ago, Chris, about your client who is beating herself up over her word count even though she had exceeded the real goal. She didn't feel like it was enough. I think we find ourselves when we are in our transformation journey and we're trying to get to a specific destination, whatever that is. Many times I ask my clients, where are you going in such a hurry? Many times they don't know. They're just trying to get anywhere but here.

When we're trying to move, transform, and create better habits and behaviors, we can be very hard on ourselves. I playfully say that sometimes we can become our parents to ourselves. I had the Texas-sized belt over the stairway banister. In my childhood, I became the carrier of the belt. I became the figurative person that beat myself up in my mind and with the way that I treated myself on my journey. Even when I was doing sessions with therapists and coaches at the same time. There was a time where I was paying more for my therapy and coaching monthly than I was paying for my rent, and I was still beating myself up. 

This was a hard-earned lesson to transition from the striving in change and moving that to following your bliss, doing what you love. There's a quote by Joseph Campbell, he says “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” I believe that when we add bliss as the foundation of our change we can create transformation from the place of self-connection instead of perfection. We can find our way into our best lives through our bliss. That's the door to every change that you're seeking to make is connecting with what you love. For me, that's music. 

I also enjoy coaching and teaching. I'm excited right now, even as we're talking. Following what you love and using that as a foundation for your change, it will absolutely transform and it will help you to be kinder to yourself along the path.

Chris: Maybe you see this with your clients too, Rakale, or you've seen this in your own life. The thing is—this person I was talking about who was hard on herself because she didn't get to that stretch goal of 1000 words—in my view, she's actually one of the strongest people that I've ever had the opportunity to work with and coach. She shows up every day and puts so much thought and care into what she's doing. 

I wonder if any listener right now to this podcast might be in this situation. They hear what you are saying and they want that for themselves, but they just don't believe they can get that. That they might say to you, Rakale, that's way easier said than done. What would you say to them?

Rakale: The first question is, what is it that you're truly looking for? I think that's a question that needs to be addressed when we're constantly striving. It makes me think of little dogs. When you see a dog held over water and they’re moving their legs in the water, even though they're not. Many times, I feel like this is what we're doing when we're in the past to change. We’re just moving, moving, moving, but we're not connected to what we're moving towards. 

Beneath that are the false beliefs that are driving the way that we're treating ourselves, so really taking the time to slow down. I say this to all of my One Year No Beer clients, change is slower than we want it to be. It doesn't have to be snail-like slow, but it's always slower than we want it to be. 

Oftentimes, the first thing you need to do is to set appropriate expectations with the understanding of what you're truly moving towards. If you can't rightly answer that question—what is it that you're going for—then that's when you want to slow down so that you understand where you're going. You don't want to get in a car, turn it on, and have no map, no idea where we're going. Really get clear, what is the destination? And then what's the why? Why do you want to get there?

Most of the time, when we're beating ourselves up, we're not beating ourselves up because we're not in the destination. We're beating ourselves up because we're not even in touch with where we're going or the real why we want to get there. We want to look for those beliefs that are driving us. Are we just looking for worthiness? And is that where worthiness comes from? Does it come from getting a book done? Does it come from getting out and done? Does it come from finding the right partner? Does it come from being alcohol-free? Where do we need to reposition our mindset so that we can show up for what we plan?

Kristine: I was going to say, don't you think that there's a step of forgiveness in there? I keep referring back to the lyrics of the songs on your album because it's so fresh in my mind from this morning. But on track six, you have this lyric. I'm sure it might have been about a relationship with another person, “I love you. I'm sorry, please forgive me. Thank you.”

For me, going through the alcohol-free journey—we recently had our two-year milestone—those lyrics were so important because I had to go through this forgiveness of myself for the things that I had done, the person I was then. Only until I went through that step of forgiveness could I get real clear about my new bliss, if you will.

Rakale: I absolutely agree with you there. Releasing yourself and giving yourself permission to have been imperfect in the past to not know what you know now so that you can move into your next best expression, absolutely, is an imperative step to our transformation.

Chris: It's getting past the shame and regret of our past and turning it into learning and growing. What would you recommend to people in terms of doing some of this deep work related to their purpose and their identity, and connecting to why? Are there some easy steps people could follow for that? Is that something they should be doing with the coach? Or is that something that they can do on their own and they just need to get away from the noise? Are there things condition-wise (I guess is what I'm getting at) that we could give tips and tricks to the listeners on how to start digging in on these things you're talking about.

Rakale: I think we all show up at whatever stage we are on the transformation. We show up as best that we know-how. From there, we can add in whatever it is we're ready for today. The first step would be checking in with yourself and asking, what am I ready for today? Many people that I work with, they think that they have to immediately dive into the deep end of their change. That again, is that voice of striving, that voice of pressure or trying to escape path, or whatever it might be. 

Being in touch with where you are today and checking in, what am I ready for? Knowing that it's most important that you take a step. It doesn't have to be the biggest step. Martin Luther King has a quote, he says, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” That first step is more important than anything else, and then just following that up with another.

Some first steps that I think are very helpful. I have a quote that I often—in some of my lives at One Year No Beer—from Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson. They have a book called You Can Create An Exceptional Life. One of the chapters is How You Start Your Day Is How You Live Your Day, and that’s followed by the next chapter which is How You Live Your Day Is How You Live Your Life.

Sometimes, the first step is just being in touch with the start of your day, connecting with yourself, making sure that you’re the priority at the beginning of every day, and that you honor the experience that you want to have for the day at the top of the day. That could be by adding in a beautiful song, taking some time to meditate, or journals. It could be calling a good friend. Something that I do if I am feeling just chill and I need to relax, I might just go find a funny video to watch just to lighten the energy of the day, to break the cycle of waking up, immediately getting into work, and striving all day long.

From there, you can add in other behaviors like connecting with a therapist or a coach for some additional support. You could also just pick up a good book. One of my favorite books for change is written by Debbie Ford. She has a book called, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. This book is a really powerful book for self-actualization—getting to know yourself, getting to know your patterns. Starting with a great self-help book might be the way. 

But just knowing what it is that you want, I think that’s the first thing—what are you ready for? Letting yourself make that choice and build towards change. Because one thing that I believe happens when we take that first step is that the path becomes a little bit more clear. I’ve had so many times where I have taken the first step and the very thing that I needed has found its way to me. I’ve heard it from many One Year No Beers will say, I knew I needed to make this change, and all of a sudden I saw the page. It finds you when you’re willing to take the first step. That’s where I would begin.

Chris: That is such awesome advice. I even hesitate to add anything to it because it was perfect standing alone on its own. But it makes me think about this thought around, there’s a difference between going from 0-1 and going from 1-1000. That first step—that 0-1—whatever it is that you are doing, whatever new thing you’re creating—a new habit you are trying, is a different issue than the 1-1000. What you can see happen sometimes with people is that they are worried about the 1-1000. If I do this today, how am I going to repeat this for the rest of my life?

Kristine: I’m thinking about the people who have never run, and they’re like, I’m going to run a marathon.

Chris: Exactly, or they go out and they run that first day and they really hurt themselves, and they’re like, how am I going to show up and do this every day? Specifically, in OYNB, the way this show’s up is people show up for a 90-day challenge. And they’re day 48, 49, and they will say, gosh, I don’t know what I’m going to do on day 91. They let day 91 get in the way of just getting through the days now. They feel like they have to define the 1-1000.

It’s taking like you said that first step—I love that whole notion of the first step—and then that’s how you start your day and then that’s how you start your life. That’s really wonderful. Again, I knew that was going to happen. I knew I was going to try to add something in there because I got so excited about your advice, and I knew it probably wouldn’t be additive. There you go. 

Kristine: Thanks for man explaining to us.

Chris: I thought there was going to be a chance I was going to be accused of mansplaining there. Rightfully, I’ll own that if that’s exactly what I did there.

Kristine: You didn’t. I was joking.

Rakale: No, I loved it because it brought back up one of the things that I mentioned earlier, change is slower than we want it to be. Knowing what it is that you’re going for. A lot of people are not trying to make the change for the right reason. They misplace their why or they never gathered it. 

What you just said reminds us that it’s so important to slow down and to connect with your reason, and make sure you’re part of the reason—you are the priority. The accomplishment is secondary to you and your experience in your life. What you just said anchored that into the room.

Chris: That is just great advice and it just hits me right in the heart for my own life and how I show up every day. What's next for you? You've accomplished a lot in your life. You've learned a lot. What kind of goals do you have for yourself in the future? Will you produce any more music? Please say you will.

Rakale: I'm sure that I will. It's not on my radar right at this moment. I have a few friends. I've been in a small mastermind group, I know that you run larger groups, but I've been in a small mastermind group with a few of my friends. We decided to create a space to help people follow their bliss and just connect. We're working on getting that started in 2021. We’re called The Do What You Love Tribe. That's the next big thing on our radar.

Just wanting to hold more space for people to do what they love. Find abundance in it to know that when you're doing what you're sure to do—some of the things that we worry about every day. When you're really in your purpose and you're connected with your authentic expression, those hardships just simply go away. We're just wanting to create more space for that. I'm wanting to create more conversations around that. 

I'm sure, on the other side of that, I'll be making some music. Every now and again, I'll sit down and I'll have an idea, and I'll hit the record button on my Mac. I'm sure it's coming. It's not right next, but it's coming. I'm sure.

Chris: I love it. We have three kids that are musicians, and we get down in our studio/jam room. It's such an important expression of our family. Again, we're just so blessed that we have gotten a chance to listen to your music, and I hope that you keep going with music.

Rakale, in your song, Never Ever Give Up—which is the perfect anthem for OYNBers on their journey—you sing, “In everyone's life, storms fall. Lessons to be learned. Sometimes you feel alone. But at that moment, when you're sure that you can't take it anymore, I'm sure you can. Look up.”

That's the perfect lead-in for my final question, which is what advice do you have for people who are listening to this podcast who might feel alone or people who think they can't take anymore, especially people on their alcohol-free journey who just have so much doubt and fear? What do you say to them?

Rakale: It brings to mind one of my One Year No Beer clients, and he's given me permission to share his first name, Jonathan. He just reached his 365. In his journey, he spent time in rehab. He spent time resetting over and over, time again. He just couldn't figure it out. He eventually found his way to One Year No Beer, was ready for the change and has been working with me for the past year. 

One of the things that he shared with me recently, as he hit his 365 is he’s just so happy, so free, is experiencing so much peace in his life and change in his family system and has a stronger identity with himself. He's happy that he found a path that he could actually achieve.

But the powerful thing about it is that he had all those moments of failure before, and he just stayed in the conversation. He didn't give up. He followed through until the end. I would invite everyone, no matter what the hardship is, no matter what the struggle, or it might not even be a hardship. We all have different journeys. All of us weren’t raised with shame-based systems. It could just be a small problem that you're looking to solve, or maybe a little bit overwhelmed. Whatever it might be is to believe that you can get to the other side, and then stay in the conversation.

There's one thing that I would do differently. If I go back to my younger self and say, just do this one thing differently in your transformation. I would have believed more. I believed enough to try, which is good enough, it got me here. But I would have believed that I would have succeeded. Change your mindset about what you can. As Henry Ford says, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, either way, you are right.” Believe you can and then stay in the conversation until you see change because you will see change.

Kristine: I often chime in with people in the challengers’ group because when you hear people use language like, yeah, I can't drink, that sets the mind where the body will go. Instead, it's I don't want to drink or I don't drink. It's that belief that you're talking about in those positive affirmations.

Chris: Rakale, we were so honored to have you on the podcast. Thank you for letting us put a microphone in front of you, even though you're in the middle of a big move to another town. For all of you listening today, I want to encourage you to check out Rakale's album. It's on iTunes. Again, it's called Other Side of Blue.

If you're okay with it, Rakale, I'm going to play a small sample of your song, Never Ever Give Up in the outro. Are you okay with that?

Rakale: Absolutely. Play away.

Chris: Thank you again so much for being with us today.

Rakale: Yes, it was such a wonderful experience, a delight to speak with you and Kristine. I'm honored to be here with you and wishing everyone listening—all the One Year No Beers and others—just success in your journeys. Keep it up, you're doing great work.

Chris: Thank you to all of you for tuning into another episode of the OYNB Podcast. If you like this podcast, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and share it with a friend. As always, I hope that you make it a great day.

Kristine: Bye.

Chris: Bye.

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