The Power of Hypnotherapy with Lauren Best
Lauren Best is a certified hypnotherapist and Provoker of Possibility. She supports Conscious Companies, Creative Leaders and Entrepreneurs, and Curious Individuals to unlock potential, envision new possibilities for their work and life, connect to their intuition, understand their unique abilities, and strengthen their mind-intuition-body connection to take authentic action.
Listen the full episode here.
IN THIS EPISODE
[01:18] Lauren Best on what she is most passionate about [03:01] Lauren Best on her childhood [12:32] Lauren Best on her early career [36:36] Lauren Best on the process of hypnotherapy [42:00] Lauren Best on her business services [47:08] Lauren Best on why people seek her work [50:31] Lauren Best on how she defines success [51:31] Lauren Best on the power of Passionistas [53:06] Lauren Best on her dream for women [54:07] Lauren Best on how she overcame her biggest challenge [55:45] Lauren Best on which female icon she would be for a day
Passionistas: Hi, we're sisters Amy and Nancy Harrington, the founders of The Passionistas Project podcast, where we give women a platform to tell their own unfiltered stories. On every episode, we discuss the unique ways in which each woman is following her passions, talk about how she defines success, and explore her path to breaking down the barriers that women too often face.
Today we're talking with Lauren Best about the power of hypnotherapy. Lauren is a business experienced designer and certified hypnotherapist helping solopreneurs and creative entrepreneurs find more authentic freedom in their businesses. She works with her clients to co-create and design the ways they structure their work and systems, how they embrace their superpowers and genius zone, how they can simplify their services or pivot into a new service offering, all to create more freedom of time, money and energy.
So please welcome Lauren Best.
Lauren: Thank you so much for having me. It is so cool to be here and on a new space with the two of you, because I know we typically don't meet in this type of environment. So thank you for having me on the podcast.
Passionistas: We're really excited to have you here and to learn more about what you do, and it's going to be so helpful to our listeners. So, Lauren, what are you most passionate about?
Lauren: Yeah, I think for me is possibility. I wrote this on my sign that I'll share later: “I am a possibility Passionista.” But it really is just being open to a world where anything can happen, and you know, my life has shown me that truly anything can happen, and just really embracing that. So, you know, that kind of spills into all the facets of my life, whether it's in my business, because this is, you know, a new version of me in the last two years as a business owner, and try to navigate what that looks like and what kind of possibilities will come my way. And also, you know, my travel bug that I have, and, you know, always just kind of wherever I'm at being open to the possibility of changing my mind about things, you know, reinventing myself, connecting with people that I perhaps never thought I could, like, would connect to in life. So you know, there really is just so many things that I think I really like to anchor into that world of possibility and just let it be a guide for me, no matter what I'm doing in my life or my business or, you know, what my relationships might look like, and just using it as a way to almost reevaluate maybe where I'm getting a little too comfortable in my life. And yeah, just seeing what new possibilities are out there, opening my mind and my heart and my world to welcoming them as well.
Passionistas: Oh, that's amazing. So we'll get into all of that—
Passionistas: — and the path that you're going down now, but let's take a step back and start with where your journey began. So tell us about where you were born and where you grew up, what your childhood was like.
Lauren: Yeah, so I'm from Canada. I'm from Winnipeg, Canada. So we're, like, the direct center of the country. People always ask, “Are you, like, close to Toronto?” Or, “Are you close to Vancouver?” and they know about the big cities, but we’re the big city for our province, we're just north of North Dakota. So we're in the prairies. Extreme weather, I think it's minus thirty-something right now probably, and that's why I'm over here in California. But I grew up, yeah, in really kind of place with a lot of nature and was always that kid running around with the other neighborhood kids, you know, playing in the ditches and having fun and I think, you know, just really embracing my inner child and kind of navigating how to do things my own way and really letting curiosity drive me.
But I have one sister who's two years younger than me as well, so it was fun to have a little companion to also, you know, get creative with, but also, like, she was maybe less adventurous when we were little, and now she is a lot more and has done crazy things that I wouldn't do like bungee jumping. But you know, we always had each other to really kind of guide through our lives, and yeah, so I I've loved having her as my, yeah, my little companion, my little sister. And growing up, I think where I grew up in in Winnipeg or just outside Winnipeg, which was, you know, on the river and full of nature and farms across the street, I think it was one of these places where, even though we were kind of sheltered and away from the big city type of life, we, you know, it just kind of forced us to get more creative with seeing our friends or going on different adventures, and I always had this desire to, or like, pull to bigger cities, even though I hadn't really been to them. I think growing up, we would come to California here and there, and that was kind of the place that we grew up coming to, which was really, really cool. But I really always had curiosity towards different things that maybe I didn't even know about yet, and I think that's where, instinctively, like, I've seen that pattern throughout my life, and it kind of started when I was young. But I grew up riding motorcycles and little dirt bikes.
My parents both — well, my dad, mostly. We can group my mom in — are collectors of things with motors, especially motorcycles and cars and all that. So I'm pretty sure that when I was learning to ride a bike, I was learning to ride a little quad or a little motorbike of some sort. So there's always that kind of, like, funniness and freedom and that ability to kind of, you know, experience things that maybe other kids didn't quite have the tense to do in terms of, you know, going fast on your own. And, you know, I was the kid with bruises all over my legs. So yeah, and really into things that I don't do a lot anymore, but I was a figure skater for a long, long time. Now I danced in my bedroom instead of on a competitive stage. I used to dance. I grew up dancing and, you know, ballet and jazz and all that kind of stuff. So I think those stages, I guess, when I was on a stage, whether it was dancing or singing—or not singing — dancing or figure skating, I was kind of, like, the kid in the background. Like, I never was, like, that performer, but I just loved doing it for whatever reason, because when it came to, like, you know, that performance, I was like, “Okay, I'm just going to go up there and do my thing. Like, I don't really care if my smile looks amazing.” But yeah, I guess I just, I really like looking back. This is really cool to reflect. And I think I just did things for me and in my own way and figured out how to navigate that. And I think it really paved that way for who I am now a little bit of just giving myself permission to do things that feel good and things that I like.
But I, after I think I was, I must have been seventeen, the first time I traveled to Europe with my school, and ever since I went there, I thought, “I don't know where I'm going to live over here, but I'm going to live over here.” And so there was a few attempts of moving over to London and over to the UK and studying and working, where I really just found that acceptance of, “I don't have to stay where I grew up, but I can, you know, experience more things within the world.” So that took me to London, and studying there, I studied product and furniture design. So I've always been, like, a creator and maker of sorts. And then that brought me over to Singapore where I started designing experiences and businesses. So yeah, there's a lot of catalysts that tied all these things together that if you kind of talk about them here don't really make that much sense. But if I really, like, zoomed in on these different things and how I ended up in these different places, you know, now, it really makes a lot of sense. Lot of happy accidents and welcoming possibilities that I hadn't thought or even imagined possible. So I think that's why, yeah, that this idea of possibility really, I can connect anything back to it. So it's quite cool.
Passionistas: Yeah, that's fabulous. I love that sense of possibility, and it brings you on adventures all around the world, right? That's great.
Passionistas: When you were, as you were exploring all of these things, did you have people that were fostering this sense of possibility in you and this sense of adventure in you? You mentioned your parents. Did they foster that?
Passionistas: Or were there other people that foster that?
Lauren: Yeah, I think my parents most definitely in terms of just, you know, having certain hobbies that not all the other kids at school had, like riding dirt bikes on the weekends with our other family friends. But I think my mom especially, who she — you know, she's a bit more cautious than my dad with certain things — but definitely, like, I feel so lucky, and knowing I had that privilege to kind of, you know, if I wanted to figure skate, my mom would say, “Okay, like, let’s sign you up for figure skating.” And just having those opportunities to try those different things and, you know, do ceramics classes on the weekends, whatever it may be. I think they always fostered the — or prioritize these experiences that would, you know, allow us to be creative and explore what it is we liked or didn't like. I think there wasn't always that — there wasn't really pressure for them to say, you know, “If you try this thing, like, you're stuck with it,” or, “If you do it this way, then you can only do it this way.”
And I think I saw that a lot in my dad and him being a business owner and him sharing how he would do things differently from the people in his industry. Or, you know, just experimenting within his own business of using creativity to solve problems. And I think from my mother, you know, she worked in healthcare for many years, so she really had that healing and nurturing touch to her and was always doing different kundalini work, yoga workshops or Reiki or whatever it may be. So I think there is a lot of influence from them in those ways. And then my grandmother, she was in her own world, always. And it was so, like, cool now — and she's passed now — but to look back and say, like, she truly lived in her own world. And she was so happy, and she would say this thing, like, if any conflict was happening around her, like, “Happy, happy, joy, joy,” to totally deflect whatever was happening. But it's like a mantra I use sometimes when I'm like, “This is really stressing me out,” or, “These people are in conflict. What do I do?” I'm like, “Okay,” I'm just like, “There's nothing I can do. Let's just repeat this little slogan or mantra, and it'll just make me think of her.
And I'll just, I'll feel that joy, and I'll feel that happiness that she was trying to share with all of us.” So I'd say she definitely is someone that I like to think I got a lot of qualities from in terms of just having that more playful spirit and ability to love different things about life that might not always seem like they're working out in the way that you'd want them to.
Passionistas: That’s beautiful. Happy, happy, joy, joy. We say that all the time.
Lauren: Yeah. Oh my goodness, there you go.
Passionistas: I know. I wonder where that came from.
It's from something. I don't know what. It's from some, like, old TV show or something.
Lauren: Oh my gosh.
Passionistas: I have to research it.
Lauren: That's so cool. We'll have to look it up, because I'm sure that must be where she got it from. But I just thought she made it up all, this whole time, so. I love that.
Passionistas: So tell us about — let's go back to those relocations to London and Singapore.
Passionistas: What was it like to be in those environments for you, and what, how did you get into the different businesses that you got into when you were there?
Lauren: So when I, the first time I went to London, I was still in Winnipeg. I'd gone to college after high school. I studied business administration and creative communications, so journalism and public relations and audio video production and advertising. And there, I majored in public relations and thought I would be from TV, probably watching, like, “The Hills” or something. I was like, “I'm going to be a PR girl who works in fashion,” which never happened. But you know, there was like this really cool idea of that. And so I went to London, and — on the internship between the two semesters — and I don't know why, but I always felt like London is somewhere I want to go, and I don't know if it was because, you know, in a rational mind I thought, “They speak English. Like, English is the primary language. It's across the pond. It's somewhere different from, you know, America, it's different from Canada. Like, let's go there and give it a try.” So I did.
I think it was a month and a half type of internship, and it was really cool. I really loved, you know, the culture in terms of, you know, just going to — like, ‘cause I grew up in the country where we had to get a ride into the city or to the town beside us to hang out with friends or, like, go anywhere. You couldn't just really walk anywhere. So it was like, “Oh my goodness, I get to walk to the train, and the train gets to take me to work, and I can go to the pub across the street.” And I think the Backstreet Boys were recording their album across the street from, you know, the student accommodation I was living at. So I thought, “This doesn’t happen in Winnipeg,” or where I live, which is outside of Winnipeg. So it was just really cool to meet people. You know, one of my best friends who I met during that internship, we moved back to London together. Once I finished communications, and she attended FIDM in Los Angeles and had worked for quite a few years, and we both decided, "Okay, I'm going to go back to do something with design.” I wanted something more creative, and she ended up doing her masters. But here we were, you know, “Let’s see what London has to offer.”
And we'd only been there for a month and a half before, and then we realized, "Okay, like that was a romantic, like, a romanticized version of what life is like here.” We ended up moving into a flat that was above this grocery store on this high street. So very busy street, which, I've never lived in a place like that before. And we had this, I don't know, it was so expensive. Like, the rooms that we had rented individually, it was in this house with five people. And there was like, mold in the bathroom. And we're like, “Oh my gosh,” like, “There's mold here!” We were so sheltered. We had no idea that it would cost this much money to live in a place that was just so different from where we had grown up and where we lived. And it was, you know, interesting to just navigate and be students there as well and just kind of figure out what it is we're doing. And we were — well for me in my course, I was, you know, at least four or five years older than most kids who were in that program, because I was kind of going back to study product and furniture design or figure out what within design I wanted to study. So it was very much, you know, feeling like I had a little bit of wisdom under my belt without really knowing anything at all, when I look back. So yeah, it was one of those things.
I went for a year to this foundation program at Central St. Martins, and I was going to figure out there, you know, what type of design I wanted to study, whether it was interior design or product furniture design or architecture spatial design. I had no clue. I had been, before that, working for a group of e-commerce retailers, so I would design the sets for the photographs and they had, like, fur blankets and pillows and that kind of stuff. So I thought, like, that was my version of creativity and visual creativity, and it was so different. So yeah, it was, like, a whole new world of kids from all around the world bringing such different perspective, and it kind of made me realize, like, how sheltered I really was and how my perspective really, you know, was unique. But it was so small amongst this whole world of, of people who have walked such different walks of life and are bringing their culture and bringing their experiences, even though they're younger than me. You know, these things that really, truly are unique to them.
So that was really eye opening, and it was one of those moments where, I was going to, I think I was going to study for a year and then come back to Canada and, I don't know, figure it out. And at the end of that year, I was like, in panic mode, because some of my other friends I met through the course were going to stay and continue to study and do, like, a three-year degree program. And I thought, “Well, what about me? Like, what am I going to do?” And it was, I think one of those, I don't know, I still — that moment, I don't know if it was, like, a fear and intuition or just fear type of response where I was like, “I need to find a way to stay. I don't know how, but let's apply and see what happens.” So I went to a different university in Kingston upon Thames just outside of London, which was amazing. But again, it was, like, one of those struggles where it showed me in that course I was really using a lot of my perfectionism or this mission I had to almost prove myself, that I was meant to be here, that even though I was still a little bit older than everyone else, like, I had, you know, I was creative enough to be here or I was intentional enough to be here, I was hard working enough to be here. And it really, I think from my communication studies and in journalism, I remember it was like, we would automatically fail if we didn't hand our articles in on time. If it was twenty seconds late, auto fail.
So I was carrying with me all these ideas of, you know, getting things done on time and working really, really hard, and this idea of success that truly, like, is so far from where my idea of success is now, thank goodness. But it really was a time I looked back on. And I enjoyed the city. I enjoyed London, I enjoyed Kingston and you know, having fun with friends. But there were so many moments where the importance of working hard did really kind of take away from my experiences I could have perhaps had. And so now in my life, I'm, you know, more conscious of that and really value enjoying life and having, you know, time away from my work and my computer. But it was after graduating from that program I thought, "Okay, you know, I've gone back to university now for four extra years.” I'm still not even thirty at this point too, so looking back, I'm like, “Calm down, like please.” But at the time it was, you know, this thing where it's like, “I'm behind now.
So what do I do to get away from this world of internships?” Which I had many under my belt at that point. And it wasn't possible for me to stay in London just because of visa issues. And I thought, “There's no way I'm going back to Winnipeg. Like, I've already left here. Like, I cannot possibly go back,” and just this egotistical kind of, you know, idea of what it would mean to go back. And so I was applying for jobs all around the world. And at the time, my partner was from Southeast Asia and working over there, so I thought, "Okay, let's try it. Let's find something around here.”
I found a job over in Singapore, and that was really, like a place that totally changed my world. But in hindsight, like, I was never meant to be there. I was never — I mean, in a way, yes, because it's, it was the catalyst for me figuring out this is not the relationship I meant to be in. This is not the environment within the job I was in. Like, that was so toxic. So all those things really allowed me to figure out who I was and what's important to me and how I can do things my own way. But it was like, I think the universe screaming at me, like, throwing all these things at me, like, “This isn't your life. This isn't where you're meant to work. This isn't who you’re meant to be with. This isn't even where you’re meant to live.” So I think I did — it must have been a year — just over a year and a half there. And the pandemic happens, right? I think I — just in the first month before or the first few weeks before Singapore had actually shut down, which I think was March 2020 or even a little bit after, you know, people — even in North America we were kind of in this bubble of things still happening. And I just got so sick, and I think even when I first moved to Singapore, I was having hives everywhere. And I went and got allergy tests, like, nothing was wrong with me.
And I think my body was just, like, under so much stress and unfamiliarity, not in the best way. Because I do like to put myself out of my comfort zone. I think that experience won't ever stop me from doing that. But it was, you know, a pile of things, even in my workplace, just feeling how, like, experiencing a lot of gaslighting in terms of, you know, the skills I had to do the job or how I was doing the job wrong and just a lot of conflict between, you know, what it was I was really there to do. And so yeah, a few weeks before everything shut down, I had, like, my appendix rupture or almost rupture. And so it was like, I ended up in emergency, and my body, like, I really, truly think my body was like, “You can't live like this.” And so that was, like, a big thing that happened that was unexpected. And then we went into lockdown. My partner at the time had to leave the country. Like, “I'm never seeing him again. That's totally cool.”
But you know, it was all these things I never expected and went into that lockdown. I think I was two, two and a half months on my own in, like, a one bedroom condo. Which was beautiful. Like, it was, if I was gonna be anywhere, I felt really safe there, and, you know, had a great, like food on my table and a roof over my head. But it was a lot. I mean, I never experienced isolation like that before, and for a lot of people who did go through that, I think there wasn't — like, it took me a long time to get over that trauma of that isolation and all that change and all the unknown and then, you know, being in this situation where with my work it was like, I don't even know if I quit my job or if I was fired. Like, it was such a weird experience that I had that I again had never experienced that, you know, there's just so much change that happened, and I decided, "Okay, this isn't going to work out here. Like, there's so many reasons why. Let's go back to Canada and figure it out.”
So I moved. I packed up all my stuff, moved back. I think I was like one of ten people on the airplane leaving Singapore and going through Tokyo. And it was interesting because I landed back in Canada for my two weeks isolation, and my sister had moved back temporarily to Winnipeg to stay with my parents because she had just graduated her design school. And she didn't have a job yet, and she thought, “Oh, I'll just go home for a few weeks,” right? “And I'll spend some time with my family.” So her apartment was open. So I thought, “I'll isolate in Vancouver for two weeks before I see any anyone else, just in case.” And I looked out my window, and I'm like, “No one's walking around with masks on.” Like, in Singapore, it was such a thing where everyone, like, if you stepped out your door, you had to have a mask on. So it was like, "Okay, this is already, like, a different world here.”
So I carried a lot of fear back with me, just for, like, my physical health and safety that I don't think anyone else truly like understood in the same way. Obviously, there were people experiencing it differently, but I think that really was the first time moving back where I figured just how unregulated my nervous system was, how much fear I was carrying with me, how much change had just happened in my life, because I was in that fight or flight for so long. So I had to figure out—and, like, only recently do I feel like I really got back to that Ground Zero where my confidence is, like, exists again, and I am connected to my intuition. But it became this really long to — plus, I don't even know how long that was ago, but — this journey of figuring out, “What am I going to do with my life? Like, I have no job. What type of job do I want? Am I going to live with my parents forever? Like, I don't know. Where am I going next? When will the world open up?”
And with my health, it was like, the thought of going back to a job of working forty hours a week, I thought, “There's no way. Like, I know I'll have a mental breakdown. Like, let's not do this. We've had enough.” So I was really lucky to have that support from my family and my parents, to say, you know, we have this great privilege of staying home and staying safe and you know, not having, like, having to be a frontline worker or you know, you know, take this time to really build back all the things that you kind of don't have left, like, inside of you anymore.
So I really took that time to do different workshops around, like, different self-care practices and building resilience and learning about emotional intelligence and in between having breakdowns and you know, like just really went through this process of like, “How do I figure this out?” And when I thought I was ready to apply for jobs, I started applying for jobs, which, every time, I would get so, so close, and they wouldn't work out, and I thought, “I think the universe is telling me something again. Because the universe has told me many times before, like, what to do, what not to do. I haven't listened all the time. So, like, let's take a moment to really pause and figure this out.”
So I thought, “Okay, perhaps this is the time I start my own business. I had always thought about it.” Because you know, just seeing my dad and mom having their own businesses, and going to business school, I thought, "Okay, one day you'll have a business,” and you know, I never really felt instinctively that there was a time to do that. And so I thought, "Okay, maybe this is the time. Maybe this is the chance I get to do things my own way, to work in a way that honors my own energy.” So I had a friend from Singapore that, when I first joined when I first landed there, I stayed with her for I think a month. I just met her, like, on an Airbnb type of deal. She was from Canada, but she'd been in Singapore for ten years, and she had a friend over in Bali who is also from Vancouver. And she said, “She's a business coach, and she helps people like you reinvent themselves and reinvent their work and, you know, break out of this, you know, idea of having to have a job and work for someone else.” So her name is Lydia Lee, and her business is called “Screw the Cubicle.”
And so I joined her program, and I remember, like, one of the first things that really stuck in my head was she had said, “Starting a business is like ten years of therapy. Like, get ready. Like, it's gonna be fun. It's gonna be hard. But, like, really, you will learn things about yourself you never imagined. You will, you know, go through these these processes of not only reinventing yourself, but even, you know, grieving past versions of yourself, and you know, navigating these new identities that you're experiencing, that you've never experienced before.” So I thought, “Okay, well, that's fine, you know, like, I'm sure it'll be like that.” But still, now I look back in fight and fight or, you know, just in this, stuck in this place where it's like, “It's fine. I was a consultant, and I designed businesses and services for the government and for startups,” and you know, like, still really just not knowing anything. But I thought, “Oh, no, I have this, it's fine. It doesn't matter if it takes that long. I have all the time. I'm very lucky in that sense.” But it was still that perfectionism in me in the past of doing, like, working really hard and doing things quickly and not getting that auto fail that was like this push-pull contrast that really, like, was messing with my head and just really kept me in a place of such stuckness.
I think my mom, she — because she does a, my mom does a lot of like, you know, as I mentioned, yoga and Reiki and all these online summit that she'll attend. And I never really, like, heard about that. Now I do in this world that I'm in in my business. But before then, it was like these things my mom would go to online. So she'd shared one with me, and I ended up going, and I saw this hypnotherapist, and she was one of the women being interviewed. And so I thought. “Okay, maybe that's who I need to see.” So I booked an appointment with her. Her name's Mahesha Gunner, and she is the woman who taught me and trained me to be a certified hypnotherapist and helped me through so many—it, like, brought me back to that place of zero and has taken me to even greater heights and just helped me really unlock that potential that I had within myself that I just couldn't get to.
So you know, doing that summit, or like, attending that summit and seeing her really changed things for me, and I think with having her support, and you know, the business coaching support, it really began to paint that picture for me, that I'm someone that really does well when I have both. I don't have to be in this place of, you know, taking bold action and really being strategic all the time, because that's not working for me. Like, I could design a perfect strategy for my business, and, like, what's happening here? Nothing's happening. So I really had to realize, you know, there's so much value in this. And let's get things back to this point of zero.
And I mentioned this point of zero because I really saw myself — and even looking back, just, like, in these different levels below zero where it was like, I had to first overcome my — but before that, it was, you know, what is my self worth? Like, my self worth isn't based on, you know, losing my relationship or and losing the job that I thought I wanted so badly. It's not about how I look, but it's about all these other things. And you know, what self-care practices can I really introduce to my life? And all these different things that would bring me back to zero. I really had to build those from the ground up to get back to that solid ground. So yeah, it really was something when I started working with Mahesha, I never imagined or intended to do her trading program to become certified, but it was one of those things where I thought, “Okay, I see that she's doing this thing over here. Maybe I'll just ask about it.” And I was starting already in my business, doing coaching with other solopreneurs and helping them, you know, figure out, what are, how, what are some of the things they can do differently in their own business that were really going to feel authentic to them?
And I thought, “This is such a big part of how I really have gotten to this place where I'm starting to take intentional action, or I'm starting to be comfortable with not knowing all the answers and carrying uncertainty with me.” So she asked me if I wanted to do it, and I thought, "Okay.” And it was one of those things, like moving to London, you know, which might seem a lot bigger. This, to me, is still kind of in that same playing field, because it was like, just by saying yes to this one thing, like, it really has changed my life. And yeah, I really wouldn't have imagined being a certified hypnotherapist, but now it's fun because I'm starting to blend, you know, all these different tools that I've learned, whether it was from those workshops I was attending in lockdown over in Singapore about emotional intelligence, and building my resilience with the strategy that I learned as a human-centered designer and these design thinking modalities to design businesses and solve problems with, now this really mysterious world of the subconscious mind and not having all the answers or not needing to look for all the answers outside of ourselves and really connecting back to ourselves.
So it's something I keep navigating, and I keep kind of pivoting in the sense of a service designer, pivoting my world in which I deliver, you know, these experiences where I can help other people unlock that same potential inside of themselves and be in those spaces where they can have and experience introspection and be asked the right questions that—and, you know, learn those tools that will really help them discover who they are and what they value and perhaps even redefine their version of success. So it's fun to know, like, I've gotten to this place now, and the story I just shared was my past life, and it's brought me to this place. And so I thank you also for, you know, sharing this space where I got to do that, and I got to just really take this really deep reflection and share my story, because for anyone who is listening who, you know, obviously will have a very different story than mine — but just this ability to look back and say, like, “This is how far I've come because of all these experiences that might not have been the best, there's still so much value in them, and we can learn so, so much about ourselves.”
Passionistas: We’re Amy and Nancy Harrington, and you’re listening to The Passionistas Project podcast and our interview with Lauren Best. To reclaim your confidence, rewrite your beliefs, explore your possibilities, find comfort in uncertainty, and live a life of love, visit Lauren-Best.com.
Now, here’s more of our interview with Lauren.
I'd like to dive a little bit deeper into this hypnotherapy thing. So I think most people think of hypnosis and they think of some, you know, handlebar mustache guy with a watch, you know, “You are getting sleepy.”
Lauren: Yeah, totally.
Passionistas: So tell us, tell us what hypnotherapy really is and what a session is like for a client.
Lauren: Well, I like to think of it as one of the most ultimate — and there's many ultimate self-development tools out there — but I really think hypnosis is a really great self-development tool that we can really just use to surpass that critical mind, that part of our mind that really keeps us in either fight and flight or from questioning everything or saying no and not really allowing us to get to that, that part of our subconscious mind where there are endless possibilities, where we hold different stories or limiting beliefs that we have picked up along the way. You know, with hypnosis, we can access that subconscious mind and really redesign our beliefs and say goodbye to limiting beliefs and our fears and really design the world and the beliefs in which we want to live with.
So it really, you know, is — and I love it because you can use it in so many different ways. But hypnosis actually shows up in our world so, so much. Like we, you know, whether it's watching a TV show that we're, like, totally glued to the screen, and we can't stop watching, and we're binging and like, that's a form of hypnosis. Or reading a book where we're just cannot stop turning the pages, or whether it's, you know, being really focused in on something. It really is just that deep state of relaxation. And hypnosis is, you know this tool that we can use to get there into that state of extreme focus and relaxation as well. So the guy with the handlebar mustache, you know, even though he might exist, there are people like me as well that really just — for me, it's, it's a part of the experience that I like to give to people is, you know, “This is your experience. I'm just here to guide you.”
One thing that I get all the time is, “Are you going to make me jump up on stage and bawk like a chicken?” Right? Like we see that on TV all the time. And I — there's actually one woman who I did hypnosis in her community for, and she loved chickens, and I thought, “Oh, she might be someone who would do that if I suggested it. But I'm not going to suggest it.” But truly, like, unless there is something that you've always wanted to do, there's nothing that I — that the hypnotherapist or someone — could suggest that they would make you do. You still hold your beliefs. You still, you know, are in control of your mind and your experience.
So for anyone wondering if they'll turn into a chicken, probably not possible. And also, I would, you know, your hypnotherapy therapist should probably not ask you that anyways, because you know there is that responsibility for us to really be present with whoever it is we're working with and really support them in the way that they're desiring, and even when clients come to me and say, you know, “I have, I really want to work on this thing,” whether it be perfectionism or being able to take action from a place of intention or, you know, experiencing less stress in their life or happiness, whatever it may be. Even when we go into that experience, and it's a guided experience where we really build this process of physical relaxation — so if anyone’s experienced, you know, just relaxing into your body and allowing yourself to scan your body, that's, like, a very common induction technique that just allows you to relax. We, once we connect with your mind, like, your subconscious mind and deepen that into a state of relaxation — which is all guided — you know, it's also a process of me saying, “Are you sure you're ready to, you know — ”
For, if they're wanting to let go of some sort of fear or limiting belief, like, I still want to make sure that something you really want, or that's kind of my responsibility to not just say, "Okay, you've said this once. Like, let's make sure we do this.” It's like, “Are you sure?” And it gets to be your choice, because sometimes we go into these experiences wanting something because someone else has told us we should. But is it really what we want? Is it really what we, even if it's something we need, it might not be something we're ready for or want.
And so it doesn't have, like the process could be at whatever pace feels good when it comes to letting these things go, or rewriting our stories. So sometimes your subconscious mind might not tell you exactly what it is you thought it would, and I think that's the beauty in it, is that there are so many possibilities within our mind that we hadn't yet even dreamed of seeing or feeling or experiencing, that once we get into the state of hypnosis and connected with our subconscious minds, the things that can pop up are just, like, can be so exciting, or they can be something that we experienced when we were younger that we hadn't even thought was related. So there's just so much room to really explore what we have in our minds and what new possibilities might be possible for us.
Passionistas: That’s so interesting. Yeah, it's just one of those things, you hear the term, that you never really understand well what the process is. So how do people work with you? What's, what offerings do you have?
Lauren: Yeah. So I do both group hypnosis sessions as well as I work privately with people as well. So typically, if someone is, you know, really keen to work on a specific thing, and they've already built some sort of level of self-awareness on their own, you know, that's when we might jump into an intensive session where we work together for a three hour time period, and we, you know, have a great discussion, and I really, you know, ask these questions that get to, you know, some sort of understanding of what it is they really want to focus on. Because sometimes, we come with these, people will come with these ideas, but then we end up over here, which is a good thing, because there can be so much of our minds.
So those really deep sessions are great because we can spend more of that time discussing and exploring, and then we can spend the time, you know, deepening into that state of relaxation and exploring what the subconscious mind has to show us. And really, a big part of working one-on-one together that is different from working or listening to an audio or having a group experience is that we get to do very specific healing work where we get to look at, you know, different events or we get to, you know, turn certain fears or experiences into little shapes or blobs and send them away. Whatever it may be, it really becomes an experience of doing some of that healing work and then programming the new affirmations and positive thoughts into their minds, so that they're not just left with this, “Okay, I'm healed, now what?” But it's, like, reaffirming what is the reality that they really want to walk away with and what is the new reality that, once they open their eyes, like, “This is my new reality, and this is what I believe to be true.” So those sessions can be really powerful, but that's not to say, you know, working individually on a lot of clients I work with on a biweekly basis, and we'll do at least six sessions together, and some continue to work with me even longer than that.
But we really dive in within those one hour sessions in the same way, but just in smaller doses. So we can really take things step by step and see that space in between these sessions for them to integrate different things into their life or notice new things that are coming up or even create new rituals or practices between those sessions — that's something I'm huge on, is helping people design, what are some of these rituals or what are some of these things that we really, like — this new version of ourselves, what is, what would they do? So we really look into designing some of those things together, and I create custom hypnosis audios for clients who decide to work with me on that basis. And on the other end of it, I love doing these group experiences where I, you know, have an open public event that I'll invite people to. So that is anyone from curious individuals to people who are solopreneurs or entrepreneurs or whatever it may be.
Anyone can come to those. And then I also love to bring these insane group hypnosis experiences into people, other people’s communities or to their wellness days or within their companies within their team, so that we really get to kind of zoom in on where are they at right now. Even as a collective, there can be so much, so many similarities that we're all going through. So what are some of these themes that people are really experiencing, that we can take some time to just, you know, process and acknowledge? We can take time to, you know, realize what it is we're ready to let go of in a different sense and also welcoming the things that are going to, you know, help us reaffirm our reality. So that experience is me guiding people through usually some reflective questions.
And then this guided visualization experience where we go into hypnosis, and there's a beautiful visualization that they experience, and then at the end, we sometimes do a little reflection, or I'll share different reflection questions that they can walk away with, tools, whatever it may be. So it really is fun for me. That's what I love about this work, because I sometimes I can plan for what I think might happen, but really being present in the moment and saying like, “What really is going on and how can we best get to a place at the end of this experience where people are going to feel good, they're going to feel calm, they're going to feel relaxed, and they can show up for themselves?” And I'm just creating this space for that. So it, yeah, that really warms my heart, those group experiences as well.
Passionistas: Why do people come to work with you? Like, is there, are they trying to heal a trauma? Are they at a crossroads in their lives? Is there a specific reason they come? Is there a common reason they come, or is it, does it just vary?
Lauren: It really varies. I think for me, I've decided in my practice that, you know, although I could help people quit smoking or, you know, whatever else, for me, it's really about giving those people who are ready to do things differently in their lives the space to explore what that looks like. So if it's someone who really is stuck in a place where they're afraid to take action or they've gone through a lot of grief and aren't sure how to move past it, or whether they're an aspiring solopreneur and want to start a business, and they're feeling scared, they don't know how, or they're someone who has been running a successful business, and they want to up-level to this next stage, and they're ready to kind of peel back, you know, this current these current layers that are holding them back from getting there — it really is, the commonality that I that I do see shared with the clients that I am working with is this readiness to really be open to different opportunities, even if they don't know what they are, and this curiosity to try something new that will take them to that place and that will really allow them to find new levels of potential inside of themselves.
So yeah, I started off working with a lot of aspiring solopreneurs who were in their more early stages of business, and that grew into people who — you know, I was a speaker at a summit, and they had seen my talk about, you know, welcoming new possibilities to your life. And, you know, they were transitioning between jobs. And so I have clients like that, some who don't even intend to start their own businesses but are creatives and are really looking to bring more, like, figure out how they can bring more creativity to their current work or just into their lives in general for different hobbies, whatever it may be. And there might be people like me, that when I started, I was at a really, you know, negative level in my life or place in my life, where it was like, “I know there's something above the water. How do I get there?” And it just opened a whole, you know, we opened these cans of worms. Even when things on the surface might seem great, like, there's so much that we can really explore within our minds. So it really depends. And I think, more so lately, I've been working with people who are, you know, have done a lot of work on their own already.
And whether it be through, you know, having bursts of meditation practices here and there, or have done different courses on self-care, whatever it may be. But they're in this place where they're like, “Things are good. Things are good in my life. They're good in my business. I'm ready for more, and I want to expand my world to be ready to accept more and attract more and just let go of these things that might be stopping me from getting there.” So it's really interesting, because people from all walks of life who, again, I never imagined working with, have showed up at my door. So I open it and welcome them with gracious arms.
Passionistas: That’s beautiful. You've talked a bit about how you used to define success, but how do you define it now?
Lauren: I think if I had to choose one word, it would be “freedom.” And to kind of trickle off of that, for me, it's, you know, having that freedom to experience, you know, the balance of work and life and play and joy and financial freedom, and having all the ingredients in my life, because I'm a big person about creating like, what is your life recipe for freedom? So I think success is also getting to experience all these little things that we really, truly love that allow us to, you know, connect back to ourselves or just experience for the sake of it, purely because we enjoy it. But really, yeah, living a life that I love that really leaves space to experience all these different types of freedom that I really hold close to my heart.
Passionistas: What does the power of Passionistas mean to you?
Lauren: There's so many words popping into my head, so I think the theme of what I'm getting from just these feelings, when I think of this word or this experience, I guess, of being a Passionista really is living life unapologetically and showing up as in the ways that feel good for you, even if they aren't familiar to your surroundings. And I think just going after the unexpected and trusting and uncertainty and doing all that with joy and love and that deep passion for life, so that’s what it means to me.
Passionistas: Yep. And possibility. Lots and lots of possibility.
Lauren: And possibility. Exactly.
Passionistas: If you could go back and give your younger self a piece of advice, what would you tell her?
Lauren: I would say, “Choose yourself.” Stop choosing what you think you should do based on what you see around you or the other possibilities that you already see in front of you. Like, what could exist beyond that, and what do you, like, what answers do you already have inside yourself, instead of looking for, you know, happiness or joy or love or creativity through other people's lenses and other people's perspective. Yeah, choose yourself, and take time to nurture what it is you already have inside of you, and follow it to whatever roads or places you find along the way.
Passionistas: What's your dream for women?
Lauren: My goodness. Do I have to pick just one? Or just like — ?
Passionistas: No. As many as you want.
Lauren: Okay. I think it truly is, you know, if we go beyond the, you know, basic needs of safety and you know, emotional, physical, like health-wise, I think it is this strength and knowing your self worth, and knowing like you are worthy of doing things on your own terms of making decisions with your own best interests, and just having that confidence to truly live your life for you and live it with love and not have that external worth as something that's more powerful than the worth that you already — that you can create for yourself.
Passionistas: What's been the biggest challenge that you personally think you've faced, and how did you overcome it?
Lauren: I think — if I have to, like, also say it in a big top-level thing, is losing that trust with myself. So finding my own self trust again. And that kind of goes back to that self worth of maybe looking for answers in different places or in different people. But really, I think that experience of moving to Singapore and being really, like, have a lot of having a lot of confusing things happen and doubting myself came back to also this time in my life where I lost a lot of that trust inside myself, because people were questioning me, and I perhaps hadn't experienced, you know, narcissistic behaviors to the level that I had at that time. So I think that self trust was something that I really lost, that I really had to uncover again and reconnect back to my intuition and just get comfortable with this idea that, you know, I can trust myself again. And it still comes up, and you know, that's something that I work with a lot of people with in hypnosis is like, let's find the self test again and embrace it. But you know, it is something that I know I'm going to be prioritizing for the rest of my life, to make sure that I don't ever lose that again.
Passionistas: Amazing. So we are wrapping up the hour here, so we have one last question for you. If you could choose one woman in history or a female pop culture icon and walk in her shoes for one day, who would you pick and why?
Lauren: Oh my goodness. That is such, I mean — oh, just one person. Okay, let's check in with my intuition right here.
Passionistas: Go with your gut.
Lauren: I would say someone — yeah, I think someone, and I just finished reading her book, was Michelle Obama. And just, the vulnerable—like, for so many reasons, but the vulnerability that I think that she's shown in places that didn't always show that, I think that's — yeah, something I really, really admire, and that's something that really stood out for me. So for that reason, I would, I would pick her.
Passionistas: Excellent. That's a great one. We love her too. So we cannot thank you enough for joining us today. This was really a pleasure. And we will drop all your links in the show notes so that people can get in touch with you and work with you, and we will talk to you again very soon. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Lauren: Thank you. Thank you so, so much. It's a pleasure.
Passionistas: Thanks for listening to The Passionistas Project and our interview with Lauren Best. To reclaim your confidence, rewrite your beliefs, explore your possibilities, find comfort in uncertainty, and live a life of love, visit Lauren-Best.com.
And be sure to visit ThePassionistasProject.com to sign up for our mailing list, find all the ways you can follow us on social media, and join our worldwide community of women working together to level the playing field for us all.
We'll be back next week with another Passionista who is defining success on her own terms and breaking down the barriers for herself and women everywhere.
Until then, stay well and stay passionate.