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Unfuck Yourself S1E2: Staci Shelton

staci

COMING IN HOT!! 

S1E2: Unraveling with Staci Jordan Shelton

By trade, Staci is a leadership and performance consultant who works with individuals and organizations to achieve better results.

That work – and her passion – is rooted in freeing people from internalized oppression.

IN THIS EPISODE:
* Staci explains Unraveled – the methodology, the program, the inspiration
* A guiding question: “Who benefits from that?”
* Beauty Standards
* Body Positivity & Concern Trolling
* And the yet-to-be-named-and-refined Q&A section

FIND STACI: 
stacishelton.com
@stacijshelton on Twitter & Instagram
Staci Jordan Shelton on Facebook

NEXT WEEK: Kate Anthony brings the wisdom and knowledge about divorce and kids and probably a whole lot of other stuff because she’s a badass.

REFERENCES: 
* Hunger by Roxane Gay
* Never Catch Me by Flying Lotus
* Chani Nicholas

Unfuck Yourself Show Season One Episode Two 

Unraveling Oppression with Staci Jordan Shelton 

[http://www.unfuckyourselfshow.com/s1e2-staci-shelton/] 

 WELCOME 

[music] 

Jess: Welcome to episode 2 of Unfuck Yourself, the show about reclaiming you. I’m Jess. 

Sydney: And I’m Sydney. 

Jess: Today we are talking to Staci. [laughter]. Staci Shelton, who we adore. Staci, no one can introduce you better than you can.  

Staci: Oh my god. 

Jess: Tell us a little bit about you and what you do. 

 

UNRAVELING OPPRESSION WITH STACY JORDAN SHELTON 

Staci: I am by trade a training and organizational development professional with a specialty in performance consulting. That means people are here and they want to be here and I help them figure out how to close that gap, right?  

But the work that really jazzes me because as I started doing that work, people come and say, “Oh, this isn’t working…Fix the process, fix the process, or fix my people,” because we always say that people are broken, right. That’s what we do. People are broken. You start getting into the process and you start looking at it and go, “The people aren’t broken. They’re just stuck.”  

I also have a background in doing diversity and inclusion work and so one of the big ‘aha’s’ for me in diversity and inclusion work is that there is systemic oppression and there is also internalized oppression.  

Internalized oppression is when people actually start to take on the stereotypes or the myths or the negative things that they hear about their own demographic. You hear women start to talk about how they just believe all the negative things about what women can and can’t achieve. People of color do it, everybody does it. People were bringing that stuff to the process. When I would start asking some questions around that, it was like, “Oh.” Some of this stuff is they’re stuck here. It has nothing to do with know-how, skills, ability– none of that. 

And so, I started doing more work around “Let’s help the people get unstuck so that they show up to the process differently.” That leads me to my current mission which I like to say is freeing people from the internalized terrorism of limiting beliefs and oppression. Some people are doing the work on the outside, trying to dismantle the system. I’m trying to dismantle the stuff that we’ve internalized because if people can get in your head, they’ll stop you from showing up. That’s the work that I do. I help people show up by getting them- what I call it is “unraveling” the knots that hold us down.  

Jess: I love it so much. I know there’s a story behind why it’s “unraveling”. 

Staci: Yes. Yes. Well, because I’m a knitter. Here I am. If I can’t bring my knitting, I’m not going. It’s like a meditation for me. It’s a skill. It’s an art form for me. I love it. The way I taught the class that you guys were referring to– “Unraveled”– is because as a knitter I started realizing I’d be knitting and you get stuck. The yarn is tangled. I start to unravel it. You unravel and unravel and you get to the knot.  

The knot is that core thing that, that stick in the yarn that’s keeping me from moving forward. I’m like, “Isn’t that the same as our stuff?” When I started applying that metaphor and analogy to the work I do, at the core of almost any process that’s broken, there’s this one thing like when you get to that root cause. I started using that analogy to help people get unstuck. My favorite thing to tell people is before the truth can set you free, you have to recognize which lies are holding you hostage. The knot-[laughter] Yes.  

Jess: I wrote it down. 

Staci: The lie that’s holding you hostage. That’s the knot, right. Once you get to that knot and unravel it– it may take you a while but then you can go on creating, doing whatever. This material now is freed up for you to do something with. I carry that analogy because I love knitting. It’s like the metaphor for life for me and I do it all the time. This is a good way to make it a little less scary too. Because if I said, “Hey guys. Sign up for this class. We are going to dismantle the internalized oppression that lies within you”, people would go “I’m not doing that.”  

[laughter] 

Sydney: I’m not having that oppression stuff. No thank you. 

Staci: Some people don’t even know that they are oppressed. How many of us didn’t realize– not to get all political– the extent to which we were oppressed until the last election until the fallout. Black people were going like, “Yeah, we’ve all been oppressed,” and people were like, “I’m not oppressed.” They started looking and going, “Oh damn, I’m oppressed.” Right? And so, if I led with that, it would probably be empty. But if I said, “Hey, let’s talk about where you are stuck and then I’m going to take you through a process to help you unravel that and get unstuck”, people would show up for that. I love helping people do that work. I hope it’s helping people. I’ve heard great feedback. I know it worked in my life so that’s my process. But everything comes back to yarn and knitting for me.  

Jess: I love it, even though you know I haven’t finished my work yet from your course. 

Staci: Yeah, we are going to talk about that because I want to know where that resistance is. We can talk offline.  

[laughter] 

Jess: I’m slowly working through it. I obviously did not do it in the time container– 

Staci: That’s okay.  

Jess: But I did notice just being part of it and being in it and being around you. Even if I wasn’t doing it that day, I was still reading your prompts and watching your videos. Yeah, there is something clicking there. Even if it is not fully unraveling yet, it’s like it is still happening. I just thought that was really powerful. I just love it. I love the process. 

Staci: Thank you. I wanted to build a process, right. To me, it’s more heart-centered stuff. So, I was reluctant to call it a process but it is a process. It is definitely something that you can take when you are feeling stuff or when you are feeling triggered you can go back and say, “Okay, what is this?” and let’s unravel that. It’s so funny now because now I hear people talk about “I need to unravel that.” So, I have created this whole lexicon. 

Sydney: Yeah. It’s a thing. It’s a verb. It’s called unraveling. You are turning into Google.  

[laughter] 

Staci: That’s funny. But it is something that you can do later. So, if something pops up, and you are like, “Why am I so pissed off about this?” or “Why does this keep popping up?”, you can go back like “Okay, maybe I need to unravel that.”  

You can do the exercises. Start at day 1, day 2, day 3. Just go through it, however long it takes. I made it fast because I didn’t want people’s resistance to kick up because I figured if I push you through it quickly, you don’t have time to go, “Wait a minute. I don’t want to think about that.” You just do the first thing that comes to mind and let it come out and follow it all the way to the knot. It was a method to the madness.  

Sydney: I love that, 

Jess: It makes perfect sense. I just like to be different, I guess.  

Staci: Oh no, the resistance is real. Some people were like, “Oh it just can’t hap–“.  And if it is not time, it’s not time. That’s fine. When it is time, you can still pick up those tools.  

 

“DO WE EVEN KNOW WHEN WE ARE OPPRESSED? 

Jess: So, I’ve noticed going along with everything you are saying right now, you’ve been talking a lot the last week about that ‘Do we even know?’ Do we even know when we are oppressed? Do we even know when these things are happening? I see it and I’m like, “Shit.” I know I don’t see everything. Where am I not seeing it for me? Where am I not seeing it for my friends, for my family, for my loved ones? I think that’s a really important question to ask and to keep asking ourselves. Where am I not seeing this?  

Staci: Yes. Most of us don’t go around going, “I’m oppressed.” It’s very subtle. For us, so much of it is socialized and institutional. It’s “What’s a woman’s place?”, “What’s a person of color’s place?”, “What’s a child’s place?”. What is this demographic allowed to be, do, and have? That’s how it shows up.  

That’s why I said I don’t lead with oppression. I ask questions. One of my favorite questions is in the ways I am holding myself back or in the way I am behaving or the thing that somebody is telling me I can or cannot do be or have, who is benefitting from that thought? If I am not the beneficiary of that, then it is possible that there is a little bit of something else going on.  

It’s always like, “Who benefits from this?” If you follow the trail of who benefits from this thought and this rule and this way of being and if it is never you, then it’s something to look at.  If it’s like everything you are telling me to do only benefits this– and it never benefits me, then who is it for and why am I going along with that? I think that is a good question to see where oppression may or may not lie.  

Jess: Yeah. That kinda just blew my mind right there. [laughter] There’s this piece of it and I’m like, “Oooh–” and we may not see the immediate benefit. We may not see where it is immediately benefitting me. There I something here benefitting me. I just don’t see it yet because I’m frustrated. I want my thing. 

Staci: Yeah. 

Jess: It’s kind of like taking over and zooming out and looking at the big picture. Where does this benefit me?  

Staci: Where and if it does at all? It could not. The whole thing about feminism is about choice. And so sometimes we make agreements that don’t necessarily benefit us but that’s what we want to do. If I buy into colonized standards of beauty because I like them, somebody might look at them and go, “She is very oppressed. She won’t go outside without her makeup on.”  Some of it is subtle. Some of it is not so subtle. But, the way to look at it is if it is going against what you want to do for sure.  

Where it becomes a problem is like when I started wearing my hair natural– if it was a problem where somebody was saying you cannot do this as opposed to do what you want. Then it becomes a place of oppression when somebody goes, “You can’t wear your hair like that because that is a problem.” Things like that. So, I always go back to that ‘Who benefits from that anyway?’ That’s a good guiding question.  

Jess: That’s interesting that you brought up makeup. Sydney and I were talking about that this morning in this gentle conversation we were having. 

Staci: I like that– gentle conversation. 

[laughter] 

Jess: So, I mentioned someday I will wear makeup and be like, “Ooh I did my makeup today. Like damn, eye makeup.” And then other days, I’m like, “Mhm.”  

Staci: I don’t feel like it.  

Jess: Yeah. 

 

[FUCKED UP] BEAUTY STANDARDS 

Sydney: I think that’s an interesting lead in to another area of focus that I am interested in getting your thoughts on, Staci. This beauty standard shit is fucked up.  

Staci: Indeed. 

Sydney: Like oh my god. I mean, for me it’s always been like I am consciously aware. For some reason, Victoria Secret models are the thing I think of. I’m consciously aware that it’s their job to be that hot all the time. I hate to do that. Like I know in my brain that is the case and I still struggle with like, “So why doesn’t my body look like that?”.  

And now, I have gotten to the point where it is not like I hate myself because my body doesn’t look like that but when I was growing up I just knew that it was their job to be hot but I still had that disconnect of how scientifically/medically/human wise we don’t all start looking like that and just go somewhere else from there. What is the deviation where I could have been a Victoria Secret model?  It’s so weird because it is not that easy and that’s not the way that life works.  

Staci: Well, not only is it not that easy. They’re outliers. The average woman is a size 12. 

Sydney: I’ve seen numbers up to 18 as average. 

Staci: Yeah well, it keeps getting higher because we as a society were swinging the one way and now we are swinging the other way. And so, it’s all about the societal standards of beauty but I think where the problem comes in is when we treat people bad who don’t show up like that. So, whether I wear makeup or don’t wear makeup, it’s irrelevant. It’s when people say if you don’t wear makeup, you are not beautiful. If you are not a size 2, then you are not beautiful.  

Beauty comes in all forms. It has nothing to do with the external stuff. That’s where it starts to get crazy. That’s where the oppression comes in. We start fat shaming people and we start calling women who don’t wear makeup ugly. That’s where it starts to get crazy but nobody looks like that. The average person walking down the street does not look like that. It’s a fantasy.  

Sydney: Do you think it is possible for us to move away from that as a beauty standard in America?  

Staci: Oh, absolutely! I think we are starting to see it where people are making deliberate– intersectionality.  It’s making deliberate decisions to use normal size women and to make clothes for the rest of us and use us in fashion shows. I mean, think about it, how many women are 5’11 or higher and wear a size 2? That’s ridiculous. You are not going to look like that.  

So, we can move away from it and we are starting to see it– more women of color grace the covers. We are starting to see more plus sized models –they call plus size which is really the average size women. I struggle with the whole bodycon, body positivity stuff because we tend to be rebellious in nature and so sometimes I can be rebellious for the sake of being a rebel and bypass being healthy. There’s a balance. I absolutely — like I was complaining about my virgin mojito with no sugar as I go on this whole thirty journey and before people go, “Wait. Wait. Wait. She talks about internalized oppression and now she’s talking about oppressing herself by going through this whole–”, no. We got to find a balance.  

The message is not ‘If you love yourself, don’t bother trying to lose weight.’ I want to lose weight because it is healthy for me. I’m 5’2 and I’m not healthy at my current weight because I don’t feel good in my current body. But that doesn’t mean I hate my body and I’m going to wait to do anything in this body. 

Jess: And that doesn’t mean you are telling other women– 

Staci: And I’m not telling anybody else that they need to do it or that they are bad or wrong if they don’t but like for me it’s how we hold ourselves back. I’m not going to tell myself I’m ugly in this body. I’m not going to not wear a swimsuit in this body. I’m not going to not– 

Sydney: The part about not waiting is huge.  

Staci: I’m not going to wait to love myself in this body. I can do that and still try to lose weight. But I’m not doing it to get approval. I think when we start to do this stuff, when we are hooked into this crazy system of approval that says you must- I think I wrote about it. For me, all the knots boil down to some version of “not worthy” and so we have this system of people who created the rules around who’s worthy and it is very narrow. It’s narrow around what weight you are, what profession you are. Did you get a degree? Did you not get a degree? It varies based on whatever tribe-for lack of a better word- you are trying to get into.  

So, you have the people that say if you don’t have an education, you are not worthy. You have the people that say if you are not a size 4, you are not worthy. It’s that whole thing about understanding that I am still worthy and that I can still want some things. I’m not doing it to feel worthy. I think that’s where we get tied up. We start doing stuff because we don’t feel good enough unless we have it. I think that’s the struggle. If I am telling myself every day, I’m ugly and I’m not worthy of love or affection or to do the things I want until I lose 30 pounds, that’s bad.  

Jess: I think, a lot of the criticism that is leveled at the body positivity movement is the whole ‘What about your health?’ Which of course has its own– 

Staci: Are you really concerned about my health though? Do you really care about me?  

Sydney: You are controlling.  

Staci: Yeah.  

Jess: But with that, I think there’s a misunderstanding or maybe we are not clearly stating. It’s not about eating shit all the time and doing whatever we want. I still want to feel good. And feeling good may look like this or look like that.  

Staci: Yes, but what gets me is the assumptions people make. I know people who are thinner than me that are not as healthy as I am. So, it’s really not about my health and we know what it is about. We hear the stereotypes that people say about women who are heavier and all the assumptions we make– they are lazy, undisciplined. We know what it is but we dance around that stuff and they start “health shaming” people.  It’s like no you don’t care about my health, I just make you uncomfortable in this body because you’ve been taught that. We’ll talk about that later but Roxane Gay’s “Hunger”– 

Sydney: Yes. Let’s talk about that now.  

Staci: Oh, she hit it all. You are gross or you are lazy or you are undisciplined. It’s not about the fat. It’s about the assumptions you make about the person because of the weight, the body they are in– whatever it looks like. Whether that it’s a black body or heavier body or a body with limited ability. It’s all about those judgements and my thing is take the bullshit off the table. Stop acting like you care about my health. Stop acting like you care about all of this stuff. It’s really about the assumptions. When I facilitated in a corporate environment the diversity and inclusion courses, I used to teach leaders about that and individual contributors about bias. Humans make 10 judgements within the first 7 seconds of meeting somebody.  

Jess: Really? 

Staci: 10. 8-10 judgements within the first 7 seconds. Within the first 7 seconds, I have looked at you and decided whether you are worth something based on age, race, weight, how you are dressed. 

Jess: That’s kind of horrifying. 

Staci: That’s crazy but it’s all bias and it’s all stuff we have been taught. So, we are taught from the time we are little, things about women, what boys, girls, black, white– we get all of this information. We synthesize all this information and when we see somebody we try to– it’s our attempt to understand the world.  

Sadly, we’ve had this fucked up upbringing that tell us these people are bad or those people are bad or those people are lazy or these people are worthless. All that stuff comes to the table. We bring all that into every interaction unless we do the work of dismantling that stuff in ourselves. Which is why the social justice stuff being so huge now because people are starting to wake up to, “Damn, I’m biased.” Or “I didn’t realize I had a little bit of this racism in me. Or this sexism. Or this homophobia.”  

But we are taught that stuff and we are just these little sponges and we just take it all in. When you see somebody, you just size them up. You go, “Oh, okay.” All the things you think about a gay person if you see a gay person. Whatever that is. It is unconscious because we have been carrying it around, which is why I like to do the unravel piece. We take that stuff out and look at it and say, “Let’s look at this stuff.” Unconscious stuff we have been carrying around since childhood, around why we show up the way we do and why we believe– it’s all in there.  

So, it never about the health–you don’t care about my health. It’s all about the assumptions you make about me because of the weight that I am or the skin I’m in. 

Sydney: Yeah. The experience you have with bigger bodies or black bodies or whatever. That’s what they see. Take that for a second though — 7-10 judgements. Holy smokes, you guys! Like how fast do our brains work? That’s so crazy to me. It’s bananas.  

Staci: Yeah. There’s some scientific stuff behind it.  

Sydney: The impact of what we are assuming too. That’s 3 episodes worth of content.  

Staci: No kidding.  

[laughter] 

Jess: I am sitting here sometimes I like salad. I don’t like salad all the time. Sometimes I really do. All of the times I have not chosen to eat a salad in public because the fat girl is eating a salad. That means the fat girl is on a diet. Not that the fat girl just want– 

Staci: –just likes salad.  

Jess & Sydney: Right.  

Sydney: Because God forbid, you want a salad.  

Staci: God forbid.  

Jess: I’m just thinking about all the different times these little things have impacted — because I know those assumptions are there, I didn’t realize it was 8-10 in the first several seconds. Because I know that they are there, I’m not going to play into that. I’m not going to be that person.  

Staci: Yes. we think about what other people think about and we police ourselves even if it’s not.  I remember in ’Hunger’, Roxane Gay– the one part where her friend bought her some snacks on a plane and she was like, “I can’t eat that in public because as a big woman I’ll get judged for eating that in public.” Her friend was like, “You gotta eat.”  

Jess: But like if we look at the concern trollers, according to them we don’t.  

Sydney: You just need to eat a whole lot less. So that you can be whatever they want you to be. 

Staci: Here is this one bean on a plate, honey. That’s what you can have today.  

[laughter] 

Staci: This is what I think you should have.  

Sydney: Savor that shit. 

Staci: This is what they think you should have. This is what you should have based on how I think you look. Here’s your beans. It’s crazy. 

Sydney: What a day. What a time to be alive.  

Staci: But we are waking up to it so it is better. 

Sydney: I say that with as much disdain as I say with hope. To be completely honest.  

Jess: We are looking at this like under some kind of micro scale. If we take that same thing and look at it globally. Not everything clicks into place but so much does. This what we do to each other and ourselves. Day in and day out. It all makes sense. 

 

“WHO DOES THAT BENEFIT?” 

Staci: But that’s why I think this awareness piece is so good. It’s part of the work I do. Let’s at least just look at it. It’s like, “Why do you do that?” Where did this come from? How is this affecting how you show up? You start to look at all the ways you show up and you start to question, “Why am I doing that?” And back to my one question, who is going to benefit?  

For me, I shared and unraveled a story about my dad told me I couldn’t be an attorney because I was black and a woman. I’m like, “Who does that benefit?” I certainly doesn’t benefit me. But if you take that on and believe it as truth, it will show it. I changed my mind about wanting to be an attorney but what if I had really wanted to be that and took that in? It still shaped how I showed up to a lot of things like, “If I can’t be that, then I can’t be some of the other things I want to be too?” Does that mean that I can’t– whatever that means?  That’s when people start to go, “Oh, that’s not for me”.  I had one lady at the most recent unravel that I just got done yesterday and she said, “ Girls like me can’t have what I want.” 

Sydney: I know that feeling and I fucking hate to see anybody else who felt that because I know how much it hurt me.  

Staci: We all are given that. Girls like me is variable. It could be black girls. It could be fat girls. It could be blond girls. It could be anything. It could be people that aren’t perfect. People that didn’t get straight A’s in school. It’s all these things we are told ‘people like you’ cannot. What I want to interrupt is that cycle of people telling you ‘people like you’ cannot and you are going, “Okay, well I’ll just stay here then.” I’m like, “No, you won’t.” 

Sydney: You’ve done that for me. So, mission accomplished on at least one human. 

Staci: Yes. Damn that.  

[laughter] 

Jess: I’m curious and if I ask this question of myself I wouldn’t know how to answer it, when do you first remember becoming aware of this need to interrupt the pattern and this idea of who is benefitting? 

Staci: Well, I think certainly when I was in corporate America because we all know that’s not the most wonderful place for people of color to thrive, let’s put it that way. It was like I would see people fit the profile when I didn’t fit the profile, even though I may have had the same qualifications, getting ahead. At first, I was like, “Oh.” It was starting to affect how I felt about me and then it was affecting how I was showing up at work. I was depressed. I was not motivated. It was just awful. I’m like, “Okay, either I am going to treat this as be truth or I am going to tap into be truth, which is “This is arbitrary bs and f that.”  

There’s just something in me was like, “I can’t do this. If I continue to let these people tell me who I can be or what I can have or what I can do then I’ve given them all control over my life and my well being. I can’t do that. I will die of doing that.” I just was like fuck that.  

I started to the ways I was showing up. I literally just one day made a list of what I wanted to do that I had stopped doing because I listened to other people telling me what I could do or shouldn’t do. I stated doing all of that. All of it. It just didn’t matter. I didn’t care what it was — salsa dancing and writing poetry again, all the things. It was this ‘Ah-hah’ moment.  

I think the big one was when I had a manager who was just awful–she was just an awful human being. It just clicked for me because she was just giving me this feedback and it was all of this personality based feedback. It was also personality based feedback– “Well, you can’t do this” but there was five other people in the organization that was doing the exact same thing but they were fine. I’m including her. The lightbulb went off. I think this is what oppression does. It feels like you are holding me to a higher standard than you hold yourself. 

That’s fine if you want to give me the feedback but I will not let you hold me to a higher standard than you hold yourself. I absolutely will do better and try to improve but I ask that everybody else do the same. If I am being held accountable, then everybody is held accountable. These behaviors are part of the organization but we are not going to single me out. I don’t know why you are singling me out– that is a question you have to ask yourself. I left it there.  

One of the things I don’t have a problem doing is taking on other people’s stuff– probably because I have family members that like to do that and I’m like “Nah, we are not going to do that.” I got enough of my own stuff to carry that I’m not going to let you hand me over your baggage. So that was like the big “Ah-hah”. After that, it was like yeah. I was letting her really affect me. It was starting to be like, “Uh, you are a bad–you are wrong, you have to fix all these things before you can go for the next job.” I was like, “Aw, screw this. I’m fine.” I just literally started unraveling that stuff and asking myself, “Why was I agreeing with that?”  

Because when we are internally oppressed, we are saying, “I agree.” I agree with the person that is oppressing me. I agree that I am not worthy and I am not deserving to have this. It is the stuff about you that you can’t change.  

I don’t identify myself as male so I am not going to change my gender. These are things I can’t change about me.  

I was born black. I can’t change the skin color I was born with.  

I identify as female. That’s not going to change.  

I had to find a way to take back that power and also believe a different narrative. If there is somebody out there that’s doing what you want to do, it’s possible for you. I had to start to look at the possibilities and f the haters.  

There’s always going to be somebody that’s going to be the haters. There’s always going to be somebody because of their own stuff that tries to push you down. You just can’t. The options are continue to let someone box you in or say I can’t do that, there’s not enough room for me in here and get out of that.  

Sydney: I love it.  

Staci: I hope I answered the question.  

Jess: You did. 

Sydney: So much power. So excited.  

Jess: How did that job end up? Was she receptive to what you said?  

Staci: Oh no. She continued– absolutely not. She did all the things, then it was ‘Let’s turn everyone against Staci.’ and ‘Let’s deliberately exclude her’. But that’s okay because what she didn’t not know is that Staci is an introvert and by not engaging me, not making me be engaged with people I don’t like or respect anyway, was doing me a favor. Had I been an extrovert, it might have been a different whatever. But I was like, “Oh. Phew. I don’t have to go to lunch anymore. Isn’t that great?”  

[laughter] 

Sydney: Thanks for the gift, bad boss. 

Staci: I was like, “Oh wow, they are all crazy and I don’t have to participate. Isn’t that great?” It was a little bit of ‘Oh, let me not look so joyful.’ Then it became ‘Wait, she’s still happy.’ Well yes, you left me the fuck alone. She eventually left because I believe in karma and a higher power and those people always implode at some point. She eventually ended up going away and never coming back. She went away in a way that was to her own detriment and her own hands. It was whatever. But that was my ‘Ah-hah’. Stop letting people hold you to a different standard. That is what we deal with in this country. All these women are held to a different standard. People of color are held to a different standard.  

Sydney: I feel like especially this year there isn’t a standard at all like– 

Staci: Well, there is a standard. They get to do what they want but you don’t.  

Sydney: Yeah. For sure.  

Jess: If you do what you want, you are a snowflake.  

[laughter] 

Jess: I don’t mind being called a snowflake. Can I say that for the record? I don’t mind being called a snowflake.  

Staci: Snowflakes are so pretty. So pretty. Snowflakes are so pretty.  

Jess: Staci, I know you are also an INFJ– 

Staci: Yes. 

Jess: –and one of the things that I hear — is unique to us, if you will– is how we see things in patterns and we identify those patterns and also, we can completely mindfuck ourselves working our way through the pattern. I don’t know if you still mindfuck yourself or if you found a way to not do that?  

Staci: Unraveled is my way of not doing that. That’s the process I went through: Okay, this is neurotic, this is not working. What is really going on there? I started slowly myself down to look at it and go, “Okay, what is this? Where is it coming from? What is the message? What do I believe? I really did that work around the places I was stuck in. What do I really believe about this? Whose stuff is this anyway? Who benefitted from that? How has that affected me showing up?”  

Now, I’m so aware that I can catch it quicker like before it was like I went years being stuck and not being able to know what’s going on and why can’t I get ahead. Why do I keep finding myself in the same type of relationship? Or having the same argument with my husband? Or whatever that is.  

Once I started doing this work, it was like oh when I start feeling some kind of way– I listen to my body now.  I know when I start feeling some kind of way I need to go and figure out what this is. I don’t do it as often but I still do it but it doesn’t last as long. I think it’s just human for me. I don’t think I will ever outgrow sometimes being scared or whatever it is– getting stuck on little stuff sometimes or sometimes big stuff. But now I see it more in real time so now it is like, “Oh okay. Well let me unravel that and move forward.” I catch it more quickly now. Definitely do that. 

Jess: Do you go through the same process– you know Facebook, all three of us are pretty active on Facebook– when something comes up and your gut reaction is off from what someone else is saying or someone you respect is saying-the way stuff happens because we are human. 

 

“I TRY NOT TO BE REACTIVE.” 

Staci: Yes, and I have learned the hard way. This is one of my hard and fast rules– I sometimes break it right because we all break rules sometimes– but I do not engage if I am really emotionally charged because I need to get clear and I really can’t be clear if I am emotionally charged. So, I try not to be reactive. I try to actually get with my feelings, figure out how I am feeling, why am I feeling the way I am feeling and what is this really and how to I need to respond. I always tell my husband– he tends to be reacting like, “Buy yourself some time dude.” Let me think about that and get to you, you know what I mean.  

The cool thing about social media is nobody knows if I am still on or not. If I need to go and gather my thoughts before I respond, I can do that. My thing is that I don’t say anything if I am pissed off like right in the moment. If I respond, it is because I am clear and I don’t have an emotional reaction to it. If I have an emotional reaction to it, I go and get that together so that I can, first of all, have the energy because if I am emotional that takes so much energy in and of itself. Taking care of me in that moment takes a lot of energy. I don’t think as well because I am clouded by the anger or the hurt or the whatever. I try to get that piece together before I respond. That is always my hard and fast rule. When I don’t, it goes south.  

[laughter] 

Staci: Even if I did a good job articulating like I don’t feel good after it usually, it can get a little ugly. I try not to do anything in the moment. That’s with my daughters, my husband, whomever. People online. If I am really pissed and I am really feeling something, I get clear about why I feel what I feel and if it is social justice stuff I need to go and gather some research or say, “F it. This is somebody else’s stuff.” Because some people just troll you and to bait you and get you mad and it’s like,” You can have that because you weren’t here to learn or grow or really listen anyway and you just wanted to piss me off and I am not giving you that.”  

Jess: That’s one that I am still learning.  

Staci: To me, you articulate the big points an if they are still being willful and ignorant, they just want to be willful and ignorant. At that point, you know their agenda is not to learn/ discuss. It is just to be devil’s advocate and pick and annoy you. Okay, well we are done now. That’s where we get receipts and screenshots.  

[laughter] 

Staci: Because inevitably somebody else that has more energy shows up to the conversation and does what they do, those people start going back and deleting. You are like, “Aw, no baby. We’ve got receipts. Sorry.”  

[laughter]  

Staci: Sometimes you gotta walk away. It’s okay to take care of yourself and say, “I don’t have the energy for this today.”  Now that’s different from putting my head in the sand every day.  

Jess: That’s a particularly difficult one for me. When do I get to say no?  

Staci: Yeah: And for me some days, I just don’t go online. If I see that stuff, I ‘m going to try to do what I do. But some days I have to take care of me or I won’t have the energy to do what I do for the work. It’s more important to me, the little stuff, but I know my worth too. I need to be able to have enough energy to bring to the work. I have to take care of myself. Sometimes that means going offline. I’m going to take some time off after this next Unravel power class. I need to take some time.  

Jess: You have this next unravel class, which is the power focus which sounds so exciting. And then you have your mastermind opening after that?  

Staci: Yes. Mastermind is in September so seats are available for that. It’s going to be 3 months, 12 weeks of first, unraveling. I think the Masterminds I’ve been involved in, I like them but they tend to skew to the tactical. And we are more than just robots sowing up to a process.  

Sydney: I’m so glad you are saying that. I signed up and I am pumped. I am in the Mastermind. I am here for it. Yeah, go.  

Staci: Again, this is based on my work. People are smart. We are capable. You might need a few tips and tricks here but most of the time it is our hang ups consistently that we need to learn how to navigate. Like we going to talk about unraveling where our stuff came from and how that affects.  

If your stuff is work related, how you navigate conflict based on this way of thinking and how can we do stuff differently and what are our goals and what are the challenges? What boundaries do we need to be putting up? It is all of that. It is not just, “Hey. Week 1, we are going to talk about this. We are going to talk about that. It is going to be all in there because we have real time conflicts and boundaries we need to be doing like how do we take care of ourselves and take care of the work we want to do. In this system that we live in, there is very much a puppet master still trying to nudge us in the direction. How do you push back the power without imploding everything?  

For me, it is like navigating gracefully and still owning your power and being clear and getting unstuck and moving forward in a powerful way that we don’t usually talk about at Masterminds. I called it Reclaimed because I use another analogy like when we reclaim yarn. You may see an ugly sweater in a thrift store that you may like but the yarn is gorgeous but it doesn’t fit or it is really ugly. You can take that yarn and unravel it and reclaim it and repurpose it for something that works– doing that process. You were saying where can they find me its stacishelton.com  

 

QUESTION & ANSWER 

Sydney: Where can they find you on social media? Are you on twitter and Instagram and all those things? We know you are on Facebook.  

Staci: Yes. I am stacijshelton everywhere. That’s my ID on everything– twitter, Instagram. Yeah, really easy.  

Sydney: Yeah. so now next, you are the first guest so one, I don’t have enough kids in the world. Congratulations and thank you. So, what we will at the end of each episode with each guest is ask a series of questions. It will be the same for each guest so now people have had a chance to get to know you. First question: What or who are you reading right now and for everybody listening and you, Staci right now, it doesn’t have to be a book. If there is someone on Facebook pumping out great stuff, that’s great. Blogs, news whatever. Who are you feeling these days?  

Staci: I am reading Roxane Gay’s ‘Hunger’, I am finishing that up– which is phenomenal. As far as work online which I am listening and getting in tune, I love Chani Nicholas. Astrology, the affirmative astrology. It’s just beautiful. So good.  

Jess: We were just sharing that before.  

Staci: So good. It’s like the perfect combination of here’s what is going on in the universe. Here’s some affirmative statements to move forward. Understanding that stuff, I love her work, that’s what I have been digging.  

Sydney: Chani’s great.  

Staci: She is. Next question. 

Jess: What is something that brings you joy or always makes you happy? 

Staci: Oh, that always makes me happy? Music, for sure. Listening to music– I have my playlists. If I am having a bad day, I can just turn that up, get in the car, put the top down, and everything goes away. Music for sure.  

Sydney: Is there an artist that you are really into now currently?  

Staci: Who am I liking right now? I love Flying Lotus. One of my favorite songs that I listen to every day is called ‘Never Catch Me’. It’s featuring Kendrick Lamar. I love that song.  

Sydney: Staci, what is something that scares you?  

Staci: Being seen. Because I am an introvert and I like doing the work but I have to get comfortable being seen. This is me being more vulnerable and saying yes to that more. I do need to do the work. Nobody is going to know about the work if I am not willing to be seen. But it is scary and vulnerable. We know all the ways people judge. Even though I don’t own it all the time, it is still like,” What if you say the wrong thing?”  It’s just a very vulnerable place. It makes me uncomfortable but I am trying to get more comfortable with it.  

Jess: Thank you. You are getting more comfortable with us. 

Staci: This was easy. I love you guys. I was like yay. This is easy.  

Jess: Alright, final question, what advice or wisdom would you give to your younger self?  

Staci: Stop stopping. I always think about if I have any regrets, it’s all the times I stopped myself because of the stuff I needed to unravel because I was just like thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it or can’t sustain it. I would get overwhelmed like something good would happen and I would stop. I wouldn’t know what to do next and I’d stop. If I had any advice to my younger self, it was like stop stopping. The way would be made, the people will come, your people will show up. Synchronicity happens. Just have the faith to know the next step. Just know everything, just keep going.  

Jess: I love that. I want that plastered on my forehead.  

Sydney: Stop stopping in big bright lights.  

[laughter] 

Staci: It’s an oxymoron. Stop stopping. Keep going.  

Jess: This has been so much fun. Thank you for coming and being visible and being vulnerable and for saying yes.  

Staci: Thank you for asking me. I was like, “What! They want to put me on what? This is going to be fun. Jess and Syd, really? ”  

Sydney: Who would be the most fitting opening episode? Who can help us set the tone? I think you have.  

Staci: Really? Thank you. That’s huge. I was all excited then I found out I was first and I was like “Oh. Wait, I’m first. No.”  

Jess: Here’s the thing: Unraveling and Unfucking is very similar work. It is hand in hand and we adore you and we’ve worked with you so we know. You are legit. You know what you are doing. Your process works. 

Staci: Thank you. I was honored. Honest to God. Because I just love you guys. This is good because people need it. It is like “Stop. Get out of your own way.”  

Sydney: Oh, my poster.  

Staci: Yes. Get out of your own way. This is it. We are all here.  

Sydney: We are going to save the world. One unraveling at a time.  

[laughter] 

Sydney: We’ve got a lot to do.  

Staci: We got this.  

Sydney: Staci, thank you so much.  

Staci: Thank you: 

Sydney: We’ve got new episodes every Tuesday so stay tuned. Next week, we have Kate Anthony.  

Staci: Yes. You guys are doing it.  

Sydney: Yeah. I met her. I actually got to meet Kate in person a couple weeks ago when I was up in LA for client meetings. She wants to rework how we do divorce in this country. She wants to talk about the distinction of putting your child in the center of decisions instead of putting your child in the middle of decisions. So, we will have her on next week to talk about that and probably some other stuff because she is just been blowing up my news feed with golden nuggets. Golden nuggets of amazingness. You are welcome.  

[laughter]  

Sydney: I think that’s it. Staci Shelton, you are a goddess. Thank you for joining us. Love you immensely. To everybody watching there are slots to Staci’s Mastermind. You should join it. 

Staci: Please do. Because it is going to be good.  

Sydney: If you aren’t following her already, follow her. If you have follow up questions ask below this video and we will see you guys next week. Bye.  

Staci: Bye. 

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