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015 | Grant Yourself the Freedom to Live, Work, and Play Based On Your Inner Truth and Wisdom with Lori DiGuardi

mindset podcast thesuzanneshow Jan 01, 2023

Episode Description:

In this reboot episode from SuzPro Live, Suzanne speaks with Lori DiGuardi, a "superhero of the soul" who helps women grant themselves the freedom to live life based on their own truth and become their own best advocate. Lori helps people through speaking, writing, online courses and coaching. She wrote the book Anger 101: The Healthy Approach to Being a Bitch which she started writing in 2009 after being involved in a car accident.

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In this episode of The Suzanne Show, Lori DiGuardi, a "superhero of the soul" who helps women grant themselves the freedom to live life based on their own truth and become their own best advocate, is interviewed. Lori does this through speaking, writing, online courses and coaching. She wrote the book Anger 101: The Healthy Approach to Being a Bitch which she started writing in 2009 after being involved in a car accident.

When she moved to Tucson, Arizona from Pennsylvania she auditioned for TEDx Tucson with an idea worth spreading from her book which was accepted and she spoke at TEDx Tucson that year. The speaker explains that the word "bitch" used as a derogatory name for women in America started in the 1920s when women got the right to vote.

She believes that the American suffragettes were the first American bitches who were powerful, honorable, visionaries, heroic and angry. Through her journey of personal discovery Lori learned that when you prioritize yourself first you can serve the world better without sacrificing your own life.

This podcast conversation discusses how entrepreneurship can help people become more comfortable with being a "bitch" by doing things to make sure people don't treat them like doormats as well as three tips shared by Lori DiGuardi on how to live connected to one's inner truth and wisdom: practice being in your body; notice sensations instead of telling stories; be gentle with oneself; speak kindly; bring energy into your body; practice mindfulness.

Lori has freebies available on her website,, including an intro to mindfulness with 10 simple practices, a Wheel of Life coaching tool to help discover how to honor one's truth and values, an audio to help ground oneself in the body, and a PDF on speaking with authority and authentic power.

Lori's TEDx talk can be found by searching her name in Google. Both Lori and Suzanne are available on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube under their respective names.

The Imperfect Transcript: 

Welcome to another episode of The Suzanne Show, where I talk a little online business, human resources, personal development, chronic illness, and whatever else I decide to chat about. I am so excited that you are here and I love to hear from my listeners. Please feel free to reach out to me on my website,, or on all the socials where I'm also Suzanne Proxa.

And don't forget to put that K before the S. Let's move on with the episode. I can't wait for you guys to dive in. Hey beautiful human, just a quick note that the episode that you are about to listen to is from my former show, Suze Pro Live, but it is so good that I just wanted to make sure that it was still being shared. So enjoy. Suzanne Proxa here.

Super excited to be here today with Lori Degardi.

Did I say it right?


Oh, I got to turn my thing off here. So today our topic is, grant yourself the freedom to live, work, and play based on your inner truth and wisdom. And I know I told Lori before we got on, I know that my group is absolutely going to love this. And I also know that Lori, when I asked for recommendations for people to be on, she was highly recommended.

So I'm sure that there are several people out there who are super stoked to see her here today. So welcome. And I'm going to let you tell everybody what you do, because as I always say every time, you can do a better job than I can for sure. Okay. It's great to be here with you, Suzanne. I am a superhero of the soul.

I help women grant themselves the freedom to live life based on their own truth, and become their own best advocate and truly love themselves without guilt. I help women say yes to themselves. And I do that through my speaking as a professional speaker, as an author, in my online courses, and as a certified coach. So it's every breath I take is all about freedom and inner truth and wisdom.

And I had to live it before I learned it. And now that I lived it and learned it, now I can offer that to women.

And it takes time to learn it, doesn't it?

Well it took me a while. I'm a woman of a certain age, and so it's taken me a while. But truly my vision is a new world power dime where women are their authentic visionary selves, their powerful selves, where oppression does not exist anymore. So that's my big vision is to end oppression. I love that. I absolutely love that.

You know, I see so many talented women out there who, you know, they're scared, they don't think they can do it. There's all this programming that's happened in the past. And so I think what you do is incredibly important. And the title of your book, and I do swear on this program and people know this. I know you do. It's all good. And on iTunes, it's always marked explicit.

The author of Anger 101, The Healthy Approach to Being a Bitch. You have got to tell me about this. And I see it in the background there.

Yes, it's right there.

Yeah, I started writing this book back in 2009. It was when I was involved in a car accident and I put it aside. And then last year when I moved to Tucson, Arizona from Pennsylvania, the suburbs of Philadelphia, I auditioned for TEDx Tucson. But before you audition, you have to submit an application. And if you're familiar with the TED stage, it's an idea worth spreading.

You have to submit an idea worth spreading and it should be radical and unique.

So I've been speaking for 20 some years and I thought, well, what do I have that's radical and unique?

And I remembered the manuscript I started writing like six years ago. And so I took a little bit of that book and I proposed it for the TED talk and it was accepted and I auditioned and then I spoke for TEDx Tucson this year.

So then I thought, okay, I need to finish that book because so many people came up to me to tell me, oh my God, I needed to hear you speak. That's why I came today. I wish my daughter was here. Those kind of things. And so I knew that we all need to know that we matter and that whatever we've suffered through or had pain about, that we're not the only ones.

And so that's why I wrote the book. And this is really important. So you can stop me if you need to, but because I'm over here all night because I'm so passionate about this. I was a pushover in my life and in fact, I was victimized a lot through my, almost until I was 28, I was violated in one way or the other for a long time.

And I used to kid around and say, I really want to be a bitch. And people would think I was kidding.

I really, somehow I knew that being like bitches did not get violated. There was something about that. Years later when I started writing this manuscript, so that was like I said in 2009, oh no, I'm sorry, that was 2012 I think.

Anyway, I don't know.

I just know today is September 28th, right?

So I learned that the word bitch used as a derogatory name for women in America started in the 1920s.

Now, if you heard my Ted talk, you already heard this part, but it's so important.

What happened in the 1920s?

Women got the right to vote. So when women had more of a voice in America, people tried to push them down. And so when I looked at the right to vote in America, it came from all the work that the first visionaries had, women visionaries, which were the suffragettes.

They were so angry about so many things and they had such limited circumstances to do anything, but they were so angry and so passionate and had such a vision. They knew that if they could not experience the change that they were trying to create that women later on would. And you and I and all the women watching, we are benefiting here in America by the work of the American suffragettes.

So for me, when I look at the word bitch and when it started to be used more and more in the 1920s, because women had the right to vote, to me, the American suffragettes were the first American bitches and they were powerful and honorable and they were visionaries and heroic and they were angry.

So when you use your anger and allow it to become this huge, big healing force, there's nothing that you can't change. Freedom is guaranteed. And so that fuels me because as a victim, and I see this a lot with women and men, but mostly women who have been victimized, they often aren't angry. They miss their partners or I think about them all the time, and I get that because I was there.

But we're disconnected from that anger and anger always has our back. So the book is my, the stories about my life as a victim and a pushover and as a bitch. And so it's not like a comical story. There's some humor in there, but it's really a book that helps to give you permission to be who you really are and value what you really value.

And if you don't know who you are and what you value, the book will also help you discover that. And that's connecting to your inner truth and wisdom. Because when you're connected, then your life is on fire in a good way. You're the best entrepreneur. You're the playing really well. You're loving really well. You're living really well. That's what being free is all about. Yeah. Okay. So now stop for a minute.

I love it though.

Well, Andy, when you were starting to talk to, I was like, oh yeah, that's me, the pushover, you know, the person that they, that people know is never going to get mad, always going to forgive them, that kind of thing. And that's, it's funny you say that because that's actually something I've worked on in the last year or two when I've been going through my whole process as an entrepreneur and everything.

You know, entrepreneurship can do amazing things for you in this regard, as you well know. Talk to me about that.

Like for instance, what were some of the things that you actually did to get over that hurdle and get into a place where you were actually more comfortable with, you know, being a bitch and doing the things that you needed to do to make sure that people didn't step all over you and treat you like a doormat and that kind of thing?

That's a great question.

All of us, and this is like the first part of the answer to this is I always knew there was something more. So it was always whispering, Lori, something more. So when I was a little girl and I was alone or being beat up or whatever was going on, there was that whisper, life doesn't have to be this way. There's something more.

When I was a young woman and I worked in a factory and was dishonored and, you know, I was a number and I used to sit there and I was in a sewing factory and I would just like do what I did, the fly, the men's underwear. And as I lived, and I used to think, you know, there's something more for me. There's something more.

And when I worked for bosses who treated me like crap, I used to think there's something more. And so when I was beat up, I mean, I was literally beat up. I was physically violated for many years. I used to think there was something more, but I was so conditioned to be in a life where I was being abused that something more was just a little whisper until I became a mother.

When I, oh, I feel emotions. When I became a mother, it was like, it stops here. I will not allow my children to inherit this. And you know, I did all kinds of therapy stuff. I did a lot of non-traditional stuff.

I mean, you name it, I've done it. And it was just this journey of personal discovery. And one of the things that I did that really connected me to the anger, because even when I got therapy, I was in therapy and my therapist said, take this bat, draw a picture of the XYZ and just hit that bat and hit that picture. And I just couldn't, but I started karate.

And with karate, I learned right away that I deserve to be honored and you have to key up. So that's when you scream and you touch upon your power center.

Wow, did that feel good?

I was embarrassed at first to scream, but then you couldn't stop me. And then we had a punch and kick and it just allowed all of this repressed energy to come out. So then I had this inner karate so that I was able to start saying no to people and yes to myself.

And I could start feeling the sensation of anger within me because anger, the energy of anger isn't part of our inner truth. And I could start saying, no, that's not okay with me. For before I was afraid to say that everybody was more important than me. So I said yes to the whole world and no to me. And I did a lot of good. I saved lives in Africa.

I mean, I have done so many wonderful things for other people in my life. And now I've learned, or I learned some years ago and I'm still learning it, that when you honor yourself first as number one priority, not only are you doing an amazing thing for you, but then you can serve the world in a better way. You don't have to sacrifice your life for other people.

And so it was a very painful journey for me. It started when I had children and that was in the early 90s. And then karate helped me. And then just really practicing connecting to my inner truth and understanding all of the beliefs I had about me that were bullshit. All the oppression and limiting beliefs by society, by our government, but culture, religion, our families. Being human is very complex.

And I just want to say this because it's coming up that no matter what you're doing in your life right now, if you're a pushover or you're a bitch or somewhere in between or something, it's okay. How you are right now is okay. If you hear that little voice of something more, that just means there's more discovery to do. There's more yesing to yourself to do. Absolutely. I love that.

Now I'm feeling all empowered like, okay, now I've got to go do this. I love it. So tell me, you said you were a Ted X speaker.

How did you get into that?

What drove you to that and made you say, oh my gosh, this, I have to do this. Yeah. So when I came to Tucson, I got rid of everything in Pennsylvania, sold my property, over 95% of everything. And I arrived with a couple of suitcases. I didn't know anybody here. And but I was drawn here.

I didn't know if I even knew it was on the map, but I asked what, where am I going?

I got the message to, so I thought, okay. So I came to Tucson, I'm an adventurer and I trust myself. I didn't used to trust myself, but now that I'm so connected to who I am and what I value, I trust myself.

And I thought, okay, who am I?

Because everything that had defined me in Pennsylvania was gone.

You know, I let go of all of that. And I thought, well, I'm a speaker, I love to speak. And I started looking at opportunities and that's when the 10X opportunity appeared. And I found out they were accepting applications and the deadline was like in two days. Oh my gosh.

So I had like, you know, for 24 hours is like all that stuff I told you in the beginning of our talk of how to find what my radical and unique idea was. In the past, when I was a young woman, I was petrified of speaking like a lot of people are. I worked for a corporation where I had to teach, give presentations.

I was a consultant and I was scared beyond, I mean, I had no sense of self-worth. I had no self-confidence, nothing. But my job said, you need to speak in front of these customers and you need to teach them. So when I taught, I had to teach week-long courses. And the joke was, you know, you always had to keep them awake after lunch because everybody would go to sleep.

And if you taught the really awful courses like database, you had to like really work your butt off on Wednesday because by that time everybody wanted to get out of there. But what I found out was I was getting evaluations. We had to get evaluations every week. And my boss would call me into his office. His name was Raydo Kaufman. I worked for an international company, a German company.

And he said, look at this. People want you to teach the database course. Like they're saying that it's the best course they ever had and like no one liked it. No one wanted to take it. No one wanted to teach it. And all of a sudden this phenomenon happened where people wanted me to teach it. They wanted me to teach all their courses. And that's when I learned it didn't matter.

It didn't matter how much I knew about databases because I didn't know any more than anybody else. It didn't matter really what clothing I was wearing. What mattered was that I was being myself. And I know I've heard you speak about this. I was just showing up as me and that was turning people on in a way was I have this natural ability to inspire and soak the fire.

And so it wasn't anything about the databases. It was just about me being present with the people there and engaging with them and just shining the light that I am. And that was my first insight that, wow, I've got something going on here that I don't even have to try to do. And that was this speaking.

And so over the years I've spoken in so many different capacities to different audiences and I always get the same experience, the response and my experience is like I am on fire on stage and people love when I speak to them.

So that's why I wanted to do the TEDx when I found out about it because for years I had been watching TED Talks and I never thought I'd be a TED speaker.

I mean, I'm a TEDx speaker, but I did it. And it also was the scariest talk I ever gave. I freaked out completely before that talk.

I mean, I have never freaked out because I was so raw. I share personal stories and then the TED stage comes with a lot of what would be the word stigma or not pressure, but you know, it's like it's well known. So it really, it scared me, but I did it. So now I want to do it again. Oh my gosh.

Isn't that funny?

It's like you have to get over that initial fear. And I think that's something I really want the audience to take in from this is that those things that terrify you do them because it gets easier the next time. And the crazy thing is you might actually love it later.

You know, like me, for instance, I was just like everybody else terrified to go on Facebook live and you know, now you get me out of Facebook live and you can drag me off of there with one of those. I'm not shut up and this I would roll up notes because I just don't start.

So not nothing like a TEDx, but you know, the TEDx thing was my thing that scared me, but it could be anything, right?

And if we have still time, I'll give me the heads up and we've got to close down. But one of the other things about granting freedom is that so many people think that they're wrong, that they're doing something wrong.

Oh, why am I afraid?

You know, 10X my God, you should be loving that or being on Facebook live. That's easy. You're in front of your computer. You're in front of your computer all day anyway. But the thing is whenever you do something different, I mean, you do engage your limbic system and your amygdala. I studied science in grad school and what I learned is I had so much compassion for being human.

It's such a courageous thing for our souls to incarnate into human beings because we're so complex and our amygdala, our limbic system, everything new, every change that we embark upon is looked as danger. So it can be silly things.

I mean, wearing a different pair of shoes that you have, you know, new style of shoes, what are people going to think?

You start freaking out so you buy the old ones, right?

So any little bit of change makes your limbic system go into high alert unless you know how to engage your biology in a different way. And so there's nothing wrong with you or anybody when you start freaking out or you're nervous. It is our biology and if it's not working for you, it's working against you.

And as I say, and I say this a lot, you can engage your biology to work for you once you know you have that choice.

And to me, that's part of the recipe for freedom, knowing that you're okay and there's nothing wrong and you're doing exactly the only thing you can do. Because if there was another way to do something in the moment, we'd be doing it differently. This is the only way until we learn another way. So I always preach gentleness. Be gentle with yourself.

Yeah, I posted a quote one day.

It said, speak kindly to yourself. Somebody important is listening. That got so many likes and comments. And a lot of people relate to that because we don't always speak kindly to ourselves. It's just how we're raised and the environments that we're in and everything. Hard to get out of that. So we're talking about how people can get that freedom, how they can free themselves from this.

So do you have maybe three tips for people to just help them at least start the process?

Because we know it's a process.

But maybe three tips to help them get started and frame that mindset?

I want to say that one of the biggest things is to bring your energy into your body. Because when our energy is in our head and our brain is taking over, that's when our limbic system and our amygdala, the oldest part of our brain, can drive us crazy.

So when you find you're driving yourself crazy and saying negative things, maybe you're getting headaches or whatever it is, just stop, slow down, take a breath and get into your body to feel your feet on the floor. Bring your energy into your body because it's easier to change your mind with your body than changing your mind with your mind.

So you can do affirmations out the wazoo, but if you're living in your head, it's going to take a long time for those affirmations to take effect, maybe next lifetime. So I say get into your body. It's a big deal. That's number one. Number two is practice mindfulness.

So rather than react to what's ever going on, when something starts bugging you or driving you crazy or you want to swear, point fingers or call names, take that as an invitation to slow down and go inside, back into your body. So if you're already practicing being in your body, it will be easier to practice mindfulness.

And when something bugs you, take that as an invitation like, oh, it's time to come back home. I need to notice something that's going on inside of me. And when you connect to the sensations in your body, instead of telling stories, you're honoring your truth because the sensations in your body don't lie. Your head may tell you stories that are BS, but what's going on in your body is truth.

So that's the second thing. And so get in your body, practice mindfulness as an invitation to connect to your truth by really noticing what's going on.

And the third one is to ask yourself, what is it that you need?

So when something's pissing you off, frustrating you, you're feeling resentment, get into your body, see what's going on inside what you feel and ask yourself, what do I need right now?

Because sometimes just asking the question will dissipate the energy and you have this inner peace. And sometimes you'll like, oh, I need to take a 10 minute nap or I need to tell that person no, or I need to go buy some healthy food.

But if we're busy focusing on the outside and what's frustrating us, what we're resenting, what we're angry at when we're focused on the outside, we're missing the profound wisdom that we always have access to. And that's all about coming home. So those three things I just shared are all about coming home to self. And that's how you live, work and play connected to inner truth and wisdom.

The thing is it costs nothing. No one can take it away from you and it's always available. Very nice. Those are great tips. I can probably use those tomorrow. I could have used them today.

Well, and I, you know, I have to remind myself a lot as well, because after you live, I mean, I'm 55. So after so many years of doing it one way, you know, you have like real estate and you have neural real estate and all these neural pathways that say, call yourself named, get pissed off, blame this person.

So when you, when you learn an honorable and truthful way of living, your truth pulls you to it and you also are in this practice of creating new habits, which means that you have to, it takes practice.

It's like, you can't just cover it. Like if you have grand canyons of neural pathways in your brain, you can't just get rid of them. You have to build other grand canyons in your brain that are based on truth and honor.

So even I, you know, I practice this. I have to remind myself, slow down, go inside. It's a practice. I call it a, you know, they, you know, and talk about mindfulness meditation, yoga. It's a practice and it is. So what I just shared with you is a practice that I practice a lot. Sometimes I forget, but I'm good at remembering now. So it's a part of who I am now.

Now I've been doing it for so long. It's a part of who I am.

Well, it's obviously worked very well. Thank you.

So do you have anything else that you wanted to get across to the audience today?

Oh, do you want to steer me in any particular direction?

Oh, I just, if you had any more tips you wanted to give them or anything you wanted to mention about yourself, otherwise I'm sure that there are people out there watching slash listening who would love to work with you because this had to resonate with a ton of people out there.

And I'm sure they'd love to know where they can find you and, and hang out and work with you and all of that good stuff.

Oh, thanks. Thank you. So I'm almost all over on social media. So I have a personal Facebook page, a professional Facebook page. My name already Garty.

I'm on Instagram, Twitter, what else?

My YouTube, I have a YouTube channel. My website is my name, And I just launched my new website yesterday. It's working just perfectly. And I also have some freebies that would help.

May I offer that share those?

Absolutely. So I have four freebies on my website that'll help you feel better, live better, and even speak better. And three of them are PDFs and one of them is an audio. So one of them is an intro to mindfulness with 10 simple practices. So you can practice the three things that I, or the first two things I mentioned. The other one is the Wheel of Life. It's a very common coaching tool.

So one page PDF, it shows you where, if you're not fulfilled, it'll show you where and why. And it'll help you discover how you can honor your truth and what you value more. I have an audio that's only four and a half minutes and that helps you ground yourself in your body. So you can listen to that anytime you need to just slow down and get connected. That's on my website.

And then the other thing, if you're interested in speaking, and this can even help you if you're speaking on Facebook Live or doing YouTube videos, it's called Speak with Authority and Authentic Power. It helps you with all the things that I've learned over the years, how to really be in your truth and what you value and have the skills to present them in a way that makes people lean in.

So that's a free PDF too. And you have to give your email address for those things, but they, and I would hope that they would help you if that resonates. And so I'm all over social media. Those are my gifts. Yeah. So just reach out. And I have a Facebook group called From Inner Truth to Freedom, a Global Movement of Women.

I started that a few months ago, a safe place where you can really explore what that means. Nice. Very nice. So you're easy to find.

Yeah, I'm all over the place.

Oh, and my TEDx. So you can just put my name in the Google search engine and find the TEDx talk. It's 13 minutes long.

Oh, nice. That's awesome. Very cool. Well you come highly recommended. So thank you for saying so. Yeah. Yes. I have more than one person saying you've got to get her.

So, well, thank you so much for being on today. It was super fun. And I know myself, I definitely learned some things that I'm going to try. Like I said, probably tomorrow. So very helpful, very excited to have you here. So have a wonderful evening. And I know I will see you around in my group and probably yours as well. Thank you for having me here.

It was a lot of fun to hang out with you. Definitely. Super fun. We might have to do it again.




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