Understand and Overcome Imposter Phenomenon with Dr. Valerie Young

Valerie Young

TUNE IN TO THE EPISODE:

In this episode, we discuss imposter syndrome and before we go any further. For those of us unfamiliar with the term, imposter syndrome or imposter phenomenon refers to this belief that you’re not enough, not good enough, not competent enough, and this very constant self-doubt remains even if your life experiences are telling you a different story.  When you suffer from this feeling of being an imposter, you’ll continue to feel like a fraud living in fear of being found out, being exposed as the talent-less trickster who has built their life on luck, opportunity, or connections, basically without any real talent, hard work, or strong. personal characteristics.

Now, imagine living your life feeling like that, imagine the self-dialogue that accompanies this sort of emotion. You could be ticking off goal after goal, doing a great job on all fronts and still have massive stress. It makes it impossible for you to enjoy the good you do or achieve in life. So, you can understand why this is a very, very important topic of discussion, and so it deserves an expert with years of experience tackling this issue. 

Long Vertical image with episode title

About the guest-

Our guest is Dr. Valerie Young, an imposter syndrome expert, award winning author, an inspiring speaker with a Ted Talk called, Thinking your way out of imposter syndrome.

Shownotes -

  • How Valeries first came across the term

  • If there are any particular personality types more prone to Imposter syndrome

  • How childhood experiences may lead to feeling like an imposter as an adult

  • The role culture, family history, gender, race play

  • How to think like a non-imposter

  • If there is a version of reality wherein the imposter syndrome can be an asset

  • How homemakers can avoid the imposter syndrome

  • How it jeopardises physical and mental health and sidelines self-care

  • Some very practical steps that we can take to manage imposter syndrome in an effective way so that it doesn’t get in the way of your success or a healthy, happy life.

Resources + Guest Info

Krati Mehra : Let me just start by saying thank you so much for making time because I love your content. I love everything you write. I loved your website, especially. So I’m thrilled to have you here. So thank you so much for making time. My pleasure. And I have to ask, because what I learned a little bit about you from your website. And this is not exactly I would say that this, what you’re choosing to do, how you’re choosing to show up for the world how choosing to help people. I think that requires a dedication to the area that you’ve chosen, like helping people with their sexuality, there has to be a story behind it that would love to learn what brought you to this place. What drives you to bring this level of dedication to this activity chosen, despite I’m sure the resistance you must get from certain people.

Erin Kyna : Yeah, and in many ways, I feel like it chose me. I had a lot of resistance to working in this field. The first time. It kind of came into my awareness was 20 years ago. So I was about 20 myself and my partner at the time said I feel like you’re here to help women with their sexuality to heal in the way that you are healing. And I was like no, absolutely not. Do that. So it’s been inside of me, it’s been witnessed by the people close to me. But I was in resistance through a lot of my own shame a lot of my having overcome sexual trauma myself and climbing out of that dark place, I didn’t want to go back, I didn’t want to have one foot in that world where I’m supporting other people to get out, I wanted to distance myself completely from the pain of my past. So it was only somewhat recently, in the last few years that it really came to the forefront. And it in some ways, felt incredibly natural. Like finally I was ready, I was at the place in terms of my own healing my own sexual journey, that it wasn’t something that I was in resistance to anymore. It strangely took me a long time to sexually awaken even though I’ve always been a very sexual person. And being a very sexual woman, particularly in the world is a very confusing thing to be because of the world teaches us what it means to be a sexual woman and the amount of societal shame that’s placed upon us. And yeah, so it was a very confusing and shame filled inner journey. And when I finally reached that place in myself, it was effortless. Of course, this is what I’m doing, like, how did I take so long? But that’s

Krati Mehra : okay. What do you mean when you say, a sexual woman? Because I know that there are more negative connotations out there than there are positive one. So let’s talk about that. Before we go any deeper into this? What is a sexual woman?

Erin Kyna : Well, honestly, I think a woman is sexual. It is a question. It’s just there is no hierarchy at the end of the day for me to claim it is a kind of weird thing now that you posed the question in this way, because we are all sexual women. But of course, some people, let’s say that they’re into music, and all of us like music. All of us are musical beings, for sure. But there are some people who are effortlessly musical. And they’re the embodiment of what it is to be a musician and music drips out of every single pore, it occupies the entirety of their being. And that’s not to say we’re not all musical. But there’s some people who have a propensity or a natural disposition, and a fascination and a curiosity around that realm of music. And that’s what sexuality is like, for me, it’s something that’s always been at the forefront of my life and very close to the surface, except for times when I’ve been very shut down, which I think is a very normal response for many of us women as well. But I’ve certainly had my complete sexual shutdown phase years of my life. So when I look at the other women in my world that might be quite sexually expressed, I still see myself to have more vastness in my sexual expression than most of the people around me. So my sexual curiosity, my sexual drive is not the right word. But my my focus on it, my hunger for experience, surpasses what would be normally found, or what would most people would feel comfortable with.

Krati Mehra : Right, that that helps that why do you think there’s so much like for any woman to say I am a highly sexual person, no one ever really goes out and just say that outright, even if she does, in the privacy of her bedroom, she just seemed like she is a highly sexual woman, though I don’t I don’t know very many women who feel comfortable saying that in front of other people, because I know some of it is a fear of what the other person would perceive them to be. But what do you think the other side of it is? Where does all the shame comes from? Not just I mean, going beyond the public perception of those words?

Erin Kyna : Yeah, I think the societal consequences for our sexuality, a vast, and we’ve been taught from a very young age, that that kind of tainting of our reputation can have vast, vast consequences, and certainly across different societies, different religions, it varies, but it’s still pretty prevalent everywhere. And the patriarchy has been in power on our planet for roughly 2000 years. And the way that the most powerful way to disempower someone else is to use guilt and shame. And so in order to put the power in the hands of the masculine, the easiest way to do that is guilt and shame. What’s naturally feminine. So, men, sexuality and women’s sexuality are two very, very different stories on the planet. They’re both still very damaged. They’re both still filled with shame. But women are inherently sexual. We’re the birth giver, you know, we create life through our bodies, the most sexual act is to create so beautiful, it’s so sacred, it’s so powerful, but as the consequences of trying to discern Power, or take women’s power from them that illusion. It’s used to shame. And so I think, well, when I think of my own experiences, and I tell other women that I’m a sexual being, there’s probably some more acceptance or more comfort with men, because either their judgement of it and blatant shaming, there’s their own discomfort and their own sense of inadequacy, which is how the patriarchy has damaged men, and they don’t want to feel sexually inadequate, inadequate around me. And so they can retract if they hear that I’m a very sexual woman. And I think we’re seeing definitely more change on the planet now more celebration of this more understanding of sexuality education is really starting to become prolific, and I’m so happy to see that. But we still have to do a lot of inner work for each of us. So whether someone hears that from me and feels comfortable or uncomfortable is just simply a reflection of how far they’ve journeyed within their own sexuality and started to dismantle the internalized shame around sexuality.

Krati Mehra : Yeah, that was a powerful response. And if somebody listening to this interview, feels stirred up, provoked, they should explore that, I would say they should definitely, women should definitely explore that. If they feel like they’re not quite comfortable with your answer, or if they want to challenge it, I think they should like introspect a little on where all of that is coming from. And I also appreciate that you pointed out the whole, like, shame is used to disempower women, because I do agree with that men, sort of, they’re allowed to brag about their sexual conquests, they’re allowed to talk round the clock about it, and it’s okay. Like, there is these articles dedicated to how men think about sex 75 80% of the time, something like that. And that’s perfectly just perfectly accepted. But for women to do that, it is so, so unacceptable. In fact, in India is worse than India, even women shame each other, you know, they are not comfortable, but like it’s supposed to be some sort of strange conversation to have and you bring up masturbation when you bring up orgasms or, you know, working on an activity to make it more fun and adventurous. And they even women judge each other. So I love that. I love your answer there because there is power here to be claimed. And the I believe there is, when you are comfortable with your body, you are just in a different zone, when you know you are the sexually powerful woman, I can have confidence that it can bring. Which brings me to the my next question. Like being comfortable with your sexuality, owning your sexuality. What does that look like? And what do you think that is? How that could impact us on different levels?

Erin Kyna : Oh, that’s such a good question. And I really like what you just said in your last answer as well. I think that’s really insightful. And I love it a lot. And I am a naturally triggering person for many people. I do expect to be challenged and triggered by what I say. And my life history shows me that it’s, it’s very common for people to be triggered by me. And you’re exactly right. That’s just an opportunity for self inquiry. And I understand that the way that I live and the way that I embody my physicality, and my sexuality is very challenging for many. And if it’s too much, that’s fine, because it’s not a reflection of me, but the journey to get there has been huge. And so this is exactly what you’re asking now, as well. It’s like we, what it takes to actually reach this place is so much self reflection and so much self acceptance. And even when we reach that point of self acceptance, we can still share ourselves with a new partner and experience their judgment, we can still even one of my most recent love relationships with a man who was nearly 10 years older than me, he said, I feel like a virgin around you, I feel he had to face all of his sense of inadequacy, because of the embodiment of my sexuality. And I was proud of him for being able to own that and and still face that. But I fully accept myself and that is triggering. So for me the full acceptance of my body. My womanliness my sexuality is really about not having not feeling like I have something to hide, being open and curious about my sexual expression and the people that I share it with, without shame or judgment, being able to hold space for other people’s as well. So the embodiment of my sexuality, and for the majority of my clients also comes with another consequence, which is you start to raise your standards and you start to want more for yourself and expect more for yourself and not settle anymore, that it can also be a lonely path. The more I do this work and the more I embody my self worth and what it really means to own my sexuality. I don’t want to share it with people that can’t meet me in that place. So I don’t want to share it with people who still projecting their own shame and judgment or uncomfortable around me. So it means that a lot of the sexual experiences I had in the first 20 years of my active sex life would not be suitable for me now. So it can be somewhat isolating, because we’re moving away from the mainstream, we’re moving away from the mainstream, dating and sex and relationship with the opposite gender, or even the same gender or whatever it might be for us, we start to really recognize this is amazingly powerful, and incredibly intimate, incredibly vulnerable. A lot of people before really addressing their sexuality don’t even bring vulnerability into sexuality. There are women who don’t want their body seen or won’t make eye contact. And that’s very, very common. That’s a level of vulnerability, that, that they’ll say, I’ll have sex with this person before I’ll be seen in a bikini with this person. Like, that’s the disconnect that we have. It’s like, we’ll share our body and our sexuality. But I’m still not feeling safe or comfortable enough for you to see my magnificent body, whatever it may look like. Yeah. So yeah, that kind of embodiment of sexuality comes with, I’m so comfortable with myself. And I can go deep, and I can be intimate and I can be vulnerable, and I can be fully present with all of you. And not many people can match that. So we start to move away from those early experiences where we feel disconnected, or we’re not sure if he’s going to call us the next day, or like, we haven’t really got to know each other yet. And we start to move towards a deep presence and deep acceptance and deep vulnerability and intimacy with people long before we even share our bodies together. The then twining of our Sexual Energies happens very differently. We don’t just jump into bed with someone anymore. We realize that reality is a mental experience and an emotional experience, spiritual experience, and we get to play in include every part of our being in our sexuality.

Krati Mehra : I love that I love I love that answer. So you put it if you make it sounds so magical, and you are so right, a sexually competent woman, really a woman who is confident not even if we remove the sexual element from it. They always come across as too much, you know, you’re too much for the world you too much for men are an I hate to generalize. I’m sure that is not true about every man, taking that on board, when men generally are more comfortable with sexually timid women. Because I don’t know, maybe we have done them a disservice as well, by conditioning them in that way, you know, to look for women who are sexually, who will let them take the lead, or who would at least walk one step behind wouldn’t meet them on an equal platform, let alone be ahead of them in so many different respects, and especially when it comes to sex. So I love that answer. But I have to say like when you find the actual confidence, or when you become constantly, yeah, it’s a lonely path for a while. But then when you do find people willing to meet you there where you’re at? Oh, it is. It is amazing.

Erin Kyna : It absolutely. And like, I still have experiences now. But other women in my world, just like you found what, how did he speak to you? What did he do for you? And I’m like, I know, that’s a man with great consciousness. So that’s a man that’s very well aware of himself. And you don’t get that when you’re just out on the casual dating scene. You don’t get what depth of presence from the masculine. So yeah, it’s it’s a lonely path. But you’re exactly right. The rewards are there.

Krati Mehra : Yes. And I appreciate that, you know, you have taken it like it’s more than sexual. It’s about your entire being and how, how you show up for yourself in your life. So let’s talk about that a little bit. Because I would love for my audience to understand that this is, yes, it is. We’re talking about sexuality, we’re talking about sex. But it is so much more than that. And just for the length of this conversation, perhaps you need to suspend, like the general idea that we have all grown up with the idea that we have around sexuality. It’s supposed to be about lust, it’s supposed to be raunchy, it’s supposed to be all of those things. Except, that is not all there is to it. It is there’s beauty to where there is held to it, there is well being to it. There’s so much there’s love to it. You know this, you meet yourself in a way that you can’t have that experience with anything else in your life. You can have big challenges with experiences. When you are exploring this sexually you meet yourself in a way that nothing else can give you that experience. So let’s talk about that and talk about how, you know, sexual exploration and getting to that other side where you find that confidence and that self belief, how that shows up where your health is concerned. how that impacts your emotional well being, to let like Let’s introduce people to all the possibilities here to women interviews, women.

Erin Kyna : So there’s actually so much scientific evidence about the, the health benefits of orgasm. And I don’t want to focus on orgasm and sexuality because actually, like, there’s just so much more to it. But yeah, the body releases hormones and chemicals in the body, that increase our well being and can also decrease other health states. So it’s quite incredible. There is so much out there, even momentarily, you can decrease pain, you can decrease stress, you can decrease blood pressure, you can increase connection, you can increase your quality of sleep, like I’m getting goosebumps as I just think about it it’s utilizing as it’s meant to be utilized the same as exercising and going to the gym, we could list off 100 reasons, like going for a nice afternoon walk, we know that that makes us feel better. We know that that’s doing something on many many microcosmic levels in the body. But ultimately, it just feels good to go for a walk. And when you go for a walk, you’re like, Hi, I’d love this. Anytime for a walk, and then you get back to walking. You’re like, Oh, why? Why did I stop? Sexuality is the same when we have a positive relationship with our sexuality. And as a result of that we don’t have positive sexual experiences, then we don’t get those benefits when we’re shut down and were stuck inside ourselves. And we’re fearful and we’re anxious. That’s not what we’re talking about, when you have a very positive, loving sexual experience. And that can be one that you have with yourself, and start to awaken the pleasure in your body like that, we start to experience all of these benefits, we can then take sexuality into an emotional realm. And for me, sexuality is only in the emotional realm. Without an emotional connection with someone my sexuality is not activated. And so this is what can happen in those states of shutdown is that we don’t actually understand what it is that we need to feel aroused, or what it is that we need to feel safe and turned on. And then there’s some women who’ve never gone beyond that. So their only sexual experiences unpleasant, perhaps even traumatic, full of obligation. And then they don’t even understand what we’re talking about now. Like, why would sex be good? Why would sex make us feel that way? But it’s important to get to understand ourselves so that we can start to crack the code. women’s sexuality is very complex. So for me, I know that emotional connection is the major precursor to feeling aroused, I have to feel emotionally connected. I have to feel safe and cherished and loved. And then the door opens and I will journey through everything. But if my heart feels wounded, and if my heart feels guarded, it’s all gone, everything’s gone. That very sexual woman that identify us is gone. Nowhere to be found, it all comes back, right? So when I have that heart based connection with someone, can I get the opportunity to move emotions through my body in the most beautiful way, emotions become the fuel for the sexuality in many ways, so I can have a catharsis and a huge release. I can feel states of joy and be, you know, blissfully ecstatic, almost of just laughter and joy. And when I feel wounded or in pain, emotionally, been sexually is a great way to heal that and reconnect and actually bond together after some sort of emotional rupture as well.

Krati Mehra : Yeah, that was beautiful. And I really honestly believe like, if you start sexually exploring yourself, even if it is by yourself in the privacy of your bedroom, I think you can also find body acceptance, and I think you’re better qualified to comment on this, or women who have body acceptance are generally just more confident no matter what it is, whatever experience they’re taking on the public speaking, be it showing up in a high position and whatever, there’s just more confident and you’re gonna have body acceptance, if you don’t see everything that your body can do for you.

Erin Kyna : Yes, exactly. And I, I remember meditating once, and I very clearly heard the words. It’s not the shape of a woman’s body. It’s how much of it she occupies. And I thought, yeah, when I hated my body, which was the majority of my life, I was very disconnected my energy, my soul wasn’t being expressed. Through my body. I was in judgment and disconnect and shame. And even now, in sharing my body with a new lover, I noticed, oh, God, I’m feeling insecure about my body. And so I’ve been working with that again, like Why have I gone back a few steps. And I was like, You know what, I frickin love my body. I love my body. I love the feeling existing in my body, where my problem comes up is what other people think of my body. And the fact that we live in a society where people can even have an opinion about what my body should or shouldn’t look like or what’s good or what’s bad. What’s disgusting or what sexual, what’s attractive? Like, it’s so ridiculous that the world has made us feel like that about bodies. It’s just so insane and devastatingly sad for me that we are raised with these kinds of opinions being put in our mind, that the shape of our body somehow has some sort of value or lack of value, over something else, I would much rather be fully in my body completely activated, sensual, alive and pleasured than I would being supermodel thin, and being disconnected from it. Yeah, a woman that’s radiating her pleasure from her body is the most magnetic thing we get, we all get drawn to it, we all you might not be able to put your finger on what it is. But it’s like her body, you know, and her soul is occupying her body, because she doesn’t have these layers of shame and disconnect and self rejection. And it’s just like, who just walked in the room? I want to know her.

Krati Mehra : Yeah, I want to know. What did we all like, that’s what we should aspire to to be that woman. And I think the work has to begin from realizing that it is your body, I think so many women, just very from a very young age, but start forgetting that this is in fact, your tweaking body, what you do with it is entirely your bit you get to call the shots. They give them a whole bunch of if our I can’t put my finger on what it is when exactly it starts happening to us. But it does happen. And then you have to relearn this, this very basic concept. If you teach yourself, oh, no, this is your body. You get to decide how, what it does, how it serves you how it doesn’t serve you. Just tragic. But that’s that’s actually what happens. And then you can have the 30. I knew just like I’m sure given people this. So build this image of what is possible on the journey. And I appreciate you immensely for that. Thank you for doing that. Okay, I have another question. I want to ask you, your website, what I loved about your website, this is something I’ve never been able to put forward in very clear words, because I even I’m not very clear on this concept. But I love like this was right away. This made me feel I want to talk to this person you love and spirituality into sexuality. Yeah. And I do recognize that I recognize that when you have, like a really good sexual experience. Be it with a partner, be it by yourself, are you just really at peace with your body? It is for a fact. Like, to me at least it is a spiritual experience. But what made you go down that path? What made you with those two together? What does that look like for you?

Erin Kyna  : Well, again, it was a very natural blending of it was an integration of my own self. It was my wholeness and me not segmenting who I am. But recognizing I am a deeply spiritual person, I feel very blessed to be connected to forces much greater than us. I feel very guided by those forces. I feel like there is a energy at work in my life that’s leading me on my own path of evolution. And it’s leading me towards more love and more connection and more oneness and greater understanding. So I think whatever any one individual relationship with spirituality is we could probably all agree with a general concept of something greater than us. But and so as a very spiritual person who was raised in a family of atheists, who told me that God was a bad word and like, science is all that matters. And all I wanted to do was be a nun. I wanted to grow up and be a nun and go to Sunday swell. Yeah, I was craving God, in some form my whole life before anyone told me what it was, which is probably the same as my sexuality, craving this connection before the world told me that it was bad and wrong. So having spirituality at the forefront of my life, as I start to go deeper and deeper into my own sexuality, you realize that actually, they’re one in the same they are this force that’s much greater than us, that’s leading us towards more connection, more unity, more oneness. And it will fit within every single person’s religious or spiritual frameworks, but will fit in differently depending on what their personal perspectives are at that time. And obviously, a lot of organized religions have also shut down sexuality by using shame. And that’s a lot of religious deconditioning that a lot of people need to go through as they start committing to their sexuality as well. But for me, it’s more so about, for me to be a spiritual person for me to recognize the truth of who I am as a spiritual being. It’s the unconditional love and acceptance of all layers of who I am the fullness of myself. And sexuality is exactly the same. It’s the acceptance sort of the fullness of myself? And how can we have one without having the other?

Krati Mehra : Yeah, it’s like communing with your soul. I think almost. Yeah. Hey there, I hope you enjoyed the episode, I’m taking a quick break yet to remind you to subscribe to on her terms, subscribing means that you get the latest episode without fail delivered to you every week. And it helps me reach a wider audience. If you haven’t already, please pick up your phone and subscribe. Now, let me know that you appreciate the content I’m sharing Thanks in advance. I started exploring that concept when I was sort of in depression. And after that I had to go to all of the support groups and meditation workshops. And, and there they told me that masturbation explore masturbation as a form of meditation. Why? Because that’s great. And then I learned about orgasmic meditation. I was never really able to do that. Not quite there. But I did. I did understand how masturbation can feel like meditation. But let me know if you think I’m wrong. But I feel like you have to very be very deliberate about how you channel your energy as you’re exploring your body.

Erin Kyna : Well, I agree. And I also, I think there’s both sides of the argument, I think, yes, there’s an importance to bring sacredness and focus into our sexuality. But once we reach that point, then we recognize it’s everything. So I have a little bit of resistance to the tantra movement. Because Tantra basically says Have sex like this. This is where you’re safe. This is where it’s sacred, and all that other stuff on the planet. That’s dangerous that time during the past. It’s almost excluded. Even though the philosophies of tantra are inclusion of everything, the practice of tantra I often see them and certainly when I share that my sexual expression is based in BDSM. I have a lot of people that are in the tantra world say, oh, what why do you do that? And I’m like, oh, trust me, it is so sacred, it is so spiritual, the way that my sexuality is expressed. But you’ve got some preconceived idea that BDSM is bad and dark. And so that it through saying it has to look like this, they’ve actually created exclusion and shame. So I think as we all journey into our own sexuality, that yes, we bring that deliberate focus, we bring that sacredness, that full presence. But then we also want to continue expanding out to include all sexual expressions. And once it becomes a tenant of your sexuality, once it’s there at the core, just like emotional connection is for me. Let’s go to everything. Let’s play, let’s experience Let’s lighten up, Let’s be joyful, let’s be dark, let’s be angry, like, we can start to move through all of that. But I do think it’s a very necessary component. And when I think about our own masturbation practice, I really think that it’s an opportunity for great self care, and great self love and acceptance. And it doesn’t have to just be outcome oriented, like, Okay, I’m tired. So I want to get off or I’ve got a headache, or I can’t sleep, or I’m just a little bit Honi or revved up, and I just need to satisfy that like, sure we can do that. But there’s actually way more available to us about discovering what it feels like to be in our body and to experience all different sensations using the entire body as the sexual the button, not. Yeah. It was the buttons that I could push and a whole body is activated. No, it’s not just the genitals and the breasts. It’s actually then moving that like scratching is one of my favorite sensations, just running nails along the skin. But if you run your nails along your skin, when you start masturbating, you’ll feel that that sexual energy all of a sudden, is moving down your arms and your legs and up your back. All of a sudden, you’re engaging your entire body in this pleasure experience, and it’s vastly vastly different.

Krati Mehra: I have two points to make that like you are right. When does the sleep that you get after having an experience like that? Is school? Amazing. I have done that like not, like you said there is no it’s not goal oriented. masturbation, it’s not really masturbation, but like just exploring, closing your eyes, and letting yourself connect with your body. It is essential, it’s not connecting with your body in the way where there’s guided meditation, not like that it’s closing your eyes and feeling sort of feeling your body feeling your energy and taking it in that direction. Even if there’s no orgasm, even if that’s not your goal. That’s when you fall asleep. Sometimes you fall asleep just doing that. And it sort of carries over into your sleep and you wake up feeling like that. Oh my god. Like you’re connected to the divine. That’s how it feels to me. Yeah, a lot of people would think we bullshit. But no, you have to experience that. And you’re so right excluding experiences, if you again giving away your power. So if you’re exploring your sexuality, you’re becoming this woman who has the confidence to go out there and say I’m a sexual, I’m a highly sexual woman, I love that. I love banking. If you exclude these elements, then again, you are giving away your power. Don’t let anyone telling you how to actually express yourself, because that’s so totally you calling all the shots.

Erin Kyna: The critical piece, and that is to express our sexuality from a place of high worth. Because what I also see is women say, Oh, I’m so sexual. So I’m gonna go sleep with 100 people, because I’m so empowered, right, and you can see that they’re not choosing the right people, and they’re being ghosted and how our sexuality is expressed is not the sign of empowerment, it’s the relationship we have with it, and the relationship we have with ourselves. So you can have very high self worth and sleep with 100 people, and it’d be healthy. And you can have very low self worth and sleep with 100 people, and it’d be very unhealthy. So I think it’s really important to say, is this a healthy expression of my sexuality? Are these choices coming from high self worth? Is this a choice that’s going to damage me or hurt me in the long run? Or am I going to be accumulating so many woundings from being ghosted so many times? Am I really looking for love, but I’m using sex to try and get attention. Like, there’s a real difference when we’re coming at it from healthy sexuality. And we say I love spanking, and isn’t real. The lot of red flags still around other women who just say, well, now sexual freedom means that I should go and do anything with anyone. And like, Hey, we’ve all been there, we might all have a phase of that I have complete compassion and understanding. But what I would really urge women to do is work towards the healthiest expression of their sexuality.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, and anyways, no matter what culture you belong to, no matter where you come from, what your family was, like, it takes work to get to that place of confidence and that place of comfort with yourself, I think you just have to protect that place that feeling as well. Because if you then go ahead and go on and find people or end up in situations where they chip away at that confidence and that power, it is going to damage all the sort of I feel that that is predominant the work that you’ve done to you also, like with our mental health, when we go through therapy, when we go to workshops and support groups, we become very protective of our mental health, we’re very proactive and taking care of it. I think that it’s the same thing with your sexuality, that confidence is so hard one, you don’t give that away.

Erin Kyna: And then we learn what healthy boundaries are. And we learn what consent is and how to express that. When no one teaches us about our sexual boundaries, we have no idea. We have no idea what’s okay or right or wrong for us, or how to express that. So we end up in a sexual situation where we feel like our lines were crossed, or we’re feeling yucky, and we don’t know why. But as you do this work on yourself, all of a sudden, you’re like, Wow, I’m so empowered to express my boundaries. I’m so empowered to negotiate this sexual experience and share what I’m available for and what I’m not available for or what I’d like to try. There’s so much shame around the the words of sexuality, it’s so hard for people even get the words out of their mouth sometimes, let alone have really empowered conversations about it. So yeah, when you do work on it, yeah, you realize what a frickin gift and a prize it is to be in the presence of my sexuality. No, not everyone’s getting access to that. I’m sorry, you got to prove yourself as well. Yeah, yeah.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I love that. And I’ll share this article that I read a long time back, I’m going to share that in the episode description about BDSM. Like you brought that up. They apparently there was a study that was conducted, I don’t it was a lot, I read it a long time back. I don’t remember all the details. It was a very large sample. And they compared the people who were having BDSM in a safe way, of course, and people who who didn’t who just like have normal, like not normal, but like straight. When Allah says they, they compared their findings, and they found that the people who have who indulge in BDSM and who explore that area of their life, have more social confidence. They have better emotional well being they show up in much, much more with a lot more confidence. They are sort of more at peace with themselves, their their health and well being is better, and sounds wonderful. And I can see why that would be. It makes sense as someone who Yeah, yeah, it sounds like

Erin Kyna: It’s somatic embodiment of our shadow you have to be you face parts of yourself in BDSM that society tells you that you shouldn’t face so for me it creates a lot more wholeness and integration by being at peace with those parts of myself. But for me, it’s the intimacy and the vulnerability is so much higher in BDSM than it is In vanilla, and I just am hungry for that kind of intimacy. But very, very, very deep intertwining between you and someone else, I tried to explain to someone, once it’s like we could go through for a walk through the forest during the day, we say, Oh, that’s a really lovely, like, look at these nice things. And we saw, we get to the end of our walk, and we go, Oh, thanks for that lovely walk. But if we walk through the same forest at nighttime, we’re going to be holding each other’s hands, we’re going to be moving close to each other, we’re going to be watching out for each other, we get to the other side. We did that together. That’s what it feels goosebumps. As I say, it’s like, let’s go out to the edge of ourselves. Let’s go to the edge of our psyche. Let’s go to the edge of our pleasure, let’s go to the edge of our shadows, and see what we find there. And because we’re both committed to doing that, it becomes so intimate. It takes this vulnerability of saying, Oh, I’m going to show you my shadow, if you show me yours. It’s so delicious. It’s so transformative as well.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, I think the romantic books that cover the subject movies, like used to hate the way they sort of make people think that people who enjoy BDSM, they are carrying a lot of trauma. And all of this comes from a place of like the past traumatic experience. But I don’t think that’s true, I think this is just it’s just, sometimes it’s simply an adventure that you decide to go on and find more and more about yourself, but you’re discovering these little pieces of yours. And as you said that what it is you’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable position, just even just asking for it from your partner. But when it is a good experience is positive, every inch of it is positive, I can’t even imagine the the level of intimacy you will find and the level of trust you will find with that person.

Erin Kyna: Yeah, and there’s also scientific literature, because I was part of that camp, I thought, my own internalized shame of my sexual expression, you must be really screwed up to want those things. And it’s kind of like the homophobic person that’s actually gay. All of the judgment I had about BDSM. And the misunderstanding is because I’m very kinky. The classic, but I didn’t. And I have scientific research as well, that says that there’s no high incidence of sexual trauma in the BDSM community as there is in the control groups, but actually, that there can be greater sense of secure attachment within particularly power exchange relationships. So like all things, you take the good with the bad, of course, that community has its own problems. And you can definitely find people who are expressing it in unhealthy ways that can be quite damaging. And it’s very important to go into that world with full consciousness and empowerment and being able to speak up and consent. But when it’s practice, well then all of those things get included the communities that are practicing and well are including such incredible education, and sex positivity so that it can be experienced in a healthy way. And again, I think it’s just kind of like some people like sports, some people like music, some people like really kinky thing. Some of my friends are so vanilla, they just can, it just does not click in their brain in a way when I tell stories, or I share something that turns me on that they just can’t relate with it. It’s just not there for them. And I’m like, wow, that’s really interesting, because I’m the complete opposite of that. But it takes all of us to manatee. Every one of us is unique and different.

Krati Mehra: Of course, yeah, no judgement for people who like BDSM and people who completely don’t want to go there. That’s perfectly okay. But I do like it. It does. It’s an interesting visual, when you think about women who first admitted themselves that you know what, I would love to be tied up and then go out there and admit it to someone, dude. instance, like boosting your confidence. Sometimes I like to provoke uncomfortable conversations. I deliberately make people uncomfortable. I like to push those boundaries. I will tell statements like that, and then watch the reaction. It’s so much fun.

Erin Kyna: That’s amazing. As an example of humanity, I don’t like to be provocative in that way. I don’t be honest about myself, but I like everyone to get along. And I don’t like people’s buttons to be pushed. So I’m very good at like being diplomatic and making everyone feel comfortable.

Krati Mehra:

But you discover so much about people when you do that. Especially with guys and they’re all like suave and yeah, we’re making space for women. I’m totally okay with a woman taking the lead in the bedroom and he saw a statement out there and they’re like, why are you saying it out loud? Don’t hold it back. Don’t don’t share it. I’m like, okay, see, now we see you.

Erin Kyna: I see this.

Krati Mehra: Okay, that makes me want to ask you something more serious here. Women who were as they were growing up, they were shamed. Like it happens in a lot of underwear. families they are taught to not wear certain type of clothing, were told not to talk to boys. If you get eve teased, somehow it’s your fault, stuff like that happens, it turns into trauma, and you carry all of that pain or that shame with you into adulthood. And of course, it impacts your ideas. Like there’s so many women who think you have to be married to explore that. And there’s that’s the only safe way to do it. And when they get married, and they are exploring it, they don’t ask for anything more than what their husband is giving them. I believe that there are consequences to that kind of repression. So can we talk about that? And can you please talk about how we can get past all that conditioning?

Erin Kyna: Yeah, well, that’s too huge, and really important questions that you’ve just asked, first of all, how we can get past the conditioning, I think what you and I are doing now is massively impactful, being exposed to new information, there is no choice until there’s awareness. So a lot of those cultural things are being perpetuated, because you have no idea that it could be anything other than that, if this is what your culture has done, if this is what your family has done, you just do what’s always been done. And then if you and I are having this conversation, and this conversation gets dropped into someone’s world who’s never been exposed to this before it smashes open the psyche, it’s really challenging. But that awareness, that idea that there’s something else becomes the precursor for New choice. So then they can start to say, okay, so I think a really important part of this is education, really healthy and empowered sex education, that’s something been missing from our society, there needs to be a lot of forgiveness, self forgiveness, I think a lot of us are carrying not only the shame and the judgment that’s been imposed upon us, but the way that we’ve treated ourselves, the things that we’ve accepted for ourselves, we need to be in loving relationship with that, I think healing, the shame comes from bringing those parts of our shadow into the light. And when we can create safe spaces and safe relationships, like you and I have just met, and this is a safe space for us, we instantly were able to hold that space for each other because of it’s a reflection of the work that we’ve done on ourselves. But many people have never had a conversation of this depth in their entire life, let alone one between two strangers. So when those conversations aren’t part of your world, when you don’t have relationships with sisters, or friends, or, you know, other women that can empower that, then sometimes you don’t have any way to bring your shame, and to talk about it. So I think creating really healthy, safe spaces for us to share and to talk and to ask questions, reliable resources for those kinds of things, is incredibly powerful. And then once you’ve done the work on it, as you and I have, we then become naturally leaders and role models for others. And then I feel that it’s our absolute duty, as the women privileged enough to be able to take this journey that we’re on. Because I recognize for the vast majority of women on the planet, they do not get this privilege, they don’t get the safety, they don’t get the education for this. So for those women on the planet who are privileged enough, it is our duty to share this and to elevate the rest of the planet by doing work in our individual lives and our communities and perhaps with our careers as you and I are doing. It could be small scale, it could be big scale, but we it’s up to us to take that empowerment all the other women in our world by being a safe space by starting conversations that are typically uncomfortable by being a supportive sister to another woman or to lovingly call out women who are not recognizing their self worth and inviting them to rise and be the role model for that by demonstrating what does healthy sexuality look like? What does healthy body love. There’s one woman I know, she came, we traveled the world together for a while running retreats and she said to me, God, you’ve taught me to love my body so much like I feel so much more comfortable around my body because you’re comfortable in your body. And I was like, you were the reason that I was comfortable in my body. I used to see her and I think what she just owns it. She’s wearing a bikini. She doesn’t look like the supermodels. But she’s just doing it. And so she was doing maybe I could do it. So I started wearing a bikini around the pool in front of everyone started just like oh, feeling relaxed because she was relaxed. And then she’s looking at me going Wow, look how relaxed Sarin is I’m gonna relax more and so without realizing we are passing on our empowerment. So I think that it’s really important that we take this and we have those kinds of conversations and you know, especially if we become mothers is creating those sex positive environments for the next generation. So yeah, we can absolutely Sendai healing back up the family ancestral line. But it may not be to the same extent, where we can really influence is the generations that are yet to come. So I feel in many ways, our generation is the one privileged enough to have these conversations to have this in mainstream media to find it all over Instagram and podcasts and books and TV and Netflix, it’s every now we’re really in the body of the movement, I believe. And so that is creating an amazing precedence for the next generation that will come. And we hope that through the the wounds that we’ve carried, and the wounds of our ancestors, that we can do the work now, to clear the path and to give them greater access to their sexuality and sooner.

Krati Mehra: Lovely, lovely, I love that example is so true. We can empower each other, we can actually do that while the world catches up. Yeah, I love that. Would you recommend like any little rituals that people the women can start doing just to sort of get started, especially women who have a lot of resistance to their sexuality? Is there anything you would recommend that they can start doing?

Erin Kyna: Yes, the very first exercise that I give my students in my signature sexuality program is mirror work. And it’s tiny, and simple. And yet, it is not tiny and simple at all, it’s huge. Being able to look at ourselves in the mirror, hold deep eye contact with ourselves, and love ourselves can be a very challenging thing, very, very, very confronting, and challenging thing. So I recommend for all of my students just to spend five minutes a day, looking at themselves in the mirror. And to be really consistent with this practice, the change really happens from creating new ingrained patterns in our subconscious rather than going with the operating systems that society has given us. So to be able to just start perhaps with the first week or two, to just be looking at yourself in the eyes, and nothing beyond that, if it if that feels easy progress faster. But sometimes just to be with ourselves for a few minutes a day is a lot, once that starts to become more comfortable, is to look in the mirror and say I’m a sexual woman, right next to a woman and you breathe it in and you feel it. And honestly, the difficulty for some of my clients even to say that about themselves will be able to look at themselves and own that part of themselves. It’s showing this big divide this big split internally of who they really are. So once we can start to embrace this, and say, Yes, I’m a sexual woman, I am a sexual woman. Loving that and embodying that, we can then move to doing body love in front of the mirror, and we can stand there in front of our bodies and start to love on our bodies and touch our bodies in that way. When that becomes comfortable, then we can start to make love with ourselves in front of the mirror, we can start to become sexual with ourselves in front of the mirror. So this is a really long journey. For some people. It can be very confronting to actually masturbate in front of the mirror. But it’s incredibly profound, because ultimately, our sexuality, our sexual relationship, that we have with others is only as good as a sexual relationship with with ourselves. Our sexuality is our self. It is all about us. We as women have been told for 1000s of years that our sexuality is about others, it’s about their approval, it’s about their pleasure, it’s about their satisfaction, even now, for women who have prolapse and need to get surgeries, or post birth, there’s something called the husband stitch, which is like, surgically tightening vaginas. That’s so so incredibly paid, like your body is here for your husband’s pleasure. Your vagina needs to be a certain way for his pleasure and they can even measure. I was listening to another woman who was very distressed because she has to have the surgery. And she’s coming up against the patriarchy like that the fact that this is what how surgeons talk, but they say the ideal with the vagina is two finger widths, but we can also measure your husband and then create your vagina with a perfect fit for your husband.

Krati Mehra: Oh my God!

Erin Kyna: I am so sorry. That vagina does not exist. For that purpose. It’s our pleasure. Pleasure. It comes in so many forms and the pleasure we can create with our vagina is far beyond that something as simplistic as tightness that is just so far removed. And this is 2022. And this is still common and mainstream in medical systems. It’s just crazy. It’s absolutely crazy. messed up. Yeah. So we’re gonna look today, here we are celebrating how far we’ve come and go, we’ve still got so much work to do.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, we should all think about that. Think about these people who really do. It has got to make you angry. Like think of these people who actually think they they get to own your body. If you’re married. Your husband owns that while your child your father gets to tell you how to live well. choices. Oh, fuck everyone this is it’s so another business that makes me so angry and that, you know, yeah, if you don’t do the work you don’t, you know, do all of what we have shared today with the intention of serving yourself, like do it out of defiance, I think.

Erin Kyna: And it’s also so funny that certainly in the realm of kink and BDSM, that there is a kink around ownership and being owned. And for me, that’s hugely erotic, to be owned sexually, but it’s only erotic, because I own myself. It’s erotic irony, I can now flip it on its head. If I’m truly disempowered, and don’t have body autonomy, then it’s abusive. It’s violating for someone else own. But when I claim myself and own myself, then yeah, sure, let’s play in that realm. And there is something really, I love it. I actually, it’s a big part of my sense of safety with a sexual partner is feeling some sense of ownership and possession. Someone has me someone owns me, someone’s taking care of my needs, because they, I’m a possession of this. But that only comes from a place of such empowerment. So yeah, yeah, there’s just so much to explore. In sexuality, when we start from that healthy foundation, that’s the key is get to that place of healthy foundation and then explore. But without that healthy foundation, so much of this just perpetuates so many that are damaging us in the first place.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, what a beautiful place to be. And then something really to work towards and aspire to thank you so much for sharing that. I would love for you to let our audience know how they can work with you how you can help them in the journey, and any resources that you recommend.

Erin Kyna: Yeah, so I work with clients one to one and in a group program called worship. So you can contact me by Instagram or my website, it’s very easy. I am the only Aaron kinda on the planet, you will find my Instagram, my website and my email very, very easily. And I really encourage, if you feel like it’s just a absolute FUCK YES to work with me, then come and work with me. If it’s just a curiosity than just come and follow, just come and watch and expose yourself to new concept. There’s no pressure, these things can take a while. So I’m here. And if anyone has questions or is curious, I absolutely make myself available to connect with potential clients. And there’s no obligation around that if someone wants to find out how I work and how we could work together. So it is really important to me that a lot of my work is personalized, and really reflects the unique needs of the client. I don’t say okay, come and work with me in the way that works for me. I say how can I best work for you? What does that look like? So that’s how my coaching practice works. I have my own podcast as well called Sex and healing. So that’s another great resource. And then I live in Bali, Indonesia, if anyone’s listening in Bali, Indonesia, you can find me here and I can host in person events and also like now that the world is opening up again, one to one immersions and retreats in Bali as well.

Krati Mehra: Yeah, I will make sure to share all of those links, so they’ll easily find them in the episode description. So last question, I tried to share these tidbits from powerful women that we have on our show. So I want to ask you, when you feel down and out of any field all out of confidence. How do you go back to a place of power? Where do you go? What do you do to find that power and confidence within yourself again?

Erin Kyna: Wow, my number one strategy, the first thing I tend to do is cocoon myself into a place of safety. I just recently got a weighted blanket and that helps a lot. But I give myself full permission to disconnect from the world and go internal, I crawl up in my bed, which is my favorite place in the planet. I might have my cat with me, but I just go inside. It took me a lot to not see that as being a failure being wasteful. You know, there’s so much capitalism has told us our value comes from output and creation. And yeah. And what if we did nothing for permission to do nothing, it’s a very feminine, receptive, so I cocoon myself into just a little tiny burrito, I cry a lot. I love being in water. So that might be a shower or bath of being in the pool that helps me with my emotions. And then I always call upon powerful friends, surrounding myself with women who understand me, and who can support me and who can help remind me who I really am is always the thing that will help me then elevate back remind me the truth of who I am. Without my women in my world. There’s no way I could be the woman that I am now, having really reliable, multiple people as well so that if one person’s not available, or I’m not burdening one person too much with what my needs are, I have probably five women that I really trust ones here in Bali. Most of them are other places around the world but when we find those precious friends, is to be that loving so Port for each other. So, cocoon cry, call a friend back on top of the world maybe eat a bit of chocolate. I love dark chocolate. give myself some love.

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I know what it’s like to fall apart and gradually put your pieces back together to build something better than what you had before and I share all my lessons in this space hoping that you will share my learnings without the struggle.

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