Elevate Your Experience With Violet Rainwater
Past traumas and adversities, coupled with societal expectations, have the power to hold us back from developing our true potential. It is time we reclaim that power and elevate these experiences, transforming them from chains to catalysts that propel us toward our life’s purpose. Just like our guest today, her childhood trauma and, later on, mental collapse from overwhelming stress and anxiety led her to completely change her approach to life. Now, she is a motivational speaker, sales leader, and business consultant living her passion of teaching others that there is a better way. Katherine Twells interviews none other than Violet Rainwater. Together, they explore Violet’s journey across her path toward healing and how it allowed her to understand the human brain and the power it holds. Violet shares the brain map and its five channels that can help you thrive and elevate your experience—be it in your personal lives or in the workplace. She also dives deep into how trauma catalyzes healing, what society has programmed in our minds, and how we can break free from that. We have the power to change what society has led us to believe. Ascend beyond and join Violet in this episode to learn the tools to change the trajectory of your life.
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Elevate Your Experience With Violet Rainwater
Ascend Beyond Anxiety In The Modern Workplace
In this episode, we’re talking about developing our true potential by shining a light on what is holding us back. My guest is Violet Rainwater. Violet has the lived experience of changing the channel of her state of being and the passion to share it with others. As a motivational speaker, sales leader, and business consultant, her early professional years were marked by extraordinary accomplishments. In her rookie year, she emerged as the top performer in her company, setting the stage for a very dynamic career.
An esteemed member of the Million Dollar Round Table, which is an honor held by less than 8% of financial professionals, she knows how to get results but what was behind those results with something very different. The pace and expectation created overwhelming stress, anxiety, and burnout. She experienced a profound mental collapse that compelled her to completely change her approach to life. Now, she is equally successful and more powerful because she’s living her passion and teaching others that there is a better way.
You’ll hear us talk about the experiences that shape our thinking when we’re very young and how these voices translate into expectations and anxiety. There is a way out with a little awareness and commitment to change. I hope this conversation will be of service to you. Let’s get started with the amazing Violet Rainwater.
Violet, it is such a pleasure to have you on the show. I want to say thank you upfront for taking the time to connect and share everything that you’ve learned. I’m looking forward to the conversation.
I am so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Violet’s Origin Story
Let’s begin where I always like to start. Our life path shapes us in all kinds of fascinating ways. Can you share with our readers a little bit about your origin story? How did you get to this passion and mission that you have now?
That’s a great question because the mission and passion I have started for me at a very young age but I didn’t know it. That is because I believe that when we have rich experiences in childhood because they’re rich in experiences. It’s another word saying adversity and trauma. I do believe that it sets us up for a life with great purpose and to be great teachers and healers in this world. That’s how my life began.
I was living in a communist country. I’m from St. Petersburg, Russia before it went from USSR to Russia. I immigrated to the United States with my family right when I was four years old and my whole world changed overnight. This was a time when it wasn’t exactly popular to be a Russian immigrant during the Cold War. It wasn’t like Americans were friendly or opening doors for my parents. Nobody wanted us there.
We were the enemy. I was the commie before I even knew. At five years old, I was being called a commie. On top of that, the poverty, my father, being a Holocaust child survivor, had a lot of trauma in his childhood. The immigration triggered him. That same war that he ran from was the same war that he created in our house. It repeats itself.
What you said is a very powerful statement.
It was a hard one to swallow because I love my father. He was my first teacher of what happens when we have unprocessed trauma. He was, to such an extent, a Holocaust survivor. What happens to generations to come if we don’t do the work and heal our own trauma? It continues. We continue to create the same trauma that we would never want our children to experience but we don’t even realize it. My father didn’t even realize that’s what was happening because there was no awareness.
There was no neuroplasticity, meditation, or self-care during the ‘70s and ‘80s and as my parents were growing up. It created so much trauma between neglect from both parents working all the time. Hunger, I wasn’t getting enough food, poverty, and I went to a very wealthy school. There were so many messages at an early age that I didn’t belong and that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. That’s how I lived my life.
As I got older, it looked like different stages of my life. In high school, it looked like I had total depression and withdrawal but I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t know what it was. I thought I was there but to give you an idea, I remember I had to walk from one period to another and cross the corridor where the popular kids would hang out. I would be physically sick to my stomach and shaking, walking past them because I was convinced that they were laughing at me and calling me names because that was my early experience. They didn’t even know who I was. They were in a role involved in their own world but it didn’t matter because that story in my head, that lie that I kept telling myself, continued.
I got into the workplace and picked a career in sales because I was fascinated with success and making money. I wanted to make six figures and I thought that was the key to happiness. By that time, it was my performance anxiety, workaholism, and numbing. All these coping mechanisms stay in a constant state of peak performance.
I learned from the boys how to drive results and it was working long days. I was a financial advisor in a cutthroat industry, 100% commission, and hero to zero every month. I call it sales-induced anxiety. That’s how I lift SIA. It’s a thing. It is. The culture within a lot of these organizations that cutthroat performance, performance comparative, 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place, it adds to it and it’s not healthy.
For people like me, it might seem like a dream. I was a dream employee but in reality, on the inside, I was a hot mess. I didn’t even know that there was a different path. I thought this was how it was. I didn’t even realize I had an anxiety disorder. I didn’t have any awareness. I didn’t have any tools. I did the best that I could for as long as I could until I crashed and burned and couldn’t do it anymore, which is like the story. That’s where the big a-ha comes in for most of us.
Unfortunately, the train has to exit off the tracks before we ask the questions we need to ask.
It was like getting hit by a train because it was my greatest fear in the world that had transpired. I was fired and I was the primary breadwinner. I was making $500,000 a year, living with debilitating anxiety. On the outside, it looked very polished, Orange County, a house, husband and two kids, all of that. When that happened, I became completely paralyzed for about six months. I couldn’t even move. People get fired and then they move on. This was different. This was something else.
It was such a shock to my system. That’s when I finally decided that somewhere along the line, I got it wrong. Success is not about money. I realized that everything that I knew to be true about myself was a lie. It was what I thought other people wanted me to be. I realized I didn’t even know myself. At like 41 years old, I didn’t know myself or I didn’t even like myself. I had no self-worth unless I was making money.Success is not about money. Click To Tweet
Now I wasn’t making money. It was in my face. It was clear. It was evident. It was the worst thing that could have happened at the time but the biggest blessing at the same time because that’s where my healing journey began. That’s when I was introduced to complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I was finally diagnosed, which is essentially having trauma in childhood. I had prolonged trauma in childhood.
It’s a disease of the brain. It’s ADD, workaholism, and addiction. All the coping mechanisms lead back to the source and the source is our nervous system just completely got whacked over and over again at an early age. We were wired to run on worry. I was wired to fail, sadly. Even though I had all this tenacity, gifts, skill, desire, heart, and passion, I was wired to fail.
I realized I needed to do the work and rewire but it was a long journey. Now it’s been years. In that time, I have now brought my framework to the workplace. It hasn’t been easy because people are still not comfortable talking about it. The trauma response is not something that people are open to discussing or even want to have that conversation. Yet, I see it everywhere in the workplace, especially after COVID.
All of us are triggered and we’re going into the workplace or working from home. We’re operating from that fight or flight response and we don’t even realize it. I call it the silent killer. It’s killing people within organizations and it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s my story and that’s my mission. I’m here to educate and equip them with a framework and toolbox to teach them how the brain works. It’s an awareness of what your anxiety is. What is that? Where did it come from? What can you do on a daily basis to change the trajectory of your life and become the person that you came to be in self-actualization?
Violet, first of all, I want to honor your story because it’s a powerful one. It’s been a long and hard road. There are a couple of things that I want to unpack a little bit that you talked about. One of them, let’s go all the way back to that five-year-old self who was assimilated into the US. We can, as two adults now, talk about immigration and look at that and go, “It’s a lot of change.” You can understand some of the context of what is happening but the only thing a five-year-old wants to do is try to stay safe.
One of my other guests, Dr. Friedemann Schaub, who is an amazing doctor, medical health, and mental health professional, talks about these patterns of coping mechanisms that are developed in childhood, which is what you’re pointing to. Stories that we have to tell ourselves are well-intended. It’s there to keep us safe but then we grow up. We never stop telling the same story over and over again, like your high school experience.
Other Pathways To Success
This idea of belonging is so primal that if you don’t feel a sense of belonging, it’s very scary because if you get kicked out of the tribe, you didn’t survive. It brings up such ancient primal triggers within us all. The other piece that I want to explore some more with you is this cultural dynamic of performing at all costs and the extrinsic bells and whistles. All the hoops that we need to jump through in order to be accepted. In order to say, “We’re good enough because now I’ve made enough money, or now I’ve won the award.” It’s in sales culture but not just in sales.
When you look across the business, especially in the US, we have a very competitive win-at-all-costs type culture. I see it in the corporate arena when it’s the stock price. It’s all about the financials, which we understand. We need to make money. There’s no doubt about it but there are many pathways to success. Talk a little bit about why you think our culture is so rooted in driving people into the extrinsic performance factor.
It’s all about that hustle is sexy. We have this whole that hustle is the way to go and when you hustle, that’s when good things come. It’s that you’re only as good as your last month. You’re just a number and you can be replaced. Those were the kinds of things that I, along with Gen X and the Baby Boomers, heard growing up. Now it’s quite different but if it’s been programmed in your mind that your worth is tied to your performance.It's been programmed in your mind that your worth is tied to your performance. Click To Tweet
You’re going to be fighting for your worth every single day. It’s going to be life or death like it was for me. I couldn’t fall into second place. To me, that was death. When I did, when I fell into second place for a hot second, I woke up in the morning with hives on my face because I fell into second place. How silly does that sound? When you are in a trance and you’re not awake to what’s happening, you don’t recognize it. You’re just proving your worth. That’s what I did every single day for almost two decades, proving my worth.
You’re running that pattern over and over again. You’re on autopilot and that’s exhausting. It’s true for all of us. If anyone were to see you, you’re a beautiful, poised, and well-spoken woman. Someone would meet you and be like, “This woman is so grounded. She has it all together.” I believe that you are with the healing work that you’ve done. I bet you came across this way when you were running your pattern as well.
For many of us, not just in business but in life, we want to show up like we got this figured out. We’ve got it all together, whether it’s social media or other things. The inside and the outside don’t match. We see everyone else’s external appearance in life. We think, “They’ve got this and I don’t.” I talked to my teenage boys about this because they were like, “The other kids seem to have it figured out.” I’m like, “You’re looking at what they’re depicting on the outside. You don’t know what they feel on the inside.”
It’s so true. It’s a culture of perfectionism in that we want to appear perfect on the outside at any cost. To your point, I appeared perfect on the outside. I was wearing a suit at 26 years old. I remember people thought I was in my 30s because I had a house on the golf course. I was wearing suits and made all this money. At 26 years old, they thought I was quite a bit older but this is how I hid.
I hid behind that suit and the material possessions. I hid the fact that, on the inside, I had zero value for myself. I know I’m not alone because this is across all sexes and all generations. It’s across all demographics. I would say 80% of us suffer from the same thing to some degree or another. Maybe they’re not at the same degree that I had or some are even worse but all of us are affected in some way and held back by our programming.
The beauty is it doesn’t have to be that way. There is another way. Although it’s not easy, it’s so rewarding. The tools that I teach are not something that we can practice daily and change our mental state but in time, it creates new pathways in the brain, which develops our brain to optimal levels. We now have the ability to also operate at peak level but from the inside out, not from the outside in killing ourselves in the process.
You mentioned how common this is. I heard a number not too long ago that when it comes to this idea of imposter syndrome, “I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy enough.” It’s an alarming number. It’s something like 74% of people have some inner dialogue to varying degrees of not being good enough. That child brain, that younger self in us, feels like, “I need to do these things in order to be loved.” There’s this fundamental need for love. Doing all these performances and jumping through the hoops is what we believe is going to get us there but it’s not. It’s a very empty and very tiring race to be on. I remember hearing about neuroplasticity. How long ago did that come out? Do you remember?
I remember how exciting that research was because then you suddenly knew the way it’s been doesn’t have to dictate the way the future is. Talk a little bit about that and what you’ve discovered and a little bit about the framework that you talk about on this road to change to a different future.
When I started in the workplace, they hadn’t even discovered neuroplasticity. There wasn’t even a thing. Even to this day, it’s still not mainstream in the corporate landscape. Although more speakers are coming in, as you have, your psychologists and neuroscience are coming in. It’s still not something that I would say in the workplace is common knowledge. Nor have we had a framework that taps into neuroplasticity.
It’s not just theory but it’s like, “Here are the three steps we need to do to create new pathways in the brain. When you’re feeling this way, we need to feel this way. Here is a toolbox to help you feel this instead of this,” because the secret is feeling. It’s how we feel that creates those new pathways. We are on autopilot and we’re feeling what we’ve been feeling since 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago. We can change the feeling and that only happens through awareness of, “I am triggered now. My nervous system is dysregulated now. These thoughts that I’m having that’s just textbook. That doesn’t mean it is. It’s what happens when I’m triggered. It’s the programming.”
To be able to stand back and have an awareness to, “This isn’t happening. That’s the programming happening,” then use tools to change how I would normally feel. For me, it was always financial loss. That was a big trigger for me. If I was triggered, I wouldn’t even recognize the trigger. I would start going down this downward spiral and I would get physically sick and my heart would race and my mind. I couldn’t slow down and I would have to go to these extreme measures to numb myself because I didn’t have a moment of peace.
Once I had an awareness of that and was able to use tools to change how I feel, I was creating a new experience inside of myself. That’s how I was creating new pathways in the brain but I had to do it again and again because repetition is how we create lasting changes in the brain. It’s not overnight at all but it is something that I believe is the future of business.
I believe in the future, we will lean so heavily on neuroscience and neuroplasticity that when something is off with an employee, we’re not going to be like, “What is wrong with them? They’re a liability. Let’s get rid of them.” It’s, “We’re going to have more compassion. We’re going to have more understanding. We’re going to have more real conversations. We’re going to have leaders that are trauma-informed and understand that what is needed is to regulate their nervous system before they pounce on them for results or anything like that.” That micromanagement culture, the dictatorship that happens. That only breeds more of the same. That’s not going to work in the new workplace.
You are talking to someone who passionately agrees with what you’re saying. One of the reasons that we called our program The Compassion Lab is that we understand through self-compassion, compassion for others, and being able to hold a different viewpoint about what’s happening is how we will evolve into a more conscious space where we can respond and not react.
When you understand that you are not your thoughts and it can be very interesting, sometimes entertaining, to step back and be like, “Look at what I’m thinking now.” When you start to understand the patterns, you’re like, “I know what’s going on,” then you’re not hijacked. You mentioned the trance. When you’re hijacked, you go into this place where you’re not even aware of what’s happening.
The more these practices drive your awareness, it’s exciting and fabulous because you have so much more agency with which to steer your life, which is amazing. We’ve been trying to crack the code with the lab on how to have these conversations in the workplace. It’s not simple because it’s very personal. For many years, you mentioned back in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, no one talked about this. You come into work and put on the game face and there is no crying in baseball. It is moving on and make sure you have it all together. There are so many layers to our personal development. What do you think about this balancing of how this conversation happens in the workplace?
I will say two things about that. First of all, it starts with courage and being brave enough to have those conversations that are different from what your colleagues and other leaders are having. It starts with ourselves. Second of all, what’s important is to use science as the basis here. This is not woo-woo. This is science. It’s real. I say knowledge is power.
When I speak, I’m not talking about therapy and healing. I’m talking about, “Let’s look at the science of the brain. More importantly, the science of brain development in childhood.” You can understand because it starts with awareness. It’s not about being the therapist and being afraid to trigger. It’s black and white. This is what happens when your nervous system is dysregulated in childhood. This is what happens when you don’t feel safe and your brain is being programmed and wired.
You might not know that that affected you but here’s what it looks like. Now it looks like people-pleasing, workaholism, never feeling good enough, imposter syndrome, anxiety, and addiction. They can all identify with this. This is connecting the dots. What’s so important is it’s not just awareness. It’s, “Now that we have that awareness, what are some applications?”
I call them business practices. Just like I have a practice of time blocking and business development, I also have a morning practice that incorporates meditation, hydration, and either strength training or yoga because I know that that’s what my nervous system and my brain needs. I build it. I build my energy for the day ahead. It’s having business practices. When I’m triggered, I have a comeback practice. I know what I need to do in order to come back.
The old me would’ve pushed through it or completely collapsed and numbed all the different ways that I could have. Now I realize with every trigger is an opportunity for growth. This is a rich opportunity. The more triggered I am and the more that I can practice my tools and not listen to that story of fear. That’s what’s happening. When you see chaos in the workplace, bullying, or lashing out, they don’t feel safe. That’s what’s happening.
When you think of it that way, that’s where the compassion comes in. When we can change our tone and connect on a heart-to-heart level and understand that we are energetic beings, having a business experience. It’s our energy that connects us to one another. That’s when the entire workplace will change. It will elevate one by one and that’s my mission.
We are sisters on the path with that because I believe so strongly in everything that you’re saying. It’s what we are working to bring to life in Coca-Cola with the Lab. There are a couple of things that you mentioned I also want to build on. One is this. You used to push through it. That would be almost a badge of honor if I would push myself into exhaustion. You know the conversations like, “How’s it going?” “I’ve got so much going on. I’m so busy.” Somehow, that is the societal norm versus, “I feel very grounded. I feel very peaceful. Work is flowing. Things are moving well.” We’re not used to answering in that way but I do think things are changing and it’s very exciting.
Brain Map: Five Channels To Thrive
I got back from a symposium at Harvard that was on leadership and happiness. I was so encouraged by all of the people out there who are studying the science of well-being. You mentioned that it’s a science and it’s not woo-woo. This is real. They’ve done some extensive studies that show when you invest in the well-being of your people, not only does it drive your productivity, which there’s a ton of logic into why it would but it drives your profitability.
You’re only as good as your people and how your people are able to show up and thrive. You mentioned energy. Use their energy in the most optimal way. We’re in a very exciting time where people are beginning to understand that this is an unlock. We talked about physical fitness. We’ve talked about that for years and have a gym membership and things like that. We understand that a strong body helps a strong mind but the other probably more powerful part of the equation is that total self and how we thrive. You have a framework, Violet, that has five different levels and channels. Can you talk a little bit about that framework?
I created the framework because as I started to understand more about the human brain and how we think. I realized that we think in pictures. If someone said, think of your baby girl, your favorite shoes, or your lipstick, an image comes to mind. When you think about the mind, what is it that comes to mind? It’s usually the brain but the mind is not the brain.
I thought it would be so important to have an illustration of how the brain works and all the interconnectivity between the mind, the body, and the spirit, all of it. This is something that I literally came up with as I was watching TV. I was watching the news and I noticed how down I was feeling. I was flipping the channel and Joel Osteen came on. I just love him. I love his energy and enthusiasm. I love his spirit and his wisdom. I noticed how quickly my mood changed. I was like, “By changing the channel, I changed my internal experience.”
Don’t watch the news for sure because I remember hearing the study that it suppresses your immune system when you watch all that negativity. It’s true.
It’s awful. In fact, my parents, they have the news on. My father’s 86 this 2023. That’s the generation. They have the news on in the morning, in the afternoon and now they have the news on, they’re retired all day. It’s negative in there. I can feel it like. I shine my light wherever I go, and turn it down and turn it off but yes.
The whole thing is we must change the channel. The way that the brain map works is there are five channels. Each channel corresponds to a certain set of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Each channel has results associated with it. If we start with the highest channel, I call it Channel 5. This is us at our highest state possible. This is a mental state that we all have access to within us. It’s when we’re excited, passionate, energized, compassionate, and doing things that we feel passion for. When you’re energized and we’ve all felt that, can you think about who Kathy is on Channel 5? Doesn’t that instantly energize you, even thinking about you on Channel 5?
As I’ve learned to become an observer of my life, I see when I’m on Channel 5 and I see where I’m not. I can be like, “I wasn’t in my strongest space there.” you start to see the different ways you can show up based on the state of mind you’re in, for sure.
It’s all about the state of mind. I hate saying the word mindset because a lot of people think the mindset is everything. Mindset is simply an effect. It’s not the cause. The mental state is temporary. It’s just a state. We can change it. If that’s Channel 5, on the opposite end is Channel 1. Channel 1 is where we’re completely powerless.Mindset is simply an effect. It's not the cause. Click To Tweet
This is when we are in a hole that we can’t come out of. This is when we feel completely unworthy. This was me during those six months when I couldn’t move. We’ve all been there. When we’ve all been there, we have compassion for other people that are there. We can look at our team members and realize, “They’re on Channel 2 now. They’re on Channel 1 now.” That’s what the core of the issue is. We need to help them change the channel. We need to give them the awareness and the tools to do that.
Moving from Channel 1, there’s Channel 2 and that’s more still a negative state of mind. It’s still in a negative state. That’s you when you’re annoyed or frustrated. To your point about the workplace, I did some research. I was on this road show with a company and I did sixteen presentations and I decided to research all the leaders while I was there. It was over 500 leaders. As much as I knew that mental states were negative in the workplace, it blew my mind to do my own research because more than 85% of the leaders said that more than 90% of the time, they’re feeling negative, stressed, worried, not good enough, hopeless, or worthless like it’s never going to end.
That’s crazy that we’re living in those types of toxic states. What is it doing to our bodies? That constant negativity is horrible.
It’s killing us. I always say, “It’s not you. It’s Channel 2.” You got to change the channel. Channel 3, that’s a more empowered state because it’s one more where we get angry. If you think about it, in anger, you have more power than in depression. It’s moving up the vibrational scale. It’s coming from a place of powerlessness all the way to power. The one that I want to talk about because this is very underrated is Channel 4. We all need more of Channel 4.
Channel 4 is when we’re peaceful, calm, and activating the parasympathetic wing of the nervous system. It’s very underrated in business. I don’t think most people realize the power of a calm and strong nervous system. That’s why the toolbox of tools is all about regulating the nervous system so you can feel peace and ease. From Channel 4, now you have access to Channel 5.
We do not have access to Channel 5 when we’re on Channel 2. We have to work up. That’s where the tools come in. When we can look at it as simply as this is the channel that we’re on and this is the channel we were programmed on, then we go deeper. Why do we hang out on Channel 2 most of the time? It’s because we were programmed on that channel. It’s not because of the economy, the president, my bank account, or my husband. I was programmed to perceive the world from Channel 2. The work then is to every day, change the channel, moment to moment. Elevate our state of being, increase our vibration and our frequency, and shine the light that we came to shine.
That is so beautiful and important. Violet, as I hear you describe the channels, would you say Channel 3 is where the observer enters the room? It feels like 1 and 2 are trance states and autopilot. At Channel 3, you start to go, “What’s going on here?” I have the agency to choose a different way.
No more of this.
The important thing I want to share with our readers in this conversation, too, is it’s not one-and-done. As we’ve gone through various things with the Lab, it’s become so important to note that these are practices that we have to return to all the time. As you mentioned your morning routine, like we can’t go to the gym for one-time exercise and be like, “I’m in good health.” We have to keep exercising. You might hit Channel 5, then something happens, you get triggered and you fall down to Channel 2.
Those are the moments where you mentioned business practices. You’ll be like, “Where do I need to pull in a practice to put my nervous system back into that place of peace and ease where I can now access this new state of reality?” That’s the compassion for self because the other part of this imposter syndrome or negative self-talk is if you go to Channel 2, sometimes you’re like, “I always end up in Channel 2. I’m always here,” versus, “I’m back on my autopilot. What do I need to do to step out of it?” That self-compassion is so important and how we talk to ourselves.
It has to start there because, without self-compassion, we’re going to continue down the road of self-destroying ourselves. Continuing to listen to that story but stepping out and being able to recognize, “I’m on Channel 2. I’m back to my wiring. I need to go in my toolbox and I need to practice to calm my nervous system so I can get back up to Channel 4.”
It might not just be one thing. I like to layer it. Depending on how triggered I am, I have a list of things that work for me like vacuuming. I love vacuuming because I see it instant. First of all, it’s movement, and second of all, it’s instant gratification like cleaning and vacuuming. It makes me feel better. Even if my whole world is falling apart, if I can have one corner of my world clean and organized, it makes me feel better. Also, walking and jumping. I often use yoga poses.
I’m a yogi and what yoga allowed me to do is to come back and feel safe in my body. When I feel powerless when I’m a Channel 1, I go to that plank post. I go to that warrior post to connect and use my body to change my mind. There are so many tools and different ways that we can do it. There’s breathwork and meditation.
The important thing is that we have an awareness of what’s happening to ourselves. We have a toolbox that we can use to stop it and we practice it. Now we have to implement it. It’s not enough to just have the tools. I know about them. Now we have to practice them. Each time we do that, we break circuits in the brain. We starve the old and we feed the new.
This is so innovative and powerful because it leans on science. It doesn’t just change things in the short run. It does. You will instantly feel better on Channel 5, but over time, it changes the brain. That’s what’s most fascinating and exciting for someone like me, whose brain was developed for me to fail and struggle my whole life.
Power Of Community: Normalizing Conversations
It’s very exciting to understand the science because your potential is vast. You’re so much more powerful than you think you are. I also want to talk about how this comes into the power of community at work. One of our beliefs in the Compassion Lab is that as we normalize these conversations, “We’re all trying to drive our potential and understand these patterns that hold us back.” We all have them and we all have negative self-talk here and there. As we come together in community and talk about it, sometimes I feel like there’s this collective exhale like, “I’m not the only person dealing with this.” I feel like it’s like a release valve. How do you see the power of community in these conversations?
It brings us together. There is a quote from William James. It’s, “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” That’s something I share. Our generation, our experience, or where we’re from doesn’t matter. In the deep, in the emotional deep waters of our souls, we are all connected. That’s when I researched this. I did it in groups. It would be the entire group, the audience. I would research and it would bring all of us together because we come together in our pain. We come together in our suffering.“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” Click To Tweet
We realized that even Violet, who looks perfect on the outside, looked like she was probably a popular cheerleader, and was dating the star football player in high school because I heard that. We realized that, “She has her own struggles. She has her own shadows. She’s had to face her own demons and that connects us heart to heart. Now I’m no longer threatened by her but I’m a sister to her.” That’s what I envision. We will look at each other as brothers and sisters because we are. We will come together understanding that we are all the same. We look and act different but in the deep, we are the same.
I feel that. We all want the same things. This measure of peace and happiness. I mentioned earlier in the conversation how we see others externally and not internally. The power of the community conversation is you start to see other people’s internal. It’s not their social media posts of the perfect life. It’s that, “I struggle too.” What are your practices? How can we help each other rise? This is not meant to be a solo endeavor. This is meant to be the more we shine.
You mentioned energy and vibration. If you put two tuning forks side by side, they will synchronize. As you do your work and lift your own state, you move closer to level five. You will impact those people around you who are also trying to do the same thing. The work that you do is not just for you. It’s for all of us, which is a beautiful thing to be able to realize.
Let me ask you this, Violet. If you’re reading the conversation and you’re in a workplace that has not yet adopted an open dialogue around mental health and practices. As I said with the Lab, we’re still learning. We’re on a journey, but we’re working to normalize these conversations and bring people into it. There are many places that don’t yet, because this is an emerging science. This is an emerging space. What would you say to those folks reading who don’t have any programming or leaders in their companies that are doing this work? How can they still bring it in?
That’s what I had to do. I had to go searching myself because I had never learned about this in my many years of career in corporate or in grad school. There’s so much knowledge out there now. There are a lot of people talking about it and that provide resources in the University of YouTube or the University of Google. It’s so important to educate yourself because knowledge is power and find tools that work for you.
I’m a creator on LinkedIn. I share this content all the time. You can follow me on LinkedIn under Violet Rainwater. Find mentors who have walked this path and have tools and resources and have done it. If somebody is not trauma-informed and you have had trauma. You realize that, “All these things I’m going through, these men that I keep attracting the same guy over and over again, or these patterns that I have in my life. This is the trauma response.”
It’s so important to surround yourself that people that are trauma-aware because otherwise if you choose mentors and leaders that are not. It’s going to set you back into that same cycle or that same trance. I would say knowledge is power and begin finding tools to calm your nervous system. It’s all about nervous system regulation.
When we first met, you mentioned how the word trauma is so triggering for people in the workplace, like, “I don’t want to talk about trauma. Go figure that out on your own.” We also have, for all good reasons, negative associations with the word trauma because trauma means something bad happened and something was very difficult to process.
Trauma is something that catalyzes healing. It’s part of the process. At the same symposium, I mentioned, it was fascinating. There was a conversation about resilience and how a certain portion of the population, something bad happens and they crumble. It doesn’t go well. There’s a large group that works through it, processes it, and copes but they talked about this group. The term they used was antifragile or anti-fragility.
They said the reason it’s called anti-fragile is we haven’t found a good word to describe these people. The more they had to face some obstacles and the more they were broken, the stronger they became. They used it as fuel for their personal development and became very strong and powerful. Back to all this fabulous potential of neuroplasticity, research shows that you can move along that continuum. You are not set in the group that you’re in. There are ways for us to utilize our trauma. Utilize our pain to become very powerful and to help others on the path, which is what you are doing. You’ve used what’s happened to you to minister to others and help them rise. That’s so amazing.
Thank you. There’s nothing more that I love talking about because I suffered for so long. I struggle day in and day out in the workplace. Although, on the outside, no one could see it. I know that struggle. I know that darkness and I wish that I had this knowledge and these resources at a younger age. I’ve seen and I get to be a part of the transformation. I get to be a part of the awakening and that’s what Maslow meant by transcendence. There’s nothing better than that.
I so agree. We share this because I had my own challenge younger in my life. That was the catalyst for my own awakening and the journey that I’ve been on. When you go through a level of breakdown, whether it’s mental, physical, or whatever happens, you’re like, “I don’t want other people. I don’t want their train to derail before they get these tools.” It’d be lovely to catch the train before it’s off the tracks. That’s what this conversation is all about. There are ways you can steer your life into a different outcome.
Change the trajectory.
Which is amazing. We’ve talked about these practices, mentorship, and availability. You mentioned LinkedIn. You’re on LinkedIn but how can people access your resources? You’re a fantastic resource for the journey.
Thank you so much. I provide workshops and masterminds. The best way is to get in touch with me. You can visit my website, VioletRainwater.com. We can do an exploratory call. I do exploratory calls for everyone. It depends. Are you looking for more of a group mastermind because your organization doesn’t offer it or are you in events and you’d love to bring this workshop or this keynote in? I have an array of different modalities that I deliver this, whether it’s virtual or in person, but it’s always very enlightening. It’s so much fun because the tools that I bring are also very energizing. As much as we have to have real conversations, it is an inspiring experience for all.
It’s inspiring when you realize that there is a new road ahead for you because sometimes, we assume that there’s a fixed state and it’s not. There’s an amazing array of potential if we step into that. That’s what you’re doing when you work with people. As we close up our conversation, Violet, I have one more question. We’ve already discussed your path and all the wisdom that you’ve gained. Is there a piece of wisdom that you’ve gained, whether from the journey or through a mentor or a teacher in your life, that you would like to pass along to our readers? That could be about anything, not just what we are talking about but any wisdom that you want to share.
It’s so important to understand that no matter what your life looks like now, no matter what things you’ve done and the choices you’ve made, it’s not your fault. It was your programming. To your point and to end this, it’s compassion when we can truly look at ourselves through the eyes of compassion, no matter what we’ve done.
Some of the choices I made on autopilot, I’m living the consequences of it. Sometimes, that’s hard to swallow but understanding that it’s not your fault. You have the power to change no matter what your life looks like now. I don’t care where you’re at, how down you are, or how little money you have. You can change it all and it does start with compassion and awareness.You have the power to change, no matter what your life looks like today. Click To Tweet
It’s beautifully said and as you understand, the programming that has happened not just from your family but from the culture that we have all been raised in. The minute you realize that there is agency, that you have the power, it’s so cool because a new world can open up for all of us. You and I, together, encourage everyone reading this to step into the possibility of how powerful and amazing you are.
Violet, thank you so much not only for having the courage. You mentioned courage early in the conversation but the courage to speak out on topics that sometimes can make people feel a little uncomfortable when we talk about trauma and mental health. You are willing to step forward and be a healer in this space and a guide to others. Thank you for the work that you do and for taking the time to be with me and share it on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much. It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
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About Violet Rainwater
Violet Rainwater is a powerful voice for those who are ready to elevate in order to dominate the business landscape. For those no longer content to settle for the status quo, Violet’s passion is leading the way for others to drive business and achieve success. She does this by challenging traditional workplace methodologies that many have followed for far too long and are finally discovering are no longer a relevant means to achieve success.
As a motivational speaker, sales architect, and business consultant, Violet’s early professional years were marked by extraordinary accomplishments. In her rookie year, she emerged as the top performer in her company, setting the stage for a career filled with excellence. An esteemed member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an honor held by less than 8 percent of financial professionals, Violet’s exceptional achievements demonstrate her ability to consistently deliver outstanding results.
Beyond her remarkable sales career, Violet’s personal journey is a source of inspiration. Having faced overwhelming stress, anxiety, and burnout, she experienced a profound mental collapse that compelled her to reimagine her approach to both her personal and professional life. Drawing from her own transformative experience, Violet shares her story to motivate and empower others, guiding them toward resilience, self-actualization, and success.
Her dedication to business success and helping individuals and organizations transform their lives has earned her a reputation as a sought-after expert, and her work has been featured in Forbes. Violet knows that what’s missing from today’s corporate landscape is a modern-day business development “toolbox” that can give people the confidence to drive results with efficiency and ease while providing strategies to overcome the obstacles that she is all too familiar with. Emphasizing the power of the human brain, stress management, and reaching one’s fullest potential, Violet encourages others to unlock their untapped potential and seize opportunities for growth.
Today, Violet’s transformative message continues to resonate with a diverse range of organizations, including industry leaders such as Jackson National Life, Allstate, Dermalogica, Bysis, Paychex, Monster, Arcona, Choice Hotel, and US Bank, among many others. Leveraging her deep understanding of sales psychology, future work trends, and optimizing human potential, she helps individuals and organizations achieve unprecedented levels of success while transforming their lives along the way.
Violet Rainwater is a catalyst for change, an influential voice, and a trusted partner who empowers individuals and organizations to unlock their true potential, dominate their industries, and thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape.
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