What can you do to empower yourself and your children? Do you know your inner calling? How can you find your true voice? How do you find success? In our latest episode, our guest is Dr. Shefali Tsabary, otherwise known as just Dr. Shefali. She shares her insights into discovering your authentic self, and finding your limitless sense of energy to make positive things happen and be successful. She’s the founder of the online Conscious Coaching Institute that helps adults and families around the world change their lives through mindful living and parenting. Dr. Shefali is also an author of four books, including New York Times bestsellers The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family. Her new book is A Radical Awakening. She’s appeared on the Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Click to read transcript of this episode below.
Welcome to the Biz Money Podcast hosted by Lee Korn. Lee is a financial advisor and principal at Opal Wealth Advisors. Each month Lee and his guests share their path of success and how they broke through to get to the next level. This podcast is available on our website at opalwealthadvisors.com/bizmoney. To receive updates on new show releases, you can subscribe on our podcast page. Now, here’s your host, Lee Korn.
Lee Korn 0:29
Welcome to the Biz Money Podcast. I’m your host Lee Korn. On behalf of my colleagues here at Opal Wealth Advisors, we’re excited that you’re able to join us.
Dr. Shefali 0:43
The deep inner calling allows one to wake up every day with an inexhaustible limitless sense of energy. And when you have a limitless inexhaustible sense of energy, you will make things happen.
Lee Korn 1:01
Welcome, today’s guest is Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Otherwise known AKA as just Dr. Shefali. We’re very lucky to have her with us today. She’s the founder of the online Conscious Coaching Institute that helps adults and families around the world change their lives through mindful living and parenting. She’s also an author with four books now New York Times bestsellers, including The Conscious Parent, The Awakened Family, and her new book A Radical Awakening. She’s appeared on the Today Show, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and now on Opal’s Biz Money Podcast. Welcome Dr. Shefali.
Dr. Shefali 1:37
Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Lee Korn 1:40
It is our pleasure. So the podcast is Biz Money. But before I get into anything about money, I would be remiss to not ask you about your first book Conscious Parenting, right? We’re lucky to have one of the world’s foremost experts on parenting, myself as a parent of three children. I have your book, I’ve read your book, I’ve used your book, many times. So you’ve studied, observed and written extensively on cultivating consciousness through family, specifically parenting. I’m curious what led you to the discussions about family and raising children as an access point to becoming conscious?
Dr. Shefali 2:22
Well, because I began to see in my practice as a clinical psychologist, how we as parents pass on our emotional baggage, our psychological legacies onto our children. I mean, that is really the inheritance we do very freely leave them. And it’s an inheritance that is not necessarily in their best favor, because we haven’t explored our own stuff, so to speak. So we unwittingly unconsciously pass on this stuff to our children, stuff around our ideas around love, marriage, abundance, money, wealth, inner wealth, emotional wealth. And we are passing on these scripts to our children all the time. So I was working with adults who were still mired in these unconscious scripts from their childhoods. And so I became really acutely aware that we need to help parents unload all this baggage in a therapeutic environment so that they don’t dump all this stuff onto their children. So that was really the impetus of my work so that children could be raised in a slightly freer, emotional, emotionally toxic environment.
Lee Korn 3:38
Right. You know, one of the areas that I’ve read extensively from your book is about discipline, disciplining children, right? As a father of a 17 year old, 15 year old and almost 10 year old, you know, disciplining your child, I’ve often found the ways that I’ve done it don’t work. Usually it’s you do this, so I’ll take away your iPhone, or you can’t play. You can’t watch TV anymore. And it comes from I guess, the way we learned it, I learned it from my father. That’s how they disciplined. Why doesn’t that work? And if you could just explain to the audience. What could work?
Dr. Shefali 4:18
Well, that the old primitive traditional ways of disciplining our children are extremely fear based, lack based and control based. As you can see, the way you were raised and we were raised in that generation, we were just shamed or punished or yelled at or neglected. And these ways don’t really teach the child what they need to learn. So what would work is for the parent to not lose their shit, and for the parent to discipline themselves, and not be control freaks and take away the phone that they gave the kid and take away the things that they gave and confused the kid through tyranny and terror, but instead to understand that the child is having an experience, and the child is going through an emotionally vulnerable moment that they need emotional resilience around, but they don’t have it. So they need the skills. So the parent screaming at the kid is literally the antithesis of what the kid needs. And it creates separation, it creates disconnection and the kid just learns to obey and comply. But the child doesn’t develop that inner guidance system that they need. And the tragedy is that the parent doesn’t have the inner guidance system themselves. So that’s why the parent loses their shit. It’s not because the child deserves it. Nobody deserves anyone to lose their shit. The reason the parent loses their shit is simply because the parent has shit to lose, that even though it’s the parent who is out of control and indisciplined and has no awareness that there are other ways to handle the situation.
Lee Korn 5:58
Right. So on the court, right, I’ll be a little vulnerable. I have a 15 year old child, he goes and sleeps out at his friend’s house. And then all of a sudden, I learned that at 12 o’clock at night, he’s out on the corner at the gas station with his friends hanging out. You know, we have a little app that tells us Jared left his house. And he doesn’t know that we know and the next day he comes home and we’re having the conversation, right. My innate, natural, my natural wanting is to punish him to tell him why did you do that? So on the court, what should I be doing?
Dr. Shefali 6:34
You first understand that you were equally wild as a teenager, if not more, right? It’s true. Eat humble pie. Yes, you don’t act all superior, and you totally get it, then you want to know as a parent, why is my kid hiding it from me? Not so much why the kid did it because this is exactly what a 15 year old would do. So you want to really examine yourself to ask why is my kid sneaking this for me and hiding this from me? Number two, how can I make sure the kid is safe? Because the kid is now going to do it. Now the kid has told me that they like to do these things at 15. And he’s absolutely typical, absolutely normal, and much way tamer than you ever were right? So what we move away from any ideas of grandiosity, and you know, superiority, how could this kid do it, but instead look in the mirror and go, Why is my kid feeling the need to lie? I have created that relationship with my kid. My kid should be able to tell me, Hey, Dad, we’re going to go and go to the gas station. Right? So the mirror now turns back on you and you go, have I created a safe place for my kid to tell me this because he’s doing something totally normal. So obviously, I’ve messed up because my kid doesn’t feel okay to tell me a very normal thing. Right? And then really to examine all the things you really want to do to your kid at that moment, like, lock him up, take away his phone, right? Go heavy on him. Where is that power tripping coming from? Instead of pure understanding that this is no, no, you could have done anything wrong. Right? But you have to examine how in all ways you’re going to control, you’re going to fear, you’re going to laugh, instead of looking at yourself and saying, Why is my kid having to lie to me and sneak to me. You know, my kid is a teen. And she’s at university, and they already had an incident with the law enforcement. And she was the only kid who called me at 5:30 in the morning, and none of the kids in her suite call their parents. Now I was in a dilemma. And she said, you cannot tell the other mothers. And I was like, okay, but I have to tell the other mothers. So I said, Fine, then you need to convince your friends to bloody tell their parents, because now I have the weight of this. Right? So the question is always, do we want our kids to come to us? And do we want them to be connected to us? Or do we want to control them? It’s control versus connection. Right?
Lee Korn 9:05
Right. Well, luckily, I’ve read your book. And luckily, Jared survived that and our goal was connection. And we have, we have a great relationship. And I also have a daughter who is a senior and will be going off to college next year. And I’m sure I will anticipate some of those calls. It’s just natural. Well, alright, pivoting away from the conscious parenting. I’d love to talk about your new book, A Radical Awakening. So the new book A Radical Awakening, and it’s the focus is, as I understand it, women’s empowerment and finding one’s true self. What inspired you to write this book?
Dr. Shefali 9:42
Yeah, well, I had been done with four parenting books. So I was done with that. And you know, I think women in their mid 40s, just like I was at that time when I wrote it, go through a huge transformation because we have been trained to identify with our primary relationships. And our children are kind of our most primary of those relationships. And so in our mid 40s, or early 50s, when our kids now go leave the nest, we are then confronted with a renewed sense of who am I. And I just wrote that book because I was going through that, and wanted women to have the permission to finally extricate from these very heavy tethers and find their true voice. So this, this book is really about helping women find their true voice,
Lee Korn 10:36
And you talk about in the book authenticity, right? One of our core values at Opal is authenticity, right? We kind of define that as being genuine and real, not false or copied, right, honest and trustworthy, kind to those around us. And mindful of our thoughts, and careful. You know, we use courage to be imperfect and vulnerable.
Dr. Shefali 10:57
Lee Korn 11:00
Awakening, the talk about the power of authenticity becoming your truest self, what does that mean?
Dr. Shefali 11:07
What it is that, it is learning to see that most of our lives have been this patterned, robotic, role based life, based on what we were conditioned to live. So men typically are providers and protectors and need to be wealthy and successful. And while those are great things, they are not liberating things, because we believe that if we’re not those things, we’re not good enough. Similarly, women, and I’m being a little stereotypical, but just for the sake of ease, women are trained to be caregivers and caretakers, and mothers and maternal figures and kind and compassionate. And in that, we lose ourselves. And we believe that if we’re not that, or we haven’t achieved that, then we will be lesser than. So to be authentic means to really examine how these roles have obscured our true voice, our true self discovery. And that is the search in that this book promises to help you with and to maybe get you on the other side of.
Lee Korn 12:15
Why is authenticity so hard for many?
Dr. Shefali 12:20
Because again, we’re conditioned to believe that unless we’re X or Y, we’re not good enough. So we are just, you know, completely blinded to any other possibility of our true self. We never really gone on a journey to discover who am I, we’ve just been nose to the ground, working the ladder, as our parents laid it out for us, our culture lays it out for us. So authenticity is something extremely daring. And most people I meet are not authentic. And they certainly are living in fear, in fear of shame, fear of ostracism, fear of loss of love, and we just play the role. You know, so many inauthentic people who are just that’s my mom, that’s how I have to deal with my mom, or that’s my wife, or that’s my husband. I can’t tell them who I really am. I can’t share with them who I really am. And that’s the tragedy of life with our most intimate partners we’re the most inauthentic.
Lee Korn 13:15
Do you think the next generation right, the generation of my daughter and your daughter, 17, 18 year olds, do you think it’s different? Do you think the world treats them the same? Do you think they’re coming into the same, I don’t know, the same world? Or are they being conditioned or taught, or is it just wash, rinse, repeat, same thing?
Dr. Shefali 13:37
In many ways, it’s wash, rinse, repeat. In many ways, it’s different and in many ways, it’s worse. So of course, it’s wash, rinse, repeat, because at the end of the day, we will pass on these emotional patterns no matter what. However, in many ways, it’s a little bit better because our children are more audacious. They are because of the data that they get, and the daily access they have to the world. They are more empowered perhaps than we ever were. However, because of that excessive data, they are also in really dire straits, because they are inflamed and engulfed in so much noise, that they really don’t know how to be present, or sit with themselves or wait for a bus, or wait for their food or cook their food. They are going to increasingly become so dependent on technology, that technology will become the driving force of their life. For us, it was relationships. For them, it will become technology, and technology will abduct their brain. As you’ve seen, our kids cannot function without a phone. They don’t know how to find things. They don’t know how to calculate. They don’t know how to do anything. But on the other hand, why not? They can look up a recipe in two minutes. But on the other hand, they’re not going to cook. So what’s the point? So they’re becoming increasingly dependent and lazier. So there’s a brief window where technology is amazing. And then it’s going to become disruptive. So you know, maybe our kids are saved, but right behind them is going to be a really dependent indulged generation.
Lee Korn 15:24
Kids spend hours and hours and hours using utilizing technology. There was a great documentary called The Social Dilemma. I watched it with my kids. Yes, yeah, agreed. I’m going to pivot to money, right? So money and the relationship with money, specifically with kids. Right? I know, I learned my money, scripts, my money habits from my parents, and spent a lot of time breaking those habits and scripts, and then we pass it on to our children. I think, you know, I grew up with lacking, not enough. And I wanted more, and I worked really hard. And now I want to give my children everything that I didn’t have. Yet, you know, I’ve read a lot of your books. I’ve watched podcasts, and you know, it’s, we often want to give our children money, things, but it’s, maybe it’s not what they want. It’s not what they crave. You know, are we disabling our children? Am I disabling my children? By giving them all the things that I didn’t have?
Dr. Shefali 16:27
Yes, yes, I think we overdo it. Our generation of lack wants to give our kids everything, and they already have everything. I mean, I think we can’t help it. So we have to have compassion for ourselves. But then don’t expect them to have the fire that we had, which came out of lack, not that our fire was good, because it was so lack based. But their fire is going to be much less, because they don’t have lack. So in a way, that’s a great thing. And on the other hand, you will be like, Hello, you’re 29, can you please leave the couch and get up and go find a job? We’re going to be having at least one kid in a home that is just a couch potato. Because they’re like, why should I leave this amazing house, I have everything given to me. They’re good, there’s gonna be no fire. You know, the other day I offered my daughter to go for the summer to Rome. And she was like I’ve already been and I said to but you only went for three days, she’s like yeah but I’ve seen enough. They have this blasé attitude because they see everything. Like I said, the data is so on their fingertips, that it gives them this indulge sense that they have everything so why travel. So they do not go down the road less traveled because actually there is no road left less traveled now. They can go to the Vatican on their phone, they can go to Singapore, you know, on an iPad. So we’ve taken away the allure of the unfamiliar, which comes with this fire, which brings fire, which comes with a fire, which allows for thirst and adventure. I think we have taken that away.
Lee Korn 18:04
So what can we do as parents to reverse the course? What can we do to empower our children?
Dr. Shefali 18:11
Well, you don’t hand them everything. And even if you have it, you make them suffer a little bit, you know, you make them want it a little bit. You know, you just have to tell them that this money is not for them. This money is for your charity, this money is for other people, you’re making this money not to give it to them, you’re making this money because you want to give it away to people who need it. So they know very clearly they don’t think that this money is coming to you. And then when they ask for things, you make them go through a deconstructive process as much as possible as to why do you need it? You know, just because you can have it and you want it, why do you need it? And make them also see how you live your life and that you don’t live this life of opulence and waste and ostentation, you know, if you live a life of ostentation, it’s going to be a hard sell to tell them that you’re giving your money away to kids in Africa or India. It’s going to be a hard sell for you to tell them that we don’t just spend because we can. So again, it comes down to your lifestyle.
Lee Korn 19:15
Right. And each child is different, right? My daughter just naturally innately wants to work, wants to help, wants to give. I’m still working on my middle guy. But we’re moving in the right direction. So that’s great.
Dr. Shefali 19:30
It’s not easy to do when you have a lot, it’s not easy. So we have to work extra hard to walk. You know, we’re straddling the line of not having them grow up in that lack based scarcity based mindset that we grew up in where we were just so desperate for money. And we also don’t want to overindulge and just have them be entitled. So that’s the fine line. And as long as we know that that’s the line, we’ll be able to do a good job.
Lee Korn 19:45
So reading your book, you talk a lot about in all of your books, consciousness, authenticity. And we’ve been talking mostly about how the role it plays in family. Now pivoting to business, right? So there has been a big movement over the last few years, you know about environmental and social governance, in consciousness and in the workplace. What role do you think consciousness plays in business and entrepreneurship? Is it even practical to bring these things into corporate America?
Dr. Shefali 20:30
Of course, I mean, everything should spring and stem from consciousness, which means an embodied sense of interdependence, that we have a social responsibility, that we are not here for the “I,” but we’re here for the “we.” But tragically, it doesn’t exist as the fabric of our corporate existence. And material greed has ruined the earth. I don’t want to say corporations have ruined the earth, but certainly focus on material greed, and dominion over plants, animals, children, people of color, women. So not to blame men., but that mentality of, you know, of a toxic patriarchy, which is materially driven, has ruined the earth. So as men and women, we have a responsibility now to, you know, try to make a dent in it. But that’s all we’re gonna do. You know, men have responsibility to see how the masculine energy has become toxic. Masculine energy is wonderful. But now it’s gone to such a far extreme of world domination, that it’s no longer protective and providing. It’s now dominating, that is toxic masculinity. And men are part of it, women are part of it, all of us are part of it. But men in particular, because they gain the most from toxic masculinity, need to step up to the plate and do their part to ensure that women, children, people of color, are no longer tread upon with the carelessness that they have been. And men have to take the lead in that because men are benefiting from it the most.
Lee Korn 22:18
Right. I know, this is a question that I would be remiss to ask. Katherine, who leads our OpalWomen division, we talked about so how with that being said, how can I myself as a father, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as a man in the workplace, what can I do? How can I support that movement?
Dr. Shefali 22:42
Well, in every step of the way, who you hire, what businesses you support, how you shine the light on everyone. I mean, say you happen to be a white man, everybody below you, right, so you have to shine the light as you respond, like I have to shine the light on, quote, unquote, everyone below me, we all have to shine the light. And I don’t mean below as in lesser than, but just less advantage. So in who you hire. You intentionally go out and find and excavate the earth to make sure you have representation. You make sure you support people of color, and women, women of color, their businesses, their practices, who they are in your office, you make sure that they have funds for their children to go to college and you give money there. Where you spend your money matters, who you have on your table matters, who is entering your home matters, who you hang out with matters. And it’s so convenient to say, Well, you know, what can I do? If there’s no women at my synagogue? There’s no black people at my synagogue or my temple or my church or my wherever it is? Yeah, it’s of course, there’s a reason they’re not there because they don’t feel welcomed and they don’t feel like it’s their place. So you know, for me as a woman of color, I can’t tell you how natural it is for me to walk into rooms and not expect to see another woman of color there. But it’s not it’s not okay, it’s not okay anymore, that I should be the only person there. So the people in power have to make sure if they are conscious, and they want to, that they have representation. And it takes intentionality, it takes work, it’s not easy to do but that’s where the discomfort comes in. And where we have a responsibility to step into that those uncomfortable places.
Lee Korn 24:35
And it’s something that at Opal we are committed to and we talk about often, not just talk but action. So thank you for sharing that with me. I have one last question, multiple points. So like I said from your first book, writing for books, your success over the last 5-10 years has been amazing. You know where you began as a highly regarded therapist, and now you’re speaking on stages globally, right? You have four books, your names a household name, you’ve been on Oprah. For many of the entrepreneurs, could you explain how did you make that leap? Like what do you attribute to your success?
Dr. Shefali 25:22
That I was never driven by the outcome based metrics of success, i.e. money. I was really driven by a deep inner calling, which for me happened to be service, which, for me is the highest calling. But I don’t want to say oh, I had the highest calling. It just because service happened, I was so lucky, it could have been art, but I would have then tried to convert it into service. So for me, I just directly happened to be of service. So I’m very privileged and blessed that my talents were direct service base. But the deep inner calling allows one to wake up every day with an inexhaustible limitless sense of energy. And when you have a limitless, inexhaustible sense of energy, you will make things happen. And one of those things will bring you money. So you don’t have to worry about money, you have to worry about having an inexhaustible resource within yourself, that is independent of the external world, which can light your fire no matter what. So whether I get paid like for this podcast, for example, I’m not getting paid, but I’m getting paid, because it’s directly in line with my desire to serve. So I’m getting paid in qualitative currency, that is very important to me. So when we begin to look at life like that, and tap into your, your limitless deep sense of purpose, now you are limitlessly wealthy, and then one of those sources of your energy will convert to material wealth. It just has to, because your service is going to be so powerful it’s going to be needed. And it’s going to convert to dollars. But if you start out with a focus and obsession on dollar is you’re going to be have no worth to anybody, because you’re going to come with lack, and nobody needs more lack in their life. People want to receive. So do you have something that people want to get in their life? So when you begin to change your focus on how am I receiving my own talents and my own energy sources? How am I in touch with that reception? Then how can I help others receive me? You’re working from a very different paradigm field.
Lee Korn 27:44
Do good by doing good. You throw it out into the universe, and the money will come. But it’s not the reason why you do what you do. And we are very thankful that you do what you do, because you’ve made such an impact on so many people’s lives.
Dr. Shefali 27:59
Thank you for having me.
Lee Korn 28:02
Oh, I guess real last last question. What’s next for you, another book? What’s on the agenda?
Dr. Shefali 28:09
Yeah, as much as I have an agenda, it would be more writing. Because writing gives me great pleasure. And then I get to serve people. So yes, definitely more books. And then of course, I have lots of courses on my website that I keep creating. And I have a Coaching Institute where I train people to become conscious parenting coaches. So that has, you know, almost 100 people every six months going through the program. So I’m trying to train more people to do what I do so that they can do it when I’m not around. And so yeah, that’s what’s on my plate.
Lee Korn 28:44
Wow. That’s amazing. Well, I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed speaking with you today. You have enlightened all of us. I appreciate it. Opal appreciates it. And I just thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Shefali 29:00
Wonderful. Thank you for having me.
Lee Korn 29:05
Thank you for listening. For more information on how you can take control of your finances and enjoy the life you’ve always wanted, I encourage you to visit our website opalwealthadvisors.com. You’ll also find our podcast page at opalwealthadvisors.com/bizmoney, where you can subscribe to be kept in the know on what’s coming up in our series. And of course, feel free to email or call me with any questions. I can be reached at 516-388-7980 or drop me a note at Lee dot Korn at opalwealthadvisors.com. Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next time on Biz Money.