Naming Your Needs

Mara Glatzel on Needs & Being Soft (Episode 15)

Writer, coach, and podcast host Mara Glatzel shares her insight about the importance of softness and working with, rather than against, our needs.
Mara Glatzel on Needs & Being Soft (Episode 15)
In: Naming Your Needs, Radical Self Love
When we can work on ourselves and we can work on what we allow ourselves, then it opens us up to accepting that kind of human imperfection, all that kind of stuff from the people around us as well. - Episode 15

About Mara

Mara Glatzel, MSW is an intuitive coach, writer, and podcast host who helps perfectionists and people pleasers reclaim their sovereignty. Her superpower is saying what you need to hear when you need to hear it and she is here to help you believe in yourself as much as she believes in you.

Pronouns: she/her

Connect with Mara

Connect on social media: INSTAGRAM

The Needy Podcast

Cycle 2021


Episode Transcript

Liz Wiltsie: Welcome to What's Leadership? My name is Liz Wiltsie. And I believe we can be human at work. So this podcast is an exploration of how do we bring our humanity into the workplace. How do leaders cultivate spaces that are generative, that are healing, that are creative and extraordinary. I don't have the answers to those questions. I'm working through those questions every day.

But what this podcast does is curate for you a set of folks with an opinion that I believe is worth listening to and sharing. So join me, as I ask people I admire to share their wisdom with you in accessible doses.

Join me as I ask What's Leadership?

Hi everyone, today I get to welcome a friend of mine and I'm so excited for this conversation. So, without further ado I have  Mara Glatzel MSW, which is a masters of social work is an intuitive coach writer and podcast host. Who helps perfectionists and people pleasers reclaim their sovereignty. Her superpower is saying what you need to hear when you need to hear it.

And she is here to help you believe in yourself as much as she believes in you find out more at which we will have all sorts of links for you in all of the notes for this show. So, Mara, thank you so much for being with me. I love your work and, yeah.

Mara Glatzel: Thank you. I'm really excited to be here with you.


Liz Wiltsie: So you work on, reminding people that they can have needs, and sometimes that is new information, right?

Mara Glatzel: Yeah. Well, especially, you know, I think that even if we can believe that we're allowed to have needs, the needs that we allow ourselves in that situation are very few. So it's like, You know, level one, am I allowed to have needs?

Level two, I am allowed to have needs, but only these ones. And oftentimes those are ones that make people more productive or, like somehow fit a beauty ideal or, or, or, or right. The needs that make you "better", more patient, more loving, better partner, better mom, better worker, more productive. And, what I'm really interested in are like the needs outside of that.

Because I think that so much of the self care industry is targeting us towards like life hacks and fancy outfits that, are building us up to just make us better producers. And, I'm not interested in that really. I'm much more interested in, you know, Mary Oliver calls this a soft animal of your body and letting it love what it loves.

And that's really the realm where my work is. I want to know what makes people feel whole, what makes you feel held? What makes, what lights you up and, really work on reconfiguring in your relationship with yourself, whatever needs to be reconfigured, so that you're allowed to have that too, because so often, too often, that that realm is really, like the frivolous extra, you know, maybe on a good day or when I retire, I'll have time for that thing.

And that's the thing that's missing from so many of our lives. So I work to kind of restructure how we think about what we need and expand that definition so that it includes some of those things that we may not have been allowing ourselves because they don't make us better in a specific way, as in for somebody else.

Liz Wiltsie: Yeah, I think about that constantly because you look around and you go, Hmm. So much of what you see is like, how can you get more hours in the day? How can you, do things faster than, you know, the speed of light so that you can be better, inside sort of systems of oppression, right? Rather than saying, you know, I've said to people this week, if you are asking people who work for you to work 80 hours, but then you're telling them they can meditate and you gave them a gym membership.

I'm like, that's not actually solving the problem. Like, why are we this sort of, I think there's always that line of individual. I need to get my needs met and I need certain things to be different.

Mara Glatzel: Yeah.

Liz Wiltsie: Do you find that as well?

Mara Glatzel: Yeah. Well, and I think, you know, I like to think about this a lot and I have a very small business it's myself and a few people who work with me.

And I think about this even in my own business, it's like, what space am I providing for my needs? You know, as the leader of this small operation, how am I showing that both that's necessary and also that there's time for that. And how am I creating that space for the people that I work with so that, you know, the whole business is functioning and this kind of like pro-human way and things get done slower things. Things are not, you know, I mean, there's.

You have to kind of like be within that in a certain way. Like managing your own disappointment or your own feelings about what should be your, you know, but how important that is and how that really comes from the top in an organization and, and passes down to all of the people who are working there.

Because in my work I find a lot of people who say, I just judge myself this harshly, you know, I'm much kinder to everyone else. Which I kind of categorically think is bullshit when we're hard, hard on ourselves. We are hard on other people, even if it's just privately or we try to suppress it because we think that's not how we're supposed to feel or how we're not supposed to be.

So, you know, when. When we can work on ourselves and we can work on what we allow ourselves, then it, it opens us up to accepting that kind of human imperfection, all that kind of stuff from the people around us as well.

Liz Wiltsie: Yeah. I also agree that it's a bullshit. Well, and I've seen it. I'm sure you've seen it as well.

What happens, in organizations and families and whatever, when like the person with kind of the most power recognizes that they are also allowed to be human, then like suddenly the other people around them can also be. Mind you, there are some, there are some folks that don't bring the rest around that are like, I can have needs.

And I would like all of you to be up all night long, meeting my needs. Thank you. But like, in a lot of ways, if people have really struggled with it, you see that sort of like domino effect really

Mara Glatzel: Well, and you see. You know, I, as a naturally ambitious person, I am obsessed with how we can both do the things that we want to do while also getting our needs met.

And what I find is it's not going to look the same every single day of the year. Our energy is, you know, there's a rhythm and a cycle to our energy. And the more that we understand about how our energy works over the course of the calendar year, what we need specific to the seasons, and all of that, then it's not that we're able to produce more, but we're able to produce with, with much less resistance.

And so a lot of that, it's like not only do I allow myself to have needs or not, like how can I shift how I understand showing up in my life to check in with myself before I check it with my to-do list. And what happens when I am actively rebuilding the self-trust necessary to know this is not going to be a real big work day for me, but that's okay.

Because tomorrow, you know what I mean? That, that it kind of all comes out in the wash. Because what I found is so often we're like white knuckling, this idea of like, I have to get it done because what if I don't, if I rest, I'm never going to get back up. if I take a day off, if I take a moment, if I go for a walk, I'm never gonna, you know, it's, it's all gonna fall apart.

And so we have so much to unlearn and so much is possible when we do kind of walk some of that back and realize like, wow, okay. I am a human, not a robot. My energy is not this huge problem. I can look outside my door and while you're in LA, but I'm in Massachusetts. There are seasons here.

Liz Wiltsie: You know, we don't have them here.

Mara Glatzel: You can see like, okay, the tide goes out, the tide comes in the moon waxes and wanes, the seasons change, like so to do I. And that you're able to get at least as much done as you did before in a way that's much more beneficial and happier with less resistance for you when you allow for more of that into your life and stop thinking like, okay, I'm going to hold myself to my very best standard every single day. It's like, you know, one day last month I woke up raring to go and tackled all these things on my to-do list.

Now that becomes the barometer that I hold myself to every day when like, not every day is like that. That's, I'm going to fail every single time. If that's the barometer I'm holding myself to. So there's so many of these internal kind of reconfigurations that can happen that I think impact us personally, and also impact organizations that we're operating within, especially if we're in leadership posititions.

Liz Wiltsie: Well, and  you mentioned the, sort of, seasonality and the moon and yes, LA doesn't really have them here.

We have a moon. but, but I also think about, we were talking about daylight, right? Like, and the idea that for me, really being able to look at when my brain can do certain things. Has been really helpful to be, to line that up with my actual calendars.

And then also to be like, okay, today we might not be getting stuff done. We're gonna nap about it. Instead of like, again, that sort of white knuckling that you're talking about. That's like, I've got to sit at my computer. I've got to stare at my computer with nothing instead of just like, maybe we'll try again tomorrow.

Mara Glatzel: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, for me, it's amazing to notice like the way the seasons kind of like collapse and the moon and the day kind of collapse into each other. I can see how my best work time of day is the morning. My best time of year is the spring season from the spring Equinox to the summer solstice.

And you know, my best kind of like time to get things done is also like in that space between. The waxing moon and the full moon. So when I start to understand things like that, about my life, I am able to get so much more done. And during that phase, that's, you know, three months season this spring, even with the pandemic, I wrote a book.

Which was kind of hard to do with my kids at home and all of that, but really, like I had known I was going to do that in November and I was like building up the energy, you know, through the winter season, into that spring so that I could use it for a really specific purpose, because I know that's like my, my time.

My self belief is the highest. My energy is the highest. Things just click for me. And so the more, obviously I'm an entrepreneur, so I can do this, but the more that I'm able to give myself my hardest work during times that are optimal to me, I get things done with so much less stress than I used to like slogging through.

I mean, I refer lovingly to December into January as the season of self doubt in my life. It's not an opportune time to try to do something new. I did that many times it hurt. It was a struggle many times. And I was like, I just don't do that anymore. And the more that we know about ourselves, the more that we can, you know, think about how to do the things we want to do in a way that works for us specifically.

Liz Wiltsie: Yeah. And I think about it in terms of organizations as well. Right. where the idea that, you know, I can't walk in and say, okay, I'm only gonna do this in these moments without having a really big conversation with everybody else, because I firmly firmly believe that those puzzle pieces can line up.

If you take the time to get them to line up and get out of the idea that everyone's gotta be answering email. Everyone's gotta be doing strategy. Everyone's gotta be doing great. You know, whatever, whatever the things are that in your job description, it says I'm supposed to do X, Y, Z, and whatever, like mix it up. Mix it up and say, okay, you know, Mara is a spring person.

I'm a fall person. I don't know. I've never, I think about it on the day. I don't know annually, but I'm kind of excited. But I'd imagine I'm probably also a spring, right. But there are people who are fall. So get the fall people in the fall, get the spring, people in the spring, get the morning people in the morning and let the evening people do that.

Like take turns. Yeah, that's, that's where I think the wisdom of the collective, which of course for me comes out of, abolition and studying, you know, black feminist thought, around, we can, we can get our needs met as a collective much better than imagining we have to go it alone.

Mara Glatzel: Well, and I think that that piece, you know, and where my work really takes place is in that space of like, I don't even know what I would ask for if I would ask for something. And it's tricky because sometimes it's like, is this, is this work just kind of like navel gazing and like becoming obsessed with myself. But yes. And also, you know, when we have that crystal clear idea of what we need and how we best operate, which takes some figuring out, then we're able to bring it into our organizations and share it in such a way that, you know, it starts to make these shifts and in the people around us. And, you know, then we can see, okay, well, you know, if a lot of us are spring people, but not many of us, our fall people, like maybe we don't do our big, you know, like donation drive in the end of November. Like who does that work for?

It wouldn't work for me. If I worked for an organization, I'd be like, can we just be doing this, like in the spring? Right. yeah, that's great. First of all, nobody else is doing it, maybe, or less people. But you can see how that starts to shift shift organizations. And when you, when you. Hmm, unravel that idea that we're all supposed to be these perfect robots showing up with, you know, exactly the same capacity every single day, 365 days a year.

Then what you opened the door to is this idea of like, how can we operate together in such a way that the needs of the organization or the company are being met on the annual year, in a way that's creative and actually supports the people who are working here.

Liz Wiltsie: And I believe if you actually optimize that stuff, the workday gets shorter, right?

And, and people go home with energy to spare, which I think a lot of us, and I do think in terms of entrepreneurs, we're very good at treating ourselves badly. Because we replicate everything we've ever learned from anybody else, right? Like, yeah, I can work all the hours, sure.

Mara Glatzel: That's amazing how quickly you become your own worst boss and be like, who designed this schedule?

Why, why did I do this to myself?

Liz Wiltsie: I have control. I think so my other question for you is what are you grappling with?

Mara Glatzel: Hmm, what am I grappling with? So, I have, I have, determined in my mind that this season of self-doubt, as previously described like the winter months, are going to be rebranded this year as my like winter glow up. Meaning I'm going to take those months that are actually quite shitty for work and repurpose them for my own purposes.

And you know, it's funny cause it's always like I have so much to do. I have so much to do. So what I'm grappling with right now is reckoning with the fact that I actually don't. Like, that's a story that I don't have that much to do that I definitely have, you know, whatever 30 minutes or an hour per day, to do something that's nice for me.

And so how, I'm kind of thinking about doing that cause like, thinking about it on the whole, like for the whole season seems really daunting. So I've been thinking, taking it like one day at a time and waking up and being like, how am I going to, like, what am I going to give myself today? Keeping in mind, like a couple of things that really like make that work for me, one of which is moving my body, which always is like, the last thing on my list.

Liz Wiltsie: You've been having dance parties with yourself, I've seen them on Instagram.

Mara Glatzel: I have, I have, yeah, that really helps.

I've been having kids parties with my kids too. My daughter is like obsessed with Pink. So I made her like a whole Pink and actually my partner's obsessed with Pink too. So I made them like a whole Pink playlist and we've been dancing altogether. So that's like one that, that, you know, it's like just figuring out how to make it work.

But what I know that I want is to spend this season really nourishing myself, because it's been a long year and I am aware that 2021 is going to be a really big year for me personally and professionally. So, you know, I want to spend this time really giving to myself and, and really honoring the fact that this is like a shitty time for me to do forward facing work.

And it's actually a brilliant time for me to like cook delicious food, jump on my trampoline, go for walks outside and like take awesome showers. So I'm going to be doing that.

Liz Wiltsie: Perfect. That's beautiful. That is a beautiful end. Thank you, Mara. I appreciate it.

Mara Glatzel: Thanks for having me. It was awesome.

Liz Wiltsie: You just heard me and Mara talk about the importance of getting of solid handle on your own ebbs and flows. And what's exciting is that Mara has already got a program that takes you through her process and it's called Cycle. Join cycle to cultivate deliciously doable goals, map out your seasonally specific self care protocol, nourish your ambition and stay connected with your vision for your life all year long.

You can actually join Cycle all year. But there is a winter solstice gathering on December 19th. So if you join before then you'll get to be a part of that celebration.

For full show notes and links to all of Mara's work, visit podcast. While you're there, you can also check out the other episodes in What's Leadership? And if you like them, subscribe, come talk to us on social media. We'd love to hear from you.

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