Eps 437: Valerie Tih shares how the Enneagram can make us better parents

Episode 437

I am so excited to talk to my guest, Valerie Tih, today.  

Valerie starts by explaining what Enneagram types are, how Enneagram complements Positive Discipline, & why Enneagram types are useful when it comes to parenting.  Valerie shares a bit about practicing presence and balancing your body, heart, & head.  I ask how we can connect deeper with the teens we have and what to do when your Enneagram type is different from your child’s.  We get into how to expand our relationship with our teen, how our ego plays in, and how & why we need to have faith in our adolescents.  

Guest Description

Valerie transforms outdated parenting paradigms into research-based Positive Discipline frameworks based on the latest brain science, the Enneagram, and best practices. 

She has over 25 years of experience as a speaker, presenter and facilitator of retreats and educational workshops.  She is a trained art therapist and a certified teacher. 

She’s a certified “Happiness Coach” (a program taught by Dr. Robert Holden as seen on Oprah), and is a Riso-Hudson/Enneagram Institute certified Enneagram Coach with Honours standing. 

She’s also accredited through the International Enneagram Association and presented her talk Ignite Your Inner Essence Parent: Move from reactive to responsive parenting at this year’s Global Enneagram Conference. 

Valerie and her husband have two boys, aged 14 and 10 and her youngest son has Down syndrome. She enjoys advocating for people with disabilities and is passionate about building community, spreading kindness, and choosing joy.

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Takeaways from the show

  • What is an Enneagram? 
  • Why & how does Enneagram complement Positive Discipline philosophy? 
  • “Stuff is going to happen; are we going to react or are we going to respond?” 
  • Practicing presence in your body, heart, & head
  • Connecting deeper with the teen you have 
  • How to use presence to open a space for your teen to share 
  • Expanding your relationship with your teen 
  • Trusting that your teen will make it through adolescence

What does joyful courage mean to you 

Joyful courage is the willingness to take an honest look at who’s showing up to parent.  Is it you or your personality and your habits?  Is it love-based and responsive or is it reactive and fear-based?  If it is fear-based, to have the courage to love yourself and soften those patterns.  When those patterns soften, then you get to see something a little bit different in you – something even bigger and beautiful that can deepen your relationship with your kids, anybody in your life, and with yourself.  To me that is the big joy!  That is joyful, to really know ourselves and feel connected to others.



Valerie’s Website: Joyfull Coaching 

The Enneagram Unplugged Today Course 

Russ Hudson’s Website 

Free Download of “5 Ways to Discover Your Enneagram Type and Why it Matters When Raising Kids” Guide (bottom of page) 

Enneagram Unplugged Course with Valerie Tih – January 2024 – 20% with code CASEY 

Enneagram Discovery Package – 20% with code CASEY 

Valerie’s Instagram

Valerie’s Facebook

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Valerie Tih, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:03
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported today as an interviewer and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:26
Hey everybody, welcome back to the podcast. My guest today is Valerie T. Valerie transforms outdated parenting paradigms into research based positive discipline frameworks based on the latest brain science, the Enneagram and best practices. She has over 25 years experience as a speaker, presenter and facilitator of retreats and workshops. She is a trained art therapist and a certified teacher. She's a certified happiness coach, and is a Rizzo Hudson Enneagram Institute certified Enneagram coach with honors standing. She also accredited through the International Enneagram Association and presented her talk, ignite your inner essence parent move from reactive to responsive parenting at this year's Global Enneagram conference. Valerie and her husband have two boys aged 14 and 10. And her youngest son has Down syndrome. She enjoys advocating for people with disabilities and is passionate about building community spreading kindness and choosing joy. I'm so excited to have you on. Hi, Valerie. Welcome to the pod. Hi,

Valerie Tih 02:39
Casey. I'm so happy to be here. I have listened to your podcast for quite some time. And I know it's so helpful to people. And so it's such an honor to be here.

Casey O'Roarty 02:47
I know when we actually first connected like connected connected I think it was last summer. I was like oh my gosh, I feel like we've been kind of orbiting each other for years, everybody Valerie's business is joyful coaching. And then I'm over here, joyful courage. And so I think we've always just kind of been on each other's radar for sure. Yeah. What puts you into working with parents?

Valerie Tih 03:13
Well, I can talk a little bit about maybe how I work with parents and the Enneagram. And what pulled me in specifically because it's a long story, it would take like 10 podcasts to talk about how I work with parents. But I noticed working with parents as a teacher or parent coach, that a lot of parents were so sincere about positive discipline, like all their chips were in like, all in they really wanted this for themselves. They want to parent differently maybe than they were raised. And something was always getting in the way. And I noticed they were so discouraged. And were confused, like what is getting in the way. So there was this blind spot or missing piece, it would often be obvious to me or other people or even their kids. But to them it was a blind spot. So when I first got introduced to the Enneagram over a decade ago, I was sitting in Russ Hudson's workshop and he described all the nine Enneagram types, including my own was such compassion and kindness. Like I could weep right now thinking about it. But just there was this Rolodex of memories of like all the parents I worked with how I could have helped them with that missing piece, that gap that was getting them stuck from really being the parent that they wanted to be how I got into this work of the Enneagram is seeing it as something that complements more modern types of parenting such as positive discipline or gentle parenting.

Casey O'Roarty 04:37
Yeah, thank you for introducing our topic because that's what we're gonna talk about is Enneagram. And it's I just want to give a disclaimer to everybody right now. This is a huge topic and you listener are not going to be an expert on any grams or even know like, where you fall in this tool. By listening to this podcast, but don't worry, we're gonna give you resources at the end to dive deeper, we're going to kind of stay more high level. And I'm really excited about that. I've learned what I know about Enneagram, which is also just like a toe dipped in the water. I feel like from you, Valerie, like you talked about your teacher being so compassionate and kind, and I really experienced you, as you, you know, you have a whole course around the Enneagram. And I experienced you the same way. So that's

Valerie Tih 05:28
the deepest compliment. Thank you. And if we really want to teach the Enneagram it's a show don't tell. You know, it's like, can we show how to accept others and ourselves with compassion?

Casey O'Roarty 05:41
Well, let's take a few steps back because for some people listening, this word Enneagram is new, maybe it's nothing they've heard of, or maybe it's a word that's kind of floated around. But they have really no idea about what it is. So will you just kind of give us the broad strokes about Enneagram as a tool for the listeners that are in the dark? Sure. Yeah.

Valerie Tih 06:03
Any Oh, wow. It's a lot of bowels. How do you spell it like, the symbol looks a bit cultish. Like, it could just be like a bit off putting the whole description in the symbol to begin with. But I really hope I can do it justice today. Any means nine, and grand means to markdown. So it's an ancient Greek word. And it's a Personality Typing system. There's nine types. But what's different than other Personality Typing systems, maybe some listeners are familiar with like Myers and Briggs, for instance. Those are great, because they can tell you things about yourself, and also demonstrate that we see the world with different lenses. Everybody approaches the world in different ways. So having that deep understanding that we're all maybe a little bit different, and to be accepting of that. But what's different about the Enneagram, instead of saying you're this and putting you in a box, and then it's sort of like, okay, well, what do I do with that? Yeah, I'm different. So what? So that Enneagram helps us see, oh, we've kind of put ourselves in this box, and gives us a map to get out of the box, or the prison we might have put ourselves in, and it's very clear and direct how to do that. And so that's what I think that Enneagram is not meant to define us. It's meant to guide us. Okay.

Casey O'Roarty 07:23
And do you feel like when we put ourselves in this box that it's really through? Is it something like temperament like everybody's born with a certain temperament? Or is it more of like life experiences and relationships and forming beliefs over time? kind of send us into a direction?

Valerie Tih 07:45
Yeah, so there's lots of, you know, heated debate about that, about nature, nurture, that kind of thing. But I personally believe in a lot of my other colleagues in the Enneagram world believe it's both so we are born a certain temperament. And then we interact with our family and our environment in a certain way that may really kind of double down on that kind of, like, really bring it even more into fruition. So probably when we're born, we have that temperament. But we maybe are more open to more capacities be more present. But as we interact with that temperament with the world around us, that really kind of as you we were talking about before this podcast, it gets grooved in Yeah, yeah, proved it. And actually, someone we love Dr. Dan Siegel, he's doing a lot of research right now to really show scientifically how our Enneagram personalities may be formed.

Casey O'Roarty 08:38
I love that. I know we both have a scientist crush on dancing. Oh, 100%.

Valerie Tih 08:43
fan girl, total fat girl.

Casey O'Roarty 08:46
So you work with parents, like you take the Enneagram and you put it in the context of these relationships that we have with our kids? Why is it useful to learn about the Enneagram as a parenting tool?

Valerie Tih 09:00
Well, I think that, you know, you work mostly with teens, but I think this is relevant for any parenting scenario, any age, really, if children are going to accept our guidance, you and I both feel strongly about it's through the relationship that we'll have true integration of our values and true parenting success, really the relationships that foundation. Now connection builds that foundation. And we can't build connection if we're not showing up. So the Enneagram shows us are we present or not present, like what's showing up? So that's when some of those blind spots can be revealed of where parts of us are not showing up. And then the connection is not as possible, and then the relationship is not as strong. Okay.

Casey O'Roarty 09:51
Well, it is and I'm recognizing it makes sense to me because of the background information that I gained from working with you. And so I'm thinking about the listener. Right. And so what I'm hearing you say is it's a tool in recognizing how presence is or isn't in the room. Basically.

Valerie Tih 10:11
That's it in a nutshell, Casey, like, and we'll get into this unpack this later. But am I showing up with my head, heart and my body? Am I all in my right here? Or is it some of my habitual patterns and my nature from the past? Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 10:26
I love that. I, you know, it's so interesting, right? There's a lot of entry points into this work. And I love that Enneagram is just another one of those entry points, right? Like, am I in autopilot? Or am I consciously intentionally showing up to this interaction? And sometimes, you know, I think it's interesting, right? Like, there's those conversations that we know we're going to have. And so there is this preparation, this work that we can do around, okay, I'm gonna be ready, like, I'm ready for this. And then there's especially well not, especially in the teen years, like in life, those moments where we're just doing our thing, and all of a sudden, the challenge is right in front of us, and we don't have that time to prepare, and to find a presence.

Valerie Tih 11:15
Yes. So like, our type is what shows up when we don't. Okay, so we're more likely to default into these patterns and our type when things are unpredictable. And life's coming at us. And guess what, when we're parenting teens, it's coming at us. Yeah. And fears coming up. It's like, holy man, I didn't plan for this. And so that's where we could have the tendency to go into our default into our personality. That's what's going to show up to parent that more reactive fear based Yeah, because we're trying to get back to presence, but we're misguided in it, which we can unpack a little bit. But yeah, our type is what shows up when we're not.

Casey O'Roarty 11:55
So knowing our type. And you mentioned, there's nine types. Yeah. And listeners, we're not going to go deep into all the types. But there are absolutely resources, which include Valerie, in learning more about your type and all the types. So is it like, ultimately, we have a lot or a little of each type? Right? Yes,

Valerie Tih 12:16
yes. So what I noticed is that if we are fear based, like we're going into our habitual nature, we are not as accessing all the strengths of all nine types, we're out of balance, we get kind of polarized. So we might be over utilizing part of our parent repertoire and under utilizing other parts of it. So for instance, let's take positive decision kind and firm, we might be really great at the kind but the firm is off the radar for us, or we're really great at the firm, but then that attunement and noticing what's going on in our child's world is a bit blind for us. Yeah. And so the Enneagram helps us notice recognize, oh, that's what I'm doing with compassion. And that compassion softens those patterns brings us back to more love base responsive parenting. So it's not going to give us a free pass from our kids having difficulties. But it's going to help us show up in ways that we feel good about and that are going to help the situation rather than escalate it,

Casey O'Roarty 13:17
right? Because there are no free passes. No searching, maybe I'm getting it wrong. Maybe I was cracking up recently talking to some clients about teen substance use. And I'm sitting inside of like, am I offering enough to my clients about this? I did this whole program over the summer to learn more and to find that magic formula or wand and I was like, damn it, it's positive discipline.

Valerie Tih 13:45
They're playing, it's just gonna happen. So are we gonna react? Are we gonna respond? Like, it's we don't get a free pass? Yes.

Casey O'Roarty 13:51
Are we going to react? Are we going to respond? I mean, is that the main gap? What other gaps are in your experience? Do you have any anecdotes or stories about how Enneagram kind of helped, like some archetypal dynamics that are happening between parent and kid? Yes, absolutely.

Valerie Tih 14:10
Maybe before that, can I take a little step back? Yeah, that might help understand some antidotes. And if I forget an antidote, bring me back there. I think for me, I was always a seeker my whole life and I was trying to find what's wrong with me what's the thing that's going to I was looking outside myself right to find that thing that could fix me? And, you know, when I was seeking all the wisdom traditions, were saying, Be here now be present, be in the now and I was like, yeah, yeah, tell me the good stuff. Like I got that part that tells me what to do. Yes, tell me what to do. So they were, but I never understood presence and then the Enneagram taught me what presence is finally so then I could practice it, you know, okay. And so, presence is if you think of plugging into now like a three prong plug, we need three prongs. And we have three prongs. But we don't usually use all three prongs, we might use one at best. So the three prongs are our body, our heart, and our mind. That's being in the now that's all of us showing up. Yeah, parent. But for me before I found the Enneagram, I was mostly showing up with my feelings and my heart. That's what I use to understand my world. I use my heart intelligence, if you will. And not necessarily my head or my body, my gut. So by only using my heart, it didn't have the body and the head is buddies. My heart is just super reactive. Like my child doesn't like dinner that I made. I'm hurt. You know, my kids don't want to come and hang out with me anymore. I'm devastated. Right, like adolescence

Casey O'Roarty 15:53
arrives. Yeah, fetal position on the floor. Yeah,

Valerie Tih 15:58
so I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I was so hurt. But if my heart is grounded in the body, and it can settle and be balanced, and then the head can come online, and then you have that discernment, that wisdom, those Aha, the clarity, we can see things less attached, like see the bird's eye view, if you will, of what's going on in the situation. And just frankly, I stopped taking things so personally, with my kids and see the learning opportunity.

Casey O'Roarty 16:29
Along this thread, that's like heart, right? Yeah. Overly heart. overly hard, overly hard. And then the overly body so

Valerie Tih 16:38
the overly heart is that reactive or Nam? I can't I don't even want to deal with this. Like, I just gotta numb out. I can't even feel my feelings like my kids having a hard time and I just can't even go there. Yeah, right. So that's not being present in the heart is super touchy, super reactive, or numb. Okay. And then in the body, the body intelligence. If I'm not present in my body, then I've lost kind of my vitality, my mojo my energy to take action in what's going on? Or I go overdue, like, overpower, kind of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I'm taking action without taking a pause, okay,

Casey O'Roarty 17:21
the gut is leading the way without any discernment or

Valerie Tih 17:25
a light that doesn't have a head and doesn't have the heart on board. So like if I'm doubling down, because I think my kids getting in trouble in school. So I'm gonna really double down in the discipline, not discipline in the sense of what we talked about, but I mean, like punitive, or I'm gonna show them this is not okay. Like down. Yeah, you're gonna put your foot down? Yeah, so we're not taking a pause, we're not using our heart or head, right, we're going with our body into action. Okay, and so it's not balanced with the other two. And so we'll know that if we're acting before, we're thinking we're super reactive again, or we're just kind of numbed out like, we just don't even want to deal with dialing it in, in the parent thing, because it's just too overwhelming. And then for the head, we'll know that we're not present in our head. And we're not using that intelligence through presence, because our head is like that monkey mind, right? The whole committee's up there. Like, should I tell them that I found the drugs in the room? Or maybe I should just like ignore, like, Oh, if I do this, this could lay down, we just have this whole mess of thinking going on rapidly. In our mind. We're like overthinking every parenting decision. And feeling kind of stuck with that. Or Russ Hudson, my teacher calls it like surly teenager mind. We're just kind of like whatever. Like who cares. Checkout checkout? Yeah. So when we have presencing practices, and that might be very individualized based on our type. That's where the Enneagram comes really healthy. Like for some people that yoga and mindfulness Whoo, that's like my ticket. And for other people, it's like meeting myself on the mat is like my worst nightmare. Right? So this is where the Enneagram can be so helpful in where we can develop some of our products or three prongs to help us plug back into now and see what's blocking it. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 19:12
So it's really a practice of one I'm hearing you kind of To summarize, one is recognizing like, what is that shoot from the hip? Like when we're shooting from the hip and we're in reaction? Is it this emotional feelings based? Does that what shows up first, is it I gotta shut this down? Now? Whatever, it takes guts, or is it the mind spin out?

Valerie Tih 19:39
get like, a terrible parent or my kids going to juvie? Yeah, right. Right. Yes. Oh, like, like, you have all the worst case scenarios because your kid messed up. Yeah, now you're already in like 10 years down the road, that they're horrible person, right?

Casey O'Roarty 19:52
So that's step one is start to notice your pattern listeners, right? Like what's your shoot from the hip? What's your comm? From, and then with awareness, we can develop, would you say? Well, first, I know that you would agree. There's like, the practice of simply like, oh, here I am in my head, or oh, here I am in my gut, or oh, here I am in my heart. And like what I would say, and you can tell me what you would say, is like, I gotta come back to like a neutral place. I gotta be neutral. Like, that's the word that yes, for me like, and maybe neutral is also like, integrated, but it feels Yes, integration is a little bit like, it feels like there's a pause first. And then it's how do I integrate and

Valerie Tih 20:39
being resourced? Like when you're bad? You have resources? Right? Right. Talk a little bit more about that. When we're not present. We're not feeling resource. So when we're present, now we have access to all light capacities, in a healthy way. Right. So let's think of presence as a continuum. So on one end of the continuum is love, responsive, grounded, attuned, we have integrity. We're wise right now. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 21:09
we're feeling like superstars at all.

Valerie Tih 21:11
We are rocking the parenting, right? We know that we have those moments where we can access that where we're really present in our heart and our body and our mind are all working together. Yeah, giving us a gorgeous smorgasbord of parenting tools

Casey O'Roarty 21:28
in our toolbox. Yeah, yeah, we know, the toolbox is there and we can kind of like, yeah, I feel like in that mindset, it's like, oh, I have time, like, metaphorically. Right. Not literally everybody, but it's like, Oh, right. I have a toolbox. There are a lot of different tools in this box, which is the tool that would be most useful for this moment, versus like, pull out the hammer, right?

Valerie Tih 21:52
Yes. Because if we're only relying on the body prong and our three right block, then the hammer might come out or pull out the guilt. Yeah, right from the heart. It's like, I'm the martyr mother. Yeah, I've done all these things for you. Yeah. Did you do this to me? Right, right. So that happens. So if we go back to that continuum, the love and the responsiveness on one end, on the other end is fear reactive, well, more or less in our heart, our body and our mind, and we have access to less tools. We're just more reactive. And we're responding in ways that probably aren't going to be helpful. So the Enneagram helps guide us and shows us a direct map, back to that presence used a great word about awareness. So the first step is seeing, what do I do when I'm not here? What shows up to parent when I'm not present, then we want to have self compassion. If we're not doing a search and destroy mission, we're not trying to stop this. If we do all those things, it's not going to work. The only thing that's going to soften our patterns is compassion and love. And then something else opens up, we come back home to ourselves that we have access to more, and we can connect and have deeper relationships with our kids, or spouses, all the people in our life because we're showing up.

Casey O'Roarty 23:04
Yeah, well, I love you know, the word relationship. I love how it's about how we relate to each other. Right, and the more we know about ourselves, and also the more that we can learn about the other person, all the bullshit that gets in the way and the stories we create, and even the pain that we feel, yeah, it also softens it also, like, I don't have to take this personally, because it doesn't have anything to do with me. And I really encourage parents to notice when they're making assumptions about their teens, specifically. And even as I say that, again, listeners, like we're talking about context of parenting teens, but this is really any relationship, we make assumptions. And then in our assumptions, it's like, it's ripe for the story that we are making up about where this is leading, where this is going, what they care about what they don't care about, there's so much that is us creating. And then we're reacting to what we're assuming and creating storylines about our kids. So what I try to encourage parents to do is go in get to know who their kid is today, right? Because, you know, you have a 14 year old who he is now is not the same as who he was four years ago. How does the Enneagram help us connect deeper with the team that we have versus the team that we think we have? That makes

Valerie Tih 24:31
amazing, I'm gonna answer your question, but maybe not exactly what you're asking, but I hope it'll still be helpful. This

Casey O'Roarty 24:37
is not the first time you've done this in this interview, but you know what, I go with it. I like it.

Valerie Tih 24:44
I'll give you a story. I promised you a story. I know. I know, my own son. So I think what this isn't exactly answering but I think it's the lens that we bring that will impact the relationship and how we see our child Okay, so it's not enough necessarily the timeline like, of course, they're developing and growing, and self actualizing and changing. And we have to stay up with that. I think that's what you're trying to get at. But I think even more deep than that is how we see them through our Enneagram lens of could harm our relationship, if we're not seeing it through presence, we're seeing it through our default. So with our son, he is type five on the Enneagram. I had permission to talk about this, but he's a head type. So he is not as emotive as me, I'm rely more on my feelings, as I said, so he holds his cards close, you know, he has sort of a resting Screen Face kind of thing, right? Like, he just he doesn't, he's not as demonstrative as me. And so my temperament wants to know, the relationships good, like, we're okay, right. And so I can take things really, personally, when he's holding his cards close. Yeah, he approaches life differently than me. And I've learned so much from him, because he takes his time, he observes, he's not attached, that's a real strength. But if I wasn't aware of how he approaches the world, and how I approach the world, and that they're very different, I might think there's something wrong with him. And then he should be more talking about his feelings. And I might be doubling down, like trying to get information out of him, which would be so overwhelming for him, and clam him up even more. So I think our lens and how we are seeing our child, and what we're making it mean about how they might be showing up, can really, we can be very confused about our children and feeling like we have to fix them, or something's wrong, because they might not have the same lens as us.

Casey O'Roarty 26:38
I really appreciate that story. I work with a lot of parents, especially a lot of parents of teen boys. And there is this, it starts to become desperation, to get them to open up to get them to share. And I feel like as parents, we also might hear the word like you're you and I talk about I mean, I talked about relationship as like the key to it all. And as I say that I think there's this idea that relationship should look a certain way. It should look like our kids telling us everything and being animated and coming to us. Right? Yeah, that's not really, it might not look like that. And that's not an indicator of a less than or a bad or a wrong relationship. What I'm hearing you say is, hey, I know my son's, you know, Enneagram. I know, like his style, part of who he be is to hold things close. And so how do you as a feeler write as a feeler mama? How do you reconcile that even as you know that, right? Like, what shows up for you as you're like, Okay, well, I know this about him and gosh, like do you ever feel like and how do I get in there? Yes.

Valerie Tih 27:59
So I have to every day Do My Own presencing practice, I have to make sure that all three of my prongs are plugged in so that I'm more love based, I'm more able to see Him for who He really is. The more that I show up fully in hole, the more I make room, a landing pad for him to show up and be who he is. And I noticed when I am more present, and I am really there and I'm not trying to fix him, he might start off sharing information, because that's easiest for him to make a connection is sharing things that he knows. But then as I'm listening, and I'm really there for him to hear about what he knows. Then suddenly he'll give me a little nugget of like, he might like a girl at school. All right, I might get that because I'm sure I'm not pressuring it. I'm not forcing it. And then he slowly like I'm letting that flower blossom, you know.

Casey O'Roarty 28:48
Yeah. So time. Yeah. Well, I love what you said. I love the language you just used and it's showing up. I mean, it shows up for me in marriage counseling, I get just keeps showing up that landing pad, right. The language I use is got soft landing. So it's similar, right? A space that feels safe, right? As I'm listening to you. I'm like, oh, yeah, like when you're present those three prongs are there? Head heart, gut, right head heart body, there isn't a desperation. There isn't an agenda. There isn't criticism like it just really opens a space for them to be who they are. Without them also being cautious of well, I know she's a little bit of a nut job when it comes to this. So I'm not going to step into this space because I know as the teenager because guess what? You guys have heard me say this a million times. They've been students of us their entire life like they know us probably better than we know us because they've been observing how do I survive and thrive in relation to This person since the beginning, right, and so, I so appreciate what you're talking about our work, you having a presencing practice that you tap into. And you know, I'm thinking to myself, I probably need to do that a few times a day,

Valerie Tih 30:17
I feel my feet on the floor, it doesn't have to be a big deal. You know, I feel my hands on the steering wheel while I'm driving. Yeah, I noticed my breath. Oh, it's all in my chest. And I start breathing in my belly. Like, it's so simple yet, it's so hard Casey just take those little moments right to get back into our body, connect with my heart a little bit more, and then my head can come online. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 30:45
I think the hard thing is just we are practiced, it's not, you know, we're, it's more likely that we have a spare moment or a time to wait, and we pick up our phones to scroll, right, versus like, Oh, I've got this time to do a little presencing I'm gonna do a little Yeah, my seat, I'm gonna feel my body in this chair before I go into the doctor's office, or here's

Valerie Tih 31:06
why it doesn't feel good because our ego is on a job. And it has those habitual things that it thinks that needs to do to keep us safe and to keep our world predictable. And so to actually slow down and stop. And here's the thing with being present and putting the three plugs in, we have to relax. Yeah, it's not something we do and effort towards. It's a relaxation. Yeah. And so we usually grab for the phone or do something else. Because our egos like Not on my watch. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 31:34
Oh, I this is good. Let's go with this. I wonder too. So I'm sure you have the same experience a lot of the parents who end up working one on one with me, like that's their last ditch effort right at figuring things out for their kiddos. So I have a lot of clients whose kids are really in the muck, right, really in the gauntlet. And I'm always trying to get better at the languaging around this. But what I really and I think you're gonna be right on board with this. So what I really want to help them do because what happens is relationship has shrunk to only be centering the misbehavior, the mischief, the poor choices, and that's all that exists in the relationship. So I really want to support parents in expanding Yep, it's not like that stuff's gonna go anywhere. And it doesn't mean that we completely ignore it or dismiss it. But how can we expand our relationship so that it's bigger than just here's what's going down? And then bringing it back to that? Like, if we relax? Oh, my God, what's going to happen to all this crazy shit that's going down? If I'm not super hyper focused on it?

Valerie Tih 32:46
Yes. And I gonna say something that might not win me any fans, but I'm just gonna say do it. But I can't wait. I think that sometimes focusing on our child's problem, it's a distraction. Our ego likes that instead of hey, looking at my own inner work, yeah. And what do I need to do here to be present to create the landing pad and and and that's hard probably for people to hear. But I'll say it all own it. Like, it's easier for me to look outside myself at all the things out over here and to get up and everybody else's business than to my own shop. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 33:19
I feel that same little bit of discomfort when I say to parents, like you get to do an inventory. And you get to be really honest with yourself. And, you know, start making a list of the places where you are influencing this dynamic.

Valerie Tih 33:34
Yeah, right. It's an it's a learning and if they can approach that with curiosity and compassion for themselves and passion for themselves, it can be such a gorgeous opportunity, Casey? Yeah. Yeah. Such a learning opportunity. And if we are willing to go there, that our life can uplevel

Casey O'Roarty 33:54
Yeah, yeah. Well, and that leads me to this next piece. And I love a podcasting gallery. Because, like, it's always so perfect. It's always the conversations that I have with people or on my solo shows are always like, so alive in what I'm talking about in all the other places. There's this other piece that I think relates, which is we have to I think, and you can tell me what you think we have to have faith and trust that our kids are going to move through adolescence and land on their feet. But yes, to me, that is, if that is missing, then why the hell would our kids have any faith in themselves? If we can't even be the holders for a while of that? I mean, I just I'm kind of fired up on this because I feel like and I get it too, because I've been in despair, right? Like I have lived through despair with my oldest absolutely and her stories on the pod. And I mean, I like it, just think about it. And I've Seeing parents in this space, it's such a desperate, sad, lonely, hopeless space when there isn't that place of faith and trust. So talk to me. And let's bring Enneagram work. Okay, okay, good. How does it become a tool? Because sometimes it feels like I mean, and I can hear specific people in my mind. Yeah, but I don't feel that. So how do we get there?

Valerie Tih 35:22
Okay, I'm gonna use a metaphor, because really need another podcast to unpack the whole thing. But I'll leave a little metaphor from our favorite guy, Dan Siegel. So he talks about when there are problems or things that come are our life, the less conscious or present or integrated we are, yeah, when that problem happens, let's take a thimble full of water, say, and we put salt in there, let's pretend the problems are the salt. And we're coming to the situation with a thimble of water. That is unpalatable. Like if we drank that thimble of water, we are going to be knocked over, we're going to feel despair, it's going to feel hopeless, we're not going to trust that this is going to take its course and our kids are going to want to self actualize it who they're meant to be, they're going to come out the other end. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 36:12
they're screwed, then a dish. Yeah,

Valerie Tih 36:15
forget it. So the Enneagram, which I can't unpack here, we don't have time, but it gives you a map to have your own practicing to change that symbol of consciousness to a lake, or a swimming pool, at least you know. So if those problems are that salt comes in, it's not going to rock our world to the same degree as if we were coming with a symbol of consciousness. We're coming with this giant, and the consciousness is us. It's us more whole, it's us more expansive, it's us more wide, because we've relaxed into being more of who we really are, instead of defaulting into these small contracted habits, right? It's like we've lived our whole life by the toilet in this mansion that we have in this small little bathroom when actually we could occupy an entire mansion. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 37:06
or, and I'm also thinking about like that, you know, how we're holding relationship when we hold it so small, and it's only contains the problems that we're moving through right now. Versus this is a whole human being with an entire life's journey ahead of them. Like that feels connected, that feels relevant to when we can hold I want to know this person. I want to know this person as they're moving through this. I want this person to know that somebody else, trust them. And I don't mean, you guys. I don't mean like trust them not to do anything stupid. Because same brain. Okay, yeah, are going to do those things. So quit basing whether or not you trust them on whether or not they ever do anything bad instead, do you trust that they can do the things and learn and grow and develop and experience and move towards the life that they want? Yeah.

Valerie Tih 38:03
And hey, let's get honest. I'm 52 years old. I'm not even the same person. I was five years. Exactly. Yeah. always growing and evolving and trust that our child is always going to be growing and evolving like the little acorn into the oak. Yeah, no, it can't we provide the environment that's going to help them grow into an oak or we could have bring out the hammer and just Klarna a little sapling. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 38:27
totally. And I've been lately telling people start talking to the adults in your life about their teen years, you will hear some doozies of a story. Right? And you start to realize like yeah, of course. Yes. Yes. It matters, right, our experiences through adolescence absolutely matter. And they don't have this. I mean, like, even as I say that, I'm like, Well, you know, I mean, if you become a drug addict, you know, even my brain goes to those worst case scenarios, my egos like, hold up, Casey, there are worst case scenarios. And the highest likelihood is the worst case scenarios are not going to play out. And the more you can show up, like you're talking about, fully present and aware, the less likely that the worst case scenario is going to come out even as you find yourself in really hard situations with your kid Hey,

Valerie Tih 39:21
this just came to me. It's like we're modeling who we really are, instead of modeling our habits when we're showing more. So our kids may be overly identified with parts of their personality or their defaults and thinking that's who they are in the world but it's not and if we can show up and really help mirror to them, their essential nature who they really are past all those behaviors. Yeah. Then Then we're connecting. Then they go wow, this person is like my light mirror showing, you know, I'm not saying Pollyanna this, like if they've got drugs in their bag. We've got that Take

Casey O'Roarty 39:57
them. Take them away. Oh, That's

Valerie Tih 40:00
the same like, oh, it's all good. Yeah, no. But then we have the wherewithal Yeah, of our heart, our body and our mind how to respond to the situation that will be helpful. Yeah. And for our child to remember who they really are at their core.

Casey O'Roarty 40:14
Valerie, I mean, come on six hours, how long do you think we'd actually need? I mean, listeners, I feel like we've teased everybody like we're talking about this thing without really digging into it. But the good news is you guys, I am hand delivering you, you know, someone who is a profound teacher of this Enneagram work. So talk a little bit about, you know, what you have, as far as offers go, where people can find you and how they can follow what it is that you're doing? Yeah.

Valerie Tih 40:47
So if people are really curious about their Enneagram type, I have a free download on my website that says five ways to discover your Enneagram type and why it matters to parenting. So that's a free download on my site for folks, I also have another introductory Enneagram course coming in January, and I'm going to give your listeners 20% off, they can use the code Casey Oh, yeah, if they want to work with me one on one, I have an Enneagram discovery package. And same thing, they can use the code KC to get 20% off. That's amazing. And I'm on the socials, I'm on Instagram, Facebook is where I'm most active.

Casey O'Roarty 41:26
Okay. Okay. And listeners, all of these are going to be all the things in the show notes. So you can find all the links of the offers that Valerie just mentioned, is there anything else you want to I mean, there's a million things I'm sure, we could leave listeners with what what something you'd like to leave, I'd like

Valerie Tih 41:44
to leave some encouragement, three little tiny pieces of encouragement, one, I want people to not worry that you're going to be put into a box, if you explore the Enneagram, it's going to help you get out of the box. And it's you're already in the box people you're in the box in the box. Related to that. The second thing people worry about and why they hesitate is they're going to find out something terrible about themselves. But the Enneagram explores who you are with such compassion that you're going to be liberated, you are going to get to find out so many amazing things about yourself that you didn't even know were capacities within you so that I want to encourage you in that way. And the third thing I will say is your ego is not going to want to sign up for any of this. It's gonna it feel it already is sensing like, turn off this podcast. I might get fired for my job here. So it really takes courage to explore this, but it's so worth it. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 42:38
yes. Love that. Well, and you've led me right into my next question. My last question is what is joyful courage mean to you?

Valerie Tih 42:45
I would say joyful courage is the willingness to take an honest look at who's showing up to parent is that you? Are your personality and your habits. Is it love based and responsive? Or is it reactive and fear based, and if it is fear based, to have the courage to love yourself to soften those patterns. And when those patterns soften, then you get to see something a little bit different in you something even bigger and beautiful, that can deepen your relationship with your kids and anybody in your life really and with yourself. And to me that's the big joy that is joyful. You really know ourselves and feel connected to others. Yeah. And

Casey O'Roarty 43:27
so we you speak out loud. What is the name of your website?

Valerie Tih 43:31
Yes, it's www dot joyful coaching.ca and joyful has two L's because you know, you want to be full of joy. Yes, yes. Yes. So joyful. coaching.ca and my name is Valerie tea. Yes. Like the hot drink.

Casey O'Roarty 43:46
Yes. I love your play on joyful like full of joy. I just really, and that's even all caps. I love that. Yes. Thank you. Thank you for this. We are definitely going to need to do a part two and okay. Take people a little bit deeper at this was so much fun. Thank you for all the places that you were willing to go with me.

Valerie Tih 44:07
I'm glad our worlds have finally collided. Me too.

Casey O'Roarty 44:10
Me too. Thank you, Valerie.

Valerie Tih 44:11
Thank you so much, Casey.

Casey O'Roarty 44:20
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts brothel.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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