Honesty, Authenticity & the Willingness to Keep Going


Keri: Hey, everybody, and welcome to the awaken your power podcast. I’m here today with Diane Kelly, thank you so much for joining us today.


Oh, thank you, Keri for having me.

Keri: Yes. I’m really excited about this. You just published your first book, is that right?

Dyanne: I did. Soulfirewoman: How to Torch Your Past, Ignite Your Present and Set Your Soul on Fire.

Keri: Yes. And I thought it was fabulous. And I loved listening and or hearing your story, your personal story. And you were very honest in this book, which is very exciting to see more of that. Thank you.

It takes a lot of courage to put your story out there the way that you did. So I’d love to know more about how you decided what stories to tell and how to tell them—you have children? And so how you how you decided, you know, knowing that they would someday read it and, and all that I just love to hear a little bit more about your decision process and sharing your story so publicly

Dyanne: The fact that I have a daughter that was really the most difficult part for me. And sharing the story with her and almost asking for her permission to go forward. And she gave it willingly. I think she understands the power of women’s stories and I think she understands what was healing about it and how important it was to get the message out to other women. But telling the story I mean, I think I’ve had this book inside of me for a long time. I think I’ve been walking around with it forever. And I just never put pen to paper. And I had. I mean, it was really about how I wanted to help other women. So my story was, in my mind, secondary to all that. It was really just about how can I share my journey so that other women will know that I’m no different from them. They’re no different from me. It’s a universal story, a universal theme. And we can all do this together.


Keri:  I’m thinking about the #Metoo movement right now, which was also about sharing vulnerable stories with the world and stories that had been locked inside for years. And then I’m hearing what you’re talking about, and I’m seeing a parallel there. Do you see maybe is there a movement? Is there a shift in our collective psyche? Towards the importance of personal stories? Or do you still feel that these are, you know, few and far between to find this kind of open vulnerability?

Dyanne: I think I was gonna say, I think it’s safer now to share your story. I’m not sure that that’s exactly true. But I think collectively, women are gathering together and supporting each other. So you do have that. And so I think there is in the collective of women who are willing to be there for you, no matter what happens. It’s still risky putting your story out there. You still don’t know what what’s going to happen. But in the end, it’s about the process and how it helps you and how it helps others. Absolutely. It’s a higher good.


Yes, but I do think some of the emotions, especially for women, that we have to overcome or at least make peace with before we’re willing to share our story are our guilt and shame. And as I read your book, guilt, shame and obligation I noticed to seem to be regular companions with you. Can you share more about how you got out from under these or if you did, and then what you might recommend for other women with these particular emotions?


First of all, I decided I was worth saving. And, and that was the first big step. And that just opened up other avenues for me. And I began to take risks. And the risks reinforced me. And so from there, I just started to step out of the whole cycle of guilt. I started to realize that I’m not responsible for other people’s feelings. I’m not responsible for taking care of them. You know, not that you’re ever unkind in any way. I learned boundaries, I learned how to say no. And so this pervasive guilt just started to ease up. And I mean, I still to this day have to be careful, careful. It’s like my go-to feeling. And then I have to examine that. Well, why why do you feel guilty? It’s not a reflection on who I am, how someone else is responding, it’s a reflection on who they are. So these are all things that I learned along the way. And guilt and shame are a little bit different. I mean, guilt is like you feel like you’ve done something wrong and shame is you feel like your existence deserve to exist. And that’s why that first step, saying, I am worthy. I deserve this. That was the biggest step to take.


Keri: I remember feeling the word obligation as I was reading your book—obligations, inner obligations, outer obligations, and what is your relationship with obligation now, when that rises in you and you feel obligated to follow through with something, say that you committed to or obligated to, you know, bring the turkey at Thanksgiving or whatever it might be? What’s your relationship with that? Now after writing this?

Dyanne: I am very, very careful with obligation. I really, I really take a step back and I feel inside of myself and do I really need to do this huh? No. Do I really want to do this? What happens if I don’t do this? And what I found for the most part is people accept whatever your decision is. Yeah. So the obligation more so comes from within yourself, like you are deciding that you really have to do this. And I mean, I don’t know I maybe it’s all the years of retraining the people around me. Yeah. I’m not gonna always do this, you know, or be this way.


It takes time, doesn’t it, to retrain the people around you?


A lot of time. Yeah, a lot of time is you’re breaking you’re breaking a cycle. You’re breaking a mold, you’re breaking expectations.

Keri: Yeah. And I think that when you are retraining the people around you—and I really like that idea a lot—Is that if they push back against you shifting and changing, I don’t think it’s out of malice. I think it’s because kind of what you were saying there. I think we fall into patterns as families and as groups, and certain people start to perform certain roles. And there’s a comfort level in that. And when one person starts to step outside of that, even if it is for their highest good, and probably even for the group’s highest good, that resistance is sort of natural, it’s sort of built in. And I think it just does take time and patience with yourself, and a realization that no one’s doing it out of malice. Most of the time.


Right? I think probably, if others were honest, there’s a fear of change. Hmm. And so when you change, everybody around you has to shift a little bit. Yes, there’s some discomfort there because you might be asking someone to look over deeper within themselves.  And not everybody is at the same personal growth space that you are. And they may or may not want to do that they may or may not want to be challenged or to think about what you’re bringing up at that moment.


Keri: so you asked yourself a question early in the book: Without a self, how will I survive? And I feel like you’re talking about identity here. And I would love to talk a little bit more about identity and if we do need an identity to survive or how you reconciled this question.


I think initially the identity piece was I realized that I had molded myself in particular to my husband’s needs and roles that I took on or in my work organization. I mean, I became who they needed me , I became who my ex-husband needed me to be and I realized that I really didn’t know who I was underneath all of those roles that I had taken on. And I never asked myself did I really want to do those things I did them out of again obligation. And what I thought it was a wife’s position to do or my work position. And so I started to drop all of those external ideas and roles and really started to search for Who am I beneath that? Who am I beneath that? And a question I asked myself over and over again is Who am I really? Who am I? Really? Because you know, the first answer in isn’t always the correct answer. You can go a little deep if you keep asking yourself, you’ll go a little deeper, right? I think you’re still on your conscious level. And you want to get to your subconscious level, like really who, who is underneath those roles. And so, yeah, that’s where I started with that and I think I came full circle the whole identity really is it’s just the essence of who you are.

Keri: And that’s against the grain in our culture because you know, everyone is seeking a title and and I think we even grow up believing that once we find that right perfect title. You chose to strip some of them back to see what was underneath it.

Dyanne: Well, and really it was at the time it was survival.


Keri: Because if you’re really, really attached to your identity as a doctor, or as a, you know, physician, then maybe is it more difficult to to do the work that you’re talking about here, than someone who has just lost all of that. So yes, there’s a vulnerability and an openness and a window there that might not always be there with that attachment. I just found for myself in my journey losing everything losing the identities is what put me in a position to ask the question.

Dyanne: I think I think there’s always a part of you that knows the truth. And so tapping into that truth, whether it’s through writing or through meditation, or other avenues to get there. It it does come through. So it’s allowing yourself just giving yourself the opportunity to let that truth come to light.

22:59: HEALING

Keri: You talk in your book about a healing journey that’s not always pretty. And I agree with that. And we, you know, we might think that healing is going to be associated with lights and happiness and joy. But sometimes and in my experience and in yours, I think it comes with more pain, the healing journey, as more sort of shells get cracked open within you. But we live in a society that’s very averse to pain. And so I’m curious how you walk people through a healing journey. Knowing that there might be more pain to come before there’s more joy.

Dyanne: Yeah, I set it up from the beginning. I say that it may be difficult and you may have feelings come up that don’t feel so great in the moment, and it may seem like a step back before you begin. Go forward. And feelings are like a slow motion wave, they’ll come in and they’ll they’ll go out. And it’s sort of temporary pain or suffering for permanent transformation or permanent gain or for positive change. And I think really what happens is, women are at a place of learning to trust themselves. And so to trust the process and trust their psyches and trust what’s going to come up for them that is for their highest good for their benefit, you know, for them in every possible way. And to trust you or me as the collaborator in that journey to get them they’re safe. It’s safe to have those feelings.

Keri: I think that’s probably the key is that they’re safe. That anything that comes up is safe.

Dyanne: Right? I say feelings are not the enemy. I think our society we work so hard at not feeling certain things because we think, I don’t know, they’re bad or they’ll stay permanently. But they are the key to deep change within your body.


Keri: I was asking this question on Facebook the other day and I’m curious if this is going to feel about right for you to I asked. Have you found your path to awareness to be freeing or has it been fraught with difficulty and pain?

One person said, “both the pain points are the same ones as ever, just much deeper.” Someone else said “Both, but I do find it getting less painful over time.” And the third one said, “Both, lots of difficulty and pain, but over time that gets less and less as the authenticity comes through stronger and stronger. And I think that you know, these are this is the truth of it. This is these here to me are like the microcosm of what it looks like to go on a healing journey and that honesty and authenticity and this willingness to keep going. Even when you don’t know you know if it’s going to get lighter anytime soon.

Dyanne: I think when you tap into your own authenticity, it is magical. And you feel it and you know it and you want more of that. Yes. And so you’re willing then you become more of a willing participant to the Whatever it takes to get you there you you get it and and you know what the benefits are going to be.

Keri: And I’ve also learned you can’t go backwards.

27:42: More about Soulfire Woman

Yeah, your book is called a Soulfire Woman. And there’s three sections: Torching the past, Igniting your present, & Setting your soul on fire.

And I would love it if you could end our conversation today with a little piece of advice on each of the those three segments for our listeners.


Well, I think the first part torching your past is when you really come to it with everyone has a story. Every woman has a story and the idea that we don’t want to be stuck in that story to have mentioned earlier about getting stuck. And so how to get unstuck from that, how to move through that so that you can move into the next phase which is igniting your present. And so in igniting your present, I really got into my body sense and trusting that my body knows the truth and and learning to stay very present very conscious in the moment. And that was an important it is I mean, I do this every day and how important phase and trusting yourself knowing what’s good for you know, it helps with making decisions. I mean, it’s just an important piece and I think as women, we tend to skip it. And we ignore our bodies for a multitude of reasons. But to step into that.

And within each of these phases, there are there are steps like like getting into your feelings like grieving once lost,
and not in any particular order. I just happened to be that’s the way that I see women going through their healing journey and how I went through my healing journey, but it is more like a spiral, you’ll step into one phase and then maybe go back through another and then maybe move forward again. And then moving into the setting your soul on fire. It’s really when you have really started to work through all of those emotional blocks, all those knots that you have are releasing and opening and you have complete awareness of why you’re making decisions that you’re making. You know why you’re choosing this feeling over that feeling. You know why you’re either stuck or going forward. And just being open to that being open with your heart being open to Universal spirit and you can receive that intuition and higher consciousness at that level because you are no longer blocked by all those things that you were dragging with you.


Dyanne Kelley:
As a Soulfire Woman writer, speaker, coach, psychotherapist, and with a dash of midlife humor, Dyanne connects you to the deepest, wisest part of yourself for lasting change, to your own true nature, your divine feminine power. Dyanne blogs about travel, midlife, feminine power and the lessons she’s learned from walking her Australian Shepherd, Penelope, on the beach. She is the author of a new book coming soon, “How to Torch Your Past, Ignite Your Present and Set Your Soul on Fire: For the Awakening Woman.” Dyanne is also a certified Journal to the Self® instructor, Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher, Modern Day Wisdom Elder and Reconnective Healing Practitioner. She has additional training in mindfulness and creating intuitive Mandalas. You can find her blogs, online coaching and mentorships, workshops and retreats at www.soulfirewoman.com



  1. Nancy on at 11:16 am

    Great interview with Dyanne! Having read both books, this interview makes so much sense, and yes, there is so much more you can talk about!

    • Keri on at 11:21 am

      Definitely! Thanks for connecting us!

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