Emily Merrell 0:04
Welcome to the sixth degree Podcast, the podcast where we grill our guests about the things that make them tick, and find out how human connection plays a role in their life. I’m your host, Emily Merrill. I’m your host, Emily Merrill. And today I am so excited to finally have Leslie Porter, health and wellness coach on our show. Leslie, welcome to the show.
Leslie Porter 0:29
Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here.
Emily Merrell 0:32
I’m so excited to you have been one of those podcasts where I feel like it’s taken more time than I would have liked to get you on the calendar. But the timing is so serendipitous now that it’s on the calendar.
Leslie Porter 0:46
Yeah. Like it’s been a few years. It’s not like we met, you know, in 2020. We met before that. So it’s been a while,
Emily Merrell 0:54
way back in the olden days of you know, in real life person. In person, actually, I think this is a fun story to tell people. So, Leslie was coming to my very last in person event in Los Angeles. And I definitely had the mindset of the pandemic that people were over exaggerating. I know, I was, I just had no idea. I just thought people were like, blowing this thing out of proportion. And Lizzie emailed me and she’s like, so what’s the flow look like inside the event? Like, how big is it? Like, what’s the windows open? And I was like, What is her problem? Like? Just store and, and she ended up not coming. And the joke was on me, because three days later, the whole entire world shut down. And I remember he really be later and being like, I get why you were concerned. My bed it’s real, you’re telling me. I was like, so in my event had been just like about the logistics and food. And even the store was like, we can’t share food anymore. Like, what is everyone’s problem? And then me sometimes interesting
Leslie Porter 2:09
too, because I have like 11 at risk people around me. So it’s, you know, lots of babies and immunocompromised people. So I think I’m a little and I’m also in the health and wellness field. Right. So I think I’m just a little more aware of like, those kinds of things.
Emily Merrell 2:24
Yeah, I think you’ve got like a better heads up and, and understanding before, like, the whole world really understood what it was that we were about to plunge into. But that being said, you know, fast forward 22
We’re in the same place. Essentially, we like I feel like we’re like open or closed, we’re open, we’re closed, we’re not sure what’s happening. We wear masks we don’t wear.
Leslie Porter 2:56
What’s not okay, how do we navigate this now, and this is stressful. And in some ways, it’s like, you know, when you think of any form of spiritual practice, it all comes back to this sort of like, I don’t know, right? Like, how do we meet the I don’t know, or that beginner’s mind, like, how do we do that?
Emily Merrell 3:12
Exactly. There’s so so much beginner’s mind over and over again, over and over again. But speaking of beginner’s mind, you’ve had several careers, you’re, you’re probably on your fourth iteration of your career in your lifetime. So Leslie, who are you in this moment in time and 2022?
Leslie Porter 3:34
In this moment, I feel you know, it’s so nice to this is this in some ways, they say, you know, midlife, I’m in midlife. So this is like the second half of my existence, it seems. And I feel really excited because now I get to really work with professional people on issues that mean a lot to me like energy and sleep. And helping people feel comfortable in their skin feel healthier, being more well being more balanced work life balance, you know, bringing in pleasure as well. But all you know, it’s not all grueling, and doing it all holistically. So I’ve kept using yoga, meditation, pilates, somatic experiencing all of these things. And I’ve helped a lot of people stop needing sleeping medicine. And I’ve helped a lot of people get off of anti anxiety pills. I don’t work with mental illnesses, but I work a lot with people who really don’t, they really just don’t need it, but they’re on it just because it’s like easy, right? Like, it’s something they’ve, you know, they don’t know what else to do to help the problem. So I feel really grateful that I get to help people in this way.
Emily Merrell 4:36
Yeah, and I think that’s such a powerful thing that you do help people in that way. You know, I think about like antidepressants or anti anxiety that antidepressants, anti anxiety medications and stuff like that. You’re right, it’s like so daunting and overwhelming. And I know so many people that are on it, and I know so many people that have also been on it and then have gotten off it. But where how do you even start with that because I think it’s hard not to trust that you’re, you need it, because that’s what you’re told.
Leslie Porter 5:05
I know it’s crazy, right? I mean, to be fair, some people really do need it, right? Like there are people who deeply need it. And maybe if it if you if you do need it, that’s great. That’s not what I work with, though, because it’s, it’s really like, usually when someone or you do, I offer free consults. And usually when someone does a free consult, I can tell them sometimes I’ve sent people often referred out to psychiatrists, because I feel and know that they need that. And I’m not going to claim to help everyone, that’s just not my dealio. But like, you know, as some people, I can tell really quickly, that it’s become a bandaid they really need, they need to just come back into the organic processes of their own body to be able to heal. And once you do that, it’s amazing how like, things just start it’s almost like a, like, in some ways dominoes, like once you get your body back into the rhythm of, of whatnots, right, like back into flow in some ways, let’s say, then it just, it’s much easier because a lot of times you don’t even realize this, sometimes we actually eat are eating things that are causing more anxiety. So there’s foods, and different, you know, that will cause more anxiety. One of my recent clients was shocked when I was like, just stop eating XYZ. And she’s like, really, and I’m like, just stop eating it. And then she did a week later, and she said, she ate it one day and went, Oh, crap. It’s causing me anxiety. I didn’t realize it. And it was Wow.
Emily Merrell 6:29
Is there a certain is it more that the food is unique to the person? Or is it like a type of food that generally can cause anxiety for most people?
Leslie Porter 6:37
If I’m if someone because I do have an iron Vedic perspective, I don’t know if you’re familiar with because I love it. Yeah, here Vedic perspective. And so depending on someone’s dosha, what I’ve noticed is when someone is a certain constitution, it’s amazing to me how much they love the foods that actually are bad for that constitution. So they’re, you know, I have to look at it. I look at it holistically, right, I’m looking at diet, I’m looking at how much they’re moving. I’m looking at how much they’re not moving. How am I you know, are where are they? What time? Are they sleeping? Are they watching TV before? What are they doing for they talking to all of these things? And then it helps me, I have to see what they’re eating though too, though. It depends on the person. But when she was sweating all the time, like she’s hot, and it’s making her irritable and impatient and angry. But you know what she’s doing on the weekend? Infrared Saunas every weekend, like
Emily Merrell 7:30
let’s not do this. Right? That wasn’t the right dose the right thing for her dosha and for whatnot. And for those who aren’t familiar with doshas, can you give a little context on what it is I love that
Leslie Porter 7:43
I love it. Yeah, I mean, if there’s pitta, vata kapa, and you can be, you can have to write you can be like Pitzer, vata, or you could even be Tridosha, Ik, or you could be two, you don’t have to be just one and we all have different aspects of each in ourselves. But, you know, it really depends about your emotions, it depends on, you know, I’m a pitta, vata I’ll just talk about myself. I’m a bit of vodka. Yeah, and I personally, pitches are known for this summit, when out of balance, you too, I am a mess in the heat. If it is too hot and humid, I will be a bit of an irritable so I need to watch that because if I get too high, I will start being grumpy. But, um, but that can affect a lot of things. Right? Like, I don’t sleep well in that either. So it has to be, you know, a balance of temperature and, and all of that. So that’s an example.
Emily Merrell 8:39
Oh, I love it. Yeah, I think I’m good to think I’m trying to push actually, I think I’m picked about the coffee a bit heavier and had to. Yeah, I think so. The last time I
Leslie Porter 8:48
took it, when you don’t move, do you? I mean, I have to I’m a mover. So when you don’t move? Do you feel like a mess?
Emily Merrell 8:54
Yeah, like I need to, I need to do movement of some sort, like I need to work out or walk or when I feel like emotionally I haven’t accomplished anything in the day. And even if, like if my work is the only thing I do in my day, I feel productive, which
Leslie Porter 9:10
is weird. That’s a Pitzer thing. So like, you know, like, even though I do have, but if you by chance, your Vata is out of balance, you can actually be one you can be picked up at your vata can be out of balance. And so let’s say that happens. And you’re doing vinyasa yoga every day or something which a lot of people are doing. Here’s a perfect example of actually something you asked me earlier. You doing Vinyasa or hot yoga or something and they’re Pitta and like that, but actually, their voice is out of balance. It actually won’t be good for them to do that kind of yoga.
Emily Merrell 9:44
Geez. Okay. So it’s like counterintuitive in a way of like, you think that yoga would be very soothing and whatnot, but really, they need something to a different extreme.
Leslie Porter 9:55
Usually, like too much heat or something. You don’t want to do hot yoga either, right? So it’s like the better thing for you would be something the opposite, right? You’re always, if you’re if you have something, it’s about bringing in the opposite, create more balance. Yeah,
Emily Merrell 10:07
there is this place in New York called Burn the AR N burn. And they were all about working out in a cold environment. So I feel like that would have been a perfect balance thing right there. You just throw them into the cold environment, and they would have workouts, which I guess supposedly, at like 50 degrees is optimal for your body. In some cases. Yeah, it was nice. It was nice as you weren’t so sweaty, it was like a perfect temperature. But I think they pivoted digital. Yeah, I’m pretty positive, they pivoted digital and have a good digital component. So you have to turn down your air conditioning to make
Leslie Porter 10:42
it that cold. Interesting.
Emily Merrell 10:44
I have to look at them. Yeah, check them out. They’re awesome. So you know, you mentioned some of the challenges that your clients are facing from like, not sleeping well to maybe being on some medications that they’re not awesome. With? What and you talked about kind of understanding their food and their diet and whatnot. What are some misconceptions of health and wellness that your clients seem to typically have?
Leslie Porter 11:09
Yeah, my clients work with are stressed out to super stressed some misconceptions. There’s a few. I mean, we just mentioned when sometimes you’re doing yoga, you think, oh, yoga is so good for me, so great for me, but actually, you might not be doing the right kind of yoga. That’s one. That same thing with meditation you may not be doing the meditation you need are the breathing technique you need, you’re like, Oh, this is so good. For me, I’m just gonna do this, you know, download this calm app. And you know, it’s almost like LegalZoom really like, you know, you’ve downloaded your contract, but it’s actually not going to work. Because you didn’t work with a lawyer. It’s very similar, right? You’re kind of guessing, versus knowing what you actually need personally. And then the other thing I would say is difficult emotions. So sometimes, especially in our world, like the coaching world, right? They think that I’m going to mindset my way out of this. You cannot say your way out of it. I must I wish you could, like how easy would life be if you could just do an affirmation, and you’re cool, right? Like, awesome. Someone died and you’re like, I’m better. Every This is a great opportunity for me to be okay. Yeah, no, that doesn’t work. How to go through your grief. That sucks. Trust me, I it sucks. I actually had a friend die a few weeks ago. And I it’s totally horrible. Yeah, it’s honestly, if I wish I could affirmation my way out of it. But it hurts like it sucks. I miss her.
Emily Merrell 12:35
Yeah, yeah. And there’s nothing that you can. Yeah, there’s no positive thinking there that’s going to turn that around. So in those types of I’m sorry, for your loss. First off, and second, like in terms of how do you heal from something like that? Like, that’s such a tangible, that’s such a thing that happens that you can’t mindset you can’t do that your way out of how do you evolve
Leslie Porter 13:02
with that? It’s funny, because sometimes those are, it’s sometimes takes that right to go I need help now. Like, or whatever catalyst is some sort of catalyst to get someone to make a change, like, Okay, I burnt myself out, I need to, I need to move on from this, right. Like, what do I do about this stress? I can’t do this and accommodating to many people around me, what do I do now? One thing I think is really important is you realize that you need a team of situations or people to help you move through. So the beauty of working with someone like me is I have such a big toolbox that I can be like, here’s actually what you need to move through this. It takes some steps, it takes a little bit of time. But if you know exactly how to work through the feelings of it, and you give yourself space and your resources to really, you know, move with it gets easier. If you realize also your negative your I’m going to say this includes your negative emotions are not your enemy. They’re just something they’re they’re they’re showing, well, we’re all human right? We all take turns in this.
Emily Merrell 14:08
And can you you mentioned somatic healing at one point. So can you talk more about like, how do you utilize somatic healing and also, just for those that don’t know what it is? Yeah, I
Leslie Porter 14:19
help people you know, if you’re going to I try to use this example, because I feel like it really helps when you go to psychotherapy, you’re going to talk to them a lot. Like it’s, it’s, it’s something you really and I did I did go to psychotherapy. So I know what that’s like. And I you know, years of like psychotherapy, and I’m not I mean, some people need it. It’s great. It’s helpful. It’s amazing. And sometimes the emotion is trapped in the body, or the story is trapped in the body. It’s cellular, it’s in the body, and it’s important to move the energy and move through that. So I help people one learn to regulate their own nervous systems to move through any stuck emotions. and learn how to be with those emotions. That’s through the somatic work.
Emily Merrell 15:04
Amazing. And first somatic healing and that journey, do people obviously they can work with you, but is it? Is it something that is like one session and you’re done? Or is it a multitude years and years of sessions,
Leslie Porter 15:21
I would say that if someone did my, my program, like, and they really, and they’d already been doing some work already. Like, let’s say they were already usually my clients already did meditation, they’ve already done yoga, they’ve done psychotherapy, if they already have some self awareness, it goes by, they don’t need me as much my focus with them as actually so they eventually don’t need me to help them get interdependent. I don’t I’m not looking for them to get hooked on me. I’m here to help them learn to guide themselves. So depends on where they’re at in their process, and how, how much they they are what coachable is that the word coachable and yeah, doing the work to move through it, I would be there every step of the way. But if they really go into what I’m saying, especially alongside like, the holistic practices, I give them on their own. Right like to help them it goes by much quicker, they won’t need me as long.
Emily Merrell 16:13
I love that. And I love that that idea that you don’t want your clients forever. Basically, you want to be able to like release them and make sure that they’re healed from whatever the trauma was that was locked into their body.
Leslie Porter 16:25
Or they can in they are if by chance something comes up. They know how to work with it, right? They know how to flow with it. It doesn’t feel like they’re at war. You know, it’s what it feels like, right? Sometimes it’s like these things come up and you’re like,
Emily Merrell 16:38
can I come here? Yes, please.
Leslie Porter 16:41
I was gonna say, like, yeah, it’s not over again. Like, why am I getting this fucking lesson again? Like, why is it up here again? And you’re like, you see this a lot in relationships, right? Like, oh, fuck, here’s this shit again, or something with yourself. Like, oh, fuck, I got triggered again. Why did why did that person who wears green shoes pissed me off. Like, you know what I mean? It’s, you know, it’s over. So then you realize, oh, crap, step back. You can step back for a second and go, Oh, that hurt? Like, what is that? You know, and then you realize a lot of those triggers are older, they’re actually not. And once you know how to move with those, it, everything improves, like your work life improves relationships, improve your relationship to self improves, like just
Emily Merrell 17:22
does that make sense? That Yeah. It’s funny, I’ve uh, my husband always tells the story where he broke up with a girl because he didn’t like, the way that you were her hat, or like her beanie, basically back in the day. And so like, sometimes I’ll just put on a beanie in a weird way. And like, he’ll visually visibly look triggered. And I’m like, What happened to you as a kid was someone definitely did something. So anyways, that’s going to be my homework assignment tonight is to drive past beanie trauma and what what happened there. Very, very weird thing. But you said the green shoes. And that reminded me of that story he tells. But so back to people, you know, in fact, to individuals, and we’re all busy, and we’re all stressed. And we’ve had some sort of global pandemic for two years. And we, you know, that life just feels like, we’re just going going, going, going, going until some traumatic thing happens. Typically, some, sometimes like I always feel like there’s a stressor. And that’s when people take a self assessment and are like, I need help, I’ll get a therapist or I’ll get a coach or I want to make a change. But what are some actionable things people can do with their lives today or in their lives today, before they reach that point,
Leslie Porter 18:39
they need to put themselves on their to do list. Number one, they need to actually write it in their calendar, from x to x. This is my time, I actually don’t even care what you do during that time. Just stay off the computer, if you can, turn your phone off. I don’t even care if it’s 10 minutes. But like anything that put yourself on your to do list, you’ve got to because you can’t, you can’t function as an empty well, right with no water, you keep giving water out over and over again. You’re not going to have any water left and wonder why you’re wiped out. That’s a big thing. Another thing is like detoxing from technology is great, because it’s I mean, I had clients where I had to be like, okay, content, give me a two in the morning is not okay, like you’re welcome to email me whenever you want. But like, you know, but that’s you know, those boundaries saying no, even when, you know, you feel obligated, even if it’s like a family event, but you’re exhausted and you really actually want I had a client to have this recently. She really just wanted to stay home and while much RuPaul That’s all she wanted to do drag race or whatever it was. And she felt so guilty. And I was like, but would it make you happy if you stayed home and did this? And she’s like, Yeah, and I just want to take out I’m like, do it
Emily Merrell 19:57
doesn’t Oh, those knights are so decadent. It’s I always there’s a John Mulaney quote in a stand up where he talks about, you know, your old when you get excited about doing nothing. When someone asks you how your weekend was, you’re like, Oh, I I was I was marvelous. They did not mean it did nothing to like dawns on you. Right versus being like, well, then I did this and this and this and this, like Jomo, we interviewed Tanya Dalton, who created the term Jomo, the joy of missing out. And I love that I love that term. And I love what you just said mostly about putting, making, putting you on your to do list and carving out time and not scheduling over said time. I think that can be the hardest thing.
Leslie Porter 20:48
And don’t do it. Like, especially if you’re a coach, that to do list isn’t to do something for your business that to do list is to take care of your body temple, or, you know, anything. Like, I don’t care if I mean, honestly, I’m just gonna say this, like, if you are I mean, whether you’re in relationship or not, I guess like even just going to have sex, if that’s what you want to do. Like, go do it. Like you know what I mean? Just pleasure, something fun, artistic, even play the piano, go on a walk anything, get away from the computer, go do something else. Go play with your animal, anything?
Emily Merrell 21:21
Yeah, I think, Gosh, having an animal and it’s such a, having a baby and an animal are such distractions to like, get you away from technology, you’re like, Oh, something else needs me. And, but that’s not even like me time. That’s, that’s their time. But it can, it can serve both ways. One of the things I was talking about last night with my sister was like the joy of a power nap. And how like 15 minutes of a power nap, it can feel so rejuvenating for the rest of your day. And cozy. Totally. And just doing something like that. So okay, love that putting it any other. Any other tips in terms of like coming back to self for people just resetting throughout the days or months?
Leslie Porter 22:10
I think those are the best ones, right? Like putting yourself on your to do list trying to stay away from technology sometimes and not, not scrolling through when you have time off. Because I feel like who you’re seeing someone as online isn’t necessarily who they actually are. Totally. Right. So it feels like oh, look, they’re doing so much better. They have more likes than me. Oh, look, they’re their family. And they’re wearing all the same colors. They’re like always happy all that No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, it’s it’s, yeah, it’s not real in some ways. I would be you know, I would I wouldn’t scroll. And also like, I would covet the covet your tribe. Like really, you know, that 10 minutes could also be like calling your best friend. And you who even talked to you for a few weeks or something. And like having a conversation for a few minutes, even if it’s 10. Like, talk to someone who you feel safe with. Actually, one more thing. I would make our list of resources of things that make you feel like yourself.
Emily Merrell 23:10
Oh, I love that kind of. So when it’s kind of like when you start your work, sometimes you don’t know where to start. So like when you start your self care, you don’t know where to start. You can go back to the list,
Leslie Porter 23:20
or when you feel completely fucked up. Yeah. Like, here’s my resource list.
Emily Merrell 23:25
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I think that’s a brilliant way of doing it. So Lesley, how can listeners learn more about you and find out more about your offerings?
Leslie Porter 23:35
They could go to my website, www dot Lesley Le s li e Porter por te r.com that they can also follow me on Instagram. And I’m totally blanking on my name right now. I think I mean, I think if you look up Leslie Porter, you’ll find me but I think it’s at Leslie dash Porter dash 111 If I recall.
Emily Merrell 23:54
Yeah, I think it is there’s a one run follow me follow Leslie. You’ll find you’ll find it. I love it. You’re like add on you remember,
Leslie Porter 24:05
in the DM would be great.
Emily Merrell 24:06
Yeah. I love that. I literally that my mom is always like, what am i What’s my instagram handle? Like? Do you not? I remind her all preambles it’s very funny here emails are handled. I’m a keeper. So I can keep your handle from moving forward. Well, Leslie, I love to wrap things up with success questions of our guests for today. So are you ready? Ready. Okay, my first question for you is tell us an unknown fun fact about you.
Leslie Porter 24:36
I used to play ice hockey and I also was a dancer in a company. Really what kind of dance, Hip Hop, Swing and salsa.
Emily Merrell 24:47
Wow, I love that unexpected twist. You have to send us some videos we can watch. I will find out soon. So who would be you know, we love connections at six degrees. So who would be a dream person to be connected with?
Leslie Porter 25:10
Someone in someone in like the like yoga glow, yoga glow.com Because they have workshops and stuff going on online and all my work is virtual, so be cool to be connected with them with them. Okay.
Emily Merrell 25:26
Oh, I don’t know that off the top of my head, but I will see if anyone in my network this they love playing this game. Are there any shows that you’re currently watching and obsessing over?
Leslie Porter 25:35
I love crime and murder mysteries. But I prefer I prefer all the international ones because all the women are older. They’re these gorgeous, older Well, I mean, I live in LA. So it’s nice to see older women on screen who like didn’t have any surgery and they look amazing and natural and they’re taking care of themselves. But they’re like rocking it on screen and they are detectives. It’s awesome. So I like the International murder mysteries.
Emily Merrell 26:00
I love any particular ones that you
Leslie Porter 26:04
really had. There’s so many but I would say there’s so many Oh my goodness. Um, I do really like Captain Marlo. She’s really great.
Emily Merrell 26:16
Okay, Captain Marlo international murder murder mysteries. Love it.
Leslie Porter 26:22
In French though, is Capitan. Mahalo.
Emily Merrell 26:25
Sounds better when you’re like, for the lady. What book are you? Are you currently reading or reading or have read that you can’t stop recommending or talking about?
Leslie Porter 26:41
Well, I’m currently reading a great. I’m reading two books right now. And honestly, ironically, they’re all about 90s music. So one is about women in punk in the 90s. And I’m totally blanking on the name of it right now. But it’s about riot girls. It’s awesome. Cool. And then the other one is the Nirvana biography.
Emily Merrell 27:01
Oh, very really went down to the 90s. I didn’t go
Leslie Porter 27:04
down to go, oh, I don’t know if I can recommend them yet. Because I’m just in the middle. But I do like them both. It’s nice to read about what what was going on, especially like, in that I was in high school. You know, so it was super interesting to read about it.
Emily Merrell 27:20
Yeah. And that time and like, what what prompted their music and inspired the revolution that they had? I love that. What is your favorite emoji?
Leslie Porter 27:30
It’s the kitty with the heart pies.
Emily Merrell 27:32
Oh, I love that. That’s such a good one. And then my final question for you, Lesley is Who gave you permission or inspired you to do the thing you wanted to do with your life.
Leslie Porter 27:45
I am grateful because I have been really lucky to work with some of the best yoga meditation and Pilates teachers in the world. And so I would say my teachers, some of them who I will say I guess because then you’ll know my my background a little bit. Jack Kornfield was one of my teachers. If you’ve heard of him, he’s a well known meditation teacher. Judith Laster, very well known yoga teacher was one of my teachers and I would say MJ who is a very well known Pilates teacher who moved back to Europe but she she taught me everything about biomechanics and a lot of science and and I would also say Peter Levine who brought se they’re just amazing people.
Emily Merrell 28:30
Oh, I love it. I love I love the breadth in which your background of what you have in your background like you have so much mystery first off like we could have made this like a two hour project. You were as a dancer and unraveling. But then also, you know the you working as professor at the Pilates the somatic healing the meditation like you are your one stop shop
Leslie Porter 28:56
for all things. Yes. Thank you.
Emily Merrell 28:59
I love and Leslie, thank you so much for sharing your your story and your wisdom with us today. On the sixth degree. It was such a pleasure chatting with you. So nice being here. Thank you. Welcome and listeners. If you liked today’s episode, please give us a five star rating like and follow us and we will see you the next time on the sixth degree with Emily Merrill. Have a great day everyone