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The Aisling And Richie podcast

Get in the arena

Aisling FitzGibbon

Today’s special guest is Carly Clark Zimmer. Carly shares how receiving the gift of a massage opened up a whole new world to her. After completing Art School she ended up going to Massage School which blended perfectly working with her hands and making an impact.


Carly recommends paying attention to what shows up for you.

Working in a high end 5 star spa in New York for 6 years with celebrities, athletes and dignitaries from around the world she honed in her capacity as a listener as everyone has the same sets of fears, problems and pains.

This job came to an end when Carly experienced burnout from working 12-14 hour days working with 5-6 clients per day. After a panic attack she got the wake up call that something needed to change. Her body was like “you’re done with this place, you must leave”.

This was hard as it was a union job with paid holidays, health benefits and really good money.

She left and set up her own massage practice yet she ended up building the same type of model she just left, still working nights, every weekend she was again approaching burn out.

Stumbling across a training for holistic practitioners and massage therapists to start to incorporate coaching into your practice. This was something she was already doing, spending time before and after the session talking about what was really going on beneath the surface level of the aches and pains. A natural progression was to add coaching into her practice.

What helped Carly move from fear to trust to let go of the safety of the known into the unknown?

Developing that conversation and language with the messages your body is telling you.

Your body is communicating with you constantly. You don’t just get a shoulder pain out of nowhere, something happens. It’s about being a detective, to give yourself the time and space to listen to what your body may be trying to tell you.

If you’re constantly getting headaches, what’s going on in your life that causing headaches?

For Carly it was putting those pieces together, when she tuned in and started to trust her body, even though all the fear was there. Fear of no security, fear of not having a steady pay check, where are all my clients going to come from, who’s going to pay for coaching. Hearing all the things fear says, yet cultivating that practice of trusting when your body leans in and says yes, this is the thing I’m here to do, this is how I can serve at my highest capacity.

Cultivating that trust is a practice of getting into your body, meditation, walking, running, yoga, any way you can start to move the energy down into your body and listen to what your body is saying.

Anytime Carly’s made a decision based on that, even though all the facts doesn’t line up, it doesn’t look pretty and it’s kind of messy, things have worked out in a way that blows her mind.

Last year her husband got an opportunity to work in Ireland and Carly had been coaching for 3 years at that point. She knew she had to close down her massage practice and was so scared.

Carly didn’t have a tonne of coaching clients and her massage was her bread and butter and she had to let that go.

Moving to Ireland gave her the kick and when she made the decision, 2 days later the woman she had trained with asked her to go work with her. She was hired to come on and help other coach other therapists.

Trusting the gut and the instinct instead of the fear, she was supported.

When you’re just holding onto something because it’s known, the job, the relationship, even if it doesn’t feel really good. If you desire something else, we stick with it because we know it, we know the flavour of uncomfortableness and we know what’s going to happen.

Your brain can’t comprehend what will happen when you trust yourself. It’s physical, you haven’t yet created the neural pathways.

You’ve created all the fear neural pathways. You haven’t yet made the neural pathways of the new opportunities and new chapter of your life. So that’s where cultivating trust comes in, getting into your body daily is going to help create the new neural pathways.

It comes down to your physiology. We’re a paradox of wanting to serve as spiritual beings yet we’re still stuck in caveman times of being so scared of stepping out of the door. It’s really learning to get out of your own way and step up to what you’re called to do.

Once you understand your physiology, that’s always scanning for danger and wanting to keep you safe, you can learn techniques.

Get in the arena

You’re about to step out of your comfort zone to do this thing. Putting yourself out there can be vulnerable and scary but you know it’s actually a safe thing once you understand that it helps you get out of your own way. You feel nervousness, your heart is beating but you know that you’re actually going to be ok.

Exercise for trust - create a evidence list

Write down all the things you’ve trusted yourself with and it’s actually gone right. What’s the evidence that you can do what you want to do.

It could be books, retreats, education. You’ve done so much in your life already.

Use this evidence list to help you move from fear to trust.

Love the fear, it’s really just trying to protect you. You can flip it around “I hear you fear, I know you’re just trying to keep me safe and I love that. I’m going to do this thing anyway”. It softens the fighting of conquering the fear.

Cultivate self compassion and allows it to be messy, imperfect, just give it a try. If you don’t have that capacity of being gentle it can led into more self doubt and beating yourself up.

Show up in the arena, acknowledge and appreciate yourself for the courage it takes to trust what you’re here to do and not know exactly how that will unfold.

Use your evidence practice to demonstrate to yourself what you’ve done and know you can build on that.

When you’re just swirling around by yourself, you’re not getting any real information, you’re just swirling in the negative, critical thoughts. Instead go out there and see what resonates and if you tweak your language or approach it with a different energy you can find what works.

Getting in the arena gives you so much more information than trying to figure it out up in your head because you’re getting into your body and into action.

Get your voice out there and refine as you go. Feedback is so essential from the arena and you wire yourself for it. It takes exploration for your message to be revealed.

Carly’s vision is ever evolving. She is committed to serving at the highest level and to continue getting out of her own way. She’s here to help women who have been swirling. They have something inside of them and she loves to teach them how to access that connection and cultivate trust so they can put their world out into the world.

Put yourself out there and you never know who you’re going to meet to support you on your journey.

I’m sure glad I did as I ended up connecting with Carly and sharing this soul nourishing conversation that I now get to share with you.

I’d love to hear from you, what’s your biggest insight from this episode? Share in the comments below!


Aisling xo

Connect with Carly:

Facebook: Simple Sacred Life

Instagram: Carly Clary Zimmer

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