Podcast Episode 33 – Hope, On Processing Emotions

Jul 1, 2023 | Podcast

I’m Diana Swillinger, and you’re listening to the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode Number 33 Hope, On Processing Emotions.  

DIANA: Hey. Hey. How’s everybody doing today? I have a very special treat for you all. My friend Hope Zavara is going to be on the podcast today, and she is like none other. She’s kind, she’s thoughtful, and she’s tough and creative. And before I ever even heard her story, I already admired her and I’ve been inspired by her. Then I heard her story, and this is a story you will not want to miss. It’s a story you will remember forever. It’s a story you’re going to want to share with your friends. So share away. Send this episode to everyone you know who needs some hope. They will find it here today. Share the link. Hope and I work together as coaches, so I can tell you that she is brilliant. And when she’s not coaching with me, Hope is a yoga movement and lifestyle expert. And the rebel in me is finding great satisfaction in telling you that she is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga and the creator of Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream, which I have and love. And you will hear about that later in the interview. 


Through her own struggles in life, Hope has come to believe that nothing happens without a purpose. Her journey, all the way from personal to professional, is filled with highs and lows, and both on and off the yoga mat. These struggles have given her grit and grace, where now she overcomes anything life throws at her. And over the last 20 years, Hope has helped change thousands of lives, no exaggeration, by spreading the message that no matter how hard life can get, you should never lose Hope. And she’s just as amazing as she sounds. So here we go. Enjoy my conversation with Hope. 


Hey, Hope. It is so great to have you on the podcast. I’ve been looking forward to this. We’ve, uh, been working together for a few years now, which is kind of a fun story. But we finally got together, had coffee, and I’m like, you have to be on my podcast. So I’m so glad you’re here and welcome. 


HOPE: Thank you so much for having me. And, uh, I always feel like life has a way of steering people together at the perfect moment. And a few weeks ago, it was a perfect moment. 

DIANA: It was. And it’s funny because we live 20 minutes apart, but we’ve been coaching virtually online together for most of this year. In coaching people from around the world. And it’s like, here you were in my backyard. So we finally got together, and I was so excited. So I got to hear a little bit about your story for the first time. When we sat down and had coffee, and I was fascinated, I saw so much resilience in you. I hadn’t heard the details before, so I was just like, I could have been sitting there eating popcorn and taking it all in. But I believe that your story brings the hope we all long for, that God gives us, but we just don’t know how to grab it. And, um, I believe God named you, had your parents name you Hope on purpose because it’s so much a part of your story. So could you just tell us a little bit about who you are? Just all of it? 


DIANA: Yeah, I would love to. Well, for most of my life, I’d struggled secretly and silently. And I was struggling to get to a place of being normal. I would look at everyone else and say, I wanted to be like everyone else. Why can’t I be normal? This is so unfair. And I struggled with that most of my teenage years and into my early twenties. And at one point, I was at work, and my coworker looked at me and she said, you look like someone that would practice yoga. I went home that night. Full disclosure, I didn’t even know what yoga was like. Thinking back, I don’t even think I ever heard that term before. But something in me clicked. I went home, I got on the computer, I looked up yoga classes, and I found one about 20 minutes away from where I was living. I had said to my mom, I said, I think I want to practice yoga. And she said, I’d love to go with you. I haven’t done yoga since college, but let’s give it a try. And she and my dad were being very supportive in trying to help me steer me into recovery with many failed attempts. And I’m sure in her mind, she was also thinking, maybe this will help. 


But that Wednesday night yoga class, that very first class, I remember rolling up my mat, walking out the door, and looking back into the room and feeling something I hadn’t felt in years. Clarity. Peace. My mind that was racing with thoughts of addiction, and when to binge, when to purge, when can I over exercise, how many calories does this have? Do I look fat? Do I look skinny? Are they judging me? All of these thoughts going through my head on a daily basis were gone that Wednesday night. I was hooked. I was 20 plus years younger than everybody else, but I didn’t care. My anxiety was, uh, off the hook every night before I would go, but I didn’t care. Something kept pulling me back to that yoga mat, pulling me back to that yoga class. I believe it was because it gave me my mind and my body, a time out from everything that was going on during the day. 


That Wednesday night yoga class became my weekly ritual of second chances. And those second chances eventually led me to a, uh, yoga teacher training to open a yoga studio that I ran and operated here in my hometown, Hartford, Wisconsin, for 14 years. And it also led me to marry my high school sweetheart. But shortly after my husband and I got married, we got news that no new parent should ever hear. I’m sorry, but your baby’s not going to make it. Yeah, that still gets yeah, 


DIANA:I don”t Know if people heard that, but I just, like, let out a whole sigh of air. 

HOPE: Um and on May 23, 2007, our tiny two pound daughter Faith was born into this world, and just 20 minutes later, died in my arms. 


HOPE: Um um and I still remember that night. I still remember holding her in my arms and thinking, why, God, what did I ever do to deserve this? I was newly in recovery. I finally was getting my feet on the ground. I had a business. I had a husband that loved me before I loved myself. Like, my life was finally heading in the right direction, and I just felt like I was getting slapped in the face again. But after many weeks of grieving, many nights crying, empty, uh, dry tears, I looked at myself in the mirror one morning and said, Hope, there has to be something good to come from this. That if her life was cut short and mine is still here, there has to be a reason why. And that was the first day I started moving forward. I went back to my yoga mat. I went back to teaching. 


I went back to the thing that I knew could help me, because it was what dug me out of an eating disorder. It was what was able to get me forward from when not one doctor, not two doctors, uh, not three doctors, but multiple doctors saying to me, best case scenario, hope you learn to function in this world on medication indefinitely. And I decided that wouldn’t be my future. That wouldn’t be what my writing of my life would be. And I also made that decision that morning in that bathroom that it wouldn’t be the legacy that my daughter’s life lives behind. It wouldn’t be how I continue to live and strive to be the best person I can. 


Looking back, yoga has played a critical and crucial role in getting me from where I was, which rock bottom. If you’ve been at rock bottom, you know what that looks like, you know what that feels like. That is dirt in your face, in your eyes, in your ears. You can barely walk and you just feel like, can I get out of this hell? To absolute overwhelming grief and loss and thinking, how am I ever going to move forward from this? How am I ever going to recover from this empty feeling to where I am today? Mhm. And in our conversation, Diana, I had said something that I didn’t even realize I said, because this is just how I talk, this is just how I work with clients, this is just how I practice and teach. And I started talking about this idea of the number one thing I believe yoga helped me do, is it helped me feel. 


Because I realized a few years into yoga practicing, that the feelings I was feeling on my yoga mat were the exact identical feelings I was having in my everyday life. And yoga is what I call to my students or telling my students, it’s an incubator for your everyday life. So I started to recognize when I stepped back that the yoga mat and this incubator of our everyday life and how we move and breathe and feel or don’t want to move, breathe and feel in a yoga class is exactly how we operate in our lives. And so I recognize that with myself and my students, that if I can practice feeling, moving and breathing in a yoga class in a safe place, I could then go and try to do that in life. And that’s really how I started my recovery. I would feel uncomfortable things, and in my mind I would recognize that’s the same thing I feel when I stand in my kitchen, staring at my cupboards, wanting to eat everything in sight because I have anxiety so bad that I can’t handle it. And what I recognized on my yoga mat was those feelings pass. Ah, those feelings actually don’t last forever. And every single time I would come to my mat and I would feel those feelings, the time I felt them got shorter and shorter and shorter and shorter. And the uncomfortableness became more and more and more tolerable to the fact that I was eventually able to, from an aerial view, look at myself in that experience and go, hope you got this. And then I saw myself doing it in life. 


So it wasn’t that I was like, trying to fix myself in life because I’ve tried that and it failed about 1100 times and that’s not a real number, but today it is. But working on it in yoga broke it down, made it palatable, made it feasible, made it not so scary, made it feelable. And if you’re an addict, if those of you listening are, the number one thing we do as addicts is we try not to feel. My goal for ten plus years as an adolescent into a young 20 year old was to not feel. Because if I didn’t have to feel, I didn’t have to be in pain, I didn’t have to be unhappy. I didn’t have to deal with scary things. But you have to feel in order to grow, in order to heal, in order to process, in order to see the good in things. 


Feeling is part of what makes us human. And it’s actually a superpower because feeling is healing, as cliche as that is. But feeling is also the gateway into a better life. 


DIANA: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. You said like so many things that I could latch on. 

HOPE: Sorry, I couldn’t stop. I was like, okay, we’re just going to go with this preach it, girl. DIANA: Which is just funny to me because, like I said, I’ve known you for a couple of years and I know you do yoga, and I love your business for truckers and all of that. 

HOPE: Can we just say the name really quick? People either see me in the yoga realm in I call it almost like my past life, and now I work so much in trucking and my business is not politically correct. And I work in a very different demographic, mother Trucker Yoga, which is really the cool thing. And this is not podcast about that, but just to kind of be able to close that door for myself. The whole idea of mother Trucker yoga and working with over the road truck drivers with health and wellness, mental, physical, emotional, is everything I’ve been doing and I learned in my life and worked with thousands of people over almost 20 years in bite size digestible snacks for someone that lives over the road. Now, really, everyone can do these things. But it just so happens I fell into this niche and I’m running with it. But that for another day. Today we’re talking about feelings, which everyone feels. 


DIANA: Yeah. And then we all try to numb them in different ways. And I know that that’s an issue for many truckers as well. So this is all congruent. And for me, I don’t even know if I told you when we met for coffee, but I used to numb my feelings with alcohol. It’s been ten years since I stopped drinking in order to stop feeling. And I loved how you talked about making it feelable. So we’ll talk a little more about that, but also how you learned that when you allowed the discomfort and you gave it reps, so to speak. Like, if I just try it again and then I try that discomfort again, and then again, that each time it got shorter because we run from it when it’s actually something we can make feelable, make doable. We can do some discomfort and it doesn’t harm us, actually. It’s just uncomfortable for a while. 


HOPE: Well, I’ve had many therapists over the years, and one particular therapist kept telling me it’s going to get better, but I’m like, how I don’t see it getting better. And that was because I did not have the toolbox in my everyday life developed. So, uh, meaning I didn’t have the capability to get through that whole episode of discomfort because I never realized that, one, how long it lasted, and two, what actually to do. No one ever said, Hope, let’s take a time out. This is how you do that. 


It was always just remember your breathing. But if you’re having an anxiety attack, I’m sorry, you can’t remember to breathe because you’re having an anxiety attack. But what I recognized in myself and working with other people is that if we practice those skills outside of life, outside of those environments, which is usually how we’re told to use them when you’re having an anxiety attack, when you’re stressed. But they’re not new behaviors yet. They’re not automatic behaviors. So we don’t think about those things. We go back to habitual thinking when we’re in those moments in really of the past. But if I can go into a new environment, a safe environment, one that has nothing to do with what triggers me and practice those things when they come up in different ways, I can then make a memory of it. I can then create a new habit that when I’m having those moments in life, my brain goes, oh, remember this. 


DIANA: Yes. 

HOPE: And I think that’s the big missing piece for a lot of people with feelings is that we are expected to or we expect ourselves to be able to implement that into our life in the moment when we’re just trying to survive. Uh, you can’t troubleshoot how to live when you’re constantly in survival mode. 

DIANA: Yes, right. 

HOPE: Okay, so let’s talk about that. Emotions are something we’re actually physically experience in our body. We call them feelings because there’s a physicality to them. I’ve even seen a heat map online with different emotions, how heat will move to different places in your body. And you were also talking about not having practical skills. I talk about practical skills that we can do with how we’re thinking about things all the time. And I know that’s incorporated in yoga too. But just however it is when someone gets on the mat and they’re going to learn a skill that’s helping them with physically processing emotions and learning new ways. What does that look like in yoga? What was it like for you? 


DIANA: Well, I think first we have to understand kind of thoughts and feelings and how they work together. And the best way I explain it to people is this idea that thoughts are the language of the brain. Mhm, and feelings are the language of the body. And habits habits are when the body speaks to the mind. So most of us are only listening to the mind. So although it’s pivotal that we change our mindset, so to speak, if we never change our body set just to try to make them sound the same, there’s really only so much we can do with our mind because we can change our mindset. But if we don’t change how our body processes, what we’re feeling, we will only be able to get so far. And I see this all the time with people that are way up here in their head and they aren’t doing things to get in their body and they keep hitting blockers or barriers and they’re like, I don’t know why this won’t change, or I don’t know why I can’t seem to do this. And it’s because we’re intellectualizing too much and we’re not feeling. And it’s really a harmony of both. 


So if you’re trying to create a new habit, it’s thoughts plus feelings. It’s not just, I’m going to write a list on my fridge and look at it every day and say, I’m going to get up at 05:00 a.m. And work out. Well, you wonder why you don’t get up at 05:00 A.m. And work out is because there’s no feeling that goes with that. 


HOPE: Mhm. 

To kind of go back to your point, what yoga offers us is this timeout opportunity to get all of what’s called our proprioceptors. If we want to get like all sciency, the proprioceptors in our body, to start firing and neurologically talking back to our brains. So we have about ten times more proprioceptors in fascia, which is like the netting that covers our whole body, wraps around every muscle, every bundle of every muscle. It was like what you were at two weeks in the womb, like you were a little bundle of fascia and then an arm popped out and an eye popped out. That’s actually what you are. It’s in your blood, it’s in your eye cells. It’s everywhere.


There is ten times more sensory receptors in that tissue than there is in muscle. And what that means for you is like when you go get a massage and it did that yesterday, or someone hugs you and it’s like, uh, you melt in their arms or you roll on a foam roller or you stretch and you hold that pose, your body starts talking back with your brain. You can’t see my arms right now, but it’s like moving up and down, communicating. I talk with my hands, it’s communicating, going, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hello, hello. We got new input, we got new data. Now we can do something different with these thoughts. We keep telling ourselves these affirmations that we keep speaking but nothing’s happening. This is how we should respond to this. This is how we communicate. And this is why for me, I feel like I’ve made the biggest strides forward. 


Medication free from a recovery or from an addiction. That I shouldn’t be here from my life, for whatever reason, was not taken the many times it should have been. 


DIANA: I know why. It’s because you’re here to give back. Because you keep helping so many people anyway. Go on. 

HOPE: Yeah. No, I appreciate that. And so you can tell I get really passionate when I talk about this stuff. So the idea if you’re still like Hope, but I don’t want to practice yoga. It’s not about yoga. It’s about taking time out and developing a toolbox in a safe environment that is not the stressful environment. It’s not you and your husband sitting at the table trying to have a conversation that you just don’t know how to have. It’s not you in your kitchen and figuring out how long you have to shove every hoho in your mouth before your family gets home. It’s not any of those moments. It’s a safe scenario where you reach your arms up overhead and you exhale and you bring your hands to your heart and you pause and you say, what am I feeling? And then you just let those feelings be. 


I was always taught there was good feelings and bad feelings. It’s like you’re either a good little girl or you’re a bad little girl, but there’s a lot of gray area in there, and it’s a feeling from the inside. And how can we process those feelings from the inside if we never get quiet enough and still enough and willing enough to feel the discomfort? And I, uh, use the word discomfort because most of us think we’re either in pleasure or pain, and this is how we dictate what we do or don’t do in life. That’s painful. I’m not going to talk to that person that makes me happy. I’m going to give him a hug. That’s painful. I’m not going to go to that person’s house or whatever it is. But really, uh, it’s a vast array of sensations. And when we take pain out of the equation and we just say, this is an uncomfortable situation, or this is just a new sensation that I’m not used to, we take the fear out of it, and we’re allowed to feel. So we replace fear with feeling. 


DIANA: Yeah. That’s how I gave birth to four babies at home with a midwife and no pain medication. Everyone’s like, what? I never told myself it was painful. I always just said, it’s uncomfortable. 


HOPE: So it’s funny that you say that, because I, as well, gave birth to four children and no pet pain medication. 

DIANA: We’re the crazy ones in this, I know. 

HOPE: But here’s why I did it. Because I recognized, through my recovery from an eating disorder and the process of what yoga taught me, that everything has an end. Pain, um, eventually stops. Time keeps going. And so these were, like, the thoughts in my head at the time, because then I knew well, when I was having an anxiety moment about food or binging and purging or whatever it was, yoga taught me that those feelings only last for a certain amount of time, and then they stop. But that 10 seconds that you’re feeling, that overwhelming feeling, feels like an hour, but it’s not. And that taught me. Yoga taught me that the same is true for childbirth. Eventually, that pain, that unbearable pain, is going to stop and you’re going to get this amazing thing afterwards. And ah, I think that’s a lot how life is and truly comfort. You get the gift. 


DIANA: It’s actually bearable in those situations. We like to call things unbearable and it like, it’s too much, but it’s not really. I love how you say there’s an endpoint and I think that’s a huge way to master ourselves in this world. To learn how to move through discomfort is one of the greatest skills to stay away from things in our life that we don’t want to be like. For me, it was too much alcohol. I had to decide, honestly, the thing I decided is if I’m never going to drink again, I might be uncomfortable for the rest of my life. So I’ll just do that because drinking was destructive for me. Uh, it’s just fascinating. Okay, let’s get back on with physical activity. I love being super practical with my listeners. I always give them something they could try, usually in the thought world. But if physical activity is great for processing emotions, is there something even if they don’t go do yoga right now, or maybe some are going to try, but for those of you who do want to try yoga, um, Hope has an online studio, which we’ll give you the details for. But whether they try yoga or not, what’s one thing people can try and get some leverage of their emotions in a physical way? 


HOPE: Absolutely. So I have two, if that’s okay. Yes. Um, so one is I highly recommend utilizing something like what we call a body scan or a guided meditation that takes you through the body and feeling the body. So I have a few on my website, um, that you can download. But really what it is is it’s saying like, feel your feet. What do your feet feel like? Feel your legs. What do your legs feel like in a roundabout way? And so you go through the whole body sensing and feeling your body. It’s not something saying find the pain or find the pleasure. It’s notice what you notice, process what you notice. And so what this does is it develops a skill set. Okay? It develops a toolbox for you to better be able to live in your body when not only the good things happen, but when the not so good things happen too. So that would be the first thing. Non invasive, not scary, if you’re like. Hope, I’m feeling a little overweight. I’m self conscious. Um, I don’t want to do yoga. That’s one very non invasive, so to speak. Um, and an easy, simple way to ease into feeling feelings. Mhm. 


The second way, which is very easy, is for you just to, right now, take a big breath in and reach your arms up overhead and then exhale. Bring your arms back down and feel your shoulders drop. And just notice how that exhale, that letting out everything that you no longer need and how your body responds to that. Do that two 3410 times in a row. The great thing is that most of us can lift our arms up overhead, mhm, and it’s free. And the idea of that, I would encourage you to close your eyes, try to make your inhale last the whole way up. Touch your fingers, feel your fingers touch and then exhale. And try to sweep your arms down. Make that exhale last the whole way. And then feel your body relax from that exhale. In a nutshell, that’s yoga. It’s mhm. Moving, breathing, feeling, and sensing, and then processing that experience afterwards. I’ve been in the yoga world for a long enough time now to recognize that yoga also has been steering into a lane that I don’t feel like it’s yoga. I feel like we’re trying to, uh, be more conducive to the way the modern world is. 


There’s like disco yoga, there’s yelling yoga, which is great. There’s, um, just all these crazy, like there’s vinyasa yoga, flow yoga. You’re moving so fast you can’t feel. And then you’re like, wow, that was great. This is such a great workout, but you’ve been running from any feeling that whole time. And so I call it type A yoga. My caution for people is if you want to go down the yoga path, please do your research. Please look into the type and the style. Ask questions to the instructor, get information on how they process their classes. Because not all yoga is created equal. Just like not all therapists are created equal. Not all water is created equal. Some water is bleached and has chemicals in it. Other water has a beautiful PH and is from the Alps.


 Just make sure you are in the driver’s seat of your choices, which is part of yoga, and part of that taking a new lease on life and recognizing that not all things are created equal. And I guess, again, what I mean by that is just do your research. Find a yoga that is slower, more mindful, asks you to breathe and pause. And the goal is to feel in your body. If you’re trying to feel, there should be time to do that. Not just race from point A to point B and get a sweat, because that’s what Yoga Journal magazine tells you to do. 


DIANA: I love it, that’s kind of yoga. I haven’t done it for a while, but after all of this, I totally want to. And yes, we were raising our arms together and exhaling when we did that little exercise. And I did. Even now, though, I’m pretty relaxed. I felt like this release and I could see especially if I had a rough day or I was wanting to process grief or anything, or if I just wanted to. Maybe before I did that body scan, I could lift my arms and do that a few times and get with my body. And give myself some space to calm down and notice what’s going on. 


HOPE: Uh, I feel like in life, many of us are looking for a quick fix solution. And if you’re looking for that, you’re going to be disappointed because I’m not going to tell you that yoga is that it is not a magic pill. It is not exercise in the Bottle. Yes, there actually was a product called the Exercise in a Bottle. It’s an opportunity for you to open the doorways back to experiencing life fully. And I look at it kind of like recovery. For every year you’ve been in an addiction, it takes at least a month to work through that recovery period. So I had an addiction for more than ten years. I’ve, um, been in recovery for ten plus years as well. I feel like I’ll be in recovery the rest of my life. But what that reminds me is that I always have room to grow. I always have room to refine and feel. 


Because all of a sudden I have a breakthrough and I process something or I don’t react to something in life, or I’m able to be silent when I just spew things out. Sometimes I was, uh, a cannon with not nice things. And then all of a sudden, there’s another layer I have to break through. But every single time it gets easier and easier and easier because I have more and more and more tools and they all come back to one central thing breathing plus feeling or moving plus mindset or beliefs. And so these are my three pillars. It’s breath, body, and belief. I use belief, but it’s mindset, really. And when we combine these things, they create what we call yoga. 


But yoga is really how we live our everyday life. It’s not just 60 minutes on a yoga mat. Because now, for me, yoga is everything. I don’t practice yoga 60 minutes every day, but I practice yoga every day because these are the skills and the techniques and the tools that I use. I’m always doing stretches at my desk. I take a moment and breathe before I have to respond to a hostile text message from a family member. I think now before I say something to my husband or my kids, I’m active, I’m feeling. I know when I need a massage. And I give myself the ability and the freedom to act in those healthy ways because I know what the opposite is. Which means I’m miserable. And unhappy. When we don’t practice self care, we are the only one that suffers. 


DIANA: Yes. My gosh. Like I said, it’s just crazy. You speak my language just in a yoga sense. But what I do as a life coach and what you offer your clients is so similar. And I think it’s the not processing our emotions. You’re right. That’s our biggest self sabotage. 


HOPE: Mhm. I have a postit note. I post notes all over my office and I pulled this one down because I wanted to share it with you guys. And this is one of my reminders. This is how I keep myself on track too. Like I’m not perfect. And it says, to change your mind, you have to make your brain fire in new sequences, patterns and functions. That is on you. And I have that there as a reminder to me that if I want to change my life, if I want to change my environment, if I want to change my result, I have to create new sequences, patterns and functions. And how do I do that? I need to give myself time and space to feel what I’m feeling. It’s like, figure out your starting point if you want to get to the finish line. This is why fad diets and exercise programs don’t work is because every single one of those people preaching that on Facebook ads is all focused on the finish line. Not a single one of them says, let’s figure out where you are right now so that you know where you’re starting from and what kind of tools in your toolbox you need to start that journey. They’re like, hey, you’ll be fit and fabulous. You’ll be in a size two. Hey, you’ll have more energy. But they don’t even know where they’re starting. And so this little postit note is a reminder to me that I have to know where my I am in my path. I have to know what I need to do. And in order to do that, in order to change my mind, I have to know what I’m feeling. And when I can’t figure that out, I go back to my yoga mat. I go back to my quiet place, my meditation cushion. I close my eyes and I take a time out. My kids will literally see me close my eyes before I respond to them. They know I’m like taking a moment before I bite their head off and say something I’m going to regret and will damage them when they’re 25. And mom, you messed me up. We all know what I’m talking about when I say that. 


I have that posted note there. I wanted to share that with you because it’s a reminder to me that I can control how those sequences, patterns and functions manifest in my life. I have control over that. I can tweak that, which goes back to the whole thing you talk about with your clients, with mindset. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. And when you feel what you’re feeling and what the blockers are to why you can’t change your mindset, it becomes an entirely new experience and the doors will begin to open for you. 


DIANA: Yes, for sure. That’s why I have a sign behind me in all my meetings that says, discover what is possible. That’s that door opening up. So is there anything we haven’t covered yet that you think would be valuable for us to know I was going to say or advice. You already shared your Post it. That was huge advice. Any other advice? S


HOPE: Um, I think the one last thing is to remember that no matter how hard life gets, to never lose hope. I listened to an audio book from a best selling author, and she said in her book that hope is not a plan. And it made me really sad. It made me really sad because thousands and thousands and thousands of women are going to read that book and hear that hope is not a plan. Hope is all I had mhm for more than half of my life. Hope is what kept getting me up every single morning to try to figure out why the hell I’m alive, why I suffered and all my friends didn’t.


Why I didn’t have a normal childhood, why I didn’t have a normal life, why my daughter was ripped out of my arms and I went to home from the hospital babyless that night. Hope was my lifeline. Hope was all I had. And so if all you have is hope, that is enough right now. And so all that I ask is, with that hope in your hand, you promise yourself that you will look for opportunities to put that hope into play, that that hope is a guiding light for you to find your next doorway, to find your next opportunity. If hope led you to this podcast, now it’s up to you to take action. Hope led me to the yoga mat, but I had to choose to keep going back. Hope led me to the yoga mat, but I had to choose to pursue a yoga teacher training. When my yoga teacher, out of the blue, says to me, you’re good at yoga. You should think about becoming a teacher. I was going to school to be a public speaker and studying theology. Well, in a roundabout way, I ended up with a degree in that. Yes, hope was my plan when I lost my daughter, and I didn’t know if I could go on. 


Hope has now also given me a thousand blessings to why my daughter’s life was the way that it was, that I know I wouldn’t have had if her life would be like my other three children’s today. And I say that not for people to go, oh, that’s so awful. I say that to inspire you that I believe her and God had a plan, and that was how her life was supposed to be. I believe she gave up her life so I could have mine. I believe that her life was pre planned long before I even knew what was going to happen to me. And I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful for that. And I will never lose hope that other people can do what I did. So please hold on. Um to hope. 


DIANA: Yes, 100%. And I sometimes tell my clients, too, I’m like listen, if you don’t have enough strength to believe there’s hope in this one moment, borrow mine. And so today, I offer you all Hope Zvara, and you can borrow her. Hope, I told you, God named you that for a reason. I’m sure everybody says that. But you are a fountain of hope and possibility and encouragement and strength. You’re like a beacon of it. And if you don’t have it enough today, any of you listening, you just borrow what we’re offering for you here. And you should totally follow Hope on social media. And if you want to start moving with Hope, she has some online yoga stuff. So tell us all those ways. How can people connect with you? 


HOPE: Absolutely. So, the easiest way is all social media platforms. And the good old Google is Hope Zivara. That’s Z-VA-R-A. My website, ZZ hopezvara.com. If you’re intrigued at what I’m doing with truckers and just know it’s really just yoga and small spaces, it, uh, just so happens their small space has wheels. And, uh, that’s Mothertrucker yoga on all social media platforms. Mothertrucker yoga.com.


 And, uh, check out what we’re up to. And feel free to reach out to me, too, that if you’re just feeling like you just need a little hope in your life. That’s what I’m here for. I feel blessed enough that God has put me on this earth, and I know my purpose and I know my mission. I’m fortunate for that. And I don’t ever look at that lightly and take that lightly, because then I get conversations and opportunities like this. And if one person listens to this podcast, as cliche as that sounds, then it’s worth it. 


DIANA: When you said how people can connect with you, I’m glad you didn’t say this one thing, because I get to say it now, but I have used Icy hot stuff you put on your muscles and stuff like that. So when Hope came out with her own product, I’m like, I have to get some of that. So you know she has mother Trucker yoga. Well, if you have stiff muscles, whether you’re a trucker or not, because I’m not, and I use it. You can get some of her cream. It’s natural. It works amazing. And it’s called Stiff Mother Trucker. 


HOPE: This is where my sense of humor comes in, because I’m a pretty funny person. I’m very sarcastic in the yoga world, I always felt like I had to be so correct. So truckers allow me to express that side of myself. So, yeah, stiff Mother trucker, pun intended. Okay. We have to laugh in life. Like, laughter is feeling, too. So laugh, have a sense of humor. Stick that in a gift for someone and wait to see their reaction. Um, but we’ll definitely provide the link for that. And I will be more than happy to provide a coupon code Diana for people to check it out. 


DIANA: That’ll be in the show notes so you all can go get that. It’s Christmas coming up soon too. 

HOPE: Everybody wins. Everybody wins. 

DIANA: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Hope, for coming on today. I cried. It was even better than I imagined. And I appreciate you so much and that you’re vulnerable and I think you’re leading the way and just so grateful for you. Thanks for being here. 


HOPE: Thank you. 


As an advanced certified life coach, I Help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and Step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com, to get my free Resources or a free coaching call. 


DIANA: Sometimes I do some outtakes at the end too, so if you say anything, I shouldn’t have told you that. 

HOPE: Maybe I’ll just put that in it every time. Let me turn off my ringer or it is bound to click. Bing. 

DIANA: I always love it when I hear that in other people’s podcasts. I’m like, oh, okay, they’re not perfect. 

HOPE: I usually forget. And then it’s like, bing, bing, bing. I’m like, where’s the mute button? DIANA: Yay. Oh, good. I got some good bloopers from that latter the outtakes. I won’t include our entire stiff mother trucker conversation in the show part. 

HOPE: You can cut it as you need to. 

DIANA: The gift that keeps on giving. 

HOPE: Exactly. Maybe it won’t be a pain in my rear anymore. I’m going to give you this. 

DIANA: Perfect. All right, bye bye

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