The Imaginal Life

Frances Lacuesta

Welcome to The Imaginal Life podcast—a space for women navigating these challenging times. Inspired by the transformative imaginal cells in caterpillars, we explore the power within every woman to envision her metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. Join us for inspiration, empowering reminders, and practical tools to help you thrive and create something remarkable in your life. Connect with like-minded individuals on Substack and let's embrace the beauty of our imaginal lives together.

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Episodes

How to be an Inclusive Leader with Cecilia Mzvondiwa
19-06-2023
How to be an Inclusive Leader with Cecilia Mzvondiwa
Do you want to know how to build inclusive environments and understand the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? Are you interested in becoming an inclusive leader but don't know where to start? In this episode, I spoke with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging expert Cecilia Mzvondiwa. We explored the topic of inclusive leadership and how we can foster a sense of belonging for ourselves and those around us.About Cecilia:Cecilia Mzvondiwa was born and raised in Gweru, Zimbabwe, and moved to Canada in 2001. She’s a family and immigration lawyer, a certified executive coach, and the CEO and founder of Global People First, a consultancy business focusing on diversity, inclusion, and equity. She’s a speaker, trainer, and author of Beyond Tokenism. Embrace a Sense of Belonging and Stand Out as an Inclusive Leader. With over 15 years of working with vulnerable groups and advocating for minorities, Cecilia is passionate about a world where every human being will be treated fairly on the basis of being human. She has a diverse educational background, from Philosophy and Theology to Human Security and Law.Connect with Cecilia:Website: www.globalpeoplefirst.comBuy her book Beyond Tokenism HERE. Thank you for listening to the Imaginal Life podcast!  Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review. We appreciate you. Your support enables us to keep bringing you the goods on the show!Connect with Frances:Website | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Listening to the Wisdom of the Body with Erin Pace
07-03-2023
Listening to the Wisdom of the Body with Erin Pace
Taking a conscious journey through intentional breath, movement, energy, and sound can be a powerful way to foster personal growth. This full-bodied experience can help you become more present and mindful of your environment, enabling you to make the most of each moment. By intuiting and using these tools, we can create an intentional adventure that helps open up space for self-reflection and presence. This is an opportunity to thrive in every aspect of your life.Erin Pace joins us in this episode to share more about her method, the Responsive Body Practice. Learning to listen to the wisdom of the body can help us become aware of our inner selves and move into a more meaningful life. It’s a practice that helps us connect with our physical and emotional states, allowing us to deepen our inward journey. Through this practice, we can release our old patterns and habits to welcome new possibilities. Responsive body practice offers an opportunity to transform how we relate to ourselves and the world around us.Erin Pace is a somatic therapist, embodiment guide, intuitive body reader, soul coach, and meditation facilitator. In these times of anxiety, Erin's work is vital in helping women feel comfortable in their own bodies and expressing themselves fully through movement and bodywork. Erin developed the responsive body practice to gracefully access and integrate mind-body energy and spirit for healing and sacred wholeness. Her warm, soothing voice feels like an embrace and her presence is palpable. Working with Erin is a gift and one that needs to be experienced. Key Highlights from the Show[00:00] Episode intro and a quick bio of the guest, Erin Pace[03:14] Erin’s backstory and how she got into somatic work. [07:40] How do we integrate our minds and bodies into what we do?[12:43] Knowing what women carry in their bodies and how it is manifested[14:48] Getting into the right relationships with our bodies[15:24] How you can become A.L.I.V.E[22:33] Always check if you are present for the moment[30:30] How women can create safety within themselves despite the external circumstances.[40:37] Erin talks about the Responsive Body Practice. [48:42] Erin’s experience with grief, what she learned, and some tools she used to navigate through it. [56:55] Golden key takeaways from the guest[58:07] A quick guided meditation to end the show [01:07:38] Ending the showNotable Quotes * Though there are similarities in how we approach things in life, our bodies are unique, and they will exhibit different behaviors.* Each person has their way of keeping promises to themselves to build self-trust or move through fear and create safe conditions.* Responsiveness is practicing how we respond to ourselves first and to the information available within us.* Though embracing the nervous system calibrators would be recommended for creating immediate safety in the body, practicing your own experience of self-trust is the best way.* Responsive Body Practice is a practice of deep listening and explorative movement that informs responding in life from a place of pure love.  * Embrace your purpose and serve it to the world with joy. Not everybody has that privilege.Stay Connected Erin PaceWebsite: https://www.erinpace.com/LinkedIn: https://www.instagram.com/erin.pace/Renew Oracle Deck: https://www.erinpace.com/oracle-deckAbout The ShowThank you for listening to BIG IMPACT WOMEN! This podcast explores what it's like to live life on purpose, discover our unique gifts, and be a contribution to the world. Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review. We appreciate you. Your support enables us to keep bringing you the goods on the show!Connect with Frances and learn more at: https://www.bigimpactwomen.com/ This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Cherise Adjodha - How to Build Authentic Connections
07-01-2023
Cherise Adjodha - How to Build Authentic Connections
How do we live in authentic relationships with each other? Everything begins from within, and whether it’s love, connection, authenticity, or trust, we have to start with ourselves. Connecting with ourselves first, being non-judgmental, respecting ourselves and others, and identifying our imbalances will help us pay attention to how we connect and disconnect with people. Our inner world, that whole life inside of us, is special. We’re the only ones who experience it, but it impacts how we show up in every area of our lives and can make our lives pure magic. Understanding our inner selves and what we need will help us change the outcome and build authentic connections.In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Cherise Adjodha, a Human Development practitioner for 24 years. She has worked with the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, and Oxfam Canada. Cherise recently wrote a book, Things I Would Have Told My Children If I Had Them: An Adult's Guide To Living In Connection. In the book, she beautifully shares stories from her life and the wisdom she has gained from her experiences throughout the years. In this conversation, we dove deep into her writings and the philosophies she held true and wanted to share with others to transform lives and make a difference. During this episode, you will learn about:[00:00] Intro and a bit about our guest, Cherise Adjodha [02:16] Cherise’s book and what inspired her to write it [09:57] How reading opened up the world for Cherise[14:43] How Cherise and her father shared a bond through music[20:33] “Mono no aware” how Cherise embodies this philosophy in life [25:45] Trusting your inner child to pick up the beauty in life and pocket it for you [31:22] Evoking the unconditional and unreasoned love within us[38:56] Cherise’s struggles and process of finding her purpose[49:04] How to live in authentic connections with others at all times.[55:40] How to live in connection with oneself and others.[59:01] Don’t make it personal— what it means and getting past it[01:04:27] Golden takeaways for the listeners from Cherise[01:08:15] A meditation on emotional connection [01:09:22] Ending the showNotable Quotes * Your mind is very flexible, and reading engages it, satisfies curiosity, and indulges your imagination when immersed in a story or idea.* We have the opportunity to savor peculiar moments, even after they’ve passed. They’re somewhere inside our bodies, and we’ll remember and see them once we start paying attention.* No one ever needs permission to love. Therefore, there is never a reason never to love anyone.* Love is something that unfolds from within; you can allow the unfolding any time you want, but you cannot love anyone if you don’t love yourself.  * Your purpose is what you bring, but it is also about how you’re oriented in your life's journey.* Respect where people are. It’s not always about you, and don’t make it personal. Connect With Cherise AdjodhaWebsite: https://www.cherise.life/ This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Rev. Jennifer Cormier - Redefining Grief
25-01-2022
Rev. Jennifer Cormier - Redefining Grief
In this episode, Frances and Reverend Jennifer Cormier talked about how to navigate through grief and loss in life. Jennifer believes that when we shift our perspective, include our bodies in our grieving process, and see grief as a creative collaborator in our lives, we open the door to healing and peace.Show Notes:Grief in Perspective: Grief as woven in with the celebration. It's like living a life that has a full range. (00:47)Grief Work: How helping other people move through, through really big losses in life and getting to the other side and find peace and connection, and start living again as well. (05:34)Definition of Grief: It is a transformational healing process. It is an opportunity to do some of the deepest healing work of my life.  (07:08)Grief is a Journey: It is a journey that we can walk through all of the cycles and all the seasons internally and externally, to really live a richer life. (08:07)Quotes:Grief really gave me an opportunity to do some of the deepest healing work of my life. And now I see grief as more of a container, like a big basket or a big tapestry. (07:15)A beautiful life, just like a really beautifully done photograph has all of the different gradations in between. And I think it's really about living well is about grieving well, celebrating well, and experiencing the peaceful neutral moments in between. (13:21)It's so important to allow the body to do what it naturally wants to do, and not to push it to be neutral or to do the opposite. (27:46)Lead with your heart, lead with your whole body, and slow down and see what happens. (47:54) This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Colleen Robinson - Reconnecting With Nature
09-01-2022
Colleen Robinson - Reconnecting With Nature
In this episode, Frances and Colleen Robinson talked about fostering a relationship with Nature. Colleen shares in this conversation that if we want to truly bring ourselves into harmony with the natural world, we must return to seeing humans as part of it. SHOW NOTES:"The expansion of compassion is natural and automatic." (00:48)Colleen recalls the first memory she had with nature that made her realize a strong desire to help people create a deep connection with nature." (02:43)"That deep gratitude for what nature has given us". (05:56)"Watching the sunrise or watching the sunsets, these are some of the moments that perhaps some people do not even have the opportunity to experience. (11:44)The relationship between people and the rest of nature, how we are connected to the natural world. (18:22)The way Colleen healed from an injury, and the way she coped with stress and difficulty in life by being one with nature. (20:12)-------------------------Colleen Robinson has dedicated her life to helping people recognize and acknowledge their own connections to the natural world. Trained as an environmental educator, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Instructor and course developer, and environmental communications manager for several organizations and agencies, she is most excited about her newest effort, Nature's Good Company, LLC. Colleen feels that engaging in Mindful Outdoor Experiences is one of the most important personal wellness, environmental sustainability, and social justice actions we can each take today. Certified as Mindful Outdoor Guide, this work is fulfilling what Colleen has always felt was a "missing piece" in how people are encouraged to interact in nature and in community.Learn more about her work: http://www.naturesgoodcompany.com This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon - The Gift of Resilience
09-01-2022
Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon - The Gift of Resilience
In this episode, Frances and  Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon talked about the Gift of Resilience. QUOTES:"We all want to just belong. We want to be fulfilled, we want to find joy as we are and for who we are." (00:53)"Our life is what inspires us to lean into the service that we give." (02:48) "When your child is holding on to life by a thread, the energy has to go into making that child hold on stronger." (07:12)"How raising a child with special needs requires so much time, energy, and resources, but these challenges will only make your family closer and stronger." (17:51)"When negative experiences of the past come to mind, be gentle with yourself. Those negative emotions can be used for learning and future experiences -- no matter how painful they are." (29:28)"That realization that you don't have to compare yourself to somebody else." (33:50)------------------------Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon is a storyteller and educator who believes that we each have a powerful purpose that should guide our lives. As one of her children is brain-injured and bedridden, Marcia and her family have traversed significant challenges. She is passionate about helping people cope with adversity and thrive despite overwhelm, feel more connected, gain visibility, access and support, and tap into their resilience. Her book, Lighting the Path, focuses on these issues and on sharing special needs experiences to boost inclusion and reduce isolation of special needs families.Find her book for Special Needs Parents: https://books2read.com/lightingthepath Access podcast episodes, training content and more:www.MarciaNB.com/biolink  This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com
Episode 1: Christine Samuel: How to Journey Into the Unknown
09-01-2022
Episode 1: Christine Samuel: How to Journey Into the Unknown
In this episode, Frances and Christine talk about the “heart space", a concept of following your heart's path with a mission to be a living example and creating a nurturing space for others on their journey of self-discovery and transition.Christine also articulates that living in the heart space means realizing that relational things do not depend too much on the rational and logical side of things but also on feeling and sensing. They also talk about Christine's experience moving to Canada and living there as a first generation immigrant from Indonesia. Quotes:“Just trust, trusting in the emergence of things, and it releases us from suffering. It releases us from mystery. Because when we trust, it allows us to have that space.” (43:13)“For me, the understanding of heart space is a gentle holding space where all feelings, thoughts, and sensations are welcome. So it is a space where we can have a loving relationship with our complexities and contradictions.” (44:42)------------------------------------Christine Samuel is a curious explorer who finds delight in experiencing the unknown and sharing her ever-growing understanding of living from the heart space. She left her 20 years of a corporate career to follow her heart path with a mission to be a living example and create a nurturing space for others in their journey of self discovery and transition through coaching, inner work training, and facilitation.Learn more about her at https://www.innerworkmatters.com/ This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit franceslacuesta.substack.com