Madisyn Taylor is the cofounder and former editor-in-chief of DailyOM. She is the author of Unmedicated. The Four Pillars of Natural Wellness (January 2018) and an award-winning and bestselling author of two previous books including DailyOM: Inspirational Thoughts for a Happy, Healthy, and Fulfilling Day (#1 Amazon self-help, #3 Amazon overall) and DailyOM: Learning to Live (#1 Amazon self-help, #7 Amazon overall). Her books have been translated into more than fifteen languages. Madisyn has also been a contributing author for Oprah.com. This article is an excerpt from Carrie Ann’s January 20th, 2022 Instagram Live conversation with Madisyn Taylor. It has been edited for length and clarity.
How many times have you tried the latest wellness trend only to not achieve the results you were hoping for? Maybe you gave meditation a shot, and it just wasn’t for you. Maybe your friend told you about the latest self help book that changed their life, but reading isn’t the way you learn best. If there’s one thing we’ve learned here at Carrie Ann Conversations, it’s that there are many approaches to wellness and it’s perfectly normal to go through trial and error! That’s something that our guest, Madisyn Taylor, preaches as well. Madisyn has gone through trauma and come out on the other side determined to help people begin their journey to achieve ultimate wellness. Her tools are vast and she uses her own experiences to inspire others to make changes in their lives. We loved having her on Carrie Ann Conversations: Journey to Wellness, and can’t wait for you to hear what she has to say!
Welcome to a another Carrie Ann Conversations Journey to Wellness. Today, I want to talk about healing. Whether that be from past trauma, confronting your fears, or just resetting your minds to stop self-sabotaging. I don’t know if you guys do that, but I know I’m certainly guilty of it. Joining us today in this conversation is a best-selling author, meditation specialist, and my new friend, Madisyn Taylor. She’s also the Co-Founder of DailyOM, and author of the book of the same name.
Madisyn, thank you for joining me. I have been reading the DailyOM for years. It’s basically my nightstand and bathroom reading all the time. It’s one of those books that I just always turn back to whenever I’m lost. And you have helped me so much in my struggles, before I even knew that I had a journey to go on. Would you mind telling my viewers about the DailyOM?
Madisyn Taylor: Yes, we started it way back in 2004, which seems like forever ago. The purpose of it really was to help people get on their own journeys and have their own lightbulb moments. We did that by having me write sort of, I guess a daily essay if you will, that comes to your inbox every morning. The idea was that people would all be thinking these good thoughts at the same time while they’re having their coffee in the morning. The essays really were about my own life journey, but I didn’t write it in a first person perspective because I didn’t want it to be about me. I wanted everyone to be able to relate to it. It was everything from relationships, to depression, anxiety, to trauma – just things that we all go through every day. And that we need help with because I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get an instruction manual when I was born. I didn’t know how to navigate any of the stuff that was happening to me. So I thought that I could finally put all of my years of experience, all of my loss, all of my trauma, and all of my learning into helping other people. Back in 2004 the internet really wasn’t that popular yet, so we took the email perspective of that. And then the business model of it was to sell online courses in that same genre. Now it’s anything from yoga, to relationships, and everything in between.
Carrie Ann: It’s really quite an amazing destination. It has everything.
Madisyn Taylor: Yes, there’s something for everybody. But what was important to me was to have it affordable to everybody. So you can take a course for $15, which I think is phenomenal. And these are six week courses to one year courses. It’s not a one day or a few hour thing. I know in my own healing journey, I could not afford all of the healing that I needed. Acupuncturists, psychiatrists, and all these specialists are a minimum of $100 each session and if you don’t have insurance, you’re kind of screwed. I really, really, wanted to have healing available to everybody. So my daily essays were free, and that was my service work to humanity. Then the business model was the courses, but at an affordable rate.
Carrie Ann: It’s attainable for everyone, and that’s why I love it so much. Part of Carrie Ann Conversations Journey to Wellness is all about spreading accessibility to wellness. Hopefully people can find just a tidbit here and there, something that resonates with them, even if they don’t know it’s resonating. Something that sounds interesting to them, so that they can maybe do their own research and head out into their own discovery. Because as we both know, it’s a journey.
Now, let’s move on. I’ve heard you talking about fear, and I think that plays such a huge factor in this conversation about healing from trauma. So what are the most common fears that you think we all share? Because this is about building community, finding places where we are similar, right? How can we turn the fear switch off or down?
Madisyn Taylor: It’s kind of funny, the two most common fears that everybody has are getting what you want and losing what you have. Imagine, oh, I got a million dollars, I really wanted that. And then oh my god, the taxman wants some, my best friend wants something. Now you’re in fear of having it all go away.
Carrie Ann: Say it again, one more time, because that’s powerful. What are the two fears that you think everybody has?
Madisyn Taylor: Getting what you want, and then losing what you have. Getting it and then losing it. Those are the fears that that humans have. But really, the fear that people have is doing the deep dive. You and I know that in order to heal, you have to do the deep dive, you have to peel the layers. I’m a big baby steps person, and I don’t believe in going to the center nugget right away. You’ve got to peel the outer layers. It really is like an onion. Every baby step serves a purpose. And if you dive in too deep, too fast, you’re going to get scared and you’re never going to go back. So my work is about gentle baby steps.
My big tip is to make a list of your fears, and then go right into all of them and write as much as you can about each fear. What is the fear? How does it make you feel? How is it affecting your life? Because it is and you may not know it. And then what I like to do – I’m giving homework and I love to give homework-
Carrie Ann: I love you for giving homework, you’re my kind of girl!
Madisyn Taylor: Thank you! Once you write down your fear and how it makes you feel – and writing about it may make you feel nervous – write a counter thought to that fear. That’s how you’re going to start healing the fear. Let’s take something really simple, like I’m afraid of flying. It makes me shake like a leaf. I think about it for three days beforehand, I start stressing, I get nervous. I’m worried I’m going to miss my flight, that I’m going to sit next to someone that’s going to smell bad, that we’re going to crash, I hate turbulence, all of this stuff. So I write it all down, and I feel the anxiety coming up.
Then I think, what can I do about that? Well, I can tell the flight attendant I’m nervous, and she or he will pay a lot more attention to you. I can talk to my neighbor sitting next to me and say I’m feeling a little nervous. I do that every single flight, and they turn out to be like a therapist for me. I can bring comfort items on the plane, right? That’s kind of an example that’s not super personal in terms of fears. It’s personal to me, but it’s not a deep seated fear. So name it and claim it, and then write a solution to it or a counter statement to your fear. You will look at it all in your journal as one unit and say, wow, you know what, that’s not as bad as I thought it was.
Carrie Ann: Oh my God, that’s wonderful. Name it, claim it, gather it into a manageable amount, look at it, and realize it’s not as big as you’re making it. I think when you write it down, it really does help you. I find that things, when they’re still in your mind, they become huge, right? We have to remember as human beings that we are so powerful with what we can do with one little idea. We can turn it into something amazing. That’s the power of creation. However, the power of creation can also create a huge monster that’s chasing us at every turn. We can run faster, or we can put it in perspective, which is what you just did. That’s a great tip.
In your own journey through trauma to wellness you’ve spent a lot of time defining things and putting things into words for people. How would you define wellness now, here in 2022, after all that you’ve been through?
Madisyn Taylor: I think that wellness is not a one size fits all scenario. It’s going to look a little different for all of us, our packaging is different. But what’s really important is that it can’t be segmented. Wellness needs to be body, mind, and spirit, the trifecta. They really need to go together. You can’t have full wellness without having wellness in all of those areas. And it’s all attainable. I know it can sound a little overwhelming, but again, if you take your baby steps it’s definitely attainable. Once you fix one of them, you’ll find that the others tend to fall into place. I mean, you are this amazing temple, this healing machine. And you always hear those terms when you’re a little kid, like the hip bone is connected to the backbone. We are all connected.
Those three things intertwine and work together to make a healthy human being. It’s really important, but most people ignore one of those. We always really go for the physical health, but the mind and the spiritual health are equally as important. Spiritual health is really about journaling and meditation, maybe having an altar and those sorts of practices. It’s not about religion or going to church, although that could be it for some people. Then the mind is brain health, which of course you talked about with that brilliant doctor last week.
Carrie Ann: Yes, Dr. Amen. That was a great conversation. You know, these conversations, they’re mostly for me. Because I just love talking about wellness, and I love hearing about other people’s journeys. I love hearing other people’s perspective, because as you say, the journey is unique and individual to each one of us. It took me looking at 1000 trillion different things to figure out what’s working. And look, in three months, different things are going to work. It’s constantly a work in progress. Wellness is not a one and done kind of thing. Madisyn has got like 8,000 different ways to approach wellness. And that’s because she’s been studying it for so long, because she needed to for her own journey in life. That’s what my wish is for all of you – that you can find wellness. The way to do it is to keep experimenting and working on it. It’s something that takes work just like building your home, or building your family and raising your children. It’s the same thing. You are an entity that is worthy of all the love, caring, and all the wellness that could possibly come your way.
Experimenting, working, and building. That’s what healing and the road to wellness entails, but it’s so rewarding when you start to see a shift in your life. Especially when you begin to fit all of the pieces together, as Madisyn said. The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected and of equal importance. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps and work through one area at a time – the puzzle pieces will fall into place at the right time. If you’re interested in hearing more about Madisyn’s story and watching the full interview, you can view it here!
You can find Madisyn Taylor’s books, social media, online courses, and other resources at these links:
Instagram: @mtmadisyntaylorMadisyn’s websiteAmazon bookstoreDailyOm
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Founded by Carrie Ann Inaba, Carrie Ann Conversations is a media and lifestyle brand that delivers content to inspire and educate even the beginner wellness seeker. Here, we like to talk and write about things that are interesting for anyone looking to live a life that is authentically yours. We are not experts, but we are on the journey with you and know what the path to wellness entails. Our goal is to have open and honest dialogues that ignite our minds with exciting new possibilities. We invite you to join in on the conversation.
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