In this podcast episode, host Amberly Lago interviews the inspiring Gabi Kelley, a life coach, speaker, author, and purpose activator. Gabi shares her journey of healing from trauma and how she helps others do the same to reignite their dreams. They discuss topics like overcoming procrastination, managing ADHD, and finding joy in life. Gabi offers valuable insights on healing, purpose, and breaking cycles of behavior. Tune in to gain empowering ideas to elevate your life and business. 


  • [00:02:47] Healing from trauma and purpose.
  • [00:12:00] Understanding childhood attachment trauma.
  • [00:18:43] Regulating emotions for mental clarity.
  • [00:28:31] Feeling our emotions.
  • [00:33:28] Healing from codependency and addiction.
  • [00:41:40] Finding your purpose.
  • [00:46:38] Procrastination and ADHD.

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(00:00 – 03:03) Amberly Lago: Hey y’all, I am so fired up because the Unstoppable Success Summit is in my hometown, Dallas, Texas this year. We are going to be coming to Dallas April 19th and 20th, 2024. So come join us. Look, success is built on relationships and this is not some big, huge conference with thousands of people. This is an intimate, a very exclusive experience on purpose so you can build those meaningful connections So you can rub shoulders with people like, oh my goodness, I’ve got John Gordon, Ben Newman, Rachel Luna, Rudy Ricksteins, Henry Amar. I’m speaking. There are mastermind members taking the stage. And so getting in the room is key and getting in the right room. can help you achieve unstoppable success. So if you spend your time with people who see your potential, you’re more than likely to reach it. So make this year, make 2024 the most unstoppable, most successful year possible. Level up your business, level up your life, get the clarity, gain the confidence, get the real tools taught by people who have already paved the way for you. and I can’t wait to see you there. So get ready to ditch your limiting beliefs and stop listening to fear and go after your dreams. Go to and I can’t wait to see you in Dallas. Okay, see you there. Thank you for tuning in to the True Grit and Grace podcast. I’m Amberly Lago and I’ll be sharing inspirational stories of resilience and empowering ideas to elevate your business and your life, ignite your passion and fuel your purpose. Hey there, it’s Amberly. Thank you for tuning in to True Grit and Grace. I have someone so special on the show today. Someone I love with all my heart. Gabi Kelley is with us. We met years ago at an event and then she was actually in my mastermind and in the mastermind she spoke at the Unstoppable Success Summit in March and just I mean, blew it out of the water. She’s such an incredible speaker. She’s a life coach. Like I said, she’s a speaker. She’s an author. She’s a mama. She’s host of Pain to Purpose live podcast, and she is a purpose activator. She’s healed her own trauma, and she’s passionate about helping others do the same so they can really reignite their dreams and have the life they’ve always imagined, even when things don’t go as planned. And so I am so happy to have you here, Gabby. Thank you for being on the show.
(03:03 – 03:09) Gabi Kelley: Oh, my goodness. I just love you so much. I’m so thrilled to be here. Thank you for having me, Amberly.

(03:09 – 04:11) Amberly Lago: Oh, my goodness. Well, you’re amazing. And I just have to say also, I will never forget the time. That, oh, it was when my my dad passed away, so my daddy Dwight passed away and I have I’ve never missed one of our mastermind meetings. And you so graciously, I was like, Gabi, can you step in and lead the meeting? And you put together such a beautiful presentation virtually. And so I want to talk about some of the things that you do. You have this calming way about you and you have just healed from your own trauma. And now you help others do the same. And I think all of us have been through some sort of trauma. And so first of all, I wanted to ask you something. What led you to, cause you’ve got your course, you’ve got your podcast, um, your coaching programs, that’s called pain to passion. Where did that come from? How was that inspired?

(04:11 – 05:06) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, well, from my own experience, I have learned that your pain often leads you to the very calling that you were created for. And I saw that in my own life with my son. There’s a whole story with my son, this beautiful, amazing boy that I adopted from Ethiopia. And of course, every adoption comes with trauma and pain and just watching his life unfold and seeing how addressing pain actually leads you to something to be passionate about and people to help. And I’ve seen that repeated over and over again in your life, in so many people’s lives, instead of looking at pain as like, this is the thing that destroys my life. What if it’s the thing that actually ends up building your life and your purpose? So that’s kind of where that came from.

(05:06 – 05:40) Amberly Lago: I love that. I know it’s so hard when you’re going through something that is traumatic, that may even be like you feel devastated. It’s the hardest thing ever. It’s hard to imagine. that anything good can come out of that. So what would you just say to someone who is going through a struggle right now, who’s going through a hard time to get to start to focus on the pain, not necessarily being a bad thing, but leading to your purpose and good things, how would they start to really kind of shift their perspective on that?

(05:40 – 07:04) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, well, first, I always want to tell people that your feelings are valid. Your feelings matter and you need to express your emotions. So bypassing any emotions is just going to harm you in the end. So feel what you feel like, feel the devastation, feel the sadness, feel the pain. But can you maintain a glimmer of hope that anything that is crushed to dust can be turned into something new? this wasn’t supposed to happen. Whatever was devastating in your life, it wasn’t meant to happen. However, I believe that all things can be turned into something beautiful. And I’ve learned also from the queen of gratitude over here that gratitude throughout any circumstance is going to be building blocks to help you move to the next phase of your life. So always looking around to find something to be grateful for, something to smile about. And look for people who inspire you, who have been through crap. Like seriously, if there’s someone else who’s been through what you’ve been through and they’ve come out the other side, follow those people, read their story, look at what’s happened in their life and believe that the same could happen for you because it can.

(07:04 – 09:05) Amberly Lago: Oh, I love that. Yeah. It’s so important to know, to have that faith and hope. and having positive people around you and the gratitude. It’s that to me, that’s medicine. I mean, I have a gratitude practice and I know it’s not always easy to practice gratitude when you’re in the middle of something that’s really hard, but if you get into the practice of it and I have a group of ladies, we call ourselves the God squad and we use an app and we, I wrote down My 10 things that I’m grateful for just this morning, it’s part of my morning routine. Sometimes it becomes an afternoon routine, but I do it every single day. And then also I can go back sometimes and read those things because it saves them in my phone and I can read it. So yeah, I think that’s really important. And I think we all need so much hope right now with what’s going on in the world. There’s a lot, there’s a lot going on. And I mean, I know even as an entrepreneur, I mean, right before we started recording, I was like, man, life is lifey. If you can see my desk, it is just, it’s, it’s crazy over here. And in fact, um, I woke up, my husband’s retired. Uh, he sleeps in and I woke up the other day and he was sitting straight up on the couch, just staring in space. And I was like, What are you doing? What is going on? And he’s like, I’m really worried about you. Like, I don’t know how you’re going to do all this that you have planned. I just signed a book deal and I’ve got deadlines for it. And he’s like, I just don’t know how you’re going to do it. You know? And I’m like, Oh my gosh, I need to be around the positive. I mean, I love that he cares about me, but I’m like, I need to get around people who are like, Oh, Amberley, you got this, you got it. And so I love that you say, look for people who have been through similar things, who’ve achieved and reached that goal that you’re striving for. And so I think that’s really important. Who are some of the people that inspire you?

(09:07 – 10:00) Gabi Kelley: Well, without sounding too cheesy and 100% honest, you inspire me. You’re very inspiring. And I’ve seen you go through a lot of hard things. And I’ve seen you go come out on the other side. So being around people like you is extremely encouraging when you’re going through stuff. My son, honestly, like, He’s been through more in his little life than most people experience in a lifetime. And he’s the coolest, like he’s so bright, so shiny, so hopeful. And if he can, like I can. So my kids really do legitimately inspire me every day. There’s a lot of people in the world that inspire me, but they’re my up close and personal inspiration on the daily.

(10:01 – 10:08) Amberly Lago: Well, let’s talk about your son. What was it that made you decide to adopt a son from Ethiopia?

(10:08 – 10:28) Gabi Kelley: Well, I honestly never thought that I would have a biological child. It just was never like a goal of mine. I guess I wasn’t like the norm of girls who think about let’s get married and then have kids. That wasn’t me. I always knew I wanted to adopt though. Really? Like from a young age? Yeah, from like eight years old.

(10:29 – 11:27) Amberly Lago: Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. I think we do a lot of times know at a young age. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I, I have to say something really quick on the way to school today. So, you know, I’ve got two daughters. My oldest is like so focused on medical school. She’s at Yale and she’s just God bless her. She works her butt off and she’s like, I don’t think I’m ever having any kids. And Ruby is like, I am never having kids. Like kids are just, they’re a pain. They need so much and blah, blah, blah. So I was like, oh man, I’m not going to have any grandkids. Well, on the way to school today, Ruby goes, um, mama, if I have a little girl, I think I’d name her Portia. That’s a cool name. And I’m like, Ooh, maybe she will. Maybe I’ll have grandkids someday. You know, there’s something there. There’s something there, but yeah. So what was that process like when you went to adopt him?

(11:28 – 13:38) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. I mean, international adoptions are lengthy. They’re expensive. How long did it take? It took us two and a half years from start to finish. Yes. Yes. And he came home at 15 months. So he was 15 months old. And what everyone was telling us was that, you know, he’s so young, he’s not going to remember anything. And we just took everyone’s word for it, including our adoption agency. Really? So we had to take a bunch of classes, like parenting classes and stuff. And there were extra classes about trauma for parents who were adopting older children. but not for the parents that were adopting young children under three. So we thought, well, you know, it’ll be an adjustment period and then he’ll be fine. Yeah. But that’s not the case. And that’s kind of what launched me into what I do now and understanding trauma at all. It was all inspired by him. I learned quickly that if you have any kind of attachment trauma, between the ages of birth and three years old, it’s actually way more difficult to repair than if you have attachment trauma after three years old. Because between the ages of zero and three is when your neurological pathways are being formed to understand safety, relationship, and connection. So because he had disrupted attachment repeatedly, and his story is his story to tell. But of course, there was disrupted attachment with his mother, with his caregivers. And then he came to us, we were the fourth place that he lived in his 15 months of life. His whole view of the world was backwards from most of us who have an attachment immediately and early. So it was a very interesting process for me to lean in, learn about trauma, understand that his brain was kind of wired backwards when it came to relationships, almost like he was allergic to love.

(13:38 – 13:40) Amberly Lago: Like what are some of the things he would do?

(13:40 – 13:57) Gabi Kelley: intimacy was very scary for him. If we did something really kind and exciting for him, he would have a reaction to that, like, almost like an allergic reaction where he would react with rage and screaming and fear. Isn’t that interesting?

(13:57 – 14:57) Amberly Lago: Like, like how we’re so used to it. And it’s the same for Like the men that, not anymore, I got a good one now, I got a good hubby now, we’ve been together for 17 years, but before, I kept picking the same guy that was emotionally unavailable, who treated me like crap. who was a narcissist who put me down, who tried to knock me down, sometimes physically. And I kept picking the same guy. And it was like, it was so hardwired in me that that’s what love is. That’s how, isn’t that just so crazy that we don’t, sometimes we’re not even conscious of it, but that’s what happens. So how do you So it was almost like he had an allergic reaction when you do something kind or loving. How did you start to start to work through that trauma to kind of rebuild those neural pathways?

(14:57 – 16:40) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, as soon as I because I did tons of research. I’m a researcher by nature. So I did tons of research because I knew something was off. Even though the doctors were like, he’s fine. It’s normal. I’m like, this is not normal. Um, so I did tons of research and I realized, well, you know, mama bear comes out, of course moms, most moms would have done the same thing, you know, whatever you can do to help your kid. Um, and I found out that everyone is wired to pursue safety. Like we’re always magnetized to what feels safe to our individual nervous systems. And to him, what felt safe was being on his own and in control of his own environment. So getting help, having intimacy, that did not feel safe. It was very triggering for him. We all know what it’s like to feel triggered by different things and to like, go crazy because something triggers us and later we’re like, what did I do? Like, what was I doing? So that trigger comes from your nervous system not feeling safe. So I had to learn how to slowly and gently teach him connection in a very kind, very slow manner, where I would show him little pockets of safety with connection. So he would get a little bit activated. But it was enough of a scenario where he had enough control, where he could still feel like, okay, I’m safe, and a little unsafe. Slowly, but surely, learning that connection was safe. But the biggest revelation for me was that my trauma was the same as his.

(16:42 – 16:43) Amberly Lago: Wow, isn’t that interesting?

(16:43 – 17:10) Gabi Kelley: So I was like, oh my gosh, I also feel threatened if someone gets too close to me. I also have never had someone actually just value me for who I am as a human being, not about what I’ve done just because of who I am. And that was a huge revelation where I was like, I need to get my own healing or I will not be able to parent this child.

(17:10 – 18:00) Amberly Lago: Wow. Well, I want to go back to something you said about the connection. I actually had Someone who, I mean, she’s very well known, very successful. And we were at an event together one time and she said, Amberley, can you teach me how to connect with people? Like, I feel like I don’t know how to connect with people. And I’d never been asked that question before. She goes, you have a way of connecting and, you know, safety is so important to me. And I think that because of the way that I grew up in a not safe environment and I want people to feel safe. And I think that that safety and connection it is for me that goes hand in hand. But what would you say to someone who if they asked you, teach me how to connect with people?

(18:00 – 19:46) Gabi Kelley: What would you say? Yeah. I mean, that’s such a great question. And more people struggle with that than we realize, because we all have these tools, these coping mechanisms that we come up with to project that we know how to connect, even if we don’t know how to actually be vulnerable and intimate with people. So the first step, honestly, is to learn how you can regulate yourself on your own. And what regulate means is just get yourself from an activated state like anxiety or stress or panic into a state where you can think clearly, where you feel safe and you can move forward with a logical process. Because what happens when you’re triggered is your prefrontal cortex goes offline and you can no longer think clearly. your amygdala, which is in the back of your head takes over, which is all fight or flight mode. So what can you do for yourself to bring your prefrontal cortex back online? And learning how to co-regulate with another being will be a huge step in that process. And I love teaching my clients about this because you don’t have to co-regulate at first with another person. You can actually co-regulate with a pet. So a pet can teach you how to safely connect with someone. You can co-regulate with music. You can even co-regulate with your favorite TV show characters. So like for me, Lorelei Gilmore and Gilmore girls, she’s always been like a safe person to me. So if I turn on Gilmore girls, I can regulate. Get back into my prefrontal cortex, into a clear space. And that, what that does is it’s teaching my nervous system. That connection is safe.

(19:47 – 19:48) Amberly Lago: Oh, that’s good.

(19:48 – 20:23) Gabi Kelley: Connection with the other is safe. So you slowly, you don’t want to just like force yourself into a situation where you have to be vulnerable with a bunch of people. That’s going to backfire on you. So one step at a time, maybe with your puppy, then go to a coffee shop and be surrounded by people, but you don’t have to talk to anybody. Then maybe text your best friend and say something honest about your life. So I do a lot of titration in my work. Titration means one small piece at a time until you hit the goal, like the bigger goal that you actually want to reach.

(20:24 – 21:58) Amberly Lago: Hopefully that was helpful. Yeah, it’s helpful. And I want to go back to something. It’s actually a question that I had on my list to ask you about anxiety. Like how do you soothe your nervous system or calm anxiety? I mean, because I don’t know. I mean, we know each other so well and you’re like a sister to me, but I don’t know if you knew that I had a panic attack and it was a wake up call for me. This is a few, few years ago. I didn’t know what it was and I thought I was dying. And I like blacked out sweat. And I’m not talking about little glisten sweat. I’m talking about drenched clothes were wet. The whole restaurant came over. People from behind the counter at the restaurant came over. I was like, then it passed and I felt better. And I was like, I thought it was a heart attack, but you know what? I guess I’m fine. Went on with my daily life. But I think because I live with constant chronic pain, a lot of people don’t realize that I have pain and it sends you into fight or flight. My nervous system is, I can literally feel it like I’ll lay down and it just feels like shaking. Anxiety, I mean, as an entrepreneur, we got to get to questions about being an entrepreneur and a mama and how you manage it all. But there are a lot of people out there that might be going, Oh, gosh, well, I get anxiety, too. And I feel like I’m in fight or flight. What are some tools that you could give us today to that would help with just soothe our nervous system and calm any anxiety?

(21:58 – 22:38) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorite things when people ask me this question is to tell you it’s way more simple than we think. Like you don’t have to have some kind of spreadsheet or chart to know how to regulate your nervous system. First and foremost, everyone’s different, so there will be different things for different people, but do the thing that makes you feel better. I know that sounds so silly, but basic things that we all know are helpful for our nervous systems. One is going outside. Like literally just get outside and take a deep breath. I do that. Yes. I do that.

(22:38 – 23:09) Amberly Lago: I go right outside, especially, you know, I’m on zoom. Oh my goodness. One day last week, I was on zoom from like eight o’clock in the morning till seven o’clock at night. No joke. And in between it, I would take, cause I had like, I was like, you better believe I was outside taking some deep breaths and trying to get some sunshine and just get grounded. I mean, it’s a lot. So yeah, that does work. Going out in nature really is so healing.

(23:09 – 23:42) Gabi Kelley: It is. It really is. And then taking a walk. So the fancy word for taking a walk is bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation, what that does is it connects the right and left hemisphere of your brain. And what that does is helps your body know that you are in the present moment, you’re not in the past. Because usually your anxiety is coming from some kind of outside trigger that’s telling your body like you’re in this past moment that was really threatening to you.

(23:42 – 24:06) Amberly Lago: Mine is in the future. Mine is like- Future can also be that. Holy cow. I got all these deadlines and a big event that I’m planning. And yeah, it’s great. Yeah. So mine usually, I feel like I’ve really, I mean, there’ve been times where the past I was affected, but mine is like future thinking of, Oh my gosh, what did I get myself into?

(24:06 – 24:24) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. Plus you’ve been through, I mean, I know you’ve been through some really difficult things when you’re throwing an event. So even though that’s happening in the future, your body’s like, what the heck Amberleigh, why are you doing this again? Because this is going to happen.

(24:24 – 25:11) Amberly Lago: You’re so right. Oh my goodness. Cause you know, the last event, woo, it was like, It was not anything and everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong, but it was the most amazing event. I felt like, and I’m, I’m saying that not to boost myself. I’m not, I’m saying it because I felt like the Holy spirit was present at that event. Every speaker, just, I felt like God spoke through them. And so it goes back to what you said earlier about turning that, you know, that pain to passion and it was like, it seemed hard at the time, but it was so worth it. But it makes sense. Bobby, I didn’t think about that.

(25:11 – 25:16) Gabi Kelley: Your nervous system’s definitely reacting to the fact that you’re doing the same thing again.

(25:18 – 25:19) Amberly Lago: Mm, you’re right.

(25:19 – 25:55) Gabi Kelley: So writing, probably writing down the result of last time, writing down what, you know, better this time. Cause I know you learned a lot about venues and how to throw a big event. Like, you know, a lot better now, like even just writing that down and seeing it on paper, like actually I am more prepared and I know the result will be beautiful. Journaling is a amazing tool. It is a way to release worry and anxiety. So take a walk and write down those things and it will probably help soothe that.

(25:55 – 26:56) Amberly Lago: So that’s so good. Y’all. I love that. I’m getting a free coaching session call. Okay. I really do, but that’s such great advice. Like it’s simple things. Keep it simple. Go outside, take a walk. But I think it’s really important what you shared is it’s so much about having that self-awareness, like asking yourself, where is this coming from? Because sometimes I don’t know if any of you listening have ever felt like this, but I have like anxiety or I’ll feel my heart pounding. I’m like, well, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. What the heck, where’s this coming from? Why am I feeling like this right now? Why am I feeling anxious? And is that just like stop and say, where is this coming from and start asking yourself the right questions or what would you suggest to do in those moments?

(26:57 – 28:20) Gabi Kelley: that can honestly add more stress in the moment. Like really, where is this coming from? So I, I answered this question a lot. People always want to know like, where is this coming from? And I always say, what if it doesn’t matter? What if you know that you’re feeling this way because your body is scared. And so how can you show yourself compassion in that moment? Almost like you were a five-year-old girl. Like you see a five-year-old girl who’s scared, you’re not gonna be like, you know, just do it. Get up and do it. You’re gonna have compassion. where that little girl and help her through it gently. So even if you don’t know why, you can still help yourself. Be compassionate with yourself. Stand up, get a drink of water, call a friend, do what you need to do. We’re so go, go, go, especially as entrepreneurs, that every minute feels, quote, wasted if we’re doing something that’s not potentially benefiting our business. Yeah, for sure. If the best thing you can do for your goals and for your business is to partner with yourself compassionately. So you can show up as your best in every moment and not feel that way.

(28:20 – 29:34) Amberly Lago: And that’s why the show matter why that that’s why the show is grit and grace. Yeah, giving yourself some grace. But I like that it doesn’t matter. why it just is what it is. And the important thing is, I really think we have to feel our feelings because, you know, I think a lot of the listeners know that I used, I overcame addiction. I mean, I call myself a recovering alcoholic because I’m always recovering. and have to do things to keep my sobriety. But when I was feeling all the feelings and it got to be too much, I turned to unhealthy habits, which was, I wanted to drink to just numb out, to stop the pain. I didn’t want to feel it was too much. It was overwhelming. What would you do to suggest people that are making bad choices, like maybe they’re not over drinking, but maybe they’re over eating or speed dating or uh, over gambling or whatever it is too much to just try to numb out, or maybe it’s binging on Netflix instead of doing what they really need to do to move the needle on their life and their business. What’s something you could say to suggest to them to a better solution for them?

(29:34 – 29:54) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. One of the greatest trauma experts in the world, Dr. Gabor Mate. He’s amazing. Dr. Gabor Mate, G-A-B-O-R-M-A-T-E. He is like the leading trauma expert in the world and he always says addiction is always trauma.

(29:55 – 29:56) Amberly Lago: I believe that.

(29:56 – 31:24) Gabi Kelley: I’ve heard that. Yeah, that’s the first step. So that’s where we do start to do story work. So when you’re trying to calm something in the moment and activation, you don’t always have to know where it’s coming from. But if you have a deep-seated addiction or something you’re really struggling with, that’s where we start to do story work. with your timeline and your story, because that will start to show you like, where did this come from? What is the pain I’m actually feeling? And where’s the grief that I haven’t grieved? Oftentimes, it’s grief that hasn’t been grieved, that causes us to need to numb out, because it’s always there. It’s going to stay there until you express it. But if you don’t know where it’s coming from, or why, how can you express it? So those are the kinds of things where even with my clients, I start to do story work and what happened in your life. What can we look at the different patterns in your life that led to this moment? What pain occurred that your nervous system is trying to keep you safe. Like we’ve talked about all along. And the only way you found to stay safe is this addiction or that addiction. Giving it up without any knowledge just ushers you into threat constantly You don’t want to do that either Yeah, yeah for sure and the 12 steps you

(31:26 – 32:06) Amberly Lago: we call it take an inventory and it’s where you sit with your sponsor or someone you know that you feel safe with and you share all your deepest darkest secrets and all the things that you’ve wronged done wrong or have been wronged I don’t even know if that’s correct English. But anyway, you take inventory of all those things and you share things that you maybe have never shared with someone else. And let me tell you, it is a tough process, but it is so healing when you finally let that rise to the surface and you express it.

(32:06 – 32:17) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, to be held in a safe space when you reveal your biggest shame is probably one of the most healing things that you can experience.

(32:18 – 33:07) Amberly Lago: Yeah. Cause shame is, Oh, it’s the word it’s heavy. It’s heavy. And a lot of times, you know, um, with addiction. So it’s this cycle of, you have so much shame, you have so much pain. So you drink to not feel those things. And then you wake up and it’s doubled. because you have shame for drinking or whatever you did to try to numb out the pain. And so you do it again and it becomes a cycle until you can break it. How do you suggest people break a cycle or a pattern? They keep finding themselves in the same situation and they’re like, well, crap, I thought I did the work and I seem to be picking the same guy that’s treating me like crap. I think my picker’s broken. What do you do to break that cycle?

(33:07 – 35:02) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. Well, it’s not like an overnight fix. Yeah, for sure. Healing isn’t. Let’s just put that out there. Healing is a process and it’s a privilege. Those of us who have the ability to engage in our healing are honestly very privileged. So it’s hard, but it’s worth it. I would say my addiction was codependency. Like I was the same. Every relationship I chose in my life is like, It was someone who needed me for what I could do. And then when I didn’t show up the way exact way that they wanted me to, then they would come after me. They’d hurt me like over and over and over and over again. But that’s because that is literally how I grew up. Just like you, that’s how I learned to function. So it was the healing work that allowed me to break that cycle. I’ve been in therapy for a long time. It’s good. Safe space with a healing practitioner who is skilled in trauma will be a huge step in that direction. And also filling your life with good things and good people. Having having like people that are like family to you that are safe for you, who can keep you accountable. I have accountability partners now. Like I need you to check in with me that I am not talking to. So, and so like, yeah, please check in with me. Cause that urge will always be there. And if I’m left on my own, I can’t overcome it. I have to have people that I’m vulnerable with, that I’m honest with, who will also kick me in the butt when I say I messed up, but still love me. That’s really been the thing that’s kept me in a space where I know I can move forward in a healthy way.

(35:03 – 37:14) Amberly Lago: Yeah, it’s so important. I’m so glad you brought that up because for me, community and connection is the only way that I can thrive because I need that accountability too. So, I mean, whether you’re staying sober, like I’ve got my sober sisters, I go to meetings, or whether you’re an entrepreneur. That is why I started my mastermind. That is so we can help guide each other and support each other and cheer each other on. That’s one thing that I’ve learned is like, man, we don’t have to do it alone. Get out there. If you can’t if you can’t I mean there’s plenty actually there’s actually like plenty of free therapy out there but make sure you’re hiring somebody like if you have some trauma that you really like I’m ready to heal this and move forward and really reignite my heart and my passion and my dreams, then contact Gabi because she has been there. She has healed both, you know, seen it with someone as young as her son to healing herself. So it’s so important to actually connect with somebody who’s been through the things that, you know, and gotten through the other side. I wanted to ask you, Cause I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like, Oh, I’ve healed from that. Like I remember I went to therapy once and I’m like, Oh no, no, no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That happened. But no, no, I’ve, I’ve healed from that. I don’t need to talk about that. That’s not why I’m here. She’s like, Oh no, you need to work on, this is what’s going on. And she told me about the book codependent no more, which was a very good book. Um, but do you feel like you’re ever completely healed from something? Or do you feel like there’s just constantly layers that you didn’t know? Cause I’m like, gosh, I thought I was healed from that. And I just got triggered. Do you feel like you ever completely heal? No, thank you. I don’t feel so alone. I don’t feel so alone then.

(37:14 – 37:35) Gabi Kelley: For me too, I’m a faith girl, like I’m a God girl through and through. And I think that if we were able to completely heal and be okay on our own, then it would be like, what’s the point of faith? And I never, ever, ever want to get in that space where I’m so good that I don’t need God.

(37:35 – 38:35) Amberly Lago: Oh my goodness. No, I, And I’ll be like, thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Over and over. Like, please lift the obsession for me to drink. Please keep me sober. Like, please keep me healthy. You know what I mean? Like, I just. But yeah, I’m a God girl too. And so that’s a good way of thinking about that. And also thank you for sharing that because it, you know, it makes me feel not so alone. And you know what? I have a card like right here on my desk and it reminds me God doesn’t waste pain and I anchor myself to God. I have to remember fully rely on God. I need to have a little frog up here on my desk to remind me fully on God. Yeah. You are so passionate about, you know, helping women heal their past trauma. Um, is that mostly what you do in your coaching? Is it mostly entrepreneurs that you work with?

(38:35 – 39:12) Gabi Kelley: Yes. So my focus is female entrepreneurs. Because I went through the spiral and the cycle for so many years where I knew I wanted to do something. I knew I wanted to do something, but I kept hitting a wall. And I didn’t realize that that wall wasn’t me not having the skills. It wasn’t me not wanting something bad enough. It was me having trauma that needed to be healed so that I could move through those barriers or those glass ceilings, however you want to think about it. and not be activated and be able to level up and not get stuck. So that’s my passion.

(39:12 – 39:31) Amberly Lago: I love it. You have this one quote that I love, and it’s so powerful. You say, when you heal, you begin to believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself, the limitations you used to have begin to disappear. So you’re not stuck. You don’t have this ceiling. You have freedom.

(39:31 – 39:39) Gabi Kelley: Yes. Freedom. That is the key word. I got freedom tattooed on my wrist 11 years ago. I forgot about that.

(39:39 – 39:58) Amberly Lago: That’s right. Yeah. Well, I think that’s what we all ultimately want is freedom. To me, that’s the definition of success is the freedom to do the things that we love with the people that we love Yes. Have the freedom to do those things.

(39:58 – 40:46) Gabi Kelley: Yes. I’m very passionate about women, especially being liberated to walk into their purpose. Like I don’t care where you are in the world, who you are, you have a purpose inside of you. And so from the impoverished woman on the other side of the world, because I’ve been able to work all over the world with different kinds of people, she has a dream. And I’m passionate about her being set free to live out her dream, just like I am passionate about seven figure entrepreneur who feels stuck, isolated, lonely, and full of shame also to be set free so that she can live fully into her potential as well. Like this is what changes the world is being set free.

(40:46 – 40:55) Amberly Lago: Yeah. Yeah. Well, if you have someone that comes up to you and says, well, I don’t know what my purpose is, how do you help them find their purpose?

(40:55 – 41:25) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, we have a lot of work that we do together, me and my clients, um, with that, where first, the first thing I love to do is have people write a list. What makes you feel alive? So write a list of like every little thing you can think of that makes you feel alive. The first time I did this, it was like purple hair, high top shoes, foreign languages, close friendships, international politics. So everything from like small to large.

(41:26 – 41:40) Amberly Lago: I’m writing this down. I love this because I, I always ask to find your purpose. Like when I, every time I changed careers, I’m like, well, what brings me joy? What do I love to do? But I like how you say, what makes you feel alive?

(41:40 – 42:18) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. That’s so good. Yeah. My favorite quote of all time is the glory of God is man fully alive by St. Arrhenius. And so for most of my life, I’ve thought, what does that mean? What does that actually mean to be fully alive? And why does it bring God glory? So really thinking about what lights your heart up, you might think it’s normal. Everybody gets excited about this, right? No, like you’re unique and there’s a reason why those specific things are woven into your personality, into your soul. The other thing that I ask is what makes you angry?

(42:18 – 42:19) Amberly Lago: Really?

(42:19 – 42:31) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. Because if you know what makes you angry, you know what you want to fight for and fight against. And those two things combined can be very clarifying.

(42:31 – 42:36) Amberly Lago: That’s so good. I swear I’m getting a free coaching session today.

(42:36 – 42:36) Gabi Kelley: Thank you, Gabi.

(42:36 – 43:10) Amberly Lago: This is amazing. No, but what makes you angry? And you know what? I thought about that when you said that. What makes me angry? I really, really get angry and annoyed. to be around negative people, to negativity. When they’re not coachable, the glass is always half empty. It drives me insane. Like it literally like sucks the energy out of me or makes me want to punch a wall. And that’s why my next book is all about joy, finding joy through the journey.

(43:11 – 43:12) Gabi Kelley: I’m so excited.

(43:12 – 43:26) Amberly Lago: Yeah, I’m excited, but, but I love that. I got to write that down too. What makes you angry? So what makes you feel alive? What makes you angry? Anything else?

(43:26 – 44:05) Gabi Kelley: Well, look at those two lists and see where they line up. So for me, one thing that makes me really angry is people not having access to opportunity. That makes me really angry because like I said, everyone is created for a purpose. And so if you don’t have access to opportunity, how can you ever fulfill your purpose? So what makes me feel alive is creating connections with people from all over the place. So bringing those two together is like, oh, I can help women be set free to live their purpose.

(44:05 – 44:07) Amberly Lago: You’re so amazing.

(44:09 – 44:09) Gabi Kelley: Oh, you’re so sweet.

(44:09 – 44:16) Amberly Lago: I love you. You are so amazing. All the work that you do. You’re amazing.

(44:16 – 44:17) Gabi Kelley: Thank you. You’re amazing.

(44:18 – 44:40) Amberly Lago: Y’all got to check her out on Instagram as well, because you have videos of like when you adopted your son and the people that you connect with all over the world and amazing quotes and also your podcast, all the things. And I was fortunate enough. I got to be on your podcast.

(44:40 – 44:43) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. I was the fortunate one.

(44:43 – 44:47) Amberly Lago: Oh, I just, um, I just want to, do you have time for a couple more questions?

(44:48 – 44:48) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, for sure.

(44:48 – 45:07) Amberly Lago: Okay. Okay. So also speaking of your social media, I love, you know, following you and learn, learning from you. You’re amazing. You had this one post a while back. It was a bit, it’s been a while. I’m not sure how long ago, but you talk about the truth about procrastination.

(45:07 – 45:09) Gabi Kelley: Yeah.

(45:09 – 45:30) Amberly Lago: And, and you know what, Gabi, I don’t know what it is, but there are some times I procrastinate. And then at the last minute, I feel like this adrenaline rush. And I feel like I have, I’m an adrenaline junkie. Like I love adrenaline. And like last minute, I’m like, see, I knew I’d get that done.

(45:30 – 45:31) Gabi Kelley: Here it is.

(45:31 – 45:38) Amberly Lago: But why do I procrastinate and do that to myself? What’s the truth about procrastination?

(45:38 – 45:45) Gabi Kelley: Yeah. I love this question. Well, first of all, welcome to the ADHD brain club. Right.

(45:45 – 46:38) Amberly Lago: You know what I just told, I just told my husband last night in bed, I was like, well, you know, I had those test results that came back and they said after, I mean, I did blood work, spit, saliva test questions and they’re like, oh yeah, you’ve all, you’ve got the genetics. Your genealogy is ADHD. Like, and it explains a lot of how I work, how I have to write everything down. the procrastination, the getting distracted. Oh my goodness. I don’t know if any of y’all listening have ever been out of the rabbit hole on social media. Sometimes I’m just like, What, why am I looking at cute little furry bunny rabbits? I’m supposed to be posting something right now. You know what I mean? Yes. So that is part of it. Procrastination is part of like the ADHD.

(46:38 – 46:51) Gabi Kelley: Oh yeah, for sure. But also, and people don’t talk about this a lot, but trauma and ADHD are comorbid. Really? So often ADHD is an adaptation to childhood trauma.

(46:52 – 46:52) Amberly Lago: Wow.

(46:52 – 47:58) Gabi Kelley: So a lot of us who have childhood trauma also struggle with ADHD, which brings us back to what is the real reason for procrastination. Because especially if we’re driven women like ourselves who want to get stuff done, procrastinating can bring on shame. And shame is a dark spiral that is very difficult to get out of. Like, why didn’t I do the thing I was supposed to do? Why am I putting this off? And then you have some people out there saying, if you’re not doing it, you don’t want it bad enough. And that is such a lie. It’s just a lie for most of us. I think fear stops me. Yes. But like I’ve talked about all along, your nervous system is constantly scanning your environment for signs of threat. So something in your environment, something about the thing that you’re going after is threatening to your nervous system, which is then going to turn into you scrolling on your phone, which is flight mode, or going and doing the laundry when you’re supposed to be actually making an email.

(47:58 – 47:59) Amberly Lago: I’m guilty of that.

(47:59 – 48:00) Gabi Kelley: That’s flight mode.

(48:01 – 48:07) Amberly Lago: You’re literally, or I will rearrange my closet and make sure it’s really perfectly organized.

(48:07 – 48:10) Gabi Kelley: It becomes really important all of a sudden to rearrange your closet.

(48:10 – 50:02) Amberly Lago: Well, can I, yeah, it’s crazy. I’m like, why am I rearranging my whole desk and my, my closet and making my books all color coordinated? It’s little nutty. Now y’all listeners know I’m actually really legit, kind of wacky. You know what? Yeah. Uh, but I have to tell you, I was interviewing someone on my podcast. Gosh, I think it was Dr. I think it was Dr. John Delaney, John Deloney. I mean, I think that’s who it was. Anyway, I’d said, I said, yeah, it all made sense. Every time I had to rearrange my closet because every time I would walk into my closet, I couldn’t understand why, why am I getting anxiety when I walk in here? And what it was is when I walked in my closet, the first thing I saw were all the clothes that I wear for stage. So my mind goes, Oh, I have that speaking event coming up. I’m going to get up there. Maybe people won’t like me. Maybe I’ll mess up like public speaking can, you know, I still get scared when I’m focusing on me, when I focus on what my intention is and being of service, then it, it goes away. But. I rearrange my closet. So when I first walk in, I don’t see stage clothes, but isn’t that wild how our brains can be triggered in our nervous system, all from looking at some clothes. But I think that it could be anything from smelling a certain perfume, hearing a song, hearing a door open. Yep. All the things you can be triggered. But so ADHD and trauma go hand in hand. And then that also goes along with why we will procrastinate. Then we get filled with shame. We beat ourselves up. What do you do about it?

(50:04 – 51:50) Gabi Kelley: And I always go back to partner with yourself, compassionately, like you are a child. So my whole family is ADHD. My two beautiful children, myself, we’re all ADHD and timers are a gift from God. So if you have a tendency to procrastinate, get your favorite cup of tea, put on your favorite music, sit down to do your project and set a timer for 15 minutes. literally telling yourself, I will do this for 15 minutes and then I will give myself a break. Because the ADHD brain also is, it’s all about dopamine, like a dopamine deficiency. So knowing you’re going to have a break and you’re, you have a set amount of time triggers dopamine to be released in your body. So you’re able to focus because you know, something good is coming. oh that’s good i like that after that first 15 minutes if you get in the zone which oftentimes will get in the zone during that 15 minutes just set it for another 15 minutes if you start to feel activated after your 15 minutes go take a walk around the block get a cup of water you know, listen to your favorite song and then set it for another 15 minutes. It’s amazing how much more productive you can be if you set a timer, give yourself intentional breaks than if you just try to sit and bang it out in four hours, because you’re going to get distracted. You’re not going to be clear headed that whole time. Your brain is going to be craving dopamine and you’re not giving it what it needs in order to think clearly and show up.

(51:51 – 52:42) Amberly Lago: That’s so good, Gabi. And you know what? Yesterday… Um, so I, I record 50 to 52 videos. Okay. This is 52 videos. Uh, so it’s 52 videos. It’s for this, um, free yearly thing for the rise and thrive video series that I do. And it’s, it’s a lot of videos. I mean, they’re shorter videos, but yesterday I had a timer. I thought I’m just going to get as many videos. I’ve got my outline for them. I’m going to get as many videos done in this one hour that I can. And when that hours up, I’m going to go hang out with Ruby and her friends and go outside. It’s a beautiful day. So yeah, I like that. But I think that setting a timer for even for 15 minutes is good, especially if it’s hard to focus. So I love that. That’s such great advice.

(52:43 – 52:59) Gabi Kelley: Well, good. I hope it’s helpful. And your brain will start to understand that it doesn’t last forever. So you can start to expand the time, but you always want to start small. Yeah. When you’re trying to change something, start small and it will slowly grow bigger.

(52:59 – 53:37) Amberly Lago: Yeah. I just, uh, was talking about that in one of my videos actually yesterday about like, if the goal, if it feels like you’re stuck or if it feels like your goal is like, Oh, that’s just too much. to break it down into baby steps. And that’s exactly what you’ve just described. Yeah. So now, um, I know you do some group coaching too, but you work one-on-one and I would love for you to tell people, how can they get more information about you, start to work with you. And by the way, thank you for coaching me through this hour. I loved it.

(53:37 – 53:37) Gabi Kelley: Anytime.

(53:38 – 53:44) Amberly Lago: Uh, wait, one more question before you answer that. I don’t see purple in your hair. What’s going on?

(53:44 – 53:50) Gabi Kelley: Oh, well, you know, I hacked like 18 inches off the bottom of my hair, so I got to get back to the purple zone.

(53:50 – 55:35) Amberly Lago: Yeah. I’m just, it’s beautiful, but I’m like, you know, where’s the purple? I’m used to the purple. I know we both cut our hair. I’m a little sad about mine, but, um, mine was very intentional. yours was intentional. And, you know, um, I have so many other questions. We’ll have to come back on the show again, but, uh, yeah, you’re going through major life transition and you just shared on your show, social media that. I appreciate your transparency with that. And I was a single mom for years and I know it wasn’t easy. And I cut my hair to here when I went through my divorce, dyed it jet black and had bangs. I should send you a picture. It was intense. And then I had people coming up to me, talking to me about, do I do like, And I was like, okay, I got to change this right away. So, yeah, I just really, the way that you show up for your kids, for yourself, for your clients, with all that you’re going through, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s. Um, it shows that you do the healing work. Um, and, and, you know, I love also that you have your be kind to you coloring book. We didn’t even get into that. Y’all have to check out her website and everything. So you can see her books, her podcast. Um, she has amazing guests on her podcast and her coaching is amazing, but tell everybody the best place to find you, your books, your podcast, and be able to coach with you.

(55:35 – 56:11) Gabi Kelley: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, my favorite place to hang out is Instagram. My handle is at Gabiruth, G-A-B-I-R-U-T-H. And you can find all my links over there. But just so you all know, for anyone who’s listening to this show, I have both a free connection call that’s 45 minutes. So if you want to connect and talk about what I do, I will do a 45 minute call with you for free. It would be my pleasure. So there’s a link in my Instagram. I’ll send it to you to Amberly, where you can click on that and book a free call.

(56:11 – 56:13) Amberly Lago: Thank you. That is so generous.

(56:13 – 56:28) Gabi Kelley: Yes. It’s so fun to be able to just actually have a conversation with people and see where you’re at. And I love hearing about people’s dreams and where they feel stuck. It’s like my joy. My passion is to help people through that. So

(56:29 – 56:41) Amberly Lago: Well, you, you’re amazing. Um, I loved you from the moment that we met when we connected. I think it was when I was speaking at a line. Was it when I was speaking to the line?

(56:41 – 56:46) Gabi Kelley: That was the first time. It was the virtual align during COVID.

(56:46 – 57:11) Amberly Lago: It was the virtual align. Then I got to meet you in person at the next time. And it’s, uh, yeah. And then I loved having you. in the mastermind. And I was saying, I hope you come back because we all love you. It’s family, but I loved having you in the mastermind. I loved seeing you on stage and love seeing you just expand and grow and help more people.

(57:12 – 57:38) Gabi Kelley: Well, and I got to say Amberley, like that mastermind was life changing as well because you attract the most incredible people, not just to teach us, but our community. Like those are the girls that are my lifeline right now through everything that I’m walking through. I’m like, wow, what would I have done without the mastermind? And it’s just, it was the best experience. Highly recommend.

(57:39 – 58:07) Amberly Lago: Thank you. Thank you. Well, it is an amazing group of women. I have to say, and it’s funny, every guest speaker that we have that comes to talk to the group, they always call me afterwards and they’re like, oh my gosh, I’ve never spoken to a group that was like that. They’re so alive. And so, I mean, energetic and so supportive. I’m like, oh yeah, they’re magic. They’re, they’re my family. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

(58:07 – 58:07) Gabi Kelley: Super cool.

(58:08 – 58:58) Amberly Lago: So thank you for offering that. Y’all go check out her Instagram. In fact, please take a screenshot and tag me at Amberly Logo Motivation and Gabi, make sure you tag her at Gabi Ruth. When I see that, I always share my story and I appreciate all listening so much because, because of you, it’s because of you, you’ve made this a top 1% podcast. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for subscribing and listening and downloading the episodes. It means the world. Share on your Instagram. And when I see that, I always share it in mind, but Gabi. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show. I love you. And you are changing so many lives in such the best way possible and helping so many people. So thank you.

(58:58 – 59:01) Gabi Kelley: Thank you, my friend. I absolutely adore you.

(59:01 – 59:06) Amberly Lago: Oh, love you. And y’all, thank you for tuning in. We will see you next week.