E4 - Worldschooling: Parenting & Partnering with Teens | Lainie Liberti
🗓️ Recorded October 5th, 2022. 📍Páramo del Sil, Spain
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- Lainie Liberti's website: https://worldschoolingcoach.com/
- Lainie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilainie
- Lainie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ilainie/
- Transformative Mentoring for Teens: https://transformativementoringforteens.com/
- Partnership Parent Courses: https://partnershipparent.com/
- We Are WorldSchoolers: https://weareworldschoolers.org/
About this episode
Have you ever considered what your life would look like if you abandoned societal norms and embraced a life of travel and unconventional learning?
Lainie Liberti, did just that - and her journey will inspire you to reimagine your own path. From changing her name on her 40th birthday to adopting the world schooling lifestyle, Lainies story is a testament to the power of living life on your own terms.
We have known Lainie since before we took our first long road trip. We had a newborn baby and planned to drive through Europe for three months, In a small car with four kids; the youngest was just four months. I remember how insecure we felt, and the need to find like-minded was big - so we were very happy when we got to know Lainie through her first Facebook group - way back when.
The Baby in question, Fjord, is now 11 years old and has been full-time-traveling more than half his life.
Join us as we discuss Lainie’s transition from traditional public school education to a free-flowing learning approach with her son and how her experiences have shaped her parenting and self-discovery journey.
We delve into the importance of community support in the world schooling movement, sharing insights and advice from our own experiences and those of others in our global network.
But it's not all smooth sailing. We also tackle the tough subject of facing fears and emotions head-on for personal growth.
Discover how Lainie processes her fears and learns to separate thought from belief using powerful tools like Byron Katie's "The Work."
Our conversation will reveal how embracing emotions and developing inner strength can ultimately lead to becoming the best possible parent and partner in our children's learning journeys.
The first time we met Lainie face to face was in 2019 in Granada - a true blessing. Lainie was among those who inspired us to roam the earth. So here she is, and we hope she will inspire you as well :)
If you've ever felt the tug of your inner adventurer, this episode is for you.
Lainie Liberti is a recovering branding expert whose 18-year career once focused on creating campaigns for green – eco businesses, non-profits & conscious businesses. In 2008, California’s economy took a turn, and Lainie decided to “be the change” instead of a victim. She and her then 9-year-old son, Miro began redesigning their lives with the dream of spending stress-free quality time together. She and her son Miro embarked on a journey to explore the world and learn about different cultures and ways of life. This journey has become the foundation for Lainie’s work in sustainable living and travel.
As a writer, Lainie has contributed to numerous publications, sharing her experiences and knowledge with others. Her latest book, "Seen, Heard, and Understood," is a journey of personal growth, self-discovery, and transformation.
The book is a memoir that shares Lainie's life experiences, challenges, and triumphs. She takes us on a journey of how she went from a stressed-out single mom in Los Angeles to a global traveler with her son, Miro. The book is a collection of stories that touch on topics like parenting, education, travel, and personal growth.
Lainie is the co-founder of Project World School, a community-based education program that focuses on alternative learning and travel. The program provides opportunities for families to travel and learn together, creating a unique and immersive educational experience.
Clips from this episode
We are going to collect experiences, not things!
Cecilie Conrad and Lainie Liberty talk about doing things that have “no value” when looking through the western lens of consumerism. Almost everything feminine has no value because it doesn’t generate money. If you read a good night's story for your children that made them grow inside, there is no box to tick. No one cheers you on or gives you “a raise.”
When Lainie and her son Miro started their travels, they were disgusted with the consumer's lifestyle. So they made a pact - they decided to collect experiences, not things.
How are you so courageous?
It is a question Lainie Liberti often has been asked as a blond-haired single mom traveling through Latin America. But the question makes Lainie giggle as she thinks it says more about the person asking the question than of the reality of her travels.
Lainie: “Let’s talk about fear. About the recognition that fear comes from an internal place. There are really two kinds of fear. Some fears come from thoughts, and some fears spark from your amygdala where you go into fight flight or freeze response. And that's about a survival mechanism. Thank God I have that. Thank God every human has that because it's designed to keep us safe. The survival of our species. But the fear that comes from thoughts. You can question those. Pulling it apart using tools, like ‘The Work’ by Byron Katie, The thing that you're thinking and believing in at that moment is most often actually just a thought, and the thought can live in your brain, that's fine, but do you have to believe a thought? No, it's up to you. You can learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
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Transcript of Self Directed Episode 4
E4 - Worldschooling: Parenting & Partnering with Teens | Lainie Liberti
Please note: This transcript is autogenerated by AI voice recognition - so there will probably be some transcription errors along the way 🙂
Cecilie Conrad: We have been now traveling for about five years and we figured out that you can see so many waterfalls and castles and pieces of art. But the most amazing thing about traveling the world is the people we need. And today we have Lainey Liberty Witness, which is someone we met a long time before we bought the big red bus. We met online just when you moved to. Was it Peru? Yeah, it's cool. I started a whole like a world schooling and we met online and started talking And fortunately, we got to meet each other real life just before the pandemic.
Cecilie Conrad: Yes So now we have the Atlantic between us, but we did get one or two big good hugs.
Lainie Liberti: That was Spain, and I think it was 2019.
Cecilie Conrad: It was 19 in October, so I just remember. a few months after that, everything changed.
Lainie Liberti: Wow, crazy, crazy, crazy. We went from this really big summit. We had close to 350 people, lots of families together in this small space and everybody got the chance to mingle and come together and share and really get to know one another. And then we did our summit in Mexico in March and it wasn't as full as the one in Spain, but last minute people dropped out and dropped out and it turned out to be quite a small summit of the actual people that showed up. The ticket sales were much higher than I'd say. about 30 to 40% of the people said I'm not traveling right now And they were just sort of hatching wind of what was happening in March. So that's what happened. Yeah, crazy.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, it's been a lot of turns and twists since then.
Jesper Conrad: Yeah, but, lanie, i wanted to start a fun place, because when we told our teams and kids that we were going to meet with you, they said Liberty, that's a cool name, if that one's you have chosen. Oh, where does this come from?
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, Oh, it's a chosen name, it was. It's a really funny story. My 40th birthday present to myself was I was like you know what? I'm going to change my name. I'm going to give myself a new name that has meaning to me. I had my family name that I had used, which is Miro's name. Also, i had never changed my name when I married Miro's dad And I was just like you know what? I really just want to rebrand myself, give myself a name. That's important.
Lainie Liberti: And so I went through the procedure and did all the legal work which you can do in the United States And then, one day before my 40th birthday which is exactly oh my gosh, 16 years ago Because it's one day before my birthday Now 16 years ago I showed up in court and I had bought like a like the lady Liberty, the Statue of Liberty, like head heat, and I had this beautiful green scarf over my shoulder and I had this big book with me that said Art Now. And I was like I'm ready to take my vow. So I showed up as late, instead of lady Liberty, lainy Liberty, and this is my name change. So we went to court and did that And just two years later, the economy collapsed in the United States, specifically in California, and I had been living the name now Lainy Liberty for two years And I was like Liberty, freedom, let's go. So be careful when you're doing yourself.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, oh, we just changed our name also, actually, but it's not as fun as story, so we did what is it? two years ago?
Jesper Conrad: Yeah, I think so Yeah.
Cecilie Conrad: We just took him and his family after he died. So it was yeah, it's not like a personal. We just wanted to carry the name for a while. It's so much easier. And then, and Mark, to change your name. I can hear from the stories from other countries.
Cecilie Conrad: We just we don't have to show we just do it online, like on my yeah. So we renewed our passports and we said, okay, everybody needs a new passport now. So we take my mother's name for the 10 years of that passport And then we'll see after that. We had his family name before that. So now we just all carry my mother with us for a while.
Lainie Liberti: Oh, that's beautiful. What a beautiful honor.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, So another name change story. But I don't think it will change our past in that way Like it did for you, like okay, now I'll just go travel the world. We already did travel the world also, So I don't know how many more radical things we can start doing Right.
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, there you go. I mean I had already traveled, you know, in my 20s and throughout my 30s, but I never had thought that I you know no-transcript Even considered like this is going to be a lifestyle and it just like was a bunch of circumstances. And yeah, again, just be careful what you name yourself.
Jesper Conrad: And Lanie, maybe for the people who are following us who maybe haven't heard of you I guess they would, but can you give us a short recap of your story for them?
Lainie Liberti: Sure. So, single parent living in California, i owned a business. I owned a branding and marketing agency and I worked in advertising for almost well, for 18 years, almost 20 years, and in 2008, when the economy crashed, i was overworked and you know like, oh my god, what am I gonna do? I knew I wasn't gonna bring my staff back at the end of the year and I just remember sitting in the office late one night with my son, who was nine at the time, and he was somebody who would say to me all the time mom, you're always working, you never spend any time with me.
Lainie Liberti: And this particular night I was struck by inspiration. I looked over at him and he was sitting at one of the computers you know for the designers, and he was like playing video games. And I said, deroll, what do you think if we just go have an adventure and just go get rid of all this stuff? and he's like, do I have to go to school? and I'm like, no, of course not. He's like I'm in.
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, that was it.
Lainie Liberti: I mean we lived semi-traditional life before, not super traditional.
Lainie Liberti: I mean we lived in a loft in downtown LA which was an old Paps Blue Ribbon Brewery, and you know, i was in a performance art group and did all kinds of stuff, so it wasn't traditional in the sense where you know, nine to five and and like the American dream, with a picket fence, but I was already sort of on the outskirts of of pushing boundaries and had self-identified as an anarchist and really, really believe that, you know, life is for living.
Lainie Liberti: But the crazy thing and this will bring us to another big conversation I questioned everything in my life, always with the exception of education, and always, i know right, what is that? so up until that point I hadn't, hadn't questioned, like, what is education? whose responsibility is it? what do we want from it? how can we define it and make it our own? I just never went there and I just bought into the belief that it was somebody else's job to educate. You know, in my quotes, my child and they knew how to do it and I didn't. I wasn't qualified. It was this big mystical thing that I didn't even look at.
Cecilie Conrad: But everything else we can question, just not that I don't want such a, given the schooling of the children. It's such a. It's like breathing. People don't even think about it, so crazy right, yeah, it is so.
Lainie Liberti: That was 14 years ago and I've had many years to unpack and look at that big question in the first year of our travels, which it was only going to be a one-year trip, and that, and we never went back, by the way you know that was in 2000 and we had the idea in 2008, left early 2009 and this is 2022.
Lainie Liberti: We have not gone back. My son grew up on the road but we had many, many years to unpack and pull apart the idea of learning and education and it really became an act, active process for us as a family multi-age learning and and redefining what we wanted from it and really recognizing how naturally it happened. Anyway, the learning part and in fact, the learning part was what was important, not the you know, the big quote-unquote education part, because through the act of learning, we were becoming educated. My son was becoming educated by, say we, because it was an act of us exploring the world together and learning yeah, i know you know this.
Cecilie Conrad: Maybe some of them never heard about you before, who knows?
Jesper Conrad: could be somewhere there.
Cecilie Conrad: So I just I had this conversation again today actually with our host. We're in an Airbnb right now in the mountains somewhere in the north of Spain and the host realized that we were full-time travelers and and kids were not in school and I had all the classic questions and my children were around and afterwards they said all of this again. It's just like do you have any friends question. They get tired of it and we had this. It's a very interesting conversation because obviously it's very, very strange for people who meet us right the first time you meet someone who just took school out of the equation. It is shocking and we should be still respectful. My children grew up like this. They have never been in school and and to them it's like, oh, do I have to answer this question again? but they do, because I think we have kind of obligation to educate people around us or to at least try to to open the eyes to just show the path.
Cecilie Conrad: There are other ways of doing this and I know you've been doing a great job with the whole. I think you maybe invented the word world schooling.
Lainie Liberti: I didn't invent it, but we really brought it into the consciousness, okay so this space group that became really big.
Cecilie Conrad: And then there's a funny story about having to make another one. Anyway, there's a large group of people around you online. Yeah, um, do you want to talk a little bit about how that, how that unfolds for you?
Lainie Liberti: sure. So for us, the first, you know, a few months really became an exploration into really being present in our own lives. And because we had planned on just traveling for one year, um, i was like you know what I'm pulling you out of fourth grade? uh, fifth grade has got nothing. I'm not working experience, don't even worry about school, we're gonna go enjoy life and we're gonna spend time together, and that was our intention. We were really going to do this thing in partnership and we did.
Lainie Liberti: And when we decided, about eight months into our journey, that we were not going to go back, um, as you know, responsible adult, i had to look at the education portion.
Lainie Liberti: So this is when I discovered this, this concept that I had never heard of before, called unschooling.
Lainie Liberti: I had never heard of it because I hadn't considered home education ever, because, you know, i ran a business and I was working and, as my son said, i was always working all the time. In my mind I never thought that I could home educate, let alone provide a quality quote, unquote education. Like I had to challenge all of those ideas and a lot of that we started to pull apart during the first year, without even trying because, like I suddenly discovered that I had this deep, deep desire to learn more about pre-Columbian history and archaeology. And then Miro got really into mythology and origin stories and like our eyes lit up as we're having these conversations and like we're in these really exciting places and we're like, oh my god, if we were just like in California and Los Angeles, none of this would be in our path. And so when I discovered that there was this thing called unschooling, i was like that's so cool, we're doing it already and okay, i guess we don't have to do anything.
Lainie Liberti: I don't have to like do a thing to address the education portion of our travels. Now let's just keep doing what we're doing. And the deeper that I got into unschooling, i became involved in the unschooling community and you know, i started talking to different unschoolers and really understanding some of the philosophy and foundation and not really learning to do it, because we were already doing it, but now we had language to put around. You know, this is struggling. This is partnership, this, this, this is that. We're like oh, wow, this is really cool, there's something we'll do, let's connect.
Lainie Liberti: And after a while I, you know, i was explaining to people we're unschooling and I'm just like the the word itself had this really bitter taste in my mouth and I'm just like it sounds like we're not doing something.
Lainie Liberti: We're not not doing something, we're really actively doing something, yeah, yeah, and we're learning from the world. So let's just call it world schooling and that's how we shifted our you know explanation and I was writing about it and I was saying unschooling, but it's really world schooling for us and the the whole getting back to your original question the whole sort of evolution of hey, carlos, that's my dog, the whole evolution of he's really barking the whole evolution of of the word world schooling and the reason why people associate and and oftentimes say that we sort of spearheaded this movement is because we started to write about the travel and the learning calling it world schooling and people crazily enough in like 20 oh nine and 2010, started to read these blogs and people were like writing in, asking questions, and questions were like okay, i see your single mom, i'm traveling in.
Lainie Liberti: Latin America. But uh, we're a family of four and we're going to Thailand. Where should we go? I'm like, why ask me?
Cecilie Conrad: and and your response was because you're already doing what we want to do, but we need some advice and then I'd send back a message going I'm so sorry, i can't help you?
Lainie Liberti: I don't really know, and then I get other questions like okay, we want to go to Argentina, um, but we want to go there to learn tango, what should we do? I'm just like guys, i don't know, i don't know this stuff. And so at the time where I met you guys was the, the old what was? it called families on the move group. That's where I met you guys it was a.
Cecilie Conrad: Facebook group yeah, i've been in 12, i think, when we had our fourth child.
Lainie Liberti: Okay.
Cecilie Conrad: When I was pregnant with the last one, because we're really right to leave, like Copenhagen at that. I'm sure, but I was really researching and there was nothing out there.
Lainie Liberti: There's just nothing, i read about bus families.
Cecilie Conrad: It was all American school buses, nobody in Europe. And then I found you also in that little percent. But I mean because I'm not an American, i'm not in the US. No, but what you did was not in the state, it was not a school bus in the United States. Yeah, that was more interesting to me personally, so go on please.
Lainie Liberti: And so we met in a. It was a family's on the move and it was really about family bloggers. That's really what the focus was. And I split from that group and I discovered that there was a group. It was a Facebook group that was dormant, there were just under 200 people and it was called world school. And I was like this is I need this group. So I wrote the admin. There was no activity for you know a couple of years and I was like can I take this group over? I have a vision for it. Here's what I've been doing. He's like sure it's yours. So I grew that group from 2000 people to about 40, 45,000 people And, in response to all of the people that were asking me questions, i now had a place to send them And I was really, really driven to create community, because here's this like forward thinking group of people like me, like you, like you know the people that were interested in this lifestyle.
Lainie Liberti: We need to have a hub, a place to get together and to be able to connect online. So when a family needs information about Argentina or Thailand, somebody's been there. I can't answer those questions.
Cecilie Conrad: But somebody can?
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, exactly, community was really, really important to me And that started in 2012 also. So, yeah, and you mentioned that there was drama, and there will always be drama in every Yeah, wherever a lot of people, there might be some sparks and then you just move on Yeah. I didn't want to talk about the drama.
Cecilie Conrad: I was just, you know, it's just fine.
Lainie Liberti: Well, i mean it's just part of the history of things. So yeah, basically what happened was, you know, we started project world school and I was gone doing a lot of teen retreats And the women that I brought in to help moderate, the group decided I'm not there that often And when I come back it's, you know, i'm always very, you know, hands on, touchy feely, and let's answer these questions, Let's make exceptions and bring in in the group and ask these questions and they're like no, let's not do that, let's not do that. And then they eventually just decided well, she's only here half of the year, let's just take it from her. And that's kind of what happened, yeah.
Jesper Conrad: But they could use some self healing and I'm using that word to to drag into the subject of both your book but also the inner journey for the parent who takes on the responsibility of their child's not education but learning. But yet that whole travel, you know, for me I remember I was more classical dad who was like first Cecilia, we had our oldest daughter, who's now grown up in a very free special school. That was fantastic. It's kind of like Waldorf And when she presented that I was like, why, why that the public school system was good enough for me. What is this snobbish thingy? you know And and but, but it was based on being a stupid man, but also just on not knowing, not knowing that what the school was about, because the school which chose for her was based on they had a curriculum that was very exciting And from that, when Cecilia then came and said, hey, let's, why don't we just call school out kids? I was like it felt wrong. And and I know my travel has been very big as a parent And I can see in your book you talk about the self healing process you have been on, but I can see from my point of view and the learning curve I've been on for the last 10 years.
Jesper Conrad: It's so exceptional, big and rewarding that I as a person get to experience so much stuff. And just as you talk about healing, i, i, i know there are stuff I have not recovered, but where I'm just, life is just better. And giving I'm giving, taking away some of all these imprinted beliefs, is what is happened in my mind over the years and we use this of course you also this de schooling processes. It is called to remove all those thoughts about how life should be and just living life. That's, it's one of the greatest gifts.
Lainie Liberti: So well said. I mean, people look at world schooling and they look at it from a practical, like you know perspective, like how many you know, how am I going to get my my? do my banking? What are the visas? What are the time to like this practical on the surface stuff, and sure, that stuff is important, but I never worried about that.
Lainie Liberti: But the moment we first set out, i recognize that the outer worlds were a reflection of our inner worlds And that was really about the inner world journey.
Lainie Liberti: And for me, being somebody who was a self directed healer and part of the reason why I was a self directed healer of myself was because I had early childhood trauma.
Lainie Liberti: One of my trauma responses was hyper independence And so I'm going to do this on my own And that became the theme of my life for many, many, many years still kind of is, but I recognize that the strength and the gift that it gave me was that that inspiration to really dig into what it means to heal, what it means to pull apart belief systems, what it means to question yourself, what it means to be the watcher of your own thoughts, what it means to just pause and and see what's happening in the internal worlds and I had a lot of practice doing that and I still do that and I can't say that I'm like, like you know, you're not done, you're done on your life journey.
Lainie Liberti: I'm still using these tools, but that was a big part of the me that I brought in partnership with my son on this journey And so it became a big part of our travels. So you're right, and so the healing and the inner worlds and recognizing all of that stuff was, was really sort of a massive part of our, our. I guess we actively world schooled and live together And I've been with you, you know automatically for 12 years. Last two years I've been in Mexico, so can't say that, but I'm still in Mexico.
Cecilie Conrad: So that's kind of what California connection between the inner and the outer journey is very, very interesting because obviously we've experienced it a thousand times that what happens around us and where we like feel an urge to go, or whatever it shows up on the way, is very just sparks the right turns on the right motors. On the inside like, okay, i have to open this box now and work with that and I can work with this, it's okay. And and it's not all fun and joy and and and be chill, it's. It's also sometimes very confronting to live a life on the road And I think that so we say the most interesting is the people, the adventure is the people but, obviously we are also some of the people and we get to meet ourselves and we get to meet the children.
Cecilie Conrad: When we are open to this thing, that happens between the physical world we travel in, where we go, that now we're in Basque country, in Spain, and there's something here with the mountains and some vibe that is different from other places, but it also opens or touches a nerve inside that is different from what happened when we were just in Normandy, france, and before that, paris. It's very, very enriching and also kind of easier than doing it at home in one place, because it feeds this Okay, i have to keep going which, at least for us, makes us keep going and keep growing. I find that very, very interesting And I think one important thing is world schooling. Sometimes, when people ask you all these practical questions, all of this with the visas and the laundry and how do you ever get a shower, and these things, i get it. I get it. We live sometimes in a van, so obviously there's no shower and that's a practical question and I would like to answer it. But I think it's just more interesting to talk about the other things.
Cecilie Conrad: When you take school out of the equation, what happens And what I don't want to happen is that you put some ambition, like the school, to repeat the system at home or on the journey. Okay, so we go to Athens and we have to study Greek mythology, and then we have to visit all these places And this is a teachable moment. We have to give the children this. I think you know. But this is also a common misunderstanding about world schooling, where the unschooling kind of slips out the back door, because then it becomes like this ambition project And if it is this ambition project, we can't find space for the inner journey, which I would find devastating. So the freedom thing, the lady of liberty, i'm trying to get to a point and it's not easy because there's complicated stuff, but I was just I. So we, like you, have a son in the 20s. We have a daughter, she's kind of the same age, and she just visited us in Paris and she said she had heard the most inspiring lecture ever in her life. It was about feminist economy And she more or less repeated the whole thing. For me It was very, very interesting. I will not do the same right now, but she said this question of money and value, where everything feminine has no value because it will not generate money that can be calculated.
Cecilie Conrad: Another kind of protest is to do all the things that officially have no value, which means we have to let go of always ticking boxes off, of always studying something or doing something, and the inner journey has no value in the, in the money, society or the money, the money. I need a word money, economy. Yeah, so when you took the school out of the equation, which is like one big thing, lots of free thing, because never think about they do crazy stuff, they be it old, organic villages and they have shared economy and they do all crazy great things and send the kids off to school every morning, it's crazy, it is. But another thing that also sometimes slips and this is more complicated, that's why I'm talking so much is this do you dare do something that has no official value, like doing your inner work or just making a drawing?
Cecilie Conrad: I know you do artwork, i've seen it on social media and it has, it has value, but it doesn't have. So you kind of take a box, kind of I accomplished art, or you kind of take a box I felt my feelings. You cannot take a box. I read a good night's story for my children and that made them grow inside these things. Do you find it part of your life as an anarchist to do things that has no value in the monetarian? Are you thinking or?
Lainie Liberti: am I making any sense? Absolutely, and I know exactly what you mean.
Cecilie Conrad: Okay, because I'm very, very, very, not very good at explaining myself right now.
Lainie Liberti: Not at all. You were very clear. No, you were very clear. So the way that this related to us is I look at it at through the lens of de-schooling right. So I'm somebody who came from LA, you know. I was accustomed to, you know, making more than $10,000 a month. I worked very hard for that money. We always had everything that we needed, and I'm just sort of looking at this through the lens of economy right now, just to give you some background.
Lainie Liberti: But when we left the United States, we had a limited, not unlimited a limited amount of money in the bank which was supposed to last just for one year, and the very first challenge that my son and I, you know, were confronted with was looking at our relationship to consumerism, and the consumerist American lifestyle is very much about consumption, consumption, consumption, spend, earn, spend, earn, debt, debt, debt, debt. And we didn't want that cycle to come with us. So all of the debts that I had were paid off before I left the United States. So we left debt free, we left with enough money in the bank to be able to have one year on a budget of $2,000 a month, and we actually ended up spending about $1,000 to $1,500. And we had a like handshake. You know, spin the handshake deal. We are going to collect experiences, not things. So our schooling process was really about this intention and moving into that space And we did it very easily because we were both kind of disgusted with the consumerist lifestyle And because I worked in advertising, like I'm creating consumerism, and Miro had this already relationship to well, that's what mom does, so let's choose something different. And it was really really a wonderful sort of de-schooling or decompression of that.
Lainie Liberti: And once we stepped into that fully, we were able to see what was important And that was connection. That was. we had a bunch of other deals like partnership. We were going to do everything in partnership. Nobody had authority over the other person. That was really my big, you know, sort of I'm not the boss, we're walking on this side by side, journey together I'm not the boss And so we really I had to struggle a little bit to adjust because I was accustomed to get ready, go to school. You know these words coming out of my mouth, that wasn't relevant anymore.
Lainie Liberti: And then, of course, one of the other sort of deals that handshakes, spit in the hand, you know, sort of like handshake deals we made was let's say yes to everything, and the way that we were able to say yes to everything was to really get in touch with what were our core values. And because we're not living with rules, because rules are authority And if you have rules, somebody has to be the authoritarian to make sure the other person is following the rules, and when they break the rules, we have to be the judge and the jury and we have to sentence them. I didn't want any of that bullshit. So we are now living without rules, but we're living with values, and because I worked in branding, i was really familiar with how to design our core values And that became the litmus test or the measure that we would run things through, so we could say yes as long as these things were in alignment with our values, and so all of the stuff that we were doing was a combination of self-inquiry, self-awareness and then accountability to one another.
Lainie Liberti: So that involves the internal worlds And as we're shifting from a very consumerist lifestyle in the United States and a very semi-traditional lifestyle into something without rules and living the way that we want to live, and freedom and liberty, like we had to have though the scaffolding to help sort of prop us up when we wobbled. So I'm the only way that we could do that is to check in and make sure that our inner worlds were like okay, i'm struggling here. I'm triggered because I have this fear. What does this fear mean? The fear means this, and that's touching on some old wounds. I'm speaking to you in a really shitty way. I'm so sorry. I'm aware that I'm doing this. It's not you. This is because these things are coming up inside of me.
Lainie Liberti: So, like that absolute, radical responsibility for what's happening in the inner worlds was so important. But to go back to the economic conversation, we already sort of separated mentally from. You know like what can I buy? What am I going to get? What am I? you know like how are we going to spend this money to? How are we going to enrich our lives? And so it's.
Lainie Liberti: It's a radical way of approaching life and your daughter really honed in on that. But the value, whether or not it's a societal or economic value, if it has no value to you internally, it doesn't mean shit. It doesn't. There's no value. And we really stepped into our power to be able to say this is what's valuable to us. And again, thankfully, i had a son who was really in tune with these ideas. He's very, very articulate and political and very social and very aware and really likes to explore a lot of the historical context around. You know government and community and all of these other different ideas, and so for us it was really an exploration, learning about the world and then how we're processing it. So I don't know if that answers your question, but I know with this flying as my question.
Cecilie Conrad: I know I was just thinking about this. You know we take out the big idea of of school and another big idea is this accomplishment idea, this you know you have to produce something in a way. So I was just thinking, did you take that production idea also out? And I that you answered that and I could have asked it more precisely.
Lainie Liberti: I actually have a really powerful story. That happened eight months into our travels and I noticed all of this internal shifting. We were in Guatemala, in Antigua, and there was this beautiful park that we would sit in in the afternoon and just watch the women with the Montes, with the babies on the back, and they're selling like little things. And it was. It was gorgeous. The birds were chirping and though you could hear the fountain. It was this massive meeting place in the middle of the city and I loved it. And now we sit there and I'd sketch and mirror, come and bring a book and we would just sit. This was one of our things and we were really feeling into the groove of our lifestyle and we didn't have to do anything. That was so liberating.
Lainie Liberti: And this older gentleman sat down next to me one afternoon when we were sitting on one of the benches and he was well dressed and he was probably in his early 70s and he spoke perfect English And he said good afternoon, young lady, how are you? And you know I was like oh, you speak English, i'm really well. Are you from Guatemala? He's like yes, i'm from here. I worked in the United States For many, many years. I came back. I'm now retired and I just, i love being back in my homeland. And he said to me so what do you do, young lady? And I said when, that moment, and I wasn't being like shitty or smart- No, no, no.
Cecilie Conrad: It was like what's the question about?
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, Yeah, but before my life in LA, i would have said, well, i'm an art director, i own this business and I've done this for many years And you know I'm a mother and I'm an artist and I'm digital, like I would have had a whole list of things that I do to identify myself.
Jesper Conrad: I would have lived up to identity boxes, yeah.
Cecilie Conrad: Right And doing not being That was my point exactly. I do these things. Therefore I create value, therefore I am allowed to do these things, and we actually had it in our relationship, not like as a problem, but Jesper was the breadwinner when we lived in Copenhagen. I looked after and homeschooled the children And sometimes it would slip into our language that he would say that he's working and I'm not. Yeah, I had four children to look after and a big house. And it's not that I'm not doing anything.
Jesper Conrad: She was just sitting around.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, looking at the birds When all four of them were small I was not.
Cecilie Conrad: We have this inside the language, this idea that something is worth our time and something is kind of waste, whereas if we do this working thing, accomplishment thing, all the time that we are brought up to see as our identity, then we, i think there is a big loss of life. So the valuable moments we have to connect, to enjoy, to feel love, to create art, to be together with ourselves or people we love or people we just met this is lost because this is considered kind of waste and worthless And which means we lose what I find the most valuable. Not only this stuff is valuable. I find it also valuable to write a book or, i don't know, make someone's bed or work in a restaurant and make lovely meals. I mean things that are in the money economy can still have value to me. But things outside the money economy some kind of slips, and we never talk about it as something valuable or we do, but in this, like you can do that in your spare time kind of thing, i try to work in my spare time.
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, it totally makes sense. Like my days, i may have one or two appointments, i may have nothing, and I have time. So I'm for the first time in my life, when we left, i was rich in time And that economy of having that wealth was so much more valuable to me than not having time, because I missed out on the first nine years of my childhood Like I really did I wasn't present. So I have very little in the big, but I'm pretty wealthy. I'm wealthy with experience, with love, with compassion, with time, with just so much Yeah.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, and maybe also courage. I think you mentioned somehow you know the people starting out, you talk to them sometimes, we talk to them sometimes and it is about the fear And bank and laundry and basically safety and feeling safe and comfortable. And I'm sure you have been feeling unsafe and uncomfortable loads of times but chosen this to have your lifestyle just like we have, and maybe you should have courage for a little while.
Lainie Liberti: And then I got around.
Cecilie Conrad: Respect the time. Yeah, just a little bit. And then put on courage for people starting out or just to give them a little hope.
Lainie Liberti: So I have been asked quite often how are you, as a single mom, you know with blonde hair, you know, moving through Latin America, which most Americans perceive as a dangerous place, how are you so courageous? And that question always makes me giggle, it's just like what? Okay, that speaks more to your perception of the things that I'm doing than my experience. That's the first thing, but the second thing is sure, you're right, there are times where I feel fear. Feel fear or fearful, but the recognition that fear comes from an internal place. There are really, if you break it down, there are two kinds of fear. There are the fears that come from thoughts, and then there are fears that are actually spark, that spark your amygdala and you go into fight, flight or freeze response, and that's about a survival mechanism. Thank God, i have that, thank God, every human has that, because it's designed to keep us safe and that's the survival of our species.
Lainie Liberti: Now, the fears that are based on thoughts can be unpacked, and that's part of my inner journey. So the ones that I have, like I initially had this fear that you know oh my God, am I ruining my child's life by choosing this lifestyle That came up as a true fear. The fear, then, is a thought, it's a question, but it's really. The implication is I am ruining my child's life, and what I really needed to do in those moments was pull it apart using tools. And I'm somebody and I've mentioned scaffolding before I need to have scaffolding to help me, sort of like, move through the plan and understand it through a frame of reference, a framework, and I've used tools in all of my healing journey. One of the most powerful ones that I discovered, before I even got pregnant with my son, was Byron Katie's The Work. One of the ways it's so good.
Lainie Liberti: It helps you to separate the thought from the, from yourself And what beliefs are, and a lot of times we believe if I do this, i'm screwing up my child because it's not, it's not conventional. So that could be a foundational belief, and a belief is only a thought that is thought over and over And you create a pattern of thinking and then it goes into your subconscious and then the subconscious plays that back when, when a particular you know situation is triggered, you run. That story is kind of similar to having software running in the background, and once I learned that it was okay to question the things that I was thinking first. It's a skill to watch your thoughts, then learn how to pause without you know reacting and then move into a space of responding And that time in between gets shorter and shorter. If you practice this over and over which I have been for 30 years It really helps you to separate, kind of the.
Lainie Liberti: You know the wheat from the chaff.
Lainie Liberti: Like you know, the wheat might be the thing that you're thinking and you believe in that moment, but it's actually just a thought and the thought can live in your brain.
Lainie Liberti: That's fine, but do you have to believe the thought? Yes, no, it's you Maybe, but do you want da kids to realize that whatever you're thinking, know how to leave the baby into my thinking and being about it and explaining to somebody about having to do, saying well, and when they're anchored by strong emotions, the anchoring sometimes is really hard to loosen and look at because emotions really keep us distracted. We're feeling the emotion, we start to believe it and we haven't had the if we haven't had the experience of pulling apart emotions and really recognizing the purpose of emotions right, which is to alert us, give us information, and we start believing these things. So it's it's like, okay, just tools and skills to pull this stuff apart. It doesn't mean I'm courageous, it just means I have skills and tools to pull the stuff apart and to be uncomfortable or, sorry, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because it's a mental process Yeah.
Jesper Conrad: There's something fun about that we talked a lot about Yeah.
Jesper Conrad: I know There's something fun about that. we talk a lot about the personal development of you and of us, when what we also have in common is the fascination with how people learn and children and stuff. But I think part of it has to do with for you to be the best possible partner in your child's life. the better you have you feel about yourself, the better apparent you will be and the better a partner in your child's learning curve will you be as well. And I know we have a little time left five minutes so I would love to hear a little about. say to people out there you've written a book and it's for the title scene heard, and then all kids are seen and heard, but not all understood, which is the last part of the title. So your goal with this book can you briefly tell people about it?
Lainie Liberti: Yeah, well, i discovered that I really stepped into, by accident, my life purpose, and that's working with teens. I connected teens in such a beautiful way and unpacking and unraveling and healing my own childhood wounds. My adolescence was the most difficult time for me, and so when I see a teen who's struggling, i want to make sure that they're seen, heard and understood. This is my book. I just happened to have it right here. See if I understood parenting and partnering with teens for greater mental health. It's specifically for parents of teens, but anybody, absolutely anybody, will benefit from this book A parent of any age or anybody, because the tools that are in here are really the challenge for the reader to go inside and do this work and use these tools And then, if you are a parent of a teen or a tween, co-facilitate them with the teen or tween after you've done the work right.
Lainie Liberti: So use these tools. One of them I include, of course, is Byron Katie's the work, and we bring it into context of partnership, and what that looks like is the practice of self inquiry, and it's okay. You know that we are always a work in process, you know we're never done, like I said, and this book specifically will help assist parents of teens and tweens who might be struggling right now. So there's a whole chapter of tools. There's like 15 tools in there. There's lots of information about partnership parenting, there's some stories from my childhood and some of the abuse and the trauma that I had to overcome, and it's a personal journey, but it's really.
Lainie Liberti: Maybe I'll write another one, you know, just a general one. That's not for parents of teens, but this is my passion. I've been working with teens for about 10 years now, taking them on international trips and then, during the pandemic, working with them online with tools for greater mental health, and I recognize that I could only work with so many teens, you know, in a, you know one on one or a class, you know situation. So I was like, okay, teens need this information And I'm going to write this for the parents so they can support their teens too. So that's, that's my book, okay, just you can search for the title and find it, or find it on Amazon.
Cecilie Conrad: I have it on my Kindle. Yeah, all right, should we end it here?
Jesper Conrad: Yeah, let's do it. Loads to talk about.
Cecilie Conrad: Thank you for your time. It has been fun, like always.
Lainie Liberti: Thank you. I'm going to see you guys again at some point.
Cecilie Conrad: Yeah, we might actually come to it.
Jesper Conrad: Yeah, that's the plan. We will love it. I know it's hard.
Cecilie Conrad: I'm going to start it, okay.
WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS EPISODE
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E19 - The Power of Connection in Parenting - A dialogue with Naomi Aldort
E18 - Ask Us Anything: Embracing Radical Parenting & Unschooling: A Journey of Trust & Empowerment
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