“These tools and drills create the results that we’re actually looking for, and that allows us to show up more empowered, to show up more embodied, to take risks.” This quote by today’s guest, Carrie Montgomery, perfectly sums up the transformative power of Neuro Somatic Intelligence for both personal growth and professional success.
As a transformational leadership coach, Carrie has embraced these tools to help others align their nervous system health and career development. Now an NSI educator, her approach demonstrates how Neuro Somatic practices can lead to more authentic business practices, impactful leadership, and healthy collaboration.
In this episode, Carrie shares her life-changing experience with NSI and how she’s integrated the work into her business. She dives into the role of nervous system regulation in business, addressing how to overcome burnout, navigate big emotions like shame, and more.
Tune in to learn more about the potential of Neuro Somatic intelligence in the business space!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Self-growth and business alignment
- The role of nervous system health in business success
- How Carrie brings NSI work into her business
- Carrie’s personal experience with NSI
- The importance of defining your ideal client
- Carrie’s chronic health issues and journey to recovery
- Integrating nervous system regulation with business development
Connect with Carrie Montgomery:
Contact us about private Rewire Neuro-Somatic Coaching:
Learn more about the Neuro-Somatic Intelligence Coaching program and sign up for the spring cohort now! https://www.neurosomaticintelligence.com/?utm_medium=aff-traumarewired&utm_content&utm_source
Get started training your nervous system with our FREE 2-week offer on the Brain Based Membership site:
TRANSCRIPT[00:00:00] Elisabeth Kristof: I was living in decision fatigue because that’s a very common cultural thing of entrepreneurs and even corporate. Like you have to make so many decisions every day. And when we can come back to like our own intuition, our own sense of boundary, our own will, then we can take action, make decisions in our business of what to work on, what not to work on, who to engage with and who not to engage with.
[00:00:30] Carrie Montgomery: And those boundaries recalibrate how you operate in a business.[00:00:35] Jennifer: Hello, and welcome to Trauma Rewired, the podcast that teaches you about your nervous system, how trauma lives in the body, and what you can do to heal. I’m your cohost, Jennifer Wallace, and I’m an NSI practitioner that supports women in leading big embodied lives by bridging the medicines of your nervous system and plant medicine healing spaces. [00:00:58] Elisabeth Kristof: And I’m your co host, Elisabeth Kristof, founder of BrainBased.com, an online platform that trains the nervous system for behavior change, resilience, stress processing, emotional processing, and really creating transformation from the level of the nervous system out. I’m also the founder of Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coaching Certification, an ICF accredited course for therapists, practitioners, and coaches to bring nervous system health, regulation, and resilience into all of the work that you do. [00:01:32] Elisabeth Kristof: Today we are joined by Carrie Montgomery, who is a transformational leadership coach and a performance strategist that helps our clients see and connect with their business in a way that feels good and makes money. [00:01:45] Elisabeth Kristof: She’s also an NSI certified practitioner that is bringing the NSI framework and education into organizations and businesses at a corporate level so we’re really excited to dive into all of this with you today. Carrie, welcome to Trauma Rewired. [00:02:00] Carrie Montgomery: Thank you so much for having me, Elisabeth and Jennifer. It’s great to see you guys. [00:02:03] Jennifer Wallace: I’d love to hear a little bit of your thoughts as a transformational leadership coach about how your relationship to your business and your brand is connected to your nervous system and how those dots connected for you going through NSI? [00:02:20] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah, so I was at a standstill in my business. I was on a pause when I found you because I’d gone through a really big medical event and I had to take time off and I’d lost a lot of capacity personally. So I was like, how am I going to start again? What does this look like? I’ve been in the spiritual and healing space for 30 years because of my own stuff and I integrated that into my coaching. But when I looked at how I operated in my business, my foundation was broken. There wasn’t something strong to come to move from and so it really affected how I connected with my worth and value, with my ideal clients, with my partners, with the collaborators, all of this fear was like on a really shaky foundation. [00:03:14] Carrie Montgomery: So this work gave me the space, the altitude, to take a step back and look at how I was approaching it. And the nervous system is literally the energetic imprint that you put out into the world. People read your nervous system before you walk into a room. We have an energetic field that steps into the room before us. And I got that, but now I feel it, cause I can feel the difference and the impact of how my missignaling was walking in the room. And now how my really stable, full capacity signal walks into the room. [00:03:58] Jennifer Wallace: Wow. that’s really beautiful. I totally feel that too. It’s different when you know that you’re showing up regulated, you show up on your calls differently. You show up, like you were saying, with your value and your worth and not so afraid to maybe set some boundaries, which I really see a lot in leadership. And just like that capacity that you spoke of. A lot of times what I’ve come up with, like in clients of mine that are leaders and in marketing and branding and our business coaches, they really suffer from a lot of burnout from one, that lack of boundaries and all of that overgiving. So what I’ve seen in their results is once they start tightening up their nervous systems and getting regulated and like you’re talking about it, watering the foundation with regulation, their businesses have taken off in so many different ways. And so one of the things that you say from your website is creating a personal brand is an act of personal development, I would love for you to unpack that a little bit. [00:04:59] Carrie Montgomery: That’s a big question. Okay. So I was like a walking stress ball. A lot of my clients are walking stress balls, but because there was this whole image development part of my business of looking good. I got really performative at looking good, right? Like I could put on the mask and I could show up but again, like I said, my body was filled with stress. And so for me to become not just the image but like the person that I wanted to be, and that I was projecting into the world from the images people would see online is that real behind the scenes and I look, we know when we’re lying to ourselves, like we know when we’re like not showing up in the way that we not only envision, but had hoped to and a lot of times we’re breaking our own boundaries. We’re saying yes to things that are not in alignment either with our business or our bodies. And when we say yes to things that are outside of those personal boundaries, we’re then pleasing someone else and so we’re going into this on response and we’re saying, Oh yeah, I can just do this. [00:06:09] Carrie Montgomery: And so a lot of people that are yes-ers, they say I was like a total yes girl to everything, but I had no idea what like a strong no and a strong boundary felt like for me because I was so used to accommodating and bending my will towards others and it got me in a lot of trouble because I would be in the background solving problems that like, there are so many other people that are better at that. [00:06:34] Carrie Montgomery: I would take on more than my fair share, more than my load, that in a business you don’t get compensated for. In a corporation you do but you’re still carrying the stress of maybe someone else’s responsibilities. So when I started to get really clear on refining my purpose and how I show up and what I’m here to do, I had taken on a lot of creative work and I love creativity and this whole image development side and the somatic styling is very much part of what I do but it’s not everything. And so really letting the coaching take the front seat, letting the personal development of I’m the leader inside my business. I actually dictate what is a yes and what is a no. But I actually had to figure out what that felt like in my body first. [00:07:22] Carrie Montgomery: And that was like the real rewiring process for me. I’ve been programmed to betray my body my whole entire life. Societally, that’s what we’re programmed to do. And as a strong leader, you have to know what your no is. You have to know what your yes is. And you have to know when you’re betraying yourself. And that is the true act for me. It was really about clearing out the chaos that I kept saying yes to and Befriending myself. [00:07:55] Elisabeth Kristof: Yeah, I resonate with that so deeply, so much of my trauma responses and my attachment styles were also how we are anywhere is how we are everywhere, right? So I have that in my personal life but it translates through to my business, And talking about having the capacity to know even to feel into my body to feel those signals and the intuition of this is a yes for me and this is a no and then having the capacity in my nervous system to be able to take action then in that direction where I’m not so driven by the fear and the felt sense inside of this is terrifying, life threatening, unsafe to either delegate certain responsibilities to someone else to just turn down opportunities to say something to someone that they might not want to hear and know that I can navigate that conflict. [00:08:51] Elisabeth Kristof: It is really difficult to do all of that and still be stuck in a state of dysregulation and holding all of those same pattern responses. As you were going through NSI, did you find that the tools had a really practical application in that way of repatterning that stuff? [00:09:12] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah, it’s so interesting because I yes, and yes. It really made something that was pretty esoteric in the world of how you feel, what is an emotion. Emotions aren’t societally acceptable, especially big emotions, sadness, anger, negative emotions. And I had enough trauma stacked in my world and I’m just going to say it’s more of like a stress response at this point if we were to reprogram how the world sees trauma and just make it more around like this is how we respond to the stressors or the triggers in our life and it’s a stress response in our bodies. [00:09:51] Carrie Montgomery: We are physical beings. We read tension through physicality, right? It’s not so esoteric. It’s very physical so NSI really was the doorway for me to finally understand like, oh yeah, this fear response, this deeply rooted fear response, where my shoulders and my neck and all these things tweak out and I get migraines and all these pain patterns that I have, I can take action and take responsibility for and be accountable because there are very systematic, programmable steps that I can do that I see results from. It got me out of running from myself, right? I was in a fight or flight for so many years of just running from myself and a meditation couldn’t quite do that for me. Now I can meditate and meditation is really beneficial, but I had gotten to a point in my journey where meditation wasn’t paying off, all the yoga wasn’t paying off, all the sort of mind body stuff that I had been studying for 30 years, just wasn’t working for me and this became scientifically driven neurobiology, neurophysiology, like all of a sudden I’m seeing massive results in just how I feel and how I respond to the people in the world around me from doing a handful of exercises. [00:11:27] Carrie Montgomery: It’s basically like having a workout for your nervous system, but you’re ingrained in understanding where the performance is taking you. [00:11:40] Jennifer Wallace: I really love what you were saying a few minutes ago, because I really think there’s a huge dilemma for creatives and entrepreneurs because you are programmed to, like you said, betray our bodies. So that’s one element. And then there’s this aspect of we have to show up, we have to drive, we have to push through and we’re pushing through a lot of times, some of those pain patterns that you were talking about pushing through the fear and it’s the dilemma comes in I have to do this. It’s for survival. And yet your survival is coming from your survival of your nervous system. And often these two are going to come hit each other at some point because they’re not working together. They’re actually starting to work against each other. [00:12:26] Jennifer Wallace: So I just really, I love what you’re saying about how this new daily nervous system practice for you really, shifted the way that you felt. You could feel your feelings, you could feel the resistance, you could feel the fears or the stressors and the triggers and it caused you to respond differently and then you show up differently and then you birth a whole new business from that place. I really don’t have a question here. I just wanted to comment on that. [00:12:55] Carrie Montgomery: Echo it because I think it’s like from working through NSI and I love the way you’ve set up the program so that you can go through it multiple times and like just stay inside the community and let it’s it becomes an ecosystem and it’s a really healthy ecosystem. And I remember I bumped up against myself inside a system and a structure that I had been operating in survival mode my whole entire life and I was able to make a different choice and you think, Oh yeah, just, you just do something different but it was so revolutionary for me to extract myself from the situation and go into Brain Based Wellness and have support. And literally I sat with you, Jen, and I went through a process and I was like, we’re in a class and I’m finding safety in my own body after feeling really triggered and unsafe and big emotions. [00:13:57] Carrie Montgomery: When we don’t know how to metabolize them, it can make you a train wreck. It can just take you down and when you’re looking for ways over and over again in that survival mode of I just got to get, somebody’s got to help me, somebody’s got to fix it, and you’re so stressed out because you’re in that pattern and then all of a sudden there’s this white flag that comes up and is okay, like I’m out. I got to make a different decision because my body had enough positive programming, right? Like it had just, and that that day was like a tipping point of choice for me, or I was like, I actually don’t have to react to this, I can respond. I can pull myself out of the situation and I can restore myself and repair myself and then I can reapproach that situation from like sound body and mind and that takes you out of survival. There’s a lot of pressures in the world, right? There’s a lot of pushing. [00:14:48] Carrie Montgomery: There’s a lot of we got to meet this marker of building the family, building the career, getting the kids into college, like whatever that is, that’s not been my path. I’ve been on a different journey than the traditional one, but I see a lot of people get into that and they’re like they’re drowning in it. [00:15:06] Carrie Montgomery: They’re drowning in the pressure. And it’s where’s the choice point here? Because now you’re so committed in one direction, that you don’t know how to resource a different way and so if you actually learn to access a new relationship with your body, a new relationship with stress a new relationship with how you connect with people, then you actually have choice to make a different decision, not from, most of my life was desperation. [00:15:35] Carrie Montgomery: I need this to get that. I need this to get that. If I don’t have this and I can’t have that. And those are all like external societal things that are great. Like it’s nice to have material things and be comfortable. I totally agree with that. But I think when we don’t understand like physical, internal safety in the body, all of that is just useless. [00:15:58] Carrie Montgomery: If you’re a super stressed out, it’s not fun. So I just can’t echo enough the power of stepping away from push culture. And doesn’t mean you have to leave your job or leave your business. I just decided to pause my business so that I could really integrate into this work and give it like 150 to 2000 percent of my attention, because I knew that I had found something that was taking years of training and giving me that last little bit of information that was going to be like, and now here’s the crescendo of all the work you’ve done and now it all makes sense. [00:16:40] Elisabeth Kristof: That’s is really incredible to hear that coming from you and the work that you have done with this work is so inspiring. It’s inspiring that you even allowed yourself the pause, to dive deep into the work and had enough trust in yourself, trust in this work to do that. And to really say, I’m going to put this stuff on hold and focus on the root, restoring my relationship to myself, working on my nervous system, and then allowing what unfolds from there to come later. That’s a big ask. A lot of people are going to hear that and be like, whoa, but the results that you get from that deeper dive and the space and the time and the pause are incredible. And I’d love to hear a little bit about the work that you are doing now as your business is transforming. [00:17:34] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah, totally. Thank you for saying that. I’m just going to reflect that when I started the work with you, through Brain Based Wellness in the beginning, I wasn’t really able to walk. I had come out of my 14 surgeries and literally had zero capacity. I could barely do drills because I got so dizzy from them. I was a foreigner in my body because of the level of medical trauma. I have an inordinate amount of medical trauma, which just goes to the credibility of this work. Because if you just consistently do it and show up for it, And believe that these little tiny exercises you’re doing are actually going to make a difference like they do and it becomes it’s compounded interest, right? [00:18:19] Carrie Montgomery: You’re paying into this bucket, right? And you’re paying in, you’re paying in, you’re paying in and all of a sudden you’re like, whoa, this is really paying off. I would say, so when I first started to go back to work, I was still a little bit in ta da, like I’m here. And I was trying to perform a little bit the old way and I wasn’t fully certified yet in the program when I had gone back to work, but I was like, wait, it’s like time to get started like I felt like I had capacity, but I wasn’t fully certified. [00:18:51] Carrie Montgomery: Energetically, I couldn’t hold the container that I was creating because I knew that I was still doing the tada, I’m here, and because a lot of my work prior to this was based in image development and somatics and embodiment of your personal brand and and yes, it was very healing driven, there’s still you’re cultivating an image so there is a final result that you’re everyone’s going to look for. And I need to be that. All of a sudden I was using old images from before the pandemic to promote a program and I was like, this is not I’m doing the steps, but this is not feeling right. [00:19:35] Carrie Montgomery: And instead of just folding and collapsing and withdrawing, I just was like, okay, this is not feeling right. I’m going to keep working through using the tools and understanding my boundaries and setting new boundaries. And that’s where all of a sudden I birth Elegant Leadership from that. Elegant Leadership has been this beautiful process of taking women through the journey of understanding their nervous system, creating routines and practices, understanding their pattern and their stress response. [00:20:10] Carrie Montgomery: I think when we start to learn the pattern that’s been dominating us for our life, Without having shame for that, right? Without having shame for hating our husband or for getting angry at our kids, but understanding that that fight response is actually so ingrained and we start sourcing safety and security and comfort and expression, right? Healthy expression, so that we’re not holding on to that anger or that rage, but it’s coming through the body. So in my work, I’ve always had somatics, but I didn’t have this tool that was calculated, right? I find that NSI is I’m going to say, if you’re looking at masculine feminine, it is the sort of more masculine scientific driven form of somatics and it’s creates really safe containers and really safe boundaries and we respect the limits of the body, right? Like the body says, Oh, that was too much. Okay, cool. Let’s pull back. Whereas old somatic work was like, push through that’s good, get in there, get deeper go what do you feel? Express that and it would push over that window of tolerance, and so by honoring my client’s like window of tolerance I can now give them a very laid out, easy and approachable program where they can take accountability and responsibility. If they feel tapped out, they can actually reach out to me and be hey, so I’m lost in this can you give me guidance? And I’ll give them a couple exercises to do, check in with their body and then they get back into their own intuitive sense. Then they get back into trust with their body. Then they can take action, and they’re not reliant on me to answer. [00:22:01] Carrie Montgomery: I outsourced my decision making so much because and so I love diving into the body and exploring what is coming up for people, right? We want to know what those patterns are, but these tools and these drills create the results that we’re actually looking for, and giving them a new possibility, right? And that allows them to show up more empowered, that allows them to show up more embodied, that allows them to take risks, that allows them to engage with high performing entrepreneurs or high, like bigger projects that they never thought that they were qualified to do, which they are, but they’ve been living in fear and self doubt. And so now we just get to step into this and it becomes like a very natural and beautiful soft unfolding instead of living in force and push and go. [00:22:55] Jennifer Wallace: It’s really empowering shifts. It’s really beautiful to hear how you’re moving this work into your work. And so I wanted to circle back to something, a couple different things. You talked a little bit about shame and how shame would show up in your clients and in, even in your own work and I recognize that toxic shame, I’ve experienced regular shame in my business cause we have a business partnership here and we do things differently. It’s actually been such a blessing for me because it’s shifted the toxic shame into just like regular shame. [00:23:27] Jennifer Wallace: And maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal for people out there or maybe it doesn’t sound like that’s a win but that is a win. Instead of going into those deep loops of just the toxic shame the inner critic and I’m not doing things good enough or as to be expected or whatever the language is and so what I learned was as I started to use the tools and clean up those shame narratives and go back to those the patterns that put the shame more in place that I got to show up as a business partner a lot differently. [00:23:59] Jennifer Wallace: And that made me feel so much better about myself. Not just that it was like, Oh, I can do this. Like I can do this and someone trusts me. And because I do business with someone who’s also very regulated and understands regulation and responses, it gives us a lot of grace and a really, like a beautiful line of open communication. That just went off into a tangent, but what I really want to get back to, though, is honestly is ideal clients, because I think this is a big one for people. When you have that really grabby energy and you’re dysregulated and you’re running on fear patterns, you often just take whatever business comes your way and what you said a minute ago was, when you have regulation, you know who to do business with and who to not do business with. And sometimes it’s about not taking the client, but you don’t not take the client from dysregulation. Have you seen a shift in your ideal client as you’ve shifted your nervous system? [00:24:57] Carrie Montgomery: A hundred percent. This is a great question, so thank you for asking this. I had a huge self worth like belonging thing before I did this work where I didn’t feel like I belonged in the room, but I could force my stature cause I’m a five, 10 women. I’m fairly fit and so I could look the part but I never felt the part. [00:25:23] Carrie Montgomery: And I had a lot of shame around just showing up and asking for business and it kept coming back to am I worthy of delivering this work? And the answer for me was no, I’m not. And I had to really develop a new sense of confidence inside my body. And confidence is a felt sense. It’s not just forcing your mind to get there. Like it is a physical feeling. And if you can’t take aligned action and ask for business in a way that feels good, you’re not going to feel confident. [00:26:05] Carrie Montgomery: You’ll live in self doubt. And so when you can’t ask for business from a calm, centered, deserving place it’s going to send out a misfire and you’re going to grab on to people that are not aligned because you’re not feeling grounded and centered and deserving of the business in your body. So when I got the physical shift of this is a yes, this is a no. The somatic yes/no is one of my favorite practices because I can really start to go, am I feeling this? Am I forcing this? What’s happening here? I also can take a really nice pause. I’ll be like let me get back to you on that cause I was such an immediate, yes, let’s do this I’m like, yeah, I’m like a go girl. And. Like knowing how to respect my yes and my no was huge. [00:27:06] Carrie Montgomery: I think when it comes to finding that ideal customer, I was like, I’ll help anyone. I know that I’m operating with high performing entrepreneurs or CEOs and executives. I know that’s my sphere because I’m more performance driven. I feel like I can uplevel the game so much and I understand their ecosystem and their stratosphere so that we can be in this together and then turn up the volume a little bit more. [00:27:38] Carrie Montgomery: So that’s where it becomes more fun for me instead of just solving any problem that’s available. I’m solving the high performing problem. I’m working with those people that are on demand. They’re being pushed and they need actually how to like, they need to know how to fit in rest and restore. [00:27:57] Carrie Montgomery: They need to know how to respect the time and energy of their body. They need to understand the value of their time and energy. And knowing that shift for me has been like so much piece of just okay, I can really operate here like I can really play and perform here and ask them to do the things they need to do to succeed and feel like I belong there. [00:28:26] Elisabeth Kristof: Yeah, I think it’s really important to understand where we serve at the highest level and to be able to recognize that because there are many practitioners that we work with that everyone has a nervous system everyone has a brain so this work is really applicable in all areas So it’s about finding where do I serve the highest? And there are many NSI practitioners that do work in the deep therapeutic space and there are others that work with law enforcement and others that work in the more executive corporate range. [00:28:58] Elisabeth Kristof: It’s about finding that right fit for the skillset and then having a sense of safety around that it’s okay to refer out that it’s okay to turn down business sometimes to know that both parties are benefited when that comes into alignment and it took me a while to get there myself in business to know like what is my place in this world? And where do I need to to send people elsewhere for different kinds of support. You mentioned a while back in the conversation that when you came into NSI, you couldn’t walk. Your story is really inspiring. Right now people are hearing you talk about doing these big things, working with really high performers, having this big business transformation. I think it’s important to understand where you started. What happened and how it got to where it is now, because it’s a huge transformation.
[00:29:58] Elisabeth Kristof: We are enrolling now in the next cohort of Neuro Somatic Intelligence. We would love to book a discovery call with you. You can do that at neurosomaticintelligence.com[00:30:08] Carrie Montgomery: It certainly is. I’m just coming off of two weeks of business travel and it was like two photo shoots, a speaking engagement, a co-facilitating a retreat holding space for 20 high performing women, not only doing the production side of it, the back end side, but also holding the space side. I sent Elisabeth a message and I was like, so just so you know, I haven’t been operational like this in four years. I broke my back when I was 18, so I have metal rods in my back. I’ve had since then I’ve had 14 surgeries, mostly on my ovaries and uterus and lost my uterus 20 years into that journey and trying to, and look one surgery alone sucks, but what I what I like wholeheartedly know, and I think, in my when I say having a personal brand is a personal is an act of personal development this is actually truly what I mean I had a commitment to myself at 18 after that surgery that I was like, not gonna exit this life without solving some pretty big intergenerational stuff. [00:31:16] Carrie Montgomery: I didn’t have that language then. I just was like, I’m not doing this eternity thing here on this spiritual journey. I’m solving in this lifetime. So I have been in my healing journey since I was 18 years old. [00:31:31] Carrie Montgomery: When I learned about the autonomic nervous system and what stress does and how physical traumatic stress creates these tension patterns inside your body. And so let’s fast forward. So I had huge hormone dysregulation for 20 years and lots of surgeries there to try and fix. A lot of hemorrhaging and endometriosis and adenomyosis and tumors and just, let’s go in and burn it out and cut it out. And I was doing all the nutrition and all the alternative and all the yoga and all the health stuff and trying to have a career. And it was catastrophe, recover, rebuild, catastrophe, recover, rebuild and it was this chronic cycle. And after I lost my uterus, I was diagnosed with a condition called dysautonomia. And so I had Lyme disease, [00:32:29] Carrie Montgomery: But basically I was like, Oh, the autonomic nervous system, I can just regulate that from yoga and breath work and all these natural things that I was already doing but it like brought another level of consciousness for me so I was like a little bit more aware and they had given me this medication that made me like really angry. [00:32:47] Carrie Montgomery: It made me rage full that was all they had to offer then I went on more of a spiritual journey and a healing journey around dysautonomia, but also feeling pretty victim to it cause like when your autonomic nervous system stops our operating, so your stress response goes up, your digestion fails, your heart rate goes wackadoodle. You feel crazy and uncomfortable. Your respiration changes. My diaphragm would freeze. I would lose my ability to walk. I would walk like a baby giraffe. [00:33:16] Carrie Montgomery: I would look like I was like a robot shutting down and my whole body would go and all of a sudden I like hobble. And this happened for 10 years. Literally for 10 years I was managing these sort of episodes. When I was healing from COVID, before we knew what COVID was, I was living in Spain and I was doing a therapy called neural therapy. It’s injections into areas in the body of lidocaine or procaine, and they help relax the nervous system and relax the area around the scars. What I started to learn in that series, the scar from my spine surgery had created, they call it interference. Basically it had destroyed my ovaries and uterus. And that interference over a 20 year period of me not being able to cut off how my autonomic nervous system was handling the stress from that first surgery left me in this chronic panic cycle because I was in a lot of physical pain, like all the time, couldn’t get out of it. [00:34:32] Carrie Montgomery: I started to feel what it felt like to be relaxed without the pain whenever he would do these injections. I was like, Oh God, this is so weird. Then I found polyvagal theory and it was like, Oh my God, wait, the freezing of my diaphragm. And when I can’t walk, that’s actually my whole entire nervous system seizing and so I got to take years of information that I had found breadcrumbs, right? Like little tiny breadcrumbs. And I started to stack it together. I’m like a big science experiment that the medical system could not figure out. [00:35:09] Carrie Montgomery: When I got back to America to visit my family for the first time since the pandemic, I went for a run and I don’t run because of the metal rods like, but I was feeling overweight and my thyroid disease was active. All these things were active, but I was in major fight or flight because of the pandemic and some of the things I’d gone that had happened in Spain by living in a moldy environment. [00:35:31] Carrie Montgomery: Fast forward, I go on a run and it’s cost me 30k, I have an emergency surgery, I have to, and it’s not covered by insurance. Now I’m in full terror of what has happened to my life and I have to stay with my parents to recover and I was in a stop, freeze, fawn, flop, can’t function when I found you. And it was layers and layers of unraveling. And this work, I don’t know, it’s given me my life back. I can a hundred percent say that if I had known about this work 30 years ago, after my spine surgery and I started doing this work, my life would be completely different. I can say that without a shadow of a doubt. There hasn’t been anything in my journey of studying alternative ways of operating the body, even traditional ways of operating the body that actually give me results that bring me back into my body to make me feel safe, to give me a level of consciousness and presence that I inherently have, like I’m a trained athlete, I know how to get up and be strong and bold, but I couldn’t do that anymore because my body had been through so much and to find a system of tools that if you just do them, it will work. That changed my belief system because I was like, nothing works anymore. Like nothing’s going to work. [00:37:09] Carrie Montgomery: I have a vestibular system that’s back online. I have the ability to go for long walks now. I just hiked up a mountain in Aspen. There’s no way two years ago that I was ever going to be able to do that again. Even a year ago, I was still having problems with my left leg. So again, lots of hours doing the work and lots of years searching. And then I think it’s like a flip of a switch. Once you finally find the one thing that really does make that kind of impact, like I’m committed for life. [00:37:49] Jennifer Wallace: That’s really awesome. Yo really have been through so much. I’m so glad that you’re here with us, not only here for this recording and here for us for NSI, but you’re actually coming in to NSI as one of our Educators this year and bringing your business development and NSI together for the NSI cohort that’s coming up this spring. Would you tell us a little bit about that new component to NSI? [00:38:24] Carrie Montgomery: Absolutely. so excited. With my clients over the years, I’ve always worked on developing the right structures in their business and the right way to present their business and so that usually means how they’re selling their offerings and positioning in a business is one of the best ways to have success. If the wrong positioning, it’s going to be really hard to track down the right way. Using nervous system regulation, integrating the work into teaching people how to build a business and a brand that actually is aligned with them and their ideal customer. That’s juicy. that’s the greatest space. So I’m really excited to be able to deliver content for upcoming students and then be able to coach them as part of the new deal, new package. [00:39:16] Elisabeth Kristof: We’re so lucky to have you as an educator. You have so much expertise and wisdom in that area and it is so important to be able to bring nervous system health in at that business level and really for small business owners, for the practitioners that are developing their business, but then also to add an organizational level. [00:39:42] Elisabeth Kristof: Jen mentioned a minute ago talking about how in business partnership, working with the nervous system has really changed a lot of the responses, shifting from shame to toxic shame and I think that there’s like nothing that can drive us, maybe intimate relationships as well, but like business partnerships and business relationships bring up a lot. They bring up a lot of the patterned responses. It’s our attachment style that shows up. It can tap into those deep wounds. And we want to be collaborative. We want to grow an organization. One of my greatest joys is getting to do this work with Jen, with you, with other people that are bringing their own vision and expertise into the project and the more people you have coming together, the more that’s different nervous systems, different reactions. [00:40:36] Elisabeth Kristof: We were really just talking the other day about how grateful we are for our relationship in that it allows me to repattern a lot of the responses that I have had in previous business partnerships, where I would go into fawning. I just wouldn’t set boundaries. If there was conflict, I would just avoid it and not address it until way too far down the road where the business was already unstable and not because Jen does the work of regulating her nervous system and using the tools and so do I. We have this really safe relationship where when something’s coming up, I can ask her about it, I can talk about it. She knows that it’s safe to come to me and say I have a problem with this and we can work through it, move anything that’s coming up through our bodies, get to the other side. And that’s a very different business experience. I think just for setting the whole culture of an organization or a small business, I just can’t express how impactful it’s been for me to have this framework and these tools to bring in to all of my different relationships. I’m also really excited to be working with you to bring this to a bigger organizational level, which is another one of the projects that we’re going into for next year. [00:41:58] Carrie Montgomery: I’m so excited. I think there’s so many opportunities for growth and thank you for trusting me on this journey. I think one of the things that came up as you just were saying all that is that one of my jobs is to ask people do you really want that? Is that actually what you want? In my history, I got to see the operations of things and look at structures and then know what was the best use of time and energy [00:42:23] Carrie Montgomery: It’s an inherent skill that I’ve just used and didn’t value until I get to this place of really refining function and performance of businesses and people and no business operates without people, right? And people are built on relationships. And if you have a challenge relationship with yourself or with your business, interfamilial structure or with your friendships, there’s something going on inside that is looking for repatterning and reprogramming. And it’s not shameful, it just means you’re human, right? It’s something we all go through and the opportunity of coming to the table to work with high performing individuals who are seeing patterns that are like getting in the way of how they function and they know that there’s a change they need to make but they don’t know how to get there. [00:43:20] Carrie Montgomery: I’m all here for that and I love the partnership with NSI that I have. I think it’s a really beautiful way to create a larger container for this kind of work, for people to not be afraid of making changes. Because, look, change. It’s scary because it’s not familiar and so you have to repattern the body for that to be okay with change. So yeah, I’m really excited about the opportunities moving forward. Bringing this to larger organizations is really going to be fascinating for me. [00:43:59] Jennifer Wallace: I just want to say something, too, for people who don’t belong to a large organization, and that might be solopreneurs, because this is something that kind of came into my awareness when Margy Feldhuhn was here a few months ago, talking about setting and receiving boundaries and our relationship to boundaries because as a solopreneur, I wasn’t viewing myself as the organization. I wasn’t, even though I had all these roles within my own organization, I wasn’t viewing myself like that. I really had to reframe that back to myself. I just want to throw that out for people who are listening. You are your own organization regardless of the businesses that you go into, [00:44:41] Carrie Montgomery: Okay. I so agree that we are an organization, even as a solopreneur. This is where I take it to like your personal brand, right? So this is how you lead yourself and Elegant Leadership is how we self lead into the world and I teach people how to shift and reorient how they’re showing up in the world. So anyone like I’m a solopreneur, right? I work for myself. I don’t have a huge team, but I have infrastructure around me that supports me and protects me like it’s me. It’s my identity and it’s me charging with information forward and making contacts and connections and creating new opportunities that’s actually just a personal brand. I’m managing the image of how people perceive me in the world. The infrastructure that I built is part of my ecosystem. So as a solopreneur, you need to be protected and supported in a way doesn’t make you frenetic, confused, chaotic. So really looking at how you have a capacity to receive support is really important.
And this goes for if you’re inside an organization, right? If you’re working for a company, you still have a personal brand to manage. You have to manage how people perceive you. But it’s also in these relationships that you build and having the support so that foundation that I was talking about at the very beginning, the support that infrastructure is part of it for a solopreneur, for an entrepreneur, for an executive in a corporation, we all need a foundation of support.[00:46:26] Carrie Montgomery: And part of that is how you interact and engage with yourself in the system. Then that’s also who you call in to be part of your ecosystem to help you leverage and build. We all need that big organization, tiny organization to get where we want to go. We can’t do it alone. A hundred percent can’t do it alone. And knowing that asking for help. And knowing how to source help that’s actually going to work for you. That’s so important. If you have, let’s say a trauma bond that keeps you going, asking for support from people that are really triggering to you, that’s something that has to be cleared up for you to have success in your life. [00:47:15] Elisabeth Kristof: So many of the patterns that I have from previous developmental experiences have created patterns that can be seen so distinctly in my business. And so much of the shift has been, working with my own nervous system to create safety and to create that capacity for change for doing something different. So that I’m not continuing to replay the same relationships. The same patterns, my same responses in those and then now I’m also able to build an organization and Jen was talking about that could be a solo business or an organization that’s bigger, but that has an environment that supports nervous system health, that is really like nervous system literate, a culture that’s nervous system health forward and that benefits me first and foremost, that I’m creating an organization that’s like that so that I can have a different experience in growing a business and not continue to create the same patterns and responses that are ultimately really harmful to my health over time. Then it also benefits everybody who works in that organization the clients that engage with it, it has a huge trickle effect outward as we continue to set that foundation and make stuff like asking for support and outsourcing [00:48:45] Carrie Montgomery: I totally agree. And the other thing that’s really interesting, and I was speaking at a leadership event recently, and we were talking about the tools that they can use before they go into a meeting. It was a bunch of HR people that have serious conversations a lot and they can be triggering. Or they have to talk to executives and plan out things and those personalities can be triggering. Look, we can’t dictate everyone that we encounter, but we can really work on how we respond and how we treat ourselves before we go into an interaction. So I just taught them a few drills and a few tools that they could manage at their desk before they go to a meeting to help expand their capacity, really let them be a bit more agile so that when that personality that could potentially be triggering hits them. [00:49:39] Carrie Montgomery: They’re not just reacting, right? They’re not like, ah, what do I do? They’re like, oh, okay, here it is, this is the decision I have to make. Okay, I can do this. It’s amazing to give people their lives through a different lens and create potential that they never really knew that they had because they were so stuck in this reactive system or feeling stuck in the system, right? And these tools really get you out of being stuck. [00:50:12] Jennifer Wallace: Yeah, they really do. They birthed this podcast, the tools birthed this podcast and Trauma Rewired comes from NSI tools and regulation and having a vision, but not buried in all of the fear anymore. And all of those old patterns of I’m not worthy. My voice [00:50:32] Carrie Montgomery: Exactly. And what it takes to run a business or succeed in a career is to be visible, vocal, vulnerable, and valuable. If you don’t have those four areas taken care of inside your own system, there is going to be a loophole that you’re stuck in and it’s going to be a lack of success pattern that you’re going to be angry at yourself for whereas like when we work on the nervous system, it allows you to be visible and vocal. Like you can all of a sudden start speaking clearly about who you are, what you’re doing and, uprighting the things that you believe in, the things you’re working on. [00:51:07] Elisabeth Kristof: Amazing. Thank you for sharing all of this and all of your expertise with us. What’s the best way for people to find you? [00:51:15] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah, I am carriemontgomery.com, really easy. There’s a little contact form on there if you want to email me. Instagram @realcarriemontgomery. [00:51:28] Jennifer Wallace: Awesome. Thank you so much, Carrie. I’m so excited to learn from you this spring. [00:51:32] Carrie Montgomery: It’s gonna be really fun. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. And I just hope that this was fruitful for everyone. [00:51:40] Elisabeth Kristof: I’m sure many people will get so many nuggets of wisdom from this. [00:51:44] Carrie Montgomery: Beautiful. [00:51:45] Jennifer Wallace: Thank you so much. And for just showing up in open and vulnerable. [00:51:49] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah, the journey. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it. Yeah. [00:51:56] Jennifer Wallace: It’s not often pretty. [00:51:58] Elisabeth Kristof: Although, It’s inspiring. [00:52:00] Carrie Montgomery: Yeah,
[00:52:01] Elisabeth Kristof: The next cohort of Neuro Somatic Intelligence is enrolling now. If you’re a coach, therapist, or healer, and you want to bring these tools and this framework into the good work that you’re doing to create bigger, deeper, more lasting change for your clients. And to help your own nervous system prevent burnout, have greater capacity and be able to expand your life in many different directions. Then I would love to talk with you about the program. We are taking discovery calls now. You can book that at neurosomaticintelligence.com.
Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE