LPP #77 Giving Ourselves Permission, Holding Space For Stillness, & #WearTheSequinPants with Colleen Kavanaugh

Today I’m talking with Colleen Kavanagh, CDP, CCC, CDCS. She is the host of  The After Life Podcast which shares stories of transformation after loss and how dark days can lead to brighter futures. You can also find her over at TheLongestDance.com.

Colleen is the real deal, she has gone through over a decades worth of trials while taking on the role as primary caregiver to both of her parents. She faced immense hardship as she cared for her mother with stage 4 cancer while simultaneously trying to balance the rest of her life. Only to have her father also fall ill not long after.

Not only has she survived these long seasons of grief and loss, she now uses these dark periods of her life to empower both herself as well as others. Colleen now works alongside family caregivers across the country via one-on-one consulting, national speaking, podcasting, and blogging to empower them to love, prepare, and thrive.  This was such an illuminating and wonderfully winding conversation with lot’s of lightbulb moments.


  • Why it’s easier to give than it is to receive
  • It’s vulnerable to receive
  • You have to surrender in order to receive
  • Surrender means accepting reality (instead of fighting against “what is”)
  • Tension is created when we choose to fight against our present circumstance.
  • It requires energy to change direction
  • What magic things can happen when we let go. Let go of playing from a defensive position and instead take up an offensive position where we can receive
  • The rope burn analogy & letting go
  • Why do we do what isn’t serving us? Things that can lead to us experiencing physical or psychological pain.
  • Cultivating awareness of how you are feeling
  • “Say you dive into a lake and your submerging down to the bottom and your goal is to hit that bottom of the lake. You aren’t going to be able to come back up to the top until your feet hit that bottom. And it gives you something to  physically propel yourself against to get back up to the space that you can breathe.”
  • Noticing without verbalizing
  • Do we keep things that bring us joy, hidden from ourselves?
  • Wearing clothes that reflect how we feel about ourselves
  • “What things do I love that I’m not letting myself wear, think, do, or try out?”
  • Asking ourselves “is this me?” or “is this something I love?”. Because we can be SO influenced by what we THINK we should be.
  • Encouraging women to “turn up the volume and broadcast your best self”. #WearTheSequinPants #WearTheAmericanGirlDollPants
  • When we are open and receptive to what we love → we can embody that → and have the capacity to be seen fully
  • Ninja level awareness to receive those messages from our inner wisdom that tells us what we want
  • The joy that comes from vulnerability
  • Numbing and distracting ourselves from feeling stillness
  • Eliminating distractions and embracing just BEING
  • The power of holding space for ourselves and others
  • Societally conditioned to show our love through action (giving our time energy, cleaning, preparing food, straightening up, buying gifts)
  • It is through INACTION that we can hold space and be present with ourselves and others
  • Holding space for people and letting go of expectations
  • Shifting towards a more positive range of experience (eg. instead of going on instagram perhaps you journal)
  • When we put barriers up, it makes it more challenging to gain awareness and stop numbing
  • Letting go of expectations of how we should feel
  • I am exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment


Colleen’s Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-after-life/id1282642908?mt=2 

Website: https://www.thelongestdance.com/ 

Email: Colleen@TheLongestDance.com

Instagram: @thelongestdance


Instagram: @livengproof

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