It takes courage to become visible to the world and expose the truth of who you are. Transformation coach and facilitator, Anna Feldman shares her beautiful and inspiring stories growing up with vitiligo and how she accepted and used it as a source of courage and tenacity. From her experiences, Anna found some strategies on how to become visible in an unstoppable way and express fully who we are. Her Heart of Visibility program could change your perspective about the hidden gems inside of us. Read on this episode to learn more about Anna and her work to find inspiration in the power of becoming visible with your truth.
Becoming Visible: Exposing The Hidden Gems Inside Of Us With Anna Feldman
We have a great episode in store for you but before we get started, I want to ask you one question. Have you ever wished you could talk back to me? Here on the episode, while you’re reading this, you can tell me what you think. We have a button on every page where you can talk into your phone and leave me a message. I’ll respond, I promise. Give it a try. Let me know what you think. I bet it’s going to be fun.
We have a guest whose life started with a physical condition that altered how her skin looks, it’s called vitiligo and it means that her skin shows patches that are depigmented. Imagine how you would feel being a little kid and showing up to school, living your life, being called names and worse? For some people, this could shut them down forever but to others like my guest, it becomes the source of their courage, their tenacity and it becomes a tool that they use to make an impact in this world. With a background as a transformational coach and facilitator, along with her success as a network marketer, adds to her self-administered education and her quest to lead people all over the world to help them overcome their hidden barriers that hold them back from being the true leaders they are. Welcome, Anna Feldman, to the show.
Mitch, it’s so fantastic to be here with you and thank you so much for that beautiful introduction. It’s awesome to be here all the way from Australia. It’s such an honor to be here with you. Thank you for inviting me.
It’s my pleasure. You deserve a spot on this show from the work you’ve done and the work you’re doing. I’m thrilled to have you. Anna, why don’t we go back and start from the beginning. Tell us how this whole thing got started for you?
It does start at the very beginning. As you know, I was born in the former USSR. I was born in Ukraine as a Russian Jew. At the age of one and a half, my parents were able to leave Russia as political-religious refugees. We were very blessed to be given an opportunity as a Jewish family to assimilate eventually believe it or not into New Zealand. Before we got to New Zealand, we had to spend one year in a camp in Italy. As you can imagine, starting from nothing, literally a $100 in my parent’s wallet, if they had a wallet and the clothes on their back. We had to find our way into starting a new life all over again. I was raised in New Zealand starting at The Salvation Army kindergarten speaking not a word of English. I’m confused as to why no one understood me and this theme of feeling I didn’t belong or somehow felt I was inferior continued all the way through school. I honestly believe that we create these physical manifestations of the way that we feel inside.
This experience of feeling left out, the story that I had that I didn’t belong, we immigrated for business purposes to Australia, which is where I spent my teens and all the way through to adulthood with some intermittent traveling. It eventually resulted in a diagnosis that completely shocked me to the core. What’s interesting about my skin condition is it didn’t start as a child. It started in my early twenties after experience of feeling rejected inside of myself. I’ve had these compounding experiences followed by wanting to numb myself out from feeling these awful feelings that I didn’t belong and I got into drugs and disassociating myself from my life.
Indulging in that party scene years and years of toxins infusing my body, God knows what else that could have created inside of me, but this one particular thing I did not see coming and that was in my early twenties. Finally, getting this diagnosis after seeing this change in my skin. It started very small around my mouth and around my knuckles. I didn’t think much of it but eventually I thought, “I’ve got to take myself to a dermatologist.” It was when he showed me the pages in this book. He had this giant book of skin conditions and he showed me this condition vitiligo and I saw what it could look like. It wasn’t looking like that then but what it could look like. You can imagine for a 24, 25-year-old woman coming into what I would describe as my beauty peak, suddenly I felt confident about the way that I looked. I was the life of the party. Life felt like it was getting started for me in all those false superficial ways that now I know, but at that moment it was a punch in the gut.The power of becoming visible with the truth of who we are and infusing that into our message is what is going to change the world. Click To Tweet
These pictures of people with typically dark skin, and I myself have quite olive skin with white patches, these irregular patches all over the face. There was nothing about it that was symmetrical. It was quite awful to be honest, I judged it when I saw it. It was quite ugly. I couldn’t see what was possible for me then, but it was one of those turning points in my life where I had to decide which way things were going to go for me. I had to make some decisions, about where my life was at that moment and where it could go because like you, I knew that I was here for a purpose. I could let this eat me up alive or I could transmute it and utilize it in some way.
It was having this condition diagnosed properly that brought in and sometimes these things open doors. It’s like the universe is aligning for our growth and our success in some way. We both know and we believe in this magic that exists. It was at that time where I had been going quite well in my corporate life. I was leveraging all of my private education, my schooling, university and I was working in the corporate space and someone dropped a flier on my desk. It was a yoga flyer. I’d never done yoga before, but this could be something that could help me find a way through this condition and it was Bikram yoga. Have you heard the Bikram yoga, the hot yoga?
I could never do that. It’s way too hot.
I walked into that yoga studio and I got addicted. From that day, I became one of those yoga teachers. I actually went to LA and trained under Bikram in 2002 and became a teacher which completely turned the trajectory of my career into one of purpose, one of healing, one of self-discovery. Ever since then I’ve been following those breadcrumbs into what I do now is support people into their visibility into taking up space in their lives, and it’s so much more than just business. It’s about seeing ourselves holy and embracing all of who we are. Owning the potential that we have and committing to birthing the brilliance that we have within us out in the world, both professionally but also personally. I feel and you asked me where does the story start? It winds all the way back.
You and I both stand on the shoulders of people, our ancestors who never had the opportunity to fulfill the promise of their life, their purpose and I honestly feel I am on the hook. I have this obligation to become all that I sense that I’m here to be. I don’t know where it’s going but it’s this commitment to going all the way and helping others to go all the way. I believe we can no longer do that, hiding ourselves, playing small, invisibling ourselves in some way. We’re born for these times and we have this opportunity particularly where I work in the online space, to raise the vibration of the online space. To bring our brilliant messages, our purpose-driven energy, the impact that we’re here to bring, the contribution that we’re here to make, to make that visible like never before.
When you think about this philosophically and readers, I want you to think about this too. With all of what we were born with, particularly the things that we think of as deficits, the problems and maybe the ugly parts of us inside that we were born with, isn’t it our choice as to what we do with those? It can either inspire us to help others or it could suppress us, keep us small and hidden. I love what you said, Anna, because you’d made that choice. You decided that it was not going to suppress you and it was not going to keep you small. You were determined to find your way out and you did.
I love the fact that you’re helping others do the same. Readers, if you find yourself in that place, if you think back about your own life and realize that maybe you were playing small. Maybe you’ve been playing a little smaller than you should, then you’re going to love this episode and you’re going to love what Anna has to say. It’s a great story and thank you for sharing some of this stuff. I know it’s very personal to you. At the same time, thank you for creating the solutions that you have. I think they’re going to benefit many. Let’s get into what are the solutions, how does somebody break away from this place of not being visible and all of a sudden changing that.
There are a few things to becoming visible in an unstoppable way. Many of us have experienced, “We have this urge. We discover our passion, we go for it and then we get rejected or something happens, we hit an obstacle and we’re back in our box.” I’m talking about unstoppable visibility where you are on the path to expressing yourself fully in all areas of your life. It’s full-scale visibility and to do that we need a context for our visibility. If we don’t have that fire in our belly where we know what our purpose is, our purpose is to become ourselves fully and if we are not clear about that that we can have that in this lifetime. We must have that, it’s non-negotiable that we’re born for that, then there’s no context for the visibility. It’s very short-lived.
The problem is so many people spend decades if not lifetimes trying to figure out what they call their purpose. How does someone go about doing that?
That’s a moving target because we evolve, we course-correct, we have different experiences come into our life that are unpredictable so I feel like purpose is exactly what I’m speaking to. There is a feeling in oneself. It’s a silent knowing, Wayne Dyer calls it in the book The Power of Intention. It’s a silent knowing that keeps you up at night that says you are here to become all that you’re here to be. One’s purpose is to stay connected to that inner knowing to know that that feeling is real. You are here to become all that you are coded to be. The place where I begin with my clients, with my audience is to wake them up to that feeling that they maybe haven’t named yet to get clear on it, give it a name and let them know that is real. We want to first get anchored in that being your purpose because that’s going to fuel the path that you take. You’re following this North Star. This sense, this feeling as opposed to knowing exactly where you’re going to get to. That’s the energy that’s going to fuel you. I call that getting into radical alignment and we start there.
I apologize but I’ve got to challenge that because it sounds like the way you described it. It sounds almost too easy, almost too good to be true because I was at a point in my life where I was looking for my purpose too. I worked with several coaches, at the time, a life coach and truthfully, it never came through with all the coaching that I had. It came through later when I finally realized that I was doing the thing that was most important to me and keeping me happy. This may sound crazy but what I came down to in the general sense is that my life purpose is to be happy and the way I am happy is the way I spend my days. For me, being happy is being here and talking to you on this show. Being happy is being in foreign countries with my camera, photographing the landscape. When I’m happy, I know I’m doing the exact thing I’m supposed to be doing.
I love that you’re sharing this because in my program the Heart of Visibility, we’re working on this exact thing, this idea of what makes us happy? What are our organic passions? What can we spend time on in our lives where we know at the end of that our cup is full? This is all part of the radical alignment. It feels there are so many elements to it. What I was mentioning before, the very core of it is that we are coded to become all of who we sense that we’re here to be and you may not have felt that back at the start, let’s say, but there is a point on your journey. I work with people who are very much waking up to this knowing that there is something that they’re here to become. I’m catching people where they’re waking up. They feel there is a purpose but they haven’t been able to name it. We need to unpack it and exactly what you’re sharing is what we need to do. We have to identify these natural strengths that we have, these moments of bliss, things that we get up to where time passes by and we’re having so much fun that we don’t even notice it.
Let me go a little bit deeper with that question. For me it’s pretty simple, I simply monitor what makes me happy and I do more of that and whenever I don’t feel happy, I realize I’m out of alignment with my inner being. That simply means that it’s a signal that says, “I must be out of alignment, what is it that my inner being wants and how do I align with that?” In a very simple way, I asked that question, and wait for a response and it doesn’t always happen instantly but it comes always and it tells me what it is I am out of alignment on. This is for me. I know your program is probably much more in-depth than that but the simplicity of what I do took me unfortunately several decades to figure out for yourself. It’s good to know that you’re out there teaching something that would help people do this.If we are not willing to have conversation even with ourselves, we can’t access the power of radical responsibility. Click To Tweet
Let’s say this, if we’re out of alignment, people won’t necessarily take the time as you have to ask that question. They get the stick so what happens is they get ill. Like myself, my body spewed out a condition that forced me in a sense to look at my own visibility, to look at my path, how I was creating my life, my business. People go into all kinds of disassociation, distraction, numbing themselves out when they’re out of alignment so it is absolutely crucial that we ask ourselves that question. Where am I out of alignment? What’s not working in my life? What’s not in harmony? As you say, pause, feel and look around at the relationships. You’re in the quality of relationship with your lover, children, business partners, so on and so forth.
The answers will come because there is an inner sense of disharmony when you are out of alignment. Number one, it’s critical that we explore radical alignment but I go on to speak to radical vulnerability and it ties in because if we’re not willing to have the conversation even with ourselves which involves emotional exposure and to go deep into what I call below the line. We can’t access the power of radical responsibility that’s going to get us to be visible and magnetic and be able to connect with those that we most want to connect. Radical vulnerability is what I go into next.
Readers, we are talking to Anna Feldman, she’s talking to us all the way from Australia and she is sharing some incredible tips on how to figure out what your true purpose is. The questions she asks like, “Where am I out of alignment?” Anna, let’s talk about the dark side. Would you agree that to the degree that you can get comfortable with exploring that part of you, the hidden part, the part you never ever want to talk about to anyone, is also part of how you become aligned?
That is where the gold is, not only for you but also for your clients, family and friends. That is where we come back to wholeness. People can feel when we are rejecting our dark side. The bits and pieces that we don’t want the world to see, ironically is exactly what the world wants to see because that’s what’s going to connect us to the human experience and we all have it. It doesn’t matter how much money we have, how much success and accomplishments we have or what we see others having, we are all human. If we can be brave enough, courageous enough even to know our dark side.
To take the time to embrace the gold, the genius, the gift in our dark side and we can integrate it into who we are, our story. I call it our superpower. We express it and we make it visible and that’s the key. There’s one thing to embrace it for ourselves and that’s brilliant. We can do all the inner work in the world to own our story, own the bits in our life that we feel shame and embarrassment about. Things that haven’t gone so well and we call them our perceived failures but they’re not real failures. If we can make that visible and trust that we can do it in a way that has integrity, that is professional but is also gentle and vulnerable, we have so much power.
It was only a few years ago that I had made the decision to share my dark side and in my early years, in my teen years, I became addicted to narcotics, to heroin. I was in high school at the time and I was a junkie, it was straight and simple. I was an addict and I’ve told the story on the show before but I had a moment where I was ten seconds from death and God saved me. A phone rang and it prevented me from doing the one thing that would have absolutely and completely killed me in ten seconds. I never shared that story with anyone until I decided to put it into my biography in my first book, The Invisible Organization and when I did I said, “I’m not going to share it here, I’m going to share it with my mastermind. I’m going to share it with everybody.”We create these physical manifestations of the way that we feel inside. Click To Tweet
The reason I wanted to share it was because I felt keeping that as a secret was changing the way I saw myself. There was some shame in that I chose no longer to have any respect for it. My belief was that, instead of being ashamed of my past, I would embrace it and I would use it as part of my strength. This by the way, has worked so well in my life because people have come to me and told me about some of the things they went through. The stories that I’ve heard by sharing that have been unbelievable.
I read your story and I sat here with my hand on my heart and when, “You’re a brother.” All of a sudden reading that connected me to you in a way that I haven’t lost any respect for you. It’s the opposite I feel like, “This is a man I want to work with. He has courage. He has walked through the fire,” and I have too. By you sharing your story, I feel I can share mine and I have a similar story to you and God knows how many people out there, brilliant people. With still so much in them to share, to offer a compartmentalized because there’s all of this old shame sitting there and it eats away at our tissues somewhere where we are hiding, we are holding back. Who are we holding back on? Ourselves but also, on our clients, our potential clients, our readers, people out there that need our message and more and more, what is connecting us, story.
Readers, you have a story too. You have a dark side and maybe this show, maybe these words will give you the courage to take another look at that and embrace it. I hope you do because as you’ve learned from Anna and me as well, these are the parts of life that are the hidden gems inside of every one of us. From my own experience, by knowing that I can share this that I don’t have any secrets, it gives me strength and power. I’ve walked through that wall of fire, as you have and so many people have and it’s no longer a secret and it shouldn’t be. Readers, it shouldn’t be your secret either. That was very inspiring, Anna. Thank you.
Beautifully said and it doesn’t have power over you anymore once you can reveal it in a way that is safe and in a way that feels that it is appropriate in the context that it’s being revealed. That’s the work that I do with people. It’s very important that we are safe in the way that we share.
If you don’t feel safe and you’re afraid of unseen consequences then you can’t share. You need to explore this. In some cases, be ready and accepting those consequences. If you did something, admit it. Maybe you committed a crime, you stole something or you did something to hurt another, apologize and move on because it’s eating you up inside out. I know that you agree because this is exactly what you teach.
I had the experience of it physically creating a condition, and as a woman you can imagine in my twenties, we have our own vanity. We’re addicted to or at least we’re attached to our looks and how we’re perceived when you know seeking partnership at that time in our lives. I had to deal with this visibility issue and make a decision with all of these white patches popping up on my face, “Am I going to let this and all the other stories that are inside, have power over me or am I going to liberate myself, and become all that I’m here to be?”You and I both stand on the shoulders of people who never had the opportunity to fulfill the promise of their life. Click To Tweet
It’s paved the way and fueled the fire to supporting others that are holding so much inside and it’s all gold. We call it the dark side but you and I can giggle and everyone out there knows. There is gold in these experiences, in these stories. They haven’t happened by accident. These are the soul signposts if you will. These are part of your soul assignment and your duty to transmute them into the impact that you’re here to make in the world. Let’s figure that out together because we can’t do that hiding anymore.
We have been talking to Anna Feldman and we were about to ask her the magic questions that you know are coming but she doesn’t. Those answers will help us know her even better although she has been so transparent. Just like you, Anna, that feeling of bonding and chatting with you is so strong and I bet you for everybody reading, it’s the same. The first question is very simple but the answer isn’t. Who in all of space and time would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or intense conversation with?
I’ve got to tell you, I’m going to pick two because they’re a married couple. It’s Bill and Melinda Gates. There is no doubt about it. To be in that man’s presence and Melinda too would be a gift in my life that I would never forget. The work that these two have already done for our planet, for humanity, the third world and what they’re continuing to do is magic. They have transmuted their success into impact and contribution at the highest level. To walk in the park with those two and ask them what keeps you awake at night and listen to that, I would be receiving a transmission of our human experience and what we most need. The depth of care that these two have for our planet, for humanity, I’ve never seen anything like it.
I can’t say I know Bill Gates personally, but I’ve met him and we’ve talked.
Isn’t he incredible?
None of this was part of his purpose. When I met him, he was still the CEO of Microsoft. He was still worrying about Microsoft Word and how fast it would run on an 8086, not the incredible philanthropist he is but the experience never left me. I mean the thrill of meeting a guy that famous and that smart. It was obvious and our quick chat together how brilliant he was but it’s a great choice and I’m glad you mentioned it. I have to think back but I believe in over 165 interviews, you’re the first person to mention Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.
I please recommend that everybody read Melinda Gates book The Moment of Lift and watch the Netflix docuseries, it is called Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. It is blowing my mind and we should all take a look at it.
Anna, last question, the grand finale question, the change-the-world question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
At the deepest level, it’s connecting people to that gift that is in their story and connecting them to others. The power of becoming visible with the truth of who we are, our story and infusing that into our message is what is going to connect us, inspire, ignite, awaken us and change the world.
That is an incredible mission and it’s the one you’re living right now even the perfect example of exactly how to construct a life that integrates your core mission with your change the world objectives. That was beautifully done.
You said it beautifully, you rephrased that perfectly.
You have so much to give and you’ve been so generous. I did promise readers free gifts so you’re going to have to come through with it. What do you have for us?
I love gifting what I have so for all of your readers, I have the Breaking The Habit Of Hiding five-day challenge. Every day your readers will receive a compelling topic that will help them uncover whatever it is that they’ve been holding back. We call it the dark side. We call it our superpowers. Connecting them to their values. They’re blessed so we go into radical alignment. We want to unleash our gifts and we want to make a difference with a vision, our message and our mission and get into inspired action being visible in five days. We’re going to do it.
If people have been hiding this from everybody for their entire life, do you think this five-day challenge is going to be enough to break them through?You are here to become all that you are coded to be. Click To Tweet
It’s going to provide them the clarity that’s going to catapult them into the fire that’s going to cause the momentum that creates the visibility. We want to get into a state where we feel unstoppable, we’re so connected to why we’re here and the urgency of getting our message out there in the world that yes, we absolutely can do that in five days. In fact, that shift can happen in an instant if we believe that we are here to bring our unique medicine into the world. I know that every single person out there has their unique medicine and mission to bring forth.
You certainly set the challenge on us so readers, you have five days to get the heck out of hiding and if you don’t, I’m coming over there and I’m going to slap you. If you see these two odd people walking around your neighborhood looking for you, you know it’s us and we’re coming for you so get out of hiding because we love you and we want you to be all you can be. Anna, thank you so much for this show. You have given us so many gifts to contemplate and to act upon, it was a pleasure.
Mitch, it’s been my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me on. This has been memorable. I’m alive, I’m ready for life and I have you to thank. Thank you so much.
It’s my pleasure and I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Anna Feldman
- Heart of Visibility
- The Invisible Organization
- The Moment of Lift
- The Power of Intention
- Breaking The Habit Of Hiding
- Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
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