S2E1: Won to Watch, Courtney A. Walsh

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

You can learn more about Courtney here, and listen to the Won to Watch podcast here, or wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy!

Adrienne MacIain 0:00

Hi, I'm Adrienne, I help people tell the stories they were told not to talk about. Maybe by their own inner critic, maybe by the world. Either way, I'm here to serve as a kind of story midwife, birthing these beautiful naked narratives, and helping them thrive. Telling our own stories, and speaking our own truth should be the easiest thing in the world. But it's not. We all get blocked. We all feel censored, stymied, or silenced at times. We struggle to find the right entry point, to articulate the message we want to convey and to identify the ideal audience to receive it. And that, my friends, is where I come in. I'm a professional brand voice consultant and story coach. I help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, storytellers and anyone else who's ready to start living out loud to deliver their authentic voice directly to those who most need to hear it. Are you ready to get authentic? Good. Because that's aloud.

Hey, Adrienne here. Today I'm going to talk to Courtney A. Walsh. Courtney is a three time published author. She is the author of dear human, which went viral without her name at first, but we'll get to that. [laughter]

Anything else you want to tell the folks about yourself?

Courtney A. Walsh 1:21

Yeah, just I'm an intuitive and I kinda do a lot of social media stuff, so "social media figure." And you know, I I'm just having fun on this life journey and sharing some stories and some enlightenment and some heart centered, creating consciousness upliftment.

Adrienne MacIain 1:40

Awesome. Now I want to acknowledge the absurdity, first of all, of our recording situation. So, because...

Courtney A. Walsh 1:47

Aww, there goes our mystique! [laughter] It's pretty great though, you guys have to visualize this.

Adrienne MacIain 1:52

... you have to understand what has happened here. So, because I'm getting a couple of cats soon in my home, I had a bunch of cat stuff in my recording area. And Courtney is extremely allergic, severe, severe severe allergic to kitties. So we are currently set up in the bathroom with a blanket over our heads to muffle the sound. It's actually working, amazingly, but it's absurd.

Courtney A. Walsh 2:24

Well we tried a parking garage. We tried under a tree, but it's raining outside.

Adrienne MacIain 2:28

And we thought that might be kind of romantic and cool, but it was just really distracting. So: you're welcome. We have gone to great lengths to make sure that you could hear us okay. So, today...

Courtney A. Walsh 2:41

...it's in a blanket fort, really. We're like little kids in a blanket fort.

Adrienne MacIain 2:43

Exactly. This is the first of what will be a series of podcasts, which are focused on helping others to find their story. And Courtney has an incredible story that she's ready to tell. And... She is. She is.

Courtney A. Walsh 2:44

Kind of, kind of. [laughter]

Adrienne MacIain 3:00

And so I'm here to help her shape it and figure out: who's it for? What's it about? What's the meaning of it? What themes does it touch on? Where does it start? Where does it climax? Where does it end? Right. So first, I just want to have you talk a little bit about the story.

Courtney A. Walsh 3:24


Adrienne MacIain 3:25


Courtney A. Walsh 3:26

So we talked in a coffee shop before this to kind of try to find an entry point. We've had a couple of sessions like that. So one of the stories that sort of is the genesis of this is when my dad died. And I was, it's the day of his funeral. And I was in that surreal grief bubble haze that you get in and you don't really hear much, you're just kind of in your own zone, in your own realm. But I did get up to go to the podium. He was--his funeral, the day was at Boston College. It was a packed house, and he had lots of former students. He'd been the superintendent of schools of Brookline, Massachusetts for many years. And was a beloved public figure himself in his own right. And I got up to go do his, you know, a eulogy. And as I'm walking towards the microphone, a woman kind of elbowed her friend and said, see her, she's the one to watch. She's the next one up. And I got a chill, like, through my whole body, of what a creepy and weird statement that was to say about a daughter who's about to go eulogize her father, but I also felt it was true. It was a really strange destiny, kinda skin-prickle moment. And so we've talked about that we'd like to call this podcast "Won to Watch."

Adrienne MacIain 4:44


Courtney A. Walsh 4:45

...and that it's not just about people watching us.

Adrienne MacIain 4:48

So to be clear, what Courtney is creating is a podcast...

Courtney A. Walsh 4:53


Adrienne MacIain 4:53

...based on this story. Some of the people that I'm going to be talking about are going to be creating novels. Some are just wanting to tell a story on social media. Courtney's creating a podcast. Go on.

Courtney A. Walsh 5:05

Yeah so this Won to Watch idea is that not only in this sort of social media realm where we all kind of stalk each other and that's just how we are now, this is just normal.

Adrienne MacIain 5:14

Bunch of stalkers.

Courtney A. Walsh 5:14

But just that, you know, we are the ones to watch and we are as my friend Stuart calls us the luminous ones and so we're ones to watch but also we're watching the watchers. So it's a symbiotic relationship of being watched and observed, and feeling sometimes like that bug under glass and like privacy is just not a thing anymore. And hacked even, and how uncomfortable that can feel when you know if you're in a crowded place, for example, and someone's staring at you, how uncomfortable that feels. But if you feel like your whole life is sometimes like hijacked, then it's a whole other level of feeling, you know, invaded upon. And so we're going to do this or, what I'd like to do is create a character, loosely based on some of my life experiences, but definitely very much extrapolated and embellished.

Adrienne MacIain 6:06

Right, and some of your friends' experiences...

Courtney A. Walsh 6:09

Friends, you know, who've experienced similarly, you know, strange phenomena and, and just create stories and bring a through line and character and dialogues. And so instead of it being a novel, which is now kind of almost too slow, and people don't necessarily have the attention span or the time or the desire, we're going to do it in installments. Which sounds kind of fun to me.

Adrienne MacIain 6:30

Yeah, definitely. So when we talked earlier, you had said that another important entry point was Dear Human. Yeah. What? What did that do to your life?

Courtney A. Walsh 6:41

I like that you said TO my life and not for my life, because it's still feeling a little bit like I've been hijacked, and kidnapped by this meme that has...

Adrienne MacIain 6:50

To AND for, I think.

Courtney A. Walsh 6:52

Yeah, absolutely. It's a beautiful thing really, overall. But I yeah, so I wrote this thing. And it's called Dear Human and if you guys want to check it out you can just go Google Dear Human and Courtney Walsh and a lot of stuff will come up. And I was telling Adrienne that it's really been a phenomenon in my life that it -- my life has changed. It came out in 2012. And I was actually out of the country I was traveling with someone I was dating in Scotland and it was starting to go viral. And friends were messaging me like, hey, this thing that you wrote is going viral, but it doesn't have your name on it. So that was the first wave. And I was just kind of blissfully in my little love bubble camping and on beaches and stuff and was like, okay, so whatever...

Adrienne MacIain 7:35

I'll deal with that later.

Courtney A. Walsh 7:36

Yeah, and I was like, wait, is this my big break, but it's not because my name's not on it? And I was like shit but, you know, so I just went with it and then came home and we kind of didn't decide to pursue our romance beyond that trip. But, you know, we would kind of cyber dated for a while and then the trip was kind of a make or break and he was a lovely gentleman, but it just wasn't to move forward.

Adrienne MacIain 7:56

It wasn't to be.

Courtney A. Walsh 7:57

It wasn't to be in that way. And so then it just became this sensation people call it a viral sensation. And that's really what it was. And I you know, people were approaching me to put it in a one woman show or a funeral vows or wedding vows or yoga studios, and they're, you know, excerpted in their books. And it made its way to, like Neale Donald Walsch site or Deepak Chopra site, or... And then Elizabeth Gilbert posted it. And so it just like really went nuts. Yeah. And I was like, in an observer mode, watching, you know, watching all this myself going, "Well, this is strange." And then, you know, I was getting, you know, like it took years for this to kind of shake out, but I was getting a little bit of notoriety and a little bit of internet fame. But you know, of course, my bank account was laughing at me still, and I was still couch crashing and surfing. And having my own like adventures and like it was weaving in and out of my life. And then I did start writing it as a book because everybody kept saying, well, can you extrapolate on this and expand on it and on some of the concepts and ideas because I kept getting the same questions over and over again. What do you mean about this, and when you read it, it's about unconditional love. But it's also really about spiritual perfectionism, which I think is a disease that has really taken over the planet of, you know, not just holier than thou and finger pointing and blame and shame, which can be part of it. But also like, feeling never good enough. Feeling like you have to try harder, and be in that self improvement mode all the time, and how exhausting that is. And can't we just be our messy, sweaty, crazy selves and our personal and universal selves and do our best. And so it really hit a chord, I guess, with the collective with with people out there who were seeking and searching as I was for many years. And so it, you know, took me on this twisty journey into different realms that I might not have been privy to otherwise. And some of those realms are Hollywood. The music industry, and the political realm. And I'm talking very indirectky because that's, to me, how I've learned that these people roll. That it's not quite in your face, although it is. It's subtle and it's in your face, by turns. And you start to feel gaslit. Or at least I did. And so what I want to do with this character who is going to be, I want to emphasize, *fictional*, is give her the freedom and, you know, the space to acknowledge that she's in this one realm where she's with her friends, and she's go to coffee shops and bookstores and concerts and have just a regular kind of ordinary 3d as we'd call it life, but she's also got friends who have kind of paired up and done the two by two Noah's Ark thing and living in their mcmansions in the suburbs, and that's not really her reality. And then she's got these like sort of A-Lister, heavy-hitter, power-player people that she's sort of fascinated by and intrigued by. And it's she's sort of wondering, Well, I don't fit into either of these realms. She's straddling both these worlds and trying to find her place. And either one of them realizing that she really doesn't belong in either. Yeah. And how sad that is for her. Yeah. But how empowering it is, as she starts to find her own voice within that, and how she sort of has these experiences that her friends in the soccer mom suburban realm cannot relate to, you will often say things like, well, I just don't care about celebrities, and I don't follow Hollywood, and that's not my world. I'm not into pop culture. I don't read the news, blah, blah, blah. So then she feels sort of like, womp-womp, you know, she goes, okay. And then she's kind of, you know, lovingly and affectionately and curiously stalking these people going well, what is the golden shine about them? And what is the--what makes them on these pedestals of power? And are they using it appropriately and mindfully and respectfully, are they just haphazardly, you know, abusing it? And distorting it and misusing it. And just is there so much greed in one realm and then there's so much denial in another, and she was sort of trying to find that Apex interlap of, of what that, you know, it's a multi dimensional story. And she's just our entry point into these different realms of the multi dimensional full spectrum human experience.

Adrienne MacIain 12:16

Yeah. We've talked a lot too about, you know, don't don't meet your heroes.

Courtney A. Walsh 12:21

Don't meet your heroes at all!

Adrienne MacIain 12:24

And how, you know, at the, at the base, they're just humans, and they're trying to figure it all out. And, you know, the bottom line is that, you know, these people aren't that special. They just, they just were in the right place at the right time. And they did the work to get where they are, and they keep themselves there by using status and by using their power plays. And they, they have these little games that they've learned to play. And it's not, it's not that, you know, people think of, you know, celebrities as being this sort of like special, unattainable like, you know, different magical magical realm. They're not. They're not.

Courtney A. Walsh 13:07

Well, they aren't, they aren't right, I want to I want to give some credit where a lot of them are workaholics and they work their asses off, sometimes break into it when they're kids or teens. And then they don't know any other realm. So this becomes their world that maybe they're Yeah, it's normal for them to work 20 out of 24 hours a day and and to bust their ass but there is that luck element too, that, that twist of fate that sort of pulls them out of, you know, their high school and puts them on the road or you know, or they have stage moms or who knows what propels them. What kind of ambition or hunger brings them into those worlds to do what they came here to do, which is special. So they do have talent, many of them, they do have support many of them

Adrienne MacIain 13:53

what I mean when I say they're not special...

Courtney A. Walsh 13:55

They're human. Very human.

Adrienne MacIain 13:56

They're human. We're all special.

Courtney A. Walsh 13:58

Absolutely, absolutely.

Adrienne MacIain 13:59

And when we get those opportunities, we got to grab them by the balls

Courtney A. Walsh 14:07

So to speak. [laughter]

Adrienne MacIain 14:08

So to speak. Right? And I think that's that's just the difference, is...

Courtney A. Walsh 14:13

Well, I mean everybody in your life you put on some kind of pedestal or have some kind of story about them whether it be a lover or friend or family member. So this is just on a larger stage of a bigger arena and and they're you know, our entertainment and we're theirs, if that makes sense. Like we're their fans. Sure. But they're also, I think, we're in a realm now, and a time where they're fascinated by what's a normal person, right? What's a muggle? And what is it what is a suburban soccer mom's daily life and so they're watching us like we watch Netflix and Hulu and the reality TV and then who knows who's watching all of us from an extra terrestrial or angelic or celestial or ancestral standpoint of, you know, the spiritual realm, which we know is a whole other ballgame. So just weaving the worlds together and creating a story where this character is at times a pioneer. And other times just completely floundering. And sometimes both

Adrienne MacIain 15:10

Yeah. Yeah. So the mean, you know,

Courtney A. Walsh 15:12

Her name is Won, by the way.

Adrienne MacIain 15:14

Her name is Won?

Courtney A. Walsh 15:15

Her name is Won.

Adrienne MacIain 15:15

Oh, so it's WON to watch.

Courtney A. Walsh 15:18

She's like patient zero or, you know, the new paradigm new world? Whatever you want to call it. So one/Won.

Adrienne MacIain 15:25

Yeah. And Won is watching the watchers.

Courtney A. Walsh 15:27

Watching the watchers. Who's watching the watchers? Yeah.

Adrienne MacIain 15:29

Won. The one. Yeah.

Courtney A. Walsh 15:31

We are all one and the unified field and singularity and whatever labels are scientific names or religious names or spiritual or metaphysical or, you know, popular names for this phenomenon of we can have national pride and we can have, you know, DNA tests and do all these things that we were doing to try to individuated ourselves. But I like to think of it like there are fingerprints on a hand. And your fingerprint is unique and it does distinguish you from everybody else. Okay? But the fact that it's part of a larger hand like, your fingerprint without the hand, not much good. And the same with the snowflake. A snowflake's a very individual design, but it becomes part of a larger blanket of snow. And a drop in the ocean, same thing. So a "me" in the "we." So she's learning how to be a me in the we because as a globe, we straddle that individualism can lead to greed can lead to distortion and power, you know, abuse.

Adrienne MacIain 16:32


Courtney A. Walsh 16:33

Whereas martyrdom, you got your awesome Gandhis and your, you know, Princess Dianas and you're, I mean, I'm not saying they're all martyrs, but the people who died young or in this tragic way that become these romantic figures of who, you know, they started movements and they bettered the world, Abraham Lincoln, you know, so many wonderful heroes and visionaries that again, if we probably met them and sat down with them, they they fart and shit and bleed and cry like everybody else, you know?

Adrienne MacIain 16:59

And a lot of people thought they were crazy. At the time.

Courtney A. Walsh 17:02

And yes. "Here's to the crazy ones" is something I post often for my own benefit as well as anybody else who feels that way.

Adrienne MacIain 17:09

But let's talk a little bit about that. Because I know that there's there's an element of this where it's, you know, it goes into obsession, and it goes into conspiracy and it goes into...

Courtney A. Walsh 17:18


Adrienne MacIain 17:19

...seeing the pattern everywhere and it's following you and so I want to talk about Won and her, you know, mental health.

Courtney A. Walsh 17:28

Yeah. Well, that's another topical and timely thing right now you've got the Royals of England and Hollywood A-Listers, again, talking more openly about these mental health issues. And I do like that we're saying mental health instead of mental illness. That's a pet peeve for me. Yeah, having been down my own rabbit hole with break down, suicide attempt, hospitalization, shock therapy, which was my first book, Lipstick and Thongs in the Loony Bin. I definitely think a descent or ascent into madness is that whole concept of well what's "insane," and what's just being tuned in and noticing patterns that are actually happening. And what's a reality, you know, consensus reality where we all agree that you know, right now for example, Trump is president that's we agree that even though we don't agree about him but we agree to agree that right now that's his status. I could sit here and say "Never my president, not my president" till I'm blue in the face, but he's still sitting in the White House.

Adrienne MacIain 18:24

There's a whole societal agreement around that.

Courtney A. Walsh 18:26

So the societal agreements, the societal constructs and societal games and I do think it really at the bottom of it, everyone's just trying to get love and give love and so that's a beautiful thing how it goes through the big telephone game and whispered into one ear and comes out the other side is something completely different or fear gets in the way... these are the things I find very rich and diverse and so for, through her, she starts to go crazy, go sane, go crazy go sane. Feel bombarded and overwhelmed and like her circuits are frying. But also feeling very grounded. And like she sees the big picture in ways that maybe nobody else is privy to. And so that that terminal uniqueness they call it in 12 step programs like yeah, you're so fucking special and I always go, what makes you think you're not? You know, we are, as you said, all special and unique and we do all bring something that nobody else has: our fingerprint, our blueprint, our imprint.

Adrienne MacIain 19:22

So who's the story for? Who are you-- who are you talking to?

Courtney A. Walsh 19:28

Honestly, I'm gonna say it's for me, and for anyone else who has ever felt that their intuitive gifts have been a disorder that needed to be labeled and medicated or diagnosed or damped down or tamed instead of appreciated, celebrated, and amplified. And I feel that so important that we distinguish between what's a clinical diagnosis, versus what's a spirit gift.

Adrienne MacIain 20:02

We've talked a lot too about how...

Courtney A. Walsh 20:03

And it's for me. Because I need to tell it! I need to get it out of my system and really give it a place.

Adrienne MacIain 20:08

Absolutely, Yeah. These status games. They play out at every level over and over again in our lives. You see it in kindergarten, all the way up to of course, you know, the Mean Girls of high school. And you know, the bullies and the geeks and the freaks

Courtney A. Walsh 20:25

And the haters and trolls on the internet.

Adrienne MacIain 20:27

Exactly. And then, you know, you go out in the world and, and, you know, now the nerds are starting to get some status of their own, but it's a different kind of status and how there's still those games that you play. Are you nerdy enough? Are you geeky enough? Do you have the cred to be part of our world?

Courtney A. Walsh 20:45

Yeah. So then feeling tested and vetted and recruited and rejected and how what that does to the human soul and psyche?

Adrienne MacIain 20:51


Courtney A. Walsh 20:52

Because I don't think at the end of the day for me, that status is very interesting. Very sustaining or nourishing. But I think essence is. And substance. So if you look at the core essence and substance of our common ground, and what we do all have from the CEO, flying his private jet with the bloated beer belly, to the kid in Africa with the distended belly from malnourishment, they are all part of the same starstuff they're all part of this fabric that we do not understand with our rational analytical brains. There's no linear logic that tells you that that should exist. Those extremes of poverty and wealth. So we're gonna talk out about status, or education or background or income or weight or race or gender like this is all really stuff that we are exploring and excavating right now. You know, who am I, as a soul spark, beyond my container?

Adrienne MacIain 21:49

So what do you want that audience to walk away with? What does this-- What does this podcast offer them?

Courtney A. Walsh 21:58

So yeah, I mean, they're plenty of thrillers out there. There are plenty of stories of women getting stalked and murdered and raped and I never feel like that's uplifting. You know? Obviously. So I guess I, you know, and then there's all these ideas that fly around about what a strong empowered woman is. And I just like the word sovereignty. And we've talked about this, I like the words sovereignty and autonomy. And so it's, okay, we don't need to be damsel in distress who need rescue. But we do need to acknowledge that we are interdependent beings who can't do it all on our own and just do the whole Superwoman cape boss up bitch diva thing. That's so annoying to me to me too, you know, as much as the victim whiny, like, "I can't get out of my own way" thing. So, who is a real woman who's again, multi dimensional, multifaceted, who has felt really crazy in her own head with obsessive, you know, swirling looping thoughts and is afraid and ashamed. And like really quite terrified to let all her crazy out and her freak flag fly because she feels like she'll be vilified or demonized or locked up. Or persecuted. And so what if we gave her a voice? And let her tell her story. Which is really all our story. Men, women, children, old people, you know, people of all walks of life from all countries, we've all felt some kind of oppression, whether it be inside our own minds, from outside us, whether it's a political regime or a relationship, or family dynamic or a tribe or a corporate environment. We've all felt kind of like our spirit was being hijacked, and...

Adrienne MacIain 23:44


Courtney A. Walsh 23:45

Suppressed and, and just that we had to, you know, do the people pleaser game or the tap dance for love or the performing and that our spirits who are maybe getting neglected in that process, and getting louder.

Adrienne MacIain 23:59

[laughter] That's a great way of putting it.

Courtney A. Walsh 24:00

So I think a lot of people think mental illness or depression or anxiety like I just don't relate to those labels and I haven't for years.

Adrienne MacIain 24:10

It's just our own authentic voice, just YELLING at us.

Courtney A. Walsh 24:14

Yep. "You're not listening to me!" and your body will do it, your body will do it by breaking down and yeah, and then there's no you can't find a relationship to causality or where the puzzle pieces fit. And maybe it's not so much about that, you know, like, making the great mystery make sense, but just giving someone a voice in the void and in the portal of a rebirthing of ourselves and each other as what would a new human look like, right? So if we're looking at Dear Human and it's hey, you've been missing sweaty and you had your shadow and your shit and your shine and all that good and bad and light and dark, and ugly. What does this new human look like? And I'm not talking in some AI science fiction way. I'm talking what does evolution look like for the human spirit through the eyes and voice and story of one woman. We have lots of wonderful stories about men. And now about like young girls coming into their own in power, we've got, you know, like Greta (Thunberg) we've got Jane Fonda and they're doing amazing things for the environment. And I'm so encouraged that women's voices are going to be heard more. But I feel like we've been the stereotype for so long written through men's voices and eyes and, or how we think we should be, rather than how we actually fucking are. And so that's to me a revolution in and of itself. And it's one that I'm interested in and intrigued by and I want to dedicate some time and energy and life force to because it's really it's been living me and now I it's a little bit of a take the power back and find some peace in the madness. Of: tell your own story. Don't just let others frame it or make make it up or whatever, as they go along. And right. We've said nobody-- it's none of my business what other people think of me, it's not about that. It's about: what do I feel? I asked people this, I've asked women this for years in these intuitive counseling sessions I do: "Okay, never mind what he's thinking, or what he wants, or what his motives or desires are. What do you want?" And they don't know. I get crickets. They have no idea. What do you think, what do you feel, what do you want, what do you need? And they look at me like Bambi in the headlights. And none of us know.

Adrienne MacIain 26:23


Courtney A. Walsh 26:24

I don't think we asked those questions enough. We are starting to, though.

Adrienne MacIain 26:27

But on some level we DO know. And that's why... why the crazy.

Courtney A. Walsh 26:32

Well that's true. That's really true.

Adrienne MacIain 26:34

Because of that tension of: I know what I want, but I don't think I can have it without looking like the asshole, without looking like a bitch. Without looking selfish. Without, you know, without hurting people or causing problems, making waves. And we've been taught our whole lives you know, accommodate. Keep the peace. That's our job.

Courtney A. Walsh 27:00

Be the nice girl. Good girl. Or you know, the Madonna/whore thing of like, you know, you're not allowed to have dark fantasies or act them out or you're not allowed to want or wish people harm and you got to be in compassion. You got to have gratitude. You got to have this, that and the other. That's all really good stuff. But if it's a suppressive rather than an expansive energy, I am not fucking interested in it anymore. You know? I'm not. It doesn't do it for me. That's more patriarchy with a different, you know, face.

Adrienne MacIain 27:29

Exactly. So I feel like there's a there's a clear audience for this. That's wonderful. You have, I've heard from you, a lot of really strong points to this story. We won't go into all of them today because I want to save some for the podcast. But can you give us one sort of, maybe not the climactic moment, but can you give us a climactic moment to give people a sense of what that feels like when you are in "the fuckery," when you are just...

Courtney A. Walsh 28:01

That's what I've been calling it! Yeah.

Adrienne MacIain 28:02

When you're just surrounded by messages that don't make sense. But you feel like you have to make sense of them.

Courtney A. Walsh 28:11

Okay. It feels like you know, when the orchestra tunes up before a theater production or a show or an opera? It feels like that. In your aura, in your skin, where it's both an exhilarating, exciting feeling, but it's also like nails on a chalkboard.

Adrienne MacIain 28:26

Yeah. Cacophony.

Courtney A. Walsh 28:27

It feels-- cacophony. Exactly. It feels like you're so nake. And it feels like you never had any skin. And your emotions are super raw. And your mind is so open. It's, like, really terrifying. It's like when they say, you know, if you if you were to touch the face of God, you'd explode into a million pieces. I feel like we're being stepped up into this expansion of being able to hold more light in ourselves in our bodies and translate that again, into art, into music, into form, you know, so we're really just energy and form anyway.

Adrienne MacIain 29:05


Courtney A. Walsh 29:05

And so what does it feel like in your body? It feels like you've had 27 cups of coffee, and seven orgasms, and 16 breakdowns. And also like total peace. It's the weirdest, and very hard to describe other than those terms, phenomenon. And that's what I think it's like, when you upgrade your phone, like, we upgrade our phone all the time people upgrade their lives all the time and living your best life and all this shit. Sorry, it's shit. It's such shit, and it's such pressure, right? But do you upgrade your psyche? Do you upgrade your mind, your spirit, your emotional operating system? We don't even know how.

Adrienne MacIain 29:43


Courtney A. Walsh 29:44

We have no idea.

Adrienne MacIain 29:45

And we don't prioritize that. And I think--

Courtney A. Walsh 29:47

We try, but...

Adrienne MacIain 29:48

-- it feels selfish and it feels, you know, like a luxury that we can't afford. You know, it's like well, we'll go out and spend you know, we'll drop 20 bucks on a new lip gloss but the idea of you know, paying $20 for a healing session is like, "Well I can't afford that, that's frivolous!"

Courtney A. Walsh 30:06

Like "Well what are they gonna do for me anyway?" And even though we do this, we're like, I don't believe in that shit, you know, like I hear that all the time, like that's just a waste of time and money and if you want to throw your money away, like I've had beautiful experiences with amazing people who just one thing they might say or one, you know, click they might help me with, has been worth 10 years of therapy. So I do believe in investing in that in yourself and connecting with others who other people have beautiful puzzle pieces for you. And then I also believe in that sovereignty autonomy thing that at the end of the day, no one can do it for you.

Adrienne MacIain 30:39

Hundred percent!

Courtney A. Walsh 30:40

But you don't have to do it alone. And we straddle those realities.

Adrienne MacIain 30:44

I know I've talked to you about my idea of the Boss Battle. That, you know, life is a lot like a video game. It has these levels, you know...

Courtney A. Walsh 30:52

I never played them. I used to watch the boys pump quarters into the Pac-Man machine going "That's a waste of time and money." You know? [laughter]

Adrienne MacIain 30:59

I was never video game person either, but I think we all understand that...

Courtney A. Walsh 31:03

The levels.

Adrienne MacIain 31:03

Those levels. Of, oof, things are getting more difficult now, it's ramping up. And it's like an elliptical machine, you know, you have that ramp up, ramp up, ramp up, it's getting harder, harder, harder, harder, harder... you get up to that: Oh, you're just so tired, and you can't do this. And then you have this Boss Battle. And it's usually like, you know, it's all your shit that you've been avoiding. It all comes down on your head at the same time. And it's like you just-- nobody can do it for you. You try and you try to trick people or get people to do it for you.

Courtney A. Walsh 31:36

Con them, seduce them.

Adrienne MacIain 31:38

But they can't. Even if they want to, they can't, because it's yours.

Courtney A. Walsh 31:42

It's yours.

Adrienne MacIain 31:42

And you have to do it. And once you fight that Boss Battle? Bing! You level up. Instantly.

Courtney A. Walsh 31:51

Oh God, that's funny you're saying that because part of the fuckery is how much of a battle energy is involved in this dying of the old world and the birthing of the new. However, once you've kind of thought oh well I have to fight my own inner demons and I have to fight these other ideas and these other people or whatever, once you put the sword down and trade it for like a bubble wand, or pinwheel? You know what's funny is like, you know the sword is still there, it's in your toolkit, but it's not like... If you look at everything as like, if you have a hammer everything looks like a nail? If you think everything's a battle then you always have to have your sword. Your sword can be there but it doesn't have to be something you're leading your life with. Sword in the air, looking for battle. Like, I want to have more playful, magical, joyful, relaxed, peaceful times. I don't want to always be Boss Battling is what I'm saying.

I want to be a playfulness warrior. And I do think that playfulness is part of fighting your Boss Battles. I think there's there's all kinds of tools that you need in that tool kit. And, you know, the Boss Battle... I say that because it's something that people understand, but it's not necessarily a battle. You know, they say everything you want is on the other side of your fear. And I believe that, but I don't think that fighting your fear is the way to do it.

Invite your demons to tea.

Adrienne MacIain 33:04

Invite them demons to tea!

Courtney A. Walsh 33:07

Give 'em a hug and a cookie.

Adrienne MacIain 33:09

Absolutely. Accept that fear as healthy. It's protecting you. You know, it understands. And thank it. Thank you fear! I appreciate that.

Courtney A. Walsh 33:18

Well, that's what Liz Gilbert says. She says fear you're allowed to come on the road trip, but you don't get to hold the map. And you don't get to have you know, radio, or, you know, be in charge of even the snacks. You can look out the window. And you can shut your mouth. Something like that.

Adrienne MacIain 33:34

I like to think of my fear as like a little kid. It's just scared and it needs love, and it's trying to keep us safe. That's all it's trying to do. So you just, you know, say "I get it. I appreciate that. And I'm going to do this anyway."

Courtney A. Walsh 33:50

Yeah. Thank you, honey. Shut up now.

Adrienne MacIain 33:52

Thank you. And we're gonna do this.

Courtney A. Walsh 33:54

Well, this is what this is. This is my Boss Battle, doing this podcast.

Adrienne MacIain 33:58

And you're doing great, look at you!

Courtney A. Walsh 34:01

Oh my gawd. No, and anytime I've ever kind of faced up, well I don't want to come out of the crazy closet and be like the bipolar chick or the this or that or the poster for crazy, and that word comes up for me a lot lately for many reasons, but I just realized, okay, it's crazy not to. It's so much crazier to live with all that shit in your head and let it swirl around and own you. And own your whole life, every moment of your experience without you know, I'm so glad we're now, we're almost in a word vomiting phase which is also like a little like eye-rolly, and like all right, people get over ourselves, but it's so much better than the suppression or the the numbing or the drinking or the drugs or the overwork or whatever it is the food stuff that we all use to avoid ourselves and these "Boss Battles," and then you make it about the thing, right? The substance, the behavior, instead of about what's the need underneath it.

Adrienne MacIain 34:53

God. Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Courtney A. Walsh 34:55

There's an unmet need there that needs attendance and attention.

Adrienne MacIain 34:58

It's not about that bad relationship, it's not about the drinking. It's about why? What's the pain you're avoiding?

Courtney A. Walsh 35:05

Why do I go to this? How is it serving me at this point?

Adrienne MacIain 35:09

What am I numbing?

Courtney A. Walsh 35:10

Why am I both either avoiding or immersing and wallowing like, I want to find that sweet spot where I'm not really doing either those things on a majority. Well, I mean, I still expect that there are moments where we go into autopilot as our defense mechanisms for whatever traumas or whatever, I'm not dismissing that, but if it's, you know, there's coping and then there's thriving. Right? And so and they're surviving, and then there's really living, you know, and so that's the, to me the, what I would call the upgrade and moving out of the fuckery and into something more... yeah.

Adrienne MacIain 35:42

Staying loyal to your joy.

Courtney A. Walsh 35:44

Yeah, that's what Maryann (Munroe) says.

Adrienne MacIain 35:46

It's good stuff! You know, and, and it can be hard. It can be hard.

Courtney A. Walsh 35:51

Well, It's, it's harder not to. When people say "it's so hard" or "it's so much easier said than done." I'm like, "Really? Because what you're doing is really fucking hard. This seems easy, you know, this is much easier.

Adrienne MacIain 36:02

But it's what we know.

Courtney A. Walsh 36:03

It's habit. Habit of thought, habit of behavior.

Adrienne MacIain 36:05

And habits are hard to break.

Courtney A. Walsh 36:06

And well, you know, habits are hard to be in the grip of though, right? So breaking them, it's, it's again, it's that little kid with the boogeyman under the bed. You know, it's so much worse in their imagination. But if you turn the light on, you give them a hug and you talk to them, and you look under the bed, you hold their hand and you go, I'm going to keep you safe, or here's this, you know, stuffed owl that will protect you from that thing. And then you're not dismissing or invalidating their experience, they may feel a presence or an entity or something that we're not perceiving, but you're also empowering them and giving them a tool, like you say that this is your Boss Battle kid, and I can't fight it for you. And so that's all of us, regardless of what our age or background or experience or skill level is. And so I just flipped that around a lot because people say it's so hard, it's so hard. God, what you're doing is so much harder.

Adrienne MacIain 37:04

It's true. And the thing is, change doesn't take time. People think change takes time. It doesn't. You can change your mind in an instant. In an instant. What takes time is developing a new habit. And you can't actually get rid of the habit. That doesn't happen. What you do is, you create a new habit.

Courtney A. Walsh 37:26

Instead of checking social media 57 times a day, I'm gonna check it three times a day, and I'm gonna go read this book.

Adrienne MacIain 37:32

You have to have a new go-to, you have to have a new habit, and I think what I'm really looking forward to hearing in this podcast is how Won creates a new life for herself, and what she is going to do to get through the fuckery and out of the fuckery and how we can all kind of go on that journey with her of creating a new habit and creating a happy ending for herself.

Courtney A. Walsh 37:53

It would be great because I'd love her to find love, like healthy love and sane and peaceful and nourishing and fun love. And because those are things of course, I'm calling in for myself and I'd love her to feel that her particular kind of crazy, is really just quite sane and recognized by people who are viewing it through the lens of That's weird. That's crazy right here and you're in delusion, you're in fantasy. Well maybe I'm just in a different dimension. But I'm bringing that dimension to this one. And you're welcome. [laughter] Maybe you can learn something instead of judging me. Anyway. That's it that would be a side effect or a nice bonus, but that's not really our goal. But yeah, I just feel like what a lot of us have judged as crazy might be hormonal shifts might be you know, facing different levels of aging, and how your body's changing and how, you know not that these are blanket excuses for poor behaviors or self sabotage or anything, but a different lens, a different lens on what is sane, what is crazy? What is healthy? What is toxic? All this stuff that flies around that we absolutely don't know. And so it can be liberating to go. I don't know, but this feels good, and this doesn't. Just keep titrating and tweaking that and refining it. And so what I envisioned for her as a character and as a being that's coming to life, as we're talking about her is that she finds a measure of both passionate excitement, enthusiasm and adventure, which is all great. And deep peace. Where she doesn't maybe get to a place where--and I don't know, like it'll happen, it'll take us on a journey--where she doesn't need to know in the same ways that she used to need to know. She's now more along for the ride. Yeah, that sounds fun.

Adrienne MacIain 39:43

So what are you the most blocked on?

Courtney A. Walsh 39:46

The block really, for me, for this, was a feeling safe and comfortable enough to actually start vocalizing it in a way to a witness, to a person who's going to ask the right questions and help me navigate. I don't really care about making a fool of myself anymore, I've done that plenty. You know, just someone who I feel is respectful of the process and gets what I'm about and what I'm going for. So the blockages were more about, I guess I mentioned perception of myself and how I would, you know, play. But that's really not up to me anymore. So that's a surrender moment.

Adrienne MacIain 40:20

So just looking forward. Is there anything that I can offer you right now, to help you start with that first step of just doing the first episode of the podcast? Because we know that it's just once you get started, like you said, You gush, and it's gonna come, it's gonna come. It's gonna be a lot, and we'll edit and that's fine. But what's that entry point? Where are we going to start it? What's episode one?

Courtney A. Walsh 40:48

I have no idea yet. This is a wonderful question! Because I have so many swirling thoughts about it. And so to me, the last three or four days where we've been having this dialogue and conversation just to get the title Won to Watch, to know that it's a female character and I think she's in her 40s To be honest, because that's important to me that she's not young and she's not old. She's in that middle space, and that she's named Won, and that she's going through these different experiences and what's her entry point? I don't know I'll ask her. And I'll let you know.

Adrienne MacIain 41:17


Courtney A. Walsh 41:17

I'm gonna dream on and I'm going to meditate in journal on it. And then by the time we actually sit down to do it, I'll have that aha moment. I just don't have that click yet. This was more getting me ready. You know, to really begin to start to invite her in.

Adrienne MacIain 41:33

I see you as so ready.

Courtney A. Walsh 41:34

I know you see it, and here we are, we're doing it, so I guess that's true!

Adrienne MacIain 41:38

You must be, right?

Courtney A. Walsh 41:40

I don't think anyone's ever ready right blow up their life. Or to invite you know, the entire world into your own brand of crazy. It's gotten to the point where it's too lonely not to. And it's too heavy not to. So this is therapy for me, and it's beautiful in that regard, and I feel very appreciative. And grateful and humbled and excited and proud that we're doing this.

Well thank you! And thank you for creating the container and the space and the format for it because that's something I've also been sending out intentions and invitations and invocations for and thank you for showing up. I'm really excited.

Adrienne MacIain 42:10

I think all art is therapy. I think the difference between, you know, reading your journal out loud, and creating art is just keeping that audience in mind. And I hear that you really know who you're talking to. And so I feel like this is going to be really great for so many people out there who are in that liminal space of not knowing where they fit and not knowing what is their authentic voice. So I'm really excited to see where this takes us.

Thanks for being here!

Courtney A. Walsh 42:54

Yay us. We're so brave. You know, it's like women do anything, and it's like "she's so brave." [laughter]


Adrienne MacIain 42:55


OMG, look, she's putting on lipstick!

Courtney A. Walsh 43:10

She's so brave.

Adrienne MacIain 43:11

Look at that color. So brave.

Courtney A. Walsh 43:11

So brave.

Adrienne MacIain 43:11

On that note. All right. Well, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for being here, Courtney and we look forward to the first episode.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai