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Doctor Neha: Hi everyone and welcome. Today, I have a special guest Alise Cortez. Alise has her own radio show and we did an interview together. And so during the COVID pandemic, I’ve made a new friend and I want to share her with all of you.

Doctor Neha: I’m in Aspen right now, and there’s going to be some sounds because we’re filming outdoors. So I’m just going to let you enjoy those.

Doctor Neha: Alise—Welcome to the program.

Alise: Thank you Neha, it’s great to be here and I have to tell our listeners and viewers a little secret—that we didn’t just meet in the pandemic. What happened was, as soon as I saw you it was love at first sight. I believe so much in your message and I stalked you on LinkedIn. I got you on my radio show—which of course you said. And if you remember, I also turned you on to leadership women because I knew your message was important there too. So this was this was one of those—follow the attraction—follow the energy—and see where it goes!

Doctor Neha: Well that’s part of what I want to talk to you about. Our world has shifted and changed so much in 2020—that it’s almost unrecognizable. And a lot of people are feeling lost. They’re feeling confused. They’re feeling as though their lives are not only physically disrupted, but mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually disrupted—all at once. So I really want to get your thoughts on that. I want to have a candid discussion on this. I want to hear how you’re experiencing this. What have you learned through this process?

Alise: So interestingly enough, just yesterday, I did a well being webinar for one of my nonprofit clients here in Dallas, Fort Worth area because they were literally dying at divine because they’ve all been sheltering in place, working from home remotely and they feel so disconnected from each other. And yet the work is double capacity. They’re just crazy busy. And so they feel stressed. They feel like there’s no separation between work and home anymore. So there’s no sanctuary to retreat to. Weekends don’t really mean anything anymore because work just flows through the weekend. And they refer to their days as blurs-days. Every day is a blurs-day. I thought that was amazing.

Alise: So what I was really starting to see and why I think what we’re doing is so important is—I think we really need to throw people a lifeline. Because what I’ve been able to see is that people are slipping further and further down into a sort of depression, because they don’t have their usual feeding mechanisms of social interaction or even physical touch to combat that. So finding really interesting ways (which is what we’re trying to do here) to create literally, a reach-across-the-pond, if you will, to let people have a place where we bring them into the fold, into meaningful conversations they need to nurture their hearts and their souls. So, on the one hand, people are feeling that anxiety and stress. And on the other side of that too, there’s this golden opportunity that I recognize and others do as well. There’s all this opportunity hanging in the air—waiting for us to get it to discover it and do something with it—because life and work as we know will never be the same. We are going to create a different future for ourselves and I want to be a part of that. That’s exciting to me!

Doctor Neha: How wonderful. So what you’re speaking of is both sides of this right? I mean I love blurs-days, first of all, that’s exactly what it feels like.

As a physician I know your biology always wins. And so the moment people feel overwhelmed or hijacked by their emotions and feel this flood of adrenaline. Nothing happens. It’s almost like they’re gonna miss the opportunity that you spoke of. I’m wondering what the experience that we’re about to share with the world and create an offer for them— how that combines by firsting helping them move out of this—by recognizing their body signals, moving out of anxiety and uncertainty in the unknown. And then, move them into this space of connection—which you spoke about so eloquently. Everybody’s calling it social distancing. I wish they didn’t call it that. Instead, I wish they said we need to physically distance for the virus’s sake, because it’s a respiratory borne illness. But what we really need is deep, authentic, social connection. It was hard enough to be vulnerable when we were in person with everybody. Now we have this added gift of technology and a barrier as an even more difficult way that we’re going to have to learn now. The younger generation is really good at this. Right, they’ve, they’ve grown up on social media and so I think they’re pretty used to it all. But what really struck me is that there’s a way that you have unhooked from your biology, and you can now see the possibility on the other side. Can you speak a little bit to that? How has it helped you? How have you been able to do that?

Alise: A couple of things happened for me personally. One of them goes back to connectivity—almost at the beginning of the pandemic some amazing things began to happen. I began to get a fair number of requests to connect to me on LinkedIn from really interesting amazing people all over the world. And those conversations were so elevating. And they came in the spirit of “Hey, I have time. I’m curious what’s happening in the world?” There was like, a reaching out that felt so amazing. I was doing that for others as well. So, I was having all these really amazingly, meaningful and intense conversations with people that were giving me such a beautiful insight into other ways of seeing the world of possibility that I wasn’t seeing on my own. And that just kind of ushered in, “Wow, I don’t know what’s beyond that wall that I’m used to normally looking through and thinking that’s the end—when there’s a whole vast realm on the other side. I don’t know what that is, but I want to discover it and create from that.”

Alise: And the other thing that happened was that as a management consultant and inspirational speaker, usually I’m in front of a group with a bunch of eyeballs looking at me. That’s not happening these days. And that’s forced me to act in the best possible way. I’ve been threatened for months to create some online offerings. Neha, the great thing about that is that now I get to actually serve more people than I could have ever served before. I want to make a difference in the lives of 1 million people before I’m dropped into the ground. And I probably can’t do that without technology anyway. So, I’ve been doing that. And, I speak Spanish and Portuguese pretty well, so I’m creating offerings in those languages as well. That wouldn’t have happened on the other side of this pandemic. I would have had to go to Brazil, Spain or Mexico. Now, I can deliver those courses right here and still touch those lives and have them be part of mine. Isn’t that amazing!

Doctor Neha: That’s so beautiful. And I think where people might be getting stuck is this place inside them where that resistance is. You said “I’ve been threatening to do this for quite some time.” And it’s almost like you’re seeing the pandemic as a catalyst.

Alise: You’re absolutely right.

Doctor Neha: It’s a catalyst to achieve your dreams. That’s one way to see it. But when I speak to the younger generation, they see it as the thing that’s taking away their ability to be connected to their friends. They grew up connecting on social media. And now, without the choice of being in person, they’re feeling that loss. There’s grief. There’s loss.There’s overwhelm. There’s anxiety.

Doctor Neha: Then when I listen to you, the same thing is happening, but I’m hearing possibilities. There’s creativity. There’s entrepreneurship. And it’s really about how we show up and choose to view it. There’s so much power in your perspective. The question is—which perspective are you choosing?

Doctor Neha: So I’m really excited about this. I want to share with everybody what you and I have come up with as an idea. While chatting, I said “What seems really valuable right now is ‘Dear Abby meets Oprah’—some way that people could ask their questions in a way that’s transparent so other people could learn. And each person could decide how much they wanted to engage. There could be some level of coaching, group interaction and Q & A.

Alise: And both of us were very aware that the world needed help. We feel that the world is hurting. They’re confused and scared. Both you and I have this servant heart. So we decided, “Let’s see what we can do about that. Let’s offer help. Let’s offer a hand and see who shows up!”

Alise: We already know what happens naturally when we bring people together. There’ll be an interest to share their hearts and their minds. That alone will raise consciousness and no matter what—that’s a gift.

Doctor Neha: Yes. It seems that’s what the world really needs. We’ve forgotten how interconnected we are. We’ve forgotten that you can’t defy biology. You have to listen to biology—whether it’s outside of you, because it’s the way that our virus transmits or works. Or whether it’s your inner biology—triggering you, overwhelming you and creating anxiety. So, first and foremost, we have to listen to our biology. People think they should already know and that somehow it’s a failure if you don’t look perfect online.

Doctor Neha: Except this whole situation seems to be creating an opportunity for authentic connection online. So that’s what we came up with— the Conscious Community (CC) Cafe—a virtual safe space that has a topic we explore during each session that also allows for small group interaction and allows people to share authentically while also getting their questions answered. There will be both structure and freedom, so we can all elevate together.

Alise: I’m thrilled to be a part of this! One of the things I stand for is wanting to empower every single person to grow into their best possible version of themselves. And then bring that beautiful individual spirit and purpose to the world because we need that desperately. So much of what I personally stand for is helping people discover their own unique purpose. This is especially important now because we get to build the future that we want. So let’s all bring our special gifts together and create the world we want to live in!

Doctor Neha: I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, Elise. I am so looking forward to this experience. If any of you are curious about joining the Conscious Community (CC) Cafe, go to CCCafe.online and you’ll get the information to register and join us at our next online cafe. We would love, love to meet you so we can share and grow together! Looking forward to it. Is there anything else you’d like to say, Alise?

Alise: I’ll just endorse your invitation. The more we can get beautiful different minds from across the world, to create compelling conversations that have us see the best in each other, it will help create the world we want to live in! That’s the invitation. Please accept.

Doctor Neha: Yes, please do. And the other thing is if there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, because you know what the world needs it, take that risk. Go out and do it!

Doctor Neha: Alise and I don’t even know if CCCafe.online is going to work. All we know is that we’re willing to take the risk, put it out there and see if it’s useful. If not, we’ll scrap it and come up with something else. So, take a risk. Whatever has crossed your mind or heart— now’s the time to take a chance—because the world needs you!

Doctor Neha: Thank you, Elise and can’t wait to start this adventure with you.

Alise: Likewise, seeing the other side of the mic.

Doctor Neha

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