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She might still be living alone in the woods if she hadn’t found support. That’s what podcast guest Annie Evans says, and host Rebeccah Silence agrees. In their discussion about the concepts of Breakdown and Breakthrough, Annie describes the feeling of being sad, stuck, and alone. She remembers a time when good days felt like an anomaly.
After doing the work she did with Rebeccah, she reinvented herself and reclaimed life on her own terms. She admits it was scary and took a long time. But, at the same time, the more she did to move forward to Breakthrough, the more she was happy. That would spur her on!
Even though Annie’s marriage was on the rocks, she knew she could not rush to dissolving it. It was important to her to have a trauma-free divorce, and she knew she had to do things on her own timeline. She kept moving forward, listening to herself and having faith in the outcome.
She’s learned that it’s about changing and pivoting when you realize you’re not living the life you want. Setting solid boundaries is important… If it’s not a Hell Yeah!, it’s a NO. It has to be a WIN/WIN for both parties. It comes down to listening to your inner voice and doing the work. Because she avoided listening to herself, she felt like she remained in Breakdown for years… sad and hopeless.
Since she’s learned to welcome the Breakdown and developed the ability to work through them quickly, she’s also living her best life. Happy in love, running her business, and living on the farm. Her advice for those listening… DO NOT SETTLE!
If you’d like to learn more about Annie Evans, visit her website. We’re always Tougher Together! Please tune in to other episodes of our podcast and explore the human connection between us.
Rebeccah Silence, is a speaker, coach and international media personality, who survived cancer while pregnant and has impacted hundreds of thousands of listeners through her radio programs and appearances. She is the Creator of the HEALING IS POSSIBLE movement and courses and is committed to helping others heal their traumas. As a certified world-class Emotional Healing Coach, Rebeccah is uniquely qualified to facilitate breakthroughs to wellness and transformation while she inspires hope and possibility in even the most challenging times. She is best known for healing heartbreak, and her clients frequently tell her that she brought them “back to life”!
Rebeccah [00:00:00] Have you ever wanted to blow your entire life up and go live alone in the woods? Our next guest, Annie Evans, felt just that way. And today has a thriving business, a community of people and is engaged to be married.
Intro [00:00:09] This episode is brought to you by the podcast services division at Life’s Tough Media. Having your own podcast and using your voice to deliver your message allows you to creatively reach all types of audiences, from clients to prospects to your most loyal, membership-based, Life’s Tough Media makes having a podcast easier than ever before. By offering robust turnkey podcast solutions with superior remote recording capabilities and with studio affiliates located around the world. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation at email@example.com or visit us at LifesTough.com to learn more. So, what is a breakthrough? It’s finding your way out of suffering and stuck. It’s that feeling of new energy, renewed life and excitement. When I was seven months pregnant with my second baby, I received a life changing diagnosis. I had cancer. When I told my older daughter, she said “So, you’re going to die?” And the only thing that saved my life during that time was knowing how to emotionally break through. Welcome to the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast. I’m your host, Rebeccah Silence. I’m a speaker, coach and the creator of Healing is Possible. In each episode I prepare you for life no matter what challenges you’re facing. I’m going to invite you into the stories of real people who are living life in breakthrough and making the world a better place. If they can do it so can you. Breakthrough is your right. Get ready to break through. Get ready for the rest of your life.
Rebeccah [00:01:56] Have you ever wanted to blow up your entire life and just go live in the woods? Our next guest, Annie Evans, when I first met her, absolutely was ready to just live alone in the woods for the rest of her life and it is such an honor and privilege to bring her into the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast. I’m Rebeccah Silence, welcoming Annie Evans to the show.
Annie [00:02:26] Hello, Rebecca, thank you so much for having me it’s an honor.
Rebeccah [00:02:30] Annie, Oh, my goodness, it is such a gift to have you in my life, but also to introduce you to our audience and to our listeners. Tell us what is breakthrough and what has breakthrough meant for your life?
Annie [00:02:46] Well, as you have said already in this short minute, had it not been for a breakthrough, I probably would be living alone in the woods somewhere by myself. Breakthrough for me was breaking through that feeling of being stuck and anxious. And the biggest thing is not knowing that there was another way to live or another way to feel. Because for me, it’s all how I’m feeling. I thought all those icky feelings that I was feeling was normal.
Annie Yeah. So being in breakthrough, I finally learned, I’m like, hell, no, that is not normal for… I mean, if you choose it to be, that’s how you want to live, but no, it’s just… there’s so much more. And that’s what breakthrough is.
Rebeccah [00:03:42] So tell us about your journey of, you know, what normal was, what normal is now.
Annie [00:03:52] So normal for me was doing things I thought I should do in order not to hurt people. Normal for me was feeling sad and stuck and alone and thinking that there was no other way to live. And I remember feeling on those rare occasions when I felt like happy and free. I thought, oh, my gosh, this is such an anomaly, this never happens. And I remember wanting to feel more of that. And what I’ve learned is that when you’re in breakthrough, that’s the way you feel. And the bad days are the anomaly. It’s so weird, but that has for me been the biggest gift about breakthrough; is that feeling of just freedom and in alignment.
Rebeccah [00:04:53] Yeah, and when we first met, you’re a mom, you have two great kids. You were married. And just tell us about, you know, life through divorce into life today. Specifically, paint the picture for our listeners, because there are so many people, I think that would give anything to have the life you have today. You went from living in a way where you were obligated, in my opinion, tolerating, and you weren’t free. And then you’ve built an amazing business, you’ve got a gorgeous fiancée, living your dream on a farm with your chickens, cooking gorgeous, organic, holistic meals and food, not just for you, but for an entire community. You’ve got amazing relationships with your kids. I mean, tell us how you did it.
Annie [00:05:55] Yeah, I was hearing you say all those things, I still have to pinch myself sometimes, so how did I do it? I, I just did the work with your guidance. I just did it and it was so scary and it took me such a long time and I remember judging myself so harshly. Like, a mom does not leave her kids, a mom sticks with it no matter what. Until I realized that… No, they don’t. You don’t have to live that way, and those little glimpses that I referred to before of these feelings of happiness and alignment. The more I kept moving forward, the more that that happened and that kind of spurred me on. But really, it was just moving forward at a pace that I knew was right for me. People told me to just rip off the Band-Aid and file for divorce now. And I, I just knew I listened to myself and knew I had to take a little bit more time to just do it on my timeline. You know, I had some concerns and I just listened to myself. So that to me is huge listening to yourself. Being prepared to go through that hurt. But know that it’s just… it’s going to change, it’s just temporary and just moving forward and having faith. And the more you do that, the more you understand that it’s just a reinvention and that your relationships are strong enough to withstand it and to grow into something even better. I just kept moving forward and having faith and I kept working with you. And that’s how I did it.
Rebeccah [00:08:00] Tell us what reinvention means to you, I think that’s such a powerful word when it comes to breaking through. And I’ve watched you reinvent yourself over and over again with support and you’re bringing up relationship. I hear that and watched you create and lean on impeccable support that you were trusting in the strength of those relationships to be there, and you were also there for all of them as the growing pains that are inevitable were occurring. But tell us what reinvention is and paint that picture of possibility for us.
Annie [00:08:42] Yeah, I feel sometimes I am the queen of reinvention. And it’s just thinking that you’re supposed to be something or some way, live a certain way, and just realizing that it’s not working for you. So, turning, pivoting and just finding a way that is working for you, reinvention, I have a seasonal business. I reinvent myself many times to try to go with the ebb and flow of my business and whatnot. I reinvented myself as a mother. I wasn’t… You know, being at their beck and call and constantly, constantly lowering or giving myself away for the sake of others and both my relationships with my children and my ex that wasn’t working for me, so I had to reinvent myself as a mother and an ex-wife. It’s just to me changing, I’m pivoting in a way that works for you to deal with people. So, I reinvented myself in my business and my personal relationships. And that’s really to me, all it is, is just making that pivot and putting up boundaries. Boundaries I think, it’s huge for reinvention.
Rebeccah [00:10:13] What are boundaries?
Annie [00:10:15] If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a no. It’s doing things, if it works for you. And I don’t mean to sound like it’s all about you, and you have to throw people under the bus to do whatever you want, but if it doesn’t work for you… It’s… you’re not going to be able to step up and shine and serve to your ultimate capability. It has to work for you, and thanks to you, I’ve learned how to pretty much enroll people and make things work for me, and it’s always a win-win for both parties. That’s key. It can’t just… it has to be a win-win for both parties.
Rebeccah [00:11:00] Yeah. And Annie, I mean, what you’re saying is so important, starting with the listening to yourself and knowing what your pace is. And I want you to share more about how you listen to yourself. But boundaries really are as simple as knowing what your no’s are and knowing what your yes’s are and standing in your yes. Even if that means that it’s uncomfortable for you in relationship, standing for the Yes. So that you can also listen to what the other person’s yeses and then work with them. And there is literally always a solution. And I think the hardest part of breakdown or one of the most difficult parts of breakdown is that moment where you really feel like there isn’t a solution. So, can you speak to listening to yourself and can you speak to those moments that you’ve been in? And if you can find an example and share a story, that would be wonderful, you know, a time where you were in breakdown and it just didn’t seem like there actually were solutions or possibilities. How did you listen to yourself? How did you get through that?
Annie [00:12:10] Yeah, it is all about listening to yourself and feeling, and there’s a difference, I think, between making a decision and worry about making someone else uncomfortable, and that’s why you do it, and then with listening to yourself and doing it regardless of that, knowing that’s the right thing. I guess an example being in breakdown and not seeing any end would have been my marriage, I think. I feel like I was in breakdown for years and so not and did not see an end in sight. And that was a very… because of a feeling of just this despondency. That would be my biggest example. And just other things, I mean, it happened so much my… You know, not being set up to win and some… like my car. Remember the car accident I had and not having enough insurance? That was a huge breakdown and just oh, my God, I’m going to lose everything, you know? It’s just this feeling of hopelessness when you’re on breakdown and then breakthrough is just finding the solution to get through it.
Rebeccah [00:13:34] How do you close that gap when you’re in the breakdown? And then it doesn’t feel like or seem like there is a breakthrough available.
Annie [00:13:45] Right. Well, that’s where support comes in. I reach out to you and my support team, this tribe of women that I’ve just come to know and love over the years, and the more you do it… The more you see how breakthrough can happen, it gets quicker and quicker. You know, I… there is no way I would stay in a breakdown situation for years like I did in my marriage. Now it’s a couple of days, you know? It’s just the more you go through it, and for me, its key is to welcome the breakdown. I was so intent on avoiding it because it feels so icky and we’re just avoiding it; stuff it down. And if we are stuffing it down, it’s not going anywhere. So eventually it will blow up even bigger and bigger. So just get it out. Welcome it. Get through it and grow. You just grow, grow, grow.
Rebeccah [00:14:48] I love that so much, my first coach and mentor, Carol Reynolds, used to say, if we’re not growing, we’re dying. And if we’re not using the breakdowns to our advantage, to break through suffering, to break through the way we’re living, that isn’t actually working for us, then our spirit is literally dying. I think it would be great if you’d be willing to speak more around your divorce. I mean, how did you know that reinvention meant divorce? How did you know that was the right call? How did you do what I call divorcing gracefully? I think you had one of the most graceful divorces I’ve ever seen. You led your family so beautifully. Will you? Will you speak to that?
Annie [00:15:34] Sure. Well, the first thing was I, I took my time first, I did everything imaginable to try to save my marriage, and it went on for pretty much our whole marriage. We had gone to marriage counseling before we were even married a year. And by the time we got divorced, we were together twenty-four years. So, it was… It was just constant, constant work, so I, I know in my heart that I did everything to save my marriage, and at that point it was… I need to save myself first and foremost. So that was the attitude and the thought process I had was I need to save myself and if my marriage survives that and we can reinvent our marriage, that’s great. If not, I knew it was time to go. So, taking my time, doing it on my timeline and not saying, oh, my God, this hurts so much, I’m just going to forget about it and not do it, which I used to do. That is what saved me, and that’s what I mean by just moving forward one step at a time. I lost my kids for a while. They wouldn’t speak to me and it was horrible. I took that first year after I moved out in my little apartment and I took that whole year and looking back, I know it was my year to grieve. It was to hunker down and grieve a loss, you know? And just do a lot of thinking and just really practice being me. Being OK with being alone, being OK, that my kids had their little hissy fits. And I still kept working on myself, and then slowly but surely they would come to me for advice, they would tell me they were proud of me. It’s like everything just changed. I still… can’t believe it sometimes. So, when you see that happening, you just know that you’re doing what you’re meant to do, and again, it for me, it’s just a feeling. So, yeah, it was hard work divorcing gracefully, but I was determined to do it. There was no other option. I wanted to prove to everybody, including my ex, that a divorce, yes, can be traumatic and ugly and nasty. Yeah. Does it have to be? No. And he’s such a wonderful person, I didn’t want to put us all through that. We… none of us deserved that. So, yeah, it took a lot of work, but I’m very, very proud of myself for listening to myself and taking the time that I needed and we needed to divorce gracefully.
Rebeccah [00:18:26] Tell us about your new relationship. How did that come about, how did you go from being alone in your apartment, grieving, to the life you have now, and paint the picture of the life you have now for the people.
Annie [00:18:40] Oh my gosh. So, I took the year and grieved and then I started thinking, oh, well, I might be ready for a little something from, you know, a little relief. So, I did I… Well, it was under your tutelage, right, being on your support team from the retreats. And that was my personal stretch, if you remember, it was to me an emotionally available man.
Rebeccah [00:19:11] I’m never going to forget it. You got to tell everybody.
Annie [00:19:13] Oh, my gosh. I still tell people about it. So, what it was, was kissing a few frogs, practicing with said frogs on how… Practicing kind of how I wanted my partner, my future partner to show up. I was honest. I used my voice, which is hard for me, saying what I wanted, and I did a lot of fumbling. But I did it I. I had a goal to meet an emotionally available man, and I… how long did we have to do it? Was it like four weeks?
Rebeccah [00:19:49] Well, so just to catch some people up in the way our teams or running pre Covid, we have this amazing group of women supporting women’s retreats and each woman on my team would have a personal stretch. We’re going to do leadership training together. We’re going to each have an individual goal that we manifest and create or what I call an inspired result. So, it was literally three months start to finish where the team was working together, connecting to each other, supporting each other and building this gorgeous women’s retreat and each of us meeting our own individual goals. So, for this particular retreat Annie came to us and said, I’m ready to meet an emotionally available man. So that’s a little backstory.
Annie [00:20:36] Right. So how does one do this? I don’t want to go to one at a bar. So, I joined the online dating community, which was super uncomfortable. And I remember it was January, the beginning of January or even before my stretch, really. I went on to Match. And this certain man kept looking at my profile and I kept judging him. He’s too old, he’ll never keep up with me. He’s a farmer. Even so much as to think that he probably doesn’t like sex, I mean… just from a little picture. So finally, this goes on January, February, the beginning of March. I’m getting nervous now because the retreat’s in another couple of weeks and I don’t have my guy. So, he wrote me an email and I thought, wow, perhaps I judge this man. And yes, we do have a lot in common. I’d love to meet you for a cup of tea. And when I got home that night, I emailed him and I said, you are date number 11 and you are the first one I wanted to see you again. And his response was, what I felt after meeting you tonight fails to fall under commonly used words. And I thought, holy hell, I’m his. And that was it. And that was that next night or the next day? It was a couple of days later. And that was my last first kiss.
Rebeccah [00:22:03] Mm hmm.
Annie [00:22:04] And it’s… he’s been my greatest teacher so far. We hit breakdown a lot. And I lose it a lot and I keep… we keep coming back after breakthrough and growing closer. Really. He’s wonderful. He’s been my biggest… And I tell women all the time who are searching, don’t settle. Don’t settle, don’t settle.
Rebeccah [00:22:32] So how long after the divorce was it before you and your fiancée now had that first and second date and your last first kiss?
Annie [00:22:44] So it was funny. We were just speaking of this. October of 2015 is when I moved out and we met in March of 2017. So almost two years. Yeah. Almost two years, yeah.
Rebeccah [00:23:00] Yeah.
Annie [00:23:01] It was much needed. Yeah. I did not want to rush into anything. So, it was… it was perfect. The timing was perfect.
Rebeccah [00:23:09] How did you know? How did you know it was time to put yourself out there again?
Annie [00:23:14] Again, this… that feeling just, I just know it was just time. I had gone out with a couple of men just… and it just didn’t feel right. It was too soon. And basically, it was the physical comfort thing I was missing at that point. I wasn’t ready for a relationship, just the physical part. But… And, you know, that’s OK, too. Yeah, I just was ready. I was just ready, just like I knew the moment my marriage was over, it was OK. I just absolutely knew.
Rebeccah [00:24:00] So breakthrough is clarity, and you’re modeling for us so beautifully the ability to access the part of you that does clearly know. And that’s what I hope everyone today hearing this takes with them into possibility for your life and your future. You do know. And no one else is the expert on you. In my work with you, Annie, it’s really been about just holding space and supporting you in finding those answers, because there is no right way. There is no right answer. I think the gracefulness of your divorce and of watching your evolution has just been around you committing to finding that knowing, and to trusting it and to following it.
Annie [00:24:49] Yeah. Yeah, it takes a while to trust yourself. But yes, that’s it. It’s just absolutely 100 percent trust in yourself that your process is unlike anybody else’s process. And when you break through, your life is going to be exactly how you want it. It’s like a whiteboard. It’s so frickin exciting. Great.
Rebeccah [00:25:17] I love it. What else do you want people to know about breakdown, about breakthrough?
Annie [00:25:24] Just welcome the breakdown. Don’t be afraid of it if you don’t get through it. Like I said, it’s there and it will manifest in a way that’s even harder to reach and get through. It just doesn’t go away, so bring it on. Reach out, get support and get through that shit. It’s just going to feel so much better. And then will there be other ones? Absolutely. But it’s just… it gets quicker and quicker, and the more you go through, the more you grow, and pretty soon you have to pinch yourself. That this is your life that you created, exactly how you want it. It’s so exciting. It really is. And don’t settle. That’s my other piece of advice for anybody. Do not settle ever. Ever.
Rebeccah [00:26:25] What homework would you give our listeners?
Annie [00:26:31] Oh my, what homework? I would… for me, what comes to my mind right away is just jot down where you’re feeling uninspired, where you’re feeling lethargic, where you’re just not feeling 100 percent in alignment. Just take notice of it. Take notice of it and maybe then write down what you really, really, really want to do, no matter how crazy it sounds. Like how you want to feel, for me, it’s all feeling. Like, how do you want to feel? You want to feel light, you want to feel free, you want to feel adventurous and just start maybe with that and just kind of like fake it almost, you know, like try to start feeling those things. And then pretty soon you’ll feel them for real. It’s just you need a little nugget to keep you, to spur you on. That would be my advice, is just take notice and get support. Seriously, start working with somebody. I recommend you. There’s no other coach that I would work with, but I’m sure there’s other coaches out there.
Rebeccah [00:27:48] Thank you, Annie. What would you say… My final question for you today is, what would you say you’ve learned about being tougher than circumstances?
Annie [00:28:04] Well, actually, it’s, being tougher actually makes you softer, a softer person. Really, I mean when you’re tough and you just get through all you have to get through, it makes you love more. I, I don’t want to be alone in a cabin anymore. Seriously. So, being tougher and getting through what you really need to get through, I think makes you a softer person. It makes… it has broke open my heart, which I’ve been working on all those years. So. It doesn’t make you tough and jaded, it makes you strong and resilient and it makes you love more.
Rebeccah [00:28:59] Annie, thank you.
Annie [00:29:02] Rebecca, thank you so much. This has been awesome and thank you for being there for me. Almost eight years now.
Rebeccah [00:29:09] Yeah.
Annie [00:29:10] So, yeah.
Rebeccah [00:29:11] It’s been an honor to watch you fly. And I think it’s just the beginning for you and your gorgeous fiancée and breakthrough is possible. You just have to commit. Thank you for telling us your story. This is Rebeccah Silence with the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast with special guest Annie Evans, owner of Gypsy Girl Pizza. And this woman absolutely has designed her life exactly how she wants it. And when it’s time to grow, she reinvents it again. And Annie, how can people get in touch with you?
Annie [00:29:50] Oh, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (new email: email@example.com), I have a Facebook page, Gypsy Girl Pizza and then I have a website, gypsygirlpizza.com. Reach out. Shoot me an email, a text, a Facebook message, or give me a little jingle. I like to… I’m old school. I like talking on the phone.
Rebeccah [00:30:10] It’s such an honor to introduce you to our audience. Thanks to everyone. And we will see you next time.
Annie [00:30:18] Thanks Rebeccah.
OutroPlease note that the content of this podcast is not meant to be therapeutic or to replace any personal growth work that you are already doing with a coach, therapist, or mentor. Take the content, have it inspire you, and then keep working with your support system. Breakthrough is your right. Breakthrough reminds us that we’re tougher together and that we’re connected to possibility even in the most challenging and possibly darkest times. I’m Rebeccah Silence, creator of Healing is Possible and proud host of the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast where we come together and we tell stories of real breakthrough that exist for you as well. Get ready to break through, get ready to live more free, and get ready to experience more breakthrough. Because that’s your right. Join us on the Life’s Tough Media website and stay tuned for more. If you want to get in touch with me visit rebeccahsilence.com. Your time is now. Your breakthrough begins now.