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Finding her identity and her voice

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Erin Panzarella’s attitude on life has been incredible, especially given her early years where she was still trying to figure out who she was and what her place is in the world.

TAMAR: Hey, everybody, I am so excited to bring you Erin Panzarella. I met her in you know, I talked about meeting people in these online groups. And this is no exception, but it’s different than all the others. So far, I’ve met people in running groups and women founders’ groups, and even a perfume guy. And a guy like David Goggins, who’s overcome Aaron Anna. And those are all Facebook groups. I met Erin because she posted on Reddit, which I’ve talked about a lot in the podcast. But I haven’t actually had a guest on the podcast from Reddit. I posted a self- improvement post. I guess I’ll talk about that. I thought it was really enlightening and powerful. And it really aligns with a lot of what I talked about in the podcast. So, I figured I would bring her on, and have her talk about her story and where she came from, and how she got there. And what she shared on Reddit, because I totally forget at this point. It was all really, really good. Actually, I say that because I want to kind of make a foray until what’s about to be so.  Erin, thank you so much for joining.

ERIN PANZARELLA: I’m so excited to be here. I was like so unbelievably happy when you messaged me. This is actually the first time I’ve ever been on a podcast. I host my own podcast, but I’ve never been a guest on one. So, this is really exciting.

TAMAR: Yeah, and this is totally a promotional vehicle for your podcast, as well. So, I’m excited to talk about that. And to promote that at the end when we talk about where to find you, and all those things. So, this is gonna be really exciting. Yeah, I do remember vaping too much content in my head, I basically would say. So, where are you physically in the world? And what do you do with yourself all day long these days?

ERIN PANZARELLA: So, I am physically in New York City. I’m in Queens, and my days are so different. But I also do work a 9 to 5 job. I’m an accountant for a nonprofit organization in New York City. I like to say that I am a soul having a human journey. And that’s what I do. And it really feels so true because I have a lot of different hats. But I found that when I tried to define myself by a job or something, I would get lost and get really consumed by that. So, my day to day life, like throughout the week, is me working the 9 to 5 and then also I have an energy healing business. I’m a podcaster that’s focused on shifting from a victim mindset into co-creator with the universe and sharing the tools that helped me do that. I am a writer. And yeah, it’s ever evolving, for sure.

TAMAR: Sweet, sweet. So, like I said, Erin and I met on Reddit. I have no background on her except seeing her name and the post. I actually live in Westchester. So where in Queens are you?

ERIN PANZARELLA: Two Gardens.

TAMAR: Aha, cool. I lived in Forest Hills for 2 years of my life. But my mother’s from Kew Gardens Hills.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Oh, wow.

TAMAR: Yeah.

 ERIN PANZARELLA:  I walked there all the time.

TAMAR: Yeah, So, it’s a small world indeed.

ERIN PANZARELLA:  Yes, it is. That’s so awesome.

TAMAR: Yeah, I’ve lived in 4 of the 5 Boroughs. So now, I’ve moved myself out of the city into Westchester before COVID, which is helpful when you have 4 children in your backyard.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, completely. I’m actually looking to move a little bit north in Westchester, downstate, upstate area.

TAMAR: Well, let me know if you’re looking into Westchester. I could either show you around, whatever I know here, or I could get you in touch with other people in other areas.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, thank you so much.

TAMAR: Lots of helpful community. In fact, Reddit has a committee in Westchester as well, where it’s kind of dead. But there’s conversation. Yeah. Cool. Awesome.

ERIN PANZARELLA:  Yeah.

TAMAR: So, you talked about how your podcasts is about a shift from the victim mindset to someone who’s really kind of taking charge in life. I guess that might be precipitated by something in your life. Give me a little bit of background of where that comes from, that mindset, that thought process.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Oh my God. So yeah, it has been seriously a lifelong journey. It goes back to many different things. I have incorporated a lot of different healing modalities. So, like Inner Child Work and Shadow Work because growing up, I’m adopted. So, it really starts from there. I was adopted before I was born, but I have been learning through my healing journey that there’s a really big abandonment issue that comes from that adoption. And as I unpack and I heal, I am noticing how prevalent those issues have come up with in my life without me even knowing it. All the work that I do is really focused on the subconscious thought and the unconscious thought and how they impact your everyday life. And I didn’t realize that it was completely running the show. So, I’m really working on shedding light on all the things that have impacted me. But aside from being adopted 11 days before my fifth birthday, my first dad passed away. And even though adopted, like, my dad is my adopted dad, he’s my dad, and my mom is my mom. And when he passed away, like I said, it was 11 days before my fifth birthday. I completely flipped a switch. Essentially, I don’t remember being a happy child. I don’t remember any of that as I go into my healing journey more, but everyone told me that I was the happiest kid ever. And I couldn’t access any of that for most of my life. So, I always felt like I was like a sad person, or I was never happy. And I’m realizing how untrue that is, how big that grief impacted me for so long. So, I really navigated in this victim mode for most of my life because I was just stuck in grief. And I was having all these repressed memories, like, regressed and repressed. I couldn’t remember anything. And I just navigated like, everything bad was going to happen to me because I felt like my life was just always bad. And I couldn’t see the beauty in my life. And I couldn’t see how privileged I was. Like I grew up really not wanting anything because my mom provided for me all the time. Shortly after my first dad passed away, my second Dad, I know, it’s weird to call them that, that’s just how I have to reference them to be honest. But like, he’s my dad as well. He entered my life. And he passed away 6 days before my 28th birthday in 2019. And just seeing how I dealt with that grief in a completely different way because I’ve been on this healing journey for quite some years. It’s just really showing me how much I’ve grown. So, navigating in that victim mindset and we can talk about how much it manifested in so many different ways. But I’ve really been able to transform the way that I view life and really excited for life again, and realized that I don’t control everything, but I can control what I do. And really stepping into that power has been the most beautiful journey.

TAMAR: Wow, that is very powerful. Just curious, are you familiar with adoption? Subread it?

ERIN PANZARELLA:  No.

TAMAR: Okay, so I’m not adopted, but I wrote a book on it. I guess you probably know your birth parents?

ERIN PANZARELLA:  No.

TAMAR: Okay, because you mentioned that it was organized beforehand. I mentioned that because I wrote, I published a book in 2019, 2018. I don’t even know anymore. (Both Tamar and Erin laughing).

TAMAR: Keep track of anything, the adoptee’s guide to DNA testing. And it’s because I was in that ecosystem completely randomly. I was invited to an ancestry test party at South by Southwest. And at that party, they distributed tests, free DNA tests. I took one and distant cousins of mine, adoptees, started reaching out to me. I didn’t know what to make sense, like I couldn’t make sense of it. Like they said “I’m trying to find my birth parents.”  I’m like, “I don’t really know how to solve that problem.” But eventually, I became like a sleuth. And I helped all these individuals solve a lot of these challenges. It’s not always necessarily the adoptees themselves. It’s sometimes their children or their grandchildren trying to say, “Oh, I want to learn more about my birth, great grandparents, or whatever it is, or my birth grandfather.” I know a lot of people like, “I thought my father was who he was. And he wasn’t.” And it was not in DNA terms. It’s called NP, which is Not Parent expected or non-paternal event. And all of a sudden, I was solving all these problems. So, our challenge is helping people figure out lifelong mysteries. And all of a sudden, I found myself in this ecosystem. I totally understand that challenge of feeling that abandonment that you have, that’s really manifested for a very long time. And I think that you, personally, could be such a source of comfort. And with just the 5 minutes that you’ve shared that, I mean, there’s so much there that I think you should just, perhaps participate in that community. I do to some degree, it’s like weird because they didn’t know I wrote this book. I don’t really like to make my way in, but they’re always navigating these challenges, emotionally, particularly.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, wow, that is so synchronistic. I can’t even believe that, to be honest. I actually just did my 23andMe and then the ancestry DNA. I’m waiting for the results. I’m getting more curious because initially I wasn’t. I don’t know if I was nervous about my mom. And how she would think even though she’s always been very open, and I have a letter from my birth mom. And I think I have more information than a lot of people do. So, I just think that’s so amazing because I do know how it’s not really talked about. I guess I always felt alone, I didn’t really know many adopted kids growing up. And I definitely believe that my path is definitely connected to helping either people who are adopted or people who dealt with childhood grief, or who are dealing with grief as an early adult. So, I definitely am connected to it so much. And I know the issues that come up especially regarding fear of abandonment, fear of loss, and how that manifested in my relationships without me even knowing why I was self-sabotaging, or why I was doing what I was doing. And now finally, once I’ve done all this healing, and really brought everything to the surface, I’m like, “Oh, that’s why I did that. That’s why I tried to push people away because I was afraid,” and really honing in on that and realizing that that’s not the way it has to navigate anymore.

TAMAR: Yeah, wow. Well, I’m happy to help you with your particular journey if you need to decipher some of this data. Sometimes if you don’t like, it sounds like your birth mother wanted to be in touch with you and to some degree. So hopefully, there’s somebody there, and you’re going to be able to find things. You say that you’re waiting on your ancestry results, but you’ve got your, how your 23andMe results come through?

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, so I had the 23andMe last year done. And then I actually found a first cousin through it.

TAMAR: Okay. Did you find how are you related? Paternal or maternal?

ERIN PANZARELLA: No, I didn’t. I didn’t really contact anyone because it’s still like more of a curiosity and not really wanting to take action at this point. But I definitely see how the curiosity is growing. And I’m thinking about maybe reaching out, who knows. So, I’m still kind of letting intuition guide me all the time. You know, when it’s the right time, and the results are pending with the Ancestry as well.

TAMAR: Okay. Yeah. You know, what’s interesting to me is that that first hasn’t reached out to you either. One usually initiates. So, the question is, has that person checked in since they tested? Or is it they did, and they don’t know or they don’t like. Well, I’m curious. For that side, I tried to reach out to my cousins all the time. I have the second cousin that won’t respond to me. And if I had another one like that, about 3 or 4 years ago, maybe closer to 5 now at this point, and I pursued him, and I kept messaging him and messaging him and messaging you. And finally, thank you for your persistence. And he got so into it, after we ended up talking on the phone for 3 hours. Turns out, his father looks exactly like my grandfather. His grandfather was my great grandfather’s brother. So, we were able to make that connection. But it took a lot of pushing and plotting, and prodding and urging in all these things. And now I have one like that again, and it just drives me nuts. So, you know, the reason why I mentioned that is because either the person hasn’t checked, the person doesn’t want to check, doesn’t know how to use it, or they’re probably going to be one of those passive people. So, your curiosity is going to mount and they’re not going to be receptive when you finally initiate. And that’s what I’m potentially worried about. Not sure if I’m helping you raise your curiosity right now. But I will say that most of these answers, especially on 23andMe, Ancestry is a little better because it’s such a wide, big database. You really kind of get people across the board. But 23andMe is more of like a passive test taking audience database of users. So, I am curious and I’m happy when you’re ready, if you ever want me help you navigate. I know that it’s extraordinarily sensitive. I’ve had to navigate those very sensitive topics. But I’m here and I’m here to support you emotionally as well. Because I know especially   this type of thing is difficult and it’s challenging. It changes. I don’t want to say changes everything for you because you have the awareness. But when somebody tests and you’re like, I’ve had to tell people that their siblings aren’t full siblings and they’re half-siblings and obviously it changes the identity that you’ve known about yourself and that woman’s case like 64 years or something. So, it’s a lot to take in and if you do need anybody, I’m here for you.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, wow. Thank you and I don’t believe in coincidences. So, the fact that this just came up right now, it definitely helps. I really have been leaning into following what is presented in front of me instead of trying to force anything. I don’t believe in coincidences, like I just said, and I think that it’s just a beautiful way that the universal bring us certain people or situations to help us figure out what next steps to take. So, thank you.

TAMAR: Yeah, it’s funny, because I’m starting to realize that when these opportunities arise, even if it’s like completely on a whim, I’m just going for it. And you know, you don’t have regrets when you kind of go ahead, or I haven’t. Like my last podcast, someone’s like, have I started reflecting back on some of the decisions that I’ve made. I’m like, I have no regrets on anything anymore. I just know I just have to go for it because you do have regrets of the things you don’t do versus the things you do. That’s my philosophy.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, I completely resonate with that. And I am learning going for it instead of being fearful of what will happen if it works out or if it doesn’t work out. So totally agree with that, for sure.

TAMAR: Yeah. Cool. So, let me ask you going to that kind of leads into the Reddit posts that you had shared. If you want to give a little bit of background on where you posted it and what the content was? That would be awesome.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, sure. Hold on one second.

TAMAR: I’ve had to do that. I pull up posts, I start reading them out loud. The big one for me is the nonzero day post. You may or may not know it, but the self-improvement subreddits are amazing. And when you want to, get back to things and even the meme is in the little images. And the little quotes are cheesy to some degree, But you know, if you follow them, you buy them. It is life changing. So, I would love to have everybody — the listeners, me, you again, reinforce that and share that.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, completely. So, I mean, I post on the self-improvement and deciding to be better all the time, because I realized that I have so much information that has helped me that even if just one person reads it and benefits from it, I feel like I’ve paid it forward in some way. And just knowing my own journey and knowing how anxious and depressed and how really like helpless I felt in my life, I just know that there are other people who feel that way. I’m not alone in that feeling. And I kind of want people to have hope that they can get out of whatever mindset is really detrimental to them and making them feel like they’re a victim in their life. There was the post that it was either we attract what we believe we are worthy of instead of what we actually deserve, or not having to find a purpose.

TAMAR: Well, you could share both of those because both of those are in alignment with the podcast.

ERIN PANZARELLA: okay, yeah. I mean, do you want me to read it?

TAMAR: How do you want to go? You could read somewhere else. I know, one of them was longish. Whatever you want. I’m gonna leave it up to you.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Okay, yeah. So, the one that I’ve got a lot of traction was “We attract what we believe we are worthy of instead of what we actually deserve.” And truthfully, this one, is such a huge shift for me. And that’s why I wanted to share it. I really discussed it, how I used to be a perfectionist, and I was so tough on myself. I was tough if I did something and made a mistake I felt like I was the worst person in the world. And I would really ruminate on every single mistake that I made. I regret everything I said, everything I did. And part of it is due to growing up. Just feeling like whenever I made a mistake, or whenever I did something, I would be punished for it. And that really kind of stuck with me thinking like I have this huge fear of authority figures growing up, it translated into my adult life. Like I was afraid of bosses being upset with me. I was afraid of even my mom when I was out of her house. Like I was really just afraid that if I made a mistake, then I was not worthy of someone’s praise, love and attention. And that stuck with me for so long. And it really ties into that fear of loss and fear of abandonment, thinking that if I’m not good enough, this person is going to leave me and that has really manifested itself in like so many ways for me, like my first dad who passed away. He had a whole family. That was considered my family. Like I had siblings, like half siblings, even though it was like I’m adopted but they were from his first marriage and they were a part of my life because it was my dad and his family. And then as soon as he died, they all completely cut off contact with me. And I was 5. So,  I internalized that thinking that I did something wrong, that I couldn’t have done something to make them stay, like, “Happy birthday to me.” It was turning like the worst. Like, I didn’t only lose my dad by death, but I lost my entire family, essentially. And as I’ve healed, and all of these memories are coming back to the surface, I realized why I thought that I had to be perfect in order to be worthy of anything. And really coming to terms with the fact that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. And if you make a mistake, it’s actually a beautiful thing, because it shows that you’re doing something new. I don’t know if you can relate to this. But even with the podcast, at first, I was always going back editing. It was taking me a really long time to edit everything because I was so nervous that I was going to sound weird or do something that people didn’t like, and then eventually I was just like, “Whatever it is what it is.” And really leaning into the fact that I am worthy just for being here, has completely shifted everything for me, because I don’t need to prove anything. I don’t need to go out and people-please, I don’t need to go and navigate in this way that’s trying to prove that I deserve to be here or prove that I need to be loved. And I actually show up way better in all my relationships because I’m not trying to prove anything. I don’t have an agenda. And it’s really just leaning into the fact that all of us have made mistakes. All of us have a past that we internalize certain events, and it made us act in certain ways. And instead of making that be this detrimental thing and thinking that you are your past, you can actually just learn from what you went through and learn from the way that you responded to things and realize that maybe there’s a better way to navigate. And once I learned that I can forgive myself and have compassion for myself, and then I’m worthy. I literally have attracted so many beautiful things into my life.

TAMAR: Awesome. Yeah, you definitely have to let go of those chains that we self-imposed upon ourselves. You know, you’re lucky you saw that now. I had to basically see that in my later 30s. If you will, I don’t want to say anything else. But yeah, I definitely became very vulnerable and was exploited. But it was a lack of understanding. I was also a perfectionist, which if I look back at myself, and I see myself as a perfectionist, I was a freaking mess in every way. And now I’m less of a perfectionist, but now at least I like myself. I wouldn’t have said that about myself a few years ago. I couldn’t say that. I like that. It’s the way what you attract, it is how you become and it’s eye opening. And unfortunately, it takes us such a long time to really get that understanding. And we spend our 20s and some of us our 30s trying to navigate so much emotional strife, and it’s hard. And obviously, it’s all built on what we’ve dealt with in our teens and in our youth. And it’s hard, it’s hard. One of the things that you said earlier when you were like 5 years old you looked like the happiest kid but you look back and you don’t think about that. It’s hard, I start realizing as a parent, dealing with children. Like I also don’t know if had a super happy childhood. It’s an uneventful childhood as far as I’m concerned. But you know, it’s scary when you bring a child into the world. And thinking that they’re happy now, what can precipitate a change when they look back. I’m not a happy kid. And I don’t know, it goes beyond your challenge. Obviously, your issues are extraordinarily relatable. But in general, we were so imperfect, and yet we embrace perfection and that perfection become I think a vicious cycle in all of us. So, I don’t really know how to reconcile all this. I’m just kind of thinking out loud right now. It’s definitely a challenge. But it’s so good that you’ve been able to overcome and let loose from these. Like I said, the chains of perfectionism and trying to be something that you don’t necessarily need to be because you are who you are. And you’re meant to be here in the way that you are. And I guess whatever happened was meant to happen. Maybe it’s because here you are, and you’re sharing that and you’re providing strength and comfort to so many people. And yes, one person is benefiting a lot more than one person is benefiting. I mean, here we are sharing this.

ERIN PANZARELLA: So completely. And today, I actually wrote something and it was your journey. You wouldn’t know what you know now without it. And I just know how true that is in my own life. And every time I’ve looked back and being like, “Oh, I should have done this, I should have done that,” but hindsight is 20/20. You know now that you should have navigated in a different way. But you didn’t know because you didn’t know realizing you don’t know. What you don’t know has been such a helpful thing. For me, it’s an NLP term. And I just really lean into that and just forgiving myself. I was so hard on myself; my internal critic was so loud and so harsh. And I realized that I need to start speaking to myself, like my best friend, because I’m the only person that’s with me for the rest of my life. Like I say the things that I say to myself to my best friend. I would be like, “It’s okay, you tried something new, and it’s okay, if you made a mistake,” like I would be very kind to someone else. And I was like, “Why can’t I show that kindness to myself?” So now I am really dedicated to a practice that is showing myself kindness, showing myself compassion and forgiveness. And it’s not letting myself off the hook for certain things. But I’m actually stepping into responsibility more, and being a better person, because I’m realizing that that’s the way I want to show up.

TAMAR: Right. Yeah, it’s very identifiable. I like that sort of my revelation as well in the last 2 years. That I’m showing up, and I’m doing it this way. And I’m providing context in the podcast and the perfume that I launched and the content that I’m promoting online. And people approached me because I do it. And I talk about coming from a place of darkness. People are like, “You sound so depressed,” but it’s like they don’t read the rest of the books. It’s like it starts from a dark place that goes to a better place. And I’m here to share that everybody can come out of a place of darkness and come to a place of strength. It’s such an interesting spectrum. And obviously, it’s a lot more appropriate place to post versus LinkedIn where I’ve been sharing things. Because I’m in LinkedIn, people still want that perfect self. I’m the perfect professional, I don’t want to talk about the fact that I work from home and now my kid is screaming in the background. I embrace that I want people to be human again. And that’s sort of why I’ve sort of migrated to LinkedIn and started to post there because we need to appreciate our imperfections in order to become more acceptable. Friendly, more approachable humans.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, completely. I used to solely post on Reddit, because I felt like Reddit understood me.

TAMAR: Yeah, they do. It’s such a good spectrum of people on Reddit. It’s such, everybody. I see some of the challenges that people are navigating, like I’m homeless. And when you’re in a different type of platform like LinkedIn, especially, the household income is a lot higher. So, it’s the right place.

ERIN PANZARELLA : Yeah. And I’ve really struggled with other sort of social media platforms because I felt like I was still stepping into that fake “What am I going to do to get more likes” kind of thing and Reddit just accepted me for who I wasn’t, but I do get the occasional like, you should go kill yourself kind of message. Like, alright, I don’t get another (laughing). But Reddit is also just showing me how much I can help people by sharing because of how supportive everyone is, or just everyone commenting like “Oh, wow. This one really helped me.” I feel like I don’t see that on other platforms. So, I really have a special place in my heart for Reddit.

TAMAR: Yeah, it is such a great platform. And it’s such a nice platform. You know, it’s funny when I started on the Digg and Reddit ecosystem. I don’t know if you know about Digg, but in 2006, 2007, digg.com and reddit.com were the two highest. Reddit was always the front page of the internet. But Digg was always the site that got more of the visibility. And it was all games. The algorithm was completely games. All you needed to do was get a bunch of people to kind of pat your back and up vote your content, and you were on the front page of Digg. And I was actually one of the top users. I was at the at the top, at my Zenith, at my peak. I was at 42 on the top 100, which was like huge because I got tons of opportunity. Lots of people helped me promote my content, which is again a completely game thing. And then Reddit never let you do that. I think the Reddit top user, his name started with Q, was just huge, but he was never given all it was. It was him doing his own thing. And that was us. We were like, “I scratch my back, you scratch yours; I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of thing. Yeah. Reddit was able to withstand the test of time. And I was looking at a Facebook ad yesterday for charter.com And he was talking about how Facebook has kind of peaked in December of 2012. And it’s gone down. But Reddit has been increasingly doing better and better and better. And it’s attracting such an audience of so many types of people. So, this is where we’re to be and yeah, the subreddits you talked about. I think you said deciding to be better and get motivated or self-improvement. Yeah. So, deciding to be better. You know, that’s another one I checked. And yeah, there’s also the get motivated one. And the other one is non-zero day which I talked about before. The post that provoked that launch of that subreddit was incredible. And it’s something that I like to read, you need to like, absorb. You can’t just read it. You need to really absorb it. But it’s so powerful. And it’s just amazing that there’s this like-minded community of people who are looking at we are not looking, the thing I love about Reddit. And I was sort of getting into this before. But we’re not looking at images, we’re looking at just names and we’re not judging, and people call me bro. People don’t know people. They see your name. I guess they know you’re Tamar if we go their way, I guess. But anyway, not Aaron. Aaron can be you know,

ERIN PANZARELLA: Everyone thinks like a guy.

TAMAR: Yeah, certainly everyone thinks I’m you know, I’m sure you get that too. Everybody does because that’s what they think.  Let’s just default to the masculine here. Yeah. It’s kind of helpful. It’s helpful. But it’s powerful. Because we’re not using any type of images to convey some sort of motive or anything like that. And it’s like a level playing field that really makes it a level playing field for everybody. And I talked about this all the time.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, it really is just such a great platform for me. And I’m trying to dive into other platforms as I build my business, and I do other things. But I’m always going back to run it. Every time I do a social media cleanse, I delete everything except for Reddit.

TAMAR: Yeah. If you find the right groups on Reddit, it’s not necessary to have on social media clubs

ERIN PANZARELLA: Right.

And that’s another subreddit, no surf subreddit. And I follow that why do I follow that? I don’t really know. I’m not gonna know surf. But the thing is, if you find the right groups and the right communities online, it really ends up cleansing you in a better way than a social media cleanse would.

ERIN PANZARELLA:  Yeah, completely.

TAMAR:Yeah. Cool. So, let me ask you a question. You know, you talked about your emotional well-being. Let’s talk about self-care in general for you. What is it? What are you doing for that beyond posting and sharing your journey? What does your self-care regimen comprise of?

ERIN PANZARELLA: So, I really have integrated a lot of practices lately that have completely transformed the way I show up in the world. Meditation daily in the morning, like first thing when I wake up has been a huge help for me. It just helps clear my head, it helps me to be more productive, and then I’ll occasionally do a night meditation as well. I also do a daily celery juice. It’s really helped with my hormones. And I always used to struggle with like a bunch of acne. So that has been like a daily self-care ritual that I integrated into my life around like 3 years ago, and it’s really helped just my health, which I think is all connected like the body mind, soul. Like everything integrates. So, I definitely noticed that when I eat healthier or when I have these different little practices around what I’m putting into my body, I feel a million times better. I also do a morning drink called mud water. So, it’s basically like a coffee replacement. Just because I was noticing that when I was having a lot of caffeine, I was very jittery. And I skip it intentionally. And I just set my intentions for the day and what I want to feel throughout the day, and I journal a lot. Journaling sometimes looks like me completely complaining about something that’s really bothering me or something really insightful that I’ll either like, keep to myself or post later. So, meditating, my celery juice, my morning hot drink, intentional and journaling are like my non negotiables. And then I’ll integrate a bunch of different other things that are like here and there. Kind of like, maybe I’ll do it once a month or twice a month, like reading a bunch. I have so many different books that I read. Like, I’ll go back to the Four Agreements. I don’t know if you know it. It’s a really helpful book that gives like 4 guidelines for life that I go back to a lot. The Alchemist is my favorite book ever.

TAMAR:Yeah, it’s like a fixture read that I haven’t read that yet. I need to

ERIN PANZARELLA: Oh, my God, it’s one of the books that is formatted the way that I want to write a book. So, I think that’s why I love it so much. Because it’s just like a quick fictional story that’s just integrated with so many helpful messages and the way that they do it is very artistic, I think. So, I just love the way that it’s formatted. And it’s such a quick read that it’s just something to come back to all the time. Again, then I just incorporate like other small things like my best friend’s posts, a Moon Circle, which is like kind of cool to just set intentions. And she does journal prompts and things. So that’s something that I incorporate, once a month, or she does it twice a month sometimes. And yeah, so my practice looks different every day, but I have those 4 non- negotiables. And then the rest is very fluid.

TAMAR: Yeah, yeah, the intention thing is so important. And I talked that also about my fragrance. You don’t know about my story too much besides what I introduced to you before we started the podcast. But my whole idea is that perfume saved my life, brought me out of a depression. And nowadays, the whole idea of having my perfume is that you put on perfume with attention. You apply the perfume at that moment, and you revisit that set throughout the day. Thankfully, it’s on your person, so you’re actually able to get that experience and it lasts. And if you revisit that consistently, because of the longevity of the perfume, it could hopefully manifest in your life, and it could change your life. So, it’s very different than what anybody is preaching in the perfume world right now. And it’s very disruptive. It’s scary, scary to have me do this. Because it’s different than anybody like in Sephora and I don’t even want to pitch to ever be featured there because this is just wellness for them. And I don’t necessarily see myself as beauty/wellness. It’s more like mental health/wellness.

ERIN PANZARELLA:  Completely. But it’s . .  I’m sorry. Yeah.

TAMAR: No, go ahead.

ERIN PANZARELLA: I truly love that. And also, the olfactory sense is very powerful. I know, in terms of memories, it’s very good with triggering memories. So, I think that connecting an intention with the smell is like such an important thing. I feel that’s amazing that you’ve thought of that. I think it’s so mind blowing, to be honest,

TAMAR: Year, it is. And the crazy thing is, if there’s anybody listening to this that can get me in touch with a researcher, I’ve been trying for over a year now, actually for almost 2 years to find a researcher to study this because I am so convinced that it will work. I just need other people launching this brand. And saying this anecdotally is all really nice. It’s all well and good. But if I can show some science behind it and have the scientific method actually do a little more than validate, to truly validate my hypothesis. I mean, this could be a game changer for so many people. And so, I’ve had my last phone call on Friday. She’s like, talk to all these people, which is more helpful than anything, but I have no idea where to go from here. And it’s kind all the people are in right now, especially because of COVID. A lot of people lost their sense of smell. So, it’s even more important, but it almost feels like it’s insensitive to do this research in that context. So, I’m trying to tread carefully and be very sensitive to the challenges that a lot of people are dealing with right now. And I think that maybe it’s beneficial because it put the struggle of mental health and scent in the spotlight. It’s just a matter of navigating it in the right way.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah, completely. And I think that it’s just like all things. It’s a balancing act. And really your intention is so good with it. I think that even if people were taking it the wrong way, or it is insensitive, you being aware that this is the current climate of the world right now, I think it’s such a beautiful thing. And I just truly believe when your intention is pure behind something it’s okay.

TAMAR: Yeah. hopefully, we’ll get there. It’s got to be a slog, because it’s been harder than I thought. It’s hard especially because scent is such an eclectic sense, but COVID kind of product and we’ll just see what happens. Hopefully, I’ll find somebody in due time who’s willing to take this on and work with me. I’ll get a grant and get some studies and research out of it. That truly validates it all.

ERIN PANZARELLA: So, yeah, I definitely think about it in terms of like, I’ve used essential oils for a very long time, and how aroma therapy is becoming very prevalent in hospitals now.

TAMAR: Yeah.

ERIN PANZARELLA: So, I’m just thinking about it in terms of that.

TAMAR: A lot of people say it’s me, and they’re like, how is this different from therapy or Roma therapy and my response is, “You forget that it’s there. As soon as you walk into the room, and you carry this on your purse, and you put it on in the morning and night.” It actually lasts, you’ll be able to still smell and be able to revisit that intention. So, it’s very different. And, it’s such minimally invasive, it’s just a spritz and that set in.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Right.

TAMAR: Yeah. Anyway, yeah. Let me ask, I have one question that I would want to ask you. And that question is, if you can give an earlier version of Erin a piece of advice, what would you tell her,

ERIN PANZARELLA: It’s okay to feel whatever is coming up. And it’s also okay to let those feelings go. Like, I just am really practicing that. I guess that’s another self-care practice is letting the feelings come up, but also not attaching to them. And I think that even with my grief journey, I wouldn’t let myself feel anything at all. I was like, “Oh, I have to be the strong one. Everyone comes to me for advice. So how can I be the one who breaks down blah, blah, blah.” And I also think that there was a fear, like, if I started crying about something I would never stop. But the truth is the emotions do stop if you feel them and let them come up. And then they also subside. Like, it’s an ebb and flow. And you’re meant to feel the emotions. I don’t think we would be here on this earthly plane if we weren’t supposed to feel everything. So, I just would send to my younger self, like it’s okay to feel everything. And it’s also okay to let go of it.

TAMAR: Yeah, and it shows such a level of strength to be able to let go of it. Cool. Yeah, so where can people find your podcasts to follow you.

ERIN PANZARELLA: So  I have a bunch of different legs. But I have a website https://erinpanzarella.com. You can find me on Instagram, or in panzarella. You can find me for my podcast. It’s called Everyday Perspectives. And again, it’s about shifting from that victim mindset into co-creator, and then different tools that I’ve used along the way. It’s definitely evolving, because I feel like I’m changing every moment. So, it’s a lot of self-help, but also blending the spiritual part of my life as well. So, it’s definitely evolved since the beginning. I actually released an episode today. I think it was Episode 36. So, we’re growing and it’s coming along, and I absolutely love it. It’s such a beautiful thing to do, for sure.  I’m on Reddit, or in panzarella. And yeah, if you can provide the links to people, I’ll share everything that you need for people to get in touch with me. I love connecting with people who are interested in proving themselves and really just showing up as they are. So, I would love for anyone to reach out.

TAMAR: Awesome. Yeah, sure. And I’ll definitely include all these links in the post notes, which will probably be transcribed and I’m excited to get people to know, to follow you. I mean, you definitely are an embodiment of resilience and strength, and so much more. So, I am so grateful that you were able to share yourself here to open yourself here. And I genuinely hope people keep up on following you because there’s so much you’ve given, so much value and light that you can shine on other people’s lives. So, thank you so much for being here.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Thank you so much for saying that. It was a pleasure speaking with you, and thank you for everything that you’re doing. I think this is such a beautiful thing. And I’m so happy to be connected.

TAMAR: Yeah, please be in touch for sure. I would love to help you navigate that crazy territory, unfamiliar territory. I’m here to support you in every way. Thank you. Yeah. Awesome. Okay, so I’m gonna assume it’s over. And I know you have a meeting soon. But I hope that wasn’t too bad.

ERIN PANZARELLA: No, it was great. Thank you so much. You made me feel very comfortable.

TAMAR: Yeah, I guess it’s so very chill. So, if ever you want a guest on the other side, I’m happy to guest on yours. But I’m not going to question myself. Sometimes I did that. Not now.

ERIN PANZARELLA: I will send you so I have like a schedule that I will send you over a link. So, you can just sign up whenever, whatever time works for you. I know that you said that your children are home later.

TAMAR: But if it’s easier for you, I’m going to work on your schedule. I appreciate you working on mine. Because I’d probably have to go back to work 5 minutes. Again, yeah, you might just have to hear them. So, I’m gonna warn you in advance.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Okay, yeah, no worries. But I’ll send you all the information on how to get and how you can schedule that. And I would love to reconnect again on the podcast and also in other ways.

TAMAR: Yeah. Are you on Facebook with a message there? You could send me the image there because Skype isn’t the best for that. I can’t imagine you actually use it more than just for this.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Oh, no, I can definitely send you on Facebook. Send me a message or send me a friend request.

TAMAR: But you can message me there @facebook.com/tamarweinberg. If you think you might not be able to message me, I can get your photo that you feel comfortable sending.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Okay, yeah, I’ll send it to you.

TAMAR:  Alright, I think I found you in the first one. I got you.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Okay, great.

TAMAR: All right. I sent you a message. It might be in your other inbox or your spam folders. So just make sure. Okay, cool..

ERIN PANZARELLA: All right.

TAMAR: Cool. We’ll talk soon. Um, yeah, please, send me a photo when you can. I don’t know when this is going to go live. I have to get it edited first. It’s not too much editing. But there was a little bit of noise in my background that I might have to edit out. So, maybe next Tuesday, but I don’t want to say for sure.

ERIN PANZARELLA Oh, yeah, no worries, just let me know. And I’ll send over the picture.

TAMAR: Awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

ERIN PANZARELLA Thank you. All right.

TAMAR: We’ll talk soon.

ERIN PANZARELLA: Yeah.

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TAMAR.