Use Your Past to Propel Your Future


Use Your Past to Propel Your Future

This former pastor shares a meditation and an exercise to help us get unstuck and use our past to figure out our future. He also has great tips for pulling yourself out of a negativity spiral.

David Trotter

David Trotter

Host of Inspiration Rising Podcast

David Trotter is the host of Inspiration Rising, a podcast dedicated to inspiring women (and the men who support them) to rise up in life, love, and leadership. For over 25 years, he’s helped people get unstuck, clarify their goals, and take their lives to the next level through his leadership, speaking, books, and filmmaking. After a decade in non-profit leadership, David has spent the last eleven years running a successful marketing business, producing/directing four award-winning feature films, and creating resources to make a positive impact on important social issues. David and his wife, Laura, have been married for 25 years and live with their two almost-grown children in southern California. For more information, visit


Maria Marlowe: [00:00:34] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier podcast. Today’s guest is David Trotter. He’s a former pastor and now the host of the Inspiration Rising podcast, which is a podcast dedicated to inspiring women to rise up in their life, love and leadership. If you’ve been feeling stuck lately, you’re not sure which path to take or you’ve been finding yourself self-sabotaging. Then I think you’ll get a lot of value and inspiration from this episode. We’re going to talk about two main things. The first is how do we use our past to propel our future? He’s going to lead us through a meditation that takes us all the way back to the day that we’re born. And by using this information and by using these memories of our highs and low points, then we can use that to propel ourselves forward and define our path. We’re also going to talk about what he calls winning in the courtroom of your mind. He shares some great tips for getting rid of the limiting beliefs and the lies that we tell ourselves and replacing them with the truth again so that we can propel ourselves forward and get unstuck before we get started.

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Maria Marlowe: [00:03:46] David, thanks so much for being here.

David Trotter: [00:03:48] It’s great to be with you. Very fun.

Maria Marlowe: [00:03:51] So I have to ask, how did you get into you even wanting to work and inspire women to live their best life? Why not men? What is it about women that you feel really called to help them launch their life forward?

David Trotter: [00:04:06] I know it’s awkward. I know it is. Well, OK. It doesn’t have to be awkward, but I have been helping people for twenty five years and a lot of different capacities that people may know that I was actually a pastor for over a decade. And then for the last 15 years, I’ve helped people through not only coaching but still making marketing strategy. I have a very wide ability to do a lot of different things in life. And the last eight years, I’ve done four different films on social justice issues, three documentaries and a scripted feature film. And they take forever. Maria They take forever. So much work. And at the end of 2018, I talked to my wife and I said, Babe, I just feel like I want to help people on a day to day basis, week to week basis, as opposed to a year to year basis. She’s a great what you wanna do. I said I really want to do a podcast where I get to interview people that are so successful and share that inspiration of wisdom. And I want to help people through coaching like I’ve done, but I want to do it more on a day to day basis. So when you talk about that sort of thing, you’ve got to ask Maria, as you know, who’s your target audience? Who are the people that you’re actually going to be helping? And I said, I think I’m supposed to help women. I know it sounds weird, but I think it was to help women, you know? Are you cool with that or that? You know, not that I need a permission, but I needed to buy in on this. This is not like kind of creepy or weird, you know? And she’s like, yes. Because as I look back over the 25 years of my work, the people that have primarily resonated with my message, whether it’s been as a pastor or as a filmmaker or marketing, has been women, particularly women that are maybe more in the middle age category, 30 to 60 years old.

David Trotter: [00:05:53] And so we started inspiration rising the beginning of 2019 as a way to highlight women. So kind of our tagline is inspiring women and the men who support them to rise up in life, love and leadership. And so I highlight women on the podcast or online courses. We have a lot of women and men. Of course, it’s not exclusive through all these years. I’ve told my wife, I go, I don’t know why all these women are attracted to what I’m doing. I think I might be gay like, I’m really not attracted to guys. So no, OK, I’m not gay, you know. But so anyway, that’s kind of how it all got started. And as I was interviewing people early in 2019, I would oftentimes after the interview, I’d say, hey, here’s what I’m doing. And I can explain it. And I go, you know, and I’ll be a little apologetic about the women component. And I had one woman, her name is such a unique name. She’s out of Ohio. Cheryl Ann Cole Nikki. And she’s a coach for high end kind of a high achieving women. And she said, David, quit talking about it, quit bringing this up like the people that will get it. We’ll get it. And the people who don’t, we’ll keep going. And it’s no big deal. And so I’ve leaned into it and I just have a great time helping people.

Maria Marlowe: [00:07:06] That’s great. And you do have such great inspirational content. And your podcast is amazing. But I’ve got to circle back to being a pastor. So how is life post being a pastor?

David Trotter: [00:07:20] So when I was in high school, I wanted to be a professional sports photographer. I loved sports photography. I’ve won multiple awards in high school. And I was going back to university in Kentucky to do that. And I had this dynamic encounter at a youth of that, actually, in Texas. And I had this sense that I was called to be a pastor and that I’d grown up in a Christian home. And so I ended up changing directions. I went and looked at a lot of colleges. I chose one, got degrees and it went to seminary, was a pastor for over 10 years. And I found that I was helping people. But unfortunately, I also was a workaholic and I was trying to grow the church that I was pastoring to be bigger and bigger and ultimately to help more people. But I found that there was an ego component of that that was seeking to feed my own ego of finding worth and value by helping more, by growing something bigger. And in two thousand eight, it’s been a long time. Eleven years ago, I actually burned out. I hit rock bottom and I transitioned out of being a pastor and started doing more entrepreneurial efforts and leveraging those things.

David Trotter: [00:08:38] So it’s a radically different experience. It’s tough for people who have been in professional ministry to be a part of a church, because you’ve kind of done it. So it’s definitely been a lifestyle change, but I will say from eleven years ago I’m no longer a workaholic. I don’t feel driven by that. I still have the capacity to do a lot of different things and I love doing a lot of things. I love doing big projects. But I have found that that lifestyle is not healthy for me or my wife or my family. And honestly, that rock bottom experience propelled me to want to help people so much more because people either feel stuck in a job or a vocation that they don’t like or it’s not healthy for them or they feel stuck in not being able to do what they really want to do. They feel compelled in certain ways. And so it’s opened my mind and heart up to help people and have deep compassion for people in ways that inform how I coach and encourage people today.

Maria Marlowe: [00:09:39] So you are an excellent example of not having to be stuck. And if you’re willing to take a little self-reflection, take some time to look back and to think about what you want. You can break free from whatever it is that you’re currently doing or whatever is currently holding you back and launch forward. So can you share a little bit more about that? Because I know that’s really important to you and pivotal to your work is taking time for self-reflection and looking back and using your past to then propel yourself forward.

David Trotter: [00:10:10] I find that a lot of people that I work with look at our past in one of two ways either. There’s this sense of reminiscing so deeply that it’s like I wish things were like they used to be especially. And I don’t know how old Maria you are. You look like you’re twenty five. So, I mean, I just say it. I did that once I found that individuals get up in the 40s and 50s category. It can be like, wow, look at my past. I wish things like were like they used to. I wish my health was like it used to be. Right. Because when I was in my twenties, I was fit. I was looking great. I was feeling great. Now I’m like to or maybe there’s a looking back. Those were the good old days of our marriage. Those were the good old days of my youth. That’s one way. Another way is to just forget about it. That was a bad season of life, had a tough upbringing. I don’t want to even look back. And, you know, look at that. And I go, OK, well, I don’t know if either one of those is super helpful.

David Trotter: [00:11:08] I am a little bit nostalgic myself, but I like to help people understand and unpack the power of their past by looking at the highs and the lows that they experience and see if there’s any continuity between those to start to look back and go, OK. Yeah. The lows seem to all be connected somehow, right? The low points of my health seem to all be at certain junctures in my life, and I wonder if there’s any continuity to that. I wonder if there’s anything that I can learn about that, that it’s not just about what I was eating during those times, although that’s part of it. But it was also what I was going through emotionally. And that that impacted my health. And so we through the launcher like program that we do have what’s called a life map, that’s super simple, but it helps people start to look at the power of their past and look at it through a different perspective as opposed to just nostalgia or let’s just avoid it.

Maria Marlowe: [00:12:10] And for those that do or tend to avoid their past, do you help them or through it? I mean do you tell them? Yeah, I guess. How would you deal with someone in that situation who is completely just cut that time of their life off?

David Trotter: [00:12:26] Well, one of the things that we do is we take people through a meditation and it helps them kind of see that past from a third party perspective, kind of an overview perspective. And one of the things that we do, you know, part of I bring this sense of spirituality to my work, I would still consider myself a follower of Jesus. But people that participate in our program don’t necessarily have to use any background. But I do say that I do believe that there is a divine component in your life. There’s a sense of spirituality. There’s a sense of transcendence. And so I want people to see that they’ve never been alone, that they’ve never been alone throughout this journey, that there’s a sense of the divine that knows them and cares about them and loves them and was with them even in those dark times. And yes, there you know, I’m not a therapist. I’m not going to go back and kind of try to process those things. But I want them to feel like that they’re not alone in that journey. So if you’re up for it, you know, I’d even be willing to take you through a little meditation. And if you’re if that’s fun.

Maria Marlowe: [00:13:32] Yeah, I think that would be fun. Sorry, listeners, we can all meditate. If you’re driving, don’t maybe not. I’m in hot right now. Close your eyes. Yeah. For everyone else. If you’re at home then. Yeah, I guess. Follow along with David.

David Trotter: [00:13:46] Okay, cool, let’s do it. Alright, if you want to maybe even close your eyes and then just take a deep breath in and then out. Maybe one more and. And now.

David Trotter: [00:14:08] I want to invite you in your mind’s eye to go to a place that. It’s been a long time since you’ve been there. It’s actually the hospital room where you were born. You don’t remember it from a child, but you can imagine what it looks like. And go back to the city where you were brought into this world and you can see your mother in a bed there and whether or not you know who your mother is or still have a relationship. You can imagine your birth mother laying there on the bed and see her stomach is protruding with you inside. You can see her. And perhaps that your father or perhaps someone else is beside her and they’re breathing and coaching her and loving her, maybe stroking her hair. You can feel the contractions around her stomach. You can hear her perhaps calling out in pain during those moments, but also she has this wide eyed anticipation of your arrival. A few minutes later, you can see the doctor or nurse coming in and see these moments of you being brought into the world.

David Trotter: [00:15:29] Do you see the smile on her face? Do you see the excitement in the eyes of the doctors and nurses that are surrounding you? Imagine that moment of your relatives getting the news of your arrival. See their excitement. See their energy. See their love for you. A few days later, envision yourself coming home. Coming home from the hospital, being carried into the living room, placed on a couch or in a car seat, in a chair. Look at people surrounding you. The love that they have for you. The investment that they have made preparing for your arrival.

David Trotter: [00:16:30] Allow your mind to travel through time as you see yourself getting older. One year, two years, three years old, walking, talking, learning to interact with the world. Perhaps there was a pet in your home that you were particularly fond of. Can you see that cat or dog or turtle or bunny?

David Trotter: [00:17:02] Allow your mind to travel to kindergarten or first grade, the beginning of grade school. Do you remember where you went to school? Can you see the outside? Do you remember those first days of interacting with peers playing on the playground at recess? And as your mind travels through elementary school or grade school, what are some memories? That begin to come to your mind. Beautiful things of learning growing. Perhaps challenges. As you’re heading into middle school or junior high. Was there a first crush? Someone that you had your eye on. Maybe a first kiss. The dances that you went to, the things that you learn, the sports that you play, the classes or activities that you enjoyed. Continue to travel through time, through high school your freshman year, your sophomore year. Junior and senior.

David Trotter: [00:18:20] What are the moments that were high points? Beautiful experiences, maybe. Championship sports teams. Certain coaches or teachers that invested. New friends. And what were challenges or low points? As your great graduated through high school, maybe you went into the workforce. Maybe you went to college. What were some of those first experiences into the world as an adult? What were they like? What were your hopes and dreams in those moments?

David Trotter: [00:19:06] And as you began to get older. What are the big wins in your life? Maybe it was a first job, a promotion meeting. A special someone, your partner, your spouse. And perhaps there were challenges, health challenges, relationship challenges. Maybe there was a miscarriage or a divorce, loss of a job, the loss of a dream. The loss of a parent.

David Trotter: [00:19:46] And yet at the same time, there are beautiful experiences. Trips, vacations, jobs, the birth of a child. New relationships. And I want you in this moment to stand. Present day, you see yourself standing at this very moment in time and looking all the way back. Through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of your life.All the way back to that hospital room where your mother gave birth to you. And may, you know, go through all of these twists and turns and ups and downs that the divine has loved you and been with you. And knows your hopes and dreams, your fears and failures or frustrations. He’s never been alone. And your loved. You want to slowly open your eyes.

Maria Marlowe: [00:21:17] That’s a really beautiful meditation.

David Trotter: [00:21:21] So the goal is that what that does is it awakens the experiences that perhaps have been forgotten, pushed down, wanting to be left behind. And then what I invite you to do and others and people in our program is is actually create what’s called what I call a life map. Then people we can give them that. You are held later to download this, but it’s essentially just a sheet of paper where on the left side you draw a line from the top to the bottom. And I put the sheet of paper horizontally landscape and draw a line from the top to the bottom on the left hand side and right in the middle, a line from left to right. And so the line on the left hand side denotes the high points in our life. And the low points below the line. Right. And above the line, the high points and the middle line going from left to right reference the time line of our life. And so where the two lines intersect, I write the word birth for zero. And then on the far right, I write my current age. So I’m forty six. I’d write that there and then I’d write increments, you know. So you’d make those increments depending on your age. If you’re twenty five like you, Maria could every number, you could just put every number because there’s enough room.  1 2 3 4 5 and up. If you’re a little older, maybe it’s five year increments and then I would put dots at the age up high and below the line denoting the experiences, the high points and low points.

David Trotter: [00:22:55] So for instance, on the download I provide an example of my own. And you can kind of see this. I’m holding it up for the camera for Maria. And it’s you know, for a lot of people, it’s a zigzag line. So my very first dot that I put was at age 5. A low point was I broke my arm in kindergarten. I fell off the monkey bars. That was a low point. A high point when I was twelve was we were football champions, the toy bowl champions of buccaneers. I was so great. And so my line goes and I put all those dots. I don’t draw the line until the last point. I put all those dots above the line, high or low, depending on how great it was. I was the birth, my kids, my marriage, all these things. Business partnership dissolved. That’s below the line. That’s a low point. Marital challenges. All these things. And then I draw a line that’s connecting them all.

David Trotter: [00:23:46] And most people that go through this go, my goodness, it looks like I’m having a heart attack. And that’s up and down and up and down, you know. And what we then do is look at all those high points and all those low points and ask the question, is there any connection between those, the high points? Are there connections between all of those really great things in your life? Are they? Some people will go, wow, they’re all about relationships for other people, it’s all about achievements. For other people, it’s all about group achievements versus personal achievements, low points. A lot of the low points that we have in our lives are out of our control, things that have been done either to us or natural Haitis or disasters, but just things like, you know, I fell off the monkey bars, broken arm or an illness. Right. Or a divorce or those types of things. Not that we didn’t participated in those things, but there are things that just kind of come into our lives. And yet those low points for some people, they’re all health related.

David Trotter: [00:24:52] Maria, you know, it’s like there’s all these low points of things that I can point out in my life or their relationship point, whatever it is. And then I say, OK, great. What can we learn from those continuities? What are the things that we can learn from that? How do we avoid the repeat of more low points in our life that are like these things? And how can we recreate the high points if we have in our mind where all the high points of my life have been around achievements and yet I’m somehow I feel bad about that or I feel like I shouldn’t be focused on that or, you know, it’s trying to help people process through those things and go. Let’s replicate the high points. What can we learn from those and let’s avoid the low points. Some things we can’t avoid. Oftentimes we are participating in ways that we may not be aware of. Of the low points. I have women who maybe that’s a lot of low points, a relationship point around guys. And they know that they’ve had a pattern of choosing guys that maybe are not healthy or helpful for them. But once they see it on paper and they’ve got all these names connected to the low points, like, OK, well, something maybe something’s there, maybe we need to talk about that, you know, and kind of process through how we can help that. So once people see their life on a life map, it provides a sense of awareness. It increases awareness. It also creates a sense of feeling known. When we feel known Maria. It’s so powerful and it’s even just being known by herself. And then I challenge people to share their life now.

David Trotter: [00:26:25] And for some people who don’t have maybe a really open life, that can feel really overwhelming, like, whoa. But there’s something so powerful. Like if I was to share my life not with you right now, which I won’t. But for time’s sake, if I did that with you, you’d feel so connected to me and I’d feel so connected to you in a real healthy way, because I was just being honest about my life and allowing you to see into my life. And so people do that. And what it does is it massively increases empathy, because if you’re bothering me for some reason, Maria, now that you are. But if you were for some reason, if we had a friendship and I was like, oh, my gosh, why she always like this, you know, she’s always like so of a bar. And then you tell me your story. I start to go, oh, okay. This is why she’s so passionate about that. Even regarding health, like if we were friends, we’re always going out. I mean, you know, chicken fried steak and you’re eating something green, you know? And maybe I’m feeling judged by you. Not that you would, but I just feel that way. Then when you tell me your story of eating cookie sandwiches, I’m like, oh, that’s why she’s so passionate about nutrition, because it’s enacted to your life story. It’s not just something that like arose. Everything that we’re passionate about in life, everything that we’re committed to. It’s rooted somehow in our life story. And by us becoming aware of that, it helps us take our next steps and it increases compassion from others toward us when they know our story.

Maria Marlowe: [00:28:02] Well, even interestingly, I found that when we were going through the meditation, it also helped immediately give me more empathy for my parents and for my mother. Like I never imagined my mother giving birth to me was a strange thing. Obviously it happened, but to think like all that she’s gone through, you know, to have a child and then to raise her children like it, you know it. But when you really sit down and think about and reflect on it, you’re like, oh, wow, OK. You know, and and I think it makes you treat people differently. I think about people differently for sure.

David Trotter: [00:28:39] Yeah. So when you were going through the meditation, like take me through what you saw a bit. What did you see when you were in the hospital room? You know, take me through your journey a little bit. I want to hear what you saw.

Maria Marlowe: [00:28:51] Yeah, well, I mean, it was just very interesting to think about my mom and I love my mom. I talked to her all of the time. But to be honest, like, sometimes I get a little short and snippy with her. I’m like, why are you calling me while I’m working? You know, and but having thought about that, you like, OK, this woman pushed me out of her body. You know, she carried me for nine months. You can take the call while you’re working. Or you could be a little bit nicer about it. You know? So that’s what I initially started thinking about. And that’s just going to your childhood. You know, a lot of my memories are health related. And interestingly, though, I feel like a lot of my memories are all like the negative memories, like in that very short meditation. The things that popped in my mind weren’t the positive things. Obviously, there were positive things, but it was like, oh, getting sick or, you know, just just the negative side of things. So that’s kind of interesting.

David Trotter: [00:29:49] What are some high points that you remember? Like even as we’re talking right now, what are some great memories that you have or people that invested in you from, you know, elementary up even until now?

Maria Marlowe: [00:30:01] Yeah. I mean, I remember, you know, this one friend that I had when I was in elementary school, Marissa, who we were like very, very close friends. So I just remember being with her. We had a treehouse. I do remember one memory there. I mean, the things that I think when I’m thinking of achievements or I’m thinking high points, I tend to like only think about the more recent things like, oh, starting my own business, having my book published and getting married like those sorts of things I sort of have definitely glossed over. Obviously, there were achievements and happy points in all those years in between. But you do you forget them. You don’t really think about them.

David Trotter: [00:30:37] So one of the things that I found that the people that I work with it feel stuck and going, what do I want to do with my life? What am I supposed to do? So by going back, we actually start to understand the things that are in our past can help propel us forward and inform our future. So I would say, what are the things that you were really like? Were you into sports or drawing when you were a kid? Were you into like for me? I’ll take my life example when I was a kid. I was an only child. And I had my own room, of course. And I would reorganize that room. I would literally take a piece of paper and write and create like a graph and try to reorganize the room. So it would be. Most effective as a room, like most creative and once a month, I’d move the stuff around in my room. That tells you a lot about me, right? And if I was stuck and you were coaching me, that would tell you something about what I am thinking about in terms of life. I was a photographer. I did a lot of photography. I did sports. Other high achievements. Well, all of my achievements tended to be solo oriented, like they weren’t team. Some team. But I did a lot of things by myself. So all of those things helped me understand a person better and start to ask them questions about what they might want to do with their life and how they might want to make a difference in the world, bring their inspiration to the world. And I could tell you, if we kept digging deeper what the achievements were now for you. What’s so powerful, as you said, all your low points. Not all of them, but a lot of them are health related. It doesn’t surprise me at all. Because that’s what you’re passionate about now, right?

Maria Marlowe: [00:32:19] No, for sure. So you can definitely see a pattern. And I’m curious for someone who has or who does have an idea of the direction or their mission or their passion. How else can the life map help them?

David Trotter: [00:32:34] Well, I would say that the same way the low points I would go. Let’s talk through the low points. Now, you want to avoid having similar low points. Now for you, they were all health related. Great. So you’re on the right path. You know that. You need to avoid that in order to keep going. Then on the high points, I would probably say as you look back, here’s a great example. You just the experience that you talked about with your mom. Right. Would you want to cultivate a more connecting relationship with your mom based on the meditation and the life that it sounds like that’s a possibility. So I’d say, how would you want to do that? What would that look like? How? Think back now to high points that you had with your mom growing up. What were things that you guys like to do together? Like what are some things that you remember? It could be even things that you do now, but that we would do together.

Maria Marlowe: [00:33:26] I mean, she’d always take me to dance. I used to love dance, practice and dance class. She’d always follow me to dance practice. I mean, she would do anything, anything, any idea I had any creative project I wanted to do anything I wanted to do. She would be there with me.

David Trotter: [00:33:43] So maybe even there as a creative project that you’re working on right now, and I don’t know her technical skills or ability, but what could she do to join with you in your mission of what you’re doing? Like, is there something technically with social media? Is it through connecting with potential clients? Is it following up with previous clients? Is it hosting an event and where she lives? You know, I don’t know what that would look like. But is there a way that she could partner with you now? I will tell you, I currently have a group of 12 women going through the launch like program right now. And one of the biggest let’s see, how would I say this?Pain points, biggest pain points that a lot of these women have. Now they’re in their 40s and 50s. OK. Is the lack of connection with her children. And when I hear that, it deeply moves me, because I will hear women say, I don’t understand why my child doesn’t call me. And I say, oh, has there been a rift? Has there been a problem?

David Trotter: [00:34:45] No rift, no big challenge. Right. I don’t understand why they don’t want to spend time, you know, take time to spend. And it breaks my heart. Maria. Right. Because, like, they did give birth right to us. And yet we’re busy. We’ve got families, we’ve got businesses. We’ve got things that are going on. And yet that is one of the deepest values of a mother’s heart is staying connected. And until you have kids and my kids are now 16 and 20 and my daughter’s at college now I know. Now, I know the deepest connection of apparent desire as a parent is to be connected to their child. And I don’t think you have kids yet, do you know? Yeah. So it’s hard to understand until you have kids. And I don’t say that in a way to demean you. It’s just part of the life journey, you know?

David Trotter: [00:35:39] And so one of the values could be for you personally to go, OK. What would that look like to invite my mom into my own life? You know, I’d be with her. And yes, it does take work. And yes, it does can feel awkward and can be like, okay. You don’t understand my life. We live in a different culture. We live in a different world. But. What’s the value there? What’s the richness that you’re bringing to her life and your life?

Maria Marlowe: [00:36:03] Yeah. Now, I really think self-reflection is something that I talk about a lot. I think it is really important that we do. I’m usually doing it more on a short term basis, like, oh, how did the day go? How did the media go ahead right. A week ago, but really do it for your whole life. I mean, I think that opens up a whole new level of learning and a way to really propel yourself forward. So one thing I find coaching my clients is sometimes what prevents us from doing what we want to do and achieving our goals, reaching our goals is. Are the lies that we tell ourselves in our head. Right. We have this belief system that we are a certain way or things are a certain way. And that ends up coloring and shaping all of our actions. So I know this is something that you also work on. And how do people go about. First of all, even identifying if they’re telling stories in their head that are not serving them.

David Trotter: [00:37:02] So as you use the word lies, I love that word because a lot of people use the term limiting belief for false belief, which is fine. But I like just kind of a I’m a simple guy. I just am super simple and like, OK, let’s just call that a lie. I have noticed a pattern of either spiraling down or spiraling up in terms of my days. And so if I have a negative thought, oftentimes it will lead to negative behavior. That negative behavior for me is that I see is usually a coping mechanism, something that’s a soothing behavior to help cover up that negative thought. For me, that soothing behavior coping mechanism, I’m going to be honest, Maria, is food. And that is the one of the primary ways that I sued that negativity in my life. Other people, it might be alcohol or drugs or Netflixing, right. Just zoning out, scrolling endlessly through Facebook. It’s anything that kind of suits us. And that negative behavior oftentimes will result in a negative feeling. So we go from a negative thought to a negative behavior to a negative feeling. And that’s just a spiralling down process that doesn’t help us get out of that.

David Trotter: [00:38:19] The question for me is how do I replace that negative thought with a positive thought which will lead to positive behavior and something healthy for me. And then a good positive emotion. And I’ll keep spiraling up instead of spiraling down. So that negative thought, I call it a lie. Where does this lie come from? Well, we have this propensity to see negativity in our lives. We have the echo of the voices of people that have been around us. I mean, even my parents who are there still together, they’re loving. They’re amazing. I still will hear a negative echo of my dad in my head. Like it’s not like I hear his voice, but I know that where that. Oh, that’s echoing a long way of whatever I hear of. You’re not enough, right? You’ll never be good enough. And so that could be a source. I also believe, because I’m getting kind of a little bit of a spiritual woo-woo, that there are dark forces in our world that seek to steal and kill and destroy our hopes and dreams.

David Trotter: [00:39:25] You know, even growing up, if you watch cartoons, there’s like a change on one side and a demon on the other, a little devil. You seen that? Yes. And so culturally, we think of like good speaking into our heads versus evil. And so I’m wondering if even in the playfulness of that cartoon, that there’s this sense on a deeper level that there are dark forces that seek to throw us off, that seek to steal, kill and destroy our life, not maybe physically, but emotionally, you know. And so wherever those lies come from. I go, OK, a lie first needs to be identified. So if I’m just feeling funky and there’s this nebulous negativity, what would it look like, Maria, to actually call it out to determine the lie, to get clear about it? So let’s take an example. Do you mind playing along here? OK.

David Trotter: [00:40:14] So negative experience you had recently. Think about it in your mind. Could be anything. It could be somebody, you know, hit you at the grocery store behind with a shopping cart. Could be your husband yelled at you. Not that he did, but OK. You’ve got a negative experience.

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:30] Yes.

David Trotter: [00:40:31] Anything creative? What is it like giving me what?

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:33] I was trying to record a podcast. And like the network went down. So I had a very important interview that I, you know, had scheduled way in advance. So it’s hard to get. And then it was go time and it was not going OK.

David Trotter: [00:40:48] So in that moment, what was the negative thought that came into your head about yourself? The world. Other people.

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:57] I was definitely frustrated, I was angry. I was like angry for where I was because I was like, why doesn’t these video conference systems work here? Why do I live here? Like, it just spiraled into all sorts of ridiculousness.

David Trotter: [00:41:10] Yeah. What was one that was maybe personal like that was about you? Something negative about yourself?

Maria Marlowe: [00:41:17] Well, I would definitely like, oh, my God, why didn’t I test this before? Like, why did I wait until a thing like I really should have tested it before go time.

David Trotter: [00:41:27] Ok. Did you feel like you were less than or not good at your job? Obviously, you’re questioning that. Was there negativity toward yourself? Did you feel.

Maria Marlowe: [00:41:38] I mean, I guess you’re a little bit. Yeah. Like, you know, maybe I need to be doing this in a studio or not doing this in a studio. And why aren’t I batching these in such a way that it’s more, you know, that it’s I’m not like doing recording here, there and everywhere. So, yeah, definitely brought up these underlying thoughts.

David Trotter: [00:41:56] Yeah. So two ways that you could go with that. One is just get really clear about the lies. So the lie could be about the rest of the world. This place is this office is horrible, right. This office doesn’t meet my needs. This office is you know, it’s a bad situation. Or you could go personal where you go. I don’t know what I’m doing. I should be you know, I’m not doing this the right way. I’m doing and going down those because you said it spirals, right? Why am I living here? But you could even take that. I’m living. The lie is that I’ve chosen to live in a place that’s not good for me. Right. So now you take that lie because instead of allowing it to just be nebulous negativity, you’re identifying a clear lie that you went down the path. It’s hard to do in the moment unless you’ve trained yourself, but it’s oftentimes helpful to do later on as you’re processing it. So if you were that evening going, OK, let me think about this. Now somebody would go, well, what’s a lie without any lie is a negative thought that seeks to destroy your true identity.

David Trotter: [00:43:04] A lie is a negative thought that seeks to disconnect you from your purpose. It seeks to disconnect you from other people. So if you continue to believe. I don’t know why I moved here. This place is horrible. You will carry that in your relationship with your husband because he grew up there. Right. You have that in the back of your mind and you will start to actually look for things that align with that lie. Traffic is horrible here. It’s so freakin hot in Dubai. They don’t have people that understand me here. This food is hot. I don’t know what it is, but you will if you allow that life to stay there. You’ll start to align with things that or these offices don’t have the right technology. Well, now you’re gonna keep that negative thought that seeking to divide you from your dream in your mind and you’ll start to align with things. OK. So it’s really negative. What we allow to burrow into our minds at heart. So once we identify that lie, the second step is to replace it with the truth or a corresponding truth. And the truth is a positive thought that’s connected to your identity, your purpose, your passion, things that are gonna help you. So if the lie was it was a mistake that I moved here. Now I realize that feels intense. But that was in you. You said that that was in you, right? It’s a mistake that I moved here to Dubai. Okay. So what’s the truth? What would be a truth, a short sentence that you could replace that live with?

Maria Marlowe: [00:44:36] It was not a mistake that I moved here. Yeah.

David Trotter: [00:44:39] It’s it’s easy to put the not in there. Yeah. But it’s not as powerful. Here’s an example. I have chosen to live in Dubai, a place of extraordinary opportunity and to be with the love of my life. How does that feel? That feels a lot better. It was a mistake that I moved here. That’s a lie. The truth is I have chosen to live in Dubai with unbelievable opportunities and to be with the love of my life. Oh, now the why is it was a mistake. That feels like you’re out of control. You’re a victim. You’re allowing yourself to be a victim. Versus when you’re saying I’ve chosen some very powerful statements. Now you actually are in control. You’re being intentional and you’re focusing on the truth of the beauty of that choice. This place is horrible for doing podcasts. I am thankful for this location to be able to do a podcast. And I am continually learning if there are better environments for me to be able to do my work. I’m thankful for this place. Right.

David Trotter: [00:45:56] See powerful that shift is?

Maria Marlowe: [00:45:56] And the gratitude part is really important to us shifting instead of thinking about the lack or what’s not right to think about what we are grateful for.

David Trotter: [00:46:10] What I train people to do then is to metaphorically step into the courtroom of their mind. I believe that like in the same way, if you’re in a courtroom and you’re having someone bring something against you, there is a prosecutor, OK? So there is a prosecutor in your mind that’s saying I made a mistake to move here. Well, that’s not you. That’s the prosecutor. That’s a third party. That’s something outside of you. That’s a dark force. And if you envision a courtroom case and this prosecutor stands up and says, Maria Marlowe, you have made a choice, you’ve made the terrible choice to move here as a defendant. You’ve got to then stand up and say, no, no, no, no, here’s the truth. Right. And you’re combating that. And you need to open up a brief case of evidence. You need to back up that truth with solid evidence. Because I’m going to tell you the moment that lie comes into your mind. The prosecutor is going to open up so much evidence. It will flood into your mind of every reason why it was a mistake to move here. Every reason will come into your mind in that moment. It’s even subconscious. You may not go through it, but you say this place is horrible and you’ll go through every result. Parking’s bad person looked at me. They weren’t helpful. Costs a lot of money. You know me, whatever it is. And so if there’s all this evidence that backs it up, great example.

David Trotter: [00:47:32] I have a bad interaction, a tough interaction with my daughter over a reason. I will come up with my mind. The prosecutor will come up with all this evidence of every single time I’ve been a a tough father and not a good father. It just floods into my mind to back up that lie. Well, I’ve got to come with solid evidence to back up the truth. I don’t know. I invested time with her. I spend money on investing in her. We spent a lot of time together. You know, I come up with I got to come up with my own evidence. So you need to come up with your own evidence on why it was a great choice to move to Dubai and have all these opportunities. So there’s all this evidence that comes flooding in. And then the last step is you got to anticipate a positive outcome. You can’t just walk away going. OK, well, we’ll see what happens. No, no, no. You’re going. I’m thankful that I moved to Dubai. The truth is, there’s unlimited potential opportunities here. I’m here with the love of my life, and I’m anticipating positive outcomes because I moved here. I cannot wait for the people that I’m going to meet. I cannot wait for the opportunities that I’m going to have. So you’ve identified the lie. You’ve replaced it with the truth. You’ve backed it up with solid evidence in the court room of your mind and now you’re anticipating a positive outcome in Dubai. Great. Well, this this heat is just amazing. It’s so warm here. It’s just all. I love it. I love it. It keeps my skin feeling, you know, enriched and bronzed, you know.

Maria Marlowe: [00:48:53] It’s incredible how our mind really influences our outlook and really our life. Right. Because if we keep that negative, you’re right. We’re going to just keep looking for proof to prove that negative thought that we had. Whereas if we focus on what we’re grateful for, we focus on the positive. Then everything is great. And even the things that are not so great. Well, it’s OK. It’s not a big deal.  Yeah. I mean, that’s definitely a practice. I mean, I think that’s something that I’m continuously working on as really making sure that in that moment, making that choice to not get frustrated, to not get upset or whatever it is, and to end stabs breeze, to be grateful. And to flip it around like you’ve done, I think you’ve explained it really well. And I love that analogy of the courtroom of your mind.

David Trotter: [00:49:51] Yeah. Yeah. And even even think about the call from your mom interrupting you. Yeah. Yes. What’s the lie? What’s the lie? That you believe that there’s a lot of lies there? Yes. Because I have that, too. If my mom, you know, interrupts in another day or something. Oh, my gosh. You know, there’s a. The lies. Could be. She does understand me. She doesn’t care about my business. She’s a nuisance. She’s a. Problem. This is a interruption. Oh, my gosh, there’s so many lies that we could be tempted to believe in that.

Maria Marlowe: [00:50:21] Oh, for sure. For sure. But then. Yeah. When you really step back, you realize, oh, my God, that’s just so wrong. And really to be so grateful. I’m so grateful. My mom is still alive. I’m so grateful. My mom is there to call me. I’m so grateful I can call my mom whenever I want, because when I call her, she’s answering on the first ring and there to listen, whereas I’m like, I’ll call you later, you know? So there’s so much to be grateful for. And yeah, I think it’s just a practice you have to constantly practice and remind yourself to do these things. And, you know, it’s people oftentimes make life look very easy. Right. Or people that are juggling a lot or doing a lot. But it’s actually hard. You have to work hard to always be positive. You have to work hard to always staying grateful and stand out positive mindset.

David Trotter: [00:51:11] It’s the same thing with nutrition. You know that it does take intentionality. All of these things, the way that we think, the way that we invest our time, how we treat others, the way that we eat. It’s all about intention. That just being in the rut of whatever we’re used to doing, just staying in that rut doesn’t necessarily get us the results that we want. So if I want to feel more healthy, I need to be intentional about what I eat, if I want to be more positive. I have to be intentional about what I think.

Maria Marlowe: [00:51:41] Totally. Well, David, thank you so much. This has been so, so insightful and inspiring. Before I let you go, I do want to ask you one last question. We’ve talked about a lot of different things, and your answer doesn’t have to do anything with what we’ve already talked about. But if you can leave our listeners with just one tip or piece of advice to live a happier and healthier life, what would that be?

David Trotter: [00:52:07] Well, we’ve talked you’ve talked about it. And I think it’s thankfulness, it’s gratefulness. It’s being thankful for what you have and just appreciating all that you have. So no matter where you live in the world, no matter the things that you have, just by being thankful. And it can be in those moments where we’re stressed out or we’re frustrated. Oftentimes, I will go to I’m thankful that I’m alive. I’m thankful for my wife. I’m thankful for how caring she is. I thankful. And it’s not just random. It’s not just base level thankfulness. Get specific about it, because the more specific you are, the more it kind of gets rooted in your heart. I’m thankful not just for my car, but I’m thankful that my car takes me here and there. And it’s reliable. I’m thankful for my home that keeps me warm and that it’s a safe place. I’m thankful for the food, that it nourishes my body. I think the specificity in our thankfulness really causes us to be in a place of peace. Peace is such an important thing for my life. And I think that the pathway to peace, the pathway to happiness, the pathway to joy is gratefulness, thankfulness.

Maria Marlowe: [00:53:15] I love that. Thank you so much, David. Great to be with you. For more from David, be sure to check out his podcast Inspiration Rising and his Web site, If you’re interested in checking out that PDF that he mentioned earlier about the life map, you can head to And that’s all one word.

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