013: Facing the past – Debbie Lanyon



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In this episode:

In this episode of The Fearless Females Podcast your host Tegan Mathews interviews Debbie Lanyon who shares:

  • How she overcame being rejected, abused, and pregnant at fourteen
  • How a suicide attempt taught her to appreciate waking up every day
  • The meltdown that turned her life towards a completely different career path
  • That we are all a continual work in progress and that’s ok
  • How helping others helped her to help herself

Tegan’s Take Aways:

  1. We are always a work in progress and it’s ok to be a work in progress so be kind to yourself
  2. It’s ok to be human
  3. Putting your hand up and asking for help
  4. Helping another will help yourself
  5. Take a moment each day to be aware of your surroundings

About Debbie Lanyon

Debbie Lanyon is passionate about creating positive change in people’s lives. Utilising different modalities and drawing on her own extensive knowledge, combined with her own personal experience of overcoming adversity Debbie provides the guidance you need to become un-stuck and make the changes in your life that you want.

Always seeking better ways to support people to unlock the answers within Debbie Lanyon is a hypnotherapist, life coach, speaker and Kambo practitioner.

Contact Debbie Lanyon


A Gift for Listeners From Debbie Lanyon:

An MP3 download stress reduction technique to give you some time out for yourself and eliminate some of the daily stresses we all have in our lives

By entering your name & email address we agree we won’t share your details with anyone! You will receive your download plus occasional emails from Debbie Lanyon & Solutions by Debbie Lanyon. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Show Notes: Episode 013: Facing the past – Debbie Lanyon


Debbie Lanyon’s Fearless Story

  • I don’t say these things so that people feel sad for me
  • I don’t say these things being the only person these have happened to
  • Because I know that most people I speak to have had some form of challenge or trauma in their life and it’s not uncommon
  • But it’s more to highlight that these things do happen and that’s life
  • I don’t have a lot of memories around my early years but there was lots of typical family and fun experiences and then around six or seven my parents divorced
  • I’m fifty now so we are talking about a very long time ago, over forty years, so you can imagine at that time it was fairly uncommon
  • In fact, I was the first child in the community and school to have divorced parents so that came with some challenges
  • One of which was that a lot of my friends were no longer allowed to play with me because apparently, I contracted a disease at the same time
  • After that, my mother met a new man in her life and good on her for doing that but he turned out to be an incredibly violent man
  • He moved us to the other end of the country away from my father, my grandfather and all those who I knew loved and cared about me
  • And we ended up in this cycle of seeing my mother abused in the most horrendous way
  • And as a little girl, I recall climbing out the window and running to the neighbours and begging them to call the police or help because he was killing my mum
  • Back then domestic violence was not something people would get involved in and I remember on a number of occasions being lifted back up to my bedroom window, told to go back to bed and everything would be alright in the morning
  • That’s how people generally responded to that type of situation
  • We had the police around every day, every second day, every week. I don’t know, as a child, it just seemed like it was all the time that this was going on
  • The memories of a child, this could be exaggerated but I just know that it was a LOT of bruises and crying and all sorts of things going on that didn’t need to be happening
  • After two years of this, my mother took us to the other side of the country to see my father and grandfather and she never came back
  • Now as a young girl of nine being left by your mother you feel very unloved, unworthy, unwanted
  • I realise as an adult, and it took a while to get there that only a mother who truly loves her children would be willing to get them out of that situation while she came to terms with her life and what was going on for her
  • But as a little girl, I didn’t quite get that and it created some challenges as my father and grandfather ended up taking in three girls because I had an older and a younger sister
  • My younger sister was seven years younger so she was just a little baby too
  • My older sister was two years older so she would have been eleven
  • So three young girls being raised by two gentlemen. It was very interesting I can tell you
  • My dad worked very hard and often had two or three jobs and was consequently regularly not there
  • My older sister and I got up to a lot of mischief and got into a lot of things that we shouldn’t have
  • I don’t regret that now but I did have many years of shame and embarrassment over what I did but I don’t carry that any more
  • At the age of fourteen, I got raped, fell pregnant and had an abortion, all without my parents knowing
  • So that shows you how, as a young girl, I grew up very quickly and learnt how to be very self-sufficient and look after myself
  • In respect to being a female, I guess anything in a negative aspect that can happen to a female has happened to me
  • I remember at a very young age, a man trying to take me from the back of our car when my dad and I were at a shopping centre
  • I still remember the name vividly, it was Burnt Bridge in Croydon Victoria
  • That was the first occasion I can remember but I have had my drink spiked, I’ve had a stalker
  • I shouldn’t be laughing at this but you listen to it and go really? But you know I’ve been date raped and you know, it’s been a challenge being a female

What was a pivotal turning point for you?

  • What I learnt about myself is that they’re the stories that aren’t really our stories
  • We grow up believing that those are our stories, we become the victim, we take on the whole woe is me vibe
  • By doing that we never really open up to who we can be and we never learn the lessons that we could from those experiences
  • So I did the only thing I knew how to do and that was to put things in nice little neat boxes and put great big kick ass padlocks around them and bury them as far down as I could
  • As I got older I realised after a period of time and after some other events that had happened to me throughout my life
  • One of those I have only recently begun sharing and some of my friends don’t even know
  • I had an occasion where I woke up and I didn’t know where I was and I was restrained and much to my own horror I found out that I had attempted to take my own life
  • I was in a coma for apparently 48 hours but I don’t recall the events leading up to that point in time
  • What I do remember is going to my dining room table and seeing empty bottles of pills everywhere and thinking, “Did I take that?”
  • I shook them all and realised they were empty which caused a bit of panic within me so I tried the fingers down the throat and salt water but I had no luck with that
  • So I called a friend and said, “I think I’ve done something really stupid and I need your help”
  • As the hostess that I am, I remember pouring her a glass of wine as she came through the door but she knew something wasn’t quite right so she called the ambulance
  • It wasn’t too late but it wasn’t early enough either (as I ended up in a coma)
  • One would have thought that would be a wake-up call that I had a lot of things from my past that I hadn’t dealt with and I needed to work on
  • I was released from the hospital and had a psych evaluation and a home care evaluation and they all said it was a disassociated episode, there’s nothing wrong with you, you seem really together and have your life in control, nothing wrong with you, don’t worry about it
  • I found that interesting but was happy to accept that
  • It wasn’t until a few years later when I was at work and I had always had corporate roles and fairly senior management roles
  • I found myself at my desk answering the phone and I had a massive melt down with tears and snot bubbles, really unattractive and not pretty at all
  • I had my staff looking at me through the window with abject horror of, “What’s going on in there?”
  • I knew something wasn’t right so I grabbed my bag and went straight to the doctors
  • Blood pressure was through the roof
  • There was a lot going on for me at that time and we had a wonderful conversation and I will be forever grateful to this lady who is still my doctor to this day
  • She got me to see that, “Deb there are a lot of things that have gone on in your life that you need to start dealing with because this is a consequence”
  • For me, that was my wake-up call sadly – anyone would think that any of the other things that happened to me would have done it but it was the fact that I had a melt down at work
  • Because again, what I had learnt as a child was that to get approval or acceptance was to excel and if I did well then I got that love and approval that I desperately craved
  • So to find I was in a position where I was meant to be an authority figure, that I was meant to be the boss so to speak and to have this melt down in front of my staff
  • That was what finally got me to have my wake-up call
  • From that moment on it was really a discovery of myself, a discovery of taking each of those little boxes that I had tucked away so tightly
  • Hammering those padlocks off and investigating and exploring the content for what it was
  • Taking the lessons learnt and moving forward in life
  • Because all of those things in some way, shape or form had been holding me back from being the true person that I am now today
  • In saying that, I believe there is no perfection in humans, we are all a work in progress
  • I still have a lot of work to do and I am the first person to admit that
  • I think anyone who is working with people, if they aren’t constantly working on themselves then in my mind, they may not be the person you want to be seeing
  • So if I’m seeing people myself, I need to know that they are constantly working on themselves as well

What have you learnt from that experience?

  • The definite good that has come from all of this is my strength and my resilience
  • I am fairly fearless which is perfect given it’s the topic of this podcast
  • I guess it’s one of those things that when things happen now I can actually stop and be a curious observer and see what it is that I have to learn from it
  • Does that mean that I am perfect all the time, absolutely not
  • There are still times when I might behave in a manner that isn’t congruent with who I am now
  • But I am human, in all of those shades of dark and light and that is perfectly perfect the way it is
  • I think when you start to realise that your stories aren’t really your stories, they are things that have happened,
  • your story is what you have done and what you continue to do on a daily basis to be the best you, you can be
  • and it’s about stepping outside your comfort zone and being able to see things for what they truly are
  • and actually putting up your hand and saying, “I need help”
  • because that’s something that I wasn’t very good at and one of my detrimental self-soothing techniques was alcohol
  • Before my meltdown it would be nothing for me to drink two bottles of wine at night and even open the third
  • I would often get up and go to work at 6am
  • I was a workaholic and that was one of the ways I kept everything locked down
  • Which is why I am always cautious of working with workaholics because why do we have to strive so hard to prove ourselves to other people
  • That’s not who we should be proving ourselves to, it’s ourselves that we need to be happy and comfortable with
  • Self-acceptance
  • What I had spent years doing was trying to fill those voids that I thought I had in my life, with external things
  • My happiness came from material things and other people
  • I didn’t realise, and this is possibly one of the best things I have learnt from the experience
  • Everything comes from within
  • You can have all the money and position in the world but if you aren’t happy inside, all of those things will eventually mean nothing
  • And you will keep searching and striving for things to make you feel good but what you need to be doing is looking at who you are internally
  • Who you are as a person and where you sit in the world, how you react with people, how you react with nature, everything really does come from within
  • And taking the time to stop and observe the situation and yourself enables you to look within

How did you turn it all around?

  • I’m not going to advocate this to everyone but I was good at my job but it wasn’t satisfying me
  • Instead, it was contributing to how I was feeling and not how I wanted to feel
  • So I decided to quit my job and I gave myself a few years to do that so that I had time to plan it out
  • I didn’t know what I was going to do when I did quit but I needed to set myself up in a position that when I did stop working I could take some time out
  • I really needed some time for me, I didn’t know how to relax, the thought of meditation had never even crossed my mind
  • But I had always been busy, busy, busy and the thought of having time off really scared me
  • I had always worked. I got my first full-time job at fifteen and started the day I turned sixteen
  • Up until a few years ago I had never taken time out, the longest break was six weeks which was a holiday
  • I also realised I had placed a lot of my security around having a well paying job even though it wasn’t something I was enjoying any longer
  • So I did what might seem strange to some people, I left a well-paying job with a guaranteed golden handshake of being paid an annual income every year after I retired until I passed
  • People still think I am crazy for doing that and I lost a lot of friends along the way who couldn’t understand what I was doing
  • But I was doing this for me and the plan was to take twelve months off to just learn to be me again
  • I had been doing that for a couple of years but I really needed that time to immerse myself in me, it may sound selfish but that was what I needed
  • Very quickly though I found myself in work helping others
  • In helping others, I was helping myself
  • And anyone that says that doesn’t happen is deluding themselves
  • Whenever you are helping someone else and you are doing it with true intent, you can’t help but help yourself
  • And that was a beautiful way for me to exist at that time and that’s how I ended up falling into the wellness industry
  • Every time I work with a client I learn a little bit more about myself and every time I help a client I end up helping myself as well
  • And that’s how I ended up where I am today
  • I have had some beautiful people be there for me over the time
  • I am not someone who has a lot of friends, I have a core group of friends who I adore to pieces and they have been with me through thick and thin
  • At the time I put a call out to explain what I was doing and asked for help
  • Which was hugely challenging for me to do
  • I remember I sent an email to a very close group of friends to outline what was going on for me and the things I was doing and where I needed help and they were all there to support me
  • I think we often forget about those who love and care for us, they are there through the dark and the light
  • They want you to excel and they want you to be the best you that you can be
  • It’s just so wonderful to have that support on your journey
  • But you also need to ask for that help and layout what it is that you want help on in order for your friends to be able to give it to you and if you don’t know what it is you want help with then say that
  • Absolutely and when you are coming out the other side of your challenges you are able to see in others when they are needing help
  • But unless they are willing to put their hand up and ask for help, things don’t change
  • If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same result

Most Memorable Moment x 2

  • The first is from a work perspective in my new career
  • You know that you are helping people but I had a mother call me after I had done a three-month coaching program with her daughter
  • The mother was in tears and all she could say was, “Thank you so much for giving us our daughter back”
  • So that was definitely a highlight in my new career
  • The second was a personal one
  • I was sitting on the couch watching the birds in my back yard and there were some yellow flowers on the trees at the time
  • The Rosella’s were so happy flitting around and taking the nectar from the flowers and I didn’t realise but I had been sitting there for hours
  • Just observing nature and being totally immersed in nature
  • So relaxed, so calm and so happy
  • That was something I could never do before
  • Just sit still, be relaxed and be in the moment
  • I felt so happy I actually cried
  • It was such a realisation you can be happy and be content and you don’t have to be doing something that other people would call amazing
  • Me sitting there watching these birds was amazing and it was enough, I didn’t need anything else

What are you passionate about today?

  • Ahhh well one of the things I’ve learnt is that if I am doing something that doesn’t bring me joy then find a way to stop doing it
  • And if it’s something that you must do, then find a way to enjoy it and to get it done quickly so that it doesn’t take up too much of your energy or time
  • One of the things I love doing is enabling people to have experiences of things that they may not have had the opportunity to be exposed to before
  • I have been blessed over the past twenty-four months to be exposed to things that have given me a different way to look at life
  • So I now have a monthly meet-up where I bring speakers in to speak about things others may not have been exposed to before
  • For example, last month I had a lady come in and talk about plant medicine from the amazon and people may have heard about it but they get the opportunity to ask questions and really experience what it can do for them in their life and I think that’s a gift worthy of giving
  • I have one tonight which is a lovely lady that talks about self-love and tantra and sex versus sensuality and once again, people may have heard of it but they really don’t know a lot about them
  • I am hoping that next month I can get a gentleman to come in and talk about native American medicine and in particular sacred tobacco Mmapacho because a lot of people believe they know what it is but they are using it incorrectly
  • And I think that whatever traditional medicine we use, we must use it with the intent it was meant to be used otherwise it’s an abuse of that medicine and it reduces the effectiveness of that medicine
  • So, they’re the sort of things I like exposing people to
  • Meet-up group is called: Leaders Seeking Change – I called it that because anyone can be a leader and you may not know what you are looking for in change and what I provide isn’t necessarily what people should be doing but they might find the answers in what I am having presented to them
  • It gives people a choice and you don’t know what you don’t know so it gives you the opportunity to learn about different modalities and choose whatresonatess with you

What is something in your future plan that scares you?

  • There’s still one thing I need to face for me that’s scary and it may seem strange to some people but
  • I have lived in my little unit for the past ten years and it’s my little last bastion of the old me and my little last bastion of security
  • I’ve always got my little haven of security to come back to
  • For a long time now I have wanted to relocate to northern NSW or southern QLD so that’s on my to do list for 2016
  • It does scare me a little bit because this is my place of comfort and security but I also know I need to step out from that
  • So that’s something personal for me
  • In terms of my business, another modality I am offering separate to my business is Kambo
  • It’s a medicine from South America, it’s not illegal and it’s not legal but it’s a beautiful medicine that can help people with a lot of different things
  • And if anyone is interested you can learn more about it via iakp.org

Five Fast Fun Fearless Facts about Debbie Lanyon

  1. Who inspires you? Anyone who is living their life by their terms and is truly happy and is do so without causing harm to others, not necessarily someone who is well known or is in the media. I can meet someone in the park on my morning walk and be totally blown away by them and their story. So it’s any individual who has the courage to live their life by their terms
  2. Favourite thing to do each day? Wake up – yay I’m here for another day. Given my past attempt, any day I wake up to is a blessing as I was so close to not having more time on this planet
  3. What’s something that still scares you? In regards to the politicians and how the country is being run, the continual interference and control being placed upon us. We are all sovereign beings but it seems like everywhere you turn there is a new control or new rule or new piece of legislation. Who gave someone who is my equal the control to tell me when I can do what and who with, what I can and can’t put into my body? I believe I am happier and healthier than those who are put in charge of telling me what I can and can’t do. It seems to be gaining in momentum and there needs to be a shift at some point
  4. Favourite technique or app or book? Technique – my clinical hypnotherapy. Regardless of what I do I think I will always do that because it brings about relatively quick change for people who are wanting change and it taps directly into the subconscious which is beautiful. Book – there isn’t one I can pinpoint that has given me all the answers. I believe books present themselves when you need them and as they are required at that time. I’m reading an interesting book at the moment called, “Bringers of the dawn” and it’s the teachings of the Pladians which is about the awakening of the planet and people are becoming more aware of the shift in energy and vibration and it can only be for the betterment of the population and mother earth
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world right now, what would it be and why? I’d really like to change the people running the country, federal, state and local as they seem to be puppets and I’m not sure who’s pulling their strings. They don’t seem to be taking notice of what the population wants, and the population are supposedly those who have voted them into power and yet they aren’t really doing what the population wants.

And I’d like people to stop and think for a moment how and why things get to them. The damage we are doing to the planet. I don’t think we will see the demise of the mother earth but if we continue down this path we will see the demise of the human race.

For example, that cup of coffee you drink in the morning, stop and think where it came from and how many people contributed to it being in your hands and I think we all need to have a little more gratitude to what we have, being a bit more aware and more mindful. Mindfulness will raise gratitude which leads to awakening.

Final Question

If you could turn back time what’s the one piece of advice you wish you could give your fourteen-year-old self?

  • You are loved
  • You are worthy
  • Life will get better

Where can people reach out to you? www.solutionsby.com.au

A Gift for Listeners From Debbie Lanyon:

An MP3 download stress reduction technique to give you some time out for yourself and eliminate some of the daily stresses we all have in our lives

By entering your name & email address we agree we won’t share your details with anyone! You will receive your download plus occasional emails from Debbie Lanyon & Solutions by Debbie Lanyon. You can unsubscribe at any time.


  1. Valerie Orton on July 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    A very insightful and warm conversation, which is in absolute alignment with my thoughts and philosophy. Thank you to both Debbie and Tegan

    • Tegan on July 25, 2016 at 2:22 am

      Thank you Valerie, I’m glad you enjoyed the episode. Debbie is an amazing woman xo

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