This week, I am so proud and very excited to be launching our 100th episode of A Voice and Beyond.

Since releasing my first episode in March 2021, there have been a number of shifts in the show’s format, the show’s target audience, and the show’s content, but most importantly, the podcast has made a difference to many of the listeners who engage with the show every week. It has shifted lives from chaos to calm, from anxiety to peaceful bliss and from a negative mindset to a positive one.

The biggest shift that has happened to me personally, is that I have stepped into my own sense of “self.” It has truly been a reflective and empowering journey of self-discovery as host of this show. I have learned that I am enough and the greatest lesson I would like to share with you in our 100th episode is that you are enough, and the work we must do to empower ourselves in our lives starts with “self”.

In this week’s 100th episode, I would like to share my four greatest “self” lessons that I have learnt over the time producing A Voice and Beyond that have helped me step into my greatest self.

In this Episode

1:10 – Introducing Episode 100

6:43 – #1 Self Love

13:24 – #2 Self Care

18:09 – #3 Self Reflection

22:50 – #4 Self Worth

27:03 – Conclusion


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi. It’s Marissa Lee here and I’m so excited to be sharing today solo round episode with you. Whether you’re a member of the voice community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. And my mission, which has been inspired by my own personal and professional journey is to empower you to share your gift with others. Now is the time for you to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset, and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, and you can become the director of your own life. It’s time for you to live your best live. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:09

Hi, everyone, I am so so proud and excited to be here celebrating our 100th episode of a voice and beyond. Firstly, I’m proud because I made the commitment initially to show up every fortnight for my listeners with a brand new podcast episode. And not only have I done that, but I decided to step up the ante and for the past 18 months, every week, on a Monday, a new episode has been dropped. I believe that consistency as well as quality content has been key to the success of the show. I’m excited because this is episode 100. And there is so much that I want to share with you in this episode. Since launching my podcast in March 2021, there have been a number of shifts in the show’s format, the show’s target audience, the show’s content, but most importantly, the podcast has made a difference to many of the listeners who engage with the show every week. It has shifted lives from chaos to calm from high anxiety to peaceful bliss, and from a negative mindset to a positive one. The show was originally targeted at the singing voice community and was inspired by my own journey, my learnings and my curiosity into how to deal with some health issues that began almost four years ago after completing a PhD. At that time, I didn’t quite feel myself. In fact, I seriously thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown. And what I learned later, was that I was suffering from chronic anxiety as well as mild depression. When I launched the podcast, what I discovered after taking some time, every day for self reflection was that my body, my mind and my spirit were totally disconnected. And I was completely out of alignment with self and all aspects of what that means. That moment of self discovery almost 100 episodes ago, can you believe it was the beginning of my healing journey. And so much has happened in my life since that time. The biggest shift that’s happened to me personally, is that I have stepped into my own sense of self, my own power since the podcast started. It truly has been like a reflective and an empowering journey of self discovery for me. As I’ve created content for the shows and spoken to the brilliant guests we’ve had on the show, I’ve experienced my own revelations about my life about me as a person, what my triggers are, where I’m holding resentment or some kind of emotion that’s been stored that is still impacting me in my life now. There have been so many aha moments. Most importantly, this podcast has given me a voice not only in my singing voice community, but in a much wider community. I’ve learned to speak up and that was something that I always had problems with. I’ve learned to be authentic to be open and To be vulnerable, I’ve learned that I am enough, yes, I can say it out loud, I am enough. The greatest lesson I would like to share with you in my 100th episode is that in your life, you are enough. And everything in our lives, all of us in all of our lives starts with self. And when I talk about self, it’s not in a selfish way, but in an empowering way. So you can show up for yourself and for others in all aspects of your life as your best self, you are enough believe that change starts with you. You can’t change others, but you can change self. You can’t control others, but you can control your reactions, and you can emotionally regulate self. So what I would like to do in this episode is to share some of my greatest self lessons that I have had over the time of producing the 100 episodes of a voice and beyond. These are my four biggest learnings. So if you haven’t embarked on your own journey of self, here are four ideas of where you can start to play self, front and centre of your life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:43

So let’s start with number one self love. Self love can mean something different for each one of us, because we all have many different ways to take care of ourselves. Figuring out what self love looks like, for you, as an individual is an important part of your mental health. I had to really sit down to try and figure this one out. For most of my life, I’ve gone next, next, next, you know, achieving one thing after another. Even after achieving every goal that I have set for myself, it wasn’t enough. It’s never been enough. Some of these goals were big, in fact, huge ticket items such as completing a PhD, publishing a book, speaking on stages all around the world. I was such a high achiever, and at times, I set ridiculously, often almost unachievable standards for myself. All I felt on the inside was empty. I was always searching for my next I’d never stopped to ask myself. Why do I feel this way? Why is it so? Why was I always so dissatisfied with my life and my achievements? Why was there this feeling of emptiness in the pit of my stomach that I just couldn’t feel? You see, somewhere along the journey of my life, I had become so busy pleasing everyone else, and living up to the expectations of others that I had stopped serving myself and doing the things that made me feel happy. I had lost my best self, and was being seduced by the thoughts and the beliefs of others. I was no longer serving me, I didn’t care enough for me. I didn’t love me enough to stop and listen to what my body, my mind and my spirit were trying to tell me. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t even recognise myself anymore. I loathe that person that I was looking at. I didn’t recognise that person, I had to get to know the authentic me again and learn to love that person again, flaws and all. You see, self love is a state of appreciation for oneself, not from others. And self love means having a high regard for our own well being and happiness. Self love means taking care of all our needs and not sacrificing our well being to please others. Self love means not settling less than what we truly deserve. I wasn’t doing any of that. In fact, this was far from what I was doing in my life. I was seeking love from others. not myself. So what have I learned about self love? And what does it mean to me now? It was about prioritising me. You see, as a wife, and a mother, a performer and an educator, I’ve always been so used to putting others first and foremost way ahead of me. Self love has meant accepting myself as I am, in this very moment, for everything that I am. It means accepting my emotions for what they are and putting my physical, emotional and mental well being first. I’ve had to learn to cut myself a break and stop being so judgmental of myself and holding myself to unattainable standards. I’m sure you’ve done that at some stage in your life, and it feels horrible. Many years ago, my first husband committed suicide, and I suddenly became a single mom to our daughter. It was so tough because I was dealing with so much trauma and my mental, physical and emotional capacity was different every day. My daughter was only five years old at the time, and I was doing my best. I was trying to be the best parent, so she didn’t have to deal with the trauma I had to deal with. And her life could be as normal as possible. I had to learn to cope somehow. And I did this by saying, I am doing my best. Every day, my best is going to be different. Some days, my best will be better than the day before or the days to come. I’m not going to sit here in judgement. It’s okay. Because no matter what I am doing my best for today, I had to learn to be kind, surround myself with love. And forgive myself in those moments. When I didn’t feel I was my best. And to let it go. I had to remember tomorrow is another day. And here I am 35 years later, and through this show in talking to one of my guests. It has reminded me of this, to be kind to myself, you know, how can I be kind to others when I’m not being kind to me? How can I love others and them love me in return when I don’t surround myself with love. So we all need to give ourselves that reminder to practice self love. And we can all start by being kind, patient, gentle, and compassionate to ourselves in the most basic way that we would with someone else that we truly care about.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:24

Number two self care. And for many people to express self love is by way of self care. And that’s fantastic. To practice self care, we often need to get back to those basics and simply listen to our bodies. Take breaks from work and move and stretch. Put that foreign down and connect with ourselves or others instead, or go and do something creative as I do. I love that. Self Care has become so important to me and I make time on a daily basis for my own self care regime. Self care for me means taking care of myself first and being true to my needs to better serve myself before I can serve others including my family, my friends, my students, and my community. Self care means scheduling time for an activity that leaves you feeling peaceful, calm, confident or healthy. Self care to me means taking care of all those areas of my life that empower me to show up as my most authentic self. Self care includes eating well prioritising exercise, and taking quiet time for myself each day to be in the moment and to reflect when needed. But The best gift of self care I can give myself is to get adequate sleep. This can’t be underestimated. Going back in the early days of the podcast, my self care had to really be ramped up even further during COVID When I felt that all the things that mattered to me had been taken away the gym connection with other people, friends, colleagues, students and family. I couldn’t even visit my late mother for a whole year because she lived in another state and there were border closures between states. I had to learn during that time to centre myself amidst the chaos and the stress, the struggle and the challenge of all those things that I had no control over. Instead of consuming fake news on social media, and curling up in a corner, eating chocolates and drinking wine all the time watching Netflix, I started to listen to all the amazing thought leaders I could find on the podcast app, such as Jay Shetty, Brendon Burchard, Lewis, Howes, Brene, brown, they all gave me inspiration. You know, I would go for a walk every day for an hour and consume all this information. And I felt so inspired that I would go home and journal. I used this time to recalibrate, reinvest in myself. I wanted to have clarity and focus on all the things that were really important to me. I needed to make changes in my life. And this was my way of feeling good every day, and feeling very intentional about it at a time when we’re all in locked down and so disconnected from our realities. The lesson here is that when life throws you a challenge, the way to deal with it is to go all in with your self care. I have a saying when life throws you lemons, you make margaritas and what I did, when light threw me a lemon during COVID. All that journaling I ended up doing was repurposed and it’s become content for this show. So my friend, practising good self care means taking better care of your most basic needs. It’s about making room for healthy habits, and truly taking care of yourself in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend your time doing. Most of us think of self care as something that’s selfish, but just think about along these terms, that you can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself first.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:09

Number three self reflection. Another way to practice self love includes taking time for self reflection, and living a life in a more mindful manner. Okay, you may ask, what does that mean? Well, people who have greater self love, tend to know what they think what they feel, and absolutely what they want. By staying focused on what you need. You turn away from those default behaviour patterns that keep you stuck in your past and lesson self love. But all this takes self reflection, you have to know you, what makes you tick. What gives you that feeling of aliveness, what brings the joy for you. It all takes self reflection. Life is a reflection of our own perception of ourselves and who we truly are on the inside. During those times when I was burnt out it was because I was trying to achieve my own idea of success. And that was based on the standards of others, trying to please others. My perceptions were really messed up and I had to learn to reconnect with my true self. In my moments of self reflection, I realised that I had to learn to fail better, that not everything was going to be perfect. I discovered that just like the ocean, we too have ebb and flow in our lives. Not everything can be smooth sailing in our lives all of the time, I realised that you can only have joy when you experience sorrow. You can only appreciate success when you have disappointment. And it’s okay to acknowledge those moments of sadness. Allow them to pass, and be thankful for them, and then just move on. It’s in those difficult moments when life challenges you that you experience growth. When you feel that life is throwing you many, many challenges at once. I look at it this way. It’s life’s way of fast tracking your growth. In my life, I had to learn to give myself permission to breathe, be still be present, be satisfied, feel accomplished, feel gratitude, enjoy the process and take a moment to create beautiful memories along the way. self reflection is also a great way to acquaint ourselves with ourselves before we can acquaint ourselves with others. When we know our selves, we know who we truly are from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. We know our boundaries, and we can start setting healthy boundaries, not only for others, but also for ourselves. Let’s face it in life, we all have a need for setting boundaries. And we can’t communicate our boundaries if we don’t know what they are. Many people know what the word boundary means, but they have no idea what their boundaries are. Some people think of boundaries as something like a property line or a brick wall used to keep people out. But boundaries are not rigid lines drawn in the sand. Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves. When you understand how to set and maintain healthy boundaries, you can avoid the feeling of resentment, disappointment, and anger that build up when your limits have been pushed. So setting boundaries means being aware of your thoughts and being in tune with your feelings and your actions. And you can only do that by self reflection.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:50

Number four self worth. self worth is also another extension of self love. So many people have a really messed up perspective of self worth. And they base their value on things such as how many friends they have, their income, what car they drive, what neighbourhood they live in, the number of social media followers they have, and even their relationship status. But all of these are external factors. You see, the problem is people often confuse self worth with self esteem, which relies on external factors, such as success and achievements. But the reality is that someone can achieve greatness be wealthy and highly successful, but yet they still struggle with self worth. This is a struggle that I’ve dealt with in my own life. There have been times I’ve based my self worth on my achievements, I keep coming back to that. When someone has self worth, they feel good enough and worthy enough, even in those moments when they make mistakes, or things don’t work out in their lives, just as they had planned. Last year was a real lesson for me with the passing of my mom, and I’ve had to do the work each and every day on my own self. Because I’m very aware that the relationship with self and how we perceive ourselves has a direct impact with our relationships with others. I had to ask myself, How can I show up for others when I’m not showing up for myself? How can I be kind to others? If I’m not being kind to sell first and foremost, how can I build strong relationships with others if my relationship with myself sucks if I’m not investing in myself first, how can I value others? In my job as a singing teacher, I expect my students to be authentic in performance. And it’s my intention that in every student’s lesson, I hold space for them to explore their voices to be playful, and to allow themselves to be vulnerable. sounds great in theory, but how can I hold space for my students? If I’m not being honest, open and authentic? Also? Don’t I deserve that too? Don’t I deserve to feel safe? Don’t I deserve to feel valued? So many questions. Another way to build self worth is to stop comparing yourself to others. And you need to start challenging that inner voice that keeps giving you a hard time telling you that you are not worthy or good enough. This annoying voice in our heads constantly bombards us with destructive thoughts towards ourselves, and it’s not on your team. These critical thoughts or inner voices, undermine your self worth and even leads to self destructive behaviours, which may make you feel even worse about yourself. So what I’ve realised when it comes to self, a lot of it comes back to self worth. Because our worth is at the core of our very selves, our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviours. These are all intimately tied into how we view our value as human beings, our internal sense of simply being good enough and worthy enough of love and belonging from others.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  27:04

Now is the time for you to make the decision to create opportunities, take action, and experience growth as a person and in life. Change takes time, patience, and perseverance. It’s going to take all of those things to recalibrate your mindset. I understand that making changes the hard choice and continuing on as you are is easy. But my friend, you need to leave the harbour and embark on a difficult journey to make positive changes in your life, to love and to honour yourself. No one said it’s easy. However, if you decide to remain on the ship, in the security of the harbour, it will become even harder long term. By sailing away, you do create the opportunity for change and the opportunity to learn and to grow. Become the captain of your ship. Have your own self, your life, your body, your mind and your emotions remain steady. While the seas are rocky and you will acquire sea legs, you will arrive at your destination safely. Even when the seas are rough. If something’s not difficult, it’s not producing change or growth. And change doesn’t have to be all at once. Making one small change one micro shift in your routine, your attitude, your mindset, your health. Every day, we’ll make a big incremental change over a period of time, and you will change how you perceive self. So take the step today to nourish yourself. Hold yourself in high esteem. And choose things that nurture your well being and serve you well. As you learn to dial into your own self, you can elevate your life. And I promise to honour my commitment to show up every week with a new podcast episode that will help you on your self journey in some way. I want that for you. I want to honour you. And thank you for being here with me and I look forward to joining you in the coming episodes. Thank you so much for being a part of my journey. And thank you for helping me achieve 100 episodes. And I just want to leave you with this thought. Remember that focusing on self doesn’t mean that you’re selfish. It’s about putting yourself Have and your needs above others as a way to protect, preserve and respect yourself because you are worth the effort. Always have been and always will be. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  30:19

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you’d like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.

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