#103 | Mental Health in Music: LJ Malberg | The Rock/Star Advocate

Suz is a mindset coach for music industry professionals looking to gain clarity on their goals & find a better work/life balance.





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#103 | Mental Health in Music: LJ Malberg

Leading with compassion.

Suz kicks of Mental Health Awareness Month with Compassionate Muse CEO LJ Malberg, with a frank discussion about the toxicity that exists in the music industry and how to combat it and break the cycle.

I finally realized that our biggest challenge in music isn’t music, it’s our relationships with the people we work with and the relationships that we have with ourselves. That’s the biggest problem.

You’re listening to Episode 103 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.

Hello! You’re listening to Episode 103: Mental Health in Music: LJ Malberg.

I’m your host, Suz, a mindset + productivity coach helping music professionals get clear on their goals, priorities, and next steps all while decreasing overwhelm and avoiding burnout.

Today’s episode kicks off a four-part series we’re doing throughout the month of May to highlight mental health in the music industry. Each week I’ll be speaking with a special guest to shine a light on various aspects of mental health and how we can all make a greater effort to protect not only our own mental health, but also do our part to enact change within the industry in hopes of doing away with toxic behaviors and narratives sewn into its history.

There are no sponsors for these episodes, nor are there downloadable extras. I wanted these episodes to stand alone so we can focus on listening and reflecting as each week’s call to action. The show notes of each episode will have links to additional resources to get help and/or learn better ways to manage your mental health.

For today’s episode, you can find all ‘rocksources,’ as I often call them, including links to learn more about our esteemed guest by going to http://therockstaradvocate.com/ep103. Today we highlight LJ Malberg, CEO of Compassionate Muse and founder of CoMuse, an online global business community serving the music and tech industries at the intersection of business, people, and compassion. She also serves as advisor and Head of People as lead consultant at Blockparty, the leader in NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) in the music + art digital collectibles

As an executive coach with a human-first-approach, specializing in Workplace Culture, Mindfulness and Interpersonal Communications Performance, LJ is also the Creator of the Mindfulness In Music Conference, in partnership with MONDO.NYC, something I’ve had the pleasure of participating in these past two winters.

For more than 25 years she has worked in the Music & Entertainment industry as a dancer, choreographer, jazz vocalist, and artist manager, and later as a talent agent for clients such as Ultra Gypsy and Chuck D of Public Enemy, Music Market Growth Strategist for Eventbrite, and Director of Client Development at TicketWeb/Ticketmaster, just to name a few roles.

She has made it her mission to speak out on behalf of compassion-based work strategies at numerous music industry conferences including SXSW, Fest Forums, Northside Fest, Midem, TicketWeb, New Colossus Festival and more. LJ is on a mission to spread intuitive, authentic and empathetic human interaction that leads to compassionate solutions in the Music Tech world, regardless of race, gender identity, rank or title, social status, religion, or ability.

There’s so much more, but I’ll let her share in her own words. Now let’s dive into to get to know a bit more about LJ and her mission and why she’s so passionate about compassion.

Suz: LJ, thank you so much for being here. I have been so pumped. I’m looking forward to this conversation.

LJ: I am thrilled to be here, Suz. I have been looking forward to this conversation. Really. I adore you, and I think your work is amazing and so needed, and I’m just really honored and excited to be here. Thank you.

Suz: Oh, thank you. Well, the feeling is mutual, and I told our listeners all about your wonderful journey up until this point, but what I didn’t tell them is how we met. And just a few years ago, although time flies, it’s like, what is time anymore? But I know that I’ve got to thank Mike Joseph for getting us together on a wonderful wellness panel at Mondo.

It was either like the very tail end of 2018 or the very beginning of 2019, I forget exactly when. But I remember when Mondo had one of their first panel additions to their events, they had the wellness panel on there. Mike Joseph had you and I, and Marni Wandner from This Is Equilibrium, one of our other good friends.

I remember we just immediately hit it off after that. We grabbed lunch, we talked about our pasts in this industry, our decades long journey in this industry. And it was so refreshing to meet such a kindred spirit and somebody who just cares so much about being of service, but also leading with compassion, which we’ll get into, but also taking care of themselves and realizing that that’s just as important. So, I’m just so happy our paths crossed. Thanks again for being here.

LJ: Oh, me too, Suz. Thank you so much. Yeah, I can’t believe so much time has passed so quickly, but then I can, you know? But yeah, thinking back to when we met, it was an exciting place to be, to be on that panel with you and with Mike and Marni and it was at Arlene’s, right? Arlene’s Grocery? Yeah. And you know, I, too, felt so happy and so relieved to know that there is a family of people that are doing this work and it was a really great panel. And the first of many! We’ve done many to date.

Suz: That’s what I love so much about it was because, you know, I feel like once Nicole, Marni, you and myself met each other, it was like, ‘What other, what can we do?” You know, whether it was, This Is Equilibrium and all the wonderful things that they’ve put on. You’ve continued to partner with Mondo, which I want to get into, and creating the series of panels that you’ve created with them and with other events. It’s really just been so wonderful to keep this conversation going, not just with each other, but to share it on these platforms. It’s been really awesome.

And so, I wanted to know, what do you feel is the most important thing that listeners should know about you before we dive into all of this? Because I’ve given them the facts I’ve given them like the bullet points, but, you know, I think as we’ve seen, when we do these panels, there’s a level of trust there. It’s always a very vulnerable conversation when we all get together, so what should our listeners know about you? What would you like to share with them before we jump into all of this?

LJ: Great question, Suz. I’ll go first and be like super vulnerable here. I am harder on myself than anybody I have ever met in my entire life, and I’ve worked in the music business for 26 years, so that’s really saying something.

I had what I like to call hippie parents growing up, and they are very open-minded, openhearted people. I love my folks, but I had a pretty strict upbringing. So you know, it was maybe sort of a culmination of my open-hearted, strict upbringing that has brought me to where I am now – to the place where I feel like I can be brave enough to say, ‘I am so fucking hard on myself.’

I mean, like I have gone way off the deep end in terms of, you know, self-deprecation just to the extreme of over identification, I’ve been using this term a lot lately in terms of, you know, “I’m so bad. I’m so bad. I’m so bad.” That way, no matter what happens to me from the outside, it couldn’t possibly be worse, than how I had treated myself.

You know, it took me many years of work in meditation – I am obsessed with meditation. I am a huge advocate for it, and I’ve been a daily practitioner of it in the Zen Buddhist lineage for over 20 years. And saying I’m obsessed about meditation is actually kind of an oxymoron because you’re supposed to be letting go, not obsessing, so I hear myself saying that and it just sounds so funny.

But my point is the work that comes out of that level of self-awareness has enabled me to lighten the fuck up. To not take myself so seriously. To see that everything is temporary and to go, “You know what? I’m not bad, and I don’t deserve to be treated that way.” And I noticed that once I started treating myself differently, the people who surrounded me started treating me differently.

Suz: Wow, yeah.

LJ: The people that I intentionally would like go out and surround myself with shifted. So, there were some people that left my life just inherently because I started treating myself differently. So that’s something that maybe you can’t Google about me.

Suz: Well, I have chills because that resonated so much with me. And thank you for being vulnerable with our audience to share that because I’m guaranteeing you, they’re all like “Uh huh, uh huh. Oh my goodness. Yes, that’s me. Oh my goodness.”

I know I resonate with that so much. And I know we’ve had discussions about that in the past of, really, and no pun intended here, because we’re about to jump in a lot to this topic, but having compassion for yourself and giving yourself some grace.

That’s something we talk a lot about on this podcast, and I think it’s important to note for our listeners that when you said, “When I started treating myself differently, others did too. The right people stayed and the wrong people left.” You know, I’ve experienced that myself rather recently, and it’s a very eye-opening, but empowering, experience, and I just thank you for sharing that.

LJ: I feel like I heard you on one of your Instagram lives, I felt like you shared something like that recently, and I had forgotten until you just brought it up again, but that’s brave of you. It requires a lot of bravery to be able to show up for yourself like that knowing that people could be exiting your life, but, you know, change is gonna come.

Suz: The people who don’t stick around, who are almost irritated that you’re showing up for yourself and caring about yourself, I think it’s a big wake up call when people have a problem with that, what that says about the relationship between you and those people, you know? And it’s startling at first, but then it’s really freeing – it’s like spring cleaning! Like, wow, okay, Marie Kondo, this did not bring me joy.

LJ: You know, it’s so interesting. You really hit on something here where you have developed a certain set of expectations of yourself and of others. If you’re a people pleaser, as so many people are in the music business, you know, those people, I call them people needers, they tend to over-extend their neediness because we are overextending our ability to please. Right?

So when that shifts, and they’re not getting the needs met that they originally were getting, I’m sure it’s gotta be a big let down. I’m sure it’s gotta be disappointing for them. I’m sure in some cases it’s probably upsetting for them because there’s a change in their expectations of what needs to happen.

And so naturally I think some of these people would just go away and find a new dynamic somewhere else where they can get their needs met. In the end, we’re all just trying to get our needs met, so no hard feelings, you know? But it’s so interesting like the minute that shifts, like, if you’re just looking at an equation of a hundred percent energy, you know, it ebbs and flows, but the makeup of the overall percentages it’s still a hundred, right? So it’s the push and the pull within the makeup there. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Suz: No, totally. Yeah. That absolutely makes sense. I love that.

You know, I want to dig more into that because obviously it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Thank you so much for kicking this series off with us. I want to dig into all the amazing things that you have helped facilitate and the conversations that you’ve helped bring to the forefront in this industry.

But I first want to just really look at the word compassion. You know, we’re going to jump into your amazing organization, Compassionate Muse, and all the exciting new chapters that are starting with that. But first, I just want to look at the word compassion and how that kind of fits into the overall mental health space and conversation.

I mean, what does compassion mean to you? I mean, we kind of touched upon, you know, giving yourself compassion. What comes to mind for you when we talk about compassion?

LJ: So there’s a leading researcher in compassion by the name of Kristin Neff, and I love her work. She’s a little bit newer on the scene in the realm of positive psychology and Buddhism, but you know, compassion is a historically, traditionally it’s practiced in the Buddhist tradition. And according to Kristin Neff, it’s made up of three components. So the first component is that you see that you’re suffering. You have identified in yourself that you are suffering. The second part is that you have identified areas of yourself where you are suffering. So, you know, you could be having a pretty good day, but then, you know, I don’t know, just make something up, you’re out of oatmeal! And you like oatmeal for breakfast every single morning, and you’re out and the store isn’t open yet, and you’re gonna miss your favorite oatmeal breakfast. So, you know, that’s a mild level of suffering.

There are people who suffer at all different levels, so you’re acknowledging within yourself maybe this is an area where I’m suffering today, and it’s really extreme, or it’s really mild. In any case, you have honed in on the areas of where you’re suffering.

And then the third part of the practice of self-compassion, which is actually the same practice of compassion towards others, is the desire to alleviate that suffering, to fix that suffering. And so, to go through those three steps in that order, you have to first have a level of mindfulness and self-awareness, right?

And so when you’re really, really busy not being in your body, but being in your head, and you’re all caught up in all the shit and the stuff and the things that are going on, it’s really hard to identify all of these steps because you’re not in your body. You’ve disconnected from your body and it’s really good to take moments throughout the day to get back into your body to check in.

And so when I talk about compassion in relation to mental health and wellness, I talk about connecting the mind to the body, getting back in connection with the body, because it’s so profound what happens when you do.
I’m a former dancer. My background is in dance and music, but primarily dance. It was my first love, we’ll say. And so, you know, as I moved into the music business in the mid to late nineties, at that point I had already been dancing for most of my life, I danced since I was three, so to me being in my body felt normal to me.

And moving into the music business, you know, I was in bands and I was a vocalist, recorded a couple of albums, and gigged a lot and all of that. And then moved into representing bands on the management and agent side, and then moved into the ticketing space.

I got further and further and further away from being in my body as my job. And meditation, although it’s been a major part of my life for so long, it became more and more important to me as I shifted into more heady spaces.

So when I think about mental health and wellness, I think about the mind body connection, but I also think about like, “What does that mean for people who sit at desks all day? What does that mean for people who are in tour buses, or are going to be back in tour buses all day? What does that mean for people who aren’t necessarily dancers for a living or athletes for a living and really rooted and connected to the ground for a living? How do we instill this practice in our day-to-day?”

And there’s a bunch of different, cool ways you can do it!

So the first way that I started doing it is I keep a stone heart on my desk, and it’s a touchstone. I guess it’s a talisman, or whatever you want to call it, but I collect hearts. And, you know, from being in part of the Mondo panel, I like to give people hearts. So I like to keep one at my desk and when I touch it, it reminds me to be in my body, and so then I take a deep breath. Also setting bells on my computer and my phone, you know, the alarm thing really works. It’s great – if you don’t ignore it.

Suz: Right!

LJ: And breath-work throughout the day, getting up, getting a drink of water, going for a walkdoing something different to get yourself in your body is awesome. It completely shifts your head space and those are the moments where you can check in and you can say, “How am I doing? How am I feeling? Shit. That call I was just on sucked.”

You know? “I really hope the next one goes better. What can I do to make it better? How can I feel good going into the next call? Or maybe I need to give myself permission to not feel good going into the next call, and that’s okay, too.” You know, just to be real is good enough.

So you know, this toxic positivity!? I mean, what a load of bullshit! I mean, I’m sorry, but like…

Suz: See, this is where I had to have you on!

LJ: You know, if you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it. We’re in the music business. Let’s keep it real. That’s how we operate best anyway. And if you’re going to go in and be a negative Nancy, okay, and you’re going to bring down the house then, excuse yourself. Go give yourself some space, take a time out, you know?

There’s two things that can happen at the same time. You can hold your own truth to be so, and, you know, you can show up and be like, “Hey, I’m having kind of a crappy day. I think I’m going to check out in 15 minutes. Let’s see if we can get through this thing.” You know? Or, “Hey, I’m having a crappy day. I think we need to postpone this meeting because I need to be in a better head space when we meet because I want to be of service to you and I’m just not there right now.”

But how do you even know how to have those conversations if you haven’t checked in with yourself first, right?

Suz: Yeah.

LJ: If you have pets, if you have a dog that’s super helpful and you’re working from home, you can take them for a walk and they force you to get out, right? You have a dog, right, Suz?

Suz: Yeah and that was one of the reasons, I mean, not this particular dog, but when I first got Pepper, my dog who I had for a number of years, it was because after Lyme disease – I got Lyme disease, like months after my dad passed, and I just became so reclusive. And I didn’t want to go out, and my body ached, and I didn’t want to do anything, and my doctor said, “Get a dog. Like you are not going to let that dog suffer when that dog has to go out, you’re going to leave the house.” And that’s literally why I got a dog, so I can’t agree with you more on that.

LJ: We don’t have a dog, we have a cat, but she’s super vocal. And leads me into other rooms, so she’s almost like a dog. She’s an honorary dog. But I love that and I love that Pepper was that for you.

Suz: Oh, thank you. You know, you’ve done the work. You do the meditating, you’ve looked inward, you’ve gone through your own personal growth, but when was the point that you decided, “Okay, now I’ve got to expand this and expand this platform. Expand the conversation.” How did Compassionate Muse come about?

LJ: Compassionate Muse is a culmination of my meditation practice, working in toxic places filled with harassment, sexual harassment, being silenced, being told that I am scary that I need to make myself smaller to make other people more comfortable. It comes from a place of witnessing other women in music being sexually harassed – either witnessing it firsthand happening, like right in front of me in weird bar show venue circles and scenes, and also hearing stories from women. It comes from a place of seeing my friends of color working in very specific parts of the industry without the ability to cross-over or move up.

And it comes from working in startup, mid-sized and corporate cultures, where I finally realized that our biggest challenge in music isn’t music, it’s our relationships with the people we work with and the relationships that we have with ourselves. That’s the biggest problem.

And it comes from a place of realizing that the majority of the leadership that was modeled to me over 26 years was modeled to me by older, white men who lead with fear and a place of ego where they are always, and I think often this is manufactured fear from a place of feeling threatened, instead of big-hearted leadership and feeling like they can be inclusive and lift people up. I identified all these needs through experience.

I have been fiercely curious about compassion – the meaning of compassion, the application of compassion, what it isn’t. I’ve led a study across five different industries on Compassionate Leadership to better understand if and how leaders apply compassion to the workplace. Really interesting feedback from those interviews.

And finally, finally, I think that the nail in the coffin here, for me, was in 2017 when I was laid off, I was actually made redundant through a merger and acquisition from another big fancy corporate job, even though I was hired to do a job, and I did absolutely everything that they asked me for and then some – very proud of the work that I did while I was with this company – when they laid me off, they did it on a cell phone. I was on my way to get on a subway to go to a meeting for this company. And my partner at the company was on the phone, along with the Junior HR Manager, and the person that hired me, my big boss, didn’t even bother to be in the “room.”

And so, you know, in corporate HR has to read a script and all of that to legally protect the company – I get all that. But there was very little explanation, you know, my partner who was in the room, when I asked him why this was happening, he actually didn’t know. So he told me, “I have to tell you, I actually don’t know. I don’t know very much. They just told me that I had to do this thing.”

It was done so poorly, and I was like, you know what? There is definitely a better way to do things here. There’s definitely a better way to treat people when they do a great job for you, but can’t work at your company anymore.

And I’ve been on both sides of the tables – it’s not an easy experience t go through on either side. Of course, being laid off or being fired sucks more, but you know, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it was the catalyst for Compassionate Muse.

So fast forward three and a half years, I have tried to figure out one step at a time what applying compassion in the music industry means to different people. You know, the people that are assholes in this business, they need it even more!

Suz: Right! Well, hurt people, hurt people. Yeah.

LJ: That’s right, exactly. But they don’t think they need it which makes it a hard sell.

Suz: Right. And that was going to be my next question.

As you grow Compassionate Muse, you know, we met at Mondo, but now you’ve gone on to work with Mondo and other events in the industry to expand this conversation whether it be mental health, wellness, compassion, getting this out there. I’m curious, as you said, it’s the hard sell, what has this process been like as you try to have these conversations in more of a regular occurrence?

LJ: Slow. It’s been fucking slow, you know, it really has because I’m in the business of relationships, and you are, too. I mean, as coaches, there has to be a level of trust for people to want to work with you and completely open up their lives to you to be able to up-level. It’s been slow for me. I’ve tried different things. I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Before I worked for the big fancy corporates, I did some consulting for Indiegogo. I helped them launch their
music vertical, the crowdfunding company, and before that I owned a boutique booking agency, and before that I was a contractor for dancers, and I was an independent contractor for a while as a dancer, so I’ve run my own thing off and on over the years. And I like pushing on all the bricks to see if they move, but many of them have not. So that is why it’s slow, you know, we are in business and so money makes this world, just like other worlds, go round, so I do always try very hard to tie it to the bottom line.

Suz: Exactly. Yeah.

LJ: You know, that’s how I get a lot of leaders to listen. I provide the research and the data, but more importantly, I expect them to be part of the work. Don’t just sign off on this. You actually got to do it. You have to show up, and you have to do the work.

I work one-on-one with leaders, but I also work in teams of people, and it’s amazing actually. So it’s slow and then it’s fast. It’s amazing, once you get everyone to wholeheartedly participate, how fast this shit goes. The work, works. It’s incredible work to be able to show up and have compassionate communication and compassionate conversations.

Most people don’t have this type of experience because these are skills! These are skills that maybe they didn’t learn, either they didn’t learn in their childhood or, you know, we don’t go to school to learn how to be better communicators, most of us, that’s like not really a thing. And most of us in the business are pretty shitty communicators. Actually, most humans are pretty shitty communicators, in general.

Suz: Right.

LJ: We have a long way to go as a human race before I think we can say we’re great at communicating. Even if we all spoke the same language, we still have a really hard time. So there’s a lot of room there to get in, but I think, you know, where I’ve landed right now is minimum viable product.

Suz: Yeah.

LJ: Get people in the door to try one thing that they can do.

Suz: Right.

LJ: And then okay, that and that worked great. Okay. So now let’s do one more thing.

Suz: Right.

LJ: You know, and then you build a chain that starts to help things and people shift.

Suz: Yeah. And that leads me into one of the other things I wanted to cover is that, you know, for those listening, what is one thing that they can do to show greater compassion, whether to themselves or to those around them? What is a small step that they can take if they’re not sure, or if they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I need to show more compassion!” Where can they start?

LJ: That’s such a great question. I don’t want to oversimplify this answer where your listeners go, “Oh, come on LJ. We’ve heard that one before!” But you know, it really does work if you choose to do it. And that is figure out how to be a friend to yourself instead of your own worst enemy.

And that goes with everything.

Suz: Right.

LJ: Like I’m talking about when you’re behind closed doors, and you’re the only person in the room, if you are being hard on yourself, you know, calling yourself an idiot or whatever your choice words are, try to shift out of that as soon as possible.

Suz: Yeah.

LJ: As a matter of fact, I would suggest as an exercise going the absolute extreme for a while to knock yourself back into center. So instead of calling yourself an idiot, you could say, “Oh, my gosh, you are clearly the most brilliant person in the room!” Total opposite. And start creating a different dialogue with yourself a little bit in the realm of lightheartedness to allow yourself some, as you said at the beginning of the call, some grace. And doing that is a game changer.

Suz: I can’t second that enough because, just in this past year alone, I think, hopefully, people have seen throughout this pandemic, words matter. You know, the words we use with other people, just social justice-wise, saying “I’m not a racist” versus “I’m anti-racist.” I think a lot of people have realized the power of words and, you know, I was with my coach over the summer and she said something, and I said, “Oh my gosh, yes, of course! I’m so stupid.”

And she’s like, “Don’t say that.”

And I said, “Well, I don’t actually think I’m stupid, you know what I mean? I just …” and she’s like, “Yeah, but you said it.” She’s like “Stop saying it.”

And I did the same thing that you said our listeners would do. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, all right. All right.’ But I thought to myself, “Well, I’m paying her. I’m investing in this, and if this is what she’s going to tell me to do. I’m going to do it.”

And I really made an effort to stop, even when no one was around, to stop saying that – oh my gosh, what a shift!

So I cannot support that enough. So all you naysayers out there, I’m one of the most cynical people you’ll ever meet. If I can get on board, you guys can get on board.

LJ: Amen sister! Seriously, I’m right there with you. I mean, I started off this call telling you about how hard I was on myself for so long, probably, you know, because of coming up in a strict household, but also I was a classically-trained ballet dancer without a ballet body. I was set up for failure from the beginning!

You know, that was the worst type of hard on myself scenario, and I carried that for so long into the other areas of my life – into my adulthood, into my relationships, my personal relationships, my romantic relationships, the relationships I have with my family, the relationships I have with my clients, the relationships that I have with my bosses – because it was all an extension of the relationship that I had with myself.

Suz: Yeah.

LJ: So, you know, I know it may feel foreign, and it may feel uncomfortable and weird and silly…do it anyway.

Suz: Right.

LJ: It’s awesome.

Suz: Right.

LJ: Give it a try for a month and see how you feel.

Suz: And what can you tell us about this new chapter of Compassionate Muse? Because you’re doing some exciting stuff, and I’d love if you would share with us what we can expect and how people can get involved.

LJ: Thank you so much, Suz. I am very excited about this, and I also feel like I don’t know exactly what it’s gonna look like yet. I’m still pushing on different bricks on the wall to see how I’m going to move this forward. But, I know for sure that it’s an online global community for music and tech for individual professionals and for businesses, so I know it’s that because that’s who I’ve served. And I think eventually there may be some crossover into other industries that I have interest in serving and have had interest in serving. It definitely involves coaching. It involves community, so a place where like-minded people can all get together and pow-wow.

It involves courses. It’s an educational platform, if you will. It’s an empowerment platform, and compassion is the common thread. It’s, what’s holding it all together.

It’s for all the voices in all the spaces that feel like they have been trying to go at it alone for so long, like I did. You know, in my forties, I woke up and I’m like, I’ve been independent and autonomous my whole life and woke up one morning and said, “What am I doing?” There is a whole world of people out there that have siloed themselves off, like I have in music, trying to go it alone and do it alone without any support, and we don’t need to do it that way.

Suz: Right.

LJ: There is another way to do this, and so my desire for this platform is to make sure that people feel consistently supported and that they’re not alone and that there is room for everyone to be successful. It’s not an either/or situation.

We can lift other people up, and that lifts us up. I live by this, and it’s really true. It’s really true. But you can’t know that unless you feel safe enough in a space, I think, to be able to experience that. So safe spaces, community spaces, empowerment spaces, educational spaces – so that’s comuse.work.

I’m really excited! These are concepts that I’ve been fleshing out for a while and testing in small ways. And I have community living on many different chat channels all over the place, and finally, I feel like we’re going to come together in one place and that’s very exciting.

Suz: That’s amazing. Well, guys, the links for this can all be found in the show notes. Be sure to go there, sign up for the waiting list to hear what’s next. I know I did. I can’t wait to see the next steps! And if there’s anything I can do I am on board because I think the space is so needed, so thank you for that. And thank you for being here. Thank you for kicking off mental health awareness month with us!

And how can people connect with you? Where can we keep the LJ momentum going?

LJ: Oh, I love it! Thank you, Suz. Thank you so much. Yeah, so they can email me directly. My email is lj@compassionatemuse.com. They can find me on all socials @compassionatemuse, except for Twitter, which is missing a few vowels because they wouldn’t let me fit it all in. So it’s Compassionate Muse, spelled C M P A S S I O N A T E M S E. And what are you gonna do?

And you can subscribe to the newsletter, which is fun. That’s a weekly newsletter and that you can go to comuse.work and that will get you on the wait list, both for the community and also to the newsletter so that I can update you about how things are going to be rolling out.

Suz: Great. Well, thank you so much. All those links she mentioned will be in the show notes, everyone. And again, thank you so much for being here and keep spreading that compassion. We need more of it!

LJ: Suz, you are amazing. Seriously, I am amazed by you every day. I love what you’re doing in this space. I’m so honored that you asked me to be here. Thank you.

Suz: Oh pleasure’s all mine! Thank you.

I hope you all enjoyed this focus on compassion and authenticity as it relates to our mental health awareness discussion. It’s important to realize that healing ourselves can come from showing others compassion and realizing we all suffer with something, we all battle something.

Coming from a place of compassion can help ensure we don’t repeat the same toxic behavior that has harmed us in the past.

Be sure to sign up to LJ’s waiting list so you know when the CoMuse community opens up and get her newsletters in the meantime which I have no doubt will be filled with value. Head on over to http://therockstaradvocate.com/ep103 to sign up and connect with LJ on all social channels!

Thank you so much for listening and I hope you’ll join me next week as we continue our series of interviews for Mental Health Awareness Month all throughout May. Be sure to subscribe on your platform of choice so you don’t miss a single conversation!

Until next time, Rock/Star. Keep planning, keep learning, and I hope to see you back here next week so we can get grounded to get rising! Take care.

Key Highlights

  • How Suz and LJ crossed paths
  • Facts about LJ you can’t find on Google
  • How she fell into coaching with compassion
  • Why she feels getting into your body is so important
  • How losing her job in 2017 sparked forming her own company
  • What Compassionate Muse is and how you can get involved
  • LJ’s compassionate challenge for YOU.
  • What part of LJ’s story did you resonate with the most?
    • Let us know in the comments!


  • Theme music brought to you by DC-based Indie/Pop band Sub-Radio
  • More podcast episodes can be found here
  • You can download a copy of the episode’s transcript here
  • Wanna work together?? Schedule your call here
  • Learn more about LJ and her resources here: comuse.work
  • Follow LJ on IG HERE and Twitter HERE
  • Get in contact with LJ via email: lj@compassionatemuse.com
  • Connect with our friends at this is equilibrium. for more mental health resources

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