Hi sister! Welcome back to another episode of a Taylored Adventure to Happiness. If you are new, welcome! If you are a regular, you know I love you!
Today, we’re going to see an example of how you can create a life that is true to you, no matter what conditioning you’ve been brought up in. This is such a huge part of the work we’re doing. It’s never comfortable to step outside of the boxes we’ve been raised in, both in our families and within society. As we ascend, we will come up against limiting beliefs, old ideas, and disempowering narratives that encourage us to play small. There’s no doubt we’ll feel resistance to our own desires, but the question is, what will we do about it?
Relationships are one of the biggest aspects of this deconditioning. Whether it’s our relationship with our lover, our friend, or our colleagues, the way we play out our patterns with others is one of the biggest opportunities for growth. Relationships are critical to our well-being, and yet they can often be a source of stress, limitation, fear, and denial. How do we show up authentically for ourselves and still nurture relationship dynamics? It’s never easy, and that’s why I’ve brought in an expert.
My guest Kelli Tennant has forged her own path by opening up her relationships. She shared that it has been both richly rewarding and deeply challenging. Kelli and I discussed both the joy and the pain of an open relationship and talked about self-worth, limiting beliefs, and upleveling your life to be authentically you. Let’s get started!
Who Is Kelli Tennant?
Kelli Tennant is a sports journalist, former volleyball pro, podcaster, and a true wellness warrior. A lifelong athlete, Kelli has always been a high performer and a woman willing to push boundaries. In addition to playing volleyball for USC, Kelli covered sports for SportsNet LA, PAC 12 networks, FOX Sports, and E! News.
Kelli’s current focus is helping women unshackle themselves from conditioning around love, self-love, sex, and relationships. Through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and her highly-rated podcasts The Kelli Show and Ok, Babe, she guides women to question social norms, unravel toxic beliefs, and find the courage to acknowledge and voice their desires. Her unique offering is a fusion of sexual and spiritual liberation. Through connecting with the divine feminine, she guides women to be true to themselves, navigates uncomfortable emotions, and reclaim their sovereignty. Kelli also helps uplift other conscious podcasters as CEO of Soulfire Productions.
Creating Your Own Reality
Even after doing the work for as long as I have, there are still moments of inspiration and insight that completely blow me away. It’s incredible how it never gets old. I’ve understood for a long time that I am an empowered, sovereign soul whose thoughts and beliefs influence my reality in profound ways. Still, like everyone else, I forget. When I unravel something new or unlock something different, the magnitude of my power hits me. Kelli knows this well too.
She shared that for her whole life, she’d always struggled with the belief that she wasn’t good enough. She didn’t think she was pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough, even though she was highly successful, beautiful, and had a high-powered reporting career.
She shared that she had a deep-seated fear of abandonment. Of course, this affected her relationships, from her work colleagues to her girlfriends to her romantic partnerships. This tainted every relationship she had, which she expressed through an anxious relating style, people-pleasing, and codependent tendencies. But after a phone call with her therapist, Kelli understood her own power.
“I remember the day it all clicked. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this where … everything comes together and makes sense in the blink of an eye. And you’re like, “I understand the world.” And I saw the whole puzzle come together. And I was like, … ‘I am choosing to view my life through the lens of abandonment. What if I didn’t?’ And so I flipped it, and I started to see that I can never be abandoned because I will never abandon myself again. And everything changed after that. My story of [I’m not good enough] no longer held up. I was like, ‘Well, of course, you’re good enough. And, of course, you’re never going to be abandoned because you show up for yourself.’ And so the way I started walking through my life, the way I run my company, the way I am in my relationship, it all changed because I chose a different lens.” – Kelli Tennant
What lens do you view the world from? Do you believe that relationships are smothering? If so, you’re likely to see this again and again in the outside world. Do you believe that if you shine too brightly, other people will hurt you? Do you believe that you have to suffer and strive to be wealthy? Do you believe that being wealthy is selfish?
I encourage you to sit down with pen and paper and write out your limiting beliefs. What if you, like Kelli, flipped them? What if instead of looking at things through the lens of loss or conflict, you looked at them through the lens of peace and abundance? How would that change things for you?
How Our External World Reflects Our Internal World
It’s amazing how the external world can shift when we do the work. When we can identify and clear limiting beliefs and toxic patterns, we make space for the new. Like the cycles of nature, we first have to identify what is useful and what is not useful and prune the dead weight. This means we have to become empty for a while and get comfortable in the space of not knowing. The unknown is where our inspiration lies. It’s where our true happiness lies.
It can be scary to let go of the old and go into the unknown. But sometimes we have no other choice. Change is painful, but staying in a situation that isn’t serving you is more painful. At the same time, letting go without having expectations around what is coming in can be liberating. It can be fun and free you up to enjoy life and be in the moment. Kelli shared how her internal shift brought her to her current husband.
“I created a vibration that brought him into my energy without even realizing I was doing it. I was clearing so much of what wasn’t meant for me in a toxic relationship and a toxic environment at work. I was just clearing my space to make room for something. I just didn’t know what that something was. I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I didn’t know what it was going to feel like. I just knew that the way I had been operating in love and relationships was not what I wanted to move forward in. … [I] was like, ‘I’m just available to whatever comes forward, and I’m just going to have fun in the meantime.’ … I think that’s how we kind of called each other.” – Kelli Tennant
Kelli met her husband, an amazing conscious man, through an Ayahuasca ceremony. She shared that it has been unlike any other relationship she had before. It’s one in which they both honor each other in partnership and as individuals. It’s one in which they are interdependent, not codependent or excessively independent. They do the work together and on their own, and she is able to accept that he has a different process than her and vice versa. It’s in this safe container of a relationship that she was able to navigate having an open relationship.
On Bringing a Third Person into Your Relationship
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re aware of lifestyle choices such as polyamory and open relationships. Thankfully, it’s becoming more mainstream and acceptable to live in these ways. According to Kelli, it’s become something of a trend. But she explained that it’s not for everyone.
“We are now romanticizing [open relationships] as being a ‘really fun thing you can do,’ and it is. And at the same time, I want to share that it’s fucking hard work to make it happen. … It is a gut check regularly to say, ‘I am willing to go deep within myself in order to show up as this version of me.’ And it’s really hard. … It is a lot behind the scenes.” – Kelli Tennant
It’s so true. Being comfortable with your own desires and your partners is no easy thing, even if you don’t bring another person into the relationship. Once you actually do, it requires constant communication, trust, and boundaries that you learn to both create and honor in your partner. For anyone who has struggled with any of these issues, it could be a real test for the relationship. Yet it can also be a deeply rewarding experience that pushes you to grow in ways you never thought possible.
“There have been a couple of times where I have said ‘yes’ to something out of guilt because I feel bad saying ‘no.’ And then shit hits the fan, and I learn my lesson of ‘no.’ If this is a boundary for you, [then] it’s a boundary for you. This is not a people-pleasing moment.’” – Kelli Tennant
Do you struggle to say ‘no’ to people? Do you people-please? Do you know what your boundaries are? You’ll want to get very clear about these things before considering an open relationship. You’ll also want to consider how you and your partner communicate. Does your partner listen to what you say? Do they respect it? Can you manage conflict without yelling or going off the deep end? How do you manage your emotions?
Open relationships test some of the most vulnerable parts of us. Our childhood traumas, our deep-seated insecurities, our sense of safety can all be activated. What kind of support do you have? Whether it’s through a good friend, a coach, or a therapist, community is essential to safely navigating these waters. Kelli shared how far she’s been pushed.
“It’s almost broken us up. We’ve pushed too far on boundaries. … It has brought up … every insecurity that I thought I worked through and was totally good with … in the most vulnerable ways. It has asked me to really look at my self-worth, my value, the way I take care of myself, the way I view my codependence … the way I am a people pleaser. … It has all come up, and it has also been such a gift because I feel like I’m much more self-aware and I am much more in touch with myself, and I’m able to communicate my desires and my feelings.” – Kelli Tennant
Having an open relationship also challenges Kelli’s sense of right and wrong. She explained that social conditioning still affects her through her inner dialogue. She described an inner voice that shames her for her choices and how they deviate from the norm. This got stronger after she got married and confesses that she questioned whether having threesomes while married was the right thing to do.
Sisters, this is another opportunity to decondition from the matrix we’ve all been living in. Who is to say what a good relationship should look like or feel like? Why does being authentic in your desires make you a bad person? One could argue that it’s actually more honest and in integrity than other ways of living. But Kelli does the work. She knows how to deprogram from these ideas and bring herself back to the truth and her reasons for having this lifestyle.
“It’s so magical. And I so quickly forget that. … I’m really working to bring myself back to that place of knowing that I am safe. That we are in trust. We are in respect. We have our boundaries. Connor loves me. I love him. This is not about abandonment. This is actually through the lens of creating more pleasure.” – Kelli Tennant
Damn, that’s some juicy stuff. If you want to stay in the loop with Kelli, follow her on Insta at @kellitmoore and message her with your greatest takeaways. You can also take a screenshot of the episode and tag me at @iamtaylorsimpson.
I love you. I see you. Cheers to having the courage to experience a relationship in the way that is best for you — always choose happiness because, well, why the fuck not?
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
- What abundance means to Kelli
- How Kelli got to where she is and how she impacts this world
- What Kelli did to navigate through the fear of abandonment when transitioning into a new chapter of her life
- How you can start stepping into your light and uniqueness
- What happens when you keep your gifts and light from the world
- How Kelli called in her conscious partner and made space for him before she knew what was coming
- The importance of honoring your partners’ journey even when your paths aren’t at the same pace
- Navigating through different sexual dynamics with yourself and your partner
- Kelli’s personal journey and lessons with bringing a third person into the relationship and exploring her desires and needs
- Learning how to differentiate your desires vs the voices of the programming around what a relationship “should” look like
- Where to start if you’re having different feelings of exploration and how to invite your partner in
- The importance of allowing your partner to process on their own time
- What happens when you lead by example rather than parenting your partner
- The beauty and freedom of being in a partnership where you are able to be so freely expressed and open to sharing your desires