Beyond The Checklist

042: Why You Already Have Everything You Need to Feel Joy and Live Your Purpose || EmyLee McIntyre


[00:00:00] Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. If you’re a woman who is ready and willing to be a follower of Jesus, you’re in the right place. Join me as we dive in deep to learn how to embrace your journey on the covenant path with checkpoints instead of checklists, I’m your host Darla Trendler and I’m cheering you on.

Welcome to your journey.

Darla: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla and so happy to be with you today for another great guest to be able to share their journey. We were just talking before and I’m like, I have to bring my energy down because I get so excited about this. Like I have to just calm down a little bit because this is very exciting to me.

And it’s just something that I love to do, being able to share other women’s stories. So my guest today is EmyLee McIntyre. I’m so happy that you’re here. 

EmyLee: Hi, thank you. Thanks for having me Darla super fun. 

Darla: So do you want to just take a second and just introduce yourself, tell everyone a little bit more about you.

EmyLee: Okay. I’m so excited to be here. What a neat break in my [00:01:00] week, a crazy week. And then to get to sit down and discuss the gospel with you and all these people listening. I’m so excited to be here. My name’s Emily, I live in San Antonio and my story, I feel like begins when I was 18.

At least this part of my story. I was a really bubbly kid, really active in sports, really neat family and parents. But when I was a senior in high school, I really struggled with my relationship with my parents. And I struggled with getting up out of bed and from being like a straight A student to having my teachers call my mom and tell them I was a slacker, but luckily I was already into BYU so it was fine.

Darla: That senior year, 

EmyLee: But I was so tired and my parents couldn’t get me up for seminary anymore. So grateful for a stake president who did Sunday seminary and would give us days of seminary if we answered a question. You get a day and you get a day and, he got me to BYU, but it was just such a hard year for me.

And it wasn’t until I went to BYU and had a roommate who was going through the same thing that I [00:02:00] was like, “Hey, I think that life doesn’t have to be this hard.” Like I see other people and they like miss a class and they just get over it and we are just spiraling. So we both went to the doctor and found medication and all of that together.

So that’s where my story of at least conquering depression. I never really feel like I struggle with depression. I feel like I’m constantly winning. There’s so many good days, that’s where it all started. But throughout my life. I just feel like I’ve had this gift where I always knew in some capacity I would teach about depression, which is super weird.

Like when I started doing, I did dabbled in oils for a minute. I was like, oh, maybe this is the way I’m going to find oils that cure my depression. I’m going to teach, and like that, wasn’t quite the way for me. And such an entrepreneur. I looked into so many business ideas. My husband’s totally not. He’s ” I just want to be employed.” And I’m like, “Let’s start a business” every minute. 

Darla: I can relate to that. 

EmyLee: You can, [00:03:00] okay. I’m like, that’s so exciting. And that’s the moneymaker and he’s realism. Let’s take it down. Like over time, I started a photography business for eight years, I started doing an app with a friend, but then I was like, I need to have a fourth child.

And then it was like, literally like the heavens opened and I found coaching and it was like, “Oh my gosh, this is what I was made to do.” And I have people tell me that, which is like the neatest thing on the planet. When I speak they’ll text me and say you were made for this. And I truly feel like that I’ve just found my zone of genius, that thing that Heavenly Father’s ” you’re so good at this serve this way.”

So it’s just been such a blessing to get to work with other women with depression and of the LDS faith as the main people I work with. So that’s just been so special and a really neat way to share my testimony. I can talk about the gospel all the time when I’m coaching, because I’m teaching about confidence and worth and that’s like key. 

Darla: [00:04:00] Okay. So let’s back up. Cause we got the beginning of the story here. You’re 18, you’re diagnosed with depression, you’re in college and you’re learning how to deal with this. And you feel like it’s not something that you’re dealing with day-to-day now that you’ve overcome it and conquered it. And now you’re coaching and helping other women. So what happened in between all that, that helped you to get to the point that you’re at now? Cause you’re this 18 year old, dealing with that. And what did that look like in your story?

How did you figure out how to know your worth and how to find joy and all of those things in the midst of that depression? 

EmyLee: Yeah. To be honest, it’s not like depression just gone, but it’s the way I think about it. I know that everybody has opposition in all things. I know that. So now I don’t think something has gone terribly wrong in my life that I’m feeling really down.

And it’s been such a miracle to see what depression actually feels like for me, this kind of subtle emptiness in my stomach versus what I used to [00:05:00] layer on top all these spiraling thoughts. I shouldn’t feel this way. This medication should be working. My kids deserve a better mom. If I was better, I would be over this by now.

If coaching worked, I wouldn’t feel this way. I’m like no, none of that’s true. I’m supposed to struggle 50% of the time. This is my opposition in all things. And everybody’s got something that shift of how I narrate my experience with depression. That is what has changed everything. And I think what got me from there to here and where I got my worth from. I can’t lie.

I honestly feel like it’s been a gift to always have this underlying testimony of my Savior. That nothing’s permanent. Nothing is unsolvable and even depression but, our time is different than the Lords. So I needed these tools of re-narrating and really watching the way I think about my depression to carry me through till two days later when it’s gone, right?

Like my body changes and my medication works right. [00:06:00] And I needed that testimony of my worth to continue to advocate for myself. Because no one else is going to advocate for your happiness like you can. And so I don’t stop. That’s why I found coaching cause I’m like, is oils the thing is exercise the thing, maybe more sleep. 

Like it’s an experiment to me; it’s an adventure. Let’s get to the greatest amount of joy. And knowing that half of it will be hard because that’s what makes the joy so wonderful.. So I’ve found such gratitude and happiness in knowing that depression is making my life so rich, which I know is hard for a lot of people to swallow.

Most people do not talk about their depression that way I totally understand that. 

Darla: Yeah. and that’s not an easy place to get to. So what would you say to a woman who’s in the middle of depression, who’s like that 18 year old that you were, maybe just being diagnosed or just realizing this is what I’m dealing with, who wants to get to that point where it is a blessing in their life? What would you say to that? 

EmyLee: I would say you can think whatever you [00:07:00] want about any diagnosis in your life and what I mean by that is if it serves you, if it feels really good to think ” this is really hard and I can’t do anything today.”

If that gives you relief and helps you, take a nap, take a bath, tell everybody I’m out for the day. That’s what you get to think about it. If you want to think this is not a lifelong struggle, I will overcome this and that feels empowering to you today you can think that. Cause sometimes I think we hear from a doctor or from a valued friend or someone who’s up the road from us with depression, that this is a lifelong struggle or just thoughts that feel really heavy that we just think are true. They’re just facts. And then we don’t question them. So we walk on our whole lives, thinking ” this is a lifelong struggle. I’ll never be over this 

And I know this because when I post an ad about what I do I’ll say something like “depression is real suffering is optional.” And I get a lot of people who are like, “How can you say that? That’s not sensitive” and I totally get where they’re coming from, [00:08:00] but I just get to believe that, for me, that’s such a good thought for me.

The suffering part, I get to keep working on and changing and of course I like to believe depression is real. Like there’s real inflammation in my brain. There’s real gut issues, but the suffering part, I’m always going to have control over it because I get to think about the way I’m feeling any way I want.

So if I need to sleep all day, that’s fine. And I actually create like depression protocols. So I’m like, if I’m gonna wake up with depression, like clear my schedule, bath, find a babysitter. What do I need to do? And I take care of that and that’s life-changing to honor these emotional clues, our body gives us, instead of putting them out, like they’re a problem to be solved, like a firefighter.

I want to be a detective and be like, “What is my body telling me today?” 

Darla: I’ve never heard anyone talk about in quite that way before, having a protocol that, oh, I’m feeling depressed today. I’m going to do something I’m going to live in that a little bit and let me feel [00:09:00] my feelings, but I have these things that I know I’m going to do that are going to help me. That’s really great to be able to preemptively think about that and work through it. I think that is a really good thing. Something that you said a few minutes ago was talking about purpose.

You feel like you’re living in your purpose and so I’d like to shift gears a little bit and talk about that because that’s something that I’m really interested in as well is figuring out my purpose. And, I feel like this podcast is part of it, but like, how does someone figure out what their purpose is and how does the struggles that we go through and the good things that we go through, how does that all fit in with figuring out our purpose? 

EmyLee: I love that question. Isn’t everybody like, “what’s my purpose?” and every mom and every woman on the planet. Everyone wants to know what their purpose is, especially women, because we are such compassionate beings. And I feel like, we make our purpose about everyone else’s accomplishments, which is, fun and neat, but you get lost because you all of a sudden realize like, wait, should I have a purpose?

It’s just about me. We start to ask those questions as we get [00:10:00] older or get past the stage where kids need us a lot. Even if it’s from like infant, So toddler we’re like, “Wait, should I have a purpose? Cause I’m not changing diapers anymore.” One of the things that has really hit me was I was reading my patriarchal blessing and it said something really simple that never stood out to me before.

But in the beginning it talks about you came to earth to get a body, to have a testimony, to sin, to repent to need your family. Like it’s basically saying, and it says, and this is the plan. And my brain was like, this is your purpose. And what I discovered is that we are all already fulfilling our purpose.

We’re all here. We have a body, but sometimes my purpose looks like changing a diaper. And sometimes my purpose looks like, doing a podcast. And sometimes my purpose is supporting my husband. And sometimes my purpose is advocating for my own emotional wellbeing, right? Like we are already living our purpose, but the reason we get caught up is because we think we aren’t [00:11:00] yet, like, how am I going to make the biggest difference on this earth?

You’re already here with a body, right? You already have the opportunity to learn to access the Savior. And to become more like this is huge. You have a body, you got to come to earth, you made huge decisions in heaven. And you came here to me I’m like, if you recognize that your purpose, everything else becomes like gravy on top.

Just fun. I’m already living my purpose. Like maybe I’ll do a podcast. I’m already worth everything. Maybe I’ll do this or this. Cause I’m not trying to earn my worth. I’m not trying to create my purpose. I am already living my purpose. So that’s been a huge shift for me, understanding that.

Darla: I love that because that takes all the pressure off. Like we as women, I think we naturally are always looking for this overarching, what’s the theme? What should I be doing? So I live in my purpose and do all those things and we’re already doing it because we already know that we made a decision to come to this earth to get a body.

And to, like you said, gain a testimony and learn more and grow. [00:12:00] We’re already doing that. Anything that we’re doing. I think that’s so important. What you pointed out, like changing a diaper might be living in your purpose. I think that we sometimes look at our lives and we think, “Oh, you have to be on a stage or you have to be doing something really grand.”

And so much of our life is made up of those mundane things and that they have a purpose too. 

EmyLee: Yeah. And recently I started to think because I used to want to be a famous singer. Like I love to sing. So I used to walk home from the school bus and sing really loud and think like someone on the other side of the fence is like a producer and they’re gonna discover me and sit on my fence at my house and sing Disney songs. And recently I was thinking like why do you want to be famous? Like, why wouldn’t you just put your whole heart and soul into singing every day and no one ever hear it. Wouldn’t it be just as amazing? But we get so caught up sometimes in our purpose, being what the world sees us do, because if you love to sing, if you love to write, why does it have to be a published book?

Why does it have to be a CD that’s sold around the world? Like, why don’t you just sing every day or write every [00:13:00] day or teach wherever you want to teach your kids, but teaching in an amazing way, we can live our purpose. But the interesting thing is when you realize you already with your purpose, like you said, it takes so much of that pressure off.

Darla: Yeah. 

EmyLee: Do you know how much easier it is to go like attack all the fun things in your life when you feel relief and happiness, rather than you feel pressure to be something different? That’s so much easier. So when you believe you already found your purpose, you end up doing a lot of really neat things.

Darla: Yeah I really like that way of thinking about it. So this is a good transition to talk about something else that we talked about before that I really want to touch on. One of the things that you said when we were prepping is ” You can find joy in your journey and not wait until things are good.” So what does that look like? How have you discovered that? How have you seen that in your own life? 

EmyLee: Kind of what we talked about, right? Like depression and the way we think about it while we’re in the midst of it. But one of the huge things as of recent has been, what I’ve discovered is I want to help women who have depression go attack goals, [00:14:00] because it’s not like they’re these special type of women who are experiencing depression and they don’t want anything more for their lives.

They’re just like all of us, we just want an amazing life. We want to, have families. We want to reach goals. We want to see our potential. We want to see ” Ooh, what else could I do?” And. That’s been the propelling factor of, can I help women do that and have depression? Like I said, can we like honor a depression protocol and then pop out of it so quickly next day and make something amazing the next day?

So my kind of thing is I want to grow business and show women we can have depression and we can run our business three days a week and struggle during the weekend or struggle one of those nights. And then we can still get up and do the things that we need to do. And so to me, that’s just like finding joy in the journey. I do not subscribe to the idea that we need to wait until the next life to be healed from any ailment or any diagnosis to have joy. Joy comes from the way we think about our life. And I know [00:15:00] this because I know about these amazing, beautiful women like Malala and Gretta and all kinds of, and they’re little women, right?

They’re like teenagers. And I coached some teenagers and they’re just so special, they see how special they are and so they see that they matter that they make a difference of what they think, what they do makes a difference. And so they show up in the midst of turmoil. Like they live in crazy places, they experience different things, challenges, they’re little, they’re young.

They don’t have a lot of, backup and PhDs and they’re just going about their lives because of the way they think about who they are and what they’re capable of. So that has me showing up on the journey rather than waiting until I’m done. I never wait until I know how to do something till I’m confident ’til people around me, believe in me.

I’m just like why. I’ll just do it now. 

Darla: Yeah.

EmyLee: I dunno. 

Darla: Yeah. And recognize that’s your purpose and that’s going to bring you joy and that’s what we’re here for. Like we’re here to have joy and to be happy and to [00:16:00] learn and to grow. And we can have that in the midst of whatever we’re dealing with.

 And some healing really won’t happen until the next life, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have joy right now that we can’t experience that right now. I was thinking, as you were talking about knowing your purpose and having joy and that you naturally have a testimony, but another thing that you told me was that you feel like you’re not afraid to have doubts and that has helped you.

So talk a little bit about that. How do doubts and having maybe some negative things, negative thoughts, whatever, how does that all fit in with finding your purpose, having joy, overcoming things that we’re struggling with? 

EmyLee: I love that question because that’s new for me, because I’ve always been like, really straight-laced and making, the right quote, choices has been very easy for me. I was afraid to explore my doubts. Like I remember in college trying to think what my friend, who’s not a member where she’s coming from, what it’s like for her when I share the gospel with her and then I would get freaked out. Cause I was like scared.

“Like what if I [00:17:00] fall away from the church?” Thinking about the way she thinks about it and just really afraid. It kept me on the straight and narrow. But I was always afraid. Like I don’t want to fall down a slippery slope. So I was just like, so tunnel vision, which worked great in high school, but my testimony has deepened so much as I hold this space for questions. It doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt my testimony of my Heavenly Father’s love for me of the truthfulness of gospel, but I ask questions like, “How does this fit in? Or I wonder when he’s going to reveal that to me.” Because I don’t understand, or I don’t agree, but I know this church is true.

So let me just hang out here. Let’s leave space for the ambiguity of our life, right? Like even in purpose when we’re like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do right now. Can we just be able to not know what our next step is for a little while and just hang out there because we always want to know the next step in the plan.

But that’s not really that fun either. Sometimes it’s more fun not [00:18:00] to know. So sometimes I ask my clients, this question it’s become, one of my favorite questions is if you knew everything was going to work out, then what would you do? If I’m like, yeah, 100%, you’re going to be successful at that thing you really want to do, or your kids are going to grow up and be so amazing. Now, what would you do about this child? Who’s struggling with the church? Right? They would stop worrying. They would just love on their child. They’re like in their head I love you, but I know this is not that dramatic. Like I love you. It’s all going to be fine. We would show up so differently. But that’s true. Everything does work out in the end. 

Darla: Yeah. 

EmyLee: Like heavenly father is in control and he’s so powerful and he only requires that we lean on him and that we love others. That’s all. He doesn’t require that we, put other people’s sins in some kind of level category.

We all sin. That’s cause we need a Savior. It’s part of the plan. And I know I told you, we were supposed to connect with each other, need each other, [00:19:00] sin, repent repeat. And that is the process of getting to know our Savior and becoming deep. I just feel like I love the idea of holding the space for my beliefs and also my questions at the same time.

Darla: Yeah. 

EmyLee: And just, yeah. 

Darla: I think what you said, it all comes back to the two great commandments, right? Love God, love other people. And that includes yourself, love yourself. 

EmyLee: He says, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” We always forget that as thyself part. 

Darla: Exactly. And really if you can do those two things that’s going to help you to have the journey that you’re supposed to have. It doesn’t mean that’s going to look perfect, but just do those two things. And you’re right. We can have a scenario where we say everything is going to work out. It may not work out exactly how we think it should, but it will work out because we have a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us.

He’s not trying to disqualify us. He’s not trying to say “Oh, no, I don’t really want her.” No, he loves all of us and we have a divine identity and worth that is beyond anything. I really yeah, I love that you brought that up. I say I love all the time because it [00:20:00] is about those two great commandments is just being able to love that is so good. This has been great. I have loved talking to you and I would love to know just one final question and bring it all together and talk about your journey with the Savior. So how have you seen him felt Jesus Christ in your journey on the covenant path? 

EmyLee: I love that question. I have seen him in my journey of teaching me how to love motherhood more. Like I love my kids deeply, but because of depression, because of everything really falling in love with the tasks of motherhood, the teaching, the cleaning, the repetitive task. My Heavenly Father has really been there for me and just helped me love deeply. 

My journey with Jesus Christ has been one of love for other people, understanding that I really have no idea what other people are supposed to do. The commandments are for me and me alone. The gospel, the things I believe that I should be doing for [00:21:00] me and me alone. And then my job is just to love others and that has made my life so much more joyful when I just believe I couldn’t possibly know what the other person is supposed to be doing. I just get to be the kind of disciple of Christ I want to be and getting to hear women share such intimate details of their life and their feelings and share my testimony about their worth has been just such an amazing experience to really feel like the Savior’s love flow through me to express that to somebody else.

So that’s been my accumulation of everything in my life, really leading up to this very open and loving version of me that I hope just gets deeper and deeper. I wouldn’t say I’m like the most dedicated at my scripture reading and I’m not the most well-planned out and always read the talks before Sunday.

But I will say that the Savior has helped me learn to love people in a very deep and open way. And I’m so [00:22:00] grateful for that because that is getting to be a part of the kingdom of God here on the earth and really experiencing that because of the way we feel about our brothers and sisters. That’s really cool.

Darla: That’s such a great way to wrap up because all the things that we’ve talked about culminate with that. We’ve talked about purpose. We’ve talked about joy. We’ve talked about struggles and it all culminates with that is just being able to know that you’re a daughter of God and that you can love other people and let them worry about their own journey.

Like you just worry about yours. And I think that’s really great. So EmyLee thank you so much for being here. If people want to learn more about you and what you teach and share, where can they go and find you? 

EmyLee: Yeah, come check me out on Instagram. Just it’s @limitlessfemale cause we’re all about, just going after whatever we want.

And then you can also find me on my website 

Darla: Okay, great. I’ll put all those links in the show notes so people can go and find you. And I know that you’re bringing hope to other women and I’m grateful that you take the time to talk to me today. So thank you.[00:23:00]

Thanks Darla.

 And now for this week’s journal questions. EmyLee shared that you can think anything you want about anything in your life. What is something hard you face in your journey? How do your thoughts shift about the hard thing when you think about EmyLee’s statement? Quote. “I’m supposed to struggle 50% of the time.” Think and ponder and write down your impressions. 

What if you didn’t need to create your purpose because you are already living it? Ponder on EmyLee’s insights that you are already living in your purpose because you came to earth and you have a body. How does it make you feel to hear you are already living in your purpose and you already have worth? How does this thought change the way you see the things you were doing in your life? Journal your thoughts. [00:24:00]

What keeps you up at night? What do you worry about most? If you knew everything was going to work out, what would you do differently right now? EmyLee expressed her belief that you can have this assurance because our Heavenly Parents already know it will work out. What can you do in your life to rely on them, connect with those around you and repent to show up in a way you know everything will work out? 

I hope you enjoyed the podcast. And if you did, please share it with a friend. I would love it. If you would leave a review and rate it on apple podcasts, this actually helps more women find the podcasts and embrace their own journey on the covenant path to find more ways to be a part of the spiritually minded women community, head over to [00:25:00] for more inspiration follow along on Instagram @spirituallymindedwomen. Have an amazing day.

I’m cheering you on in your journey.