Diana Chapman — How to Get Unstuck, Do “The Work,” Take Radical Responsibility, and Reduce Drama in Your Life (#536)

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“Anything other than a ‘whole-body yes’ is a no.”

Diana Chapman

Diana Chapman is a co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group and a co-author of the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. Her passion is to help organizational leaders and their teams eliminate drama in the workplace and beyond. She has worked with more than 1,000 CEOs and is a well-respected facilitator for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), working with their forums and chapters worldwide.

She has been a speaker at TEDx, Mindful Leadership Summit, Wisdom 2.0, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and more.

When Diana is not with her clients, she can often be found gardening at her suburban homestead in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. She lives there with her husband of over 30 years.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing and Tonal smart home gym.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#536: Diana Chapman — How to Get Unstuck, Do “The Work,” Take Radical Responsibility, and Reduce Drama in Your Life

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear an episode with Diana’s Conscious Leadership Group Co-Founder? Listen to my conversation with Jim Dethmer, in which we discuss coping with stressful and disturbing thoughts, avoiding drama-based conflict in close relationships, becoming emotionally literate, accepting radical responsibility, co-commitment over codependence, and much more.

#434: Jim Dethmer — How to Shift from Victim Consciousness, Reduce Drama, Practice Candor, Be Fully Alive, and More


Step 1 Download one of these two reminder apps
Mind Jogger (iOS) Download
Randomly RemindMe (Android) Download

Step 2 Set one or more reminders from the 15 Commitments Questions list below
Mind Jogger: open the app and click the plus “+” sign to set a reminder.
Randomly RemindMe: view the tutorial here.

Step 3 Decide how often you want the app to notify you (be honest!)
Make an agreement with yourself that when the reminder pops up, you’ll check in with yourself and consider the question with your head, heart, and body. You can add your name to the beginning of each question to personalize it or not. We recommend asking the question between three to seven times a day.

Step 4 Switch to new question/s
When you’re naturally integrating the question/s into your daily practice, change the question/s to build more awareness in other areas. Consider starting with one question for a week, starting at the top of the list, and then replace it with a question from the next commitment the following week.

15 Commitments Questions

Where are you? Are you above or below the line?

Commitment 1
Are you taking 100% responsibility right now? (no more and no less) Are you blaming or complaining about anyone or anything?

Commitment 2
Are you wanting to be right about anything right now?

Commitment 3
What feeling/s are you feeling right now? Where do you feel them in your body?

Commitment 4
Is there anything that you’re concealing right now from anyone? Do you have any withholds right now?
Are you willing to tell the complete truth right now?

Commitment 5
Are you gossiping instead of communicating directly to the person with whom you have an issue?
Are you asking others to communicate their issues directly?

Commitment 6
Do you have a whole body yes to what you’re doing right now? Are there any agreements that are not clear, that you’ve broken, or someone has broken with you?

Commitment 7
What do you appreciate right now? Who do you appreciate right now? Consider sharing it with them right now.

Commitment 8
Are you in your zone of genius, excellence, competence, or incompetence right now?

Commitment 9
How can you get into a state of play right now? How can you rest for at least 30 seconds right now?

Commitment 10
How could you see the opposite of a story you’re believing right now?

Commitment 11
Are you willing to source your approval, control, and security from within right now?

Commitment 12
Are you experiencing enough of everything right now, especially time? Reminder: Keep your attention out of the past and future.

Commitment 13
Are you willing to see everyone and everything in front of you as an ally right now? How are they
perfectly suited for your learning and growth?

Commitment 14
How can you create a win-for-all right now with no compromise?

Commitment 15
What do you see as missing around you? Are you willing to be that right now?


  • Connect with the Conscious Leadership Group:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


  • What gift from Diana’s brother-in-law turned her from a scrapbooking stay-at-home mom into someone who inspires self-made billionaires like Dustin Moskovitz? [05:22]
  • What is the Drama Triangle, why is it called this, and how might someone use it? [08:59]
  • What is the whole-body yes (or no), and how can it serve us? [15:37]
  • Diana guides us through an experience designed to help us pay better attention to our whole-body yes (or no). [18:10]
  • An inventory of observations I made during this exercise, and how Diana recommends using this inventory. [26:40]
  • How might someone who mutes their desire to celebrate as a way to protect against disappointment foster more playfulness in their life? As an aside, is this playfulness intrinsic to Diana, or did she have to develop it? [33:42]
  • Diana’s business partner says she has a “black belt in practicing candor” and knows how to apply loving pressure. How did one of her best-remembered voicemail messages illustrate this? [40:31]
  • How does Diana think about loving pressure, and how does she recommend bringing it into a relationship? [41:40]
  • In what way might you apply loving pressure to a person or group of people you don’t know very well? [45:27]
  • How does Diana guide someone through the kind of introspection that leads to life-changing perspective shifts? In what ways does she use Byron Katie’s “turnarounds” as a valuable part of her toolkit? [47:11]
  • Diana guides me through a turnaround. [49:51]
  • An aside: A turnaround isn’t designed to invalidate the inspected belief (because parts of it might serve a purpose), but to identify and embrace alternatives. [56:01]
  • Processing the belief on an intellectual level is just part of the equation. Here’s why introducing the somatic into the picture is crucial, and what Diana suggests to do if you’re having trouble with this step. [1:01:09]
  • Who is the witness, and how do they figure into this process? [1:03:50]
  • Walking the line. [1:05:57]
  • What it means to welcome the opportunity of learning from the experience (even if it’s not the preferred experience). [1:07:43]
  • This isn’t necessarily the best tool to use if you’re dysregulated in the moment. Here are some other suggestions. [1:09:38]
  • What risks have Diana and her husband Matt been willing to take in order to keep the relationship alive and vital, growing, and intimate? Who initiated the first difficult conversation necessary for change to happen? [1:11:34]
  • During this time, how did Diana figure out who she needed to be? [1:17:14]
  • How can a couple in such a position be prepared to navigate these kinds of decision points together? [1:19:14]
  • Examples of commitments as outlined in The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. [1:21:45]
  • What is the Mind Jogger app, and how does Diana use it with the commitments? [1:25:25]
  • How assessing self-awareness in a hiring interview can be applied to situations that have nothing to do with a job hunt. [1:27:58]
  • Books most gifted. [1:29:56]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:31:38]


“I feel pretty heartbroken these days about the drama that is happening amongst us. And I’m actually grateful for the heartbreak because it’s helping me connect more with love. “
— Diana Chapman

“I have a preference for a lot more play and creativity and togetherness and curiosity that I find when we drop the drama.”
— Diana Chapman

“If we start to drop into the body and pay attention, it’s got a lot of guidance for us, as does our emotions, as does our intellect.”
— Diana Chapman

“Anything other than a whole-body yes is a no.”
— Diana Chapman

“One of the easiest, quickest forms of play is to exaggerate where you’re at. So make wherever you’re at bigger.”
— Diana Chapman

“Don’t have any expectations.”
— Diana Chapman


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20 Replies to “Diana Chapman — How to Get Unstuck, Do “The Work,” Take Radical Responsibility, and Reduce Drama in Your Life (#536)”

  1. Hey Tim, I have never posted anything on anyone’s blog before, and was reluctant to do so now, but I feel compelled to try and help you and possibly others with your panic attacks, since this was something I struggled with once and have since been able to overcome. After listening to Diana Chapman, I totally agree with her concept of recognizing and understanding these types of emotions in order to manage them, but I think there’s another key thing I can add that has helped me through them, that I believe could be useful. I still get them occasionally, but they’re no longer debilitating, and I’m no longer afraid of them. The key to this is something I learned from my father 30 years ago, when they first started. I called him after a routine day in the grocery store when the walls started to breathe all around me. I dropped everything and ran out in a panic, wishing I could un-see what had just happened. My heart began to race, and I thought I was going to die. I called my Dad in tears to see if it was possible for me to have inherited his flash backs from all the LSD he did in the 60s, because these episodes oftentimes included hallucinations. His answer was, “I don’t know, but that would be cool. Do you know how much money I would have saved if I had free hallucinations? You’re so lucky! Most people would kill for what you have!” It was funny, and made me stop crying, but not helpful, so I re-phrased the question to see how I could cope with the feeling I would be dying. He thought for awhile and said I just needed to ride the wave, to accept the journey that was about to unfold in front of me as a gift and be open to whatever might come next, to lean into it, instead of rejecting it, because the act of rejecting it is the thing causing the panic attack. A self-fulfilling prophecy, essentially. “You won’t die, and if you do, you won’t know it because you’ll be dead anyway, so why would you waste time panicking about it? If you really are about to die, wouldn’t you want your last moments spent enjoying yourself rather than being miserable?” This concept didn’t click right away, but the more I applied it when I desperately needed help, the more it made sense and the more I was able to step outside myself, eventually able to laugh at the worry and anxiety; two emotions which rarely serve anyone. I felt I needed to give this backstory to explain how I came across this simple mantra I’ve used in the past. It basically goes like this, “you’re okay, breathe deeply, and just ride the wave, and lets see where this journey takes you today”.

  2. Thank you Tim and Diana. Incredibly worthwhile. It put words to some of what I have been accidentally doing and giving it form and expanded content to flush out more tools and processes to run a better life.

  3. I wanted to say thank you, Tim, for your vulnerability, humor, curiosity and dedication to your work and audience. Your work and content has connected me to tools, ideas and thoughts that have changed and continue to change my life. I have felt guided by these things through some of my darkest hours. Many, many thanks to you.

  4. Thank you both for your vulnerability in this episode.

    Tim – I also have fears about depressive episodes. I have found neurofeedback to be a helpful (objective) tool to measure brain states and it teaches the brain to balance itself.

    Similar to preventive care (like colonoscopies) what if there was a common practice to consider brain mapping with biofeedback every couple years ?? — or list a few precautionary signs that would warrant a brain mapping so someone prone to depression might catch it early?

    There are maintenance protocols (1 to 2 times per week for a few months) with neurofeedback for reducing reactivity / fear (for people with PTSD), enhanced sleep / calmness, decreasing alpha waves (anxiety / depression), balanced alpha / theta (meditative state), etc.

    This website has a great picture of what a brain mapping shows for someone with depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc : https://www.braintechs.org/qeeg

    This website shows a great picture of before / after treatment : http://walkertherapyservices.com/neurofeedback/

    A really interesting talk (though slightly more esoteric) about measuring brain states, achieving altered states of consciousness, from the Monroe Institute : [Moderator: YouTube video removed per policy to preclude video embed.]

  5. This was one of my favorite interviews you’ve ever done. Thank you Tim and Diana for your authenticity, vulnerability, deep wisdom, and inspiration. Loved the covos about breaking down doing the work and how we show up in partnership. With much gratitude!

  6. I am reading “Tribe of Mentors” right now and think it is the most power-packed book from you so far. I love it. However, you have a misattributed quote under “Quotes I’m Pondering” that bothered me a bit (because misattributed quotes bother me).

    You gave Mohammad Ali credit for this quote, but it was actually Shirley Chishom who said it:

    “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” – https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7088681-service-is-the-rent-we-pay-for-the-privilege-of

    I don’t doubt that Mohammad Ali said it, but he was quoting Shirley Chisholm.

    Because I am familiar enough by now with all of your work to know that you don’t make mistakes like that very often, and you also don’t suffer nitpicky criticisms lightly, let me explain why this isn’t a nitpicky criticism and why it’s important to give credit where credit is due to Shirley Chisholm: it’s a real problem that Black people, in general, don’t get appropriate credit for their intellectual contributions, but it is an even worse problem that Black women–especially those as accomplished and hard-working as Shirley Chisholm–don’t get credit for theirs.

    I just wanted to make sure that all the people who have read “Tribe of Mentors” (which I’m sure is a HUGE number–it’s a terrific book) don’t leave it thinking that Mohammad Ali came up with that brilliant insight. I loved Mohammad Ali, and he made his share of very significant contributions, but that wasn’t one of them (beyond quoting Shirley Chisholm).

    If someone else has already pointed this out, I apologize for the unnecessary redundancy.

  7. Hi Tim. Firstly, i’d like to say how incredibly helpful you have been to me in my life but especially during the pandemic. I have listened to a wide array of your podcasts and honestly the lessons your guests and that you yourself have taught me have been invaluable. At times i veer too much towards quantitative analysis, weighing up the pros and cons of everything and always trying to gain something out of every experience instead of sometimes just living in the moment. Diana’s words were incredibly helpful with this for me and also for managing beliefs that i held to be true, which were damaging for me and which she helped me see were merely perspectives and not absolutes. I’m not sure if this episode will go down as one of greatest episodes of your podcast but it honestly came at the right time of my life for me, for which i would like to say thank you. I honestly made a breakthrough with my inner demons from her words almost instantaneously through her methods of analysis. You are making a huge difference in peoples lives. Thanks for everything.

  8. Love these tips Diana, thanks for sharing wonderful information with us! Focusing small amount of time and taking 5-10 minutes break I follow, and it helped me a lot actually! Thanks for the other tips, will definitely add into bucket to follow!

  9. Awesome episode! Useful on so many levels! Thanks to both of you!


    I thought of a possible fourth leg for your ‘stool’ (reasons a depressive episode might not be dangerous). The oversimplification is; will you (by which I mean all of us) SUPPRESS the impending episode or will you EXPRESS it? We know what the former tends to bring us, right?

    And maybe a fifth?

    As Diana put it later in the show, maybe it’s a lens without which you and others would likely not be as equipped to serve others as well you have.

    Thanks again for your work.

  10. Hey Tim, the exercise with Diana of “holding the opposite at least as true,” was intriguing. It reminded me of an Eastern spiritualism concept of “not minding what happens.” I think the exercise with Diana can be taken a step further by applying this concept. Check out “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, where he discusses this concept; it’s a fantastic book.

  11. This episode is life changing. I am LOVE Diana Chapman. Thank you Tim for introducing so many people to her. I felt a whole body yes to everything Diana was saying and I want to do what she does. Thank you Tim for introducing me to so many guests that give life changing wisdom. You and your team are AMAZING! You rock!

  12. There was a great article I read that outlined a few types of people in this COVID driven misinformation pandemic and the wedge it seems to be driving between friends and colleagues that I believe was from one of you 5 bullet emails but I can’t seem to find in again! Do you or does anyone else here have a link to the article or at least the authors name so I can try find it again!?

  13. Tim, another thing you can help with the depressive episodes is to consider it may be a vitamin problem. Go to doctoryourself.com and check the book ” The Vitamin Cure for Depression” and his premise is that many people with this problem are needing more Niacin than their diet provides. This is especially true for alcoholics and helped Bill W. who founded A.A.

  14. Re: Imagine the opposite

    In 1868, Eugenio Beltrami (among others) considered: Imagine if two parallel lines DID diverge?

    Hyperbolic geometry was born, from which we get the suspension bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge.

  15. Hi Tim, I was stopped in my tracks while listening to this episode. It was when you were seemingly discontent with your Whole Body Yes being a void of xyz’s. I heard your longing to find your whole body saying “yes!” Diana followed this with her insightful comment connecting our “yes” to sexual energy and our sexual energy to play. You commented on the difficulty of playing and it was here that I was hit with something profound. I know very little about your abuse because I haven’t listened to your brave episode accounting your story yet. However, this is what came to me as I heard your sincere query. I will hold this loosely, so toss this the moment it doesn’t resonate. Your abuser most likely saw a lot of life in you, damn, most likely your playfulness and your expressive body. Yet, the tragic, insidious thing about any abuse is that the places that drew our abuser towards us (good, beautiful, lovely places) become the thing we most hate, struggle with or shutdown. To be playful would evoke two experiences: 1) play equals exposure and danger and 2) my body responded to the abuse and abuser, which puts me in a huge dilemma. Why did my body respond? Does that make me dirt? Why did I fall for this? I’ll never let myself be blindsided or that free again. Vows are made and vows are powerful. I heard a deep vow made around play. Of course it was a necessary vow as a child and adolescent, but now, as an adult, you want so much more. You bumped up against its limitations and yet you can’t simply wield play into existence since it’s the most precious, vulnerable gift you had.

    I write this because I felt your longing to be free and that compelled me to stop in my tracks and take a risk to share.

    Take care,
    Heather Stringer

  16. I’m listening to this episode now and I really appreciate your openness and vulnerability. I’ve been listening to your podcasts when I go on hour long walks for about a year now and I really enjoy it. I get a sense that the real motive for you doing these podcasts is not to be famous, rich or influential but to help others. At least that’s what it’s doing for me. So thank you!