Building a Business as a Woman with ADHD with Rachel Carey-McElwaney

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This transcript was created using AI. Please forgive any discrepencies.

[Intro] Welcome to Easy Style with Sami. I’m your host Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each episode, I invite a friend, family member or colleague or just someone I’ve met on this journey called life to come and share their personal style and approach to business, parenting, life and everything in between. You’ll hear motivational and inspirational stories that will help you refine and build your own personal style. Remember, style is easy when it comes from within.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of easy style with Sammy. I have the wonderful Rachel Carey-McElwaney here on the podcast today. Rachel, thank you so much for being here.

Rachel Carey-McElwaney 0:41
Thanks for having me, Stanley. Yeah. And we’ve known each other for what a

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] few years now we met through Amber McCue, a modern CEO, like so many guests on this podcast. It’s such a wonderful community with amazing ladies. So I’m glad that you’re here. You’ve been on my other podcasts. And it’s fun to kind of talk about non business stuff. Well, no sort of business non business adjacent.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] It’s a whole thing, right? There’s

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] a lines get blurred. And we’re talking about ADHD and women, ADHD, and how it affects how we kind of show up for our businesses. But before we kind of jump into that, why don’t you just kind of tell people a little bit about yourself? Who is Rachel?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Well, yeah, so my name is Rachel Carey-McElwaney. And I’m a mindful energy leadership coach supporting people to align their careers, their leadership styles and their personal toolbox to help reduce stress, avoid burnout, achieve work life balance, all through training, productivity, coaching and leadership development. So that’s kind of what I do. Most of the time, I also do some HR consulting that’s in there too, which I can’t abandon after 20 years in that industry just kind of keeps me fresh. And I love my clients. So it’s hard to let them go. I’m holding on to them for a little while. Hold that. I love that. Well, so

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] you were diagnosed, because so like I would say for us, COVID helped us a ton in the ways that we were around our kids more seeing how they were interacting. And my kids got ADHD diagnoses when COVID was going down. Oh, thank you, the dog. It’s a nice day here in Minneapolis. So everybody’s outside. So the dog will go crazy today. I apologize. But so we got their diagnoses, which I don’t know that we would have gotten had they not been home at school with us. And you didn’t get diagnosed until adulthood till recently. Yeah, how did that all kind of come about for you? And what was that realization? Like?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Yeah, I like to share my process wasn’t very, it was very unusual. In that prior to COVID, I was involved in a MBA where someone rear ended me because I stopped for a red light. And apparently, they didn’t. Not until they make contact. But at any rate, it resulted in a traumatic brain injury or a major concussion. That was it took a little while to heal from and so I was hyper aware of my brain function as I was going through the process to heal that. And so that was 2019. So by gosh, was it 2022 or 2020? It All right. COVID. Made are all the years run together. Oh, 100%. I agree. Yeah. So it was 2020. It was just last year. But so I just I went to my doctor, I had been taking some medication for depression and anxiety, anxiety, I have an anxiety disorder. I think that’s very genetic and my family, but I was going through a hard time grieving the loss of my mom. So I had started this medicine was no longer going through the hard part of the grief. I was ready to release the medicine. I was having this conversation with my doctor. And I was like, Well, this is good. I really feel like I’ve noticed some ADHD type symptoms. I think they might have ADHD and Sammy, she just looked at me laughed and said, Yeah, yeah, I think she’d been

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] obvious for her. She knew for a long time before you even said anything. Yeah, she just thought that we all knew that. But I did.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Yeah, and so she had personally experienced my ADHD symptoms as it related to our interactions and and what was interesting is then Wellbutrin was medicine. I was ticking for depression. And I was successful in taking this just support that without it making my anxiety worse, which it does have as a possibility, but so does all of the other treatments for ADHD. And so she decided to not take me off of the Wellbutrin. So it was all really just part of this conversation we’re having so it didn’t necessarily go through like the the bucket list or whatever. Like you know what you went through with your kids. I went through with my son we we had to have the assessment done by HP parented by the teachers. And then they were like, yes, your son has ADHD. So we didn’t do that, because I guess she didn’t feel like she needed it. She had witnessed life long enough with me. I was like, yep, you have that. So it’s really interesting. I think that you said that, like, what kind of realizations Did it have for you. And what was interesting is once I had this kind of professional human confirm for me what I believed to be true, I was able to go, it is not from the accident that I got ADHD. It enhanced the symptoms so much that I couldn’t ignore them. And so my coping mechanisms I had developed naturally as a child basically didn’t work anymore, because it was a little extra. And I need a little different type of support. But I didn’t know what that was, without being able to go down that path of going, okay, yes, I’m working with ADHD. This is the way my mind works. Now, what do I need? And I still have Yeah, but a year, I still have a lot to learn.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and I feel like this was the case for I feel like the, you know, millennials and Gen X, like you, maybe older millennials, but it wasn’t a conversation school that was like, like this whole conversation around different learning styles and neuro divergence. And like, granted, I’m no expert on this. I’m just sharing from my experience, just like you are. But I feel like the conversations are very different for kids and how they’re approaching learning compared to how so you talked about coping mechanisms, like you naturally just had to inherit those because you were probably told as a child, this is the process like this is how you do this work in school, figure it out, as opposed to understanding that your brain is wired differently. And if you could just do it this way, you would still be able to prove proficiency.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Yeah, I sometimes wonder, which was better, as I watched my report that I never got, right. But I remember in third grade, it was, I believe her name was Miss Smith. And Miss Smith would make fun of like a mock the kids that were obviously ADHD like that were like the hyperactivity, ADHD that you can’t ignore. I have hyper I don’t have hyperactivity, I have inattention type. So what would happen is they would say something about something in class and I would like then zone out the window thinking five years down the line of that one thought, meanwhile, they had gone in a different direction. And I had no idea where they were out when I came back to write. And so I knew that if she caught me staring out that window, she was gonna mock me. And I was like, I don’t want that. So at third grade, my coping mechanism was to start staring at her. And just in every word, she said, I repeated it in my head so that I stayed hyper focus. So it was really funny because as an adult, as an HR director, I was once told by my boss, the owner of the company, he said, You have incredible listening skills. Does that like come naturally? Or did you have to work on that? And I was like, I had to work on it, like a lot. Coming back to this, right. But then I also remember fourth grade flicking. You remember, there’s really cool four colored pins. And I was like, flicking it.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Why do you have one? I have one, too. It’s

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] just on my desk right now. Yes, I have one. I was just clicking it. And so what we know now with our kids, now they need fidgets. And that helps them focus. I didn’t know I was just doing this thing because it was helping me focus. But it was driving my teacher mad. So they made me stop. And then I remember in fifth grade, my first like big science experiment, I could not break down projects. It just couldn’t. Nobody ever taught me how to do that either. It

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] was just staggering. Yeah, remembering the multi step process is like, insane, really hard.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] I will say to this day, that’s probably one of the things that I’m still like now that I have this awareness that. So I guess like for me, without that awareness, I was beating myself down, like I need to be more self disciplined, I need to put more effort into this, I need to work harder. And you know, you and I, my world is talking to a lot of people about burnout. And I am passionate about it. Because that person in me, that beats me down for not doing it hard, like not working hard enough. That’s why I’m not self disciplined or whatever those things were that I would tell myself now that I have this awareness that no actually it’s just ADHD. There’s so many other tools that are out there that can help you gain awareness. Okay, well, these are the things that you need to do. And it is a learning process. It really is. But um, but to know that to know that it’s not a matter of self discipline, I can’t will myself into doing it the way that people just assumed I’d learn on my own right, I really have to make an effort at it. And so those kinds of moments, I think were the most impactful. So before where I would take the time and I would do like you know, I do the pre week planning on Friday at 11. I will like make sure all of my stuff is mapped out for the week ahead. And that helps me with my anxiety but it also helps me with the ADHD De like I have my buckets. But I don’t do go to the point of planning things out. Like there’s some people that write at 10 o’clock on Mondays I’m going to work on my money matters. And on 11 o’clock, I just create big time blocks like this is where I have commitments to other people. This is where I’m going to work on my stuff. And in that day, I decide, because I know too, that my brain has cycles. So some days, it’s going to be like sharp, and I’m going to dive into it, and it’s going to be an awesome day. And other days, it’s going to be like, you saw me coming on here where I made coffee, and I didn’t know where I put it down, I had a good figure that out, right? Like, there are going to be those moments. And so like today, where my brain is not wanting to be hyper focused, it wants to take everything in, it’s better for me to do more like admin than it is for me to do heavy content creation. And so that’s kind of what I look at.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] But would you say that now that you have the diagnosis, you have more grace with yourself to understand, like, Okay, this is not, there’s not something wrong with me, because I think with a lot of ADHD, especially in girls and women, because my daughter is the exact same as you, she just zones out and then comes back. And we didn’t realize that for a long time. But for a lot of women that’s more common. And then those kids are labeled as stupid or not as smart. But really, it’s just like, they’re not being given the tools. So like, So now, instead of taking it to that point where you’re like, Oh, I just can’t get this, I’m not good enough at this. I’m not as successful as people. Like, you’re really working with training and listening to your body and working on finding the skills and the activities that work in that moment. Like that’s, that’s gonna be hard for you because you’re a very focused, driven person. So like, how do you kind of balance that ebb and flow of you know what today is just not going to be this day, but I know I can catch up on it tomorrow.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] So legitimately Monday, I had I had that day, my son was home anyway. And so I was gonna kind of like, be loose with my plans. And I wasn’t working. But I was having a hard time because of that person I’ve been before I knew I had ADHD, that person that was like, you’ve got to be be, you have to be working on productivity at all times, you have to be a productive human at all times. That person is still wired, they’re so you know, our brains are, they’re wired with certain rules. And it takes a while for us to unwire it well, I will support and guide all of my people to learn these lessons with me, I assure everybody, I am still working on myself, right. And so Monday, I texted my husband and I said if you need me, you’re gonna have to call because I’m legitimately throwing my phone across the room because I kept picking it up with this anxiety of I should be doing something I should be messaging people, I should be doing whatever. And so it has been a huge journey to embrace the grace that is needed to allow myself those moments of not being productive on my days off. And on the days that I should be working like today where it was like I’m gonna come in, I had an idea list, a very project centric work to do. And I was like, Yep, the brains not there today. So instead, I was working on some administrative, like, branding forms kind of thing, right? Like, because those are the kinds of things I can do. So I think that it’s a matter of having having the plan, a generalized plan to know I show up for the appointments, I need to show up for even this one. I was like, I logged on 15 minutes early, because that was where my brain was there and on you. And then I continued working on the thing so that I could hear your voice when it was time because otherwise I would not remember to log on these are there ways that you start tricking yourself into to being timely. But I think that you hit it on the head words. And the biggest transformation is this grace that that I’m able to give to myself and my brother in law a million years ago, I remember being in a conversation with in the room where he was talking to my sister, and he’s like, What is it with your family and the need for labels? And I don’t think that it’s that we need the labels. I think it’s that we won’t give ourselves permission without the label.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. Oh, my gosh, that is such a good point. And true, it was it because it’s interesting. Like, as my kids have gone through their journey, it has actually opened up more conversation with my dad, with my husband, because ADHD is on both sides of our family anxieties on both sides of our family. And I do think also that the labels now almost just are changing, like shifting as far as it’s not like, Oh, you have ADHD you have a deficit, but it’s like, oh, you have ADHD. So I’m just going to approach this conversation differently. It’s just like an understanding of like, we don’t all think the same way. So it just helps for people to know like, Okay, here’s how we need to approach this conversation so we can both be successful and getting what we need out of

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] it. Yeah, from the HR side of things I once had somebody approached me about working in diversity. And what was interesting for me is for them the way that they wanted Diversity, the goals that they had around diversity were very different than where my pushes because my pushes beyond what we’re looking like and what our cultures are, you know, there’s, there’s some cultures where you can’t be as direct or they’re not as comfortable, you can’t expect them to be direct and you have to work with, with different getting feedback differently. But beyond that, we have the way introverts and extroverts show up in meetings differently, we have the way that you’ve got ADHD people in the meetings. And up until now, it’s been interesting because there’s a lot of like, shame, I think, around ADHD diagnoses. I had people that like would quietly whispered to me and share with me privately like this, I have it too. And you know, because when I was like struggling with Logan and his diagnosis, and whether or not as his mother to choose medicine or not like Green Chemistry, is that okay, should I be doing that? Should I not be doing that? Right? And when I was having those struggles, people were wonderfully open with me and sharing with me their journeys, so that I could learn. But I also was like putting a pin in it going. Why is it such a private, like, private thing? Right? Why can’t it be celebrated? And but I understand what what they they must have gone through to make them feel like that needed to be private. I also had someone yell at me for being so open about my son’s ADHD. And I was like, really? Yeah, really? No.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I know, people that like, are refusing the diagnosis, because they don’t want it on their kids permanent records. And I’m like, Heck, I want it anyway, this is I mean, this is my personal choice, we want it anywhere and everywhere we possibly can have it because it just sets him up for the resources, he needs to be able to be successful. And for him to, like, really embrace how he learns differently. My daughter is different because her anxiety is I think, Well, okay, so this is what I want to say. Or have you share is that with, with boys, we kind of see it with men, the typical hyperactivity, you know, it’s a little bit more clear. This is gross generalizations. But I think with women and girls, it’s very different in how ADHD shows up. So like, do you? Like were you kind of surprised when you kind of figured out that you had ADHD? Were you kind of like, well, I don’t have these kinds of symptoms, like how has it kind of explained to you as far as the spectrum goes, so that maybe we can understand what that looks like, in people that we’re interacting with?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Well, so my, my younger brother had ADHD, he was the only one on the family that was diagnosed. And then that was the that was that the label was given. And that was the end of the road of supporting him. Like there was no medicine there was no like Logan’s had OT. And he has had like all of these are therapies to support him to navigate all that comes with his. He has more more than just ADHD, but all of his all of his alphabet soup, right. So watching my brother go through it like he was he was hyperactive, but he was also incredibly intelligent and very work. So he, he wouldn’t sit still in class. And that’s like how they came to be with him. I was chatty, which was assumed to be normal for girls, right? Because girls were deemed to be more social or I would zone out and they didn’t catch me. Right zoning out. And I would like I would forget to have my mom’s sign off on my work folder. Not because I was hiding anything but because I forgot. No, I just forgot, right? Like, it’s just kind of what those things were. And so it’s interesting because I have the conversation on exactly this topic, my best friend and the whole my mum number one bestie over here locally in Maryland. I have one that’s not local. That’s why I say that. She is the hyperactive type. And I am jealous of her on a regular basis. That woman has so much energy she gets so much done. She decided she’s going to paint her house. She does it until two in the morning because that’s what her body tells her to do. And minds like oh yeah, I was thinking about painting last month and I forgot about it right like I like there’s there’s like superpowers to be had in this and so she’s a woman with ADHD that has that hyperactivity part of it. She can’t sit still. I’ve also watched her pick up a drink that her daughter was drinking and toss it out because she was cleaning up and the drink was there like she’s not like there’s just there’s downsides and there’s upside So boys I think are more obviously diagnosed because society encourages them to climb trees and to be wild but then you put them in a classroom and they’ve got to pull against that and the ad She impulsivity to lean into that. So I think that something that layered in there and again, not my area of study by any means, but just kind of my own experience watching. That is what got Logan diagnosed early. He was diagnosed early, because he was impulsive and active and like we couldn’t even get him to sit down through a dinner, right? Like he had to get up and move. And so I think that it calls attention that way. And

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] it’s more disruptive. What was explained to us with our daughter versus our son is with girls, they typically just like you said, it’s more like they zone out or they’re just not paying attention. So it’s easier to attach that those ADHD ADHD symptoms to, well, they don’t understand the subject, or they’re just chatty, or they’re just not paying attention, because they’re not diving deeper into that piece. And I think also, like you mentioned, anxiety is so closely tied, ADHD, especially in girls and women. And so it’s easy to just say, well, they have anxiety, and then ignore all of the other ADHD things, which when you tackle them together, right, I’m sure, maybe you’ve experienced this, like tackling those two things together is what kind of maybe steamrolled the improvement, or the ability to like, create the right, the ability

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] for me to go Hold on, we’ve addressed these things. But now we’ve got these little outliers that are really pointing to this as ADHD. And actually, if you ever go onto Lake, which is my go to, for all things ADHD, they were they even talk about how common it is for women to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety and miss the ADHD diagnosis. And so I was diagnosed probably at 14 with depression and anxiety. And you can throw all the life circumstances that like supported it, but it’s like, really, we were missing this one thing, and probably some of the issues that led to the issues that led to the depression, anxiety, were probably because I was impulsive. And what I would say, I was bought, I was direct, right. And it was my own personal brand. I just thought that was my personality. But really part of that is that I didn’t care about the hierarchy of things. And I didn’t take time to worry about that. And I would just speak my mind, which is my strength and my weakness, right like there. There are moments where that’s like, really powerful. And there’s other moments where you need to read the room. And that took me a long time to get there. So people could miss categorize these things as me just being a blunt person. But in reality, it was part of the impulsivity of I thought it and it was out of my mouth before I really even truly realized what I was thinking, right? Like, it’s kind of like blood, there was no filter, but the no filters, the lack of impulse control, which goes back to ADHD. So there’s so much that can be missed in it. And, you know, maybe the labels helpful. Maybe the label gives you permission, but maybe it’s just leaning into I have some of these tendencies, what are the things that work for people with ADHD? And going okay, what do I need to apply? Maybe we don’t need the label, like my brother in law suggested, right. But for me, I needed it to give myself permission to give myself grace to, to not feel like there was some way that I could cure my brain of functioning in the way that it functioned. If I just tried harder, it is learning to embrace that this is how my brain is and that’s okay. Just like I say to my son, it’s, it’s fine for your brain to be this way. It’s just we need to learn to channel it in. Now my mom did a lot of different work. She was a mother of six traditional Irish Catholic family and and so she was a mother of six. And so she taught swim, she actually started the whole swim program over in Berlin, Germany, for the for the American base. And and then she even worked for the special ed at the time. I don’t know if it’s called anything different, I think it is. But that’s what it was at the time. And I was in second grade, I think when she was when she started being a teacher’s assistant. And so she learned all kinds of things like she learned when I saw my sister’s red lipstick because I wanted a really bold lip that day. I don’t know, I was like, I thought it was cool. But also she caught on that I was having a hard time reading and so she could intervene with that. And so she picked up some really cool tricks along the way. So vacuuming my mom taught us to vacuum the orient the was the oriental rugs that were in Germany there. And we were taught to go in the pattern, follow this line three times then scoot over halfway. And so we’ve learned to train our brain to look at them as a pattern. And to break it down. Have a pattern and then just to it was like rhythmic in your head. And so I was very, very good at vacuuming because mom taught us to break it down. Yeah, only she’d been taught how to break down big science fair projects, she wouldn’t know that I was just really struggling with that right. But like vacuuming God, we had that down where were like a rhythm to it. She also rotated our chores so that each one of us did all of the chores, on different whatever’s because we all had our different strengths with it. We also had our different weaknesses with it. And so we would complement each other. So mom, it was like she understood the ADHD brain. She knew how to break these things down. She knew how to create schedules for us, you knew you had to say Mondays was this day for cleaning Tuesday’s was that day for cleaning, right? Like because that would create a routine and a ritual to these normal daily activities, right? And so no one we talked before, it’s like, well, what are the AHA is that you kind of came out of this. And it was like, mom started teaching that very young. And I just thought that was a way of being brown. No, I take all of that. And it means so much more to me now. And that’s what brings me some grounded success within the organism within my business is I’m able to create rituals and routines. So that I start my day, certain ways, I end my day, certain ways. I start my week, certain ways, I end my week, certain way, I plan certain ways. And all of that I think has helped my my brain see it as a pattern and a rhythm so I can trick it into it. But on the days, like Wednesdays, which today, when we’re recording this as a Wednesday, I don’t I usually keep it a little more open, and I’m learning I probably need to pull that one in a little bit. Because I’m

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] loosey goosey.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] It’s too loose. It’s just recently loose, because it had all of these meetings on either side. So it’s just recently become open again. But this awareness that I’m having, this is why those other days are successful, because I metal, start them up away, down away, implement the day itself a certain way and kind of go with the flow of it have a little grace with myself. And I think that that’s ultimately, what I’ll continue doing throughout my life is just noticing things have shifted, I’m noticing this, what do I need to do? What are the tools that helped me? And routine is one of those things that is very, very helpful with ADHD? Well, I

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] think it’s interesting, because we only know what we know, we only like and what we know is our normal, and we kind of assume it’s everybody’s normal. So until you kind of step into more conversations with people, you know, you have your own business. So as you’re working with different businesses that operate differently in different cuff consultants, and you’re just like, whoa, wait a minute, everybody does it, do this, and then in your case, exacerbated by the accident, like I think it’s just about two things that you’re saying that are really important normalizing the conversation. So normalizing seeing therapists and, and seeking out treatment and support when you need treatment and support. And even when you don’t, it’s still valuable, then also just trusting who you are, and knowing that you might need something a little bit different than somebody else. But that’s just because we are different people diagnoses are not I mean, there’s more than just ADHD, you know, absolutely. Absolute so.

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] And I think that that kind of goes back to the comment I made earlier, where somebody really came down hard on me about sharing my son’s diagnosis. And when he when I was sharing it, one, I don’t think anything of it, like you’re gonna judge me because I have ADHD, we’ve got deeper issues than I have ADHD. She goes deeper, right? But but the other the other tidbit of it is is he’s like, Well, that employer is gonna go out there and look and see this, and I’m working really hard to change that side of the world, right to support diverse, like neuro diversity and employment. So like kind of going back to what I was saying the diversity earlier, that’s really what is what my diversity kind of cause is, at this point, is neuro diversity, because I feel like it’s not given enough voice. And I think that there’s some power into that. And I think the more that we speak, and normalize neurodiversity, and that we speak in normalized mental health, like I shared very openly, I have depression, anxiety, really. These are things that our mothers, fathers, grandfathers, like they weren’t comfortable talking about these things. They weren’t comfortable getting treatment about these things. Yeah. And and I feel like the more we normalize these conversations, the more we can be open, the more it can just be embraced and supported and you know, Loke has things like pragmatic language disorder to which is like he doesn’t understand sarcasm or whatever. But the more you start to understand, Oh, you’re processing language different, right? You can start to get him to so I think The more we have these types of types of conversations and say, Okay, well, here I am a woman in business and I just recently got this ADHD diagnosis. This is how I’m embracing it. There’s also amazing people out there that are specializing in ADHD as coaches as like, therapists that are all focused on just that. I think the more we get the support we need in order to find our own definition of success.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I love all of that so much. And I that’s why I wanted to have this conversation with you. Because I agree with everything you just said. It’s so amazing. And I think when I hear my kids conversations about what they share with their friends at school, it’s like, oh, yeah, well, like four of my friends are seeing therapist and this person has this, like, they all know. And it’s like, no, like, they don’t care. They do not care. It’d be like saying, I had a red Skittle. I had a blue Skittle like they don’t care. So I agree with everything you just said. And so I hope that this has inspired you and I appreciate you for being so open. But if you’re listening to this, I hope this has inspired you to just take a look at yourself and say what are some weird things not weird, but what are some things that I think are I’m struggling with that maybe I just want to tackle and address and take head on and see maybe I just need to approach things differently and stop trying to fit into a specific box. That’s kind of what we wanted to inspire listeners to in this episode. But before I let you go and let people know how they can connect with you, we have a few questions that we ask every single guest so I’m going to ask those for you ready? Okay. What were is kind of your go to for personal you kind of already mentioned one with your ADHD but what is one go to place that you go to for personal development or to learn?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Yeah, for ADHD, since that’s the topic we’re talking about, but like for me, I’m I’m a spiritual person. I’m a very energy focused person. And I love following Rebecca Campbell, I actually have recently joined her membership, which is the sanctuary. And it just has a lot of meditation and grounding and like planning and it comes from a more energy spiritual connection to the planning as opposed to more of the cerebral which I have spent most of my life. And so I’m very much embracing her and her process. And outside of that, I mean, I would be totally it would be totally wrong for me to not say my teacher, Linda, Linda Miller, who I had speak recently in my group. She is the owner of imagine wellness here locally in buoy Maryland, and she has taught me so much and helped. Sometimes she says things to me and she thinks I know what they are and then I just go home and start googling

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] what did this mean and what she doesn’t really see she’s teaching me That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Neither in both. I’m an ambivert. So that I just slightly tipped over into being an extrovert but when you look at the balance the line I’m legitimately right on that line just slightly tipped to introverted, which means I, in certain sections, certain situations, circumstances, I am very much fueled by being around people. And other times I really 100% Need to go away and have my own time and I don’t know if that’s because I’m an empath, or, or what it is, but I am 100% an ambivert so I’m neither in both.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love that. That’s actually been pretty common with most of the people that have been on this podcast interestingly enough, what is one big goal that you have on your list for this year either personal or professional?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] That’s it’s tough to nail down one. So I’m rolling out that career strategy group program next month before before I roll that out. I’m running away to Germany which has been on my much has been on my goal list since I moved back to the states in the 80s and 89. So I wanted to really to make it back there and then once things settle down I have signed up for a photography program because I really want to learn how to capture the sky the way my eyes see it I think the sky is the most beautiful thing amazing to capture and photography and eventually to learn to paint it not Scott a skilled and either but that’s a dream. So those are my dreams.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Oh good. I love those. What’s a piece of advice you’ve gotten from someone that has stuck with you?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] Hmm my favorite piece of advice because you know I love the world of leadership have always been obsessed was to track your examples that you cross of leadership whether they be good or bad, because both are there as lessons.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So embracing the not so good. Because if you don’t learn from it,

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] it was specifically stated to journal my experiences that were bad experiences with leadership just as much as I do for the good because that one point when I am the leader, then I will have the examples of what I want to be and what I do not want to be.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] That’s so good, so good. And finally, what is a non negotiable in your life?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] My absolute non negotiable is I will not meet with anybody before 9am. And I tried it for me, it’s really important to get connected to myself, get like connected to my own personal agenda ground my energy before I’m influenced by anything outside of myself. So that’s kind of how I do it. I’m I’m a late morning mover, and get my kid out to school by nine. So I tried to avoid any meetings until 10. But I will not take any before nine.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] That’s good. That’s good. Those boundaries are important. Well, Rachel, again, I appreciate your openness, and you’re willing to share. If people want to connect more with you find out more about your Facebook group, all of the things, how do they do that?

[Rachel Carey-McElwaney] I think the best way, the easiest way is just to go to my website, which is www dot emerging Lotus And all of my social media, my free group, all of the informations right there and when you land on that page, so that there’s the free group where you’re learning more about building those energy toolboxes about practicing more mindful living, and also the wind down the pre week planning for Friday, all free opportunities to kind of help develop your world. All right, they’re at my website.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love it. So good. Rachel will link all of those up in the show notes at easy style with But thank you so much for coming on today. Thanks for having me. So grateful and thankful for Rachel for stopping by if you have struggled with ADHD, or think your brain just works differently, I hope that this episode, shed some light on just her experience or kids experiences. And maybe just those around you that are struggling with ADHD as well. I feel like everybody got diagnosed during COVID. Because we were all just like stuck in the house. And I think it’s just really interesting to have these kinds of conversations and talk about what it means and how we can be amazingly successful women, entrepreneurs, men, whomever, and have ADHD. So thank you so much for listening. Again. shownotes resources will be available at . And I hope that you’ll subscribe wherever you listen, we have new episodes that release every Thursday. And you can of course check out the YouTube versions of these episodes Thank you so much for being here and for listening. I appreciate you and I’ll see you in the next one.



It wasn’t until Rachel was an adult that she was officially diagnosed with ADHD. That diagnosis was an aHa moment for her in some of the struggles she had in school and in her early adult life. It has also helped her navigate the way she handles tasks and sets up her day to have less stress.

In this episode we discuss

  • How Rachel got her ADHD diagnosis and why it didn’t happen till she was an adult.
  • Why its important to de stimgatize ADHD and mental health.
  • How her diagnosis has helped her navigate entrepreneurship.

Want to skip ahead?

[2:46] How Rachel was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.
[8:42] Coming to terms with her diagnosis and what that has done to change her processes.
[14:48] Championing neuro diversity in her HR work.
[17:38] Growing up with undiagnosed ADHD.
[28:24] Stigma around ADHD.
[31:43] Where Rachel goes for personal development
[32:55] Is Rachel an introvert or extrovert?
[33:45] One goal for the upcoming year.
[34:32] Piece of advice that has stuck with Rachel.
[35:12] What’s a non-negotiable?

Rachel Carey-McElwaney

Rachel Carey-McElwaney