Maryse Godet Copans suffered with anxiety and other physical symptoms for years and sought out answers for this suffering. Then she found the Three Principles and her symptoms fell away. She received coach training and began to share what she’d seen with others.
Then her symptoms returned, which was frustrating and confusing. Maryse used this experience to deepen her exploration of the life that is living though her and allowed herself to be present with whatever that brings, knowing she is safe.
For 15 years Maryse Godet Copans searched high and low for ways to overcome chronic stress, anxiety, and their many symptoms. Techniques, tools, analyzing her past – you name it, she did it – yet peace of mind remained elusive and symptoms stuck. Then she read Michael Neill’s book The Inside Out Revolution and learned about how human life really works.
Today Maryse lives in the flow of life where anxiety is allowed to dance freely with happiness and excitement. And underneath it all lies Peace, ever present and unchangeable.
- The return of anxiety symptoms after having resolved them
- Being reminded that everything is temporary
- How it is normal and safe to experience everything life has to offer
- On knowing that the ‘bathroom’ exists and walking with others as they find their way there
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Michael Neill
- Nicola Bird, A Little Peace of Mind
Transcript of Interview with Maryse Godet Copans
Alexandra Amor: Maryse Godet Coopans, thank you for being here on Unbroken. Welcome.
Maryse: Oh, thank you, Alexandra. It’s a pleasure.
Alexandra Amor: It’s so nice to see you again.
Why don’t you take us back to the beginning and tell us about how you came across the three principles.
Maryse: I’m going to condense what, six years or whatever, all the time before, I’m going to make it very, very, very short. So basically, for me, my history is with anxiety. It started in 2003, physical symptoms, and then the beginning of a long, long search for a fix. Which, every single thing helped along the way. I tried many, many things.
It led me one day to hear Michael Neill because I think at the time I subscribed to Hay House, I can’t remember why. But I subscribe to Hay House and I listened to a short something he had, I think on Facebook, I’m not I can’t remember precisely but saying ‘we live in the feeling of our thinking’. Those were his words. We live in the feeling of our thinking. And I was like, Heck, no. But he got my attention. And I got curious about that.
So I started listening to him. And I was like, well, it’s interesting, but to be really honest, the terms he used his vocabulary around the three principles – mind consciousness and thought – I was not really comfortable with. So instead of sort of on the back burner. And because I was listening to him, something from Nicola Bird appeared regarding anxiety. She was in the process then to be having been, I think, one of Michael’s apprentices. She was in the process of launching A Little Peace of Mind, her anxiety targeted program. And I thought, What do I have to lose at this point? This was 2017. I had been added with anxiety since 2003. I really had nothing to lose.
So I listened to her and it really resonated. For the first time in my life, I had the feeling this woman knows what she’s talking about. She’s been through panic attacks, she’s experienced the whole thing. I’m going to listen some more so I signed up for her program. And it just snowballed. The progress I made, the insights I had, everything was just fabulous. Really.
I trained with Michael Neill, we I did Supercoach Acadamy, and then in 2020, COVID hit. And you know what, that first year was totally fine. Fine. I didn’t mind the lockdown. Nothing. I’m still doing so well. And then in 2021, I’m not sure why and I’m not sure it matters, it all came back. It all came back. Dizziness, electricity in my body most of the time, panic attacks at night and during the day, whatever. And I was like, what’s happened? Nothing helps. What the heck is going on?
I was just so lost, to be honest with you. So lost. And I just did my best, for a few months. I think at the time, the only thing that I could see clearly and I think that it somehow we know that it saved me because I didn’t need to saving but it was really like a lifeline.
Something inside me said, “Remember, this is temporary. It will pass.”
So when I looked at everything I had learned from Michael, Nicola, and everybody else the only thing that was still helpful in what I was experiencing at the time was this is temporary. And I knew that it was not a belief. I just knew it. But I knew that it would change at some point. But I didn’t know when I didn’t know how it felt horrible.
I went through a whole gosh, so many medical tests everywhere, to make sure because I had even new symptoms, stomach upset and stuff like that. So it was a whole saga, which was not helping. But everything just came back normal and everything else. And then the anxiety sort of calmed down. But I found myself in a big dark cloud, really sad, really depressed, really dragging my feet for the best part of 2022.
Somehow, by some miracle, that allows me to look at what actually happened, what I was told, turned out to be true. I moved through, I moved through it, I came out on the other side, again, not sure how it started, not sure how it ended. But it’s ended. Because it’s been a few months now.
I feel more so actually solid, I feel much better at all levels. And so now it’s just looking back at, what happened? And again, not to prevent it from happening again. But more being curious as to what can I see about this, that? That would help me get more grounded. And be more okay, should it ever happen again. So that’s where I’m at today.
Alexandra: So much stuff in there that I would love to unpack. And just so many interesting things that you said.
You mentioned that it started sort of in 2021. Do you feel like there was any kind of COVID connection. In terms of anxiety?
Maryse: I think it was a looking back again, it’s my best guess. I don’t know. I think it was a built up of a lot of dark, dark stories. About some family issues, and we were having about COVID, about the vaccine, I had a lot of stories around or that. And basically, I really think my body went enough. Enough, I’m gonna make you feel all that. And I felt it.
But for the life of me, I had no idea as to how to change that. So again, this knowing that I didn’t need to, that somehow it would change for me, at some point really helped. Because 5 or 10 years ago, it would not have been like that I would have been, I can’t live like this anymore. And if something needs to change, I need to find the next person to listen to blah, blah, blah. And here it was more.
I feel defeated in a way because I thought that I had found the answer. And it was very humbling, very humbling to realize that even for myself, I had not found the answer that stuff like this could still happen. But yes, it was definitely a buildup of all that stuff. Yeah, I think definitely, I don’t know, as I said, it’s my best face.
Alexandra: There’s that expression in the principles that we’re always feeling or thinking. And so our body lets us know the quality of the thinking that’s going on in our minds.
Do you feel like this confirmed that expression to you?
Maryse: Yes. And no, in the sense that, definitely, I’m feeling something that’s happening at the thought level. But it’s not necessarily thinking I’m aware of it. It’s more what is going on in my mind, based on the past, on the conclusions that my brain is drawing, and so this is what we need to think about now, because that will keep us safer, and all that sense, all that stuff.
But yes, I definitely see deeper today that my experience is thought created, but thought in a broad sense, so that I don’t get trapped into thinking that I need to change a belief or that I need to change the story that’s going on in my head that they Oh, that minute or that moment? It’s more a question. Oh, that’s where it’s coming from. Okay. No big deal. And that’s it’s going to change. And but yes, definitely, the experiences thought created. Yeah. For me, it looks really true.
Alexandra: Good to hear that. And such an important point, I think, about how we’re aware of some of the thoughts that’s going through our heads, we can hear that voice in our head that sounds like us.
And then there does seem to be another level or layer of thought that we don’t necessarily hear. But it’s there nonetheless. Would you agree with that?
Maryse: Yes. And to go back to what you said in your previous question, that’s what the body lets us know. Yes, the body lets us know that something is going on.
And, it’s funny, because in the 3P world, especially at the beginning, I heard a lot the expression, the feeling basically, lets us know we’re off track. And I don’t think it’s an off track thing or on track thing.
It’s not a good or bad thing is just happening.
The feeling is uncomfortable, because there’s an uncomfortable something going on in the background. And again, sometimes it makes it makes sense to look at it closer and maybe adjust my behavior or whatever. And sometimes it doesn’t, it really depends.
To answer your question, yes, I agree. I think there’s a lot of stuff that we’re not aware of the brain is busy. And it’s funny, because I was talking to a friend of mine recently, and how we were taught to sleep on it right? I’m a big jigsaw puzzle fan. So I move away from a puzzle. And then I come back, and I’ll find the piece that I was looking for. But it’s not random. My brain continues working on it when I’m not aware.
So that’s what is going on. The brain continues, the mental activity continues, even we’re not we’re not aware of it. And then at some point, we feel it. So for me, that’s more thought that way. Rather than real thinking.
Alexandra: That’s such a beautiful description of the distinction. And you’re so right.
In fact, just last night, this is kind of goofy, but I had written this number down. I was adding up a bunch of stuff, and walked away thinking it was fine. In the middle of the night, I woke up with the realization that I had done a calculation wrong in this list of numbers. It wasn’t on my conscious mind at all. I thought I had done the thing correctly.
Yet my brain kept working on it, obviously, and then let me know there’s a mistake there.
Maryse: That’s a fabulous story. Because, again, we hear a lot about fresh thoughts and this and that, but it’s not woowoo. Fresh thought is not woowoo. It’s really how the brain works.
There’s something going on, it works on it, and then you wake up in the middle of the night or the next day, I go, and I place the piece, because it happens, and I don’t have to get involved in that process.
I think that’s another thing that I’ve seen over the last year or so is how literally involved I need to be to move through life to move through challenges or anything. Really. It’s taking care of me. I’m there obviously, because if there’s a piece to place on the puzzle, it’s not going to happen without my hand doing it, obviously, but it’s just so less of me of literally involved in my life these days. That’s a that’s a consequence of all the last few years, I think.
Alexandra: One of the things too, that I thought was really interesting that you said was that you when you found or discovered the principles and began to learn about them that you thought you had found the answer.
I’ll tell you what I heard from that, which was that you thought you would be symptom free. Is that how you would express that?
Maryse: I don’t know if it was completely to be symptom free, but I would be. I think I had set a level of symptoms that I would be alright with. Talk about stories, right? So everything that I experienced was sort of measured to that. And it measured really well.
I thought, after 14, 15, 16 years of seeking, this is it, this is it. This finally works. My family couldn’t believe the transformation. I would be afraid of doing everything. And then I signed up for SuperCoach Academy, Europe. I live in New York, and I traveled to Athens and Prague in London. And then it seemed as if it was taken away from me.
So more than an answer, I think I found at the time what I needed to find, to improve, to get some grounding again in my life. And somehow, maybe, I don’t know, that grounding wasn’t solid enough. So life, as life is known to do, just shook things up a little for me.
It’s interesting, because at the time, I was really having a bad day. And a friend of mine, said, Maryse, remember when you go through phases like this, she had no idea that it was a long phase, I was hiding it very well. But when you go something like that, it means you’re going to see something new, you’re going to see something new at some point.
That was a great reminder they because it got my interest going again, I was like, Okay, maybe that’s true. What more could I see around this? I got out of my victim mode. And got curious about what was going on. And that was slowly slowly and the way out.
Alexandra: What it says to me, you having that experience, is that you’ve gone even deeper. This is sort of another way to say what your friend says. You’re gonna see something more. And to me, you sharing your story has just shown me the wisdom and the perfection of our design.
It sounds like you see you see that as well. Would you say that’s true?
Maryse: Okay, let’s see the perfection of the design. I don’t know honestly. To me, it looks as if life wants to live. Life wants to experience life so that’s perfection. That’s perfection. I don’t know. And why we we get to see more or don’t see because some people want and I have no idea for me. That’s all the mystery of life. That’s what I saying what when I don’t have answers.
I thought I had in the sense that oh, but of course this is happening because mind, consciousness, thought and blah, blah, blah, blah. And now it’s like, I really don’t know. And to be honest with you, I don’t really fit. Like it’s more a moment by moment thing. So I think we are designed to live.
We are designed to experience everything.
So in that sense, is the design perfect? Yes. Because we are there is no question in my mind after the last years. We are resilient. We’re a resilient bunch. There’s no question and when we see that, it helps us but why some people see it and don’t see it, I don’t know. For me, it still looks as if some people can go through a lifetime without seeing that.
So are we perfectly designed it? I have no idea. But, but it looks true that we are deeply resilient, and that life wants to experience everything.
That’s something else that I saw is most of us are going to come into the Three Principles conversation because we are looking for answers. And we are looking for a way to live better to change us. I was feeling circumstances, whatever or to escape even those circumstances, feelings or whatever. And what I’ve seen around that is that it’s not so much about the deepening as it is about seeing how normal and safe experiencing all of life is.
Do I hope I never go through a phase like I’ve went through again? Yes. Do I know that it’s not going to happen? Because I know the three principles? No. Oh, do I know that it? It’s probably going to be a little easier to navigate? Because of what I’ve seen and felt? Yes. But there’s no guarantee.
Underneath all of that, I know I’ll be able to experience it. That’s it. I had a client once tell me, “If life sees fit to present me with something, it means I’m fit to experience it.”
Why are we fit to experience life? Because we will design by life? We are life itself? It makes complete sense to me today that, of course I’m able to experience everything. Because there’s nothing out of this bottle of life. I always like to say we didn’t invent the baby. We didn’t invent the human being. So there’s more ease with all that for me now because it feels normal and safe. Let’s see whatever comes.
Alexandra: Say that, again, what your client said.
If life sees fit to present me with an experience, it means I’m fit to experience it.
That wasn’t me. That wasn’t me. That was him. And it was one of those moments you love, when you talk with someone? It was a deeper realization for me around this.
When you have anxiety, basically, the core thing is that you don’t feel safe being alive. You just don’t feel safe being alive. And then some people don’t feel safe around health around food around this around that. But the core thing is that you don’t feel safe.
So to be able to develop, through seeing how resilient you are, or how life works and all that stuff, develop the sense of inner city safety, being alive, regardless of what you have to move through. It’s sort of sort of important when you suffer from anxiety because it doesn’t mean that you’re not anxious anymore, but it means that you’re not afraid of being anxious. That’s a big difference.
Alexandra:Yes. A huge difference. Nicola Bird used to have this phrase about having a pink fluffy life. I loved it when I first heard her say that and how we’re all looking for that, something that’s easy and trauma free and joyful and delightful all the time.
The way that I phrase that, which is a little more pointed, is that there’s no cure for life. There’s no cure for the experiences that we’re going to have.
I love that you’re pointing to the resilience that we all have to deal with anything that comes up.
Maryse: We really we really do. And we come out on the other side, because that’s just given also.
Alexandra: Exactly. You noticed at some point then, a reduction in those symptoms that you were having the panic attacks in the night and that kind of thing. And you obviously kept exploring as all that was going on?
I’ll give a little background for our listeners. I was in a cult for 10 years in the 1990s. And one of the unspoken rules, anytime you’re in a cult is, don’t question the premise. Don’t question the spoken rules, but also the unspoken rules in the organization or the group.
Did you find yourself questioning the principles? And were you comfortable doing that?
Maryse: I’ve always been comfortable questioning everything. So that’s, that’s just not a problem for me. I have a deeper version of boxes and structures and everything, which, like I said, at the beginning, was the structure of the three principles as a teaching, I was never comfortable with it. So I very rarely use the words mind, consciousness, thought.
But it’s very rare. I’d rather go through what I’ve seen. So to answer your question, did I question what I had seen, rather than questioned the structure of the principles? Did I question what I had seen? Oh, yes, yes. Because if I had really seen something that was true, how come I was feeling so bad again? So I went there. Full speed.
And in a way, it was a good thing, because I really believe when we talked about answers and stuff, every human being, even though we’re all come from the same life source, every human being has to find their own grounding their own answer, their own way. Every human being has to find their own way. So it helped me, this phase, to really look for my own way again, which, of course, is the paradox. It is the way for everyone.
Michael Neill, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard him say that people are looking for the bathroom. And when we have the three principles, we know the way to the bathroom. So we can just help them see that wait for the bathroom. And that’s where I was.
Today, I don’t see it like this anymore. I’m like, Yes, everybody’s looking for the bathroom, I’m looking for the bathroom, everybody is. My way to the bathroom is not yours. So for me to show you my way is not really going to help you very much.
I can guarantee you that the bathroom exists.
I can keep reminding you that it’s there when you think you’ll never get there. And I can be with you as you look for your way. And that’s that. So it’s a very different space to be in. It’s more of a space of I don’t know, really.
I know that there’s a way but is it the three principles, or it is something else for that person? I don’t know. When we can do is explore together. And that’s where I’m finding myself and it counts for me too. So whenever I questioned something, it’s not like the principles that didn’t work. What else can I find and all that.
It’s like, no, having seen and felt what I’ve seen and felt. What else can I see about this? And let’s explore. And there’s always something more to discover. For me, the big gift of of the last six months has been this exploration of self-kindness and self-compassion. I was well versed into it, but not really. I didn’t really need it in my own life until recently. And now it’s like, oh, it’s really nice. But that’s for me in this moment.
So again, it’s not 3P. It’s self-kindness. I like to say that everything is 3P, because the three principles explain how life works. And if you find it helpful, it’s great. If you don’t find it helpful, doesn’t matter. You’ll find something else. That’s helpful.
Because that’s what we’re looking for. And so that’s what we find. And so to answer your question, yes, definitely comfortable questioning, have questions. And even though I still see what the principles are pointing to as true for me, I’m not saying it has to be the answer for everyone. That’s, that’s, that’s where I’m at. I’m happy to explore.
Alexandra: I love that. That is such a great metaphor about the bathroom. Yes, it exists. And it’s so true.
The path that someone’s going to take could be completely different to getting there. That’s so great.
Maryse: It’s just a lot of humility, really. More listening to because I don’t know. So I know that I don’t know, for someone else. I really feel that if I don’t know, for me, at some point, I will. Because that’s how it’s been working. But I certainly don’t know for someone else. And they only know so I’m much more humble than I used to be.
Especially at the beginning, oh, my god with the principles, yes, she is. If you could only see this, yeah, your life would be transformed. And now it’s more like your life can be transformed. Let’s see how to go about it.
And it’s the same for me. Okay, I’m not seeing it right now. Well, let’s look below the surface and see what else is there. It’s actually makes it much more interesting than you think.
Alexandra: Good point. It’s so much more fun to explore than to think you have the answers. I agree. Absolutely.
Is there anything else that you see now that you haven’t shared yet that you didn’t see before this experience?
Maryse: Anything that I have seen? Well, I think if it had to be something, it would have to be presence. And it’s a big word. So what do I mean by that? It’s really being aware of the experience that I’m having without a ton of thinking about it.
To me this ability to want to stay with what I’m feeling. So especially when it’s uncomfortable, and again, to stay without clinging to it. It’s just to be with the experience as it moves through me. So there’s a deeper awareness.
Maybe it’s because there is this temporaryness of things was the number one factor that helped me but I’ve seen it deeper. It’s like everything is so fluid. I’m not so afraid anymore to stay present with it. And being present for me means just feeling what I feel without having an opinion or or needing to change it, because it changes by itself. But it was a nice idea. And now it’s become really cool exploration.
I have little glimpses of being experiential now. And really I’m feeling terrible right now. And it’s not a problem. It’s going to pass and be with it as it passes. It’s really weird in a way to talk about that it’s hard to describe, but to really be in the experience. I think that’s allowed me also to really be more present with others. It’s a work in progress, because it’s easier for me to be present to myself than it is to be present to others. But I guess that’s a good start.
Anyway, just start right here and then moving out. If I had to say something, it would be that I find that topic fascinating. And that’s gonna sound weird, but even when I’m not present, there’s still some part of me that is. And it’s like what we talked about before with the puzzle piece, are you waking up at night? It’s like, knowing at a deep level, that there’s a part of me that, that still registers everything, and that still moves along. It keeps leaving me It keeps moving me. So that’s new. That’s another thing that seemed to be a pretty big deal.
It’s evolving, we’ll see what it brings. But definitely something there.
Alexandra: Wow, this has been such a great conversation, Maryse. I have loved it so much. I feel like I’m floating, I’ve gotten so much out of it.
Maryse: Oh, thank you, that’s the gift right at the end. And it’s funny, because I have a friend who sees that much more clearly than I do that when we go through challenges, or when we go back into the pit it’s actually not bad news. It’s really another opportunity to see more of what we want to see, really. And I’ve started to, not look at it that way, but to experience it more that way. It’s getting more clear for me that way. So that the challenges in the pit, the darkness of the pit basically, doesn’t look so scary.
I use the metaphor of the diamond recently. It’s like we’re born, when we’ve got this diamond, right, it’s life. And it’s wonderful. And we’re children, and we play with it and everything. And then it’s like we go backwards, so we have this diamond from birth, and then it goes back into the ground, we slowly slowly put it back into the ground, and then we have to go and, and find it.
It seems to me that every challenge, everything that is put in our way, is an opportunity for us to to unearth that diamond or to polish it or to enjoy to see another facet. Once it’s there, we just scratch there and say, Oh, it shines slightly differently, and with different color or a different shade. And it’s really beautiful, beautiful process.
When we look at it that way, I suppose. It’s something I’m open to look at, which I wasn’t ready to do when I was feeling very bad. But now, I’m like, what if every challenge, every darkness, every cloud, every storm we go through is just another opportunity for us to see another facet of the diamond.
Alexandra: Exactly. The way I see it is I see it as wisdom everywhere. What what if there’s wisdom, even in the in the experiences we don’t enjoy? And what if there’s wisdom in our body, even when it’s making us uncomfortable? That kind of thing.
Why don’t you let our listeners know where they can find out more about you and your work.
Maryse: That’s a good point. I have a website I suppose. It’s flow-erpower.com Because yes, I love being in the flow. And I’m on Facebook too, so they can, reach me there.
Alexandra: And you have a lovely group with James Abbott, the Built In Brilliance Facebook group.
Maryse: Yes, I have a Facebook group there. And we have group calls with James. I met James through A Little Peace of Mind. He trained as a coach, I trained as a coach and now we host a group calls together which are really weren’t don’t teach at all. There’s just a forum for a joint exploration. It’s lovely. So we do that together. And yeah, it’s been it’s been fun. Or shall I say, it’s fun again?
Alexandra: Was it not fun? While you were going through this?
Maryse: Now, when I really took a pause, I needed to pause. I just we did some group calls. But in terms of coaching, I stopped everything.
It was my my beliefs. Well, my grounding, I suppose, for lack of a better word was shaken that badly.
I thought I have no business being with anybody right now. And now that’s changed because I’m like, it would be nice to explore from this new space with someone again, so I’m getting back to that. But it was no fun.
Alexandra: Well, I’m glad you’re back to it. That’s awesome.
Maryse: Me too. It’s nice. And again, like all of us. I have my moments, but it’s not a problem.
Alexandra: No, exactly. It’s life.
Thank you again, Maryse. This has been awesome.
Maryse: Thank you so much for having me. It was great.