Your Kick Ass Life Podcast

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Welcome to episode 130 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Trauma and trauma resolution are two issues we’ve touched on before but today we spend an entire show on it. Our guest, Rachael Maddox, is an expert on both.

Rachael is a trauma resolution educator, coach and guide who helps women heal and understand sexual traumas they’ve experienced so they can move through the world with joy and success. Rachael’s coaching certification was earned from The Coaches Training Institute, and she is certified in trauma resolution through The Alchemical Alignment.

On this show, we dive into her very personal, firsthand experiences with trauma, how somatic therapy helped her heal when nothing else worked, and how that therapy ultimately led to what she does today.

 

 

Direct download: 130RachaelMaddox_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Hey Ass kickers!

Welcome to episode 129 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! I’m thrilled to bring you this archived episode with life coach, master communicator and my very best friend, Amy E. Smith. Amy hosts a podcast called The Joy Junkie with her hubs, Mr. Smith. On the podcast and in her business Amy helps people find their voice, and stand up for themselves (without being a dick). I brought her on the show to talk about self-love: what it is and how to practice it no matter who you are or where you are in your life. We get into the common misconceptions and pitfalls about self-love, why loving yourself actually helps you change your life and why choosing self-love is a daily practice.

Direct download: 129AmySmith_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Welcome to episode 128 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today I’ve got another amazing guest for you, Susan Anderson. Susan is considered the founder of the Abandonment Recovery movement, and is a dedicated psychotherapist who has spent over 30 years helping those who struggle with abandonment trauma, grief, and loss. Naturally on this episode we discuss abandonment, and also how she came to write the book The Abandonment Recovery Workbook. She shares the neuroscience behind the deep wounds abandonment imprints on us, and we both share our personal abandonment experiences.

Direct download: SusanAnderson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Welcome to episode 127 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today I’ve got yet another special guest to share with you, Jenny Blake. Jenny is an internationally-known author, speaker and career and business strategist. She’s also a fellow podcaster and has been my friend for nearly a decade. On this episode, Jenny and I are talking about her latest book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, what pivots are and are not, and how she has learned so much from navigating pivot points in her own life. You’ll Also Hear:

● What inspired her to write this book?

● What are the four stages of a pivot?

● The three things to test when you are in pilot mode.

● Does your life contain the clues you need to discover your next pivot?

● Does all change involve loss?

● How to trust your emotional process when pivoting.

● What has she learned from meditation?

● Why she calls 2013 her apocalypse year, and what it taught her.

● Why Jenny believes our challenges are chosen for us.

● And much more!

Direct download: JennyBlake_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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As the year comes to an end, I love thinking about not only my accomplishments,  but what I’ve learned. And this year I’ve made a list of the lessons I know to be true off the top of my head, 38 to be exact.There are loads more, but here’s a start:

  1. Cleaning up my own messes is the best way to sleep at night. This means apologizing when I’ve been an asshole and just generally doing my best to fix things I’ve made a mess of.
  2. Taking radical responsibility for my life is the only option.  No one else is responsible for my happiness. No one.
  3. My children don’t define me.  I used to think becoming a mother would be my ultimate life purpose. It isn’t. I used to have a lot of guilt and shame about that. But, I don’t anymore.
  4. No relationship will complete me. Not a single one.
  5. My vagina looks the way it does, and I’m okay with that, I even love it. That also goes for my boobs, tummy, and every other body part I used to hate. I’m done listening to people that tell me I need to look different.
  6. “Taking the edge off” really needed to be examined. For me, I was taking off all the edges. And sometimes edges just need to be dealt with.
  7. Exercise really is the best medicine.
  8. The voice in my head that tells me I’m not enough is a liar.
  9. Progress, not perfection.
  10. “Let it go” is 99% of the time, the best way to solve a problem.
  11. “No” is a complete sentence.
  12. If I listen, my body is usually trying to tell me something.
  13. I only apologize when I really, truly can stand behind it.
  14. There will always be people that don’t like me and it’s not my job to change their minds. (I admit this one is still tough. It’s a one-day-at-a-time lesson.)
  15. My parents did the best they could, with what they had at that time.  And as parents, that’s all we can do.
  16. Forgiveness is more about me, and not them.
  17. Time really doesn’t heal all wounds—I’m in charge of that. Time helps, but being proactive is the catalyst.
  18. All wisdom is created from healed pain.
  19. Trying to control everything is my one-way ticket on the crazy train. Sometimes I forget this and get on board.
  20. The comparison trap is basically made-up stories of what I think someone else’s life is like.
  21. We’re all scared. We all have fear. The people that say they are fearless are just pretending.
  22. None of us get out of this alive. And in the end, I want to be proud how I lived it.
  23. If we all worked on our insides as much as we worked on our outsides, the world would change for the better.
  24. You end up with what you put up with. Examine it and change what you don’t like.
  25. At your funeral, no one will talk about your failures. So, keep failinguntil you get it right.
  26. At that same funeral, no one will talk about how your body looked. Your heart and spirit matter more.
  27. You really do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, don’t be a dick.
  28. Uncomfortable conversations are always hard. However, that elephant in the room isn’t going anywhere (and takes up a lot of space)—so you might as well call it out.
  29. Most people really are too busy thinking about themselves to be obsessing about you like you think they are.
  30. It’s usually never, ever as big a deal as we think it is. Ever.
  31. That person that treats you like shit is a giant invitation to not be around that person ever.
  32. If you spend time nosing in other people’s business, there’s probably something important in your life you’re purposely avoiding dealing with.
  33. God always has your back.
  34. Kindness really always does win.
  35. Love is always the answer.
  36. Having an open mind can many times blow your mind.
  37. None of us are broken or need fixing. Improvement, yes.
  38. Whatever you think you are, will be your truth. And you are completely in charge of that, babe.
Direct download: ep126final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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This is a re-broadcast with Sally Hope, one of my favorite podcast guests. As many of you know my father passed away last month and I’m taking a break for a few weeks and re-airing archived episodes. I thank you for your patience during this time. Next week is a brand new episode!

Another amazing edition of the YKAL podcast is upon us! I’m here with Sally Hope, founder of The Wildheart Revolution. I love Sally’s take on life and I’m sure you will too. In this episode we talk about several different important topics...

  • In a recent blog post Sally talks about trying to please everyone and how to stop doing this. We discuss the gist of her post, how we’ve both learned to do our best of NOT caring so much if other people like us.
  • Next we talk about LIFE PURPOSE and how to actually take the pressure off ourselves in our quest to finding it. (Because in actuality that pressure is keeping you from finding it!)

  • Sally’s message screams to not apologize for who you are.We discuss that being your biggest self might mean having to leave some people behind and how to go about dealing with that. 
  • One of Sally’s big things is going on adventures! I ask her where would someone start that doesn’t have a ton of time or money? This conversation segues into talking about friends (aka your tribe) and how to create that in your life. Sally has NEW ideas for you!

 I’m just certain you’ll love Sally Hope as much as I do! She’s such a great inspiration full of love and authenticity. And get ready for next week for an all new episode!

Direct download: 125SallyHope_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/124

Hey Ass kickers! Welcome to another episode of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! My friend Randi joins us to talk about the all-important topic of boundaries and how nice people set ‘em. Randi is THE expert of experts! She’s a life coach, hard truth-talker and creative producer of products that encourage women to step into their truth, and transform their inner and interpersonal struggles. Trust me, I KNOW boundaries are difficult and we ALL struggle with them-- whether it’s family members, co-workers, or our neighbors, we could all use some help in this area, right? On today’s show she shares with us how creating our own container of what we want in our lives sets our boundaries, what gardens have to do with boundaries and ultimately why we struggle with boundaries so much.

Direct download: 124RandiBuckley_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/123 

Hi Ass kickers,

As you’ll hear in this week's podcast episodes, my father died on last Sunday. Over the next several weeks, you’ll get some re-broadcasts of my favorite episodes. I’ve also decided to put the recovery series on hold until January. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

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I’m so glad you’re here for another episode of Your Kick-Ass Life. Today we’ve got the fabulous Christina Dunbar. Christina is an actress, poet, activist and women’s leader. She offers programs for artists, entrepreneurs and wild women helping them take the stage and share their own soul story. She’s also the inspiration and creator behind her one-woman show, Dirty Me Divine.

On this episode we dive into that experience fully as well as what it means to take a stand, and why that is often difficult for women, and what steps we can take to express our unique voices.

Direct download: 123ChristinaDunbar_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R5

Welcome to the 5th episode in the recovery series with our guest Dawn Nickel of She Recovers. This is the last episode in this series until January when it will pick back up. In this episode you’ll hear:

 

  • Dawn has been drug and alcohol free since 1989, and then relapsed in 2000. She tells us her story.

 

  • I ask Dawn what advice do she has for someone who isn’t quite 100 percent sure they need to quit.

 

  • She tells us her advice for someone in their first few months of sobriety.

 

  • And last, I ask her to tell us one thing she’s proud of right now and one thing she’s struggling with.

 

Direct download: R5Dawn_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/122

Another YKAL podcast episode is here and as always, I’m excited you’re here to meet our guest. Jenny Fenig is a coach, yogi, mom of 3, and all around amazing woman whose message to women is get gutsy in order to find your soul’s true calling.

 In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How has the tragic loss of her sister and two friends played a role in her finding and living her calling.
  • Her journey from corporate leader to yogi to business owner.
  • What was her moment that made her decide to release alcohol from her life.
  • What to say in social situations when people ask why you’re not drinking.
  • What are “pivot point moments” and how they can helpful for women trying to discover their soul’s calling.
  • And more!
Direct download: 122JennyFenig_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R4

Episode 4 in the special recovery series is an interview with Holly Whitaker. Holly is the founder of Hip Sobriety, which aims to provide a modern, holistic, accessible and desirable path to sobriety, and to remove the stigma associated with addiction (and sobriety). In this episode you’ll hear:

● Holly shares about her relationship with alcohol and when she decided it was time to quit.

● She tells us her feelings about Alcoholics Anonymous.

● What is devolution and how does it happen in addiction.

● Holly shares advice for someone new in sobriety.

● And she tells us some of the things she does to to stay sober.

Direct download: R4HollyWhitaker_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/121

As a coach, it’s my job to ask women questions. Lots of them. Over the years, I’ve seen patterns of the women that come to me and what questions to ask to get down to the nitty-gritty of their lives. In no particular order, here are five questions I’d love for you to answer about yourself…

Direct download: Ep121_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R3

Episode 3 in the special recovery series is an interview with Laura McKowan. Laura is a mom, writer, and recovery warrior. In this episode you’ll hear:

● Laura’s progressive story of her relationship with alcohol and when she decided it was time to quit.

● We both share stories of when we felt immense shame as mothers around our drinking and the moment we both knew it was affecting our children.

● I ask Laura if she ever has that voice that tells her it might be possible to moderate.

● Laura tells us what she does to stay sober— what she’s tried that’s worked and what hasn’t worked.

Ass kickers, I hope you’re enjoying listening to these episodes as much as I enjoyed recording them with these magnificent women! If you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask the guests, please contact us to let us know!

Direct download: R3LauraMcKowan_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/120

Hello ass kickers! Today I’m bring you and oldie, but goodie— a re-airing of a podcast from many moons ago— an episode with my friend Tanya Geisler. She’s talking with us about the Imposter Complex, a syndrome that many of us have experience with. If you’re not sure what that is— just listen to the first few minutes and you’ll be sure to say to yourself, “Oh, wait, that’s me too!”

Tanya is Leadership Coach who’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She’s an in-demand TEDx speaker who talks with great passion about the Impostor Complex, personal leadership, on all things joy, meaning and purpose (just try to stop her).

Direct download: TanyaGeisler_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R2

Ass kickers!

I’m so excited to bring you the first interview in the special recovery series. Courtney Webster is here with us today and Courtney is not only someone who has over a decade of strong recovery from alcohol, drugs, and an eating disorder, but she’s one of my closest friends.

Before I jump in, if you’re just hearing about this, in addition to the regular episodes of the YKAL podcast, I’m going a 10-part bonus series for anyone who thinks they might be struggling with alcohol, anyone who knows they are struggling with alcohol, or even if you know someone who is and want to better understand them (or forward these episodes to them!).

Courtney and I met at coach training in 2008 and in 2011 when I got honest with myself and was thinking about trying sobriety, Courtney was the first person I called. I was so afraid to tell her I was struggling-- afraid she would judge me. Well, she didn’t. She let me talk about it and told me if I wasn’t 100% sure I had a problem with drinking, then I could quit for 30 days and see what happened. Let’s just say it was very telling! Listen to the ep to see what happened…

Direct download: R2CourtneyWebster_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/119

Hey, in case you missed it yesterday– a BONUS post/pod episode came out yesterday on the topic of recovery and sobriety! Click here if you missed it and I would be honored if you shared it with people you think might be helped from it.

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Self help. What many jokes are made of and maybe some of us still feel a little embarrassed standing in that aisle in the bookstore. God forbid anyone will know that we struggle, don’t have all of our shit together, and want to change things in our life that are making us binge eat/drink entire bottles of wine in one sitting/try to control everyone and everything (er, not that I know what any of that is like).

And I’m fascinated why some people change and then others stay the same. What really fascinates me and what this post is about, is why some people want to change and know their lives would be better if they did that, but they don’t. There is much psychology behind the reasons, but what I’m talking about today are signs that it’s time for you to take a look at WHY you’re stuck in self-help-dom so you can hopefully make some changes in the right direction. So, I’ve compiled a list of signs you might be on the “self help hamster wheel” and what to do about it.

  1. Buying self-help books without reading them. I think we have ALL done this one. Someone recommends it, or we see it at the bookstore, or the title seemed to scream, “THIS BOOK WILL FIX YOU!” so we buy it. And it sits on our bookshelf unopened for years. And then we feel like shit about that. But really, sometimes I think we’re just not ready to read it. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe it. In some weird, serendipitous way, The Universe will know when it’s time and it will somehow make its way into your hands and into your heart.
  2. Signing up for self improvement classes, feeling relieved… and then not doing the work. Getting your credit card out before hitting “buy now” is not a magic wand that will fix you and ease your pain. The actual WORK will. There is a direct correlation between people that see growth and empowerment in their lives and doing the actual work it takes to get there. This includes worksheets, journaling, quality introspective thinking, doing what you commit to doing, listening to your intuition instead of your fear and more.
  3. Getting really good at telling your story about how screwed up you are and where your issues stem from. Don’t I know this one all too well. Here’s a typical scenario for the type of woman that is into self help: Step 1: She comes to a point in her life where she wants to feel better and/or she has a pretty heartbreaking turn of events and decided to change her life. Step 2: She tells anyone who will listen about her story. Step 3: She reads about helping herself and maybe takes a self improvement class here and there (and especially loves the ones where she’s invited to tell her story). Step 4: There is no step 4. She stays stuck in telling her story and actually feels better (temporarily) when people feel sorry for her. Now, if this is you, I’m not making you wrong for doing this. Telling your story can be healing and fuels connection between the right people. Where it can hold you back is when you get comfortable with that and don’t leave. What I would invite you to do is start by taking inventory of what you learned from your experience and how, going forward, it has made you a better person, or how you WANT it to make you a better person.
  4. You get on whatever self-help trend is the newest thing. Your partner and/or friends probably roll their eyes at you when you tell them whatever new method you’re excited about. You’re doing EFT tapping! No, wait, Bikram yoga is your thing. And meditation. No, wait, getting your tarot cards read this week with an appointment with your foot zoner, as well as your astrologer. I think what tends to happen here is that the person that does this is in a lot of pain and looking for that thing, that guru, that miracle that will fix them and change the way they feel. I’m all for trying new things and switching it up every once in awhile, but be careful here. Before you move on and leave behind what you were trying before, give it enough time to really sink into the learning of the method.

Did you resonate with any of these? Feel like you’re stuck and not moving? It’s really okay…knowledge is key!

Direct download: Episode119Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R1

Original post from September 27th, 2012.

This is the first in a ten-part series I’ll be hosting on alcoholism and recovery. If you don’t want to miss the rest of the episodes, make sure you sign up here to be notified when a new one comes out.

And stick around until the end where I’ll share a clip from next week’s recovery post!

My stomach lurches as I begin this post. I considered not going public with this, but that damn intuition of mine had other ideas.

There’s a part of me that wants to make this post bright and cheery somehow, but I’d be lying to you and me if I did that. I’d like to preface my story with this: I know there are so many more women like me. So, I chose to go public with my story because of that. There is a part of me that has massive amounts of shame around this, but coming clean helps heal. And if only one woman gets sober on account of reading my story, then all the shame is worth it.


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Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m an alcoholic.

Yep. Me.

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “alcoholic”, you get that vision of the homeless man in the gutter, drinking from a paper bag, or maybe the leathery skinned, worn-out woman at the bar, falling off the barstool, or any other pathetic image you conjure up. Not often do you picture a successful life coach, living a great life in the suburbs. And that story is a big part of what kept me drinking.

I’ll start by backing up. My battle started in my late teens with love addiction. When I was 25 my struggle grew into an eating disorder, and thankfully I got help and healed from those when I was 31. It wasn’t until years later that I realized and admitted the eating disorder was bad enough that it could have killed me. To add fuel to the fire, when I was 26 I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic disorder, which at that time, was being helped with medication prescribed by my doctor.

Throughout my 20’s, in terms of drinking alcohol, I was a “normal” girl . I drank socially just like all my friends, but could always put down the bottle without a fight. Sure, there were episodes where I made bad decisions (does anyone make good decisions drinking?) and had some embarrassing moments, but nothing so humiliating to write about. Looking back, I believe I didn’t need to rely on drinking then to cope, because I had my eating disorder to fall back on, as well as an addictive relationship with my ex-husband. Those behaviors fed the addict me and I didn’t yet need alcohol to numb me.

Upon recovering from the eating disorder and love addiction, I skipped along into my new life with new tools and thoughts to cope without turning to a relationship, a man, or my eating disorder.


When I was well into recovery from those two addictions, I was so proud and happy. I was convinced I was finally “mentally stable”. But, little did I know, my alcoholism took its place. Quietly, it snuck in like a lethal, poisonous gas that I couldn’t see. I really had no problem quitting drinking when I was pregnant, but after the birth of my second child in 2009 is when my drinking picked up serious speed and momentum.

I found myself drinking nearly every day. And the days that I didn’t, it was to prove to myself that I didn’t need to. See? I could skip a day. I’m okay. When attending social events my mind revolved around alcohol. I was constantly thinking about how full my drink was, if anyone noticed how much I was drinking, if I needed to cover up how drunk I was getting, how much more time I had to drink, and so on.

After about a year of this the whispers in my head started.
“Normal people probably don’t do this.”
“Do I need to cut back?”
“This probably isn’t good.”

In December of 2010 I remember one evening finishing an entire bottle of wine in one evening by myself. Granted, I know there had been plenty of times I’d drank 4 + glasses of wine in one evening, but never by myself at home. On a weeknight. I was so ashamed and swore I would cut back. The next morning at the grocery store I proudly passed the wine aisle and didn’t buy any. By 4:00 that evening the anxiety had risen in me and quickly brought myself and my kids back to the grocery store to get a bottle. Because I deserved it. Because I had a long day. Because I would only have one glass while cooking dinner. I ended up drinking 3 glasses and was proud of myself for not drinking the whole bottle.

Soon after that, an entire bottle was pretty regular. I started hiding how much I was drinking from my husband, and pretty quickly the obsession started of hiding, worrying, and wondering what I should do. This was a living hell. The more that I tried to not think about drinking and the feelings that surrounded it, the worse I felt. My first thoughts in the morning were guilt and shame about how much I drank the night before. Then the thoughts would move to planning on cutting back. Then wondering if I have a real problem. Then justifying my drinking. More guilt and shame. Each day the afternoon would come and I would watch the clock waiting for an “appropriate” time to pour my first glass. The times were getting earlier and earlier. If I remember correctly, my earliest drink was 2:30 pm.

And the whispers got louder and more clear:
“Normal people don’t do this”
“Why can’t I stop thinking about this?”
“I think I have a problem”

I googled, “Am I an alcoholic?” I hoped Google and the internets would magically pop up a “YES!” or “NO!” on the screen instead of a bunch of links. I kept reading, “Only you know if you have a problem” and I wanted to scream. Mostly because I DID know I had a problem. However….. I was paralyzed with fear to quit drinking. I could not imagine my life without alcohol in it. I mean, I LOVE alcohol. I’m good at drinking. And, at the same time, there was a large part of me that was convinced there was NO WAY I could be an alcoholic. I mean, have you seen the show “Intervention”? Did you see the episode of Oprah where the mom was hiding bottles of Chardonnay behind the kitchen trash and laundry room? That wasn’t me! That’s an alcoholic, right? And I JUDGED those women! But the whisper in my head politely tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that those women were once where I was at that moment. They didn’t just wake up one day and start hiding booze. But, I kept justifying my drinking. I was never drunk when I drank at home alone. I never drove, I never lost control with my kids, I never yelled. We had a house in the suburbs, 2 cars, 2 kids and my marriage was actually pretty good. How could I be an alcoholic?

And no one knew. No confrontations, no raised eyebrows, no one told me I should cut back. But, the hiding was becoming a full-time job. And one that I didn’t want anymore. So, if no one knew, and I was doing a good job of controlling it (or so I convinced myself), then I didn’t have to quit. Right? I mean I didn’t have a “rock bottom” that we always hear about. My life was great. All I did was drink too much. No DUI’s. No arrests. No tragic story whatsoever.

So what changed?

Well, I did some research. Not the college term paper kind, but just read blogs of women in recovery, and talked to some girlfriends who had gotten sober.

Here was my turning point: I admitted that what was happening to me was happening fast. And it was out of my control. My drinking wasn’t yet out of control, but this progression was. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” And I knew exactly where I was headed. My intuition, the whispers, were speaking more loudly at this point. I could. Not. Lie. Anymore to myself. I has just started my business and I felt like such a hypocrite writing and telling people how to live their best life. Their “kick-ass” life for Christ’s sake. And I was lying to myself every day. And numbing the pain with alcohol.

I knew I had 2 choices: Keep drinking and see what would happen. Or, quit drinking and see what happened. I was pretty sure I was an alcoholic, and true alcoholics don’t get better if we keep drinking (no matter how desperately we try). We just get worse. I was more terrified to see what would happen if I kept drinking, than to try sobriety. That was all I needed to realize to reach out and try sobriety.

And so I quit.

And it hasn’t all been easy. Some days are, and some aren’t. As time has gone on, the days are easier and now I can’t imagine my life if I had kept up the progression. But, I can’t think about the rest of my life without alcohol. I just can’t. Every day I make a decision and commitment to stay sober that day. Just that day. I’m human, I’m an alcoholic and that’s all I can do.

Today, September 27th, 2012 I have one year of sobriety.

*In the audio version of this post I go into more detail about my current recovery and what I’ve done over the last 5 years to stay sober and practice recovery, as well as questions to ask yourself if you think you have a problem.

Did you like this post? This is the first in a ten-part series I’ll be hosting on alcoholism and recovery. If you don’t want to miss the rest of the episodes, make sure you sign up here to be notified when a new one comes out.

 

 
Direct download: R1Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/118

Welcome to episode 118 of Your Kick-Ass Life! Today I’m thrilled to share with you my dear friend, colleague and repeat guest Ms. Amy Pearson.

 If you haven’t heard Amy before you are in for a treat! She is the founder of Live Brazen, as well as a Master-certified Martha Beck Life Coach. She’s also a coach mentor and an instructor for Martha Beck’s life coach training. Plus she’s a writer, a teacher and a speaker who is on a mission to help the heart-centered entrepreneurs of the world!

 On today’s show, we talk about what it means to be addicted to approval - something she is intimately familiar with! She explains the different forms approval addiction can show up as, and how to know if you fit into any of them.

Direct download: AmyPearson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/117

Today I have a bonus episode for you! The regularly scheduled episode came out yesterday-- 6 reasons you’re afraid and what to do about it-- and today I wanted to bring you a special guest today for a specific reason.

As you know, I’m a life coach. The term “life coach” has taken on many meanings over the last couple of decades. It’s a relatively new profession, and even more new as an online business. I get many, many people who ask me questions like, “How did you become a life coach? Can you actually make a living at it? What school did you go to? What does one need to do to be successful at it? How do I build an online business?” and while I do take a handful of private clients for consulting on this topic, I wanted to have someone on whom I trust implicitly-- someone I’ve hired to help me in my business and who knows all there is to know about building an online business, Tara Gentile.

Tara is the founder of Quiet Power Strategy, a company that provides hands-on business training for idea-driven entrepreneurs. She’s also the author of three books: Art of Earning, Quiet Power Strategy and The Observation Engine. She’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, and Chris Guillebeau’s New York Times best-seller The $100 Start-Up. As if that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a podcast called Profit Power Pursuit! It’s a show dedicated to highlighting the real truth about the logistics of running a successful business.

Today we continue that truth-talking about the life coaching business, including who this industry is for and who it isn’t. She explains why most life coaches are missing the answer to this very important question, and why the answer is so critical.

Direct download: TaraGentile_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/116

Everyone has fear. I don’t care if you’ve led a charmed life or had the emotional shit kicked out of you time and time again. Whether you have self-confidence, whether you’re Miss America or a college student. We all have it.

Let me break down the most common things people are afraid of (I’ve left out things like spiders, zombies, the dark, etc. because this is the mostly about the “being” part. Zombies are a completely valid thing to be afraid of, though.) Here we go:

Fear of failure. Fear of not making the team. Not getting that promotion. Your marriage falling apart and divorcing. Being rejected when you ask someone out. Instead, we just don’t try at all. We sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do things we want to do, and convince ourselves they must have some kind of secret sauce or some immunity to hurt, or perhaps they’re just fearless like everyone is talking about on Pinterest.

Fear of success. Fear of being in the limelight. Having to sustain our success and keep moving forward. Shining too bright and making others uncomfortable. Showing off. So, we play small to avoid any of that.

Fear of other people’s judgments, opinions, criticism, words, opposition, breathing. We DO care what other people think of us. I truly believe NO ONE out there really gives “zero fucks.” But, the real fear is of the haters. Our parents might think we’re crazy for leaving our crap marriage. Or friends might tell us starting our own business might be too hard. And then those anonymous people on the Internet can be really, really mean, so let’s play it safe and not risk criticism from them.

Fear of “The Unknown” aka fear of change. Sounds scary, right? What I’ve come to learn about this one is that pretty much everything in life is unknown. There are no guarantees, ever. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. So, to try our damnedest to control this Unknown, we play safe and small in order to get some crumbs from The Unknown.

Fear of feeling your feelings. Pretty sure I’m an expert here because I’ve used every vice to numb my feelings except gambling. It’s been a few years now that I’ve made an honest effort to let all the vices go and actually feel my feelings, and I will tell you– it can be downright scary. So, I get it. It can be big things or little things that get thrown our way and instead of actually dealing with it we eat, drink, shop, just plain obsess on something else until (we think) it goes away. (Truth: it never does.)

Fear of confrontation and awkward conversations. These, I don’t think, are ever easy. I’m sure we all know (or are in one) that family that will not talk about that giant elephant in the room. Or the manager that will not have that conversation with your co-worker that totally sucks. The big problem is that when this is avoided, it prevents you from setting boundaries that need to be in place. Then you end up pissed and resentful.

Here’s the thing that ALL of these fears have in common in order to overcome: They require action. Sometimes MASSIVE action.

All the people that are killing it out there in their careers, in their relationships, with their goals and dreams, their only “secret” is that they got off their ass and did something. They actually did a lot of something. And the excuses and stories that come out of your mouth are just that: excuses and stories.

So, the truth is, if you have something big that you want to do— or maybe it’s a lot of little things you want to tweak in order to change your life and actually be happier…but you keep convincing yourself your excuses are valid I challenge you to stop complaining about your situation if you are refusing to take action on it.

30 days. You’re not allowed to utter one complaint about your sucky job, your asshole partner, or whateverthefuck it is that you refuse to take action on because you’re afraid.

Because my friends, think about the alternative. Stay in your situation that sucks. Don’t take action. And look out long term. Say, 5 or 10 years. In 5 or 10 years from now think about how you’re going to feel if things are exactly the same and the way you don’t want them to be. Still. Maybe you need to deal with some shit with a therapist. (And that’s taking action, btw.) Or maybe it’s as simple as you need to get off your ass and make things happen. Only you know.

Direct download: Episode116Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/115

Welcome to episode 115 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s show is guaranteed to fire you up - I’m joined by the fabulous Nisha Moodley to talk about women as leaders and the impact we can all have when following our greatest passions.

Nisha is a women’s leadership coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Freedom Sisterhood. She is also a featured expert on DailyWorth, and has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post and The Daily Love.

On this episode, you’ll also hear about the truth and beauty in sisterhood, why we don’t need to perfect but simply walk our talk, the connection between freedom and sisterhood, and how women and their voices will free the world.

Direct download: NishaMoodley_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/114

Burnout.

So, I’m in a burn out phase. It happens. I used to beat myself up for getting to a place of burn out, feeling like I must have done something wrong along the way, that I must have not balanced right, must have not delegated enough, didn’t lean in at the right angle.

But, nine years into raising babies, a business, and participating in a marriage, for me-- burn out is part of the game. And some self-help experts might gasp and tell me I’m doing it wrong, and that it doesn’t have to be that way, and my response is that I’m doing the best I can, I’m totally confident of that-- and this is what works for me.

I kind of look at my life and have found it possible and necessary to have self-compassion because when you do what I do-- when you hold space for people emotionally (sometimes a lot of people at once) it’s thrilling and beautiful and amazing and all of those things, and it can also be exhausting. Coupled with other factors-- a child with special needs, new big projects and it’s the perfect storm. Luckily, now, I see burnout coming like when the train tracks start to vibrate before you can see the train, instead of how it used to be-- not seeing it and letting the train hit me.

So, now when I see it coming, I back out and figure out what I need to do in terms of self-care. What that looks like is that I’ve decided to NOT teach any more classes for the rest of the year. The Masterclass will open for registration either in December or January, (get on the waitlist if you don’t want to miss  early registration which has a price break!) and we’ll start in the new year. I’ve also decided to put off some projects that I was gung-ho on earlier this year. They’ll wait until January.

In other words, I make necessary changes. And I have to grapple with my inner-critic that tells me I can’t put those things off, they’re imperative to my bottom line, and it’s a big mistake. My inner-critic tells me I actually CAN and SHOULD do it all and that other bullshit that makes me crazy.

In other words, I surrender.

YOU GUYS! DID YOU HEAR THAT? I SURRENDER. ME, ANDREA OWEN, THE QUEEN OF “I’M NOT LETTING ANYTHING GO YOU’LL HAVE TO PRY IT OUT OF MY COLD, DEAD HANDS”. I SURRENDERED.

Which is proof, it can be done. Letting it go can happen. Even though I’m pretty sure hell has frozen over and there are pigs flying there, but yep, surrender.

And to be honest, this has been a process. It’s not like I woke up this week and decided. It’s been years of surrendering in the shallow end with floaties on. Easing into to surrender. Little teeny, tiny turtle steps.

Switching gears, part of my burnout was the beginnings of a new, big project: writing my second book. I feel like it’s just like having a second baby-- you’re already done it so you know what to expect, but that doesn’t really make it any easier. It’s a different baby, so you don’t really know how it’s going to go until you’re in it.

So, right now I’m exiting the “fuck off” phase and entering the “panic” phase (see below).

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I have until December 31st to finish the entire manuscript. Now, this might seem like a long time, but I’d be a lot happier with about two extra months (not possible for a fall 2017 release date). So, from August 29th (first week of school) to December 31st, I will be head-down, eating, sleeping, and breathing writing this book. When I first decided to write it, I said to everyone, “This time it won’t be so dramatic, I’m choosing to have it not be so hard. Peace and ease people, peace and ease.”

Ahem.

Y’all. THIS IS HARD. Elizabeth Gilbert calls this “creative martyrdom” when you make this face:

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all through your creative process and let me tell you-- me and creative martyrdom are doing a disco dance together. We’ve got it down, we are so in sync, we have matching outfits and are LEGIT. CREATIVE MARTYRDOM HAS BEGUN.

On a positive note, because it’s so hard and dramatic, this book is going to SPECTACULAR. I’m so excited for you to read it!

Direct download: Ep114-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/113

Welcome to episode 113 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! I’m delighted to bring you yet another terrific guest, my friend and yours, Christine Hassler. You may remember Christine from her first visit to the show on episode 58 (it’s linked in the resources section below). To refresh your memory, Christine is a former Hollywood agent who left that life at the age of 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about. In the 10+ years since then, she has become a life coach, a speaker, an author and a retreat leader. She helps women and men around the world uncover self-acceptance, find their passions and make an impact in the world. In addition to her latest best-selling book, Christine has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, PBS and regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and Cosmo. On this episode, we talk about topics like what her divorce taught her about honoring herself and her own path, and what proactively surrendering means to her.

Direct download: ChristineHassler_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/112

Today I’m going to talk about something I’ve never talked about before: racism.

So, why this topic? I'm passionate about a lot of different important matters-- media literacy, the oversexualization of girls and women, recovery, sex trafficking, Autism awareness, LGBTQ rights, but the reason I'm talking about this now is because I think there's a lot of people who might relate to my experience and learn from this conversation. Also, what dawned on me is that if I’m passionate about female equality, if I want things like equal pay and the same rights for women as we have for me….isn’t this the same thing? Equality for all people, not just equality for women.

So, maybe, selfishly, I’m here talking about this as a way of apologizing for my own ignorance. Maybe it’s a way for me to process the feelings around it. And for the record, I know that equal rights for people of color matter more than white people's feelings. I know that. But, I think for people who may be just “waking up” here, I needed to at least mention it. At any rate, I thought it would be helpful to do it all out loud and basically, I have some intentions for this episode:

1. To talk about my journey as a white person in America and how for me...coming to terms with my own racism, how I've unknowingly contributed and what I'm doing, feeling and thinking now.


2. Walk my talk in that to create change, we need to have these tough, uncomfortable conversations. I'm open to talk about a lot of hard topics, but this one has been probably the most uncomfortable yet.


3. To encourage you to get honest with yourself. I promise I'll be 100% honest in this episode and can 100% guarantee I'll want to throw up.


Because at the end of the day, this podcast is about living your kick-ass life, it’s about you gaining the skills to have conversations about tough things that no one wants to talk about. Typically, no one wants to talk about vulnerability, shame, and fear and I ask you regularly to talk about those. I teach classes on how to do this. And this is what this podcast episode is about. Me having one of those hard conversations and inviting you to do the same. I don't expect you to go out and join a black lives matter chapter, or speak out publicly about this if you're scared (but if you want to, GO DO IT). Today is about talking about something that needs to be talked about.

Again, I am really uncomfortable having this conversation. I’m afraid. Afraid of saying the wrong things. As someone who’s so new to this conversation, there’s a good chance I’ll get it wrong. I’m afraid people will say, “Please don’t. Please go back to just regular personal development stuff and save this topic for ‘real activists’”

However...I feel called to do this. I was never called to appease the critics. I was never called to make everyone comfortable. I was called to create space and permission to talk about things that matter. To talk about the stuff no one wants to talk about. To talk about the things that make us uncomfortable. I was called to encourage everyone to be brave while being brave myself.

And I hope I’m doing that for you today.

In this episode I’m bringing in my friend Kelly Diels and you can read more about her below.

And one more thing before I bring you the episode. If you’re a woman of color, this is something I never thought to mention before, but I want you to know you’re welcome here in the YKAL community. If you’re a lesbian, or transgender, if you identify as a woman, you are welcome in my community and in my classes. I don’t ever want any woman to feel excluded based on her race or sexual orientation.  

Direct download: KellyDiels_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I’m terrified of zombies. I’m extra mad that they’ve become trendy lately and I have to see their dead asses all over the place like it’s funny or something. Well, let me tell you: it’s not. Just typing these words has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, they effing scare the shit out of me.

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But, that’s not the type of fear I’m talking about today. I just thought you should be aware how much I hate zombies. Moving on…

The kind of fear I’m talking about is the kind of fear that stops you from living your own kick-ass life, more specifically stepping out of your comfort zone.

Going after your dream job, moving out of your home town, setting boundaries, having uncomfortable (but necessary) conversations, dating, leaving your spouse, whatever the thing is that you want badly to do, but don’t do it.

You procrastinate, self sabotage, convince yourself it’s better to stay where you are, and buy into your bullshit excuses.

And I used to do it too.

I used to think that courage and confidence was for “the lucky ones”. They were born that way, they had some kind of special DNA or superpower that I didn’t have. So, I played small.

And then my life fell apart and for the first time ever in my life I said, “Fuck. This. Shit”.

My life falling apart created an entry point for me to start something. All my fears were brought to the surface like one big giant zombie attack. Some of my worst fears had actually come true. And it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Because I was still standing (barely, but I was).

My fear story looked like this: I told myself I would be no one and I would be unhappy if I wasn’t married (so I’ll stay in this sometimes-okay-sometimes-mediocre relationship). My dream job was too hard to get, (so I’ll stick to this safe corporate one). People think I’m too loud and annoying, (so I’ll censor myself). I’m terrified people won’t like me (so I won’t set boundaries).

If I let my thoughts run away with all my fear stories, they seemed monumentous. They’d pile up like one big mountain of garbage and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with me. The easiest thing I could think of to deal with the disappointment in my life was to blame. If my boyfriend was better, I’d be happier. If it wasn’t so hard to get ahead at my job, I’d be happier. If I’d been born a Kardashian, I’d be happier.

Any of this sound familiar?

So, here was the big shift after my “fuck this shit” moment:

I decided I didn’t care anymore about the debilitating fear. Was I still scared, yes, definitely. But, I finally realized life wasn’t going to slow down and wait up for me. It was going to keep passing me by. I knew I didn’t get a second chance here in life. I wasn’t proud of who and where I was or how I was living my life and I sure as shit was not going to die that way. So, I started standing up for myself. I started taking action on my dreams. I heard the excuses and inner critic, and did it anyway. I cried, I broke down, I screwed up, failed a lot, and kept going. And the side effect of all of it was courage and confidence. It was like looking for years and years for a lost treasure and finally finding it where you would never think it was.

Where is your “fuck this shit” moment? You don’t have to have a big, life-changing experience like mine. But, where did you or do you still need to draw the line in the sand and decide to maneuver through your fear? You may be here stuck and if you are, I invite you to take a good look at your fear story: What are you afraid of? Name it. Write it out. The scariest thing that you think might be possible. And then ask yourself if deep down in that part of you that is your highest self, do you think your fear story is really true?

And the ironic thing is that the courage and confidence you need are in the face of what you’re actually afraid of. So many people are looking for it, but you have to actually take action while still not ready and still scared in order to gain courage and confidence. When you slowly, but deliberately, take action on your desires, you find what you need on the other side. And you may not get what you want right away or the first time, but the courage and confidence are building within you.

Direct download: Ep111-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/110

Welcome to episode 110 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s topic is one we can all relate to: mothers. Our guest, Karen Anderson, is an author and mentor who helps women who struggle with or are estranged from their mothers.

Through her coaching, mentorship and Emotional Freedom Technique practice, she helps them overcome dysfunctional generational patterns and go on to live truly, happy, fulfilled lives. Karen is a master-certified life coach through The Life Coach School and is the also the author of The Peaceful Daughter’s Guide to Separating From a Difficult Mother.

On this episode, Karen shares her personal journey with her mother, and how that led her on a courageous inner personal journey from victimhood to conscious awareness and healing. She explains how you can talk about your own story without becoming a victim, and why it’s important to take ownership of your thoughts and beliefs around any experience in your life.

Direct download: KarenAnderson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Welcome to episode 109 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! As always I’m so glad you are here and so excited to bring you today’s guest of honor: Ms. Katie Dalebout. Katie creates videos, workshops, coaching programs and other offerings to inspire women’s wisdom. She does so because she believes every woman deserves happiness and to find their unique version of a holistic wonderland.

As the host of her podcast, Wellness Wonderland Radio, she has interviewed people like Joe Cross, Gabrielle Bernstein and Tara Stiles. She’s also been featured in Teen Vogue, Yahoo! Health, and The Daily Mail and contributes to Refinery 29 and Mindbodygreen.

Today we talk about the creation of her first book titled Let It Out. Katie spent an entire summer being outside and journaling while battling an eating disorder. Despite being surrounded by support and loved ones, she found her journal to be the most validating place where she could be seen and be vulnerable, while also being unfiltered. It was a powerful tool for her to reclaim her own intuition as well as acceptance and love for herself.

Direct download: KatieDalebout_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This episode has a worksheet! Once you grab it, you’ll also see a special video from me where I walk you through the worksheet and give you extra resources. This can be a tough, multi-layered topic for many of you and I wanted to create as much support as possible. See you there!

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I would like to preface this post by saying that I have fallen into every single one of these. It wasn’t until I fell on my face for the last time, drew a line in the sand and said, “No more!” was I able to see my patterns, learn to love myself before I entered a relationship, and I was able to experience a loving, healthy relationship. So, in no particular order, here they are:

1. You’re so desperate for love, you’ll take it any way it’s served up. All of us want the same thing: to love and to be loved. And for some people there comes a point when we are not feeling loved enough so we’ll take any relationship over being single. Whether it’s tolerating abuse, infidelity, disrespect, or boundary violations. Perhaps in your gut you know it’s wrong to stay, but in your mind the pain of leaving is worse.

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

This one could be its own post, but I will say this: If you know in your gut the relationship is not well, there is your answer. Period. And maybe it’s not time for you to walk away, but if nothing else, it’s a time for you to have a conversation with your partner that things need to change. And if they won’t work on it, there’s your answer.

And P.S….love yourself first. Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of feeling loved will always end in massive disappointment.

2. You’re attracting the same type of partner as you’re feeling. This isn’t always the case, but it’s typical that if you’re feeling insecure, bitter, resentful, if you self-hate, chances are you’re going to attract the same type of person and/or that person will treat you exactly as you are feeling. Then you’ll end up finding evidence of your feelings in the shape of your relationships. For instance, if you’re with someone who doesn’t feel good about himself, chances are he won’t treat you with the love and respect you deserve. Which opens the door for your inner-critic to come in and tell you, “See! This is what you deserve. Of course it would end up like this.” It’s a cycle that can only be broken by you feeling good and loving towards yourself.

3. You’re a love addict. Guuuuurl, it takes one to know one. When I read the book, “Facing Love Addiction” I felt like Pia Mellody had written my autobiography and then hit me over the head with it. Love addicts in a nutshell are addicted to the feeling of being in love and in my case; addicted to the person I was in the relationship with. The relationship was what gave my life meaning. My life purpose was to make the relationship work. To make him love me the way my heart wanted to be loved. It consumed my life.

Er, not good.

Love addiction is like any other addiction. You’re filling yourself up with something outside of you. If you really feel as if this is you, I encourage you to get help either with a program, or the book above.

4. You expect your relationships to fail. If your self-esteem and self-worth are unhealthy, this is when you expect your relationships to fall apart. If you think all you meet are jerks and crazies that use you and leave you, you will find evidence of this. I encourage you to ask yourself WHY you think and assume this. Is it because it’s been your track record? Then it’s time to investigate how you feel about YOURSELF. How you feel about yourself will dictate how your relationships are. True story.

5. You sabotage any healthy relationship you’re in. Let’s say you’re had a string of shit relationships. Then you meet a really nice, normal, loving guy. Pretty soon you find yourself picking fights, or flirting with other guys, or maybe you’re thinking of leaving the relationship altogether. A couple of things might be happening. First, you’re bored and probably used to craziness- not normalness. (See #6) or deep down your gremlin is telling you that you don’t deserve to have this nice, healthy relationship, so you do things maybe consciously or unconsciously to cause problems to end the relationship.

6. You’re a drama addict. If you’re so used to chaos, intensity and drama, you may be a drama addict. I personally don’t see anything wrong with a little drama every once in a great while (because let’s face it, make-up sex is hot), but if this is your default way of communicating with your partner, or if your relationship has really high highs, and really low lows, that can be unhealthy. When I got married for the second time, I had to get used to communicating without yelling, slamming doors, hanging up on each other, and ending each argument with, “go fuck yourself”. At times I thought my new marriage was boring, but my therapist assured me that NOT doing all of those volatile things and actually communicating respectfully was normal and healthy. Who knew?

7. You’re waiting for someone to “complete” you. Hey sister- Prince Charming also had his not-so-great, ball scratching, asshole moments. I want to vomit every time I see that scene in Jerry McGuire where he tells her, “You complete me”. Barf.

Truth: Autonomy is essential to a healthy relationship. If you aren’t complete before you get into a relationship, you’re in trouble. To be fair, I’m not saying you need to get to a place of enlightenment before you date. I think taking responsibility for what’s yours and what’s not is the first step and if you’re willing to look at that in your relationship, you’re on the right track. But, if you’re actually looking for someone to complete you, you’re in trouble. It’s no one’s job but yours to bring your own happiness to the relationship. Putting that on a partner is not only unfair, but unhealthy.

If you notice something about all 7 of these- they all come back to self. I see people all the time (and I did it myself), search for love and happiness in a relationship. Yes, it’s important to have those things, but if you don’t have it in yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST, you’ll be running around in circles thinking, “What is wrong with me!?”. I assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, nor do you need fixing. The answer is in you.

Direct download: Episode108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/107

Welcome to episode 107 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! The conversation you’ll hear on today’s show is so important; it’s about friendships, and how to develop the intimacy and BFFs you really want.

And there is no one better qualified to speak to this than Shasta Nelson. Shasta is the founder of GirlfriendsCircle.com, a woman's friendship matching site for women across the US and Canada. She also has authored two books on the subject of friendship, Friendships Don’t Just Happen and Frientimacy. Plus she writes regularly for The Huffington Post and has appeared on Katie Couric and The Today Show.

Today we talk about the importance friendship plays in enriching our lives, changing us and keeping us healthy. Shasta also explains how to develop intimacy and when to know a friendship is ready to develop deeper intimacy.

 

Direct download: ShastaNelson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/106

Recently this topic has come across my radar. I’ve been thinking a lot about “your thing” and not the “thing” that refers to a man’s penis (although that would be a funnier post than this), but “your thing” in reference to your life purpose, your greatest passion, that thing you were put on this earth to do.

(Let me just start by saying- fucking fantastic. Let’s add another enormous pressure to the never-ending list for women.)

Sarcasm aside, let’s look at this for a moment. I’ve always thought it was crazy to ask 16 or 17 year-old kids to pick a college major. To actually pick something they want to do as a career. Forever. When I was 17, all I wanted to do was pick the right body suit to wear (remember those, early 90’s?), let alone what I wanted to study for 4 years, then do as a career. I envied my peers that did know and felt bad about myself that I did not. Clearly there was something wrong with me and I was a flake.

Direct download: Ep106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/105

Welcome to episode 105 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! This week I’ve got another fabulous guest to bring to you - Ms. Sarah Jenks. Sarah is the creator and founder of Live More Weigh Less, a movement born from her personal experiences and struggles with weight loss and body image. As a full-figured woman who had struggled with her weight for years, Sarah one day realized she was waiting on the weight before pursuing a life she loved. So she let go of her weight loss fixation and instead went after the great job, the great wardrobe or the amazing relationship. On today’s show Sarah explains how doing so helped her lose weight without dieting, led her to quit her advertising job, go to nutrition school and start Live More Weigh Less.

Direct download: SaraJenks_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

A few weeks ago I hosted the 7-Day Courage Challenge, where hundreds of women come together. I open up a Facebook group and these brave women come in and share their answers to daily challenges and questions I send them. One challenger posted this in the group, and I felt inclined to write about it...

“The thing that I beat myself up over is the fact that I can't seem to get any of it right! I feel dumb saying that, I live a relatively nice life it's not like I'm alone and destitute or anything. I just feel like I've always been capable of so much more and somehow am too defective to make it work. I screwed up college so bad I never graduated. I've had opportunities pass me by because I either 1) start and never finish or 2) don't bother because I know I'll f*** it up. Now here I am staring 40 in the face and what am I? Like, shouldn't I know by now? I get in my head and make great plans and goals and dreams and I just can't get out of my own way to make it work. I don't think I'm doing life right.” -Sara

First of all-- define “doing life right”. When I hear this term, it’s a big giant fucking red flag that screams one word: Perfect. Personally, I don’t know anyone who’s perfect (and I know a lot of really, really awesome people), and I don’t want to know anyone who’s perfect. I wouldn’t trust that person for shit.

On the other side of that same coin, if I had to guess, I’d bet you have super high expectations of yourself. You thought you would be at x, y, and z when you turned 40 and you’re not there. Or, you’re comparing yourself to other people that are your age, or even strangers you make up have better lives than you do. My friend Christine calls this an expectation hangover, when we expect things will be a certain way, and they turn out different. So, check yourself. What is “so much more” that you speak of? Write it out. I’m all for you having goals to achieve your version of “success”, but watch out if that version of success is for you, or if it’s expectations that you think matter to make you “worthy” and loved more by others, or if it’s the expectations others have put on you.

Personally, I think everyone is doing life right. Right for them. No matter how much you look your life and think, “Wow, I’m really screwing things up”, or “ I’m not living up to my potential”, you’re still doing life right for you.

And I know this is hard to wrap your head around because we all like to judge others and ourselves. But, I think about Andrea circa 2006. There I was dumped by my husband for another woman, dating a drug addict, pushed away all of my friends, quit my job for said drug addict, everything fell apart, I was broke, in debt and had to move in with my sister (and she DID “have her shit together”, married, job, kids, mortgage, all the things I didn’t have). Some might say I was doing life wrong and that I needed to get my shit together. Hell, I said that to myself. Even in the midst of all that-- when I woke up and knew I was making bad choices when I knew I needed to change... I chose to stay. I chose to keep living like I was living, for months.  

Now, having had the same thoughts that Sara has, I can tell you this I know for sure: When you’re sure your goals and need to change is for YOU and no one else, you have to get to a certain point where staying where you are hurts more than changing. Where complaining that you’re “doing life wrong” pains you more than going after those opportunities you’ve been passing up. I believe all of us have a pain tolerance, and once you reach your threshold, something breaks lose and you move. And I don’t know where that is for you. Maybe you’ll have a life-changing moment like I did, or maybe you’ll just wake up one day and decide.

You’ll get these invitations often. Sometimes they’re large and sometimes tiny. But, you’ll keep getting them. Invitations to show up in the world, invitations for amazing and thought provoking conversations, invitations to walk away from relationships and invitations to start new ones. And you keep declining the invitations and the more you do this, the worse you feel. Until one day you say yes. And no matter how small, everything changes.

Because you, my dear, were not destined not to show up. It WILL happen when it’s time. And again, I don’t know when that is for you. But, just listen and watch for those invitations. And I’ll tell you something else I know for sure: Don’t wait until you’re brave enough. Don’t wait until you’re “fearless”. There’s no such thing. Showing up and accepting invitations to change is scary-as-fuck. Change can be scary-as-fuck. But, what’s scarier is looking down the line 50 years from now and seeing you said “no” to every single invitation.

One more thing I want to say about your post. You say, “I get in my head and make great plans and goals and dreams and I just can't get out of my own way to make it work.” I’m making this up over here, but you might be making up these GRAND plans and goals and dreams and then you think about taking action, and it’s just too big. I may be wrong, but most of the smart, high-achieving women I attract in my circles think this way: It’s all or nothing. Either I take on the world, or I’m nothing. Either I am crazy-successful, or I’m a lazy piece of shit.

It doesn’t have to be black or white. If you make it that way, you’ll always, and I mean always fail and feel like an epic failure. Look for the grey area. And I know this is hard. I too am a recovering all-or-nothing kind of girl, so the middle ground, and failing, and getting back up is haaaard. But, you have to make tiny, turtle steps to go after what you want.

And if you change your mind about your goals, so what? You’re allowed. Maybe the goals end up being not what you hoped it would be (been there), maybe you realized halfway through you were doing it for other people and not for yourself (been there too, yuk), or maybe your heart is just not in it anymore (yep). But, if you’re quitting because you think you aren’t good enough, or you think you might not do it right, or you think people might think you’re weird, or it makes them uncomfortable or whatever reason that doesn’t matter to you, YOU’RE QUITTING FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS MATTER. YOU MATTER. WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY MATTERS. AND FOR FUCKS SAKE YOUR TRUTH MATTERS.

And wait-- I actually have one more thing to say about this post. You might want to look at forgiving yourself for your “mistakes”. For not finishing college and whatever else you’re still beating yourself up about. You’re putting a lot of emphasis on what those things MEAN about you-- but you’re allowed to be kind to yourself, and love yourself, and matter, even if you quit school. Think about what else you making up about who you are as a human based on decisions you made in the past. And work on forgiveness.

So, again, you’re not “doing life wrong”. All this waiting and quitting and feeling bad has prepared you for something. It’s up to you to make that happen in whichever way you’re ready for.

Right click to download the .mp3

If you want to join a community of like-minded women ready to work on stuff that matters, like self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, and that damn inner-critic, check out The Kick-Ass Courage Project: 30-Day Experience. Four big topics, 30 days, TONS of learning and transformation, a community of like-minded women, and guidance by yours truly. Registration open until June 27th. Click here to join us.

Direct download: Episode104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Just an FYI- along with reading, you can listen to this post as well. Simply click the “play” button.

In 2008 I had a mentor tell me, “When your blog starts to grow in popularity, stay away from topics revolving around politics, religion, and race. It’s too risky, and one wrong move can ruin your reputation.”

She was trying to protect me. Helping me “stay on course” and only talk about personal development.

However.

For me to go on pretending like nothing is happening, to say nothing at all is unacceptable. How can I tell you to stand up for what you believe in, practice courage, and follow your intuition if I’m not practicing it myself whenever possible? So, here we go...

Two major things have happened recently. Let me start with the most recent.

Although I highly doubt you haven’t heard, but just in case-- this past Saturday a man shot and killed 49 people and injured at least 53 in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

This is heartbreaking. And infuriating. And scary.

If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about the victim’s families. And like me, you probably can’t help but think about your own family. I think about my children, how I worry about them going to school, and when they get older going to the movies, out dancing, and to places where they normally should feel safe and be safe. Many of us no longer feel safe anymore.

When I was in elementary school we had earthquake drills and fire drills. Now, my children have drills on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

Let me repeat that. In the United States of America-- the land of the free-- my children in kindergarten and second grade, had a drill this year on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

I’m not sure how to wrap my head around this.

So, this isn’t a post about how pissed off I am or how I think you should vote this November. Right now it’s not a time for me to sway any opinions you have. This is a post about what you can actually do.

Because I imagine in all of your sadness, fear, anger and whatever else you’re feeling, you also face a feeling of helplessness. Here are a few action steps to take:

Here’s how you can give blood. Read what you need to (requirements, the process, FAQ’s), then click the green button to find a donation center in your area. You don’t have to live in Orlando to make a difference.

Here is the Go Fund Me page to support victims of the Pulse shooting. You can read more about where that money goes on that page.

For more resources like finding a vigil in your area (or adding one), go to WeAreOrlando.org.

If you have an opinion about it, contact your state senator to tell them how you feel about gun laws. You can search by state.  You can also find your representative here. If you’re stumped on what to say in the letter, you can find a sample here. (Scroll down a bit).

The second recent tragedy is about Brock Turner, a Stanford University student was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman. If this is the first you are hearing of this, please watch this because I believe it’s summed up nicely.

He’s been sentenced to a mere six months in county jail, which he will likely be free in three months. There are so many WTF’s about this tragedy, one of them being that Brock Turner has never publicly taken responsibility for his actions, only blaming peer pressure and Stanford’s party culture.

Again, this isn’t a post about how outraged I am (but for the record, I am). I think many of you are. And you’re wondering what you can DO about it. Well, here are some things:

Take the time to read the letter from the rape victim (known only as “Emily Doe”) wrote to Judge Persky. Her voice is important. Her story is important and it matters to all of us. Emily Doe represents all of us.

If you feel he should be, sign the petition to have Judge Persky removed from the bench.

And this is a really, really important one. Watch the documentary The Mask You Live In. It streams on Netflix or you can see it for $3.99 on YouTube. The trailer is here.

“Whether it’s homicidal violence or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling ashamed and humiliated or feel they would be if they didn’t prove they were REAL men.”   - Dr. James Gilligan, Psychiatrist and educator

So, why is that documentary so important?

We need to do better raising our boys. Of course I’m not saying your boys are bad. I’m saying our culture is not creating an environment for boys and men to express feelings and ask for connection, so it’s on us to create this. As well as question these cultural norms.

Although both of the tragedies above are different, they both involve violence perpetrated by men. And many of you are raising boys, or know someone who is, or have some kind of influence on boys whether it be a nephew, brother, student, etc. And by watching the documentary, you’re educating yourself about what’s important and what needs to change.

All I’m asking is for you to start a conversation. That’s how change happens. By questioning the status quo, shining the light on a cultural and social problem, and opening it up for conversation with people you care about.

Direct download: 103.5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 103 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! As always I am delighted to bring you today’s guest, Jen Louden. Jen has been a consultant and a teacher for over two decades, and one of the areas she focuses on is helping women to not hold back. When I asked what she means by that she explains not holding back means life is living us. Typically we are the ones who get in our own way and she helps women to stop doing that, and to stop holding back.

Jen and I also talk about the role creativity plays in keeping us alive and “juicy”! Jen says we are all creators, whether it’s a meal we make, flowers we arrange, or the lives we build. And because of that we must remind ourselves over and over again we are the ones who can and do make things happen.

Direct download: JenLouden_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hi ass kickers! Today I combine a solo episode and a listener question, plus some input from my good friend and colleague Kate Anthony. Here’s the question I received from Nikki, a member of the YKAL community:

I would really like for Andrea to talk about life after divorce on the podcast. I know it is a really heavy topic, but Andrea is literally a picture to me of where I want to end up.

I love that she is able to laugh with such joy, and I love that she managed to build a family and a beautiful business afterwards, so I think if she could help us dip our toes into what one should do at the different stages post divorce, in terms of your self talk and ownership etc. Andrea touches on all these topics, but I would love a pod specifically addressing divorce.

Also a related topic, forgiveness, (whether or not it relates to divorce). Forgiveness, what it means and what it doesn't mean.

Niki Evangelia Elizabeth
__________________________________________________________

I got this question and thought it would be great to answer on the podcast because most-- if not all of us-- have been broken hearted. And it’s easy for me to quickly tell my story and tell you all that I’m so much better now, but you’re missing a big part of it-- HOW I did and continue to do so today.

In this episode I talk about how I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes we’re never fully “over it” or “healed”. And once we accept that, is when we can start to feel better, forgive, trust again, and move on.

And to be really honest, I feel like I have scar tissue on my heart. Like I’m about 90 percent healed. And that feels like a lot and and it feels like enough. But, getting remarried didn’t heal me. Moving out of the city I used to live in didn’t heal me. Having children didn’t heal me. Having a successful business didn’t heal me. Time didn’t heal me. What healed me is surrendering to the process of grief, loss, longing, nostalgia, disappointment, and accepting the fact that the dream I had was dead. And honoring it. Listen to the episode where I go into much more detail about that.

About halfway through the episode, I bring my friend Kate on. When my husband and I divorced, we had no children together, so I didn’t have to see him anymore. I didn’t have the agony of co-parenting, or anxiety of him getting remarried and having a stepparent in the picture. So, I asked Kate a few questions on how she has coped with her divorce, having had a child with her ex-husband. After Kate briefly tells her story, I ask her:

  • What have you done to heal?
  • How did you feel when he got remarried?
  • Are you still heartbroken? If so, how do you deal with it?
  • How have you dealt with forgiveness and what does it look like to you?

I hope you give it a listen! Even if you’ve never been married, or you’re long divorced, I’m sure you’ll find some take-aways you didn’t know you needed ;)

Direct download: Episode102_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 101 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s guest is an old friend of mine, a truly insightful, wise and amazing woman named Cherie Healey. As a board-certified coach she works with women to help them get what they want so they can change the world. She is also the founder of Tapped In Leader, One Woman Effect and the Bring It Group. Cherie calls herself a possibilitarian and on this episode she explains what that is exactly!

Also on this episode we talk about how she became the leader she is today, why teaching your knowledge is the final stage of learning and why that teaching stage is so critical to your overall development and fulfillment in life.

Direct download: 101_Cherie_Healey_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

As you may know, a foundational piece of the work I do with women is working on managing their inner-critics. Creating a new way of speaking to themselves that is kind and compassionate instead of beating themselves up.

And every once in a while, I get this question “What if I see my inner-critic as my motivator? The voice that pushes me to be better in all aspects in my life?”

And your thoughts might look like this:

“Oh, Janice lost 30 pounds recently. If she can do it I can lose 40.”

“I really was an idiot and screwed up that work project. I’ll stay late and come in early for the next month, and do a WAAAY better job next time”

"You know your husband is an ass-man. Amp up the squats, Ms. Flat Ass"

Basically, your inner-critic is comparing you to others-- saying you can do better, pushing you to do better based on you falling short or failing, and really just using any “shortcomings” to try and make you a better person.

(You know where this is going, right?)

People, let’s just be honest here. Your inner-critic is being an asshole by doing this. Does this ever feel good? Unless you’re a masochist (which, to each his own. Seriously.) this isn’t good for you. You know what always works and wins?

Love.

Kindness.

Compassion.

Courage.

Giving yourself the internal beat-down might change your behavior on a dime, but I can assure you it’s for the short-term, ends up making you feel like shit, and diminishes self-confidence.

So, no. The answer is no to “can my inner-critic be my motivator”. Your inner-critic is the voice that is sending messages from beliefs you have about yourself. Beliefs that we ALL have that don’t serve us. Beliefs like:

I’m not good enough

Everyone else has it figured out but me

I’m a fraud and soon everyone will know

I don’t deserve a healthy relationship

And on and on. It’s like our inner-critic’s job to remind us of those beliefs on a regular basis as well as point out evidence that it’s true.

See? You screwed up at work again. Looooser.

See? Another fight. You’re doomed to be alone.

See? Those pants are tight. You’re enormous.

Y’all. It doesn’t have to be this way. No one beats themselves up into happiness, success, being in shape, or a kick-ass life. The solution is to start small. First, recognize the bastard. Hear it and see it. This isn’t a fun exercise, but awareness is half the battle. If you don’t know what is there and when it happens, you’ll just go on listening and believing all the bullshit. Second, slowly work on changing your thoughts and beliefs. Over and over again. Or, believe the a-hole and feel like shit. Your choice.

I’m being really forthright here because I’ve seen this one thing change people’s mother-loving lives. Mine included. And if you want free and amazing support here, join me for a free online event: The 7-Day Courage Challenge where I'll teach you to speak kindly to yourself. We start June 1st! 

Direct download: Episode100MixedUnedited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 99 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! You are in for a very special treat - Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (or SARK-- isn’t that the best name EVER!?) is here with us. She’s like the big sister you always wished you would’ve had and she’s bringing her big sister wisdom and guidance to this episode!

SARK has known since she was a little girl that her purpose is to transform and uplift others and she does that with her books, her products, programs, her art and through speaking. She is a best-selling author who has been acknowledged and celebrated by such notable thought leaders as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Maya Angelou.You know...no big deal.

On this episode, SARK and I talk about how to feel multiple feelings at the same time and how to navigate them all, how to care for your feelings (including a 5 second technique to doing so) and the role curiosity can play in helping us solve many of our issues.

 

Direct download: SARK_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I talk about the inner-critic a lot. I do it because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this beast— the voice in your head that keeps you small— has the capacity to be the ONE thing that prevents you from living your most kick-ass life. And when it’s uncovered, managed, and transformed...everything changes.

This post is about a real-life situation that happened to me a few years ago, and how I’m dealt with my own inner-critic. I'll also weave in a couple of examples that might happen in your life...

A couple of years ago I wrote a book. I got a book deal, the book went out to the world and in its first 14 months of publication sold over 10,000 copies.

And I totally freaked out.

It wasn’t an “OMG-this-is-so-amazing!” kind of freak out. It was a “I’m-so-incredibly-uncomfortable-with-all-this-success-and-attention-I-can’t-be-a-functioning-human-being-ever-again” kind of freak out.

I soldiered on through the book promotion and hid out for about 4 months when it was over. Then I went head first into working on my own shit because what happened during that time was a HUGE indicator that work needed to be done.

Then about a year ago the call came from my literary agent. He and my publisher are ready for me to write a second book. He asked for an outline and I told him I would have it emailed over by the end of May. May 30th came and went and I hadn't started. I procrastinated like it was my JOB. I’m was ready to write the book except OMG THAT’S SCARY!

Why so scary, you ask? Because here’s what my inner-critic says to me the minute my agent tells me they are ready for book #2 and they want an outline:

"What, I think I’m an author now?"

"This one needs to be better than the first"

"My new idea isn't good enough"

"They're going to pass on it or make me change it"

And when I dig really deep and ask myself what I’m really afraid of-- it’s failure a little bit, yes. But what scares me the most…is success.

It’s the big message of “Who do you think you are?”

I’m no stranger to this question. I’ve been hearing it and working on it (over and over) since I started my business nearly six years ago. Well, to be honest, most of my adult life.

And as I’ve been going through it again and working through it, I knew I needed to tell you— my dear ass-kickers—what the steps are exactly to make my way through it and carry on. So, here they are:

Before I jump in--  this doesn't have to be directly related to doing and accomplishing big goals. Maybe you want to speak up in a meeting, ask someone out, initiate sex with your partner, have a hard conversation with someone, or set a boundary. Any of those examples has the ability to make your inner-critic go nuts, so these steps definitely apply here.

As a bonus step- before ANY of this happens, is that it’s hugely helpful to know what your actual triggers are. What makes your inner-critic go crazy? My work is a trigger for me. Writing is both art and career (and a calling) so I know I am very vulnerable to shame here. Wait-- did someone just say SHAME? Yes, I did. Something this big for me has the opportunity to bring up so much discomfort: criticism, failure, rejection, and feeling not good enough. All things that are a shame shit-storm for me. And when we’re in shame, we hide unless we PRACTICE another way.

Step 1: I know it’s happening. This might sound obvious, but for many people, they’re so used to living in fear and being paralyzed by the a-hole voice in their head, they don’t even realize it’s happening.

For me, I know when I’m not returning phone calls (in this case it would be specifically to my agent), hiding out, procrastinating, telling NO ONE what’s going on, feeling anxious about what’s happening,  beating myself up, and going over “what if” scenarios over and over, I know I’m in trouble. That’s when I know I need to:

Step 2: Reach out and tell my story. Like Brené Brown teach us: It’s the right story, at the right time, to the right person. Lucky for me I have those people in my life. I can call them and say, “Hey, this is happening and I’m so freaked out by it”. And they don’t judge me, they don’t try to fix it, and they don’t tell me I’m crazy for thinking that and to get over it. They see me and hear me and love me in all my human-ness/human-mess. When we tell our stories to the right people shame can’t survive. It’s as simple as that.

Step 3: Do the hard thing anyway. As I type this, earlier this week I sent my outline to my agent for feedback so we can send it to the publisher. I even told him what I wanted in my contract this time (SCAAAARRRY). And I didn’t die.

Once I had acknowledged what I was really afraid of and told my story to people I trust, it was easier to keep going. Was it less scary? Maybe, maybe not. But, the inner-critic voice had lost its power. And when it loses its power, we can make room for taking the action that lines up with what we really want in life.

Need support with your inner-critic? Join me and lots of women just like you as I personally take you through the 7-Days of Courage Challenge! It's one thing to read about it, but a whole nother animal when you put the tools into ACTION! We start June 1st! Sign up for free here.

Direct download: Episode98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 97 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Thank you for being here and for listening to my chat with the lovely and talented Hannah Marcotti. Hannah is a coach for highly sensitive people (are you one too?); she herself is also a highly sensitive person.

On this episode Hannah talks about some of the telltale signs that you or a loved one are highly sensitive, such as only being able to wear certain clothes because they feel right and nothing else does or not being able to tolerate loud, crowded places, etc. She also shares why it's so helpful to know this about yourself and appreciate the gift that high sensitivity offers you.

Direct download: HannahMarcotti_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Usually when I record a solo podcast episode, you get to read the whole thing here in a handy-dandy blog post. However, this lesson/episode has a story attached that is so...I don’t even know how to describe it...painful/excruciating/funny/embarrassing, to type it up won’t do it justice. You’ll just have to listen.

In it, I’m sharing with you times I’ve done something vulnerable and fallen on my face. Stories where it didn’t work out. And how I got back up again and moved on.

I start with the story of me going to see Rob Bell speak last week in Durham and I made a complete asshat of myself, not once, not twice, but three times in one day. The second one wasn’t quite that bad, but the third one was so bad if you’re that person who has trouble watching excruciating moments during reality shows, (like me) this will make you uncomfortable. This picture of me with crazy eyes and Rob Bell was taken about 10 minutes before that third thing happened…

I actually had a different episode planned for today, but this thing happened and I decided to share it for three reasons:

  1. When it happened, I swore to myself I would NOT share it with listeners b/c it was so humiliating. When I think something like that, I know it’s hit an edge with me and it’s something for me to think about, work through, and then share with you.
  2. Everyone has these moments. I teach courage and kickassery-- if I can’t tell you my failures and how I get back up, what good is it?
  3. I told the story to Amy (my BFF) and she laughed to hard she had tears streaming down her face. So, hopefully you can both cringe and laugh with me. Trust me when I tell you I wasn’t laughing when it happened, but I laughed when I told her later.

Then, I’ll talk about asking some big-name self-help people I’ve invited to be on the show, being rejected, and the one big takeaway I know that keeps me going.

And last I’ll talk about love-- what’s it like to have two back-to-back failed relationships, and not just failed-- like fall-on-your-face betrayed, cheated on, lied to, conned and dumped ….and finding love and trust again. (Hint: it’s hard, and complicated, and still a work in progress).

I’ll tell you the story of what made me imagine what it would look like if my husband and I split up, got divorced, had to tell my kids, all of it. Essentially, I was rehearsing tragedy. Because JOY IS HARD. My life is great and hard and messy and beautiful and all of it is vulnerable to feel my way through it. I know what disaster looks like and feels like. Those memories are visceral and real and when they come up, I use them now to alert me to LEAN INTO JOY. Lean into love. And that’s hard because I know it could all get taken away at any second. But, I can choose to obsess on that, or I can choose to see it, acknowledge it, and choose love and joy. Rehearsing tragedy for me is me being lazy. It’s easy to do that. It’s hard to surrender to joy. Listen to the episode to get the FULL story!

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And hey-- did you know? YKAL got an upgrade and we have a new website! To celebrate we’re running a giveaway*. To enter, simply do one of two things:

  1. Go to Facebook and share this link. Simply click the “share” button and viola! You’re entered. Or...
  2. Go to my Instagram account and repost one of the recent posts about my free e-book How the Shit Talking in Your Head is Making You Crazy and 3 Ways to Change it. (It’s easy to use a repost app for that!). Make sure to tag @yourkickasslife so I can enter you.

Details: I’m giving away one of each: A signed copy of my book, a 5-Minute Journal, a Mantra Band, and a Knock-Knock Journal.  (Contest runs from 4/22/16 to 4/29/16 at midnight Eastern time. Winners will be contacted via the social media avenue you entered, so be sure to check your emails/DM’s there. One entry per person. No purchase necessary)



Resources mentioned in this podcast:

How to Handle Your Inner-Mean Girl blog post and podcast episode

Dr. Martha Atkins podcast episode on death, dying, and grief

Rob Bell’s website

Direct download: PodcastFinal96.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 95 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. This episode is a first for the show: we are talking about death, dying and grief. You might be thinking, “Yeah, no thanks!” And yes, these are things we’ve never covered before but a topic that is incredibly powerful and necessary. Seriously, ass kickers, this was one of my favorite conversations on the YKAL podcast!

Dr. Martha Atkins joins us to share her wisdom on this topic. Dr. Martha is the CEO of her own company, holds a PhD in counseling education and is also a published author on the topic of grief, death and dying.

Even if you’ve never lost a close friend or family member you’ve still been touched by loss. When a relationship ends, a friendship changes or a job doesn’t pan out the way you had hoped, there is loss and with loss comes grief.   

On this episode Dr. Martha shares her personal stories of loss and grief, and what led her to do this work. Episode 95 is a powerful conversation guaranteed to touch you and provide insights on the grief cycle; the insights you hear today will help you the next time you’re faced with any kind of loss.

Direct download: MarthaAtkins_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hi ass kickers! Welcome to our first edition of Listener Q & A. You sent me your questions, and I’ve answered them on the podcast. If you’re not familiar with the podcast, simply click the pink player button above to listen, or you can find the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast on iTunes (Apple devices) or Stitcher (Android).

I answered three questions on everything from relationships, to the inner-critic, to setting boundaries. And more! I hope you enjoy listening!

At minute 3:51...
My question is, how do I deal with in-laws that I don't trust? My in-laws live several hundred miles away, so I only see them 3-4 times a year. But, whenever I have to see or talk to them, I feel very anxious, tense and guarded. My experience with them has shown that whatever I say or do is closely scrutinized. I have to defend everything I say or do when I'm with them. As a result, I reveal as little of myself as I can. I feel like I'm hiding behind a shield of fabricated blandness. It feels gross and exhausting. I don't trust that they love me unconditionally and I don't trust they have my back. How do I maintain this relationship without all the anxiety and in-authentic posturing? I don't feel safe to let my guard down, but I hate the way this relationship feels and the stress it causes me.
-Sara

I have three juicy questions for Sara to think about, hopefully that will help her think some about the situation from new perspectives. I let her know she may have unrealistic expectations of this relationship and direct her also to another podcast I did with Christine Hassler, author or Expectation Hangover. If anyone has had disappointing relationships, give that episode a listen!

Even if you don’t have the same situation with in-laws that Sara does, you probably have that person in your life where you have the choice to have a conversation with them about something that is unsaid.
___________________________________________________________________

At 11:51...

I have been doing a lot of work on my inner critic. Every time I start to let her come out, I write down everything she says and then flip the paper over to write what I would tell a friend if they told me that stuff. I haven't done it in a while but have became more aware of the thoughts and more able to switch the thoughts. I'm super proud to this!!

But I have started to neutralize myself. Like I don't feel anything. I'm not sure where to go from here. Sometimes I feel bad for not being such a worrier. I’m not feeling the emotions the way I want. I'm missing out on true joy. I'm scared if I feel more than all the bad will rush back in. Yes, I don't feel as miserable but I don't feel happiness either. What are some tools to use to get over this numbing.

Thank you
Amy

First, can we give Amy a HELL YES for doing the work? The tool she used there is from the “quick and dirty” section of my 14-day Gremlin e-course.

I’m so glad Amy asked this question-- this is a typical progression for people that work on their inner-critics. They get to a place where they’re like, “Now what?” In this section of the podcast, I take Amy though some additional exercises to get to “feeling the feels” and drop this quote:
“Be gentle. You are meeting parts of yourself you’ve been at war with.” -from the book, It’s Not About Food

I give Amy 2 more tools to use to help her, and refer her to listen to this podcast episode about how hard it is for so many people to lean into JOY.

At the end of this section of the episode, I talk about the importance of friendships when it comes to processing your feelings. Friendships need to be intentional! I talk more about that here.
__________________________________________________________

At 25:55...

Not long before I found you, I decided to divorce my husband as my son deserves the opportunity for two happy homes instead of one unhappy home. My son also has autism - his dad and I have separate ideas of what our son needs (part of the reason for the divorce). Reading Brené Brown’s chapter on wholehearted parenting helped me see that I engage in the comparison of who is the better parent. Unfortunately dad has absolutely no interest in trying to co-parent or get additional services for our son. I feel that I can't do enough to help him, while at the same time reassuring that he is good enough as he is. I know I am not the only parent with 50/50 joint custody of a child where the parents are unable to communicate and discuss the best interest of the child, let alone one with special needs. What I am looking for is someone else who has had similar struggles or a way to figure out how I can do the best that I can do while accepting that dad might be doing the same thing (although I will never know as he hides what happens at his home). What I don't want is to put my son though the court system so I can have full custody thinking that I am the "better" parent.

Best,
Autumn

Even if you’re not the single parent of a child with Autism, this portion of the episode will probably help you. I tell Autumn about one of my favorite sayings from 12 step programs that’s always helpful to let go of what someone else is doing or not doing.

In addition, I provide some helpful resources (my son has Autism too), as well as the importance of self-compassion.

Also, OMG also, I talk about boundaries. Here’s the video I mention of my fairy godmother (and yours), Brené Brown talking about just this:

Screenshot 2016-04-06 19.03.28.png

Lastly, I mention the podcast episode I did with Randi Buckley on setting boundaries.

Ass kickers, I hope this episode was helpful for you and if you have a question you’d like answered in our next edition (coming out in about a month or so), shoot us an email at support@yourkickasslife.com.

Hugs and ass kicking,
Andrea

Today is the LAST DAY to grab your bonuses with The Self-Love Revolution Master’s Course home-study! Get your self-lovin’ on for under $100 along with badass bonuses!

Direct download: Podcast94Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 93 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Today my new friend from Soul Camp is here to talk about love and relationships. Rachel DeAlto is a certified coach from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) certified coach and a certified hypnotherapist from the International Association Of Counselors & Therapists (IACT). She’s been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN/HLN, The Steve Harvey Show, Fox News, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, among others. If that wasn’t enough she’s also given two TEDx talks: one on the Power of Kindness and another on Killing Fear! On this episode Rachel shares her perspective on what makes a healthy relationship, what self-love means and how she practices it, plus how to heal a broken heart no matter what stage of grief you are in.

Direct download: RachelDeAlto_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Why do I talk about the inner-critic so much?

This is the thing that gets in the way of us showing up fully, of having those tough conversations that allow us to get what we want and to stand up for ourselves. This is the voice that asks us “What will people think” that drives us to perfectionism, people pleasing, and trying to control everything. This is the voice that makes us feel like shit so that we lash out and blame.

And a lot of times this is the voice of shame. Old childhood stuff that sticks with us and haunts us. So when we don’t know this is happening, it rules our life and nothing changes. That’s why I’m hellbent on teaching you all to manage that voice.

Truth: I still have an inner-mean girl. It’s the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough, I’m not doing it right, I am most definitely falling short, and asks, “Who do you think you are?” when I go after what I want.

Over the years I’ve worked and worked on her. I’ve embraced the little girl in her that is hurting and afriad. I’ve hated her, I’ve had compassion for her (btw- having compassion for her feels waaay better). I’ve listened to her, I’ve pushed her aside. And I’ve noticed over the years she gets bent out of shape for different things, depending on what season of life I’m in. And of course, over the last few years, she’s been all up in my face about a very important role in my life:MOTHERHOOD.

And maybe your inner mean girl gets chatty around your body, your work, your relationships, your role as a daughter, friend, whatever. But, for the sake of this post, I’ll be giving you the example of motherhood.

My negative self-talk around it looks like this: I work too much. I should slow down and take time off. On the other hand, I could work more to make more money to buy them more things. I don’t read to them enough. I’m not organized enough. I should not work at all so I can homeschool them. They should go to private school. I’m not advocating enough for special needs son. I’m not teaching them enough about values. My son should know how to tie his shoes by now, I mean WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I THAT MY 7 YEAR OLD CAN’T TIE HIS SHOES YET?

I’m too impatient. I’m a pushover. I should make them make their beds every day. I should feed them better foods. They should be in science camp, I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet. OMG I could go on all day with this list.

And I know VERY WELL that I am not alone here. I know that even if your area today isn’t motherhood, it certainly is another area where this inner mean girl gets feisty. And when it comes down to it you have two choices on how to handle her:

Choice A. Let her rule you and buy into what she’s telling you, thus feeling like crap. Or

Choice B. Learn how to handle her and manage her.

Notice one of the choices is NOT “get rid of her and stop the chatter”. (Btw- anyone that is selling this is feeding you bullshit. No one is completely void of some negative self-talk.) We can’t eradicate it, but we can manage it. There are lots of tools to be able to have the self-talk management become easy, but I’m going to simplify it into two steps for you here:

Step 1: Figure out when your negative self-talk happens and what it is. It’s much easier to learn to manage if you can catch it in its tracks. Being proactive helps tremendously.

Step 2: Once you realize you’re in a shit-storm-a-palooza of inner mean girl talk, take a step back and tell yourself one or all of the following:

Wow, that drama in my head just happened.  

For the love of Jesus on a bicycle I’m doing the best I can.

Okay, let’s start those thoughts over because those other ones suck.

And why am I not telling you to change your thoughts into positive and happy ones? Um, because it’s hard? Guess what sisters– if I tell you to take the way you’ve been thinking for decades, and turn it upside-down and think OPPOSITE, more positive, cheery thoughts, I can almost guarantee it won’t work. You’ll feel like shit because it didn’t work and beat yourself up for it not working. And then you’d probably be mad at me.

When I find myself all sad-clown face about not being an awesome, perfect mom and realize I’ve spent the last ten minutes stressing out about my kid’s future and blaming myself for their lack of shoe tying awards, all I do is stop and tell myself I’m doing my best.

That’s it.

And sometimes I stop and start over many times in one day if I’m feeling especially vulnerable and afraid.

And here’s a bonus, a Step 3: Call a friend. I wrote about this a few weeks ago and what’s important here is that you’re calling the right person to tell them the right story at the right time. If you’re spiraling down, down, down, make sure you talk to someone who will give you what you need in that moment. You’re not alone in having moments of feeling not enough and that you’re falling short. You don’t have to go at it alone.

And if you’d like even more support here, I’m hosting a free workshop where I’m teaching my 3 most effective ways to manage your inner mean girl. Click here to sign up. I’m going into more depth and giving you practical tools you can apply in your life now to help handle your negative self-talk!

- See more at: http://yourkickasslife.com/coaching/how-handle-inner-mean-girl#sthash.ibfICj22.dpuf

Direct download: Podcast92Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 91 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Even if you’ve listened to this show only a few times you know affirmations are not my thing. But a class I took at Soul Camp showed me affirmations can be incredibly powerful when combined with physical movement (who knew?!). Our guest for today’s show, Patricia Moreno, was the teacher of that class.

Patricia has found a way to combine affirmations with yoga, martial arts, and dance: it’s called the IntenSati method. After being with her at Soul Camp and simply falling in love with her I had to have her on the show.

In addition to teaching at Soul Camp, Patricia and the IntenSati method have also been featured on The Today Show, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, among other places. She is an award-winning fitness expert, a mindset specialist and a New Age thought leader.

On this episode we talk about what IntenSati is, how her upbringing led her to create it and how she’s fulfilling her mission to help others live the life they love in a body they love by spreading the IntenSati method worldwide.

Direct download: PatriciaMoreno_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Originally I had titled this post, ‘What no one tells you about getting sober”, but really it’s what no one tells you about life.

In early 2011 I knew I needed to get sober. It’s a longer story, one you can read about here, but a couple months into my recovery, I realized I was going to have to face something that I had never done before:

Face my feelings sober.

And it’s no shock that many people that get sober from drugs and/or alcohol, turn to another “drug”: shopping, relationships, exercise, food, over-achieving, busyness, Internet, you-name-it. Whatever they can get their hands on to numb out with. Why? My guess is that they get sober and feelings come up. They don’t drink anymore, so they have to turn to something else to cope and numb.

We live in a culture that doesn’t teach us how to feel our feelings. There’s no class in school for it, and many families don’t talk openly about it. And even if we kind of know what to do with our feelings, rarely are we encouraged to do so. The generations before us were mostly emotionally illiterate– meaning vulnerability (which is what encouraging the expression of feelings is) is simply not fostered. Personally, I grew up in a house with a metric shit-ton of love, but when it came to vulnerability– Nope.

So in 2011 when I found myself sober, the irony was almost funny: When drinking I had my days feeling like I would crawl out of my skin if I didn’t have a drink (or 5), and then when I got sober, I felt like I had crawled out of my skin– like I was this raw person walking around bumping into everything. Emily McCombs says so eloquently about this stage:

“Snorting coke is not hardcore. Walking around feeling whatever fucked-up shit you feel, without escape, 24/7, is fucking hardcore.”

And yes, it’s fucking hardcore.

I think many of us get to a point where we feel shit come up– shame, disappointment (in others or ourselves), fear, worry, feeling like we don’t belong, *insert your hard feeling here*, and we instinctively run. Far away. Into a bottle of booze, an entire pizza, Facebook, online dating, food restricting, being busy, *insert your choice of numbing here*. We get so used to doing this we don’t even know we’re doing it. And you might think– “Well, what’s the harm? Those are SHITTY feelings! No one wants to feel those, DUH!”

Seriously, I used to say that too. And sometimes my addiction still whispers it in my ear, claiming it is the comfortable and easy solution. Like the time last year when my son was really struggling in school. Like the kind of struggling where my heart cracks open and I wonder if I would get arrested if I just kept him home all day and we just hung out and I would make sure no one came over at all, ever to talk to him for fear of hurting him. I was sitting at a stoplight and my mind slowed down and I thought, “I should have been doing more to advocate for him. I’ve been wasting time, we’ve lost time. What if he grows up to be an addict too? What if he starts drinking as a teenager like I did? What if because of my negligence in advocating for his special needs he becomes a heroin addict? I am seriously the worst mother. Gawd, I need a glass of wine.”

Just like that.

Because to BE in that place of feeling like a failure, to BE in that place of heartbreak for him is too much. My brain tells me I cannot bear the weight of this pain. My heart panics and cannot take it. Wine would make it better. It would go away.

And luckily for me, I have the tools (I’ll get to those in a minute) to see this quickly when it happens, and not drink.

But, I GET IT. I get that it totally blows to BE with those feelings. It’s raw, and brutal, and fucking hardcore.

But, here’s what I know for certain happens when we keep numbing…

The feelings don’t go away. The don’t just dissipate into the atmosphere with every sip or bite or mile on the treadmill. They kind of get shoved deeper into your body where they just wait. And they don’t just sit there. They kind of bounce around and manifest as anxiety or maybe depression for some or negative self-talk or self-loathing. And then we feel like shit and we don’t know why. The feelings don’t just go away. They fester and eat away at you. Until, one day, they have an exit point.

Feeling your feelings can be multi-layered. You may have trauma, which typically needs professional help from a trained therapist or other mental health professional. But, what I can do here is give you an example of what it might look like to get through feelings those hard feelings.

The example I gave above of feeling guilty, anxious, and afraid for my son. Because I’ve been doing this work for so long, I am quickly able to recognize that stream of thoughts and see what’s happening. This takes practice. You might spend days on end having those thoughts. Try to be mindful of it and see what’s happening. If you can’t stop them as they come, that’s okay. I want at first the win for you to know what’s happening.

Then, cry if you need to. Scream if it’s what feels right. Get really fucking angry. Say as many bad words as necessary, journal all your feelings out, write scathing letters you’ll never send. Just let it out.

Next, talk to someone who’s earned the right to hear your story. Not the bank teller, not your condescending mother-in-law, not your judgmental neighbor, not your friend that is only sometimes reliable, but someone who loves you for all your humanness and human-mess. If you don’t have this person, I know it’s hard, and you may not have this person for various reasons, but I beg you to reach deep on your courage and vulnerability and keep trying to find her.

The other thing is practicing compassion to myself. I made up that I was the worst mother because I didn’t advocate for my son enough. I didn’t do any Autism 5k’s ← Bad. I didn’t know about non-profits that had free parent liaisons ← Bad. I didn’t know what my rights were as a parent concerning his IEP ← Bad, all bad. But, the truth is: everyone falls short sometimes. In regards to my son, I didn’t know about a lot of things that were available to me because previously we hadn’t needed them.

Practicing self-compassion is just that: a practice. No one gets their yoga or meditation practice down on the first, second or third try. They keep at it over and over again and sometimes they have good days and sometimes they don’t. Same with self-compassion. But, the point is to try.

My hope is that you pull something out of this– even if it’s just knowing that you need to try to slow down on the numbing to face what’s happening inside of you. Solicit the help of your trusted friends. Know that your feelings are normal and okay. And please, be kind to yourself.

Direct download: Podcast90Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 89 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. I am always excited to share our guest with you and today is no exception. The powerhouse woman joining us is an inspirational catalyst, best-selling author and is widely known as the Queen of Self-Love: Ms. Christine Arylo. Christine is here to talk about her passionate mission to create a new reality for women and girls: one of self-love and true feminine power. Her teachings have been shared far and wide through such mediums as ABC, FOX, CBS, WGN, Huffington Post and more (including TedX!). On this episode we explore exactly what self-love is and what it’s not, why and how she began this journey in the first place, and also how to embrace the choice and the practice of self-love in your daily life. We also talk about cheese. Seriously. But, just for a minute.

Direct download: ChristineArylo_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

If you’ve been on the Internet at all the past few years, you’ve surely seen a rise in personal empowerment. Which makes someone like me ecstatic, because I love that more and more people are working on themselves, not to mention this is how I make my living.

 

However, like many trends out there, I see an unintended downside. Here’s what it looks like:

 

People start reading self-help, attend a workshop, or hire a 1:1 coach to help them live their best life. And they walk into these endeavors with the end goal that sounds like this:

 

“I want to wake up every morning, jump out of bed and love the shit out of my life. I won’t let anything or anyone get me down. Good vibes only!” #blessed


When I see leaders in the industry making these promises for people, I cringe. Surely people understand this isn’t an everyday thing, right?

Direct download: Podcast88final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to episode 87 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. I’m super happy you’re here for this show because today’s guest is an expert on a topic I get asked about all the time: work-life balance!

Dr. Jaime Kaluga is a licensed mental health counselor and a certified professional coach. She is an author whose work has appeared in issues of Glamour, Self and many other nationally-recognized publications. She is also an inspirational speaker and a woman on a mission! She has dedicated her life to helping women find balance and fulfillment in their lives.

During our conversation we talk about what work-life balance actually means, how perfectionism stops us from achieving that balance, and how emotions throw us off balance and what to do about it.

Direct download: Podcast87Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Preface: for the sake of this post and my point, I’m going to be very generalized here. I understand not all people and relationships are like this. I understand you may be the exception, but please bear with me...

I, in no way, shape, or form consider myself a relationship expert. That’s not specifically what I help women with, so I don’t typically write or talk about it. I do have lots of experience in relationships-- both failed and successful ones (okay, one successful relationship).

And having lots of failed relationships and then a successful one, I can tell you the key to making that shift:

Looking at my own shit, dealing with it, healing it, and repeating that process over and over.

What I see many women do (my former self included) is this:

You’re in a relationship and you’re not happy. It doesn’t matter what the specific problem is.
You break up with or divorce your partner.
You find a new partner, everything is great for a few months.
Then things go to shit.
You can’t figure out what’s wrong with the guys you pick. It’s the “same shit, different guy” syndrome.

The common denominator in all the failed relationships is you. Along with your beautiful self, you’re bringing all the unresolved issues from your childhood and past relationships. All your insecurities and pain. We all have it, none of us are exempt. But also, we all have the opportunity to look at it, own what’s ours and not our partners, work on healing it so we can be better humans to the people we care about.

Direct download: Podcast86final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey Ass-kickers!

 

Welcome to episode 85 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Returning veteran of the show, my best friend and yours, Amy E. Smith is here to talk about the all-important art of standing up for yourself without being a dick!


If you haven’t heard Amy before or have forgotten her background she is a certified confidence coach, podcaster, renowned speaker, and personal empowerment expert. Through all of her endeavors she helps people find their voice using her particular brand of wit, wisdom and irreverence.

On today’s episode we delve into how to listen to the stories being told by your inner critic  (or as Amy calls it, your inner sh*t talker), what unwanted identities are, why all of us have them and what to do about it.

Direct download: Podcast85final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I’ve heard many times as a helping professional, “How many sessions do I need with you?” or “How long will it take me to get better?” To be honest, that’s always a red-flag. When I hear these questions I know the well-meaning potential client wants me to fix them. Wants me to do some voodoo magic where I take away their pain so they can skip into the sunset and feel immune to the pain of the world.

 

And the obvious truth is: I can’t. No one can.

Direct download: Podcast84final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

The women that come to me for help are always very similar. They’re smart, high-achieving and if you met her, you’d think she has a great life. She’s busy and being pulled in many different directions. She feels like she blinked and turned 30...then 40...and maybe closing in on 50. She’s looked around and realized how hard she’s worked for everything she’s got, but deep down feels

Lonely.

Anxious.

Afraid.

Maybe you are her.

Direct download: Podcast83final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey Ass-kickers!

 

Welcome to episode 82 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. As always I’m thrilled you are here and honored to bring you another show. Today is something we’ve never done before: one of my clients talks about her experience completing Brenè Brown’s The Daring Way program. I wanted Jen on because for you to hear from “the average Jane”-- a woman just like you who is doing The Work and for you to be inspired from a woman who’s changed her life.

 

Jen is woman like many of you: a working mom and a self-motivated go-getter who sets and achieves goals for herself. But she felt like something was missing; she was caught in a comparison trap and realized she had to do something about it. She sought coaching and after an initial consultation she opted to work with me.

 

On today’s episode Jen shares the power available using The Daring Way methods and what doing so has meant for her relationship with herself and in her life.

Direct download: Podcast82final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey Ass-kickers!

 

Welcome to episode 81 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Happy new year and thank you for being here. As always I’m ecstatic to bring you this show!

 

I don’t bring you too much woo-woo here at YKAL, but today we’re veering off into a woo-woo topic called family constellation therapy. I met our guest, Natalie Berthold, at Soul Camp last year and after being powerfully moved by her session I had to have her on the show and to share her with you!

 

Natalie joins us to explain what family constellation therapy is and what its origins are, how she became a believer and a practitioner and how healing our relationship with our mother with this therapy can give us freedom in every other area of our lives.

Direct download: Podcast81final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I have a client, we’ll call her Stacy, who got a really difficult assignment from me recently. I asked her to sit with joy.

You may be wondering why that’s so difficult. I mean, isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that why people hire life coaches in the first place? To find and feel joy?

Let me explain. The women that come to me for help are serious go-getters. They are extremely good at doing things for everyone else, but putting themselves last. They do one project and are on to the next. They set enormously high expectations of themselves which they can rarely reach (and if they do reach them, it’s at a huge cost and mostly because it matters what others think of them) if they ever reach the expectations at all. They struggle with perfectionism, people pleasing, isolating, and the need for certainty and control.

And why do they act that way?

They act that way because the other way of being— standing up for themselves, being imperfect, saying no, letting go of outcomes— all require being vulnerable. And being vulnerable has an unstable outcome, and possibly a painful one (like failure), so they just don’t. They do what they know to stay safe. In their minds they protect themselves. Vulnerability is just not a way of being for them.

So, what does this have to do with joy?

 

Direct download: Podcast80final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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