Make Some Noise with Andrea Owen

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!

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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