Wed, 29 June 2016
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.
Wed, 22 June 2016
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.
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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.
Thu, 16 June 2016
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.
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.
“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.
Wed, 15 June 2016
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.
Wed, 8 June 2016
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:
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 ;)
Wed, 1 June 2016
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.