Your Kick Ass Life Podcast

http://yourkickasslife.com/R10

Hi ass kickers!

This is the last episode in this round of the recovery series (season 2 will be out sometime in 2017. If you don’t want to miss it, make sure you’re signed up for updates here).

Last fall, as I was about halfway through the interviews for this series, my father passed away. We learned he had a terminal illness, and about 3 weeks later he died.

As a person in long-term recovery, this was the first time I’d faced something big while sober. For some, losing a loved one becomes too much, and they relapse. I can completely understand why this happens.

In this episode, I talk about the following:

  • My family story and how I was first introduced to what a functional alcoholic was.
  • What the worst moments were when I came home from dealing with his death.
  • What I thought the “rules of grief” were.
  • What surrender has been like for me over the past few months.
  • I answer the question: Did I want to drink again?
  • What I did when I found myself sobbing on my kitchen floor.
  • What I did to get through the multitude of feelings.
Direct download: R10final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/134

 

Hello Ass kickers!

I’m super excited for y’all to hear this episode with my friend and colleague Laura Probasco. Laura is a mega ass-kicker and she brings it on today’s show. Her background is in social work and play therapy and she’s well-schooled in Brené Brown’s teachings which is how we first connected.

Laura is the founder of Probasco and Associates as well as the co-founder of The Art of Play, a play therapy training program for individuals, schools and organizations. She has taken her work around the globe interacting with people from all walks of life.

On this episode we dive into topics like vulnerability hangovers, hotwiring emotional connections, and the link between isolation and perfectionism.

We also talk about:

  • Why it’s normal to have vulnerability hangovers.
  • Marble people: what are they and why do they matter?
  • What does the term “breautiful” mean?
  • Why you can’t have courage and comfort at the same time.
  • The best tool Laura has used in her own personal growth journey.
  • And much more!

When it comes to vulnerability hangovers and “hot wiring” emotional connections, Laura shares a personal story from her own life (something many of us will relate to!). There are many lessons to take away from that story, including why we have vulnerability hangovers.

A vulnerability hangover is when you’ve shared deeply personal experiences with someone, and you later worry about what you’ve said, how you said and how the person on the receiving end was left. The “hot wiring” is when we share this information with someone we don’t know very well, like a nearby passenger on an airplane in Laura’s case. I mean, who hasn’t spilled their guts to a stranger before!?

During this show we talk about what to do if you’ve ever had a “hot wiring connection” or a vulnerability hangover, how to handle both and why they aren’t always bad experiences to have.

Continuing on that theme, Laura shares how our need for intimacy combined with our need for perfection leads us into isolation. She offers great suggestions on how to cope when we begin to isolate ourselves, including how to reach out to those friends we know we can turn to when we’re in the darkness. We even give you a word for word script to use with these friends so you can ask for what you need. (Because I know you all love scripts!)

There’s so much in this episode with Laura. She shares how she broke up with herself and why, the process and journey to worthiness and how to surrender control without losing your mind!

Direct download: 134LauraProbasco_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R9

Hi ass kickers!

This week on the recovery series I’m talking to Megan Peters. Megan is a blogger, photographer, mom and recovery warrior. She struggled with perfectionism and people pleasing growing up, which she says fueled her drinking problem. In this hour you’ll hear:

  • Megan tells us her story about what her relationship with alcohol was like and when she knew it was time to quit.
  • From an article Megan wrote: “I felt like I was constantly running, with no finish line in sight. No matter how hard I worked or how much I loved my family, I felt like I could never get my head above water. I was drowning.” She explains more about this.
  • We talk about the shame and stigma that come with being a mother and an alcoholic and what to do about that.
  • Megan tells us how she quietly got sober (she didn’t even tell her husband) and how her recovery changed over time into what she needed.
  • We both talk about what’s it’s like to “just have one drink.”
  • I ask Megan what advice she has for someone who’s struggling to stay sober-- for someone who stays sober a few days or weeks and then convinces herself she can have “just one” and then keeps finding herself in the same place over and over.

 

 

Direct download: R9MeganPeters_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/133 

Hey Ass kickers!

Today we’ve got a special episode of the podcast as I bring on someone I’ve been friends with for a long time. Rachel Luna is a Best Selling Author, Speaker, Confidence and Mindset Coach, and she not only shares the tremendous story of her life, but how went from considering herself “damaged goods” to the place she’s now at and how she’s helping others be the best they can be as well.

After listening to this one, I’m sure you’ll agree that when you show up and do the work, you’re going to see huge changes in your life too!

Direct download: 133RachelLuna_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R8

Hi ass kickers! Today on the recovery series we have Danielle Gilmore, who considers herself a compulsive overeater, love and sex addict. Danielle found herself at 380 pounds at 25 years old and decided it was time to get help.

I’m excited to have you hear her story because of a couple reasons: 1) I know people can replace addictions when they get sober from alcohol and food and other substances are what they often turn to and 2) I wanted to get a variety of stories because addiction isn’t just alcohol. I know many of you might struggle in different areas.

Direct download: R8DanielleGilmore_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/132

I talk a lot about taking responsibility for your life. I often tell the story from my own life about finding myself on the other side of two back-to-back really bad relationships, blaming everyone else in my life for how shitty I was feeling and deciding I’d had enough of all that. After picking myself up off the floor one day I decided to take responsibility for what I’d tolerated, what I’d attracted, what I didn’t know in terms of what a healthy relationship looked like, and what I wanted out of life.

I started to do the hard work and everything changed.

What I also talk a lot about it managing your negative self-talk. The inner-voice we all have that tells us we aren’t good enough.

If you’ve ever been in that place I mentioned above, the place where you take radical responsibility for your life, you might encounter a side-effect: Massively harsh self-talk. It might sound like this:

I can’t believe I allowed that kind of relationship.

I was so stupid to behave like that.

Only an idiot would do that.

I’m so ashamed of myself.

And on and on. Right?

So, you’re trying to better yourself and by doing so, it’s necessary to shine the light on all the bullshit and messes you might have made. And at the same time I’m over here telling you all day and all night to do it with self-compassion. And you might be thinking, how the fuck do I do that?!?

Never fear, I have some answers, ass kicker.

First things first, it’s going to happen. It’s normal once you really start taking inventory of what’s up and what you want to change for you to look at your life with the stink-eye. If you look at your life or your former life and think, “Hmm...it’s really not that bad!” then either you’re still in denial and aren’t ready for self-help or it really isn’t that bad and you don’t need self-help. So, you’re just like the rest of us if you see it all and gasp. It’s going to be okay, I promise!

Second, this happens to everyone and everyone feels the same way. Embarrassed, full or regret, guilty, ashamed, judgmental, disappointed, all the hard emotions in one big ‘ol pile of shit. Again, it’s part of the process.

Third, practicing self-compassion is a learned process, don’t expect to get it right on the first day. Some people ask me, “but when I talk to myself kindly it feels weird and not genuine.” When you had your first two weeks in Spanish class learning “Me llamo Estacia y me gusta los tocadiscos” did you feel fluent? Did you feel like you could fly down to Guadalajara, Mexico and blend into the natives? I didn’t think so. Learning to speak in a self-compassionate manner is the same. It takes time and practice and more time and more practice to not only do it consistently with less effort, but to make it feel more genuine. You have to start somewhere.

Fourth, watch where you start to dislike or hate that part of you. When you start to look at the parts of you that you want to improve, or that you never want to go back to, it’s easy to sort of “disown” that part of you. I did this too. In fact, once I realized it, I wrote a letter to myself apologizing to my former self. Remember, you’d never have gotten to where you are now without being that former person. You had to go through those hard time and made all those mistakes to get here-- being that person who’s improving herself. I know the success I have both personally and professionally was reliant on all the mistakes I made in the past. Yours will too.

If you’d like more support on this, I invite you to check out Your Kick-Ass Masterclass. Nine weeks of getting the support and tools you need to live a life of confidence, self-compassion, courage and of course, kickassery. Click here to join us.  

Direct download: EP132final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R7

Today on the recovery series I interview Nicole Antoinette. Nicole doesn’t identify with being an “alcoholic”, but very much had a problem with her drinking and has been sober for 5+ years. A self-professed “party girl” she went through years of struggling with insomnia which inadvertently led to her sobriety.

Direct download: R7NicoleAntoinette_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/131

I’ve noticed something interesting over the last several years.

As a blogger and online business owner, one of the things I do is look at my Google Analytics to see how people are finding my website and which posts are getting the most hits. And year after year, it’s the posts I write about relationships, more specifically posts about my breakups and the heartbreak they ensued.

I’ve written about how to get over your ex, which has been shared more than 120,000 times (it’s probably much more, we installed the share tracking about a year after I wrote it). I’ve also had to turn off comments because of all the spam, people selling their love potions (not kidding. People selling poor heartbroken people love potions. There is a place in hell for those spammers). What’s obvious about the popularity of that topic is simply this: Most people in the world have had their heart broken by someone else and they have a really hard time healing.

I don’t pretend to be the absolute expert at this, as I am still navigating it every day in my own life. But, I’m compelled to write about it today because I’ve been turning over and over the question in my head:

Are we ever truly healed from heartbreak? And either way-- what does that even look like?

At my ripe old age of 41 (which btw, I still consider myself young with A LOT to learn about life and love) I’m starting to think the answer to that question sometimes is no. And that’s okay.

Let me explain. Here’s where I think the problem starts: I think we make up that we need to get over the people that have hurt us. And I’m not just talking about intimate relationships, I’m talking about parents, friends, anyone we’re close to that we’ve trusted and felt at some point or another has “broken our hearts”. We make up that we as humans, must get to a place in our hearts where we’re not hurt anymore. We don’t think about what happened, and if we do, we hold no sadness, anger, or hurt about it.

I don’t know about you, but that seems awfully robotic and ….impossible.

The problem worsens when we make up what it means when we’re not “over it”. We make up that we’re weak or broken, that we’re doing something wrong, that there’s something innately wrong with us, and we might keep obsessing on that person that hurt us.

As humans, I think we want a definitive answer. Are we through it or not? Are we healed-- emphasis on the past tense?

And my honest answer is I don’t know.

I think we look for this place outside of us-- this place “over there” where we will be absent from all the difficult feelings around it. It’s completely subjective what this looks like but I think so many people spend the better part of their lives searching for this.

It’s also important to get clear on what your definition of this is. If you think about a wound, if you get a small prick or papercut, when it heals there’s no scar. You don’t even remember all the small picks and papercuts you’ve received over your lifetime. They’re inconsequential.

But, when the wound is more substantial, when it’s deep and there’s a decent amount of bleeding that happens, maybe a scab forms and we have a scar. I have many tiny scars all over my body; as I type this, I can see three on my hands (only one I can remember how it got there-- hot glue gun, ouch). These scars become a part of us, a part of the biggest organ of our body. We more or less have to accept them, right?

So, what if we accepted the scars we have on our hearts?

And while I don’t know if we are ever fully healed, recovered or over it, I do know there are some key elements that are necessary in working your way through it.

#1 You have to feel all the feels. I see you going to Numbing McNumbtown. Parents disappoint you? Cake. Partner was an asshole? Wine. Kids stressing you out? Online shopping.

We don’t want to feel our pain. Or anger, or stress, or frustration, or sadness, grief, and on and on. This falls into the “how you do one thing is how you do everything”. If you’re numbing out on the stress of your job, most likely you’re numbing out on the huge heartbreak of your divorce or breakup. If you’re numbing out about the overwhelm you feel as a parent, you’re most likely numbing out about the miscarriage you had five years ago.

The only way out is through. The only way you’re going to “get over it” or whatever the magical thing is of feeling better is to respect the feelings that happen. You don’t have to like them, but you have to respect them. If you don’t, they come out in other ways and it’s not always numbing: blaming, rage, avoidance, and sometimes we shove it so far down it manifests as insomnia, depression and anxiety.

The bottom line: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.

#2 Your brain has literally been affected, so practice self-compassion. Many times heartbreak = trauma. I used to think trauma was reserved for people who had been through horrible, tragic circumstances like war or abuse. But, research shows that being dumped and similar situations can actually have an effect on our brains that is categorized as traumatic. I’ve recently had two guests on my podcast who talk about this (here and here), so please, look into doing the work on that. If nothing else, it will help you foster some self-compassion.

#3 Who do you need to forgive? Like it or not, learning to let go has a lot to do with forgiveness. Dragging around resentments, anger, bitterness, and thoughts of revenge will only encourage you to stay exactly where you are and in some cases, get worse. The other person is not suffering more because you choose to not forgive them. Typically, they don’t care.

Forgiveness is complicated, but possible. Trust me I get it. I’ve forgiven people who’ve done massive acts of betrayal to me, and I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t forgiven them. For me, I wanted peace, not to carry around the same hatred from years ago. It had everything to do with me, and nothing to do with them. I forgave them for my own love, not theirs.

“To forgive...is a process that does not exclude anger or hatred. These emotions are part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things. The depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.” -Desmond Tutu

I love this quote from Archbishop Tutu because he normalizes the feelings around forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t magically forgetting all the difficult feelings and turning things around into happiness and warm fuzzy feelings. Sometimes forgiveness means you still think they’re an asshole and that’s okay.

These three steps aren’t guaranteed to magically get to to let go of whatever it is that’s plaguing you, but they are essential in getting you closer  to it.

If you’d like more support on this, I invite you to check out Your Kick-Ass Masterclass. Nine weeks of getting the support and tools you need to live a life of confidence, self-compassion, courage and of course, kickassery. Click here to join us.  

Direct download: Ep131final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

http://yourkickasslife.com/R6

Ass kickers!

Welcome BACK to the recovery series! Thank you for your patience as I had to put the project on hold for a couple of months, but I am so excited to share episode six with you. Jean McCarthy of the Unpickled Blog is with us.

Jean McCarthy thought she had it all figured out: go 100 miles an hour all day as a mom and business owner, then drink wine before bed to quickly de-stress and fall asleep. She had no idea that this perfect equilrium would evolve into addiction over the course of a decade. Now five years sober, Jean writes about her experiences as a person in recovery at unpickledblog.com and holds space for others to share their stories on The Bubble Hour podcast.

Direct download: R6JeanMcCarthy_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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