Fri, 31 March 2017
Mini-sode 144 is all about negative self-talk.
Because you don’t have a “life balance” problem.
You don’t have a “not promoted enough” problem.
You don’t have an “I don’t work out enough” problem.
You have a problem with the way you speak to yourself.
In this episode I tell you about my experience learning how to manage my own negative self-talk, and how I came to find out about it just as my life fell apart in 2007.
Join us on April 3rd as I host the wildly popular FREE 7-Day Courage Challenge! Hundreds of women just like you. 10 minutes a day. Learn how to change your life. Click here to join us.
Wed, 29 March 2017
Hey there Ass Kickers!
I’m so excited for you to meet my guest today, Kathleen Booker. I met Kathleen over a year ago and I’m excited to finally have her on the podcast to introduce you to her as well. She’s an inspirational coach whose energy has been described as “infectious” (and you’ll know why after hearing her speak today)!
Wed, 22 March 2017
If you've been over in these parts of town for any length of time, you know I talk a lot about numbing out and how it can be harmful for us. I’ve talked about my own sobriety and even have a recovery series on my podcast.
The truth is: we like to escape. We typically don't like to feel our feelings. Life is hard and sometimes agonizing. Not many of us are equipped to handle life's struggles, so we find things to escape from it.
And the message we might be getting is that we shouldn’t ever do this. We shouldn't ever numb out. We need to be with our feelings, be present to our life no matter how difficult it is.
So, is escapism ever okay?
Honestly, my short answer is yes. I don’t by any means expect people to fully let go of all of their numbing mechanisms. I just don’t believe there’s any way we can let go of them and go through life with all the pain and agony there is to experience. Some of the most evolved humans I know still sometimes choose numbing over facing their problems and feelings around it. Even Brené Brown talks about a time where she read a bunch of mean comments about herself on the Internet and promptly “grabbed a jar of peanut butter, a blanket and watched ten hours of Downton Abbey.”
So, the question becomes what is healthy escapism and what isn't?
I think the first question to ask yourself, is is your escapism chronic? In other words, are you eating too much cake every day? Or are you shopping online and putting yourself in debt? Drinking an entire bottle of wine every night? Not tending to your kids’ needs because you’re playing Candy Crush like it’s your job? Most of the time, you know when it’s too much. Denial is a powerful thing, but there comes a time when the pain of staying in your numbing mechanism outweighs the pain of facing the real problem underneath it all.
And sometimes, we-- as high achieving, smart women-- can tend to let the pendulum swing completely the other way. We get “permission” to numb out sometimes and get what I call “a case of the fuck-its.” We know we’re doing it-- we know we’re numbing out, and we at that moment, don’t care. We eat All The Cake. Drink All The Wine. And maybe that’s part of your process to do that a few times. And if it is, when you’re done, check in to see how you feel.
How is your self-talk when that happens? Usually, not so good. I’d bet you’re beating yourself up for eating All The Cake, or drinking All The Wine. And you beat yourself up internally, then you feel like shit...and how do we stop feeling like shit? More cake and more wine.
This topic comes up a lot with my clients, and I always ask the same questions:
Are you doing it (insert numbing mechanism of choice) to consciously comfort yourself? Or are you doing it mindlessly, unconsciously hoping you’ll escape from your life and your struggles indefinitely?
If it’s the latter, then I ask: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Because it’s never about the cake or the wine or the Internet or the shoes. It’s about the problem-- the pain/fear/hurt you’re trying to make go away.
And I think this goes without saying-- but I’ll say it anyway-- the pain never goes away. But, you-- YOU have to get to a point where you’re done trying to escape from it. I can’t be the one to tell you the only way out is through and the way to “get over it” is to process it all. It’ll go in one ear and out the other until YOU are ready to stop running, turn around and look it in the face.
Escapism works until it doesn’t. And when it’s done working for you and you learn how to cope in healthier ways and learn to process feelings instead of numbing them, you’ll get to a point when you fall back on numbing and you’re all inside it and realize QUICKLY what you’re doing. And to be honest, that kind of sucks. It’s like that moment you’re arguing with someone and you suddenly realize you’re wrong and they’re right. DAMN. Do you stop and tell them? Or do you keep arguing your point? Both feel like shit. But one honors who you are.
So, when you’re ready, you’re ready. When escaping and numbing out aren’t working for you anymore, do the work to process, feel and cope with your emotions. I promise you won’t die. You’ll be stronger, more self-aware, more self-confident, and more of your biggest, most kick-ass self.
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 April 3rd! Sign up for free here.
Wed, 15 March 2017
Hey Ass Kickers!
Today you’re in for a treat, as our guest is an expert who is going to help us be our sexiest self! Melissa Ramos has a goal of adding a little sass to healthy living for women, and she looks at things from a slightly different perspective than most of us – starting from the inside out. On this episode, Melissa shows us how hormones or digestive issues could actually be holding us back from being as sexy as we could be, and why the answer to your health is in your poop!
Wed, 8 March 2017
Two weeks ago I wrote about how YKAL is evolving, maturing, and what this means for you and for me. If you haven’t read it or listened, you can find it here.
As I mentioned in that post, we are currently in a time where the U.S. (and other parts of the world) is extremely politically polarized. Social media was noisy enough before and now it’s been taken to a whole new level. And what I’m experiencing over here as an online business owner with a platform-- a community of people who listen to what I have to say via my podcast, blog, and social media-- is that I have a choice whether to talk about about this or not. I can continue to just go on “business as usual,” or I can implement my voice on these matters. There’s different ways this can look, but the choice is pretty black or white: Either I talk about it or I don’t.
Several months ago, a colleague of mine, Racahel Maddox, posted on Facebook about this. This was before the election, even before the real messiness of it all. She was calling us out-- us being privileged people with online platforms. She was specifically calling out life coaches and those in the wellness industry with online platforms who were choosing to stay quiet about social justice issues.
Who the hell does she think she is telling me what to do and how to run my business? I thought to myself. My belief was that no one can tell me how I speak out. No one can tell me what is right and what is wrong. No one can tell me I am a bad person because I choose to take my sweet ass time to decide what to do about this (that’s not what she said, but what I made up she said). In other words, I was personally offended and taken aback.
After my ego left the room (it took a couple of weeks), I thought about why I reacted that way. And the conclusion I came up with was this:
I was embarrassed because she called our asses out.
I was scared because deep down I knew she was right-- I knew it was my responsibility to talk publicly about these social issue, but I didn’t know how.
I felt guilty because I hadn’t spoken out sooner.
I was worried how this would affect my reputation and my business, both I’ve worked hard on building over the last 10 years.
All valid (and common) feelings, but feelings that are a) laden with privilege and white lady tears and b) don’t change the world.
Then, the election happened, then the inauguration, then the whole country got flipped upside down and set on fire.
And I thought about what Rachael had said. She was right. What I had to admit and knew in my heart all along, what I know now deep in my bones is this:
As people of privilege-- as a white, straight, able-bodied, upper middle class person in the wellness industry with an online platform to spread a message, it is my responsibility to speak out about social justice issues.
If I was a realtor or a hairdresser or a mechanic, I don’t think it would necessarily be my responsibility to integrate it into my business. But, this is the wellness industry. We teach people how to be better people. How to “change the world.” For fucks sake we teach people how to empower themselves, stand up for what they believe in, and speak up. To use their voices even if they are scared. To do what’s right even if it’s unpopular.
And as facilitators of this work, we cannot teach these things, take money for teaching these things, and not do them ourselves. We need to both model what this looks like as well as spread the message that what is happening all around us is not fucking okay.
Andréa Ranae sums it up perfectly,
“TO THE COACHES, HEALERS, GUIDES, MENTORS AND OVERALL DO-GOODERS OF THE WORLD WHO DON'T WANT TO BRING "POLITICS" INTO YOUR WORK, CONSIDER THIS:
Your work could bring massive sustainable change to many lives, families, and communities, but it won't if you don't critically look at the social context that you're working within.
The problems you help solve for your clients are most often symptoms of a much deeper and widespread systemic problem that we must get to the root of. You say you want to change the world, but what is it, in the world, that you want to change? You've got to name it to tame it.
Our socioeconomic and environmental issues affect every single one of the people you work with either actively or passively.”
So, what is it that we, as life coaches, healers, whatevers, want to change for our people?
I know many of you reading this care a lot about marginalized people, the LGBTQ community, Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights, the refugee crisis, feminism, black lives matter, the ACA, dismantling patriarchy, rape culture, sex trafficking, the list goes on and on. And I know many of you take action in your homes and communities, maybe even speak out on your personal Facebook pages sometimes.
But, you guys. When we do this-- when we don’t speak out at all, or when we only do it quietly in the echo chamber of our personal Facebook page or with our friends in real life-- we’re sending a message. The message is: these matters do matter to me, but only if it doesn’t risk my business. Only if I can take action behind the scenes, quietly and not create any liability that people may disagree, unfollow me, not sign up for my online classes, etc. When quiet, the message being sent is clear: Social justice matters to me but not at the expense of my bottom line.
The message also tells your followers that to say nothing is also okay for them too. That if you’re staying quiet in your privileged little bubble, by all means, they can too.
We can’t go on with business as usual. Things have changed. THE PARTY IS OVER.
And to be frank, I don’t think many, if any of us were excited this has happened. “Oh yeah, I can’t wait to risk losing people in my audience. I can’t wait for these uncomfortable conversations. I can’t wait to sit down and figure out how I’m going to approach these subjects and be a leader now that everything has changed.”
But, we are being called upon to lead. We are being called upon to show up. We are being called upon to be courageous and show what it means to take care of each other, walk our talk, and actually “be the change.”
So, what do we do?
That’s the question I’ve been asked, I’ve been asking everyone, and tossing and turning at night trying to figure out. As I said in my last post about this, there’s no guidebook for this, no step-by-step process. But, when you’ve been called upon for something like this, you just jump. Standing around trying to figure out which angle to take, being scared, agonizing over how to do it, isn’t making the world a better place. I know, I did it for months.
First things first, think about why you haven’t said anything, or why you’ve decided to not. Some experts in the self-help field say that when we make decisions, we are making them either out of love or fear. I think this applies here. Have you made the decision to remain silent out of fear? Fear of losing followers? Fear of saying the wrong thing? Fear of being asked questions you don’t know the answer to? Fear of not knowing where to start? Fear of losing business?
Or, are you making the decision out of love? And if so, love for whom? Love for what?
I’ll give you a place to start. Write a blog post, an e-blast, or make a video of you telling your people honestly that X, Y, and Z social justice issues matter to you. They matter to you and you’re feeling this and that, and you don’t know where to go from here. Tell them the truth. That you’re uncomfortable. Because they probably are too. You don’t have to even mention names of government officials. This doesn’t have to be about politics, this is about people. This is about us.
Tell your audience whatever you’re feeling. Fear, guilt, confusion, whatever. You know yourself and your audience best.
Then you have options. You can ask them what they want. You can help them sort through their feelings in order to help them take action. You can tell them where to take action. You can educate them on the different social issues that mean the most to you. You don’t have to pick them all. What’s most important to you? The environment? Women’s issues? Pick one or two and make it your go-to. Information and education is KEY in changing the world.
You can take pictures and show yourself in activism. That is leadership. (If you’re in a place where you don’t know where to start, do some reading and following other activists. I’ll put some links at the end of this post.)
We are going to rock the boat. We are going to lose followers. We are going to get people who are not willing to listen to why you support Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, or oppose the Dakota Pipeline. But, I think my friend Leela says is perfectly:
Friends and colleagues, consider this a “calling in.” My intention is not to publicly embarrass, offend, or humiliate anyone. My intention is to call attention to this immensely important topic, to make you think, to ignite a bigger conversation, and to encourage you to massively step out of your comfort zone (like we tell our clients to do). Also, consider this a call to arms. An invitation to stand up; an invitation to speak out and invite your people to do the same. Consider this an invitation of leadership.
Wed, 1 March 2017
Today I’m joined by a repeat guest of the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast: Rebekah “Bex” Borucki. She’s the founder of BEXLIFE®, a TV host, meditation guide, and fitness and yoga instructor (and so much more)! Rebekah is also now a published author, and her first book, You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, was released by Hay House in February 2017.