Your Kick Ass Life Podcast

My guest this week is AH-mazing. During our conversation, I even referred to him as an evangelist for love. An evangelist. for. love, y’all. Yes, I’m excited to introduce you to Kute Blackson. Kute is a charismatic visionary and transformational teacher who offers a fresh, bold look at spiritual awareness for a whole new generation. Oh, and did I mention, he’s also very intense.  I love intense people.

Kute joins me to talk about love; including self-love, living your own truth and what it means to live a fulfilled life. Plus, we talk about allowing yourself to feel pain, coping mechanisms and conditioning, questioning who you truly are and what Kute means when he says, “we are born-free.”  As Kute so eloquently stated, love is the most important thing on the planet and the most important thing to experience while we are alive. And lastly, “Real healing happens in the space of love.” Hell-to-the-yes.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Kute’s deep calling to serve humanity, following his own truth and integrity and how he began on a path to helping other people find themselves (8:15)
  • What stops us from being fulfilled and free (13:23)
  • How to reconnect with your heart and body to get to your own truth, plus 3 questions to ask yourself to help you get there (14:38)
  • The layers that cover up your true self, coping mechanisms and shifting your conditioning (18:31)
  • Creating your own opportunities, and add value to others lives (43:05)

http://yourkickasslife.com/261

 

Direct download: YKAL-261final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I am ecstatic to introduce you to this week’s guest, Rob Mack. Rob is an ivy-league-educated Celebrity Happiness Coach, Positive Psychology Expert, Published Author, and TV Host/Personality. He just exudes peacefulness and while it looks like it comes naturally to him, he works hard at it.

Rob joins me to talk about prioritizing peace, happiness, love and joy and how to focus on feeling better. We also talk about negativity bias, being comfortable with our uncomfortableness, being stuck in an identity story and some ways to let it go.  Rob is such a delight. And, y’all, he is a very snappy dresser too!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Rob shares his story of suffering with depression and attempting suicide (11 minutes and 35 seconds)
  • Micro-meditations (for super, busy women) (17:15)
  • Some ways to build optimism, resilience, and real confidence (24:40)
  • Negativity bias and why we tolerate being unhappy (26:45)
  • Being stuck in an identity story and how to reframe it and let it go (31:04)
  • A few simple actions you can take today to get on a path to happiness (39:58)

http://yourkickasslife.com/260

 

Direct download: YKAL-260final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

We are in the last stretch of the year and it’s business as usual over here at Team YKAL with a brand new episode!. This week on the podcast, speaker, writer, and educator Melissa Toler joins me. Her work encourages people to make the connection between our culture's oppressive beauty standards and our personal struggle with self-acceptance.

I’ve been following Melissa and her work online and social media for a while now. I love her message and I was so excited for the chance to speak with her. Today, we talk about challenging the cultural standards of wellness and beauty, plus diet culture and it’s messaging. We also talk about how we all have internalized thoughts around certain body types, including black bodies, brown bodies, or even trans bodies and how it perpetuates harm. Melissa reminds us the work of unpacking and unlearning our internal body biases is lifelong work.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Melissa’s pivot away from the wellness industry and why she became disillusioned with it (7 minutes and 24 seconds)
  • How Melissa challenges the cultural standards of beauty and wellness (13:10)
  • Questioning the messages we receive about body image, health and fitness (17:04)
  • How health and wellness professionals can shift their education and start to question their current practices and philosophies (24:28)
  • Fatphobia and unpacking internal biases (26:22)
  • Melissa shares her story of her own weight loss obsession and how she overcame it (34:09)

http://yourkickasslife.com/259

 

Direct download: YKAL-259final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Happy December! It’s podcast day, y’all. And this week, I am excited to introduce you to my guest, Nitika Chopra. She has been a leader in the wellness industry since 2010, is known for her straightforward tone and intense vulnerability, and recently created a conversation about self-love in the chronic illness community. The energy  she exudes is just so magnetic. She is someone I wanted to have on the podcast for a while and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you.

Nitika and I talk in-depth about self-love, specifically her journey to finding self-love after suffering debilitating psoriasis for many years and her thoughts and philosophy about self care. Plus, Nitika shares openly and honestly about how she repaired the hatred she had over her body for so many years.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Nitika’s humbling and eye-opening journey to self-love (9 minutes and 11 seconds)
  • Why Nitika thinks self-help can sometimes be more harmful than helpful (15:22)
  • Self-care was Nitika’s saving grace; she explains why, as well as, shares some of her own self- care practices and describes where she thinks self-care really starts (22:08)
  • Nitika’s letter to her body and why she was driven to write it (28:49)
  • Some ways you can begin to love yourself more, today (32:12)

Also, I have ONE spot open for 1:1 coaching. Two options there: I take women privately through The Daring Way™ work, as well as do traditional life coaching where we basically get down to what you want, I help you get there (with a little hand holding and a lot of holding your feet to the fire) and VOILA! You have Your Kick-Ass Life.

http://yourkickasslife.com/258

 

 

Direct download: YKAL-258final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Not long ago, I got inspired, turned on the mic, and riffed about comfort zones. I think I started sweating even a little, not because I was nervous, but because I get FIRED UP about this stuff.

I go over what it is that keeps us stuck. Is it fear of failure? A habit? Fear of success? Is it our feelings and emotions that keep us from the person we want to be? I go over all of this.

Alas, I don’t have this episode in written format, but you don’t want to miss this. 

Also, I have ONE spot open for 1:1 coaching. Two options there: I take women privately through The Daring Way™ work, as well as do traditional life coaching where we basically get down to what you want, I help you get there (with a little hand holding and a lot of holding your feet to the fire) and VIOLA! You have Your Kick-Ass Life. Simply reply to this email and we’ll get you started with an application and a call with me to see if it’s a good fit. Okay? Okay.

http://yourkickasslife.com/257

 

Direct download: YKAL-257final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

The holidays are upon us! If you’re like me, you love to get your shopping done early AND you love to get just the right gift for that special someone in your life (and even if they’re not that special to you, I mean sometimes we have the obligatory gift to buy, am I right?)

Here’s a few of my favorite gift ideas as well as some nifty stuff we found on the internet to I like/love so you have a plethora of things to choose from! Happy shopping!

Pet stuff

Personalized pet socks. Y’all. YOU CAN GET YOUR ACTUAL PET ON A PAIR OF SOCKS. I mean, not the actual pet but their picture. You understand. Is this already a thing and I’m just learning of it? Whether it is or isn’t, it’s amazing.

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my IG stories, you know Dirty Baby. If you don’t, then this won’t be funny at all (but seriously, get in on the joke, go to my Instagram profile in the “highlights” and click on “#dirtybaby”. You’re welcome). So, for your dog (or cat?) they CAN HAVE THEIR OWN DIRTY BABY and we can be gross pet toy friends.

Barkbox is for those people who really, and I mean really love their dogs. They used to sponsor the podcast, so if you use this link you can get a free month. My dog LOST HER SHIT over their toys and treats. But, then again she eats rabbit poop in the backyard so she may not be a good judge of delicious things.  

Food stuff

Chocolate covered pretzels GALORE. I’m just sayin’ that if someone wants to buy me these I will NOT be mad. At all.

Fruitcake from Harry and David. For that person in your life who has everything and is also 137 years old, yes, fruitcake. My stepdad LOVES THIS STUFF and he’s only 76. But seriously, seniors love fruitcake and Harry and David know how to do it up. I can’t say I’ve personally tasted it, but we frequently buy it for Gene, the love of my mom’s life and he raves about it. Plus, super affordable. Also, their other food is delish.

Fairytale Brownies. This is for the serious brownlie lover (me). You can’t go wrong with fancy brownies. Trust me.

Tea Forte from Neiman Marcus. Fancy, but still affordable, for that person who doesn’t drink coffee (gasp!)

Gourmet cooking salt sets Darlene (YKAL podcast producer extraordinaire) knows this lady and recommends these fancy salts for the foodie in your life (if loving brownies counts as being a foodie, I’m IN)!

MISC:

Some Call Me Crunchy bath salts. I found these at a local boutique here in Greensboro and these bath salts are amazing. They always make a great gift! (I always put extra epsom salt in my bath when I use these.)

The Moondeck. Both for the serious woo-woo person in your life and the newbie. These cards are so gorgeous and perfect for meditations, mantras, and more.  

Anything from The Hoodwitch. From rose quartz crystals, to blue sage & sunflower, you’ll for sure find something for that “witchy” person in your life!

Cast Iron Cauldron (or this one.) A lot of people find it either hilarious or interesting that I have a cauldron. Maybe they envision a huge one brewing over a fire with chicken’s feet and the tears of my enemies in it, but alas, it’s actually a mall one that I use to burn paper that I’ve written things down on, or keep my sage in. This would make a great gift for your witchy friends!

Skylight frame. So apparently, this is an update to the digital photo frame that was super popular about 12 years ago. With this frame you can update photos for your parents or grandma or other loved one remotely. I think. I don’t actually know for sure, but I was too lazy to go and read all the instructions, but it seems like a great gift for your grandparents if they don’t like fruitcake (see above).

Postercandy family poster framed by Framebridge. Ya’ll. This is something I researched myself and did and it’s seriously the favorite piece of decor I have in my house. Full disclosure: it took me a while to put it together. You can choose how many pictures you want  and since I picked like 7,000, it was time consuming. I love this because it’s like a photo album spanned over 10 years in one piece of art. I often find myself and other members of my family just standing in front of it smiling. And everyone comments on it who comes over!

Okay, there’s about a bazillion journals to choose from, and I’m always a fan of having several I love this one from Uncommon Goods because there are prompts to write about your life. It think this would an especially great gift for a young-ish person (late teens/20’s).

Alex and Ani Wonder Woman inspired bangles. It doesn’t get much better than this. It really doesn’t, IMO.

Air plants. For the person in your life that can’t seem to keep plants alive, this is always a good option!

Fun friendship lamps. How cute are these? Have a loved one far away? Get a set of these lamps and you’ll always know when you’re thinking of each other!

http://yourkickasslife.com/256

 

 

Direct download: YKAL-256final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week I welcome Lauren Handel Zander to the YKAL podcast. Lauren is the author of, Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life. She is also a life coach, university lecturer and co-founder of Handel Group. She joins me to talk about the everyday shit that we do that takes us farther away from the person we want to be and the person we were meant to be.

We had an amazing conversation about her journey to becoming a life coach, what personal integrity means to her and her work, qualifying yes versus no, and the epidemic of lying.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Lauren’s path to becoming a life coach (7 minutes and 30 seconds)
  • What is personal integrity and how she uses it to help people achieve their goals (13:51)
  • One trick to keep you accountable when it comes to doing the work (20:17)
  • Boundaries: Why people say, “Yes,” when they mean, “No,” and how to empower ourselves to say, “No”, when we really mean it (26:35)
  • How to develop the awareness to stop the cycle of numbing out and isolating (35:12)
  • The seven ways we lie, cleaning up your lies and telling the truth and how doing so can truly jumpstart your happiness (38:17)


💥 REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE NEW AND IMPROVED DARING WAY™ PROGRAM AND RETREAT! (Shouty caps on purpose!). LET’S CHAT ABOUT IT! Head on over here to check it out!  💥

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/255

 

Direct download: YKAL-255final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week my dear friend Kate Anthony is back on the podcast. If you are new to the show, I’ve started a new series where I’ve been talking with close friends about shit that matters. During these candid conversations, we take a big topic where we are not experts and unpack our own stuff around it and begin to make sense of it all. In this episode, Kate and I continue our conversation on rape culture and sexual assault. I highly encourage you to listen to part one of our conversation, if you haven’t done so already.

The reason I wanted to create two episodes on this topic is to shed light on stories of non-consensual sex, rape, and assault. If you feel your story is not important enough, something I believed of my own story for a long time, know that your story is important.  All of our stories are important and everybody’s story matters. That’s my why. And, trigger warning: Kate and I share our own experiences with non-consensual sex in this episode.

In this episode you’ll also hear:

  • The moment Kate realized her sexual assault was rape (10 minutes and 1 second)
  • Saying yes out of fear and coerced consent (19:03)
  • I retell the story of when, at 17, my boyfriend videotaped us without my knowledge and I lost my shit (24:28)
  • And then, I share my own story of date rape (27:53)
  • The untrue stories we make up about the kind of men that assault women, like, “Only scary looking men or strangers in an alley assault women.”  (45:50)
  • Kate shares a story about a man asking for consent (46:31)

💥🎉FREE LIVE TRAINING! 💥🎉

Okay, y’all-- there are two topics I’ve seen come up over the last few months during my retreats and programs. One is trusting women-- why do we have such a hard time with this and how do we overcome it?

The other is the concept of feeling “good enough”. Do we just decide this and wait for it? Is it a mindset issue? Or something else?

Join me on Friday, November 9th at 12:30 eastern time where I’ll break down these two topics and give you some tangible steps to take to make this happen in your life. As you know from my book HTSFLS, both of these topics are IMPERATIVE for you to stop feeling like shit and start living your kick-ass life. See you there! (And yes, a replay will be available)

No need to sign up for anything, just mark your calendar, and put THIS LINK in there. Then, on 11/9 at 12:30 eastern, click the link and join us! 😘😘😘

http://yourkickasslife.com/254

 

Direct download: YKAL-254final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey ass kickers! I am bringing you another episode of Conversations About Shit That Matters with Unqualified People. My “unqualified person” this week is my friend Kate Anthony, who helped me kick off this series several months ago. For newcomers, here’s a brief introduction to Kate: Kate Anthony is a certified life coach who specializes in helping moms decide whether they should stay in or leave their marriages. This week, Kate and I are talking about rape culture. Kate is truly kick-ass, one of my dearest friends, and someone I feel totally comfortable with unpacking this sensitive topic. And, rape culture is a lot to unpack.

As a reminder, before we get started, this is not an episode where I am teaching about rape culture. It’s an honest conversation between two unqualified people, emphasis on unqualified, about a very important and hard topic. We cover a lot, including what rape culture looks like, how we all participate in it, and some ways to start conversations with people about it.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Identifying rape culture and Kate’s experience with being slut-shamed in high school 
  • Defining toxic masculinity 
  • Our thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh and what he could have done to make the situation different
  • Rape culture, protecting the internal patriarchy, and denial of sexual assault 
  • How to start to have deeper conversations with others and take steps towards change 
  • Bringing men into the conversation about rape culture and toxic masculinity
  • Kate’s experience with today’s dating scene and why she has decided to take a step back from it 

💥🎉FREE LIVE TRAINING! 💥🎉

Okay, y’all-- there are two topics I’ve seen come up over the last few months during my retreats and programs. One is trusting women-- why do we have such a hard time with this and how do we overcome it?

The other is the concept of feeling “good enough”. Do we just decide this and wait for it? Is it a mindset issue? Or something else?

Join me on Friday, November 9th at 12:30 eastern time where I’ll break down these two topics and give you some tangible steps to take to make this happen in your life. As you know from my book HTSFLS, both of these topics are IMPERATIVE for you to stop feeling like shit and start living your kick-ass life. See you there! (And yes, a replay will be available)

No need to sign up for anything, just mark your calendar, and put THIS LINK in there. Then, on 11/9 at 12:30 eastern, click the link and join us! 😘😘😘

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/253

 

Direct download: YKAL-253final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

With recent events that are happening in the news in the U.S. surrounding the U.S. Supreme court nomination of Brent Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward with her story of sexual assault, I knew I needed to have a podcast on the topic of sexual trauma. While I do plan on having an episode where I speak with a friend on the topic of sexual assault, I knew how very important it was to have an expert on to discuss this topic, as well. Because, y’all, I am not an expert in this area, but as many of you know, finding an expert in a given field is something I take very seriously.

And that is why I am honored and grateful to be welcoming back to the show, Licensed Marriage and Family and Therapist, Rebecca Bass-Ching. Rebecca is also a Certified EMDR Therapist+Consultant, Trauma Therapist and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. Today you’ll hear us speak on the topic of sexual trauma, including: feeling triggered by sexual assault stories in the news, navigating the differencing of opinions to sexual assault, healing and processing from sexual trauma and the all important fact that there is no time limit on healing.

Trigger warning: while we go into mostly surface level conversation related to sexual trauma and assault, it’s still a very tender topic. In fact, I let Rebecca really take the reigns in this episode because, as you’ll hear, I am still unpacking and navigating my own feelings too.  

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Some reasons why we may be feeling triggered, angered or on edge related to current events about sexual trauma or assault (8 minutes and 29 seconds)
  • How to navigate feedback from people who have different opinions or reactions to sexual assault (14:02)
  • Handling the question and red herring argument, “What if your son was falsely accused of sexual assault?” (21:21)
  • Your memory network and trauma: remembering portions of trauma so very clearly (32:30)
  • Healing from trauma is very inconvenient, plus we touch on residual trauma (34:35)
  • The deep connection between sexism and racism (38:47)

http://yourkickasslife.com/252

 

Direct download: YKAL-252final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the podcast Shanna Lee joins me. She is founder of the platform The Soul Frequency and author of the book of the same name. And, guess what? I’m holding a contest this week over on Patreon. One winner will receive a copy of Shanna’s book, Soul Frequency: Your Healthy, Awakened and Authentic Life. If you haven’t joined the Patreon Party yet, which is in full swing, you still can. Head over to Patreon to participate in this contest or to become a Patron, here.

I know of Shanna because I was a guest on her podcast several months ago. Her message is very similar to the one I share with you here at YKAL. Once I learned she was about to release a book, I knew I wanted to have her on my show. Today,  we talk about some of the concepts she covers in her book, including how to align yourself with the life you want to be living. Plus, we talk about suppressed anger as a woman and how to open the door to it, being open to bad experiences and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What The Soul Frequency actually means (9 minutes and 42 seconds)
  • Shanna’s journey, and her own lesson of just showing up and being fully present (12:41)
  • Walking your path, getting back into alignment with what feels good (15:48)
  • Shanna’s anatomy of transformation and its four pillars: truth, release, experience, and align (19:02)
  • Women’s anger and rage: your relationship around anger, how it's socially unacceptable, and ways to open the door to anger. (26:27)
  • Being open to the bad that may be happening around you instead of shutting the door on it. (37:36)

http://yourkickasslife.com/251

 

Direct download: YKAL-251final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I have a rich and amazing conversation with Rachel Foy for you this week on the YKAL Podcast. Rachel is an author, motivational teacher and the founder of the Soul Fed Woman. Rachel helps women overcome things like emotional eating, binge eating, and weight obsession. She helps them wake up and reclaim their lives so they are no longer missing from it. I am excited to bring you this topic today. But first, one quick note before we get started.

At the start of this episode,  I briefly share that I am gathering my thoughts on sexual assault all while trying to hold back my rage. I plan to talk about this tender topic in a future episode of Conversations About Shit that Matters with Unqualified People. Current events in our country, the #whyIdidntreport movement and the trauma many women have had to face, again, either due to reliving their own experiences or empathizing with that of another woman, is just too much. More on this topic will be coming soon. Okay, now back to today’s episode.

Today, Rachel and I talk about emotional eating and bringing awareness to your coping mechanisms. We also touch on the topics of body acceptance and fat-phobia. Plus, we talk about numbing out, making empowering choices, and some ways to overcome many issues women experience around food, diet culture and emotions.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What to do when you start feeding your feelings with food (8 minutes and 50 seconds)
  • Rachel’s own difficult journey with food obsession, eating disorders and dieting (10:32)
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): what it is and how it can show up (15:15)
  • Fat-phobic culture, preconceived perceptions, and breaking away from diet culture: stripping down fat-phobia (20:00)
  • How to be emotionally fed and become a soulfed women (21:45)
  • What to do if food is your only source of pleasure (26:17)
  • Why we choose to numb out and some ways how to overcome it (34:05)

http://yourkickasslife.com/250

 

Direct download: YKAL-250final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Joining me on the podcast this week is leading Latina psychotherapist, Christine Gutierrez, LHMC. Christine is the founder of Christineg.tv, an online hub that features psychologically-savvy and soulful advice. Christine also specializes in love addiction which happens to be the topic of today’s episode.

In this episode, we talked about healing from love addiction, Christine’s own experience with it and how she now helps clients move through the healing process. We also touched on codependency and love addiction red flags. It’s clear through my conversation with Christine that she has worked hard and tirelessly on learning how to trust in herself and lean into her biggest self. I’m happy to share our conversation with you.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What love addiction is, how Christine’s early childhood experiences ultimately led to love addiction, and how she got on the path to healing (1 minute 47 seconds)
  • The distinction between healthy, falling in love and love addiction (5:46)
  • Some tips and tools for women struggling with love addiction (11:21)
  • Christine’s journey to helping other women heal, the merging of the mundane and divine and what the word diosa means to her (17:43)
  • How to experience more fierce love in your life (and what fierce love is, exactly) (25:32)

http://yourkickasslife.com/249

 

Direct download: YKAL-249final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Today I have an episode for you that was a suggested topic from one of our awesome listeners on Patreon. Patron members can suggest show topics, as well as get their personal questions answered on Listener Q & A episodes, and so many more perks! Head on over HERE to read more about how you can become a member.  

Corrina asks:

I would love to hear about how to tell the difference between the internal voice that is authentic and courageous versus the voice that is fearful and holding you back or is reactionary. For example, are you leaving a situation because it's good for you or are you in flight mode?

I also wrote a blog post about this AGES ago (2011 omg) so I’ve dug it up, updated it and am putting it back out there.

First and foremost, this is one tricky mother. To be honest, it’s still something I sometimes am challenged by in my own life, and when I am, I talk it out with a trusted friend. Sometimes processing externally can be helpful for you to be able to decipher. Journaling can also be helpful to process more internally.

Second, I do believe there are going to be times where you just don’t know for sure if it’s your intuition speaking or your inner-critic/fear. In those instances, you’ll need to just make a decision and see what happens. I can say that the more you intentionally work on paying attention to your intuition (practices like meditation, stillness, being in nature, journaling, yoga) the more in tune you’ll be with it, and the more clear it will become.

In no particular order, here are some ways to decipher if it’s your inner-critic/fear/gremlin or your intuition/soul voice speaking to you: 

Your inner-critic doesn’t like change; but if it’s good for you, your intuition will encourage it. Gremlins like to keep you exactly where you are, even if you’re not in a great place. For instance, if you hate your job it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to leave, right? So, you daydream about your dream job, doing that thing you’ve always wanted. Your gremlin pops up and says, “There’s no way. What if it doesn’t work? It’s too risky anyway.” You listen to your inner-critic and the days drag on in the grips of this sucky job.

Your intuition is the voice and vision that is steering your daydreams. Your intuition is the voice of your soul and that voice wants you to be happy or else it wouldn’t give you all these dreams! Trusting your dreams is trusting your intuition. Practice adding on to these daydreams visions of  you actually bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. What steps are necessary for you to leave that sucky job and get your dream job? Scary, yes, your gremlin will tell you so. Notice it, keep dreaming, and taking action.

Your gremlin voices come from your head, but your intuitional voice come from your heart. In my opinion, most of us live 99% of the time in our heads (especially if you are a part of my community, you smart, go-getting woman,you!). It takes practice and slowing down (what’s that?) to listen to our hearts. Often times I ask clients a big, pondering question during a coaching session and they respond quickly, without any hesitation, but that answer surprises them, or they backpedal. For instance, say I asked you if you could do anything for the next month, what would it be? And you responded with, “I’d get on a plane, go to an animal sanctuary that I follow on Instagram and volunteer there. But, there’s no way I could actually do that!” I know immediately that the initial answer came from their heart and the excuse came from their head. I respond with, “What if you answered that question just from your heart instead of your head?” and always they respond with something to the effect of, “Huh….let me sit with that for a minute.”

“Getting out of your own way” requires you to get out of your own head. And trust me, we live there. So, how in the world do we do this, you might ask? First, slow down. And simply ask. “What does my heart say about this?”  is good enough. And be patient for the answer. This all might sound a bit “woo woo”, but believe me, it’s possible!

Gremlin voices tell you things out of fear; intuition comes from your soul wanting you to be happy. Fear is your inner-critic’s middle name. Its motives-- keeping you from change are based on, you guessed it, fear. It’s afraid of change, afraid of failure, afraid of looking like a (you fill in the blank), afraid of everything.

Intuition, on the other hand, wants you to be happy. It’s rooting for you, cheering for you, encouraging and supporting you, even if you can’t hear it right now. If you take everything you hear that’s inside you that is fear-based and notice and become aware that that is your gremlin, you’ll begin to filter it out. That may be the first step you need to take. It’s a big leap to think you can sit down and decipher the two. It takes practice, awareness and more practice. Many people actually feel their intuition physically, whether it’s hair standing up on the back of their necks, a feeling in their stomach, or goosebumps.

Gremlins generally aren’t very nice, intuition is soft and squishy. Some people’s gremlins are assholes, plain and simple. That’s why is also known as negative self-talk. But you might not even notice because you’re not only so used to hearing it, but the voice becomes you truth. Your inner-critic says things ranging from mean or disempowering things about the way you look or how you act, to making comments about the things you dream about and hope for. Think for a moment if your gremlin were a real-life person. Would you put up with that? My guess is no.

Intuition on the other hand has been with you from the time you were born and never has a bad word to say to you or about you. Your intuition protects you from dangerous situations as well as dangerous people. (Some people believe their gremlin has motivates them. Click here to read more on that.). Intuition is your internal best friend. Your inherent fairy godmother, if you will.

Lastly, like I mentioned before, sometimes our intuition gets murky. I often see this in people that are new to trying to decipher the two. One tip is that a red flag is a red flag. If you hear yourself thinking, “That just doesn’t seem right”, then it isn’t! We often over-analyze and think our way out of what our intuition is trying to tell us, when in reality, our intuitional voice is plain and simple! No over-explaining, no justifying, it just spells it out.

Direct download: YKAL-248final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This episode officially kicks off a series I’m calling Conversations About Shit That Matters with Unqualified People. Today, my friend Elizabeth DiAlto and I are talking about doing the work in terms of racism, white supremacy, and more.

You might wonder what this has to do with personal development? Well, the deeper I get into my own personal development work and even trainings, the more I can see that the root of the problems many of us face (feeling not good enough, lack of confidence, etc.) is rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy. And trust me when I tell you there was a time many years ago when I would have disagreed with that. However, back then I hadn’t done enough work, nor (although largely unconscious at the time) had I wanted to admit that a system that I largely benefitted from could be the problem.

One of the heavy topics I am passionate about dismantling is rape culture. The system that normalizes and trivializes the sexual assault and harassment of women. The idea that women’s bodies are disposable and that sexual violence is normal. A couple of years ago I realized that there is a direct connection from rape culture to both patriarchy and white supremacy, and so began my work over here on my own, so I can better educate. This episode is the very beginning of that.

Also, as I mention in this episode, I have two solo episodes coming up in the next few months about core beliefs and inner critic that were suggested by Patreon members. I’ve decided to let go of advertising and sponsorships on the podcast, but in order to still be able to support the costs of the show, I’ve introduced ways for listeners to do that. When you become a Patron, there are perks! Including being able to suggest show topics, getting your personal development questions answered on Listener Q & A episodes, monthly Ask Me Anything calls, book giveaways and more (Last AMA call I answered a question from one of our patrons who had a question about an uncomfortable situation with her friends that she wanted my advice about. The month before that, someone asked about starting her own coaching business. I’ll answer virtually ANY question you have on those particular calls)!
 
Head on over HERE to check out the different tiers and I thank you for supporting the show! 

Back to today’s episode! Although this isn’t a teaching/expert interview episode, Elizabeth and I explore some important topics, including:

  • To be a true ally, you must perform acts of solidarity (15 minutes and 48 seconds)
  • Unpacking white supremacy and white privilege: the power of group. community, safe processing buddies, and collective intelligence (24:04)
  • Shaming and tone policing in social media (25:54)
  • An important distinction between shaming and holding people accountable; and fragility (30:27)
  • Being of mixed race, whitewashing cultures, and being ethnically ambiguous (40:05)
  • Dropping unconscious biases and exploring assumptions about health and overweight people (48:10)

http://yourkickasslife.com/247

 

Direct download: YKAL-247final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you all to the brilliant and kind, Dr. John Duffy.  Dr. Duffy is the author of the number-one best-selling book, The Available Parent.  He is a nationally-recognized expert in self-awareness, relationships, and parenting. He is also the host of the podcast, Undue Anxiety.  I met Dr. Duffy while on my book tour for, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit. Following our conversation (I was a guest on his podcast), I knew I wanted to have Dr. John on my show to talk about the very tender topic of depression, because it’s his speciality. Whether you are battling depression or you know someone who is, today’s topic is one that touches so many lives.

Today we talk all about depression, how it shows up, why it’s not your job to fix a loved one’s depression and some ways you can support them. Plus, we touch on boundaries as it relates to depression and what to do if you are a parent of a child who may be struggling with some form of mental illness or depression.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How depression might show up in people’s lives and what it may look like 
  • Some ways you can support someone who is struggling with depression 
  • Therapies, tools, medications, and treatments for depression, today, as opposed to 25 years ago, really do work
  • The U.S. is seeing an increase in suicide rates more than other countries: Dr. Duffy shares why he thinks this may be and why excessive stimuli could be part of the reason 
  • Changing gender dynamics, gender biases, and marketing: how they play into an increase in alcohol consumption and addiction by women 
  • What to do when you suspect your child is struggling with depression or another form of mental illness

http://yourkickasslife.com/246

 

Direct download: YKAL-246final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

We’re back with another Listener Q & A episode! I plan to do these every quarter, and if you’re a member of Patreon, you can submit your questions for me and one of my expert friends to answer on an episode.

Today I have my BFF and fellow life coach, Amy Smith of The Joy Junkie joining us to answer a listener question about her family. We get a little off track talking about poop, but it’s one of those things that happens to everyone! 🙈

The Listener’s questions are:

How do you navigate family/friends when it comes to your self help journey?

Whether it be your spouse/partner who is trying to help, but may be too pushy or you feel like you're disappointing him when you are not reaching your goals quickly.

Or maybe your family who may be trying to protect you. They don't exactly discourage you, but are not exactly supportive of your big goals.

Or your friends/family who will not let you forget your past mistakes? Constantly bringing up embarrassing situations or failures.

Sometimes I feel like I am responsible for everyone's goals. And sometimes that makes me not want to try at all. It is a lot and I do not know where to begin.

I have a large family and sometimes it feels like I am the only one who wants a better life. It is very overwhelming and discouraging. I feel like I have to make enough money to ensure my parents/brothers/sisters are financially set for life. Makes me not want to try harder because then more will be expected of me. Sometimes I wish I could be happy in mediocrity.

Listen in as Amy and I give her advice on what to do and say in these tricky situations. Family can be the hardest to navigate, and virtually no one is immune to this! Thank you to our courageous listener for not only asking the questions, but taking initiate to change a situation in her life that she’s not happy about!

http://yourkickasslife.com/245

 

Direct download: YKAL-245final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Diet culture and weight loss is really complicated. Following my episodes a few months ago on body image and diet culture with my good friend Kate Anthony, I was genuinely curious about what I may not know as it relates to diet culture, holistic nutrition and even the body positivity movement. I knew I had to ask an expert - all.the.things. And so, joining me this week is integrated health coach, host of the podcast Insatiable, and founder of Truce with Food®, Ali Shapiro.

Today, Ali shares candidly her journey to body acceptance in her twenties, many years following her battle with childhood cancer, weight issues (she had her first Weight Watchers weigh-in at age 11) and emotional eating. We also talk in-depth about the many layers of diet culture, self-sabotage, and the difference between being self-aware rather than self-critical.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Ali’s journey to body acceptance and how she got to where she is today 
  • Ali’s view on diet culture and how she describes it as a product of patriarchy, white-supremacy, and capitalism 
  • Three patterns of conflict styles, self-sabotage and your inner-protector 
  • Vulnerability, belonging and how it relates to food/body struggles 
  • Listening to your body in a more methodical way 
  • The one question we need to ask when our mental food/body doubts creep in 

This episode is so rich with information, you may have to listen to it more than once.

http://yourkickasslife.com/244

 

 

 

Direct download: YKAL-244final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I recently came across a video created by a young woman named Claire Wineman. Terminally ill with Cystic Fibrosis, she says that even though she’s going to die sooner than most and that no one can control the fact that their going to die someday, what can can control is if we’re living a life we’re proud of. I LOVED this message because that’s also my mission. The mission of YKAL is two-fold. I help women feel less alone and help them create and live a life they are proud of. 

So, how do we do this? What’s the path? Of course I don’t have all the answers, to all the things, but in my decade of experience helping women create lives their proud of and from walking through my own fire, creating a life I’m proud of, I think I have a handle on it. Here’s some questions I compiled to help you do this: 

Do you know what your values are and what they look like? 

Do you know what it means and looks like to have compassion for yourself? And do you practice it? 

Do you know what it means to have compassion for others? (Because when we don’t, check what kind of expectations you have. The expectations you have of others are often directly correlated to the expectations you have of yourself.)

Do you know where you need to set boundaries? Do you know how to do that? 

Do you show up for the few people in your life that need you? Like really show up? 


Do you ALLOW people to show up for you? And when they do, do you show them ALL of you, not just “the facts”? 

Do you take care of your physical body? 

Do you feel your feelings or do you stuff them and numb them away? 

Do you take care of your spirit? 

Do you take care of your financial house? 

Is there anything else you feel in your soul that you need to change that will make you proud of who you are?

http://yourkickasslife.com/243

 

Direct download: YKAL-243final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Corinne Zupko is my guest this week on the podcast. She is the author of the best-selling book, From Anxiety to Love: A Radical New Approach For Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasing Peace. And yes, today we are talking all about anxiety. In fact, anxiety focused episodes are the most popular episodes of the podcast. So, I know it’s what many of you want to hear about!

In today’s episode, we talk about Corrine’s book and her inspiration to write it on this topic. She shares openly about her personal experiences with anxiety, panic attacks and phobias; and how her introduction to a particular kind of spirituality helped her recover from her anxiety and panic disorder. Plus, I share some of my own experiences with panic attacks and anxiety. And, later, Corrinne shares her thoughts on meditation and a three-step recipe for healing. Even if you don’t struggle with clinical anxiety, this episode touches on topics and information that is helpful to all.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Corinne’s inspiration to write a book on anxiety (5 minutes and 12 seconds)
  • Corinne’s take on spirituality and her work with anxiety and healing (13:19)
  • Distinguishing between the inner therapist voice (intuition) and the ego voice (inner critic) (19:30)
  • A three-step recipe for healing (34:05)

Resources from this episode

Corinne’s website
Corinne’s book
Episode 153: Listener Q & A on anxiety and what to do about it
Corinne’s podcast episode with John Mark Straud: Episode 8: “How to ‘hear’ guidance”
----

There are FOUR spots left for The Mentorship, which is a group program that incorporates The Daring Way™ and so much more. This is for women who are ready to take their personal development to the next level.

I’ve decided to hop on a video call on August 28th at 3pm Eastern time (noon Pacific). No need to sign up for anything, just put this link in your calendar and join me at that date and time! Plus, it costs ZERO dollars!

I’ll be covering:

  • The four main topics to study in your life that will help you IMMENSELY with your confidence, relationships with others, and your general well-being.
  • What the process of shame resilience actually is.
  • The BIG surprise I had in 2011 which made me change the course of my coaching practice and go in the direction I’ve stayed in all these years.
  • Plus, any questions you have about The Mentorship!

I love doing these live videos with you (and yes, there will be a replay if you can’t be there live!) and sharing this work with you! Even if you don’t think The Mentorship is for you right now, you don’t want to miss this on the 28th!

See you there!

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/242

 

Direct download: EP242final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I am excited, on so many levels, to have Geneen Roth on the show with me this week. She is the author of ten books, including the just released This Messy Magnificent Life. I was first introduced to Geneen and her writing, when I read her book, Women Food and God. It was one of the first books I read about how what we eat is connected to our core beliefs. I have since consumed many of her books and one of the reasons why I am happy she was my guest.

In this episode, Geneen and I talk about her newest book, the evolution of her relationship with food and some of our meditation failures. Plus, we talk all about the inner critic, which Geneen calls, “the crazy aunt in the attic,” and Geneen offers some ways to manage her.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Wanting something more and deeper (7 minutes and 4 seconds)
  • How Geneen’s relationship with food evolved over time and how the journey is depicted through her books (9:05)
  • Our failures at meditation and insightful advice for those that are about to get started (15:49)
  • All about the crazy aunt in the attic and how Geneen teaches people to deal with her (20:52)
  • How to catch the background noise of the inner critic (28:10)

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/241

 

Direct download: YKAL-241final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the podcast, my guest is Amber Rae, author of the book Choose Wonder Over Worry: Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential. And, y’all, you know I get really excited when I have a guest on the show to talk about their new book. I cannot wait to introduce Amber to you. Amber is also an artist and speaker whose work invites you to live your truth, befriend your emotions, and express your gifts.

Today, Amber and I talk about playing small, how to move beyond fear and instead go all in. Plus, Amber shares her unique way of classifying wonder and worry, listening to your inner guide and how to turn life’s messy moments into something beautiful.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How to distinguish when choosing small projects, how to say no, and to claim the life you really want (18:24)
  • Classifying wonder & worry in distinct ways (21:44)  
  • Some ways we can be more in tune with our inner guide (27:37)
  • How to turn something messy and fearful into something beautiful (32:52)
  • The fear of rejection and what others think of you (38:24)

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/240

 

Direct download: YKAL-240final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

You’ve probably listened to hundreds of podcasts, read or listened to dozens of books, and have probably done a lot of work on yourself just from the awareness you’ve gained from those efforts.

And I’m going to ask you to do more.

Because sometimes we look at the metaview of how we want our life to change and it seems too daunting. Sometimes we look at other people’s lives and wonder how we will ever get to the place where we’re like them (well, the story we make up that is their life). Sometimes we feel like there are so many moving parts to personal development, where one thing leads to another and so on and so forth and where is the end to all this growth? (Hint: there isn’t an end.)

So, I compiled a short list (not an exhaustive one, just a start) of small actions you can do today or this week or sometime soon that will make a difference. As you’ve heard me say over and over again, courage (even in the face of fear) brings confidence-- the knowledge that we can do hard things and even if we do the hard thing and fall on our face, we then realize we’ll live through it. In no particular order...

 

  1. Having a hard conversation. Who is the person you need to talk to? What is the thing you are afraid to say? What can you do this week to take a step in that direction?
  2. Controlled emoting. You may remember me talking about this in How To Stop Feeling Like Shit about controlled emoting. That thing you’ve been stuffing down? Feel it.
  3. Writing a letter you’ll never send. It can be to anyone or anything. It can be angry, sad, full of rage, I hate you, anything and everything you’re feeling about something happening. Write it to your mom, your president, your ex, your fear, the patriarchy, anything that brings up the uncomfortable feelings you’re trying not to feel.
  4. Researching starting your own business. Whether you want it to be a complete career change, a hobby, or a side hustle, so many people want to do this and never start. Research is the first step.  
  5. Go to that poetry reading. Or open mic comedy night. Or political meeting. That place you’ve been thinking about that makes you uncomfortable but is the source of the fire in your belly.
  6. Throw out all the stuff from your ex that you’ve been meaning to throw away. Whatever you need to do to cleanse old energy. Maybe it’s just cleaning out your closet or your garage. Out with the old.  
  7. Start that creative project you’ve been thinking about for forever. Too many times we put off creativity as a luxury, or being unproductive. If you wait until it doesn’t feel like that, you’ll wait forever. Just carve out 30 minutes and do it.

(Remember, in the corresponding podcast episode, I go into more detail and even give you a pep talk at the end.)

And hey! If you’re ready to take even BIGGER action, check out The Mentorship. I’m taking 12 women who are ready to do the work, on an epic adventure this fall. I’d love to chat with you about it if you think it’s a good fit.

http://yourkickasslife.com/239

 

Direct download: Ep239final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Charlie Gilkey joins me on the podcast today. Charlie is known for his knowledge around the topic of productivity and who doesn’t want to be more productive? Am I right? Charlie is a sought-out after advisor and speaker on all things business and productivity. But have no fear, whether you are a business owner or not - his teachings can be applied to all facets of your life.

In this episode Charlie and I talk about overwhelm versus overload, why we don’t make time for self-care, and the various ways to block time in order to be more productive.  Plus, we discuss the behaviors and actions that get in the way of productivity, “wtf” moments and being in the moment.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Combating overwhelm by looking at your ‘overload’ (4 minutes and 40 seconds)
  • Time blocking and how it can be used to help us be more productive (6:22)
  • Illuminating “invisible tasks”, such as turning off the lights or cleaning up after family (9:26)
  • Why self-care is typically last on our to-do list and the first to get pushed off (13:28)
  • Charlie’s Random Wednesday Self-Care Challenge (15:26)
  • Courage, boundaries and discipline; how they relate to each other (22:42)
Direct download: EP238final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Today’s episode comes in two parts. First, I’m joined by my friend Ella, who participated in a sprint triathlon with me last month. You’ll hear how she SMOKED me and what I thought of that!

Then, I’m sharing with you what I’ve learned from triathlons, both the training and the race itself. Sports can always be great metaphors for life, and triathlon is no different (You might remember an episode I did on what roller derby can teach you about life).

Obviously, the audio podcast goes into much more, but here are seven ways triathlon is just like life:

Consistency matters. I’ve done a total of about 15 races in my life, ranging from sprint triathlons to a half marathon. I’ve trained well and I’ve trained not well. I’m stating the obvious here, but when you train consistent, you’ll see better results. Yes, you might miss a workout here and there, but if the majority of your training is consistent, you’ll do well. And when you join a training group and/or hire a coach, you’ll see even bigger strides.

This is the same with personal development. When you use your tools consistently, you’ll see better results. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with people on negative self-talk, they use one tool once, and they get exasperated that they still have negative self-talk. That’s like working out once in your life, competing in a triathlon and expecting to win the whole thing. It’s not going to happen like that, you need consistency.

Persistency matters. Directly related to what I just stated, you must keep going despite difficulty. In triathlon training, your muscles will get tired. You’ll not want to do that brick workout. You’ll get tired of the chlorine hair. You’ll realize how slow you are and feel like it’s not worth it. But, there’s nothing like the feeling of carrying on when it’s gets hard. The feeling of strength and courage is what builds confidence.

In self-help, sometimes it’s discouraging when none of your friends are into (btw, you can look for more friends), or when you feel like you’re not growing at the rate you want to or think you should. Or maybe you’re digging into a topic with your therapist that is bringing up trauma for you and you’re ready to quit it all, wishing you could go back to just living on the “surface” of your life. But, persistency is key. You must keep going because it matters and you matter.

If you fall off the habit, just get back on. Maybe you get sick or injured, maybe you just get lazy and don’t train for a week. And then you think all your training was for nothing. So, might as well quit, right? NO! Like Dori says, just keep swimming (and running and cycling)!

In personal development, you will have setbacks. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. And many times when that happens, you might feel like throwing in the towel. You’ll feel like you already worked on this and you have to start over, which feels discouraging. But, in order to have the life you want, to get the results you want in your life, you have to get back on the horse. It’s that simple.

Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like. I don’t like to workout first thing in the morning. I don’t like to try and put on a sports bra after swimming when I feel like I’m trying to put on a strait jacket while soaking wet. I don’t like coming in last place in my age group. But, I do it all anyway. Obviously I’m not going to do things that put me in danger (although some would argue that swimming in open water puts you at risk for getting eaten by the Loch Ness Monster), but the things I don’t like during triathlon training are uncomfortable.

Personal development is hands down uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s mild, and sometimes it’s hold-my-hair-back-while-I-puke painful. Either way, you’re stretching and growing and getting better. It’s the nature of the beast.

You’re training for something you’re most likely not going to win. The majority of triathletes are what we call “age groupers”. We’re not elite athletes, we know we’re not going to win the grand prize money. We’re training for ourselves only and the satisfaction we get from the training and the event itself. We know a very small part of the population does this, that other people might think we’re crazy, and we do it anyway.

In self-help there is no winner. “Winning” is in the work, it’s the freedom of not being weighed down anymore, it’s creating a life we love and are proud of. And, like with triathlon, a small part of the population does this, other people might think we’re crazy, and we do it anyway.

Fueling yourself appropriately is everything. This is an obvious one for triathlon training, but one thing I learned was on the morning of the past race I did. The morning of, I was awake at 4:30am, for a 7:10am race. I had a Cliff bar, some water and some coffee and thought that would be enough. I got out of the water around 7:30 after swimming 880 meters and the hunger pains kicked in. I knew the bike and run would be tough. And they were.

In personal development, your fuel looks like: the people you surround yourself with, what you consume (podcasts, movies, music, books, etc.) and your self-talk. It’s all important, so be intentional about it. The path to get to where you want to be will be easier if you do your best to make sure the fuel in your life is as positive as possible.

It’s all about the story you tell yourself. This is true in training for a triathlon and race day, and even before you decide to sign up for one. You might tell yourself you’re too old, too out of shape, too overweight, too whatever to do it. Unless you’re dead, you can do it. Or, you might tell yourself the drains in the pool will suck you down if you swim over them, or that a swamp person will grab your ankles while you swim in the open water (*ahem*, not that I tell myself that). If you let your fears take over, you’ll have the absolute hardest time. And if you get out in front of them and learn to manage them, the journey will be much easier.

In your self-help journey, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you make up stories all the time. About how people feel about you, about what someone meant when they said that, about your worth, about what will happen if you do this or that, and on and on. It’s a natural part of the human experience, it’s what our brains love to do. While you can’t stop yourself from quickly making up stories, you CAN notice when it happens, and challenge the story.

I’ll leave you with this: With both triathlon and personal development, you’ll be proud AF of yourself when you do it. Every time.

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/237

 

Direct download: EP237EDITfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

lives. Plus, we talk all about the power in motherhood. This episode, is NOT just for moms! I know even if you don’t have kids, you’ll get a lot out of this interview!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Sara’s pivot out of the fitness industry and into the launch of Shameless Mom Academy (7 minutes and 15 seconds)
  • Performing well in fear; plus walking into fear and upleveling your life (20:41)
  • Where women are limiting themselves and the action steps to take to live bigger lives (23:55)
  • The power in motherhood and what many are missing (36:08)
  • Living reactive versus proactive and its significance for growth and power (44:04)

The YKAL Patreon party is in full swing! If you haven’t heard, the podcast is becoming listener supported, and by doing so I’m creating a community of YKAL podcast listeners who will be able to suggest guests, get their personal questions answered on Listener Q & A episodes, have opportunities to be gifted the books from guests I have on the show and SO MUCH MORE! Head on over to check out and become a patron!

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/236

 

Direct download: Ep236final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the podcast Alionka Polanco joins me. She is an NYU-certified life and success coach, she is the founder The Big Vision Mastermind and author of "Beyond Profit: The Successful Woman's Guide to a Meaningful Life." Alionka and I have had a kindred friendship from afar for quite some time, including following each other and chatting on social media, and we even tried to meet up in real life (which sadly did not work out). That is why I am so excited to have her on the show. And, I am equally excited to share her amazing energy with you!

In this episode we talk about living a fuller life, resolving fear, and getting clear on what you want. Plus, we talk all about our witch lineage, claiming the power of magic, and how the growth process can be a scary thing.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • When Alionka realized she no longer needed to fit into a mold and how it made her feel (7 minutes and 58 seconds)
  • Having the courage to get rid of what you don’t want and releasing what doesn’t serve you (12:10)
  • One turtle step to help you get clear on what you truly do want (15:32)
  • Waking up to spirituality, spirit guides, and our witchy maternal lineage (19:54)
  • The fear of power, plus your definition of power (33:09)
  • The Four Agreements and how to not take things personally (43:48)

Also, these are the final few days to grab your extra bonuses over on Patreon! The podcast is becoming listener supported, and by doing so I’m creating a community of YKAL podcast listeners who will be able to suggest guests, get their personal questions answered on Listener Q & A episodes, have opportunities to be gifted the books from guests I have on the show and SO MUCH MORE! Head on over to check out and become a patron!

 

http://yourkickasslife.com/235

 

Direct download: EP235final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Today is a great day because Laura Powers is back on the podcast! Laura is a celebrity psychic who has been featured by Buzzfeed, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and many other media outlets. Not too long ago, Laura and I began talking about the inner-critic. And she happens to have a slightly different perspective on the inner-critic than I do. I love it when guests can come on to share their unique view on managing negative self-talk so you have even more tools to learn and grow.

In this episode we begin with a conversation about the inner critic, of course. We then move on to talking about Mercury in Retrograde, the healing power of sleep and empathetic energy. This was such an interesting conversation. So much so, I may even have Laura (whom I’ve dubbed our ‘in-house psychic’) back on the podcast again!

In this episode:

  • Laura’s unique view about our thoughts, things we are receiving externally, and the inner critic  (8:10)
  • Mercury in Retrograde; what it means and how can it affect the world around us (20:27)
  • The healing power of sleep (28:32)
  • Empathetic energy, it’s possible your feelings are actually not yours (40:00)

http://yourkickasslife.com/234

 

Direct download: EP234final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

On June 12th, 2008, I published my first blog post. I had no idea I would go on to create the YKAL community I’ve since created, I just knew I loved personal development and wanted to share it with the world, or at least 5 or 6 people who might read my little blog.

A decade later, I’ve switched from “Live Your Ideal Life” to what you know now as “Your Kick-Ass Life”, wrote and published 2 books (the second being translated into 15 languages, wait, what!?), nearly 250 podcast episodes, helped thousands of women in their lives and I’ve learned a lot. Here’s some things I’ve learned just about writing alone...

      1. Writing makes you a better writer. One of the simplest pieces of advice I ever got and absolutely the truest. To be a better swimmer, you swim. To be a better kung fu fighter, you kung fu fight. Writing is the same, it’s getting your butt in the seat (unless you have a standing desk, if so, yay you!) and write. If you’re really committed, try to write every day.
      2. Write like no one is reading. This might be easy if you journal and lock it up in your safe that has 17 lock combinations on it and you’re sure no one will read it, but sometimes we are bloggers, freelance writers, and Facebook status updaters. We know people are reading and that knowing can change the way we write and express ourselves.When we do this, a little or a lot of bullshit can creep in. We start to worry about what people will think, we might skew our opinion to not seem “too much” of something, and things can go sideways, fast.If you want to write with your whole heart, if you want to tap into the innermost parts of yourself that are raw and real and uncensored, you must write like no one is reading.
      3. But also write like people are reading. I know I just gave you a heartfelt sermon on writing like no one is reading, but you have to know your audience once you create a community of readers. This lesson doesn’t apply if you’re writing with no goal in mind except to write (ie you’re not trying to build a business now or even eventually). If you want to grow your writing community, whatever that looks like, you must get to know who your best followers are. Follow your intuition, and listen to your audience at the same time.
      4. You will get criticism, even if it’s just about your grammar. A wise woman once said, “You haven’t made it until you get a hater” and “hater” being anyone from a troll to someone who criticizes your work. There’s thoughtful criticism which is basically just feedback that argues your points, opinions, or work in general, and then there’s people who are just dicks.The thing is, if you keep writing or putting your art out there, you will eventually get criticism. You’re not for everyone, and that’s okay.
      5. What you do with that criticism will set your future into motion. I wrote about this in my last book, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, and that’s about learning to deal with criticism. I used to let it TAKE ME DOWN. I would go down the rabbit hole of “This is too hard, people are mean, THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW ME, I hate this, I’m a terrible writer, okay bye” and then maybe write a few blog post that I made sure were so vanilla and inoffensive to all people on planet Earth.What I’ve learned about this is that 1) People are allowed to have their own opinions. If you’re sharing your art on a public platform (a blog, freelance article, Facebook) you’re going to eventually get someone who disagrees with you and that’s their right. Sometimes they are kind and thoughtful about it, and sometimes they are not. 2) And when they are not, it’s your choice to engage, but arguing with someone who doesn’t have the decency to engage with kindness, and get them to like you or see your side is like trying to nail jello to the wall. It’s not going to happen and it’s terribly messy and aggravating. 3) It will still sting when people criticize your work, so feel your feelings, vent to your friends about it, forgive the person who was rude/an a-hole/just had a different opinion and do your best to move on.
      6. Your ideas, opinions and things you’re passionate about will change over time, you may even disagree with your former self. OMG the old, old blog posts I wrote. I’ve only deleted one of hundreds, but when I go back and read some of my old stuff, some of it I laugh and think, “Hey, that’s pretty clever” and some of it I cringe. I wrote through much of my eating disorder recovery, so I can watch myself getting better, like looking through old journals. Try not to be embarrassed about it, it’s just where you were at the time. Also, check out this screenshot of my very first blog.
      7.  Your parents might read your writing and then there might be some awkward conversations. Erg. Years ago-- it might have been my first year of blogging, my mom had read one of my posts and said, “Honey, don’t you think some things are better left unsaid?” And my first reaction was No. In terms of this-- this platform I have where I tell the truth about my life, the messy parts, the great parts and everything in between--I don’t think there are things I should cover up. I know what she was saying, and in her defense, she comes from a different generation where you always “put your best foot forward” and she and I are just different like that. So please know that if you write, or even podcast, you run the risk of people you care about like your family, or co-workers, neighbors, your kids, really ANYONE might read or listen to your work. Be prepared.

This whole journey has been incredible. I look forward to more decades of truth telling, and growing along side with all of you.

http://yourkickasslife.com/233

 

Direct download: Ep233final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week I welcome Scott Stabile to the podcast. He is the author of the book, Big Love. I’ve been watching him from afar for a while now. I heard him on another podcast, began following him on social media, and then read his book. Scott has such an amazing and heart-wrenching story, but it is one of resilience and strength. And, I knew I just had to introduce him to you!

In this episode we talk a lot about love and forgiveness. We touch on Scott’s story, including how he evolved into being a teacher on the topic of love. Plus, we explore the topics of compassion and empathy, how small things matter, and how to show up for yourself.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Making the commitment to live our lives from love 
  • Does our life purpose really matter? 
  • The path to forgiveness is empathy 
  • Empathy, compassion and boundaries 
  • Scott explains how the writing process can be a powerful tool 

http://yourkickasslife.com/232

 

Direct download: EP232Editfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Kate Courageous is back on the YKAL podcast, y’all!  She was one of my first podcast guests, way back in 2013. She is a dear friend of mine, as well, and I am thrilled she is back, this time to share her thoughts on fear, courage, and the inner-critic.  

Kate is also the author of The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life.  I am so happy her book is available! Today, we talk all about her new book and living more courageous lives. Plus, we cover the brain science behind courage habits, and identifying and then dealing with habits that are holding you back.  

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Four fear patterns that get people stuck (4 minutes and 36 seconds)
  • Some ways we try to deal with fear (10:25)
  • The more you go into the things you fear, the wider your comfort zone becomes (17:07)
  • Reaching out and creating a community, courage-based values, and being vulnerable (22:17)
  • Fear is a wound and needs understanding and how to strike a balance with fear (34:39)

Also, did you know I’m back to doing weekly Facebook and Instagram Live videos? Join me on Thursday’s at noon Eastern time (9am Pacific) on either Instagram or Facebook as I talk about a personal development lesson (~ 10 minutes).(If you miss it, you can see archived videos on Facebook or my YouTube channel).  

http://yourkickasslife.com/231

 

Direct download: EP231final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey ass kickers! Well, after nearly 10 years of blogging, 5 years and 228 podcast episodes, I’m FINALLY doing a favorite things episode! I tried to record both as a regular podcast episode AND video, but alas, I had an technology FAIL on the video side, so these images will have to do!

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite things…

Misc.

Golden Girls coasters. I don’t even think I need to sell you on this one.

Hair and beauty:

Nume Curling Wand- When I do actually do my hair, I use this curling wand. I’ve had a few different ones, and this one by far is my favorite. I often get comments on my hair and on one occasion was chased down in Target by a breathless woman asking me how I got my curls.

Lush’s Sea Salt Spray-- I’ve tried several Sea Salt sprays, even a big brand name that will go unnamed, but they’ve all been a huge waste of money, until I tried Lush’s brand. The smell is amazing, it’s not sticky, and works great.

MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix-- I use the powder (BTW, that link will take you to my shade, NC30, but you probably want to go somewhere where they sell it so someone can match your skin tone). Super easy to put on (I use a brush) and I use to even out my skin tone. Add a little blush, eyebrow pencil, and mascara and I’m done.

The bralette- Two of my favorites are here and here. Great for the small to medium breasted women who don’t need a whole lot of support.

Gold bond hand cream- I feel like such a grandma with this, but… I have really dry skin and can’t stand it when my hands feel dry. I’ve tried approximately 17,000 different hand creams and this one BY FAR is my favorite. It’s not greasy (unless you use way too much), and it works, even through a hand washing. I keep the small tubes in different drawers all over my house, in my purse, and in the car.

I don’t consider myself a super techie person, but these are the apps I can’t live without AND they’re all easy to use.

Apps I use:
Audible-  Great for audiobooks! Need I say more?

Goodreads- Organize all the books you’ve read, are currently reading, and want to read. I use it especially for logging books I want to read, and reading reviews from people I know-- as it syncs with Facebook.

Voxer- I’m obsessed with this app and have been for years. It’s changed my relationship with my friends for the better! It’s a walkie talkie app that allows you to also text, send images and videos, and gifs. I also use it with my private clients.

Podcast app- Duh.

Venmo- Pay people and get paid easily with NO FEES. Super easy to set up and use. (I don’t know if I would recommend this for business, but check with your CPA.)

Insight Timer- GREAT for meditation, especially for beginners.

YogaGlo- Get access to loads of different teachers for yoga and meditation, all from the comfort of home! (Get your first two weeks of YogaGlo FREE when you sign up on YogaGlo.com/KICKASS.)

Yoga Studio- Super easy to use Yoga app. The reason I love this is the simplicity. Not a lot of choices, but just enough to get the job done.

gTasks Pro- Essential, especially if you use Google Calendar. It syncs to the “tasks” portion of your Google Cal, and is SO easy to use.

Books I love:
I Thought It Was Just Me: Making the journey from “What Will People Think” to “I am Enough.” By Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. By Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage of Being Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead By Brené Brown

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead By Brené Brown

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone By Brené Brown

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-- And Keep-- Love.  Find out why you behave the way you behave in relationships and how you can fix when it’s not working. So very eye-opening!

5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. An oldie but a goodie. Easy read and good to find out how you receive love. Great awareness to have not just in romantic relationships but friendships as well.

Facing Love Addiction: Giving yourself the power to change the way you love by Pia Mellody

Codependent No More: How to stop controlling others and start caring for yourself by Melody Beattie

Getting the Love You Want: A guide for couples by Harv Hendrix

Keeping the Love You Find: A personal guide by Harv Hendrix

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is harming young women by Courtney E. Martin

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the mindset of wealth by Jen Sincero

Documentaries:
There are SO MANY great documentaries out there, and to be honest, I haven’t watched that many lately, but here are three that have stuck out to me immensely:

Miss Representation. Watch this with the men in your life and with your daughters (appropriate age is around 13 years old.) Then, talk about it.

The Mask You Live In. Again, watch this with the men in your life and with your sons (again, appropriate age is probably 12 or 13). Then, talk about it.

13th. This is such an important film. According to common sense media, 16 is an appropriate age for this one.

http://yourkickasslife.com/230

 

 

Direct download: Ep230final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the YKAL podcast I am joined by Jeannine Yoder, a New York Times Featured Business & Feminine Leadership Coach For Coaches, Broadway Starlet and the Founder of Mentor Masterclass. Jeannine has such an incredible story of resilience and redemption. And you know how I love a good redemption story!  In this episode Jeannine shares how she overcame a really difficult childhood, one surrounded by drug addicted parents, chaos and trauma.

She talks openly about her path to healing, which spanned many years. Plus, she goes on to share how she ‘rose from the ashes’ and became a broadway star. Finally, she offers some of her own advice for healing the parental wound and making peace with it all.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Jeannine share in detail her childhood story and what she learned the most from her experiences (5 minutes and 58 seconds)
  • Not being a victim of circumstances, plus listening to your inner voice to empower and guide you through life decisions (11:07)
  • How to love your life with your whole being and still be healing and lessons learned from attending AA meetings with her father (16:00)
  • Becoming a broadway star; the lifestyle of an artist (19:17)
  • Jeannine’s tools and strategies for healing the mother wound (26:56)
  • The greatest way to healing your story is by telling your story (38:10)

Also, did you know I’m back to doing weekly Facebook and Instagram Live videos? Join me on Thursday’s at noon Eastern time (9am Pacific) on either Instagram or Facebookas I talk about a personal development lesson (~ 10 minutes).(If you miss it, you can see archived videos on Facebook or my YouTube channel). 

http://yourkickasslife.com/229

 

Direct download: Ep229final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I devoured Janelle Hanchett’s memoir, I’m Just Happy to Be Here, while I was in New York on my book tour. I could not put it down. Janelle is also the creator of the website, Renegade Mothering, and she is this week’s guest on the YKAL podcast.  In this episode Janelle and I discuss her new book and her blog which are both devoted to her take on maneuvering through life, motherhood and sobriety. We also touch on her addiction and sobriety story.

But first, I share some of my recent experiences with triathlon training. Let’s just say, it’s been more challenging than I had anticipated. I also talk about my fear of drains and how that relates to why I decided to sign up for a sprint triathlon (yes, I’m seriously afraid of drains). Which leads me to the main reason for mentioning all of this: what is one thing you are afraid of and what can you do to push yourself through it?

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The “why” behind creating the Renegade Mothering blog (10 minutes and 48 seconds)
  • Meeting up with other moms at the park, playing the “one-upping” game and really just wanting to get real, instead (17:07)
  • In the midst of writing her book, Janelle shares an event that rocked her to the core and how that event ultimately affected how she wrote the rest of the memoir (23:12)
  • How Janelle managed sobriety through grief and how she manages it daily with a busy lifestyle (28:31)

Also, did you know I’m back to doing weekly Facebook and Instagram Live videos? Join me on Thursday’s at noon Eastern time (9am Pacific) on either Instagram or Facebook as I talk about a personal development lesson (~ 10 minutes). This week is self-forgiveness! (If you miss it, you can see archived videos on Facebook or my YouTube channel).  

http://yourkickasslife.com/228

 

Direct download: Ep228final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

My personal friend and colleague Debbie Reber joins me on the YKAL podcast this week. She is a mother of a differently wired child and is the podcast host of TILT Parenting. Her book, Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, comes out in spring 2018, which we talk about in this episode.

As some of you may know my son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety disorder, at the age of 5.  In this episode Debbie and I share some of our own experiences as parents of atypical children. Plus, we also talk about how having an exceptional child can bring up some of our own complicated and messy feelings and how we worked through them.

Whether you are a parent of an exceptional child or a parent of a neurotypical child; the topics we cover are meant to offer support and understanding for everyone, even if you don’t have children.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why we tend to isolate when faced with the situation of having an exceptional child (3 minutes and 59 seconds)
  • Letting go of what others think about your child (atypical or not) when they go against social norms (8:39)
  • The complexities of mourning your child’s diagnosis, dealing with the loss of the vision you had for them, and giving yourself time to mourn by politely telling people to f*ck off (12:05)
  • Dealing with the expectations of parenting, with ourselves and with our children (13:31)
  • Creating space where your child can feel secure (22:47)
  • As more and more resources become available and exceptional children are being accepted in today’s society, hear Debbie’s vision and hope for the future of differently wired children (28:20)

Also, join me on Thursdays at noon eastern time (9 Pacific) LIVE on Facebook or Instagram as I share a personal growth lesson. Tomorrow’s lesson is all about complaining!

Lastly, both retreats for this year are sold out, but if you want to get on the waitlist/interest list, please sign up here.

http://yourkickasslife.com/227

Direct download: Ep227final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the YKAL podcast, I welcome back Lori Harder for the third time.  One of the things I love about Lori is that she is at a top-tier level in her business and she is simply one of the kindest people I know.  Lori has a new book coming out next week called, A Tribe Called Bliss, which I just loved and we talked about in this episode.

We also talked about building your community, creating stronger connections and how to handle friendships that have changed over time (and may no longer serve you). Plus, we touch on gossip, why it’s so important to talk about and how malicious gossip is just a cheap way to build connections.

In this episode you’ll hear

  • How Lori created a tribe of her own and some ways you can too (6 minutes and 47 seconds)
  • Collecting people can help you build connections and friends, including building your supporting cast and what that truly means (12:58)
  • Good gossip and finding a safe space with a friend to talk things through (22:18)
  • Having a conversation with a friend when the friendship has changed or may be coming to an end (26:36)
  • Creating agreements with a friend and building deeper connections (33:52)
  • Lori’s seven sacred agreements (34:46)

http://yourkickasslife.com/226

 

Direct download: Ep226final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Christina Dunbar on the YKAL podcast again. I am so happy to bring her back on the podcast, because she just oozes creativity and has really dedicated her life to healing from a creative place. You can hear our first conversation about using the power of voice, here. Christina is a performing artist, poet, producer and mentor to creative women. She is also the playwright and star of Dirty Me Divine; a one-woman show about sexuality and soul, directed by husband Chaim Dunbar.

In today’s episode Christina and I explore owning your feminine sexual energy, as well as, learning how to heal shame through creative expression. Plus, we answer the question, can you truly be shameless?  Before I began my conversation with Christina, in the intro of this episode, I do my own work by sharing my own experience with surrendering and making room for success of my latest book, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why is it important to own and trust your sexual energy (12 minutes and 47 seconds)
  • The wounded female artist, defining an artist and dealing with art scars  (15:20)
  • Healing shame through art, storytelling and creative expression (23:17)
  • How to flex the muscle of the healing our inner artist (33:36)
  • Christina’s surprising revelations in herself and her in work (44:43)
  • Can we really be truly shameless? (47:22)

http://yourkickasslife.com/225

Direct download: Ep225final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week on the YKAL podcast, I am waaaay too excited to have my very dear friend, Lisa Daron Grossman join me. She is a phenomenal life coach (I know because she was my coach!), amazing human being, and creator of the Connection Cure Project. In this episode we discuss the Connection Cure, which is a cross country project that utilizes face to face connection as a catalyst for healing and wellness. Lisa shares how it was “born” out of chronic illness and isolation.

Plus, we discuss why it is so important that we are connected to one another now more than ever, answer whether or not some people need more connection than others and we chat about how engaging with strangers can be a good thing.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • A human engagement project born out of chronic illness and isolation (3:27)
  • Healing the body through micro moments of connection (9:26)
  • How people whom have friendships and partners can still feel massive sense of loneliness (12:15)
  • Why more than ever does it matter how we are connected? (15:47)
  • Do some of us need more connection than others? (25:38)
  • How a no judgment speakeasy in the Everglades enabled human connection (37:00)

http://yourkickasslife.com/224

 

Direct download: Episode224final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

My dear friend, Kate Anthony is back on the YKAL podcast this week to continue our conversation about body image. Just like in Part 1 of this episode, Part 2 follows the conversation between two women on their body image journeys, and the roads traveled so far.  Full disclosure and for clarity: We are not body image experts and want to be very clear about that.

Today, we further explore this topic and respond to some of the feedback we received from Part 1 of our conversation. We also discuss diet culture, in-depth. Join us as we awkwardly make our way through the second part of our conversation about body image.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Owning thin privilege and naming it (23 minutes and 10 seconds)
  • What is diet culture, exactly? (27:33)
  • “The lie about diet culture is that it’s healthy.” (35:28)
  • Exercise is NOT bad. Rejecting diet culture was an act of revolution and act of self-love (40:50)
  • Reflecting on our earliest memories of dieting, our mothers’ way of handling body image and how those experiences scoped our own views about our bodies and diet culture (47:23)
  • If not dieting, then what? Kate’s choice to reject dieting and how she is learning to walk through this new part of her journey (59:19)

Kate Anthony is a certified life coach who helps women decide if they should stay in or leave their marriages and then guides them through the divorce process should they choose to leave.

Kate empowers women to find their strength, passion, and confidence even in the most disempowering of circumstances and helps them move forward with concrete plans, putting their children at the center (not in the middle) of all decisions.

In addition to her certification, Kate has also trained as a relationship coach and is an expert in communication, co-parenting, and emotional intelligence.

http://yourkickasslife.com/223

Direct download: Episode223Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hey there ass-kickers! This week on the podcast, Kathleen Shannon, co-host of Being Boss Podcast and founder of Braid Creative and Consulting, joins me to discuss her new book, Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms.

In this episode, we talk about what it means to be “boss” and how to cultivate a boss mindset. Plus, we discuss defining values and setting boundaries that align with those values (as you know, this is one of my favorite topics!). We also touch on several topics that will put you on the path to being boss and living life on your own terms.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Core values and how the value of decisiveness can help you move forward (6:25)
  • Self trust, how is this cultivated? (10:38)
  • Defining your values, what resonates with you and your story (12:27)
  • How do we reevaluate our relationship with money? (13:24)
  • Inner critic, internal freak-outs and surrounding yourself with your post-it note people (21:42)
  • Thinking from your heart and how is this different than thinking from your brain (25:36)

Kathleen Shannon is the founder of Braid Creative and Consulting, a boutique branding agency and consultancy she co-owns with her sister. She also does creative coaching and is regularly invited to speak on personal branding at design conferences and retreats. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and son.

http://yourkickasslife.com/222

 

Direct download: Ep222final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

My dear friend Kate Anthony joins me on the podcast this week. Kate is a certified life coach who helps women decide if they should stay in or leave their marriages and then guides them through the divorce process should they choose to leave. She is amazing at what she does!

Prior to our podcast recording, we had planned on talking about a very specific topic. And then what unfolded was more akin to an open and honest conversation between two women, two friends, in their 40s talking about body image (trigger warning - we touch on eating disorders). We also discuss how our body image has changed and evolved over the years, the pitfalls we’ve experienced and more. This is not your typical episode which gets wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end. But neither does life, the journey is always evolving and changing.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Two friends plan to dance like nobody's watching, while in workout clothes (11 minutes and 23 seconds)
  • Body comparison, cellulite, and managing your inner-critic (21:06)
  • Views on exercising, including some reasons why we push it away, plus body shaming in the self-help industry (27:33)
  • Being deliberate with rejecting diet culture (30:01)
  • Hitting rock bottom, Kate’s experience with an eating disorder and working through it (39:21)
  • Being intentional with body image beliefs and behaviors in order to be a better role model for our children, body shaming and cultural taboos (46:07)

http://yourkickasslife.com/221

 

Direct download: Ep221finalmixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Hi ass-kickers! Following February’s month-long daily diary episodes, we are back with guest interviews and our regularly scheduled programming. Today, I have an amazing guest with me, Bari Tessler. Bari is a financial therapist and mentor coach. She is also the founder of The Art of Money: a global, year-long money school, which integrates Money Healing, Money Practices and Money Maps.

No matter what economic class you were born into or what class you are in now, money-shaming exists. Bari talks about how money shaming affects our ability to reach our goals. Plus, we touch on money stories, your relationship with money and how money can affect your relationship with your partner or spouse (and what to do about it).

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Bari’s relationship to money and her own money story (5 minutes and 20 seconds)
  • The origins of our money stories and savers versus spenders (9:43)
  • Bari’s body check-in tip to help you build a better relationship with money, she calls it the anecdote to money shame (22:08)
  • How to connect with your partner on a deeper level, starting with “money dates” (29:35)
  • When one partner makes more money, how that affects control, personal value and worth (42:03)

Bari Tessler Linden, MA, is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach and Mama-preneur. Bari’s gentle, body-centered approach weaves together personal, couple, and creative entrepreneurial money teachings into one complete tapestry. She is the founder of The Art of Money: a global, year-long money school, which integrates Money Healing, Money Practices and Money Maps. Her work has been featured on Oprah.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post and in US News & World Report, Reuters Money, The Fiscal Times, REDBOOK Magazine, Experience Life Magazine, Yogi Times, Best Self Magazine and Emerging Women. Bari is also the author of The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, published by Parallax Press.

http://yourkickasslife.com/220

Direct download: Ep220final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Phew! We made it! Thank you so much for coming along with me for these daily dairies. It’s been so fun to put these together and thank you so much for your positive feedback (ask them for rating/review). I have a worksheet for you this week! As you know, personal development is about doing the work, not just consuming it.

This week has been a mish-mosh of stories, all with their own lessons. Monday I told you the story of a dear friendship I had that had fallen apart and recently come back together.

Tuesday was about my daughter and her baby bunny videos, and how they made her absolutely weep. And how amazing it was to watch her and how grateful I was that she allowed me to do it with her.

Wednesday was about the ladybug infestation in my home office and how I’ve been watching what seems like their instincts to get outside, even though it’s not working for them. I have some questions for you if you might be doing this in your own life.

Then on Thursday, I told you a story about ego, failing, and perspective. All in wrapped up in one short story.   

So many lessons! When you download the worksheet, feel free to answer all the questions, or pick the ones that are feeling very present in your life. Don’t feel like you have to do them all just to check off the boxes ;) These worksheets are for gaining awareness so you can see what you might need to work on.

Click here to download the worksheet

***************************

P.S. I have something exciting I’ve been cooking up. I know many of you are familiar with the work of Brené Brown and know I’m a certified Daring Way™ Facilitator since 2014. I’m thinking of doing a Daring Way weekend retreat in August. If you think it might be something you’d like to do, go to this link and sign up to be notified when I open applications. There is NO obligation to sign up by doing this, I just first want to get a feel for how much interest is out there! Thank you! 💜

http://yourkickasslife.com/219

 

Direct download: Ep219final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This is a story about ego, feeling like a failure for 2 hot seconds, doing the work, and about perspective.

Portland Oregon was the 4th of 5 cities on my book tour. My friend, Bari Tessler had recommended this book store, Annie Bloom’s, telling me how awesome it was and that when she had her book signing there, she had 50 people in attendance. Bari and I have about the same size audience so I thought this was completely feasible and we booked the event there.

I was really excited about this one because one of my long-time clients was driving down from Seattle and a colleague I’ve known forever online was coming too. Plus, three additional colleagues had RSVP’ed and I was all around excited. The Facebook event told me 17 people had said YES and 74 were interested. I was expecting a great crowd!

The bookstore had set up about 25 chairs and as the time got closer, there were 8 amazing people in attendance. Two of them were the lady I was renting an Airbnb from and her friend. Those 3 additional colleagues I mentioned weren’t there.  

Obviously it wasn’t a total failure. If I went down the rabbit-hole of compare and despair to Bari’s event, well, yes, but I did my best not to go there. The people in attendance were AMAZING and I know this is part of putting yourself out there. Sometimes it doesn’t go as we planned. Sometimes we jump and the net doesn’t appear and we have to deal with all the feelings around it.

When the event was over, I was chatting with my friend Amy Pearson. I was telling her how awesome it was to get to meet people in person and also that I was a bit disappointed to see so many empty seats. And Amy said, “Really?! I thought this was a great turnout. I’m totally impressed.”

Well, how do you like that for perspective?

Sometimes we let our egos get in the way and that’s okay. Just notice.

And sometimes we feel like a failure. That’s okay too, just don’t stay there. Realize it’s just a story your brain/inner-critic made up.

Lastly, sometimes it’s all about perspective. What may not be great to you, may be great to someone else. It’s good sometimes to take that into consideration.

**********************************

I have something exciting I’ve been cooking up. I know many of you are familiar with the work of Brené Brown and know I’m a certified Daring Way Facilitator since 2014. I’m thinking of doing a Daring Way weekend retreat in August. Go to this link to sign up to be notified when I open applications soon. There’s no obligation, but I’d love to get a feel for how much interest is out there! Thank you!

http://yourkickasslife.com/218

 

Direct download: Ep218final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Since we bought our house in North Carolina, every winter I have a minor ladybug infestation in my home office. They gather on the inside of my window and crawl around, trying to get out.

Now, I don’t know hardly anything about ladybugs (except they are the only bug I feel comfortable holding, I know, so weird and judgy against other bugs), but I wonder if they instinctively know what to do as they try to get outside and free themselves. And they try and try,  but are trapped.

So, every year around this time I do my best to gather them up. Because if I don’t, they die trying to get outside, and then there are dead ladybug carcasses under my desk and that’s just not good for morale around here. (Even though my only co-worker is my dog).

And mostly, I succeed in this. I get my empty coffee mug, or sometimes just my bare hands and gather up about a half-dozen at a time and take them outside. LADYBUGS, BE FREE! I shout. It’s kind of exciting.

And the weird thing is some of them don’t want to be saved. Or rather, they aren’t convinced my way is the way out. If I don’t cover them up one or two will jump out of the cup and fly back on the window, even though they’ve been crawling around there for hours, sometimes more than a day and it’s NOT WORKING.

So, do you do this?

What is it that YOU instinctively know what to do? Is there something you know you need to do, maybe even someone is trying to help you, but you keep going back to trying the thing that isn’t working?

If so, I invite you to get honest with yourself. Journal about it. Or, even just admit it out loud to yourself or to someone you trust. You, just like the ladybugs, deserve to be free from whatever is trapping you.

************************

If you’re someone who feels like she keeps crawling around the window and nothing is changing, just like the ladybugs in my office, you may want to check out the private work I do with women. I facilitate The Daring Way™, based on the work and research of Dr. Brené Brown and it is absolutely life changing. Click here to read about it and apply.

http://yourkickasslife.com/217

Direct download: Ep217final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

A couple months ago my daughter walked into my office holding the iPad and crying. My first thought was a bit of panic-- what had she stumbled upon that had so clearly upset her?

I opened my arms and asked her what was wrong. She climbed into my lap and showed me the iPad. On it was a video of a baby bunny. “Oh noooo” I thought. “She watched an animal cruelty video” and I braced myself for it.

But, that wasn't it. As I watched the video with her, it was a person holding a baby bunny in their hand. Then, they pet the tiny bunny. Then, another bunny. Then, a group a little bunnies. And all the while we watched this, my daughter didn’t just cry, she wept.

“Honey, why are you crying?” I asked her.

“They’re just so cute, mama. They’re so cute and I love them so much.” Weeping. Just weeping.

And I let her weep. I held her and we watched more baby bunny videos, then some newborn puppy videos, where she wept some more.

And it got me thinking, how often to we let it all in like that? How often to we let all the feelings in, let all the cute baby bunnies in and just feel it? And if we do, how often to we invite other people in to be with us in that? My hope is that my daughter, only eight years old, will continue to come to me in her joys, her sorrows, and everything in between to not only tell me about it, but to allow me to witness her feelings-- as uncomfortable as it may be for me sometimes. It’s an honor for me and for anyone who let’s me in on their experience.

And my hope is that you do too. That you find the courage within you to let all those cute baby bunny feelings in, feel it, and that you can find the courage to let someone witness it.

http://yourkickasslife.com/216

 

Direct download: Ep216final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

In episode 203 I mentioned a friend of mine where she had broken up with me in 2007 when I had all that drama in my life. I’m circling back in this episode to tell you what happened. Here’s a quick timeline:

2007: She told me she needed a break from me, as her mom was ill and I had too much drama. She was right, but it was still devastating.
2008: My life was back on track, her mom was well again, and we were friends again.
2011: We moved and we lost touch somewhat.
2012: I wrote her a three-page letter making amends to her for what I had known and remembered I had done wrong in our friendship. I also told her how much I missed her and that I would love to have her friendship again. She emailed me, acknowledging my letter and accepting my apology. She asked if we could catch up via email first. She told me a bit about what was going on in her life, I replied and did the same. Then, nothing. I followed up with another email, and nothing.

I was devastated. I wrote about this in my book, how I never knew what happened. I agonized over what I said in the email, thinking I had said something wrong. I did a lot of work on letting it all go.

October 2017: I never, ever check my “other” messages on Facebook. It’s usually creepy marriage proposals, but for some reason, I felt compelled to check. Lo and behold, there’s a message from my friend. She said hello, said she’s been thinking of me, asked how I was, and said she hoped me, the kids and Jason are well.

I felt like someone had punched me in the face.

It felt like a long-lost boyfriend whom I was in love with that had dumped me and then was circling back with a casual, hi! How are you? I had done all this work to forgive myself, to forgive her, to let her go and here she was again. Like digging up a dead body.

I replied a couple of days later and told her I would be in San Diego in January and did she want to meet up? I tried my best to not hold onto any outcomes that I wanted, but I knew I couldn't have this casual, blasé relationship. We made plans to have lunch.

I also think part of why her and that friendship held so much weight and emotion was because she was there when the ship went down for me. “I watched you weather so much then, my heart broke for you over and over again.” She said.

I knew I was walking into discomfort and comfort at the same time. Someone who knew me then. Someone who genuinely loved me and had been through her own growth over the last decade too. Someone who was willing to hear everything I had to say and was willing to say all the hard things she felt too.

The three hour lunch was incredibly healing for both of us. She told the story of losing her mom in 2016 and I told her about losing my dad. We talked about motherhood and marriage and laughed about things we hadn’t thought about in ten years. I told her how hard it was for me to get her email last October, that I was still so afraid to let her back in. She apologized, telling me in 2012 when she never replied to my email, she wasn’t sure she was ready to let me back in, but didn’t have the words to talk to me about it. So, she backed away quietly.

Our friendships can hold as much emotion and break our hearts just like our romantic relationships can. It’s imperative that we honor that-- whether the person circles back like my friend did or they don’t.

I never would have thought it would turn out how it did. But, I guess when you surrender the Universe sometimes hands you what you need.

LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR RAISE HELL

At this point, you’ve been hearing me talk about Raise Hell for at least a week now. Today is the drop-dead last day to register. Raise Hell is a 4-month online program that will take you from a place of auto-pilot and not knowing where to start (or go next) to a place of clarity, action steps, and accountability. You’ll walk away with tools and strategies to set boundaries with kindness and courage, figure out and implement what “life balance” looks like for you, and more foundational skills. I’d love to have you join us, and there are many women ready to get started and who are ready to welcome you! Click here to join us.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/215

 

Direct download: Ep215final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week I talked about some pretty heavy stuff. At least it was heavy for me. Monday I talked about tolerations and shared with you some experiences that a couple of my past clients had had, as well as myself. Tolerating relationships that aren’t working for us and our decisions that followed.

Tuesday was about apologizing. Or, rather what I call “roundabout apologizing”-- prefacing requests or hard conversations with the message of, “please don’t think badly of me for asking you to do this”.

Then on Wednesday was the story about the Over the Line tournament, and me being humiliated by a stranger in front of people. And how that humiliation turned to anger, which turned to rage, what I did with it then and what I do with it now.

Yesterday I read you a poem. True confession, after I read that poem I had planned to do a Facebook live, but I needed a break. My whole body was saying no, and I felt like I just needed to be still, burn some sage, and honor what I needed. That was a doozy for me and like I was talking about in the first week of the daily diaries, upleveling.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve created worksheets for you to be able to do the work in your own life. And this week I’ve decided to do something different. First and foremost, I’m inviting you to join me in Raise Hell. If you’ve been reading these emails (listening to these episodes) and they resonate with you, Raise Hell is probably the perfect next step for you to help you get ot the next level of your growth and your life. Everything I’ve been talking about over the last 3 weeks points to what we’ll be learning, discussing and claiming in Raise Hell.

Second, I invite you to create a personal manifesto. A manifesto is a written statement declaring your intentions, motives, or views. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be. I’ve created some prompts for you below. You don’t have to answer all of them, but use these as a guide.

I believe…
I stand for…
I am most passionate about…
I am on this planet to…
I was born in this time and space so that I can …
I will love myself by…
I have the courage to…
I will take action on…
The status quo I want to disrupt is…
What matters to me right now is…
What I know for sure is…

I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram (@yourkickasslife) and post your manifesto! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

RAISE HELL IS OPEN! This 4-month online program is part course, part support group, part accountability group, and all around adventure that will take you from autopilot in your life, to taking action on the life you want. This is its pilot round, so there is an introductory price and tomorrow is the last day to grab that early-bird offer! Click here to join us. Get the tools you need to claim your life, set boundaries, and let go of things that aren’t serving you anymore.

We start next week!

http://yourkickasslife.com/214

 

Direct download: Ep214final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Dear World,

I’m resigning today.

Resigning from the job I was given to make you happy and comfortable.

I don’t remember even applying for this job, but nonetheless, it was handed to me.

Somehow, somewhere, a story was bestowed on me and my fellow females.

That we have a job that is an ever so important one.

That job has many rules and responsibilities.

A short list of the musts:

We must smile.

We must be pretty.

We must be thin.

We must be compliant.

And the must nots:

We must not get angry.

We must not age disgracefully (whatever that means)

We must not use foul language.

We must not show too much cleavage.

We must not share our opinions too forcefully and if we do dare share them, they should not offend anyone nor be disagreeable.

And if we MUST say no, we must explain ourselves, apologize, and do whatever deems necessary to make the other person feel as comfortable as possible with our no.

As I turn in my resignation, I have three words for your rules.

Fuck. That. Shit.

Because I’m done.

These rules have been for you.

These rules have morphed me into an unrecognizable rag doll that serves no purpose except to make you comfortable.

These are not my rules.

World, do you know what abiding by these rules has done?

Let me paint you a picture.

When I was 16 I was pinned down on a beach, sand in my hair,

While a boy I was on a date with forced open my pants,

Shoving his hand down my underwear.

When I told him no and to get off of me,

He said he thought that’s what I wanted because I had let him kiss me.

I liked him and with his obvious frustration I felt guilty and wrong for my decision to say no.

He took me home and on Monday at school, I heard the boys laughing and “prick tease!”--

Yelled through the hallways at me while people stopped and stared and whispered.

I learned that day if I didn’t follow the rules, if I dared say no, there would be consequences.

When I was 17 my boyfriend shoved my head down to his crotch as I suppose--

An unspoken invitation to give him a blow job.

I wanted to say no.

I didn’t.

I hated him while I did it.

But, I didn’t want him to be mad at me.

I knew how it went if I said no.

When I was 20, I found myself laying under a guy I barely knew,

Saying the word “no” over and over again as he continued to undress me.

I could have pushed him off me,

I could have said no more forcefully,

But having known the rules, I worried he would get angry,

Call me names, or worse, fight back.

So, I relented to his advances and had sex with him even though every being in my body screamed no.

Even though I acted like I enjoyed it, hoping that would help move things along.

Even though I hated myself while it happened.

All in order to make him comfortable and follow the rules.

When it was over I sobbed and ran to a pay phone to call someone to pick me up.

I knew how it went if I said no.

This went on for another decade.

Saying yes to men I didn’t want to,

All in order to please them,

To make them comfortable,

To put their feelings before mine.

To not emasculate them,

To allow them to use my body as they so pleased.

And this isn’t just about sex.

It’s about everything we’re asked to do.

We all fist pump when we hear “No is a complete sentence”,

But how many of us do it.

When we're faced with the choices of saying no with no explanation,

Or saying no while apologizing,

Thinking how we’ll make it up to them,

Over-explaining our reasons,

And praying to god they don’t get mad at us or have their feelings hurt... we chose the latter.

Because according to the rules: Just a no isn’t good enough.

According to the rules, Only bitches say no as a complete sentence.

Well, world.

I’d rather be a bitch than go against who I am as a human being.

I’d rather be a bitch than let someone shove my face into their dick.

I’d rather be a bitch than give in to sex while tears stream down my face and into my ears, Staring at the ceiling, counting to 100 hoping he finishes quickly.

(Long pause)

My daughter is 7 years old.

No one told me when I was growing up that I didn’t have to follow those rules.

No one told me that I could grow up and say no.

Without apologizing.

Without agonizing.

Without explaining.

Without making up for it.

And I’ll be honest, World,

It feels weird walking away from this job.

I’ve had it my whole life and it feels like trying to wipe my skin off.

Something that’s a part of me that I’m terrified to let go of but if I keep this job

I’ll go crazy.

So, with that, I resign.

RAISE HELL IS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION!

Raise Hell, the 4-month online program is open for registration. Join me and a group of amazing women as we break down barriers. What that looks like is values-based hell raising-- you getting clear on what’s important about the way you live your life and taking action on it. It’s about you learning how to set boundaries and have hard conversations. It’s about you letting go of the messaging and old patterns of thought about who you think you need to be and making room for who you want to be. Guided by me, we have weekly video calls, and built-in accountability. We start next week. Click here to join us.


http://yourkickasslife.com/213

Direct download: Ep213final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

It was the mid-90’s.

A small group of friends and I went to the annual Over The Line tournament in San Diego, one of the city’s oldest traditions. OTL is known for its drunkenness, topless women, and just all-around debauchery. Some call it “Mardi Gras on the beach”. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people come out for this yearly event every summer and even though it was my first time going, I wasn’t afraid at all of the craziness we were walking into.

My friends and I walked around, watched some of the teams play, and as the games wound down for the day, started to make our way towards the wide road which would take us to the main parking lot. Along that road were peoples’ Van’s and RV’s. Many of the RV’s had people hanging out around them and on top of them.

As we continued to walk, I heard a man shout from about 30 feet away. “Hey you in the white shirt!” I looked up to the top of the RV and a good-looking guy about 25 or 30 was pointing at me. We made eye contact. He said, “You have a nice smile!” I smiled at him. He continued, “I’d like to cum all over it.”

Laughter erupted. Time stood still for me. “What a dick!” one of my friends yelled. We kept walking. No one spoke of it again.

I sometimes wonder what happened to him. The guy at the over the line tournament. The guy that used me to make himself look cool. The guy that I assume never thought twice of what he shouted to me and probably so many other women. I wonder if now, twenty plus years later he is the father of daughters. I wonder if he looks back on his youth and regrets some things he did and said. I wonder if he gives a shit.

Because for me, my humiliation turned into anger and then turned into rage. Rage for my humiliation. Rage for the discomfort it caused all the people that saw and heard it. Rage for all the women who saw it who wanted to say something but couldn’t. Rage for all the women who saw it who didn’t care. Rage for the part of me who stayed silent. Rage for the fact that if I did say anything, it wouldn’t have really mattered. Rage for the fact that I knew this. Rage for all the times I had in fact shouted something back in retaliation only to met with something worse. Rage for the notion that “that’s what you get when you go to the Over The Line tournament”. Rage for living in a world where “that’s just how it is.”

My rage wasn’t expressed that day. I stuffed it away with all the other emotions I didn’t know what to do with. I lashed out at my then-boyfriend. I gave the middle finger to any and all cat-calls I received. I was aggressive and was quick to be mean.

And it wasn’t just him. It was years of sexual harassment, having my ass grabbed uninvited more times than I can possibly count, being cornered at parties and being afraid while I looked for an exit or a friend, being followed to my car, and being met with “that’s just how it is.”

What does one do with that much rage?

I look back on my behaviors that I’m not proud of and I know why. It came from a lifetime of feeling helpless. Of feeling like I don’t matter. Being told that’s just how it is, or worse, feeling like it was my fault.

So, what do you do with that much rage?

You name it. I used to be afraid to tell people I was that angry. So, I’m saying now, I was that angry. Still angry, but I don’t let it drive.

I also tell the story. It helps me process and be heard. And I write about it like I’m doing now.

I’m angry it happened, but I don’t feel rage anymore. I’ve forgiven that guy and all the others. I hope now they know...but that’s not for me to seek out or give too much thought. I can also raise my son to understand that behaviors like that are unacceptable to do to other human beings, and to call it out when he sees it.

So, with that, I ask you: What do you do with your anger? If you have rage, what do you do with that?

RAISE HELL IS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION!

Raise Hell, the 4-month online program is open for registration. Join me and a group of amazing women as we break down barriers. What that looks like is values-based hell raising-- you getting clear on what’s important about the way you live your life and taking action on it. It’s about you learning how to set boundaries and have hard conversations. It’s about you letting go of the messaging and old patterns of thought about who you think you need to be and making room for who you want to be. Guided by me, we have weekly video calls, and built-in accountability. We start next week. Click here to join us.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/212

 

Direct download: Ep212final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week has a bit of a theme, and that’s about Raising Hell. What I mean by that, is that culturally, we, as women, have been taught to act and behave a certain way, a way that is acceptable and a way that will have us be more well-liked. And not necessarily outwardly taught to be a certain way by our parents and mentors, but taught by what we see on a daily basis. This is messaging we’ve received our whole lives. And one of those things is apologizing.

For instance, a few months ago I had to email someone who's not following through on their commitments and making my job harder. This person would fall off in the middle of an email conversation, and not answer questions I had. But, then start a new email telling me something or asking me questions. I even asked this person if there is another way we can do things to make our communication work better. They said no and things continue to fall through the cracks.

I knew this was going to be an uncomfortable conversation, but I called on my courage and started an email where I was going to tell this person how I felt and be clear that I needed a solution. In drafting the email I found myself typing, "I'm not trying to be a diva about this..." and I stopped myself. I’m sure we’ve all either said this or emailed this. It might also look like, "I'm sorry to seem like a pain-in-the-ass..." or "Forgive me if this sounds overbearing..."

This is what I call "roundabout apologizing".

Raise your hand if you have done this? I've less and less said "Sorry", when I don’t need to be, but still the "I'm not trying to be blah blah..." In other words: PLEASE DON'T THINK I'M AGGRESSIVE, A BITCH, HARD TO WORK WITH, DEMANDING, ETC. The risk is more than just someone having this opinion-- the risk is that I could get a reputation for being this way.

I edited my email to be kind, but still clear that I feel this person is not doing their job. Some people might think I'm a diva, or demanding, or whatever. But, I'm at the point where it hurts worse to apologize for something I don't need to apologize for than to risk being seen as whatever they make up I am.

My challenge for you is to think about where you do this too. Just get curious and watch for it. I understand that in some situations, your job depends on you keeping the peace. And, maybe just having what I’ve talked about in this post run through your head will help you think about speaking up more in meetings, in your partnerships, and friendships. Whether you have an idea about something, you need something to change, or anything at all where the words need to move out of your mouth, or even in an email. I hope you consider having a throwdown with the old messaging we’ve come so used to having. Or even if you just get curious about it. Either way, it’s an act of raising hell.

Raise Hell, the 4-month online program is open for registration. Join me and a group of amazing women as we break down barriers. What that looks like is values-based hell raising-- you getting clear on what’s important about the way you live your life and taking action on it. It’s about you learning how to set boundaries and have hard conversations. It’s about you letting go of the messaging and old patterns of thought about who you think you need to be and making room for who you want to be. Guided by me, we have weekly video calls, and built-in accountability. We start next week. Click here to join us.

http://yourkickasslife.com/211

 

Direct download: Ep211final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Last year I had a few clients who were dealing with some “man problems”. In a nutshell, dating men who were unavailable to them. One was having a relationship with a married man, the other was on again-off again dating someone who had made it clear to her he didn’t want to commit.

Both were in a pickle. This is what they were used to, it was their pattern. Whether the men were physically unavailable for the long term (married), or emotionally unavailable, these women just kept picking the wrong partners.

Much science has gone into why we pick certain people. My favorite book on this is “Getting the Love You Want” by Harv Hendrix. Other interesting ones are “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment”   and really there are just too many good books on this topic to mention.

But, what I want to focus on today is not just who they were picking-- which I think for many of us is an unconscious thing that happens-- but more specifically, what they were tolerating when they were already IN the relationship and knew their partner wasn’t good for them.

Because so many of us have been there, right?

Personally, I can vividly remember sitting in my therapist's office with my ex-husband who at that time was still my boyfriend. We were in our mid-twenties and he was not ready to settle down. He would regularly stay out all night, roll home drunk at 6 am when I never knew if he was off screwing someone else or dead in a ditch somewhere (turns out he was screwing someone else throughout the majority of our relationship. Many, many someone else's). After years of this and other disrespectful behavior towards me and many months of therapy, my therapist said to me, “Andrea, I don’t think he’s ready to  change. You can either learn to tolerate it or leave.” He was sitting right there and he didn’t argue with her. We all knew it was the truth.

I knew what I was tolerating. I chose the scraps of the relationship over me. I chose the marriage and the possibility of our future children together over my personal growth. I chose the inkling of potential I saw in him over my own self-respect.

My two clients who were staying in those relationships had different circumstances, but were both tolerating bullshit. They were settling for crumbs. In our work together, we got to the bottom of why they were doing it (helpful, but not always necessary), and why they kept repeating the same pattern. They got clear on what they actually wanted and clear that they weren’t getting it from the men they were dating.

I remember a scene from an episode in Sex In The City when Carrie is asking Mr. Big to “tell her she’s ‘the one’” and he can’t say it to her. If you’ve ever been in a relationship like that you know it was so much more than just him saying it. The agony on her face when he stands there awkwardly and the fact that she can barely look him in the face says so much. It’s so hard for me to watch that scene because Sarah Jessica Parker’s face say so much: I know you can’t commit to me, I know I’ve been tolerating it all, and I know I need to say goodbye to you.

And I remember watching that scene in 1998-- five years into my own relationship where I was tolerating crumbs and wishing I had the courage she did. To follow my gut and say no. To love myself and walk away. I didn’t.

But, my clients did. They both got the courage to say goodbye, and love themselves enough to walk away.

Raise Hell, the 4-month online program is open for registration, my 4-month online program and one of the 4 modules is...TOLERATIONS. It may not be a relationship you’re tolerating that isn’t working. Maybe it’s work demands, or your inner-critic, or your own neglect for exercise. Whatever you’re tolerating, I’ve created curriculum to help you get to the bottom of it, support with action and helping you choose what works for you (no overly-high expectations!), and accountability. Because it’s so much better to do it with loving people who are in your corner cheering for you and being a soft place to land.

I hope you join us. Click here to do so.

http://yourkickasslife.com/210

 

Direct download: Ep210final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

On Monday, episode 205 I talked about making peace with unfinished business. The old parts of ourselves that may still need something like healing, processing, something to help us move on.

On Tuesday, it was about when I went to visit my boyfriend in rehab and his fake cancer, and him cheating on me with Debbie and mostly that episode was about finding your motivation. Your catalyst for change. That post and episode was quite a doozy!

Wednesday was all about the stories we make up about other people that we think “have their shit together”. People we put on a pedestal, people we think are better than we are.

Thursday, episode 208 was about trying to figure out what it meant by “my life had become unmanageable”. (Spoiler alert if you haven’t listened: it’s about boundaries, emotions and communication.)

Just like last week, I have a worksheet for that pertains to all the posts from this week, but first a bonus lesson! And it comes in the form of a story...

Last November I sat on a video conference call with my Mastermind ladies. It’s a peer group of other coaches that support one another. Every month we meet and bring a topic we’d love support on. That cold November day I started with, “Okay, I’m about to introduce a new course to my audience, I really feel like it’s been in the making for ten years and is the baby of Your Kick-Ass Life-- the course that I was meant to teach. And I’m so scared.”

Truth be told: I was afraid of teaching something that veered away from some of the deeper things I’ve been teaching over the last three years. Afraid to go back to basics. I was expressing my fear that my audience wouldn’t care enough about the topics. And when something means a lot to me, the acceptance of it matters.

In other words, I felt like it was a huge risk.

The thing about this program is that I had a download about it. It felt like the idea was dropped in my lap and there have only been a handful of things I’ve been this excited about since the birth of YKAL in 2010.

But, I kept thinking...
What if people read the info page and say…meh.
What if people say no?
What if it tanks?
What if my download was wrong?

Now, I’ve gotten past a lot of fear in my life. I’ve looked at fear, laughed at fear, studied fear...I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like in my life and can deal with it. But, what I know for sure, is the more passionate we are about things, the more we believe in them, the more we LOVE something, the more vulnerable we feel.

So, as I ranted about this new course to my colleagues, Samantha asked me, “What does your audience love the most about you, Andrea?” And I said without hesitation, “They love that I tell the truth.” To which she replied, “Then stop pussyfooting around and tell them the truth.”

This is why support is so important. In chapter two of How To Stop Feeling LIke Shit, I talk about the importance of your compassionate witnesses, the people who will hear your struggle and respond with compassion. And then there are the friends who see your brilliance and your fear and turn your head towards the brilliance. The friends who will not tolerate you succumbing to your fear. Who are those people to you? Do you have them, but need to tell them how you would love to be supported? Do you not have them and need to take action on nurturing those relationships? Who are the people who know you best and will hold you to your dreams?

As far as the program I mentioned, that program is Raise Hell. A 4-month online program that is part course, part support group, part accountability group, and all around adventure that will take you from autopilot in your life, to taking action on the life you want. This is its pilot round, so there is an introductory price. It opens TODAY, February 16th. Now, if you are in my How To Stop Feeling Like Shit book club, you’ve already heard about this and many of you have already joined. WELCOME!

And if you’re ready to jump into the worksheet, you can do so below...

Click here to download the free worksheet of journaling prompts all about this week’s episodes.

And hey, you don’t have to do all the prompts. Any training or free course or even paid course I offer, for some can feel overwhelming. You have enough to feel overwhelmed about, your personal development doesn’t need to be added to that list. But, I also want you to watch out if that’s your fear talking, or you wanting to stay within your comfort zone. Doing the work will have elements of feeling uncomfortable and overwhelming. It’s not an easy-breezy journey. So, I invite you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and at the same time take care of yourself.

http://yourkickasslife.com/209

 

Direct download: Ep209final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I know many of you who listen to this podcast are sober in recovery, some of you are thinking about it, and many of you are normal drinkers or even non drinkers who don’t have a problem with alcohol. What I’m about to talk about is based on a saying from the “rooms of recovery”, but does not mean it only applies to us alcoholics. I believe it can apply to everyone.

I want to talk about the term “my life had become unmanageable” and it comes from the first of twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

And to be honest, I always had a problem with the whole “life had become unmanageable” part because mine hadn’t. I had a great job I loved, a good marriage, two great kids, friends, and life was pretty good. Someone explained to me that it was my spirituality that had become unmanageable and that didn’t seem right either. I mean, sure, I had moved away from spirituality when I was drinking, but still. It was also explained to me that it was that my “insides” had become unmanageable, not my “outsides”. And since I had had the emotional shit kicked out of me in 2006, I for sure knew what it felt like to have my “insides” unmanageable. I felt like I had healed a good deal from that time in my life and didn’t feel as “unmanageable” when I got sober five years later as I had back then.

In terms of being in recovery, not being able to “fit”  into that, made me feel like my bottom wasn’t low enough and maybe I DID need to wait until my life was unmanageable to get sober-- my insides AND my outsides. (And that’s not a good place to be in terms of our thinking when we are newly sober!) I continued to ask people about this, people tried to explain it to me in their own way, and it never seemed to feel like it applied to my life. Until…

I had a few years of sobriety and I realized how shit my boundaries were. And in the first couple years I realized how emotionally illiterate I was and that I had a lot to learn in terms of communication.

“Ohhh, so it’s my relationships, emotions and boundaries that had become unmanageable.” I realized. I finally understood what it meant in my life.

And again, you don’t have to be alcoholic, or a love addict, or an anything addict to have all that feel unmanageable. Feelings and emotions are crazy-tough sometimes and numbing out becomes easier. Boundaries seem impossible so people-pleasing and blaming become your go-to. Communication? No one taught us, so we don’t fight fair, we don’t own our stuff, and tend to be passive aggressive.

Honestly, that’s why I wrote my last book. Everything I just mentioned was woven in, but what I want to make clear in this post is that some of the hardest and best work we will do in our lives, yes of course is the work we do on ourselves, but is also the work we’ll do with the people we love the most. The people we’re in relationships with. We have emotional attachments with them and have emotional transactions with them. If we don’t know how to communicate in a way that makes us proud, our lives can feel unmanageable. If we don’t know how to set boundaries and have hard conversations, again, our lives can feel unmanageable.

Tomorrow, all these lessons I’ve been talking about all week come together and I’ve put a worksheet with journaling prompts together for you.

Lastly, tomorrow, registration is open for Raise Hell. A 4-month online program that is part course, part support group, part accountability group, and all around adventure that will take you from autopilot in your life, to taking action on the life you want. This is its pilot round, so there is an introductory price.

I believe when a woman sits down to decide what she wants and what’s she’s willing to do, and then stands up to declare it, commits to it and asks for help, when women come together in solidarity to change their lives for the better and not put up with other people and the world's shit, that is an act of raising hell. Stay tuned for tomorrow!

http://yourkickasslife.com/208

 

Direct download: Ep208final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

If you follow me online (listen to this podcast), you probably also read a good amount of self-help books. Maybe books like:

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle

Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero

And I’m assuming over the last couple of years you’ve read and recommended one or more of these books to a friend.

All of these books I have read and recommend wholeheartedly. All these female authors I hold in high regard. And all of these women I know have pain and struggle just like you and me. But, maybe you think they don’t have as much as you. Maybe you hold them in high regard AND make up a story that they have their shit together much more than you do. Hell, maybe you think that most women have their shit together more than you do.

Well, I’m here to tell you:

  1. “Having your shit together” is subjective. No one even knows what that means. Society and you have made up a story about that. So, check your expectations. And more importantly...
  2. Life is a path that we’re all traveling on. It’s long and winding, with ruts and obstacles along the way. As we move along it, we gain more insight and wisdom, and in my humble opinion, the more ruts and obstacles we run into, the more we get the emotional shit kicked out of us, the more insight and wisdom we gather.

We’re all on this same path. The people who don’t give a shit about personal development and think you’re weird for it, typically don’t make it past the first couple of steps. That’s okay, that’s their thing in this lifetime. It’s not your job to force them farther along on the path.

All those authors and personal development leaders are on your same path, they might just be farther along on it than you are. Some people move up quickly like in Monopoly when you get the card that tells you to jump ahead to one of the railroads and collect $200. And sometimes we take a few steps back.

You don’t need to catch up, it’s not a race. You just need to do the work.

On Friday, Feb 15th I invite you to join me for Raise Hell, which is a program that encompasses foundational tools to “get your shit together” (whatever that means), action, and accountability. It’s about declaring the woman you want to be and HOW to get there. It’s not easy to do this all alone. I’ll be there to guide you, plus an extraordinary group of women who are all on the same path rooting for you. We open doors on Friday.  

http://yourkickasslife.com/207

 

Direct download: Ep207final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

If you read my book you know that in the the opening paragraphs I talk about how I had an all-time low in 2007 when I found out I’d been conned by my boyfriend. He had lied about having cancer to cover up his opioid addiction and I was pregnant with his child. This, coming off the heels of my first husband having an affair with our neighbor and getting her pregnant was not great news for me.

But, it got even worse.

December, 2006: I confronted my then-boyfriend about his drug addiction. He admitted it and said he would quit. He did for a few weeks, which coincidentally is when I became pregnant.

January, 2007: He was using again. We had just found out I was pregnant, and in sheer desperation, I called his family and told them everything. They asked me to get him home and they would have an intervention. The intervention took place and he agreed to go. I really hoped he would get clean and sober, then we could have our baby and live happily ever after.

You know where this is going, right?

He went to The Meadows in Arizona-- famous for housing celebrities like Selena Gomez, Whitney Houston, and Kate Moss and more recently, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. After my boyfriend had been there a few weeks, I was invited for family week.

I participated in group therapy with strangers and their families. It was uncomfortable but to be honest, I was finally getting real with myself and looking at my own issues. I shared my shame stories, cried in front of everyone and was generally the most vulnerable I had ever been in front of a group of people. As I left, my boyfriend was acting weird. When I got home, I hacked into his email and found email after email from a woman named Debbie. Apparently, they were in love.

Debbie was another patient at The Meadows. Debbie was in our group while I was there crying my eyes out. Debbie had sent one email to my boyfriend-- she had sent many, but this one was the kicker-- the one that lowered me to a heap on the floor…it said, “Is it bad that I think it’s funny that your girlfriend is in our group? I mean, what were the chances that we would all be grouped together!?”

This woman was essentially laughing about the fact that we were together in a small group while we all talked about our deepest, darkest secrets.

Needless to say the phone calls that followed were not pretty. That was my final straw with him. Not the opioid addiction, not the lying about cancer, not the conning me, but Debbie.

Part of my motivation to change was her. I was was so determined to be better than her, to actually DO the work, knowing she had spent thousands of dollars on a fancy rehab and was not in fact doing the work. That, coupled with the fact that I was pregnant I knew I needed to get better. I needed to change.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?

Did you or do you have a Debbie in your life? Many people say, “don’t ever do it for anyone else but yourself” and while I agree that’s true, I think there’s something to be said about looking at what motivates you. Do you want to be a better mother for your kids? Do you want to show your mother you will parent better than she did? Do you want to prove to your ex that you’re NOT in fact crazy and that you are the best version of yourself?

Hey, again, it’s not about doing the work for someone else. It’s about grabbing on to whatever motivates you. Maybe you can use that as your catalyst. Eventually, that will fall away, you’ll see the changes you’re making and you’ll keep going.

I honestly could give a shit about Debbie now. My recovery is for me AND my kids. I live my best life and work on myself first and foremost for me now. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t said in the beginning there a small part of me that wanted to prove others wrong.

Tomorrow I’m going to be talking about “having your shit together” and your purpose as your path. Stay tuned!

http://yourkickasslife.com/206

 

Direct download: EP206final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

I called San Diego home for 36 years. 36 years of memories-- joyful, painful, and everything in between.

And in the six years I’ve been gone, every time I go home, I’m hit with agony. And for a long time I didn’t know why. Nostalgia is a tricky thing. This one was such a mix of feelings and emotions, I didn’t know what they meant, if anything. Did I want to move back home? Was I angry that we left? I couldn’t make heads or tails of it all, but I knew something was happening.

During the summer of 2014, we went home for a vacation and rented a house on the beach. This area, Mission Beach, held many, many memories for me. I went for a run one day and as I turned my head to look down the boardwalk at other runners, skateboarders, and early morning beachgoers, I thought to myself:

Everything has changed, but it’s all the same.

I had changed. I had evolved and grown dramatically. But, it all looks the same. And for some reason, when I step foot into this city, there’s a part of my heart that remembers. Remembers it all. And maybe...maybe that’s what I was trying to get away from when we left.

When we left San Diego I was at the end of my drinking career. I had just admitted to myself, my husband, and a dear, trusted friend that I had a problem. I quit about three weeks after we left. So, when I go back home, I feel like there’s a part of me that still exists. An old ghost of myself that’s still confused, suffering, and lost. Looking for answers. Looking for a solution. Looking for peace.

How do we make peace with our former selves? The parts of us that are still tormented, still brokenhearted?

I think it starts by not running away from the pain, struggle and problems anymore. Looking at it all square in the face. Getting curious about it instead of shoving it down to the sub-basement of our soul. Being okay with the fact that peace might need to be made. Sort of easing into it like settling into your favorite chair. Letting go of thoughts like, “This is stupid, I should be so much better than this by now. It’s been years.”

Because time doesn’t heal all wounds. Moving doesn’t heal them either. And I’m sure as shit that pushing it all away doesn’t heal us, it just puts it away for it to catapult back up when we least expect it.

When we can dance with all of that, then the question becomes: Who do we want to be? What do we want our story to be? When we’re so used to the story of pain and struggle, when we make peace with all of that and sometimes walk away from it, what’s next?

I know for me it’s been simply having more compassion with myself. Accepting that life is my teacher and I’m the forever student. That my path is my purpose. I want to be a woman who tells the truth not only to others but to herself.

Because yes, everything changes and it’s all the same.

http://yourkickasslife.com/205

 

Direct download: Ep205final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

In episode 200 I talked about noticing I had an upper limit problem. The following day, episode 201 I talked about even when you have success, there are still pitfalls of feeling not good enough. Episode 202 I talked about facing something big and important that challenged one of my old, negative core beliefs and put that all to the test. The pushed me out of my comfort zone. And then in episode 203 I talked about doing something big that not only pushed me out of my comfort zone, but carried a lot of emotional weight.

So, I’ve created a handy-dandy worksheet for YOU that you can download and do yourself so you can DO THE WORK. I always talk to you about the importance of not just consuming the book, or the podcast, or the article, but to do the actual work. Now is your chance! This is where the real work happens!

Click here to download your worksheet

Direct download: Ep204final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Throughout the entire book launch (which technically is still going on and started back in the middle of last year) I have vacillated between being so overwhelmed with all the things to do, all the feelings of “not good enough”, all the pressure of having this be successful, the pressure of the spotlight, and the massive gratitude of doing this work. Maybe this is what they really mean by “having it all”. ALL the feelings. The fear, the anxiety, doing it anyway and also having love and gratitude and joy.

As many of you know and many of you can relate to, I struggle with black or white thinking. It’s either all or nothing. And that’s how it’s been with feelings too. Given that I am someone who really only started to consider herself “emotionally literate” and then have any “emotional intelligence” in 2011 when I got sober, the last six years have been a learning experience when it comes to feelings. One of those things is being able to hold more than one feeling at a time, sometimes many feelings.

For instance: San Diego. That city has always held a lot of weight for me. It’s where I left my broken heart and more specifically, I knew walking into this book tour it would be hard because my dad wouldn’t be there like he would the last time. A little background, I was born and raised in San Diego, spent the first 36 years of my life there and it’s where my dad died about 16 months ago. I hadn’t been back since his death.

I knew I would need a lot of moral support, so I invited my two sisters and brother who live in the area. I invited all my friends AND THEN, if you’ve read my book, you might remember a story I told about a friend of mine who had broken up with me when I was going through my life-falling-apart year, then we were friends again, then she kind of ghosted me? Well, she randomly messaged me last October and I invited her to meet up with me on that trip. I knew I was walking into a hard conversation with her. More on that story at the end of this month! So, needless to say, this trip was going to be an emotional one.

To be honest, I really wasn’t worried about the book event. When I had it for my first book, a lot of people showed up, and the manager even told me I sold more books than most author events that they do. So, I thought this one was in the bag.

However.

One of my siblings which shall go unnamed, never texted me back when I group texted them about the event. I texted this sibling privately a couple days before, and nothing. I asked one of my other siblings about it, and they said “Oh, that sibling is really busy with their thing, don’t take it personally.” And I’m like, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY? OUR DAD DIED AND I NEED YOU ALL AND I MIGHT DIE IF THIS PERSON DOESN’T SHOW UP.

So, anyway.

As I started my talk, I’m looking around and noticing there were key players there that were missing. Like, the other two siblings that I just had dinner with across the parking lot. They were late. They were missing it.

I also looked around and saw amazing people I used to work with that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. I saw the people who used to babysit me when I was in elementary school. I saw about six girls I went to highschool with. I saw a woman I knew online and hadn’t met in person yet.

It was painful and it was wonderful. What I learned that night is that I can hold all those emotions. I don’t have to say, “Oh, I can’t be disappointed and hurt that so-and-so didn’t show up because look at all I have to be grateful for!” I can’t bypass my feelings.

And neither can you.

Stick around for Friday’s episode where this all comes together and there’s an assignment for you. Also, if you are in my book club, there is a special, exclusive offer arriving in your inbox TODAY, Feb 8th.

http://yourkickasslife.com/203

 

Direct download: EP203final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

In December 2013 my first book, 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life came out. That same month I headed to San Diego, my home town of 36 years (we had moved 2 years prior) to do a book signing. It was the only book event I did (unless you count the coffee shop book event in the city I was living with at the time where I only invited 4 people. No exaggeration, 4 people).

I know a lot of people in San Diego. Most of my family is there. I knew people would show up and also, I knew the people that would show up. It was safe. Certain. No real risk.

Fast forward to 2017 when my second book, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit was about to come out and I was faced with a choice: do I only do a book event in San Diego, or do I push myself with a book tour? Do I risk it? Do I face the uncertainty of this next level?

One of my old core beliefs-- one that was born from men mistreating me-- is that I don’t really matter all that much. I’ve intentionally worked on this over the years and come a long, long way. And what I’ve noticed is that when I’m faced with an opportunity to prove that core belief wrong, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. It’s as if my brain has become more comfortable being in situations where it’s proved that I really don’t matter.

So, if figured, if I go on a book tour and people actually DO show up, it proves that I DO matter. I’d have to face it and believe it. And the reality of it was that some people would show up to these events. No, I don’t sell out packed arenas, but there are some amazing women who I knew would come. So, I accepted the challenge.

Another thing that came up during this upper limit/challenging my old core beliefs extravaganza was the concept of letting people love me. Now, if you know my story you know I got the emotional shit kicked out of me in 2006 and 2007 and I walked away with some major trust issues. I had concluded people were not to be trusted and it was safer to keep them at a very long arms distance.

At the end of 2017 I wondered, What if I let people love me? I have a few people in my life that I’ve let in, a few people I trust with my stories and struggle (it’s a very short list), but what if I stretched beyond that? What if I really opened my arms and my heart and let people love me? What if I accepted all the praise and compliments and love and leaned in...hard? In my history when I’ve done this, it gets snatched away, so my brain says, NO DON’T DO IT! But, here I am, 10 years out of my trauma and what if I let go?

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. The book tour-- 6 events in 6 cities. An additional city with a dinner with colleagues. 7 total cities of letting people love me. Leaning into all the comments of people telling me how much they love the book. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be exhausting. And I knew it had to be done. I had no idea how it would turn out. This is upleveling. This is doing the work. This is walking my talk and loving myself and carrying courage and confidence.

Stick around for Friday’s episode where this all comes together and there’s an assignment for you. Also, if you are in my book club, there is a special, exclusive offer arriving in your inbox on Thursday, Feb 8th.

http://yourkickasslife.com/202

 

Direct download: Ep202final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

In late October I sat on a conference call with the marketing team from my publisher and my literary agent. It was to be a discussion on how we (I) were going to sell the book.

Many things were discussed in that hour + long meeting, but only one thing stood out to me. The person in charge said to me, “Pre-orders not where we would like them to be.” My first thought and what came out of my mouth was, “Well, of course not. I’ve barely mentioned to my community that it’s available because it’s so far out. Our plans for the big push were mid-November through January.”

My next immediate thought was: “They’re disappointed in me. I’m failing at this. I’m not big enough, popular enough, or good enough. They bet on me as an author and I’m losing.”

I felt the wash of shame.

The marketing team was simply doing their job. Selling books matters to them and their bottom line. I want to make it clear that I was the one making up stories about what they thought of me and who I was.

I got off the phone and cried. I called my friends and told them dramatically that my publisher was disappointed in me (keep in mind-- they NEVER used that word, I did) and wondered if it was too late to quit.

Then, I went on my book tour. First stop was New Your City. There was an odd cold snap that came up the entire east coast, and people started cancelling for my book event and a dinner I had put together. I got an email from my publicist that the bookstore in Chicago for the following week was worried about their January events because of the cold. I immediately thought, “I’m not worth the cold”. I was in the Lyft thinking we should just cancel both events in NYC and Chicago. I was actually thinking about cancelling it all. Here’s what was happening: I was looking for any excuse not to show up. Looking for any small inkling of evidence that it was too hard, that people didn’t like me, that I wasn’t good enough, and that I should just quit.

Yesterday I talked about the Upper Limit Problem and this is a classic example. Things were rising for me. The ante had been upped. It was risky and vulnerable and scary and my inner-critic was totally and completely freaking out. I didn’t want to fail, I didn’t want to disappoint people and not measure up. It was all so incredibly uncomfortable.

No matter how successful we get-- whether it’s in our jobs or our relationships, or are even in top physical health, I think we’ll always have moments of feeling not enough. I am no exception.

Stick around for Friday’s episode where this all comes together, I’ll tell you what ended up happening at those NYC and Chicago events and what to do when you find yourself wanting to just quit aka SABOTAGE your life when you’re upleveling and things get uncomfortable. There’s even an assignment for you!

http://yourkickasslife.com/201

 

Direct download: Ep201final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Today starts a new thing over here-- daily emails and podcast episodes (weekdays only) I’m calling them the DAILY DIARIES!  I’ve kept them short, sweet, to the point, with lots of content to hopefully help you! Enjoy...

It all started with a damn upper limit problem.

Let me backup. If it’s one thing we all want-- it’s to be seen and heard. We want those loving connections with the people who matter to us. To know our struggles, our stories, and our celebrations matter. To know that we matter.

And for some of us, our path includes being seen and heard by lots and lots of people.

In 2013 my first book came out and I was catapulted into the spotlight. I’m not talking Beyoncé type spotlight, but a spotlight nonetheless in my industry. No one can really prepare you for this and it was one of the most exciting and terrifying things that had ever happened to me. More people watching, judging, criticizing and loving me (which can also be scary). Over the last few years I’ve been unpacking this and getting curious about why this scares me, what it stops me from doing, and how to move past it.

Fast forward to 2017. I knew my second book was coming out and I was more prepared for the epic explosion that was about to take place (that’s dramatic, but that’s what it felt like). I also knew I wanted to talk more about this to my YKAL community (you!) because I know most of us deal with this on some level.

The fear of shining too bright.

The fear of shining at all.

The fear of not shining at all.

The fear of getting it wrong.

The fear of what people expect of us.

The fear that we can’t measure up to what we expect of ourselves.

The fear of failure.

The fear of success.

The fear of moving too far forward in our lives and leaving people behind.

The fear of what people will think.

Basically, the fear of raising hell in our lives, causing any attention to ourselves that might cause us to not have it all under control.

So, going back to the “upper limit problem” that I mentioned before. You might be wondering, what is an upper limit problem?

The “ULP” term comes from the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and in a nutshell, the theory is this: We all have a certain set point of success, happiness, health, and love. How much of it we can take. A “comfort zone” of all those things. When we get more, say a promotion, a new amazing relationship, a fantastic opportunity, finally lose that extra 15 pounds we’ve been carrying around, we get extremely uncomfortable for having it and therefore sabotage it. I wrote a whole chapter on self-sabotage in my last book so you probably are familiar with it.

When I write books I can’t control whether people like my writing or not. I can’t control whether they like me or not. I can’t control that I’ll always get it right. I also can’t control if the books will sell or not, which not only affects my emotional state, but my livelihood and my future.

So, it might be easier and safer to stay under the radar, not do too much to cause too much attention. Hide. Be quiet. Do things like not write books.

As 2018 approached and How To Stop Feeling Like Shit was about to be born, I knew this was a topic I couldn’t avoid with all of you. So, I set out to untangle it, rectify it as best I could, and help all of you in the process.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be walking you through that journey, as well as talking about other topics that happened to pop up along the way. Tomorrow’s episode I’ll be telling a story of a meeting I was a part of in October, which made me feel like a failure, not enough, and incompetent. I’ll tell you how I got through it, the tools I used, and what ended up happening.

Stick around for Friday’s episode where this all comes together and there’s an assignment for you.  

http://yourkickasslife.com/200

 

Direct download: Ep200final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

For the month of February, I will be producing daily podcast episodes. You read that correctly ass-kickers - daily episodes are coming! The episodes will be shorter than the typical podcast format you are used to hearing.  Emails with short lessons will accompany them. If you want to be notified each time a daily episode is released in the month of February, sign up here. Okay, now let’s jump into this week’s episode!

I am so excited because my friend, Erin Stutland, joins me on the podcast this week.  Erin and I have known each other online “for-eva”!  She is a mind, body, wellness and fitness expert and the host and coach of the new weight-loss transformation television show Altar’d on Z Living.  We talked about getting unstuck, over-analyzing, how to stop being comfortable with feeling crappy, self-care practices and more.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Erin provide tips to help get unstuck, shift your perspective and become motivated (4 minutes and 10 seconds)
  • The “morning pages” concept, what it is and how to use it (6:13)
  • Biggest obstacles that prevent you from making your exercise routine a reality, plus advice for how to move past these challenges (11:18)
  • How to be more loving and kind to yourself (and what Peanut M&Ms has to do with it) (13:47)
  • The starting and stopping pattern with exercise routines (15:56)
  • Erin’s Soul Stroll Program, how to make the most of your daily walks by rewiring your thoughts (22:34)
  • Recommendations and tools to help quiet your inner critic and how acknowledging all parts of oneself will help with the process (27:49)

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/199

 

Direct download: Ep199Mixedfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week, I am rounding out the recovery series with one final episode. I have been so blessed to have nine amazing conversations with women in recovery. You can catch up on all of the episodes here.

In this episode, I read two blog posts I wrote on the 2nd and 3rd anniversaries of my sobriety. Plus, I include some new insights along the way.

From my 2 year sober anniversary on September 27th, 2013.

I want to start this post by telling a story that is really hard for me to tell– and I tell it in hopes that it helps someone else.

In May of 2011 I made my first attempt at sobriety. I made until September 26th of that year. I was active in my recovery, but in hindsight, a few things happened that were slowly chipping away at me. I kept hearing the voice that “I wasn’t that bad”…that I wasn’t like “those people”. Those alcoholics that told their stories, that had been arrested, had DUI’s, etc. The voice whispered that since that wasn’t me, surely I could moderate and drink like a normal person.

On September 26th, 2011 I got into an argument with my husband. We don’t argue often, so when we do, I can tend to slip quickly into this-is-it-it’s-over-he’s-going-to-leave-me land. It’s one of those really vulnerable places for me where I feel I’ve lost control over a situation– a situation that is very important to me.

In that late afternoon, he left the house to go for a drive. I sat at home alone and desperately wanted to drink. I called a friend in recovery. She talked me through it. I sat again alone in my glass case of emotions. I didn’t want to drink because I didn’t want to break my sobriety and have to start over. Plus the shame of relapse was too much to bear. But, I remembered hearing that if you drank enough NyQuil, you could get a buzz. And since it’s not technically “drinking”, it’s like a loophole, right?

10 seconds later I was in the bathroom chugging a bottle of cherry NyQuil.

A few minutes later the buzz hadn’t reached me yet. I then remembered hearing that Vanilla Extract could do the same thing. I went to the pantry and took a drink of putrid tasting Vanilla Extract. I looked closely at the bottle to see that not only had murky sediment gathered all along the bottom, but it had expired in 2005.

And to think I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t an alcoholic.

As I type this, I’m embarrassed to admit this. But, now I understand just how cunning, baffling, and powerful alcohol is to an alcoholic. I didn’t think clearly and rationally at that time. I remember thinking, “Okay, I’m an educated person. I’ve done YEARS of my own personal development. I’m in the helping profession for pete’s sake”. And the reality is that none of that matters at all if you are truly an alcoholic. You don’t get extra credit for that. I don’t care how smart you are. We can’t think our way out of it.

I truly believe I needed that short relapse to prove to myself that I truly am an alcoholic. If the whisper ever comes back that I’m not that bad and maybe not a “real” alcoholic, I think back to my Vanilla haze (as my friend Courtney so lovingly puts it) and I’m back to reality.

And if I’m being really honest, I don’t want to drink like a normal person. I don’t want just one glass of wine. I want at least three. In a big ass glass. And if there’s white and red, I just can’t decide, so I’ll have a few of each.

This is insanity.

I tell my story not for the pats on the back or congratulations, but to show others that even people like me are alcoholics and that there is hope in recovery. I tried to quit by myself back in 2011. I strung together 6 miserable days. It wasn’t until I reached out for help and started a recovery program was I able to not just stop drinking, but stop obsessing on alcohol and being able to feel my feelings without resorting to drinking.  <— That is a fucking miracle.

So, if you’re that person who thinks you aren’t that bad like I did…you may very well be right. You’re not that bad right now. But alcoholism is progressive and I can assure you, if you keep drinking, you’ll be that bad. I don’t know how long it will take. But, for me, I didn’t want to wait and find out. I left the movie early because I was SURE the way it was going to end. And if I left and chose another way, I could change the ending.

And one year after that, on my 3 year sober anniversary September 27th, 2014

On Saturday, September 27th, 2014, I celebrated 3 years of sobriety.

I considered not writing about it this year, thinking to myself, “Well, nobody needs to hear about it anymore. They know you’re an alcoholic in recovery.” I wrote about it on my 2 year anniversary and thought maybe that was good enough. And then on Friday I got an email from a friend that needed to talk to me about her drinking. And a few weeks before that another friend asked me if she could give my contact info to her friend who needed support. Both of these women are moms, both of them needed help. And neither of them would have known I could help them if I had never come out with my story in the first place.

So, I speak again.

A couple of weeks ago I was at meeting at my son’s school. We’re brand new to this school having just moved to this state in late August. He’s in first grade and has high functioning Autism. I sat in a conference room with his teacher, the special needs coordinator, and school principal. It was nothing new, I’ve had these meetings before. But, this being a new school we had to go do the typical paper trail, have witnesses, and sign papers.

The special needs coordinator led the meeting and was reading parts of his file aloud, and as she read his report given to us the year prior from the psychologist she got to the part about his diagnosis and family history. “Colton’s mother was diagnosed with Anxiety and Panic Disorder in 2002 and has a history of substance abuse”. She continued with other facts that had nothing to do with me and the meeting continued as normal.

But in that moment I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. “Has a history of substance abuse.” Instant shame washed over me. chalk that up to a please-let-the-floor-open-up-and-swallow-me moment. I immediately wanted to interrupt her and explain myself to these people– these three women I barely knew. The principal with a PhD, my sons teacher, and the pregnant special needs coordinator that just 20 minutes before laughed with me as we exchanged funny pregnancy stories. I wanted to tell them, “Well, ‘substance abuse’ doesn’t really describe ME…I mean I wasn’t a drug addict or anything, just wine. And beer too. Oh, and I’ve been sober for yeeeears now, and I was never like ARRESTED or anything like that. Yep, just too much wine. So, see? I’m good. Not bad at all.”

Which at that time would have been a bit weird and uncomfortable.

And I’d love to tell you that since I do what I do for a living, and because of all the work I’ve done on myself and continue to do, and because I speak publicly about my journey that now I’m immune to the shame. But, I’m not. I don’t know if I’ll ever be. If she’d said, “Colton’s mother has a history of high blood pressure” I would have felt no shame. But, to be outed as an alcoholic in front of people you don’t know, where you worry you’ll be judged, or whispered about, it’s hard stuff. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to be known in my community as “the lady with a history of substance abuse”. I know it’s not really who I am, I know this in my heart. But, still after 3 year of being public with my story, I still feel fear and shame.

You might be wondering if it’s gotten easier. Yes, it has. I think in that conference room the shame was so visceral because it took me by surprise and I already felt vulnerable not knowing anyone in this new city. Plus, we were talking about my son, so it was the perfect storm. As the last few years have passed it’s gotten easier to talk about, but it certainly depends on the situation. And I think that meeting reminded me how painful it can be for people new to sobriety or thinking about getting sober.

And that’s really what I wanted to talk about today. That intense shame can keep people drinking for years, decades even. Can pull them back into drinking after years of sobriety. Of course other factors come into play, but shame can cripple us. Years ago had I felt shame like that I would have just drank it away. Went and hid in a bottle of wine where the shame would have been suffocated for a few hours that evening, only to wake up again the next morning so the cycle could continue. Same shame and fear and thoughts revolving around drinking. It was the same feelings every day.

And when you’re an alcoholic thinking about getting sober, you have to weigh those two painful things out: Quit drinking PLUS deal with asking for help, going to “those meetings” where “those people” are and actually talk about it all (scary), or continue to drink when you’re pretty sure that it’ll get worse and continue the cycle you already hate (also scary).

For me, I had to reach a point where the latter was scarier. Lucky for me, I only stayed active in my alcoholism for a short time and I was blessed to have people in my life I trusted to reach out to for help. I knew where I would end up if I kept drinking and that scared me more than anything. I knew alcoholics only go one direction: worse. I knew I had to quit.

Does the shame hit me every day? Certainly not. But, I know I can do hard things. You can too. I survived. And I’ll be okay. And I hope if you’re reading this and you think you need help, you ask for it. Shame will keep you sick. It won’t go away, but you can walk through its shadow and ask for help.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/198

 

Direct download: Ep198final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

You may have followed my work for a bit now and know that I talk about courage and confidence. And maybe you think “Well, I get it, and this whole ‘courage and confidence’ thing sounds good in theory, but how will my life be different if I learn to be courageous and confident and will it even work for me!?”

Let me tell you what I was like in my 20’s. I was actually a really happy girl. I had great friends, a family that loved me, worked at good jobs, and was in a long-term relationship. Outside, everything seemed great and on a surface level I was happy.

But, underneath I was struggling. I was unfulfilled with my life. In my relationship there was no trust and no real connection, and my friendships were good, but nothing deep and intimate. I struggled fiercely with perfectionism, comparison, and control. I NEEDED to control. I thought if everyone would just act like I thought they should act, my life would be so much better.

When shit hit the fan for me in 2006, I isolated to the point of not checking my email for weeks. I screened all my calls, and barely even talked to my parents. I hardly saw my friends and once had lunch with one of my long-term friends and she said to me, “Well, with the divorce statistics, it was bound to happen to one of us.” That’s not to blame my friend...none of us knew what to say to each other. None of us knew how to truly connect. I was lonely when I was alone, and I was lonely when I was around people.

During that time of struggle I made decisions that 100 percent went against my values as a human being. I said yes to men when I really didn’t want to. Just because I thought I should or to try for one shred of connection. I would meet new people and either unload my whole story (what Brené Brown calls trying to “hotwire a connection”) or completely shut people out. What I came to realize was that once I hit adulthood, my soul became unconscious.

Fast forward to now.

Anyone that knows me well will tell you I’ve always been an assertive person. I’m an Aries, ENFJ, Type 8 on the Enneagram. But, all this personality stuff does not automatically mean that I was born with courage. I had to learn it, and still do every day. What it looks like in my life is this:

  • Reaching out to the right people when I need help
  • Making peace with the fact that most things are messy and imperfect
  • Standing up for what I believe in— such as giving an opinion
  • Setting healthy boundaries and saying no even though it’s not easy
  • Letting go of control and trusting myself and my faith enough to know that I can handle anything

These are just a few things of what practicing courage looks like. All of the things above still sometimes make me really uncomfortable and/or are scary. I’ve accepted that and it’s necessary.

And that’s what I want for you. You can choose to be like I was— happy on the surface with an unconscious soul— or you can choose to make the decision to wake up your soul, step into an uncomfortable life that is full of imperfections, messiness, and uncertainty. But, I promise you, my dears, that this same life will be full of truth, grace, and insurmountable beauty.

http://yourkickasslife.com/197

 

Direct download: Ep197final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome back to another episode of the recovery series!  If you are new to the series, I’ve been speaking with women about their addiction and who are in recovery. We cover topics such as alcohol addiction, codependency, and even food addiction. You can find all of the episodes here.

This week I welcome back my friend and colleague, Amy Pearson. You may have heard Amy and I talk about being addicted to approval and feeling like a fraud back in Episode 118.  This time we talk in-depth about her addiction to alcohol, her obsession with seeking approval and using blame as a crutch.

Amy is a master certified life coach, a coach mentor, and founder of LiveBrazen.com. She is currently writing her first book, a memoir called, “Forgiving Amy,” where she shares her experiences with self-forgiveness. Amy has been sober for four years. Today, she shares how grieving the loss of her mother and feeling shame around not being the person she thought she should be led to her downward spiral into ”self-medicating” with alcohol. And, then later, she shares a poignant story of what made her turn everything around and led her onto the path of recovery.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How two life-changing events underlined her path to addiction (9 minutes and 12 seconds)
  • Amy discusses how alcoholism is progressive and the fact that she was very self-aware of her addiction (13:03)
  • Amy shares the story of putting her children at risk because of her addiction and how it ultimately led her on the path to recovery. Plus, she shares a promise she made to herself. (16:43)
  • How recovery can lead you to uncover and accept parts of you that you didn’t know even existed; including the good, the bad and the dark.  (21:18)
  • Why Amy thinks alcohol and drinking is the lazier choice (24:27)
  • Telling the truth and finding a supportive community helped Amy get sober, and how it all was a very humbling process (26:05)
  • Saying no is hard, but it’s so important to put into practice when maintaining sobriety (28:39)
  • We discuss triggers (both big and small) and two tools Amy uses for overcoming them (32:28)

http://yourkickasslife.com/196

 

Direct download: Ep-196Mixedfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

As promised in the podcast episode, a quick (1 min) video explaining how roller derby is played is here. Also, the Whip It trailer because I love it when Bliss says, I am IN LOVE with this.” (which btw, many of the hits in that movie are highly illegal to the game, but I think they captured the culture of derby really well.)

At the end of 2012 and early 2013, I played roller derby for the Junction City Roller Dolls in Ogden, Utah, skating under the derby name, Veronica Vain. A shoulder injury took me out and I retired from the game.

 

There I am, on the right with hair flying like Medusa.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about going back here in North Carolina (more on that later), and it got me thinking a lot about the game and it’s similarities with life. Derby taught me a lot about fear, and other things, and in no particular order, here’s 6 ways roller derby can teach you about life.

  1. There is no room for paralyzing fear. You’ll get eaten alive if you stay there. Derby can be scary. Whether you’re showing up for tryouts, gearing up for your first bout, or going up against a player you know is bigger and stronger than you are, for every player at least once somewhere there is an element of fear. Which is actually perfectly normal in any sport and in life.

I remember the first time I realized I was getting better as a player. During a practice scrimmage, I realized I was the smallest and least experienced player out there. For a second, I was scared. Then out of nowhere  I pushed that voice aside and tried my damndest to knock another player that had at least 6 inches and 50 pounds of an advantage on me. I can’t even remember if I succeeded or not (I probably didn’t), but that was the shift I needed. Just trying. Just feeling the fear and doing it in spite of it.

In life, there’s a lot of fear. We all have it, no one is immune. The difference between people that go after the badass life they have, is that they went up against their fear. They were scared when they went after that awesome job, or broke up with that person that they just weren’t happy with, or went back to school after 15 years of being out. You’re not unique in your fear. Just do it anyway.

  1. When you fall down, hurry and get the fuck up. In roller derby, when you fall or get knocked down in a jam, it’s part of the rules that you only have just a few seconds to get back up. No taking your sweet ass time. Plus, you can’t fall down and quit just because you fell down. Well, I suppose you could, but your team would be pretty pissed at you. And think about this-- falling happens a lot in derby. A lot. If everyone quit derby the first time they fell down, no one would be playing derby.

How many times do we fall down in our everyday lives? We screw up, make bad decisions, and just plain fail. Everyone eats shit from time to time and doesn’t necessarily feel great about it. Instead of beating ourselves up for the mistake or quitting altogether, what if we just took two seconds to get back up and keep trying? Life goes on, just like the jam does. The world doesn’t stop spinning just because you took a tumble. Don’t quit, just get up and keep going.

  1. Only stay down if you’re really hurt. If not, get the fuck up. Okay, sometimes, when we fall down on the track, it really, really hurts. We’ve all had that slam on the concrete once or twice where we automatically want to get back up and keep skating, but our body says, “Oh, heeeeell no.” and we stay on the ground. Our fellow skaters help us and we do what we need to get better-- whether that’s sitting out for a while or going to the nearest hospital for an X-ray.

And yes, in life there are those moments. We get heartbroken, disappointed, or are in a crisis that just plain sucks and is painful. We can’t push it aside and keep on going just yet. We need help from our friends and loved ones. We need time to heal. To cry, to grieve, to kick and scream, to whatever. Acting like we’re “okay” or “fine” does nothing but eventually make things worse.

  1. When up against an obstacle, find some way to get through it. In derby, you’ll face obstacles that you need to get around, usually opposing players. You do your best to get through or around them. You don’t just come up against a wall of blockers, throw your arms up and give up...you fight through it. If you gave up, you’d be giving up on your team.

When faced with a life obstacle, do the same. The obstacle might be fear, criticism from others, your own lack of self confidence, anything. But, for you to sit back and give up when faced with an obstacle is basically giving up on yourself. And you’re too awesome for that.

  1. Choose people to be around that will help you. When coming up against a wall of people you need to pass, in derby you look for what’s called the “friendly side”. When a jammer is coming up on two players-- one is her teammate and the other isn’t. Which one is she going to choose to pass next to? Right, her teammate. Her teammate isn’t going to knock her over or out of bounds. Her teammate is her ally, her helper.

In life, it’s the same. Don’t surround yourself with assholes. Don’t keep reaching out to people who continue to disappoint you. Choose people to spend your time with that support and encourage you, that believe in you and help you shine. If you choose people that constantly let you down, or disrespect you, honey- that’s on you.

  1. Playing is the best way to learn. Before I started playing derby, I was on the sidelines. I went to bouts and watched it endlessly on YouTube. I was excited! But, nothing, I mean nothing compares to actually getting in the game. The very first time I scimagged at practice I remember thinking, “Woah. This is nothing like I thought it would be...it’s BETTER!” You can study the game all you want from an outside perspective, and you can imagine what it’s like, but nothing is a better teacher than actually getting your ass on the track.

You can watch other people live their lives and wish yours was like theirs. You can make up what you think other people have that you don’t and feel badly about that. You can sit on the sidelines of your own life and want more for yourself. You can want a better job, a creative endeavour, a partner...whatever your dreams are. And maybe your hopes and dreams excite you and scare you at the same time. (Because let’s face it- if it doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough). But, if you’re not going after it, you’re missing out. Consider me that teammate who tells you to get in the game. Gear up, warm up, and go out there and kick some ass.

Because you, my friend, and your life are worth it.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/195

Direct download: Ep-195final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Welcome to another recovery series episode, and as we near the end of this season for these shows, our guest today, Lara Frazier, is sharing about her addiction to alcohol, pills, and love.

Lara explains how her own addiction issues came from trauma in her life that she didn’t know she had, and how she found that she could just distract herself by falling in love. She explains that ultimately, this wasn’t the best for her, and how she really came to understand what romantic love and intimacy was (and wasn’t).

http://yourkickasslife.com/194

 

Direct download: 194_Lara_Frazier_Recovery_Series.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Ok, I don’t even have a word to describe how much I’m looking forward to having you hear this episode. Terri Cole is a returning guest who appeared on the show way back on Episode 76, and this time I wanted to make sure we talked about codependency.

Why codependency? If you’re a listener of this podcast, you’ll know codependency is something that I’ve struggled with and talk about often. In this episode we look at what it really is and how to deal with realizing that it may be part of your life.

Direct download: 193_Terri_Cole.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

There’s still time to sign up for the free book club! We start January 22nd, giving you enough time to read my new book, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit. Click this link to purchase the book and sign up-- if you already have your copy (Audiobook or e-reader counts too!) click “claim bonus” to sign up for the book club.

This show is another recovery series episode, and as always, I’m so grateful to have these amazing conversations with women in recovery. Today is no exception, as I’m talking to Carly Benson. Carly has been sober from alcohol and cocaine since August 17th, 2008, and in this she shares her own path to addiction, and eventually her recovery.

A big part of what she talks about is the need to truly open up and be willing to do things differently, but first you’ll need to be honest with how you are feeling inside. This will allow you to process the things that are happening, but you’ll hear how we all wear addiction differently and it’s up to each one us to learn how to live an intentional life.

http://yourkickasslife.com/192

 

Direct download: 192_Carly_Benson_Recovery_Series.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

MY BOOK IS OUT! To celebrate, I’m giving $10 to Best Buddies International for every Amazon review from now until January 9th. (Scroll down for instructions on how to do this). Best Buddies is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

If you haven’t purchased the book yet, it’s in bookstores NOW (front tables at Barnes & Noble!) or you can purchase online. Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to join us for the free book study I’m hosting starting on January 22nd (click “claim bonuses’).

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If confidence were easy, it would have been bottled a long time ago by Big Pharma and somebody would have more money than God right now. However, gaining confidence is not that easy.

Years ago when I saw women with confidence, I thought a few things that turned out to NOT be true.

  1. I thought they were born with it. I thought confidence was in their genes. And clearly, I wasn’t born with it.
  2. I thought maybe I could fake it by acting like I was the shit when I really did NOT think I was the shit. All this did was make me feel like shit and a big ol’ phony.
  3. I thought I could just wait until I was old to finally get it. Because we all know how much confidence Blanche Deveraux had. However, I didn’t want to wait until I was a Golden Girl.

Confidence is not something you’re born with, or something you get just by faking it, or something you automatically gain when you turn 45. It’s something that’s built piece by piece over time. It’s something you try, mess up, try again and again until you see progress, and then keep practicing for the rest of your life.

The way to gain confidence is by practicing courage.

And courage can look like many different things. They don’t have to be big, sweeping events that shake you to your core with fear. Even practicing small acts of courage will likely evoke fear in you, but all of them add up to a courageous, confident YOU.

I’ve broken it down into some steps for you…

Step 1. Decide. And I don’t mean just decide you’re confident. You can certainly do that, but I think your brain will spike the bullshit alert and the whole “fake it til you make it” thing is tough with this one. When I say “decide” I mean decide you will start practicing courage. Decide you’re ready to step out of your comfortable ways of being and try something else, little by little.

Step 2. Really dig into what practicing courage means to you. Start by thinking of the behaviors you currently do that are making you unhappy.  I’ll bet some of them are: isolating, people pleasing, perfecting, believing your inner-critic, numbing out, comparison, approval seeking, and control (Wait– did I just name your to-do list?)

Then, think of the opposite. If you’re an isolator, practicing courage would be reaching out for help and support.The opposite of people pleasing would be to simply stop before you immediately say yes to everything and practice saying no. If you’re a perfectionist, practicing courage would be to lean into “good enough” or start before you’re ready. I think you get the gist here.

Step 3: Keep repeating steps 1 and 2. Over and over again.

This will be scary, I can assure you. But, what’s scarier is looking back on your life and realizing you stayed in a place of fear. What’s scarier is realizing you allowed fear to drive your entire life. What’s possibly scarier than that is that you’ll look back and realize you modeled fear for the people you love. I’ll tell you something I know for sure. I am immensely proud of myself that I can practice courage in my life, but what makes me even more immensely proud, is that I model courage for my children. Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see”. If you’re a parent, I KNOW you want your children to grow up learning how to practice courage. And if they see it in you, they’ll know how.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/191

 

Direct download: Ep-191final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Happy New Year Ass-Kickers! Before we jump into today’s episode, a quick announcement: From today until January 9th, I’ll be giving $10 for every Amazon review about my new book, How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, to Best Buddies International, which is a charity close to my heart. Best Buddies helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can hear more about it and why it’s important to me in the episode. So, if you’ve read my book, please help me help them by leaving a review. Thank you in advance!

 

Today is another recovery episode with guest Arlina Allen. Today she shares how her career aspirations eventually led to issues with alcohol, how everything came to a head for her at age 25 and then how she was introduced to a 12-step program paving the way for her recovery.

Arlina has been clean and sober for 23 years and in her own journey, she was able to see the patterns that were holding her back. Along the way she’s discovered she wasn’t a victim and did indeed have the power to make the decisions that were best for her. Arlina now helps others as a host of her own podcast, The ODAAT Chat, and in this talk she reveals how she’s now able to pay it forward to help others battling addiction.

Like the other episodes in this series, even if you’re not struggling with addiction or in recovery, you probably know someone who is. That’s what these stories are for; it’s about shining the light on addiction and recovery and telling our stories. You’ll find out why quitting drinking is just a small part of the equation though, and that sobriety and recovery are two very different things.

http://yourkickasslife.com/190

 

Direct download: 190_Arlina_Allen_Recovery_Series.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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