Your Kick Ass Life Podcast (general)

In this episode we’re talking all about forgiveness, and today’s guest literally wrote the book on this topic! Emily Hooks is the author of The Power of Forgiveness, and as you’ll hear from this conversation, this subject can be complex.

At the root of it, forgiveness isn’t about the other person; it is about healing yourself.

If life isn’t showing up how you want it to that’s a sign that it’s trying to show us what to heal, forgive or learn. This is what makes it so important that we explore the relationships in our lives, with both ourselves and other people.

Ultimately, you will decide if there is a need for forgiveness based on the impact of what happened. Rewriting your own story is possible and can lead you to start the healing process now. Best of all, you can use what has happened to you for good, no matter how traumatic the experience.

http://yourkickasslife.com/177

 

Direct download: EmilyHooks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Many months ago I sent out a survey looking for what you wanted to hear more of on the podcast, and the results are in! A handful of you wanted to hear more stories from “regular” women (and not experts in personal development), so today I am bringing you a conversation I had with a coaching client of mine.

Janessa Nickell is a client I’ve worked with for many months over this past year, and in this episode she talks about her struggles and what she was facing when she decided to work with me privately. She reveals that through the work that was done, she now has the confidence to be able to do this work on herself, but it wasn’t without becoming extremely vulnerable first. Like everyone, not only does Janessa have a story to tell but now she is going out in the world and sharing it!

The heart of what I do is around vulnerability, shame resilience, and courage. It’s sometimes hard for me to explain what this looks like and it’s easier to hear it coming out of the mouth of someone who’s experienced it. As you’ll hear, it takes a decision and a commitment to the work.

http://yourkickasslife.com/176

 

Direct download: JanessaNickell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Did you know it’s ok to not love your body? Well you can, and then start taking steps forward and become in tune with it. Here to share her insight on body image (and all things related) is Samantha Skelly, an emotional eating expert who’s revolutionizing the weight loss industry by uncovering the underlying causes of eating disorders.

Shame kept Samantha stuck, but as you’ll hear pain is a divine teacher. She reveals why we need to feel in order to heal, and how it’s not about being a certain weight but really how you feel about yourself.

http://yourkickasslife.com/175

 

Direct download: SamanthaSkelly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Hi ass kickers!

Welcome to another Listener Q & A episode! I have my friend Kate on again as we tackle two questions from the YKAL community. Here is question 1:

Hi Andrea,

I found your recovery series compelling and now I know why. I am involved in a long-term relationship with an alcoholic (or at least I think so).

My question is this: I do not know whether I should stay or go. I try to do research on a book to read and to get more information and it is pretty confusing. My therapist agrees that I should leave him. I see book reviews on books that say I should love and understand him and then he and I (codependent) can both heal. I do not know what book to read. I do not know what to do. I just know that my brain is big ball of string when I try to untangle this, and my heart is broken in pieces. -Kathryn

Kate and I are both in agreement that Kathryn should start by taking care of herself, and give her a couple of resources to do that. We discuss the very important thing Kathryn should be clear about before she decides to leave (if she ever decides that) that anyone can contemplate before leaving a committed relationship.

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

Question 2 is:

Curveballs.

I'm not even talking about major curveballs. On Monday I had a goal that I was going to clamp down on for my business. Today was the day.

Then the landlady knocks on the door to say that today is the day the guy is coming to paint, and sorry she didn't tell me earlier, she didn't want to bother me yesterday.

Then I decide to make a plan with a friend of mine to go to her house, so that I don't end up sleeping in paint fumes all day and trying to work in chaos. It works out so perfectly because she happens to be in my area at that very moment and she is able to pick up.

The point is, that day ended up being more of a tagging along doing my friend's errands (one of which has been a huge blessing - saving me a bit of money). But, I couldn't help feeling like I "should" be clamping down on the original goal.

I'll be honest and say that some of my anxiety was due to the fear of lack of focus when I was not in my own home, and I am still learning about how to put up boundaries when I'm with other people and say "hey, I'm kinda working, could you leave me alone?" I am still learning how not to always be the accommodating rather than a decision maker.

I just am tired of that and wanna grow up. So, how does an empowered woman, not go down that spiral and instead recognise what's happening when there is a curveball and use it efficiently? -Niki

Kate and I answer what seems like two questions from Niki: how to say “no” in a polite, yet firm way, and how to surrender to life when things don’t go as planned. We both have different viewpoints about productivity, share our personal experience there and give Niki advice about what to ask herself in those frustrating situations.

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/174

 

Direct download: Ep174final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

I’m excited for you to hear this episode, because it’s the first time I've had a witch on the podcast! Just kidding (sort of) --today my guest is psychic medium Laura Powers, and she’s showing us how each of us can access our own intuition to learn about our true selves.

As Laura shares, we can actually be proactive and take different approaches to reach out to our angels (or guides, as she calls them). We can also learn to recognize when they are trying to reach out to us, and then open ourselves up to this communication.

I think you’ll be fascinated what she has to say, as this episode of the podcast is a real eye opener!

http://yourkickasslife.com/173

 

Direct download: LauraPowers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

There’s a chance that anyone listening to this podcast has dealt with feelings of anxiety and depression. Our guest today is Quentin Vennie, and he’s openly battled and survived not only these afflictions, but he’s also overcome addiction and now encourages others to be proactive in caring for their mental health.

In this episode, Quentin talks openly about his struggles growing up being a male in the community he was raised in and the expectations that society had on him as being a man. He shares how this contributed to his anxiety and depression disorders, but by listening you’ll hear how he was able to use different modalities and paths to process and for healing himself.

http://yourkickasslife.com/172

 

Direct download: QuentinVennie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

I’m so excited to bring you today’s show with guest Maria Felipe. Marie is an author who’s achieved success as a model and actress, and used to be a WWF hostess! She has so much energy that it’s infectious, and you’re going to absolutely love listening to her story!

As you’ll hear, Maria’s own journey started with her trying to find happiness inside her, and she started doing the deep work to heal herself. She recognized that we’ve been run by a society that is ego driven, and this makes us feel that fear and sadness is normal. Maria is trying to change this thinking though through her work, and to show people that happiness and feeling at peace is actually normal.

http://yourkickasslife.com/171

 

Direct download: MariaFelipe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

My friend Beth Grant posted something on Facebook recently that caught my attention. She said,

“Purpose is a need of the ego, to make it feel important. I'm much more interested in self-expression. I would much more focus on PATH than purpose. I would want you to do that, too. To find your true path and live it. Every path has a purpose, after all ... life is a learning experience and your path is a means of self-expression.

I've said it a thousand times ... your purpose in life is to be yourself. That's it. It's not more complicated than that.”

I’ve written about purpose before. I’ve always felt it was this thing in personal development that some gurus treat as a kind of secret. That once we find our purpose in life we’ll FINALLY feel like we have all our shit together, we’ll feel like we’re “fixed”, and we can join their secret club and wait for the others to join in. And I think that’s bullshit.

I do feel like I’m lucky and not lucky that I feel I’ve found my purpose, but lucky that I don’t feel the need to find IT. The One Thing. The ultimate portion of my life that will make me feel fulfilled.

To be clear, I actually DO feel like I’ve found my purpose. It’s not life coaching, or mothering my children, or even speaking out about things I’m passionate about. My purpose, like Beth mentions above, is my path. It’s my life.

And I do think that when one does dive into personal development, this becomes a trap. Just another topic to entice people with like the dangling carrot.

I totally understand where this comes from on a deep level. We want to know that our lives matter. We want to feel that we matter. That we’re not just taking up space in this crowded, noisy world.

And I wish I could snap my fingers and just tell you, “Let it go, sister! Your purpose is your path. Just accept it.” and all is well and you can skip along your life feeling relieved. Maybe it is this easy, but what if it’s not? Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s my job to convince you. What I can tell you is one of the things that is paramount in working on is surrender and self-trust.

Surrendering means that you give up the notion that there is this one true destiny for you. That you give up that you have to know The Answer and that if you can just figure it out, you’ll be happier, and that’s your solution. Surrendering doesn’t have to mean you pray over your crystals or mediate to the archangel/goddess/priestess of the day to show you the way. I think those are all fine things to do but that’s not how I do it.

Surrendering to the path means that even when things go what I deem as wrong, I feel whatever I’m feeling, and keep moving forward. I don’t hide, or numb it out, or feel like the world is against me. It literally is what it is. When things don’t go the way I planned or how I wanted, I still get frustrated or angry, but I know on a deep level that I’ll be okay. I actually have NO IDEA if our lives have a pre-determined destiny or if we’re just floating around accidental-like on a breeze like Forrest Gump tells us. Most days I think it’s somewhere in the middle. What I do feel on a deep level is that many of us are what I like to call “seekers”. We’re seeking a deeper meaning of life. We’re seeking to better ourselves. We’re seeking out other people like us. We’re seeking who we really are.

And seekers are typically really, really smart. Hence, having a hard time surrendering. We want to know all these answers asap. I’m like that too. But, what I know to be absolutely true is that the more I try to force the answers, the more I try to seek this purpose, the more stressed and anxious I get. I lose the seeker inside of me.

Self-trust is the sister of surrender. It’s knowing we’re going to be okay. It’s knowing you are loved and a magnificent human being even when things aren’t going well and you feel like you don’t know your purpose. It’s knowing that because you are a seeker, that is your purpose. It’s knowing your path is your purpose.

So, fellow seekers of your purpose. I hope you have found some solace from this post. Your path is your purpose. Your life is your purpose. You being a seeker is your purpose. You’re doing it. You’re fulfilling it. It won’t look perfect, you’ll question it and wonder if you’re doing it right and the answer will always be yes.

Resources from this post:
What if you haven’t found your “thing” yet?

http://yourkickasslife.com/170

Direct download: EP170final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/169



Since many of you are new to the YKAL community (if you are,
Haiiii!) I thought it would be helpful to record a quick episode and post about what’s coming for the rest of the year as well as what you can expect in 2018. All I can say is: GET READY TO KICK SOME ASS.

First, my free workshop on my 3 Most Effective Ways to Manage Your Inner-Critic is coming up on September 21st. Go here to sign up for that or text the word GREMLIN to 444999.

The class: Kick Your Gremlin’s Ass is coming next week too. This is the LAST TIME I will run this live. If you feel your life is being run by negative self-talk, this class is for you! (If you sign up for the workshop above, there’s special bonuses and a price break.)

MY NEW BOOK HOW TO STOP FEELING LIKE SHIT COMES OUT ON JANUARY 2nd! (Pre-order here, y’all) There will be a study group for the book led by yours truly. Registration opens late January, and we’ll start sometime in February. Go here to be the first to know about that.

I’ll also be doing a book tour and hitting cities for book signings, meet-ups and small, exclusive workshops. When I sent out a survey a few months ago many of you said instead of doing multi-day retreats, you’d love to be able to come to a half-day workshop, so that’s what I’m doing! If you want to know if I’m coming to a city near you, click here and sign up to be notified!

RAISE HELL is coming in April. OMG, y’all. I’m so excited for this class I can barely stand it. Raise Hell is about you taking back your life. It’s about figuring out what you want, what you need, asking for it, and going after it with support from me and your group of soul sisters. It’s about accountability and feeling fear and walking through it. It’s about you.

THE MENTORSHIP is coming next fall. We’re diving deeper into things like core beliefs, vulnerability, negative self-talk, shame resilience, and whatever primary focus you bring. There will also be a weekend retreat and 1:1 sessions with me included in this group. For a small group of women by application only.

Direct download: Ep169final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/168 


Hey Ass-Kickers! 

This is an episode that’s a little more “woo-woo” than normal, but I’ve just been really attracted to these types of topics lately – and y’all get to come along with me! 

Lisa Fabrega is a truth-telling coach, writer and innovator in the realm of leadership, and today we’re talking all about our souls and how they will constantly need to be re-aligned due to the societal pressures we face. She also shares with us how we can start to listen to our souls, and a whole lot more interesting information that is sure to get you assessing your own situation. 

Direct download: LisaFabrega.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/167

 

 

“They call me Cha Cha...because I’
m the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s”

Everyone has their favorite character from the movie Grease. Maybe you relate to Sandy and her quest for true love, or goofball Frenchie.

For me, my absolute love affair has always been with the character Cha Cha DiGregorio.

Of course she’s a fictional character, played in the movie version by the late Annette Charles, but even as a child I’ve loved her. She played a smaller role in the movie, but it didn’t matter to me. Everything she was about, I loved. However, the attributes of her character that I adored about her, are also the things we, as women, are not particularly celebrated for. In other words, even in the movie, Cha Cha was not well liked.

First, we are introduced to Cha Cha by Kenickie, where she says, “They call me Cha Cha...because I’m the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s” This woman actually does what we are told not to do: brags about herself. She knows she’s the best damn dancer and she tells people SHE JUST MET. HELL YES. And holy crap, she IS a great dancer.

Then, she sees Danny on the dance floor, grabs him and they start dancing, Sandy storms off in a huff. Sandy could have stood up to Cha Cha, she could have said, “Hey Danny, WTF, you came to the dance with me so why are you dancing her her?” But noooo, since we all love Sandy so much, we all feel sorry for her and hate Cha Cha for being such a bitch.


Here she is leaving all “WAHHH, someone stole my
date and I won’t fight to get him back.”

But, the way I looked at it was WOW. Cha Cha sees what she wants and goes after it. And no, I don’t condone snatching other people’s dates, but if we look at this strictly as symbolism, Cha Cha is a woman who doesn’t give a shit if she hurts someone’s feelings. She’s not concerned about “playing nice”

So, she and Danny and killing it on the dance floor, and then this happens


Holy shit.

Again, ZERO FUCKS this woman. She couldn’t care less that everyone can see her underwear (bloomers?) and that Danny is basically sitting on her face in front of God and everybody, including the whole school and teachers. Plus, since she goes to St. Bernadette's’, you bet your ass that’s a Catholic school where this kind of behavior is is frowned upon. But, guess who doesn’t care? That’s right, Cha Cha Digregorio.

After the most epic hand jive in the history of the universe commences, OBVIOUSLY with Cha Cha being the dance contest winner (well, you were good too, Danny, but you would have been nothing without her), based on the sheer enthusiasm she has for dancing. I mean, we could all take a lesson from her on doing something you love and running head first into the euphoria of it. Then, the teacher comes out to award the trophy and does Cha Cha patiently wait to have it handed to her? NOPE, she straight up and down snatches that trophy and proudly waves it around with a look on her face of I AM THE GREATEST DANCER THAT EVER LIVED WHY WOULD THERE BE ANY QUESTION EVER THAT THIS TROPHY IS MINE.

God, I love this woman.

Obviously, I’m not saying everyone should take other people’s boyfriends and dance partners whenever they feel like it. I am however, asking you to take a closer look at this character and see the parts of her many of us can take lessons from.

LIFE LESSONS FROM CHARLENE “CHA CHA” DIGREGORIO

She sees what she wants and goes after it. She saw an opportunity and went after it. Where in your life have you passed up opportunities because you didn’t think you were qualified enough, smart enough- basically not good enough? Probably somewhere. Would Cha Cha pass up that opportunity for a promotion? Nope. Would she not speak up in a meeting because she felt other people wouldn’t like her ideas? Nope again. She knows deserves it and if it doesn’t work out? Meh, there’s always next time. There will always be a next time.

She owns her superpower. She knows she is a great dancer. She tells people. She doesn’t care that other people are great dancers too. She allows herself to be free, embraces it, and even breaks the rules to fully throw herself into her dancing. Would Cha Cha be worried that other people might judge her dancing? Not a chance. I hope you can look in the mirror, know your superpower, and LOVE yourself for it.

When people clearly don’t like her, she gives exactly zero fucks about it. When Frenchie mentions Cha Cha’s “worst reputation” I thought the gym would light on fire with the glare she shoots Frenchie. Cha Cha seems to have no female friends, only the boys and she doesn’t care. She could have burst into tears, she could have chased the Pink Ladies around trying to be friends, she could have apologized to Sandy for stealing her date, but she does. Not. Care. She’s not there to make friends, she’s there to have a good time. Of course I’m all for friendships-- but where in your life could you ease up on giving so many shits about what everyone thinks? Where are you spending a metric shit-ton of energy worrying if people are talking about your or not?

From now on when I’m doubting myself, or worried about anything, I’m going to ask myself, “What would Cha Cha DiGregorio do?” And I hope you can adopt that too.

 

Direct download: EP167final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/166

Today we have Isabel Foxen Duke joining me again on the podcast, this time to talk about how women are experiencing the diet culture. I love having Isabel as a guest and I’m excited because she is an absolute expert on this topic!

In today’s world, women are getting so many messages from the media and the body image issues that arise can lead us into multiple behaviors. I open up in this episode about my own past relationships with food and eating, and it’s something that I haven’t shared like this in any of the past episodes.

Direct download: IsabelFoxenDuke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/165

Hey Ass Kickers!

I’m joined today by best selling author (and so much more!), Shannon Kaiser. Shannon’s new book is called The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself, which goes along so well with what we talk about here on the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast.

Through her work, Shannon shows others how to fall in love with their lives and fearlessly live their full potential. But do we really know what self-love is, and how to love the parts of us that we think are unlovable?

Direct download: ShannonKaiser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Hi. 
 
So, the way it works over here is that the weekly emails and podcast episodes get ready several days in advance. Saves everyone on the YKAL team some stress and what can I say— I like to be prepared. 
 
And then the events in Charlottesville, Virginia happened on Saturday. 
 
I’ve been sitting here at home with my kids sick over it, spending long moments staring off into space feeling worried, helpless, hopeless, angry, and afraid. (Which I know this is my privilege to do so). Wondering if I should halt all podcast episodes and other events I have going on. Seems ludicrous to talk about anything but that. 
 
The thing is, racism is all around us. It’s in our faces. And it can only be dismantled if we talk about it, get uncomfortable confronting and admitting our own biases, rinse and repeat. There is more, but as I have mentioned— I am not the expert here. If you missed some episodes where we dive more into this, you can check them out here and here
 
Yes, we can choose kindness and love and all those wonderful things, but we cannot sit by and do nothing. Reading and listening is a great first step. Some great pieces of writing I’ve read lately are Most Women You Know Are Angry— And That’s All Right, by Laurie Penny, and Dear White Women: This Is Definitely Us, by Janelle Hanchett (which, btw, Janelle is coming on the recovery series podcast in December. Get ready). 
 
And at the end of the day, the beat still goes on. We can do both— work on our own personal development, live our lives, and love our people and at the same time try to dismantle the racism all around us. 
 
xo,
Andrea 

 

For full post visit: http://yourkickasslife.com/164

Hey Ass Kickers!

In this episode I’m bringing on a guest that has a similar story as mine, in that he too had a painful divorce that became the catalyst for his better life. John Kim created the blog The Angry Therapist, and although he has a background in clinical therapy, he’s now unconventional and shaking up this model and actually forming a movement.

You’ll hear us talk a lot about the differences between therapy (as most people know it) and life coaching – particularly the style that John uses to bring out the best in each and every client he works with.

Like John, I’ve always felt that the clinical therapy route is somewhat outdated, with the therapist often being put up on a pedestal with the client thinking he or she has a “perfect life”. You’ll find that he’s as real as they come though; he’s raw and transparent, and openly admits that he himself is a work in progress. I think this is why his message resonates with so many people…

Direct download: JohnKim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/163

Hey Ass Kickers!

I can absolutely guarantee that this episode of the podcast is unlike any that you’ve listened to (as if you couldn’t tell by the title)? I wanted to do something a bit different, so I’m bringing on two good friends, and pasts guests: Amy Smith of The Joy Junkie and Kira Sabin of The League of Adventurous Singles.

Both Amy and Kira will be co-hosting Tanning, Tacos and Transformation with me, and I thought this episode would be a great way for me to introduce you to them - if you don’t already know who they are!

I promise you are going to hear some personal development and topics we talk about a lot of the podcast: worthiness, confidence, boundaries, relationships and more. Most of this chat though is us asking each other some ridiculous questions, for which we have some even more ridiculous answers.

I do want to warn you that there is a lot of foul language in this one, and it contains probably the most bad words I’ve ever had in an episode (needless to say, today’s conversation isn’t for children)!

 

Direct download: Episode163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/162

Hey Ass Kickers!


Today’s guest is Orly Wahba, the CEO of Life Vest Inside. She’s here to talk all about how kindness is the greatest tool we have for empowering ourselves – and as Director of Kindness Boomerang, CEO of Kindness USA, and the author of Kindness Boomerang, Orly is a great person to share her insights on the subject.

As you’ll hear from Orly, who you are means a lot more than what you do, and we need to recognize that we all have the power to resolve the issues that our society is facing today.

Direct download: OrlyWahba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/160

 

Hi ass kicker! I’m so excited to have returning guest (two weeks in a row!) Elizabeth DiAlto on the show today for another Q & A episode.

So many of you-- on your quest to live YOUR kick-ass life, have dreams, goals, and ambitions, But, what happens when not everyone is onboard or in our cheering section? The two questions today are from women in the YKAL community who are asking just that. We're talking about some really juicy topics, so let’s dive in…

The first question comes from Jennifer. She asks:

How do you stay committed to your dream when your spouse or significant other is not on board? How do you continue to speak your truth and not just bite your tongue and abandon your dream to keep the peace?

Elizabeth and I talk about what to do in that situation-- do you keep trying to get your partner on board, or do something else? We have advice!

Then, Rachel asks a similar question:

What do you do when you feel like your dreams and ambitions are surpassing those of your family members, and they don't know how to handle it? I've grown a lot over the last couple years, but some of my older siblings haven't. I feel like I'm "showing off" around them now, or like I have to act less-developed or hold back. These are people I still want in my life. I almost feel guilty for growing ? I don't, by any means, feel like I'm better than them, at all. I'm just in a different stage of my personal development journey than they are, and it feels uncomfortable.

For Rachel, is this a boundaries issue? Should she “quiet herself down”? We’ve got answers to these Q’s and my guest Elizabeth was the perfect person to have on to help sort things out!

And hey-- if you liked this episode you would LOVE  the free workshop we are hosting tomorrow! Well, ELizabeth is going to do most of the talking and I'll be more of her sidekick. I love these kind of live workshops because we get to interact with you and I will be giving away a signed copy of my book during the workshop! Plus, we have a private, “pop-up” Facebook group that you’re invited too (also free) where we can further the conversation.

The workshop is titled Four Things You Can Do To Clear Out The BS In Your Life and Be More Receptive To What You Actually Want and you can head over to yourkickasslife.com/elizabeth to sign up for free, or click the image below. See you there!

Direct download: EP161final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/160 

Hey Ass Kickers!

Today I’m joined by my friend, and another past guest of the podcast, Elizabeth DiAlto! Elizabeth is a teacher, leader, speaker and coach (as well an author and podcast host) and she is known for her raw, honest and grounded approach to self-help and spirituality.

In this episode you’re going to hear all about the workshop Elizabeth and I are presenting this month, specifically for the Your Kick-Ass Life audience, surrounding practical tools for women to be more receptive to what they want in life.


Direct download: ElizabethDialto.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/159

 

Hi ass kickers! It’s a listener Q & A day! Today I bring on my long-time friend, Courtney Webster, to help me answer three questions from some awesome ladies in the YKAL community. Here they are and what we cover in today’s episode:

don't know how to phrase it...you finally decided to make a radical change or take a huge risk toward something big. How to overcome the resulting fear and doubt and keep the momentum. - Karen

  • Courtney and I pull out some of our finest coaching tools to answer this questions-- everything from the WHY to values to permission to make mistakes.
  • We ask some further challenging questions for Karen to ask herself to help create more momentum.

The second listener question is similar to Karen’s, but so important to help creating the life you want.

How do you not to go into "avoidance or stall mode" when your inner-critic starts in on your big change plan resulting in you not proceeding with your plan! - Diane

Courtney and I talk about:

  • What the inner-critic’s main job is and how it stops you, and how to make the small steps to bypass it.
  • The most important question your coach should ask you about accountability.
  • Questions to ask yourself if you’re on your own and don’t have a coach, but still want to kick some ass.

Our last question is one I thought SO many of you could relate to…

How do you stop yourself from obsessing or overanalyzing something that someone said to you? Or replaying situations or conversations in your mind?  As the Frozen girls would say, how do you "let it go" when it is something not worth asking the other person about or clarifying with them? I feel like in today's world, especially with texting, it is so easy to assume someone is mad when at you when they just text back an emoji thumbs up, or worse, the letter 'k."  How do you stop turning something into a big deal in your head when most likely they were just tired, stressed, or too busy to think of a better response? -Stefanie

For this question we discuss:

  • The brain science of what’s happening here, so hopefully the awareness around that will help.
  • The magic of being able to assign a different assumption to what we receive instead of assuming the worst.
  • What’s your responsibility and what’s theirs.

Also, If you’d like to get twice a month updates on free workshops and if I have a new class open for registration, simply text the word UPDATES to 444999. Enjoy the episode!

Direct download: EP159final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/158

Hey Ass Kickers!

In this episode, Jen Sincero returns as a guest of the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast. Jen is a #1 NY Times Bestselling Author with her book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and she’s helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives.

Last time Jen was on the show, she shared all about the power of surrender, why creativity isn’t limited to just art, and powerful exercises to get clear on who you are and why you’re here. Today, we’re talking about something we all face: how to uplevel your mindset around money, identifying the fears you’re carrying and how to overcome them so you can live your best life possible.

Jen reveals today what you’ll learn from her latest book, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth. With a title like that, you know this is an episode that you need to tune into!

Direct download: JenSincero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/157

 

Hi ass kickers! Today I’m talking about therapy. More specifically, how to choose a therapist that’s right for you as well as how to get the most out of therapy.

First, why therapy? If you keep repeating the same patterns, if you’re blaming a lot (you are tolerating bullshit or not taking responsibility for your own shit, or both) then therapy is for you.

If you have Family of Origin issues (who doesn’t?), then therapy is for you. Not a place to blame and shame your family, but to see what core beliefs were developed as a result of the wounds that happened as you grew up.  

If you need a safe place to talk to someone, therapy is for you.

First, how do you find a therapist that’s best for us? Google? Just get a referral from someone? A therapist whose website says they have a specialty you need?

Well, with my own years of experience of therapists, having great ones and not so great ones, here’s my advice and the advice of the smartest people I know: My Facebook friends. In this episode you’ll hear some highlights (keep in mind, I go into more detail on the podcast that what you’ll read below):

First, how to find one:

Stacy says, “Research their areas of concentration. Have an initial meeting, chemistry is important. Honesty is important, it is hard to be vulnerable, but the best therapist in the world cannot help if you keep things from them.”

Patty says, “You are about to spend A LOT of time with this person so have an initial call or session to determine if you click. Plan to interview at least 3 but possibly 10 therapists to find a good one. It used to be that a therapist approach (cognitive, behavioral etc) was important but almost every therapist says they are "eclectic" now so ask them what they believe creates change for someone. See if their answer resonates with you. Most of all trust your gut.”

Jennifer says, “Listen to your intuition in terms of how you feel interacting with them, ensure they have a specialization and/or experience in your presenting issues (it's hard to be truly skilled at everything).”

Lisa says, “Check their license to see if they have had any disciplinary actions against them first! Go with your gut. I prefer someone who has been in practice for a while and took the time to get paneled on many insurance companies boards. They might be more legitimate. Anyone can say the specialize in a topic so I do not take that too seriously.”

Mish says, “I want someone who isn't going to go off in tangents about their life. Someone who is willing to ask deep questions and isn't narrow focused. Someone who is personable but professional.”

How to get the most out of therapy:

Jennie says, “Doing what your therapist says and giving things a try for longer than half a second.”

Emma says, “Know that you have to be willing to go to the hard places. They support you, they don't fix you. You discover you don't need fixing.

The willingness to look at yourself will move mountains.

Don't expect results in two sessions - it takes time to build rapport and heal.

You need to connect with your therapist. If you don't feel comfortable with them, you won't do your best work, even if they have ten degrees. Equally, they're not supposed to be your friend. They are there to challenge, hold and support you. You have actual friends to listen to you and tell you you're right to be mad at your ex or whatever is going on for you.”

Ericka says, “If you are a person of color, having a therapist willing to talk about race or racial backgrounds and trauma. It's imperative as sometimes you need to explore all the reasons you might have pain. When I had this from my therapist, it was a blessing. She was amazing to add that perspective to my work.”

Kimberly says, “The importance of not being afraid to walk away. Even if it's your first time - if you aren't comfortable - YOU CAN find someone else. It's worth taking the time to keep going until you find someone you click with. I know how annoying repeating the "why you are here" story is, but it's better to do it over and over than waste your time and money. Go to someone YOU like and maybe that's different than someone your friend recommended. Also understand the different types of therapy that exist.”

Kelly says, “I feel like a therapist's worldview is really important to know -- but traditionally, therapist's are not supposed to disclose their worldviews or politics. I had an experience, however, in which a therapist suggested I should be more conventionally feminine and that some of my issues would fade away if I behaved in that way in my relationship. Obviously, that's not going to happen and so our two worldviews were a fundamental mismatch. It was then important to me that I find a feminist therapist who wouldn't advise me to change who I was or alter my deliberately chosen commitments in order to navigate the world. So that's what I would advise, and it's counter to the way the profession is organized: know your therapist's worldview and collective inclinations/commitments.”

Erin says, “As a therapist, I emphasize that I'm human first, trained clinician second. In other words, I am not on a pedestal, I've struggled with several similar issues as well in my life--I've just gone to school/practiced to learn the tools, thoughts, etc to move through.

I also let them know that I will circle back after our 2nd session to make sure client feels as though we are a fit-if not, I will help client find someone who is. I've had far too many clients say that they've stayed with therapists in the past way too long despite not feeling a connection because they didn't know how to "stop going." This is often one of our first "lessons" together of empowerment.

Lastly, I emphasize that after 20 years I think I've heard it all hopefully allowing them to feel as though they can bring up challenging topics without the fear of being judged.”

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

I have one spot open for 1:1 clients to start in August. There are two types of packages I offer to work with my privately, my most popular package is The Daring Way™, based on the research of Brené Brown. It’s a 5 month deep dive which takes you from a place of fear into courage and confidence.


If you’re in that place where your usual coping skills aren’t working anymore and you’re ready for big transformations, I invite you to check out here and if it resonates, fill out an application. Those applications come to me directly.

Direct download: EP157final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/156

Hey Ass Kickers!

Have you ever considered the deeper meaning behind personal development, and the self-help industry as a whole? This episode today with guest Andrea Ranae is guaranteed to get you thinking (and talking), and what she talks about affects everyone, not just coaches or someone in the self-help industry.

Andrea is a coach herself who wrote a blog post last summer titled, Why the Self-Help Industry Isn’t Changing The World, which went viral and has been shared thousands of times since. She believes there is a disconnect between our own industry and the work of social justice, and even offers a Coaching As Activism Program to her clients.

Direct download: AndeaRanae.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/155

 

Today’s episode is a bit different than my usual. I’ve brought on Amy Smith (my best friend and The Joy Junkie) as I tell the story of my father’s terminal illness and death, what it’s been like, and what I’ve learned in the seven months since it’s happened. Amy shares the story of her father’s death too.

Amy prompts me to answer the questions of:

How has it been doing all of this sober?

What has this taught you?

I thank you all for listening to this episode-- it was not easy to record, but I’m thankful for Amy for helping me and for all of you for being there. I hope this helps any of you who’ve also loved someone you love, have been through any grief of your own, or to help anyone that will someday walk this same path.

Direct download: Ep155final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/154

Hey Ass-Kickers!

On today’s episode I welcome Tatiana Jerome to the show to give it to us straight – as a woman who doesn’t sugarcoat the truth! Her personal experiences led her to not just a successful online presence but also a career counseling women and a public speaking. Tatiana teaches how to focus on loving and taking care of ourselves first. As she shares, by prioritizing your relationship with yourself, you won’t get lost in relationships with others - and she shares fascinating insights around this topic today.

Direct download: TatianaJerome.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/153

 

Hi ass kickers,

Today is a Listener Q & A day! Thank you so much to those of you who’ve submitted questions for the podcast. We have two today, so let’s get started:

The first Q is from Stacey:

Hi Andrea,

I absolutely love your book and your podcast. As a 25 year old with loads of anxiety, I have gained a ton of knowledge and also a great sense of support with your community.

I've been seeing a therapist for a year, and I definitely have found myself  obsessing over emotions and feelings when my sessions begin and end. Have you ever stopped therapy to take a break? It sometimes makes me feel like I put so much focus on feelings that I obsess over them and lose the rational side of myself.

The answer I give covers, anxiety and what to do about that, self-trust and much more. Listen in to hear my answer/experience/advice!

For the second Q, I bring my one of my dearest friends, Kate Anthony, (you may remember her from another listener Q & A on divorce and heartbreak). This question comes from a listener named Amy:

I would love a podcast about what it really means and looks like to be with your feelings. I alternate between numbing and anxiety that can go into full blown panic attacks. It’s causing problems at work and more importantly my marriage. I'm not as patient with my kids and really just don't want to deal with anything at all. Why can't there be a 12-step to dealing with depression and anxiety? What do I do next?
I'm working on yoga and meditation, and exercise a least 4x a week. To the outside world I'm strong, calm and have the ideal life. I have lost two people very close to me. My sister two years ago and not even a year ago my stepdad passed away who I considered my father. I really don't want to take medication. I have always been a worrier and people pleaser.

In addressing this question, Kate and I talk about:

  • Why just yoga, meditation, and exercise are probably not working for Amy.
  • Medication-- should she take it or not?
  • What happens when you don’t feel your feelings, like grief?
  • HOW to actually feel your feelings? We give two tools to start with.

My immense thanks to these two podcast listeners for submitting their questions. Your courage is inspiring and helps others. If you’d like to submit a question to the podcast, you can shoot an email to support@yourkickasslife.com with “question for the podcast” in the subject line.

Direct download: Ep153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/152

 

Hey Ass-Kickers!

In this episode I’m joined by Alexandra Jamieson, who is on a mission to start a happiness pandemic in the USA. How you ask? Alex aims to inspire women to fall in love with their bodies and play life by her own rules! You may recognize Alex from her co-starring role in the massively popular 2004 documentary, Super Size Me. She’s here today to share her experiences and knowledge about the different types of cravings we get as women, and to educate us on why listening to our bodies is absolutely necessary.

 

Direct download: AlexandraJamieson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/151

Today’s post/episode could have been titled simply, “Tips to Live a Better Life” -- it simply is tips on how to make your life better, more peaceful, and yes, how to make your dreams come true. So, here they are, in no particular order...

  • Be okay with where you are right now. You may feel like you’re faaaar away from where you want to be. Instead of focusing on how much X, Y, and Z sucks, try focusing on what you want, how you’re going to change where you are, and how grateful you are for what you DO have. Total, complete change of focus. You’ll be amazed at how things change just by shifting your mindset while you work on changing your circumstances.
  • Hold steadfast to what you want and WHY you want it. Why do you want to own your own business? Why do you want to take a trip to Europe? Why do you want to finish your Masters? What will you get out of doing these things? Figure out the whys and then look for how you can fulfill those feelings now in your life. For example, if it’s freedom that you want out of your goals, think about ways you can feel free now. De-clutter your house? Running through fields of flowers with your arms outstretched? It may be on a much smaller scale, but you’re fulfilling a core feeling that’s truly important to your soul. Feed it!
  • Surround yourself with awesomeness. Your physical environment is imperative to your dream life. Like I always say, surround yourself with assholes and you’re in for a shitty life (Tweet that!). This goes for people and your surroundings. Do you love your bedroom? Is the inside of your car a wreck and you hate it? Do you loathe all of your clothes? Well then for the love of Pete change it! It’s a lot easier to feel good about yourself when you’re surrounded with what and who you love.
  • Clean up your messes. Basically, say you’re sorry if you’ve been a shit. I apologize to my kids about once a week. About the same to my husband. This may seem unrelated to making your dreams come true but this one is about peace. When you clean up your messes you have peace. And when you have peace you open up doors for what you want to enter.
  • Forgive those that have hurt you. Holding grudges and not forgiving those that have hurt you really is like setting yourself on fire and hoping the other person chokes on your smoke. You are the one that is suffering, not them. Forgiving someone else (even when they don’t ask for it and may never know that you did) is all about you loving yourself enough to know that you can’t change the past. That’s it.
  • Deal with your shit. We ALL have issues, so get help for it. Even those people you think are perfect that sprinkle glitter smiles all over the place— somewhere in their life they have issues with parents, trauma, relationships, something. You are no exception. There is no shortage of help out there. That stuff doesn’t go away on its own and your dreams coming true are dependent on it.
Direct download: Ep151Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

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Hey Ass Kickers!

Today’s guest on the podcast is Lisa Steadman, a long-time friend of mine and all-around awesome lady. Her energy is infectious and I’m sure you’ll love her! In this episode we’re talking all about happiness, and embracing the spot that you’re currently in. Lisa shows us that you can be happy with where you are in life, but still that doesn’t mean that you’re finished growing or changing either.

Direct download: LisaSteadman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/149

 

I believe people change for two reasons: Pleasure and/or pain. They see something they want or want more of, and they go after it. And sometimes, they get to a place where they cannot stand for one more day being where they are, so they move out of the situation. Sometimes it looks like taking action, sometimes it’s inner-work, many times it’s a combo of the two.

And there are the type of people who are feeling anywhere from uncomfortable to downright shitty in their life, and maybe they don’t know why. So, I’ve compiled a list of signs that are huge red flags that it’s time to make a change. Check off as needed…

1. You’re ridiculously envious of other people lives. You think everyone has it better and easier than you do. You want a marriage like your neighbor. You want to love your job like your sister does. You want a more fun life like that one lady on Facebook. You want to dance like the Solid Gold dancers of 1979. Whatever it is you’re envying, it means you want something more in your life. That you admire something about that other person. So, why can’t you have it? If you think you can’t, I call bullshit. Your commitment to “can’t” is simply a story you’re tied to. Divorce that story and marry a new one. Seriously, you guys, it’s ALL about the story you tell yourself.

2. You’re feeling resentful. I.e. pissed. Frustrated. Irritated. Resentments are a sure sign that a few different things might be happening in your life.

  1. There’s a failure to communicate somewhere. Solution: You have the power to show up and say your truth. Has that happened? Guess whose responsibility that is?
  2. Boundaries may be crossed. Solution: First- have they been established previously? If not, that’s on you.
  3. Tied into the other two, you’re tolerating something that very well may have the ability to be changed. Solution: Either change it, or change your story around it.

3. You’re numbing out. We all want to feel relief fast. Sometimes that relief comes in spending money, drinking booze, or losing ourselves playing Candy Crush Saga. But, what are you avoiding when you’re numbing out on a regular basis? Is it your marriage? Your fears? Your insecurities?

For me, I used to numb out when I was overwhelmed. Perfectionism and control ruled me and since neither were ever something I could attain, I felt worse about myself. So, I drank, shopped, and dieted in an attempt to gain perfection and control and to numb the feelings of failure and fear. And then I felt worse and the cycle started all over again. I was avoiding my real feelings (surrender, acceptance, and vulnerability scared the holy shit out of me) rather than facing and feeling them. But clearly, it was time for a change.

Facing your issues instead of numbing out is scary, I get it. But the truth is that it DOES NOT go away if you just ignore it. In fact, it gets worse. I cannot encourage you enough to just deal with it.

4. You’re trying to change everyone else, or at least think everyone else needs to change. If everyone would just do as you say, and stop doing this and that, and just STFU, your life would be better. Ahhhhhh…..

Truth: Everyone else’s shit is not about you. Deal with your own and keep your side of the street clean. I can’t tell you how much better my own life has become since I realized this and stopped (by no means mastered. More like one day at a time) running around like a lunatic trying to change, fix, tweak, and control other people and my circumstances. What needs to be changed in your life is you dealing with your own issues instead of everyone else’s. Trying to “fix” everyone else while ignoring your own life is a chicken-shit way to feel better. (TWEET THAT!) And it doesn’t work. So, face your own stuff and make that therapy appointment. (And P.S. while you’re there watch out for spending the whole hour complaining about everyone else.)

5. Your intuition is telling you that you need to make a change. This one sounds like a no-brainer, but I had to add it. You may already be at that place where your gut and heart are telling you to draw the damn line in the sand already and change, but you may not be listening. The fear of change trumps the fear of staying the same. But, ask yourself:

How scary is it to be in this same place 5, 10, or 20 years from now? Still not as scary as changing?

Your intuition is your subconscious mind that always has your back, always knows what’s best for you, and always wants to lead you to a place of happiness and fulfillment. But, the journey is many times unknown and crazy-scary so we ignore it or go in the opposite direction. So tell me, when has ignoring your intuition ever worked out for you?

So, there you have it. And if you liked this post, I'd love for you to share it. Because you never know who might need a change.

Direct download: EP149final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/148

Hey Ass Kickers!

On today’s podcast I’m joined by Julie Parker, CEO and Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy (with 200 trained life coaches from around the world and growing by the hundreds every year)!

As you’ll see, Julie has a fascinating journey and insights on self-love. She’s is a modern day Priestess and she’s going to share what this is all about, along with how it ties into the divine female that we’ve been repressing for so long. Even if you’re new (like me) to what the whole “Priestess” thing is-- I think you’ll like this episode :)

Direct download: JulieParker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://www.yourkickasslife.com/147

 

Today’s episode is about your personal development journey and what it looks like. More specifically, for people who maybe like to “hoard” or collect personal development tools, but not use them. Or people who join personal development classes, read books, and listen to podcasts, but take no action.

And the reasons are plenty-- you’re just not ready. Maybe you’re scared it won’t work for you, scared of the uncomfortableness of the work or not committed enough to change.

To be fair-- most people spend some time in that place of collecting personal growth ideas and tools and doing nothing with them. But...are you living there?

This episode will help you see if you’re doing this, let you know you’re normal, as well as what personal development actually looks like. Because it’s one thing to say, “I want a kick-ass life!” But...what does that really mean?

And of course, wherever you are is perfect for you! It’s the awareness that’s the win! I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode as much as I enjoyed recording it for you ;)

Oh, and P.S...there’s an extra bit in the beginning about facing my birthday while grieving my father's death. I always try to give you a bit of real life.

If you’re ready to JUMP IN to your personal development, I invite you to join us one last time as I guide you through The 30-Day Experience. We’ll look at your core belief system (the beliefs that are fueling your negative self-talk), your habits that are making you feel like shit (the perfectionism, people pleasing, numbing out, isolating, you know...good ol’ self-sabotage). Learn how to be kind to yourself, have more self-confidence and have better relationships with the people you care about.

Direct download: Ep147final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/146

Today I welcome back a recurring guest of the podcast, my dear friend Jo Casey. Jo joined us in a previous episode of Your Kick-Ass Life to talk about the business of life coaching, but today, we’re looking at something different: How women are conditioned by our culture to be “acceptable women.”


Jo’s going to shed some light on what she calls “feminine conditioning.” Why are women so afraid to be different, and what role has society played in vilifying us? Is there a box that we’re supposed to fit into, and if so, how is being in it holding us back?

If these are things you’ve often wondered about, then you’re going to be enlightened by Jo and the powerful message she shares with us today!

Direct download: JoCasey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/145

 

 

The term “Play Big” gets thrown around like crazy lately. And you might wonder—what does that even mean or look like? How do you know if you’re playing small? I know this firsthand because I played small for most of my life. It wasn’t until I fell flat on my face and rebuilt my life did I see what was happening and how to change it (and the best part was that *I* was totally in charge).

I thought about the foundation to what it is to actually live a big life. So, here’s a list of in my experience, what it looks like to Play Big:

  1. People that play big don’t give a shit what other people think of their dreams and goals. They may listen and take it in, but at the end of the day they do what they feel in their hearts is what they want.
  2. People that play big are in touch with what they want on the OTHER side of their goals. In other words, they tap into the feeling they really want from what it is they’re after. You want a promotion? Think about what that will bring you, what you’ll feel like when you get it. Accomplishment, validation, recognition, achievement, power. Any of those you want? (And btw- it’s totally fine to want things like power.) These are your values and when you honor them, you’re playing big.
  3. People that play big don’t apologize for what they want. Ever. (Tweet that)
  4. People that play big strive to be the best and biggest version of themselves. They get help with their issues. They take responsibility for their lives. They focus on self improvement as if their life depends on it. Because it does.
  5. People that play big are of service to others. They’re mentors, they’re philanthropists, they’re generous with their knowledge. No one really gets anywhere for long by being a selfish asshole.
  6. People that play big take action like crazy. They don’t sit around and blow smoke out their asses about it, or wait until it’s perfect, or need to get everyone’s opinion/approval on it. They just go for it. And if it fails they pick up the pieces and move on.
  7. People that play big are fully aware that it’s more about mindset than it is action. Yes, taking action important and great, but in order to get there you must get your head in the game first. They don’t believe they are different or less-than the people they admire. They see the people they want to emulate and know deep down they can do that too.

There is no guarantee things will work out  the way you envision when you do get out there and play big but you must understand that if you wait years or decades to go after what you want, to “play big” until you feel like you finally “have what it takes” you might be waiting forever. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to stretch and go after the big things you want, but  the alternative is to do nothing. And doing nothing and someday regretting your decision is going to be WAAAAAY more uncomfortable than trying to step outside of your comfort zone now.

There is still time to join us for the 7-Day Courage Challenge! Join the hundreds of women already signed up for a week of learning how to manage your negative self-talk and how to cultivate self-compassion and courage. Click this link to sign up.

Direct download: Ep145final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/144

 

Mini-sode 144 is all about negative self-talk.

Because you don’t have a “life balance” problem.

You don’t have a “not promoted enough” problem.

You don’t have an “I don’t work out enough” problem.

You have a problem with the way you speak to yourself.

In this episode I tell you about my experience learning how to manage my own negative self-talk, and how I came to find out about it just as my life fell apart in 2007.

Join us on April 3rd as I host the wildly popular FREE 7-Day Courage Challenge! Hundreds of women just like you. 10 minutes a day. Learn how to change your life. Click here to join us.

Direct download: EP144final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/143

Hey there Ass Kickers!

I’m so excited for you to meet my guest today, Kathleen Booker. I met Kathleen over a year ago and I’m excited to finally have her on the podcast to introduce you to her as well. She’s an inspirational coach whose energy has been described as “infectious” (and you’ll know why after hearing her speak today)!

Kathleen is passionate about something that many of us might not even give a second thought to during the day: our breathing. She knows first-hand the energy, peace and joy that something so simple can create in our lives, and she’s going to share her knowledge on this topic with us today.

Direct download: KathleenBooker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/142

 

If you've been over in these parts of town for any length of time, you know I talk a lot about numbing out and how it can be harmful for us. I’ve talked about my own sobriety and even have a recovery series on my podcast.

The truth is: we like to escape. We typically don't like to feel our feelings. Life is hard and sometimes agonizing. Not many of us are equipped to handle life's struggles, so we find things to escape from it.

And the message we might be getting is that we shouldn’t ever do this. We shouldn't ever numb out. We need to be with our feelings, be present to our life no matter how difficult it is.

So, is escapism ever okay?

Honestly, my short answer is yes. I don’t by any means expect people to fully let go of all of their numbing mechanisms. I just don’t believe there’s any way we can let go of them and go through life with all the pain and agony there is to experience. Some of the most evolved humans I know still sometimes choose numbing over facing their problems and feelings around it. Even Brené Brown talks about a time where she read a bunch of mean comments about herself on the Internet and promptly “grabbed a jar of peanut butter, a blanket and watched ten hours of Downton Abbey.”

So, the question becomes what is healthy escapism and what isn't?

I think the first question to ask yourself, is is your escapism chronic? In other words, are you eating too much cake every day? Or are you shopping online and putting yourself in debt? Drinking an entire bottle of wine every night? Not tending to your kids’ needs because you’re playing Candy Crush like it’s your job? Most of the time, you know when it’s too much. Denial is a powerful thing, but there comes a time when the pain of staying in your numbing mechanism outweighs the pain of facing the real problem underneath it all.

And sometimes, we-- as high achieving, smart women-- can tend to let the pendulum swing completely the other way. We get “permission” to numb out sometimes and get what I call “a case of the fuck-its.” We know we’re doing it-- we know we’re numbing out, and we at that moment, don’t care. We eat All The Cake. Drink All The Wine. And maybe that’s part of your process to do that a few times. And if it is, when you’re done, check in to see how you feel.

How is your self-talk when that happens? Usually, not so good. I’d bet you’re beating yourself up for eating All The Cake, or drinking All The Wine. And you beat yourself up internally, then you feel like shit...and how do we stop feeling like shit? More cake and more wine.


OH THE INSANITY.

This topic comes up a lot with my clients, and I always ask the same questions:

Are you doing it (insert numbing mechanism of choice) to consciously comfort yourself? Or are you doing it mindlessly, unconsciously hoping you’ll escape from your life and your struggles indefinitely?

If it’s the latter, then I ask: What is the problem you are trying to solve?

Because it’s never about the cake or the wine or the Internet or the shoes. It’s about the problem-- the pain/fear/hurt you’re trying to make go away.

And I think this goes without saying-- but I’ll say it anyway-- the pain never goes away. But, you-- YOU have to get to a point where you’re done trying to escape from it. I can’t be the one to tell you the only way out is through and the way to “get over it” is to process it all. It’ll go in one ear and out the other until YOU are ready to stop running, turn around and look it in the face.

Escapism works until it doesn’t. And when it’s done working for you and you learn how to cope in healthier ways and learn to process feelings instead of numbing them, you’ll get to a point when you fall back on numbing and you’re all inside it and realize QUICKLY what you’re doing. And to be honest, that kind of sucks. It’s like that moment you’re arguing with someone and you suddenly realize you’re wrong and they’re right. DAMN. Do you stop and tell them? Or do you keep arguing your point? Both feel like shit. But one honors who you are.

So, when you’re ready, you’re ready. When escaping and numbing out aren’t working for you anymore, do the work to process, feel and cope with your emotions. I promise you won’t die. You’ll be stronger, more self-aware, more self-confident, and more of your biggest, most kick-ass self.

Need support with your inner-critic? Join me and lots of women just like you as I personally take you through the 7-Days of Courage Challenge! It’s one thing to read about it, but a whole nother animal when you put the tools into ACTION! We start April 3rd! Sign up for free here.

Direct download: Ep142final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/141 

Hey Ass Kickers!

Today you’re in for a treat, as our guest is an expert who is going to help us be our sexiest self! Melissa Ramos has a goal of adding a little sass to healthy living for women, and she looks at things from a slightly different perspective than most of us – starting from the inside out.  On this episode, Melissa shows us how hormones or digestive issues could actually be holding us back from being as sexy as we could be, and why the answer to your health is in your poop!

Direct download: MelissaRamos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/140

Two weeks ago I wrote about how YKAL is evolving, maturing, and what this means for you and for me. If you haven’t read it or listened, you can find it here.

As I mentioned in that post, we are currently in a time where the U.S. (and other parts of the world) is extremely politically polarized. Social media was noisy enough before and now it’s been taken to a whole new level. And what I’m experiencing over here as an online business owner with a platform-- a community of people who listen to what I have to say via my podcast, blog, and social media-- is that I have a choice whether to talk about about this or not. I can continue to just go on “business as usual,” or I can implement my voice on these matters. There’s different ways this can look, but the choice is pretty black or white: Either I talk about it or I don’t.

Several months ago, a colleague of mine, Racahel Maddox, posted on Facebook about this. This was before the election, even before the real messiness of it all. She was calling us out-- us being privileged people with online platforms. She was specifically calling out life coaches and those in the wellness industry with online platforms who were choosing to stay quiet about social justice issues.

Who the hell does she think she is telling me what to do and how to run my business? I thought to myself. My belief was that no one can tell me how I speak out. No one can tell me what is right and what is wrong. No one can tell me I am a bad person because I choose to take my sweet ass time to decide what to do about this (that’s not what she said, but what I made up she said). In other words, I was personally offended and taken aback.

After my ego left the room (it took a couple of weeks), I thought about why I reacted that way. And the conclusion I came up with was this:

I was embarrassed because she called our asses out.

I was scared because deep down I knew she was right-- I knew it was my responsibility to talk publicly about these social issue, but I didn’t know how.

I felt guilty because I hadn’t spoken out sooner.

I was worried how this would affect my reputation and my business, both I’ve worked hard on building over the last 10 years.

All valid (and common) feelings, but feelings that are a) laden with privilege and white lady tears and b) don’t change the world.

Then, the election happened, then the inauguration, then the whole country got flipped upside down and set on fire.

And I thought about what Rachael had said. She was right. What I had to admit and knew in my heart all along, what I know now deep in my bones is this:

As people of privilege-- as a white, straight, able-bodied, upper middle class person in the wellness industry with an online platform to spread a message, it is my responsibility to speak out about social justice issues.

If I was a realtor or a hairdresser or a mechanic, I don’t think it would necessarily be my responsibility to integrate it into my business. But, this is the wellness industry. We teach people how to be better people. How to “change the world.” For fucks sake we teach people how to empower themselves, stand up for what they believe in, and speak up. To use their voices even if they are scared. To do what’s right even if it’s unpopular.

And as facilitators of this work, we cannot teach these things, take money for teaching these things, and not do them ourselves. We need to both model what this looks like as well as spread the message that what is happening all around us is not fucking okay.

Andréa Ranae sums it up perfectly,

“TO THE COACHES, HEALERS, GUIDES, MENTORS AND OVERALL DO-GOODERS OF THE WORLD WHO DON'T WANT TO BRING "POLITICS" INTO YOUR WORK, CONSIDER THIS:

Your work could bring massive sustainable change to many lives, families, and communities, but it won't if you don't critically look at the social context that you're working within.

The problems you help solve for your clients are most often symptoms of a much deeper and widespread systemic problem that we must get to the root of. You say you want to change the world, but what is it, in the world, that you want to change? You've got to name it to tame it.

Our socioeconomic and environmental issues affect every single one of the people you work with either actively or passively.”

So, what is it that we, as life coaches, healers, whatevers, want to change for our people?

I know many of you reading this care a lot about marginalized people, the LGBTQ community, Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights, the refugee crisis, feminism, black lives matter, the ACA, dismantling patriarchy, rape culture, sex trafficking, the list goes on and on. And I know many of you take action in your homes and communities, maybe even speak out on your personal Facebook pages sometimes.

But, you guys. When we do this-- when we don’t speak out at all, or when we only do it quietly in the echo chamber of our personal Facebook page or with our friends in real life-- we’re sending a message. The message is: these matters do matter to me, but only if it doesn’t risk my business. Only if I can take action behind the scenes, quietly and not create any liability that people may disagree, unfollow me, not sign up for my online classes, etc. When quiet, the message being sent is clear: Social justice matters to me but not at the expense of my bottom line.

The message also tells your followers that to say nothing is also okay for them too. That if you’re staying quiet in your privileged little bubble, by all means, they can too.

We can’t go on with business as usual. Things have changed. THE PARTY IS OVER.

And to be frank, I don’t think many, if any of us were excited this has happened. “Oh yeah, I can’t wait to risk losing people in my audience. I can’t wait for these uncomfortable conversations. I can’t wait to sit down and figure out how I’m going to approach these subjects and be a leader now that everything has changed.”

But, we are being called upon to lead. We are being called upon to show up. We are being called upon to be courageous and show what it means to take care of each other, walk our talk, and actually “be the change.”

So, what do we do?

That’s the question I’ve been asked, I’ve been asking everyone, and tossing and turning at night trying to figure out. As I said in my last post about this, there’s no guidebook for this, no step-by-step process. But, when you’ve been called upon for something like this, you just jump. Standing around trying to figure out which angle to take, being scared, agonizing over how to do it, isn’t making the world a better place. I know, I did it for months.

First things first, think about why you haven’t said anything, or why you’ve decided to not. Some experts in the self-help field say that when we make decisions, we are making them either out of love or fear. I think this applies here. Have you made the decision to remain silent out of fear? Fear of losing followers? Fear of saying the wrong thing? Fear of being asked questions you don’t know the answer to? Fear of not knowing where to start? Fear of losing business?

Or, are you making the decision out of love? And if so, love for whom? Love for what?

I’ll give you a place to start. Write a blog post, an e-blast, or make a video of you telling your people honestly that X, Y, and Z social justice issues matter to you. They matter to you and you’re feeling this and that, and you don’t know where to go from here. Tell them the truth. That you’re uncomfortable. Because they probably are too. You don’t have to even mention names of government officials. This doesn’t have to be about politics, this is about people. This is about us.

Tell your audience whatever you’re feeling. Fear, guilt, confusion, whatever. You know yourself and your audience best.

Then you have options. You can ask them what they want. You can help them sort through their feelings in order to help them take action. You can tell them where to take action. You can educate them on the different social issues that mean the most to you. You don’t have to pick them all. What’s most important to you? The environment? Women’s issues? Pick one or two and make it your go-to. Information and education is KEY in changing the world.

You can take pictures and show yourself in activism. That is leadership. (If you’re in a place where you don’t know where to start, do some reading and following other activists. I’ll put some links at the end of this post.)

We are going to rock the boat. We are going to lose followers. We are going to get people who are not willing to listen to why you support Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, or oppose the Dakota Pipeline. But, I think my friend Leela says is perfectly:

Friends and colleagues, consider this a “calling in.” My intention is not to publicly embarrass, offend, or humiliate anyone. My intention is to call attention to this immensely important topic, to make you think, to ignite a bigger conversation, and to encourage you to massively step out of your comfort zone (like we tell our clients to do). Also, consider this a call to arms. An invitation to stand up; an invitation to speak out and invite your people to do the same. Consider this an invitation of leadership.

Direct download: EP140final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/139

Today I’m joined by a repeat guest of the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast: Rebekah “Bex” Borucki. She’s the founder of BEXLIFE®, a TV host, meditation guide, and fitness and yoga instructor (and so much more)! Rebekah is also now a published author, and her first book, You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, was released by Hay House in February 2017.


How did she get to where she is today? Rebekah discovered mediation when she was 15 years old and she uses it as a tool to cope with life noise and regular daily events. She shares the grief she’s experienced in her life, and how she was able to deal with her parents deaths, as well as giving her thoughts on what the real purpose of life is truly about.

Direct download: 139RebekahB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/138

There’s a conversation that’s been happening in these parts of town, aka my life coach friends, healers, those in the wellness industry who run online businesses. And the conversation is: Should we bring politics into our business? Should we talk about this to our audiences?

Show of hands... who’s excited about talking about this more? Who’s excited about hearing about politics more? Probably not many of you. You come here for personal development. You come here to learn how to be a better woman, learn new tools, and hopefully for my good humor and charm. ;)

What I’ve always wanted— what YKAL is— is a place where women can feel good about themselves. Where they can build confidence and courage and be proud of who they are. Proud of how they’re showing up in the world, proud of what they’ve created in their lives, proud of the hard conversations they have with themselves and with others. And at the end of the day-- me, Andrea Owen, creator of YKAL has to be that woman too. Proud of how I’m showing up in the world, proud of what I’ve created, proud of the conversations I have to have. And there has been no time in the last ten years of this work I do, where I have been asked more to walk that talk, than now

What’s been happening over the last six months or so it I’ve been listening, watching, and processing. And my listening, watching and processing is my privilege showing. The fact that I have time to do so.

Let me give you a little backstory. I was a proud Republican for a long time. I voted for George W. Bush in ‘04 and for John McCain in 2008. In Spring of 2009, while pregnant with my daughter, I took a women’s studies class called “Men and Masculinity.” It sounded interesting, it worked with my school schedule, and I needed it for credits to finish my bachelor's degree. Never in my life before had I been that interested in Women’s Studies.

Maybe the Universe was conspiring to change my life.

On the first day of class, we were asked to introduce ourselves to the person next to us. The young woman next to me told me her name and that she was a feminist. I said-- trying to be kind of funny, “Oh. Well, then I can tell you now you probably won’t like me.” She asked why and I said, “Because I don’t consider myself a feminist. And I’m a Republican.”

At that point in time, I was 33 years old, and I didn’t know what feminism was, or patriarchy, or privilege (I thought people who had that were the Paris Hilton’s of the world), or even misogyny. That was the first time in a class, I did a lot more listening than contributing to the conversation. In essence, everything changed for me that semester.

One of the things that changed was I realized what I had been so angry about for so long. That the anger and sometimes rage I had-- for not being taken seriously because of my gender, for being sexually harassed and assaulted, that there was a name for what I was really fucking pissed at. And it was sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy.

So, back to this conversation with all of you. If you follow me on my personal Facebook page, you’ll see my public posts are vocal about politics and what I stand for and my opinions. And I’ve mostly kept them out of here and even my YKAL social media accounts.

And this is something I’ve been thinking about. Why? Why have I not been more vocal? And the reason is my own shit. There is no guidebook for “How to be a teacher of personal development/life coach with a podcast while the world as you know it catches on fire.” And I panicked there for a minute. I kept looking around like HOW DO I DO THIS? I don’t know anyone who does exactly what I do and is talking about activism and doing it well. Most of us are either not talking about it at all, or throwing all of themselves in it. It’s an awkward place for us to be. I want to do it right; I want to do it well for you and for the next generation. But, what I realized is when there’s a revolution, you just do it. When you’re fighting the resistance, you just jump. It’s non-linear, it’s messy, sometimes I’ll get it wrong and sometimes I’ll get it right. I’ll clean up any messes I feel I have made and keep going. That’s leadership.

Here’s what I want you to know: I am not here to tell you to agree with me. I am not here to tell you what to believe about different world issues. That’s up to you. What I am here to do is to educate. And maybe, if you’re someone like how I was sitting in that class, someone who doesn’t identify as a feminist or have any concerns for women’s rights, someone who thinks we have nothing to worry about and real women’s problems are in other countries we don’t have to worry about-- maybe like me, you can listen and learn. Maybe your mind won’t be changed, but if nothing else, you’ll learn.

To be perfectly honest, in future blog posts and podcast episodes that are about social justice and social change issues, I’m not trying to change the minds of people who are dead set with opinions opposite mine. If they do change their minds, great. But, whom I’m speaking to are the women that so far don’t know much, if anything about these topics. Or, maybe they’ve only listened to the ideas and opinions of their husbands or parents, and haven’t looked at other ideas and opinions and haven’t really formed one for themselves yet. Or, maybe they just haven’t cared enough. Nothing “political” has ever affected them in their lives. I know this may be a lot of you and this isn’t at all to shame you. It’s common, and everyone has to start somewhere.

I talk about and teach a lot of things on this podcast and my blog. All of it falls under the umbrella of you feeling empowered. And one of those things is to stand up for what you believe in. To speak up. To speak up for yourself and to speak up for what breaks your heart. Because we all have those things.

I also want you to know that I strongly believe with privilege comes responsibility. A responsibility to the people who don’t have privilege. A responsibility to the people whose voices aren’t as loud as mine, who don’t walk this Earth as comfortably and easily as I do.

This is not comfortable. This is awkward. For some of you, you might be feeling guilty. And if so, good. I for one, have been wracked with guilt. That tells me something isn’t right. Guilt can be good in that it’s information telling us something we’re doing or have done might not be in alignment with who we really are. But, sitting in guilt and talking about our guilt gets us nowhere. And trust me when I tell you marginalized people do not care about our guilt. Our feelings do not hold a candle to what is going on in their lives.

So, what does this mean for the podcast? Well, here’s where all the reading, thinking, and processing over the last few months has made me realize:

Among other things, I help women heal and rise up from the wounds that trigger them. That’s where help with negative self-talk, feeling good enough, recovering from perfectionism, and hiding/numbing out comes from. What I realized pretty early on in my practice is that the root of the problem is more often than not cultural and familial problems and injustices. More specifically, what’s being passed down from generation to generation and what’s being passed around in our cultures. Some of that looks like our culture accepting of notions like:

Girls are mean to be seen and not heard.

Your body should be thin, and anything less than that is bad and ugly.

To be perfect is the ultimate goal.

Mistakes are unacceptable.

No one wants to hear about your problems.

You might have heard me repeat, “You don’t have to inherit dysfunction.” And I believe that wholeheartedly. But, what I’ve come to realize is that I can talk about healing our individual “dysfunction” all day, but if I’m not also addressing and trying to dismantle the root cause of it-- the systematic way women have been oppressed for many, many years-- I’m taking the fucking long way.

And you know I don’t have time for the bullshit long way. Nor do you.

So, is this podcast shifting into more talk about politics? No, it’s not. But, it will be shifting to talk more about social justice issues and women’s issues. And not just talk. You won’t hear me just complaining and shaking my fist at the patriarchy. You see enough of that on Facebook. It will be about awareness, action and solution.

Because I want to make this world a better place than it was when it welcomed me in. And I hope you’ll join me on my quest.

Direct download: Ep138final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/137

Hey Ass Kickers!

On today’s show, we’re talking money and retirement, and who better to help us dig deeper on these subjects than Amanda Steinberg. Amanda is the founder & CEO of Worth FM, a new digital financial advisor for women, and DailyWorth, the leading digital financial media company for women (with over 1 million subscribers to its daily e-newsletter)! In my talk with Amanda, we look at why women are so afraid to engage with money she helps us debunk the stories we’ve told ourselves when it comes to our finances.

Direct download: AmandaSteinberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/136

Hi ass kickers!

Today I have a listener question I’m answering with my partner in crime/bestie/colleague/peanut butter to my jelly: Amy Smith. This episode is all about intimacy, vulnerability, and more. Even if you’re not partnered up, or have never had an affair, I’m 100% sure there will be nuggets in this episode to help you.

Direct download: YKAL136_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Want to learn more about how to love yourself? Of course you do. Click here to join my free workshop on Self-Love.

Direct download: SelfLovePromo2017_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/135

On today’s show I’m joined by the Melissa Ambrosini: best selling author, keynote speaker, and self-love teacher. Melissa didn’t always practice what she preaches and after living what she calls a “superficial and outwardly focused life,” she came face-to-face with a major health scare that required hospitalization in 2010. Now she teaches others the importance of understanding self-worth and she shares the tips and tools around this subject that can change your life.

Direct download: MelissaAmbrosini_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R10

Hi ass kickers!

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

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

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

In this episode, I talk about the following:

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/134

 

Hello Ass kickers!

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

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

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

We also talk about:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/R9

Hi ass kickers!

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

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

 

 

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/133 

Hey Ass kickers!

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

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

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/R8

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

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

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/132

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

I started to do the hard work and everything changed.

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

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

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

I was so stupid to behave like that.

Only an idiot would do that.

I’m so ashamed of myself.

And on and on. Right?

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

Never fear, I have some answers, ass kicker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/131

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And my honest answer is I don’t know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://yourkickasslife.com/R6

Ass kickers!

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

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

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

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Welcome to episode 130 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Trauma and trauma resolution are two issues we’ve touched on before but today we spend an entire show on it. Our guest, Rachael Maddox, is an expert on both.

Rachael is a trauma resolution educator, coach and guide who helps women heal and understand sexual traumas they’ve experienced so they can move through the world with joy and success. Rachael’s coaching certification was earned from The Coaches Training Institute, and she is certified in trauma resolution through The Alchemical Alignment.

On this show, we dive into her very personal, firsthand experiences with trauma, how somatic therapy helped her heal when nothing else worked, and how that therapy ultimately led to what she does today.

 

 

Direct download: 130RachaelMaddox_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/129

Hey Ass kickers!

Welcome to episode 129 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! I’m thrilled to bring you this archived episode with life coach, master communicator and my very best friend, Amy E. Smith. Amy hosts a podcast called The Joy Junkie with her hubs, Mr. Smith. On the podcast and in her business Amy helps people find their voice, and stand up for themselves (without being a dick). I brought her on the show to talk about self-love: what it is and how to practice it no matter who you are or where you are in your life. We get into the common misconceptions and pitfalls about self-love, why loving yourself actually helps you change your life and why choosing self-love is a daily practice.

Direct download: 129AmySmith_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

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Welcome to episode 128 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today I’ve got another amazing guest for you, Susan Anderson. Susan is considered the founder of the Abandonment Recovery movement, and is a dedicated psychotherapist who has spent over 30 years helping those who struggle with abandonment trauma, grief, and loss. Naturally on this episode we discuss abandonment, and also how she came to write the book The Abandonment Recovery Workbook. She shares the neuroscience behind the deep wounds abandonment imprints on us, and we both share our personal abandonment experiences.

Direct download: SusanAnderson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

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Welcome to episode 127 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today I’ve got yet another special guest to share with you, Jenny Blake. Jenny is an internationally-known author, speaker and career and business strategist. She’s also a fellow podcaster and has been my friend for nearly a decade. On this episode, Jenny and I are talking about her latest book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, what pivots are and are not, and how she has learned so much from navigating pivot points in her own life. You’ll Also Hear:

● What inspired her to write this book?

● What are the four stages of a pivot?

● The three things to test when you are in pilot mode.

● Does your life contain the clues you need to discover your next pivot?

● Does all change involve loss?

● How to trust your emotional process when pivoting.

● What has she learned from meditation?

● Why she calls 2013 her apocalypse year, and what it taught her.

● Why Jenny believes our challenges are chosen for us.

● And much more!

Direct download: JennyBlake_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/126

As the year comes to an end, I love thinking about not only my accomplishments,  but what I’ve learned. And this year I’ve made a list of the lessons I know to be true off the top of my head, 38 to be exact.There are loads more, but here’s a start:

  1. Cleaning up my own messes is the best way to sleep at night. This means apologizing when I’ve been an asshole and just generally doing my best to fix things I’ve made a mess of.
  2. Taking radical responsibility for my life is the only option.  No one else is responsible for my happiness. No one.
  3. My children don’t define me.  I used to think becoming a mother would be my ultimate life purpose. It isn’t. I used to have a lot of guilt and shame about that. But, I don’t anymore.
  4. No relationship will complete me. Not a single one.
  5. My vagina looks the way it does, and I’m okay with that, I even love it. That also goes for my boobs, tummy, and every other body part I used to hate. I’m done listening to people that tell me I need to look different.
  6. “Taking the edge off” really needed to be examined. For me, I was taking off all the edges. And sometimes edges just need to be dealt with.
  7. Exercise really is the best medicine.
  8. The voice in my head that tells me I’m not enough is a liar.
  9. Progress, not perfection.
  10. “Let it go” is 99% of the time, the best way to solve a problem.
  11. “No” is a complete sentence.
  12. If I listen, my body is usually trying to tell me something.
  13. I only apologize when I really, truly can stand behind it.
  14. There will always be people that don’t like me and it’s not my job to change their minds. (I admit this one is still tough. It’s a one-day-at-a-time lesson.)
  15. My parents did the best they could, with what they had at that time.  And as parents, that’s all we can do.
  16. Forgiveness is more about me, and not them.
  17. Time really doesn’t heal all wounds—I’m in charge of that. Time helps, but being proactive is the catalyst.
  18. All wisdom is created from healed pain.
  19. Trying to control everything is my one-way ticket on the crazy train. Sometimes I forget this and get on board.
  20. The comparison trap is basically made-up stories of what I think someone else’s life is like.
  21. We’re all scared. We all have fear. The people that say they are fearless are just pretending.
  22. None of us get out of this alive. And in the end, I want to be proud how I lived it.
  23. If we all worked on our insides as much as we worked on our outsides, the world would change for the better.
  24. You end up with what you put up with. Examine it and change what you don’t like.
  25. At your funeral, no one will talk about your failures. So, keep failinguntil you get it right.
  26. At that same funeral, no one will talk about how your body looked. Your heart and spirit matter more.
  27. You really do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, don’t be a dick.
  28. Uncomfortable conversations are always hard. However, that elephant in the room isn’t going anywhere (and takes up a lot of space)—so you might as well call it out.
  29. Most people really are too busy thinking about themselves to be obsessing about you like you think they are.
  30. It’s usually never, ever as big a deal as we think it is. Ever.
  31. That person that treats you like shit is a giant invitation to not be around that person ever.
  32. If you spend time nosing in other people’s business, there’s probably something important in your life you’re purposely avoiding dealing with.
  33. God always has your back.
  34. Kindness really always does win.
  35. Love is always the answer.
  36. Having an open mind can many times blow your mind.
  37. None of us are broken or need fixing. Improvement, yes.
  38. Whatever you think you are, will be your truth. And you are completely in charge of that, babe.
Direct download: ep126final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/125

This is a re-broadcast with Sally Hope, one of my favorite podcast guests. As many of you know my father passed away last month and I’m taking a break for a few weeks and re-airing archived episodes. I thank you for your patience during this time. Next week is a brand new episode!

Another amazing edition of the YKAL podcast is upon us! I’m here with Sally Hope, founder of The Wildheart Revolution. I love Sally’s take on life and I’m sure you will too. In this episode we talk about several different important topics...

  • In a recent blog post Sally talks about trying to please everyone and how to stop doing this. We discuss the gist of her post, how we’ve both learned to do our best of NOT caring so much if other people like us.
  • Next we talk about LIFE PURPOSE and how to actually take the pressure off ourselves in our quest to finding it. (Because in actuality that pressure is keeping you from finding it!)

  • Sally’s message screams to not apologize for who you are.We discuss that being your biggest self might mean having to leave some people behind and how to go about dealing with that. 
  • One of Sally’s big things is going on adventures! I ask her where would someone start that doesn’t have a ton of time or money? This conversation segues into talking about friends (aka your tribe) and how to create that in your life. Sally has NEW ideas for you!

 I’m just certain you’ll love Sally Hope as much as I do! She’s such a great inspiration full of love and authenticity. And get ready for next week for an all new episode!

Direct download: 125SallyHope_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/124

Hey Ass kickers! Welcome to another episode of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! My friend Randi joins us to talk about the all-important topic of boundaries and how nice people set ‘em. Randi is THE expert of experts! She’s a life coach, hard truth-talker and creative producer of products that encourage women to step into their truth, and transform their inner and interpersonal struggles. Trust me, I KNOW boundaries are difficult and we ALL struggle with them-- whether it’s family members, co-workers, or our neighbors, we could all use some help in this area, right? On today’s show she shares with us how creating our own container of what we want in our lives sets our boundaries, what gardens have to do with boundaries and ultimately why we struggle with boundaries so much.

Direct download: 124RandiBuckley_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/123 

Hi Ass kickers,

As you’ll hear in this week's podcast episodes, my father died on last Sunday. Over the next several weeks, you’ll get some re-broadcasts of my favorite episodes. I’ve also decided to put the recovery series on hold until January. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

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I’m so glad you’re here for another episode of Your Kick-Ass Life. Today we’ve got the fabulous Christina Dunbar. Christina is an actress, poet, activist and women’s leader. She offers programs for artists, entrepreneurs and wild women helping them take the stage and share their own soul story. She’s also the inspiration and creator behind her one-woman show, Dirty Me Divine.

On this episode we dive into that experience fully as well as what it means to take a stand, and why that is often difficult for women, and what steps we can take to express our unique voices.

Direct download: 123ChristinaDunbar_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R5

Welcome to the 5th episode in the recovery series with our guest Dawn Nickel of She Recovers. This is the last episode in this series until January when it will pick back up. In this episode you’ll hear:

 

  • Dawn has been drug and alcohol free since 1989, and then relapsed in 2000. She tells us her story.

 

  • I ask Dawn what advice do she has for someone who isn’t quite 100 percent sure they need to quit.

 

  • She tells us her advice for someone in their first few months of sobriety.

 

  • And last, I ask her to tell us one thing she’s proud of right now and one thing she’s struggling with.

 

Direct download: R5Dawn_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/122

Another YKAL podcast episode is here and as always, I’m excited you’re here to meet our guest. Jenny Fenig is a coach, yogi, mom of 3, and all around amazing woman whose message to women is get gutsy in order to find your soul’s true calling.

 In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How has the tragic loss of her sister and two friends played a role in her finding and living her calling.
  • Her journey from corporate leader to yogi to business owner.
  • What was her moment that made her decide to release alcohol from her life.
  • What to say in social situations when people ask why you’re not drinking.
  • What are “pivot point moments” and how they can helpful for women trying to discover their soul’s calling.
  • And more!
Direct download: 122JennyFenig_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R4

Episode 4 in the special recovery series is an interview with Holly Whitaker. Holly is the founder of Hip Sobriety, which aims to provide a modern, holistic, accessible and desirable path to sobriety, and to remove the stigma associated with addiction (and sobriety). In this episode you’ll hear:

● Holly shares about her relationship with alcohol and when she decided it was time to quit.

● She tells us her feelings about Alcoholics Anonymous.

● What is devolution and how does it happen in addiction.

● Holly shares advice for someone new in sobriety.

● And she tells us some of the things she does to to stay sober.

Direct download: R4HollyWhitaker_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/121

As a coach, it’s my job to ask women questions. Lots of them. Over the years, I’ve seen patterns of the women that come to me and what questions to ask to get down to the nitty-gritty of their lives. In no particular order, here are five questions I’d love for you to answer about yourself…

Direct download: Ep121_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R3

Episode 3 in the special recovery series is an interview with Laura McKowan. Laura is a mom, writer, and recovery warrior. In this episode you’ll hear:

● Laura’s progressive story of her relationship with alcohol and when she decided it was time to quit.

● We both share stories of when we felt immense shame as mothers around our drinking and the moment we both knew it was affecting our children.

● I ask Laura if she ever has that voice that tells her it might be possible to moderate.

● Laura tells us what she does to stay sober— what she’s tried that’s worked and what hasn’t worked.

Ass kickers, I hope you’re enjoying listening to these episodes as much as I enjoyed recording them with these magnificent women! If you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask the guests, please contact us to let us know!

Direct download: R3LauraMcKowan_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/120

Hello ass kickers! Today I’m bring you and oldie, but goodie— a re-airing of a podcast from many moons ago— an episode with my friend Tanya Geisler. She’s talking with us about the Imposter Complex, a syndrome that many of us have experience with. If you’re not sure what that is— just listen to the first few minutes and you’ll be sure to say to yourself, “Oh, wait, that’s me too!”

Tanya is Leadership Coach who’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She’s an in-demand TEDx speaker who talks with great passion about the Impostor Complex, personal leadership, on all things joy, meaning and purpose (just try to stop her).

Direct download: TanyaGeisler_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R2

Ass kickers!

I’m so excited to bring you the first interview in the special recovery series. Courtney Webster is here with us today and Courtney is not only someone who has over a decade of strong recovery from alcohol, drugs, and an eating disorder, but she’s one of my closest friends.

Before I jump in, if you’re just hearing about this, in addition to the regular episodes of the YKAL podcast, I’m going a 10-part bonus series for anyone who thinks they might be struggling with alcohol, anyone who knows they are struggling with alcohol, or even if you know someone who is and want to better understand them (or forward these episodes to them!).

Courtney and I met at coach training in 2008 and in 2011 when I got honest with myself and was thinking about trying sobriety, Courtney was the first person I called. I was so afraid to tell her I was struggling-- afraid she would judge me. Well, she didn’t. She let me talk about it and told me if I wasn’t 100% sure I had a problem with drinking, then I could quit for 30 days and see what happened. Let’s just say it was very telling! Listen to the ep to see what happened…

Direct download: R2CourtneyWebster_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/119

Hey, in case you missed it yesterday– a BONUS post/pod episode came out yesterday on the topic of recovery and sobriety! Click here if you missed it and I would be honored if you shared it with people you think might be helped from it.

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Self help. What many jokes are made of and maybe some of us still feel a little embarrassed standing in that aisle in the bookstore. God forbid anyone will know that we struggle, don’t have all of our shit together, and want to change things in our life that are making us binge eat/drink entire bottles of wine in one sitting/try to control everyone and everything (er, not that I know what any of that is like).

And I’m fascinated why some people change and then others stay the same. What really fascinates me and what this post is about, is why some people want to change and know their lives would be better if they did that, but they don’t. There is much psychology behind the reasons, but what I’m talking about today are signs that it’s time for you to take a look at WHY you’re stuck in self-help-dom so you can hopefully make some changes in the right direction. So, I’ve compiled a list of signs you might be on the “self help hamster wheel” and what to do about it.

  1. Buying self-help books without reading them. I think we have ALL done this one. Someone recommends it, or we see it at the bookstore, or the title seemed to scream, “THIS BOOK WILL FIX YOU!” so we buy it. And it sits on our bookshelf unopened for years. And then we feel like shit about that. But really, sometimes I think we’re just not ready to read it. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe it. In some weird, serendipitous way, The Universe will know when it’s time and it will somehow make its way into your hands and into your heart.
  2. Signing up for self improvement classes, feeling relieved… and then not doing the work. Getting your credit card out before hitting “buy now” is not a magic wand that will fix you and ease your pain. The actual WORK will. There is a direct correlation between people that see growth and empowerment in their lives and doing the actual work it takes to get there. This includes worksheets, journaling, quality introspective thinking, doing what you commit to doing, listening to your intuition instead of your fear and more.
  3. Getting really good at telling your story about how screwed up you are and where your issues stem from. Don’t I know this one all too well. Here’s a typical scenario for the type of woman that is into self help: Step 1: She comes to a point in her life where she wants to feel better and/or she has a pretty heartbreaking turn of events and decided to change her life. Step 2: She tells anyone who will listen about her story. Step 3: She reads about helping herself and maybe takes a self improvement class here and there (and especially loves the ones where she’s invited to tell her story). Step 4: There is no step 4. She stays stuck in telling her story and actually feels better (temporarily) when people feel sorry for her. Now, if this is you, I’m not making you wrong for doing this. Telling your story can be healing and fuels connection between the right people. Where it can hold you back is when you get comfortable with that and don’t leave. What I would invite you to do is start by taking inventory of what you learned from your experience and how, going forward, it has made you a better person, or how you WANT it to make you a better person.
  4. You get on whatever self-help trend is the newest thing. Your partner and/or friends probably roll their eyes at you when you tell them whatever new method you’re excited about. You’re doing EFT tapping! No, wait, Bikram yoga is your thing. And meditation. No, wait, getting your tarot cards read this week with an appointment with your foot zoner, as well as your astrologer. I think what tends to happen here is that the person that does this is in a lot of pain and looking for that thing, that guru, that miracle that will fix them and change the way they feel. I’m all for trying new things and switching it up every once in awhile, but be careful here. Before you move on and leave behind what you were trying before, give it enough time to really sink into the learning of the method.

Did you resonate with any of these? Feel like you’re stuck and not moving? It’s really okay…knowledge is key!

Direct download: Episode119Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/R1

Original post from September 27th, 2012.

This is the first in a ten-part series I’ll be hosting on alcoholism and recovery. If you don’t want to miss the rest of the episodes, make sure you sign up here to be notified when a new one comes out.

And stick around until the end where I’ll share a clip from next week’s recovery post!

My stomach lurches as I begin this post. I considered not going public with this, but that damn intuition of mine had other ideas.

There’s a part of me that wants to make this post bright and cheery somehow, but I’d be lying to you and me if I did that. I’d like to preface my story with this: I know there are so many more women like me. So, I chose to go public with my story because of that. There is a part of me that has massive amounts of shame around this, but coming clean helps heal. And if only one woman gets sober on account of reading my story, then all the shame is worth it.


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Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m an alcoholic.

Yep. Me.

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “alcoholic”, you get that vision of the homeless man in the gutter, drinking from a paper bag, or maybe the leathery skinned, worn-out woman at the bar, falling off the barstool, or any other pathetic image you conjure up. Not often do you picture a successful life coach, living a great life in the suburbs. And that story is a big part of what kept me drinking.

I’ll start by backing up. My battle started in my late teens with love addiction. When I was 25 my struggle grew into an eating disorder, and thankfully I got help and healed from those when I was 31. It wasn’t until years later that I realized and admitted the eating disorder was bad enough that it could have killed me. To add fuel to the fire, when I was 26 I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic disorder, which at that time, was being helped with medication prescribed by my doctor.

Throughout my 20’s, in terms of drinking alcohol, I was a “normal” girl . I drank socially just like all my friends, but could always put down the bottle without a fight. Sure, there were episodes where I made bad decisions (does anyone make good decisions drinking?) and had some embarrassing moments, but nothing so humiliating to write about. Looking back, I believe I didn’t need to rely on drinking then to cope, because I had my eating disorder to fall back on, as well as an addictive relationship with my ex-husband. Those behaviors fed the addict me and I didn’t yet need alcohol to numb me.

Upon recovering from the eating disorder and love addiction, I skipped along into my new life with new tools and thoughts to cope without turning to a relationship, a man, or my eating disorder.


When I was well into recovery from those two addictions, I was so proud and happy. I was convinced I was finally “mentally stable”. But, little did I know, my alcoholism took its place. Quietly, it snuck in like a lethal, poisonous gas that I couldn’t see. I really had no problem quitting drinking when I was pregnant, but after the birth of my second child in 2009 is when my drinking picked up serious speed and momentum.

I found myself drinking nearly every day. And the days that I didn’t, it was to prove to myself that I didn’t need to. See? I could skip a day. I’m okay. When attending social events my mind revolved around alcohol. I was constantly thinking about how full my drink was, if anyone noticed how much I was drinking, if I needed to cover up how drunk I was getting, how much more time I had to drink, and so on.

After about a year of this the whispers in my head started.
“Normal people probably don’t do this.”
“Do I need to cut back?”
“This probably isn’t good.”

In December of 2010 I remember one evening finishing an entire bottle of wine in one evening by myself. Granted, I know there had been plenty of times I’d drank 4 + glasses of wine in one evening, but never by myself at home. On a weeknight. I was so ashamed and swore I would cut back. The next morning at the grocery store I proudly passed the wine aisle and didn’t buy any. By 4:00 that evening the anxiety had risen in me and quickly brought myself and my kids back to the grocery store to get a bottle. Because I deserved it. Because I had a long day. Because I would only have one glass while cooking dinner. I ended up drinking 3 glasses and was proud of myself for not drinking the whole bottle.

Soon after that, an entire bottle was pretty regular. I started hiding how much I was drinking from my husband, and pretty quickly the obsession started of hiding, worrying, and wondering what I should do. This was a living hell. The more that I tried to not think about drinking and the feelings that surrounded it, the worse I felt. My first thoughts in the morning were guilt and shame about how much I drank the night before. Then the thoughts would move to planning on cutting back. Then wondering if I have a real problem. Then justifying my drinking. More guilt and shame. Each day the afternoon would come and I would watch the clock waiting for an “appropriate” time to pour my first glass. The times were getting earlier and earlier. If I remember correctly, my earliest drink was 2:30 pm.

And the whispers got louder and more clear:
“Normal people don’t do this”
“Why can’t I stop thinking about this?”
“I think I have a problem”

I googled, “Am I an alcoholic?” I hoped Google and the internets would magically pop up a “YES!” or “NO!” on the screen instead of a bunch of links. I kept reading, “Only you know if you have a problem” and I wanted to scream. Mostly because I DID know I had a problem. However….. I was paralyzed with fear to quit drinking. I could not imagine my life without alcohol in it. I mean, I LOVE alcohol. I’m good at drinking. And, at the same time, there was a large part of me that was convinced there was NO WAY I could be an alcoholic. I mean, have you seen the show “Intervention”? Did you see the episode of Oprah where the mom was hiding bottles of Chardonnay behind the kitchen trash and laundry room? That wasn’t me! That’s an alcoholic, right? And I JUDGED those women! But the whisper in my head politely tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that those women were once where I was at that moment. They didn’t just wake up one day and start hiding booze. But, I kept justifying my drinking. I was never drunk when I drank at home alone. I never drove, I never lost control with my kids, I never yelled. We had a house in the suburbs, 2 cars, 2 kids and my marriage was actually pretty good. How could I be an alcoholic?

And no one knew. No confrontations, no raised eyebrows, no one told me I should cut back. But, the hiding was becoming a full-time job. And one that I didn’t want anymore. So, if no one knew, and I was doing a good job of controlling it (or so I convinced myself), then I didn’t have to quit. Right? I mean I didn’t have a “rock bottom” that we always hear about. My life was great. All I did was drink too much. No DUI’s. No arrests. No tragic story whatsoever.

So what changed?

Well, I did some research. Not the college term paper kind, but just read blogs of women in recovery, and talked to some girlfriends who had gotten sober.

Here was my turning point: I admitted that what was happening to me was happening fast. And it was out of my control. My drinking wasn’t yet out of control, but this progression was. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” And I knew exactly where I was headed. My intuition, the whispers, were speaking more loudly at this point. I could. Not. Lie. Anymore to myself. I has just started my business and I felt like such a hypocrite writing and telling people how to live their best life. Their “kick-ass” life for Christ’s sake. And I was lying to myself every day. And numbing the pain with alcohol.

I knew I had 2 choices: Keep drinking and see what would happen. Or, quit drinking and see what happened. I was pretty sure I was an alcoholic, and true alcoholics don’t get better if we keep drinking (no matter how desperately we try). We just get worse. I was more terrified to see what would happen if I kept drinking, than to try sobriety. That was all I needed to realize to reach out and try sobriety.

And so I quit.

And it hasn’t all been easy. Some days are, and some aren’t. As time has gone on, the days are easier and now I can’t imagine my life if I had kept up the progression. But, I can’t think about the rest of my life without alcohol. I just can’t. Every day I make a decision and commitment to stay sober that day. Just that day. I’m human, I’m an alcoholic and that’s all I can do.

Today, September 27th, 2012 I have one year of sobriety.

*In the audio version of this post I go into more detail about my current recovery and what I’ve done over the last 5 years to stay sober and practice recovery, as well as questions to ask yourself if you think you have a problem.

Did you like this post? This is the first in a ten-part series I’ll be hosting on alcoholism and recovery. If you don’t want to miss the rest of the episodes, make sure you sign up here to be notified when a new one comes out.

 

 
Direct download: R1Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

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Welcome to episode 118 of Your Kick-Ass Life! Today I’m thrilled to share with you my dear friend, colleague and repeat guest Ms. Amy Pearson.

 If you haven’t heard Amy before you are in for a treat! She is the founder of Live Brazen, as well as a Master-certified Martha Beck Life Coach. She’s also a coach mentor and an instructor for Martha Beck’s life coach training. Plus she’s a writer, a teacher and a speaker who is on a mission to help the heart-centered entrepreneurs of the world!

 On today’s show, we talk about what it means to be addicted to approval - something she is intimately familiar with! She explains the different forms approval addiction can show up as, and how to know if you fit into any of them.

Direct download: AmyPearson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/117

Today I have a bonus episode for you! The regularly scheduled episode came out yesterday-- 6 reasons you’re afraid and what to do about it-- and today I wanted to bring you a special guest today for a specific reason.

As you know, I’m a life coach. The term “life coach” has taken on many meanings over the last couple of decades. It’s a relatively new profession, and even more new as an online business. I get many, many people who ask me questions like, “How did you become a life coach? Can you actually make a living at it? What school did you go to? What does one need to do to be successful at it? How do I build an online business?” and while I do take a handful of private clients for consulting on this topic, I wanted to have someone on whom I trust implicitly-- someone I’ve hired to help me in my business and who knows all there is to know about building an online business, Tara Gentile.

Tara is the founder of Quiet Power Strategy, a company that provides hands-on business training for idea-driven entrepreneurs. She’s also the author of three books: Art of Earning, Quiet Power Strategy and The Observation Engine. She’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, and Chris Guillebeau’s New York Times best-seller The $100 Start-Up. As if that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a podcast called Profit Power Pursuit! It’s a show dedicated to highlighting the real truth about the logistics of running a successful business.

Today we continue that truth-talking about the life coaching business, including who this industry is for and who it isn’t. She explains why most life coaches are missing the answer to this very important question, and why the answer is so critical.

Direct download: TaraGentile_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/116

Everyone has fear. I don’t care if you’ve led a charmed life or had the emotional shit kicked out of you time and time again. Whether you have self-confidence, whether you’re Miss America or a college student. We all have it.

Let me break down the most common things people are afraid of (I’ve left out things like spiders, zombies, the dark, etc. because this is the mostly about the “being” part. Zombies are a completely valid thing to be afraid of, though.) Here we go:

Fear of failure. Fear of not making the team. Not getting that promotion. Your marriage falling apart and divorcing. Being rejected when you ask someone out. Instead, we just don’t try at all. We sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do things we want to do, and convince ourselves they must have some kind of secret sauce or some immunity to hurt, or perhaps they’re just fearless like everyone is talking about on Pinterest.

Fear of success. Fear of being in the limelight. Having to sustain our success and keep moving forward. Shining too bright and making others uncomfortable. Showing off. So, we play small to avoid any of that.

Fear of other people’s judgments, opinions, criticism, words, opposition, breathing. We DO care what other people think of us. I truly believe NO ONE out there really gives “zero fucks.” But, the real fear is of the haters. Our parents might think we’re crazy for leaving our crap marriage. Or friends might tell us starting our own business might be too hard. And then those anonymous people on the Internet can be really, really mean, so let’s play it safe and not risk criticism from them.

Fear of “The Unknown” aka fear of change. Sounds scary, right? What I’ve come to learn about this one is that pretty much everything in life is unknown. There are no guarantees, ever. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. So, to try our damnedest to control this Unknown, we play safe and small in order to get some crumbs from The Unknown.

Fear of feeling your feelings. Pretty sure I’m an expert here because I’ve used every vice to numb my feelings except gambling. It’s been a few years now that I’ve made an honest effort to let all the vices go and actually feel my feelings, and I will tell you– it can be downright scary. So, I get it. It can be big things or little things that get thrown our way and instead of actually dealing with it we eat, drink, shop, just plain obsess on something else until (we think) it goes away. (Truth: it never does.)

Fear of confrontation and awkward conversations. These, I don’t think, are ever easy. I’m sure we all know (or are in one) that family that will not talk about that giant elephant in the room. Or the manager that will not have that conversation with your co-worker that totally sucks. The big problem is that when this is avoided, it prevents you from setting boundaries that need to be in place. Then you end up pissed and resentful.

Here’s the thing that ALL of these fears have in common in order to overcome: They require action. Sometimes MASSIVE action.

All the people that are killing it out there in their careers, in their relationships, with their goals and dreams, their only “secret” is that they got off their ass and did something. They actually did a lot of something. And the excuses and stories that come out of your mouth are just that: excuses and stories.

So, the truth is, if you have something big that you want to do— or maybe it’s a lot of little things you want to tweak in order to change your life and actually be happier…but you keep convincing yourself your excuses are valid I challenge you to stop complaining about your situation if you are refusing to take action on it.

30 days. You’re not allowed to utter one complaint about your sucky job, your asshole partner, or whateverthefuck it is that you refuse to take action on because you’re afraid.

Because my friends, think about the alternative. Stay in your situation that sucks. Don’t take action. And look out long term. Say, 5 or 10 years. In 5 or 10 years from now think about how you’re going to feel if things are exactly the same and the way you don’t want them to be. Still. Maybe you need to deal with some shit with a therapist. (And that’s taking action, btw.) Or maybe it’s as simple as you need to get off your ass and make things happen. Only you know.

Direct download: Episode116Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/115

Welcome to episode 115 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s show is guaranteed to fire you up - I’m joined by the fabulous Nisha Moodley to talk about women as leaders and the impact we can all have when following our greatest passions.

Nisha is a women’s leadership coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Freedom Sisterhood. She is also a featured expert on DailyWorth, and has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post and The Daily Love.

On this episode, you’ll also hear about the truth and beauty in sisterhood, why we don’t need to perfect but simply walk our talk, the connection between freedom and sisterhood, and how women and their voices will free the world.

Direct download: NishaMoodley_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/114

Burnout.

So, I’m in a burn out phase. It happens. I used to beat myself up for getting to a place of burn out, feeling like I must have done something wrong along the way, that I must have not balanced right, must have not delegated enough, didn’t lean in at the right angle.

But, nine years into raising babies, a business, and participating in a marriage, for me-- burn out is part of the game. And some self-help experts might gasp and tell me I’m doing it wrong, and that it doesn’t have to be that way, and my response is that I’m doing the best I can, I’m totally confident of that-- and this is what works for me.

I kind of look at my life and have found it possible and necessary to have self-compassion because when you do what I do-- when you hold space for people emotionally (sometimes a lot of people at once) it’s thrilling and beautiful and amazing and all of those things, and it can also be exhausting. Coupled with other factors-- a child with special needs, new big projects and it’s the perfect storm. Luckily, now, I see burnout coming like when the train tracks start to vibrate before you can see the train, instead of how it used to be-- not seeing it and letting the train hit me.

So, now when I see it coming, I back out and figure out what I need to do in terms of self-care. What that looks like is that I’ve decided to NOT teach any more classes for the rest of the year. The Masterclass will open for registration either in December or January, (get on the waitlist if you don’t want to miss  early registration which has a price break!) and we’ll start in the new year. I’ve also decided to put off some projects that I was gung-ho on earlier this year. They’ll wait until January.

In other words, I make necessary changes. And I have to grapple with my inner-critic that tells me I can’t put those things off, they’re imperative to my bottom line, and it’s a big mistake. My inner-critic tells me I actually CAN and SHOULD do it all and that other bullshit that makes me crazy.

In other words, I surrender.

YOU GUYS! DID YOU HEAR THAT? I SURRENDER. ME, ANDREA OWEN, THE QUEEN OF “I’M NOT LETTING ANYTHING GO YOU’LL HAVE TO PRY IT OUT OF MY COLD, DEAD HANDS”. I SURRENDERED.

Which is proof, it can be done. Letting it go can happen. Even though I’m pretty sure hell has frozen over and there are pigs flying there, but yep, surrender.

And to be honest, this has been a process. It’s not like I woke up this week and decided. It’s been years of surrendering in the shallow end with floaties on. Easing into to surrender. Little teeny, tiny turtle steps.

Switching gears, part of my burnout was the beginnings of a new, big project: writing my second book. I feel like it’s just like having a second baby-- you’re already done it so you know what to expect, but that doesn’t really make it any easier. It’s a different baby, so you don’t really know how it’s going to go until you’re in it.

So, right now I’m exiting the “fuck off” phase and entering the “panic” phase (see below).

image00

I have until December 31st to finish the entire manuscript. Now, this might seem like a long time, but I’d be a lot happier with about two extra months (not possible for a fall 2017 release date). So, from August 29th (first week of school) to December 31st, I will be head-down, eating, sleeping, and breathing writing this book. When I first decided to write it, I said to everyone, “This time it won’t be so dramatic, I’m choosing to have it not be so hard. Peace and ease people, peace and ease.”

Ahem.

Y’all. THIS IS HARD. Elizabeth Gilbert calls this “creative martyrdom” when you make this face:

image03

all through your creative process and let me tell you-- me and creative martyrdom are doing a disco dance together. We’ve got it down, we are so in sync, we have matching outfits and are LEGIT. CREATIVE MARTYRDOM HAS BEGUN.

On a positive note, because it’s so hard and dramatic, this book is going to SPECTACULAR. I’m so excited for you to read it!

Direct download: Ep114-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/113

Welcome to episode 113 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! I’m delighted to bring you yet another terrific guest, my friend and yours, Christine Hassler. You may remember Christine from her first visit to the show on episode 58 (it’s linked in the resources section below). To refresh your memory, Christine is a former Hollywood agent who left that life at the age of 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about. In the 10+ years since then, she has become a life coach, a speaker, an author and a retreat leader. She helps women and men around the world uncover self-acceptance, find their passions and make an impact in the world. In addition to her latest best-selling book, Christine has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, PBS and regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and Cosmo. On this episode, we talk about topics like what her divorce taught her about honoring herself and her own path, and what proactively surrendering means to her.

Direct download: ChristineHassler_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/112

Today I’m going to talk about something I’ve never talked about before: racism.

So, why this topic? I'm passionate about a lot of different important matters-- media literacy, the oversexualization of girls and women, recovery, sex trafficking, Autism awareness, LGBTQ rights, but the reason I'm talking about this now is because I think there's a lot of people who might relate to my experience and learn from this conversation. Also, what dawned on me is that if I’m passionate about female equality, if I want things like equal pay and the same rights for women as we have for me….isn’t this the same thing? Equality for all people, not just equality for women.

So, maybe, selfishly, I’m here talking about this as a way of apologizing for my own ignorance. Maybe it’s a way for me to process the feelings around it. And for the record, I know that equal rights for people of color matter more than white people's feelings. I know that. But, I think for people who may be just “waking up” here, I needed to at least mention it. At any rate, I thought it would be helpful to do it all out loud and basically, I have some intentions for this episode:

1. To talk about my journey as a white person in America and how for me...coming to terms with my own racism, how I've unknowingly contributed and what I'm doing, feeling and thinking now.


2. Walk my talk in that to create change, we need to have these tough, uncomfortable conversations. I'm open to talk about a lot of hard topics, but this one has been probably the most uncomfortable yet.


3. To encourage you to get honest with yourself. I promise I'll be 100% honest in this episode and can 100% guarantee I'll want to throw up.


Because at the end of the day, this podcast is about living your kick-ass life, it’s about you gaining the skills to have conversations about tough things that no one wants to talk about. Typically, no one wants to talk about vulnerability, shame, and fear and I ask you regularly to talk about those. I teach classes on how to do this. And this is what this podcast episode is about. Me having one of those hard conversations and inviting you to do the same. I don't expect you to go out and join a black lives matter chapter, or speak out publicly about this if you're scared (but if you want to, GO DO IT). Today is about talking about something that needs to be talked about.

Again, I am really uncomfortable having this conversation. I’m afraid. Afraid of saying the wrong things. As someone who’s so new to this conversation, there’s a good chance I’ll get it wrong. I’m afraid people will say, “Please don’t. Please go back to just regular personal development stuff and save this topic for ‘real activists’”

However...I feel called to do this. I was never called to appease the critics. I was never called to make everyone comfortable. I was called to create space and permission to talk about things that matter. To talk about the stuff no one wants to talk about. To talk about the things that make us uncomfortable. I was called to encourage everyone to be brave while being brave myself.

And I hope I’m doing that for you today.

In this episode I’m bringing in my friend Kelly Diels and you can read more about her below.

And one more thing before I bring you the episode. If you’re a woman of color, this is something I never thought to mention before, but I want you to know you’re welcome here in the YKAL community. If you’re a lesbian, or transgender, if you identify as a woman, you are welcome in my community and in my classes. I don’t ever want any woman to feel excluded based on her race or sexual orientation.  

Direct download: KellyDiels_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

I’m terrified of zombies. I’m extra mad that they’ve become trendy lately and I have to see their dead asses all over the place like it’s funny or something. Well, let me tell you: it’s not. Just typing these words has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, they effing scare the shit out of me.

http://yourkickasslife.com/111

But, that’s not the type of fear I’m talking about today. I just thought you should be aware how much I hate zombies. Moving on…

The kind of fear I’m talking about is the kind of fear that stops you from living your own kick-ass life, more specifically stepping out of your comfort zone.

Going after your dream job, moving out of your home town, setting boundaries, having uncomfortable (but necessary) conversations, dating, leaving your spouse, whatever the thing is that you want badly to do, but don’t do it.

You procrastinate, self sabotage, convince yourself it’s better to stay where you are, and buy into your bullshit excuses.

And I used to do it too.

I used to think that courage and confidence was for “the lucky ones”. They were born that way, they had some kind of special DNA or superpower that I didn’t have. So, I played small.

And then my life fell apart and for the first time ever in my life I said, “Fuck. This. Shit”.

My life falling apart created an entry point for me to start something. All my fears were brought to the surface like one big giant zombie attack. Some of my worst fears had actually come true. And it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Because I was still standing (barely, but I was).

My fear story looked like this: I told myself I would be no one and I would be unhappy if I wasn’t married (so I’ll stay in this sometimes-okay-sometimes-mediocre relationship). My dream job was too hard to get, (so I’ll stick to this safe corporate one). People think I’m too loud and annoying, (so I’ll censor myself). I’m terrified people won’t like me (so I won’t set boundaries).

If I let my thoughts run away with all my fear stories, they seemed monumentous. They’d pile up like one big mountain of garbage and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with me. The easiest thing I could think of to deal with the disappointment in my life was to blame. If my boyfriend was better, I’d be happier. If it wasn’t so hard to get ahead at my job, I’d be happier. If I’d been born a Kardashian, I’d be happier.

Any of this sound familiar?

So, here was the big shift after my “fuck this shit” moment:

I decided I didn’t care anymore about the debilitating fear. Was I still scared, yes, definitely. But, I finally realized life wasn’t going to slow down and wait up for me. It was going to keep passing me by. I knew I didn’t get a second chance here in life. I wasn’t proud of who and where I was or how I was living my life and I sure as shit was not going to die that way. So, I started standing up for myself. I started taking action on my dreams. I heard the excuses and inner critic, and did it anyway. I cried, I broke down, I screwed up, failed a lot, and kept going. And the side effect of all of it was courage and confidence. It was like looking for years and years for a lost treasure and finally finding it where you would never think it was.

Where is your “fuck this shit” moment? You don’t have to have a big, life-changing experience like mine. But, where did you or do you still need to draw the line in the sand and decide to maneuver through your fear? You may be here stuck and if you are, I invite you to take a good look at your fear story: What are you afraid of? Name it. Write it out. The scariest thing that you think might be possible. And then ask yourself if deep down in that part of you that is your highest self, do you think your fear story is really true?

And the ironic thing is that the courage and confidence you need are in the face of what you’re actually afraid of. So many people are looking for it, but you have to actually take action while still not ready and still scared in order to gain courage and confidence. When you slowly, but deliberately, take action on your desires, you find what you need on the other side. And you may not get what you want right away or the first time, but the courage and confidence are building within you.

Direct download: Ep111-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/110

Welcome to episode 110 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s topic is one we can all relate to: mothers. Our guest, Karen Anderson, is an author and mentor who helps women who struggle with or are estranged from their mothers.

Through her coaching, mentorship and Emotional Freedom Technique practice, she helps them overcome dysfunctional generational patterns and go on to live truly, happy, fulfilled lives. Karen is a master-certified life coach through The Life Coach School and is the also the author of The Peaceful Daughter’s Guide to Separating From a Difficult Mother.

On this episode, Karen shares her personal journey with her mother, and how that led her on a courageous inner personal journey from victimhood to conscious awareness and healing. She explains how you can talk about your own story without becoming a victim, and why it’s important to take ownership of your thoughts and beliefs around any experience in your life.

Direct download: KarenAnderson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

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Welcome to episode 109 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! As always I’m so glad you are here and so excited to bring you today’s guest of honor: Ms. Katie Dalebout. Katie creates videos, workshops, coaching programs and other offerings to inspire women’s wisdom. She does so because she believes every woman deserves happiness and to find their unique version of a holistic wonderland.

As the host of her podcast, Wellness Wonderland Radio, she has interviewed people like Joe Cross, Gabrielle Bernstein and Tara Stiles. She’s also been featured in Teen Vogue, Yahoo! Health, and The Daily Mail and contributes to Refinery 29 and Mindbodygreen.

Today we talk about the creation of her first book titled Let It Out. Katie spent an entire summer being outside and journaling while battling an eating disorder. Despite being surrounded by support and loved ones, she found her journal to be the most validating place where she could be seen and be vulnerable, while also being unfiltered. It was a powerful tool for her to reclaim her own intuition as well as acceptance and love for herself.

Direct download: KatieDalebout_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

This episode has a worksheet! Once you grab it, you’ll also see a special video from me where I walk you through the worksheet and give you extra resources. This can be a tough, multi-layered topic for many of you and I wanted to create as much support as possible. See you there!

http://yourkickasslife.com/108

I would like to preface this post by saying that I have fallen into every single one of these. It wasn’t until I fell on my face for the last time, drew a line in the sand and said, “No more!” was I able to see my patterns, learn to love myself before I entered a relationship, and I was able to experience a loving, healthy relationship. So, in no particular order, here they are:

1. You’re so desperate for love, you’ll take it any way it’s served up. All of us want the same thing: to love and to be loved. And for some people there comes a point when we are not feeling loved enough so we’ll take any relationship over being single. Whether it’s tolerating abuse, infidelity, disrespect, or boundary violations. Perhaps in your gut you know it’s wrong to stay, but in your mind the pain of leaving is worse.

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

This one could be its own post, but I will say this: If you know in your gut the relationship is not well, there is your answer. Period. And maybe it’s not time for you to walk away, but if nothing else, it’s a time for you to have a conversation with your partner that things need to change. And if they won’t work on it, there’s your answer.

And P.S….love yourself first. Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of feeling loved will always end in massive disappointment.

2. You’re attracting the same type of partner as you’re feeling. This isn’t always the case, but it’s typical that if you’re feeling insecure, bitter, resentful, if you self-hate, chances are you’re going to attract the same type of person and/or that person will treat you exactly as you are feeling. Then you’ll end up finding evidence of your feelings in the shape of your relationships. For instance, if you’re with someone who doesn’t feel good about himself, chances are he won’t treat you with the love and respect you deserve. Which opens the door for your inner-critic to come in and tell you, “See! This is what you deserve. Of course it would end up like this.” It’s a cycle that can only be broken by you feeling good and loving towards yourself.

3. You’re a love addict. Guuuuurl, it takes one to know one. When I read the book, “Facing Love Addiction” I felt like Pia Mellody had written my autobiography and then hit me over the head with it. Love addicts in a nutshell are addicted to the feeling of being in love and in my case; addicted to the person I was in the relationship with. The relationship was what gave my life meaning. My life purpose was to make the relationship work. To make him love me the way my heart wanted to be loved. It consumed my life.

Er, not good.

Love addiction is like any other addiction. You’re filling yourself up with something outside of you. If you really feel as if this is you, I encourage you to get help either with a program, or the book above.

4. You expect your relationships to fail. If your self-esteem and self-worth are unhealthy, this is when you expect your relationships to fall apart. If you think all you meet are jerks and crazies that use you and leave you, you will find evidence of this. I encourage you to ask yourself WHY you think and assume this. Is it because it’s been your track record? Then it’s time to investigate how you feel about YOURSELF. How you feel about yourself will dictate how your relationships are. True story.

5. You sabotage any healthy relationship you’re in. Let’s say you’re had a string of shit relationships. Then you meet a really nice, normal, loving guy. Pretty soon you find yourself picking fights, or flirting with other guys, or maybe you’re thinking of leaving the relationship altogether. A couple of things might be happening. First, you’re bored and probably used to craziness- not normalness. (See #6) or deep down your gremlin is telling you that you don’t deserve to have this nice, healthy relationship, so you do things maybe consciously or unconsciously to cause problems to end the relationship.

6. You’re a drama addict. If you’re so used to chaos, intensity and drama, you may be a drama addict. I personally don’t see anything wrong with a little drama every once in a great while (because let’s face it, make-up sex is hot), but if this is your default way of communicating with your partner, or if your relationship has really high highs, and really low lows, that can be unhealthy. When I got married for the second time, I had to get used to communicating without yelling, slamming doors, hanging up on each other, and ending each argument with, “go fuck yourself”. At times I thought my new marriage was boring, but my therapist assured me that NOT doing all of those volatile things and actually communicating respectfully was normal and healthy. Who knew?

7. You’re waiting for someone to “complete” you. Hey sister- Prince Charming also had his not-so-great, ball scratching, asshole moments. I want to vomit every time I see that scene in Jerry McGuire where he tells her, “You complete me”. Barf.

Truth: Autonomy is essential to a healthy relationship. If you aren’t complete before you get into a relationship, you’re in trouble. To be fair, I’m not saying you need to get to a place of enlightenment before you date. I think taking responsibility for what’s yours and what’s not is the first step and if you’re willing to look at that in your relationship, you’re on the right track. But, if you’re actually looking for someone to complete you, you’re in trouble. It’s no one’s job but yours to bring your own happiness to the relationship. Putting that on a partner is not only unfair, but unhealthy.

If you notice something about all 7 of these- they all come back to self. I see people all the time (and I did it myself), search for love and happiness in a relationship. Yes, it’s important to have those things, but if you don’t have it in yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST, you’ll be running around in circles thinking, “What is wrong with me!?”. I assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, nor do you need fixing. The answer is in you.

Direct download: Episode108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/107

Welcome to episode 107 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! The conversation you’ll hear on today’s show is so important; it’s about friendships, and how to develop the intimacy and BFFs you really want.

And there is no one better qualified to speak to this than Shasta Nelson. Shasta is the founder of GirlfriendsCircle.com, a woman's friendship matching site for women across the US and Canada. She also has authored two books on the subject of friendship, Friendships Don’t Just Happen and Frientimacy. Plus she writes regularly for The Huffington Post and has appeared on Katie Couric and The Today Show.

Today we talk about the importance friendship plays in enriching our lives, changing us and keeping us healthy. Shasta also explains how to develop intimacy and when to know a friendship is ready to develop deeper intimacy.

 

Direct download: ShastaNelson_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/106

Recently this topic has come across my radar. I’ve been thinking a lot about “your thing” and not the “thing” that refers to a man’s penis (although that would be a funnier post than this), but “your thing” in reference to your life purpose, your greatest passion, that thing you were put on this earth to do.

(Let me just start by saying- fucking fantastic. Let’s add another enormous pressure to the never-ending list for women.)

Sarcasm aside, let’s look at this for a moment. I’ve always thought it was crazy to ask 16 or 17 year-old kids to pick a college major. To actually pick something they want to do as a career. Forever. When I was 17, all I wanted to do was pick the right body suit to wear (remember those, early 90’s?), let alone what I wanted to study for 4 years, then do as a career. I envied my peers that did know and felt bad about myself that I did not. Clearly there was something wrong with me and I was a flake.

Direct download: Ep106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

http://yourkickasslife.com/podcast/105

Welcome to episode 105 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! This week I’ve got another fabulous guest to bring to you - Ms. Sarah Jenks. Sarah is the creator and founder of Live More Weigh Less, a movement born from her personal experiences and struggles with weight loss and body image. As a full-figured woman who had struggled with her weight for years, Sarah one day realized she was waiting on the weight before pursuing a life she loved. So she let go of her weight loss fixation and instead went after the great job, the great wardrobe or the amazing relationship. On today’s show Sarah explains how doing so helped her lose weight without dieting, led her to quit her advertising job, go to nutrition school and start Live More Weigh Less.

Direct download: SaraJenks_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

A few weeks ago I hosted the 7-Day Courage Challenge, where hundreds of women come together. I open up a Facebook group and these brave women come in and share their answers to daily challenges and questions I send them. One challenger posted this in the group, and I felt inclined to write about it...

“The thing that I beat myself up over is the fact that I can't seem to get any of it right! I feel dumb saying that, I live a relatively nice life it's not like I'm alone and destitute or anything. I just feel like I've always been capable of so much more and somehow am too defective to make it work. I screwed up college so bad I never graduated. I've had opportunities pass me by because I either 1) start and never finish or 2) don't bother because I know I'll f*** it up. Now here I am staring 40 in the face and what am I? Like, shouldn't I know by now? I get in my head and make great plans and goals and dreams and I just can't get out of my own way to make it work. I don't think I'm doing life right.” -Sara

First of all-- define “doing life right”. When I hear this term, it’s a big giant fucking red flag that screams one word: Perfect. Personally, I don’t know anyone who’s perfect (and I know a lot of really, really awesome people), and I don’t want to know anyone who’s perfect. I wouldn’t trust that person for shit.

On the other side of that same coin, if I had to guess, I’d bet you have super high expectations of yourself. You thought you would be at x, y, and z when you turned 40 and you’re not there. Or, you’re comparing yourself to other people that are your age, or even strangers you make up have better lives than you do. My friend Christine calls this an expectation hangover, when we expect things will be a certain way, and they turn out different. So, check yourself. What is “so much more” that you speak of? Write it out. I’m all for you having goals to achieve your version of “success”, but watch out if that version of success is for you, or if it’s expectations that you think matter to make you “worthy” and loved more by others, or if it’s the expectations others have put on you.

Personally, I think everyone is doing life right. Right for them. No matter how much you look your life and think, “Wow, I’m really screwing things up”, or “ I’m not living up to my potential”, you’re still doing life right for you.

And I know this is hard to wrap your head around because we all like to judge others and ourselves. But, I think about Andrea circa 2006. There I was dumped by my husband for another woman, dating a drug addict, pushed away all of my friends, quit my job for said drug addict, everything fell apart, I was broke, in debt and had to move in with my sister (and she DID “have her shit together”, married, job, kids, mortgage, all the things I didn’t have). Some might say I was doing life wrong and that I needed to get my shit together. Hell, I said that to myself. Even in the midst of all that-- when I woke up and knew I was making bad choices when I knew I needed to change... I chose to stay. I chose to keep living like I was living, for months.  

Now, having had the same thoughts that Sara has, I can tell you this I know for sure: When you’re sure your goals and need to change is for YOU and no one else, you have to get to a certain point where staying where you are hurts more than changing. Where complaining that you’re “doing life wrong” pains you more than going after those opportunities you’ve been passing up. I believe all of us have a pain tolerance, and once you reach your threshold, something breaks lose and you move. And I don’t know where that is for you. Maybe you’ll have a life-changing moment like I did, or maybe you’ll just wake up one day and decide.

You’ll get these invitations often. Sometimes they’re large and sometimes tiny. But, you’ll keep getting them. Invitations to show up in the world, invitations for amazing and thought provoking conversations, invitations to walk away from relationships and invitations to start new ones. And you keep declining the invitations and the more you do this, the worse you feel. Until one day you say yes. And no matter how small, everything changes.

Because you, my dear, were not destined not to show up. It WILL happen when it’s time. And again, I don’t know when that is for you. But, just listen and watch for those invitations. And I’ll tell you something else I know for sure: Don’t wait until you’re brave enough. Don’t wait until you’re “fearless”. There’s no such thing. Showing up and accepting invitations to change is scary-as-fuck. Change can be scary-as-fuck. But, what’s scarier is looking down the line 50 years from now and seeing you said “no” to every single invitation.

One more thing I want to say about your post. You say, “I get in my head and make great plans and goals and dreams and I just can't get out of my own way to make it work.” I’m making this up over here, but you might be making up these GRAND plans and goals and dreams and then you think about taking action, and it’s just too big. I may be wrong, but most of the smart, high-achieving women I attract in my circles think this way: It’s all or nothing. Either I take on the world, or I’m nothing. Either I am crazy-successful, or I’m a lazy piece of shit.

It doesn’t have to be black or white. If you make it that way, you’ll always, and I mean always fail and feel like an epic failure. Look for the grey area. And I know this is hard. I too am a recovering all-or-nothing kind of girl, so the middle ground, and failing, and getting back up is haaaard. But, you have to make tiny, turtle steps to go after what you want.

And if you change your mind about your goals, so what? You’re allowed. Maybe the goals end up being not what you hoped it would be (been there), maybe you realized halfway through you were doing it for other people and not for yourself (been there too, yuk), or maybe your heart is just not in it anymore (yep). But, if you’re quitting because you think you aren’t good enough, or you think you might not do it right, or you think people might think you’re weird, or it makes them uncomfortable or whatever reason that doesn’t matter to you, YOU’RE QUITTING FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS MATTER. YOU MATTER. WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY MATTERS. AND FOR FUCKS SAKE YOUR TRUTH MATTERS.

And wait-- I actually have one more thing to say about this post. You might want to look at forgiving yourself for your “mistakes”. For not finishing college and whatever else you’re still beating yourself up about. You’re putting a lot of emphasis on what those things MEAN about you-- but you’re allowed to be kind to yourself, and love yourself, and matter, even if you quit school. Think about what else you making up about who you are as a human based on decisions you made in the past. And work on forgiveness.

So, again, you’re not “doing life wrong”. All this waiting and quitting and feeling bad has prepared you for something. It’s up to you to make that happen in whichever way you’re ready for.

Right click to download the .mp3

If you want to join a community of like-minded women ready to work on stuff that matters, like self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, and that damn inner-critic, check out The Kick-Ass Courage Project: 30-Day Experience. Four big topics, 30 days, TONS of learning and transformation, a community of like-minded women, and guidance by yours truly. Registration open until June 27th. Click here to join us.

Direct download: Episode104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Just an FYI- along with reading, you can listen to this post as well. Simply click the “play” button.

In 2008 I had a mentor tell me, “When your blog starts to grow in popularity, stay away from topics revolving around politics, religion, and race. It’s too risky, and one wrong move can ruin your reputation.”

She was trying to protect me. Helping me “stay on course” and only talk about personal development.

However.

For me to go on pretending like nothing is happening, to say nothing at all is unacceptable. How can I tell you to stand up for what you believe in, practice courage, and follow your intuition if I’m not practicing it myself whenever possible? So, here we go...

Two major things have happened recently. Let me start with the most recent.

Although I highly doubt you haven’t heard, but just in case-- this past Saturday a man shot and killed 49 people and injured at least 53 in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

This is heartbreaking. And infuriating. And scary.

If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about the victim’s families. And like me, you probably can’t help but think about your own family. I think about my children, how I worry about them going to school, and when they get older going to the movies, out dancing, and to places where they normally should feel safe and be safe. Many of us no longer feel safe anymore.

When I was in elementary school we had earthquake drills and fire drills. Now, my children have drills on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

Let me repeat that. In the United States of America-- the land of the free-- my children in kindergarten and second grade, had a drill this year on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

I’m not sure how to wrap my head around this.

So, this isn’t a post about how pissed off I am or how I think you should vote this November. Right now it’s not a time for me to sway any opinions you have. This is a post about what you can actually do.

Because I imagine in all of your sadness, fear, anger and whatever else you’re feeling, you also face a feeling of helplessness. Here are a few action steps to take:

Here’s how you can give blood. Read what you need to (requirements, the process, FAQ’s), then click the green button to find a donation center in your area. You don’t have to live in Orlando to make a difference.

Here is the Go Fund Me page to support victims of the Pulse shooting. You can read more about where that money goes on that page.

For more resources like finding a vigil in your area (or adding one), go to WeAreOrlando.org.

If you have an opinion about it, contact your state senator to tell them how you feel about gun laws. You can search by state.  You can also find your representative here. If you’re stumped on what to say in the letter, you can find a sample here. (Scroll down a bit).

The second recent tragedy is about Brock Turner, a Stanford University student was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman. If this is the first you are hearing of this, please watch this because I believe it’s summed up nicely.

He’s been sentenced to a mere six months in county jail, which he will likely be free in three months. There are so many WTF’s about this tragedy, one of them being that Brock Turner has never publicly taken responsibility for his actions, only blaming peer pressure and Stanford’s party culture.

Again, this isn’t a post about how outraged I am (but for the record, I am). I think many of you are. And you’re wondering what you can DO about it. Well, here are some things:

Take the time to read the letter from the rape victim (known only as “Emily Doe”) wrote to Judge Persky. Her voice is important. Her story is important and it matters to all of us. Emily Doe represents all of us.

If you feel he should be, sign the petition to have Judge Persky removed from the bench.

And this is a really, really important one. Watch the documentary The Mask You Live In. It streams on Netflix or you can see it for $3.99 on YouTube. The trailer is here.

“Whether it’s homicidal violence or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling ashamed and humiliated or feel they would be if they didn’t prove they were REAL men.”   - Dr. James Gilligan, Psychiatrist and educator

So, why is that documentary so important?

We need to do better raising our boys. Of course I’m not saying your boys are bad. I’m saying our culture is not creating an environment for boys and men to express feelings and ask for connection, so it’s on us to create this. As well as question these cultural norms.

Although both of the tragedies above are different, they both involve violence perpetrated by men. And many of you are raising boys, or know someone who is, or have some kind of influence on boys whether it be a nephew, brother, student, etc. And by watching the documentary, you’re educating yourself about what’s important and what needs to change.

All I’m asking is for you to start a conversation. That’s how change happens. By questioning the status quo, shining the light on a cultural and social problem, and opening it up for conversation with people you care about.

Direct download: 103.5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EST

Welcome to episode 103 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! As always I am delighted to bring you today’s guest, Jen Louden. Jen has been a consultant and a teacher for over two decades, and one of the areas she focuses on is helping women to not hold back. When I asked what she means by that she explains not holding back means life is living us. Typically we are the ones who get in our own way and she helps women to stop doing that, and to stop holding back.

Jen and I also talk about the role creativity plays in keeping us alive and “juicy”! Jen says we are all creators, whether it’s a meal we make, flowers we arrange, or the lives we build. And because of that we must remind ourselves over and over again we are the ones who can and do make things happen.

Direct download: JenLouden_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Hi ass kickers! Today I combine a solo episode and a listener question, plus some input from my good friend and colleague Kate Anthony. Here’s the question I received from Nikki, a member of the YKAL community:

I would really like for Andrea to talk about life after divorce on the podcast. I know it is a really heavy topic, but Andrea is literally a picture to me of where I want to end up.

I love that she is able to laugh with such joy, and I love that she managed to build a family and a beautiful business afterwards, so I think if she could help us dip our toes into what one should do at the different stages post divorce, in terms of your self talk and ownership etc. Andrea touches on all these topics, but I would love a pod specifically addressing divorce.

Also a related topic, forgiveness, (whether or not it relates to divorce). Forgiveness, what it means and what it doesn't mean.

Niki Evangelia Elizabeth
__________________________________________________________

I got this question and thought it would be great to answer on the podcast because most-- if not all of us-- have been broken hearted. And it’s easy for me to quickly tell my story and tell you all that I’m so much better now, but you’re missing a big part of it-- HOW I did and continue to do so today.

In this episode I talk about how I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes we’re never fully “over it” or “healed”. And once we accept that, is when we can start to feel better, forgive, trust again, and move on.

And to be really honest, I feel like I have scar tissue on my heart. Like I’m about 90 percent healed. And that feels like a lot and and it feels like enough. But, getting remarried didn’t heal me. Moving out of the city I used to live in didn’t heal me. Having children didn’t heal me. Having a successful business didn’t heal me. Time didn’t heal me. What healed me is surrendering to the process of grief, loss, longing, nostalgia, disappointment, and accepting the fact that the dream I had was dead. And honoring it. Listen to the episode where I go into much more detail about that.

About halfway through the episode, I bring my friend Kate on. When my husband and I divorced, we had no children together, so I didn’t have to see him anymore. I didn’t have the agony of co-parenting, or anxiety of him getting remarried and having a stepparent in the picture. So, I asked Kate a few questions on how she has coped with her divorce, having had a child with her ex-husband. After Kate briefly tells her story, I ask her:

  • What have you done to heal?
  • How did you feel when he got remarried?
  • Are you still heartbroken? If so, how do you deal with it?
  • How have you dealt with forgiveness and what does it look like to you?

I hope you give it a listen! Even if you’ve never been married, or you’re long divorced, I’m sure you’ll find some take-aways you didn’t know you needed ;)

Direct download: Episode102_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 101 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Today’s guest is an old friend of mine, a truly insightful, wise and amazing woman named Cherie Healey. As a board-certified coach she works with women to help them get what they want so they can change the world. She is also the founder of Tapped In Leader, One Woman Effect and the Bring It Group. Cherie calls herself a possibilitarian and on this episode she explains what that is exactly!

Also on this episode we talk about how she became the leader she is today, why teaching your knowledge is the final stage of learning and why that teaching stage is so critical to your overall development and fulfillment in life.

Direct download: 101_Cherie_Healey_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

As you may know, a foundational piece of the work I do with women is working on managing their inner-critics. Creating a new way of speaking to themselves that is kind and compassionate instead of beating themselves up.

And every once in a while, I get this question “What if I see my inner-critic as my motivator? The voice that pushes me to be better in all aspects in my life?”

And your thoughts might look like this:

“Oh, Janice lost 30 pounds recently. If she can do it I can lose 40.”

“I really was an idiot and screwed up that work project. I’ll stay late and come in early for the next month, and do a WAAAY better job next time”

"You know your husband is an ass-man. Amp up the squats, Ms. Flat Ass"

Basically, your inner-critic is comparing you to others-- saying you can do better, pushing you to do better based on you falling short or failing, and really just using any “shortcomings” to try and make you a better person.

(You know where this is going, right?)

People, let’s just be honest here. Your inner-critic is being an asshole by doing this. Does this ever feel good? Unless you’re a masochist (which, to each his own. Seriously.) this isn’t good for you. You know what always works and wins?

Love.

Kindness.

Compassion.

Courage.

Giving yourself the internal beat-down might change your behavior on a dime, but I can assure you it’s for the short-term, ends up making you feel like shit, and diminishes self-confidence.

So, no. The answer is no to “can my inner-critic be my motivator”. Your inner-critic is the voice that is sending messages from beliefs you have about yourself. Beliefs that we ALL have that don’t serve us. Beliefs like:

I’m not good enough

Everyone else has it figured out but me

I’m a fraud and soon everyone will know

I don’t deserve a healthy relationship

And on and on. It’s like our inner-critic’s job to remind us of those beliefs on a regular basis as well as point out evidence that it’s true.

See? You screwed up at work again. Looooser.

See? Another fight. You’re doomed to be alone.

See? Those pants are tight. You’re enormous.

Y’all. It doesn’t have to be this way. No one beats themselves up into happiness, success, being in shape, or a kick-ass life. The solution is to start small. First, recognize the bastard. Hear it and see it. This isn’t a fun exercise, but awareness is half the battle. If you don’t know what is there and when it happens, you’ll just go on listening and believing all the bullshit. Second, slowly work on changing your thoughts and beliefs. Over and over again. Or, believe the a-hole and feel like shit. Your choice.

I’m being really forthright here because I’ve seen this one thing change people’s mother-loving lives. Mine included. And if you want free and amazing support here, join me for a free online event: The 7-Day Courage Challenge where I'll teach you to speak kindly to yourself. We start June 1st! 

Direct download: Episode100MixedUnedited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 99 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! You are in for a very special treat - Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (or SARK-- isn’t that the best name EVER!?) is here with us. She’s like the big sister you always wished you would’ve had and she’s bringing her big sister wisdom and guidance to this episode!

SARK has known since she was a little girl that her purpose is to transform and uplift others and she does that with her books, her products, programs, her art and through speaking. She is a best-selling author who has been acknowledged and celebrated by such notable thought leaders as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Maya Angelou.You know...no big deal.

On this episode, SARK and I talk about how to feel multiple feelings at the same time and how to navigate them all, how to care for your feelings (including a 5 second technique to doing so) and the role curiosity can play in helping us solve many of our issues.

 

Direct download: SARK_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I talk about the inner-critic a lot. I do it because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this beast— the voice in your head that keeps you small— has the capacity to be the ONE thing that prevents you from living your most kick-ass life. And when it’s uncovered, managed, and transformed...everything changes.

This post is about a real-life situation that happened to me a few years ago, and how I’m dealt with my own inner-critic. I'll also weave in a couple of examples that might happen in your life...

A couple of years ago I wrote a book. I got a book deal, the book went out to the world and in its first 14 months of publication sold over 10,000 copies.

And I totally freaked out.

It wasn’t an “OMG-this-is-so-amazing!” kind of freak out. It was a “I’m-so-incredibly-uncomfortable-with-all-this-success-and-attention-I-can’t-be-a-functioning-human-being-ever-again” kind of freak out.

I soldiered on through the book promotion and hid out for about 4 months when it was over. Then I went head first into working on my own shit because what happened during that time was a HUGE indicator that work needed to be done.

Then about a year ago the call came from my literary agent. He and my publisher are ready for me to write a second book. He asked for an outline and I told him I would have it emailed over by the end of May. May 30th came and went and I hadn't started. I procrastinated like it was my JOB. I’m was ready to write the book except OMG THAT’S SCARY!

Why so scary, you ask? Because here’s what my inner-critic says to me the minute my agent tells me they are ready for book #2 and they want an outline:

"What, I think I’m an author now?"

"This one needs to be better than the first"

"My new idea isn't good enough"

"They're going to pass on it or make me change it"

And when I dig really deep and ask myself what I’m really afraid of-- it’s failure a little bit, yes. But what scares me the most…is success.

It’s the big message of “Who do you think you are?”

I’m no stranger to this question. I’ve been hearing it and working on it (over and over) since I started my business nearly six years ago. Well, to be honest, most of my adult life.

And as I’ve been going through it again and working through it, I knew I needed to tell you— my dear ass-kickers—what the steps are exactly to make my way through it and carry on. So, here they are:

Before I jump in--  this doesn't have to be directly related to doing and accomplishing big goals. Maybe you want to speak up in a meeting, ask someone out, initiate sex with your partner, have a hard conversation with someone, or set a boundary. Any of those examples has the ability to make your inner-critic go nuts, so these steps definitely apply here.

As a bonus step- before ANY of this happens, is that it’s hugely helpful to know what your actual triggers are. What makes your inner-critic go crazy? My work is a trigger for me. Writing is both art and career (and a calling) so I know I am very vulnerable to shame here. Wait-- did someone just say SHAME? Yes, I did. Something this big for me has the opportunity to bring up so much discomfort: criticism, failure, rejection, and feeling not good enough. All things that are a shame shit-storm for me. And when we’re in shame, we hide unless we PRACTICE another way.

Step 1: I know it’s happening. This might sound obvious, but for many people, they’re so used to living in fear and being paralyzed by the a-hole voice in their head, they don’t even realize it’s happening.

For me, I know when I’m not returning phone calls (in this case it would be specifically to my agent), hiding out, procrastinating, telling NO ONE what’s going on, feeling anxious about what’s happening,  beating myself up, and going over “what if” scenarios over and over, I know I’m in trouble. That’s when I know I need to:

Step 2: Reach out and tell my story. Like Brené Brown teach us: It’s the right story, at the right time, to the right person. Lucky for me I have those people in my life. I can call them and say, “Hey, this is happening and I’m so freaked out by it”. And they don’t judge me, they don’t try to fix it, and they don’t tell me I’m crazy for thinking that and to get over it. They see me and hear me and love me in all my human-ness/human-mess. When we tell our stories to the right people shame can’t survive. It’s as simple as that.

Step 3: Do the hard thing anyway. As I type this, earlier this week I sent my outline to my agent for feedback so we can send it to the publisher. I even told him what I wanted in my contract this time (SCAAAARRRY). And I didn’t die.

Once I had acknowledged what I was really afraid of and told my story to people I trust, it was easier to keep going. Was it less scary? Maybe, maybe not. But, the inner-critic voice had lost its power. And when it loses its power, we can make room for taking the action that lines up with what we really want in life.

Need support with your inner-critic? Join me and lots of women just like you as I personally take you through the 7-Days of Courage Challenge! It's one thing to read about it, but a whole nother animal when you put the tools into ACTION! We start June 1st! Sign up for free here.

Direct download: Episode98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 97 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast! Thank you for being here and for listening to my chat with the lovely and talented Hannah Marcotti. Hannah is a coach for highly sensitive people (are you one too?); she herself is also a highly sensitive person.

On this episode Hannah talks about some of the telltale signs that you or a loved one are highly sensitive, such as only being able to wear certain clothes because they feel right and nothing else does or not being able to tolerate loud, crowded places, etc. She also shares why it's so helpful to know this about yourself and appreciate the gift that high sensitivity offers you.

Direct download: HannahMarcotti_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Usually when I record a solo podcast episode, you get to read the whole thing here in a handy-dandy blog post. However, this lesson/episode has a story attached that is so...I don’t even know how to describe it...painful/excruciating/funny/embarrassing, to type it up won’t do it justice. You’ll just have to listen.

In it, I’m sharing with you times I’ve done something vulnerable and fallen on my face. Stories where it didn’t work out. And how I got back up again and moved on.

I start with the story of me going to see Rob Bell speak last week in Durham and I made a complete asshat of myself, not once, not twice, but three times in one day. The second one wasn’t quite that bad, but the third one was so bad if you’re that person who has trouble watching excruciating moments during reality shows, (like me) this will make you uncomfortable. This picture of me with crazy eyes and Rob Bell was taken about 10 minutes before that third thing happened…

I actually had a different episode planned for today, but this thing happened and I decided to share it for three reasons:

  1. When it happened, I swore to myself I would NOT share it with listeners b/c it was so humiliating. When I think something like that, I know it’s hit an edge with me and it’s something for me to think about, work through, and then share with you.
  2. Everyone has these moments. I teach courage and kickassery-- if I can’t tell you my failures and how I get back up, what good is it?
  3. I told the story to Amy (my BFF) and she laughed to hard she had tears streaming down her face. So, hopefully you can both cringe and laugh with me. Trust me when I tell you I wasn’t laughing when it happened, but I laughed when I told her later.

Then, I’ll talk about asking some big-name self-help people I’ve invited to be on the show, being rejected, and the one big takeaway I know that keeps me going.

And last I’ll talk about love-- what’s it like to have two back-to-back failed relationships, and not just failed-- like fall-on-your-face betrayed, cheated on, lied to, conned and dumped ….and finding love and trust again. (Hint: it’s hard, and complicated, and still a work in progress).

I’ll tell you the story of what made me imagine what it would look like if my husband and I split up, got divorced, had to tell my kids, all of it. Essentially, I was rehearsing tragedy. Because JOY IS HARD. My life is great and hard and messy and beautiful and all of it is vulnerable to feel my way through it. I know what disaster looks like and feels like. Those memories are visceral and real and when they come up, I use them now to alert me to LEAN INTO JOY. Lean into love. And that’s hard because I know it could all get taken away at any second. But, I can choose to obsess on that, or I can choose to see it, acknowledge it, and choose love and joy. Rehearsing tragedy for me is me being lazy. It’s easy to do that. It’s hard to surrender to joy. Listen to the episode to get the FULL story!

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

And hey-- did you know? YKAL got an upgrade and we have a new website! To celebrate we’re running a giveaway*. To enter, simply do one of two things:

  1. Go to Facebook and share this link. Simply click the “share” button and viola! You’re entered. Or...
  2. Go to my Instagram account and repost one of the recent posts about my free e-book How the Shit Talking in Your Head is Making You Crazy and 3 Ways to Change it. (It’s easy to use a repost app for that!). Make sure to tag @yourkickasslife so I can enter you.

Details: I’m giving away one of each: A signed copy of my book, a 5-Minute Journal, a Mantra Band, and a Knock-Knock Journal.  (Contest runs from 4/22/16 to 4/29/16 at midnight Eastern time. Winners will be contacted via the social media avenue you entered, so be sure to check your emails/DM’s there. One entry per person. No purchase necessary)



Resources mentioned in this podcast:

How to Handle Your Inner-Mean Girl blog post and podcast episode

Dr. Martha Atkins podcast episode on death, dying, and grief

Rob Bell’s website

Direct download: PodcastFinal96.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 95 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. This episode is a first for the show: we are talking about death, dying and grief. You might be thinking, “Yeah, no thanks!” And yes, these are things we’ve never covered before but a topic that is incredibly powerful and necessary. Seriously, ass kickers, this was one of my favorite conversations on the YKAL podcast!

Dr. Martha Atkins joins us to share her wisdom on this topic. Dr. Martha is the CEO of her own company, holds a PhD in counseling education and is also a published author on the topic of grief, death and dying.

Even if you’ve never lost a close friend or family member you’ve still been touched by loss. When a relationship ends, a friendship changes or a job doesn’t pan out the way you had hoped, there is loss and with loss comes grief.   

On this episode Dr. Martha shares her personal stories of loss and grief, and what led her to do this work. Episode 95 is a powerful conversation guaranteed to touch you and provide insights on the grief cycle; the insights you hear today will help you the next time you’re faced with any kind of loss.

Direct download: MarthaAtkins_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Hi ass kickers! Welcome to our first edition of Listener Q & A. You sent me your questions, and I’ve answered them on the podcast. If you’re not familiar with the podcast, simply click the pink player button above to listen, or you can find the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast on iTunes (Apple devices) or Stitcher (Android).

I answered three questions on everything from relationships, to the inner-critic, to setting boundaries. And more! I hope you enjoy listening!

At minute 3:51...
My question is, how do I deal with in-laws that I don't trust? My in-laws live several hundred miles away, so I only see them 3-4 times a year. But, whenever I have to see or talk to them, I feel very anxious, tense and guarded. My experience with them has shown that whatever I say or do is closely scrutinized. I have to defend everything I say or do when I'm with them. As a result, I reveal as little of myself as I can. I feel like I'm hiding behind a shield of fabricated blandness. It feels gross and exhausting. I don't trust that they love me unconditionally and I don't trust they have my back. How do I maintain this relationship without all the anxiety and in-authentic posturing? I don't feel safe to let my guard down, but I hate the way this relationship feels and the stress it causes me.
-Sara

I have three juicy questions for Sara to think about, hopefully that will help her think some about the situation from new perspectives. I let her know she may have unrealistic expectations of this relationship and direct her also to another podcast I did with Christine Hassler, author or Expectation Hangover. If anyone has had disappointing relationships, give that episode a listen!

Even if you don’t have the same situation with in-laws that Sara does, you probably have that person in your life where you have the choice to have a conversation with them about something that is unsaid.
___________________________________________________________________

At 11:51...

I have been doing a lot of work on my inner critic. Every time I start to let her come out, I write down everything she says and then flip the paper over to write what I would tell a friend if they told me that stuff. I haven't done it in a while but have became more aware of the thoughts and more able to switch the thoughts. I'm super proud to this!!

But I have started to neutralize myself. Like I don't feel anything. I'm not sure where to go from here. Sometimes I feel bad for not being such a worrier. I’m not feeling the emotions the way I want. I'm missing out on true joy. I'm scared if I feel more than all the bad will rush back in. Yes, I don't feel as miserable but I don't feel happiness either. What are some tools to use to get over this numbing.

Thank you
Amy

First, can we give Amy a HELL YES for doing the work? The tool she used there is from the “quick and dirty” section of my 14-day Gremlin e-course.

I’m so glad Amy asked this question-- this is a typical progression for people that work on their inner-critics. They get to a place where they’re like, “Now what?” In this section of the podcast, I take Amy though some additional exercises to get to “feeling the feels” and drop this quote:
“Be gentle. You are meeting parts of yourself you’ve been at war with.” -from the book, It’s Not About Food

I give Amy 2 more tools to use to help her, and refer her to listen to this podcast episode about how hard it is for so many people to lean into JOY.

At the end of this section of the episode, I talk about the importance of friendships when it comes to processing your feelings. Friendships need to be intentional! I talk more about that here.
__________________________________________________________

At 25:55...

Not long before I found you, I decided to divorce my husband as my son deserves the opportunity for two happy homes instead of one unhappy home. My son also has autism - his dad and I have separate ideas of what our son needs (part of the reason for the divorce). Reading Brené Brown’s chapter on wholehearted parenting helped me see that I engage in the comparison of who is the better parent. Unfortunately dad has absolutely no interest in trying to co-parent or get additional services for our son. I feel that I can't do enough to help him, while at the same time reassuring that he is good enough as he is. I know I am not the only parent with 50/50 joint custody of a child where the parents are unable to communicate and discuss the best interest of the child, let alone one with special needs. What I am looking for is someone else who has had similar struggles or a way to figure out how I can do the best that I can do while accepting that dad might be doing the same thing (although I will never know as he hides what happens at his home). What I don't want is to put my son though the court system so I can have full custody thinking that I am the "better" parent.

Best,
Autumn

Even if you’re not the single parent of a child with Autism, this portion of the episode will probably help you. I tell Autumn about one of my favorite sayings from 12 step programs that’s always helpful to let go of what someone else is doing or not doing.

In addition, I provide some helpful resources (my son has Autism too), as well as the importance of self-compassion.

Also, OMG also, I talk about boundaries. Here’s the video I mention of my fairy godmother (and yours), Brené Brown talking about just this:

Screenshot 2016-04-06 19.03.28.png

Lastly, I mention the podcast episode I did with Randi Buckley on setting boundaries.

Ass kickers, I hope this episode was helpful for you and if you have a question you’d like answered in our next edition (coming out in about a month or so), shoot us an email at support@yourkickasslife.com.

Hugs and ass kicking,
Andrea

Today is the LAST DAY to grab your bonuses with The Self-Love Revolution Master’s Course home-study! Get your self-lovin’ on for under $100 along with badass bonuses!

Direct download: Podcast94Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 93 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Today my new friend from Soul Camp is here to talk about love and relationships. Rachel DeAlto is a certified coach from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) certified coach and a certified hypnotherapist from the International Association Of Counselors & Therapists (IACT). She’s been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN/HLN, The Steve Harvey Show, Fox News, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, among others. If that wasn’t enough she’s also given two TEDx talks: one on the Power of Kindness and another on Killing Fear! On this episode Rachel shares her perspective on what makes a healthy relationship, what self-love means and how she practices it, plus how to heal a broken heart no matter what stage of grief you are in.

Direct download: RachelDeAlto_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Why do I talk about the inner-critic so much?

This is the thing that gets in the way of us showing up fully, of having those tough conversations that allow us to get what we want and to stand up for ourselves. This is the voice that asks us “What will people think” that drives us to perfectionism, people pleasing, and trying to control everything. This is the voice that makes us feel like shit so that we lash out and blame.

And a lot of times this is the voice of shame. Old childhood stuff that sticks with us and haunts us. So when we don’t know this is happening, it rules our life and nothing changes. That’s why I’m hellbent on teaching you all to manage that voice.

Truth: I still have an inner-mean girl. It’s the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough, I’m not doing it right, I am most definitely falling short, and asks, “Who do you think you are?” when I go after what I want.

Over the years I’ve worked and worked on her. I’ve embraced the little girl in her that is hurting and afriad. I’ve hated her, I’ve had compassion for her (btw- having compassion for her feels waaay better). I’ve listened to her, I’ve pushed her aside. And I’ve noticed over the years she gets bent out of shape for different things, depending on what season of life I’m in. And of course, over the last few years, she’s been all up in my face about a very important role in my life:MOTHERHOOD.

And maybe your inner mean girl gets chatty around your body, your work, your relationships, your role as a daughter, friend, whatever. But, for the sake of this post, I’ll be giving you the example of motherhood.

My negative self-talk around it looks like this: I work too much. I should slow down and take time off. On the other hand, I could work more to make more money to buy them more things. I don’t read to them enough. I’m not organized enough. I should not work at all so I can homeschool them. They should go to private school. I’m not advocating enough for special needs son. I’m not teaching them enough about values. My son should know how to tie his shoes by now, I mean WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I THAT MY 7 YEAR OLD CAN’T TIE HIS SHOES YET?

I’m too impatient. I’m a pushover. I should make them make their beds every day. I should feed them better foods. They should be in science camp, I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet. OMG I could go on all day with this list.

And I know VERY WELL that I am not alone here. I know that even if your area today isn’t motherhood, it certainly is another area where this inner mean girl gets feisty. And when it comes down to it you have two choices on how to handle her:

Choice A. Let her rule you and buy into what she’s telling you, thus feeling like crap. Or

Choice B. Learn how to handle her and manage her.

Notice one of the choices is NOT “get rid of her and stop the chatter”. (Btw- anyone that is selling this is feeding you bullshit. No one is completely void of some negative self-talk.) We can’t eradicate it, but we can manage it. There are lots of tools to be able to have the self-talk management become easy, but I’m going to simplify it into two steps for you here:

Step 1: Figure out when your negative self-talk happens and what it is. It’s much easier to learn to manage if you can catch it in its tracks. Being proactive helps tremendously.

Step 2: Once you realize you’re in a shit-storm-a-palooza of inner mean girl talk, take a step back and tell yourself one or all of the following:

Wow, that drama in my head just happened.  

For the love of Jesus on a bicycle I’m doing the best I can.

Okay, let’s start those thoughts over because those other ones suck.

And why am I not telling you to change your thoughts into positive and happy ones? Um, because it’s hard? Guess what sisters– if I tell you to take the way you’ve been thinking for decades, and turn it upside-down and think OPPOSITE, more positive, cheery thoughts, I can almost guarantee it won’t work. You’ll feel like shit because it didn’t work and beat yourself up for it not working. And then you’d probably be mad at me.

When I find myself all sad-clown face about not being an awesome, perfect mom and realize I’ve spent the last ten minutes stressing out about my kid’s future and blaming myself for their lack of shoe tying awards, all I do is stop and tell myself I’m doing my best.

That’s it.

And sometimes I stop and start over many times in one day if I’m feeling especially vulnerable and afraid.

And here’s a bonus, a Step 3: Call a friend. I wrote about this a few weeks ago and what’s important here is that you’re calling the right person to tell them the right story at the right time. If you’re spiraling down, down, down, make sure you talk to someone who will give you what you need in that moment. You’re not alone in having moments of feeling not enough and that you’re falling short. You don’t have to go at it alone.

And if you’d like even more support here, I’m hosting a free workshop where I’m teaching my 3 most effective ways to manage your inner mean girl. Click here to sign up. I’m going into more depth and giving you practical tools you can apply in your life now to help handle your negative self-talk!

- See more at: http://yourkickasslife.com/coaching/how-handle-inner-mean-girl#sthash.ibfICj22.dpuf

Direct download: Podcast92Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Welcome to episode 91 of the Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. Even if you’ve listened to this show only a few times you know affirmations are not my thing. But a class I took at Soul Camp showed me affirmations can be incredibly powerful when combined with physical movement (who knew?!). Our guest for today’s show, Patricia Moreno, was the teacher of that class.

Patricia has found a way to combine affirmations with yoga, martial arts, and dance: it’s called the IntenSati method. After being with her at Soul Camp and simply falling in love with her I had to have her on the show.

In addition to teaching at Soul Camp, Patricia and the IntenSati method have also been featured on The Today Show, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, among other places. She is an award-winning fitness expert, a mindset specialist and a New Age thought leader.

On this episode we talk about what IntenSati is, how her upbringing led her to create it and how she’s fulfilling her mission to help others live the life they love in a body they love by spreading the IntenSati method worldwide.

Direct download: PatriciaMoreno_mixdown.lite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Originally I had titled this post, ‘What no one tells you about getting sober”, but really it’s what no one tells you about life.

In early 2011 I knew I needed to get sober. It’s a longer story, one you can read about here, but a couple months into my recovery, I realized I was going to have to face something that I had never done before:

Face my feelings sober.

And it’s no shock that many people that get sober from drugs and/or alcohol, turn to another “drug”: shopping, relationships, exercise, food, over-achieving, busyness, Internet, you-name-it. Whatever they can get their hands on to numb out with. Why? My guess is that they get sober and feelings come up. They don’t drink anymore, so they have to turn to something else to cope and numb.

We live in a culture that doesn’t teach us how to feel our feelings. There’s no class in school for it, and many families don’t talk openly about it. And even if we kind of know what to do with our feelings, rarely are we encouraged to do so. The generations before us were mostly emotionally illiterate– meaning vulnerability (which is what encouraging the expression of feelings is) is simply not fostered. Personally, I grew up in a house with a metric shit-ton of love, but when it came to vulnerability– Nope.

So in 2011 when I found myself sober, the irony was almost funny: When drinking I had my days feeling like I would crawl out of my skin if I didn’t have a drink (or 5), and then when I got sober, I felt like I had crawled out of my skin– like I was this raw person walking around bumping into everything. Emily McCombs says so eloquently about this stage:

“Snorting coke is not hardcore. Walking around feeling whatever fucked-up shit you feel, without escape, 24/7, is fucking hardcore.”

And yes, it’s fucking hardcore.

I think many of us get to a point where we feel shit come up– shame, disappointment (in others or ourselves), fear, worry, feeling like we don’t belong, *insert your hard feeling here*, and we instinctively run. Far away. Into a bottle of booze, an entire pizza, Facebook, online dating, food restricting, being busy, *insert your choice of numbing here*. We get so used to doing this we don’t even know we’re doing it. And you might think– “Well, what’s the harm? Those are SHITTY feelings! No one wants to feel those, DUH!”

Seriously, I used to say that too. And sometimes my addiction still whispers it in my ear, claiming it is the comfortable and easy solution. Like the time last year when my son was really struggling in school. Like the kind of struggling where my heart cracks open and I wonder if I would get arrested if I just kept him home all day and we just hung out and I would make sure no one came over at all, ever to talk to him for fear of hurting him. I was sitting at a stoplight and my mind slowed down and I thought, “I should have been doing more to advocate for him. I’ve been wasting time, we’ve lost time. What if he grows up to be an addict too? What if he starts drinking as a teenager like I did? What if because of my negligence in advocating for his special needs he becomes a heroin addict? I am seriously the worst mother. Gawd, I need a glass of wine.”

Just like that.

Because to BE in that place of feeling like a failure, to BE in that place of heartbreak for him is too much. My brain tells me I cannot bear the weight of this pain. My heart panics and cannot take it. Wine would make it better. It would go away.

And luckily for me, I have the tools (I’ll get to those in a minute) to see this quickly when it happens, and not drink.

But, I GET IT. I get that it totally blows to BE with those feelings. It’s raw, and brutal, and fucking hardcore.

But, here’s what I know for certain happens when we keep numbing…

The feelings don’t go away. The don’t just dissipate into the atmosphere with every sip or bite or mile on the treadmill. They kind of get shoved deeper into your body where they just wait. And they don’t just sit there. They kind of bounce around and manifest as anxiety or maybe depression for some or negative self-talk or self-loathing. And then we feel like shit and we don’t know why. The feelings don’t just go away. They fester and eat away at you. Until, one day, they have an exit point.

Feeling your feelings can be multi-layered. You may have trauma, which typically needs professional help from a trained therapist or other mental health professional. But, what I can do here is give you an example of what it might look like to get through feelings those hard feelings.

The example I gave above of feeling guilty, anxious, and afraid for my son. Because I’ve been doing this work for so long, I am quickly able to recognize that stream of thoughts and see what’s happening. This takes practice. You might spend days on end having those thoughts. Try to be mindful of it and see what’s happening. If you can’t stop them as they come, that’s okay. I want at first the win for you to know what’s happening.

Then, cry if you need to. Scream if it’s what feels right. Get really fucking angry. Say as many bad words as necessary, journal all your feelings out, write scathing letters you’ll never send. Just let it out.

Next, talk to someone who’s earned the right to hear your story. Not the bank teller, not your condescending mother-in-law, not your judgmental neighbor, not your friend that is only sometimes reliable, but someone who loves you for all your humanness and human-mess. If you don’t have this person, I know it’s hard, and you may not have this person for various reasons, but I beg you to reach deep on your courage and vulnerability and keep trying to find her.

The other thing is practicing compassion to myself. I made up that I was the worst mother because I didn’t advocate for my son enough. I didn’t do any Autism 5k’s ← Bad. I didn’t know about non-profits that had free parent liaisons ← Bad. I didn’t know what my rights were as a parent concerning his IEP ← Bad, all bad. But, the truth is: everyone falls short sometimes. In regards to my son, I didn’t know about a lot of things that were available to me because previously we hadn’t needed them.

Practicing self-compassion is just that: a practice. No one gets their yoga or meditation practice down on the first, second or third try. They keep at it over and over again and sometimes they have good days and sometimes they don’t. Same with self-compassion. But, the point is to try.

My hope is that you pull something out of this– even if it’s just knowing that you need to try to slow down on the numbing to face what’s happening inside of you. Solicit the help of your trusted friends. Know that your feelings are normal and okay. And please, be kind to yourself.

Direct download: Podcast90Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST