Kristen Kalp - Writer, poet, and business coach.

Ahoy there!

I help creative peeps and entrepreneurs connect to their truest selves through writing, breathwork, books, and business coaching. 2 coaching spots in 2018 remain.

⚡️ Please start here so I can properly introduce myself! ⚡️

Start here

Nicole Antoinette is a hiker. And that’s surprising, even to her.

Nic Antoinette headshot

“I had literally never been camping in my life.” — Nicole, just before starting on a 460-mile solo hike

Nicole Antoinette is a wild, wise human. She hosts Real Talk Radio — I was featured in season 12, if you want to hear me talking about being brave, getting bigger, and managing depression — which has got over a million downloads and is just plain GOOD podcasting and interviewing and humanity-listening.

In this episode of That’s What She Said, we’re talking about the craziness that possesses a human who has no history of camping or outdoorsy-ness to through-hike some of the nation’s toughest trails.

Whether you’re a hiker or not (and I’m *definitely* not), you’ll want to listen in as we talk about:

+ replacing addictive behaviors with healthy ones
+ self-reliance at its most literal
+ accessing the wild, ferrel, dirty state
+ the privilege of choosing our suffering
+ changing the stories we tell ourselves
+ living life online (as in, it’s her income) and offline (like not seeing any other humans for 4 days at a time on the trail)
+ recharging batteries and staying motivated for the long haul
+ where she’s planning to hike next
+ the existential questions we conquer when we’re given time in the wilderness
…and the importance of choosing ‘impossible’ tasks in our lives

I hope you’ll leave this conversation inspired to do at least one impossible thing.

If you’d like to keep tabs on Nicole, please do so by becoming a patron of her podcast and/or by playing on Instagram, where she shares once-daily updates while on the trail.

Unlikely Hikers also gets a shoutout during the interview, so check it out if you’d like to see evidence of more not-white and/or not-male humans hiking up a storm.

P.S.  This interview makes the long journey to the body even more relevant.

How to reclaim joy even if you’re currently miserable, sad, and/or angry.

productivity police

Most people are afraid that having found the perfect parking spot on a busy day at the mall directly translates to someone they know being diagnosed with a horrible illness this week. Or that having spent a day doing nothing with no distractions will cause the roof to leak. Or that a stunning business success means the car will break down within minutes of cash hitting your bank account.

Most people are absolutely terrified of joy.

I get it: joy is vulnerable.

Finding joy in the ocean or a lover or sunlight means you’ll have to admit that not being near the ocean or that lover or sunlight can be painful.

Further, because there’s always something to be miserable about, joy is easy for other people to bat out of our hands and shame away: don’t you know there are starving children/diseases/natural disasters/misery somewhere? HOW DARE YOU BE HAPPY!!!?

So, we pretend we don’t feel anything when we’re delighted. We tamp down our enthusiasm and get really fucking SERIOUS about joy. That means we leave delight to kids at birthday parties who are busy eating their eighth slice of Pinteresting cake after jumping in the bouncy house instead of actually feeling happy for a second ourselves.

(And we don’t enjoy the cake. We never really enjoy the cake, even if we bother to eat it.)

Brene Brown calls the part of us that looks around and waits for the other shoe to drop when we find something amazing ‘foreboding joy.’ It means we’re actively keeping one foot out of the good feelings in order to stave off the future sadness or despair that we believe is sure to follow.

Only, denying joy as it comes to us doesn’t make loss any less devastating. Depression doesn’t hold itself at bay because we’ve failed to enjoy ourselves for a whole month, and no one is handing out ‘Kept Her Smile Thin-Lipped and Didn’t Laugh’ awards.

Related! Listen to Joy 101: why I dress like a four-year-old for a deeper dive into the first steps to reclaiming joy.

What if we gave up on foreboding joy?

What if we reveled in everything we’ve got at this moment, EVEN THOUGH there’s misery in our lives and our friends’ lives and in the lives of most members of humanity?

…and what if we made room to experience delight and wonder and the full spectrum of being alive, in particular the emotions that are the most remarkable and astonishing?

I’ve fought my way through 17 years of depression, sadness, despair, and general wallowing in feels to be able to get to where I am now.  (See the bevy of articles about this topic here, here, here, here, and here.)

At this very moment, I can laugh easily, wag my bottom half at puppies, and make children giggle wherever I go. I’ve faced countless eyerolls and huffy noises from strangers because I don’t tamp the good shit down anymore. I don’t hold in laughs or hide smiles or try not to enjoy the enjoyable things in life.

In other words, I’ve earned joy.

I’ve slogged my way through internal goblins and demons and have fought tooth and nail for the full-throated laughter available to me in any given moment.

You can reclaim joy, too.

It starts with the willingness to experience it, even though someone, somewhere, isn’t happy at the moment. (And even though some part of you isn’t happy at the moment.)

All the Joy is a 1-hour breathwork class for identifying, feeling, and just plain enjoying joy.

If you’re ready to stop being afraid of the good emotions life has to offer — i.e. every single feeling that makes life worth living — it’s time to take the class. (Also if you’re ready to enjoy cake or stop batting down your own aliveness because someone, somewhere is suffering…)

I’ll ask you to lie down in a place where you feel safe, then walk you through the breathing pattern and through each step of returning to joy.  If you’ve got an hour and a bed, you’re ready.

This breathwork class is $22 and is available on March 20th, 2018.

That’s comparable to the cost of a drop-in yoga class and less than a hardcover book, only you can do this class as many times as you’d like and without having to put pants on. 😉

P.S. Joy is a choice.  And an act of resistance.

Anna Kunnecke will help you take back your life.

Anna Kunnecke

Okay, so.

When asking if you want to listen to a master life coach talking about what your clutter and/or lack of having-it-togetherness could be doing to your life (I CAN *HEAR* YOUR EYES ROLLING FROM HERE), note that this woman is a wordnerd:

“Reading is my most natural way to enter the world.”

…and note that Anna Kunnecke is a kind, wise, and empathetic soul who won’t shame you for your enormous laundry piles, the basement demon that’s threatening to take over the living room with assorted junk, or the desk that’s alleged to be there, somewhere under those 57,000 papers.

In this episode of That’s What She Said, we talk about:

+ Why The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is absolutely impossible for most people (related: Konmari for business)
+ The seeeeeecret books Anna read like porn in elementary school
+ How she handled a life that felt like juggling water balloons and knives (and DAMN isn’t that a great visual?)
+ What happened when she went from 1 to 5 kids in a single year
+ How terror and clutter are related
+ The 80/20 Principle and why it will help keep your freaking house clean
+ The under-three-minute shift to change the way you feel about living in a chaotic home
+ The not-screaming-at-your-kids-constantly hack that will save your vocal cords and keep your kids tidying up on the regular
+ Why tackling hard things in isolation (money, paper, scheduling, to-do’s, deadlines) is pretty much doomed to fail
+ The interior clutter we carry around without knowing it
+ Why asshole brain really, really wants you to stay overwhelmed

It’s possible to radically shift the way you relate to your own self and to your environment.

Anna mentions her magically delicious program, The Queen Sweep, which is about cleaning up, organizing, and throwing a bunch of stuff away, but really it’s about clearing enough space — physically and emotionally — to hear yourself think. And to act accordingly.

Take part in Anna’s free Get Your Life Back challenge to feel more clear, more sane, and a little bit more on top of your world.

No really, go get your life back.

P.S. Related: stop the overwhelm.