⚡️Kristen Kalp - Breathwork, biz coaching, and simple tools to help you navigate your interiors.

Ahoy there!

I help creative entrepreneurs make more money and meaning through breathwork, books, and business coaching10 4 year-long coaching spots in KK on Tap are now open!

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🔥📚 Want to (re)gain access to your intuition and stop being defeated by asshole brain?  You want The Softness Sessions. We start September 19th!

Nourishing or Numbing? One question to shift it all.

I’ve been hitting you with deep questions and lots of self aware examining in longer-than-usual podcasts — so this week I thought I’d include a single question reframe for your whole life.  Enjoy this episode of That’s What She Said!

Is it nourishing or numbing?

This question applies to each and every habit, task, relationship, boundary, pattern, or activity you complete.

Consider your commute, your screen habits, your food habits, your travel habits, your self care routines, and your time spent with those you love: nourishing or numbing?

At a deeper level, consider your business practices, the information you consume, the books you read, the shows you watch, and the people you interact with on a regular basis: nourishing or numbing?

The goal, of course, is to do less numbing and more nourishing.

Only of course it’s not that simple. We humans don’t magically switch off our numbing patterns just because we realize they’re numbing, nor do we naturally move toward genuine nourishment until we are in deep, nearly unspeakable pain. For me, seeking nourishment only took losing 40 grand, going through a divorce, battling depression for two decades, and waking up every day feeling like I was being suffocated by despair, as well as my thyroid giving out in a spectacular way. We’re pushed toward fast and quick solutions when we most desperately need deep care, deep rest, and deep understanding.

When we’re malnourished — whether at the physical level or the soul level — our brains send signals to get us some quick fixes and some time off.

We often reach for more and more numbing agents when we need nourishment most.

The more stressed or tired or depleted or frustrated we are, the more numbing we do — and repeat, and deepen the cycle, and repeat again, but this time with more retail therapy! And pop-up sales and coupons and free shipping! BEHOLD, I HAVE A WHOLE NEW WARDROBE AND MY SOUL FEELS FIIIIIIIIIIINE. ISH. (FINE-ISH. I’ll just be over here, weeping into my new sequined jumpsuit.)

Life can quickly become a numbing pattern spread across every waking moment, only now we need to find a way to numb the discomfort that comes with mounting credit cards bills as well…

How do you begin to build more nourishing habits, patterns, practices, and activities into your life?

You properly identify an activity as nourishing or numbing.

Only that identifying bit is really, really tricky.

Most activities can be nourishing or numbing, depending on circumstances and context.

Take, for example, dessert. If you’re working on your fifth gallon of ice cream this evening, we both know you’re numbing. But if you’ve been working incredibly hard to eat the most nutrient-dense foods on earth and you’re celebrating a milestone of some kind, that same ice cream can be absolutely nourishing.

This is why self care and soul care can be so tricky. We humans are smart enough to disguise numbing agents as nourishment, and we can use nourishing activities to numb when we do them excessively.

When you obsessively check email but don’t process it — meaning that you read but don’t respond to messages — you’re numbing. And probably working yourself into a panic, besides.

This also happens with marketing activities and making asks, which can be numbing when you turn them over and over (and over and OVER) in your mind instead of actually doing them. But when you show up, make asks, provide simple calls to action for your peeps, and stand in your worth (without making your work your worth)…that’s nourishing for your work all the way down.

Likewise, watching Brene Brown’s special on Netflix is nourishing AF. (If you haven’t yet watched it, HALT YOUR LIFE AND DO THAT NOW PLEASE.) Watching 22 episodes of anything back to back while lying on the couch and consuming DoorDash’s parade of fried foods, not so much.

A hot bath: nourishing. Hiding from your family in the bathroom for 6.3 hours during Christmas, armed with a bag of Doritos and your sound-proof headphones: numbing.

Getting 6-pack abs would be nourishing for me, since that would be making wildly new life patterns and choices, while it would be numbing for someone who has had an eating disorder and workout addiction.

You get the idea.

As you go about your day, take note of what is nourishing and what is numbing.

If you ‘don’t have time’ to notice, you’re numbing exceptionally hard today.

Days ‘off’ are not necessarily nourishing.

Days ‘off’ often involve doing work that isn’t done during the usual work week, so days ‘off’ are really catch-all times for doing chores offline.

On a recent ‘day off,’ I did five loads of laundry, cleaned the bathroom, went grocery shopping, hit up the pharmacy and the co-op for a few items, walked Neville, vacuumed my car, cleaned the kitchen, cooked dinner, and picked up my neighbor’s mail because they were on vacation. And I don’t even have kids.

That workload gets ever more unwieldy as you add more people to the mix, whether they’re friends, kids, relatives, roommates, or pets!

When was the last time you had a full, no responsibilities day off?

Can you schedule one right now for the near future, even if it’s simply sitting at home and kicking everyone else out of the house so you can hear yourself think?

How can you consciously create — and then protect — space to simply BE in your life without having to do a long list of chores, tasks, or errands?

Your brain will probably pop in with simple solutions and half-steps, here. What if we got rid of that one chore? What if we allowed ourselves twenty whole minutes to breathe some fresh air outside?

Please, please, don’t fall for the half-steps that don’t offer any long-term gains and only keep you paddling along, just-barely-not-drowning, at the surface.

You deserve better than an inner auction of your own time and value that ends in compromising all over the place.

I asked you how you can get a day to yourself — and your brain immediately called that impossible. It probably offered a few minutes as a compromise.

I asked when you can simply BE in your life — and your brain suggested you download some kind of app and start a new practice, which is one more thing to check off of your to-do list and/or beat yourself up for not doing.

Being — or practicing the art of being present — is a completely free, no apps required activity that involves no screens and probably your pets. When I say ‘being,’ I mean stepping outside and feeling the air on your face. Possibly looking at the sky, or maybe sipping a beverage, but not if that’s too much work or if you don’t feel like looking at the sky today.

To put this another way: it doesn’t count if you don’t enjoy it.

Busyness is often a numbing mechanism.

You eventually become afraid of slowing down, since you know that there’s a shit-ton of unprocessed emotion waiting for you in the silence. At some level, you don’t WANT to hear your thoughts or notice your feelings.

Maybe it’s a conscious decision to speed up and stay in motion, or maybe it’s a subconscious fear that if you actually listen to yourself, you’ll have to make some changes. Small changes, like scheduling yourself to have a little more time that’s not ‘on,’ or big changes, like ending a relationship or quitting your job.

LOOKING busy is also a numbing mechanism.

When you force yourself to sit at a screen and ‘work,’ even with nothing in particular to do, you’re feeding the part of your brain that’s been conditioned to tie your work to your worth, and numbing the Very Much Alive parts of you shouting that your work is done for today, and you’re free to move about the world as you please. (We’ll talk about that in detail in next week’s podcast!)

Where are you remaining busy to avoid feeling your feelings or having a confrontation with another person?

Where are you remaining busy in order to ‘put in your time’ for all those friends who work corporate jobs and don’t have the freedom to walk away from their desks right now?

When do you consciously slow down, and how often does that happen?

What would halting the busyness in your life look like if you started with being 10% less busy?

What would you cancel, ignore, or stop doing if I said your busyness would cost you $1,000 a week? $10,000?

(I’m making up that $10,000 number so you can see exactly how much would be *on the table and scheduled for deletion* if you had to pay a great deal of money to remain busy. Your priorities: in order.)

If you chronically describe yourself as ‘busy,’ slowing down is the first step. Only HOW do you slow down and it’s SCARY and UGH I have to much to DO, Kristen — I know. That brings me to my next point.

Softness Sessions book
Breathwork is nourishing because it’s soul care and self care, combined.

It maxes out at taking an hour of your day and can only be done once per day, so it can’t take over your life. Breathwork is a little like going to the gym or eating well or going for a walk outside even though the weather isn’t perfect — you’ll feel better in the end. But brain is like, NO EAT THE ICE CREAM.  AND SIT HERE UNTIL THE END OF TIME STREAMING MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY FILMS IF THAT’S WHAT YOU REALLY NEED.   

You’ll feel both better and lighter after breathwork, but starting a practice can be intimidating. Like, how long do I do it for, and when, and what happens if I have questions?

The Softness Sessions are all about introducing you to breathwork in small, steady ways.

We’ll build your stamina week by week for six weeks, then meet live for a full-length group breathwork session on October 29th.

You’ll get yourself some soul-level nourishment every step of the way.

I’ve condensed everything I know about human life universals — loneliness, mess, doubt, wandering the wilderness, steadiness, and joy — into potent and dense audio magic, then added breathwork to the end. (And made a book to ship your way the minute you join.)

We’ll rebuild the muscles that have atrophied from numbing all over the place, and we’ll reconnect you with…you.

Your voice.

Your intuition.

Your desires and dreams.

Your truest work.

Your deepest, most wild and amazing possibilities.

We’ll stop the takeover of numbing once a week starting September 19th, and see what happens as a result.

If you dig my work and are even remotely curious — and I’m guessing both of those things are true because you’re here, right now — pick up The Softness Sessions n-o-w.

Buy a seat in The Softness Sessions

P.S. Why breathwork?  And how to reclaim joy even if you’re currently miserable, sad, and/or angry.

Hiding isn’t the answer. (I wish it would be, though.)

Hiding isn't the answer // podcast by Kristen Kalp

Before we dive in to this week’s podcast episode, I’d like to acknowledge that the lessons here have taken a bunch of years to condense into anything even remotely resembling words. My first impulse when it comes to facing the world is to hide 100% of the time. I prefer to hermit and retreat and withdraw. Those are tendencies I actively push against and question on an almost-daily basis. So.

I know, you’d rather hide.

At a business level, it’s scary to let your work be seen. You’ve heard that ‘if you build it, they will come,’ and they’re not coming. Maybe you should…build it again? Pin ever-more-complicated options to Pinterest and save up to give someone ten grand and solve it for you? Hope for the best and get a second job?

Or you say you’re ready to take on more clients or sell more work, but you can’t bring yourself to respond to emails, phone calls, or inquiries when they come in.

What’s wrong with you, and with your business? There must be something so secretly, desperately wrong that everyone but you can see it, right?

Nope!

You’re probably a master of hiding.

Here are some really fun, reaaaaaally smart ways I’ve hidden my work:

For years, only print versions of books were available, even though ebook versions are easier for me to host and sell — and also more profitable. (Pay what you can for any of my books here.)

For (again) years, I consistently forgot to read my poems on the podcast or share them anywhere at all. Did my bio identify me as a poet? Yup. Did that translate to my sharing more?  Not without effort.

I used to mention something once or twice, casually, and then assume it was a failure because it didn’t sell out instantaneously. LOOKING AT YOU, EVERY ENTREPRENEUR EVER!

Repetition is a kindness.

Everyone has too many emails, too many mundane tasks, too many notifications, and not enough brain space to see, love, read about, and buy a product in one fell swoop.  It’s often the third or fourth mention that garners any real interest, and only firm deadlines that make people respond in a decisive way.  (Also if you’d like to break up with your phone, meet Space, a 21-day email class to help you do just that!)

I used to think no one wanted to hire me if they didn’t respond to my offerings immediately, even after I began repeating myself again and again.

I routinely have people sign up for coaching who tell me how many years they’ve been following me. Current record: nine.

It’s a long game, people. (Also, there are six coaching spots left and you should talk to me about working together, okay? K@kristenkalp.com)

For years, I ended my talks about things for sale in question marks (I’m coaching?) and only noticed it later when listening to the podcast.  I. AM. SO. AWESOME.

I also used to rush sales talk and then relax when I got to the free stuff. Only That’s What She Said is an ad-free, not-sponsored podcast, so I have every right to talk about how to hire me and purchase my work within it. (You have the right to do the same with the things you offer, too.)

Here are some ways you might be hiding in business:

🌈 Can I easily locate buy now, book now, or e-mail me buttons? Is there an easy way to purchase what you’re selling?
🌈 Can people figure out where you’re located easily, particularly if you have a local business?
🌈 Do you have a separate sales page for each product or service you offer, or are you hiding your best one with a ‘coming soon’ placeholder and/or outdated information?
🌈 Are your current products prominently placed or featured in menu bar?
🌈 Can we easily access the work you prefer to be paid for doing?
🌈 Can people sign up to hear more from you through an e-mail list?
🌈 No really, an e-mail list: can you access people in their inbox at a time of your choosing? (Need help? Zero to email list in 15 minutes.)
🌈 Do you actually send e-mails to the people who have signed up to hear more from you? (Need help? How to F*&*ing Communicate is for you.)

At a personal level, hiding gets worse.

You want to hide from the globe (see: systemic oppression, Amazon fires, melting polar ice caps, rise of fascism, etc, etc, etc…), and then from your life (see: never-ending productivity and routine and WHY AM I NOT ON A TROPICAL BEACH WITH MY OWN PERSONAL BUTLER RIGHT NOW) and then from yourself (despair? Nipping at myyyyyy heels? No, never!).

But you tell yourself you have to keep going.

So you shove down the despair, show up for work, watch the news, contribute to campaigns and causes like a good citizen, and feel…not one iota better.

Why do you still feel like a bundle of yuck?  Because step one was shoving down your feelings.

It was labeling one particular emotion ‘bad’ or ‘unproductive’ or ‘negative’ or simply not allowed, and then plowing over it with your everyday activities and hoping it wouldn’t return. But of course it returns, so you shove it down HARDER, like a kid trying to hold bigger and bigger beach balls under water for days and then weeks and months at a time. Of course it’s not working, but you just have to try HARDER, right?

Just try harder and harder and put in more and more effort and hope no one notices how you’re getting more and more dead inside. OR you can start to come out of hiding.

Ways you might be hiding in life, sourced from my own hiding places:

🌈 Do you talk about things that matter to you or try to keep conversation easy breezy, no big deal?
🌈 Do you admit your desires and dreams and the ways you want to make meaning in the world to yourself? …to others?
🌈 Are you consistently turning down the volume on yourself so as not to be seen as ‘too much’ of something?
🌈 Are you consistently turning up the volume on everyone else so that you can no longer hear your own tiny whispers of identity and intuition?

I’ve been there and tried alllll the tactics to just shut the hell up and be less sensitive.

They failed. Miserably.

What if…you let yourself feel what you’re feeling?

What if you let yourself feel the despair and the hardship and the pain and all the things you cannot change — and then let those particular pieces of pain go, simply because you cannot change them?

Not because you don’t care or don’t try or don’t have enough useful and intersectional beliefs, but because you are one single human.

Just one.

No matter how much you try or how many ‘you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce’ memes you consume.

You’re just one person.

How can you begin to make peace with a.) the fact that you can’t change everything,
but b.) you can absolutely change SOMEthing, when you decide what that something is?

You start with your own interiors.

When you decide to stop hiding, you begin to navigate through the loneliness and mess and doubt that lives within you, and come out the other side better and lighter and more joyful than you’ve ever been.

That sounds impossible and silly and GOD YOU’RE SO NAIVE KRISTEN and also…don’t you hope that it’s possible?

To be able to sit with despair and then rise up and do your work.

To look the messes in your life in the face without fear or judgement.

To face the loneliness within your heart and hold it tenderly, without trying to make it wrong or bad or a sign that you’re broken.

To catch doubt doing its asshole brain thing — and then to keep going, without believing a word it says.

That’s my hope for every human on the planet — that you’ll find a method, a practice, or a way of being that helps you give up hiding from yourself first, and from the world second.

For me, that practice is breathwork. I held a live breathwork session in Philly this week, and I was amazed by the amount of energetic and emotional clearing we completed in about an hour. Eight women laid down on the floor of a knitting shop, were introduced to the breath, and got to work.

They ranged in age from their twenties to their seventies, and each one wiped her eyes and thanked me when we finished breathing. They let go of shame and doubt and rage and grief and pain, and they also laughed and giggled and smirked and shook their hips and got freer than they had been a few hours earlier. They all reported that time got wobbly, and that they’d never experienced anything quite like it before.

Breathwork is work, yes, but it’s also a no-accessories-needed way to come home to yourself.

You lie down, you do the breathing pattern, you come back to reality a short time later as a lighter and freer human.  (For you: a whole podcast episode about breathwork.)

If breathwork seems like diving into the deep end — that’s exactly what it is.

Starting a breathwork practice can be scary for lots of people, which is why The Softness Sessions are a slower, steadier entry point for giving it a try.

In The Softness Sessions, you’ll hear me talk, podcast-style, and then we’ll do a short breathwork practice. It gets longer every week for six weeks, and then we’ll finish with a full-length live session for everyone in the program.

If you’re scared of your own interiors because you’ve been ignoring them for a long time (or possibly forever);

if you’re curious about breathwork but are afraid this won’t work or you won’t get your money’s worth or you haven’t found a practitioner you love;

if you’d like to find out if those things I said about loving yourself through mess and doubt can be true for you;

if you’d like to continue to explore what’s going on within you instead of shoving your emotions into tiny containers and hoping they disappear;

The Softness Sessions are for you.

They’re for coming to terms with your own humanity softly, and slowly, and with great care.

I know you’d rather plow ahead and do everything ever, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because the world is literally on fire, and overachieving tendencies die hard. (Also: feelings. You have too many of them and you want to ignore them entirely. I’ve been there and committed myself to that for A WHOLE DECADE and can report that Try Not to Feel Anything Experiment as Failed. Completely.)

I know you’re not sure you can make any sort of difference because you’re just one human and you can’t keep your car clean, so how are you supposed to make some sort of global impact.

I know you’re tired of being tired, and I know you know the answer isn’t adding butter to your coffee or taking 16 new supplements.

There’s a place of deep rest and peace within you.  Promise.

You can access it any time you like through breathwork.

That’s scary, yes, and intimidating, yes, and also wildly freeing and gorgeous and stunning and lovely, too.

Hiding isn’t the end of your story. It’s the beginning.

Because when you stop hiding — well, that’s when things get way more interesting.

We’ll use breathwork, writing, poetry, podcasts, art, and intuition to free you from the alluring and seductive chains of invisibility. It’s time to be seen, already.

Let’s start with you seeing yourself clearly.

Join The Softness Sessions now.

Buy a seat in The Softness Sessions

P.S. Softness is the secret.

How to *Actually* Change the Whole Damn World.

Let's talk about making meaning, monitoring your health (not your weight -- your HEALTH) -- and how to be a magnificent human in modern times.

I went to the doctor and found out I’m just shy of weighing 200 pounds. My highest weight in high school was 169 (HA!), I got married at 137 in 2006, and this is the most I’ve ever weighed, ever.

The thing is, I have very little shame about that 198.6 number. I’m really fucking healthy in the other health categories that count: mentally, spiritually, sexually, energetically, financially, and emotionally.

I didn’t get depressed last winter, which is the first time I felt fine during that season in over a decade.  (More about my depression and its lessons here, here, and here.)

Further, I’m on top of my Adulting — my library fines are paid and I’m making art regularly and my house is clean and my car is inspected, which are the things that slide in not-so-healthy-times.

Most importantly: I DON’T WANT TO STOP LIVING LIFE. I am not suicidal. I can read the news without sinking into a ball of despair and losing 3 hours to weeping uncontrollably about things I cannot change. Read: I deserve a slow clap.

Aside from that single measurement — my weight — I’m healthier than I’ve ever been.

Psst! This is an episode of That’s What She Said, listen in below or keep reading if you dig a transcript!

So, why did I have to sit through a shaming lecture about it? Because nowhere in the 9.6 minute doctor’s visit that cost $165 did she ask about My Actual Health.

She checked in with her notes about what I should be doing — Synthroid, you’re on that? No? (Back story of how I healed my own damn thyroid: Tiny, Annoying Progress.)

Well, I need bloodwork. Why didn’t you get bloodwork? Oh, an enormous battery of pointless tests is expensive.

Well, why don’t you have insurance? Oh, because paying $600 a month for insurance costs more than paying cash for when you need to see a doctor.

Well, you can go to a clinic if you don’t make enough money to pay for the tests.

You need to lose weight. You know what to do — fruits, vegetables, whole grains… I literally said, “Yah yah yah” until she moved on.

Let’s break down this emotional gauntlet and then provide alternative questions that would actually benefit both health professionals and patients.

Shaming people about their perceived lack of health merely by weighing them is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous. I know many skinny people who are dead inside and many overweight people who are healthy as fuck.

In my experience, a doctor dons a white coat and knows what you should do, despite not asking once about what you’ve learned this year, or where you’ve gone internally, or how your relationships are affecting you, or even what your mental health is like on any given day.

“Celexa, 20 milligrams? Still need that?”
“Yup.”

Next point of order. That is not an exaggeration of how I got a full year’s prescription for anti-depressants.

Rather than trusting the healthcare system to help us, let’s find ways for you to gauge your health from home with Really Fucking Good Questions. (RFGQ, for short.)

You can ask these of yourself first, then share what’s actually going on within you with the health providers of your choice. (If you’d like to regain your belief that health practitioners can be amazing people, look no further than Aimee Derbes.)

Really Fucking Good Questions that actually help determine your overall health:

How many deeply meaningful relationships are you cultivating at the moment? How often do you feel lonely?

When did you last sing, dance, or otherwise express yourself for no ‘good’ reason? When did you last place your bare feet on the earth and/or sand?

How is your mental outlook on any given day? Do you feel as if you’re growing more or less resilient over time?

How much time do you spend on screens each day? What would you tell me you know you ‘need’ to do in order to correct your relationship with those screens?  (Have you seen Space, my email course which helps you reduce your phone usage by 50% or more?)

Do you get more than seven hours of sleep per night? Will that be changing in the foreseeable future, for better or worse?

Do you engage in sexual acts with yourself and/or partner(s) on a regular basis? Do you find those activities enjoyable — and if not, how might you find them more pleasurable?

How does your financial situation feel on a day-to-day basis? Has anything about it changed drastically in the past few months? Is there anything about your finances that you’re avoiding?

Do you have at least one nutritious meal each day? What would adding more nutrition to your diet in a doable way look like?

How much time do you spend in your body each day, whether for work or play? Has this increased or decreased significantly in the past few months, and how has that changed your overall outlook?

Read: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE GYM EVER AGAIN, IN FACT GYMS ARE SOME OF THE LEAST HEALTHY PLACES ON THE PLANET. At my gym, you literally cannot work out without having 24 enormous screens in view. They surround the perimeter of the main workout room, and every single treadmill also has an attached screen. If you are working out to fill some sort of internal well, you have to battle house demolition shows, stock news, the latest headlines, talking heads on Fox News, and assorted music videos for the duration of your workout. The workout brings you no closer to your own interiors, thus divorcing it from the wisdom of moving your body outdoors, in nature, or in yoga.

Do you have any recurring pains, flare-ups, or bodily issues you’d like to investigate further?

How sensitive would you say you are when compared to other humans? How do you cultivate and nurture your sensitivity?

What do you ignore, pretend isn’t a problem, or otherwise glaze over when describing your life to others?

Finally — how do you cultivate a sense of meaning and/or fulfillment in your life?

“Meaning must be sought out; it’s not built into most people’s lives.” — Rebecca Solnit

She goes on to say that no one will diagnose you as suffering from “social alienation, meaninglessness, or other anomalies that arise from something other than familial and erotic life,” even though those afflictions can be far more burdensome and challenging than carrying around a few extra pounds.

This meaning question is big and hard. It can be absolutely brutal if you’ve never considered it before, so let’s go a touch deeper into it.  I’ll tell you how I make meaning so that you don’t feel judged or like I’m giving any sort of prescriptive, I-know-what’s-best-for-you advice.

Meaning is something I create through:

Initiating and noticing progress, both in myself and in my coaching clients
Maintaining a regular spiritual practice (in my case, breathwork)
Turning the bullshit, the awful, the challenging, and the frustrating into podcasts, classes, and books
Being vulnerable with myself and with others whenever possible

How do you cultivate a sense of meaning and fulfillment in your life?

It probably involves some combination of setting goals, making progress, connecting with your intuition, processing your toughest challenges, and being vulnerable with other people. It’s finding a way to contribute to the world at large while being a damn good steward of your gifts.

Back to the big questions! None of them judge, but they do probe effectively into the parts of ourselves we are most likely to call ‘fine.’

They point you toward simple solutions — less screen time, a single nutritious meal, some singing for singing’s sake — without making you download an app or commit to a 30-day program.

They are, in other words, soft.

Softness means you can be gentle with yourself as you navigate life, move through changes, and shift your bodily rhythms to reflect your current reality. Punitive talks with ourselves about our finances, our health, our sensitivity, and our emotions don’t work.

We cannot shame ourselves into being better humans; that emotion only shuts us down. (‘No pain, no gain’ is one of our culture’s most ubiquitous lies.  Also: your shame is not interesting.)

When we can greet our current reality with open eyes and without harsh criticism, we’re far more likely to find ways to add nourishing practices, healthy relationships, down time, sleep, and nutrient-dense foods into our lives for the long term.

That 30-day plan or 7-day challenge temporarily beats us into submission and creates a false sense of progress.

In most cases, we need to prioritize a single change that moves the needle forward, then spend a long time making sure we build it into our routine. Think 180 days, not 30, with no damaging critiques of our entire being if we screw up and slide back into our old patterns.

So you

…ate an entire cake? Love you.
…slept for 1.5 hours instead of 8 because you were up reading? Love you.
…blew a coupla hundred bucks on shit you don’t need but really, really enjoy? Love you.
…can’t brush your teeth and shower on the daily to save your life? Love you.
…have never managed to make a new habit by punishing yourself? Love you, too.

It’s all love, all the way down — not in the mushy, ‘it’s okay just eat the cupcakes’ way, but in the ‘you’re human and it’s okay to make mistakes’ way. The soulful grandmother barrel laughing at your antics way.

Some days are better than others.

Some years are better than others.

Our job, collectively, is to tend to our own gardens before we tend to the world’s garden.

Otherwise, we run the risk of causing more harm than good, of judging others as harshly as we judge ourselves, or of burning out long before we have a chance to bring our best gifts to the table.

Our job is also to take a look at alllllllll the elements of our health — mental, physical, sexual, spiritual, emotional, and financial — before we prioritize one over the other.

Can you forgive yourself for the work you haven’t yet done, and the weight you haven’t yet lost, and the book you haven’t yet read or written, and the debt you haven’t paid off, and the lurking pain that won’t go away, and the habits you haven’t managed to forge?

Can you, under all the layers of disappointment and fear and doubt and anger with yourself, find some small, steady place within you that is gentle and that loves you, regardless?

Can you love yourself with all the fierce tenderness you use to love puppies and babies and every good thing in the world?

Can you acknowledge what IS, in this moment, without apology or judgement of any kind?

THAT is how you change the whole damn world — by carefully tending the worlds within you with softness, tenderness, and understanding.

First for you, then for everyone else. (Most people start with everyone else, myself included.)

It’s for you to make meaning, for you to decide why you’re on earth, and for you to enjoy as much of it as possible.

“More than anything, she wants to tell him how Purpose, that awful thing that greeting cards tell him he was born with and he just has to find, is actually something he’ll need to create; that it’s not until he feels the monotony of life that he’ll come to decide why he’s living it.” — Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder

Softness just makes it easier to find the answers and experiment with new ways of being.

If any part of this podcast made you cry, gasp, or giggle with new ideas, let me tell you about The Softness Sessions. Part extremely-personal-podcast, part breathwork, and a book to boot, The Softness Sessions will help you step into the wisest spaces within yourself.

Through extremely dense teachings followed by breathwork, The Softness Sessions will help you defeat asshole brain, ask better-for-your-whole-health questions, make sense of your internal chaos, and feel the feelings you’ve been boxing up and hiding away for a long time now.

The Softness Sessions are the perfect jumping-off point for a kinder-to-you internal life, no matter how much health you’ve currently got.

Find all the details at thesoft.space.

You’ll get a session each week for 6 weeks, as well as a real life book/journal combo in the actual mail. We start September 19th, and we’ll conclude with a live breathwork session on October 29th.

Soft humans are gifts to the rest of the world. I’m hellbent on becoming a soft one, and I hope you will be, too.

Again: thesoft.space — grab your seat now.

P.S.  A note for my procrastinators: the sooner you purchase, the sooner I can send you the book!  Waiting until the last possible second to buy means you won’t have the book for the first week or two of our time together.

Buy a seat in The Softness Sessions