⚡️Kristen Kalp - Soul care for you. And your business.

Ahoy there!

Ahoy there! I’m Kristen, and I provide soul-level guidance for you and your creative endeavors.

I communicate primarily through email, so please join my list if you find my work useful or it makes your eyes leak. 😉

🔥 Online magic! Lit will help you do the work of keeping your inner lantern lit so that you don’t numb, mute, or martyr yourself right out of existence. (Because the last thing the world needs is more burned out women trying to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ALL BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT SLEEP OR EMOTIONS.)

Join me this Fall to do the work of UNlearning societal bullshit in community and with great joy.

🌈 In-person magic! If you know the way you’ve been surviving the pandemic/permacrisis chaos isn’t sustainable for another 3 to 300 months…YOU NEED THE IMAGINARIUM.  See you in Dublin!

Keep Your Lantern Lit

Last week, some of my clients told me they’re enjoying the ways I’ve found to make Zoom feel intimate and nourishing.

Twenty years of teaching experience, years of pandemic, endless Zoom tweaks and experiments later – and I DID IT I DID IT I DID IT!!!!!

I FINALLY(!!!) KNOW HOW TO USE ZOOM TO CREATE INTIMATE AND NOURISHING EXPERIENCES.

You’re invited to experience my magic for yourself.

This 2-hour LIVE event is Show and Tell for all the superpowers that leave my clients without words and with wide open hearts.

It’s my intention that this experience
will help you keep your interior lantern lit
in the face of the world’s endless dumpster fires.

If you’d like to feel more connected to humans
from around the world in a soft, deeply truthful
and trust-y environment, you are welcome here.

If you feel numb, muted, burned out, hopeless,
isolated, overwhelmed, or stuck, you are welcome here.

If you’re curious about my work and want to witness
the unveiling of my next project, you are welcome here.

Let’s keep your lantern lit.

You’ve got 1 more chance to attend LIVE:

Tuesday, August 30th from 4-6pm ET

The Zoom Link: CLICK HERE TO JOIN when the time comes.
The Password: lit

P.S.  Overcoming perfectionism?  Lower the bar.

These are all the words I have right now.

Supreme Court my ass

I’m certain you’ve already read many, many, MANY words about what’s been happening in the United States over the past week.

I’m sure you’ve seen many graphic carousels of ways to be helpful, and also, I am certain…

You have many, many feelings within you about everything that’s happening.

Sad Am Fine GIF by MOODMAN

There’s an indignity and complete lack of humanity

embedded within capitalism

that means we have to push, strive, hustle, and show up

when our hearts are broken,

when our rights are stripped from our bodies,

when the FATE OF THE PLANET ITSELF

has just been legislated away.

There are many, many calls to action on the planet right now: everything seems to be burning.

AND.

THIS SENTENCE HAS TAKEN TEN YEARS OF WRESTLING WITH DEPRESSION TO CREATE, PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY:

Asshole brain defaults to three categories of thoughts when it wants to take away your power: ‘you’re too much,’ ‘you’re not enough,’ and ‘why bother.’

NOW IS FOR SURE A ‘WHY BOTHER’ MOMENT.

Your brain will whisper that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about the various dumpster fires burning on the world stage right now.

Instead of following that ‘why bother’ line of thinking, please do something revolutionary: feel your feelings.

Without access to your feelings, you’re locked in a cage of numbness that grows sharper and tighter every day.

Meltdown Feels GIF

Let your rage become the fire that leads you to action.

Let your sadness guide you to extremely articulate visions for your society and for the world at large.

Let your worry and fear help you crystallize the actions you ARE going to take, the things that DO matter to you, and the people and places you will do everything in your power to protect.

In other words, for the next few weeks, as you watch the world spin even faster and as you grow more and more overwhelmed…please feel.

You are not ‘overreacting.’

You are not ‘too much.’

You are not ‘being dramatic.’

With yesterday’s supreme court ruling, we are talking about THE DEATH OF THE ENTIRE PLANET AND EVERY BEING ON IT.

feelings feels GIF

There is NO amount of yelling or stomping or raging or crying you can personally do that would be ‘too much’ for this situation.

Western cultures label nearly ALL expression of emotion ‘too much’ – it’s why ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ might be the U.K.’s greatest export – when, in fact, we are not feeling NEARLY ENOUGH.

When we feel deeply and fully, we pass through the overwhelm of sensations and into clarity, purpose, and wholeness.

When we (try to) amputate our feelings, we grow more numb, more distract-able, and more complacent in every aspect of our lives.

We lose access to our intuition and our deepest knowing.

We hand our power to those who ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DESERVE IT.

We accept poems from those in power instead of FIERCE, DIRECTED ACTION.

Nancy Pelosi GIF by GIPHY News

Whatever else you do right now – whichever actions feel deeply aligned and meaningful in this time – I beg you to feel your feelings.

YOU ARE NOT WRONG IN YOUR RAGE.

YOU ARE NOT WRONG IN YOUR GRIEF.

YOU ARE NOT WRONG IN YOUR FEAR,

YOUR WORRY, YOUR PAIN, YOUR HORROR.

YOU.

ARE.

NOT.

WRONG.

Let’s stop gaslighting ourselves out of feeling and out of our own bodies, pretending that we best serve the world when we have merely kept calm and carried on.

Please, please, PLEASE find a safe way to lose your shit.

(If you don’t know what that means or how that might work, give breathwork a try. There are both free and paid breathwork classes available from yours truly right here.)

It’s only with our bodies, feelings, and intuition intact that we can BEGIN to comprehend next moves, strategic plans, and whatever it will take to navigate the coming months.

With you, with you, with you –

K

P.S. This poem wanted to come along for the ride:

Hope is so goddamn heavy

 

There are days when we manage

to ignore the crumbling

around us, the creak of systems

falling and failing, the latest news promising

more unprecedented events,

more dire circumstances,

more shortages,

more disease.

 

And there are days when we don’t,

can’t, won’t. When it’s all too much

and we turn to each other,

our hearts laid open, to ask

for help and care and please please

don’t leave me here

in this mess

alone.

 

We prop up our best hopes –

sometimes only an atom or two between us,

last of our reserves —

the smallest feast worth sharing,

and in that small glow

we lock eyes.

(If nothing else, right then,

we are not alone.)

Confessions

These podcasts are 150% an experiment.

What happens if I don’t have a meticulous plan with bullet points and a perfect transcript before I begin talking? 

What happens if I’m FAR more honest and revealing than is strictly comfortable, trusting that I’ll be well held by those who listen? 

What if I can, by revealing the most inward emotions and thoughts of my being at this moment, find those EXACT emotions and thoughts in you, thereby helping you feel far less alone? 

What if I tell you what I’m wrestling with, and what I’ve been keeping hidden from myself (and therefore you), and what I’m working on before it’s 100% done? 

And what if it’s all recorded while I’m pulled over to the side of the road in my car in a single take? 

THAT’S THE CONFESSIONS SERIES OF PODCASTS.

This is the most vulnerable series of podcasts I’ve ever created.

In this series, we walk from OMG I’M MAKING A THING!!!! to starting the thing, to freaking out about doing the thing, to having completed the thing, week by week.

These are the spaces created by beginning with the word “Confession” and going from there.

They are not ‘useful’ in the sense of having been plotted, tweaked, and carefully crafted. 

They are DEEPLY ‘useful’ if you value honesty, want to feel less alone, or have been numbing, muting, or martyring yourself throughout these pandemic years.

Confessions! Starving Souls & Lotto Tickets

Confessions! On Crying & Joy Infections

Confessions! The Tumor & The Witness

Confessions! The Shame and The Not-Useful

Confessions! The Damage and the Dare

Confessions! Weak Ties & The Everything Bagel 🥯

Confessions! The Urgency of Now and CRUSHING it

Confessions! The Social Media Sermon

Confessions! The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Taken

Confessions! What if I’m NOT an expert?

I hope these episodes shake the dust from your soul, affirm your feelings, and sweep away your loneliness.

👉🏻Let me know what you think by shooting an email to k@kristenkalp.com — or send me a note right here.

P.S. If you feel compelled to work with me, HOLY HELL TALK TO ME ON THE PHONE.  Yes, I *do* have secret offerings only available to those who talk to me! 😉

The Imaginarium is coming up this Fall in Philly, details here!

Confessions: Covid and the 💩 Birthday Party

It’s so WEIRD to be alive, isn’t it?

You think you’ve got something figured out, and then WHAM JUST KIDDING, something new appears and you’re rethinking everything.

I’m seven years in to making the That’s What She Said podcast. What I’ve noticed, over time, is that I’m less and less free, more and more sticking to a carefully created transcript as I create each episode.

In my head I’m all, BUT THEY HAVE SO LITTLE TIME!!! HOW CAN I WASTE A SINGLE SECOND TAKING UP SPACE WITHOUT A CLEAR OBJECTIVE AND FOCUS!!??

::existential wringing of hands::

AND! What I want and need from other creators I love is to share NOT ONLY their most ‘expert,’ cis-het-white-passive-income-friendly selves. I want to go behind the scenes, hear the questions they’re wrestling with, know about what’s ACTUALLY going on with them, and feel into their struggles alongside them.

Because it’s easy to pretend everyone else has it all figured out. Everyone else is on Easy Street, sipping $7 beverages and spending five hours a day sunning by the pool, says asshole brain. Everyone else has more time, money, and energy than you. Everyone else has it all under control.

I’m choosing to try something different (and defeat asshole brain) by sharing the places where I’m caught up in my head, unsure, pissed off, full of questions, or trying to process ENORMOUS WORLD EVENTS in real time and out loud.

I sincerely hope this confessional episode is a service to your heart and spirit.

It’s a pulled-over-on-the-side-of-the-road confessional in which I share big, little, existential, and petty thoughts about where we are at this moment in time, and in which I share the big huge questions rattling around in my brain, too!

Listen in to Confessions: Covid and the 💩 Birthday Party if you want to hear what I’m working on, what I’m wrestling with, and why this whole Covid thing is a lot like a birthday party gone off the rails. 😉

P.S. Overachiever, Enneagram type 3, or Hyper-competent Human Who Needs Help From No One? If you haven’t yet, I recommend listening to: Lower the Bar.

Lower the Bar

Since you’re one of my peeps, I can make a bunch of assumptions about you. Namely, that you’re an overachiever who does your absolute best each day. You might be grappling with mental illness or physical illness or battling asshole brain or measuring your worth by your work ( <– HAPPY FREEBIE TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH THAT HERE).  No matter what, you still give each day’s efforts everything you’ve got.

Trouble is, I’ve noticed that my clients and I are often holding ourselves to standards we created in The Before. Nothing about our lives functions the same way as it did in 2019, but we refuse to let ourselves lower the bar for what it takes to survive and thrive in 2022.

Psst!  This is an episode of my podcast, That’s What She Said!  The audio contains more asides and three of my poems, but here’s the quick version 👇🏻:

Here are 3 thoughts that might help you ease up on your expectations for yourself in these dumpster fire days:

1 – When you’re in the BRACE FOR IMPACT position, your clients probably are, too.

A coaching client of mine mentioned that inquiries for her business dropped significantly in the past 10 days. She was certain this was ALL HER FAULT.

“Did anything else happen in the past 10 days,” I asked.

“Yup, Russia invaded Ukraine. I’ve been off of social media and in the fetal position for a few days now.”

“Do you think your (potential) clients are ALSO in the fetal position, which explains the lack of inquiries?”

Holy shit…you’re probably right.”

When the world is destabilized at the global level by an insane dictator who provokes a war for no good reason, and who attacks a nuclear plant for funsies, it’s nigh impossible to continue business as usual. You might feel less like you care about your business, or you might pay less attention to other businesses, or both.

That’s because when you’re in the brace position, your clients probably are, too.

I’m not saying you have to stop working or marketing entirely, but please give yourself the grace of realizing that you’ll probably have to repeat yourself more as this conflict continues.

Acknowledging that current events effect your energy levels, mood, and will to work means you don’t have to beat yourself up for being human, or wonder WHY NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR SALE ON MUGS RIGHT NOW. You’re not doing anything wrong; we’re simply doomscrolling and panic breathing in an ever-more-distracted fashion at the moment.

2 – No one can tell the difference between your 90% and your 100%.

This is a fun principle to test out!

One of my coaching clients spent hours less time than usual on a writing project for her college class, shocked to find it returned by the professor with an A+ at the top. That’s because, for overachievers who are habitually aiming for perfection, no one can tell the difference between our 90% and our 100%.

You can easily spend hours tweaking font kerning or editing a draft for a fifth time. And NO ONE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR FINISHED PRODUCT.

This is a call not for lowering your standards, but for acknowledging where you are already meeting and exceeding others’ standards for your work.

You are not required to go above and beyond for each effort you make.

You do not have to CRUSH IT OUT OF THE PARK each time you step up to bat.

Your clients do not need to have their texts returned within 23 seconds.

You don’t need to show up on social media 23 times per day with your game face on.

Much of your success in the coming years (read: as systems continue to crumble and everything ever is in flux) lies in your ability to know which standards to maintain and which you can let go.

Showering? Still pretty awesome.

Responding to each email received within 15 minutes? Lower the bar.

Delivering client orders days ahead of schedule? Lower the bar.

Losing sleep to put the finishing touches on a low-paying project? Lower the bar.

Not letting yourself feel feelings even though Covid isn’t over and Putin is making moves that threaten the entire world? Lower the bar. (And let yourself have feelings.)

To my delight, one of my clients was like, “If I’m being honest, I don’t think people can tell the difference between my SIXTY perfect and my hundred percent.” Yes! Exactly!

We require SO MUCH of ourselves that lowering the bar feels like self betrayal – but it’s actually self care.

We simply CAN’T keep our 2019 standards for living or business completely intact and expect to stay sane.

Lowering the bar for ourselves is an act of unprecedented kindness for ourselves and our futures.

It’s also a wise acknowledgement that things have changed – at every level, in every part of the world – and that our futures lie in dealing with reality at this moment. In these times, with these very particular circumstances.

3 – Double down on meaning.

If social media feels like a hellscape of nothingness…good. Quit Facebook and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Take up the hobby you’ve never found time for. Cut your screen time in half and use those hours in ways you find delightful.

You can subvert the entirety of the media complex on this planet by using your time to do anything but doomscroll.

If something has meaning for you, please let yourself take it up with abandon. Write the play, film the movie, record the album, release the book, have the baby, join the movement, organize the protest, adopt the animals, start the project, paint your living room with rainbow colors. (Or, most subversive of all: rest.)

The more society as we knew it goes flying off the rails, the more free you are to pursue that which gives your life meaning. We live on a burning planet, and it’s up to us to determine how we use our time here. Seek hope. Turn off your wifi. Plant a garden. Volunteer. Spend sumptuous hours learning to cook or knit or sew or organize effectively…whatever you like. ANYTHING beats doomscrolling on Insta.

If you don’t know what has meaning for you in this moment – if everything is simply a flat, barren wasteland of despair – rest.

Sleep is a legitimate hobby these days. Other legitimate hobbies for those lowering the bar include napping, daydreaming, resting your eyes, canceling plans, and going to bed early. We can’t reliably access hope in our bodies without having accessed sleep first. The world is simply too heavy, too insane, too wildly WTF IS EVEN HAPPENING to do much of anything effectively without first prioritizing rest.

P.S. You don’t have to earn your keep.