embrace your Quiet nature Archives - Page 3 of 4 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "embrace your Quiet nature" Category — Page 3

Kill your aspirational self.

You have an aspirational self. She has a thigh gap and eats like a champion. He has a six pack and is a stallion in the bedroom. All aspirational selves work out, don’t sweat, don’t fart, and don’t ever swing by a fast food joint for a late-night snack.

Inevitably, your aspirational self makes more money than you do. He or she is also fulfilled by life, never second-guesses a single decision, and is incredibly knowledgeable about every topic on earth.

Make no mistake: your aspirational self is the most interesting person in the world.

You’re constantly comparing yourself to your aspirational self and coming up short.

(Your house doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine feature. You haven’t made those Pinterest recipes or read those articles or implemented that advice. You ate a cookie. You missed a payment. You aren’t at Inbox Zero. You let that call go to voicemail.)

When compared to your aspirational self, you just plain SUCK.

(So do I. So does she. We all suck.)

Further, and based on this aspirational self, we all have a list in our mind of all the things we “should” do. The goals we should have and the activities we should be participating in to reach that aspirational future self.

My ongoing list pushes me to be an ultra-fit, super-social fashionista. It goes like this.

I should:

• drink one or two green smoothies a day
• run a few miles a day
• meet more strangers and make new friends
• buy whole outfits instead of individual pieces when shopping
• wear high heels instead of flats
• carry a purse
• use a blow dryer instead of letting my hair air dry
• watch less TV
• take more classes in person
• hire a maid service instead of cleaning the house myself
• read on my Kindle more
• answer my phone every time it rings instead of letting it go to voicemail
• send more snail mail to my friends
• do yoga every day
• cook unprocessed, whole foods three times a day
• read a wider range of books and get them from the library instead of buying them
• schedule more adventures for myself instead of playing it by ear

All the standards I want to place on myself from outside, as well as all the ways I want my thighs to be skinnier and my life to be more “normal” come out in this first list.

Now, I’ll take that list and replace “I should” with “I want to,” letting whatever doesn’t survive the switch fall by the wayside. Suddenly, my list is rather short.

I want to:

• take more classes in person
• send more snail mail to my friends
• do yoga every day
• schedule more adventures for myself instead of playing it by ear

Well shit, friend! Those things are totally doable! Instead of falling victim to the whispering voices in my head telling me I should be doing all sorts of crap I don’t actually care about, I’m limiting my energies to what I actually want to do.

Now, let’s refine those desires so they have numbers instead of the word “more.”

I want to:

• take a pottery class in person
• send one snail mail letter per week
• do yoga every day
• schedule a weekly adventure for myself

With those numbers in mind, I can schedule ‘em, add ‘em to the calendar, and go enjoy my closet full of decidedly flat shoes and mismatched articles of clothing.

Killing your purely-aspirational self is the first step toward becoming the imperfect and lovely you we all deserve to meet.

P.S.  This is an excerpt from Introverts at Work.  Pick up your copy in print or digital format now. 😉

My fondest wishes for you.

May you see glimpses of why you’re in the world.
May you follow those glimpses courageously
through doubt and fear
and dry spells
and vulnerability
and the sometimes overwhelming urge to give it all up
and work that safe job you daydream about.

May you bring those glimpses of purpose to light
with the work
only you can do — the tough stuff, the vital stuff,
the awkward stuff, the miraculous stuff you were born
to bring to this planet
in your distinctive way.

May you know your work matters
even when you’re busy avoiding it like the plague,
and on those days when you have to wrestle it to the ground
like a bear on a bender just to begin, and during those stretches when you’re sure
you aren’t making a damn bit of difference
to anyone.

May you encounter peace when you’ve been wrung dry,
variety when you’re bored to tears,
and friends when you just need a beer.

May you know you matter, deep within you,
and may you help your fellow journeymen know they matter as well.

Truly: may you freaking

P.S. On a decidedly less poetic note, Pants Optional: doing business as an introvert is available for listening and/or download! Grab the recording right here.

In this class, we talk about the cycle that regularly breaks your business — and how to stop it; the boundary boosters you can use to get yourself more energy right this minute; the nature of true wealth, and why it isn’t what you think; managing your energy as an introvert; and whether or not you’re an empath. All helpful and useful strategies for coping with the realities of doing business the Quiet way, plus swear words and a few mentions of your mom’s colonoscopy. (Yes, really.)

Once you’ve listened, pick up a copy of Introverts at Work and dive right in to sales and marketing alternatives for Quiet entrepreneurs.

The 11th Commandment.

I’m a total introvert.

People don’t believe this because I can get on stage and speak with what appears to be no fear or debilitating shyness. I’m comfortable teaching, being the center of attention, and leading groups large and small. (Like the Steer Your Ship peeps in Costa Rica circa 2014.)

But truly: I’m an introvert.

Post Brand Camp the camp, in which I was literally not even alone long enough to pee, I pulled back and hung out by myself for a few weeks. Because sometimes that’s what it takes to balance out all that amazingness and human interaction.

Further: I’m a hermit.

Yes, I enjoy traveling to exotic locales. But while there, I enjoy staying pretty close to “home.” I walk from the house to the beach and back. I go on an excursion and come back. I’m perfectly fine to let the beach dogs come to my chair, thank you very much, and love ’em like crazy before they run away.

I often feel bad, wrong, guilty, or otherwise terrible about these tendencies. I prefer to be at home or far away from home, but I don’t really have much of an in-between. You can find me at home most nights. Most weekends. Most days. I fight routine and structure but thrive on it, too.

Even further: I’m an online hermit. I just check out of that shit sometimes to be offline.

To allow for output — like writing books like Introverts at Work — I have to have solid input. Days at the museum. Time at the park. Yoga, meditation, running. Green smoothies, lots of sleep. Exploring neighborhoods. (Yesterday I found a new book store! It’s the Holy Grail of fantastic finds!)

I’ve got an auto responder up and I’m down to checking e-mail once a week. Further online hermiting. I’ve been posting to Instagram infrequently.

Here’s the thing: I’m not wrong. If you do this, too, you’re not freaking wrong.


It’s okay to turn it off, shut it down, and step away from the noise. You don’t need to take that Buzzfeed quiz. You don’t need to know what the Kardashians are doing or catch up on the latest controversy.

The 11th commandment is: DO YOUR WORK.

Your work. The stuff only you can do. Touch the lives only you can touch. Take the steps only you can take. And protect yourself in the process.

You need to breathe.
You need to find a rhythm.
You need to acknowledge your limits and enjoy the offline portions of your life.
You probably need a minute.

Currently, I’m finding my steady creation rhythm and taking good care of myself.

New projects require focus, determination, and routine. They require nearly unwavering dedication.

It’s okay to ditch social media while you bring something new into the world. (Hell, ditch it forever if it feels right!)

It’s okay to let people know you’re not responding to e-mail on an hourly or even daily basis.  It’s okay to give up on inbox zero.

Take time off.

Take care of yourself.

Do what needs to be done to bring your great work into the world.

And don’t you dare apologize for it, please.

The last thing the world needs is someone else with their head in their phone, killing time on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or YouTube.

We need people who make stuff and do stuff. People who are out to BE somebody. Businesses out to make a change, make us laugh, help us achieve our goals, or make our lives easier. We need solutions to all sorts of problems.

We need art. We need YOUR art.

We need music and paintings and crafts and conversations. We need YOUR music and paintings and crafts and conversations.

We need you to be who you are, to resist the forces that will let your phone take over your whole life (oh sweet, sweet torturous iPhone…how I love and hate you), and to get your particular flavor of genius out into the world.

Turn off your phone, kill your screens, and do the work.

You’re just plain brilliant when you do your work.

P.S.  I’m proud of you.

Photos // Lauren Guilford, Steer Your Ship Costa Rica

What to do when your family thinks you’re insane

Thank GOD my name finally appeared on a book cover in 2012, or my Mom would still think I do some sort of secret side hustle selling drugs.

I’ve explained ghostwriting and e-book revenue, but her response was simple: “Why would anyone pay for a download?”

She’s stuck in 1995, when the internet was full of chat rooms and AOL Instant Messaging conversations, so she’s confused by what I do. She’s even more confused by orphan hugging. I appear to have healthy ovaries — no one has told her otherwise — and I’ve been in a relationship for years, SO WHY NOT JUST GET PREGNANT!? IS IT SO HARD TO GIVE ME A GRANDBABY, KRISTEN!?

This predicament is common enough when you’re trying out something new in your business or personal life. Whether you’re aiming to study penguins, remodel your house, travel the world, fight disease, spread awareness, educate the public, or educate yourself — someone close to you will most likely be appalled by this new-improved, going-for-your-dreams version of you.

Here’s my three-step system for handling loved ones who think you’re batshit insane:

1.) Listen, no matter how much you want to throat punch them. Listen all the way, without shouting or screaming or sarcasm.

2.) Let them know that you’re going to complete the project with or without their support, but you’d prefer the “with” option.

3.) Ask them to participate in your project.

Yes, ask them to participate. Maybe they’ll say you’re a nutjob and blow off your offer. But maybe they’ll be glad you asked. They’ve got dreams that didn’t happen and secret projects they’d like to complete, so maybe they’re just jealous that they’ve never gone traipsing the globe on their heart’s mission like you’re about to do. It’s not that they don’t want you to go, they just want to feel included in something that matters to you.

Don’t assume any task is too small to be taken for granted.

Ask your loved ones to print your itinerary and add it to your calendar. Ask them to pick up your dry cleaning or help you find the perfect water-wicking travel pants. Ask them to schedule your shots at the travel center. The task itself doesn’t matter, but the participation does.

Asking for your family’s active participation means you love them and you’ll be returning. You aren’t leaving them behind — and better yet, they get to take credit for helping your project come to life.

It’s the easiest way to get support that I’ve come across so far in my travels.

P.S.  Of course we deserve it.


How to turn your toughest days around.

Ever have one of those days when you wake up exhausted?

When you sort of have a sore throat/runny nose/icky stomach feeling and you know you could push it — but if you just rest, you’ll be fine tomorrow?


Just this once. Instead of pushing through — rest.

Give yourself a break.
Cancel your appointments with a smile and self love.
Choose a quiet activity to tackle instead of pushing through your body’s signals (again) .
Make tea, hug the people you adore, and get comfy on the couch.
Read a book.
Watch a movie.
Savor the simplicity of a lazy day.

It’s only by giving yourself permission to rest when you need it that you can do your most important work in the world.

You know, the work you were made to do.  The images you were meant to create, the words you were meant to pen.  The kids you were meant to love.  The paintings, the crafts, the programs, the products, the inspiration, the motivation you were put here to create — THAT work.

It doesn’t happen when you’re not at your best. It feels hard and distant, so there’s no use fighting your body’s signals.

Give up. Rest. And hit it harder tomorrow.

P.S.  If resting is tricky for you, you’ve probably got Resting Bitch Voice. Lemme help.