Kristen Kalp - Page 2 of 83 - Writer, poet, business coach.

Latest Blog Posts — Page 2

Be the human.

There’s this new thing going around: angry people on the internets. 😉

People are angrier than ever, it seems, and the articles and videos they’re passing around amp up the anger because clickbait gets clicks and outrage is the easiest way to get someone else on your side.

Only I grew up with a yelling Mom, and by age 5 I could keep reading my book while she screamed about the dusting I needed to do or the laundry I needed to hang or the playing I needed to do outside, and don’t come back in until it’s dark.

I learned early on to tune out screaming, and I didn’t even grow up in a particularly aggressive household.

We humans tune out anger and outrage quickly and effectively. (Which brings us back to Facebook.)

When we keep anger and outrage in circulation by passing along an article or a video that stokes the fires of hatred, we’re keeping anger and outrage in circulation. That is often all anyone can see or hear or feel, particularly those who disagree with us or who are not inclined to see our side with any sort of kindness.

People can feel our contempt. They can discern our hatred for those who voted a certain way. It blinds them to feeling anything else and dismantles our ability to have the kind of real and true conversations that could cause a change of heart to happen.

I suggest we take on a new slogan as we attempt to birth a new world inside this one: be the human.

Just…be the human.

Not BE THE CHANGE, which is our secondary purpose and which will bring in all sorts of righteous adjustments to our world; just be the human.

Being the human means making eye contact and saying “hi” to people and petting dogs and talking to their owners and smiling at strangers and sanitation workers and everyone we meet.

In my case, it means talking to that lady at the diner who voted for the notoriously-hard-to-reach Pat Toomey and who has a car covered in Pro-Life bumper stickers. (In her case, it means talking to the pink-haired woman who got excited about hearing Bernie Sanders speak. Her job is no easier.)

When we challenge ourselves to be the human, we can’t lead with fear or anger. We already know this in real life — scowling at people in Target as we pick up our toilet paper and our paper towels endears us to absolutely no one — but somehow we forget this online.

Maybe because we don’t have to make eye contact? Or because the nameless, faceless ‘them’ is easier to imagine there? Or because there are no babies in carts smiling at everyone, reminding us that giggling at babies is an action every human can get behind?

Being the human means we have to at least try taking fear and anger out of circulation before we proceed with our conversations.

The room has to be swept free of contempt before connection can happen.

That sucks. It’s easier to hate the other side and to dehumanize everyone who doesn’t agree with us/you/me. It’s easier to build walls than to find common ground, especially when it seems that our common ground is, in fact, limited to smiling at babies.

The media is also aimed squarely at blasting our outrage buttons, no matter what we believe, which makes just freaking BEING THE HUMAN an act of resistance.  (Let’s not be deterred in our efforts.)

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It’s easier to spend our energies like VIPs in the club popping bottles of outrage than it is to mete out our resistance in steady, daily actions.

Being the human means we ask questions of ourselves first and of others second. Last week I wasn’t in my usual Target and decided that this Target’s layout was wrong. Not ‘different.’ ‘WRONG.’ Because it wasn’t laid out like the one I prefer.

If my brain is busy trying to make Target aisles ‘wrong,’ how easy is it for my brain to demonize living, breathing humans who disagree with me?

Being the human means we can look at ourselves in the mirror and be proud that we haven’t simply spewed vitriol on nameless, faceless people or that one really annoying guy in our Facebook feed.

Being the human means we commit to decency and mutual respect — the groundwork for living in a world in which we can disagree and then go about our work in the world with freaking love in our hearts.

Being the human means that we can see that we’re all in this together — like it or not — and that those smiling babies in those Target carts deserve a world that hasn’t been completely ripped apart by hate, fear, and contempt.

We all deserve to live in that world, and we can start making it today.

If you’d like to hear more from me about the ways we can take action toward a better world without the use of Super Soakers, I encourage you to join the totally free Fuck Yah Club. I’ll send you poems and uplifting pieces that make you say “fuck yah” to life, and they’ll be accompanied by hard-hitting animal GIFs. Come on, you know you can use more hard-hitting animal GIFs.

P.S.  If bridging the political divide seems unreasonable, here’s a primer on how to be unreasonable.

Stop Self Sabotage

If you’ve ever sabotaged the crap out of yourself, your work, your desires, your plans, or your waistline, this is the class for you.

I’ve shoved and pushed and stuffed everything I know about stopping self sabotage into a single hour-long class, then delivered it live so that peeps could ask questions and I could answer ’em.

In Stop Self Sabotage, you’ll learn:

+ the name for and nuances of what you’re feeling as the U.S. descends into an unparalleled political space — and why that matters for your sabotage-y bits
+ the single most important factor in stopping the sabotage-y habit
+ the four sneakier-than-a-wily-raccoon elements that conspire to undermine your best attempts at getting your work done
+ the everyday, seemingly insignificant acts that make all the difference to living a bigger, braver life
+ why ‘earning’ your play time is the worst idea ever (really, EVER)
+ 7 daily actions you can take to stop self sabotage

In not-bullet-point-y terms, that means I’ll shower you with everyday, simple ways to make sure you get your work done without spending another day saying you’ll start — and I quote — “tomorrow.”

We’ll take on your asshole brain, why you let clients or your peeps walk all over you and how you can get that shizzy to stop, how Trump has messed with my business after being in office for less than two weeks, and how ALL of it ties back to making stronger, firmer boundaries as you go about your days.

You can absolutely do the things you say you’re going to do and complete the work only you can create on this planet.  But you’ll have to get savvy to your own patterns and then change ’em.  The Stop Self Sabotage class can help. 😉

P.S. YUP, you’re running out of time to get yourself to the Brave workshop — so hop on over here and grab a seat if you wanna make it happen before Early Bird Pricing ends!

“But what if no wants it?”

There’s a thought process you can absolutely count on when you’re bringing creative work into the world. You make a thing. It’s available for purchase. And then your brain gets involved.

It whispers, “No one wants this thing I’ve made.”

Not “some people don’t want it.”
Not “a few people think it’s dumb but most people will think it’s pretty rad.”

“NO ONE wants this thing I’ve made.”

In just the past week, I’ve had this come up with two clients.

In our first case, a photographer has booked over 50% of the year’s sessions in January. Fifty percent. In January. We made a plan for when she actually starts marketing the sessions later in winter. (She’s still sure she can’t book the sessions. I told her for sure for sure, she’s fucked. Hosed. SCREWED…😉 )

In the second case, a photographer has booked weddings again and again with no webpage (not webSITE — just a mere webPAGE that’s part of a site) featuring her work. Word of mouth keeps on sending people to her, and she’s sure she can’t book 3 weddings this year.

Go ahead and judge: these people must be crazy, right? OF COURSE they’re going to get booked up!

But you, friend. You’re sure you won’t make rent or book that client. You’re convinced that what you offer has absolutely no value, even though people have sent you kind words and thanks and praise and your calendar is filling and you’re making a steady bit of income.

Hell, the parts of my asshole brain that are absolutely certain I can’t sell out Brave are just as strong as the parts that are determined to move seats and fill the workshop.

Check out the Brave workshop if your life feels two sizes too small and you know you’re living a safe/not-brave life — early bird pricing ends on the 31st!

We all have this little voice within us, particularly when we’re doing work we care about: nope, you can’t. Give up. No one wants this. It’s stupid. You’re going to go broke. You’ll end up loveless and penniless.

The horrible little voice of your asshole brain lies.

Case #1 photographer is booking the everloving shizbots out of her year and trying to figure out how to make space for more sessions during her busiest months.

Case #2 photographer is making a webpage for weddings and reporting back to me about it next week.

They’re both going to meet their goals and then some.

And you?

You can meet your goals and then some. But you’re going to have to get used to hearing that voice and then putting it in the corner. It’s not telling the truth. It wants to keep you small and scared. It’s just a troll trying to get you to stay hidden.

We all have that nasty ‘no one wants it’ voice, but not a single one of us has to listen to it.

P.S.  How to be Unreasonable-with-a-capital-U.

Photo // my own, from those 10 minute I owned a legit Polaroid before it died a painful death