⚡️Kristen Kalp - Page 4 of 77 - Soul care for you. And your business.

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Resting Bitch Voice

It’s hard to know what to talk about right now.

It’s hard for me to pretend that exclusively talking about getting better at business will help you the most, since capitalism is itself a destructive and nefarious force that extracts resources and labor from humans and the planet, no matter the cost.

That’s why today I’m choosing to talk about the places you might find within yourself that are fucking you over in capitalistic ways that we’ve come to accept as par for being alive in Western culture.

I’m going to call this portion of my asshole brain Resting Bitch Voice. It’s like Resting Bitch Face, only this doesn’t just make you look like you’re pissed when you’re in the latest edition of People magazine.

Resting Bitch Voice keeps you tired, overworked, stressed, steeped in martyrdom, and unable to articulate exactly why you feel like a bag of old turds.

Psst! This is an episode of my podcast, That’s What She Said! Listen in below or keep reading for a transcript-ish version.

First and most obviously, Resting Bitch Voice makes you EARN rest.

You can’t just wake up on any given day off and then go right back to bed.

You’re not allowed to wipe everything from your calendar because your body is falling-down tired.

You must keep hustling, pushing, and powering through.

Every day, all the time.

No matter what.

When you manage to stop hustling, pushing, or powering through, RBV will go ahead and shame you for being ‘lazy’ or ‘selfish’ or both.

Resting Bitch Voice will also pipe up about how you’re doing rest WRONG.

It says things like…

Why can’t you do all these tasks on this very long list and THEN rest?

Why can’t you rest MORE PRODUCTIVELY?

Why aren’t you working ahead when you know you have [ENORMOUS LIST OF THINGS] to do next week?

Why is the pandemic STILL making you tired?

Why can’t you just HANDLE YOUR SHIT without having to sleep, chill, ask for help, or unplug?

If and when you manage to ignore each of those questions, it changes tactics.

…I see you’re still attempting to rest.

Let me remind you of each task on your future to-do list every few seconds, thus causing your workload to haunt you indefinitely. GOOD LUCK RESTING NOW, HUNNY!

Ultimately, Resting Bitch Voice continuously conveys that it is NOT OKAY to be human.

It NEVER stops questioning your Very Human Limitations.

You have to eat?

And pee and poop and sleep and move around and talk to other people, too…?

Amy Poehler Reaction GIF

You need to stop working for today?

Amy Poehler Reaction GIF

You need the weekend to recuperate from this week’s work?

Amy Poehler Reaction GIF

Much of learning to rest is learning to disengage from Resting Bitch Voice.

Not to fight with the voice.

Not to negotiate

or argue with or even

entertain the voice.

You can learn to treat Resting Bitch Voice like an inconsequential phone notification, which can dismissed as easily as a random fact you don’t care about showing up on your screen.



::dismisses with a NOPE::

::removes pants, lies down::

Unfortunately, most of the business-owning peeps I work with are OWNED by Resting Bitch Voice.

While I identify myself as a business coach, much of my work is helping people DISengage from capitalism’s shitty side effects.

Rested people are better able to show up for their lives, their businesses, and their loved ones.

Rested people give the finger to hustle culture by working smarter, not CONTINOUSLY FOR EVERY MOMENT UNTIL DEATH.

Rested people enjoy their lives. (Related: it doesn’t count if you don’t enjoy it.)

Rested people encourage others to rest.

I’m not telling you about Resting Bitch Voice because this is easy work.

Rather, I’m talking about the mechanics of rest because it’s hard for me. My natural tendency is to WAKE UP AND DO SHIT UNTIL I DROP.

But my body is clear about the consequences of not resting.

There was that time my thyroid went down for the count and I learned to make tiny, annoying progress after napping twice before noon for a number of months. There are all the years that I’ve pushed too hard and deepened my own depression.

There is a long list of mental and physical symptoms that appear when I de-prioritize sleep, rest, chill time, down time, and generally not giving a fuck about the internet. (Resting Bitch Voice LOOOOOOOVES Instagram.)

I had to learn that Resting Bitch Voice a.) exists and b.) can singlehandedly ruin my health when I listen to it.

Thus, I’m passing this intelligence along to you.

Whether the roots of your particular RBV are located in capitalism, in your upbringing, in your cultural inheritance, or all three…you don’t have to let it steal rest from you any longer.

Pretend that Resting Bitch Voice has no power over you for the space of the next 3 questions.

Pretend you are no longer bound to the demeaning, Never-Good-Enough voice in your head.

Pretend it can no longer steal your peace or make you wobble through your to-do list far past the point of exhaustion.

How many hours of sleep and/or downtime would you get if you allowed yourself to be fully human?

What would regular rest and downtime look like if you let yourself be fully human?

What would you put down, leave behind, stop doing, or start prioritizing from an allowed-to-be-fully-human space?


How many hours of sleep and/or downtime would you get if you allowed yourself to be fully human?

What would regular rest and downtime look like if you let yourself be fully human?

What would you put down, leave behind, stop doing, or start prioritizing from an allowed-to-be-fully-human space?

Start there.

If you’d like to let me know what you’re doing to start doing (or stop doing!), drop me a line via k@kristenkalp.com or right here. I’d love to hear which of your Very Human Limitations you’re going to prioritize!

If you’d like my help in bringing your truest work into the world — minus hustle culture and plus rest — talk with me about business coaching! (On the actual phone like it’s 1994!)

🔥Peek at KK on Tap (online) or Solo (in person, Philadelphia), then book your call.

Resting Bitch Voice doesn’t have to steal your time and energy any longer.

May you find the ability to identify and dismiss RBV. Day after day, week after week, until it no longer holds sway over your calendar or identity.

May you learn to put your work down and rest completely.

May you enjoy the fruits of your labors, rather than working constantly to produce even more sweetness that goes untasted.

P.S. It doesn’t count if you don’t enjoy it.

Square Zero

Square One means you know where you are and have some idea of the tasks that lie ahead.

You’ve moved before, so you know there are boxes to be packed and unpacked; utilities to transfer to your name; furniture to rearrange and a new neighborhood to learn.

Square Zero feels like you live in Flan, or Blueberry, or The Quadratic Equation.

Wait, what? How did I get here? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

That’s disorientation.

Square Zero means you’ve never been to this particular place, and you have no idea how to move out of, through, or beyond it.

Psst! This is an episode of my podcast, That’s What She Said! Listen in below or keep reading for a transcript-ish version. 👇🏼

I remember crying so hard that I was sure my body had lost all liquid when Donald Trump won the Presidential election in 2016. Disorientation came with thoughts like, ‘I don’t know anything about life,’ ‘I don’t understand anything about America,’ and ‘I clearly don’t understand a goddamn thing about humans.’ (You know, really simple and not even a tiny bit dramatic statements!)

Square Zero can’t be solved by jumping into action-taking mode.

Everything in our culture is geared toward TAKE ACTION NOW.

You want to lose weight? START WORKING OUT.

You want to make a bajillion dollars? GET TO HUSTLING.

You want to make a better world? GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY RIGHT NOW.

Our collective TAKE ACTION NOW bias abandons the very human parts of ourselves that are paralyzed by disorientation.

How do you know what to do if you don’t know what’s happening or where you are?

How do you move in the direction of your dreams if a tornado of systemic collapse just blasted your reality to pieces?

Square Zero requires a great deal of empathy for where you are in this moment.

If you’re underwater and you don’t know which way is up — a physical experience of disorientation — swimming will only waste your energy. You’ve got to stay underwater until such time as you know where the sunlight is coming from, and THEN swim toward the surface.

It’s hard to know where the sunlight is right now.

It’s hard to know which actions will bear fruit and which are just spinning our wheels.

It’s difficult to plan for the future with anything resembling certainty.

Our lives are basically a series of if/then flow charts with Covid and its variants causing chaos at the center.

Pandemic caused (and is still causing) MASSIVE disorientation.

We’ve been collectively spinning in some form of WTF IS THIS??? since March 2020.

We are told that this will end; or it won’t; well, maybe; nah, nevermind.

From the CDC, we’ve gotten guidance like, We don’t need masks if we’re vaccinated; OH YES WE CERTAINLY DO; actually, everything is optional; JUST KIDDING WEAR MASKS AND STAY HOME.


Are you currently experiencing disorientation about your work? About what makes your life meaningful? About what you’d like to do and be in the world? About what the future of your home/school/place of worship/community looks like?

That’s normal. We’ve never been here before.

This is where asshole brain gets awesome: it tries to convince you that YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM and EVERYONE ELSE HAS THEIR SHIT FIGURED OUT and also, THIS PROBLEM IS UNSOLVABLE.

It doesn’t matter what the problem is or how big the problem is; Square Zero can apply to pandemic life as well as to opening a cereal box that’s been duct-taped shut.

A better question for Square Zero might be: where is the light? What, if anything, is bringing you even 3% joy at this moment?


Even if it doesn’t make sense or is ‘too expensive’ or you ‘don’t have time’ for it. Maybe it’s a new hobby with very involved processes, or maybe it’s enjoying the sweet, sweet hours-long quiet of morning once the kids have gone to school. (Some call this ‘rest.’)

It’s entirely possible that your painting practice is the difference between your ability to withstand the rest of pandemic and your total collapse. (Related: your art will save your life.)


Just because something isn’t entirely ‘logical’ or isn’t valued by capitalism doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Where there is any joy or light in disorientation, trust it. Follow it.

Let the wildest parts of your spirit lead you back to yourself, bit by bit.

Judging yourself for not knowing won’t help you know any faster.

Freaking out won’t make the way clearer.

Taking action because being still is too painful will only waste your energy.

Let your longings speak to you.

Let your uncertainty have its say.

Let your whole being want what it wants,

love what it loves,

enjoy what it enjoys.

And eventually — I promise, eventually —

you’ll find Square One.

The next step will emerge.

The path will make itself known.

You’ll leave this place of not knowing

wiser and stronger, more connected

to your own interiors and the world at large.

You will.

You will.

But first…let your crumbs of light lead.

If you’d like my help navigating from Square Zero, book a call and talk with me!

I’ll listen to where you are and then hook you up with one of the the three 1-on-1 options available for working with me at this time!  (We can work together in person, virtually through KK on Tap, or soooon in Philly at The Imaginarium!  But you gotta talk to me!)

P.S. Joy is an act of resistance.

The Absence and The Presence

Let’s bring a prevalent-but-often-unspoken portion of our collective pandemic pain into the light and examine it because, as Mister Rogers taught me, anything mentionable is manageable.

The goal here is simply to name the pain you might be feeling and to let you know you’re not alone. Not to judge or scold you. Not to induce guilt or shame. Simply to mention what’s happening so that you/I/we can manage it going forward.

Psst! This is an episode of my podcast, That’s What She Said! View all 250+ episodes here. Keep reading or listen in for the extended version. 👇🏼

Story #1:

We arrive around 2:30 in the afternoon and put our bags down and go running out the back doors: mud.

Where the Airbnb photos promised us a shimmering and scenic body of water, there is only mud.

Smelly, foul-looking, deep deep mud.

“WELP, that’s climate change,” I mutter, and then the three of us sit quietly on the dock.

“I mean, it’s not like we can complain because they can’t control the water.”

“At least we have shade when we sit out here…?”

We sit with the disappointment, breathing into this girls’ weekend’s VERY ABSENT piece de resistance: shimmering, soothing, nature-y water.

A few minutes later, Dawn perks up: “Is there more water than there used to be?”

Where there was a teeny tiny steam of water moving through the mud, there’s now more water…a flowing stream.

The wading birds arrive and catch the tiniest fish glinting in the incoming bay water.

“IT’S LIKE A NATURE SHOW!” I exclaim. We watch the tide coming in like toddlers, amazed by every last detail.

More birds arrive: herons and gulls and little swooping birds I can’t name. We watch more bird fishing go down, sometimes by wading and sometimes by dive bombing from above.

Within two hours, the dock is once again perched over water. Amazing, soothing, nature-y water.

If you’re laughing because we didn’t realize tides could mean there’s NO water and then LOTS of water — YUP. I’ve only ever seen the ocean, which never just disappears from the beaches I’ve visited, so this was a shocker.

It’s also a metaphor for the whole thing: The Absence and The Presence.

There was an absence, which we felt (and smelled), and then there was a presence, which we appreciated all the more because minutes before we had resigned ourselves to ‘enjoying’ the view of the smelly mud.

At some level this is how all of life works, starting with breathing itself. There’s the absence of breath — the exhale — followed by the presence of breath — the inhale. One follows the other for as long as we live. The tides roll in and out; we work, we rest; the sun rises, the sun sets. Presence, absence, presence, absence.

Story #2:

The aforementioned girls’ weekend was strictly unplugged. We used GPS to get to the property and to navigate to the next major town, but that was it. No games, music, apps, news, email, texts, phone calls, or notifications. We were gloriously free of our devices and could fully sink into presence.

We watched nature and went exploring and cooked dinner and talked and laughed and cried and slept and read books and connected deeply. The Absence of phones allowed for The Presence of our full selves.

On Tuesday, when I sat down to work, my interiors were experiencing FLAMING HOT RAGING CONVULSIONS OF FREAK-OUT. Inner tantrum levels were similar to those of a Kindergartener who refuses to get dressed and go to school while the bus is pulling up to her stop. There was crying and flailing. There was an outright refusal to get to work even though the clock said it was time to begin.

‘What’s going on,’ I asked myself…and the answer was SCREENS.

What’s this about? Why am I FREAKING THE FUCK OUT when I’ve just had so much rest and connection?

Unless the connection IS the problem.

The Presence of other humans in deep time contrasted so sharply with firing up my laptop and getting to my online work that my whole being threw a righteous fit.

I am starved for deep human Presence and connection.

And I’ll bet you are, too.

The modern world is dominated by Absence.

You’re talking to someone and they pick up their phone to pay attention to a notification: ABSENCE.

You’re in the middle of a story when a call or text arrives and the other person leaps to their device: ABSENCE.

You don’t know what to do with the afternoon so you fire up a streaming service and grab some chips: ABSENCE.

You’re bored af so you spend the next few minutes/hours/days scrolling on social media: ABSENCE.

Devices all but guarantee that Absence rules the room.

Further! We’re *promised* Presence by social media — LOOK HOW MANY INFLUENCERS ARE INFLUENCING RIGHT NOW — but rarely experience it.

We’re given infinite numbing tools — ABSENCE — and wonder why we don’t feel more connected to ourselves. Or each other. (Some days navigating the internet feels like eating three pounds of fake bacon and hoping that if I eat enough of it, I’ll forget how actual, real, not-fake bacon tastes.)

We’re respectful of public safety as the Delta variant continues to circulate — ABSENCE — and don’t see/touch/hug/interact with as many humans in any two weeks of 2021 as we had access to on any given *day* in The Before.

I am starved for human connection, and giving me a taste of Presence for a few days only made The Absence in the other days more obvious.


The Absence of screens allows for The Presence of deep and rich human connection.

The Presence of screens causes unhappiness, full stop.

“The results could not be clearer: teens who spend more time on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.

There’s not a single exception.

All screen activities are linked to less happiness and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.” — From The Atlantic’s article, ‘Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation‘ by Jean M. Twenge, Sept 2017

These ‘screens mean unhappiness’ findings were evident BEFORE pandemic. BEFORE we had less human connection than ever before due to Covid.

The longer pandemic goes on, the more acutely I feel The Absence. There’s a hollowed out version of my heart that remembers walking up to babies in Target and making them giggle for no good reason. It also remembers life before smartphones and before Zoom and even before the internet itself. When we had nowhere to be but right here…and even if ‘right here’ was objectively terrible…at least we were here TOGETHER.

That’s gone now. Absence.

What’s Present is infinite scrolling. More (and more AND MORE AND MORE!) posts, reels, likes, clicks, streams, and feeds. The Absence of meaning.

Ongoing stress so enormous that 100% of my clients report remembering fewer details and needing to write more stuff down so they’ll be able to do their work. The Absence of memory.

Memes stacked up in my text messages like endless mind-Doritos. (Sure, Doritos are fun. But if you only eat Doritos for a few days, we both know you’re gonna feel like garbage.) The Absence of nourishment.

Distract-ability so high that I’ve gotten off of FaceTime calls and cried because I didn’t get what I needed. Sure, I just saw my best friends, but there was so much else going on — cats! doorbells! interruptions! — that we couldn’t possibly connect deeply. The Absence of depth.

At one level, I’m being a big cry baby and whining about having to use screens to do my work, which I’m privileged enough to do from home. I acknowledge this fully and am grateful for my ability to shelter in place for the duration of pandemic.

And at another level, I’m crying about the biggest crises of our shared humanity at the soul level: The Absence of meaning, The Absence of depth, The Absence of nourishment.

“We have the same problem in our culture as we do in our bodies: we take in too much that’s nonnutritive, whether it’s junk food or junk information, and we attempt to be fed by it. We pour in so much information, so much food, and our bodies and minds and emotions get constipated, clogged, overloaded…Of the information we take in, how much of it can we actually live on and how much is crap? There’s nothing wrong with crap, but it’s an end product.” — Ana T. Forrest, Fierce Medicine

We’re collectively starving at the soul level and chiding ourselves for being unable to ‘deal with it’ or ‘walk it off’ or ‘suck it up.’

We cannot expect to live fully engaged, gorgeous lives without meaning, depth, and nourishment.

We’re so overcome by practicalities and ever-shifting logistics that we can’t see how hungry, tired, lost, and/or numb we are at this phase of pandemic.

Nature’s rhythms have absence and presence built right into their foundations: high tide, low tide. Inhale, exhale.

Screens offer Absence without a naturally occurring rhythm of Presence.

We have to consciously MAKE presence happen. We have to choose to put the phone down, place the Apple watch in the drawer, banish the iPad to the other room, turn off the TV, and move the laptop into the office.

Otherwise, The Absence eats us right up. The Absence is made of the monetization of attention, endless comparison, fear of missing out, hyper-stimulation, and scrolling. It eats away at our ability to be present with other humans until (eventually) we PREFER the presence of screens to any living, breathing being.


We can choose Presence.

We can put our goddamn phones down.

We can cultivate The Absence of screens so that we can live more engaged, three-dimensional lives.

We can ask for what we need and try again if what we asked for didn’t quite hit the mark.

We can forego memes and scrolling for Do Not Disturb mode, even for 20 minutes at a time.

We can forego social media’s greatest hits of the day for one true conversation with a human being.

We can cultivate awareness of our interiors. (Here’s a place to begin.)

We can actually feel our feelings instead of shoving them down and pretending they don’t exist. (Here’s another place to begin.)

We can share our most vulnerable thoughts and tales. (My Hall of Vulnerabilities covers cannabis, sex, depression, and that time I lost $43k on a business event.)

We can tell on ourselves in order to outsmart asshole brain.

We can admit that this shit is hard and let others know when we’re drowning.

And we can do all of this…together, if you’d like.

I’m committed to giving you deep, gorgeous, stunningly beautiful human connection this November, and it’s at an event called The Imaginarium. If you’re free from November 14-16 and can make it to Philadelphia, this is for you!

Every portion of this container is geared toward providing soul-level sustenance for the months ahead. Because YES we’re doing another winter with Covid and NO we don’t have to hate every minute of it. While you’re at the event, we’ll suss out one habit you’d like to develop for the months afterward — and then you’ll be held accountable for DOING THE THING YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO.

Also, there will be huge amounts of truth speaking:

“Truth speaking — speaking from a place of deep honesty and compassion — propels us into a very rich field of feeling. Every time we speak the truth, it shudders through the cobwebs and dimness in our lives, tapping back in to the Beauty in our world, in ourselves, and in each other. How incredibly sweet it is to be able to talk about what’s really important, stepping out from behind our facades and the stupid little conversations that we’re taught are a necessary social lubricant.” — Ana T. Forrest, Fierce Medicine

5 of the 9 spots are sold, so you can be one of the lucky 4 who get to come!

The only way to get details about The Imaginarium is to TALK TO ME about it, so please BOOK A CALL: bit.ly/coachcasso

Even if you can’t be there — can you begin to notice the Presence and The Absence, starting with your own? It names so much of what hurts about life today.

If we’re all here, present, together — there’s nothing we can’t face. But if we’re all here, distracted, absent, and unable to connect, but we’re technically in the same room? That’s a buffet of Doritos. SO EXCITING AND SHINY, but in no way nourishing.

Where can you commit to Presence? How can you double down on human connection? Who or what will help you deal with the temptation to fall into Absence and stay there? Where and when do you need to cultivate the Absence of devices in your life — in order to be more present?

These are the questions that will heal your soul.

As always, I’m committed to providing deep nourishment for every phase of your journey. From here, book a call to talk with me about 1-on-1 and/or in-person work.

If you need help cutting screen time by 2 hours or more *per day* — thus increasing your happiness, says scienceSpace will help. You’re 21 days away from More Presence, starting right here.

P.S. Don’t let the Adultopus win.

Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine

We were promised an end to the pandemic with the arrival of vaccinations, and that’s clearly not even close to happening.

What do we do now?

Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine is my answer.

Lemme help you identify both your pandemic feelings and needs in a space that’s full of laughter and the ridiculousness of being a human today.

This LIVE recording of That’s What She Said was made in the company of other humans who risked connection, emotions, and being seen — and it’s FUCKING GLORIOUS.

You can leave ‘fine’ behind with tiny, annoying progress, and you can start doing that shit TODAY.

Once you’ve listened, let me know what you discover!

🔥Book a call to talk with me about whatever you learn.

Questions, comments, ideas, epiphanies to share? Book a call!

P.S. When it comes to pandemic… Put it down.

I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

We both know that anyone who says they’re ‘fine’ is absolutely anything BUT fine.

That’s why I want to address the places you’re ‘fine’ and help you kick ’em to the curb.

This is an episode of That’s What She Said!  Listen in for the extended version, or keep reading if you’re pressed for time.

Here are 5 spots where ‘fine’ could be tripping you up.

Which of these sound like you?

1 – “I’ll take care of everyone else, it’s fine.”

You might have succumbed to martyrdom, which those born female are trained for since birth. In my life, this looked like showing up as a perfect angel of productivity (and vacumming and cleaning and cooking!) while resenting everyone for not noticing how much I was struggling and how little energy I had to spend.

Nevermind that I never or rarely VERBALIZED my needs or desires or stunning exhaustion: it’s everyone else’s fault! They don’t understand! REAL HOUSEWIVES ARE THE ANSWER, I KNOW IT!

My martyrdom pushed me further into numbing out and trying to recover from life by…avoiding life altogether. I shoved pesky things like needs and feelings as far down as possible, piling reality TV on top of more reality TV.

👉🏻When people asked if I needed a break or would like some help, I’d say “No.” Because I was FINE.

Season 8 Whatever GIF

2 – “I’ll work even harder, it’s fine.”

If not martyrdom, you might be taking workaholism for a spin!

That looks like…

Resting: no.

Time off: nope!

Taking a break from thinking about work: never.


Work will help you numb out in the name of capitalism, which makes it harder for those around you to address directly. Society says you should be working! And you are! Nonstop! What could be better?

Except…you burst into tears at seemingly random times. You can’t figure out exactly why, so you figure it’s ‘for no reason.’ You beat yourself up for having bursts of emotion and then keep working.

In my life, workaholism showed up when I was MANY YEARS into a marriage I first got the impulse to end at the 6-week mark. Did I face that reality with grace and aplomb? Heeeeeeeell no.

I did what any self-respecting, overachieving woman does: I worked even harder.

I sat at my computer faithfully for 8 to 12 hours a day, 5 days a week and sometimes on weekends. I posted, I tweeted, I blogged, I emailed, I coached, I wrote…ANYTHING to avoid the fact that I didn’t actually like my husband or want to be near him. My work was as much an escape from myself as a way to make money and help others grow.

In 2021, workaholism means you’re stressed from making an extra 3,000 pandemic-based decisions a day. From making and canceling plans. From rescheduling and trying to navigate all things WTF IS EVEN HAPPENING in an unstable global year. From navigating the rapidly changing economic/social/educational/political landscape. From being ‘on’ at all times. From Zoom school. From mask mandates or the lack thereof. From waking up and finding the courage to face another day.

AND from doing all the work you normally do.

You’re overwhelmed, exhausted, and holding on by a thread.

👉🏻…but when people ask how you are? You’re FINE.

Real Housewives Cry GIF by Slice

3 – “Just keep swimming. The status quo is fine.”

If you haven’t turned to workaholism, you might feel…unmoored. Adrift. Distant from your being and your work. You find yourself asking existential questions like, what is it all for? What does it all mean? Why does this work matter? What difference does it make?

Asshole brain is quick to assure you that none of this matters. It pipes up that there’s no way [that idea you just had] will work, so you just keep swimming. All of your efforts are tilted toward surviving today, which means maintaining the status quo.

One day, then the next. No need to dream or plan or strategize. And those longings you feel for something different, wild, expansive, or imaginative? You shove those into a tiny box and banish it to the back of your brain.

👉🏻You’re stagnant but surviving. You’re FINE.

love actually GIF

4 – “Everything I want can happen…later. I’m fine.”

It might look like you’re functioning normally on the outside, but on the INSIDE. Your insides feel condensed and sometimes you don’t feel like you can breathe. You catch yourself holding your breath when you’re stressed.

You’re curled into a metaphorical ball and hoping this shit ends soon.

You’ll make up something new or get back to your business or career or art-making or idea-gathering…later. When pandemic ends. When your kids go to kindergarten/high school/college. When you lose 10 pounds. When you can hire way more childcare/an assistant/a manager/an accountant/a fully-staffed yacht.

👉🏻Your enthusiasm for life and for the future have experienced massive shrinkage — and that’s 100% OKAY BECAUSE YOU. ARE. FINE.

5 – “I can do it all by myself. I’m fine.”

Finally, and because we’ve faced social isolation like never before in the past few years, you might have slipped into I Can Do It All By Myself Syndrome. You don’t need child care or help taking care of your home or someone to help you process orders or send mail or respond to customers or build systems. You don’t need a sounding board or someone to support you as you take your next steps in business.

Your whole being is contracting in such a way that more and more responsibilities land on you — because you’re the only person you really trust to get the job done.

👉🏻You’re doing it all by yourself because YOU! ARE FINE.

Finding your ‘Fine’ life points will help you find spots where you’re lying to yourself, totally overwhelmed, or unable to handle facing some portion of your life directly.

We can’t talk solutions to these feelings without first identifying where ‘fine’ shows up in your life.

So…which sounds like you at the moment?

1 – I’ll keep taking care of everyone else, it’s fine.

2 – I’ll work even harder, it’s fine.

3 – Just keep swimming. The status quo is fine.

4 – Everything I want can happen…later. I’m fine.

5 – I can do it all by myself. I’m fine.

6 – All of these.

Let me know what you’re up against by shooting an email to k@kristenkalp.com with the corresponding number! I’d love to know how ‘fine’ is showing up for you.

I’ll use every response I receive anonymously to help make my next free live event even better. (Translation: talking to me helps everyone who listens to the podcast or reads these emails! Go, you!)

Once you’ve shot me an email, sign up for this magic 👇🏼


You’re invited to Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine, the next live podcast recording! (Why YES it IS inspired by Roy Kent’s famous lines from Ted Lasso, thanks for asking!)

Drink Drinking GIF by Apple TV

Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine goes down on September 15th at 11am ET.

⚽️If you’d like to talk about your version of ‘fine’ and get coached in real time, YES! Let’s do it! Talk to me and we’ll find a next step to start moving you out of ‘fine’ mode.

⚽️If you’d like to hear more about how to kick ‘fine’ to the curb and live a goddamn spectacular life in the midst of pandemic, yes! I’ll be talking about that! And you can play with me and ask questions in real time! (SPOILER ALERT: I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT SEEING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY AND WHY WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE BOSS MATTERS TO YOU.)

⚽️If you’d like dibs on my live event in Philly this November, GET STOKED! I’ll give you details and a promo code at that time!

Pop your name in the magical form so I can send you details! 👇🏼



P.S. When you’re feeling ‘fine,’ you need simple and helpful ways to defeat asshole brain.