The Book Club for March includes some one-on-one time with Kate Hudson. Always bubbly, fit, and fun… or is she? It is interesting read to learn how Kate grew up a tomboy, that her mother, Goldie Hawn, taught her to listen to her body’s needs for food, mental focus, and fitness. Now Kate is leading a healthy life as an example for her own children. Throughout the book she shares many personal insights into eating alkaline, exercising in a way that makes YOUR body happy, and understanding some of her guiding principles for healthy living. There are two items that Kate refers to frequently in “Pretty Happy” – Body Smart and Drawing Board.
Tuning in to your body and listening to what it is telling you. Do your muscles feel tight? Sore? Weak? Do you feel emotionally anxious? Peaceful? Tired? When you FEEL your body, how do you respond?
She walks you, the reader or audio book listener, thru a body scan so that you can begin to tune in to YOUR bodies needs and start the conversation.
Kate refers to her “Drawing Board” and walks you thru creating and using your own. The Drawing Board is a journal used to reflect on your self exploration journey. Kate walks you through several exercises for exploring your day, thoughts and feelings about what triggers an emotional response in your life.
Two Fun Ladies – Kate and Rachael – discussing “Pretty Happy”
Today’s Dose of Kindness: Tune in to YOUR body, it knows what it truly needs and wants to share with you!!
Book Club happens every month, we discuss personal take-aways, share thoughts and ‘ah-ha’ moments. We would love to have you join us!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and join our next month’s read.
My February Book Club is reading “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes.
Can you imagine having the world by the tail and not being happy?
Talking with Oprah and not remembering a word?
Receiving an invitation to sit next to the President at an event, because he’s a HUGE fan of YOUR work, and your gut response is “NO thank you”?
This was Shonda Rhimes reality. Paralyzing fear that made her numb, induced immobilizing panic attacks, and took her words away when she needed them most.
“You never say yes.” The four words that changed her life.
It truly is the simplest gestures or observations that make the biggest impact. The 4-words that changed her life were shared honestly by her sister while preparing dinner for a big family event. The observation was not intended to sting, but sting it did. That sting drove Shonda into a year of YES. With each and every yes, her life changed in ways beyond her imagination.
Have you said NO to your Happiness?
The book “Year of Yes” is the story of a very successful, high achieving, and super creative woman facing her own self-selected isolation. In the midst of everyone wanting to celebrate her well-earned successes, she chooses to hide from it. Her honesty, self deprecating style all written in the same intensity as the shows she writes and produces for our Thursday night viewing. She is a writer and producer for ABC’s power line up of award winning shows – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder.
What Would You Say YES to?
I chose this book because it’s perfect for people desiring a different perspective and understanding the power of your decisions. Vowing to consider the opportunity, pausing in your decision process, and considering the opposite of what you default to is when real decision begins to be your own.
When you are ready to say YES to doing something different with your life, making friends in a super supportive community- email me at email@example.com
Today’s dose of Kindness – say YES to your life. There is MAGIC in that one word!
Knew the Universe was looking out for you but couldn’t explain why?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero is the book for you! In 2015, along with starting and sticking to a fitness program, I also started reading more personal development books. I realized that my head space was a LARGE part of my weight loss journey. If I don’t believe, I mean REALLY believe, that I am worth better then how long will my weight loss success last? Mind and Body are VERY connected.
I have also learned that taking a look at what’s happening inside reveals a lot of what people see on the outside and how you engage with your world. The easiest way to better understand how we tick is by exploring our belief systems, perusing the “Self Help” section of the bookstore, and taking time out to reflect.
You Are A Badass is one of those books that takes you for a ride from page one. It doesn’t get technical with psychological theory and jargon and doesn’t get touchy feely with the Age of Aquarius. Jen Sincero speaks directly to you and is both honest and blunt about it! What else would you expect from a woman that was a founding member of a punk band!
I appreciate her directness and above that I appreciate her honesty. The honesty she shares is in telling her story. She opens the book by sharing that “she wrote a love letter to her uterus” while moving thru a myriad of self-help experiences. Where she landed, and where you get an introduction, is that she is square with herself and that is where being able to help others begins.
You can’t help someone else until you yourself are on solid ground.
I feel comfortable sharing that even my own Mother couldn’t stomach this book. Not because Ms. Sincero is so blunt, but because the truth’s faced were too close to home. To paraphrase my Mom, “she speaks directly to a part of me that I haven’t started a conversation with yet.”
For this very reason, a smack right upside the head with a healthy dose of honesty, is WHY I chose this book for the first one shared with my “Where I Thrive” community.
If YOU are ready to get honest with yourself so that you can move past your self-imposed road blocks and become the Badass that you truly are, then join my group by clicking on this pink box:
Once you have joined, click this link to buy the hard copy / kindle / audible version and lets get busy improving our lives! Click here > ‘You Are A Badass’ by Jen Sincero
You can also email me directly to learn more – firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s Dose of Kindness: Expect greatness, Prepare for greatness, and Greatness will be delivered.
Here’s a snippet of what you can expect from Jen Sincero herself!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ….who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; …and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” – Theodore Roosevelt
Today’s post is quite personal and a long time coming. It’s taken me over a year to come to this moment, where YOU are reading my words and my story is out for everyone to see.
Spring and Summer of 2014 I was staying busy as an Executive Assistant for the top executive in the Forest Service – Alaska Region. It is a job that I did very well and was very proud of my role and responsibilities. I was well established in my career, had earned the respect and trust of top leadership within my agency and other natural resource agencies in Alaska. I was humming at the top of my game.
I had received approval to take a 6-week vacation that September. A longtime dream, to walk the Camino across Spain, was to be realized. I did all of the prep work to ready the office and staff for my departure. Everything was also aligning for me to accept a different Forest Service job that would get me into an entirely new arena of career options.
As life, career and opportunities were progressing I found myself eating…a lot. Every meal would take me to stuffed…on the verge of uncomfortable. I would snack on high fat goodies, eat dessert, and drink yummy Mocha’s daily. It was all quite innocent at first. I didn’t think a thing about what I was eating, going up a pant size, all of my clothes feeling tight. After a short bit, I stopped engaging with friends and my boyfriend. Normally a Social Deb, when I was in a crowd, I had little to say and was simply responsive to others in conversation. It was easy for me to become reactive to the way someone looked at me, a perceived “curt” response to something that I said, and since I didn’t really want anyone to pay attention to me it was easy to find myself at the snacks. I brought the yummiest dish and then found a location closest to it.
As my departure to Spain came closer, I realized that my actions were having a bad effect on my mood, my waist line, my relationship with my boyfriend and my friends. It became startlingly clear that I did not have control. I felt that I really needed to evaluate my relationship with food.
I LITERALLY have a library of workout dvds, shelves filled with low-fat cookbooks, multiple fitness programs, and had just ended my membership with a pre-packaged food company. NOTHING was working for me so I could see that it was me that was not working. I was literally eating the pounds that would insulate me from my world. It came to be that every bit kept my mouth full and attempted to fill a hole in my soul.
My weight was my personal barrier and protection.
However, I didn’t want to insulate or protect myself from my world. I wanted more than anything to CONNECT with everyone in it…and somehow ended up just pushing people away while pulling in the next slice of pizza.
An appointment was set and I went to see a Nutritionist. In the past I have gone to counselors and it’s always in the first 10 minutes that I am crying. Why?
I am a leader.
I am strong.
I am independent.
Anyone that has found themselves sitting in a quiet office, caring eyes on you, and is asked the question “Rebecca, how can I help you today?” knows that THIS is a scary moment.
I sobbed….gasping….hard to breathe…sobbed.
It’s in that moment I realize I can’t fix what’s broken. I’ve called in backup because I know that something is wrong and I can’t find the solution. Now, I know that asking for help is one of the strongest and most respectable things anyone can do, but that doesn’t change the feeling of that moment.
I felt incredibly vulnerable.
We talked about everything that I had been going through, the realization that my eating habits were a sign of something bigger, and that other specialists may be needed alongside my Nutritionist appointments. A drastic change in eating habits is usually an emotional response and an indicator of deeper issues.
We met twice before I left for Spain. Since we were not going to be able to go too deep before my departure, she shared some book titles that would be good travel reading. I loaded two audio books on my phone for listening during lengthy international flights.
I soon discovered that hours…..days……weeks of walking are my perfect meditation. The first couple of weeks I was enthralled with being in Spain and walking the Camino. Once the experience became a ‘norm’, then I became very introspective. During this time, I came to understand several things about myself. The two biggest and most clarifying were…
My Book of Life
I compartmentalize my life. The thought occurred to me that I indeed have a “Rebecca’s Book of Life”. Each chapter of my life has a very natural beginning and a very deliberate and clear END. I have wrapped each part of my life up with a tidy bow. The people, experiences, and memories are filled with fun and love, but rarely do they enter the next chapter. This is most clear with the people. Until recently I have been very diligent about not letting people from my past move into my present.
Childhood friends – stay in a yearbook.
Army friends – stay in collected dogtags and pictures.
College friends – stay in momentos and my college diploma.
Geographic friends (from various jobs) – stay in their appropriate state.
They are all greeted warmly if our paths crossed but it was usually a distant and casual exchange. I didn’t blend my past friendships with my present.
Clean Slate Club
My ‘Book of Life’ was a product of my being the President of the Clean Slate Club. No…that’s not a typo. Remember when you were young and being a member of the Clean Plate Club was a healthy eating notion? It meant that you had eaten all that you had taken. My Clean Slate Club is similar.
When the Chapter had come to its natural, planned or obvious end, I cleaned the slate. New job. New location. New friends. New chapter. This was my M.O.. During a 6-day walk across the Meseta (a very dry, flat, and tree-less part of the Camino), I had a lot of time to consider, evaluate, and review the details of my life. This is when my current state of living became very, very clear.
I journaled every day and those entries have become very significant to me now.
On my way home, I began listening to “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. In my new frame of mind, and with nothing but days and hours of travel ahead of me, Brene was talking directly to me. I regretted pausing for a change of flights, to go to the bathroom, or not having my journal handy. The last 6-pages of my journal are “a-ha” moments of my life and its examination by way of Daring Greatly. For example, while desiring connection more than anything, I was striving for perfection.
Who can connect with perfection?
The personal frustration that I was putting so much effort into dressing, acting, accessorizing, and speaking the role….all in an effort to connect with YOU as a friend. I simply want to be YOUR friend and if I do everything ‘right’, then don’t you want to be mine?
In my attempt to be “the perfect friend”, I was unapproachable. This was exact opposite outcome of my hearts desire.
When I returned home, I was comfortably vulnerable. I lost my pretense of perfection that I thought was necessary for my role as the Executive Assistant and became a SUPA Hero! Also known as a Special Use Permit Administrator.
Because my Camino experience was shortened by an injury, I literally had to physically slow down. Physically moving slower meant that I had to take time, became aware of my surroundings, I had to walk slower and that allowed me to experience life at a slower pace.
I didn’t rush the conversation, I languished in it.
I didn’t hide that I didn’t finish my Camino, I shared my new insights.
I didn’t push past the pain of healing, I connected with my physical therapist and appreciated the process.
I didn’t do ‘it’ because I had to, I let someone help me.
When the day came that my physical therapist released me, I joined a Challenge Group and started working with the 21 Day Fix program. My mantra was “heal, strengthen, explore”. I fell in love with the process. I felt strong. I decided to pay it forward. I became a Coach.
My next appointment with my Nutritionist was enlightening, amazing, and inspiring (for us both). I noticed she wasn’t taking notes. We were visiting and chatting and I was sharing my new path. At the end of our time, she said “Rebecca, I don’t think you need my help anymore.” I thanked her and I cried and we hugged…for a long time.
My life had been fast paced and an attempt to outrun, out talk, and out calendar my inner voice and intuition. In slowing down, all of my lessons came home. I let go of my need for ‘perfection’, released my busy social calendar, and began to invest more time at home. My life today is much more relaxed, friendships are warmer, and I am comfortable in my own skin. I’m ok with my extra pounds and that I am not going to be one of the ladies in the magazines.
I am still on my journey. Thank you for joining me.
If you too are looking for connection, please reach out. I would love to hear from you – email@example.com
I recently read, or actually I listened to, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. This book is quite amazing in the simplicity of its message and its application to my life. I’m guilty of trying to do a hundred things at once and then get frustrated at the balancing act so I ditch the projects or let them quietly fade away. This year I made a promise to simplify and slowly walk each project to completion.
The Compound Effect’s simplicity is that you take a simple task, like exercising, and break it down into teeny tiny bite size chunks.
I made that my first priority and boy-oh-boy how that is multiplying in ever increasing intensity!
Making the commitment to get 30-minutes of exercise every day was simple enough. Maybe I should eat better too? Ok and I’ll cut out cocktails, or at least bring it down, to one or two in social settings. Hmmmm…what if I went on another hiking vacation (hike-ation)? Yes, that would be great incentive. This Shakeology drink…wonder if it would help me out. So on and so forth. Guess what?!
Now I’m exercising 7 days a week, addicted to Shakeology, menu planning, taking healthy dishes to potlucks, enjoying a cocktail and calling it good and all of these small decisions are showing up in my decreasing waistline. YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I’ve even named my sweaty mess of a workout fanatic alter ego – Sweaty Betty.
Sweaty Betty is that person that regardless of how bad I want to sleep in…she nags until I wake up. She gets excited to try a new workout, learn that a frozen banana is the ultimate addition to a chocolate Shakeology mix, and she is the pushy person that dictates that I find really yummy recipes and “Fix” them up. She’s going to focus more efforts on the 21 Day Gourmet.
Another bonus, I’ve lined out the next 4 years of hike-ations! Plus I’ve been asked to be part of a 21 Day Fix Extreme promotional video!! WHAT! How awesome is that? I mean, we all saw what happened the last time I got in front of the camera….clearly I was born to do this. 🙂
In case you didn’t get to see my TV debut, here’s your chance. Added bonus, you’re going to learn about Wetlands!!
What makes all of this really amazing, is that it’s all feeling very natural. I mean, how did Sweaty Betty, healthy eating, active vacations, and participating in a before and after promo video become a part of my every day life? The Compound Effect. One little action lead to improvement in something else which lead to my improved way of being. I’m a fan of this new way of doing things. I’ll keep it up and see where this leads me.
Today’s Dose of Kindness: I’m going to revel in goofiness, be the first to laugh at myself, and continue making small changes that add up to big movement.