J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode 100.
Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories are vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.
J: Welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I'm Dr. Jim Riday, host of the Vibrant Happy Women podcast and I am so, so, so excited for this episode because we are celebrating the big 1 0 0, 100 episodes of Vibrant Happy Women, 100 amazing guests who have shared their wisdom with us, and we're still going forward. I cannot wait to hit 200 and 300, but today, we celebrate 100. We have a giveaway that you can enter, and that is to win a $100 gift card to Amazon. We're giving away several to celebrate 100 episodes. You know, if you're like me, you go on Amazon a lot and you probably buy crazy things for the kids or your house like underwear or multivitamins, but how often do you go on there and just splurge for yourself? You know, Vibrant Happy Women is all about taking care of you, and so go ahead now and enter to win one of those $100 gift cards. And if you're going to do what I would do, you're going to buy $100 worth of chocolates or maybe $100 worth of amazing self-help books you've been wanting to read. Whatever it is, you can enter to win at jenriday.com/giveaway; again, jenriday.com/giveaway. We're giving away several $100 gift cards to Amazon to celebrate 100 episodes.
I want to stop a moment now and thank you for being a listener of the show; it means so much. There's so many of you out there. We've reached over 1.5 million downloads and we're still growing. Thank you so much for being a part of this movement; for valuing yourself enough to put yourself first, to take care of you, to have those morning routines, to do what lights you up. That's what this is all about. Now, if you've been a fan for a while, you'll know that on the show we talked about the guests favorite books; sometimes, their favorite kitchen gadgets. And so we've compiled a list of 105 favorite things from 100 episodes of Vibrant Happy Women and you can grab that list at jenriday.com/favorites. So many good books on there, and if you're wondering what book you should read next, you can grab that and see what's available, or maybe you want something new for your kitchen; find a new kitchen gadget on there. Again, you can grab that list at jenriday.com/favorites.
Now, for the show, today, we are going to take a walk down memory lane and have some amazing Monday morning advice from several of our past guests. And the first advice is from Rachael Pickworth from episode 79. And she shares how you can help stop that feeling of disconnection; a feeling that happens to many of us especially in winter where you feel a bit blah. Rachael shares in this little nugget of wisdom how to boost your energy and do the things that light you up so you feel more connected.
RP: So I would say to anyone that is in a place of feeling disconnected that, the opportunity for you is to do things that lift your energy and support you to feel good, and really making that your focus, the choice to feel good; “Do I choose to feel good? Yes I do,” and then giving yourself permission, getting out of your own way and allowing yourself to do things that do light you up.
RP: And I'm talking simple things. I'm talking things like, you know, with your kids, turn on the music that you all love and dance around the living room; talking about, you know, whether it's meditation or going for a walk or gardening, if that's what you do, or writing or reading books that light you up or going into book shops and going to the sections you love and sitting there with a cuppa and just soaking it all up, about really lifting yourself up and giving yourself permission to do that.
J: Do what Rachel advises; do what lights you up. Help yourself feel amazing by doing what feels amazing. And that reminded me of an episode with Robyn Openshaw who talked a lot about vibration and energy and doing what helps us feel higher vibe; higher vibration. In that episode, she talked about the lizard brain where we go to react and keep ourselves safe, versus the frontal cortex, where we start to apply thinking and thought to keep our energy higher to help us feel the way we want to feel. Go ahead and have a listen.
RO: We have that moment of choice between action and reaction. And most of us, most of the time when confronted with a negative stimulus, like someone cuts us off in traffic and then flips us off, we… most of us go into what we therapists call lizard brain.
RO: And lizard brain is way up deep inside in the back of our skull and it's all about safety and it's all about looking out for number one and it's very reactionary; it's very lowbrow. And it's very important and we need it, okay? Because when we're in an alley with our 3 year old and a scary dude comes at us, walking with purpose, we need to react.
J: (Laughs) Yeah.
RO: It has its purpose. The problem is, we default to that far too often when there's something else that we can do. And so when we go into our frontal lobe and we make a different choice and we decide not to react with low vibrations and not let that person drag us into the low frequencies that there maybe living in because they haven't learned how to, you know, metabolize, reframe, and release their negative emotions. We have a choice, and it is the most freeing thing in the world. It's as good as drinking green juice or green smoothies every day. It's the most freeing thing in the world to, when someone flips you off in traffic, chose into the higher vibrations.
J: Of course, higher vibration, we start to think of Jill Payne from episode 91, who talked about being a freaking dime, and so many of you have reached out to me to talk about that; that you want to be a freaking dime. So listen to this one to jog your memory about what it means to be a freaking dime and really live a higher energy life.
JP: Instead of trying to think, “How do I manage my emotions all day? How do I get happy? How do I get joyful?” it's, “How do I manage my physical energy? Because when my physical energy is up, I naturally feel those good emotions.”
JP: And physical energy is something we can actually create and cultivate in the body.
JP: Versus those emotions that seem so elusive, right? So it's like, oh, one day you're happy, one day you're sad; it's exhausting.
JP: But if you just said, “You know, whatever emotion I'm feeling is just a reflection of that channel that I'm on,” you know? So if I'm on a channel 2 while my physical energy level is at a 2 and I'm going to feel anxious and overwhelmed, regardless of whatever subject I think about.
JP: Versus, I can shift my energy and get to a higher channel. And whatever topic I think about, I'm going to feel optimistic and, you know, happy and joyful about that. Sometimes it's difficult to think of going from like maybe a low channel of a channel 2 right to a 10, but we can definitely move from a to 2 or 4, a 4 or 6; we take our time. But the… the idea is, I call 10 is being a dime.
JP: So we want to be a dime. So there's… actually, I've created these 3 principles that allow you to create and cultivate physical energy. So those three things are, what you're doing with your body, what you're choosing to focus on, and the dialogue that you're using with yourself. The acronym there… Jen, this is the easy way to remember, it is BFD or Be a Freaking Dime.
J: I love the concept of Be a Freaking Dime. I use it all the time when I wake up. It's on my morning routine list. B, body, you know, breathe, power pose; lift that sternum and chin and really stretch out. And when you change your physiology, you change your biochemistry and you start to feel happier. So if you don't know what that really means to be a freaking dime, go back to Jill Payne's episode to hear more about that because it is life-changing. Well, Jill reminded me of an episode with Kate Northrup when she talked about some of her pieces in the happiness formula. She mentioned gratitude, which is a big part of that mindset. And so let's jump in and listen to Kate's happiness formula.
K: Number one is really to decide that you want to be happy simple.
K: I mean, I know that’s so simple, but I really think a lot of it comes down to a decision. And we were speaking earlier about the… you know, perspective shifts from treating your financial awareness like discipline versus treating it like love. You know, it's like, “I'm going to choose to see through the eyes of happiness today.” And so that step one is to decide that you want to be happy and the will… you know, it's kind of that willingness step; which is the biggest step for change, is the willingness.
K: And then the next one is to, in the moment, whenever you notice that you're veering off, which is really easy to do and you'll do it all day long… veering off from kind of that happiness feeling is to look for things in your environment that are pleasing to you or that you could feel gratitude for it. And I… you know, this one is right from Abraham Hicks. They talked about the emotional guidance scale and that, you know, we can't move from like deep down depression to ecstasy, but you can move up the ladder 1 or 2 steps. And you can move up the ladder by simply looking in your current environment for something that's pleasing to you. So I remember, I used to suffer from a lot of anxiety and I lived in New York City at the time. So I would sit on the subway and be going somewhere and be just like kind of in my little whirlwind of panicked thoughts, and I would stop and just say, “Okay, well, what can I find in my environment that's pleasing to me?” And, you know, whether it was a toddler that was making funny faces or whether it was the color of a woman's dress, was to get me grounded in that moment of, “Okay, let's stop spinning out in your mind and let's be present with something that's pleasing to me.” And… and that was really, really helpful and that continues to be a practice. And then, you know, breathing is really helpful; so that would be step 3. (Laughs)
J: Oh yeah.
K: I think breathing is huge. And then, to me, I'm a huge extrovert. So, to me, it's almost as though things don't even happen in my life unless I've shared them. And so it's community, it's having a tribe, it's investing in the people that you love and those relationships because those bring me the greatest joy. So those aren't exactly linear steps, but those are definitely 4 ingredients for happiness that I find crucial in my own life.
J: So Kate mentioned gratitude and tribe and just doing things again that lift you a few steps up that ladder toward having the energy and vibration you want. Well, that reminded me of an episode with Valerie Burton, and Valerie talked about what I call vision journaling; writing down in your journal something that hasn't happened yet, but writing it as if it's already true. And Valerie describes the process of preparing to meet her dream husband and having the family of her dreams by writing it down in her journal. It's really an amazing thing and I do it to this day; writing about the things I want, feeling the energy of those things. Just like we talked about raising our energy, we can raise our energy even further by imagining the things we want as if they're already true and writing about them in our journals. So let's go ahead and listen to Valerie explain how she does that.
V: I believe wholeheartedly in journaling, writing. You know, I did journalism in grad school and so I was writing was just part of, I think, who I am since I was a kid. I went back to school in 2007 to study applied positive psychology. And one of the things I learned that I… and I always journaled, but didn't know there was any research around benefits to journaling. And when I was going through the divorce, I used everything I'd learned, my positive psychology training, including journaling, which journaling actually has health benefits, it can help us work through traumas. If we can write about ourselves in the future like what our best possible future self looks like, it's a very powerful exercise. So I had written what I envisioned in the present tense, you know, being in a loving, adoring, supporter marriage, you know, having children and being able to nurture them and guide them and doing work that I love and being paid well for it and living around family. Like all of these were things that I wrote in my journal and I kept them in front of me.
And during those times when I really felt like I was losing hope, because that's very easy to do, you know, getting to your late 30s and being divorced and first needing to just heal from divorce and then wanting to have children takes a lot of hope. And so I just stood on that. I was just very resolute. The idea I would give up just didn't feel like an option. I didn't want to live with no hope and so my journal was filled with hope. And I think that helped me a great deal in getting to a place where I was ready for what I really wanted.
J: So we've talked so far in this episode about raising your energy, raising your vibration, doing the things that help you feel amazing, getting more into that prefrontal cortex, being a freaking dime, vision journaling, all these things that help us to feel the way we want to feel. And your starting to see that really, Vibrant Happy Women is all about making a choice, deciding that we are no longer victims, but that we can choose to feel how we want to feel; it really is a choice. We can change our physiology, we can change our mindset, we can change our energy.We're going to take a quick break for a sponsor right now and then we're going to come back and hear from 5 more guests talking about authenticity, being true to yourself, loving yourself; a big part of the journey to being a vibrant and happy woman.
(Interview resumes) [15:13]
J: Welcome back. One of the things that makes it most difficult to live a vibrant and happy life is when you're not being true to yourself; when you're not living authentically and. This happens more often than we know. How many of you listening have, at one time or another, lost yourself in taking care of other people or lost yourself in the busyness of life? It happens all the time. We become so busy caring for our kids or our aging parents or taking care of things at work or just living life that we forget what we really like. We forget what lights us up. We forget who we are. And one of our guests, Mary Hyatt, talked about this in episode 76. Let's go ahead and listen that clip now.
M: I had been living a life where I was wearing all these different masks one after another, after another, trying to create a pleasing image to earn love, to be enough, to be worthy of somebody's attention and desire. And I had never gave… given myself permission to find who I truly was, who the core of who I was, so I was just basically a chameleon; I was changing myself depending on who I was with and not living in the integrity of my soul, not living in the integrity of who I was. And authenticity was about as far away as anything. I didn't even know that that was something that you could practice; that was something that you could embody. So that was something that began to happen for me as I really thought, “Man, my life is not congruent with who I truly am and there is a huge deep discord there that's causing a lot of this unhappiness.”
J: I love that chat with Mary because she went on and shared the secret formula for her for figuring out what she loves, who she is, and to learn to deeply love herself and her body; something so many of us struggle with. We had another guest who talked on a similar topic of getting to know herself; the process of learning who she is and what she really likes to do. Listen to how Emma describes the process of learning to find herself.
E: I’d been living my life according to everyone else’s idea of success.
E: So that’s really when I realized that I need to get to know myself, I had to be less hard on myself.
J: So what were the steps of that process? Because I can imagine almost every woman listening has been where you were wondering, “Who am I really?” So how do you find that out?
E: Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess the process may be a little different for everyone, but I have to say that when I work with clients now, I not sure it’s all that different for me. It was starting to speak to my less… myself less harshly and be more compassionate, and I started to think about what success meant for me; you know, inside, what made me happy, what my values were, you know, “Why am I here? What’s my purpose? What’s truly important to me?” And yet I spent so many hours just walking in nature, just being mindful and being more present rather than sort of chasing the next best thing.
E: And I really start to take better care of myself. That does start for me with speaking kindly and lovingly to yourself because I’d never done that in my life; I’d always been so hard on myself. You know, I wasn’t working hard enough or I wasn’t trying hard enough or I was a failure; I started to change those messages. And I think once you soften that internal voice, then self-care becomes a lot easier.
E: I also had stories I kept telling myself about my past, and I think so many of us have had a rough upbringing. But living the past as if it’s the present didn't serve me in anyway; it just kept me stuck. So I started to work on forgiveness; you know, forgiving some of the things, the ways in which I've been treated, and forgiving the important people in my life. And that, that was a big shift for me; a huge shift for me.
J: Emma talked about forgiveness and not living in the past, and also she mentioned self-care and taking time in nature. So many pieces to the formula for being our best selves and it starts with slowing down and listening to your intuition; it also starts with not comparing yourself to anyone else. I always say, and I've said it on the podcast before, “We should celebrate our diversity.” Birds, so many birds in nature, so many different kinds, so many different feathers, so many different flight patterns and places where they house themselves, and we never say, “Oh, the chickadee should be like the sparrow,” or, “The blue jay should be more like the Cardinal.” No, we just celebrate it. What would life look like if we did that for ourselves and we took time to get to know ourselves, we took time to slow down and breathe and just celebrate the good things about ourselves and others? And that reminds me of an episode with Orly Wahba who talked about never comparing yourself to anyone else and seeing the good. Orly is a bundle of energy and I can't wait for you to listen to this clip.
O: We have to remember to stop comparing ourselves with the stories of others or stop comparing our successes with the successes of others. Because, first of all, you never know what's really going on behind closed doors; you never know what's going… really going on in someone's life. But you have to… you have to love you, flaws and all, you know, and not be as hard on ourselves. Sometimes we look at the gap, where we are, where we want to be, and that gap crushes us.
O: Instead, look behind you and how far you've come. Use positive energy to propel you forward. Negativity will only lead you down a road of negativity.
O: I know people talk about, “Oh, so much negative in the world,” I’ve got to tell you, I see so much positive in the world. You might think I'm crazy, but I have to tell you, the more you start looking for good, the more good you're going to see.
O: I see so much good happening in the world; so much, so much. Just because the negative gets more attention or is the trending thing, that doesn't mean that it's the only thing.
J: Right, right.
O: We have to exercise our eye muscle to see the good. And I promise you, the amount of good that comes back and was reflected back to us is extraordinary.
J: We've heard from guests throughout this episode who talked about raising your energy or your vibration, having a vision for what you want for your life, not comparing yourself to others, exercising gratitude, seeing the good, being authentic, finding yourself, knowing yourself. Well, there's kind of a critical piece that combines all of these, that is important to all of these; and that is, taking the time to slow down and take care of yourself, taking the time to slow down and listen to your intuition; to listen to your heart. In the next clip, my guest, Anna Seewald, from episode 47, talks about her morning ritual; something she does every day no matter what, even setting her alarm early to get up and do this so she can be genuinely in touch with how she feels and be completely in charge of her own happiness.
A: Just having alone time, solitude in the morning. Every morning I wake up, I make myself a cup of coffee. I drink both coffee and tea so that's… that’s the coffee. I sit in my favorite chair in the living boom and I just sit there do nothing for a specific amount of time. It could be 10 minutes, 15, 20. Even if I don't have that time in that morning, if I have to be somewhere at the conference or something, I still get up early just to have at least a few moments with myself. Because looking inwards, for me, has been the most powerful, empowering, important life lesson; because no one can make me happy. I cannot expect my husband to make me happy; I am happy. I have to be happy on my own before I have fulfilling relationships with others. So no one makes me sad, no one makes me angry; I feel that way. So I befriended all my emotions and I really look inwards a lot. So I think when I suffered through the earthquake, I had a lot of alone time also. That contributed to this, looking inwards and not being scared; not being scared with yourself, with your feelings, and really knowing who you are. I think that's the key to happiness.
J: I love that. And really, every clip we've shared in every Vibrant Happy Women episode boils down to this. It's so critical that each of us takes time for ourselves to heal our hearts and to love ourselves so that we can better love others. This is what it means to be a vibrant and happy woman. Well, one more guest, Sara Gilbert, from episode 11. And she'll leave us with a quote because Vibrant Happy Women is filled with so many amazing quotes. And I particularly love Sara's because she reminds us of the importance of taking everything we've heard today and throughout all the other episodes and taking action.
S: Yeah, I'll share something that I have been putting my… that I tell my kids every single night when I put them to bed, and it's something that I have pinned on my wall in my office, “Have passion, take action, magic happen.”
J: That's so good, right? “Have passion, take action, magic happens.” The fact is, my friends, we are in control of our happiness and we're doing it together in this community, the Vibrant Happy Women community, which is a movement. And I want to remind you, as we end this 100 episode celebration, to enter to win one of those free $100 Amazon gift cards. Just go to jenriday.com/giveaway. And also, don't forget to get that favorite things list. It's called ‘100 favorite things from 100 episodes of ‘Vibrant Happy Women’. You can grab that at jenriday.com/favorites. We will have links to everything mentioned in this episode, including links to all of those guests episodes, Rachel, and Robin, and Jill, Mary, Valerie, Kate, Emma, Orly, Anna, and Sara, those amazing women, on our show notes page at jenriday.com/100. All you need to remember is jenriday.com/100, where we will have links to everything. My friends, thank you so much for being on this ride with me. I'm so honored to have you along, and I'm really looking forward to 100 more episodes, 1000 more episodes together. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you next time. Take care.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com