In Kinship - A podcast for makers
who crave a vibrant life on their own terms

Show Notes

Episode #14 - Finding the sweet spot between apathy and control

(want the transcripts? scroll to the bottom of the page)

I strive for that sweet spot.  The space between apathy and overcontrol, between sticking your head in the sand and beating yourself up over something, between perfectionism and doing things without a care.  It’s a balance.  Always.  Every day.  Every hour.  But it’s worth it.

Today I share my ideal work day, why getting to know yourself and working with your energy instead of against it are the first steps in living an intentional, joy-filled life, and how I know when to give myself grace and when to push past my resistance.

I love hearing about how others structure their days and lives to allow for more creativity and more integrity while not tipping over into too much control.   That sweet spot!

I love it so much, and I suspect you might too, that it will be a constant companion to this podcast.  Exploring what brings joy and vibrancy to another’s life and actionable steps on adding that to our own journeys; in whatever ways feel right.

Share with me your routines, ceremonies, and structures that support you!  I’ll share it on the podcast.

Take a listen! 


Mentioned in the podcast

Human Design  (I’m a Sacral Generator and it resonates deeply!)

Myers Briggs Personality Test  (ENFJ here!  What are you?)

Your Astrological Birthchart  (I am a sun sign – Aries, rising sign – Taurus, moon sign – Pisces)

The Enneagram Institute   (now this shifts and changes for me.  ??  But right now I am a 3 with 2, 4, and 8 hot on its heals) 


Julie Cameron’s The Artists Way

Sarai Mitnik’s writing on Substack – Making Time


Hey!  Do you know of someone who would make a great guest on the show?  (maybe you?)
Email me

...and just because, an update on the Maker's Studio

Have you ever dreamed about coming to a sewing retreat?  Gathering with other women, talking, laughing, getting deep, and soaking in the spa pool…all while getting creative, learning a thing or two and working with your hands?

I have just the thing for you!  This October (2023) we’re meeting for our semi-annual clothing sewing retreat on Mackinac Island in Michigan, US.

The Knit Pants of Your Dreams – Sewing Retreat held Oct 15 – 19
Sometimes, we like to wear pants.  And by golly, if those pants fit us perfectly and look professional, have pockets and are comfortable! SOLD.  Jump on the link and check it out!

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Ep14 – Solo 6

Tina: You’re listening to the In Kinship podcast. Today’s episode is all about, well, it’s actually scratching the surface on finding out what your inherent energy is, working with strengths rather than fighting yourself at every turn. Finding that sweet spot between apathy and over control between not doing things well at all and perfectionism and diving deep into why you might be resistant to something.

Learning how to listen to your body and understanding when what you’re hearing is to slow down and when what you’re hearing is resistant to something and going into that. I share a lot of my thoughts around all of this, and I also touch on, on all these other episodes I would like to do, which is always the case.

And one of the questions I’ll ask you at the very end of the podcast is share with me tina kinship, the ways in which you combat. Um, this desire you might have to blow through your budget, financially, time, food, whatever that might be. I’ll give you a little context. I share with you how quite often if I get really regimented on something or I wanna make a really big change, and I say, all right, I’m not gonna do this anymore, or, I am not gonna eat this anymore, or I’m not going to.

Spend my money on this . This inner rebel inside of me immediately blows right through that, and now this doesn’t happen all the time. Let me be clear like I am a functioning adult, but it happens occasionally and it’s something that I would like to shift.

So in our next podcast episode, I’m gonna talk more about that, but I wonder if you might have some insight into ways to combat that or some stories to share around that idea. Cause I’m guessing I’m not the only one that has that. So let’s get into the podcast episode.

Hey, there you are listening to the In Kinship podcast, a podcast for makers who crave a vibrant, joyful, lit up life on their own terms. I’m your host, Tina VanDenburg. Welcome to the show.

First a word from our sponsor. Today’s podcast is sponsored by Kinship Handwork. Yeah, my business because you know, sometimes I have fun things I wanna talk about, and you know, all from a previous episode that I do have some fun things coming up in my new Maker studio. I’m gonna be teaching some virtual workshops.

Those are still in the works, so look for those to come soon. But I wanted to talk to you today because we still have a few spaces available on our fall retreat on Mecca Island. On the fall retreat, we’re going to make pants. Comfortable knit pants and kind of a yoga style. They’ll have a waistband. They have pockets, cutaway, pockets on the front.

They have back pockets if you want. You can dress them up, you can dress them down. You could end up with some joggers. You could end up with some dress pants for work. Could be any number of things, but they’re going to be comfortable because they’re made from knit material, and so we’re going to take the knit pattern that I have and we’re gonna fit it to your body.

Then after we’ve done that, We’re gonna make another pair with maybe new style lines, maybe different fabric. We’re gonna explore what that looks like. So join us on Mackinac Island in October, October 15th through the 19th for that retreat. There are a few spaces left, so jump on the website and check it out.


And now onto our show. 

Welcome to the show. Today is a solo episode and I’m gonna talk about some things that have been running through my mind. I actually love the ability to have this be this fluid flowing conversation that is taking place almost in real time.

I get to talk to you about things that I’ve listened to, things that I’ve heard, things that have triggered my brain into different directions. Cuz this brain of mine is constantly working. I tell you, I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but I both love it. And sometimes, um, you know, I’m probably being a little harsh on myself here because I can, I can meditate, I can slow it down.

I can get into the flow of making, so maybe it’s all right. But sometimes I just churn on stuff for a long time and I can see my little boy doing that too. I can see him churning, churning, churning thinking about something, working it over. And I think that, um, I’m both really proud of that in him for whatever reason, I guess, cuz it sort of reminds myself of me and we always like to see, right, to some degree the things that we like about ourselves reflected on our children.

That’s probably a whole nother podcast episode, quite honestly. Like what is, what is the purpose of that? What is that? Meaning there other than, uh, probably, you know, that sense that we have some longevity, right? That we have some sort of continuing on in this life after we’re gone. I think that’s probably related.

See, you look this brain, she never stops. Anyway, so I wanna share with you some things I’ve been thinking about. I recently read an article by Sarai Mitnick . From Seamwork Magazine. She has a solo journal that she does in Substack that I very much enjoy, and she just recently wrote about her flow for the day and how she likes to listen and read about other artists and how they find the time, how they set up their day in order to do the things that they really want to do, the things that are really meaningful for them.

And you know, if you’ve been around me for any length of time, that I love such things. So I found this article that she wrote to be really fascinating, and I’ve been fine-tuning my morning routine for a long time. Right? Right this moment in my life. My morning routine involves waking up a half an hour early.

By early, I just mean earlier than I have to be up and. Meditating for about 15 minutes and stretching for 10 to 15 minutes, and that’s all I can accomplish right now. Like that’s all I have space for. That already requires me to get up 5:30 AM which some of you’re like, that’s nothing, but it’s all I can do at this moment and that’s all right.

Right. So there’s such a beauty in having grace with ourselves and also pushing ourselves a little bit to make sure that we are. Um, living vibrantly because I think part of living vibrantly is being intentional with how we spend our time and being intentional with what we do and what we say and what we wear and all of those things.

Right? And of course, anytime you’re intentional, that can go from sort of that sweet spot of. Enhancing your life. And it can shift, it can shift to either you’re not doing those things and becomes sort of a sense of apathy and you’re just floating through life and you’re not, um, not in the flow, but just floating through your life, listlessly.

And I think that that contributes to a sense of not feeling vibrant. And then the opposite side of that is when we become too strict with ourselves and we don’t listen to what it is that we need or want, and then we’ve overshot the goal, right? And now we’re into a space of control and we’re in a space of not living vibrantly either.

So like it’s finding that sweet balance, if you will. And that balance is likely to be different from day to day. And it’s likely to be different from hour to hour probably. But I was struck with the idea of that balance. Cause I like to give myself some containers. To work out of because I, I think that setting some parameters on my life and in that intentional way, it has been really powerful for allowing me to do the things I wanna do in life and feel vibrant and lit up, which of course, you know, that I want, but if I get too, Regimented.

If I get too controlling with it, then my inner rebellion, my inner rebel kicks in and I start to really push against it. And this feeling of like, you can’t control me, right? Because I have a deep, vast sense of independence and I’ll do it myself. Thank you very much and you can’t tell me what to do. And you know, all of those, I imagine I must have been just joy as a child.

And I can see a little bit of that in my son as well. And I have to tell you, like as a parent, I struggle to both cultivate that in him cuz I do think it’s a positive thing. I think that it gives him, it’s gonna give him the ability to not be, um, sort of rudderless or in somebody else’s winds. I’m gonna use a little boat reference here cuz I am sitting in the town that my little boy goes to school in and it’s right on Lake Michigan and I’m sitting right near the docks and I’m watching.

Some work being done on a big barge, and that’s. It’s influencing my metaphors, so just so you know, you’re gonna get some water references probably, although I like them anyway, so you know that you’re gonna get them anywhere. So I don’t want him to be rudderless. I don’t want him to be easily moved by other people.

I want him to have an independent streak and, and he does. And it’s also challenging, right? Especially as a mom who’s like, um, this is what I said to do so Dagnabbit, it needs to be done this way. And he’s like, but why? And he’s seven. And then I wanna like, you know, murder him, who, I dunno if I can say that on the podcast.

And obviously it should be very clear that I love my little boy to pieces and would never actually harm that little fella. Anyway, moving on. So there’s that sweet spot in between apathy and super control. And we talked about that a little bit a couple of episodes ago when we talked about perfectionism and how I think is a toxic thing, but that at the same time there’s a lot of value to holding ourselves to a level of excellence, holding ourselves to improving whatever that might look like or whatever that means to you.

Um, From what we were before, and I think that fits right into that sweet spot. And so back to this article that I read by, Saria. Her article talked about Julia Cameron’s the Artist’s Way and how Julia talks about dividing your day or your time cuz the artist’s way has a lot of practical assistance, I guess you will, for being a productive artist and feeling fulfilled in your life, you know, having that balance that we’re talking about right now.

 And so the idea was to break it into three sort of sections. And I can’t remember exactly, but I can remember hows had interpreted it in her own life, cuz that’s what was fresh in my mind.

One was that to break your time into creative time and to have that be what you do when you’re at your most, um, clear minded, you have the most energy, you’re most grounded, and then have your. Receiving time. So that would be like, so kind of like that creative time is a time where you are releasing, right?

So you’re releasing your, your thoughts into the world, you’re releasing your ideas, you’re releasing your energy, and then that receiving time is when we’re receiving input. So receiving energy from other things that might be learning from something different. That might be, I think, in Julia Cameron’s.

Example, it’s walking through a museum and being inspired by what you see, or taking a walk on the docks and watching how the big machinery works on a barge and what that looks like. And like seeing that from an artistic aspect, right? Just being there to receive, not to be lost in other thoughts necessarily.

Just like present with it. And so then the third section of the day would be things that. Like physically energizes you and I might be butchering this, but this is my take on Sarai’s take, on Julia Cameron’s book, which it sort of delights me, right? Like it’s like telephone game. It’s very unlikely this is exactly what Julie had mentioned cuz I’m already three people further.

But this is how, this is how it impacted me. So this is how I share it with you. And I thought, you know, that makes a ton of sense. I’ve been following a lot of different business gurus, if you will, and I love mindfulness. I love intentionality as we already talked about, and so I have taken a lot of time to track my own energy to know when I’m most mentally able, when I’m most grounded, when I, my creativity is at its highest.

I know that that’s in the morning for me. And then I know that by afternoon it’s best that I’m doing hands-on kind of things. So like if it’s just if I’m working on a sewing pattern or something like that, if I spend the morning creating or working on writing or working on the podcast, things like that, then I would shift into more detail work than shifting mid-morning into things that are more like digitizing a pattern.

Doing the actual work of setting up the instruction manual, things like that, that are more computer oriented. All of it’s probably computer oriented, but more detail oriented. And then when I shift for lunch, like in a perfect world, this is really what I’m telling you in my perfect world, right, which happens like next to never, just so you know.

Just kidding. It happens more than that, but not as often as I’d like it to. Then I would break for lunch in a perfect world and like make a clean break from things, not pick up social media, not pick up things that are going to suck my energy and my life away because truly, honestly, nothing good for me has ever come from social media.

Sometimes on Instagram, I get inspiration. Okay. I’ll be honest, sometimes it happens, but I don’t know that that makes up for the hours spent mindlessly getting that dopamine hit that does nothing for my life, but make me feel crummy when I disengage from it. And now I have no energy to do anything. I don’t know if it happens to you, but like it’s sort of tragic and I, I took a social media break for a year and a half, and I only got back on it last fall to try to build business up again through social media. And I’m just not entirely certain it’s what I wanna be doing with my life. I’m not sure that it’s worth the gains. I haven’t determined that yet anyway, as is very normal for me. I have spiraled into a different conversation.

Let’s come back to the ideal day. So I would, in an ideal day, I would break for lunch and I would walk, and then when I got back, I would be ready to do something physical, like that’d be the perfect time for me to sew up some samples or try out a pattern that I was working on.

Or, I mean, a lot of you probably know that I work with sewing patterns and teach women how to sew clothing, so that’s why this is related to sewing. But I would do something more physical if at all possible. And then after my day was done, that’s when I feel the most inspired to do something like even more physical.

Like, like that’s a time when I’m ready to do a workout, do a dance workout, um, go do yard work, do something really physical, like maybe canning, like things that really get me into my physical body. That is a perfect flow for me, and I know that like quite honestly, I try all the time to work on creative things after dinner, and I just rarely have the energy for that.

I rarely do. So in my perfect world, I also wouldn’t teach classes after dinnertime, although, because we live in the world that we do, sometimes that’s the only time that it works. And so I do teach classes after dinnertime, but I find. I am not the only one who is, um, who is done from the day right and is ready to just relax.

And so my perfect activity for the evening after I’ve done dinner and cleaned up and all of the things that are important to life, put my little boy to bed, whatever that might be. My perfect ending to the day would be. To pick up a knitting project, something already in progress. If I have to begin it new, I probably won’t at night.

If it’s already in progress and I know I can just jump into it and work on it, then that’s sort of perfection. Reading a book is a great time for me. Then I love to watch shows. I love to watch movies, um, very intentionally. I hate watching television with ads in it, and in fact, I just won’t. So I do pay for subscriptions so that that does not have to happen.

And I’m gonna tell you, I’m gonna rant right here on this podcast right now. Those subscription sites that now also have ads makes me so angry that that is the case and it makes me not wanna watch whatever it is that they’re showing because I’m not there for that.

I’m there for the entertainment and I’m willing to pay for that. So don’t give me advertisements. How’s that going? Um, now a word from our sponsor. Wow. There’s some irony there, huh? Okay, well let’s take this little word from the sponsor anyway, um, because this is a free publication and so, you know, ads are something that I used to do, and I’m gonna tell you right now, like, my ads are always gonna be like this.

They’re always gonna be me talking about something that I align with because that’s really important to me but it does help to allow me to be able to do this work. So maybe someday that will shift as I rant about it here on the podcast. But without further ado, A word it for our sponsor.

Today’s sponsor is kinship Handwork. I am here talking about our fall retreat. We have a retreat. We being me and all the lovely humans that join me on the retreat. On Mackinac Island in October, that retreat this year is gonna be sewing knit pants. We’re gonna take a knit pants pattern that I created and we’re gonna fit it to our own bodies, taking into account style and sew them up.

And one of the beautiful things about taking a class from me is I spend a lot of time helping you figure out how to start with what size is right for you. And shift it to better match your body before you ever begin. So the success that people have when they’re in a class with me from the get-go is pretty high.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have to make any changes because you know, we have a three-dimensional body and we’re taking a two-dimensional pattern, making it fit our bodies. And so there are some things to shift, but. The method that I teach and the way that I go about it, allows you to have more success right from the get-go.

And it also then helps to shift your mindset into the idea of how a pattern works and how that two-dimensional flat pattern is equating to your three-dimensional body because of that in itself will help you immensely in your garment sewing journey. And so we start with that. And then because I love to get creative with patterns, you know, I’ve got whole courses where we take a core pattern, fit it to your body, and then hack it into all different things.

We’re gonna hack those pants. We are gonna take those pants and we’re gonna make them different. So we’re gonna change the style lines, we’re gonna change the pockets, we’re gonna make them out of a different fabric.

All of that is gonna be up to you. You are the designer . And so we have a great time doing that. Like people are always amazed at their own ability. So it’s five days on Mackinac Island. 

My retreats are all about being intentional and mindful, and part of that is having a morning circle where we come together and we have a conversation. Like the retreat that’s happening in the spring. It’s probably happening while you’re listening to this podcast.

Actually, it’s the very first week of May, so we may be working on our stuff right now as you’re listening to this. But in that morning circle, we talk and we do some breath work or some meditation. I don’t know, there’s always some kind of a, a grounding activity.

Something you can take home with you. And then we do class and we take a nice long lunch, and then we do class again, and then we end our class day with Qoya, which is a dance yoga movement kind of thing. It’s so amazing. And then after you’ve got more free time, And then we’ll meet for dinner and then during the week I plan a special activity.

And it’s always different and I’m very excited about the one for the spring retreat, which of course I can’t tell you about cuz you may be listening to this before it happens. So, and then I make things for you little are special little surprises. as you arrive as a guest.

And I am really intentional about that. And I get so much delight in that because I get to bring all the synchronicity in and it just makes me happy. So if any of that sounds like a good time to you, join us on Mackinac Island in October. The 15th through the 19th. Get on the slash retreats and check it out.

And now back to our show. So I just shared with you my ideal day. I think it’s really valuable to know that about yourself.

Yours might be very different. You might have your most mental energy in the evening. Like you might be absolutely opposite of me. And I think it’s valuable to know that. And now, can you always align your day to look like that? No, you can’t, but you can sometimes. And I think that the more we can shift to work with our energy, to work with our natural flow, the more joy we’ll have in life.

Right. And so maybe you work in an office and you can’t. Totally aligned with what you need it to be. So maybe in the morning you do busy work, cuz that’s not your mentally bright time. And so you do things that aren’t as meaningful. And then you set an alarm for three o’clock and from three to five you do your most heavy brain work.

You know, whatever your flow is for you. And I think that alarms are important. Unfortunately I sort of hate them, but I think that we need something to sort of shock ourselves out of what we’re doing is if you’re anything like me, I have the best of intentions, but if I don’t have something that makes me get my butt out of the chair, it doesn’t make me like trigger my brain that we are shifting.

I have a hard time moving from what I’m doing, and then I’ve spent the whole day working on little stuff that doesn’t have any meaning, and I have not spent the day working on my important things, which fall into that first bucket for me, that creative. Space. So like if I want to create beautiful things to share with you, I need to do that when my energy is highest, when I’m most grounded.

And that needs to be the thing that I do first, because if I don’t do it first, it’s gonna get pushed to the next day. And so I love the idea of that. So I took a look at my own schedule. And I’ve been sort of moving in that direction. But this helped me to fine tune that. And I love, huh? The fine tuning right.

And I decided that first things I’m gonna do every morning are gonna be creating, so it’s gonna be writing my newsletter to you. It’s gonna be recording a podcast, it’s gonna be creating a new course, a new program, um, writing articles for the magazines, things like that.

Right? Things that I’ve been wanting to do, they get pushed to the back burner because I get caught up in the busy, busy work. And then midday, I’m gonna work on things like accounting and planning and, Finishing up the details of things like, like I said, working on digitizing a pattern or getting the sales page ready on my website, things like that.

And then I’m gonna break for lunch and I’m gonna walk and I’m, gosh, I am gonna walk, I’m going to, I’m gonna tell you why in a minute here. I mean, you probably already know why. Cuz like, who doesn’t understand that walking is a very, very valuable thing. But I’m gonna tell you the story here in a moment.

And then I’m going to do that physical, move my body, get out of the chair, do different things in the afternoon, if at all possible. I’m going to be sewing the samples, trying something out, doing something with my body that moves it in a different way, learning all of that. And then I can end my day with a little weight training and a little Qoya like, those are my, that’s my perfect day.

I want you to know your perfect day. So spend some time just kind of tracking your energy. This is my tip track your energy, track it daily. I just do something real simple, like open up a page in your journal. Open up a page in a notebook and start to write. You probably already know it honestly, but write down what you think your.

Your energy is like throughout the day, most days. And then see if you can start to shift some things into that. Work with your strengths. What a beautiful idea, right? Why not take our strengths and enhance them rather than, um, fight ourselves the whole way. And this comes into where I talk about having grace with yourself as well.

 There’s no sense in fighting your nature when you can probably find a way to work with it and have so much more ease in life. I’m gonna do a whole podcast on this at some point in the future, but part of tracking your energy is just the idea of knowing yourself. And I think that there are lots of different programs out there like human design or astrology, or the Myers Brigg test.

I think all of those things are really important in trying to get a picture of yourself. Obviously we know ourselves best, but sometimes when we read about ourselves in something like human design, which I’m gonna tell you, human design was like game changing for me cuz it really showed me when I’m in balance, when, I’m in my right space.

I feel joy. When I feel frustration, it’s a clear indicator to me that I am not following my integrity. I’m not doing things the way that I need to do them in life. Like it’s really cut and dry that way. I also know from human design that I am designed to respond to things with a gut reaction.

Not everyone is like, I didn’t even understand that I sort of thought everyone had that gut reaction. Some people feel it someplace different. Some people have to sleep on something and they can make a choice the next day, and that’s right for them. I think there’s something about getting permission to just simply be who you are, and it’s amazing how accurate these were for me, and they allowed me to just really fine tune and give me the permission slip to be who I am.

And so again, I’m gonna do a whole podcast episode about that and about finding out your cyclical energy throughout the month as well, like using the moon phases as a guide, using your menstruation if you are menstruating human as a guide, and getting to know yourself even deeper, because I believe, and I teach this to my students when we do clothing all the time.

I believe that you can’t really find the things that are going to support you in life if you don’t in fact know yourself to some degree. And sometimes the process is what teaches you about yourself, right? Sometimes you’ve gotta make something and be like, yeah, that is not me. But sometimes, like, you know, these things already.

And the more you can kind of create those parameters with them, the more you can shut off some of the chatter and get straight to what is really meaningful to you. So know yourself is my number one. Track your energy, know yourself and see if you can work with your strengths rather than against them.

And then sort of in alignment with that is the idea of both having grace with ourselves and pushing ourselves, right? So I talked a little bit about that perfectionism. Episode and how there is a sweet spot in there. Like I think perfectionism is toxic. I think striving for excellence is like the sweet spot between perfectionism and doing everything without any care at all.

Right? I think that’s kind of that sweet spot, and I think that one of the biggest ways that we know how to proceed with something, and this is more about the. Figuring out your energy when you’re, when you are attempting to do something, right? So like before we’re talking about setting up your day and knowing how to best support yourself.

Now we’re talking about you’re in the midst of something and it’s time to check in with your body and say, am I gonna listen to my body? Hopefully, yes. And if my body’s saying that this is a day to rest, this is not a day to push it. I’m hearing that and having it be an honest exchange, right? Not just like allowing that to be the answer all the time, because I think that we can get caught up in, um, non motion.

So like, you know, objects in motion, stay in motion and thus I think it’s important to have an honest conversation with your own self, with your body. And find out, is today a day where rest is what’s needed?

Or is today a day where you need to push yourself a little bit and do something that you know you want and need to do in your life, but that you’re resisting? Like, what is that resistance? Right? The why of it is what’s really important here, because sometimes that resistance is completely valid and it’s like, You have overextended yourself and resting is what you need.

So therefore, your body’s gonna tell you that our bodies are so amazingly intelligent and if we listen, they, they’re speaking to us all the time. They’re speaking to us with little aches and pains. They’re speaking to us with. Digestion issues, right? There are so many ways in which our body’s like, whoa, that’s not working for me.

What are you doing? Or, we need a little more of this. Like it’s speaking to you all the time. And I think if we can get quiet and hear it, we’re gonna have a much better chance at vibrancy in life. And so there is that duality again, so sometimes listening to your body is like the right thing is to rest.

Sometimes listening to your body, the right thing is to. Get off your butt, get out of the chair and move, right? Like sometimes that’s the right thing, even though we don’t want to. And we have that resistance. And I think it’s, like I said, it’s important to explore what that resistance is. So the way that I explore that resistance is I check in with my body.

And that in itself is sometimes hard to make yourself give space to do because we’re in resistance, right? But if you can stop and be like, all you have to do is meditate on this. I don’t know if you’re like me, but if I give myself too much control, if I try to control myself too much, I rebel against that.

So I have to be sort of gentle and still I wanna do things in life. So I also have to have a commitment, right? Like even though I wanna give into this rebellious nature of mine, I also want freedom. I want financial abundance. I want to touch people’s lives. I wanna have vibrancy in my own life. And I know that that’s not going to just fall into my lap necessarily.

Like I’m sometimes gonna have to push through and do things that I’m not really feeling like doing. And so checking in with your body is really important. And I ask myself the question and sometimes I do it through journaling, cuz when I just ask myself the question and I just let my pencil and my hands start writing, the most amazing things come out.

Things that I was not consciously understanding in my brain or allowing myself to understand, come out on the paper. So I might just say, what is it you need right now today? And let that flow and whatever that sentence is like, interpret that, then what that means. Or maybe you can just do it verbally as well, like.

Check in, be quiet. You have to get still in those moments. It can’t be necessarily, at least not in my experience, it can’t be at a stop sign while you’re taking your kid to school. But it could be in the car after he’s gotten into the school and I’m in the car myself, and I just intentionally say, all right, for five minutes I’m gonna meditate and see where my day needs to go today.

And that might sound kind of crazy. I don’t know. I don’t know where you’re at with that. But it’s really powerful for me. So check in with your body and then this is the hard part, right? Do what your body’s asking you to do. Because whenever I don’t, I always end the day thinking, gosh, I knew that was not how I was supposed to spend my day.

And instead, I slogged and I suffered and I did not have ease throughout that day. And I think that when we could really listen to our body, and again, There might be the fear that if we listen to our body or our bodies and be like, let’s watch Netflix every day all day long. Your body’s not gonna say that.

Lemme just tell you that right now. Your body might say that for a day or two cuz you’re overwhelmed and you need to reset, but your body eventually is gonna want vibrancy. And so if that’s all you’re hearing for days on end, You are probably resisting. This is my, this is my take on it. You’re probably resisting what it is that your body is actually trying to tell you, and it’s probably something underneath that.

And that’s the easy answer. And it’s hard to commit to yourself. It truly is. And so have that bravery to commit to yourself. I have a story about this. So you all know that I’ve had this autoimmune thing that I’ve been working with for the last year, almost. Wow, that’s a long time Anyway, and it really laid me out physically last fall.

It’s where I was not able to be mobile at all. I was on steroids for six months. Um, it just completely changed my life for several months and I am working my way out of that. But, Not still myself yet, and sometimes that’s discouraging and sometimes it’s encouraging. It all depends on my take on it that day.

But I am improving, which feels amazing. And so I should not have been surprised by this, but I was disappointed. I taught a class a week or so ago. In person. And part of teaching the class is I show my students how to measure their body so that they pick the right size on the sewing pattern. And so I do that by measuring my own body. So I had measured my body last fall and I measured again just a week or so ago. And I had gained three inches at all of my major spots\ at the bust, the waist to hip, all of them were three inches larger. And again, this should not have been a surprise. I have two factors going into it.

One is my mobility is like minuscule compared to what it used to be, my physical activity. And two, I was on steroids for six months. And so this should not have been a surprise, but I was really disappointed by it. And at the same time, I believe, and I teach with my whole heart. That our worth is not associated with our size.

And I believe that, and that is not, um, a rote statement that I make. Like that is something I believe deep inside myself, my value as an attractive human. My, if we wanna go there, my value as a human in general is not related to the size of my body. It’s related for me, especially to. My soul to my vibrancy, to the joy I have inside of me to the confidence.

All of those things I believe add up to be the attractive person that I think that I am. Like, let’s just put that out there, right? Like, you know, sometimes look in the mirror and I’m like, you are so cute. And sometimes look in the mirror and I’m like, wow, let’s go back to bed. It’s all very dependent on the day, but.

Overall, I’m happy with myself and I love myself, and that’s been a journey I’ve been on for probably 20 years, and I have found that to be very true. I found that peace in myself. At the same time, I don’t like that my body’s bigger than it used to be, and it’s not so much that it’s bigger, it’s that. Well, partly it is a that it’s bigger, I’ll be honest with you.

Like I liked my body the size it was, and I had been working towards becoming more fit. I like my body to be a certain size and I know what I like and that’s okay too, right? I think sometimes when we are enlightened humans, I’ve got some air quotes here, we think that caring what our body looks like is something we shouldn’t do because it’s, um, vain or it’s, um, something we’re striving to not care about. And I think that I understand that thought process, but ultimately I think it becomes when we connect our sense of worth and our sense of value and our sense of attractiveness with our size that’s when it becomes toxic. It’s sort of like that perfectionism aspect, right? When we associate our value to how well we can do things, then we are treading in that area of toxicity. But when we understand that we are an amazing human no order, what are sizes and we are attractive no matter what our size is to whomever we’re attractive to or to ourselves, is what matters, right?

Then it no longer has that toxicity, but it’s also okay at the same time to want our bodies to be healthy and strong and fit. Like those things are beautiful as well. Like we can hold both of those beliefs at the same time. And so seeing that my body had gained in three inches and knowing that I’m also not as strong or capable as I was a year ago.

Made me really want to recommit to trying to move more in my body. And now, you know, I’ve got this limitation, but it doesn’t mean I can’t walk more. I can’t walk the miles that I could, not yet, but I can walk still. I can wa, I can park at the end of the parking lot and right now I can walk that whole distance.

There was a time I couldn’t but I can right now. So I think that there’s an importance in pushing ourselves and not. Um, buying the story that we might be buying because I, you know, had begun to buy the story of I can’t get on the floor cuz I won’t be able to get up. And so when I meditate now I’ve started to make myself get on the floor and it’s painful.

It is hard to get up off the floor, but it’s easier than it was the day before. And it continues to get easier and there’s a point where that pain balance would not have been ac appropriate, wouldn’t have been right for me. So getting on the floor would not have been the best choice. But now I’m to the point where I’m trying to shift my belief set around what I can and can’t do because we are powerful humans.

And if we think we can, we can. And if we think we can’t, we can’t. And of course that’s simplification of the whole thing, but there’s so much truth to that. Is it like the truth? No, not necessarily. But there’s a lot of power in there. There’s a lot of ability to shift our lives by how we think or what we believe.

And so I’m trying to make sure that I am not telling myself a story now that is no longer true, but that my body believes to be true because I believe it is that so powerful. We’re going through a lot of topics today anyway, so it’s important to have that grace with yourself and also push yourself and so.

I actually had this thought for this podcast while I was walking after that class, not the night of, cuz I was too spent, but the next day I was walking and it came to my mind and I thought it’s interesting the duality of the things that we hold at the same time in order to have a balance that is right for us.

Right? So like both having that grace for myself and pushing myself when need be. And I think the key to that is checking in with why you’re resistant to something and making sure that that’s in integrity with who you want to be as a person. And if for that day, the right thing is to watch Netflix all day, and eat ice cream, then for goodness sake do that.

Right? Like, listen to your body.

It will tell you what you need. Okay, that is probably enough for today. I have other topics I wanted to talk about. I have a whole list of things that was on my list today, but really I’ve been in your ear for long enough. Those are the things that are most pressing in my life right now, and I wanna be clear, like I believe these things with my whole soul, and yet I still struggle to make them happen in my life.

Sometimes more than others. Sometimes it’s effortless and it flows and I’m in the flow of it, and sometimes it’s not. And again, when it’s not flowing, when there’s resistance, my biggest opportunity is to dive into why is that? What is that about that I can explore? And one of the things I wanna talk about next time that we talk solo, Is the idea, you know, I shared with you that I have those rebellious streak, and if I put too much control over myself, I will rebel against it and I will immediately do exactly the opposite of what I’ve told myself I’m going to do. And yeah, I find a little delight in that I can’t help it. I’ve always loved mischievous little creatures, right? I’ve always loved like naughty little goats and red squirrels.

Like it’s just, they bring me so much joy, however, I’m a person trying to exist in this world and have financial abundance and have abundance with my health and abundance with my joy. And so part of that is figuring out that sweet spot for myself. So one of the next things that we’re gonna talk about is I’m gonna share with you what I’m working on when I continually blow my budget, whether that’s financially, that’s time, or

it’s food, right? The things that I’m restricting in my life

and making a plan for myself, and then immediately blowing through that plan. So I wanna have a conversation around that. So if you have any thoughts on that, will you send me an email at I would love to be able to talk about what other people are going through in relation to that.

Or if you wanna talk about anything that I’ve talked about today on the podcast, I’d love to hear from you. All right, that’s it for today. Have a great day.

Thank you for being here with me on today’s episode. I am so grateful. That I get to chat with you and imagine you out there doing beautiful, amazing things in your life, and I appreciate you so. You know, I send out a newsletter and an email reminder as well, once a week. If you would like to get on that list, you can go to and join the newsletter there.

I send links to some of the things that I find really interesting. I talk more about topics kinda like we talked about today. And I just share with you. So jump on the website, 

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Kinship Handwork. Specifically today I wanna talk about my fall retreat on Mackinac Island. This is the fall of 2023. The retreat is in October, and you can find out all the details at The retreat in the fall, we’re gonna focus on knit pants and they can be anything from a casual jogger, kind of a knit pan to the kind of knit pants that you would wear to the office and anything in between. And we’re also gonna get mindful. We’re gonna have a morning women’s circle.

We’re gonna have. An afternoon Qoya dance class. We’re gonna do a fun secret surprise activity like we have so much fun, and I would love for you to join us. There are a few spots left for the fall retreat, so jump on the website,

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