Ep. 46 – How To Maintain A Clear And Sound Mind When It Matters Most

Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Ep 46 - How To Maintain A Clear And Sounds Mind When It Matters Most with SpeakerFlow and Karen Allen
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In today’s episode, we’re talking about how to maintain a clear and sound mind when it matters most.

The perfect person for the job? Karen Allen!

Karen empowers highly motivated individuals and business leaders to harness the power of their mindset and develop the self-awareness necessary to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential.

After the unexpected loss of her husband followed by years of transformational experiences, Karen reclaimed control of her fate by rediscovering and healing herself from the inside out. Since 2014, Karen has been studying the human mind, positive psychology, and post traumatic growth. Combine this with her own experience, and you have a trifecta that not many other speakers or coaches can offer.

Karen is the creator of the mental exercise: Stop & Shift. She developed this method to help people jumpstart their mental strength training. It’s a simple, yet powerful, technique that teaches you how to let go of negative thought cycles and move to more productive and positive thinking.

If you’re ready to take control and have that clear and sound mind when it matters most, this episode is for you.

Enjoy!

Listen to the Podcast 🎤

Watch the Podcast 👀

Show Notes 📓

✅  Check out Karen’s website for more inspiration and education on mental well-being: https://heybeautifulhuman.com

🎤  Thank you to our sponsor, Auxbus! Want the best podcasting solution out there? Get your free offer here: https://auxbus.com/speakerflow

🚀  And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/

Read the Transcription 🤓

Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking, we’re your hosts Taylorr and Austin and today we are talking about how to maintain a clear and sound mind when it matters most. Let’s face it when you’re running a business, there’s just so much to do. We have to balance our professional lives; our personal lives and life can get cluttered sometimes and our brains can get chaotic and sometimes we just need that clear and sound mind to recenter us and the perfect person to help talk about this is Karen Allen. Karen is a coach, a mentor, an author, a speaker, and she empowers highly motivated individuals and business leaders to harness the power of their mindset and develop the self-awareness necessary to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. After the unexpected loss of her husband followed by years of transformational experiences, she reclaimed control of her fate by rediscovering and healing herself from the inside out.

And since 2014, Karen has been studying the human mind, positive psychology and post-traumatic growth. Combined this with our own experience and you have a trifecta that not many other speakers or coaches can offer. Karen is the creator of the mental exercise, Stop and Shift and she developed this method to help people jumpstart their mental strength training. It’s a simple, yet powerful technique that teaches you how to let go of the negative thought cycles and move to a more productive and positive thinking. We really hope you enjoy this one as always stay tuned until the end for some awesome resources and let’s dive into it. And we are live. Karen, it is so awesome to have you here today, welcome to the show.

Karen: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here.

Austin: Yeah, we’re super excited to have you. For all the listeners that don’t have video playing right now, Karen has the coolest shirt in the entire world so I think that this might be just like something to consider that if you need wardrobe choice, design or help, maybe hit up Karen, like, I don’t know that might be an alternate revenue stream for you someday.

Karen: I’ll Be pointing you to either Amazon or Target.

Taylorr: Alright. Hey, there you go.

Austin: Hey, Target has great stuff. There’s no reason to talk badly about Target’s wardrobe choices because they be pretty well.

Karen: Target’s also a great place just for an outing. What do you mean? Like it’s [cross-talk 02:30] like just let’s just hang out.

Taylorr: It’s a whole event. Target’s a whole event, you know.

Austin: Honey, do you [crosstalk 02:35] a date tonight? Yeah, let’s go to a Target.

Karen: Yes.

Taylorr: Awesome. Everyone’s excited about it.

Austin: Sounds perfect.

Taylorr: Alright. Well, if Target’s listening, we need a plug so hit me up, okay? Taylorr at Speaker Flow. So, Karen we’d love to kick off the show with just your background. How did you step into the expert space? The speaker thing? How did this whole unfold? What’s the backstory like?

Karen: I tripped and fell, basically that’s how I do it. I don’t know if people actually think, I’m going to be a speaker or if life happens and they’re like, I have a message and I really want to share this with as many people as possible because that’s what happened to me. I found myself just trying to figure out how to get over a wall and I’ll go into what that was, but in doing so it really just struck my heart that we need to normalize some things that we go through as humans so that we can navigate them in a healthy way. And I think sharing our stories of pain and triumph, honestly, I think that’s our social responsibility to one another. We should be sharing all of the craziness. And so, for me, I was living the air quote, normal life. I was married, my husband was an early adopter of an entrepreneur like being in CrossFit.

He decided he was going to open up a box, he was one of those crazies, so to all my CrossFit crazies out there, hello. And I was working in Corporate America, I was in recruiting and talent development and so it was just like we were doing all the things you’re supposed to do, checking off those boxes and life was good. But one day I had to do some interviews at home and I was kind of out of the norm, but I was interviewing some VPs and so I went to pick up our son from the gym, got home, got on the first call, had my son just kind of watching Disney and eating dinner. And as I started with the interview, maybe about 15 minutes in my cell phone was ringing. So yes, I was using the house phone, this was the olden days guys, we’re just talking about that like who has a house phone anymore, but I was on the house phone and when I noticed my cell phone buzzing of course I didn’t answer it right away, but it was persistently vibrating and so I finally looked at it and noticed that I had several missed calls from one of the women at our gym. 

And so initially I thought, maybe Richard fell off and broke his arm, but it’s crazy, our mind can go 1 million miles per minute. You’re thinking like 40,000 thoughts in a millisecond. So, I thought maybe he broke his arm, maybe he hit his head, and so all these scenarios were running through my mind until I had an opportunity to put the candidate on hold, so that I could mute him while he was answering a question and then I was going to pick up her call and in doing that in a matter of moments, when I answered the call, I heard her screaming and I heard just chaos in the background. I couldn’t make out anything she was saying in the moment. But then finally I was able to make out one word and that was shot. And so, someone had walked in and gunned down my husband while he was teaching his CrossFit class.

And I somehow ban… I was saying this to someone the other day. I don’t even know how I mustered up the courage to bring, I don’t even know if my voice sounded calm now that I’m thinking about it, but I literally had to take the guy off of hold and say to him like, hey, thank you so much for your time. We’ll be in touch with next steps while just getting this crazy dramatic and life-changing news. Like it was crazy. I ended up going to the gym and I remember on my way there thinking to myself because the time that had passed, why am I not on my way to the hospital? And I don’t remember who told me that he didn’t make it, I don’t remember like how they told me, obviously it was a bit of a whirlwind, but when I found out that, he didn’t make it, it was just this overwhelm of this isn’t real. 

This literally cannot be real. This is not my life, am I going to wake up? Is this a movie? It’s this like out of body experience almost. And that was the moment that changed my life forever. And actually, that was the beginning because after losing my husband, I ended up losing my house, my car, my job, I felt like I lost everything. And it was the last straw when I lost my job that I thought to myself, you know, I have a choice right now. I can either go get another stable job and just kind of go with the flow or I can take my life into my own hands and decide what I want to do with this moving forward. And I decided, I didn’t know then I wanted to be a speaker, but I did know that I wanted to be an entrepreneur just so I could have the freedom and the flexibility to put my son first. That’s what was important to me. And then I think by opening that door, I surrender to the journey and here we are today.

Taylorr: Wow.

Austin: Wow. Yeah. That’s quite the journey. Holy cow. It’s so crazy how life can be going so according to plan by all measures and then have that completely flipped upside down in such a tragic way. And I feel so empathetic, it’s such an awful situation and I’m just listening and thinking to myself, I see why you have the stage presence that you do because there are other people in this world that go through awful tragic events like this and we are talking about how the vulnerability side of things is something that’s like a sort of human responsibility in a lot of ways to share, but it’s such an uncomfortable thing. And so, I have to acknowledge your bravery for even just being willing to have this conversation, both with us and with the general world, as you’re out there doing your thing, because people need to hear it and it takes somebody being willing to cross over that threshold and be vulnerable to open up other people and their minds and their willingness to be able to share themselves. I’ve got to commend you for doing what you do [cross-talk 08:50] despite the background, it’s amazing.

Karen: Thank you, it’s definitely not easy and I wrestled with it for a long time. As a matter of fact, when I did my Ted talk in 2017, I remember standing on the stage and delivering the talk and I actually got this cool picture of my son watching me from the background from off stage, someone snapped that at me. And that moment of him watching me do something I set out to do, because I was telling myself what I do in this point, moving forward is going to impact his life so I better choose wisely. Am I going to be that bitter miserable mom? Or am I going to show him that life happens and you get to choose how whatever happens, how that impacts you. And so that moment of him seeing me kind of take lemons and make lemonade, that was great but the other part that people don’t see is I thought to myself, I would give anything to bring my husband back and the only reason I’m on this Ted talk stage is because I lost him.

And it was this moment of like defeat actually, and feeling really sad. And it was just so many emotions that it was great, but it wasn’t, I was grateful for the opportunity but I was mad that I was there. It was weird, man. And like, honestly, that’s what it means to be like a beautifully complex human so I just want to like, say that to anybody who’s like, I feel all the emotions.  Yeah, that is normal. Let’s normalize that feeling joy and jealousy or pain at the same time.

Taylorr: Yeah. It’s fascinating that we have such a highlight reel going on all around us, we fall into that trap. It seems so natural that we need to express all of the emotions, but we always want to show what’s going well and none of the things that are going poorly and I’m sure there’s some ego and protection in there that’s kind of causing some of those walls to be up, but we all live this crazy life, none of it is smooth for any of us. And it’s hard to have that relate-ability sometimes without hearing some of the downfalls that happen. So, again, to Austin’s point, it’s awesome that you’re out there talking about this because there’s just a lot of highlight reel out there.

Karen: Yeah, for sure.

Taylorr: So, I’ve been obviously going through all of your material and your website and all the research we could dig up prior to our episode today, there’s this phrase that kind of stuck around with us and it’s this idea of sustainable joy. And it kind of sounded like as you were telling the story to us, you were looking for those moments to maintain that. And it seems also that you acknowledge that it’s not always joy, it’s a myriad of things, but the word sustainable really kind of landed with me because it implies that it’s complex, it’s moving, it’s fleeting at times and you need to have an active way to sustain it. So can you break that down for us a little bit more? What does it mean to have sustainable joy? Just fill us in.

Karen: Yeah. Well, first we have to talk about that word joy, because joy gets mixed up with happiness and I think happiness is real, but it’s fleeting. Joy is more of like this underlying emotion that for me has always been anchored to gratitude and they play hand in hand and that’s why the word sustainable comes up with that because it really is rooted in finding things to be grateful for. So, I like to tell people okay, life is messy, but let’s talk about how to make life beautiful in the mess. It was hard for me to find this, early on in my grief journey but as I started to get deeper into entrepreneurship, which is super messy, think everybody knows that, you can sign up for all the courses you want to, but your journey is going to be your own. That is life as well. 

So, then the question becomes, okay, whether it’s life, whether it’s work, how do I not lose my energy, my zeal? How do I not lose what I believe is going to be my greatest gift to myself and to others when everything is coming at me and trying to diminish that. So, you have to really plant seeds that when those hard times come, then those are what start to flourish. So, when I think about sustainable joy, I’m thinking about things like let’s just own the fact that we have a device that can help us do anything and it’s literally at our fingertips so don’t complain to me about the things that you don’t have if you can pull out a device, which is your phone guys, and you can do anything from that one little thing. Don’t lose sight of that.

You have friends, family who check in on you, who love you, who will check your mail if you’re in bed and grieving for weeks over weeks, don’t lose sight of that. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you have a job. It may not be the job that you want, but that’s up to you to change it, right now do you have something that’s paying the bills, that’s putting food on the table? And so, it’s not saying that, okay, be all right with mediocre, but don’t lose sight of everything that you have while you’re working towards what you want. And that mindset will help you to get through that rollercoaster. There so many things that are out of our control, if we just focus on the things that are within our control, it changes the energy.

Physically and mentally, it changes the energy. And so my whole goal is to say, listen, with all the things that may come against you, that will feel unfair or there unforeseen changes, all of that stuff. We get that. But what I need you to do is to stay calm. Is to keep your composure. So that way, regardless of what’s coming at you, you can make good decisions from a clear place. And when you have sustainable joy on the inside, which is rooted in gratitude, you can always make good decisions from a space that serves you and the lives that you touch. So that’s why it’s important actually, that’s why it’s a game changer.

Austin: Wow.

Taylorr: Yeah, certainly.

Austin: Yeah. So, okay, I just want to like throw this out there and I’m hoping that you can either acknowledge or help me better understand what you just said, but it sounded to me like what you’re talking about isn’t so much an active process that occurs when potentially tragedy strikes in life. It seems like this is an ongoing thing that just happens in everyday life.

Karen: A lifestyle.

Austin: Yeah, it reminds me of this… it’s like this cliche leadership thing that I heard at one point that said when you’re managing an employee, you have to manage how you negatively critique somebody because on average, it’s going to take 10 really positive things to overcome one negative thing. And so, it kind of sounds like what you’re saying is built around a general concept where you sort of build a moat around you in the normal, everyday life with these positive things, the sustainable joy, such that when tragedy strikes, you’re able to make the better decisions that lead to a more positive outcome than if you would have otherwise. So, it’s like a preemptive thing. Am I [inaudible 15:50]?

Karen: Absolutely. And don’t feel like you’re behind the ball if you haven’t done that, you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m starting from ground zero. That’s okay, but yes, you will experience new levels of fulfillment if you are constantly filling your cup. This is also why this kind of goes into self-care. This is why self-care is such a hot topic I’ve been talking about this for a long time, almost a decade now, but people longer than me, but right now people are talking about it because for the last year we have been pouring out into all of these unknowns. Stress has been at an all-time high.

And finally, we have enough room to say, wait I’m to the edge of burnout and I have the time to take care of myself maybe that is something that I should do. And so, what’s so important is if you make self-care a routine, then once you get to that place where you do feel like I’m running on fumes, I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do, you’ll be able to tap into some of that reserve. And I like to tell people, it’s kind of like, I remember this when I was thinking about my son and I really wasn’t thinking about how do I create a good life for me? It was how do I create a great life for him? I don’t know the last time you been on a plane was, I know it’s been a long time for most people, but we all know what they say when it comes to your oxygen mask. Put your oxygen mask on first, before you help others.

You have to take care of yourself, you have to build yourself up, you have to cultivate joy, you have to think positive thoughts. You literally need to do this so that when life happens, you feel prepared. You don’t feel thrown around, tossed around, you feel steady. And then the best part of this is if you are a giver like me, I have a servant heart, I had to switch the importance of like, why I need to take care of myself because I realize if I take care of myself first, I can take care of those I love from overflow. Your cup is never coming to empty. So, take care of that internal belief system, fill yourself up, fill your mind up with good things and you will be able to show up fully in the face of any adversity.

Taylorr: Yeah. Man, I love this conversation so much because it’s also… especially like gratitude, for example, when you were pulling from that, it’s rooted in now. You’re thinking about what you have now, what’s going on now. You’re finding the ways to… especially in the day-to-day life or even when tragedy happens and you have to think about what you’re grateful for, it’s very in the moment of what you’re grateful for but we tend to, at least for me, especially on the entrepreneurship journey, I think everyone can relate to this. We grow a little impatient so we just spend all of our time in the future. What if, what if, what if and all of these different outcomes and for me, that is probably my number one source of anxiety is just projecting into the future too much and not sitting here and now with my thoughts and what I’m grateful for and just taking a moment to breathe or take care of yourself. I feel like that addition of being in the present is, I don’t know, it really makes sense as to why we can become more calm, rooted…

Karen: It’s grounding.

Taylorr: Stable, grounding. Yeah, exactly.

Karen: And the other thing, I’m glad you pointed this out, Taylorr. When I talk to people who have…  I call myself a recovering perfectionist, just so you know and those are my people. 

Taylorr: Amen. Alright, joining that club.

Austin: Nice. I was going to say I feel like I label [Crosstalk 19:12].

Karen: So, what I found though is for folks like us, and it’s not just that you’re a perfectionist because you want everything to be right but it’s because you have a lot of ambition. So, you’re working towards, you want to see progress, you want to see goals and you want to see it as fast as possible because then that kind of like is saying, yes, you did it the right way when really, we need to learn before it’s actually executed the right way. So anyway, I realized that I could pinpoint my anxiety when my thoughts were in the future every single time.

Taylorr: Every time.

Karen: Every time. So, for anybody who’s like, okay, I’m kind of taking a first step here. How do I notice this? I would say, be mindful when you start to feel anxious because our body and our mind is connected so sometimes with our things that are deep in our subconscious that we haven’t really been able to identify or label yet, but our body is starting to feel that, again, because they’re intertwined. So, if you start to notice some anxiety, you guys know this you’ll feel like a tightness in your chest, or you feel a headache coming on or whatever that looks like for you. In that moment pay attention to the signals your body is sending you and then pause and ask yourself the question, what am I thinking about? Literally give your mind space to go there. What happens is we feel something that feels uncomfortable.

We’re like, nope, I don’t want to go there, I’m going to leave that right there, I’m not going to pick it up, I am not going to go, I don’t want to ask any questions, and this was me. I did not want to face my grief. I want to just keep pushing forward, keep going. But the reason we don’t want to face this is because we think if we face that thing, it’s going to take over. It’s going to win. We’re going to die from our anxiety. You will have a panic attack, but I have never in the history of anxiety, heard about somebody actually dying from their anxiety they just made different choices that led to that. 

When you feel anxiety, if you pause and you ask, where is this coming from? It doesn’t have power over you, you regain your power. And that was like mind blowing for me because I was like, oh if I label this doubt, if I label this anxiousness, whatever it is, bitterness, if I label these things, then I can decide from a clear and calm space, how I want to interact with it. And one of the ways I would interact with it is by saying, I see you, I get that, that is valid. Yes, losing your husband is the worst thing you could probably imagine. Losing your job, not sure if you’re going to make it as an entrepreneur yet, yep those are heavy. I acknowledged that okay. But in this moment, what can I do? And that’s how the power shifts, that’s how you regain control.

Austin: Oh man. That’s the thing with anxiety too, is you’re feeling out of control and if you can step back into that space of feeling like you have control that lets you make better decisions. And I love the way you said is really, it’s just about raising awareness. If you can just, be aware for lack of a better word of the way you’re feeling and the thoughts that are spinning in your head, then it sounds to me like that can sometimes be enough for you to be able to shift things.

Karen: At least get a little clarity.

Austin: For sure. I’m curious too. I experienced high levels of anxiety myself. It’s always been a problem. My wife too, both of us have struggled with it and so we’ve always been on the search for ways in which anxiety or panic attacks even can be reduced or brought back into reality when we’re in that space and we’ve heard some tips and tricks along the way. I’d be curious to hear if you’ve heard of these yourself or if you do these or recommend these. One of them is going through each of your five senses and looking into the world and seeing, or acknowledging something that’s stimulating one of those five senses or sort of a grounding technique to get you back in your body. You find that they’re more or not even more, but are there other action-oriented things that somebody can be doing in that head space that may reduce it? That thing or something else?

Karen: Absolutely. So, what you’re talking about is mindfulness. Mindfulness is being present a lot of times people think mindfulness is just meditation. It’s not, but meditation helps to bring you present so that’s why they go together, yeah. We can om it up as much as we want to, but sometimes we need something different.

Taylorr: Om it up.

Austin: Om it up.

Taylorr: Dang it. I want that on a shirt.

Austin: That’s a new hashtag or something. 

Taylorr: Yeah.

Austin: Exactly.

Karen: Yes. That I think that one that has always served me well is breathing because the science behind breathing is really remarkable. Like just by getting oxygen to your brain, you’re releasing different chemicals so when you are feeling anxious, then that’s causing stress and stress causes injection of cortisol, which actually helps to… doesn’t help but it actually weakens your immune system, it can cause other long-term ailments so what we needed is we got to balance out those chemicals that are not helpful, and the best way to do that instantaneously, is taking a deep breath because oxygen for the brain is like fuel for the brain. And it switches the chemicals from things like cortisol to serotonin, which is like the happy chemical, so one thing that I do and I teach a lot of clients is have you seen the palm tracing where when you take deep breaths, you inhale going up the side of your hand and you exhale going down, inhale, going up, exhale, going down so on and so forth.

So, if you set a timer for, we’ll say two minutes and that’s going to feel like a lifetime, but two minutes and you trace your palm inhaling, going up and exhale and going down and you just do that, you are giving your brain so much oxygen that it is going to change how you feel and it’s going to create some mental space, which is when anxiety, as you mentioned, when anxiety creeps up, you literally can’t think. You feel like, I don’t know where to go. So even sometimes asking that question, what am I thinking could feel overwhelming. So that’s why I love how you just mentioned get into your space. What do you see? What do you smell? What can you touch that helps bring you into the present? And then the other thing is deep breathing so that you’re switching those chemicals from the toxic ones to the ones that are actually beneficial to your body.

Austin: Oh man, [cross-talk 25:37] I love the way that you just described this because I think that a lot of people start having this conversation and for some, it can feel a little woo, like a little bit and it’s hard too, because when we’re talking about something like anxiety, like there’s no physical, tangible thing necessarily. If I have a bus headed my way, like there’s an immediate stressor that I can see, but anxiety is something that’s just a feeling inside and it can be difficult to put a finger on it and so like when you start talking about solutions because there’s no bolt that I’m tightening, that’s fixing the problem, like I think that people may not buy into it because it’s hard to see the benefit in the moment, the same way that it would like if you were tightening a bolt. But what you just said was the science behind it and I think that’s the thing that removes potentially that barrier of entry for some where they’re willing to give it a shot because it’s not woo, it’s science and…

Karen: Right and so thinking about it this way. I’m going to use this illustration because I think this will really help. Any listener who’s like, yeah, I know me too. I was thinking that, okay, here you go. If you were to break your arm, would you say time heals all wounds? Don’t worry about it, just chill, you’ll be good, it’ll be fine. No. That would sound [cross-talk 26:54]. That’s crazy time is not going to heal this broken arm. Now I will give you this. It could, if you didn’t do anything for it, but it would probably not have the same mobility, it wouldn’t heal wholly. Maybe there’s an infection that comes, but if you say, okay, I broke my arm, I’m going to go to the doctor. I’m going to get an x-ray, maybe I need a cast, you’re going to find out what’s going on. And then you are going to have some sort of game plan that helps to bring forth the best possible healing scenario. It’s the same thing with your heart. If you have a broken heart or if you have a mind, that’s overwhelmed, do not believe that old adage of time heals all wounds. It’s not true physically, emotionally, mentally. It’s just not. You have to take action. You have to take action If you want anything to change.

Taylorr: Man, the golden nuggets, right there. Karen, yes. What a breath of fresh air. It’s so wonderful that you’re out there preaching the good word, yeah. I mean, especially when it comes to not highlighting the highlight reel, it all comes back to just acknowledging and honoring the negative sometimes and trying to stay present in the moment and not so future forward, are there any other actionable things people can be doing right now to like get themselves out of a rut? I know you have your Stop and Shift method. Could you cue us in on that A little bit?

Karen: Yeah, of course. So, Stop and Shift was the, I call it like the burpees for your mind.

Austin: Cool.

Taylorr: Well, I might hate it.

Karen: Everybody hates burpees but they know they work.

Taylorr: Yeah, that’s right.

Austin: That’s right. Yeah. 

Taylorr: They do work. Yeah.

Austin: Yup

Karen: Stop and Shift, when I realized that I was really focusing on the man who killed my husband, which now we’re eight years later and we still have no closure on that, it’s still an open case so try to heal when you don’t have closure, that is a feat for sure. But your thought is a focal point. It’s a point of entry into your mind. So, I realized I was either going to focus on this monster or I was going to focus on my healing. And my mom asked me something and this was like… so I recognized that I was doing it. And then I didn’t tell anybody for like three or four years, because I was like, I don’t know if this is just working for me, I don’t know if this is like a thing, maybe I’m lucky and so I didn’t want to like lead anybody wrong. But when my mom asked me, she was like, what did you think it was that actually jump-started your healing like for you to get to this place? 

And I was laying on the floor and I started thinking about it. I was kind of meditating and I could visualize in my mind seeing two paths and deciding which path I was going to go down, and that was the first moment I had done that but I had been doing that ever since then. So, I started to come up with some language for it and I realized I was stopping the negative thought cycle and shifting to a more positive, productive direction so I could make a good decision in the moment. That as it. So, it was a stop of one thing and acknowledging it, getting to know it, listening to that voice in your head, having some dialogue, but then shifting so the output of whatever was happening on the inside of me was going to actually make a positive impact and a positive ripple effect because everything we do creates a ripple effect. So, I harnessed myself to this idea of like, I want to be… and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be this. So that’s why these words came up for me. I wanted it to be a happy, healthy, whole mom.

That was it. That was my goal. I didn’t know anything else that was going to happen, I was not thinking entrepreneur, that’s what I wanted to be for my son. So, in every moment, and I do mean every moment, this is real training. Every moment that I found something stirring up inside of me that felt uncomfortable or negative and it could have been like an… I’ll give you a quick example. My son was brushing his teeth he might’ve been like five or six. He’s was supposed to be brushing his teeth and I walked by and he’s like sword fighting in the water with this toothbrush. So, I’m like, Caleb come on, we got to get out of the house. I walked by again, I’m doing something else. He’s still sword fighting so I’m starting to get impatient. I tell him again, Caleb come on man, we got to get out of the house. I come by a third time he is still sword fighting the water, it must’ve been a good fight.

But at that point I started screaming Caleb, I told you three times, but I was actually screaming at him in my head because I caught myself and I thought to myself, okay, Karen, you can either go off right now and go ape as they like to say, but are you really going to start your son’s day off like that? Screaming at him because he’s literally just being a kid playing. Is it that serious right now? Where you can’t be a minute or two late or behind schedule, your perfectly planned schedule, come on. So, it was a gut check, like what kind of mom do I even want to be in this moment? I use stop and shift all the time. And it literally is that you notice the negative thought you stop it and you shift to a more positive, productive direction. And the shift comes by asking yourself this question, oh, I’m giving you all gems right now. 

Austin: Taking notes.

Taylorr: Yep.

Karen: This is the question I tell everybody. I tell it in every keynote, every coaching client, this is the question it’s called your legacy question. Who do you want to be? What type of person do you want to be? What type of human do you want to be with type of mom, what type of dad, partner? What type of neighbor? What type of stranger do you want to be to this person who’s having a bad day? You don’t know what they’re going through but who are you going to be. Because when you ask yourself and you get clear on who you want to be, it actually makes it a lot easier to make those decisions in the moment. It’s your guiding compass. Taylorr, you’re talking the GPS, that’s your GPS for your soul.

It’s like, I want to be a happy mom, I want to be a healthy mom, I want to be a whole mom. I want to be a person who does good work, I want to uplift others, I want to be an encourager, I want to be real, I want to be honest, I want to be authentic, I want to be my full self. Get clear on who you want to be and living day to day, even in the moments where you feel challenged and disrupted, man, there’s so much freedom and surrender because you know who you were called to be. It’s just up to you to live it out.

Taylorr: Man.

Austin: Oh man. Karen, I’m so happy that you just said that. You just made some things click for me because here’s what I was thinking while you were talking, as we’re progressing through the story. Initially, we talk about Stop and Shift. You stop the train of negative thoughts and then we shift to a more positive thing so we can take the right outcome so that totally makes sense to me. I’m thinking to myself though, there’ve been times in my life where I’ve started that process. It hasn’t ever been a conscious decision that I’m making necessarily not in the way that you’ve outlined it at least, but I think that sometimes I feel like when I’m shifting my negative thoughts somewhere, I’m sort of being disingenuous to myself because it feels sometimes artificially be happy when I internally I don’t feel that way. 

And so, I was thinking that question in my head, like, okay, well, I’m sure that after enough repetition, you realize that it’s not disingenuine because you’re in control of who you are and how you feel at the end of the day although may not always feel that way in the moment, but what you just said, totally closed that loop. Because you are being, in fact, you’re being more authentic because if you truly are in control of your destiny, which I believe that you are, then you’re really realigning yourself with who you really are and being more authentic because of that, it’s almost like in that mindset, that negative mindset that’s when you’re being disingenuous to yourself because you’re allowing yourself to be…

Taylorr: Ding, ding.

 Austin: Taken out of control. Anyways, I love that so much. I’m so glad that you said that and maybe that’s not even your point, but that really resonated with me.

Karen: No that is it. So that’s actually thank you for… that is why I decided to rebrand because I realize that this whole thing that I’m doing, that I’m talking about, it is not about me. It is not about just my message or my story, this is a movement about being 100% human, which means that we have to let go of perfectionism. We have to surrender to the flawed human messiness, and we have to do the thing that our soul and our heart so desperately wants to do. And I believe that we are all wired with love. That’s the basis, that is the bottom line because humans, we want to feel safe, we want to feel cared for, and we want to feel valued. 

We want to treat others with love, we want to feel love. And so, what happens though, is the world gets in the way of that and experiences happen. There’s a lot of just messed up stuff in this world. And that’s what starts to take away and chip away from that joy and that authentic love. When you see a baby come into this world, unscathed, how are they feeling? What are they doing? How are they…? They’re just like, oh my gosh, this isn’t me. They’re looking around without even forming the words yet and sometimes will smile. Why? Because our default state is joy, is love, is peace and all these other things that come to pollute our mind and to pollute our soul and if we’re not taking care of ourselves, then it starts to take ownership over our body as well. So, if we keep bringing ourselves back to that, to that default state and like just leaning into that, oh my gosh, man. Sometimes it does feel woo woo. [Cross-talk 36:31].

Taylorr: The science shows it. Absolutely. Karen, this was an incredible episode. Thank you so much for coming on. I want everyone to just listen to this show like stop, rewind and take notes if you haven’t yet, because this was jam packed with awesome information. Karen, thank you so much for coming on one last question, as you already know, and you have contributed to, we love providing value for our listeners so what are some of the things that you’re working on right now that our listeners can benefit from?

Karen: Oh, so a couple of good things are popping off first. The 100% human brand and movement will be launched in July so you guys are hearing this and it’s already out there. It’s already available. So, you can head on over, heybeautifulhuman.com. If you come to heybeautifulhuman.com, you’re going to see all the work I’m doing and including podcasts and virtual power hours, we’re just going to like love on each other and talk about the realness. So just come connect on the website and you’ll be able to find every and anything right there.

Taylorr: Wonderful. I’ll make sure that is linked in the show notes. This was an awesome episode, thanks again so much, Karen. And as always, if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in. I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Auxbus is the all-in-one suite of tools you need to run your podcast and it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking. It makes planning, podcasts simple; it makes recording podcasts simple; it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking, wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxus.com/speakerflow, or click the link below in our show notes.

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