PSAs: The YBC® App is now available for iOS devices. We are working hard to fund Version 2 which will support Android devices. A YBCer created a GoFundMe in support of it, if you'd like to contribute. Thanks! Candace
Also, don't forget to pre-order your Winter Mantra Box®! We are shipping later this month and you definitely want to get your hands on this one!
Last month, I heard people rave about The Teacher’s Pet podcast, and so I joined the masses, and listened on long drives, while walking the dog, while working out, and while meal prepping.
During the weeks I listened, I had some personal stuff going on. For starters, I was in the middle of a move, and for those who have moved, you know how tough it is. Even when you’re done moving, you’re not really done. There are boxes everywhere, missing checkbooks, and your favorite piece of furniture now has a missing screw that’s throwing everything off but you’re sure you’ll find it so you keep it in the corner of your new living room, hoping it will magically reappear…. your life feels like it’s in shambles, even though you know you’re being dramatic.
In addition, I’ve got some family issues going on which have left me in a sour mood, and my business, which was thriving at the end of last year, now feels like it’s going to collapse. It won’t, but you are unpleasantly surprised to find that when you move your company to a commercial space that all the bills go up. You can no longer have your $175/mo internet because you apparently need commercial internet, which costs $275/mo. You need extensive insurance, an expense that you never had to pay before. You need security. You need to apply with the town zoning office which costs a couple hundred bucks. And the rent went up a couple hundred bucks more than your last space. And you’re stressed about money because sometimes that’s just the default emotion when you’re in business for yourself.
To top it all off, I’m in the middle of a parasite cleanse which I’ve talked about on the YBC® App but in short is an 18 week super clean diet (no sugars, no simple carbs, no processed foods), and a bunch of herbs. The result is a lot of cooking, meal prep, and some die-off symptoms can occur here and there which can include lethargy, headaches, stomach aches, skin flare ups, and emotional instability.
Now, reading has always been my escape. I think people probably silently judge me for not reading The Bhagavad Gita on repeat, instead choosing juicy thrillers like Verity. But recently, I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird because I was going to see the Broadway show, and then my boyfriend recommended Shoe Dog, and don’t get me wrong - both were fantastic in their own way, but neither provided the escape I so desperately look forward to at the end of my day.
So I turned to podcasts for the escape I craved. I wanted a little fantasy world I could dive into and get lost in. Not that my life was something I really needed to run away from, but sometimes it’s just so nice to detach from all the stuff going on in your life, and get lost in a good story. So I started The Teacher’s Pet, a highly disturbing story about a former pro rugby player turned school teacher. In his early thirties, back in the 80s, he started a relationship with his sixteen year old student Joanne, and moved her into the family home with his wife and two kids, introducing her as the babysitter. You probably won’t be shocked to find out that his wife mysteriously went missing and has never been seen since. He reported her missing six weeks after, saying she probably got mixed up with a religious cult. (Wut.) With each episode, you hear from various neighbors and friends, recalling how Lynette, his wife, lamented about Joanne, saying the probably infidelity was her (the wife’s!) fault because she’d gained weight and let herself go a bit. (WUT!) She had very low self-esteem, and it’s not a shocker that neighbors saw bruises on her, to which she confessed that her husband sometimes “roughed her up". The whole thing was so disgusting and disturbing and yet I couldn’t stop listening.
But the thing was, it wasn’t making me feel good. In fact, I felt sick about it. I was grossed out about the disgusting school teacher sleeping with his student (and the fact that multiple teachers did the same at the same school, and the fact that to this day, nothing has been done about it). I was disgusted that friends and family knew the wife was a victim of domestic abuse and did nothing (they say it was a different time then, you just minded your own business in those days). The whole thing felt overwhelming and awful.
And then I got a notification of a new SuperSoul Conversations podcast featuring John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods. I listened to it on double speed, as usual, and by the end, I physically felt better. I got out of my car (I was coming home from the gym), and I noticed as I got out of the car and slung my gym bag over my shoulder, that I physically felt uplifted. More positive. With a better mindset.
And I thought, “This is the stuff I needed to hear.” Mackey had talked about following your calling. Being present in each moment. The idea of conscious capitalism. Disappointing your parents. Showing your humanness as a leader. Various business problems he’s encountered over the years. Overall, it was an honest, real message, but also one that ended on a positive note. And that transformed how my day had been going. It inspired me to turn my mood around. To try to see the good. To continue to work for what I believe in, even though there are boxes everywhere, and my commercial space won’t be ready for weeks. It inspired me to press forward and promote our Kenya retreat and merch, despite some nasty comments from Android users who aren’t happy that they don’t have a version of our App available to them yet (which I understand, but it costs $25,000 and I simply don’t have an extra $25,000 right now). It inspired me to keep going.
And I thought, “This is so different from how I feel after an episode of The Teacher’s Pet.” And I want to be clear here. The Teacher’s Pet is good journalism and important work. It’s not them, it’s me. I am just not in a place in my life right now to be listening to death and doom. I’ve got enough stressors around me. Instead, I need to actively try to cheer myself up, inspire myself, and push myself. And the only way I know how to do that is to surround myself with good people, and good books/podcasts/movies/shows.
So if you’re struggling right now, I recommend taking a little inventory of what you’ve got going on in your life. We get to choose who and what we invite into our lives. And when your life is at an all-time high, maybe that’s the time to get lost in a creepy thriller or a murder mystery podcast. But if you feel like you’re running on fumes and you might have a nervous breakdown at any moment, maybe take a look at the people and the things you’re allowing into your life. Choose inspiration. Choose funny. Choose inviting. Choose light and warmth and kindness and see how that impacts things.
I wish you the best. It’s a hard time of year for a lot of people. Big hugs.