“Change is one of the most creative forces in our life.” This week, Kristine Carlson joins me to talk about moving through change and how it allows for expansion and growth. We also discuss grief, including her journey through grief after the sudden passing of her husband. Finally, we discuss how to make empowered choices during times of hardship.
For those new to Kristine Carlson and her work, she is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and leader in the field of transformation. After collaborating with her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson created a publishing industry phenomenon with the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series—selling more than 25 million copies worldwide—today, Kris is emerging as a profound teacher in the areas that matter most to the human heart: how to heal and how to love. Join us for this powerful and enjoyable conversation.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Kristine shares her journey through grief and describes her star mantra, “Surrender, trust, accept, release and receive.” (12:31)
- The willingness to give and receive support from others during the grieving process. (22:15)
- During times of stress or hardship, how can we make empowered choices? (27:21)
- Why we resist change and some ways we can embrace it. (31:27)
- Out of all of her books, Kristine shares her favorite one to write and why. (37:38)
- Action steps you can take to live with intention. (42:33)
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Retreat with me in 2022? Sign up to be notified when registration opens!
Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson
Kristine Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and leader in the field of transformation. After collaborating with her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson to create a publishing industry phenomenon with the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series—selling more than 25 million copies worldwide—today, Kris is emerging as a profound teacher in the areas that matter most to the human heart: how to heal and how to love.
Kris has captivated readers around the world with her previous six books, which includes Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love; Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women; Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms; An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever; and Heartbroken-Open: A Memoir Through Loss to Self Discovery. In her forthcoming book, From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero’s Journey to Joy, she offers a process for healing that goes beyond common prescriptions for getting through the pain of heartbreak of all kinds. She takes readers by the hand, giving them a life-altering map for navigating the journey from loss to joy—one that can awaken them to a deep love affair with life.
Kris’s acclaimed live events currently include the “What Now? Retreat” along the Northern California coast (along with the “What Now?” online program) and the “Women’s Wisdom and Yoga Retreat” in Umbria, Italy. As a sought-after speaker, Kris is known for her authenticity, vulnerability, and humor, leaving her audiences moved, inspired, and optimistic about the future. She has been featured on national radio and television, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Kris has served on the Board of Directors and the Global Leadership Council for Challenge Day, and she’s a member of the Association of Transformational Leaders (ATL). She was honored to join the Go Red for Women campaign for the American Heart Association in 2012 as their keynote speaker. In 2010 she was honored with the Kennedy Laureate Award by John F. Kennedy University, an acknowledgement also given to Alice Waters and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for their work in the area of mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Live the Big Stuff podcast, and authors a blog at her website kristinecarlson.com. She is mom to two daughters and “Nana” to four grandchildren. She lives in California.
You're not the same person, when you've gone through a huge loss, you're a different person, and you have to give birth to that person. And I love what Richard taught me, and that was that the circumstances of life don't make or break you, they reveal you. And I really understood that that the circumstances of my new life, were going to reveal who I really was.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast, episode number 423, with guest Kristine Carlson.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hello, friends, I hope this new year is treating you well. And you are exactly where you need to be. Because that's all that's the only place we can ever be. I want to kick it off and tell you something exciting. I have not hosted a retreat in it's been almost three years. And obviously, you know, COVID has sort of thrown a wrench in things over the last couple of years. And I'm feeling the urge to host one. Before I book a venue and plan it all out and open up registration, I want to gauge to see how much interest there is out there. So if you are interested in want to read a little bit more about how much it costs, where it will be logistics, etc, you can go over to AndreOwen.com/retreat. There are several bullet points there that will give you as much information as I can give you right now, and then you can sign up to be notified when I do open registration. Signing up does not obligate you to actually pay and register. However, I would appreciate if you only signed up if you are really considering coming. The price ranges on there. I know that's usually the biggest question is where it's going to be. It's most likely going to be in Asheville, North Carolina, and also the cost of it is on there as well and it is an estimate depending on the large home that I book. That's why I like to do them. I get a big house. The last time I did it, it was a kind of series of, not a series but a cluster of little cabins out in the mountains in Asheville, and it was amazing and beautiful. And that's likely what I will do again, this time.
I'm also interested in possibly having one of the retreats be focused on women in recovery. Does not necessarily mean that you have to be recovering from alcohol misuse. But you know, we're all recovering from something. There's just a little box to check on that over at AndreaOwen.com/retreat. I didn't mention it, this retreat would revolve around the curriculum of The Daring Way. It is one of my favorite things to teach. I have been teaching it since 2014. It's incredible. It's an incredible methodology and it is based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. It was spawned from the research and her book Daring Greatly if any of you have read it. And if any of you are reading Atlas of the Heart, oh, my gosh, this book is I don't know how to describe it. Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown's latest book, it is in my opinion, sort of an overview of all of her books. If you haven't read any of them or you've kind of dabbled here and there, it's an easy one to…You're not you don't have to have any prerequisites is what I'm trying to say. I feel like Dare to Lead and Braving the Wilderness and even Rising Strong, you kind of had to, well, you didn't have to but it helped if you read her previous books. This one is fantastic. I bought it for someone in my life who is really interested in this work and I can't say enough good things about it. I love all of her books and every time she has a new one that comes out. I'm like this is my favorite. No, this is my favorite. So I'm saying it again. This is my favorite. It's also beautiful. But the reason I bring that up is because if Atlas of the Heart is the only book that you read of Brené Browns and you're interested in what she has to say in there based on her now decades of research, studying shame and connection and courage, then you will love this retreat. It's really what it is, it's a skill set. It's a skill set to take into your life to be able to understand yourself better understand your triggers, understand kind of where you quote unquote get in trouble and fall on the coping mechanisms that you don't like, probably the ones you read about and How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, that book actually How To Stop Feeling Like Shit was born from this methodology of The Daring Way. So anyway, I could go on and on. That's not what this podcast episode is about. I just really love teaching the curriculum. It's always such an amazing gathering of women that come together. And I have done it online, it's great. And it I find it even more impactful to do it in person. I don't know, there's just something about getting together that just creates magic, in my opinion. AndreaOwen.com/retreat, to read more about it. If you sign up for that, you will also be the first to know, when I open up registration. Did I already say that? Sorry, I'm repeating myself. The reason that's important is because the last time I opened registration in 2018, to just that cohort of people, that group of people that had signed up for early notification, it sold out in less than an hour and I ended up doing another retreat that same year because of that. So if you're interested, definitely hop over there and sign up. And I cannot wait to host those of you that decide to come.
In other news, I kind of completely skipped over the New Year, didn't I? And you know, those of you that have been around for a hot minute know that I'm not I'm not big on New Year'. I know, it's sounds a little counterintuitive, as someone who talks about living your best life. I just I feel like there's so many other people that are great at that. I do it a little bit. And I think that for many of us, not all, for many of us the last couple years during this pandemic has been about just keeping your head above water. And I know a lot of you are still in sort of this growth season and kind of pulling back to be able to spring forward when you're ready. So if the New Year feels like the perfect opportunity for a new you and to make lots of fantastic goals, then by all means, woman I am cheering you on over here. And this isn't an apology, just pointing it out that no, you didn't miss anything. I just don't really do anything big for two years, because I do feel like we do it all year long.
Coming up on the podcast, I know I've been teasing you about this new way that I am going about things over here on the show, I'm going to break things up into themes and the first theme is going to be all about healing. In each theme I'm going to have this question sort of existential question that I'm asking each of my guests and I'm also asking you the listener. And the first one that we're going to jump into is how do we heal ourselves? And that's, that's the question among many others that I'm going to be asking our guests and all of these guests, most of them are therapists, I have a couple of, of psychologists coming on. We're talking a lot about trauma and how to heal these wounds that all of us carry into adulthood, into our relationships into, our jobs into parenting, etc. And I can't wait i It's coming, please, please hold. I tend to rush into things without a lot of a lot of planning. It helps sometimes. But a lot of times it gets me in trouble and it's messy. Therefore, I wanted to make sure we have everything well planned out so it runs smoothly for everyone involved. So my team and I have gathered all the guests for this first theme. And if you have someone that you want to recommend for the show, who would be a great interviewee on the topic of recovery, that is a theme that I've added for later on this year. I'm especially looking for women of color, someone in the LGBTQ community, maybe someone who is disabled, to be able to talk to us. It does not necessarily have to be about alcoholism. It could be about any kind of recovery that that someone has been in and who can speak on the topic to y'all. So if you know someone who fits that bill, you can send us an email support@AndreaOwen.com or shoot me a DM on Instagram I’m @HeyAndreaOwen.
All right. This episode. My interview with Kristine Carlson has been in the bucket for a while. My apologies. And I don't think anything we're talking about here is dated. We did record it in I believe June of 2020 which was a tense time of 2020 and but we are just talking about her work. I am honored to have her on the show, as you will hear me say to her husband Richard Carlson, his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff was one of it might have actually been the first self-help book that I ever picked up. And this was way back I think mid 90s. And I was I was hooked. I was hooked and nobody else in my life at the time got it. I thought it was a little weird, but here I am and I've built my life around the topic, I am sure you will enjoy it. And let me read a little bit about her. For those of you who don't know her. Kristine Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and leader in the field of transformation, after collaborating with her late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson to create a publishing industry phenomenon, with the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. Today, Kris is emerging as a profound teacher in the areas that matter most to the human heart, how to heal and how to love. Kris has captivated readers around the world with her previous six books, which include Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff In Love, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff For Women, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff For Mom’s, An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever and Heartbroken Open: A Memoir Through Loss to Self-Discovery. In her forthcoming book. From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero's Journey to Joy she offers a process for healing that goes beyond common prescriptions for getting through the pain of heartbreak of all kinds. She takes readers by the hand giving them a life altering map for navigating the journey from loss to joy, one that can awaken them to a deep love affair with life. Kristine authors blog at her website, KristineCarlson.com. And without further ado, here is Kristine.
Kristine, thank you so much for being here.
Hi, Andrea. So good to be here.
I am, I'm sure that I'm not the first person that that is telling you this but one of the very first, no, I think it is the first self-help book I ever bought in my I was in my early 20s was Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Very first book. Yeah, it was my introduction to this work.
Oh my gosh, that's amazing.
Yeah. And I was in the late 90s. When was that?
1997. So I was 22. Yeah, well, I was 22, I picked it up at a bookstore and loved it. And I remember at the time was like, I don't get it. And I just remember thinking like, this is so important, you know, just…so it was my first real introduction. And which brings me to my question is how did you get into this work? You know, were you kind of brought in with your late husband? Or how did that all work? How did you get here?
Yeah, well, that's a great place to start. So my late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson, has a PhD in psychology and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff with his 10th book. And he chose a very different form of psychology. It was, you know, keep in mind, just like you pointed out, this is 30 years ago was really when he started his writing career. And, you know, he was talking about really bringing more Buddhist concepts into psychology prior to positive psychology, prior to mindfulness, you know, these hot topics. But he had written 10 books on happiness and well-being and how to access that and don't sweat the small stuff was just a new way for him to write, he decided that the world was changing, and that the short chapters would be much more palpable for people. And certainly, he was right, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff really came out of his larger body of work, which started with a book called You Can Be Happy No Matter What, and then the road Shortcut Through Therapy, he wrote, You Can Feel Good Again, and many other books and then Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff came along and that was the first book in a series of nine. And then he invited me in to the series to write Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff In Love, which quite honestly, it seemed really doable and simple and fun. And I mean, we joked how every relationship should write a book on relationship because we learned so much about each other.
It's a great one, too. I have that one on my bookshelf. I must have lent out my my Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff many years ago. I never got it back. But I do have Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff In Love.
Oh, great. But you know, I hear that a lot and it's wonderful. And I, I often think, you know, I know, you know, by the time Richard died suddenly, in 2006, he did already known that he'd made a huge impact on the world. But what I've learned since then, is the impact that he's made on other leaders like yourself, you know, that he really was their entree. I mean, I've heard this from, you know, Michelle Gielan, and, you know, like Tony Horton and all sorts of different leaders have said that.
Oh, what a beautiful tribute, I think to him and also, when I went to write my first book, I remember feeling overwhelmed about word count in chapters and I was getting coaching on it and my coach said, well, if you could write anything, like, what would the structure look like? And I said, well, I would want it to be like, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and the short, digestible bite sized chapters and she said, why can't you write it and then 52 Ways To Live A Kick Ass Life was born. So, so thank you for tha. You know, kind of turning to your work that you do in the world, and I teach resilience and I would love to get your take on it. Because from what I know about your work, you say that resilience is all about relinquishing control and surrendering to change. And I have a lot of listeners, you know, myself included, who are achievers and type A personalities. So can you talk to us, maybe some small steps to becoming more resilient.
Yeah, well, I'm, I'm kind of the classic teacher that I, you know, went through, you know, horribly heartbreaking grief. At the sudden loss of Richard, you know, my life partner, my soulmate in every respect, for 25 years and, and he got on a plane, just to promote his latest book and had a pulmonary embolism on the descent of that flight, so it was very sudden, and we were completely unprepared as a family and unprepared in midlife, I was 43 years old to lose him. So where I get my resilience from, and where I understand how truly resilient I am is not from any small thing. It's from a great big thing. And there isn't anything more to test your resilience than the loss of somebody you love.
You know, that is the greatest thing that we go through in life. And they're all of, all these other things that we go through are very difficult. There are many different losses that we can go through, but certainly the loss of a loved one is among the very, absolutely most difficult. So as I went through grief, you know, I really didn't want to read too many grief books. First of all, at that time, almost 14 years ago, now, I felt like a very isolated young widow. I didn't know anyone that had lost their husband. And so I just, but I did understand a lot about psychology and healing and my own mental health and well-being and I was had some great friends in the healing arts capacity. And I really just developed my own process for going through grief and I, or watched my own process, I should say, I wasn't trying to design when I just watched what I did. And when I went back to track, you know, how did I get through this and come through it so well. And I, I realized that I had followed a path. And the path was a mantra that I had learned a long time ago, surrender, trust and accept and it is sort of the shortened version of the Serenity Prayer. That if you, you know surrender what is present, you know, to the circumstance, that you cannot change, you trust and the divine will and plan for your life, eventually, you will accept what's happened. But I had to add a couple of things to that because of course, grieving is a lot more than just telling yourself to surrender, trust, and accept grieving is really about allowing yourself to feel your feelings and heal and really go through the grieving process, which is, you know, grief I've always said is not the enemy grief shows up to help you as a as a helping friend through an emotional turmoil, period, and emotional loss. And so the surrender, the star mantra is what I call it in my body of work, is surrender, trust, accept, release, and receive. And the release part of course is about being able to allow yourself to grieve and grieve fully. And then ultimately, you know, through that process of healing you end up with a new life and it certainly was obvious to me when I was going through waves of grief that it felt very much like natural childbirth. It was very painful and of course doubled me over many times and I felt like wow, I am really breathing new life.
Yeah, and not linear and probably is slower than you want it to be sometimes.
Yeah, absolutely. Like watching that hourglass of sand and you can see every grain of sand go through and from side to side.
Yes. Yeah, exactly. I love the acronym and I'm curious for you to say more about the receiving part.
Well, receiving comes after acceptance. You know, I knew that I was really in acceptance when I had moved from grief to gratitude. You know, early on in my grieving process, people would say to me, things like, h, you're so lucky, you have to have the love that you've had, you know? And of course I am. But at the time, I was like thinking, are you kidding me?
Not when you're in it?
No. Are you kidding me? I do not. Yeah, I don't feel lucky that I'm going through this. I don’t I feel lucky. No, I don't feel lucky that I had that, like, this hurts like anything, you know, and, and then, once I was able to really feel grateful again, I really started to understand that I had accepted my loss. And receive is just in that place of birthing a new life. I mean, at first, you know, it's like anything, it's, you're not the same person, when you've gone through a huge loss, you're a different person, and you have to give birth to that person. And I love what Richard taught me, and that was that the circumstances of life don't make or break you, they reveal you. And I really understood that that the circumstances of my new life, were going to reveal who I really was.
And because you know, this kind of loss or any kind of loss can any kind of loss that annihilates your ego, and shatters your life. That's why in my latest book, From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero's Journey to Joy, I talk about the hero's journey, because it's an initiation, you know, this event that shatters your life and puts you on a totally new trajectory of life is really an initiation by crisis. And anything that annihilates your life leaves you in that place of complete, you know, birthing. And what's beautiful about that is, if you're conscious, and you're aware, you realize that you get to really be who you are, because your ego is an all-time low, and then your authenticity just naturally rises. And that's one of the most beautiful things about being in grief and about going through a really heart shattering loss is that it does break you open. And in that opening, a lot of times what can emerge is something extremely powerful and extremely beautiful, and extremely authentic.
When you have been stripped down to nothing, and it's almost as if the universe is asking you to reflect on, on your own strength and your own resilience and your own, like kind of what are you made of, you know, in a very kind voice, I would, I would hope. When I heard that acronym, and you said receive, I assumed you were talking about, and I love, I love your definition and your take on it, I assumed you were talking about because of course I'm looking through it through my lens, the receiving the care and love from other people, because I spent a long time really pushing away vulnerability, which also meant I figured out later, in retrospect, that I was also not really allowing people to love me and to truly show up for me as they as they wanted to do. I was I was pushing them away. So that's how I was looking at receiving which, which might be part of what you talk about as well.
Yeah, I mean, in my work, of course, I do address the fact that you have to go from being like this person who doesn't know how to ask, to being able to receive and ask for help. I mean, certainly you don't you what you want to encourage people not to do is be isolated in their grief, you know, and that I was really lucky because all my, my earthly angels just showed up. And I just was surrounded, I mean, I had just so many people that were just, you know, holding me and holding space for me and, and even a tribe of people that were communicating behind the scenes for me that I didn't even know about for a long time I was sitting at a I remember, we're sitting at a lunch with my, you know, kind of my five top grieving people. And they all kind of like we're looking at each other in communication with each other. And I finally clued into the fact that something was going on that I wasn't privy to.
Communicating through looks.
Then it came out, like they said, oh, yeah, we didn't want to tell you because we didn't want you to feel weird, but we've had a email phone chain going on, and we just check in with each other. Make sure somebody's checking in with you every day. And so I was just like, oh my God.
I thought it was just a coincidence. Yeah. No, that's sweet. Yeah, that it's one of those things where it makes experience grief, feels lonely. It's like that feeling of no one understands what I'm going through. And then also for some people, they think I don't want to bother anyone. It's just you never know how you're going to walk through it. And I'm saying this for people who are, who have friends in their lives and loved ones who are going through grief so many times, you know, they're like, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. Just show up as best you can and offer your help.
For sure. It's really not so much about what you say as much as what you do, and there's really no words that comfort somebody in in terrible grief. But certainly offering love support, you know, meals, if there's a family, you know, there's some real practical things that are really, really helpful for our family going through grief and a mom, especially because you know, she's having a hard time taking care of herself and taking care of her children at the same time.
I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. Alright, so this season's theme on the podcast is digging into that question, how do we heal ourselves, right, and we're hearing from different therapists and psychologists about all sorts of different topics as they pertain to therapy and healing yourself. So if you're feeling the nudge to get support here, Better Help, we'll assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. It's not a crisis line, it's not self-help. It is professional counseling done securely on line, you'll get timely and thoughtful responses. Plus, you can schedule weekly video, or phone sessions, if you'd rather do that. Better Help is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches. So they make it easy and free to change counselors if needed, and their service is available worldwide. One of the many things that I love about better help is that you can find the particular expertise you need online. You don't have to limit yourself to the counselors located near you. So if you've heard about something here on the show, whether it's CBT, or internal family systems, IFS, and there's not any one around you locally that can do it better help might be a really great alternative. I want you to start living a happier life today. And as a listener, you'll get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/kickass. Join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health. Again, that's BetterHelp H-E-L-P.com/kickass and if you ever need to know any of the sponsors, or the keywords, discount codes, you can head over to AndreaOwen.com/sponsors. And they're all there.
In your experience and the work that you've done, you know, you've been doing this for a long time in times of stress or hardship, how can people make empowered choices, the best that they can.
So here is what I prescribe. I believe that if you can always come at life from a responsive place, and not a reactive place, the only way that I think that if you continue to feel that rage, those constructive is that if it does move you into some kind of action. Rage in and of itself is what kills and so I think what we want to do is turn our rage into a power that is a peaceful kind of power, which peace is always a choice. And of course Mahatma Gandhi is our best example of a peaceful warrior in this world who bought a whole nation through turmoil through peaceful ways and means. And I think that each of us can make a choice to be the hero on the journey to be the hero of our own lives and to be the hero for others.
And if we become enraged, and come become part of the fire, that isn't constructive, then we're not contributing necessarily to the solution. You know, I think that so many of us have to hold the light in this world. And that doesn't mean that you're going to feel great and that you're going to be positive in a positive in the normal positive sense through this it means that you have to hold that torch of peace inside and that doesn't mean that you're complacent. It means that you come from that place, and you take action. nd that is truly a place of love that is truly a place where you're honoring your values. And again, each of us has to decide what that means. It takes a lot of different energies and a lot of different people to move something along on the trajectory that needs to change. And certainly we are in a time of tremendous transformation and change whatever that's going to mean.
You know as someone who is who is not, I am no stranger to anger and rage. In my experience. They are like sisters and rage makes me in my experience it makes me totally blind. I can't learn from that place. I can't communicate from that place. I can't. I'm just not making fantastic choices. I'm making very emotional and impulsive choices at that point. However, I think that you can make good choices from a place of anger. I do. I don't know if you disagree with me but I do know…
I don't have any problem with anger. I mean, I think all the emotions are present for reasons. I mean, I know I don't have any problem with anger, I have a problem with reactivity. But when you respond from whatever emotion you're feeling, if it's if it's a loving response, and I mean, I'm a parent, I'm a grandparent, I get angry at my grandkids, but I don't yell at my grandkids. I don't hit them. And I don't, I don't do anything destructive. But when I'm angry, you know, it definitely propels my voice forward. So, I mean, I think that there's definitely there's always a place for anger. And yet, if anger and rage is unexpressed, all it does is hurt you, you know? And if it's not expressed healthily, it hurts another. So it's a dance.
Yeah. And I think, you know, I'm thinking of, of marginalized people and their anger is righteous, and absolutely be heard, and so many things get organized and revolutions happen. Well, I want to kind of switch gears a little bit and talk about change. I mean, I guess it's not switching gears all that much. And like, from a personal level, why do you think people resist change and what are some ways that people can embrace it? Because you know, this is an audience full of people who are trying to better themselves, and in many ways change some of their, their habits and priorities and belief systems.
Well, that's a great question. I mean, I think that most of the time, people who are avoiding change avoid it because of the illusion of control, and that that gives them the idea that they're in control if they can create a strong enough structure and routine and, you know, be in the status quo. The other reason I think that people resist change is just that they are unaware that their ego is being in charge. You know, like, if our ego is in charge of us in charge of our psychology usually means our true self is somewhat suppressed. And our true self, actually everyone really invites change. Your true self says changes, good changes means that life is moving forward, you're out of your comfort zone, things are happening, you know? When we resist change, I think it just that we are in fear and fear is always the reason why people don't invite change. It's like fear of what they're going to lose, fear of what's going to be missing if they move in a new direction, fear of being out of the status quo, it's, it's, you know, the ego wants to keep you safe and in the status quo. Fear of change is really big.
I mean, I, before my life completely got upside down, I would, I never thought out change. No, I was like, I just was happy as a clam, keeping everything the same. But in a way, I didn't also realize I was dying a death. And in a way, it's like that. Norman Cousins, quote, “The tragedy of life is not death. The tragedy of life is what we let die inside us while we live.” And, you know, I think that when you think of it in terms of that, that change actually ignites us. It's like a spark that gives our life energy. It moves us in a totally new trajectory, new, a new position. I've gotten to a point now where I'm like, oh, my God, it's so great when I have this unknown space, because it means unknown means like, I'm like walking up to the edge and just diving off of it and going, freefall awesome, what's gonna catch me, you know? And, and but it took me all the time of, you know, having my life shattered and moving through this change that happened to realize that change is actually one of the most creative forces in our life. And when we allow for change, it just allows it allows us for expansion and growth.
Yeah, it's one of those things that I think people hear about it and they are like, that sounds good but it's still so scary. I like to remind people like you have changed, you know, it might just be in smaller increments and smaller ways, you know, because you're, you know, I'm talking to people listening to this, like, you're likely not the same person you were 5, 10 years ago. And you know, even if you if they listen to this podcast, I'm sure I'm not the only personal development podcast they listened to, or they read other books, and you have subtly changed. So give yourself credit, everybody, but I think I think some people think like, oh, I need to have this life changing experience. You know, I personally, I had a dramatic and sudden divorce and then got conned and it was, it was like a like a on the floor moment. You know, your husband suddenly passed away. And so I think we all…I call those life invitations, you know, like the universe is handing you an invitation, like, you know, what are you going to do with this? And those can be like life shattering. But I think there's really something to be said to like, what do you think like those small moments where we hear something on a podcast, or we read something in a self-help book, and it really hits us hard, we're given a choice in those moments.
Absolutely. And I love the idea that we can do small changes that make a big difference, you know, like, just 5%, like, 5%, better 5%, 5% different.
Isn’t that a book? Someone wrote a book. Probably self-help aisle.
Just small changes, make a really, you know, can make a very, very huge difference and pay really big dividends in your life, you know, and I, it doesn't have to be a life altering experience. You know, I mean, just if you look at neuroplasticity and brain science, it tells us that change is positive, because we need to fire our brains up in order to keep our brains sharp and, that changed does that you know? If you if you feel like your brain is getting dull, because you're in a routine it is. The brain science actually really shows us that we need to change our lives up in order to get our neurons firing in order to get them rewiring and firing in more positive ways that the change is really powerful in that way.
Yeah. Yes, do those crossword puzzles and word searches everybody.
Even small changes, like changing the route, you know, like we always go driving on certain routes, you know, and even just changing your driving route or changing the music you listen to or, you know, changing up your exercise routine, just, you know, take the dance, do something you've never done, you know, take a language you've never learned or practice, you know, a musical instrument. I always threaten that I'm going to start playing the guitar.
The drums. How about that? The drums. I have a friend who switches the way she sleeps in her bed every couple of weeks. Like, yeah, just to switch it up, I guess. So it's, it's interesting. I didn't know about that, that brain research, but It completely makes sense that like, even though small things can change how the neurons fire in your brain and I love that. I'm actually curious. Yeah, I'm curious, like, you've written a lot of books. And this might be a question like, don't ask me to pick a favorite child, but out of all of your books, which is your favorite and why? Or, do you have a favorite?
So the way I look at that is, you know, it's interesting, because I almost never read my books after I write them. I mean, I really don't. I rarely ever, I mean, if I find that to I rarely ever act, by the time you birthed the book, you're just so like, done.
You’ve been in bed with it. Which one was your favorite to write and why?
Well, probably my latest book was my favorite to write because it was the culmination of 10 years of living and learning and it was a lot of my work pulled together in that book. And yeah, I think and I knew that it was for me, it was kind of a jumping point to the next thing I had to offer you know, which I'm working on another book now and it's really all about how to access joy. And you can, you know, you can kind of see the true debt like From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero's Journey is a joy now, it's going to be a book on joy. And I'll probably write Living the Big Stuff next, which will be all about, you know, coming out living your kickass life and being the biggest, you know, being the biggest form of yourself and, you know, so my, my books are definitely along the trajectory of where I'm traveling. And you know, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff In Love, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff For Women does happen to in a time in my life when Richard was alive, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff For Mom’=s came later. I love that book because wrote that book from a place of my kids are grown, I'm now grandmother and I really I really know everything that you go through and I know I understand that there's no such thing as a perfect mom and so that was a really favorite one but Heartbroken Open and From Heartbreak to Wholeness are, you know, they're just very, they're very raw for me and they're very healing for others. And I know that so it gives me a lot of joy to bring those out to the world because of course, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is great, but somebody doesn't, they're having, they may be really stressed out. That's why they pick those books up but somebody who picks up From Heartbreak to Wholeness is in pain and they want to know their way out and I'm just so honored to be their guide.
I appreciate you saying that because it, it sounds like, you know, I don't talk to a whole lot of authors who've written multiple books, and I'm only on my third. So I feel like a baby as compared to how many you have written. But I've noticed for me that not just the books that I've written, but also this podcast and, and I've been blogging since 2007 and it definitely you can see the trajectory of my own work and I've always very transparent with people about where I am in my life in terms of my own personal development work and, you know, big issues, small issues. And part of that is like, I never want anyone to put me on a pedestal like, I know what I'm doing, and I have all of the answers. And I'm never going to tell you about any of my own heartbreak, or challenges or shame and all of that stuff. So I typically lay it all out there, there are some elements that I keep private, you know, to protect the privacy of my children and things like that. But for the most part, like people know everything about me.
And it's interesting, I'm a huge fan of Brené Brown's work and I can kind of see her own, you know, because I was reading her books in 2009, when you know, her first one is very cloaked in academia, and just have watched her career and, and her own work as well. And so, I think, you know, for all the writers out there, maybe the, you know, the aspiring personal development writers, like, just don't ever be afraid to come out with something, and you are where you are in your life. And I think it's also a metaphor for maybe more of an analogy of just people's lives in general, like, it's not linear, A) and we all go through a journey, and we're never done. We just might be on different paths, or different parts of the path.
Absolutely. And I love what you said about not putting yourself on a pedestal. I'm the same way. I mean, I I've always said that if you put yourself on a pedestal, it's a long way to fall. Sure is much better to just be in the trenches, you know, you're already down on the ground.
Yeah, we're all human. For sure. Yep. Well, I want to ask you one more thing, and it sort of circles back to Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, because that book encourages readers to live with kindness and intention and attention to the present moment, which I know can be kind of confusing. I think I'm like, What does that even mean? Do we have to notice every butterfly and things like that? So what or can you speak to that? And maybe what are some action steps someone can take now to live with intention?
Yeah, absolutely. In my work, and my podcast, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Live the Big Stuff, I teach the golden paws, and really beautiful, very short meditation, to just pause and touch your heart. Ask yourself what you're grateful for, tune into your gratitude. Because even in the midst of, of terrible situations that you might find yourself in or circumstances, if you can pause and tune into your breath and into your gratitude that brings you first of all, immediately into the present moment, immediately into your heart. And gratitude is where joy resides. So if we can absolutely access those feelings in any situation, it's going to bump us up quite a bit and we'll get a lot of gain a lot of perspective in life. And, and I really feel like having great perspective in life is having great mental health. You know, when you can keep life in perspective, and be able to focus on what you're grateful for that can kind of change the game, a great deal. And again, in any situation. Yeah, and I just think becoming super responsive to life is also really, really valuable and important.
Also about mindfulness, you know, when you can live intentionally. That's a huge proponent of being mindful and mindfulness in and of itself, the definition is to see clearly. So that brings us back to having your attention in the present moment. And that can be just a simple question to yourself. What am I feeling right now? How am I feeling? You know, our hurt our feelings? They're all in the present moment. And if you're looking at what am I feeling right now, you know, and then you ask yourself, by bringing your attention as the intention of what do I want to grow? What would I like to grow in my life? You know, these are the ways that breathing, being in your body, pausing before you react, bringing your attention to the here and now, to this isn't, it's not a choice that you make once I mean, you have to make it every moment. I mean, that's why we don't we don't live that way. It's hard to attain enlightenment because our minds are very busy and our minds don't typically gravitate to the present moment. Our minds are busy elsewhere. Yeah, the 5% practice, like we went back to, if you're 5% more present every hour, that's huge.
I love calling mindfulness, paying attention because that resonates with me better. And maybe it just because I feel like mindfulness sounds so much more well, a little esoteric, and just very much like a person who really loves yoga and is good at that. Like, I like to just focus try, and I could use, you know, five more percent of paying attention. But it's, I also think, like, our bodies are typically trying to talk to us like they're the wisest part of ourselves. And if we pay attention to that, then we can learn a lot more about what we need to do in the next moment to take care of ourselves.
Yeah, that's beautiful. That's, that's a great practice to in present.
I don't do that as often as I should. But I know. But it's something I try to remind myself a lot. And the people around me remind me too and so thank you so much for sharing your wisdom today. And everyone can go over to the show notes to check out Kristine's work and she's at KristineCarlson.com. That's Kristine with a K. And anything else you want to say that sort of that you don't want to leave without saying that sort of been kind of swirling around?
I just want to say to everyone, you know, hang in there right now just hang in there, it's all, things will settle down, they always do and everything new will emerge. And you know, sometimes we just have to hang on for the ride and do our own part, you know, do whatever that means to you to do your part. For me, it means to remain a calm and peaceful light for the world. And that said, you know, I'm also going to do my part to take some pretty strong actions when I know what actions there are to take so…And then just take care of you and your family be well, and thank you, Andrea, for your wonderful work.
Oh, yeah, my pleasure, my pleasure. And my calling, actually. So thank you so much, everyone for being here. I am so grateful for your time I know how valuable it is and grateful that you choose to spend it with me and my guests. And until next time, everybody, I will see you all out in cyberspace. Bye bye.
Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media. And a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and means the world to me if you reviewed and subscribed to this show Make Some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow. And that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always reshare those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned. Tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following. Whatever it is I appreciate so much you sharing about this show.