Nobody’s Perfect

pexels-photo-246320If a Millennial makes a Hannah Montana reference in the title of a blog post and no one is around to see it, did it really happen? I’ll ponder that in the corner while you guys refresh your memories of the seminal work by the aforementioned Ms. Montana: Nobody’s Perfect music video.

Oh, good, you’re back! I wasn’t sure if you would stick with me after what I just made you watch. I promise that’s the last one… For now.

Whether it was originally on a Disney Channel Original Series soundtrack or not, we’ve all heard the refrain: Nobody’s Perfect. So why is it such a hard message to internalize as an adult? We receive this message at various points in life – mistakes are inevitable, accidents happen, nobody’s perfect so it’s ok if you mess up sometimes, all that stuff – and yet we strive for perfection and beat ourselves up when we cannot attain it. Or, more accurately, when we don’t perceive ourselves to have attained it.

I grew up a self-proclaimed perfectionist. I resisted committing too fully to any extracurricular activity because I didn’t think anything was worth my time if I wasn’t naturally good at it. I bucked effort for fear of failure.

As I’ve gotten older, however (FYI, yes, I am looking forward to a whole lot more getting older in the future, because I’m only 23 and also I am going to live forever), I’ve learned that, not only is nobody perfect, but nobody would even want to be perfect if they really thought about it!

With every mistake I make, I learn. With every fall, I get back up. With every 2am McDonald’s apple pie and hashbrowns combo, I green juice. I don’t want to be perfect. When something is perfected, it loses its chance to get better. It stops growing, and then it has no progress upon which to reflect. And isn’t that the fun of life? When, at any age, you get to look back at the you from a few years before, smile to yourself and think, “Ha! What an idiot.”

I’m giving myself more breaks lately. The more 2am McDonald’s apple pie and hashbrowns combos 23-year-old me has now, the more laughs 300-year-old me can have in her cabana on Mars in 2293.


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Sarah Mowery is the Podcast Marketing Editor for the Spark – Inspire Your Life Podcast and an avid podcast listener. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarah enjoys writing, playing outside, going to concerts, and anything else she can list here that will make you think she’s cool. Sarah is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a member of the assisting team at YogaSport in Dallas.

Episode 6: Henry Lopez; Giving Yourself a Break

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Psst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!

Special Guest: Henry Lopez, serial entrepreneur, business owner, business coach and mentor, and co-host of The HOW of Business podcast, joins us as our first special guest on the show. We revisit the last week’s topic of a Complaint Free World as Henry shares how the Complaint Free challenge has been fitting into his (and his wife’s) life.

Sucky Moment of the Week (3/5) Henry got pretty down on himself after his guest appearance on yet another podcast didn’t got as well as he would have liked for it to (or so he thought). Inspired Action It often takes a shift in perspective for us to realize how overly critical we are of ourselves. 

Try This! Identify an area of your life in which you’ve been too hard on yourself, and give yourself a break!

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.


complaint-braceletFrom the Episode:

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If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes, and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

Two Nights in Two Acts: The Allure of the Screen

Act I

Scene: My bedroom on a week night, 9:45 PM. The first of four alarms to get me up for work the next morning is scheduled to go off in t-minus 8 hours. An alarm reminding me to get ready for bed has come and gone. But there I am, sitting up propped against the pillows, iPad in my lap, watching Game of Thrones.

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9:45 PM – I’ll go to bed once this episode is finished.

9:51 PM – I love this show. How have I been missing out until now?

10:06 PM – Episode ends.

10:09 PM – Post-episode commentary ends. Preview for next episode plays.

10:10 PM – No way Danny sells one of her dragons. Screw it, I’m watching the next episode; I can hack it on less than seven hours of sleep. (total lie. I suck at life on little sleep)

10:37 PM – Arbitrarily scroll through Facebook on phone while watching the iPad.

10:47 PM – Casually glance at the clock on my bedside table, with a small pang of regret when I see how late it is. Also noticed: the book and magazine that I’ve been meaning to read for weeks, always opting instead to look at a screen until bed. Yawns.

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11:07 PM – Episode ends.

11:10 PM – Post-episode commentary ends. Preview for next episode plays.

11:11 PM – Man that looks like a good one. I think that red wedding episode is in this season, too.

11:12 PM – No, time to call it a night. (Yawns)

11:13 PM – Begrudgingly get out of bed to charge my iPad. Get back into bed, smug with pride: This is what discipline looks like.

11:15 PM – Grab my phone, quick check of work/personal emails. While I’m at it, check in with NPR and Weatherbug. Yawns.

11:21 PM – Oh, and Buzzfeed. A Disney character quiz that ONLY real fans will get? I’m in.

11:37 PM – And eHarmony app, because true love. Maybe someone’s looked at my profile…

11:51 PM – How HARD is it to find a decent man?!?!?!?!

11:52 PM – One more peek at Facebook before bed. Yawning. Lots of yawning. Very tired.

12:21 AM – God I’m tired, time to call it a night.

12:21 AM – Place phone on bedside table, being too tired to get out of bed and plug it in to charge. Lights out, asleep instantly.

—musical interlude—

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5:45 AM – Alarm. Nope

5:50 AM – Alarm. Nope

6:00 AM – Alarm. Nope

6:20AM – Alarm. Nope

6:38 AM – PANIC.

7: 22 AM – Dash through shower, get ready for work and sprint out the door. Did not have time for coffee. Phone is at 22 percent.

7:37 AM – (in traffic) I hate this. I hate myself.

End scene.

Act II

Scene: My bedroom on a week night, 9:15 PM. The first of four alarms to get me up for work the next morning is scheduled to go off in t-minus 8.5 hours. I am sitting up propped against the pillows, iPad in my lap, watching Game of Thrones.

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9:21 PM – I love this show. How have I been missing out until now?

9:30 PM – Alarm reminding me to get ready for bed. There are five minutes left in the episode.

9:35 PM – Episode ends.

9:38 PM – Post-episode commentary ends. Preview for next episode plays.

9:39 PM – Man, that looks like a good one. I think that red wedding episode is in this season, too.

9:40 PM – Internal struggle between watching another episode and choosing to put the iPad away and get to bed at a decent hour like a sane person. Sanity wins.

9:41 PM – Begrudgingly get out of bed to charge my iPad AND my phone. Get back into bed, torn between feeling proud of myself for my superb maturity and wanting to stick it to the man by watching more GoT. Yawns.

9:42 PM – Reflect on the realization that, as much as I enjoy staying up late, I cannot – CANNOT – stand waking up tired, late and already defeated…which will be my reality if I continue to sit in bed with a screen in my lap. A morning person I am not; giving in to more screen time and a super-late bedtime simply means I am doomed to fail when my alarm goes off in the morning. It is a black and white issue for me. And if I’m honest, it does more damage than just shortchanging myself on sleep and my first cup of joe. It goes deeper, and stays with me.

9:45 PM – Pick up the magazine from my bedside table. Make a mental note to read more in my spare time. Yawns.

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9:46 PM – I love this magazine; so well written. Why do I not read it more often?

10:24 PM – Lots of yawning. Very tired.

10:25 PM – I can’t remember if I’ve already read that line.

10:27 PM – (Still reading the same line. Yawning) Just finish this paragraph and you can go to sleep.

10:29 PM – Magazine slips from my hands and fall to the floor.

10:29 PM – And that’s my cue: time for lights out.

10:30 PM – Lights out. Asleep within minutes.

—-musical interlude—

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5:45 AM – Alarm. Nope

5:50 AM – Alarm….fine….

5:55 AM – Drinking coffee. Thank you baby Jesus.

7:00 AM – Showered, dressed for work, caffeinated and getting in the car. Phone is at 100 percent. Happy. Grateful. In this moment, I am completely ok.

7:01 AM – Start ignition. Bring it.

End scene.

Pets Say the Darndest Things

In Episode 4’s sucky moment of the week, Nicole divulges one of her best-worst nightmares of her dog EATING her couch beyond repair.

Pets say the darndest things. Having grown up with dogs I have finally learned they always project our energy through their actions. This all hit a pain point when Angela mentioned “Pets can’t talk but they can really give us a lot of advice.”

Let me tell you about Mandy.

Mandy, 9. Talks a good game but can’t spit it. Wears a hoodie and does ‘hood rat things’ with her day camp furriends. ‘T-Rexes’ on the regular. She was once scared of life itself and now she just doesn’t give a PUP. Be like Mandy.

mandy hood rat Mandy T RexMandyWine

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the dogs in my life, Mandy walked right into mine. A rescue organization picked her up from a high kill shelter the night before she was going to be euthanized. As you can imagine, she lived her foster life mostly in fear. I remember meeting Mandy at Mr. ‘B’s’ lovely home right before I started graduate school. He let all 7 of the foster dogs out into the backyard patio area.

“Sorry, she is a bit afraid to go out on her own without the pack.”

“Oh I can only imagine what it must be like. I just moved to Texas and I’m still getting my bearings before grad school starts. I have always had dogs in my life and I think I’ll feel more comfortable settling in here with one.”

“Look, we have had quite a few people come in to check out Mandy. We picked her up the night before they were going to put her down. To be honest, we didn’t notice she was there until we saw her big brown eyes. We thought she was cute and she’d find a new home right away, but she barely comes near anyone new. She is just getting comfortable with my partner and I…Unfortunately the pictures on our website make her appear smaller than she really is, and when people try to meet her for the first time she runs and hides behind the big dogs… and by the way-”

THUNK.

Mandy jumped right in my lap.

That night we put her blanket on the couch and hid several rawhides around the living room in case she got nervous and needed something to chew on. She ate ALL 7 of them. She ate all five pairs of my flip flops- even the ones I tried to hide on the kitchen table. She hyperventilated non-stop when it rained (how did she not keel over and die yet?) and scurried away from anything and anyone during our walks around the apartment complex. The list goes on. It seems like everything sent her over the edge.

I had no idea what was wrong with her until I realized there was something wrong with me. She was desperately trying to tell me that my anxiety was quickly growing out of control since grad school started. I didn’t have time to take care of myself and I spent way too much time at the lab and worrying about all kinds of things that at the end of the day was a drop in the bucket.

She could feel me cringe as I walked out the door every day to spend hours in the lab, teach undergrads, and somehow finish my homework for class. She felt me dying inside as I came home every night fearing I failed a test, said the wrong thing while teaching, and spent too much time thinking out experiments that could possibly fail anyway… pretty much anything started to send me over the edge…

Ma look at me jumping on you pay attention to me stop freaking out seriously look at me NOW

Ma look at me jumping on you pay attention to me stop freaking out

Ma look at me jumping on you

Ma look at me

Ma?

Mandy crazy face
One night I had worked in the lab late. As I came home I noticed she had a little accident. I was reeling from my newest failed experiment and about to mentally implode. Then I noticed that I never opened the dog door hatch. My poor little Mandy had gone most of the afternoon without being able to go outside.

After a lot of tears and dog snuggles, I took a really good look at my life. I decided to work on letting go of what I could not control and help Mandy break out of her shell. She now happily approaches other humans for affection, runs freely outside without the fear of inanimate objects spooking her, and gets along with her fur sister for life, Ebbie. I don’t think I could ever break her fear of the rain, but I have broken the cycle that fuels my anxiety. Thanks to her wake up call.

A Cat’s Love

Nineteen years of cuddles, comfort, and play. It’s only been a day since my sweet kitty has been gone, but I miss her more than I imagined was possible. My heart physically aches. She was my best friend.

We were both babies when we met. She was 6 months old and I was just a 20 year-old college student. Together we lived in San Antonio, Austin, Boston, and Dallas. We had many different roommates, friends, and parties.  She was by my side through every gut-wrenching break-up and with me the day I married the love of my life, John. She loved him, even though he wasn’t a “cat guy,” and she certainly knew it. She even tolerated a new addition to the family, Roxy, a DOG. She cuddled with me through an exciting first pregnancy and a very painful second one. She became besties with Luke and even let Zoe pet (pull) her fur.

Throughout my entire adult life, Bella and I were inseparable. Up until her last moments, she was by my side. Most cats hide when they are sick and ready to die. The only time she left me was when John and I were desperately trying to get her to eat something. She retreated to the closet as if to say “Mom, stop. I am ready.” Moments after I texted the vet that we were going to let her go, she came out of the closet and never left my side.

Pets are incredible creatures. They are such intuitive beings. They know when we hurt. They take care of us when we are sick. They celebrate with us when we are happy. They remain loyal, no matter what we say or what we do. They love unconditionally. And all they ask for in return is nourishment, love, and comfort. It’s really pretty simple and a lesson we can all learn.

Today was my first day without her. I woke up to silence. There was no meowing at the foot of the bed, no purring in my ear, and no soft fur on my face. Roxy slept in her place all day and looked at me with sad eyes. I swear she misses her too. John, the guy who doesn’t like cats, had tears in his eyes. While it hurts so very much to say goodbye, I am so grateful that she was there the day I went to the Humane Society of San Antonio.

Sweet Bella, you were an incredible companion. I am so glad you are at peace. As our vet Mandy said, “Enjoy your wings, girl.”

Episode 4: Slowing Down and Getting Those Z’s

Psst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!04-sn-shiner-aka-couch-destructo

Sucky Moment of the Week (1/5) Nicole’s new fur baby, Shiner, literally ate her couch beyond repair, and it wasn’t exactly his fault. The Inspired Action When Nicole and Vic skipped their morning run, Shiner had no choice but to take his pent-up energy out on the couch! Every action has a reaction, and it’s important to be cognizant of how our choices may impact the lives of others — even our pets.

Major Topic: Sleep Angela and Nicole discuss Ariana Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, and how they’ve seen sleep — and a lack of it — affect their wellbeing in different phases of life.

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Try This! As kids, we tend to have rituals surrounding bedtime, but many of us lose those as adults. This week, try this: Turn off all your electronic devices (yes, including your iPhone) at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Make this a new part of your grown-up bedtime ritual.04-sn-jason_donnini

Nicole SHOUT Out Jason Donnini, a pretty awesome human, filled in for Nicole to teach her noon yoga class. Jason is a new teacher at YogaSport and the community has loved watching him grow!

From the Episode

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If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes, and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

You Won’t Believe What We Found in This Deep, Dark, Bottomless Hole!

pexels-photoThe Internet is a deep, dark, bottomless hole. It’s full of knowledge and music and pretty pictures and YouTube videos of little hamsters eating popcorn on pianos, sure, but it’s also full of mean comment section trolls and Donald Trump’s twitter feed and the horrors of Whip/Nae Nae.

This week on the podcast, Angela brought up a great point from our friend Gwyneth about how the Internet, as opposed to other things you might read or enjoy before going to bed, has no end. Before this era of convenient and constant access, our activities, for the most part, had expiration dates. You go outside to play as a kid and come in when it gets dark. You cook dinner, and then you eat it. You start a movie, and then the movie ends. You open a book, read a chapter (or, heck, the whole thing if you want!), and then you close it.

But you turn on your iPhone, and then… What?

The possibilities are literally endless with these devices we carry around in our pockets. Have you ever scrolled to the bottom of your Instagram feed? Or read an online article that didn’t prompt you to click on about one million other articles? Even just writing this article, I started out watching a one-minute video of a hamster eating popcorn on a piano and crawled out of the Internet hole 45 minutes later having watched three “Best of Family Guy” videos. Not a terrible Sunday night, all things considered, but that’s not the point!

How do we control our appetites when it comes to the consumption of content? When we eat enough food, we feel satiated or full. Even on days that we don’t set an alarm, eventually our bodies will wake us up when we have slept enough. So what about our phones? With all the endless apps and websites to scroll through, how can we help our brains resist the pull of all the banner ads and algorithms and know when we’ve had enough?

The Internet is a deep, dark, bottomless hole. It’s a great resource when used responsibly, but most of us just don’t.

Strengths and Weaknesses and Putting Up Tents

tent-1208201_1920Relationships are hard. They’re essential to our survival as social animals, of course, but they do introduce a whole slew of challenges. When presented against the alternative of just living in total isolation, these “challenges” – things like compromising and admitting when you’ve made a mistake – don’t seem so bad, but that doesn’t make them any less, well, challenging.

Nicole’s story this week on the podcast hit the nail* on the head when it comes to navigating the sticky spots of close relationships. To recap, Nicole and Vic went on a camping trip and got a bit frustrated trying to figure out a tent they had never set up together. It was only when Nicole accepted that maybe interpreting the instructions was not her forte and found another way to be helpful that the tent got assembled.

The success of our relationships so often relies on our ability to not only see and appreciate the strengths of our partners (or sisters or cousins or coworkers or dads or friends or mail delivery people or customer service representatives), but to see and appreciate our own weaknesses.

Let’s try a little thought experiment. Pick an important relationship in your life. Now picture yourself with the other person in that relationship trying to put up a tent. It’s just the two of you. No iPhone, no Google, no one else.

How does it go? Have you ever put up a tent before? Has the other person? If neither of you has, can the two of you figure it out? Do you work well solving problems together? Have you ever even had to?

Maybe neither of you has any experience with tents, but you work together to figure it out and enjoy a satisfying high-five inside your new shelter. Maybe you suck at spatial reasoning and pole assembly, so you contribute by making your partner a bowl of oatmeal while they take care of the tent business. Maybe you actually do this kind of thing all the time, and you can teach your partner a new skill you can both be excited about. Everybody always wins all the time, right?

Haha! No, I’m kidding. It would be great if our interactions with loved ones always went so smoothly as our hypothetical tent scenarios, but they don’t because challenges, remember? About as often as everyone gets to high five inside the perfectly assembled tent, everyone ends up angry and sleeping in the car because you’re both stubborn as hell and won’t admit that one of you accidentally broke a tent stake and the other one never wanted to go camping in the first place. Sounds a little more accurate, right?

Our relationships are not perfect, but they give us opportunities to look within ourselves and take ownership of our strengths and weaknesses. Working with others reveals the areas where we thrive as well as the ones where we might need a little more help. If we’re lucky, we get to surround ourselves with people who not only bring us joy and companionship, but who make up for our shortcomings and balance us out. There are inherent challenges to working with others to accomplish a goal – whether it’s starting a business, putting up a tent, or just deciding which TV show to watch – but the more we’re willing to embrace those challenges and work to find solutions to our problems, the more we will learn and the stronger we will grow.

Episode 5: Spreading Positivity and Being A Team Player

tentPsst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!

Sucky Moment of the Week (1/5) Nicole and Vic went on a camping trip with a big new tent, but setting up camp didn’t go quite as smoothly as usual. Inspired Action Sometimes you just have to stuff that pride in a pocket, admit when you need help, and listen.

Major Topic: A Complaint Free World We talk about something Angela’s used in her trainings for years – A Complaint Free World – and why we and everyone around us can benefit when we quit complaining (expressing pain, grief, or discontent) and gossiping and start speaking with thought and intention. Nicole sums it up beautifully with this inspiring quotation:

“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?” – Sathya Sai Baba

Try This! The (abridged) Complaint Free World Challenge. Try to go one week without complainingpark-helps-you-sign or gossiping. Wear a complaint free world bracelet or use any bracelet you already have, and switch it to your other wrist every time you catch yourself complaining or gossiping.

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Nicole SHOUT Out The woman picking up trash during her daily walk in the park reminded Nicole of the importance of helping take care of the places that we love (because, after all, we’re all on the same team).

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If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes, and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

How to Subscribe and Leave a Review for the Spark-Inspire Your Life Podcast

Have you checked out the latest episode of the Spark-Inspire Your Life Podcast? The podcast is a mix of happy hour-style venting and results-based coaching. Spark is a judgment-free space where Angela and Nicole chat about both the brilliant bits of life as well the bits that are little more sucky. With lightness, laughter, and the belief that there’s no such thing as over-sharing, they will guide you in finding clear paths out of murky messes and toward discovering inspiration in everyday moments. Find the show notes and blog posts at angelawagnercoaching.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @CoachAWags. Remember this week to take the time to give thanks, raise a glass, and discover what it is that sparks you!

Subscribe today, so you don’t miss any episodes! If you have a few extra minutes, please do an act of kindness and leave us a review on iTunes. It really helps us out.

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