A Beginning

Playing outside as an “adult” is vastly underrated

Last week I wrote about some changes I’ve been going through. A few weeks ago, I quit my job at a sports consulting firm so I could have more time and freedom to pursue my passion of writing. Ever my pragmatic father’s daughter, I was not foolish enough to think I could just up and quit my job without a transition plan, so I secured a nannying gig to make sure I could still, you know, eat and live and other stuff that requires money.

So I went from sitting/standing in front of a computer for 8 to ten hours a day, writing reports and sitting in on conference calls and discussing pop culture with coworkers while I waited for my Keurig to brew, to taking care of a three-and-a-half- and five-year-old for 37 hours a week. I don’t write this to throw shade on the concept of the corporate desk job, — wasn’t for me, but a lot of people do thrive in that environment — but just to call out how drastic of a change this is for me. And it happened fast.

I really connected with Angela’s shout out to her two kids, Luke and Zoe, on this week’s episode of the podcast. Angela mentioned how being around her kids reminds her that life is joyful and silly and fun. That insight has defined the few weeks I’ve spent transitioning into taking care of children full time.

As I went through adolescence and grew up from being a kid to a teenager to a “young adult” to whatever it is I’m supposed to feel like I am now, I got bogged down with a bunch of unnecessary crap (boy drama, thoughts of social status, email newsletters, makeup, Netflix original series) and lost some of the magic that colored my world when I was little.

The past few weeks hanging out with these kids has reintroduced some of that magic into my life. I see it brimming in the eyes of my three-and-a-half- and five-year-old, ready to spill out in sparkling rainbow swirls and fill up whatever room we’re playing in. I rediscover the simple joy of making dandelion crowns and pulling the bark off sticks and throwing stones in the water. I pretend and play and create and it takes no more thought or effort than climbing the tree or following the creek or finding a bucket to collect the purple berries on the ground because elves love berries and they’ll be getting hungry soon.

I like being an adult, or whatever 23 is. I like being able to drive and cook and drink beer, and I like having a realistic concept of time and understanding the value of hard work and appreciating the changes I see in myself and the world around me. But I want to think more like a kid. I want to always think a fart is hilarious and bubbles are endlessly entertaining. I want to say what I’m thinking and forgive immediately. I want to ask “why?” more. And I want to know and feel, even through all the adult crap that bogs me down, that life is joyful and silly and fun, and there’s magic in every room if you know where to look for it.


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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 10: Waiting, Saving, and Failing

Did you know we have an extremely official podcast recording studio at YogaSport Dallas? Cause we do.

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

Sucky Moment of the Week (4/5) Angela and Nicole have been working hard to switch the point of sale system at YogaSport Dallas to another provider, and it seems like everything that could have gone wrong has. Inspired Action Be patient while you’re waiting for the uncomfortable stuff to pass (it does pass).

Major Topic: Money Nicole doles out some tips for fun and effective ways to save money in your everyday life.

Dr. Erik Gnagy

Ask Coach AWags Karen asks: How do you avoid beating yourself up over setbacks? Angela’s friend and behavioral change expert Erik Gnagy weighs in.

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.

Try This if you’re having trouble deciding what to purge from your closet. Line up every item in each category and subcategory of clothing (short-sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, dresses, etc.). Every day, you have to wear whatever is first in line for whatever category of clothing you pull from that day. If the item you pull makes you think “meh, I’d rather wear something else,” consider getting rid of it.

Angela SHOUT out A’s little ones, Luke and Zoe, remind her how joyful, silly, and fun life can be.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: A Beginning
  • The 2017 YogaSport Yoga School Teacher Training Program is beginning March 14th. Whether you want to become a yoga teacher, dive deeper into your yoga practice, or discover ways to grow personally from wherever you are in life, this program is a great starting point. Podcast listeners can save $200 on registration fees with the promo code sparkpodcast.
  • Get clear on your budgeting with Dave Ramsey’s envelope method, and rid your browser of pricing schemes and online shopping temptations by going incognito.

Connect with us:

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.

Episode 9: Embracing Change and Being For Others

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Major Topic: Ch-ch-changes We tend to avoid change instead of embracing it, even when it’s a change we want to make for ourselves. Angela and Nicole have been going through some major changes and discuss how they handle that first scary step out of the So-Called Comfort Zone (it’s a thing).

Sucky Moment of the Week (3/5) Nicole didn’t understand what the big deal was when Vic got upset with her for not using the plastic produce bags at the grocery store, but it turned out it wasn’t really about the bags at all. Inspired Action Truly acknowledge the feelings of others. If you go into a conversation with an agenda, you are not listening generously.

Ask Coach AWags Evelyn wants to know how to strike a balance when cultivating a lifestyle change. Angela has a few tips to help create consistency and discipline while still taking things one day at a time.

Not Pictured: The stress of having a baby photo shoot on your to-do list every month.

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.

Try This! Take something off your to-do list. If you still haven’t tackled that nagging, recurring task, reevaluate whether you really need to, or are just telling yourself you “should”.

Angela SHOUT out Sharon, Angela’s mother-in-law, canceled her workout to spend time with the kids so Angela could focus on conquering her mountain of work. We’re inspired by Sharon’s willingness to sacrifice her time and energy to be for others.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: An Ending
  • The 2017 YogaSport Yoga School Teacher Training Program is beginning March 14th. Whether you want to become a yoga teacher, dive deeper into your yoga practice, or discover ways to grow personally from wherever you are in life, this program is a great starting point. Podcast listeners can save $200 on registration fees with the promo code sparkpodcast.
  • If you don’t want your fruits and veggies touching dirty grocery store conveyer belts, but you’re also low-key trying to save the planet, these reusable produce bags are an environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Gretchen Rubin talks about understanding yourself in order to understand how you can form effective habits in her book, Better Than Before. Take her quiz to find out if you are an Abstainer or a Moderator.
  • Want to test your short-term will power and detox your body at the same time? Try the 10-Day Advocare Cleanse Angela mentioned in the show. Once you make your purchase, we’ll send you all the info on how the cleanse works, including grocery lists and goodies to get you going!

Connect with us:

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.

An Ending

I just quit my job. It was my first job out of college, and I was there for a year and nearly eight months. I was unhappy at this job, but it wasn’t because of the job. Ok… It wasn’t entirely because of the job. The job was never right for me. It wasn’t my passion or my calling or anything I wanted to make into a career, but it was a job. And it was a good job! for someone who wasn’t me.

So I was unhappy, and it was kind of because of the job, but it was mostly because of me. I was newly out of school and in the “real world”. I was lonely and depressed and angry at EVERYTHING and desperate to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. Like, I always knew I was an emotional person, but crying at my desk at 2pm on a Tuesday for no particular reason while I pretended to create excel spreadsheets felt a little… off.

In hindsight, I was obviously in the wrong place for me. I knew it, my boss knew it, my coworkers knew it, my parents knew it, my boyfriend knew it, my next door neighbor knew it, my succulents knew it, the person who took my picture when I went to get my Texas drivers license knew it, literally everyone knew it. And I knew – not even deep down, like floating six feet above the surface at all times – that I needed to make a change. I SO CLEARLY needed a change.

What Angela said this week on the podcast about change and the difficulties in facing it was so spot on for me. She spoke about the So-Called Comfort Zone, and boy oh boy do I know that place. I lived in that place. I wasn’t just visiting either, I mean I moved all my stuff into that place and bought freaking throw pillows and started making homemade almond milk in that place. It was mine, and I hated it. I wanted to toss the throw pillows out the window and pour the stupid almond milk all over the floor and just sit in my So-Called Comfort Zone wallowing in self-pity and spilled milk. Because you know what? Even though I knew exactly what I needed to do to be happy (spoiler alert: make a change), wallowing was 1,000,000x easier EVERY time.

Staying positive, clear, and motivated. I used to take my car up to the roof on lunch breaks to meditate.

Angela listed some reasons people avoid change: Fear, loss of control, overwhelm at the sheer amount of work it will take to make a real change. I felt all of those things, intensely. But I was also paralyzed by the guilt of wanting to leave a job I had never felt truly qualified for in the first place. They took a chance on me, how could I walk out? So many people would kill for such a great job, how ungrateful was I? The status quo was holding me back, but it was the status quo dammit and if the first half of High School Musical taught me anything it was that I should stick to it!

Before I was ready to make the career change I knew I needed, I had to change my outlook. I started practicing yoga, went through yoga teacher training, surrounded myself with people I loved who inspired me and did things that made me feel good. I started living the life I wanted to live, and it gave me the courage to finally make the change I needed to make.

Now, I’m on the other side. I’m sitting in a new zone, but it isn’t comfortable. It’s actually terrifying. I went from having a stable, salaried job with health insurance and paid vacation and a swivelly desk chair to pursuing my dream of being a writer and nannying to make ends meet. But this discomfort is exactly what I wanted, and I didn’t know I could have it until I just jumped into it face first without a mouth guard and prayed I wouldn’t lose any teeth. It means freedom and ownership of my time and my life and myself. It means purpose and fulfillment and, dare I say happiness?

It wasn’t easy to get here. I had to work really hard and have uncomfortable conversations (mostly with myself, out loud, usually not in public) and keep moving forward into the unknown even though I was so afraid. But if I had waited until it was easy or I was “ready”, I would have died sitting in a puddle of almond milk in the So-Called Comfort Zone wishing I hadn’t thrown all my pillows out the window.

My new zone, though mine and right, isn’t all that comfortable yet. But I own my change, and I take pride in knowing that I got here by doing the scariest thing of all: believing that I could.


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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.

Complaint Free Journey

I’m coming back from my complaint free journey, and this journey may have turned into a new personal adventure.

After listening to the guest speaker this week, I decided I definitely needed to challenge myself. After all, I have learned to stop (or avoid) complaining verbally, but I still feel those negative complaints in my head and keep them to myself… Complaining gives me a negative perspective on my day and how I interact with people. To summarize my first ten days of the complaint free challenge, I noticed the following things that would set me off:

  • WORK – meetings that could have been an email, fire calls that turn into zero impact problems the next day…
  • TRAFFIC – Ok, I live in Houston and work in Dallas (and a few other areas of the southern region)…two of the most congested cities in Texas. Of course people will cut me off, try to listen to the GPS rather than pay attention to surroundings, talk on conference calls, etc.

So here’s the deal- all of the complaining internally and verbally are over things I have little to no control over, BUT I could at the very least turn a ‘complaint’ into an opportunity. All it takes is a little communication and effort on my end…I know what you’re thinking…your complaints turn into more work for yourself, right? Not forever in my world.

Here’s my big ah-ha moment from the complaint challenge:

I’d been completing some assignments in an interim role due to limited resources. I noticed it takes me three times the amount of hours to complete one task because I can’t find any of the source materials, the person who usually performs these tasks is unavailable, AND the other resources on the team also do not know what’s going on. My work load was turning into an epic dilemma inside my head.

Cue the complaint journey meltdown. I had been internalizing my complaints until one day I exploded on a coworker who was quite literally just trying to help me figure out how to complete an assignment more easily. A swarm of guilt and internal ugliness came over me after I  hung up the phone. My internal complaints had built up into these negative, hopeless feelings about work. We can all come up with better ideas of how I should have reacted to this.

I won’t say I’m perfect, but since I have recognized to stop internalizing complaints, I have begun to react differently to situations and instead find a way to make them better before they get worse. For instance:

  1. Meetings that could be an email – reach out to the meeting owner to get a better understanding of the meeting purpose. If possible, gather the missing information and help the meeting attendees make a decision faster so we can go about our work day. Win – win for everyone!
  2. Alleged ‘fire calls’ – get a better understanding of the fire call through a phone call or face to face conversation. Sometimes talking it through helps relieve the knee jerk reaction we sometimes have toward a situation. We can either come up with a better plan of action or realize the situation is not an emergency.
  3. Traffic – well…I am still working on this one. If I know I am going to be driving into work during typical traffic time, I make some coffee before I leave or stop halfway through to get myself out of the madness for a few minutes. Also, I try to put myself in the mindset that because I made the decision to drive to work during particularly awful time, I should cool my jets, listen to music, expect people to cut me off, and plan to drive in during an earlier time the next day. I still catch myself making that universal ‘what the —?’ motion at least once a day. I’ll get better!

 

Sarah is a professional learning content developer within the manufacturing and educational industries.
While working through the challenges of graduate school, she completed several 5K’s, two half marathons, one marathon, and three triathlons. All of the physical and mental pounding to her body led her to exploring the physical and mental benefits of yoga. She has been practicing yoga regularly since 2014.
Sarah lives in Houston and is happily married to her husband with two fluff butt dogs. During her free time, she enjoys yoga, creative writing, training for triathlons, making people laugh, and trying new food and wine.

 

 

Episode 8: Cherish the Memories

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Empty hangers: The ghosts of clothes donated.

Major Topic: Decluttering (cont’d) Nicole has taken her obsession with decluttering and minimalism to “the crazy level”, as Vic would say, and her closet now consists of nothing but her absolute favorite things.

Sucky Moment of the Week (5/5) Angela’s cat and partner in life, Bella, passed away after 19 years together. Inspired Action Cherish the memories, and take the time you truly need to grieve loved ones lost.

Ask Coach AWags Allison is participating in the #40actsofkindnessbefore40 challenge, and asks for some ideas of random acts of kindness to try out.

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.

Cherish the memories.

Try This! Pick a random act of kindness that inspires you, and do it this week!

Team SHOUT out We love our bloggers! Nicole and Angela acknowledge the Spark Podcast blog writers, Sarah, Sarah, and Jenny.

From the Episode:

Connect with us:

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.

RAK ‘Em Up

If you’ve ever driven up to the pay window at a Starbucks drive-thru only to realize that the stranger in front of you has already paid for your latte, you know the power of the random act of kindness. They are a pleasant, humbling surprise to receive and a joy to give. But the true magic of the RAK (yeah, we’re abbreev-ing, go with it), is the wave of positivity that radiates out into the world with such a simple combination of intention and action.

This week on the podcast, a listener wrote in seeking inspiration on creative RAKs she could implement in her daily life. In the spirit of that request, and with the knowledge that there is always room in the world and our lives for more random kindness, we created a list of our ideas for random acts of kindness. If any of these inspire you, try them out, and pass the positivity and good vibes forward. They tend to make their way back to you.

  • From Episode 2 of the Podcast: Leave a good review. If you have a positive experience at a store or restaurant and the receipt prompts you to take a survey, take the extra five minutes! If you have a pleasant customer service experience online or on the phone, do the same.
  • Write a letter to a teacher that made an impact on you.
  • Walk around the parking lot of a grocery store and place all the stray carts back into the corral.
  • Thank those who serve our country and communities. Buy a meal or coffee or beer for a member of the armed services or police officer.
  • Put a quarter in someone else’s expired parking meter.
  • Bring a healthy breakfast to work for all your coworkers.
  • Leave an outrageously big tip.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • You know that awesome thing you really like but you don’t really need anymore and were gonna sell? Offer it on Craigslist or Facebook for free.
  • Make your friend a playlist (it’s the new mixtape).
  • Help a stranger carry that heavy something or all those bags to their car.
  • Write a nice note and stick it under a stranger’s windshield wiper.
  • Volunteer on your day off.
  • Hold the elevator.
  • Call your mom.
  • If you have a talent or hobby, offer your services for free. Teach a yoga class, take your friend’s headshots, knit someone a sweater – just do what you do!
  • Be kind to yourself, too.

What are some ways you spread kindness in the world? Let us know in the comments, and keep RAKing ’em up!

Choose Your Own Adventure

The world runs on routines. We get into our daily habits and have plans and calendars and schedules and deadlines, all of which cannot be ignored. Teachers gotta teach, writers gotta write, lawyers gotta law.. most of us have a career or identity that, to some extent, dictates what we do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and lifely basis. It’s what gives us a sense of purpose. Society would collapse into utter chaos if no one did what they needed to do.

But that doesn’t mean we have to limit ourselves to doing those things that fit into our established concepts of ourselves. In this week’s episode of the podcast, Angela and Nicole talk about what can happen when you follow an interest, not having any plan or idea for where it could lead – it’s how YogaSport was born and how Nicole wound up recently teaching her first private yoga lesson!

Humans like order. It’s in our nature to want to categorize and label everything, including people, to simplify things for our brains. We do it to ourselves by choosing to spend our time in ways that align with our self image. Even our hobbies, social lives, and leisure time can become routine if we aren’t putting in the effort to try new things every once in a while.

When we try new things and pursue things that interest us, new doors automatically begin to open. By simply branching out of what feels safe and routine and “you”, you not only grow and learn, but you make yourself available to all sorts of opportunities and connections you otherwise may not have found. You begin to actively choose your own adventure.

The next time you think “Hm, that’s interesting!”, dive deeper. When you see a piece of art that inspires you and think, “I wish I could do that,” ask yourself who’s stopping you. If you try something and it sparks joy in you, do it again. It doesn’t have to mean a radical life change or even a big time commitment – you could pursue an interest for five minutes and then realize it’s not for you, and that’s OK! It’s about exploring yourself and the world around you, saying yes to new opportunities, and enjoying the adventures that await.

Episode 7: Dishes, Decluttering, and Dancing!

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Sucky Moment of the Week (1/5) Caleb’s habit of leaving dirty dishes in the sink was driving Nicole bananas and causing unnecessary tension. Inspired Action Google it! If you have a prob07-sn-mariekondofold-awdrawer-deleted-4669bad6db0224db128f23d7b0c08c0blem, odds are someone else has had it before and has a great solution that will eliminate the need for an argument. 

Major Topic: Decluttering If, somehow, you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo’s method of tidying, get ready to have your drawers, dressers, closets and whole world changed! Angela talks about this decluttering method that gave her permission to get rid of all the things except those that spark joy.

Try This! Do a shoe purge by laying all of your shoes out in one space, sorting them into categories, try them on, and get rid of the ones that no longer spark joy.

Ask Coach AWags Brandy asks how to control the clutter involved with having young kids, especially around the holidays when Santa will be bringing more stuff down the chimney with him.

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 Nicole’s entire day was brightened when she joined one of her yogi students in a spontaneous dance party. Shout out to Christopher and the Triller app that brightened Nicole’s day!

From the Episode:

Connect with us:

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.