Episode 074: A.S.K. Part 3 Slowing Down and Seeing the Big Picture

Part 3 of my system for quieting your Monger (inner critic) and hearing from your Biggest Fan.  In which I chat about stress, Mongers, BFFs and the potential healing power of Tim Horton’s doughnuts.

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Hi and welcome. You are listening to the Happiness Hacks Podcast, and I’m your host Nancy Jane Smith. I’m a licensed professional counselor, and in this podcast, I share my stories, lessons, and hacks I have learned, and I continue to learn on my quest to live happier. This is episode 74. ASK Part III: Slowing Down and Seeing the Big Picture.

Hey everyone, I am so excited to be back here with you guys on the podcast. I’m back committed to my weekly shows, and so this week we are continuing with A.S.K., which is the system I use to quiet my monger and I talk about the system more in my book that’s coming out on Tuesday. I can’t wait, I’m so excited! You can pre-order a copy of the book now by visiting The benefit of pre-ordering the book is that you will get it shipped out to you on January 30th or receive a link via email on January 30th, depending on what version of the book you get.

The thing I am so excited about is the Monthly Mentoring Membership. You will be automatically enrolled in that for 90 days if you just pre-order the book. So if you were going to buy the book anyway, pre-order the book and then you get to work with me in a group setting to kind of go through the processes in the book. I’ll hold your hands through this process because I think it’s great to get a book, it’s great to read a book, but being able to have someone there to answer questions and have a community of like-minded individuals through which you can move through the book with leads to true success, so I hope you will visit to pre-order the book or at the very least to download a free chapter of the book. Visit and that’s the last I’ll say about it.

Okay, so today we’re moving on to the Part III of ASK. In Part I, which was two weeks ago I talked about an overview of ASK and what the process was. In Part II, which was last week, we just did A, which is acknowledge your feelings. Then this week I’m going to combine the last two, the S and the K, because it’s easy to do it in one episode.

Last week we acknowledged our feelings. This week we’re in the S of ASK and S is slow down and get into your body. If you’ve been listening to my podcasts for a while you know I’m a huge believer in this idea of happiness hacks and quick little weekly ritual challenges that get you into your body.   I used to do a weekly ritual challenge every week with my podcast and on my newsletter and Instagram to encourage people this process of just getting into your body for 30 seconds.

So this doesn’t have to be a huge meditation or a process of slowing down intensely. For those of us who are Type A personalities and go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, goes, which raise your hand if you can relate to that, the idea of slowing down and getting into your body is like the worst thing in the world. It is the last thing you want to do. Even myself who knows how important it is, sometimes slowing down and getting into my body is extremely challenging, so I like these short mini ways that we can slow down and get into our bodies.

Something as simple as touching your toes, doing a quick neck roll, moving your neck from side to side, reaching up to the sky, doing some stretches, there are thousands of them. If you listen to any of my podcasts from last year or the year before you will hear a weekly ritual challenge every week to give you some ideas. There are also more ideas in the book on how to slow down and get into your body.
When you’re doing this process of ASK, it is implemented because you’re being harassed by your monger. Your monger is basically being mean and nasty and you need to hear from your biggest fan. That’s the goal here. So the example I’m going to use today is a personal example for me from last week. I have recently decided to cut out sugar in my diet because white sugar had become a major food group and so I needed to cut that out as well as adding more fruits and vegetables.

The thing is I feel amazing doing it. It’s one of the easiest switches I’ve ever made. I definitely miss sugar but the benefits I’m getting are really positive, so I highly recommend it if anyone wants to try. I’m not being super militant. It’s just white sugar like candy and cookies and desserts, that’s mainly where I’m at with this. I’ve been doing that for a while and this week was an extremely stressful week.
I had a lot going on, it was a little overwhelming, so I noticed my monger was really chiming in a lot this week because that’s when they tend to come out is when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Ironically, when your monger comes out, then what tends to come out to “get your back” is your BFF. The BFF is what I consider to be false self-compassion. So false self-compassion is the idea of go ahead, do whatever you want. It will be great, just go ahead and do it. Whatever you need, just do it. Doing what’s fun and easy and isn’t really there to hold your feet to the fire or make you feel more productive. They’re just there to have a good time and make you feel better at any cost.

So backing up to I have cut out sugar in my life and had a really stressful week so my monger is chiming in telling me how much I’m doing everything wrong and how much I’m missing the boat. So I’m walking past Tim Horton’s and my BFF is like, “Go girl. Get some TimBits my friend. You really need some doughnuts. This will make everything better. Doughnuts will make everything better. You’ve had a tough week. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you’re doing this sugar thing, but come on, TimBits, you’ll just feel so much better.”

So I went into Tim Horton’s, and I got some TimBits and headed out the door. As I was walking out the door I was like okay, wait a minute. Do I want these TimBits?  I’ve worked hard to get sugar out of my system and sugar does not work well in my system and is this really what I want? My BFF was like, “Yeah girl; you do because this week has sucked.”

So I just want to put a pause in here to say that previously in my life, even a year ago I would have totally, and I mean Totally with a capital T, grabbed those TimBits and ran and would have believed every bit of that BFF and would have thought this will fix everything. This will make everything better. I would have been wrong, but that is the power of the BFF. Just the idea that I know you’re in all this emotional distress and I know all these things are happening that are out of your control, but doughnuts girlfriend, that’s the key.

So now I can kind of pause when I hear that message and think really doughnuts? Is this really what’s going to fix this? So at that moment, I paused as I was walking back to my destination with my TimBits in hand. I paused to ASK and to acknowledge what I was feeling, which was stressed and overwhelmed and vulnerable and lonely and all those yucky feelings that we don’t want to be feeling. Then I slowed down and got into my body.

That was simply just rolling my neck from side to side and feeling that I had a body underneath my head because that’s what happens when we get into this monger BFF fighting is we lose track of our bodies, and we’re just in our heads. So just doing a simple stretch can slow us down enough to be like, “Oh yeah, I have a body here and how does my body feel right now?” Well, it feels stressed and really, my stomach’s kind of upset and TimBits might not taste good with this upset stomach I’m having. It might not taste really good.
So just to give you some perspective on the slow down and get into your body.

Then I was able to kindly, kindly, that is the K, kindly pull back to see the big picture. When I pulled back to see the big picture, I was able to recognize TimBits, not so much going to make this better. It’s not going to solve all your problems and TimBits; they taste good, so maybe having one or two TimBits, just experiment with it just to see how, you haven’t had sugar in a while, let’s taste some TimBits. Now’s the time. You’ve got them, let’s see what it tastes like.

I was able to kind of, I think of it as expanding your brain, giving yourself some wiggle room to kind of get out of that black and white thinking, which is the monger and the BFF. They go back and forth in you’re a loser who can’t control herself to go ahead, do whatever you want. It’s been a really tough time. It’s that black and white thinking that keeps us trapped, so by kindly pulling back to see the big picture we can be like, “Wait a minute, there are a lot of options here. I could throw away the TimBits. I could eat two TimBits and throw away the rest. I could give the TimBits away. I could eat the whole box of TimBits. I could eat the whole box of TimBits and feel great. I could eat the whole box of TimBits and feel awful.”

There are lots of options here, so it goes on and on and on. That is why the word kindly is so key in this phrasing, because it needs to be I think kindly pull back to see the big picture. I can give myself some grace while I look around and see what the options are. So kindly pulling back, I could say to myself, “Okay, we’ve worked really hard to get sugar out of our system. It was not easy initially and do we really want to go back to that eating pattern again when it wasn’t really serving us?”

I’m able to pull back from the idea that bad things are happening, you need to reward and into the idea of isn’t the reward being kind to yourself and giving yourself food that makes you feel better and doesn’t upset your stomach? What I ended up doing is I ate two TimBits. I gave myself, I pulled them out, and I sat myself down. I wasn’t just eating them on the run. I sat myself down, I was like, “You’re going to eat these TimBits and taste what they taste like. You’re going to taste them, so you’re either going to enjoy them and savor every bite, or you’re going to be like yeah, I’m not so much on the TimBits.”

I was shocked to find it was yeah, not so much on these TimBits. They weren’t all that. I wanted something different. It didn’t taste that great. So at that moment, it was just like oh, I don’t want these TimBits and I was able to put them aside. The part about that that I want to share that was most amazing was that it was at that moment that time there may be another time where TimBits taste fabulous, and I eat the whole box, and that’s okay.

But in this moment, the TimBits weren’t that great and I ended up putting them aside and actually ended up throwing them away, which is a shock. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown away TimBits in my life. The idea is that the monger and the BFF keep us in this militant thinking, so if I throw away the TimBits this time, then I’m always going to throw them away. If I eat all the TimBits in the box, then I’m always going to eat all the TimBits in the box. It’s recognizing that for this moment this is the choice I’m making in this moment right now and I may make a different choice around TimBits or sugar or fruits and vegetables next week.

All I have control of is at this moment. So that’s the power of ASK because it slows us down, it gets us out of that black and white thinking, and it allows us to see the variety of options. For those of us who are driven by perfectionism and people pleasing and go, go, go, go, go mentality, that act of giving ourselves grace and getting into our bodies and seeing the big picture is miraculous.
I am a huge fan of this system, obviously. It has been years of research and coming and making it happen, and the most amazing part of it is that even myself, every time I practice it I’m just like, “Wow, this really works. Wow, this really is a different way of looking at it.” So I’m just excited to share it with you guys and I hope you can implement it in your own life to play around with it and see how it shows up for you.

The idea of getting rid of that black and white thinking and the arguing, constant arguing between the monger and the BFF and bringing in the Biggest Fan who says, “Wait a minute, they’re freaking TimBits. They’re not miraculous. They’re not going to heal everything, and they might taste good. Let’s experiment here. Let’s see what can happen with this.”

That’s ASK in detail. There’s a lot more detail about this in the book. Obviously, this is just a quick little podcast, so please if you’re interested, like I said, go pre-order the book at I’ll be talking about these concepts more as the months go along and diving into more about the inner critic and the monger, so I hope you will stay tuned for that.

If you have any questions or insights or want to share your own experience of ASK, please email me, I love hearing from you. Head on over and pre-order that book so you can be part of the monthly mentorship group because I think it’s going to be fantastic and it’s free when you pre-order, so head on over there and do that. Until next time here’s to living happier.

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