Episode 100: Looking Back My Favorite Episodes

Today I am celebrating Episode 100!  Yippee!!  I am looking back on my top 7 episodes and giving you some behind the scene look at what I was feeling/thinking as I recorded them and a bit of back story.  Also sharing what is coming next for Happiness Hacks and why my Monger has been so loud!!

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Show Notes and Links:

Episodes I mentioned:

Episode 003 Why Positive Thinking is Keeping You Stuck

Episode 022: A Ban on Unsolicited Advice

Episode 034: Why Pay Twice?

Episode 068: My Dad, Grief and Living Happier

Episode 072: The Power of A.S.K.

Episode 082: The Warm Cozy Sweater of Our Monger

Episode 094: Lessons Learned in Iowa


Hey, gang. So glad to be here again. I have made it to episode 100. I cannot believe it; this is episode 100. Today, I just wanted to share some of my favorite episodes and give you a little tidbit behind the scenes about each of them, and also to share some behind-the-scenes of what’s happening here. I’ve hinted around that I’m doing some changes, but I haven’t come clean with them, so I wanted to give you a little sneak peek behind that and what I’ve been dealing with and feeling, how loud my monger’s been chatting, and how I’ve been dealing with that. So, we will dive right in.

After this episode, marks the end of an era. No, not really, the end of the Happiness Hacks podcast. Don’t panic. I’m still going to be here, but I’m kind of switching things up after this episode. I’m going to be taking a short break while I switch things up, just probably a month, not the six-month break that I took earlier, while I get clear on what this new thing is. Since my work has been focusing in on type A personality and hidden anxiety that I call high-functioning anxiety, I want this podcast to reflect that in a more succinct way. I’ve always been talking about those messages, but it’s less about hacking happiness and more about living with hidden anxiety, and I want the podcast content and the name to reflect that. That’s going to be coming up.

At the end of this episode, I’ll be sharing more about my process with that and how my Monger has been raising its ugly head. I think it’s just a fascinating and you may relate to how our Mongers are so freaking sneaky. They are so sneaky. Even I who am a professional Monger slayer ( I like to think) struggle with how wily my Monger is.

But first, let’s dive into the seven episodes that I love the most or have the most fondness for in of the hundred that I’ve done over the past few years. The first one is Episode 003: Why Positive Thinking is Keeping You Stuck. If you’ve listened to the previous 99 episodes, you know I’m not a fan of positive thinking. But when I specifically did this episode, this was really early on in my podcasting, obviously, just Episode 003. It was scary to say positive thinking is keeping you stuck because a lot of people, in my profession, love positive thinking. It is a big factor in the wellness industry to think positive and be grateful, and I believe those are really keeping us stuck and prevent us from really feeling the feelings, at least for my clients and the people I work with. When we get stuck in positive thinking and gratitude, we use it as a weapon against our feelings and against what’s happening. So if something bad is happening in our lives, we turn it into positive thinking, or we try to switch our brains.

Just yesterday, I posted something on Instagram. It said, “Choose Happiness.” And then it said you can’t choose happiness because it’s a feeling and we can’t control our emotions. I believe that’s why positive thinking is keeping you stuck because it doesn’t allow you to deal with what’s happening. As someone who said on the Instagram post, choose acceptance, and that is precisely what I wanted people to be doing, choosing the acceptance of whatever is happening with them rather than just trying to do positive thinking. So tune into Episode 003, and you will hear more of my thoughts on this.

My next favorite episode is Episode 022, A Ban on Unsolicited Advice. This episode was originally a blog post, and I wrote it years ago. Honestly, I wrote it because I was so overwhelmed by a particular friend’s advice. Because I am conflict avoidant and was conflict avoidant at the time that I wrote this, I wrote this blog post to get all my feelings out. My friend realized it was about her, and we had a great conversation about it afterward.

But, this is one of my favorite episodes, and it’s one of my favorite blog posts because I do believe we need a ban on unsolicited advice. It is the first thing we do when someone comes to us with their suffering is we offer tips to help instead of offering empathy, instead of just saying, “Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I have no clue what to say to you right now, but I love you,” or, “I appreciate you,” or give them a hug. We don’t need to be fixing everything. I love this episode, one, because it has a personal story behind it, but mostly because I love the message. I think we all can get better on giving advice, and not offering advice, and just being there for people when they show up.

Then, Episode 034 Why Pay Twice? is my third pick. This is a sentimental pick. This is advice from my dad that he gave me years ago. Not just to me. It was a general philosophy of his of why pay twice. The general example I give is if you go to the movie and you pay for the movie and then the movie is terrible, why sit through the movie when you have already paid for it? Why pay twice by sitting through the movie?

In this podcast, I get into a lot more examples and why this is just a deeper piece of advice than don’t pay for a movie and then sit through it if you hate it. It is about the choices we make in our lives and that we will convince ourselves we can’t do something because we’ve already made a choice. That’s a concept you’re paying twice. You’re doubling down on your misery. And why do that?

I love this podcast because it’s written for my dad. I love this because this was originally an article, and it appeared in Juice Squeezed, which is the first book I wrote. The number one thing that people quote back to me is people will say, “I read your book Juice Squeezed, and I loved the why pay twice advice. It changed my life.” Then, people will give me examples of how it’s changed their lives. So not only is this a sentimental pick because it was my dad who gave me the advice, but it also is such practical good advice. It’s rare that you hear something and you’re like, “Oh, yeah. You’re so right about that,” and then you can apply it deeper, and deeper, and deeper. I highly recommend you check out this episode because it gives some deeper level advice on the concept of why paying twice.

Then we are at number four, and this is Episode 068, My Dad, Grief, and Living Happier. This is by far the most personal episode I’ve ever done. I recorded it in October after my dad died in January of 2017. His death rocked my world. I still feel the aftershocks of his death. He was just my biggest fan and my rock. I just love my dad so much, and I miss him so much every day.

I wanted to do an episode about grief because I wanted to have that conversation. Because so often after someone dies, we forget that there’s still suffering. We’re still trying to adjust to life without the person who died. That goes on, and on, and on for years, we’re still trying to adjust to that. I think in our culture the more we can talk about, “Yeah, I’m still missing him. Yeah, there are days that I still cry on my way to work,” because that’s normal. After a friend of ours loses someone, we forget that they’re still grieving years later and we forget how hard it is. Grief can be such a lonely thing, and so this episode was kind of how to help other people that are grieving, how to help you if you’re grieving, just an honest conversation about my process and what it was like after my dad died.

His death profoundly shaped my work. I think if he had not died, I would never have written The Happier Approach. A friend of mine said that The Happier Approach was like a love letter to my dad, and in so many ways it was. It makes me tear up just thinking about it now. Because he dealt with high-functioning anxiety and he had a very loud monger, and so that book was a way of helping him and me and stopping the pattern that had profoundly affected his life and trying to help other people so that that pattern doesn’t continue. I’m very grateful for him, and what he’s taught me, and how he affected my life so that I could continue this work that I’m doing.

Then, number five is Episode 072: The Power of Ask. I love this episode because this is the first time I chatted about The Happier Approach. I chatted about Mongers, I chatted about inner critic and anxiety, but I’d never really talked about the system of how to call in your Biggest Fan and what that looks like. This was my first step into talking about The Happier Approach, and talking about ask, and getting into the nitty-gritty of my work, and the work of The Happier Approach.

Now, I will say this is the first in a three-part series. So I did cheat a bit because all the parts don’t count as three episodes. I just posted the first episode, but there’s also two more that follow this, episode 73 and episode 74. They continue the conversation of ask. So technically, I guess I have 10 favorite episodes. You can head on to episode 072, The Power of Ask, and dive into the concepts in The Happier Approach.

Then, number six was Episode 082, The Warm, Cozy Sweater of Our Monger. I struggle with the idea of the warm, cozy sweater of our Monger. It’s not my favorite analogy, but it is one that gets repeated back to me a lot. Clients use it a lot, so it stays with people, but I wish there was a better way of saying it. But, I wanted to show how the Monger isn’t all bad, and it does provide us comfort because she keeps us safe and prevents us from taking too many risks. We put her on like a warm, cozy sweater. When we first put her on, she’s warm, and cozy, and makes us feel safe and protected, and oh yeah, I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to be putting myself out there. Then, over time, the sweater gets itchy, and she, the monger becomes harmful, and annoying, and belittling, and is keeping us stuck. We realize that the sweater that was warm and cozy has turned into the super itchy straight jacket, and we want to get it off as quickly as possible.

That’s why I came up with the analogy was a way of illustrating we first start listening to the monger; it can be comforting. That’s why she’s so hard to break up with because she is comforting. Even when the sweater gets itchy, at that point we don’t know how to take it off, and we get stuck, thus we go back to episode 72, and we hear about the power of ask. But really, this monger sweater idea is a powerful analogy. I wish there was a slightly better way of doing it because it doesn’t fit 100%. So if you have a better way of coming up with that, that illustration, please let me know. You could send me an email. But, a lot of times clients will come into my office, and they’re like, “I keep wearing the sweater. I keep putting on the sweater. I keep putting on the sweater.” That’s just a great way of recognizing how the monger, we keep wearing it. We keep choosing it, even though we know it’s going to keep us stuck.

Then, the seventh episode that is my favorite is episode 094, Lessons Learned in Iowa. This episode was different than all the other ones I’d done before. I mean, I received a lot of notes and emails about this podcast, and so that’s why I included it in the seven top episodes because it touched a lot of people. I wanted to highlight it again.

For me, Lessons Learned in Iowa, it was about a trip. My mom and I took a trip to Iowa to visit some family friends. They’re farmers in Iowa. We used to visit them when I was a kid. The husband served in the military with my dad, and so they’d been friends forever. He knew my dad. There was a lot of sentimentality to the trip. But more so than that, personally, it was just all these lessons I learned about how to be a human and how to be whole-hearted. It was just an amazing trip that I hadn’t planned on having all these a-has that I had there. I highly recommend you tune into that episode to hear a different way of doing things. I think in our current climate culturally we are so quick to judge and be outraged that this episode was just kind of warms the heart and gives you hope that there is good out there in the world and that we can be useful, and we can do better. So, I highly recommend episode 94.

Those are my seven episodes from the past 100 that I have enjoyed the most and wanted to give you a little insight to each of them so you can go back and listen to them if you like. I appreciate everyone that has listened for the past 100 episodes, who have emailed me, or Instagrammed me, or gotten in touch to say how this podcast has touched their lives. That is incredible to me because this podcast was something I just started. I call it my garage, garage band podcast because I just did it in my office and edited it myself. It’s been very piece together and fly by the seat of my pants, and this is what I want to talk about, so I’m just going to start talking. That’s been fun.

I want to up my game when it comes to the podcast, so this is where my Monger has been coming in. I teased at the beginning of the episode, that I want to talk about high-functioning anxiety, and hidden anxiety, and the stress and overwhelm that we’re all dealing with. But, I want to do that differently with this podcast and make it a little more professional, take myself a little more seriously, not just fly by the seat of my pants all the time and be editing it on the fly, but intentional about what the message is. I’m going to be doing interviews, and more research, and just having it be a little more professional and a little more in-depth so you can get more out of it than just hearing me chat, which is excellent. I love hearing me chat, too, (ha!) but to have a little more depth to it.

Ever since I made that decision, which was months ago, I have been paralyzed by my monger. It wasn’t until recently a friend of mine has just been like, “I think it’s your monger. I think it’s your monger, and she’s holding you back. You’re taking your podcast out of the garage, and you’re making it a professional thing, and that’s scary.” It was like, “Oh, yeah. That’s why I’m procrastinating. That’s why I’m spinning out on perfectionism. I’m getting in my way all over the place with this thing.” It was a humbling moment to recognize how much our mongers play there and we don’t recognize it.

I wanted to share with you all that something new is coming, that I’m working on this more in-depth, more professional, more focused podcast. But also, I too have been struggling with my monger. I think any time we’re trying to level up, go to the next place and be more intentional about our lives; our Mongers get louder because it’s scarier. That’s why it’s crucial then to practice ask, and acknowledge what you’re feeling, and slow down and get into your body, and pull back and see the big picture because our mongers keep us with those blinders on, and it’s just very paralyzing.

So if you are getting ready to do something big or you have some great idea, and your monger is in your way, I’m here with you. I feel you. We can do this together. We can make changes. We can grow, get our Mongers out of the way, and bring in that biggest fan, and do it differently. I will see you guys soon. I don’t know exactly when that will be, but I will be coming down the pike with episode 101 with a new look and similar message. It’s just going to be on a deeper level with more interviews, and research, and more oomph behind it. I hope you will keep listening and tell your friends about it. I will see you when I’m back with episode 101. So in the meantime, though, here’s to living happier.

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