Episode 116: How Mr. Rogers Can Teach You To Slow Down And Be Present

Have you ever sat in a movie theater and been blown away by a single quote?

One little line just floats into your brain and holds on for dear life?

This happened to me last Thanksgiving watching the new movie about Mr. Rogers, It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

In the scene, Lloyd Vogel, a cynical journalist who has been assigned to do a profile on Mr. Rogers, is calling to set up their first meeting. He is shocked to have Fred Rogers answer the phone. Not his assistant, not his handler, Mr. Rogers himself. Lloyd, not wanting to waste the time of an important person, suggests they set another time to talk. Surely Mr. Rogers has more important things to do. 

And here is what blew me away: In response to this suggestion, Mr. Rogers says, “What do you think is the most important thing in the world for me right now? To speak on the phone to Lloyd Vogel.”  

When I heard this line I audibly gasped.

The quote got me thinking: How often do I miss conversations or important moments because, in my head, I am already moving on to the next thing? How often does my worrying about what comes next distract me from the important things that are happening right there in the present moment? 

Almost all my clients have mentioned to me how hard the month of January can be. For a variety of reasons–the darkness, the packing up of the holidays for another year, the inundation of self-improvement New-Year-New-You messages–this time of year can be challenging. 

This is why my goal this month is to give you different ways to think about this New-Year-New-You crap and reframe how you think of change and self-improvement. 

Today’s episode is about slowing down and being in the present moment. One of our greatest teachers of this concept is Mr. Rogers and so I thought it would be fitting to do an episode about Mr. Rogers’s effect and some of the ways he has taught me to be present.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How to use the Most Important Thing Test as a way to check in with ourselves and practice mindfulness
  • What the difference and similarities between mindfulness and meditation are
  • How the test helps us be gentle and stop mentally beating ourselves up
  • How to use the test to identify if something is even important
  • How when we don’t acknowledge our feelings we spend all of our time trying to ignore them
  • And how acknowledging our feelings is much easier than we are making it out to be


High Functioning Anxiety can be at it’s worst around the New Year. Whether it’s your resolutions or everyone else’s, you can feel yourself regularly cycling through scripts that tell you you’re not good enough unless you’re flawless, constantly available, and solving everyone else’s problems.

I’d love to help you embrace this new year with a fresh outlook, new tools, and–yes–a happier approach. I specialize in helping women like you living with High Functioning Anxiety to let go and make peace themselves.

Plus, coaching with me doesn’t have to take up tons of room in your already full schedule.

I work one-on-one with women like you to deconstruct why anxiety creeps up on you and give you something to do about it. Click here to learn more about working with me through on-demand coaching!