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May 9, 2023

Overcoming Mental Traps And Finding Your Compass | Jenna Irving

In this episode, Jenna Irving shares her personal journey of overcoming mental traps and finding her "compass."

"Because you really don't know how much time you have. And I felt like I had wasted so much time living in my head. I had to step out of my head." - Jenna Irving

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In this episode, Jenna Irving shares her personal journey of overcoming mental traps and finding her "compass."

"Because you really don't know how much time you have. And I felt like I had wasted so much time living in my head. I had to step out of my head." - Jenna Irving

She talks about getting lost in worry and stress before finding a life mentor who helped her overcome these challenges. Jenna also discusses the awakening process triggered by the loss of her mentor, which led her to focus on self-care and living authentically. Throughout the episode, Jenna emphasizes the importance of shifting perspective, thinking positively, and using storytelling to teach life lessons. She also stresses the significance of encouragement in creative projects and living in the heart space to overcome discouraging thoughts.


Jenna Irving is a copywriter and content creator who understands the importance of using words that connect with clients and build long-term relationships based on loyalty and great communication. With her creative writing background and English degree, along with her soft skills of high-level empathy and intuition, and hard skills of copywriting, editing, creativity, marketing, and content strategy, Jenna helps clients build their brands with the best-chosen words.


Connect with Jenna at http://www.jennairving.com.



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This episode is a reminder that we all face mental traps and challenges in life, but by sharing our experiences and focusing on what really matters, we can find our compass and overcome these obstacles.


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Hello, my friends. Welcome to the Life Shift podcast. I am here with a new connection, Jenna. Hey, Jenna. Hey, hey, thanks for having me, Matt. Thanks for being here. I know we've been talking about this for a while and trying to get together so that we can have this conversation. And I think I'm gonna really relate to what you're going to share today. And I think it's important that people like you come on the show or any other show where you can share your story and your experience in it. And really just those human moments because I don't think there's enough people out there having these conversations. And so I'm just so honored when people are like, yes, Matt, I will come on the show and I will share something with you. And so I appreciate you just being here and being willing to do it. Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you thinking of me and having me on. And we talked to before we started recording. This is possibly Jenna's first. guest appearance on a podcast, even though she considered starting a podcast in the past. So I hope it's a good experience and then you're ready to do your own and, and kind of make it as part of your business or whatever you choose to do. Yeah. I'm excited to be a guest today. It's always a little nerve wracking, right? We're like, Oh, what are we going to say? But hopefully we just have a really candid conversation about this journey of your life and how this specific pivotal moment has impacted you and what you've kind of learned from it and what we can kind of teach others that might feel so alone in something very similar. So I just appreciate you. So in that vein, I think it would be great if you could somewhat paint the picture of what Jenna's life was like, you know, up leading up to that moment. Like what were you doing? Like Give us a little bit of backstory to kind of this, this pivotal moment that we're leading up to. Yeah, so I feel like my life is made up with so many shifts, but the shift we're gonna talk about, just leading up to this one, I think I had like so many people gotten so consumed by life, just, you know, the routine and running around and getting stuck in my head to the point where I was just, I kind of lost my navigation a bit. I had... finished my degree, which as you know, when you're in academics, it's like all left brain and you kind of lose that soul side of you where you're, you know, that self compass, you know, you're so consumed by, you know, just life. I've been working full time and I'm a parent and it was just consuming and moved not long before that and just being consumed. So I just got into the point where I was. you know, a bit regressed back to just living in anxiety and stress and catastrophizing in my head and trying to always prevent, you know, any sort of conflict from occurring. So just really just that that moment of being consumed, you know, where we lose kind of our, our compass of being able to, where our thoughts are starting to think us rather than we're thinking them kind of thing. When you were growing up, did you feel like you were living kind of like a checklist life in which society, whoever that is, tells us that we have to do this, then this, then you need to get your degree, and then you need to get this job, and then you need to have a family, and then you need... Does that play into kind of how you were feeling here? It was like you were really kind of creating or you were following that path that we were told to. and really just focused on like containing everything within that road. I think I had gotten into that. I think before I, honestly, I'd been a bit of a rebel about the conventional path. Like I did my first year of university and though I loved it as, you know, life-changing year in Chicago, at the end, I was just like, you know, I don't know what I'm supposed to do yet. So why would I go into debt for uncertainty? Like, so. So I did, and I traveled for a bit, eventually met my husband. And I think eventually we did try to do that. We tried to build the American dream and all of that, but it ended up just being like, the American stress load. Which is, I think that's what it's masked as. Yeah. So I think part of that leading up to it was being a bit consumed by that. And eventually we moved and decided, let's just recalibrate completely and find a balance again. So I think... being consumed by it all was just moving me to find that balance, I guess, if that makes sense. I get it. I think that when you're taking on all the responsibilities of like getting a degree, having the family, having all the things, it's hard to think outside of that bubble. And is that kind of what you were saying? Like you lost that compass of, of feeling things outside of whatever was in your hands on control? Yeah, I think I just, you know, I think the like we get so lost in it all that just somewhere along the way I just got by consumed by the worry because the more we are committed to this outside success and all of these things we're supposed to be and supposed to do, I guess I just I don't know, it just feels like as you grow older and you have a family, just the worries and everything just increases and kind of takes over. It takes over when you're not paying attention. Tell us a little bit more about leading up to that, this moment in your life that really changed things as one that we're going to talk about today. Yeah. So I've had this, a mentor for 16, was 16 years, 16, almost 17 years and not like... and a mentor in the sense of like, if you would combine just to give you kind of an idea, not just like a professional mentor, it's like a life mentor. And I really lucked out when it came to life mentors. Like, if you would combine like, imagine like Tuesdays with Mori, with Dumbledore, Gandalf, Yoda, like, all in one, like, you're a super soul mentor, I really lucked out. So he was the one who had a solution to every problem. Like it was just who could always set you back on track. And I think those years leading up to when he left, I was so consumed with my mind and worries and stress and everything that I almost couldn't hear his advice anymore, even though he was continually giving me the solutions, I couldn't hear them because I was so in my own way. How did you guys meet? How did you get? this mentor in your life? I met him through my husband. He was kind of a family friend of my husband's family. It's so interesting too, when we find these people in our lives, to go from like, I just met this person. How does someone become, you know, like a mentor, a life mentor with all those attributes after meeting them? You know, I think it's so weird to think back to my friends. and try to think back to the moment we met and then how did they become my friends? So how did you like venture into this space? It is, I mean, have you ever thought about that? It's very odd to think, like, how did we become friends after just meeting randomly? And how did we create the relationship that we have? But in your case, it's so interesting because you describe this person as a, like a life soul. mentor that's like a guide, I guess, in some capacity, like how does someone graduate to that level in your life that you can accept? You know, forgetting the time where you kind of got lost in your own space, but like how that leading up to that, like, how do you accept that in your life? Like some random person, and now they can be the solution maker and someone that you trust enough to kind of follow the guidance. I know many people probably won't see it this way, but you know, there are just those few people in your life who just feel like chosen for you. It's like there was some prearrangement where you were supposed to, your paths were supposed to intersect at such and such point. And that's really how it felt. And I was always just kind of seeking wisdom and truth and all of those things. So I think being open is what brought it in. And I'm also a skeptic at heart. So and he knew that as well. So I'm not I'm not just like, we'll trust anyone. So this person was just very special, very like, one of those intersecting path kind of people. And so through the 1617 years, they were your, I guess, I mean, earlier, you said you lost your own compass, was he somewhat of your compass in a way? Um, I wouldn't say he was my compass, but he would always always help me recalibrate my own compass, if that makes sense. So you had to have the awareness to bring it to him or would he be kind of like, hey, wake up? Yeah, it would be both times. Yeah, I mean, I think he was hoping I'd, you know, wake up sooner than I did just in those years of stress and being consumed. Cause before I wasn't like that. I think it was, you know, you're more free in your twenties and it's just like, it's okay. But then you get in your thirties and things are like, gotta do this and this and you know, all the ducks feel like they have to be in a row and. Yeah, and we put that on ourselves for some reason. I'm not sure why we do it. Like you said, it's the American dream, but I think it's just the name for stress. Exactly. So in your explanation of him, you briefly mentioned before he left. And so I'm assuming this moment in your life that changed a bunch of things is related to that. What? How did he leave? So he so everyone I mean, he wasn't just my, you know, mentor, he was many people. So it was like the one person who, who would never really had any problems. But we all go to him for our problems. But so we always thought he would always be there just because he was the strongest, right. But he got sick within a very short span. and then passed away very quickly within a matter of months. It was just beyond, like nobody was ever believing he was gonna leave. We're like, oh, he's sick, but he'll be fine. Like if anyone's gonna be fine, it's gonna be him. But then he passed away within, I think just within like six months of us all finding out that he was sick and at a young age of 73. When you found out that he was sick, and through this period of, oh, he'll be fine. Were you still in that phase of your life in which you felt kind of losing that compass or the way you were describing it? Were you still in that? Or were you now, did the fact that he was sick trigger anything in those changes? Or was it more later on? So I think I had started the awakening process just because I started focusing less on myself, which I think was the big reason why I had kind of lost my compass because I started making everything about me. I was in just this me mindset and just being ruled by that I, which I always have found and my mentors always kind of said very lightly that our lives really reset when we have kind of more of a we mindset or we get out of that me mindset. I think it's natural that humans can kind of like fall into that, that me, me, me, because a lot of times we have to do a lot of things, right? And a lot of things are impacted by what we do and we forget that there is this bigger picture and sometimes it takes something bigger than us to kind of awaken us. And so I guess, I guess my thought or question would be... When you found out he was sick, even though you thought, you know, in this weird way, obviously not logically, but in a spiritual way that he was immortal, right? He wasn't going to... The sickness was just, he was sick briefly. It was not going to be a long-term kind of thing. Was there a part of you that thought, oh no, like I'm going to lose this mentor of mine that has helped me through so many different pieces? And that's what triggered the awakening or did something else kind of move you away from that, that me to we? I mean, I really think the whole reset was when he left when he passed away when I found out. It was just like, it was just such a shock that, like you said, I just never thought it was was gonna happen. I mean, I had moments where I you know, I would really worry about it. But then it was just like, no, he would want me to, you know, I guess he would have wanted me to just thought positively about it, I suppose. But yeah, so it was really just a shock completely. Yeah, when he when he actually passed, it wasn't necessarily the diagnosis of his illness or whatever that may be. Had have you in the past before his passing? Had you lost anyone close to you before? Yeah, people in my lives, but my life this one. just because we were so close. It's just kind of that next level kind of loss. The reason I ask is I talk to a lot of people, not necessarily on this podcast, but people I know. And I always, you know, it's probably because of my background, you know, having my mom die when I was so young, I've experienced death many times since, and it's a different experience every time. And of course, you know, different relationships create that. But I also know people that haven't experienced death. And so, Sometimes that can be really triggering because the first time is so shocking because you really haven't like, I mean, you understand that other people die and stuff, but you don't understand what it's like when someone that close to you dies. And it sounds like this gentleman was almost at the level of like a parent, like a very like close knit relationship, if you will, that other people could relate to. And so when he died, was that like the, when you heard the news, was that like your trigger to be like, okay, it's time to to make a couple changes here, it like, created an awareness in you? Was it was it like a phone call or something like that? Yeah, it was just absolutely. It was just like, wow, I mean, I have to wake up now. Like, there's no time to waste, you know, in my head anymore. Like this is real, like life is real. It's not just some like game we can play where we can waste a bit of time. It was just like I felt like I woke up. Because you really don't know how much time you have. And I felt like I had wasted so much time living in my head. I had to step out of my head. And I had to just, yeah, I mean, the biggest wake up is just like stepping outside of my head and I got to do this. What was the first big noticeable change in your life? after that, like what was that first big awakening step you took or something that you did differently because now you're like, oh, time is not infinite. And I need to do something in my life. What changed first for you? I think it was a slow progression of just getting outside of my head and not focusing so much on myself that then things on the outside started falling more into place. Anything in particular that that like you started doing differently? I think I just started taking more time to work on myself in a way of more meditating more more just, you know, ways of getting outside of my head. You know, you you mentioned going from me to we but how did that manifest in changes in your life because I think sometimes like, some people are like, oh, so and so passed away from this. And then that next day, they're like, I'm going to run a marathon because I'm not going to get to that point, or, you know, I'm, I'm going to quit my job because life is short and this is what's going to happen. So just curious if there was something like that. Like I think when my mom died, I didn't understand death at the time. And I didn't understand what that was going to be like, but I do looking back, notice the things that I changed in my life. to avoid the same pain. And so in that instance, I became a good student. I started getting good grades. Because in my mind, if I get good grades, my father wouldn't be upset and he wouldn't leave too. And so, you know, like, those are like the things that I see that I was doing differently. It wasn't a good thing, but it was just like my protection. And so if you feel this awakening, like what changed about your life now that you were living in this we mentality? more so than living kind of in your head, kind of self, you know, dealing with the self. Like as I, as I recalibrated, I got back to, you know, my initial passion of writing, which is what I love to do. And ironically, the last words he wrote to me in a, in a text, which was in a different context, but ironically, it's the last thing I said he said was right. Right, it right, right. We always we spoke in French, I took like a you know, a whole 180 of focusing fully on writing again, it's always been a part of me. You know, I had a book that I'd been working on for five years, and I think it was just within the year that he left, I finished it. I pivoted to focus fully on my writing career. I think I had been delaying a lot of things in my life, just during those kind of years, and that were in a pause sort of mentally. And I just started taking more action. more steps, more small steps towards, towards goals that I wanted, that I thought maybe I couldn't achieve. But I think I feel like the the biggest noticeable changes were more inside of, you're not being consumed by anxiety, not not being so consumed with, you know, just living in the head that things on the outside started falling more into place. So it's kind of an inner sort of that inner work first, and then everything on the outside. Just, and also when somebody passes away, it is like you go from this hyper focused angle on problems that really don't mean anything. And then you're just like, bam, you're shot up into the air in an aerial view and you see the big picture and you're like, oh my gosh, everything I ever worried about literally didn't matter. Yeah, it's so focusing more on the relationships in my life. Yeah, you just really realize what matters. And that helps take away all the anxiety and the fears that you had before, because they just really didn't matter. I mean, our minds really make them matter, right? Until we say them out loud and then we're like, oh, it's not so bad. Yeah. Or you compare it with something like death and like, maybe this really doesn't matter. Would you say that after he passed, you were, you leaned into living a more... authentic life on the outside to match the inside and kind of letting your passions and your heart centered work kind of take charge. Yeah, I would say so. Yeah. Because of that, that to that point of like, death, like all these little things that I'm worrying about don't matter. Yeah, all the things are taking up space. Like I cleared out the room and got space for all the things that do matter and, and the room to focus on, like you said, fulfilling my passions and, and my authentic self as we call it. What were you doing before, uh, work-wise that you weren't like solely focused on writing was, did you leave that part behind? What was that? I didn't leave it behind. I, I still transitioned. So it was just doing it more on the side, which I'd always done because writing At least, I mean, in my 20s, it wasn't such a easily to make it to a career like now. Like there's so much other. Yeah, it was all publishing houses at the time. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, of course there, you know, there were things like blogs and whatnot, but it had always been something I did on the side. But I had lost even that, that part of me that had always done it on the side just during all those consuming years. I can relate to that because I think I part of me and maybe I'm just projecting here but part of me feels that these these passion projects such as writing, podcasting art, creative things that feed our souls and like make us feel alive. Many of us have put those things to the side because we feel that other people expect us to be successful in whatever that we're doing. And if we do that and we aren't successful, there's a fear there that like my art and my passion is not going to like do the thing that everyone else can see as successful. And so I can relate to kind of getting lost in that, like that performative state of like, everyone needs to see me do this. So I can't do that. Do you feel like that's why you didn't finish your book until after he passed away? Yeah, I think part of it, part of it is just. When also we, we have this idea, we can't make money from what we love doing, which is just like a limited, limited belief, right? But yeah, I mean, another reason I finished the book was just, I couldn't really write that ending until I had, you know, fully made the one 80 myself. Yeah. It's interesting. Do you think you knew that at the time when you had kind of pause, not finishing the book? Do you think you knew you needed that, that change, or was it just like, it just felt unfinished. And so you just never finished it until you had. that experience? Like, did you know? Probably subconsciously, I knew but I didn't have the ending like I just couldn't write it until but then once I you know, gone through that, that shift, it was it so easily came out. When you look back at that version of you before he passed away, does it feel like a different version of you? Or what's like what's the biggest change in your life right now? Yeah, I mean, it definitely feels like a different version. I have just kind of, you know, 90% of the time, that aerial view where I can see the bigger picture, you know, all the little things I used to worry about before just didn't, just don't matter anymore. Yeah, I just, you know, that central compass of having, you know, that focus of what really matters is really is life changing. Yeah, I had... My, when my grandmother got sick, she, she became my mom basically after my mom died. And when she got sick and I watched her die, uh, I remember. Towards the end, she said something very similar to what you're saying is that I wish I hadn't worried so much because all that matters is love in the end. And me having, you know, spent a lot of time trying to grieve my mom unsuccessfully for so long and then finally did, but having the ability to watch. you know, to be with my grandmother as she was passing away. I feel the same way that you did in the sense that none of this other stuff matters, like why am I working so hard in these areas that don't bring me joy that I don't care about to make other people money when I should be leaning into the things that I enjoy doing and want to do because I just watched this person die. And they like told me to stop worrying about the things that don't matter. And then I just leaned into everything and tried to just do the things that serve me and not what might impress someone on the outside, which was my MO for so long, because I was protecting myself. Yeah. So I totally believe what you're saying is that like, you were just like, okay, all I wasted so much time doing this, but I think that serves you. Right? Do you think that, that, you know, it gives you a better perspective now? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah, we need that shift so that we can see the contrast. Absolutely. And, you know, for so long, my, you know, mentor had told me, like, you know, whatever you do, just think positively. And I never really gotten it before, you know, I'm just like, what, like, think positively, life is hard, like, what does it mean? I mean, we have this new movement of toxic positivity, which I think is a bit of dangerous thing, if, you know, taken the wrong way. And what he meant by think positively is like, you know, yes, you can be sad, you can, you know, feel whatever you need to, you can feel sad, but like, don't go into despair, you know, or you can be, you know, angry about something, but don't go into the thoughts that, you know, start labeling things as just kind of those destructive mental habits that happen when we go through things. And I think I really realized just how important it is to think positively and how much it protects us from falling into those mental traps. Because it just takes one small thought. And if you identify with that thought, that could create a whole, could make your whole week bad, falling into that encouragement. really aligned because you're, you're making them out of fear or you're making them out of worry. Like I said before, it's like, sometimes the stories that we tell ourselves in our head are much scarier than if we were to say them out loud, or you probably relate to this as a writer, putting those words on paper kind of puts context around everything and gives you a better view. And that aerial view, I think is a good, you know, analogy or, or a good example of like how we can look at things and see the bigger picture and not like the minutiae that's like freaks us out for that brief moment that could then spiral and snowball into to a big mess. Was the think positively the one that stands out the most of the like the best long-term advice that he gave you or is there something else that he shared that that you kind of use as a mantra? I mean I feel like there's so I mean there's so many things and I don't know if this makes sense, but so many of the things, like, I feel like you can't even put into words, but a big part of it is really just stepping outside of the self, which is, like, I think one of the biggest shifts we can make in life is when we, you know, we start serving, living a life in serving rather than in, and in giving, rather than always thinking what we're going to get and what we're going to receive and what might happen to us and what... might happen, you know, like all of these things, me, me, everything, me, me, me, me, like all of our, all of our thoughts are, start with the word I. And one of the biggest shifts we make is when we step outside and like we see the world as really big and we all live together here and finding ways we can serve, I think is, is just huge. That is just once we start living that life of giving and serving. It takes us outside of the eye and it's a huge antidote to all the anxiety that we feel. I feel. Stepping outside of yourself, were you that way before that cloudy period or is this a new thing post your mentor passing? Yeah. I think I had degrees of it, but not... near to the extent that I do. I mean, I was still like in my 20s and you know, somewhat immature thinking. So I don't think so. I was at to the degree that I that that I woke when when he left. And and and how you feel now. The reason I asked that is I wonder if there is something that we could share with others that could help them step outside of themselves. And if, if not, Do we think that someone needs an unfortunate event that would trigger this? I mean, I like the idea of people being able to live. I mean, learn through joy rather than pain. I wanna believe it's possible. And maybe that's what these stories and what you do helps people to learn these things before we have to experience them. I mean, I... I think that's a part of the gift of storytelling, right? That we learn these lessons through stories. That's the hope, right? That we don't have to make our own mistakes. We can just learn from people that have already done it, unfortunately, in a fortunate way. I think if we're open and to kind of receiving the lessons behind these stories, yeah. I ask that question because I think I'm jaded. I think... I think... I had to go through all of that in my life. Losing my mom, watching my grandmother die, spending years and years and years, quote unquote failing at my grief journey. I think I had to do all that in order to be the person that I am today, in order to sit down with hopefully hundreds of people and hear their stories and find... connections within them and understanding within them. But I don't think if I hadn't gone through it myself, and this is the jaded part, I don't know if I would be here. Do you, I know you said that you have to hope that you can learn through joy. So I would assume that you're not quite as jaded as I am, but. Yeah, I think I probably had to go through it as well. I think we all have kind of long roads we can take and shorter roads. I think there's always these things in life that kind of push us like, you know, to try to break these patterns in our life, but we either listen or we don't, or we wait until the big event that we have to, you know, not that life is doing this to us. But, but along the way, I think we're given these sort of pushes to break those patterns. But if we don't listen, you know, it might take the big event. Well, and it's also to your point, you mentioned, you know, all along, your mentor had been telling you to think positively. but it didn't really quote unquote click until a certain point, right? And so I've talked to other people where it's like the right words at the right time change so many things, but those same words at a different time could just be extra noise. Yeah, right. And I mean, it sounds so cliche to think positively. I think it annoys a lot of people these days. Look at the bright side. I know it's. It's more about how we react to things that happen. It doesn't mean we don't feel things, of course. It means how do we process them, you know, because we also easily go into despair when things happen or get discouraged, but when we don't have to. I think what made the big difference of that, I think, possibly, I mean, it sounds just like such empty words, but really it's not. I think what I saw, you know, when he left was all the things I created. by not thinking positively. All the things I opened in my life with negativity and thoughts and not listening to that advice. Because behind those words is actually like so much. It's... you really protecting yourself when you're thinking positively, because of what you open when you think negatively. Right? Yeah. Like long term protection, in a sense. Yeah. And I think you're right. I think people kind of sometimes see, think positively as like this. Oh, well, duh. But you know, like at the same time, you have to like, live and breathe that and it's not an in the moment thing, but it's more of a long term. kind of analysis of a moment of the positive side of this and how I can avoid going down the really steep hill that is so easily tripped and fall down. It's very easy to live in those moments and it's hard to get out of those moments too. Right, and that's the protection. That's the protection is why you don't go into those moments by thinking negatively, because like you said, it is so hard to get out. Well, I mean, I think too, I tell people this all the time. I don't tell them. I talk to them about it. That if you've ever been depressed, uh, and not clinically, just have a depressive feelings. It's a lot easier to stay depressed than it is to get out of it. There's a lot more work that's needed when you fall farther and farther down. There's a lot more work and it's a lot harder and it's so much easier to just stay there. I think the truth, the same can be said of the other side. that if you are up in this happy space, living authentically, leaning into what brings you joy, what helps others around you, you're living in that space, it's a lot harder to fall out of that space. Would you agree that this thinking positively for you keeps you up there? Yeah, because you start to learn or identify what will make you fall again. And one of my favorite ways to like kind of think about it is in order for us to like stay encouraged, like if you think of the word, like the Latin word heart, which like encouraged, which I like to think of the word of like living in your like heart space. I know it sounds cheesy, but if you're thinking of living outside of your mind, but when you're encouraged, you're living in the heart. And we always get these discouraging thoughts, which take us out of that heart space and put us in our mind. So the discouraging thoughts will come and be like, you know, See you haven't done anything with your life. See you're not going anywhere. See like nothing's happened. Whatever these discouraging voices come, wherever they come from. That discouraging, they take us out of that heart space. And when we learn to identify like, you know, these thoughts are not serving us at all. And I don't wanna go live in that head space anymore. Thank you. I think it's helpful to recognize, you know. it's the thoughts being positively doesn't mean be happy, huh? Like, you know, and like, it doesn't, that's not what it means. It means, you know, living in that heart space of, you know, knowing who you are and, and not falling into that trap of discouragement. And letting the the encourage part win when there still are those discouragement pieces. Yeah, you know, as you were saying it, I equate that to this podcasting journey for me. Leaning into this, I've never had a more fulfilling project. And I think because I am trying to do my best to lean into this project heart first. And trying in this, what you've been saying, in this we mentality is that this show is not about me. And sometimes this is not about my guests, but it's about the collective we around that are listening to these stories in hopes And this were to come back a little bit to me, but in hopes that that little boy version of me that felt so alone in the experience in hopes that someone that felt like I did doesn't feel like that. And so there is a there's a we there, but there's also, you know, that heart centered me that wants everyone to like feel like a big hug. You know, like we're not alone. Like we're all human. We're going to experience things a little bit differently. but there's a lot of commonalities, a lot more than there are differences, I think, at least what I found in this podcasting journey so far. So I love that idea of encouragement being in the heart and discouragement taking us away from that. And I think a lot of people, especially those that lean into projects like writing or creative more projects like that, can be so easy to hear the discouraging. parts. But if we if this part is stronger, I think it wins. Exactly. Yeah. And in just in learning to identify it slowly, because it's not going to just you know, listen to wake up one day and everything's, you know, you just see everything is great. Like, life is hard, but not living in that place of discouragement, not being stuck in the head, learning to identify the patterns of what, you know, oh, that's a discouraging thought, like learning to identify them so that you don't you don't get discouraged. Because I mean, like, I'm sure you're starting out your podcast journey, or anybody starting out on anything. Oh, you get so many discouraging thoughts, right? Like, this isn't go see nothing's going anywhere. This isn't gonna work, or this isn't gonna happen. And you're like, thank you discouraging thoughts, not helpful. And then you stay encouraged. I feel like as long as the scale is balanced, where or not balanced, but where the heart, the encourage part. relates your heart as much heavier than those discouraging things. It's like, that's why I feel like I can plow through. And I have, you know, in that first, in this first year that I've been doing it, I've really plowed through the noise in the space, right? The noise that tells you are enough people listening. Did that one change something? Did, did you move the mark? Did the needle move? I truly feel that not much of that matters because I still feel like we're serving the heart, the collective heart of this journey. I'm curious how you feel your writing has changed now that you're post losing your mentor and kind of awakening to this new version of you. Has your writing changed? Yeah, I think I found my true voice again, which I think, you know, everybody writes, but once you find your true voice, that's That's when things start scrolling. Like, so yeah, I mean, when you're living in that encouraged base and when you built it strong, like you've just said, you, you know, who you are and you find your voice and you can put that in everything that you do. And that's when, when things, when that's when change happens, that's when impact occurs. And you're, and you're, you're feeling good about this switch into writing and, and creating this new space for you. Right. You said you're doing this full time. Yeah, I just started, yeah, full time and yeah, I mean, it has its challenges for sure. But yeah, heart centered. But yeah, it's my passions, what I've, what I've dreamed up since I was a kid. So it's all it feels truer than, you know, anything I'm meant to do. Do you feel more alive doing this? Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's a product of all those years that you had with your mentor. And then kind of like where everything was like, oh, I'm taking all those things now. And these ones that didn't quite make sense at first, or I didn't listen to, because I wasn't ready to listen to them. You're suddenly probably looking back on some of those moments going, okay, I get it now. This is what he meant. Okay. Yeah. Like, yeah, I feel like all of the lessons were like somewhat like activated when he left. Like. I mean, it's interesting, the biggest lesson he left me was leaving, ironically, which I guess is what it took, which is, yeah. It's sad and it's also, unfortunately, part of life is this, the end of it, but it's not an end because in some sense, your mentor is at least living on in you, if not all the other people that he left a mark on. Exactly. What do you think he would say to you now that if he could see you doing what you're doing and the life that you're leading now? It's hard to sum it up. Just like, just live in joy. Just live in joy and just know everything will always work out no matter what. He'd probably be super happy that you're out of the cloud that you were in and that You know, you're doing the things that matter. He might be upset that you don't need him as much anymore, right? Because you're living in some of those moments. I always find it interesting asking the guests if you could go back to that version of you that was kind of feeling very lost and very focused on yourself because you were probably protecting yourself from something, but if you could go back with this, how you feel now. Is there anything you could say to her that would help her out of it sooner? I mean, I guess, I mean, as simple as it sounds, everything's going to be okay. Like there's, you really don't need to worry about anything or stress about anything like, oh, it just doesn't matter. It's all good. Like it's all good. Like even the bad stuff, it's going to be converted into something good anyway. So just don't worry. And the irony there is that those versions of us probably wouldn't have listened. and we would have catastrophized whatever was happening after that. You know, I think it's important. I know some of this part of some of this or sharing some of this story is hard. Uh, to think back on and to, to realize the loss and the, the big part of it. But what I think people will get from your conversation or your story is that. You know, there, there are ways that we can get lost. But there are certainly ways to find ourselves again. And it doesn't have to take something tragic. You know, just, you know, as silly as you say it sounds, think positively. Not everything's happy and rosy and wonderful, but that you're not falling into despair. And so I think that, you know, that is the big takeaway is that sometimes we're gonna get lost, but we gotta find our way back to the collective community. and helping others and doing the things that serve us. Because by doing the things that serve our heart, we're helping others, I think. You know, just what you're doing by writing, you're helping others. What this podcast is hopefully doing is helping others. But it feels so good and I'm sure the writing feels so good. So I just appreciate you coming on and digging a little deeper into some of these moments. Thank you for being a part of this. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for letting me share. And if people want to see like the book, can you tell us a little bit about what your book is? I know it's out now and people can can check it out. It's a bit of a unique one. It's called The Great Maapia. And it is it's a kind of a quest. It's actually an epic poem kind of a I'm a bit 12th century in my soul. So it's an epic quest poem. So it's a story, actually, that kind of leads people out of this hard dark night of the soul. there's a guide that kind of comes in different forms and sort of helps lead the person out. Eventually, you'll find out how they get out of it. But it's definitely kind of a unique piece. I sat down to write it as a novel and it came out as this poem and it's written in running a little parallel with some of the experiences that you've had and your guide along the way, maybe not in exactly the story, but. Yeah, there's definitely some parallels there for sure. Coming in. And I mean, sometimes oftentimes the real experiences that we have create a much richer, creative output, I guess, or some kind of output for people because it's, it's humanity. So. Thank you again for being a part of this. We'll link to all of your information. They can find out where your book is and how to get a hold of that and check it out. So it's just thank you for being a part of this. If you're listening to this episode and you like what you're listening to, I'd love a five-star rating and a review on Apple Podcasts. I don't know if it does anything for me beyond make me feel good. So that would be lovely. And until next week, have a wonderful. day, whatever time you're listening to this.