Kelly and Brooke answer a listener question about how best to maintain positive changes in life, when things start getting complicated.
In this episode Brooke and Kel answer a question they received in their Let It Be Facebook group recently:
“I just took a 3 month sabbatical and the difference it has made to my self-awareness, daily mindfulness and overall happiness is indescribable. I think it was the mental space created by such a massive change in routine that made everything I’ve been working on feel like it’s finally coming together. Any advice for maintaining these positive changes – in particular the changes to my mental habits – on my return to daily life and the stresses of work?”
This is a big topic for both Kelly and Brooke, as they discuss in this show. Those well-worn tracks of habit and behaviour patterns are well-worn for a reason, and it’s often when life gets busy or difficult that we find ourselves treading the old familiar path again before we even realise what’s happening.
Brooke talks about the importance of awareness, priorities and patience, as well as remembering to be compassionate as we learn how to negotiate these new paths, while Kelly shares her experiences in self-sabotage and how she now manages her behaviour to limit those regressions.
The other really important thing to remember, that both Kelly and Brooke agree completely on, is to give ourselves credit for the improvements we make, rather than lambasting ourselves for perceived ‘failings’. It’s somewhere in this delicate balance between willpower and gentleness that maintenance lies. (Which makes it sound easier than it is!)
Kel and Brooke have skirted around this topic for many months, but they think it’s time. Time to talk about privilege.
What is privilege exactly? And why is it such an important concept to understand? Brooke and Kel both talk through their own understanding of privilege – from their initial defensiveness towards the idea, through to acknowledgement.
It’s a topic that’s often met with resistance or outright anger, and they both talk in-depth about why that is. Kelly talks about the fact that we feel uncomfortable ever acknowledging our own privilege as it challenges the notion that “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Brooke talks about a Toby Morris comic that gave her a lot of clarity on what privilege actually looks like (and it’s not necessarily about being born in to wealth – it’s far deeper than that) and how it gave her language to articulate privilege without needing to feel guilty or defensive.
For Brooke, privilege is essentially about opportunity, while Kel posits it as headspace. Either way, this is a fascinating chat that will hopefully lead to a deeper conversation about the privileges that we are blind to, and those that are glaringly obvious to others.
This week Kel and Brooke talk about energy levels – specifically, how they manage theirs and why it matters to maintain a decent amount of energy when living a simpler, slower life.
Over the past few years Kelly and Brooke have both worked hard to create space in their lives and to give themselves room for less doing and more being, but there’s a really important part of the conversation that’s often missing – that it takes energy to both create, and maintain this space in life.
In today’s episode they discuss their thoughts on this, and why it’s been vitally important for both of them to figure out their own energy needs, what works, what depletes them, and how to fit enough of the good things in to life in order to provide enough energy to keep creating the life they want. Both Kelly and Brooke talk about the importance of good sleep and nutritious food, and Brooke talks specifically of her need for a good breakfast!
Kel also looks at the impact of her introversion on energy levels, and why high-intensity exercise is her non-negotiable when it comes to boosting energy. They also both talk through their experiences in having energy vampires in their lives and how they’ve managed to either let those relationships go or renegotiated the way they spend time with particular people as a result.
Kel and Brooke chat about their own personal experiences with depression and anxiety in this episode that’s slightly heavier than normal.
Recently Kelly and Brooke hosted A Simpler Way in Sydney, alongside their mate Alexx Stuart. As part of Kel’s presentation at the workshop, she shared her story of anxiety and depression – something that has had an enormous impact on her life for many years. Considering that Brooke has also openly shared her experience of post natal depression and that both ladies believe it’s important to speak freely about these issues, they decided to chat about it today.
They begin by sharing their personal experiences of anxiety and depression, as well as the process they each went through in recognising that there was an issue greater than ‘exhaustion’ at play. Brooke shares her experience with medication and treatment in the early days, as a mum of two little kids, as well as the management strategies she uses on a daily basis now.
Kel shares what the early days were like for her, how she reached out for help and why she always advises people who are suffering to talk to someone. Kel also talks about her current strategies and what happened when she found herself feeling the grip of anxiety again earlier in the year.
Interestingly, Kelly and Brooke both look at the initial dark period as a catalyst for some incredibly positive changes in their lives and as a result are far more aware of the impact stress, poor health, sleep deprivation and overwhelm has on their mental health today.
What drives us to quit? And what is the difference between quitting with intention and simply giving up?
In the first episode back after a few weeks’ break, Brooke and Kel tackle the topic of quitting. They both have some experience in this, as both Kel and Brooke have shuttered businesses in the past which, on the face of it, were quite successful. Today they discuss what lead them to the moment of quitting, what it felt like to make the choice and whether they’ve had any regrets in the years since. Brooke also makes the distinction between intentional quitting (in her case, a positive thing) and simply giving up on something because it was hard (not such a positive thing) and why her mantra is now, “We don’t quit on bad days.”
Kel talks about the cost-benefit analysis she walks through when considering whether to push on with something or not, and offers some insight into how she’s let go of something she’d invested so much in.
There’s a fine line between the good kind of quitting and the bad, and hopefully this honest conversation about both sides of the coin will give you some food for thought if you find yourself wondering what would happen if you simply walked away.
In the final episode of this season, Brooke and Kelly look at what it means to be OK with being just OK.
Spurred by a comment in the Let It Be Facebook group, Kelly and Brooke wanted to talk about the idea of simply being mediocre in life. That not everything is about striving and bettering and being at the top of your game, and not surprisingly, they have both similar and different views on this.
Both Brooke and Kelly are strivers in certain areas, but Brooke is a more go with the flow person in general, whereas Kel likes to do things as well as humanly possible all the time. It’s part of the reason she’s so successful in everything she does. Interestingly though, they both understand the importance of living a life with contentment, not using striving as an excuse to be unhappy.
The Facebook comment also touched on the idea of selfishness – is it selfish to not use our talents and strengths to their fullest capacity, thereby starving the world of our gifts – or do we not owe the world anything?
What do you do when the burden of responsibility feels too heavy? How can you reduce that weight without running away from everything and everyone who relies on you?
In this episode, Brooke and Kel look at the idea of responsibility and why, at times, it feels so incredibly, exhaustingly heavy. They discuss what those responsibilities look like for each of them, when they feel heaviest, and how they can tell that the burden is getting a little too heavy.
Importantly though, they also talk about how to deal with that feeling without resorting to the oft-dreamed-of solution of running away and living in a cabin, and how they both manage responsibility by utilizing strategies such as taking a break, creating or protecting their whitespace and learning to be OK with the seasons of discomfort or overwhelm. They also chat about the option of simply doing fewer things and working out whether the responsibilities are real or imagined.
Brooke talks about the subtle but important mindset shift that happens when she acknowledges her choice in bearing most of her responsibilities, that regardless of how heavy it feels and how tough the day is, there is a choice in turning up. And while that doesn’t necessarily make it easier, it does help in owning the decision to turn up – even when we don’t want to.
A little reprieve from the deep, existential conversations we know and love, this week Kelly and Brooke look at their current reading lists.
Both Kel and Brooke are avid readers, never without a book (or three!) on their bedside table. This week they take a look at what they’re currently reading, as well as those books they’ve recently finished which have struck a chord.
Kelly is probably more likely to read a good non-fiction than Brooke, with a good business or self-improvement book often in her list. The ones she’s read recently include Sarah Wilson’s First, we make the beast beautiful, Kate Toon’s Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur and Brooke’s own Destination Simple.
Kel also loves a good fantasy or science fiction read too, and has just finished Hugh Howey’s Beacon novel and Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire.
Brooke is an unapologetic fiction lover, who is enamoured with Stephen King’s Dark Tower fantasy series at the moment. She’s up to book four – Wizard and Glass – which is her favourite to date, and Kel is happy to learn that King’s books aren’t all zombie cats and murderous supernatural clowns.
Brooke’s also recently finished Hannah Kent’s The Good People (beautiful and disturbing), Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country and the wonderful, wonderful Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall. Thrown in the mix was also Sarah Wilson’s newest book (which is very very beautiful and raw and smart and wise).
It’s a really fun chat between two massive book nerds, and Kel and Brooke have a great time discovering new titles and discussing the reasons they love the books they do.
In today’s episode, Brooke and Kelly talk about the idea of acceptance, and why it’s not necessarily the same thing as giving up or giving in.
Kelly is a relatively new convert to the idea of acceptance – particularly in the way she views it in terms of control – and shares how learning to live with the idea of acceptance (sometimes, at least!) has helped her to let go a little of worries and future problems.
Brooke also shares her thoughts on the idea of acceptance and why sometimes it’s a positive thing to roll with the punches of life, while other times it can be an easy excuse for not fixing things that could be fixed, and perhaps even should be.
As always, the girls discover it’s a delicate balance that looks different to everyone, and the level of acceptance that works in one part of their own lives won’t be applicable in other areas. It’s also worth exploring what we do and don’t have control over, as this is a good place to begin to understand what we have to accept, and what we’re able to change if we want to.
Change is a topic that comes up a lot on Let It Be, and both Kelly and Brooke are advocates for embracing change, but what happens when it feels like life is constantly in flux?
We can view this as a frustration, that we need to be constantly on the lookout for changes in our attitude, behaviours or circumstances OR we can view it as simply part of life. That is, we change. We evolve. We learn and grow and become different. As a huge fan of change, this is something Brooke feels really positive about and it’s interesting to hear Kel talk about her own experience of growth vs fixed mindset.
Kel and Brooke also talk about the difference between regression, recalibration and falling off the horse, concluding that change is part of life and while there are times that we will slip back into habits we’d prefer to move beyond, it’s OK to recalibrate regularly. In fact, it can lead to amazing things.
Also check out the details for A Simpler Way in Sydney on April 30 over at asimplerway.com.au