Self-Promotion as a Spiritual Practice favorite_border

Conversations from the Heart - October 4th 2019

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Business for Change

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

In this week’s episode, Rachel reflects on consciously having to make the effort to slow down during challenging weeks before diving into the delicate subject of self-promotion.

It’s hard. Super hard.

It takes courage to get out there and promote your work, while staying authentic to your truth, heart and passion.

After some negative comments on the promotion of her book, Rachel reflects on how to stay authentic, what might be triggering this reaction to her work, and the act of self-promotion from a heartfelt space. Promoting yourself is taking the work you created and putting it out into the world, opening yourself up for judgement, criticism, negative comments, and people possibly not liking your work. It takes a strong sense of self-worth to be able to have the confidence to promote yourself! It becomes a spiritual practice.

Looking within and determining whether you are promoting for validation or promoting from a heartfelt place is a good place to start. This is where the work comes in! Is what you are promoting is authentic, are you proud of what you do, does it come from a heartfelt space, does your work offer something to the world?

This episode will help you to gain more confidence in your work, navigate self-promotion, and tune into the art of promoting what resonates from the heart.

Yoga Girl 016390-min

Transcript

[001:06] Hi and welcome to a new episode of the Yoga Girl Podcast: Conversations From The Heart. Hi you guys! Hi you guys! I hope you’re having an amazing day, that you’ve had a really great week so far. Today, actually, I don't know how this happened, but today has become my pretend birthday. My birthday is October 5th, on Saturday, I turn 31. But, we are going to be in New York City celebrating, of course, on stage with a live podcast with so many of you guys. I am super excited and also kind of nervous at the same time. But what it means is I don’t get a chance to celebrate with the baby. So, we had a little fake, pretend birthday for me today, which has been super, super nice.

[001:50] We do this thing, I mean, I’m guessing most people do this thing, but in our family we like to surprise each other in the morning. So, you know, we pretend to stay asleep, and then we surprise each other with breakfast and balloons and cake and presents. All that stuff happens really in bed. So it’s kind of a big thing, that you pretend that you’re asleep the whole morning until you hear everybody singing, and then they come into the bedroom, and then you have to pretend that you’re just waking up, and oh my god I’m so surprised, you know? That’s the whole thing. Of course, the baby snuck into my room when I was pretend sleeping while I heard them cooking and preparing breakfast in the morning. And without anybody knowing she snuck into my room and she crawled into bed with me. And then she had this … I don’t even know what you call it. It’s like a thing you blow for birthdays? It’s like a horn of some sort? It’s so loud. It’s unbelievably loud. Like, this celebration horn … and blew it in my ear. She’s like, “Happy Birthday, Mommy!” And then Dennis came in like, “Lea! Get out! Get out! We haven’t gone in yet!” [laugh] It’s been … no, it’s been a super, super sweet morning.

[003:00] It feels good to have … I think, like, shouldn’t we all get two days to celebrate? It’s kind of fun to have an early day. And then Dennis and I will be alone in New York on Saturday morning, which will be my big celebration. I don't know about you guys, but for me, for every year that passes, I get less … I don't know, I feel like my birthday is less of a big deal. When I was young, birthdays used to be this huge thing for me. Not just when I was a kid. Of course when we’re kids, birthdays are the biggest thing ever. But even just a couple of years ago, I always had this feeling of like my birthday is this huge deal and I almost felt this kind of sense of pressure around my birthday to have so much fun and to throw a big party and … I don't know, since I had the baby, it just doesn’t feel that important anymore. It’s fun to celebrate, but it’s also, you know, it’s also kind of just another day. Oh my god, that sounds really cynical and sad. Is it? Is it cynical and sad? I’m not sure. It’s not like I feel like I have … in Sweden we have something we call [Swedish], which means you get a little paranoia around getting older. I don’t feel like that at all. Honestly, I think growing older, I just … I like myself more. The older I get, life feels a little bit, I don't know, easier to manage, I guess? Less … Less drama in my life. Less things to worry about, I feel, or maybe I’m just a little bit more easy going around things where I didn’t used to be easygoing. But it’s kind of nice to grow older. I think it’s fun to celebrate that too.

[004:34] But, oh, I have so many topics in mind! It’s kind of rare for me in a week that I have several things happen and pop up that make me go, “Oh my god! I need to record a podcast on this immediately!” But I’ve had a couple of those moments throughout this past week. So, let’s see where we begin. As usual, how about we do a little bit of grounding, a little bit of centering. So, wherever you’re at, if you can find a place to sit down and close your eyes, that would beautiful beautiful. If you’re on the go, that’s okay as well. But try to tap into the breath and connect here, now. Let’s do a really loud cleansing breath. So, if you’re on the subway right now or out and about doing something, let yourself be a little weird in public, that’s okay. So let’s take a huge, huge breath in through the nose, fill all the way up … pause at the top of the breath, so hold the breath in, and if you can, inhale a little bit further. And then loud and clear, let it out. Mmm. That always feels really good. You can bring the breath back through the nose and take a few moments just to feel what it’s like to be here, today. If you’re used to listening to this podcast once a week, perhaps you have this practice of just once a week tuning in this way. It’s kind of easy to see how different we feel on any given day. Maybe you have the practice of meditating, closing your eyes, tuning inward every single day. But just feeling right now, without comparing this moment to any other moment, without anticipating what it should be, just feeling into the body. So you can connect to what it’s like to be here, right now. Mmm.

[006:28] Sometimes we need a little bit of time and a little bit of extra space just to really feel what’s moving inside of us in this moment. Let’s allow the face to completely relax. If you sense any kind of holding on around the face or the jaw, see if you can soften into that a little bit more. Then following your breath with your awareness, letting your next inhale be drawn just a little bit deeper down toward that space beneath the belly button, so all the way to the bottom of the lungs. You can pause and linger there for a moment, and then through the nose, as you exhale, see if you can really allow that breath out to become long and deep and full. And then take a few breaths, just like that. Inhale through the nose, drawing that breath all the way down to the bottom of the belly … And exhale, softly releasing the breath back out. Let’s take a few moments just like that, inhale through the nose … exhale through the nose. Inhale, fill up … and exhale, release. And as you continue to follow the breath with your awareness, continue tuning inward, feeling into the body. Let’s inquire into if there is anything that you feel in your heart right now that might be weighing heavy on you in this moment. Do you have anything that feels hard, or challenging in your life right now? Anything that’s bringing you down, anything that feels difficult, maybe something in the way. It could be something very light, it could be something just a little mundane, day-to-day problem. It could be something big and huge that feels heavy and deep, maybe from long ago. It could be something in between. Of course, it could be nothing at all, yeah? Maybe you’re having this absolute light kind of joyful day where you feel everything is easy, then tapping into that as well. But if there is that feeling like there’s almost like a little bit of a wall over the heart, there’s something that’s keeping you from being able to tap into that sense of lightness, let’s feel into that for a second. So, instead of avoiding it, let’s move a little bit deeper. What’s in the way? Acknowledging whatever is there, see if you can acknowledge that without having to come up with a solution right away, without thinking about how to fix it or change it or remove it, but just knowledge that this is where you are. Yeah, of course, we all have problems and issues that come and go in our lives, but as you are here now, this is what you have. This is where you’re at. And then noticing immediately the emotion that’s connected to that. And then letting yourself dwell there. Just for a little while, feeling whatever is present in your heart. Let’s take another full breath in … open the mouth, let it out. Beautiful. Let’s go ahead and open the eyes.

[010:44] Mmm. Hi! [laugh] Some days when I record this podcast, I almost feel it’s … after we do our little meditation at the very beginning I could almost restart the show, you know? Hi you guys. Welcome to the Yoga Girl Podcast. Just because sometimes I feel like I’m in such a different energy. All it takes is a couple of minutes of feeling our feelings. So, speaking From The Heart, in this moment, how am I doing? Mmm. I feel like I’m in a little bit of a … yeah, all over the place kind of feeling right now, like I feel grounded and present and grateful. I also feel a little overwhelmed, a little bit stressed. We have so much coming up for the rest of this year. I’ve been really, over the past week, trying to … It’s been this practice that I’ve almost had to force myself into because I have been feeling really overwhelmed. You know, we had the first leg of the tour with the book release, and then home for a really quick moment, and then back to New York for the podcast and then back to Aruba, get the baby, and then we’re going for the next leg of the tour, which is of course really really busy, traveling with a toddler to four states. And then we come home, I get a breath, basically. I get to take a breath, and then we dive into 23 days of yoga teacher training. Which is, of course, extremely intense. I mean, it’s a big, big, big journey. I wish I had more space around. But, you know, every year I end up in the same place. So, whatever lesson I’m supposed to learn here, I feel like the universe is really … I’m banging my head against the wall not learning what I’m supposed to be learning. And then right after the YTT we go to Mexico. Dennis has an Ironman there, which of course is supposed to be this kind of vacation thing, but since we have so little space around the big commitments that I have work-wise, it actually just right now feels like more of a stress than anything. And then immediately following that we have our Heal The Heart retreat, which is this trauma/healing retreat that’s very, very … heart-opening and intense. But there’s so many things.

[013:08] And instead of … I had a really hard time this past week to just be present where I am, right? I mean, I struggle with this a lot from time to time. It’s why I have my yoga practice, it’s why I meditate. If I didn’t meditate, I don't know where I would be. And I go through these phases in my life where I can sometimes be really present where I am, where I don’t feel stress to do, but still manage to stay grounded in each one, right? Usually, actually, I think I’m pretty good at being here. And then I dive into the next thing, and then I’m there. But this whole past week, for some reason, I’ve felt really overwhelmed by what’s ahead for the rest of the year. I almost feel like I have to take this huge breath and just dive in and that I won’t be able to come up for air until mid-December. And that’s not a nice feeling to have. I mean, no one … we shouldn’t live that way. I mean, life is now, and I really don’t like the feeling of, you know, okay well in December I get to rest. Rest will come later. No! Life is now, you know? I don’t want to push myself through the coming two months and then enjoy my life. I want to find a way to exist and feel balanced and calm and present and appreciate where I am even though I have this high intensity in my life. But, yeah, this past week it’s been really hard.

[014:32] So I’ve tried to, which is how I ease my way through stress is I try to plan really well. For me that’s actually a tool that I use when I feel overwhelmed. I know if there are things that are out of order or that aren’t under control or that I feel are a little bit messy, then my stress level really can kind of shoot through the roof. So I have been writing my lists and planning things out and getting Dennis to book our flights and get everything in order so that at least I can relax around the logistical piece. And then I know that the best thing I can do is, these moments that I have at hope is to find as much calm as I possibly can, right? To not rush from place to place. And, actually, I was re-reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I don't know, I mean, I’ve spoken about that book, I’m sure I have, 100 times on this podcast. But it’s one of my favorite books, one of those books that I’m always reading. And it’s so true that if we’re able to be present in the body, then there is no sense of stress, right? I’m stressed because my mind is anticipating all these things coming, and I’m worried that I’m going to be tired, or I’m worried that I’m not going to have enough space to rest. Where actually, where am I right now? Honestly these past couple of days, I haven’t been traveling, haven’t had crazy engagements and events that I’ve been doing. I’ve been home with my mom, with the baby, with Dennis. So this sense of stress that I’m experiencing actually isn’t even real, right? I mean, it feels real, but it’s created from my mind, not from my actual life situation, not from my actual reality. Like speaking with you right now, I’m sitting in my guest bedroom, the ocean is outside, it’s very peaceful, the house is quiet, right where I am here/now, everything is fine, right? All is well. And it’s not until I drop into that space in my mind where I start to anticipate the stress, and then I start to feel like, “Oh my god, this year is so intense, how will I manage?” Then I start to feel stressed. And then all of the sudden everything feels really unbearable, unmanageable, how will we do it?

[016:40] So this past week I’ve really, every single day, I’ve had to force myself to sit down in meditation. I’ve had to force myself before bed to put everything away early, like really early. I’ve tried to around dinner time put my computer, my phone, all of those things away so that I have no distractions, no screens and stuff. You know, late … Which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. And then I’ve had to force myself to sit down and do my breathing exercises. My breath work to calm my mind. I’m listening to a lot of discourses by Ram Dass, which for me is one of my favorite … favorite things to do at the end of the day. Late night yoga practice is in my bedroom which I normally don’t do. Usually I practice more in the morning and then the evening because I’ve just had this need to calm, to center, to slow down, to relax. So, you know, I think that’s a good lesson for all of us. We’re not going to have the same kinds of week every week, right? Some weeks we have a bigger need of different things, and then we have to adjust accordingly. Then we have to add another level of self-help, another level of self-care, another level of support and help and use the tools that we have to calm ourselves down. Because I know if I’m sitting here at home now, already feeling stressed, and then we dive into these trips, right? Then it’s not going to be okay for me. I have to do the work, now. And at the end of the day, I want to live the kind of life where I feel at peace all the time. It’s so … it’s such a paradox because if I … I was doing this self-work that I do a lot. But I was doing this exercise the other day about our heart’s longing, and tapping into that space inside of my heart of in my heart of hearts, at the depth of my soul, in my core, what do I long for, right? What’s my deepest deepest longing? What do I really crave? And the answer to that question almost always is peace! I long for peace. I long for quiet, for calm. But then I have this personality that doesn’t support that [laugh]. At all! I have this personality that’s all over the place. I get bored very easily. I want to start new projects, new businesses, new creative things, all the time! Right? Peace doesn’t come naturally to me. So, maybe it’s supposed to be that way. Maybe that’s why that longing is there, because that’s how I’m supposed to balance my life? Maybe for people who have this naturally calm personality and feel grounded all the time, maybe their longing is the zest of creativity and this fire of pursuing or creating, the go go go. Maybe that’s, you know, in another person’s heart. So maybe it’s supposed to be that way, that we have those two sides of life, and we’re always looking for balance.

[019:42] I don't know, but I find it almost comical, like hilarious at times of man … How I have this total contrast of, you know, I basically create more … what do I create? I basically create intensity everywhere I go. But in my soul I long for quiet and peace. [laugh] Maybe it’s part of growing older, yeah? That I get to lean a little bit more into that space of quiet. Or, I’m learning a lot by learning more and more about astrology. Debra Silverman, she always says it’s like giving yourself a permission slip so that we can realize how we are or who we are based on our charts and me realizing that I am full of fire, I have all fire in my chart, no water. And giving myself that permission slip of hey, it’s okay to be intense. It’s okay to move 100 miles per hour. It’s okay to want to keep going. It’s who I am! And then my challenge becomes to invite more of these elements of water and earth and to calm myself and quiet down.

[020:48] So yeah, that’s been this kind of week. I don't know what this week has been like for you. We had a really intense new moon this weekend where I just … I had two days over the weekend where I felt everything was so unbearably hard. I was exhausted, so tired, not feeling well in my body. The baby was literally, literally climbing the walls. The weekend was, at least for me, was kind of crazy. But the more yoga I practice, the easier life becomes. The more moments of silence I give myself, the easier it is to manage that intensity that I live with every day. The more I practice self-care, the easier life becomes to manage. That’s what it is. And we all need to get back to that place of making sure that we do what we have to do every day. And it shouldn’t be one of those things that, you know, if we have time left over in our day, then we do it. That’s, at least, what it’s been like for me this week. I’ve had to put it at the top of my to do list, like, “Hey, do the yoga.” If you don’t do the yoga, everything else falls apart. It’s been that kind of week. So, I feel grateful and blessed that I was able to do that and give myself that space this week. And I’m going to ask Dennis to hold me accountable, because I know that when we dive into these trips, I’m going to need that physical reminder to stick with my practice and to not spin off into crazy land, which is what happens to me when we travel.

[Commercial Break]

[023:29] So last week’s episode I, uh, spoke about the New York Times list and the fact that we didn’t make the list and how I’m balancing that sense of gratitude but also disappointment. And sharing that online, it became really, like, I feel like we sparked a really interesting conversation. So, when I was sharing that, “Hey, we didn’t make the New York Times list,” and the book actually, so insane … I don't know if there is anyone at the New York Times listening to this podcast right now, but To Love and Let Go outsold nine of the fifteen books on the list, and we still didn’t make the list, so I don’t know how their little algorithm or whatever they’re using works, but of course I was super disappointed. Yeah, so I was sharing a post about it, and you know, “Here is the thing, we didn’t make the list, such is life, la la la.” And my editoc called and said, “Hey, we outsold nine of the fifteen books, it means we have a huge chance of making it this next week too. So yeah, let’s keep promoting the book, keep going, you got this.” And she gave me this kind of extra boost of, “Hey!” So I shared again, like, “Actually I just found out there is still a chance, let’s do it.” Trying to rally the community. You know, it’s a really hard thing, I gotta say. It’s a really hard thing, self-promotion. Anyone who works for themselves, anyone who is an entrepreneur, anyone who is an artist of any kind who has ever been in that place of, “Hey, I gotta promote myself, I gotta promote my own work,” it’s a really hard thing to do. I mean …

[025:02] For me, personally, I’ve always had a really hard time balancing this whole social media thing. I’ve never liked the idea of social media marketing or ads. I feel like I’ve talked about this on the podcast so, so, so many times. But if you’ve followed me on social media for a while, for the first five or six years of being on Instagram, I didn’t do any kind of social promotion whatsoever. Right? I mean, I turned down every ad, every collaboration, everything. Mainly, one, because I’ve always had another source of income. I’m a yoga teacher and we have other things that I do that has been … that’s how I put food on the table is usually through retreats or trainings and kind of that … my regular work, right? So my social media presence has never been my job. But for a lot of people on social media that’s kind of what they do, I guess? This idea of influencers and that, of course, can be a really good way to supplement your income, and there’s a lot of people out there who, you know, where social media is the saving grace of, man, I can make money from home just by sharing ads and things online. So, I don’t want to be judgmental about it. I have been really judgmental about it in the past. I used to really heavily, especially in the yoga world, I used to really feel like … if you’re a yoga teacher and every single thing you share is promoting this, promoting that, promoting this detox thing and then promoting these yoga pants, and then you’re promoting this water bottle, it just felt really inauthentic to me. So, I used to be really judgmental about that. Which, of course, was me and my own inner work. And any time that sense of judgment arises inside of ourselves, it relates to us, right? SO the fact that that didn’t feel authentic to me doesn’t have anything to do with anybody else, but it’s been part of my own personal work.

[026:49] But anyway, so getting to these places of, hey, promoting your own stuff, which I feel is a different thing … I feel it’s one thing opening up your platform to a thousand different types of companies and brands, every week promoting something different that someone else is selling on your platform, then it’s more like your platform is becoming this place for marketing and ads, right? So that’s not the same thing that I talk about when I talk about self-promotion. Self-promotion, to me, is when you’re promoting your own thing, right? The thing that you create, your own business, your own work, your own art, your own yoga class, your own thing, the thing that is yours, right? Not someone else’s but the thing that is your own. And self-promotion, in a way, of course is much more valuable. It’s a totally different thing than telling another brand, “Hey, come onto my platform, promote your product on my platform, pay me for it.” Then the thing that you’ve created with your own hands, and you promoting yourself, it takes a lot of guts to promote your own work. It takes a lot of courage to promote your own work. It’s a really hard thing to do, because if you’re promoting someone else’s product, it’s like, “They made something, I’m just marketing it right now.” So you don’t really have to stand behind what someone else made. But when you have created something on your own and then you go out there and tell the world, “Hey, I did something,” you’re opening up yourself to all of this judgment and critique, right? Because telling the world, “Hey, go buy the thing I made.” Or, hey go support this thing that I created, you’re automatically opening yourself up to the fact that people might really not like it. [laugh] You know? If people don’t like the thing that you’re marketing that someone else made, yeah, that would also suck, but it’s not really your part, so it’s like you can move past that. But when you’re practicing the art of self-promotion you’re also opening up into that space of people might not enjoy what I made, right? And maybe it sucks! Maybe I made this thing and nobody likes it. Maybe I made this thing and no one will want to buy it. And, also, I think it’s deeply related to the fact that so many of us feel inadequate as people, right? We feel like it’s really really hard to stand up and say, “Hey, I did something great. Hey, I am great. Hey, my heart is really big and I have something important to say. We never have that practice. I mean … It’s my deepest wish for Lea Luna to grow up with a really strong sense of self-worth. Which is not to be confused with cockiness or arrogance, right? I think those two things are completely different, and sometimes, especially in the social media world, we can get them confused. So arrogance, or cockiness, or ego I think actually stems from a place of absolute insecurity, right? When we overcompensate. Maybe we feel really self-conscious about something, but we feel like the only way to move past that is to pretend like we have it all together. I think there’s a lot of that in the online world, right? Of this kind of like … of course we become very egocentric on social media, because that’s what social media is all about, it’s about showing this version of ourselves that we want to portray to the world. For a lot of people, it becomes this place where we almost begin to magnify those insecurities. And for many people it manifests as arrogance or as ego or as, you know, something different, where self-worth, actual genuine self-worth shows up in a totally different way. So, I think, at least I’m very very sensitive to that, I think we can distinguish, energetically, between what we see and what we are fed online. You can actually … and I have used this example before, but I can look at two, very similar type of images or posts by two different people. It can be … imagine a girl in a bikini on a beach. And I can have two completely different reactions to those two images depending on the energy that they were put out with. I love following people who are just themselves, right? So it has very little to do with this idea of external beauty, right? And more to do with what we’re sharing from our hearts. And I am just very sensitive to what we put out there that actually isn’t authentic. So if something is shared from a place of insecurity, maybe it’s a Photoshopped image, or maybe it’s feeding the world images of what we think social media should be, versus just what’s there now, and externally those images might look really similar, but I am going to have a very different reaction or response to what’s there depending on the intention it was put out into the world with. Am I making sense? I feel like I’m making sense, but I don't know if you’re following me.

[031:36] So when we share something, when we’re able to share who we are from that place of self-worth, of, “Hey, I’m worthy of love. I’m worthy of being seen. I feel comfortable and strong in who I am.” Then we’re not going to be looking for validation from the outside world. So the things that we put out there are going to have a totally different feel than if we’re online, somehow, and we feel some sort of inadequacy. We’re using social media as a mirror to help reflect back some sort of validation that we’re still looking for inside of ourselves. Then what we put out into the world is going to feel, it’s going to have that echo of insecurity. It’s going to have that echo of looking for validation, and we’ll feel that. So, practicing … putting ourselves out there is a really genuine way I think is absolutely a spiritual practice. Totally, totally is. And whether or not we feel comfortable promoting our own work, I think it’s a really good reflection of that.

[032:40] Something people have no problem doing that at all. Some people it’s super, super easy. “Hey, I did something great. Go look at it!” It feels so easy, feels like no big deal at all. And for a lot of people it’s this terrrriffyyying thing, because standing up and telling the world, “Hey, go buy that thing thtat I made,” is automatically telling the world that, “Hey, I’m proud of this thing that I made.” And telling the world I’m proud of the thing I made means that we’re proud of ourselves, right? It means that we feel value in ourselves. We feel like we did something worthwhile. And for so many of us, we have no practice of this. We have a lot of practice of deflecting compliments, we have a lot of practice of putting ourselves down, even since we were little kids. We’re kind of taught that we’re not supposed to stand up and tell the world how great we are, right? If someone tells us that we did something good, “Oh no. This old thing?” You know, someone tells you, “Oh wow, what a beautiful dress.” “Oh, it was in the back of my closet. Ugh, I found it on the floor, oh my god.” You know, we’re used to kind of putting ourselves down, not being able to say, “Oh man. Hey, you look beautiful today.” And go, “Thank you. I feel beautiful too.” Who ever does that? Very few people do.

[033:54] So I think having that practice of whenever we have created something that we feel turned out great, we have to stand up and shout it from the rooftops. We have to. We have no other choice. So recognizing that, hey, it’s uncomfortable to practice self-promotion, that’s telling us a lot about that sense of self-validation or self-worth that we already have. Maybe it’s really really small and we need to practice more of that. Maybe it’s super easy and then, yay, great for us. But I think if we are not the ones to get out there and promote our own thing, then who is going to do it for us? No one! We might have support from family, from friends. We might have support from social media like I have seen from this book, this beautiful, unbelievable … I’m so fucking grateful that I have this support from the community, because it’s … it’s everything, right? But at the end of the day, who is going to promote my book if I don’t do it? I have to do it. It’s my responsibility. And it’s a privilege to be able to have a kind of social media platform or to have any kind of platform to speak from. And I got such … Okay, so this was all sparked by a few negative comments that I got of, ugh, you know, someone saying basically that … I can’t remember exactly what it was, and I don’t want to focus on the negative because I have so much positive. But the comments were something like, “You were promoting this book so much that it made me not want to buy it. And then you shared that you didn’t make the New York Times list, and then I felt like now I want to support you. But now you’re promoting it again, so I’m not going to buy the book.” It was something ridiculous like that. It was really triggering for me, in a way, and a lot of people responded to that as well, because it’s kind of picking up on that exact theme of, hey, why isn’t it okay for us to stand up and say that we did something great when we did? Fuck! I hate that! I really really really hate that. And I think we have to be able to distinguish the difference between people promoting other peoples' products, or us sharing things, looking for validation, looking for someone to validate that we are okay the way we are. That’s a different thing from putting out into the world that, “Hey, I did something awesome. Will you support the thing that I made?” If it comes from a genuine, heartfelt place, if it’s something we put work into, then fuck yes that deserves to be supported, and fuck yes we deserve to shout it out, and ask for support when we need it.

[036:25] What I feel like is a really good quote that fits into this, okay, I’m going to try not to butcher it, but Brene Brown, so it’s the Roosevelt quote that she shares in her Daring Greatly. And it goes like this: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there’s no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause, who (at the best) knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who (at worst) if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

[037:29] So, if you’re not in the arena, if you’re not the one out there showing up, doing this kind of work, if you’re not the one creating, you shouldn’t be there criticizing the people who actually are, right? Because it takes a lot of work putting yourself out there in this way. It takes a lot of work creating something. So, if you’re not out there doing it, then stop criticizing the people who are. And I like to believe that for anyone who actually feels really triggered – right, we see someone promoting their book, we see someone promoting their work, their play, their manuscript, their choreography, their piece of art, whatever it is that someone has done – and if you feel really triggered by that like, “Man, there she is promoting that thing again. Ugh. Get over yourself.” That means that there is something inside of us that maybe feels like we are not worthy of doing the same, right? Or that maybe we feel like we’re not able or that we don’t have that same courage to stand up and promote our own work. Or, maybe, that we haven’t even gotten to work in the first place, right? For someone who is … Maybe there is, that person who wrote me that comment, maybe they have a book inside of them that they haven’t been able to write yet. Or maybe they feel like they’re unable to write that book. Or maybe they have their own piece of work that they haven’t actually put out there into the world. And watching someone else shamelessly promoting their own book feels really triggering in some shape or form.

[038:50] So, whatever triggers us, right? Whatever kind of rubs us the wrong way, it’s absolutely imperative that we look inside of ourselves and that we do that kind of work, right? We have to be the ones who actually stand up and go, “Hey, this annoys me. Ah, okay, so it means that I have something inside of me that I need to work on.” Right? It wouldn’t annoy me unless there was something that’s unresolved inside of myself, right? So, for me, probably … and this is something that I … you know, I’ve practiced a lot of self-reflection on, that those years ago when I felt really triggered and annoyed by all of these yoga people promoting products and companies left and right, and I was like, “Oh my god.” You know, it’s because that somewhere inside of me, I felt like there is something inauthentic about being in this kind of presence online. Right? And that’s my work. So, if I felt like there is a fear inside of me of showing up in an inauthentic way, or selling something that isn’t real, or capitalizing off of a really sacred practice, right? I had that fear inside of myself because I had this big social media presence that, honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing with. So, recognizing that I felt triggered by watching all of these other people selling things left and right instead of jumping out and judging those people for doing that, what I needed to do was sit and look at what’s inside of me, right? And I’m really thankful I got to that place of deciding, like, “Okay, here is what I want to do with this platform.” And I have done some promotions for good causes, and for Yoga Girl Foundation, we did some really important promotions last year, which is what led us to creating the foundation. And I was able to find a way to do this in an authentic way that felt really good for me, right? So that’s my business. I love Byron Katie, if you’re familiar with Byron Katie and her work, The Work, um … she’s amazing. So she does this practice of what’s actually our business, right? We have my business, your business, and god’s business, and there are some things that we just shouldn’t interfere with at all. And whenever we find ourselves caught up in drama or judgment, or we get really fired up about what someone else is doing, is it really my business what some other yoga influencer is promoting on their platform? No! I have got nothing to do with that. That’s their life. Whatever goes on behind the scenes of their life, yeah, that’s their life to figure out. And what I can do is take that irritation or take that irritability that I felt every time I came across that ad for … whatever. See? I can’t even think anymore of what kind of ads used to trigger me, because they don’t anymore. But it’s my job to take that irritability, whenever I saw one of those ads from a yoga person, and go, “Okay, this triggers me. Hmm, interesting.” I don’t have to create drama around it. I don’t have to gossip about it. I don’t have to sit here and judge them, right? I have no idea what that person is going through. It’s none of my business, right? It could be that that person maybe is a single mom and posting that ad at that time is literally putting food on her table. Could also be that that person is just trying to capitalize on this community and trying to push as many ads for as many things as possible. Even if that’s the case, that’s still none of my damn business. So, the fact that there are so many things and so many stories out there that we’ll never know and all we’re doing by acting out, when those things come up in our feed or in our space, right, is wasting really precious energy and time.

[042:32] So, for me, I continue learning these lessons all the time. But I think it was such an interesting conversation and an interesting thing that came up when I shared those posts, because … I got to sit with how comfortable am I promoting my own work? Of course it’s hard! Man, every single day get out there on every platform that I have and shout to the world, “Hey! Buy my book!” That’s a terrifying thing to do! It is! I’m asking people to support me with their time, with their money, with their energy. I’m asking them to get out there and actually spend money on something that I created. I’m asking them to read this work that I made. Yeah, it’s exhausting. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, it takes courage too. And still I have to go and do it. I have to. It’s my job to promote what I have made, and to do it and still feel proud of it, you know? And not feel shy about it or feel like I’m not worthy of taking up that space. It’s a really really really big deal that we feel strong enough to get out there and promote our own work, and that we don’t do it feeling like we’re doing something wrong, right? I think it’s … if you look at how many ads for stupid things that are put in front of your eyes every single day. Literally, I mean, I bet there are statistics on this but I don’t have it here. But how many impressions of marketing that we receive every single day through social media, through magazines, through TV, through billboards, through all of these different ways, so so so so so many of them. I mean, listening to this podcast there’s an ad every 20 minutes. This is what life is. So then whenever you come across a real human being promoting something that they made, instead of feeling triggered and putting them down for promoting it, like they should be sitting quietly in their own little corner office and hoping that their work is just going to be magically picked up without talking about it, how about maybe we support them instead, right? Maybe, if you know them personally, share that post! Put a little comment. Hey, good work. Hey, proud of you. And if after two weeks that person is still promoting their stuff, because that’s how life works, and you start to feel like, “Oh my god, I’m getting a little tired of seeing this on my feed,” well then you have the option of either unfollowing them – if you’re on Facebook you can mute them – or you can choose to just send them love and keep scrolling. Right? That’s the thing, you don’t have to engage with the things that eventually annoy you. And sometimes that’s just the case of, like, “Hey, this is just a lot for me.” That’s okay too, right? The point is that it’s up to us to work with what rubs up against our own stuff. [laugh] Again, with that comment, you guys get my point, right?

[Commercial Break]

[046:27] So I want to say that if you are in that process right now of promoting your own work, good job! You’re doing a really great job. If you feel insecure about promoting your own work, get out there and do it anyway. And also, this is another thing that I haven’t touched on yet, but if you don’t feel good about promoting your own work, it could be either that, yeah, you have been taught that you shouldn’t promote your own stuff, that you shouldn’t take up a lot of space. But if you continue to promote your work and something doesn’t feel right, maybe there is another way of doing it, right? Perhaps there is another way that feels more authentic to be promoting whatever it is that you’re sharing. So we have to kind of go through these avenues of figuring out what feels really good, right? I have found, you know, what really works for me is feeling that whatever I’m putting out into the world, it’s genuine, right? That’s really important to me. So, I can promote YogaGirl.com, our online platform, which of course is a for profit business. Of course, it’s a business. So at the end of the day if it goes well we make money off of that. It’s not a charity case, all of that stuff. But knowing that the content and the yoga videos and the meditation videos and the healing community that we have there, it’s doing good things in the world, right? That, for me, is the make it or break it point. Knowing that it’s a good service that we provide means that I feel really really really good promoting our platform. Because it’s something good. It was born out of a really pure space. My whole heart is in it. That means that I can do it, and it feels good.

[048:07] I think if I was selling something different, if I was in a different kind of business, or if I was in the kind of field that I didn’t resonate with, if I was selling … I don't know, car insurance, or if I was selling weight loss teas or something like that, probably I wouldn’t feel good practicing that that kind of promotion, because probably it would be something that doesn’t resonate with my heart. So, whatever it is that you’re promoting or selling, I think it’s important that we feel that connection from our hearts, right? That we’re doing something good. That whatever it is we’re doing is adding to the world, not taking from the world, if that makes sense. I don't know, to me it makes sense. Because, at the end of the day, whatever business we’re in, it’s our business, and abundance is not something that just arrives one day and it’s there to stay. And if every single day we’re doing some sort of work that doesn’t feel right, yeah, we’re going to be miserable after a while. And, of course, we have moments in our lives, sometimes years of our lives where we have to go to work and we have to do the kind of work that’s there, right? We have to take what’s available to us. That’s okay too. We can’t always love every single moment of everything we do. But if we’re hating what we do, if we don’t like it, if we feel like I’m in some sort of business that is not good for the world … yeah, it’s probably a sign that if we open up to something else, that we can make a transition of some sort. Or at least put it out into the world that we want to make a transition toward doing something more meaningful.

[049:43] You’re going to spend a lot of years of your life working, right? So if you have the ability to make it mean something, then do that. And if you’re feeling right now like I’m in the space of, “Mmm, it’s not good.” Right? What I’m doing, the feeling in what I’m selling, it’s not right. And take this moment as that little nudge of, “Hey, maybe it’s time to start expanding our horizons and look for something different, or something else.”

[050:07] And for all the people out there who are working for themselves, like me, I really hope that you feel that you are worthy of success, right?! You are worthy of having a good life, you are worthy of abundance. And whatever motivation lies beneath you promoting your work, it doesn’t really matter. And you have the right to continue promoting yourself and your work. And if you are working for yourself, right, if you are promoting yourself, I really hope you feel that you are able to find that place of balance where you can promote your work, promote yourself and feel really good about it. That’s the thing.

[050:47] And I think, for me, what I come back to again and again is making sure that I’m doing something that’s good for the world, and also that I can connect it to some form of service. If I didn’t have any of our service projects, I would have a harder time promoting myself to the level that I am. Really. So, I think being of service in this world in some shape or form is always going to be the most important thing. And if you can connect your business to that in some way, you are going to feel really great about promoting who you are and what you put out into the world for, hopefully, the rest of your life.

[051:20] I’m feeling really grateful that you’re listening. I feel really excited about this weekend, about going to New York, about birthdays, podcasts, this book, all this stuff. And at the same time I am longing to at one point be in a place where I’m not promoting anything at all. You know? This is why all of this is cyclical as well, right? So having a book release and a book launch means that there is this peak of, oh my god, communicating a lot of things to the world. And then I look forward to retreating back into myself and being able to be in this quiet space again. And then I know, eventually, in that space I get a little bored, and then I get excited for the next project. So learning to go with the flow of life and being present with whatever is here is always going to be the most important thing.

[052:13] So I want to thank you guys for listening. I want to thank you guys for listening, thank you guys for practicing self-care, for tuning in, for doing the work to be present here/now, doing the work of tuning in to really figure out what’s triggering you, and then dealing with what’s inside of you. And if you are practicing the art of self-promotion, which is really tied to that feeling of self-worth, of being worthy of love, abundance, of attention, know that just doing what you’re doing right now is a spiritual practice. So I hope you’re able to come back to moments like this where you can enquire, feel, and connect, and hopefully let your heart lead the way. Thank you so much for listening, and see you next week!

[End of Episode]