Listen To Your Body Podcast Reclaiming Your Spark By Honoring Your Swagger w/ Anniedi Essien

Reclaiming Your Spark By Honoring Your Swagger w/ Anniedi Essien

Do you have big ambitions? What about dreaming of changing the world? The reality is you can accomplish everything you want when you can overcome burnout and find your groove. Using your mind, body, and swagger, you can reclaim your spark, achieve your goals, and take care of yourself in the process.

Listen To Your Body Podcast Reclaiming Your Spark By Honoring Your Swagger w/ Anniedi Essien

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Key Takeaways

If You Want To Get Your Spark Back While Avoiding Burnout You Should:

  1. Stop letting your superwoman syndrome get in the way and start letting go of control and surrendering to the process
  2. Honor the relationship you have with yourself and build new relationships to help you going forward
  3. Intentionally make your wellness a top priority
  4. Develop a wellness plan that is in line with your authentic self
  5. Work to develop your mind, body, and swagger so that you can have it all

Reclaiming Your Spark with Anniedi Essien

Anniedi Essien also had dreams of changing the world but looked up one day, realizing she had lost her unique spark. This is why Anniedi founded Idem Spark, where she helps women of every shape, shade, and size level up their mindset, embody their goals and embrace their own unique swagger.

Honoring Your Relationship With Yourself and Others

Many of us are led to believe that our worth comes from how we serve others. This can make putting your self-care as a priority as counterintuitive to what we have been taught. This is all wrong and can cause serious burnout. Instead of relying on yourself to be fiercely independent, there is strength in recognizing that you can’t do it all alone. By working internally to repair your relationship with yourself, you can build new relationships that will support you going forward and help you become the woman you know you can be. 

Mind, Body, and Swagger

The SPARK method works on your mind, body, and swagger to develop a wellness plan that is in line with your authentic self. We all have different goals and dreams, and it is only by owning your unique identity that you can create a plan that is aligned with you.

There is no reward without risk, and it takes letting go of control and intentionally making your wellness a priority to see real change. Your body will let you know what it needs if you just start moving it, listening to it, and giving yourself the grace you need to move forward in these uncertain times.

Are you ready to define what success looks like on your terms, honor your mind, body, and swagger, and get your spark back? Share which of Anniedi’s methods you are going to implement into your self-care routine with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • The role of culture, the superwoman complex, and race when making yourself a priority (11:20)
  • How to let go of control and find and accept help from people who support you (15:34)
  • The best ways to holistically take care of yourself and build your own mind-body swagger (19:42)
  • How to get clued into your own unique desires and preferences if you have never given yourself the space to discover them (25:20)
  • Ways that you can use the SPARK philosophy to focus on your big vision while avoiding burnout (31:10)


“This is all about how to go from being burnt out to being fired up. And for me that meant overhauling my wellness and really turning everything upside down.” (8:23)

“This superwoman syndrome that is like, ‘I am going to put my cape on and go out and save the world’, but we don’t realize that we also have to save ourselves.” (13:32)

“Relying on a dream team actually first required me to build a relationship with myself and listen to my body, honor is cues that I had ignored for so many years, and know when to raise my hand and wave the white flag of surrender and say ‘I need help’.” (17:57)

“That swagger piece is really about owning your unique identity and really creating a plan that is aligned to you.” (24:20)

“You don’t have to have it all together in the middle of a pandemic. What you want to be doing is giving yourself grace, and you want to be figuring out what you want to prioritize and tackle first.” (35:28)


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Related Episodes

LTYB 307: Learning To Date With More Confidence with Lily Womble

LTYB 285: How To Stop Outsourcing Your Enoughness with Bonnie Gillespie

Reclaiming Your Spark By Honoring Your Swagger w/ Anniedi Essien FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau
This is Episode 311 of the Listen To Your Body podcast. On today’s show, learn how to overcome burnout and find your groove with this spark philosophy. From my special guest health transformer, Anniedi Essien of Idem Spark. The next evolution of Harder To Kill Radio is here. Welcome to the Listen To Your Body podcast. on this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind, and soul health, and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively, hear your body’s signals, and trust yourself more deeply.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m Steph Gaudreau, certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner and strength coach. On this podcast, you can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with food movement, and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones. Now, on to the show.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you very much for joining me today. If you’re a newer listener, welcome if you are a returning listener, show’s been around for a long time, thank you for continuing to tune in and hear more from my special guests. And for myself when I do solo episodes, I really appreciate that. On today’s show I am welcoming Anniedi Essien of Idem Spark. And Anniedi has the most incredible, brilliant, big energy. And as she’s sharing with you on the podcast today, that ambition has often gotten her into a bit of health trouble. So today, Anniedi is sharing with us her three-part framework for really getting your spark back and overcoming burnout. And she’s sharing her spark philosophy that really helps purpose-driven women who want to make a difference in the world do that without sacrificing their own health in the process. I know you’re gonna love today’s episode, before we hop into this show, I want to share with you a win from my tune in membership. This is from one of my members. She’s talking about having an injury and saying the injury forced me to really tune into what my body is telling me with respect to exercise and movement. overdoing it with just set me back some days I’d wake up and not feel that the scheduled session for weight training is what my back needed that day. I listened to it, honor it and do some slow stretches or go for a walk. One of my short-term goals for training was to complete a 106-mile paddle down a river in Florida as part of a team of paddlers that was raising money for the river’s protection.

Steph Gaudreau
I accomplished that last week. After five to six hours in a kayak paddling 20 plus miles per day for five days. I felt energetic, strong and grateful. I did this same expedition seven years ago, and drive my exhausted body to shore at the end of each day’s paddle. The difference in these two versions of me is striking. I’m happy to have completed the trip. But even more excited that a more balanced intuitive approach to exercise is making me feel so much more centered in my own body. I just want to do a clap for this. When this is amazing, right talking about having an injury and listening to your body and still completing a big goal that has to do with movement. I absolutely am so proud of this member. My tune in membership is open. Look, if you’re thinking oh I’ll get to it at the you know the New Year 2021 what are you waiting for you are worth doing it now. You are worth listening to your body learning how to do that. Getting coaching and support in a community of people that wants to rally around you and see you succeed. To find out more head to Steph slash Insider. All right, let’s go ahead and jump into this episode with Anniedi Essien.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello Anniedi, welcome to the podcast.

Anniedi Essien
Hello. Thank you so much for having me.

Steph Gaudreau
Oh, you are so welcome. I am really excited to have you on the show today. We’re going to be talking about everybody’s least favorite B word. Burnout.

Anniedi Essien
I thought you’re gonna say another one but…

Steph Gaudreau
You never know what’s going to come out of my mouth.

Anniedi Essien
I know, I know, bracing for impact here.

Steph Gaudreau
But seriously, truly excited to have you on the show. I love what you’re doing in the world and your message. And I, I appreciate that. One of the things you’re most passionate about talking about and sharing information and really encouraging folks to experience some kind of healing and transformation around is something that you had a personal experience with. And as somebody who’s been, I mean, I’ve been now podcasting for over five years and had a business for seven and working online for 10. At some point, I feel like if you’re in this space, you have to reckon with, well, or at least, it’s common to reckon with this concept of burnout. And yet, you don’t necessarily believe it has to be that way, from what I gather. So I’d love for you to share maybe a little bit of your story and how you arrived at this point of realizing that you’ve got to you got to take care of your body.

Anniedi Essien
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think I think folks, you know, are probably all feeling this to some extent, with everything that’s going on in the world, right, we’re facing a pandemic, the lines between work and home have gotten so blurred. And so we’re all sort of wearing multiple hats. And so for me, my wake-up moment came years ago, when I was sort of, you know, at the height of my corporate executive career, I was killing it in the game, you know, while killing myself softly, so to speak. So, you know, was experienced a lot, a lot of career success, but I was also at the same time, you know, experiencing some of the lowest points in my health. And so what that looks like for me was, you know, my hair falling out in clumps. I mean, you know, as a woman, this is obviously a moment for vanity, but you know, it’s just, I couldn’t escape that fact, right, when my hair started falling out in clumps, the anxiety, right, so those heart palpitations that would keep me up at night. Were really scary during that time. And also just like pain, dealing with chronic pain. So from really, shouldering the burden of carrying really excess weight, I started to have really bad knee pain. And so I’m sort of this busy on the go person. And I feel just slowed down by the fact that I really have lost my groove, right. So of course, like who has time for it, so it just sort of kept powering through day by day until one day I walked past a mirror, and I caught a glimpse of my reflection, I realized that I have lost the sparkle in my eyes. And, you know, for anyone of your listeners who’s been through anything like chronic pain, or trauma or grief, you know, that it can take a long time to really get through to the other end of that. And remember what lights you up again, right?

Anniedi Essien
So it’s this is all about, like, how do you go from being burnt out to being fired up. And so for me, that meant overhauling my wellness, and then overhaul and really turning everything upside down. I mean, at the time, I’d gotten laid off for my job. So, you know, normally when people get laid off, they’ll say, well, at least I have my health, I didn’t have my health. So I basically said to myself, I’m going to take all the energy that I have poured into my career, which was, you know, my first love, I’m going to pour that into me, I’m going to, you know, find my dream team, you know, that meant working with, you know, a personal trainer and a nurse and a dietitian to understand how to fuel my body and get the energy that it needs. I needed to, you know, figure out, you know, what hobbies I had, right? You know, people would ask me, What do I do for fun and, you know, work obviously, is not a fun hobby, you know, already, although, for me, it was my passion. So I had to sort of finding some hobbies, again, I had to reconnect with, you know, old friends, colleagues, family members that like I was just neglecting because I was so busy, I was on my hustle and on my grind. And I think a lot of times, you know, we think about you know, toxic work environments, you know, as really having sort of a corporate connotation, but I think even as entrepreneurs, you know, we can, you know, have a toxic relationship to our work right, and that hustling grind culture, and so it’s all about sort of figuring out how to find a more effective flow and so that whole journey of really sort of you know, breaking down to be built back up again right hitting rock bottom to figure out okay, what do I want the path to look like going forward was what inspired me to found and launch my own business at em spark so I read them spark on basically empowering you to know, women and leadership Rockstar women in leadership.

Anniedi Essien
To have the tools they need to really find that harmony, greater harmony between work and life so that they don’t have to sacrifice their health for their ambition. So it’s been, what was a trying time in my life has now you know, kind of really become a spark of inspiration, I think, for others to be able to reclaim their health as well.

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you so much for sharing that I hear, I hear a lot of things that feel similar to my own story. And I’m sure a lot of people can also relate when you were talking about at the beginning, your career, and how you were pushing through and really putting a lot of energy into that. I wondering how much if you’ve ever thought about this, or how it plays out for you, and you do your work now? Like, how much did just the I just being a woman, and being a black woman, in these spaces, contribute to you having to work that much harder, or having to put more energy forth in order to rise up in your career? or any of that? Like, how did that play a role for you?

Anniedi Essien
Yeah, so I think culturally, there’s two sorts of things going on here, right. So I’m a child of immigrants. So I so my parents came to this country from Nigeria, and they immigrated to the US for their education. And so we were brought up, you know, really valuing education and accomplishment and achievement. And I think that sort of work ethic of, you know, work harder to, you know, provide sort of stability for your family that sort of was ingrained in us from a very early age, the idea of playful living on the other hand, right? Like, if you are a child of immigrants, and you’re sitting still, right, it’s like, what’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you doing something? Right? So I think, you know, I didn’t sort of grow up really understanding this concept of balance, and we can talk about that later. So I think that’s part of it. I think, in a work context, yes, you hear, you know, you got to be twice as good you got to perform, whether you’re a woman, whether your personal color, whether you’re the only one in a space, right, there’s a lot of spotlight on you, right to perform at a level that is of excellence. Right? So there’s this intrinsic motivation that I have, you know, growing up, you know, instilled family values around that. But then I think there’s, there’s this external forces, right, that play a role, as well.

Anniedi Essien
And so I think that you know, the talk about intersectionality, right, so as a woman as well, culturally, we are encouraged, you know, taught to believe that we have to put others needs before our own, right. So there is this idea of, you know, our value our worth being measured in relationship to how we are connected to and serving others. And so this idea of even putting ourselves on our own agenda is almost counterculture, counter-intuitive to what we are taught from a very young age. And so I think the combination of all these things is this Superwoman syndrome, right, this Superwoman syndrome that’s like, I’m going to put my cape on, and I’m going to go out and save the world. But we don’t realize we also have to save ourselves, we also have to save ourselves, right? I used to fly so much for a living. I was in the air, you know, I’m flying as a consultant for many years. And so you always hear in the emergency announcements, put your mask on, right before you help your neighbor. And so I think for women, this idea that we have needs, we have desires, we have, you know, health, you know, issues, that attention is very sort of new to sort of think about when we’ve had so much of that, I would call it mind trash that we have to unlearn in order to really figure out a path forward. So yes, I would say those aspects of my identity, those aspects of who I was shaped to be all, you know, all of them came together, in a way converged to play a role in my lack of awareness, if you will, that I had to actually prioritize myself.

Steph Gaudreau
Hmm. Thanks for sharing that. I want to hear. One of the things I heard you say was you had to assemble a dream team, and what you just shared about your identities and how that all came together, but this like, I guess, a perfect storm of burnout. One of the things we’re also often taught is, you know, like that Superwoman syndrome is that we have to be fiercely like fiercely independent. And it seems sometimes like it can be so hard to say, Okay, I’m strong. I’m smart, I’m capable. I’m creative. I’m a hard worker, and dammit, I need some help. How? How was that process for you? Like when you first started to say, Okay, I need to surround myself with some of these folks to help me out through this period of burnout. You talked about this team that you put together, what was that process like for you of realizing and recognizing and then finding the people to support you?

Anniedi Essien
Sure. So I think first, I was nodding vigorously when you were saying, you know, this idea of fierce being fiercely independent, because that sort of description fits me to a tee right? Like, I’ve always been a self-starter, someone who’s really sort of curious problem solver really wanting to figure out things on my own. And so this was one area that I could not sort of lean on my own strength, I had to actually reach out and ask for help. And so I think it was very humbling, right? It was very humbling to acknowledge that there were areas where I needed support, I had to start to trust you know, myself and forgive myself for you know, neglecting those areas or you know, as it related to my health and wellness and actually begin to trust others right to help me navigate the path ahead. And I think I had to let go of control. So if you are a typing sort of overachieving personality, for me, like I’m super intense, okay, I am. I’m burnt out. Yes. Working. I’ve burnt out decorating my house. Okay. And during a sabbatical, when I was going really intense with the paint colors, I’ve also burnt out on a wellness journey. Okay, when I was just going hard thinking I had to, you know, do it all in the first 30 days, right. So I think that when you have that sort of intense personality, you can really, you know, not sort of keep a big picture perspective if you will.

Anniedi Essien
So I had to really let go of the reins let go of control and surrender to the process. And that’s where I think the dream team came in. I think one of the things about trust is this idea, especially in wellness that the experts quote-unquote, the experts, the professionals, whether they be medical or otherwise, that know our bodies better than we know ourselves, right? That they know our bodies better than we know ourselves. And so we tend to sort of shift that like internal locus of control and give it to someone else to really tell us what we need. But the thing here, I think, for me about relying on a dream team actually required me to first build a relationship with myself and listen to my body, honor, its cues that I had ignored for so many years, and know when to raise my hand wave the white flag of surrender and say, I need help, right? That that was a two-way relationship. Yes, it was my building and establishing a dream team, it was others. But the other flip side of that was it was me honoring that inner voice honoring the needs and cues and signals that my body was sending me for so many years that I had previously neglected. So I think it was sort of a full-circle moment, to be able to both honor the relationship I had with myself, but then build new relationships to sustain the path going forward.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that you shared that and I think that that gets to the heart of so much of what we talked about on this podcast, in general. And I the way I kind of visualize it, I love I’m a visual learner. So you ought to bear with me, those of you who are listening, you can kind of imagine, as I paint this picture, but we if you can imagine one circle, and you label that circle like you said, the sort of like the experts, the external world, all of like what we should be doing and the best practices and the tips and the tricks. And then so many of us, right and like what I hear you saying is like living in that space exclusively, and not having another circle over here, which is like our internal knowledge or self-trust, listening to our body, what are our body cues, and like looking for the opportunity to overlap those things and bring in that knowledge of yourself is just so key. So now that you’re talking about that, I would love to kind of get your thoughts like what are some of the ways that you help people to really take their whole selves into account? Because I know holistic, like a really holistic approach to wellness is very important to you. What are some of the ways that you help folks with that concept you said earlier a balance or like bringing in their own inner self-knowledge, their own body trust, like some of these things like what are some of the practices that you have seen are really powerful for people?

Anniedi Essien
Sure. So I walk my clients through a three-step process. So it’s really I call it Mind Body Swagger. So all about leveling up your mindset, embodying your goals, and rocking your unique swagger. And so part of this work really starts internally. So when you’re talking about really getting aligned to, you know, your, your inner voice, your inner self, right is, is getting clear on what the paradigm is that you’ve currently been living in, right, and how you need to shift that paradigm. So one of the things that I hear from most folks when they hear the word wellness, they immediately go to food and exercise, right? They think I got to eat less and move more. I mean, that’s just the go-to response, right? But the reality is that wellness is so multifaceted, faceted, right? It’s so multifaceted, it’s so interconnected, and it’s so much broader than most people originally assumed. So part of that work in leveling up your mindset is really shifting your paradigm, right? thinking beyond just purely physical health, and looking at what we call these nine essentials of total health that actually contribute to our overall well being right. So in yoga, people know about mind body spirit, that’s probably more becoming more mainstream, but things like that you wouldn’t typically consider in the context of wellness, like career satisfaction, for example, your financial stability, the quality of your social connections, and your relationships, your meaningful purpose, and you know, your playful living all of these facets go into our well being this is studied by, you know, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. So what does it really mean to flourish and thrive? That’s the first part where we’re sort of shifting our paradigm. And we’re creating a new definition for that.

Anniedi Essien
Right. And then we talk about how do we sort of reimagine the path going forward? So, you know, who is the woman you were? And who do you want to become for me, right? I had to shifting from like the corporate world and then becoming an entrepreneur, now that I had greater control over my path forward, it was saying, What What does it look like to design a dream life? Yeah, sure. I got laid off from my dream job. But what does it now look like to design a dream life? Right? When you start with that intention, noloty then you can make, you know, wellness a priority. I just had a great conversation with a client this week, where she said, normally, you know, I put my goals on my journal, right? For each day, I put my goals, and I put health as my fifth goal. She’s like, but what I did, you know, you know, since we last spoke, as I started putting health as my first goal, you know, and that’s my top priority now. And I’ve been hitting that goal every day. So that is a huge shift, right? a shift in paradigm that then sort of sets the wheels in motion for so much other evolution and transformation as a relates to really kind of really owning your journey. So the second piece around you know, embodying your goals, that is where you start choreographing the action steps, right? So I think a lot of times people have, where they say a goal without a plan is simply a wish, right? So this is like say, Okay, now you got a clear vision, how do we get there? You know, my background is in strategy consulting, so I act like a human GPS, and we start to map that out, like, you have this, you know, big picture vision, how do you actually break it down into bite-sized steps that you need to take to achieve your goal. And then finally, the part I love and the part that most people have gravitated towards our brand is the flagger, right? Everyone, everyone wants to feel more swaggerific these days, okay, it’s hard when you’re in your pajamas or sweatpants. But, you know, we can all bring a little sizzle on SAS, you know, so the sweater piece is really about authentic leadership, right? It is developing a wellness plan that is aligned to your authentic self. And so I think a lot of times, especially in social media, we can get into this comparison game, right? It’s a comparison is the thief of joy. And so we start looking at, you know, what other people are doing, oh, well, she’s, you know, have had this for lunch, I’m going to eat that or she, you know, is doing this for a workout? I’m going to do that. But the real question here’s what are your unique desires and preferences, and you know, what is aligned to your overall goals, which means that your path staff looks completely different than my path. Because we have different goals, we have different needs, and we have different objectives that we want to achieve. So that swagger piece is all about really owning your unique identity, and really creating a plan that is aligned to you. So that’s really the three-step process that I walk them through.

Steph Gaudreau
Mind Body Swagger, yeah, I’m nodding I’m like, Yes. I want some of that. Yeah, it taught me a little bit about you just mentioned this piece of sort of owning your own unique desires and preferences getting to know yourself and who you are. And I I find with my clients and probably many people listening to this show that there is a culture in this country at least of chronic shooting, right? We’re like shitting all over ourselves ever. Like I should be doing this. I should be doing that. I’m supposed to do this. I’m supposed to do that, that’s what a person my age should be doing. That’s what society expects me to do. This is what a person in the corporate world would be doing at my level. This is what an entrepreneur at this level of a business should be doing. I saw it on a, you know, a podcaster. I heard it, it says, like the strategy. And one of the things that my clients struggle with, and I’d love to get your expertise on, is this idea of, we start talking about, well, what are you know, what, from my perspective, what foods do you like? And they’re like, it’s just like, I don’t even know, or what are the things you do for fun? And they’re like, I don’t know, I haven’t ever given myself the permission to explore that, or haven’t thought about it in like, 10 or 20 years, right? Because I was putting my career on, you know, on the fast lane, and I let everything else go to the wayside. So how do you help people really get clued into? What are their unique desires and preferences if they have no idea?

Anniedi Essien
Hmm, such a powerful question Steph. I mean, that was sort of where I was, when I was sort of at the lowest point health-wise, I took a sabbatical for my job. And I realized that I didn’t really have any hobbies, I didn’t really know what my likes and dislikes were, I sort of had fallen sorely out of touch with myself, you know, we talked about sort of finding your rhythm, getting your groove back and getting in tune with yourself. I mean, I was just totally disengaged, detach from really honoring, you know, what it was that I desired. I think it’s so interesting in the time we’re sitting in now, because you hear all these people saying, well, we got to get back to normal, we got to get back to normal, the reality is that normal may not have served many people, right? This idea of normalcy may not have been serving many people. And so what happens is that we tend to define success on other people’s terms, right? That idea of shooting is all about, well, at this age, I should have accomplished this goal. And, you know, I have this very narrow definition of success that fits within a box, or a mode that was never built for me to begin with, right. And so when we realized that we have that aha, and that wake-up moment that you know, this no longer serves me, then we can sort of feel like we are left empty-handed because we just really don’t have an alternative, we don’t have a clear picture of like, what would the alternative path look like. And so part of this, for me, involves design thinking. So in my work, I do a lot of innovation work. And so it involves really getting creative, and really starting to reimagine what that path could look like going forward.

Anniedi Essien
So it’s getting a little messy, having a little bit more fun doing things that you normally would not consider doing or exploring, and like lowering your fear level around change, lowering your fear level around change, and increasing your appetite for risk. So I think if there is no risk, there is no reward. Right. And so I think that a lot of times, we don’t want to take the alternate path because we are on quote-unquote, the safe path. And so the brain is constantly in this fight or flight, right? We think if we sort of stay with what we know, the safe comfort zone, that we’re not going to risk danger, or, you know, put our safety at risk. But I think part of this bold living, which is what swagger is all about means being willing to go beyond the comfort zone, being willing to sort of take a leap of faith to step out and be more courageous in going after what actually sparks your joy. And so it’s part exploration, part experimentation, and part sort of looking at, you know, once you’ve given yourself exposure to all of these different potential paths, which ones resonate, resonate with most with you, and I’m sure you’ve heard this concept of the body compass, that your body will give you clues, you know, as to whether or not you’re on the right path. A lot of times people tend to want to be really cerebral, right, they want to stay in their head and, you know, think about and deliberate over what the potential path might be. But what they need to do is they need to start moving, right, they need to start moving, and then the body will tell you the body will let you know is it giving you a pit in your stomach? Is it giving you butterflies right when you when you’re thinking about this new opportunity or when you’re immersed in it. So I think part of this is really getting folks who would otherwise want to be sort of a perfectionist and want to have all the answers before taking action is to really get them out of that habit to unlearn it so that they can move forward with a little messier action. But that then honor it with you know those bold moves.

Steph Gaudreau
Yes, messy action. I love it. I love it. And thanks for expanding on that concept because I really do see that this is such a place where folks get stuck because they’ve not allowed themselves to like you said play, take that imperfect action, be creative, explore, get little butterflies in your stomach. And, yeah, so, so good. One of the other things that you’re talking about regarding body and this is like embodying your goals, you did mention the idea of breaking things down, like your action steps, your plan. And I know, you’ve also just mentioned perfectionistic thinking and being in that space, where it’s like, and you mentioned it at the very beginning of the conversation, you know, you sort of like burned out from decorating your house or, you know, how am I gonna attack my health in 30 days, that kind of thing? What are some of your best suggestions for really making that change into those small steps, because I think sometimes people can’t even if they’re not used to taking that step by step action, can still bite off a really big chunk, and then end up pretty exhausted, burned out or disengaged?

Anniedi Essien
Completely, completely, it’s a common problem, a common conundrum that my clients typically face. And I think, you know, there’s a few ways to tackle it. So we have what we call this sort of spark philosophy, which basically helps folks take what would feel like overwhelming goals. And for me, I have this big vision problem, right? Like, it’s like, sometimes I’m like, why did I have to be born so ambitious, you know, but it’s like, if you have big vision problems, here’s the remedy, Okay, I’m gonna give you the step by step. Okay. So our spark philosophy is all about these sorts of five ways of moving forward towards your goals. The first is around support. So a lot of times part of the challenges, we think that we are going it alone, right, and we think that we have to move forward alone. But the reality is, when we look for support, whether that’s through social support strategy systems that really reinforce the goals we set, that helps us to move forward in a more efficient manner. So when we think we have to tackle it all on our own, you know, that is where we sort of get off track. But when we move forward with the and this is back to the Dream Team, when we move forward, empowered by the support of others, that actually makes our path forward, take place with greater ease, right? The second piece is around in the spark philosophy is pacing. So pacing is one that I really struggled with because I like wanting to accomplish everything and day one. And it’s really sort of about thinking about, well, how do I ease into change, right? How do I ease into the change, because our brain our mind really wants to resist change? And so the reality is that the slower right, as we ease into that change, we give our body the ability to acclimate to that new environment, right. So rather than doing it all on day one, how do we pace it so that we ease and this is really good, if you’re picking up a new fitness regimen, you’re recovering from an injury, right? Or you’re starting a new fitness program, and you’ve been sedentary raise, thinking about pacing yourself so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with that change.

Anniedi Essien
The third piece of the spark philosophy is about addition rather than restriction. So a lot of times, you know, when you’re sort of making any change, you think about you focus on all the things you can’t have, right? I got to get this out of my life, I gotta get this out of my life. And so it was very restrictive minded. And this and you know, from an anti-diet perspective, probably very familiar to you, right? But in the context of changing whether it’s a career or whatever, we want to think about abundance, right? The addition mindset thinks about what do I want more of? Right? Rather than focusing on what I can have, I have to figure out what I want more of and then move towards that. Right? The are in the spark philosophy is about responsiveness, responsiveness, right? So flexibility and adaptability are really key as we think about making any change. So I think part of the struggle whenever people are trying to make big changes is that life happens, right? We are all sitting in this pandemic, where basically, the world has turned upside down, the carpet has been pulled from underneath us, right? We’re all sort of struggling and shifting. And a lot of times when people are on a wellness journey, they’re on, you know, you know, this path to making changes in their career, they get thrown off when life happens, either they start a job, lose a job, have a child move to a new town, right? All of these things sort of shift the ground beneath us. And so an adaptive plan really allows you to have more of a flexible process that is agile, they can move with you and be modified as life changes your way.

Anniedi Essien
And then finally, in the spark philosophy is all about kindness. Right? I mean, I think we’re just living in a time where there’s so much vitriol, so much divisiveness where we feel like it’s like a zero-sum game that there are winners and losers. But the reality is that we have to first start with the relationship we have with ourselves, what is the self-talk that’s going on, you know, internally, how do we embrace the conversation we’re having with ourselves with that more in love with more compassion with more kindness, right. And I think that is the grace that we all need to give ourselves when we’re moving forward. Particularly during uncertain times, I talked to folks all the time, they sort of beating themselves up right now, right? I don’t have it all together, you don’t have to have it all together in the middle of a pandemic, right? What you want to be doing is you want to be giving yourself grace. And you want to be figuring out what do I want to prioritize and tackle first, right, rather than getting overwhelmed with doing everything at once, but really giving yourself grace and honoring? What do I need to tackle first and starting there? So I think kindness really rounds out the spark philosophy to help folks not feel so overwhelmed by really trying to do it all at once.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, let’s make this wonderful and amazing, and really is just so dovetailed so nicely with what we talk about all the time on the show. So support pacing, addition, love it. Yes, responsiveness and kindness, the spark philosophy, it’s brilliant. Awesome, thank you so much for sharing that I am just so grateful that we’ve had this time to chat. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Your three steps. Mind Body Swagger, love it. This has just been so wonderful. And I know that so many people listening to this are going to resonate and find value as they think about how do I want to move forward, when you’re saying, you know, the world turned upside down, it just, I immediately started singing that song from Hamilton. And I think we can all just so much relate to that in our own lives collectively, and wanting to move forward in a way that’s really supportive for us. So this has been wonderful to have you on, I really appreciate it.

Anniedi Essien
Thank you so much for having me Steph. I mean, it’s just these are the times where we’re sort of all questioning everything, right? We’re questioning the choices we made in life, we’re thinking about what new choices we want to make in the future. And I think having these kind of conversations, these type of frank conversations where we get to really decide for ourselves and define what success looks like, on our own terms, is really, really powerful, particularly in this moment. So thank you for the invitation.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, absolutely.

Anniedi Essien
Yeah. Be part of this conversation,

Steph Gaudreau
For sure. Happy to have you let us know if folks are like, Okay, I’m gonna get in on some of this. I want more Spark, I want more Mind Body Swagger. Where can they learn more about you and what you offer and how they can get connected?

Anniedi Essien
Yes, so I am so thrilled to be building a community where you know, women of every shape, shape, and size are truly welcome to thrive. So if you want to join the movement, you want to join the community, you’re welcome to visit us on all social platforms, Idem Spark so on Instagram and Facebook, we are at Idem Spark that’s I.D.E.M, Spark, Idem Spark. And if you do want to visit our website, that’s, We’ve got great blog content out there. And also for your listeners, we do have a special code for our Career Swagger Program. So if you heard this conversation, and you were nodding your head, and you’re like, I got to figure it out, I got to get it together for 2021. I would love for you to connect with us and you’re welcome to use the code, LTYB that’s for Listen To Your Body, LTYB20. That will give you 20% off your first Career Swagger services with us. So it’s LYTB20. That code will give you 20% off your first Career Swagger services with us.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s amazing. And so generous. Thank you for that. We’re gonna link all of that in the show notes. So if you’re driving, washing the dishes, whatever and you want to go back to it later, you can scroll over to the show notes and get that thank you so much, Anniedi, this has been again like I said wonderful, so incredibly generous of you to share your philosophy, the things that you’re working on in the world and I just love what you’re you’re up to and your mission is very very powerful and you are changing the world. So thanks for being part of the Listen To Your Body podcast.

Anniedi Essien
Thank you, Steph. Well, I’m glad to be in very good company with you know what they say game recognizes game. I love game-changing women. I’m thrilled to thrilled to be with you today.

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you Anniedi Essien of Idem Spark. thank you so much. Boom, there you go. Mic drop on this episode. Not literally, thankfully. But I’m so grateful to Anniedi for coming on the podcast and sharing with us about Mind, Body, Swagger, and her Spark Philosophy. I know so many of you who listened to this podcast have big ambitions. You want to do it all. You are so passionate. You are so fired up about making a difference in the world. And yet, it often exhausts you and I hope that you’re seeing through this podcast that it is possible.

Steph Gaudreau
To have those big goals and ambitions and make a difference, and take care of yourself in the process because you are worth it. Remember, if you want to work with Anniedi, she gave us a wonderful coupon code that you can use LTYB20. We will go ahead and link all of that in the show notes. If you’re like, Yes, that sounds like me. I’m ready to get started on this. Go ahead and check it out. All right, I’ll be back next week with another guest interview. Or we’re packing a lot of amazing guest interviews here into the last part of 2020. So this one is with one of my favorite people. She is a body image counselor. This is going to be a great show. So stay tuned for that. Until then, be well.

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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