A few years ago I was introduced to intention setting, and it has changed the way I view my world. Setting an intention or a theme for your year can help you focus on being less frustrated with what you can’t figure out and more grateful for what is already in your life. In this episode, I am sharing my thoughts and intentions for my own journey in 2020 with you, and providing some insight into the full circle role meditation has played in this discovery.
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Embracing The Softness & Finding Strength In Vulnerability
Sometimes there is strength in the softness of surrendering and letting go of what is not working for you. This episode is dedicated to embracing that softness and finding strength in vulnerability.
Do you have a theme for 2020? Share it with me in the comments below!
On Today’s Episode
- The importance of intention and theme when setting yourself up for success (5:35)
- What to do if you are struggling with feeling burned out (7:50)
- Learn my 2020 theme and how I came to discover it (9:47)
- Explore what could happen if you give into surrendering (15:40)
- The role of meditation in reconnecting to the Universe (19:32)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“Quite a few years back now I think I decided to start setting intentions, and I think I first learned about this from Jen Sinkler, and it just really resonated with me. For whatever reason, that is what I was needing at that time in my life.” (7:26)
“Over the past few years it has become really clear to me that strength sometimes is in the letting go, strength is oftentimes in the softness and the quiet times, and strength is multifactorial and multidimensional.” (12:38)
“To me, I always thought surrendering meant giving up, giving in, quitting, and sometimes it does, and that’s okay!” (15:46)
“The challenge to me is openness, and that to me is part of surrender.” (21:05)
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My 2020 Theme + Meditation w/ Steph Gaudreau FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is episode two 67 of harder to kill radio. On this solo episode, I’m going to be talking about my theme for 2020 and my recent experience with meditation. Let’s do it. I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.
Hello, welcome back to the show. Thanks so much for joining me. I am really glad you’re here. Super thankful that you’re taking some time out of your day to spend it with me. Today is a solo episode. That means that I am just going to be sharing some thoughts with you today, particularly around two things and I think they’re related, which is why in the intro they might not sound super related, but you’re going to see how they relate in this web. That is my brain and that is talking about my theme or intention for 2020 and what is it and why do I set one even and then my recent experience with two straight months of meditation, which is a record for me so I’m going to be talking about that today and some of the things I’ve been noodling on since the fall and some of this has to do with the stuff that I talked about a few episodes back about feeling burned out.
So if you haven’t heard that show, you may want to go back and listen to that one as context. A couple of announcements. The first one is that if you are not on my intuitive eating coaching waitlist, I would invite you to join that. If you are curious about intuitive eating and you’re really looking for some guidance as you start to apply the principles in your life, I am going to be opening up some coaching spots and I would love to work with you. You can get on that wait email@example.com slash I E waitlist second and I don’t know if by the time this airs there will be any left, but what the hell? It’s my show. I’m going to say it anyway and if not, we’ll probably have a waitlist for that too. But we now have core four companion journals that go along with the book, the core four or the program or honestly, they’re just really badass journals that work.
If you are looking at incorporating movement and you’re thinking about how to nourish yourself with food and you’re looking at mindset and you’re just looking for one of those all around journals, that has sort of everything in it, but the thing it doesn’t have in it is places for you to track weight, food tracking, body measurements. We have left all of that out of the journal, all of that out of the journal. There are ways for you daily to connect with how your body’s feeling to further enhance your own skills with interoceptive awareness and becoming more attuned to that. So I’m just going to mention that, that the journals are here and I don’t know if they’re going to be sold out. We’ve sold out of half of them already, so what the, Hey, they’re on the website, Steph gaudreau.com and just a special shout out to my wonderful friend Amy, soon of small eats and the small steps podcast.
She was my right-hand woman on this designer Xtrordinair and I could not have done the project without her. So thank you, Amy. I love you so much and I hope you all will go check out those journals. If we are sold out, I will put a link there for, you know, getting on a waitlist and when they’re in again and restocked, I’ll let you know and before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared, nutrient-dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body. They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing, environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress. And you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills, and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application.
Okay, so, uh, intentions. Let’s talk about intentions or a theme. Now, I talked about this a few weeks ago when it was the new year and how if setting a theme or setting an intention or creating a goal for yourself, whatever that is a resolution. If you like those, if you like any of these things and they work for you, that’s wonderful. If you think they’re the freaking worst idea ever, and you just are like, ah, this is the worst and I hate this idea and these never work for me, that’s okay too. I respect that. But for me as a past serial resolution maker, I would make resolutions and then two or three weeks into the new year, I, you know, life happens because it always does and we can’t be perfect. But as that recovering perfectionist and somebody who didn’t have a good handle on flexibility, right? Flexible thinking, it was either all or nothing.
Inevitably life would happen and the resolution would just go out the window. And then I would feel guilty and shameful about myself. So for a really long time, I didn’t do anything. No, no resolutions, no goals. Surely I had goals, you know if I was lifting or things like that, but goals on my business. But I wasn’t setting personal goals or new year’s goals or anything. So quite a few years back now at this point, I decided to start setting intentions and I think I first learned about this or theme. I first learned about this from Jen Sinkler and it just really resonated with me for whatever reason, that was what I was needing at that time in my life. And I began to set themes. So my theme for 2019 was courage. The year before that I think was a connection and the rest of them were getting a little bit fuzzy at this point. But around the fall as I was really struggling with feeling burned out and taking some time away from a lot of, you know, taking some time off of my regular pace of posting on social media and all of that stuff, it, it just became clear to me that
the way I had to approach 2020 was not trying to force things. And the more I tried. So the backstory is, you know, feeling really burnt out. If you haven’t listened to that podcast, you can hop back and listen to that one. But what became really clear to me is that I was trying so hard to be the person to figure things out and I would walk around and say this all the time, I can’t figure it out. I’m trying to figure this out. And that was in my vernacular, that was something I was saying probably every single day and feeling more and more and more and more frustrated that I just couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t figure out the balance of things is my business. I was having a hard time figuring out why we felt so burnt out on social media. And even two times a week podcasting was starting to catch up to me after almost a year and a half of doing that and things of reached this fever pitch where I just thought I can’t, I’m so tired of trying to figure things out.
Like why can’t I just be open to whatever’s going to come next? And quite by, I mean it’s not by accident, right? There are no coincidences. But I was in Denver, I got an invitation to go to this business and intuition weekend and I just thought, okay, it like spur of the moment, literally a week before the conference, this workshop seminar weekend, I was booking a ticket and you know, getting involved and I just thought I, this makes no sense. Like what am I doing? But also I feel like this is, this is what I’m being drawn to do. So that was my first taste of the theme that has come out for me for 2020 and going to this weekend that was being led by my now coach, Tamra Ross. It was one of those things where the realization that I am using my intuition literally for everything and everyone else but myself.
So when I talk with people and I call myself, I am an intuitive and we’re all intuitive, but I am an intuitive, I have certain abilities to sense what’s going on with people. And mine is particularly sensing emotions and being an empath. And also that in combination with being a highly sensitive person makes it really interesting. Sometimes when I’m working with my coaching clients, quite often they’ll say things like, you know, I’ll ask questions. I just get that sense of what to ask and they’re like, I had did you like what? Yeah, like where’d that come from? How did you know that? Or you know, how’d you know to ask that question? So I am using, or I was using my intuition for so many other things. But then when it came to myself and the things that I was trying to do in my business, I wasn’t listening.
I wasn’t even asking. I wasn’t even open to it. I, you know, being headstrong as I tend to be sometimes and always being the person who wants to be right. Although I’m working on that. I was just blowing past all of that stuff. And so my theme for 2020 that came out of that weekend and this really big sense of burnout and frustration that I was having in the last part of 2019 really shocked me because I don’t think I ever would have thought about this. But though then when I look back, I see the connections. I see how I’ve started feeling this way and, and even talking about it on the podcast or different people’s podcasts where I used to talk about strength a lot and, and I still do, but strength to me for a really long time. That being that a type pushing really hard, not listening, wanting to be right, having to be perfect, having to figure it all out myself, having to do all the work myself and over the last couple of years especially, it’s become really clear to me that strength is sometimes in the letting go.
Strength is oftentimes in the softness and the quiet times and strength is multifactorial. It’s multi-dimensional, right? It’s not just like rah, rah, rah, go get it. And that might be great at some times in your life, but there are probably other times in your life where that self-compassion, that kindness, that softness, that letting go of what is no longer working for you or finding another way, it takes courage. But that is also strength. And I think our world is very, and this, you know, even this space of getting strong and strength training and health and wellness, a lot of it is sort of, you know, pedal to the metal and yes, that can absolutely work but it’s not always appropriate given how your life is going or how you’re feeling. And I think this is where folks get into trouble with things like, Oh shit, I’m over-training and my bodies falling apart and now what do I do?
Or you know, the guidelines that were once working for me in terms of helping me get a handle on my nutrition have become rigid. And now I don’t know what to do without rules. And when I break the rules I fall apart. And this is really why I have been feeling so-called to work on things like intuitive eating with people and intuitive movement and kindness to ourselves and self-compassion and all of that. To be said, my theme for 2020 is surrender. Surrender. Wow. I mean, and it came through to me that that was, that was the theme. That’s the intention.
Yeah. And so it doesn’t always mean that it will always be a situation of surrendering, but the theme for me means it is something that I will reflect on. Meditate on, I’ll talk about meditation in a minute. It will be something that I will, it will cross my mind. I may try to run that filter, run things through that filter of surrender because I consider that this is a skill. I am very novice at very, very novice that I have maybe once or twice been described as being stubborn and to me, surrender. Okay.
I always assumed it meant giving up, but that’s not how I see it now because sometimes my logical or rational brain is operating from a place of fear and scarcity. Hello, I’m human. Just like you. I love it when people are like, Oh, but you must have it all figured out and I’m like, no, I mean I’ve got my, my own stuff and even with things like body image, I wrote in a post recently that I still feel the whispers of that in my bones. I, it’s not like it ever goes away 100% it’s not like I walk around and I’m completely doubt-free or I don’t have it. I don’t have challenges. So to me I always thought surrendering that, giving up, giving in like quitting and sometimes it does and that’s okay. Hey, go back and listen to the podcast. I had Lynn Marie Morisky of [inaudible], she’s the quitting goddess.
I had her on my podcast and she talked about quitting and why sometimes quitting is like the most is really the best thing you can do. But to me, surrender means giving up the need to have it all figured out. What would happen if I stayed more open to my own intuition? What would happen if I considered other people’s points of view or other opportunities or other strengths instead of, well this is the only way that’s going to work. What would happen if I gave up having to be the one to come up with all the answers all the time and that as somebody who’s very, again, historically perfectionistic, task-driven, achievement-oriented, I’m like an Enneagram three if you know what that is, my strength binders, strength is achieved. My number one strength is an achievement, which if you go back and listen to the show I did with Alegra, you can probably hear us talk about that and I was just like, Oh.
Or maybe, I dunno if we talked about it, but when I got my strength finder back again cause it was a second time I had done it and achievement came or achiever came out as the top strength. I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. Like I am trying to soften this. I’m trying to work on this so that I’m not just the person who thinks that I am my achievements and I am only as good as the things that I can do. So that’s the year, this is the year of surrender and it’s, it’s been really interesting already to see what’s happening. So meditation comes into this because I’ve been meditating now for two months and roughly a week straight every day, which is big because I’ve said before on many podcasts, other folks and mine how I am. I am not a good meditator in the, in the sense that for me sitting down and just like never really worked for me.
And I’ve tried so many apps and different things and blah, blah, blah. And it just, I always find moving meditation to be a lot easier. But, uh, and that’s where I think why I like knitting because it’s very meditative. It’s very like alpha brainwaves, calming, repetitive, like walking or chopping vegetables or whatever. So there’s lots of different ways you can kind of get into moving meditation. But in November, my very good friend, dear friend, Colin Bardell from queer cosmos, we were on a call and he said, I’m going to you like, you need to meditate. He’s from Queens and is lovely. And he’s like, you need to meditate. And I was like, Oh my God. Really? Okay, fine. And it was one of those sorts of obliger moments. Um, I’m not, I’m more of a, I’m more of an upholder, but I do lean obliger if you know what that is.
So I don’t lean question or I lean obliger most of the time and uh, he said yet I want you to meditate like everyday non-negotiable. And I just thought, okay, it’s on. And so my meditation, and I know there are so many ways to meditate. I am not a meditation expert. I’m probably going to fuck up some of the words and terms and all of this stuff. Um, meditation obviously comes from different [inaudible], spiritual practices, different religious traditions. Um, and like I said, not an expert here, but the meditation instead of just doing like a meditation where I focus on my body or things like that, the meditations that have really been working for me are when I sit down and I try to connect to source universe, you might call it God, whatever that is. And honestly, this is blowing my mind because up until
probably just the last couple of years, I have not fancied myself much of a spiritual person. And I think it’s because I have a complicated relationship with religion and I don’t necessarily feel, feel, feel yes. I don’t feel try. I just got lost, got lost in my words there. I don’t feel super drawn to the religion that I was when I grew up and he and I moved away from that. And so I’ve always felt spiritual clinic, spiritual connection in nature and, but I have not had any kind of spiritual practice until relatively like in the grand scheme of my life. And I’m almost 41 until very, very recently. And this is very shocking to me, although not shocking because it involves surrender. Meditation is sort of like there to me, there is some surrender to that, right? Sitting, connecting, asking for that wisdom to come through and it being a very like openness.
The challenge for me is openness and that to me is part of surrender and it’s been really interesting. It’s for me it’s been very calming. It’s been very nurturing to me. Um, I’m still working up around 15 minutes a day, so I’m like a professional meditator. I’m not meditating for hours and hours and hours a day. I’m still extremely novice and I know that meditation isn’t even necessarily for everybody or one type of meditation is not for everybody. And there are probably certain mental health issues where if you feel really vulnerable, you may want to talk to somebody before you engage in meditation. So I’m not saying it’s for you necessarily, but it is something that has really, really helped me. And I just wanted to pass that on because I think it dovetails in really nicely and I intend to keep that practice as much as I can.
And I think there’s also right, the wellness thing so hard. The episode I did recently talking about wanting to do everything perfectly to improve our health. And so it isn’t something for me where if I miss it or I haven’t skipped a day yet, but if I don’t do it the same way, or I’m like, Oh, you know, I was gonna sit down and do it middle, middle of the day, and instead I did a sound bath, meditation at night, love crystal bowls and sound baths. By the way, that’s works really well for me. And I’ve talked about that before, but it’s not one of those things where I feel bad if I haven’t, you know, Oh, I was going to sit down and do it this way. And instead, the day got away from me and I did it that way. So I just wanted to mention how the two of those things I think have dovetailed for me.
This is not the most eloquently presented podcast I’ve ever done because my thoughts are still very much forming about it. But to me, intuition, this practice of meditation, my spiritual, like growing a spiritual life within my life, connecting back to the child that I was when I was, you know, 30 years ago, enamored with the connection to nature and the universe and being outside in the garden with my grandfather and my grandmother and doing all those things like it’s, it’s all kind of coming full circle for me. And it’s been really, really interesting as somebody who is educated formally in the sciences and got disenchanted with religion and yeah. So it’s all very interesting. But part of that process of being open to it does involve surrender, RIGHT?
Surrender of the one way I used to do things or surrender to be open to in the intuition, to be open to not having to figure it all out. Right? Letting that come through. Um, letting it be easy, like surrendering the or the, everything has to be so fucking hard all the time. You know, like, Oh well a business has to be hard. If you’re going to make money or like this has to be hard, if you’re going to be successful at it or this has to feel really difficult if it’s going to be worth it. I’m really working on, on surrendering that the need for heart, for it to be difficult and hard and instead to experience something that is more filled with ease. So that’s my 2020 theme surrender and my experience lately with meditation. Would love to know what you think. The best way to do that is to hop into the Core 4 groups on Facebook and share your thoughts. Um, I would also love for you to share this episode on your Instagram stories if you really liked it and hit subscribe on your podcast app that way. New episodes every Tuesday will be uploaded into your device. All right, have a wonderful week. I hope this jived with you on some level and I know it’s a bit of a, it’s a bit of a bit from some of the things I usually talk about, but hopefully relevant in some way, shape, or form. All right? Until next Tuesday when I talk to you again, be well!