Enjoy this special episode where Lori Crawford of the Improviding Life Podcast interviews me. We talked about what it means to be more human, enjoyment and practices to be more present, and everything in between.
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You are listening to episode 189 of The Mindful Productivity Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Steckler, and I'm really excited to bring you this fun episode this week. I'm actually bringing Lori Crawford back to the podcast. She was a guest th last week, and this time we're swapping things up. So I'm actually sharing an interview that I did over on her Improviding Life podcast about a month ago, and she graciously agreed for us to do a podcast swap. So you might hear me over on her podcast as well. But I'm really excited because Lori is a fantastic interviewer. She asked me some questions that no one has ever asked me before, and I truly enjoyed this very human, heart centered conversation that we had. So let's go ahead and get into it. We're talking all about what it means to be mindfully productive, but also to step into your humanness to make life more livable. And I think you're really going to enjoy this heartfelt talk. So let's go ahead and jump into it. Welcome to The Mindful Productivity Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Steckler, and this is the place to be to live a more mindful and productive life. If you're ready to turn daily chaos into calm and start your days with intention, then get ready to join me as we dive deep into mindful living and personal productivity. It's time to connect with your true self so you can live the life you want to live. And it all starts now. Hello, everyone. This week we are welcoming Sarah Steckler. I will first give my introduction and then invite her to give her own. So I would say there is a squishmallow extraordinaire. She has one of the most cozy yet brilliant and fun office and home spaces that I've seen. And I really enjoy the tour she gives. And also I will say when I get my adulting shit together, I do want to make a little tea or coffee corner or nook, like she made it looks like such a fun, festive way to Accessorize bedazzle your house. Beyond that, Sarah has many things and I will let Sarah share those things. Oh, my gosh. This is like the best interest of all time. Yeah. And great example, if anyone's watching a video showing up as we are today in my messy, messy office, there are tons of squish mallets for anyone. It's like an Easter egg Hunt. You can just, like see how many you can find. But yeah, my name is Sarah Steckler and I love all those things, as Lori described. I love drinking tea too. But I described myself in the work realm as a productivity strategist. And I help entrepreneurs get organized with Notion and Google Workspace and also turn their ideas into planners. So which Lori, you've created one, working on another one. She's talking about me. She helps people like me get our shit together. So it's a lot of fun. I wear many hats and I love what I do, and I love talking to other creatives. So I'm glad to be here. Well, thank you for being here. So I think the energy behind what I shared out is my introduction to you was really my five year old excitement of seeing your creativity and how you share that out loud. And so I am really curious about whether those types of things so enjoying your Squishmallows, having curated spaces in your home, whether that comes from a place of intentionally making life more livable for yourself, or is it just something that it started happening and you're like, oh, I'm going to keep going or just sort of what that process is of setting up your space so it feels like you want to be in it. Yeah, well, I think this is such a good question, and let me move my mic a little bit closer to me. I've never really thought about that. And I think for me. I move all the time, right? So I've been moving all the time since I was a kid, and then I married a sailor, and so we move even more. But my parents got divorced when I was ten, so I was constantly going back and forth between my dad's house and my mom's house. And I would always have a pretty big bag of stuff that I would take with me. And when I was little, I would bring stuffed animals. And then when I get to my dad's house, they'd go blah, blah, blah on the bed and everywhere. And so I think that was kind of a self nurturing response from a young age to kind kind of make my space feel similar because it was always changing. Right. And I think similarly now, moving a lot and having to adapt to new spaces, I've definitely went, like, all in since the pandemic started with I love how you said that. Curating spaces, but just, like creating little corners. I think it's really amazing to me how when I walk into my office, even if it's messy, it just feels like a sanctuary. It's like all these lovely things that remind me of what I want to do and that I love planning and journaling and that I love nature, and they remind me to kind of come back to myself. And I think that's really refreshing. And I think it's also this wonderful permission to love the hour expression of who you are because we can spend so much time in our heads. And I think somebody lovingly called me a maximalist one time, and I liked how she said that. I think I always wanted to be a minimalist. And I've lived in tiny spaces. I've lived in a 200 square foot studio. I've lived in a 400 square foot studio when I was a lot younger, and I've had a lot fewer things. But I feel like this is just a chapter in my life where I'm embracing some of those things, and it's really fun. That is so lovely. There was another word that I had, but it's gone. We're going to let it come back if it does. So we'll go with Leslie. So I was having this vision, too, while you were sharing about nesting, arriving, really allowing yourself to Orient to which place and time feels really supportive to you and knowing the work that you do with helping people with mindful productivity. I'm curious about the types of practices that you do, whether that's daily or weekly that allow you to feel like you're arriving into your work, arriving into your rest time, arriving into your play time. What are some of those practices? If you feel comfortable sharing them, that help you feel like that maximum list part of you gets to go with you through those different phases and stages of life. You're like, the best host. No one's ever asked me this before. I think one thing is that I have to feel comfortable in my body. And so coming into my office, having a hot cup of coffee and really, like, drinking it mindfully and, like, feeling the warmth of it and seeing, like, the steam rise up from the cup. And then I have this beautiful window here in my office. So I'll always open up the curtains in the morning and really celebrate whatever the day is showcasing. And I'm one of those people. I love all kinds of weather. So, like, if you go out to the store and it's raining and everyone's like, oh, it's so nasty out. I'm like, oh, I think it's beautiful today. I love the rain. I love all the different personalities that the Earth shows us, if you will. And so I open the window and I kind of, like, celebrate whatever the day is. And then for me, being able to arrive into my best mental state or my most focused flow or whatever you want to call it, some of that is those things I mentioned. And then other parts of that are for me, like, using notion and creating this, like, really beautiful aesthetic daily dashboard that helps me kind of know what I'm doing and shows me those things, right? So it points me in the direction that my brain needs to go, because one thing that also is a struggle when you're surrounded by things you love. I was like, OOH, a planner, a Journal. I could go do this, and I could go do that. So having a place that kind of helps me capture those things. And another thing, too, is brain dumps. So doing a brain dump every morning, if possible, to just really declutter my mind and also hold space for all these ideas and thoughts that my mind has, because I think sometimes we don't celebrate that we get so frustrated with ourselves that we have all these thoughts and stuff, but having time to get those out on paper and share them with yourself, and then you can kind of release them or come back to them later. There's no FOMO of them escaping from your reality. So those are some of the things I like to do. I love that. And you're sharing out about how weather's personalities reminded me of the thought that I had earlier. And it wasn't one word when I was like. I'll just stay lovely. It was a whole lot. That's why I wasn't going back. It's a jump, but it's really connected in my brain. I want to go there for a second. So that idea of whether being personalities. What I was thinking of when you were sharing about squish Melos and your experience with moving a lot and having the sense of home that can go with you was this thought. So for anyone who has not watched it's Creek, please give it a try. If you think the first episode is too slow. Just skip to episode three. But anyways, up like Moira Rose, are you familiar with the show? So funny. You say that because I watched the first episode and that was my exact thought. I was like, oh, is it always? I'm going to keep going, keep going. That's so funny. I just had a conversation with a friend two days ago. Just start at three, because one and two is when they're just, like setting it up. And then the characters didn't really have room for their quirks to be what was shown. So that being said, you might have seen the memes or the gifts where Moira is the mother in the show and she has dozens of wigs. And I wouldn't say any of the wigs are necessarily ones where the average person would be like, I want that on my head, right? And so when you're sharing like, what and personalize it reminded me of I was thinking of when you were sharing of like, what would my equivalent of squish Mellows or planters like things that help me feel like I'm both in home and expressing myself. And it would be if I had one of those wood collection because I'm the person who always impossibly wanting to cut my hair or change it. But then the good thing about Parenthood now is I just don't have the time or resources. I can avoid that impulse, so to speak. But that energy of expressing was coming through. So I'm just glad that you shared that, because then the way you shared it about whether offering us different personalities helped me think of something that's really fundamental in my work about what I call the control to connection pivot. And so I was realizing in myself I'm definitely someone who is not as friendly to all the weathers. And I was like, oh, that's because I'm holding onto the sense of control of why can't you be warm and sunny? Why can't you be a certain type of rain on a certain type of day. Why can't you be the beautiful snow that I only have to look at? I don't have to go out. That was helpful for me to also realize that how I can practice life being more livable. In those moments where I wish I could control the weather, I'm able to connect with what personality the weather is offering me and get really curious about how the external landscape that I'm seeing, what does that afford me? The opportunity to connect with inside. So it's a dreary, gloomy day in Pittsburgh. Cool. What feels like drew me and glory is that the gloomy jury, whatever those words are inside of myself. Right. And to me, that would help me access my mindful productivity space of saying, oh, I have been feeling these types of ways and I needed the weather, so to speak, to mirror that for me. So that way I could decide, what more am I putting on today to feel like I can be in a space of both being and doing. I love that. I think too, I like to think of the weather. And I think you kind of said this as like an invitation. And that's kind of what I got from what you just shared out, too. It's like when it is gloomy outside, I think a lot of us feel like, oh, I'll make some tea or I'll read a book, or it's okay to binge watch some Netflix today. And then anytime it's sunny, like, it's getting super sunny today already, and I think it's going to be a little bit warmer. So I'm like, oh, that could be a really fun opportunity to take my Bulldog Bell to the park and bring a couple of journals and put out a little thing on a picnic table and maybe do a little planning outside. And I think that also invites in different forms of creativity because our brain I know for me, whenever I'm out in nature, I feel both connected to myself and to the world, but also this lovely disconnect from the chaotic noise, like the things we can't control that can oftentimes feel so all consuming. So I think there's all those different invitations there. That was so great. I'm glad you brought up your picnics, because when I asked earlier about some of your practices help you feel like a sense of arrival and yourself, that was one of the ones that I was visualizing too. So Sarah shares these really beautiful pictures of, like she said, a blanket laid out, her Journal spread. And it to me is one of those if we had to capture maximalism in one image, it's like, yes, you carry multiple things to one place where some people might say, oh, that's too much effort, but it looks like then you're in a space again that's curated and gives you that different invitation, that different access. And so that feels really reflective of the spaces that you share for your clients and those you serve as well. One thing that Sarah does fabulously in her courses, of which I'm a groupie, is provide a type of resource and like an intentional organizational layout and volume of things. So it is almost like having a charcuterie board out, right? Just like you have the whole spread. You can decide who I want some olives, I want some nuts, I want some cheese. You have a lot of space to play and to explore. And at the same time, you're not sitting there wishing like, oh, I could have brought this other thing. So I would love if you could sort of share about your evolution within your business in terms of feeling like it's enough to have what you have and then also knowing now at the point of being in your courses and seeing that you offer so much intentionality. And so how is there that or is there that rather that balance between feeling like you have to provide all those things and also knowing what is the meaningful parts that you really want to share with someone? Yeah, I think, well, this is kind of similar to, like, when I create focus projects in my business or you work on anything specifically, you're creating a scope of your focus, like what is the outcome? What am I going to be working on? And so I like to do something similar with curriculum development, like what is the scope of the outcome or the course that I'm creating for a student, and what does that container look like? And that also gives me kind of a boundary because then I go, okay, well, this is the container, and this is what the overall goal for students are. And if that's the case, then some of these other things need not apply. They may be fun ideas, but the value of the course is truly the journey and the transformation that I'm leading them through. So that, for one, helps me make something that's more focused and streamlined because I think it can be really easy to want to create all the things for students, but then it kind of feels like students are walking out into a giant field, and it's like, well, where do we go? There's something over there, and if you walk 3 miles east, there's something over there. Right. Versus having, like, a very clear and solid kind of like yellow brick road for your course and leading people on the way. And what's cool is I think we forget sometimes of the endless abundance of content and ideas that come when you focus on something, because a lot of times I think and this could apply to Niching down in your business or whatever. But I think a lot of times we think that I'm trying to describe this. We think of this outward external flow of creativity, and we think that if we focus on one thing, that we'll run out of ideas, but as you know, and publish a purpose. There's just endless stuff to talk about with planners. Right. And how to do it and how to be creative, how to create covers and just different interior pages. And so within a course or whatever you're creating, whatever experience you're creating for your students or your clients. I think the more you focus, that doesn't have to be a limitation on your creativity or what you provide for students. In fact, I think it can provide a clearer path and then there can be like food trucks along that Yellowback road that like help kind of facilitate or make the journey even that much more fun. Taco Tapas I love it. That's a tangent, but I have two thoughts. One is a play thought, and one was like, do I remember them? Now? I'm just being myself. I do that. I get so excited about setting up the scene. And then I'm like, what was the scene? The tangent one was I saw this image of almost like a Where's wall, though, but it was all like squish Mellows. And then we have to find Sarah's face. So just invitation next time you're like, I really just need immersed in my squish melodies to have that moment and see if Bella finds you or if your husband finds you. That's so funny. I saw that the other thing that came through, too, that I am an endless awe of that you do. One thing that I find endlessly in all of when you do it is your ability to repurpose content in terms of sticking to again, having that one focus. And it feeling like there's still fresher energy being revitalized and it doesn't feel stale or stuffy. And as a business owner myself, that's something I struggle with often is remembering that I want to have something to share, that it can be part of a larger thing. I'm continuing to share that it doesn't have to be this cataclysmic, Earth shattering thing. And so I'm just curious about are there other things in your non business life that you intentionally revisit, whether that's favorite shows or engagement or anything like that, that helps you remember that or have that sort of muscle memory of like, it is totally valid and actually super helpful for yourself to allow yourself to focus on certain things, to share out continuously, to revisit and sort of like, it's almost like building that cozy relationship with something and like how that translates into doing so in your business. I think you touched on how we give so much value to novelty or something that's new, but we forget that it's so lovely to come back to your favorite book or your favorite comfort movie or show, especially in different chapters of your life. Like, for example, one of my favorite movies when I was a teenager was she all that the classic 90s movie. And for any of you that don't remember it, right, Rockefeller, Shank, and all that kind of stuff and how this already gorgeous girl, who's apparently a nerd, gets transformed and dates the dream guy and all that stuff. And I remember being like, I love this movie. And then my husband and I re watched it a couple of years back and we did not have the same reaction at all. We were like, this is kind of bad. I did that with Miscongeniality while I was pregnant. So I'd say within the past year, though, I suddenly was like, I want to watch my continuality which is that and sister after my absolute favorite movies as a child, I'm watching like, okay, there's sexism, there's racism, there's patriarchy capitalism, and seeing all these things I'm like. And I was worshipping. This movie is like, that'll be my blow up moment, right? I'm going to end up having that purple dress moment with Sandra Bella walking out of the hangar. And yes, I'll trip and fall, but I'm going to look banging as fuck in this purple dress. That was my idea of what adulthood had to be like. So I could totally relate to that for nostalgia and also questioning the importance of it. Exactly. And I think what's interesting about stuff like that is we forget, though, that there's a lot of things in our lives, like a whole little I have a Notion database that has different articles I really love. And sometimes I'll attach a date to come back to them. So I'm reminded of it. Like certain articles I've read before on, like, Thought Catalog or something that just like, I don't know, just blew my mind. Like they weren't necessarily a new idea, but there was this one about simplicity and just like going for a simple life versus all this extravagance. And it really resonated with me. And I was like, oh, yeah, less is more just coming back to those things and realizing that they will completely hit you differently depending on your mindset or the season of your life or the year that you're in. So I love to come back to those things because I think sometimes we think if we've seen it before, we've read it or done it before, that it's not worth doing again. And I think experiences are worth reliving. And I think there's a difference between trying to recreate something exactly as it was versus just being open to the new experience. In the same vein, when it comes to creating content from a business owner's perspective, realizing that every time you teach something or create something, there's going to be a different nuance to it, a different energy. You're going to be in front of a slightly different audience or someone that's never heard you before, and there's going to be new things that you talk about. I remember in College, there was this professor that gave this specific lecture, like, every single quarter of the school year, for every single set of cohort of students that went through. And I remember one time she said, I've given this lecture literally like 300 times at this point. And there's always something new. I'm always learning something new about it. So I think in that act and practice of continuing to talk about things, it's the same thing, right. We just go inward and there's like more and more. Yeah. And I love that too. And that really feels like a very intentional, energetically intentional, even if it's not like cognitively intentional way of pushing back against whiteness and systems of oppression where it's like whiteness really, especially as two white women, we have learned in our own different ways to not ask questions, don't question things. Some things don't get mentioned. Like, oh, what's the easiest way to people please? Like, how do we behave the best way so people don't notice us? So really, this practice of revisiting and allowed, like, you articulated it so meaningfully for me to feel that like trying to not be in the micro, like where you were saying it's just like, can we revisit without the control of trying to relive it like that part of it, too, where it's like that perfectionist energy that whiteness as a system and a structure really wants people to uphold and which can make life really unwell for a lot of us, thinking it has to go a certain way that that feels really like permission giving. And even my posture, like my shoulders, want to relax. Thinking about that approach as a business owner of how can I just reconnect with something? What part of it wants to revisit with what part of me, what questions do I want to ask of myself that I wasn't aware of or had the skill sets to contemplate the first time I looked at this or what ways was I trying to put things in my own words and not sharing a primary source and thinking that I had something better to say about things? So while that's not overtly what you were sharing, I feel this really beautiful connection and also knowing that you are one of the business owners that I see as a white woman who does have a mission and vision and values, so to speak, statement and make it very clear that you're here to do your work, to be less problematic. So I just wanted to take that time to reflect that back to you. Like, oh, I can also see that under current of energy in that practice, you are sharing up, like, revisiting things and allowing them to be a new experience. And then since we're on that sort of part of the conversation, I'm curious about how you navigate the things that you just feel and believe are nonnegotiable meaning, like your values or things that like your boundaries, whatever it is. Do you ever feel there's a different level of ease in sort of upholding those boundaries in business versus your non business? Part of your life. Does the positioning of sort of your role in a space and time offer those different challenges of navigating that? Yeah, I think it just feels and this is just a benefit of it that wasn't intentional, but it just feels better to be honest with who you are and what you stand for and to really not have like, it's kind of all or nothing. And I know any business owner that makes statements, you sometimes get pushback, you sometimes get nasty emails, or sometimes I think I got like a one star review recently or something from someone. And it's like, okay, if that's the worst thing that happens to me, especially as a white woman, if that's the worst thing that happens, we should all be accountable to that for standing up for what we believe in. And I think as a business owner, it's not as nuanced as personal life because you're running a business and basically you're creating a boundary and you're saying, like, I don't want to work with certain people that are racist or that don't believe in these same core values that I think all humans have a right to. And that somehow feels easier than sometimes navigating these more personal relationships. And I think that's where really a lot of this work comes into play is navigating stuff with family and knowing that there are some people that it's not cut and dry or it's not as easy to cut people out of your life or without affecting other people that you love and becomes nuanced. And so there's opportunities for conversations and more boundary setting there. Yeah, I think it's complicated. I think everybody can relate to that. I don't know if that kind of answers your question. Yes, I know that was on the list of things they probably thought was going to come up. Probably not what it was. No, it's great. Thank you for sitting in that space, too. And you did address the part. You just like, there is a different sense of flow or ease that can happen in those spaces. And I think that that is something that could probably keep a lot of business owners and almost like a stalemate, so to speak. Right. They know that there might be this more nuanced, difficult ways that they're having to navigate things in their personal life. So they may not feel like they have the skill set to establish boundaries in their business life. Right. Or to say like, oh, this is something that's non negotiable because they haven't been able to experience that there can be a different, like, practice, so to speak. So I think that's just helpful to address, too. So perhaps anyone listening here has had that moment where they're like, I haven't even taken a first step to try something that I want to try regardless of what it is, because in a different setting, a different place in time, my mind sees that there's evidence that it won't work out a way that's favorable. Right. And so for thinking about mindful productivity and you mentioned brand dumps earlier, brain dumps for me sometimes can offer this ability for me to, like I'll ask myself, and this is a recent practice, like two months. This is not I'm new to it, but asking myself questions like, what evidence feels like, it's shouting the loudest, like, what thing feels like a fact that is stopping me from doing something. And often it's actually the stories associated with the event or whatever. It is not the actual interaction itself. And so I'm really feeling that the transferability of the skills that you teach, whether that's your focus projects or whether that is brain dumps that find for productivity, while someone might approach it from saying, oh, I'm going to use this as a business owner, it's something that actually equips you with a way to again, I keep thinking of what you're saying about the weather, like get your inner landscape outside of you. Right. So that just feels like really, yeah, your impact is something that like the ripples get to be in all these cool. Like you have some ocean ripples, you have some Lake ripples, there's all these different places that it goes. So I just wanted to share that with you because that feels really nice. I really like that. And I think, too, when it comes to, I guess, just mindful productivity or figuring out what works for you, like the conversation, if I could put a theme to what we're kind of working through today, it's really holding space for yourself and all the nuanced areas of what it means to be human. And I think that comes back to what you talk about when you say making life more livable. Every time I listen to your podcast, I always love your intro, and I always think about that. I always like, what does it mean to make life more livable? Because in a lot of ways, when I think about that, I think about how do I remove self barriers or obstacles that I'm kind of creating? And I think in a lot of ways, I think some more regimented, blanket type productivity statements can kind of create those boundaries for us, especially if you're neurodivergent or you have a different way of thinking about things or some of the mainstream things just don't necessarily apply to you or you feel like. Oh, that doesn't work for me. Why? What's wrong with me? And it's not that there's anything wrong with any of us. It's that there's just a lot of again, more like capitalistic white individual thinking in terms of this is how you have to do things and get things done. Where I think both I think there's some overlap with both mindful productivity and your idea of making life more livable is how do you remove those boundaries? How do you build a foundation where things are more accessible to yourself? Yeah. Because it is both that energy of. Like. I'm seeing the visual gardening, you have to sort of tender clear your space. Right. I know nothing about gardening, but I've seen people do it. That decision of like, okay, well, what am I going to be nurturing here? What environment needs to happen, what soils there's. Like, you're both curating that space and then as it's flourishing, like going back in and doing the sort of caregiving. And so it's feeling too like what you're saying is by being able to utilize mindful productivity as a way to make your life more livable, it's both that curation of practices and checking. And how does that feel? What did this offer me? What invitation is the weather giving me today? And then also throughout the day, having those skill sets to be able to again tend to it's like that nurturing, that caregiving where it's like, yeah, this morning, I know you used the Pomodoro method. It's like, oh, I did like three rounds of that. I was feeling great. And then my cat threw up and accepted it and my whole day went shit. Those things like recheck what's actually my need right now. Right. And so whereas as you were saying, those very sort of militant dogmatic forms of productivity where it's like, keep persevering, never quit, do it all. Has your whole checklist done today? If not, you suck that's kind of a long time. But whatever that is, yeah. It doesn't leave room for life to actually be experienced and related with. So I definitely get curious about how any of us who have a sort of modality or practices or skills that we use, what are ways that we can also be observing ourselves in a gentle way of just noticing like, oh, where am I on this sort of sea fall, right. Because I'm sure we all have moments where it's like we're so flowy almost too flowy where we're like, what has even happening? And then also like, oh, I'm feeling really rigid. And so, yeah, I'm just seeing this visual. It reminds me so much of when you talk about yes and yes, I can be feeling this way and I can also need to run a business and make money. The worst a cute when it come up. But that's not the right word. It's like a concise. Your response was just like literally two words where I'm like, thing in my head. I'm like, there's this whole ballad worth of thoughts that I could have. And you're like, yes. And I'm like, see, again, it's like my mind wanted to make things complicated. So that feels like my personal seesaw. One side is overcomplicating the shit out of things. The other side is like two words. Yes. And I couldn't have planned that sort of set up better if I tried for me to have that reminder too, of like, what is my personal seesaw. Sometimes I share things out of this curiosity for others when again, it's like that weather invited. Like, what within me is reflected in this weather. So that question was really for me to be like, draw your own sea salary, see where you are teetering. How does that feel? Do you feel like you're about to fall off? Are you already surfing and you're okay? My brain now is on a sea salt. No, it's good. I know. I think it's really interesting. And I think too maybe it might be helpful to also talk about what mindful productivity about. I was like, people might not know. So the way I define mindful productivity is intention and awareness of your current energy state so that you can sustainably get things done. So it's not just about what do I want to accomplish and how am I going to do it? But how am I going to do it given the state of the world, given my current things that I've planned to do or commitments rather. And then also my capacity, because there are things that I do repetitively in my business. Like, I have focused projects that are kind of ongoing. Like, this is what you do every week in your business. This is what you do every quarter. But depending on where I am with, let's see, like my cycle or what's going on with my family, some of those things may be more difficult or challenging other months than others, depending on when they do them. So it's one thing to know, like all your standard operating procedures. Right. It's another thing to have awareness of your energy and your mental capacity and how that all plays in together. Because I don't know, it's a little more complicated than just like, just do it. Yeah, I know. And it's like to not be so, like, I hate when I know the feeling of something, but I can't think of the word not too like I'll say mushy. But again, I have the vocabulary of a five year old today shout out to all my five year olds. It's like this new mindful productivity is this really nuanced applied version of. Yes. And within the sort of relationship between being and doing that's, what your moment of sharing out? And thank you for doing that. I totally, like in my mind was excited, skipped up. That's a good. But if you made it to this episode, you've heard it. Yeah. But it does feel like that. It's like, how do you apply. Yes. And within the context of being and doing and mindful productivity is one way that you offer people to explore that dynamic, that nuance that relationship. And since you are such a really great facilitator of spaces and of meeting people where they are and also giving them a place to grow, I would really super duper love if you would share out about productivity and Planning week, which will be happening right after this airs. I'm going to make sure that this is the first or second episode of the next season. That way you're hearing in a time, people. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for the invitation to share about it. It's going to happen in March, March 14, and you're going to be a part of it, which I'm Super excited about. And you'll have your training, which I love. I've watched it so many times. Thank you. So helpful. And yeah, and I'm excited about your course you're putting together. But Productivity and Planning Week is all about I think we have 29 speakers this time. This is the second time we're doing it. And it's all about using mindful productivity strategies and just hearing from a bunch of different creatives and business owners about what it means to be productive and how to stay organized. And what I love is that we have such a diverse group talking about everything from mindset and selfcare to mental health. There's some psychology based practices. There's some therapists that are part of it. There's also some business strategists and other productivity people that are just as nerdy about all that as I am. So there's I mean, if you attend this free event and even if you only watch a handful of the trainings, I feel like you're really going to walk away with so many tangible skills. And one thing I'm really excited about is that we're just making this event as accessible as we can so people have a full six days of on demand access to it. I know I love attending Summits, but sometimes I feel super overwhelmed when there's only, like, 3 hours each day to watch five training without upgrading to the $200. And it's like so I wanted to make it more accessible. So all the trainings are under 30 minutes, and there's transcripts and closed captioning for everything. So it just makes it a lot easier for people to learn in a way that works best for their brain. And I'm excited because we're going to have a community around it, a Facebook group and some comments on the site, too. So I just hope that everybody joins. I think we're going to have a lot of fun. And coming back to repurposing, too. I don't know. I'll have to talk to speakers, but this may be something we repurpose into something else in the future, too, because it's just so fun to hear so many perspectives. And there's a lot of overlap, too. A lot of overlap with a lot of people that are in a similar niche. And I know when I invite speakers, sometimes they're like, well, am I the only person talking about this? And I'm like, no. And people are always surprised when the other speakers have, like, a totally different take on sometimes, like, the same subject matter. So I think it's just fun. It's just fun to do things differently. I can't wait. I am doing my best to get everything done ahead of time this round so that when the week actually happens, I can pretend I'm a participant and go through all the trainings, too, because I'm excited to learn from all of the speakers. It can be fun for those who can't see. Which is probably everyone, because this is the podcast. Sarah is, like, beaming. The sun is not outside. It is now coming from within her office. I just wanted to set this page for you. Her squish meals have put sunglasses on. It is so bright. And I'm so glad you brought up, again, the idea of repurposing, because the great thing that Sarah offered to us for speakers who wanted to participate again, we could resubmit the same training. And so that was something where I was so grateful for the opportunity of being a new parent, where I was like, I don't know if I would have the time to honor your timeline and not make you work harder, but I still love participating in what you offer people. And so that was helpful for me. Now, again, the idea of creating my own seesaw, letting it be easier. Right. And also, like you said. There will be a different audience this time. And I actually took the opportunity for myself to re watch it the other day. It's something that I'm working through is like relistening to my own podcast, like hearing my voice, hearing what I say. There's this fear of cringe. What would I say? And so I'm excited, like you said, to go in and I am going to be a participant, but specifically to also watch my training again as a participant. And so you model really beautifully the things that you speak about. And that's something that I think is really I'm sure it's a skill that you cultivate in practice, but it also feels very intuitive for you. I just want to appreciate the way that you model that ability to let yourself get excited and geek out about things and make your squish smells, wear sunglasses, because it's so nice to be in community with someone who, like, there's that like really old, outdated, probably really problematic statement of like, don't talk the talk if you're not going to walk the walk. Like, whatever. That energy, though, like, say something and then also practice it. And so that's always one thing that I enjoy so immensely about being in space with you is you're out there. Yes. And then your best. Thank you so much. I feel the same way about you. What's interesting, right? Because I think, again, it comes back to and I think this is just that. And I think a lot of us are challenging it, that just that rooted capitalism within all of us is like, what has to be brand new if it's going to be valuable, it better be brand new, it better be more work, more labor. Right. And it's like, yeah, but even if everyone is, let's say, all the exact same people sign up for the week all over again. What a lovely invitation again, to go through your training again and get something else out of it and get something new out of it. The same thing is true. Like, there's different podcast episodes I'll relisten to. There's course materials I'll go back through from different courses I've bought. So, yeah, it's really lovely. And there's always, like a new spin that you get on something when you revisit it. Yeah, that is so great. And you also just remind me for me, this is like a full circle moment to the beginning of our chat today where I was asking what practices help you feel like you're in your body, that sense of return or belonging or arriving. And something that I do is there are certain sort of audio based courses or services that I purchased energetic reading or something about me. And I often revisit that. And I'll think of, like, which I'll be thinking about that person who it was. And I'll know, okay, that means I need to relisten to it. And it's the way that I allow those within my sort of sphere community to reflect to me things that I may not be remembering about myself or that I may be overthinking. And so that is one of my practices of allowing someone else to help me have gentler kind of thoughts about myself or to be like, oh, having a business doesn't have to be so hard. Someone reminded me that this is something I express well. And so that feels like the really nice sort of like cozy Snuggy blanket of like, oh, yeah, I often forget some of the practices that I have and I'm doing it. And like, oh, this could be a practice. So I appreciate that you're offering that moment within this exchange. You just made me think of this visual of creating a revisiting list. Like something that you have that you maybe it's seasonal or something. Like you come back to kind of like, you know, how we create like, bucket lists for fall. I want to go to a pumpkin patch. Like, having almost like a revisit later revisit. Yes. And what's so funny is I was going to share and then I was like, maybe not. I'll do it later. But then I'll forget, I will do it right now that I had this idea, too. And of course, good yes or no or whatever. But it's like the way that you approach revisiting and repurposing and sort of like reenergizing and sharing out that that I think could be such a transformative skill set. And so whether that's a revisit planner or a mini course of like, how do you revisit and reconceptualize and re relate with things? Whatever. I just want to show that because that feels like I keep seeing this image of, like, a door opening, but it's the door to a junk room where there's, like, cobble there's all the stuff built up and you're like, actually you can just open the door and it clears a little path, like enough to just get in the room. Right. It could help a lot of people, including myself, obviously, because I'm sure if I have the ideas about me. But what's the first step? How do you get in that muscle flexing of knowing a first step can be taken? So yeah, now our minds like all excited geekdab was like, what would that be like? But obviously no pressure. I was thinking in the same thing for you, just having like, I know you're thinking about creating like an improvising planner, but having all these tools, like all the different modalities and ways of thinking about. Yes. And yeah, I'm just excited because there's so many possibilities and it just shows you like the power of checklists or just lists in general and how they can help kind of stimulate that reminder or it's like the weather, right. It's like a little inventory. Yeah. And one thing that you've really helped me transform and I don't think I've allowed enough space for my thoughts to get the sort of image close enough for me to see it. But now that's coming through because of like a lot of things growing up without having to trauma bond, just like a lot of things, I would push back towards any kind of structure authority because no, it means it has to be controlling. And so I wouldn't allow myself to be supported with things like lists or checklists or courses or rubrics or anything because it just felt like it was a tight jacket or straight jacket, whatever. It just felt too binding but acts. So then I would be lost in sort of like my cosmic soup is what I call like in my brain. Right. And so I imagine there's a slurry of random shit and in my head to colander. And sometimes the right shape goes out of the right shape hole. I can access things sometimes, but often it's just so much like swirling around in there. And what I experienced when I revisit your work, your course and just start in space with you is this reminder that it is okay to allow a structure or a support to be there. I've been much better at allowing a human interaction, like a verbal support like that, but actually allowing there to be a structure, a foundation that does not take anyone else's energy, like planners papers, like something that physically is there that I can return to. And one of the ways that I noticed that I self sabotage is by not revisiting, by not remembering. I know you use notion a lot like a place that remind me sort of like a table cons. What have I already thought of what exists somewhere so I don't have to recreate that mental work. And so I'm going to be parting the time together today and really with that reflection over the weekend of what would actually allow myself to be supported, feel and look like in this season in life, how could that be something? And how can I set up those structures in a way where it feels like a no brainer to revisit? Hi, Bella. To feel like I get so excited to have that place and space to return to because that feels like your blanket on a picnic table with planners out on there and not like sitting in the corner facing a wall with a stray jacket on and having a itch on my back and being like, that'd be nice to get it. Yeah. Well, I think sometimes, too, it's almost kind of like how you have different rooms in your house. Right. We don't try to Cook a meal in the living room. We have a kitchen. We have space for that. We have all the tools there that we need for that. And then I couldn't tell you right now everything I touch when I go to make mashed potatoes. But when I'm in the kitchen. Suddenly I remember everything, right? It's all in front of me. And so, like you said, it's having reminders and tools, but then also just placing things to use when you need them. Where you need them. So that there isn't this extra mental energy going into what do I need? Like, if we kept everything that we ever needed throughout the day all in the same closet. Dodge ball, like a jump cluster, all the balls in the middle and everyone's scrambling. Right. That giant junk closet or junk drawer where it's like there's tons of ways. Or for me, it's my purse where I've had to transition to a smaller purse because I'm always, like, rummaging for my keys and it's like, or how can you create something where it's just easier to access everything, right. Just like you said, like 360 or whatever, like coming back to make life more livable, right? Yeah. It's like, why is my passport in the blender? Right? Yeah, same thing. Yeah. No, this is feeling like, so the last thing that I'll touch on, hopefully this is the last time I say the last thing. But again, the idea of making it simpler. And so another thing that you've bestowed upon me that I'm really grateful for right now is the ways that earlier I was mentioning evidence. My mind is like, oh, I have evidence of why this won't work. So I won't try. But I'm reminding myself now that I have new evidence as a parent that I do have the ability of putting things intentionally. So I have a diaper Caddy on each floor. Mercury has exempt that we're managing. I've created two of everything. So that way, every diaper change, she's getting moisturized. So I have been able to do that as a service in my mind is like, for someone else. Why can't I also do that? Practice for me. And so that's something that I'm going to have some fun with. And that feels, again, like that point I was sharing earlier about intentionally creating a structure of support that I want to revisit. So, like, that feels like we're apparently, like, juggling a bunch of cool, full circles here, you know, like, oh, like, I have this evidence applied in a different setting. How can I send that and make my own life more livable by applying that in the areas where I'm feeling the most overwhelmed, the least amount of ease. And you know what I call, like, overload literally can't even moments. I do have a place to start. I love that. Sarah. Yeah. Thank you for having me. This was such a lovely company. I also realized we got excited and went to every other place. Can you share just a bit more about how people can access productivity? Oh, yeah. That might be helpful. Yeah, I'll put it in the notes on the but that way in case people are more auditory. Yeah. If anyone wants to sign up, you can go to productivityweek.com and find everything there. Where else can they access you on the interwebs. On the interwebs? Yeah, I hang out on the mindful productivity podcast. You can listen anywhere to that. And you can also visit my website, which is mindful productivity podcast. I'm also on Instagram. Same handle. So that's kind of my jam where I like to hang out these days. Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today, Sarah. I am going to embrace it the Queen of not knowing how to end things. So I like to ask people really awkward things. Not personal, but to do awkward things. Oh, bring it up. Yeah, I'm ready. The usual one that I go to, I feel like would be two in your alley because you probably might have done it. So I'll ask you a different one and then tell you what the other one was. So if you were your own teapot and had to make your own noise when the water was ready, what noise would you want it to make? Because you love tea. Yeah. Okay, so I have a teapot and the water is ready. I think it would be something like blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The usual one is like, what animal noise do you want to end with? But since you have animals, it's like you probably have made random animal noises. So thank you for humoring. Yeah, I'll go patent that now. Right. You heard it here. First I am going to share with you this open boundless permission slip and your next moment of overwhelm to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah yourself. You're allowing that pressure of your inner tea kettle somewhere to go. You don't get a bottle in. I hope you're able to blah, blah, blah blub your way to a more useful day. I love it.