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December 27, 2023

Episode 18: End of Year Musings

In this episode rather than having one large topic to discuss, Pam and Sarah have a free flowing conversation about changes they’re working on making in the new year and advice for listeners. Also, Sarah shows her coaching ability by skillfully calling out when Pam’s need for control shows up repeatedly.

They discuss various topics related to mindfulness, meditation, budgeting, starting new things, and practicing generosity. They share insights and personal experiences, debunk misconceptions, and provide practical advice. The conversation emphasizes the importance of being present and embracing imperfection. They encourage listeners to start taking action, whether it’s through small moments of mindfulness, canceling unnecessary subscriptions, or practicing generosity and kindness in daily life.

Finally, Pam and Sarah discuss the importance of compliments and vulnerability in building connections. They discuss how bizarre it is that it feels so vulnerable to give compliments or share heartfelt sentiment. The conversation highlights the power of accepting compliments gracefully and using them as an opportunity to connect with others. It also emphasizes the practice of giving without expecting anything in return.


  • Practice mindfulness and meditation to cultivate awareness and separate thoughts from oneself.
  • Rather than trying to go on a restrictive budget in the new year, just start tracking your spending to build awareness.
  • Start doing the things you want to do without overthinking or seeking perfection.
  • Practice generosity and kindness in daily life to bring joy and make a positive impact.
  • Compliments can create strong connections between people when they are acknowledged and appreciated.
  • Giving without expecting anything in return can lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and connection.

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This transcript was generated by AI so please ignore any weird errors. If there is anything really terrible, let us know.

[00:00:08] Pam: Today we’re doing something a little different than usual. Uh, we didn’t have a book or long topic that we wanted to focus on. I brought up the idea of doing a random show, which is something that a lot of other podcasts do.

I’ve seen Tim Ferriss do it, and if you guys listen to 99 Percent Invisible, they do their mini stories at the end of every year, which I always really like. So I brought up the idea of doing this random show where it’s like any topic that we wanted to talk about that isn’t enough to make up a full episode.

So that’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna bring up one. Sarah’s gonna bring up one. We’re just gonna kind of see where the conversation goes with each topic and it’ll be like little mini pieces of advice or inspiration or things to bring into your new year.

[00:00:55] Sarah: I love this idea and I’m excited to get started.

[00:00:59] Pam: I’m glad that you love it. I felt like when I brought it up, you were a little bit like, oh no, like it kind of triggered the planner in you that wants to have everything…

[00:01:08] Sarah: yeah. I, I, I like an outline. I like an outline, but at the same time, I also love talking off the cuff.

So, um, can I kick things off?

[00:01:21] Pam: Let’s do it.

[00:01:23] Sarah: Yeah, this, um, is a method that I just read about, which I’m going to start using.

It’s called the back in time method. And what I love about it is that it combines future casting, so thinking about your future self, uh, in support of the present moment. And this method actually came from an interview, that was shared on the Tim Ferriss Show, speaking of Tim Ferriss. And, uh, the, the interviewee, uh, is named Jake Muise, M U I S E, and he attributes this to his wife… This method.

And so the idea is if you’re triggered by someone in your life who you love, whether that’s anyone in your family or in your orbit, if they, if they disappoint you or they’re making you feel angry, a way to, To, to be mindful about how you respond to them is to pause and picture yourself at 80 years old.

So imagine, really imagine yourself. What do you look like then? What does your life look like? How, what’s happened to the people in your family? Just picture your life in that moment. And then imagine that in that moment, you are granted the opportunity to go back in time to precisely where you are now.

And you have five minutes to redo this precise conversation or the situation that you’re in and ask yourself. How do I want to treat myself? How do I want to speak right now? How do I want to treat this other person? How do I want to think about this moment?

I just thought it was a really… we’ve talked about picturing our future selves for different things, for health related, for saving money, for all kinds of… has a lot of positive benefits thinking about ourselves. Uh, big picture like that, but I hadn’t thought of using it as a technique or device in the moment when I’m feeling annoyed.

Let’s say I’m feeling annoyed at my kids, right? Um, I haven’t thought of using that technique quickly, and I love quick techniques that we can pull out of our back pocket. In the moment when triggered. So it really spoke to me.

[00:03:42] Pam: I like that and I think you can use it for so many things. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be with an interaction with another person. It can be like, you know, I’m really stressed out about work today. How do I want to approach this differently? How do I want to think back on this day, when I’m 80, and if, you know, what’s going on with work is really stressing you out.

And I’m using this as an example, because I had a particularly stressful day yesterday. And it was easily something that could have like ruined my day and then made my evening bad because I was grumpy or whatnot. But using those kind of techniques to be mindful in the moment and think about the bigger picture and how this one moment is so insignificant and I can choose to react poorly or to react in a way that doesn’t feel good long term.

Or I can go, you know what, stuff happens and I’m not going to let it affect me on a broader scale. I’m going to kind of chill, take a beat and, and, you know, uh, think more mindfully about my response to the situation, whatever it is.

[00:04:50] Sarah: So you were able to do that yesterday?

[00:04:54] Pam: Yes. Um, and you know, not because all of a sudden yesterday I had this, you know, uh, Great ability to do it. It’s something that I have obviously worked on for years. Um, really starting with when I worked with you in a coaching capacity, which was just changing the way I thought about work and about my, um, perfectionist tendencies and my want for everything to go the way that I want it to and to control things and, um, Being able to let go of that and developing more of a mindfulness and a, almost like a separation from the circumstances, like if things are out of my control, which is why yesterday was stressful, I’m now able to go, things are out of my control and that’s okay. I don’t have to make it worse by trying to control things that I have absolutely no control over.

[00:05:53] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. All right, so Again, that’s called the back in time method if folks want to look it up.

[00:06:03] Pam: Well that kind of leads into one of the things that I had… I was listening to a podcast the other day with this, um, woman who’s kind of like a fitness expert. And so they were talking about just techniques that she uses for her fitness. And meditation came up and the, the podcast host asked if she meditated and she said, I don’t, because when I run, I get into a flow state and I have all these really great ideas, so I don’t feel like I need meditation.

And I was like, well, that, but that’s not the point of meditation. So I wanted to talk just briefly about maybe some misconceptions around mindfulness and meditation. And, I think that there has been kind of a disservice done to meditation by it being associated with kind of like woo woo stuff, because the, the science of meditation is actually very sound, and It is not something that you do to have great ideas and to think more and to get into a flow state of thought.

It’s actually something that you do to witness your thoughts and be able to let them go and separate the voice in your head from yourself. So, um, I don’t know if you hear those kinds of misconceptions about it or if you have run into that at all.

[00:07:33] Sarah: Well, not that particular one, though for some people they say that meditation doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t serve that purpose of, of calming them down, regulating their nervous system. Um, so it’s not giving the outcome that they want, but what I’m hearing you say that a valuable outcome in and of itself is simply learning how to notice our thoughts.

And as you were saying earlier, create some separation between our thoughts and ourselves.

[00:08:05] Pam: Yeah.

[00:08:05] Sarah: Is that correct?

[00:08:07] Pam: Yeah, absolutely. I think that is really the power of meditation because people think that they need to sit down and meditate and have a completely clear mind, and that’s not possible. You can’t stop thinking. What you can do is when the thought arises, recognize it. And let it go. And you build that ability to have thoughts come up and then not ruminate on them and not attach to them and not let them go into a spiral.

Because that is where anxiety lives, is when that thought arises and then all of a sudden you go into the loop of like all the bad things that are going to happen and da da da da da, you know, and you get into that cycle. Being able to build that muscle of, yes, I just had this thought of this terrible thing that happened, or this mistake I made, or whatever it is, and I can take a breath and let it go. That’s the power of meditation.

[00:09:06] Sarah: Yeah. Or even if I can’t let it go, I can see it as separate from me and I can, I’m perhaps more willing to entertain it as a thought and not necessarily a truth.

[00:09:18] Pam: Yes.

[00:09:19] Sarah: Whether I’m able to successfully let it go and release it or not, there can be some, some more separation.

I tend to agree with you.

I certainly have people in my world who say meditation doesn’t work for them or they don’t like it. And, and I think that’s fine. You can find other methods, um, of mindfulness and of caring for your, your mindset. At the same time, I do think that it’s a worthy practice in and of itself. Even if it’s five minutes a day, just to practice separating yourself from your thoughts and to practice the discipline.

The practice of the discipline of sitting there and feeling perhaps bored or aggravated by it. I think that discoveries will come, uh, and it’s worth it. So if you prefer running and you prefer other methods because you feel that those are going to give you the benefits that you believe are associated with meditation, then I think it’s fine to favor those and spend more time on them.

And at the same time, I agree with you that it’s worth it to develop a meditation practice, even if you’re doing it in a small, continuous way, for example, two minutes a day or five minutes a day, just to see how your relationship with it will evolve.

[00:10:38] Pam: Yeah. I think that’s great advice.

[00:10:40] Sarah: All right. I’ve got another one. This actually is related to mindfulness. So maybe I’ll tack this one on quickly before we shift gears. And it’s a goal that I have for 2024, which is to bring more tiny moments of mindfulness into my life. So, as we’ve talked about many times, I have a regular practice for the mornings, which I’ll continue.

But I like the idea of in certain moments where again I’m feeling myself… I’m feeling my, my nervous system get activated. For example, I’m sitting in traffic or I’m waiting for somebody to join a Zoom room and I’m just sitting there and I have a couple of minutes, right?

Um, maybe you’re laughing cause I’m usually the last one to join the room.

[00:11:28] Pam: No, I’m laughing because

[00:11:29] Sarah: like, you’re like, when does that ever happen to you?

[00:11:33] Pam: no, I’m laughing because, you know, when you get on a video call and you’re like the first one there, or you’re in the waiting room waiting for it to start. And it’s like two minutes after the start time. So then you start going, am I in the right room? Did the link change?

Did the meeting, like it’s this, it’s like three minutes of anxiety that you’re in the wrong place. It’s the worst.

[00:11:53] Sarah: Always. I, I feel that way when I meet people, places, when I have to go out into the real world and go to, actual office locations. And I feel that way in Zoom rooms. I’m constantly triple checking. Anyways…

on the occasion that I’m the one who’s, who’s early and I’m, and someone else late, uh, or I’m sitting in traffic or I’m waiting in line somewhere, in those off moments where maybe it’s a minute, two minutes, three minutes, can I engage in, for example, box breathing…

How can I seize those moments and say, Oh, I’m going to direct my mind to something else. So maybe it would be the box breathing. Maybe it would be a moment of gratitude. Maybe it would be a moment of grounding where I’m making a conscious choice to notice where I am, feel the sensations of the chair, notice something that’s beautiful around me.

Something like that. Just direct the moment and say, I’m going to choose to have a tiny mini mindfulness moment.

[00:12:55] Pam: Yeah, I like that. I like all the examples that you gave. Those are things that I use as well. Um, nature is one that I really like to focus on. So if I need a little mindfulness moment, um, you know, I’ll look out the window and look for a bird or a plant or something and just really pay attention to.

That bird or whatever it is. And, and, you know, watch the like funny thing that it’s doing. Like the, you know, the birds hopping around all over the yard. And if you just watch them for a minute, it’s so enjoyable and so silly. And it really does kind of bring you back to the present.

[00:13:31] Sarah: Yes.

[00:13:33] Pam: I heard a trick when you’re in traffic, if you’re starting to feel like road ragey, it’s to read license plates, like to just focus in on all the license plates around you. For some reason that works for people. So that’s another.


[00:13:47] Sarah: think that’s so interesting. I think that’s a grounding exercise when we think about naming things in the room.

It’s just getting present to the road and to the other cars that you’re traveling alongside. That’s cool.

[00:14:02] Pam: I don’t know where this came from, but I saw a quote years, like, probably a decade ago that I’ve never been able to let go of, and I think about it every time I’m in traffic, which is, it said, you’re not in traffic, you are traffic. Because when you’re sitting there in traffic, you’re so annoyed at everyone else for being on the road, but like, you’re there too.

Like you’re part of the problem.

[00:14:26] Sarah: Right. Does that actually calm you down?

[00:14:29] Pam: it does, it does it

[00:14:31] Sarah: Really? I feel like it would make me more annoyed.

[00:14:35] Pam: no, because what it does, and I use it for things outside of traffic, when I start to get annoyed about any situation that I’m that I am participating in, it makes me, it takes me out of that separation of like, you’re doing something wrong, or you’re making me mad, or you’re the problem.

And I can go, oh yeah, I’m also the problem. Like, this is just the human condition.

[00:14:57] Sarah: right.

I’ll try it and I’ll see if it has that impact on me or if it just makes me more pissed. Okay. All right. So that was my, that was my second one. Tiny mini moments of mindfulness.

[00:15:10] Pam: Well, I can transition from tiny moments of mindfulness into small amounts of awareness.

I read an article that was titled, The Sneaky Sticker Shock of Subscription Culture. It was in the New York Times. And they quoted, um, a small poll, I think there was a couple hundred people in it, but they found that the average consumer spends 273 per month on subscriptions. And when I first read that, I was like, 273 a month on subscriptions. That is ridiculous. Like, I thought that that seemed so crazy. And then I went and looked at my budget and our subscriptions, and that’s almost exactly what are monthly subscriptions are for various things when I include, um, like we subscribe to a fancy olive oil club and, you know, TV subscriptions and apps and all kinds of stuff, but we were right in the average. But the concern for me in reading the article was that most people didn’t know where their money was going with these subscriptions, like they just get charged for them and they don’t even pay any attention to it. So… I love subscriptions. They can save you time. They can save you money. They can be joyful if you’re subscribing to a, you know, a fun box that you get every month that you love when it shows up.

I have no problem with subscriptions, but I want people to become aware of where their money is going because these subscriptions can be like, almost like a tax that you get charged for them and you don’t even pay attention to it. Are you laughing because you have subscriptions?

[00:16:53] Sarah: Yeah, I’m laughing for, yeah, because I have subscriptions and because it’s Pam and Not Bad Advice of, like, noticing about our unconscious spending habits and, and I’m here for it. Yeah.

[00:17:07] Pam: Yeah. So the Like the time of year that we’re in, people tend to be like, okay, I’m going to get my finances under control and I’m going to start a budget. And I’m going to like really crack down. And then a month goes by and you’ve completely gone off the track because it’s too much. So what I want people to think about is just tracking where your money is going.

Don’t try and make changes. Don’t try and get on a crazy budget. Don’t try and restrict. Don’t set unrealistic goals that you’re going to all of a sudden start saving 25 percent of your salary. Literally right now, just track where your money went over the last month and look for places where you’re spending that you didn’t realize you were spending, subscriptions that you don’t want anymore, things that aren’t bringing you joy, um, things that aren’t adding to your life, things that you can cancel and do that for like three months.

Just get a handle on it. Just build awareness and then once you have that foundation you can start doing more with, with budgeting and with adjusting your habits.

And I recommend YNAB, it’s a terrible name, it stands for You Need a Budget, um, but it’s inexpensive and it’s easy and it’s great for doing this and they have tons of, education, like great YouTube channel.

[00:18:31] Sarah: I mean, I agree with everything you’ve said except for the easy part. It’s easy because you’ve been using it for 10 years.

[00:18:40] Pam: sure.

[00:18:41] Sarah: Right. But I agree. It’s worth learning and you can learn it.

[00:18:45] Pam: Yeah. I mean, this can be done in a spreadsheet. You don’t have to have software. You don’t have to have another subscription.

[00:18:50] Sarah: I’m here for that. And I would say that tracking, even before I started using YNAB, I, I am forced to track, um, my spending for my business.

So that’s where I’m more aware of my subscriptions because I can write them off. And I realized that for me, where I ended up wasting money… It wouldn’t be a waste for someone else necessarily, but it is a waste for me, is in memberships,

And Pam is nodding because she’s also part of the nomadic entrepreneurial world of where we are inundated with memberships. Different business memberships, masterminds, women’s groups, training programs. And listen, there’s a lot of great ones out there. I’m not trying to knock them and I love learning and I love connection and I get shiny object syndrome and I’m thinking this sounds so great and I’ve signed up for a number of, I was going to say many, for any, yeah, let’s say a healthy number, a healthy number of memberships and I don’t benefit from them.

Why? Because I don’t want to show up from more virtual groups.

[00:20:08] Pam: Yeah.

[00:20:09] Sarah: And I don’t, I never, if I ever tell you, I’m going to buy a course where I can take the modules on demand, fly to Toronto and stop me from doing it because I will not ever log in and watch something after the fact.

[00:20:28] Pam: Really?

[00:20:28] Sarah: just, it’s, well, maybe if I’m taking a program and I miss one week, but if it’s like, Oh, sign up for my program and you’re going to get.

300 free courses. Why am I going to do that?

You know, why? Previous Sarah might’ve thought, Oh, that sounds great. More to learn, right? My, just to build on what you were saying about tracking and noticing in my monthly tracking of my business expenses, when I would see, Oh, this membership, $99.

Hm, Didn’t use it in May. I guess I’ll probably get my money’s worth in June. Then I’m, you know, updating at the end of June, hmm, also didn’t use it in June. I guess July will be the month and then when I realize month after month I’m not utilizing it. I realize well, that’s a lot of my professional development budget, my professional growth budget.

It’d be much better for me to spend it on one hour with a great coach who could help me, for example, for me. And everyone’s different so you need to know, you know, what, as you were saying, what you get out of the subscription, maybe you love getting your fancy olive oils. My husband belongs to a wine club and we get a bottle of beautiful wine every month, and it feels delightful. You get it. It’s in a nice box. It’s something to look forward to. And so I’m all for spending money on things that are going to spark joy. And if those memberships as well are going to be fun and give you the community, go for it. I’ve, one thing I’ve learned particularly over the pandemic with myself is that doesn’t work for me.

And the, it’s not a good use of my money. And the only way I learned is by tracking. Otherwise, I’d think, oh, well this is a small amount every month, but month over month it certainly adds up.

[00:22:22] Pam: It does. Uh, you touched on something there, which I think is important, which, you know, if you have these subscriptions and, like, if it’s not a physical good, if it’s something like you were talking about, like courses, and you keep paying for it and not using it, you have the awareness to look at that and go, I’m never going to use this so I just need to stop.

But that can be really difficult because there’s a sunk cost there, right? You might look at it and go, I have spent $500 on courses and I have never logged in and never done anything. So I’m going to, I’m going to stay in so that I get my money’s worth. And then you keep paying more and more and more and never using it because you’re trying to recoup that money that you already spent. So, like, building that ability to go, yes, I spent that $500 and I didn’t get anything out of it, and I’m not gonna spend another $500 to not get anything because I’m not, I’m never getting that $500 back. That’s a, that’s a really big, like, skill to develop.

[00:23:28] Sarah: It is. And it’s painful. It’s painful. We can experience shame, regret, embarrassment, and then also the FOMO of, well, over the holidays, you know, I’ll have a chance to catch up and then learn all that great stuff that all those other people who actually logged on got out of it, right? So there’s a lot, a lot to work through and lean on those self compassion tools.

Forgive yourself for it.

[00:23:57] Pam: Yeah.

You were talking about courses and all of the valuable information that is out there that we have access to. And you know, you can sign up for courses and buy books and there’s, there’s just so much that you can learn.

And because of that, it’s so hard to start something new because you’re like, Oh, I want to go out and I want to figure out how to do it perfectly and I’m going to read all the books and I’m going to take all the classes and then you never actually start the thing because you’re so caught up in figuring out the best way to do it.

I think that’s pretty common. I’ve done it plenty of times. I have many, uh, failed starts because I wanted to, to be perfect. Yeah.

[00:24:46] Sarah: So, many failed starts.

[00:24:48] Pam: yeah, and look, that’s okay. I have a lot of things where I look back and I go, oh yeah, I thought I wanted to do that, and I’m so glad that I didn’t because that’s not where I want, you know, wanted to spend my time ultimately.

But, um, why I’m bringing this up is because people start a lot of new things this time of year and they’re like, you know, want to start a new business or they get a creative burst after the holidays because maybe they had some downtime. And so what I want to encourage people to do is just start doing the thing.

Don’t get caught up in trying to do it perfectly or learning everything that you can learn about it, just start because the most valuable education is doing the thing.

You build the most experience and you learn what you want to do differently by actually doing it.

[00:25:39] Sarah: I think that’s great and I think that we can intellectualize whatever the thing is, quote unquote. For example, I want to have more playfulness and fun in my life. And so I could sit there and… what does fun mean and what would be the most fun, right? And how am I really going to create it? And am I going to paint and what kind of paints should I buy and turn it into a whole thing?

Or I could just make a plan in five minutes that I think will be fun and then stick to it. For example, I went last weekend to a dance class with my daughter and some other friends, and it was a Taylor Swift, uh, music video dance class. And

[00:26:28] Pam: Oh, that’s so fun.

[00:26:30] Sarah: so much fun. I think a lot of the tween girls were maybe horrified by their moms, but we were having so much fun.

We didn’t care. It was super joyful. Tons of endorphins. Signed up, went, great, done. And now we’re actually, some of us are going to continue doing some of the other dance classes in the studio. And that for me was an example of here it is, go do it. Um, similarly booked a ticket to go to a comedy club with my husband.

Just doing things quickly, and not be laboring the process. And certainly don’t try to intellectualize and become really systematic and rigid about what fun means. Just go have, just go have some fun.

[00:27:18] Pam: Yeah. And people might be listening to that and thinking that it’s a silly example, but it’s not because we do, right? We ha like, you could have had that idea of like, I want to bring more fun into my life and then made it a thing. Like, okay, so that means on Saturday night, we need to have date night and we have to figure out a place that we’re going to go and like made it really rigid and like tried to figure out the perfect way to bring fun into your life instead of having fun for the sake of fun.

Like you, you. You could have over intellectualized and planned it and made it another job.

[00:27:49] Sarah: yeah, no more jobs.

[00:27:52] Pam: CK took me to a dance class one time and, um, he enjoys dancing and I’m not a great dancer. So, and that goes back to my perfectionism, right? Because I want it to, I want to be good at it. it was like a salsa class. And we show up there and we’re the only people that showed up for the class. So it’s just he and I and the instructor.

[00:28:13] Sarah: a private class.

[00:28:15] Pam: It was a private class, which is the worst because then like, all of his attention was on us. And I am not good at being led. So partner dancing is terrible because I want to be in control. I want to be the alpha. And so CK is trying to do his part and I’m like, battling him. And the instructor is like, you know, just like, let him lead you and just da da da.

And I’m like, well, that, you know. And my perfectionism is going crazy and I’m just getting like so worked up. And then the instructor is like, okay, and now we’re going to add on the next part. And the next part was so complicated and he’s like trying to show us what to do and I lost it and I started crying and I yelled at him and I go, I’m not ready for that yet.

It was like supposed to be this fun day

[00:29:07] Sarah: Oh my gosh.

[00:29:09] Pam: and I lost it. I mean, this was like almost 15 years ago, so I’m sure it would go much differently now, but that’s one of my favorite stories about my perfectionism taking away what should have been a fun day.

[00:29:23] Sarah: Are we having fun yet?

[00:29:25] Pam: Yeah, exactly. We left and CK was like, okay, we won’t try that again.

[00:29:30] Sarah: Right. That’s so funny.

[00:29:33] Pam: So, you mentioned you wanted to bring fun into your life more this year, so, um, I’ll share one of the things that I’m working on. I’m working on being better at it bringing people into conversation. So I’ve noticed this because of our show and also just being in conversation with other people. I am not good at reciprocating.

So if someone asks me a question, I give my answer and I don’t say, how about you? Like I just give my answer and I expect the other person will naturally. Give their response because that’s how my family is. Like we don’t wait for someone to invite us to participate in the conversation. We’re just like, here’s my opinion.

Um, or here’s my experience. Listen to me talk. So I’m working on being better about saying, how about you? Or what’s your experience or, or bringing people into conversation so they feel comfortable or invited to share their experience on whatever we’re talking about.

[00:30:41] Sarah: That’s great. Great intention and great awareness. Like noticing that You’ll often just wait for them to, wait for them to offer their, their side and they might not.

[00:30:52] Pam: Yeah. What I realized was I would have! conversations and then later be like, oh, I didn’t get their perspective on this or I didn’t. I don’t know how they feel about this or what their experience was. I wasn’t able to do it in the moment. It was later, I would think back and go, Oh yeah, I didn’t, didn’t get anything from that person, but they know all about me. So, yes, I, oops. So for everyone that has been in conversation with me and I didn’t ask you, um, I apologize. I’m getting, I’m going to work on getting better

[00:31:27] Sarah: Yeah, just talk to Pam in 2024. Try it again.

[00:31:32] Pam: Exactly. Exactly. And the other thing that I’m working on is generosity. So this is something I’ve been thinking about kind of all year, because I will often have thoughts about doing generous things and then either forget or, um, there’s this thing that happens where. I have an idea to give money to a cause or something, or, you know, be generous in some way.

And then there’s another voice that comes in very quickly and says, Oh, but you know, you can’t give that money because you need to put it in your retirement. Or, you know, maybe you need to look into that charity and make sure that they’re actually as good as they think that they are. Or like, where’s that money actually going to go?

Like there’s, there’s this other voice that comes in and like very quickly shuts down that charitable impulse and I want to work on staying with the first impulse to give and to be more open and sharing.

I had an experience, um, outside the grocery store where there was a man playing an electric violin and had a sign out asking for donations.

And he was I mean, amazing at it. He should be on a stage somewhere. But, um, I was like, okay, you know, great. You’re, this was really enjoyable music. I’m going to give some money if I have any cash in my car. So once I got to the car, looked in my wallet and I did so drove over and I gave it to them, felt good.

And then like 15 seconds later. That voice in my head was like, you don’t know what they’re going to do with that money. You know, do they actually even need it? Like there was tons of pushback. And so what I’m working on is once I have that generous impulse and I give, not attaching any expectation to what the person does with the gift. Like just appreciating the charitable feeling and the generosity for what it is and detaching from any outcome.

[00:33:45] Sarah: I love that because I’m hearing that is an awareness of your control impulse. I want to control, I want to control what they, what they do. And I want them to do something that I think is a good choice

[00:34:00] Pam: You’re right.

[00:34:04] Sarah: Versus I can control myself, I’m working on myself and I want to practice more generosity as an action, right? As a value that I’m going to bring to life. And I’m going to practice following through with my urges to be generous in big and small ways. I love that. I love that. And I love how candidly you expressed how the impulse to be generous is countered by a desire to keep, to hold on to our resources, whether that’s money, whether that’s time.

That’s, that’s human. Right. That’s human. And, um, I’m thinking as well as, you know, when we talk about love and fear, the two, the two, like the, to, to, to be generous to me is an ultimate expression of love. It’s you’re giving away something of yours to somebody else. And then that’s an expression of love. And then on the other side, we have fear.

Well, is this the right choice? And what if I need it? It’s a self preservation, you know, 80 year old Pam might need this. And, and is this, is this going to really be the right move for, for myself in the world? It is fear.

So I think it’s acknowledging it and then saying, Oh no, this year I want to choose to be in love more and notice the fear, but choose the generous act and move forward with it and practice that.

It’s funny because when I read that note about generosity, I was thinking about that and you and I have talked, we’ve danced around this idea of generosity and I think it’s a great topic for a fuller conversation. I was thinking about my desire to be more generous also in terms of, not time, kind of time, but not really time, more around express…. expressing kindness to people.

For example, paying a compliment to somebody. A genuine compliment, or taking the time to write a nice note on their LinkedIn post, as an example, or giving somebody a quick call to say, I really liked how you taught that, or I really liked that session, or I really like your writing here. Paying compliments.

Because I’ll often be impacted by what other people are doing or saying and, and then I can keep that to myself. And then I was thinking, why, why do I do that? And I think part of why I might hold it to myself is thinking, Oh, it’s going to take an effort. It’s going to use my effort to call them and tell them. It’s going to take 10 minutes.

And that’s using my resources. And I might need those. Because I’m busy, I have things to do. So when I’m feeling super rested and I have a whole week off, then I’ll go and do all of these generous acts, which is kind of the same as like, well, what if I need my money? You know, it’s a same premise, but it’s more about what if I need my energy, but then actually it’s energizing to make somebody feel good.

It fills me up versus depletes me. So just like it feels better to give, right? When people say it feels better to give than to receive, it does. It feels amazing. If we’re fortunate enough to be able to give and help somebody, it feels great.

[00:37:35] Pam: It’s really funny that you think of it in that term, like that that is what holds you back from complimenting people or reaching out with a nice thing to say because I find that what stops me is almost like it’s a, it’s a vulnerability issue. Like, it’s hard to reach out and say something nice, which is absurd because who doesn’t like to hear nice things?

But you start to think like, oh, they don’t want to, like, they don’t want to hear this or the, the, this, I don’t know. I don’t know what that is, but I’ve had it even with, you know, CK, we’ve been together for 15 years, but I’ll still like, I’ll think of something like really sincere and kind that I want to say to him.

And then it’ll be like, You know, that’s going to be awkward or weird or whatever. Like, cause it feels vulnerable to, to be really open and kind for some reason.

[00:38:28] Sarah: I get that. I get that. I think that there’s probably part of that for me too. I haven’t fully unpacked it. I think we should talk more about it. The, the resources was when the energy, and I think it’s probably building on what you said. Part of it is that too. Well, it feels vulnerable. So it’s that kind of energy.

[00:38:48] Pam: Yeah.

[00:38:49] Sarah: It’s using energy to, to be vulnerable in that way. And it’s true. Why is it so vulnerable to be kind and to make somebody feel good?

[00:39:00] Pam: There’s a podcast that I really enjoy and the host at the end of one of the episodes kind of expressed some vulnerability and said, you know, I don’t know if, if what I’m doing is even any good or, you know, he was just really open and vulnerable at the end of this episode. So I went to the Substack for the show and subscribed as a paying member to support the show. And intentionally did that so that I could post on their Substack and wrote this post about how great the episode was, how much I loved the show and how, you know, when he starts feeling that feeling of maybe it’s not good enough to like, remember that it is, and, you know, we’re all here and dah, dah, dah, and all this stuff.

And I put all this time and energy into it. And. , I felt really good about doing that, but then back to the control thing, I wanted a response of, like, an acknowledgement of, like, yes, I got your message, anything. And the host literally, like, liked or replied to every other post on that episode, and didn’t even acknowledge mine. Which at first I was like mad about it, but that’s another thing maybe that could be a, a little piece of advice here, which is to , learn to take a compliment because the other person, like we just said, was really vulnerable and took effort and time to reach out to you and say something kind and the best thing, the nicest thing that you can do in return for them is to acknowledge that and appreciate that they put that time and effort into it.

And that will create a bond between you, even if you feel like weird about the compliment or, um, if it makes you feel not, not weird in like a way that this person’s creepy, but like weird, cause you can’t accept the compliment. Like, um, I find that if someone compliments me or I compliment them or, you know, say a nice thing to them and they, They appreciate it, or I appreciate what they’ve said to me.

It creates a connection between us that is so strong.

[00:41:08] Sarah: Yes.

[00:41:08] Pam: Yeah. So I think that’s a, maybe another great skill to start building and work on.

[00:41:15] Sarah: So I think, if I may, there are actually two lessons in there. One is to receive compliments and use compliments as an opportunity to connect with someone, if you want.

And two is part of the control thing for you. It’s just to practice giving without

[00:41:35] Pam: I’m there now. I wasn’t two weeks ago. I’m there now.

[00:41:41] Sarah: You’re there now. Yeah, you’re there. You’re practicing that one. Giving without expectation of a receipt.

[00:41:47] Pam: Yes.

[00:41:48] Sarah: I’ll be waiting for my thank you card.


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