The past two weeks have been a doozy. My elder cat, Bear, a handsome eighteen years old, got really sick. It's hard to tell when a cat goes from being just an old cat with some bouts of dementia and a propensity to angry poop in the hallway, to actually-really-sick-call-the-vet. There's a subtle shift. He had a really bad accident on a Saturday, the kind that involved a grumpy roommate and me just mopping the whole house. Then he puked, then he just sat still. More still than usual and he sleeps about 23 1/2 hours a day. I put a call out to my friends on Facebook if there was a vet person I could talk to about whether I should go to the vet. I've known so many people who have dumped thousands of dollars into an old cat to find out what's wrong only to have to let them go anyway. I didn't want that to be Bear's experience in his senior years, I just wanted him to be comfortable and happy.
I put up an instagram square last week testing engagement around some upcoming tour dates for Fat Kid Dance Party. I’ve been touring since the end of February and I’ve been so many places. Seattle, Portland, OR, Minneapolis, Tuscon, Austin, San Jose, Knoxville, and back to Seattle. Washington, DC and Chicago are scheduled–please go buy tickets!
The circle up after class that I’m doing now is so tender! Finding venues that are affordable enough to have the time to really connect after class is a priority for me! Photos in this post by Jess Milligan.
When I say “testing engagement” that’s just fancy start-up speak for “Hey is anybody out there?” It’s helpful because when I look at my calendar, what is already on my plate and what I’m trying to accomplish, I tend to gravitate towards max efficiency. My inclination is to find out if there are folks out there who might overlap with where I’ll be anyway and make it happen. This is how I ended up in Austin on a random Monday, I was there for a retreat anyway and it helped offset the cost of the trip. But max efficiency doesn’t always align with what I want, or what I have capacity for!
The response was pretty amazing in quantity but it was not geographically specific. There are folks all over who want me to tour in their towns, which is fabulous, but it is also heartwrenching for me! I’m a recovering people pleaser and I want to make everyone happy. And I’m not going to Utah anytime soon!
The whole group in San Jose!
In people pleaser recovery we learn that what we must ultimately do is the work of knowing what is in our heart, what makes us sing, and what we want. I learned from Jeffrey Marsh that we do not need to be “nice” (doing what other people think we “should” or saying what they want to hear), but we can be kind. We can kindly say, “Hey, this isn’t right for me right now.” And we can be kind to ourselves and let go of the need for other’s approval.
After I heard from folks about where they were going to be able to attend class I took a next step and created a google form. This way when I do make it to Utah I can reach those couple folks who want it and make sure they know I’m coming. And I can keep gathering info about engagement over time by having it on my website and it can help with planning as I have more capacity and more income to hire staff to increase my capacity.
Dawn came all the way from Santa Rose to San Jose (this is a 90+ minute drive in traffic) to take the class and won MVP from me for coming the farthest!
This week I devoured my friend Amber Rae’s new book Choose Wonder Over Worry on audio and had a major aha moment. She taught about the method of making a list of what you want to work on and then listing what you REALLY want. Then *gasp/heartbreak* dropping the other things you also want so you can focus on what you REALLY want first. She nailed this for me—I always WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS but my capacity and income do not yet support doing all the things.
When I sit down and figure out what I really want in the next few weeks—it is to have a killer launch of the new FKDP website and workout videos. The tour helps that, but it also hinders it. When I travel my work capacity diminishes. I want to get lots of social media shareables and help all the folks in my networks and my audience of kindred spirits to have what they need to make this workout video wildly successful.
I considered, briefly, just putting the workout video up for sale and not doing a “launch plan.” Launch plan is start-up speak for all the things you plan to do to get as many people as possible to buy something right away. It involves a lot of media planning, sometimes it is events and sometimes tours, social media shares, lots of asking and receiving.*
Me and Amber (left) and Lauren right after we filmed Amber naked in a field of blue bonnetts reading the introduction to her book.
Watching these past couple months as Amber dialed in and executed a huge launch plan has been so inspirational that I just need to try! I’d rather swing and miss doing something my heart really wants than play it safe and play it small and just casually drop this workout video that could really change people’s lives.
Every time I think of playing small I remember Tr*mp is in office and it is not time to dim our lights, it’s time to shine! The more I shine and put my healing work in the world, the more I heal other folks who will then also shine and put their good work in the world! We need more people who are fully expressed! (I talked more about being fully expressed on my email list this week!)
Because I took the time to get clear on what I really want, it helps me plan my tour this summer. Portland and Seattle are definitely happening in July, Cleveland and Atlanta are definitely happening in August, and the other “efficiency” tour stops aren’t happening. My desire to max efficiency often overrides what I really want! And it takes a lot of effort to take a tour stop to a new place and trying to find and engage that new audience is more work I know I need to apply to my launch. So I’ll go more places in the Fall!
Practicing taking up space and NOT playing small at Fat Kid Dance Party!
I was trying to make something work while I’ll be on vacation with Dara’s family at the Jersey Shore but she asked me to just focus on being on vacation not on tour. And in my priorities being a loving and supportive partner is much higher than work!
Here are some things I do when I need to know what I REALLY want:
1. Journal, free form, from my heart to the page for ten minutes
2. Make a list of what I want and then really think through my capacity, recreate the list in priority order and grieve** my lack of capacity
3. Process with a friend—regardless of what they “think” usually when I talk through something I can feel in my body what lights me up versus what makes me feel tight/anxious
4. I pray for clarity—just a simple ask for clarity “Please show me my next right move”
5. Meditation daily—seriously helps me stay clear and on my path
Being clear about what you want serves everyone in your life! If you’re a parent, showing your kids how to make decisions that align with what they want by modeling how you make decisions about your priorities is a killer life skill that will keep them on their true path and help them not become people pleasers. When you know what you want the people in your life don’t have to guess about what you need or want. It helps you set boundaries! It keeps your drama low and less of a time suck.
For folks who are bummed I’m not touring to their town anytime soon I’m planning a retreat for November 2-4 weekend. I wanted to create an opportunity for folks who want an immersive Fat Kid Dance Party experience. It’s for ALL size people and a chance to take class three days in a row (the joy meter from that alone will be on and poppin’). Additionally we’ll be working through our barriers to self care and creating tangible action plans. For more info see this video and if you want to have the first chance to buy tickets when they go on sale, fill out this form.
The workout video launch is happening early July. If you want to get access to your videos on June 15th, barring any post-production delays, as part of the soft launch, it is your last opportunity to buy the workout videos now! They cost less at pre-sale than they will full price so if you’re thinking of getting them as a gift and want the discount, get it now! I’m closing down pre-sales on May 24th.
*To be honest I have no idea what a launch plan really looks like so if you’ve done one please send me a copy so I can use a template!
**For real, my expectations create a need to grieve sometimes!