Ep. 66 Tie the Dog to the Tree

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"Tie the dog to the damn tree" is some advice Laura heard a few years ago and in the past month, as things started to fall apart, she realized she needed to listen. This week we talk about the anxiety and problems that ensue when we can't tell the difference between what's urgent and important, how to learn to discern between the two, and what to do.

Ep. 65 Committed to Failure

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What if you consciously committed to failure and rejection? This week we share some of our own big failures, past, and current, how to actually tell if you're failing (because sometimes, it's not obvious!), and the difference between failing smart and failing, well, dumb.

We talked about

  • CrossFit getting Laura all shook up

  • feeling like part of a community versus feeling bogged down by a group

  • Meadow’s surprising ballroom dancing past

  • a humorously mortifying incident involving work-at-home wear, a glass door, and Alma’s math tutor

  • Laura’s “The Practice” writing course and Meadow’s free audio training

  • why we chose this week’s topic and short term versus long term sustainability 

  • expensive money and what it looks like on the earning side of your business, job, and income

  • owning your failures and treating family as a business 

  • paying to work or working to get paid and Meadow’s post-workshop recovery 

  • what we mean by failure and doing it purposely by getting really clear

  • one of our most difficult failures (despite the appearance of success) and what we learned from it

  • the unexpectedly massive effect the podcast world had on Meadow’s business

  • Netflix bringing down Blockbuster and looking for the failure before it comes

  • taking a look at what is and isn’t working in various corners of your life

  • Laura facing rejection letters and how that’s actually a good thing

  • where we are committed to failing right now  

  • the scary insecurity that always grips us whenever we launch a new class or workshop

  • seeking letters about your commitments to failure, rating us on iTunes, and more!

Quotables

“In the short term, it feels like everything is going super well. I am successful in what I’m doing. I can get really caught up in that. But if I look at the long term, it’s leading to surefire burnout.”

“Money has to come first for family. Think of your family as a business first. You have to be profitable as a family first.”

“You get so busy doing your job that you forget to look around you and go, ‘Oh my God, it’s a whole different decade, it’s a whole different era, it’s a whole different set of people, it’s a whole different generation...’”

Ask yourself

  • How do you know when something is in the process of failing?

  • What is and isn’t working in different aspects of your life (business, family/household, health, daily routine, emotional well-being, etc.)?

  • Where are you committed to failing in this time of your life?

Resources 

“The Practice” course

Free Audio Training: Feel Worthy In 5 Seconds Flat

“Money Love School” course

“Money, then everything else” article by Paul Jarvis

Tiffany Han’s 100 Rejection Letters program

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Ep. 64 Girl, Stop Talking

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This week's original episode went in the trash. We spent 90-minutes talking about the history of our love lives and when we pressed "end" on the recording, knew that it would never see the light of day. So, we recorded another, wherein we talk about the things we don't share, and why, curiosity, trauma porn, privacy, secrets, secure relationships, and more.

We talked about

  • introducing Isabelle to Taylor Swift and Beyoncé at Coachella

  • Bradley Cooper, before he was famous, on Inside the Actors Studio

  • Laura’s 40-day course for writers (whether you consider yourself one or not)

  • ditching an episode we didn’t love and taking care with what we say publicly

  • the phone-throwing version of past Laura and the difficulty of dating after divorce

  • trauma porn and trying to one up others’ drama

  • Meadow’s memoir that healed her and will never see the light of day again

  • exposing other people’s story and not being that kind of person

  • being shamed on the spot from judging a bachelor’s date at a neighborhood barbecue

  • not deciding what you do based on what others do

  • relationship concerns as a universal issue regardless of whatever else is going on with people

  • a life-altering clip from Jonathan Van Ness and secure functioning relationships

  • the question Laura always gets asked that she won’t ever answer to your satisfaction and the other side of curiosity

  • identifying with Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of New York

  • showing up in costume, secrets vs. privacy, and more!

Quotables

“I never needed to tell that story but I did need to write it. And that was the healing and then I could be clean about it and present it.”

“It’s a lot of exposure of other people too. You don’t get to tell other people’s story...there was a lot of that going on in my earlier days.”

“Boundaries are really to protect what’s valuable to you. So you have to know what’s valuable to you first.”

“What I think I want is not what’s going to ultimately keep me safe and keep me happy and keep me secure and work in the long run. I think that most people are that way.”

Ask yourself

  • Do you tend to show up “in costume” in certain situations where you feel compelled to share something private (about yourself or others)? 

Resources 

“The Practice” course

“Home” podcast archives

Mary Karr’s memoirs and other books

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Work by Katie Byron

“Getting Curious” podcast by Jonathan Van Ness 

Wired For Love and Wired For Dating books by Stan Tatkin

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Music by Izzy DeVor

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Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

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Ep. 63 Becoming Meadow

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This week, we get the full backstory on how Meadow came to do the work she does. She talks about the first company she owned, working for Martha Beck, being on Oprah, digging herself out of a half-million in debt, and more.

We talked about

  • the tale of Laura’s driver-less car and how it triggered old feelings

  • how 4-year old Isabelle’s love of checking the mail leads to a scary incident

  • a request to rate and review us (but only if you love us)

  • Laura’s new website and course for writers

  • Meadow’s first job as a telemarketer at age 16

  • her dialed-in elevator pitch for what she does

  • the surprising way work got in the way of entering engineering school

  • teaching piano in Tahoe for young kids, opening a piano school after the passing of her mother, and how it helped her discover her thing

  • selling the school, weekend training with Martha Beck, and the embarrassing “shut down” while trying to look smart

  • the whirlwind of getting hired by Beck, having 1-on-1 clients, and getting the call to be on Oprah 

  • the teleprompter ambush and quick save by Oprah

  • hitting rock bottom in 2009 with a divorce filing and a half million dollar debt

  • authenticity and awareness of where you’re not great when coaching others

  • losing big in real estate and her sold music school going under

  • advice from her own coach about the role she played in her own money story

  • publishing her first money blog post, Money Love, and getting out of debt

  • having a 9-year front row seat to trial and error in her coaching practice

  • the need for the Four Voices (mind, heart, body, and soul) to be addressed

  • finding “Home”, the ceiling of worthiness, Beowulf’s mother and more!

Quotables

“Back then it was us and Martha in a room, and she told us jokes. You would’ve thought I met Jesus, the way I was with her.”

“‘I cannot in good faith tell anybody that they should stay married. Sometimes you just shouldn’t. And if that’s not in line with what Oprah was wanting for this episode, I’m deeply regretful.’”

“My focus is still that underlying question of what makes a person do something, or change, or really grow...it comes down to this ceiling of worthiness, what you think you’re worth.”

Ask yourself

  • Are you being authentic in your coaching of others? Which areas of your life aren’t going great and could use improvement?

  • What part do you play in your own story?

Resources 

Byron Katie

Laura’s The Reclamation Room, “The Practice” course, and “Home” podcast archives

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Meadow’s Money Love and other book

Music by Izzy DeVor

Review Us on iTunes

Leave an iTunes rating and review for Spiritualish here!

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Ep. 62: Becoming Laura

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This week, we get the full backstory on how Laura came to do the work she does. She talks about what she did before 2016, how and when and why she started podcasting and blogging, what led up to the moment she quit her corporate job, making big leaps, and more.

We talked about

  • free “Feel Worthy In 5 Seconds Flat” audio training, podcast show notes notifications, and other cool stuff for email subscribers

  • gray hair and skin tone...and sagging things, bad hair days, and “Meet the Millers” 

  • who sings that song at the beginning of each episode of the podcast

  • the complication of answering the “What do you do for a living” question, and the confusion it often causes 

  • a “stupid” inspiration and how Laura played a version of her adult self as a child

  • seeking the fun in her work and people seeking her out for help in previous jobs

  • how she got her first job out of college working as a marketing coordinator in the dot com era (with free snacks and Red Bull to spare)

  • her curiosity about people’s pain and being told she should get out of the marketing business

  • the realization of time ticking by on her desire to write a book and sobriety breaking her out of her non-writing stupor

  • her secret Tumblr account for quote collecting

  • sending her very first blog posts to her email contacts and getting encouraging feedback from someone she hadn’t heard from in years

  • teaching her first 4-hour yoga workshop and loving it

  • how she got a leg up from another entrepreneur, the scariest email she’s ever written, and feeling the loan pressure

  • the major turning point for Meadow that Laura taught her

  • creating her first course and revealing her superpower

  • and more!

Quotables

“I just collected words like they were rocks or something.”

“One thing I would get told over and over and over again was, ‘You have too much of a soul to be in this type of work.’”

“This can’t be my story. I couldn’t imagine spending 10 more years, 15 more years, 20 more years in advertising.”

Ask yourself

  • How old were you when you had an inkling of what you’d do, and what did that look like?

  • Looking back on your childhood, were you ever doing a version of what you’re doing now?

  • If/when someone asks you, “What do you do for a living?” how would you first respond? What’s your “elevator pitch” for the job/career/business you’ve chosen?

Resources 

“Feel Worthy In 5 Seconds Flat” free audio training

Izzy DeVor

South Boston Yoga

“Home” podcast archives and “The Bigger Yes” and “We Are the Luckiest” courses

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Ep. 61: Balance is Bullshit. Maybe?

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Not the typical Spiritualish episode, this week we work out a question in real time. What is this elusive myth of balance? Work-life balance. Love-work balance. Family-work-love-life-home balance. Anything-balance. Is it possible? Is it even desirable? Meadow gets personal with an issue she's working through currently and we discuss whether what she's seeking is balance or something else.

We talked about

  • not having such a good week

  • Meadow’s pretty website 

  • what people might really mean by balance

  • how life isn’t really balanced after all

  • what our days look like in reality right now and how that’s not conducive to work-life balance

  • figuring out what the actual problem is if it isn’t really lack of balance

  • school season vs. off-season and its effect on work life, especially for single parents

  • balance being unachievable in a day

  • wanting to be “bad” sometimes, or at least not “good” all the time

  • the Middle Way of Buddhism

  • fear of allowing some flexibility into life

  • being rebellious and ways Meadow could rebel right now

  • when and when not to strive for balance

  • a funny text message and raunchy “instant gratification” pronouncement

  • new food=new clothes

  • taking a temporary mental ride on the fitness roller coaster

  • and a request for letters about thoughts on this topic from you, our listeners.

Quotables

“Balance...is a back door way of saying, ‘I want to be perfect.’”

“If you were trying to do all the things equally, you would literally never get anywhere.”

Ask yourself

  • How are you spending your time, overall? If you feel too busy, how did you get to that place?

  • How would you rebel against what you usually do? What would you do differently?

  • What would the Middle Way look like in various aspects of your life like work, relationships, etc.?

  • Are you willing to do a lot of work to feel just a little better? Or are you in a good enough place, so you can just admit you don’t care to put in the time/effort?

Resources 

Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time Management for Busy Moms by Kate Northrup

One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps by Kevin Griffin

Music by Izzy DeVor

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Ep. 60: Selfish

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This week, we dig into that awful four-letter word: SELFISH. To many, being selfish—as in, putting your needs above the needs of others—is one the worst possible ways of being, and it’s avoided at all costs. As teachers, selfishness is one of the most common themes among students in our classes, especially with women: even the idea of doing something for oneself is uncomfortable at best, and sometimes downright impossible.

So, what does it really mean to be a selfish person? What does this belief system create in our lives? Is there a balance? Let's talk.

We talked about

  • eating pizza for the first time after a marathon and not feeling guilty about it

  • Meadow having weird dreams about food and family members

  • resistance to selfishness feeling like martyrdom

  • the “selfish label” having detrimental effects on relationships, even as a kid

  • how you can’t really live an unselfish life

  • an eye-opening money coach training experience makes the light bulb go off

  • toxic guilt and being an “employee” to yours

  • the paradox of people not wanting to be seen as selfish

  • true generosity and what that looks and feels like

  • the icky feeling that sabotages healers, yoga teachers, and other aspiring spiritual business owners

  • not becoming a “steamy raisin” 

  • Laura being invited to “hang out” with old friends after years of sobriety

  • teaching others what to expect from us

  • how you’re not that big of a deal, actually

  • and more!

Quotables

“You’re always being selfish. You’re either doing it in the name of altruism, or you’re doing it in the name of actual selfishness.”

“The faulty message was, ‘You’re here to serve others and wanting anything for yourself is evil.’”

Ask yourself

  • What do you really value? 

  • What (or who) are you actually serving (with your guilt or unselfishness)?

  • If you make a decision, will it be an energetic detriment to you? Will it cost you too much?

  • You’re not too busy, you’re just choosing to do something else...so what are you choosing right now?

Resources

Enneagram Types - from The Enneagram Institute®

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

“The Marie Forleo Podcast”

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Music by Izzy DeVor.

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Ep. 59: Less, or More?

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One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves in this life is: how much is enough? In our home, our relationships, money, work, success, our belongings, what is the value of going bigger, and what are the costs? This week, we talk about how we've been wrestling with this question in our own lives and the surprising contrasts in our desires.

We talked about

  • Laura having a “guest” on the show today

  • a test run event in Monterey at the end of the month for The Art of Wayfinding

  • what’s up with Laura these days and the difference between “The Bigger Yes” program online vs. at Kripalu

  • dishing the dirt on the book we’re reading right now

  • how wanting to believe you’re special can make you susceptible to others’ schemes

  • season 3’s Queer Eye and sexual confusion, criticism of TV therapy, Tan’s at-times bizarre fashion sense, and Karamo’s out-of-this-world beauty

  • the influential 4-Hour Workweek and a fisherman tale to pound the point home

  • a homestead obsession in Meadow’s roaring 20s

  • an ever-changing desire regarding work (and more permanent desires in life generally)

  • Meadow’s simple dream, how she’s essentially already living it, but what she’d still like more of

  • that feeling when you’re doing exactly what you’re born to do

  • how certain things you want can be at odds with what you get

  • arriving at the dream life and still being miserable

  • how “wanting small” not being the same as “playing small”

  • a 9-bag trip to Goodwill and finally thwarting the habit of throwing out half the groceries

  • how turning off your phone can change your life

  • and then some!

Quotables

“People know what gets them excited. And yet they don’t choose it actively. Sometimes we just want the fantasy.”

“I had kind of arrived at the thing that I thought was the thing...and I was sitting under a palm tree with a freaking margarita, and crying.”

Ask yourself

  • Do you want to go this way (bigger, more) or this way (smaller, less)?

  • What’s the difficulty in making a decision? What would you have to give up?

  • Do you feel you have something big inside of you that you need to express?

  • Why do you want more or less? What would it take?

Resources 

“The Bigger Yes” program on Laura’s website and at Kripalu

The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey of Your True Calling by Stephen Cope

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Lost and Found and other books by Geneen Roth

“The Dropout” Podcast

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis
Music by Izzy DeVor.

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Ep. 58: Friends

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This week, we answer a letter from a woman who's wondering about her friendships. What do friendships actually look like as an adult? Do they look like an episode of Friends, or something else? How do Friends fit into our lives as we get older? And how the hell do you make new friends? Meadow and Laura both talk about the shifts in their friendships over the years, what people tend to think vs. the reality, and where friends fit into their life now.

We talked about

  • resistance interfering with our week

  • a 40-day experience dealing with the concept of resistance firsthand

  • an announcement about the The Art of Wayfinding...and a tease of an announcement from Laura

  • what role friendships play in life, who close friends are, and what friendship looks like right now

  • frequency, depth of intimacy, and longevity of friendships

  • the sociopath-like appearance of going through friends, discarding them, and not missing certain ones

  • a 3-year time period playing an antisocial hermit with no friends and hiding the feeling of misery

  • moving from “Sex and the City” to current day

  • now connecting over work instead of playdates

  • the weird idea about the length of friendships and perfectly ordinary reasons why they can come to an end

  • coffee, swing sets, and the dorky process of making friends as an adult (all the while feeling like you’re stalking...or courting)

  • tolerance and intolerance of social clutter

  • being fine on your own (or not) and coming out of a period of isolation

  • the start of friendship between us, your friendly hosts

  • and much more!

Quotables

“It isn’t black and white. Yet, I can look back and some of my longest-term relationships that I continue to have, I would say are because the other person was way healthier than I was.”

“What my friendships used to look like was the stuff of ‘Sex and the City,’ I swear to God.”

“I’ve always felt like we’re friends with people for a season. And sometimes, they’re very long ones and often times, they’re not.”

Ask yourself

  • What role does friendship play in your life?

  • How have your friendships changed as you’ve changed?

  • What is at the root of why you have friends?

  • How do you make friends? Do you crave making a really close friend in life?

  • What slices of your life would be improved by sharing it with someone? What aspect of your life are you craving a witness for?

Resources 

The Art of War by Steven Pressfield

Union Yoga in Monterey, CA

Love Story Yoga

Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Music by Izzy DeVor.

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Ep. 57: "It's Not That Bad"

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Alt. episode title: "Examine What You Tolerate". This week, we recount times when we've told ourselves "It's not that bad" when in reality, it was that bad--and actually a lot worse. Why do we do that? What's the price? And how can you be onto yourself before you dig yourself into a too-deep hole?

We talked about

  • Laura being back from Florida and adorable cat cleanings

  • funny FaceTime shenanigans with Meadow

  • feeling trapped in an awkward Airbnb experience with no working Wi-Fi

  • taking a stroll down a dusty highway in search of food

  • hissing sounds while trying to fall asleep

  • having to write an ironically-titled chapter for her book

  • being in denial the whole time until she finally books into a hotel

  • having productive days despite it all

  • politeness and the fear of hurting others’ feelings

  • feeling invested to stay in an unwanted situation

  • Meadow’s harrowing nail salon trip in Orange County

  • a binder, a microphone, some glitter nails, and Abba’s Dancing Queen

  • Meadow ceasing her perpetual politeness via email

  • setting boundaries as a customer early so you look less like a jerk

  • how many first dates Meadow went on after her divorce

  • her last bad first date and cutting it short.

Quotables

 “You wanted to be polite, and you don’t fight for yourself and you don’t fight for your career. And it seems like kindness, but it’s at your expense.”

“When you’re getting your nails done, you shouldn’t be afraid. You shouldn’t be in PTSD mode.”

“I treat you as if you are the enemy. If you are on a first date with me, I act as if you’re trying to murder me. So no, you’re not going to know where I live. I will meet you at your house...”

Ask yourself

  • If you’re telling yourself it’s not that bad, what if it is? And what if you don’t have to do the thing you’re doing, even for another second longer? 

  • What if looking like a jerk is 100% inevitable? Will you choose to do it now or later?

Resources 

AirBnB 

FaceTime app

Dancing Queen by Abba

Music by Izzy DeVor.

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Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

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Ep. 56: Digital Minimalism

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"Philip Morris just wanted your lungs; the App Store wants your soul." - Bill Maher, 2018. This week, we explore the concept of Digital Minimalism, as described in Cal Newport's new book of the same title, the significant changes we've both made in response, the early results we've seen, as well as some of the open questions and fears we each have. This isn't about hating on tech (we love it!) but rather understanding the real impact of how we are now "connected", making choices based on what you value most, crushing some of the myths of being an online entrepreneur and "needing" social media, and deciding how you really want to spend your life.

We talked about

  • shared work spaces and needing a change from the work-at-home environment

  • a love-hate relationship with social media and the pressure to use it for business

  • playing the comparison game on social media and fear of losing ground

  • trying to get Alma off digital devices before bedtime

  • Laura losing her shit over a recent digital note-taking incident

  • home intrusions and receiving messages expressing disappointment

  • texting and an eye(ball)-opening revelation made to Isabelle about Instagram

  • life before caller ID and the pressure to respond ASAP with smart-phone text messaging

  • pretend connection and Bill Maher’s Real Time closing monologue

  • being in the moment vs. disappearing into a smart-phone on a Vermont ski trip

  • a compromise between Laura and Alma and the smart idea of Wi-Fi kill switches

  • Newport’s 3-step minimalist technology screening process

  • running down the changes made, the constraints felt, and the patterns broken during this process for both of us

  • Jordan Peterson, the teenager who doesn’t text or Snapchat, and the solitude deprivation concept

  • the lack of separation between personal and professional in digital device usage

  • Laura’s surprising phone statistics, before and after entry into digital minimalism world

  • social media hiding you from most of your followers...unless you pay up

  • digital multi-tasking and more juicy stuff.

Quotables

“So I explained to her how Instagram is basically selling her eyeballs to other people, and every minute she spends on it is a minute that they are making money off of her.”

“Social media is not insidious to me. I’ve actually always seen it as poisonous. I have always been really really really wary of it. I saw the addictive nature of it, and I did not want anything to do with that.”

“It’s no different than drinking in this way: it makes it impossible to find pleasure in things.”

Ask yourself

  • If you didn’t use social media for business at all and never had, would you still feel like you don’t exist if you’re not on it?

  • What does this technology serve that you deeply value? Is it the best way to serve what you value? 

  • Are you conscious of how and when you use digital technology? (And if not, how will you constrain it?)

Resources 

Digital Minimalism and Deep Work books by Cal Newport

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Music by Izzy DeVor.

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Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

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Ep. 55: The Price of Giving a Shit

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As a culture, we tend to glorify the idea of chasing your passion. We've all heard the adage, "Find something you love and you'll never work another day in your life." What we don't hear about all that often, though, is the real price of giving a shit about your work.

This week, we answer a letter from "Basic Millennial." He's at a crossroads, between jobs, trying to figure out how he can do something he really loves and finds meaning in, while also being a breadwinner.

We talked about

  • coming back from a skiing vacation, yoga fetal positions, and news from Laura

  • the fascinating Free Solo documentary film about rock climber Alex Honnold

  • WATL and receiving a letter from a male listener self-title “Basic Millenial” 

  • slightly demystifying the glorification of striving for fulfilling, passionate work

  • what we actually feel fulfilled by regarding our work lives

  • ways to avoid seeking meaning from your life and keeping your work at arms length

  • the price you have to pay for giving a shit about your work

  • the simplicity of making money and building wealth

  • what the letter reveals about the Basic Millenial’s money mindset and the two games he can’t play simultaneously

  • the reality of choosing entrepreneurship

  • what we both did when pressure came to bear and it was time to make a choice

  • how nothing you’ve done in the past has to be perceived by you as a waste

  • the existence of that something that refuses to leave you alone, even when you’re working at something else

  • refusing to take any opportunities in fear of taking the “wrong” one

  • paying your dues, book proposal rejections, and difficulty itself being fulfilling

  • that depressive feeling you get if you don’t know what you love doing, or don’t think you love doing anything

  • not valuing what you’re actually doing and the need to shift perspective

  • what Laura would do for Meadow if left to her own devices

  • final words of advice and encouragement for Basic Millenial and all of you.

Quotables

“If you know anything about these people’s lives, you don’t have to look too far to see the darkness there also. And what they had to give up in order to have that life.”

“To become profitable, you have to think that way. You have to. You run your life in a way that creates profit.”

“The people that I know who have continually just gone searching for the thing that just makes their heart sing typically just don’t do a lot. They don’t actually take the opportunities because they’re so worried about taking the wrong one, and you only figure shit out by trying it.”

Ask yourself

  • Are you fulfilled by your work? (Or are you more fulfilled by your work now than previous jobs)?

  • Is the “dream life” you see others having and envy really something you want? What are your true priorities?

  • Do you have some thing that just won’t leave you alone? What else are you always thinking about and loving and already doing anyway? What would you do for free for the next 10 years? 

Resources 

“We Are the Luckiest” and “The Bigger Yes” courses

“Reply All” Podcast 

National Geographic’s Free Solo movie

Rob Bell

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Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 54 The One About Anger

Photo credit: Inside Out by Pixar

Photo credit: Inside Out by Pixar

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Show notes

Meet Anger: one of the five core emotions, and also one of the most demonized and misunderstood. This week, we take a deep dive into what emotions actually are, what anger exists for, and why it is so critical to your sense of self and emotional health.

We talked about

  • the cold weather 

  • a writing update from Laura and how it feels like pregnancy

  • Laura’s new sobriety course (where Meadow will be guest teaching)

  • happy tears from Meadow but some trepidation too

  • emoting and watching Sex and the City

  • the quote meme that inspired this topic and the definition of emotions

  • the mistake that spiritual dogma and new-age philosophy can make with regard to emotional states

  • shenpa, anger evolving with humans, and its role and importance

  • the signs of anger repression and how we’ve experienced it in our own lives

  • a lesson in healthy anger expression during Meadow’s piano teaching days

  • how horses taught her to work with anger

  • what it looked like when she didn’t know how to work with her anger

  • a pattern of attracting “mother-substitute friends” and their ungraceful endings

  • questions to ask when anger comes up so you can move through it

  • upcoming construction and lawyer-related situations giving Meadow some current anger issues

  • when it’s time to release holding on to anger, among other things.

Quotables

“Emotions aren’t just something that come over you, that are an annoyance, that are a lesser part of you, that are to be shoved or eaten or pushed aside. They are useful parts of you that are all trying to tell you something.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the emotion that you’re having. It’s the story we get about the emotion that really makes us suffer.”

“What I want is a sense of restorative justice, and sometimes you cannot get that.”

Ask yourself

  • Do you tend to repress or over-express anger? What is your relationship to anger?

  • What does it look like when you don’t work with your anger?

  • How do you know when you’re angry? (If you don’t know the answer, then think about what feels unfair).

  • When anger arises, what are you trying to protect with your anger? And what needs to be restored?

  • What is holding on to the anger doing to you?

Resources 


Annie Dillard’s books

“We Are the Luckiest” course

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio

Pema Chodron

Laura’s (upcoming) book

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Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 53: Survival Mode or Drama Mama?

Photo credit: Castaway

Photo credit: Castaway

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Show notes

"Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life. It is not meant to be how you live." - Michele Rosenthal. So why is it that we tend to throw ourselves into that mode, long after survival is not an issue? We've got answers! This week we unpack how to tell the difference between actual survival mode and a drama loop and why you might be thriving on "surviving".

We talked about

  • what we’ve been watching lately and similarities to Dexter, Lifetime specials, and Modern Family

  • Meadow reading a book by candlelight and other books in our orbit

  • going back to watching quality shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad (or not), and Mad Men

  • Laura’s “We Are the Luckiest” course (now open to everyone) going on sale and what it’s all about

  • what is survival mode, where does it come from, and how to know when you’re stuck in it

  • the difference between survival mode and self-preservation and how adrenaline plays a part

  • how drinking kicked off survival mode for Laura and affected everything from her eating habits to her money situation

  • telling ourselves terrible stories in an attempt to change and the difference between hyper-vigilance and survival mode

  • how survival mode can affect your spending (and earning) and what survival mode is really about

  • the true fear faced by those who inherit or make a lot of money

  • how to get out of survival mode by taking an honest look at your adrenalized state

  • our experiences with the adrenalized state in the worlds of advertising and social media

  • noticing patterns of thought (and our greatest hits, sometimes playing every minute, for many years)

  • how survival mode is merely pretending to do something instead of actually doing something

  • extending your horizon to longer time-lines and one way this radically changed Meadow’s life

  • not running out of toilet paper anymore and other changes being made in Laura’s household

  • re-capping the four steps of getting out survival mode, and final words of advice.

Quotables

“I could always use drinking to create a survival mode situation.”

“Underneath it all, you do want to change. You just don’t know how to make yourself change.”

“I had this deep deep deep sense that if I wasn’t adrenalized all day, I was gonna fail.”

“The more in dysfunctional survival mode you are, the shorter your time-line is. So you might be just trying to make it to lunch...to the end of the meeting...to the end of whatever.”

Ask yourself

  • How does being in survival mode affect your spending (and your earning)?

  • How often are you living in an adrenalized state? How is it serving you or what is it distracting you from?

  • What are your patterns of thought? 

  • What action can you change or how can you behave differently?

  • What is your current horizon for money, shelter, food, and safety? How far out do you plan for each?

Resources 

Netflix’s You and Schitt’s Creek

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Love and Ruin and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

“We Are the Luckiest” 8-week course 

Russ Hudson’s Enneagram Types

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

Follow on the ‘gram

Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 52: Impostor Syndrome

Photo: Laura in a Costco (if you want to know the backstory, listen!).

Photo: Laura in a Costco (if you want to know the backstory, listen!).

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Show notes

Ahhh, Impostor Syndrome. The hidden affliction of...maybe, everyone? We break it down, talk about when we've felt it, why, how it's stopped us from moving forward, and how you can work with it so it stops stopping you.

We talked about

  • why Laura might sound a little weird, Meadow throwing out almost all of her clothes, and course announcements

  • the small difference between impostor and fraud and the ways in which the former can play out

  • Laura feeling like an impostor in the act while teaching yoga at the YMCA 

  • feeling stuck in impostor syndrome world with writing for the longest time

  • the friend who shipped her course to customers in the Internet dark age of...2004

  • the fear of appearing “ordinary” to yoga students and not being “in your head” when writing or teaching

  • choosing the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach or the “act as if” path and why one may be better to practice than the other

  • never knowing when you’re “good enough” to do the thing you want to do 

  • Simon Cowell’s truth of what it takes to get really good at what you really really want to do 

  • the point where you become paralyzed with regard to the work you desire

  • what worked for Laura to push past the paralysis when public speaking (and writing) and the two sides of impostor syndrome

  • how Meadow pretended to be less than what she was as a yoga teacher (and money coach) herself and choosing to be Seane Corn or Meadow DeVor

  • teaching from a running car, faking the floor as an office chair, and keeping it real with day-to-day business

  • Meadow’s perspective regarding her power as a teacher nowadays and us shedding our romanticism around the writer’s life

  • Laura and the annoying coffee shop patron trying to get her attention

  • showing up more honestly in your situation, the pain of not doing your thing (especially as time goes on), and even more.

Quotables

“I think that you don’t have this impostor syndrome unless you actually do care.”

“No one is you and that is your power.”

“Anything that I thought was such a big deal before, I just don’t think I’m as powerful as I used to think. I don’t have the power to ruin somebody’s day...which really really allows me to just show up and do a job.”

Ask yourself

  • Is there anywhere in your life right now where you are experiencing or working through impostor syndrome? 

  • Where are you pretending to be more than you are?

  • Where are you pretending to be less than you are?

  • How can you show up more honestly in this situation?

Resources 

“We Are the Luckiest” course

“The Bigger Yes” at Kripalu

Seane Corn

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Follow on the ‘gram

Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 51: The Conversation You Need to Stop Having

Photo credit: The Simpsons

Photo credit: The Simpsons

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Show notes

Is there a conversation you've been having for waaaaay too long? (There is, we promise.) This week, we talk about the conversations we want to stop having, and what happens when you get stuck in a loop without realizing it.

Also: Laura meets capital R resistance and Meadow goes to visit David Whyte the day after Mary Oliver passes.

We talked about

  • -8 degree weather in an extreme New England cold snap

  • Laura’s tire trouble and practically freezing to death while trying to get home

  • shower steam setting off the fire alarm in her icy house and ice drifts causing yet more car trouble

  • Meadow’s wonderful weekend hanging out with David Whyte and company

  • quick passage of time (and the realization of such as you get older)

  • Meadow’s suffering starters and top 5 conversations/questions to stop asking yourself

  • how social media contributes to Laura’s feelings of falling behind

  • Eckhart Tolle and The Power of Now

  • setting boundaries and surrendering

  • not talking about the difficulty of doing something

  • Laura bitching about her old job and feeling the difficulty of being alone

  • the “Greatest Difficulty Hits” we’ve heard over the years

  • shoving sunshine up your butts and accepting the difficulty of life

  • not knowing how to do something and being okay with that

  • wanting to know what questions/conversations our listeners can’t stop having, and more.

Quotables


“She finally said, ‘You’re becoming the person that bitches about their job every day and you have to stop. It’s really fucking annoying. You’re not that person.’”

“There are some things that are supposed to be difficult. That’s why we want them.”

“I do know that this conversation to have with yourself--‘I don’t know how, I don’t know how, I don’t know how’--it ends at a town called Incapacitated. You don’t want to live there, I promise.”

Ask yourself (this instead)

  • Instead of asking, “How am I going to (blank)?” ask instead, “What would I love to do?”

  • Instead of asking, “How am I falling behind?” ask instead, “How do I want to engage or show up?”

  • Instead of asking, “Where am I powerless?” say instead, “I’m empowered to (blank).”

  • Instead of asking, “How difficult is (blank)?” say instead, It’s okay to not be good at (blank).”

  • Instead of saying to yourself, “I don’t know how to (blank)” say instead, “I can learn to (blank).”

Resources 

Steven Pressfield

David Whyte

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Enneagram Types

Angry All the Time by Ronald Potter-Efron

Follow on the ‘gram

Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 50: Building Your Worthy Backbone

Photo credit: Saturday Night Live

Photo credit: Saturday Night Live

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Show notes

This week, we recap what happened during a girls weekend in Big Sur together. Highlights include Murder Mountain, Marie Kondo, 67 pounds of coffee, and collage making (#nerdalert). But not just any collage. We did what Meadow teaches as part of her course, The Worthy Project--a collage that drastically upended her life the first time she did it. It's a specific formula and we'll give you a fly-on-the-wall view of how we constructed ours, how it works, and how you can build your own worthy backbone.

We talked about

  • Laura taking charge during our 3-day retreat

  • friendship and being a decent one to only a handful of people

  • Meadow’s former women’s group forming the backbone of her inner circle when she was in all kinds of trouble

  • only needing one person in your inner circle of friendship

  • collages, coffee, chatting, yoga, Big Sur, and Laura’s need for alone time

  • making lists of 20 desires and what “The Worthy Project” is all about

  • some of Laura’s desires and worthiness issues and mantras

  • allowances with weighty or punishing caveats

  • deciding what you really want versus what you only think you (should) want

  • the mindset that changed Meadow’s relationship status and experience

  • constantly looking for evidence of support 

  • biggest reason why Meadow wants Laura to have a relationship she desires

  • some weird things we experienced during the retreat

  • what worthiness is and isn’t and setting expectation boundaries with the universe 

Quotables

“My most courageous act of my entire life was to ask for help at that point in time. And without fail, you all got on airplanes and you came.”

“It’s just a given. You just have debt. It’s the American thing. It’s the worldwide thing. It’s just part of being an adult...Is it really required and what is it doing to me? What’s it costing me? And what would I have to believe about myself to not have it anymore?”

“To feel worthy of that, that’s what it feels like. It would feel like a non-issue, just like I am a non-issue between you and Alma.”

Ask yourself

  • What do you really want (not just what you think you should want)?

  • Is there any part of yourself that doesn’t believe you’re worthy of whatever you want right now?

  • Why would the universe/others want this for you? Why’d it be beneficial for you?

  • What do you expect from the universe in return?

Resources 

“The Worthy Project” course

Enneagram Types

Eat, Pray, and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Follow on the ‘gram

Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 49: The Real You

Photo credit: Disney, The Little Mermaid

Photo credit: Disney, The Little Mermaid

TODAY IS OUR ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SPIRITUALISH! Okay, that aside, this week's episode is about letting the real you be seen. We answer a letter from a woman who isn't sure how to come to terms with who she was in the past, or if she really wants or needs to. She fears the people in her life would be shocked and scatter if they knew what she was like in her drinking days--she's not even sure *she* can accept that person, either. We discuss. And, for inquiring minds, we also discuss Laura's new way of eating, her hellish week of detox, and why she decided to kick grains and sugar.

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Ep. 48: Non-Negotiables!

Untitled design (87).jpg

Do you have things you’re committed to doing more or less daily that keep you sane and functional? Weeeell, you should. We all need them. And this episode might just give you permission to claim your non-negotiables. We talk about ours, why they matter, and how they fit into our day.

What does this have to do with John Travolta jazzercizing in short-short shorts? Nothing! But it’s a glorious image to behold, no?

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.