Life is full of contradictions in how we’re taught to live it by working hard and always striving. Yet, in order to keep ourselves sane and happy, we need to also learn how to step away from those. In this episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen discuss how we can create the space to re-examine our personal life and career, finding that balance between the two and disconnecting from the hustle culture and addiction to productivity and efficiency. Showing vulnerability on the show, Jason openly and honestly talks about how things are no longer bringing him as much joy. He taps into that line many of us are tip-toeing in between working to live and living to work, where we re-engage the things that used to bring us joy and fulfillment. Join Jason and Whitney as they remind us how it’s okay to take a break sometimes.
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Creating Space Within To Re-Examine Our Personal Life And Career
This episode qualifies as being uncomfortable because it started with an uncomfortable conversation that Jason and I were having. I asked him if he was open to having this discussion on the show. This conversation came up as we were talking about the amount of things on our to-do list. As we’ve discussed in at least a few episodes of the show, the two of us are frequently trying to figure out how to stay balanced, how to disconnect from the hustle culture, from the addiction to productivity and efficiency. That can be challenging because we have been taught about if you put the work in, you get these results. We have also found that putting in a lot of work does not equal results. That’s an important thing to talk openly about.
Jason has talked a lot about his transition from wanting to do things more within his heart, wanting to potentially leave his career behind as a vegan chef, wanting to disconnect from the vegan community in a lot of ways, mostly in the sense of social media, content creation. Neither one of us plan on ending our lifestyles as vegans. We enjoy the plant-based diet and all of the ethics, compassion, health benefits and environmental benefits of being vegan. It is hard from a business standpoint. As you may have heard us talking about, we have this program called The Consistency Code and we have been in some bundle sales with that, and it requires some work. We’ve done a few bundle sales over the years and they have been draining. We weren’t planning on doing one, but we decided to participate in three, one passively.
One of the bundle sales we’re in is the No Meat Athlete bundle sale, which we had been in for many years before. We love the community. We decided to include our program Wellness Warrior Training in there, but we’re not actively promoting it aside from discussing it because we’re also part of another bundle sale that corresponds at the same time. It was interesting making the decision to be in these bundles because I had to examine what was draining me and Jason in previous years. For me, what was draining was the amount of work that we have put in, and the output in terms of finances that we got out. I had to step back and think I’m not ultimately in this for money. Money is nice and important for paying our bills, but money isn’t everything.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the allure of money, especially in this world of content creation. There’s a lot of mental health issues at play. I got an email, ironically, reminding us how easy it is to become overwhelmed with notifications and messages from people, and this information overload that can be draining and lead to burn out. In many ways, Jason and I get burnt out quite frequently. It can feel depressing because it seems like we’re being pushed to do much when we don’t want to do as much. Maybe it would feel good to do that much work if we did get the results that were satisfying, but I suppose that I’ve never felt deeply satisfied.
As we’ve talked about in an episode with a wonderful guest, one of the best that we’ve ever made in terms of our guest experience. We’ve had the honor to have incredible guests on the show, but we love this episode with Corbett Barr because he talks about stepping back and considering our relationship to our digital selves. That’s what our conversation was about. In essence, Jason is sharing openly and honestly how things are not bringing him as much joy. He doesn’t want to do a lot of the work required because his heart isn’t in it. This is an important thing to discuss, Jason, not just for yourself but for anyone else reading. I’m excited and this gives a good reason for the reader to subscribe to the show. If you don’t, you might forget to read that episode or in our newsletter as well. We’ll remind you of this because we don’t want you to miss incredible episodes like this.
It’s our 156th episode with Corbett. It’s wonderful when he talked about how so much of the online world is smoke and mirrors. Whether you’re working as an entrepreneur, as a content creator and influencer, there are a lot of people that are invested in showing the benefits of social media, but we need to continue to point out the drawbacks to it. It doesn’t just have to do with social media. It can do with anything that we’re doing online, entrepreneurship is specifically what he was talking about. People are invested in making entrepreneurship, working for yourself seems all fun and all the work pays off, but it doesn’t always and not enough people talk about it. Jason, it’s important for us to share the hard parts about being entrepreneurs and content creators simultaneously.
I don’t know what to say about recultivating passion or connection to what you’re doing. I’m in a hard place because I don’t feel connected to or have my heart in anything that I’m doing. That might be like, “You guys are doing this and you always feel engaged.” I’m showing up for life but my heart doesn’t feel in anything. It feels sad because a lot of things that have previously brought me joy, I don’t feel joy in them anymore. I don’t know that I will again. It’s this question of, how do I re-engage a thing that used to bring me joy that hasn’t for a while? I don’t know if the joy, the connection or the passion is going to return. The mind goes toward, “If you’re doing this as a service to humanity in hopes that the conversations or information perspectives and content being shared will touch someone or bring them some joy,” that doesn’t seem sustainable either because if I’m not feeling joy and I’m doing it for others, there’s a limit to that.Money is nice and important for paying our bills, but money isn't everything. Click To Tweet
There’s a limit to a certain point where you can be in service. If your tank isn’t getting filled up, then the depletion and the exhaustion we’re talking about from being of service to others can be too much. I’m in a place where there are commitments and there are things that I’ve agreed to. It’s hard to show up and do your best when you don’t feel connected to any of it. It’s a difficult discussion because there are times when I feel like I want to wipe the entire slate clean and start over. I don’t know what even that means. In some ways, it feels like life is doing that to me anyway. Wiping away the things that don’t matter anymore.
I feel like when opportunities start to dry up in life a bit, it’s important to pay attention to that. Perhaps some people might disagree like, “Persistence and keep holding onto the branches when everyone else is falling off.” There’s a certain point where you get to something where opportunities aren’t showing up, the money is not showing up, and the connections aren’t showing up. Maybe it’s time to abandon this thing. Maybe it’s time to call it quits. If you don’t have a passionate and deep connection to what you’re doing and find a way to sustain it, life becomes a grind. Work devoid of joy is hard and it doesn’t mean to be joyful all the time. It’s not to be in a fantasy land where every single moment you have to be on fire about what you’re doing. It’s not that unreasonable expectation but if you go through with something and you’re always doing it, and you’re feeling joyless about it for an extended period of time, it’s a red flag. It’s always that discussion as entrepreneurs or artists, do I keep going or do I give up? It’s a constant conversation for me.
Part of this reminds me of the Princess Diana documentary that came out on Netflix. It’s called Diana: In Her Own Words. I watched it. One of the most poignant parts of that documentary is how a lot of people perceived Princess Diana as being happy because she would smile on camera, but when they interviewed her, she had to do interviews in secret. This documentary is based on these series of interviews that she did where she was revealing the hardships, the depression that she felt, how miserable she was, and how that world did not seem right for her. It’s fascinating to me because it also feels a little confusing. When you see somebody smiling, we automatically assume that they’re happy. When I see photos of you, Jason, I automatically assume that you’re happy. I think most people do. It’s interesting too to look over like, “She got herself in this world,” and she had children quickly into her marriage. This is the world I’m talking about. Perhaps the reason she stayed was that there was so much pressure. She was also young and she was pulled into this world that I think is hard to escape once you’re in it.
She got invested when she had her children. It became less about her and more for her children. It’s sad to watch what happened to her. She seems like she has it all. She’s married to one of the most famous men in the whole world. She’s in one of the most famous families in the whole world. She’s getting photographed every single day and has access to probably everything that she could possibly want, and yet deep down inside she’s unhappy with it and probably regrets getting into it. Plus, there were many secrets happening. It’s a fascinating story and also incredibly sad. There’s a narrative version of her life in the new season of The Crown on Netflix. I found the documentary much more interesting because you know it’s all real, and it’s all these real photos of her and her voice, and talking about this. It’s makes me wonder so much about how many people are struggling, depressed, and unhappy but you would never know it because they put the face on. I feel like that’s been the case for you, Jason. My first question is why even bother putting the face on? Why smile in photos if you’re not happy in that moment?
Maybe it’s this idea of wanting to make people feel comfortable. That depression, anxiety, sadness, stress, suicidal ideation makes people uncomfortable. Why does it make people uncomfortable? Because they don’t want to deal with their own mortality, their own lack of self-worth, their own self-immolation or whatever else might be coming up for them. People don’t want to see that shit because it reminds them of their own shit. None of us are devoid without any challenges. I don’t think any human being on the planet is without some trauma that they need to overcome. I don’t know that it’s possible to get through life as a human without experiencing some trauma that needs healing or resolution. Maybe it’s because I have this idea subconsciously of I ought to make other people feel comfortable here because if I get too morose, dark or real, it’s going to bother some people. Maybe that’s it.
It makes you wonder. There are people that share their posts on social media where they don’t look happy like pictures of them crying or looking upset. There are times where I love seeing those photos because they feel real. Sometimes though, those photos look like, “Is this person trying to get attention. Is this person exaggerating? Is this real? Is this a show put on?” The exact opposite can be true. A sad face could look as put on as a happy face in some ways. You wonder like how much are we being manipulated by this stuff? To your point, Jason, about making other people feel comfortable. First of all, our whole show here is embracing the discomfort. That leads me to this email that we received that originally was going to be the main focus of the show.
Through our program, The Consistency Code, we send out emails to encourage people to stay consistent. It’s been interesting to see people unsubscribe to things like that because our first email for this round of The Consistency Code, it’s the second time that we’ve run our program. The first email that went out was to mostly strangers, people that signed up through this bundle sale that we’re in, that are getting it. They don’t know who we are. They’re signing up and getting a free program. The second email went out and it was fascinating for a few reasons. One is that 2% of people unsubscribed. I went and looked at the email. I’m like, “I wonder if there’s anything in here that would trigger somebody.” Looking through this email, I couldn’t find anything.
You wrote it. It’s wonderfully written. Jason is a great writer. If you get emails from us at Wellevatr, they’re most likely from Jason. He usually calls himself out in that too. You wrote this wonderful email. It’s day two. I don’t think it’s spammy. It’s simply encouraging. It’s saying, “We’re glad to have you here. This is what we’re going to do over the next four weeks.” We’re setting up the expectations that we’re going to send weekly emails for four weeks. “This is the first lesson. This is what you’re going to get. This is what we’re addressing.” All of that. For me reading this, I perceive it as being warm and helpful. This is to people that opted in to get this.
This is a fascinating case study for a lot of different reasons. People that sign up for something without even knowing what it is. That’s what has happened here because we’re part of this huge bundle sale. There are over 80 products in there. People pay a certain amount of money for it and they get all of this stuff, super high value. It shows to me this interesting case study of how people sometimes want something because it’s inexpensive, want something because it’s a good deal, but do they even know what it is? Do they care about it? A lot of people or a percentage of people that signed up for The Consistency Code did it because it was packaged with other things that they wanted. In essence, they might consider it free. It’s like a buy one, get 80 things free case.
We got this email from somebody who signed up for it and said they somehow got our emails by accident. I said to Jason, it wasn’t an accident. This person had to type their email. Within the past 24 hours, this person went in, typed in their email and opted into this. Within 24 hours or less, forgot that they did that and thought it was an accident. That was fascinating to me. The reason that they wanted to be off our email list and taken out of the program is because they said, “The meditation is not for me.” They sent us two separate emails because they got two emails from us in the past 24 hours.
It was fascinating. They say in one of their emails, “I am not comfortable with the whole meditation stuff.” They then said thank you. It felt like a nice email. It could have been written like, “Take me off your list.” I can’t believe you’re emailing me about meditation.” It gave me this opportunity to sit back and look at like, “Not everybody is comfortable with this.” Jason and I started talking about how it’s interesting because meditation is simply the practice of being with yourself. It’s the practice of potentially closing your eyes, although some people do open-eyed meditation. It’s the process of being quiet. Some people listen to music or guided meditations. It’s often the practice of deep breathing, but some people don’t focus on their breath during meditation. It’s often the practice of letting go of your thoughts, noticing your thoughts, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes meditation encourages you to examine your thoughts and focus on them. Maybe even hold on to them for that moment. There are many different versions of meditation.
I am curious about why this person got freaked out when they saw the word meditation in our emails. Did they think it’s a religious thing? Did they think it was something else that I couldn’t even understand because I’m not in their brain? It’s all a matter of perception. We think we’re presenting ourselves in something in one way, but somebody else could perceive it completely different and be afraid of it, be uncomfortable with it. Jason, that brings me back to your statement of, “I want to make people comfortable.” We have zero control over what make people comfortable. As people behind this brand, Wellevatr, you and I assume that meditation makes people feel better. We assume that meditation can be uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable to run away from it. My brain has opened up to the fact that the simple idea of meditation can make somebody uncomfortable. How can we assume that anything that we do publicly will make somebody comfortable?
We can’t assume anything. I’ve met a couple of people over my life that stand out mentally who had a massive resistance to meditation. Discussing it with them, the consensus was like, “My mind is too active. I’m afraid of what’s going to come up. I can’t sit still that long. I think it’s a waste. I’ve tried it before.” The two people that stand out in my mind have the same thing. I’m like, “With all due respect, you’re the kind of person that could potentially benefit from it if your mind is that busy and won’t let you sit still.” They’re like, “I sat down and my mind won’t shut up, and I feel fidgety and crazy.”Work devoid of joy is hard. Click To Tweet
With this person who emailed us, I have no idea what her particular discomfort is toward meditation. It makes me wonder if it’s the fear of facing one’s own mind and one’s own thoughts, and having to sit with yourself. We’re used to distracting ourselves with TV, music, Netflix, movies, social media. There’s an egregious number of distractions we can do to not face ourselves. I’m not projecting it on this person, but it is interesting to me why meditation would scare someone. The foundation of it to me seems like someone doesn’t want to face a certain part of themselves or they’re afraid of what might come up.
I also think it’s possible that they don’t even know that that’s a possibility. If you’ve never meditated before or if you’ve had a singular experience or a few experiences, you might not even have been in the position to face yourself. You could simply have sat down, heard meditative music and thought, “This isn’t for me.” You could have gone to a class that you perceived as bad and had a teacher that you didn’t connect with. There are many avenues. I remember when I first started doing yoga, it started at a gym, my main yoga experience. I’m sure I dabbled in it here and there before. It wasn’t that great of a class in hindsight, but it resonated with me. However, I could see how some people could have gone to that same class and thought, “This is yoga. This isn’t for me, I’m leaving.”
The amount of different yoga classes I’ve had since I got into it back in 2006 or so is remarkable because every class is different. It could be the same teacher, the same location, the same style of yoga, and it’s going to be different every single time. The amount of nuances in every single style and teacher and environment is remarkable. That’s part of the draw to me with yoga, even me doing yoga through my Zoom classes, it’s always going to be different. I’m different every single time I come to my yoga mat and the same is true with meditation. If anything, people say this about plant-based food. It’s like, “I don’t like vegan food.” If you eat an apple and you enjoy an apple, that’s a vegan food.
They could have gone and ordered something that was called a vegan pad thai and it tasted horrible. They thought, “All vegan pad thai is awful. I’m never ordering vegan food at all ever again. If it has the word vegan on it, it’s not for me.” We create all these perceptions. The other interesting thing is when we put them on somebody else like that woman saying to us via email, that our course isn’t for her because we had the word “meditation.” It’s not even a meditation course. The Consistency Code is not about meditation, it happens to have meditation in it. Do we go and take that word out of our email marketing, Jason? Do we keep it in there? That’s the other question.
What do you do with the feedback that you get from one person versus that word meditation could have kept some people in our course. That could have drawn somebody in. They could have been on the fence about our program and because we use the meditation word, they decided that they’re going to check it out. Coming back to you, Jason, and saying how you want to show up on social media or not show up on it. What happens when you take other people’s perceptions of you out of the equation? Does that help you come and get clear about how you want to proceed? Another thing I want to address is your plan was to go off of social media starting November 1, 2020. You’ve been posting on social media. You’ve been doing giveaways. You’ve been making Instagram Stories. What shifted in you that you went from “I’m not doing it at all” to continuing to do it?
Realizing first of all that we had a bunch of commitments that you and I had agreed to through the end of the year, which was going to require me to be on social media some length of time anyway. If the door is open, I may as well be in the room. I’m not going to be halfway in, halfway out. For me, once we agreed to doing certain things with Wellevatr, it was this idea of, “I’m going to need to interact with that on some level. I may as well interact with it on a level that I find meaningful on my personal feed.” There’s still a part of me that wants to be done with all of it. I don’t know when that’s going to happen.
I talked about it November 1, 2020, but through certain obligations and commitments and things like that, and maybe that’s part of it for me too. There’s a part of me that resents being on it because I want to be off of it, but I’ve made commitments to be on it and need to honor that. With the giveaways and the bundle we’re doing and different things that I’ve personally agreed to, once I honor those commitments, I’m going to re-evaluate. Maybe that will be at the beginning of 2021. That seems to be maybe a more appropriate time to re-examine it based on what I’ve agreed to. I still have a desire to be off of it. Part of it too was being in the motorcycle accident, being relegated to staying in the house, and having to be still. I can reach for my phone because that’s a way to keep in touch with people.
It’s a combination of agreeing to do certain things commitment-wise combined with sitting around and waiting to have surgery and heal, and all those things. I personally feel the combination of being in healing mode and being relegated to the couch or the bed and that’s it, the phone is the easy way to grab and stay connected to people, but also the professional commitments. Hopefully, by the first of the year, I can make a decision to be off of social media because there is a part of my heart that I know I need a break. I know I need to take a pause. I know I need it. It’s just a question of when to do it.
What do you expect or hope for in that time off social media, Jason? A lot of people have gone off. In our episode with Corbett, he didn’t go off of social media but he changed what he was doing. He deleted a lot of posts and started over. There’s that option. I also spoke offline to our friend Paul Jarvis, who was a previous guest. He said that he needed a break, so he took down his Twitter. I assume he’s going to go back on Twitter at some point, but he needed that pause. In fact, I’ll pull up his email because I want to get his word and I’ll summarize because this is a private email. He needed some time away from it is what he said and time for focused work. That’s another side of it too. If you’re not doing social media, what do you want to do in that extra time that you’ll have?
Probably read, write in my journal, brainstorm, think of what direction I want to go next with my career and my creative endeavors. It feels like if I don’t stop the momentum and I don’t put a pause on things, then life is going to continue to distract me with shit instead of me getting clear about what the next phase of life is. I’m not saying that social media is the cause of that, but by eliminating distractions and putting a screeching halt on the momentum of things, it allows for space. Through space and contemplation can come clarity and new direction. If you’re constantly going and producing, that pause is not something you can take.
I need more space to get clear on what is going to come through. If there’s no space, then a void can’t be filled. It goes back to meditation too, if your thoughts are dominating all day and you’re believing your thoughts because thoughts themselves are not to blame for anything. Thoughts are thoughts. It’s like the weather. It comes down to creating enough space to perceive life differently and it may have different messages and guidance that’ll come through. What I hope happens by pausing on social media is that more clarity and more space comes through with it, because if it’s constantly being filled by stuff, you don’t get the opportunity to do that.
The other thing that you brought up, Jason, is not finding a lot of joy in things. I think you’re being shown the things that you don’t want to do, that you don’t enjoy doing. Are you being shown things that you do enjoy?
No, I’m not. To be blunt, I had a moment where I could feel joy in my being for the first time in a long time. The joy that I felt was from having this incredible cream of broccoli soup and enjoying a meal for the first time in a long time. I was watching my animals play with one another. Those two moments of having this lovely meal and observing and interacting with my animals playing with one another, it was a palpable thing of like, “I’m feeling joy in my body.” I don’t remember the last time. It’s sad to say it, but I don’t feel a lot of joy in my life. I feel like everything in my life is just get through it, get through the healing, get through the physical therapy, get through the pain each day.
I’m being totally blunt with you. Everything is just get it done. It feels like a joyless existence. I don’t want to bring anyone down. I’m being fucking real. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s this question of like, “You should seek joy.” I can’t move that much. I can’t exercise. I can’t move my body the way that I want and I know that’s probably contributing to this feeling. I can’t physically move my body the way that I want to. It hurts to be in certain positions. I’m relegated to a small amount of positions I can hold my body without pain. I think overall feels like everything in my life was just get through it. It’s sad to say it but it’s the truth. It’s the way I feel.Through space and contemplation come clarity and new direction. Click To Tweet
Why is it sad to say it? I’m curious what comes up for you when you share these things? Are you sad to say these things?
It’s because I feel like I ought to have some level of joy or passion for what I’m doing. I ought to have some level of inner satisfaction but I don’t. That’s scary and sad to me.
First of all, who says that you ought to? Where did that idea come from?
I don’t know where it came from, but it’s a belief system that I have that one can thrive through the most difficult circumstances in life. If they feel some higher reason or passion for what they’re doing, even if things get rough, exhausting, you’re suffering, you’re struggling. There’s a higher reason, whether that’s joy, service, pleasure, contribution or abundance, whatever someone’s motivation is. What do we have to get us through the tough times? I’m having a tough time. What’s going to get me through? The joy isn’t there. The sense of purpose isn’t there. My question is, what’s going to bring me through? Is it the will to slog through it every day? That’s all I’ve got. Is it the will to sit down and take my pain medication, move my arm, write the email, do the social media? I don’t want to do any of it, but I do it because it ought be done.
That also reminds me of how we feel like we ought to be posting and sharing our lives on social media. As I’ve been going through who we’re following through the Wellevatr account, which is something I like to do. Go through people we followed over time, looking at what they’re doing, engaging with them, unfollowing people that no longer feel in alignment or accounts that are no longer posting. I do come across a couple of different cases on social media which ties into this conversation of people that don’t post at all. They haven’t posted in a year or months. I see that and I wonder, will they ever post again? Why did they stop? It’s a natural curiosity if you’re checking in on somebody.
There are some people who explain themselves and even apologize. I saw somebody that I’ve known for many years saying like, “I know I haven’t posted in a while. It’s been hectic here.” Why do we feel like we need to even acknowledge it? I want more of an explanation than life is hectic because life feels hectic for many of us frequently. It’s been crazy. It’s been hectic. It’s been busy. A lot of us can relate to that. Why do we need to use that as an apology or as an explanation? It almost feels redundant because all of us could use that as a reason for not doing something. Maybe we don’t feel inspired to it.
I think your honesty around this, Jason. It is important. You simply don’t want to. It doesn’t bring you joy. You don’t like the process of it. I’ve struggled for many years with that same sentiment. I go through phases. Sometimes I feel motivated. I’ve been posting more frequently because of different motivations. One is on my personal accounts. I took a lot of photos during my road trips and it feels good to share them. People seem interested and that motivates me, so I share it. Sometimes I share on social media because it feels like an experiment. What are people going to respond to? What are they interested in? How does this post make them feel versus that post?
Sometimes it’s a promotional thing. We’re posting more frequently on Instagram, and we even posted on TikTok. I felt inspired to share some posts because we’re trying to put more effort into it, ironically. We want people to know about this show. We are using social media as a marketing medium. We’re using it to share our newsletters and talk about our courses. Those things inspire me from time to time. What’s also interesting is that we are making our own personal decisions about social media while social media is constantly changing. You might not need to worry as much about it as you think you do because this may all work itself out. For instance, there are a lot of people abandoning not only Facebook but Instagram as well. Instagram has become a source of the comparison trap for many of us, but also Instagram is changing in ways that people don’t like. I see this a lot on TikTok, which is my platform of choice.
A lot of people are on there complaining about the changes that Instagram made. They’re saying like, “I don’t care about Instagram anyway. I don’t want to be on there. It’s not fun anymore.” I’m fascinated to see what’s going to happen if Instagram does go the route of Facebook, which is likely, just like we saw happen to Myspace many years ago. Myspace felt like the be-all, end-all. Facebook felt like the be-all, end-all at one point. Twitter has gone through those phases. Instagram is on its way and TikTok will as well. All of these different platforms will eventually fizzle out no matter how hard they try. Some people will stay with them, some people enjoy them, but my point being that the pressure might not be there for you anymore. People might not care. Maybe podcasting will become the cool thing, and then eventually podcasting will fade as well.
We go through all these ups and downs and ultimately, none of these things matter as much. Maybe it’s not that big of a deal that you’re not posting, Jason. Maybe people don’t care. They might be a little curious. My other point in that is for you, this is a big decision to no longer post on social media, but a lot of people are making that choice as you know. Maybe if you took the pressure off of it, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It will simply be a personal choice not to be posting on there. You wouldn’t have to feel like you’re missing out or feel like you’re not doing something.
It’s like anything else, you have to make a decision to do it. Life abhors a vacuum. If you create space in your life, it’s going to get filled by something else. I don’t know that I’m worried about the decision as much as I am wanting to wait for the “right timing,” but I don’t even know what that is. After we’re done with the promotions, the programs, and the things that we’re doing with Wellevatr, the things that I’ve agreed to do individually, I need to give myself that space to breathe because in many ways, I feel like I can’t breathe. Proverbially speaking, not physically. I’m physically breathing fine, metaphorically, creatively, entrepreneurially, I feel like I need space to re-examine what is my relationship to creativity and to making money.
What am I doing? Does any of this make sense? Is it going toward a higher goal that resonates still? Are my goals even the same? I was looking at my vision board and how hardcore I’ve been for several years or something in making these vision boards every single year. As we’re approaching the end of 2020, one of my rituals has always been making a list of aims for the year, five different major aims. These are the five overarching things that I want to focus on for the year. I try not to overload myself with more than five. I create updates to my vision board for the things I have not yet created or manifested or magnetized.
I don’t have aims yet for the new year. I don’t know what my goals are. I don’t know how my creativity, my art, anything that you and I are doing, I don’t know how it plays into that patchwork yet. I feel like I need to sit down, be quiet and still, and talk these things out and feel through. We started 2020 and I’m looking at this list, it’s in my office so I can look at the list clearly. I’m looking at the list of my aims, the thing I want to focus on the manifestation board. I’m like, “Do I even want these things anymore? Do I want these things legitimately?” Have I wanted these things because I thought these things would make me happy if I got them or would validate my existence as a person of significance and success? “Everyone, look at me, I’m successful and significant.” Do I even give a shit anymore? I’m sitting with those questions.
A lot of people are sitting with those questions. We’ve had a lot of time to reflect on these things. Life has presented some major potential obstacles, some sadness, some purging. There’s a lot that we each have experienced through the ups and downs of 2020 around the world. Every year shows us obstacles and opportunities to reflect. Every year it seems like when we get towards the end of it, we think, “I’m glad that this year is over. I’m glad that we get to start a new year.” 2021 will be interesting because collectively this has felt intense. I wonder how many people will feel disappointed when the clock strikes 2021, and they realized that because it’s a new year, that doesn’t mean that all of those problems go away or that things get easier.As humans, we have this propensity to blame things outside of ourselves for why we're feeling bad. Click To Tweet
There will be sadness for that. January 2021 will be an interesting month. I don’t know if it’s going to feel heavier or lighter. None of us know. This idea of reflecting and setting New Year’s resolutions and all of that, after a certain point of doing that much throughout your life, you may or may not want to continue. There’s no one saying that you have to set a New Year’s resolution and follow it. It’s been interesting as we’ve been re-releasing our program, The Consistency Code, and looking at where it was at the beginning of 2020 when we first held it. We did The Consistency Code program live in January 2020. It’s funny looking back on it because it was all about following through with your intentions and creating healthy habits. If you want to work out frequently, why don’t you work out consistently and do it every day? We’re rooting for you. If you want to change your diet, we’re rooting for you. Let’s do it every day.
All of these different things that people tend to want to do at the beginning of a year, and yet a lot of people fall off, it’s hard to be consistent. We noticed that during the program, but it’s also interesting because you did all of those things at the beginning of 2020. It doesn’t mean that it turned out to be magnificent. I think 2020 helps some people stay consistent because they were at home and they’re like, “Great, I feel like I have all this extra time to work out, cook, meditate, journal and do yoga. I’ve seen stories of people completely transforming their bodies in 2020. I’m like, “How the heck did they do that?” For a lot of people, they got massively out of shape. The opposite happened as well.
You could set yourself up for success in January but come November, maybe all of those habits went out the window. You throw the pandemic in there and people feeling depressed, hopeless, sad, losing loved ones, feeling that tense energy of the whole world, and all these other things that we’ve gone through. It can lead somebody to want to give up. I wonder, Jason, for you reflecting back on where you’re at in 2020, while we were doing The Consistency Code but also offline. How did things go for you? Are you feeling why even bother this coming January 2021 based on what you did this past January 2020? Is that part of it for you?
I want to address a funny thing that I’ve noticed people doing online, which is blaming 2020 for everything that we’re doing.
We do that every year. It’s an annual thing that people do at the end of a year.
It’s old because it’s boring. People have been doing it for many years, “2020, fuck you. It’s been such a shit show.” It’s like the year has anything to do with it. I know people want to put their anger, aggression, sadness, despair and put it somewhere, but it’s such a boring extension of victim consciousness to be like, “2020, middle finger.” It’s not the year’s fault. It won’t be 2021’s fault. “Damn you, 2021. Why didn’t things change immediately as the clock struck midnight.” It’s this ridiculous mutation of victim consciousness people have. I’m saying this because I’m saying it to myself like, “2020 sucks,” or “Boston sucks, Detroit sucks, LA sucks. This is why I’m miserable.”
I’m saying it because I have the same tendency of blaming LA for my misery, “LA sucks for X, Y and Z.” It’s not LA’s fault I’m in this mood. It’s not 2020’s fault I’m in this mood. It’s not the United States’ fault I’m in this mood. We as humans have this propensity to blame things outside of ourselves for why we’re feeling shitty. I’m calling myself out and calling everyone else out. Can we practice not doing it a little bit because for me, I know it’s not serving anything to ruminate in there of like, “Boo 2020, boo California.” You could substitute anything in there.
Externalizing our suffering, our grief and our despair onto things outside of ourselves and blaming them doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a temporary relief but it doesn’t dissipate the suffering we’re going through. I’m saying that because I’m observing it myself. I don’t feel motivated to write intentions or aims for the new year. That might change as we get closer. As I’m looking at my vision board in my list of aims, maybe I just want for the first time in years not to do it. What if my only aim is to be as present as possible to what’s right in front of me? What if that’s my only aim for the year? Be as radically present as possible to whatever life gives you. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m going to simplify it rather than making it material.
It’s almost like you had an a-ha moment, which is cool. I don’t know if that just came to you or not, but it’s such a great message as we begin to wrap up this episode, Jason, what a wonderful thing to share. Simplifying in general takes off the pressure because resolutions can feel like a ton of pressure, creating a visualization board can feel like a pressure, but it can also feel nice. It gives you something to focus on. It gives you a goal. For me, with social media, when I have an aim, when I have a reason for it, I tend to post more often. A lot of the times I don’t post on social media. I’m like, what’s the point? I don’t want to share. I don’t feel like I have to share, and it’s okay that I don’t share. Whatever we do, we have to figure out what works for us. It’s going to be different for everybody as we’ve talked so much about. This idea of one strategy being the key and the solution is not true. That’s why I feel proud of The Consistency Code program because it’s not about giving you a formula, it’s simply saying, “We’re here to help you be consistent. We’re going to be your accountability partners.”
I’m also excited that we made it evergreen, that means you can do it anytime versus at the beginning of 2020 when we first launched The Consistency Code, we did it live in person. I love doing that too. I think that might be a more effective way of doing it. The downside is that if somebody didn’t want to participate or couldn’t participate at that time, they felt like they couldn’t do it at all. We’re experimenting to see if The Consistency Code can be effective when somebody does it at their own pace. We’d love your feedback as a reader if you join The Consistency Code. We technically released it for the first time in 2019. If you joined back then, we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions because we want to make it good. If you joined during this bundle sale promotion that we did, we’d love to hear that as well. Hopefully, we’ll keep it there for you and show you that you can do things your way. You don’t have to do something a certain way.
As teachers, as coaches, we are learning these things right alongside you, as Jason’s been sharing, as I learn constantly. The joy of being a coach is that we’re continuing to learn right there with everybody else that we’re coaching. It’s humbling. It’s interesting for me to look back on the videos that we recorded for The Consistency Code and see what I was working on at the beginning of the year 2020. A lot of those things, I’m not doing and I haven’t been consistent with. I have the opportunity to revisit them and say like, “Do I want to be consistent with this? Why haven’t I been consistent?” If I do want to do it again, then I can re-evaluate.
We get those opportunities over and over again, it doesn’t have to be for the new year. I fully support you, Jason, in continuing to adjust and experiment, and knowing that just because you did something for several years, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep going with it. That’s also one of the big lessons that you’ve shared. Ultimately, I love when you talk openly about how you’re feeling because you’re not always happy all the time. I hope you embrace that more and feel like you don’t have to make people comfortable because you don’t have control over their comfort levels anyways.
I appreciate you saying that. I’m getting to a point where I’m getting more comfortable with saying what’s on my mind and being open about it. One of my big things and I realized that it’s an outdated safety mechanism to try and make everyone happy in the room. I remember as a kid feeling like if I make everyone laugh, smile, and I’m entertaining everyone, then I’ll be safe. If I’m making everyone laugh and bring them joy, Jason doesn’t get abandoned. It’s this thing I’m still unraveling of I can share openly and with you, Whitney, my friend and business partner and on this show. I don’t feel like doing this. I don’t feel like doing anything.
All I feel like is crawling in a hole and being still. I might do that. There’s still more work we have to be done, but probably after this episode because I’m exhausted. I’m going to go and be still before I jump back into writing and jump back into social media. The thing I’m still undoing that I think you and I collectively are used to go, go. We are. It’s one of the reasons we have been successful, but I’m wanting to be mindful as you and I move forward not only with this but as individuals of how do we have a different relationship to this? How do we have a different relationship to financial abundance and profit? How do we have a different relationship to how we want to run our business? How do we have a different relationship to loving ourselves and being good to ourselves in a society and a culture that tells us we ought not do that, “Keep going, grind yourself into the ground until you make $1 million because then we’ll celebrate you.”
We’re undoing and untethering many levels of conditioning. I’m appreciative for you for holding space for a difficult conversation prior to and during this where I don’t know how I’m going to feel about anything in the future. I don’t know if I feel like I’m even fulfilling my purpose. What even is my purpose? I feel like I’m floating in the middle of the ocean trying not to drown. I feel like I’m looking for a life raft and that’s okay. I know I’m not going to drown, but emotionally that’s how I feel.
Saying those things out loud gives other people permission to say the same things out loud, Jason, so thank you. I hope you feel better because it sounded like you were having a rough go and sometimes these episodes are therapeutic for us and always big lessons. I would agree, often after the show, I just want to lay in bed and watch TikTok videos, scroll mindlessly through social media, watch a movie, read a book and escape, and let my body rest. Sometimes I take naps or I eat. I’m going to run a few errands and probably do nothing for a while. That’s incredibly important given all of the things that we have chosen to put on our to-do list.
We hope that this has inspired you, the reader. We are grateful for you truly. It means a lot and I do mean it, getting feedback from you on anything or episodes. If you have signed up for a course, if you have seen something on social media, if you’ve read a blog post. We love hearing from you. We got a wonderful piece of feedback via Instagram direct message and it made our day. You can influence us and many other people by sending messages. We encourage you to reach out to anybody who has impacted you, us included. You can find us at @Wellevatr on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest as well. You can also email us any time. Sometimes we do bring up emails on the show, but we want to remind you that you’ll always be anonymous. If you don’t want us to share something, please feel free to say that bluntly because it is possible that something you say will inspire us to talk about it. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, instead of not messaging us, let us know. Say like, “I don’t want my words being shared anywhere.” We will respect that. We take that seriously.
I suppose whenever we share something online, we’re always at risk of it being shared with somebody else. It’s a good reminder to us all. On a side note, a little tangent before we finish this episode, I have had reoccurring dreams and frequently of posting something online that I didn’t mean to do. I dreamt that I copied and pasted messages that I sent to you via text, copied and pasted it and sent it to somebody else I know that I haven’t spoken to in a long time. I woke up in a panic like, “I sent messages to her that I meant for Jason.” I couldn’t fall back to sleep for fifteen minutes. I’ve had reoccurring dreams of accidentally going live on Instagram and not knowing it and being embarrassed. I’ve had reoccurring dreams of accidentally posting something. It’s such a bizarre paranoia that I’ve had. It ties into this idea that our lives are even more public than we probably ever wanted them to be.
Regardless, we love having private messages with people and I encourage you to reach out to us, our email, [email protected]. There are show notes for every episode at our website. That’s our hub. If you need anything, go to Wellevatr.com. You’ll find it. If you’re ever unable to find something, messaging and emailing us is the way to get an answer. We try to answer as quickly as possible. We read everything that we receive and it means the world to us when you reach out. Until the next episode, which we hope you’ll stay tuned for because we have some great, wonderful guests coming up. We have more solo episodes, which we also hope are great and wonderful. Hitting the subscribe button is the best way to stay up to date when those are coming your way. Enjoy those, enjoy the time in between and we’ll be back soon with another episode.
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