“Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” Erma Bombeck
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lou Holtz
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Williams James
Kristen Brown is an energy mastery expert who helps you get charged up even during change and stress. She works with companies around the world and has appeared in media like Live with Kelly, Forbes, Working Mother, Psychology Today, and more. Her biggest faults – she is an occasional know-it-all and frequent wine aficionado. She lives in Minneapolis and loves hiking, anything on, in, or near water, and hanging with her dog and daughter.
In this episode, Kristen and Cindra discuss:
- Her life changing experience lead her to starting her business
- Why reducing our stress is ever more important
- How our energy is connected to our emotions
- Her 5 P’s to help you reduce your stress
- The Happy Hour Effect and why we love it
- And how to organize a Work/Life Map
Cindra Kamphoff: what’s up Kristen Brown. Thank you so much for joining us here on the high-performance mindset podcast how is your day going.
Kristen Brown: I’m better now that I’m here I’m so happy to be here with you, I can’t wait to chat.
Cindra Kamphoff: I can’t wait either I have been following your work for some time and it’s going to be really fun just to learn more about what you’ve been doing and your books and your speaking. So maybe just to get started tell us a little a little bit about what you’re passionate about and what you’re doing right now.
Kristen Brown: yeah well you know we’ve known each other for many years we’re both keynote speakers and trainers and all that good stuff and so that’s what I do, I’m a motivational speaker, it makes it more understandable when you say motivational speaker, but you know there I also do lots of events where it’s content based not necessarily just motivational, even though I like to think that I encourage people to feel motivated to take action.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah yeah.
Kristen Brown: So that’s what I do, and you know I’ve been doing it for about eight or nine years I was in corporate America for 15 years before that working in the retail vendor space doing corporate espionage, I say that because it sounds cooler than market research. But so I did that for many years, and now, for the last eight, nine, maybe even 10 now I’ve been a full time professional speaker.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah what made you decide to make the shift, by the way.
Kristen Brown: Well it’s a bittersweet story, so I was in corporate America and like I said 15 years and about 14 years ago I was widowed unexpectedly when my young husband had a heart attack in sleep, he was 30 years old. He was a tall skinny former college athlete. For those of you from Minnesota you might know the college, he went to Gustavus, down by you and you know, it was a complete fluke he hadn’t had any birth defects. It was just one of those things that completely is one of those fluky things and we had a 10 month old baby at the time, our first child. I was in a super high pressure corporate role, our company was in New York, but I was in Minneapolis managing our company’s biggest account, and it was. It was challenging and so over the course of the next four or five years I was still in corporate but things just kept coming at me to figure out how do I get myself out of my stuck place because for a couple years I was really, really in a rough spots still functional like super big air quotes like going to work, making sure my daughter, and I were eating but no, I wasn’t really doing much to move forward in my grief journey I wasn’t really sucking at work as a leader and as a performer at work, and you know, a couple years after I had some things happen that said you got to get yourself out of this, you have to be a role model for your daughter, and I never wanted her to look back and say oh my childhood sucked or my life was missing anything, even though something really big was missing with her being there, so I went on a couple of your roller coaster journey of working in corporate doing some things on the side with a book that I wrote and long story short it evolved into a speaking career that now, I do full time.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah well that’s a thank you for sharing that journey, I mean I knew that your husband passed away I didn’t know he was super young and so only 30 years old and having a 10 month old I could imagine what that was like just trying to survive, at that point, it was such a big change in your life.
Kristen Brown: yeah and I can talk about it now 14 years later, and not be a big blubbering mess with tears but boy at the time, oh yeah it was a journey.
Cindra Kamphoff: and your first book was your memoir?
Kristen Brown: yep, that was my memoir it was called the best worst thing. And it really kind of just outlines the couple of years in between, where he died and where I decided I needed to leave corporate and start my own business and there’s some flashbacks and there are some weird stuff in there that weird like Oh, why don’t you do that, but there’s just a lot of the weird roller coaster journey, I took in between, and you know it ends with me deciding to leave corporate and a lots happened since then, but that’s what that first book was about.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah well, thank you for sharing us with you know telling us a little bit more about your journey, so you speak on a few different topics, but one of the things that I think can be really helpful for people, right now, during the pandemic and you know, is this idea of energy and how do we manage our own stress and the pressure we feel, and obviously you’ve had some experiences being able to deal with that, so what do you think right now, you know, being able to deal with stress and change is really important.
Kristen Brown: Well, you know, during times like this, not you know worldwide pandemic whether you’ve lost a loved one whether you’re going through massive you know, a health crisis of your own divorced, whatever it happens to be when you go through big time stress. You still are forced to be functional kind of like earlier when I did the air quotes on the functional you still have to continue to live your life you can’t get stuck or things just get worse so it’s really important that even when stress and change and unknowns and fear are active in your life that you’re still able to be not just functional but moving forward and still contributing and still doing things to take care of yourself, so that you can I mean just to get down to the nitty gritty because you don’t want to feel good you don’t want to feel like crap every day, you want to feel good you want to be in a good mood and not have that stress taking you down now does that mean that you’re like rah rah rah miss positivity all the time? No, it doesn’t need to mean that. But how can you still maintain some level of happiness forward momentum, even when stress and change are hitting us from all directions.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah and they have it has been hitting us from all directions, you know I think about all the things that we’ve dealt with in terms of change in the last year and a half, but I also think like during the holiday season there’s a lot of stress and pressure people might feel so I think it’s really important like in the media to be able to manage that stress.
Kristen Brown: yeah for sure and you know, right now like you said during the holidays, with a new year, you know our emotions are all over the place, and you know people hear the word energy and they think it means like that rah rah upbeat like happy engaged, but any emotion, you can experience is a type of energy. So when I talk about being an energy mastery expert it’s not like getting you to be in this like upbeat happy high energy place all the time it’s about being aware of the emotions that you’re feeling at any given time, so that you can shift those emotions if needed. And, being aware of the roller coaster that you’re going to be taking and saying hey you know today I’m going into a really important meeting. But I feel I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and I feel kind of down, I feel, stressed out but I need to be my best and shift my energy for that meeting. And so yeah really being aware of the emotions and energy that that brings to your working life, so that you can show up how you want when you need to whether it’s a high stakes situation like sales presentation, whether you’re trying to be a better leader or whether you’re trying to deal with a crabby kid in the morning. Which yeah I did this morning.
Cindra Kamphoff: Well, I think that’s so important because you know much of our energy, I think, is default instead of really being like a conscious choice and that’s what I’m hearing you say is like, how can you shift your energy based on what you need in the moment to be able to perform on demand is like something I’m thinking about how the listeners will really want right to be able to be at their best in the moments that matter most to them. So you have a great podcast called energy now podcast where you provide some tools and strategies for people to shift their energy, so why don’t you just got to get us started what where do you want to start with that conversation about how to actually how do we actually do this.
Kristen Brown: yeah well, a lot of what a lot of what I teach has really been based on experiment experimentation I’ve done on myself over the years, as I’ve gone through my own grief journey starting. Yes, leaving corporate so anything that I ever teach is either super well research because I’m a major nerd like I love reading. And I know you’re like this to you know, like I just love data, and I was in corporate America for 15 years analyzing data, you know going all over the world and gathering data doing focus groups, all kinds of things so I’m really a believer in trying things out until you find the thing that works for you. And, most of the things that I teach are just that things that I’ve tried over the years that I’ve researched or I’ve had clients try over the years that I have seen that work and a lot of it, you know I say that I’m a bio hacker. Because you’re a lot of the energy that we were talking about earlier is a cocktail of different hormones, a different stress chemicals different feel good chemicals, but in different ratios so when you bio hack yourself it’s saying Okay, right now, I feel, stressed out I’m flooded with cortisol and adrenaline and those things aren’t necessarily bad they’re just in the wrong ratios for how you want to show up. And I don’t go this nerdy when I’m you know, speaking on stage, but the background is I give people then little tips and tricks to help shift their energy, so that they can give themselves if they’re in that stressed out state a jolt of endorphins or a jolt of serotonin and it’s little things you know as adults, we often forget that you know we can step back and have fun and we can experience joy. And even one minute of Laughter loves your body with endorphins and serotonin and oxytocin and all of those feel good chemicals that lasts for a while they create a buzz in your body like you just had a cocktail but it’s a naturally occurring buzz. So I teach little things like that that people can use in that awareness journey of the emotions throughout the day like Okay, I have to go into a high stakes meeting. I gotta show up as my best So what do I need to do right now beforehand to do that depending on where you’re at, and so, sometimes it is like Okay, I need to laugh for a minute or I need to call my spouse or I need to go outside and be out in nature, because that being out in nature, changes the physicality of your body which then changes your brain and how you’re able to show up so little things like that little bio hacks little energy mastery tips that really can make an instant impact on how you’re showing up in your day.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I think that it starts with awareness, you know awareness of where your energy is and then where do you want to shift it last night Kristen my son was making pizza rolls he’s 14 so he likes food like that anyway, he was putting it in the oven, and I said hey make sure you know you put it in the refrigerator when you’re done in the freezer and then he takes the box and he makes like a hat, and so we had eyes and the mouth and also they walk around and they turned around in the kitchen and he’s got like this big pizza hat oh my gosh I laughed so hard and it just me, it makes me think about what you’re saying is you know just being in the fleet being in the moment to be able to do that and find the places where you can enjoy things because it can be really stressful if you don’t.
Kristen Brown: yeah I think next time you’re making a pizza you should make a pizza hat and show him your pizza head.
Cindra Kamphoff: I’ll do one of those flat pizza hats, you know it’s really funny. So um so far you’ve kind of suggested are the one minute of laughter or call your spouse or walk around in nature, get some fresh air what are some of the other tools or strategies, you might provide let’s say onstage about how we can kind of hack our energy.
Kristen Brown: yeah so a couple of them that I love I’m a big fan of visually doing things that you can keep with you as a reminder, so one thing I have people do is especially in the Midwest where we’re from people tend to not want to brag about themselves, but I make people make a fortune a hand over your life do this I make people write out there 10 top superpowers and knowing them and using them are difference, you know, of course, you need to know what they are, but you also then need to use them, so what I’ll have people do is write out their top 10 superpowers and superpowers being different I mean you teach some of this stuff too different than your skills different than what you’re you know, a superpower, or something not only are you good at, but you also enjoy it. But I’ll have people write out their top 10 superpowers, and then we take either their LinkedIn summary or their job description depends on what type of group it is and how much time we have, but then we rewrite all of that, and you know, sometimes we just start because we don’t have time when we’re we only have an hour on stage. But we rewrite the job description or the LinkedIn summary with those words from the superpowers, because even though the bullet points of you know send out the weekly report have a weekly touch base with your team whatever those things are that are sort of generic descriptors are still the tasks of your job. If you change the language you’ll feel much more engaged with your work you’ll feel like it’s more customized and personalized to you, so those superpowers it’s not just knowing them but it’s actually putting them to work for you in your day to day life.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I like the idea of like pulling up your job description or your LinkedIn profile and Kristen when I was looking at your website just recently, I saw that actually where you had a lot of your superpowers even written in your bio or your description, so I can see that you’re practicing what you preach. What do you think the impact of you know I’m sort of thinking that people who are listening, why should they do that to you know write out their superpowers and you know, then go back to their LinkedIn profile like what do you see the power of doing something like that.
Kristen Brown: Well, if you think about remember at the beginning, I said you just want to feel good you want to feel excited about your day you want to be in a better mood and when you’re doing a job that is aligned with what you truly love, even though we all have things we hate in our jobs. Right even us as business owners like we’ve decided to be business owners, because we there was something we were passionate about there but there’s stuff that you’re always not going to enjoy. But when you can tip the balance of the flow moments where your energy is just flowing where time just gets away from you, and you can customize that job description, so it truly feels like you. Like you find that job it just it changes your engagement levels it changes your happiness at work and you go from cranky resting face to happy resting face in meetings and people relate to you differently, that you really become that role model that’s that positive force in the workplace, because you are you’re creating the job that you want to be living for eight hours or more every single day and every single week.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah you’re right like as business owners, we get to create what we want, but you know, not everybody necessarily get to do that necessarily you know in there, like a job as an accountant. So I like that you know just putting that in there can help them really be able to like personalize their job to them and their superpowers.
Kristen Brown: Yes, and I always recommend to managers to team leaders that they actually do like a lunch and learn with their team or a happy hour, where they have their whole team do their superpowers and then they just take an hour to go and spiff up their LinkedIn to go and rewrite their job description that doesn’t mean their job tasks change because of course you still have to get the job done based on what your company or organization needs. But you’re changing the way those individuals relate to their job, so that they show up more productive, so that they’re more excited about being there so that they do better work so that they’re interacting with clients in a more positive way, because they’re in that positive state of energy that ties to what they love to do most even though they’re still going to have things that they don’t love it’s tipping that balance of energy versus drains.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah great so Kristen can you give us an example of how you tap into your energy every day.
Kristen Brown: Well, I it’s a non-negotiable for me I take my dog out to the woods. Every day, usually in the morning before I really am doing much anything else I tend to be, I tend to be one of those people that’s very visionary like I want to do the next thing and there’s a new project, and I want to you know I love data and I love looking at data and saying well What could we do next so I’m very I call these more like head focused energies where you’re thinking outside of you. But sometimes I forget that I need to be grounded in the present moment and that I need to allow my body to be out in nature, because we are human animals. And to and there’s physical benefits of being outside to, of course, with oxygen with sunlight with wind, you know, stimulating the hair follicles and your skin. Being grounded, you can actually release free electrons back into the ground so that you’re all of the electromagnetic frequencies aren’t impacting your thinking and your different body systems. So it’s non-negotiable for me to go out to the woods, with my dog every single morning even I live in Minnesota even when it’s cold, as you know what out.
Cindra Kamphoff: Yes, yes, or when it’s snowing.
Kristen Brown: Even when it’s snowing freezing rain.
Cindra Kamphoff: Right now, we hardly have any snow on the ground so I’m happy about that. Too so Kristen one of your books is called the happy hour effect and you talk about these top 12 secrets to minimize stress and to maximize your life tell us a little bit about like What do you mean actually by the happy hour effect.
Kristen Brown: yeah so way early in my grief journey after my husband died, I was. I was a wasn’t I’d been in an industry where I was going to happy hour a lot and then he died, and I wasn’t very happy be I didn’t have kid care after work to be going to happy hour, so I wasn’t going to happy hour for a few years, two or three years. But as I started coming out of the grief process and doing some of that self reflective work I started missing happy hour and I was like well why, because I know it’s not about the alcohol because hint hint you can drink at home right.
Cindra Kamphoff: Yes, this turn.
Kristen Brown: I knew I knew it wasn’t about the alcohol. And the research or nerd brain that I have I’m like I’m going to figure this out, so I did a whole bunch of research on why people like happy hour, and so I would do focus groups and I sent out surveys and I compiled reams and reams of data around why people love happy hour and it isn’t because of the alcohol like is that a benefit sure, but many people don’t drink and so, and they still enjoy happy hour. So what came out of the data is we love happy hour because of the mental physical spiritual shifts that happened during that time unrelated to the drinking and those five elements of this really quickly our peace passion productivity people and presence. And you know there’s a whole bunch of stuff behind each one of those. But really when we’re in that that time period, whether you’re sitting in a bar or restaurant whether it’s just your car ride home, whether you’re having dinner with your kids and spouse. There is magic in that transition between work and home and really between home and work in the morning to which hopefully you’re not drinking during that time period. So there’s so much to happy hour and so much power in that and that actually became the basis of my second book. The happy hour effect that you already mentioned and it, you know that book came out many years ago, but it’s still one of my most popular speaking programs because it has really practical and actionable things that you can use not just that come out of that our have happy hour, but that you can use 24 seven to be more productive to be less stressed and to be more engaged in your day to day life.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah and I love the five p’s so very, very sticky peace passion productivity presence and people, I think, is what you said so give us the insight on how you think these five you know p’s kind of help us deal with stress and anxiety and pressure that we might feel.
Kristen Brown: Well, it really goes back to what we’ve already talked about earlier words that awareness that awareness of where you’re at because life and work can get away from us so quickly, where it’s like. Well, what do I have after this zoom call, what do I have after this meeting, what do I have after work, what do I have this weekend, with the holidays, what do I have in two weeks. I got spring break to plan, then it’s next, what do I do when I retire. And we’re always thinking about what’s next, which is good humans need and like to have a little dangly carrot in front of us and you do much of this research too, and so you understand that, but we often forget that what’s going to happen right now in this moment will impact if those things that you want to happen in the future will come to pass it all, so the happy hour, in fact, really is about getting back into the moment getting back into the here and now, and having that awareness of what you’re doing how you’re showing up how you’re connecting with the people around you so that you can really show up as your authentic self so that you’re making progress and creating momentum on your goals, because humans love. Humans love progress when you that’s why we love checking stuff off of it to do list, but sometimes we miss prioritize our to do list, sometimes we miss prioritize the things that we have happening in our working lives and time in life, get away from us, so the happy hour effect really is about getting back into the moment being really aware of you know what is driving you right now, what is filling your time and I do this exercise, called the work life map. Today, literally just like puking on paper to identify all of that, so that you have a real photo real picture literal picture in front of you of what you’re filling your time with, and then we do a bunch of stuff with it to figure out if you’re doing the right stuff or not, but that’s in a nutshell kind of a long winded nutshell, but I just shared.
Cindra Kamphoff: Well, and I’m thinking about when I have been at my last happy hour, I was very present right, I was connected with the people and I wasn’t necessarily thinking about what I needed to next right, I was just fully in in the moment out is productivity fit with the happy hour.
Kristen Brown: Well it’s funny because people always ask that because that’s like the worst buzzword that’s in there right like productivity at happy hour. Right isn’t that a lot of the data is because say you’re at a meeting and you’re like hey we should do this this and this, there’s always the buckets that come up like Oh, but we don’t have budget we don’t have headcount we don’t have, what are the customers there’s all these but’s when we have a new big idea that we want to take action on. At home it’s the same like oh honey, we should go on a vacation. Oh yeah but we don’t have the time off or the money or who’s going to watch the kids or I get too stressed when I get back from vacation you know every excuse excuses come out at work and at home in our normal day to day lives when we’re trying to make progress. But it happy our productivity, like if you say that you want to do something, the whole group comes together like Oh, my God, you should totally do that here’s how you can do it oh what in the cocktail napkin comes out and you’re writing down ideas and like crazy stuff with no boundaries and no barriers and happy hour that pushes you forward and inspires you and motivates you to want to take action so productivity is driven by that big thinking at happy hour, whereas in our day to day lives our productivity is often driven by fear and excuses. That are making to narrow our will our lists down so it’s kind of reversing it so that you’re thinking bigger and that’s why productivity and that’s what how productivity is a little different than the happy hour effect.
Cindra Kamphoff: I love it and you’re right I thinking I’m thinking about how it’s just leaves no boundaries and creativity and people speak their mind they’re not fearful or you know questioning what people are going to say if they throw it a bad idea and it’s at happy hour so yeah that makes complete sense.
Kristen Brown: The crazier the better, sometimes at happy hour.
Cindra Kamphoff: So Kristen I know you have another book called work life balance and you just said something about work and life map, I think you called it, and so I’m curious you know tell us a bit more about that book and how does that fit with our conversations about stress.
Kristen Brown: yeah that book is called the work life balance myth, and you know the word balance is just not a good word in general, because it makes you feel like everything either needs to fit into this work bucket or this life bucket and then, if something doesn’t fit or something’s overflowing or something feels air quotes unbalanced, then you feel worse, so I just like to eliminate the word balance right away it’s like the work life balance myth like there it’s not possible it’s all just like so that book just digs into. You know a few different ways that you can really step back and say what are the common things that pull me into that like oh work life balance, like there’s a I’m not a money expert but there’s a chapter on, you know how do you think a little bit differently about money there’s a chapter on you know, thinking about your relationships with others where you feel like you have to keep up with the joneses which isn’t a new topic, you know we’ve all been aware of that topic for a long time. But you know just thinking differently about just some of those common things that pull you again it’s pulling you from the true awareness of what’s happening now, and that will often set you up for feeling like you’re not accomplishing that work life balance so it’s crap crushing some of the myths out there.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I do think that I don’t you know, there are times, where I’ve made me feel balanced in my working life and then sometimes where I feel completely not balanced, so I agree that that is not such a great word, do you have another suggestion of how we should call it instead.
Kristen Brown: yeah it’s an equally cheesy word, but I do like the term work life harmony. And, I often the work life balance, or the work life map that I have people do I often equate to that being the sheet music to helping them create this harmony so, is it still a cheesy analogy yes 100%, but I feel like when you think about work life harmony it’s almost as if everything in your life you’re the conductor of this orchestra. And you decide what takes Center stage what’s going to solo today, you know, does that mean if the violins are soloing or the violin section is playing that the percussion isn’t important if they’re just quiet for a moment of course not they’re still important they’re just chilling the background for a while and so I just like to think of our lives, like that, but sometimes things need to chill out the background for a while.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s true and sometimes we might need to double down on our work, just to meet a deadline so good point about the harmony. So tell us a bit about for people who maybe are interested in this map and how might they do it themselves like at home and what do you see the power of doing something like that, what do you see that as.
Kristen Brown: Well, you can easily do it at home, simply by wonder if I have a copy of it here, I did just do a good yesterday, where I did it and let me just step away and just see.
Cindra Kamphoff: Okay sounds good.
Kristen Brown: If I have it right here. See, I told you I got it I got it. I’ll show you what it looks like. It looks like this can you see it.
Cindra Kamphoff: Yes, yeah so For those of you who aren’t joining us via video it’s like passion passions and commitments at the top core life work money on the bottom and dreams and challenges on the side cool all right love it.
Kristen Brown: And so, basically, what it is it’s literally puking on paper, everything that you juggle day to day week to week month to month. And really being truly honest with yourself like there’s the section on challenges, you know a lot of times we push down things that have been difficult in our life, whether it’s things from our childhood addiction health problems debt. And we pretend or fit even honestly think that we’ve dealt with them when really something can trigger us and boom there it is again. That can take us down can impact our mood our productivity or engagement and work at the time, causes massive stress bog are thinking all that stuff. You know, like, for me, I was widowed 14 years ago so I’ve long processed the you know initial stuff with that goes along with that, but every once in a while something pops up triggers me yeah about that situation or being alone parent, you know, having a single income, like some of that stuff you know I again I’ve dealt with that stuff too and figured it out. But sometimes something triggers me and that will just put me over the edge either into sadness or anger or general pissy. About you know how your life can be or whatever and it’s not often. But when it does happen, it really can take me down so it’s being aware of that kind of stuff the stuff that kind of is hidden within you it’s being aware of the day to day stuff that maybe doesn’t seem like a big deal, but we often have things that I call HALO effects that. Maybe it only has an hour a week but it sucks your energy or makes you crabby for the day before, and the day after, you know it’s those things that seem really small but they create this massive HALO effect of impact around it and so that work life map, you can do the same thing by just downloading puking on paper, everything that you juggle. Everything that’s on your calendar all of your commitments, all of the things that you do for fun. Your money situation stuff and getting it all down and then being able to look at that and say okay there’s the picture of everything that I’m juggling. And that I deal with every day, but now here are the top three triggers that suck my energy in a negative way and here are the top three energize others that lift me up in a positive way. Because when you start to focus on those that’s where you’re going to make the biggest impact if you’re trying to minimize stress if you’re trying to make any sort of change if you’re trying to feel better if you’re trying to change your health is yeah there’s a million things on there, but you really have to be able to look honestly, what are the top things. Have a ripple effect on everything else, and what are the things that make you the happiest because those laws will have a ripple effect and everything else, and then start to re prioritize that way there’s a whole bunch more we could go into with that, I mean it’s whole thing so, but you can do that, that puking on paper easily yourself at home and kind of start the prioritizing that way, to see what energizes you and what stresses you.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I really like circling the top three energizes and then circling the top three triggers. Because I think again helps people grow in their own awareness of their selves what does give them energy what drains our energy and like what do they need to watch out for in terms of the triggers.
Kristen Brown: Yes, and again if there’s that word is about awareness. Then you can have that stuff off before it becomes this huge thing that creates much more damage or drama than it needs to. And you know a lot of times when people do the work life map they’re like oh my God that was so easy but it was just that awareness of the one thing, where they’re like oh my gosh I didn’t even realize that that one thing was creating so much stress, for me, and they can start to work on it and make really huge strides and how they’re feeling every day.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s great so Kristen and I know you’ve mentioned this, the experience you’ve gone through 14 years ago and then since then about grief, what have you learned about grief since then and I want to ask you that question because you know I’m sure that there’s somebody who’s listening that might be going through something really difficult and I’m just curious you know what did you learn about just grief in general.
Kristen Brown: Definitely don’t get pulled into other people’s expectations of how you should deal with it. You know there’s tons of books, the five stages of grief and you read other people’s you know how they’ve gotten through it, but man it’s just everybody is so unique. Their bodies their mental capacity their jobs, their financial situations that you can’t put a one size fits all on the path through grief and grief isn’t always losing someone through death, you know divorce causes grief losing a pet causes grief losing a job causes grief our worldwide pandemic causes grief. So, knowing that it’s okay to process your emotions and feel your feelings in a way that feels right to you is kind of like the biggest lesson in it, but also. Because I got stuck for the first couple of years in a place where I was just I felt like crap right, and no one would blame me for that, like that’s not a bad thing to have happen is pretty normal. But you can’t get stuck for too long, so feel the feelings experience the grief how it feels right, you know if you need to be in your room if you need to do whatever. You know, get out into public whatever feels right to you, but just don’t live in the grief don’t allow that to define who you are and still be creating forward momentum in your life because you have a full life to live and that person that you lost or the situation that you lost is a chapter that was super important, but you have many other chapters to write, and you know you can decide what that’s gonna look like, for you.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah well you’re a walking example of that.
Kristen Brown: is a great example like is it a great story well not always but yeah it it’s part of our journey through life we’re all going to experience grief and that’s you do what you have to do with it, what can create that life that will you’ll be proud of, for yourself and for the people around you.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s wonderful what a great message so Kristen is there anything I know that you have lots of different things you speak on and topics and programs so but is there anything else that you really want to make sure that we covered today related to your expertise and how do we deal with our energy and stress right now.
Kristen Brown: Well, you know one thing that I actually learned this when my daughter was going to a therapist a couple years ago. Because I’m one of those people that used to always say you know oh think positively, you know, things are going bad I’m like what I’m like miss positivity and that wasn’t working with my daughter, and it doesn’t work with a lot of adults, either, and her therapist so I’m not taking credit for this her therapist said told her, she said well you know if a bug you that your mom is saying think positively how about not being positively how about just get back to baseline. And, rather than thinking negatively just get back to neutral. And over the last couple years since her therapist told her that you know she was over 13 at the time. I have started to really think about our energy line and the energy line that we’re on every day, and you can choose where you want to be above or below that energy line. And earlier when I said, you know every emotion is a type of energy, sometimes your energy line is you know I do need to I’m stressed out today I’m scared of what’s happening in the world or I’m scared of losing my job or whatever, and I need to feel that today. And it’s okay to live in that energy for a little bit remember how earlier, I said you just don’t want to live there you do at some point have to shift and say okay I gotta move beyond this energy baseline and find my new energy baseline and where do I want to be oh OK, I wanna I want to be in a productive mindset today So how do I shift. And so that’s really what the awareness is about and that roller coaster of energies that we’re on and saying, where do I need to be on the line, what’s the energy, I need to be in right now to be accomplishing what I want to today and sometimes lay on the couch with a glass of wine is 100% fine. But other days you need to step into a meeting and kill it. At a sales call, so it again goes back to that awareness and figuring out how do you stay at the baseline that you want to be for that day.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I like I like how you chose something that she learned in therapy, you know and incorporating that into your work. I was just thinking about ways I shift my energy and I noticed that my energy comes from my focus like whatever I’m paying attention to right and so if I want to shift my energy, I know that I can shift my focus, maybe to things I’m grateful for or let’s say you know, because sometimes we can I felt it this way earlier, I had a big deadline last night that I had to finish and I had way more anxiety like Tuesday and Wednesday than typical. And then I had to be like Okay, I am so focused on the future, I have to get back to the present right to be able to reduce that that anxiety oh it’s feeling, it was really my focus that determined how I was feeling.
Kristen Brown: yeah and I love that because we do absorb energy from the things around us. And we’re focusing on a certain thought the thoughts have energy to if you’re focusing on a spreadsheet on your computer you’re getting energy from that if you’re focusing on you know your dog you get energy from that if you’re focusing on your son and his pizza hat your energy from that so. You know it’s reciprocal we give and we take and being aware of that exchange is important so I’m glad that you love that you said that.
Cindra Kamphoff: yeah excellent Kristen well Thank you so much for joining us today I loved our conversations our conversation and the thing I took from today I’ll just kind of summarize I loved the five p’s in your happy hour piece passion productivity presence and people, thought the LIFE work map was really smart and helpful as people kind of think about having harmony between their life and their work and maybe identifying what are those three energizes and the three triggers. And then I just appreciate, you know, helping us think about how our energy is really our emotions and being able to be really deliberate with that with that energy and then also you did tell you kind of share with us your superpower exercise and how we might do that, so thank you so much for joining us here in high performance mindset, do you have any final advice before we wrap up for people who well maybe first tell us about how we can we can follow you and follow your journey and reach out to you let’s go there first.
Kristen Brown: yeah You can check out my website Kristenbrownpresents.com, I do a lot on Instagram where I share, you know not only things about energy mastery bio hacks but you know fun little stuff from my life doing my daily walks in the woods, with the dog and whatever you know Instagram’s fun, but also a powerful place to learn a lot of new things and get inspired but yeah that’s where I hang out most. Like you I’m a speaker so you can learn all about my topics and everything there and check out Cindra’s website because she’s an awesome speaker and you should check out her website and beyond this podcast.
Cindra Kamphoff: you’re so nice what final advice would you give people who are listening today Kristen.
Kristen Brown: Well, you know it all goes back to really you want to feel good every day, you want to be in a good mood you want to feel vibrant you want to feel excited about your life. And sometimes when the world gets hard when you get stressed, we get pulled into the mindset of fear and worry and so really being aware of where you’re at in the moment and getting yourself back to the present moment we’ve mentioned it over and over again that awareness is really critical so that you don’t get spun off into areas where you’re not controlling what chapter you’re writing you want to be the one that’s creating the life for you and feeling good every day, and you have everything you need inside of you to do that and to create that life and career for yourself so really work on becoming aware of what you and your energy are doing in this moment right now.
Cindra Kamphoff: awesome Thank you so much for joining us Kristen very powerful and a great topic for today, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining us today on the podcast.
Kristen Brown: thanks for having me and talk to you soon.