Podcast Episode #51
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Extraordinary Life Podcast from the creator of the Extraordinary Life Tribe, Crystal Obregon, the self-development podcast propelling you forward toward your goals, using science backed high performance habits. Reach the next level in your physical and mental health. See new heights in your relationships.
[00:00:18] Gain clarity on your purpose and live your extraordinary life. Welcome your host writer, speaker and coach Crystal Obregon. Hi there. This is Crystal from Crystal Obregon Coaching with episode number 51 of the Extraordinary Life Podcast. Today's podcast is a little shorter than usual, but I really wanted to take the time to share some of the insights I've gotten from reading the advanced copy of Jenna Kutcher's book, "How Are You? Really?"
[00:00:55] I would highly recommend the entire book. It's her first one. [00:01:00] And this podcast just happens to be airing the day after it's officially released to the public. The overarching theme of the book is like the title. How are you, really? It's split into three parts. The first part is about getting to know yourself by really listening in and learning what you really want from life.
[00:01:26] The second part, and the one I'm going to be talking about is about the benefits of building the support network or system to help you grow and achieve your dreams. And the last part guides you through the steps of creating a life full of success and joy. The stories she shares from her own life to illustrate what she's teaching are instantly relatable and entertaining.
[00:01:57] But I'm going to specifically talk about the [00:02:00] chapter called, "Tacos and Truth: How to Create Your Authentic Community." Nurturing friendships and creating authentic community can seem challenging in these days of social media, general busyness. And okay, let's add in a pandemic. For me, friendship seemed fairly easy in my twenties, but as my life changed with the addition of one child, and then another, a few years later, It felt like it got more difficult.
[00:02:33] My friends without kids slipped away after a while. It wasn't anyone's fault, but let's just say they probably weren't interested in the cloth versus disposable diaper debate or making homemade baby food. And at the same time, going out in the evenings became a major production involving either a babysitter or bringing baby along.
[00:02:59] I [00:03:00] wasn't inclined to do as much of that, either. On the plus side, once I made it to toddler motherhood, play dates at the park became a thing. And that was probably the easiest stage to spend time with other adults create community while the kiddos played at the park. And yes, there were plenty of interrupted conversations while we made sure the little ones didn't fall from the play structure or were supervised on the slide, but it was still a shared connection.
[00:03:35] I tended to gravitate towards other moms with similar parenting styles. But looking back, I can see that other than the parenting part, there were parts of myself that I didn't reveal much. Before kids, I was an avid mountain biker, surfer, runner, and swimmer, but I felt uncomfortable, revealing too much of that, even though [00:04:00] I did continue mountain biking for quite a while, bringing the kiddos along and, you know, having them fall asleep with
[00:04:10] a head resting on one of my arms as I tried to get home, but I really just didn't wanna stand out. I wanted to fit in. I did also have friends from swimming who also had children, so that was a little bit easier. And to this day, my swim friends have remained the most consistent. But once the kids started school, then there was another shift.
[00:04:36] And I know I've talked in other podcasts about the potential of over volunteering at my kid's school, as it relates to being off my purpose, then kids get older and then start to go away to college and life shifts again. It can be confusing to figure out how to keep friendships going amongst all the [00:05:00] changes.
[00:05:01] But the important part that I've realized and Jenna talks about in her book is to really be yourself. Yes, you're going to change. Some people will stay and others will just become part of your happy memories from a time in your life. And that's okay. But the important thing to do is to put some work into keeping the friendships alive that you do want to continue.
[00:05:28] Even when you're both busy. And I share all this because as Jenna asked in her book, " How do we keep friendships alive? What does community look like as we age and evolve and let our identities transform? How can we feasibly foster the types of relationships we can bring our full selves to when we're so damn busy all the time ."
[00:05:56] And in one of the [00:06:00] coaching sessions in my coaching, we do explore finding and cultivating growth friends as it relates to the drive for connection. And family and intimate relationships generally are the primary source of our feelings of connection and love. But the second source comes from friendships.
[00:06:22] We all know, and we've become even more aware that friendships are vital to overall mental health and happiness. So it's worthwhile to focus some energy on developing greater friendships in your life and keeping them alive. I've spent a lot of time pondering the topic of connection and friendships the last couple of years, I don't think I'm the only one forced to reconsider what and who were important to me during the pandemic.
[00:06:54] I'll admit technology was really helpful. I bought my [00:07:00] mom a smartphone a few months in so that she could communicate with me, my kids and my brother and his kids more easily, because I knew she was feeling somewhat isolated and we couldn't really go see her. I also deepened my friendships with several different groups of networking friends over zoom throughout the pandemic.
[00:07:23] We met monthly and weekly and sometimes even more for structured and unstructured time. And even now I continue with one group having co-working time over zoom, and I wouldn't have believed that I could form deep friendships that way, but I did. Throughout the pandemic, I also appreciated spending time with the swim friends when the weather was good, because we could spread out on the sand,
[00:07:53] so that we were socially distanced and swim in the ocean, all spread out and socially distanced, [00:08:00] too. Showing up on that beach was one of my other lifelines in those days. And sometimes it still is. So how do we do it? Jenna shares that " Maintaining rich and vibrant relationships takes work, commitment and shared expectations."
[00:08:22] We need to show up in those small moments so that we can learn to show up in the big ones, "It's a friend asking, how are you really? " And I'd like to ask you, how often do you really ask how someone is doing and how often are you asked. You can see that answering with an honest answer does take vulnerability, but think about it.
[00:08:48] It's the only way people can really get to know you. And it's the only way that you can get to know other people. In fact, I heard a clip of an [00:09:00] interview with Jenna the other day about her book, and she shared that most of us do want the truth. In fact, more than that, they want their friends to ask for help when they need it, we want to be needed.
[00:09:14] And some people feel that their life's purpose is to help. You're actually helping them to live out their purpose by asking them for help. Of course, friendship. It goes both ways and we can't deepen friendships without supporting and asking for support. So don't be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is actually the topic of Jenna's next chapter after the one on community and, and friendships.
[00:09:46] I'll let you read that for yourself. I won't go into it too much, but I do want to share this last quote because it was my favorite part of the entire book and why I really wanted to share it with you [00:10:00] Here it is.
[00:10:02] "Sure we'll mess up at times. We'll have conflicts and misunderstandings and miscommunications. We'll have to apologize even more than we ever thought we could, simply because we know when we need to. We'll fail to show up where and when we're needed most. So will our friends! A trusted circle of relationships is filled with varying challenges, push back, emotions, and distractions, and a willingness to talk about them, even the uglier parts. That's the beauty of it."
[00:10:38] This paragraph really just moved me and resonated with me deeply. As I'm growing older, I found that there are so many more apologies in my relationships, whether it's with my husband or my kids or my friendships. I don't know if it's because I'm making more [00:11:00] missteps or that I value my friendships and relationships so much more, or that I simply am more aware of when, what I say or do is not quite right or hurtful and I want to make it right.
[00:11:16] I'm hoping it's the last two. That's it for now. I just wanted to give you this week, some food for thought and share some of my insights from this book, now that it's available for purchase. I'll put a link to it in the comments. I do think you'll really like it, no matter who you are. In the meantime, just really think about your closest friends.
[00:11:40] Think about who they are. How often you see them, how often you speak to them and how well your close friends really know you and vice versa. It's worth thinking about, and it's worth acting on, if you're finding that you don't really like the answers.
[00:11:58] If you want my [00:12:00] help gaining clarity on what you really want and achieving it, please reach out to me or schedule an appointment to chat, to see if we're a good fit to work together. My contact details are also in the show notes. That's it for now? Have a great rest of your day. And I will see you in here next week. Bye for now.
[00:12:25] Thank you for listening to the Extraordinary Life Podcast with writer and coach, Crystal Obregon. We'd love to connect with you outside of the podcast, too. To find more helpful insights, show notes and more about Crystal,
[00:12:35] go to Crystal Obregon dot com that's O B R E G O N, where you'll also find info for the Design Your Decade workshop. This workshop will help you to stop drifting and start creating. Until next time, be extraordinary.