How Changing Our Perspective Allows Us to Hit More Goals and Find Personal Freedom

On today’s episode Kristin interviews, Krystal Quagliara, a transformational coach and playfulness expert, about how changing our perspective on what we can control and not control can help us to focus on the right things. She also shares on small changes can help us reach our goals. Even celebrating the small improvements and not being so hard on ourselves can help us reach big goals if we are consistent.

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She is a playfulness expert and a transformational coach in the health and wellness industry. She’s also the author of the playful journal and the podcast host of the playful life podcast. Welcome, Crystal.

Hi, Kristen, thanks so much for having me.

Oh, I cannot wait to have this conversation. I’m so excited. Because one of the things that I love to talk about is, you know, if one, of course is like how do we define life on our terms? How do we really live our best life? But it’s how do we incorporate play and creativity and curiosity and you know, faith? Or how we’re gonna have impact in the world into our lives? How do we weave these things in. So I love that part of your program incorporates many things, but one of them is play in this health and wellness space. So I think it’s so cool. And I cannot wait to dig into this. Can you start by telling us telling us how did you get to become a playfulness expert in the wellness space? And what has your journey looked like? Yes.


So health and wellness are something that never came easy to me. I feel like it’s been sort of an uphill battle my whole life. And and when I say you know, health and wellness, I mean, every aspect of it physical, mental, and emotional. And when I was a child, I was overweight and just dealt with a lot of body issues, body image issues and ended up kind of going to the other side of that spectrum developed an eating disorder, and, you know, just got very obsessive about about those things. And so just what healthy meant to me was always very sort of blurry and confused. You know, I came to a place of healing when I was in college, with my eating disorder. And part of that process was helping other people getting outside myself taking the focus off of like the obsessive thoughts and stuff about my weight and different things. And, and so I started coaching classes, you know, teaching at the YMCA, and all over parked departments and stuff and just really being an integral part of other people’s transformations. And it’s funny, but but that’s sort of where I started to notice that concept of play coming up. So I’m a fun person. I’m a performer, I love to you know, I feel like I perform when I taught classes. And so I’d like to keep people, you know, entertained as part of it, obviously. But I also noticed that when people were able to get lost in that moment of play, they would have results so much quicker because they weren’t looking at themselves in the mirror and picking every part of themselves apart things. And it was really noticeable to me when I taught dance. I taught in the dance studio for many years, and I would teach this little class they were three and four year olds. And right after that I taught a belly dance class for adults. And you know, when the three and four year olds were in the room, they were running around, they were making faces in the mirror and they were playing right it’s all about play at that age. You And the adult women would come in and some of them would need like a cocktail before they came in to loosen up, or they’d be really just picking themselves apart in the mirror. And I just, I think that’s when I noticed, like, what is the difference here, between the mindset of these children coming in here and the adults, right? There’s this filter for which we see the world and interact with it. And it’s, it’s that elements of play, I think that we lose somewhere along the way, and start to really judge ourselves. So that is really where I found the importance of that.


And so how long have you been in this industry? And then when did you step? How did what did that look like from going from doing all these classes, and then healing yourself with some of your eating challenges to actually stepping into, you know, doing being a playfulness expert in the health and wellness space.


So I wish I could say, Kristen, that, Oh, I went to therapy when I was in my 20s, and just cured myself of all these things. And that unfortunately, was was not the story. Again, it’s just health and wellness, something I had to work on. And I found myself in my 30s. And married to a wonderful husband, we have a house, I had a great job, you know, nine to five, and from the outside looking in, anybody would think, Oh, she looks healthy. She’s got this great life and all these things. But I was just so just depressed and just feeling lost, I felt like I had lost my sense of self, because I really was checking all the boxes, and living a life according to what I thought everybody else in my life thought I should be doing. And it was one of those things where I was like, Well, yeah, if I just work hard enough, now, I’ll be able to live the dream or, you know, just kept putting it off and putting it off and just realize that my serenity and my sanity was just gone completely. So I got committed to not only the physical health that I have been taken care of for years, but also the mental and spiritual health that I lost along the way. So I really started to integrate all those parts into my coaching and you know, realize that I can give people a set of exercises, and I can tell people how to eat healthy. But if the internal work is not there, it’s I feel like the internal work has to happen before the outside transformation really sticks.


Oh, my gosh, so much good stuff there. Gosh. So I guess the first thing is, I’ll first start with what you just just finished with, which is, you’re so right, right quicker results come when we we can make that shift, right, the perception shift or the, what’s holding us back the limiting mindset, that and then like you said, we all as we get older, we just have layers and years of perceptions that we had, or what the world is telling us to filter through, right? Like as a kid we’re just didn’t even think about and so we’re just like going about our day. But as an adult, we have all these years of what messages people told us what message we’ve been telling ourselves. So is there just some basic starting tips that you are able to work with your clients on that other people might be able to just have as a starting point to be thinking about this? Like, how do we start shifting these things? Yes. So


it really is about shifting your identity as a whole and understanding that, you know, to be a different person, you have to become a different person. And there’s a process there. So I walk my clients through these four virtues of stoicism. And this is sort of the program that helped me, you know, create sort of this practice for myself in my daily life. And the very first thing we look at is like, what is in your control and what is not in your control. And Kristen, so many people write down in that in my control column, when we first do this, they all the things that are so clearly not in their control, like, you know how much weight they’re going to lose, or, you know, just even their ability to eat a healthier diet and all these things. And it’s like, your body will do what it does. And people will think of you how they think of you and we can’t really influence other people’s opinions about us. And we can’t really have a trajectory of what our careers will be like in five years. Like there’s a lot in the moment only that we can really control. And if you’re out there trying to think that you can control these things that you can’t, you’re going to lose confidence in yourself, you’re going to lose hope you’re going to give up right because you’re you’re trying so hard to you know, fix, manage and control those things that are just shouldn’t be left up to your higher power. Right. So so that’s really step one


for most people. That’s not so good. And I think you’re right I think if you ask some Money, which you do, obviously, like, what? What else? Do you think that you have control over changing all the things you listed? I mean, I hadn’t put much thought into it just from hearing you. I was like, I think people would put that maybe. So interesting. So really, what you’re saying is, all these things take more time. But it’s all about how you treat yourself and how you see yourself in the present moment.


Exactly, exactly.


Actually experience everything that moment has to give us so that we can experience our best self in that moment, right. So that we’re not thinking about, Oh, my gosh, all the negative things we’re trying to change, or it might not be all negative. I mean, we might want to make positive. You know what I mean? Like, oh, I need to lose weight, I don’t eat healthy, right? These are messages that we’re telling ourselves that we’re doing something wrong. So we’re being very critical, correct,


of course, and people don’t really understand the concept of affirmations. So like, when, when people talk about affirmations, in this day and age, I think people get this connotation of like, oh, that’s, you know, writing something on your mirror and telling yourself like, I am worthwhile. And you know, of course, like, that is a component of it. But I think people are very hesitant to admit that they have been telling themselves affirmations, their whole lives, right. And those are oftentimes very negative, right? That I just don’t like going to the gym, or I just not a healthy eater, or my family really stresses me out, or Gosh, I really hate this job, right? Everything that we tell ourselves on a daily basis, we’re going to act in a way that affirms those beliefs that we’re telling ourselves. So it’s so important to switch those around and make them positive, make them positive affirmations, like, you know, because when you can start believing it, you start acting in a way that affirms that, and then you just solidify that belief even more, right? And now you start building up confidence, hope, all those things. And you


know, I think so often, if someone’s not working with someone to draw these out, and really look at them, and then figure out like, what do we do with this? You know, I think it’s that a lot of us, they’re in our heads, and we let them stay there. So they’re on repeat, instead of I just actually wrote a quote or a statement, put it online today, actually, it’s funny that we’re having this conversation. But it basically said, you know, like, what, what are those thoughts that you keep on repeat in do you that you keep believing, right? And then I went on to say, like, what if you actually wrote them down? Like, what if you brought them to the light? And then you said, is there is this actually truth? Is this true? Or is there any facts and stories or memories that I can write that would actually show me that it’s not true? And an example would be, you know, someone that’s a mom and has a career, they love both, but they’re always feeling at work, like they’re guilty, and they’re not a good mom, right? They could be better and that they’re at, when they’re at home, they’re thinking, Oh, I’m not available for these other opportunities. But instead of being bailed on the present moment to be their best mom, or best worker, they’re continuously telling the story that they’re not good at either, or they’re not good enough at either. But yet, if we wrote down that, that thought, and we said, Well, are there ever any indicators? And I’m a good mom, you probably could come up with some write, like, oh, you know, my kids loved it when I did this thing. And then they, so it’s like, you have to start pulling it out. So that you can actually say, Well, what I’m, what do I do? Where am I? Do I feel like I’m a good mom, right? Or good at my health, like I take a walk, you might think, Oh, I never take care of myself. But then you’re like, but I take a walk every day. That’s a good. So I think keeping in our heads or keeping in the dark, instead of realizing like we have to bring them forth in order to acknowledge them and then try to change them.


Absolutely. And also those expectations that we put on ourselves, because I think when we define like, what is healthy, what is good parenting, what is a good career? What is success? Even, right? We, we tend to look at all these outside sources and go, Well, I’m only going to be successful if I’m as good as fill in the blank, right? Or I’m only going to be a great parent, if my kid gets into Harvard, or I’m only going to be healthy, if I’m a size four, right? I mean, these are, like expectations that we put on ourselves. And then when we don’t meet those expectations, we think we’re failing. And that’s not the case. And in most instances, right, it’s that, like you said, being present and saying like, well, what went right today? And that goes back to well, what was in my control today? And did I do those things? And maybe I did some of them? Maybe I did none of them and tomorrow is another day get up? Do it again.


Yeah. So tell us about i two things that I love that you incorporate into working with people besides the virtues which I think are so important. such good bedrocks. But you know, you have many that you’re welcome to share about, but I love lay in in the habit layering. So what can you tell us about that on? How are you incorporating that into people’s lives so that getting to being a healthier person or more wellness or being having better well being, I guess, happens for us? Yes,


I am actually just reading James clears atomic habits, which I cannot believe I have not read this book before. Just like every line, he says, I’m like, yes, yes. Like, it’s just, it’s so great how he explains it. And also, SJ Scott was, I think the author who, who coined the phrase, habit stacking. But, you know, the concept is really that you don’t have to change everything all at once. All you have to do is change one thing today, just start doing one positive thing for yourself right now today. And so there’s there’s two components to this. So I give the example often of like somebody who says, I want to be a vegan, and I would tell that person, okay, well, how about today, you don’t eat beef. And then tomorrow, don’t eat beef for next week. Don’t eat beef, right? And if you can successfully do that, right, now you’re identifying as a person who doesn’t eat beef. So then, once we’ve nailed that, it’s well eliminate pork now, so no beef, no pork, do that for another week or two, right? Now you’re building confidence in the fact that you can actually accomplish something towards your end goal. And, you know, I think too, with with exercise, it’s another thing like, I think people set these expectations like, well, if I’m gonna go to the gym, I have to be there for at least an hour. And I got to do 20 minutes of cardio. And it’s like, okay, yes, there is an ideal situation in this but but what is the reality, the reality is you just have to get, just have to put your shoes on and go to the gym, or, or you just have to put your shoes on and go outside for a walk, or you just have to figure out where to put 10 Push ups in your day. I mean, it’s, it’s that ability to start a habit and then build on it. So what James clear talks about, like, atomic habits, and SJ Scott is that idea of, well, don’t try to create this habit out of thin air, right, you want to take something that you’re successfully doing every day, and then lay something on top of it. So if it’s, you know, taking a break for lunch, I think he gives us an example, like, you know, if you close your computer, and that’s a habit, and then you go have lunch, like, that would be the time to do some squats, or go for a walk or do the push ups, right? But saying, like, when I do this, I am going to add this. And then you know, being able to now you’ve set a trigger in your brain, right, there’s a cue there for you to actually do the thing. And, and then you’re you’re also going to have so much more confidence around it, because you’re like, Well, I’m already brushing my teeth. I’m already eating lunch, I’m already you know, taking my dog for a walk, whatever it is. So you know, you’re you’re able to, like I said, kind of build that confidence. And then you start to have hope that there’s actually, you know, an ability for you to change and become somebody different.


Yeah. Oh my gosh, yeah. I love actually the beef example. And the reason is, you just have to start today. And like you said, you’re not trying to cut out every product that’s animal or animal by bar like, right, you’re just saying, let’s start with one simple thing, because you can still learn how you make your other choices that maybe aren’t, you know, vegetarian choices. But the other thing I love is that, like you said, just start today. And if today you do it, say tomorrow, I’m gonna do it, and then the next day, and then it’s a week, and then it’s two weeks next month, you’re not saying I’m never gonna beef again, you’re just trying to focus on Can I do it today. And like you said, eventually, then you realize, oh, I was able to make that choice and commit to it. And now two months has passed, because it’s not overwhelming. It’s just one simple little change that we can handle. Right? Like you said, if you tried to cut out everything, and my whole fridge is filled with, you know, meat product, and then milk and all these other things like it that is overwhelming. And we’re more likely, especially if you’re going out to eat you’re not used to making those choices. So like you said, it’s simple that like a tiny micro choice, right and change choice. And then you build on that once it becomes something that you feel like you can you can stick with. And so I think that’s so important to point out to people, you know, you don’t have to start going to the gym every day. It could be what’s easy for you, like you said it might be going up and down your stairs 25 times a day because you’re here you don’t even have to put on your shoes. It could be going on a walk. Half the days if I’m not doing like more strenuous exercise, and I’m walking the dog. I have my flip flops on because I like the sun hitting my seat. But the point is I’m still doing it, you know, but I didn’t even have to put on my shoes. I should have said I’m gonna go But I think we make it too hard we and we are we get? We’re so hard on ourselves that if we have a day that we don’t fit this new habit or goal, we beat ourselves up, I think right? And then we get we feel a little defeated or like you said, hopeless. But how do you help people guide through that challenge? Because I think we are just too hard on ourselves.


Yes, yes. So here’s where that element of play really comes in. And it’s not even I think when when we hear the word play, we think of like, I don’t know, going to the park or, or playing ball or playing a game. And, I mean, that is part of it. But I think it’s more of like a mindset. So when kids are learning, they, right, we have kids learning to walk, it’s, it’s crawling, then it’s walking, and it’s taking, you know, steps and stumbling and all of that, but we certainly wouldn’t look at our child and be like, Well, today, I don’t know, they just didn’t get it. So never gonna happen. Like, No, we wouldn’t be like that. Right? And, and kids, when kids are before they go to school, right? All their whole world is discovered through play through what does this do? And what if I click this and, and then, you know, there isn’t a lot of like, well, you’re doing that wrong, right? When kids are exploring and playing, it’s just Well, that’s interesting. I bought my kid a toy, and now they’re playing with the box and not the toy, we don’t go like don’t play with the box, right? Like we say, well, that’s cute, they want to play with the box. And then when we go to school, it is very, very different. All of a sudden, we’re judged on our ability to follow this very strict system of learning. And if we don’t fit into that box, we’re graded poorly. And then our grades reflect whether you’re going to succeed and this societal structure, and it’s just very damaging, I think. So we end up I think growing up as adults, we have this idea of, well, if I can’t do this perfect, and I’m not going to get an A, then I like it’s just that feeling of like that constant. I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want the bad grade I don’t like right. It’s like if I get enough that I’m never gonna go to college, and I’m gonna get a job or meet my spouse. And like, it’s, it’s just so overwhelming, like you were saying, so, you know, having that grace, to be able to say like, this is a playful process. This is me fumbling and stumbling. And this is me picking up the box. And so a toy and figuring this out, and, and just being able to have that mindset around it, that it’s not perfection, it’s practice and learning and growing.


Yeah, and you know, what was what I was kind of thinking of, as you said, that is, you know, we might be talking and using the word play. But really what plays coming down to is that you’re open to being curious about the process and like, Oh, could this work for me, and then you’re open to discovery, maybe going to the gym indoors, in it’s 50 minutes from your house, you discover that this isn’t feeling like it doesn’t fit me, I don’t like it. I’m not able to commit to this. But that’s okay. What exercise or healthy habit might fit better for you, that feels a little easier, right? So when we say playful part of it is, it’s like exploration, right? We’re just trying to excavate for what will work for us in the season we’re in right now, you know, if you have little babies at home versus you don’t have children versus you have grown children, what you’re able to fit in is also going to be different. You know, if you have little kids at home, and they’re taking naps? Well, you might need to fit in a healthy habit or whatever you’re trying to make a change in from your home, right or in your backyard or so. That’s okay. It has to, to some extent, it has to be easy for you to put it in. Right or easy for you to add it.


Of course, right? It has to be simple. And attainable. And like very, very true. I think. Yeah, going back to that idea of it doesn’t have to be perfect. And, you know, for me, it’s very important to present my brand in a way that’s genuine and like attainable, right? I’m like, I’m not the trainer that was ever gonna get somebody ready for like a fitness competition or something. Right. And I like, I just I have my own thoughts about that world anyway, but that was never the goal for my clients. When I was a trainer. It wasn’t, well, we got to get you the fittest abs and tightest arms. And I mean, it’s just, that’s, you know, just not how I was. So yeah, just having the ability to step back and take some perspective on like, what healthy is and so for me, it’s not posting pictures of me and tight pants on Instagram and, you know, showing off my abs and like, this is what healthy is like, you know, I try to keep it real like some days. I’m failing on all ends and other days I feel like A superstar, you know, and that’s, that’s just how it is. And we have to forgive ourselves for those days where everything just falls apart.


Yeah, yeah. And like I think, you know, one thing you’re probably speaking to is, you know, how do we just have a little more, you know, you said grace, and I totally love that word as well. But like self love, like, how do we truly just embrace where we’re at in the journey? And yeah, we might want to tweak or improve or make some changes. But at the end of the day, we have to have a little more self acceptance and self love, right for ourselves.


Yes, exactly. And for me, a big component of that is realizing that I am loved by something greater, greater than myself, and that I wasn’t, you know, God didn’t put me here on this earth to hate myself to shame myself to be miserable. You know, I believe that, me and you and everyone else were created to be joyful, and experience all that, that God has blessed us with. So, you know, to me, health is sort of that first pillar, if we don’t have that, then then everything else crumbles. And, you know, again, that the health is physical, mental and spiritual, right. And so, you know, being able to pile all those things on top of shaky foundation is just, it’s just not good.


Yeah, I love that. That’s such a focus for your life and for your program, because I 100% align with that. And, you know, for me, I am very clear, you know, same thing very faith oriented. And so I get that, but I will share with you, I see why a lot of people are struggling right now, because their spiritual health is waning, or they’re, they’re not really sure how to navigate that. And having I have three sons two are teenagers and ones in college. And right now, you know, and I’ve been sharing a bit on the pockets lately, because it’s just what we’re walking through right now. But it’s, he is, you know, he’s having a hard time he’s having a hard time at college, he’s come home. And so we’re working through this, this next kind of chapter, if you will, and just really here to support him and try to do everything we can to be of support and service. But one thing I’m noticing not just with him, it’s so many young adults and teens. They, besides having felt isolated and lonely, and last two years, besides their life having been turned upside down in some of their interpersonal relationships being pulled away, and then they still aren’t connecting the same yet or as much. The other thing I’m seeing is, many of them are questioning, what why are they here, but not in an existential way? Like, it’s almost in a negative way. Like they don’t really see what they have to bring to the world. They don’t see their value. And I’m starting to see these conversations. I mean, they were there. I just wasn’t paying attention. But I think it’s because they’re not as connected in their spiritual health. We haven’t been having these conversations. Like I think we always thought we were telling our kids, they were valuable. But now I’m realizing maybe they were hearing you’re valuable, because you’re good at your, your classes, you’re valuable, because you’re good at sports, you’re they were maybe hearing that message, which, as a parent or a friend or even as an adult, you, I don’t think you thought that but now starting to hear these things. I’m realizing people don’t really like what you just said, you and I believe that, like we have a purpose. We’re here for a reason. I believe we all have gifts to share. But I think a lot of people don’t feel that right now. You know, and that’s something I’m trying to work on helping people realize, because I’m seeing it’s a it’s a big, it’s a big area that as a as the world right, like, holistically Everyone is struggling sort of through some of these feelings are questions, you know, and so I think it’s so important that you help people as part of, you know, the way you’re, you’re working with them. Oh, well,


thank you, Kristen, that is really amazing that you are doing this work, and helping people really connect with that part of themselves. And, you know, sorry to hear that your son is going through that, but I think he’s going to come out the other end of that really strong and he’s going to have so much growth and like how lucky he is that you’re his mom here to walk him through that journey. And, you know, I think, though, the word that comes to mind is codependency. And, and again, it’s it’s not always how we might traditionally think of that term. I mean, in a nutshell, right? Like codependency is sort of looking for other people’s approval or, you know, your happiness depending on the happiness of others. And I think again, we get locked in a cycle of well, if I show up and I’m really good at my job, I’ll get rewarded or I’ll get a raise or so does that like dopamine hit when we get praised for a job well done or something like that. Right? So it’s, it becomes like a very like outward expression and it’s not really like sometimes I don’t know sometimes we feel like is the real me really showing Are you really valuing me? And, and also like just finding value in ourselves based on the value that outside sources are giving us or feeding us rather than, like you said, knowing that our value just simply comes from the fact that God created us. And here we are, right. So we are valuable, and we are worthy. And that’s been a tough road for me, but also just crucial and understanding that I can detach from other people’s opinions of me and other people’s praise and affirmations and acceptance. And you know, that this channel from from me to my higher power is the only one that needs to stay free and clear.


Oh, yeah, it’s so good. And I do, I think it’s, it’s just, sometimes we don’t realize that there’s work we need to do, right. So that we, like if, for instance, I’ve worked with funny people over the years where, you know, they I was their, their team lead or whatever. And they would come to me, and there’d be all this like, external stuff in their life where they were just having a hard time. But it was very apparent to me that it was like, oh, but those are all external things, and you’re letting it call you up, and you’re letting it get you so upset. And it’s like, causing so much drama in their lives, that they weren’t aware of it, because they never stopped to really think about it. Right in their in their world. That was the normal that was their default. But if we find that that’s happening, right, like, you’re always, like, flustered and upset, you’re so overwhelmed. We have to pause, we can do some self reflection, some self assessment and say, Well, why am I always irritated or frustrated? Or like whatever it is, at the end of day, I’m so burned out, but is it because we’re letting everything around us? just chip away, right at our, at our joy, or at our peace or whatever it is, instead of getting quiet and whatever we might do if it’s prayer, meditation, or resetting recharging. And so I think a lot of people, we don’t stop to realize, maybe this the way we’re doing it is harming us in some way, you know? Or it’s at least not healthy.


Yes, and you hit it, bingo, Kristin, like people are so unaware of themselves. I think that, like, I think it’s a stoic saying, right, know thyself. It’s in the Bible to write versions of that. And it really is important to, like, spend time with yourself, whether that’s in prayer, or meditation, or just sitting in silence or journaling, or playing write those things like, What do you enjoy? I’ve worked with clients who just they’ve just totally lost sight of what they are trying to do, right? Like you said, it’s like, well, I show up, you know, I get up in the morning, take care of my kids, I go to work and come home. It’s like, we’re just on like, autopilot with our lives. And to really sit down and go, Well, what is it that I’m actually trying to achieve? What do I want here? Like, what is the point of all this? And yeah, self awareness? That’s key.


Yeah. And one thing to August two things. One is, when we’re in when we’re talking about, right, it’s that it’s that also that creativity, like, like you just said, is there a hobby, is there something that brings you joy in your life you’re doing and if there’s not, because you’ve gotten so busy with obligation, I find you have to create space in your calendar. And it has to be it’s purposeful space, that you say, I’m going to it could be just getting a nature, it could be, I’m going to write or sing or draw or just get, you know, listen to a podcast or music that to me, you know, is enjoyable, but we have to, we have to make space for these things. Because otherwise you’re going to find at the end of your week, you are exhausted and have no joy, right? Like nothing about your week was fulfilling or felt meaningful, because we’re, like you said, we’re on autopilot instead of saying, Am I incorporating and things that I enjoy that brings me joy, and usually bring slow us down as well. You know, exactly. So I think that’s the first thing. And then the other thing you were saying, Oh yeah, I think the other problem is is people are forgetting that, you know what? You know, and I know and Is it Japanese, and I’m gonna get the word wrong. But it’s the idea of the now I can’t even think of the word but it’s like the three different stool legs of the stools, but it’s basically how your it talks about your purpose. Basically, I think it’s geeky guy. I might be saying the word wrong, but he guys their word, but it’s how he no matter if you’re retired or you’re a stay at home mom or you work. All of them are it’s very clear to them what their purpose is. And so purpose doesn’t mean necessarily your career, right? It’s your Why do you get up in the morning, but if we can’t connect to that reason, and the reason could just be that you’re going to show up in the world as a kind person, right? Like, it doesn’t have to be a purpose like that. You love that you’re a builder, right? It’s something bigger than that something bigger than you and I think if people don’t have that, which is I think what really a lot of the young people are struggling with right now is they’ve never really grasped that. idea or they haven’t figured that out yet. That’s where I think sometimes you feel hopeless, or you don’t feel like you know where you’re going, right? Even if we don’t know what job we’re gonna have, like, if we have a clear idea of who we are in our purpose, right, then there’s, there’s something to live for. There’s something, especially about the connection to God. So I think I think that’s the only thing that I would say to people like, Are you clear on that, or at least somewhat clear on that?


Yes. And, again, for so long in the educational system are so ingrained with this? Well, your purpose better be tied so closely to a career a job a way to make money, right. And it’s, it’s just like heart, we hardly spend any time on fostering those spiritual aspects of our life. And I think there’s a lot of guilt around, you know, wanting to pursue those things that are on your heart, or even do the things that make you happy. And, you know, I coach a lot of moms and you know, a lot of career very high achieving people, you know, seem to be attracted to me. And they have this like, sense of guilt for wanting to do something kind for themselves, or wanting to take that pause and go to the gym, or whatever it is meal prep, and, and it goes back to sort of that that virtuous living of Well, is it really virtuous to let go of yourself? And all the things that make you happy? Because Are you really showing up for all these other people in your life? And all these other things as the best version of yourself? And isn’t that really virtuous to be the best version of yourself? And then to share that with the world and everyone else?


Oh, that’s so true. And one of my favorite quotes, I mean, I would plenty but is, I think it’s Plato that said it, but it’s, you can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation. And I love that because it kind of, you know, well, one, it tells us it’s very telling, right? Because this is an adult talking, and he’s not talking about children, he’s talking about adults. And obviously, Plato wasn’t as concerned about playing on the playground, like you said, or, you know, going and playing with blocks he’s talking about when you do something together that, you know, brings you together, and just like this community, and you’re you’re not just sitting here in a serious conversation, but you’re like getting to let loose your you know, you’re letting down your guard, if you will. So this is the kind of thing we’re really talking about. Right. And so I think that’s a really important concept that a lot of us are forgetting, you know, it’s like, how do we do something that’s enjoyable? That’s not just so formal, like you said, almost like that classroom experience, we’ve done our whole lives. In you, you talk about a concept that’s related that that I would just want to jump on, which is, you talk about how play can allow us to live this life of freedom. So I’m super curious about what does that look like for you? And then how are your clients maybe an example of how someone’s incorporating that into their life? Yes.


So for me, I’ve discovered that personal freedom is not being able to just get up in the morning and do whatever you want. Although some people might think of it as that, right, like to be free, or just want to be free, like, I think some structure is necessary to really have freedom. But in that, it’s, it’s also going back to right like, what can you control? What can’t you control and the stuff that you can’t let go of that let God handle that stuff. And enjoy the freedom have sort of like letting that off of your plate. And play is one of those things that I feel is connected with that idea of flow in that, like you said, right, like Plato was talking about, it’s that idea of getting so lost in what you’re doing, that you’re not even really thinking about it, you’re not thinking about learning or you’re not thinking about, you know, what the next five minutes have coming for you. You’re so in the moment you’re so present? And isn’t that really what we want. We want freedom from worry, anxiety, we want freedom from, you know, financial burdens, we want freedom from painful conversations and bad relationships and all those things. And so, when you can really like like you were saying at the beginning of our talk here, like really just be present, and get lost in that sense of play and find that flow in your life. Like that’s, I think that’s where the freedom lies, isn’t that and I think the only way that you can create that in your life, though, is by having a practice and by being very mindful and deliberate about including that in your day in your life making room for it, like you said,


making the space. Yeah, I think you’re right. And I think you know, one of the things you sort of alluded to there is that the whole concept is we’re getting out of here own heads, right? Like we’re getting out of our heads and then into here and now. And the other thing you sort of alluded to with this whole idea of freedom, which obviously is something that I’m very passionate about helping people do is that it’s defining life on their terms, right? It’s like creating your calendar, your structure, around what will work for your life right in the season that you’re in, and that it will feel it’ll feel easy. It doesn’t mean you don’t work hard, it’ll feel easy, because it aligns well with what what you’re doing in the world. But also, I think what you did say in these words, but I think we both are sort of saying kind of in the in the background, if you will, is it’s a little bit more about like slowing down or slow living being an intentional with saying, I don’t have to be in this like frantic crazy state all the time, because you’ll never experience flow, right? Or that state of like, you’re so into something that you are at your highest creative ability or highest like, giving of yourself up to something. So I think that’s also kind of what we’re saying, right is like if we if we actually are more intentional with our practices, we’re more intentional being present, we’re able to create our days that we slow down a bit. And so that doesn’t mean you’re not doing things it means you’re, you’re slowing down your speed, I guess, right? Like, even if you go from thing to thing, you’re not feeling out of sorts all the time.


Right, well being in one place, but thinking about being in another place, right? It’s that idea of, well, yeah, I’m here with my kids now, but no, I gotta do this, this, this and this, or you’re at your job, but you’re already thinking about what your what you have to do at night and right, that idea of just constantly taking yourself out of the present moment. And, you know, the, the Italians have this concept of La Dolce Vita, right, which is like the sweet life and they take it very seriously. And I haven’t been anywhere outside of Italy, in Europe, but I don’t know if it’s just a maybe a European mindset. But in Italy, especially I witnessed this, and I’ve spent some, you know, a little bit of vacation time there. And it’s very true, they take that very seriously, like, you know, they rest in the middle of the day. And you know, depending on where you are, they closed down, you know, and it’s, you know, they enjoy their food and company with each other. And it just feels at least like, you know, when you kind of create a culture of that, it gets easier to be present to be in a moment to, I forget what the term is for it, but I’m just going past PESA data or something, right, where it’s like after dinner, people just go out and walk around, they just go to the square, they walk around, they may get a drink or not, or just they just see people, right? And it’s that idea of like, put the don’t watch TV, just go outside, be out be with others, right? Like enjoy your surroundings, all of that. And we’re just not programmed like that here in the US or, you know, just humans in general, I think are, like you said, so concerned with keeping every moment of the day scheduled and busy and going here going there that, you know, you’re gonna get to the end of your life, and it’s gonna pass you by so quickly, right? And I think, I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what it is. But what is a somebody called it something but it’s like, when you turn 27 You’ve been around the sun. So many times, it’s like this period in a person’s life from like, 27 to 31, where you know, you, you start to question those things. And I don’t know, if your son is maybe entering that stage of his life, but you you realize all of a sudden, like, oh, wait a minute, I’m not going to be here forever. And yeah, like, what am I doing? What am I doing with this life and, and if you’re not like looking up and looking around and enjoying it at certain points, like, that’s really sad, but you are gonna get to the end of it, and just wish that you had more time and wish that you had done things differently. When I was in high school, I was just so consumed, I was so consumed with getting A’s and, you know, getting, you know, into a good school and it was just like, so all consuming, right? And I was so obsessive about my weights and like, you know, having the perfect body and all these things and like I was one exhausted but then realized, I think once I got a little older, like, what was I doing? Like I was so consumed it was to an unhealthy level that, you know, I really missed out on some of the fun and some of those experiences that I could have had in those adolescent years because I was so like, tightly wound you know, and so maybe that was a good lesson for me to learn early because it allowed me you know, to explore more of that playfulness in my life.


You’re so right I mean, the first thing isn’t this is paraphrasing it’s not the exact quote but Mary Oliver right has the famous you know, quote or statement that basically says like, what like What are you What will you do that with this one? You know, something like wild and precious life, right, but we only get we get this shot right now. I mean for the here and now at least. And the thing is, is, you know, the book and the blog have the Five Regrets of Dying, right? But it’s it’s literally like, people what they regret is, if you didn’t speak your truth, you didn’t tell the people you needed to tell more, right? It could be I Love You can be whatever it is, you didn’t you there’s things you didn’t do in life that you wish to have done, you know, experiences or opportunities, or you didn’t write the book, you know, but So there’s these things, but it’s like, it’s like, if you look back at your life, while you’re still here, like it with if you’re 85 or whatever age, and you look at what you’re doing now, like, are you? Are you moving towards the things that you want to have impact in the world? And that you want to be of service of? If you’re not, the question is, why are you waiting, like make the change now? And they will say the people that live the longest, it’s, it’s even not about their health, right? It’s not about their healthy living. I mean, of course, people that eat a healthy diet, especially like, you know, in some parts are beans and rice, like, yes, they live the longest. But beyond that they’re saying even more than that. It’s people that have deep meaningful relationships that they continue to have and to hold it, you know, when we get older. And then the other one isn’t that they have new experiences, and they’re continuing to like, learn and grow. And so I think that that’s those are good indicators for us. To your point. It’s not just about healthy living like on that we eat healthy food, but we’re drinking water and we’re exercising, it’s like you said it’s holistic, it’s holistic living, it’s all the parts of us. But a lot of that has to do with, like you said, our spirituality and then our relationships, because in the day, I think we were we were put here to be in relation to be in community. No.


Yes, yes. Oh, amen. Sister. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. If we were meant to walk through this life alone, I don’t even I don’t even know we’d be some just, I don’t know, pods, sort of floating through the air, right, that never bumped into each other.


I know. So any last words of encouragement, or just tips or anything you want to share with us? Before we wrap it up today? Yes,


I will. I just want to encourage people that change is a process and it takes time. So remember, just to have grace with yourself. And that, you know, the decisions that you’re making today in the moment will affect you. Three minutes from now, three hours from now, three days from now, three weeks from now, three months from now, three years from now, right? It goes on and on. But, but just knowing that you might not see that difference in three minutes, right, or three hours, three days. But you might see it in three weeks, or you might see it three months, you’ll definitely see it in three months, right. So it may seem like a lot, it may seem overwhelming. And there might not be a lot of hope in someone’s life right now. But I encourage them to take an action, take a small action, no matter how small and just do it. Eight, make yourself accountable to someone, a coach a friend, God and just do the thing. And I created a list of 10 things I think are really simple to start doing today, you’re not going to do all 10 though, here’s the caveat, you’re only gonna pick one and do that. That was my hesitation with putting a list of 10 things together that well. So the list only have one thing. But trust that people can choose wisely for themselves. But they can find that on my website, Kristen, and download that and start practicing one thing to change that trajectory trajectory for themselves today.


I love that. Well, thank you so much for being on with us today sharing your journey and then all the ways that you’re you know, helping people in the health and wellness space. Can you share this? How else can people connect with you online at your website or on social? Yes,


so it’s crystallized health That’s my website. I’m also on Instagram crystal that quickly era, and Facebook crystallized health advisors. And of course, I also have a podcast the playful life in which I showcase people who are doing that living life playfully finding small ways to incorporate the sweet life into their into their daily living.


I love it. Well thank you so much for all that you’re doing to help people live better lives. I love it. And I look forward to connecting with you again soon.


Thanks so much, Kristen.


There are so many good nuggets in that conversation with crystal today. I just think there were so many takeaways that you can apply to your own life and your business. And I want to leave you with some words in the book. The next right thing by Emily P Freeman and then ideas she has the right think is super helpful. She says, today we’ll practice stopping on purpose so that we can, as Eugene Peterson says, Be alert and attentive and receptive to what God is doing in in for us. And for others, on the way, we wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies. And then she says, if you feel scattered without a senator, like you’re flying out in all directions, let these few moments be a speed bump in your busy day. Resist the urge to scold yourself for being scattered. Remember that no one has ever been shamed into freedom. Let be what is in the presence of God, acknowledge what is true, say the day in your mind, the date, the month, the year, this is where you are, this moment is what you have, you can only be one place at a time, stay in today. And she talks about a very simple practice that you can do when you find yourself not present in the moment and instead stuck in worry or anxiety, worry for the future, thinking about conversations that haven’t happened yet. And see basically says we shouldn’t just add to their sentences so that we can really see if it’s something that we should be worrying about. And also what can we do about it. So she gives us example. She was worried about if her children, her daughters would be ready for high school and if she would be ready in the fall. So this is what she says. I turned it into a question and the word today, are my girls starting high school in the fall today? If the answer is no, you can set it aside. If the answer is yes, ask yourself, what is the next right thing I can do right now as it relates to this concern? If that feels confusing, or maybe it sort of simple, it’s confusing. I’ll give you another example. Later this week, I’m traveling for a short overnight trip. It’s kind of hanging over my head. And I’m feeling a bit scattered about it. So I state my concern. I’m thinking about my trip to Raleigh, then I turned it into a question is my trip to Raleigh happening today? No, but it is happening this week. And I do need to prepare prepare for it. What is the next right step I can take today to prepare prepare for this trip. I can’t do it all. But I can do one thing. And then I can do one more thing after that. I think that’s so good. So if you find that you’re not able to be present, if you find that you get stuck in the worry, the anxiety, the what ifs. Let’s try that exercise. And let’s like crystal said, let’s just figure out how can we change one small thing right now, that actually will have impact, but it doesn’t feel so big. And the other thing I would leave you with is what is in what is in your control and what is not in your control, both in your day. And also in your life. If it’s something that you truly can’t control, like the traffic that you’re already stuck in, then let it go. How can you let it go and just think about something else be productive with your time is yours. So until next time, I hope you have a great week. Once again, thanks for listening to the podcast. And if you enjoyed the podcast, we would love it if you could leave a review on Apple podcasts because that helps us get discovered by more people. We’d also love your feedback. So email me at Kristin at Kristin or DM me on Instagram. I’m at Kristin Fitch and let me know what ideas or ideas for shows or for guests you have I would love to hear from you.