This week’s topic is: Dealing with Holiday Dread
I love this topic because it’s so real and authentic. It’s when we don’t sugar coat things. Yes, the holidays can be about vegan Christmas cookies, presents, trees and lights and all of these beautiful aspects.
However, there is another aspect of the holidays, which of course is stress, including financial stress if you have a huge amount of people that you typically get presents for. There is rushing around, there’s drama within families and all sorts of things. We don’t want to pretend that they’re not there.
Of course we want to embrace it, which is really this whole concept of wholeness. It’s not all just about the shiny pretty stuff, but also about the shadow side and the parts that throw up a lot of triggers and feelings for us. To really equip ourselves with tools and techniques so that we are able to move through the holidays as gracefully and as lightly as possible, and feel our best.
In contrast, I find when we pretend that things aren’t stressful or that things are just so when they’re not, we abandon and shut down part of ourselves. We don’t acknowledge parts of ourselves. And of course our wholeness is part of our power. It’s our ability to look at everything and to deal with it that continues to make us stronger and stronger.
Have you been wondering about this very topic? If you want to know the answer to this question and 3 more sent in by Beauties just like you, listen now to find out!
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Tricia – New York
I feel like my expectations of what a holiday should look like is warped. How can I prepare my mind so that I don’t feel so let down?
Stan – Montana
I’m dreading the holidays. It’s a reminder of how dysfunctional my family is and how I don’t want to be around them. Any suggestions?
Bethany – FL
Holidays are so overwhelming and difficult. I literally feel like telling everyone that I’m not celebrating this year. How can I do this without feeling so guilty?
Susan – Louisiana
I’m financially strapped right now with covid and it breaks my heart to not be able to buy gifts for everyone. Any tips on how to make up for this?
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Other Podcasts you may enjoy!:
- How to Prepare For The Holidays!
- Getting Through The Holidays with Drew Canole
- The Importance Of Self-Love and Self-Care Practices
- How To Survive The Holidays
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Kimberly: 00:01 Hey Beauties. Welcome back to our Thursday Q&A podcast where our topic today is Dealing With Holiday Dread. I love this title, I love this topic because it’s so real. It’s so authentic. It’s when we don’t sugar coat things. Yes, the holidays can be about vegan Christmas cookies and presents and trees and lights and all of these beautiful aspects, but there is another aspect of the holidays, which of course is stress, including financial stress if you have a huge amount of people that you typically get presents for, there’s rushing around, there’s drama within families, there’s all sorts of things. We don’t want to pretend that they’re not there. Of course we want to embrace it, I think, which is really this whole concept of wholeness. Is that it’s not all just about the shiny pretty stuff, but also about the shadow side and the parts that throw up a lot of triggers for us or just a lot of feelings. And to really just equip ourselves with tools and techniques so that we are able to move through the holidays, in this case, as gracefully as possible, as lightly as possible, so to speak, so that we feel our best. Simple as that.
Kimberly: 01:31 In contrast, I find when we pretend that things aren’t stressful when they are, or we pretend that things are just so when they’re not, we abandon ourselves, we shut down part of ourselves. We don’t acknowledge parts of ourselves. And of course our wholeness is part of our power. So it’s our ability to look at everything and to deal with it that continues to make us stronger and stronger.
Kimberly: 01:59 Needless to say, I am super excited for your questions today. As always, our Thursday show comes from real questions from our community, from all around the world, that are submitted and our wonderful, wonderful Solluna team organizes them. We have amazing people working on the podcast, including our Beauty, Nicol, who has been with me for many years now. She puts in a lot of hard work going through all these questions.
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Kimberly: 02:26 Today, I’m going to be reading the questions and answering them, which I think I will continue to do here for the next little while. I’m going to stop saying it every week. Katelyn is super busy. We have some amazing stuff that we’re launching very, very soon. Some before the holiday and a lot in Q1 next year. So I’m really, really excited about that. A quick reminder to please leave us a review on iTunes, which is a wonderful way to support the show. So thank you so much in advance, and to please also be sure to subscribe to our show over there or wherever you listen to podcasts and that way you don’t miss out on this amazing… All right, I like to think of it as amazing, hopefully heart connection, self-care space, where it was really about community and about supporting each other on this path.
Question 1: I feel like my expectations of what a holiday should look like is warped. How can I prepare my mind so that I don’t feel so let down?
Kimberly: 03:15 All that being said, let’s dive into our questions today around dealing with holiday dread. The first question comes from Tricia in New York, and she writes, “I feel like my expectations of what a holiday should look like is warped. How can I prepare my mind so that I don’t feel so let down?” Tricia, thank you so much for your question, sending you a big warm hug over to New York. I used to live in New York and I have to admit that I really struggled with the cold. I know what it’s like to be really cold. I just love the warmth. And I know, we build resiliency over time, but who I have to say that hubby just got an ice bath and I am not that excited about it. I’ve been in it a couple of times. I find ice baths much easier to do in the summer. So anyways, not to get off into too much of a tangent, but big warm hugs to all you guys living in really, really cold places right now.
Kimberly: 04:21 I think the answer to this question is actually contained in the question itself. When I hear the word “expectations,” Tricia, and this kind of reminds me of the word “should.” When we set up expectations and then life comes and reality comes, there is often a gap between our expectations and between how things show up. Or “should.” Like, “It should look like this, but it actually looks like that.” That gap is the cause of suffering. It is a huge cause of stress and we don’t need that in our lives. There’s already enough going on. So one thing I would say, Tricia, is drop the expectations. It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s very, very powerful.
Kimberly: 05:10 So how do we do that? We remain open. We don’t close up. We don’t have a narrow, again, expectation of how things should be. How the holiday should go, who should say this and who should be cooking that exactly. All these little details, right? Life is multifaceted and holidays can be quite challenging for us, especially because we’re used to seeing imagery in social media, in movies and all these depictions of these perfect holidays. And when we think, “Oh, that’s real life, and that’s what holiday should look like.” Again, we can set ourselves up for tremendous suffering and tremendous disappointment because that’s not real life. So openness is the antithesis to expectations.
Kimberly: 06:05 I have struggled with expectations of myself in the past. Expecting myself to get all these things done, expecting myself to, back years ago when I had a lot of different issues around food, expecting myself to eat perfectly or to lose weight in a set amount of time or expectations about achievements. It’s so stressful and it’s so demoralizing.
Kimberly: 06:36 So what I’ve done, and this has been a result of practice, my practice, which my daily practice involves meditation, which is the ultimate place for me to feel open. I carry that into my life, so I encourage all you guys to start a meditation practice if you haven’t already. And remember that we have free meditations for you over at mysolluna.com. I put up free meditations every week on Instagram at _kimberlysnyder.
Kimberly: 07:05 The reason that meditation is such a wonderful way to get past this habit of expectations is in meditation, when properly practiced, you drop into the center, you drop into the space of infinite potentiality. You drop into a space where instead of being the small limit itself, we become the expanded self, we connect with everything else. So I have found for me personally, spending more time in that space, spending more time in meditation is a way that has helped me get past all these expectations, holiday expectations and beyond.
Kimberly: 07:45 I think just simply reminding yourself, Tricia, remain open. Just tell that to yourself. When you find yourself in your mind, going down a pathway of painting this exact picture of the holidays, pull it back and just say, “That would be nice, but whatever shows up is meant to be.” Take some deep breaths, take it one step at a time, keep up with your self-care practices during this whole holiday season, your morning practice, your warm baths, warm showers, hot water with lemon, whatever all your practices are and remind yourself that ultimately it is what we make of it. Holidays are a moment in time and they go. What’s most important is that we just stay centered. We do our best to stay connected to ourselves, to each breath, to each moment, however it shows up and we do our best. So lots of love to you, Tricia. Thank you so much for your wonderful question. I love that as an opening.
Question 2: I am dreading the holidays. It’s a reminder of how dysfunctional my family is and how I don’t want to be around them. Any suggestions?
Kimberly: 08:48 Next question comes from Stan in Montana and he writes, “I’m dreading the holidays.” Well, first of all, Stan, before I get it, I just send you so much love. I love when one of our brothers comes forth and gives questions. We’ve been getting more vocal brothers in our community and we welcome you and we love you. So Stan’s question is, “I am dreading the holidays. It’s a reminder of how dysfunctional my family is and how I don’t want to be around them. Any suggestions?” Oof, Stan, I totally understand this. The rest of the year, we kind of live our lives and we do what feels good to us, but the holidays can feel a time when we are corralled with other family members and forced into situations like dinner tables and more time together than we may be used to.
Kimberly: 09:39 And of course, this can bring up a lot from the past and a lot that may be not necessarily fully processed because a lot of us do have triggers and wounds from our childhood and that comes up. We all have them. I know I have them. So I try to work through them by, by sitting in the discomfort and facing it, which is a whole other topic, but something that I would love to talk about more another day. Not going to get off track though, Katelyn’s not here. I’m going to do my part to keep myself focused.
Kimberly: 10:15 Listen, no one has perfect families and there’s dysfunction in all families. So what I do in these sorts of situations is I prepare myself. I fortify myself before I go in. If I’m in a triggered state or I have some anxiety or I’m feeling stressed or tired or whatever about something else, that situation I know is going to be way more heightened. So I prepare myself. I know you know, Stan, that there’s a lot of different energies that are going to come into the mix. But what you want to focus on is yourself. If you go into this knowing, “Hey, I’m probably not going to change all my family members’ opinions or ideas of me, that’s not what I’m going to focus on. I’m going to focus on staying calm. I’m going to maybe do a meditation before I go in. I’m going to have a wonderful morning, I’m going to exercise and then to do a walk. I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast,” my GGS.
Kimberly: 11:28 So anchor yourself through your four cornerstones, right? Food wise, have a great morning. Feel good in your body, GGS, hot water with lemon.
Kimberly: 11:37 Secondly, within your body, like we said, maybe you go for a walk or you do some yoga or you do something physically. So you feel strong, you feel energized in your body.
Kimberly: 11:47 Emotionally, you want to prepare. You may want to journal before you go in. You may write down things that may come up. When I’m around my family, it brings up my trigger of not being seen, brings up my trigger of feeling that my brothers were favored over me or it brings up just all this old anger. So just let it come out of you. Let yourself feel it. And then you can let the wisdom part of yourself chime in, or not. Maybe it’s just this space, this free-form space where you can really just allow your feelings to be there.
Kimberly: 12:22 Sometimes what I do in my journal, and I’ve shared this with you before, I’ll say the fear and then truth and wisdom. So, right? Fear. Fear is, “Hey, I’m really scared about this holiday dinner because I think I’m going to be really triggered and I’m going to feel like crap, and it’s going to be horrible.” Then I wrote T and W, which means “truth” and “wisdom.” And then I’ll sit with the higher part of myself. I’ll write down, “People may say things, but I can stay calm within myself. I have tools. I can run to the bathroom for a couple of minutes if I need to just breathe or I need a break. I’m going to pay attention to my body, whatever it is. And then the fear part may come back and say, “Yeah, but this person is super loud and super annoying and I don’t want to sit next to them.” T&W, truth and wisdom. “Yes, yes, but just remember, self, that this is a finite amount of time. I don’t have to do this every day. I am strong. I am resilient. I can do this for an hour or two or whatever it is, over a weekend. I can do this.” And you can go back and forth, and I do that to myself: fear, truth and wisdom, fear, truth and wisdom. So I process it before, especially before I go into a situation like this.
Kimberly: 13:40 And then our fourth cornerstone is spiritual growth, which we spoke about a little bit with Trisha’s last question. Meditation, centering yourself, going into that space of equanimity and serenity and stillness. I highly recommend, Stan, that you meditate before you go into any family situations. It doesn’t mean you won’t get triggered, it doesn’t mean you won’t get riled up, but it does mean that you’re putting yourself in the best possible situation that you can, as you go in. And that’s all we can do, is strengthen ourselves, fortify ourselves, do our best. And then while you’re in it, Stan, like I said, just keep checking in with yourself, keep your breath going, keep checking in with your body, letting things rise up and fall and remind yourself that you don’t have to do this every day. So that’s really a positive note.
Kimberly: 14:36 Then afterwards, you can give yourself a little treat, take a nice hot shower, make yourself a nice elixir, do something really nice for yourself and reward yourself for being strong and resilient. Thank you so much for your question. I send you lots of love out there to Montana, a state that I have never been to, but I would love to go one day. I know it’s especially beautiful.
Kimberly: 15:00 All right, Beauties. We have a short break here. And when I come back, we will have two more questions for you guys on this amazing topic.
Question 3: Holidays are so overwhelming and difficult. I literally feel like telling everyone that I’m not celebrating this year. How can I do this without feeling so guilty?
Kimberly: 15:17 All right, Beauties. We are back from our break. Two more questions on dealing with holiday dread. And the first one comes from Bethany, who is from Florida. She writes, “Holidays are so overwhelming and difficult. I literally feel like telling everyone that I’m not celebrating this year. How can I do this without feeling so guilty?”
Kimberly: 15:39 So Bethany, thank you so much for your question, love. I love and totally appreciate your sincerity and your question. And I love that we can be this open with each other. I’m sorry that the holidays feel overwhelming and difficult. I know I have felt that in the past with certain holidays, certain times of my life, and I think a lot of us feel that way. We don’t want to feel that it’s overwhelming and the overwhelm comes from our thoughts. It comes from the circular thought patterns. It comes from our reactions to things. I want to say that upfront and please know that we can work to shift that.
Kimberly: 16:27 The second part that I want to talk about is the guilty part. Guilt is a very low vibration emotion, guilt drags us down, and it doesn’t help anyone or anything. So when we’re feeling guilty, please know that some passing guilt is a natural, normal human emotion. And sometimes it can help correct us back to what feels good and we learn from it. And then we stop doing certain things in the future that we have done that doesn’t feel good to us, but chronic guilt and guilt when we are being authentic is something that I don’t think we need in our lives.
Kimberly: 17:13 Now, for instance, one of my dear friends here who I’ll call [Larysa 00:17:17] says to me, “I feel so guilty because I feel great during this COVID period and everybody else seems to be suffering.” And I said to her, “How is you feeling guilty going to help anyone else? How’s it going to do anything?” I felt guilty for a moment because I too have felt, I’m very fortunate. We live in the mountains, we have space. So I’ve had less of a difficult period than I know some others have. And my heart and love goes out to everyone that is suffering right now. But for me, when we’re in a higher vibration, I can serve more. I can put more love out and hopefully help to raise others’ energy. So guilt is not something that is a positive. Again, the chronic guilt is not a positive thing that’s helping anything.
Kimberly: 18:11 So what I would say to your question, Bethany, is first of all, honor your feelings and honor where you are. And if you really, authentically, feel that the holidays in general, or maybe certain events… I don’t know what it’s like, how much it’s shifted for you this year but if certain things really do not feel good to you and don’t feel healthy, then there’s a way to say that with compassion and authenticity and just say, “It’s been a really overwhelming period with everything going on and I really feel that I need to take care of myself and I’m just going to sit this one out.” So you make it be about yourself and your feelings. That’s a very clear line and a very healthy boundary and that can easily be respected. Someone doesn’t respect that, then they have their own issue. If we leave it ambiguous and someone may interpret it as, “Oh, do you have a problem with coming over to my house or do you have a problem with me or whatever?” But if you really make it about yourself and about taking care of yourself, then that is such a powerful place to come.
Kimberly: 19:18 So I want to address that. That is okay, to take care of yourself, it is okay to have healthy boundaries and that should be respected. But the first part of your question I want to go back to for a moment, this overwhelm and difficulty. Again, overwhelm comes from our thought patterns. So what I would say to you, Bethany, is just to observe what thoughts are coming up and to breathe through them and to sit in them. I recently talked about digesting our feelings on one of my little Instagram posts, my little meditation posts over there. What I have found personally, and I wasn’t taught this as a child, but something that I’ve really, really learned has helped me so much with overwhelm and difficult feelings, is sitting in the feelings when they come up. So it’s uncomfortable and we’re not really used to it and we want to run away, we want to distract, we want to blame. The thoughts can say, “Oh, that person’s an a-hole and this shouldn’t have happened, and this and this.” But if we put that aside and we let the feelings be felt in our body, it’s like digesting food. We can deeply, deeply go into the feeling.
Kimberly: 20:32 And what happens as Michael Singer says in his fabulous book The Untethered Soul, it’s like pulling a thorn out of you. Eventually, that’s a form of digestion where that feeling comes to a completion and can be released. The problem is, if we don’t see a feeling through to completion, it can become encrypted in ourselves, repressed, suppressed, pushed down. There’s amazing research around this as well. And then what happens is, a similar situation triggers us or being around that person. So holidays brings up a lot for people because a lot of us have a lot of unprocessed stuff from our childhood. So it feels like it’s happening. It feels like it’s happening in real time when we’re around those situations and those people.
Kimberly: 21:18 Again, anytime something like this comes up, even thinking about it, I would encourage you, just try sitting in it instead of running from it. This is the shamanic work of transformation. We sit in the shadow, we see the shadow. We don’t run from the shadow and we let the shadows start to unfold and we learn from it. It teaches us. And we love ourselves, even when we have those shadow sides, we love the wholeness. We love the completeness. We love it because that’s part of our work and it’s part of how we move forward.
Kimberly: 21:51 So that’s one thing that I would say encourage you to do Bethany, because for your own sake, not for anyone else, but for you to really get past some of this overwhelm, to get past some of these big feelings, which are inside of you, let them be felt, let them have their day in the sun. That’s what they want. They want you to face them and then they can be let go. Sometimes deeper energies come up a couple of times and you have to feel them and feel them, bigger things that happen like grief.
Kimberly: 22:25 Whew. The [inaudible 00:22:27] is with grief. My mom passed away three years ago now. And there was big, big cries, big feelings, right when it happened. But then literally three days ago I was showing hubby John a family album and I was saying, “Hey, look at this picture when I was a baby, doesn’t this look like Moses’ face?” We were opening up to just look at our childhood pictures. And I saw a picture of me and my mom when I was about Bubby’s age, I was about four.
Kimberly: 22:56 And I just, whew, hit me and so painful. It comes and it goes so we don’t know, but I do know that letting myself feel that pain and that grief and crying and the intensity, it feels so good to feel. It feels so freeing afterwards. And it doesn’t really last more than, intensity five, 10 minutes. So I would encourage you to try that Bethany, see how it feels in your body, see what you can release. And again, like I said, see how you feel, honor your authenticity, make it be about yourself and you know nothing to do with anyone else. Should you choose to sit out in any of the holiday events or maybe all of them and that’s okay. Thank you so much, my love.
Question 4: I’m financially strapped right now with COVID and it breaks my heart to not be able to buy gifts for everyone. Any tips on how to make up for this?
Kimberly: 23:46 Our last question comes from Susan, who is in Louisiana and she writes, “I’m financially strapped right now with COVID and it breaks my heart to not be able to buy gifts for everyone. Any tips on how to make up for this?”
Kimberly: 24:00 Oh my gosh. My love, Susan, you are such a beautiful soul and I send you so much love and I can feel your energy. So this question of being such a caring person that loves and wants to give, a very heart-centered person. So what I would say, Susan, is your loved ones will benefit the most from your love. However you can give that energy, it could be a personalized video that just shares with that person what they mean to you and how much you love them. That could mean so much, like a video holiday card, but just right from your heart. If someone sent that to me, that would mean way more to me than getting a sweater or some material gift, which is nice, but let’s be honest, the gifts from the heart are what we remember, what sticks with us, which is what really matters.
Kimberly: 25:03 So that’s an idea. Or a beautifully written card that you make. Maybe you get some crafty stuff. Katelyn is an amazing crafter, she would have a lot of great ideas right now, but let’s say you just get some of those, I don’t know, stickers, markers, those little balls that you can paste together. You make some really beautiful cards and you just write out from your heart. What people really want, I think, in the deepest, deepest depths of our soul, what we really want and thrive off of is connection. We want to feel connected to ourselves. We want to feel connected to other humans. We want to feel seen. We want to feel understood. And so all of these from-the-heart ways of connecting, I really think, Susan are going to light up all your loved ones. Just saying what they mean to you, saying how you feel about them, how you love them, whether it’s audio or visual or text or you draw something or you create something. I think that’s the power here.
Kimberly: 26:16 And that’s one of the powers. The positive parts of COVID has been this stripping away, I think, of illusion and veils and thinking that we need so much more than we need and we need to go out all the time. And we need to buy this and we need all this stuff. You realize, “Gosh, I don’t need all this stuff. I don’t miss all this stuff that I thought that I needed and I thought was such an integral part of my life. So we’ve been stripped down to the core: real beliefs, real values, really what’s important. And what’s really important is love and connection, Susan.
Kimberly: 26:54 Again, I can feel that you’re such a beautiful heart-centered person. Just let that shine through in all the ways that feel authentic to you for the holidays. And guess what? It may be the best gifts that you’ve ever given anybody. I cannot wait to hear more about that. Please share with us what you’ve decided to do and please do not feel bad or guilty in any way. Many, many people are struggling with COVID. This is completely out of your control, but what you can do is shift, reframe, dig in a little bit deeper, see what that person would love to hear, what you would want to share from your heart and make it be about that.
Kimberly: 27:39 Wow, this is one of my favorite shows. I have to say just the heart-feltness, the authenticity of these questions and the fact, again, that we can be so open with each other in our community is so beautiful and wonderful and really does really make me feel so much joy. So thank you so much for being part of our community. And I love you so much.
Thought of the Week
Kimberly: 28:11 But before we sign off, I want to leave you with a thought or a quote of the week. Again, with holiday season upon us, it’s an extra charged time. And I understand that, and this is where we want to just re-center, come back in. So take a deep breath. And remember this, the quote of the week is from the wise words of Eckhart Tolle who writes, “Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there.” Again, “Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there.”
Kimberly: 28:55 This reminds me a little bit of, I never read the questions before the show, by the way, because I just like to go in that present moment and see what wisdom comes through, what connection comes through. I don’t want to plan, I don’t want to just think through what I’m going to say first, because I feel like that could feel a little bit stagnant and I really like to connect. So anyways, it’s pure coincidence or we always say, “Nothing’s really a coincidence,” because everything’s energy in the world and matching frequencies and so on. But this saying sort of matches the first question when we were talking with Tricia about letting go of expectations, because there’s the stress.
Kimberly: 29:42 So as we sail into the holidays, can we just take it one breath at a time and to show up as it is and realize maybe we don’t want to be with all these relatives. Maybe we want it to look a certain way, but that’s just not how it is. And that just creates more suffering. So let us be here now, let us feel here now, let us breathe in this moment, embrace it. Let it show us, let it teach us, let us enjoy it, revel it, however it shows up. But just being here now is our power.
Kimberly: 30:14 So I’m going to leave you with that. Contemplate that, see how that resonates for you and your life, how it’s relevant. I send you so much love, love, love, love, and I will see you back here Monday for our next interview podcast. Till then, take care and big warm hug wherever you are.