Yoga's Not Really My Thing

Hello you beautiful CREW woman!

What’s one thing you’ve done this year, so far, that’s been a stretch for you - something outside of your comfort zone? Reply right here and share.

This past weekend I did yoga. I didn’t really want to. I was co-hosting an event - the other co-host was leading a yoga session. It was an open space, the kind that’s not conducive to lurkers.

I bit the bullet and got a mat.

It wasn’t pretty.

I rolled around on the floor. I balanced on one leg. I vinyasa’d. It wasn’t easy. None - NOT ONE - of the movements was intuitive for me. It wasn’t comfortable.

But there was a moment - at the end - when I laid flat out on my back - that felt gooooood.

Then, there was a moment the next day when I felt that twinge of muscle soreness where I knew I had done my body good.

I love that feeling

It’s one of the ways I feel most alive - and I haven’t felt that in more than a little while.

To wrap up her session, the teacher, a genuinely lovely and grounded human, led us through a gratitude exercise and gifted us journals to use going forward. I’m so glad she did because…

Journaling has been a powerful, transformative tool in my life

That’s why I created this (free) 5-Day 5-Minute Journal Challenge.

You can use the book (The 5-Minute Journal) or follow along with just a notebook on your own but I urge you to give it a whirl.

You can sign up for the 5-Minute Journal Challenge right >> HERE <<

I’ll be doing it right along with you and would love to know in a comment below: Are you going to join?  


With so much love, joy and gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com

therealcrewgroup.com


P.S. When’s the last time you did yoga? Do you like it? Comment and tell me why / how you grew to love it or if it’s just intuitive for you.


P.P.S. Are you in our FB group? It’s your space, our space, to get really, really real with each other about all the things that help us be our best selves at work and in all areas of our lives - even when we’re sweaty and rolling around all uncoordinated on a yoga mat.

Really quick, 1 question and a contest

The feeling of burnout is real. It happens, happened or is happening to all of us.

What does burnout feel like?

CLOSED :: Click HERE and share your best 1-sentence description of how burnout feels.

You’ve got nothing to lose! All responses will get a special thank you and one response will get a very nifty little gifty.

With so much love, joy and gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com


P.S. Do you have a friend who might be feeling burnt out right now? Please invite her to join us here. Add her to the FB group and then tag her in a welcome note (b/c it’s so much easier when someone else brags for you and this just might be the ray of sunshine she needs today).



P.P.S Not in the (free) FB group? Lady! Get on it! You can request to join right here. It’s awesome and exactly the kind of encouraging lady squad you’ve been hoping to find.

XYZ File

Mine is labeled, “XYZ” and categorized with the color purple

I had the joy and privilege of volunteering to help high schoolers practice mock interviews.

First, I’m profoundly encouraged about the state of our youth and the future of the universe. These kids are awesome.

Second, the basic interview skills they needed were all simple, solvable things:

  • Practice more.

  • Follow up your “biggest weakness” statement immediately with what you’re doing to address it.

  • Make all your answers all about the person who you’re talking with.

  • Use stories.

And then there was this girl.

She was warm but reserved. Great eye contact. Adorably relatable in her mild self-consciousness. She loves sports. She’s proud that she’s gotten as far as she has academically since she doesn’t really like school but she has grit. You can see it. You can feel it.

I felt this strange nurture / cheerleading instinct. I wanted her to know that she was capable of achieving her next steps. I wanted her to see what I’m certain her teachers, coaches and family must see in her.

BUT it’s just not enough for me as a stranger to look her in the eye and say, “You’re doing great. You’re able to do amazing things - Set your sights high because I believe in you.”

So, instead, I shared this weird thing that I do… (and you’re gonna want to do it too)

I told her: Create a note in your phone, a folder in your email or put a literal notebook in the back of your bag and write down every single time you get a compliment on what you do or recognized for the way you do something; every time you’re thanked for your help or feel proud of what you’ve achieved.

  • What did you do?

  • Why?

  • What did they say?

  • What difference did it make?

See, for her, these will give her specific illustrations of her awesomeness she can use in interviews. AND - it’ll boost her confidence as she’s getting ready for any next big thing.

Start yours today. Right now. I’ll wait.

For you, you amazing woman, your XYZ file is proof that you are capable. Of big, scary things. Of new things. Of failing and surviving, learning and trying again.

Whole Self-Care includes recognizing and celebrating wins and what you learn. This is one super easy, super fast, super free way to do that - start today.

Read it before your interview. Read it on blue days. Read it when you’re writing your annual review. Read it on Wednesdays every single week just for the sake of reading it. Because you’re amazing.

Celebrating you,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com

PS - What is your most recent win or lesson learned? Hit the comments right here and let me know.

PPS - Or, better yet, hop into our completely free and private FB group to read what others are sharing and share yours: therealcrewgroup.com.

I was a B* over Christmas

This is a stream of consciousness that no one asked for.

I was a B* (capital-B) over Christmas. Horrible. Really, really.

 
 

Necessary disclaimer

If you read through, know this - I am grateful for these pain points and for all of the reasons, privilege and ability that underwrites all of the opportunities for these frustrations. This is a peek into my own thought models and proof that even brats can have breakthroughs and that even burnout can be a tool for healing and progress.

Excuses

I was tired.
There were 4 AM mornings - many of them, in a row. We had been staying up a little later in an effort to “create” time as a couple and “Santa” together.

I was working. And I didn’t want to.
Man, I love getting paid. I also like being needed. My job hits both of those nails squarely on the head. BUT. I felt resentment that I was working Christmas Eve and the 26th.

We had protected Christmas Day for just our little 5-some (including our baby dog) but that meant all of our visits were front loaded in the Holiday weekend and it amped up the stress and time constraints.

Miscellaneous life stuff.
We had a mouse. We had plumbing issues. We hosted parties. We cycled through various stages of snotty sickness, coughs and stiff necks.

Learning curve.
I majored in Communication. I love psychology. I study human relationships and still - STILL - I am learning how to communicate.

How do I communicate with a 4 year old in the ways that build trust and foster all the good things you want another human to know and experience - while keeping them alive? Ditto that but for a 1 year old? And with my husband? While not sounding stern and short and loud all.the.damn.time.

Oh, what a brat I was.

I am ashamed that I was such an ingrate.

I received a gift. A thoughtful and generous gift that I’d actually previously commented on and yet - I hated it. I thought it was a “family” gift and not a “me” gift. Because I’m entitled to a “me” gift and they weren’t a mind-reader? Please. Self-pity. Is there anything as distasteful and ingratitude? Not in my book.

On top of that
I was hateful at myself. There’s no need to sugar coat it. I know better. I knew better. I felt like I just couldn’t shake it.

Here’s the crack in the foundation and the first step to fixing it.

Like a Maslow’s hierarchy, there is a hierarchy of self-care. To be your whole best self, you have to care for your whole self.

The largest, most fundamental need is physical. I had stepped away from my routines and my rituals and flat out stopped eating well, drinking enough water, intention setting, journaling, even my skincare. I neglected the basics in the throws of frenzy and sickness.

The best medicine for me, in that week, was sleep. Now, hear me, sleep is not always a choice but it can be a priority.

Next time you feel behind or out of sync, consider your quality of sleep and your sleep hygiene. This is not my area of expertise but these resources have recommendations that worked for me:  

Next come the other major puzzle pieces. Hydrate. Move. Green food. Wash my face. Stretch.

The next level up on the Whole Self-Care pyramid are emotional and mental needs.

With my weary mind and body, I didn’t put up much of a fight as my wits made their escape and I defaulted into letting my reactive thoughts and emotions dictate my behavior. The truth is, I don’t need to be taken care of. I am responsible - solely responsible - for my experiences. My emotions are not dependent on anyone else’s behavior or any circumstance and in fact, I was generating the result that I thought I would.

See, there are:

  • Circumstances: Facts that are provable in court. Circumstances can trigger thoughts.

  • Thoughts: Are CHOICES. One sentence interpretations about the circumstances. Thoughts drive emotions.

  • Emotions: Are physical vibrations in our body caused by our thoughts. Emotions determine our actions.

  • Actions: Can include reactions, actions and inaction. Actions determine our results.

  • Results: What we wind up with. Results ALWAYS PROVE OUR THOUGHTS.

These are the universal truths that underlie Whole Self-Care.

Aligning with what you want - your intention - with what you choose to think and do is not ever automatic. Which means it takes effort and time. The good news is, it’s possible and it gets easier with practice.

Answer me this:

Are you into self-care? Have you ever tried self-care on an emotional level? Send me an email or post in our group (therealcrewgroup.com).

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech
hello@therealcrew.com | therealcrewgroup.com



PS - If you’ve ever been a brat and had to do this kind of soul-searching, hit our private FB group and let me know what worked? How did it turn out?

What's Your Superpower of Choice?

Imagine waking up and feeling… different. Sure. Certain. Ready.

This day is different. This day, you’re ready for. Your instinct and intuition are LIT up. You’re capable. Amazing. Prepared.

You. Have. A SUPERPOWER.

You are tapped into exactly what you want and you are able to GET.IT.DONE. You’re strutting with swagger.

If you could wake up tomorrow with any superpower to use at work and any superpower to use at home - what would they be?

What would you use them for?

I would love to hear what your superpower of choice would be! Hop on into my private Facebook group and tell us. Be sure to tag with #superpower.

Click here to request access: therealcrewgroup.com and then say hello and let us know. I can’t wait to see you inside!

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us: therealcrewgroup.com

Get Attention & Be Heard

Can you hear me now? No. Really. Getting attention and being heard in this noisy world can be exhausting and discouraging.

You know the scenes in movies when the Army yells, “HOOAH!”?

It means H. U. A. = Heard, Understood and Acknowledged.

“HOOAH!” lets their Commanding Officer know that the instructions have been received and that they’re gonna get.it.done.

Can I get a virtual raise of hands - like, right now, raise your hand wherever you are - If…

You can think of a time in the last week when you WISH you could have gotten a “HUA!” back from someone?

Like, say an SO? Or a toddler? Or coworker? Just as a for-instance ;)

Heard, understood and acknowledged - are distinct actions. Deliberate, separate responses.

When we say we want to be heard, what we really want is to be understood and acknowledged.

Unless you’re a Commanding Officer, how do you get attention for what you’re saying?

Let’s talk about how to make sure your points are understood and you get the acknowledgement and action you need, in a way that creates respect and can help your reputation, so you don’t seem needy. How do you get a HUA holler back the right way?

 
 

The pre-game. THINK IT THROUGH.

(If you want the short cut, here’s a checklist for all of these steps. You can download it instantly here.)

1. What do you want to get across?

Distill your point down to as simple a statement as possible. Then cut out all of the unnecessary words. Get rid of the fluff. You may add some fluff back later. You’re going to be restating the same thing a few ways a few different times but having a “headline” version of what you need them to understand and acknowledge will help you drive it home.

2. How will you sharing that information make a difference?

Thinking through your ideal result - describe  the best possible outcome once you have their attention.

  • How will it impact the other person? Will that other person take action and do the thing? Change their mind? Are you hoping it will trigger an emotional connection like joy, guilt, shame, caution?

  • How will it impact you? What feeling do you hope you’ll have afterward? How’s it going to make a difference for you?

3. AND… Is it worth it?

Is it worth the time and energy to fight for attention air time?

:: Touchy subject disclaimer ::

Here’s what I deeply internalized with my Alzheimer’s grandmother. Most of the stuff we talk about in our day-to-day lives does not matter.

For dementia patients to key into their diminishing focus ability, it takes EFFORT. Is small talk worth it? Not really. But what is worth it is really, really valuable. It’s totally worth the investment of effort to tell her I love her. To make sure she eats.

She would never remember what I said but she would always remember how I made her feel. She would smile at me. She scowled at others - like family who fought with her about the fact that no, there weren’t cows in the trees.

What’s the point of arguing about cows in the trees? Does it matter? To what end?

Which brings us to…

4. If your answer’s “Yes, it’s worth it,” then you need to tailor your message to the person whose attention you want.

Here’s how…

Woo Woo-Hoo

Knowing your audience gives you an unseen advantage. Compassion is powerful - as humans, we’re wired to connect. The more we can authentically demonstrate that we’re aligned to someone else’s best interest, the easier it is for them to give us what we need and want.

Start by imagining the other person’s wants, needs, priorities, and motivation. You’ll weave these points in to support your statements and add weight and urgency to your requests.

What are they currently working towards? What risks are they mitigating?

For even more in-depth examples of how to build heartfelt connections and relationships with those you work with, to get attention at work, positive professional caliber inter-personal PR with those who can sponsor you in some way, like your client or mentor, check out this (free) e-course > Sponsor Woo.

Say it

Because this is worth the effort and your relationship with the other person matters, here’s a proven formula for saying whatever it is you need them to hear:

Tell them there will be a test. When you start by telling them you want to hear back what questions they have or their opinion you’re priming them to dial in their focus in advance.

  • You can say, “I’m about to go over XYZ. Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them again, remind them of what you just told them. Attention spans aside, a healthy dose of repetition, emotional triggers and our own individual mental dot-connecting for humans to really learn something. This may feel redundant but this hand-holding can be as simple and straightforward as a few sentences, depending on your topic.

To recap

Check out this quick reference guide that you can use as a reminder the next time you’re having to intentionally get attention: Your Checklist & Cheat Sheet to Get Attention & Be Heard (the RIGHT way)

  1. State the topic: Hit the bullet points of what you want to say in as few words as possible.

    • “I’m about to go over XYZ.”

  2. Why does it matter to them? Woo, baby, woo.

    • “You’re gonna love it because it will help relieve ABC and boost your DEF.”

  3. Remember to test prep.

    • “Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

  4. One at a time, tick through your bullet points of what you want to have heard. State the bullet point. Elaborate if you must.

  5. Set a follow up: If they need time to respond or if you want to make sure they take certain steps, propose a circle-up.

    • “Let’s plan to touch base on this tomorrow afternoon?”

  6. Send notes.

    • For notes tips, check out this post >> Listen like you mean it.

    • “Here’s what I captured from our conversation including your action items and my next steps. I welcome your edits and thoughts.”

  7. Repeat! The whole process is a cycle and every conversation is a chance to refine their understanding and continuously reinforce their acknowledgement.

  8. Before the follow up, start by stating the topic again plus the action items you’re expecting to have updated by then.

Sometimes, getting attention and responses from some people can feel like you’re beating your head against a wall.

If you want feedback with how you’re positioning your ideas or just a sounding board of other amazing professional women, you’ve gotta join The Real CREW’s Facebook community. Click here to request access: therealcrewgroup.com

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech
hello@therealcrew.com

Listening is Hard: Three Ways to Improve Listening Skills

I work with a large number of colleagues who have English as their second language.

Sometimes, to give my eardrums a break, because I work from home, I leave my conference calls on speaker. This past week, my husband passed through and paused, tilted his head and said, “That is a well-educated guy.”

He was right. That’s not new - my husband’s a wicked smart, intuitive guy. He’s usually right about almost everything.

Here’s what’s interesting - the guy he was listening to, speaks English as a second language.

In every meeting, this guy often gets over-talked and is almost always asked to repeat himself a few times during calls. On a regular basis, he has to restate previously made points in follow up emails and redundant meetings. He knows his stuff at an expert level. He’s professional and entirely credible.

But to be HEARD, he has to repeat. ALL.THE.TIME.

Why?

 
 

Because LISTENING is hard.

Why listening skills are difficult

Hearing happens to us. It’s a circumstance.

Listening takes effort. It’s hard. It’s a discipline; a skill that only gets better with practice.

Can listening skills be improved?
Yes, yes they can.

Why listening skills are important

How can listening skills help you? When you listen you gain…  

  • Your time back: You don’t have to ask for repeats.

  • Stress relief: Multitasking is killing your brain and makes us feel like we’re behind.

    Like, right now. How many windows do you have open? Are you on your phone and at work? STOP it. Next time you have the chance to listen - STOP EVERYTHING ELSE and LISTEN.

  • Protect your energy: If needed, when you’re really dialed in and listening, you can get any needed answers or clarification right away instead after-the-fact, without having to waste energy spinning around hypothetical interpretations of partially caught meaning.

  • Results: Want to get more done? Quicker? Better? Tune in to one thing at a time. LISTEN, with your whole self.

BONUS TIP: Sometimes, my four year old acts out for attention (shocking, I know) by increasing her volume or doing behavior that she knows I’ll react to (pull on curtains, push her younger sister, etc.).

When I have the presence of mind to recognize that’s what’s going on, I respond with this amazing little ninja move: “Alright, I can tell you want some attention. Right now, you’ve got both of my eyes and both of my ears.”

Like 95% of the time, this shuts down the inappropriate behavior, gives me the chance to be present with my daughter and experience her moment that she desperately wanted to share.

It’s a beautiful thing, being present with the ones we love. At the end of the day, don’t we all want to be seen and heard?

Which brings me to what you want to know now… How to be HEARD. We’ll be talking about that next week. Meanwhile, drop me a line and let me know what about being HEARD do you have the hardest time with?

How listening skills can be improved

For three ways to LISTEN like you mean it, I created this guide for you >> GET IT HERE.

Now, let’s go exercise those ear muscles!

With love, joy, gratitude and my full attention,

Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us in our private FB community: therealcrewgroup.com

Thank you!

Greetings, CREW!

Exciting things are coming in the near future and the New Year but in this moment, I feel still and grateful.

I feel my feet on the floor, the cool from sitting near the window. I hear the dishes running and smell fresh coffee.

I love these moments with you. I love our community, our conversations, our sharing and this togetherness we’ve forged.

You are amazing! Thank you for showing up and sharing who you are and what you think.

You matter! What you feel matters. What you want matters.

You are important and you are worthy. There is nothing that you can do or not do that in ANY way changes the fact that you are wholly worthy.

With so much love, joy and gratitude!
See you in the group! And back here, in your inbox on the other side of the New Year!

 

Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us in our private FB community: therealcrewgroup.com

Your Big Dreams

What’s your big dream?

You know, the thing you keep thinking of.

  • You find yourself thinking of it in the middle of the night…

  • Your thoughts wander there while you’re driving your most familiar routes...

  • Have you ever even said it out loud?

Big dreams are important.

It’s one of the gifts of being human.

These big, beautiful brains of ours come with the ability to imagine all sorts of things - creations, experiences, the future - and imagination is the catalyst for progress.

Imagination is what we’re wired to do and I believe, part of our purpose.

We’re not supposed to do all the dreams.

Most of the time, allowing yourself to imagine is the exercise that’s most impactful. Flexing those creative muscles and stretching the boundaries of what you’re willing to consider, allowing yourself to dream - is usually way harder than the actual action it would take to make the dream real.

I wanna know what your imagination’s cooking up these days.

Post in the comments and tell me: What’s your big dream?

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us in our private FB community: therealcrewgroup.com

PS - If this is one of those dreams that may be a real-life-worthy adventure, we’ve got your back. Post in our private FB community with the tag #bigdream for unbridled support - feedback, launch pad, sounding board, accountability partners, and cheer squad :)

Hope is not naïve

Did you know that you’re in charge of how you feel?

And -

However you feel - whatever that emotion is - is valid.

But -

It’s a choice.

Human physiological response to an emotional stimulus remains in your body for 90-seconds. Fear, anger, grief, joy, surprise. These chemical responses surge and course through your body immediately kind of like road flares to signal your brain and body what you need to do immediately in order to stay alive and protect yourself.

If you are feeling an emotion for longer than 90-seconds, it is because you are choosing to. You re-trigger that physiological reaction by tell yourself stories. By “stories” I mean any internal monologue or conjured thought: memories, imaginations, speculations, gossip, self-talk (negative or positive).

Now -

If you CHOOSE to tell yourself stories that are negative, undercutting, focused on the worst-possible outcomes, or reliving misses - you will FEEL those feelings of anger, embarrassment, discouragement, resentment, defensiveness, hostility.

If you CHOOSE to consider what you hope for, what you appreciate, who you love, what you enjoy, what you look forward to, how you can give and share to encourage someone else - you will FEEL joy, peace, excitement, restored.

This is why gratitude is powerful. This is why intention setting and visualization are tools to practice.  

Hope is not naïve, it is an exercise of will. The will to choose… Joy. Optimism. Best. Worthiness. Amazement. Peace. Happiness. Contentment.  

Believe what you will about afterwards but this existence is finite. But here, in this space, between now and then - you have the power and the ability to choose your experience.

In the giant curiosity-shop of all possible feelings - what will you choose as your experience today? 

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us in our private FB community: therealcrewgroup.com