Welcome to season 3! In this episode, I catch you up on what's been going on in my life and the lessons I've learned in the past 6 months. I close with a preview of what's in store for this exciting limited 8 episode run focused on "thriving in the workplace." I breakdown all of our guests this season and the topics we are covering such as innovation, boundaries, self-care, resiliency, and allyship.
As always you can connect with this podcast on Instagram and through the website. Finally, don’t forget you can buy me a coffee and donate to keep the podcast going.
Welcome to the Burn Bright Podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping big-hearted, creative women battle burnout and live happy, healthy, vibrant lives. I'm Kelley, a fellow big-hearted creative, a licensed therapist, and a proud quirky millennial. Welcome to season three. It's been a bit of a break and we started off a little later than I wanted to, but I'm here and hopefully, you are too, most importantly.
Today, we're going to talk about what awaits all of us for season three, where I have been, again, my disappearing act and what's been going on in my life, some positive, some not so. And close out as always with some, hopefully, inspirational words for you. As we dig into this limited, short, condensed season. I promise you this will not be the last time you hear from me this year. I will be back in a few months again, to run season four. So, this is going to be a very short, condensed series, all about the challenges of work, how to survive and thrive in the workplace. But before we get started today, I want to go over as always, ways you can support this podcast.
The first way is simply to share the podcast. If you find this content interesting, informative, inspirational, please share it. Share it across your social media platforms. Make sure that people know it exists. I really want this podcast to reach as many people as possible. The second way you can support the podcast is by subscribing, that's subscribing both to the podcast itself across all major media platforms, but also, subscribing to social media channels. The Burn Bright Podcast is a handle on Instagram, it is growing and will be in the coming weeks, a social channel on YouTube, as well as, Twitter. So, we're growing. Subscribe and be a part of this growth as I continue to expand this podcast and really create a community around burning bright, and avoiding and preventing burnout.
A third way you can support the podcast is leave a review. Give me five stars. It makes my life. People are so generous. And I’d love to know if this podcast has had an impact on you. And one of the best ways to do that is via reviews and also finding me on social media and sending me a DM. Last, but not least, for the cost of a cup of coffee, you can be a patron of this podcast. You could do so @buymeacoffee.com/burnbright there you can pay for extra insights on the podcast. I will be doing special episodes just for those who become patrons of the podcast, that's all the season. I promise you it will be worth the investment of the cup of coffee to join the list and help support this venture.
So, let's get into today's episode and talk about what's been going on and what is in store for you this special season of the podcast. Where have I been the last, let's say, six months? Well, a lot has happened. We will start with the not so great and move into the great.
I think I've been transparent about this before; I've had on and off health struggles the past couple of years, really. But, this past six months, I was recently diagnosed with an auto-immune issue and it was both sobering and at the same time, kind of a relief to know that some of the things that have been going on with me physically were not in my head, that they actually showed up on paper, and that I did have some health issues.
The second thing that happened, is that I had a surgery unrelated to my diagnosis, and because of my diagnosis, I believe, had a lot of complications. I am all fine now, I’m on the road to recovery and getting better each day and getting back to myself, and if not, better than I was, so no need to worry there. But it was a time of a lot of struggle for me, and anxiety, and just a feeling of uncertainty, I guess, is the best way to describe it. I tell people, surgery is a humbling experience, and I was humbled. I thought, oh, I'll be back in a couple of weeks, we're going to start this podcast on time in January. And then I realized when I was crashing and burning, no way am I going to get that done.
And so, it took two months past when I promised the podcast would be back, but I am here, I am well, the podcast has already been set, I already have everything I need, and so there will be no further interruption. We are going to roll through this special series and I couldn't be more excited and more proud. What I am also proud of, is I'm always transparent with you all about the fact that this journey to recover from burnout and to live a life that's much more authentic, and boundaried, and brave, and compassionate, it has its ups and downs for me, it has its ebbs and flows. I'm not always perfectly aligned with my life. I am still very much struggling. I haven't figured it all out, I just know that I'm determined to be healthy and to take care of myself in all areas.
And over these past six months, and particularly the last, really, 90 days, I've had to be reminded of the fact that I need to put some of these things in practice, that I talked to you about, that I train others on. I need to practice what I preach and I have come to believe that when we run around non-stop, don't take a breath, always having something to do, we are avoiding something. I don't know what that is in our lives, whether it be a relationship, or a truth we don't want to face, or an unhealthy decision we keep making, whatever that is, staying busy to the point of exhaustion is a avoidance mechanism.
And when you have something like a surgery, all of that kind of goes away, that busy-ness, and you're just forced to rest and reflect. And boy, have I been reflecting. And the good news about that is, I feel really good about the conclusions I've come to. I feel lighter because I've made decisions that we're going to talk about, that have made me light. And I have made some choices in my life that I am excited about and have further propelled me forward in what I want to do with my life when I grow up, and who I want to serve, and what that looks like for me.
So, out of a struggle, came a lesson. I don't believe in the saying, ‘you can't experience the sweet without the bitter.’ I really just believe you can't experience the sweet without the lesson. I don't believe people need to unnecessarily have trials, or pain, or suffering to be a good person. But I do think we have to learn lessons. We have to have trial and error to know what is great about our lives and to appreciate it. And so, I have a lot of sweetness through the lessons that I've learned, through things that are out of my control and no one's fault, and certainly not anything I deserve, but something that has taught me a lesson that allows me to live my life sweeter. And I'm going to get into some of those lessons, shortly.
But, first, I want to talk about the good parts of the last six months. Burn Bright as a business adventure, has done pretty good, I have to say. When I started this company at Burn Bright, I really just thought, what do I want to do? I want to talk to people. I want to help them live healthier, fuller lives. And I specifically want to do that around burnout, because I'd seen so many, particularly women, struggle with this and lose the ability to do the thing that they loved. And as I worked with individuals and communicated with them, I saw over and over again, kind of the same things. That work was a huge contributing factor to their burnout, to their dissatisfaction with life, and work in a poor work environment. It looked like it robbed them of joy and tipped into their personal life and affected how that played out.
As a result, I pivoted my business to working with organizations, to make sure that that environment was a healthier and happier place for women everywhere, and not just women but for everyone, of course. And I have never been more excited and satisfied with that pivot because I can see some of those changes. I get to sit with people who can make decisions that directly impact your life. Maybe you're the decision-maker and working with you and figuring out ways to be innovative, and manage bias, and foster inclusion, and prevent burnout, all of those things are near and dear to my heart. And helping you in the workplace has just made me so full about helping you in those other places of your life that we talk about on this podcast.
I love the pivot, it has been a successful one, and it really, hopefully, is part of a movement that I'm developing, where I want people to feel safe and appreciated at work, but also that they can bring their best ideas in there and be rewarded and find work – a rewarding experience. So, that's one thing that has happened. The second thing that has happened, is I have started an entirely different podcast. Don't worry, the Burn Bright Podcast is going nowhere. It is my baby. It is my firstborn and it will always be special to me. And, I realized I really liked podcasting and I want to keep doing it for as long as I have a voice and can. And so, no worries there. But I started another podcast. I was approached by a media company to do a podcast called Black Girl Burnout. For me, I develop content. It's just me and a microphone three times a week, helping black women, but really any woman could benefit from it – deal with the burnout that comes from being a person of color and just the unique challenges of blackness in the world and being a woman or identifying as a woman.
And it has exploded. The podcast is insanely popular. We just celebrated our 20,000th download and the podcast, is maybe, 90 to 120 days old. Those are phenomenal podcast numbers. I'm really proud of it. Black Girl Burnout Podcast is something that reminded me about my purpose and what I feel like I should be doing when I go to work every day, and that is, giving a message of hope and really practical tools to people on how to manage individual burnout. So, that podcast launched, like I said, it's insanely popular. I'm really proud of it. Lots to come from that too. And all of that brings me full circle to what I want to talk to you today about, which is, what are some of the lessons I learned during my downtime? And, what is in store for this podcast? My baby. My special, special podcast and to you, my special, special, incredible, amazing listeners.
So, I learned a couple of things while I was down in the dumps and sad about the state of my health. And one of the things I learned is that I need to really get clear on what is the most important to me and what I value. I know this is something I talk about all the time on the podcast. In past episodes, I talked about one of the key things that prevents burnout is authenticity, but I cannot tell you until you're living it and practicing these tools again, how valuable they are. I realized that I was doing work that really was no longer as meaningful to me as I wanted it to be, that I was feeling frustrated, that I wasn't living my values of being creative, that I was overextending myself and not having great boundaries.
And so, being able to reconnect to what mattered to me. Writing things down, having all the feelings that I was feeling and allowing myself to express it, went such a long way for me being clear about what was important, clear about what I wanted to do, and getting really clear about how I wanted that to look. I had gotten distracted, for lack of a better word, by being frustrated with my job, or being frustrated with the dynamics of people I worked with, or being frustrated about my living situation. These frustrations were ultimately distractions from the fact that I wasn't doing my work and getting clear on what mattered.
The second thing I learned as I started reading a book on boundaries, and I just felt like, oh! Like that moment where the clouds part. I have self-proclaimed myself in the past, the boundary queen. And if you ask past coworkers, when it came time to set boundaries with patients or clients that I used to work with, I was the woman. But looking back at my life in the recent months, I would say that wasn't as good as it could've been, that boundaries really were a struggle for me. And so, I started reading, Nedra Glover Tawab’s, Set Boundaries, Find Peace - A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself. And oh, that book is filled with so much goodness. So, so, so much goodness. And it really helped me to start practicing again, to start getting back into this practice of remembering what my boundaries are, remembering, what my values are and sticking to it.
The other thing it did is it allowed me to start a routine again, I abandoned all of my routines that I had, months invested into, and had to start from zero. And that was hard to do but so rewarding to start back on the path. So, those were some of the lessons that I learned and so I encourage you if you are waiting to start, whatever that thing is, just do it. Just start. Go for it. You will not regret it. Whether it's a new morning routine, or journaling, or a creative endeavor, or something you've been meaning to do as a milestone for yourself, now's the time to do it. And just make sure when you start that you're really clear on who you are and what you really want out of whatever the endeavor is. Those are some of the lessons that I had.
And one of the insights I had was how I wanted to do this podcast this season. So, I want to tell you about what's in store for the season and what my thoughts are. Last season, I listened to my season finale and I was like, “Well, I was really feeling myself. I was doing good.” Last season, the energy was high. I was excited. And I was really happy to relisten to it. One, to hear what joy sounded like because, in January and February, there was not a lot of joy in my voice, but also to remember, oh yeah, this is what I wanted the podcast to be, and I came through and I'm really proud of what awaits us this season. This season is all about how to thrive, go beyond surviving but really thrive in the work environment. And it's very practical.
Remember part of the reason why I pivoted my business, is, I realized that most women work and the work environment is what drives them batty and makes them feel like they cannot have, there's a part of their life that they don't have joy, there's a part of their life that drives them to burnout, and impacts who they are. And you are my special listener, you're like me, you identify with the word ‘creative’ and you are a creator, and nothing kills the spirit of a creative, like burnout, like being in a job or being at a place where you're giving eight hours or more to people who don't appreciate you, and to dynamics that are unhealthy, and to harassment and all those things. So, we don't need any of that in our life.
And this special series is going to be eight episodes. It's going to start with me. It's going to end with me. I will be back. If you are a patron, I will have more episodes in between little quick tips that I will give you specifically, and tools on how to manage burnout that will really help anchor some of these episodes. But we're going to have an eight series of the podcast, we're going to run till about May, no interruptions. I'm going to take a short break. I promise you I got no more surgeries. I am relatively healthy. I have all the things I need. We're going to take a short couple months break, if that, and I'm going to be back with season four and we're going to go into those inspirational interviews that we've had, we're going to expand even more upon this community and this podcast.
But for that eight special series, what are we going to cover? Well, up first, we are going to have our second only ever, man on the podcast. You're in for a treat. His name is Christian List, and this is a former veteran who has now dedicated his time and, really, his life, by getting a PhD in this to really pursuing diversity and understanding allyship. As a white, a cis-gendered man, he talks about his journey and his evolution to wanting to be an ally and defining what that means, how to not be a performative ally, really wanting to put into action what he knows to be true and what he wants to see in the world. And it's going to anchor into a theme about how to be one, an ally, and also how to help yourself, how to encourage and foster diversity and equity, really, in the workplace. And he's going to talk about the tools of getting there. All of us have room to be allies, but we need to know what that means and we need to do the work to get there. I have a powerful conversation with Christian, where we talk about that. It is truly the beginning of a conversation, and I hope to have many more with him.
Also, this season in the podcast, we're going to have some returning voices. We're going to have Erica Reed and Amanda Houpt. Erica Reed is going to come back and talk to us about trauma in the workplace and how to be a trauma-informed leader. I think this is a brilliant topic that doesn't get covered enough. Erica came back and you all loved her. She talked about, what is the vision for your life? And Erica is possibly one of the most soothing, beautiful, voices, and people I've heard. Like, I talked to her while I was still in the midst of recovery and she just made me kind of take the deepest breath I had all day and lean forward and just feel at ease as she talked to me about this. We all bring trauma into every space that we go. Unfortunately, if you are over the age of, I want to say now, 10, you've probably experienced some kind of traumatic event in your life. And if we're bringing those things to the workplace, we really need to know how to cope with that. How do we engage with each other where so much of what happens and so much of the way people respond to things are traumatic responses?
To be clear, this isn't about saying people have PTSD, although some of you may have that. This is just about the fact that all of us have bad things that have happened to us that impact us, not for the good, and we bring them to work and that no longer do we have the luxury of telling people, we don't want to hear about your issues or we don't care about what happens to you outside of work. Really healthy leaders know how to integrate that without being your therapist. They know how to lead in a way that creates healthy, inclusive and most importantly, safe workplaces, emotionally. So, Erica is going to tell us all about the tools that we need to be good to each other, and be trauma-informed in the workplace, and how to be a leader that is trauma-informed.
Amanda Houpt is back. She talked about sidestepping and vicarious trauma last season, this season, Amanda and I are going to talk together with you about the psychological safety. But what we're going to talk about under the realm of psychological safety, isn't just what that is, but all the things that make a workplace psychologically safe. So, we're also going to talk about boundaries, and innovation, and all those things that go into a workplace that make you the brightest and the best. So, again, all of us want to be our best at work, and we might want to get ahead, and we have great ideas. We're going to tell you how to optimize how you generate those ideas and how you do so while maintaining good boundaries and creating inclusive workspaces. And we're going to define what inclusion is, because inclusion, really, for us in this context, is how to bring everyone to the table so you can generate the next big idea.
I also have some new voices for you. We're going to have Farah Harris, is going to talk to us about workplace alignment, and what that means, and how to do that. Farah Harris is becoming a giant in the field right now and I can't wait to talk to her about the way she talks about work-life alignment, or self-care, and work-life balance. She prefers the phrase, ‘work-life alignment’. We have a powerful, come to Jesus, moment together where we talk about what that means and how to do it. Another new voice is going to be Michelle Goodlow, she has a fabulous book out, all about helping, particularly, black women, engage in self-care as well, but we're going to have her talk about the power of boundaries, and I cannot wait for that. Last, but not least, we're going to have someone who's going to talk to us about resiliency. And I'm really excited for this. We're going to have for the first time, someone on the podcast whose specialty is teaching us how to find purpose through painful times, how to engage in some resiliency skills that will help you bring your best self to work. So, lots in store for the podcast with a couple of surprises, I think, along the way.
I haven't forgot that many of you loved the episode with the relationship coach that I had last season. And I want to bring back in a little bit of love into work and talk about relationships and how to balance that when you have a job or a career. So, that's going to be on a special bonus episode that's going to come throughout the season. I will let you know when that drops and when I record it. But in the meantime, that's our season. It's a pretty full one. You can see that there's a lot to cover, lot of great topics that I think will help you. I will be there along the way, I will also close out the season by pulling this altogether and talking about how to handle sexual harassment at work, as well as, how to conquer imposter syndrome. We're going to revisit that topic and we're going to look at it through the thread that we have built throughout the season about how to bring all these skills together in a way that has you feeling the most empowered you could possibly be in the workplace.
If you are not in the workplace, I promise you some of those skills will still be useful. And this is a special limited series, so don't leave because the next season, we're going to go back to our formula of having inspirational conversations with incredible women who are pushing us to be brave, take risks, make a grand leap or a gesture, and know that when you do that, you will land safely into the life you deserve. So, that theme is not going anywhere, we're going to keep that all throughout. And honestly, we're going to bring it throughout this season, but don't go anywhere, there is more to come. I cannot wait for you to see what we're going to be doing with Burn Bright and this podcast, I cannot wait to show up even more than I have been in the past, ready to connect with you, ready to give you those resources that you deserve. So, stay tuned.
Thanks for joining me this week on the Burn Bright Podcast, you can find me on Instagram @burnbrightpodcast or @letsburnbright for more info on self-care, mindfulness, and burnout prevention. You can find this podcast on a hosted platform: Apple and Google podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, to name of few. Subscribe to the show and catch every new episode. Also, feel free to leave me a review. All of this combined mixture that I can bring you fresh content each week. So, until next Wednesday. Take care of yourself and take care of each other.