I took a day yesterday. 

A day to be petty and furious and weepy and exhausted.

A day to be all the things that someone who loooooves personal development “shouldn’t” be.

I put on some gloves and took it out on my heavy bag. I beat it. I kicked it. I called it names like “YOU ****ING SELF-RIGHTEOUS LITTLE ***NT-**SS ***TCH!!!!!!” Super immature, awful things. I laid into the bag until the anger was gone and the sadness took over and I ended up a depleted mess on the floor of my garage.

And wouldn’t you know, laying on the cool concrete, covered in dust and sweat, I felt way better.

Whatever was in me that needed to get out, had moved. The funk I’d been in for a long time felt like it had shaken loose and was puddled up in a Kristen-shaped sweat mark on the floor.

We are scared to go there – into the less-desirable-but-still-completely-valid human feelings. Maybe it makes us feel evil or childish or something. But we need to go there. To move energy and send it on its way. 

Certainly, there are unhealthy ways to do so. Bitching and moaning via status update… Trying to call someone out on social media… Spreading nasty rumors… Being an asshole to the innocent barista… Yeah, those methods aren’t gonna get anybody anywhere. In fact, they’ll probably spread the shittiness around more.

But, if we can move the feelings in a healthy way (without spreading them to other people), it is like MEDICINE for the  psyche. Scream or cry or cuss or rage to an inanimate object. Write an e-mail you’ll never send. Punch a bag. Vent to a friend who will just listen without offering any judgment or unsolicited advice.

Our feelings are real. They are valid. And we need to process them so they don’t become embedded. We’ll get to the higher-level stuff — the love and namaste. But if we skip over the crummy stuff, it will become stuck, flavoring all future interactions with the subtle (or not-so-subtle) taste of bitterness. So take a minute or an hour or a day to let it all move through.

I’m grateful for yesterday. I’m grateful for my heavy bag and my garage and my neighbors who hopefully didn’t hear too much of my tirade. 😳 I’m grateful for my patient man who lets me feel what I need to feel. I’m grateful for the lightness and ease that have slid into the spaces left by things I knocked loose.

Similar Posts:

The Truest Sentence that You Know

Secrets and Stuck-ness

How is Unconditional Love a Thing?

How is Unconditional Love A Thing? (And How to Find It When You’ve Been Injusticed)

I used to think Unconditional Love was unreachable. Like, sure — that worked for Jesus and Gandhi but not for me.

Then, after a few self-help books and really trying to be a “nice” person, *cough cough* I shifted into thinking Unconditional Love was “Unconditional Acceptance of Inappropriate and Abusive Behavior.” 

Yeah, that wasn’t right either.

I’ve finally landed on a definition I can live with. To me, Unconditional Love says,

“You deserve to be happy. I hope you receive all that you desire and that you are able to live in your truth.” 

(This could work from any distance. I could wish that for you whether you are close enough to make out with or waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay the fuck over there.)

Ok, so why? Why try and love everybody?

When I can figure out and implement Love of the Unconditional variety, I am relieved of the heavy, ugly, cumbersome, cancerous weight of resentment. It exhausts us, depletes us, and turns into horrific things like hatred and cruelty. I mean, seriously, what could you be doing with all your energy if it wasn’t going towards trying to get revenge, or proving someone wrong, or making people feel sorry for you? That’s pouty, petty drama and it will not change the world for the better. 

To put it simply, loving everybody (from near or far) is the antidote to what ails all of us.

How to get there? I’ve come up with a list of things to remind myself when I get sucked into the rabbit hole of feeling injusticed. I’ll leave it right here for you:


  1. We’ve all done dumb, cruel, or dishonest things. When I remember that the very thing I’m pissed at someone else for doing is likely a variation of something I’ve done, am doing, or will do, the whole “we’re all the same” sentiment starts ringing truer than I’d like. And if I can look inside and discover how I happened to do those dumb, cruel, or dishonest things, I’m able to find grace for others and the bone-headed choices they (we) make.
  2. No one else is responsible for my well-being. It is not your job to make me happy. Or be my customer. Or read my blog. Or invite me to things. Or tell me I’m pretty. I put myself out into the world; some of you will connect with what I have to offer and some of you won’t. I don’t need to be liked by everyone.
  3. Those that hurt me worst have woken me up the most. They were my greatest teachers. I wouldn’t have broken open and started to find myself if it weren’t for all the pain. Dawn follows the darkness and ecstasy follows agony. I can find gratitude for everyone who has played a role in my life, whether they were antagonist or protagonist.
  4. We are all children. When I look behind arrogance, avoidance, disconnection, and dishonesty, I can see lost little boys and girls who were bullied, shamed, abused, and misunderstood. That doesn’t mean I need to accept their behavior and be their doormat; it means I don’t need to take them personally.
  5. My perspective is mine and mine alone. I don’t need you to agree with me to feel justified. I don’t need you to take my side in an argument. I don’t need you to have beef with someone just because I do. You have a right to your perspective and we can still get along even if it doesn’t look like mine.
  6. I can’t fix anyone. I can guide and support if they want it and I’m willing. But I need to drop the weight of feeling responsible for making others change their behavior.

If I had to sum up this list, I would say:

Own what’s yours. And that’s all. 

Would be nice if I could tell you I only needed this reminder once, but that would be a lie. I have to come back to these time and time again. (I feel injusticed easily. 🙄) This isn’t a one-time thing. It will probably be a life-long practice. But, IMO, a practice that is totally worth the effort.

Related Posts:

Love You. Goodbye.

If You’ve Ever Said, “I Just Don’t Understand Some People…”

When We Hurt



When You Can’t Let Go

It’s time to move forward. To leave a person, place, job, mindset, or habit behind. 

But that god damn fear.  It calls to you, saying, “Come on, try again. Maybe you didn’t do everything you could do to make it work. What if this is all there is? What if you’re giving up everything? What if, what if, what if…”

And it’s juuuuust convincing enough for you to turn back, even though this is the seven thousandth time you’ve had one foot out the door. So back you go to what you know. Back to the blah, or the abuse, or the exhaustion, or the neglect.

You know what’s not being heard though? The voice that says, “You are worthy of so much more than this.” Because if you don’t have any experience proving otherwise, it’s really really difficult to hear that voice.

I can tell you that the people, places, and other things I’ve dropped pale in comparison to the people, places, and things that have come my way since. But that’s like trying to describe snow to someone who has never seen it. You can hear about it and see it on postcards, but until you actually buy some snow boots and leave the tropics, you won’t have that experience yourself.

So Love, please, have the courage to let go. To 1) believe that there is something/someone better out there for you, and 2) to then make room for it. (Because, if your life is full of garbage, where are you gonna put the good stuff?)

Some of the new Amazingness will show up right away, and some will take months or years. But watch for it… And smile knowingly each and every time it arrives… And thank yourself for dropping what was too cumbersome to carry any longer. At that point, your hands will be empty and ready to receive all the magic that comes next. ❤️


Going through a difficult life transition? I’ve been there and would love to support you.

Here are some blog posts you may find useful:

Seriously, Tell Me to “Be Grateful” One More Time….

Divorce and Feeling Things (Also, I Cried During Wall Balls Once.)

Personal Development: If You Take This On, You’re A Freaking Hero

Find me on Instagram and Facebook as well.

For other offerings, including one-on-one sessions, e-mail info@kristenzook.com.