If you’ve been around the podcast for sometime, you will be happy to hear I’m bringing back the “Journey to Simplicity” series. In this series I chat with both friends and members of the Simple Families Community. We talk about what a simpler, lighter life looks like–and spoiler alert! It’s always imperfect and a work-in-progress.

Find Jillian on Instagram // Link from Jillian to learn more about TM

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If you've been listening to the podcast for some time, then you will be happy to hear that I am bringing back the journey to simplicity series. In this series. I chat with a variety of people, both from my own life personally, and from the Simple Families community, the path to a simpler life looks different for all of us. And in these episodes, you get a more in-depth look at what simplicity looks like in the lives of others. Spoiler alert that it is always imperfect. It is always a work in progress. Today, I'm chatting with Jillian Gumbel. Jillian as a friend who has inspired me to seek out more calm and more peace in my life. And I think you'll enjoy hearing from her today.

Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based on research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us.

Hi there. Thanks for tuning in. I am excited to bring back this series journey to simplicity today. I'm chatting with Jillian Gumbel. Jillian is a local friend. She grew up in New York city and now lives out in the suburbs near me. And she inspired me to start a meditation practice. We'll be talking more about that part of the journey today, as well as finding identity, post kids, looking closer at our relationships with alcohol health and wellness and managing the inevitable comparisons that we see day in and day out online. You can find Jillian on [email protected] That's G U M B E L, and I'll put the link to reach her in the show [email protected]/episode257. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Denaye Barahona: Jillian. Thanks for chatting with me today.

Jillian: Hi, nice to see you. Nice to see you.

Denaye Barahona: I wish I wish we could be doing this in person.

Jillian: I know. Thank you for having me.

Denaye Barahona: Well, I'm glad to glad to be talking with you for sure. Now I met you. I dunno, probably a year and a half, two years ago. I don't know. I can't even,

Jillian: But this also COVID times. So.

Denaye Barahona: I know, right. My perspective is all.

Jillian: I want to say two, three years ago.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And so I met you in person first and I instantly got a very calm and peaceful feeling when I met you being in your presence. Is that something that other people have told you before?

Jillian: Um, yes. Uh, but thank you, first of all. And I also feel like I got the same thing from you. Um, but that is, um, I dunno, you know, how you just tend to grab, take towards people, which I did as well towards you. I think that that is something that I have been told that I have, which, you know, makes me feel good.

Denaye Barahona: I feel like that's always been you like as a kid, is that how you describe your self?

Jillian: Yes. Um, now that I think about it, um, I just, I really like and crave connection with people. And I think the first thing that I'm looking for is like, at first I'm like, Hi, I like you.

Denaye Barahona: You're very energetic and lively. Yes.

Jillian: Yeah. Just, I want to connect with somebody and I don't care how I do. And I think that's always been something, you know, whether it's, Oh, I like your shoes once I, I read something when you say that, Oh, I like your shoes. You're really saying, I really like you, like, so I've just tried to connect with somebody when I see them at first sight, whether it's, um, something that they're reading or something they're wearing or just something that we have in common, because we can always find, find that in somebody.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. I agree. Having that initial touch point and then going from there.

Jillian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Denaye Barahona: So, I have a lot of personal questions for you today. Are you one who asks a lot of personal questions in your friendships?

Jillian: I do. Um, the friendships that I have, uh, we more, we go in deep and that's what I think is what makes a good friendship for me as I, I really want to know who the person is on a spiritual level on, um, um, not just a surface level.

Denaye Barahona: So I've been reading this book. It just came out recently. It's called share your stuff. I'll go first by Laura Tremaine and it's about friendships and sharing your stuff. And I thought it's a good, um, it's a good book for readers to read for people who are looking for those deeper connections and friendships. And I feel like I have this kind of advantage having a podcast where I get to ask people a lot of personal deep questions. And, but I don't think it's quite, so this is a natural format for that, right. But in person, when you're meeting someone, it's not always easy to know what you can ask and who you can talk to about what.

Jillian: I agree.

Denaye Barahona: So I appreciate you letting me pick your brain a little bit today about your peace and calm and how you got there.

Jillian: You, you make me feel at peace and calm. So, so it's easy to talk to you. So I'm happy.

Denaye Barahona: Thank you! So, I met you in person first, and then I started following you on Instagram and on Instagram, you post a lot of photos of yourself meditating. And this got my attention because looking at these pictures makes me feel calm and I wanted to know more about what you were doing. So you shared with me that you practice transcendental meditation. Can you tell me more about that and how you got into it?

Jillian: Um, transcendental meditation is something that I've been doing now at this point for, uh, almost 20 years. I got it. Yeah. That long. Um, when I met my husband, my now mother-in-law, um, really needed me or wanted me to learn TM. Cause I guess, um, it's a prerequisite to be a Robbins to learn the program because when she, when she was in her twenties, her and, um, my husband's father used to follow Maharishi around the guy who came up with, um, transcendental meditation.

Denaye Barahona: But there are some of the original.

Jillian: They are the original, um, the following of Maharishi. So they lived in Majorca, they followed him, um, in San Francisco and they were also teachers. So my mother-in-law's a TM teacher. She doesn't really practice it anymore. But, um, so that was one of the first things on the agenda. When she went up, my husband brought me home to meet her.

Denaye Barahona: Hold on I have to ask, were you the first girlfriend that she, that she had trained yet? I'm like, is this is that could be a barrier, right? Like Every girl, you bring home, like you have to get, she has to get trained to see how much she does.

Jillian: Well, I think by this time it wasn't Right, right. Okay. Uh, year or two. Okay. Um, me and my husband being together and, you know, we, I I've always been interested in meditation. I had tried it before. Like she knew who I was. She knew I was a spiritual person. I don't know how it would have come across to everybody else, but I was like, yes, like a hundred percent I'm in, um, I had tried to meditate before. I specifically remember being in my childhood room and sitting there and I just didn't understand how people could sit there. And I didn't even know TM at the time. I didn't realize it was a 20 minutes, twice a day practice, which back then would have been mind blowing. I couldn't understand how you sit still, what you do. Um, for five minutes of meditation, I understood what, or I did not understand what meditation was. I understood that people sit still right on their knees.

Jillian: Just sit still. I didn't know what I was doing, but I remember trying it. And five minutes felt like five years. Um, it's just really funny to think about now because now I love, I meditate 40 minutes a day and it goes by, like, it goes by so quickly. Um, and it's really just a source of, it sounds corny to say it, but bliss to me during the day twice a day. Um, if I'm lucky, sometimes it's just once a day, but once a day, for sure. Um, I get this chance to go deep within myself. And I can't really describe the feeling other than blissful and effortless and luxurious something that I can do for myself.

Denaye Barahona: And for your family, I think anytime you find peace for yourself, you're really doing something for everybody in your family, because that piece is mirrored in, it translates into your relationships.

Jillian: Yes. A hundred percent. And I'd love to even speak more on that because the idea of the meditation is that you tap into this stillness of yourself, this non-thinking point of yourself. And when you start to think, you go back to the mantra. That's the idea. So when in life, if you're practicing daily, um, hopefully twice a day, you can, you can recreate that moment, even in your most stressful of moments you can tap into. Okay. Go back to the mantra, even though you're not saying the mantra outside of the meditation, you go back to that, um, that inner feeling of calm. And I think that's the, not that I think, I know that's the idea of TM. If you can tap into that for 20 minutes, twice a day, um, while you're sitting then in life, you can tap into it during a stretch, stressful time, or anytime you really need that, that centering and that grounding. I mean, you look at, or Tom Brady who does TM and Oh, yeah. And he credits it for how well he's done in sports, because when he's under pressure, the height of the super bowl, it doesn't phase him. He can tap into, at a snap of the finger that, that, um, stillness and clear cut concentration that transcendental meditation allows you.

Denaye Barahona: Interesting. So, I mean, I definitely was interested kind of like you, it sounds like you were very open to it when you're exposed to it. And you were like, just show me the way.

Jillian: I soaked it right up, I was like the next day I was like, I love it. I did all these things. And it's just because I learned TM yesterday.

Denaye Barahona: Life has changed.

Jillian: Life has changed.

Denaye Barahona: Um, so when I asked you you about it, you, you answered all my questions. I asked you like a million questions as I do, um, just about getting started. So I decided to get trained and my husband got trained and we also had our son trained. Um, kids need to be about five. I think five is what I was told. So we'll probably do my daughter soon. She is begging, um,

Jillian: Is she?

Denaye Barahona: She is, yeah, well, cause my son does it every morning before school. And when I say he does it, it's very informal. Like he goes to, he has like a little door hanger that says, um, I'm recharging my brain or something like that. It closes the door. Um, and I'm pretty sure he just reads his Pokemon books, but he that's like his time, like whether or not he's actually sitting and doing it the way that he was taught to do it. I don't know because it's like personal space closing the door. Um, and he's seven, but just making that time for quiet and being alone, I think is valuable for kids, regardless of, I mean, I'm not micromanaging his meditation or I'm tempting not to. Um, but she sees him doing that. And as she wants to be a part of it so.

Jillian: I love that she wants to do it. That's like the first step. So the funny thing about my husband is he grew up in it, so he, and he learned to do it, but he does not do it now, which is interesting, I think. Um, but I think his parents may, might have approached it a different way, um, than you are doing. Um, and my, my boys have the meditation and they practice most every day as well, especially if were in school, because what I've, how I've implemented it into their life is we get in the car and on the way to school, we hit a stop sign and they meditate from once they get into the car until we hit the stop sign. And the stop sign is, uh, I would say three minutes away, but it's just the routine. And before school settling in and I mean, they're sitting there, they look out, I love it.

Jillian: I don't know how, um, and then sometimes when they're brushing their teeth, I tell them to do it or they can. I mentioned it. I, I suggest it. So I say to you guys, if you want to, uh, practice your word, that's what I say. If you want to practice your word while you're brushing your teeth, you know, it's a good thing to do. Um, also if they have trouble sleeping, I'll say, well, it's a good time to practice your word. So it's always a suggestion, but they also, with my kids, I think the benefit too, is I say that their grandfather learned this meditation. It's really important for them to know it because it connects them with him and they never met him because he had passed away even before I was in the picture. So it's just for them. It's a nice thing because it connects them with their family, with their Baba, their grandma, who's still alive.

Jillian: And then, um, their grandpa that they never got to meet and they know that I meditate and I try and just tell them the benefits of it. They watched a little bit of the Superbowl and I was like, you know, that's Tom Brady. First of all, I'm talking about Tom Brady. Like I'm not a jets fan. Um, but, um, I love that he does TM and you can't deny, um, you know, greatness. And he really talks about the benefits that his game has had because of his TM practice. Um, so I just loved him. I I'm so glad that my kids took to it because not all kids do I've I know a friend and, um, her daughter wasn't really into doing it, but that doesn't mean that later on in life, she won't be, um, I think it's a very valuable, valuable tool to have. And I'm so, so, so grateful, mother-in-laws could be mother-in-laws, but I'm really glad mine gave me TM.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. I think that that is quite a gift. Yes, I posted. So now I've been practicing since last August and I posted about it on Instagram and I had a lot of pushback and there are a lot of skeptics about TM people who say that because it is expensive and it's kind of an involved process to get trained. Um, now, uh, the way that I see this and you tell me what you think about this is that TM has been around for a long time. It's a standardized approach to meditation in that the teachers are all trained. They teach all of the students the same way their practice is suggested to be done the same way. There's a lot of continuity, which has actually created an ability for us to research it and to measure the impact on wellbeing when someone practices a prolonged periods of time.

So we have a lot of research on the practice of TM and how it impacts stress and overwhelm and with other meditation processes. I'm sure that they're absolutely wonderful. Two meditation apps. There's lots of really great ways to meditate, but this is one way that has been researched. And that research has given us what we need in order to make it more mainstream. Now, there are plenty of mainstream physicians who recommend meditation for a treatment because we have actual written scientific research that shows that it works. So without TM, I don't know that we'd have quite as much of that evidence. And I don't know that it would be as mainstream as it is today.

Jillian: I agree. And it's one of the reasons why I feel so comfortable doing it because I know the scientific backing is that it is helpful for all sorts of things for, um, one, I think it's even like high blood pressure and, um, an ADD and ADHD in children. So, um, I feel comfortable knowing that and having my kids, um, do the TM and also for myself because, um, it's just nice to have that quantifiable, um, measure for, for the, um, the technique itself.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I, and like I said, I'm sure there was lots of other types of meditation. Like my husband did Headspace for a couple years and loved it and had a lot of benefits, lots of other ways to meditate that are really wonderful too. So this is definitely not the only way. It's just one option that I think, um, that some people might enjoy and there is a sliding fee scale that's available for people. They make it so that anyone can afford it. From what I understand is that.

Jillian: That's, that's been my experience too. And if you reach out to your local TM, you just, it's a nice community and people are just there to help you as anybody that I've met. That's done TM. You're just something, um, welcoming. So I think that there's always a way to figure it out.

Denaye Barahona: So if anyone wants to learn more or if they have questions or how to get started, can I send them to you?

Jillian: Sure. Um, my Instagram Jillian Gumbel. And so there's a link there just right in my profile to learn TM and find out all the information that you need to find a teacher near you and what the benefits are of the technique.

Denaye Barahona: All right, I'll put the link to your Instagram and, and the link to learning more about TM in the show [email protected]/episode 257, but it's not just TM. You have a lot of other things in your life. I feel like you have been working towards a more calm and peaceful existence in your personal life, in your parenting. Let's pause for a 62nd break. And then I want to talk more about your transition to motherhood and your community, and other ways that you find calm and peace in your life.

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Denaye Barahona: And he and I both continue to use it today. So make the switch today, by going to nativedeo.com/simple, or you can use the promo code "simple" at checkout, and that'll get you 20% off your first order. That's native deo.com/simple, or use the promo code "simple" at checkout, you'll get 20% off your first order. And I have found by shopping around that that is definitely the best way to get the best price. So try it out. I know you're going to love it. All right, Jillian, we're back, tell us a little bit more about your life pre motherhood, what that transition looked like for you and what life's like now,

Jillian: Uh, pre motherhood, what was I doing? I was going to school. Um, I was working, taking care of two little boys, which I loved. I did a lot of things. I was a ski instructor in Vermont for a season with my husband. Um, he was not my husband at the time, but we had the ability to kind of do what we wanted until I did get pregnant and, um, and got married. And then we just settled down here and, um, made our home here. Both our mothers live in Westchester, so it's been a nice transition. He grew up here. Um, so he didn't have to move very far. It's not really a story.

Denaye Barahona: Kind of bouncing around a little bit. And I don't know if I'm using the right word yeah. With, with work. Do you feel like that has at that has caused a bit of a struggle for you to find an identity post motherhood?

Jillian: So it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do in life. Um, coming from a family where, um, my father was on the news, uh, for a little bit, I was, I wanted to, I don't know what I want to do. I wanted to somehow be in front of the TV, which I really realized was not for me. I just, it's not. Um, but then I just had to remember, like I said, the things that really get me going is movement and, um, and spirituality has always been a big thing for me and discovering myself in self-love and discovering self-worth. So I kind of just took the things that interest me and figured out how to work with them. Um, so I became a yoga instructor. When my son, my youngest son was maybe three. I took a yoga teacher training and that's been a really long journey because being a stay at home, mom, you have to figure out how all the things were.

Jillian: So I took a training that allowed me to still be a mom. It took longer than most trainings. It took about a year. I was doing only three, four hours on Fridays, um, to train and then slowly started teaching, uh, also coming off of a lot of anxiety about teaching, which is very common in the yoga world. Um, maybe not, but it's, from what I hear, it's very common for me. It was, um, a big thing which kept me from teaching for awhile. Um, and then I really just got over that fear and COVID really helped because I was able to teach online and not necessarily teach in my community. COVID was really helpful for me to think about what I wanted to do, uh, with my job. So things that I did, I started teaching online more through zoom and other platforms. And I started to think more about my health and nutrition.

Jillian: And I started to sell Isogenics. I don't know if you know what that is, but it's like, um, it's a tailored health care program that gets delivered to you at your door, which I found that I needed because I gained just like I did in college, the COVID 15, 20, whatever you want to call it. So I really just started, um, using the nutritional program for myself, but then I found like I need to work. Like that's also something that I found as a mom. I love being a stay at home mom, and that's always what I'm going to be. I don't know about always, but that's what I am now. And I love that, but I needed to figure out a way that I could feel like a value to other people other than my husband and my kids. And I start teaching yoga classes.

Jillian: And now I'm teaching like hit classes and mobility classes, like that's my contribution to other people. And it's also my contribution to me as, as Jillian, not as mom or wife. Um, so that is all just evolved simply by following the things that interest me, the things that spark joy for me and things that people tell me that I'm good at, that I inspired them to be or do. So that's been a really fun thing to, to just unfold as like, that's something I'm, I'm proud of. I'm proud to tell my kids that yeah. People look to me for inspiration and trust me, sometimes you probably shouldn't. But if I can, I mean, nobody's perfect. I can't stress that enough. And one thing that my father had told me, which allows me to show up in this way is you said, Jillian, everybody's just waiting to get found out,

Denaye Barahona: Like waiting to get the ambassador syndrome. Right?

Jillian: Yeah. But like, somebody like him telling me that it's like, well, if you're thinking that if everybody's thinking that, like, I'm just going to show up as myself and you know, like what, what are you going to do?

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think it does, for me work helps me feel alive. Like I think if I didn't have that, even though I was mostly a stay-at-home mother in the early years, and, but I always had this work piece that I integrated into that. And I do think that it was always really good for my mental health.

Jillian: Yes. And even, so my son started playing guitar. I haven't dove into it yet, but I'd love to just pick up an instrument and start playing. Like, there's just little tricks.

Denaye Barahona: Is not that funny, I also think about that. Like, I want to learn how to play the cello.

Jillian: I had like trauma as a child, like forced to play the piano, but now I want to play an instrument for myself. Yeah. Like you have to find little ways to kind of trick ourselves into

Denaye Barahona: Self care. Like I think that is like finding something that lights you up, that you enjoy that it. And why does it feel like indulgent in motherhood?

Jillian: Do you want, you want me to tell you one thing that somebody told me to do and it's a game changer. Have you ever taken a bath in the middle of the day?

Denaye Barahona: Uh, definitely not. I'm not sure what would,

Jillian: You should do it.

Denaye Barahona: What would come of it? I, don't the idea of taking a bath. It just, to me, it says it's a forced stillness. Like you can't really be on your phone while you're in the bath. We can't really be doing anything while you're in the bath. So it is kind of a forced, physically forced stillness.

Jillian: It's my new self care. I'm really into self care now because I don't drink at night. This is a very big struggle that I've been trying to deal with since this summer. Um, but I, I have to trick myself into doing other things. And I find that the self care is like my favorite thing to do now. So I have some lotions and baths and I have a face steamer. So at night after my kids go to bed, I just, I do me. I read a book, um, and this probably sounds really lame to people who, you know, have glasses of wine or whatever. And I, but I realized that it just did not serve me. It did not serve me as a mother. Um, I wasn't proud of myself and it doesn't even have to be like, overindulgent drinking. It's just the idea of escaping and all of that. Just, I don't want to do it anymore.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And so interestingly, I said that you were someone I felt very calm around when I met you. So Comely, who I've had on the podcast twice, who actually was my inspiration to stop drinking. I had that same feeling about her. So when I first met her, I definitely had the same feeling, this, whatever you're having. I want some of that. Um, she lives in Dallas. I, I know her from Dallas and then I was following her on Instagram and like two or three years after I was following her, she posted about how she had been sober for three years. I'm like what I was like, I wonder if this is a piece of this puzzle, a piece of why you are so calm and peaceful and have this, have this feeling about you. Like, what is it about, why am I attracted to the life that you're living?

Denaye Barahona: What is it? And I think part of that was that I had been wanting to give up alcohol for some time and struggling to give it up. And I reached out to her and she gave me some really great resources and was just a good person to talk with about that. But it's just kind of funny how I found myself attracted to someone who had similar values as me, even though I only met her once. I just was like, you know what? I want to know more about you and the life that you're living, because it, it resonates with me. Just, just talking with you, the vibe that I'm getting from you.

Jillian: I love that. You're like, like I'll have what she's drinking, I'm drinking water,

Denaye Barahona: But like, that's really how I felt about it and I think, and it still took me time. Like that was a journey for me. I've talked about that on the podcast before, but tell me a little bit about that journey for you. What, what is your relationship with alcohol been like, if you feel comfortable early, now.

Jillian: Early motherhood though. I, I had the idea of like, I don't want to drink anymore. And I think that it's mothers who do drink were honest with themselves. Like, it doesn't make anything easier. It might, it might, um, just give, I mean, I know what it does. It does momentarily. Just give you like a breath of like, or I dunno what a moment of relaxation, but after that, just like, nothing gets easier with drinking. And it took me a really long time to really understand that and I'm getting back to it now. And it has a struggle. I think we connected again this summer when I had posted about dry, I'm doing dry July. And so for me, it was always like a month thing. And then I'd be like, I did 30 days. Yay. I'm fine. But it was never fine. So it's been an ongoing thing.

Jillian: I think I gave up drinking alcohol for 10 months. Um, when one of my, when my youngest was younger and then I kept going back and forth, but I'm at the point now where maybe it's my age. Like, it doesn't feel good. My body feels horrible, whether I have a glass of wine or whatever, whether I have a bottle of wine and I've been in both places. Um, and I'm very, I like to be very honest about it, cause I'm not a person that can lie. And I think if you're honest about these things, you can help more people. Um, because you're just more authentic that way. So it's been a struggle for me. I do go to AA now, because then you find people who are similar to you who have the same struggles. And even if the people aren't similar to you, you have the same type of feelings around alcohol.

Jillian: And I found that helpful, especially during COVID where you can go to AA, on zoom. So you can be in an yeah, it's super cool. You can go to an AA. Um, I don't know with people from all over the world and which is funny, I ended up going to AA and seeing people that I know there. And that was a first, a little scary and then a relief. Um, I think that during COVID people, right? Like the liquor stores have never been doing better. Yeah. And, um, I, I think especially as a mom, just to show up, I'm much calmer now. Uh, again, I'm an early sobriety, but I, I have to notice the differences because when I noticed the differences, I, I know that I just want to continue on this path and it's something I've flirted with forever. And I'm, I'm just, I think that other people feel this way, but it's just so out there and it's so in, everybody's face all the time drinking and I think it's silly.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. Well, and I have not been drinking for, I guess, more or less two years, about two years, the first year was kind of on and off attempting moderation. But, um, I, it's funny that that the last year has been at home. So I kind of feel like I haven't even really been out in the world much without alcohol. And I, it feels easier that way, but I also it's at this I'm at the point where I don't want it and it makes me so happy that I don't want it because I feel so much better without it. And I, and like I said, I've talked about this on the podcast before, but this idea that when you quitting drinking and you don't want it anymore is incredibly freeing. Um, because that, I'm not quite there. I'm not, well, that mental that goes along with like trying to moderate and like wanting it and thinking about it and needing it. That that is exhausting. That, that is the part that always, yeah, that really got me. And it took completely giving it up forever. It's still hard for me to say that, but that's okay.

Jillian: It's you don't have, you don't have to, but I love it. I love it.

Denaye Barahona: It took in order to like, shut that mental gymnastics down was I had to be done. Done. Yeah.

Jillian: Yeah. I agree. It's there's no, for me, because you can only really speak for yourself. Right. There's no moderation for me. There's no, it's just not how, um, it worked for me, so I can't eat as much as I could try you can't muscle through. Yeah. Through that. So you have to either decide for me again, either you drink or you don't drink. And so I I've really just come to realize I am. It's like one of the steps I'm new to anybody. Who's an A that's listening. I'm sorry. I'm new. But I am powerless over, over alcohol. Like that is just something that I've really come to understand, but that doesn't mean the other day I was in a meeting and I was angry. Like, I, I know that I can't drink. And that made me angry. Like, it's so fun to go through all of the emotions,

Denaye Barahona: Kinda grieving, right. to feel that all up and down.

Jillian: I was angry. And because I wanted to have a glass of wine after a rough day, but, but I was angry because I knew it wasn't gonna do anything to help me. I knew that if anything, it was going to make it worse. And that made me angry, but I was proud of myself for one, um, not having that glass of wine and two for just actually being angry about it, because it was a different emotion. It was different than the emotions that I had been having. Like, I want a drink. I wonder if it's like, no, I don't, but I'm still going to be angry about it. You know, tomorrow might be different. Like, and every morning I wake up feeling so good. Like that's, that's the thing I think about at night when my kids go to bed, I'm like, Oh, a glass of wine would be nice. You know, what feels nicer, waking up in the morning and do to do whistle, whatever it is. Like, I feel so much better every morning. It's like taking a pill.

Denaye Barahona: I think one of the big challenges with alcohol and the pandemic has been that there is such a sense of uncertainty and there has been for so long that it's like, you almost can't even think about tomorrow. It's like, you're just in the moment today. Like, you don't know what is to come an hour from now.

Jillian: That's perfect for AA. Right?

Denaye Barahona: Well, and it's like thinking, like, to be able to have the, the insight that you're going to feel bad tomorrow. If you drink in a when you're in a state of mind where you just are living in the right now, it's hard to be thinking about the tomorrow because there's so much uncertainty. So I think that that's been a big part of this. Just kind of like, let's just get through this minute right now. And the easy way to get through this minute is having a drink because it does immediately relax your body. Um, but then you have like that the next day, right? What do you, what are you facing after that? But in a world where you can't really think til two tomorrow? I think it's hard to be.

Jillian: Yeah. I'm definitely not judging anybody on a glass or all of the wine. Like it's, it's you got to figure out what works for you. And if it doesn't make you feel good, it doesn't make you feel good. If you're fine, then you're fine. Like, what works for me? Isn't going to work for you. But I think it's important too, for people to say what works for them. Um, I actually, when I spoke to you this summer about it, cause I had posted the like sober July or whatever. Um, just you saying I've been sober for this long. I was like, Oh, yay. There's somebody else. That's cool that isn't drinking. Wow. Maybe I can do it. If she can do it, I can do it. Like I love, I love connecting with people. Um, because of just that reason alone, like finding somebody, something in somebody that interests me or makes me want to be a better person and, you know, discovering that within myself too, just by, just by connecting. So in some ways I think that, I know you didn't bring this up, but social media has been a blessing and a curse in so many ways.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. How do you feel about all the aspirational images that you see on social media? Like how does are, does it lift you up and motivate you or does it make you feel bad about yourself? Like what does that experience like for you?

Jillian: I am fine with it and I appreciate it. As long as you're honest about it, you can't, I can't look at people's pages that it's constantly motivational. I, it irks me, like rubs me the wrong way. I much more gravitate to people who kind of go both ways who really show themselves as human and not just super happy and super, um, life is amazing. I feel like I try and do both,

Denaye Barahona: But I think that we can just, we, this act of comparing ourselves, I think it happens constantly. Like I see you post a ton of pictures of exercising and being physically active. And that is an area that I'm struggling with right now that I have an office outside of the house. I can't really exercise because I'm out of the house all day. Then I come home and I'm like done, um, after dinner. Yeah. So I, in the past, since November, since I've been working out of the house, I have not been working out as much. And so when I see other people exercising, it can feel triggering to me being like, Oh, like I just, I wish I was exercising. Right. And I do think that is that comparison is natural for us. Right. I don't think you shouldn't feel bad for exercise. Right. Because I do think it inspires people, but then also some like it just where you're at in your life experience, when you see those images, right.

Jillian: This really resonates with me because I, when I started doing the Isogenix, I was doing a lot of workouts, um, online and, you know, offering the Isogenics with, with workouts as well. I was work out the classes I were offering were hard. They were really hard. And so many people were like, I'll watch my mom literally said, I watch you do the workouts. And it's fun just to watch them, but I could never do them. People are like, you scare me all of these things. But that was actually really great feedback for me because I came up with a program with my friend. And now, I mean, it's different. I understand it's also not having a lot of time, but kind of during COVID you can't make that excuse. You can, but you can do so much at home at your own time. And everybody has the same amount of time in the day.

Jillian: You you've gotta be able to show up for yourself, workout wise for, let's say 20 minutes a day, like 20, 30 minutes a day, I think cuts your mortality rate like in half. But what I'm trying to do now is help people who look at these online workouts. Cause you're bombarded with them. Like as soon as I don't know who you follow on Instagram, but for me, it's like these crazy workouts. And quite honestly, I'm going to be 40 soon. Like I can't do that for the rest of my life. So, and, and I understand where people are feeling like they can't either. So then they end up just not showing up. So the idea of doing this a phase one phase two is phase one, phase two into, um, strength training. So there's things that we need to work on before we can go push ourselves and quite frankly hurt ourselves.

Jillian: Um, before we go into these online workouts. So it's a lot of stability, work, core work, grounding, learning how to move through your body, breathe through your body, um, building yourself up, um, and then going forward. So I think that there is a disconnect with online working out where you see these people just crushing it and it is intimidating. Um, but we don't all need to be there. I'm just happy for people who move their body. Um, 20 minutes a day, whether it's yoga or cat walking, finding something that they can do. But it, it is, it is discouraging and I feel bad, um, for even perpetuating that that is something that people need to do.

Denaye Barahona: No don't so I don't think that, so it's not so much of that for me, because I definitely think I can make time for it. I can completely make time for it. My kids go to bed at seven. Like I usually have like two and a half hours, at least before I pass out in the evening, but I don't make time for it because I'm tired. So I have time, but I don't have energy always. I mean, I guess that's kind of that, but could I make space for it? And I think so many things in our life, right? We say we don't have time. We don't have time, but do we have time? We're just not making space for it because I certainly make 20 minutes a day for Instagram.

Jillian: I know ahh.

Denaye Barahona: So I don't know. And sometimes I want to tell that, to say that to people where they say that they don't have time. I'm like, well, but do you have time for? You're going to get shocked? I would totally get that. But it's true. I mean, I don't know. It's definitely true for me. I make a lot of time for things that maybe don't lift me up so much, but I don't make enough time for the things that I should be making time for it. And I think we all struggle with that.

Jillian: I think there's also a lie that like, let's look at the science it's 20 to 30 minutes and then I'd say, let's look at the science. I don't have the exact science, but it's 20 to 30 minutes, like three days a week. That's going to give you a health benefit. It's going to increase your, the length of your life. And then also play like the idea of playing, um, is really good for your body and your mind play with your kids, like go outside and run around for 20 minutes. Like if you want to get a workout in, start, go for a hike, a family hike, or, you know, the snow is melting. Ice is melting here, but there's different seasons, different activities. Like you have to play with time, um, figuring out how and when to put it in and you have to just play with activity and play with movement.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. You know, I think part of it too, is that I see my husband is really good about working out and he is, he's like, you, he's very intense about it. And like, I'll see him, like we've a Peloton and I'll go on. He will literally do like, his output scores are like four times as much as mine. So like, and I see him, like, I could hear him hear him breathing on another floor, like on the other floor, I'm on the first floor. He's in the basement. I can hear how hard he's breathing, what he's exercising. So like, I, I see him at how hard he's physically exerting himself. And I think in some ways I feel like that is what I should be doing too. And I know I don't have to do that. Right. I don't have to like literally collapse sometimes I'll go downstairs just to make sure it hasn't collapsed because he is so intense about it. But, you know, exercise makes him feel alive. Like that is his medication. Like, he really is a happier person when he's exercising and he needs that to thrive. Um, and that's just his body type in his brain type. And I don't, I'm not quite that much. I don't need that intensity or need to feel good, but sometimes I can feel like that. Like it's either all or nothing.

Jillian: Sometimes you need sometimes, like I said, I, I like different things. Sometimes you need an or from myself, sometimes I need it all or nothing. And sometimes I just need to stretch. Yeah. And also one thing that when you're saying, um, comparison is the thief of joy, get what everybody else is doing. Like that has hit home to me. Like no other, forget what everybody else is doing, tap into what makes you feel good? And you're really not going to be able to do that. Unless you try a bunch of different things, you try, you just try different things and you'll find something that resonates with you and it might feel this feels, okay, so then try it again. And then maybe it'll feel even better the next time. Or maybe it was your, you know what? That's not going to work for. You try all the things.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think as we get older, we get more hesitant to do that, to try new things. We get set in our ways, scary to try new things. We need to change the script flipped. Yes. we need to. Yes. It's not easy, but it's,

Jillian: Let's be kids again like with kids, with being adults, like, let's give it a go. We have responsibilities. Like let's have fun. I'm tired of no, Nope. We're not going to be old week. Our ages, our age. That's fine. We might have a little bit more trouble getting out of bed, but our minds are still active and working like let's, let's play games. Let's have fun.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And fun, I think feels like a hard thing to find, especially in the past year, right? Yes. That's true. Our limitations on where we can go and what we can do has felt restricted.

Jillian: Very true, very true.

Denaye Barahona: And just piling on the pressure and the responsibilities has like, it kind of like squashes the fund a lot of times, that's it.

Jillian: I a hundred percent agree with what you're saying, but it's what we've been given and whatever situation we're in. There's always another way. There's literally always another thought, um, to think or something new to try, like trying new things. That's kind of exciting, right? Like even if it's just try a new cereal. I don't know.

Denaye Barahona: It's exciting, but it can be scary.

Jillian: Exactly. Every try a new meal, like cook something that maybe wouldn't like, maybe you don't cook. Maybe that's something creative and something simple that you might be afraid of doing. Like, some people don't enjoy cooking. Like my husband became a COVID cook all of a sudden he never cooked. And I don't think I've cooked one time this week. It's a, it's a miracle. Um, I'm also kind of a little like it's thrown with my cooking, but

Denaye Barahona: Well, I would not feel like that at all. I would welcome it COVID hobby.

Jillian: Really trying not to, but it's been weird. It's weird for somebody else to cook, but it's just an idea of playing with this opportunity that we're given. And I know it's not an opportunity. It's like, it's a traumatic thing that happened to all of us, but it happened to all of us in varying degrees. And we have, we don't really have a choice other than to figure out how to work with it. Perhaps we can figure out how to thrive from it.

Denaye Barahona: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today, Jullian, and this was fun. We'll have to do it again.

Jillian: Thanks for having me.

Denaye Barahona: Thanks again for tuning In, you can find Jillian on [email protected], G U M B E L and in the show [email protected]/episode 257, I'll put the links to some of the things we talked about, including my podcast episodes with Brooke Conley, talking about giving up alcohol and the link to learning more about TM with Jillian. Thanks again for tuning in and have a good one.

Denaye Barahona

Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She's a therapist for moms, an author, and the host of the top-ranked Simple Families Podcast. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.