This is Episode #2 of my Project Curiosity project interviewing women in my free Facebook Group http://identityme.club
It is a free Facebook group for women who are looking for a safe place to hang out in and find their purpose in life again. If you have kind of lost your way or identity, this group is for you. Join us!
I had to pleasure of interviewing Lana Kuyvenhoven for my second Episode of Project Curious. It has taken me way to long to put this on my blog but I am keeping it real, mom life and nursing life keep my time limited. But I just couldn’t wait to share her answers.
I did this interview a little different than I did with with Michelle Butts here I sen her some questions that I was dying to know via Facebook Messenger and asked her to reply with her answers on Messenger. This way I could really get a feel for her answers. Best of all really get to know her better. That is the whole purpose of me doing this project.
Have you ever explored all of Canada? Where is the furthest you have been and why?
The furthest she’s been is Halifax Novia Scotia (in her cute Canadien accent ~ I can listen to Lana talk for days) right before her dad died. She was able to spend lots of time exploring. She has also been to Quebec, Montreal, Alberta, BC
What year did you start BMX racing? Why did you recently choose Roller Derby?
She started racing BMX much more recent than I thought, 2015. I thought she had been racing for years, but truth is she started racing because her husband Pete and her sons were all racing and she was tired of feeling left out and sitting in the stands.
As far as Roller Derby goes, I had noticed on her page that she had been showing up to this sport I am terrified of. But she loves it, she just recently started because she wanted to condition for her BMX racing.
She had come across a couple other moms who were doing and she was hooked. She says that I could totally do it but I think she’s crazy. I will stick with a sport where I am padded head to toe.
What is one piece of advice for someone who would tell you that they don’t have a hobby outside of being a mom and wife but wants one?
You have to make time and go for it. Some days it doesn’t happen and you just have to work around it but GO FOR IT is what LANA says! You have nothing to lose and only to gain. New friends, new hobbies is the way to go! Her biggest piece of advice, don’t be afraid to do things by yourself. GO DO IT!
Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?
The boys bathroom at Linden Skateway – it smells like pee and dirty boys! (Best part is that her boys were giggling in the background)
Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?
She said she would fly for the day but would actually stay awake for 24 hours and would see how high and how far she could fly. She wanted to see as much as she could in the world!
Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?
Hands down she said TACOS ?! Life is complete with Tacos and there are so many varieties of them.
Who is the most interesting person in your extended family?
I loved listening to her describe her love for her GRANNIE!! She talked about how awesome her grannie was. What was cool is listening to Lana reminisce about time spent with grannie. You could virtually see the smile on her face behind the Facebook Messenger Voice memo.
She shared the story of her grannie meeting her dad for the first time. Her grannie at about age 3 or 4 had a hard time walking and a soldier came and swooped her up and brought her home. She said look mom I found a soldier, and it was her daddy!
I had so much fun listening to Lana – I seriously could ask her for days about her life.
She shares all her adventures including meal planning ideas!
Here is an incredible moment I got to share with Lana in her home town. She one a visit with the trainer Tony Horton on Instagram. This is how awesome she is, she GIFTED the visit to her home town. Look at how many people showed up to her event!!
Here is what I knew of Michelle before we had our 30 minute Chit Chat on Instagram.
She and I met going through our Health Coaching Certification class. She joined me in one of my Fitness Challenge Groups after experiencing a bad injury. After nursing herself back to health doing Yoga, PIYO and eating right she was ready to change the world with her quirky self.
She runs her holistic health coaching business and teaches local classes.
One of my favorite in-person moments with Michelle was when she spent a day out here in Los Angeles helping me spend my birthday exploring the sites. She even bought me some sort of whisky shot on Hollywood Blvd.
She is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet and that is why I chose her to kick off my new Project Curiosity Episode #1
Here are the fun insightful questions I asked Michelle after getting through a handful of technical difficulties.
? What does the word Curious mean to you?
Curious George – Michelle had a dog who’s name was George and he used to act like the fictional Character Curious George. She said he used to come home in the back of a “cop car”. So the little monkey was super curious. I love this trigger questions because you never know what comes to people’s mind!
? I know you’re a Vegan. What made you choose to this path?
Originally, Michelle chose this path for healing and health reasons. The more she dug into Veganism and Vegan products she started to see the environmental reasons for being vegan. One particular reason, she is a huge Beagle lover and when she found out that Beagles were used for testing makeup her quest for being Vegan was a global reason.
? What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
Michelle loves Instagram because it brings her back to her youth and her love for photography. She can have fun with it and loves to play with filters. So for her the fun factor is what seals the deal!
? What was the last video game you played and enjoyed?
Michelle laughed and said she used to be a big time gamer back in the day. Call of Duty, you name it, but its been a while. Her last go at it with a video game was a dance game on the Xbox with her nephew. Dancing to the song to Nightmare before Christmas.
? Ugg boots or Sandals?
She didn’t take too long to jump in and say Flip Flops in a heart beat. She is even known to wear her big fluffy socks with her flip flops. No shame in her game as she stated.
? I know you’re a dog lover, so for those who don’t have a dog, what would you say to them about why YOUR dogs are RAD?
Michelle has a true love for Westies. Each of hers has their own personality. They all keep her entertained including her dog with the underbite. Here are their names Rigby (1 floppy ear), ? Maxwell (Other Twin Terror), and Hercules (Captain Underbite!) It is the Joy they bring and the variety of laughs and cuddles they bring that make her dogs TOP DOG (yes totally cheeseball on my own part)
? You injured yourself a while back, what is the best advice you could give someone who just injured themselves and are down for the count?
Michelle said GRACE – Be kind to yourself. There is a difference between pushing yourself too hard and pushing yourself to heal. It can be incredibly frustrating as she knows too well, spending 6 months in a wheel chair. But her advice is to be kind to yourself and give yourself a BREAK! (no pun intended!)
You have to follow Michelle on Social Media!!!
She will make you smile and giggle everyday. She brings so much joy, kindness and support to anyone she comes in contact with. You will be blessed to know her and her love for GRUNGE ROCK’ ????
We know we are supposed to practice gratitude. ??
We know it’s good for us. ?
But why do we have such a hard time following through with it?
I want to share with you why practicing gratitude thinking outside the box will ensure that you stick with it which will brighten everyday of your life. I’m gonna give you the magic 3 ways to make sure gratitude sticks in your life!!
When we practice gratitude, what is the first thing we typically go to? Our Family right?!?
Sometimes our Job? Not always but a lot of the time because we are glad we can pay our bills.
Sometimes our income? Well again usually because we are happy we can pay for our groceries.
But why do we have such a hard time doing it? Well maybe because we have a hard time finding what we are truly grateful for.
I’m here to help you think outside the box and make it so simple to do and better yet make it a habit!
The reason I brought up this subject this week is that I have friends who have been devastated by the California fires and mudslides. They have been in the thick of it completely. And here is the worst part. They can’t seem to watch the rest of the world happy. I know I am not speaking for all of them but I did read a friend of mines post about such feelings.
It’s hard!! So hard!! But if we can find the smallest way to be grateful, we can slowly pull yourself out of the dark ?
So I want you to find these 3 ways to find gratitude easy and impactful.
1 – **Place** – Where is your favorite place to sit and be yourself? Where is it that makes you warm and cozy? A place that makes you feel all the feels. For me it’s my bedroom. Last year I spent a month building my bed to mimic the Westin Heavenly Bed and let me tell you, it’s my favorite place in the house. I would spend all day in there if I could.
So find just one place you are GRATEFUL for and remind yourself of that one place everyday.
2 – **Person** – I’m talking a person in your life who is not your family. Choosing family members is easy but sometimes they are so close to you that it is just a given. We are all grateful for family. That doesn’t challenge you to find actively gratitude in a place that stops you in your tracks.
This year has been the biggest personal struggle of my life and I found that friends that were not close in the past SHOWED UP in my life when I least expected.
If I am struggling, I just have to think of ONE of them. They are so special to me and if it weren’t for them I would still be crying in my car everyday.
Find that one person!! Share this blog post with them, let them know!
3 – **Time** – Seems kind of odd to put time right ?! *Hear me out*. A lot of time we tell ourselves we are don’t have time to “get a massage” “get our hair done” “go to the gym”. Whatever it is, our first thought is NOPE! I don’t have time..
Guess what there is time, I guarantee you, in your day that you are grateful for.
Girlfriend I’m telling you!! What about the bathroom? Do you escape in the bathroom and spend a few extra seconds in there in peace? Is it your car? (Ok I’m just sharing with you my moments of time I LOVE everyday)
So why not be grateful for them???
Now think about it… spend some time shifting your upset or fearful thought and think “I am so grateful for the time I have in my car”
What is that tiny window of time you look forward to EVERYDAY?
Be grateful and recognize that time OFTEN! Thank the universe for it! ✌?
Here is my Coffee Talk Episode on my Facebook Page if you would like to hear more about this message
Have you been guilty of saying “I don’t have any time to do anything let alone something for myself?
It’s so easy to fall into this trap saying “BUT…..
I have to get up early to fix the kids breakfast
Drive them to school
Go to the grocery store
Or Go to Work
Pick them up, have them come home on the bus or have them in day care.
Bring them to Practice
Make sure they Bathe
Tuck them in
Do your Laundry
Maybe watch a little TV
Maybe remember that you hadn’t taken a shower
……..and do it all over again
I am now going to be hard on you.
Let’s start with you my single momma. #1 I know I don’t walk daily in your shoes and I absolutely know that you are doing DOUBLE THE WORK as anyone else. But I am going to find you time. I swear by it. You will start to find those time gaps you are look for. Those time gaps you need for yourself.
Life is too short my friend to be tied completely to an agenda.
You are not guaranteed tomorrow if you haven’t heard.
Let’s look at 24 hours in a day. I am going share with you an example of my schedule so you can start to say to yourself throughout your day and ask yourself “what would Banana do?”
5:00am – alarm goes off
5:30am – roll out of bed
5:55am – have a cup of coffee
6:00am – leave the house for work
6:45am – clock into my shift
Could be 8am, could be 9am – 15 minute Break
Could be 10:30, 11:30, 12:30pm – 30 minute lunch break
Could be 1pm, 2pm, or none – 15 minute Break
7:15pm – Leave work
7:45pm – Home and dinner
8:30pm – 9:30pm – hang with my family, talk about the day, about any upcoming events, and give lots and lots of hugs
9:30 – 10:00 – Wind down for bed
10:30pm – Shower and bed
The Next Two Days do it all over again
Yes my husband brings the girls to school and picks them up on those days because it is just not possible with my schedule.
So I am going to show you that even on my busiest days I find a little “me” time.
5:25am – 5:36am – in my car listening to something uplifting. Maybe a morning show, maybe a podcast or ebook. But this mentally prepares me for the day. ..ME TIME!
8:15am – you know that 15 minute break I get at random times. I take my cup of coffee and breakfast and sit by myself and listen to something uplifting. For me it could be a business training or check in with my Club Members ….ME TIME!
12:00pm – that also rolling lunch break – It is a very tight 30 minutes for which I typically can be found outside the hospital soaking up the sun if its out while listening to something special or actually working on my business from my phone. That 30 minutes is my focused time where no body bothers me…..ME TIME!
1pm Break – Same thing. No need to mingle with work people, I need me time… so another trip outside to reach out to some friends and make me smile …… ME TIME!
10pm – Bedtime Shower……. I think about anything good that happened that day…. And do my best to only think of that…… ME TIME!
I just found you……….drumroll………..1 hour 30 minutes of ME TIME… even on my busiest of days.
I want you to note that on these days I don’t have the time or energy for a workout, I would love to but I am just keeping it real. My sleep could also use an additional 1.5 hours a sleep these days. But it is just not possible.
My other 4 days are off of work and include me taking over with mommy duties.
I’ll tell you some more great ways to find more time in your schedule if you are not working long days like these but clearly have issues with your time.
Kids Drop Pickup – get there 10 minutes early and play a personal development or humerous podcast
Laundry – ask around your local neighborhood groups if there is anyone looking for just a couple hours of work a week to do your laundry, fold it and put it away…….. This is a big secret and one that I will say I have been using for over 4 years…. I used to be embarassed to tell anyone that I did this but let me tell you it is by far the BEST $ I could ever spend…. Feel free to email me if you need suggestions on how to do this.
Kids Sporting Event – depending on the age of your kids. If they are young and need you there. Start building your own business. You are able to watch your kids while you work on earning some extra part time income
I’ll tell you some more great ways to find more time in your schedule if you are not working long days like these but clearly have issues with your time.
If they are older, go to YELP.COM and search Chinese Foot Massage…… and then thank me later…. 1 hour dirt cheap… and you feel like a whole new woman
Go have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while
Grocery Store – put those headphones in and listen to a podcast or a great Spotify Playlist. Turn your mind off and stroll.
I have many more examples of where to find time gaps, if you would like my FINDING MY SELF CARE TIME GAPS TOOLBOX click here.
I think you are now equipped to find those spots of time where you will be tell yourself “what would banana do?” and the next thing you know you will stop saying the words “I don’t have time”. Your goal… remove them from your vocabulary my friend.
My Journey to setting up an amazing Facebook Group
In August of 2017 I opened a Facebook Group named IdentityMe after going through the hardest self discovery year of my life.
You wake up one day and you are married for 19 years, have two daughters who are early teens and tweens, you have the house on the hill, the cars, the money in the bank and the one thing you discover you are lacking, your own Identity
What do I mean my Identity?
I mean that I clearly forgot the things I love. I forgot the bands that I love to listen to, I forgot there were travel destinations on MY OWN bucket list.
I discovered I had morphed so much into a mom and a wife, I forgot about me.
When I shared these things on my Facebook Page I discovered I was not alone. I knew I needed to gather more women who were going through what I was going through and spend time with them, rediscovering ourselves.
This was the first group out of probably a hundred groups I have created that I was not going to be the teacher. I was simply just one of the group. I would be one going through the same things the rest of the group would be.
I knew I needed this group but since it wasn’t going to be just my group I reached out to my friends on my Instagram page to even help me name the group. I wanted the group to define the group. And IdentityME was born.
What I discovered as running this group for a few months now is that the quality of the group over the quantity is what has given this group legs. The conversations and consistency of the women in this group, give me joy. Everyday I wake up and see a post from someone in the club having an AH HA moment for themselves. They are in a safe place to share it and are encouraged and given virtual big hugs and high fives.
What this group is not
A complaining fest. You would think that because we have lost our identity, we would be in a constant state of bitterness and complaints. It is clearly the opposite. People are in there to inspire themselves, to pick themselves up. This is not a rule in the group but it is clearly just the vibe.
What kind of things do we share in the group?
When I started the group I actually sat down and envisioned what the group would look like and feel like but had no idea what type of content I would share. But I knew the FEELINGS that I wanted for the group.
Once I had that, I knew that I did not want to create your typical Monday Motivation, Transformation Tuesday Posts. This group was going to be different.
This group would house content of what I and the group were going through in my life, I made it my so much my mission to listen to what people were saying and create posts around this.
In the beginning it was just posts to allow people even the shy ones to step up and have fun.
I created many polls to hear what the group members were struggling with. One of those things that members talked a lot about was the inability to journal but they knew the value in it.
I tried to run one Journal Challenge that totally flopped. In hindsight it was confusing. But I knew the need was still there. So I decided it would be only 3 days in the middle of the week and it was not going to take them more than 10 minutes. I created 3 topics to write on and I posted in the group.
THIS WAS A BULLSEYE HIT!!
So, do we talk about journaling all the time? NOPE. Do people want to join the group because they have seen my posts on my Bullet Book Junkie Instagram page? YES. But what I have found is that the same people that see the value in journaling are the same people who want to better their lives. (a post about Bullet Journaling)
Listening to my ladies brings me joy. Making them smile brings me joy. Sharing my own struggles makes me feel supported as if I was in someone elses group.
This group is my pride and joy and I can only hope that it grows the right way with the right people. As I plan on nurturing it more and more everyday.
If you are looking at connecting with other like minded women, and are on the path of your own self-discovery then join the club. We would love to have you!