As 2020 comes to an end, many of us won’t be sad to see it end. Many will be hoping that a new year will be bringing a clean, safe, healthy slate, a hope for better things than we’ve seen.
If that wasn’t just the craziest year to-date. We’ve had intense social unrest resulting in riots with serious injuries and massive property damage; we’ve had the circus we call elections, COVID, of course, which meant quarantines, higher than normal death tolls, and life as we know it cancelled. We’ve had fires and earthquakes, mask shaming and job loss.
And we can look at it that way, but as in all things, our realities are the stories we tell ourselves about the things going on around us.
We also have the choice to focus on the positive things that came from the past year. More time with family, more time in nature, focus on our homes and personal spaces, opportunities abounded.
Personally I’ve had my best year ever in real estate. It was a great abundant year. While I missed my usual social calendar it’s been a different and interesting experience to slow down without the same expectation of social interaction - even if that expectation is always just created by me. It was fun to get to say no to things and have an awesome excuse. I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve gotten done on my home and property because of the quarantine. I’ve sent more cards by snail mail to connect, and I’ve said gratitudes every morning and relied on faith rather than fear. I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes - my food storage may not have been all it should have been, but after the pandemic shutdown I was able to improve it. The podcast has continued on inspiring me and others with the wonderful interviews and ideas we share here.
As I look back on the 2020 podcast episodes I’ve shared, I notice a theme. The stories that have been shared are illustrations of real people doing really hard things in difficult circumstances, and coming out better and stronger on the other side of that struggle. They are stories to inspire us and show us what it looks like to stand tall when the going gets really rough. If it’s been a tough year for you, fill up on these inspirational stories that show how people make their way through tough things only to come out with massive growth on the other side.
That’s a message we’ve needed this year. Stay tuned for the Best of 2020 - the top 5 downloaded episodes.
The thing I love about a “Best Of” episode is that you get little quips - reminders - from the best stories. By listening to this one episode you’ll walk away with brilliant insights from 5 others, and maybe your interest will be peaked enough to go back and listen to the full story from the past episode, so you can get all the insight and brilliance of the vulnerable and triumphant tales each guest has shared.
Let’s get started…
I love every episode I put together for the show. I don’t ever publish a story or idea that I’m not proud of. So, I could feature every episode this year in the best of - haha, but I’ve decided to pull the top 5 episodes with the most downloads for the year. And, here they are….
Number 5 - In Episode 162: I interviewed Jeff Meyer from The Mental Edge and he talked to us about How to Perform at our Highest Levels.
We all do something - are you a parent, a lawyer, an actress, a podcaster, a soccer player? Whatever it is you do, staying in a space of peak performance is the surest way to find success in being your best YOU and creating your best story. This topic was something we could all use this year as we needed and wanted to stay sharp despite working from home, or learning to juggle kids schooling at home. I’m not surprised this one was a hit.
Here’s just a clip of our discussion about how being present is so important to creating real connection and performing at our highest levels as leaders and parents:
Tune into the audio recording for that clip.
Number 4 - Episode 158 I interviewed Kristen Ulmer and our relationship to fear.
Now, Kristen Ulmer is a thought leader on fear and anxiety who draws from her tenure as the most fearless woman extreme skier in the world for 12 years. I think this episode did so well because we are all trying to figure out how to navigate our fears. In 2020 there was a lot of possible fear, so this episode was embraced.
Kristen is the author of: The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead, she’s known for radially challenges existing norms about what to do about fear and anxiety.
Here’s a clip from our conversation about how fear needs to be acknowledged in order to he healthy.
Tune into the audio program to hear the clip or go to the whole episode to find out what to do instead of locking the “kids” in the basement.
Number 3 Episode 157 - Our 2020 New Year’s Episode was titled - What if Nothing Is Wrong with You?
I had mixed emotions about this episode being so popular. On the one hand I was thrilled that people were connecting with the show and that I hit a spot people needed to hear - I loved that. On the other I felt sad that so many of us truly think there are things wrong with us - so much so that an episode that shared the new and crazy idea that we might not be broken was something people clamored to. But I have to admit I loved this idea because of the spaces I feel broken in. It is just a universal space we all traverse - learning to fully embrace our beauty.
Above all, I hope the ideas helped people accept themselves. What if nothing was wrong with you? How would that settle into your heart?
This episode on self love, self acceptance, and the novel idea that we are acceptable here and now, just as we are. In fact we are more than acceptable – we are beloved and filled with magic, was one of the year’s favorites.
Tune into the podcast for that clip.
Number 2 Episode164 - I interviewed Tyson Steel about his 23 day Alaskan survival wilderness story in the lowlands south of Denali National Park, in below freezing temperatures after his home burnt to the ground. The fire killed his best friend– a lab who had been with him through thick and thin, and he spent the next 3 weeks alone in the Alaskan wilderness trying to survive. Let’s share again a bit of his story.
Tune into the podcast to hear his clip.
This interview took place very soon after the tragedy and Tyson had just returned to the states from Alaska. He hadn’t had time to process everything yet and was still in the beginning phases of sorting through what happened. His story is tragic, touching, and unnerving all at once.
Update: Tyson has since returned to his homestead to rebuild, and as you listen to the whole episode you’ll learn more about what that homestead is like.
Our Number 1 most downloaded episode for 2020 was episode 160 - my interview with Jo Marie Taylor and how being held hostage in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 challenged the entire way she thought about life.
I love that this is our number 1 show, because it’s really the number 1 message for 2020. If there was one message that would help and bless us all through that list of things that went wrong in 2020, this message is the one that smooths them all over.
We need to accept one another. We need to open our minds and hearts. We need to allow for different ways of thinking and still give personal respect to another’s right to believe as they will. The examples shown in her story - in the full episode - of people risking their lives to help one another, shows the human spirit at it’s most valiant.
May we take this beautiful lesson with us into 2021 and let’s see what kind of magic we can make in the coming year.
A special thank you to all my loyal listeners and interviewees on the show who make this a place of sharing, learning, and growth. Blessings on all of you.
As we close up 2020, I hope you have got your copy - the tool I have provided for all seekers of a more connected live with greater possibility - of LIFE Living Intentional and Fearless Everyday - the 21 Life Connection Challenges. If you haven’t you can get your on Amazon! It will be a great program to start out the new year with! 21 Challenges for creating a life with more connection, more possibility, and more self care. We could all use that. Support the podcast and yourself and get your copy.
Have a wonderful holiday and I’ll see you in 2021.