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Bread and Disco Balls with Alana Kaplan
Episode 556th January 2023 • Radical Resilience • Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:23:37

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Welcome to 2023. The Global Resilience Project has a lot of fun goals they are working towards this year. Tune into Blair and Alana while they share how they wrapped up 2022 and what is in store for 2023.

 

Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.

About the Guest:

Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story.

Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.

About the Hosts:

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.

Blair is listed in USA Today as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders to watch in 2022 and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, ‘The Global Resilience Project.’ She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and in her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project’s online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.


Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

The Global Resilience Project:  https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/


Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story.

Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.

 

The Global Resilience Project:  https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/


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Transcripts

Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me Blair, Kaplan Venables and I'm here with the one the only the sister Alana Kaplan. Hey, so first episode of 2023. You know, we rang in the new year, a few days ago. How are we feeling? How are we doing? How's everyone doing out there? Did you start the year off hungover? Did you start the year off rested? Did you start the year off? Tired? What did you do for New Years? What did you do for January 1? We want to know, we're going to share what we did and how we ended the year and started the year. Because let me tell you last year started off fine. And then not fine, because our dad died. And so like the goal this year is to not have anyone we love die. That's a goal of ours. But let's just talk about, you know, how are a year ended? ALana? Yeah, how would you you would tell me about it?

Alana Kaplan:

Um, well. So, historically, there was, I feel like this deserves a little bit of a story. So in going into, I guess it was New Year, or the year was 26. Teen, I was extremely hungover on New Year's Day and super dizzy, like, I don't know if I also ate something bad, but I was like, go out for like 24 hours. And then 2016 wasn't a great year. And so I had consciously decided that every year since I would do something intentional. Going into January 1. And so for three years after that, I went to a yoga class that took place over midnight. Then one year I hung out with friends and then it was the pandemic. This year, I think is like the first official like we're out of the woods, even though we're not but we're out of the woods pandemic. And I am in a new city. I mean, I was in a new city last year, but I was sick. So this year, I had a very different type of day, I spent the day with my grandmother. I did some yoga, I made a vision board of what my hopes were for 2023 and made that my film background, which I love. And then I made some bread. I bought a bread maker, again influenced by tick tock as per usual and it came and so is it well, I guess I'm making bread tonight. And so I rang in the new year with a slice of bread and in bed.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Bread and bad bread and bad. Did you stay up till midnight?

Alana Kaplan:

Yeah, well did. I? Definitely midnight somewhere. But I was in bed, but I think I was technically awake at midnight. Yeah, just like very low key and yeah, I hate waking I hate the feeling of waking up hungover. More than I enjoy drinking wine or anything. So I feel pretty good about the way I wrong in my new year. If if you would have asked me 15 years ago, if I would have ever celebrated New Year's like this. I probably would have giggled, but here we are 2023. Yeah, what about you?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Well, funny, you should ask. I no longer like to wake up hungover. So I don't drink either. And December 31 2018 was my last drink. It was a big celebration to ring in 2019 and I woke up the morning of 2019 to an apology letter from dad. And as a really beautiful letter that maybe one day I'll read out on this podcast and so so hungover literally the worst hangover of my life. I get this letter from dad. It was like a super heartfelt apology. I had to drive from where I was in Vancouver up to Pemberton. So like a three and a half hour drive, my tire almost fell off on the highway. Then we got home and there's this huge blizzard and like, the power went out and like, I was not okay, my stomach was not okay. I was hungover for days, but I knew that was gonna be the last time I drank like I was sober, curious, and I made the decision that that night was going to be the last night and I didn't know if it was going to be forever or just until my dad died, like I couldn't navigate his end of life with alcohol just wasn't good for me. And also, I don't like who I am when I drink. I don't like the decisions I make when I drink. So January 1 2023, is my four year sober anniversary. Oh, and I never really like celebrated I usually make a post but I decided this year, I want to have a balloon. I want to have a gold for balloon and do a photo shoot. So yeah, this year was really nice. Shane and I went up to a friend's cabin in the mountains. And we went for a very early like 5pm dinner and played pool and had a hot tub, all before eight o'clock. And then we played a board game and stayed up till 12 rang in the new year. And by 1230, I was in bed sleeping and it was perfect. It was just me and Shane and another couple. It was mellow and quiet. I woke up feeling rested, and refreshed and really proud of myself, really, I felt really accomplished. You know, if you are someone who is sober, curious, or you've dabbled in sobriety and, you know, in and out of it, and you're someone who you know, enjoys substances, you'll know how hard it is to navigate hard stuff sober. And the fact that I made it through all the trauma and loss and grief that we have over the last four years, and I haven't slept is a fucking miracle. So I started off my year like that. So I woke up, the boys went skiing and me and my friend went and got a coffee and I did a photo shoot in the snow with my balloon and in front of the fireplace with my balloon. And then I put the balloon in the truck to bring it down like 45 minutes to where we live and snow scraper popped it so that that $20 Balloon lasted at least 24 hours. And yeah, and then the restaurant lasts forever. And I just relaxed it on the couch. And I sat and relaxed and rested. And that was that I you know I live a bit slower paced, when I'm at home, I do take a lot on and I do a lot of travel I mix business and pleasure I do most of my travel has business associated with it. So when I'm at home, I like to live a very slow paced life low key relaxing, because if I'm out traveling, it's very Go, go go. So I wanted to start off the year. Mellow.

Alana Kaplan:

Mellow is such a nice way to start the year. And if you have not yet started a year, I mean or a season or whatever, however you bring in a new something or other whether it's a season or a year, I highly recommend it. It's really, really nice. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to be sober. But if you can intent, like be intentional about what you do and how you relax, it feels good. Like I was on my treadmill listening to Michelle Obama's new book yesterday and then and then relaxed on my couch the rest of the day.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

That's really nice. So let's talk about this year, you know, we have such dark humor, because I've been talking to my friends because every year I set these huge goals, these business goals, these goals for the project, and I'm gung ho I start off the year in January, great and then someone dies. Well, the last two years. So now that both of our parents are gone, like I know that we're not going to have a February death of a parent this year. Because that can't happen for us. And so we've done our time we've done our time. And you know, cuz we've done our time we you know, we're also here for you if you know us or you don't know us like we are here to help you navigate it when it happens. You know, unfortunately, everyone that you love is going to die, so will you and no one prepares us for the death of our loved ones the death of our parents or spouses or siblings. You know, friends, coworkers, no one prepares us for that. And, you know, we've walked a really hard path. So I am excited for this year because the project is getting some big exposure and moves and we decided to publish another book And so we're gonna be opening applications for the book on February 8, officially, and I'll be sharing more details. If you're on our newsletter list, you will get an email soon with more details. And if you want to be in the book, you'll get access to that. Or if you're listening to this, and you know, you want to be in the book, email me Blair at Blair kaplan.ca. But the next book is going to be amazing, and it's going to have, it's gonna be like, I can't even I'm so excited, it's gonna have such a big reach. Because our story, my story of resilience, and the global Resilience Project, and everything that we've been doing is being featured on a TV show that's going to be on amazon prime. So the project is gonna get a lot of exposure, the stories are gonna get a lot of exposure. And I'm just really excited because our mission is to empower or my mission is to empower 88 million people by August 2025. And we're gonna hit it this year. And that's all I want to do. I just want to help people, I want to help people through giving them a space on our podcast to share their stories, or publish their stories online or in the book or, you know, stand on a stage and talk to people and share my story and maybe impact some lives of the people listening, or going for coffee with a friend and helping them navigate a challenging time. That's why I'm here. I'm here to turn my pain into purpose. And I know, this year is going to be a big year for us. We've put our time in, we've learned to strengthen our resilience muscle, which is like an ongoing practice. But this book is going to be amazing. We launched our first book in June 2022. It took three and a half years to get out because we navigated a lot of hard stuff. And now we have momentum. We have a lot of momentum right now the podcast is almost a year old. And then on January 17, it'll be officially a year, which is our mother's birthday. And, you know, we get we're getting a lot of inquiries from the media, and people who want to be on our podcast today alone, I had four people want to be on our podcast. So this is all just really exciting knowing that we've created this space for people to share their stories. So I'm really excited. And I you know, who knows what else we'll add into, Oh, I know what else we have to add. But I don't know what else we're going to add into what the project offers. But it's always evolving and growing. And we just want to help people. And what's really exciting is that Alanna and I, you know we have the segment grief gals, well in Winnipeg, and in March, Alanna and I are going to be recording an episode in front of a live audience. So that's going to be a first that's going to be exciting, Alana and I've never recorded a podcast together in the same city or room. And we I've never recorded a podcast in front of an audience. And I don't think Alana is either.

Alana Kaplan:

No, I could definitely say that's not something I've done before. So we're

Blair Kaplan Venables:

trying it out. And you know that if it works out well, like we wanted to keep doing that maybe we're you know, maybe we come to a community near you. And it's an interactive experience where we have conversations that end up on our podcast so we're in this place of experimentation and helping people strengthen the resilience muscle and navigate challenging times. What are you Atlanta excited about for the coming year? In your personal life and the projects in survivor, whatever.

Alana Kaplan:

I'm excited that no one none of my parents can die in February because oh boy, it's been a couple of years. I am very excited to record with you live I think it's I've been thinking a lot about it. And I've actually had some dreams about it and I would love to to continue this in other communities actually. Right before the pandemic started we were supposed to have a have a live event. And I was so excited about it. It was a storytelling event. So maybe more of those in 2023 I Blair and I are having our first annual grief week which is going to be an annual thing that happens the week in February where both of our parents died because they've made it efficient and died five calendar days apart. Yeah, boys right. And like obviously I'm not excited for those anniversaries. I am looking forward to spending that with you

Blair Kaplan Venables:

oh my god Should we do a live from grief week? Should we record an episode Alicia live from grief? I'm actually really excited for grief grief week like yeah, like something enjoyable around something so dark first of all one we both live in Canada, Atlanta. Listen, we were against like minus 40 minus 50. I live Some over the snow and sometimes it's minus 20 minus 30. But not very often in February, but it's still winter and kind of crappy weather. It is way better to be warm and sad than cold and sad. Trust me warm and sad. really

Alana Kaplan:

true. So after our dad, so because we were gonna have our first grief week, last year. But then our dad died. So we pushed it a bit. And it wasn't necessarily a grief week, but it was more of a place for us to just kind of go and be and we floated in the pool and relaxed and it was so much nicer to be sad in the sun than it was to be. Yeah, sad in the dark and the cold. So, yeah,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

so grief week, like what kind of, you know, it's like college Spring Break grief week, you know, we're kind of like, do we make matching shirts like, do we make this a thing, I don't know what we're going to do. But it's our first annual grief week, we're going to be in Palm Springs, we are going to be floating in the pool and warm, we're going to, you know, in between the anniversaries, we're doing something really fun. We're actually going to Disneyland. I haven't I've never been my mom used to say she would take us but she was a single mom raising two kids on her own. And, you know, finances were tight. So the fact that we get to go and I get to go for my very first time and I get to meet Cinderella, I'm so excited. So we get to do something really exciting and beautiful. You know, with me and me in Atlanta making these memories together in between such dark days, literally like dark days. And so this is the first time we're doing this and every year is probably going to be different, maybe somewhere else who knows, we're just going to roll with it. But our commitment is to always be together over the February 18 And February 23 anniversary of our parents passing. So yeah, I mean, this is what we're doing. This is a ritual we're creating, this is something that we're committing to, you know, for some reason, if one of us can't travel will will come to the other person, I think it's really important to hold the loved ones you have close to you because you don't know when they're going to die. It could be in an instant, in a minute in a week, or four and a half years or whatever it might be, you know, it life's wild. And you can't really prepare. But what you can do is when something happens, you can choose how you want to navigate it and move forward from it. So we're choosing to have grief week. What else are you excited for? So we have grief week we're recording live together, which is going to be fun, maybe more events? We don't know what else?

Alana Kaplan:

Oh, because we're recording live together? You're going to be with me? Not necessarily on my birthday. But near that. So I'm excited for that. Who knows what that will entail. But my last two birthdays have sucked because they've been so close to after people dying. What else am I excited for? Oh, Blair and I'm are gonna do a little adventure together in June. Oh, yeah, I'm looking forward to that, and actually getting some vacation time this year. So because I started a new job. I didn't get any vacation time over the last year. So paid vacation time, I want to say. So I'm looking forward to being able to do things and have vacation. And so I want to share with the group and by the group. I mean, our listeners, I've actually been on a mini grief Leave to work that I've been on since mid December. A delayed leave. It's just everything was getting to me. And the work I do is pretty tough work. And I was finding that I wasn't my best self at work anymore. And I was in this like state of blah, kind of like this Dysthymic type of depression. And so I've been on leave and I'm actually feeling good. And and so I'm actually looking forward to going back to work next week, which is very exciting.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

That way, round of applause for Atlanta. Yeah.

Alana Kaplan:

So that's my message to you. You have sick days take even if it's not a physical illness, like your mind counts as well. And if you need longer take the time, it will be better for you in the long run.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I love that. That's such good advice. I definitely agree. And if you're an entrepreneur like me, like tell your clients you need some time and make that space. So as we wind down this episode, because you know we have obviously a whole year with you. We have a lot of great guests. Atlanta is going to make more of an appearance for a grief female segments. Maybe we'll even do more lives. Who knows what's in store for us? We don't but you know some things that I'm going to do to bring joy to my life. Alanna can see this right now. But I've I've started putting disco balls around my house like little disco balls. They're scattered in the living room and here I want to say yeah, I want more animal print more sparkles, more plants. You know I want to spend more time outside more time reading and listening to audiobooks and music. So I'm going to I'm going to spend a lot more time outside it's going to be you know, I'm taking back my my my time and my energy and it's going to be a really beautiful year. And what about you? What are some things you're doing for joy?

Alana Kaplan:

Reading I started my own Bookstagram account if you want to follow it, it's at Pino memoir. Play on of Pinot Noir. Not that I'm a big wine drinker anything. Reading is something that's bringing me joy and moving my body finding things I love again, like I love yoga, and I spent the past year barely doing any and I want to intentionally move my body more spending time with loved ones. Those are the things that are bringing me joy.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

That's so good and making bread.

Alana Kaplan:

Oh, yeah, of course and making bread I'm

Blair Kaplan Venables:

wanting to buy holiday this year you need to master before I come to see you. cinnamon raisin bread done. And if you can make a gluten free even better, because I shouldn't eat bread. But one other exciting announcement. The project started off as the I am resilient project. The website is I am resilient dot info. But the name has evolved over the years. And unfortunately, our social media never was consistent with handles across it. I know I know. I'm a social media expert like how did I let that happen? I did. I just let it happen because that wasn't a priority. But I'm very proud to say that our Facebook and our Instagram have the same username and it's a new username and it is at global resilience community at global resilience community, and we're going to have an new domain for our website, I am resilient dot info is still going to go like if you put that in, you're still going to get there and we have a new domain. So I'm really excited our branding is enhancing and growing. And I don't know as a marketing expert that was just a fun little exciting tidbit. I was excited I texted Alana, I'm like I got I did it. It took a lot of tries to find something that was available on both Instagram and Facebook. We do have a Twitter account, but it's not currently active. So if you're on Twitter and you want to reach us, come find us on Instagram and Facebook or at our website. I'm resilient dot info. So thank you for following along our journey over the last year for tuning in for being our friends, for letting us into your ears. And for walking alongside us on this journey and for opening up your mind and your heart and sharing your stories if you have. Remember it is okay to not be okay. Life is hard. There's ups there's downs. Let us be the lighthouse in the storm. You are resilient. You got this.

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