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Episode # 544   Kelly McGrath Martinsen - A Year of Inspired Living

About The Episode:

Have you ever written a letter to yourself? What would it be about if you had to do it now? On today’s brand new episode of The Inspiration Show, my guest and author of the book “A Year of Inspired Living”, Kelly McGrath Martinsen, shares how encouraging her readers to write letters to themselves has helped them develop greater awareness of their relationships and journeys. Don’t watch this episode unless you’re ready to go deep in self-reflection!

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Episode # 544 Kelly McGrath Martinsen - A Year of Inspired Living

NL: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. Today on the show I have a very special guest who has written a new book which is kind of like a manual for life. I know that with the book she has a lot of her own personal experiences which some of them are quite funny as well and I think that there are stories that we can all put ourselves into, but it really helps you to be able to create your own story and take responsibility for your personal development which is fantastic. But before I introduce my special guest today let me just remind you that after the show is over, if you click on the link below the video you can take my 30-second quiz, so we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So please help me welcome my special guest Kelly McGrath Martinsen. How are you, Kelly?

KM:  Hi, how are you, thanks for having me.

NL: So great to have you here. So your book is called A Year of Inspired Living. So tell me the story behind the book and how you got to actually--- putting this together and writing it.

KM: So I’ve been writing this book, um it really wasn’t a book when I first started writing it. It was really more um writing to myself. I published a magazine, a wellness magazine, called Natural Awakenings and it was required to do publisher letters. And these publisher letters, I would write a sort of real letters to myself on any topic, you know, if I was doing a February magazine, it would be about love and maybe I'd talk about loving myself a bit more or maybe about, you know, handling my partner with more love. Those kinds of things but I was always sort of talking to myself. The response I got from the letters was kind of overwhelming, people kept saying "Oh you're talking to me or you hit the nail on the head". So then I started compiling the letters and expanding on them and created this book and for a while, it sat in my closet and I didn’t send it out to publishers because I kept saying it’s really not ready. I just didn’t know what it was that made it not ready and it dawned on me that self-development itself, right stuff, is the key. So I needed for the readers that that self that person to the page to write on every topic and I discussed there are pages for the reader, the journal. Their experience with the topic.

NL: Right. So it sounds like a very interactive experience and it’s A Year of Inspired Living. So does it take the reader a year to get through the book?

KM: Well, it could. You know it’s funny because it’s been out a few months now and I’ve had feedback. So it’s written in the way that you would take a year. You would do one subchapter a week. So it starts, you know, the book opens in January but you could certainly open it whenever you buy it. If you buy it in February, open it in February, and there’s a letter on a topic on anything, again February is a lot about love and then March and then April and then May and goes through. What I’m hearing from a lot of people so far is that they’ve read it straight through and tell me they really like it and they want more, I like that part. But that then they're going back. So that's what I've seen on my Amazon reviews. I didn't anticipate that. I wrote it so that they dig it little by little. I wrote it to give people a chance to pause, you know, take a breath, pause, write your experiences but the feedback seems to be they’re reading straight through and going back and doing the exercises.

NL: Great. So tell me some of the subjects that you cover in the book.

KM:   So we cover, I cover, everything from conscious eating, just being aware, you know, not mindless eating, exercise, death, family, heartbreak, forgiveness. In the Forgiveness chapter, I’m getting a lot of feedback because it's not just forgiveness of other people but also forgiveness of maybe of our own self, maybe things that I did at sixteen that I’m not proud of and are still sort of haunting me and being part of me. That chapter had seemed to resonate with a lot of people because of the feedback on my blog or my Facebook that they're connecting with that. I mean, but it's not all serious, I also talk about dog poop and wishing that people would pick it up. Yes. So it’s from everything, there’s discussion on the PTA mom, to you know, the death of my sister, which was a harrowing thing to my son being sick. It’s a bunch of stuff.

NL: Alright, so there’s a couple of things you said that I want to drill that a little bit deeper on. So well, let’s talk about forgiveness, because it’s a really big, it is a big issue but what I heard you saying was more about forgiving yourself you know and getting to a place of... So let’s expand a little bit on that.

KM: Yeah. Yeah, sure. So I don’t think I even realized that I have things that I wasn’t forgiving myself for until I started writing. When I started writing and started looking back like on my own past my own history, and there were silly things like maybe being a bully when I was 13 like I think at that time I didn’t even know it. I didn’t have guidance. I was going along with the crowd. It's not until I have my own 13-year-old and I'm witnessing it and I'm saying Oh my God I was, you know, a little bit of the B word it could be bully or another B word, but that’s what I was. And I was angry at myself and still holding that like how could I be that. And then we’re angry at ourselves for other things from mistakes we make you know and I think that everybody does it. We hold it way back here and then it governs who we are then we’re gone shy, then we’re not as our true self because we’re hiding this little secret. I was not such a nice kid or I was a brat or I did something where I stole from a store when I was 16, whatever it is that you’re just sort of ashamed of and it can be big things, we just we hold that and I find it easier to, we find it easier to forgive others for huge transgressions against us but the littlest thing ah we will beat ourselves up over and it’s nice to say I forgive you, Kelly and to write it. Just say, you know, what I’m gonna get over it. I’m gonna forgive that.

NL: Yeah. Absolutely. And you mentioned something before l which I haven’t heard mentioned before which is mindless eating – what is that.

KM:  Mindless eating, that's what I do a lot. Um, you know, not being conscious when you're eating. You know, being in front of the TV you're eating or being, you know, on the phone call and you're eating and you know one good signal for me is I love coffee. Coffee is one of my favorite things. I just enjoy my cup of coffee and what I've realized that I microwaved it which I had a microwave or reboil it or somehow heated it up for the fourteenth time, I realized I have just been unconscious today because I love my coffee I should drink it while it's warm, while it's fresh, and you know to do the same thing with high calories, you know, Nachos, as you say okay I’m just gonna have one or two. I deserve that little indulgence and then you know you’re just not looking, you’re watching Netflix, you’re binging Netflix, you’re binging the nachos. The conscious eating isn’t really about a diet. It’s not about restricting yourself. It’s just being aware and present when you’re eating. I mean, I guess we should be aware and present whatever we’re doing, but I think eating, you know, is really important.

NL: Yeah. It’s like, why don’t you get one of those bags of you know chips or whatever it is and you know, and it’s one of those it seems to have a hole in the bottom of it because you know, you start with only one and next time you know it’s empty you’re like mmm what happened.

KM: Where did it go? Exactly, and then and then you go back to forgiving yourself or just binging like that.

NL: Um, now I know that you do include a lot of your, you know, your personal stories, can you share one of them with us, like you know, something that you do get a lot of feedback on, that people can really identify with.

KM: Sure, so I…there’s lot of different stories, but I think that the ones that I hear the most feedback on one is a very, it’s a funny funny-ish one. It’s about narcissism and how as a society, you know, and I’m guilty of it too. I talked about how, you know, how narcissistic I can be because I’ll see something on Facebook, you know, and people, stuff, on Facebook for, you know, it’s for their whole fans but you, whole friends, but you think it’s about you, it’s literally written to you and so when I talk about that, how that the selfie generation, or the selfie environment, that we’re living, we all think everything is about us and I use a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt and I say you wouldn’t care what people are thinking about you, you realize how infrequently they are thinking about you and that chapter gets a lot of, you know, Wow, great point ,I have to remember that because we do kind of get caught up in ourselves. We had you know, it’s ego, it’s narcissism. I’m guilty of it. I’m, you know, we just get caught up. So that chapter has really resonated and then I’ve had some like I mentioned I had some I guess adversity. I’ve had house gone on fire, I’ve had hurricane Sandy destroy 1/3 of my house and my husband had a bout of cancer. Those chapters do resonate, I think my sister is probably the one that also really resonates. My sister’s 14 years older than me and so I talk about that in the book, that when you have a sister that’s 14 years older than you when she is, you know 21 years you’re 7, so there’s not that much in common. You know, finally she died at 50, by that time we had stuff in common, was when the cancer had taken her in it by the time we had gotten so close that our age no longer was an interference. That’s when we were close and that’s when she was taken away from me. I talk about grieving process but I also talked about how initially when she was older than me she was a gardener. She gardened and she gardened and she’d still want to talk to me about gardening and I was like going clubbing. What would I care about a garden. I had no interest. She’d tell me about her flowers. I would be rolling my eyes on the phone and you know then fast forward in my 30s I get my own house and have my own little garden and you know just when I have my garden and need her and I need her for advice and the gardens kind of you know analogy for my life because I was also having kids just like she did so many years I have. To me it was just like when I had my garden and my family and my life and my career, all these things that I needed to talk to her about she wasn’t there and for awhile I would try not to think about her which sounds odd because it was too painful you know and the chapter in April about that I really talked about not blocking those memories and not you know it’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to miss somebody. It’s okay to out of nowhere feel like you’re gonna cry and it took me a while to realize that and you know I talked in the chapter about I realize that when I’m in the garden that, mind you, I have a terrible one, she had a terrific one, I had a terrible one, and yes I claimed it that she’s not here but I also think that what I’m doing the garden, I’m probably not even really looking to grow anything. I’m probably just there because that’s where I feel closest to her, and I just want to hear her voice through that garden. Just want to even, even if it’s just to say really Kelly you called out a garden, that’s what I’m there for and that’s, you know, I just say to embrace those things and I talk about embracing the memories, the, the pictures, not to hide those things away from you, you know, and those were probably the two chapters that really have seemed to you know resonate.

NL: Absolutely. And you talk about manifestation as well. What’s your take on that?

KM: What was that?

NL: You talk about manifestation as well.

KM: Oh yeah. Yeah So I talked about it I believe in manifestation wholeheartedly but I also, you know, so I need a lot of people in my industry in the natural health and wellness industry and a lot of people say law of attraction is something you definitely believe you get what you put out there but in my travels I’ve met some people who are so focused on the law of attraction that they forget the part about doing the work and doing, you know, cleaning in the effort and you know so I always say believe in the law of attraction light like, yes, we have to be grateful because if you live grateful they’re, you know, more things to be grateful for come your way. I believe that wholeheartedly, but I think we also have to put effort and work, you know, even just writing the book was a great experience but now I have to market, you know, and it couldn’t just put it out there that I wanted on the best sellers list although I do, I can’t just say, Oh I want it out there and so it shall be. I have to do the interviews, meet amazing people like you, you know, so I say that the law of attraction is important and critical really to reframing the way you think and that if you couple that with hard work, I think success is yours to be had.

NL: Yeah, I know, I agree. Well, that's a lot of what we teach about here at Mind Movies. You know, we talk about yes, being able to be clear about what it is, being able to see it in your mind, but then taking the action so that you're creating that momentum, because you don't get to meet the right people, you don't get to have those, you know, chance conversations if you're sitting on the couch, yeah. So tell me how, like, and if, someone’s gonna purchase the book, how do you see is the best way for them to utilize the information.

KM: How do I see them utilizing the book does that mean?

NL: Yeah.

KM: You know I think the ideal way to utilize it is to when you purchase it when you grab the book is to identify that this book is your permission to pause. I say that a lot, say it in the book, say it right now, um people binge everything we just talked about; binging Doritos, people binge food, people binge Netflix shows or YouTube shows. We’re such a binge society and even when I’m seen with this book is some people say oh I can’t wait I’m gonna read the whole thing. So there is this sort of binge thing that I’m trying to stop with it and I’m hoping that when they use the book they use the blank sheets for permission to pause and I almost actually called the book permission to pause because I think sometimes we need to provide ourselves some permission to pause, to publish ourselves. So, like I, my knowledge is I publish a magazine so I pick up the picture I think out the covers I’ve got the articles I put everything together that I want to use to present the magazine what I wanted to say and so the idea around this book is don’t we all publish ourselves you know don’t we choose the clothes we wear, the haircuts we’re gonna get, the words we’re gonna use. That religion we’re gonna practice you know, we choose all of this to publish ourselves so shouldn’t we just pause and say okay before I move forward I’m going to out into this universe with a, you know, a positive outlook with the law of attraction you know mindset with forgiveness of my own errors that are gonna occur so you know that’s the idea, book is really to pause and think about all the different ways you can publish yourself.

NL: Yeah, I know I agree. So the book is called A Year of Inspired Living- Essays and Exercises for Self-reflection. So Kelly where can we send people to get their hands on the book or to connect with you?

KM: Yeah, sure so I’m the books available at and it’s also, you can connect with me, you know, on Instagram or or Facebook. I’m sort of, I’m on social and kind of what, we’ve got a website. Amazon is the completely easiest way to get the book because it just right there.

NL: Well, Kelly, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been an awesome pleasure talking to you. Awesome.

KM: Appreciate the time. I do. Thank you so much.

NL: You’re welcome. Now, guys, I encourage you to share this video. Please help us get the word out. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. And also don’t forget you've got the banner to the side where you'll see you can go straight through to Kelly's website or we have a link underneath the video and after the show is over don’t forget so if you’re watching this live on Facebook or on our YouTube channel afterwards you can just click the link below the video to take my 30-second quiz so we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.

A Year of Inspired Living



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