Turning Fear into Curiosity: My Journey to Spirituality

Open. That was the word I chose on January 1st — the word that would define my intention for the year. At the time, I was laser focused on opening a brick and mortar location for the Happy Hour. It’s now February 13th, and boy oh boy, that word has taken on a whole new meaning to me.

Flashback to the first week in January. I had just begun training to become a Certified Holistic Life Coach. I’d been doing online classes for a while, but couldn’t get my act together to actually finish the requirements, so I decided to commit to the in-person training and just get it done. Being both a new business owner and a parent of two kids under three years old, productivity and efficiency were always at the forefront of my mind.

Ever since I did a 180 from my corporate job and started my health journey, I have considered myself a pretty intense person when it comes to anything self-care, mental health, and self-awareness related. I do the work; I regularly see a therapist, practice yoga, and read all the inspiring Instagram posts. I try all the new wellness stuff out there – and preach about it! I turned my life’s work into creating a company that promotes the kind of self-care and community that normalizes mental wellness, in the hopes of making the world a happier place. I think of myself as a happy person, because I am! But, I recently came face to face with issues that have been lurking beneath the surface, and holding me back in so many areas of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time uncovering and working through them over the years, but it wasn’t until Day 3 of Life Coach training that I had finally said “uncle,” and surrendered to my truth. We spent hours each day of training getting coached in a group and doing a lot of deep introspection. The idea being, that you can’t be an effective life coach if you aren’t aware of what’s going on inside of you… you can’t give what you don’t have.

Well, Day 3 is the day that something inside of me snapped. I can’t tell you what the final trigger was, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it happened. My typically buttoned-up, polished, MBA-trained self, broke down and confessed to the group that I was sick of it. I was sick of always being buttoned up. I was sick of being polished. I was sick of feeling closed off. I was sick of the pressure I put on myself to be perfect. SICK.OF.IT. The trainer took a breath, and masterfully responded with a quote that author Elizabeth Gilbert tweeted several years back:

I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.

Wow. I just got called out. And she hit the nail on the head. I promptly opened my journal to a fresh page, and titled it: “My Bullshit To Get Over ” and wrote a bulleted list of what I consider to be, well, my own bullshit. I noticed that there was a clear theme on my list – fear. Fear was driving so many of my decisions, and how I showed up in everyday life. What am I so afraid of? Why have I been letting fear take the wheel for so long? In that moment, I became determined to address this bullshit list head-on.

Breakthrough number two came on Day 4 of training, when the same trainer posed the question, “What spiritual rituals do you practice every day?” Cue the bead of sweat down my forehead. This question both sent me into a tailspin, and subsequently changed my life. As we went around the circle, it seemed that everyone had a number of beautifully articulated spiritual rituals that they practiced on a daily basis. As my peers spoke about these rituals, the peace and elation that accompanied their words were palpable. It was clear to see that they were vibrating on some other level that I didn’t know about. A club of which I wasn’t a part because I, on the other hand, didn’t even know what spiritual practice was. To be honest, I didn’t really know what the word ‘spiritual’ meant. Does this mean how pious you are? How often you pray to your higher power? How frequently you meditate? I believe in God, I pray as often as I think about it, I go to church sometimes… Where does that put me on this spiritual scale? To put it lightly, I was confused.

To answer her question, all I could muster up was, “ummmm, pass?”. The confusion and panic in my face became apparent to the group, so we took a step back to talk about the definition of spirituality. There is no one-size-fits all definition here, but the one that stuck to me was the one that defined spirituality as “anything that brings you closer to gratitude.” All of a sudden it didn’t feel like such a daunting task. Maybe I could do this after all.

You’d think that after years of trying any sort of self-development work I could get my hands on that I would’ve figured out a spiritual routine that brought me to my higher self, if you will. But I didn’t. That always bothered me, but I couldn’t figure out why. I put in the work, why am I not feeling the peace and spiritual connection I’m looking for?

What I’ve come to realize is that on the other side of this desire to become the best and happiest version of myself has been sitting a tremendous amount of fear, and when you let fear act as the guiding force in your decisions and actions, you are never going to be present enough to find that higher self that radiates positive energy (which is how I envision spirituality). Feeling simply content and confident that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. In my endeavor to become the best leader I could be, to become the most successful business person I could be, and the best parent I could be, I lost two things: my sense of self and my creativity. My spirituality, this ‘higher self,’ would never appear without those things. That’s not good enough for me anymore. Maybe what I find will look different than what I’ve envisioned, but I’m sure as hell not going to stand in the way of realizing my own spirituality, whatever that may look like, anymore.

What’s this about creativity though? Somewhere along the way in the past decade, after writing hundreds of pages of business case studies, memos, pitches, and the like, I lost my creativity. Or maybe just buried it deep beneath piles of excel spreadsheets and business lingo. I was so focused on producing and hitting deadlines that I didn’t allow time for anything creative. Sadly, I came to believe that I wasn’t creative, and told people all the time, “I’m just not a creative person.”

That’s where this blog comes into play. I’m combining the two things that have felt like a hole in my recent life: spirituality and creativity. This blog is an attempt to uncover the creativity that I buried a while back, while also saying goodbye to fear.  I’m jumping all in to new ways to heal what needs to be healed, and digging deeper into myself to reach that higher vibration I talked about.

Over the next few weeks I’ll bring you along with me as I try new things in hopes to shed some light on something you may have been curious about, but haven’t yet pushed ‘go’ on. I will be your guinea pig, so to speak.

As I’ve become more present through this spiritual journey, I’ve noticed how much my daughter reminds me of myself as a kid, spending hours reading books, getting so much joy from it, and using her imagination to make up fun stories. It pained me to ask myself why I ever stopped doing that. Why did I lose that child-like excitement about creativity? Reading and writing brought me so much joy. I’m giving it a whirl again, and my writing muscle is a good bit weaker than it once was, but I’m having a lot of fun giving it some attention.

I’m a month into this journey, and I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore, but also like I’m my true self for the first time in my life. I am beginning to remove those blocks. And the payoff has been incredible. By the way, that “List of My Own Bullshit” I mentioned earlier has kicked off my daily journaling practice as each day I write about how I’m going to get over my own BS that day, along with any other feelings that come up. And just like that, I’ve got my first daily spiritual ritual.

Building Better Boundaries

A good way to look at boundaries is that boundaries are the space between where you end and another person begins. Setting boundaries can protect you from toxic relationships and stress, while serving as a roadmap for those in your life to understand how you need to be treated – minimizing unnecessary friction in relationships. If left unchecked, a lack of boundaries can lead to tension, misunderstanding, and resentment.

So how do you know if you have a boundary issue? If any of these statements ring true, you could likely benefit from some work on your boundaries:

  • You fall hard and fast for new romantic partners (or friends) – before you’ve really gotten to know them.
  • You feel the need to explain yourself or get defensive – even when you don’t believe you’re at fault.
  • Just like Taylor Swift, you swear you don’t love the drama, but it loves you.
  • You often feel the need to “save” people. (You might refer to it as “helping”.)
  • You often feel taken advantage of, or underappreciated.
  • You seek validation or approval from others, and feel hurt if it isn’t readily given.

Healthy boundaries usually go hand-in-hand with a good sense of self-worth. If you know who you are and what you want, it’s easier to explain it to others. You’ll also be much more comfortable enforcing your boundaries, if you aren’t looking for validation from others.


Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.

Brené Brown


So what does that mean for you, if you have lower self esteem? The great news is, that while the act of setting and communicating your boundaries might make you feel uncomfortable, or guilty at first, with practice, enforcing your boundaries will help build your self-esteem and self-identity. And the stronger your identity, the less likely you’ll be to sacrifice yourself in order to enable others or make them comfortable.


How to begin to set boundaries:

  • Identify your limits, and name them. Journaling is great for this!
  • Pay attention to when you feel hurt or resentment. Chances are a boundary has been crossed.
  • Communicate your boundaries clearly. You’re not required to explain yourself, but when setting new boundaries in an existing relationship, it can be helpful to the other person if you explain your feelings.
  • Give yourself permission to say no, and don’t feel the need to explain it, or make up an excuse.
  • Remove yourself from situations when triggered.
  • Take responsibility for your own happiness (this might involve checking in on your inner child – if you need a refresher, check out our blog on re-parenting here)
  • Allow others to be responsible for their own happiness.

Learning to set boundaries is an empowering act of self-care – protecting your time, energy and emotional wellbeing. The tricky thing with boundaries is to remember that they are a two-way street. This means, if you draw a line in the sand that others aren’t allowed to step over, that means it’s best if you don’t step over it either.

You might be good at communicating your needs, and saying “no”. But if you know you have a bit of a people-pleasing streak, be careful not to end up doing the very thing to which you initially said ‘no.’ . This can create gray areas where neither you nor the other person are 100% clear on who is responsible for what. Not only do you begin to lose your sense of identity, but you’re signaling that your boundaries are fluid, which opens up the door for others to disrespect them down the line.

But aren’t relationships about compromise, you ask? Well, yes, when the compromise involves give and take. If you have had a healthy conversation with a loved one about both of your boundaries, and you have both identified places where you’re willing to make sacrifices because you want to, then you can adjust your boundaries. Just make sure you’re adjusting for the right reasons. Fearing that your partner might leave you, or being guilted into something you’re uncomfortable with are red flags.

If someone reacts negatively to you communicating your boundaries, it’s either that they benefited from you not having any before and the relationship was more one-sided than you would have liked to admit, or maybe they just need time to adjust to the new relationship dynamic and the role that they play. We often forget that when we work on ourselves it can feel threatening to those we are close to. Our growth could be shining a light on the areas where they feel stuck, which could make them feel uncomfortable. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you need to adjust your boundaries – it just means that others aren’t always able to meet you where you are – they might have to do some growth of their own first.

From Blame to Gratitude

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Tony Robbins knows a thing or two about the power of a positive mindset. Recently, he blew our minds with a really simple, but powerful shift in perspective that involves finding the growth and gratitude in your hurt. Very few people in this world are evil to the core. It’s possible for someone to betray you in an unforgivable way, but to have also added value to your life. That’s where “blaming effectively” comes in.

We’ve all had a wide spectrum of people hurting us to varying degrees. Maybe your manager took credit for your work? Or a family member was disrespectful? Or a partner was unfaithful? Whatever it is, you’ve likely reached a breaking point where you got good and angry at the person for overstepping your boundaries and/or disregarding your feelings. Even if you received an apology, you might still harbor a little resentment. If you’re having trouble finding closure, maybe it’s time to not only claim the anger you feel for the person who wronged you, but also to claim the power in the lesson that wrong taught you.

First of all, it’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to hold people accountable for their actions, sometimes even to the point of cutting them off – but be thoughtful and fair with your blame. The other side of blaming someone for your troubles, is the acknowledgment that their actions were a catalyst for your growth. It’s also so important to blame others for the specific things they did to betray you, being careful not to romanticize the situation and hold a grudge about a fantasy future that may not have happened with or without the betrayal. 

Not only does blaming effectively help you to avoid the toxicity of villainizing someone, but it helps you to recognize the value in the lessons their negative actions taught you, and how you’ve grown as a result. For example, when talking about his abusive mother, Robbins said, “If she had been the mother I wanted, I would not be the man I am proud to be.”

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying it’s necessary to allow others to walk all over you in the spirit of personal growth, nor are we suggesting that you should be thankful for a betrayal. What we’re talking about is honoring the entirety of a relationship, instead of focusing only on the negative – allowing you to embrace your boundaries, as well as gratitude, growth and forgiveness.

This amazing shift in perspective makes it easier to forgive and move on – for your own sake. By allowing you to see the positive change in yourself (or the opportunity for growth), it allows you to let go of resentment. Because let’s be real, hanging on to resentment hurts you a lot more than the person you’re angry with.

By finding gratitude in the lessons we learn while navigating our relationship problems, they don’t have to be a source of ongoing pain. As Robbins said, “Problems are what make us grow. Problems are what sculpt our soul. Problems are what make us become more.”

Learning to Parent Yourself


In our last blog, we discussed what ‘reparenting’ is and why we could all benefit from it. It’s definitely worth the read, as it explains some of the terminology we’ll be using in this post. So if you missed it, check it out here. (Cliff’s notes: it’s about learning to support yourself in a way that empowers you to identify and move past emotional triggers and toxic behaviors.)

How the heck do I ‘reparent’  myself, you ask? We’re getting to it, but first it’s important to understand some of the ground rules about your inner child and your inner parent.

Keep in mind that your inner parent’s intentions are pure, and they are trying to protect your inner child from pain.

The problem is that your inner child’s pain needs to be seen and acknowledged, otherwise it can manifest itself in unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-sabotaging behavior.

Not unlike how toddlers have a penchant for lashing out about not getting enough attention by drawing all over their parents’ freshly painted white walls.

That’s why in order to reparent ourselves we need to work both on our inner parent and our inner child at the same time.

Let’s take a look at our inner child (that subpersonality that comes into play when you feel hurt), because they have needs too. Some of them are:

  • Needing to be seen and heard.
  • Needing to feel loved and valued for who you are.
  • Needing a sense of belonging and connection.
  • Needing to feel safe.

In pursuit of helping your inner child bury pain, your inner parent might use the following tactics:

  • Denial – If you don’t recognize your pain, it can’t hurt you, but you also can’t work through it.
  • Anger – Uncovering denial can leave you feeling fired up, angry and frustrated with yourself… and others.
  • Resentment – a.k.a. Anger’s passive-aggressive cousin who tends to dig in his heels and overstay his welcome.
  • Self-blame – a.k.a. the root of people pleasing behavior. You might rationalize others’ behavior when they hurt you, and put the onus on yourself to make yourself “more acceptable” to others in the hopes of receiving the type of love your inner child needs.

Yes, it’s hard work, but some mindful reparenting exercises can make a big difference. Next time you feel triggered by something, go through this exercise. Pro tip: journaling is a great way to process these thoughts, but if you don’t have a pen and paper handy, an inner monologue works well too!

  1. Bring your full attention to your feelings and not the trigger. 
  2. Ask yourself how old you feel. If you don’t know, instead try to remember your earliest memory of that feeling, or what taught you to feel that way as a child.
  3. Stop and check in with yourself. Remember those layers of protection we mentioned? They might make it difficult to identify what your inner child is feeling, but sitting with your feelings and giving yourself permission to feel them deeply can help to identify the wound your inner child has been suppressing, allowing your inner child to be seen (one of their needs!).
  4. Allow yourself to engage in a little role play – ask your inner child to tell you exactly how they feel, and don’t allow yourself or your inner parent to try to rationalize the situation or downplay your inner child’s feelings.
  5. Ask your inner child what they need from your inner parent to heal from what happened.
  6. Visualize your inner child receiving what they need from your inner parent. It can be helpful the name the pain and burdens your inner child is carrying.
  7. Now ask your inner child if they’re ready to let go of these burdens, and if not, why? What is your inner child afraid will happen? Work through those fears.

By working through the layers of the emotions behind your triggers, you’ll begin to identify the root of your toxic behaviors and unhealthy relationships. You might even uncover some you weren’t aware of. This can be daunting – not unlike the last 5 minutes of an intense workout, when every part of you wants to quit and go home. Persevering when trying to identify the roots of your triggers is similar to pushing through those last few burpees, that once done, leave you feeling fan-freakin-tastic, with a knock-on positive effect on the rest of your day.

Once you know what your inner child needs, you’ll be able to use your inner parent to self-soothe when triggered. This will help you to navigate life more smoothly, and rely less heavily on others for your emotional needs to be met.

When you do work on yourself that involves digging deep into the cobwebs of your psyche and clearing out the dust bunnies of your soul, you’ll discover new incredible new strengths and clarity, and maybe some wounds that can make you subconsciously go on the defensive. These defense mechanisms may be so good at burying your pain, that you could become frustrated, lose motivation and give up halfway through the process. If this is the case, or if you suffered abuse, it is a great idea to work with a therapist to help guide you, support you, and celebrate your breakthroughs with you.

While reparenting can be an investment in time and emotions, there are also simple steps you can take to reparent yourself every day, some of which take up less than 1 minute.

Here are some of our favorite ways to heal wounds by consciously acting in your best interest:

  • Give yourself permission to validate your own feelings and emotions. When you find yourself wanting external validation, turn inwards to your inner child and find out why. Honor the needs of your inner child.
  • Allow your inner child to be curious, to learn, and to play. This could be lipsync battling with your BFFs, or starting a that hobby you’ve always been curious about.
  • Work on some some self-discipline. Set yourself small, attainable goals each day. These could be as simple as making your bed, washing the dishes before you go to sleep, or setting a time limit to social media. These don’t seem like much, but they are building a foundation of responsibility that will help you to develop the more challenging habits that will ultimately help you reach your personal, professional and emotional goals.
  • Give yourself permission to set and maintain boundaries.
  • Eat balanced, nutritious meals. Remember how you parents insisted that you eat your greens? Turns out they were right!
  • Give yourself a bedtime. Prioritize a healthy sleep schedule.

Most importantly, allow yourself to be imperfect. Take a moment to remind yourself of all the amazing things you are accomplishing all of the time. The work you do for yourself is challenging, but so worth it.


  • Self-Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy, by Jay Early, Ph.D.
  • Parenting Yourself Again: Love Yourself the Way You’ve Always Wanted to Be Loved, by Yong Kang Chan

What the Heck is Reparenting?


You’ve probably noticed the term ‘reparenting’ coming up in mental wellness discussions recently, and there’s a good chance you’re as curious as we were when we first learned about it – can I really change the impact of my upbringing? Do I really want to?

In this two blog series, we’re going to break down what reparenting is, how we all could benefit from it, and how to actually do it. BTW, the need to reparent doesn’t mean your parents did a bad job or that you had a bad childhood. It’s simply a chance to improve your thought processes to make for a happier life.

In a nutshell, reparenting is the process of healing from previous emotional wounds by making small, intentional choices to act in a way that helps you to achieve your goals. Essentially, it is learning to love and support yourself in a way that allows you to identify and move past emotional triggers and toxic behaviors such as self-sabotage, people pleasing, substance abuse, and the need for external validation.

Our minds have the incredible ability to help us cope with different situations without us even knowing about it. One way they do this is by creating subpersonalities in your mind that let you look at things from different perspectives, and draw upon different parts of your experiences to make informed decisions.

Reparenting deals with our subpersonalities known as the ‘inner child’ and the ‘inner parent’. (These names are purely descriptive and far less important than their function, so if a name doesn’t feel right to you – rename it – it’s your subpersonality after all!)

Your inner child is a close acquaintance of another subpersonality that most of us are all too familiar with: ‘the inner critic’. When your inner critic shows up and you begin to put yourself down, there’s usually another part of you that feels hurt, embarrassed or disappointed – the subpersonality that feels pain in that situation is your inner child.

The emotional wounds of your youth don’t need to be catastrophic events, or even anything that stands out in particular. It could be something as simple as a parent not acknowledging your reality or your feelings. Were you ever told to “just put on a happy face” when you were upset? Over time, these seemingly uneventful events could teach you not to trust yourself.

Your inner parent is the subpersonality that most resembles your parents, or other authority figures of your youth. Much like your actual parents, your inner parent will both praise and criticize you in an attempt to safely guide you through life. When your inner parent doesn’t take care of your inner child, your inner child holds onto your emotional memories and resentment. When triggered, this pain will manifest itself as irrational, toxic, or self-sabotaging behaviors.

Let’s be real, although our parents had the best intentions, no one can be perfect all the time. The harm caused by parents is often unintentional and can be tough to pinpoint (this is different, however, in cases of abuse). It could be something as subtle as a young girl watching her mother struggle with her own low self-esteem related to her appearance, something with which many of us can relate. The very same low self-esteem could manifest itself as a subconsciously learned behavior in the girl as she gets older.

The cool thing about reparenting is that it gives you an opportunity to bring that subconsciously learned behavior to your conscious, and then choosing to learn a new behavior, improving your quality of life.

In the next installment of this series, we’ll share some simple steps to get started reparenting yourself – some of which take up less than a minute of your day!  We’ll also be sharing tips about when to work with your therapist on this topic. Check it out here!


  • Self-Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy, by Jay Early, Ph.D.
  • Parenting Yourself Again: Love Yourself the Way You’ve Always Wanted to Be Loved, by Yong Kang Chan

Mental Health and Crisis Resources

The Happy Hour’s goal is to make the world a happier place, one conversation at a time, and we’d love to talk to you! Until we have a physical location, please feel free to contact us at info@thisishappyhour.com and we’ll help put you touch with the support you need.

Read on for a variety of mental health resources from lifelines, to useful information, our favorite apps, and other inspiration.

If you have experienced a natural disaster or mass violence, are in crisis, or are thinking about harming yourself, please know that you are loved, and you are not alone – there is always someone to talk to. At this stage, we are not able to monitor our inbox 24 hours a day, so please call one of the the numbers below. If talking feels overwhelming, there is also a Crisis Text Line listed.

The Disaster Distress Helpline



Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



If you know someone that might be in crisis, let them know that they’re important to you and that you are there to listen. Try not to give advice, but rather remain a trusted listener, and refer them to the resources above.



Content and tools that we find interesting, inspiring and helpful

A Day to Celebrate Our Mental Health


“We all have mental health – just as we all have physical health. It is so important that we look after our mental wellbeing in the same way that we look after our physical health.” – Prince Harry

Today is World Mental Health Day and we plan to celebrate how far the conversation around mental health has come. Even in the short time we have been working on building out The Happy Hour, the topic of mental health has become so much more common and accepted. Mental health issues affect every single one of us to some degree – and the world is finally talking about it openly and with understanding.

Talking to someone is key to good mental health. It should be just as easy to talk to someone as it is to drop into your favorite yoga class. The Happy Hour thinks it’s time that mental health services came to Main Street.

We want people to see how taking care of their mental health can fit right alongside their favorite self care services. We want everyone to have the same pride in taking the time to talk to someone as they do when they take the time to get a massage or work on their abs.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day, we’d like to share some content and tools we personally find interesting, inspiring and helpful.

We hope you do too.

Calm App
Insight Timer App
Guided Meditations from UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
To Write Love on Her Arms
Born This Way Foundation
Sarah Silverman on Her Struggle with Depression
Kristen Bell on Anxiety and Depression

If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone that might be, please know that you do matter, you are loved, and you are not alone – there is always someone to talk to. 
24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255