"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 31 — Travis Cooper on the power of authentic movement

Travis Cooper is one of those people you can tell is a dancer just be seeing him walk down the street.

He carries himself with such presence, grace, and fierceness — and as I mention on the intro, has a truly magnetic (except LOL I said infectious because I couldn't think of the right word, ehhh #getvaccinated and use “magnetic” instead 😜) personality to match.

I was delighted to get to know Travis in this interview, and I know you'll feel the same way! We talk about his spiritual path from Christianity to atheism to seeking out what a more authentic spirituality, and how his emotional and spiritual growth have impacted the way he views his dharma as a dancer and choreographer.

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

About Travis Cooper

Travis Cooper is a choreographer, dance educator, and lover of movement based in Nashville, TN. Dance is often the medium he uses to connect and empower the people around him. He believes that one of the best ways you can honor yourself and the world around you is by living authentically!

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 30 — randomness, synchronicity, & the law of attraction

If you're fascinated by topics like synchronicity, coincidences, manifesting, and the Law of Attraction, this episode is for you.

In this solo podcast episode, I'm trying out a new format and sharing with you one of my favorite blog posts I've written, via audio for those of y'all like me who aren't doing too much reading online these days. Click here to read the full text!

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

WholeYou podcast ep. 02 - morning routines & building habits


Lauren Fowler and I are back for episode #2 of WholeYou: The Mind + Body + Spirit Show!

Thank you all so much for your support and comments on our first episode on body image and self-compassion. We really appreciate you taking the time to listen and share your thoughts. If you like the show, subscribe on iTunes to make sure you always get the latest episodes!

We decided to chat about morning routines for our second episode because this is a topic — and a self-care practice — that both of us are hugely passionate about.

Taking time in the morning (even just a few minutes) for self-care can be a powerful way to set up your day rather than rushing into emails and work first-thing. The beauty of it is that you can build a morning routine that will work for YOU and fits your unique needs and personality. So have fun exploring some of the morning rituals we mention, then create a routine that you enjoy!

Hop on over to Instagram and share an image of something from YOUR morning routine with the hashtag #wholeyou!

Lauren and I had a blast chatting in this episode about:

  • Our personal morning routines and how they’ve evolved
  • The power of movement in the morning
  • How to build a meditation practice
  • Why sleep is so important for morning routines
  • Why flexibility is essential for morning routines
  • How to build habits that work for you
  • How to discover your natural habit-building tendency – Are you a questioner? Obliger? Rebel? Upholder?

We’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, so if you take a listen, please leave a comment with anything you connected to or any questions or ideas you have. 

You can listen on SoundCloud below (streaming or download) or over at iTunes!

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Show Notes and Quotes

More from Valerie

More from Lauren

*Music credit for our mini theme song is Little Idea from Bensound.com. Thanks, Ben!

recommitting is not sexy... but it is beautifully human.

recommitting As humans, we like to go big or go home. Even when it comes to basic behavior change, we want to make a splash.

We'll wait for the “right time" before we decide to really commit (or recommit) to something.

Here’s how it often sounds:

  • I’ll start eating better on Monday. (My colleague endearingly refers to this common phrasing as “Monday people”)
  • I’ll start sleeping better next week after this project.
  • I’ll stop smoking at the end of this pack/ the end of this month.
  • I’ll start saving money when I get a raise.
  • I’ll start exercising as a New Year’s Resolution.
  • I’ll clean out clutter when the next neighborhood garage sale rolls around.

And the list goes on.

I, for one, have made some pretty kickass changes in the past year. I started waking up earlier (and usually going to bed earlier), blogging consistently, working out more regularly than ever before, meditating daily, and switching to a pescetarian style of eating (can you tell I hate the word “diet”?). I’ve taken on oodles of new interests and hobbies, like learning about and experimenting with essential oils and flower essences, tarot and oracle cards, crystals (okay, yeah, I’m a total hippie), getting ready to cut a band demo, gearing up for yoga teacher training this fall, writing and releasing an eBook, and getting more involved with my UU church.

And all in all, I’ve done a pretty damn good job at sticking with the habit/behavior changes and digging into the learning and exploration. But make no mistake — I am so NOT immune to the gravitational pull that is AUTOPILOT.

In the past several weeks, I’ve been slowly but surely taking an inventory of my life and noticing where I need to make some mini-adjustments: I had been slacking recently on blogging once/week. I had started snoozing my phone alarm multiple times, or lying in bed surfing email and Facebook for 20 minutes before getting up. I’ve been hot-and-cold with journaling. I’d find myself tethered to a computer most of the day on a Saturday, when I should be out adventuring. I’d nervously chew at my nails and compulsively check my phone for lord-knows-what. I’d stress myself out searching through different yoga videos for 10 minutes trying choose “just the right one” to do (counterproductive, much?)

Gradually, I’ve been recommitting. I’ve been making little adjustments bit by bit, not as a dramatic changes and not all at once. In her new book Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin dives deep into the study of habits and all the factors that contribute to successful habit formation. I haven’t yet read the book (may wait for the paperback to release), but I’ve listened to numerous recent podcast interviews in which Gretchen discusses the key concepts. One of the ideas she talks about is that some of us do well with making more dramatic changes/commitments (like “I don’t exercise, so I’m going to sign-up for this marathon in 4 months and train everyday!”), and some of us fare better with more gradual shifts (“Maybe I’ll sign up for Couch to 5k and plan to get in 2-3 jogs a week and a yoga class.”) It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing, and you have to be honest with yourself about which way works best for YOU.

In one blog post, Rubin writes,

"Some people have better success changing a habit when they start small. A series of small but real accomplishments gives them the energy and confidence to continue. For instance, a person who wants to write a novel might resolve to write one sentence each day. Or a person who wants to start running might resolve to run for one minute. This approach is often emphasized as the best way to form a habit. But in fact … some people do better when they’re more ambitious. Sometimes, counter-intuitively, it’s easier to make a major change than a minor change. When a habit is changing very gradually, we may lose interest, give way under stress, or dismiss the change as insignificant. A big transformation creates excitement and energy and a sense of progress, and that helps to create a habit."

I am a “big change” person. (Apparently so is Steve Jobs, because that blog post goes on to quote him as having said, “I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why.” I can be like Steve Jobs plz?) And I like that about myself. Dramatic and sudden changes are exciting…that is, until it’s time to REcommit.

Recommitting is not sexy. It’s not revolutionary or exciting. Our all-or-nothing brains don’t like the idea, either. They want to say, “meh, I tried the running thing. It went great for a while but it’s fizzled out, so time to move on to the next thing.” (By the way, it’s kind of hilarious that I’m using running as the example because I loathe running, but I figure it’s a pretty universal example. *shrug*)

But recommitting is also beautifully human. So that’s what I’m doing. And I challenge you to ask yourself right now — what is it that YOU need to recommit to? What micro-adjustments need to be made to your already-fairly-good-but-maybe-fizzling habits?

And if you’re looking for support in getting back on track with habit changes, or starting one in the first place, head on over to my coaching page to learn about working with me 1on1.