It is a must to feed your soul on a regular basis to live a fulfilling life. But with so much to do every single day, you may be neglecting to do this, making your daily routine dull and repetitive. Cayla Brooke is here to share her practical approach to feeding the soul with Bree Noble. She explains how to set connection points and boosters throughout a 90-day period, which includes a wide range of tasks focused on self-care and development. Cayla explains how bringing intentionality and spontaneity can make your life much more exciting and meaningful without having to adopt an extravagant lifestyle. She also discusses how her plan can help build better and deeper relationships with other people and avoid getting drowned in burnout.
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How Intention And Spontaneity Can Feed Your Soul With Cayla Brooke
I am here with my friend, Cayla Brooke. I was thinking. We may have known each other for a couple of years. She started out having her music played on Women of Substance, and then I started having her in some of my programs. She’s my community manager for the Female Musician Community. I’ve gotten to know her even more. I’m seeing all of her talents in looking at things in very different and interesting ways and teaching things that no one else is talking about. That’s what I’m excited for her to do for you guys.
She gave a training for our community and I was like, “I need to have this on the show.” It’s not only a different perspective on how you can be more effective and eventually more profitable with the idea of feeding your soul which we’re going to talk about, but she really represents some practical ways that you can do that. It’s not just a mindset shift. It is something that you can implement into your life. Before we get into that, Cayla, I would love to have you give them a brief background on yourself as a musician and how you came to this feeding your soul idea.
I’m really excited to be here and to be on the show again with you, Bree. It’s always a pleasure and an honor. My name is Cayla Brooke. I am a singer and a songwriter from Canada. I was in BC for most of my life, but I moved to Alberta, so I’m an Alberta gal. I’m going to look for a good cowboy hat and do all of that sort of thing. Feeding my soul, where that came from, is I did a show a few years back, probably before the pandemic. At the end of it, and you might have felt this way before when you’ve done things, I felt fantastic for about seven days. I felt content and fulfilled. The only words that I could describe it is that my soul had been fed.
I couldn’t figure out why this concert made all the difference because I’ve done tons of concerts and they don’t always feel that way. I couldn’t figure out what that was so I started to write down what it was about that concert and what was different about it compared to other things. I also started to keep track of my good days, what I was doing, and why I started to feel that way. I started to keep track of the days that I felt crappy and what I was doing on those days.
Eventually, I started to come up with this pattern. I realized that I had found a key to feeding your soul on a regular basis so that we start living a life that feels more fulfilled. We’re not always chasing the rabbit or whatever it is or that wheel of life that we can get in, but we’re living it purposefully and enjoying it. That is really important to me. When I discovered it, I started to want to share it with everybody because I thought it was such a beautiful thing. That’s where it all came from.
That’s awesome. I have had those experiences where a concert puts you on a high. Also, that interaction with your audience and things like that and you’re like, “How can I reproduce this every day?” It’s so hard when you go back to your mundane life. This is what I love about what you teach. It helps us bring some of that into our everyday life without making us feel like we have to live some movie star lifestyle.
It’s full of the little things. What I discovered and the key to it was your connection. You connected with the audience. The key to feeding your soul is connection, but it’s not just connection with an audience. It’s going to be a connection with ourselves, family, nature, community, our spiritual side, and our creative side. When I take a look at this concert that I did, what I had done is I rented a studio or a theater to put on a concert before I had written the songs.
I was also working very closely with some other musicians. I did the show and it went over really well. I connected with the audience. When I put all of these things together, I was way out of my comfort zone. I was using my creativity. I had challenged myself, and then when I was on stage, I was connecting with the audience and also with my fellow musicians that I had. I had created this beautiful, perfect storm that created this moment that lived with me for so long.
It’s the connection that’s really important when it comes to our own self-care. There are boosters, which are spontaneity, challenge, and getting out of our comfort zone. When we connect with these specific things and add spontaneity, challenge, and getting out of our comfort zone, we create these moments that will last with us for lifetimes at times. How do we take all of this, and how do we make it work for us? The way for that to happen is for us to be intentional. We can be intentional with our spontaneity, even. If we become intentional with feeding our souls on a daily basis, we can create a life that’s worth living. We can create a life that we enjoy, that matters, and that gives us the moments and the events that make life happy and enjoyable.By becoming intentional with feeding our soul on a daily basis, we can create a life worth living. We can make it happy and enjoyable. Click To Tweet
We talked about it. We’ve done training on it before where we talked about creating moments in our show. They are the moments for the audience with the stories and the different things. The audience remembers those moments and they carry it with them. It’s the same thing. We create moments in our own life. If you don’t mind me going through and doing a training on this, I would love to do that. Is that okay?
Absolutely. I would love for you to go through those connection points and how we establish them, the different boosters, and then all your practical ideas on how we can put those into our calendar.
Let’s go into it. What I would love for you to do is grab a piece of paper and do a brain dump. We’re doing and recording this in early October 2023. I don’t know when this is going to come out, but we have October, November, and December, which are huge months. Thanksgiving is in there. Fall is in there and the changing of the seasons. We’ve got Christmas and all of these different things. It’s a beautiful time for you to start your passage and your own personal training to feed your soul every day because there’s so much that we can draw from.
What I want you to do is think in the next 90 days and do a brain dump. It is a brain dump of things that you would like to experience, things that you would like to accomplish in 90 days, and things that you think would make you feel good. What’s important is that you add some big items in there, like a big ticket concert. Maybe somebody is coming to town that’s really big that you’ve always wanted to see. You might put something like that in. It could be a trip or going away for a weekend.
Do you remember when we were struggling financially? A big ticket item would be a smaller concert that I could go to that was maybe $50 a ticket or something like that. It doesn’t matter what level it is. It has to be on your level of what would exciting for you to go to. Write down a bunch of things like that. Add some medium-sized things in there. Maybe you’d like to do a Friendsgiving. You’ve never done something like that before and would like to have a bunch of friends over and do a Friendsgiving or you’d like a special evening with your spouse, a community get-together, or something that takes a little bit of planning on your part.
Write down a bunch of things that you think you would like to do, and then fill the rest in with activities that you would like to do, try, or learn. Maybe you want to go see a blockbuster movie that’s coming out later in the year and that’s something that you really want to do. It could be a sport that you’ve never done. You’ve never tried cross-country skiing or you’ve never gone snowshoeing and it’s something that you’ve always wanted to do. Write that down. There’s a park or a book that you want to read. Write all of those different things down in this brain dump.
While you’re going through this brain dump, I want you to think about your relationships with your spouse and fellow musicians. It could be with your children, your siblings, your friends, and anything like that. Think for a couple of minutes about how you want to deepen those relationships with your family or whatever. It might be as simple as saying, “I’m going to write a card to my friends once a week for the next 30 or 90 days, or something like that.”
Write a specific note that you’re going to say to someone that you’re thinking of them, you love them, this is what they’ve done for you, or what they mean to you in your life. You’re going to do that, and that’s going to be something that’s going to deepen your relationships. You could plan a surprise. Get away with your spouse, a friend, or a sibling. You could say, “I want to have a date with my child,” whether they’re old or younger. Have something like that. You might want to go to a music festival or to a specific play at Christmas. Maybe there’s a beautiful choir that you like to listen to. It’s anything that you can do that’s going to make your relationships better. Start to use your imagination with that.
I’ll tell you a story about my best friend, Eva. A couple of years ago, she made an intention that for the entire year, she was going to work on her girlfriends and her relationships with her girlfriends. She called me up and told me, “My intention this year is to deepen my relationship with you. I want to meet you once a month to have a coffee or go for lunch. We can go for dinner, a drink, go to the park, or walk. It doesn’t matter. I want to see you once a month.” I said, “I’d love that.”
Without fail, Eva would call me at the end of the month and say, “I got my planner. What are we going to do?” I would look at my planner. We’d put a thing together and say, “How about we have breakfast this time?” We would do that. We went to a beautiful park one time in the summer. We walked around and spent the whole day together. We had a wonderful time. I’ve known her since I was in my twenties. We’ve been together for a very long time. Her taking the intention of deepening the relationship with me had such a huge impact on our relationship. We’re so close. It meant so much to me that she decided that this was something that she wanted to do.
Being intentional about something like this has a great impact on your relationships. It could be doing something like writing a card to your friends, which is something that I did for a good portion of 2023. Every week, I would write a note and a little card to another friend and they would get it in the mail. It said, “I’m thinking about you. I remember this memory that we had. I want you to know I love you.” It was a little letter note or whatever it was from me inside these blank cards. I would get the phone calls and it is like, “I’m in tears. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much.” It was this wonderful way to enrich my relationships with my friends and things like that. It’s important that we start to do that.
Once you’ve got this page that’s full of all of these different things, then I want you to write it down on a piece of paper with space in between the different connection points. These connection points are nature, your sense of adventure and fun, challenge, community, friends and loved ones, your own self-care, and spirituality.
I want you to take all of the things that you wrote and start to put them under these categories. For instance, let’s say you said you wanted to go snowshoeing this winter. Snowshoeing could be a sense of adventure and fun for some people. It could be a challenge for other people because they’ve never done it. It could be getting out in nature to some other people. It depends on how you look at it. This is your world, so you want to take these things and put them all under these connection points. Remember what I said. When we connect with these different areas of our lives, that’s what makes our lives feel more well-rounded because we’re trying to utilize all of these different areas.
You then take all of these items and categorize them with the connection points. Once that’s done, go through and highlight things that stand out to you. It could be things that are like, “I’d really like to do this. This excites me.” Highlight a few things. When you’re doing that, your creative juices will start flowing. You also want to look and make sure that you’ve got everything filled up. If you’re missing a few items in the different sections, and typically, it probably will be self-care because that’s where we tend to lose, you want to look at that and say, “What can I do for me that’s going to be really interesting?”
It might be sitting down and reading. It could be, “I’m into bubble bath right now. That’s been my thing. In the evening a couple of nights a week, I go, get my book, do a bubble bath, and lay and soak. I’m enjoying that. For years, I didn’t do stuff like that, but I’m starting to do more of that now.” It is little things like that that are going to fill those spaces in. Spirituality is another one that we can tend to lose. It might be journaling, going to church, or joining a group. There are different things that you could put in there as well.
Once we have done that, then it’s time to pull out a calendar. I know that it seems like a lot of work, but this is dreaming. This is imagining a life that’s full and wonderful. It’s full of things that make you happy, so it’s not work. It is things that feel good. That’s really what it’s all about. It is your dreams and aspirations for what you want for your life.
Notice I haven’t said anything about work. I’m not talking about doing that unless your challenge for your work is, “I’m going to practice my guitar or my piano,” or, “I’m going to do vocal exercises or something like that. That’s going to be a challenge that I want to do for myself.” Other than that, I haven’t mentioned work. It’s about the things that are making our life more well-rounded. It’s not that work doesn’t do that, but it’s about doing things that make us feel good.
We want to add these things to the calendar for the next 90 days. This is when you’re going to open up your calendar. I want to start with the big-ticket items. If you decide that you want to go away for a weekend with your spouse or with your girlfriends and do a spa in New York, whatever it is that you choose that is something that you really want to do, then you look at it and say, “Okay.” Maybe you need to save up some money or something like that. You’ve got to save $500 a month for the next 3 months, $1,000 a month, or whatever it is in your world that you want to do. You say, “Maybe I’ll put this in December.” There are no rules. You could put it for February. It doesn’t really matter.
You want to take a big ticket item, something that you’re really going to look forward to, put that in, and then say, “What is it that I need to do to get there? I need to save some money. I need to invite my girlfriends and see when we’re available. I need to maybe book the hotel,” or whatever it is that you need to do. Elton John is no longer performing. He’s done his tour, but if Elton John was coming and you wanted to do that, then it was like, “I need to get the tickets and plan dinner.” There are different things that you could do around that. You want to write down the things that you need to do in order to make this big ticket thing happen. This is going to be the thing that you really look forward to over the next 90 days, 120 days, or whatever it is for you. You put that stuff in there.
You want to take a look at medium-sized things. Let’s take the next quarter. Maybe you say, “I’ve never done a cookie exchange or something like that, so why not? Let’s do a cookie exchange at my house, have the neighbors over, the different people that I don’t know, and do something like that.” You could do that, or you could decide that you want to have a Friendsgiving and not a Thanksgiving. You want to have a Friendsgiving and have these different friends that you’ve had over.
Maybe you want to have a cocktail party or a dinner party. You want to organize a community event or you would like to do a fundraiser for the community for the homeless or something like that. It is something that takes planning. It is something that you’ve got to do a little bit of work to get to, but it’s also going to be something that you enjoy. It’s not something that you feel like you have to do.
I love putting on a party. I remember one of the best ones that I did was a Julia & Julia party. I had everybody come over. We had to cook French food and do it all with Julia Child’s cookbook. We had stations. Everybody had to wear pearls. I put this whole thing together. Once we had dinner, we sat down and watched Julie & Julia. It was the best evening. We had a wonderful time. My girlfriends kept saying, “Can you do another?” It was a lot of work for me to do, but it was wonderful. It was one of those things that stayed with us for a long time, but it took planning.
I love doing stuff like that. You might not like doing stuff like that. What you could do is say, “What if I got my girlfriends together and I hired a chef to come in and teach us how to do something?” The workload is not on you so much. You could say, “I’ll make them do French food and we’ll eat that, and then we can watch a movie.” Use whatever works for you that makes you happy. You could all go to a French restaurant and then decide. It still takes planning on your part to put the whole thing together. That is something that you could look at.
You want to add some medium-sized things to your 90-day plan. The key here is to not overwhelm yourself. Don’t have two dinner parties and also do a big fundraiser for something because then, it becomes work. It’s not enjoyable and all of those other things. You want to look at your work schedule, your workload, and all these different things and say, “At this time, I should be able to do this particular thing that I would like to do. I’m going to do 1 in the 3 months or 2 max.” It’s one thing to give you something to work towards.
You want to write down all the things that you need to do to make everything happen. Whether you’re planning the menu, getting the groceries, cooking the food, and doing all of those things, like with regular planning, you want to chunk it down into little pieces of the things that you need to do. You’re going to put that into your planner. Here’s where the nitty-gritty happens, and this is the part that I use mostly. I will go through and plan a few things. For me, I’m going to see The Doobie Brothers. I’m so excited to go see The Doobie Brothers. Here’s the thing. I’m going by myself because I couldn’t find anybody to go with. I can’t go with my husband because we can’t leave my dog by herself. I moved to a new area and I don’t know a lot of people. I asked my son if he wanted to go and he was like, “No.”
I was really bummed. I wasn’t going to go because I wasn’t going to go by myself. I then went, “I’m really going to regret if I don’t see Michael McDonald perform. I’m going to go. I’m going to drive an hour and a half and I might stay in a hotel. I’ll do all of this.” That’s my thing. I’m super excited to go see Michael McDonald all by myself. It’s my thing. That might not be your thing, but that’s what I’m doing and I’m looking forward to it. You want to make all of that stuff work.
What we do is we get down to the nitty-gritty and that’s the weekly planning. I plan my week on Sundays. I put in all of my work stuff that I have to do. What I like to do is color code it. Work is green because it makes money. My music is blue because of singing the blues or whatever. Anything to do with my music is blue. I color code my appointments with purple and stuff like that. The feed my soul stuff, I highlight with an orange. That’s the color code that I do.
What I look at is I look at my week and I see where things are lacking. If I was going to go to the concert of The Doobie Brothers this week, that would be in my weekly planner. I’m going to that big orange thing. It is like, “That’s exciting.” I have that, but what am I going to do for the rest of the week in there that is going to feed my soul and make me feel good? This is where we get intentional about looking at things and how we can fill our week up with things.
I’ll look at my week and see, “Do I have any appointments? Am I going to go to the doctor? Do I have errands? When am I going to go grocery shopping?” It could be these different things. Look at it and say, “Are there any parks nearby that I’ve never been to? Do I have a friend who lives in that area? Is there something interesting that I could go do around that time?”
I’ll give you an example of this time when I was living in Vancouver and I had to go get blood work. It was a summer day. I had blood work done at about 9:00 in the morning. I went and had my blood work. For most of my life, I would’ve had the blood work and then I would’ve gone home, which is what most of us do. This time, I was intentional. I decided to go to this little cafe bakery that I knew that my friend worked at. I called her out from the back and said, “I’m here.” We chatted for a little bit and made arrangements to walk our dogs together on the Sunday. I was creating another Feed My Soul moment for Sunday. I did that.
I ordered a coffee and a delicious little breakfast sandwich thing that they made. I grabbed that to go and then I walked to the seawall. I sat at the seawall on a bench, ate my breakfast, and drank my coffee while looking at the ocean. I took a few minutes. I got up, threw the stuff away, and went for a walk along the seawall, enjoying the sunshine, walking along, and doing that.
While I was doing it, I decided to play photographer, which is one of my favorite things to do. I’m not a photographer, but I decided that I was going to play photographer as I’m in this beautiful scenery and see if I could come up with a really cool photo. I was playing around and having fun. What that did made me very present because I was always looking for a beautiful picture, a different angle, to take a picture of that flower, or something like that. I didn’t care what anybody thought. I was outside in nature and I was enjoying it. I was having fun. That whole thing probably took 45 minutes of my time, and then I got back in my car and drove home. I felt fantastic when it was all said and done. It felt spontaneous and fun. It was completely planned.
I sat down, looked at my planner, and said, “I’m going to do blood work. What can I do for a little while that is going to make that more fun?” I knew where the seawall was, so that’s fine. I planned it around things that I knew. I’ve also gone where I went to the dentist or something like that and it was in a different area. I got on Google and said, “Where’s a place that I could walk? Maybe there are some trails around there.”
I discovered so many new trails and different things like that that I had no idea that was in my city. I had no idea it existed, and they were wonderful. Sometimes, the magic works, and sometimes, it doesn’t. It might turn out to be a crappy trail. It doesn’t matter because you’re not putting pressure on yourself. You’re getting out there to discover something new.
You look at your week, see where you have appointments or what you’re going to do, and say, “Is there a new park or something that I could go to and visit around there? Maybe there’s a friend and I could meet them for coffee before or after or they could go for the walk with me.” If it’s great, yay. If it’s not, go have a coffee. It’s no big deal. You add spontaneity into your life through planning and being intentional. What it does is it creates moments in your life like you would create moments on stage. You want to create these things for you. That’s one of my best tips. Look at your week and schedule in how you can move things around with your appointments.
Another thing that you want to do is you want to make it really easy and without prep work. Another thing that I would do is I would look at the weather for the week and see what is going to be a nice day whether it’s going to be a crappy day. I would feed my soul around the weather. If it was going to be a nice day, and I happen to be working from home but you can do this if you’re working from 9:00 to 5:00 or something like that, too, you can sit there and go, “It’s going to be a beautiful autumn day. I’m going to eat my lunch outside and make a moment out of it.”
I had planned in my planner to eat lunch outside on this specific day because I had looked at the weather. When lunchtime came, I made myself a little lunch and I went and sat outside. I soaked it up and enjoyed it because I planned it. You could do the same thing when you’re working from 9:00 to 5:00 or whatever. What are other things that you could do? There are all sorts of things. You could say, “I’m going to walk in the grass in my bare feet because I haven’t done that for a long time.” Feel it and enjoy it. Go for a walk at lunchtime or at any time during the day. Those are my go-to’s. It is to get out into nature and to enjoy it. Things like that, you want to add that so then you could look at it.
If it was raining, you could say, “I’m really wanting to read this book, so I’m going to put a fire on and make myself a cup of tea in a teacup. I’m going to do that. Gingersnap cookies always remind me of my mom, so I’m going to buy some gingersnap cookies and have that with me, too. On this night when it’s going to be draining and dreary and my husband is out, I’m going to put a fire on, make myself a cup of tea, have a couple of gingersnaps, and read a book. It’s going to be so nice.” You’re looking forward to it, so then you go and make sure that you do it.
Those things feed your soul. Make a list of all of these little things that you can do and highlight them in the different colors if you’re going to be like me. You can start to look at your week and see that it’s getting a little balanced in the sense that you’re putting in things that feed your soul. They don’t have to take a lot of time. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s taking a moment for you. Those are the things that you can do.
The strategy is to add something that feeds your soul every day and be intentional about it. You want to take a look at your week and check the connection points because you want to make sure that you’re balancing that, too. It’s not just about you and your self-care, but it’s also about connecting with a friend. It could be like, “I’m going to have a video call with a girlfriend of mine that lives further away. I’m going to choose to play Lego with my kid and do that.” There are different things that you can put in there, and that might be something that you’re going to do maybe after school or something like that. If you’ve got little kids, you can decide, “This is something that I’m going to take the time off to be able to do and spend a little time,” to have fun with your child.
I’m going to give you an idea of something that I came up with for October 2023. The thing that I came up with was the scenarios of how you can make things work for your life. For instance, you typically would go to the farmer’s market to get your apples at this time of year. That’s a lovely thing to do, but what if you upped it a notch and decided that you wanted to go apple-picking? You are going to make a day of it and invite your girlfriend to go along with you. You call her up and say, “Let’s go apple picking,” and she’s like, “I’ve never done it before,” so you go ahead and do that. You’re doing something new and you’re doing it with your girlfriend. You’ve got that covered.
Before you drive, you decide that you’re going to put together a fabulous playlist of songs that your girlfriend and you can sing along with as you’re driving there. You use your creativity to put together your song list, and you’ve done that. As you’re going, you decide that you’re going to have some fun with your girlfriend and you’re going to be like a little kid. You’re going to play a scavenger hunt photography thing. You’re going to give yourself points and a prize for finding a silo and a cow and taking a picture of it. You then get more points if you’re doing a selfie with the cow. It’s stupid stuff. You put together this little list of you with your girlfriend. When you’re driving and singing along to the songs, you’re also looking for silos.
You’re looking for all that stuff and being present. You do that and that makes it fun. You go and you’re picking the apples. You’re having a good time chatting with your friend, and then you see that they have a hayride there. You go, “Do you want to go for a hayride?” She’s like, “I haven’t done a hayride in so long,” and you’re like, “Let’s do that.” You go and do that and have fun. It’s something that you haven’t done before, but you’re open to it and you do it.
You had a fantastic day with your friend. You enriched the relationship that you have with her through fun, connection, talking, music, singing, and all of those different things. You come home and you have a whack load of apples, so what are you going to do? You decide that you are going to challenge yourself. You are going to make an apple pie once a week for the whole month? That’s going to be your challenge for the month.
You are crappy at making crust, but you’re determined that you’re going to get better. It’s not a big deal. You make your apple pie on Sunday, and then you serve it to your family for Sunday dinner because you decide that you’re going to have a Sunday dinner. You’re going to get the whole family together and you’ve decided that you’re going to have Sunday dinners. You do that and the family laughs at your crust or they say, “Good job, mom,” or whatever. It’s okay. You’ve done it. You’ve done your thing.
The next week, you make another pie and decide that you’re going to have a picnic with your husband or with the family in the last few days of the okay weather. You’re going to serve your apple pie with that. You might make another pie in the third week and you’re going to give it to a neighbor who has moved into the area. The next one could be for a Friendsgiving, a Thanksgiving, or something like that, whatever it is.
By the time you get to the fourth week, your pie crust is starting to get pretty good. You’re proud of yourself for how you’re getting much better at making your pie. That makes you feel good. All of a sudden, you have enriched the relationships with your family. You have learned a new skill and enriched the relationship with your friend all because you decided to go apple picking. It’s all intentional because you’re looking at these different connection points and going, “How can I make this work for me so that I feel better about my life? I’m doing things that are enjoyable, enriching my life, looking at these different areas of the connection points, and including that into my process of living.”
Feeding your soul can be a very intentional act that we can do if we put a little bit of thought into it. It can be so much fun. That’s really what I want to convey to everybody. It is that we do have more control over these things than we realize. With a little thought and a little planning, it’s a lot of fun. When was the last time we had fun? We forget about fun. It’s time for us to start putting that back into our lives. There are a couple of things that I wanted to touch base on really quickly. The first thing is challenge. Challenge is an important thing. I encourage you to try to challenge yourself to do something every month. Give yourself a month of trying a new challenge. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. The challenge could be like, “I’m going to do a quiet act of kindness once a week,” and you plan it.
You say, “I’m going to do something nice for somebody every week,” so that you’re more conscious of it. You’re trying to help people a little bit more. The one I talked about writing a card to a friend once a week is a great challenge to do. Read a book once a week for a month. That’s a great challenge to do as well. Practice your instrument for fifteen days in a row. That’s the first thing. The second thing is don’t be afraid of saying yes to things that are scary and spontaneous. If an opportunity comes to you, and I know that this goes against the whole, “Make sure you say no,” thing, say no. That’s very important to say no to things when it does not fit in your world. If an opportunity comes and a girlfriend says, “Do you want to go apple picking with me today?” and you’ve never done it before, say yes.
Go and be spontaneous. Those moments are the things that live with you for a long time. I’ll talk about the things that starve your soul. There’s a really quick way to do that. One way is scrolling through social media mindlessly. That will starve your soul so quickly. Binge-watching for hours because you have nothing else to do and you’re bored will starve your soul. Wasting time when you’ve got a lot of work to do and you’re not being proactive about what it is that you need to do is going to starve your soul. It will make you feel crappy and not present.Scrolling through social media mindlessly will starve your soul. Click To Tweet
The fix for a lot of this is by planning to feed your soul. It’s because when you plan to do that sort of thing, it makes you more present in your day. The whole day, you look at it in a completely different way when you start to plan stuff like this. You’re not going to have the time to mindlessly scroll social media. You have better things to do with your time. You’d much rather go and have a bath, feed your soul, and read a book for a little while than binge-watch a bunch of shows for a long time because you can. That’s my thing. That’s feeding your soul in a big nutshell.
It’s super awesome. I love it. You were talking about how we go to work. We’re working all day. That’s a shot. We can’t do anything. I love the idea that you can eat your lunch in a new location. You can try to eat lunch with a friend. You do have to be intentional because what we tend to do is get into this mindless routine. We’re like, “Every day, I go to work from 8:00 to 5:00. That’s what I do, and nothing changes about that. We’re not realizing that we can make it different if we’re being intentional, thinking ahead, looking at the weather, and all that stuff. I’ve started walking to work. It takes me almost an hour, but it changes my day. It changes the way that my day goes when I do that.
My go-to is walking and getting out in nature. I want to point out, too, that this is for when life is normal. This is not for when you’re going through something, you’ve lost somebody and you’re grieving, your marriage is breaking up, or you’re moving. The first thing that left was this, and I’ll be the first to admit it. When everything changed and we had to move, my plans were gone.
What happens is if you are reading this and saying, “That’s all fine and dandy, but my life is a real struggle right now,” I understand that. It is really hard. Our self-care is the first thing that goes. There comes a point when you’re in the middle of this that you still have to make the decision to say, “I can go for a walk today. I can have a bath.” You go into the real basics of things and say, “What is it that I can do to make myself feel better?”
I got evicted. That’s what happened with us. It was a real panic for us for a while. I was scared we were going to be homeless. We didn’t have very long to find another place. It was really scary. I was under incredible stress. What I remember one time is I said, “I’m going to go see Mission Impossible.” I went by myself. I needed that escape. I was going to have popcorn and do all the things to enjoy myself. It was a wonderful moment for me even though I was by myself. It created this thing so that I could get away from the stress and everything that was bothering me. It helped me cope.
I started walking, going and sitting by the ocean, and soaking it all in. Whatever it is that you need to do that’s going to make you feel better is important. Don’t forget about feeding your soul when life gets tough. You don’t have to do all of this. Your 90-day plan might go somewhere else, but you can still incorporate feeding your soul and being intentional about it. It is going to make coping with everything much easier.
I’ve always got to bring this back around to profitability. I truly believe that it’s going to make us more profitable. If you get burnt out, you will get to the point where you can’t work or you don’t want to work, or thinking about work makes you sick. I’ve been there before because I got so burnt out. If you inject these feed-your-soul moments into your regular routine, I truly believe that most of the time, it will keep you from getting that burnt-out feeling where you can’t do the things that you need to do to make the money that you need in life.
That is such a great point and it is so bang on true. If your cup isn’t full and you’re not constantly filling up your cup, you can’t give anymore and do things. You do get burnt out for sure.
You recommend sitting down once a week with your calendar. Do you do the 90-day plan first at the beginning of the quarter and then every week, you check in on it like, “How can I inject these smaller items?” or do you do the bigger ones at the 90-day?
Every 90 days, you would sit down and do a big planning session like you would do for your work, your goals, and things like that. Once a month, I take a look. I looked at what I wanted to do in my 90-day plan. I made sure that those things were all in for my October 2023 plan and that I was still on schedule for that sort of thing. You’d want to take a look at that. Every week, that’s when you’re transferring stuff over from your month. You’re putting that into your week, but then, you’re also filling in the blanks with all of the little things that make life a little bit easier. Does that make sense?
It does. You can look at your work schedule, too. I’ve done this. I’m like, “I have a board meeting on Tuesday. I’m going to be exhausted. On Wednesday, I need to do something fun for myself. I need to have a coffee with a friend or something at lunchtime.” It’s something to make it feel like it’s not this never-ending drudgery. You’ve worked for fourteen hours the day before. The next day, you need to make it a feeding moment.
What I do is when I’m planning my week, I put all my work stuff in, all my appointments, and all the obligations that I have. I put that in first. After that, I look at it and say, “Where do I need to feed my soul? What are the things that I need to do? Where can I fit them in that’s going to make it work the best for me?” You could be looking at the weather and different things that might be going on in your neighborhood. There are all sorts of things that you can do to make it work.
It’s not about over-planning your life. I hate having my whole life planned out. You still want it to feel like it’s up to you what you want to do and have that spontaneity. When I look at my calendar and I look at the stuff for the day and it says, “Eat your lunch outside,” I’m like, “That will be nice. I’m going to do that.” It’s not a big deal. It’s not hard to take your sandwich and go sit outside.
If you don’t put it on your calendar, you’ll probably not eat, eat at your desk, or whatever, and then you’ll miss out on that moment.
Exactly. It still feels spontaneous and fun when you’re looking at it for the day, but you’ve planned those things into your world. It makes such a huge difference.
I’m bringing it back to musicians. To those of you that are weekend warriors and you’re going out for a weekend of shows or you’re coming back from a week of touring or whatever, plan a self-care day for yourself. I had a student who went on quite a long tour. She came back and she had nothing left, but she was like, “I need to start planning the next one. I need to start booking.” I’m like, “Give yourself a break. If you don’t, you’re going to get burned out. Plan some fun things for you before you get back into the grind again.”
I had moved, and then I had to fly back to Vancouver to do some concerts. When I came home, I was exhausted from the pressure of everything and having moved, perform in the middle of all of this stuff, and everything. I came home and I was useless at work. For the first 2 or 3 days, I was useless. I couldn’t do anything. I turned to my husband and said, “I need time.”
I took Friday off. I said, “I’m not doing anything Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.” I puttered and read my book. I did things that I enjoyed. I repotted my plants. These little things that were bugging me, I got those off of my list. That makes me happy. I puttered and I felt so good from having taken that time for myself, going for really long walks, looking at the autumn leaves, and all of the rest of it. It made it so that I could work, do the stuff that I wanted to do, start connecting with other musicians in this area, and the different things like that. I had the energy to do it. It didn’t feel so overwhelming.
It’s a mindset shift, especially for people like me who are Type A. I have this problem every Sunday because I work at a church. I’m on from 7:00 AM to noon, I get home and I’m like, “I’m done.” I walk around my house and I’m like, “Maybe I’ll make a new recipe. I’ll put these clothes where they need to go,” and stuff like that. I always feel like I’m not doing anything. I feel this guilt. I’m like, “I’ve got this whole afternoon, I should be doing X, Y, and Z.” For me, the mindset changes of feeding my soul is doing something. I need that. I need to feel like I’m doing something, but if I can reframe it and be like, “I am doing something.”
Fiona Flyte says, “Taking time for yourself is a profit-building exercise.”
That does sound like her.
It’s true. You can’t run on empty. We’re not good when we’re running on empty. Feeding our soul is very much a part of being a profitable musician, for sure.
When you refill your tank, then you can start thinking more strategically. I’m like this on a daily basis. By about 4:00 PM, I look at anything and everything looks hard because I don’t have any more gas in the tank. I get up the next morning and everything looks easy. It’s a daily thing, and then it’s over a week, a month, a quarter, or whatever. You have to make sure that you’re continuing to fill your tank. I love the way that you’ve laid that all out. I know you have a whole set of ideas of how to feed your soul that people can grab. Is that on your website? How can they grab that?
People who are on my email list get a Feed Your Soul checklist of ideas that I put together for that specific month. They get it every month. That’s the only place that you can get it.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I love it.
I put together a Feed Your Soul checklist and give it to my email subscribers every month. They enjoy it. If you would like to have a checklist of things to do and you live in Australia, it might not work for you. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and you want to do that, then please join my email list. My email list is a lovely email list, to be honest, because I tell a lot of stories. It’s a lot of good things and Feed Your Soul. That’s what we do. We talk about music, too.
Is it CaylaBrooke.com?
I highly recommend you guys do that because she’s a great storyteller. She’s got great music and you get the Feed Your Soul stuff. Do that. Is there anything else you want to say before we close out? This has been such an awesome training.
Thank you for having me. Here’s my phrase. Every day is the perfect day to feed your soul.
About Cayla Brooke
Feed Your Soul Jazz/rock singer. Songwriter. Community Manager of the Profitable Musician Community. And I help fellow performers streamline their bookkeeping so they can relax & make music.