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76: What to Do With Unsolicited Advice

You don’t have to take everyone’s advice – however pure their intentions may be. In this week’s episode of Breathe In, Breathe Out, I walk you through how to graciously say “thank you, but no thank you.”

Think meditation is hard. Do me a favor, take a slow, deep breath in, and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jacosky, and this is Breathe In. Breathe out a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peaceful while doing it.  

Krystal Jakosky:   Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jacosky and I’m really excited to share this week’s episode with you. I first met Kevin Pinnell when I was a guest on his podcast, which is Award A Better Life. It was such a delightful experience. We had so many things in common that I really wanted to bring him on my podcast so that we could talk about the indigenous people. Kevin began his journey with the indigenous people of North America in the early nineties. He met Ken two feathers early on in that journey, and Ken Two Feathers became more than Kevin’s teacher. They had a wonderful friendship. And 10 years into that friendship, Kevin wrote the book, Two Feathers, Spiritual Seed Planter as Kevin Laughing Hawk, which addressed two feathers life and Native American spirituality. There is so much more to his experience and his life. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We’re going to talk about some of the keynotes of Kevin’s experience. I really hope that you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed having him on my podcast. Hello, and welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky, your host, and I am so excited to have Kevin on our show today. Kevin Cannell, welcome.  

Kevin Pennell:    Thank you. Great to be here. This is awesome. I’ve switched roles for a change. I’m not a host. I’m actually a guest. 

Krystal Jakosky:    Oh, isn’t that fun? When you get to switch it up a little bit. Kevin and I have actually been recording right now because whenever we have the opportunity to chat, Kevin and I go off on so many different tangents and so many different realms, and it’s because we are both interested in so many different things. We are always looking for something new to learn or something new to teach, which means that we have a plethora of things that we can talk about and go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole after rabbit hole. So we’re going to make an effort to keep this a little shorter, meaning not four hours long, because we could talk for hours.

Kevin Pennell:    We’re going to try to focus.  

Krystal Jakosky:    We’re going to give it the college try, you know, the good college. Not the one where you smoke pot for the first four years and then decide to do college. We’re going to actually try to focus. Welcome to my world today. Kevin, tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what brought you to my podcast studio.  

Kevin Pennell:    Oh my goodness. Well, if you got about two or three hours, hang in there. It’s just actually been about a year ago that I decided, I’m going to try doing a podcast because for 35 years off and on, I was in broadcast journalism and radio. So I just have a lot of fun with it. And I published a book, worked on a couple of other books, and did some magazine articles. I love to write, but for whatever reason, the publisher just wasn’t impressed. Okay, this is great, but you’re not going to publish it. It’s good stuff, but we’re not going to publish it. And I’m going, Yeah, fine, whatever. And I realized part of writing is you have to be able to accept a little two letter word called no.  

Oh, that’s standard procedure. And I just, in one of those moments, I said, you know, I did broadcast journalism and I did human interest stories for years. I really enjoy doing that, just listening and talking with people about their lives. And literally, I think it was like 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning. That tends to be what I call my spirit time. Some of the most significant little truths that I’ve ever had. The title for the book that I wrote came to me in the middle of the night. And when I wrote that book, I wrote it from five o’clock in the morning until 6:30 every day until I got done with it. But that’s my spirit time. This time it came through as you need to do a podcast called Toward a Better Life.  

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Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor, take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a Weekly Mindfulness and Meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Hello and welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky and I just, I love being here. This is my happy place, and I’m really glad that you are here with me in my happy place. I, I really sincerely thank you. If you have thoughts or ideas of things that you would love for me to share, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or through my website, crystal I love hearing from you. I love your input. I love knowing what you want to hear about or insights that you would love to receive. So reach out and let me know how I can help you this week. I wanna talk a little bit about how to tell people thanks. I appreciate that, but, uh, I really don’t need it. Leave me alone. There are times that we struggle. There are times that we are so under the gun tied down, burdened, and stressed out.

We feel like we’re tied to the railroad tracks and the train is barreling toward us at warp speed. We have these moments where we are just overwhelmed in life. Sometimes they’re, they’re very small and a, a hug or a kind word or somebody supporting us is unbelievably fantastic and beautiful. And, and it, it, it’s simple things. It’s really simple things that can go a really long way because we’re a little bit off, but we’re largely doing just fine. And then there are those moments that we, we really honestly don’t know what we need. Don’t know how to get out of where we’re at and we need a little bit of help, but we don’t really know what help we need. Some of us are verbal processors, and we really just need a moment to talk through what’s going on. And in talking through it, we find answers and we find growth and we get inspired with, oh my gosh, this is where I need to be.

And this is what I can do. And this is fantastic. And sometimes we are seeking advice from others. Other times we just need people to listen to us. And the thing is that the people that we’re talking to, the people that we’re telling this are challenges and our weights and our upsets to they’re often people that we love and trust, and it would be absolutely normal. If we’re asking them for advice and support, we trust them. They love us. We love them. It just works out really well, that we have that beautiful connection with them. And yet when we’re talking to them about how to prove our situation, there are people that say, well, you need to do this, or you should do that. They’re telling us what they think we need to do. And sometimes it’s really helpful. Sometimes it is absolutely easier for somebody outside of our situation to see possible solutions and possible steps to move forward and have a fantastic state of being in the same aspect.

They’re not necessarily living our experience and they don’t fully know what balm can heal our souls. They’re looking at it through their view, through their filters through, well, if I was in that situation, how would I deal with it? And what would I do to fix it, to make it better when we just need someone to listen, number one, we can actually say, can you just listen? and that goes back to my podcast a while back about fix it or listen, there have been plenty of times in my life where I have been struggling and irritated and overwhelmed and needed a little bit of just love and support. Maybe I just needed someone to sit with me. Um, and yet I have a lot of beautiful people around me who wanted to bless me with their thoughts and their opinions. Their intentions have always been very kind and very true.

They always mean well, and it comes from their hearts, which is such a gift that I am so very grateful for. I love knowing that they sincerely hope to see me regain my stamina, and my joy, they really want, they genuinely want to contribute to my improvement and my wellbeing, which that’s what I do to other people. They are literally mirroring back to me what I do and who I am. That is the relationship that we have. The relationships we have with others are a mirror of the relationships we have with ourselves. So when I’m helping them, then they turn around and they help me. It’s a beautiful thing. But when the advice is given through their personal lens of what would help them, applying it to my situation can feel a little bit like building Ikea furniture solo without any instructions. You have all of these little things, all of these little tidbits, but where do they go?

How do they connect? How can I really truly use them? Or maybe it feels like using super glue to close a gaping wound that needs stitches. Yeah, it can be possible. It can be helpful. And yet it’s not always the best course of action. Sometimes you need a different solution. I often find that I need to go inside. I need to check with my own mental self, my physical self, and my emotional self, and see, what am I experiencing and how do I help myself? Nobody else can do that for us. Nobody else can actually tune into our experience. I am not having their literal experience. Yes, I may have experienced loss, but I haven’t had their life experiences and then lost what they’ve lost. So I may be able to relate on some level and yet I cannot relate on their exact level. So saying, I know what you’re going through doesn’t necessarily work.

And yet I may be able to support in a different way and say, yeah, this helped me. They don’t have to take my advice. Sometimes advice is not even solicited or wanted. And when it comes down to ourselves, we’re the only ones that can really figure it out. So I usually need quiet. I usually need blissful time without expectations and responsibilities, where I can tune in and ask, what do I want to do? What do I need to do? How can I get off the railroad tracks? Do I need somebody to help untie me so that I can get there? I have to tune into my own needs, my own hopes. And when I check in with people, because I need to verbally process something and they are so lovingly kindly from their own generous point of view, trying to help me improve. And when they start saying, you should do this, you should do that.

I know how to fix your problem. I have the ability to say, you know, I really appreciate your suggestions. I’ll put it in my bucket. I’ll roll that around. And I’ll see if it applies. I’ll see if I can use that. Or I can say, you know, I really appreciate your concern. And I promise to check-in. And if there’s anything that you can do to help me, I’ll let you know right now. I just need you to listen. Or I can say, you know, I really hear your love and I am so grateful to have you in my corner. Thank you for sharing. I’ll get back to you. You don’t have to take every bit of advice. You don’t have to stand there and listen. Sometimes people get into it because they don’t know what else to do. They want to help. They don’t know how to help.

And just letting them know that listening is helping to be present and being that friend is helping to remind them that. Yeah, I need a little support. This is my experience. And I’m really glad that that worked for you. I’ll let you know what finally works for me. There are wonderful ways to let people know. You just need them to hear you for a moment. You just need them to be present. And you’re grateful for their concern without being annoyed and frustrated that you should, you should don’t necessarily help. And if we’re on the other side of it, where you’re listening to a friend and this friend is struggling and they need a little support, you can ask them, do you want me to just listen? Or would you like my advice? And if they want your advice, then you can say, Hey, well this worked for me or maybe this, or maybe this, and offer it as a possibility.

Instead of telling them how to live their lives, we all have the opportunity to choose. We all have the opportunity to learn and grow and what works for one may or may not work for another being present. Being there is the biggest gift that we can give to each other. Thank you. And no, thank you. When someone’s giving it to you and do you need me to fix it or do you just want me to listen, can go so far when it comes to being the person, giving the support at that moment, take care of yourselves, know that this is your journey and you have the answers you just have to tune in and seek and find what is it that will make things better for me at this moment. Do I need someone’s advice? Do I need someone to listen? How can I take care of myself to move forward and live an even better, more happy, joyful life? Take care of yourselves. And I hope to see you next week here on Breathe In, Breathe Out.

I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m @krystaljakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.