Feeding Your Soul w/ KJ Today

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This is a podcast episode titled, Feeding Your Soul w/ KJ Today. The summary for this episode is: <p>KJ from The KJ Today Show is this week's guest! KJ is a radio host, TV producer, and entrepreneur who is a dedicated animal advocate. KJ was living her dream until everything unexpectedly changed; she shares how she learned and grew from this experience which led her to start her own show. And she is thriving! She joins Rebecca today to share her story. Listen now!</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.badasswomenscouncil.community/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Join the Online Community</a></p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1957723017/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=rebecca+fleetwood+hession&amp;qid=1647522451&amp;sprefix=rebecca+fleet%2Caps%2C72&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pldnSite=1" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Write Your OWN Story: Three Keys to Rise and Thrive as a Badass Career Woman</a></p><p><a href="https://wethrive.live/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Let’s work together</a></p>
KJ shares her story - Manifesting not going as planned
05:26 MIN
"I don't need permission"
01:24 MIN
What time in the world that you're alive, is on purpose
02:27 MIN
Human to human - Healing our hearts
01:49 MIN
Raised By Cats - KJ's new book!
02:04 MIN

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : (singing). Hello. This is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Women's Council Podcast. And today on the show, we have KJ host of KJ today. And I love how all of that rhymes. Welcome, KJ. How are you?

KJ: Thank you. Thank you. I'm great. I'm so excited to be here with you. Thank you for having me.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : You bet. So, we were introduced in some beautiful way that I can't remember, which is my favorite thing. Just wonderful, badass women just get brought into my world organically and it's beautiful, but we have-

KJ: It was our dear friend, Alex Perry, that's how I know you. Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Oh, Alex Perry. Perfect. He was a Thrive Guide for our Rise and Thrive program and one of my dear, dear friends. So yay, go Alex. But we've had a couple conversations, and each time I feel like we should have been recording. I love the way our stories have melded together. And today, you're going to tell a bit of your story about how sometimes our dreams don't manifest in the way or the timing that we think they're going to. So I'm just going to set you up, because this is what you do for a living. You host your own show. I don't need to lead you down this path of telling stories. Tell us about how this has played out for you, how your dream is now manifesting, but didn't quite go as you thought it would?

KJ: Yes. And I love the timing of all of this and how, even though we've been in similar circles for so long and had connections, that it was the right moment, and we're talking about timing, it was the exact right moment. Your book is out, and talking about standing tall in your story. And I have really, really tried to wrap my head around and guide myself in the idea of," What is the story that I'm telling?" So, sometimes fast forwarding to," What does future KJ want to say about this moment? How are we going to write this moment?" It becomes so much more powerful, and you feel more in control when you go," Okay, well, how am I going to tell this story? Here's the things I can control, so this is how I'm going to be so that I can say,'That is what I did. When I was faced with this, I did this.'" So I love going to the future and talking about my story. And one of those moments that just came along in the grandest way, right? The announcement of," You are going to get this right, because it's time." About seven weeks ago, I got laryngitis, and I am a storyteller. I use my voice. I've been on the radio since I was 17. I'm in TV. I do podcasting. Everything, my life revolves around this thing.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It is your tool. It is your vehicle.

KJ: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It is. Yeah. Yeah.

KJ: And I had been really putting a lot of pressure on myself. I went full- time into the KJ Media Company in March of 2021. And so, it was like," Oh my gosh. My time is my money, and some days I'm like," What am I doing? I used to get a paycheck and I didn't worry about any of this stuff."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Preach, girlfriend.

KJ: So there was just a lot going on, and I had put too much on my plate. And I know that looking back now, but I was in a moment where I was like," I am exhausted. I've done too much, but I committed to it. And so I need..." I literally looked up at the sky, and I was like," Give me these next three hours. I need to be on." I was at a gala. I was like," I need this voice. I need to perform." Right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yeah. Yeah.

KJ: There are people counting on me. There's an organization counting on me. I have to do this.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right.

KJ: And I got those three hours and then boom, I woke up the next morning, voice is gone, to the point that I was really terrified. I've never had that moment. But Rebecca, that moment was the moment that whether it's God or source or whatever you call the higher power, was like," You need to be quiet for a second and listen. You need to listen. It's here. There's a way to do this, and because all you're doing is talking and running and doing and talking and running, you're not listening." Over those next few days, I started writing, because I couldn't talk. And everything, my husband," Can you go get me Starbucks Medicine Ball?" I can't say anything. I'm writing everything. And in those moments, the words started coming, and I had this reminder. Several years back, so I was very, very fortunate in radio. You get fired a lot. You move around a lot. It's the life of radio. And I was very fortunate to walk into the same building every single day and do what I loved for over 20 years.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Wow.

KJ: And 14 of those on the Smiley Morning Show, and we had built this thing and I thought," This is all I'm going to do." Right?" This is it."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right.

KJ: And then there was an unexpected pivot, and we were separated, and it was like," KJ, you're going to go do your own show. You have earned it." I'm like," Well, what do you mean I've earned it? I don't want it. I'm good over here. But okay, I guess this is what I'm doing now." And when I got put into the afternoons on this new station, it was really more about the music, but I didn't know that. And they're like," You're going to go to the afternoons." I'm like," I'm going to be by myself. I guess I'll do this show by myself." And I had all these ideas and I was writing. And," Here's what the KJ Today Show is going to be, and it's going to be great. And I'll do positive vibes and pop culture and pets and all the things that I love." And in the nicest possible way I was told," Could you just play the music?"

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Wow.

KJ: And just devastating, right? To be in a space where I was creating, and I felt like," This is why I was put here right now, to create this show and do this thing. And you just told me to shut up."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : So what are your feelings in that moment? Walk us through that.

KJ: Devastated.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yeah.

KJ: Devastated. I started going in every single day, and there's a microphone in front of me, but they didn't want my voice. And I know now looking back, it wasn't personal. It was the format of what the station needed to be, and a positive voice needed to come on once in a while, familiar, and give them a nice little 10 seconds of happiness, and" Here's what's on TV tonight," or" Here's a positive story." But I felt more and more suffocated every single day. You can wrap your head around... Well, these songs are making people happy and they credit me for playing them, but my voice was silenced then. And I didn't realize just how suffocated it had become until I got fired.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Wow. Well, let's pause right there, before you got fired. Okay?

KJ: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : This is similar to my story, that sometimes the company shifts strategy, shifts things that are necessary in the bigger picture of things that have nothing to do with you. But if you are so connected to the company that you're willing to sacrifice your own story, that's where you go into striving, battling against a strategy that isn't a fit for you. And sometimes we have to leave a company, not because we've done something wrong, but because our story is no longer a match for that company story. And in those cases, being fired is a blessing, because you didn't get trapped into striving to try to do something that you weren't meant to be doing.

KJ: Yes. And I think it's so important to know in those moments. And I was not great at this. This is the experience that I have now that I can share my story.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Sure.

KJ: But to help someone who maybe is in that situation right now, it is just a nudge in a different direction to help you be where you need to be. And if you can trust that, it makes those days of," How did my world get turned upside down? And what am I supposed to do now?" Just do what you can for the day. Do what feeds your soul. And you will receive. It's so hard to do, but if you can keep yourself in that space, what you're supposed to be doing, I think, comes faster to you.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I couldn't agree more. And you and I, and so many others that I've interacted with or actually worked with as a coach, this has been their experience. At the time, the job goes away in whatever form, the company shuts down, they're fired whatever, and there's devastation. And then all of a sudden, when they do just release it, something beautiful comes in. And it's my favorite thing ever to watch someone experience that transformation.

KJ: Yes. And for me, going back to that moment when I was fired and again, it's a company decision. The radio station was being purchased by another company. They did not know me at all. It had nothing to do with me. There was an acquisition going on. There were numbers that were ran." How do these things fit together?" And I didn't fit in that puzzle, but it had nothing to do, they didn't even know my name. It didn't have anything to do with me. I drove away from that building that I'd been going into for so many years, and I called my husband and he said," Are you okay?" And I said," Well, I'm really sad that I have to call Xfinity and tell them I got fired, so I can't have their products for free anymore." Because I really liked having internet and movie channels for free.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Oh, it's funny where our mind goes in times of stress and duress.

KJ: Right. I'm like,"We're going to have to pay for internet and HBO now. Do you understand this?"

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right. Right.

KJ: And God love him, in that moment, he said to me," If that is what you are worried about, I think this is a good thing. I don't know what you're going to do. I don't know what this means, but if that is your thing that you're thinking about right now, good."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Because it means you have a healthy perspective. You were just going to the practical nature of things. I think that is a healthy, like," What's the next thing? Well, the next thing is I need to call Xfinity and make sure we don't lose our movie channels."

KJ: Right. What an embarrassing phone call." Hi, thank so for the wonderful services. I can't do your commercials anymore because I just got fired. So how much is this going to cost now?"

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : But I was thinking of this when you were talking about" just do the next thing." I read somewhere or heard somewhere, a gentleman that was talking about being let go. And he said he went home and he cleaned out the garage trash cans, hosed them out and washed them with soap and water and a scrub brush. He said," I needed to feel worthy and relevant of making a difference somewhere in that moment." And he said," What better place than the dirtiest place really that existed in my house, than to make that clean and beautiful and remind myself that I have value. I no longer work there, but I have value." And sometimes it is those just weird... We were talking about cleaning out closets and letting things go so that you can let new things come in. And sometimes that's exactly what it takes is some practical act.

KJ: Yeah. Absolutely. Was it calling Xfinity and saying," Hi, I got fired. How much does it cost to keep my internet?"

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Just keep moving on.

KJ: Yep. That person on the other end of the line, I don't think he had ever laughed so hard at someone who had just been fired, because I was like," Well, I don't... Are they going to shut this off today? Am I going to lose... I don't know what happens. Please don't take my internet and my HBO."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Because I'm going to have more time to watch it now.

KJ: Right. That's all I have now.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Well, and the other thing that you said that I think is so profound that I want to underscore a bit as well, is there are these supernatural acts that take place in our body. And I believe that God created our brains and that the neuroscience is also spiritual, but losing your voice was the only way that you could be shut down from the busy, busy, busy, to write and think and feel and listen and hear to what was needed next.

KJ: Yes. Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And when we fight against those things, again, that's what I call striving, which means battle and conflict. Yours was laryngitis. Mine was two months of pneumonia where I couldn't leave my house. We get set down sometimes for a reason.

KJ: Yes. Time out.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And it's best just to embrace it. Yep. Time out. Get in your time out chair.

KJ: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Mm- hmm. I think it's beautiful.

KJ: And in one of those moments where I was in timeout and I couldn't talk, so I was just kind of free flowing writing, that little KJ Today Show came back up, and I hadn't thought about it. And it's been four or five years I hadn't thought about it. And I had this moment where I was like," That was the thing I always wanted to do, so when I started my media company last year, why didn't I do that?" But it wasn't time.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It wasn't time.

KJ: And as soon as that came out, I woke my husband up, and I got the notebook and the pen and I'm pointing, and he's like, he's not a morning person, so he's like," Yeah. Okay. What do you want me to do?" I'm like," Make coffee. I'm going to keep writing."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That's what I say. If you're a builder, if you are a person like us that gets inspired and then needs to act, you either need to be single like me or have a husband like that, who's like," Okay, what can I do to support you?""Make coffee. I'm going in." I pray that I'm going to get a man like that, so I can say," Make coffee. And here we go."

KJ: Yeah. It is something.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : So then what?

KJ: So I kept writing, and then I was like," I'm not going to wait to do this because I know how to do it." Right? And there came a moment in that free flow of writing over those few days, Rebecca, where I wrote out... And I love the journaling part, where you get into that space where words come out that were for you, that it's like, I didn't actually say that. Higher self, source, God said that to me, and it said... I wrote the words," You don't need permission from a radio station or TV station to do this show."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Chills.

KJ: And that was like-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Tingly chills.

KJ: Right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right.

KJ: And it was one of those, it's in my journal. Right? I marked that page and circled that. Right? I don't need permission. I don't need a company. I had this realization. It's been four or five years since I've been on the radio. I have a wonderful following of people on social media and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. And they support the charity work that I do. They were with me all the whole while through Make a Wish. They weren't with my company, they were with me, and they're still with me.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That is the essence of the book that I wrote, Write Your Own Story, is that when you own your own story, you can take it anywhere you want to go. You're not tethered to a company. I spent 20 years with a company that was great, but once it's time to go, it's time to go, and you take your gifts and talents and you're still you. And those people still love you, thousands of them, tens of thousands of them, still love you.

KJ: And it's been terrifying at times. It's been trying, because there are things like I don't know the equipment side of things. Again, my husband, he's such a wonderful man. He's like," Well, we're going to need this. And we're going to... What you want to do, we can't just turn on and do." You're like," I know your vision. And I want it to be the thing that you want it to be. So I'm going to have to do some stuff to our studio. We're going to have to change some things, order some things." And I was like," You do what you got to do, but I'm starting it May 4th." And it's like two weeks, right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Oh, I love that. Woman on a mission. Okay." But that's where I'm going." I love that.

KJ: And with two minutes to go for our first show, everything shut down, froze up. My mic wasn't working, nothing. I was like," Oh, you're kidding."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Can we just have a pause for how often that happens? And because, as I said and you said, I believe in the power of good and evil that is existing in the world every single day around us. When we are set out to do good in the world, evil and darkness will try everything in its power to do that. That the number of times that's happened to be in an important broadcast or a keynote speech, I'll get ready to go up, and all of a sudden the AV people will be like," Hold on. We don't know what's happening." And you know me well enough now. I go up and do some bide and rebuke prayers over the AV equipment. And they just look at me like I have lost my mind. I'm like," Try it now." And it'll start working. They're like," Okay."

KJ: Oh, yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : But it does. It happens. And we can't panic. We just have to say," Okay, this just means it was important enough to be fought in the world."

KJ: Yes. Yeah. And it's that moment of," Oh, yes, I will do this. Oh yeah." I'm like,"Oh yes. We are doing this."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes.

KJ: Not like," Well, shoot, I guess we can't... Maybe we weren't meant to do it." I think sometimes people's mind go right there.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes.

KJ: "Well maybe it wasn't meant to..." No. It hundred percent was. It's your reminder, your voice to the universe that says," I am doing this."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes. I love that. And that's where you get the gumption. That's where the fire comes deep in your belly. You're like," Okay, now we doing the thing. Come on."

KJ: Yeah. And the same thing, show number two, seven minutes to go, my producer's, all her stuff stopped working. And I literally gave her a backup laptop and a microphone. And things were screwed up, so we couldn't be in the same room together. And I was like," Go down to the kitchen table. We're live in five minutes." She's like,"Okay."" This is happening."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I love it.

KJ: "It'shappening."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I love it.

KJ: So, yeah. It's been really, really beautiful to be able to get to this moment and look back and remember that the KJ Today Show was a beautiful idea, and it's me. It's authentic. There is nothing perfect about it. We went on the air and we're like," We don't know if this is going to work, because two minutes ago, none of it was, so let's see what happens." But it's who I am and it's putting it out there. It's putting it out there right now. And so, that idea that I felt like got crushed and taken away, now I feel like, looking back, that time in my life, it wasn't the right time, and they didn't deserve that. That wasn't for them.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right.

KJ: It wasn't for them.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It wasn't for them.

KJ: It was for me.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yeah.

KJ: So here I am.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It is so beautiful. And I think there's no better time than this time in the world. I love the saying that whatever time in the world that you're alive in, is on purpose. Right? And this is such a weird time in the world, and I think it's a call to our authenticity and who we genuinely are. Because when everything else around us is crazy, and we used to think that it was under control, but now we know that it's nothing but a big ball of uncertainty, the only thing that we can do is look inward and say," But who am I in this space? And what do I have to give to the world?" And your story is a beautiful illustration of that, and I'm so excited for you. I'm proud of you for answering that nudge, and listening to those words that came out in your journal. So how's the show going? It's out in the world now. How's it going? What are you excited about?

KJ: It is. It's going great. You and I are talking on a Wednesday, and my show, we do it live on Wednesday nights. So, obviously, lots of people consume things on their own time. So it's on demand, on YouTube. And not to plug Xfinity again, but if you say," Watch KJ Today" on the Xfinity voice remote, on YouTube, it comes right up. It's just super cool, right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That's another grateful circle moment. Let's just honor that for a minute. That's beautiful.

KJ: Right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes.

KJ: It's like," I wonder if this will work." And I said," Watch KJ Today Show on YouTube." And there it was on my TV. And I'm like," Thank you, Xfinity. You were there for me." So the show itself, it's 60 minutes, which has been an interesting challenge, because I used to do five hours every single morning, and now, I'm doing one hour on Wednesday nights. We kind of just set the expectation of," Let's get it out there. And when we can do more, we will do more. But let's get it out there." So it's 60 minutes of positive vibes, people to know, pop culture, and pets, which are all my things.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And all the beautiful things in the world. So say it again, positive vibes.

KJ: People to know people.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : People to know.

KJ: Pop culture.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Pop culture.

KJ: And pets.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And pets.

KJ: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It is all beautifulness in the world.

KJ: Right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I love it.

KJ: And I did have a moment, show number three... Show one and show two had all the weird technical stuff. I actually got myself this nice big shungite crystal, which if you've ever seen people have those little crystal stickers on the back of their phone block out the EMF.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Oh, okay.

KJ: That's shungite. So, there's lots of crystals that have meanings, and we can talk about that. But this one is actually if you're having issues with electronics, get yourself some shungite. So I'm like, show three, I was like," We've got the shungite. Nothing's going to go wrong." But it was the day that everyone was finding out about the mass shootings. And I was like," How do I go on tonight and be like,'Hey, let's have some goofy fun let's talk about pop culture and things.'" And I really, really struggled with," Is it the right thing to do?" And again, in just kind of like," Let's go to the journal." What came to me was it's absolutely needed. That's what came to me. It's needed that we, especially in this time, what you're talking, everything is uncertain and there is pain behind everyone's story and struggle. And if we can't honor those people by continuing to find joy when there is grief, then we are not serving what their purpose was here. To me, it has to be a balance. And it's not that we are ignoring grief, ignoring reality. We are actually honoring the people that can't be in a space right now that can't find a reason to smile. We owe it to them if we can, to have our day where we can smile.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I agree.

KJ: So that when our grief is there, we're surrounded by people who can lift us up and find that joy for us.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I agree wholeheartedly. I saw a post on Simon Sinek's LinkedIn. I can't even remember what the circumstance in the world was at the time, because there's been so many happening back to back, but it was a particular dark couple of days for something in the news, I can't remember. And someone just blasted Simon Sinek for putting out some inspiring post about some work that he was doing. And I got so sad, because I thought," If we all just turn to gloom and doom and darkness, we're screwed."

KJ: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : It takes a whole lot more boldness and courage and confidence to stay inspiring and hopeful and positive in the midst of those things than it does to let it bring us down. So I applaud you for listening again, to the words in the journal and going on. So how did that show play out?

KJ: I would say it was our best show so far.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I think you're-

KJ: Not to say," Don't go watch four and five" because-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : They're good, too.

KJ: We peaked at three, guys, it's all downhill from here. But I think in reconnecting with my audience and some of the new people that have come in, just coming on and saying, I said that," I didn't know if I should do this today. But you're here and I'm here. And so, let's honor the moment that we get to have in this life. Because we don't know how many moments we get. So right now, let's do this together." Right? And I think that's so important for all of us, no matter where we're showing up, no matter what our purpose is in the lives around us, to not get lost in the grief and just say," I don't know exactly how to show up with everything that's going on, but I'm going to show up."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : "And I'm here. I'm here and you're here and we're together, because nobody drives alone." And to have you that they can count on to be that inspiring figure in their lives might be one of the only bright spots that they have in their lives. A lot of people are lonely and are looking for someone like you that can be a light in that darkness. And I think that it's beautiful that you opened the show again, honoring your authenticity and just genuinely showing up and saying what was on your heart. The more we do that in life and business, the more people will feel connection. Even if it's on the job, if you're a leader of a team or a company, if you just show up and say what's on your heart, it rarely is a bad idea. So I'm glad to hear.

KJ: And I think that it's so important what you are doing, in reinforcing that constantly, because we have years and years of programming that we've got to get rid of. Showing up to work and you're fine, even when you're not, because you better be fine because you're at work. These facades that we've been told make us strong.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Bullshit.

KJ: Right.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Bullshit.

KJ: Right.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yeah.

KJ: It is absolute bullshit. It's garbage. And we are going to be so much better when we all can just let that trash go to the trash, and show up the best we can in the moment that we're in, and being honest and saying," I'm honoring you that you're doing the best that you can, because you know what? So am I."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And when you're not okay, being able to say," You know what? Not okay today. I'm not going to bring my best self today." It's impossible to think that we should or could, or can. I call it in my book ushering in the age of humanity, that the industrial age of living like machines is over. And if you're still trying to lead and manage that way, you're about to get left behind, because people won't tolerate that anymore. And it's best just to step into where we are, which is human to human. And it doesn't mean that we forgo the business model. For crying out loud, I'm an amazing business consultant. Goals, strategies, systems, processes, yes, please. And let's make money doing it so we can continue to serve in big, bold, beautiful ways. Business doesn't have to be the burnout machine that it has become. I believe that commerce and business human to human can be the place that heals our hearts, doesn't break them, and that we can show each other our, just like you did," I'm here. This is my business. This is my work." And even if you run a team in" an insurance agency, you can still show up and say, I'm here. How are you? Let's work together. Let's serve each other. Let's do beautiful work together and not treat each other like machines."

KJ: I love it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Oh, I hope so.

KJ: Thank you being a voice out there and helping so many women, especially, because I think we do struggle with, and I am working on it now, the idea that if we're not performing or we're not doing something, who are we letting down? Right? There's that idea in your head. Sometimes you're not serving anybody if you don't just take a break and take care of yourself.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Absolutely. I'm doing-

KJ: And I can say that because the universe shut me up.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Exactly. Well, 100%. And so many times I hear women say," It feels selfish to take care of myself." And I'm actually doing a keynote for trueU here in Indianapolis on June 28th, I think it is. I'll put a link in the show notes. But my entire keynote is that stress is selfish, self- care is badass. Because when you are stressed because you haven't taken care of yourself, and there's all kinds of stress, let me just clarify. Not all stress is bad. The stress we get before we push record on a show, there's good stress, too. Right? But when we don't take care of ourselves and we live in this frenetic pace where we are not our best selves because of that frenetic pace, we are not serving well. We are not great coworkers. We are not great leaders. We are are short- tempered moms and naggy wives. And we're not our best selves when we don't take care of ourselves. So I want to flip the script on that narrative and say," The most selfish thing you can do is be exhausted and stressed out all the time. Sit your ass down, take a nap, journal. Spend some time and regroup and take care of yourself so that when you come out to serve from that time, they're better for it, you're better for it." We've we've got to change that narrative. It's gone on too long. I'm done with it.

KJ: It really has. It really has. I love that, too. I haven't thought about it that way with stress is not serving anybody.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : No.

KJ: But we've almost been taught to wear it as a badge." Boy, you can see how stressed I am all the time, so I must be an amazing worker."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Well, and then we pass that on to our kids.

KJ: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : So schools have become this striving, achievement- based culture. Now our kids are stressed out. So you've got the energy in the home is busy, productive," I don't have time for this." And then everybody just feels like shit. That's not working.

KJ: Nope. It sure isn't.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That's a whole nother show, KJ. Oh my goodness.

KJ: Yes, it is.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That's a whole nother... Come back and we'll do that. We'll do that topic as well.

KJ: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : So tell us again where people can find you on YouTube, other social media, what's the best way if they want to just be," Oh my gosh. I want to make sure I don't miss a show." What should they do?

KJ: Yes. The easiest way to get to all my stuff and things is KJtodayshow. com. It'll get you to my YouTube channel, the link to Spotify, Apple, and then all of my places on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I have seven rescue cats, so if you need lots of pet joy, I am constantly sharing their goofy stories.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And I'm going to tease this out as a little bit of a maybe inspiration to make sure it keeps going. You have a book that you've been penning that has a pet theme as well. Are we still working on that, KJ?

KJ: Yes, I am. I talked to my good friend over the weekend, so I just finished up this great big pop culture convention called PopCon here in Indianapolis. And I had said to her... She sent me... She keeps me on track, right?" These are the next things we need to do." And the book is written. I have to do the weird stuff now like make sure the layout is right and do acknowledgements and do something for the back of the book and all that. I'm like," Oh, I thought I was done. I wrote the book."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I outsourced all that stuff, girlfriend. There are people that will do that for you.

KJ: Oh my gosh. Now I need to find these people.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Okay.

KJ: Because I am not... Yeah. Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : That's not the fun part.

KJ: But she was at the convention as well. And we left it as, she said,"I sent you an email with your next steps. Let me know if you have any questions." And she said," But no rush." And I said," No, stay on my ass."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes. That's why I'm asking you. I'm like," Come on girlfriend." Do you want to tease out anything about the book, or are we just going to wait until that comes out?

KJ: Yeah. No, I am more than happy to chat about it. And you tell me if I get chatting too much, because it's like that button," Ask me about my cats." You may regret.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : If you're passionate about it, then it needs to be said. Tell us about the book.

KJ: So the story really is, it's a reflection of my life so far and what I've learned in the various phases of my life, through the cats who have chosen to be here with me. And I really believe very much that everything happens for a reason. And even our family members and our friends are supposed to be in our life, that our pets are, too. My first word was kitty before I said mama or dada. In my baby book, my mother reminded me multiple times that I liked cats before I liked her, and was pleased that I grew up and became the Kitty Correspondent for Pet Pals TV, which is one of my passion projects. She's like," Well, at least if you were going to say kitty before mama, you went on to make a cause of it."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Went on to use it for good. Yes. I love that.

KJ: Now the book is called Raised by Cats, and it is a very helpful guide for people who are struggling with cat behaviors. But really, it's kind of me putting myself out there in a way that feels comfortable for me to tell my story, which is some of the triumphs and lessons and complete failures. I talk about my cat, Reggie, who was my practice cat. And I apologized to him a gazillion times since. The young girl out of college who finally had a cat, and it's like," I don't actually know how to take care of you." So yeah, every time I have to do an edit, I cry again as I read through these amazing impacts that these wonderful little creatures have had on my life. So I keep getting," When are you going to write your story?" And people want to know, that listened to me on the Smiley Show, they always want to know what was behind the mic. And I'm not ready for that, so my comfort zone is," Let me tell you about me through the eyes of my cats."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : And maybe you never will be ready. Maybe that's not your story to tell.

KJ: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Your story is one that's genuine and authentically you. So, I just have to laugh, because as you're talking about cats, my daughter's college cat, Bugs, has made an appearance on the show. If you're listening to the audio and not watching the video, the minute you started talking about that, she jumps up on the table and is like," Did you say cats? Here I am. How can I serve you?"

KJ: I will never call myself a cat whisperer, but this is very, very common, Rebecca, that when I am doing Zoom meetings and podcasts and guest starring, that people will be like," This cat never comes out." I see, yeah. Bugs is like," Tell me more about the book." What I like to think is that when you get done with the book, you'll understand a little bit more about me, and learn from some of the lessons that I've had in life when I've felt my lowest, and this wonderful little ball of love was like," I'm here to get you to the next place." But also that the cats of the world will thank me for giving some humans a little better understanding of what they're doing here and their purpose.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : I love that. I love that. And I often call my son the golden retriever and my daughter the cat, because my son is always ready to have a conversation." Let's do this. What do you want to do? Sounds good, blah, blah." And my daughter is more," I'll come to you when I'm ready. And when I'm done, I'm done."

KJ: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Which is a little more catlike. So I, as a mom have, have just learned to manage those very different needs and personalities and respond accordingly. And you just have to be aware and mindful that they're different.

KJ: Well, and I appreciate that you acknowledge that, because so much of what I do in the realm of the cat education world is like," So for starters, your cat's not a dog."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Right.

KJ: You have to understand, your cat's not a dog and your cat's not a human, just like your dog's not a cat. Your dog's not... We're speaking different languages.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Different languages. Yep.

KJ: Different languages and different ways to show our love. It's like the five Love Languages.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Yes.

KJ: We really need to understand what those are for our little pets that we bring into our world and ask to exist in this strange roof with four walls that they weren't naturally-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Naturally.

KJ: ...meant to be it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Well, funny you should mention that, because now Bugs the cat is eating the succulents on my table since we're here together. So I probably should end the show and manage the cat that's in my presence before she eats, get down, and knocks out all the dirt out of the... See what you've done, KJ? You've stirred it all up here.

KJ: Bugs is like," It's time to wrap up the show."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : You are a bright light, my dear. I love you. I love what you're doing in the world. I want everybody to go and listen and watch your show, and let's just stay friends forever, shall we?

KJ: I love that idea. Pinky swear.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hessian : Thanks for being here.

KJ: You got it.( singing)


KJ from The KJ Today Show is this week's guest! KJ is a radio host, TV producer, and entrepreneur who is a dedicated animal advocate. KJ was living her dream until everything unexpectedly changed; she shares how she learned and grew from this experience which led her to start her own show. And she is thriving! She joins Rebecca today to share her story. Listen now!