“Ask yourself, what gives me energy in the day, and what takes it away? Look at the distribution of balance between the two. And if you feel like it’s more taking away, inject one or two more of those micro-moments into each day.”
Penny Locaso

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When you’re a busy working parent, your own happiness can feel like it’s at the bottom of a long list.

This stage of life doesn’t feel like it’s about being happy.
It feels like it’s about survival.

Furthermore, any attempts to seek happiness bring out a rash of parent guilt. Self-care feels selfish when you have small humans.

And in business often what we think makes us happy, doesn’t.
We’re driven by ego, peer pressure and a bag full of ‘shoulds’.
And we find, or I did, that the pursuit of happiness is in fact making us miserable.

So in today’s episode, we’re going to chat about happiness, what it means and how to find it both as a parent and a business owner.

Tune in to learn:

  • What Penny’s family dynamic is like
  • How Penny divides her time between co-parenting and working
  • Penny’s relationship with her child and how that’s changed as they’ve gotten older.
  • How to find happiness through micro-moments and contentment
  • How to stop making yourself miserable by comparing yourself to other people
  • Penny’s top tips to get started on the process towards a happier life

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Text in image: Ask yourself, what gives me energy in the day, and what takes it away? Look at the distribution of balance between the two. And if you feel like it's more taking away, inject one or two more of those micro-moments into each day. Penny Locaso

 

 

About Penny Locaso

Headshot of Penny Locaso

Penny Locaso is the world’s first Happiness Hacker on a quest to teach 10 million humans, by 2025 how to flourish in life.

Voted one of the most influential female entrepreneurs in Australia, Penny is her own ongoing experiment. A little while back she turned her life upside down in pursuit of happiness. She left a sixteen-year career as an executive, relocated her family from Perth back to Melbourne, left an 18-year relationship, and started her own purpose-driven company HackingHappy.co 

Fun fact: Penny can leg press 265kg.

Connect with Penny Locaso

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Transcript

Kate Toon  

Okay. When you’re a busy working parent, your own happiness can feel like it’s at the bottom of a long list. This stage of life doesn’t feel like it’s about being happy, it feels like it’s about survival. Furthermore, any attempts to seek happiness, bring out a rash of parent guilt. Self Care feels selfish when you have small humans. And in business, often what we think makes us happy doesn’t make us happy. Anyway, we’re driven by our ego, peer pressure, and a bag full of shoulds. And we find or I did, that the pursuit of happiness is in fact, making us miserable. So in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about happiness, what it means how to find it, both as a parent and a business owner. Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m the founder of stay tuned. A busy business owner and okayish parents, and today I’m talking with Penny Locaso. Hello Penny. 

 

Penny Locaso  

Oh, hi Kate. 

 

Kate Toon  

Let me tell you who Penny is She’s a legend Penny is the world’s first happiness hacker on a quest to teach 10 million humans by 2025 How to flourish in life, voted one of the most influential female entrepreneurs in Australia Penny is her own ongoing experiment. A little while back, she turned her life upside down in the pursuit of happiness. She left a 16 year career as an executive relocated her family back from Perth to Melbourne. Less than 18 year relationship and just a few things and started her own purpose driven company Hacking happy.co and have fun facts which we have talked about privacy is that Penny can leg press. 265 kilograms. Good grief.

 

Penny Locaso  

We’re actually at 315 now.

 

Kate Toon  

Oh my God,

 

Penny Locaso  

That’s a three sets of 15.

 

Kate Toon  

You’ve got legs of steel.

 

Penny Locaso  

They’re short, but they’re strong. 

 

Kate Toon  

That’s what you need to be it needs to be like a little wombat in the leg. I think I’ve got up to about I could do about 150s. So maybe I should go higher and lower my reps. Maybe I should give it a try.

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah, I have a very good trainer who does that. So every month we change from high reps to you know, the next month we go to low reps with heavier weights. So it’s constantly changing. And that is what I found makes my body more adaptable over time.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, well, it’s kind of you know, pushing, pushing the limits recovering pushing the limits recovering, which is kind of what we do as parents and business owners. Did you like that segue? It was very, I feel like we’re constantly feeling we’re leg pressing. As a parent and a business owner. But before we dive into your, to the pursuit of happiness, a discussion of whether being happy, trying to be happy makes you happy. I’d love to know about your life. I mean, gosh, a lot of changes in the last few years. So what is your parenting and business setup? 

 

Penny Locaso  

Oh, that’s a great question. It’s very integrated, it’s probably. So I am a part time parent, which is a very luxurious position to be in. So I co parent, my son with my ex husband 50/50. 

 

Kate Toon  

That’s good. Yeah. 

 

Penny Locaso  

I have him half the week. And so the way that I structure my weeks is that I don’t want to do all the boring sheets, when he’s around. I want to I want to make sure that the time I have with him is intentional, and you know, hopefully pleasurable. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah. 

 

Penny Locaso  

So I kind of ice my days when I’m not with him. You know, my really big work days. So mine was a longer day, but the days that Zax is here, you know, I might only work till three o’clock in the afternoon. And I actually even though he’s 30, I go and pick him up, we often go to soccer training, or we’ll walk down as a soccer pitch here with the dog in the evening, and we’ll watch a game or you know, he’ll train and I’ll walk the dog and things like that. So the structure is, it’s kind of it’s flexible, and it absolutely works and active. So we exercise a lot together.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I was gonna say one of the main sort of pillars of the book is not trying to, we want to integrate our business and our parenting. But we also want to have clear boundaries, you know, and be like, This is my time to be a parent, this is my time to be a business owner. And in a way your setup, the co parenting is enforced that it kind of quite a beautiful way you were very clear delineation of when it’s time to be a parent and when it’s time to be a business owner, for the rest of us sometimes a bit hard i co parent as well, but it’s not as kind of clear that it’s a bit more blurry. But I love the intention is the same that either your parenting or your business thing and sometimes the mind will blur but we try and avoid that as much as possible because then you tend to do a bad job of both. Now you mentioned that your son is 13 My son is 14. And I think it’s I think parenting evolves at that age. It’s not the same level or type of parenting is much less hands on. It’s much less protection and feeding and is a lot of feedings though. But it feels a bit less carrot sticks and jigsaws. And a bit more conversation and feeding. I think feeding is a big part of it. What do you what do you think? How has it changed for you? 

 

Penny Locaso  

It’s funny, one thing has stayed constant. And there’s one thing I did early on that made a real difference to our relationship, especially now. And that was my son when he was young. We had a conversation about truth. And I made a promise to him that I would always tell him the truth no matter what question he asked me. So the beauty in that was that it created this relationship where he always felt safe to be able to ask things from sex questions like last week, I had to answer what does cock-block mean. I mean, these are questions you don’t I mean, but it’s created a level of trust and an openness now that he’s in his teenage years, I don’t expect him to tell me everything. But he has a safe space to be able to have those conversations, which I really love. But I think the biggest, the biggest difference is like you say, it’s kids don’t listen to what you say they watch what you do. And, you know, I just think that now as you say, it’s more important than ever to, for me to sort of show up in a way that kind of helps him see what adulting could look like, from the perspective of living a full and joyful life. And how that works in a day to day sense, not in terms of a futuristic sense. So that’s kind of where we’re at. Like, I think the other thing that I think is really interesting, like I deal a lot with clients, as you said, parenting when you’ve got little kids is like so different. Now it’s about connection and relationships and role-modeling. Rather than as you said,  and feeding rather than just trying to get through the day 

 

Kate Toon  

Survival. 

 

Penny Locaso  

So demanding.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, exactly. And we do you know, as your kids get older, you do have more time for yourself, which can be wonderful, challenging, it changes your identity as a mom, you know that you’re not as needed, and then finding things to fill the space that’s been left behind. You know, like, the other night, my son, we were both invited to a Halloween party, I wasn’t able to go. So my son went off to a Halloween party, I dropped him off and picked him up three hours later. And it’s that tight. You know, I’m sure many parents with younger children would dream of having the house themselves for three hours with nothing to do and no responsibilities. But I’m having to relearn who I was before I became a parent. And what gave me joy. And I think that’s quite interesting as well. So you mentioned that, obviously, your whole business is around hacking, hacking happy. Tell us a little bit about, why you don’t want a big pitch. But tell us a little bit about hacking happy and what that means, like, What were you talking about your mission? What does that mean in in simple terms? 

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah. So, in it’s simplest terms, I would say. The first thing I’d say is happiness is not a goal or a destination. It’s a way of being. And that way of being is formed by the micro moments that you inject in each day that make you feel grounded, that make you feel I don’t like the word balance, because I think it’s bullshit. So I think of it more about what are the things that make you feel grounded that makes you feel humanly connected or connected to yourself, and give you that sense of harmony. I really like the word harmony. Because I just feel, you know, to me, it speaks to my heart. It’s like, it’s just it feels like peace. And I talk about micro moments because as you spoke to at the start, I meet so many women, you know, where it’s like they’re trying to squeeze more into an already full day and constantly looking for productivity hacks, like how do I get more in the day? How do I become more efficient? And it’s like, you know what your problem is? Your problem is not how do you get more in the day? It’s actually how do you create more like, the more space you create for these micro moments of recharge, the more productive you will become, and you won’t have to work every minute of every day. The other thing I will briefly say is in terms of happiness, the science tells us the happiest people in the world are those who are emo-diverse, emotionally diverse. They’re the people who can ride the wave of every emotion that life throws at them, and know that they can come out the other side a little better than before. So happiness is not about feeling joyful, every minute of every frickin day, that’s not healthy or realistic. It’s about how do you actually learn to process all emotions and stop squashing the bad stuff down? Because that’s what will make you a healthier and more mentally well being.

 

Kate Toon  

Okay, there’s a lot there to dig into. Let’s let’s start with the micro moments. I’ve also heard those referred to as glimmers, which I really really liked that that phrase as well. And I think the thing is, sometimes we’re so busy and we as you said have packed so much into our day that we don’t even notice those moments or they happen. We acknowledge them very briefly and we march on to the next thing. So part of being able to have more moments of happiness and mine is having as you said the space to go, oh, you know, we have it sometimes right? With self enough aware to go, Oh, I’m really enjoying this, this is really nice. This is, I’m feeling really good at the moment, you know. But sometimes we miss that altogether, we’re just we’re just marching on? Or do you find that like, you need the gaps to kind of have the quietness of brain to notice that you’re happy? Does that make sense?

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah, it absolutely does. So as someone who’s worked in change in large corporations and with individuals for 25 years, the first step to any change is awareness. Yeah, because without awareness, there can be no change. And so what I find really interesting is on my website, one of the free resources we have is an energy audit. And it’s really profound for people when they step back and look at simply what are the things that recharge my batteries in an average day? And what are the things that actually deplete my battery, and just creating a list and I encourage your listeners to do this, if they are one of these women that jams you know, more into a full day and they feel like no one’s getting the best of them. There’s nothing left in the tank. Just ask yourself, what gives me energy in the day? And what takes it away? Yeah, look at the distribution of balance between the two. And if you feel like it’s more taking away, ask yourself, what would it look like to inject one or two more of those micro moments into each day?

 

Kate Toon  

I think that’s it. And I think, you know, society, culture, Instagram tells us, these are what this is what should make you happy. You know, often when we talk about self care, people often, you know, leap into massages, and facials and whatever. In reality for me, you know, the stress of having to book a facial and then drive there and have it and neither, that’s not pleasurable to me. And I think sometimes we’re ashamed of some of the things that give us real happiness. For me just lying on my bed, I think of it as a recharge mat, just lying on my bed, or eating crisps in the bath. 

 

Penny Locaso  

Don’t you love gardening as well?

 

Kate Toon  

I do like gardening. Yeah, but I think gardening is a more traditional, obvious happiness thing. What I’m talking about is our secrets. We call it I call it you know, private behavior, you know, secret private behavior, that was not necessarily not Instagrammable moments, you know, so if standing by the fridge, shoveling fistfuls of grated cheese into your mouth directly out of the bag makes you happy. That’s okay. It’s permission to find happiness where you want it and not in something that you can take a snapshot of. And I think sometimes that gets misconstrued. The other thing I wanted to talk about was your discussion about contentment. I think contentment is massively underrated. I think people are looking for peaks, you know, and I know I was, I was on a constant up and down of highs and lows. And I think contentment as a business owner is often misconstrued as boring. But the truth is, a boring business is often very successful, you know, so I would say 80 to 90% of my business is pretty boring. I go to my office, I do things to Excel spreadsheets. Once in a blue moon, I’m at an event or book launch. And obviously, you take more photos of that, because it’s more of an Instagram moment. But I think we massively underrate contentment and what and why do you think that is? Do you agree with that? Do you think we do?

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah, without a doubt, because productivity is become a disease. We value productivity as a society and all that data, that’s when I well, one, we value productivity, and equally in terms of your conversation about Instagram, the way women now look at the world, and what’s expected of them is just a barrage of shoulds. And so what that does is it creates these toxic unrealistic expectations of oneself that one can never live up to. And that leaves you feeling became shed, because you never enough, nothing’s ever felt like the list is never done to your point about the to do list. It’s never done, you’re always on the bottom of it. So you never get to yourself. And it’s why you like I say women say to me, I feel like I’m running on empty, there’s just nothing left in the tank. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah.

 

Penny Locaso  

And that’s never gonna make you feel content that’s gonna make you feel like you’ll never know,

 

Kate Toon  

This is it. And I have a whole section in the book on productivity, because I do believe that you can be smarter about how you invest your time, which therefore allows more time for you. So I’m a big scheduler. And one of the first things I do every week I use bright yellow in my Google Calendar is I scheduled joy. So I scheduled the joyful things before I schedule the work things and I make sure there’s at least one hours worth of yellow every day. Now that might be the gym in the morning. It may be whatever it may be that but I schedule my joy first in sun shine yellow, and that may sound joy is meant to be spontaneous joy is meant to just come from the ether. No, no, no. You can schedule time to be joyful. You can not manufacture joy, but as you’ve said, give yourself space to find joy. So that’s one of my little tips. But the other one I think you mentioned is the time thing someone said to me at a book launch. I just feel like I’ve got too much should do. I’ve done all the hacks. So I do Pomodoro I do this, but I just feel like I’ve got too much to do. And the answer is, you do have too much to do. And there’s no two ways around that. And we’re trying, I feel it’s like we’re trying to put too much butter on one slice of bread, we need to just appreciate that we have all the bread in the world, we have years and years and years to get all these things ticked off our list. And no one else cares. And no one else is looking. And most of this pressure is we put it on ourselves, don’t we, we set these terrible expectations on ourselves. Do you find that with your clients?

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah, so one of the most profound questions and you would know this from I mean, everything I watched your stuff, you know, it’s this, the most powerful stuff, stuff is the tiny changes, you make simple stuff. It’s not probably, you know, profoundly different. It’s really, really simple. So I find one of the most profound questions to ask oneself in the current environment, is how much is enough? And it’s astounds me how many smart successful women I work with, as clients who have never asked themselves that question. And when they do, what do you think the answer is Kate?

 

Kate Toon  

I don’t know. What do you what is it?

 

Penny Locaso  

It’s already enough. It was enough? Like, I’ve already like, think about it. We are privileged people living in Australia. Yeah, it’s a pretty good life here. And when you list what enough is, for most people, it’s like, Oh, I’ve actually got a family that loves me. I’ve got a roof over my head. There’s food on the table, like, it’s already enough. It’s this. I think it’s this again, the external expectation of, and it’s propelled by the machine. Yeah. You just gotta keep striving and striving and striving, and you can’t.

 

Kate Toon  

You can’t, and this is it like I, you know, I do, you know, I’m not bagging out coaches and the whole personal development industry, but to a degree, it does prey on the imagined problem that we are, there is a problem to solve, that we are not confident enough that we are not making enough money, that we are not marketing well enough that we are not, it’s all it’s based on not enoughness, do you I mean, oh, you’re selling your product, you could be selling more, or your ranking on Google, but you could be ranking higher. I mean, obviously, that’s the whole thing. And to a degree, we want to succeed, and we want to achieve because that’s human nature, to not be static and to move forward. But at what pace? Do we move forward? And are we whipping ourselves forward? For an imagined goal, something I talked about in the book is really getting clear on your definition of success, and revisiting it again and again, and accepting that it will change. So for me, it started off as time I want to tie in with my child. And then it became very financially based, I wanted to clear debts and create a secure future. For a while it was ego based, I wanted to be famous, I wanted to be loved. And now it’s pretty much come back to time again, I want to have time to do things that as you say, give me joy, whether it’s you know, roller skating, or as I said, lying on my bed eating crisps. But it’s so easy to get waylaid by other people’s definition of success and happiness, you know? And if you’re not clear on your own, everyday, you’re like, Oh, she’s doing that. I wonder if that will be better than what I’m doing. Oh, she’s at an event. And I’m not there. And maybe I would have loved that. And now I’m missing out. I know, I feel bad about what I’m doing today. How do we, how do we stay within ourselves? You know, put the blinkers on to a degree and just be happy with our Lord. I mean, it’s the fundamental question, I guess. But any tips on if you find yourself constantly comparing your version of success to other people’s,

 

Penny Locaso  

the first tip, which is again, simplest, and I’ve done this many times, myself is unfollow.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, stop looking.

 

Penny Locaso  

Like seriously. And because the thing is, you know, the phone is wired to be looked at like it’s, you know, your attention is the most highly valuable commodity at the moment. So just you know, if something doesn’t make you feel good when you look at it, and it’s not that the person that you’re following is a bad person. It’s just that if it makes you feel shit, and you’ve got comparison, itis just unfollow, like, I have a massive impact. Like, I think for me, that’s probably and then like you said, I think what it’s interesting you talk about the coaching business, so much of it is about is portrayed is how do you fix yourself? 

 

Kate Toon  

Yes

 

Penny Locaso  

How do you make yourself you know-

 

Kate Toon  

You’re not broken.

 

Penny Locaso  

I don’t see it like that at all. The work that I do is about helping women remember who they are.

 

Kate Toon  

 That’s it.

 

Penny Locaso  

Told me they look in the mirror and they don’t recognize who they are anymore. And so what I look at, like what I do in the way I work is like how do you peel back the layers of this crappy societal expectation that you’ve played on, placed on yourself? And in that process, quieten the noise in your head so that you can hear your heart speak because what I find is, the distribution of what we give attention to in our bodies is inproportionately balanced to the head. And that is often driven by shorts and what is what we think others expected of us. Whereas the truth of who we really want to be is often found in our heart, or in our gut.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah. Okay, we’re getting into the wound now. No, I love it. I mean, gosh, I feel we could talk about this all day. One thing I did want to cover which had gone completely straight from our notes, is in the book, I, you know, I did dig a little bit into the neuro chemistry, I mean, going back to the brain of the of the, you know, the four core happiness elements, you know, a dose, you know, the dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, serotonin, and endorphins, and appreciating what drives all of those. And I think unfortunately, you know, there’s a whole books about it. And we live in a very dopamine focused society, dopamine being the reward drug, also the drug that’s given to us by alcohol in that first 20 minutes or so the addictive Doom scrolling. And we underestimate the importance of oxytocin, which is the love drug, you know, the cuddly bodily and serotonin, which I find fascinating to your point, which is why I brought it up for serotonin. 80% of it is made in the gut, not in the brain. And so actually your gut biome. Why do you? I mean, do you agree that we’re all it’s, we’re in a constant pursuit of dopamine, that kind of thrilling, exciting feeling. And we’re underestimate the comforting soft feeling of serotonin and just feeling well, and content. And again, it’s to your point, that the society is driving us to be craving dopamine.

 

Penny Locaso  

Yeah, we are wired for the quick fix. And, you know, that’s what, that’s what your phone does. It’s, you know, the little light of likes that comes up, it’s the slight delay, before you see your notifications when you log into Instagram, you know, that is what creates. So we have now been conditioned for the quick fix, which means that many of us, we actually, unconsciously don’t invest anymore in the things that take the effort, the long term that don’t have a short term reward. But we know that the true magic in terms of innovation in terms of creativity, in terms of life changing stuff, comes with long term, like you said, the boring stuff, the persistence, the effort, the motivation that you have to show up with every day, over an extended period of time. The other thing I think that’s interesting about dopamine is that you know, it, it comes with fires from head. And to your point about the gut, is that because it’s fired, so often, it leaves many of us completely and utterly disconnected from our bodies. And so what I find with my clients is so often, they don’t even know how they feel anymore. Yeah, like they if you ask them how they feel, it’ll be, I think, now when whenever someone says, I think you’re in your head, you’re not in your body. So as soon as you drop them in, and you say, right, get out your head drop into your body drop in, but often tears come up, because it’s been so long, and because we’re so good at suppressing how we feel, and just moving on to your point, yet that we’ve lost connection from our body, which loses connection from our gut, which is where the intuition comes, which is an extremely powerful force, you know, to make magic happen.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, totally agree. I mean, I am, I’m very much I have been a person who’s been very much in my head and I’m the reason I remember Gosh, a couple of years ago, I went to a yoga class which is not something I often do I’m not a mad yoga person. And I cried at the end of the yoga class and I think it was that it was that release that’s our whole hour. I mean, I’d been in my head that you know, you try to just think I’m thinking I thought let it pass through don’t attach anything to a bit of meditative stuff. And it was the release of just being in my body which is why you know, like you I do love the gym. I do love gardening. I talk about I like to do physical activities, even cleaning I’m big fan of cleaning, I love a bit of cleaning.

 

Penny Locaso  

I love cleaning. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, me too. So because what happens is I’m busy with the task, it’s physical. So I’m touching things I’m feeling things, I’m smelling things and my brain to some degree slipped sideways so I’m not having conscious thought I’m having subconscious thought. And I’m processing things quietly and slowly and that’s often when the best ideas come up. You know, if I sit at my desk and say think of an idea obviously doesn’t happen. As a parent with young kids trying to run a business. All of this sounds very lovely. 

 

Penny Locaso  

It does.

 

Kate Toon  

When I just remember we could talk to sleep as well briefly that you know, those early years in my son I never slept properly so I was never backing up my short term memories. It all felt like a blur. Always running slightly on empty and a coffee wine cycle. And sleep has a huge impact on our happiness as well. Did you talk to that at all?

 

Penny Locaso  

I read because I studied psychology and and also trauma therapy with Dr. Gabor mas a i i mean I’m not a sleep expert, but I definitely do talk to clients about sleep. Because you know, again, it comes back to the simple stuff. It’s like, you need a set level of sleep unless you’re Ghandi. I mean, he’s probably one of the, you know, point 1% in the world that can get by on three hours. You know, the science shows us that that is not the reality for most humans. But I don’t know about you like sleep is, there’s a reason why sleep deprivation, sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yes.

 

Penny Locaso  

Right? Because it sends you crazy. And I know for me, especially as a mother, the only time I really like, fully lose my shit is when I’m exhausted.

 

Kate Toon  

Yes, yeah exactly. 

 

Penny Locaso  

When I haven’t slept properly. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I will prioritize now, because again, I was brought up to kind of, you know, don’t lie in, you know, get up, get on with the day, lying in bed is lazy. But these days, I will prioritize sleep over everything. And sometimes I’ll make a conscious choice in the morning, you know, because I want to go to the gym. And that’s something I want to do. And I know that makes me happy. But I will choose sleep over everything, now of everything. And if it means I don’t get up at 6am, and go to the gym, I don’t go to the gym, that’s fine. I’d rather you know, sleep, than force myself to get up, be tired, go to the gym, resent it, and then spend the whole day feeling exhausted. I think sleep is massive. But we could talk about this for hours. But obviously people can go and read your book. And we’ll talk more to that at the end. But if a parent is listening and busy business parent who’s thinking, well, this all sounds well and good. But how do I hack this? How do I integrate some of Penny’s methodologies into my working week, and find some space for happiness? What are some top, your maybe your top two tips that you give someone to get started and kind of on this process towards a happier life?

 

Penny Locaso  

The first thing that I would say is that I would remove the word busy from your vocabulary. Okay, so I call it the busy equals bullshit challenge. So for seven days, just remove the word busy from your vocabulary. And look, it’s the default position for most people, because a busy mind will go to anxiety, it’s only a matter of time. And it’s when you say you’re busy, it just spins the hamster wheel on your brain faster. So that’s the first thing. And when you do that, notice what happens in your head. Notice what happens when you connect with people. Because when you say I’m busy, it’s not a conversation opener, it’s a closer and connection, like human connection is fundamental to our health and our happiness. So that’s the first simple thing I would say. The second thing I would say is, as I said earlier, I would be looking at what depletes and what recharges your energy in a day, look at an average day, write a list and just put a plus next to the things that recharge a minus next to the things that deplete and rather than going right I’m going to turn everything into a recharge, which is not possible. So what would be one thing that I would love to experiment with over the next week. And if I could inject that one thing into another two days a week, rather than saying, I’m going to do it every single day.  Yes, that’s what I was gonna say.  Come from a place of self compassion and say if I’m not moving my body at all at the moment, because I find with women, that’s the first thing to go. If I went for a walk for half an hour, twice a week. Right, that’s progress. So what would those what would a micro moment of recharge look like? On a small basis that you could bring into your work more often starting as I start small, the other thing I would say which I frickin love, and this has changed my life, studying the trauma therapy and self compassion. For women, the most powerful question you can ask yourself when you wake in the morning, especially if you’re the mother of a small children is what would self compassion look like for me today? Ask yourself that at the beginning of the day, and whatever the answer is, that’s where you should give some micro energy in the day. Because we are so mean to ourselves, constantly focusing on what we haven’t done. But actually asking yourself, What can I give to myself today is the most powerful thing I think you can ask yourself.

 

Kate Toon  

I love that Penny. I have a chapter in the book about parent guilt, which is ostensibly mom guilt. And I think what we’ll do is at the end of the day, we’ll take a little inventory of our day and think of all the things we did wrong, of all the things we missed. So you know, maybe you are on a zoom call a bit late and you miss bedtime, and you’re gonna beat yourself up about that. And that will discount the fact that you got your child up, got them dressed, gave it breakfast to get to school, you made it lunch, you clean the house, you came home, you made them dinner, you play together, you watch and say that one thing you didn’t do outshines everything, it’s human nature to focus on the negative. So I love the idea of starting your day with a bit of an intention and saying, you know, yeah, how can I be kind to myself today? Because we are much crueler to ourselves than anybody else. No one else cares. No one else is looking and thinking God Why is Penny not taken the recycling out? You know, blah, blah, blah. I’m sure you have taken your recycling out. Penny. Where? Where can we find out more about you? I mean, obviously I’d been on your fabulous podcast but tell us what your resources are, where we can find you, and where we can take the next step? Yeah,

 

Penny Locaso  

you can find me at hacking happy dot co, or on Instagram under hacking happy. I’m also pretty prolific on the old LinkedIn just because I have a corporate background from many years ago. So I like to say on there the things that people are thinking but are too afraid to say, because it doesn’t look good if you’re in the corporate world. So that’s where you find me.

 

Kate Toon  

Fantastic and your wonderful book, people can buy in the shops are available everywhere online. So check that out. I’ve included links to hacking happy.co, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Amazon. So you can check out all of Penny’s resources. I’m so sorry that I went so far away from I just looked at my episode notes. And I think we kind of covered the bases. But it’s a fascinating discussion. And I think a lot of it is permission, even just permission to be, to allow yourself to be happy is a funny thing, isn’t it because a lot of us have been brought up to kind of flagellate ourselves towards some imagined achievement. And I think it’s, I think your point about pulling the layers of the onion back to find out who you are at your core. That’s kind of where I am at the moment and in my life and in my business. And it’s not about finding something new it’s actually probably going back to stuff that gave me joy as a as a teenager or a child, before I discovered alcohol and social media and business and relationships. You know, I just potter around my bedroom doing stuff. What was that? You know?

 

Penny Locaso  

It’s like,Buddha it’s like a return to your essence. Essence this, this light within us in some regard. And it’s like sometimes the light just gets deemed by these layers of shit expectations.

 

Kate Toon  

Has your life been dimmed by layers of shit. I love it. Fantastic. Penny your lovely, thank you so much for coming on and chatting us with us today. I’ll speak to you soon. 

 

Penny Locaso  

Thanks, Kate. 

 

Kate Toon  

I completely went off script. There’s so many questions that I was gonna ask. We didn’t follow the format at all. I do apologize. But I just I love Penny’s vibe and I’m very at this point in my life where I’m really being a bit navel gazing about what makes me happy what gives me joy. What does contentment mean? So I hope that was an interesting episode for you. It may all sound a bit far fetched if you are currently have a three year old attached to your leg and you got one hour sleep last night but it gets easier. And there will be more opportunity for blobs of joy. So thank you for listening to the show. It gives me joy that you’re listening. It gives me joy when you leave a rating and review on iTunes and Stitcher or wherever you listen to it. You can also buy a copy of the book on Amazon or booktopia on you can find us on Instagram. Until then, and you hope you enjoyed the podcast. And until next time, happy juggling and remember the world we’ll wait