Gossip is a Form of Connection… and I Don’t Want a Part of It

A couple of years ago I heard a group of people making fun of me after I left the room. In a fury, I started writing a short and not-that-sweet blog post about it- a post titled “Gossip: It’s Low Vibe Energy.”

I often write about the things in life that irritate me, and almost immediately felt better afterward. I’ve written about the things in life that are painful- heartbreak, my experience in treatment, depression, and trauma. I’ve revisited stories of high school bullies and people who pushed me out of their life. I’ve talked about my alcoholism before people could start whispering about where I had been for a month or my poor behavior in the past. I’ve tried to own my side of the street, and took back my narrative before others tried to construe the truth- or think their words would break me.

I’ve noticed how gossip isn’t necessarily meant to be malicious or cruel toward other people, though. As a person who used to have a habit of taking everything personally, I was deeply hurt when people gossiped about me. Whether it was a flat out lie or laughing at my misfortune, I withdrew from connecting with people out of fear. For years I kept to myself and avoided interaction whenever possible.

This all began to change when I moved to the city. In San Francisco, being quirky was widely accepted. In New York, it was encouraged to drink during the day. In Boston, well, people were more concerned with themselves than even giving you a second glance, let alone gossip.

Now back in my hometown of 14,000 people in the city proper, of course gossip runs wild. Whether it’s school board scandal or frowning on changes in the community, people thrive on the dirt. They feed off of it.

I’ve learned an important lesson though- one even more pertinent than owning my narrative:

A lot of people use gossip to connect.

They talk about others to feel heard. They whisper about people behind their backs to gain some sort of validation from their peers.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Connection is a powerful thing, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with sharing their own truth. They connect based on other people, shallow aspects of life, and material gain. They judge other people by what they have or what they’ve accomplished, but not what’s inside their soul.

Today, I connect based on truth.

I’ve been invited to meet old friends and I’ve received messages from acquaintances who are merely curious about my personal life. I’m aware not all of these people truly care about me as a person, but they do care about what sort of drama or problems I may have.

It’s okay, though- I’ve beat them to it.

I’ve already shared what’s really going on with me throughout the web, and I hope to have more opportunities to share my story with the world. Whether it’s public speaking or writing, I know my experiences have helped people learn they’re not alone in their struggles.

My own struggles have brought me strength, for I have overcome them. Gossip may still be low vibe energy, and it’s not something I will participate in today. I wish the best for those who have snickered behind my back or tried to watch me fall; because today, I continue to rise. I hope they find their own way of doing so, too.

Balancing the Light with the Dark: What Grit Means to Me

A couple of weeks ago I had a few thoughts about toxic positivity and the “good vibes only” culture. I do love good vibes- but I’ve also learned how to navigate the bad ones.

When the name “Mindful in Style” popped into my head back in 2016, it was created with a vision of living consciously and embracing whatever style was yours- work style, writing style, and overall lifestyle. As a former fashion blogger, a lot of people related my choice of the word “style” to “fashion.” Yes, clothing is a type of style, but my play on words with the blog name was so much more than that.

It’s about being true and aware of your own way of life.

I have my own style of living mindfully, and it isn’t about wearing mala beads, sitting on a meditation cushion, or exclusively focusing on the light. It’s about embracing the grit while shining in your own unique way.

To me, grit isn’t a catchy term CEOs and “thought leaders” use to motivate employees to work harder. Grit is accepting your dark side. It’s knowing how your past shaped the person you are today. It’s accepting your mistakes, your flaws, and facing your problems.

Grit is vulnerability.

If I had an easy childhood, I probably wouldn’t have the same sense of humor as I do. I wouldn’t be called to write, and I certainly wouldn’t have as many experiences from my attempts at geographical cures.

I didn’t have a father at home to tell me I was doing a good job. I didn’t have siblings to watch out for me when I was followed and harassed on the playground. I didn’t hang out with the popular girls in school who played tennis (oh, I tried, and played terribly). Instead, people constantly bullied me, told me what was wrong with me, and laughed about my misfortune behind my back.

I mainly kept to myself and continued doing what I was doing- until I could run away for over a decade.

Today, I want to talk about it. I finally took my power back.

In October I moved back to Traverse City, a town where mean girls were a dime a dozen, with a brand new view of the world through my oversized sunglasses. I began seeing people for who they were- humans- who were simply trying to do the best they could. Perhaps those people have their own grit beneath the surface. Maybe highlighting my problems made them feel better about theirs.

Grit is taking back your narrative.

Do you have grit if you made 20 more phone calls at work than the guy sitting next to you in your cubicle? Probably not. Nevertheless, perseverance and a sense of humor through life’s biggest challenges is true success to me- whether you’re a surgeon or are serving burgers with a smile.

Enthusiasm for life and being fully present is what I treasure the most these days. Instead of focusing on the things I don’t like or didn’t work for me, I consciously fill my thoughts and energy on the things I love. I revisit stories of my past and use the grit to help others. My darkness fuels my creativity today- mostly because I am proud of myself for learning to heal the pain and insecurities that once crippled me.

Sometimes I still cry when I think about things that once happened to me- but I can embrace those feelings today. I can embrace how far I have come. I don’t have to hold onto resentments- I can forgive, move on, and share stories.

To me, that’s grit.

Here’s another post I wrote about “grit” back in 2018.

Good vibes with a dash of darkness.

You Don’t Have to Navigate the New Decade Alone

With a blank page, cup of coffee, and an open heart, I’m thrilled to welcome 2020.

It’s a new year, new decade, and if you want, it can be a whole new you.

A more confident you. A more peaceful you. A you who you love, no matter what.

As I reflect on this past decade, I’ve thought a lot about what I could have done differently. I reflected on how my mistakes lead me on unexpected paths, how my struggles made me stronger, and how I had to learn the hard way “wherever you go, there you are.”

When 2010 began, I wish I would have had someone to talk to. Not a therapist, who would listen and give me clinical advice. I did that. Not a friend, who would give me their biased opinion. I already had a handful of feedback. Not my parents, who would give me sensible advice for my well-being. I wasn’t always willing to listen.

As I began a new decade at 25 years old, I wasn’t sure where I was going in life, what I wanted, or who I was as a woman. Through trial and error, it took me the next ten years to truly know what I wanted- thanks to guidance, a spiritual practice, and my writing.

Over the past three years I’ve written about my day-to-day experiences, built a solid foundation within my spirituality, and have helped to guide other women through their journey of life. As 2020 begins, I’m committed to sharing their stories of strength, expanding my knowledge and experience within holistic health, and continuing to fearlessly write.

I’ve dabbled in outlining programs to empower women, but then wondered, “what makes me qualified to do this?” My own blockage of self confidence prevented me from putting myself out there. I questioned how valuable my insight was. I wondered if anyone would listen to what I had to say.

Those were simply self-limiting beliefs- beliefs we all tell ourselves at one point or another.

Since I overcame this fear, I know I can help others, too. Whether you’re debating whether or not to move across the country, quit your job, start a blog, or get into a new relationship, trust me- I have been there.

Through making my own mistakes, overcoming challenges, and healing my heart, I can’t think of anything I would rather do than continue to inspire others through my own insight and experiences.

I’m offering online sessions to outline your vision for the New Year, your life, and your goals- not just what you thought you wanted- but we will uncover what you really desire.

Think of me as a part of your team; someone you can talk to, email, or just run your day by. I will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, help you learn to sit still, and become your own best friend and biggest supporter.

We’ll write, meditate, talk, and dream. Nothing is out of reach when you set your mind to it- and my own story is proof of that. You’ll not only learn to inspire yourself, but you’ll start to naturally inspire others. We are living in a world that desperately needs our light, and I will help yours shine.

Are you ready to do this, 2020? I know I am!

Send me a note and learn more: kristinfehrman@gmail.com