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Cultivating Calmness In Wellness & Business (Without Coming To a Halt) with Giules Previati

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. Dropping the hustle mentality and approaching wellness practices and work life from a place of calmness

  2. Defining your personal values and your definition of success so that you can build an aligned life

  3. Feeding your curiosity as a way to step out of your comfort zone an explore new interests (and why this is also important for letting go of the hustle)

⭐️About Giules

Giulia Previati (she/her), Brand Strategist & Visual Storyteller, works with brands and founders to help them stay grounded and feel calm through aligned strategy & intentional branding. <3

You can learn more about Giules and her work on her website and instagram.

📌Episode Highlights

In life and business you can prevent burnout and hustle culture by:

Giving yourself space to really get clear on what you want in life. You don't need to aspire to the same desires and dreams of other people. Ask yourself:

  • What are my personal values? How can I weave those values through my days, career, relationships, etc.?

  • What does success mean to me (doesn't have to be related to money)? How can I work towards that success in a gradual and stress-free way?

  • How do you want people to feel after interacting with you? What energy do you want to put out in the world?

  • How can I bring more calm and ease into my day, even if just for 5 minutes?

Be curious and explore things you never considered before. Trying something new shows you what you're capable of and helps you get to know yourself more intimately. This could look like:

  • Look outside your industry for inspiration in your job or business

  • Reading books that don't fit into your favorite genre

  • Try a workout class that you've never attended before

  • Take an art, cooking, writing, surfing, or language class

Everyone deserves to rest. Rest does not need to be earned and rest gives you the energy to give to all areas of your life.

  • There are seasons to life, weather, business, and bodies (especially as women with menstural cycles) - take note of your energy levels and work your schedule around it

  • Being consistent does not mean working constantly. Every day will look different. All that matters is working towards your goals in away that feels good for you.

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Giules: My definition of freedom might be very different than yours and very different than a lot of people. And so it's really being very honest and vulnerable with yourself and defining those things. Because once you start defining those, then you get to break that cycle, because if, for you, freedom isn't working by the pool, but it's actually being able to travel the world, or being able to spend more time with family, or being able to cook yourself lavish meals, whatever that means, then you get to start creating a life and a business that can support those goals and those needs, instead of what freedom is being portrayed as on social media, because you start believing oh, this is what I should be craving. This is what I should be reaching towards, when maybe that's really not what you want. And so, really analyzing who you are, what you want, what feels, what just excites you more, what sparks that kind of like yeah, like that feels juicy, that feels great, I want to get that, I want to feel like that, I want to put more of this in my life.

Caitie: Welcome to Whole, full and Alive a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered dietitian, nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.

Caitie: Giules, I love you.

Giules: Me too. I'm so glad we're doing this.

Caitie: So this is the second time we're recording this episode, because we actually recorded a little half hour thing a couple weeks ago. But so much has changed in both of our lives that we were just like you know what. We're gonna be together in person in Lisbon. Let's just record again.

Giules: Yeah, it makes so much more sense.

Caitie: The first message that we'd like to send to you at the top of this episode is never be afraid to just start something over again, do it again, wait till it feels more authentic. Just because you've spent some time in something doesn't mean that it was a waste.bYou can start over and build upon it. I always get stuck with that, especially with podcasting, like I record something and I'm like that didn't sound quite right, but I just I have to get something out there, so I'm gonna get it out there. But I always feel better when I give myself permission to just re-record, to just scrap it and re-record. But I think like we're gonna talk about this a little bit more in the episode today, but that productivity mindset just makes you think like I can't have wasted time recording that one episode.

Giules: And then it goes to waste.

Caitie: Right, right. And if we're, like willing to redefine productivity not as like the amount of things we produce, but more of like the quality of things we produce, then it doesn't matter if we scrap it the first time.

Giules: Yeah, and whatever you did, that first time is valuable anyway, because it's teaching you what you want to keep, what you want to toss, what you need to work on, what you need to refine. So it's never lost time really.

Caitie: Yeah, it's the learning in the process. I think I'm like sound like an old person when I say this, but I feel like technology makes us forget about the importance of the process, like we focus, so much on the product and it's like, well, what if that first recording, that first 30 minute recording, was just the process and now we can work on the product?

Giules: Exactly.

Caitie: Yeah, I mean, there's also so many fucking metaphors for that Right, like enjoyed the journey, not just the destination. Enjoy the moment, not just the when you get to the finish line. Anyway, hi, hi, introduce yourself to my audience. Who are you, what do you do, what do you stand for? And, yeah, what kind of energy do you bring into a space?

Giules: All right how to keep it concise. So I'm Giules. My name is Giulia, but most people call me Giules. I'm French-Italian. I currently live in Lisbon, portugal. I'm a cancer sun, taurus moon, scorpio rising, projector for people who know they know what that means. If you know, you know. And the energy I bring to a room and to a space I'm in and to the people in my life is one of calm and feeling nurtured and feeling supported.

It wasn't always the case, which is something we're going to talk more about, but I've gotten to a place in my life where I am able to be this calm energy and embody this calm energy that I chased my entire life, and so I think that's what I bring to most of the people in my life. At least, that's what I get reflected back at me, that this is the energy that I carry.

And in terms of what I do which isn't the main thing that defines me, but we can talk about that too I'm a brand strategist, so I was in advertising agencies for almost 10 years and now I have my own company, which is called the Groundwork Club, and it's all about cultivating calm in your business and through the process.

And again going back to the process, really that ethos of slow and steady wins the race, and so I'm 100% anti-hustle and I'm really trying to show people that you can and you should, although I hate the word should, create a brand from a place of calm and alignment and so not rushing the process, looking outside of your bubble and stop just getting inspired from everything that's happening around you on Instagram and just center yourself and really come back to who you are and what you want to create and take your time creating that, and so that, like what I do is brand strategy, visual identity, but really what the core of it is is the process and how I want people and brands and founders and entrepreneurs to create their brand and their business and really that sustainable foundation.That's kind of where it all starts from.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah. So you basically went from being really, really focused on what you do to being more focused on how you do what you do, because there's a lot of brand strategists and designers and PR people and whatever and I think that's so cool that you know you have your own company to do those things hashtag, boss babe, all the things. And also, I think what makes you so unique is your journey from focusing on the what to the how, and to me you always say at the beginning of your podcast, like something about a glass of cucumber water.

Giules: Yeah.

Caitie: I just feel like you are a glass of cucumber water personified. That's who you are to me as a friend.

Giules: I love it.

Caitie: That's who you've been to me since we've been friends. You are such a grounding, calm energy for me. I've been traveling for weeks and weeks, and I finally now landed in your apartment in Lisbon, which I'm going to be self letting from you for the next month and a half, and since arriving here and thank God you're here for the first couple of days that I'm living here I've just felt nurtured and calm and grounded and I think, yeah, this is Giules, she's my friend. She's the most grounding person in the entire world. Not, this is Giules, she's my friend. She has her own company and she blah, blah, blah, even though you can drop the Chainsmokers and you should.

What we're going to talk about in today's episode, though, is you went on this journey from being focused on the what and the number of things you do to being focused on the how, and focusing on how you do it and making sure you do it in the most calm way possible. I mean similarly for me with health, nutrition and wellness. I went from being focused on obsessing over health and wellness to recognizing that these things are supposed to feel easeful. It isn't about what you eat as much as it's about how you eat it. It isn't about what you choose to do for movement as much as it's about your relationship with that movement practice and incorporating it in a way that supports a life that feels in alignment with your values. And so we both kind of went on these different but similar transformative processes. I hate saying journeys. And what we were talking about yesterday. Is that okay, yeah, like, how do you allow yourself to go from looking at things in one way to looking at things in a different way, without taking too much of an all or nothing mentality and scaring people away?

And for you we're like okay, yeah, how do you take more of a calm approach to business and building a brand and building a brand strategy? And for me it's like yeah, how do you take more of a calm approach to nutrition and wellness and exercise in either of these cases, without swinging the pendulum the entire other way and coming to a screeching halt in your case, without being like oh, like, I'll just do it when I do it? It gets done and it gets done and, in my case, without just like throwing in the towel on nutrition and wellness and being like, oh, let me just eat whatever I want and see what happens, kind of a thing.

And so that's what our conversation is going to focus on today is how can you take a different approach to either your work, your entrepreneurial journey or your wellness without worrying that the pendulum is going to swing completely the other way, if that makes sense?

So I guess, just to share your story with people, can you share a little bit more about how that's shown up for you and when did you realize that you wanted to take that more calm and grounded approach? Where were you in the world? What were you doing. All those things and how have you started to take this more calm approach to branding, strategy and work without taking an all or nothing approach?

Giules: Yeah, oh, my god, so many thoughts, so many thoughts.

Caitie: I hope I explained that all well.

Giules: Absolutely, and I just have so many thoughts. So I'm going to go into my story for a minute, but before I forget, because that's something I really want to touch on. So, in case I get lost, bring me back. I don't, I don't want to touch so much on the how I will, but the why is also super important, of why you should cultivate calm in your life and your business or why you should approach nutrition in a certain way, the how is super important, the methodology is important, but I think we need to look at why people need this nowadays.

So me, I started my career in fashion, so I studied fashion which is notoriously tough and not very healthy industry, let's put it that way and I traveled a little bit around the world. I lived in London and Los Angeles and then I landed in Qatar, which is next to Dubai, for people who don't know where Qatar is and I was working in luxury and fashion at the time. And then I moved to advertising, which is an even more toxic industry. You know, doing things the easy way, and I worked with very big clients, and you mentioned it a minute ago, but I organized the Chainsmokers concert in Doha, which was a really fun, crazy and burnout inducing experience, but really fun.

And so I was working extremely hard, 12 hour days, seven days a week. I wasn't taking care of myself in any way, shape or form, it was just pure hustle. So I burnt out quite a few times and I took a vacation. I talk about this on my podcast. I took a vacation, the first vacation I'd ever taken in four years. I hadn't taken any breaks in four years and we went to Nepal with my boyfriend at the time, who's now my husband and it was one morning. I woke up and I was watching the sunrise over the Himalayan mountains in Nepal and I just sat there and I was listening to this like binaural beats, music and just watching the sunrise for about four hours, and that was the moment where I decided my life needs to change. I need to do something different, because not only am I not happy this isn't sustainable, like I'm hurting myself, my mind, my body, my soul, like it just this isn't working.

And so, of course, me coming to that realization and me actually taking steps to change my life and change the course of my career and my location, and all of that it didn't happen overnight, but I knew that I wanted to start doing something different, and that's where I started my spiritual journey and started looking into ways in which I can cultivate calm in my life, because I wasn't a calm person I don't come from a calm and centered and grounded family in any way shape reform, and so that was very new territory for me to explore all of that, but I knew I needed it, and so that's why it comes back to this, why of I think so many people can relate to that story of just you know, climbing that ladder and working super hard and just getting those gold stars and being the best and trying to do your utmost, best possible job, whatever that looks like in your industry, and just hitting that point where you realize is it really worth it?

What is it bringing me? Is it really making me happy? Am I fulfilled? And going back to your values like, is this aligned with the kind of person I want to be, the things I believe in, the things I want to see more of in the world, and when you realize that that might not be the case, first of all it's a little bit of a slap in the face, because you've worked for decades, maybe, at this, thinking this was the dream, this was it, this is who you were meant to be. And then you get there and you're like this isn't it. What the fuck do I do? Now I don't know where to go.

So it definitely took a while for me to not only come to terms with that realization, but also come up with some sort of plan or okay, what does this look like now? What do I do? And so I dove into my spirituality and I started just meditating and journaling and doing some breath work and taking care of myself and just slowing down, doing things more slowly, like eating, taking a walk, cuddling my cats, I had cats at the time, I missed them really. Just doing things slowly and enjoying being extremely mindful and present, which is something I hadn't been, to be honest, ever. I was just on autopilot, I was doing a thousand things at a time, multitasking, just never really present. And now I was just rediscovering the simple pleasure of just putting my hand on the grass or watching the sunrise or listening to music, but really listening to the music and so that opened a whole just door of, okay, life gets to be different, life gets to feel different.

And then, of course, I had to figure out what does that look like for business, for my work, for my career, what do I do? And I started freelancing and we moved from Doha back to Europe. So we moved to Italy for a couple of years and so I was freelancing, kind of building my business, trying to figure out, okay, how can I transfer my skills and still serve clients and do what I do best? And when I dove into that industry, that's when I realized what I'm trying to do for my own life. My personal life is needed desperately in the industry because when we look at online businesses and entrepreneurship, a lot of people might have just quit their job, quit their 9-5, because they want the freedom, they want the ease, they want all of that, but then they're repeating the exact same patterns in entrepreneurship and, while they're building their online business, burning themselves out, just chasing the milestone, the 10k months, the 20k, the 6th figure, the 7th figure, and so it's that same rat race, but you're doing it for yourself. So cool. Maybe there's not as much of a glass ceiling that there would be in a corporate job, but it's the same patterns, it's the same behaviors when really at least for me, when I left corporate, it was to break that pattern and that made me realize there's a need to do things differently. People need to see that you can do things differently. You can build a business from a place of alignment. You can build a business slowly, taking your time, figuring out what your core values are.

I talk a lot about brand feel, trying to identify what your brand feel is what you want people to feel like when they interact with your brand the same way, what you want people to feel like when they interact with you as a human, and so doing that exercise for your brand and your business. That way, you will create a business that has a sustainable foundation, because a lot of businesses out there right now a lot I don't want to go into figures, but they launched their business. It's a copy paste version, it's a patchwork version of everything that's kind of out there. Okay, people do it like this. I'm going to do this. It looks similar. It's going to work. By year two either they've just closed up or they don't know what they're doing. They're just creating the next offer. There's no strategy, there's no direction, there's no vision, because they didn't strategize for a place of common alignment. They're just looking at everything that everyone else is doing, doing something similar, but this isn't them like at least as an entrepreneur, as a creative founder. Your business is an extension of you. It is very personal and it should reflect who you are as a human and what you stand for.

So that's a long-winded way of saying I think people need to know that there's a better way and a different way to do things, and that you can be an entrepreneur and a founder and a successful one and operate from a place of common. Does that answer your question?

Caitie: Yes, yes, and I mean to talk about this sort of parallel approach that we're taking here. My message is it is so possible for you to be healthy and pursue health and fitness and strength and wellness without burning out. It's possible to do that from a place of ease and calm that's in alignment with your values. And it's very cool to hear your story about how you kind of reached this point where you were like on vacation and you were like whoa, why is this the first time I've ever watched the sunrise? Why is this the first time I've ever actually really listened to music? I'm burnt out. This isn't going to work. I need to calm down. It sounds very much like my moment and many other people's moments where they realize that they're practicing really rigid, ridiculous exercise programs, constantly going on yo-yo diets.

For me, I like had a moment where I was like constantly pushing myself to like get up for the 7am workout class and constantly trying the next like grain free, dairy free, sugar free, this free diet right, and then binging an entire box of cereal. And I've had a few moments like that where, when you were in Nepal right, for me it was when I was in Italy for the first time eating like cheese and pizza with my friends and sitting in a table, realizing that I felt so healthy and so happy and I couldn't continue to engage in this same pattern of restrictive, yo-yo dieting, rigid, compulsive, crazy excess exercise in the name of health and wellness.

And for you, it was like I can't continue to engage in this cycle of burning out over scheduling myself, trying to achieve as much as possible in the name of being the best, in the name of career success. And so there's that moment where you're just like, yeah, okay, for me and for people like me, it's like okay, I'm not gonna engage in these rigid wellness behaviors anymore, I'm gonna take a more easeful and relaxed approach to my well-being. And for you, it's like okay, I'm not gonna engage in this rigid burnout cycle, I'm gonna take a more grounded and calm approach to building a career and building a business.

And so now it becomes yeah, how do you take a more calm and easeful approach to either taking care of your body or building a brand in a business without being unrealistic about the process? And that's what you and I were talking about when we were walking on the water yesterday. There are so many brand strategists, business coaches out there that are like your business gets to feel easy. You just get to sit by the pool and blah, blah, blah and it's like we're like, but what about if you have to fucking like feed a family, right? And then, on my end, it's all these people that are like you can just eat the donuts and do whatever you want, but it's okay. But then what if you want to also eat vegetables? Or it's like you don't have to work out, but it's like okay, but what if you do want to? How do you get back to the gym without burning out? And then, similarly, there's these people that are like you can heal your gut without going on a diet, and it's like no, but you're getting right back into the same pattern as you were before, which is what you're saying with entrepreneurship. It's like, yeah, you can be an entrepreneur, and then you get right back into the pattern that you were in before when you quit your job. And so these parallels are just so interesting because it kind of operates in the same way when you follow it.

So I think, when it comes to releasing the all or nothing approach to whichever one we're talking about, whether we're talking about career building or taking care of your body. It comes down to personal values really getting serious about them and exploring them and building a foundation. Is there anything else that comes to mind for you when it comes to like being realistic, because you are not that entrepreneur, that's like, yeah, I'm gonna like sit by the pool and finish my work and like only work 3 hours a week, and you know what I'm saying?

Giules: No, that's the thing, and so I don't want people to misunderstand. Like, building a business from a place of calm doesn't mean you're not working. You're working a lot and if you're a passionate, creative, chances are you're gonna work a lot regardless because you're passionate about what you're doing. You should find something that you're passionate about.

I was thinking of quite a few things as you were talking. I take issue with the way entrepreneurship and success is being portrayed online because it's one version, as if this fits everyone, like the one recipe, the one blueprint for success and everyone should follow it. What it doesn't account for is that everyone is a little different. Yeah, we're not all the same. We don't have the same personality, we don't have the same emotional bandwidth, we don't have the same needs, we're not the same right, and so when most online business owners or entrepreneurs look at this blueprint for success as the North Star, the recipe that they should follow, what it creates is that a lot of people are gonna be operating from a place of not feeling aligned, feeling burnt out, feeling like they're doing something wrong because it's not working for them. But this is the way it should work, and so I think the first thing that people should do if they want to break that cycle of following those trends, following those blueprints, and they feel like shit about it and they're like it must be something I'm doing wrong. It's not the success blueprint. The success blueprint is right. If I'm not able to make it, then there's something wrong with me, and so it's being really aware that the narrative that you're letting drive your story isn't your story.

And so really trying to put some distance between what success is being depicted or described as and what success means to you, and so it really goes back to core values again. And so what success means to you, what freedom means to you, what ease means to you? And again, like those words we use them a lot my definition of freedom might be very different than yours and very different than a lot of other people, and so it's really being very honest and vulnerable with yourself and defining those things.

Because once you start defining those, then you get to break that cycle, because if, for you, freedom isn't working by the pool, but it's actually being able to travel the world, or being able to spend more time with family, or being able to cook yourself lavish meals, whatever that means, then you get to start creating a life and a business that can support those goals and those needs, instead of what freedom is being portrayed as on social media, because you start believing oh, this is what I should be craving. This is what I should be reaching towards, when maybe that's really not what you want.

And so, really analyzing who you are, what you want, what feels, what just excites you more, what sparks that kind of like yeah, like that feels juicy, that feels great, I want to get that, I want to feel like that, I want to put more of this in my life, and then slowly trying to see, okay, how can I reach that? And again, being very realistic and we talked about that in our conversation yesterday it's not going to look calm and peaceful and great every single day.

Right now, I'm working with a new project and a new client. That's extremely busy and so there's a lot going on. It doesn't look calm and peaceful every day, not at all, but I always try to remind myself how can I bring a little bit of calm and ease into my day, whatever that looks like. Maybe it's going to be four hours, maybe it's going to be five minutes, but I know that that's still one of my core values, if not the biggest. And so if I veer off course and I get back into those old patterns of it's the go, go, go and I work a bit too much and I don't take care of myself. I realize that I catch myself, I give myself grace, I don't give myself shit for it, and the next day I try to do a little better and just be mindful of really observing your patterns. And okay, we've gone a little bit off course, cool, let's just get back on track. But I think taking some distance off of social media and the narrative of your industry is very helpful.

Looking outside of your industry for inspiration, because if you're a copywriter and all you do is look at whatever copywriters are doing on Instagram, chances are it's not going to be a very aligned, you know, pooll, because you're just seeing what everyone else in your industry is doing, so you think that's what you should be doing. So, again, it's really trying to block the noise, to hear your own voice.

Caitie: Yeah, I think what you're saying about the definition of success applies directly to the definition of health. So when you are trying to build a career that feels more calm, more useful, more aligned, you get to define what success looks like for you, shutting out the noise. And when you're trying to approach health, food, fitness and wellness with more ease and more calm, you got to find what health looks like for you as well, which is going to be really different than what health looks like for someone else, especially for people who are taking a very disordered approach to health, and so you really, really have to shut out noise, and I think shutting out the noise is, I think, the most important tangible action step that people can take from this is like when you are trying to make that shift to approach career entrepreneurship with more calm or to approach health with more calm, and you want to get out of the tendency to take this all or nothing pendulum swinging the other way thing, slow down and shut out the noise and get to know yourself intimately and shut out the noise and figure out realistically what you need at your foundation what is the most important thing for you? What are you responsible for financially in your life? What are you responsible for emotionally in your life? And you know things that you realistically should be responsible for right, like maybe you are taking on too many responsibilities and you've got to set boundaries, and that's a whole different conversation. However, you know if you've got children, you're going to be responsible for them and there really isn't setting boundaries with your children, and you know what You're not eating tonight, so looking at that kind of stuff is really important to you. That's within your definition of success.

Giules: Exactly and within the confines of what is realistically possible for you. If it's just you, you've got more flexibility and freedom to explore and you know, fuck around, whereas if you're responsible for feeding other people, there's a certain amount of compromises you're going to have to make. So yeah it's going to take maybe a little longer for the version that you're craving for to, you know, become reality. Just because there's constraints that you have to take into account, and that's totally fine, like the dream that is being sold online is just. It annoys me so much because it doesn't take into account the fact that people humans are different one, and it doesn't take into account people's situations and circumstances. Not everyone can get access to what this dream life looks like, and a lot of people don't want to anyway.

And so there's only one narrative that's been talked about and portrayed, and the creative entrepreneurship world is such a kaleidoscope of people and flavors and colors, why are we only seeing one version?

Caitie: Yes, and obviously that applies to health and wellness too. And I think the other most important thing that you've said in this monologue is slowing down and the importance of taking it one step at a time building your career or your business slowly, building new health and wellness habits slowly. I hate when people get to this place on podcasts where they're like people don't talk about this enough, people don't talk about this, and you know what people need to hear. So I'm really like I'm slowing down right now. I'm trying to make sure I don't get to this place where I'm like Joe Rogan-ing.

Giules: I mean, we're here for the spice.

Caitie: But what I'm saying is that the slowness is so important and patience is so important. And I remember another piece of our conversation yesterday that I want to call back if only we were brought the podcast mic on our walk is when I first started taking a more calm and useful approach to exercise, I had to stop exercising for a little bit. I really had to give myself the grace and patience and space to just not engage in fitness and relearn how to exercise, relearn how to have a healthy relationship with movement. And if I didn't give myself the grace and space and it was really hard to do it. By the way, I didn't want to slow down, but if I didn't give myself that time to rebuild my relationship with health, wellness and movement, it would have never happened.

And so I also like what you're saying about how, when you first make this decision to switch from the grind to a different mentality whether you're quitting the job and going freelance, or you're just staying in the job and taking a more easeful approach to it you're going to give yourself freaking time.

Giules: Don't expect things to change overnight, definitely, and because it's a process for you, because you've been operating in a certain modality, for it could be five years, 10 years, 20 years, and so you're having to unlearn all of those things all of those like innate mechanisms and reactions and just those autopilot you know moments and so that's going to take time. So you shouldn't expect an overnight change, nor should you want to anyway, because the process is also super beautiful.

Like being able to celebrate that day you were able to slow down in this little thing and that little task and like seeing that progression is actually so beautiful because then you get to look back. However much time it's taken you to get to a certain place, you look back and, wow, like I've grown so much, I've learned so much through that journey.

And one thing I wanted to touch on as well is, aside from, you could take a break from social media. You could just look outside your industry, hone in on your core values, try to really listen and hear your inner voice, and you can do that through some somatic practices and bodyman practices. But one other thing I wanted to talk about is get curious. Get look at things that you wouldn't have necessarily looked at. Try hobbies that you never thought of. Read books that you wouldn't necessarily read. Get curious and really play with things that you wouldn't necessarily play with, because those things can open doors that you would never even think of.

And a friend of mine said that the other day your brain only gives you what it knows in terms of information and feedback. Like when you think of something or you're analyzing a situation, your brain can only give you and tell you what it already knows. And so expanding that knowledge and that kind of just brain space with new things, by getting curious, by meeting new people, going to an ecstatic dance class if you've never been, or going to a painting class or reading a book or taking a course that can open doors and give you access to things that you would never have thought of. And then you can bring that into your life, into your business, into your friendships and you get to really build that toolkit.

I talk a lot about the calm toolkit, but you get to build that toolkit and discover like, well, actually painting soothes me and I never knew. So it gets to be playful, it gets to be fun as well, because sometimes people think, my god, it's going to be such an undertaking to change the way I work and to do all of these things. But make it fun, Like, have fun with it, play, get curious, have that inner child vibe to it.

Caitie: Yeah, I love that you shifted into that, because the next thing I was thinking would be cool to do here is I know that in your process of shifting from the grind corporate to the more calm freelance approach, not only have you been slow and realistic with your goals and defined your values, you've probably also found some unexpected ways of making this possible for yourself.

I would love if you could share a few unexpected keys to cultivating a more calm approach to your career and a more calm approach to your work day and, similarly, I can share a few unexpected keys to cultivating a more calm approach to health and wellness, because I would bet that they're gonna be similar and I think that one of them certainly is whatever forms of play you found.

But the reason I'm asking this question is because I think a lot of the same shit comes to mind for people when they think about that. So it's like, okay, I wanna cultivate more calmness to my workflow, I must meditate, I must do breath work, I must become like a perfect angel, meditating every morning for 15 minutes while I watch the sunrise and listen to bird sounds on my Spotify, and then I think on my end when people think about approaching health and wellness and nutrition with more calm. They're like okay, intuitive eating, that's it. I must do intuitive eating, I must do the intuitive eating framework. I must drop all diets and I must unfollow all fitness accounts and like probably unfollow most fitness accounts, but like there's other stuff. So I'm curious, is anything coming up for you as I'm saying this?

Giules: Such a good question. Well, play is definitely one of them, because I've realized whenever I do things and I have a few fears, like most humans do, but I always try to get scared once in a while and do something that scares me whether it's so I have a fear of heights and so I do things that most people that have a fear of heights wouldn't do, and so I think I realize that might not necessarily scream calm, but actually realizing that you're able to do those things for yourself brings a certain at least to me again. That's why I might be unexpected, but it brings a certain sense of calm because I get to know myself more, and the feeling of knowing myself really well makes me feel extremely calm, because I know what I can and can't handle, I know how I react to certain things, and so it helps me regulate, and so that makes me feel very safe.

Getting to know myself more and more and more makes me feel super safe, and so the way might feel a little counterintuitive, like that's not a calm activity per se. And that might look very different for someone else, but doing something that scares you and kind of rubbing against your growth edge, it's scary and it's intense, so it doesn't screen calm. But what it brings you, the outcome of that experience to me, makes me feel safer and calmer, because I get to know myself, I get to trust myself more, so that's one that could be quite unexpected.

Caitie: Yeah, and I think that that's also one of the things that people wouldn't think of, because when they're like, oh, I'm gonna throw in, I'm ditching the corporate life for the calm freelance life, or I'm ditching the hustle corporate life for a calmer corporate life, they think I'm not gonna challenge myself. And that's important, because you can still challenge yourself, and that is one of the things that I would say too. When it comes to cultivating a more calm relationship with fitness and wellness. It's like no, still fucking challenge yourself.

Giules: Exactly like it is a challenge in and of itself. So no, it's not choosing the easy way out in any way.

Caitie: But that's what brings you more ease is getting to know yourself and getting to know what you can and cannot handle and getting to understand your triggers and your boundaries. And I kind of pushed myself to try new forms of movement all the time I got into CrossFit this year which was completely unexpected, let me tell you and getting into CrossFit and lifting weights and learning to do kettlebell swings and box jumps and all of these things was ridiculously empowering in my relationship with my body and so but it was a form of curiosity that I followed as well, and it was more just like okay, let me see how kind I can be to myself in this very new environment. Like, can I go to a CrossFit class and know when to say fuck, no, bro, I'm not doing that? And yeah, I would say that that's something in mind too. What else were you gonna say?

Giules: The play and the curiosity is definitely something that keeps coming up, because every time I've done something seemingly just weird or useless or like a waste of time, it's actually brought me something, either a lesson or just a lot of fun. And so I think getting curious and doing things that you wouldn't necessarily do like really weird things. Whether you have a partner or not doesn't matter, but I did it with my partner. We wrote a bunch of activities and new things that we've never done on pieces of paper and we put them in two different buckets and every week we pick one and we do it.

Caitie: Good.

Giules: And so doing that for your business and doing that as a human is something that's gonna teach you loads, regardless. And again, like getting to know yourself more is definitely something that will bring you a sense of calm, for sure. And when it comes to business, I think, don't be afraid to scrap things, and we were talking about it at the very beginning of the episode. Don't be afraid to start over. Like, come up with an offer, come up with a service, come up with whatever, let it be bad, scrap it never, use it and start over. Don't be afraid of that. Your first iteration doesn't have to be the last iteration or the best or the one that's gonna see the light of day.

And also, when it comes to art and I was talking about that with another friend of mine that I interviewed for my podcast create things for the sake of creating and just that process, because nowadays, especially as creative entrepreneurs, we don't wanna waste time creating something if it doesn't have a purpose, if it doesn't serve a purpose, it's either gonna be an offer, a service, a piece of content for a social. The assignment could be to stop everything you're doing. If you can and you have time, of course, let's be realistic and just create something that has no purpose other than just being fun for you. It's never gonna see the light of day, you're not gonna show it to anyone, it has nothing to do with your business, but it's just you lighting that creative spark and that again kind of feuling that creative spark and that creative fire is something that will make you feel calmer ultimately, because you're not gonna rely on the outside world to feed your creativity. You'll be able to do that for yourself.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah. That one reminds me of the importance of eating for experience, because I think that we tend to get caught up in why am I eating this and why am I eating this and what purpose is this thing serving on my plate? And food is fuel. Food is fucking fuel, and our health is absolutely impacted by the way that we eat, like I wouldn't be a nutritionist if I didn't think that that was the case. And also, it is so important to have these moments of your life where you're walking down the street and you see a chocolate croissant and you're like that looks really fucking good. I'm just gonna eat this on a park bench right now, without worrying about the why and the intention and the. Is this fitting in my allotted snack time or my allotted meal time? And what am I gonna have for dinner now that I've had this croissant? Like the process of just eating the croissant and the experience of food and using food as an anchor to the present moment is important.

And also thinking about that with movement as well. We were talking about this yesterday too. Is making sure that you don't worry so much about the point of every workout. Yeah, it's like, oh, this workout doesn't count. If I don't sweat, this workout doesn't count. If I don't hit my PRs, this workout doesn't count if I don't blah, blah, blah, it's like actually no, the workout counts, because what if the point of the workout was the workout?

Giules: Yeah, trust that and not the outcome.

Caitie: I think that I can speak from personal experience. Instead of being like people tend to, this is me, okay. I tend to get caught up in making everything super, duper, purposeful. It's my strength and it's my weakness, and remembering that creation for creation's sake, is beautiful and meaningful and will do so much for my creative juices and movement for the sake of the movement in and of itself, and eating for the experience of culture and pleasure and presence and experience is also gonna be okay.

And of course, it's implied that we find a balance with all of these things. And people really tend to worry that, oh, if I create for creation's sake, if I get into a habit of just painting, to paint or whatever it is, I would absolutely never pick up a paintbrush in my life. So for me it's more like photography and collaging and I like stupid shit like that and I make tons of vision boards and stuff. And so I'm like, oh, my goodness, get down a rabbit hole where I only wanna do that. And then where it's like, when you allow yourself to get the croissant, oh, am I gonna get down a rabbit hole where I only wanna do that? Or if you allow yourself to have lots of movement practices where you do not sweat and you do not do intentional resistance training, am I gonna get down a rabbit hole where I just wanna do that?

And the answer is no, because if you're connected to your personal values and your definition of success, you're not just gonna do all that stuff all the time. If you're really connected to slow and steady and intention. Of course you're not gonna get a rat down a rabbit hole where you just do that all the time. So yeah, I just thought that connection was nice.

Giules: No, absolutely. We're also sold the myth of consistency, which again doesn't account for the fact that we have seasons. We're not meant to be go, go, go all the time, or slow, slow, slow all the time. And also as a woman, I have seasons every month. It's just you know what I mean. I can't be on all the time.

Caitie: Just experienced an annoying part of my season the other day, just in time for me to crash here.

Giules: Having the expectation that it has to be like this every single day. It needs to look like this the workout the food, this, that the work, the showing up on social, and we have such high expectations on ourselves without accounting for our own personal seasons, the world seasons, the astrological season. There's energies outside of us that impact us, and so it is gonna ebb and flow, it is gonna look different every day and reminding ourselves of that, giving us giving ourselves grace and making sure that we account for that.

If you know when your period's coming or when there's an astrological event happening or what have you, maybe work it in your calendar and tell yourself ahead of time let's keep this like a light day, a slow day, because we know that we're not gonna have the same level of energy, and so planning around that instead of having this expectation that we're gonna be perfect every day, and then, when that day comes and we have less energy, we're not able to accomplish everything we wanna accomplish, and then we feel bad and we have negative self-talk and we start just, you know, being ourselves up about it, whereas if we planned for it ahead of time and we knew that this was gonna be the case, it gets to feel more easeful and just we're a little bit more chill about it, like it's okay, I knew this was gonna happen. I mapped out my week exactly for that. So we're good.

Caitie: That's in my personal definition of success is being able to, I'm still trying to get here right now, a place where I can wake up one day and not feel optimal, or feel a little bit more tired than normal or have had shit hit the fan with my family or something, and I can tailor my work accordingly. I can go okay, I'm actually just going to be with my clients today and do nothing more, because I don't have the energy for content creation or to put myself out there on a podcast or whatever it is, and I hope that even people who are staying in corporate situations can find a way to do that for themselves, to give themselves grace on the days where they show up differently, because that is the true definition of consistency.

I saw a graphic that was like we're taught that consistency is this, and it was like a bunch of bubbles that were all the way filled in Monday through Friday and it's like consistency is actually this, and one day it was like the bubbles filled in halfway, the day was filled up all the way, and the day was filled up like a quarter of the way and that's just normal because we're not machines. We're just literally not machines and there's so many algorithms and so much technology that creates the ability for us to tangibly do more in a day. But really, at the end of the day, our reserves are still limited to human capacity and we're still wired for rest and we're still wired for connection and we're still wired to have to lean on other people in some ways. Whether or not we're in a partnership, whether or not we're in a team, we do still have to lean on other people in a million different ways, and I think that that's one of also the unexpected, necessary tools of creating more calm in fitness and wellness, because I just need I need support from people.

I don't have my own dietitian, but I have my own personal trainer. I have my own breath work coach, that people that I consult every once in a while to just help me, and I know you have that with career too.

Giules: Yeah, 100%. We're not wired to do this alone. It's just not the way it's meant to be. And it also gets to be more fun when you do it with other people and you get support, because I mean human connection. Need I say more? This is also where it's at being able to see other people's perspective and just feel supported, feel seen, heard and supported. It's just so, it's so important.

And rest, you touched on rest. I just want to say one thing on rest because, also as a society, we're taught that rest is useless and it's being lazy. Rest is productive. So if, again, in the framework of creating a more calm and useful life, you deserve rest even if you haven't done a single thing today. Like, rest is a birthright. You deserve it, no matter what. You don't have to, I don't know how many miles in your run or do how many dead lifts at the gym or whatever to deserve to rest. You can rest right now, today, even if you've done nothing, and that's really important because I think, both in fitness and in business, that's not something people feel like they need to do all the things and then, oh, I'll deserve my rest. No, you deserve it, no matter what.

Caitie: But that reminds me that a lot of people who I work with to try to add more ease and calm to their fitness and wellness, it's like they expect their beliefs to change before they change their actions. And the truth is that our beliefs change when we take certain actions that are in accordance with those beliefs. And so don't wait until you feel like you deserve rest to rest. Rest now. Don't wait until you believe that a workout counts, even if you don't sweat to do a workout or you don't sweat. Do it now and act according to the beliefs that are in alignment with your values, not the thoughts that you're having right now. Because, your anxiety is going to create automatic thought processes, right, and you're supposed to act more on when you slow down and define your values, on those beliefs, that or those thoughts that you wish you were having, versus the thoughts that you are having.

Okay, so, as we're wrapping up here, I asked all my podcast guests at the end to create a survival bag. So your survival bag, I assume, is going to be rooted in living a life that feels like a glass of cucumber water, living a life with a bit more calm, in a realistic way. Okay, so what would you put in there?

Giules: Where am I going?

Caitie: You're just going to live the life of cucumber water and calm.

Giules: Okay, it's not like a deserted island type of situation?

Caitie: No, no, so you're just creating like that. So I based this off of a quote by Brene Brown that goes one day you will tell the story of what you went through and it will become someone else's survival guide. So it's kind of like what's going in your survival bag.

Giules: Yeah, essential oils. It'd be funny later.

Caitie: Off the mic.

Giules: I'm very sensitive to smell, and smell surrounds me, but it can also trigger me, so it's just, it's a very easy and fast way for me to just ground myself and feel something. Whatever I want to feel, whether it's energized, calm. So essential oils is definitely with me at all times. I'm trying to be very intentional with what I would put, because I would put all my things but I wish you could see the setting in which we're recording this podcast in right now we're in like a little Harry Potter closet but there's like candles everywhere and little Buddha's and crystals.

Giules: Yeah. So a lot of those little things would go in the survival bag for sure. I would definitely put family pictures just because it makes me feel so connected to my lineage and my history and also everything I've been through and the evolution of me as a person when I look at family pictures or baby pictures of me. So that's something I would definitely want. It's kind of the thing you grab if your house is on fire as well. And so, yeah, it's definitely something I would want in my survival bag.

A journal and a pen. We got to be writing the shit and what's happening. I would want music. So if I don't have it, I mean we're not. We don't have the little iPad thingies anymore. That was fun. Now it's on our phones, but I guess I would have my phone, because music is a huge one for me. I listen to music all the time. There's usually always music playing at home If I feel, if I need a boost of energy. I have a favorite song that I listen to, which is Mr. Brightside, and I just blast it on the TV and I know it's an old one and it's been the same for like however long has it been? Like 10 years, that's what's going on?

Caitie: 20, now 20? I think so.

Giules: Jesus, okay, I didn't know that. I feel old also, but it's been that one and it's just my go-to for like let's do this.

Caitie: I love that for you.

Giules: Right? What else would I put in my survival bag? Yeah, you know I would put a million things, but I think those would be the go-to's.

Caitie: I like what you said about family pictures and photos of yourself as a kid, because no one's ever said that before. You know, everyone's always got their favorite books that are going in there. Everyone's got their favorite music going in there. Like a lot of people. Someone put the ocean in their survival bag. I was like that's amazing. But I do love the idea of looking back at where you came from and looking back at the fact that, like you were once a baby, you were once a little kid and I've been thinking a lot about that inner little girl work lately and really and really trying to, it used to irk me when people would talk about that, because it was one of those things that just sounded like spiritual bypassing to me. Such spiritual bypassing. I'm like you and your little inner child have fun while I'm over here in the real world and I get it now. I really get it, I really get it.

Giules: It was recent for me too.

Caitie: Yeah, I recently had to stand up to somebody who crossed my boundary and my therapist said to me you know, when you're doing this, when you're saying this, think about it. You're doing it for you know a six-year-old Caitie, and you're standing up for her and you're holding her back and you're combing her hair and you're saying fuck that person. And that really resonated with me. And it's also fascinating to me to think about the generations before me. My mom, my dad, my grandparents, how different their life was and how everything I do is also for them. Yeah and cultivating more calm and breaking generational cycles is honoring them.

So I love photos as well.

Giules: I know, yeah, and I have them everywhere I go, kind of, so it's already in my bag, like I'm going to travel now for a couple months and I don't go anywhere without some pictures. Of course I can't take them all, so it's like I've got 10, 15 on rotation. But yeah, I recently because I didn't always love looking at pictures of myself, to be honest, whether I was younger or the age of now, but I did that exercise and so in my office now there's actually two pictures of me as a kid and one of them is holding a mic and I was recording like fake interviews and I found that image. I was like I have to put it up in my office because I'm honoring that little girl now, because I launched a podcast recently and I'm putting myself out there and putting my voice out there. And I never thought I would. Or at least that little girl probably had no idea this would be happening. So I'm doing it for her a little bit.

Caitie: Gorgeous. Love it Well. Thank you so much for this conversation. Thank you In your closet. It was magical. Much better than the first one, to be honest. We had to warm up and put some splats of paint on the canvas.

Giules: Yes right, agreed.

Caitie: All right. Well, if you enjoyed this episode, please leave a five star review on Apple or Spotify. If you didn't enjoy this conversation, it's okay, don't worry about it. We still love you. It's cool. It's cool, and I'll be back here again with a solo episode in two weeks. Thanks so much for listening.Bye, actually, the fuck, tell everyone where they can find you.

Giules: Oh yeah. Hi, we're back. You can find me at That's also my handle on Instagram, @groundworkclub, and you can always slide in my DMs. I love meeting new people virtually and just chat about all things calm life and calm business and just become virtual BFFs. So you can find me there and my podcast Restored on Apple, Spotify, wherever you get your podcast.

Caitie: Gorgeous. All right, now we out. All right, see you next time. Bye.


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