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Episode 179 - Purim & Your Brain

Updated: Mar 18

As you pack your mishloach manos and prepare your seuda and costumes, let's touch base real quick about your brain.

What did you spend most of last year's Purim thinking? Try to remember three main thoughts. It's ok if it's a guess or estimate.

Now I want you to figure out how each of those thoughts felt.

So it might be like this:

Thought: I want it to go well for the kids Feeling: Stress

Thought: This is a meaningful day for me Feeling: Connected

Thought: He should be helping me more Feeling: Resentment

You're busy wrapping and cooking and shopping, so I'll offer you a quick shortcut: you ONLY really need to know if a thought feels good or bad.

Your brain is full of thoughts about Purim that feel amazing. And when we feel amazing, we are able to enjoy all the silliness, the cuteness, the connection that's available to us. When we feel terrible, we notice the bad, we pull back, and we get stuck in rigid thinking.

So we know that the feel-good thoughts are valuable, and we have them... but our brain might not choose to focus on them. That's YOUR job.

Write out 3 thoughts that make you feel amazing about Purim. I'd love to hear them.

Then commit to spending intentional time thinking these thoughts Purim day.

So much easier than matching themes. You've got it in the bag.


  1. The power of intentional thinking

  2. Planning vs. Execution


  1. To join the How to Glow community, visit

  2. Here's another episode about Purim from way back--enjoy!

<00:00:00> hello, my friends. So, so far it's been every other year that I've recorded an episode all about getting ready for Purim and preparing our brains because trust me, I'm not the person to go to for Michelle Kao's ideas. Um, we'll be focusing on brains today and I've, I went back and looked and I've done two Purim episodes before.

<00:00:17> They will be linked in the show notes. I get, uh, reminders message. From people every single year about these episodes and, and how they're using these ideas to enjoy the day much, much more. So I definitely recommend checking those out. I wanted to kind of give you two new tools to use for Purim and, um, so I thought I'd come on here and we, I was actually thinking of doing a rerun, but I'm like, no, I got new stuff for you.

<00:00:46> So , we're gonna do that today.

The Power of Intentional Thinking

<00:00:48> So number one, I wanna talk about the power of intentional thinking. I love getting curious about our brains. I love viewing our brains with compassion and curiosity and figuring out where did that thought come from, and not making any of it a problem, but it can be very easy for me and possibly for you too, to get a little bit lost in that work.

<00:01:12> And I want to kind of bring back to the front burner. The idea of really committing to your thoughts. I like to think of it as mental discipline. For me, that's like a cool sounding phrase, if that to you sounds restrictive and miserable, you can for sure submit, you know, uh, substitute whatever works for you.

<00:01:32> But the idea of. Catching ourselves when our brain wants to go down, its old story that we know isn't serving us, it's not helping us. I'm not talking about one that like you're still working out or like you don't have any awareness about it and so you don't really realize that there's any other way of thinking about it.

<00:01:51> I'm talking about, for instance, you know that when you get overwhelmed, you start, you know, Scrolling and eating and sort of like detaching for people. And then you know that that always creates more overwhelm because you don't literally do the things that need to get done cuz you're busy avoiding your feelings about it.

<00:02:08> Okay. So like if you know you have that story, so one thing is to examine it and to remind yourself and to really get clear on how the thought that like let's say my life is more than I can handle, isn't actually getting me anywhere. Another way of looking at it, another approach which is very different.

<00:02:26> Super effective, and I want it to be in your toolbox is to just say, I'm not going there. And you can do this. It's not invalidating your feelings. It's not saying you're wrong for feeling the way you are, but you have to remember your feelings do come from your thinking. So it's an interesting, even if you were to, we were to step back and just, uh, you know, look at this concept of invalidating our feelings.

<00:02:50> Like our feelings I think are always important. , but they are sometimes misguided. Like think about a kid who thinks there's a monster in the closet. Are her feelings invalid? No. Cuz she's really truly scared. But is there a reason for her to be scared? No. There's no monster in the closet. Right? So where have we created monsters in our own closets.

<00:03:08> And then we are like holding onto that feeling like, don't tell me I can't feel that way. This is a very real feeling. So we for sure don't wanna walk over to the girl and be like, well you're dumb for being scared cuz there's no monster. Of course not. We don't wanna do that to ourselves. , right? But we do wanna make sure to open up the closet and turn on the light and show her there's not a monster.

<00:03:29> So you don't have to keep feeling scared. There's nothing safe there, right? I coach on this a lot and this is, I apparently gonna be a tangent episode of my . I coach on this a lot with resentment, with feeling unsupported, right? Like we wanna hold onto to. Like, you know, I have this experience that makes me feel really unsupported.

<00:03:53> Don't take that from me. And when we open up the closet and we look inside, we might notice that feeling unsupported makes me really rigid about what help I'm gonna accept. It makes me really turn into like an isolationist and I'm not reaching out for help. It makes me really non-creative with other ways that I might make my life easier, and it makes me super focused on all the things that are hard.

<00:04:19> So then, okay. Um, you're not wrong for feeling overwhelmed, but like, you wanna keep doing that , right? Like it's, it's not helping. It's not helping. And we could always create a monster in our closet over everything. Yeah. So, What does this have to do with Purim? What this has to do with Purim is that I want you to make yourself just like you're making your Michelles and you're getting the costumes ready or you're whatever it is that you're doing, I want you to also make an intentional thinking plan for the day, and this will take you from now till the end of this episode, probably like even halfway through the episode.

<00:05:02> Okay? What does that mean? I want you to commit to how you're gonna think about this. , and I just wanna warn you things like I can do it. I can overcome all obstacles. I don't recommend because the truth of Purim is that it is voluntary chaos. And for those of you who are a little type A and wanna solve for the chaos of Purim, I just feel like do that every other day of the year.

<00:05:29> Right? Let's. Find the one part inside of us that is willing to just embrace, to turn it all upside down, right? Turn your type A into a type B for the day and embrace that chaos. And from that place of embracing the chaos, you can choose the thought, right? Like, I'm willing to let this go, or I'm pretend I'm dressed up as a type B person today, or, The most important thing about this day is X, Y, Z.

<00:05:59> Not that everything goes according to my plan, and then when your brain wants to go back to, but he shouldn't be doing that, or I'm not getting the help that I need, or I'm feeling super overwhelmed, or I just hate today just for one day. And by the way, those of you who just have wonderful, beautiful thoughts about Purim, like please don't think you need to adopt any of these other ones,

<00:06:20> There's no rules that you have to hate Purim. Just for one day. What if you make this day like a hardcore coaching mental bootcamp for yourself? I challenge you when you catch yourself being like, oh, parm is so hard. Just be like, Nope, not today. Tomorrow, if I wanna go back to thinking yesterday was hard, fine.

<00:06:43> Today, I'm just gonna play with the possibility. I'm just gonna play like try on for size. I love this. I'm all in. Let's. Today, I don't care. I don't care about the schedule. I don't care about the mess. I don't care about the, whatever the thing is, all the expectations that we create and we don't do it intentionally.

<00:07:04> I know that you never intentionally sat down and said, here are all my expectations for how my husband's supposed to behave when he's drinking on Purim, or, here's all my expectations for how much help I need to have. Right? We certainly create expectations in terms of how the Michels should show up, turn out, and how long our kids should stay in our costumes and the meal.

<00:07:22> For sure. We create expectations there because they come along with the planning, right? When we're planning, we're, we're envisioning, that's the word, , how we want it to look. And then we have to consciously then release that expectation.

<00:07:37> Okay. I created the possibility for a beautiful meal. I don't know if the beautiful meal's gonna. I created the possibility for delicious, adorable Michelles. I don't know if they will turn out that way. You can decide now what you want your thoughts to sound like, what you want your thoughts to be like on Purim.

<00:08:01> By the way, this can also be leading up to Purim. Okay. Now I wanna talk about the overwhelmed piece a little bit. I'm not gonna talk in this one about your husband helping. I think that I addressed that a lot in the last two episodes, so I'm just gonna link that in the show notes if you want more there.

Planning vs Execution

<00:08:15> Um, but I do wanna talk about just the lead up, right? Because it's, you know, last couple days when you hear this, if you're listening on schedule, and I kind of, some of, you're gonna really hate me for saying this, but I, I kind of wanna offer. That circling back to one of my very favorite tools and one of the tools that really, really has had such an impact on the women inside my coaching community, um, which is called planning versus Execution.

<00:08:39> So I had a podcast episode on this and the whole concept of this tool, this is a time management tool that I love that is we really, really intent. It's super simple. You really intentionally distinguish between planning mode and execution. Okay, so planning mode might look like deciding, you know, what day you're gonna go to the grocery store, what things you're gonna buy there.

<00:08:59> What's gonna go to the Michel execution mode is I have everything on the table and I'm assembling, okay, execution mode. You want it to be so simple. That you basically could listen to a podcast while you're doing it, right? Like I'm just on, I'm on autopilot because all I have to do is just follow the list and check things off.

<00:09:16> Maybe if it's like a complicated recipe, don't do that. But you hear what I'm saying, like execution mode is just literally executing on the plan that was already designed. Um, a quick warning, those of you who are going to be using, okay, so. going back to what I was originally saying, I, I already started on this topic.

<00:09:34> Um, the thing you're gonna hate me for saying, which I wanna say to you, is that I want you to consider using Purim the last couple days leading into Purim as your warmup sprint for your time management skill of planning versus execution, which you will be then using after Purim as you get ready for Pesa.

<00:09:49> And remember, we love Pesa. It's super fun, right? Do you remember that Seder table? It's gonna be amazing. Pesa has the best, right? So, but it does require a lot of planning and execution. So these last couple days before Purim, make sure you are very clear. Are you in planning mode or execution mode? Because the biggest stress, the biggest emotional and physical exhaustion factor of getting ready for holidays or getting ready for Chavez is the flipping back and forth between planning and execution.

<00:10:21> Now, sometimes you have to because you realize when you're in execution you forgot to plan. But I want you to very, very intentionally switch from your execution mode, back to your planning mode, finish your planning, and then go back to execution. I'm telling you, this is a life changer. This will make the preparation so much more fun because all the work's been done for you.

<00:10:40> Now, here's the warning I wanted to give you, and I'm sending this out in one of the emails, so if you're on my email list, which you totally should be because I'm sharing so much fun content over. Just go to K so you can get on the list. I wanna warn you that if you are buying a program or following a template or in a WhatsApp group to prepare yourself for Pesa number one, beautiful.

<00:11:03> I love supporting Jewish businesses. I love that you're supporting Jewish businesses, and I want you to get tons of inspiration. Number two, that does not substitute for planning mode. This is so, so important. Okay. just because someone else put together a P D F of how to get ready for pesa. I want you to take that with you as if you're taking a calendar with you, as if you're taking pen and paper with you to your planning mode.

<00:11:25> Why? Because when you start to execute on the plan someone else made, you will inevitably get to the point at which you cannot execute because it doesn't fit your unique circumstance and your unique. . Okay. So take the job that they're giving you. Take the calendar or the checklist or whatever it is, or the book, and I want you to sit down with it and still give yourself that planning time.

<00:11:46> All right? I'm also gonna link the planning versus execution episode here in this podcast. So if you haven't heard it or you wanna a refresher, you can listen to that. Now, getting ready for something as big as Pesa is going to take a little bit. Then one planning session and one execution session, which is why we are going to completely hone this skill inside the How to Globe community.

<00:12:08> This is my online super affordable, super unbelievably amazing group coaching program that you can join today at k, we are gonna be focusing on planning versus execution and super, super honing this skill. In the month of March, we're gonna use a quick warmup getting ready for, for.

<00:12:29> and mostly we're gonna use this as we start. And I want, I'm, I'm specifically doing this early because the planning part can be done at any time. So much of the planning can be done early, leaving you then to go into execution with, you know, I remember one year I just bought the entire Harry Potter audiobook series and I just listened through because everything was planned and all I had to do was execute and.

<00:12:52> A treat. Like I was like excited to put my kids to bed and run down. I, at the time, I actually had a Pesak kitchen, believe it or not. It was one year and it was glorious. Ran downstairs, got myself cooking, cuz everything was there, everything was ready. Everything just needed to be whipped into a cook.

<00:13:06> Right. So I want you to have that feeling, whether you have the pesak or you don't, that you've had the time to do your planning, you've had your time to do your envisioning. You are so excited for what Pesak is gonna be like. . Like that's what planning mode gives you. Planning mode gives you that chance to get excited, to get creative, right to to have a vision what you want.

<00:13:32> And then execution was awesome cuz then you can go listen to like 178 episodes of my amazing podcast. I'm like, for sure you should be doing that. Or one of the other amazing ones, right? So we get to enjoy both things so much more when we go all in on both and I'm. Work with you in March inside my program on how to navigate all the different things, how to go back and forth between planning and execution in a seamless way, and how to integrate this so that it becomes really a part of how you do your life.

<00:14:02> I think that execution mode gives us a chance to be in that state of flow, which you know, as women, especially if you have young children and you get interrupted a lot. , that's a really delicious state state to get into. And I, there's so many external interruptions. I don't want you to have to have internal interruptions as well, right.

In Summary

<00:14:20> So that you are able to take the advantage of those little moments of flow in your life. And it's just amazing. I mean, it also does great things for your hormones, but I'm totally not gonna go down that track right now. Okay. My friends, These are my thoughts for you. Number one, create your contract. If you haven't done it already, just by listening to this, just decide right now what's the one thing that you are giving up on on Purim, or what's the one thing you're committed?

<00:14:46> Like you might just decide you are only gonna think positive thoughts about the people around you. Purim day, you can actually do this. Guys, it's like crazy. We think that we can't, we think like, no, someone will do something annoying and I don't want you. You totally can. You'll just catch. , right.

<00:15:02> You actually can think this way, and all it means is that you don't make it a problem. If a thought pops into your head like, oh my gosh, they're so annoying. Like, wait a second. Nope. Drop it.

<00:15:12> Drop it. I just have a dog when I was a kid. That's what, say drop it, right? Just let it go. You're just not gonna use that thought. Today we're gonna find a different one. I totally could do it. I can't wait to hear from you. You all have the most powerful brains. Do not underestimate how powerful and amazing your brain is and how you can give yourself this.

<00:15:32> of choosing your mindset ahead of time, choosing how you're gonna think about Purim ahead of time and then enjoying it. And again, you don't have to commit to doing this for the rest of your life. Just play with it for a day. What an amazing experience that's gonna be for you. And number two, this is your sprint.

<00:15:50> This is your warmup. Getting ready for the big day, the big Seder war two. You learned arts. And I want you to focus, be thinking about planning versus execut. How you can really give yourself the gift of separating the two. And if you want extra support in doing this, we'll be coaching every single week except the week of Pesa, cuz of course that's vacation, um, inside of the community.

<00:16:14> So you can join today, kayla If you're not already in there. If you are already in there. Are you excited? We're gonna have such a good time you guys have been asking for this month. All right, and I'll see you next week. You're back on the podcast. Have an amazing week everyone. Bye-bye.

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