Thank you to everyone who is following Balance to Be Your Best with Insight Out!

I am happy to report that my blog and website have aligned and are now both in the same place.

I would love it if you would visit me and my musings there.

Check us out at:


My Dad forwarded  me this video of Katrina Kenison’s- The Gift of an Ordinary Day.  To be honest, I kept waiting for someone to die in her story or be tragically injured- the way these stories of love and connection often seem to end up to tug at our heart strings.  But fear not, Katrina’s tale is just as she promises…a gift of an ordinary day.

Hopefully it serves as a gift to you on this, just other ordinary day.

Katrina Kenison’s- The Gift of an Ordinary Day Video

In the land of milk and honey why does having more make us feel less.

Watch this great video for the secrets to our unhappiness.

TED: Barry Shwartz on the Paradox of Choice

Well KICK ASS ME month is officially over in 10 hours and what an incredible month it’s been.  The very act of reaching out to everyone on a regular basis to remind us all how KICK ASS we are has helped lift me up when I was feeling defeated or grumpy. And believe me there was plenty of grumpy this month. Feeling shitty one day and better the next is just how most of us operate. Sometimes we can pinpoint the origins, like a parking ticket that makes us feel like the universe is out to get us; or that call from an old friend, at just the right time, that says to us, “the Gods are on our side.”

What KICK ASS ME month did for me was to help me embrace my Inner Grump, to appreciate that even when I am grumpy, or sad, or angry I’m still KICK ASS. That my simple existence is full of experiences that will send me up and down the emotional roller coaster of life. And to remind myself that whether I am at the apex or the nadir at any given moment my true value and worth is always the same, it is always KICK ASS.

Part of why I started KICK ASS ME month was because few of us have trouble critiquing ourselves and often not in the most pleasant of ways. We all have that little voice inside us, mine is named Gertrude, who enjoys giving a constant color commentary on all that we do, think and feel. She says things like, “you’re not smart enough, not skinny enough, not accomplished enough, not happy enough, not fun enough, or simply not enough.”  You might recognize these as some of the voice mails your commentator leaves you and I imagine you have a few of your own you could add to the list.  So with this in mind I decided that if my Inner Voice was going to be such a Chatty Patty, or Gabby Gertrude in my case, I was going to give her something more pleasant to talk about- hence KICK ASS ME month. It was in deference to that old adage we learned as kids, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Well, I gave her something nice to say- and that was I’M KICK ASS AND SO ARE YOU!


Thanks for celebrating KICK ASS ME month with me!!

The final week of KICK ASS ME month is here! What a great time I’ve had reminding myself of my  KICK ASSNESS. I’ll admit on those days when I felt more like I was getting my ass kicked instead of feeling KICK ASS it was harder to be Ra-Ra. But the fact that I had the intention every day to focus on my KICK ASSNESS helped me shift my perspective from, “I can’t do this” to “Yes, you sure as hell CAN.” This feat which can often take a fork lift was accomplished with just a few words.

Now, with out further ado…


I invite each of you to have a gathering of friends, it can any size you like, be it two or twenty.  Maybe over a meal with wine or maybe scrap the meal and just go for the wine, whatever you like, just GET TOGETHER.  Once together I invite each of you to declare at least one reason why you’re KICK ASS. Then I invite you to go around the room and  give one reason why every other person is KICK ASS as well.

I can hear you now saying, “Oh, that is awkward, I don’t want to say complimentary things about myself, I’ll seem conceited…full of myself… boasting…overly confident.” Fill in the blank with whatever judgment you have about appreciating yourself in public and then GET OVER IT!  You ARE KICK ASS, why the hell not say it out loud with pride and conviction and give your friends the gift of doing the same. And what is more wonderful than hearing other people declare what is KICK ASS about us!


On February 14, 2008, nearly two years ago to the day, seven of us were given one year to live. Now before you get concerned, I would like to be clear, this was not a medical diagnosis, nor was it anything like a suicide pact among friends. It was instead a commitment among us to take the next year to live our lives as IF it were our last year to live.  Based on the work of Stephen Levine, A Year to Live: How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last, we were each invited to address areas of our life that we felt were preventing us from living the lives we truly wanted to live. We are now halfway through our year and each one of us feels uniquely changed from the experience. Some of us have taken the opportunity to live less fearfully; others of us have worked to let go of attachments to aspects of our lives that aren’t serving us, such as hectic schedules, unfulfilling careers, or selfish people; and still others have chosen to take this time to develop greater appreciation for the gifts already present in our lives.

When I have told people about my Year to Live group, I’ve gotten all kinds of responses, from “How morbid!” to “Ooh, I don’t like to think about those things.”  The truth is, no matter how morbid you think it is or how much the topic makes you feel uncomfortable, one way or another, the only thing we are ALL guaranteed to do in this life is die. But although most of us do not have a choice as to when we might take that final breath, we do each have the choice, while we are breathing, to live the life we want to live.


The eventuality of our sometime death need not intimidate us like the grim reaper lurking around each corner waiting to pounce, but rather as a reminder of how much life we have yet to live, the exquisiteness of each breath, the miracle of each heartbeat, the perfection of each laugh.

For the next month, I invite each of you to savor each day as you would a beautiful sunset, your favorite meal, or your lover’s embrace. Although there are countless ways you can go about this, I’m offering here, some ideas to get you started.  Pick a few, make up a few of your own, and start celebrating your aliveness today.


Expressing gratitude can give us a break from our daily stresses and provide us a chance to reflect on the joys in our life.

  • Take a few moments each day to express gratitude for anything in your life. It can be a person, a place, a thing, or even an experience for which you are grateful.
  • Write a letter or email to someone you have never thanked but always wished you had, such as an old teacher, relative or friend.


When we expand our comfort zones we give ourselves the chance to move beyond fear and insecurity to embrace the wonder and possibility that each day brings us.

  • Say “hi ” to that guy you’ve noticed, on the bus each morning, or ask that woman out whom you’ve been chatting with in the lunch room.
  • Go back to school, learn to sing, train for that 5K, do what you’ve been wanting to do but have been putting off until a “better time” — there is no better time than the present.


The quality of our life can be deeply affected by the things we are holding on to that aren’t fulfilling us, such as frustrating relationships, outdated opinions or unhealthy habits.

  • See if you can cut your caffeine intake in half a couple days a week. If caffeine isn’t your Achilles heal, how about doing the same with sugar.
  • If you’re harboring ill will towards a boss, co-worker, family member, or friend, see if you can find a way to let go of that thinking and perhaps replace those thoughts with others that are more productive and useful to you.


By expressing forgiveness to yourself or someone else, you are acknowledging and accepting the reality of the imperfectness of our humanity and honoring your inner strength and resilience.

  • Each day, practice forgiving yourself for saying or doing something that you would have preferred to say or do differently.
  • See if you can find some forgiveness for the colleague, friend, family member, or stranger who was not as kind to you as you would have liked.

If you would like to find out more about participating in a Year To Live group, please visit Year to Live facilitator, Dean Bellerby, at


This article is dedicated to Randy Pausch, who died July 25, 2008. Some of you may be familiar with him as the Carnegie Mellon professor whose response to his own medical diagnosis of 6 months to live, was to spend much of his remaining time sharing what he called, “The Last Lecture.” As someone who took a year to explore what it might mean to have just one year left to live, I highly recommend Googling the title and listening to the gift that Randy has left behind for us all.

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Life Balance expert, Kirsten Mahoney, knows how to help you live a more balanced less stressful life. If you are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and over-committed and want to be more balanced, focused and productive come visit and take back control of your life.

It was a great day for being KICK ASS and celebrating it.

It seems the warm weather in San Francisco got lots of people out there enjoying the world. I myself had a lovely walk and catch up with a friend. Annette got to show her dog a good time with some fun in the sun and Annie enjoyed a bike ride and yoga.

What a great way to celebrate yourself and a beautiful day all in one!

What did you do to show your KICK ASS Attitude of Gratitude??

Can you believe it is already WEEK 3 of KICK ASS ME month!

Last week was fun celebrating ourselves–all that we ARE and all that we do. I particularly enjoyed the part where I got to take Friday off to go skiiing up in Lake Tahoe…I’ll sign up for that kind of celebrating any day.  Some other celebrations shared by felllow KICK ASSERS were taking a walk in the middle of a sunny day, indulging in a yummy soy chai latte, and having dinner out with a friend.

What did YOU do to celebrate yourself and are you ready for this week’s Challenge of the Week?


This week,  I invite you to honor how KICK ASS you are by cultivating your Attitude of Gratitude.  I challenge all of you to find at least ONE thing each day, you are grateful for and take a moment, and by a moment I mean at least 1 minute, to appreciate it. “It” can be a person, a place, a thing , an experience, ANYTHING, for which you feel grateful.

Expressing our appreciation for all the people, places, things and experiences that are KICK ASS in our lives specifically, helps remind us of the KICK ASSNESS of life in general.

I can’t wait to hear about all the wonders in your KICK ASS lives.

Gertrude is always with me. She has shiny black hair pulled back in a fiercely tight bun. She has a long, pointy nose and she smokes incessantly. Her teeth are yellow and she squints much of the time, making her shriveled up face look as if she’s smelled rotten eggs. In her gruff voice she relentlessly badgers me, saying things like, “That’s horrible, do that over,” and “What were you thinking? That stinks!” Just the other day she came shopping with me and insisted I lose at least five pounds before I ever think about trying on clothes again. She tends to sneak up on me when I least suspect it, like when I am trying to sleep, she taunts me repeating, “You’re not smart enough, not creative enough, not attractive enough.”

You would think I wouldn’t hang out with Gertrude anymore with her eagerness to share her criticizing color-commentary on all aspects of my life. I mean, I bet if you had a friend like Gertrude there’s no way you would let her talk to you the way she does.  And yet, each one of us has our own Gertrude that follows them from morning till night, pointing out flaws and limitations in their otherwise perfect selves.  You may know her by a different name. Perhaps you call her Millicent or Gremlin, maybe Saboteur or Inner Critic. Freud called his, Superego. Regardless of her name, the results of her actions are often the same; in the wake of her words we are left feeling incomplete, insecure, incompetent and inadequate.

Good news though, your Critic isn’t alone in there. Alongside her persistent pestering is the voice of your True Self, the one who knows who you really are and the feats you are capable of accomplishing. Your True Self is your cheerleader, unconditional lover and PR agent.  Each day she makes herself available to defend you because she knows just how incredible, invaluable, inspiring and ingenious you really are.


Unfortunately, the Critic often speaks louder than the True Self, making it difficult for us to connect to what is most important to us. The Critic will prevent us from applying for our dream job or reaching out to that secret crush. She can talk us out of believing in ourselves and striving for our goals.  Although she can’t generally be silenced completely, she can be quieted just enough so we can hear the voice of our True Self guiding us along our right path.

For the next month, I invite you to take these steps to get to know your Critic and True Self a little bit better. In developing these relationships you will learn to turn down the judgmental drone of the Critic and turn up the beautiful voice of your own True Self.


Picture your Critic and True Self in great detail.  What do they look like?  What are they wearing?  Are they actually a person or maybe an animal or cartoon character?  What do they smell like?  What are they called? Envision the action your Critic takes each time she picks on you and imagine what your True Self looks like when she comes to your defense.

For instance one of my clients reports that her Critic is an actual Gremlin wielding a baseball bat and her True Self is Wonder Woman armed with a blowtorch.


Get your Critic and your True Self chatting. Give your True Self the chance to be heard over the often-dominant Critic.

For instance, your True Self might say, “Why do you always pick on me?” and your Critic could perhaps reply, “If I don’t pick on you, you won’t be successful,” to which your True Self can respond, “Yes, I will be a success, but it would be a lot easier if you’d stop nagging me.” .


Whenever your Critic gives her disapproving opinion, ask your True Self what she has to say on the matter.

For instance, when your Critic says, “You’re not smart enough to get that job,” your True Self might reply, “You have no evidence for that statement. I am smart enough, and I can get that job.”

IT IS with the support of our True Selves that we can learn to recognize and dismiss our Critic’s disparaging remarks as being unfounded, while increasing our capacity to welcome and believe our True Selves’ words of encouragement, so that day by day we can grow to accept and appreciate that we are, and have always been, way more than enough.

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Life Balance expert, Kirsten Mahoney, knows how to help you live a more balanced less stressful life. If you are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and over-committed and want to be more balanced, focused and productive come visit and take back control of your life.

It is week two of KICK ASS ME month and we’re off to a great start. Already I have heard from many members of the KICK ASS Community including Seth who is KICKING ASS with his music and Carol who is out there Tweeting about KICK ASS ME month  to her followers. Way to be KICK ASS, Seth and Carol!

And now the moment you have all been waiting for…


This week I invite you to do at least one thing each day to CELEBRATE YOURSELF .  There are many ways to CELEBRATE YOURSELF, find the ways that help you feel most appreciated.

As always, I would love to hear your ideas! How are you CELEBRATING your KICK ASSNESS?

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers