Today’s guest is Brooke DeBoer. She is a mom and wife, filmmaker, photographer, storyteller, and inspirer. She is the creator of the Amazon Prime docuseries, FastLife. But while living the fast life, Brooke was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. She was forced to slow down. With doctor’s orders, Brooke started ‘The Year of Brooke.’
In 2018, Brooke focused on self-care. She started taking time for herself including everything from meditation to journaling. In this episode, you will learn how Brooke improved her health by turning inward, why it’s so important to heal past trauma, some of the everyday tips Brooke uses to take care of herself and how you can create ‘The Year of YOU.’
THE CREATOR OF FASTLIFE NEEDED TO SLOW DOWN
The irony of Brooke Deboer’s story is that she had spent years shooting and producing the docuseries that was picked up by Amazon Prime, FastLife. It’s the story of Brooke, her racecar-driving husband and their three daughters living the literal fast life.
But Brooke’s life came to a screaming halt when her doctor told her she needed to slowdown. In fact, Brooke told me, “I didn’t decide [to slow down], it was decided for me.”
With doctor’s orders after a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, Brooke had to table everything and take a break.
That’s how “The Year of Brooke” was born.
LEARNING HOW TO DO SELF-CARE
“I had to really look at myself and see what about the way I was living and the choices I was making were creating some of the health challenges I was experiencing,” Brooke told me on the podcast.
That’s when she really learned some tangible tools that made a difference in her daily life.
It started with simple tips like eating. Yes, you read that right (but I know Brooke isn’t alone on this.) Brooke would get so consumed with her work on Fastlife that she would stay at her computer editing until all hours at night, not even breaking for food.
But as we high achievers do, she prided herself on the work.
“If you’re going full speed all the time, you don’t have time to take time to look at your heart and what’s going on.”
To reconnect with her heart, she made several steps including joining Camp17 and learned she was living in fight or flight.
With doctor’s orders and eye opening experiences from her fitness program, she started eating, drinking water, making rest a priority and taking time just to breathe.
Her routine now includes regular visits to an acupuncturist, massages, journaling and being still.
“IT’S OKAY TO VALUE YOURSELF.”
One of the things that hit me the most is those words, “It’s okay to value yourself.”
It wasn’t an easy lesson for Brooke to learn. It’s something that plages a lot of women.
We care for everyone before we care for ourselves.
Brooke said, “I could encourage other people, I could see other people’s pain, but I couldn’t see my own.”
It wasn’t until Brooke took part in a partner exercise that her wall came tumbling down. The women were instructed to push each other, but just enough to create resistance for their partner.
“The woman I was working with pushed me all over the room,” Brooke recalls, “As I was getting pushed all over the room, I was getting angrier and angrier. I had to come to terms with the anger and what I was feeling.”
After the exercise, Brooke cried. It had triggered bullying and trauma as a child.
Brooke said things happen to us as children that we don’t have the tools to process.
Additionally, Brooke finally decided to go to therapy for herself. She had done it with her husband, at least one of her daughters had gone to therapy – but she had never considered it for herself.
“We do and do and do for everyone we love and we forget to do for ourselves.”
Brooke also told me during the podcast, she finally started asking for help instead of waiting for someone else to validate her need for the help.
CREATING THE YEAR OF YOU
Brooke hopes to create a program for women that will allow them to create their own year. You can follow her on social media and her website to get a peek into the tips and tools she puts together for you.
She said the very first thing you need to do, is give yourself some time and space. She says you just need a break to be with yourself.
Brooke started using the Panda Planner to track, not only her to dos, but her gratitude and the celebration of her wins. She took time to journal about what she really wants, as Marie Forleo writes about in Everything is Figureoutable. She’s also using the wheel of life to focus on all parts of her experience.
Each month she had a theme. Those themes included confidence and finding her delights.
The year of Brooke changed Brooke. She says she is now more confident and more at peace.
“If you’re shining, the world will be a happier, better place because if everybody’s doing what they love to do and doing what God put them here to do – it all fits together. He didn’t create one puzzle piece that didn’t fit in.”