Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to the Weekly Vlog. I was lying in bed last night thinking about shooting this vlog today and what it should be about, and I was writing in my five-year journal like I do every night without Fail for the last 13 years. And I noticed that I started off my journal entry with, it was a super sweet day, and yesterday I wrote, It was such a sweet day. And then I just started flipping back through the pages and I saw that day after day after day after day after day, I've started my five-year journal entry with some version of, it was a fabulous day, such a sweet day, sweet day. Then there was a day two weeks ago that said, Hellish day. That was a hard day, I'll tell you about that actually in this blog. But I started reflecting, and the thought came to me pretty strongly. I think this has been the happiest year of my life, the best year of my life, the happiest year best is evaluative in a way that, I mean, who's to say that the year that I hit bottom on crack cocaine and got sober wasn't the best year of my life in its way, right? Not it was the most fun or the easiest, but you see what I'm saying? I won't use the term best but happiest the year that I have been thriving the most in my whole life. I started to really think about could that be true. And it really is true, and I want to share about that in this weekÕs vlog and share what I think has contributed to that and what I've done to help make that happen. What's lined up in the universe to make that happen and so forth.
I think a lot of us are striving for flourishing, for happiness, for well-being, and I think we should be, because when we are well and happy, we affect others positively as well. Happiness is contagious. Research shows that obesity is contagious, happiness is contagious. Complaining is contagious. Lots of things are contagious. So, it does behoove us to be careful about how we show up in the world. It will spread.
How do I know it was the happiest year of my life? Well, for one thing, I've been clear for quite a long time that how I'm doing with my food is such a game changer, a linchpin, a boulder in the swimming pool of my life that without a doubt I can look back on my life. There are very few years, relatively speaking, that would even qualify as potential candidates. They have to be years where my food was immaculately Bright all the way through. Because when I'm struggling with my food, I'm just struggling. I really am. Even a little bit struggling with my food. For me, there's kind of no wiggle room. Just when my food is off in the slightest, my focus goes right there, and suddenly I'm all about how I might've overeaten in this restaurant, or God forbid I'm actually binging.
I haven't had any sugar or flour or eaten outside of meals. The first three Lines have been immaculate for four-and-a-half years now, but it's really just in the last one-and-a-half years that I've cleaned up the fourth Bright Line, shiny squeaky immaculately Bright. The difference is profound in my level of well-being and my level of freedom from food and weight obsession, from my peace, my steadiness, my serenity.
Actually, I did pick a word for the year. You know how we get invited to do that sometimes on social media, someone will say, what's your word for 2023? I did pick a word and it was, steady. I came into 2023 already shiny Bright and doing really well. And really all I just wanted to do was to be steady with that through the year. Just steady and steadiness does not come naturally to me. I'm a lot of great things. Steady is not one of 'em. Yeah, no, not steady. Hanging out with me for any length of time is more like living in the Himalayas with lots of ups and downs, than living in the plains of Nebraska. Not so steady this one.
I just wanted to be steady, and I've been steady in so many ways, steadier than I can really, I don't know, I want to say take credit for or it feels like a miracle, really. So steady. The food's been super Bright. I mean, I could look back at other years and I had pretty much all of my thirties. I was super Bright, but those were hard years in other ways, the premature birth of our twins was just rocking in the most profound way. Then having sweet little babies with 16 administrations of medicine to give every day and just early intervention care and just all the things, right of micro preemie babies.
Yeah, I mean, there were just hard things in the thirties. Then the forties hit and Bright Line Eating¨ was born, and those were years of wild professional success and a lot of expansiveness. But pretty quickly my food got thrown off. Then I was struggling with that. And all theÉI mean, it was a whirlwind. It wasn't a consistent state of high flourishing well-being, happiness. There's a lot of peak experiences during those years. But yeah, nothing that would qualify as the happiest year of my life.
Prior to the thirties, I just sort of feel like, well, I was in my food addiction hardcore until I was 28. And enough said, really, I didn't get my addiction even close to really under control until I was 28. I mean, I was thinking maybe my first year of life, actually, my first year of life from birth to one, I think was really sweetly happy, I think. I was just with my mom and my dad, they were hippies, and I was just on their hip traveling around selling alpaca from San Francisco to Aspen mainly. And I think it was a really happy year. I think it was. But as I grew up, I became painfully aware of my lack of social skills. And so, my childhood was hard for that reason, primarily. Anyway, yeah, I'm looking back. I'm pretty confident this is the happiest year of my life.
I've got three big things I want to tell you about that illustrate some of the amazing things from this year and lessons deep, deep, important lessons that I want to share with you. I want to say a little bit more. It's not just that my food has been Bright, it's that my habits have been really dialed in. This has been a year of pretty incredible structure, pretty incredible structure. And toward the end of the year here, I added in a new layer of structure that actually has rocketed my happiness levels up even higher, which I'll share about.
But there's another piece I think that's been foundational for me, which is just a medical piece. I have been on a low dose kind of cocktail of hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The progesterone is a pill that I take at night, and the estrogen and testosterone are creams just like a lotion that I rub on my skin. And then some of it absorbs. When I was 46 and I was struggling with really intense moods, my dad said, Susan, you got to look into this. This is menopause. My periods were regular. I was like, Dad, it's not menopause. That means the periods are starting to get irregular. He begged me to look into it because his mother, my grandmother, Stella, took her life before I was born. She was 46 and she was going through menopause. Back in 1967, they treated her by locking her in a mental hospital and doping her up with all kinds of things. And she took her life. My dad knew, Susan, you're of the age. You need to look into this. Sure enough, I had mood swings, and it was really when I stopped sleeping through the night that I looked into it seriously. This treatment, this cocktail of stabilizing hormonal influences that I've been on seems to really, really, really help. I've always been someone who struggled with my emotions, struggled with depression, struggled with very high highs and very low lows, and the steadiness that I feel now, it's just remarkable. It's not that anything is masked from me. I don't feel like the way SSRIs can kind of create a, I'm good, but everything feels blah kind of feel. Oh no, I feelÉfeel joy, deep joy filling my heart a lot. My highs still feel high. My lows are there, but I am just in the Reboot Rezoomª framework, the Rezoom framework.
We recognize that life is a sine wave, and it's going to cycle up and down and up and down. But the goal is to raise that sine wave up, raise it up so that your overall well-being is higher. And when you dip down on the low side, you're nowhere near crashing into the danger and destruction zone of picking up the food. That's what I feel like this past year has been. It's been that the sine wave is way high and not dipping down very far. Just a pretty gentle ride of ups and downs and a level of well-being that I've just never had before.
So, three things, three stories I want to tell about it. The first one is I have been of service again in a way that is making a big difference. And I'll just tell you right up front, you'll notice a theme. All three of these things have to do with relationships, close interpersonal relationships, investing in them, getting nurturance from them. Yeah, relationships matter. Other people matter. The whole point of positive psychology, like the bottom line of positive psychology, is that the needle mover in life is the depth of our interpersonal relationships. That's what matters.
I have been of service again this year in a way that I had let go of mostly in my forties. And the form of service I'm talking about is sponsoring. It's peer-to-peer service. I stopped doing it after Bright Line Eating was born because I didn't have time. I was so busy serving the Bright Line Eating community, serving the masses, serving thousands of people. And I did, I think a very smart, wise, intelligentÉI donÕt know about wiseÉa calculated assessment. I thought to myself, I'm not very happy right now because I'm slammed for time. I don't have much space in my time, in my days. I just don't have enough space in life to take care of myself and to feel balanced. With each hour in my life that I spend, I can either be serving tens of people, hundreds of people, thousands of people or one person, and I'm going to choose to serve thousands of people if I can with each hour. It's clear that I have the capacity to do that, and the equation makes sense. So, I stopped sponsoring in 12-step programs and a couple years later, a few years later, when I was experiencing seasonal depression for the first time in 17 years, I was talking with an old friend from Drug and Alcohol Recovery back in Australia. He said, How many people are you sponsoring? And I said, oh, yeah, nobody, I gave it up because of my career and I'm doing service all the time, and blah, blah, blah. He just wisely said, I was really depressed a couple of years ago, and I got out of it by sponsoring, I just started sponsoring a bunch of guys. He lives in Sydney. And he said, I start going down to the Friday night meeting where you got to peel them off the ceiling, these newcomers. And I started helping them get clean. He said, It got me out of my depression. And so, I started sponsoring again and being with people who don't relate to me as Susan Peirce Thompson, who, in rooms where most people don't even know what I do for a living, and it wouldn't even be appropriate for me to mention it. It's just we're not relating to each other on that level. We're recovering addicts, period. What we're talking about is recovery, getting through life without using, I started sponsoring people. And that peer-to-peer service, volunteer service, human being to human being, eyeball to eyeball, heart to heart, soul to soul, there's nothing like it. It's so, so good for me.
The structural piece that I was mentioning I would tell you about that I added in is one of these sponsees lives not in the United States, overseas. We were having a hard time figuring out when we were going to talk. Because of the time zone difference, she's later than I am. I took a deep breath and I said, why don't you call me at 5:15 AM eastern time every day, and we'll talk then. And I locked myself in, therefore having to wake up at 5:00 AM eastern time, which I've done in the past. I have. These days I was sort of getting up at more like 6:00 AM. I locked myself into getting up at 5:00 AM so that I'd be ready, peed and prayed, and all the things read ON THIS BRIGHT DAY, and all the things I do so that I could be ready to talk with her at 5:15 AM And here's what I do. At that time, at 5:15, while I'm on the phone with her, I'm using my light box and thank you to the nurse who wrote to me and said, don't stare right into the light box, Susan, that hurts your eyes. I looked it up, right? I don't look right into it anymore, but I have that light box on and I get fresh, not morning light, but light box light at five 15 in the morning for a little bit. Then I meditate, then I do my SKU exercises, then I hang out with my husband, my kids, we get the kids off to school, blah, blah, eat my breakfast, do my wordles, quordles, all those things. And then I talk with a whole bunch of other sponsors as well, first thing in the morning. That addition of that additional piece of structure forcing me to get up earlier, I'm not getting quite as much sleep as I was. It's true. But I, despite that, have noticed a market uptick in my well-being from adding an additional major structural element into my morning. The pressure of that structure results in a cascade of events where my meditation, my SKU exercises, my light box are all happening.
I do look at my light box also later in the morning as well. But I think getting it earlier seems to matter. It's the peak of winter. It's the depth of darkness here where I live. And I am likeÉwhat are those Disney characters singing? And the birds are chirping and landing on my shoulder. It's ridiculous how good I feel. I attribute it a lot to the combination of the human connection and the discipline, the structure of my days. Okay? That's the first lesson that I want to convey is peer-to-peer support matters. Now, why aren't I a guide in Bright Line Eating? Well, I can't be right? I mean, if you really think about it, the peer-to-peer support that we have in Bright Line eating, that structure is being a guide. Being a guide and can't be a guide because I'm not a peer to anyone in Bright Line Eating.
And I think that understanding that and accepting it at a deeper level this year has also been part of my happiness. I serve Bright Line Eating as Susan Peirce Thompson, and I serve it on coaching calls, mentoring people, and things like that. But in terms of one-on-one support, everyone would want me as a guide, or not everyone, lots of people would want me as a guide, and it will never be peer-to-peer support with me. You can do peer-to-peer support in Bright Line Eating. Even if you're not even Bright right now, what would that look like? Surrender. Get willing, get Bright, get two weeks under your belt, and then post in the community and say, I've just Rezoomed strongly. I've got two weeks and I want to be a guide to anyone who wants to get Bright and get their first two weeks under their belt. Who wants help? That's what it would look like. And then you just start helping people daily to get their first two weeks under their belt. Anyone can do it. Anyone can do it. And watch your sense of well-being. Go through the roof.
Alright, so the second story and lesson I want to share is, You don't have to take out the trash. You can compost just about anything with love." Okay? So we all hear love is all. There's all these wax poetic about love. But this year I got a real sense of how powerful love is. And the story goes like this. A very important relationship in my life, one of my primary relationships, was ruptured for a while. For about five years, actually. There was just hurt and misunderstanding, and we couldn't find our way back to each other. We tried and we just couldn't. We just couldn't. I kept imagining that what we needed was therapy. What we needed was to clear away the misunderstandings. What we needed was to work on things. I made overtures toward that. It never lined up. Then we had a big falling out, maybe a year-and-a-half ago, and it was bad. It was bad enough that, I mean, whatever, just words were said, hanging up the phone, and whatever it was, yuck. It was bad enough that we both went into our opposite corners and licked our wounds for a bit and didn't talk for a month or two.
Then, likely as the result of a lot of prayer. I mean, I know I was praying, and I know they were praying too for years about this. I reallyÉdeep prayers. I mean summoning the angels of the people who've passed on and knowing who those people in the great concourse on high are and beseeching them to intervene to help us heal our hearts and find our way back to each other, praying and praying and praying. I don't know how the spiritual mysteries work. I have no idea. But I do have a sense that my grandmother, Polly, was the soul that intervened to help me get clean back in 1994. She died and I was prostituting myself for cocaine the night she died. I just know that her spirit came to visit me and that it was her orchestration that resulted in me having that moment of clarity in the crack house. That night I was taken to a 12-step meeting for drug and alcohol rehabilitation that night on that date. I was ready to hear the message and I stopped using, and that was all right after she died. I just know my grandma had a role in that. Ever since then, I've been wanting to pray to angels, whatever, angels, ancestors, who knows how it works.
But, lots of prayer. What happened was after we licked our wounds for a month or two, we came back. We just tentatively maybe a text, maybe a this or that. Since that day, which was maybe a year and four months ago-ish to today, every single interaction has been off the charts loving. I mean sparkly and grinning and words of care, love, support, affirmation, not a twinge of a mention of the past, not a single glance or a comment to insinuate to even the breadth of a molecule that anything is out of place between us. Just love. We didn't talk about this. We didn't say, Let's bury the hatchet. It just happened that we both, I guess just said, I just can't stand to be disunified and estranged for one more moment from this person and I'm just going to love them. That's my part. I'm just going to love them. We both came together with that spirit at the same moment and there's been nothing but love. I was talking with my dad about all this and I said, things were going so well. I don't know if we'll ever talk about the past. I don't know if we will. And he said, Sweetheart, you won't have to. Just keep going the way you're going. That's all you'll have to do.
That's when the lesson that I want to share with you dawned on me. It's like our rupture had been kind of a backyard of trash stinky and like a dump, like one of those landfills where there's detritus and yuck and smooch and it's just yucky and it's wretched and it's putrid and it's smelling. I was thinking what we had to do was go clear out the trash, go get trash bags and work on it and roll our sleeves up and get rubber and gloves and go out there and clear away that trash because it's our backyard and we want a garden back there. Instead, we just took bags of love soil and just started pouring it on top and bag after bag after bag. Just instance, over instance, over instance, another bag, another bag. Suddenly we had several feet of love soil just on top of all that. Then we just started planting flowers anyway, and what I'm realizing is all the trash under there, it's compostable, it's biodegradable. It's going to just do what it does, which is break down and be reintegrated and disappear because of the love on top. I'm not saying you could do this and just forget about hard things if you're not going to do the hard work of pouring the love on top. That's the whole point. That's how itÉcompost is with the love on top. It was quite a lesson for me.
I think there was a youthful arrogance in me in thinking that everything needs to be discussed, everything needs to be worked through, that it's not a real reconciliation if it's not processed properly. I can think of elders that I know, my grandmother was one of them, who they were a big fan of really things being pleasant and sometimes, I guess, turning the other cheek or just, I mean you could call it a bypass of sorts. And all I know is that I'm so happy to have bypassed. I'm so happy with this world that I'm living in. I won't do anything to break the spell. Not a thing, just if that's my job is just to bring love. That's what we'll do. So there's that. You don't have to always take out the trash. You can just compost it with love. Very, very powerful compost.
The final lesson is it's never, ever too late to completely reinvent yourself in a significant area of your life to cast out an old tired story you've been telling yourself about yourself and retire it and start telling and believing and living into a whole new story. This is about my motherhood journey, which has been the hardest for me. It's just been so hard. That's part of the tired story. I want to be careful here about the words I use because it's a Phoenix rising story. It's a transformation narrative.
It's been hard from the beginning, right? Having twins be born at one pound is just hard. Ask any neonatal intensive care nurse or doctor or parent who's had a baby that weighs 610 grams at birth, one pound, six ounces, it's not an easy road. And then Bright Line Eating was born and I suffered with a tremendous amount of the very boring garden variety, but so painful, mom guilt, working mom guilt of my kids don't get enough time from me. My kids don't get the best of me. I'm not showing up for them enough. I have compassionate parts of me that forgive me and love me and let me off the hook for just about everything. But that inner critic part of me that will not historically let go of the narrative that they deserved better has been so fierce.
This year it's shifted. This year it's shifted. What's happened is because I've been so steady and so available emotionally for the people in my life, I just started showing up more. I just started showing up more and my kids are all older, and I got to say it's a beautiful synergy of their beingness and needs being a better match for me for my skills. I'm way better at sitting with a teenager who's going through a lot of angst around their relationships and school and their self-concept and depression and whatever it is, than I am dealing with two five-year-olds and a two-year-old who are all screaming because they want the blue sippy cup. We got three blue sippy cups so that no one would have to scream about the blue sippy cup, but they all, for some reason, want that blue sippy cup and not the other two. I'm about to lose it because there's three blue sippy cups. That's just not, I don't have a kindergarten teacher temperament. I am not someone you want to call in the blue sippy cup world war of the Thompson family of 2012. That's not me. I'm not your girl. But thanks toÉteenagers I can deal with. God, the blue sipping cup. Yeah, it was a thing.
I just started showing up for my kids a lot more, and I crafted sometime mid-year what I called my four pillars of joy. The four things that I was investing in my life that were giving me joy, that I wanted my joy to come from. I'll share them with you. Here's my four pillars of joy. They stand. I'm bringing these right into 2014É2014! 2024, 2024. Okay. Number one, a thriving marriage. David, you're first. I love you. Number one, a thriving marriage. Number two, micro moments of love with my kids. I said micro moments because they're teenagers, I get hours and days with them sometimes, but micro moments are what I want to make sure to show up for those little moments of being present, those micro moments of love with my kids. Number three is joy in manifesting Bright Line Eating's vision. And number four is a strong healthy body.
I've been really focusing on my kids, and one of them was just not showing up for class on time. She was showing up to class, just not on time, and she got detention and then she blew off detention. David was out of town, and I took away her cell phone for the weekend. If you have a teenager, you know what kind of a move that was on my part to take away a kid's cell phone for the whole weekend when there's no other adult in the house. But you, it's, it's like asking for a war, right? I took it away and I stood by it and we just rocked and rolled with it. She had no anesthetization. That Saturday night she was going off on me about how I'm a terrible mom and how I just work and how I don't have any creativity to think of a good consequence. I always just take away her phone. As she's telling me I'm a terrible mom and I just work, she does that. She knows exactly where my hot buttons are and she's trying to make me feel as awful as possible. I just said, I'm not a terrible mom. I'm a really good mom. I believed it. I noticed in that moment that I believed it, and that she wasn't getting to me. I was seeing her for the frustrated teenager that she was. In that moment, I could see how much I'd changed. And one of my other kiddos was watching all this come down. When I woke up at 5:00 AM the next morning, there was a card under my door, I guess a thank you note. The only stationary that we got lying around is a box of thank you notes. I want to read you this card. This is not the kiddo that got detention and blew it off. This is one of my other kiddos, Dear Mama, I know this card may seem kind of random, but it just feels right. I just feel like I need to tell you that I'm so sorry you have to deal with my sister's nonsense. She has no right to treat you that way, nor does anyone else. She has no idea how much you do for us to make our lives great and rarely appreciates your efforts. So, this is me giving you the credit you deserve because you are more than just a mother. You are the strongest, smartest, bravest, most loving person that has walked this planet. And I am so lucky to have that person as my mother. You have no idea how much I love you. People always say that nothing is stronger than a mother's love, and that is the truest thing that has ever been spoken. Your presence fills my heart and feeds my soul. A world without you to me is no world at all. I cannot comprehend how you do all you do yet can still be a great mother. I would love to spend more time with you before it runs out, no matter how long that time is. I wish your string of life is longer than mine, so I never have to live a moment without you. You are the best mom ever. I love you more than anything. Whoa. Not because of that card. That card is not the cause. That card is a consequence. That card is a result of me changing my narrative of my motherhood journey.
It's never, ever too late to change your narrative about your journey. If your Lines have not been Bright, if you have not been orienting toward Bright Line Eating the way you wish you did, if you've been struggling in your marriage or with being single, if whatever you've been struggling with, your mother, your father, your child, your loneliness, your appearance, your food, your whatever it is, it is never ever too late to change your narrative about yourself. The narrative in this case changed because I took actions. Notice that micro moments of love with my kids, that was the joy point, micro moments of love with my kids. And I just started investing in those micro moments. And that's what changed the narrative. That's what resulted in that card. And the Bright Line Eating equivalent would be daily actions, micro moments of investment in the Bright Line Eating Program.
So, it's been the happiest year of my life. 2023, thank you, 2023. You've been so good to me, so grateful. I'm not going into 2024 saying let's make it even better. I mean, I'm not saying that for goodnessÕ sake. That's great. My word for 2024 is, joy. Joy. I'm just going to keep focusing on my four pillars of joy. I also think it's important to not sabotage or undermine anything, but be realistic that life cycles, right? I got to say I flinch a little bit every time I hear the make every day 1% better than the day before. That is so not how human existence works. It doesn't do that. It's sine waves, right? If this has been a peak, I'm prepared that the odds are, if I were in Vegas, I would say the odds are that next year will be less good than this year was. It might be better. I'm not invested either way. I'm not invested either way. I know that I have a formula for living at the moment that's really working. And what I'm going to focus on is doubling down on that formula.
I do know that one way or another as long as I live through it, 2024 has a lot of anniversaries happening. First of all, David and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. I will turn 50, and Bright Line Eating will celebrate all of its 10-year anniversaries. January 26th will be 10 years since the Universe told me to write a book called Bright Line Eating in my morning meditation. August 5th will be 10 years since we launched the Bright Line Eating email list, which created the community of Bright Line Eating. The global movement of Bright Line Eating. September 9th, 2024, will be 10 years since Bright Line Eating Solutions, LLC, became a legal entity and the business of Bright Line Eating was formed officially, legally. And October 24th, 2024, will be the 10-year anniversary of the Boot Camp. 10 years since the first Boot Camp was launched and registration opened and enrollment sold out, the class filled up and it sold out. And the first 40 people started going through the Boot Camp. So, 10-year anniversaries all the way through from January all the way. And then December of next year will be 10 years since the founding of Bright Lifersª. And it'll be what it'll be.
I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing now. My New Year's resolution is nothing in particular. My New Year's resolution is to focus on my four pillars of joy and just keep weighing and measuring my food, writing it down the night before, committing it, eating only in exactly that. Being of service. Keeping my food simple, simple, simple, simple. So, I can be so fulfilled and nourished and happy in the rest of my life. It's the formula for me. Thanks for listening. I've talked long enough. Happy holidays. I'm curious how your 2023 has been? Comment in the comments down below. I'll be reading them. My team will be reading them. We're curious how your 2023 has been. So much love. Thanks for listening. I'll see you next week. Bye.