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"People have all kinds of sides to them, Mei, and some of them are messy." - Jin Lee, Mei Lee's father in Pixar's Turning Red

When I watch Mei Lee from Turning Red, I can't help but see a reflection of myself in her character. Mei is a young teenager who transforms into a giant red panda when she gets too excited or emotional. Adorable, tear-jerking, heart-warming adventures ensue as most Pixar movies do, if you have seen it, you know, if you haven't, check it out!

The first time I watched Turning Red in 2022, I took a short video clip of a scene where Mei's mother is reflecting her tendency to put others before herself and I posted it on my Instagram story some stickers and tears in my eyes because hellooo, it was me! I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, but I mean c'mon, Mei has red hair and cankles, it's uncanny!

Below is the screenshot of my story. LINK HERE for the video clip.

Mei Lee's journey also speaks to the power of vulnerability and the importance of expressing emotions. When she transforms into a red panda, she is unable to hide her true feelings, and this vulnerability ultimately leads to growth and self-acceptance. This resonates with me because I have come to realize that expressing my emotions openly and honestly is a crucial part of my personal growth and well-being. Hence this blog I am writing right now.

If you receive my newsletter, you may have noticed I took a few months off from sending it. It wasn't the only thing in my life and work that was put on pause this summer. Now, why did I take a break? Three important words.

My mental health.

I was struggling and I was fortunate that I could take a break from work to spend a lot more time in therapy and it made all the difference. My story didn't pause, but I let go of all the external commitments and influences I possibly could, to tune in and reset.

Reset boundaries.

Reset expectations.

Reset routines

Don't get me wrong, it took me 35 years to become the way I was and the work never really ends, but those two and a half weeks were where my story changed from a mystery thriller where I was the victim to a hero's journey where I am the hero.

I like to picture my mental health like a colorful, complex, mosaic that makes no sense, has no beginning and no end. My mosaic is a picture of myself made up of all my experiences, genetics, tools, resources, people, places, and things.

  • When I am going through life, not paying attention, the mosaic is a blur.

  • When I am anxious, I am fixated on the next stones that aren't a part of the pattern yet.

  • When I am depressed, I am fixated on that stone that was added at 2pm on April 23rd, 2004. (figuratively speaking)

  • When I am meditating, in therapy, or in a coaching session, I am observing the pattern, the colors, the beauty.

I am the mosaic and I am also the only one who can see it.

We are all a work of art, a jagged, colorful, nonsensical work of art.

Like Mei Lee on her journey of self-discovery and acceptance, I have often struggled with understanding and accepting my own unique qualities and quirks. Mei's transformation into a red panda symbolizes her embracing her true self, even when it feels different or unusual. I have learned to embrace my own idiosyncrasies and accept that they make me who I am. When I buzzed my hair recently, I definitely embraced my true self, which felt unusual and now feels SO amazing. Those are countless stones that have been added to my mosaic.

Mei Lee's character represents a multifaceted and relatable portrayal of someone coming to terms with their identity and finding their place in the world. Through her story, I see echoes of my own struggles, triumphs, and personal growth. Mei serves as a reminder that embracing our true selves and seeking genuine connections are universal experiences that many of us share.

I hope you had an amazing summer, I hope you're enjoying the fall foliage if it shows up where you are and I look forward to connecting with you again soon.



Updated: Oct 6, 2023

This was an email from my newsletter in June 2023:

Dropping in this month with an email about….email! Most of us are managing a personal email, and at least one work email. At one point I had my eyes on over twelve inboxes, yikes. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What I may be in the minority with is this: I practice the inbox zero method across my four primary work, volunteer, and personal email inboxes. It’s a practice that has now become a habit, so I thought I’d share what has helped me:

  1. Implement a "Delete or Archive" Approach: When going through my inbox, I aim to make decisions about each email quickly. If an email doesn't require any further action or isn't significant for future reference, I delete it. If it contains important information that I might need later, I archive it. I avoid leaving emails sitting in my inbox indefinitely.

  2. Unsubscribe: I take the time to unsubscribe from newsletters, promotional emails, and mailing lists that I no longer find valuable or relevant. By reducing the influx of unnecessary emails, I can focus on the ones that truly matter.

  3. Turn off Notifications and Schedule Email Sessions: Instead of constantly checking my inbox throughout the day, I designate specific times for handling emails. By batching my email sessions, I can stay focused on other tasks without getting distracted by every new message. I prioritize important emails during these sessions and resist the urge to continuously refresh my inbox. I just wish I didn’t have to go into Outlook to see my calendar! Note about email on my phone: I admit this is a whole different ball game. I am constantly checking email on my phone outside of my designated times. It has helped me to use the Downtime and App Limit features or even remove the email app entirely. It’s a work in progress for me for sure.

  4. Use the Two-Minute Rule: If I come across an email that can be responded to or dealt with in two minutes or less, I take immediate action. I reply, forward, and then delete or archive it right away. This prevents small tasks from piling up.

For my insurance peeps: If something takes more than 2 minutes to deal with, attach it to your management system and set up an activity, which you can assign to yourself or another person for a current or future date when it should actually be attended to. Delete or archive it right away. Think twice about forwarding it to your co-worker if you can attach it to the system and set up an activity for them instead. We get enough emails from clients and carriers, why add to the volume with internal emails if we don’t have to? I know many agents struggle with this because they are spending more of their day in their inbox than using the activities in their management system. This is a symptom of an agency that does not have processes or protocols around email.

In his book, A World Without Email, Cal Newport says, “In knowledge work, any type of valuable result that your organization produces can be understood as the output of a production process.” So by this logic, an independent insurance agency has two main processes, a sales production process and a service production process. Each process has many offshoots depending on the situation, carriers, and line of business so two processes become fifty pretty quickly, but they can have the same underlying habits and tools to make them easy to learn and repeat. Workflows are habits, after all, and today, email shows up in almost every single one.

BONUS Tip: Because every email sent is an email received. Don't cc people "just to keep them in the loop." I will never forget when Jenn Walsh compared the mass carbon copy move so “nothing is missed” to watching 7th grade volleyball. You can see her LinkedIn post here. The more you email your team, the more you are distracting them from working. If you're emailing them to send them something to work on, you most likely don't have a better process. If you're emailing them with procedural updates, try putting it in a centralized playbook and have a quick training to roll out the changes.

I know it seems like a fool’s errand to practice inbox zero with your work email nowadays, especially if you're in the insurance industry, but it may seem impossible because you don’t have clear processes in place for what happens from the moment that email hits your inbox. More on that from me later, I'm just getting started. (Not in this email, but just later, like, for years to come.)

Start applying some of these processes with your personal inbox and prove the concept to yourself, then you can start to practice it professionally.

To get started, go back to the very beginning or sort by sender. Review older emails, clear out irrelevant or outdated messages, and archive those that you want to keep for future reference. The archive button will be your best friend through the deep cleanout process and daily after that.

I had been practicing inbox zero for work emails for years before I applied it to my personal life. I had 18,000 emails in my personal Gmail account recently and got it down to 0 by doing it the hard way, archiving 50 at a time, but this is a great video about how to bulk archive your emails in much less time. Now that I have unsubscribed from most of my unwanted newsletters and marketing subscriptions, I am able to clan out my inbox at least weekly, if not daily using the archive button. Not to mention it's so satisfying seeing those emails disappear.

Remember, keeping your inbox clear is an ongoing process that requires discipline and consistent effort. By implementing these strategies and developing good email habits, you can stay organized, reduce stress, and ensure that your inbox remains a productive space for effective communication.

If you think I’m nuts and this is a pipe dream that you only wish was possible, please reply to this email to let me know. I’d love to help you declutter and start fresh with these new habits! Just ask my mom, she was my first client.

Would you be interested in attending a virtual session with me about this? Individually or in a group setting? Drop me a note!




This was emailed out on May 3rd, 2023 to my subscribers at the time.

Hi there, Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? While this is not a virtual soapbox about how important it is to prioritize mental health, it is a newsletter chock full of resources I find helpful, so this month I am sharing about Impact Suite, a mental health partner for organizations who want to offer a resource to their employees and their family members, for an overhead investment of less than $10 per employee per month, record scratch. Yes. That's right, keep reading!

Employee Assistance Programs are usually only available through large organizations, but it's 2023 and we are demanding better.

Tony Cañas of Insurance Nerds recently sat down for a special conversation with, Clay Olson, the Founder & CEO of Impact Suite about how offering mental health resources as an employee benefit is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Gen Z is demanding more from employers and Impact Suite offers an accessible solution including on-demand self-care and prevention apps, access to teletherapy, mental health coaching, and 24/7 crisis support.

An independent study of Impact Suite's data by the University of Alberta and Utah State University found:

  • On average, Impact Suite users are decreasing their symptoms of depression and anxiety by about 25%

  • 90% of individuals using Impact Suite felt they had the tools to reach long lasting healing

  • Every $1 spent on Impact Suite resulted in a $5 return on investment for employers when factoring in medical spend, productivity, turnover, & absenteeism

If you or someone you know are interested in Impact Suite as a potential benefit for your organization, make sure to use the link below to book your demo call to receive a special discounted rate only available to friends of Insure Equality.

I will also drop this nugget on the way out: A free resource for individuals. Have you ever checked out the Insight Timer app? I can't recommend it enough if you are considering adding some meditation into your life. As an avid daily meditator, I can't think of a better way to get started. There are thousands of free meditations for every possible scenario you could imagine.

Here is one of my favorites: Pre-Meeting Check-In (3 min)

Start your meetings with presence. Increase your effectiveness and get more out of your time together. This is a quick and simple mindfulness practice designed to help you live your life with more presence, wellbeing and ease. Effortlessly weave this practice into your busy working day. Try it out with your teams, try it out for yourself.



Watch the interview with Impact Suite

Impact Suite offers digital tools for small businesses to support employee mental health and promote resilience. From mindfulness to crisis support, Impact Suite will help your team members take charge of their mental wellbeing and stay connected, motivated, and open to change.

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