What's your BS story?

Eileen  McNallyEileen McNally Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

Hey friends! AFS RH has started a book club. Thanks to @Heather Quinlan and @Heidi Morris we have held in person meetings and the conversations are so incredible!

We are reading On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff.

I wanted to share some main take aways so far even if you haven't read the book (you can join virtually if you'd like!) these are some interesting points to ponder:

“when you show up, like really show up, there is beauty everywhere. and when you start noticing it, you can’t unsee it.”

“I’ve had (and I have) so many bullshit stories. It’s all part of this being human thing. The way out? Recognizing them and eradicating them so they don’t rearrange your DNA and live in your body as truth.”

What's your BS story? Share below in the comments :)

“How is it that we often forget that just because we think something or someone told us something, that it is true?”

“I would be an adult before I realized that you don’t have to kill your self to change. The will to grow must out weigh the need to feel safe.”

Your heart is your gift. Offer it.

Jennifer says in her workshop she has people look into each other eyes without looking away for three minutes. Without speaking.

Could you do this? Have you done this?

my favorite so far:

“What is our deepest truth? That we are love. We are not our bullshit stories, we are not the size of our thighs, we are not things we spoke as a child, we are not our depression, we are not our disabilities, we are not the lies other people have told us about ourselves. We are love.”

We are MORE THAN. 💙

Eileen McNally BS, CPT, RYT 


Applied Fitness Solutions Rochester Hills


  • Mikayla OllilaMikayla Ollila Member, AFS Staff Rank ✭3✭

    I am loving this book so far and can't wait for Thursdays conversation! It would definitely be interesting to try looking into someones eyes without talking for a prolonged period of time, but I think it would bring on a deeper connection and I would be up for trying it (:

    My BS story: I should be more successful and I am failure.

    Re-framing: I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I am trying my best.

    Admitting my BS story is hard, but definitely thoughts that run through my head from time to time. I need to get better at changing my mindset, baby steps. 😊

  • Lauren Baker (RH)Lauren Baker (RH) Member, Inward Journey Meditation Group Member Rank ✭6✭

    Oh, @Mikayla Ollila... am I allowed to help re-frame your story with examples of how you've brought joy and light in to those around you BECAUSE you are where you are supposed to be?!? And how you've inspired me to keep going on the days I felt like I just couldn't??

    I am enjoying the book as well, and couldn't stop at chapter five the other day. Loved that @Heather Quinlan's reading guide gave me a prompt to think about before I started each chapter, and I looked forward to finding the phrase in the section. Like an easter egg hunt!

    Hoping to make it tomorrow since I likely can't make the next two weeks. <3

    This one is a tough one for me to admit, because it's been cycling on a hamster wheel in my brain non-stop lately...

    My BSS: I am unlovable and not worthy of anything or any of the amazing people in my life because of my humanness.

    Re-frame: I am lovable BECAUSE of my humanness, and I am enough.

  • Eileen  McNallyEileen McNally Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    @Lauren Baker (RH) You are SO loveable and worthy simply because you exist. Nothing to change, or do in order to earn love or belonging.

    15 second hug tomorrow. Can't wait to talk more in person <3

    Eileen McNally BS, CPT, RYT 


    Applied Fitness Solutions Rochester Hills

  • Sawyer Paull-BairdSawyer Paull-Baird Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    Thanks for bringing some of these awesome stories and reflections from the book club to the forum. It sounds like there have been some really great conversations coming from this which is very exciting.

    It's funny timing for me, as I just set down a book called The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris which was recommended to me by @Mike Stack. The section of the book I was reading was talking about "defusing" from your thoughts, or essentially, not becoming wrapped up or hooked by them. He recommends a practice called "Leaves on a Stream" where, for 5-15 minutes, you visualize a stream with leaves floating in it. As you notice thoughts, judgement, stories etc. coming into your head, you place them on the leaf, and let them float away. In this way, we practice the skill of defusing from our harsh self-judgements, so that in the moment we can distance ourselves from them. (what's extra funny is that as I tried doing this and struggled to visualize the stream, I judged myself for not being able to do it.. haha.. our minds our like that).

    Anyways, in regards to a recurring BSS (besides the literal thousands mini-stories we tell ourselves every day haha) one for me would be something along the lines of: "You're not likable" / "You're boring".

    Instead of reframing, I am going to try practicing some of the skills from the book I am reading now, and do a better job of recognizing that thought pattern, defuse from it, and not let it hook me.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing this topic. Looking forward to hopefully more words of wisdom from your guys' book club =).

    Sawyer Paull-Baird BS CSCS ACSM-EP PN-Lvl1
    Agent of Change / Fitness Innovation & Education Coordinator
  • Lauren Baker (RH)Lauren Baker (RH) Member, Inward Journey Meditation Group Member Rank ✭6✭

    @Sawyer Paull-Baird Love this! I have that book on my list from the Mindset thread. I like the idea of leaves on a stream and immediately saw the negative words written on a leaf or piece of paper going down a stream. To make it more real for my brain, I may actually even execute this in a literal way... will let you know how it goes!

    @Eileen McNally <3 <3 <3 Thank you for starting the conversations.

  • Mike StackMike Stack Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    This is such a great thread!! I love it, we all tell ourselves so many BS stories all the time. I know I do it nearly everyday, and if I'm not careful, and I don't catch myself I get all caught up in my BS stories.

    I think one thing is important to remember is our mind, at it's most basic of levels has one job - to keep us alive. Thankfully, it's been very good at doing that for thousands of years. In order to keep us alive in centuries prior it had to constantly be on the lookout for danger. Saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, invading tribes, famine, and a whole host of environmental dangers that were very real and could literally KILL US if we weren't vigilant to their existence. Essentially our thinking mind evolved to be an early warning system to ensure we lived (and it did a good job since we are all still here - nice work mind).

    Fast forward to 2020, there aren't any saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, or invading tribes: but there is still our same old mode of mind that is always on the lookout for danger (it turns out we haven't download a new operating system in quite some time, and the bad news is that operating system isn't on it's way...that's not how evolution works). As a result of this very natural evolutionary tendency many of the BS stories we tell ourselves involve some kind of danger that isn't really there and will never happen to us. The concern about failing at work, not being a good parent, failing in our exercise program, messing up our diet or whatever the negative narrative may be that mind our spins out. In my opinion our BS stories can simply be described as stories with a negative outcome that aren't "workable" or helpful in our lives. Workability of our stories is what dictates the degree of BS the stories are or are not, nothing less, nothing more.

    That the great thing about our stories, the ones that are BS (or not helpful in our lives) we can choose to not pay any attention to (as @Sawyer Paull-Baird said above, letting them pass by like leaves on a stream). The ones that are helpful (or workable) we can choose to pay attention to and dive in a little deeper to. The challenge for everyone is to realize when a story isn't workable, accept that our minds are just going to operate in this capacity (since that's how our minds evolved), step back from those stories, and choose what to focus our attention (a story or a event that is helpful or one that is not helpful/workable).

    I think the point is, our choice is NOT in if our mind will create BS stories, because it will (it's its job to do so), the choice is whether or not we choose to give those stories any attention whatsoever. Indeed, the choice is not in the authoring of the BS story, the choice lies in if you choose to read the story.

    Michael E. Stack, BS CFP CSCS*D CPS
    AGENT OF CHANGE, CEO, & Exercise Physiologist

  • Jared FreemanJared Freeman Member, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    Love this @Mike Stack "I think the point is, our choice is NOT in if our mind will create BS stories, because it will (it's its job to do so), the choice is whether or not we choose to give those stories any attention whatsoever. Indeed, the choice is not in the authoring of the BS story, the choice lies in if you choose to read the story."

    I love these conversations because it exposes everyone to new ways of approaching suffering, which we all face. I actually dont think some people have a choice if they read into the story. I think some people lack the tools to engage with the stories their mind is creating (hence why I love that we get to expose each other to these ideas). I know since discovering mindfulness, Buddhist teachings, and a few different books my ability to engage with these stories has improved significantly.

    I love the ACT approach to these thoughts:

    1) Defusion: See the thought as an attempt to make meaning, but not as a fact.

    2) Self- The thought is just a story that we have created through the lens of our various experiences, paradigms, relationships and the expectations they have set for who we are supposed to be. Take success for example, our paradigms immediately relate success with monetary wealth. We get stuck on that as the only measure of success and ignore everything else.

    3) Acceptance- Look at the situation with curiosity and acceptance instead of as a victim. I actually think you can do both, some people are victims of very unfortunate and uncontrollable circumstances. However, you can still be curious and accepting about the circumstance.

    4) Presence- Focus on what can be done now instead of ruminating on past mistakes or future possibilities that may not be in our control.

    5) Values- Is this issue one of compliance to social expectations, or your values? Your values are create endless motivation and have no end. Compliance to perceived external mandates is fleeting and frustrating.

    6) Action- The process needs to be a moment by moment journey aligned with our values.

    Jared Freeman BS CPT CSCS

    Agent of Change / Managing Partner 

  • Corinne AlbrechtCorinne Albrecht Member, AFS Staff Rank ✭8✭

    OOO I love this! "BS stories" is so lovely and difficult for me because inside me there this is little cynical goblin who insists that all BS stories are just me "being realistic." If I love myself, and I do, I wouldn't think these things if they weren't true, so surely it's just the realistic part of me realistically evaluating my worth and/or what I need to improve about myself. I really appreciate what you said, @Mike Stack , about how it's literally our brain's job to create them, and it's our (soul's?) job to figure out which ones are worth "reading." I've said it before in a blog, but I often ponder if the desire for growth sometimes makes us miss out on the other things around us, or cause the hammer to fall too hard on our personhood. Unrealistic standards often disguise themselves as "the next step." I really believe in the power of letting some stories float away like @Sawyer Paull-Baird said.

    THUS, my most recent BS story: : I do not bring nearly enough to any of the tables I sit at, and am not trying hard enough to bring more.

    My reframe: float the hell away, story 😆

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