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Among the podcasts that populate my subscription list, The Friend Zone is one of my faves. Co-hosts Fran, Assante, and Dustin are beyond entertaining to listen to, and their musings keep my day rolling along in a positive way. The episodes always leave listeners with a few thoughts to ponder, typically about ways they can improve their lives because, as Dustin always says, “Who in the hell wants a musty brain?”

When The Friend Zone first premiered, I wasn’t sure how its hosts would work together, but the diversity of opinions among the co-hosts and its guests is truly the podcast’s special sauce. Every episode, I have an a-ha moment courtesy of the gems that are dropped. Here are six lessons I learned this year.

Check Your Energy

Have you ever been at a place in your life where everything feels off and you’re not sure why? Friend Zone listeners know simply checking in with themselves can be the fix for their funk. Checking your energy begins with thinking about your emotions and the way you’re viewing the world in an objective, analytical way. Once you have identified the issue, you can actively work to correct it by being more mindful of your approach to the world.

Checking your energy also goes a long way toward improving your interactions with others. When you learn to keep your energy right in the face of conflict, you become unshakeable. You recognize triggers and learn not to be distracted by them, which helps you stay focused on the issue at hand and out of your feelings. The other part about checking your energy is being sure to only surround yourself with people and things who have the right kind.

Check Your Focus

You know the saying “Time is money”? In some ways, time might actually be more valuable than money because you can’t get it back. When energy worker and writer Maryam Hasnaa dropped by the podcast she spoke about how your energy is another valuable form of currency. Looking at it like that, she strongly advocated everyone listening to focus their energy wisely. In other words, where attention goes, energy flows.

That message made me consider all of the ways my well of energy was being tapped dry by the time I got home, leaving me with very little to focus on myself or my personal projects. This immediately made me consider how much energy I should be putting towards those most draining factors and how I need to re-prioritize my time.

Protect Your Magic

Assante signs off every podcast episode with the phrase, “Stay Black and protect your magic.” It’s a friendly reminder to listeners to be proactive about self-care. While part of protecting your magic is being able to set firm boundaries, the other half is realizing that you have some magic. On days where you’re feeling less than amazing, this is nice to remember.

Good Finances Contribute To Mental Wellness

Financial problems can affect more than your bank account. When you’re struggling financially, it takes a toll on your mental wellness because you’rein a constant state of worry. In one episode, the hosts brought in The Budgetnista to share a few tips for improving your finances, now no matter how much money you actually have. Specifically, she broke down a better way to structure bank accounts and explained the long-term value of a 401K in a way that wasn’t quite so abstract. The financial knowledge she dropped has helped me understand money outside of the concept of making ends meet. It’s amazing how much more centered you feel when your money is right.

Turn Down Time

I’m not sure about you, but I am usually on my phone right before I go to bed. Whether it’s playing a game, catching up on news, or watching YouTube, some screen time is part of my nightly wind down. The problem there is that the kind of light emitted from your screen can often keep you up. Fran once mentioned that she’ll switch her device to night mode if she’s on it late at night, which changes the light from your screen from blue to orange. That small change helps you to mellow out before you get some shut-eye. When I applied that advice, getting to sleep was a lot easier and the rest was far more restorative. This might be obvious for some, but It was a game-changer for me.

Manifestation Is A Thing

Your mind is such a powerful thing; believe it or not, you have the power to make things happen. Fran is always talking about how we can all manifest things in our lives if we put in the right thoughts and work intentionally in the direction of those thoughts.

It sounds a little out there at first (admittedly), but I can’t deny that it works to an extent. The idea of manifestation borrows very heavily on the Biblical principle that the power of life and death is in the tongue. I have experienced moments in life, where I felt like my desires for my life were right in line with a higher power. Like I was all the way tuned in. And I have seen many of those things come to pass. I didn’t just think them into existence, though. I thought them, I spoke them in faith, and I worked towards them. This has led me to be more intentional about the things I think and speak into my life.

For example, Fran’s brand is wellness and being laid back, but that comes with a lot of work. She can’t just roll out of bed and have things handed to her. Her Wellness Weekends don’t all just fall into the place. Her endorsements weren’t earned overnight. It took years of hard work, and that started with some level of manifestation.

Just three years in production, The Friend Zone has already given its listeners a decade worth of insight and I know 2019 will be the same.

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