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How to Gently Rebel Against Overwhelm & Take Up Space ft. Heidi Marke

In this episode, I’m talking with Heidi Marke, the Gentle Rebel Coach and host of the Overwhelm is Optional podcast. She shares so much wisdom on how to choose to overcome overwhelm and take up space so that we can be our best selves.

And one of my favorite quotes from the conversation has already changed my own life:

“This is the root of all of our anxieties, that we are just not letting ourselves take the space that we need to take. Metaphorically, physically, literally, all of those ways.”

Heidi Marke

Press the Play button above to listen while you read my takeaways, or listen on Apple or Spotify.

Heidi Marke, The Gentle Rebel Coach, speaker, author and host of the Overwhelm is Optional podcast, helps you gently rebel against the nonsense that life has to be hard, that success requires sacrificing your ability to feel well, laugh easily, think clearly and have time and energy to enjoy the very things that success is supposed to give you.

Her book, Overwhelm is Optional was published in 2022.


As writers, both seasoned and aspiring, you often find yourselves tangled in the web of overwhelm.

Whether it’s deadlines looming over your shoulder or the daunting task of filling a blank page, the pressure can feel insurmountable.

But what if I told you that it’s not just about managing your time or your workload, but about learning to take up space—space to breathe, think, and create freely?

Let’s dive into how you can rebel against overwhelm and embrace the space you deserve.

Understanding the Power of Taking Up Space

Taking up space isn’t just a physical act; it’s a mindset that empowers you to claim your worth and your right to be heard. For writers, this is crucial not only in your personal workspace but also in the literary world. When you take up space, you’re asserting that your voice matters, your stories are worth telling, and your ideas are worth sharing.

Check Out: 7 Triggers of Writing Imposter Syndrome: Reclaim Your Confidence

Why Taking Up Space Matters:

  • Confidence: Claiming your space boosts your confidence, helping you tackle projects with a stronger, more assertive stance.
  • Visibility: In a crowded market, those who take up space are more likely to be seen and heard.
  • Authority: By occupying space assertively, you establish yourself as an authority in your niche, attracting more readers and opportunities.
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Strategies to Take Up Space & Overcome Overwhelm

Here are practical strategies to help you take up space effectively, ensuring you can write more freely and authentically:

1. Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

  • Define Your Work Hours: Stick to a schedule that allows for uninterrupted writing time.
  • Learn to Say No: Protect your creative time by turning down requests or invitations that don’t serve your writing goals.

2. Create a Physical and Mental Space for Writing

  • Organize Your Workspace: Keep a tidy, inviting workspace that encourages creativity.
  • Mental Clarity: Regularly engage in mindfulness exercises like meditation to clear your mind and reduce stress.

3. Use Tools and Techniques to Stay Grounded

  • Mindfulness and Yoga: Incorporate grounding practices like yoga to keep your body and mind connected and focused.
  • Journaling: Start your writing sessions by journaling to dump out any mental clutter and focus on the creative task at hand.

Incorporating Zen Yoga to Enhance Creativity

Zen yoga, which emphasizes mindfulness and body awareness, can be a powerful tool for writers. By teaching you to ground yourself, Zen yoga helps you manage the chaos of creativity and harness it into something structured and tangible.

Here’s how you can integrate Zen yoga into your daily routine to help manage overwhelm and take up space:

  • Start With Simple Poses: Begin with easy, relaxing poses that help you feel your feet on the ground and connect you to the physical space.
  • Breathing Exercises: Use breathwork to center your thoughts and calm your mind before and during your writing sessions.

The Impact of Zen Yoga on Writing

  • Enhanced Focus: By reducing mental clutter, Zen yoga allows for clearer thinking and better concentration.
  • Increased Creativity: Grounding practices open up mental pathways for more creative ideas and expressions.
  • Stress Reduction: Regular practice can significantly lower stress levels, making it easier to write without feeling overwhelmed.

Taking up space is essential for your growth and success as a writer. It’s not just about physical or emotional space; it’s about making room for your creative energy to flourish without the constraints of overwhelm. Embrace these practices, integrate Zen yoga into your routine, and watch as you transform not just your writing, but your entire approach to life as an author.


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My Top 3 Takeaways for this Conversation

The 3 things I loved most about my chat with Heidi were:

  1. Embracing the Gentle Rebellion: Heidi’s journey from burnout to establishing her identity as the Gentle Rebel coach is compelling. It’s about shifting from intense, often destructive energy to a more sustainable, gentle approach to personal and professional life. This transformation highlights the importance of pacing ourselves and ensuring our work aligns with our well-being.
  2. Grounding Techniques in Yoga: Heidi’s switch from a potentially high-stress academic path to becoming a Zen yoga teacher underscores the profound impact of being in tune with our bodies. The practice of feeling our feet on the ground serves as both a literal and metaphorical foundation for stability and presence, illustrating how grounding techniques can anchor us amidst the chaos of our minds.
  3. Taking Up Space: The idea that each of us has a ‘shaped space’ to fill in the world is powerful. Heidi encourages us to take up our space confidently and assertively, contributing our unique touch to the world without shrinking ourselves. This mindset is crucial for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact through their work and presence.

Let’s change some lives,

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Holly

PS — 🩵 When it feels right, here are 3 ways I can help you turn the page:

  1. The Book Map. Imagine having a GPS for your book-writing journey, guiding you from “I think I have an idea!” all the way to “OMG, I did it! I wrote a book!” That’s what the Book Map can do for you. It’s a supercharged roadmap for your writing journey. It’s not just about outlining chapters; it’s about diving deep into what you want to say and the best way to say it, ensuring every word pulls its weight. You’re not just writing a book; you’re crafting a masterpiece that feels as if it almost writes itself. Ready to make your book dream a reality? Let’s Book Map it!
  2. One-to-One Book Coaching. I have a vision of changing the world one book at a time, by teaching world-changers to create a book in a gentler, more effective way. A way that takes both you and your reader on a profound journey. I see a future where we build trust in our words, worlds, and work with our books, and where the world becomes a better place because of the books we write. My commitment is to bring to life books—fiction and nonfiction—founded on integrity. I’ll bring the map, and you’ll take us on the journey. If you’re ready to change the world with your book, your quest awaits. Apply for a free discovery call here. It takes 3 minutes.
  3. Listen to the Podcast. The Book Coach Chronicles: A podcast for writers of books, people who want to be writers of books, and y’all in the back who’ve been thinking about it but don’t yet consider yourself a writer. Listen on AppleSpotify, or Everywhere Else.

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Holly Ostrout is a book coach with a vision of changing the world one book at a time, by teaching big-idea entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, and authors to create a book in a gentler, more effective way. A way that takes both you and your reader on a profound journey.
Holly Ostrout

Hi I’m Holly. If you’re going to change the world with your book, fiction or nonfiction, I can help you do it.

I'm a book coach for high-achieving, creative coaches, consultants, service providers, speakers, and authors who want to build a sustainable business around their book—whether that’s fiction or nonfiction.

I help you share your wisdom, ideas, and gifts by writing & publishing a life-changing book that helps you streamline your business, bring in more money, and change more lives.

I believe books are the most important human invention. And yours can change the world.

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Joyful, Easy Writing Can Be Yours​

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Tracker & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.

Mockup of The Writing Ritual Creator from Holly Ostrout

Joyful, Easy Writing Can Be Yours

Writing Ritual Tracker from Books & Alchemy

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Tracker & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.

Mockup of The Writing Ritual Creator from Holly Ostrout
Before you go...

If You Want to Change the World with Your Book, You've Got to Write It.

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Creator & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.