Bonus Episode: Ojai Adventure! Happiness Lessons from Making a Dramatic Move.

In this special bonus episode, we’ll talk to Sarah Fain about her Ojai adventure.

Elizabeth and Sarah have been writing partners for years, they’re the co-hosts of the Happier in Hollywood podcast, and they’ve been friends since we all went to high school in Kansas City. 

After Elizabeth (my sister the sage) suggested to Sarah that she go ahead and move from Los Angeles to the town of Ojai now, rather than wait until she retired, Sarah immediately realized that she wanted to move.

And within months, she’d sold her house, enrolled her daughter Violet in a new school, and moved. All while shooting Season One of Fantasy Island! It’s hard to decide to make a big change, and it’s hard to execute a big change, so we wanted to talk to Sarah about the happiness lessons and stumbling blocks she’d faced along the way. We discuss…

  • Sarah’s longtime dream of retiring in Ojai
  • how the pandemic changed her thinking about what she wanted
  • how reading the book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (AmazonBookshop) made Sarah realize that she wanted to be surrounded by nature
  • what it was like to move during such an intense work period
  • how she thought it would be easier to have healthier habits in Ojai–have a garden, go hiking
  • why it would be fun and valuable to keep a One-Sentence Journal during a time when you’re making momentous change
  • how the pandemic changed her understanding of how she could organize her work life: she didn’t have to live in L.A.
  • what Elizabeth said that made Sarah realize that she wanted to move now
  • whether Sarah feels fear when making big adventurous change
  • how Sarah has a friend who’s a real estate agent, and she made this move possible
  • why she had to accept a lot of uncertainty as part of this process
  • how she’s been striving to create social connections
  • why she decided that in Ojai, “I’m going to show up as myself.” (They talk about this resolution in episode 229 of Happier in Hollywood)
  • how she’s creating a feeling of “home” for herself and Violet
  • we refer to episode 346, where we talked about Sarah’s hack, “Don’t settle into a routine”
  • why it’s useful to clear clutter before a move, and to find a donation place that will pick up; in my book Outer Order, Inner Calm (AmazonBookshop), I talk about doing a “virtual move”
  • why it can be hard to ask for help, but it’s important
  • how she envisions the future of her work
  • why Elizabeth had decided, “I think everyone should do exactly what they want to do, and we’ll work it out”
  • why Sarah feels that having her daughter Violet was her first Happiness Project, and moving to Ojai has been her second Happiness Project
  • how it’s possible to change our lives – choose the bigger life!

It’s not easy to change, and it can be really helpful to hear about someone else’s experience. We can all learn from each other. Have you found any strategies, mantras, or hacks that helped you cope with a big change?




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