How to rise up when you’re in a slump


Hi Sweet Friends,

I know that many of you feel tapped out right now. You don’t have another ounce of energy to give—not to work, family, the holidays and least of all yourself. Which is why I want to tell you a quick story about a resilient goat—a goat that knew a thing or two about how to rise up. I often share this on Hay House I Can Do It! stages across the country. By the end, thousands of people are stomping their feet, hooting, hollering and yes, there are many happy tears. Tears of release and tears of empowerment.

Just when we think we can’t go further, there’s always a little more courage in our soul arsenal.

This story embodies what I want you to know—You are a resourceful survivor. That may sound grand, but I’m here to tell you that it’s 1000% true. Every positive step you take is actually a heroic leap forward—no matter how insignificant it seems. And if you can add some loving kindness to the mix, you’ll move mountains.

Story Time at Manny’s Carwash (excerpted + updated from Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor)

One of my favorite jobs in New York City was as a cocktail waitress at a legendary blues bar named Manny’s Carwash. I learned more about the life of an artist from the world-class musicians in that smoky dive than I ever did studying acting, writing or painting in college.

The blues lit me up (and they still do). Sultry summer nights and naked angels were the standard—in the key of G. But the life of a blues musician—especially a sideman—is tough. Many times it’s feast or famine, often filled with booze and ramen noodles. For most of the musicians, the blues was their medicine—healing themselves and others. And if they didn’t strum that 1, 3, 5 chord progression, their heart would break and they would literally expire.

One particular crinkly old man made a deep and lasting impression on me. I can’t remember his name, but I can still see his weathered face. Let’s call him Ronny for the sake of the story. Ronny must have been in his late seventies, early eighties, and man could that cat howl and blow a harmonica. He was an unknown, yet bottomless talent, a dignified hustler—who always wore a three-piece suit but couldn’t pay his bar tab.

Ronny would stop by my station and charm me into pouring top-shelf liquor in exchange for a good story. “Krissy”—for some reason all the blues dudes called me Krissy—”did I ever tell you the story of my grandpappy’s goat?”

“No, Ronny, you didn’t, I’d sure like to hear it.” I’d reply. Then I’d light my cig and listen.

PSA (public service announcement) sidenote: Thank GOD I don’t smoke anymore, if you’re still bumming cigs or buying your own, this is your year to ditch that habit baby. I know you can do it. That’s a fact Jack!

Ok, back to the story…

“Back in Mississippi, on my pappy’s farm, there was a deep hole behind the barn. Pappy was fixing to put in a new well come spring, but for years the seasons came and went with no sign of a well.

“One day us grandkids noticed that pappy’s favorite goat was missing. Well, we practically tore the place apart looking for the darn thing, until we just gave out. ‘Must of been snatched up by a coyote,’ Pappy said. Little did we know that the darn goat had fallen into the deep hole. At the same time, after listening to my granny’s complaints about the dangers of small children tearing around near the hole, my pappy reluctantly agreed to fill it.

“The next day old man Spencer came over with his John Deere backhoe and proceeded to dump mounds of dirt down the hole and onto the head of Pappy’s goat. When the dirt landed, Pappy’s goat would shake it off and stamp it down. The more dirt that fell on that creature, the more he would shake it off and stamp it down until finally he shook it off, stamped it down, and rose right out of that hole!”

Now do you think for one minute that the goat said things like: “I’m not good enough to rise, I’m too tired to rise, I’m too fat to rise, I’m too busy to rise?” Or things like, “I’m not smart enough or qualified enough to rise? Or I’ll rise tomorrow.” Heck no. He probably said, “Holy sh$t, there’s dirt on my head! Looks like there’s only one way out and that’s up.” And guess what? I bet it wasn’t easy. No way. And I bet he had to summon all his strength and grit. Just like we all do from time to time. That’s life. It’s not always simple self-care breezy. We are strong and we struggle, there is dark and light, growth and setbacks.

But, no matter what, we always have the potential to rise.

Rise out of our slump. Rise out of our bed. Rise out of our negative thoughts. Rise out of our comfort zone. Rise out of our complaints. Rise out of the fast food drive-thru. Rise out of our wine glass. Get up and rise. Just like Ronny. Just like that resilient goat—we can rise.

Rising is a choice that’s one powerful thought away.

To this day I believe that the blues man was an angel sent to inspire me. And for some reason, I thought you could use this inspiration today too.

Now it’s your turn: Got some dirt on your sweet head? If so, what’s one small action you could take to rise up?

Peace & determined goats,

Kris Carr

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88 responses to How to rise up when you’re in a slump
  1. I admire you so much, Kris! Btw, I’ve decided to adopt you as my soul sister. 😉 xo Lor

  2. Love your inspiring stories and delicious recipes!

  3. I recently lost my dad..and his name is Ronnie. What a gift this story is.
    Also, I bought your cookbook at the NYC I Can Do It Conference and had you sign it for my sister. I cant wait to give it to her! Happy Holidays!!!

  4. I like the power of that word Kris. Thanks for sharing. One of my words for this year… RISE.

  5. Great story! Thanks

  6. Your blog is truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and light to help us RISE during this amazing time.
    Sparkly Blessings!!!

  7. Well I have a Poppy story that was told to me when I was a little girl. There was this frog, for the sake of this story we will call him Froggie. One day Froggie was hopping along and came across a dairy farm. The farmer had just finished milking his cows and went inside his house for something. Froggie spotted the farmer’s pail and was so curious to see what was in there that he took an enormous leap right into the warm milk. In his efforts to stay afloat, Froggie kicked and kicked and kicked so hard that the milk turned to butter and he hopped right out of the pail.
    Blessings to all. x

  8. I love this story! It really was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thanks Kris.

  9. Put some music on and get to stomping sister! Joyously!

  10. Loved the goat story. It is so true in every day life. A good checkin to change our thought patterns.

    oh by the way, I just love reading your newsletters. Keep them coming.

  11. Diamonds are built under pressure . Beauty comes from struggle. We are all diamonds in the making.

  12. Happy holidays, Kris!

    Stomp and rise is a beautiful intention for us all, yes we SO got this! The Universe is counting on us owning our sliver :-)

    Hugs and love to you and yours,


  13. Wonderful story that I’m sharing with everyone. Thanks, Kris, for all that you do and keeping it fun. Baaaaaaa
    I used to raise goats and they are very self-detrrmined!

  14. Great story – thanks for sharing it with us! Gives me a great visual of rising and stompin’ out the blues!
    Happy Holidays to all you unicorns!

  15. Thank you for this story. I’m going to share it with a friend who desperately needs this. Her life is taking on a new chapter and she’s not ready for it. Or so she thinks.
    Peace and Joy to you and crew

  16. Kris, you rock! Keep it coming. Merry Kris-mas to you!

  17. “…And for some reason, I thought you could use this inspiration today too.” OMG Kris – You were SO right. I’m going to pay-it-forward now and send this to someone who really needs to hear this. Thank you.

    And have a wonderful holiday too!

  18. Timely and pertinent. Saved my butt today.

  19. Thanks kris, i really needed to read that today. Wishing all a happy, healthy holiday.

  20. The dirt that can bury me is being lost in the story of “the way things are” and “what I need to do as a result of them.” Which leads, more often than not, to things staying pretty much the same and I stay stuck in the quagmire of stuckness (sorry for my lack of poetry :)

    I have found the small step to rise up that has never failed me is to ignore the internal commentary, get present to what is actually here in front of me, and keep going. I’m positive that this is what the goat’s “strategy” was. There are so many metaphors for this: The life given lemons to be used for lemonade. “Mistakes” are the springboard to possibility. etc.

    There’s a great scene from an 80’s film called “Better Off Dead” in which the ski coaching friend gives the main character his fine points of tackling a steep hill that perhaps best illustrates “the rise up” process. I was happy enough to have found it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEHZJNQ5Y4A

    Enjoy! And happy holidays!

    In lovingkindness,
    Alex @ kindnessville.com

  21. Thank you so much Kris! I sat down at the computer to rest and regroup. This was the perfect breath to breathe. In addition to getting ready for guests tomorrow, I have been in the kitchen cooking for the next few weeks. I am having surgery the day after Christmas and am freezing individual serving sizes of power packed foods. My husband is not on the same journey with food that I am. Have enjoyed you ever since watching “Crazy Sexy Cancer” years ago. I bow to your sharing of wisdom and inspiration.

  22. Whew!! Powerful……….so powerful!! I will rise up. Yes, I WILL! Love you, Kris Carr.

  23. Adorable and as always, makes me giggle. Go Goats! Thank you Kris for sharing your love. Happy Holidays to you and yours! xo R

  24. You have no idea how much I needed this today. My current job is ending at the beginning of the year, and the one interview I’ve had recently I just got a call this afternoon that I didn’t get the job. I don’t cry or get upset about these things, but having been out of work for over a year when the economy first crashed, I immediately flashed back to what a dark & difficult time that was for me. After I got that call today I just thought “I don’t know what to do; I’m tired of things being so hard. For today, I give up.”

    Thanks for reminding me that even though I feel like I’m at the bottom of the whole right now with no energy to keep trying, there’s always more to the human spirit than we realize. Happy Holidays :)

  25. Ha!! LOVE this. I saw it as a children’s book … I read and turned pages in my mind seeing that goat’s progression page by page. Those images will stick and be there when I need them again. Thank you, Kris!

  26. Amazing! I needed to hear this….

  27. Soooo true…what an important message to be reminded of.

  28. A gift that arrived at the right time. Thank you.

  29. Guess that makes being called an ‘old goat’ a complement ! Thanks for the smiles and the encouragement!

  30. Kris,

    Thank you for this story. Especially that it’s a story about a goat, and I’m a hard-headed Capricorn who often feels like she has a mountain on her shoulders. It’s so heart-boosting to have the reminder that it’s not a mountain. It’s just some dirt falling on my head, and all I’ve gotta do is Shake it off and Stamp it down! This wondrous shift in perspective is changing my life already. Thank you, gorgeous, brilliant woman!

  31. I love Mondays simply for your blog…this Monday especially so. For the last 6 years, I’ve been cancer-free and enjoying my new juicing/vegan/wellness/positive light-filled life thanks to you and crazy sexy cancer.
    Last March 21, all of this was put to the test when I had a minor surgery that went incredibly wrong. I was in a coma for 3 weeks and I spent 68 days in the hospital with permanent damage done to my body. I’m not nearly out of the woods yet, and everyday just getting out of bed is triumphant. I do not think I would be here right now if not for your teachings regarding positive energy and the power it yields. And I’m grateful to have practiced this way of thinking for six years so it comes naturally now when I truly do need it.
    Today was one of those days that just getting out of bed was tough. I picked up my phone, read your blog, and suddenly I was up, dressed, and even wrapped a few gifts. So thank you for sharing your energy with the world. You are my hero, and I hope someday to be that type of hero to those in my own life and inspire them to always rise!

  32. I just sat down at the kitchen table wondering if I will ever make it the grocery store. I have stalled all day on the departing as I wallow with cards, last minute wrapping, recipe searching and randomly consuming myself for hours with pictures of my dad who just passed away last month. My heart is broken and each day I think I might have my prana back…but as the early sunset sets at three o’clock and the winter chill paralyzes me from driving and busying myself with errands…I get swallowed up by the recurrent waves of shock and tears and longing for a good old fashioned dad hug.
    Anyway, I has picked up my phone to drag myself through the endless emails of last minute sales deals and coupons to instead discover this story of the goat.
    I am smiling with a swift little rush of inspiration…”I can make it to the store dammit!” Haha.
    the goat has validated to me that Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’ my small efforts are worthwhile and that I WILl RISE…and more importantly, I AM rising right now.
    Golly geeze…I might have to get a little goat tattoo.

    • Oh no! Random typo! A quote I had saved suddenly placed itself in my message?! Oh well…I hope you still get the idea.

  33. Loved the story and loved your energy in telling the sweet story. Thank you for all that you do to share to inspire and to beam your shining light on others. Wishing you many blessings.

  34. Hello Kris,
    First, wishing you a very Merry Christmas for the year ending 2013, and may the New Year of 2014, bring great Joy, Love, Happiness and good Fortune throughout your life.
    I love the way you express yourself, your words, your story, it’s great, what you do is brilliant. Thank you.

  35. Hi Kris,
    As I was reading your words, I realised you are a highly motivated individual, if you have a few moments, please go to my website, http://www.evolutiontc.com
    Thank you

  36. Thank you. Just what I needed to hear. I am lying here in a slump. I think I am sugared out over the holiday treats. I used to be able to handle it but I think my system has become sensitive and I am feeling the body’s protests. Thanks again for caring for us in your journey of caring for yourself.

  37. Kris, Just what I needed to hear today as I sit here in my “slump” eating chocolate kisses by the handfuls.
    I need to “rise up”. Thank you for the inspiration.

  38. AWESOME!!! Much needed :-)

    Blessings to you & yours (a little extra for Lola & Buddy)

  39. One year ago today I was feeling that my head was quite dirty. I was unmotivated, feeling really lazy and just bored with life (crazy, I know). So I rose up by cultivating small habits. One by one, over the year I piled habit upon habit. Because of this project, 2013 was my best year yet. But it was up to me to take action. I think everyone’s dirt looks a little different, some is harder to wipe away than other,s, but we can all chose how to deal with it. Thank you for sharing your stories :)

    • Could someone please tell me how to move forward when I live in a household where someone literally stands in my way of persuing anything that is meaningful or important to me?

  40. I love your blog and look forward to your emails and recipes! Our family including our 12 and 8 yr old are vegans. In the new year I will meditate more with my kids. They love meditation and yoga!! I will EFT more often than I have been. I will also not associate with family members who judge and try to sabotage our beliefs of a vegan lifestyle.

  41. This story couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you for sharing this kris.

  42. Loved that and what perfect timimg for me to read it. Thank you!

  43. You are the very best!! Thank you for being such a bright light on the path! Linda

  44. Thank you for all that you do, I spread your awesome work whenever and wherever I am. Your a rock star and an inspiration. Your latestpost was particularly needed ( for me ) this week. Tough week, but I’m back fighting. I have gifted your first book many times and look forward to the cook book. Best, Chris

  45. Thank you gorgeous Kris, I really needed to hear this story today! RISE is going in my power mantra arsenal for the coming year. Happy Holidays xox

  46. One of the best things I’ve read! Thank you so much for posting this.

  47. Boy! Did I need to heaf this today. I’ve had the blahs for a few weeks now.
    Thank you

  48. Amazing! Thank you as always for the right words at the right time!

  49. Thanks for sharing that Kris. Merry Christmas!

  50. Thanks, Kris… has been one of the toughest and saddest holidays with parent’s sickness knocking at the door :( I appreciate the story of strength and perseverance. I needed it in this moment. Blessings, sister. xo, Kerry

  51. My beloved German shepherd died in May. Then, in June, because there is no time to waste for animals to be saved, I rescued two new German shepherds, only to learn two weeks later that one had bone cancer and would only live 2-4 months. In August, my younger brother died unexpectedly. In October, my mom died, also completely unexpectedly. Eight days after my mom died, my sweet sick shepherd died. My remaining shepherd (whose mom was the one that died) and I will rise. Some days, we lie down a lot. But I know we will continue to rise. Thanks, Kris, for all you do. And for lifting me up when I feel like I can’t lift myself.

  52. Thank you so much for this.

    One thing I could do to rise up is to practice forgiveness towards some important people close to me. As soon as that dirt falls away I know that I’ll enjoy this holiday season exponentially more.

  53. What perfect timing! Thank you Kris for sharing. I have shared your website with many people! Blessings to you and your family. :-)

  54. I LOVE this post, and it’s so timely for me. I’ve been feeling like that goat for the past couple of weeks, with some work stuff and personal stuff that wasn’t panning out the way I was hoping. Normally, I’m pretty good about stamping it down and looking ahead, but for some reason, I wasn’t feeling inspired to do that. I was wallowing. I still haven’t figured out how to resolve some of the stuff, but I LOVE this goat metaphor, and I’ll be keeping it in mind. Even though I haven’t figured out where to go next, it’s important to remember to keep stamping down the dirt. The answer will come.
    Also, I grabbed E-Squared after you recommended it recently, and I absolutely love it. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Thank you!

  55. This is perfect timing, I need a dose of good ol inspiration & motivation. Great visual too! Thanks for sharing this awesome story.

  56. what a kicka$$ goat! 😀

  57. Wow…timing is perfect. I really needed this boost today.
    Thanks, Kris. You’re always right on the money.

    Peace and love…K :)

  58. Thanks Kris! In 2014 I will RISE and get better.

  59. Happy Holidays Kris and everyone! I love this story. I can totally see the goat shaking and rising, shaking and rising. Let’s all keep looking up. :)

  60. Thanks. ……..I needed to hear that. …I think your an angel sent to lift us up. …much love and thanks

  61. Thanks for this. I have always loved that goat story, but I needed a little reminder of it right now. Feeling a bit of dirt falling in, time to figure out an action step or two. :)

  62. Kris, you rock! You have inspired me in so many ways! My 2 sons and my mother have MD and I am also a carrier. This means inflammation for all of us if we are not careful. Thank you so much for the encouragement to drink my green juice, take better care of myself and rise up and stomp it down!!!

  63. What a story–we make choice everyday! We determine what attitude we have each day. Love it. :-)

    Thank you for sharing, Kris.

  64. This is a great old folk tale; there’s even a song about it somewhere! Thanks for sharing Kris xo Clare

  65. Thanks so much Kris!! Exactly what I needed to hear (she says with tears flowing down her face).
    Thanks for the love and caring.

  66. Ok, this is not goat related…it is Mannys related! I spent many, many years hanging at Mannys. I was, at that time, part of the scenery. Not my biggest brag…yet i learned a heck of a lot about music! What years did you work there?

  67. OMG my 2014 word is RISE UP and then this pops in my inbox. That’s bizarro. But I’ll take that as a bloody good sign that I’m on the right track :)

    Jana xx

  68. Kris, that was a great story! And just what I needed to hear as always. I love that you are in my life. I have Crazy Sexy Diet & Crazy Sexy Recipes. LOVE them & you. Stay well.

  69. I LOVE your attitude Kris, you light me up every time I hear you talk…thank you for doing what you do!

  70. For me I learned to rise up when I started to understand that life is journey and not a destination. A journey of understanding myself through ease and hardships, and maintaining the person I wanted to be through ease and hardship. This is what life is about.

  71. Kris,
    THANK YOU! You are wonderful! Truth be told I wouldn’t be happy without your books, recipes and inspiring words.

  72. When we are in slump, it is sometimes a good idea to get help from a counselor. I am offering counselling for trauma, living with a serious illness, anxiety, stress and for other issues that may be keeping you from living your best life.
    Visit me at http://www.opentherapy.se

  73. I needed this today. Sometimes I get so frustrated when it seems I nor my business are making any progress. I’ve been at it for a while, but I figure that only means I have to keep on going. Thank you Kris. I hope one day we can work together! (:

  74. This is an older post… but today I have been feeling very defeated by many different sources in my life and this is the exactly right thing I needed to read. I am so thankful for your wisdom and love Kris! You were the person who inspired me to change my life in the year 2012 and you continue to keep me on track with who I want to continue to be. It’s your voice that constantly reminds me to love myself and to let all that I do be an extension of that self love. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and stories with so many of us….. Your presence is absolutely a blessing. :)

  75. Hi, I was wondering when you will be talking with Dr. Sara G about endocrine disruptors?

  76. I needed to read that story today. Rising up often begins with shaking stuff off….and it awakens our power! Thanks Kris! <3

  77. Dr. Joyce Myers had this same shake it off story a few years back. It’s been altered some. Her story started with a cow. It was a very inspiring video.

  78. What a wonderful story! Thanks Kris.
    I definitely needed to hear this today! xoxo

  79. Thanks Kris I needed that story 2015 year to rise no needs tips on quitting the nasty cig problem i got. Can quit drinking lost 20 kilos (44lbs) but the smoking is hard. 😀 😀

  80. Kris, I catch myself nodding in agreement while I’m reading your posts and they always leave me with a smile on my face

  81. WOW this story and post brought tears to my eyes and made me remember why I am here on this earth and NOT TO GIVE UP. We must muster up all the strength we have. We all have something down deep inside to give and share. Thank you Kris for reminding me. ~ Donna The Crazy Caregiver

  82. Thank you, Kris for all your inspiration and support! You are amazing! xoxo

  83. I love you Kris!! You bring so much light love and wisdom to so many!!!

  84. Your wonderful story is precisely what I needed right now!!! Thank you again Kris for the wonderful lessonsand positivity you give us :) <3