Jonathan Friedman

Creating Space For the Bees: With Jonathan Friedman

New year, new guests, and new stories! Welcome back to The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. And what greater way to be back than with a special guest!

Today’s guest is the wonderful Jonathan Friedman. As some of you already know, he’s one of my five kids, and we’ve been working together for the last number of years. Jonathan has been a part of the FOM family (or FOMily, as he likes to put it) for a long time, and now he’s on a new journey as President of The Journal That Talks Back™, an accessible coaching platform for young professionals and post-secondary school students.

Jonathan sits with me to discuss his struggle with anxiety. Right now he has a lot of things on his plate and, naturally, that causes a lot of stress. But it doesn’t end there. Jonathan describes this issue as if he has bees buzzing around in his head, and those bees are now affecting his sleep and even his relationships. And in talking, I discover that he’s not actually making any space to attend to those bees.

What I mean is that we should allow ourselves some “bee time”, where we’re not neglecting the anxiety and stress, but facing it. And while there are many, many different ways to do that, the important thing is that you actually do make that time for yourself. So don’t just lock the bees away. Make time for them, and who knows, you could even be able to use them for brilliance!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world, come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.  

Today I have an unusual guest, a special guest, an extremely special guest. This is not just anybody. This guy, his name is Jonathan Friedman, but let me tell you a little bit about who he is. He's my son and he works with me and we're on a journey together. Jonathan, welcome.

[00:00:37] Jonathan Friedman:
Woohoo! Thanks, Kim, for having me. Really excited to be here.  

[00:00:41] Kim Ades:
So, what are you up to? Tell everybody what we're working on and tell everybody what your plans are and what's going on with you. 

[00:00:49] Jonathan Friedman:
Absolutely. So we've been, Kim and I and the rest of the FOMily, the family, all of the -alies have been on this journey to create a brand new version of coaching that we're really, really, really, really excited about. So, we've been on this journey to create, you know, the website to launch the business, a new business, and that's been really scary and exciting, obviously. 

In Toronto, at least, we're coming out of the pandemic. So starting to hang out and be a human again, which has been really, really fun. We have all sorts of exciting things coming up, but it's also--  

[00:01:34] Kim Ades:
Okay, so you're being a little obscure. What is this new version of coaching? What is it? What is it called? What is it do? Who is it for? What's so new about it? I know, it's a setup, but it's okay.  

[00:01:46] Jonathan Friedman:
It's okay, setups are great. That's what I was trying to do, you know? It was part of the plan all along.  

Basically, we're creating this program called The Journal That Talks Back™ and what The Journal That Talks Back™ is it's an accessible coaching platform for young professionals and post-secondary school students. And what we're really, really trying to do here is allow these young professionals and university students an opportunity to really dive into their mental health, their mental wellness, their thoughts, and really start to understand how to approach life transitions, complex relationships, and really their thinking so that they can show up in a really cool and new way. And that's what we're doing with The Journal That Talks Back.  

[00:02:36] Kim Ades:
So, really, it's coaching for young people in a way that's affordable and allows them to access their coach whenever they want from wherever they are.  

[00:02:50] Jonathan Friedman:
That's the better way to say it, for sure. Yeah, absolutely.  

[00:02:53] Kim Ades:
Okay, so how long have you been working on this project for? And when is the launch date, by the way?  

[00:02:59] Jonathan Friedman:
Yes. So, we've been working on this for just about a year now. But really this idea is not new for us. We've been talking about this for years. I've been with Frame of Mind in a coaching capacity for almost six years now. And I've been working with Frame of Mind for three years officially last week, which is also wild. 

And before that, you know, doing the child and youth work thing, this is not a new thought. But now it's starting to come to fruition and we're going to be launching on October 4th (2021), which is really, really exciting.  

[00:03:38] Kim Ades:
Amazing. Great. So, what's going on with you? You have a lot of balls in the air, you have been named President of The Journal That Talks Back™. 

[00:03:47] Jonathan Friedman:
That's wild. 

[00:03:49] Kim Ades:
What's your greatest challenge?  

[00:03:53] Jonathan Friedman:
Absolutely. My greatest challenge is... it's a few folds, and the folds are... It's kind of combining all of the things that I've been doing. So whether it's being a child and youth counselor, and being a web designer and starting to learn to be a business owner, and to approach it in a way that's stress-free.  

I do struggle with anxiety and coming at really a huge, huge challenge and a huge, huge... like, really running a tech company, running a team, working with a team, doing all of these different pieces in a stress-free way. And that I think is my biggest challenge, because so far there's been a lot of growth, it's been really amazing but the struggle is real, as they say.

[00:04:55] Kim Ades:
So tell me a little bit more about the stress. Like, where does it show up? Is it showing up when you're sleeping? Does it show up in the middle of a meeting? Like, if you could kind of not only tell me where it shows up, but what are the triggers of stress for you right now?  

[00:05:09] Jonathan Friedman:
Yes. So, it can show up in a number of ways. So, a way could be I'll wake up in the middle of the night and have a great idea for an ad, and while I'm very happy with myself in the moment, the following day during meetings, it's not fun probably for me or the people around me. I show up in not the best way. It shows up... I can show up irritable, I can show up in a way that doesn't allow me to communicate the way I'd like to communicate. So, that could be an example.  

It affects my relationship. So, I've been dating this fantastic human, Cassandra, for the past almost three years as well. It's funny how things... three years is where we're at, which is crazy.  

[00:05:57] Kim Ades:
It's not that crazy. You started with Frame of Mind Coaching™ and then you met your fantastic human. It's not an accident.  

[00:06:05] Jonathan Friedman:
Exactly. It happened at the right time.  

[00:06:08] Kim Ades:
Right. Okay, so it's affecting your relationship how?  

[00:06:14] Jonathan Friedman:
Obviously, as the person I am, I like to show up in my relationship in a really positive way. I like to be a really great conversationalist, I like to ask all the big questions, I like to also have fun. And I think specifically the way I'm able to show up and have fun is affected. And not that it's negative.  

At the end of the day, I'm doing all the things I want to be doing, but then quite often, the way I show up in this relationship or in those situations is affected. So it's not that I don't enjoy the things that I'm doing. I love all the things I'm doing, but then the way I show up is affected.  

[00:06:56] Kim Ades:
Okay. Is your girlfriend complaining about the way you're showing up?

[00:07:03] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, it does happen. So, I'll give you an example. A couple of weeks ago, she had a therapy session and after that wanted to tell me all about what she had learned in her therapy session. And obviously as the child and youth worker/coach kind of listening figure that I'd like to be, I should show up and I say, "oh, what happened? How did your therapy session go? What is different now that you learned today, that you didn't really put together before? What are the puzzle pieces that are starting to come together for you?" 

And in that moment, I also had plans that I was supposed to meet right after. And because of that, the plans, the navigating the conversation that I wanted to have, and also the million things that I had to do before, I totally just had an anxiety attack. And didn't... like, I just said, "oh yeah, you want to talk in the car on the way to go?" 

Instead of just saying, "Hey, let's grab a cup of coffee and let's talk about it. I want to hear about all the things." So even though I knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted to say, I wasn't able to put it together in the moment because of stress or anxiety.  

[00:08:18] Kim Ades:
Go back to your... you know, you're launching this new product, you're waking up at night with great ideas and then you're tired the next day. Like, tell me a little bit about that stress. Is that different from the stress related to your girlfriend? Or is it similar? 

[00:08:36] Jonathan Friedman:
I think the way it shows up is different, but I don't think it's dissimilar. I was talking, right now I'm also getting coached and one of the things we're talking about is... initially I went to him 'cause a few people had mentioned, you know, maybe I have ADHD. And one of the pieces about ADHD is being able to focus intently on a bunch of different situations or on a specific situation in the way I'd like to show up, which is really what we're talking about here. 

And one of the things he said to me was "Jonathan, I don't think you have ADHD. I think you have a lot of things on your plate and, you know, if you have a hundred different things going, you can't show up to all of them a hundred percent at a hundred percent of the time". And I think that's what's starting to happen. 

So, you know, beyond The Journal That Talks Back™ currently, the second I'm also working on a coffee company, I'm also, you know, I have other friends that are really struggling with their mental health during COVID... Although by the time this comes out, that'll be a bit of a different story, hopefully.  

My grandfather is in the hospital and has potentially dementia. My mom--  

[00:09:54] Kim Ades:
I'm going to ask you to fill in the blanks, okay? 

[00:09:57] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:09:57] Kim Ades:
The blank, okay? So here's the blank that-- I'm going to give you a sentence, the beginning of a sentence, and I want you to fill it out, okay? 

[00:10:05] Jonathan Friedman:
Okay. I'll write it down.  

[00:10:06] Kim Ades:
Yeah, good idea. I'm going to say with respect to your job, your career, your role with The Journal That Talks Back™, "I should..." let's fill in the blank. 

[00:10:24] Jonathan Friedman:
I should do one thing very, very well. Like, I should focus on this one thing. 

[00:10:32] Kim Ades:
Is that what you're trying to do?  

[00:10:35] Jonathan Friedman:
That's what I'm trying to do, but I'm not being successful at it because instead I'm doing a million things.  

[00:10:40] Kim Ades:
Okay. So, are you saying that you should be better at what you're doing than how you're performing currently? 

[00:10:50] Jonathan Friedman:
Yes. I think I should pick the things that are really a priority and do those things well, instead of trying to do all the things.  

[00:10:59] Kim Ades:
Okay, but what you're really saying is "I should be better at what I'm doing".  

[00:11:04] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, I should be. For sure.  

[00:11:06] Kim Ades:
Okay. "As a boyfriend, I should..."  

[00:11:09] Jonathan Friedman:
Be a better boyfriend.  

[00:11:11] Kim Ades:
Okay. And as a friend, you should be... or you should...  

[00:11:20] Jonathan Friedman:
I should be more present. I think in both the relationship pieces, I think I show up well, I don't think I'm present all the time. I think that's the more exact way to put it.  

[00:11:36] Kim Ades:
"And as a grandson, I should..."  

[00:11:40] Jonathan Friedman:
Also be more present. I should be more available. I should, you know, obviously with COVID, I can't go to the hospital and bring, you know, Moroccan treats or anything like that, but for example, I could, you know, film a video and say hi, that would be an option.  

[00:11:59] Kim Ades:
Okay. So do you see what the commonalities in all of these is "I'm falling short"?  

[00:12:07] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, for sure.  

[00:12:08] Kim Ades:
That's the theme, right? "I'm falling short and I should be better, and I expect more from myself". And so, in your attempt to, first of all, you know, the shoulds that we have are questionable, they're debatable. 

Should you be better or are you already amazing? I mean, I have worked with you for three years. We've lived together for years and years and years. I know you pretty well. I think you're a pretty awesome guy. 

[00:12:37] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:12:39] Kim Ades:
Right? So should you be better than you are? Could you be a little neater? Sure. Could you be a little more organized? Sure. But that's not necessarily your strength. And do you have to be strong at everything? I don't think so. I think what we need to do is leverage our strengths. And to me, your strength is your caring, your creativity, your ingenuity, your waking up in the middle of the night, and coming up with that brilliant idea. 

It's those things. It's the fact that you care. It's the fact that you're driven, that you're energetic, that you are trying to do all those things at the same time. It's the should piece that is the problem, and the should piece is "I should be better at all of these things". And so what do you do? You do more to be better at all of these things. 

[00:13:31] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, so it's kind of a compensation piece as opposed to a being better at those things piece. So, for example, in this case, instead of doing better at being a boyfriend, I'm going to do more things around just being more present.  

[00:13:53] Kim Ades:
Right. In other words do less, right? So, in the situation that you explained, your girlfriend wanted to talk to you, but you didn't have the capacity to talk to her in that moment. In your mind you're like, "well, if she's ready to talk, I need to be ready right now. I need stop everything else I'm doing and be present for her". And maybe that's not the case.  

If you're unable to be present, say "I can't be present right now. Can we save this for later?" But in your mind, that's not an option because you have to be there, you have to be the good boyfriend, you have to show up, even if you're only showing up halfway. Right? And so, what you're doing is you're adding to your agenda, you're putting more on your plate because you feel you should, because you're not doing a good job, because you're falling short. So you step up all the things you're trying to do, and you don't do them as well as you'd like them to do. 

[00:14:49] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, part of me wishes that my brain would work in a way where I could just have a shutoff switch. It's, you know, in that situation with Cassandra or in a situation with my friend or a situation with my mom, or even a business piece where, you know, we're talking about something that's either really in my realm or really outside of my realm, I wish I could just shut off all the other things.  

But the way my brain works has always just like bees going all the time. And really what's happening is instead of me communicating that that's what's going on and this is how I be able to better show up, I'm just total shutoff or I get irritated or upset, or it might show up in an anxiety attack or something like that, where I'm not able to... the bees won. 

[00:15:46] Kim Ades:
Right. The bees won, but also you're not communicating that this isn't the best time or that also the bees sometimes help you because the bees trigger great ideas. 

[00:16:00] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:16:00] Kim Ades:
Right? The bees trigger those moments of absolute brilliance that we've seen you have. And so the question becomes, how do you create space for the bees? But then how do you sometimes say, "okay, bees, I'm locking you up and I'm just going to allow myself to be present. And really the recommendation is not only to communicate, but to give people an indicator of when they will be able to have your undivided attention or your focus.  

And also not to, I understand your agenda, I know it, not to pack so much in, because I think you need let's call it bee time, bee space. And so, what that means is you need some time to process the bees. 

[00:16:51] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:16:51] Kim Ades:
Right? 'Cause right now, when are you processing the bees? When you're in other meetings, when you're talking to your girlfriend, the bees are in the background. What you need is actually time in your calendar when you're not talking to anybody. When there are no meetings. When you're not working on a deck or a website. And you're having time for bee processing. 

[00:17:11] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:17:12] Kim Ades:
Maybe for you, that's exercise time, maybe it's going for a walk, maybe it's playing a video game, whatever. In those moments, the bees are allowed to exist and they're useful for you. We don't want to shut them off completely, but we want to give them the right space and time, and right now they're infiltrating your sleep because you're not giving them the right space and time.  

[00:17:34] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah. So part of it is that I'm not building enough of that sort of bee time into my schedule. So, in this situation I might go to the gym and then while I'm trying to work out, it's not allowing me to work out 'cause I'm overdrawn, or I might have a conversation with Cassandra and in the moment that I'm trying to, you know, be a reasonable person and listen to her concerns for what she has to say, I'm like, wouldn't it be great if I had an animation that did this, when I scrolled partially down the page, which is really not being a good boyfriend at all, it might be a fun idea, but I did not succeed at half of what I was trying to do.  

[00:18:31] Kim Ades:
But also you're probably trying to squeeze Cassandra in your transition. So you're working, now you're going to the gym. "Oh, I could talk to Cassandra", but you're not really ready for Cassandra. You're not really ready for that conversation. And so--  

[00:18:45] Jonathan Friedman:
Oh, that's for sure. There's a lot of on-the-go conversations.  

[00:18:48] Kim Ades:
Exactly. So I know that sometimes I'll finish a call, you know, it's an hour call, it's scheduled for an hour, but maybe I'll finish it at 45 minutes, so I now have 15 minutes to just, like, think or to recompose myself or to answer an email or something. And I know that Allan will come in and talk to me and I'm not present. I'm not giving him my attention 'cause it wasn't in my calendar, it wasn't in my thinking bank, it's not the right time for him.  

So sometimes I say, "you need to repeat yourself because I really wasn't present". And sometimes I say, "write everything down. We'll have our own hour, two hours, five hours to talk. But I can't do it in between, I can't squeeze you in. It doesn't work for you because I'm not present, and it really doesn't work for me because my mind is somewhere else". Right?  

But I just want to give you one more thought, one more piece of advice and it's all something we actually really truly ever talked about. But my experience is that leaders who achieve the most monumental goals actually take half a day to a day off once a week, just to think. No calls, no emails, no website development, no girlfriends, no nothing. Just time for yourself.  

And you could go and sit under a tree, you could go for a walk, you could go-- whatever you want. But it's time for you to think. And I think that's super important specifically for you. And you might think "we don't have time for that, we're in the middle of a launch!" It's exactly when you need to do that. 

[00:20:24] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:20:25] Kim Ades:
Take some time for yourself, half a day, one day a week with no people. No noise. 

[00:20:34] Jonathan Friedman:
Yeah, that would be nice.  

[00:20:36] Kim Ades:
Yeah. And I want you to know that you're not falling short. I think you're crushing it on all fronts.  

[00:20:45] Jonathan Friedman:
Thanks. Good use of the term.  

[00:20:47] Kim Ades:
I know, I learned it from you. But cut yourself a little slack.  

[00:20:54] Jonathan Friedman:

[00:20:54] Kim Ades:
Or as we say, put down the stick. Most of us walk around with a stick, aimed to beat ourselves up. Put down the sick. It's not really useful.  

[00:21:05] Jonathan Friedman:
It's a concept.  

[00:21:06] Kim Ades:
It's a concept, exactly. Jonathan, thank you for being on The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. Where do people go, if they want to learn about The Journal That Talks Back™?  

[00:21:19] Jonathan Friedman:
Well Kim, that's quite simple. You simply go to It's exactly like it sounds. We have all sorts of information about the service that we're going to be launching in October (2021). There's going to be a lot more stuff coming out. You can follow me on TikTok, where I do fun things and sometimes talk about strategies, and sometimes I play guitar.  

You can follow me jonathanfriedman1993. You can follow us on Instagram @journalthattalksback. It's also all on the website, we have the social links there. And you can just follow me on my journey, you can follow The Journal That Talks Back™ on our journey and yeah... That's the place. 

[00:22:15] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening, and if you are in the age range where you are a young professional, trying to figure out your career path, maybe you're in a career and you want to figure out upward mobility. Maybe you are in a relationship and you're wondering about whether this is the relationship. Maybe you're still living at home and you're trying to figure out how to get the heck out of there, maybe The Journal That Talks Back™ is exactly the right service for you. Check it out  

And for those of you who are listening, who may have a child who is a young adult, who is struggling with a variety of things, maybe they just lost their job, maybe they're just coming out of COVID and don't know what to do next. Maybe they're just a little down and you want them to get some help, some guidance, please point them in the right direction. Send them our way,  

And for those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me personally.  

My email address is  

And if you have a challenge that perhaps you don't want to share on the podcast, but you do want to talk about, please reach out to me as well.  

Again, my email address is 

Jonathan, thank you. That was a good one. I enjoyed it.  

[00:23:33] Jonathan Friedman:
I enjoyed it too. Thanks so much, Kim.  

[00:23:35] Kim Ades:
Until we see you next week. Have a great day, guys!

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