My Mentor: Leading By Example, Health Without Obsession, and Living Intentionally

Interview with Linda Hale on living intentionally, being calm (not crazy) around food, and saying NO

Today on the podcast we have a SPECIAL guest, Linda Hale. Linda is a personal friend and mentor of mine. She is the woman who first set the example for me that living a calm healthy life without dieting was possible. Beyond that, Linda taught me to say “no”, challenged me to step into my title as “Health Coach”, and helped me to see that health and feeling calm around food can co-exist. She IS a living, breathing, walking example of “health without obsession” as I talk about.

Linda and her husband Scott live in Montana and just bought a five bedroom house in a calm, quaint town (in fact, it’s not even a “town” – it’s a “place” that is removed from the craziness of life. Linda describes their home as “a little bit of heaven.” It’s a log home, built in the 1900’s and then updated beautifully. Walking distance to the river, surrounded by mountains, blue sky, big puffy clouds, deer, bunnies, a beautiful garden, amazing kitchen, and a heavenly fireplace… it is idyllic in so many ways. Sometimes they just call it “pinch me” because it feels so good to live there.

They moved there from San Francisco, which they loved, but wanted to be in a calming mountain home. In fact, Scott has long wanted a mountain home, but always figured it would be a second home. Linda said she felt that one home was plenty to maintain, and they both now love living in Montana full time. Their neighbors are helpful, kind, and love to teach their Californian friends about life in Montana.

They spend their days doing projects around the home like gardening, and upkeep of the house. They’ve also been entertaining non-stop. They’ve invited many guests to stay and enjoy their slice of heaven with them, and they’re currently learning what it looks like to be hosts and what boundaries to have (and as Linda talks about in our podcast episode – how she asks for help when guests stay longer than three days). They are filled with joy, love, and so appreciate being able to live in Montana.

Each morning, Linda wakes up and before she even opens her eyes she spends time with the Lord asking Him to speak to His daughter. She prays and reads her devotional, and when she’s ready to let the outside world in she turns on her music. That’s cue for her husband Scott to bring Linda a morning cappuccino and a kiss (you should see the two of them together – it’s as sweet as it sounds!).

Their home is full of comfort and joy – with color all around, cozy decor, and lovely music always playing. We’ve each moved several times since we first met, but the memories I have spending time at their Ventura home will never fade. There, Linda patiently taught me to cook, asked for my help around the house and in the kitchen, and gifted me with life lessons I’ll never forget. She’d have me pick vegetables with her in her garden, take me to the farmers market and have me pick up fresh foods to smell while telling me how that food adds something special to a meal. Linda used ingredients I’d never heard of before, and still does.

She has a zest for life, cooking, and her energy is special to be around. She’s one of those rare-to-come-by people who you want to be a sponge around. It’s not just her relationship with food that inspires me: it’s the way Linda does what feels right for her, calmly (this is grace), regardless of what someone else might say or think. She keeps her health to herself and as she says, is not “neurotic” about it. I love this word because doesn’t it describe how we can all sometimes get around food and diet plans? I know I have my own hand raised!

We didn’t talk about this in the episode, but after the past few weeks of reflecting on everything I’ve learned from Linda I’m also remembering that she taught me about body language. I could use a refresher in this area as a new mom because my posture right now is in permanent breast-feeding position. Any new breast feeding mama’s with me here? Time to step back into my body language confidence (haha).

Linda is one of those women I could create a whole series on with the podcast. I could interview her about boundaries, the meaning of marriage, being your authentic self, appreciating your body, appreciating food, spirituality, and focusing only on what is most important.

Dallas Willard once said – I read this in the book Soul Keeping – that we should ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives. Linda lives this out. She slows down, she asks for help, and if she gets overwhelmed she addresses it. She lives consciously – she is thoughtful.

I so admire this woman, and am so grateful to her for all of the lessons she has taught me and will continue to teach me. As she says in the episode, I am a sponge for whatever she has to teach me – it’s true! I am so blessed that I have women in my life who can pour so much into me (what a gift). Oh, and before I go… one more thing I love about Linda, she taught me that “we are blessed to be a blessing.” <– This is how I want to live everyday.

If you’d love to listen to the episode, you can find it on Apple, Google, or Spotify today (#25 How to Say No, Career Confidence, and Making Food Fun with Linda Hale). And if you love it, will you share it with a friend? While you’re there, please take a moment to rate/review the podcast and if you’d like to send a nice note for Linda (did she inspire you too?!) send me an email and I’ll make sure Linda see’s your sweet note.

To end, I want to challenge us to step into Linda’s call to action and lean in to the elders in our lives. Ask them to tell us stories, listen for lessons they’ve learned and have for us. Let’s get our thumbs out of our phones, sit with the people we love and create deep, meaningful relationships with them. I am up for the challenge and am excited to intentionally ask more questions to the elders around me! Are you?

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