Rise Up & Shine Podcast

Two women from different stages of life come together to talk about the struggles we all face. Out of the darkest moments of our lives we have found our way out and into peace, joy and a fulfilled life. Now, we have embarked on a journey to share our stories with you. Real, raw, and faith-filled conversation about our trials and triumphs. Bringing hope, insight and weekly tips that, you too, can rise up and let your light shine bright.

Podcasts

Episode #53

Has your light dimmed? Are you feeling exhausted and burned out? After the year we have had I'm betting most of us can say yes to that question. In today's episode, we share several strategies so you can shine your light again this holiday season. Why wait for the pandemic to be over to feel like you're living your best life? You can start right now!



Ashley
This is Episode 53, let your light shine.

You’re listening to the rise up and shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley. As an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast.

Claudine
Welcome back, everybody. We're so glad you're joining us today, I wanted to start off with a scripture in Luke 11. It says no one would think of lighting a lamp and then hiding it in the basement where no one would benefit. And as we're entering the holiday season, one thing we thought would be relevant to talk about is letting our light shine. And it can be quite difficult with everything that's going on. But it's the holiday season. And we really do want our light to shine. So Ashley, today we're talking about that? What do you have to share with us?

Ashley
I think I've kind of been looking forward to the end of 2020. It's almost like mentally I think, oh, when is the new year things are just magically going to be different? Because we've always used that hashtag right. 2020 Oh, my gosh, 2020 with everything going on this year. So that's kind of funny to think about, you know, it's not really realistic. But I definitely can identify as well as going through periods of feeling burned out, you know, like a candle, right? The light just burns out because for many various reasons that we'll get into today. But I think it's pretty common. I mean, I'm seeing it around town around our neighborhood. Christmas lights are going up early in the stores. It was like no Thanksgiving decorations. It went from Halloween to Christmas. And I'm like, I wanted Thanksgiving pillows. Nobody has Thanksgiving pillows or my couch. So what is going on here? And even the cashier was like, Oh, yeah, Christmas stuff is just coming in and out so fast. So it's interesting, as I have been observing, as we've approached Thanksgiving, an upcoming Christmas, that everybody is just looking for a little light, a little joy in your life right now. You know, we are tired, you know, restrictions are getting enforced again. And there's a lot of things going on with this pandemic and school, some are in school, some still are not in school, my children still are not in their classroom sitting their little tissues in that chair. I've been so anxious about but um, you know, it's definitely a great topic to talk about, because I think we are striving to feel a little bit of joy during the season. But I think it's important to talk about some of the reasons that could cause us to lose that light, you know, and forgetting the reason for the season. You know, we tend to do that with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We get excited about it in the beginning of the holidays, the holidays, it feels nostalgic, but then we can easily get burned out for many reasons or discouraged and then we dim that light.


Claudine
Well, that's what I feel. I feel like my light has been dimmed. I mean, I'm definitely tired. We're tired of the pandemic and all the restrictions. Many of us are, you know, just ready for it to be over and here in California we've even tightened up the restrictions now we have a curfew. So that's a little crazy enough that I was going out between 10pm and 5am. Anyway, so it doesn't affect me totally, but

Ashley
I'm asleep by that time.

Claudine
I know. Right? Like every night now the dark, you know gets dark it like right already. And I look at my husband. I'm like I could go to bed right now.

Ashley
I know. Just like nine o'clock. No, dear. It's only 5:45 .

Claudine
I know, but I don't want to wake up at 2am. But anyway, um, you know, as children of God, we all have that light within us. We do and that light is love and joy and peace. And so how do we maintain that through the holidays, and that's what we're going to talk about today. So like the sun, the sun is always shining, its light, the sun doesn't dim and go brighter. It's not a dimmer switch, it's always shining. But sometimes we here on Earth can't see the light. And that's because of the clouds or sky cover. So we can talk about some of the clouds in our lives that can dim our light during this holiday season.

So I know for me, one of them is just fatigue. It's the end of the year. So I've got a lot of business things that I'm trying to catch up with and finish, we're still trying to sell our house here in Southern California. I've got children and grandchildren, which is wonderful, but they certainly have a lot more energy than granny does. And what else I mean, you know, just a lot, a lot of things going on that can dim my light.

Ashley
I have one.

Claudine
But you have one?


Ashley
I have a different Yeah, I have an example there to add on to your list is the when it goes dark, you know and the cold it can make you feel more tired. Weather has a big difference. You know, it really can change your that feeling like feeling energized, like the sun rise, bright and cheery to feel more energized. And then it gets cold and dark. And then you just feel more tired than usual. Isn't that fascinating?

Claudine
Well, it's interesting you say that because as people, when we shine our light, bright, we can help others as they're sitting maybe in darkness. So that's kind of the point of this as well, not only for ourselves, but what kind of impact can we have during this holiday season. And it's going to be very different. For a lot of us, a lot of us are not going to be seeing family as it works out. I'm quarantining, so to speak down in Southern California. So I've got most of my kids here. And most of us live on the same property. So we're one household, so we'll be able to do that. But let's talk about some of the clouds in our lives that can dim our light. So I know a couple for me, I'll share a couple our expectations, like I have certain expectations of what I want the holidays to look like. And unfortunately this year with everything that's going on, a lot of people are not going to be able to meet those expectations. There's going to be disappointment. The way the holidays look so much. Yep, expectation, envy, that could be one. I know, when my kids were younger, we did not have that much money. So we were not able to do as much for kids as we saw other parents. And so that could creep in, I could feel a little envious and insecure at the same time, because I couldn't give my children what I saw other people giving them even though I knew that wasn't the reason for the season, and I didn't want to get caught up in that. I see. Yeah, you know, human still has mom feelings of, you know, envy and guilt and security.

Ashley
Well you know, also, with that is going to be a bigger factor right now, you know, because some people have lost their jobs, maybe some hate had been furloughed, even and so their paycheck is maybe four or $500 less than it there used to various different reasons, right. And so that can definitely be a huge factor this year for kind of bringing on that cloud, you know, to cover the light because you feel bad, you know, that you your kids maybe have been used to a certain kind of Christmas, and then now it's just gonna be different, you know. That could be very hard emotionally.

Claudine
Right? Absolutely. So, another one is old patterns. A lot of people if they are able to meet with family and friends for the holidays there that you can fall into old patterns, right? There's things that were prevalent in our childhood and we can go right back there, right? We can talk about insecure, you can feel insecure in our own homes, we can feel resentment and bitterness. Bitterness is a big one. If you had unhealthy childhood experiences. There could be some bitterness, forgiveness. I don't think we mentioned that one. Forgiveness too. It's really hard. I mean, sometimes we do these holiday events, because we have to cry when we see family members but we haven't forgiven them and so that can really dim your light. So those are some of the clouds that I've either experienced myself or seen others close to me experience that can be real light dimmers.

Ashley
A big one for me. Claudine is the stress of the holidays. You know, I also have I've mentioned on this podcast before I have my daughter's birthday on the 16th. Oh, that is a very stressful time, because birthday parties, or even just giving someone a gift or hosting a dinner with someone, my perfectionism comes out. And so I can really dim my light because I feel like I got all this stuff I got to do, and then I need to do this, I need to buy that I need to make it perfect and perfect, perfect. Everything has to be just the way I wanted it. And that has just added so much unnecessary stress that I'm like, I go through the holidays, I don't even enjoy it, because I'm exhausted by the end of it, you know, and I'm just not preparing myself and also just not having certain boundaries, I think is important to have certain boundaries with, is this really necessary? No, it's not, it's, it would be nice, but maybe it's just something added that would be a bonus, but it's okay. Like, we don't need to do that, or I don't need to have this for this event, or, you know, just kind of like those expectations as well. But that perfectionism we got to have yet more realistic expectations of ourselves and standards and have boundaries, right? And just really understand that it's just getting together if you're able to get together or, you know, just for the holidays, or even if you're your own little family, it just enjoy the moment, you know, just enjoy the moment because what has also happened is, I go back and I feel like oh my gosh, maybe they didn't like my gift. Or maybe they didn't i didn't have enough decorations. Or you know, I mean just kind of absurd stuff, but just really being more relaxed and at peace and just enjoying the time, you know, then you really can have more of your light shining, because you're enjoying and you're joyful to be around. I mean, right? Honest, you're, you're gonna be more joyful to be around.

Claudine
I was gonna say and that's, that's what I see. The light being the light is really love, joy and peace that we emanate from ourselves. So those are the things we need to focus on. So are you even having a birthday party this year? Because you really can't, can you?

Ashley
No, not really. We're just gonna do like a cousin sleep over and do like a movie. And you know, pizza are actually actually specifically requested microwavable taquitos.


Claudine
There you go.

Ashley
You don't even have those very often. So it's a treat, right? Yeah, I pretty much grew up eating those all the time. I loved them. But she it's a treat for her whenever they would have a school function. And we had to bring food. It was like bagel bites or those feedable you know, are microwavable taquitos? So like, great. So really, that's what you want.

Claudine
So what you're saying is this year, it's gonna be pretty easy. The birthday party is gonna be a lot easier.

Ashley
It really I was thinking, Oh, this is great. It's gonna be much more enjoyable this year, because I don't have that added pressure. You know, yeah. Because, you know, typically, like, when we have the birthday parties, you invite these kids and their parents or mom comes along, and there's, I don't know them. And that's out of my comfort zone. So I feel like I gotta have everything that they might ever want. So everyone feels comfortable and happy and wants to come back.

Claudine
Like, here's your three choices. I'm like, Burger King. I mean, I'm not like Burger King. You can't have it your way, it's your three choices, take it or leave it.

Ashley
Yeah, you know, but when I finally it was a couple years ago, but when I finally it, just that aha moment. Yes. Why am I Why did I do this to myself? You know, even when I don't put that perfectionism factor into it, people still have a great time. And then if someone comments, I had a friend, I'll be like, you always throw the best parties. And then it was right after one where I was just like, you know, I don't care. I don't care if we don't have this. Oh, I don't care if we got the wrong pizza. Oh, I don't care. It's fine. It's all good. It's all good. Even when I was just having that mentality. And people commented even more like, Oh, that was so much fun. I'm like, wow, okay.

Claudine
Well, you know, that's a perfect example. You're probably letting your light shine. I mean, you're probably way more joyful, way more peaceful. Yeah, that's what people pick off. And we talk about that all the time. But you know, our energy is we pick it up off other people. And if someone's joyful, what I could care less if all they have is microwavable to ketose. I'd rather be in that person's home with them than the person who's got, you know, the gourmet food and right, you know, everything I could ever imagine, and then they're cranky, unloving, and, you know, not very happy. I mean, who wants to be around that person? Right?

Ashley
Right. Well, just for the record, I was not cranky, however. But what I did notice is that I would be up doing something throughout the party, like taking care of something and I wouldn't just sit and socialize. Right? felt so busy, I gotta do this. I got to make sure that's done. I got to do this. And so the time where I'm like, you know what, it's okay. It is what it is and I'm just gonna sit and enjoy and that was the thing. I'm gonna sit and enjoy this party, I'm just going to sit and chat with my friends or chat with some of the moms that brought their kids out, like, I'm just gonna sit and hang out. And it was it was so much better. And then it was just a chance to reconnect to you because I was essentially that Martha right. I was doing all these things around the house and making sure everything was perfect. And the you know, food was perfect. The games were perfect. And people were like, were you even here?

Claudine
I didn't see you. I saw your shadow running.

Ashley
Yeah, right from room to room.

Claudine
That's so funny. Well, let's talk about some practical so that our listeners can let their light shine this holiday season. So one of them and we've already talked about it is letting go of expectations, especially this year, with everything that's going on, a lot of people will not be meeting together. And some will be meeting together depends what state you're in, and your tolerance for risk. I guess, you know, some people don't want to go out and see anybody others, like myself and my husband, were a little more risk friendly. We'll come see you. We're fine, right? You're fine, we're fine. But letting go of expectations, that's a huge one's expectations get us every time because that's a concept we have in our head, we have a thought that this is the way it should be. This is the way I expect it to be. And then when the circumstance or the situation doesn't meet that thought, then our emotion can be disappointment. It could be sadness, it could be frustration, it could be anger, it could be a myriad of emotions, when our expectations aren't met. So that's definitely a super helpful, practical, it's just like oh, of expectations now just let it be, whatever is going to happen. Just let it be. Another one is to forgive. A lot of times when we're meeting with family, there could be things in the past, it could be something as small as I don't know. Do you ever? I don't know. Let me think

It could be something as small as they didn't greet me when I walked in, they just didn't seem happy to see me to you know, some real big heavy traumas that have happened in the past some heavy duty things have happened in people's childhoods, or even in their young adulthood that.

Ashley
Or I got one they never liked my Facebook posts.

Claudine
That's a small one we'll go with that's a small one. But other people have suffered trauma and abuse in their childhood, they really need to forgive in order to let their light shines through the holiday season when they have to see these people if they choose to see them. And when we don't forgive, you know, we're usually filled with bitterness, it really hurts us more than it hurts exactly the other person.

Ashley
Well, and that's what I wanted to chime in on about too, is that forgiveness is not what the other person off the hook. It doesn't mean you condone or accept what they did. And it's just more for your well being that you're not holding on to bitterness because bitterness can really damage your emotional, mental and physical well being, you know, your health, it's really crucial.

Claudine
Absolutely. Another practical is practicing gratitude. I mean, there is so much to be grateful for I had an early morning phone call this morning, we're still here in Southern California, the house is not sold. But so many good things have been going on. While we've been here, we've had an amazing amount of time with our grandchildren, they're going to be moving out of California when the house sells, we'll see them a lot less frequently.

We've had a lot of time with our oldest son. And that's been great. You know, in even my younger daughter and her boyfriend, we've just had a lot of family time and enormous amount of family time honestly more than almost anyone else I know who has adult children. And I had to remember that as I was sitting here going, I can't believe it hasn't sold yet. Here we are, you know, almost Christmas and it hasn't sold yet. But I just chose to change my focus and all the good things that have come from being here a couple months longer. Actually the list pretty long. And the truth of it is we're really comfortable here. I mean, it's beautiful house, we have a pool, we have lawn we have, right everything you could ever want, except apparently kitchen tools. Our oldest son was here the other night. We were all making dinner. The three of us were in the kitchen making dinner and we were out of tools as he called where's this? Where's that tools? We don't have it.

Ashley
No tools in this kitchen. We're like, No, we don't. There's no rolling pin. There's no measuring cups, measuring spoons were on very limited kitchen tools as he calls them. But you know what dinner got made, and we all ate and it was wonderful.

I'm gonna interrupt you because I'm a great question here. Is that a little challenging for you, especially as the holidays are approaching because you love to do all the fun little holiday things and bake cookies and you know, decorate? And is it tough this year?

Claudine
Here's the answer to that. We're just going to leave town. Yeah.

Ashley
Well, there you go.

Claudine
It would be but we're leaving the country for three weeks. So in the middle of the pandemic, we've decided to go back to what is like our second home, which is Mazatlan, Mexico, which we did, we go every other year, typically, but we were just there last year. And we're going back. And so that kind of takes me out of the usual baking and cooking. But I will say I did order one small bundt pan because I wanted to make a pumpkin bundt cake for Thanksgiving. So I did order that. So we do have now a very interestingly shaped uniquely shaped bundt pan in our in our inventory of kitchen tools. But yeah, it would have been hard if I had been maybe in my normal circumstance, right? I think you're right. And that would have been part of an expectation. This is what I do in the holidays I bake and I cook and I deliver cookies and baked goods to my friends but because our circumstances so off and we're not there, we just tried to make the best of it. We're like, you know what, let's just leave for three weeks. So we're supposed to leave shortly, but we're just hoping that travel is not banned. so far. It's not in Mazatlan actually has a very low. They've had a very low COVID. You know, rate, they've had a very low COVID rate. Yeah. So that's where we're going to go. And we'll both be working from there since both of us work virtually at this point. So both still be working. It's not like it's a vacation, we've just decided to change our circumstance. And so that's, you know, we're incredibly lucky and blessed and fortunate. And, you know, most of America can't do that. So we definitely recognize the blessing in that. But for us, this is like our second home. And you know, we have our grocery store, we have our little breakfast restaurant, we have our little church that we go to on Sundays when we're there. So for us, it's like a second home. It's very peaceful and very relaxing. And the light the sunlight always shines. So we'll be getting some of that sunlight for sure. So and then another one that I'd like to share on practicals is stay strong. I mean, you talked about well, wellness. And I know you're going to share more about that. But saying strong mentally. And sometimes we need support for that, whether it's through close friends through someone at church, a mentor, or coach or any other kind of program or anything else that will help you feel supported. And you can stay strong through journaling. I mean, that's a very helpful tool that a lot of people use to just jot down their thoughts, their expectations, anything else that we've talked about, just journal it, and of course prayer. And I think about reading my Bible and praying, they have helped me keep my light shining. And we've talked about the sun and it's light, but the moon reflects the sun's light. And sometimes I think about that when I'm starting to feel dim, then I have to realize okay, like the moon, I'm only gonna reflect what the sun shines on me which if I look at that, as my spiritual Foundation, my scripture reading and my prayer, I'm going to be able to reflect more light when I'm filled with those when I'm just filled with the worries of the world and all the troubles around me. That's, you know, that's a light dimmer for sure. But I get into my word, I read it, I pray and all of a sudden, I have a little more light to help shine on to others.

Ashley
Exactly. And also just not focusing on what isn't, right, or what you're lacking. Because I think that is something that I mean, with this year, we can all fall into what, what we don't like about it, or what's lacking. You know, gosh, my kids still aren't in school or, gosh, my kids still have these really long hours of school, which really was frustrating me for a while and a couple months sometimes I felt almost embittered. I'm like, how come everybody else has a shorter day than my children. And we have the longest day and we have all this work to do beyond that we work on nights and weekends and,

Claudine
and the bitterness?

Ashley
Yeah, just a tad, just a tad. But the more I focused on and this is what we really want to drive home for our listeners is the more you focus on those things, what you're lacking or the negative, the more it reinforces and makes those emotions stronger. You know, when you like, if you really pay attention, I would do this almost just to kind of observe myself, I would purposely focus on something negative. And I like because this is when I was learning about all this stuff, right? Like our thoughts and our emotions, our behaviors, I intentionally would think about something that was making me anxious. That's actually what it was. And I can feel inside my body the anxiety stronger and stronger and stronger as I was focusing on it. And then when I intentionally switched my thinking to something more positive, or just something different, that maybe even as neutral, then it would subside, it would quiet down, it would calm down, sometimes not completely, because especially those who have chronic anxiety, you still might feel those feelings in your body, but it's way, way less and manageable. But it was really interesting because with this time of year, we can really fall into Gosh, like this Christmas is horrible. You know, Christmas is supposed to be a fun time, we're supposed to go do this, we're supposed to cut down a Christmas tree are supposed to have our annual ugly Christmas sweater party or, you know, all these things. And when we start focusing on what we're missing, you're you're gonna be pretty miserable. You know, I mean, it's just a fact you will, you'll feel pretty miserable. But like, as you were saying, just focus on more the positive, what is the good that is coming out of this.
One thing that I have been reminding myself specifically during this time is, you know, we've heard the saying less is more, right, less is more, and I was telling myself simple as better, like get even came to my decorations. Right for Christmas. Yes, we did decorate before Thanksgiving. We're already decorated for Christmas, for sure. But simple is better. A lot of times we forget quality is so valuable, that we try and strive for quantity. Right? Right. You could feel unhappy, we can feel like it's not meeting our standards or expectations. And we think well gosh, if I did less, you know, or make things simple, I'm not going to enjoy it as much. And really you do because you have so much more peace, internal peace, right, adding all this added stress and burden onto you. You know, and so just having something like the other day, what we did is rather than focusing on all this school, trying to cram all the school in before our vacation, holiday vacation next week. No, no, this is coming out later. Sorry. Let me say it again.

One thing that I had to focus on this week is I was kind of getting burned out as well. And really the school thing has been the biggest thing on my Mother Brain. But um, I tried to make things more enjoyable for the kids and I during the day, right because my husband's still down to work. And so I'm like, you know what, during lunch today, let's it's kind of windy and a little foggy and rainy. Let's like watch one of our favorite movies. We used to watch when you guys were little. And we built a fort had hot cocoa and we watched Winnie the Pooh it was a blustery day. And that was one of the fun things that we got to do just it. You know, it was simple. We didn't have to go do this big extravagant write something that was simple and enjoyable.

Claudine
How fun. What a great idea. Yeah, I love that. I love that. And one thing you mentioned earlier was just taking care of ourselves. And I think again, we have to have a reminder, especially as women to really take care of ourselves and make sure that not only emotionally mentally, but physically we're taking good care of ourselves, we can't shine bright. If we're not feeling well and it takes time to do that takes effort. You have to be intentional to take care of yourself. It's moms with their moms of little ones or me with adult children and now grandchildren, I can get so caught up and taking care of other people's needs I forget to take care of mine right and trying to run a business and then having another job as well. It's it's a lot and I can forget to take care of myself that honestly it's part of the reason we go to Mexico it's the one place we feel like we can just

Ashley
Step away. Step away from your roles.

Claudine
Yeah, it's one place we feel we can step away and just relax and let let down our hair so to speak and just be even though we're still working, it just takes away so many of the other things that need to be done, you know.

Ashley
Oh for sure. Well also the parents have a lot of the parents have a lot on their shoulders with school, you know, the parents have to get a lot more involved. So if you're working or even I stay home I'm not necessarily working out of the home, but I'm home and I'm trying to keep things clean, do meals help with the kids school, all that stuff? Like you don't really have a lot of time right? And it takes tension. You know, I've Yeah, some of us can kind of sit and wait and wait for an opportunity to have time Oh, okay, this is a chunk of time I have free I'll go do something or I'll go take a bath or I'll take a nap. But if you're waiting for an opportunity to to happen, that you just have all this time to go take care of yourself or do something fun. It's not going to happen. Right? You'll be waiting a very long time. You need to be intentional and plan plan for yourself. I remember talking with some good friends and they told me they're young married couple they said oh yeah, we plan in our calendar aren't like me time. Yeah. You actually plan in your calendar. This block of time is me time that's amazing. That's okay. That's not selfish, because we could feel like it's selfish to care for ourselves. But really, when we're filling ourselves up, then we'll be able to shine that light, and will be a much better influence for our kids and will be much more enjoyable to be around.

Claudine
Absolutely.

Ashley
And lastly, giving is a huge one, this time of year is a huge season of giving, right Christmas is coming. There's so many who are in need even more so probably right now, you know, who are homeless families, my house, right, right, coat drive, and food drive, and there's a lot of stuff going on. And so sometimes when we kind of stopped to get outside of ourselves, and think about what others may not have, and where others might need help, and we can give it really just boost that that light inside, that I can help someone else and I can help make a difference. And that is just huge. You know, I mean, it's no better feeling than being able to help someone else out when they have a need, you know, it really changes our perspective to feeling grateful, you know, like, wow, gosh, I have so much I need to be more grateful for what I have. There's so many who don't have as much as I have.


Claudine
That's a great practical and when we're giving to others, the focus is off ourselves and onto someone else and who doesn't feel better after they give even if it's something small even if it's just an encouraging card. There's so many ways to give like you said and right now especially in our country isn't a time of need. There are so many people that don't have much that are struggling and to find ways to give is really a powerful way to let our light shine.

Ashley
One also, okay. also teach your children you know, to children how to give I mean, we should definitely do it all year round. But now it's kind of more popular of a time to give to those in need. But you know if there's a coat drive or something say Hey, kids go pick out a coat or two from your from your closet.

Claudine
I don't think they can have a coat drive right now. Oh, I did a quarantine.

Ashley
I don't know we did we just had a coat drive.

Claudine
Did you really?

Ashley
Yeah. A coat drive and a can Yeah, but you know that.

Claudine
Maybe they let them sit in a room for 48 hours or something. It's crazy times.

Ashley
Spray Lysol. Oh, gotcha. No, no, I don't know. I'm just joking.

Claudine
It's probably true.

Ashley
You never know do they wash them? Who knows what they do? I was kind of curious about that, too. I thought that was interesting. But.

Claudine
Well, that's a great point. I mean, we are teaching our children
Either by example, or by intentionally teaching them. That's a great one, Ashley. Well, listeners, we're glad you're able to join us and we hope this holiday season, you've learned a few practicals to let your light shine bright. And I'll leave us with this quote. Any number of lights may light a room sufficiently, but even one light can make the room brighter. So let your light shine. Until next time, take care.

Ashley
All right, everyone. Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com, our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #52

Do you find yourself breaking commitments often to your friends or your boss? Probably not so often. What about to yourself? Do you cancel on yourself often? Many of us do this. We do not do a great job at keeping ourselves accountable. For whatever reason we feel it is okay to cancel on ourselves whenever we feel like it. Which can be a lot! "I don't want to go exercise now". I don't want to wake up to my alarm this early". "It's okay if I eat this cake even though I promised myself I wouldn't eat sweets". In this episode we talk about some key specifics to keeping our commitments to ourselves so we can thrive and reach the goals we have for our lives!



Ashley
You're listening to the rise up and shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast.

Claudine
Welcome back, friends, that is the clink of celebratory glasses. Believe it or not, this is our one year podcast anniversary. So we are celebrating here with two glasses of sparkling water.

Ashley
And I'm going to take a little swig, okay, you don't mind,

Claudine
We would be drinking champagne. But it's awfully early here as we're recording this episode.

Ashley
That's five o'clock somewhere.

Claudine
That's right.

Ashley
I tease, I tease.

Claudine
But we decided today to celebrate not only one year of podcast making, but also our one year anniversary of the rise up and shine podcast. And today's episode is going to be about commitment to self honoring the commitments that we make for ourselves. And it's incredibly appropriate because a year ago, Ashley and I decided that we would do a weekly podcast, and we decided this about two or three months before the pandemic.

Ashley
You're sitting in your pool and just talking

Claudine
Yes. And here we are a year later. And if there was ever a time to overcome commitments, or the desire to get something done, it was this year, but we did it. So we thought we would celebrate and talk about what it takes to honor your commitments to ourselves and to one another. So a commitment is a pledge or an agreement. It's a dedication. And so we had decided, and we started last November, that we would weekly record and upload a podcast for women, for men. For anyone who is interested in rising up and shining, we have overcome depression and anxiety and really are committed to living our best lives now and living life to the full which is what Jesus said He came to give us and so that's what we've been doing. And the opposite of commitment is a break from or desertion. So a lot of us make goals. We make plans, and then we stop, right. Oh, yeah, I mean, you yours.

I mean, like New Year's goals, right? We all make resolutions. And then three weeks later, we're done. It's over. So and I love this quote that I found it says commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. And that is so true. So Ashley, let's talk about this year and the commitment it took to each other and to ourselves to get this done.

Ashley
Yeah, you know, thinking about our one year anniversary, especially with you Claudine, it has been great.

Claudine
It has been fun.

Ashley
It has been so much fun. Has it been easy? No, especially this year with a pandemic and the distance now between us by Southern California. Luckily, today you're in town, so we get to record face to face. But there have been many obstacles that have come up through this year specifically. And yeah, it's, it's exciting to hit the one year mark. I definitely see more in the future. It's been great. I think it's been exciting for both of us. It's been fun to do this with a good friend. Right. And it's been fun to stick through with it. You know, I mean, I know for myself, there have been times where oh my gosh, I can we still go on? How are we going to do this? It's so hard, especially just an even in the last few months? Yes, with the challenges, there's so many reasons and excuses we can come up with that would be justifiable, you know, but is really exciting and commitment to myself when I think about that it's not been my strong suit.

So having my partner you know, you and doing this together has definitely helped us spur each other on, you know, to show me keep going and just encourage each other, you know, right. And when we felt frustrated or discouraged, you know, so I'm excited. We are here and I'm excited for another year ahead.

Claudine
We have had a lot of obstacles this year, that have wanted us at times to want to desert our commitment, right. I mean, we've had a location, I have relocated to Southern California for most of the time. And that's been really since March 20. Since the pandemic, we went to quarantine down south, came back up here packed up our place and went back down to our property in Southern California. So that led to a whole lot of technical challenges. I mean, obviously, we're all Zoomers. Now, right. Is there anybody who doesn't know what zoom is or how does it emerge? Now? That's a verb. Good right.

But there were challenges with that there were technical challenges, audio challenges, microphone challenges, it got overwhelming.

Ashley
Mm hmm.

Claudine
In the midst of everything else we had going on me trying to work from Southern California and you homeschooling children. You know, sometimes our brain can be like this is too much. I don't want to do this anymore. But we did spur one another on and we did stick with it. Another one is technical challenges, not only from location, but just some episodes, we've had to record three times. I know. I don't know where that one when it just never recorded. You're sure you press record on this one, right? I did.

Ashley
Yes. Yes.


Claudine
And your laptop is no longer going to crash and burn, delete all our recorded audios on there. But yes, so we've had a lot of obstacles, and even thinking about the excitement in the midst of everything that's been going on. Sometimes recording a podcast isn't exciting, it can feel like work, right? It's like, Oh, we got to record the excitement. Right. We're excited today, because this is just amazing. And that's the end result of sticking through with our commitments, especially to ourselves is that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling of confidence, there's so many good feelings that come from sticking through with our commitments to ourselves.

Ashley
Right, and it's okay to be proud of ourselves. And you know that how we did it, we had many reasons where we could have just said, You know, I don't think we should do this right now. Maybe we can resume next year, maybe we could, you know, there's so many different excuses that we could have come up with and reasons, just to stop. But I think both you and I, from what we've gone through, personally, just in our own lives, over our lifetime, we have such a passion for this to help other people, right? overcome, you know, to rise up and shine to be able to feel like they're living their best life and have the choice to live their best life. Well, just give hope, because we have seen a lot of things, we have felt a lot of discouragement and defeat and hopelessness in our life. And we have found very specific things as on this podcast, you know, through each of these episodes that we have walked through that we want to share with our listeners out there, that you know, you can rise up and shine again, the reason for our podcast, right rise up and shine. That is what we mean by that is that even if you feel helpless or hopeless or defeated and discouraged and ashamed, you know, depressed, anxious, no matter what you're feeling, you can come out of it, you can rise up. And that has been such a driving motivation for us to just keep going, just keep going. It's not about us, you know, it's not just about us, it definitely helps us. And it gives us great reminders of Oh, yeah, you know, maybe I didn't do a great job this week, get commitment, you know, I got back on. But we can wait, if we've ever fallen off, you know, we can get right back on that bike. And just keep going, keep going.

Claudine
That's so true. And the truth is, we are all good at commitment, because we make commitments, right to our jobs. I mean, if you have a job where you have to show up, you're committed to showing up on time and showing up on a regular basis. Because if not, you're not going to get the result of a paycheck. I know.

Ashley
Let's hope you are.


Claudine
We are committed to feeding our children, right. And taking them to school, and I know we're committed to helping them and I'm sure for me, it's been decades, but there were times where at 8pm I get them Mom, I need poster board for my project is due tomorrow, and I'm running to the store at 8pm at night trying to find a poster board. So we are committed to helping others and we're committed to our jobs, but sometimes with ourselves. And that's really what we want to talk about today is that commitments that really honor ourselves and really help us get the results we want in our life. Because without commitment and desire, a goal is just a dream. And the commitment is what we need to apply. So that result becomes a reality. So without commitment. It's just a dream.

Ashley
Exactly. And I think one thing that has helped me just in my own mindset is to not give up on myself, you know, non cancel on myself, right? You know, we think about well, gosh, like if I set up lunch plans with a good friend, I'm not gonna just not show up, right? But we do that with ourselves all the time all the time always have an excuse or a reason again, like our episode of procrastination, I don't feel like it. Right? You're like, dude, I don't feel like going into work today. I don't feel like feeding my children. I don't feel like you know, whatever, whatever it is. But again, just not breaking those commitments to ourselves. just telling yourself out loud in your head. Just say I am not going to cancel on myself today. Yeah, I'm not gonna cancel this plan that I had for myself today. And it really is rewarding. I feel sometimes it feels like a drag I gotta get this done. But just kind of change that thought process. You know, like, okay, I can get this done. And when I'm done then Yay, I get to do this and reward yourself and be all excited and get yourself motivated but it is it's Don't break the promise yourself. Unite. committed, just keep going, keep going.

Claudine
And part of that because I love that it is it's really not breaking the promise to yourself and that really comes when we value ourselves. Yeah. It's so easy for us, especially as wives and mothers to value everyone else, our husbands, our children, even our friends, like you mentioned, yeah, if I make plans with a friend, I don't cancel, I show up. You know, it's really rare for me. But for ourselves, we tend to shove ourselves to the side. Oh, well, I'll do it later. I'll get to me later. And ugly. When we value ourselves, we will honor those commitments. And it's so important to do that.

Ashley
You need to be on that list as well.

Claudine
Yes, I agree.
Ashley
So, Claudine, let's talk about some practical, yes. For our listeners out there. What are specific practicals that you can do to keep those commitments to themselves?

Claudine
Well, one of the first ones is to have a plan for that commitment, write it down, I think it helps me to write down the things that I want to accomplish, right. Otherwise, it's just in my head. It's kind of a figment. It's a it's a dream. Still, it's, it might be a goal. But until it's written down, it's really not as real for me, especially. So I always write them down.

Ashley
Vision boards are good for that too.

Claudine
They are.

Ashley
Vision boards, I will also print out a picture, whatever that may be. Yeah, you know, and put it up somewhere so I can visually see it. Yeah, really helpful.

Claudine
That's great. The other one is even for us like working out the logistics of Okay, we're going to record a podcast, we're going to start a weekly podcast, and we assigned roles, like you're going to be responsible for this, and I was going to be responsible for that. So we got really clear on what it took to honor that commitment, we got really clear about the steps and the responsibilities. And obviously, if we're tying that commitment to self, if if you have a goal to lose weight, there's going to be some how tos. So really getting clear on what the how tos are, am I going to double my vegetable intake and reduce my sugar intake? Am I going to commit to exercising three times a week getting real clarity on the steps to honor that commitment? Another helpful tool is getting the support and resources and we've shared for us with this, we have each other to support on to lean on. So I know I'm not going to quit on you and you're not going to quit on me. So we do spur one another on. Also resources. As I'm building my business, I have resources, I have a business coach, I have a mastermind group, those things help keep me accountable. They give me motivation. They inspire me, I'm really, it's really helpful for me, when I know I'm accountable. Yes. You know, I don't want to get to their meeting and go Yep, I did nothing.

Ashley
You know, even a deadline helps with that. Yes, kind of an accountability partner, as well as giving yourself a deadline.

Claudine
Yeah. Like that. I like that. Otherwise, it's still floating in the air.

Ashley
Yeah. And there's no reason to. Right. We didn't break anything, because I didn't have a set deadline. So I'm good.

Claudine
Another reason to procrastinate, right. I know. And for us we did with this podcast, we said we're gonna do it weekly. So we have had 52. In one year's time.

Ashley
And even think about when we started. Remember, we set we planned a double date with our husbands to go out to eat and celebrate when we launched our podcast, that's fine, and deadline that you worked hard for.

Claudine
Yeah, that is great. I forgot about that. So true. rewards, always good to reward. And then small steps to the result. We talked about this, but breaking it down, just making it smaller. Obviously, starting over a year ago, we said we're gonna launch a podcast, we had to break it down, we got specific about who was responsible for what, but we broke it down into little steps. It was even small, some small steps. Like, I'll order this microphone, you get the cables. I mean, we really broke it down and got clear. And so those are the practicals I know that I've really helped me and then on a more personal level for commitments that I do make to myself, like exercising or eating healthier. I just break it down to to what my grocery list is gonna look like I write it down. Otherwise, I go to the store and I'm like, now what did I want again? Oh, yeah. Oh, that ice cream looks really good.


Ashley
Oh, I do that all the time. Because I forget my list. And so then you end up spending more. Yeah. Anyway, so I don't know why I went over budget, honey.

Claudine
What am I gonna make this week? I don't know. This looks good. This looks good. So again, good. Just writing it down getting really specific that is so helpful for me. And lastly, it's dealing with our thoughts and our emotions. I feel like we talked about this weekly, but this is really a cornerstone to really making changes in our lives. But we were all given a prefrontal cortex, it's our higher mind. And with that we can make plans. And we can process.

Ashley
We all have it folks that do not think I really had that. But we do we all have it. It may be functioning at varying levels. But yeah, do you have that higher mind?

Claudine
We do. And we get to use it to make plans and to make commitments. And again, our thoughts, what are our thoughts about the commitment? If we start thinking, well, this isn't really important, or, like you said, I don't feel like it. You know, even that that's a thought before you feel it. You're thinking, I just don't feel like it. And I remember my kids when they were young, like, I don't feel like it might say, I didn't ask if we felt like it, I asked you to do it.

Ashley
And you don't have to want to know do you have to obey?

Claudine
Right, exactly. Right, right. So I'm just dealing with our thoughts, getting the thoughts in the right place. Like I know, for me, it feels so great to think I'm going to honor my commitment to myself because I value myself. That's the thought. Like that's the thought I've decided to choose to think about, I will honor my commitments to myself because I matter and I value myself as well as I value others. And I love this scripture in James 512 it says let your yes be yes. And your no be no. It's really simple. Very, very, yes. Yes. If I say I'm gonna do something, right, I'm just gonna do it even for myself.

Ashley
Oh, Claudine, you hit it on the head, you hit the nail right on the head. This has been the biggest issue in my marriage, let me just say, because I wouldn't break commitments to other people. But I would break the commitment to my husband, I would tell them, I would do something and I didn't. Yeah, and again, like even whether it's in a marriage, friendship, at work, or in your own personal self, you know, we have to keep those commitments when you say you're going to do something, just do it. Right. Don't, don't let those excuses those thoughts. sabotage you, because that's basically what's happening. I mean, you're kind of reasoning yourself to not do something. It's like, well, that's what I thought I was doing why I thought I was thinking logically, but really, it was more emotional because I didn't quote unquote, feel like it right. Or I didn't enjoy it, or it wasn't important to me, right. So when you say you're going to do something, I mean, you can imagine how my husband being on the receiving end of that all those years how he felt I mean, right ran it. Obviously, there's reasons why we had challenges, you know, but think about how you feel when you break commitments to yourself, you know, you probably feel just as bad like, gosh, I let myself down again. But a lot of times we cope. A lot of times, we try to just ignore all that and just keep going and live in life. And we don't stop to really think about how do I feel when I'm breaking these commitments? I said, I was going to exercise three days a week, how am I feeling about myself not doing it? Yeah, we don't always stopped to really evaluate that. And when we do when we stop and gain that awareness of Gosh, like, I don't feel good that I'm not following through with what I said, you know, those commitments I set for myself, I don't feel good about breaking those promises to myself. Well, maybe I can change that. You know, and that's the beauty is you can try and change that you can turn it around and be forgiving of yourself. Yeah. Show yourself grace and kindness and compassion. And don't beat yourself up. That, man, I keep doing that over and over and over. Just you know, it's a new day. It's a new day. today. I'm going to start again, I'm going to let my yes be yes. Or my no be no. Right. Right. That can also be a commitment to yourself. Yes. saying no.

Claudine
That's a whole another topic.

Ashley
Okay, we say no boundaries. We have an episode on that to my friends. So yes, just not breaking those commitments to yourself, right is very important. You know, if I said this to my spouse, or my friend or my work, gosh, I'd get fired. Because my relationships wouldn't be great. Same with a self I gotta keep those commitments to myself, don't break them.

Claudine
Yeah, I agree. I mean, it is really growing into valuing ourselves and honoring our commitments really treating ourselves the way I know all of us treat other people, right. We have wonderful wives and mothers and friends and spouses out there listening, and I know that you all value others highly and treat them with compassion and kindness and to do that very same thing for ourselves is so important.

Ashley
Absolutely. One more plug in I wanted to put with the, with the thoughts is remembering the why. Why we set up this commitment for ourself. Why did I have this idea of working out or sticking up with the budget or whatever your commitment may be to yourself, you know, one of them for mine personally was to do one load of laundry every day.

I'm just going to do one load of laundry every day, because I don't have a million piles to do. Right? So keeping up with that commitment, and just reminding myself, why is why am I committing to this right now? Yeah, you know, because I know I don't feel good when I have 20 loads to do on a Saturday, right? I'd rather spend my time doing something fun with the family, you know, I don't want to save it all for them. And so it helps kind of reconstruct those better habits. And doing that and not committing like, I this is the why because, you know, don't listen to yourself when you say I don't feel like doing it right now. Just I feel better when it's done. That's my why. Yeah, that's very important when we commit to anything just always remembering the why because you will lose motivation. You know, I mean, Case in point we did there were times where like, ah, maybe it's not the best time right now. Right? We had every reason we had a pandemic, for goodness sakes. Yeah, we have distance now. Right? You know, we had every reason to stop schooling kids traveling I traveled by today. Oh, my trying to find internet connections on the road. Exactly. We have recorded podcasts via many states right states apart yet Remember, you know,

Claudine
Country, Country I'm leaving the country soon. Hopefully, it will take us but

Ashley
but the why right, Claudine why? it goes back to why are we doing this and so it really helped us to keep that commitment.

Claudine
Well, that is it for today everybody. We will catch you next week.

Ashley
All right, everyone. Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com, our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #51

Do you practice gratitude every day? With the hustle and bustle of life, especially during the holiday season, we can get caught up with the to-do's and our current circumstances that we don't always stop to think about all we are grateful for. As Thanksgiving is this week, today's episode focuses on the importance of practicing gratitude with intention so you can live a life that feels full and overflowing rather than half full or completely empty.  



Ashley
You're listening to the rise up and shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast.

Claudine
Welcome back listeners. Today we are talking about gratitude. We are coming up on Thanksgiving and there's no better time to talk about what giving thanks really does for our mental and emotional well being. So this episode today is all about gratitude. And I found this great quote by Doris Day, Ashley, I don't know if you know who she is. But I've heard of her. You heard her. But she says gratitude is riches complaint is poverty. And gratitude is the appreciation for what you have. And it doesn't include comparing it's not a comparison. It's just standing alone, gratitude, just giving thanks just for what we have what we appreciate in our own life.

Ashley
A little harder to do these days with social media.

Claudine
It is harder, isn't it?

Ashley
When you see everybody else's life, you know, right plastered on Facebook and Instagram is all the things I'm missing out on.

Claudine
Right? Right. And that's why it's more important than ever to develop an attitude of gratitude. And gratitude actually can reshape our neural pathways, when we give things it actually changes the wiring in our brain. So it's super important to practice this not only once a year, but on a daily basis.

Ashley
And that's the key word is practice. Right? It is a practice. It's not something that's just Well, I'm just more of a grateful person by nature. Yeah, I mean, it's, there might be some of that out there. But also with the demands and pressures of life, we can easily fall out of having a grateful heart, right. Oh, and we we talk about Oh, yeah, just be grateful. Just be grateful. We tell our kids just be grateful for what you have, you know, there's people who have less than you and but as we grow up and become adults, we don't practice it on a daily basis. And so the complaining creeps in the venting the comparison, all that stuff creeps in and really hampers our life, then we kind of go through life living at half empty, right? The glass is half empty.

Claudine
And that is exactly when I was in my 20s I had a mentor, an older woman that mentored me. And she said, you're kind of a glass half empty kind of gal. And what she was really trying to show me and teach me was that I could see everything that was missing in my life. But I had a really hard time seeing what I did have. And so it's been a couple decades of practicing this, I'm telling you that it has changed my life experience. My human experience here is I've developed this attitude of gratitude, and really given me a better life because the brain cannot focus on negative and positive thoughts at the same time. So if you're thinking about all the positive things going on your life, your brain cannot focus on anything else. And then it will start to see all those things out there. In our experience. Like I'm thinking about how wonderful My husband is. And he's such an amazing man. Everything he does that day, I'll have a sense I can look at that he brought me my coffee, or, wow, he's working today, what an amazing thing that he has a job and all of a sudden, I view the experience that I'm having in life through these rose colored glasses. And it only benefits me and everyone around me to have an attitude of gratitude.

Ashley
I love the rose colored glasses. My husband and I have had conversations and even just kind of joked around about our different personalities. Right? So I am more of I look at things through rose colored glasses. And then he's more the realist, right, which really pessimists but he likes to call it a realist and I agree, okay, okay. But we'll teach each other because he'll see things a certain way. And I'll see things a certain way. And I'll always see, you know, try to see the positive. Like, for example, if someone dumps a bunch of furniture off the side of the road, and he'll be I guess that's a shame people just dump their stuff on the side of the road. And I'll be like, how did you know it didn't fall out of the truck? I give people the benefit of the doubt. But a lot of times to an extent where is probably really unrealistic, however, but we talk about I I'd rather see things right. You know, I'd rather see things in a positive light even if I am wrong, because I feel better. Yeah, and I'd rather be happier in my life. But I have noticed that when I you know, especially as women get together, you know friends and we Sitting, we talk about life. And we can kind of complain and complain and complain about this or that. But then sometimes I'll sprinkle in throughout my complaining to my friends. I know I need to be grateful. And I'm really grateful for this. But

Claudine
It takes away. It's like, I'm really grateful but

Ashley
Right. Oh, it's just like, what did I even say that you know that it's not coming from a grateful heart. It's just I know, I should, however, I have this right to complain about all this stuff that I'm, you know, throwing up all over you about, but it's very true. And I had this conversation with someone about well, what's the difference between venting and complaining? Hmm, because sometimes we, we do need to get things off of our chest and out of our brain, right, kind of, like, get it out of our head. But when we go on and on and on and on, and every morning, we wake up and we're just kind of negative. We kind of wake up with this. Yeah, negative mood and energy. And oh, man, it's like, and I've been doing that even more recently with this. Yeah. Actual schooling. Yes. I am not a fan of Yes. In the beginning, I was like, Oh, great, early summer vacation, and then reality said it. I'm like, Whoa, you will come in every day. Check me out. Are we going back guys, I'm ready, I'm ready. But I got to this place where every morning, I would wake up and I'm like, Here we go again. Here we go again. And I would go to bed super exhausted and not have much time to recoup, you know, with all the responsibilities of taking care of the house and my family and all this stuff I have to do. And I'd sleep and I wouldn't even feel like I'm rested. And then I'd wake up again in the morning. Here we go again, right. But I would constantly wake up with that attitude. And yeah, what happened? Did I have a great day? No, I didn't have a great day. It was a challenging day. But when I became aware of how much I was complaining about it, I realized that I was essentially creating it. I was I'm complaining I was creating this whole environment. And I kid you not this really helps listeners out there. It really helps to fake it till you make it. Yeah, cuz I did, I'd have to put on the happy face. I would wake up in the morning and I try to prepare my heart. And I would say it's gonna be a great day, I would tell the kids today's gonna be a great day. Well, why mom, just because it is it's just gonna be a great day. And I would tell the kids is like I said, you know, when we wake up, and we say, it's gonna be a great day, most likely, we will get to experience that. And that is our choice. And what are we going to focus on?

Claudine
Yeah, and it's training our brains, like you said, it's training our brains to be grateful to look for the good in the day. Yes, like that you have a home, you might be homeschooling, but at least you have a home, right? You know, comfortable home where people have space, your kids have space, they have a place to do it, it takes so much work to cultivate that skill. I mean, it wasn't natural for me. But studies have shown that the more gratitude we have in our life, the more giving up things that we do, we actually have better sleep, there's a direct correlation to lower depression, there's an indirect correlation to lower anxiety, we have a higher activity in our hypothalamus, we have higher dopamine, which is our feel good neurotransmitter. And actually, expressing gratitude can improve our mental health by shifting our frame of mind, which is what you were talking about. And physically, we can have fewer aches and pains. I thought that was interesting, then, having been grateful that expressing gratitude can actually reduce aches and pains. That's just fascinating to me that our mindset can actually affect our physical well being. I mean, I know that but every time I see a new study about it, I'm like, wow, giving things I can feel better all the way around just by being thankful.

Ashley
Well I could tell you from personal experience that when I am stressed out and seeing all the negative and kind of thinking the negative or voicing the negative, my muscles in my back, just tighten and frazzled on me or now I have a pinched nerve, because of all the stress and it literally can feel like a heavy burden on your shoulders. Yet a lot of it is just I just need to focus on what's going on in my head. You know, am I complaining? Am I kind of having this attitude of just complaining every time you know my husband and I talk on his drive home from work? What's our conversation like? Am I just kind of venting to him and just being honest, and every conversation every time he sees me, it's this negative, negative negative and that's not necessarily what he wants to hear. Now coming off of a 12 hour day.

Claudine
Hard for him to be grateful.

Ashley
He's such a trooper though. But I recognize it in myself because I know all this stuff right And granted, we, you and I, Claudine and we know all this stuff, but we still fall back into our old past. Right times when we are kind of ridden with extra stress, you know, 2020 Come on, that's just extra stress for everybody. So, but really paying attention to this complaining, and practicing gratitude, you can always find something to be grateful for, because you'll ask people will ask, Well, I don't have anything to be grateful for this is happening. And this happened and this and this. And I validate that like, yes, you are having a hard time. Absolutely. But there is something you can be grateful for. Clean water. Right? You can you shower, a bed, a bed? Yeah, no, I mean, a friend, it's, you know, we there are things to be grateful for. But when you are so heavy burdened with all this stress, and extra, just, you know, I mean, that's not how I explained it. It's just all this extra stuff that's really unnecessary. It's really hard. It just kind of puts these blinders on. Yes. And sometimes it even helps to, as we're talking with a friend, someone that is a trusted friend, someone who can help us out and even help us see a little bit more clear, right? You know, and granted, yes, there are times when we are really deep and despair that we don't always want to hear, hey, this is what you should do and be grateful. But it does help to have another personal listening ear to talk through that stuff with because there is sometimes we do need a little extra help finding something right in our life that we could be grateful for.

Claudine
Yep. And while and we talk about it all the time, but our thoughts are going to trigger our emotion, right? They are what create our emotion. So far, thoughts are filled with gratitude and Thanksgiving, then we are going to feel better, we won't have to bake it, we will feel better. And when we have that shift in our frame of mind, we have a better psychological experience. Despite the external circumstance. I know so many times, it's like you were saying it's when things are tough, it's hard to be grateful were like, well, I'll be grateful when Yeah, but there is so much to be grateful for despite the external circumstance. And we're going to share a few practicals that can really help us all during the season and year round to really express gratitude. And one of them, it's one of my husband's favorite. Actually, he does this. And he shared this with a lot of his friends. But he'll make a list of 100 things. And I know in the past, he's challenged me to do it in during really tough times. I was lucky if I came up with 20. Right, like 100. But then I started thinking, well, at least I have my eyes, I can see. Because I'd be really hard. I'm very visual. So it'd be really tough for me, if I can see, well, at least I have my ears, you know, and I can hear because I'd be really hard if I couldn't hear my children, of course, each one of them. But I remember there were days we're coming up with toys is really, really, really hard. But the challenge is to do 100. And I'll never forget, it was quite a few years ago, but he came up with like 330 Oh my gosh, things he was grateful for me about, oh my god, it was amazing. It was huge. So you find that, well, we've moved a few times since then. So it's somewhere in a box somewhere in your relationship and always look back on it. But he had, it was a long list. And he didn't was very encouraging for me. But a year or so later, he was sharing with a couple that were with and he said, You know, I made that list because I wasn't feeling really great about our relationship. I didn't know that at the time. But it helped changed his frame of mind towards me, after writing out all those things, it really forced him to look deeper and find things that he could really be grateful for about me. So it was very encouraging for me at the time when I read the list. And then of course for him, it changed his mind mindset, you know, he was able to be grateful for me. So that's definitely one a list of 100 things you're grateful for. It doesn't have to be about one person. It could just be things in life.

Ashley
That is a really good one. I think especially with upcoming Thanksgiving. Yeah, I mean, we tend to Oh, let's, you know, write a bunch of things that we're grateful for. And we can make a little family list in my fridge or we can write down these beautiful little leaves. And...

Claudine
Yes, we've done the Thanksgiving. You've done the things.

Ashley
Yeah. It does not have to be anything elaborate, right. Just like as your husband did. Something to help. I mean, obviously he recognized he was kind of deficient in feeling gratitude. Yes, you you know because yeah, guys, we're having a tough time in your relationship at that point. Or he was he was recognized.

Claudine
I was clueless. Things were great.

Ashley
Isn't that the way things go though. But you know, it's funny because as you have counseled us in the past that was one thing he recommended to us. And I remember when we left after that conversation, we both look at each other and like, what 100 things?

Claudine
I know, it seems impossible, doesn't it?

Ashley
Yeah, I'm just like, I can't even think of one. Because our blinders are on, we're so discouraged or frustrated about this one thing with my spouse. And that's what happens, right? I mean, whether it's a situation or a person or just life in general, we do we focus, we hyper focus right on that and then that we're constantly just going to see that negative and then we keep feeding it because we keep reciting those things, right? A lot of times this is what happens when family gets together around the holidays. We start focusing on all the negative things that have happened in the past and the hurts, you know, specific hurts and essentially, it's the records of wrong we have kept a record of wrong if I are starting to play back all those memories in our head of how this person in my family did me wrong or when they said this to me that time or how I was treated this way and it wasn't fair and and we'll start kind of reliving the past and then imagine I mean, okay, now I'm going to go in and be with my family and be grateful and have a good time. Like most likely that's not going to happen. So mindset mindset mindset, it we can't say it enough that prepare yourself prepare yourself to go into that situation. Exactly. And one thing I wanted to say as well so holidays are contend to be extremely stressful for everybody but I would even say probably a little more so for women. I would think we tend to do more of the Christmas shopping. I tend to think we do more of the cleaning more of the cooking you know

Episode #50

We all do it. We all put things off to the last minute. However, what do we do if we have become so good at habitually procrastinating? There are many costs in our lives when we do procrastinate that we may not even realize. In this episode, we share the consequences of procrastinating as well as specific tips on overcoming this unhealthy habit! Beat procrastination once and for all! 



Ashley
This is Episode 50. Stop procrastinating.

You're listening to the Rise Up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise Up and Shine podcast.

Welcome back to the rise up and shine podcast. I have a very special guest today, my beautiful daughter.

Nicola
Hello.

Ashley
Why don't you introduce yourself to our listeners your name and your age and what grade you're in.

Nicola
Hello, I'm Nicola. I'm almost 10 years old, and I'm in fourth grade.

Ashley
So today we are talking about procrastinating on this episode and my daughter here. We just had a little situation last weekend about procrastinating and it was a perfect teachable moment. Right? Ah, so what is it that you felt like you procrastinated on?

Nicola
Well, I had to do assignments. It was on the weekend, and I didn't do any assignments. Mom asked me to do assignments, and I said I do it on Sunday. But I ended up playing six hours straight with my cousins.

Ashley
And then so what happened Sunday night when we said okay, guys time to go up for bed, would you say.

Nicola
I screamed. My assignments!

Ashley
Exactly. So you waited to the last minute and then by then it was too late. And so how did you feel going into Monday morning when you had class again, knowing that oh my gosh, I didn't get all these assignments done.

Nicola
I felt pretty nervous.

Ashley
You felt nervous? And what did you tell me? You use a special word that a lot of us feel when we put things off to the last minute.

Nicola
I regretted it.

Ashley
You regretted it? Exactly. What would you do differently? Would you try and do your assignments ahead of time a little bit earlier?

Nicola
Yes, please.

Ashley
Because then you won't have as much right? Yeah. So kind of there is like a natural consequence that happens when we procrastinate. And we put things off, you end up having more work to do, right?

Nicola
Yep.

Ashley
Well, thank you very much. Do you have any special advice to our listeners that you would share about this experience you've learned?

Nicola
Yes, I do. Remember whenever you have something to do, don't try to procrastinate. Just get it done then.

Ashley
All right, my dear will thank you for being our first special guest.

Nicola
You're welcome.

Ashley
Go have fun now. Love you.

Claudine
Well, that was a really sweet story from an almost 10 year old about procrastinating. But the truth of it is as a nation, we are a procrasti-nation. It says that that 20% of our population, our habitual procrastinators. Now I believe it's a lot more than that. But I think some of those 80% procrastinating and turning in their results. And another study in denial. That's right. And another study shows that 80 to 95% of college students procrastinate regularly. That was certainly for me. I was one of those people that had a term paper due on Monday and I would get the books on Monday. Come up with some crazy excuse for my professor and get the paper done by Tuesday. I am the queen of procrastination. How about you Ashley?

Ashley
Well, that's funny because I consider myself the master of procrastination. I feel like I have mastered it. I am so good at it.

Claudine
So we see where sweet Nicola gets it from right?.

Ashley
Oh, yeah. Oh, I knew right away. She was definitely my child. But it's kind of fun. For me, at least because I've learned so much, especially over the last few years of recognizing these habits of mine. And seeing it so clear in my children. It's like oh my gosh, like it's it's not just something that we develop over time. I mean, granted, yes. Like I said, we get better at it right. And we do it more and more habitually, but it starts very young. It starts at a young age, a lot of his personality to you know, personality and just kids they don't want to do something, you know, they don't want to do work on a weekend they write a play with their cousin for six hours.

Claudine
Well, and there's a lot of reasons people procrastinate, and that's what we're gonna be talking about today why we procrastinate the costs of procrastination and practicals to overcome it, because really, procrastination has a lot of negative side effects. So while Nicola didn't really Have any negative consequences for putting off her assignments, although she'll have more to do a lot. She's still got to play and didn't suffer, you know, massive negative consequences. Those of us that are older when we're adults, procrastination can do a lot of damage. And so procrastinating is really putting off today what we can do tomorrow. That's what really what it is like, we know there's things we need to do today, but we're like, No, just do it tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. And Ben Franklin says, you may delay but time will not. And I like that, because that is so true. Like we can delay, but time is still taken. And before you know it, it's tomorrow. So let's talk about some of the reasons we procrastinate. Ashley, what are some of your top reasons for yourself?

Ashley
The biggest thing for me was that I just don't feel like it. I don't feel like doing blank right now. Whatever it is, right? So when we tend to live by our feelings, that's what's going to happen, right going to things that we don't really care about. We're gonna just put off because we don't feel like doing it. Well. I'll get to it when I feel like it. And if I'm completely honest, and I'm sure many of you out there, is that really going to happen? Do you ever feel like doing the dishes? I ever feel like doing the budget? Do you ever feel like doing the laundry? I know my pal here, Claudine loves the laundry. So you do. But most of the time, we don't feel like doing it. But it's kind of this lie to ourself? No. So we put it off. Another one, like kind of going into what I said is that we don't value it. It's not important to us. So right don't value it. And case in point, like the budget with my husband, I that caused a lot of challenge in our marriage for years and years. Because I okay, I'll do it, I'll do it. And I would put it off because it wasn't important to me. yet. It was important to him, right. So he felt devalued as well. He didn't feel cared for or loved because I wasn't taking his need as a priority. You know, I didn't highly value that. Another one for me is the perfectionism.

We tend to be a perfectionist, we would rather not do it, because we're not going to do it well, right. And so there's a lot of pressure. And so we'll say, well, I'll just do it later. I'll do it later. And that was something with the budget, I would I'll do it later, I'll do it later as if I was going to magically become good at it. You know, and, and, of course, that's not going to happen. It's an unrealistic expectation to have, you know, I kind of do it perfectly. But if we really sit down and think about it, that is a reason, you know, the perfectionism that we're not going to want to put the effort in if we feel like we're gonna do a bad job, right. Another one for me is the lack of habits or existing habits. This, this is a conversation my husband and I have a lot because he is a planner. He talks a lot about having good habits. And I'm the free spirit. I'm like, stop talking to me about this stuff.

Yes, I like to go with the flow. And I like you know how I feel go off the spur of the moment. And so the habits, I didn't really pay attention. And we have a whole episode on habits that you definitely should go back and listen to but I did not really pay attention to the habits. I did have. I thought I had no habits. But that's not true. We don't not have habits. We're not lacking the habits. But we do have habits. They're just bad habits or unhealthy habit, right? They're not helpful. My habit was putting it off. Right and not planning very well. Because again, planning just does not go with my.

Claudine
Which is so funny because I love to plan and I always say if you fail to plan you plan to fail, though, yes, we should do a whole podcast on that because planning gives me freedom and you think planning takes away your freedom. But that's for another episode.

Ashley
Very true. And that's what caused me to have this habit of just procrastinate. Right, I felt so restricted. I didn't feel I didn't feel like like you said I didn't have that freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted to.

Claudine
So it's was a belief, it was a belief.

Ashley
Oh, much so so.

Claudine
Yeah, it's funny, because for me, perfectionism is part of it, too. I feel like if I can't do it excellently or do it great, then why do it at all, which is not? That's not a good habit. Mm hmm. The other one for me is I really believe I perform better under stress, like waiting till the very last minute. And that's actually common that people feel like they do better under pressure. So we wait till the very last minute to get it done.

Ashley
See and that is the reason why I felt I mastered procrastination, because I felt like I would produce good work. Great work. When I had the pressure. It came out better. Yeah, I felt so

Claudine
Very common for us. The other one. Another one is lack of motivation. And I think that ties in with what you said if we don't value something, if it's really not important to us. There's a lack of motivation to get it done like so I'm on the top of my head. to do lists to go to the gym or to exercise, I do not like going to the gym, I do value exercise, and I value staying in shape. But I lack motivation to go do something that's uncomfortable for me, right like going to the gym, which of course, right now, none of us can go to the gym anyway. But talking previously, I just don't value that type of exercise. Another one is, we are overwhelmed by the complexity of a task or something that we know we need to do. This doesn't really apply to laundry or dishes actually, though, just so you know. But I know for me, I had a goal this year, this summer to write a book. And it's really overwhelming to start, if the goal is I must write a book. That's a huge overwhelming task. So what I did is broke it down into five days and said, Okay, this day, I'm writing the introduction and chapter one next day, chapter two and chapter three. And so I broke it down into smaller sizes, and just wrote, and I also, the helpful part of it was, I decided, I don't have to do a work, like, I'm just gonna do be work, I can always clean it up after but instead of thinking it has to be perfect. I'm like, I just have to remember it. There's always a rough draft. And so part of that, that perfectionism is realizing that it doesn't have to be as complex as our brain tells us it needs to be.

Ashley
And that goes with our mindset. Yes, it's very much our mindset, that belief like it has to be this way. But can you really tell your brain No, it could be B work, you know, I expect it to be A work it, which is, it's a great desire, but it's important to be realistic as well. And if B work is great, you know, when you shoot for B work, it probably ends up being A work right anyways. But you just kind of got to retell your brain that and say it's okay and accept it internally. Accept this is what this is the target I'm trying to reach. Yeah, you know, exactly very much a mental thing.

Claudine
And the thing with procrastination is there's really some harmful side effects, it actually affects our immune system. There's studies that show that our immune system is less healthy because of procrastination because procrastination adds to anxiety. It interferes with our sleep quality. Our mental well, being an emotional well being can be hurt because of self blame, right? We judge ourselves, oh, here I go again, I can never get anything done. Or I'm failing at everything, right? procrastination can hurt our relationships, like you've shared about budget, right? That created friction in your relationship when want free something in a certain time, and then you procrastinated, right. So procrastination can hurt our relationships. It also can hurt us financially, if we procrastinate on bills and taxes. And I know.

Ashley
That's where it all started. For us. To be honest, it wasn't it was to pay bills, and I did not pay on time. So then we would have late fees. And then my husband would ask me, Well, can you call them and see if they will waive the late fee, which was extremely embarrassing. So I actually preferred to pay the late fee with my own personal money so I could avoid the conflict. And the uncomfortable feelings of asking for that, because I felt so embarrassed. Isn't that interesting? That was his, and you know, I was 23-24 years old. So that's where it started. And I said, I would do it, you know, my husband relied on me, and I didn't over and over and over. And then it just became this big issue. I really was a sore issue in our relationship.

Claudine
Yeah, that's part of the negative side effects of procrastination. And I would imagine the anxiety that causes knowing you're going to have to deal with it. That's the truth of the matter is we're going to be anxious because our brain already knows that we said we're gonna do it, right. And when we don't do it, it's still in there. It's like all the little open apps on our file. Yeah, that's what's in our brain. It's all those little I got to do this, I got to do this. I got to do this. And it just wears out our brain power, energy, saps our energy.

Ashley
Another one that was really crucial for me or really, a factor for me was depression. Hmm. You know, I just felt because I was putting everything off, off off off later, later, later, I'll get to it later, I was getting really depressed because then I felt oh my gosh, there's no way I can get all of this done right away. And then I felt, you know, the dialogue in my head is I'm failing at everything. I'm not a good wife. I'm not a good mom. I'm not doing this. I'm not you know, everything. I was just cycling through those thoughts in my head, just causing myself to go down writing down in this depression. And it really was me stepping out and just kind of assessing my choices, assessing my mindset and what I think about, you know, procrastination or in what areas? Am I procrastinating? What am I putting off? What am I not doing just because I don't feel like it right when it hit, I kind of hit a wall when I realized how it affected other people, right? how it affected my husband and then having kids now you know, I mean, you add more responsibility, you just get more and more bogged down and overwhelmed. You know it, the sooner you can learn to not procrastinate, you will be so much better off.

Claudine
Yeah, absolutely. And we're going to share practicals right now about how to overcome procrastination. So in Ecclesiastes 11:4, it says, If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. So that's a great one. I mean, we cannot wait for that perfect feeling. Or that perfect mind moment, right? We just got to get it done. And it does start, like he said, with our mindset, because we want to feel motivated, we want to feel inspired, we want to feel energized, but that's going to come from our thoughts. So we have to think thoughts that are going to produce those emotions. We talked about this all the time, but our emotions are created by our thoughts. And the actions are created by our emotions. So if we have a great thought that helped, motivate, inspire encouraged us, then we feel like it and then we actually act on it.

Ashley
And I have an example for that. So when I had this goal to run, and I would wake up in the morning, and especially I realized, actually this weekend, it was this time of year that I started, it was this time here when I started running and a year ago already. And it's so bizarre, because this weekend, I got the urge to run. And I haven't wanted to run for months because of everything going on right now. But I had the urge to run, I'm like I'm gonna go out on a run.

Claudine
Did you want to run or run away?

Ashley
No, I actually wanted to run. But anyways, going back to my story. So when I decided to start running, I didn't feel like running. But I knew this is a goal, for whatever reason just got planted in my mind. And I had to kind of get myself hyped up to run. And so what I did was before I even got my exercise clothes on before I even was getting ready, I started listening to music that got me pumped up. And then it completely changed my mindset. And then I was starting to get excited about going out. Yeah, because I was getting myself in a better place. Mentally, you know, I was getting geared up. So we can prepare ourselves that way mentally, to do something and even one of the very, very simple practicals you can do is instead of I have to do laundry, I get to do laundry. Maybe that's what you say to yourself, because especially like you to do laundry, we'll just clear out the living room. You know, dump it all on the floor, do the laundry, turn on a show, turn on a movie, you know, do something that kind of gets it a little bit more help gets you a little bit more inspired. I tell my kids that when they have to clean their room or do homework, if it helps you turn music on.

Claudine
Yeah, you know, usually

Ashley
include something that you enjoy. So it kind of helps motivate you to do the unpleasant task.

Claudine
Yeah, that's, that's a good one. And also breaking down the task into small steps. If it's a big task that you're procrastinating just sometimes breaking it down into small steps. Like for me, if I tell myself, I'm going to go to the gym, and work out that becomes like an hour and a half of my day because I have to drive to the gym, I have to figure out what equipment I'm gonna do, then I have to come back home and shower. It's a lot.

Ashley
So you talk yourself out of it even before Yeah,

Claudine
I talked myself. So it was a small step for me is just go out the front door and walk for 20 minutes. Like To me that is a small step that I can do. And what happens is usually I'll keep walking, so then it's 30 or 40 minutes, because I'll put on a podcast, like rise up and shine. Excellent choice. And listen to that while I'm walking. So but I tell myself, I'm just going to do this for five minutes. I'm just going to do this for 10 minutes, right? Same thing with the book. It was like let me just write one chapter. Mm hmm. And even just one paragraph, let me just write one paragraph. And so that's how I broke it down and then I didn't feel overwhelmed. So small steps reminds me that saying how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Ashley
I'm not hungry for lunch anymore. You know what I was thinking? What about Bob the movie? What about Bob baby steps, baby step to the elevator, baby step to the elevator and then he gets in the elevator, baby step into the office. That's it. It's really true. its own trail is overwhelming. And if you're someone like me who just is so good at putting things off to the last minute, just tell yourself that how do I feel when I put all this stuff? Right? And when I procrastinate, and then when I actually am faced with the deadline like no I need to do it now. How do you actually feel? Do you feel inspired? No. You Feel so horrible right? Feel like oh my gosh, I made such a mistake like my daughter. She regretted it. Like, oh my gosh, now I have more I have to do right now we have a new school day and now I have more on my plate and so

Claudine
It doesn't go away.

Ashley
It does not go away, but it gets piled and piled and just compounded to more stuff you have to do so chunking it down or breaking it down is such a key element to overcoming procrastination.

Claudine
Another one is eliminate distractions, right? There's so many distractions like you said, I don't feel like it. Like I feel like turning on Netflix a lot. Oh, yeah, I feel like eating a lot. I'm even a procrastinate cleaner. Like I would rather Hope you're doing really good with these quit words, craft a cleaner. I would rather go clean and do a lot of other things for me, like okay, I'll just go empty drawer I'll go. I actually don't like cleaning bathrooms. But I like to vacuum I like to do laundry I like to organize. I like to organize. So those.

Ashley
Please come and spend a day at my house and just help me get all good at this stuff.

Claudine
Right. I know well that hey, you know what, that's another way to overcome procrastinating trade out chores or to dos that you don't like doing with someone else who likes to do them better. So it was better Adam, but really eliminating distractions. And that ties in with scheduling a reward which you kind of talked about with putting on music, but for me if I know I have to get something done, I'll say when this is done then I'll get to fill in the blank usually sit down with a cup of tea and.

Ashley
Give yourself a care at the end when I do this then and I was doing that in the afternoon so about four o'clock. I would by that time the kids can kind of watch TV or go play outside or something and it was my time to clean up the kitchen and the living room because husband was about to come home and then get dinner going. So I turned on my music I turned on candles and I said if I can get all the kitchen just nice and clean. Then I get to pour myself a glass of wine.

Claudine
There you go.

Ashley
That's a motivation you know yes, sometimes we don't feel the internal motivation right get yourself motivated. Yeah, you know give yourself a little reward. Yeah, and sometimes they can sound a little hokey like okay, I get to reward myself That sounds funny you know it's like a reward chart but it really it helps me guys you have to sometimes give yourself some little external care to increase that inspiration that motivation to get that boring or writing task done.

Claudine
Right many of us were products of the gold star on the charts growing up right if we did our tasks we got a gold star.

Ashley
The reward box remember it like kids are like the treasure box at school.

Claudine
I think that was your generation, we didn't get treasures.

Ashley
You get a trip to the treasure box and you can pick out a little treat.

Claudine
No treasure box. You're lucky if we got golden stars that was it. That was the reward a gold star. But yeah, I like that. I mean, a lot of us are motivated by the carrot as opposed to the stick the the consequences, but the truth of it is the rewards of not procrastinating are feeling better, higher mental, emotional, physical well being and relationship right. Yeah, absolutely. So those are the rewards too. We have to remember that that is a direct result of not procrastinating getting things done in a timely fashion.

Ashley
I feel better when I get these things right and not put it off. Keep reminding yourself that

Claudine
Yeah, yeah.

Ashley
Well, that wraps up this episode for today. Thank you everyone for tuning back in. And we hope this goes well. We hope to hear that you are not procrastinating anymore and building these great habits in your life and using these practicals to really beat procrastination because you can never give up hope that you can grow in this area. So thank you again for tuning in. And we'll catch you next week.

All right everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com, our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #49

Conflict is inevitable. Most of us, however, do not know how to handle conflict or even know what to do when we face it. Maybe you avoid it. Maybe you numb yourself out. Maybe you lash out and it has hurt your relationships. Truth be told, we were never actually taught how to “do” conflict. We were only given the model that others demonstrated in their own lives. Like our parents. Or television. In this episode we share several practicals when dealing with conflict so you can grow deeper in your relationships, your resiliency and your overall well-being.



Claudine
This is Episode 49. How to do conflict.

Ashley
You're listening to the rise up and shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast.

Claudine
Welcome back, listeners. I have a question for you all. Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that were within you. At least that's what James tells us in chapter four, verse one, and today with the holidays coming up and actually election day tomorrow recording this one day before Election Night, there could be a lot of conflicts, a lot of fights and arguments.

Ashley
Oh, my gosh, yes. I'm sure our conversations are filled with a lot of differing opinions right now, whether it's in our own marriage or at work or in our own families, you know, I mean, we all obviously tend to have differing views. It's just a natural thing of life. But yeah, this year, I think people have definitely been a lot more vocal. And there's probably even a lot more conflict that has arisen from that even just with in our own circle, right, that we come across throughout the day. So this is a really great conversation, because it applies to a lot of things going on in the world today. And it also applies to the upcoming holiday. Yes. You know, being around that family and sometimes it kind of kind of trigger those conflicts that maybe we haven't resolved.

Claudine
That's true. I've been super fortunate because my holidays are not filled with conflicts. So I'm really lucky. I don't have any odd family members or weird aunts or uncles or cousins that create...

Ashley
So you don't have a cousin Eddie?

Claudine
I don't, I don't have a cousin Eddie. So we're very fortunate. In fact, typically, in my past, if I had conflict with someone, I just cut them out. That was my go to solution. You know, we have gone for a fight. I'll just cut you out. Okay, we're done. That was good. So as I've grown up and learned how to adult more properly, I've had to learn how to resolve conflict. Conflict is just a part of life who doesn't have conflict?

Ashley
You know, I like what you said right there Claudine, is adulting properly, I think of now with my children, right? So we're all home, and we're doing school at home. And there's definitely a lot more training involved now probably more than ever with the conflict resolution. Right, right. The two siblings, yes. And so we actually take a lot of intention to teach them how to properly conflict resolve. And I know many of us, we're not taught these things, I think that's the great thing about the internet is that we have a lot more resources to use, that we can research, we can find ways to help teach our children how to resolve conflicts, you know, I mean, that's natural part of life. And just like you said, you would cut people out or you would just be completely done. I'm a conflict avoider, right, it makes me extremely uncomfortable, even still to this day, because it's just part of my personality. And it's just been ingrained by certain things I went through in life, and I just learned, especially being the youngest child to go with the flow and keys. And so I kind of assumed that role, I just need to keep the peace. So I will morph into what I need to be in order to keep peace in my environment that I'm around. So I don't experience the uncomfortable feelings of conflict. And speaking up that even kept me from speaking up for myself speaking up for other people, because I hated the feeling of having to deal with conflict. And I think this is such a crucial topic for us to talk about. Because many of us do that we avoid we cut people out. And we don't want to write but we haven't really learned how to properly do conflict. Right, let's how do we do conflict?

Which is exactly what we want to talk about today.

Claudine
That's exactly it. And I was reading an article recently it said opinions are the most common cause of conflict within relationships.

Ashley
And marriages.

Claudine
Yes, for sure. I mean, we don't fight over facts, right, the weather is 82 degrees, we're not gonna fight over. But it's a it just is a fact. Right? But opinions, are our thoughts, and those are all very subjective. Those are usually not facts. They're usually our thoughts and our opinions. And that's where conflict comes from when we don't agree.

Ashley
Very much so and this kind of came up a lot for me even when having kids, when they were very young when they're babies. You're kind of told the way you should parent right? And I also it was it, there's books or you do every kind of research you possibly can of how do I be the best parent? Because they come with no manual, right, fortunately, and then what do you do, but a lot of people will voice their opinion, especially people who are in the family or close circle of friends, they are more likely to voice their opinion of what you should do as a parent. And this really challenged me to my core because like I said, I'm a conflict avoider. And so when I would hear other opinions, I would instantly take it as an attack on me, right? I'm not doing a good enough job, or they're, they look down on me because I might do something different. And I always would question myself as a mom. And it really took me a few years to recognize that it's just their opinion, their opinion is just their idea. And they're allowed their own opinions, right? Like I'm allowed my own opinion. Exactly. Right. I purchased these children. So they're mine.

Claudine
Yes. Well

Ashley
I'll do as I see fit.

Claudine
It's so funny what you just said, we make it about us. Yeah, I think so much conflict, someone disagrees with us. And now it becomes almost like an attack on us and our character and who we are.

Ashley
Which is not the case.

Claudine
Not at all, somebody has a differing opinion. And my husband, I even after 32 years of marriage, we had a huge conflict a few weeks ago, when we're house hunting, we haven't sold our house yet. For all those of you who have been listing, we still haven't sold it. But we started to look at houses and it really bothered him. And he got very upset and said we shouldn't be looking at houses until we've sold our house or at least it's an escrow. And I love looking at houses, I can look at houses every day. For me, it's a fun activity. I'm like, this is a like a hobby. Let's go look at houses. It's so exciting. And, but for him, it does something completely different. So the argument came because he felt like he had asked me before not to do this, but then that particular day, he said, Okay, so I felt like he really meant okay, but then later apparently he didn't really mean okay, I think we've all experienced that. Yeah. But it became I was starting to make it become about me, like, Why isn't he doing this? He knows how much I love it. And he should be doing this to please me? Where is I should have given him the time and attention to say, okay, he really doesn't enjoy this. Yeah. So I can go do this with someone else. I have other friends that I can go house hunting with all day long if I want to. So I had to remove myself from making it personal. Like this isn't about me, this is about him.

Ashley
And that's not easy to do.

Claudine
It's not at all.

Ashley
We do in our nature tend to take it very personal. Right?

Claudine
Yeah. And that's the story we create in our thoughts when there's conflict, right? Like they're doing it to us. Or they're trying to keep us from our happiness or trying to keep us like it says from the selfish desires that war among us, like, I want this, and you're not helping me get this. So now we have conflict, because we're supposed to be together in this. But you're standing on the opposite side of me and what I want, you know, how dare you? Right? And it really comes down to we can be right or do right.

Ashley
Oh, that's good.

Claudine
Yeah, I'm really working on that trying to do right, instead of be right. It's a lot harder.

Ashley
That's really good. Claudine, you know, got me thinking about triggers, you know, so my husband and I, while I was in counseling for a little while myself, and then I kind of worked it. So my therapist asked my husband to come join in. And I kind of posted a little bit as if it's more for my benefit, but hoping he'd get something great out of it, some little golden nuggets. And it was a great time for us to talk with that third person. And we really focus a lot on triggers. And we found that our conflicts were just circling like vortexing around these triggers, he would say something and a lot of times it's how he said it. And that gets us a lot. I mean, all of us, I mean, how someone says something can really trigger us. And our own experiences, we went through our own traumas, our own hurts our pain that we still have stored in our brains, right? That will get triggered. And then we'll approach that situation as a victim. So we can be the lowest me which that was me, you know, I very much was the victim in our relationship. And he was hurt because I was playing that victim. And it took the therapist to help us both see that, that we both assumed these roles right in our relationship. And anytime conflict came, we reacted to each other and then we trigger each other, I'd get triggered then I do something my behavior would trigger him and then he would react and then to his, you know, it would trigger me and it was just this for text going back and forth. Then we Spiral Spiral Spiral down until we're in this I don't know what to do anymore. And that's what we do and all of our relations, right, because we haven't properly properly understood how to handle the conflict. Like you said, How to adult properly. Right? And this is a huge topic, because conflict is inevitable. Yep, it's something we all face and conflict is good at times, right? conflicts can really help us grow in our character, it can help us grow and our resiliency, emotional resiliency, even just in our own mental state, it can deepen our relationships with each other, what happens a lot is as we do not properly know how to handle this conflict, then we don't communicate very well, right, what we need or feelings, and we trigger the other person, and then it just causes blow up in our relationship. And then we tend to cope, we avoid we Yeah, you know, kind of write that person off from our lives. Well, I don't want to deal with that person ever again, you know, and, or, like, in, in a marriage, even like, my husband, and I just kind of would retreat to our corners. And we just kind of became silent partners, right, you know, like roommates. And that's how we lived a lot of our earlier years of marriage, because we didn't properly know how to deal with conflict. Right?

Claudine
Right. And that's what we're going to share today, we want to share some practicals how to cope with conflict, because again, with the election tomorrow night, I know several couples already, I've talked to several recently that have shared, they're really concerned because they sit on opposite sides of this, and they don't know how they're gonna deal with their spouse win or lose. And it's just been very interesting. And then with the holiday, so many people do have family members that they haven't seen or haven't spoken to maybe even since the last big holiday, and there's been conflict and it it really can put a damper on the holiday spirit. With that, we're gonna talk about a few practical tools that can help us deal with conflict. And I do want to share this quote, I love it. It says peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it. So that's what we're going to share, hopefully some coping strategies that are healthy in dealing with conflicts. So Ashley, why don't you share a few with us?

Ashley
Yes. So the first one, when I go into an environment or situation where I know there could potentially be conflict, I prepare myself mentally, I will go in and I will think rather than focusing on what might happen, I focus on how can I serve. And that has really helped me go in with a better attitude. Because if I went when I will say when I would go into an environment or situation, my brain will find whatever I was focused on, if I was focused on a hottest negative person, and I have to deal with this person, then I would have a very negative experience. Absolutely. But when I changed my perspective going in, and like you know, I, I want to have a better experience. I want to enjoy this time as much as I can. I want to give I want to be able to serve. And so I would go preparing myself, I would pray I would get my heart right to go and I would serve How can I serve this person? Maybe it's the host, what can I do to help and that also serves as a great distraction. And you just go in with the right mindset and the right heart. And that completely changed the whole experience. You know, so really preparing your mind when you go in another thing when say you're in the midst of a conflict, say maybe with a sibling, a parent or co worker or spouse, or dean, yeah, it's Oh, yeah, our child, definitely, it's okay to take a break for whatever reason. It's like our brains feel like we need to put, you know, we need to make our point, right, now, we need to get this fixed right now. It doesn't hurt to take a break for 20 minutes or an hour, like our brains need to calm down because our brain gets flooded with that adrenaline and cortisol. And nothing good really comes from that. Right? Right, where you react and we are angry. And we might say things we don't mean and we you know, and then we end up regretting our behavior. So if we want to have better control of our actions or behavior, take a little break. Yeah, if it's starting to get heated say hey, you know, what, can we take a pause and talk about this a little bit later, can we come back together maybe in an hour, and we'll talk through because that gives your brain time to calm those flooded warm eyes. And you can respond and have an adult conversation. You know, a grown up conversation that is much healthier and will actually get you what you want, which is resolution. Our goal really is to have resolution I have is we just don't always know how to get there.

Claudine
Right. Exactly. Yeah, we do want to protect our relationships. That's the whole point of this. A couple other ones that have been really helpful for me that I've had To learn is to use I statements. Instead of you, you you like I was really good at the use statement, right? This you that and also using the words always and never Yes, you never you always those just put fuel on the fire.

Ashley
Our children do that and we've been teaching them if inflammatory and the other person will tune you out, they're not going to listen.

Claudine
Yeah. But when we use an i statement to share how we feel with the specific behavior, so you're not attacking the person's character. But it's like I feel disrespected when this specific behavior occurs. That way the person hears what it's causing you to feel instead of feeling like they're being attacked or criticized, or, you know, their characters being judged or whatever. So using I statements very specific with how you feel. And this one specific behavior just leads me to my other point, be specific stick to one issue at a time. You know, I also in the past was really good at keeping a record wrong, you know. The scriptures.

Unknown Speaker
Remember back in 1993. When you, you know, my husband's like, you're keeping a record wrong. I'm like, No, I'm explaining your patterns. those arguments don't go well, that conflict is not resolved quickly when I write but being really specific, just sticking to the issue at hand, just one at a time that's been really helpful to another one for me is seek to understand instead of seeking to be understood, and that goes back again to you know, I want to be right, like most of us, do we want to be right, we don't want to be in conflict. That's right. Yes. Right. Right. Most of us don't want to go, Oh, yeah, I'm totally wrong. You're totally right. I mean, usually, when we're fighting and arguing, it's because we're really sticking our foot down like no, this is this is right, my opinion is right, my thoughts are correct, and you are mistaken. And so really is trying to seek to understand like, even from my husband, and we talked it through with you guys, but part of it was hearing that for him is very emotional to go look at houses that we can't even buy potentially at this point. Like it's very emotional for him, why even look and get attached to something or have, you know, a desire to buy something that we can't buy. So for me to really understand where he's coming from, it wasn't that he didn't want to do this important thing with me, it was this is really too hard for him. And then as a loving spouse, I could say, well, I don't want to cause you pain or discomfort. I would love to do this with you. But if it makes you that unhappy, of course, I'll you know, find someone else to do or just wait, probably be the appropriate response for both of us anyway, so those things have really helped me.

Ashley
When you know, kind of going along with what you were saying is, as we were sitting down with you guys and having with you in that conversation, there is a lot more Well, you this and you said this and you you know, and there wasn't as much conflict resolution then until you say, Okay, well, I see what you're saying, I end to feel validated. Right? When you when you share your feelings more than likely you'll get the validation like, Okay, I understand. Let's talk through this a little bit calmly, and clearly right now. And then we can see eye to eye. But I also wanted to point out perception is reality. That's something we have heard. And we don't always take into consideration when we deal with conflict, because we don't always see the other person's perception, right? They're trying to explain their perception to us but we have a very different lens that we look through. And so we don't always understand and then there could be this wall because of the lack of an understanding right and then well when they're trying to explain it well I this and we we listen to defend ourselves so true. And I can do that a lot. And I'm being the people pleaser being the codependent being the being the peacemaker. I would apologize all the time, all the time, all the time to keep the peace even when I felt like I didn't do anything wrong, I would just apologize. I'm like, I just, can we just be good. It's water under the bridge, I'll just, you know, brush it away, forget about it. But doing that over time, it just kind of created this environment that well, one can blame and then the other takes the blame one blames and then the other takes the blame. And that's not healthy for now. Because that's not clear communication. And then you just get to a point where like, Oh my gosh, how did we even get here? Right? How did we get to this place in our relationship, but when we can calmly communicate with those I statements and like you said, Listen, to understand and not defend. It really helps our like deepen our relationships. It helps us grow in our listening skills. Because I mean, to be honest, conflict resolution is a learned skill. It's not something that Just we're all natural that you know, and I have an eight year old and an almost 10 year old. We're constantly trying to teach them and train right out of resolve conflict with each other. Because, hey, you did this that doesn't go over well, right. Right and fly. So we'll stop them. Okay guys, guys guys enough with the Hey, because when we say hey, it instantly you see how the other person reacted? they instantly put up a wall and had to defend themselves. Yeah. And so we will stop them in their tracks and get to listen to each other. Oh, and they do. It's like the lightbulb goes off. Oh, I get it right. Because I instantly said Hey, you, that doesn't do anything good, right? And so we and we will say let's try this differently. Like, what if you say this? And then they would they say it to each other? And then the other person is like, Okay, and then the even greater thing about kids their conflict resolution, they don't keep record of wrong Oh, they have never come back and said, Well remember that time and you know.

Claudine
They really don't do this.

Ashley
And I have been watching that more. So lately, since we're doing out of conflict resolution with them. I've been paying attention like, Oh my gosh, how many times in my relationships? Have I kept that little nugget of that wrong that they did to me? You know, they did me wrong that time or two? or 20? You know, but kids don't do that. And look, they're happier. They're healthier. They're, yeah, they can come back and play together like nothing ever. Right? And I thought, Wow, what a great model, you know, to look at them about conflict resolution.

Claudine
It is a great work it is. And it's funny, because it's reminding me you're probably doing a lot more than normal because they're home together all day. Oh, right. And if I was.

Ashley
Let's just say, I go to bed by nine o'clock.

Claudine
Well, recently, I had a wife asked me how I do it working with my husband, because we both work from the house. And we're together all the time. And she said, You know now with the pandemic, her spouse has been home all the time. She's like, how do you do it? How do you not have all these arguments and fights? You know, when you're together all the time, I said, Well, we've been doing this now for a long time. So we've kind of figured out how to communicate. And we both also know when we need time alone, like we may be in the house together all the time. But we also have separate, quiet time separate alone times and boundary. Yeah, we do have healthy boundaries. But it's interesting, with all this togetherness, there's probably more conflict than ever. So it's really important to learn these tools and apply them so that we can resolve them.

Ashley
You know, there's one more thing I want to tag onto this roundtables list. This really came this opens my eyes when it came to the kids. But then I noticed this happens with any relationship, we tend to have more conflict and strife. When we're not spending quality time together. I've noticed that in my own relationships and with the kids, and if they're starting to bicker a lot, or my husband and I are starting to bicker a lot, usually I can break it down to we just haven't spent good time together. We haven't been friends, we haven't just hung out. We haven't watched a movie together just sit and talk together. We haven't, you know, we're very disconnected. And when that happens, a lot of conflict happens because then we do take things more personal, for whatever reason, but being disconnected. And I think right now with the pandemic and this year and the racial stuff going on and the election, I mean, how much can we be divided even more than right? What we're already divided? Right? You know, I mean, we have very differing views, opinions, parenting styles, marriages, anything in our life, right? We are all different people. But a lot of this right now going on in 2020 is causing more conflict, partially because the isolation, which is a huge factor, but also because of all these big issues. Yeah, you know, and I have recognized with my own family, my own immediate family, from my own siblings, and in laws and everybody, you know, just the close people, I'm around on a regular basis. If we're not spending good quality time, then we tend to, we tend to be a little more sensitive to each other.

Claudine
Right.

Ashley
You know, you don't let things roll off our back as easily. Yeah, we tend to get offended a little bit easier, and take things personal, a little bit easier. And so just really being aware of that as well, that if we're starting to have a lot of conflict, maybe I just need to have lunch with them, you know, and have some positive actions. Yeah. So that way, I don't feel like every interaction is a negative Express. So to be able to balance the positive interactions, and we'll be able to tolerate those negative interactions, right, much better.

Claudine
Yeah. Well, that's a lot of good stuff. I know. I will be keeping this all in mind as we go through the next few months and I No, that stress also adds to that. So I love your point about having those positive interactions because when there is a lot of stress, it's hard to just focus on the positive at least for me, it's really hard for me to focus on the positive when I'm really stressed out. So just even planning those fun times, it doesn't have to cost any money, right? Perhaps in my situation will not be house hunting, which is free and fun, but I will not be doing that I'm gonna have to find something else fun to do. But hopefully this has been helpful to our listeners, because it is going to be a busy couple months with the holidays. And you know, in the next few days, there's going to probably be a lot of conflict in some households. So hopefully, these are some tools that can really help to resolve them.

Ashley
Right. Thank you everyone again for tuning in with Claudine and Ashley and we hope this goes well with you this week and we will catch you next time.

All right, everyone. Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #48

How In Control Are You Really?

Pop goes your bubble, ladies! We all try to keep control to some degree. Some more than others. You may know you are a control freak or maybe you don't. Truth is, we all need to feel some sense of control. But what if that control is causing more harm than good in your life? Or maybe your relationships? In this week's episode, we talk about our own personal struggles with control and practical tips to get it under control a bit better. Ha! You see what I did right there? 




GET THE FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
This is Episode 48 control.

You're listening to the rise up and shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles. From chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast.

Claudine
Welcome back listeners, I have a question for you all out there who likes being in control.

I am a recovering control freak. I admit it. I like to be in control. And I raised four children to adulthood. And I learned quickly in their teenage years that I really didn't have much control, which was very challenging, but I really do like to be in control. And I've had to learn over the years to let go. Ashley, how about you?

Ashley
I think I could be in denial. Let's be honest here. Do I try to control things? I'm not like a control freak, you know, quote unquote, it's, but

Claudine
like me, is that what you're trying to?

Ashley
Yeah, you know, I'm not like some of those people, I'm reformed. But I do try to control my home environment. I try to, you know, really, to be honest, I try to control any environment. So I am more of an empath. And I feel very uncomfortable around negative things. Negative moods is a big one. So I can really try to control the environment. And you know, Case in point like our home, especially right now we're all home, right? during school at home every day, all day long. all day, every day all day. Oh my gosh. So I recognize that when anyone in my family is having a tough time or negative or just getting grumpy, upset at something. I kind of like my body responds, and it's very uncomfortable. It's very uncomfortable to be around the negative emotions of other people. Yeah, not really myself, but of other people. So what I do try to control is the environment. And I'll try to fix and I'll go to the extreme where I'm sure if you ask my husband, he'll say it's kind of obnoxious. Are you okay? Are you okay? Can I do anything? What's wrong? Do you need something? Can I help you? Did I do something? Funny, so in that way, I can kind of be a control freak, where the environment if it's very uncomfortable, and I feel like I need to fix it. And I think right now, especially with school going on, I want to try and make their experience my children's experience as easy and positive as possible. And I think I do try to control some of the environment for them. So to limit their disappointment, right to limit their uncomfortable feelings or negative feelings, maybe not liking school or getting frustrated, because it's hard or have not learning from a screen, you know, their teacher on screen. So I do recognize I tried to control in those areas.

Claudine
Yeah. And you know, what's interesting is when we truly don't have control in certain areas, at least for me, then I try to tighten my grip on the things I can control. So I've always said this, I raised four children work part time had a pretty heavy load, social load kept busy. And so I was really controlling like, in my home environment, as well, as far as like, all my kids doors were labeled, and their clothes had to be put in the right door in the right order. In my pantry, everything was labeled. Like I got a label maker and I was in heaven. I love my label maker. Anyway, it was very controlling though. Like I remember my husband would put the chips on the wrong shelf. And I'm like, I know you can read and that's the snack show, but you just put it on the baking shelf and he'd be like, it's really okay. And I'm like, no, it's really not like you didn't do it right and don't understand me you're creating chaos in my brain. But that's what's funny is I've learned over these last few years, I thought being in control with helped me find peace and order. But honestly, when we tighten our grip like that and try to control things that really are beyond our control, or really are not necessary for us to control, it actually creates stress and anxiety and it's burdensome. Yeah, like I really felt like even I had to control my children's decisions as they became adults. Hmm, that doesn't work. Well. I can't control their adults and it comes a point where you're like, I've done all I can do I set you free. And that was very difficult for me because I like you, I didn't want my kids to suffer. I didn't want them to make bad choices as an adult. It's one thing they make a bad choice when they're seven, or 10. Though when they're 18, or 20, those decisions sometimes have far greater life consequences.

Ashley
You know, that's very true yet sometimes in my mind, I can think that even though they are nine and eight right now that I can think, Oh, my gosh, this is detrimental to their future, right. Really them not cleaning up their dishes, is that going? You know, cause them to be horrible citizens or horrible roommates? right? Exactly. Not,

Claudine
maybe not. I think you're okay, I think you still have some time. And you know, the control part of us. It's really ego driven. It's from the ego. And I like to refer to that as the flesh. We talked about the brain versus the Spirit. And when we try to control things, it's really from the ego from the flesh. And the base of control really is fear. That's the route it comes right fear. And I believe we did a podcast episode already on perfectionism.

Ashley
Oh, yes.

Claudine
Which that is part of control too. And really, that's fear based as well, because we have to have things just right. Or life's not going to go well, or we're not going to be happy or our kids aren't going to turn out or our finances are gonna fall apart. You name it, there's a reason to be controlling the what ifs. Here are a few ways you can tell if you're trying to control an outcome. See if any of these resonate. One of them is excessive or obsessive planning. Like I love to plan things plan or plan plan plan. So I'm married to one. Yes, I know you are. So I do see that side very well. Like there's something like if I plan this all the way through, nothing can go wrong. Yeah. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. Another one is manipulation. You try to manipulate an outcome. Right?

Ashley
That is me. Yes. With the environment. Okay. Yeah, I try to fix I try to manipulate What can I do to make everybody feel happy? Right?

Claudine
Right. Because if they're happy, you're happy.

Ashley
Exactly. And I feel comfortable. I don't like being uncomfortable.

Claudine
Yes. And another sign of being controlling is there's an emotional response that's not commensurate with the experience. Like it can feel, like I said, stressful or anxiety, because we're trying to control instead of just letting it be, doesn't mean we never have goals or we never plan but when it's starting to affect yourself, your mental health, your emotional health, or your relationships. If you're struggling with any of these, then maybe your desire to control is out of control. So Claudine, being the one that is a recovering control freak, let's ask you the expert on what are ways that we can handle or deal with this control?

Well, there's several that have helped, and honestly, just letting go, like telling myself I can let go of this, I can let the outcome unfold. Mm hmm. And, again, it's hard because there's some things that we do have to plan and do take part of, but other things are beyond our control. It's just that letting go that surrender in our heart, like really trusting that all things work out for the good. And I love that romans eight, right says All things work for the good of those who love Him. And knowing that, like we do, that we believe there's a great God that's overseeing who's merciful and kind and loving and that nothing is out of his control, right? Maybe out of my control, but it's not out of his control. That is a great point. Yeah. And we have to remember that I have to remember that. And I think the world teaches us that it is all up to me, it's all up to us. Like if I want to have anything good, I gotta go get it, I got to go make it, I got to go. You know, take it, make it get some true to that.

Ashley
But that's really to get you off of your lazy bum if you're somebody kind of like me, and to actually go and do something to see right out. But yes, there, we can take it to the exact up, we can take it to the extreme, where we need to create everything in our own life and anything we want. And we got to do this. And we got to do this. And really is, like you said, it's also kind of covering up an insecurity, you know, we can feel insecure when we feel out of control. And you know, as you were talking, I loved what you were saying about romans eight, because that's something I could hear right now that I could really relate to, on my long drive and visiting my family. I saw many stickers on people's cars that said he is greater than I. And it didn't even really click for me. I thought, Oh, that's really cool. I like that. That's a great point. But with all this stuff going on this year in our personal life, and then feeling out of control with whatever area in your life. I mean, this goes in every facet of our lives, but it's something that can be applied and just that mindset keeping that mindset that God is greater and God is working out for the good,

Claudine
that's right of him. Yeah, there's freedom in that there's a lot of peace that comes with letting go and surrendering. Right. You know, the other part of it is just freeing our mind from that. Needless worry. We talked about that last week with disappointment when we ruminate when we chew on thoughts that don't help us that start to master us. And that's another thing with control is just setting our mind free from needless worry. I know, part of controlling outcomes, and that excessive planning is just thinking it through over and over and over and what if and what if, and what if and trying to control the outcome. But in the end, if we let go, at least I've figured this out. A lot of times when I let go, the event or the circumstance turns out just fine. I think about our workshop, I don't feel like I control that at all. It was kind of a well, you know, we planned and we put effort into it, but it wasn't controlling, there wasn't all this needless worry or anxiety. And when we let go, we feel more peace and feel more joy and just have fun. Like I learned to have fun.

Ashley
Well, and it seems counterintuitive it what do you think about it, if we let go, Oh, my gosh, we're gonna lose control. But when you are trying to grasp this control to an extreme, you're just going to feel more and more out of control. It's a sense of false control, right, really is what it is, you know. And so exactly, it seems counterintuitive, but if we just trust and let go of the things that we really can't control and not worry so much do our best give our back effort. But just recognizing that, you know, if we can just kind of let go a little bit, just one at a time. And he doesn't have to be this thing. I'm just dropping all this stuff. I care anymore. Just kind of go through your mental checklist and start, you know, I think I can let go of this. Let go of that. I think I'm kind of worried about this a little too much.

Claudine
Right? Yeah. And when my kids were young, like having their rooms super clean was really important. And I was pretty controlling with that. And we would take them to model homes. And I would say this is what your room needs to look like. And then it just became a battle. And it was like at some point I had to go cage well not to ruin the relationship. Now I'm not saying I didn't teach him to be responsible and clean. But what we realized is what their school schedule, their sports schedule, their volunteer schedule, they basically had to clean it Saturday morning, if they wanted to go out or do anything fun or participate in sports, they had to clean their room Saturday morning, but it didn't need to look like a model show home Monday through Friday just didn't they were busy. They were working right, you know, studying. So I had to let go a little bit of the expectation I had for that my house would look like a model showcase all the time. It's very stressful. Mm hmm. I think the downstairs clean because we always had unexpected visitors like we had the kind of house where you could just come on over. And that was great. So the downstairs look good. But their rooms I had to just learn how to close the door.

Ashley
My mom did that too. Yeah, it works wonders. And I'm starting to do

Claudine
out of sightout of mind. And another way to we've talked about trusting and surrender, letting go. The other one for me, of course is mindset really working on my mind just creating new thoughts, new thought patterns, rewiring my brain. That was allow me not to feel like I had to control the outcome or people because you know, no one wants to be controlled. You can't control your children at a certain point. You can control them when they're like to my grandson. My daughter pretty much can control him. He's too like, you know, she has a good hand. I mean, she's wonderful with him. But he's too. So she pretty much can control his behavior. But when they're 22, it's very different. or 10 or 10.

Ashley
You wait, wait, wait, are you telling me what you're not liking what I just said you don't want to clean your room. We're

Claudine
What's happening. What's going on?

Ashley
You have an opinion what happened to that?

Claudine
And I love Second Timothy one where it says that we are given a spirit of self control. And that's what we can control is ourselves. We may not be always be able to control the outcome or the circumstance. But we can control our reaction to it. And that's our part of the equation is how do we respond when things don't go our way? How do we react when right? There's disappointment or frustration or, you know, any of not being compliant? Right. Right, right. Kids or spouse? Yeah. And so we have that power of self control. We can control ourselves. We can control our thoughts, we can control our emotions, we can control our behavior, and that's about it. That's what I've learned in my many years here on Earth.

Ashley
Yeah, no, that's a really great point. Because I know with being more of the empath, right, as I mentioned, and feeling like I needed to control my home environment so I can feel comfortable. I need everybody else to be happy so I can feel happy. But to try and control other people is just going to be a very losing battle a right? You know, I mean, y'all have our own opinions, we all have our own likes and dislikes. And we all have our own moods. I mean, I know I get in my own mood sometimes in my own little funk. And I don't feel happy and peppy all the time. And that's just part of life and accepting all the emotions, okay, I don't have to control this. If my child or my spouse is not having a great day, I don't have to say it's my fault. Or I don't have to say I have to fix it. You know, I mean, it's just really being careful about that. And I wanted to throw something in there as well. Claudine, something that really helps me. And with journaling, actually, I would make a list I draw a line down the middle of the paper, and I would write on one side what I can control. And then the other side, what I can't control, and I would just go through the list, you know, anything that's in my head, what am I trying to control? And really self reflect? We don't do that a lot, right? I mean, we're so busy, right? Such a busy human race these days. And we don't stop to reflect what am I trying to control that I really can't, right? or What am I kind of letting go and letting a little chaos go in right can kind of pull in the reins a little bit and control. And a lot of that does tend to be ourselves right our tongue, how we speak to each other our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviors, our coping, what have you how we're responding to our loved ones, how we're mastering, you know, being careful that we're responding of love and listening and humility, rather than reacting angry and frustrated. I, I know, that's probably going a lot going on a lot in a lot of our households, which is stress. Yeah, you know, that's just what happens. So a great practical of helping with this control is just writing down a list, because when we can get it out of our head on paper, it just really helps clear up mentally, then we can tap more into that prefrontal cortex and think more logically and rationally and not be so stuck in our emotions. And that allows us to control more of our emotions as well. And also being aware of how we're handling it our behaviors, you know, are we just kind of numbing ourselves? Are we getting angry or always responding and frustration to our spouse or kids? Or, you know, just kind of being aware of how am I behaving right now?

Claudine
Right?

Ashley
I'm trying to control these things. Yeah, how is that coming out in my behavior, and that can be really telling, especially if you are really wanting to make a change, because it is very important for your own well being and for your relationships and your home environments.

Claudine
I love that point about journaling, because it's so true, because control really stems from a lot of fear. Once we put it on paper, we can be a little bit more logical, we can tap into our prefrontal cortex, and reason through the situation or circumstance or what it is that's leading us to try to feel controlling. I mean, for me, with my children, where I felt was the greatest was if I didn't raise them properly, if they didn't do what I said, then that things would be for them, right? Like, they're going to end up in jail, or they're going to end up on the streets. Or, you know, none of my kids have been to jail so far knock on wood. They're all well adjusted human beings are all doing really well in life this week, knock on wood. But as a mom of younger children had these fears, like if I don't control this, if they don't obey me, exactly, life's not gonna go well for them. And honestly, they've had bumps and valleys and hills on their journey, just like I have, just like you have and they're doing well. I had to deal with the fear in my heart. That was the route, I had to deal with my fear. And I know the only thing that really helps with peers having faith, they can't coexist. So I had to really deepen my faith in the one again, that is greater than I could take care of this that would lead us forward in a great way.

Ashley
Take a good self reflective look on that control of yours and we hope that goes well with you this week. Catch you next time. All right, everyone. Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites you can catch Claudine over at Claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com, our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #47

We all experience disappointment. It's a fact of life. No one can evade the challenges that life gives us. How we handle disappointment, however, dictates our life. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I handle disappointment?" Most of us tend to cope in order to ignore or numb the disappointment we face. In this episode, we talk about specific ways to deal with disappointment as it comes your way so you can rise above it and shine your best!




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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
This is Episode 47 dealing with disappointment. Welcome to rise up and shine. We are two women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck, and are now living life fully with peace and joy. Join Us Weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs, bringing hope insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright.

Claudine
Welcome back listeners. I've got a quote for us today. Bless it is she who expects nothing for she shall never be disappointed. And today on episode 47, we are talking about disappointment. It is something that each and every one of us has faced in this life. And disappointment can range from Oh, well to Oh, bummer to Oh, no, my heart is in my stomach. It's on the floor, we had all experienced that range of disappointment. So Ashley, tell me do you have an example of a disappointment? You want to share? That is?

Ashley
Hashtag 2020.

Claudine
The whole year?

Ashley
Oh, yeah. You know, I mean, this year is really wild. I mean, it really is wild. Anybody we talk to Okay, yeah, label this year, the same? You know, from the same viewpoint is we've started this year off. Remember, we started this podcast. Last November were my a year, which is very exciting. And at the beginning of the year, we talked a lot about goals, a lot about goals, dreams, what are we wanting to do for 2020? What are we wanting to accomplish? Who are we wanting to be for the year and it didn't really seem to take off very well. Right? It didn't last long. You know, I mean, it just, we it, I don't know, it's just by the time summer, no, by the time the pandemic came, and then all the other things that followed it is it's just a lot of disappointment this year, you know, align goals not reached a lot of things that we wanted to do, or how we wanted our relationships to be or areas we wanted to grow and just not happening, you know, and they're definitely a lot of disappointment. I know, even with moms who are home doing the virtual learning the distance writing, you know, whatever you call it in your district, but that's been a challenge, because it's not the same. You know, I mean, we try to do the best we can, whether you're working or whether you are home, a stay at home mom able to be home with your kids, but it's very different than what we typically expect. And so there's a lot of disappointment that we're all experiencing right now just in that area even

Claudine
well, and that's exactly it. We all have expectations, that's kind of normal, right? Whether we set goals, or we have expectations for ourselves, for others for outcomes in our lives. And when those expectations aren't met, we feel disappointed. And disappointment is a form of sadness. It's a form of loss. And it can be small or large, like we've talked about before. But when we have an expectation, we think that something or someone will make us happy. And then when it doesn't happen, we feel disappointed, right? And if it goes on and on, if we linger in disappointment, if we really ruminate over disappointment, it can turn into depression. And that's why we wanted to talk about this today, because you're right this year has been full of disappointment. I mean, for a lot of moms like you that have school aged children, there was probably an expectation that they would return to school in the fall, or at least right now.

Right here we are well into the fall. And it's still virtual learning, at least here in California. We've had goals, like you said, we had business goals and things took a turn. I mean, we started the year off with a really strong workshop live in person with great turnout and great feedback. And we're planning to go that direction and then everything was shut down. So we haven't been able to do that. And that was one of our goals. Right? So disappointment is just part of life. And like that quote said if you don't have expectations, you won't be disappointed. But who goes through life without expectation? That's just not realistic. That would be really boring. Yeah. Imagine never expecting anything, like even as small as going to the grocery store and finding ripe tomatoes. I mean, that's silly, but you would expect that you can go the grocery store and find ripe tomatoes. Hmm, that's an Oh, well, that's not a no bummer. Or oh my gosh, my life is over tight, right kind of disappointment. But so yeah, there's all kinds of disappointments, all kinds like I currently have not sold my house in Southern California.

Ashley
And how long has it been listed now.

Claudine
It's been five months, so I'm disappointed. Now the crazy part of it is we're both licensed real estate agents. So the whole narrative going on with that. And we're watching houses around us sell and of course until we sell we can't buy up here in Northern California, so it's really I've passed the expectation, in fact, was just talking with friends and realized all my fall winter clothing and shoes are packed up in storage, because we never thought it would be this long

Ashley
Cause you did expect. That it would sell by now.

Correct.

Lust like you expected the pandemic to last two weeks.

Claudine
I know, seven months into it. But yes, so disappointment just part of life. But today, we want to talk about it because what happens in the brain is neurotransmitters are released. And in the case of disappointment, scientists have found that glutamate and GABA, this makes the sound really smart, although I don't really know all the scientific parts of this but they're released. And our emotions, this particular motion is processed in the limbic system, which can create emotional pain. And when we have long lasting disappointment, we sit in it, it can lead to depression, and you and I both experienced that the depression part. And that's why we're here really, hopefully helping others to rise up and shine, rise up from depression and really shine in their lives.

Ashley
Absolutely. Because depression anxiety is so prominent right now with this year of everything going on. We are all touched in some point by this year by 2020. And it's school is the racial injustices is the pandemic, its health, its loss of a job or change of a job atmosphere, even you know, some people having to bring their kids to work, or some people have to work from home and fitness is one reason why this was such a great topic was because I did not adjust properly. I know for myself, because we expected a certain thing. And then we just kept getting disappointed. But we didn't really adjust our lifestyle based off of the circumstance, right? I mean, this is such a bizarre year and has really shifted things around for all of us personally. But if we don't know how to handle disappointment, it's just going to leave us in a rut, it's going to leave us filled with anxiety filled with depression, just really feeling defeated and discouraged. And it will definitely impact our relationships, right? It does spouses with other people, we believe we can become more hermits, you know, I know my husband and I are more introverted. And we're like, oh, this is great. And I was thinking a lot about on my long drive Actually, today from visiting my family that I can just see us being completely hermit people and staying home and not needing to go out or socialize. But then I was thinking, what could be the repercussions of that? You know, you can just go too far and become really lonely. And it we we need each other in our life.

Claudine
Yes, I would be disappointed if you did that. I know I expect to socialize with you actually socialize as a couple. So that would be very disappointing.

Ashley
And even with you being down in Southern California now, because you were up here for how many years has it been now?

Claudine
Well, the better part of six, right?

Ashley
And then so we've grown really close with each other. And then now you're down. And so cow trying to get your house and I was the same thing I was kind of expecting great, I'll see you in a couple months, right one to two months, maybe because you have a beautiful home and I thought it would get sold very quickly.

Claudine
So actually, let's share with our listeners some of the things that have helped us in overcoming disappointment.

Ashley
Well, the first one accept it? Yes. Accept the disappointment. I think many of us I know. I know. Many of us, try not to feel the disappointment. We try and find a solution. We try and fix it super, super quick. And we don't process properly. I don't process our thinking going on. We don't process how we're feeling even the emotions that it brings up. I mean, that is a very crucial question to ask is what did this disappointment bring up? What am I feeling? What do I think about it, and it's so important to accept it as just part of our experience as a human and in this lifetime, and even just in this year, just accept this is what's going on. Because we try to deny we try to avoid we try to escape it and numb out and we don't properly accept and that is huge for our well being

Claudine
Huge. And you hit the nail on the head too. When you talk about our emotions. It's like we want to fix it. We want to stop it. Anytime an emotion is uncomfortable. We feel like oh, I gotta fix it right?

Ashley
I'm not supposed to feel this.

Claudine
Right. But it's okay to feel disappointment. That's normal. And honestly to spend a few minutes with our emotions. Let thoughts come and go just sit there like you said, sit there and surrender, accept it, feel it and let it pass through you because it will pass through. It's when we resist when we try to repress it or deny those feelings. That's when they don't go away and that's when they can get worse and worse.

Ashley
So Exactly. And on my drive today I was thinking, what are all the things I hate right now and I know that sounds really negative, but I thought you know, I think I just need to journal I hate the distance learning, I hate you know, dot, dot, dot, whatever that may be, not to dwell on, but to acknowledge it and just be like, you know, I didn't really put an opinion on how I was feeling about these things I just was trying to trudge through be, be strong, be tough, just go with it, go with it. And it's really important for our listeners to to accept it, just recognize what is this making me feel? You know, guys, we need to do that we need to gain that awareness in order to properly process and be able to move forward, it's okay to feel the disappointment. If you don't feel disappointment ever, you're gonna be like a robot. Right? That's just not realistic. So let's be realistic here.

Claudine
Yeah, another thing that has really helped me with disappointment is creating a new thought or a story around the circumstance or the situation. So for instance, with me with this house sell taking much longer than I hoped for, I am trying to tell myself that the right house on the buying end is getting prepared for us while we wait for our house to sell. And that helps me I'm like, okay, but something really great is coming around the corner, and I just have to be patient. And that helps me if I keep my eye focused on that goal. And not on this timeframe that I thought I had to have like, it has to sell by the end of August, but we're well past we're well past that now. So, you know, now it's like, okay, so the news that the new story is something really great is right around the corner for me. And that definitely helps. The other part is and I mentioned before is not to ruminate, don't just keep chewing on the disappointment, you know, like, well, it's well past August, look at this, this didn't work out. Because then we can spiral downward, then all of a sudden, it's really easy to think of all the other things that haven't worked out my life and all the other disappointment. Yes, right. And all of a sudden, it's a long list of disappointments, and I can barely get out of bed because I'm too disappointed. So right, don't chew on it. And this is where coaching or having a trusted friend to talk to can really help with creating those new thoughts are creating a new narrative around it.

Ashley
Absolutely, exactly what you said, I wanted to point out to our listeners, OCD. So this is something that was new to me. And I actually had a great conversation with some members of my family this week, who said they struggle with this too, and I was able to kind of put a name on it. So OCD we A lot of us contend to think about it's the you got to wash your hand seven times, you got to turn a light switch on three times when you come into a room, but it is also our thoughts, the rumination, focusing on our thoughts and obsessing over our thoughts. So I can share because we know a lot of this stuff. And you know, I've learned a lot of this stuff. It's really helped in my healing. But it doesn't mean I've overcome everything. 100% I mean, I'm human, we still struggle. But I recognized that the last couple of weeks, our cat is missing again, I could not stop thinking about it right? I could not shut my brain off. Like I was just obsessing over it all the time, it was either school or the cat. And I just couldn't shut it down. Because I was so bogged down with all this stress recently, I was not properly processing, I went back I regressed back, you know, to my old ways as we tend to do. And I realized I was obsessing over I couldn't stop it. Because I was not managing my mind. I was allowing myself to ruminate and becoming aware of what is going on in our head. What are we constantly thinking about redirecting it is possible to redirect it. And what happens is why we get that those OCD thoughts is because we haven't processed it, right, we're focused on all the emotion, right. And we're not just sitting and feeling it and allowing our brain to kind of go through it and process. And it's like we're trying to find a fix rather than just be accept it and feel it. So our brain because our brain is what's going to do the processing job. Our brain is going to process and we're going to be able to move on from that. But it's very important to recognize if you struggle with those obsessive thoughts. Be very careful. Because we want to change the story that we're telling ourselves. We don't want to get into that rut. That's right.

Claudine
And that's the gift of our prefrontal cortex ABS we have this logic reasoning brain, our primitive brain the limbic system is where the emotions are processed and emanate from but our prefrontal cortex help us rewire those thoughts, rewire those stories so that they can now help pull us up out of that and take a great point of that don't let it ride control over you. Yes, either your emotions serve you right serve them, somebody's gonna master me know. I've had to be in control of my emotions than a control And actually, we're talking about control next week. So if you have issues with controlling, we'll be discussing that next week. Another thing Lastly, for me, that really helps me, of course, as a Christian woman is to really trust that God's timing is perfect that His ways are perfect. And I love proverbs three, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. And right now for sure, with our house thing. I do not understand it. I really don't. It makes no sense. We're the lowest price one, we have all the upgrades, we have all the bells and whistles. It's a little confusing. It's confusing other people too. But you know what I'm making a decision every day to trust and not lean on my own understanding and really apply my heart to it. And it's hard because my brain can say, and I can do these new thoughts. And I can say I get it, I understand. But my heart I stopped a battle with those emotions. And so like he said, I just have to let it feel it's okay. Sometimes I just have to go sit for 20 minutes and cry. And it's okay. And then I pick myself back up. I'm like, Alright, that looks good. Now I'm done, I can move forward. So really trusting not only intellectually, but with my heart with all my heart and lean? Not on my understanding? Absolutely. That helps.

Ashley
That's a huge one is because a lot of times intellectually, we can understand and be like, Well, I know this to be true, but we don't always believe it. And it's exactly what you said earlier in this episode is the wiring of our brain, you know, yeah, we have conditioned our way to think a certain way and to handle disappointment a certain way. Well, the good news is that our brain is neuro plastic, we can always change it. And so we can change into a new way of thinking, right? And that's where a lot of us didn't realize that you can actually change that. Right, you know, which is why we're here wanting to talk to our listeners about it. Because you can you can change the way of thinking right and change the way you handle disappointment, I want to put in one more plug to for our listeners is that when you experience disappointment, and you're paying attention to the thoughts going on, in your mind, be very careful not to think of yourself as a disappointment. Um, that is something that really led me into depression and anxiety. And right now that is going on so much right now in people's lives. Because we feel like we're failing and all this stuff, we're just under this heavy burden, and all these external factors that are out of any of our control, right. And many of us are feeling like we're just not doing a good job. We're not serving our kids. Well, with school, we're not serving our spouse, well, because we're constantly tired. Whatever it is, you know, we're not able to be that employer that we always strive to be because we have all this added stress going on. But just remember that when we experience disappointment, it does not mean we are a disappointment, right mean we're doing a bad job, it does not mean any of that stuff. So be very careful what you allow into your brain and change the way of thinking to be able to accept the disappointment be able to process it properly and in a healthy way. So then you can move on and thrive and rise up and shine. Right exactly why we are here for you guys.

Claudine
Yes.

Ashley
So everybody, thank you for tuning back. And we really hope this has blessed you today. We know we are all going through some disappointment this year, but you are strong and you are valuable and you are enough we hope that you take these practicals and apply them to your life and that you get to rise up and shine.

Claudine
Until next time, take care.

Ashley
Friends, thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be.

Episode #46

Stress is something we all experience. Now more than ever. In this episode we give tips on how to manage and minimize any unnecessary stress.




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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
Welcome to rise up and shine. We are two women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck, and are now living life fully with peace and joy. Join Us Weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs, bringing hope, insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright.

Claudine
Well, hello, Ashley. Today we're talking about stress. And it's been quite a stressful morning already just preparing for this podcast because we had technical difficulties on many levels, microphones, headphones, software, you name it, we're trying some new a new program this morning. And none of our equipment was working with it. So we're back to square one we're zooming This podcast is I'm still in Southern California, and you are in Northern California. So we understand stress as I know all our listeners do in 2020. If we could name 2020 stress would be right up there. Hashtag

Ashley
hashtag stress.

Claudine
Crazy. I mean, even this morning, we're an hour behind on our recording schedule, just trying to figure all this my like, I'm feeling stressful. It's going Hi, my body is reacting. And actually that is what stresses so stress is the body's response to real or imagined perceptions of pressure. And 2020 has been pressured filled on so many levels and from as small as like today trying to figure out microphones, to the huge ones with fires blazing all over the West Coast politics, racial tensions, COVID, a pandemic, homeschooling you name it, we are all feeling stressed in real ways. And then of course, our own perceptions can magnify that or help lessen it? So that's what we're talking about today. stress.

Ashley
Yes, Claudine, you everything you said was right on exactly. I mean, just 2020. And this week, and even just this morning, in general for us, I mean, we all deal with stress on a daily basis. And when we have the normal day to day stress that everybody in life has, you know, we can, we can even struggle there, we can even struggle, managing our stress, we can struggle minimizing stress. But with this year, everything going on, it has added such a huge burden on all of us. There, like you said, the homeschool has been a big one in my personal life. And I know for a lot of moms, a lot of parents who are dealing with teaching their kids or having to work and someone else has to be there, like a nanny, some are finding childcare for their kids, some parents have to take their children to work with them and their kids do work, do their schooling at their work. I mean, it's just it's so crazy. And I've been noticing a lot of the stress on my body, my physical body. And what I want to share with everybody like exactly this episode, we want to share the effects that stress has on our body, ways that we can help manage it, right, because stress is not going anywhere.

Claudine
Right?

Ashley
It can increase, it can decrease, but stress is just one of those daily factors of life that we all have to deal with. And like you said, you defined it very well, you know, it's stress is our body's reaction to the pressure from an outside situation or event. So it is our brain that reacts to what we perceive as a threat or a challenge or some barrier. And it what we feel in our body is increased heart rate, or rapid shallow breathing, tense muscles, my back spasms this week. And first question I got from people where are you stressed? Hello. Do you need to ask that?

Claudine
Right.

Ashley
Exactly. It was true. It's like okay, well yes, I've been stressed. But the fact that I just bend over to pick something up, you know, nothing even heavy. I think it was like a paper plate. It just bending over my back tightened. And then I for the past three days, I've just been in horrible pain, not sleeping well. And it is it's added stress. And again, going back to this year, all these big things that we're dealing with in our life right now. A lot of us are feeling like we're drowning underneath the pressure. And stress is something that is so crucial for us to be able to become aware about and be able to manage because it causes such physical issues on our bodies, on our mental health, in our relationships, all of it. I mean every single facet of life is affected by stress and if we are not doing A great job of managing it and minimizing when we're able, it's just going to wreak havoc in our lives, which I find is happening a lot right now. I mean, there's more divorces, there's more marital problems, my husband and I have been struggling a lot more in our relationship, you know, with the kids trying, like constantly getting frustrated with the kids in school, all these things are just being affected by stress. So you and I are feeling this. So exactly why we want to bring this episode to you, our listeners, what can we do? Why is it important to know what stress does in our bodies, it's important to recognize the signs.


Claudine
Yeah. And we're never going to be able to eliminate stress, but we can manage it, like you said, we can learn to stress less. I mean, originally, our bodies were built to survive and respond to life risking events like a tiger in the bush or a snake in the grass. So that's what happened, our bodies released cortisol and adrenaline, they physically prepare us to run and to escape danger and to survive. And now we don't have those stresses, we're not worried about being attacked or eaten by a tiger, anything like that. But we have different stresses. And most of us, I mean, in America, there's such a culture of multitasking. Were doing so many things at once, especially as moms we're working, we're taking care of our children, we're taking care of our households, we're balancing the budget, we're getting groceries, we're getting close. I mean, it just goes on and on, where there's not even time to just sit still in solitude, and even reflect and even give our bodies that time to relax. And so that's why it is so important to talk about today. And when we're chronically stressed, which means long term, it does do things to our bodies, for our physical health, like diabetes is increased blood pressures, increase weight gain, I mean, nobody needs any more help with that. We don't need to gain any more weight. But stressful, unfortunately lead to that. And then it leads to a lower immune system. We don't need that right now. We need to keep our immune systems as strong as possible. Brain fog. I mean, that's my big one. I'm just walking on fog. I was talking to someone earlier. And it was like, I don't even know what day it is. Like, I need to print out a physical calendar and just put it on my wall.

Ashley
So today is Thursday.

Claudine
I don't even know what the month is. I'm like, wait, we Where are you? And then I personally have the added stress of living in a home that we're trying to sell. It hasn't sold yet. So we thought we would be sold and moved up back up to Northern California by the end of September. And we're sitting in a house that's unsold right now. So my body my mind, they're reacting to this perceived pressure of what if it never sells? What if we never buy another house? What if all the what ifs that cause stress and discomfort? It's this pressure of, well, what do we do now? I mean, you know, it's just a lot of pressure and stress. We're living out of a suitcase like even the other day, I had to cook a recipe. This is so silly, but I didn't have any tablespoons or teaspoons or measuring spoons. And it's like, okay, it's hard to cook, but you don't have like simple tools. Now, luckily, I could run across the, you know, property to my daughter's house and get those things barlas things but it's just stressful. Like just not having the typical normal things. My life's not threatened. But it just is this stress these little annoyances, these little thumb words that just are like aggravating. Oh, I know. Yeah. And this is short term. And I know it's going to go away. But long term. What about people who've lost their jobs? What about people who've had family members sick or passed from COVID? I mean, the pressures and the stress if, if they don't learn how to manage the stress, then it will lead to physical and mental, you know, mental effects of stress.

Ashley
Yeah. And as you mentioned, our automatic responses, you know, to these pressures, right, exactly. We're not out living as hunters and gatherers anymore, you know, experiencing danger on a daily basis from from enemies or from, you know, animals or any of that stuff, or even just how are we going to eat you know, today, some might even experience that now with financial challenges, but it's a fight and flight response. And that is how our brain is wired for that survival. So we are wired for survival. But survival means something very different now than it did back then. And of course, there's going to be times where we need to be cautious that we we are going to need to fight or we are going to need to run away from danger, but that's not the usual stress. That is in our day to day. However, our brain still responds as if it's that extreme level of danger. You know, not having a tablespoon I could think if it was a challenging day, this is the worst day ever. Once little thing, it's like No, not really. And one thing that has really helped me that I want to encourage our listeners to do as well is when we keep in contact with friends, family, other people and just kind of ask them how they're doing. It helps put our own lives into perspective, I had two conversations with people, very dear to me recently, who are going through such challenges right now in their lives that I have not experienced. And it really changed my perspective, to be compassionate, to be grateful for what is going on, like how our circumstances are that I am not having to deal with what they are dealing with. But again, that compassion, right, we don't want to have a cold heart and be like, Oh, my gosh, thank goodness, that's not my life, you know, nothing like that. It just, it really helped put it in perspective, because I felt myself crashing this week, just emotionally and mentally with all this virtual school. And, you know, one of my kids needs a lot more help. So I sit with them pretty much all day. And we're working until four or five o'clock in the evening on all this school. And we started at 8:30. And it's I'm burned out, and, and then my kids are burned out and they're grumpy. And then I'm grumpy. And then we're and that is like the level of danger, quote, unquote, danger that many of us are experiencing right now. But the chronic stress, like you mentioned, our body is constantly flooding with adrenaline and cortisol. And that's why cortisol is known as the silent killer. It is extremely damaging, and it suppresses most of our body systems. You know, as you mentioned, it lowers our immune system, it causes our heart to beat faster, which can potentially lead to strokes or heart attacks, it can also increase the chance of cancer. It can also as many of us do not want increase the aging process. Another one we don't want to experience and also is one who struggled with this, both you and I have struggled with this depression and anxiety, it can write off those issues, or it can exacerbate those issues as well. Yeah, absolutely. And then also, it's important to recognize and be aware of when we are feeling stress what's going on in our body, that's going to be the first sign. You know, it's our emotions, and also what our body is physically feeling. I feel tense muscles right now that has been my weak, right with my back and my muscles, I feel very tense muscles. Okay? This is a really, I'm carrying a lot of stress right now. That's what it means. And then it helps us take a look at what and maybe even make a list. What is going on? What are all the things on my plate right now. And be aware, okay, I'm feeling this in my physical body, because of all these things on my list. And sometimes we just can't carry so much, especially as women who tend to be the caretakers who tend to be the cooks, who tend to be the drivers who tend to be that you know, even more trying to manage our emotions, which can be very challenging as a woman, especially hormonally speaking


Claudine
Absolutely.

Ashley
But it's really important to become aware, because then we know what to do. It'll help us to manage. Right,

Claudine
Right, Ashley? And just like you said, I mean, I think when we're under chronic stress, when we don't take efforts to manage it, or to lessen it, we do it does lead to burnout, like you're sharing it leads to burnout. But and I've shared this before, where you can actually have adrenal failure and adrenal fatigue. And I've shared about that I was under so much stress for quite some time and didn't actively do anything to manage it. or lessen it. This was quite a few years back that my adrenal glands actually were shot. So then you have to go get professional help to help strengthen them, to get them back to where they need to be just to manage day to day activities. So it is really important to be aware of your physical sensations. If you're starting to feel your muscles are tense or for me, it's brain fog. I started to feel very, like, I don't know what date is, what should I be doing today? There's too much everything feels too much. For me. That's how I know I'm feeling stressed. When ordinary activities seem to be too much like I can't do the laundry today. It's just far too much for me, then I know I'm stressed. So I've learned that and when I get really short with my husband, like I'll just be a little snippy. Like, okay, I'm stressed. And actually one of the things you and I talked about earlier, there's even good stress and bad stress, you know, obviously COVID and everything that's going on in our world right now we would term under bad stress, but there are good stresses like I've traveled extensively the last four months. Now, of course, you said this would be bad stress for you. Yeah, for me, it was good stress. Like, it was great. I love traveling. But it's still a stressor, because there's so much change. There's so much unknown. I don't know where I'm staying tonight. I don't know. I mean, I didn't know. But you know, it's a different environment. I'm living out of a suitcase. So to me, that's a good stress. But we also have bad stresses that those are easily acknowledged.

Ashley
Right, and the good stress, you can think of that as the pressure that helps to motivate, motivate us. So that could be a deadline on a project, or it could be maybe an upcoming trip, or, you know, so it gives you that, that push to prepare or to grow, or In what way? And even like you said, with traveling, you're traveling with you and your husband, right, so to you that's bit like you enjoy that you you know, you're not packing for kids and you have four kids, you know, you're not packing for for children anymore, making sure everyone has everything and has somewhat of a schedule. And did you guys eat today? Did you brush your teeth? You know? Right? Um, so even my husband asked like this weekend if he wanted to float down the river because we're gonna get a heatwave again, mild one, thank goodness, but, and he asked me on the worst possible day, I was so burned out yesterday, when he asked me I said, Well, honestly, no. But if you asked me tomorrow, it might feel better, because now I just see more work on my plate, right have to pack because it's a four hour float, floating excursion, you know, I have to pack our food, I have to make sure we have everything, I have to get sunblock and all that stuff. So it doesn't seem as enjoyable. That's not a good pressure motivating me, helping you grow. That's putting more stress on my plate like more than I feel like I can currently handle and that is important to distinguish between the two, right that there's this good stress that is beneficial for us. But the bad stress that could be toxic to us toxic to our brains and our to our systems. And one of those things I want to mention is trauma.

Claudine
Hmm,

Ashley
Almost all of us, I have right here to say all of us, but have experienced trauma, big trauma, smaller trauma, what have you, we all have experienced some form of trauma. And several years ago when I was going through my healing journey and counseling, and I took a trauma class through Kaiser, and it was really eye opening because it showed how trauma, especially from childhood, can still follow you and affect you physically. And you even have a chance of having a shorter lifespan by up to 20 years. And that was the one fact I learned that really just opened my eyes and made me think about my life and think about what I was still carrying. A lot of the stress we tend to carry is bitterness, a lack of forgiveness, these are all stress factors as well, it's not just tangible things that we have to do on our to do list, it can also be these big emotions or big burdens that we are carrying from early childhood, you know, right? trauma is so important to recognize that it causes trauma is stuck in our bodies, if we haven't processed it properly. And because of that, it will keep us in a fight flight response. more frequently, that chronic stress, it'll keep us living in a chronic stressful state where our body just reacts. You know, like I've been told, and I'm sure some of our listeners may have been told, oh, you're just sensitive, you're just sensitive. Well, there's truth to that. There is a scientific truth, because our bodies are triggered easily if we've experienced certain traumas. And again, that goes back to Okay, is this really a danger? Is this really a threatening situation? Well, no, not really. Okay, well, then I'm going to have to process this and work through it and let it go, feel the emotions, but be able to let it go. That is not something I need to carry. And for our listeners out there, I really encourage you to reflect and that's going to be one of the things that's important to do. It's going to be tough, but reflect about what is going on in your life. How are you feeling about things? What do you feel in your body? And are there possible scenarios from going back early childhood traumatic experiences that could be triggering things now in this extremely hashtag stressful? 2020?

Claudine
Right. You know, that's a great point. Actually. Sometimes we you know, we strive to look ahead and forget what's behind this, right. But we don't realize that those events in our childhood or in are even our adult I was talking with someone recently. And they're like, forget my childhood traumas, what about my adult traumas? My thought, you know, that's true that those things do their stress because they have not been processed, they've not been resolved. So we're carrying those heavy emotions, they are burdens, like you said their burdens. And that's stressful. And we're so unaware of that. We just think that's normal. Well, I don't want to deal with that it's better left unsaid, it's better, you know, to sweep it under the rug, or that was so long ago, it doesn't matter anymore. But it's really powerful, that we do explore and deal with things that we're carrying with us even unconsciously. Because if we don't, it does lead to this total burnout. And then we're good for nothing. And for no one and no one wants to be there.

Ashley
When you also Oh, sorry, I want to add, and you also think about because of those experiences, again, many of us have not processed properly because we haven't been taught. But it we tend to cope. And so now we're all experiencing very stressful situations this year. However that looks to you. But we're coping, we're going to be going to those things, those outside things that help us get a fix. So we just feel better for a short, temporary time, whether that's TV or food or alcohol, or coffee, or sex, or what have you, whatever it is, we all have something that we cope with. And more than likely it's going to be good to evaluate and reflect on this is what am I doing more of that's just helping me numb and not feel these uncomfortable emotions? Right, right.

Claudine
Yeah. Because those are unhealthy ways. I mean, there's healthy ways of coping, and there's unhealthy ways of writing. And certainly, you know, there's jokes all over with the COVID-19 and the quarantine 15, the weight game that most people have experienced over the last six months because of being indoors and eating so much more. It's a huge coping mechanism for many of us, such as more stress. It does, in many ways. It really does. And then some of us are Netflix binge eaters. Yes, that would mean, you know, how many me too How many hours have I wasted in the last six months watching television. So, you know, again, it's a coping mechanism. It's not super detrimental. But there are healthy ways to cope. And I thought we could take a few minutes to talk about that. So we've come up with five ways to cope. And one of them they're not in any particular order. But one of them is exercise, of course. And for me personally, when I'm feeling stressed, the last thing I want to do is exercise. And so I've literally had to force myself to just go on walks. And so I tell myself, I'm just going to go to the end of my block, which my block is rather long, because I'm rural, but I just convinced myself, I'm just going to do five minutes of walking. Now that my brain will say, you can do five minutes, go ahead do five minutes, you can do five push ups, you can do five sit-ups. And that's what I tell myself, I'm just going to keep it really small. And commit to that. Now the truth of it is once I've got my shoes on, and once I'm outside walking, and it's nice, I keep going and I can do 20 to 30 minutes, and I can do five sit-ups and go, Oh, I feel pretty good. I'm already on the floor, let me do 20 or 30 more. So I that's how I've been tricking my brain, so to speak, trying to get myself to commit to just five minutes, five minutes of exercise every day. And that's been that helps with stress. There's all kinds of studies and research that show how exercise will reduce stress. Another method is tapping, which we have a resource on our website. But tapping is a gentle process of tapping on meridian points that help release emotions and thoughts and can absolutely minimize stress. I know for me, one of the most anxious moments I had was, I was out of the country and my youngest daughter was really ill and had to go to the emergency room. And as a mother being thousands of miles away, and not being able to take her was so anxiety producing it was very unusual for me. And I just had to go in the room and tap. And I did that for about 10 minutes and it really resolved all that anxiety. So we'll have a resource on that. That goes along with breathing. I mean, sometimes I forget to breathe when I'm stressed. I just kind of hold my breath. I mean, I'm not the only one but there's this awareness of breathing and just stopping to breathe deeply. For a couple minutes, just two minutes and it just changes like you were talking about earlier. The autonomic nervous system, we can slow it down can bring everything down.

Ashley
You know, ironically, sorry, I'm cutting you off. Ironically, the last couple of nights as I'm trying to fall asleep or just about to fall asleep. I noticed that I was holding my breath. And I, oh my gosh. And I guess it was completely unaware. It was so, so weird.

Claudine
So many of us do it and we are not aware in the very thing, we need more oxygen in ourselves right deal with the stress, we're not doing over shallow breathers. I get stressed. It's very shallow, you know, buried, if I remember. I mean, obviously, we're breathing so we don't die. But there's a difference between healthy deep breathing and shallow, intermittent breathing. Another, you know, way to cope, of course, it's talking it through. Obviously, if you're dealing with trauma, it'd be great to talk to a professional about that. But even talking it through with a trusted friend or a coach is so beneficial sometimes, just even you and I, we talk and prep sometimes before our recordings, just talking through things in our lives, we get a different perspective, we're able to maybe reframe what's going on. And realize it's really not that big of a deal. Like we can make a story out of anything, like not having a tablespoon or measuring cup could have become I have nothing Look at me Poor me, I have nothing like I can't even make a dish because I don't have any equipment. And this house is never going to sell my stuff's going to be in storage for year, you know, it could have created this humongous story. But when you talk it through with someone, all of a sudden, it just seems like so much smaller, you know, the situation becomes so much more maybe rooted in fact, instead of our narrative about it. So talking it through with someone that you trust is huge. Another one is for me. And I know for you, Ashley is just praying to spending that time in prayer in praying to the one that knows everything and sees everything and really knows what's going on. And I love the scripture in Philippians four, where it says do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ. And I love that because I think sometimes a situation can be so overwhelming. And so prayer obviously helps me surrender it like okay, I'm giving this to you, God. But that last part said, always giving thanks. And so I've really focused, I've really had to focus these last few weeks, okay, I'm not where I want to be. My house hasn't sold yet. But Gosh, I have so much to be thankful for him year three of my adult children, I'm near my grandchildren. I'm here at the beach, I've actually been to the coast, I think three times in the last seven days. I mean, that's amazing. So there's so much to be thankful for. And I've had to practice that being thankful even in the difficult times, even when things aren't going the way I thought they would go. So praying to meditate.

Ashley
Yeah, and I want to add one thing to that, too, is on the flip side, as well as practicing gratitude is watch the complaining. I really had to practice that a lot this week, because I was feeling a lot of pressure and a lot of stress. And I I was talking with my husband yesterday. And he he's been a great listener, we've been talking on his way home. And it hasn't been something I felt in the past. But he's really been working on being an emotional support for me. So he's been allowing me to vent his 15 minute drive home, which has been so so helpful. But I even told him I said I am trying to be very careful of how much I complain like there is I sometimes I just need to vent and get it off my chest. But there are times where I just it's important not to sit and complain. Because when we complain, we do it over and over and over complaining and venting I feel are very different venting is like a one time. Let me spill it all out to you all my all the guts. But complaining is having an attitude of complaining about anything and everything and repetitively. And when we focus on the negative so much, it is very hard to be grateful for anything. So that as well as practicing gratitude, we have to be careful of the complaining.

Claudine
Absolutely. And that segues beautifully into our fifth way of coping healthfully, which is manage your mind. Well, when we complain repetitively when we have those negative thoughts, we're building those neural pathways, we're strengthening those neural pathways, and we're not managing in our mind, at least not in a healthy way. Now we're we're managing our mind, while we're not managing it, it's just chaos in there. And it just adds distress. And so it really is a process to think through the thoughts, to be aware of our thoughts, to really examine them and to choose thoughts that serve as well. So that's what we're calling managing your mind and that's our work with our clients. It's just helping them choose their thoughts wisely to develop thoughts that serve them that give them the emotions they're looking for, to be able to do the actions they desire and get the results they want.

Ashley
So exactly what you're saying When we whatever we get focused to is what we're going to see in any situation. So if we're focusing on more of the negative, just by habit, then we're going to see the negative all throughout the day and in every situation. And it's going to be very challenging to try and be positive and grateful. And I'm experiencing that this week, because my child who I've been sitting with for school is very vocal about how he feels. And in my mind, they're not rational. They're just very emotional thoughts. He's having that he's speaking out loud. But I have to allow him to kind of express it, and then we talk through it, right, because his brain is still a developing brain. But it's been really self reflective for me, because it's made me think about what am i allowing in my head? I'm not as verbal as he is. But I do think a lot of those same things. I it's very easy for many of us to wake up and first thing in the morning, the first thing that goes wrong, then we're, we think the whole day is gonna go bad. Oh, it's just a bad day? Well, yeah, it will be because you're saying it's a bad, right? So you will look for everything negative, and it will prove your point. But if we wake up and say today, it's going to be a great day, then our brain will actually look for things that are positive that will prove it's a good day. And it really is, what do we want? What kind of a day do we want? Do we want to have a stressful day? Well, no, that's why we're doing this episode, because we're trying to manage and minimize our stress. And it's not like those things are going to go away, we already established stress is there for the long haul. However, how we deal with it and how we cope, a lot of it is in our minds, it's what are we focusing on? A lot of it can be in our relationships, either right now with our children with school, it can be with our spouses, I know that's been taking a big hit, a lot of us have been talking about our marriages, or even seeking out help in our marriages. And that is a big one. I know for myself that we were very disconnected my husband and I, which I think is happening with a lot of families right now. There is so much added stress, we are adding more stress to our plate, because we are disconnected from our spouse because we are so overwhelmed because we're burned out and we're responding to each other as husband and wife in like a negative, you know, snappy, like you said, you know, passive aggressive way, because we're all stressed out. So I remember giving some advice to a dear friend several years ago who was asking what it's like having kids. And this is the way I explained it. I said, think of you and your husband, and the most stressful scenario, you guys are the most burnout stressed out and then try to work together. Good luck like it,

Claudine
It can certainly be accurate at times.

Ashley
I probably gave her a little too much info. However, it's realistic, because when we are stressed out if we do not manage our stress, well, it's gonna be detrimental to our marriages, and to our family dynamic and our home environment. And what we want above all else for us, our listeners, our clients, everybody is to thrive, to increase their well being to feel more joy and peace. And it's not going to take the circumstances changing. Right, that helps but we can still experience it. Now. In this state. The goal is to have a calm enter homeostasis state of mind that we can manage ourselves, our thoughts, our minds, our bodies, our spirituality, you know everything, despite what is going on in the world.

Claudine
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's on point. I know we can still rise up and shine even in a year like 2020. Even with all these external stressors, it is possible to do that. And that's why we're here. Well, I have a bonus way to cope, which I'm really working on and those of us that are older like I am really need this. But our bonus way to cope healthy, healthy ways for stress is nutrition. And I've really been focusing on that those last few weeks just as I'm drinking my protein shake. It's what made me think of it, but really making sure we're getting all the nutrients the vitamins the water, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and eating properly, which can be difficult because when we're stressed it's easier to go to the cookies and the cake and the chocolate ice cream and all the comfort foods. But what our body really needs is vitamins and minerals and all the good stuff. So lots of veggies, lots of fruits and lots have water so I've been doubling my intake of all those and that is really helping, especially as you get older like for me, I just need that all the more just to age. Well, I mean, another stressor, you know, like you said stress doesn't help you age well, well I'm already aging so I'd like to do it well. That's a freebie.

Ashley
Alright everyone so that concludes this episode on stress. And please remember to subscribe and share with a friend and you can also find Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com. And you can find Ashley over at mindoverchaos.com. So we hope you guys have a great stress free week and weekend coming up here. All right, we'll catch you next time.

Friends Thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be.

Episode #45

And how To Start Listening to the Truth

Have you ever considered yourself a liar? Well, we can prove that we lie to ourselves all the time. In this episode, we discuss common lies we believe as women and what we can do to turn that around and start believing the truth.




GET THE FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
This is Episode 45. The lies we believe. Welcome to rise up and shine. We are two women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck, and are now living life fully with peace and joy. Join Us Weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs, bringing hope insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright.

Welcome back, listeners. Now I am going to go out on a limb here and say each and every one of you is a liar. Really what I mean by that were how Ashley is I know don't you just feel so encouraged? So really all jokes aside, what I mean by this is that we all lie to ourselves. Yes, maybe we have told a lie a white lie, you know, friend asked you how they look in this new hat. Oh, yes, I love it. That's great, but you really didn't. That's not really what we're talking about here. What we're talking about are the lies that we tell ourselves, we tend to lie to ourselves more than we can even imagine. But luckily, we can find out what these things are, what lies we're believing and sometimes even how they have gotten there. There are going to be times we don't know how these lies have gotten into our heads and why we believe it. And that's okay, too. But the point is that we want to drive home on this episode for you, ladies is that we want you to live your most authentic, happy, fulfilled lives. And we need to address these lies that we tell ourselves as women.

Claudine
Yeah, that's right, Ashley, I know some of these lies kept me down for quite a while and you as well. And when we believe these lies, it keeps us from living our best life from really rising up and shining. And so that's why we thought today would be a great time to address some of the top lies that we tell ourselves that we believe and how they affect us how they affect our lives. So one of the top lies is I'm not good enough, fill in the blank. I'm not a good enough wife. I'm not a good enough. parent. I'm not a good enough, friend. I'm just not good enough. And we talked about that last week on self worth, we really addressed being good enough that we are inherently worthy and valuable. But that's one of the top lies that we believe I'm just not good enough. Another one that I used to believe is a life is too hard. Well, the truth is that life is hard. It is hard sometimes. I mean, right now we're living through all kinds of hard challenging stuff fires, pandemic civil unrest, political tensions, you name it, we've got it going on right now. Life is hard. But you know what the truth is, we can do hard things. And when I started believing that I could do hard things. All of a sudden, my life started shifting, it was okay. It was like, yeah, this is hard. So what I can do hard, I can do hard. And the other lie that was a big one for me is that if I felt it, it must be true. And so I struggled with managing my emotions. So if I felt sad, and it was a bad day, and if I felt happy, it was a good day. And if I felt frustrated, it must be someone else's fault. And if I felt disappointed again, someone else's fault, a my emotions really ran my life. And I really felt like I didn't have control of them. And they were truth that my feelings were truth. And it was really powerful for me to learn that I could actually manage my emotions, I could create them, and I could live with them, and they didn't have to control my life.

Ashley
Those are great. Claudine, another one, one of the top lies we tell ourselves is that it's my job to fix, blame, whatever that may be. It may be your child's emotions. If they're angry or frustrated with something then you might feel as a mom, it's your job to fix it. You might also feel if your husband is upset, you know, maybe he's just had a tough day and he comes home he's not very talkative, you might feel like it's your job to fix the situation or to make them happy to make them happy again, it can be uncomfortable to be around those uncomfortable emotions. But we could believe the lie that it is my job to fix it. I need to make them happy. Another top lie is that I don't have enough time. Many of us said that every day. And ironically, with the pandemic and being quarantined and now with fires all over the West Coast and we're indoors and we're stuck. Feeling like still I don't have enough time. We have more time now than we ever did. Right? We're not shuffling around from activity to activity. A lot of us are working from home now. But still we can struggle with I don't have enough time. In the day to get whatever I need done. And another top line we want to end with is, I will never be able to change, what does that mean, I will never be able to lose weight, I will never be able to get my emotions in control, I never be able to make my husband happy, I will never be able to, you know, you fill in the blank, really, we limit ourselves so much by these lies that we tell ourselves,

Claudine
Right. And those those lies, they keep us down and we start believing those lies, then we're in victim mode. Because it's all it's happening to us. And we believe these lies, and now we're victims. And so we can't move forward. We can't go after anything, we can't make those changes that we are fully capable of making when we're in victim mode, because victims don't have victories. Victims don't have victories, right? And we don't go after our dreams and goals. When we believe these lies. You know, we live this half life. It's not joyful, and it's not victorious. And I know that's where I lived for quite a few years just believing these lies. You know, another one was, what goes with I'm not worthy. Really. It's like, well, they get that because they deserve it. But I don't deserve it that really goes with that one. And I struggle with that with for years, like, well, that's good for everyone else, but not for me. And so it took a lot of work. Really, it's simple, but it's not easy. I say that all the time. It's simple. It's really simple. We can fight the flies, it's really simple. Is it easy? No, you know, we have to manage our minds, we have to create those new neural pathways, we have to start believing new things, so that we can feel new things and behave in new ways to get those new results we want. And so it really is simple, but it's not easy. Another practical is really just fighting the lies with God's truth. You know, we shared in last week's episode, I shared for me, when I struggled with my worthiness that I had to really read psalms 139 for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And that was the turning point. For me just reading that every day and believing it until it became part of my new neural pathways, my mind just became default, it changed the default of I'm not good enough. And I'm not worthy to know I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. And that was a turning point for me. So we have to fight those lies with truth. And not just believe anything that pops up in our mind. Some of it comes from our childhood, like you've shared before, like, from our upbringing, or things where you're told we're little things that don't serve us anymore, but but they sure do harm us still, they carry forward and they and they don't serve, but they harm and so it's really time to fight the lies with the truth.

Ashley
Okay, so now let's talk about those lies that we went over those top lies, and let's talk about the truth side of it. Okay. So one that I shared is it's my job to fix, link, whatever that may be. Truth is, it is not my job to fix another person, I am here to love them, and to support them and to encourage them. But it is not my responsibility to make them happy, you know, and to take away the circumstances that are their challenge, maybe for the day. So that is something that that is the truth that could combat that lie. The next one, I'll never be able to change, maybe yet, right? I can change if I put in the effort. And if I put in the consistency, I can change, I can lose weight I can, I can become more organized. That was one of mine. I'm just not an organized structured person. And I would recite that to myself. And so I limited myself, right. But if you say I can learn this skill to be more structured, I can be more organized. There's so many resources out there. Right? So that's the truth. The other one I shared was I don't have enough time. Truth is we all have the same amount of time in a given day, 24 hours. So the truth is, I do have enough time I have been given what I need. Maybe there are things on my list that I can take off. Maybe I don't need to overwhelm myself so much. Maybe I can space things out. One of the things that goes along with this, in my personal experience is the priority aspect of things on my to do list or on my calendar. What are the priorities, I can feel every single thing on my list is of equal importance. Well, that is not necessarily true. There are things you can take off. There are things you can delegate. But remember, we all have the same amount of time. If you feel like you don't have enough time, you're never going to feel like you have enough time because right frankly, you're not going to be given any more time.

Claudine
That's right.

Ashley
That's just not possible.

Claudine
Hey, I can't buy time.

Ashley
No, wouldn't that be great.

Claudine
I can't buy love or time.

Ashley
No. But again, you just reorganized your your calendar, you take things off, you help delegate, and then you will feel much more at peace with right to do in the 24 hours you have.

Claudine
Right? Yeah. And I kind of shared some of my truth, like, life's too hard. You know, truth is life is hard, but I can do hard things. So that's good. And the other one where, if I feel it must be true, and I can't control my emotions, which part of it too is underneath those thoughts, there's beliefs. Like for me, I didn't believe there should be any suffering really. And that's why I didn't believe life should be hard. And I didn't believe that I should feel negative emotions. And with those, it turned into something must be wrong with me. And by feeling negative emotions in life, it's hard, I must be doing something wrong, but then tied into the, I'm not good enough. So all those tied in together into the default belief that life should be easy, and I should feel good all the time. So that was really going deeper the belief that I held on to that, that helped shape these lives that I was listening to. So I really internalize that no, life is hard part of the human experience here on earth is filled with trials and temptations and suffering and disappointment. That's just part of it. And that I am fully equipped not only on my own, but with God's Spirit to handle anything that comes my way. And that's where I started finding the power to live more authentically, more in truth of myself and who I am not just running around people pleasing, like you share, but just being authentic to myself, and then just really going after dreams and goals, because it's like, okay, it's hard, but I can do it. And doesn't mean there's anything wrong. And I can feel negative, I can feel frustrated and discouraged. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong either. Because I just feel them and let them go. Like I feel it. Okay, I feel this. Now it's time to let it go. Like I release this, I don't step it, I don't resist it, I don't find it. It's okay to feel those feelings, and then let them move on. And that was a truth that I had to learn. So there were a lot of truths to learn, that helped defeat those lies that were really had a stronghold on me. And you know, we know who the father wises, right? We know who is the deceiver, and whose native language is lies just to keep us down. Because, you know, Jesus, Jesus came that we could have liked to the fall, and the devil came to steal that from us to keep us from living that life.

Ashley
Absolutely, and Claudine. And also, let's go back to talking about managing our mind. So we need the truth, God's truth, that is the standard. That is what's going to help us to combat these lies that were right there that we're believing in. And I like to say bought into these lies that have come up throughout my childhood influences experiences, I bought into them, I had a choice. But granted, a lot of these lies came up, when our brain was not fully developed, we did not have that prefrontal cortex, we did not have that logical reasoning, thinking part of our brain fully developed when we experienced a lot of things that caused us to believe these lies. And that's why so many times we believe this, and many women we talk with and coach believe this that they don't feel they don't believe that they can change this, this is just part of who they are, which is why we wanted to talk about lies because they feel true. So if they feel true, they must be true. Like we said, our emotions, right? Well, not necessarily our emotions are not truth, they are a message. They are just letting us know how we're feeling about a situation and what to do about it. You know, what can we kind of infer what information is it giving us about the situation about ourselves? What is it bringing to light, and that's the awareness that we want to bring forth. So we can change these lies and speak truth to ourselves. Because again, as we talked about last episode, in Episode 44, about our self worth is we are so hard on ourselves.

Claudine
Right? Right.

Ashley
Be nice. Can't we all just get along? Can't we get along in our own mind? You know, and it takes managing our mind and understanding how our brain formed and how when our brain fully developed is really key because then it helps us Oh, okay, so I understand I believe all these lies because I i've been reciting them to myself for years, based on whatever experiences I have gone through anything I've been told what whatever parents, teachers, bullies, peers, TV, media, I mean, all over all these influences, created these lies that we believe but Now that we do have our fully formed, developed brain, we have the opportunity to change it. And so if it gives, like we said, I can't change, I'll never be able to change. Well, that is a lie. Because our brain is neuroplastic, we are able to change and we are able to change those lies and our thinking, by creating a new narrative, new dialogue that we tell ourselves in our head. And the more we do it, that repetition is going to create the new neural pathways. And then again, we're going to start believing it. So just like our last episode, how I mentioned with affirmations, we won't always believe them, as we're reading them to ourselves, well, it's the same thing these lies, when we are telling ourselves the truth. Now, we're not going to believe that first.

Claudine
Right.

Ashley
You have to understand with consistency, that repetition, reciting the truth to ourselves over and over and over, is going to drill that into our brain, it's really going to take root, and we're going to start believing it. And so that is something so crucial to remember, as we're trying to change this part of our lives.


Claudine
Yeah, that's definitely the practicals of what we use in our coaching practices, and that I love Romans 12, to where it says be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And we absolutely can transform our lives and our beliefs, the lies that we believe we can transform those when we renew our minds, like you just shared. And I also love what it says in Philippians, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent think about such things. And we really have to manage our minds that we don't think all these things that are not true, pure, noble, praiseworthy, trustworthy, all that, you know, which my mind was filled with for years, and it just really did a number on how I felt and how I acted because of that.

Ashley
And especially now with all these added stresses of 2020. I mean, I don't even need to list them. I could just say 2020, right? Because of this year,

Claudine
And well, the scary thing is we still have four months, I'm scared of what's going to come. floods, fires. I don't know what else.

Ashley
I know. So hashtag 2020, right. There's so much going on in our world right now. In our country, and our states, we're both in California, Northern Southern California right now for the time being, and at home, at home with our family. So there's so many stresses going on right now and fears, we can allow those things to be a driving force in the thoughts that we're thinking, right? That narrative we're telling in our head, and I also want want to share this practical, that is really powerful. It's just really being cognizant of the stories that we build up in our mind. Yeah, I have done this in certain relationships, my husband and I, I've done it, I've done it in other relationships that have kind of been more of a challenge. And if there is a situation that happened, I'll just sit and ruminate on the situation all day long. And I'll just write do and think and think, but I'm creating the story. In my head. It's like, well, if I say this, and then he says that, and then I'm going to say this. And you know, and I'm basically creating a movie, in my own head right out this story, this made up story. But when we're doing those things, then our emotions are going to follow suit, when we're thinking and ruminating on all this stuff, and the stress and how how crappy life is right now in 2020. And all these negative things. And you know, like I shared even in the last episode is sometimes it can be hard looking for the silver lining and things of what's going on this year. You know, it could be hard trying to think of positive, excellent praise worthy peer, you know, noble things right now. But we have to be very careful of those stories that we build in our mind and not let ourselves just ruminate and build and create this fiction in our head, right? No, we really have to manage our minds. It takes practice it takes consistency and just capture those thoughts. So they don't just run off on tangents, you know?

Claudine
Yeah. So true, such great points. Well, I know that there are many more lies that women believe but I know equally there is the truth that we are all deeply loved. We're all worthy inherently and unconditionally, and that we were created to live life to the full and To reflect God's glory.

Ashley
So listeners thank you so much for tuning back in with us for this episode on the lies we tell ourselves. If you haven't already please click subscribe and share this episode with a friend as well and also please visit us over at claudinesweeney.com and you can visit Ashley over at mindoverchaos.com for more resources. So thank you again for tuning in. And we will see you next week. Friends thank You so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be.