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.

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Episode #70

Jesus said, "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full." Do you feel like your life is full? Full of peace, joy and love? Or maybe more like stress, fatigue, frustration or sadness. This upcoming Sunday we get to celebrate the gift of life and freedom Jesus died and resurrected for. But the question is do you feel like you are really experiencing this gift to its fullest? In today's episode, we share practical steps you can take to increase the peace, joy and love Jesus offers in your very own life so you can experience your life to the full that He gives!



Ashley
This is Episode 70. We Are A New Creation. 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.
Hello everyone. And welcome back to the rise up and shine podcast. I want to start off with a very special verse in the Bible that is very dear to us. And it's going to set the tone for this episode and our topic today. And it is in second Corinthians chapter five verse 17 says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone. The new is here. And today in celebration of upcoming Easter, we wanted to talk about being a new creation because of the resurrection of Jesus. We have this very incredible gift that we are a new creation, but because of his death, his burial, his resurrection, and we want to talk about what even practically that looks like in our own lives because Claudine and I both know we have done a lot of work in our lives and we have really transformed ourselves, really taking this verse to heart and even deeper in our own personal lives. And we wanted to share a little bit about that today with you listeners. And we also wanted to talk about some practicals that you can use in your day-to-day life to help you feel live, be your new creation and taking this gift to your life and just living it to the full yeah.

Claudine
Ashley, there's so much to this. There's so many layers. I remember, you know, I've been a Christian for almost 30 years or just 30 years, I guess. And there was such a transformation right at the beginning, right? There was so many things that I was doing that I turned away from right. Then I knew these are not honoring God. These are not Christ. Like I need to change from this. And so at the very beginning there was this big transformation, you know, no more was I saying curse words no more. Was I, uh, drinking to the point of being drunk? There are so many things that I changed, right? When I made the decision to follow Jesus and it was a radical transformation radical. And then as the decades went and as we share often here, there came a point for me about 10 years ago where I needed to transform again. And so we're talking about so many of the practicals and the principles that help us transform no matter what stage rat, if we're just learning about God, we're learning just about Jesus and celebrating the resurrection and the new life that he gives us through him. Or if we have been a Christian for quite a long time, and we're still looking to make some transformation, maybe in our marriages, maybe I've been a Christian A. Long time, but we really want to make a new change in our marriage or with our finances. Maybe we want to make a new change with our financial wellbeing? That's the word there's so many ways we continue to transform. It's a never ending journey. The Christian life, as we become more and more, um, conformed to the likeness of Christ. And so it's exciting to talk about this because it is Easter and it is a time of celebration, a time of newness, you know, I'm down in Southern California still. And today we are walking on our property and there was all these little tiny, tiny yellow flowers in our grass. And I'm sure they're weeds. I don't know what they are. They shouldn't be in our lawn, but they were really pretty, they were little tiny and it just felt so springy today. And it was just a beautiful day. Weather-wise the sun was shining, crisp blue skies. And I was just like, it's just so much newness and I love it.

Ashley
Yeah. Claudine when I was 15 is when I decided to make Jesus Lord in my life. And I personally didn't feel like there was a huge transformation because I was always the good kid doing the right thing, doing what I ought to do. So I really noticed as I grew up and had more responsibilities, got married, had children, um, a house to take care of and you know, more relationships, friendships and all that. It, it, I really saw, Oh my gosh, my need for Jesus was it felt that much greater because now life was just that much more complex. And I had so much to balance and juggle and I didn't know practically how to do that. I wasn't equipped for that. And so I really saw how I was not living that life to the full, you know, in those points, in those stages of my life. And earlier, you know, when I was a teen, it was like, Oh, everything's great. And you know, and just happy go lucky. And you know, that was the attitude I carried. I was very positive and saw the good in everybody and did, did good, did the right thing and followed the rules. Right. And so, but really, as I got older, I, I really struggled. I really, really struggled. And so this, um, I remember coming out of my last bout of depression several years ago. And I remember when Easter came, I felt this, um, sense of gratitude. I mean, I've always had good the gratitude, but it was to a different degree this time because of the challenges that I was going through and the transformation I was going through, I just really understood the depth of the love that God had for us, you know, to have his son die on the cross and go through that abuse and insults in that horrible time and then raising for our benefit. You know, I mean, putting all of our sin on him and being able to raise up again. And so we have the opportunity to raise up to a new creation as well, you know, in Jesus. And it was just so spectacular because it was a deeper understanding and a deeper gratitude, as I mentioned for that. And for Easter, you know, I mean, Easter is just Easter just is so much more significant to me with what I've learned. And even these practicals we're going to share, you know, it's, there's so much that so many gifts that we have the ability to access when we do this work right when we do the work and we can really be that new creation.

Claudine
Yeah. Well, and I love what you shared. You alluded to John 10, 10, you know, that scripture, it says the thief has come to steal and destroy, but I, Jesus have come to give him life to the full. And I've shared that before I came to a point in my life about 10 years ago where my life was full, all right. But full of all the wrong things, full of depression and debt and disease and despair. And I knew there was a point where I knew Jesus did not come for this. This is not what he came for. This is not what he died for. He didn't live or die for me to have this kind of live life. And I don't believe that any of us were put on this earth to merely exist, right. Where you were meant to thrive, we're meant to fulfill our purpose. We're meant to become more. We're meant to be in relationship with God and to really live these full lives full of glory, to glorify him, you know, and in essence how we live our lives, who he is. And so for me, it was a radical change. The principles were there, the principles were in the scriptures and it was learning the practicals about how to make that work. And that's what we'll be sharing today, but it's so true. Like we have the opportunity to live the lives of our dreams. We really do. God is our partner in this life. I mean, he's our Lord, but he also does just sitting on the couch. Like I don't sit there and wait for him to make my life happen. For me, he's like get up and do something with it, right? Like the good store, do something with your life, have a marriage that glorifies me and that what you dream of have children that you have relationships with great relationships, the way you dream of it, let's do it together. And I love that. And when I figured that out 10 years ago, it was revolutionary for me and my life has completely transformed. So it's really exciting. And Easter is a great time to celebrate that renewal, both the spiritual renewal and the physical, mental, emotional renewal that came for me much, much later.

Ashley
Oh gosh. Yeah. Yeah. I remember sitting by the poolside, um, with my family and I was just thinking, gosh, like by outward appearance, I have the quote unquote dream life, right. I'm married to a wonderful husband. I mean, we've had our challenges, but we're, you know, healthy. We have two healthy children, healthy, happy kids. Um, you know, I mean, I was able to stay home with the kids, be a stay at home. Mom. My husband has a great job. So, uh, but I remember just sitting there, you know, the sun was out shiny, nice and hot summertime. My favorite, but I just was like, gosh, I'm so unhappy. What, there is more and I was just racking. My brain, Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the full, but I'm not feeling that so missing, like what is going on? I don't understand why it's there. I just couldn't figure out how to feel it, how to grab it, how to, you know, access it and going through these scriptures that we're going to share also in just these practicals, it was such a huge transformation. And I got to this point, like I get it now. It was all over the Bible. I mean, God said it over and over and over what H what to do so we can have this freedom so we can have this peace, you know, and I want to break it down clotting to two different parts that we can focus on. The first one is the fruits of the spirit, right? When Jesus died and resurrected and he ascended to heaven, he brought us the gift of the Holy spirit. And then the other one I wanted to focus on was the mind of Christ. And so the fruits of the spirit, this is in Galatians five 22, three 23. It's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. How many times have I not felt like I have self-control.

Claudine
And how many times have I not felt that I had peace?

Ashley
Oh, yes. You're right. So, I mean, really, if we think about this, uh, am I feeling those things? Do I really feel that right now in my life with what's going on? And that's a great question to ask ourselves, am I feeling these things? Am I being patient? Am I feeling love? Am I even expressing love? Am I filled with joy? Do I feel peace? Especially during the pandemic and you know, Claudine, I know you're dealing with a lot of stuff with your home and trying to stay at your home and you know, myself with having the kids here doing school and starting to be able to trickle into school now in person, which is great. But especially when you go through hard times, are we still filled with peace? So our goodness kindness, there is a lot of lack of kindness going on in the world right now. And it is just devastating, right? Yeah. Gentleness. And that I took, even with my own children, am I speaking and loving them and behaving in a way that shows the gentleness. And really when you think about it, these are all characteristics of God. You know, our job is to reflect God's character. And so are we really feeling these things, the self control, a lot of that goes into coping as well. When we go through hard times or this pandemic that has been hard for probably all of us. I can't say all of us, my husband actually said it. It's been great for him. His life didn't really change much. Not too much for him. Exactly. Most of us, normal people. It was a huge challenge for us to deal with this law for the past year. But self-control, I was drinking more coffee or drinking more wine or eating more chips or watching too much TV or, you know, a lot of that stuff just to kind of relax, you know, quote unquote relaxed. But really I was just coping and trying to ignore all my uncomfortable feelings about the situation and trying to just kind of feel good, but what happens is we just feel good in the moment briefly, but long-term, we don't, we don't feel good. We're not feeling all these things. The fruits of the spirit. Yeah. That's all I have right now.

Claudine
That's such a great point. I mean, our lives are transformed by the Holy spirit and by the gifts of the spirit. And one of the reasons you and I do this show is because we had both been Christians for awhile. And all of a sudden we both hit walls and God was asking us to go deeper, deeper in our faith, deeper into our belief system. And you talked about having the mind of Christ. And we realized there was a lot in our minds that was not of Christ. And that's where the work had to begin. Right? There were belief systems, there were limiting beliefs and negative thinking, stinking thinking that we both had, um, unbeknownst, because it becomes so ingrained. It becomes our default way of thinking. And those Robbins said that love joy and peace that we want to feel that we should be feeling. And I know when I hit the why I had to dig really deep and figure out what is going on, how did I get here after being a Christian for 20 years? Why am I hitting a wall? Why am I not feeling any of these things? And I was sharing this with a client recently, we were talking and I was sharing my story and just how it was so difficult at the time I was surrounded by a lot of well-meaning women. But the answers were like, are you praying? Just have faith. And those weren't practicals like, yes, those were great points. Absolutely. We need to be praying. Absolutely. We need to have faith. But meanwhile, I felt like it was drowning in my life and those comments did not help me. In fact, they made me feel worse. I was like, okay, now I'm not even doing this, right. I'm not even being a Christian correctly, apparently because you know, they're giving me the most basic answers and they must think I'm not doing that. After 20 years, I was like, believe me, I'm doing all these things. And I have faith in God, but my life right now has fallen apart. I don’t know how to get up. I have fallen and I can't get up. And that is a really sad place to be as a Christian to be so depressed or anxious, or really struggling when Jesus came to give us so, so much to give this these great lives. Not that there'll be problem free. There will be problems in life, maybe trials and challenges, but we should be able to overcome them. And I didn't have the practicals. And I didn't realize that so much of my thinking and my belief system was already ingrained and programmed in me that I wasn't even aware of. And we talk about awareness all the time. Um, but I didn't even realize that. And so as a Christian, really, again, having the mind of Christ, you know, we talk all the time about Romans 12, two be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Our minds are renewed. The more and more we read his words, that's what renews my mind and really identifying those things that are set against that. Which for me was plenty in there. There was so much, we talk about all the time, you know, the, the inner voice, the inner critic, constantly speaking in our year that we're not good enough or will never be enough, or, you know, all those things that most of us women struggle with. So there's a lot there and just having the mind of Christ.

Ashley
Right. And, you know, as you mentioned, our belief system, a lot of our belief systems keep us from experiencing the freedom in Christ. Right. You know, because it's not that it's not there. It's just, we keep ourselves stuck, you know, because we are focused too much on either these limiting beliefs or labels, even that were told to us, or that we tell ourselves because we're really hard on ourselves. Um, but we keep ourselves just, um, like sub-par, you know, we just, we keep ourselves down and keep ourselves back because of the things we've recite in our heads, but there is freedom. God doesn't want us sitting around beating ourselves up emotionally, you know, and saying all these horrible things. Like, he definitely wouldn't say that to anybody else, you know, but somehow we feel like it's acceptable to say it to ourselves for why it makes absolutely no sense, but we do. And we have been so ingrained, you know, our brains have just been conditioned to think that way, because we've done it for so long. And that's why sometimes it can feel impossible to even change that, you know? And, and you think about the word repentance. Sometimes that could be a really strong, scary a word, Oh my gosh, you have to repent because sometimes things feel good or we like it. Well, I don't want to give that up. I don't want to give up watching TV all day long. You, I don't want to give up snacking on my chips, but the belief behind it, or the reasons why we're doing those things is really what we need to address. Those things are really just symptoms, right? Of a deeper heart issue that's going on. And if we want to experience the fruits of the spirit and this freedom and this life to the full, these are things that we're going to have to kind of, you know, throw off of ourselves and really work on and do the hard work and be diligent and intentional. Because I mean, one of the things, even more recently, I was having a harder time with my self control. I thought I just had no self control. And it's like, no, I'm behaving that way because I'm telling myself I have no self control. So if I keep telling myself, then of course I'm limiting myself. Right? And I talk like this with my kids all the time and I build them up and encourage them. But for myself, sometimes I go back to those old patterns, those old habits, and we do that all the time. And so we have to remember that we it's there, the freedom, the fruits of the spirit, that life to the full is right there. We just have to do our part to be able to access it and feel it, and God will just make it flow overflow even.

Claudine
Yeah, it's so true. It, in so much that we believe is from our childhoods, maybe a parent or a teacher sibling, or a friend told us something. And now 20, 30, 40 years later, we still have that tape playing in our minds. And for me, that aha moment 10 years ago was wait, God said, I'm a new creation. I can be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Jesus came to give me life to the full. So whatever I learned between zero and 10 can be undone. And we talked about it a little bit, um, a week or two going about having a fixed mindset. A lot of times we think that we think, well, I was born this way, or this is just the way I am. And so our mindset is fixed and that's the power that God gives us, that we have the ability, the power to change, change our mindset, change our emotions, change our behavior and be transformed and really live lives to the full anything we want. We can have, we have to work for it. And it's difficult to change, right? It's super uncomfortable. Our brains don't like change. They like comfort. They like ease. Um, they like safety and change can be difficult. I mean, it's scary. It's scary getting out there and having changed. My husband and I were just talking, you know, we're getting ready to transition back up Northern California full time. But a lot of things have changed. We're going to be living in a completely different area. A lot of our close friends have moved over the last few years where like, this is going to be really different. We're not just slipping back into what we had a year ago. Pandemic it's really different. And for the first time I usually do really well with change. Usually it's really easy for me. And for the first time I started going, Oh, this is going to be hard.

Claudine
Like I'm getting older and things are getting harder. It's not, you know, when you're in your thirties, Ashley, like you things you're a lot easier. But I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna have to find a new grocery store. And then you post office and then you everything. And, um, it was the first time that I had a thought like, Oh, this is going to be hard. Like, we've moved so many times. I never look at it. We moved to Tommy across the country. I'm like, Oh, this will be a piece of cake. I'm just going back. But I'm going to be like 20 minutes from where I was living. I'm like, Oh, this change is hard. Right. But it's not as hard when we lean on God. And we have him in his word, it's much harder when we try to do it on our own. But with him, all things are possible, right?

Ashley
Yeah. And when we focus on, this is hard, this is hard. This is hard. It, it does just keep us stuck. Right. I remember having a conversation with you and you helped coach me. You know, you're saying that you are overwhelmed a lot. You do you think that you're just reinforcing that to your brain? And so your brain is like, okay, we're, I'm overwhelmed. And then that's what happens, you know, by natural consequence, my behavior just acts overwhelmed and I'm like, I'm just going to watch TV, or I'm going to take a nap or I'm going to, and of course those aren't necessarily bad things. That's not what we're saying, but we do see, we can see something as being hard and fixate on that so much, because it is uncomfortable because we have to push ourselves because maybe we don't feel like we can do it, you know? And so then we just keep ourselves held back and really, we just need to shift that focus. So repent means, you know, from the Greek, the word is metanoia and it just means change your mind. Right? The, it doesn't have to be this big, scary thing. Oh my gosh, I'm giving up this and I'm giving up that. And it's just changed your mind, you know, change your mind because what happens is then your heart will change and you will feel better and you'll feel more joy. And your fear, you'll fear. You'll feel more peace. You know, you'll be more gentle and your behavior is going to follow suit too. You're going to start making better choices that serve you and the people around you. It's just like this natural order of things. And God said it all over the Bible. And I think when I was going through my personal transformation, it just was like, Oh, all these scriptures popped up that I had known and memorized. I'm like, Oh, so I'm learning all the scientific aspect of it. And now this scripture pops up and Oh That's exactly what God was telling me to do all this time.

Claudine
And that's what we both do in our practices with our clients is we help align the PRA the practicals with baseballs to help align the science with the, the scripture and the principles have always been there. We're tying the practicals and the science to it so people can make lasting changes. Right. And that's, what's so powerful because you know, you read these and some people might naturally understand them. I'm a little slow, like I needed memorize. And I'm like, I want this transformed life, but I don't know how to renew my mind. How do I do that? You know, and again, obviously reading the Bible is certainly part of it, but that alone didn't help me uncover those limiting belief systems that were holding me back. You know, I didn't know how to change my mindset. And that's where coaching came in. So handy. Once I had a coach, I was like, Oh, now I understand the practicals became very evident to me. And now I practice the practicals, right?

Claudine
Claudine that's a perfect segue into our practicals. So let's share with our listeners now are you're welcome. Thank you. Um, so let's share with our listener, our listeners, these four practicals, the first one, we say it over and over awareness. And if you listen to one of the previous episodes, I also like to say discovery because it's less intimidating, right? Awareness. Sometimes it can feel scary because we don't always want to become aware. And we really have to be honest with ourselves, you know, but basically just understand and discover your thoughts and discover how you feel in your heart, your emotions, and watch yourself and try and pick up on these patterns of behavior you have, or these thought patterns that you have when certain situations might happen. Right? So a lot of times what we do is we blame our circumstances. Circumstances are completely neutral. They happen, they happen to everybody. Everybody responds different, right? That's why we can prove they're neutral. The weather is what it is. The kids are doing virtual school. It is what it is, right. There's a lot of things out of our control, but we really have to focus on what are my thoughts about it. And, and we don't stop to do that a lot of times because we just go, go, go, and we try to just push through. Or sometimes we even just try to numb out and completely avoid, um, but really paying attention in discovering, okay, I'm really, these are my thoughts surrounding this particular situation. And this is how I'm feeling. These are the emotions. And it's so powerful to even label the emotions, be very specific. There's primary, secondary emotions. There's a whole lot of emotions. So even if you want a full, detailed list, you can Google that as well. But giving a name to the emotion that you're feeling is really powerful. And then watching your patterns, right. Your behaviors. Okay. When a happens, I feel B and then I go do see, Oh, okay. So when this happens, then, you know, and just really discover and without judging yourself, being kind to yourself, if there's anything, just please be kind to yourself, but really discovering and becoming aware. And the second thing is to challenge your limiting beliefs. Because by this time, hopefully you're going to be aware of what your beliefs are and what you think about yourself or other people or relationships, situations, you name it, but challenge them. It's okay to challenge them. What if that isn't true. I always thought I was lazy. What if I'm not lazy? What if I was lazy? Because someone told me I was lazy. So then I started telling myself I was lazy. Right. And how simple, well, maybe I'm not lazy and we can really rise up and we can push ourselves and challenge ourselves to be greater, you know, and do greater things. We don't have to be stuck by those labels.

Claudine
That's a great one.

Ashley
The other ones, especially that we recite to ourselves a lot. And you mentioned one of them is too hard, right? This is hard. Or we say, I can't a lot. We say that often or another one could be I'm lazy. And like I said earlier, I have no self control. Well, that's not true. I'm telling myself it is, but there's a lot of those things. So those are some examples that you can start really paying attention to those patterns.

Claudine
Yeah. It's great to challenge those limiting negative beliefs, because maybe we were told when we're younger and it came from someone who knows what their perspective was, who even their motivation for saying that. I think I had, I think one of my parents told me I was lazy when I was little, but I think they wanted me to clean my room and I go like cleaning my room in the moment. So they're like, you're just lazy. I don't know. I don't even remember it. But I remember feeling labeled that, that I remember feeling labeled that way as well. And I remember in high school, I kind of flipped the other way. And then I was an over achiever, you know, then I had to Excel in everything, sports academics, which, um, that strive for perfection. We've talked about that before, where you just burn yourself out because you can't do it all. And I was trying to do way too much and do it all perfectly, which is not possible. And so I think I want it to be so detached from that label of laziness that I swung the other way in a really unhealthy way.

Ashley
Yeah. And then you could feel your worth comes from your achievements. Right. And then you feel like, Oh, this level of success, I need to achieve this. So I have value right now. And a lot of times, yeah, yeah.

Claudine
I might be in the hospital with exhaustion, but I am not lazy.
Ashley
It's so true. If we really kind of think about our past a little bit and how our home environment was or school environment, different things we experienced, we can, we can connect those dots. We can say, Oh, so I do this. Whether you are a workaholic or whether you're a people pleaser or, you know, whatever it may be. I am this because I think these situations happened. And so probably I might underdeveloped brain formulated these conclusions and okay, well then I need to do this. Like, like you, you know, you excelled to a point where it was unhealthy, you know, that's like, that's where you're getting your validation because you wanted the complete opposite. Right. But even that's just as detrimental to you as just telling yourself you're lazy and acting lazy.

Claudine
And that’s exactly the point. We have to challenge those beliefs and really the only way to challenge them, just hold them up against the scriptures. You know, look okay. Someone may have told me this when I was young, but what are the scripture says? And that's part of our minds.

Ashley
Right. And I was thinking as well for myself. And I know many of us do that, do this is that we victimize ourselves. You know, this happened to me. And there are some legitimate situations that do happen to you by someone else's very poor choices or something that said to you. But I, and I like what you just said is comparing those beliefs up to the scriptures, which is our standard. You know, I mean, God, doesn't say those things about us. He doesn't tell us we're lazy. He doesn't tell that, you know, tell us that we're dumb or he doesn't tell us that we're ugly or unworthy or, you know, not valuable. And you know, he doesn't tell us these things. And so we, that's why challenging those beliefs are so crucial because there, and I'll just flat out and say it, there lies, right? The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy though. That's what he's trying to do to us, destroy us, destroy our self-esteem destroy our wellbeing, destroy our relationship with God and our families, our family look at the world right now, chaos ensues. There is anger, violence. I mean, people just hating each other for no good reason. And there's complete lack of peace out there. And it is so, um, just so poignant to see, I mean, this point, you know, I mean, we don't have to, we don't have to live in that. We don't have to be that, you know, um, so challenging our beliefs is, so is one of the most crucial steps to be able to rise up and shine and feel that life to the full, be living that life to the full and being all you were created to be, you know, so Claudine, the third one we're going to share is changing your mind, right? This is, we kind of talked a little about this. Repentance is changing your mind metanoia. And like you said, in Romans 12 two, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And the scientific aspect of it is you're rewiring of your brain. And God has just designed us so brilliantly. And I am so thankful for neuroplasticity, how we can undo a lot of these conditions that we developed, you know, that we bought into these limiting beliefs or our certain patterns of behaving and coping and thinking. Um, we don't have to stay there. We can change that. You know, we can change our mind. We can change our life. We can change our trajec trajectory in life. We can change our relationships. I mean, my, I say this all the time, my marriage changed when I changed and it wasn't like that. I was the problem and taking all of the responsibility. It's not like that. It was that I changed my perspective. I changed the way I saw my husband, the things I believed about our relationship and it completely changed. And then I was just in a much better head space that when we argued, I didn't take it so personal. And I wasn't going falling into that codependency trap or the people pleasing or the nagging him. Are you mad at me? Are you okay? Is everything okay? Did I do something wrong? Like really? I was like, wow, that was interesting. But I didn't have to do that stuff anymore because it's like, okay, well I feel good. And you know how I approached it or my attitude. And I'm just going to pray and just give it up to God, because what we tend to do a lot of times is the other person is our enemy. You know, the other person is not our enemy. The enemy is the enemy. Right. But he is so crafty and turning us against each other. And so really understanding how we can change our minds, how we can have a new perspective, uh, you know, even that just is a new creation the way we think yes. Is a new creation. And so also how we talked about how God says it very plainly to us, right. And Philippians four eight. I just love this verse because it's very practical. This is probably one of the most practical scriptures that I have read. And it says, finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever, right? Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things, think about such things, right. And then whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seed in me put into practice and the God of peace will be with you please.

Claudine
Well, you know, that's our, that's one of our theme scriptures with our coaching practices, for sure. It's one of the mainstream practicals. It certainly would help me transform my life when I started challenging those thoughts and comparing them, holding up, up to the Bible and the standard. And is this true? And why my thoughts, I realized this is not true. Is it noble? No, this is definitely not noble. Is it trustworthy? Nope. Not trustworthy in once I started challenging my mind, my mindset and the things that I believed it was transformative. It really was. And again, holding it to the scriptures, like, what does God say about me? You know, what does the one who is perfect? Who, the one who is good, who is merciful and sovereign and Holy, what does he say about me? What does he want for me? What does he say I can do and have with this life? That's what I started choosing to believe.

So Ashley, there's so much here. We've covered a lot. You know, we're looking at Easter here, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Who's given us, eternity, the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven with God to have these new transformed lives, both spiritually. And of course, physically, emotionally, mentally, while we're here on earth to really have lives to the fall, to be able to really rise up and shine. That's our hope for every listener that she or he could rise up in shine in their lives and really bring glory to God. And so my challenge is choose one thing you'd like to transform, you know, think if it's your marriage, your finances, your relationship with your children, anything choose one thing you'd really love to transform and go after it, believe, use the practicals believe, pray, meditate, and really make this a season of transformation


Ashley
And I know we've talked about Romans 12 two, and I want to read the message version as we close out here today, it says, so here's what I want you to do. God, helping you take your everyday ordinary life, your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life and place it before God, as an offering, embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.

Claudine
Right? So listeners, we're so grateful you joined us today and we wish you a very blessed Easter and an amazing transformative life till next time.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #69

Hello, beautiful and amazing women! In honor of Women's History Month, join us for a chat as we talk about what it is to be a woman. We share our personal stories from our own journey, who are the women that have inspired us and how womanhood goes way beyond our roles but deep down to our God-given core. Cheers to all the women out there. This is for you!



Ashley
This is Episode 69. Let’s Talk About Womanhood. 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
I am woman hear me roar.

Ashley
Anything you could do, I could do better.

Claudine
We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, grannies, CEOs, secretaries, nurses, doctors, teachers, you name it. We are women. And today we are talking about the power of women. Few days ago was International Women's Day. And we thought, what better time to talk about this subject, especially since Ashley and I are both women?

Ashley
Yeah, you've been a woman a lot longer than I have, share your wisdom.

Claudine
Just a couple decades. But you know, it is an interesting topic. And speaking of that I have I have a few years on you. And just seeing the role of women in our culture in our society has certainly changed since I was let's say, 10 years old, in the last four plus decades, it's really changed and things are so much more open. And even to think that before 1920, we didn't have a right to vote. It's such a strange concept, because you and I have both had that ability in that freedom to do so since we were 18. But Ashley, tell me a little bit about what you see, as your role as a woman.

Ashley
So the older I have gotten, you know, I'm about a little over a year, until I hit 40. I'm gonna give my age out here. But I have really learned a lot about the role of being a woman, and especially as I got married, had children and the kids are getting older, is something that I've really had to reflect on a lot, because I feel like I'm kind of figuring it all out, you know, I feel like I'm just kind of figuring out my role, my identity, and one thing I really came to the realization of was that my role in life doesn't necessarily dictate my identity. They're two separate things. So I, I struggled a lot when my kids were younger. And you know, because you put yourself aside, that's what most of us women, do. We, if not all we put ourselves aside, to serve others to meet others needs to, you know, whatever, whatever role you're in, you tend to nurture and care for others. And especially, you know, I was codependent as well. And so I completely put myself to the side, I didn't care for myself the way I should have done and it, I really wrestled with the difference between my role and my identity, I thought the role I was in was my identity. And it's been a lot of healing and discovery, awareness to recognize that no, this is my role I'm in right now. It does not dictate my identity, my identity is in Christ, my identity is completely separate. The role is I just happened to be wife, I happen to be Mom, I happen to be daughter, sister, friend, those are my roles. But my identity was completely different. So really going on this discovery of, you know, the woman I want to be and growing into the woman I really want to be, you know, who God called me to be who God created me to be who he's waiting for me to be that woman that I have to go through this discovery period, to see what does that look like? And it does not necessarily take my role, you know, again, wife, Mom, that dictates that identity. So I had to kind of step out of that for a little bit to really get to the nitty gritty good parts of who I am as a woman.

Claudine
Hmm, that is just absolutely fascinating. I've never really looked at it that way. You know, it's so interesting for me because as I pondered on this subject before we were getting together, I thought about my childhood and again, I've got a few decades on you. So as a young child or teen it was in the 70s. It was a time when women were just coming into their own, but yet I was raised with very traditional roles. You know, mom stayed at home mom cooked. Mom was a teacher, so she did have a job, but she was on our schedule, and then everything else revolved around us and that was her role, but I really saw traditional roles being lived out. That's really what I saw. But the odd thing is that when I was 11, my parents sent me to a private girls school out in Los Angeles that was so different it really whether it was subliminally or directly said, I don't remember But I remember coming out of there after six years realizing I'm not going to be the secretary of the organization, I'm going to be the president, I'm not going to be the nurse, I'm going to be the doctor. And so I have these two very different, almost conflicting views of womanhood. Like, from my school years, I learned to value that I could achieve anything that I could do anything I wanted, that I could have any job I wanted, that I could send to whatever heights I wanted. But then in my own home life, I really learned that I would be the primary caretaker nurture of my family. And so it's just really interesting, growing up with two very differing views of women's role or even identity. Like you said, it can be very confusing because most of us say I'm a mom, or I'm a friend or I'm a daughter, of course, I've got the best role, which is granny and you don't, yet but that's the best role. And I love identifying with that one, because there really is no greater joy. Everything they say is absolutely true about being a grandparent.


Ashley
Oh yeah, you get to spoil them, but then you get to return them.

Claudine
I know that's wonderful. But honestly, we try really hard not to spoil our grandchildren, because we're trying to honor her daughter. But it's really hard. Like we were at the store the other day, and he really wanted a toy. And it took everything in me. I told my daughter, I'm like, it's so hard not to buy him something. He's so cute. And she's like, Well, you didn't buy us stuff when we cried for a toy or like, yeah, you're right. Okay. But, um, anyway, so it's just very interesting how far we've been able to go in while we're talking about this subject, I think about all the women that have had a great impact in my life, like, I wouldn't be the woman I am. If it weren't for these amazing women in my life. First of all, of course, my mom, who really was such a gentle kind spirit. So I learned so much from her. And she would always tell me you can do or be anything you want, if you work hard enough. So like she never limited me. And I learned from her to be quiet and gentle. Of course, sometimes being quiet. It's not great. But that's a whole nother topic. But I think I learned from her the beauty of gentleness. And so I'm really grateful that I had a mom like I did you know, and then I have two daughters, who are both adults now that are my constant inspiration. I'm just so inspired by both of them. There's such strong, confident, courageous women, I mean, ones in her 30s and ones in her late 20s. And I just look at them in awe. And I it's not because of me, but it's despite me that they became amazing women. I'm not gonna take the credit here, but they're amazing. And they truly inspire me. And you'll get that joy to Ashley when Nicola grows, and she's an adult, and you're just gonna stand there in awe, like, How did this happen? This is amazing. She's amazing. So.

Ashley
I already feel that.

Claudine
Yes, of course you do. Of course you do. But there's something when they're adults, and they're on their own. And they're like making it on their own. You know, good for you. You can do it. So and of course, countless sisters and friends and spiritual mentors that have helped me learn how to be a godly wife because I surely did not know how to be one when I was first married. And we were on the verge of divorce, and luckily learned how to apply the scriptures to our marriage. But I had godly women that had been through the battle before me, that had fought the fight and came out on the other side, and were able and willing to teach me to sit with me and teach me and help me correct things in my behavior, that we're just not going to help me have a long lasting marriage. And so I'm so grateful to those women. So so many women in our lives.


Ashley
Yeah, well, there's a reason why we need each other you know, I mean, we we really understand each other and we can help pull each other up, especially those who are in a different stage of life. That's why I really appreciate our relationship Claudine, because you have really helped mentor me and how to be a godly loving patient wife to my husband, and how to understand him better even and also I think one of the big things you've taught me is when to let go you know what things really just let go this Don't fight that I've tried to fight that it doesn't work. Let God play it out. Let him work it out. And that has really helped and I keep that in that little nugget you gave me in the back of my mind through a lot of situations I think okay, this is something that God will have to work out I do not need to just sit and worry about it or try and fight my husband on it whatever you know, I God will work it out. So it I really appreciate you being a couple decades ahead of me in life and just being able to spur me on and help give me reassurance as well as a younger wife and mom. And another one definitely for me as my mom as well. She Oh my gosh, really is one of my heroes, especially as a mom. And she is kind of a longer story, but just I'll share briefly, my middle brother, I'm the youngest, I have two older brothers. And with my mom and dad, I also have a couple half siblings as well who grew up with my dad, but my middle brother full brother had health issues. And when he was seven, he needed a kidney transplant. And so my mom gave him a kidney. And he was in and out of the hospital with him, I believe, since he was one year old. So naturally, we spent a lot of time with my grandparents. But she was just always there always caring for him. Even after the transplant, I remember I mean, you know, twice a day medications, she would have to inject shots in him just so his body didn't reject the kidney. So she, not just with him, obviously, but with us just really displayed such a sacrificial love for her children. That made an amazing impact on me, as a mom, you know, because I just, I just saw that example that she laid out for me. And it helps give me the confidence to do motherhood. You know, because I saw her being so sacrificial, and constantly caring for us. And, you know, she worked a few jobs, to help support us financially, before she remarried. And so she, she really worked hard to make sure we were taken care of, and that we didn't feel too much of the burden of, you know, being from divorced parents and having to take care of us financially. So it it just really, she really showed so much sacrifice, that really made an impact on me. And I think that's why I you know, with my own children, I would do anything like I just, I would let them eat before I ate. Usually that happens. Or, like, in our case, kind of funny story. But if my if there weren't enough meatballs with the spaghetti dinner, I would surely happily give up my meatballs for my children, so they can have more like, you know, just those that are silly, but, but it's really true, you know, and just seeing the hard stuff that she had to go through. really helped give me strength that I can do hard things to. And so and even now, gosh, I mean, I'm constantly talking to her about, you know, motherhood. I tell I remember telling her. I don't remember you ever getting angry at us? I don't remember you yelling. I'm like, I really struggle with that. Sometimes I yell at my children, and I hate it. I tried to stop. And I'm like, I don't remember you doing that. And of course, she kind of jokes. She's like, Oh, I'm sure I did. You just don't remember that. Yeah, that gives me hope then. So hopefully my children won't remember that side of me.

Claudine
Well, so far, we've learned that women are tough and sacrificial, right? And I was reading an article on women CEOs. And one of the things that said why women make great CEOs is they're tough because they've had to overcome a lot. You know, women have had to develop a thick skin, especially in the business world. But they're also flexible. I mean, we can be we have to be really flexible. Especially if you're raising children, small children. I mean, you know, your time is not your own. And apparently neither are your meatballs. They're not your own either.

Ashley
Oh my makeup's not my own my clothes are not my own.

Claudine
Yeah, wait till she's a teenager. And you're like, Where's my blue sweater? Oh, I wore it my left it in Jane's. Like, oh my gosh, don't go.

Ashley
I did that to my mother all the time. Oh, yeah. And she would ome in and find it on the floor. Sorry. Oh, but you know what's really funny, too, if she would buy shirts, or she would buy clothes without trying it on. So she would leave them in our closet have the tag on it, because she wasn't sure if she wanted to keep it or return it and I would borrow it. Wear it with the tag on. At least I left the tag on in case you wanted to return it.

Claudine
Oh my goodness. That's so funny. We're creative, right? Women are creative. That's true. My husband and I were watching a show last week and I don't even know what it was. Oh, I think it was This Is Us. But anyway, they were giving birth that was the episode where they were all giving birth. And my husband was like, I just cannot believe you did that. And I said yes, I did that three times. Thank you very much. So we are tough. I mean, our bodies are built to birth other human beings which is amazing. That's a gift that we have which in the very moment of it. Sometimes the pain doesn't feel very gifty by It surely is one of the greatest gifts that I know you and I both been blessed to have his two birth children. Of course, my fourth is adopted and no different feelings there, I always joke that he was the planned one and the easy birth. Someone else did it for me.

Ashley
That's great.


Claudine
Not to scare any women out there if you haven't birth children yet, but there you have it.

Ashley
Very true. You know, one thing that I really loved, just in my learning about womanhood, again, especially it really just kind of I got faced with it, you know, when becoming a mom. But is that how the roles of men and women are not meant to compete, but complete. And so that was just something that really resonated with me that like we are all created in God's image. And so men and women together, complete the whole package, right, the wholeness of God. And so I just love that. Because sometimes we can feel like we need to compete with each other, or, and that could be even enrolls in a job. And sometimes at home and our own family, you know, like, well, who gets the final say, I had a conversation with a friend, and who was sharing, you know, in their marriage, it's kind of like, well, who has the better argument? Some people might say, well, the woman just needs to submit to the man, or, you know, it's different for every family. And I thought that was really interesting, because that was something they agree upon that their partners and whoever kind of has the either greater need, or the more information to kind of back their point, that they'll respect each other's, you know, decision, say, Okay, well, we'll do that, you know, and it doesn't necessarily have to be the man all the time, the man of the house. So it's really interesting, because sometimes we feel like we can compete. But we're supposed to celebrate the differences and that we both bring things to the table of value, you know, very valuable perspectives and personalities and gifts that we have made to complete, you know, the situation. So I really find that encouraging, because I'll be honest, sometimes I have kind of wrestled with the men versus the women thing. And a lot of it is because I have two older brothers who I love dearly, I have a son of a wonderful husband, I don't feel like well, I need to be superior over them. And sometimes I see even you see some little girls running around with T shirts that say women rule the world or girls rule the world, right? And I'm like, gosh, that kind of hurts my heart. Because what about my son? Like, you know, can't we all get together? Are we all together in this? And so I think that's where the understanding of roles versus the identity was really important.

Claudine
That is important. Yes, yes.

Ashley
Okay.

Claudine
Yeah, I was gonna say it's funny, you're talking about roles, because my husband I have in our marriage, we do different roles within our family that are not traditional. Like he took the kids to all their doctor's appointments. Typically moms do that, right? He would clip their toenails or their fingernails when they were babies, because that terrified me. He would take him to the park to play because again, playground equipment terrifies me. So that's why we actually took our grandson to the beach last week, and there was playground equipment on the sand. And I just, I felt all those feelings flood back from 20-25 years ago, and my kids were little and I realized I still don't like playground equipment. It just really stresses me out. But anyway.

Ashley
That is very fascinating. I never I never knew that about you.

Claudine
Totally stresses me out. I think it's because when I was little I watched Kramer versus Kramer and the little boy fell off the playground equipment had to go the hospital. I don't know I was young when I saw that. I may be remembering the details wrong. But playground equipment scares me with little children. So.

Ashley
They are from the devil.

Claudine
I don't think so. But anyway, but then on the other hand, I do all our finances, even for our business. I do all the payroll and the profit and losses I do anything regarding our finances, pretty much I handle, I obviously review everything with him and I don't make any decisions without his input. It's funny that we both took on different roles that would traditionally be placed, you know, under the woman or the man or the wife or the husband. But like he said, We agreed upon it. It was something we had discussed. And we said, You know what, I'm better at this. You're better at this, this stresses me out. This stresses me out. So and we've had this beautiful arrangement where we play to our strengths. Power Trip, you know, cause overseeing the money is you share often on the podcast your husband does. But it can be a power trip, you know, if you control the purse strings, it can be very much so. And sometimes I mean, he does have to ask me sometimes like, Can I spend data on this? And I'm like, Yeah, but use this account. So he, he's very respectful but I don't use it as a power trip, it's just, I'm the one that knows what's in every account. So.

Ashley
You're guilted with that ability.

Claudine
I'm gifted with that ability, although as I age, it's getting harder and harder to juggle. But anyway, it's it is a balance. But I know for myself, ever since I was young, I was just always grateful to be a girl and then a woman, I never felt undervalued. And for that I'm really grateful to my mom, my teachers, I had some amazing teachers in school and obviously going to a private girls school where women were elevated and educated and encouraged and inspired to reach for great heights in their life. And, you know, I feel like I always had every opportunity available to meet whether it's true or not, I always believe that and so it's I've never felt held back because of my gender. And for that I'm grateful. But then I also have the beauty of not having the you know, all the responsibilities. I mean, I look at my husband, and I think God, he's a Christian, because he has God is his strength. But I really wouldn't want to have that role. Like he's been our provider. He's been our leader, many things he is and done a great job at it. But I think that would stress me out too. I like being the support. I like being the right hand, it doesn't diminish my value or my identity in any way. But I have just always been grateful for my role. My identity.

Ashley
Well, and exactly, you know, depending on what you want to do in life, depending on you know, like when thinking about my 10 year old daughter, well, what do you want to do when you grow up? You know, I mean, we always ask kids, what do you want to be when you grow up, and there's such dreamers, and they can, they can do anything they put their mind to, and they work hard for and that is right for them. And that they're gifted it, you know, they have skills and abilities and gifts and talents. And, you know, we want to foster that and thinking about, you know, raising a daughter, we want her to be strong, we want her to be confident, we want her to be respectful, and considerate, and God fearing, and you know, God loving and right, love others and, you know, just outwardly focused and all these different things. And but that comes from God, you know, we could encourage that. It doesn't come, we don't get those things. As you know, our listeners have learned anything from this podcast. Happiness does not necessarily come from success, it does not right from the nice house, or the nice car or the living the quote, unquote, dream life. That's not where it comes from, you know, it's within, and it's being authentic, and it's being who you are called to be, and who God made you to be. And so that's the identity. I think if there's anything I would want young girls to learn, it's know who you are, the younger you can figure that out, the better. I mean, granted, it's ever evolving. But one thing that I did not do is I wasn't secure. And I didn't really know who I was in my identity before I got married and had children. So I struggled. Because then that's why I kind of joke why I had to kind of figure out, you know, what is womanhood? Who am I? What's, what's my identity, and the sooner you can start focusing on that you can feel that strength and that confidence and know who you are, and know what roles God will call you to that you are made to fill. You know, maybe you're not meant to be the stay at home mom, maybe you are going to be the CEO maybe you know, that's, that's variable that's depending on you. And God, you know, the dreams that you have and what God is calling you to where it's a great fit for you but who you are, and your core is your identity. And that is where that power and that strength come from, you know, and then really when you're secure in that you can do amazing things.

Claudine
Yeah, you know, so true. It's funny, you brought that up, because when I was in my 20s, I had two of my children early in my 20s. And I remember when we start going to church, I had an amazing mentor. Her name was Marshall Lam. And I really wrestled with wanting to work and have a corporate job and just move up the ladder. I just felt like staying home and doing dishes and doing laundry was just not what I wanted to do with my life. And I felt like that's what motherhood was. I had a very, very distinct version of motherhood, my in my 20s, of course, was still young and pretty selfish. And I remember having a talk with her. And she really inspired me that women that choose to stay home, of course, it is a choice. And some women don't have that choice. But I at the time did have that choice to do that came with some financial sacrifices. But we did make the decision that one of us would stay home to be with our children as best as possible. But she really taught me the value of setting the temperature for the home, and really how we could move things just from being home, we could really move things forward with our children, with our husbands with our ministries. And it was a great lesson to learn early on, it really changed my view of staying home and being a stay at home mom, which I was for many, many years, I still work part time all the time. But I elevated the way I saw mom staying home. I know for so many women. That's what they dream to do. And they're not able to do in some women really want a job. And you know, they have to wrestle between do I stay home and be a good mom, you know, or go have a job and have less time, probably to a certain extent, it probably would have been better for me in my early years to have a job because I was just overwhelmed for years, just overwhelmed mothering, especially when I had four of them. It was just over my head. But anyway, we made it through and they still love me and I love them. So that's good. But it's amazing to have these women that have just impacted and helped me change my views on things to have a more spiritual or godly perspective, or just find that gratitude and find my identity that being home and doing dishes and laundry wasn't a lesser than and again, that went against everything I learned I felt less than by staying home. and ended up of course, I made that decision. And then through the years that went by, we felt so blessed and so grateful. And my oldest daughter who has two children has made the decision to be a stay home mom and forego you know, a career and outside of the home because being a mom is the greatest career there is. But there are financial sacrifices to that. But I'm so proud of her because she and her husband have made that decision together. And she really gets it like she gets it with these little ones which I didn't get into. I was much much older. She already gets it. And so I'm so grateful for that. That whatever role you have if you're a career woman or stay home, Mom, it's valuable. Either way, it's valuable.

Ashley
Oh, absolutely.


Claudine
All right, ladies. Well, I hope you've enjoyed us discussing our roles and our views on women and just really relishing in the fact that as women, we are strong. We are courageous. We're overcomers we are nurturers, we are creative. We are all things amazing. And a little quote here so we remember to pass it on but it says Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. So listeners We are here for you. We hope you feel we have your back in some way and that you got a little nugget of encouragement today. Until next time.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #68

Daily planning is one of those vital tasks that can truly contribute to our peace of mind. Whether you are a planner by nature or more of a free spirit, planning has been proven to lower stress and increase productivity. In today's episode, we share our practical tips for maximizing your time, boosting your productivity and beat that overwhelm!



Ashley
This is Episode 68. Daily Planning. 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.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back. So today is going to be an awesome episode. I am actually personally very excited about this one, because I am a free spirit and for those who are free spirit, this is for you. But also if you are one who thrives and loves routine and structure, this is also for you. So the best part about this episode is that is for every type of woman out there because Claudine and I are exact opposites. When it comes to this specific category and topic it is planning, specifically daily planning we want to tackle because with everything that we're going through with this pandemic, and Claudine and I are in very different boats right now she is an empty nester. And she is packing up to move her household and you know, in a new transition of her life, and she is working. Me On the other hand, I stay home with my children for the past 10 years, and they are doing school virtually 100% still, and I'm waiting for that to turn soon. But they are home and being a stay at home mom from that perspective as well and how we could best

How we can best prepare for our day. Because for all of us different types of women, the main thing I mean, a huge thing that we want to minimize is stress, right stress overwhelm burnout. And one thing that has been so crucial for me that I have learned is planning. And again, like I said, I'm the free spirit and I was very anti structure. You tell me you should plan and have some structure and I run the other way. So but this has been such a crucial tool for me to have less stress and anxiety in my life. Especially I think I learned so much more to the degree you know, with having the kids doing school from home, because then it kind of rocked my world again and shook everything up. So we really wanted to tackle daily planning today because we know it is such a great tool to help each and every one of you women out there to better prepare for your day and to really minimize the stress the overwhelm. So you can rise up and feel your best and be your best and go to bed at night and sleep restfully. Right. Claudine? I have a nice restful sleep. Right? Because a lot of times we're stuck, you know, I mean, we feel gosh there's so much to do and so little time. So we have very practical tools today for you to help you do that.

Claudine
Yes, we do. And it's funny because we really are opposites in this. And you know, it's funny, I think of myself as a free spirit too.

Ashley
You do?

Claudine
I do. I do. Maybe as I've gotten older, and I adore spontaneity, writing it is carefully planned.

Ashley
What does that even mean? I don't know.

Claudine
I like to be spontaneous. Well, and for me going back that right now I am an empty nester. And so I do have an abundance of time. And really when we say that the truth of it is we all have the exact same amount of time, right? I don't have more time than you. But I have less needs pressing on me. I don't have little wins at my feet that I need to be that I need to launder their clothes and I need to do their schoolwork take to school take activity. So more that time is dedicated to me to my pursuits and my goals. But when I my children were little when I had four little ones. Planning was the thing that helped me survive. I couldn't have made it. I mean, I would have been the mom that would have lost a child. I would have been the mom that forgot a kid. I didn't plan I would have that mom like wait there's only five of us at the dinner table. Where's number six? Where did I leave number six, I left him somewhere.

Ashley
Retrace your steps.

Claudine
I know. Right. So I think I had to learn how to daily plan early on just for my sanity. And to make sure that I took care of all my children and didn't lose one. So but in all honesty, to I was working part time, had four children and was super busy with volunteer work in the community and church in the community. So I was trained early on by some mentors, how to plan my week and my day, and that helped with stress. And that's the reason we're doing this today. I mean, it It really helps reduce stress and overwhelm and chaos like you talked about in frustration. Like I just cannot stand wasting time. Unless it's planned. Like I liked planned empty time where I can waste my time on my, you know, my doing like I just want to read or I just want to sit and look at the birds outside or I just want to daydream for an hour. But I don't like doing tasks over and over again and wasting time. Like I don't like going to the store three times. Because I forgot something right? That That to me is a waste of time. So I learned early on, it's been really great. But it's funny you share because the pandemic I am an empty nester now and because of the pandemic we've had, for the most part, most of us are staying at home. And so now I've had all this time with nowhere to go. And so what's happened I spent a few months where I got super unproductive like, weeks would go by and like I like seriously haven't done a thing like weeks are just going by I'm like, Well, I haven't seen anyone I haven't done a thing and you go on social media and people are redecorating their entire homes writing books. You know, they're conquering the world. And I'm like, I haven't I didn't do anything. Just sitting here watching Netflix, so I had to get back on it. Get back on planning. So Ashley, tell me a few things that have been helpful for you during this and daily planning with small children.

Ashley
Oh, gosh, Claudine. Yeah. So like I said, anything with planning, my husband's very much a planner, you know, I mean, you say the word budget, and my body's like, No, I don't even want to talk about it. And you know, funny thing, you helped me with this. And we've talked about it briefly on a previous episode about talking about saying, instead of budget, a spending plan, that's fine, I kid you not the other day, I asked him, I said, he brought it up, you know, we need to go over the budget. I said, Do me a favor, say let's talk about our spending plan. And my body did not react, it was very interesting, I did not get triggered because we've had previous, you know, challenges with that. But the word plan it is I have learned over the years with having young children and you know, life gets more complicated, you have more responsibilities, how valuable planning is, and that's what I wanted to bring up what you you actually touched on, you didn't want to waste time, time is very valuable to you. I never really felt time was very valuable to me, until I had less of it. Now what I mean by less of it again, you said we all have the same 24 hours in a day. But I have a lot that's filling the time, right. And so the trick is to be creative. With the time that we have, there are certain things that are fixed, right? I've learned this with going over our quote unquote spending plan, right, there's certain categories that are fixed, and that do not change. Like, for example, the kids school, that is the same time every single day, right? There are also other categories that are variable. So we have to count for those. And when we put those into our plan for the day, it just makes the world simpler. You know? And so if you really take a take a honest look at do you value time do you value the time that you have? Because that is going to help us with our planning, right? So if we say well, I really value exercise, or I really value meal planning, or I really value, whatever it is ABC, those are the things that you are going to work harder at and putting in your schedule. Because someone like me, and there's many of you out there, who are you have all these things, and they feel all equally important, you know, they all feel the same level of importance. What do I do first, and that's where overwhelm comes and stress and fatigue and sleepless nights, because then you're like, I have no idea. So coming to time management and coming to really valuing the things that are important to you. And putting those things down on paper is so crucial to help limit and limit the stress. You know.


Claudine
Yeah. Well, and we've talked about planning for the year and we've talked about goals. We've done episodes on that today, we're talking specifically about daily planning, and it kind of ties into the others and kind of what you talked about when we have to decide what to prioritize what do we value most. And I know for me, early on again, like I said, when I got training by some mentors, you know it was my relationship with God first on my spirituality. So when I took out my weekly or daily calendar, and I usually do it by the week, but then break it down for the days. I knew that all my church activities went in first and then it was my family. So then date night went in on the calendar, and then special times with each kid and their activities and school, those all went on a calendar. And then after that it became business and others the other things that were important either ministry things or hobbies or whatever else came after that. So every day we have a variety of things to do. I tend to grocery shop once a week, when I'm really efficient. I only grocery shop once a week, because I also have an eating plan. No, I love it. I've been eating plan. And I have a menu plan. And I have a shopping plan. I plan it all out, which is really great. Because when I go to the grocery store, people were shocked. But when my kids were little, I would go grocery shopping Monday morning, I would go to two grocery shops because I used to do this couponing. And they were across the street from each other. And I would be in and out in an hour and 15 minutes I'd leave my house and be back home. In 15 minutes.

Ashley
You brought your children with you?

Claudine
No, no, no, no.

Ashley
Okay, I was gonna say fifteen is with your children at two grocery stores. What?

Claudine
No, no, no. Remember, remember when your kids used to be?


Ashley
I was thinking. Yeah, I forgot about that. Once upon a time. Yes.

Claudine
No. I think went grocery shopping with my kids a few times in life. And I was like, Yeah, no, this isn't going to work out for me. I'm an in and out kind of gal. I know what I want. I just go and get it. I don't want to lollygag I don't want to look at I'm not there to have I'm not window shopping at the grocery store to get what I need for the week. So yeah, so I'm in and out. And I don't again, that's part of that time wasting thing. I would rather if I have extra time, I really would rather read or just sit and Daydream and ponder.

Ashley
Yes, do something you really want to do. And that's the reason why we're bringing this episode to our listeners because there is so much on our plates, and it can fit into our day. And it's really important to find like we said the things that we value and where you can fit it in. And really one of those things is meet time. I remember talking with a friend another couple and they said this to me they actually schedule in their calendar, like time for themselves. I mean, personal if not couple times, they do that too. But also individual time. I was literally flabbergasted. You could do that. Like that's not selfish and meet codependent. Right. And that's okay. You can schedule yourself into your calendar. Oh, yeah, you have to and these guys have, you know, they don't have kids yet. So I thought that was brilliant. Because I do. I have two young kids, I really need to plan in the meantime, because I cannot be my best. You know, I cannot be the version of mom that I really want to be for my children. If I am not taking that as a priority. And that had to be something that I valued. You know that mean time and so then you do you really have to pay attention to what are all the things on my to do list. And right. What time slot? Do I fit him in? So I can be less stressed and less overwhelmed and not so tired so I can show up better for my family.

Claudine
Yeah, absolutely. Well, in planning again, it's such a stress reliever. And another thing is when things are planned out, we don't get stuck with this decision fatigue by oh my gosh, what do I have to do today? Or it for me My head was so like, it was like a jumble like a little cloud, swirling clouds in my brain. But when it's all planned and put on paper, and that's part of the practicals but for me writing it on paper, then I don't have to struggle with decision fatigue.


Ashley
Decision fatigue. Okay, so you put a name to what I was thinking, because I do I when I have all these things swirling around in my head, and I feel like I'm forced to make a decision. I instantly feel tired physically. Oh, I did not know there's an actual name to that. Because.

Claudine
This is a true thing. I didn't make this up. This is a real thing.

Ashley
That explains it. But it really what you said Claudine. Writing things down out of our head onto paper, put pen to paper, it is so freeing because we can feel so cluttered in our brain. And that's essentially you think, you know, you go around and you declutter a room or declutter your closet, you feel great, right? You've got rid of a lot of stuff that you don't need. It just takes up all this empty space. And that's what happens in our own heads. When we have all this stuff to do and we're not planning and we're not writing it down on paper. It stays stuck in there and we can't prioritize and partially like knowing for myself, I get so stuck in the emotional part of my brain because it's not a strength of mine to be structured and plan. It just doesn't come naturally to me. So I freak out. So I get so stressed out over And then that prefrontal cortex shuts down as like, Oh, yeah, no, no, we can't even focus and my memory is horrible. And I plead horrible. And I'm more irritable, because I'm stressed. So I will even might be, like I said, My husband is very good at this. So I will, sometimes I get to a point where I just, I can't do it myself. And I need a little extra support. And I say, Hey, I have all this stuff going on in my head, I'm literally stuck, mentally stuck, I need help just getting it out on paper and filling in my weekly calendar, because I'm just not able to do it right now. I'm just not focused. And that's okay. It's nothing to feel ashamed about. It's getting a little extra support. And then it was just gosh, it's so simple. And really, I learned how to do it. But I was just stuck in that emotional part. Like, I'm just so overwhelmed. I can't even think properly, right. So I needed that little boost.

Claudine
Well, it's a vicious cycle, because we don't take the time to plan and write it down. And then emotionally, we get feeling overwhelmed and stuck and stressed. And then we start thinking, I'm overwhelmed. I'm stressed, I'm tired, I can't do anything, which leads to more feelings of that, then we we have the inaction. I mean, who wants to take action when they're feeling tired, stressed and overwhelmed. My biggest action when I'm feeling that way is turning on the TV and meeting something serious. Yeah, that's where I go to when I'm in that place where I'm so tired and stressed and overwhelmed. I just want to turn on the TV.
Ashley
Zone out.

Claudine
Neither of them are healthy choices, right? I mean, that's not the way to live my best life. It's not the way to rise up and shine. But it's my go to when I haven't planned. But even last week, I had to write down. So what I do is, at night, I write on little scraps of paper. It's funny at night, all these things come into my head right before bed that I need to get done that day. And so I had a little scrap of paper, and I wish I had it well, not that anybody could see it. But I literally had things like wash hair, then I had things like my daughter who lives on the same property, I needed a three hole punch, I need to borrow it, I cannot find mine anywhere. We started packing. And so it's somewhere but I can't find it. So I put three hole punch and nail polish remover, I need to get those things from her. I'd been wanting to get the nail polish remover for a week. But until I wrote it down, it did not happen. Right? Like I knew it. I knew I need to go borrow her nail polish remover, but I never wrote it down. But the day I wrote it down, it happened. I got it. And so there's something to be said about writing it down. Then in the morning, I just got up, I have my quiet time because that's my first thing I do every day with my daily planning is I have time alone quiet time to read and pray and just gather my thoughts and that sets my whole day in a great place. Those mornings I missed that I'm pretty frazzled. And I just started checking on my list. But I even have to I'm at the point where I have to write down like texts and calls texts. Call this like, I don't know if it's pandemic fatigue. If it's decision fatigue, it's all over moving fatigue. It's just life fatigue right now. Maybe it's my over 50 brain I don't know. But if I don't write it down, it's not happening pretty much. Or Siri doesn't remind me. It's not happening.

Ashley
I haven't reached 40 yet and I have to do the same thing.

Claudine
Okay, good. I'm glad.

Ashley
I actually do multiple, like multiple

Claudine
I know it's true. Another practical for me that's really helped. So writing down things is my first practical write it down whether it's on a scrap of paper or some kind of weekly daily planner I know we both have different resources for that that we use that have been really helpful. The other practical for me is chunking like activities together in the day. Like I try to run all my errands at once. I try to do them once or twice a week like if I know I have to go pick up something at Home Depot which has been our go to place lately then I'll try to see whatever else I need and pick it up you know that same day in that same driving side chunk like activities together I try to batch cook I haven't done a lot of that here but usually I do I'll cook a bunch of stuff for meals

Ashley
I've been doing that especially for lunches.

Claudine
So helpful. So that's my second one is chunking like activity together even like I'll spend an hour or so come in and make four calls and then set timers you know I'm not making calls where I want to just have long lengthy Tell me about your whole life, you know calls but there's certain people I want to just call catch up with and just make it brief. I have an hour I have three or four calls. If someone doesn't answer. I get a little more time but everything kind of has this plan like where it fits in in my day and it just helps so much really does. And like I mentioned, this would be my third practical but really using a timer or using the time really assigning a time to each task and be generous with yourself. Like don't give yourself 15 minutes to go do something that, you know, on a good day would take 30 minutes, like I overestimate that way I get if I if you know, one of the kids, I don't have kids right now. But if my well technically I do two of them live on the property and to my grandchildren. So technically I do. And they do come in, sometimes unexpectedly. But that gives me a little extra time a buffer zone, so to speak. So. So my practicals are write it down, chunk like activities together and make sure that you assign each task a specific timeframe. What about you, Ashley, what's been helpful for you in daily planning?

Ashley
Well, before we move on to my practicals, I have a question for you Claudine.

Claudine
Sure.
Ashley
It's a little quandary for me. So you said you over estimate time yet? I remember you mentioning on an episode in the past about your driving time. And your husband would ask you so how far away from me? Are you from home? Oh, well, I'm just I'm 20 minutes. And

Claudine
All right. Well, we're not supposed to point the finger.

Ashley
I thought that was so great.

Claudine
I did. Apparently I didn't used to overestimate how long it would take. And it would get me in trouble. So I've learned I've learned to add a buffer zone of 10 to 15 minutes.

Ashley
Excellent you have a buffer zone. Okay, so even travel time, like when you go to the store, visiting a friend how get stuff in? Oh, that seriously? Yeah, I couldn't let that go. That was just cracking me up in my head. So I had to say it out loud. Yeah, that was one thing. My husband really helped me out when I said I had all this stuff in my head. And I needed him to help, you know, kind of put it into slots, time slots. That was really helpful. How long does it take you to do this task? Yes. So then I know, okay, well, it's gonna take from let's say, 10 to 10:45. And then maybe from 11 to 12, I have another thing I can fit in. And there's 15. Right, I can sit down and rest my feet, you know? That was very, very helpful. Okay, so I, my number one get up early. As difficult as it is. Getting up early has been the most rewarding thing when it came to my planning, you know, for the day, my daily planning it, I tell you, it has helped so many areas of my life, especially being a stay at home mom, because I would, what I when I would get up pretty much when the kids woke up. I was constantly running behind it felt and irritable. I just felt like I couldn't keep up with the day and I couldn't keep up with all I had to do. And again, you're not going to get any more time of the day. Unfortunately, you know, we all have the same 24 hours. I wish half of that I was asleep. But mine is you know, the eight to nine hours asleep, you get some six, my husband sleeps about five to six hours a night, unfortunately. But you we all have the same amount of time in the day and just waking up early has helped my marriage because with our schedule, you know, he comes home, we hang out with the kids, when your kids get older, they're going to bed about the same time you go to bed. So with my wife and I we don't have any time really in the day for us to just have a good conversation to see each other to connect. So that has been a thing that has really helped and I am not a morning person. Let me tell you don't let that be an excuse. If you feel like Gosh, I'm not a morning person. It's I started this with waking up one day, one day in the morning, I would wake up, you know with him and we would have that time and I saw the benefits that I increased Okay, two days a week, I'm gonna wake up with him again. And then it became every day and I fell off that you know, with the pandemic and everything. I was like, okay, there's no way I I'm so overwhelmed. I'm so tired that kids are home, everything's a mess. I'm just so out of sorts. I was waking up when the kids were waking up. And again, it was like Okay, I know this isn't beneficial. So I did I started waking up with him again and I didn't have to incur you know, incrementally increase because I I valued that so much it right it's beneficial. So I just, I knew I just need to make the decision to get up early again and it has been fantastic. I had some quiet time I get to wake up before I have to be on you know I have to be on and try to you know, do my best for the family. So that is a huge one. I want to drive home.

Claudine
That is huge. And one of the points you made is that you valued time with your husband. And that's when you could fit it in. And that's such a big part of planning our days is really figuring out being specific about what it is we value. And how do we want to place those in our days. It's so true, we have to first know what we value. Yeah, once we know what we value, then we can put it in the day where it belongs.

Ashley
Absolutely. When I mentioned this, in a previous episode, I realized that when I didn't have that connection with him in the morning, I would go about my day feeling insecure in our marriage, because yeah, the way our dynamics kind of were and I, you know, very codependent and the people pleaser, I would just feel if we didn't have that connection in the morning, is something wrong? Are we okay? And in the back of my mind, I'm worrying about our marriage all day long when everything's great, you know, but I write things. Okay. And that would add to the fatigue, that that even the stress just because I have that worry. And so that completely eliminated that worry. And that relationship. Huge, so valuable. So and the other. Oh, did you?

Claudine
I was just gonna say Ashley. So when do you grocery shop? We were talking about that earlier, and you're making fun of me. So I want to know, when do you grocery shop? Where do you put that on your daily planning?

Ashley
Well, I am so grateful for delivery, that is a fantastic thing. So somebody introduced me to the magical world of instacart. I highly recommend it. instacart is fantastic. Now we did have a membership. And then someone a little bit wiser than me said, Well, you know, a lot of it is Costco. Costco has their own delivery. So they use instacart. But you don't have to pay the membership. So okay, money. So I cancelled the membership, because we had paid for the year, I cancelled it, when the time came, I just go to Costco, you know, plug in my little membership number and then make my order and then they bring it and it's also nice, because you don't tend to overspend when you go into the store. Because you're like me, you know, I kind of peruse, oh, we can have a little this. I just keep grabbing things, putting it in my cart out and walking. But you save, you know, you really save and the time, and especially with the kids being home, how am I going to be able to leave to the store, I don't want to take them to the store with me like it's a three hour deal after lunch. And if they're grumpy, and we have to go the bathroom two times that, you know, it's like, No, no, let's just eliminate that factor. And I'm not going to go at nighttime. So the delivery has been fantastic.

Claudine
That's great. So that that takes that right out of daily planning for you. You just have to go with a computer for 30 minutes log on. And so.

Ashley
Pretty much and then there's been times where I have to run to target or another store. And yes, I don't usually plan that because I go when I have the free time. So um, but along with.

Claudine
But would have free time if you planned it. You'd have a lot of free time if you planned it. It's crazy. I'm like not kidding. But there's more free time when you plan it.

Ashley
Well what I've been doing. If the kids are doing okay, on school, and I know they have about a half an hour, 45 minutes until lunch or their recess or something. I'll just tell him, I gotta go pick a few things up from Target. Okay, I'll be back. I'll leave you on school. I'm gonna go run to the store because it's just down the street. And I'm going to be right back.

Claudine
Yeah, well, your kids are of an age where you can leave them home. My daughter's kids, my grandkids are three and one so that would not work for her.

Ashley
No you definitely have to plan all that in. So waking up early is huge. And then my practicals especially for those who are home is a lot what you said meal planning, you know, or your eating plan that is huge. What I do also in the morning is I make sure I write down what is for dinner. Because this has been an area that causes so much anxiety for me and stress must be the decision fatigue that you mentioned. But figuring out what is for dinner that causes me so much anx it I mean, It baffles me sometimes why I don't even know why. But it really does cause a lot of stress. And so in the morning when I'm going through my day, or you know what's coming up for the day, I make sure this is going to be for dinner so I don't have to think about it later. And it's not in the back of my mind. Because then also if it's something that you know I had this plan, make sure you have the ingredients. Have you ever done that? Have you ever got to make dinner? It's 4:35 o'clock and you don't have all the ingredients?

Claudine
No, because I plan my meals for the week. So no, I don't know.

Ashley
Oh yeah. Claudine. No, you never. Well, I've done that a lot.

No, let's go to the neighbor's house. Do you have some milk? You have chicken broth? I need a cup of chicken broth.

Claudine
And a chicken


Ashley
Yeah, yeah. You know, but could you just give me a meal that would be great. We're really struggling.

Claudine
You know, it's so funny because Now that it's just the two of us at the house for dinner. A lot of times, like, I don't think about dinner at least I haven't this past year. It's been such a different year for all of us. But sometimes we just look at each other. And we're like, what's for dinner tonight? I don't know. What do you feel like? I don't know, what do we have? I don't know. And we just kind of go in there and forage and we just end up. Whatever's in the refrigerator. We just eat. It could be a couple of pieces of cheese. A leftover chicken. I mean, it's so funny when it's just the two of you. But I honestly I couldn't do that when my kids were young. I mean.

Ashley
Yeah. I mean, if it was up to me if it's what do you feel like dinner? I feel like not eating dinner. So cereal it is!

Claudine
Yeah. No, yeah, that didn't work. There was always a meal. But yeah, meal planning and, and for dinner, it's so funny. Because my generation, I can look at your generation and go, gosh, she pays a Pinterest. Like, if you need a recipe, like I would have to make dinner, I had to lug out the cookbooks, like these big old cookbooks and figure it out.

Ashley
You know, I feel like that would be easier. Actually, I have been thinking for a while and I just should just do it. But I have been thinking about printing out the recipes, because then you have a book to go to that, you know, your family likes, because that's another thing. And that really, I do know why it causes a lot of anxiety for me, because it's a performance thing. It is, you know, the perfectionist, I got to make a dinner that everybody loves, and they're just gonna be in, you know, wowed by it. So that can cause a lot of stress. Right? But yeah, if I you know, when you open up print Pinterest, you have a bazillion recipes, and you have to go through and then read through and you know, jump to a recipe, okay? No, I don't have those. Okay, let's look at this recipe, okay, don't have those. So really, that is one thing that will help if you can make a little binder and just recipes that you have used that your family likes, print them out, you know, here you have 20 recipes, just pick one, you know, it's gonna go up, you know, over well for your children and your husband, hopefully,
Claudine
There you go. Thinking about planning and longer term planning. The other thing I forgot to mention, which is really helpful, and this is kind of tying into it. But it's I plan the night before. Like if if it's on my day tomorrow to go to write a chapter on my book, let's say, then I get my computer and all my resource material set up. If I know I'm going to go walking, I put all my my exercise clothes and my shoes next to the bed. So even getting set to have a day that successful is getting the stuff out the night before. I know we've done that with our kids, when they were little we would put their clothes out the night before because then they wouldn't fight and argue about what they were going to wear in the morning. And I too, I'm not a morning person. And so mornings trying to get my little kids ready for school was brutal. But I figured things out. It's like if you put it out the night before you deal with it the night before, then you're just ready to go in the morning. But that's been really helpful for me too, is making sure my day goes as efficiently as possible, is that I get everything set the night before that I might need or clear off my desk or put my book on my nightstand or get my computer set up. Those have been really helpful for me too.

Ashley
Well, good for you. I'm not there yet, but good for you. Yes okay so. There are a few things that I like to call non negotiables. That should definitely be a part of the planning process for your day. Because what I really wrestled with is feeling like things are well, it's optional. You know, maybe I really don't need to do that today. Maybe I could do that once a week. Or maybe I could, you know, and the examples of those are self care. Right? Me time is exercise. That is a huge one. And it's also relationships, like how you were saying reaching out to people keeping connected with friends, family, also affirmations, you know, I've really had to do more self after affirmations to help me be in a better mental place, you know, going about my day. And part of that is reading, you know, reading the Bible praying, listening to worship music, and having a better mindset to start the day. Because if you like I mentioned, that's part of why I like to wake up early because I can get my mind in the right space, to have a better day to be prepared for when the kids come down to be prepared for school because I was you know, waking up about the time that kids would you know, especially in the fall time this school year, but the thing running through my head was I don't want to do school. I don't want to do school. Yeah, there we go again. Here we go. And so that was what I kept reciting to myself, but it was I woke up early, I could recite more healthier, helpful things in my mind. So I can be prepared so I can be more positive. And you know, to go about my day, and then ironically, and really scientifically and spiritually speaking, it actually happens, believe it or not, yeah, that's one thing. I'm trying to teach the children, when you have a positive outlook, things are going to go better for you and you will be more productive, you'll be more productive, because you're not so tired. You're not so distracted or frustrated, you know, in fighting through mentally and emotionally that you can get more done throughout the day.


Claudine
Well I think planning is so empowering, because then it kind of gives the power back to us of how do I want my life to look like what do I want my life to be? And it's the day by day steps we take that get us there. So that's why for me planning is so empowering. I'm not just drifting through life, although technically I have been for a few months here in this last year, I have been drifting, I'm drifting. But I caught myself and said, No, you know, I don't want to district through this year, two years, or however long this thing's gonna last. And, you know, as a Christian woman, we're often held to the standard of the Proverbs 31 woman and you read through all the things she was doing, she was finding woolen spinning it and bringing food to her family and shopping and preparing breakfast and planning the day's work, she plan the day's work. Now she planned it for her servants, but she was still planning the day's work. So it's there. She was, in real estate, she inspected fields and bottom and planted a vineyard and her lamp burned late at night. And I'm telling you, this was a woman who knew how to plan her day. And it doesn't say so there. But we know we're going to plan some me time in there, because otherwise we burn out. And I've been on that side of it. So it is really important. I mean, we do want to live lives that glorify God, we do want to live lives that are full that are, you know, we do want to live lives that are to the fullest, like Jesus came to give us we don't want to just drift, we don't want to survive, we want to thrive, right? So daily planning is such a big part of this. And it really reduces so much stress and so much chaos and overwhelm.

Ashley
Right, and I'm going to share my last practical, okay, um, things that need to be done and things that you would like to be done, when being right to write down as well on the list. things that need to be done, that could be deadlines you have for work or your children's school. Yeah, it could be moving right, as you're experiencing right now, it can be a lot of those, you know, like taxes, all that stuff, anything that really has a deadline. And the other thing is things that you want to do. So I think what can cause I know for me personally, what has caused a lot of shame and discouragement for me is that I have things that I would like to do. And I'm not prepared, or I'm not doing a great job in my planning. So I don't get to touch any of the things that I want to do. Because I'm struggling to try and juggle all the things I have to do. Right. So that is the one of the beauties of being able to plan daily, get up early, get your plan going and write things down, put them in your time slots. So that way you can bring in some of those things that you want to do. And part of those are the non negotiables. Right? That could be exercise that could be going out to coffee with a friend, it could be writing a book, it can be you know, if you want to blog, whatever you want to do, you know, even our podcast, brand things that you want to do. Make sure that you get to put those things in your day as well. You know, your me time those things are so important. But being able to write down things I need to do. And even for myself that are things, some of those things on that list are things that are important to my husband, like I've had to make sure I valued put value on the things that were his needs. And that was one thing that caused some rift in our relationship because he felt like I didn't value certain things that he valued. And so it would be last on my list or I wouldn't even get to. So that is something that I had to bring up my list. Put a little more value on Okay, Yang loving to my husband is going to meet this need for him. And this is this needs to be at one of the top of the list. So that is something to keep in mind as well. Right?

Claudine
Yes, absolutely. Well, that we could talk about daily planning and weekly planning and yearly planning for hours on end. And it really takes a lot of self discipline to plan but as Aristotle said, through self discipline comes freedom. So here's to freedom, my friends. Until next time.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #67

Have you ever felt pushed away, unwanted, or maybe even phased out? If so, you have experienced a very common feeling of rejection. Rejection keeps us stuck and unhappy. In today's episode, we share our own personal struggles with rejection, as well as, tips on how to overcome the feeling so you can move on in confidence and joy.



Ashley
This is Episode 67. When You Feel Rejected. 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. Today we're talking about something that we've all experienced. My question for you today is Have you ever felt pushed away? Unwanted? Unvalued? Because if you have, you have probably experienced rejection. It's something that every single one of us on this planet have experienced. And rejection can create shame, sadness, and grief. So today we're going to talk about rejection, just the negative damage that it does and practical ways, and practical ways to heal from rejection. So Ashley, tell me, have you ever been rejected?

Ashley
Oh, yes, I have in many different areas of my life Very much so. And you?

Claudine
Yes. I mean, I remember as a small child not being picked for sports. Because I was kind of small and clumsy, I would trip over myself, it was things as simple as that rejection can take all forms, it can be something simple, although as a child, not being chosen for a team does not feel simple at the time, it's huge. Obviously, I've been in relationships that have ended where I was not the one ending it. So that was a romantic rejection. I've applied for jobs that I didn't get. So that was an employment rejection. And over the years, I've had friendships that have moved away, or we've just lost touch. And there can be that friendship, rejection. So rejection takes all kinds of forms. And again, some of them are small, and some of them are major. And, you know, our brains are wired for survival. So when we feel rejected, it's like a death sentence. Because our brains needed to develop that when we were in hunting, hunting and gathering . If we weren't part of the tribe, it was basically a death sentence. If we rejected from our group, then we've had a very poor chance of survival. So it's ingrained. It's wired in our primitive brains to survive. So to not feel rejected, and yet, it's something we go through all the time. So that's why we wanted to talk about it today.

Ashley
Yeah, absolutely. Exactly what you said, there's so many different facets that rejection hits, you know, I mean, a job romantic relationship, friendships. There, even divorce, I kind of felt some rejection with my parents going through divorce. And even though there's this underlying beliefs that we may form, and we'll get into this a little bit deeper further into this episode. It's not necessarily the case. But that's what our child brain will come to the conclusion of, we'll assume that well, it must be because of this. I remember when my parents got divorced. I was, I think, around seven years old, I can't even remember, but I'm pretty sure I was around seven. I didn't really talk to my mom about it. And you know, us kids lived with my mom, and would see our dad on weekends. And I didn't talk to my mom about it until I think, seventh or eighth grade. And I actually asked her, was it my fault that you guys got divorced? And I think a lot of kids feel that when they go through a situation like that with their parents, they take the blame. It must have been something I did. And I thought, gosh, how many years I held on to that, before I had the courage to ask my mom about what happened. What happened? Why did you guys get divorced? And so that is one big example. You know, where I felt because in my head, for those years, I filled in the blanks, it must be my fault, I must have done something wrong. I was rejected, right? And so and we do that, if we don't voice these things, the situations we go through where we experienced this type of rejection, we're going to create the belief, you know, we're going to kind of fill in those gaps and try and our brain will try to rationalize what happened and make sense of it all. Yet, when you're a kid, you're doing that with your underdeveloped brain with your emotional brain, right? Because our thinking brain our prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed yet. So it really takes a toll in adulthood.

Claudine
Well, rejection creates so much damage I mean, like you're sharing it, those beliefs can attack our self esteem. We don't feel valued, we don't feel worthy because especially At a young age, we're not able to process that we're not able to think it through and go, Wow, that person must have been having a really bad day, or maybe my skill set for this job are not equally matched, but they are for another great job. They don't think that way. It can attack our emotional well being. I read some studies that show that when you are feeling rejected, your IQ actually drops which I thought, well, that's interesting. So it affects us mentally, spiritually, emotionally. and physically. I know, we both research some of the ways that rejection links to physical pain.

Ashley
There was a study from University of Michigan, the MRI, and they found that rejection actually can actually activates the parts of your brain where you feel pain, physical pain. And so it really shows how, why when we feel rejected, it hurts like it, it feels like your heart hurts, right? Because right? It actually activates that part. And so your body is thinking, oh, we're feeling pain, just as if I cut my finger. Well rejection, you're feeling pain, you know. And so it's really interesting, that that's why really think about it. It's a huge reason why we don't step out of our comfort zone, in certain areas of our life, or create new goals. Like we get scared to dream, we get scared to have goals, we get scared to initiate and a friendship or we get scared to go after a love interest or Crusher, you know, we get scared. And we're held back by fear so much, because it's so painful, right? It can feel just even the fear of the potential of being rejected is so strong that it just keeps us stuck in life. And we don't want to live there, right? It's comfortable, it's safe. But we're not really happy. And we're not really at our true core, you know, our authentic self, and rightly enjoying life to the full, which we really desire deep down.

Claudine
Yeah, yeah, it's hard to rise up and shine when you're living in fear. And isolation. Like you said, that fear of rejection can lead to isolation, where we then struggle with loneliness, because we're removing ourselves from the potential of rejection. So then we're lonely, which in and of itself is painful, a different kind of pain, but it's painful, or we keep going out there. But we have social anxiety. I know a lot of people struggle with that. That's not my struggle. I think I become a people person over the years. But with the fear of rejection, people can get anxious in social situations.

Ashley
Oh, I'm one of those people.

Claudine
Are you?

Ashley
You knew this about me.

Claudine
No, because I always see you one on one.

Ashley
Yeah, that's true. People scare me, people are scary. Because when you experience certain things in your life, especially childhood and growing up, and, you know, I got so stuck in my head, and I would just play these stories in my head and, and the fear and the insecurity I would have, I would just come, I would avoid, you know, crowds, I would avoid people. I've even told my kids before, I said, even when I go to church, every Sunday, every Sunday for 23 years, I still get really nervous as if it's brand new, and I still feel fear. And I have to push myself because I have to remind myself, I've been here so many times, it's not new, it's, you know, like, I now find someone, I'm gonna go look for this person, and I'm going to go look for that person. So I kind of give myself this task. Right. But I do I can still it's just so ingrained and conditioned within me that that comes up. But I try not to let it keep you back. Right, right. Do I just not go to church? No, I would feel so bummed out. I don't want to withdraw and be lonely. I love to be around people. It's just something I recognize about myself. Interesting.

Claudine
That's a great point. You know, the other ways that rejection can damage us is when we experienced repetition. We experienced the pain over and over by thinking about the rejection. And like you said, that study shows that we experience it in our brain as physical pain. So every time we rethink about the point of rejection, the time we felt rejected, we're re experiencing that pain over and over. And another one which you kind of talked about is the distorted thinking we tell ourselves stories, right? Like we make this rejection. It almost it's like, oh, it must have been my fault. I'm a terrible person. We never I mean, I don't I don't think gosh, it could have been so and so could have been having a really bad day or they're just not a great Place in life. And this has happened to me a few times where I felt very rejected in friendships. And then years later, I was finding out that person was going through like one of the hardest time in their lives and what I experienced as rejection, was them going through something really difficult and just pulling back. That was the way they coped. It had nothing to do with me, like nothing like zero, but yet I was so self centered, not centering self, like we talked about the other day, the healthy one. But I kept thinking, it must be something about me and we start to question our identity. And we internalize rejection as who we are. And it creates shame. Like, this is who I am. I'm not worthy. It must be me. And that's, that's not good.

Ashley
Oh, yeah. Claudine, just what you were saying, I went through that same conversation last week with somebody where I was feeling very triggered in my friendships with people. And I was feeling I kind of coined this new term, you know, FOMO, right. fear of missing out, I call it FOLO a fear of being left out. That's more where it resonates with me. And but it goes to that belief. I'm purposely being left out, I must have done something wrong. And I did. It was probably the third or fourth time where I got triggered, you know, social media, you see something on social media. And then I'm like, and it was finally it was a bigger thing that really, it felt so personal. And so I texted my friend, what did I do? What did I do wrong?

Claudine
Right. That's how we respond when we feel rejected.

Ashley
So much. But being able to talk through it was helpful, because here I was getting triggered. And then it's, you know, all this emotion is backed by this emotion, but being able to actually talk through and rationalize and get both sides of the story. And, you know, then you understand what happened. It wasn't necessarily a personal rejection. I put that belief on, on the relationship and on myself. So I was telling myself, I was rejected, they don't want me I'm not worthy. I'm you know, and we do this all the time. But it's not true. I mean, there may be a time where they really just hate your guts, and they want nothing to do with you. Most of the time. That's probably not the case, right? Most of the time. But it feels that way. It really feels like oh my gosh, it just hits that shame. You know, organ, it almost is so strong. Like it's it's so right. Again, right to shame organ and within you. And you just think what did I do and it, it, but a lot of it is so distorted, like you said, This distorted belief, and you won't be able to heal and move forward if you just sit and wallow in it. Right? It's just Well, I guess this is who I am. I guess people don't want to be my friend or I guess, you know, I'm not made for this job. And when we say those things to ourselves, it really damages us really so much. So,

Claudine
So damaging, you know, and it's funny, as I was reading different things for this, I realized too, there's so many scriptures about rejection. And in Isaiah 53:3, it talks about Jesus and said he was despised and rejected a man of sorrows acquainted with deepest grief. And I think about that, I think here's someone who's perfect, who live life as perfectly as possible on this planet. And yet He was despised and rejected and had nothing to do with who he was. It had everything to do with the people who did the rejecting and despising. And that helps me. I mean, that's helped me through rejection, really working through like, yes, there might be partly it could be me. But it also is very reflecting of the person doing the rejection, especially when it's done in an unhealthy way where it's done through ghosting, or ostracizing pushing out of a group, or done ambiguously. Where it's vague and confusing, where someone's not really telling you like their words may be saying, Oh, no, no, you know, you're with us, or I love you or you're my friend, or we want to give you this job, but the actions are showing something very different. So that's very ambiguous. And so there's a lot. So it just really helpful for me, that was what helped me realize it might not all be me, if Jesus himself was despised and rejected, it's probably going to happen to me too. And it's all through the Scriptures. We we can read about rejection in there that they suffered and struggled through it. It's part of the human experience, we're going to be rejected. So Ashley, let's talk about some of the ways we can heal from rejection.

Ashley
Yeah, so one thing I would highly recommend is I like to call it discovery. It's basically awareness right? Just have this period of discovery and recognize where you may be feeling rejected. What type of relationships do you feel rejected, I'll give a brief example. I even felt rejected in my marriage. And I felt like my husband would be friendlier. In the way he spoke to our children versus to me. And with me, I would feel like it's more businesslike. And that's just a normal thing that tends to happen when you've been married for so long. But I would take so personal and feel like he's completely rejecting me. And I would play, he doesn't want me he doesn't love me, he loves the kids more than me, you know, I mean, I would play all these things in my head. And it took me time to discover that's what I was saying to myself, a lot of it is unconscious to a lot of it are completely unaware of what's going on. But we can bring it to the conscious level, and recognize and discover where I'm feeling that in my relationships, or in a job, perhaps, or whatever area of your life, it could even be within your own family, but recognizing and just having this period of discovery, you know, with curiosity, not judging yourself not being rarsh with yourself, not criticizing yourself, and how come I'm doing that I'm the, I mean, in a conversation I recently had with my friend, I was like, I was just being so stupid. But there is truth to that, because it like the relationship I wanted to have with this friend. I was the one that was pulling back because of my own belief system. Right and they're like what's going on, and I want to be there for you, but then I'm feeling pulled back. And it created this whole inaccurate story in my head. And then it caused us to have this relationship where we're not as close as we both desire to be. But having a period of discovery is crucial. And again, with curiosity and not judgment, be kind to yourself, ladies, please. Yes, kind to yourself. And along with the discovery period, recognizing those beliefs, as we touched on the belief system that you have formed. So a lot of times it tends to be a pattern, you know, so if you recognize where you have felt rejected, even in your whole past, you know, your upbringing, different experiences, you might remember to adulthood, where are places you have felt rejected? And start kind of asking yourself, Well, why did I feel that? What was I thinking about? Like, what what do I, how do I feel about myself in those situations, and as you go through, you know, that your days and your weeks and everything, you're gonna realize that you're gonna find that belief system that you've kind of formed? You know, that plays a huge role in all these different areas of feeling rejected.

Claudine
So it's so true, Ashley. And that's what we help our clients with is just really addressing those limiting beliefs, those thoughts that need to be transformed, that are in our minds to make new again, so that we can have lives that we desire.

Ashley
Yeah. And you know, really quick, I'll share what I noticed, with this discovery period, where my belief was, is that I'm not good enough. And I know most of us can read, you know, that resonates with us, because I feel that in so many areas of our life, I'm not good enough. And we repeat that stuff to ourselves. So I recognize as I was growing up with my parents divorce or different things, I also had a breakup as a teen and different types of situations I went through, I would play that in my head while I'm not good enough, therefore, I'm not worthy to be your girlfriend or your daughter or, and, you know, it wasn't necessarily true. Some things there might be a truth to it, but it's not like my dad would ever say, Oh, yeah, I didn't want you to be my daughter. That was something I formed my head. Yeah, no. And so realizing throughout life and throughout the experiences that you go through, you will find a very common belief that you have formed that you hold on to for your survival. You think when you really discover you'll notice, gosh, why do I say that to myself? Why am I so harsh yourself? It really is because your brain is trying to keep you safe and comfortable. It does not want to feel that pain of rejection. And so it served its purpose. But let's work through it. Let's move forward so you can be who you really want to be.

Claudine
Yeah, those are great, great practicals. I know one that helps for me is feeling the fields. That's what you always say. Feeling the fields. But don't fixate. So acknowledge it, because rejection can bring about embarrassment, anger, humiliation, confusion, shame, all these things we've talked about. So allow those feelings acknowledge them, like you said, discover what you're really feeling for me, I spent so many years not even knowing what I felt. So just discovering, oh, I'm angry right now. Or Oh, I'm hurt or I feel humiliated. Those things were really powerful for me to start to be able to feel my feelings and name them. But then don't fixated on don't fixate on them. Last week, I was reading an article, it said that emotions actually travel to our body in about eight seconds, I thought, wow, the emotion itself, just the pure emotion, it's eight seconds. The problem is we keep thinking about the thing that produces the pain or the anger, the hurt of humiliation, and so then we keep re triggering, re triggering and triggering. So feel the feelings, spend those eight seconds or a little bit more. But don't fixate, don't keep ruminating on those thoughts that are producing those feelings.

Another one that's really helpful is feel reborn, feel remorse, over regret. So regret is I should have should have should have should have. You know, and we've talked about that before, what happens when we have these should have or all those things, it's not good. It's not healthy remorse, on the other hand, is looking at our responsibility to what's happened, the ability to respond, and what we can control. So for you even sharing your experience with your friend, knowing that you are pushing away, like now you can, you can take responsibility for the fact I pulled back. Like I was not helping in my friendship, because I pulled back you can control that. There are other things we can't control. But there are things we can control. And lastly, for me, I've had to really lean into God's grace and and really, like I shared earlier knowing that Jesus knows how I feel he's been there and he did it. And he didn't retaliate. He didn't act out in anger, I'm sure he felt pain and hurt and all those things. But he also understood the human condition. And he also understood that it was other people's response to him. That was the cause not him himself as he was perfect. Right, even though I know I'm not perfect, and so far from it. I know that Jesus understands my pain, and I know that God's grace is sufficient for me, even when I do do something that causes me to be rejected, because sometimes we do do things. I mean, we can have friends that we've just treated unfairly, or unkindly. I mean, I don't personally like to be friends with people that are mean to me. Yeah. No, like, it's not my go to boundaries, there's boundaries, it's okay. It's not like go to, you know, Hmm, let's see, who do I want to call it a the person who is mean to me or the person who builds me up and I think I'm gonna go for, you know, be. What's behind door number two? But those have been really helpful for me. And, you know, learning to that rejection doesn't easily respond to reason. Like right now, we're talking a lot about all these reasonable ways to deal with rejection. But, you know, our brain doesn't necessarily respond to that quickly because it is a pain like you said, like physical pain, like if you get a cut, it hurts. You don't just say well, it was just the knife went a little too deep and now I'm bleeding. I mean, you know, you're still gonna feel the pain right? No, I'm bleeding this hurts like even a little paper cut, it hurts. So you can't reason it away. But we can use these tools and these practicals to heal and not let it rob us of our identity and our confidence, our self esteem and our peace ultimately, our joy and peace in our hearts.

Ashley
Oh, absolutely. And especially when it comes to rejection, we really have to be careful and protect our hearts. Because if you think about it, we can feel so justified in blaming other people or not forgiving for a situation or you know, what have you feeling resentment, bitterness, we can feel so justified in those for if we feel like we've been treated unfairly. But even a lot of times it's the belief behind it. The belief behind the situation, yeah, that makes us feel these feelings like anger or frustration or pain, or hurt and rejection and all those things. And as I said, even just the small example with my husband, I, he wasn't rejecting me by just being super friendly for the kids. He just had in his mind, when I come home from work, I want to be extra giving to the kids, like, you know, because he's tired. He's coming off a long day. And I had to really pay attention that I'm just creating this whole belief. That's not true. And yet, so I would feel really hurt and insecure, and you know, all these different things. But I had to stop and realize, do I want to feel this way? No, I don't want to feel this way. Can I talk with him and share how I'm feeling and work through it and get his side his perspective, because a lot of times, we get stuck in just feeling so rejected. And we withdraw, because we're stuck in our own perspective. And this conversation I had with this friend last week, I said, I want to get your perspective on our relationship, because this is what I'm feeling. And I want to know where you're coming from, because I know there is responsibility on my part as well, you know, and where I need to grow. And but a lot of times, all the time it takes we need to process through what we're feeling. Discover what those beliefs are. So we can be more clear headed and open minded to hearing the other person's perspective and be able to change things and be humble and being able to recognize, hey, I need to grow in this area. Okay, it's not a blame thing. It's just something that happened. But I needed to grow in a certain area as well. Like you said, I need to, you know, I have a what's your quote? Respond what?

Claudine
Response ability.

Ashley
Oh, yeah. I have an ability to respond to the situation. And that's my choice, right? I get to control to respond. You have situations like that. And that's what we want to drive home. And I'm going to say one more thing. That's really helpful. As Claudine mentioned, it takes time because our brains are so conditioned, with this pain of rejection that we do hold ourselves back, we can self sabotage our relationships, we, you know, there's so many things that happen because of this intense fear of rejection. But it takes time, allow yourself to just discover, you know, your thoughts, your feelings, sit with your feelings. But also, one thing that's really helped is I like to call talk down your brain. Because when you're really discovering these thoughts going on in your belief systems, rather than, you know, criticize yourself and be harsh and feel shame about these beliefs that you formed, be come at it with a perspective like, this is my adult brain now talking to my child brain, hey, it's okay. This is a different situation. I know, we believed this for a while it's not true. It does allow the rationale and the logic to come in. Now that you have the fully formed brain. So I like to think I'm kind of having this inner conversation within my brain, you know, my adult self to my child's self, like it's okay. Like, you know, you don't have to think that anymore. And what do you how do you want your relationships to be? Or how do you want your marriage to be? Or what, you know, what do you want, okay, let's go after it. Let's, you know, let's do it, you can do it and start saying, even affirmations to yourself, know, and be able to get through those crazy belief systems that we've built to be able to step out of our comfort zone, and go for that life that we really want take that life, you know, in our graphs, and that we really want and rise up and shine and feel good and be who you are made to be.

Claudine
Right. Right. Those are some great points. One of the things you talked about Ashley, which was really good, and really helpful is just that explicit communication, where there were specifics given I think that helps so much to deal with rejection when you're able to have those conversations that give you the specifics. And I think about the scripture that says speak the truth in love and just think where we'd all be if we put this into practice, like, right, you know, I would love our friendship or, you know, this friendship has run its course or I don't see marrying. Well, I know my daughter. There was a point many years ago where she started dating a young man that she had liked for a very long time. And he finally asked her to be his girlfriend. And then after seven weeks, she broke up with him. And we're like, What is going on? She's like, Why don't see marrying him. So I don't want to date him anymore. And it was very interesting. But anyway, she was very clear like it was specific for her like, and she spoke it to him very clearly and specifically I'm not sure how he responded. But anyway, she was young, I think she was still a teen. But it was it was spoken clearly. And specifically, I think even for jobs, a lot of times we get these rejection letters, thank you for your interest, we've gone with another candidate, and you're left like, well, what was missing? Was it my skills, right? And my personality was it...

Ashley
What what did I do wrong?

Claudine
Right? where it could have just been, had nothing to do with that it just could have been like, this person knows, and this person knows whatever else. And that's what they needed. So just that explicit communication, where it's specific, and we need to do that, too, if we are trying to build relationships that are healthy, be very explicit. So that is a great example of what you did in your friendship. And I think I'll leave us with this. I'll leave us with this scripture in Deuteronomy 31:6. This is to remind us all that, although we may be rejected on this earth, there is someone who will never leave us and it says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified. For the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. That's powerful. We may face a lot of rejection, but there is one that stands at our side that will never leave us and never forsake us. Until next time, amen.

Ashley
That was great. Claudine. That was great. This is such a great topic because we all experience it. And I think I want to drive home one last point, as we say goodbye to our listeners, that when you experience rejection, it is not a knock on yourself worth, you know, and I mean, you're any less of a person, it does not mean that you're unworthy of love, nothing like that. But that's where we have we do have to fight those thoughts. that's those are thoughts that come up, you know, that we, like I said, talk down your brain rationalized. No, no, that's not true. So just remember that we want to send you off with that. So thank you, everybody, for tuning in. Today with us. We hope you take something and can that it really resonates with you and that you'll be able to rise up and shine over rejection and live life to the fullest. We'll catch you next time.
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #66

"I can't do that. That's too hard. I failed at that last time. Why bother?" Many, if not most of us, have said one or more of these during our lifetime. And there's a good chance it has been played on repeat in your head and resulted in what's called learned helplessness. In today's episode, we break down what learned helplessness is, share our personal stories and offer practical ways to reduce the helplessness so you can rise up and live your best life!



Ashley
This is Episode 66. Learned Helplessness. 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're talking about a topic that I know firsthand. So let me ask you have you ever felt like you were helpless in a situation felt like you had no control, and you couldn't make the changes that you want. And you don't even try you lack motivation? Well, I spent years in the state many, many years. And today we're talking about learned helplessness. So learned helplessness is after enduring, stressful situation or a traumatic event, you can learn that you are helpless in that situation, and in all situations, and then you no longer try to change it even when change is possible. And I cannot tell you how many years I spent in this state where I just felt helpless. I was just a victim, a victim of my circumstance, a victim of other people. And I couldn't change anything. So I just was stuck for many, many years. And of course, that led to depression. And it was very confusing, because spiritually, I felt like, of course, I can make changes. But honestly, my brain had been trained that I couldn't. So it was very conflicting, I had very conflicting beliefs that fought each other. And so it just left me in this stuck, unmotivated state. And several years ago, when I started learning all these new things and start coaching, I radically changed my beliefs that I absolutely can control a lot of things. I can't control everything, but I can certainly bring about change in my life. So that's what we're talking about today. learned helplessness.

Ashley
Yes, so something just popped up into my mind as you're speaking, how, cuz I've done this too. I was thinking that the wording stuck in assumption, we basically get stuck in all these assumptions, right? These limiting beliefs, these beliefs that we've conditioned our brain to believe, right, that feel true. And we get stuck there. And so we think, well, we can't grow, or we can't overcome this, or we'll never reach this in our life will never end. How many times have we heard around us? Or maybe we've also said it I mean, there's common ones. Right, right. I'm not meant to find love. We hear sometimes we even say this about other people. Oh, they're stuck in their ways. I'm not meant to have close friends, or people always leave me. Or I can't handle this is mine. I can't handle as much as other people can. That's that's the one that actually my husband was talking to me about this week. He's in our conversation. He kept pointing out when I would say I can't. And I thought, Oh, my gosh, I didn't even realize I'm saying that.


Claudine
Yeah, learned helplessness being an example. That's it. That's it. I can't.

Ashley
And one of the ones you mentioned is that I can't make dinner while I'm talking with somebody at the same time. I think I said that to you. Did I say it when you your husband came over for dinner? I'm like, I can't focus on dinner and focus on you at the same time. But it goes back to that. I can't. Is that really true? Well, it feels true. Because that's, you know what I've been doing? Yeah, but I believe it's my belief. I'm sure if I change that and said I can, then I would actually be able to do it. But what a simple little thing to show our example, right? Of learned helplessness.

Claudine
Yeah. And we all I think to a certain degree, we all do it. I mean, like, you know, you gave some great examples. There's others with weight loss, you know, I can't lose weight. I've tried everything under the sun. I think a lot of women struggle with this. relationships. You mentioned that. Yeah, that's for other people, but not me. I can't find dry. You know, that's not for me. And there's so many ways that we do this to ourselves. And it's true. It's just a training of our brain, that we've trained our brain, we've learned how to be helpless. It can start with people, it's children. You know, I can't do math. How many people say that? I'm just not good at math? Well, maybe one math class was difficult, but you probably use math every single day. You know how to count apples and oranges and a dozen eggs and you know, there's all kinds of ways that we use math every day, but it's that learned helplessness that keeps us from seeking opportunities for relief or change. It's what keeps us stuck. So that's what we're talking about today because it is important. People like I shared people that struggle with this, you have a higher rate of depression, elevated stress levels and less motivation to take care, their physical health. So it really affects our whole lives. It's really hard to rise up and shine and live this life to the full that we all want to live. If we have this learned helplessness mentality.

Ashley
Right. Have you ever been around somebody who just has such a positive, vibrant, easygoing energy about them? And you think, gosh, I could never be like that. I wish I could be like that. Like, they're just, you know, totally different. And that's not me. That's not me. And I think about that, because I have a specific person, I'm thinking in my head, who's a neighbor. And it's like, gosh, I would love to be just like her. She just she, I really admire her. But then we think what, because I can't do that, or I, you know, and I immediately back it up with why I'm not this, and I'm not that and I can't, and I can't, you know, I mean, wow, how easy that can happen. And fortunately, you know, I, you and I both have become aware of these limiting beliefs. Because I've done this work, right, we've learned what our limiting beliefs are. And so we can see it in varying situations and circumstances. And a lot of times, it's a pattern, it's very similar beliefs that keep popping up. And I like what you said to is a huge point is our childhood. So especially as I was going through counseling, and the trauma course, and going through my whole I like I call it transformation. I mean, yeah, it's just amazing transformation. I learned about the traumas of our childhood and what it does on our brains, right. So as a child, when we go through, and it could be a big trauma, it can be a smaller trauma, it could be whether you have PTSD, or CPTSD, which is complex post. Yeah. Not postpartum depression, complex PTSD. But also, if any experience, we've all experienced some sort of trauma in our life, right? Whether it's someone saying something mean, at school to us, or whatever, whatever we dealt with as a child, our underdeveloped brain comes to these conclusions, right? Our prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed at that time, so we don't properly use logic and reason and draw appropriate conclusions yet. So with our child brain, we come to a conclusion and form this belief in our childhood that carries us into adulthood. And we get stuck. That's where we get stuck, we are still functioning from those beliefs that are still the underdeveloped brain. Right? And so the awareness is so crucial, because when we are aware that we're saying these things to ourselves in our head, or we're believing these things, and we can realize, Oh, that's not really true. I kind of came to that conclusion as a child, because that's what I believed in the moment. And my brain just had to find a reason. Our brains just have to make sense of something. Yeah. And so when it does that, it just, it follows us, right. And so depending on things that you've experienced in your life, and I did, I had a lot of trauma growing up. Yeah, so so many of my beliefs. Now I fall into that, that's why I say, Well, I can't handle as much as other people, or even the friendships like, I don't know how to do friendship. I can say that, like, people don't, people are gonna leave me, I tend to run that one through my head. Well, people are just gonna leave me. So I'm just gonna stay at arm's length. And, you know, this is the safe zone right here. So I don't feel that pain. Right. And so we get stuck in those things. Right. And those beliefs.

Claudine
Yep. And that's exactly what learned helplessness is and how you can, as you were speaking, reminded me of that scripture in First Corinthians 13, where it says, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became an adult, I put away childish things. And that's part of,

Ashley
That's good.

Claudine
Yeah. And that's part of our work that we do with our clients is really helping people move past beliefs and mostly the limiting ones that they learned in their childhood, either through their primary caregivers, or through experiences or situations that no longer serve, right. A lot of things we believe, because when we were little it, that's how we thought, like you said, Our undeveloped prefrontal cortex. That's how it made meaning of the situation. But now that we're adults, we have the ability to choose our thoughts. And I love Romans 12, to where it says, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. And that's what we get to do. As adults. We get to choose what we're going to think about we get to choose what we're going to focus on and we get to be transformed. our whole lives get to be transformed. And as you were talking to it reminded me of you know, there's the learned helplessness But one of the doctors that helped do the study on this, wrote a book called learn optimism by Dr. Martin Seligman. And he's a pioneer in this work. And I think I have yet to read this book. But I'm looking forward to reading it now that we're talking about this subject. But just as we've learned how to be helpless, we can learn how to be optimistic, which is like you're talking about your neighbor, that's so optimistic and happy go lucky. That's not me, in my nature, that's what I say, and my nature, I'm a half glass empty kind of gal, right? It's like, there's only half a cup of water, it's missing half a cup, right? The world and my circumstance, and I've had to train my brain through all the work that we do, and all the studying and books I've read how to train my brain to be optimistic, to see things differently, to think differently. And that's helped transform my life. So when we talk about that, we know that unlearning this, these associations that we have in our minds and deconditioning, because it really is a conditioned response, right? That's what learned helplessness is, is we've been in a situation and it worked out a certain way. And maybe it happened a second time. So now it's conditioned response, well, this happens. So I just respond this way, or I don't respond at all, I just become inactive. Because what's the point? Right, and so deconditioning, our responses takes a little bit of practice. And that's what we're going to talk about today, ways that we can learn how to not be helpless ways we can learn to be optimistic, and to take back the control that we do have. I mean, God is a creative, powerful God, and He made us in His image, we have the power to create in our lives, we have the power to take response ability to the circumstances in our lives, we're not just hapless victims, just puppets, that fate is just happening to you. But there is cause and effect. And that was huge for me to realizing that, you know, a lot of the effects that I've experienced in my life are caused by some of my actions or inactions or my beliefs or my responses. And that's why I have the circumstance I have. It's not like, I just got up, you know, I got on the wrong side of the the receiving line and didn't get all the good stuff that other people got so. Powerful.

Ashley
Yeah. You know, when you're talking about conditioning, the conditioning that we've gone through, when we go through experiences, it's the understanding the why, while the Why is for survival, right? I mean, our most primitive basis is for survival. That's what the fight flight freeze, is for. It's for our survival. And so as I mentioned earlier, when we formed these beliefs, it was because our brain had to kind of rationalize with the little rationale we had right at the time. But it was to keep us safe or to understand, and you know, what was going? It was to keep us safe and sur-, you know, survival. And it. So one thing that's actually helpful that I want to mention, as we do work on deconditioning those beliefs is, one thing you can do is thank your younger self, for protecting you. For the time being, we don't have to feel ashamed that Oh, my gosh, like, I grew up with these beliefs. And I can't believe that I'm treating myself this way. I can't believe I thought that or, you know, don't shame yourself, just for the time being your child self, this is the way that it protected you, you know, for whatever you were going through, and you think your your younger self will thank you for protecting me with the information you had at the time you were trying to do your best for me, you know, and just accept that. But also recognize that we can always learn and grow, you know, we don't have to be stuck, like, hey, this worked for me for a while. Now I'm ready to move on and try something else, you know, I'm ready to move on and move forward. And a lot of times this can happen because we get stuck in the past, right? We write about that we get. We're still kind of keeping ourselves in the past, when we're holding on to these limiting beliefs. And the real power comes again, with the awareness because a lot of these beliefs like even over the last weekend, my husband pointing out every time I say I can't, I can't Yeah, so many times it's subconscious, so many times we don't even know. And if I wasn't having this conversation with him, or sometimes even journaling, I would not come to that conclusion and that awareness and realize, Wow, I didn't realize I was doing this. I didn't realize these words coming out of my head. It was so automatic. I, who have learned a lot of this stuff, right and teach this stuff, I was still unaware of what I was saying, Yeah, or what I was thinking. I mean, there's so much to dig into. But just remembering that, hey, it serves you for a while. But now let's move on and try something else that's going to better serve you in your adulthood. And the direction that you want to go.

Claudine
Exactly. And there are different ways to do that. But it's interesting, you pointed out that subconsciously, you say, I can't, I can't all the time. But that's, that's what happens is we get these grooves built in our brains, right? Our neural pathways are formed. And then it becomes automatic. It's like habitual, you know, it's just because we've set it so often now. That's right. Oh, to default mode of thinking. And that's what so much of our work is it's helping people develop new neural pathways develop new thoughts, new beliefs that serve them, rather than write them back. So one of the ways that that helps understand learn helplessness is understanding our explanatory style. Which is how we explain the events in our lives. And there's three different ways according to the story, there's personalization, whether we view things in our life is internal or external. There's pervasive whether we view it as global or local as in this always happens to me in every area of my life, or it just happens in this specific area of my life. And then permanent is the circumstance is it all the time, or just transitory like it's happened, this bad situations happen, but it's gonna pass. And the way we look at things, the way we view the circumstances in our life, will determine whether we have this learned helplessness or whether we can stay optimistic about it. So I remember several years ago, when the real estate market crashed my husband and I basically, basically both lost our jobs. And then a bunch of financial problems ensued. And I remember thinking at the time, oh, my goodness, we're always going to be broke, this is always going to be like this. And at the same time, one of our children was going through a difficult time. So then it felt like it was in every part of my life, like, we're just never going to make it we're never going to succeed. It's always it's everywhere. And so those are some of the key words you have to look for. If If you start thinking it's always or never, or every part of my life, you know, then you probably have some learned helplessness going on. You have some thoughts in your mind that are explaining the events in your life, not in a healthy way and In a way that serve you. Another way, is creating an optimistic viewpoint. And we don't have a whole lot of time on this episode to delve into that. But I do have a resource, we both have resources on our website for that. So check it out, it's called the ABC method. And it will help train your brain to have an optimistic viewpoint about the circumstances in your life. And sometimes that's all we need is just a resource, something to help train our thinking and look at things in a new way. And lastly, a third thing is goal setting that can really help overcome learned helplessness. Because when we achieve goals, when we set small, realistic goals and achieve them, then we realize we're not helpless after all, that we actually do have some control, and it increases our desire, our motivation to reach certain things in our lives. So there are ways to overcome helplessness. But it is not easy. It's simple, but not easy. And it does take work.

Ashley
Right? You know, something else I'm going to add is labels, like being careful of how we label ourselves because we can use and I mentioned several times, some of my own thoughts is like I am, or I can't write. And so we tend to label I am lazy, I am just a lazy person. I said that to myself for a long time. And my siblings would say that to me, and I realized I was probably depressed. That explains why I felt lazy, like, okay, there's a reason for this. But we label ourselves and we will function in life based on that label. So we can limit ourselves to Well, since I told myself I'm lazy, then I'm just going to act lazy, that's my behavior, even unconsciously, right? Well, that's like, basically as high up as I'm gonna, you know, like the expectation I'm gonna live up to that expectation. And so when we fill ourselves with, well, I can't do this, and we're never going to do that. And this, you know, those absolutes? Well, you are going to read that, you know, we've learned from experience we've learned from researching and setting this out and talking with clients. That does happen. When you say those things it is that's what you're gonna get. Right? So it's very important to change that narrative in your head and be very careful of those labels. Hey, what do I label myself as? How do I you know, like, as Case in point, my husband mentioned, you say, you can't talk while cooking dinner? Oh, I labeled myself that. And so I feel like I can't it feels true. When we have conditioned ourselves, it feels so true. And that's why it's so hard to overcome it. Because we don't feel like it's possible. Like, well, this is who I am. And it's just I've learned to accept it yet. No, you don't have to. Is that really what you want? Do you want to live in that state? Is that who you want to be? Is that rising up and shining and being your best self? Probably not. And so it keeps us at this powerless level? We believe that we are completely powerless, and especially I fall into that victim mentality as well, like, well, things just happened to me. Right? You know, granted, there is a certain amount of that that does sometimes life just happens. But I have I've learned in the past. And this came with awareness that I do live that way I and things fall into place to prove that to be true. Right. So people always leave me that was that was one of them. People, people leave me people have moved people have I can't control that I can't control right? A friend moves. Right that that is what it is. Doesn't mean we're not friends anymore. How come I couldn't keep in contact? Right? I took it as they left me. And so all ties cut, right? And Ouch, that hurt. So I'm going to retreat into my little shell. For self preservation. That's right. As we talked about before, but being very careful. And so one thing that is really powerful, we need to empower ourselves more, right? And I have this conversation with my children all the time, especially one who will remain nameless, is very similar to me in our own heads. We have very limiting beliefs in our own heads, right we have this issue with self esteem we don't think very well of ourselves. We are very negative and feel a lot of shame and so we can do that we can well I'm this and I can't do that and I'll never but we just have to change that dialogue. Well I can I am focus on the things like you mentioned the optimism, right focus on what we can do focus on what we are and as we mentioned before, our value in our last episode, right we talk about our value we align with God because God tells us the truth. Yeah. that's what that's what was really freeing that I want to drive home for our listeners. God is truthful. So we focus on those true things of how and God has said all over in the Bible of how he feels about us. Those are the things we need to be playing in our head. I am a child of God, I am.

Claudine
I got one. What is it, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I mean, I can write all things, not some things, all things through Christ who strengthens me, that was a huge one for me to overcome my learned helplessness. There were things I wanted in my life. I mean, my goal is to be debt free. You know, my husband and I, we desired to be debt free. As we're approaching our later years in life, we want the freedom that that brings and not tied down with a lot of debt or a high mortgage. And, you know, I had to overcome that learned helplessness that I'll always be broke, or, you know, we don't have success in finances. So this is the way it'll always be, we had to start thinking out of the box. And one of the things we decided to do was sell our home, our family home down in Southern California, which, if you've been listening at all, you know, has been quite the saga. But you know, I had to, we had to think outside the box to get this deal done. Because there were some obstacles, a guest house on the property that was permitted, but not real property, it was just too much to go into detail here, we had to get really creative to overcome it. And there were times where it's so hard, we both just wanted to give up right? Like, oh, hard, let's just sell it for pennies on the dollar. But the truth of it is, then we wouldn't be able to be debt free, when we wouldn't be able to buy our next house, house and have a manageable mortgage. So we need to think outside of the box, we need to lean on the strength that God gives, right. And as Christians, we know, we have the power of the Holy Spirit's work working in us and through us. And so I could have just said, We both could have just said, This is too hard. Let's just give up because it would have been easier and just take, you know, much less money. But we had to climb out of ourselves climb out of this room, especially me not so much my husband, but really look for the opportunities to overcome and remind myself I can do hard things, right? Because I know you you shared you thought you were lazy. Well, I was like, I'm just kind of wimpy I can't do. That's kind of was one of my beliefs, like, hard things are just too hard for me. That's for other people. They're overcomers. I'm like, I just want to kind of glide through life simply and easily/

Ashley
And be comfortable.

Claudine
Right? My primitive brain is constantly striving to keep me comfortable and safe. And now I realized I can do hard things in I can recognize this is going to be hard. And I tell myself, so what you can do hard things. And then I just do it, it's much easier. You know, the minute we believe it, the minute we have that thought I can do hard things, and we can do it. I can do all things, I can do hard things, I can do all things. And I can do this, and we're gonna do this. And then the feelings change. And there's this motivation, then there's this feelings of self worth. And I love what you brought up earlier about even just self compassion that for a time when we didn't do it, maybe when we were younger, have compassion, because that got us through today. I can look back and go, Wow, I spent 40 plus years thinking these thoughts. I mean, where would I be today? If I hadn't. But the truth of it is. I got to where I am because I survived. And I'm just so grateful that I learned it when I did, which really is about to take decades after you. So what I'm here now, yeah, and that's the point. And now I can rise up and shine and live life to the full and be present is my best self. So we can do hard things and we can do all things.

Ashley
Absolutely. And you know, I was thinking, I say that to myself a lot. I could do hard things. Because when we say this is too hard. Then again, we're limiting ourselves because that's a belief we have Well, it's too hard to I can't do it. And doing virtual school with the children at home. I see this so much. I'm sure many of us who are in the same situation, see this a lot. And you're constantly like trying to encourage our kids. You can do it. You can do hard things. I know it's tough. I know this is different. You know, we're trying to be their champion, right. One thing I've been working on with my clients, as well as myself is having our adult self talk, and rationalize help bring that logic and rationalize with our child's self, right like that inner child. So it helps with having kind of those two roles in our own heads going on. It brings, it eliminates the shame factor, and it just helps us like we mentioned earlier, well, thank you to my child's self for protecting me and helping me through these years. And now and just bring the rationale to it. Right. So for example, one of the things I've been working through is, in my friendships, right, as I mentioned, one of the things that I can repeatedly say to myself is, well, people just leave, you know, people leave. And my husband actually said it really well. I expect people to fall out of my life. I thought wow, the way you said, that just really triggered. me. I'm like, that is that was brilliant. Like, that's exactly like he articulated what I felt, I expect that people are gonna fall out of my life. So I live at arm's length. Right? So what happens now, that was a belief that I formed from growing up, right through my experiences, and having a lot of people leave, I had a grandmother who passed away when I was very young, my mom had a lot of challenges with my brother, my older brother, who had a lot of health issues. So they were in and out of the hospital together, which is why we would spend a lot of time with my grandparents. So she had to be away for a while my parents went through a divorce. I've had friends that have moved, I've had friends who we just lost contact, or, you know, just weren't friends anymore. So there's a lot of that type of stuff going on. So here comes adulthood. And my brain says, Well, people just leave or as my husband so eloquently put it, people fall out of my life. And so that was a belief that was like an absolute, that's just what happens. That's what I expect. So it limited me in my friendships with my relationships with people, right. And so my adult self now needs to use rationale, that prefrontal cortex that now is fully developed, and to help my inner child self understand that situations, right, because what happens is when we have that belief that going through every situation, they're different circumstances, but that belief is the same through all those circumstances, right. And so we have to tell ourselves, in this situation, this is what's happening. They're not abandoning me, they're not rejecting me, they're just moving. Right? So that's a example of our child, our adult self rationalizing, and really sharing with our inner child, right, that the true circumstances No, they are not rejecting, you know, they're not abandon you that this is just something that happens in life, right. So. So it really helps being able to do that. Because since we're so much in our head, anyways, it's very important for us to bring in that rationale, because a lot of the beliefs that we have formed that we have conditioned our brains to believe, aren't accurate, right? You know, they're not necessarily accurate, or they may have been true with one circumstance when you were seven. But Come, let's say 38. It's not true in this circumstance, it might feel like it's the same situation, but it's not. And so that's where our adult self, I mean, it's just brilliant how God has created our brains, right to be able to do this. And that's, that helps bring the awareness and it helps us to be able to change those, those beliefs, and really focus on what we can do really focus on what we are and who we are in God's eyes.

Claudine
Right? Well, and as much as we learned helplessness, we can learn optimism, and God has equipped us to do just that. So I hope there have been some practicals today that have helped you and as always, send in any requests for topics or any comments, we'd love to hear from you. And don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already, and we have lots of resources on our website, so please check in there. Until next time,

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #65

Sometimes we can feel in complete disarray, right ladies? Our minds have trouble focusing or remembering, we just can't seem to get a handle on our emotions and we may be reaching for that wine, bag of chips, TV remote or phone more often these days just to cope. In today's episode, we talk about practical ways to get back to a centered self when our life seems out of sorts and finish the day feeling proud of yourself for showing up the way you want to.



Ashley
This is Episode 65. Centering Self. 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 everyone here is Claudine and Ashley, today we are going to be talking about centering ourself. Now especially coming off of last week's episode, we wanted to follow up with this topic, because this is a great tool to help us kind of feel more in control when we feel out of control. You know, when there's so much going on a lot of worry, a lot of anxiety, we talked a lot about our mental health. And so being able to learn specific skills and strategies to be able to center ourselves, to help us in our day to day, especially when we're feeling overwhelmed, bogged down, stressed out, you name it.

Claudine
Scattered?

Ashley
Absolutely. What can we do to center ourselves? This is a goal that we all tend to have for ourselves, but many times we just don't know what to do. We don't know, how do I do that? How do I just calm the crazy in my head. I know, I've felt that many, many times feeling like I just can't quiet down, that the rumination and those thoughts going on in my head, kind of feeling out of control with our emotions, you know, a lot of different things. But today, we really wanted to focus on centering self, because this is going to help every single one of us to when those moments do come those stressful times when we do feel out of control emotionally. And even in our own minds. You know, these tools, these practicals are so crucial and are just so powerful, to help us to be able to recenter ourselves to a place of calm and stillness where we want to be.

Claudine
Yeah. And it's good to make sure we differentiate between centering self and self centered because I know so many listeners may be thinking, well, that's not very Christian to be self centered, right, which is when everything revolves around you. And that's not what we're talking about today.
Today, we're talking about, practicals, like you said, when we're feeling off center, which includes all those emotions in that chaos and self criticism and procrastination. So we're going to look at tools and tips to help ourselves get centered within ourselves, but not be self centered, which is, you know, like thinking only about ourselves, right? But there is a time and place where we do need to get centered. It's kind of focusing on what we value returning to that, and not all the voices and demands outside of us because there can be so many, especially as a young mom, like yourself, or even myself, in the midst of lots of change, moving, helping my children move grandchildren, all that there's so many forces outside of myself that demand attention, and it can get very chaotic and I can do all kinds of things. But when I get back to the center of myself, and what I value, it's truly important. It helps bring the calm.

Ashley
Yeah, Claudine, I really loved how you worded that, I mean, bringing ourselves back to what we value, because that's the thing that really gets out of our heads. You know, I mean, we're not focused, we took our focus off of what we truly value. And it's like we're left scrambling, we're left scrambling to try and keep things together. But really, it can come down to a simple thing as we took our focus off of what we truly value and what is truly important. And it's hard with the hustle and bustle of the everyday you know, I mean, I know that even one very simple thing when I don't wake up early and give myself that quiet one hour to myself to just start the day and to start it off right and quiet, to myself.

Claudine
Did you say quiet again.

Ashley
Queit again is the biggest thing right I value my quiet time. But if we don't do that, and I learned for myself I don't feel like I can keep up the whole day. If I don't have that time, if I wake up when the kids wake up, I've learned over and over Gosh, I'm just scrambling, and I'm not focused, and I can't keep up. And I'm, I feel behind I feel behind, especially with having younger kids still, and a house to take care of. And so even that one simple little thing can really help with starting off the day, feeling like we're ahead of it, you know, kind of ahead of the game, rather than just always trying to catch up all day long. And then you go to sleep, and then you wake up and you do it all over again. Yeah. And that's where that chaos can come. That's where we can feel that chaotic. sense of, like, that's where we can really feel the chaos in our own heads. Like we're trying to keep things in control. Yet in our head, we could just feel so out of control. Yeah. And then a lot of times what we do, we might cope. Right, we might cope with things. And then that, in turn makes things even worse, because we it gives us that short feel good, you know, feeling for the moment. But then, overall, we're not getting our things done or feeling rundown more, and we're just not, we're not putting the focus on the things that are really important.


Claudine
Right, right. Yeah, when we're out of center, we don't trust ourselves. It's like we can't connect with those things that we truly value in our true feelings. I mean, I think for myself, sometimes I can get so caught up in what other people think, or what other people expect from me. And it doesn't mean that we aren't going to meet other people's needs. Because certainly as moms, that's one of our greatest things. And we both value that obviously, we want to be the kind of moms that take good care of our children. Right? That's something of value. Right? And be great wives, and hopefully, you know, do that as well. So there are outside needs. But when we get pulled and pushed in directions that don't align with what we truly value. That's where, for me the chaos and the disconnect happens.

Ashley
Yeah, absolutely.

Claudine
So Ashley, let's talk about some practicals. For me, I kind of did an ABC thing, it was kind of funny, I started thinking things that helped. And it kind of ended up in an ABC thing. But I know there's many other things that don't fit into a simple formula.
But I'll start off with so for me, it's an awareness, I can tell when I'm off centered, when I start feeling really scattered when I feel overwhelmed. And then when I feel completely unmotivated, like I just get stuck, right. It's that stuck feeling like I don't know what to do next, or there's so many things I need to do that sometimes I just pick something entirely different. They're not on the needs, like you know, yeah. It's like, Oh, I have to finish watching this show that I started out. It's just the coping. coping, right, right, because that's easy. I don't have to engage my brain. I could just go okay. But then what it leaves is it leaves more self criticism right after that. It's like, Oh, I should have done a, b and c. Instead, I went and did M which has no value whatsoever to what I'm trying to accomplish. Is it just an awareness like, Okay, this is where I'm at right now. I'm not centered, I'm off center, I'm off balance. I'm not feeling calm and peace. So just the awareness, we talked about that a lot.
A second, a practice that really helps is just stopping and breathing, breathing, just taking a few deep breaths, it doesn't have to be half an hour, but just a minute or two of stopping, slowing down and breathing deep, deeply, can really help. It shuts down the anxiety part of our automatic nervous system, and just calms us both physically, emotionally, mentally, and then one.


Ashley
Right, breathing slows down our heart rate. That's what happens when we start feeling really chaotic, our brain is on, you know, hyper vigilant, and it's on that fight or flight mentality yet. And so, you know, you're constantly getting that that flush of adrenaline and cortisol and your heart rate goes up, right? Because we're just frantic.

Claudine
Fight, flight or freeze. I think I tend to be in the freeze.

Ashley
Yes. Sometimes I do. I go back and forth between the flee and the freeze, I realize. And that actually kind of goes into the breathing because sometimes with anxiety, we can catch ourselves holding our breath, not even thinking about it. Completely unintentional, but it's I'll feel light headed all of a sudden, and it's, I'll remember, oh my gosh, I'm not even really breathing. I'm catching my breath a lot and writing and just did not even realize. But that is one of those things that is just so instinctual that our brain does because we're under so much stress, or we're overwhelmed or feeling anxious. Yeah. And there's a lot of great breathing techniques that you can look up as well. That really help. One of my favorites. I'm drinking gonna share briefly one of my favorite is nostril breathing. And you use your pinky and your thumb. And you take turns rotating, you know, with your thumb, you plug up a nostril, with your pinky, you kind of close off a nostril, right? So basically, as you breathe in and out, you're rotating and look that up, it is so incredibly powerful. That is the one strategy that has actually really helped me calm my body and my brain to calm and breathe, right, you know, breathe well and slow down that, that flood of that flood of hormones and my heart rate, that's the one that's proven, but there's so many out there, you know, to look up, so highly recommend that.

Claudine
That's a great one. I haven't practiced that one. So I do a 4-5-6 breathing, that's really helped me and I have a resource for that on my website. But it's so powerful, these breathing exercises to help us just be still and get centered. It's powerful, powerful work.

Ashley
Very much so.

Claudine
Another one for me is C, choose your focus, which again, there's one, we can only focus on really one thing at a time, truly focus. And right now I'm focusing on an ant crawling all over my computer. Getting off centered here, but let me deal with the ant. Okay. I Oh, I dealt with the ant. Sorry ant. Yeah. Anyway, so choosing our focus, and this really comes back to what we value. So we have to figure out first what we truly value, and then we have the ability to concentrate. Without deep concentration, our mind will be our master rather than our servant. And you and I talk a lot about that, you know, our minds, we have the power to control our thoughts, we have the power to captivate our thoughts and to think about things that are true and noble and right. And those are the things are going to help us get where we want to be. And so it really is about choosing on what we're going to focus on. It's powerful. And then right.

Ashley
Go ahead. Okay.

Claudine
Then my last one is, uh, don't, don't be don't ruminate or let negativity rule, right. And we do that so often. I think as women, we can ruminate over situations over circumstance of things we've said on things that have been said to us. And we just go on and on and on in our head. And we let negativity rule and then we are completely off centered, because we can't right? Because that's in the past when we're thinking about negative things, or we're ruminating, it's already in the past, and then we're staying there. So therefore, we're no longer present. Because we're in the past thinking about something negative or something we wished we could change. So don't the D for me is don't ruminate or let negativity roll.

Ashley
Claudine that's great. Exactly that that is most of it. Right? What is going on in our heads? Because again, as we talk about a lot is our emotions are a by product of what we're thinking about. And what is that our focus, right, what are we focusing on? And that has been a huge one for me, and that I help my clients with is where is your focus? What are you choosing to focus on? And it is sometimes it feels like we're not in control of our thoughts. But that's because we haven't trained our brain to be in control of our thoughts. I mean, it never even occurred to many of us, right, especially before we learned all this stuff, right? We were going through life, having no idea that wow, I can really control what I'm thinking and yes, you actually can and you feel your emotion will follow suit suit with whatever you're focusing on. And it could be we focus on other people, other people's needs, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can become to the extreme, especially for some of us, codependent types. It could be deadlines, we could be so focused on deadlines, which again, is not a bad thing, but it can control us to a point where it can be unhealthy. Again, the what ifs you mentioned that a lot of the what if this happens or what if that and what if, you know really our circumstances we really can allow our circumstances to take hold of our life and basically dictate our thoughts and our emotions. Again, the negative self talk like you said, right? The rumination, I am Queen of ruminating. Very much so I can create all kinds of stories in my head and negative talk. And you know, and we've mentioned before the things that you say to yourself, would you say to your best friend, would you say to your child, would you say to your parent, would you say to you know what, like, why do we say these things to ourselves? But we wouldn't say it out loud to somebody else. Well stop saying it to you. You know that was something that really helped me, wow, I can, I can stop saying these to myself, right. And I can stop saying these to myself. And again, it takes that conscious effort to choose what we're going to focus on. And I wanted to read the Scripture, Claudine, that is in my life, and I want to share with our listeners, and we know the Scripture, but everything that I've learned, and you've learned, and what we talked about here on the podcast is scriptural, right? I mean, there's so much science that backs scripture. Yeah. And this one was extremely powerful, because it really brought the practical aspect, it just, it made it make much more sense, you know, in a practical way, because a lot of times we could read something you're like, Oh, that's so nice. And it sounds so poetic, but right, it actually means like, actually do this. This is quite powerful.
So Philippians 4:8, and we know that's when I'm going to actually read the New Living Translation it says, and now do your brothers and sisters one final thing, fix your thoughts. There you go. Fix your thoughts. That implies you have the power and the control over your thoughts on what is true, honorable right pure, lovely, admirable think about the thing about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice, all you learned and received for me. So that again tells us that we have that power right now need to make that conscious choice to practice these things in our minds. And everything you heard from me and saw me doing, then the God of peace will be with you. And that's really centering ourselves, right to feel that sense of peace, right, and to align ourselves with what truly matters. And as Christian women, God is the center, right, right is the center and where our values come from, and our perspective should be coming from. And that's what we want to strive for. We want to strive to have that control over our thoughts, and to focus on those things. Because then you're going to feel the product of that, right, you're going to feel at peace, you're going to feel centered, you're going to feel a sense of calm. And those are the things that are so important. And they these practicals is we're sharing these are the things you do you know, to reach this state of a centered self. I think, you know, when life just get so crazy, and we all tend to do it. We all do well for a little while. And then we kind of fall off the wagon a while and then we get back on. But doing these things and being conscious and intentional. It's just so powerful, you know, and you're just gonna feel so much better.

Claudine
Yeah. Yeah, I'm glad you pointed that out. Ashley because it's Christian women. You know, Christ is our center, right? I mean, that's the value we hold dear is really it. it for me. And I know for you, it shapes everything else we do. And everything that we believe in is right coming from that Christ centeredness. So even though we're talking about centering ourselves, if that's our core value, to center our lives on Christ, it influences everything else. And I mean, it takes for granted. I think that, you know, every morning I start off with a time of reading and prayer, and that helps center my thoughts, like you're talking a lot about thoughts and that we have control. Well, that's what I choose to center my thoughts on every morning, which then I induced to center myself for the rest of the day. And we didn't put that in as a practice because I think most of us practice that. But for those that don't, it's a great opportunity to spend those early morning minutes. You know, that alone time, that quiet time talking about to really pray to really meditate on God's word, and let that speak to us. That brings all the peace and calm that I could ever want. It's those mornings when I'm too rushed or don't get up in time, and try to get off on my day on my own strength that usually I get way off centered real quick. Easy, simple and seems obvious. But we need constant reminders. I know I do.

Ashley
Mm hmm. Oh, absolutely. That's why alarms are great. Right, setting little alarms on your phone. Oh, Ding ding. Yeah. So Claudine, that also goes into that quiet time in the morning, to wake up before everybody. And actually recently, my husband and I were just feeling disconnected again. And so I decided, well, I got to wake up early again, with you like maybe twice a week before work. So we can just have that interaction have that positive interaction before he heads off to work. And we start our day, because I realized when I don't, when I don't have that time with him in the morning, I feel insecure in our relationship throughout the day, because I've been so ingrained in my brain that I've been programmed or conditioned, whatever term you prefer to use. But to think that there's, you know, we're so disconnected. And is he upset about something or, you know, I can get in that head, I just get in my head and just ruminate on these things. And nothing even happened. Nothing happened. Just the fact that we had no interaction in the morning, my brain instantly thinks something's wrong, something's wrong. Isn't that crazy? But that was my codependency all these years in our marriage. And so I'm still training my brain. No, everything's fine. But we realized, because we just went on a weekend away together without the kiddos, can you believe it? So we actually talked about that. I said, Yeah, I know, for myself, when I don't have that time with you in the morning, I instantly think something's wrong. And that, like not even consciously, it's just, that's just what pops up. And I had that feeling of disconnect from him. Yeah, he upset at me about something or it's so silly, but it's actually it is real, it actually happens. And so same thing, if we don't start our mornings, off, quiet, praying, processing, you know, through what we have to do for the day, or even how we're feeling how am I feeling as a mom? How am I feeling as a woman like, how's my heart doing? My heart doing what you know, and actually be aware, as you mentioned, that is so key to be able to just accomplish this sense of centering, you know, that calm, place of peace that we want to be.
And I also wanted to share one more scripture that was actually right before Philippians 4:8 and the message version, this is what happens to so many of us why we feel this lack of peace, and why we feel like we can be out of control in our minds and in our hearts, and just kind of being run by our emotions is a worry, you know, we can get so worried about things right, especially as a mom, you know, I mean, all of us worry about things for sure. But just for me personally, I know it did not. Like when I became a mom that just went over the top like I had so much more worry, you know, yes. Now I'm responsible for these little like, my husband can, he's fine, he can take care of himself. But now I have these children I need to care for. But this scripture, the message version just was it. It kind of opened the eyes of my heart, like I just had such a deeper understanding of why I get myself to this place of anxiety. And this is exactly you know, it's worrying. And so this scripture has really helped because so many times we try to control things. And right, we can't, there's so much that we can't control. We can't control our children. I mean, let's just face it, we just can't control our children. We can't control their husband, we can't control their crazy drivers on the road. Right? You know, but in our mind is like we want to control.
So in Philippians, four, six through seven, again, this is the message. It says don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray, pray, let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers. letting God know your concerns, like let God know everything you're feeling. We don't have to have this filter. When we're talking to God, you know, sometime right? Like we have to come to God and we have to be all put together and our words have to you know, articulate well and know I mean, just cry out to God let him know everything, all your concerns, all your worries, and before you know it a sense of God's wholeness. Everything coming together for good will come and settle you down. Like Hello. Yeah. Let's talk about centering ourselves settle you down. Right. It's wonderful. What happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life and that goes again to what are we choosing to focus on. So our focus, we need to fix those thoughts. And not on the negative to try to reshape, you know, be positive or not focus too much on other people's opinions don't ruminate, as we said, don't, you know, get don't go down that rabbit hole of the what ifs, right, or, you know, the what ifs is a very dangerous road. And of course, there are times where we do need to be prepared, right? We need to be ready prepared for things, but most of the time, we worry just to worry. Yeah. And it, it doesn't help us one bit.

Claudine
Well the ruminating is looking backwards, right? The negative self talk is looking backwards. And the worry is looking forward. So even when we're doing that we're not present, right? We're not present. Where God wants us to be in the present. And it's so true. I mean, I pray all throughout the day. I mean, sometimes it's just 10 second, oh my gosh, I really need help here. Or what was I thinking? Help me remember, I mean, constant prayer, like, not worried about how it sounds. It's just when you get deep into that relationship, you just show up like, right, we don't put on pretenses when we get together in our sweats or whatever, you know, we just come as we are right. I feel like prayer we come as we are. But even when you were sharing about your marriage, you know that story that's it shows what you value that you value connection with that person and that so right and so when you get centered on that, like, Hey, I value this, I want to focus on this, then you can come up with practical because we do have to find ways to help get centered and help you reach those goals to keep us there. Keep us in that calm state keep us not overwhelmed, not procrastinating. I mean, that's I tend to get there. I tend to get overwhelmed. I freeze. I procrastinate. Right, yeah. And it starts a vicious cycle. Great stuff. I need to practice some of this today.


Ashley
Oh, is an everyday thing right? Just to be intentional. And exactly what you said Claudine being present. I mean, it is so hard for us to be present. We're so stuck in the past, or we're so focused on the future. And I'm not talking about future goals and dreams those are great, awesome. Have at it. However, the worry exactly the worry. And that's where that rumination, again, can happen as well, we can just focus and create these stories. And I've done this, I know many of us do this. When we are maybe we need to deal with a conflict with somebody or we need to have an honest conversation with someone, we could play the story on our head of how the conversation is going to go as if it's happening in real time. Right? Right. I mean, we can play is okay, I'm gonna say this, but then they're gonna say that, and then I'm gonna say this and then, and then the conversation is not gonna go the way I want. So many times I have talked myself out of dealing with a situation or even sharing my feelings on a situation with a friend or with my spouse or my family. I have talked myself out of it, because I said, I played the story. I played the entire conversation, both sides in my head came to the conclusion of how the conversation is going to end. And they'd be like, Oh, it's not even worth it.

Claudine
Right? Oh, my gosh,

Ashley
I just won't even bring it up. I actually did that last week. And then I had to come up with reasons because my husband asked me about it. So did you have that conversation? No. And then I came up with reasons why. And I justified why I didn't. But did it go away? No, it's still in my head, I really need to have that talk. I really need to have that talk. It's still bugging me. And it's it's not allowing me to be centered and present. Because now I'm worried, again, about this conversation that I should have had that I talked myself out of. Because of the stories we create in our head. So being present is so important. Because we I mean, this is real time. This is where we live, we don't live in the future. We don't live in the past, we need to live in the future. And a lot of that takes being still right you still and know that God is God. like God take control of things. There's so many things that we are not in control of. Yet we have this false sense that we are in control of it and it's just not the case. And so I'm going to go through a few things as well. claudin that great practicals that I've used. You already talked about breathing. Breathing is phenomenal. That is a basic but it's so crucial and your physical self is really going to thank you for it. You know you can be focused on your breathing that is being present. You know that is really taking initiative to be present in the moment. Another thing is being out on nature going on walks, I try to go on a walk every day. And when I do, it just, it helps my brain Calm down, it helps my mind just not ruminate. And actually, it helps me process my thoughts. I'm not saying don't allow yourself to be in your head, but process in a way that's healthy and helpful and not ruminate on the negative, you know, and also the journaling that helps, right, we've tried many times about journaling, that could be making a list. So one of the things I've done is I make a list, I divide the paper in half, you know, one side, I write what I can control. The other side, I write what I cannot control. And putting that down on paper out of your head is so powerful because it gives you perspective. And then it gives you things Hey, what I can't control. That's my prayer list. Right? That's what I can pray about in the morning. You just give it up to God. And another term that we've heard that I know you have a different term is a brain dump, right? That and you call it a thought download whatever you want to call it, just get those thoughts out of your head and put it down on paper. It is extremely powerful. And wake up early to already talked about that. Right. That is huge. getting adequate sleep. Exercise is really important and exercises moving your body just helps. It helps with the breathing it I know for me even personally, it has helped me with anxiety. It's calmed, my anxiety and I can breathe. Well, I can breathe. Like I said, Sometimes I catch my breath. I can breathe properly, and it does. When you exercise you are focusing on your breathing. That's right. I think about exercise. Water. Again, we talked about water a lot and our relationships, right? If you feel disconnected, then just reach out, reach out to a friend. You know what I do I wake up in the mornings like this is five 5:30 in the morning, ladies, it is not like okay, six 6:30.

Claudine
That's what I call the middle of the night, I call that the middle of the night.

Ashley
It is 5 o clock in the morning. But it goes back to Okay, I recognize I became aware when I don't have this interaction with my husband in the morning. I feel so disconnected. And think about even with God right how easily we can be disconnected with God if we don't have that touch with you in the morning. Yeah, and or a friend. Right now we can feel very disconnected and insecure in our friendships perhaps because we are kind of forced to be disconnected, we can't really go out and we're starting to a little bit more I think we feel it's a little bit safer. And we're cautious and everything but make sure you know just don't get in your head and feel insecure in your relationships. Just reach out, send a text, make a phone call, you know just have that touch with your your friends. And then simple things like music. I like to listen to music that helps me feel empowered, or even like meditation, music just helps kind of calm my brain down. And I recognize and if our listeners really recognize when you start feeling that sense of anxiety or worry or feeling out of control, then I know okay, I might need to switch to meditation music I need to slow down my brain. Yeah, I don't need to hype up my brain and listen to Megadeth or Metallica. Candles, good sense, right? Like diffusers, those kinds of things. Those things are something that's like a nice little enjoyment to have around the house and you just kind of feel good a little bit. It just helps kind of bring you down a little and kind of helps calm. So those are some of the things that I wanted to share that have been extremely helpful. And really the nature the walks is another great one because it gives you time just of silence. It gives you time to be out in nature. And there's just a connection with nature that my husband and I took our kids camping. And I remember I was really deep in anxiety at the time. And when we went out and we hiked in about two miles camps for a night. I kid you not I couldn't think of any one thing that was making me anxious when I out there. Yeah, my brain was so calm and so at peace just looking out over the lake. I just I couldn't even think about what was I still worried about. It was it was magical. I never want to leave.

Claudine
I love the getting out in nature because we can really multitask there. We can be walking in nature. We can be praying, we could mean you know, working on our thoughts. We can do so many things all at once, right being still stilling our mind. So it's a great one. It's something I need to start. You know, I almost went walking this morning and I thought oh, it's just a little chilly. I mean, it was probably 52 I'm sure there's people in other places. They're like, wow, 52 It's so warm. But for me

Ashley
That's what we do. Right, Claudine and we come up with a reason not to. So many reasons.

Claudine
Right. And I really need to start that for many reasons. But even that centering practice every morning just to be in nature to walk, to pray, to center my thoughts, and get a focus on what I want to accomplish for the day. So you can ask me about that later this week asked me how my walk is going, but. Well, that was a great episode on centering self on learning ways to practice to overcome anxiety and overwhelm and just feeling off kilter, which we all do. Well, we wish all our listeners a centered day, may you find what you value and focus on that. Until next time.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #64

Self preservation is something every living creature does. From human beings all the way down to a single cell organism. We all share this unique God-given ability to preserve our life. It's a matter of survival. However, it can also be the very thing that holds us back from living our best life because, oftentimes, experiencing discomfort can feel like life or death. Today, we talk about ways you can keep this survival instinct from running your life and finally step out on faith and be all you were made to be.



Ashley
This is Episode 64. Self Preservation. 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. What do you beautiful, talented, gifted, smart women have in common with a one celled living organism. That's right, self preservation. We all do it. It is a set of behaviors that ensure the survival. And all of us, a mature amazing women have in common with a one celled organism. It is innate, and it's built into us to survive, to be safe to be comfortable. So today we're going to talk about self preservation, the ways that it harms us the ways that it's good for us and how we can make sure that our self preservation, the instinctive part is not keeping us from rising up and shining and living our best life now. So Ashley, what are your thoughts on self preservation?

Ashley
You know, one word came to mind, fear. I have become all too familiar in the last three years with fear and the effect it has on my relationships, my life, but even more so my body. I think there is such a lack of understanding about, about self preservation about how our body works about how I mean, really, our brains are wired for survival. That's the oldest part of our brain since we were in utero, you know, developing for survival. So it makes perfect sense why we tend to go back to live on survival mode. You know, I mean, we hear that all the time. I mean, there I'm sure there's a lot of memes going on around the you know, the last year almost, with a pandemic about just being on survival mode. We're all in survival mode. Well, what does it mean? How did we get here? And what can we do to get out of it and really thrive? Because I, you and i had a great talk, right? This last weekend, it really helped me because I was doing the same thing. Oh, yeah, I know, I'm back on survival mode. And no one wants to live there, right? We're still living there. And it's so normal, but we can really understand how it's hampering our life, being able to rise up and shine and live our best life and feel true joy and peace. And that's what probably all of us are striving for right now.

Claudine
Right? Okay. peace and joy? Absolutely. Well, it's so true fear is one of the motivating factors and self preservation is our brain, our primitive brain is always seeking safety and survival. And another one that's involved is pain, right? Because if something is painful, we want to instinctively withdraw from the damaging situation. So those are healthy things to a certain extent. Now, when they start affecting our lives in a negative way, that's when it's time to discuss it to get some tools and practicals to help us so that we can live our best life and not stay stuck in fear or in avoidance of pain. Because if we want to live a life with no pain, we basically just better just sit in our living rooms on our couches and do nothing, right. Don't have any social relationships, although that'll create its own pain, because we are actually wired for social relationships, what we think if we've been in a painful relationship, why better not do that again? Right? Right, I'm not gonna fall in love again, because that hurt, and I want to survive, and I want to preserve myself. So I better not do that. Again, we know lots of people that get into their 40s or 50s, and have never been married. And I would bet you that there were a failed relationship, a very painful relationship early on. That kind of got wired into the self preservation mode.

Ashley
Oh, absolutely. I know. Another one is abandonment. You know, that is something that I dealt with, personally, throughout my life. And that still plays a part in my relationships. And I realize there's times where, because sometimes I'll just sit and ask myself, how come we're not so close? You know, we used to be so close, how come we're not so close? And I contend it just come to the conclusion that well, I kind of keep my relationships at arm's length. I don't fully invest and fully go after the way I want to, I think, right, you know, probably from the outside looking in, some will be like, really, you know, I think you're great and it's like, but I can feel it on the inside just because I've become aware that a sense of self preservation because I have felt abandoned at different times in my life. You know, I felt people left me for various reasons. And so that still can keep me in that self preservation mode. Well, I don't want to be hurt. Sometimes it's even a friend just moving away. You know, nothing. I mean, yeah, like super hurtful in our relationship, but still pain that I don't want to experience because here you develop this friendship for 5-10 years, and then they end up moving away. It's like, well, that's happened a lot. So I'm just going to kind of keep you at a distance. And almost I can keep things in my mind, I'll keep that thought in my mind, like this person had has the possibility, they might move away, who knows, they might move away. So I'm just gonna keep our relationship like this, and not get too close. Because I don't want that happening. And then I feel devastated that I lost a great friend, you know what I mean? So we do that in so many different areas of our life.

Claudine
So true. And that's what we're talking about today, just really examining the behaviors that keep us from living our best life because like you, like you just shared, I mean, that fear that someone could move, and you would experience that pain, again, keeps you from really loving people fully and experiencing the joy, right? Those people while they are with you, right? It's like, Hey, we cut ourselves at the knees like, I don't want to feel this. But we'll take this other kind of pain, right kind of discomfort instead. Because for some reason, that's not as bad, right? So funny. It is funny. So self preservation, there's some good things about it, because we are a society. And we're organisms that seek to preserve ourselves. That's how we get some laws and regulations, like things like seatbelt laws, those became laws because people were dying without wearing their seatbelt. So some good comes from it. A lot of our laws and regulations are based on preserving life. The bad part of self preservation, if it's, you know, done, from a subconscious level, and not from a mindful, intentional level is that we can live in fear, we can be stuck, we can struggle with anxiety or depression, right? Right, we can both relate. You know, and, you know, it's so true about relationships. And I shared this in one of our earlier episodes, but when I experienced pain from friendships, whether I felt betrayed or hurt, I've just cut them off. Like, I didn't understand reconciliation. Oh, that was the episode we did it on. Like, I didn't understand how to forgive and reconcile. So I would just cut it off, because I didn't want to feel that pain anymore. It's like, Oh, well, this person create pain. So I will just exclude this person from my life. The problem is, when we live on this planet, we are all going to hurt each other. I can promise you all this shocker. will hurt someone else. during our lifetime, not only I believe in the goodness of people's hearts, but just misunderstandings and unripened expectations and a lot we hurt each other as as humans and in social relationships. So we can't live in that place of fear. And that, again, is so much part of this is fear. But it can lead us to unhealthy relationships. Right? That's what we're talking about. Like you've shared before with codependence like you just say yes to people, which could could be part of an unhealthy relationship, just because you're trying to preserve yourself. Well, I don't want to have an argument or, you know, I know for me a lot of times I just said yes, because I didn't want to have an argument. So you just say yes. And now I'm betraying myself. My values and my desires in order to preserve the peace.

Ashley
Well and that's where my depression came in. Because I wasn't being true to who I was, you know, I wasn't, I had absolutely no idea who I was because I was living for other people all the time. And it took, you know, being in my mid 30s, to actually finally sit down and work through all this, oh, this is who I am. This is what I like, this is what I don't like, this is what I need, you know, I mean, all those things I just never knew. And it it was it was, well, I'm going to avoid this pain. From what maybe what I've gone through in the past, I want to prevent it from happening again. So I'm going to behave this way. But then inwardly not being true to self, then you just feel so much shame. And there's this inner conflict because Gosh, I want to make them happy, but I'm not happy and but I should be happy and I deserve to be happy. And you know, you just enter turmoil and yeah, but then you just get stuck in this pit and feel lousy, you know, so that there's no good on either side. When you try to live that way. You know,

Claudine
What I believe is women, all of us deeply deep down in our core, we want to avoid failure, embarrassment, humiliation, rejection, right? Those are the things we want to avoid. It's going to happen, but we want to avoid it and our primitive brain is working hard to help us avoid that. Unfortunately, it can lead to the safety of playing Small for example, like even in a job, you could be in an unfulfilling job. But oh man, I don't want to put myself out there and get rejected. I don't want to be embarrassed if I quit. And then I don't have another job for eight months, or, or the fear of lack of finances, there's so many reasons. And so we say stuck. And we play small because it's safe. And we have this constant whisper in our head, don't do that. Stay safe. You know, if only or you should, or all these little whispers. That is our primitive brain trying to preserve ourselves. But it really isn't helping us it's not helping us grow, expand and live life to the full.


Ashley
Right. And the basis of it is I mean, this was God given right. This is a God given matter of survival, our brain, our primitive brain, how it was developed, which is incredible. However, we, we have a hard time distinguishing between what's really a matter of survival and just what's just uncomfortable. Just comfort versus survival. If I see a bear coming down the mountain for you, when you're out on a hike, yeah, you're probably just not going to stop and think, gosh, what should I do in this moment? You're just gonna take off, right, you know, and sometimes it's even the worst mistake.

Claudine
I was gonna say, I think you're not supposed to run if you see a bear.

Ashley
But instinctually our thinking brain is like, I'm out of here. And you're just like, I'm just that adrenaline's pumping, I'm out of here. Right. Exactly. And you know, when you're under that tremendous stress, and there's you have to think in a matter of a second we don't we that's the thing. We don't think it's instinctual. You just write up and do it, you know,

Claudine
It's fight, flight, and freeze. Those are God given and it's instinctual. It does help us when we are to get to safety quickly, if, if I touch a hot stove, or there's a fire, I'm gonna run or I'm putting my hand on the hot stove. But these other times, they're for comfort. It's the truth, but we're not aware of it and our brains like No, I'm just trying to keep you safe. And no, really, you're not. You're just trying to keep me comfortable. You know, I don't want to feel bad feelings. So let's just stay safe.

Ashley
And let's distinguish Claudine. Yeah, comfort is not survival. Like I mean, I know we discussed that just right now. But yes, it's really important to keep that in mind. Because there, we do need that survival instincts. I mean, we absolutely need it. There's definitely times we we need that. But just how understanding how did we get here? And how did this comfort that we seek so much, and which causes so much harm in our lives? How did we get here? You know, it's really important to start focusing, how did I even get here? Like, what right? Why am I doing this? This is not, you know, as we talked about last week, within decisiveness to many of us, that feels like a matter of survival. I can't, I can't decide what's for dinner or bigger things I can't I don't know where to move to, you know, we're supposed to up and move our family, what do we do, but just knowing it's uncomfortable, that's part of life, you know, but using the other parts of our brain, the thinking parts, the rationale, the logic, to be able to plan and think through those things. And just to be able to distinguish between those two is power, it's really power.

Claudine
Yeah. Well, it's interesting. While I was researching for this episode, I was looking at the story of Abraham and Sarah. And that was a great example of Abraham doing some self preservation there because he encouraged Sarah, his wife to lie about being his wife, he was like, tell him, you're my sister, because otherwise they're gonna kill me because you're so beautiful. And he's gonna want you for yourself. And it was interesting, because, of course, Abraham is well respected and a prophet and, and did many great things. But in this particular instance, he chose to lie to self Preserve. And he didn't honor God and he didn't honor his wife for sure. But he he decided to lie, let her lie so that they would spare his life. But what's interesting is, once Pharaoh found out immediately, he was upset, like, why would you do that? Why would you put me in that position? Why would you, you know, put me in a position to be with your wife. That wasn't what I would have done. So it's just interesting to me that we have examples of it even in the Scripture. Even Abraham participated in self preservation by having his wife why, and it didn't benefit him. I mean, it really didn't in the long run and didn't honor anybody. And so many of us do that we do things like lying, or cheating. I've shared this before, I think but one of the things I used to do for many years, but it's been years since I've done it, is I would always run late and my husband would get on me about running late. So he'd say Where are you I'd say, Oh, I'm at so and so St. You know, thinking he'll think, Oh, I'm two minutes away. So he'll be okay. The problem was I wasn't it so and so St. I was miles away. But I wanted him to think that I had left on time. And somehow the last two or three minutes, I was just going to catch every light. I was trying to preserve myself, I was like, Oh, I don't want them to be frustrated by right again, I don't want to hear that talk again about being tardy. So I would just bib about where I was. And then eventually I got convicted about that was very deceitful. And then I thought, you know, one day, I'm gonna, my car's gonna die, and I'm gonna say, Oh, I'm on a street, and then my car's gonna die, I'm gonna be on z street, I'm like, I better stop all this nonsense, and either learn how to leave on time, or just face the consequences, which I think after quite a few years, he just realized she's tardy wherever she says she's going to be. Now of course, we've advanced of cell phone. So I use my timer all the time. I love it, I use my timer, I have turned around from being tardy. And my timer and my reminders are such helpful assistance, but we do it all the time. We are trying to self preserve in all kinds of ways. So actually, let's talk about some practical How can we what can we do to help us keep ourselves preserved, keep us surviving, right. But really, still living our best life and, and, and rising up and shining?

Ashley
Well, definitely the first one we all I need to do is awareness. You know, to spend time, really understanding and studying yourself, I would say in studying your patterns, studying your behaviors, your coping, some things, some behaviors we do. Many behaviors we do, we don't realize are actually coping, coping from our circumstances or situations or our feelings, trying to just numb out, you know, we don't realize that I mean, even still, like, I've learned this stuff, I know this stuff. But I it takes sometimes just a conversation with a friend to help point it out. Or when I finally kind of start, you know, the clouds start lifting and I can think a little bit more clearly. Like, oh, wow, I've been drinking a lot more coffee. Well, why am I drinking a lot more coffee? That's I'm coping. Right? earnings are tough. That's a little pick me up. I have been coping. And it's not necessarily a bad thing, right. But we don't always stop to think, oh, why am I doing this behavior. And it's a pattern, I noticed when it's overcast, or rainy, and the weather changes, I drink more coffee, when the mornings are tough. I get another cup of coffee, you know, I mean, I start is just really paying attention and kind of studying yourself and without judgment, no more with curiosity and just kind of think like, wow, like, almost from a third party right outside of the box. I mean, stand outside of yourself, just kind of watch yourself, do things go about the day and just start questioning? Why do I do that? Why do I drink a whole pot of coffee by 10am? Why do I you know, why do I react like this when my child says this or you know, whatever. But just study yourself with curiosity and try to find the patterns in your day, your day to day of, you know, what you could possibly be coping and self preserving. And you know, what specific situations and then you can actually start changing, right, you can write you know, I love having coffee, and I think it I think it would be better for me if I limit my coffee and then maybe have two cups and then it a glass of water or a sparkling water or just making healthier choices. But you can't start changing things if you're unaware, and awareness first and sometimes that takes time. You know, we have to be patient with ourselves. We can't be like I want to change this right now. I may work with some most of us on the other hand, it's gonna take time so awareness is key.

Claudine
That's a great one and I love that you brought up coping mechanisms we almost need to do a whole nother podcast on that on yes less self conscious coping, that we turn to that are mindless we just do it because it helps us to you know survive or to numb out or whatever. One of them that I do is ask myself if these behaviors these somewhat automatic behaviors it's self preservation does this lead me to the life I desire? Am I currently living the life I desire have I created and living that life? And do these behaviors help me get there? A lot of them don't. Like I know for me, you know, you talk about the coffee for me. I can tell I start watching a lot more Netflix. Start watching, you know, and it's funny you were talking about overcast because I'm like, Oh, it's so cold and dreary. I just want to sit on the couch with a blanket and watch a mindless movie.

Ashley
Right, nice and cozy, but yeah, it's coping.

Claudine
And it seems and it's so acceptable, right? Like, no one's gonna say, wow, you know, cutting took a couple hours off this afternoon and just, but the truth of it is, I have things I want to do. And if I continue to engage in that pattern of behavior, I'm not going to accomplish my business goals, I'm not going to accomplish my social goals, you know, connecting with others, I'm going to get too caught up in me, and just self preservation. So asking myself, do these behaviors lead me to the life I desire? And another one that we've talked about is managing our minds, right? the prefrontal cortex, it always starts with our thoughts, like, what are we really thinking? And so much of what we do is subconscious or unconscious, we're not conscious. And that's why awareness like you spoke up is so important, we got to get aware, like, What am I thinking? What am I feeling? Let me let me examine these thoughts. Are they even true? Are they noble? They pure? Are they trustworthy? So many of my thoughts are not, they're bright here. They're based of avoiding pain and seeking comfort, they're not really based on anything that I want it as a foundation for my life. They're not based on that. So managing our minds, really examining our thoughts, really taking them captive, really understanding what that means and renewing them. Because a lot of times we need to renew those thoughts, we need to make new thoughts to deal with the situation.

Ashley
And challenge challenging them, you know, when you really can pay attention to the thoughts around maybe a circumstance that's going on where that's leading you to self preservation? You know, and you're becoming more aware of your thoughts in your head, just challenging them? Again, not with judgment. But just like I said, Well, why do I do that? Why do I always go to this? Is this really as you said, Is this really leading to the life I want? Or is this contributing to who I want to be? You know, I was asked a phenomenal question yesterday, where is like, are you just wake up in the morning? And who do you want to be? You know, ask yourself, who do I want to be today? Are you the mom you want to be? Have you been the wife you want to be? Have you, you know, and it's, it really takes some of those questions to get you to think like, gosh, no, and not intentionally, you know, it's not right. Well, I'm crossing my arms and be like, Well, I'm not gonna do this. And I'm not gonna do that. And it's just gonna be all about me. And you know, nothing like that, but just really paying attention to. Okay, who do I want to be as a wife as my mom, as a woman? How do I want to feel? Don't I want I feel more peace? Do I want to feel lethargic? Do I want to feel lazy? Do I, you know, earlier, when I was a teen, I loved being lazy.

Claudine
It was great. I think all teens do. Teenage affliction,

Ashley
Right? And then exactly like, we grow up, you know, do I really want to be this person still? No. And a lot of times, it's just our pattern, our neural pathway that has been paved by these patterns by these ways of behaving. And I so met so much. So over the years, where it's so unconscious, we don't think about we don't actually intentionally think about, it is a hard day, I'm going to go do this because it makes me feel better. And you know, it's just something we do instinctually.

Claudine
Yeah, exactly. And you touched on another practical, which is really dealing with our emotions. And there's a point where we have to become emotionally mature, we have to become emotional adults, right? Like, we have to accept the 50-50 principle that life is 50% good and 50% not so good. As far as emotions, all emotions are God given we're not going to be happy 100% of the time, but we can influence our thought, or we can influence our emotions by thinking thoughts, because they create our emotions, right? So part of self preservation starts, part of taking part of acting in ways that help us live the life we desire, is dealing with our emotions, accepting them, like you talked about not judging them, accepting them? Why do I feel this way? What is going on that I feel this way? And also learning to respond from emotional from emotional maturity, not responding from fear or anger or resentment, but really becoming stone I was reading this interesting book that talks about the window of tolerance, and it's this natural state. Hold on. It's this baseline state of physiological functioning when we're not frightened, stressed, overtired or overstimulated and when we're in that place, our prefrontal cortex is steady and calm. And we can make decisions, we can respond in ways that will benefit us and not harm us or not take us down a path that's not healthy for us. So, you know, there's a lot of things we can do with our thoughts and with our feelings and with our actions, and that's the things that we work with our clients is really working on that thought, training, you know, management of our minds.

Ashley
Yeah, and the last thing I want to mention also, that was really beneficial for me was counseling. And this is for if you've had trauma, if you feel like you're really stuck, and you're having a hard time getting yourself out, depression, anxiety, a lot of that stuff, you know, PTSD, it's really important to have someone to talk to, to help dig that stuff out. And counseling was phenomenal with being able to bring out some of that past traumas, you know, that can keep us in that self preservation mode, to be able to move forward. So that may not be for everybody. But if you really feel like personal trauma from your past childhood, is just really keeping a hold on you, then that is a great route to go through to start the healing process.

Claudine
That's a great point, Ashley. Because as children, if we've gone through traumas, or even in our early adulthood, if we've gone through traumas, they you might really need some help. just dealing with that and overcoming what may have been wired in your neural pathways and the ways you've learned to cope that aren't healthy. And coaching is great for moving forward. But sometimes we do need to look back and deal with that uncomfortable. problematic past enable in order to move forward. So that's a great point.

Ashley
Yeah, and sometimes we don't realize that the past traumas are still affecting us today. A lot of times we feel like we've moved on, I've made peace with it. But there subconsciously, it's still there. It doesn't go away if we don't properly process through and so that's where the counseling comes in, because it does a lot of that out to be able to process properly, which will definitely help for sure. So yeah, thank you, everybody, for tuning back in with us today. And we hope these practicals have really helped you. One recognize if you may be in self press starvation mode I think many of us are right now, especially with a pandemic and this big thing that we're all dealing with around the world. But really to recognize it be aware and to make steps to move forward out of it to be your best self to live the life you want to live and feel good and have more peace and joy and just be who you want to be. So thank you for tuning back in and we will catch you next time.
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #63

There's something about being faced with a decision that can cause us so much stress and anxiety. Whether it's a big decision or even a small one like choosing what to eat for dinner. But why? In today's episode, we talk about common reasons why decision making can feel so difficult and stressful and we discuss tips on how you can make decisions with confidence!



Ashley
This is Episode 63. Making Decisions with Confidence. 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.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the rise up and shine podcast here with Claudine, another lovely morning. So I wanted to start this episode off by asking you all a question that's going to lead into our topic for the day. So here it is. Do you find it difficult to make a decision? Bom Bom Bom? Well, I do. I know many of us at one time or another no matter how big no matter how small have had have, have found it very difficult to make a decision for various reasons. And in today's episode, Claudine and I are gonna dive into what some of those reasons are. Why does it feel so difficult sometimes, whether it's a big decision or a small decision? I mean, I've been asked some of the smallest little things that really seem like no big deal, and it's just caused me so much anxiety. I don't know, I don't know. It's very amazing and powerful to discover why we do those things. Also focus on the practical that can really help decision making that much easier for us all for our own mental well being. So we don't freak out like sometimes I would do.

Claudine
You know, decision making is a struggle for many of us. And a, you know, making a decision by definition is to make a final choice or to select as a course of action. That's the definition. And I was reading an article that we can make up to 35,000 decisions a day. Now that sounded a little crazy.

Ashley
No wonder we're stressed out.

Claudine
I know. But by the same token, there's thoughts out there that we have 60,000 thoughts a day. So I guess more than half of those thoughts were deciding something that's crazy. could be as simple as what should I wear today? And what's breakfast? To what's really more complicated. When should I marry this person? Which university should I attend? Which job should I take? I mean, decision making is from the tiny tiny to the humongous. So but we make a lot of them apparently, in one day. 35,000 I thought maybe I made 10. So I was shocked.

Ashley
That's pretty amazing. You know, it's funny what you were saying Claudine about even to, you know, deciding Are we going to marry this person? I was thinking, gosh, it was a lot easier for me to decide, yes, I want to marry this man. And it is so much harder for me to figure out what is for dinner.

Claudine
Right? Right.

Ashley
That causes me a lot more stress than money.

Claudine
Well, yeah. And I got married at 23. And then.

Ashley
Me too.

Claudine
My decision making involved This is the father of my child, I should marry him.

Ashley
Oh, yeah. Well, that was easy.

Claudine
Yeah, that was easy, right? So but we are talking today about decision making, because so many people can feel stuck and scared and frustrated. By having to make a decision. I have one child, one of my four, who shall remain nameless that when they were younger, and we would go to restaurants would get so stuck in what to order, they would literally ruin our evening, because they just could not order. And so we had to stop going out with the kids. Not that we did that a lot. But on the occasions that we did, we just had to stop. Now as this child became an adult, they were able to communicate that they always had a fear that they would make the wrong decision. And they wouldn't like their food. And as a child that seemed pretty big in the scope of their life, right? No, you don't like your food, either send it back, you don't eat it, you order something else. There's so many other options. But the time when they were younger, they were not developed enough to realize that ordering the wrong food that they might not like would not be the end of life as they knew it. But that was one thing. Just a decision over what to order was like, you know, it affected all of us to the point where I had to stop going out with the kids because I was like, Oh, we can't go through this.


Ashley
Right. It's not fun anymore.

Claudine
No, it wasn't fun. As a side note, our family went on a cruise several years later. And they were allowed to order anything they wanted from the menu and as many items as they wanted off the menu and for some reason that they were fine with. I'll take this and this and this. So worked out just fine. Well, that's good.

Ashley
So Claudine, where do you fall on the spectrum? Because some of us it's harder than others. Right? Some, it's pretty easy, to some extent. But where do you fall? Is it hard? Is it more simple for you to make decisions?

Claudine
I think for me, it's become easier. I think, when I was younger, let's say my 20s. And even 30s is probably a little more challenging. But I think my natural makeup is to kind of just jump into it and let the chips fall as they may. And so now, because over the course of several decades, I've made, you know, quite a few wrong if there is such a thing as a wrong decision, or not the best So, but I survived. So now my brain knows it's not life or death. Right? Whatever I make a decision on it's not life or death. So there's some trust and safety built up, that I can make a decision and it won't end the world as I know it. Now, I'm not talking about jumping out of airplanes, I've made a decision not to do that. Kind of self preservation, which we'll be talking about next week. But there's certain things I don't do. I've made a decision not to do just, you know, to save my life.

Ashley
Yeah, you know, I've had times where I, you know, go into my closet, gosh, what am I gonna wear today? What am I going to wear? And I've had to figure out the the thing that helps me with just that, you know, the stress of picking out what I want to wear for the day is, well, who am I dressing for? I would ask myself, who am I dressing for? I'm dressing for me. So why is it such a big deal? What do I feel like wearing today, I feel like we're in this one. But it means something so simple can cause us so much stress. And then once we're dressed and we go on about our day, we don't think we don't give it a second thought. But for whatever reason, there are those little things that stop us in our tracks and right, like your child, I'm going to make the wrong choice. And that can be debilitating at times, especially when it comes to bigger decisions that need to be made in our life, which we all face. Right. So.

Claudine
So yeah, I mean, there's lots of reasons that we get stuck, right, we get stuck because of fear. When we make the right choice, we get stuck because fear of judgment, you know, as simple as getting dressed, if we know we're gonna go out or go to work or be out in public, we're like, what will others think of me if I wear this and fear of judgment of ourself, right? So a lot of decisions, we get stuck and we fear, right? So we get stuck in making decisions because of fear. We also get stuck because of overwhelm. There's so many choices, right? I mean, just even thinking

Ashley
Too many options.

Claudine
Way too many options. Wait, I mean, every night, my husband and I are skimming through Netflix, or maybe we should watch and there's hundreds if not 1000s? We're like no, no, I mean, it literally takes us about 30 minutes just to pick one film. And by that.

Ashley
That's pretty good. It takes us over an hour. Friday night, so usually our night to sit down and watch a movie together, watch something together, and it takes over an hour. And usually, my husband will be putting the kids to bed, and I'll start looking ahead of time to narrow the choices.

Claudine
Right? Exactly. It's so many options, so many options. So that can lead to overwhelm. Right? Another reason we can get stuck in decision making is lack of confidence. Right? Like it kind of stems back to making the right choice but confidence in ourselves that we don't know what else to go back to what if I make the wrong decision? negative self talk? I don't know what's right. I don't know. You know, so we can get stuck because of lack of confidence in ourselves that we can make the right decision.

Ashley
Claudine. I have a couple to add on to that as well. One is people pleasing and you kind of touched on that the judgment but this could be to a whole nother level. You know, if you're a codependent or just a people pleaser, in general you are it's driven by fear, driven by fear and you feel like oh gosh, I got to make this decision. So I can make the other person happy. Or I'm going to do this for the other person. And it can become toxic to us. If we think that way all the time, and it could be extremely difficult to make a decision because we're not in the other person's head. You know, I mean, this, I've shared this in the past on our podcast, how I have had birthday parties for my children. And I would just overwhelm myself because I was trying to anticipate what other people would want to eat or drink or, you know, do while they're there at the adults, especially not even just the kids, but their parents, their parents, I put so much stress on myself. But I was anticipating, okay, well, they might want this to drink, or they might like this, or maybe they don't like this. But it was driven by such people pleasing that I drove myself crazy. Yeah. And I was exhausted. And I didn't even enjoy it. Fortunately, my daughter did. And the people did, but I was exhausted. And I didn't admit. And I had to learn, like, gosh, stop doing that. Like, why do I keep making decisions based on pleasing others, and that will cause so much stress. Another is disconnection from our desires and our needs. So I have really related to this that I have, you know, growing up, and this can come from previous relationships, childhood, whatnot, but you see many times where a kid might tell their parents, well, I want to do this, or I want to buy that, or I want to watch this. And the parents might say, No, no, no, no, and be told no a lot, where their desires just kind of got rejected, you know. And so you can grow up feeling like, Well, my desires and my wants or even needs maybe aren't, weren't met. And so maybe I need to make decisions for other people that can go into the people, right? So we can have such a disconnection of what we really want and need. And that can make it very hard to decide. And that goes into my other personal example of dinner. You know, what's for dinner? Oh, my gosh, like, I would go visit my mother and she would ask me, before noon, what do you want for dinner tonight? Don't ask me that. I'm not ready to answer that. Give me three o'clock. Okay, three o'clock. I'll start thinking about it. But I did it. So I would have a very hard time deciding what I wanted to have for dinner, because I never really thought about what I want. It was very uncomfortable for me to consider what I want. Because it might be what something it might not be what someone else wants. So I will actually choose for dinner. And this happened a lot in my marriage. I mean, dinner was one of the most stressful times of the day for me, because I was trying to make something that maybe everyone else will like, and I'll kind of get affirmed, you know, get that little affirmation or just that I made something that they all liked, which you know, you have two kids and a husband, how often is that gonna work out? Right?

Claudine
Try four kids and a husband? You know, it's so funny with dinner because I made what I made. And if they didn't like it, I would always tell them, this is not Burger King, and you do not get it your way. I am not a restaurant, this is what we're having. Now, granted, over the years, there were certain items that came up, and they're like, we really none of us like this. I was like, okay, cut that out. But overall,

Ashley
Well, I do so you're gonna eat it?

Claudine
No, I didn't do that. No, I didn't do that. But


Ashley
I do one thing that has helped me with that just kind of side note, because it's funny, but I will say Well, what do I feel like eating today. And I'll start once in a while, not every night, but once in a while. Yeah, often throughout the week, I'll make what I would like to eat. Because I really like having tacos or I feel like having pasta and like I'm allowed to make what I want to make too. And it I mean, it sounds silly, but some some of us really do have to go through that little rationale in our head, you know, and be okay with choosing something that you want and be a little more connected with your wants and desires and needs.

Claudine
Well, it's so true and what you're talking about a lot of it is in our subconscious. So a lot of the decision making that we do is made by our subconscious we're not even aware of why we decide certain things. It's from the programming, from the experiences from whatever we learned in our childhood like for you obviously pleasing others, somehow developed them became a huge part of who you are right at an early age. And so that started affecting your decision making process. And it can lead us astray. If it's not intentional if our decision making process is done. Without awareness without intention, just on the subconscious level. We're gonna end up making decisions that we look at and like, why did I do that? Don't even make sense for the direction. I want my life. going, I don't even understand why I did this or thought this or felt this. So, yeah, a lot of it is from our childhood programming, you know? So actually, let's talk about some practicals to help those of us that can get stuck making decisions like how should we go about making big decisions, and we're talking more big decisions, because really little decisions like what to wear and what to eat for dinner while we can get stuck with those, those really aren't going to impact our life in a great way. We're talking more about bigger decisions when we're faced with Where should we move? And who should I marry those decisions that people can really get stuck with create anxiety can create depression, you know, when making those things? Actually, that's one of the reasons sometimes we don't make decisions because we're depressed, that could really be a reason. Like, it's hard to think clearly. When your brain your mind, your heart is depressed. Mm hmm. But making decisions can create anxiety, which is not the best place to come to to make a decision when you're anxious. So for practicals, I've written down a few here for our listeners and for ourselves. The first one is Christian women, obviously, we're motivated by a desire to honor and please God. So for me when I have to make a big decision. I really have to look at that. Well, this honor. God is real specific about principles in the Scriptures, but not about the How to like what to wear. I don't think God really cares what I wear. But I do believe he wants me to honor the principle of obeying the laws of the lands, which is where something is when you're going out in public, right? Don't overthink it? It's true, right?

Ashley
Do us all a favor. Please wear something,


Claudine
please wear something out in public. It is the law of the land. And we are motivated to please God and honor the laws of the land. Right? I know, it's a silly example. But it just tries to show that there are principles to hold to and not necessarily like the specifics. Another one for me is to write it down. If I'm really stuck, I'll write down the pros and cons. Put it put pen to paper, get it out of your head, get it out of your thoughts, because in your thoughts, we're doing all this. But but but it should, should should. But put it on paper, get it just the facts, like as much facts as we can do with that our opinion. But what are the pros? If you make this decision? What are the cons? If you make this decision? What are the pros? If you don't make this decision? What are the cons if you don't make this decision, it really helps to put it on paper, to really see it with our eyes to write it with our hands, it does something to the brain. And then we can kind of get out of our emotions, and get our prefrontal cortex more engaged into making a logical choice, and not an emotional choice. Because we don't want to make decisions out of fear or out of some emotion.

Ashley
Not from an emotional place,

Claudine
Right? What's that, quote, don't make a permanent decision from a temporary feeling right? Not that anything's permanent. But even buying a house, you know, you want to do on a feeling like well, I just feel like I should live here, then it may not line up with anything else. And that's kind of a big decision to make. Another one is to pray about it. I think sometimes when I get stuck, I just pray. And it's funny that God will really make it clear. He'll just make it clearer. Maybe he'll block an avenue and it's like, well, I guess that's not that was that's not gonna work. So praying has been so helpful to me personally on so many occasions. Another one is seek advice, get input from others, there are people that know more than me on a lot of subjects on probably every subject. So you know, if I'm have to make a big financial decision, which we're going to be coming up to soon after the sale of our house, you know, I'm going to want to sit down with you and your husband because you guys have some things going on. Right? You have more experience in managing money than my husband I do. We have great experience blowing through money and losing money. But now we have a little money from the sale of our house. And we're going to seek advice like where should we put this? How should we invest this what has proven in your experience to be beneficial and to work in your favor? So seek advice. Finally, one of the final things too is just choose just make a decision making a decision is better than not making a decision because not making a decision. We're just stuck. We don't go anywhere. Then we get frustrated. We get depressed. It's like we're not living life to the full right when we're not rising up and shining when we stay stuck. So just make a choice. One way or another it will work out it always does. I look at all our choices. I mean one of are probably worse decisions was to buy a house when we moved to Nashville for two years, we only went out one weekend and looked at houses and then just bought one needed work, we had to put work into it, we never sold our house in California. So it was completely a financial Wait, like, I don't know how to say it, but it cost us financially. And then when we went to sell it was after the crash. So we actually lost about 100,000. So I could look back and say that was a really bad decision, it would have been better to just rent, decide which area make a decision financially, because we're basing our decision on the fact that our California house would sell, which it didn't. So we really couldn't afford that house. But the truth of it is, when I look back, instead of getting discouraged or having negative self talk, I look at all the good, I focus on all the good that came out from it, my next door neighbor became a really close friend, I wouldn't have had that experience that was something really good. from it. I loved my two years in that neighborhood in that house, it was a great experience, a very expensive experience, but it was a great experience. So a lot of good that came from what could be looked at as a bad decision. And we survived it, you know, we overcame it, we survived it. So for me just making a choice not getting stuck. And lastly is just trusting God during before and after, you know, when there's a decision to be made, just trusting that He will guide us that it'll work in our benefit in the long run. So for me, trusting God's been huge, like I said, with that, that experience, I had to trust him after, okay, that didn't turn out so well financially. But let me just trust you that in the end, you're gonna work it all out, and that there was a lot of good that came from it. So those practicals for me that help me make decisions, bigger decisions.

Ashley
Yeah, and I'm gonna put one in there as well as acceptance. I know this kind of goes into even the journaling or writing things down and prayer, but accepting that no matter what choice you make is, is the best choice you can make right now with what information you have. Right? And then like you said, later down the road, you'll say, Okay, well, maybe that wasn't the best choice but to have grace with yourself. Take it as a learning experience. Right? And that helps to build wisdom. So you can make an even better choice the next time. Right, another thing that someone would always encourage me or with that it took me a while to actually appreciate this piece of advice, because at first it was really hard and like I really don't like that. Right? Well, what's the worst that can happen? And I'm sure we've most of us haven't heard that before. Well, what's the worst thing that can happen? But even when I would think the worst, and it relatively maybe to other people, it's like, well, that's really not that bad. In my brain, it still felt like this is horrible. It felt like death. You know, I mean, it felt so strong because of that fear. And because of the beliefs in my head. The thoughts that I had about this circumstance, it was so strong that it did feel really awful. You know? Yeah, I mean, it could be like, well, like, for example, and this is gonna sound silly, but this is my codependency the word No, I struggled. Probably most of my life with the word no being told no. also being able to say the word no. And so when someone says, Well, maybe the worst that can happen is they say no. But that feels like I'm going to die. It Right. feels that strong in my body. But it goes way back re back to childhood way back of why I kind of built that belief up in my head. But the awareness and understanding made me focus on just accepting, okay, if someone does say no, accept it, it's gonna be uncomfortable, but accept it. If it is what it is. It's not it's right. It's okay. You're allowed to say no, I'm allowed to say no, be okay with that uncomfortable feeling. Right. And I think that is one thing that can really help us make decisions and easier yet take a lot of the pressure off is be okay with the uncomfortable feelings, right? It's very hard for us as humans to do that. Because we want to avoid all discomfort at all costs. But when it comes to decisions, there is going to be a lot of uncomfortable, uncomfortable. This is going to be a lot of discomfort. So we need to just accept it and it's part of life. It's okay. You know.


Claudine
That's a that's a great point. I love the fact that you brought that up because you We want life to just be all sunshine and rainbows. And it's not not emotionally, not mentally, not experientially. And even with our decisions, you're right, some decisions we make are going to be uncomfortable. And that's just part of life. And if we think that we have to make every decision correctly, and we have to feel good 100% of the time, we're going to get ourselves in trouble, right over and over again. So just accepting that some decisions will be difficult, they will produce pain and discomfort. But it really is, after going the greater goal, you know, what's the greater goal? What's your eye on if we're just making decisions haphazardly, if we're not being driven by our values, or by something deeper by our goals? Like, again, for me, as a Christian, well, woman, I'm motivated by desire to honor God, that's a, that's a value deep within me that I strive to, and I know you do as well strive to live. So that motivates and shapes a lot of my decisions, right? But what to expect that all my decisions are going to be right, or quote, unquote, perfect are going to bring just blessings and sunshine and happiness is not even realistic. That's just right. Like, that's just not the human experience. We're gonna experience at all the good, bad and the ugly.

Ashley
Yeah. And, you know, I also wanted to point out, I know, for us women, moms wives, when we feel like our decision can greatly impact for the positive or negative our family, it can be that much harder to make a decision or even consider making a decision. Because I mean, many of us have gone through Well, what school? Will my kids go to? Or even right now? Do I want? I mean, we're getting surveys, do you want your children to go to school? in person? Or would you prefer virtual learning or even a hybrid? And that's like, I don't know, you know, I mean, you have to take all these. Gosh, why, right? What my kids to go. But is that bad? Is it safe? Is it you know, there's a lot of decisions. And I know, when it comes to my children, it can be very challenging to make decisions, because especially as a mom, you know, when they're young, we're making decisions for them, right? where a lot of these things, and that is that can be very stress filled and overwhelming and debilitating at times. I know, for myself, I'm more of an avoider so I can avoid making decisions. I'll share a little I'll be honest, I'll share a little something. This last week, my son's teacher emailed me and said, Hey, your son showed interest in joining our cooking club, our little virtual cooking club. And the first thing I'm thinking great another thing on my plate that I have to manage. Okay, well I'll check that out. I'll fill out the information. And so she kept sending me the survey of which recipe. Ah, Claudine. I don't know why I kept putting it off and putting it off. But I just I couldn't I, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what I want my third grader to make. But you pick I know, I know. But the reason why is because I'm so overwhelmed with other things. And this happens when we're dealt with a lot of stress. And we're overwhelmed already. Our focus. One thing I've really paid attention to with myself is I when I feel stressed out overwhelmed, I can't focus on one thing at a time, my mind. And that's why even now I'm having trouble sleeping. I'm waking up thinking I have something to do I have to do away, it's nighttime, and then I go back to sleep and then I wake up, I have something to do and no.


Claudine
I can tell you're not writing things down.

Ashley
I'm not writing things down. No.

Claudine
Because if you put them on paper, they would not be whirling around in your head.

Ashley
I know. But it's so funny because I've been putting it off and that decision. but then what happens when we put off decisions, then we're just gonna have more stress and it wakes you up at night. Yep, that's what it's doing. I've been having insomnia, because, Hello, I'm just not making a decision. And it causes more stress and more harm on our physical, emotional, mental well being. You know, that's really important to be aware of.

Claudine
And that's such a small decision in the scheme of things in life, like what should my eight year old make in his virtual cooking class? You know, that's like not gonna affect your family dynamics. It might affect you going the grocery store to make sure you have all the items that the extent of the effect but I would have delegated I'm a great delegator. I would have told the teacher you tell me and I'll pick up the ingredients. Yeah, exactly. I am doing that lately with friends that want to meet like last week. I was. You tell me. You tell me. She's like, Where do you want to have lunch? I'm like you tell me your choice today. Yeah. And unfortunately, she was like, no, it's your turn. You have to make decision. I was like, Oh darn it. Cuz I really didn't care. I wasn't familiar with the area. So man, I had to get on my phone and just figure out where we could drive through or get takeout.

Ashley
It could feel like a daunting task, right? I mean, something simple like that.

Claudine
Can during a pandemic, trying to figure out where it lead can certainly feel, you know, never thought about it a lot. Now, we got to figure out okay, who's open? Who's got heaters? Because it's been cold. So, you know, we don't know. And do we sit on the phone make phone calls? Do we drive? It's like, no, nevermind, let's just stay home.

Ashley
No, but it's so true Claudine. I mean, we we deal with the anxiety of it, even with small things, right. But when you think about I know, both you and I know people who have had to make very big decisions, whether it's, I got to pick up and move my family or my spouse lost their job, and now we got to do I go back to work? How do we do this? I know even with a pandemic, and the schooling, people have had to figure out do do the grandparents, watch the kids and help them with school? Do one of us, I mean, all this balance. Another is I have a dear friend, close to me who's dealing with custody issues, you know, in deciding that type of thing, okay, trying to be in agreement with their act, right? And or health issues, what type of health treatment are we going to go for, you know, like this or not, or medication or, you know, even if it's like cancer, radiation, like, all these big big right, that people got faced with. And I mean, the best thing you can do is just pray, right? Give it over and really release a lot of the negative limiting beliefs, self doubt a lot of that and just make a choice. Based off the best information you have the best you can do for the moment, and accept it just be okay with the choice you made. You know.

Claudine
I love that. That's a great one be okay, because in the end, in the end of it all, there's no right or wrong decision, there are decisions that may work out more in our favor or less in our favor, get closer to our long term goals or not. But there's no right or wrong, whatever decision we make, we can handle it, we can handle it, we can deal with it. And God can take those lemons and make it into lemonade. I keep thinking that I think of all the mistakes I've made and I think how he's worked through them all. And acceptance is so huge if we stop resisting ourselves and the negative self talk and just trust just really have that deep faith that it's all going to be okay. It really does in the long run

So well friends hopefully this has helped relieve a little bit of anxiety when it comes to decision making. And we have more resources on mindoverchaos.com and claudinesweeney.com and I have one really easy decision for you all. And that's to hit the subscribe button below. So thank you for listening and we will see you next time.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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 #62

The stigma, right? No one wants to talk about it. Anxiety and depression are two very common things we don't like to talk openly about because there is that looming fear of criticism or rejection. You may fear people will think something is wrong with you. And, as a Christian woman, you may also fear people will question your faith. Hear us when we say, "You are not alone". In this episode, we share our personal struggles with these unwelcomed guests and share specific steps that have helped us pull our way through to the peaceful side. It doesn't have to be a life sentence. It is possible to rise up over your anxiety or depression and shine your best self.



Ashley
This is Episode 62. Rising above anxiety and depression. 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 everyone to another episode here on the rise up and shine podcast and we are going to talk about something that many of us may be feeling right now. And that's anxiety and or depression. And Claudine and I have both battled with both of these things in our life and on multiple occasions. And especially given the year that we've come off of right 2020, the one that I want to forget. But coming into 2021, not much different. I know, there's a little more hope out there, which is great. But we have all endured a lot of added stress this year, a lot of disruption to our normal life or normal routine. And so it can really take a toll on our mental health. And Claudine and I both have even recently been having these issues knocking at our door, you know, not knocking want to come in. And in the past, we both have learned so many great tools of what to do how to, one become aware of when we're feeling these things, and also what to do that can help get us out of it. Because there can be a misconception that this is just the hand that you're dealt, and you're stuck with it for life, you know, and there are definitely varying degrees of anxiety and depression, different disorders, different challenges, maybe genetic influence, you know, there's a lot of different factors that can play in here to anxiety and depression. But right now we're going to talk about the practical tools that we both have learned that have really gotten us out to rise up and shine, you know, feeling like we can live our best life and feeling like there's hope to live our best life and to feel more peace in our life. And so we are here today to share these wonderful practicals with you, our listeners. So you too can also rise up and shine over these, especially this year, because we want to make this a great year, you know, 2021 even if things do not change, or it's going to take a while still for them to change. We still want to try and work through these issues, you know, and have our mental health just get that much better.

Claudine
Right, right, Ashley, I'm so glad we're talking about this because I feel like for me and my experience over the years, as a Christian woman, we don't talk a lot about mental health in the church. It's somewhat of a taboo subject, or people are ill equipped. And when we do bring it up, if we do share it with someone a lot of the responses, well, you just need to be faithful or you need to be grateful or are you praying about it. And I know I've shared this before. But that's those were the kind of comments that I got, which didn't help at all, they weren't helpful. In fact, they, they typically just made me feel even worse after I shared I understood the people's hearts, their intentions were good. But that's why we're here today to really talk about it. First of all, that it's okay as Christian women that we struggle with depression, anxiety, it's just part of the human experience. And actually, after doing a lot more research, I realized that so many of the great men and women in the Bible had struggled with depression, quarantine David, you know, who is thought to have written most of the Psalms. Some of them were written in periods of low times. I know one of his in Psalms 143:4 says, My spirit grows faint within me, my heart within me is dismayed. And I know that's how I felt for a long time. I just felt so dismayed. And my heart was just faint. I just was tired. I was worn out, I had brain fog. It was just hard to even function, right? Like just getting through a day, I felt like I was, you know, thigh high and mud. That's what an average day felt like, for me, like just trying to do laundry and dishes was really pushing me. My kids were in school, I wasn't home homeschooling, but it was just difficult. Just the basic chores of life were too much for me. And it wasn't any one specific big event in my life. Obviously, those can trigger bouts of sadness and grief and depression. For me, it was a lot of little things. It was little things that had compounded that I hadn't dealt with. And it was really a time where it was starting to point to deeper, deeper problems, the root of the issue, which is what I had to get in touch with that were really affecting me. But you know, today we're talking about depression, which I tend to suffer with more, and you with anxiety, which is more what you've struggled with. And with both of these, we just definitely want to make a side note if you are really really struggling with depression as far as having suicidal thoughts or self harm, or anxiety to the point where you're having panic attacks and it's affecting your physical well being, it's really time to call a professional. We are not professionals, we have both gone through this, but not to the point where either of us would have been harmed in any way, either through self or through our actions because of how we're feeling. So if you are really struggling with this, where it's really intense, and you're concerned for your health, please reach out to a professional and get some some help. You know, we're here with what's helped us, but we are not professionals. But here we are almost a year into the pandemic. So I know that this is a big issue. I know that people are worn out, they're tired, anxious, we're both fighting it off. Like you said, it's knocking on the door, right? question is, are we going to answer? Right? I know like an old friend, but no, not my friend. I don't want to have hospitality with you, you cannot come in. Right. So it's been a hard year for so many of us with so many other issues. And I know last week, we talked about comparison, which you know, can definitely affect depression and anxiety. So make sure you listen to that if you struggle with that at all. Because that's, you know, could possibly be a step to helping you ease it.

Ashley
Yeah, so let's talk about a little bit also some of the triggers. So there are some things that can even if you are more predisposed to anxiety or depression that can increase it or magnify it, that you can take steps to decrease, because we all want to decrease those in our life, right? The anxiety and depression they are not welcome friends. However, they are very real. And they are very normal human experiences that many of us, you know, are affected by and I know just even with anxiety, it affects more than 40 million Americans. I mean, this is not uncommon. This is not right. And right. I was learning a lot about this. I was pretty shocked. Because as you said, Claudine, we don't typically talk about it. There is kind of this stigma on it. like something's wrong with you, if you're getting panic attacks, and I used panic attacks. And I didn't know what was going on. Depression, I struggled with depression. And even then I didn't even recognize it. Like, I just knew I didn't feel good. I was tired all the time. And I just felt like I had no energy, like you said to do the dishes, for goodness sakes, I can't even get out of bed. And I did I did put a label on it. But right adding the factor of being Christian women, like you said, as well as sometimes we're just illiquid. And it's not talked about enough as if it's a normal occurrence. You know, it's very common. So one thing that we can do that does help that does trigger these is caffeine, caffeine and alcohol can trigger it. Certain health issues, like if you have low blood sugar, or thyroid functionality, you know, that can definitely affect it as well. certain medications might trigger it, stress sleep issues. I mean, think about it. Now, last night, I had a horrible night asleep and talking with my husband. It was a night where we slept with the kids and I left our puppy in the crate in our room. And he's like, do you think you were thinking about that and kind of worried I was like yeah, I guess you're right. I was worried about leaving the dog in the other room by himself. And I did not sleep but I did not feel good this morning. Right? And sleep issues definitely has an effect on it. And another big one is changes in routine. This one really stuck out to me because we all have experienced a change in our routine. Many are working from home many had to hire nannies or caretakers or ask families to help wash their children or while their children are doing school most children I know not all but most children are doing school virtually at home and some do go to work. Still my husband does go into work and I'm I'm home but there's a lot of varying changes in our normal day to day life. And one thing that I recognize for myself that could have happened with you as well is that we think in the beginning it's like well I can handle it you know this will be done soon right Claudine? Remember you’re like, It'll last two weeks.

Claudine
Two weeks? That was my professional guess.

Ashley
Well look at here and you know, we don't really stop us as humans are not the greatest at stopping to be aware like how we're really feeling about the situation right? Like, I mean, if you take an honest look, how many of us really stopped and I don't know if I like this very I'm worried about this or I'm, you know, we we try to just keep chugging along and just keep going as if things are normal. But down the road, it starts taking a toll on us, right? It takes a toll on our bodies, our mental emotional health, our well being our relationships. And I know, as we said earlier, that anxiety and depression are still kind of knocking at that door trying to come in because of these issues, because of these changes in our routine because of everything we've gone through in this last year. You know, stress, stress is dangerous. Stress can be good, but the stress that we've been enduring this year has definitely taken a toll on us and our bodies, and anxiety and depression are right they're trying to creep in.

Claudine
That's right. I don't even know what routine looks like. It's been so long for me. I know routine. I mean, we've been, you know, commuting back and forth between northern California in Southern California and traveling and living out of a suitcase. So I look forward to that. It's it. You know, I think in the past, it was a little boring, but now I'm looking for boring. Like much fun. That's awesome. I want routine. You know, another one is dehydration. I know, this is crazy. But I had a day. Gosh, it was probably a couple months ago now. I was feeling really down. And I went through all the practicals that we'll share with our listeners shortly. And I really I was like, This is so strange. I everything's great. My thoughts are in a healthy place. You know, I just couldn't pinpoint it. And then at some point, I went and got a glass of water big glass of water and drank it all. I kid you not, I felt remarkably better. That's like, Oh, I stay hydrated. Yeah, yeah, no, no joke. Like, if you get to the point where you're super dehydrated, you will not feel well, and could lead to just feeling really down and then discouraged and what is going on. But for me, I was just dehydrated that particular day, and sleep for me to another one. If I don't have a good night's sleep, it's really hard for me to be full of joy and pep in life. The next day, I really need a good amount of sleep. Yeah, at least, you know, I can go one night with not having good night's sleep. But if I go two or three, I'm a mess. I may just have to take a nap or rest during the day. It's like a big part of the aging process. But anyway, yeah. There's all kinds of triggers. Yeah, there's all kinds of triggers. And it's really becoming aware of what they are. And really, again, we talked about self love last episode, but really being kind with yourself, not judging yourself. I think we judge ourselves. I know for me, I definitely felt like something was wrong with me. Like, why am I depressed? Why should I be sad? Why should I be downcast? When my life is good, right? It's that balance of being grateful and being joyful in the Lord. But yet, my mind was anything but and it was a conflict, which actually then created more stress and more depression. But for me, just trying to wrap myself around that it was okay, that was part of the human experience that it was just a chapter, it wasn't my whole life, it wasn't gonna define me, like depression, anxiety do not define us, they're just saying go through. And actually, you're really good about sharing the sensation. So why don't you help our listeners because sometimes they may not even be aware, they may think, gosh, something's not right. But I don't know what it is. Why don't you share the sensations for anxiety, and then I'll share what my body felt like with depression.

Ashley
Right? So with anxiety, it really manifests in our bodies physically. And that's something that we don't always stop to recognize, we just know Oh, I just don't feel good, or I'm feeling jittery. But put a word to it a name to it is really powerful, because then we can really understand what's going on. So for example, with anxiety, your heart rate will go up, right, you'll start feeling you can feel jittery, maybe you might shake a little or tremble a little, your breathing might go shallow. I know sometimes when I felt anxious, even without recognizing it, I can catch myself holding my breath. You know, and that is really the fight or flight response. Because our primitive brain is saying, okay, there's a threat or a danger here that I need to respond to. So I'm gonna flood your body with adrenaline and cortisol, and we got to fight or flee, right? We got to do something here. And so our primitive brain is gonna that's just instinctually for survival. But what happens with anxiety is, especially if you have long term, your body's constantly in that fight or flight much more frequently. So you're going to feel those sensations, the increased heart rate, your palms might sweat, you might feel hot sweats, cold sweats, you know, your heart is pounding your, it also raises your blood pressure, you know, which is not something that we want. And so you'll feel it a lot in your body and sometimes you feel heat Sometimes you might feel cold. I know for myself, when I get anxiety, my body feels cold. So recognizing that as well, and there are research out there that has shown that you can kind of label, you know, by colors, label emotions by colors. I don't know, for some moms teaching their kids about emotions, we've talked about that, if you think about inside out the movie, inside out the emotion characters, they were all a certain color, right? anger was red, right away was yellow, disgust was green sadness was blue, right? We say that, right? I'm feeling blue while I'm feeling down and feeling sad. So being able to label those things is really powerful, because we can recognize what's going on. And really, I want to drive home the point that when we feel these things in our body, that's kind of our first sign like something's going on, you know, I feeling something, it's a message. Some people I have, I have somebody that I'm coaching right now, who feels issues in their throat, you know, their throat tightens up, or they feel it raspy, or they feel like they can't talk, you know, so it manifests differently for everybody. Sometimes it's this client of mine, their legs feel heavy, or tired, you know, and they recognize, okay, these are things in my body that I'm feeling, and they've been able to recognize it over time, that it's just anxiety. It's not necessarily that their legs are tired or sore, they're feeling that sensation of their body, because their mind is anxious, their brain is anxious and responding that way. So it can be slightly different for everybody. Another one could be a pit in the stomach, right? you kind of feel this pit in your stomach. I know I've struggled with anxiety a lot where I would feel ulcer like sensations in my abdomen. Yeah. And that went back to high school goodness. So there are a lot of different things I recognize. And it tends to be a pattern, it tends to be similar. So if you start recognizing when you're feeling worried or anxious, and if you really start paying attention to where in your body, what you're feeling in your body, you'll notice that each time you feel anxiety, it it shows up pretty much the same way. You know.

Claudine
That is so interesting.

Ashley
Yeah, it is very fascinating. But it shows to that. Okay, I know what this is, I know, this is anxiety, I know there is something I need to address, there's a need I have that I need to figure out, you know, it's a message, to think of it not so scary to think of it as a normal human emotion, but it's telling me something. And then there's a problem that I need to address or something I need to focus on. It's a message.

Claudine
Yeah, that's a great, great point. It's so interesting, because depression, at least for me, the physical sensations are almost the opposite. A lot of them are at any rate, for me, the physical sensations is a real fatigue, a real lack of energy, like you know, depressed again, you know, it's down so everything's lower. So I also get cold, that's the one similar when I get very cold that happens when I get tired. So for me, it was a real lack of energy and a real lack of motivation. But the physical sensations were just, for me fatigue, and weakness, even like I said, I shared earlier, like just doing the dishes wore me out, that's a sign that something's not normal. Our bodies are created to do a whole lot more than the dishes, but I would like do the dishes and then have to go sit down. That's where I'm at. I'm like, something's off here. This isn't I know, my body. I know, I'm getting older, but I'm not that old, I should be able to do the dishes, and then do another task on top of it and not be worn out and ready for a nap. So and then the lack of motivation, which is more mental. Even doing something fun seemed like too much work. It's just too much work. I just don't even want to do that. Like I don't even want to drive the car because that's too much work and right. So for me, there was the Those were the symptoms that something was off, that I wasn't well that I needed to pay attention to something like you said it was time to become aware and pay attention to the message. So those are some of the physical sensations of of those both.

Ashley
Yeah. And another thing that is really important to focus on is your behaviors. So sometimes if we haven't quite identified Oh, this is anxiety or this is depression, if you notice yourself doing certain patterns or behaviors, so for example, when I'm either depressed or anxious, I keep going for more coffee. I realized I have more coffee in the morning because it is my feel good. It makes me feel a little pick me up. So I will go for another cup of coffee. And then I recognize two is kind of funny. I mean, sometimes I just cracked myself up because now I know and then if I'm having a tough time if it's if it's a rocky start to our morning trying to get the kids on school and our morning routine and I'm feeling stressed out. I'm gonna go turn on my Keurig. And I'm gonna get another cup of coffee because I'm dealing with this challenge. But I'm going to have my nice hot cup of coffee that I call it a warm hug.

Claudine
I would think all that caffeine would add to your anxiety because.

Ashley
And it does it can right? Yes, it can. And ironically, I recognize that I can have a few cups of coffee and also time of day can affect it as well. Like I can have coffee in the morning, and then use I can even have a cup of coffee before I go to bed and be able to sleep like I can still do that. Fortunately, that's because probably I'm a good sleeper. However, if I'm experiencing more stress and more anxiety in my life in general, I noticed that that afternoon coffee will make me jittery. But it doesn't do that every time it does it when I have more stress going on. And I'm feeling more anxiety already. So I know, okay, if I keep going to more coffee, or that could be alcohol for you, or that could be TV for you. Or that could be you know, exercise even who knows. It's essentially a coping, right? Our behaviors that we're doing is just trying to make us feel good for a little bit. And it does for the short term, but it doesn't for the long term, because then that anxiety or depression is just still there. You know, we're not dealing with it. We're not recognizing the real issues at hand. We're just trying to make ourselves feel good for a little bit. And then it's like a hit right? We need another hit to make us feel good. And it does it releases those endorphins. And we feel good briefly. But it's not the long term goal. You know, I help us get out of these.

Claudine
Yeah, absolutely. And it's so funny because you talk about your coffee, but I remember there was time when things weren't going great my life that I would have wine.

Ashley
Yeah, wine it's great too.

Claudine
Not so much that I was getting drunk, but right, wine is a depressant. And we think about that, if you're struggling at all with depression, you don't want to add any more depressants into my life, right? You need to bounce it. So with me not with caffeine, because then I would not be able to sleep. So wait until you're in your 50s.

Ashley
I know it's coming for me.

Claudine
The good sleeper. Actually, the older you get, the less sleep you need. So that's kind of nice. That's been a real great blessing. But anyway, there are practicals of dealing with our mental health because it really is so important. Our mental health affects every other part of our life. We both know that I'm sure our listeners know that. But let's talk about some practical tools that will help us and not just in the short term, but in the long term. Because like you said, when we do those short term behaviors, in the long run, they just actually can worsen right under the anxiety. So I know for me, and we've talked about this already, one of the first ones is just awareness, just becoming aware that this is a possibility. Like, I'm aware that I am probably depressed, like that was big for me, I think I was in denial for so long. I thought it was health issues, or I thought it was stress or for kids or all that but just really being able to acknowledge it and to say, you know what, I'm having some depressed feelings. And that's okay, now I didn't identify with it, I was real careful not to say I am depressed. Because when we say I am, it's kind of an identifier, but I struggle with or I have feelings of, or, you know, this is what I'm experiencing right now making it more of an experience instead of a label, like I. So that was really important. So becoming aware of what we are feeling, if anything, and then making sure not to identify with it. I'm not anxiety, and I'm not depression, those are just feelings, that physical or emotional, that will pass through. They're just here for a time and they will pass.

Ashley
Yeah, that's very true. And being aware of our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviors and our needs, you know, because I think about when I have struggled with these things, I tend to go to what I want that will help me feel better, not to what I need. So when we feel depressed, when we feel anxious, there's something else going on, right? A lot of times anxiety is just worry, worry right here. What am I afraid of? What am I worried about? And it's having to dig, dig, dig to try and get that out of what is going on in our head that's causing us to feel those emotions and then also our behaviors, as we already talked about, you know, so I'll just briefly touch on is what are you going to, you know, what are you going to do to help you through it or to cope or to numb you out? You know, that could either be denial, just denying and, you know, not wanting to think about I don't want to think about it, and that doesn't help either. Right? And again, needs, needs are very important. What is it that I need? Do I need another cup of coffee? Probably not, do I need to go out for a walk? Yes, I probably need to go for a walk in the sunshine, and re identify those things. And again, and we've talked a lot on this podcast about our neural pathways, our coping has become our pattern. All right? Pathways are taking, right, the choices that we have made, is now embedded in us, not embedded.

Claudine
Conditioned.

Ashley
Yeah, is now conditioned in our brain that when this happens when A happens, and I feel B, and then I'm going to do see, you know, I might and so we tend to do the same things. That's why I say I noticed that I keep going for more coffee sometime, right? I go from like coffee to wine. And I know I should be having water, I should be drinking water, I should exercise, I should go on a walk, I should do this. But we don't tend to do that. Because it doesn't really make us feel good. And we haven't conditioned ourselves to choose the things that we need to do that's healthier for us.

Claudine
And it takes 63 days to get a newly established habit wired into our neural pathways. So for those of us, you know, we live in a fast food nation. 63 days is a long time, it's a really long time to decondition ourselves and recondition some healthier coping habits than what we've been doing and think I listened to you. And I'm like, Well, of course, you know, going on a walk is that's takes a lot more work than having a cup of coffee. Yeah, especially you you have young children, you either gotta take them with you or find someone to sit with them, you know.

Ashley
Oh no, I leave them home now.

Claudine
Oh, there you go. You know, but those things are typically harder. I mean, for me, it was so much easier to turn on Netflix, right? Oh my gosh, on and bed down on the couch and you know, escape my whatever was going on whatever, you know what's causing it a lot of times with depression, it starts with disappointment, right? We have disappointments, and we have done a whole episode on that. I think I was looking at it. The other day, I think it's Episode 47. If any of you listeners are interested, we have a whole one on disappointment. But when we don't deal with our disappointments that can turn into discontentment. And then when we don't deal with our discontentment, it can turn into despair. And there we are sitting in depression because something didn't turn out the way we thought it would turn out. Right. And so we do have to come up with ways to cope when we're disappointed even on the very front end, little disappointments, right. Especially parents, I mean, years are still young. But when they become teens and young adults, there are times we're just disappointed with their behavior, right? You're like, oh, why did they do that? Now I know, I raised them better than that. But they made that decision, right? Disappointment at a deep level with our children or with our spouses or course through this pandemic. I mean, there's just been so much going on and and with the election, that was last month, a lot of people were disappointed. And if they don't deal with their disappointment, if they can't let a disappointment come and go and let it pass, it's going to get a lot deeper. So right. That's another one.

Ashley
Yeah, another one is, journaling. journaling is phenomenal. Because a lot of times we don't, we just need to get our thoughts out on paper, you know, because I know from experience that I could just be so bombarded by the thoughts going on in my head, and especially if we're experiencing anxiety and depression, they're probably 99%, negative. Right? We're afraid of something, we're worried about something or we feel ashamed of something. Yeah. And we're not feeling good. And so journaling is huge. And on top of journaling, gratitude, I mean, even journal things that you're grateful for, and make it a habit because things that intellectually we know, well, I know I'm grateful for this. But to actually intentionally sit down, write it down, maybe every morning, even write the same five things. Sometimes in our head. It's like I know it, but I don't feel it. I don't feel grateful that when you're doing it on a habitual basis, that you will start feeling your heart will catch up, you know, to that intellect that what you know, you know,

Claudine
Yeah, research has shown that if you practice gratitude, like you said, with intention, not just like, Oh, yeah, I'm a grateful person, but intentionally like saying in your head or writing it down or saying it out loud, the things you're grateful for. You actually rewire your brain and your neural pathways, you make a difference in the makeup, the physical makeup of your brain. So it's really powerful gratitude. We can't go on and on and we can't say enough about gratitude and the power it has on the well being of our brains.

Ashley
Absolutely. Another one is self care, self care, self love. We talked about this even on our last episode. Self Care is very important to you. Right now, especially for me being home with the kids doing school trying to keep up with the house stuff. You know, I don't always feel like I'm doing a great job, I feel like, I just have everything on my plate. And I'm falling behind. And so the last thing to go is going to be me caring for myself, because I got all these things I gotta do. But then when you're not taking care of yourself, then you're not doing a great job at those things anyways. Right? You know, I've probably been more snappy, I've been more irritable, I've been more tired, I've been just like, less focused, because I have so much going on in my head, that I'm not taking time out. And yesterday, I was able to go out and go shopping for a few hours and run some errands just by myself and just kind of take my time. And I did, I came back feeling like, ah, I kind of took a timeout from my environment that I'm in 24 hours a day, and just kind of was by myself, and I didn't have to be needed for a little while. And I could go do something, I can go buy a new pair of jeans, or you know, and I was able to take care of myself a little bit. And I was able to come back just even for four hours get gas, right? I mean, yeah, I was grateful for the long lines at the Costco gas station. I thought, Wow, this is great if I can stay out a little bit longer. Yeah, I was feeling grateful for the long line. And so those are things that are so crucial. You can't make yourself last, you know, I mean, you can't you want to show up for your family. You need to show up for your family for yourself, you know, and to feel at your best you have to take care of yourself. And again, it has to be done with intention. As you like to say, Claudine, if you fail to plan you plan to fail, right? So if you don't schedule in, whether it's an hour a day or on the weekends, you have to plan in on a consistent basis to have some time to yourself to rejuvenate.

Claudine
Yeah, that that'll go miles and miles for her mental health, believe me, it will that was part of it for me is realizing that self-care was not selfish. That was a turning point for me.

Ashley
And Claudia, and even Oh, sorry, right now I realized is every two months, I start feeling like I'm melting down. And I'm going to have a breakdown, like I can run, run, run and do it all and be on all the time, you know, for two months, and then I crash. And then I can get a little rejuvenation and then I go for two months again, and then I'm crashing. And that was actually hard for my husband and I to both recognize and like I don't know why this is going on. It's like well, duh, because look at what are yours like look at yet our quote unquote, new normal is right now. Like I'm not getting any time to myself, I sent a message to my mom was like, I just realized that out of the 24 hours a day minus sleep. I have one hour to myself. That's like a lunch break.

Claudine
I'm telling you, when your kids go back to school, it's gonna be like vacation every day.

Ashley
I know. What am I gonna do?

Claudine
They're like, wow, I had so much time I'm gonna conquer the world. I'm gonna conquer the world. These kids are in school for six, seven hours a day,

Ashley
Maybe the house will be clean.

Claudine
That time is coming, my friend that time is coming. You know, another real important one, we touched on the beginning, but really seeking the help of a professional, someone that's close to me, was sharing with me last month that they'd really struggled with their thoughts for years, some really negative unswervingly just, you know, not healthy thoughts for years and years. And they wanted to seek my advice, my input about medication and I, you know, I'm pro medication, I don't think that, you know, I don't know, again, I'm not a professional, but I look at it more as a crutch. Like if your foot is broken, you're gonna need a crutch for a while until it heals. And that's the way I see medication. Sometimes it's, it's there for you while you heal. I don't think by itself without some kind of therapy, some kind of help to learn better tools to work effectively with all the trials and troubles we're going to face in this world. But then I recently talked to this person again this past week, and they said, you know, after months and months of seeking input and talking to professionals, he decided to go on a real low dose of antidepressant and honestly, it was it was the right decision for this person because they had been struggling for years. Unnecessarily and it wasn't something they just jumped into. Because I do think so many people are like just throw me a pill for everything, right? If we could just take a pill and lose weight. We do that if we could just take a pill and, you know, get straight A's we would do that. We could just take a pill like we you know, we're shortcut Charlie's, we just want to give me a pill and let it fix all my problems. But this person spent a lot of time and it's in conjunction with a psychiatry, sorry, it's in conjunction with a psychologist. So they're getting some cognitive behavior therapy at the same time to learn some tools and practicals to work alongside the medication. So it could be the answer for some people. I'm not saying everybody run out and get a prescription. But certainly, you know, sometimes as Christians, we feel like we shouldn't need any medication. But, you know, if you have diabetes, you're going to take your medication, if you have cancer, you're going to get treatment. If you cut your hand your finger while you're cooking, or chopping, you're going to put a bandaid on it, put some anti-bacterial disinfectant on it. So same with our mental health, we got to make sure that we learn the tools. But until we're in a healthy place, we might need some intervention of a more professional nature to get us to that next step. And the other practical for me, is really to serve when we are serving others when we are giving to others, it's really hard to be depressed. Now here's the thing, when you're depressed, the last thing you feel like doing is giving to others at least that's where I was at. But even if it's just leaving a short text, or writing a short card, something just to get out of ourselves to get out of where we're stuck in our own thoughts in our own heads and do something for someone else, it pays back in dividends, it really does. So serving find ways to serve my husband, I were just talking about that this morning. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. So we can't really go out. But we have to get creative in finding ways to serve other people to encourage others, which, you know, in turn encourages us.

Ashley
Well, were you encouraged by helping me and my husband the other day?
Claudine
Yes. So encouraged.

Ashley
We refreshed you. You're welcome for that.

Claudine
You're welcome. Yes. Well, were you refreshed? More important question.

Ashley
Uh, no, it took me a couple days to feel refreshed after that. But it was good. It was good. But yeah, it very well is needed. I also reached a point where I needed to see a counselor, you know, therapist, and it was really helpful just talking through things because they did have more, they did have more education. And were well equipped, you know, to write through deeper issues that I was completely unaware of. And a lot of things do get stuck in the subconscious that we're not realizing are still taking a toll on us today. And I think anxiety and depression that can very well be the case, I know for myself, I can be quote unquote, more sensitive, because I've had past experiences and traumas that I've experienced. And so that is a very real issue as well that can contribute to that, but being able to talk with someone, and we went through this type of therapy that was called brain spotting. And it was really amazing, because it just really reaffirmed how God created our brains to work, and it tapped into how our brain is supposed to work. And how we as humans, deny it that power to work functionally, because we're not properly taught how to process through things, how to process through traumas, or what to do with our thoughts and emotions, right? We're taught how to feel most of us were taught not to feel it was just be tough, or don't feel mad, or don’t feel sad, or don't you know, right. And yeah, so it really takes a toll on us. And that's why anxiety and depression can come out just result from them not dealing with things, especially long term, especially things that have gone on for a long time, or that are from your past. And so talking with someone that brainspotting. And I'll just briefly talk about in case people are curious about the brainspotting. Definitely research it, there's YouTube videos where you could actually see it being done as well. But I would listen to very soothing music or ocean sounds. And I She told me she had a pointer. And it has a lot to do with where your eyes are looking that can tap into your subconscious. So it's really fascinating. But she had this pointer and I would be thinking about something that I wanted to focus on that day. Right? It could have been how I felt sad about a specific situation. So she had me just think about that, right? Our thoughts, there's our thoughts. So just think about that in my head. And then I follow this pointer. And then when I'm following this pointer, it goes left and right, very slow, or up and down. And my emotions, as I'm thinking about the specific situation, intensify at a certain place. And if it was different every time it wasn't always this one point of focus that triggered it, but it was different for every situation. But then we would just sit there and sit there I’d stare at this pointer. And I would be thinking about this thing, this specific situation, and I would feel the emotions it was thinking about it created those emotions, and it was defying the emotions.

But my brain what was happening in my brain is that it was processing through those situations. And a lot of times it goes into childhood. It goes back to childhood. And we didn't process things especially from our fully developed brain. So now I was able to process things. With my adult brain, my fully developed brain with my prefrontal cortex, things that I experienced when I was younger. And I was thinking about it, I was focused on that situation, my body was feeling the emotions, but then it would come and then it would go. And there is also no talking when we would go through. She just sat there holding the pointer, poor lady, you know, holding it for 40 minutes. And while my brain was doing the job that God intended it to do, and it just really blew me away that wow, I mean, you can, there's times where you could probably just do this on your own, but it shows the power in our thoughts when we allow ourselves to think about what's making me anxious, why do I think I'm feeling depressed? Why do I maybe I don't feel good about myself? Why am I worried or afraid of A, B, and C, and allow ourselves to go there and feel the emotions, that's when they can subside? And we process through and allow our brain to do its job. And it passes. They come and go, right? Like the ocean, the waves come and they go, and we need to allow our brains to do that with our emotions.

Claudine
That is absolutely fascinating so interesting. Well we could talk about mental health all day long, all week long that's for sure. But one thing you said you talked about the power of thoughts. And Ashley that's what you and I do with our clients. We really help our clients pass their circumstance. Get awareness of their thoughts and the emotions those thoughts we're creating can help new narratives or new thoughts that help people better live life. To feel better and live better and love better. So I know again that was great. We have so much more to share and we will in the coming months. But if you are struggling with depression or anxiety or migraines. We're here with tips and resources either at claudinesweeney.com or mindoverchaos.com. And if it's more significant and more threatening to your physical health or emotional, spiritual health. Then please seek the counsel of a professional but we love you all we are here for you. Let us all get through this together. A new day is coming. The sun will shine again and we are all going to get through this and be our best selves ever. Until next time, take care.

Ashley
Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe so you’ll 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 wanna visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at claudinesweeney.com and Ashley at mindoverchaos.com our links are at 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.