Rise Up & Shine Podcast

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

Podcasts

Episode #55

From young children to adult children

Motherhood is a journey no one is completely prepared for. Filled with highs and lows. It's exhausting, will challenge us to our core and change us like nothing else can. And our hearts will swell like never before. In this episode, we both share our own personal journey through motherhood and our top tips for cultivating amazing relationships with our children throughout their childhood and into adulthood. 



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

Claudine
Welcome back. This is Ashley and Claudine. And today we are talking about parenting. Now between the two of us. We have six children. Ashley has two lovely young children. And I have four lovely adult children. So we have got you covered whether you've got little ones, or adult children, we're going to talk about parenting from the whole gamut of it. So, Ashley, tell me how old your kids are again, tell us all.

Ashley
My youngest is eight, and my oldest is about to turn 10 in a couple of weeks.

Claudine
Wow, eight and 10.

Ashley
Boy and a girl.

Claudine
That I can barely remember it?

Ashley
Did you block that out of your memory?

Claudine
I don't know I might have there were just so many of them. There are four of them. And they were always talking and running and climbing and you know.

Ashley
Four kids. I mean, you're like a martyr in my eyes. It's quite impressive.

Claudine
When my kids were little, our closest family friends had seven. So it kinda helped me. Whenever the days I felt overwhelmed, like what in the world have I done to myself, and I'd call her and she had seven and all of a sudden, I felt like my life was super easy.

Ashley
Put things in perspective. Isn't that always the case? Huh?

Claudine
You know, reminds me I read this quote, once it said, I thought I used to worry a lot when my kids were little, then I had teenagers, you know what I would give right now to worry about sippy cups and naptime. Everything. So I'm here, because I've survived, I'm on the other side. And really what we all want for our children is for them to grow up into be happy, healthy, law abiding citizens, God fearing citizens, you know, we want to train them in the way they ought to go. And at the end of it all, we'd love to have a great relationship with them, right. So that's what we're going to talk about today, the here and now. The challenges when your kids are still home and young to getting to the other side, where you have a great relationship and friendship with them. So Ashley, tell me, what are some of your dreams, your fears, your frustration, your hopes for your little ones?

Ashley
Well, for them to do everything, as I say, and to keep everything immaculate in the house and to just follow me like little ducklings.

Claudine
That is a dream, you are dreaming my friend.

Ashley
That is that is what they did in my dreams. Um, I think the biggest goal I have with parenting is that they will grow up feeling loved and important, and that my husband and I nurtured their strengths, and love them despite their weaknesses or, you know, flaws, and that we have a great relationship when they're grownups, you know that we have kept an open door of communication with them. Where there is a mutual respect, because I am a firm believer that children deserve our respect just as much as we deserve their respect. And just to be able to grow up and have them feel confident and loved and cared for and that they can always come and seek our advice or just want to be around us. You know, that's a big goal my husband and I both have for our children.

Claudine
Yeah, that's a great goal. I mean, it's so funny how things change as they get older. I remember when my kids were really little, you have all these hopes and dreams for them. And then, you know, a couple of my kids, I have four, two of them were pretty compliant. And two of them were a little less so. So the road, got a little bumpier for the other two that were challenging. And at that point, I remember when my youngest, wonderful young man, but I remember at one point, he was gonna turn 18. I'm like, Listen, if you go to jail, I'm not coming to get you so you better behave. And it got to the point where I remember telling some friends, listen, nobody's in jail today. We haven't brought home any babies that were a surprise. What else no one's addicted to hardcore drugs. And it was just it was kind of crazy how I went from having this one vision and dream for my kids to my gosh, they're all still alive. They're still breathing and nobody's in jail. That's what it got. You know, it's like, okay, victory victory. You know, we're doing good today.

Ashley
So what you're saying is we just got to keep the bar low.

Claudine
Yeah. That's what it got to at some point when my two less compliant children started going a little haywire. We're like, okay, let's just keep everybody out in jail at this point, you know, not that they were committing crimes and I don't mean to imply that but as a mother, you have these fears, right? It's like, they do one little thing and all of a sudden you're like, Oh my gosh, they're like, when they're never gonna survive, they're never gonna be able to hold down jobs, they're never gonna get married. They're never gonna have children. You know, we moms, we have these crazy thoughts.

Ashley
Well we think it's like a gateway to this horrible life that they're going to go down.

Claudine
Exactly. It's all in our heads. It's not like it's even realistic. But as mom, sometimes we can go a little haywire and think, crazy thoughts. I mean, I don't think I'm the only one that had crazy thoughts. But um, yeah, it did change. It did change along the way. And so now I'm on the other side of it. So now my youngest is 26. And my oldest is 33. And I have two grandchildren. And so I'm watching my oldest and her husband, parent, and oh, my gosh, are they doing such a better job than I did? 30 years ago, it's amazing to see just the way they interact with their children the way they're raising them. And obviously, there's a lot more information accessible right now that people are more educated. No more. I mean, can you imagine 33 years ago, when I had my daughter, there was no internet. We had Dr. Spock's books, right. That was my, you know, education on parenting.

Ashley
Like your Bible for parenting.

Claudine
Okay, keep them on a schedule feed them, you know, put them to bed, but there wasn't any of what you're so great at, which is the emotional well being of our children, teaching them to be emotionally equipped and educated, like, we just didn't do that my kid, right? You know, my, one of them in particular, would cry, and we'd be like, okay, you just need to get happy, like, I wasn't super in tune with their particular emotions. It was like, okay, your emotions right now are ruining the family atmosphere, right? Take your emotional self into your room and deal with it until you can come out and be more joyful. Now, apparently, now that I've learned so much more and very well versed on how our thoughts create our emotions and our emotions, our behaviors, I look back now and say how unhealthy that was. Now, I have gone back and done a lot of backwards. So that's another part of it, whatever you don't clean up in the early years, you're going to be dealing it with it. When your kids are older, like we never escape it. It's going to come back. So you're either doing the work when they're young, or you're going to do it when they're a lot older, and it's going to be a lot more difficult.

Ashley
You know, one of the biggest things that I had to keep in mind because I spent the first several years in this mindset of being a perfect parent. And it took me going through counseling and going through a trauma class through Kaiser actually, with dealing with my own stuff that we're not perfect. Oh, lightbulb, I'm not perfect. I'm not going to be a perfect parent, that was an expectation. I'm going to do everything perfectly. And they're going to love me and obey me perfectly. And we're all going to be happy and, you know, sing along Kumbaya and you know, yeah, go on all these vacations, and everyone's going to be in great moods. And it was just a fantasy. And in reality, it took a lot of pressure off when I heard that. And I actually heard it in this trauma class from someone else that was sharing. And the instructor said, she just said it so perfectly. She was like, Well, our parents love us imperfectly. And I thought, Wow, that is so true. And I took it to heart for myself as a parent, I will love my children in perfectly. It's just we're young men, you know, I can't have the standard of being this perfect parent and sheltering them from any pain, any loss, any hurt, you know, any scar, anything that they're going to go through any challenge. I mean, that would not be loving my children, if I'm going to pave this road so smooth that they don't know how to get up when they fall down. Because they're not used to falling down, where mom's there to pick them back up and fix it. I mean, if you think about it, if you're married, let's say, when we're sharing a problem to our spouse, we don't always want them to fix it. We just want them to listen. You know, it's same with kids like they need us not to fix everything, right to help teach them the skills to be able to get up and just keep moving along and deal with disappointment or pain in their life. And so that was a turning point in my parenting. It took a lot of pressure off of me. And frankly, I enjoyed it more. I enjoy being a parent more. I remember when my oldest daughter turned about one and a half. And I was like eight months pregnant with my second and she started just disobeying. She, she had her own will. And I remember asking my mom what is going on? Like she was my buddy like now? I don't, I don't know what to do. This is not like her. What's going on? And my mom's like, well, you just need to switch it to tough love. You know, I'm like, Oh, okay. I like that term tough love, because I felt like it was unloving for me to discipline and correct. And timeouts or spankings, you know, that it was it was not loving of me. And if the tough love phrase just stuck with me, and still does, it's loving my children so much to help teach them to, to be better to do better to, you know, essentially, we're raising up young adults, you know, I mean, they're going to be one day, right? And it that we have to keep that perspective in mind that these are not just kids to do whatever with, you know, and let them be and not shelter. And not guide them and direct them and teach them. I mean, they need that. So that was actually really helpful for me, because the perfectionism, man, it was it was hardcore with the parenting in the first few years.

Claudine
What I love some of the things you said, you know, it's funny for me, I don't know if I was trying to be the perfect mom, but I certainly wanted to raise perfect children, right? Apperance was everything I wanted them to look at and behave and all that. But when they were super, super young, when we just had our two, so they were three and one, at that point, my parenting style, or my parenting beliefs, where we should just let children be who they are, right? We're like hippie parents, I think he more so than I, but I was right there with him. We're like, we're just gonna let our children be who they are. And so at some point, our pastor from our church, he and his wife sat us down, and they're like, you know, your children, who they are is wild and disobedient. And then you're like, oh, they're like perhaps you can introduce some discipline, because we just didn't believe in discipline at all. Like, who wants to give a spanking? I don't, we're just gonna let them be who they are. And that was like a huge wake up call. And so then I kind of flipped the other way. So by the time I had my third child, I was like, the general, you know, everyone's going to obey and get in line, you know, you're talking about your little ducklings falling behind your eyes, like, No, you guys are all going to your little soldiers in mom's army, and you're all going to obey. And so that parenting style doesn't work really great, either.

Ashley
Well, you really did go from one side of the pendulum all the way to the other.


Claudine
I really did. And so then along the way, I had to come back into balance, right, I had to kind of figure it out. But I agree with what you said a couple of things with what you said, one of all is love. You know, and I think about that scripture, above all else love. And lover, love covers a multitude of sin. And I love what you said, because as parents, we do love him perfectly. And I think about that scripture, it says love never fails. Like I might be an imperfect parent, I may do a million things wrong. But if I love them, if I'm patient with them, if I'm kind with them, if I'm gentle with them, if I'm humble with them, all those things, then it's never going to fail. And so when I started going after that more than their behavior, or them being little perfect children or obeying, and becoming who I wanted them to be, then it got easier. Like you said, I started enjoying the process more, much, much more. And then, you know, there's still things that I had to teach and train. I mean, that is the responsibility as parents we are to teach and train our children as they ought to go. So when they're old, they will not turn from it. But it became more about teaching and training than commanding. And honestly, it was one of my younger children. When they became a teen, then they were the ones that really helped me out with this. They're like, you know, they really challenged me on my faith, and just even the way I talked to them. And so it was really good. It was a good time for me to shift to reflect.

And I think as parents, we have to kind of take a look at our own selves to even if our kids aren't behaving in the way we want them to behave, where can we grow? Where can we learn? How can we change it's that humility that bonds those relationships and I I'm actually we're recording now in our very fancy studios, I'm actually in my walking closet. And I kid you not 10 years ago, I sat in this very closet crying when one of my children was a teenager and I remember coming out of the closet and telling my husband, I don't want to parent that child anymore. And my husband wise man said and how do you think that's gonna turn out I said, well for me great because I'm not gonna have to worry about anymore and, you know, obviously talked me down off my ledge, but it's funny. I've had many a crying moment in this closet where I had to cry it out and just pray and surrender and trust. But everything was gonna work out. And I sit here 10 years later, it's a great reminder that, you know, things did work out that love never fails. And if we keep pushing forward and keep loving with humility with respect, grace, that we protect the relationship, and we do you see our children become the people that God intended them to be. And just become really proud, just really proud. Like, I can stand here today and say, I'm really proud of all four of my children. They're amazing, young adults with soft hearts, they're kind, you know, what I what I really learned, it wasn't about me at all, it really wasn't. It is I mean, not to take away from our responsibility and parenting, but that they became the people that they are, despite me, I guess that's what I want, despite me, despite my failings, right. And that's very faith building and hopeful.

Ashley
When you kind of showed both ends of the spectrum where you can be too free and not teach and train your children. And so they're kind of unruly and not enjoyable to be around. That was one of my goals. It's nice to be around other children who are enjoyable to be around, who are not rude, disrespectful, you know, just negative, but are enjoyable to be around. But on the flip side, you also don't want to be too controlling, where, like you said, commanding just your life commanding officer, and you just do as I say, you know, because I said, so. And there's a time and a place. Absolutely. But it's not an every day, every situation, you know, you just do, as I say, because then it doesn't allow for their autonomy. I know. And what can happen also, when you control too much is they will not grow up feeling very secure, you know, because maybe you're controlling their schedule to a certain degree, maybe you're controlling what they need to wear, maybe you're controlling, you know, you feel this need, because in good intention. I mean, you're wanting them to be brought up in a certain way. But it can actually do more damage, you know, than good. And both ends. And so bringing it to the middle, and Claudine, I have a few practicals that really changed my parenting and brought a great perspective. And with parenting with love, and patience, and grace, oh my gosh, we all need grace. So to show grace, your children is one of those amazing things that we can model for them. And, and that is a big point I want to drive home is modeling, we are modeling. Our example is the best teacher, how we live, how we speak, is our best is their best teacher. It does not matter what we say to them, but they're watching what we do. You know, I mean, like, there is a situation where one of my nieces was looking at my phone, when I was on my phone texting. And she's like, I'm sorry, like, I shouldn't look like it's okay, I'm just texting my mom. Okay, well, I I don't think, you know, I'm allowed to, like, look at, you know, my mom's phone or something when she's texting. And I'm like, Oh, It's not a big deal. You know, it's not a big deal. I don't have anything to hide. But I thought it was really interesting, because it was like, um, like, if I didn't allow my children to see my messages or what was on my phone, they're gonna grow up doing that and hiding things for me. I'm like, I don't want to do that. I don't want to model for my children. Like, you know, this kind of barrier in communication. I, you know, like, I'm allowed to do this, but I'm gonna need to see what's on your phone, you know, as your parent. So that was really interesting. But it really reinforced that modeling is huge. You know, and we can think, do we talk about other people when they're not around? Uur kids are going to then or are we more negative and maybe get a little too wrapped up in politics? Where it's unhealthy. Do we have the news on all the time? Anything that we're doing, we just really have to be careful because our kids are watching and they are going to form the same behaviors, even our own coping. You know, when we're stressed, do we go get junk food and or if our children's having a tough day? Do we give them a treat to cheer them up? Well, we're training them how to cope with stress, you know, so as they get older, they're going to eat better. junk to cope with stress, you know. So a lot of these things are really interesting to me when I learned really about how our brain works. And it took a lot of how it took a lot of it took my own journey, to work through my stuff, to see my parenting in a very different light, and to change some things, kind of shift things around, and not to feel bad, like, Oh my gosh, I've been doing it so wrong. I mean, I do have a few years, where I wish I could do over because it was, I feel very bad about how I parented and I made a lot of mistakes. And, you know, but to show our self grace as right, parents, we need to show ourselves grace and compassion as well. But just a couple things, learn your children, if you can learn them and study them and observe them and just get to know them, how they, like know whether they're introverted or extroverted, their strengths, their weaknesses, even their love languages. It's very important, because your children will feel loved in different ways. One child needs to hear the words of affirmation more than the other child who feels loved and cared for by gifts. I have one of those who anytime we buy him something he feels so loved. Like, wow, that's all I need to give you. Okay, great. Um, and my daughter is more of like a words of affirmation person, you know, loves to hear encouraging things, which is a lot like me as well. Even their their fight flight freeze response, you know, how do they respond, right, or a threat or something scary, or, you know, something that kind of triggers them. And that goes into knowing how the brain works, right? And so when I learned that about myself about what I do, I'm a runner, I'll avoid all things at all cost to avoid the uncomfortable feelings. I have one child who is a fighter. And it was so challenging for me, because I didn't think of it that way. I just thought of it. Why? Why is this child always getting so angry? I don't get it, just be happy.

But knowing what I know about the brain, it's like, Okay, this is that child's response to whatever situation happened, rather than just correcting the emotion, you know, and that fight flight freeze response, in this case, the fight, and I'm not the fight. So I didn't understand this in the beginning. But go dig deeper. Well, what is causing you to feel so angry? What got you so upset? Let's talk about that, you know, and taking the time to intentionally have those conversations with your kids rather than just, well, you're angry, and you need to be punished, you know, in discipline that you need to go sit in your room and think about and you can come out when you're happy? Well, then they know, okay, I'm only allowed to be around people when I'm happy. And so feeling happy, they're gonna hide out and stick out themselves, you know, and, and not learn how to talk through their emotions, which I have heard, we all have heard, kids are resilient. I completely disagree with that. Children need to be taught resiliency, they're not just born like, if something some traumatic situation happens, they're just going to bounce back and everything's fine. You know, absolutely not. They need to be taught how to gain resiliency as they go through very challenging situations. And it takes constant dialogue and communication and reassurance and guiding them through a situation a challenging situation, whether that's a divorce, or a loss of a pet, or a loss of a grandparent or a loved one, loss of a parent's job, you know, now with their with not being in a traditional school setting. You know, there's so much change going on right now that our children do need a lot of guidance and communication, just talking through how they feel. How they you feel about not being in a classroom.

Claudine
Right? And that's so many things that we didn't talk about, like, certainly, when I was growing up as a child. And even with my older children, it wasn't so much about teaching them how to deal with their emotions, or where their emotions even came from or what triggered them. It was just like, this is not the behavior you're supposed to have. It was all focused on the action. And nothing below that. And we know as adults, if we just focus on our actions, it doesn't get us very far. Because unless we deal with the emotions behind it, or even thoughts that are triggering those emotions, we can't make lasting change and we'll get stuck. So those are some greate points.

Ashley
Well, and as we grew up, we would think anger and sadness is bad. Happiness and joy is good, you know. And so we had these two ends of the spectrum, but really, I mean, all emotions are God given. We all experience emotions, some are more intense for some than others, you know, but it's not necessarily a good or bad. It's just life we're human, we all have the whole gamut of emotions. And it's just how to deal with it. You know, okay, you're angry. Let's talk about how we can get through this, like, what can solve the problem that got you so angry? You know, what do you need right now? Yeah, um, you know, and I had a situation with one of my kids where they were very angry. And it was kind of going on for a while. And then I was like, you know, what, why don't we go get some lunch at McDonald's? You Are you hungry? Okay, and kind of started softening up a bit. So then we're on our drive to McDonald's. And this child said, I don't feel like I deserve McDonald's, you know? And I said, Well, do you feel like I'm rewarding your behavior? And this child said, No, I said, That's right. I'm not rewarding your behavior. But I know when I'm having a tough day, sometimes just some encouragement helps change my day. Sometimes I just need a little bit of love and grace and encouragement. And then I feel a bit better. And then we talk through what the situation was, and what we can do differently next time. And it brought this amazing conversation about grace, and God's grace on us. And how as mom and dad, we try to show grace on you. Do we ignore any consequence for behavior? No, we still have consequences for behavior for sure. But we don't just lash out and meet Yeah, anger with anger. And because it has escalated into just a worst situation. So showing coming from a place of love and compassion and grace, but still keeping consistent with a consequence. It offers them security, you know, they know that they're forgiven, they don't feel so bad about it themselves. They don't hold on to the shame. And prayerfully. Just, let's do differently next time. Let's do differently next time.

Claudine
Right. That's a great point, I want to go back to something you said, you talked about modeling the behavior. And that's something when Pat and I get with younger families, younger couples, with kids, or couples with younger kids, one of my favorite parenting scriptures is persevere in your life and doctrine. And you will save your heroes and I think who are here is our children, right? And that Scripture teaches us to persevere. So that word persevere is in there, right? Because we're going to need to do that. Mm hmm. skip through the meadow, which I kind of thought life would be and it's not, you have to persevere. You have to dig deep and keep on going even when it's tough in your life, which is how you live and your doctrine and how you believe. And that has been probably the most impacting scripture for me as a parent, when things started shifting it was that because I knew, like my kids were watching me. And it wasn't about just do what I say it was about do what I do. That's what they're going to end up Yes, very much impacted my marriage. And I may have shared this before in another podcast, but it impacted my marriage, that's when I decided to be the kind of woman that I wanted my boys to marry. And the kind of woman the kind of wife I wanted my daughters to grow up to be, because they were watching it. And they were learning how to be a wife. And they were learning how to be a mom, from watching me, it does not matter what we say, but what we do. And that was a huge turning point for my marriage because I had to become the wife that I wanted my boys to marry. And I know you have one girl in one way, but it's kind of funny. When I think about my boys. I get very protective, like hyper vigilant about who you're gonna marry like, she better be special, like my girls, for some reason. I just feel like, oh, they're gonna find a great guide, they'll be fine. But my boys, I feel a little like, she better be awesome. That's what they say, like about mother in laws, and I'm gonna be a good one. I'm gonna really work on being a great one to my daughters in laws. But it's funny because I do feel a little bit more, like watchful, like I care more about the quality of the character. Well, that's not true, but I just it's funny. I have a little bit more nervousness about who they marry like, right woman. So I know I have to be that woman. First. They have to look at me and go, that's the kind of wife I want in order for them to even go after it. But if I’m this, you know, I don't want them to think that's normal. I don't want them to think, Oh, I never want to get married, because who wants that? So it changed both my parenting and my marriage was really the understanding that we are modeling what a healthy relationship looks like, not only in our marriage, but as parents. So absolutely. And it's fun watching my older daughter who, you know, again, like I said, is a far better better parent than I. And she saw, she's the oldest. So she asked, she saw us going through rougher patches with, you know, two of our children. And I remember her once was, she was probably still a teenager, just a young adult thing. I hope I don't have any children like that, because of the fear. And I think there was a part of her that probably thought we must have done something wrong along the way, or maybe we're too easy on the younger ones. But now that she's older and wiser, she's like, boy, I just hope I can, you know, make it through like you guys, because she sees the closeness of our family. And she sees how close we were even with those less than compliant. Two, we're all super, super close. And this, this recording goes out, we'll have just come back from our trip to Mexico, where a couple of our children paid their own way just to come spend time with us there because what well, they love Mexico, but they love us too. We have that kind of relationship where kids want to spend time with us. During the pandemic, early on, everyone came in quarantine here at the property. And that honestly, looking back now, that's what I wanted, I wanted our family to be super close. And I did get that again, it's despite me, not because of me, but despite me, but because of God's grace, his love his mercy, like you shared, that we have this relationship with our children and our grandchildren.

Ashley
And that's what we all hope for. Exactly, you know, those great relationships as our older grandkids, and, you know, but it really starts from day one, just offering that open door of communication and love and mutual respect, and, you know, making them feel loved and important, you know, and even part of it is even their own opinions. You know, we don't talk that talked about that a lot with our two, when they deal with conflict. And we just share, you know, you have a difference of opinion. And someone else, sometimes I'll hear them say, let's just agree to disagree. Okay. That is an excellent thing, because I grew up feeling like my opinions didn't matter. And not because my parents were intentionally neglecting me, you know, I mean, there's just a lot of stuff going on in our family a lot of distraction. So it, I just grew up being the youngest, you know, just kind of followed along with whatever I you know, lugged around, wherever we're going, whatever we're doing, you know, I just went along, and I was just kind of easy peasy. And still, you know, just kind of go along with the flow. But I didn't really speak up much, and until really a few years into my marriage, and it's like, wait, no, I have an opinion on this. And I was finding my voice. So it was something that I really wanted to teach my children that just because someone says something doesn't mean it's true, you know, because kids are not always kind. And kids might say things to you, that will hurt your feelings. And but it doesn't matter. Like it doesn't mean it's true, it'll hurt, you know, it might be a little bit and hurt your feelings, but it's not true. And so we do that with our kids, when they conflict resolve, it's like you guys just have a difference of opinions. You know, one loves apples, the other hates even the sight or smell of an apple. And it's like, neither one is right or wrong. It's just difference of opinions, right? And you're allowed to have your own opinion. And so I think that is really key as well for raising them up as adults, because then there's this mutual respect, and we hear each other. It's not like, Oh, my gosh, I got to hear this from my parents because they're always on me, like I'm doing things wrong. You know, just like you said, you know, you want to nurture their personalities and their strengths and, and love them through their weaknesses and let them be who they are, but also feel respected, you know, and just have that great commu, have that great relationship. As adults, I love that. I mean, with my family were the same. We all love being around our family, like I just can't get enough of them. I love it.

Claudine
It's wonderful. Well, On a final note, I do think we've talked a lot about parenting and we can talk about this, you know, for hours to come. It's such a big thing for so many of us and so many of our listeners But one thing I do want to point out is as moms because we are typically the caretakers and the nurtures, we have to take time out for ourselves. And that's something when my kids were super young, I didn't do. And I think I was on the verge of a breakdown most days. Maybe, you know, half joking, half true. But one thing I started doing when the kids were a little bit older is taking one weekend a year, and I would go away with some girlfriends and and honestly, it was like 36 hours, it wasn't even very long. It was one night and we left after they were back home from school on Friday and came back Saturday evening. And it did so much to refresh my soul. So we talked about self care a lot on our podcast, and we both have resources for that on our websites that mindoverchaos.com or claudinesweeney.com. But as moms take the time out to care for yourself, it's like the oxygen mask analogy on the plane, if you don't have your oxygen, you're not going to be able to help anybody else. And as moms, we really do have to take care of ourselves to refresh to renew to be able to be the best to give our best for our children.

Ashley
Yes, and don't believe the lie that I don't have time or there's just no way for me to get an escape. They're there. You have to be creative sometimes. And you have to be willing to ask for help, you know, and say, Hey, could you take my kids for a couple hours? That would be great. And next time I'll take your kids.

Claudine
And that's what we did, and that's how I did it. I mean, I got creative, whether it was my mom or my my mom in law, or my husband or a friend, somebody that could watch my children for about 3030 hours or so just to get away with few girlfriends. I mean, it did wonders like my husband loved when I went because he said I came back in such a great mood and so refresh. No, go do it again. That was great. You know, I mean.

Ashley
Maybe twice a year.


Claudine
I know right? Well, especially during these times, we might know a little more I My heart goes out to all the moms that went from having kids in school full time to having them home full time, there's really no, like break. There's no alone time. I think that would have been very challenging for me personally, when they were little. And when I was young. I had a hard time now that I'm older and wiser and slower. I'm not looking to get as much done. So it's a lot easier. Like even when I spend time with the grandkids naturally my mind's like, well, I gotta do this and this. Yeah, no, I don't. I really don't. I don't know. But when I was younger, you know, I had so many goals I needed to accomplish in a day. So anyway, well, we hope that you've gotten something out of parenting from two perspectives here from all over the place, but I've made it I'm on the other side. It's wonderful to be at. and Ashley, you're on your way.

Ashley
Yay. Well, thank you everyone for tuning in today and we will catch you next week.

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

Episode #54

There is no doubt we all have taken a big hit this year with this pandemic and quarantine. Many of us may have felt loneliness more than ever, or maybe for the first time, and now that the holidays are here that feeling may be much stronger. In this episode, we share several ideas that you can do to be creative in staying connected with those you love. 



Ashley
This is Episode 54, Creative Connections.

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 with Claudine and Ashley here. Today, we are going to be talking about a topic that is probably something very common amongst us all. And it's staying connected and creative connectedness. And you can probably assume why we want to discuss this because we have definitely faced a situation right, this pandemic where it has challenged that in our lives, where our connection with other people, the social interaction has definitely taken a hit, we've had to be creative. Or maybe we don't know how to be creative, maybe some of us have just kind of felt very comfortable in our little shell in our home. We kind of can relate to that my family and I. But we wanted to talk about this because especially as the holidays are approaching, it can really amp up that feeling of loneliness. And with missing out on parties, because of the restrictions we have our normal fun activities that we all look forward to this time of year can really trigger more of that loneliness and social isolation really. So we really wanted to focus on this topic today on this episode, because we wanted to offer some ways to get creative. If we may not have our normal ways of connecting and seeing each other face to face, unfortunately, and enjoying those fun parties during the holiday season. But there are still other things we can do. So we do not get into that place of just social isolation and just that feeling of loneliness, you know, because it can creep in and it it can really damage our wellness, our mental emotional health, our physical health. And we want those immune system strong right now people.

Claudine
Yes, that sounds good. Um, you know, it's so true. we're wired for connection. That's who we are. We're just wired. We really do crave connection. Even though sometimes in our minds, we think, Oh, I'm good. Just being by myself. Right. But we are we are born and wired for connection. And through this past year, it's been incredibly challenging to connect. I mean, for me, myself, not only do I have pandemic fatigue, I have zoom fatigue, I have to do one more zoom meeting, you know, it's just not my favorite way of connecting with people. Yet at the same time, I'm so grateful that we have that opportunity because we can connect and if we didn't have that and we'd be left with a phone, which at least this way we can see people's faces. But it's just been a challenge for me personally, I don't like two dimensional I'm really a three dimensional kind of connector. But with everything that's going on. I know even for us at Thanksgiving we were able to gather because most of us most of my family lives on one property. And my youngest daughter lives about 30 minutes away and she's pretty much quarantines and she works from home and doesn't go anywhere. But you know, it created some challenges. She became really fearful to even want to come over and spend time with us. Fearful that she might have COVID or that she would get us sick and she was trying to back out and we had to get creative with that. I was like, okay, you do not have the virus, you're okay, let's talk this through. And we got creative where she finally decided to come over, but we had to leave the slider wide open, and turn on the ceiling fan. So all the air was getting ventilated and moving around. And it was a cold, windy day. Take our family pictures and 20 mile an hour winds. That was a lot of fun. But we got creative with that so that she would feel comfortable to come over and celebrate. But not everyone has the opportunity to even do that. So that's why we're talking about today, ways we can connect creatively through the upcoming Christmas season because that's what's upon us here. And I know for us in LA County, we're on stay at home orders again, you know, you know, they're supposed to be lifted right before Christmas. But my feeling is it probably won't. And just because I don't know, we're still in winter, cold, cold and flu season regardless.

Ashley
Claudine. Exactly. There's a lot of things that can happen during this time of year. Claudine, as you were talking a little bit more about the holidays and with your family, it sparks this thought in my head to how when it gets colder, when it's darker, you know, around the holidays, the like depression, that feeling of sadness, loneliness, just kind of not feeling good, you know, feeling just really heightened this time. So let's share with our listeners a little bit about some of the negative consequences, I guess, or negative effects that can happen with feeling disconnected, you know, or even keeping ourselves disconnected. I know, I wasn't really taking much initiative in the beginning to be connected, because I felt quite comfortable in the beginning. When it goes on for so long, and so long, and especially as we hit the holidays, and then we're focused more on what we're missing out on, we can really stay in that place. And that kind of negative thought spiral, and it can affect our health and our wellness. And so what that means is our depression or anxiety can increase, it can also suppress our immune system, as I mentioned earlier, and we do not want that happening right now, right, we got to be extra careful. I mean, there's so many different things that we really don't pay much mind to, you know, of how it can affect us. I think the biggest one is physically to, you know, if you think about it, a lot of us have kind of stopped going out and about, right, we stopped out maybe going on walks, we're not as active anymore. I know I've gained some weight, you know, many of us have gained some weight over this quarantine thing. And we just don't really feel good and a lot of different areas. And it can just really amplify this. The sad feeling this time of year. So we really want to be careful because it is a matter of our health. I mean, we really need to take our health into consideration. And yes, there are things that we're missing out on Yes, this is so different than what we're used to. Yes, we don't get to do our normal traditions, we may not get to be with our family for Christmas and open our gifts together. But there are other ways that we can do that, you know, given the distance and if you think about it once upon a time, that is how people lived. I think of Little House on the Prairie times well, they would send a messenger you know, or like a letter and it would get my horse, by horse and carriage and, you know, I mean, this is this isn't really anything new to our culture, but I are so advanced, technologically wise, you know and socially definitely. As you mentioned, we are very social beings, we need that. And even though there's times like some of us introverts can say, Well, I really don't need to be social, like, I'm pretty good. It actually you can tell it will kind of change you a little bit, you know a little bit more, you might maybe be a little grumpier, or less tolerant of other people, or their views, or, you know, I have someone in my family who has not really, I can say, my grandmother actually, like she has, she was never really a social person. You know, she spent a lot of time living on our own, especially after my grandfather passed. And it could be harder to relate to, you know, a personality where maybe they haven't had as much social interaction for years, you know, and some people are very happy that way. Yeah, it's good to stay connected. And just to get creative.

Claudine
Yeah, for some of us it is more natural. You know, it is easy to stay at home. And I know, in my nature, I tend to like to have alone time. At home is now going on eight to nine months of it. So it's a lot of alone time even a little too much for me. Yeah, I've recharged. And so now, you know, the holidays in and of themselves without a pandemic or without everything going on are difficult for people, right? I mean, it's just a difficult time, if you've experienced the loss of a loved one this year. Now you're facing the empty seat at the table. Yeah. And even on top of that, now, some people can't even gather with their families, especially if they're across the country. Although apparently, according to news reports, there were a million travelers on the Thanksgiving holiday. So some people were deciding to connect in the regular old fashioned way in person. But you're right, there's a higher incidence of depression and anxiety, and loneliness during this time as it is, and now throw on top of it that we can't even get with our loved ones. For the most part. I mean, I know some people are doing it. Some of us are fortunate to live in the same household with our loved ones. But there's all kinds of traditions and things that are going to be changed, right? I mean, even a small one for us is our small group at church, we always have an annual Christmas party and white elephant party. And it was so funny because it's like, who wants to get together this year and exchange gifts and have communal food now? And one of the suggestions was, well, let's do it outside. Well, okay, but Northern California. It's kind of chilly. Aha, you know, it's probably not going to happen in that way. So we have to get creative. And so that's why we wanted to do this get creative beyond your average zoom meeting. So Ashley, share with us some of the creative ways you've come up with with connecting through the holiday season.

Ashley
Yeah, so one of the ideas was to organize a time with a friend to go grocery shop together. You know, that is one of the outings you're allowed to do no matter where you live and say hey, I'm going to Costco or target at this time let's meet up then we could just shop you know, and walk six feet apart from each other.

Claudine
I love that. That is creative.

Ashley
You know, you can just have a little social time and sometimes just like you said, You and I are similar where we really enjoy the face to face interaction more than a phone call or this zoom stuff you know, I mean, zoom thank you but it does not replace the face to face interaction. And so that is something that is allowed. Maybe you're not able to go out to eat together go grab a coffee but you can shop together, right? Yeah. And especially now if there's Christmas shopping to be done. There's another great reason. Also what some people have been doing is doing a book club over zoom. You know there is that wonderful app and you can choose a book to read together with a few friends and you can talk about it and yes it is using the zoom that we might not all feel super grateful about but it is a great opportunity to still keep in contact because you don't want to completely write off you know, oh man, I'm tired of this zoom. I don't want to do it again. It is a great opportunity for us to still be connected and and we love to read you know it's darker now it's colder Now you may cozy up on the couch with a blanket in a book you know, and then you could just talk about it with some friends.

Claudine
Yeah, I like that one.

Ashley
Another one is organizing a maybe a Saturday morning walk with a neighbor or friend. You know, I mean get that exercise in get outside if you're able to get some vitamin D or if not at least get some fresh air you know and you can go on a walk with them. You know, a mile or two walk, that's something that would be great to do on a weekly basis, I see a lot of people doing that around the neighborhood to taking their little babies out on their strollers, and they'll just go on a walk together. And that's another great opportunity to be face to face and interact, you know, personally, but in a safe distance, and you're outside.

Claudine
Yeah, I like that walking too one thing, one tradition that we have every year. And it'll be interesting to see what happens. But when we're in Southern California, there's a couple neighborhoods that put up all their Christmas lights. And it's quite an extravaganza. And so for the years that we've been here, when our kids were older, we would take hot cocoa and walk and see the light. Yeah, so we do that with our family, they're still going to be able to do that, because the streets are wide enough that you can stay six feet apart, like everyone will be wearing their masks. But that's one way to connect with other people is invite them to see the lights with you. As long as right now we stay safe wear masks all that good stuff. But that's a Christmas holiday tradition that we've had, that I believe we'll still be able to do this year. So we can connect in that way, we don't have to throw the baby out of the bathwater, we can still keep going with some of our traditions.

Ashley
Right. And that's the thing too, I mean, we can kind of get stuck in that mindset, like, Oh, I miss out on this, and we're not going to get to do this. And then we our brain just kind of gets foggy. And we don't really think logically, it's like, no, there's actually a lot of great opportunities, you know, to still do something or create a new tradition. We do also, ever since my daughter was itty bitty baby because she was born in December, we would, you know, bundle them all up, and we'd go for walks around the neighborhood with hot cocoa, and we'd see all the Christmas lights. And we have a few neighbors who are just go above and beyond and do these amazing decorations. And it is it's fun, and why not, you know, organize a time with a neighbor, you know, a neighbor, friend, and do that together. Another one is to create a new tradition, as we mentioned, with your family, you know, if you do have a family or even a roommate, or a friend, go do something, maybe it's a maybe it's a hike, you know, maybe you want to do a hike once a month, or maybe you want to buy a new board game to do with your family. That's something we actually did, you know, especially as it was getting darker, and we had the time change, we got a couple new games. So we've been playing dinner games, actually, we played around the dinner table, and I bought a lazy Susan and the kids love it. So we spin it right and we get to play our little game. And my daughter, yeah, my daughter was saying I love our dinners. So it was nice, because we make it fun. And that's kind of become a new tradition. So if we visit family or go elsewhere, we bring our games with us, you know, to play, but that is a that's another great one. And it gets the kids excited to to have a new game. Another one is to still send a text to somebody, you know, send a text just out of the blue to say hi, hi, how are you doing? You know, I missed you. Just making sure that you can still connect in that way as well. Because we do have all this great technology let's not completely kabocha. You know, and I'm tired of all this technology, but use it to our advantage to still be connected. And there's going to be times we don't feel like reaching out because yeah, gosh, it's a long day, I'm tired. I don't really have the energy to interact with somebody right now. You know, but don't, don't let yourself fall into that trap. Because if you do that day after day after day, then that's what gets us into the state of loneliness.

Claudine
Right. And one of the things with texting that I've done because I've seen myself over the last, you know, months, three months, six months, eight months, is I get in that same mode. It's like oh, I just don't want to start anything right now. Right What I've done on occasion is set timers for myself like a reminder and so then it'll go up on my phone like if I sit on Sunday and set reminders like text this person text this person because Sunday's are either Sunday evenings or Monday mornings are usually might quiet reflection time where I really think about who do I want to encourage this week you know, think about that as scripture encourage one another daily I I know what the pandemic and everything is going on. A lot of us are just in survival mode. You know, it's hard for me, I tend to be pretty encouraging but these last few months. I'm like, yeah, I'm trying to survive here. I have to use little reminders like text so and so text, so and so text so, so the other person doesn't know, but at least for me, it's a trigger like, Okay, let me just do this and take 30 seconds, but we get so caught up in our heads. Like, okay, let me sit and think who I want to text. And then your brain goes, Oh, they're probably this or that or I don't have time. You know,

Ashley
I don't have the time for an ongoing conversation. Right,

Claudine
Right. Which by texting honestly. It's like 30 seconds. The whole point is you're not picking up the phone. So it's limited, right? But I know for me, the less I think the better I do. Yeah. So for to remind what's happened says text so and so I just do it. I don't think about it. I don't I just obey my little reminder. Okay, I'm gonna text so and so right helped me so much stay connected, because I'm not overthinking about who to text when to text. Well, what if they're this? No, just text them. So whether they get it, they don't get it, they respond, they don't respond, just do it.

Ashley
Oh like that scripture, when you refresh, others, you will be refreshed, you know, because in the moment, we might not feel like reaching out because we're tired or it's late or whatever reason. But when you do just reach out to that one little thing to say, hey, I've been thinking about you today, I hope things are going well, just to give that little encouragement, then you will feel encouraged. And then I know when I do that, I tend to feel more energized to like, I really do feel refreshed, like Wow, it kind of kind of got me out of my little funk. Because I'm thinking about somebody else. And I got to encourage someone else, just by thinking about, we all love to be thought of. I mean, we really do you know that I love thoughtfulness. And so when when I can do that for someone and make their day, then it's like, Wow, it really made my day too.

Claudine
You know, that's a great point. It reminds me last week, I got a phone call from a friend. It's not someone I talked to on like a weekly basis, but definitely a good friend nevertheless. And they call just to tell me that they saw something in my life that inspired them. And they wanted to have it in their life. And they went ahead and took an action to make it happen. What made my whole day because that's great, right? You know, same thing, you know, the phone rings, and you're like, Oh my gosh, I don't want to buy now, for half an hour. It's like terrible. I mean, this is not a good time. I know, this is not even who I who I am like I love connecting with people. That's all that I'm about is connecting with people. And now I see my phone ring. And I'm like, ah, I don't know. I gotta go watch the Great British Bake Off. Anyway, so

Ashley
You're so funny.

Claudine
It was so encouraging. I mean, that call just made my day because they saw something. And they were encouraged by it to take action in their own life. And I thought, you know, that's even a great way of connecting, we can all reflect on people who've had an impact in our life and this holiday season. Take five minutes. It doesn't have to be long. It wasn't a super long phone call. But they just called to encourage to give me the courage. You know, it filled me up like, yeah, okay, my life has an impact. So that can be a great way, this holiday season through the month of December. Just think of it Yeah, had an impact on your life. And tell them so often we think it right. Like I think about people that I appreciate and respect all the time. And I forget to tell them, like somehow they're just going to know that I love and appreciate them. So.

Ashley
Okay, so what what do you have to tell me that you've been sitting on then?

Claudine
Oh, my goodness. Well, you are editor. So you guys, Ashley here, editor of our podcast. I'm so grateful and appreciate that. I tried it for one week, and I lost my mind. I'm like, Nope, can't do this. I'll pay for it. But then, you know, yeah, I love and I love that it's a catch 22 I'm so grateful for your editing skills, you are the Empress of editing. So.

Ashley
And I am so grateful for all your wisdom that you and your husband has showered on me and my husband and in our life, you have definitely highly impacted our life too.

And look at how simple and easy that was, right?

Claudine
I know even cards and cards, we can still send cards, it's like, it's almost like we're forgetting the usual things. You know, phone calls, right? This card like this year, we did take our picture, we ended up taking on Thanksgiving Day, we did have wins over 20 miles now. Our youngest was not with us, because he's up in Northern California working, um, which we were talking about photoshopping him into the picture. And then half of me was like, I think we're gonna just do digital. So I found some apps online where you can just do digital Christmas cards. And I'm like, okay, we're not going to do a physical Christmas card this year. I mean, that's been my tradition for 30 years. I have a little, almost 30 years, 30 years, I have a photo album where I just put one Christmas picture in it on every page. And it's so fun to flip and see our family changed through the years. But this year, we're going to go digital so that's another thing to still connect with people let them see the change in our family because we had a new baby this year. We have our little granddaughter Skye and I know there's we have friends all across the country. And I'm not the biggest Facebook user so this way, they'll get to see her and see Weston who's two and a half, almost three, he's grown up so much. So that's still a way of doing it, but in a different format.

Ashley
Mm hmm. That's great.

Claudine
Yeah. Another thing I had a friend, I was talking to the sweet so they have a tradition of making holiday meat pies. I personally have never heard of this, it sounded delicious after.

Ashley
It almost sounds like a shepherd's pie.

Claudine
I don't know. But at any rate, they spent the whole day so she and her husband, they live with her mom and her sister. So they're all one household. So this is a family tradition. And they cook these holiday meat pies. And then they sent them to all their family members that won't be joining them for Christmas because they have they're older and have health challenges. So they're keeping it real safe. And only keeping it to the four of them this Christmas. So they decided to just make the pies and then mail them which I thought was quite clever and also a lot of work. But.

Ashley
and probably pricey cuz you probably have to refrigerate those right?

Claudine
So. That's what I thought I was like how did you mail them all but she said like sending one to her daughter in to Texas was only $12. And she was able to get dry ice for free somehow. So dry ice the box and like for one the meat pies to go to Texas $12. I'm like, What a way to keep the tradition alive. But yeah, so clever. I would have never thought of that. I've been like, okay, here's the recipe, make your own meat pie, right? Like, that's me. But they made them they had fun making them and then they shipped them to other family members that wouldn't be joining them this year. So I thought that was really great.

Ashley
Well, yeah, you can even do cookies. You know, I know, this time of year, a lot of us like to bake cookies. And you can make that and send my husband and I earlier in our marriage we used to make oh my gosh, hold on. What is it? We used to make caramel, you know, and almost like our Allman Roca kind of you know, caramel, and then we would sprinkle in chopped nuts, you know, but it was just like a flat bark, basically. And we used to make like our own candy and give it away as gifts because we were very poor college married couple, right. And that's another great idea, you know, make some and then send them off. And you can do that you can do like a cookie exchange, even you know, with some friends, you can all have an address of a friend and then rotate around. And so everybody ends up getting, you know, like a little goodie bag of each of the cookies. You know, let's say amongst 10 friends, that would be another great idea.

Claudine
That's a great idea. That's a good way of doing it to where you. Yeah, I love that as creative started cookie exchange, and you give it to one person, like a secret Secret Santa kind of thing.

Ashley
Yeah. Yeah, that's clever.

Claudine
Another one that's kind of fun is where it total game playing family. So we have so we have to get creative on how we can play games if we're not physically together, right. So one of them, we have a game that we play online, it's connected through our TV and through our cell phone. So we love that. So we play that and you don't have to physically be in the same room to play, you can connect with the code because it's all online. And that's fun. And another way is I know my husband's family has House Party, which is an app. And so you can play games on that as well. So there's ways to keep certain traditions alive, even if you're not in person, you can still play games, have a book club, do cookie exchange, do all the things that make a lot of our traditions up from a distance.

Ashley
Yeah, well you know, also, we could do our presence, ideally, over zoom, you know, I mean, yeah, do like we get our side of the family together. Usually, obviously. But then if we can't this year, then let's say we're all in our own homes, and we've like mailed each other, the gifts and we could just all load up on zoom and then we can take turns opening a gift and we're all watching right just via the computer screen.

Claudine
Okay, so I just have to confess I'm so glad that I'm gonna be with my grandson and granddaughter my most of my kids at Christmas because that would not work for me. I'm just saying for me. I know.

Ashley
Yes, you are quite blessed. Yes.

Claudine
But um, you know, this will be our granddaughters first Christmas and, and our grandson is you know, two and a half almost three. So this is the year where he started to really connect like, these are mine. Like he learned word mine. So he gets a toy or something. He's like mine mine so it's gonna be really fun. I think it'd be really hard for me to zoom. So I'm just super grateful. We're the same household right now. Our creative way to do it for others. You're right. Yeah, there's so many ways.

Well, Ashley, I do think we've covered a few creative ways to keep connected during the holidays. I know this is nobody's ideal. Nobody saw this coming. When this all started in March, I thought two weeks. This is going to last two weeks, then I thought till June then I thought surely by September, it's going to be done. And here we are in December. It's been a year. It's been a year really. And the holidays are upon us. And we need to stay connected. Even if part of us like, I'm fine just by myself. Do you need to fight to take the initiative to stay connected? We don't know who we're reaching out to that's, you know, really lonely in a worse place than we are and really try to encourage someone this holiday season, stay connected. And most of all, to all our lovely listeners, stay safe. Until next time.

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

Episode #53

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



Ashley
This is Episode 53, let your light shine.

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

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

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


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

Ashley
I'm asleep by that time.

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

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

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

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

Ashley
I have one.

Claudine
But you have one?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Claudine
There you go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley
Yeah, right from room to room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley
Well, there you go.

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

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

Claudine
and the bitterness?

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

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

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

Ashley
Step away. Step away from your roles.

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

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

Claudine
Absolutely.

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


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

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

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

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

Claudine
Did you really?

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

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

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

Claudine
It's probably true.

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

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

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

Episode #52

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



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

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

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

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

Ashley
That's five o'clock somewhere.

Claudine
That's right.

Ashley
I tease, I tease.

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

Ashley
You're sitting in your pool and just talking

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

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

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

Claudine
It has been fun.

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

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

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

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

Ashley
Mm hmm.

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

Ashley
Yes. Yes.


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

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

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

Ashley
Let's hope you are.


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

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

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

Ashley
You need to be on that list as well.

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

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

Ashley
Vision boards are good for that too.

Claudine
They are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
That's a whole another topic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode #51

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



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

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

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

Claudine
It is harder, isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Hard for him to be grateful.

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
I was clueless. Things were great.

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

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

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

Episode #50

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



Ashley
This is Episode 50. Stop procrastinating.

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

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

Nicola
Hello.

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

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

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

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

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

Nicola
I screamed. My assignments!

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

Nicola
I felt pretty nervous.

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

Nicola
I regretted it.

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

Nicola
Yes, please.

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

Nicola
Yep.

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

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

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

Nicola
You're welcome.

Ashley
Go have fun now. Love you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley
Oh, much so so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Did you want to run or run away?

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

Claudine
Yeah, you know, usually

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
It doesn't go away.

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
There you go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Yeah, yeah.

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

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

Episode #49

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



Claudine
This is Episode 49. How to do conflict.

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

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

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

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

Ashley
So you don't have a cousin Eddie?

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

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

Which is exactly what we want to talk about today.

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

Ashley
And marriages.

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

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

Claudine
Yes. Well

Ashley
I'll do as I see fit.

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

Ashley
Which is not the case.

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

Ashley
And that's not easy to do.

Claudine
It's not at all.

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

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

Ashley
Oh, that's good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
They really don't do this.

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Right.

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

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

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

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

Episode #48

How In Control Are You Really?

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




GET THE FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
This is Episode 48 control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley
Oh, yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley
You have an opinion what happened to that?

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

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

Claudine
Right?

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

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

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

Episode #47

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




GET THE FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

Ashley
Hashtag 2020.

Claudine
The whole year?

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

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

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

Ashley
And how long has it been listed now.

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

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

Correct.

Lust like you expected the pandemic to last two weeks.

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Well, the better part of six, right?

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

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

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

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

Ashley
I'm not supposed to feel this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudine
Yes.

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

Claudine
Until next time, take care.

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