Empty Nest Success Evangelist specializing in coaching mothers entering the empty nest. ★ Master Motivator ★ Podcast Host ★ Together we'll channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 3, Empty Nest Prep, part 1, Your Thoughts. … Today’s topic is your thoughts. This part one of a five-episode series titled “Empty Nest Prep.” These five episodes are the base level material of everything that I teach.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 3, Empty Nest Prep, part 1, Your Thoughts. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there, and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend. Episode 3, I am super excited. I think every episode I’m going to be super excited because I still can’t believe this. I’m recording this in December of 2018 and was just thinking this morning that I began working on this project in July. Five months. I remember putting on paper that I would go live with the podcast in 2019. It freaked me out, just a bit, to see it in writing, so I coached myself through it. I made a plan, and despite having a full-time job, I figured out how to make it happen. It is a lot of extra hours, which means it’s really tough for me to get much done around the house. Thankfully, I have a fantastic partner, who recognized my passion and said I’ll take care of everything else. I know I’m crazy lucky. This is a huge shout out to my husband, Don, who may never listen to this, but I want you, my listener to know, that he is an incredibly huge part of me being here. I hope that you find this podcast to be a place of inspiration and of encouragement to you. I also hope that it reminds you that you’re not alone in your transition ahead.
You may never purchase a program from me. You and I may never meet in person and that’s totally okay. I want you to know that you aren’t alone and that you should absolutely use all of the free resources I provide, as much as possible. That is why I am putting them out there. They are my gift to you. Please use them and let me know if you find them helpful.
Did it really take me this long to get to the topic at hand? I guess so. Today’s topic is your thoughts. This part one of a five-episode series titled “Empty Nest Prep.” These five episodes are the base level material of everything that I teach. It all starts with a visualization I have to share with you. I’d like you to imagine your mind as a house. This house has rooms in it, of course. It also has a front door and a back door. Let’s start with picturing it empty, nothing in it. Which, as we’ll discover, is not what our mind is like, nor would we want it to be.
You have an image of an empty house. Imagine that you get a delivery. Your doorbell rings and you answer it. You answer the door, are handed a box, you close the door and read the label. I want you to imagine that that label is a thought that you just had. Are you with me? Your mind is the house in this story, and the delivery is a thought that popped into your mind.
You take a look at the thought written on the box, and maybe it says I’m proud of my child heading off to college. You read it and take it happily into a room and place it down. Before you even get it firmly placed on the floor, the doorbell rings again. It is another thought box that popped into your head. You casually go to the door, grab the box, and see it labeled. It says, I’m going to miss them. You look at the box and read it and feel not so happy any more. You aren’t sure what to do with the box, so you start to walk into a different room, but then, the doorbell rings again. Another box arrives, it is labeled I’m going to be lonely without them. You have feelings showing up that are starting to get a bit more negative. You’re barely done reading this labeled box, when the doorbell rings again. I’m going to have no life without them. Doorbell. My partner and I have nothing in common any more. Doorbell. I have no future.
The doorbell keeps ringing. You can’t keep up. You try to put the boxes in rooms and organize them, but you don’t have the time. There are way too many. In frustration, you give the keys to your house to the delivery person. For this visualization, just assume that you fully trust them. You tell this delivery person, just put the deliveries anywhere you can fit them in my house. Think about this though. You never once took the time to think, wait, I don’t even need to accept these deliveries. You forgot that they are completely optional. Not only that, the sad part is that you get so frustrated with how many thought boxes are in your house, remember this is your mind, that you tell the delivery person to just take some out when the house is full. You don’t even take a moment to look at what boxes are being removed.
You didn’t notice that some really good ones disappeared. The ones that are labeled I am amazing. I am going to do great things. My partner and I will have time to reconnect. Sadly, those thoughts are gone. Are you with me? Do have the visualization that your life is controlled by these thought boxes, AKA your thoughts? When you think about it, you are being bossed around by these thoughts because you never once considered that they were completely optional. My empty nest friend, I am here to tell you that each and every thought you have is optional.
I want you to spend the next few days, weeks, months ahead to take time to notice the thought box deliveries that you allow to enter into your mind. When they arrive, and you are able to notice them, observe them. Write them down, and ask yourself, do I like that thought? This may sound odd or silly to you, but it can be life changing if you get it. We are only beginning to place our toes in the water in this episode.
My next episode we’ll talk about how you treat yourself when the thought appears, and you notice it.
My questions for this week are:
1) Have you considered that your thoughts are optional?
2) My second question is where are you in the story I told today?
Share your answers to these questions in my Empty Nest Flock Community at youremptynestcoach.com/community. I look forward to seeing you there, my empty nest friend.
Christine: You’re listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 2. Is the Empty Nest real? … Hello, my empty nest friend. I am super excited to bring you my next episode. This is actually an early bonus episode to discuss is the empty nest real? Meaning, is it a real thing? What will it mean for you? The great news that I have is that it can mean anything you want it to mean.
Christine: You’re listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 2. Is the Empty Nest real? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there, and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend. I am super excited to bring you my next episode. This is actually an early bonus episode to discuss is the empty nest real? Meaning, is it a real thing? What will it mean for you? The great news that I have is that it can mean anything you want it to mean. You can make it mean that you will be lonely. You can make it mean that you will find the new you. You can make it mean that you and your partner will discover that you don’t have anything in common. Of course, these are all thoughts that you can choose to believe, just as easily as you can make it mean that you and your partner will discover everything that you do have in common. If it’s only one thing, you get to decide what that means to you.
Before I dive in, I have a story for you. I used to be a balloon artist. I had purchased a balloon twisting kit one holiday and began to play with it. I found that it fulfilled my creative outlet and it also, was a bit like a puzzle to figure out how much air each balloon needed to make the perfect creation. I did this for a bit, and within my family, I was kind of anomaly. Did you see what Christine made today? All from a balloon kit. She’s playing with those balloons again. She’s funny. Oh, that’s cute. Then I discovered that there was an online community of balloon artists. I went from being the only person I knew learning how to twist balloons, to being one of many who all experienced the same thrill, the same frustrations and more. A bond. We all had it. It felt good to know other people had trouble learning how to break a balloon with their hands. That was a huge win when I figured that one out. It felt good knowing that other humans out there received strange looks for their hobby, too.
Then, I found online lessons, DVDs, and learned from some of the most amazing balloon artists. I even went to multiple conventions. The topic? Yes, balloon artistry. I went from thinking this is a fun hobby to whoa, I can do that? Inspired. There is so much power in being inspired. There’s so much power in knowing you aren’t the only one experiencing whatever it is that you’re experiencing.
I know. At this point, you’re wondering what’s my point? Right? Let’s put a pin in my balloon journey. I guess that would pop it, but let’s hold onto it and look at is the empty nest a real thing? I did a quick Google definition search for empty nest. Google came back with noun, a household consisting only of a parent or parents, whose children have grown up and left home. The example given was her only daughter is about to go to college and she is dreading the empty nest. Are you kidding me? Did Google just call out Coach Christine of two years ago? It sure feels like it, because that was totally me.
I did another search on the empty nest and was brought to an article on Psychology Today Online, about the empty nest. I have a link to this entry on my podcast forum on my website. I would like to share with you some of what’s mentioned in the Psychology Today definition or post – I’m not sure what we’ll call that – titled “Empty Nest Syndrome.” The article states that empty nest syndrome is not a clinical diagnosis. That being said, it does describe a period of time where many humans experience feelings of loneliness or loss. In the article, it also says that empty nest refers to depression, sadness, and a grief experienced by parents and caregivers during this specific transition. While it is more likely to affect women then men, men are not immune to these feelings during the empty nest transition. The post also shares that some ways to combat empty nest syndrome is to discuss your feelings, find social support and work on self-care.
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I read this. As this is what my podcast and my programs are all about. Before even reading this, it was my firm belief that if you are able to learn the tools that I have in this program before your child heads off to school, you will be in great shape for the transition ahead, but so will your child, so will your partner and everyone else around you. There it is. Everything I’ve been my clients. It’s right there, in print, in this article. I’m taking it as affirmation that I’m on the right track. You can take it however you want.
Interestingly enough, the same Psychology Today article states that research has been shown that women have no increase in depressive illness in this stage of life. I’ll be honest, I paused a bit after reading that. I wasn’t quite sure about it. Thinking about it, I believe the point being is that clinical depression is clinical depression, empty nest or no empty nest. Which leads me to put out there, that if you are experiencing clinical depression, please speak to your medical provider about that. Clinical depression is something that could be helped by medication and medical therapies. With that side note out of the way, are you ready to dive in and get started? Because I totally am. I personally can attest to the fact that having support, having a plan on how to proceed, and getting ahead of this transition will help your life. My clients say the same thing.
I’m super excited to offer free support around this podcast on my website. All you need to do is click on the Empty Nest Flock Community link on my website. My website is youremptynestcoach.com and register for an account there. In this Nestling Support Group we will discuss the questions I ask in each podcast episode. Just by being there, you will be reminded that you are not alone in your journey ahead. This is free, just like this podcast. I hope you take advantage of it.
Remember my story of finding my balloon artist peeps? I have amazing memories from every bit of energy I spent with my balloon artist friends. I no longer am in the balloon business for health reasons, but I’m super excited that many of the business skills I learned then, I can use now. I really needed it at that time in my life. I will post a few pictures of my balloon artist days in the Empty Nest Flock support forum for your entertainment.
This is my personal invitation to you, to meet others who aren’t only seeing the empty nest ahead, but they want the years ahead to be their best yet. They see incredible futures ahead for themselves, or they don’t yet, but they want to, and they want to do the same for everyone else they meet. Come on over, youremptynestcoach.com/community. I can’t wait to see you there. The questions we will discuss this week will be:
1) Have you experienced what I did with balloon twisting community, in your life and what was the area?
2) Do you have the support you need for the transition ahead?
With this important episode and invitation complete, my next episode will jump into thoughts. I will be uploading that episode on Friday, which will be my weekly podcast release date going forward. Chat with you next time, my amazing empty nest friend.
This was originally posted on an old blog of mine in June of 2017.
I went on a walk/kind-of-a-jog, this morning, and kept seeing thistle plants.
I got all metaphorical looking at them. I mean, here is a tough plant. Considered a weed around here, it has solid stalks that hold the flowers in place as they sit in a variety of stages of life. A few ends are not even open yet, some are in full blossom, and others have turned brown and have served their purpose. A lone bee sits on one end gathering pollen, and I can’t help but see my life in this plant.
The stages of life that are ending; careers and jobs that have served me well; friendships that may have had their season; the journeys that are about to begin; and the life experiences that keep me grounded through the happy and the suck moments in life.
It is easy to get caught up in the moments at the end of the flower but remembering the big picture and that it all fits together (even though I may not see it now), can keep me grounded and make the next season even better.
Hmmm, this is apparently where my mind goes when I don’t listen to podcasts.
You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.