You are a mother of a high school student, and you are freaking out about the empty nest ahead? Together we will channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! You will THRIVE as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college. ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
So, I wonder if this episode is the one that gets my listeners worked up. These are thoughts that we don’t hear often, so I’m putting them out there. If you aren’t a fan of my approach – it is all good, differences are what makes this world interesting.
However, if you can barely stand to listen to my take on grades, I challenge you to take a look at your thoughts and be curious as to the why. Ask yourself, “Who would I be in the world, if for a moment, I tried on these new thoughts and could find myself in a space where I believe them?”
Let me know where you are and let’s chat about it. If you are happy with who you show up in the world as with your thoughts on this topic, then you are all good!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 27: What Are You Making Grades Mean? … Let’s talk about GPAs. You know, grade point averages. Sometimes parents like to share their child’s GPA, almost as if it’s a badge of honor, like it means something of significant importance. Let’s be real. A GPA is a number. That is it. It means whatever you make it mean, at that moment at time.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 27: What Are You Making Grades Mean? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:01:02 Let’s talk about GPAs. You know, grade point averages. Sometimes parents like to share their child’s GPA, almost as if it’s a badge of honor, like it means something of significant importance. Let’s be real. A GPA is a number. That is it. It means whatever you make it mean, at that moment at time. A human could be in a class that doesn’t teach a subject that they are interested in, or maybe they don’t have the skills for. Sometimes, that human doesn’t even get the prerequisite class, so they’re at a disadvantage. Then there are things like learning styles. The student’s learning style and is the professor in a particular class a good fit for that student’s learning style? Then, there are professors that grade tough, and there are professors that grade leniently.
00:01:55 Look, your high school GPA matters for college.Your college GPA matters for grad school. I can’t tell you the last job I applied for that asked me my college GPA. Really, maybe they did, and I think, actually, I do think one did and it makes me want to throw up in my mouth when somebody asks me what my GPA is, because what relevance does that have on anything that I have done in the past 20 years? When you go to a lawyer, do you want to know they’re amazing in that area that you need with proven results? Or do you want them to have a particular GPA? Do you even care about their GPA? When you go to a doctor, do you want to know that they had a 4.0? Or do you want to know that they are amazing at the surgery that you need?
00:02:39 Look, C’s get degrees. Really. They walk across the same stage and get the same degree. The same degree that someone with a 3.8 or a 4.0 gets. Let that sink in. Whatever grade your child has, it is just a grade. It means whatever you make it mean. By the way, by college, you aren’t doing the work for them. At least, you shouldn’t be. It literally has no reflection on you, at all. If you’re making it that way, ask yourself why.
00:03:11 Sure. If they’re failing and not trying, that’s different. But if they aren’t failing, and they’re doing what some would call average work, and have a really good life balance, what’s the problem? Yes, they might have a harder time getting their career started or into grad school. You can point that out, and then, you let the chips fall where they may. I know kids who spend three years with 4.0’s in college, stressed out that they might lose it at any second. They can’t imagine having anything lower than an A on a single assignment, while another student may calculate the lowest grade they need on the final to make the A. That student studies enough, knows it’s the same grade in the end, and spends finals week doing what they need to do and making the time to have a little fun, and have time for self-care. That elusive 4.0.
00:03:58 I have to say, I’m partial to those without a 4.0, actually. Let me tell you why. Because I know that they’ve experienced not having the perfect grade, and they survived it. I don’t know that 4.0 student can handle a situation like this, because they haven’t been in it yet. I know, tough. Right? But it’s really something important.
00:04:19 Doing your best work in a class sometimes has nothing to do with the resulting grade, and our kids need to be proud of their work, because we aren’t graded at our jobs. Heck, some jobs don’t even give you performance reviews. What happens to the student with the 4.0, who enters the workforce and receives no external validation for their work? Make sure your child is good with knowing who they are outside of that GPA. It is a gift worth giving. Good luck with all of this. I know it’s tough because society is focused so much on this number. But just remember your child’s grades aren’t your grades. You are amazing no matter what grades you received in school, and no matter what grades your family members receive in school, 100 percent. I adore you my empty nest friend. Thanks for being here today.
00:05:07 Please don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook Group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there.
00:05:54 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) How much does your child’s grade change your mood?
2) How were your grades in school? As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I’m able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode’s title is, “What Mom Should Expect During That First Semester and How Mom Can Help.”
00:06:22 If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
But how do you treat yourself when you do change a decision that you have made? Guess what? It isn’t time to beat yourself up. It is time to be curious, to question it, check it and then be all in on your new decision: whether it is to stay the course or do something different.
Easy? Maybe not, but I’ve got you! Take a listen, or read the transcript, below.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 26: Changing Your Mind is Okay. … By now, graduations are happening. Summer is getting started and while, with life changes, changes in decisions that have already been made might creep up, too. Let’s chat about that today. I had a bout of changing my mind recently, and I have to say I spent a day or two thinking I must be giving up on my dream.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 26: Changing Your Mind is Okay. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:58 By now, graduations are happening. Summer is getting started and while, with life changes, changes in decisions that have already been made might creep up, too. Let’s chat about that today. I had a bout of changing my mind recently, and I have to say I spent a day or two thinking I must be giving up on my dream. So ridiculous what our minds do to us. If we let our mind boss us around, I really wonder if we’d ever get anything done.
00:01:26 I’m going to tell you my recent story and realization of this. Hopefully, it helps you. My GPS to future me is to be an example to future empty nest women of all that is possible in their lives, and to help them to discover who they’re meant to be. That is on my green popsicle stick. I’m quite clear on future me, but some days, I forget to tune into her, and make sure that I’m on the right track. If that makes sense.
00:01:53 Let me jump to a nature story for a minute or two. I would like you to picture a spider. Not a creepy spider, but a nice, kind, lovely spider who is only in the world doing her own thing, working hard to get food. She does her really well, because that’s all she knows. When she creates a web, she first creates a bridge line between two objects, and then she spends time strengthening it up. She then creates anchor threads and spends time reinforcing them, and finishes them with frame threads. With those threads set, she adds radii fixed to the central hub and checks that every angle is correct, to make sure she has enough spokes. Then, she gets to work on her auxiliary threads. After which, she takes a huge rest, while her body changes things up so she has a different silk to work with in her upcoming building project. Let me tell you, I went down a rabbit hole watching spiders create webs in this episode’s research. It’s a bit mesmerizing, and I’ll put a couple links in my show notes, if you’re interested. Any way, as she finishes the web, she fixes the center and pulls the threads tight so the web does what it needs to do.
00:03:05 Somethings that jump out to me in this, is that one, she rests. Two, she checks things. She fixes things and tightens the web up. Three, she doesn’t willy nilly create random lines of web shot out with an unorganized structure. Four, she also, doesn’t spin one single small radii thread over and over, and over, and only bank on that. In the end, she creates a full-blown web. A beautiful web that does what it is meant to do. If the web is broken in a part of it, she repairs it. If the web is destroyed, she could die from malnutrition. I have a whole new view of these webs outside my door right now.
00:03:47 What does this have to do with anything? If you look at the completed web as our GPS, as our green popsicle stick, you see that sometimes portion of your pathways might break and need repair. If you lose sight of the full web that you are creating, you could think of that one broken section means that your path is done and the web, as a whole, has no chance of happening, but you have so many other angles and pathways to complete your web, to complete your GPS to get there. You do. Just like a spider does. You just need to rest sometimes. Clean up what you’ve done already, tighten things up, and then, get moving again. As long as you remember you are making this web, and not a rope swing, you are in good shape. Slow and steady gets you there. It gets the spider to her completed web.
00:04:40 What does this have to do with me? I had decided earlier in the year that I would do a six-week coaching program in June. It sounded great at the time, but after a big road-trip with my daughter, I got home and thought I really want to enjoy this summer with her home. If I’m working full-time at my day job, and coaching a full group of clients, my time will be crazy limited. That isn’t the way I want to spend my summer. Despite announcing it in a few episodes of the podcast, I decided to flat out change my mind to not do a summer coaching program, and to spend the summer batching future podcast episodes. Cleaning up the loose ends I have with what I’ve created already and auditing all the tools that I’m currently using. My gut was this is me starting to give up on my dream. What is with that? That is right where my thoughts went. Our minds really can be dream killers, can’t they?
00:05:36 My empty nest friend, with some time and self-coaching, I remembered what I would tell my clients. What are you making this mean, and check in with future Christine and your GPS. I did all that, and future Christine is sure that spending time with her daughter in the summer that she learns to drive, is the best way that she could possibly spend this upcoming summer. I have to tell you, I know I will not regret that decision. I am 100 percent sure of it. There you have it. I changed my mind, and I’m confident it was the right decision. I know I’m not letting future Christine down, because she knows the path to where she is. Slow and steady will get me there. It requires some rest, some reevaluation, and some tightening up of processes. She’s cheering me on even when I change my mind.
00:06:24 When I’m on a path that doesn’t get me to where I need to be, I have clarity on that, too. Thanks to future Christine. When you think you might want to change your mind, check in with your GPS. You’ve got this. Future you is cheering you on and so am I. Enjoy every minute of this summer ahead. I’ll be back next week with an episode title “What Are You Making Grades Mean.”
00:06:45 Please, don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there.
00:07:11 The questions I have for you in this episode are: one, how do you normally treat yourself when you change your mind? Two, how do you feel about spiders? As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I’m able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this and every episode on my website, youremptynestcoach.com.
00:07:37 If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too, or take a screenshot of this and share on your favorite social media site. Thanks for your time and energy with that. Thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! … I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.”
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:36 Hello, my future empty nest friend! Tomorrow is my birthday! Not right now, when I’m recording this, but when this episode goes live! I guess I should plan now what I want for my birthday because I do not need to wait for others to read my mind. Who has the time or energy for that? Not me. You know what you could do for my birthday? If you haven’t already, give my podcast, assuming you love it, a five star rating on Apple Podcasts. That would be super of you. Thank you. You are the best!
00:01:23 What is with this episode’s title? I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.” This is what I’m hearing. I get it. I want you to think about what is happening in your life right now. You have had some sort of routine, I bet, for your family for quite some time. Changes have happened, yes, but it’s been slow over time. Suddenly, you, all of you, are confronted with an impending change that takes you completely out of everything that has been normal for the last few years. You won’t see it coming. Remember, your mind, that likes things to stay the same, is freaking out.
00:02:19 Guess what? Your partner and child have the same thing going on. Since our minds want things to stay the same, but our minds also know that things aren’t going to stay the same, our minds now get busy creating all these stories for how things are going to go. It likes to be all sorts of creative here, doesn’t it?
00:02:41 Suddenly, the idea of your child not being where they have been is horrifying. You now have time to focus on emotional work for yourself that you may have been hiding for years under the guise of taking care of your kids and your family. It can easily be overwhelming and frightening. Did you even realize that all of that was going on? I sure didn’t when we went through it.
00:03:04 Here’s a question I’ve heard, how are we going to get along? Some tough love here. You are going to get along by doing your thought work. Trust me. Another question, why is he acting so weird? I have the same answer for you here. The things that youare currently finding weird or annoying, another person on this planet might find completely adorable. Think about it. I know.
00:03:32 Another question: are we going to make it? That is up to you. You probably want me to tell you that, yeah, they are being annoying and you have every right to be annoyed, blah, blah, blah, blah. My friend, we all have days like this. Me, too. It happens, and well, hormones, too. Can I get an Amen? As your friend over a cup of coffee, sure, I’d say that sucks. But as your coach, that kind of support doesn’t allow for any progress in your life. I want to see you progress. I want to see you grow, I want you to become every bit of the amazing woman you are meant to be.
00:04:12 When you notice these types of thoughts that I mentioned often, it is a sign that you have work to do. It isn’t a sign, necessarily, that you need to leave, or a sign that your partner has lost their marbles. It could be. But first, you need to figure out what work you need to do to be happy with yourself where you are today, before you make any drastic changes. I’m not going to tell you to stay with your partner no matter what. That’s something for you and your partner to decide. I’m also not going to tell you to leave your partner. That is also for you and your partner to decide.
00:04:47 I’m here to just make you think, and challenge you a bit. I am going to ask you what do you think you would have if you weren’t with your partner right now? How do you think your life would be different and why are you making those differences dependent on them? Because, right now, let’s be honest, you are miserable, and that miserable you goes with you to a new relationship, or to no relationship if you choose to leave. Yes, you are still there. There was actually, a very timely and funny, on Saturday Night Live, there was a sketchwith Adam Sandler that speaks to this recently. It was about vacation, but it has a lot to do with the same thing I’m saying here. I’ll put a link to it in my show notes.
00:05:30 If you had decided that everything would be different if you left your partner, I want you to understand that by declaring that statement you have given your partner complete control over your life and emotional health. Is that the way you want to live? Do you want to leave on those terms? First off, is your partner reallyresponsible for your happiness? Do you wantyour partner to be responsible for your happiness? What if you, and only you, are responsible for your happiness, and then you come into the same relationship? How does that change where you are? How does that change how you show up? If you show up in this new way, do you think you’re going to notice a change in your partner as well?
00:06:10 When you are fully responsible for your own happiness, you gain control of your life 100 percent. Who would you rather be around? Someone who rides a roller coaster of feelings and thoughts reacting to your actions, they yell at you based on something you say, or cry based on a look that you made? Or someone who shows up in life in complete control of who they are and who they are meant to be? You might yell at them and they listen and understand. I know who I want to be. I wish I could tell you I’m there all the time. I’m not, but I’m working on it, and this is my goal.
00:06:44 It is amazing that when our thoughts change, when our inner world, our mind changes, then our outer world flows with it. Eventually, even those around us change. Sometimes, those around us will freak out a bit from the change, after all, this is incredibly important work you are doing. You are becoming an emotional adult. When that happens, people around you may not know how to respond. Give them some time to really take in the change in you. The next time your partner does something that drives you crazy, I want you to try adding, “and that’s okay,” after your thought. Here’s two examples: “He interrupted me again, and that’s okay.” “She’s doing that thing that drives me insane, and that’s okay.” When you get to a point where you can handle the, “and that’s okay,” then you’re ready for the next step. “He interrupted me,” and the “again” isn’t needed, or the “and that’s okay.” You’re getting down to the circumstance. The other one: “She’s doing that thing,” and just end there. “That drives me insane,” and “and that’s okay,” are no longer needed. You’re making progress. Then, you can move on to thoughts that create value in your world. “He interrupted me,” he’s excited to share his news. “She’s doing that thing that brings her comfort.” How are these even the same thoughts, right? They’re not. Do you feel the difference?
00:08:07 The first thing you have to do is to embrace, “and that’s okay.” Another good one is “So what?” Sometimes that is a great question. So what? “He interrupted me. So what?” What are you making that mean? I bet you have a dissertation on the subject. Don’t you? Somehow he represents all of the injustices of the world, the women, how they’re treated, blah, blah blah. Really, I ask you, he interrupted you, so what? Really. So what? Try that one on this week, and see how that goes.
00:08:36 What if you’re thinking about leaving? You can absolutely think about leaving. Play it out in your head because when you play out all of the details, it isn’t all roses and daisies. Actually, if you are having those thoughts, I would encourage you to go through my Finding Future You program and play out the details of everything with that idea in mind. See what else comes up. It probably doesn’t have as much to do about your partner as you think it does. Trust me. Do the work on you. Find your happy where you are, and then, if you still want to walk away, you can walk away with feeling confident that it’s the right thing for you.
00:09:16 Your child heading off to school, or any number of circumstances that may change, not only impacts you, but it impacts your partner and they are dealing with that, and you are, at the same time. Be patient with your partner. While you have a big change ahead, so does your partner. You might be dreading it, while they may be super excited to spend more time with you. They may be confused on why you don’t feel the same way.
00:09:40 This is a great opportunity to get to know each other all over again. You aren’t the same people that began the parenthood journey together. Life changes people, in all sorts of ways. Before you make any big decisions, be sure you’ve done the work you need to do on yourself. Most of the time, that is where the work is needed. As you know, your thoughts about a situation are just that, your thoughts. Just as you can make a circumstance mean whatever you want, so can those around you. Talk to one another, be kind to one another and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Really, try that on and see how it goes. I believe in you. I believe in both of you, together, or apart. You both deserve to be everything you are meant to be. Figuring out that together, will be a journey that is worth taking, no matter where the destination leads.
00:10:52 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, as we know, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. If you are ready to begin the journey to find Future You and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program as well.
00:11:16 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) How are you and your partner doing?
2) How has parenthood changed you, and has it impacted your relationships?
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this, and every episode, on my website.
00:11:43 My next episode’s title is: Changing your mind is OKAY! Change is OKAY! If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too! You’ll be giving them a free gift! Or take a quick screenshot of this and share it on your favorite social media site. Tag me, and I will say, “Hi!” Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend! Remember, you are amazing!
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? … My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:37 Hello, my empty nest friend! A quick reminder that this and all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website and sign up today. My website? You guessed it, youremptynestcoach.com.
00:00:57 My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses. I used to wear contacts, but my eyes didn’t love the contacts entering in and out of my eyes, day after day, after day. One year, I decided just skip paying for the extra contact exam, and only get glasses. I haven’t looked back. With glasses, there is the issue of them getting dirty. Say a drop of water gets on my glasses, like when I walk to work and it’s raining. Or maybe, hypothetically, I get really messy with my coffee, my bulletproof coffee, in particular, in the morning. Say I were to, hypothetically, shake my travel coffee mug before the lid is on tight, and now the coffee’s on my glasses in a few different spaces. I wish I could tell you that I’ve only done this once before. I so wish I could tell you that, but I can’t.
00:01:59 Anyway, with coffee drops on my glasses, I have a few options. One, is to leave the coffee drops on my glasses. Have it be noticeable from time to time, it probably bothers others more than me, and it kind of stays in my line of vision, reminding me it is there, and that I should be a better human and clean my freaking glasses. My second option is that I could not clean them, and focus on the coffee drops, complain about the coffee drops and not take my eyes off the coffee drops. How productive do you think I would be in life, for as long as I do that?
My third option is I could pick up a cloth, quickly clean them off, and go about my day. Which would you do? It seems obvious with coffee drops on glasses, doesn’t it? But how about our thoughts? Does this apply to your thoughts about your child heading off to college? Let me tell you. You might have thoughts like these pop into your head in the upcoming weeks, or maybe, they’re already there. Will my child ever bathe in college?Will they find a community that welcomes them? How will they focus enough to study with the many distractions available on a college campus?What the heck am I gonna do with my time? Will they eat well?What if they party too much and drop out of school? What if they take seven years to get through college? Motherhood is over.
00:03:25 You could have those thoughts. You could just as easily have thoughts like my child is going to thrive in college. My child will make so many friends in college. I’m going to find my purpose with my newfound time. Right? But our minds run to those first batch of thoughts. Those coffee drops on our glasses. Thoughts that make us feel all queasy inside. Remember in episode 3, I shared with you how your thoughts are in boxes, being delivered to your mind, or a house? You may choose to accept the delivery and do something with it, or you may refuse the delivery.
00:04:04 These coffee drops are simply another visualization alternative for you. Your thoughts are like drops of coffee on a pair of glasses. Glasses that you need to see to function in life. You can choose to focus on the drops, or thoughts, and have them keep you from moving forward in life, in a clear manner, or you can choose to pick up a cloth and quickly clean them off. Two seconds. You see the thought, identify it, and clean it away, or refuse the delivery, especially if it makes you feel all queasy inside.
00:04:36 Catch your thoughts and use your amazing mind to decide if it is a thought worth keeping. I didn’t answer the question, yet, did I? Are your thoughts normal? I’m going to ask you another question. If I have a thought like my child is going to fail out of school, let’s say that thought pops into my head. If I then catch my thought (Yay, me! Step one is complete!), but then, I think that is an awful thought. Do you think the queasy feeling is going to go away? Probably not. I want you to treat all thoughts like they are perfectly normal. No matter what they are. Rather than beating yourself up over a thought that pops into your wonderfully creative mind, I want you to notice it, and think why wouldn’t I have that thought? You can even add why wouldn’t I have that silly thought? If it makes you smile. All we want to do is identify the thought. That is the first step to allowing it to lose power in your life. Then, we disregard it, and it will be like a balloon with a hole in it. The power will deflate.
00:05:47 Yes, your mind might fight you. With enough practice you will get better and better at all of this. You, my friend, are perfectly normal. Your mind is creative and you have many, many thoughts. Some will provide you with the ability to create value in your life, and in the lives of others. Other thoughts will slow your actions, as if you’re stuck in a bucket of molasses. Don’t you have days where you feel that way? I know I do. Next time you feel that way, check your thoughts.
00:06:17 In episode 20, I shared the idea of someone making a comment, and you treat it as if you just told you that you’ll wake up tomorrow and be a turtle. Remember that? Try that with your own thoughts. Don’t let your bossy mind boss you around. You need to use your incredible mind for good, for good in your life. Create fantastic thoughts. Create incredible actions. Create tremendous results and value in your life, and in the lives of everyone around you. You can do this all by noticing and adjusting those boxes, those drops of coffee on your glasses, those thoughts. You can do it, my friend. They’re all perfectly normal. Don’t think otherwise. I can’t wait to see how you change your world and the world around you. If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program, as well.
00:07:17 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) What silly thought does your mind like to present to you?
00:07:42 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with the thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this and every episode on my website.
00:08:04 My next episode’s title is: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy. Yes. Exactly like that. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, my friend, and thanks so much for listening. Remember, you are amazing!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 23: When Do I Need a Therapist, and How Do I Find a Good One? … Callan Olive, the host of the ImPerfect Me – Women podcast, joined me recently to go over some basic questions on the what, when, how, of therapy. I hope you find it beneficial.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 23: When Do I Need a Therapist, and How Do I Find a Good One? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:36 Hello, my empty nest friend. We are almost mid-way through the year. Can you believe it? Time is flying, isn’t it? For those of you who are about to have your child’s high school graduation, I feel the emotions you have going on, a cross between excitement, nervousness and straight up fear. When you feel those feelings, take a deep breath, notice the feeling, and then see if you can identify the thought you were having. That thought it always optional. Remember that. If you are having a specific thought or problem that you would like me to address in an upcoming episode, I invite you to join our Green Popsicle Stick Facebook Group to make a submission, or email me at Christine@youremptynestcoach.com. You can handle what is ahead. I know you can.
00:01:30 This and all of my episodes are brought to by my free seven-day program, the Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website, and sign up today! My website? You guessed it; youremptynestcoach.com.
00:01:45 Let’s get into this actual episode. Callan Olive, the host of the ImPerfect Me – Women podcast, joined me recently to go over some basic questions on the what, when, how, of therapy. I hope you find it beneficial. Callan is the founder of ImPerfect Me – Women, and has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She gave her first public speech at the age of 3, and has embraced every speaking opportunity ever since. From the BYU Strengthening the Family Symposium, to the SWPA Conference, Callan’s presentations and speeches have made an impact and have inspired many. Today, she interviews everyday women for her podcast, ImPerfect Me – Women, because she believes that every woman, no matter how imperfect, deserves a platform to tell her story. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
00:02:36 Callan’s message is one of perseverance, ambition and hope. Through losing her father to cancer, being robbed, overcoming identity theft, and going through graduate school as a brand new mother, Callan’s life experiences add to her educational background to create a unique and important perspective. Welcome to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, Callan!
00:02:59 Callan: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
Christine: I’m excited too! I am thrilled to have you here today. For my future empty nest moms listening today, both Callan and I are life coaches. I have mentioned this before, but life coaches do not require certification or licensure, which allows us to coach online easily. It also means we are all extremely different, even those who have sought out certification. My guest, Callan, is both a life coach and a therapist, which is great for the topic today’s episode.
00:03:32 Christine: Callan, if someone needs some direction in life, they’re looking for help, when is a good time for a life coach to be used in their life?
Callan: I think that’s a great question, and one that a lot of people don’t know the difference. Coaches are really, really good for when you feel like life is fairly stable, but you kind of want to make some changes. If day-to-day you feel pretty comfortable with where your life is at, but you’re saying I’d like to make some goals, I’d like somebody to keep me accountable and kind of move me forward. Coaches are great from present to forward. Right? Therapists are more about helping you work through things that have occurred in the past, and getting you to a more stable point in your life. Definitely, I would say therapists are more focused on getting you stable, getting you through whatever that hardship thing is, to where you could get to a place where you might wanna seek out coaching. I’ve actually had clients who finish in therapy with me, and then go find a life coach that continues helping them in whatever career goals, or whatever goals they wanna make.
00:04:38 Christine: Excellent. And, now, they can just go to you, too.
Callan: Yes. That’s true. They could switch over. Yes.
Christine: Wonderful. I feel like you’ve already answered my next question. Yes. You did.
Callan: I have a little bit more to say, actually. I was just looking at my notes. One really good thing about coaches, as opposed to therapists, is that they’re a lot more flexible because they’re not held to the same licensure laws. Often coaches will be open to calling or texting or meeting for lunch. There’s still that professional boundary there, but it’s a lot more flexible in how it looks. Whereas a therapist, you’re most of the time going to be meeting in an office for an hour, and that’s all the communication you have that week, unless there’s some other kind of therapy situation figured out. That’s a really nice thing about a coach. If you want somebody that can really keep you accountable throughout the week, a lot of coaches offer services like that.
Christine: That’s a really good point, ‘cause you can’t really do that with your therapist.
Callan: Right. And, that was always a hard thing for me as therapist.
Callan: Because I knew that some clients could really benefit from just a quick text, or I’d have clients text during the week, and have a quick question, and I always find answering stuff like that, but I didn’t feel like I could give them advice or direction and I would just refer like, let’s wait until we get into the therapy room and make sure we’re in a good place to talk about that.
Christine: Yes. This is a question I always wonder, because I’m not a therapist, who are the professionals that are able to prescribe medicine, and then, is there a time where I definitely need to seek that profession?
Callan: That is a very common question. One of the common questions I get is can you prescribe medication, and the answer is no. No therapist, counselor, social worker, any of those are going to be able to prescribe medication. The only people that can prescribe you medication are psychiatrists, and other doctors like your family doctor, obgyn, that kind of thing. When I have clients who need medication, let’s say they come in and they have severe depression, and we talk through it and say, yeah, probably you want to try medication. I would refer them out to a psychiatrist that I work with, either formally or informally, in the community. They would start meeting, and then we would just kind of collaborate their care. The psychiatrist would meet with them, they would get info on what we had already been working on and that way, you can get on the best medication for you. I would also add to that, more times than not, I’m suggest that you go to a psychiatrist, especially if you need specific medication. If it’s general anxiety or depression medication, family docs are gonna be fairly well versed in that, and if you’re not that worried about an actual diagnosis there, you’re more just worried about trying to try a few things and seeing how it works. If you’re not in a super intense place where it needs to work right away, and you’re in crisis mode, then family docs can be great for that kind of thing.
00:07:40 Christine: Yes.
Callan: But if it’s something like bipolar or schizophrenia, stuff that’s more intense, like you’re in major crisis, then you’re gonna wanna go to someone who specifically had training in this area, and psychiatrists are gonna be best for that.
Christine: Awesome. This is like a non-therapist question, who’s the person you’re sitting on the couch with, like not with, but you’re laying down and talking, that everybody has the visualization, is that more the psychiatrist, or more the psychologist, or is it both?
Callan: Typically, when you go to meet with a psychiatrist, often it will be at a doctor’s office. They meet in a very clinical kind of setting, most often. It’s going to feel a lot like a normal examination. ‘Cause they’re gonna assess you physically. They’re gonna assess normal things that doctors would look at, and then, they’re gonna also give you some quick mental assessments, just to see where you’re at just as far as your disorder. But psychiatrists, typically, the average amount of time they’re gonna spend is between 10 to 15 minutes with their patients. This is why I always suggest that people have both a therapist and also a psychiatrist, because you can just go straight to a psychiatrist. You don’t have to have a referral unless your insurance requires that, most insurances don’t. But one, studies have shown that being in therapy and also having medication hand-in-hand, work best when those things go together. If you’re on medication on its own, it’s not gonna be as effective as it would be, if you were in therapy. That’s a major benefit. The other benefit is because a psychiatrist is only going to meet with you maybe every three months, for 15 minutes, they don’t get a ton of time to really get a big picture of what your situation really looks like. It’s important to have a therapist collaborating with them, so the therapist can say, this is the impression that I’ve gotten, and then, they can kind of work together for those things. To answer your actual question though, because I feel like I got off on a tangent.
00:09:49 Christine: No. You actually answered the next one, too. You did great.
Callan: To answer the one about who people picture as laying on the couch, it wouldn’t be psychiatrists. It would be therapists, counselors, social workers and even a psychologist. All of those are going to be people who do the one-on-one 50 minute long sessions with people. I’ve actually had people come into my office and just lay down on the couch, ‘cause they just assumed that that was what — they’d seen it in the movies.
Christine: Yes. True that.
Callan: You know what? If that’s what makes you comfortable, you go for it, no problem at all.
00:10:26 Christine: After your description of it, I now picture in the Peanut’s cartoons, Lucy with her five cents. I picture that as the psychiatrist, like, here’s your answer, and you’re on your way, and I’ll give you medicine, too. Long-term couch is I don’t know who in the Peanuts, but that was just the visualization I got when you were talking.
Callan: Yes. It is hard to know the difference between all of them, which is why I created a blog post that basically outlines all of the differences between all the different helping professionals. Because, like I said, there’s five off the top of my head that I could think of, that are the major ones. If you search counselor in my area, these are gonna pop up. You’ve got social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. They all serve different functions, but they all are able to kind of overlap and do things that other professionals can do. It gets confusing to know if I need marriage therapy, what kind of therapist should I go to, or if I need drug counseling, like addiction counseling, where should I go. That’s one of the reasons I wrote that article, ‘cause I think that gets so complicated and that’s the last thing that you need when you’re finally ready to seek therapy, the last thing you need is just to be so confused about who do I even go to.
00:11:48 Christine: Yes. It’s a great blog post. I will link it in my show notes, because, yes, I like that blog post. Let’s say, I now know I need to seek out the help of a therapist, one of the above. How do you recommend that I go about finding one?
Callan: Yes. That’s a really good question. There’s a lot of different ways you can do it. First, I would say you need to decide whether you want to use insurance or not. Especially with therapists, some can accept insurance, that’s the other side of downside of coaching is that, coaches are not ever going to be on insurance, but with therapy, some of them are and some of them aren’t. Insurance has become increasingly difficult for therapists and a lot more complicated than it should be. That’s an area they are trying to reform right now, because it is a very difficult process that makes it not very worthwhile for therapists to do. A lot of people have been switching to cash pay only, which is so unfortunate for people who do have insurance and want to use it. But that’s where you’d want to start. If you’re going to do insurance, then often insurances will have a list of therapists that are on their panels, in your area, so you could start there. I wouldn’t just cold call off the insurance list. I would do some Googling and see if you can find the therapist website, just because you kind of want to know who they are, what they specialize in, because even though every therapist can treat individuals, couples, groups and that kind of thing, it doesn’t mean that they are good at it. Just like coaches, therapists are very varied and there are some good ones and some not so good ones. It’s important that you figure out what they specialize in, and look for somebody who specializes in something that you’re struggling with. If you are struggling with depression, and you’re a woman, I would Google counselors who help women who are struggling with depression in my area. Get pretty specific about it.
00:13:55 Callan: See what websites pop up. See what counselors pop up that fall in line with that. I also would say “Psychology Today” is a really good resource. That’s what’s gonna pop up as the first link, any time you Google counselors in my area.
Callan: It’s a great directory. Therapists can pay a monthly fee to be in the directory, and they have to verify their license, so you know that every single therapist on there has verified their license through the system, which is nice. It gives you peace of mind. Then you can go and click through each profile and see if they take insurance, what insurance they take, if they do a sliding scale, what their specialties are. You can also search anxiety or depression, or a specific type of therapy like EMDR, or other things like that. It’s a great resource for that kind of thing. Once again, though, even if you find a therapist on the “Psychology Today” website, I would recommend seeing if they have their own website, and clicking through to their own website. I feel like that gives you even a better picture of who they are and whether or not you feel like they’re gonna speak to you, because therapy is 100 percent about fit. Somebody who might be a great therapist for your best friend, may not be a great therapist for you, and that’s totally okay. It’s just being able to find somebody that really speaks to you and that can make you feel very safe and okay with where you’re at.
Christine: That’s great advice. Great advice. I feel like I’m learning.
Callan: Thank you.
00:15:31 Christine: Yes. No problem. A specific question I have for you, so in my coaching I talk a lot about noticing the thoughts that enter your mind. To observe them, and just notice them and question them, in a good way. Just be calm about it. But what if a client’s having a really difficult time changing a thought that they know they don’t want. At what point is it a sign that they might need to seek the help of a therapist versus you’re just not changing your thoughts, like it’s a harder thing for them?
Callan: I think that’s kind of a tricky question because something I work with in therapy is the fact that maybe sometimes we won’t be able to change our thoughts. If I had a client that came to me and said I’m having a really difficult time changing this thought, I would kind of challenge that and say well, maybe changing the thought isn’t the end goal in that. Maybe the end goal is being able to change the struggle that you’re having with that thought. Does that make sense? I would focus on what does that struggle look like. Does that struggle come out as anxiety? Does the struggle come out as depression? Is that struggle making it difficult for you to function in your life? That’s where I feel like I would draw the line. If I was coaching somebody, and for whatever reason, the circumstances in their life became pretty unmanageable, and they started to just not be able to function the way they used to, then it’s probably about time to do therapy rather than coaching with them, because they’re not at a place where they can really do goal setting and be moving forward. They’re more in that, kind of what I was mentioning earlier, where you just need to get them stable and focus on what’s causing chaos in their life right now. That would be kind of what I would look for, is are you able to move forward right now, or are we just kind of stuck, and if we’re stuck, how unmanageable is it? If it feels pretty unmanageable, then it’s probably time for you to go to therapy.
00:17:20 Christine: It makes sense. Totally. I’m a subscriber of your podcast, ImPerfect Me – Women. I love it. So good.
Callan: Thank you.
Christine: Can you tell my audience a bit about your podcast?
Callan: Yes. I’d love to. Simply put, the podcast is a safe space for everyday women to share their imperfect stories. Each episode I interview one woman about an imperfect story that she has from her life, and it’s just amazing. What’s a privilege to me, is that these women are coming to me, and asking to share their stories. It’s not something that I’m even really soliciting from people at this point. I just love that everyday women, I mean, there’s women who have careers, there’s single women, there’s moms, and kind of all across the board, and they all just want to be able to put their story out there to help other women not feel so alone. If they’re struggling with something similar, then they can find some commonality, and I just love that. I get to be part of that. It’s such a cool experience for me.
Christine: It’s a gift. It’s a gift you’re giving, not only to your listeners, but to the women, that you’re able to give them a bigger audience. It’s so nice.
Callan: Yes. Thank you so much.
00:18:30 Christine: Great show. I really like it. Is there anything else you’d like to share with my amazing lady listeners?
Callan: The only thing I had thought about was the blog post, but I had already mentioned that, so if you wanted to know more information about how to find a good mental health professional that’s a really good one to look at. They’re welcome to follow my page or follow my podcast.
Christine: Yes. I recommend that, Ladies! I will have all of her social media and everything at the end of this episode, and in our show notes. Definitely follow her and subscribe to her podcast, ‘cause it’s awesome!
Callan: Thank you.
00:19:06 Christine: Before you go, Callan, I wanna ask you four questions that I ask every guest of mine. They’re super important. Number one is waffles or pancakes?
Callan: Definitely waffles on that one. It’s a texture thing for me.
Christine: Is it?
Callan: I like the texture of waffles.
Christine: That makes sense. Got it. What is one item you couldn’t live without and why?
Callan: My initial answer to this question was my phone, but I feel like that was pretty boring, ‘cause everybody can’t live without their phone these days. My second answer would be earplugs because I am a crazy light sleeper, like crazy bad, and my husband is the noisiest sleeper on the planet, and so we would not still be married, I swear, if it weren’t for earplugs. Earplugs have saved my marriage and it’s a really good thing.
Christine: That’s great. That’s what I need to get my husband, ‘cause I’m the noisy one and he’s the one that lights, sound, anything, and he’s awake, and I feel bad.
Callan: Every night I just pop them in and we’re good. We’re good to go.
00:20:12 Christine: That’s great. Your all time favorite movie, and any particular reason why?
Callan: I am terrible at favorites because I’m the type of person that it just depends on my mood. But if I had to choose a favoritesc kind of stuff, I would choose pretty much anything with Sandra Bullock, is gonna be on the top my list. All of her classics.
Christine: Oh, my gosh.
Callan: She’s just like —
Christine: I know.
Callan: I just love her. She’s awesome.
Christine: She is one of my favorites, actually. It started with “Speed,” and then —
Callan: Right? It just kept getting better from there.
Christine: Why am I blanking on the one where she’s the beauty pageant, which is like my favorite?
Callan: “Miss Congeniality.”
Christine: Thank you.
Callan: And, “While You Were Sleeping,” and “Two Weeks’ Notice.”
Christine: “While You Were Sleeping” is phenom.
Callan: I know. They’re so good.
Christine: I know. I’m with you on that. I also have a hard time picking favorites, so I understand that. Last question, you have an hour of alone time, no one will bother you, what is your go to thing to do?
Callan: It actually took me a while to think of the answer to this, because I have three small children, and that just is such a rare thing that never happens, so I was like, what would I do?
Callan: But I think I would probably go get a pedicure and listen to a really good audiobook, ‘cause I really, really love audiobooks.
Christine: That sounds lovely.
Callan: Just very relaxing.
Christine: Yes. Nice. You need to get an hour to do that.
Callan: Yes. I know. I should plan that sometime. Just thinking about that is relaxing me, so that’s nice.
Christine: I’m giving you an action item today.
Callan: Thank you. Yes. I need that in my life.
Christine: Tell your husband I said you need —
Christine: It’s been fantastic having you join me today. Thanks for being here.
Callan: Yes. Thank you so much.
Christine: Yay! Thanks for all that you do to share the imperfect stories of women that let’s all of us know that we aren’t alone.
Callan: Thank you. I really enjoyed it.
00:22:12 Christine: That was so much fun. My future empty nest friend, I have the many ways to connect with Callan listed in my detailed show notes on my website, youremptynestcoach.com/p23. That is P for podcast and 23. But do a quick Google search on ImPerfectMeWomen, all one word, and you’ll find her website, Facebook page and podcast. I personally enjoy following her stories on Instagram. If you are on Insta, she’s ImPerfectMeWomen, all one word.
00:22:45 If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her, future you, as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest, a Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers the high-level work and the program provides you with videos and worksheets to help you along the way. The questions I have for you in this episode are: number one, how do you feel about therapy versus life coaching? Number two, did this episode answer questions or bring up questions for you?
00:23:17 Fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? Well, the adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time, isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll also find show notes for this and every episode on my website.
00:23:56 My next episode’s title is: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? If my show has helped in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing! Have a great day!