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This Episode is Brought To You By
💚 Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).
What You Will Learn in this Episode
- If the green popsicle stick fable resonates with you
Episode Questions for You To Consider
- What structures are you supporting?
- Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes
- The Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast Trailer
- Series 1: Empty Nest Prep – starts at episode #3
- Series 2: The CEO of Your Life – starts at episode #64
- Series 3: The CEO Toolbox – starts at episode #88
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick. … Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself! I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick.
Hello, my empty nest friend!
Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself!
I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
I would like to introduce you to Green Popsicle Stick, we’ll call her Greenlee for short.
She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Why wouldn’t she? She knows that she is the piece that holds other popsicle structures together in many ways. She fully supports them. She is the KEY piece.
Her position in all of this, she feels profoundly.
Honestly, it is ALL she knows.
Each structure that she supports has a primary point stick, similar to a point person. Some point sticks communicate well with Greenlee – and others…well, not so much.
Greenlee is the ONLY green popsicle stick in her supported structure group.
All of the other popsicle sticks, and their point sticks, don’t seem to understand who Greenlee is outside of her duties of supporting the rest of them.
They all simply know she’s there. ALL. THE. TIME.
Let’s be honest, most days, Greenlee doesn’t even know who she is.
Hmmm… did she ever really know?
She’s been so busy filling the needs of all the other sticks and their structures that she doesn’t have time for herself.
Greenlee would think: How could there be anything else? What could be more important than what she does now?
She knows that as long as she stays where she is (safe and secure), that she won’t be disappointed.
She won’t be disappointed by the reactions of others to a change she might make.
and, most importantly, she won’t be disappointed in who she is when she isn’t in her comfort zone.
So, up until this moment, she has done what she’s always done. She changes nothing because, after all, everything around her may crumble if she were to attempt to discover a new role for herself.
But then it happened. One day that was as normal as any other day, she noticed a bit of green off in the distance.
Greenlee’s interest was piqued.
Could it be? Could that be another green popsicle stick?
Seeing that flash of green gave Greenlee the ability to dream about what it might be like to do something for herself.
But she CAN’T move because she MUST stay in place for her supported structures.
She quickly reminded herself of her important role where she was and that thinking of anything otherwise was impractical and well, nonsense.
Nonsense. That’s what any other thoughts were. … Yes….. Nonsense.
Time continued to pass. From her stationary position, she noticed a few green popsicle sticks gathered together. ALL without their structures.
Greenlee was shocked. … So many of them left their structures? How COULD they?
As she internalized thoughts about how much more protective she must be of HER structures – she noticed that one of the green popsicle sticks in the group appeared to be upset. A tear fell from her own eye when the other popsicle sticks leaned in to comfort and support the sad one.
On yet another occasion, one group member looked to be telling a story while bouncing up and down with what could only be excitement. As the excited one bounced, the others began to bounce happily with her.
Greenlee continued to observe gatherings of the green popsicle sticks that included a variety of energies: calmness; thoughtfulness; kindness; sadness; and, yes, even some arguments.
“How could this be?” she wondered.
Greenlee thought she might know the answer: Well, their structures must be stronger than mine OR their structures must be crumbling OR those other green popsicle sticks don’t care about their structures as much as I care about mine.
Yeah, THAT’s it. That is why I am here all alone while they gather together.
While Greenlee wasn’t 100% sure she loved her role in life, it was all she knew. And it was comfortable. There is a lot to be said for comfort.
After all, she couldn’t be anything like those other green popsicle sticks. Could she?
It took witnessing oh so many gatherings of the green popsicle sticks chatting, catching up and supporting each other for Greenlee to gather up the courage to do a tiny little wiggle one day.
She wiggled from left to right. Ever – so – slightly.
Her supported structures didn’t notice at all. Not a bit.
Why would they? Any slight movement they have had in the past has been handled by Greenlee, after all.
Her supported structures’ inability to notice her wiggle, allowed Greenlee to grow in her bravery.
While her supported structures definitely noticed the new sway that was happening … they found a bit of enjoyment with the new ride and some freedom that they gained for themselves.
Well, a few wiggles and a sway was enough for one day.
Greenlee oozed of exhilaration and nervousness. She decided to try again the next day.
Days of sways delivered Greenlee some enjoyment but it wasn’t until the momentum of one of her sways caused her to slip from her position that things got interesting.
Much to her surprise – nothing crumbled.
Oh, YES, things moved. And, yes, that was horrifying, initially.
There were complaints from some of her supported structures: they couldn’t figure out why Greenlee was changing things.
And yet other supported structures slid right into a new position and enjoyed the view.
Greenlee was fascinated. As she took stock of the slip aftermath, she found that each supported structure slid together to form a design that was different. Not Good. Not Bad. Just Different.
She didn’t have to stay where she was stationed for the other structures to be who they are meant to be?
Wait, does this mean that they don’t need her at all?
Now that thought STUNG.
As time passed, Greenlee decided that she had to explore life outside of her supported structure fixed location. She wanted to experience a green popsicle stick gathering.
She wanted to ask them questions.
Greenlee ramped up her sways to the point where she could slip entirely out of position again. Now that she was looking for the opportunity, she found that when the time came, she slid COMPLETELY out – and found herself – EXPOSED!
She flipped over so she couldn’t see the damage she had done by walking away.
She couldn’t look.
She heard murmurs for sure – and one LOUD complaint.
As she turned to steal a quick peek, she saw that her supported structures were all still standing and they were supporting EACH OTHER!
She took it in.
With increasing intensity, she became aware of her own occupation of space outside of her supported structures.
Who she was without them – she wasn’t sure – actually, she had no idea.
She wanted to run right back to her comfortable spot to hide who she really is. She COULDN’T be this version of herself – whatever it was – she didn’t know it well and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go any further.
But before she could jump back in, she glanced back to where she had seen the green popsicle stick gathering and much to her surprise they were running toward her.
Big smiles. Faces of concern. Upon their arrival, they held and comforted her.
She leaned on a few as she cried – she cried a lot. The emotion was raw and real.They picked her up and gently pulled her in among them.
It was there that she discovered that all of them had their own similar journey to get where they are. Some were forced out, some inched their way out and others just took the leap and ran.
Greenlee had three questions for the group. She first asked:
1) Why didn’t you come to me earlier?
She was told she had to take the first step. They’ve been waiting for her all along. While she was watching them, it turned out that they were watching HER as she made her journey and couldn’t wait for her new freedom – that is why they came running to her – they were waiting – for her. And they were excited to have her there.
2) Her second question was: Why are you all brighter than I am? It was something she didn’t even realize until now.
They explained that it was due to them spending more time figuring out who they are outside of their structures. It happens to all of us, they said, and you’ll be as bright as us, in time!
3) Third Question: What do I do now?
Greenlee was told that THAT was all up to her but the first thing to do is to take a deep breath – enjoy the time with her new friends and then go back to her supported structures and let them know about her new journey – that she is interested in learning who she is meant to be, so that she can be the best version of herself (her brightest version) this will allow her to be the best support she can be for them, too!
She was scared. Her new friends shared that they understood, as they have all been there. Most of them had supported structures that were excited about their journey ahead but a few had supported structures that balked and said, “Nope, I just want things to stay the same.”
Each of them had to decide what was more important to them – finding themselves or staying where they were. That is a decision each green popsicle stick has to make, she was told. No one will make it for her.
They also shared that all of the green popsicle sticks have found that as they have become closer to who they are meant to be, that not only did their color get brighter but that they began to build their own structure around themselves – that made them stronger. Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes the structure would fall but they always could rebuild and figure out a new design. They also shared that their supported structures did a similar thing. They updated their design and became clearly who they were meant to be.
Greenlee then noticed writing on some of the other green popsicle sticks which led her to one more question that day, “Why do some of you have writing on you?”
The brightest green popsicle stick with the boldest writing said, “Those of us who have found our purpose, it is clearly written on us. It shows up when we have found it. For some of us it never changes, for others it changes over time. When we have a purpose, we feel it in everything we do.”
THIS is what Greenlee wanted: a purpose. As she headed back to her supported structures, she knew she would find it.
My friend, you are a green popsicle stick. That is the REAL you.
When you allow yourself to be alone outside of your many roles, and take the time to discover who you are – to get to know who you are – you will find direction in your life through your own GPS – yes, look at that, it stands for Green Popsicle Stick.
And GPS is the key to future you. Find future you and you have the GPS to your future. How about that?
I believe in you. I KNOW you are worth taking the time to use the GPS to your future. To find you. To uncover future you, and claim the life you are meant to have.
You have the directions on how to get there. You always have.
If I handed you a green popsicle stick in person, and you came here to find out why – thanks for listening. I hope you got something out of it.
If that isn’t you, and you meet me in person, definitely ask me for a green popsicle stick. I’m happy to give one to you – or I might beat you to the asking and just hand it to you.
And challenge you to find your purpose.
The Questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) What structures are you supporting?
2) Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
I have a special thank you to Beth and Michele for reviewing this fable and providing great input. You two are the best!
Now fly on over to our Facebook Group: Our new name is Green Popsicle Sticks ! 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!
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 impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is: How to Get Rid of Guilt
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And remember: You. Are. Amazing!
You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.