Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 5, Empty Nest Prep, part 3, Your Feelings. … Hello, my empty nest friend. Five episodes in. How are you doing today? I’m choosing thoughts that lead me to be excited, because I just as easily could choose thoughts that lead me to be nervous about putting myself out there with this podcast. That is what this episode is all about. Your feelings.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, episode number 5, Empty Nest Prep, part 3, Your Feelings. 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. Five episodes in. How are you doing today? I’m choosing thoughts that lead me to be excited, because I just as easily could choose thoughts that lead me to be nervous about putting myself out there with this podcast. That is what this episode is all about. Your feelings.
This is part 3 of my five-episode series titled Empty Nest Prep. These five episodes are the base level material of everything that I teach. I recommend listening to them in order, as they build upon each other and these five episodes have material that will be referenced throughout my podcast. For a quick review, in part 1, we noticed our thoughts by picturing them as thought boxes delivered to a house, which is our mind. In part 2, we learned to observe those thought boxes while being kind to ourselves. Today, we look at our feelings. By feelings, I mean the emotional feelings that arise in you. I googled the definition and I got back, “feeling, an emotional state or reaction.” That is what I’m talking about here.
You probably aren’t going to love the next thing I say. Just know if you get this, it will change your life. You, and only you, are responsible for your feelings. I’m just going to let that sink in and I’m going to say it again. You, and only you, are responsible for your feelings. Are you still there? You haven’t switched podcasts yet? Yes, this is great! An example, when your child tells you to stop bugging them about getting their college application materials in and you are frustrated. Your child is not making you frustrated. Stay with me, here. You are making you frustrated. Stay with me.
Let’s go back to your mind completely cluttered with the thought boxes (this was in episode 3). Imagine in that moment, when your child says or does something that a particular box in your mind suddenly has a light shining on it. It is the only thing you can see in the many thousands of possible thought boxes that you have available to you. You go to it immediately. You run to it. You throw the box open and you sit in it. Why do you react this way? You have this behavior because you’re really good friends with this thought box. You go to it a lot. Let’s say, in this example that we’re using, about your child not getting in their materials, that the box that has the light on it, and you run to, says my child never listens to me and you are frustrated. Remember, you are now sitting in the box, the box labeled my child never listens to me. There’s a feeling that will come up. You may have multiple feelings arise but pick one of them. In our example, we are going to go with frustrated.
Back to you sitting in the box. Visualize the word “frustrated” and label it inside the box on every side, so that’s all that you can see. Why? Because your thought that led you there was my child never listens to me. What I want you to really grasp here is two things. One, you run to a particular thought because it’s easy and familiar to you. You don’t take the time to see if it serves you well. Number two, the thought box that you choose has everything to do with your feeling. You could have chosen a different thought box, and it would lead you to a different feeling. Let’s try some in our example. I’m going to say some thoughts. I want you to think them and take a moment to see if each one brings up the same feeling for you. How about, my child is overwhelmed with their life and I can help them? Or, I bet I can find a way to help my child? Or, I am learning how to communicate with my child? Or, I realize this isn’t the best time to talk about this, I’ll figure out a better time? Or, I want my child to know I love them in this moment? Then, there is our original thought, my child never listens to me? What about my child isn’t listening to me in this moment? Does that bring up a different feeling from the last one?
If you’re still with me, I am super excited. This is where the power to change your life starts to take hold. Understanding this is key. It will take time and you’ll always be working on it, so be patient with yourself. I wish we were taught this in school but, that is no excuse not to learn it now. If you want to dive deeper in all of this and to have personalized coaching with me, be sure to get on the waiting list for my six-week coaching program. Details are on my website.
My friend, I have a quick public service announcement. I can’t believe that it’s 2019, or will be, when you listen to this. Your child might have just been accepted into college or they’re finishing up their application. If your child is planning to attend college in the upcoming school year, and you haven’t completed the FAFSA, I recommend getting that done now. Just a friendly reminder as someone who did theirs yesterday. I’ll include a link to that in my show notes.
The questions I have for you this week are
1) Do you want to be controlled by your thoughts?
2)Find something that happened today, and see if had you chosen a different thought box, how would you have felt different?
As always, fly over to my Empty Nest Flock Community at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers to this episode’s questions. I look forward to seeing you there, my empty nest friend.
Notice this week when you have a feeling you don’t like and be super curious about the thought that you are having. You are amazing!
Since you are still listening, my Early Bird Registration may still be open for my six-week personalized online coaching program. I have only a handful of spots available and this program will never again be offered at this low early bird price. Head over to my website: youremptynestcoach.com and click on the six-week coaching program link on my menu. There, you will find videos, testimonials and even a printable about the program. I would love to see you there. Go check it out.