I’m sharing episodes that have resonated with you (my amazing listener) along with listener responses. This recap is about the fable I created titled Green Popsicle Stick.
Listen to learn how Seth Godin inspired this Green Popsicle Stick fable, and my thoughts about it now that time has passed.
Take a listen or read the full transcript below.
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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
- How Seth Godin inspired this fable
- Some listener thoughts on the GPS fable
- The GPS fable with a quick recap
Episode Questions for You To Consider
- What structures are you supporting?
- Where are you in your 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, with Coach Christine, episode number 53: A Fan Favorite of 2019: GPS: Green Popsicle Sticks. … My second fan favorite episode is number 17: Green Popsicle Stick. The origination of this episode is almost too crazy to believe, but I’ll share that with you after sharing the content.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 53: A Fan Favorite of 2019: GPS: Green Popsicle Sticks. Hi, I am excited to share with you that I have a new membership program, “GPS Execs.” This will allow you to become an executive producer of my podcast. I am not kidding. I’m so excited about this. You will become my inner circle. You’ll get bragging rights. You’ll have two Zoom calls available, with me, every month that you are a GPS Exec. We’ll do periodic book clubs, periodic giveaways, just for my GPS Execs. I’m so excited. If you’re interested, go to my website: youremptynestcoach.com and click on “Executive Producers.” All the information is there. Thanks! See you there.
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.
Hi, my future empty nest friend! I don’t think you understand how incredibly thankful I am for you. You have a million other things you could be listening to right now, (no, don’t go listen to them, stay here. That’s okay!) yet you are listening to me. Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate you.
I am in the midst of sharing episodes that have resonated well with you. You, being my audience of amazing listeners. Funny enough they are the episodes that all have the commonality where in my head, they began in one place and then ended up somewhere else entirely. As some of my friends would say, I was in the flow when they were created. I did feel as more of a vessel for the ideas than anything else, and it has been an honor to watch them enter the world.
Here’s how this episode will work. First, I am going to share with you some thoughts from my listeners and clients, that were shared with me about the episode, and finally, I will wrap up by sharing with you any new thoughts that I may have about the topic now that some time has passed. My second fan favorite episode is number 17: Green Popsicle Stick. The origination of this episode is almost too crazy to believe, but I’ll share that with you after sharing the content.
Some thoughts from my listeners about this episode is:
“I really like the symbolism of the green popsicle stick for future me, and that there is no glue, so I can rearrange if necessary. I also love that it is a physical reminder of finding me.”
“I love the message in the story. I am literally drilling this into my teens! A great great message!”
Well, thank you!
And here is the original content:
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 really well with Greenlee, and others, 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. 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 I do 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. Up until this moment, she had 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.
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 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 even some arguments. How could this be, she wondered. Greenlee thought she might know the answer. 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. Yes. That’s it. That’s why I am here all alone, while they gather together.
Greenlee wasn’t 100 percent 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 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 completely 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.
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. Yes. Things moved, and 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 they don’t need her at all? Now, that thought stung.
As time passed, Greenlee decided that she had to explore life outside her supported structure’s 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 was she 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. 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 amongst 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, 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’s why they came running to her. They were waiting for her and they were excited to have her there.
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. You’ll be as bright as us in time. Her 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 had found that as they had 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!
GPS is the key to future you. Find future you, and you’ll 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 you one, or I might beat you to the asking, and just hand it to you, and challenge you to find your purpose.
This was a fun episode. First of all, I renamed my Podcast Facebook Group to Green Popsicle Sticks after this episode aired. Our intimate group has grown tremendously since then. While, yes, we are still intimate, I’m happy to say that we add to our membership each week. It is so much fun.
This episode came from Seth Godin believe it or not. I was listening to an episode of Akimbo, his podcast, that was, I believe, about promotional materials and it might have even been in his questions at the end of the episode, and he said something like, “You’re better to hand someone a popsicle stick than a card.” For the life of me I can’t find the specific episode or quote, so if you find it please let me know. I jokingly took him literally and thought well, I could do a green popsicle stick. Now, how can I relate that into what I’m doing? Long story short, this is what we ended up with. How funny is that? So, I have to thank you Seth Godin.
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 Uncovering My Future.” Episode 13 covers the high-level concepts of that program, if you would like to check it out. To dive deep into the concepts, take my free program, as I provide videos and worksheets to assist you on your journey.
I invite you to fly on over to our Facebook Group to share your answers to these questions with our amazing flock. As I mentioned, our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. I know 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 find the show notes for this, and every episode, on my website.
My next episode’s title is: A Fan Favorite of 2019: Beef Stew: Enjoying the Simmer. Psst…my empty nest friend, did you know that I have an online program, “The Empty Nest: First Steps Towards Success.” I now also, now offer GPS Reset Weekend Retreats, Unplugged and Charged Up, and that I am available for speaking engagements. For all the fun details, visit my website, or see this episodes full show notes. I am thrilled to travel, and I can’t wait to meet you.
If you aren’t driving and you are able to do a screenshot of this episode and share it on social media to help others find it, that would be super helpful. Be sure to tag me @emptynestcoach so I may thank you. Of course, remember, you are amazing!
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