Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 89 (oh, my goodness, it’s 89!) The CEO Toolbox, Part 2, Taking Inventory. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest. My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time? Is this you? I’ve been there, and I get it. Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion. I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you. This podcast is my gift to you.
Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life. In the last episode, I introduced you to the idea of a toolbox for your life. Today we are going to begin considering its contents. A quick reminder, before we get started, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any point in this episode, or if something resonates with you, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback, either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in this episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 89 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P89) I can’t wait to hear from you!
Thanks! Thank you! It’s time to thank our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, “How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest,” our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode’s show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button. See you soon!
To continue the thank yous, I have another fab review of my podcast to share with you. This one was posted on Podbean and is from Siri. She shares, “….Your podcasts are helping me so much to find me and see what all I can be again and tips on how to do so. I can’t say thanks enough. You truly have found your current purpose!” Oh, my goodness. Thanks, Siri! It means the world to me.
Imagine that you ask someone to work on a broken item in your home. They walk up to your home [walk sound on pavement], no vehicle of any sort, and have only the clothes on their body with them. You assume that they’ll come back later with resources to help them finish the job, but upon completing your explanation, they say, “Great! It will cost this much, and I can start now.” You are a bit curious about how this will play out, so you go ahead and hire them.
They interrupt you constantly, although quite politely, “By any chance do you have a Phillips head screwdriver?” and such. Some items you have, and some you don’t. The “expert” hunts [rummaging noise] through your drawers (no, they didn’t ask) to find a dull kitchen knife to use. You don’t allow this to last too long. Honestly, you can only take 30 minutes of it. Although, it felt like three hours, and then, you send them on their way. [Door closes]. Who wouldn’t bring the tools they need?
My friend, so many of us do this every single day in our lives, and that is why in my last episode – episode number 88 – I introduced you to the idea of a toolbox for your life. It is time to seriously consider its contents. In our prior episode, we spoke a bit about what Self-Help Sally has in her toolbox. Remember that Self-Help Sally doesn’t know that she has the option to choose her thoughts. She doesn’t know about her toolbox. But her go-to “tools” for her life exist, and they are things such as manicures, massages, facials, hanging out with friends, yelling, punching walls, writing terse emails, venting, and the list goes on. These are toolbox content items that make us feel better, as humans, for a short period of time. They are items that Self-Help Sally loves. She can’t imagine life without them, but for Self-Help Sally to become the Conscious Effective Olympian of her life, she needs to inventory and have these items in her life’s toolbox revealed to her for what they are, tools that make her feel better only temporarily.
Without a deeper level of work on her thoughts and how she navigates through life, those “top-tray” toolbox items will continue to serve as only band-aids: definitely needed, useful, and helpful but what if she could find the cure? So rather than acting as band-aids, they are transformed into loving hugs for her journey. There is a difference, isn’t there? I see it as the difference between someone caring for your wound lovingly versus someone who couldn’t care less that slaps a band-aid on your wound and sends you along your way saying, “toughen up sweetheart.” Which human would you rather help you through that journey? They do the same work but the presentation, the view they have of the care of the wound, it makes a difference.
Here we are, a few minutes into this episode and I’m still talking about Self-Help Sally’s top-tray items, aren’t I? Sure I am, because Self-Help Salley discovering what her top-tray items are and recognizing them for what they are and beginning to wrap them with a hug allows her to properly stock that top tray.
My friend, this brings me to an activity that I have for you. I’d like you to take inventory of the removable top-tray of your life’s toolbox. Sure you can take inventory in your mind right now, but I would like you to consciously write them down on a piece of paper. At the top of the page write “The Top Tray of My Toolbox.” Draw a line vertically, under the title, down the center of the page, so that you have two columns. At the top of the left column write “These are things I do to feel better.” At the top of the right column write “How long the feeling lasts slash thoughts.”
For a few days I’d like you to focus on the left column only. In this column, I invite you to list your go-to specific tools, that more than likely serve as band-aids in your life. Write the specific tool without the why. Here are some examples: if you binge Netflix to escape your overwhelming emotions, write down Netflix binging; if you scream at your children to release the tension you feel when they misbehave, write down scream at children; if you run to the fridge for the sweetest thing you can find when you get bad news, write eat sugar; if you text or call a friend to tell her how awful another human being is because they were so unbelievably rude, write text slash call friend; if you book an appointment at a salon because you hate how you look in the mirror, write salon.
Keep your tool list (that left column) succinct and straight forward. We are merely taking inventory, not creating a colorful rainbow of whys. Ideally, don’t write in that right column for a couple of days. Look for the tools that you use in your life and add them to the left column as you go. Look through your calendar or journal over the last few months and see what you look forward to the most, because you know it will serve as an escape from your life. Write those things down. Again, succinct without the colorful adjectives. When you feel your list is a good representation of what your top-tray items are, then I’d like you to begin to process out the right column of the page. You may find that you need a separate piece of paper for each item on the left, and that’s fine. This is for you to work out. For each item, I’d like you to consider how you feel when you use those tools. What thoughts come to your mind? How long does the feeling last for you when you use them? Are they productive tools? Do they have a positive impact on you and those around you? How do they make you feel?
In our life’s tool-box, we want to keep only the tools that serve us well; that make us feel happy and that lovingly create progress forward in our life. When you feel you have a decent inventory on both columns, begin to star your favorites. Cross out a few that are going to be worth letting go of in your life. This is your process. You get to decide what stays and what goes. You get to stock your toolbox, and we want it to be fun to open, useful and full of love. You’re on your way to developing the Conscious Effective Olympian Toolbox for yourself. This activity is great for a week’s work. Next week we’ll talk about one item that is my favorite item to keep in the bottom, that deeper layer, of my toolbox and one that I’d like you to consider having in yours.
[Music] My amazing friend, if you find these concepts resonate with you, and if you are ready to level-up in your life at a faster pace, to discover your internal GPS by working with me, be sure to join my GPS Support Flock. I have already created a worksheet and a workshop around this topic. They’re waiting for you.
The questions I have for you in this episode are, have you inventoried your top-tray toolbox items? Are your top-tray toolbox items stocked with love, or shoved into your life for whenever you need them? Fly on over to our Facebook Group to share your answers to these questions with our amazing flock. Our Faceboook Group 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. We look forward to seeing you there!
[Crowd noise] Christine? Christine? Christine, where are you?
I was interviewed by Authority Magazine, a Medium publication, last month. The article is titled “5 Ways to Develop Serenity During Anxious Times.” In it I say, “When you find the ability to become present in your life, you won’t find yourself trapped in the future or the past. You’ll be precisely where you ought to be, in the now.” Want to read the full article? Of course, you’ll find a link in my show notes for this episode, and presence is what my next episode is all about.
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to every member of my GPS Support Flock. I invite you to fly on over to my website, or see my show notes, for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Support Flock member, where you will gain access to all of my programs, monthly workshops, group coaching, and more. See you there!
Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all! As always, I provide content to make you think. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. Learning to care for yourself and love yourself isn’t easy, but you are doing a great job, my friend. Be patient with yourself. Enjoy the simmer. Be proud of your progress, and as always remember that you are amazing. Chat soon!