Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 58: Fish Tank Empowerment.
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.
Hi, my beautiful empty nest friend. Has this new decade begun with a bang for you? Have you adjusted to your resolutions already? Are you ready to take over the world? I am so ready. I’m ready not only for my journey but for yours as well. I can’t wait to see what you and I do this month, this year and in this decade.
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Today, I want to talk about those moments in life when you attend an event of some sort, an incredibly inspiring event. The type of event that when you are there, you feel like you are surrounded by people who “get you.” That you don’t need to explain yourself to them. The event energizes you, increases your creativity and allows you to make connections that you know will be part of your life moving forward. It is that good.
It might be a large conference. It also could be the moment you find a parenting group where the women have similar parenting beliefs and you don’t have to explain your why, they just know. Man, I loved those moments. Or it is that group of friends you see once every few years, that remind you who you were before kids, and you feel they might be the only ones who really know you.
Can you imagine this? Take a moment to go back to a moment like that in your mind. If you’ve never experienced it, take a moment to imagine it. Press pause if you need to, because this episode will impact your return home from something like this in a positive way. At least it did for me.
Do you have it? Can you imagine the energy there, how motivated you feel? How empowered you are? Okay, now, I want you to imagine leaving the event. Going home where those in your life don’t automatically “get you” or get that part of you. How are you feeling right now? What are your thoughts? This. These feelings, these thoughts, they have everything to do with the next steps you will take in your life.
If you are not a new listener, you know that I attended the She Podcasts Live event this past fall. I had a long drive home after attending the incredible conference. A long drive that originally started with thoughts such as “Wow, that was amazing, if only I could be around these amazing women every day,” or “Now, I’m heading back to the “real world” where when I say I have a podcast and have a coaching business, people look at me like I have three heads.” Now when I say, “Wow, that would make a great podcast” there won’t be three other people agreeing with me and jumping in with their perfect idea of the host of said podcast.
Yes, being truthful, I sat in those thoughts for a bit of the drive. This is how my mind management works for me. I will still have the thoughts that bring up feelings that I don’t particularly like, and I’ll notice them. Sometimes it takes me longer than other times for my awareness to kick in. Then, I decide if I want to keep feeling the way I feel or if I want to make changes. My answer, during this drive, was that I want to feel that energy that I had at the event even when I am back home. Resenting my “Now” certainly won’t work. I know this. My Now is how I become my future, and then that will be the Now, so I need to make friends with my Now, big time. Episode 44 is entirely about making friends with Now, if you want to take a listen or re-listen.
Back to my car ride. The best thing was that I had a lot of time to think about how to change up my thoughts. I’d like to share with you where I ended up, and yes, my friend, it comes with an analogy. You know how I love analogies.
I’d like you to imagine that my first initial go-to reaction is as if I’m a fish, a small fish. A goldfish. No, a betta fish. Let’s say I’m a green betta fish. Is that even a thing? Because, I do love green! Oh, yes, it is. Thank you, Google. Great, so I’ve learned I’m a lime green betta fish. My home is a small fish bowl. Swimming around with a few pebbles in the bowl, and maybe a decorative item to peek out from. I’m imagining blue and yellow pebbles, and a bridge. That’s going to be my decorative item. I can hide under it if I want, but with my bright green, there is no complete hiding. Most of the time, I feel extremely exposed, vulnerable and if I were to focus on it, could feel all alone.
Can you picture this? Now, imagine that I find an event to attend that has other fish like me. I have the proper time to adjust to what will be my temporary surroundings. This is a large 300 gallon tank. This tank has filters, bubbles, castles, fake plants, and yes, other fish like me. Yes, they may look different on the outside, but we all are fish.
We initially all swim in excitement, checking out everything, and then we begin to swim in schools. Learning from one another and creating more power when we are together. We even swim faster when we are together. While initially feeling overwhelmed by the huge change, it becomes my new normal. It is exciting, it is refreshing, and we do our best to meet all of the other fish and explore the tank, but it is impossible due to its size. Just as we are finding our groove, we might even have found a life-long fish friend, we’re transferred back to our other tank. Ouch!
This moment here is where I was on my drive home. Resenting where I was heading, before I did thought adjustments. Thinking how much faster I could grow, if I were only around the other fish regularly. If I wasn’t all alone in my vulnerable fish bowl, all by myself. But, what if…. This will take a bit of imagination. I’d like you to imagine that the fish bowl that we are in, back home, is actually sitting inside of the larger tank; so are the other fish bowls. We hadn’t noticed that before. That when the larger tank is emptied of fish, the water level goes down, and your fish bowl is sitting in it. You still have everything you learned, all of the connections you made, and you know you’ll see your other fish friends again. Some of them, you can see through the glass of your bowl, the water and then their bowl, but you can’t just swim over and chat during your next feeding.
So, you have an option. You can either spend time in between the water level rising, being resentful of your fish bowl, or you can believe that by using what you learned, by creating stronger connections, you have the power to raise your water level. That larger tank, with the other fish bowls, has your back. It is surrounding your bowl. Granted, you may not be able to jump out, swim to your friend and take a walk, but knowing that for everything you do, from this moment forward, can honor your time together in the fish tank, you create an energy that allows the water in your bowl to rise. After enough time, you’ll work your way back into the large tank with stronger connections, with more knowledge. By taking what you learned last time, and increasing it exponentially, by consistently choosing the thoughts that make your fish tank friends proud, by choosing thoughts that allow you to make changes in your life, to choose thoughts that remind you that you can’t go right from the fish bowl to the aquarium with no leveling-up. After all, that’s toxic for you and you will die.
You need the work in your fish bowl. You must be able to do the work when you are alone in the fish bowl, it is the only way you get from there to where you are meant to be. So, next time you leave a place that you wish you could stay in, try imagining your fish bowl in the larger tank, and begin to figure out the best things for you to do to reach the tank in a safe, powerful and impactful manner. Impactful for you, and the other fish. Maybe next time, you’ll be asked to lead a school around for an hour or so because you didn’t spend time resenting the bowl, because you knew that bowl is your necessary simmer. That is episode 29, of mine. You need the time to become the beautiful fish you are meant to be.
The questions I have for you in this episode are, number one, have you experienced the after event energy drainage? And, two, how are you feeling about your fish bowl now? I invite you to fly on over to our Facebook Group to share your answers to these questions with our amazing flock. 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. We look forward to seeing you there!
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to my GPS Execs. The Executive Producers of my podcast. Visit my website, or see my show notes for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Exec, where you will gain bonus access to me and more. 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: Why I Don’t Have a Side Hustle. I would say my answer might surprise you, but if you’ve been a regular listener of my podcast, you may have this figured this one out already, so you have a week to think about it.
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