Empty Nest Success Evangelist specializing in coaching mothers entering the empty nest. ★ Master Motivator ★ Podcast Host ★ Together we'll channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
Anne (my guest) and I touched on this in my last episode – how to be the emotional adult in the room. College is a significant change – and when they go far enough away that they can’t stop by for dinner – it is a REALLY SIGNIFICANT change.
You can handle it. I know you can. Take some deep breaths, do some thought work and you’ve got this.
Take a listen, or read the transcript, below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
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Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 15: Being Brave When Your Child Picks a Non-local School, or Going Far Away to College; How to be The Emotional Adult in The Room. … Today, we are going to chat about what to do when your child goes to college far away. I’m going to make the assumption, for this episode, that the decision has already been made, or it’s being made and finances do not impact the decision. This would also be relevant to your child moving away permanently.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 15: Being Brave When Your Child Picks a Non-local School, or Going Far Away to College; How to be The Emotional Adult in The Room. 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.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Before I dive in, this episode has a lot of references to my Empty Nest Prep Series episodes, so if you feel confused at any point, or need a refresher, you may want to go back and listen to those. They begin at episode number 3. Today, we are going to chat about what to do when your child goes to college far away. I’m going to make the assumption, for this episode, that the decision has already been made, or it’s being made and finances do not impact the decision. This would also be relevant to your child moving away permanently.
Guess what this situation means to your life, my empty nest friend? Do you know? Think about your answer? Got it? It means whatever you want it to mean. That answer that you had just a second ago, you decided to have that answer. You chose it. You can choose another answer. How do you feel with the thought that you were just having, about your child being far away? Were you feeling good? If not, you can change your thought. If your thought brings you to a feeling that you don’t want to have, let’s change it.
Grab a piece of paper, or just picture this in your head, if your driving. The circumstance that your child is moving away has absolutely no drama. It is a fact and it is neutral. At the top of the page, I want you to write, or picture, my child is moving away. You can even be specific, my child is moving 15 hours away. My child is moving 2,000 miles away, to Antartica. I’m not saying that’s together, but even if it was, Antarctica, that would be interesting? Wouldn’t it? Anyway, when this circumstance shows up on your doorstep, the doorbell rings in your mind that triggers a thought for you. What thought box, or thought, do you automatically run to? Take five minutes to write down all of the thoughts you are having about your child moving away. All of them. You know the drill by now, no drama, no editing. Write them all down. Look at them. Pick one of the thoughts. Focus on only that thought. How does it make you feel? If you don’t love it, do you want to keep that thought? How can you change your thought to create a feeling that you like?
Let’s say your thought is,”I’m going to miss them so much.” Do you want to have this thought? I had this thought originally. What I found is that thought, for me, created only sadness. When I made a slight variation to the thought, I felt better about the emotion created. I’m going to miss them so much, that thought comes off as 24/7 I will do absolutely nothing, nothing at all, other than miss them. Is that true? Not really, because I sleep, so there’s six hours. I don’t sleep much. I work and need to concentrate on things that distract me. I can turn my original thought into, “I will have moments where I miss them.” This a thought I can believe. I can use it for a bit, and then, I can work on moving forward with more pleasant thoughts such as, “While they’re learning to be independent, I will have moments where I miss them.” I will tell you, I’m almost a bit over one and a half years in with my daughter being out of state. There are tremendous benefits. Your child will learn, they have to, how to be more self-sufficient and independent. From things like food and toiletry items, prescriptions, and that awful first time being sick with no way for mom and dad to visit and help.
Here’s an example: my daughter went from hating to talk on the phone, to being able to handle a fraud charge on her credit card, with no interactions from us. Pretty much just a couple of texts, it happened, and then on follow-up, they’re sending me a new card. This independence and self-sufficiency forces them to mature faster. I can vouch for that. Their friendships that are formed are closer. As friends really need to rely on each other quite a bit when they can’t run home in 15 minutes. With no option to go home on weekends, they learn how to work through boredom, heartbreaks, medical issues, awful food choices and so much more. Your child has the experience of geographical diversity that comes with living in a new area. We all know someone, maybe it’s even you, who has never lived further than a hour from where they grew up. Some personalities thrive like that. But for others, as the years move forward, they only feel less confident to venture out of what they know and where they’re comfortable. This next one’s real. Coming home is special, for them and for you.
Speaking of you, with your child moving away, you have more time to do those hobbies you’ve been putting off. More time to get projects done, and spend time with your partner. More time to get to know you, to plan future you and to crush it. There are negatives, of course, but there are also negatives with staying local. You missed all of the things I just mentioned. The grass is always greener on the other side, if you choose thoughts that can make you feel that way. The goal for you is to allow your child to make the decision that is right for them, free of your feelings and thoughts about how much it will impact your life. No matter what they do, you are responsible for your feelings. They are not. Be the grown up, and be there to help them find the best answer for them, not the best answer for mom. While they are planning their future, you can get to work planning yours. Future you is waiting for you and I created a resource to help you find her. More on that in episode number 13. You’ll find that in my show notes.
The questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) Are you having to deal with this situation? 2) Have you dealt with this situation and do you have advice for others who are about to go through it?
Fly on over to our Empty Nest Flock at youremptynestcoach.com/community [new link] to share your answers with the entire flock. Why should you join our flock? 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 the thoughts that impact your life in a positive way. My next episode’s title is: How I Lost Almost 50 Pounds, And I’m Still Losing! I am! So exciting!
I have some answered questions from a prior episode. This question comes from episode number 8: if you could give your past 19-year-old self advice, what would it be? One member shares, don’t let other people talk you out of something you really want to do. Great advice! So true. Michelle shares you will always be able to handle every situation in your life, so instead of stressing over it, embrace the challenge. You will be stronger in the end. Love that! Don’t forget to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts About email. Sign up and every Thursday, you will receive a thought from me, and I also share Your Empty Nest Coach updates. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Thank you so much for listening, my friend! Remember, you are amazing!
Hello, my future empty nest friend. I’m jumping in your feed, yet again, this week – to make a quick announcement about an upcoming college fair that I will attending in April.
If you are in the Greater Philadelphia area; have a rising sophomore, junior or senior; and want the opportunity to meet with college admission counselors from over 300 colleges and universities – this is THE place for you.
Hello, my future empty nest friend. I’m jumping in your feed, yet again, this week – to make a quick announcement about an upcoming college fair that I will attending in April.
If you’re attending that fair – when mom (or Dad) starts to get anxious about all that is involved, head over to my table – I’ll show you how to subscribe to my free podcast online, if you haven’t already; and I’m happy to listen. I’ve been where you are, my friend.
You are going to be okay. It is a big transition ahead but with the right resources, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Links with more details may be found on my website : YourEmptyNestCoach.com/MainLineFair2019
I hope to see you there!
Thanks for listening! Have a great day and remember – You. Are. Amazing.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 9, When You Aren’t a Fan of Your Child’s College Major. … I told you last week that we were going to talk about your child’s major. I’m going to start at ice cream. Yes, ice cream.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 9, When You Aren’t a Fan of Your Child’s College Major. 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. Episode 9 today, and if I’ve cued this up correctly, next week has Valentine’s Day in it. Honestly, hubby and I don’t make a big deal about it. But if it is important to you, make sure you are clear with your partner on your expectations. If you want roses, and for the last 15 years you haven’t gotten roses, buy yourself some darn roses, my friend! Rather than expecting your partner to read your mind and then, be disappointed when they aren’t able to. How about you just spell it out for them, or better yet, just buy yourself the roses and then, love on your partner. That’s it. What are you making their ability to read your mind mean in your life? It seems a little silly when put that, doesn’t it? That is my Valentine’s Day public service announcement. I might need a whole episode on that topic.
I told you last week that we were going to talk about your child’s major. I’m going to start at ice cream. Yes, ice cream. When I was, I’m going to say under five years old, as far as I knew three flavors of ice cream existed in the universe, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Sometimes, they were all together in that Neapolitan. I remember when sometimes the pink ice cream got on it, I was not very happy. If you had asked me at that age, what my favorite flavor of ice cream was in the whole world, chocolate would have clearly been my response.
I was introduced to the ice cream truck and then, the limited variety of ice cream options at school, when I went. You know that ice cream option with the fudge in the middle and the crumbs on the outside, it’s chocolate? I have no idea what it’s called to be honest, but it was my favorite at school for sure. Mint chocolate chip ice cream, that became a favorite along the way for quite some time. Interesting flavors could be found at Dairy Queen or Friendly’s, which I believe at that time was called Friendly. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream didn’t go national until 1982, when I was 11 years old. Think about this. When I was younger it was a clear choice of chocolate. All I knew about was three flavors, and I hadn’t experienced much of the world. We’ll come back to ice cream in just a bit.
There are so many factors that play into a college major. I mean, some could be interests, earning power, potential demand for graduates, cost, workload and more. These all could be super important or not important to you at all, depending on your circumstances. What I want to challenge you today to do, is to really consider is your child’s major truly theirs? Are they exploring what they want to explore during their time in college? Be super careful that your anxiety, over their future, isn’t guiding them down a path that truly isn’t theirs to take.
Much of the point of college is to explore. To explore new interests and ideas. To expand their world. To discover the new flavors of ice cream that they didn’t even know existed when they started college. Your thoughts about your child’s major, this is really important, how do you show up with the thoughts that you have about your child’s major? I mean, your daughter could call tomorrow and tell you she wants to be a neurosurgeon. You could just as easily have these two totally different thoughts. One thought could be that is tremendous, she’s going to be a neurosurgeon. Another thought could be, oh my gosh, that is a lot of school and a lot of loans to pay for, whether it’s her or me. Right? Same circumstance, totally different thoughts. What’s interesting, is how do you show up differently with those thoughts? Here’s another example, your son could announce that they want to be a Liberal Studies major because they really have no idea what they want they want to do. Your thoughts about that could be what is Liberal Studies? I mean, what kind of job will you get with that? Another option could be, I’m so glad they aren’t rushing into a career path and are taking the time they need to explore their options.
If you’ve listened to my podcast from the beginning, you might now know that I’m going to ask you, how do you show up for your child with the thoughts that you are having about their college major? Who are you for your child with the thoughts that you are having? It’s a college major. Unless they plan to be a doctor, a lawyer, or one of the handful of particular career options that need a specific path, how much does that college major mean, in the long term of their life? If they are on one of those particular paths, make sure they want to be on that path. As for the major, I know a detective who started in finance. I know an attorney who started in elementary education. I know a liberal studies major who became a computer programmer and I know a data analyst that doesn’t have a degree at all. The next time you feel yourself with anxiety over your child’s college major, I want you to ask yourself, what do you want your child to get from you? Is it judgement? Is it anxiety? Or is it support? You can take the energy you spend on concern and worry and put it into discovery with your child.
Can I be really real for a minute with you? What do you truly want your child to have at the end of the four years? A piece of paper with specific words on it, or would you rather your child have clarity on who they are meant to be in the world? I’d take the latter option, any day, for my child. I’m guessing you would too. Really think about it. What if at the end of the four years, they knew who they were? What if they were an actual, emotional adult who knew how to figure out the next steps in life no matter what life threw at them? You know how everyone asks the question, what do you do? What if your child knew who they were so well, that they weren’t wrapped up in their career and they were confident in that? Can you imagine? Imagine that you’re not your job. Just as you aren’t your thoughts. Jobs change. You are still you. You’re still who you are without the job. If your child can discover themselves without that focused job identity, before they’re knee deep in it, what a gift that would be. Right? If your child hasn’t already taken the MBTI, Strong Inventory, or something like it, I’d suggest doing that. There’s a free resource online that is fairly accurate, and I will include a link in my show notes. Take a look at that. Do it with your child. Talk about the results and how it fits in your life for yourself. Have everyone in the family do it. Discuss it. Compare notes. Have fun with it.
Now, back to ice cream. In my life, we were back with the mint chocolate chip ice cream being my favorite. Life happens, and it wasn’t until my 20’s that I actually began to actually enjoy the beverage coffee. Many years go by, I have the option to try Friendly’s Vienna Mocha Chunk ice cream, and with my now expanded worldview and my new taste preferences, this was without a doubt my favorite, and still is. Imagine if someone said to me at age five, Christine, pick your favorite ice cream flavor and you will have it for the rest of your life. I might have been thrilled at that moment, but I want you to choose something now that will impact you for the rest of your life, and here’s what we end up doing to our children, and to other people in the world, and I never want you to change it. Can you imagine if when I discovered mint chocolate chip, or Vienna Mocha Chunk ice cream, that everyone around me said, oh, no, you chose chocolate. That’s all you can have. I know with ice cream it seems silly, but we do this to our kids with their college major and it starts even earlier, because we ask them to choose what path to take, Science or Humanities, in ninth grade and sometimes earlier? The things we make this mean. You make this episode mean whatever you want. It’s not solutions. It’s just stuff to think about. I hope it does that for you. As a side note, I apologize if you are lactose intolerant, for all those ice cream references.
My next episode’s topic will be filled with advice from college admission counselors, answering the question: what is one thing you wish parents or students understood about the admission process? I’m really excited about this. This will be my first one with guests.
The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) How excited are you for your child’s major choice?
2) If you attended college, what was your major, and did it set the course for your life?
I invite you to fly over to my Empty Nest Flock Community at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers to this episode’s questions. If you come over to our community, know that it is brand spanking new, so there isn’t a lot going on at the moment, but be one of the first to join in. I can’t wait to have this flock form a great formation and just fly to great things. Be one of the first.
I realize I have forgotten to mention lately that this podcast is sponsored by my free seven-day class, The Empty Nest Guide to Uncovering My Future. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it to me in my Empty Nest Flock Community Forum, that is public, or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Include your question and how you would like me to refer to you or, if at all. I look forward to seeing there, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
💚 Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).
What You Will Learn in this Episode
Christine answers your questions including:
🐦 Christine, what are your credentials? Okay, let’s chat about imposter syndrome. (01:35) 🐦 I want to create a business but I have no experience in the area I want to pursue. (05:38) 🐦There is a lot on my plate right now, how should I proceed? (07:04) 🐦 Christine, I feel like I am in a funk with the realization that my babies are leaving the nest. (08:14) 🐦 Help! I don’t want to make any decisions! (09:52)
Episode Questions for You To Consider
Do you have a question you want to ask me?
If you could give your past 19-year-old self advice, what would it be?
Christine: You are listening to Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 8, Imposter Syndrome and Answers to Your Questions. … Today, I’m going to answer your questions and with that I’m going to talk about imposter syndrome. You’re probably wondering why imposter syndrome? This is about empty nesting. This may help you.
Christine: You are listening to Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 8, Imposter Syndrome and Answers to Your Questions. 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 energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend. My goodness, we’re at episode 8. I am getting more excited with each episode. My heart is full. Thank you for being here and if you’re enjoying this podcast, if you could do me a huge, huge, huge favor and take a minute to let me know by reviewing this podcast. It helps other people to find it.
Today, I’m going to answer your questions and with that I’m going to talk about imposter syndrome. You’re probably wondering why imposter syndrome? This is about empty nesting. This may help you. You may have never heard of it. I was surprised that some of my friends had never heard of it, but it is a real thing. I’ve had to deal with it often. My first question that I was asked, brings up the imposter syndrome for me. The question is, Christine, what are your credentials? How is imposter syndrome part of this? On psychologytoday.com there’s an article “The Reality of Imposter Syndrome.” In this article, the top description of it is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Basically, it’s the feeling that you have gotten into a place in your life and you feel like a fraud, and you feel at any moment someone’s going to figure out that you shouldn’t be where you are.
I’ve had this a few times in my life, two in particular, is one, I became a Peoplesoft developer rather quickly. I seemed to learn things quickly and moved into a role where I had multiple people on my team that reported to me. They were all external consultants. This went from not being in a developer role at all to that role within about six months. Every day I would feel like someone’s going to find out I really shouldn’t be in that spot. The reality is I had all of the skills that everyone else did and just by putting myself out there, and trying it and doing it, that is what sometimes makes me feel that way.
The other time that this happened to me was in my balloon business, and again, very quickly I learned balloons, and within six months I decided to go to a convention and compete. I got, I don’t even remember, I think was third place in a up-and-coming new balloon award that was not exactly what it was called, but I kept thinking they’re going to find out I really don’t know what I’m doing. In reality, I knew everything that I needed to do to get that award, but there’s always that level of doubt.
With this question, Christine, what are your credentials? This hits every fear and doubt that I had in starting the business, truly. Even though, for the past ten years I’ve wanted to do some kind of coaching and encouragement role in my life. Ten years ago, I started it but kind of stepped away because of this fear. At this point in my life, I need to just do it. I am so proud of the people that I have worked with and the results that they have had. If you want to know my credentials, my credentials are I am an empty nest mother. My daughter is in college now. She went early and I am sharing my experience and the tools that I learned, with you, in the hopes that the way that I present them to you help you. If I can help one mother a year to feel empowered, to feel good about herself, to have a great impact on her children and her family, that is a huge win for me. That is what this is all about.
The irony is when I coach myself through this imposter syndrome is what I’ve realized is by not being who I really am meant to be, I mean, everything in my being feels like this is right. This is what I need to do. But if I were to not do it, guess what? That is when I’m truly being an imposter in my life. Isn’t that crazy? I know I’m not alone in these feelings. I’ve mentioned it to friends who had never heard of it and they were like yes, I’ve experienced this before. Sometimes you don’t step out and do the thing that you’re meant to do because of this fear. I’m sharing with you that I am here. I am standing here, in the fear, and I am here to help. I want to encourage you to be who you are meant to be, too. Got it? I hope that answers the question with a little lesson involved.
Question number two, Christine, I want to create a business, but I have no experience in the area I want to pursue. Congratulations, you get to learn it. Everyone starts somewhere. Right? What I want to challenge you to do, if this is a question of yours. If you have a business that you have no experience in, I want you to check your thoughts. Because I want to create a business, but I have no experience in the area I want to pursue, what type of feeling does that generate in you? For me, that would not generate a positive feeling. Changing that to something like I want to create a business that I know nothing about and I’m going to learn it all. Be really creative. Change your thought. Or, I have a business I’m developing and I’m learning every step. Right? I also want you to think about future you. Ten years from now, what do you look like in that business? What’s your life like? Then, I want you to work backwards. How did you get there? Really process that out. If you need help with something like this, my free program, it’s a seven-day program, you register for it on my website, it’s all about finding future you and it helps you to work through all of this. Check that out.
Question number three, there is a lot on my plate right now, Christine, how should I proceed? I am not going to tell you how to proceed. If you have a lot on your plate right now, first of all, check that thought, because the thought I have a lot on my plate right now, generates a lot of anxiety in me if I have that thought. Right? You could say, I have this to do, this to do, this to do and this to do. Whatever those things are. Pick one thing and do it. It’s not the wrong decision, because whatever you pick is the right decision because it’s what you chose. It’s that simple. You don’t need any drama around it at all. Just pick one and do it. The overwhelm that you are indulging in is extremely self-indulgent. There is no point to it. What are you afraid of? Just pick something. Just do it. It seems cliché because Nike said it but, it’s right. Just pick one and do it. You can always change your mind later. Just remove the drama and do it. Let me know how you make out.
Question number four, Christine, I feel like I’m in a funk with the realization that my babies are leaving the nest. How does that thought make you feel? I feel like I’m in a funk with the realization that my babies are leaving the nest. Of course they’re leaving the nest. It’s a beautiful thing. They are able to be independent human beings. This is what they are meant to do. You need to check all of your thoughts around it and realize, observe. Remember we’re observing our thoughts. Observe, and when you catch yourself saying something like this, I feel like I’m in a funk, right? Where does that take you? The realization that my babies are leaving the nest. That doesn’t help me, but if I feel proud that my babies are leaving the nest, right? You can change it any way you want. My babies are leaving the nest and that’s okay. My babies are leaving the nest and that’s what they are meant to do. My babies are leaving the nest because I did a really good job. Write some of these down. Play with them and find the thing, find the thoughts, the sentence, that makes you feel okay with them leaving. When you catch yourself in the funk next time, you can pull out this sentence and say it over and over again. Eventually, you’ll catch that funky sentence before it forms completely, and you’ll be able to change it and you’ll be able to see the positives. You have done an amazing job to get here. Really. Think about all the amazing things you’ve done. Well done, mom.
Last question, help, I don’t want to make any decisions. Who does? Because then you’re giving control of your life to someone else, which, yes, if something goes wrong, you can choose to blame them, if you want but what does that get you? You’ve given control of your life to another human being. Just make a decision and do it. It could be good. It could be bad, but life is good and bad anyway, so just make a decision and try it. I know, I can be a little tough. It comes from love. I just want to see you grow and be who you are meant to be. These are all baby steps. If you have any questions, you may add them to our Empty Nest Flock Community, over on my website at youremtpynestcoach.com. Look in the menu for Empty Nest Flock Community and I really hope to see you there.
In my next episode, I’m going to talk about your child’s college major and what you are making that mean.
Today’s questions are: 1) Do you have a question you want to ask me? 2) If you could give your past 19-year-old self advice, what would it be?
If you share that with me, you can email me at Christine AT youremptynestcoach.com or participate in our Empty Nest Flock Community on my website. You may be featured on an upcoming episode.
Sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts about Email. This is where I share a quick thought I’m having for the week. It’s more real time for me. My podcasts are recorded in advance. My empty nest friend, that is all for this episode. Remember, you are amazing! Talk to you next time.
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.