You are a mother of a high school student, and you are freaking out about the empty nest ahead? Together we will channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! You will THRIVE as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college. ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
This episode is a continuation of my last episode. We worked on finding future you in episode 13, and in my previous episode we talked about, the “How?” Today, we cover those darn excuses that crop up in our lives. Let’s bury them once and for all!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 21: Let’s Talk About Your Excuses. … Now, for you, my friend! Let’s talk about those excuses. In my last episode we discussed you figuring out how to get to your future result. As soon as you begin to work on these future results and plans, excuses tend to pop up in your mind. It makes sense. Your mind likes what it knows.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 21: Let’s Talk About Your Excuses. 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.
00:00:38 Hello, my empty nest friend! Thanks for listening today. You made time for you, and you are listening to my podcast. That means the world to me. I may not know your name, but I see a new listen and that always makes me smile. I’ve got to tell you, getting these podcasts out in the world is no small amount of work. From start to finish, my checklist is significant. I have two other amazing colleagues that assist me and it takes hours and hours to just get one of these episodes to you. I do it for you. If you are enjoying it, the best way to let me know is to take time to rate and review the podcast in Apple Podcast or wherever you are listening to your podcast, or share it with a friend. Thanks so much! A special shout out to my team, Beth and Felicia, thank you for your dedication and support. You are the best!
00:01:28 Now, for you, my friend! Let’s talk about those excuses. In my last episode we discussed you figuring out how to get to your future result. As soon as you begin to work on these future results and plans, excuses tend to pop up in your mind. It makes sense. Your mind likes what it knows. It wants to stay comfortable, and will find a way to keep doing what it is doing, because it is easier. I’m going to give you a little tough love in this episode.
00:01:54 When you use an excuse, what you are really saying is I didn’t want it enough. Think about it. If you did want it enough, you would ignore the excuse. It wouldn’t stop you from anything. It would be back to your friend telling you that you’re going to wake up as a turtle tomorrow. Complete nonsense to your mind, so you don’t even give it a second thought. Here’s the question: Do you want that excuse, or even those excuses, to be the reason that you don’t get to your result?
00:02:25 I want you to learn to expect the excuses and to look for them, as you do the work to plan on getting to your results. Write down every excuse that appears in your mind. Things like, I don’t have enough time, that’s too much work, I can’t make a decision, my family won’t support me, I have too much going on to even make that a priority. Write them all down when you notice them, and take a look at them periodically, so that you begin to tune into them when they crop up in your mind. You may notice that you say one of them quite often. You could even ask your friends and family, and I bet they know your go-to excuses. I know, that’s a dare, isn’t it?
00:03:08 As you notice an excuse that you use, imagine that it is a sign for you that you simply have an obstacle that you need to overcome. From there, you can create a to-do list, or a plan, to defeat it. If you find that you are super comfortable with a particular excuse, and don’t want to let go of it, I’d like you to imagine that specific excuse written on your tombstone. How does that feel? If you use the excuse a lot, maybe that should be on your tombstone. But do you want it to be? You can choose. What would you put in its place? You can even draw a tombstone around each of your excuses, because in a way, they are the death of your progress toward your result. If you use the excuse and give in to the excuse, how can you possibly move forward?
00:03:56 This really isn’t your tombstone, it’s just a visualization. You may identify those excuses and choose to bury them. You’re alive. You are here, and you can change the writing on the tombstone, or visualize burying the whole thing and never use that excuse again. You might find that it will work its way out of the ground and attempt to get back in your life. If you’re in tune with identifying it, you have the opportunity to see it and note, oh, there’s an obstacle I need to plan to overcome. Then, put that excuse back in the ground. Bury it. Your mind is going to want to boss you around, and keep you comfortable for sure.
00:04:31 My friend, you can be the boss of your mind and use it to do great things. Notice your excuses and make a decision that they aren’t the boss of you. I know you are worth doing this work, my empty nest friend. As I said in the last episode, future you, is waiting for you and she’s cheering you on.
00:04:51 If you are ready to dig in and create a change in your own life that impacts both you and those around you, I invite you to join my upcoming coaching program. Be sure to get on my wait list, as space is always limited. Feel like you’re missing something? Head back to my Empty Nest Prep episodes. They start in episode number 3, to learn more about your thoughts and feelings. Are you curious about all this future talk, then check out episode number 13, where I talk about discovering future you.
00:05:20 The questions I have for you in this episode are: What is your go-to excuse? Knowing your go-to excuse, are you ready to bury it forever? Fly on over to our Facebook group. 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. Why should you join our group? 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 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’m able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll also find show notes for this and every single episode on my website.
00:06:07 My next episode’s title is: My Favorite Thursday Thoughts About. I’m going to share some of my favorite thoughts that I have emailed to my email list. If you are a first time listener, or even if you’ve listened before, and you’ve enjoyed this podcast, I have a favor to ask. If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast, that would be fantastic. Also, if you have an extra moment to give this podcast a five-star rating, it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
This episode is a continuation of my “finding future you” episode. I can’t begin to stress enough how important it is for you to spend time with yourself, getting to know future you, so that she is your gps through life. She’s all you need. She’ll cheer you on, guide you, recommend the when, the where and the how – you need to know her so well that she’s got your back all the time. AND remember she’s super supportive. She wouldn’t beat you up, she’s lovely, kind and can’t wait to see you get where she is already. So get to know her, my friend!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 20: You Found Future You – Now, for the “How?” … Way back in episode number 13, I shared my tips about dreaming toward your future. I walked you through how to discover your future. I mentioned in that episode that when you discover a future result that you love, remember, you dreamt about it in detail already, and still love it. You should then ask that future version of yourself how you got there. See, it’s that easy.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 20: You Found Future You – Now, for the “How?” 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. Thanks for listening today. I am so thankful you are here. As promised, I’d like to share one of my new Apple podcast reviews with you. This one means a lot to me because I know it comes from Carolyn, of the podcast Beyond6Seconds, which I subscribe to and enjoy thoroughly. She writes, “Christine gives relatable and actionable advice in her podcast episodes. This podcast is a must listen if you are facing or are about to face an empty nest. Even if you’re not an empty-nester, you can still benefit from hearing her coaching and guidance if you’re facing any major change in your life. The episodes are extremely well organized and well produced. I really enjoy listening to them.” It means the world to me. Thanks, Carolyn! My friend, her podcast is filled with extraordinary stories from everyday people. Each episode features inspiring stories of life and creativity, triumph and struggle. I look forward to each episode. I’ll have a link to her show in my show notes.
00:01:36 Now, to the topic of this episode. Way back in episode number 13, I shared my tips about dreaming toward your future. I walked you through how to discover your future. I mentioned in that episode that when you discover a future result that you love, remember, you dreamt about it in detail already, and still love it. You should then ask that future version of yourself how you got there. See, it’s that easy. Okay. I know. Maybe not. I get it.
00:02:07 Something to keep in mind is that either way, whether you pursue a future result or not, you are making a choice that has consequences. If you look at a future result that you love, but are scared of the path to get you there, you can absolutely choose to run away or to dive in. If you run, you risk not being the person you are meant to be. Take a really good look at the results that future you has. If you look at the results, and think, I can do that no problem, then I challenge you to make the results even bigger. This is not a time for comfort. It should be a little uncomfortable. Whether you’re talking about giving up wine, decluttering your home, learning a new skill, or a future business endeavor, make it bigger and at least a little uncomfortable. When you have that done, then I have some tips for you to help you to get to where you want to be.
00:03:02 Once you are clear on the big result that you want, write it down in a way that has the result only and not a clear path on how to get there. For those of us who identify with the Green Popsicle Stick, this would be where we write the result we want on the popsicle stick. Your passion, be it small or big. You can be passionate about cleaning out your basement. Trust me! Pick a time in the future where you will already have accomplished it. If your result is to redo your bedroom, your timeline will be different from someone whose result is to build a business. Remember, that future version of you is out there. She’s waiting for you to get to where she is. She doesn’t want you to let her down. I want you to spend time getting to know her, just like you did when you were dreaming in episode number 13. She can do this because she’s already done it. She knows how you got there. She has the same brain you do, so guess what? You have all the power and information you need to make a plan to get to where she is. Really. Trust me.
00:04:07 Get to know this version of you so well that you can’t imagine not becoming her in the future, and then, it becomes about not letting her down, not letting you down. You’ll gain clarity on how to get there the more you spend time with her. Your Green Popsicle Stick will get brighter.
00:04:23 Keep in mind that if you ask others for their advice and their input, that the more you rely on them, rather than your future self, your color will dull. Don’t be afraid to ask others, for sure, but also, just because they string words together doesn’t make the words they say correct. Their words mean whatever you choose to make them mean in your life. For example, if they say but you may fail, you could have thoughts like, yeah, I might fail. Yes. This is a possibility. Well, why should I even try? Or you can treat it like they just said your going to wake up as a turtle tomorrow. What? You’re nuts. That’s not going to happen. Do you feel the difference? They may want you to face “reality.” Of course they will, because that’s how most humans operate. It doesn’t mean that you need to operate the same way.
00:05:14 Do you see how just because they say something, it is your thoughts about what they are saying, that is most important in your life. You need to know that future version of yourself so well, that you know she’s out there and attainable 100 percent. Back to your results. Your results are your goal. Your path to the results should be flexible. Whether your plans for this week are successful or not, shouldn’t stop you from heading toward your results. When your results are motivating you, then a failed day, week, or month, simply become a learning opportunity on your journey to your results, rather than signs that your results aren’t worth pursuing. I hope that makes sense. If you get it, it will change your life.
00:06:01 Now, you make plans. When you ask yourself how you got to where future you is, you write all of it down. All of it. Even if the ideas seem impossible. You’ve heard me say this before, this isn’t the time for editing. Remember that this version of you, that future you, that you’ve gotten to know so well, already knows how you got there, so let her tell you all the ways that she was able to make it happen.
00:06:27 The next step is to pick one of those things and to take action. Just pick one. Put a date on it that you’ll be finished, and get to work. You might dive right in and not need any more direction from me, but you also may have a pile full of excuses that stop you from even writing down your plans. I’ve got you, my friend. My next episode will be all about those excuses. I know you are worth doing this work, my future empty nest friend. Future you is waiting for you and she’s cheering you on.
00:05:58 If you want to dive deeper, check out my coaching program options. I just released dates for my next round of coaching. Feel like you’re missing something? Head back to my Empty Nest Prep Episodes, they start in episode number 3. To learn more about your thoughts and feelings, and wondering where I started with the future talk, then check out episode number 13, where I talk about discovering future you.
00:07:19 The questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) Have you found the result you want in your life? 2) Are you ready to take action? Fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Then listen to episode number 17, or head to my website youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our 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.
00:07:52 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 also will find show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode’s title is Let’s Talk About Your Excuses. If you are a first time listener, or even if you’ve listened before, and you’ve enjoyed this podcast, I have a favor to ask. If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast, that would be fantastic. It is free, after all. Also, if you have an extra moment to give this podcast a five-star rating, it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
This episode has taken more energy than most others!
It took me weeks to gather my thoughts and then a few more additional weeks to put them together and even assemble it. The result is a fable I created for us! It is my gift to you. Let me know if it resonates with you. In today’s episode, I introduce you to Greenlee the green popsicle stick.
Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
Join the first ever #GPSFirstStep Challenge:
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick. … Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself! I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick.
Hello, my empty nest friend!
Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself!
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 well with Greenlee – and others…well, 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.
Hmmm… 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 she does 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.
So, up until this moment, she has 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.
But 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 well, 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, yes, even some arguments.
“How could this be?” she wondered.
Greenlee thought she might know the answer: Well, 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.
Yeah, THAT’s it. That is why I am here all alone while they gather together.
While Greenlee wasn’t 100% 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 oh 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 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.
Well, 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.
Oh, YES, things moved. And, yes, 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 that they don’t need her at all?
Now that thought STUNG.
As time passed, Greenlee decided that she had to explore life outside of her supported structure 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 she was 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 and 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 among 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: 1) 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 is why they came running to her – they were waiting – for her. And they were excited to have her there.
2) 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, and you’ll be as bright as us, in time!
3) 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 have found that as they have 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.
And GPS is the key to future you. Find future you and you 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 one to you – or I might beat you to the asking and just hand it to you.
And challenge you to find your purpose.
The Questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) What structures are you supporting? 2) Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
I have a special thank you to Beth and Michele for reviewing this fable and providing great input. You two are the best!
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 impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is: How to Get Rid of Guilt
Can you do me a favor?
If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast – that would be fantastic. It is free, and you’ll be notified when a new episode goes live. And if you have an extra moment to give this podcast a 5 star rating – it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend!