Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 93: The CEO Toolbox, Part 4B, When Your Life Stops Moving Forward. This is the Analysis Tool walkthrough. 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! This episode is in a series of episodes about the toolbox for your life. If this is your first time here, know that I reference topics introduced in prior series of this podcast in this episode, making this episode a more advanced topic. Add to this that this particular episode is a continuation of our last episode, well, be warned that you may not want this episode to be your first and only introduction to my podcast. Should you find yourself wondering what I’m talking about, head back to the prior series and work your way through. I’ll have those links in my show notes. Once again, if this is your first time listening, I highly suggest that you pop back to an earlier episode. If you’ve been with me for a while, go grab that piece of paper that you wrote on during the last episode. We’ll pick up from there. If you are a regular listener, you have a couple of minutes as I’m about to do some of my reminders, so you may not even need to press the pause button.
A quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of 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 the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 93 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P93) 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 a review of my podcast. This is a two star review that you’ll find on Apple Podcasts. Yes, I’m reading a two star review. I’ll tell you why after. The review is titled “Not for Me” and says, “This podcast is like a continuous puzzle and I am trying desperately to figure out what she is talking about. Yes, you’ve lost me. Way too many analogies and so much giggling. Not for me.”
You may be wondering why I shared with you a two-star review? Well, because this amazing human took the time to give my podcast a chance. They gave an honest review and told us why it isn’t for them. Do I use a lot of analogies? Yeah, you betcha. So they aren’t wrong. Do I giggle? Yep. Sorry, life is way too much fun. So they aren’t wrong there either. But, here is the thing, this beautiful human gave my podcast time. Time is valuable, and whether you become a huge fan of mine, or walk away shaking your head, I appreciate that you, that anyone, would choose to spend some of their time with me. So, thank you. Not that this reviewer will ever hear this, since I would think they’re no longer listening. [Giggle] Yes, there’s the giggle.
Of course, here I am choosing to share this review specifically in an episode that is the most puzzle-like lesson I’ve ever done. This is such a me thing to do. Anyway, if you think this podcast is for you, if you don’t think it is a continual puzzle, or if you do, but you are having fun figuring it out, how about you take a few minutes and leave this podcast a five-star review? Thanks, amazing lady!
So far in this series, we’ve discussed having a toolbox for your life. We’ve considered our top-tray items in the toolbox, those items that help us in a pinch to get to the deeper work needed to illuminate our life, and I suggested you add presence to your foundational-level of your toolbox. In the last episode, I introduced you to the Conscious Effective Olympian, or CEO Analysis tool, where I challenged you to hear the following message when you notice that momentum has stalled in your life:
“Stop. Momentum is needed. Please do your work to level-up your life, and then your travels will resume.” With you hearing the message and knowing how to set up the tool, you are now ready to fill it in. The setup is mentioned in episode number 92. It’s about 7 minutes and 30 seconds in.
So moving forward, I assume your seven lines and letters are ready. I will do my best to get a few photos of this posted on my website, so if you are having trouble picturing this maybe the combination of this episode along with the photos will clarify it for you. We are going to work our way down the page. Begin by drawing a big arrow just to the left of the list, vertically down from the top of the list from 1 to 7. The arrow should be pointing down.
In line 1 you have an O. This stands for Outside of Your Fence. You are going to write down the happening in your life that you are struggling with. You know, things like, you are furloughed; your partner is yelling; your child’s decision about something in their life. This statement should have no colorful words of adjectives. We’ll come back to those later. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, this would be your circumstance. I’m going to use the example in this walkthrough that your child says, “You are a horrible mother.” You would write down “Child said I am a horrible mother.” That’s it. Then you move on. For the record, I’m not saying that your child has ever said this about you, but it is a statement that some clients have had to deal with, and as it’s on the extreme-side, it is an easy one to walk through the tool.
In line 2, you have an M. This stands for your Mode. In episodes number 64 through 67 I discuss the importance of training your
Protector, about how we all start in Obscurity mode. We level up and down in the modes like a dimmer switch and on our best days, we are near illuminated, or on rare occasions fully illuminated. In this line, line 2, draw a small circle here, for now. We’ll make the assumption for now, that you’re pretty raw, just coming out of Obscurity mode, so I’d like you to make the border of the circle thick, super solid. Then fill that circle in not quite as dark but enough that you know that something would have a hard time escaping if it were stuck inside of the circle. As you level-up with training your Protector and move higher up the dimmer switch to illumination mode, your circle will become more and more transparent until it barely has dashes around the perimeter.
Moving down the arrow to line 3, we have P for your Protector. On this line, rather than words or circles, we are going to use arrows here. I have three options for your arrows. It will point either up, to the right or downward. Your arrow should be small, and where it points will have different meanings. In our example, “You are a horrible mother,” is in the O line; we have a thick-bordered shaded circle in the M line; and then, here, we are going to point the arrow downward. The downward arrow represents an untrained Protector on high-alert, in Obscurity, who is ready to spring into action. They’re the boss of you. When the arrow is down, imagine a caffeinated Protector who is rushing to move forward and what they create moves quickly into the threshold of your mind’s house.
Now, for the other arrows, which we aren’t going to use right now, but let’s imagine that you had the same O line but your mode wasn’t as filled in. The border in your circle wasn’t quite as thick. You’ve been doing a lot of these and you’re really getting to know yourself. Your Protector then gives you a bit more of a status report for you to consider, rather than telling you that what they are about to create is a truth for you. That arrow is going to point right. It will come in your fence but it may hang out in the front yard and never enter your home.
Eventually, when you get to a point where you rarely need to run a happening through this CEO analysis tool, your arrow would point up. This would be if, again, you have the same O line, the same happening, but with all of the loving training you have given your Protector over the months and years, they know immediately that that statement is outside of your fence. They know you have no reason to even spend a couple of seconds thinking about it because it brings no value to you. In a way, it is like your Protector quickly arms your property, takes care of everything in exactly the way you have trained them. It is beautiful. This is a fantastic place to be and it would then end your progression through this tool because nothing will continue along the path. The arrow is pointing up, and you just made a U-turn.
Next up is T for Thought-delivery. Remember this? Way back in episodes 3 and 4 I introduce the idea of thoughts being delivered into your mind’s house. Ask yourself “What is the thought that my Protector now chooses to send to me as if it is a truth?” Write that thought down in this line. This is where you’ll use the colorful words and adjectives that I didn’t let you use in the O line. If you have multiple thoughts here, it is time to branch off as you go down the page. For each thought-delivery you would create a new column of the remaining steps or pick the one thought that is creating the most negative energy in you, the one you keep going back to.
Let’s say you are having an obscured, rough day and the thought-delivery you keep going back to is “My Child is an ungrateful jerk, who never appreciates anything I do.” First, you have to notice that this is two statements. My child is an ungrateful jerk and my child never appreciates anything I do. Choose one to move forward. Don’t judge it. Just write it down. That goes in line 4, the T line, and imagine that your Protector now takes out a thick-lined black permanent marker and writes that thought all over the front of a box, on every single side. Depending on your arrow in the above line, it will be sent either calmly, if your arrow points to the right, or it will be sent rush express, high priority, if your arrow points downward, causing us to progress down the line to line 5, S for Sensation. Your thought-delivery here crosses your mind’s house’s threshold and immediately opens to reveal a sensation to you. This is another concept I introduced back in episode number 5, where I asked you to imagine your feelings like a jewelry box that opens to reveal a dancing ballerina; although the who, the ballerina, and the what, the dancing, changes based on your thought-delivery is.
If your arrow points to the right in line 2, you simply receive a delivery notice from your Protector that allows you to consider whether or not you will give this thought-delivery any space in your house. Note that you have the ability to stop the progression through the tool at any time and make a U-turn. Let’s assume for our walkthrough that the thought-delivery sped through your threshold, that arrow was pointing down. The flashlight of your Protector is shining on it and it is all you can see. You try to look away from it but with the light on it, everything else is dark. Remember that circle in line M? That represents how much other light you have inside of you, to assist you in considering your other options.
So now that the thought-delivery has space in your mind’s home, it opens. It is automatic. In this line, line 5, where the S is, if the thought you wrote down in line 4, the T line, if that makes you feel sad, I want you to write the word “sad.” But I don’t want you to stop there. Put a colon after it and then describe how it feels in your body. For example: “sad: my eyes are watery, my chest is tight, I am shaking all over,” or, “angry: my hands are clenched, and I feel tightness up my arm.” As you fill in your sensation line, focus only on the prior step, your thought-delivery. Only your thought-delivery.
Now that you have your sensation described fully, move down another line, to M for Momentum. Fill this line in with a positive or negative sign, and then a number. The number should be from 1-10. As you fill this line in, consider only the sensation line above it. Don’t overthink your response. Fill it in quickly. Use your gut reaction to the Sensation line and fill in whether you have a positive or negative energy within you and how much of that energy you feel, on a scale from 1 to 10. In our example, I’ll say that my clenched hands and tightness up my arm feel negative and I’ll rate it an eight. I then write down “-8.” This portion of the process is going to serve you well the more times you walk through using this tool. You’ll begin to notice how quickly you jump to high numbers, or how often you’re in the negative energy, and will begin to see themes in your life on what triggers that for you.
This brings us to our final line: O is for Outcome. This outcome is for you and only you. It is not an outcome for your child or another human, because everything in this tool’s progression is designed for you to identify what you, and only you, are able to control. Your outcome should be a statement for you that is based entirely off of the work you’ve done on only a few of the lines above. You aren’t going to jump back to the top, outside of your fence. You’re going to move up no more than three levels and dig deep to find the outcome for you based on your Thought-delivery, Sensation and Momentum.
In our example, by doing this work, I discover that my outcome is that I resent my child. Guess what, since my mode is obscured, since my protector isn’t trained well, that outcome stays inside of my fence and hangs there. Well, isn’t that fun? Yes, that is sarcasm. But good news, we’ve now walked through the entire Conscious Effective Olympian (or CEO) Analysis tool. Take a step back and look at what you created. We aren’t finished yet. You need to do one more thing. Draw a large circle, starting at the M line, down around the Outcome line that encompasses all of the words, arrows, numbers and all that you created from Mode through Outcome. The circle that you draw should be similar in border and transparency as the one that you added in the Mode line. Go ahead and press pause if you need to.
You drew your fence. That circle, or the fence, my friend, everything within it is what you have control over in your life. You have the freedom to change your answers in any line of the tool, at any time, and see how that impacts your outcome. Yes, you can keep the same happening outside of your fence but have an outcome that is different. It could even be 180 degrees from your original outcome. Always head to your Thought-delivery line for the greatest impact. Find a thought that will create a different sensation in you and play that out. Start small, and make sure you believe it, my friend. This is where life becomes incredibly entertaining, almost like a game. That thing that drives you crazy about your partner, a colleague or your boss, run that through this tool and see how you can mix it up so you won’t have a negative outcome. Are you doing this for them? No, because you can’t change them. They are outside of your control. No, my friend, you are doing this 100 percent for you. No matter where you land in a runthrough of this tool, it is you, your work and it is all yours. No one needs to ever know the thought you create that allows you to have peace in your life. In the end, it isn’t about what’s happening outside of your fence. It is about everything inside of your fence that will change your life for the better or worse.
Sure, you can have circumstances that are not pleasant. I mean, if you are diagnosed with cancer, would you really want to feel great about it? After all, you have emotions to process, and I highly recommend processing through them. But when your thoughts about what is outside of your fence increases the negativity, you increase your own suffering. So while you may not be able to go from -10 to +10 in one fell swoop, you have the ability to dial down your own level of suffering by getting a handle of what’s going on inside of your fence.
I know I covered a tremendous amount in this episode. I feel like I am your professor, and you’re about to have your final exam. We are putting everything together that we’ve worked on this semester, and I hope you get it, because I want you to do well. For those who are ready for this, bravo! This isn’t something, I expect, will resonate with everyone on the first listen, for sure. My empty nest friend, I want you to do amazing things in your life, and until you understand how much power you are giving away to the world by not understanding what is within your own control, you will continue to limit yourself. You limit yourself. I know.
My beautiful friend, the more you work with this tool; the more familiar you become with it, the more peaceful you will become in your life. I promise you that. As you level-up, that fence of yours will become incredibly transparent to the point that you’ll have enough light inside of you to finally find who you are, to find that Green Popsicle Stick of yours, your GPS, and then, well, look out world. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. It’s a choice you have, and it’s also outside of my fence, so it doesn’t impact me one way or the other what you decide. But if you’ve listened to this much of this episode, something has you here. Ask yourself why you wouldn’t spend some time on yourself to understand this, and by the way, how well is your life working anyway? What do you have to lose, friend?
If this tool resonates with you, I recommend keeping it in your foundational-level of your toolbox. When that momentum in your life stops, run through a few of these and see what you discover. With that, I wrap up this topic. We do dive deep into this in our GPS Support Flock. If you are ready for some assistance, fly on over and join the flock. We’d love to have you. As I mentioned in the last episode, you are amazing to be on this journey, my empty nest friend. You have so much potential in your life and it begins with you gaining peace and control over your emotions. You now have a tool that will help you get to know yourself better. I can’t wait to see what you do with this.
In our next episode, I’m going to move on to a new topic within our toolbox, to lighten things up a bit. In the meantime, have fun with this, and let me know if you learn anything about yourself. I invite you to keep me posted on your progress, and I’ll chat with you in the next episode, amazing lady!
The questions I have for you in this episode are: How many times did you have to listen to this to get it? What questions do you have for me? Fly on over to our Facebook Group to share your answers to these questions with our amazing flock. Our Facebook 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!
Christine? Christine? Christine, where are you? Rachel, of “Magnificent Midlife” and I chatted together months ago for her podcast. She released the episode last week and it made me so happy to hear this pre-pandemic conversation that we had. We talk about the empty nest, I totally spilled the beans on one of her projects, and we talk about not bullying yourself. I invite you to give it a listen. It was so much fun. Link, of course, will be in my show notes.
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. Guess what, friend? You are amazing! See ya!