Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 88: The Conscious Effective Olympian Toolbox. 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! Here we are in mid-April of 2020, and I’m willing to bet that you had no idea your life would look like it does right now. How is the training of your Protector going during all of this? Over the next few weeks, we are going to discuss tools and resources that you should have in your Conscious Effective Olympian, or CEO, toolbox. Today, I want to introduce the toolbox to you.
Before we jump in, A quick reminder that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part in this episode, or if something resonates with you, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number, You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode, on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 88 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNextCoach.com/P88) I can’t wait to hear from you!
Thanks! Thank you! It’s time to thank our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, “How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest,” our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode’s show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button. See you soon!
To continue the thank yous, I have another fab review of my podcast to share with you. This one is titled, “Listening is Like Having a Good Friend in Your Ear.” It was posted on Apple Podcasts by Bonnie Frank (Thanks, Bonnie!). She shares, “Christine’s voice and messages are comforting, enlightening and supportive for all of us. Thank you. [Hearts].” Well, thank you, Bonnie! I appreciate you! One more thank you, to my daughter, who, no, doesn’t listen to my podcast, but I’d like to publicly thank her for creating some toolbox drawings for me this week. This is a lovely bonus to having my lovely daughter home unexpectedly.
I would like you to picture in your mind a small toolbox, like a small fishing tackle box. It has a latch in the front that when unlocked, [clicking sound and squeak], the top lifts up, with a hinge in the back. Upon opening the box, you see a removable plastic tray. Imagine it as a small, maybe a bit larger than a shoebox size, but it is a well-made box. Accent it with your favorite color, or colors. Mine is green, of course.
Now, I’m going to take you on a quick journey with that toolbox. Imagine that you have a front row seat to me using my box in my love for camping. First I find the perfect box. I love the look, and the colors of it. I had been on a camping trip with someone else, and they told me that I needed a box and that I also needed to put a lighter and some firesticks in there. So before my first solo camping trip, I have my lovely box that I’m proud of with the suggested contents. I decided that that is all I need, so I head out camping with my tent, sleeping bag, food and my lovely box. [Crunching leaves noise].
I have fun for a bit using my new tools, but find that they aren’t exactly what I need to be successful. What I could have really used on this trip is a hammer to help me with the tent stakes. So the next time I go camping I’ve thrown a claw hammer at the bottom of my box. I find that the first few hours are fine and while the trip is successful, it would have been really helpful if my hammer had a wider striking surface. You know, a mallet might make more sense? Maybe instead of the claw hammer, one of those hooks to pull the stakes out of the ground. Yes. Definitely.
Now, on my third trip, I’ve mastered the tent and feel confident with my mallet, so I take that claw hammer out of the box altogether, it is taking up space. What I failed to include in my details so far, is that I had been super lucky on the weather so far, not too hot, not too cold, and my lack of ability to successfully create a campfire, (Oh, yeah, left that part out, it was too embarrassing) but didn’t bother me too much because after all, I was thrilled just to be accomplished enough and brave enough to do any camping on my own.
But now that I’ve mastered the tent, I want to figure out this fire thing. [Fire crackling noise]. Sure, I can use those fire sticks but I’d rather keep those for an emergency. Before my next trip, I do some research, and arrive at my next campsite armed with magnesium and flint and some cotton balls. How do you think I did? Well, I’ll tell you, It took me hours to get a spark, but I did! Oh my goodness, so rewarding. But I had no idea how to create a campfire from the spark. I tried. I tried a lot and thought that I just didn’t have the knack. I mean, I had watched others build fires and was pretty sure I could replicate what I saw them doing. So I tried forming the wood in a triangle shape, adding paper, I knew to have dry wood, but in the end, I was not successful.
So guess what I did? Yep, more research before my next trip. And found that oh, the things that I called tinder my entire life, isn’t really tinder, (and we’re not talking about the app!) it is kindling. Wait, I need three types of wood for a long lasting fire? Well this is life-changing, no wonder I wasn’t successful! On my next trip, I’m ready. I arrive at the park, buy local wood and think that I’ll be able to pick up the tinder and kindling by the campsite. Yes, where I live you can’t bring wood in from other locations. Well, I found the local wood and the tinder but kindling? Um, nope.
I can’t tell you how proud I was the day I realized I could go to the camp store and buy an axe. Guess what? Wood cut down is kindling and it works really well. [Chopping wood noise] And apparently, I like to wield the axe, not to mention having that in my tent at night allows me to feel pretty safe. [Giggle]. Guess what tool is always with me now when I camp, and it’s always in my toolbox? You guessed it, my axe!
Can you see how the contents of my toolbox are always changing, based on what works for me and also, the standard go-to items only leave the box when they are being used? While, no, this story isn’t completely true in my life, the discovery of using the axe is, and I even have my excitement in episode number 42. If you want to take a listen. It’s in the show notes.
Some things to note about all this, when you camp alone versus when you camp with others, you find you need different items. You need the basics, the necessities, and what your necessities are may not be what another person’s necessities are. As I have progressed in my camping trips, my toolbox contents change. There are the good standards that I always need no matter what, the mallet, the axe, the magnesium and steel, and then there are the things I take that make me feel good for a bit. Sometimes it’s a deck of cards. Sometimes it’s a book, or a project that I am working on. Anything that settles into a permanent home at the base of my toolbox receives a high honor, one that makes me want to get foam and create a nice cushy spot for it to snuggly call home. Can you picture this? [Giggle].
Imagine now, that you buy yourself a toolbox for your favorite hobby. Think about the things you would have put in there before you started the hobby versus what you would put in there now, that you know better? I don’t know about you, but the things I think I need when I start a new hobby, are rarely what ends up being my long-term go-to items. Only by actual trial and usage am I able to determine the contents of my toolbox.
Okay, friend, now imagine that you have a toolbox for your life. It will one day become your Conscious Effective Olympian toolbox. Right now, it’s your Self-Help Sally Toolbox. I’d like you to consider how much like Self-Help Sally you may be in your life right now. Self-Help Sally will tell you that she takes really good care of herself. She gets regular manicures, works out daily, spends time with her family and friends. She will tell you she loves her job. She loves her family, but she talks more than she listens, which leads you to wonder if Self-help Sally is telling you this or trying to convince herself. But when Self-help Sally is alone, or if Self-help Sally has someone in her life that challenges her belief system, or if Self-help Sally’s family is on her last nerve, she feels like her life is out of control and she becomes overwhelmed.
She has expectations for her life. Strong expectations, and when life doesn’t go as she has expected, she doesn’t have resources or a well-stocked toolbox that allows her to process through her life. She only has that top tray. She likes to escape the situation by having drinks with friends, watching Netflix, a lot of Netflix, or going running to decompress (these are just a few examples).
Sometimes Self-help Sally will tell you she doesn’t have her life together at all. I mean the last time she did anything for herself, she can’t even remember. When pressed to ask what she would do if she could do anything, she might not be able to decide what thing would make her feel best, because something deep inside allows her to know the feeling is temporary anyway. At other times, Self-help Sally is on her Self-help bandwagon. She’s reading a book that you have to read because it is changing her life. It is kind of like the book she read last month, but not really. You know that it doesn’t matter, because next month it will be another book that she’s latched onto, or another speaker, “magnetic rock” or any type of resource. Sally isn’t picky. She hasn’t settled into the thing that works for her at all. She finds her energy on a new idea but doesn’t stick with one long enough to have it make a real difference in her life.
All of these tools that Self-help Sally has in her toolbox are great by themselves, there isn’t anything wrong with one of them. As long as Self-help Sally realizes they are temporary escapes, and that she is going to have to come back and deal with her situation one way or another. These tools that Self-help Sally uses are more like band-aids for her than cures. So, that toolbox that I want you to consider is in your life, that I’m asking you to picture this week as you go forward, I want you to ask yourself if you have one at all? If you do, what are your go-to coping mechanisms when life gets tough? In what ways are you like Self-help Sally?
To be clear, I am not knocking what Self-help Sally does. Everything has its merit. If you find yourself, as Self-help Sally does, that you eventually circle back and feel the way you always feel, ask yourself if you are ready to become the Conscious Effective Olympian of your life? What could be better than knowing you are the CEO of Your Life? Imagine that as you level-up your protector, that the writing on your toolbox will change from Self-Help Sally Toolbox to read Conscious Effective Olympian toolbox. I’m imagining those words changing in a very Harry Potter newspaper like fashion. Isn’t that fun?
So I leave you with the idea that to have that toolbox of yours make a lasting, long-term difference in your life, you need those tools that together, for you, give you peace, before, during and after the happenings in your life. Those items will be well padded at the base of your toolbox. I’m going to discuss some of those in next week’s episode, number 89. I look forward to introducing you, also, to the Conscious Effective Olympian tool! That will be coming your way soon. Of course, if you would like to dig into more detail with any of this, know that I discuss all of this in my GPS Support Flock, where I have a full workshop on this topic, a worksheet and more.
The questions I have for you in this episode are, can you picture your toolbox? What are your go-to life coping tools that you currently use? 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? Where are you? Christine! In March, I was on an episode of the MidLife-A-Go-Go podcast, hosted by Valerie Albarda. She is lovely! We chatted about the empty nest, the not so empty nest, and how to handle all of it. Definitely check it out because we share some great nuggets in this episode. You’ll find a link to this in my show notes. You also can always go to my media page, on my website, to find everywhere I have visited.
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to every member of my GPS Support Flock. I invite you to fly on over to my website, or see my show notes, for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Support Flock member, where you will gain access to all of my programs, monthly workshops, group coaching, and more. See you there!
Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all! As always, I provide content to make you think. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. I leave you with, are you remembering every day that you are amazing? Well, you are! My friend Michele sent a message to my Google Voice number just for you.
Michele: You are amazing!
Christine: See ya!