After 28 years of parenting three kids, I know a thing or a million about overwhelm, mom guilt, and confusion. Part of that knowing was this funny notion I carried around for years that this gig would level out over time. You know, get easier as my kids got older. Pff.
Spoiler alert for all you mommas of young kids (and I apologize in advance for letting you in on this secret): parenting from the empty side of the nest can be exponentially more challenging than other seasons. After 18 years of loving on our kids like there’s no tomorrow, tomorrow comes. And having to switch gears from being their everything to watching our adult kids from the sidelines as they endure hard things and find their way is not fun, albeit necessary, and a natural progression of life. Not thanking you, God, for the toll this takes on our momma hearts.
But I will temper my confession by saying this season is also rewarding, profound, and joyful in ways that move me to the core. Paradoxically, the light of these young adult years far outweighs the heavy, which is true for every season of motherhood.
What I didn’t know for the bulk of my motherhood journey was how to manage all the unruly emotions buzzing through my being. I didn’t have the proper tools or understanding on how to navigate the stress, so overwhelm, guilt, insecurity, fear, worry, anger, depression, and confusion consumed my headspace far too often. Many nights I stared at the ceiling, wondering if I’d ever figure out what the hell I was doing.
Then I turned 40, which didn’t sit well with me. Not because of the age so much, but because of who I was and how I was going about life. At the time, my kids were 16, 14, and 13, and I knew deep inside I needed a change. Having three teens under your roof at the same time can do that to you. For me, I needed a shift beyond the healing journey I started at age 34 to work through childhood trauma from sexual abuse and abandonment issues.
While my deep dive into my past was the first step into understanding who I was so I could begin to heal what was broken, at 40, I longed for a full-blown makeover of mind, body, and spirit. So, I commissioned myself for a complete overhaul and became obsessed with becoming a better version of myself in all aspects of my life—especially as a mom.
It’s been 11 years since I signed my agreement with the Universe, and I can say as a 51-year-old, it’s been a wild ride of unlearning, learning, recalibrating, descaling, decluttering, and reimagining a better me. The lessons keep on coming, and I’m here for all of them. But one of the biggest takeaways from my journey of transformation—a lesson that is the underbelly of everything in life, is this: when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
I first heard this statement from the beloved and late Wayne Dyer, and I was intrigued from the get-go. Seeing things from a new perspective creates space for us to view ourselves, others, and our circumstances outside of what is familiar or predictable based on our experiences, beliefs, conditioning, upbringing, etc. The tricky thing is our brains are hardwired to resist change because change is unfamiliar and presents a threat. Therefore, our brains send out signals via hormones to protect us and direct our bodies to fight, flight, or freeze. This is all well and good when there is real and present danger before us, but not so good when change is a friendly foe.
The other not so good is our brains don’t know the difference between what is actually happening to us versus what we perceive is happening and will react chemically the same regardless. So, if we think someone is threatening us, even if it isn’t true, our brain sends out the safety signals anyway. Also, if we ruminate over past negative experiences and project an angsty future in our minds, our brains think these experiences are happening in real-time. Then our bodies fill up with cortisol and adrenaline and do all the things to keep us safe.
Except God didn’t design our bodies to carry the load of a 24/7 cortisol buzz. So, consider the toll this takes on our overall health and well-being if we think negative, fearful, stressful thoughts for days, weeks, months, or years! Science will tell you the effects are devastating—especially on our immune systems. And imagine if what we were thinking and believing wasn’t true in the first place.
I don’t need to imagine because I’ve lived this reality. For too many years, I held limiting beliefs about myself and my worth because I allowed my traumatic experiences and unchecked constructs put in place by others to mold my self-perception. I’ve given up years of my life to faulty thinking and bad mojo around shame, rejection, and abandonment. I’ve also missed out on the joy of the present because of being mentally stuck in a time warp of what was or what might be instead of fully engaged in what is.
Then I learned the mind is the most powerful tool at our disposal. What we think creates our lived experience because our thoughts lead us to our emotions and our emotions trigger our behaviors and reactions which dictate our experiences. And then the whole cycle repeats. The key is figuring out how to stay in a positive loopo instead of a negative one.
Since the way we look at things and the stories we tell about ourselves, our children, and our circumstances creates the reality we experience on the daily, the more intentional we are about making sure our thoughts are empowering rather than disempowering, the better our lives will be.
So, in this new course, I’ll be sharing how a ‘change the way you look at things so the things you look at change’ mindset moves you from overwhelm to optimism, guilt to grace, & confusion to clarity in motherhood. We’ll talk about:
- paying attention to the stories we are believing about our worth
- getting our inside world–our mind and heart–put right
- how to shift our perspective on things so we can heal and enjoy what is rather than railing against what isn’t
- why letting go of the ‘shoulds’ and saying no to expectations is a portal to freedom
- and so much more…
You will learn all the tools and practices I’ve implemented to help me change my world and hear stories about the transformation process to encourage and inspire you that real change can happen. And I’ll shower you with all kinds of love along the way.