Ep 056: Slowing Down with Nichole Nordeman

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Chaos is a normal part of life, especially as moms. And it is important that we remember to slow down in the chaos and not wish it all away. You know, those moments spent begging for your little one to walk or talk, to sleep through the night, to hurry up and do the next thing. Because there will come a day when your kids are grown up and you will wish for those moments again. The moments you won’t ever get back; the moments you tried so hard to rush through.

Nichole Nordeman is known for her music as a Christian artist but she is also a mother of 2 and author. Her book, Slow Down: Embracing the Everyday Moments of Motherhood, is such a calm and easy read. It's one of those books you’d want to have on your bookshelf to reference here and there when you need a reminder to really be present and just be with your kids. Her mantra is to lower the bar of expectations we place on our lives and to slow down, embracing the everyday moments of life.

*Note, if you aren’t a mom, this episode is still for you! There is SO much wisdom in this episode that we can all use when it comes to learning to slow down and enjoying the everyday moments of life.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Nichole Discuss:

  • Ways you can slow down and be present with your family in the midst of chaos.

  • The value of saying “I don't know” to life’s big questions, because there are a lot of question marks and we don’t have to know all the answers.

  • Practical things you can do to slow down and take time for yourself.

  • How lowering your expectations will free you to pause and slow down easier.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration that holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired. If you are looking for more than just podcast episodes, this is definitely the place to go! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey, beautiful friends! Okay. I'm stoked for this interview. Nichole Nordeman is joining me today.

She has been such a role model for me in my life. When I was growing up, I had such an interest in music. I love music. I still do. It's a huge part of my life. When my parents saw that, they really encouraged me to listen to positive music, lots of Christian music. I was one of those kids who just dove all the way into the Christian rock scene and lots of Jars Of Clay, DC Talk, Amy Grant, and Nichole Nordeman, of course. She was an integral part of my faith as I was growing up.

I forgot to mention this when we actually did our interview, but one of her songs, a single called “Holy,” a beautiful worship song, we actually played at mine and Brian's wedding. It's just been a really big part of my life.

My best friend in the whole wide world growing up. We loved her and all those female Christian artists. We just looked up to them so much. We listened to her nonstop. We just love her. I told my friend, Juliette, that I was having her on. She was freaking out and was so excited. It's just a big deal, so I'm kind of nerding out today. I feel like Nichole is just such a specific part of my life. It's just funny and it's weird to be talking with her. I'm so excited!

Nichole is a Christian music artist. She has been for so long. She's just an amazing singer. She's also an incredible person. She handles being in the spotlight with such grace and I really admire her for that. She's a mother of two and now she's an author.

I have read over the last few weeks her book, Slow Down: Embracing the Everyday Moments of Motherhood. It is such a sweet read. If you're wanting to get back into reading after a break, if you've never really been a reader or you want a break from hitting the ground hard with self-help books and bettering yourself and all of those types of things, this is just a really great calm read.

It's one of those books you'd want to have on your bookshelf for all time to reference here and there when you need a reminder to really be present and just be with your kids. Nichole speaks so much grace in this episode. I love how she answers each question. It is so laced with grace and wisdom and this very calming vibe, for lack of a better word. This interview was great.

Let's welcome Nicole.

ALLIE: How are you today?

NICHOLE: Great. How are you today?

ALLIE: I'm so good. I'm on my fourth cup of coffee.

NICHOLE: Wow, that's impressive. I'm impressed.

ALLIE: It is my last day of work until a four-week break.

NICHOLE: That's so nice.

ALLIE: Yeah. I'm just in that place where I'm just tense and it's just been long, like constantly producing content. I just need a break.

NICHOLE: You’re crawling across the finish line right now with your coffee.

ALLIE: I'm so excited to have you here. You don't even know. You have been such a huge part of my life. Okay. The album, I think it was your second one where it's like your face and the wind is blowing your hair back.

NICHOLE: Um, yes there were a couple of fan-blowing covers as I recall.

ALLIE: If someone were to make a collage of “Allie’s growing up process” that photo of that album would have been on there because it was such a big part of my faith as I was getting older and right next to The Newsboys, DC talk.

NICHOLE: That's right. That's good company to keep.

ALLIE: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I just have to tell you this random story. (Daniel, if you want to edit this out, I won’t blame you.) Okay. So, when I was growing up, I really loved music and my parents really encouraged me to hear Christian music positives. And you were a huge part of that and, like I said, DC Talk. I started to want to go to concerts and my mom was like, “I'll take you,” but it was all like Jars Of Clay, and all of that.

And so, we went to this DC Talk concert and my mom is very extroverted, just the life of the party. She's a social butterfly. I’m like, “If I could just disappear...” That's why I like podcasting.

NICHOLE:  There's a nice little, safe, introvert buffer.

ALLIE:  Yes, exactly. And so, I'm there. I don't know how old I was, but I was young. Then all of a sudden three of the guys started to stage dive and go into the audience and I see Toby Mac coming up my aisle. I'm like, “No, I know what’s going to happen, no, no.” And my mom goes, “Oh my gosh, he’s coming. Touch him! Touch him!” We’re at a Christian concert. And she's like, “Touch him!” He comes up to the seat next to me and I'm just standing there and my mom shoves me over. I fall on the floor. And I remember looking up and Toby Mac just looking down at me and like “mouthing” because he didn't want his mic to pick up. {laughing} I just wanted to die! And that is the reason that I never saw you in concert because I did not want to go with my mom.

NICHOLE: Well and I don't do a lot of stage diving so that would not have been a problem for us. But that is such a great story and I hope you have the chance to tell him that story someday. That is amazing.

ALLIE: I hope so too. It was so embarrassing. So, I didn’t go to a lot of concerts after that with my mom.

NICHOLE: You’ll be talking about that in therapy for a while.

ALLIE: For sure! Oh my gosh. So, okay. So, you are a mom of two and you live in Tulsa, right?

NICHOLE: Yeah. I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma as we speak.

ALLIE: We did a year of RV traveling with the kids and we got caught in the scariest storm.

NICHOLE: Storms do not play around in Oklahoma. It took me a little while to figure that out because I grew up in Colorado and I lived in Texas for a while and Nashville for a while, but nothing like… I've just never experienced insane weather like Oklahoma. It is not playing.

ALLIE: Yeah, it was scary. And being on the road and in the camper… But after the weather cleared, we liked it.

NICHOLE: Once things stop flying through the air, it's a nice place to live.

ALLIE: Totally. Okay. So, your book, which I have in front of me and have had in front of me recently because I read it… Slow Down. It's based on a song that you wrote while you were at your son’s elementary school?

NICHOLE: It was his 5th grade graduation. I offered to sing at this little graduation thing for his 5th grade class and then I sort of forgot about it - forgot that I'd offered. And so, the night before I was like, “Oh crap! I have to sing something in front of middle schoolers,” which is a fate worse than death already because that's terrifying.

I was just trying to figure out what to sing. And I ended up making the mistake of pulling out albums of when he was a baby and reminiscing, just a major meltdown, walk-through memory lane, and I just wrote this song. It literally just poured out of me the night before his little graduation. I thought that was going to be the whole life of the song right there, just for Charlie and his class and that would be the end of it. But it grew into something a little bit more.

ALLIE: Yeah, and so it went viral, which I feel like even viral is kind of an understatement. What, it had like 30 million views or just under that or something like that?

NICHOLE:  On Facebook it had 70 million views I think. It was crazy. You don't ever aim for something like that because you'll never hit it. It was just a freak thing. It was so fun because it made me feel like, “Yeah, this is such a universal thing that parents feel. This is all going too fast and I can't slow it down. How do I make the most of every tiny, tiny moment?”

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'll put the link, for everyone listening, to the song, but it's rough.

It’s a tear jerker.

But your book is. I mean, I like it. It definitely is based on that but I love the action steps. We talked about that before we recorded. I’ll all about what are you going to do about this? How are you going to slow down and writing prompts, I guess, if you would describe it that way. So, I love it. It's so good.

But I wanted to ask you, how have you found ways to be “all there” and be present in the midst of the chaos?

NICHOLE: Yeah. And it doesn't stop being chaos. I remember a friend saying to me when I had little, little kids and they had older kids, I remember her saying, “You know, you end up trading physical exhaustion for emotional exhaustion.”

So, you're in that stage where it's, I haven't showered and it's diapers or it's toddlers or whatever, and you just think, “There's no end to this. I can't wait until they're more independent and grown up.” Then they are grown up and more independent and it takes on a whole other kind of chaos - a little bit of emotional chaos. Are we talking about important issues? Am I doing the right amount of balance between exposing them to “real world” and also sheltering them from stuff they don't need to be exposed to?

It's ongoing. I mean, I just think the chaos of motherhood is at every stage and age. I think sometimes for me self-compassion is a huge part of slowing down because I am a “type A” person. I like things a certain way. I have an idea in my head about how a moment should appear, whether it's a big moment like Christmas or a little moment like dinner around the picnic table outside, and I think just letting go of the standard is really important for me. Like this moment might not be exactly or at all like you thought it was going to be, and don't miss the beauty of that unraveling. Don't miss the goal that's in there just because it's not unfolding the way that you wanted it to, or the way your mom would have, or any of that stuff. Just have some self-compassion. You know what? It's okay. It's okay. It does not have to be perfect.

ALLIE: Yeah. It seems simple but it's really powerful. My daughter is getting a little older. She's nine. She's my oldest and my only girl, and I struggle with feeling like this has to be good cause she's my only girl…

And so, she wanted to go to Olive Garden, which I can eat basically nothing there. But we went there and I was thinking in my head on the drive, “This is going to be so great. We're going to talk about things that I want to talk about.” I was building up this expectation. We get there and I'm thinking she's been inching towards just getting ready for “the talk” and just how it all works. And so, I'm just wanting to pour into her.

All she wanted to talk about was horses and ponies, and the birthing process of horses, and how do you clean a hoof? I don't know if she thinks I'm a rancher but I was so irritated. It was ruining it.

She had to go the bathroom, and I'm standing in there and the Lord totally came over me and was like, “This is good. You don't want to hurry these big conversations. She's still interested in horses and ponies. Just be here for this because it's never going to come back.”

NICHOLE: That's so wise to recognize that and just shift your expectations, shift your focus instead of forcing a thing that was your anticipated moment and it didn't go as planned. I love that you just stayed open enough to let it become something else.

ALLIE: Yeah, and I love that you talk about that in the book too, that you're always waiting for the next thing. When are you going to be out of diapers? When are you going to eat solid food? Oh my gosh. Like my nipples. Please just stop.

NICHOLE: And when are you going to talk? When are you going to walk?

ALLIE: Yeah. I want to have girl talk. But you miss “right now” and it's so easy to get into that place. And then you said, ‘You've got these moments of pain, sadness and even guilt looking at photos and stuff. It's all going so fast. Wait a second, but you are the one who wanted to go to the next level.

NICHOLE: That's right. Yeah. When I first started having babies, I think there was Facebook, probably Twitter was just happening, but there wasn't this constant voyeurism of our lives. There wasn't Instagram. There wasn't Pinterest. There wasn't any of that. And I am thankful for that because I would have easily fallen into… it's soul death, I think, when we spend our lives lining ourselves up, our parenting up, and our children up with other people around us.

Even if it's in a celebratory way. Sometimes I can just scroll through Instagram and feel so bad about myself without even realizing it. About my appearance, about my kids, about my house, about my bank account, whatever it is. I think that's been a huge part of slowing down for me too, is just shutting that stuff down.

There's so much talk about making sure our kids are handling social media responsibly and that we're policing that and no one's policing us. What about us? Someone needs to be shutting my phone off and my computer off because it is so damaging, I think, to how we're living our lives.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And social media has been around for a while, but recently it's really become this outlet for advertisements and promotions. First of all, peeps be creeping on me because they know what I looked at my Amazon recently. But I've noticed that it's so fear based. What will happen when you retire? It's easy on my tv to just turn it off or whatever. But now, on social media, it's everything you scroll through. Are you being present with your kids? Get this APP. It’s a lot of negative. I mean, it's there so it works, but…

NICHOLE: Obviously it works. You're right because the advertisers have had to try to find different avenues to sell their stuff because people aren't watching tv live much anymore. So, yeah, they're just sneaking it in anywhere they can. They're incredibly creative and subtle.

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Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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ALLIE: Okay. So, I wanted to ask you about one of my favorite things that you say in the book. I highlighted the crap out of it because it was amazing how you say it. Talk about saying “I don't know” in response to your kids. Can you talk about that?

NICHOLE: Yeah. You know, I think that because I grew up in the church and I grew up in a Christian home and I was always really involved in church life, Christian culture, (I went to a Christian school for all of my education) I didn't hear a lot of uncertainty from my parents, from my pastors or teachers. There was always this approach to teaching me, whether it was in my home, in school, or church, that was like, “This is how it is. This is what the Bible says.” If this is the question, this is the answer. It was just so linear and I really was drawn to that because I'm sort of a linear person. And then, like so many of us, I get launched out into the real world. For me that was college.

I was completely unprepared to have a real conversation with real people about faith or about anything really because I had a script and if you didn't follow my script then I didn't know how to engage you. So, I learned the hard way the value of saying “I don't know,” because there are a lot of question marks. There's a lot of “gray” and I know this is an uncomfortable place for people who are Christians.

But I have found that in having real conversations with my kids when they want to ask me something that I don't understand, instead of just knee-jerking and pointing to a scripture or distracting with an anecdote or whatever, the coping skills that we do, I have just found there's tremendous strength and just saying “I don't really know.”

You know, there's big questions about creation, heaven, death and sorrow. I've got a 14-year-old and we're having conversations about sexuality, and there's a lot there that sometimes I lead when I can and I'm concrete when I can be. And a lot of times I just say, “I'm not really sure. I'm still learning about that too. Let's find out together. Let's keep asking questions.” I think that creates a much safer space than “It is what it is” you know?

ALLIE: Yeah. And it's a good diffuser too, as an adult talking to other adults, especially with Christianity and all that's going on. Everyone freaking out about so many things. You know, we don't all have to claim that we know and point beautiful scripture at each other, like daggers.

It's so powerful to get into that practice. I really liked how you said that. I think I was thinking about it. Bella's nine, but my boys are still little, my youngest is three, and I think I was noticing that the lack of “I don't know” comes from the questions that the little ones are asking. How do these Lego’s connect together? How do they make Legos? Well, they have a mold and they make it out of plastic, and so you do kind of know everything. And so, it kind of feels weird. It really is kind of all of a sudden. I don't know. It feels really humbling to say that to them.

NICHOLE: Yes. But think about how much more your kids will feel such an open door with you as they grow older and they are coming home from school or having conversations with their peers or whatever. They are really looking for transparency and honesty from you instead of just a regurgitated thing that they probably have heard a million times. I think that creates a lot of room for growth and it says “you're safe here not knowing. We can not know together.”

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. It just cultivates so much honesty and realness. I love that.

Can I ask you, aside from motherhood, how do you slow down for your own self? Self-care is kind of overused, but have you found that you translated this over to your own self at all?

NICHOLE: I try. I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I run a business. I run a home. There are days when it's just a complete disaster. It's just all garbage. And I would say I have no balance whatsoever. There are those days for sure.

But I think for me it's tiny moments. It's not like, “You know what? I need to book a spa day.” Okay. That's just not happening. It's just not happening in my life. I'm not booking a spa day. That's not time for myself. It's more like “I need 10 minutes - 10 minutes to walk around the block and just find center again.” Find myself again, take a deep breath.

For me, reading is huge and has been replaced so often by Netflix and TV shows. I always default to that now, and I used to default to books all the time. I'm trying to gravitate more towards reading. I feel like that's really good for my psyche and my spirit. It's calming, quiet, and it's not information in my face.

ALLIE: Well, it’s productive too, relaxing. You just feel better.

NICHOLE: Yeah, it's just little things. I love cooking. I love trying new recipes. Being in my kitchen with a glass of wine and making something new out of a cookbook is probably my favorite place to be ever. So, it's little stuff. Sometimes I'm great at it and other times I'm terrible at it.

ALLIE: Yeah. That's the best answer. It's hard when I asked that question and somebody has this elaborate, amazing answer. It sounds amazing but…

It’s just something little like taking the kids for a drive and putting the music up so they can't talk. Having a second. Something like that. We can all fit that in.

So, back to your book as we just kind of wrap up. I didn't know that it had other people in it too. It was really cool to read. It was like getting mommy advice from Shauna Niequist, Jen Hatmaker, Patsy Clairmont, Amy Grant. It was so great to read. Then you've got from you, your different “Hey, remember to slow down moments” from your own motherhood.

So, who was your favorite to have in there?

NICHOLE: Those are all friends of mine who were in the book and they are all also moms that I really admire. All those ladies have kids, you know? Amy Grant’s got a 30-year-old, and Natalie Grant has a 5-year-old. Those are all mothers that I really admire and I've been on tour with most of them.

Sitting in a tour bus or backstage, that's always what we ended up talking about is our kids. I just feel like over the years I've gleaned so much wisdom from those gals. I think it was just really powerful for me to get to kind of pick the best little nuggets that I could find from all those conversations and share them in this book. And I was so incredibly grateful and humbled that they would take the time to share as well.  

ALLIE: Yeah. And they're short and pointed, but like, “wow, that was a little truth bomb” in each one.

NICHOLE: Yes. Great little truth bombs all over for sure.

ALLIE: Okay. So, for someone listening who has maybe not had this realization of slowing down or has had it but didn't know what to do with it, how can we start to press pause and slow down?

NICHOLE: My mantra has really been “lower the bar.” I'm so tired of self-improvement things, books, podcasts, blogs. I feel like everybody is out to make more organized, thinner, happier, and whatever the thing is. And there's a space for all of that and I think it's great. But for me, lowering the bar in all areas of my life has just been so liberating.

I'm just not going to stress if it's not homemade. I am all about store bought. I'm all about being in the moment and not presenting a moment for everyone else. I did that for so many years where I would get to the end of a birthday party or Christmas and be like, “Well, I think that was awesome for everyone except me,” because you're just so busy creating a moment for other people.

So, I think maybe something concrete would be to make a list of all the areas in which you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water and then lower it by about 10 percent. Just lower the standard. Lower the expectations. Nobody dies. Everybody's just fine.

ALLIE: Yeah. It's okay to say “no.” It's okay to change your mind.

NICHOLE: It's more than okay. It's so important. It's such good modeling for our kids, for our children to hear us say, “I'm so sorry. I don't have room on my plate for that. I wish I did, but “no” has to be my firm answer.” That is huge modeling for them to learn how not to model the frayed, frantic mom who's spread so thin, serving and giving and just does everything for everyone else.

I don't want to model that for my kids. I want them to be servants and have giving hearts without giving up boundaries. I never had that growing up. So, I say just lower the standards and enjoy your life a lot more.

NICHOLE: Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I love that. Okay, so we're going to leave you guys there with those action steps.

We will link to the video for Slow Down (and the link also to some Kleenex on Amazon) and Nicole's amazing book. Guys, it's so good. It was such a sweet, easy read and just, oh my gosh, every page I read I just wanted to put it down and go sit on the floor with my kids. It was so good. Mission accomplished with what you were trying to do here. It is so good.

NICHOLE: I appreciate that. That means a lot to me. Thank you.

ALLIE: Thank you so much for your time and this awesome interview. I hope I will talk to you again.

NICHOLE: I do too and enjoy your break. Oh my gosh. You are actually going to slow down. You're really doing it.

ALLIE: I read this book over the last three weeks in bits and pieces and it was just like, “oh my gosh.” But I knew it was coming already and I just had to plug through, you know? You know how that is. You can’t just say “I need a break” and walk away. You have to plan it.

So, I knew it was coming and I'm just like, “Oh my gosh, I am so excited to breathe and not do all the things.”

NICHOLE: Good for you, girl. I'm happy for you.

ALLIE: Yeah. All right. Thank you.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 055: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About The Early Days Of My Blog

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This episode is really light and fun! I wanted to share with you some of the stories and moments from the early part of my days as a blogger that you don’t know. From starting as a family blog to learning how to make money without ads and sponsorships, there have been some really great (and funny!) moments along the journey. I am letting you in on some of the behind-the-scenes, funny, interesting, and inspiring stories. I look back and see how I evolved as a writer, as a blogger, and as a person, and never in a million years did I think my blog would bring so much light to the topic of minimalism and simple living. But here we are now, and I love every moment of it!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What the early days of her blog looked liked. (Did you know it was originally called The Casazza Family Blog?)

  • How she learned to make money from her blog without using ads or sponsorships.

  • Her transition from starting as an inspiring blog to a more tactile, actionable one.

  • What brought her to hire her first assistant and how that has helped her business grow.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! Oh my gosh, I am so looking forward to this episode. It’s gonna be so fun!

I had this idea when I was getting questions doing a really fun Instagram Live Q &A. I just can’t wait!

I put a list together of funny things and interesting things about the early days of my blogging journey. I came up with 13 things you probably didn't know about the early days of my blog. This will be super fun!

Okay. The first thing is it actually started in 2011 as a family newsletter. It was called The Casazza Family Blog. It looked terrible. It had a really generic background on it of blue sky and grass. It was just meant to keep family up-to-date on our life. I had just had Leland and I felt like things were just getting really crazy. I've got two babies now. I'm noticing that I'm busier than I used to be. I think it would be a good writing outlet (because I've always been a writer) to have a place to update everybody and have a family newsletter instead of sending out emails.

So, that's actually how this whole thing started, which I think is hilarious.

I remember writing the blog posts about when Leland was born, having a picture of his little feet in black and white, writing about the birth and updating everyone on how he was doing.

And side note, also fun fact. We actually used to spell Leland's name with two “e's” and then we changed it after he was a year old, to just one “e.” Who does that? I remember it was like “Leeland Cade’s Birth.” And it's just so funny and so ridiculous. It was just so funny. But, that's how it started.

A second fun fact is that after that I started really get the “blogging bug.” I've always been a writer and I found that I was able to write somewhere. It was a really great outlet for me. After the kids would go to bed, I started writing about my thoughts and feelings, what I was learning about marriage and motherhood and all these different things. And The Casazza Family Blog just felt, I don’t know, it didn't feel like it fit anymore, especially because in my mind it was a newsletter for family members. And so, I came up with a name, The Purposeful Housewife, and it turned into that later.

A third fun fact is that it was hosted on Blogspot. I don't know if you guys remember Blogspot. It was owned by Google. I don't even know if it still exists or if people are still using it, but it was the place to be back in the day.

My website was thepurposefulhousewife.blogspot.com because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get my own URL. I didn't know anything. So, it was hosted on Blogspot. It was super beta and it's so funny. I used the generic backgrounds and themes and a barely readable font. And I thought I was so amazing and so cool.

I was blogging all of these things that I was learning about and I remember that time as a time where I was so in love with blogging. It was a fun time, but I did not realize how little I knew.

Next fact is I once spent two weeks trying to figure out how to get my own URL and that is basically “Blogging 101.” It is so incredibly straightforward. It's hilarious that I spent weeks trying to figure that out. And I remember I didn't even end up figuring it out. It stayed the .blogspot.com for a long time because I couldn't figure it out.

Next thing is it used to have music on it. So, you would go to my blog and it's an instrumental version of, I don't know, some One Republic, like Happy Song, used to play and you would be listening to music while you read about what I was learning as a wife that month. About the day that I figured out that if I was feeling really down and stuck, that if I just packed the kids up, wore my baby and went to the park, it would turn into a really good day.

And I wrote about how I liked being outside. How I found that if we would just get out of the house, the day would get better. All of these super basic things that I was learning as a new mom. You would be listening to music, and it was just hilarious.

The sixth thing is that my blog actually used to read kind of like a devotional. It wasn't very practical. It was very deep and really devotional-based. And now it's way more tactical, practical tips, action-oriented things.

I have thought about this a lot. Why did it change? Why was it so different back then? I realize it changed because that's just where my writing naturally took me as time went on.

When you do something over and over and over again, when you're writing all these different times week after week for years, you change. You learn things. You adapt and you become a certain type of writer. That's naturally how I evolved as a writer, as a blogger, as a person.

I also realize that that's the type of person that I am. I'm a really blunt, logical, practical person. If somebody comes to me with a problem, I listen. I'm there and I'm really empathetic. I'll often cry for my friend and they're not even crying yet. I am a good friend and I can listen. Then I get like, “Okay, what are we going to do about this?”

I've had so many times in my life where I'll be like, “You know what? I'm just really not happy with the way things are going right now. I'm going to change my entire life.” And I will do it. I'm passionate about taking action in my own life and helping other people actually do something about their problems and take action.

So, I think as I matured and got deeper into motherhood and deeper into writing, this is what I evolved into. It is really interesting to think about things like that.

Number seven is the pictures on my blog were actually stolen and illegal because that's how clueless I was. So, you're not allowed to just Google “pictures of a sad woman” and then save the image to your computer and use it in a blog post. That's illegal. You don't have the rights to do that. You have to get the photos from a location that says “it's okay to take our photos and use them on your website,” where the copyrights allow for that. And I did not know about that. So, for a long, long time the pictures on my tiny little blog were illegal and nobody really noticed because nobody was watching me.

But I do remember one day I had a blog post that was a really reflective blog post about an older couple that I had a conversation with. It was about marriage and I had googled “picture of an old couple” and there was a really beautiful picture of an old man kissing the forehead of his elderly wife. It was really sweet and I used the photo on that blog post and that blog post gained some traction.

It was actually my first blog post ever that went somewhere in the internet. It didn't go viral or anything, but it got to more than five people and that was a big deal for me. It got to hundreds of people and people were passing it around. They really liked it. And I remember getting an email in my inbox that day that was like, “Hey, you need to take this photo down. You don't have the rights to use it. It's mine.” And I freaked out! So, fact number seven, my pictures used to be illegally stolen because that's how clueless I was.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened.

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Number eight. I freaked out so bad the first time someone recognized me in public. So, you can kind of tell that these are getting different as my blogging journey progressed. I remember at this point I had figured out how to have my own URL and it was thepurposefulhousewife.com. My blog was there and I was blogging really regularly but it was still nothing. Hardly anybody was watching my stuff, reading my stuff. I remember I went to Kaiser, through our insurance, and I was waiting to take one of our kids to the doctor and this woman came up to me as the nurse was calling me back and she was like, “I just have to tell you I love your blog.”

I literally stood there like an idiot and just stared straight ahead. I didn't know what to say. I was shocked. I was embarrassed. I was taken aback and I just didn't even know. I just stood there and I think I muttered something like “thanks,” like super blunt. It was really awkward. Then I went into the doctor's office. Later, that same woman sent me a message and she was like, “I am the one who said “hi” to you at the doctor. I hope I didn't freak you out. I hope I wasn't rude; you seemed really taken aback. I'm really sorry and I just love your stuff so much.”

We actually ended up forming a friendship and we joke about it all the time. So, Jeanette, if you're listening - that was really awkward and I've never been that awkward in my entire life. It just shocked me and I freaked out. I went home and was hyperventilating to Brian. “Somebody recognized me. I didn't know this was going to happen. Oh my gosh.”

And you know what's even funnier? I still struggle with it, the public-eye thing. It freaks me out. When you start a blog, you're not thinking that that's going to happen. You're just blogging. But then if it evolves and becomes something - that happens. (Side note, I probably wouldn't have done this if I would've known that was going to happen because I'm so introverted.)

I'm better now. I'm used to it. It happens every week and I'm nice. I love meeting you guys and I'll hug you, take a picture with you and it's super fun. But oh my gosh, I freaked out so bad. It sent me careening into an introvert freak-out. So that was another fun fact.

The next one is one time I made $30 from having Google Adspend on my blog, which is like super old and ghetto. I was really excited. I took my money and I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a book about switching to Wordpress and not using Blogspot anymore because that was kind of like “more legit” than Blogspot. And I wanted to be more legit, really bad. So, I went and got that book.

I studied that book. It was thicker than my dining room table. It was everything about Wordpress. I studied that book like I was studying for the Bar Exam. I, like, cram-session studied that book. I learned everything about Wordpress. Then I made the switch to Wordpress and I hated it more than anything. It lasted less than a month. It was a huge waste of time. That's just one of those things that happened as a blogger.

Next fun fact. I actually taught myself everything. I even taught myself how to code, which people go to school for years for that and get paid upwards of $200,000 a year to know how to do that. And I know how to do that. I taught myself how to do that because this was the days before Squarespace. Squarespace will code for you. So, I actually use Squarespace now and if you want to start a blog go with Squarespace. It's the best.

But yeah, I taught myself how to do everything. I know everything about Pinterest. Growing your blog through Pinterest. I know everything about coding a website. I know how to edit photos and do photography for a blog. I know how to grow on any social media platform. I learned everything because I was dedicated to growing and I couldn't afford to pay anybody.

Next fun fact. I freaked out. I was so happy. I celebrated with a cake at my house with my husband and my kids when I hit 500 followers because I thought I had “made it.” I was so excited and so proud. It was a huge goal for me. (Side note, later I went to a blog event and I realized that these other bloggers had tens of thousands of followers and I was so embarrassed that I had celebrated that. Like I just wanted to die. It was really embarrassing.)

Okay. Number 12. After that blogging event that I just mentioned, I came across an article that had featured some of the bloggers who were there and I learned that they had brought their husbands home from their jobs with the money that they made from their blogs. But it was because they put ads on their websites, they had sponsored posts, affiliate links and all that, and I really didn't want to do that.

So, I decided then and there that day, that I was not going to stay at 500 followers. I was going to celebrate tens of thousands one day and I, too, was going to figure out a way to bring my husband home from my blog, but I was going to find a way to do it without selling out with ads and sponsorships because I felt and I still feel, (that's why I don't have paid sponsors for the podcast) that it dims the quality of my work, my website, and my content.

Back then this was impossible. It didn't exist. If you wanted to make money blogging, you had to have ads and banners on your site. You had to do affiliate links and make little tiny bits of money in huge ways and that didn't exist. There was no other way. But I was determined and I made a goal to find a way. Later my courses were born.

My site now brings in seven figures. Brian and I run the company from home together. Dreams can happen, so keep going.

Number 13. The last fun thing that I'm going to share with you about the early days of my blog journey is the first person that I ever hired was Kena. She is my assistant. I was curled up on the floor in my room after going viral.

I had over 2000 emails in my inbox and some of them were really mean and abrasive and I had never dealt with that before. I was so freaked out. I was introverting hard. I didn't know what to do or how to get to all of them.

My Instagram was blowing up. I was so freaked out and overwhelmed.

I posted in a Facebook group for entrepreneurs. I was basically rocking back and forth in the fetal position and just posted like, “Oh my gosh, help!” And Kena was one of the many people who reached out to me.

Something just jumped out at me about her. I called her and I hired her on the spot. She got through all my emails in like two days. She promised me she would never not let an email go more than 48 hours (two business days) without answering it. And more than two years later, she still handles all my emails for me.

She's the best customer service representative of all time. She responds to the rudest people so kindly. She is one of my biggest supporters. She’s seen me through TV appearances, virality, public humiliations, introvert freak-outs, major business triumphs, goal failing and goal reaching of all kinds. She was my first hire and I just adore her.

So, if you’re ever sending me and email, say “hi” to Kena for me.

And that is 13 things you probably didn't know about the early days of my blog. It's so funny to see how things can turn out from starting a family newsletter in 2011. I hope that this was fun for you guys to hear.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 054: The Secret Thing I Do To Actually Reach My Goals

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If you have listened to my podcast or followed me for any amount of time you know that I love setting goals and I am really intentional about reaching my goals! When I sit down before New Years, I write out one word that I want to focus on for the next year and write my goals around that word, then I jump into the year working hard to achieve those goals. But - here is the big secret - I don’t forget about them throughout the year! I think it's really easy to abandon your goals and your intent for the New Year once it's not the New Year anymore. It’s easy to not think about it again until the next New Year comes around and everyone starts to get reflective again. We fall into this pattern of life really happening and goals are forgotten. The difference between people who actually reach goals and people who just set resolutions is how often they come back to their goals to check in on them and how often they reflect on what their intention and purpose was for the year. So, by revisiting your goals throughout the year, you are setting a pace for yourself to actually achieve your goals and be intentional with your focus for the year.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The importance of setting intention and purpose to your goals.

  • How revisiting your New Year’s Goals throughout the year will help you achieve your goals and become an action taker.

  • Ways to make decisions throughout the year that help you focus on your intent and purpose for the year.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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I wan to help you refocus on your goals, which is why I created this FREE guide to checking in on your goals! It's really like journal prompts, thought prompts, and heart prompts that will help you reflect and ask yourself important questions.  I want you to take action on achieving your goals this year! It's so important. You're going to know who you are, where you're at, where you want to go, and exactly what steps you're going to take to get yourself there. That's really, really powerful!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! I want to talk to you today about something that I think is kind of unique. It's something that I do in my personal life. It’s actually something that I'm passionate about.

It’s coming back to what your goal, your word, or your intent was for the year you're currently living back in January when New Years was coming around and you were setting your goals, making resolutions. Coming back to that halfway through the year, and actually multiple times throughout the year, and checking in and asking yourself, where am I at? Am I living that out? Did I forget about it? What can I do to get back on track and get intentional with where I wanted to take myself this year? I think it's really, really important to do that.

This is the difference between people who actually reach goals and people who just set resolutions because they have “fresh start syndrome” and everyone else is doing it around New Years. But then they walk away, head back into their norm and they never really change anything or get anywhere that they want to go.

So, at the end of every year - and it's actually my favorite time of year, the week after Christmas - I think the world gets weird and antsy at that week. It's kind of a weird, no-man's land. It's not the holidays anymore, but it's also not the New Year yet. It's actually one of my favorite weeks of the year, if not my absolute favorite week of the year. I love the day after Christmas because my family and I keep it low key. We purge a bunch of stuff because the kids just got toys from relatives for Christmas so we let go of a bunch of old toys.

The kids are super willing to let go of things because they just got new stuff. I've talked about that before. That's the best day of the year to purge. (And side note, I always have a big sale on my course that day to help you purge.) But anyway, it's just a really great day to let go and prune back what's unnecessary. To make space for all the new stuff you got physically and also make space in your heart for the new coming year.

I love the last week of the year. I get very reflective and I look back at the year I am wrapping up. I look at the decisions that I made, the person that I became because every year brings you into a new season.

It brings you into a new piece of the person that you are. I would get my journal out and be very reflective. I get really prayerful. I look ahead at the coming year. I dig deep and find where do I want to go this next year? What were the problems with this year? What were the triumphs of this year? And I ask the Lord, “Where do you want to take me? “What do you want me to focus on this year?” And He always helps me come up with a word or an intent for the coming new year.

It's just my favorite time. It's a really sweet week for me. I always feel extra close to God and really centered and confident in who I am as a person and in where I'm going.

I love a good, fresh start as much as the next person. But I really like to get intentional with this time of year.

Instead of setting resolutions, I usually pick something that I want to focus on. And that was “enjoy.” I really had it on my heart that the Lord really wanted me to rest and relax after a year and a half of working my butt off, hustling hard to grow my business and make it what it is today. It was time to sit back and let myself be restored, quiet that hustle a little bit, and just enjoy what I had built. Enjoy my family more. Enjoy all the people that I hired. Enjoy the fact that I created jobs for people, for moms who can now stay home with their kids. Enjoy the fact that I'm homeschooling my kids. Just enjoy the life that I have been given.

And so, that was something that I set, and headed into 2018 focusing on.

I think it's really, really easy to abandon your goals and your intent for the New Year once it's not the New Year anymore. It’s easy to not think about it again until the next New Year comes around and everyone starts to get reflective again. You catch that bug and think, “Okay, what happened this year and what do I want to do next year?”

You fall into this pattern of life really happening to you, your year happening to you. Then after it's happened to you and all is said and done, you look back at it from a standpoint of a lack of control and you're like, “Okay, what do I want for this year?”

You have this grip of control over the coming year because it hasn't happened yet. Life is chaotic and crazy and life happens. Things out of your control take place.

And, of course, I totally get that. But I really want to live my life on purpose. I really want to live an intentional life of trust in the Lord, but also of not being a person who sits back and let things happen to her.

So, I like to come at my year with a sense of purpose and intent, not a control-freakness where I've got this tight grip on my life and I'm just like, “Oh my gosh, I have to make sure I have a say in every single thing that happens.” I'm actually really a mellow person, but I'm just intentional.

I don't want you to confuse intent with controlling.

Anyway, I'll do this multiple times throughout the year, but especially over the summer. It's the halfway point of the year and I get pretty reflective and prayerful again, a little bit extra and more intentional in the summer.

I'll circle back to what my intent was at the beginning of the year and ask myself, “Where am I? Is there anything that I'm doing that doesn't align with what I wanted? With what I know that God put on my heart, with what I know my focus was supposed to be for this year?”

Then I'll journal it out a little bit and pray through it for a week or two and be thinking and looking at my life extra closely. What's on my calendar? What's on my task list? What's in my Trello boards? What's going on in my life? Our homeschool? In my business? What's on my calendar? What am I spending my time on? Putting it under the microscope of my intent at the beginning of the year and asking myself, “Is this enjoying? Is this purposeful? Is this aligned with what I am supposed to be focusing on this year?”

Then I'll make decisions. Now, I'm going to give you some examples from recently as I've done this halfway through my year, but just know they are a little bit, I don't know, intense and it's not normally like this.

Usually there's just things like what I noticed that I really wanted to focus on, like cultivating more joy in my life. “I never hang out with my best friend and I miss our regular coffee dates. I'm going to text her and see if we can set up a regular coffee date again because I'm really not being intentional with my friendship with her, and that brings me a lot of joy and really fills my life with happiness and I want to do that.”

There'll be little things like that. But this year I actually had quite a few things that I felt like this isn't really serving me. It's not things that I really started up this year, but just things that were a normal part of my life, maybe from the year before, that I noticed, you know what, these are really sucking my energy, draining me and making me not able to live the intent that I had for this year and it's really on my heart to let these things go.

Usually there are things that will let other people down a little bit, or maybe make you afraid of what people will say or think. Or disappoint somebody. Or it may be even scary for you to let go of because they've been a part of your life for so long. Or you've attached your identity to these things.

For example, maybe you are really feeling led to homeschool, but you don't know anything about homeschooling. Your kids are in 5th and 3rd grade. They’re older and you have no idea how to do this. They've been in school their entire lives, and so making that decision can be terrifying honestly.

I think you're getting intentional. Again, you're circling back to what your intent was. Asking yourself, looking at your life and your calendar through this lens is really powerful.


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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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So, getting back to more of a personal version of this example is my word for the year was “enjoy” and I started to look at what was on my calendar, my work list, what I've been spending my time on and one thing really popped out at me. That was The Purpose Society. So, The Purpose Society is a monthly membership community that I started last year in August. It was something that I'd wanted to do for a really long time. It actually took me a while to get it up. It took a lot of planning, a lot of time and energy, some money to start up. I really poured my heart into it.

I actually really enjoyed The Society. It's not something that I ever felt like, “Whoa! I really don't like this. I really want to cut it off.” But as I was reflecting, as I was praying, giving my life and my schedule over to the Lord in prayer and asking Him, “What is not aligning with “enjoying” this season of my life?”

Because as a believer, I really believe that God puts certain intents, and certain words, and goals on my heart at the beginning of the year because He knows what's going to come this year. He knows what's going to come next year. He knows what happened last year. He knows what my soul needs this year.

It's really important to stay with that intent and not abandon it because you forgot, because it's no longer a New Year. So, I know the word “enjoy” was imprinted on my heart so deeply. I know that that's what He gave me. I know that it's important for me to stay there.

So, The Purpose Society jumped out at me and I was just praying and journaling through it and I realized The Purpose Society is the lowest branch of income in the business. It really doesn't do much compared to the rest of my business. It is the most time and energy consuming branch of the business. I also noticed that I would pour things into The Purpose Society and then, in turn, would not be able to pour into the rest of my business. It was just really depleting me.

It also didn't seem like a really wise business decision either. I found myself just really pouring a lot of time into it, really feeling drained. I know that we're going to be adopting either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, depending on when things finalize. And I just felt like I really need to clear my plate. The Purpose Society really jumped out at me as something that would maybe need to be pruned.

So, after I prayed about it - I actually ended up praying about it for about a month - I really felt sure this is a decision that I need to make. I knew that I would be letting down about a thousand people. It was going to be hard. I don't like to disappoint people. I also have a hard time admitting failure or defeat. And for some reason, this felt like that to me even though it's not.

I really had a hard time saying that this is what I was going to do, that this was a problem for me and that it wasn't in line with my purpose and my intent, and it was really feeling like something that I needed to let go of.

It actually went really, really well. Super smooth. Everybody understood and everyone was so kind to me. It was really, really well received.

As soon as it was let go, (which was really recent, it was just last month) I felt it. I felt like “Yes, total peace. This was a good decision.” I had so much extra time every week. Over the course of each month now I have so much more time and I'm able to really enjoy every aspect of my business.

I have more time to enjoy my family. I have less on my to-do list. I set myself free and I got so much time back. It was a really good decision.

Another decision that I made through my mid-year reflection was to take June off of work completely. There were a couple of appointments I couldn't move, but starting June 5th, I took over three weeks, almost the entire month, off of June. That was hard for me to do because my work doesn't feel like work to me. I love what I do. I love who I serve. I love you guys. I love being involved with you. I love creating content. Coming up with episode ideas, writing blog posts. Coming up with video ideas with my husband. I love what I do, but I need a break every now and then.

I realized that I had been working pretty relentlessly for about 19, 20 months without a break at all and that's not good. That's not intentional. And so, I realized I really needed to make some time for some time off. I scheduled three weeks off of work completely and it was so soul-fulfilling for me. It was so good and I really needed it.

Another thing that I'll do when revisiting my goals for the year is simplifying what I'm aiming for for the year.

This is a really personal episode, so I hope it's not seeming narcissistic that I'm talking about myself, but that's all I can really pull from because I only know what my intent for the year was. I don't know what yours is. You can take what I'm saying and apply it to your own life, of course.

There were a lot of goals that I had for this year that I realized were great. They would be so productive. They would be so good. They would make my audience thrilled to have all these amazing new things from me. But, they wouldn’t really allow me to enjoy the year, enjoy my family and enjoy my business.

It would be more like last year - lots of hustle, lots of work, lots of breaking things out and going crazy, being really busy and really full. And so, I let go of some things that were hard for me to let go of.

There was a course that I wanted to create that I put away till next year. I could do it and I would enjoy it, but it wouldn't let me enjoy my family as much and it would really cram my schedule full. So, I let it go. There were a lot of things like that.

Revisit your goals for the year. The goals that you've created in the last 5, 6 or 7 months - do they reflect what your original intent was? What you knew in your heart you needed to focus on this year? Kind of revisiting that, pruning those. Letting go of things, even if they're good things, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're good for you right now.

Also taking a look at what's obligatory? Is there anything obligatory that's on your calendar all the time that you're doing on a regular basis that's just not serving you? It's not about being selfish and creating a life that’s so fun all the time. I believe we're here to serve other people. That's my entire business.

There’s a difference between serving other people and loving on them and being a good human being and just running yourself ragged doing things for other people. Constantly volunteering for things and signing up for things, ignoring your family because you're giving so much that you're just exhausted all the time.

Take a look at how you're spending your time and ask yourself, “Does this reflect the intent I had for this year? Is this where I want to be halfway through this year? Is this where I wanted to go?” Again, intentionally looking is the difference between people who actually reach goals and people who just set resolutions from “fresh start syndrome” and then walk away and head back into their normalcy.

I created something that will help you guys do this for yourselves because we are about halfway through the year still and you can totally do this. You can do this at any time.

Like I said, I do this several times a year, but at the very least once halfway through, usually I do it every quarter if I'm really being intentional and really on top of it. But you know, it just depends on what's going on that year and the season of life that I'm in.

But we're about halfway through the year right now and I created a worksheet. It's really like journal prompts, thought prompts, heart prompts, I guess, that will help you reflect and ask yourself important questions like, “What was my intent for this year in January? How have I kept with that? How have I strayed from it? What's going on in my life that doesn't reflect this goal? How can I get back to where I want to be?” All those types of things and it really helps you work through things.

There's space for you to type or write. You can do this on your computer or you can print it out and fill it out, pen and paper style. It's really helpful. I've been doing this for years and I know what questions you need to ask yourselves to get intentional in this way.

So you can download that in the show notes, which would be alliecasazza.com/shownotes/54. Go get that. It’s totally free. It's on there and it'll really help you because I want you to take action on this. It's so important. You're really going to see a difference in yourself. You're going to know who you are, where you're at, where you want to go, and exactly what steps you're going to take to get yourself there. That's really, really powerful!



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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

EP 053: Defining & Creating Happiness with Gretchen Rubin

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How do you define happiness? What are ways that you find happiness? You don’t need to spend a lot of time, money or energy to find happiness. Not everyone can uproot their lives and travel the world - most of us have kids who need us at home! Simple changes to your daily habits, a deeper investment into the relationships in your life, or putting self care as a priority are all ways that you can boost your happiness daily. You just have to decide that you are going to find ways to be happier right in the middle of usual. Which is why I brought Gretchen Rubin on the show for this specific topic! Gretchen is a wife, mom of 2 daughters, co-host of The Happier Podcast, and a New York Time bestselling author. She uses her platform to help others find their happiness, create good habits, and cultivate a more inner calm. And I know she is going to help guide you to defining and creating happiness in your life!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Gretchen Discuss:

  • Ways you can find happiness - without a lot of time, without a lot of energy, without a lot of money - in the ordinary parts of your day.

  • How your habits impact your happiness and how you can use them as an engine to fuel your happiness.

  • The important connection between happiness and relationships because doing anything to deepens your relationships, is very likely to boost your happiness.

  • Finding happiness in self care and why you should not feel guilty for it.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show. I am sitting here with Gretchen Rubin. Welcome, Gretchen! Thank you so much for being here. I'm excited to dive in with you.

If you don't know, Gretchen is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Happiness Project, which I have right here, and you've since started a podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin and it's amazing.

I am a podcast producer, but I don't listen to many of them. Yours is one of the two that I listen to on a regular basis. I love it. It's so important.

GRETCHEN: That's so nice to hear. I do it with my sister and we have so much fun doing it together.

ALLIE: Yeah, you guys are fun. Before we dive in, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?

GRETCHEN: Sure. I live in New York City, but I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I'm married. I have two daughters, one who just went off to college this year. It was bittersweet. And then one who's in seventh grade, so she's still in middle school. We got a dog, which I talked about a lot on the podcast, us trying to decide whether or not to get a dog. Big spoiler alert. We did get a dog.

I've written several books about happiness, good habits and human nature, The Happiness Project, and Happier At Home, which is all about specifically how to be happier at home. And a book called Better Than Before, which is all about how to change your habits. That's something that a lot of people want to do in order to make themselves happier. I've written a book called The Four Tendencies, which is all about a personality framework that I discovered in the world about whether people are Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, or Rebels.

And then I have a book coming out in March called Outer Order, Inner Calm which is all about little fun ideas to get more outer order, if you are one of those people who feels like outer order gives you more inner calm.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. You're amazing. So many books. That's awesome.

Diving into The Happiness Project, I love how you say in your book, it might even be in the introduction, that you say that so many people have gone before you on this pursuit of happiness and that a lot of them, especially some of them were famed (I mean they're not called a happiness project, but that's what they are) involved a big uprooting of life, like Elizabeth Gilbert moved to, I think, three or four different countries. But you didn't really want to do that, first of all, and then also you admittedly couldn't just because your kids were probably much younger when you were doing this and your life, so you decided to find ways to become happier right in the middle of the usual, which I think is, is so powerful. And as a mom, I appreciate you doing that and writing a book on it because we can't all just move to Bali.

GRETCHEN: As I've gotten deeper and deeper into the study of happiness, one of the things that's really encouraging is that I think for just about everyone, there's a lot of low hanging fruit. There's a lot of stuff we can do - without a lot of time, without a lot of energy, without a lot of money - just as part of our ordinary day that can really significantly boost happiness.

And so, it's not like you have to have the emotional or the physical wherewithal to do something huge because a lot of times it's really the little things that can add up to make a very significant difference.

ALLIE: Yeah, and it's really empowering. It's exciting to read about stories like that, big, grand stories, but it can also be, discouraging is the wrong word, but just a little like, “Oh, well how can I get that?”

GRETCHEN: It is hard to see how to translate it in your own situation sometimes when what they're doing is so exotic, extreme and colorful, and you're like, “Yeah, but I've got carpool at 7:15 in the morning. I don't really see how I am going to fit that in.”

I remember a woman said to me, “I feel like a 10-day silent meditation retreat would make me really happy, but my husband isn’t sure that he wants to be left home with the five kids.” I can kind of see both perspectives there.

ALLIE: So for your year-long happiness project (you did 12 months) an area of your life was dedicated to each month. I feel like a lot of them as I was reading the book, kind of branched off into other areas a little bit. You covered a wide range of things in some of the months, but really you were giving attention to one area of your life for the full month, keeping yourself from getting distracted by the other things and giving that your focus. And so just curious, what was your favorite month?

GRETCHEN: Wow, that is a really good question. I mean, I loved the month of eternity because I love studying my spiritual master St Therese of Lisieux, so that was really wonderful and transcendent.

I would say most of the things that I talk about are really super concrete, you know, they're like the one-minute rule - anything you can do in less than a minute to do without delay. And so, it was sort of fun me to do something like study the life of St Therese. And by the way, I'm not even Catholic. I knew nothing about St Therese until I read her memoir and was like, “Oh my gosh, she's my spiritual master.”

I loved the month of energy, which was January, because I thought, “Well if I just had more energy, everything in my life would be easier.” Absolutely true. And I would say like as the years have gone by, I'm very, very focused on things that go to my energy because I just realize it's so much easier to do all the things that I know will make me happier if I feel like I have the energy. If you're just exhausted then you don't have the energy to do an arts and crafts project with your child or to plan a party or to go to your reunion. It just seems like too much trouble.

And then I love reading. I had a whole month that was really about just getting more reading into my day. I love that. I'm working on trying to make sure I have enough time to read.

Relationships. I had one for my family, one with my marriage to my husband. Those were really nice. They really paid off.

I think I would keep going until I hit all 12 because I really did love them all. It was a wonderful exercise. Everything made me happier.

ALLIE: The reading one was particularly inspiring. I love to read, but I have four kids and my oldest is nine, so they're all very little. They were all born within five years and it's crazy. I mean really it's an excuse because we can fit in what we want to fit in. I'm watching the office, I plowed through those.

GRETCHEN: Oh my gosh. Let's talk about the office. I can throw it down. I have seen the office so many times.

It’s interesting that you say that though, because then I went onto write a book about habits. And it was interesting to me (and encouraging to people like you and me who love to read) how many people had that as a habit that they really wanted to change. Many, many, many people want to read more. I actually did a one sheet (and it's on my website if anybody wants it) that's ideas for how you can get more reading done. I was very surprised. I didn't know that so many people like to read as much as they do, but a lot of people really do want to bring it back in.

But you're right, it's easy for it to get crowded out. So, I think there are tips that you can use. The easiest tip is don't read anything that you don't like. I used to feel like I had to finish a book if I started it and now I drop it at any point. Then you like what you’re reading more and you have more time to read the things you like. It really makes reading much better. But a lot of people have this feeling that you shouldn't stop. There’s no “book police.”  

ALLIE: I think chapters were always a big thing that held me back. “I have to finish this chapter. I can't read the whole chapter, so I just won't.” Reading a page or two is progress.

You've mentioned January was one of your favorite months and that is the one I really want to dive into. I think I read that chapter two or three times because it was right what I love to talk about. It really hit home as part of my personal story. Letting go of the clutter. That was the first thing you decided to tackle. I think for my story too, it all started out of desperation and not really knowing what to do. Just purging that physical clutter and then seeing how that carried over into every area of my life.

For our listeners, how do you think that taking on your physical, literal space first helped you in this happiness project?

GRETCHEN: Well, I mean you’ve seen the same thing. I think it's weird and kind of mystical, our feeling of connection to the objects around us, to our possessions. There's something about when you feel like your possessions are out of control, or you don't really know what you have, or things are out of place, don't fit, don't suit, you don't like them, or you don't even know what they are. “What is that chord? I have no idea.”

I remember I took a pair of pants out of my husband's closet. He's like, “I've never seen that pair of pants before in my life.” I'm like, “I don't know who snuck in here and put them in, but…” You feel out of order. You feel more self-possession when you feel in control of your possessions.

It’s just making space. When it's easier to hang up your coat. When you can shove a bureau drawer closed neatly. When food is put away nicely. You feel more composed. You feel calmer. You have less frustration. You know where to find your keys. You're not scrambling all the time.

I wrote about this in Happier At Home. There are certain places in our homes which feel like us. Your bedroom feels like you in a way. Making your bed makes you feel more like yourself. The kitchen has a special role; it's not some random arm chair. Your kitchen is special. Your desk is special. Your car is special to you, it reflects on you in some way.

And so, I think getting control of it, having it look good, having it feel like it's everything you need, use or love. Feeling that connection.

It's funny asking people about this, how often people will have places in their homes or even their apartments (because I live in New York City) that are untouched, that get neglected. For whatever reason it's like, “I don't know why we never really used that room. I don't know why that closet became this junk black hole that nobody ever goes in or out, like Willy Wonka’s factory.” Why is that?

Or  “Ooo, it’s scary under the kitchen sink. I don't want to go under there.” Deal with that stuff. You’ll feel so much more self-possessed.

ALLIE: Yeah. You talk a lot about taking something on. I think we avoid things a lot, like clutter. I see it every time I work with somebody. They’re avoiding it. They know that it's a problem. They don't like it. They're not happy at home, but they’re just avoiding it because it seems overwhelming.

And particularly in that chapter you talked about how it was funny how it seemed like this big thing and it really wasn't that big of a deal. So, for somebody that may be feeling like that – “I just avoid it; I have kids; it's so much to take that on” - what would you say to that kind of mindset?

GRETCHEN: Well, I think one of the things to remember is there's all kinds of different ways to approach this. You want to do it in a way that feels right for you. This is one of my objections to Marie Kondo. I found Marie Kondo very charming. I love the book. I got rid of a lot of stuff after reading the book. But she's so clear that there is one way and her way is the right way. I think for a lot of people if they just took everything out of a closet and put it on the floor, they'd freak out. It wouldn't make anything better, you know?

I think sometimes you do little things. A shelf, just do one shelf in a medicine cabinet if that's all you feel like you can do. Just do one shelf, just do one shelf in your kitchen.

And then there are things that you can do as you go that help keep clutter away. One that works really well is the one-minute rule. Anything you can do in less than a minute do without delay. Hang up a coat. Rip open a letter, scan it and toss it. Put the milk back in the refrigerator. Shut a drawer. All these little things add up. They get rid of the “scum” on the surface of life. It really makes it feel much more possible to do a bigger job because you're not so burdened down by these little jobs.

Another thing, a friend of mine told me to do this and I have been amazed at how effective it is, is always take one thing with you when you go from one room to another. You don't have to put something away. So, if I have my sweater, it's not like I'm taking my sweater all the way from the front door to my closet, but I'm just going to move it as far as I can naturally take it as part of wherever I'm moving in my apartment. The thing that's weird is how much faster it is to put things away because everything's gradually moving to its place. Then you don't have to set aside an afternoon because you've been doing it along the way. Now kids make it hard. Kids are like a whole other level of clutter, but those are some ways that you can keep clutter more under control as you go.

ALLIE: Actually, after reading your book for this interview, I thought about some of the things you say like, “Okay, yeah, that wouldn't work in our home because we have little kids, but I can branch off of that and I got inspired to problem-solve basically. And one thing that I did was I went and bought this really cute wicker basket for next to my stairs downstairs and it's pretty good. So now anytime anything is down stairs that goes upstairs, just goes in the basket and everybody lifts the basket upstairs and puts things away. It's the smallest tweak and it has changed the house and the way I feel.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely. Absolutely that just having things ready to be moved like that I think can be huge. And that's one of the things that's really fun is sometimes the smallest little tweak. For us, nobody would ever hang up their coat. And I was the worst of anybody. I hate hanging things up so there were coats everywhere and it just looks very messy. But then when we moved from one apartment to the next I got four hooks put in each closet door. So, we have hooks everywhere. It's huge because it turns out that people won't be bothered to hang up their coats, but they will put their coats on a hook, or if I put their coat on a hook, it just takes one second.

It's just this one little investment of time and a tiny bit of investment of money, ends up being having kind of a disproportionate benefit in terms of the overall way that our house looks.

Now that we have a dog, which we got a couple of years ago, I get up in the morning and take him for a walk and I've fallen into the habit every morning of tidying up. I used to tidy up before bed, but I'm so tired that I just want to go to bed. Now I tidy up in the morning and I put things away. I don't do any cleaning. It's a very relaxing, peaceful way to start the day for like 5-10 minutes. Everything is nicer for the rest of the day. I do it before I get his leash out. And it's this calming thing. It doesn't feel like a big deal. It's just a nice way to get everything back where it's supposed to be before the day begins.

ALLIE: I like how you realized that your season of life is kind of ebbing. You don't have to be so rigid.

GRETCHEN: I think you're putting your finger on something that's one of the challenges of parenthood, which is that the minute you get everything figured out, you lose a nap and then you're like, “Oh my gosh, how do I do it now that we have no naps?” Or you get everything figured out and then they go to kindergarten and have to be at school an hour earlier in the morning and everything has to readjust because “Oh my gosh, we've got to be up and out an hour earlier.”

And so, I think that's one of the challenges is if you like to have systems in place, it can be hard because as soon as you get a system in place, your child’s schedule changes and then everything else has to follow along. That's part of the fun of it, of course. But it can be a challenge if you're really in a groove and then it just doesn't work anymore.

ALLIE: This is segwaying into my next question for you, but this is why I love how you talk about habits. I think having habits instead of a rigid, time-based schedule is so helpful as a busy mom. “These are the things that I need to do, these are the habits that I have during the day, and then if it needs to shift by a couple of hours, that's fine. As long as this gets done, we'll all be functioning.” Instead of being like, “Okay, 1:00-2:00 p.m. I have to write and then fold the laundry or whatever.

_______________________________________________________________

When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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ALLIE: So, since you do talk a lot about habits, what is the connection there? What's the connection between habits and happiness?

GRETCHEN: Well, that's a great question. I wrote The Happiness Project and then I wrote Happier At Home and that's what got me into studying habits because I realized that when I would talk to people about their happiness challenges, what was it that they wanted to work on in order to be happier? A lot of times what they would point to is something having to do with a habit. They would say things like, “My house is always a mess and it's making me crazy.” Or “I can't exercise even though I know I feel better when I exercise.” Or “I want to eat more healthfully. I want to practice guitar. I want to read to my child every night in bed. I want to create this e-course to sell as my side hustle.” Whatever it is.

And I realized that for a lot of these challenges, habits really had the solution, you know? Because as you said, there's all this power in habits because when you have something as a habit, you don't have to use willpower. You don't have to make decisions, which is draining and difficult. Something just happens on autopilot. It's just gonna happen. You don't have to think about it; it just goes.

And so, I became very interested in understanding how can we use habits to make ourselves happier? It's clear that they can be used to make ourselves happier, but then that just gets you to the question of, “Okay, well then how do you change your habits?” That's a very big question. That's what I ended up writing a whole book about it because it turns out it really depends on the person.

What would work for you to change your habits might be very different from what would work for me to change my habits. So, I just sort of understand the whole landscape of it, but I think just about everyone agrees that if you use habits wisely, they can be a tremendous engine for happiness because they make it easier to do the things that make us happier.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. So, if somebody was listening (like I said, most of my listeners are mothers and are in that overwhelming season) what would you say is a good start to just bringing in a little bit of happy when you feel like there isn't a lot of time or quietness for you to even think and process through working on that? What's one small way to start bringing in a little more happiness into your day-to-day life?

GRETCHEN: Like in the moment or a long-term or both? So, if you need something quick, like a mood boost right now, I would say one great thing is to listen to your favorite upbeat music. That's one of the quickest, easiest ways to intervene in your mood. Or even doing 10 jumping jacks. This is one of my favorites. I’ll often say this to my daughters, if they're feeling blue, “Give me 10 jumping jacks,” because it shakes you up. It's kind of goofy. It gets your feet off the ground.

If you need something more long-term. I think the thing to think about is relationships. Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that to be happy we need strong relationships. Not just buddies that we can talk about the office with, but people where we can confide, we feel like we belong, we have intimate, enduring bonds. So, anything that deepens your relationships or broadens your relationships, is very likely to boost your happiness.

A lot of times relationships take time, energy and money. So, go to your college reunion, go to see your friend’s new baby, plan a party, make a lunch date instead of eating lunch at your desk or just staying home. Make a plan to meet another family at the park. Even though you feel like, “Ugh, who wants to get into all the logistics of it?” If you do that, it's probably gonna make you happier.

Join or start a book group. It doesn’t have to be a book group; it could be a podcast group. It could be a book swapping group. If you don't have time to read, you could just swap books and talk about books.

There's all kinds of things that people do. A friend of mine wanted to start a book group for people who read People Magazine. She said, “I have a lot to say and I would always be prepared.” I'm like, “That's a great idea for a group. If people don't have time to read right now, like you say, pick something that everybody's excited to do, because what's important is that you're getting together and that you're having that consistency.

So that's one thing to think about. Take time to call your parents. Take time to stay in touch with old friends. If everybody's trying to get together in Boston for Columbus Day, really make an effort to get there. Strengthening relationships really is something that boosts our happiness in the short-term and also in the long-term.

ALLIE: Yeah. And I found it actually really surprising that you mentioned and other experts and philosophers have found the same, that friendship was the biggest contributor to happiness. I don't know, it just really surprised me. I have great friendships, but it feels like it’s a little bit on the back burner, I guess? Maybe it's just my season and that's okay.

But when I started to think about it, it’s true. Having coffee with a friend before the week starts. I mean it totally changes the way things go. It is so important to invest in those life-giving relationships on top of your marriage and your relationship with your kids. And so, I guess it's just maybe something that us moms in this young season are not really thinking about. It feels like a little bit of a back-burner issue.

GRETCHEN: But I think it's all relationships, not just your friends. But, I think you're right and I think it's good to realize that there are different seasons of life and that certain things aren't possible right now, but they might be possible later.

So, maybe right now you can't be in a book group, but you should be alert for when maybe you could. Things do become possible at different points and it's easy to miss the fact that, “Oh, wow, you know, now I could do this. I could get up and go for a walk every morning because my kids can get themselves up and dressed by themselves. It turns out I don't have to be here every moment.”

I think one thing is to think about is, “Well, what can't I do, but what can I do?”

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. So, one comment that I see over and over and over again in what I do is the topic of self-care and pursuing happiness in that way. This happened the other day. I felt that nagging feeling that you need to be alone. I'm an introvert. I need to be alone. And I hadn't been in a long time. All of these social things had happened. I homeschool my kids so they're always here. I avoided it for two weeks and I just kind of snapped, meltdown, not my best self. I was like, “You know what, I'm going to go.” I did a three-hour, just got out of the house and took care of myself. But I am just flooded with messages every time. “How do you do that without feeling guilty? I feel so self-centered doing that.” Please talk about that.

GRETCHEN: Okay. So, this goes directly to my most recent book, which was called The Four Tendencies, which divides people into Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels. And what it has to do with is how you respond to expectations. Outer expectations - like a work deadline - or inner expectations - like my own desire to keep a new year's resolution.

Most people can tell what they are just from this brief description, but there's a quiz on my site, Gretchenrubin.com, if people want to take the quiz, but most people don't need the quiz.

Upholders readily meet outer and inner expectations. They meet the work deadline, they meet the new year's resolution without much fuss.

Questioners question all expectations. They'll do something if they think it makes sense, so they're making everything an inner expectation. They tend to resist anything arbitrary, inefficient, unfair.

Obligers readily meet outer expectations, but they struggle to meet inner expectations. This was like a friend of mine who said, “I don't understand it. When I was in high school, I was on the track team and I never missed track practice. Why can't I go running now?” Well, when you had a team and a coach waiting for you, no problem, but when you're trying to go running on your own, it's a struggle.

And then Rebels. Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner. They want to do what they want to do in their own way, in their own time. If you ask or tell them to do something, they're very likely to resist.

So, I want to come back to Obliger. Obliger is the largest tendency for both men and women and whenever anybody's talking about self-care, whenever anybody's talking about not being able to put themselves first, whenever anybody's talking about other people's priorities, that is a huge flashing light saying that you're talking to an Obliger, which isn't surprising because that is the biggest tendency for both men and women.

So many, many, many people in the world are Obligers and here's the thing. I think it's the most important thing from my Four Tendencies framework of everything that anybody's really responded to. If an Obliger wants to meet an inner expectation but is struggling, which by definition they are. They are not having trouble meeting the work deadline. They are not having trouble showing up for Carpool. They are not having trouble responding to the friend's email, but they are not able to go to the Yoga class. They're not able to spend an hour reading on the sofa. They're not able to go get the massage even though they got a gift certificate. The solution, the one thing that works, the absolutely crucial but very easy to provide solution, is outer accountability.

To meet inner expectations, Obligers must have outer accountability. So, if you want to read, join a book group. If you want to exercise, take a class, workout with a trainer, workout with a friend who's annoyed if you don't show up. Think of your duty to be a role model for other people. Think about your future self. Well, Gretchen right now doesn't want to do it, but future Gretchen is going to be so disappointed. That's what can work for Obligers.

But what you were talking about is something called Obliger Rebellion. This is when Obligers meet, meet, meet expectations, then suddenly they snap and they say, “This I will not do and this is over. I'm finished. I've had it!” And sometimes it's small like, “I'm going to walk out of the house for three hours but I am going to leave you in like a safe way.” But sometimes it's huge and dramatic. It can be things like ending a 30-year friendship, getting a divorce, walking out the door and going to work for a competitor. Obligers who are in Obliger Rebellion, feel resentful, taken advantage of, unheard, like expectations have just become too burdensome.

It's meant to protect Obligers just the way it protected you. You needed that solitude. You were starved for silence. You had to get it. So Obliger Rebellion allowed you to feel like, “You know what? I'm out of here.” It gave you that energy. It exploded you out of your everyday life.

But it can also be very destructive because a lot of times Obligers don't feel in control of it. They will compare themselves to like a volcano erupting or a balloon bursting. It can often seem inexplicable to other people. People with other tendencies often don't understand this, and they'll say things like, “Well, I don't understand. If you didn't want to do it, what did you say you would do it?” Or like, “Well, I don't understand why you didn't say something about it six months ago. Why didn't you just say this is what you want? What’s the big deal?” And so, it can have reputational consequences.

Obligers themselves will often say that they feel like they're acting out of character. They don't understand why they're responding in the way they are and they're often very relieved to realize that there's a word for this - Obliger Rebellion.

It's a very, very common pattern. It has a good side and a bad side. It is definitely something, though, that should be paid close attention to. It's an important warning sign. It can be very helpful, but if it goes too far it can have negative consequences. People who are Obligers or are around Obligers want to watch out for that feeling of building resentment, building anger, building feeling like it's all too much, because once Obliger Rebellion starts (as far as I can see as I keep talking to Obligers about their experience of Obliger Rebellion) it seems like it just has to run its course. Once it starts, you can't shut it off. It just goes until it's done and it can go a long time. Sometimes it's short, sometimes it's long.

ALLIE: That is so interesting to me. And you just addressed like every mom. That's so important. And when you were talking I was getting, I don’t know, mad. Why isn't this more out there? Why isn't this more talked about? That's so important. It's so huge. Oh my gosh. That was really profound.  

GRETCHEN: The book, The Four Tendencies, is all about this because each of the tenancies has patterns that, once you know the pattern, you’re like, “This is so obvious. I know a million people who are exactly like this. I've seen this all the time. I just didn't know it was a thing.  Or this is just my private pathology. I didn't know other people felt like that.”

I'm married to a Questioner and one of the things that you see in Questioners often is that they don't like to answer questions. It's weird. Like my husband, if I said to my husband, “What are you making for dinner?” He'll say, “Food.” Not because he's a jerk, but then I found out this is a thing among his tendency. A lot of Questioners are like that and so now I don't take it as personally. I'm like, “He's not jerking my chain to annoy me because he thinks it's funny.” This is just a Questioner thing.

Once you know it's an Obliger thing, you're like, “Okay, well how do I, how do I get in front of this now? Because maybe I just want to understand what's happening to me better.”

ALLIE: It’s so, so powerful to understand yourself more fully and understand the people that you live with more fully. I love that.

I'll link to that book for you guys who are listening and I'm definitely going to pick that up. I think that could be really powerful too for raising your children.

GRETCHEN: Oh yeah. Well, and it's funny because I'll talk to people and in a second I'll be like, “Oh, I think I know what you're dealing with.” People will often say to me, “I don't understand it because my son is really smart and he does really well on the test, but then he refuses to do the homework.” And I'm like, “Oh, I bet he's a Questioner because Questioners are like, ‘Well, I'll learn for a test because that makes sense to me, but this is a waste of my time to write this dumb book report so I'm not going to do it.’” And then I'm like, “There's a solution for that, which is if you just explain to a Questioner, whether they're an adult or a child, why you're asking them to do it, you're going to get a much better result.”

I just talked to a guy two days ago where he's like, “Oh, I played soccer all through high school, but I played goalie and I had a coach who was like, ‘Everybody has to run sprints.’” He said, “It doesn't make sense for me to do this cardio sprint workout because I'm the goalie; I should have goalie-type workouts that are for my position.” And the coach was like, “I'm the coach and I say everybody does it.” And he's like, “You know what? That doesn't make sense to me; I quit.” I'm like, “That is totally a Questioner because it's like, “It doesn't make sense to me. I'm out of here.” But if the coach had said, “Oh, but let me tell you, I've been studying the methods of the Olympic teams and what they've shown is that your reflex time is totally a function of your cardio” Blah, blah, blah... then the kid would have been like, “Okay, cool. I just wanted to know there was a reason here.”

Or like a Rebel Child. You know Rebel children - they want to do what they want to do in their own way, in their own time. And I remember hearing from an Upholder mother who said, “How do I make my five-year-old rebel daughter realize that there's some things you just have to do? Like you have to wash your hands after you use the potty?” And I laughed and said, “You don't have to wash your hands after you use the potty. You absolutely do not have to do that.” And that little girl’s figured it out and you’ve got to make her want to do that for her own reasons. She’s got to choose to do that because you can't make a rebel do anything they don't want to do. But there's ways to deal with that very effectively, once you understand how they're approaching the world, which is very different.

Like as an Upholder, the Rebel type is like the opposite of mine. It's very hard for me to understand the rebel point of view. But now that I understand it, I see how there's so much power there. I've learned so much about everything from understanding how Rebels see the world because it's the opposite of the way I see the world. It's blown my mind wide open.

I think it really can help, especially when there's conflict. “Why are you behaving this way? Oh, well, maybe there's a very simple explanation.”

ALLIE: Yeah, and we get so caught up in our own minds, our own bubbles that we only see the world the way we see the world. I love getting outside of that box and opening up your worldview and your perspective to other people. It's mind-blowing every time.

Are you familiar with the enneagram? We aren't huge fans of the Myers Briggs. I feel like there's some things that didn't really fit us. And so, we did that one and it was so funny as a “2” to see why would you ever respond that way to that situation? I was clicking the answers while he was telling me what he would respond to the questions and I was like, “I can't click that. That's ridiculous.” It was so funny. You just get stuck in your own way.

GRETCHEN: I think that is so true and it's so hard to remember that other people just don't see things the way we do. You're kind of like the world is the world, the situation is the situation, but people just are profoundly different in how they see things.

For instance, a good example is Obligers need outer accountability in order to meet outer and inner expectations and so it's very helpful for them to have outer accountability and of course a lot of things in life kind of automatically give you outer accountability. But I remember talking to a Questioner mother and she said, “Oh, I realized that I've been giving my son bad advice.” She had a 20-something son who wanted to take the GRE, that’s the graduate exam that you take to go to graduate school. And he was kept saying to her, “Mom, I need to take a class to study for the GRE.” And she said, “Oh no, honey, if it's important to you to do well on the test, you can just buy the book and study on your own.”

No. See, he's an Obliger and he was saying to her, “Mom, I need outer accountability. I need to go to a class. I need to have a schedule. I need to have a professor. I need to have student study groups.” That's accountability. But she was giving him bad advice because she was giving him the advice that would work for a Questioner.

Like when I studied for the Bar, I just got a bunch of tapes and did them in my kitchen. I didn't need accountability and that's very useful to know. If you don't need accountability, it can save you a lot of time and energy because you can just do it on your own.

But when people say they need accountability, help them get it. A lot of times they don't realize they need it, but if they know they need it, get them the accountability because why not?

Or like Rebels often resist accountability. If they feel like you're looking over their shoulder, they won't do it. So, you've got to back off and not hold them accountable. That might make things worse if you're trying to hold them accountable. But, of course, if you're an Obliger parent with a Rebel child, your instincts could lead you into disaster because you keep trying to give them what you think they need and it's just exactly the opposite of what they need.

ALLIE: It makes so much sense why there is so much conflict and why you can live with a person and be married to a person for decades and still have disagreements and confusion about why would you do that? Or why after 20 years, why are you still this way? That was so helpful. I definitely want to just end there. That was so, so amazing.

Thank you so much! Okay, so we're going to link to all your books and your podcast of course, but is there anything that you want to say if people want to connect with you? Is there a social media platform you favor or anything?

GRETCHEN: I'm all over the place. Linkedin, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook. I have a weekly Ask Gretchen Rubin Live on Facebook. That's a ton of fun.

I'm everywhere as Gretchen Rubin and I love to connect with people, with their questions, their insights, their observations, their illustrations, so get in touch. I'd love to hear from people.

Again, if you want to take the quiz to find out what your tendency is. It's on my site, Gretchen Rubin.com. I think 1.3-1.4 million people now have taken this quiz. It's really very short. It's free. It's fun and I do think people are finding it helpful because like you say, when you know how to manage yourself, then you can make your life happier, healthier, more productive, more creative because you know how to do it in a way that's right for you. And when you're trying to help other people be happier, you can do it in a way that's right for them. If you're a “2” and you're dealing with a “7”, you gotta take that into account.

ALLIE: Absolutely. I love that. We'll link to that quiz for you guys too. Thank you so much for being here. This was great. Thank you. It was so much fun to talk to you.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 052: Coffee + Questions with Allie

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Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! The Coffee & Questions segment is a time when I sit down with 2-4 questions from you. You guys ask questions in many different places – email, Instagram Messages, Instagram Comments, Facebook, all of that. I have my team help me pull a few select questions and I answer them once a month. This is a time where I always physically have a cup of coffee with me because it feels super fun. It feels like I am sitting down with my friends, having coffee, and just…chatting. That’s what I want my show to feel like, especially this segment. If you asked a question, this is a time where I may answer it. So, sit down, cozy up, get a cup of coffee, and let’s chat!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How to store your kids toys without dedicating a whole space to a toy room.

  • Ways to help minimize overwhelming your sink (and yourself) with piles of dishes.

  • Practical tips for simplifying outdoor toys.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired. If you want more than just the podcast and are looking for more actionable ways to help you get started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood, then the Supermom Vault is for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Hi beautiful friend! Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! The Coffee & Questions segment is a time when I sit down with 2-4 questions from you. You guys ask questions in many different places – email, Instagram Messages, Instagram Comments, Facebook, all of that. I have my team help me pull a few select questions and I answer them once a month. This is a time where I always physically have a cup of coffee with me because it feels super fun. It feels like I am sitting down with my friends, having coffee, and just…chatting. That’s what I want my show to feel like, especially this segment. If you asked a question, this is a time where I may answer it. So, sit down, cozy up, get a cup of coffee, and let’s chat!

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Question #1: How can I store my kids toys without a toy room? Okay, so this is a good question. I actually don't like the idea of having a room just for toys because I think it just begs for excess. You've dedicated an entire room in your house for something that can actually inhibit your kids’ creative play and it doesn't really leave a lot of room for being intentional in purging things that are not really loved, really being used, and really serving your kids' childhood. So, I prefer to not have a toy room. I know it's really common, especially here in America, to have a toy room or a dedicated space as a play area. I would suggest if your kids have a shared room, put a toy chest in there.

My three boys share a room. The two older boys are in a bunk bed and then on the other wall Emmett is in his own little twin bed. They have one toy chest in their room at the foot of Emmett's bed. It's just a regular, medium-sized toy box from Ikea and all their toys go in there. That’s where the toys are kept. They can get the toys out, bring their swords out and play Ninjas in the living room or whatever. When we're cleaning up, that's where they go.

You could also do a smaller bin in each of their individual rooms. We have a lot of common toys where they don't really belong to one particular person and they're just “our toys” and everyone plays with whatever. And so, the one toy chest works really well for us. But if your kids all have their own room then you could do a smaller bin for each of them and they can put their toys in there.

You could also do a toy chest in a common area like behind the couch in the living room. And that's where all the toys go. You could do a basket by your stairs if you have a two-story house and that’s where the toys go. You have a few different options but definitely don't feel like, “it's a lack of space and it kind of sucks that you don't have a toy room” because I actually really, really love the idea of not having an entire room in my house dedicated to toys. Like I said, it just begs for lots of excess because there's room for it.

Question #2: Can you help with dishes overwhelm with kids? There are just so many dishes. Yes. Another great question. First of all, I want to give you guys permission to use paper plates in seasons of insane overwhelm. If you're moving, if you're starting a business, if there's sickness that’s been plaguing your house for weeks. If you have a new baby, if you're pregnant and exhausted. If your husband started a new job and he's traveling a lot more than you're used to and you have to adjust to that. Use paper plates in seasons of crazy overwhelm. I use paper plates when we are launching a new course in the business or if we are going through an intentional time of chaos.

There was a point really recently where the kids had baseball three nights a week. Bella had horse lessons two days a week. We were in the thick of finishing up our homeschool year. I was launching a new course. It was insane and you can bet your bottom that I went to Costco and got the giant pack of paper plates and temporary plasticware - forks and spoons and stuff - and used all of that and gave myself permission to make my life a little bit easier.

But in the long run, this is where you've got to have less dishes. You think about it, why do you need more than one type of dish per person? Why? Because friends come over? Well, that's fine. Then have spare dishes, but keep them in a different place because what's going to happen is if you have tons of dishes in your regular cupboards, your family is going to pull a fresh, clean dish out way before they ever rinse a dish that's ready to be cleaned and reused. You don't need more than one dish per person living in your house.

Since this question is about kids’ dishes, get whatever set of plastic plates and bowls that you want for your kids and just have one plate and one bowl per kid. That's it. If they want something else for the next meal, the dishes need to be rinsed off and then it's ready to be reused.

If you have less dishes, you have less to wash. It makes your life so much easier and it makes it impossible to get that giant pile of dishes at the end of the day waiting for you to wash them.

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Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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Question #3: How can I simplify outdoor toys? I love that my kids want to spend time playing outside, but the stuff gets out of control and messy and then my yard looks terrible. Okay. I totally understand this. I've talked before about how we have less toys and we encourage our kids to play creatively and be outside. One of the biggest reasons that we moved back to southern California after our time in the midwest is because we really realized the value of living in a climate where the kids can play outside all the time.

So, in terms of the outdoor toys, first of all have only what they use and love. Go through those outdoor toys with your kids. Is there a random baseball and a broken bat? Get rid of all that. Another example, is there random baseballs and nothing to play with them, like you don't have baseball gloves or a baseball bat? Why do you have baseballs, then? Get rid of the baseballs.

Take into account what do you have? Why do you have those things? What are they using? What do they love? Notice for a couple days, what do they play with all the time? Get rid of everything else. Have only what they really use and really love.

Next, get a large outdoor storage bin to keep everything in. They have these at Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco, Sam's Club. I think I've seen a couple at Target, but I noticed the industrial-type stores and big box stores that have big items have the really large ones.

We have a black outdoor bin that I got at Lowe's. It's weatherproof and it's got the little extra locks on each side, so bad weather or no rodents or anything can get in there. We keep things like the baseball bats, gloves and balls in there. The kids have a soccer ball that they kick around. There is a bubble machine they like to turn on so they can play with that when they're in the backyard. Just outdoor toys go in there. Not bikes and scooters and stuff, but outdoor toys can go in there.

That way there's a location that you can fit everything in when it’s clean up time. Don't let your kids just play and leave everything out. Set up a rule in your house where it's like, “Okay guys, we're done playing. You've got to pick up and put the things in the bin.

You have somewhere for things to belong and that's the key. You have to decide how much space things are going to take up by getting something that you're going to keep it in. So that's where the bin comes in.

By getting an outdoor bin for toys to go in, you're deciding this is how much space our outdoor toys are going to take up. Then when your stuff exceeds that amount of space, instead of buying more storage, get rid of stuff so that new outdoor bin becomes the deciding factor of how much stuff you allow your kids to have for playing outside.

We have a pretty big one - the largest outdoor bin you can get - and there's just lots of fun toys in there. It's all stuff that my kids use all the time, every week. But if our stuff exceeds that bin and it becomes not a big enough space to host our outdoor stuff, then I'm not going to go and buy another bin or buy a bigger bin. I'm going to get rid of stuff.

A lot of the time it helps to have the amount of space you're willing to give to something be the deciding factor in how much of that thing you have. It's really helpful to look at it that way.

Also, a quick side note about bikes, scooters and things like that. There are giant hooks that you can also get at Lowe's or Home Depot. You can hang them in the garage and stack multiple bikes and scooters onto those hooks, especially if they're little kid bikes and scooters. They fit better.

We used to have our bikes and scooters on the side of the house and that was fine. But it wasn't covered in our new house, so when it would rain, which is rare here, the bikes would get rusted.

I didn't really want them in the garage because you guys might already know our garage is a really functional space. It's not a normal garage. It's Brian's gym and then he's got his drum set. He plays worship at our church so he has his drum set here, like a music studio. Then behind that the garage is pushed back and there's a faux brick wall we've built, and this is my office. So our garage is a really functional space.

We got these big hooks at Lowe's and we put them on the wall, so now the bikes and scooters hang on a wall in the garage and they're out of the way. They're up off the floor. They are protected from the weather. The kids can get them down because they're not super high up. The helmets hang off of the bike handles.

It's super functional, really easy, and really out of the way. I can link to the hooks that I'm talking about in the show notes.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

EP 051: Eating Well + Exercising in Motherhood with Amanda Wilson

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How am I supposed to be a mom who keeps humans alive all day, stays up all night with a baby, and focuses on living a healthy lifestyle? That sounds so overwhelming! Wellness, exercise and eating well should work with you, not against you. It all should fit into your life, not overwhelm you! And wellness looks different from season to season.We cannot put a standard on wellness that we expect to work in every season of our life. If we focus on obsessing over wellness we are putting more stress on ourselves, our kids and our husband because we are trying to squish a certain standard into something that's not going to fit.

Amanda Wilson is a well of wisdom when it comes to the mom life version of exercise, health, fitness, wellness and carving out that time for yourself. She strives to help others relieve the pressure of a wellness by sharing simplified approaches to living a healthy lifestyle.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Amanda Discuss:

  • Common misconceptions about a healthy lifestyle.

  • Simple healthy meals for families.

  • The difference between food prepping and meal prepping.

  • The importance of being aware of your capacity during the different seasons of your life so that wellness and healthy living work for you, not against you.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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DO YOU FEEL LIKE...

You are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.


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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! We have a guest interview today with my good friend, Amanda Wilson.

I think this is the first time that I've had you on for my whole audience. You were a Purpose Society guest, right? Amanda is a well of wisdom when it comes to the mom life version of exercise, health, fitness, wellness and carving out that time for yourself. I think my favorite thing about you (and you guys will see this if you follow her on Instagram, which you absolutely should and I'll link to that in the show notes) is you are very gracious and realistic.

It's nice to have a fitness feed on my Instagram that's modest and classy, so thanks for that. If you're looking for somebody to follow when you don't want to have to hide your phone when your husband or your son walks by, Amanda is the one. Tell us about yourself, your family and what you do.

AMANDA: Yes, so I am married and we have two biological boys and we are foster parents as well. I call myself a temporarily retired RN. I used to work full time as an RN until I stayed home with my kids. I still keep my license and one day might go back to it, but towards the end of my time as an RN, and my time as a mom, that's when the health part of my RN side, medical and health, came together in realizing what I put in my mouth and how I'm moving my body affected long term.

ALLIE: Did you find yourself thinking about that because of the patients that you saw?

AMANDA:  A little bit, I think. I did have a background growing up. My mom was pretty health conscious in a really balanced way. When I started practicing as an RN, I was a cardiac RN and so most of my patients were older and a lot, but not all of it was lifestyle. I did get to see that what I'm doing now with my body will matter later.

And then whenever I was talking to my patients about changing their lifestyle habits, how they move their body, what they put in their mouth, I realized that this is what needed to change.

But they were extremely overwhelmed by that because it seemed like an overhaul of their “normal” and they were already super overwhelmed with their sickness and illness.

And so that's when I realized this is overwhelming for the vast majority of people and it doesn't have to be complicated. I think right after my second was born, I realized a lot of friends would ask me about some food ideas and all that. And I started wanting to share it on Instagram, but I didn't want to be the annoying person, “This is what I ate today…”

But I realized that I really enjoyed educating people on it and that it wasn't just about how you looked, which was an awesome benefit.

Then I thought, “Oh I will create an Instagram account and if people want to they can follow me there.” And it was a little side thing that I enjoyed doing while being a stay at home mom.

ALLIE: Yeah. And you're so good at it. And just the way that you are as a person, as I've gotten to know you a little bit more since I came across you there, you're just really mellow. And that is a comforting thing. I think the overwhelming thing for mothers is that you eat so much during the day, like you have to eat so often. I think that's the first thing I'm going to ask God when I die. Like why though? Why do we have to eat so often during the day? It’s really kind of a pain. That's why it's so overwhelming to change it. It's not just like, you know, “oh, I can take a walk once a day.”  It's like, “I have to deal with this 3-5 times a day and I don't even know how to do it right and that’s overwhelming.

We were talking a little bit about this before we hit record, but I think a lot of the time mothers feel extra overwhelmed and since that's mainly who our audience is, I wanted you to speak to that. As a mom, you're taking care of other people. You've got all this stuff on your plate. You already have enough. What you said about what you're doing with your body and what you're putting into it now matters in the long run. How can you speak to that? I think it can bring a little bit of fear, because we feel like we don't have what we need in terms of time, energy, resources and maybe money to do that.

I don't want this episode to put fear into people. I love that about you; you don't do that in the way you talk about it. It removes that. So if you can maybe just speak a little bit to the overwhelmed mothers that are listening that want to be healthy long-term, but just feel like they don't have what it takes right now.

AMANDA: Yeah. I think it can feel overwhelming because you're already having to keep other humans alive. And like you said, it's something that you have to deal with multiple times a day. And then on top of it, apparently I'm supposed to exercise and how am I supposed to do that if I'm up all night with a baby or I'm just truly trying to survive myself and try to keep my eyes open? And I think another reason why it can be overwhelming is because we think there is a certain standard to how we're supposed to do it. That being healthy is making everything homemade and it's bland and it's boring and I have to work out several hours a day to be healthy. And so, I always tell people, and it's something that I learned is that wellness does not have a standard necessarily at all, but also to take your season of life into consideration.

I always tell people healthy does not have to be everyone's hobby because I think they think that when you're pursuing healthy, you all of a sudden have to be obsessed with it and go to the gym all the time and talk about it. It doesn't have to be your hobby, but it is your responsibility. And the responsibility looks different in every season of life and so that will require constant reassessment.

I think it's really important to be aware of your capacity at that time of your life because if you think healthy is what that girl is doing, whoever that girl is, that because you want to look like her, you want to eat like her or whatever, and you try to apply that to your season of life, if you guys are not in the same season of life, it may not work for you. So therefore, you're putting more stress on you, your kids and your husband because you're trying to squish a certain standard into something that's not going to fit.

I feel especially too, when you have young ones or even kids in general, seasons of life change really quickly because kids change really quickly. I think it's always reassessing and being aware of what you can do. Like I said, wellness or being fit or healthy is not necessarily going to the gym for two hours a day. Some people can do that in certain seasons of life and they might really enjoy it, but that's not always the case.

In the past two years I have gone from my cardio was taking my kids on walks and strength training was at home with a few different weights, with babies climbing on me. Then it got to the point where I wasn't nursing anymore so I had a little bit more freedom to leave the house, so now I work out early in the mornings before my husband goes to work. It's always being aware of your capacity and pursuing wellness with excellence within that season because then you're going to be able to enjoy it more and you are going to be content knowing that you are giving your best in that season.

I think that's why people get overwhelmed because they're constantly looking to the right or the left and they're like, “Well apparently she went to the gym for an hour. She made this. She prepped every single meal all day long for whatever. And I'm not doing that. I'm not healthy.” It just becomes overwhelming. I think that's why people pursue it really hard for a week and then they fall off, you know? And they go through this constant cycle of “I'm going to be healthy. Oh no, this is too much.” It’s always an unrealistic thing. People think being healthy is unrealistic and it's because of those things.

ALLIE: And I think that what you said about maybe the comparison thing and also that your health and wellness has to be up to a certain standard and then it can't ebb and flow with your season of life is probably one of the most misunderstood things for women, and moms in particular, about health and wellness. It's the comparison thing. Maybe you don't even realize that you're comparing but you subconsciously dogged yourself for not doing this.

I think it's really important to hear you talk about that “little babies” season of life and then up to a little bit older and how it changes. I think not even just with your kids' ages, but with your schedule. What if you have to go back to work all of a sudden? You need to make it something that you enjoy doing.

I do not like working out; I like what I feel after. I've tried for a while. I’ve let go of the trying to find something I like. Now I am just, “You know what? It feels good to take care of myself. And that is what I like.” I don't really love any particular thing.

I think accept that and make it about taking care of yourself and living a healthy life. Letting it be simple when it needs to be simple and letting it be more when it needs to be more. Committing to 10 minutes. And then who knows? Maybe it'll turn into 40, you just don't know. But just making time for something.

AMANDA: Yeah, I think that's so good that you said it that way. If you can come to terms with you don't know if you’re actually going to really enjoy a certain method of working out, but you love taking care of yourself and wellness.

I think over all of this, the mindset is what's going to carry you and sustain you. Because having goals, whether it's a weight goal or a strength goal or whatever is totally fine and great, but it cannot be your motivation because those things will fall off of the priority list. All of a sudden you won't be motivated because it seems too far-fetched.

I would say that you have to have healthy mindset and something that's grounded in purpose and grounded in something that's lasting. I always talk about stewardship. That your mindset has to be the fact that you are the caretaker and the manager of your body. That I am given one body to live this life, mom life and I'm going to steward it well so that I can do the roles that are set before me really well without avoidable barriers.

There's certain things about our health we can't control at all, but what we can control, steward that well and do that with excellence.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Okay. If there was just maybe one thing that a mom who's overwhelmed and maybe in a particularly busy season could do to just start, like start feeling better? I think this is one thing too. I think we don't realize that if you just focus on the wellness, like you said, and you let go of that bathing suit goal or that toned thighs goal, it's going to come if you're focusing on wellness.

If you take the focus off the “I'm not this, I want to be that,” and you just focus on wellness, that's how you get there - by being well and making “well”choices. It's funny how we sabotage ourselves in that way.

But having said that, if there was one thing that a mom could focus on and started to track her health and get on the right track, what would you say that would be like? Step one?

AMANDA: Yeah. Well to that question first I always say our goal, our overarching goal for most is for wellness to become a lifestyle because we don't want to always have to be trying so hard.  So, pick one thing a month or whatever your timeline is that you feel like you can have the capacity to do. Or pick one thing for three weeks and do just that one thing and literally don't worry about any other aspect of wellness until you feel like you're comfortable with it and mastered it. Then you can move on.

That can look different for everybody. It can be literally as simple as water intake and then the next thing be like, “Okay, I've done that for three weeks, now I'm going to focus on breakfast only” and don't worry about the other meals. Just do that.

But I think as far as it becoming a lifestyle too, is just learning to love real food because if you don't ever learn to enjoy it or love it then it's always going to be a fight. I call myself kind of a foodie. I love food. I like good food and I'm not going to eat something if it doesn't taste good. For that part you're going to have to allow yourself time for your taste buds to change. And I'm not saying you're going to have to learn to like something that's gross. You're just going to have to give yourself some time to learn to love real food.

And the reason why we love the certain things we love now, whether it's processed or whatever junk food, is because we grew up on it or we learned to like it. I just told somebody today the reason why other people in other countries like certain foods is because they grew up with it and we would like their food too if we did. Learn to love real food and that's going to take time.

So maybe you focus on learning to love real food at breakfast. Or pick your hardest meal of the day, that's the hardest to eat real food. Or maybe it's the time of the day that you are the weakest as far self-control and pick that. Do that for three weeks or a month until all of a sudden you feel your taste buds changing, your habits changing, and then you can add something else to it. You can apply that with any little goal.

But if you don't ever learn to love food that's nourishing your body and fuels your body, then mealtime will always be a fight. You just can't sustain it if you're always fighting cravings and your norm or whatever. Allow clean eating or whatever to become your normal, your default.

ALLIE: That was really profound. So, this just popped into my head. It's kind of a selfish question, but I'm sure that people are thinking it. So, my biggest thing has always been (and we talked about this when you did my coaching call with me) late night snacking. Back in the day, when I was doing whatever and I was a lot heavier. I would want drive-through food. It’s the end of the day, the kids are in bed, I'm hanging out with Brian, Netflix or whatever, and I am so hungry all of a sudden. I know now to eat a very sustaining dinner and all of that. So, what's an actionable realistic solution to that? Maybe specific snacks or is it a mindset thing? Is there something else to eat or drink?

AMANDA: I think that's different for everybody. I think it can be different. Some people literally just didn't eat a sustaining dinner or something and so they truly are hungry. If you're really actually hungry, please eat. Your body's telling you to eat. But it also can be a habit where your body thinks you're hungry because you're used to eating at that time.

I think it's just being truly honest and aware. It can take time to change some habits. I guess just be honest with yourself.

Here is a good way to tell if you're actually really hungry or not. So, say after dinner kids are going to bed and you're sitting on the couch and you're like, “I really want something to eat.” Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or is my brain just used to eating something while I'm sitting on the couch?” Because our brain is really good at making us convinced that we're hungry.

I always down a huge glass of water. Wait 10 minutes. And then see, so that you can get to know your body, because sometimes you need a brain reset. Like, “Oh, I'm not actually hungry, that's just part of my routine.” Or maybe you are hungry. And if that's the case you can have a treat or whatever, but obviously we don't want to do that all the time because that's when we create those habits and all of that stuff.

I'm a big fan of just having something that is going to sustain your blood sugar through the night, so while you're sitting on the couch you don't keep eating. A very practical example, and I have put this on my Instagram feed before, I'll take plain Greek yogurt and I'll put some PFFit which is like peanut butter powder, cocoa powder, and a little bit of honey in there. I'll stir it up and it kind of tastes like you're eating something sweet, like chocolate pudding or whatever. The Greek yogurt has so much protein in there so it fills you up. It sustains your blood sugar through the night, so you're not waking up feeling drained or having weird cravings.

If I really want something sweet I go for that, if I feel like I've indulged enough that week. I think it's a lot of just being honest with yourself and having that very unpopular word of being disciplined. It's not a very fun word.

We can really be aware of our cravings and our mindset and that is when you have to know you are the choice maker of what you put in your mouth. The food is not your choice maker; you decided to put it in your mouth. And I know that makes food not sound fun or eating not sound fun, but it can be.

But when we're trying to shift actual habits, that’s what has to happen.

ALLIE: Yeah, I like that. Okay. So, talk to us about Collagen Coffee. I can't have lattes. I can have a little splash of cream in my coffee, but that straight up dairy just wrecks me. I can't do it.

AMANDA: I love comforting, warm drinks. I always want to drive through Starbucks and get one of those. Two years ago, I discovered Collagen Peptides, which is a powder form. What I really like about it is it can dissolve in hot or cold liquid. It's also really good for your blood sugar. There is also a lot of research about getting good fats in the morning for your brain and your blood sugar. Collagen peptides have a lot of protein. I do it in a blender. Some people use an immersion blender or a frother and they put it in their mug and do it that way, but I feel like it works better in a blender.

Then I put hot coffee, a scoop of collagen peptides (as you're doing this, you're like, this is disgusting.) Then I usually put half a tablespoon of ghee (some people do grass fed butter) and then I do a little Cinnamon for some taste. But the blender action is what gets it that texture of a latte and it gets thick and creamy and a little frothy on top. And it is so satisfying. It's like you ordered a latte in the coffee shop, but you're getting so much nutrients in it. Especially in the morning, you're getting all that good fat in the morning to sustain your blood sugar and it's so good for your brain right away in the morning.

Collagen itself, the reason why I am big on it is that it's the most abundant protein in our body, but it's the one that decreases as we age. It's different than if you're drinking protein powder after you work out. Collagen is good obviously for your skin, hair and nails, everyone thinks of it that way. That's probably what you'll notice the change in. But the other stuff that's more long-term is joints, your gut health, and your ligaments.

Collagen is what holds our body together and helps it function. Our organs are more healthy. A lot of people say that they feel more energy with it because it helps with energy metabolism. Everyone says they feel like their skin and nails are stronger and their hair is longer, but long-term it has awesome benefits.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. You turned me onto it last year. I don't know how many bins of that I've gone through, but it's a lot. And it has totally changed my hair; it never falls out. My nails are super strong and long now. And I actually didn't even really think that was why, but now that you're saying it, that's why I've had the best year of nails and skin ever. We’ll link that for you guys.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

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I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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ALLIE: Okay. So, you were the one who also introduced me to the idea of food prepping versus meal prepping, which I always talk about now. I always credit you for it, but I want them to hear it from you. You guys, this is basically the solution for those of us who don't want to pre-decide what we're going to eat. I always would meal prep and then that doesn't sound good and I would literally waste the meal because I go by mood. So, this really helped me.

AMANDA: Yes, I'm totally with you on that. Well first, my meal prep is such a good idea and it truly is worth it, but meal prep takes a little bit more time because you have to find recipes. There's more involved. You're going to be eating the same thing every day and some people are totally okay with that and that's great.

I'm with you Allie. It depends on my mood. I would make the same thing and on day three I'm like, “that sounds disgusting. I don't want to eat it.” And that's part of it. This is a lifestyle. Enjoy your food. It's really important.

So, I started doing food prepping, which I call it compared to meal prepping, because it has cut the time in half or maybe a quarter and it allows me some variety and creativity, which I feel like helps you own your clean eating a little better. I might spend an hour doing this. But you pick two proteins, three to four vegetables sources, and then if you want to go as far as having the elements of a snack ready and then maybe prep a breakfast. But really what I do most weeks is doing the protein and vegetables and maybe even healthy grain like Quinoa rice.

For example, I'll bake chicken breast and hard-boiled eggs and those are my proteins. Then I'll roast sweet potatoes and Brussel Sprouts with all sorts of seasonings on it. Then I might make some Quinoa in chicken broth and then I'll cut up raw veggies. Then you have elements of a meal ready. During the week I'll mix and match it. So, one day I'll do the chicken breast, Quinoa and roasted vegetables. The next day I'll do a salad and shred up the chicken with the raw vegetables and a salad. The next day I'll do a snack plate of hard-boiled eggs, raw veggies, hummus and whatever fruit I have on hand. You can get 3-4 different meals.

I think over time it helps you own clean eating. It allows you to get creative and to see what you like, what flavors you like together, which ones you don't really care for.

ALLIE: I started super basic because I didn't know what I was doing. And I wasn't creative yet. Chicken and hard-boiled eggs, super basic veggies, salad mix and that was it.

Now I'm making my own dressings. I can get creative. You want to because you get bored, but you've got the basics down so it's like stacking. You can stack a little bit more.  

AMANDA: Yeah. If that sounds overwhelming, you can just pick what is your hardest meal of the day. If breakfast is your hardest meal than just prep breakfast stuff.  Are snacks really hard for you? Then prep snacks. And then you can build on that too.

Part of the food prepping too is I don't prep every single meal because life happens. You might go out to eat one day or you might meet a friend for breakfast, you know? And you don't want to waste food. So, I have the elements available so that I can throw it all together if I need to.

ALLIE: Yeah. Would you mind sharing one or two of your favorite prep breakfast ideas? That's a hard one. It's not a hard one for me to make good choices. It's just a hard one for me to think of prep ideas.

AMANDA: I think that one was the hardest for me too. I really like overnight oats, which you can prep in a mason jar all together. I have different variations on my Instagram feed, but I like the basic one. It's just oats, banana, almond milk, and Chia seeds. Mix it all and the night before. You mash the banana and then you put the oats in the Mason Jar and the almond milk and Chia seeds. Stir it all together and then you put it in the refrigerator. In the morning you take it out.

People get grossed out by the thought of overnight oats because they think of cold oatmeal. But I think with the banana and stuff it makes it more like a pudding-type texture. But I'll add maybe a half a tablespoon of peanut butter and some pure maple syrup for sweetness if you want that. Or some people like to do berries. Literally all you do is put that in the Mason Jar.

That saved me, especially with babies, when my littles were really little because who has time in the morning to do that? So that was one of my favorites and it always has been.

Another one is that I've shared a lot on my Instagram is a sweet potato egg skillet. All the prep you have to do for that is to peel a sweet potato and shred it on a cheese grater. It makes a lot, but I take about ¼ to ½ of that in the morning, if you have probably 5-10 minutes in the morning to make something. Put a little coconut oil in the pan, throw the sweet potatoes on there and let them get soft and then you pat them down flat and then you crack an egg over it, cover it and let it cook until the egg is cooked to however you like. Some people like it all the way done and some people like it runny. I usually put some salt and pepper in there with the sweet potatoes. But the sweet potatoes get really crispy on the bottom. Lift it with a spatula onto your plate. I call it a sweet potato egg hash. That's one of my favorite breakfasts.

ALLIE: That’s one of my favorite breakfasts. I used to get grossed out when Brian would eat it. It’s a bit of a Crossfit-y breakfast because it has all the protein in it. It was always gross to me. I am not a person who likes to mix their foods. But it is probably my favorite now.

AMANDA: It's so good. I don't know what it is about those things. It's really simple; there's only three ingredients to that one.

And then I have so many smoothie variations, but I really also like making, if I can, as part of my weekly prep, egg muffins. It's pretty much like you are scrambling eggs and veggies in a muffin tin and you bake it. I might do the shredded sweet potatoes and then chopped up spinach with eggs. And then I love nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast (whether you're dairy free or if you're not) gives a nutty cheesy flavor.  1½ tablespoons has 8 grams of protein, which is insane. It's really good for all sorts of minerals and vitamins. I'll put that in there. Spray the muffin tin and then I'll put shredded sweet potatoes in there and some spinach, whisk up the eggs with all the seasonings and I pour it in the muffin tins, bake it and then you can store those in the fridge. All I have to do in the morning is warm it up.

Breakfast is a little bit harder, but those are some of my go-tos.

ALLIE: I think some of the breakfast foods that we think of are not very good prepped. I'm not a very breakfast person. Brian gave me two hard boiled eggs on a plate this morning and I couldn't finish the second one. I just don't get hungry until like 10:30. And I just fasted for like eight, nine hours. Like that's terrible. So those little breakfasts are easy for me to just have a little bit and I get something, especially with the Collagen Coffee having protein in it, I guess it's okay if I skip.

AMANDA: On that note, the Collagen coffee is bulletproof. I think a lot of people just have that for breakfast because it has a good enough fat and protein for them. But everyone's different.

ALLIE: One question that I always get asked whenever I'm talking about eating is about your kids. Do your kids eat what you eat or do you prep for yourself and then make meals for your family?

AMANDA: So when I prep I'm usually prepping for a lunch because being a stay at home mom for some reason, lunch is always a crazy time.

I'll usually give them some of the stuff I've prepared, especially some of the protein and stuff. At lunchtime we're pretty basic. For example, my oldest did not like sandwiches for three years and he just now likes them, so, yes, you can have a sandwich because this is great and simple and easy.

I always tell people don't make it so complicated for yourself. When you see kids eating roasted veggies and stuff for lunch, which I have it all prepped so sometimes I do give them that. But also if they like sandwiches, that's great. Just give them bread that's whole wheat and clean and give them turkey meat that doesn't have all sorts of stuff injected into it.

So, lunch is pretty basic. Overall when it comes to eating dinner and cooking, everyone eats what I cook. I don't make a kid-friendly dinner. One: that is super draining, long-term for mom. Dinnertime is already hard no matter if you're just making one meal. And other than that, simplifying it for yourself, make it easier for yourself.

My whole thought is kids have to be taught pretty much everything and you have to teach them to love real food because we already get enough opportunities throughout our week to not eat real food. You need to give that to them. Because my kids have cupcakes at school, someone's birthday or we’ll run through Chick-fil-A, or whatever. I'm pretty balanced but I want to teach their taste buds. I want to teach them to try new things and to teach their body to crave real food, and let that be their default.

I've realized it has to be the normal in the home for it to be something that's not always a fight. And also, I want them to be gracious where if they're eating at a friend's house when they're older and whatever someone gives you, you at least try to eat it.

I feel like I'm teaching. I don't want them to grow up eating a certain way and then have to relearn as an adult, to realize “oh my gosh, I'm eating so unhealthy.” It’s hard enough as an adult to teach yourself how to like certain foods and revamp this whole thing. If I can bypass that hard lesson for them, I would like to, because it's much easier to grow up craving and loving real food than having to do a whole switch-over when they're adults.

It's not super strict in our house. I'm not like “you have to eat all your vegetables” and all that stuff. I have a couple rules of thumb. I make sure that there's at least one or two things on their plate that I know they're going to eat or they have liked before. Kids are crazy; they eat all their broccoli one day and then the next day they're like, “I hate it!”

Don’t take that as, “Oh my gosh, my kid doesn't like broccoli; I'm never giving it to them again.” I think I read one time that it takes 20 times for a kid to try a food to actually form a preference before the age of three. So don't give up, just keep putting it on their plate. There’s going to be things that they may never like and that's okay. Everyone has their preferences, but just because they put something in their mouth, even babies, and they make the most disgusting face, it's not because they don't like it, it's because they've never had it maybe or they haven't learned to have the preference.

So, I always make sure to have at least one or two things on their plate I know they're going to eat. So obviously they're eating something. Then we have a rule that you have to have a try bite. And I always say, “You don't have to like it, you don't have to eat more than that, you just have to try it.” And if they put it in their mouth and they eat one bite and don't like that, “that's okay, thanks for trying.” But I'm still going to put it on their plate next time I have it because they may like it one day.

So even with our last foster placement. He was so cute. I didn't know how he ate before but probably a month in we were eating some kind of protein and I had broccoli. My boys don't really like broccoli but if we have it, I put it on there. But put it up to his mouth and, poor little guy, he was obviously disgusted by it. And it was really funny. Then a week later I put it on his plate again and he demolished the broccoli and asked for more. So, don't take whatever their first reaction is, don't settle on that because you never know.

We have to teach ourselves to form new habits and like things. We've got to do it for our kiddos too.

ALLIE: You have given me hope. Hudson is my only one who... how do I say this? He's definitely a foodie. And foods that aren't that good for you. He is always the one who is a little harder to get him to eat things, and we all love asparagus. We have asparagus almost every meal. It's my favorite vegetable. And he won't eat it. Yesterday it was Easter and I was like, “Look, just eat one asparagus stalk and I'll give you a chocolate egg.” But I wanted him to just taste it. He totally did it and I gave him a chocolate egg. Then he asked for another stalk of asparagus and then ate half of it and said he didn’t like it. I'm like, “okay, you tried it though and you ate more.” So, maybe next time.

AMANDA: Yes. My kids love Daniel Tiger and Daniel Tiger teaches a lot of great life lessons. There’s one about trying new foods and Daniel Tiger’s family was eating very healthy. So my oldest, he’ll be five in May, he was singing a Daniel Tiger song. I was like, “Okay, you remember you got to do a try bite before you get down.” And he was like, “Try something new; it might taste good.” I was like, “Yes! Daniel Tiger coming through. Yes!”

ALLIE:  It's so good to hear you talking about this. It's so encouraging and light. I told you guys, she's amazing.

Okay, so you are mostly Instagram-based. You don't have a website still? Right?

AMANDA: I have a website for the subscription offer and then I sometimes do a blog post on there but it's nothing big. It's just random little things. So most of my content is on Instagram.

ALLIE: It's amazing. And you're a mom and you're spending your time in one place and that's you. You don't just have an Instagram that is like a banner that you exist elsewhere. Your Instagram is very full. I go there probably maybe five or six times a week to get workouts. I follow your hashtag. We'll link to all of us for you guys too.

But her Instagram is amazing. If you don't have Instagram it is definitely worth downloading just to get on her stuff because you've got those workouts. They're super easy.

We've been building a gym in our garage, but I'll come out and I just don't know what to do and so I'll look up something from you and do that. I’ll find new recipes or smoothies and stuff. You lay it all out on Instagram posts. It's just amazing.

And then you also have, I have your monthly subscription and it's called A Wellness Note, right? So tell us a little bit more about that if people are interested in that because we'll link to it.

AMANDA: I referenced it earlier on, but through this whole process of teaching people and learning about people and how they approach health and wellness, I learned that they were extremely overwhelmed. I like simplified approaches to most everything anyways, but I always wanted to teach a simplified approach to wellness because it doesn't have to be complicated. So there was that.

And then also like I mentioned earlier, it doesn't have to be everyone's hobby, but it is your responsibility and having responsibility does require a little bit of knowledge. But we don't have time, or most people don't want to. Health is…I'm interested in it. It's my hobby. I like reading about it, learning about it, it's what I chose my career towards. So I like it, but people don't like it that way all the time and they don't want to spend the time researching stuff. There are so many things coming out of the health world…you need this supplement or whatever.

So, I formed what I call a bite-sized health resource and it's a monthly subscription. It's very concise. It's two pages, super easy to read, and I equip the reader with knowledge in order for them to make the best decision for their health journey.

I'm not really giving my opinion on things. I'm just giving you the facts about it, teaching you and keeping it really in layman's terms. I could go all medical on people but I'm not going to do that. I don't want it to be overwhelming or intimidating.

Like I said, knowledge is power. When you know better, you do better. For example, there's this section called Food Is Fuel on there that says you could just eat healthy, but if you know what that food is doing literally inside your body when you eat it, then you might eat it more and you might actually like it more.

ALLIE: It works. It's empowering and it makes me feel smart and like I'm going into this purposefully knowing what I'm eating. I don't feel the way that you feel about health. It sounds awful, but I just don't really care to research. And so I feel like you break it down into a paragraph of that for me. It's exactly what you call it, like a bite size health resource. It's really simplistic and out of all the monthly membership types of things that are out there that I have joined, that I'm a part of now or in the past, this is the most simplistic. I feel like even in my busiest season of life, I could have easily taken this on and been helped by it. It's really easy.

AMANDA: Good. Yes. That's exactly what I wanted. I didn't want it to be an extra thing on your to-do list. Like “oh darn, I need to read that”. You could skim through it a little bit and leave feeling like you have a little bit more knowledge in your health, especially with all the opinions and the recommendations for health... This diet or this workout or this supplement.

Also, I feel it is helpful to people trying to filter what is best for them is the What The Health section. It’s taking things that are popular, whether it’s micro counting or a supplement that you keep hearing about or a fitness regimen, or whatever. I break it down to what it is and if it's worth it, to say if it's the real deal, if it would be beneficial and why it's beneficial, this is probably for this kind of person or not for this kind of person.

ALLIE: It's like the opinion that you Google trying to find. Yeah, it's really good. I feel like every section that you have in there is perfect. It's not too much. It's not too little. It's just enough. It's perfect.

Okay guys. Well we will link to Amanda's Instagram and A Wellness Note and all the Collagen peptides. Just go and browse her Instagram feed. It's an amazing resource for sure.

Thank you, Amanda, for taking time out of your life to help us and talk to us and encourage us in this important area. I appreciate it.

AMANDA: Thank you for having me. I so enjoyed it.
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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

EP 050: How Minimalism Can Steal Your Joy

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I've spent the last six years uncovering something that changed my whole life. And when I first started, I didn't know what it was called or even that it was an actual thing. I was just a desperate girl trying to find a way out of survival mode because I believed in my heart that I was created for more. And that thing, of course, is minimalism. The philosophy of less that comes with minimalism took me from overwhelmed, depressed and fighting, and barely getting by to loving motherhood, thriving in my role and being the mom that I always wanted to be.

For me, minimalism is about simplifying what I have in my home so that have the time and joy to focus on my family, offering my kids and my husband the best of me, not what's left over after I pick up, wash a thousand dishes, fold six hours’ worth of laundry and reorganize all the toys again. Minimalism is all about where my focus is. Not how many items I have, not how many pairs of jeans I have, not how minimalist I appear. I don't want to deprive myself of things for the sake of “being a minimalist.” There are things that bring me joy, make me happy, and fill my life. It's more time in my day, more time for what matters, more time for pursuing what lights me up and makes me feel alive.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What minimalism means to her and how she finds joy in having more of what makes her truly happy.

  • When you focus on asking yourself purpose-driven questions about what you own rather than counting your items and following what someone else says that you're supposed to be doing, you create a philosophy of minimalism that works for you. And minimalism for you will look different than minimalism for anyone else.

  • How minimalism is less on your to do list and more checks on your bucket list.

  • What takes up your space takes up your time. So focusing on the intent behind the stuff in your life will help you fill your time with things that bring you joy instead of make you feel overwhelmed.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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DO YOU FEEL LIKE...

You're stuck in survival mode? The mundane parts of motherhood have taken over? Every time you get something clean someone is making a mess behind you? You’ve tried to get organized a thousand times, but it always comes undone within a few days?

If you're screaming "YES!" at an awkwardly loud decibel while staring at the screen, I totally get it girl. And I have something for you. 

YOU'RE ABOUT TO DISCOVER WHAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING YOUR ENTIRE #MOMLIFE FOR...


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey sweet friends! Welcome to the show! Today we're going to talk about rules-based minimalism or this sort of “legalistic minimalism,” as I like to call it. This can be a controversial subject.

There are a lot of prominent teachers in the minimalism niche that have popped up over the last few years and many of them would strongly disagree with me on this. I know that because I have received emails. I won't name names because to each their own, but in this way, I think a lot of people disagree and that's okay.

But you know, I'm a mom. I've got four kids. I live a very simple life. I love my home. I love decor. I don't want to live in a cold, stark place that’s not very welcoming and doesn't make me feel filled with joy when I walk into it.

I don't want to deprive myself of things for the sake of “being a minimalist,” things that bring me joy, make me happy, and fill my life. I don't. I just don't want to live that way.

And so, I really want to address this idea of making decisions based on the fact of, “Oh, because I'm a minimalist or I want to be a minimalist…” I want to start out by saying that I've spent the better part of the last, oh my gosh, almost six years, uncovering something that changed my whole life. And when I first started, I didn't know what it was called or even that it was called anything. Even that, it was an actual thing. I was just a desperate girl trying to find a way out of survival mode because I believed in my heart that I was created for more.

And that thing, of course if you know my story at all, is minimalism. And that philosophy of less that comes with minimalism took me from overwhelmed, depressed and fighting, and barely getting by to loving my motherhood, thriving in my role and being the mom that I always wanted to be. I am not perfect, of course not, but so much closer to what I imagined I'd be when I was a girl and I imagined having a family.

For me, minimalism is about simplifying what I have in my home so that I'm a person who has the time and joy to focus on my family, offering my kids and my husband the best of me, not what's left over of me after I pick up, wash a thousand dishes, fold six hours’ worth of laundry and reorganize all the toys again.

The point of minimalism, for me, is where my focus is. Not how many items I have, not how many pairs of jeans I have, not how minimalist I appear.

It's taking power and control back of my time and how I spend my days. It's not about how many objects I have. It's more time in my day, more time for what matters. More time for pursuing what lights me up and makes me feel alive.

You guys, I started this blog before my minimalist journey, but it sat there half dead and getting nowhere. I am a writer at heart. I wanted to have a blog. I wanted to do something, and I didn’t know what. This whole business, this whole everything that I have, was born because I created more time in my life for my purpose and I would have missed it if I hadn't done this. It's so important.

Minimalism is more space in your home, more space in your calendar, more space to breathe and rest and enjoy things and live.

It's less yelling. It's less stress. It's less fighting with your family to just clean up please. Everyone gets that, right? It's less of that. It's less organizing and developing routine because you don't need to rearrange your junk. You need to let it go. It's less crap in your way. Less on your to do list and more checks on your bucket list.

Man, I'm telling you, it's where it's at. It's huge. It's life-changing. Minimalism is more money in your bank account because you're spending mindfully. It's being the mom you always wanted to be but have struggled so hard to find. The mom who isn't stretched incredibly thin every dang day, just trying to get to bedtime. The mom who doesn't resort to yelling because she's not that stressed out anymore.

Think about that. It's amazing. It's such a gift.

As I've gotten to the heart of this idea for myself of minimalism, you know, I've been spreading the secret of less to my fellow women as much as I can and that is what got me up to where I am today.

My message has reached people in Russia, China, Australia, Canada, and honestly, parts of the world I didn't even know existed. It's gotten me on television more than a handful of times. It's landed me on the phone with Jenny McCarthy. It's had my experience spread all over major websites for years. It's been incredibly unexpected and amazing. I love seeing other used-to-be-overwhelmed moms breaking these chains and messaging me that they found a new, purposeful way to do this “mom thing.” They're so happy and grateful.

However, having said all of that and laying the groundwork for you, one thing breaks my heart every time I see it. And it's an almost daily thing. These women missing the point, obsessing over the details and the numbers of the things in their home and continuing to give the power to their stuff, just in a different way.

So, like I said before, a lot of minimalist influencers will encourage this. I think they mean well and they have their hearts are in the right place. I'm not saying there's anything necessarily wrong with it, but you will never find this from me.

If this goes well with you and you want to count your things, and that's the philosophy you want – go. This is definitely not the place for you. I think these people are meaning well, but they're inspiring others by counting how many of each “thing” they own and focusing on the numbers and the things.

There are no minimalists’ rules. There's really no right way to do this and if anyone claims that, I think they've missed the point. I think we'd all agree that the point of living this way is the power.

By removing the excess from your home, you are now in charge of your space. Of how much time you spend on mundane things, of how you spend your days and like my favorite quote by Annie Dillard, she says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So, shouldn't we be intentional about this? If you're focusing on counting, you've missed the point because your things are still in charge of you. In this case of minimalism, it's still all about the stuff. You're just transferring the way it's in charge of you.

Sure, some people do really well with numbers and they just want a little guidance with what works and that's fine. But there's a big difference between guidelines and obsession. And I think there are people who pride themselves on living with very, very little. I've seen articles floating around about “this guy who lives with less than 20 things.” Okay, well he's homeless and he looks like he wants to kill himself, so, I'm going to go ahead and let go of how many jeans I have and just focus on living an intentional life with my kids. What's the point of that? To me, there's very little purpose there. It's all a big show. It's kind of irritating and it's also kind of unrealistic if you're a parent.

I've shared before that I love anytime the message of minimalism is getting out there. I love it. I love that this has spread like wildfire, become a trend lately. It's awesome. But most of the minimalist leaders are not even married, and those who are, are not parents, or they're dudes. They don't have the mom thing. They don't get it.

I'm happy when anyone frees themselves from consumerism. It's a real problem. I struggled with it for sure like anyone else does, but I can't help but wonder why these other people seem to feel the need to wear minimalism and the amount of items they have in their home like a badge. They show their stark empty houses with their plain, white walls that lack personality and they wear them like a badge, like pointing a big, red arrow to the number of things they own. I can't help but feel like maybe they've missed out on the freedom aspect, and instead you've chained yourself to things with a fresh pair of handcuffs.

You started out with the handcuffs over here to the left and you’re chained to your stuff because you have way too much of it. It's taking up all your space. It’s taking up all your time. It’s stealing your life from you. It's stealing opportunities from you. It's stealing your joy.

Then you find minimalism and you're feeling really good and inspired, but you get a little bit obsessive and you go all the way in and now you're obsessing over, “I really want these black jeans with holes in the knees and this tear right here. They're super trendy and I love them. Oh my gosh, they're so flattering. I have the money to pay for them, but I already have a pair of black jeans. I'm a minimalist and, oh my gosh, I can't. Nope. I'm not going to do it because I don't really need these.” And you leave the store and you can’t stop thinking about those dang jeans and how good they make your butt look.

You missed out on joy! Don't do that. The handcuffs are now on you still. They’re just over here to the right side because your stuff has you chained in a fresh way. This isn't a Spartan race where the most hardcore wins. It's not about comparison or being the most minimal.

It's about getting back what was stolen from us by our own selves by a culture of consuming. It's about more time, more joy, more living, more mothering, more present living, less yelling, less being stretched thin over your life, like Saran wrap over leftovers, where one little pull too hard or poke too heavy and it just falls apart. Your life falls apart. It's about creating white space in your life.

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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So, what do you do then? This is why I love teaching the art of simple in the way that I teach it, and that is by focusing on the intent. What's the why behind each item? What is it doing for you? Who cares how many you have? It's irrelevant. Why do you have it? Do you love it or need it enough to continue allowing it to take up your space and time? Because the fact is what takes up your space takes up your time. Remember, you buy everything twice. Once with your dolares, your dollars, your money. Then again with your minutes, so that's a fact. Are you okay with that?

I always use this example, but I'm going to use it again because it's amazing. I have a friend, her name is Jen (HERE is her episode). She was my first guest here on The Purpose Show and she's amazing. She does tiny house living and she was moving into her first tiny home that she had named Caroline.

It was a little house on wheels, super cute. She was getting rid of everything. Then she came across the collection of shot glasses that she had collected with her father who had since passed away. So, she's lost her father. She moving into a tiny house. She's letting go of things left and right. She's at the point where she has to really, really, really be intentional about the amount of things that she could have because she only has so much space. (Side note, you only have so much space, so if you have a very little amount of space, of course are going to have less stuff than somebody else. That's good. That's good. Let it motivate you.)

So, Jen's in this situation and she comes to this question of shot glasses. They’re really not necessary. She doesn't need a collection of shot glasses. Where is she going to put it? But you know what? Jen kept that collection of shot glasses because it brought her incredible joy. It was deeply special to her. She toted that thing around all of her tiny houses that she's lived in and she still has it. That's amazing.

It's about what is it worth to you? Every single thing is taking up your space and your time. So, is that worth it to you?

I've shared before about my love of clothing and I lived for about two years with a full-on capsule wardrobe and it was helpful. It definitely reduced decision fatigue, but it kind of left me a little lackluster, because I'm a girl who loves clothes. Fashion has always been my thing. I love putting outfits together. I love having a minimal simplistic style, but I also love having options. I love going into my closet and having all these options and piecing together an amazing outfit.

I don't have a giant closet overflowing with stuff. Everything that I wear gets worn on a very regular basis and I love all of it. It fits me. It's not stained or damaged and I wear it all the time. It’s not like I have a ton of things because if I had a ton of things that wouldn't be true of my wardrobe but it's definitely not a capsule wardrobe and I love it (HERE is that episode).

It's okay if it means a little bit more laundry. It’s okay if it means a little bit more space and time taken up. It’s okay if it’s a little bit more maintenance because that's worth it to me. I feel really unhappy with a capsule wardrobe.

You have to decide what's worth it to you. It's going to look different for you than it does for me. I think it's also important to ask yourself, “Could you live the next 30 days without buying it again?” If so, do you really need it? That's how you decide if something is a need.

When you focus on asking yourself purpose-driven questions about what you own rather than counting and following what someone else says that you're supposed to be doing, you create a philosophy of minimalism that works for you. It'll actually last that way because if it's not making you happy, it's not going to last. If it's not really working for you, it's not going to last.

There are some things that I have chosen to be super minimal with and I'm never going back. Like my kids' toys. We have the one toy bin and we keep our Legos separate in a separate little organizer. My kids have one toy bin and it works great. All the toys fit in there. We've never had more than that. When it starts to get overflowing, we reevaluate what's in there. We get rid of stuff. We have a one-in/one-out policy and it works great. We've had one bin of toys for all four of my kids for five years and it's been great.

I'm super minimal with my kids' toys because I want my kids to have the gift of imagination. I want them to play together and they do. We don't need anything else. That might not be the same for you. This works for me. There's areas of my life where I am so incredibly minimalistic and other areas where I'm like, “Well, this is worth it for me.” I want a little bit more (like my clothes.)

I know that I only need to clean up for about 30 minutes a day to maintain a house that’s clean, beautiful and ready for company to drop by. I know that my day is mine to live - sitting on the floor building Legos, homeschooling my kids, running a business that I love, and snuggled up with my husband watching Netflix  - without the stress of how much housework I will have to catch up on tomorrow.

That is minimalism. That's what it's given me. I've found my “sweet spot” and you will too. I know that I have the things that make me happy and the things that I need to live life well, but nothing else. I want for nothing. I count nothing. I obsess over nothing. Stuff has absolutely zero hold on me and I want that for you too. I don't want you to be bound by the stress of how much is too much or what number of jeans is the magic one that will make you a real minimalist.

I want you to make your own way and do what sets you free. I want you to have less. I want you to have enough less that you notice a bunch of fresh time on your hands. I want you to be free in that way too. I want you to simplify all the way and then see how you feel. If you want even more free time then go again, move through your house and another wave of less in purging.

Find your own magic number and don't you dare count to know what it is and measure it up to somebody standards.

Let go of the stuff and the need to follow the rules because life is waiting to be lived, right? And I want you to take the power from your stuff and put it back in your own hands where it belongs. Don't just transfer the handcuffs from one side to the other.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 049: Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down

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You know those moments when life is really difficult or when things aren’t going well? Those moments are hard! Let’s not dismiss that. But we don’t have to stay down forever! It is important that we remain positive, that we acknowledge what is happening and what we are feeling, and that we do what we need to do to move forward. If you're in a difficult place, if you’re just really overwhelmed or if you're really having a rough time, I’ve got you! Today I am sharing three simple ways that you can remain positive when life knocks you down. You're going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I'm rooting for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The difference between inconveniences and life crises.

  • How staying positive doesn't have to be irritating or impossible - it's a super beneficial way to live! But you're also a person with feelings and it's okay to have a tough time when life knocks you down.

  • Why you shouldn’t play the victim or throw yourself a pity party in those moments.

  • The benefit of paying attention to your feelings (Don’t ignore them, don’t discount them, don’t struggle against them).

  • Practical things you can do to stay positive when life knocks you down.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Unburdened Facebook 1.png

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood. I walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.

How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed. How to declutter toxic relationships in your life. How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you. How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friend! Today I want to talk to you about staying positive when life knocks you down. I really want to address when life is just not going well. When things are just really difficult.

Maybe you're struggling with some depression. Maybe you're not really there yet.

Maybe something really bad happened. Maybe something stressful or scary is going on and you don't really know how things are going to turn out.

Or maybe you're going through marriage problems and you're not really sure exactly what the problem is but it's got you down.

Maybe you're just really overwhelmed. Maybe you're in a time of crisis. Maybe there's a lot of inconvenience going on.

I'm not going to get super specific in what the situation is, what the level of the situation is because I think it's all relative. It depends on you as a person, your personality type, what your threshold for pain is in this life. We all define what a crisis is differently.

I think there are inconveniences and there are “life crises.”

An example of an inconvenience is last year Brian and I were scheduled to go to this Entrepreneur Retreat, across the country. We were really excited about it. We got the kids all packed up and sent them to my parents for three days. We headed to the airport and we were about to go on our way. We got to our first destination, which was a stopover flight at the airport in San Francisco. Our flight was delayed again and again and again, and all this stuff happened to where we ended up not even going on the trip and getting stuck at the airport for 48 hours. It was pretty frustrating. That's an inconvenience. That's not a life crisis.

An example of a life crisis would be your husband lost his job or you found out he is going to have to be let go in a month. You don't know what you're going to do. You’ve got a big house payment and kids and bills and you're freaking out. That's a life crisis. Or there's a death.

See what I mean? People can define “crisis” differently depending on what they've already been through and their personality type.

I think either way, inconvenience or crisis, it's important to know how to stay positive and how to deal when life is kicking you in the crotch, to put it bluntly.

I want to go over some things that I have picked up and learned. This is very surface. I'm not getting super deep into faith and all of that. Of course, if you know me or have been around here for more than two seconds, you know that I'm a Christian and my faith is a major part of my life, how I live and how I handle things. But I wanted to stay practical and sort of surface what can you actually do other than faith-based things.

I found this page in my journal and I had written these types of things down that I've learned over the course of my life going through multiple difficult things, in multiple difficulty levels of things. And it was really helpful. I liked seeing it and I wanted to share it with you.

First of all, I want to say that staying positive doesn't have to be irritating, like Pollyanna Syndrome where everything is rainbows and butterflies, just smile and be happy and it'll all be okay. It also doesn't have to be impossible.

It's easy to think to yourself, “Oh, I'm going to stay positive. When this happens or if this ever happens, I would just be really positive about it.” And then the event comes to your actual life and it feels really impossible to stay positive. I think it's a super beneficial way to live, but you're also a person who has feelings and it's okay to have a tough time.

So, let's talk about what to do, when to give yourself a break, how to set boundaries for your emotions, and when to “give in” and what not to do, if that makes sense.

Number One - It’s really important not to play the victim. Don't throw yourself into this never-ending pity party when things aren't going right - whether that’s something small like the entrepreneur retreat example. or something big like your husband lost his job or your mother just got diagnosed with cancer or you're losing your house.

We've had a situation where we lost a house because the landlord who were renting from lost their house and didn't tell us they weren't paying the mortgage with the rent. That was really difficult because it felt out of our control. It was really unfair and we had to move out pretty much immediately. I had just had my eleven-pound baby so I was not in a great place. And this was also right at the time in my story where I was really overwhelmed and depressed and hadn't really figured out how to simplify yet.

There are things like that that feel like a crisis, but don't throw yourself a pity party, like a never-ending pity party. It's okay to have a quick one.

Think about it. Have you ever known someone who just couldn't get over something? You give them advice, you're supportive, you're positive, and they just don't stop. And it's been way too much time, in your opinion, and they're still not letting it go. They just can't get over it. Eventually you do and everyone else does. And the person is left alone because they've alienated everyone in their own little private pity party.

Everyone's dealing with their own stuff. Everyone's got struggles. I'm not saying don't call your friends and family and vent. I'm saying vent, share feelings. Get the advice you need. Take a minute and then keep it moving in a positive way. Start to take action.

That leads me to number two - take action on the problem. Now. Pay attention to what you're feeling. Don't ignore your feelings, don't discount them. Don't shame yourself or feeling them. Don't struggle against them. Just acknowledge what they are.

I have really learned a lot from the practice of meditation. Simply being still. Being quiet. Thinking nothing. I'm not thinking. I'm not praying. I'm not even thinking about or repeating a thought over and over and over again to myself like a lot of people say they do when they're meditating,

I'm just simply sitting and being. If I have a thought, I acknowledge that it's there and I let it go. Have you ever done that? Have you ever really sat there and just let yourself be and notice how you feel? It's so powerful and so simple to acknowledge your feelings. I would encourage you to do that if you're going through a hard time. That is taking action - paying attention to your feelings, not ignoring them, not shaming yourself for having them, not discounting them or acting like they're not as big of a deal as they are, or fighting against them, but just acknowledging them.

Feeling your feelings. It's super powerful.

Have you ever had a million things to do and you keep fighting to make it work or figure it out? You how they say we’re like computers with too many windows open at once and we're going to crash? Pay attention to your feelings and do what you need to do that best for you. Acknowledge your feelings.

Have you been “in a crisis” and you were really feeling like, “oh my gosh, I'm so overwhelmed?” I got like this again in the time of my life when we were really trying to make ends meet and we had realized at Brian's job that if he only worked the minimum required hours each day we weren't really going to make ends meet. That we could not only make ends meet, but have a little bit of extra money to do a couple of fun things here and there, if he was working a ton of overtime. So, he was always volunteering to take extra overtime. The company did forced overtime for a while and that was good and terrible; good for the money, terrible from the time together.

During those really, really long years of a season of my life, I got like this. I got to the point where I had all these feelings. I had way too many windows open and I was crashing hard. There was no way out because the kids were there. Everything had to keep moving. I was doing everything from dawn till after bedtime by myself. I had all of that on my plate and it was really terrible. It was so hard.

I should have just stopped and paid attention to my feelings, paused, known what I know now, and given myself that space to just feel for a second and asked myself, “What is it that I'm feeling here? I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling like I just can't. Period. I just can't. I don't even know what. I just can't. I'm feeling like I miss my husband and this is not what I thought it was going to be like when we got married. I miss him. I'm feeling really lonely and feeling a little resentful too.”

If I would have let myself feel and acknowledge those feelings, I may have been able to think a little bit clearly about, “Okay, well, what do you want to do? Well, I don't know if this is worth it. I think I want to start to look for a different job. Try to intentionally find a way out. Start praying for a way out of this.” But honestly those thoughts didn't really come to us for years because we were hustling so hard to just get by and get through the next day.

Then the nighttime would come. The kids would go to bed. The silence would hit and I would want to avoid my feelings. I was a “feelings suppressor” to the extreme and I would binge eat junk food, turn on Netflix, ignore my feelings until I was so exhausted I fell asleep. The next day started to my kids tapping me, waking me up, and the chaos began all over again. This was my existence.

No wonder I got depressed, right?

I think giving yourself the space to feel your feelings. Once you feel those feelings, what do you need? Are you tired? Take a nap? Are you stressed? Take a break, take a step back. Take a day, take some time for yourself. Are you overwhelmed? Cut things off or let them go. Disappoint somebody. It's okay. Let it go. Are you worried?

Do you need help? Ask for it. Call someone that you know can relate. Call somebody that you trust, even if they don't live near you and can't really physically do anything. Just call someone. Get it off your chest. Maybe somebody who will give you good advice for your situation. Just do something.

Take some sort of action. It doesn't have to be action that's going to solve your problem, right then and there, but doing something is going to make you feel so much better. Acknowledging your feelings gives them space to make you aware of them, and then you can do something about it. Even if it's just taking a nap. Not an avoidance nap, but an I'm exhausted, I need rest, nap.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Number three is set boundaries for your breaks. Maybe you think, “Okay, I just want to eat whatever I want and let the house go. Stay in bed and not do anything. Skip the kids’ homeschooling for a day and just watch Netflix all day.” But then you're like, “Okay, I really shouldn't do that.” Every once in a while (and I'm giving you permission here, girl, because I've done it myself), do it anyway.

If you can feel like this is what I need, I need a break. I need to rest. I need a day away from the routines and the stress and the go, go, go. I want a day of canceling all these appointments, canceling all this stuff, staying home from work, snuggling in bed with my babies, eating cereal and just watching The Office on Netflix and letting the kids have a tech day. I need it.

Decide that you're going to do that and then give yourself boundaries around that so that you don't end up doing that same thing every day, three months later. Do what you have to do. Let yourself have a day if you need it. Take a break.

For example, you know saying, “I'm going to do whatever I want for a day. I just want to stay in bed. I'm going to stay on the couch. I'm not going to go to the gym. I'm going to eat whatever I want, and then tomorrow I'm going to get back to my routine. Then do that. That's your boundary. Give yourself a day or two days, probably no more than that. And you’re not going to stay there. Set boundaries for yourself.

I'm speaking from experience. What I said is what I used to do. I used to get so overwhelmed that I would fall into a pit.

This is where those of you who have never struggled with depression are probably judging me pretty harshly right now, and that's okay. Those of you who have gone through depression are probably about to cry because you're hearing that I understand exactly how you feel. I'm being really raw and honest with you and that's what I'm here to do.

You are who I'm here to serve with this episode and I just want you to know as you're listening right now that I could just cry for you. You are in such a difficult place and I am so sorry that you are there and I want you to know that it is okay. It's okay to be there. It's okay.

Whether you're in a depressive place or not, it's okay to take a break. But take the break and then get up. Even if it's hard. The only way to get over it is to get through it, so push through it. You can't skip it. You can't fast forward. I know you wish you could. I used to wish that I could fast forward, like that movie “Click.” If I could just fast forward to this one part because I know I won't regret it. The thing is, you will regret it, you would regret it, and you can't do it anyway. You've got to get through it, if you want to get over this hump. So, take a day. Take a break. Let yourself have a no-bra-Netflix-whatever day.

Then stand up the next morning. Set your alarm. Get up and start with one step. Get out of bed.

Next step, brew your favorite brew of coffee and enjoy that cup. Enjoy it hot. Let the kids get their own breakfast. Let them wait a second so you can have a couple of sips of coffee in peace.

Get the kids their breakfast, push play on the audio book you'd been wanting to listen to and have a relaxing day while you do the laundry.

Rinse the dishes after breakfast. Keep the TV off for one day. Listen to an audio book instead.

Step-by-step, step out of this difficult time, this rut that you found yourself in.

I know that this episode is called “Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down” and maybe none of this really sounds positive, but I know what it is like to be beyond an inconvenient time, beyond stuck at the airport on your way to an entrepreneur retreat. When you're in a time of crisis, when you are in a rut and it's so dark down there, you really don't see how you're going to get out this time. This is staying positive.

Deciding that you're going to take a day, you're going to give yourself a break. That you’re going to just have a “whatever day” and setting boundaries around that one day so it doesn't turn into six months. Deciding that you're tired and you need a nap, and that is the action you're taking today. Staying positive in a time like this. Paying attention to your feelings. Acknowledging that they're there. Being still in feeling those feelings instead of suppressing them. That is staying positive.

That's positive movement forward in a situation like this. Deciding that you're not going to play the victim and you're not going to continue to throw yourself a pity party. That’s staying positive. That's overcoming.

I hope these three steps have been a light to somebody who's really been in a dark time. I have totally been there and I understand.

I'm going to keep this episode brief. I'm going to cut it off here because when you're in a place like that, when you're just really overwhelmed and you're really having a rough time, that's really all you can take – three things. And even that might be too much.

I love you guys. If you're listening to this and maybe you’re emotional, maybe you broke down a little bit, maybe you're just like in awe that this episode found its way to you at the perfect time. I feel you. I know. Even though I don’t personally know you, I know you and know where you're at. I've been there. You will get over this sweet, sweet friend. You will get over this because you're going to work through it. You're not going to let it hold you down one more second longer.

You're going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I'm rooting for you. I'm always rooting for you.
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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.