Ep 085: Stop Over-Complicating Things

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It is SO easy to overcomplicate things. We spend so much time looking for the perfect answer instead of looking for the best answer for right now. We prolong jumping to action and learning as we go. And let’s be honest, most of the time we are afraid to say “yes.” One thing I have learned in my own life is that the best adventures and most beneficial things come from saying “yes” way before I was ready and way before it was perfect. Sometimes you have to just go for it and stop overcomplicating things!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How starting right where you are, with what you already have and know is the best first step.  

  • Ways you can use the resources you have to take action and see change happen.

  • The power of believing in yourself and knowing that you already know what to do. Just do it!

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

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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 friends! I'm so excited to be sitting down and chatting with you today. This episode is going to be pep-talk style. It's going to be pointed. It’s probably going to be short. I just want to kind of give you a kick in the pants. It’s my favorite thing to do and it kind of just comes naturally to me because I do it for my own self and for my friends and I just want to address some things.

In what I do, I spend a lot of time talking to other moms and hearing from other moms publicly. So, doing live streams, taking questions for Q & A episodes for the podcast, things like that. And so, so, so often I see the moms I work with overcomplicating things.

They're looking for the right answer, the perfect answer, instead of looking for the best answer for them right now, or just taking action and learning as they go. It's like they're afraid to say “yes” and they're procrastinating action.

One thing that I've found and I think the reason that I'm drawn to noticing these things in other people is that the best adventures and the most beneficial things in my life have come from me saying “yes” way before I was ready, way before it was perfect and just kind of going for it.

I'm going to give you a quick example from right now in my life and that would be with our adoption. I haven't shared publicly a lot of details just because it's messy and we're just kind of figuring things out, filling out paperwork, getting physicals and TB tests, and all these behind the scene things that you have to do. But with our adoption, we've changed types three times now. Actually no, that's a lie - twice. We've changed adoption types twice and it's messy. But the thing is is that we always knew we would adopt and as soon as we felt like, “I think it’s time. I've been thinking about it a lot lately,” and Brian’s like, “Yeah, me too,” and we decided, “Okay, it's time.” We didn’t wait.

We didn't overcomplicate it. We didn't blame it on prayer and super extend the time before we started. We just knew it was right. We knew it was meant for us. We had already prayed about that. We knew it was time. We knew it was what we wanted to do, but we didn't really know how. Foster? Domestic? International? There's a lot of decisions to make.

So, we just started. We knew it was time and we were in the right arena, although maybe we would land in the wrong seat. That's okay. We're just going to start.

I shared this on Instagram recently and I said something like that. “Sometimes in life you land in the right arena but just in the wrong seat and you need to move over and that's okay.”

Start with where you're at, what you already have, what you already know and just dive in. Trust that as you walk forward, as you pray, as you seek what's right for you, as you seek what God has for you, the right doors and windows are gonna open and shut.

For example, let's say you want to lose weight. Don't overcomplicate the process by buying a bunch of books on certain diets and researching like you don't have a clue. Just decide, “I'm unhappy. I don't feel good. I want to wear this type of outfit and feel great. I'm done with this.” Download the Nike run up and go for a jog. Stop drinking soda. Make a decision and just go. Do what you know and just start.

Today is a day that counts toward progress and if you let it go by, it's just one more day that you didn't start. It's just one more day that you were doing the thing you've always done and not doing the new thing. Stop letting yourself gather resources, procrastinate, wait and put it off. Use the resources that have already been put in front of you.

For example, a woman messaged me the other day telling me that she has always been overwhelmed by her home and she has always been unhappy. She's always been stressed when she walked through the door, and that she found me and learned from me that clutter was the cause of a lot of her stress and resentment in her life and toward her family. She had seen stuff about the Your Uncluttered Home course that I offer. She knew what it was about, but she delayed enrolling and just kind of was like, “Eh, maybe later.” Finally, one day she just did it.

She enrolled after she came to her email again and it was there. After going through just the very beginning of it, her life completely changed. She applied it and immediately everything was lighter and she hadn't even finished the rest of the course.

This is what I'm talking about. Just friggin’ start. Use the resources that have already been put in front of you, the things that you already know, and just walk forward. What you need will be provided for you as you go. It's okay to change your mind. Don't worry about what other people are thinking. Don't worry about how stupid they think you are. Don't worry about if this is the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect path, or the perfect way you can go about this. Just start.



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Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!

Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?

I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.

It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.

We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.

What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.

This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.

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What do you need to do to get started? If you need to get some skin in the game, like paying money for a helpful resource, just do it. If you need to get some guidance in taking on something that you want to change, go get that. But don't delay it, overcomplicate it, and find excuses to leave things how they are if you're unhappy. Usually you already know what to do, most of the time.

For example, I see this a lot in live streams and you'll see it too if you ever come to my live streams. A lot of women so often will answer their own questions. Of course, there's no judgment there. It's a common thing. It happens all the time. We all do it from time to time, but this is one place where you can see it happen really clearly.

When I do a general Q & A live stream, a lot of the time the woman will come on and they'll answer their own questions. For example, they'll say something like, “I really want to get into a routine, but I just haven't made time for it.” Well, you just answered your own question. If your question is, “how do I get into a routine,” you just said you're not making time for it. You're not making time for what matters because it doesn't actually matter to you. You need to get your mind right. You need to understand what this is going to do for you.

Also, a lot of the time we use our excuses as badges of honor, so much so that we don't actually want to rid ourselves of them. Because if we rid ourselves of our excuses, our difficulties, and the things that are holding us back, we have no excuse to stay stagnant. We have no excuse to stay where we're at.

I'm just going back to losing weight because it's always on the top of my mind as an example because it's something that a lot of people struggle with. I've gotten some comments like, “You always use dieting as an example, like stop doing that,” and it's like, “Well, if you don't like it, then I don't know what to tell you because it's just something that we all struggle with as women and it's always on the top of my mind so I'm using it as an example.”

So, let's say that you want to get healthy and you're just feeling really yucky, you don't feel good, you just know that you're unhealthy and you want to make changes. A lot of the time I'll see women say that they want that, but they come up with a bunch of excuses to not make that change because what would happen if they were no longer overweight?

What would happen if they were no longer the one who struggled with this? Who will they be? What will this do to their identity? What will it do to their marriage? What will it do in their friendships? Who will they be as a person? What will they do? How will they cope if they can no longer binge eat?

I've shared openly my struggle with overeating, emotional binge eating and all of that stuff, so I'm speaking from experience. It can rattle you to your core. You can think, “I'm unhappy. I don't feel good. I want to make this change in my life” (whether it's clutter, weight, marriage stuff, parenting stuff, personality stuff, whatever it is) but a lot of the time you keep getting stuck in the old same habits because you don't actually want to part with that part of you and you don't really know who you'll be if that’s not a part of you anymore.

We really have to dig deep and understand, “Why am I this way? What's going on with me?”

I'm going to leave you, after this quick little pep talk, with an action step. I want to know what is it that you've been putting off, for whatever reason, that you really need or really think that you want to do in your life? Name that thing, and just write out any thoughts that come up. Is there any reason that you maybe actually don't want to do that? Or have been putting it off? Is it a little deep, like actually not knowing who you'll be if you're not this person that struggles with this thing? Is it something that you joke about a lot, that you're using as an excuse?

Jot down all those thoughts that are coming up for you. Spend a few minutes on this thing. What is it that you've been putting off? What is it that you really need or want to do in your life? Get it all out.

Then I want you to go and start it. Even if it's imperfect. Even if it's not exactly how you thought it could be or the best it could ever be, just start it.

So, like Brian and I starting our adoption even though we weren't really sure which route we wanted to take and we've switched a couple times, and to finding exactly where we were supposed to land.

Even if it's getting healthy and you don't really know much about the Ketogenic diet, the Paleo diet or Whole 30, but you just know that you're unhappy. Just cut out soda. Start taking walks.

Just start with what you know.

If it's clutter and you know that you're unhappy, but you just don't really know what's wrong with your house, you don't really know where to start and you feel like you're excusing yourself away from making changes, go and listen to the last episode that I posted about me writing your ‘why’ for you in terms of decluttering, and get your butt in gear.

Let go of things. Clear out your junk drawer. Attack that closet if it's bugging you. Simplify your wardrobe. Let go of some of the excess dishes you keep washing for no reason.

Just go and start. Even if it's imperfect. Just start right where you're at.



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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 084: Putting Off Decluttering? I Wrote Your 'Why' For You

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When it comes to decluttering, many people get stuck on the hurdles that come up in the process. They don’t take action, they procrastinate, and they never dive into it. When I realized that my stuff didn't have to own me and that I could live my life instead of cleaning up after it all the time, everything changed. What you need in order to take on anything new, anything hard, any big change in moving away from the life you've lived and into the new life you're going to live, what you need to do that, is a solid ‘why’ underneath you. Your ‘why’ will push you forward to keep going and keep making these positive changes when things get in the way and it feels too hard. So if you are putting off decluttering, I promise this episode will show you why you need to do!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The importance of your “why” and how it pushes you toward making positive changes.

  • How materialism is linked to narcissism and and depression.

  • Why she wants to see you move forward with decluttering and the value it will bring to you and your family.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

A_Merry_Little_Christmas_B.png

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


Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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 ladies! I'm so excited for today's episode because we are getting scientific.

Also, I am sitting in the desk chair at my hotel. I am recording this month's episodes during a hotel getaway, and the chair that I've just moved into for this episode is making farting sounds. So, if you hear a weird sound, it wasn't me. It was the chair. I promise.

Anyway, let's dive in. I want to get into this. I'm super excited.

What I'm mainly known for is decluttering and the problem that people get super hung up on is these tiny hurdles that come up in the process of getting rid of your excess in your home. And not just the tiny hurdles; even the big hurdles. The point is that they don't take action or they procrastinate. Or they let a problem get in their way, be in their way and stop them, whether they've been making some progress, and then they get held up and stop, or they never even start because they are so held up on the hurdles.

And the thing is is that I don't talk about this for nothing. This isn't just something that I randomly do, or that I kinda like talking about, or that I'm just good at. This stuff really matters. The reason that I talk about decluttering, the reason that I've built a business, a podcast, a blog, an email list, and all this stuff around this topic is because it is my life's work. This is my story. I was robbed of my motherhood. I was not living it. I was super overwhelmed. I was struggling with depression. I was missing out on my life, on my days. I was shooing my kids away from me so that I could catch up on the housework and letting these mundane pieces of life be my life, own me, and take all my time and focus.

When I realized that my stuff didn't have to own me, that I could put it in its place and simplify so that I could focus on what actually matters, and that I could live my life instead of cleaning up after it all the time, everything changed. And that's what I do. That's what I share.

It's frustrating to me when I see people not understanding that. I get that life is really busy, really full, and there's a lot of different things pulling at your focus and attention, but honestly it breaks my heart every time I see a comment or hear someone saying that they don't have time to declutter and simplify, that they hate their house, that they feel stressed when they walk in the door, yet they're doing nothing to move forward.

I think the biggest thing that I see - there's like five main things that I see - but the biggest, most common one is just that people are seeing decluttering like this big futuristic task they want to take on but haven't started yet, and that is just not how it needs to be seen at all.

It can be started immediately. The good thing about decluttering is that you pretty much see results right away. It's like instinct gratification. You get rid of something, you have more space and more time instantly. And that's pretty rare. It's not something that happens with everything.

So, I find myself getting super frustrated with women who are complaining about their homes, feeling like they're stressed when they walk in the door. They don't have enough time in their day. They're unhappy. They're dissatisfied. They're unfulfilled. And it's like you’re making this decluttering thing this big thing you're gonna do some day instead of just starting.

Some of the biggest excuses that I hear are, “I'm busy. Well, my husband isn't really on board. He doesn't get this. Well, but I work full time. Well, we're moving soon, so I'm waiting,” which that's my least favorite one because why would you move your crap into a new house when you have a perfect opportunity to declutter now while you're packing and only move into your new space what you want there?

You know, “We're renovating. It's hard right now. I'm afraid to hurt people's feelings if I get rid of certain things. Well I don't know what to do with things that I decide not to keep. Should I sell them? Should I donate them? Like I could use the money.

It's so frustrating because when I tackled all the clutter in my house - six years ago when I started this process, before minimalism was a fad, before there was a documentary about it, before there were a billion books on the topic - when I started this, it was nothing. I didn't even know that it was called minimalism. I had no idea it was a thing. I was just a desperate mom crying out to God on her bathroom floor and saying, “Please help me. I know that I'm called to abundant life. I know that I'm not living it right now and I know that you did not intend to exclude mothers from that promise, so tell me what I'm doing wrong. Please help me.”

When I figured this out, I tackled all the clutter in my house and it was the worst time for me. I had three kids under age three. I was seriously struggling with depression and all I wanted to do was go to bed and turn on Netflix. I had no money, a huge overwhelming house. It was my first year of homeschooling and things were crazy. I had every reason not to do this. My marriage was a mess. Seriously, every reason not to do this.

Brian was not on board. We've talked about that a lot and there's an entire lesson with an audio interview between the two of us in Your Uncluttered Home where we talk about how much he was not onboard with letting go of things, how we worked through that and how he wasn't on board for two years. I had every single excuse, everything against me, every reason not to do this, and yet I did it.

What you need in order to take on anything new, anything hard, any big change in moving away from the life you've lived and into the new life you're going to live, what you need to do that, is a solid ‘why’ underneath you. Your ‘why’ will push you forward to keep going and keep making these positive changes when things get in the way and it feels too hard.

So, I started to get really frustrated with all of these excuses that I hear and all these things. I get it. It's hard to make change. It is. But really what these are is excuses to not move forward.

And I decided, you know what? I'm going to write your ‘why’ for you, so that's what I'm doing today. I'm literally writing your ‘why’ for you and showing you, here's why you need to do this. Here's why no matter how much you have going on, no matter how far away you're moving, no matter how much you are afraid of offending people by getting rid of stuff they gave you, no matter how against this your husband is and how that feels like a huge hurdle, no matter what's going on, why you need to do this now.

So, I'm a Christian and as such I rely on Scripture a lot of the time and I've written articles about how minimalism is living biblically and all that stuff. It's good stuff. But today I want to talk about how science is, as always, catching up with Scripture and it backs this up so well.

So first, let's dive into an article published by Leaf Van Boven at the University of Colorado. His article focused on the fact that investing financial resources in experiences makes people happier than investing in material possessions. He basically came to find that materialism is directly linked to narcissism and depression. That's pretty heavy.

He cited that several studies have shown that the more people focus on materialistic goals, the less happy and satisfied they are with life in general. Think about that statement. That's super intense. Several studies have shown that the more people focus on materialistic goals, the less happy and satisfied they are with life in general.

Now, if you're familiar with Scripture, think about how many things can you think off the top of your head that back that up? That the message is to store up treasures in heaven and desert what is here on earth and focus on eternity. Focus on what really matters. So, we're just being told again what we already know.

There is something that I want to read you, too, from another article on this study that was done on studying people and things and the relation between that. This is what it says, super scientific, ready?

The way people describe their homes may reflect whether their time at home feels restorative or stressful. This article uses linguistic analysis software to analyze 60 different dual income spouse's self-guided home tours by calculating the frequency of words describing clutter, a sense of the home as unfinished, restful words and nature words. Based on a principle components analysis, the former two categories were combined into the variable stressful home and the latter two into restorative home.

Over three weekdays following the home tours, wives with higher stress home scores, had flatter diurnal slopes of cortisol, a profile associated with adverse health outcomes; whereas women with higher restorative home scores had steeper cortisol slopes. These results held after controlling for marital satisfaction and neuro-neuroticism. Women with higher stressful home scores had increased depressed mood over the course of the day, whereas women with higher restorative home scores had decreased depressed moods over the day.

It's okay if you need to use your phone app to skip back 15 seconds and relisten to that a couple times; I had to read it like five times because it's a lot of scientific words and it's a lot of information. Basically what we already know and what I teach all the time, this is backing that up. That the amount of clutter in your home is directly correlated to the amount of stress. More stuff - more stress. Less stuff - less stress.

So, these people did a study on dual income spouses giving a self-guided tour of their home. They took note of the types of words they used to describe their rooms as they went through and gave a self-guided home tour. They found that the words they used, the way they described their home, the tone they used, and the way they felt about their homes in general, were so directly tied to the amount of excess, clutter and stuff in the space. This really matters.

There's another study that I want to draw attention to. It was done by two people. One was named Darby Saxby and the other was named Rena Repetti. These two did a study that was published by Sage Publications and the study was called No Place Like Home. Here's a quote that I pulled from it. “The home can be a place to unwind from the work day, but when housework and home repairs compete for the attention of time-strapped, working parents, home can become more of a source of demands than a haven from the outside world.” Who is feeling like they want to raise their hands up to this? Like the house can become such a demand for your time and attention and needs so much work, that it ends up being like this giant chore list and task lists versus a haven from the outside world. What can we do to make our homes more of a haven? For ourselves, for our husbands, for our children, for our families as a whole?

Create less work. And that is why I so, so, so am hard hitting about minimalism.

This study by Saxby and Repetti also found that it's likely - “highly likely” to quote them - it's highly likely that individual's feelings about their homes also shape their everyday fluctuations in stress and mood. So how you feel about your home is how you feel in general. It's how stressed you are. It's how your mood is in general. It affects your thoughts. It affects your inner workings. It's so important.

There was another study done at Harvard that said that “eliminating clutter would cut down on housework by 40%.” How would your life even look if you had 40% less housework every day? That is a lot less burden for you.

Another study done at UCLA, which I talk about all the time, found that the more stuff that’s in a woman's house - they only did the study on women because they found that men weren't affected enough to show results, which I think is hilarious - but this study found that the more stuff that was in a woman's house, the higher her level of stress hormones (cortisol). The same study also found that women subconsciously relate how happy they are with their home life and family to how they feel about their house. So, the more clutter and chaos in the home, the less happy the woman is with her family and her life.


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Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!

Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?

I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.

It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.

We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.

What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.

This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.

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So basically, there's your ‘why.’

If you've been coming up with excuses…You're moving. You're waiting for your adoption to go through or your baby to come. You're renovating your house right now. Your husband just doesn't really seem to get it. Things are just really busy and you're in a really full season. Your kids are all in sports and school is really hectic. You're going back to get your degree and you'll wait till later.

These are all good reasons to wait, but if you're coming up with an excuse and you're putting this off, I'm here to tell you, look at how serious this is. Seriously, look at what this will do for you and what you feeling lighter will do for your family. Could you even get a better ‘why’ than this?

What I want this episode to do, I want it to be a pep talk and I want it to say, “Stop overcomplicating this. You know what your problem is. You know exactly what the solution is. Just do it. Just do it.”

I've said this before, but I'm just going to leave you guys with this: This is your why. Feel free to come back and revisit this episode and listen to it over and over again to get amped up and remind yourself why this matters, why it's worth your time.

If you're having trouble finding the time, decide this is a priority. What do you do with priorities? You pencil it in. If you need to go and get a physical at the doctor and it's important to you, what do you do? You call them. You make an appointment. You put it on your calendar. You find the time. You get the time off work. You create space. Whatever it is you need to do, you make it happen. You put it on your calendar and you show up.

Treat this like that. This is an appointment that you cannot break. This matters. It's affecting your psych. It's affecting your mood. It’s affecting your stress levels. It's affecting your marriage, your motherhood, your family. It's affecting your kids' childhood. It's affecting everything. This matters; so treat it that way.

What I did when I was in the throes of decluttering, in the very beginning of all this, was I set aside Monday and Saturday mornings just for a couple of hours and I would just have at it. So schedule time. Find some space. Even if it's 30 minutes a week, it's something. Don't let this become nothing.

What I don’t want is this: I don’t want you to hear this episode and hear like, “Oh my gosh, she's so right. This is so important,” and then get really worked up to where it's such a big deal that again you find yourself in a cycle of seeing it as this big thing you’ll do someday that’s really important to you, but you’re not going to do right now.

Yes, it's a big deal. Yes, this super matters, but 10 minutes is better than no minutes. Do something. Clear out your junk drawer. Take a look at your closet and just get some stuff out of there. Go into the toy room with your kids and say, “Guys, I bet you could each find 10 things that you don't really play with anymore that we can give to some kids in need. Let's see who can find 10 things the fastest.” Just do that. It'll take you 10 minutes.

Just start somewhere. Stop over complicating this and just do it.

Once you decide this is important and you're going to treat it like an appointment and pencil it in, the other common hurdle is where do I start? You have two choices.

You can start somewhere that is sucking up a lot of your time and energy. Maybe that's your laundry for you. Maybe it's your kitchen. You just feel like you have way too many dishes and somehow, even though you only have four people in your house, you end up with a massive pile of dishes to wash every night. Start with the dishes. Simplify. All you need is a dish per person. Let the rest go.

Maybe it's your kid's toy room. Maybe you want to start there.

Start somewhere that’s really over complicated, that’s sucking your time and energy from you and just start there.

Or you can start somewhere that’s really easy. A really easy ‘yes and no’ decision area like the bathroom. The bathroom is so often just loaded with clutter. I was just talking to a friend and she told me that she bagged up four full trash bags of stuff just in her tiny little bathroom. It's not even a big bathroom.

But the bathroom is typically not a place where we store sentimental items. It's usually easy ‘yeses and nos’ like old makeup and hair tools that don't work anymore that we're holding onto for whatever reason. Start in there and let that be an easy ‘yes and no’ area, and build the momentum you need to keep going.

The point is that you're just starting. Stop waiting. Stop making this seem like this big thing you have to do someday. Start now. Start making progress. You will finish.

Eventually you will get to the other side where you can say, “Wow, the things in our home are the things we love and the things we actually need. Things are lighter.”  You’re going to be in maintenance mode and it's going to be awesome.

But first you have to stop making this way more complicated than it actually is.

You'll have to let this episode serve as your big ‘why’ and let it push you forward and just start.

So, you already know what your problem is. You already know your ‘why.’ I just wrote it for you. I just said it to you.

You know exactly what the solution is and now it's time for you to just do 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 083: Let's Talk About Working Mom Guilt

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Working motherhood has so many different angles. And whether you work full time or part time, work outside of your home or from your home, working mom guilt is a real thing. We all struggle with it at one point or another. We don’t want to miss the first moments of our kids lives or the activities they are involved in, we don’t want them to think that all we do is sit on our computers or phones all day working, and we definitely don’t want them to resent us for working. So how do we deal with our guilt? How do we balance work and life? How do we teach our kids to value good work ethic? (Because they will grow up and enter the workforce one day!)

If there is one thing I know, it is that being a working mom doesn't mean show up, be perfect at everything, have a super clean house, be an awesome cookie baker, come to every game, be super rich, run an amazing business or do amazing at your job. It means prioritize what matters, show up where you can, and find the balance in seasons. Show your kids what a healthy work life relationship really looks like, how grateful you are, how awesome you are, and what it looks like to thrive in these two roles of worker and mother. You’re doing a great job, mama! Keep going for it!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The key to working mom guilt is recognizing what causes it for your specific situation.

  • The connection between how you talk about your work and how your kids will view your work. It is important that they see it as valuable and not something that takes mommy away.

  • How you can navigate technology with your kids, especially if your job requires you to be on your computer or phone most of the day.

  • Why it is ok to be tired, bring in help, and release yourself from the heavy expectations of being a working mom.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

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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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Hi, beautiful friend! I hope you are ready to be set free today! I have been sitting on this episode for a while. I have been seeing this topic come up a lot and just wondering how to communicate what I wanted to say.

I feel like working motherhood has so many different angles. There are different types of working moms. There are different lifestyles and schedules of working moms. Everybody has their own version of guilt surrounding motherhood and so I didn't want to just come on here and blab about my experience. I really wanted to make this useful for everyone or at least as many people as possible. I don't think anything is ever useful for everyone and someone will always hate anything and everything, but I really wanted to do well with this episode.

I had a meeting with my business manager, Hayley, and we were talking about something totally different and she just randomly said, “You know, I was thinking recently that you should do an episode about working mom guilt because I keep seeing it come up everywhere and there really isn't anything that's super helpful and I just think it could be really good.”

And I do think there's plenty of things out there that are helpful. But you know, we haven't talked about that here. And I haven't talked about it on my blog. I've really never talked about it, and it's something that's been a big part of my life and my personal journey. So, as I prepared this episode, I jotted down a couple of highlights that I didn't want to forget to say that have to do with my struggle and my journey to working motherhood because it wasn't always this way for me.

And then I talked to another amazing mom on my team, Ashley. She's the one who does the show notes for episodes and she's amazing. She does my press. She's awesome. And she's an amazing working mom, and she kind of shared with me. I just kind of asked her like, “What's your experience with working mom guilt and can you talk to me about maybe a couple things that are hard for you?” She shared a few things with me and kind of helped form this episode. So, I feel good that this isn't just coming from me.

My hope is that this episode is helpful for all types of working moms, whether you work outside of the home, you work at home, you work full time or part time, or you switch between out of the home office and your home office, or you hate your job or you love your job. I hope you love your job. I just want this to be helpful in some way, even if it's small for all types of working moms. So that's my hope.

So having said that, I just want to share a little bit about my struggle as I went from a stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom, and not even really just to work at home mom, but an entrepreneur, a business owner, and then that kind of just evolved into being a full-on CEO with a big team to run and this big company that, you know, it's just turning into this big thing that I never dreamed it would. It's really neat, but it's like every level comes with a different type of struggle, a different type of guilt. So, I just want to share a little bit about that.

When I became a mom, I was very surprised to find myself pregnant, not in the way of like, oh I'm shocked that I got pregnant, we weren't married or anything like that. We’d been married for about eight months. I was surprised because I was told that I would probably have a really difficult time having kids, if I could have them at all.

Brian and I met in junior high school and we got married a couple years after high school. We were really young and we weren't really jumping to start our family or anything. Birth control made me incredibly sick, like violently ill. I'm allergic to latex so you can figure that one out. So it kinda just felt like this struggle to prevent pregnancy. Young and dumb, and in love, and just kind of over it, I just kind of figured, you know, if birth control makes me violently puke, get hives and get nausea, and pretty much all methods of birth control make me so sick, and if I can't even really probably have kids, I'm just going to stop.

And then there was Bella, so I became a mom and I got my real estate license actually, shortly after Bella was born. You guys might know already; I've talked about this a little bit before but I had postpartum depression and I was just like a mess when Bella was a baby.

But towards her first birthday I got my real estate license and I started to work and I hated it. It was super boring for me. I just really didn't like it. I was driving to my first job. I was going to go and put a lockbox on this house. I was driving and I heard God say (one of two times that He has talked to me like almost audibly) and He just said, “This is not what I have for you. I want you to turn around and go back and be with your daughter.” And so, I did. Super dramatic story, I know.

And then I was a stay-at-home mom from then on. I stayed at home with Bella. I stayed at home with Leland. I stayed at home with Hudson. Brian got a job at a big company and he was working. He was working his butt off. We were able to make ends meet barely, but we did.

There was a lot of good seasons in that job, like where he was able to work a lot of overtime and we had the money that we needed. We were able to pay our bills. I was a stay-at-home mom and that's where we felt good for years.

Then I had Emmett and we moved to the Midwest for his job and everything just kinda started to change. And if you've listened to episode six, you already know our money story, our business-starting story, and all that. I won't get into that. But basically, God just showed up and changed our life and lead us into this place where we didn't have any family. We had very little friends and we didn't really know anyone. We were kind of just brought out away from everyone so that He could change our lives and give us this message of, “Okay, it's time for you to do this now.”

It was basically turning my little hobby blog into a business. I had had a lot of ideas for that, but really didn't feel like it was something that I needed to do, was supposed to do or really knew how to do. We just kinda got thrown into making this a big focus.

I worked my butt off and I learned. I had already kind of taught myself how to do some coding and I knew how to make websites. I knew how to blog. I'm a writer at heart, so I loved to write, and I was good at that part of it. I had a message that I was really passionate about with helping moms simplify. I just wasn't doing it as a business. My audience was asking me for that and asking me to create a course.

And so, I did. You guys know the story probably, and it all just kind of exploded. I mean I say that like it happened overnight and it didn't. I worked my butt off and it took a long time. But long story short, there I was a previously stay-at-home mom running a full-on business. Then I hired somebody to help me with email. I hired somebody to help me with images and graphics and design. Then I hired someone to take photos for me because I found that it is illegal to use other people's photos and I didn't know that before.

Then I hired a business manager and a project supervisor and CFOs because I'm not great with money, and all of these things started adding up. Now here I am, CEO of The Purpose Group, Incorporated, and it houses The Purpose Show podcast, the blog, the website, the courses and The Abundance Academy, which is the school where all my courses live. It's this big thing and it's crazy.

Through that process from going from stay-at-home mom to mom, business owner, work-at-home mom, (my office is at home and I typically work at home. I don't have an outside office) I have dealt with a lot of different types of mom guilt. And it was really unique for me, I feel like, because the process from actually exiting stay-at-home motherhood and getting into work-at-home motherhood was very abrupt for me.

It wasn't like, “Hey, I think we're going to talk about this. I think I am going to go to work. I think I'm going to get a job.” It was just like, okay, everything is going terribly and something needs to change and we both really feel like God's pulling us over here, so let's go.

Then one thing led to another, led to another, led to another where it was like, not only am I now work-at-home mom, but I've got this big role and a lot of hours and a lot of time going into my business, all these things happening and all these people to manage. And now I'm the breadwinner, because Brian left his job and we did this full time, and oh my gosh, it's just a lot.

And what I want you to know, first of all, is that we all deal with mom guilt and I think that's okay. It's okay that it's there. But the key might be to recognize what's causing it for you. What is the guilt circling around? I don't want this episode to become Allie’s story from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom, and my mom guilt, so I want to kind of exit that part. I'm just letting you know that I relate and kind of how my story went very briefly.

But I really want to get into this now and get into the mom guilt stuff. So, like I said, let's first start by, because you know me, I'm always trying to help you take action, what is the mom guilt circling around? Is there a key that you can recognize of something that's causing it?

For example, do you always have mom guilt around the fact that you sometimes miss your kid's baseball games for example? If so, how can you find a way to make it to the game? Is that even possible? Could you work out with your boss to get those nights off? Could you structure your schedule if you work at home to be done working by then?

If not, if it's not a possibility for you to make it, then can you have a conversation with your kid and just kind of talk it out with them? Be candid with them about it and explain it to them like, “This is what I'm doing, this is what's going on for me. I just wanted you to know that I love you. I care and I'm supportive. I'll always make it to your Monday night practice, I just can't make it to your Wednesday night games,” or whatever it is. Talk to them about it. I think a lot of the time our kids care much less than we assume they do.

So often we can find or create solutions about our problems, the problem here being guilt, but we just don't. We let it feel hopeless and we do nothing so it becomes this lifelong struggle. We linger and sit in this mom guilt that could have been solved.

Don't think that mom guilt is just something that you can't do anything. I think it's normal. I think it's going to be there in some amount, and it's okay. It's just being a mom. But if you chronically have guilt around something kind of stop, step back and think about it, look into it a little deeper and ask yourself, what is this guilt circling around? What's it stemming from? And get specific and like, okay, it's because I always miss my daughter's swim meets. See if you can find or create a solution to that problem and then it will cure that guilt. Okay?

I also think, I mean I know this has been said before, but I want to say it to you again. You're providing for your family. You should be so proud of that. Step into that awesome role and feel good about what you're doing. You’re doing something awesome. That is not a small deal. Try to come back to that pride place where it's like, look at what you're doing. That's so great.

I also think it's really important to note how you feel about your work, how you react to it, how you talk about it in front of your kids, how you treat it. That's how your kids are going to see it.

So, if you're coming at your work from a place of, you know, “Gosh, I'm just so sorry that I always have to do this, and oh my gosh, I just can't do it all,” and you're yelling all the time, you’re stressed, your burdened and you're treating it like that or talking about it like that, that's how your kids are going to see it and that's how they're going to see work in general especially if you have girls and they become mothers and they're working, so be grateful for it.

We'll talk about that more in a few minutes, but be grateful for your job. Be positive about it. Let your kids see how strong and amazing you are, that you have something else going on too. Not just being their mom. Not that there's anything wrong with that, like please don't message me, “I can't believe you said that.” That's not what I mean; this is a working mom episode.

You have something else that you're doing. It's a big deal. It's good. You're amazing. So be grateful. Be Positive. Use positive words. Have a positive vibe and energy around your job because how you feel about your work, how you react to it, how you talk about it, how you treat it, is how your kids are going to see it. So, they won't know that it's negative, stressful, or there should be guilt around it unless you make them feel that way.

Also, next, let's talk about taking breaks. It's okay to take a break from work and prioritize your kids for five minutes. I think a lot of us tend to get into this “all or nothing mode” where we feel like, okay, right now I'm working so I'm going to have to finish this task completely. Then I can be with you guys, be with the kids. Nothing has to be “all or nothing” unless you make that choice to have it be that way.

I think one of the definitions of, especially if you work at home, one of the definitions of work at home motherhood is that you're going to be interrupted, and you have to get really flexible and really good at coming back to things, getting interrupted and doing one thing, then doing another and then coming back to the other thing. And women are great at that, so you can do this.

Break it up. Do some work, and if your kids are coming up to you and tapping on your leg, or asking for your time…Ashley, the girl that I told you about that’s on my team, she was telling me that her son will come up and just close her laptop and it's kind of her sign of like, okay, you need me. Take five minutes and go on a walk with them, Build a castle out of blocks with your toddler. Have a dance party in the living room real quick. Get them a snack. Give them a kiss. And then get back to work. It's okay to break things up. Allow yourself to be flexible and do what you need in the moment.


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Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!

Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?

I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.

It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.

We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.

What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.

This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.

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There was one issue that Ashley brought up that I thought was great and it was really specific. I want to address it. She was talking about that torn, weird feeling that you can get because a lot of us who work are on our phones, tablets or computers pretty often. I have dealt with this for sure. I think that's why Ashley brought it up. I was like, “Yes! I need to talk about that.”

My job is on my phone. In my business I have a lot of things delegated that I used to do that I don't do anymore, but my job description now is basically being a public figure. I write my emails because I love connecting with you guys and talking to you guys. I do Instagram stories and I record the podcast once a month, but day to day I'm responding to you guys on Instagram. I’m responding to your comments. I'm posting things. I'm checking in. Like it's my job to show up, and talk to you, be there and encourage you. Like that's my job, so I'm on my phone a lot.

It can kind of feel weird when you're doing that, because it's your work, and so your kids see devices and technology as normal, as almost like expected entertainment. They can throw a fit if you're on your stuff and you're trying to limit their technology, not wanting to hire Netflix to babysit them every day when you're working. They don't understand and you feel hypocritical. Like they're going to think, “Well, mommy's on her phone, why can't you be on your tablet though.” And I just want to speak truth to that. If anyone is struggling with that, especially if you have toddlers, it can be really hard to communicate to them that that's different.

I just want to let you know…let that go. That's not a thing. It doesn't have to be a thing. It doesn't have to be something that you feel weird about. It's such a blessing to be able to do your work from your phone. I'm so thankful that I can take my kids to the park, let them run crazy, have fun and play while I sit on the bench and catch up on Instagram comments. Don't feel guilty about that. Don't feel weird about that.

We live in an awesome time where work can be done from anywhere. So if you see another mom judging you for being on your phone at the park, she doesn't even know. That's happened to me before, and I'm like, “Girl, you don't even know. I'm sitting here encouraging, inspiring and equipping other moms because it's my job. Because I worked my butt off to be able to work from this park bench. Don't you raise that eyebrow at me or I will rip it off.”

But don't let that be a thing. Let that go. Of course, set boundaries and be intentional, but if you have to do your work and it's on your phone, let that be that way. Be grateful that you can do something like that on your phone so easily and it's just right there. It’s something that you can do anywhere.

Also if you do have toddlers and they just don't understand…I was telling Ashley this…I did this with Emmett because he was the only one that was really, really little when I was growing the business and stuff. So, when he would come up to me and basically be asking to play a game on the tablet or borrow my phone because I was on my computer or whatever, say things like, “Mom’s working. Emmett doesn’t work. You silly boy. No, mom’s working. You don't work. You do this.” Show them a toy and just kind of explain, “I'm working. This isn't a free-for-all tech time. I'm working.” I know that's really specific, but I know that I struggled with that and I always felt kind of weird.  

Also in my job, I talk about being intentional with your phone time. I have to text my team and make sure things are going well and answer any questions. My text time is a lot more than other people. But my text time for pointless reasons, like just texting people because they have my number and they think they can ask me something, is almost nothing.

My Instagram time is my job. My texting time with my team is my job. So it's okay. Let that go. Don't let yourself feel weird about that. If it's actually your job, don't let it be an excuse, but you guys see what I'm saying.

Another thing is to realize that it's okay to bring in some help. You absolutely cannot do it all. And if you are doing it all, you won't be doing any of it very well. So what does this look like for you? Child care, having some help with your kids? Housekeeping help? Hiring a housekeeper? A meal delivery service so you're not having to prepare so many meals? Get creative and think through that.

And if finances are a problem, I mean do what you can. I know that every single time I've been kinda like, “Man, can we afford this? I'm just going to do it and just see how it works out because I just can't do it all. I need help.” Every time I've delegated something, I have more energy and more time and I end up making more money because I feel better. I'm less stressed and I'm able to focus more on what I am doing.

So, every time I've hired a team member or every time I've delegated something like hiring my housekeeper or a personal assistant to help run errands and do returns and stuff like that for me, it's come back to me and then some because I'm less stressed, I'm more present. I spend more intentional time with my kids and my time with my kids isn't spent running around and cleaning and doing all that.

I'm delegating and exchanging for more time and energy and that always ends up being more revenue because I'm doing more of what I'm good at. I'm good at owning my business. Showing up for you guys. Inspiring you. Telling you about the courses and equipping you there. Showing up in the groups, being live and doing all those things. It always ends up being more worthwhile because I delegated the things and I was able to show up better at what I am doing.

Okay. When you're feeling mom guilt, if you feel like you just have guilty in general about working, one thing that really helped me is… and you guys. I'm sorry, this episode is kind of random. I literally just brain dumped what helped me and I'm just reading it to guys. I have bullet points, like here mention this, this, this and this, because it's just a mess. Working motherhood is messy, so I think it's kind of funny and ironic that this episode is random points too.

Anyway, when you have mom guilt about working, decide what's important to you and prioritize it. To you. Not to anyone else or everyone else, but to you. So, what breaks your heart to miss? Find a way not to miss it.

There's an example that Jessica Turner shares, which I love. She's an author. She wrote the book Stretched Too Thin. It's awesome and it's for working moms. I'll link to that for you guys. But Jessica Turner loves Halloween and every year she does themed family costumes and she puts a lot of effort, planning and time into that and that's really special to her. Like it would break her heart to miss that. So, she prioritizes it and makes it happen.

So, what's important to you? Is it important to you to throw an awesome super themed over the top Pinterest-y party for your daughter every year? Then do that. If it breaks your heart to miss that, then don't miss it. Prioritize it, but let other things go. Don't do anything out of obligation or “I just want to perform, I just want to be the best mom.” No. What really breaks your heart to miss? Don’t miss those things.

For me, around the holidays, it can be tempting for my business to get ultra busy because my business is for moms and during the holidays us moms have a lot of things going on, a lot of fun things that we're doing, and it can be really easy for me to come up with a lot of content and form my business around being really busy around the holidays.

But for me the holidays are really no fun if I am too busy. I already feel stretched way too thin. On my husband's side of the family there's some divorce and so the family is split and we're kind of like double doing family plans. It's just kind of a mess and I tend to kind of not enjoy the holidays. I've learned to really prioritize that time of year and make it enjoyable for me and my family.

So, if I were to miss going to the pumpkin patch multiple times during October, if I were to miss enjoying my family during Thanksgiving, if I were to miss baking cookies and going to see the dancing lights in our city that are famous around here, if I were to miss going to Legoland for the Christmas decorations, I would feel so sad.

Those are the things that would make me feel like, “Oh no!” But if I have to miss one of the kids' games…I'm bummed, and I feel like a crappy mom for a second. But then I think, “Wait, I'm running an awesome company. I have a purpose here. It's okay. They don't mind, I just talked to them.” Work it out and move on. Find what breaks your heart and find a way not to miss those things and prioritize them. You can't not miss everything.

And that leads me to my next point which is that you have to understand that there will be seasons. Sometimes work will be busier and you are less present with your family and you are missing a little bit more than you normally do. Sometimes your home and your personal life will be busier and you need to dial down your efforts and your hours at work. This is the only work/life balance you're going to get because perfection doesn't exist. Work/life balance is a total lie. It's such BS and I'm so glad that multiple people have been speaking out about that lately because it is just fueling the working-mom guilt fire.

And this is such, such truth. And I really only tuned into this truth this year, in 2018. As a working mom, I have decided like, “Okay, we're going to go into a busier season as a family, and we're going to go ahead and sign up for these extracurricular homeschool activities. We're going to go ahead and say “yes” to these sports for these kids. ‘No’ to this one, and ‘yes’ to this one. But we are heading into a busier family season, so work needs to take a back burner.”  

I have been working a lot less hours in the last couple months because of my personal life. If you guys follow me on Instagram stories, you've seen that we have constant sports practices and games. The kids are in Spanish, piano, theater, guitar, baseball and softball. And we love doing that in seasons because our kids are homeschooled and I feel like it really helps us find the balance between them making friends, being out and about and busy interacting with other people, but we don't do that at the same time as, you know, a giant launch in the business that can take a lot of time and energy.

I will plan a really busy season of the business at the same time as we're dialing down at home. So, there's less extracurriculars or our schedules are a little less full. Or I'll work a deal out with Brian where it's like, “Okay, I need this busier season in the business, but there's also a busyness in our family. Do you want me to wait on this busy season in the business or do you want to take 75% of the busyness with our family so I can focus on the busy season in the business?” And we've done that before too.

We have a unique situation to where we're both home and we kind of share the load of everything, but we'll kind of work it out to where he'll take over most of the homeschooling and I kind of let go and I'll just do some things with Hudson who's in first grade and needs a little bit more care and attention but requires less time each day in school. I'll kind of just take over his stuff and Brian will take over the older kids and the bulk of the homeschooling. He'll take them to practices and stuff and I'll just show up at games. I'll spend the bulk of the day working on projects.

You have to just understand that there will be seasons and it’s all give and take. If work is busier, that's okay. It's okay that you're missing more than usual. Just let it be a season. Sometimes home will be busier and you won't be killing it so much at work. And that's okay too.

I think it's also really important to focus on feeling satisfaction and joy in your work. Do you love what you do? I think this is so important for ditching mom guilt. So if you're listening to this right now and you're thinking, “No, I don't love what I do,” then bring it to the Lord. Pray about it. Figure out a way to maybe go a different route. Maybe you should look for a different job. Maybe you should start being open to that opportunity.

But if you do love what you do, don't feel bad about that. That's so amazing. Step into that and let yourself feel it completely. What a gift that is, that you get to provide for your family and go to work and have a purpose and you love it. That's awesome. I think we let so many things steal our joy and we don't let ourselves really just get still and feel the joy in what we're doing. Even if you're not like super passionate about your job, but you like the environment at work and you're making good money, let yourself feel that joy.

One other thing that steals our joy is comparison. Comparing yourself to other people.

It's so hard not to do that, especially with social media, but remember that this is your life. Your story. And you’re making yourself emotionally unhealthy if you compare yourself to other people. You are not them and you are not supposed to be them. You are you. You're living your story right now, so focus on that and understand that work is a part of that. At least for now.

I think just accepting that even can be so huge. And letting go…if you see an Instagram picture of a mom baking cookies with her toddler and you're at work sitting at your desk like, “Oh my gosh, I feel like the worst right now,” that is so emotionally unhealthy for you and mentally unhealthy. Don't let that lie sink in there. That mom is doing something awesome and so are you. You're making money. You're providing. You're showing up in that way. And that is so awesome

Another thing that I notice is that a lot of women seem to think that it's not okay to be exhausted, like they need to be full of energy. This was one thing that was big for me. Ashley and I talked about it too when we were kind of talking out the points of this episode.

This was one thing that was particularly really hard for me to get over. I actually don't work that many hours. I used to, when I was starting the business. I used to work all the time, but now I really don't work that many hours. However, I'm an introvert and the hours that I do work are spent doing things like live streams, pouring my heart into an email. Talking into my microphone (like I am right now) sharing my heart with you, encouraging you in a podcast episode. Answering questions live on Instagram, writing content for Instagram or whatever it is. It's all extroverting, so the few hours that I do work, I'm exhausted when I'm done.

It took me forever to learn that it is okay to be tired. You’re amazing. You’re working and you're being a mom. The two hardest things in the world. I mean I'm going to drop a word here, so if you have kids around watch out, but honestly, how much more badass could you even be? Don't ever let anyone make you feel “less than” for working. And work-at-home moms, don't ever let anyone make you feel “less” for working from home. Like it's less legit than working outside of the house. That's total BS. Don't you take that! Don't you take that! You're amazing and you're doing a lot. It is okay to be tired. It is okay to rinse and stack the dishes and leave them for tomorrow because you worked all day and you are just freaking exhausted. It is okay.

I think another thing that I learned is that a lot of the judgment I was worried about…becoming a working mom, I realized that I am very concerned (or at least I used to be) about judgment from other people. It's what caused me to shrink back in doing what I do in my business and being a public figure. When I see people judging me, which people always do anyway, I used to shrink back and share less or be less vulnerable. And honestly, being a working mom has taught me to overcome this so much and I hope it does the same for you.

People will say things and people will be rude and that's fine, but usually when it comes to working mom guilt, most of our judgment actually comes from ourselves. It only freaks us out when we maybe see a glimpse of it from other people because it's just solidifying what we feel about ourselves and we need to deal with that.

Have you ever really heard another mom say, “Oh my gosh, she's such a terrible mom for working outside the home?” I haven't. I think if you will realize that you have expectations of yourself and you’re the one making yourself feel judged. Deal with what you expect of yourself. Think about where it comes from, usually our childhood, and let go of it. It doesn't have to have power over you for one more day, so really think about it.

Is anyone really judging you? Maybe you're like, “Yeah, my mother-in-law or my dad is” or whatever, deal with that too. But a lot of the time, I think most of the judgment that we're feeling is actually coming from inside of ourselves.

And one last thing that I want to leave you with is this: the fact is when our kids grow up, it's very, very likely that they're going to work. Our daughters, our sons, it's really likely they're probably gonna work. So, it's so important that we model a healthy work life relationship for them and not act super guilty, stressed, burdened and victimized by our role of worker.

Remember that you're setting an example for them, that you're showing them what this life looks like. If you're a mom and you work, if you own a business or you have a job, you are their main example of that lifestyle. Whether you chose it or financially, you have to have that lifestyle, you’re that example.

So, let's change the way we're treating our work. Let's change the way we're talking about our lifestyle. Let’s change the way that we are treating our jobs and our roles. It doesn't mean show up, be perfect at everything, have a super clean house, be an awesome cookie baker, come to every game, be super rich, run an amazing business or do amazing at your job.

It means prioritize what matters. Show up well where you can show up. Find work/life balance in seasons, like taking turns with what's prioritized and what's not instead of trying to have everything prioritized perfectly balanced all the time, because that's never gonna happen.

Show them what a healthy work life relationship really looks like, how grateful you are, how awesome you are, and what it looks like to thrive in these two roles of worker and mother.


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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 082: When It Feels Like Your Whole Life Needs A Reset

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We have all hit the place of frustration in life where we know that something (anything!) needs to change. It feels like nothing is working. Usually it starts out with just one area. Maybe you get really frustrated about consistency in your routines. Maybe your marriage is on the rocks. Or maybe you struggle with actually doing the things you want to do. Whatever it is, it usually starts with one or two small areas that just aren’t working and you grow in your frustration. Then, the overwhelming thoughts begin. You feel like your life is a mess and you need a complete overhaul.

We all need a reset every once in a while; a fresh start. And I am here to help with that! I have done it many times before and I am sure I will do it many times again. So, when it just feels like your whole life's in ruins, you’re really frustrated, and it feels like nothing is working know that it is time (and it is ok!) to hit the reset button.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why it is important to realize it is ok to feel frustration and overwhelm.

  • Practical things you can do to give yourself a break and start fresh.

  • How you can focus in on what the key domino pieces are that are affecting everything around you.

  • The power of starting with one thing (even if it is small) to see big changes happen in your life.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

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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 you! I'm so excited to talk to you today. I'm actually in a hotel room right now and it's so quiet compared to my house. Even in my office, it's just loud cause I kind of hear the kids playing and doing things inside the house when I'm recording. And I have a big AC unit out there because it gets really hot and it just is loud and rumbling in the background all the time.

It's so quiet in here, I feel like I'm screaming. I feel like the people in the room next to me are going to start banging on the wall or something just because it's so quiet. I don't know how to talk in this much quiet. It's very weird for me.

And my sound editor is going to have an easy time doing this episode. So that's nice.

We started booking a day in a hotel room once a month so I can get my episodes recorded away from all the chaos and the noise. Away from the kids. And I can just focus and really zoom in on the issues that I want to talk to you about in each episode and just feel at peace, calm and focused and kind of in that mindset just all at once record the month’s episodes.

I'm actually in the hotel room right now recording this episode and November's episodes. So, it's really nice and I just feel…I've been feeling kinda lonely today just in here by myself writing and outlining these episodes and it's really nice to talk to you. So, I feel like I'm just with a friend having coffee.

Anyway, this episode is in October, but it's actually not a part of Allie Reads October. If you're listening to this and you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, for all the rest of the month of October we did what we called Allie Reads October, and it was basically a month that was meant to inspire you to read more books, grow and dive into a book on a topic that you want to stretch yourself in and grow yourself in.

We introduced a bunch of really cool authors and had some really big names on the show and some not so big names, but people who have a lot to bring to the table and have really cool books out. And it was just really, really fun. I think we'll probably do it every year, but don't quote me on that.

But even though this episode is in October, it's actually not a part of Allie Reads October. I wanted to do just one normal episode for this month and this is something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while and it just hasn't really fit in anywhere, so I'm excited to dive into it today.

But before I do that I wanted to give you guys a little bit of an update on The Purpose Show and kind of an announcement for how things are going moving forward.

I've been talking about this this week on social media, so you may already know, but I've decided to go down to one episode per week on The Purpose Show.

I think a lot of people when they hear this are going to assume that maybe it's all been too much for me and my team, or I'm running out of content or something. I’ve quit a podcast before that I co-hosted with my friend, Kelsey, and even though we came on and we just kind of explained where we were at, what our plans were and that it just wasn't really working anymore and we were going to separate, people love to put drama on any kind of changes like this, I think. But that's actually not the reason that all.

Two episodes a week has been great. It's been really good and it's been really nice to be able to have a lot of time slots to go over the topics I want to go over. I kind of feel like I have this well of unending content in me and I never feel like, “Oh, how do I fill all these spaces?” I never feel like that and I'm grateful for that because I feel like with motherhood there's just unending ideas and things to talk about.

But the real reason that I'm going down to one episode is not something that I'm afraid to share with you at all. There are actually a few reasons, but the main ones are firstly that I have been evolving as a content creator, as a public influencer or whatever annoying title you want to choose to call it. I feel like all the titles that go for what I do are kind of self-involved and irritating and I hate using all of them, but whatever it is you want to call me, I've evolved in that role and just kind of found my footing in podcasting. I really like it.

I really liked that it's me talking. It's my voice. My sarcasm, sense of humor and just my tone and the way that I mean things shows up really well here. It's hard to do that sometimes in writing. I just really enjoy podcasting.

As I've evolved over this last almost year and hosting my own show, I've realized that what I tend to do is give really pointed actionable episodes. It's not really just me sitting down and talking and kind of inspiring you and then walking away. I'm really a blunt and logical person, so when I write episodes, they tend to be really to the point and actionable. I say all the time that I want you to leave here with action steps that are clear to you, that you know exactly what to go and do to kind of get the ball rolling if you're wanting to change this area of your life.

It's really neat because as I've been watching the reviews on my show on itunes...by the way if you love the show, you should leave a review because they're everything for podcasters. And once a month we pick someone who left a review and give them a free course. So, you should go do that on itunes.

Anyway, when I have been searching through the reviews looking for feedback, content ideas and things like that, I noticed a theme. Pretty much everybody says exactly what I just described, that the episodes are really pointed and they give a lot of action steps. People listen to them and then they go and they take action on them. That they're all so great and they love them. They feel like they know exactly what to do to change this area of their life after each episode. And that's so great. But I've been feeling like having an episode come out on Monday and having it be really pointed and actionable, then having another episode just a day later is just a lot.

And you guys know I'm all about being intentional and purposeful and I really would rather have one episode a week that you guys can wait for, be excited about, take in and then have a full week to take real action before the next episode comes out.

I want to provide quality content, not a quantity of content. So I know it's kind of a bummer and a lot of you are going to be sad that there's less episodes, but I promise you with one a week you're going to have more change in your life and you're going to see more of a difference in what I'm saying to you because you're going to have time to go and act on it. You're going to also see a lot more quality in the content itself because my team and I are going to be able to kind of just hone in on one episode a week and really give it our all.

And that's definitely not to say that there won't be bonus episodes. I've been doing bonus episodes all year and maybe there'll be more of them now that there's less regular content. So every once in a while there will be two episodes a week, but just the core content is going down to one episode a week.

We’re sticking to Wednesdays and I think it'll be a really fun way to make your hump day a little bit brighter and I think it's going to be really, really good. I don't want to overwhelm you. I want you to take action.

There are a few other smaller reasons, but that's really been the main drive for me. I really just want to simplify things. For those of you who are business owners, on the business side of it and kind of the back end of running all of this…I mean if you guys aren't super familiar with me, we don't only have the podcast, there's an active blog. I’m working on writing a book next year.

We've got a lot going on in the business. It's very much not just me sitting at a microphone behind, you know, doing the podcast. There's a lot of moving parts and a lot to manage. So, on the back end of things, simplifying down to one episode a week really, really helps streamline our process. Now we can send one email a week letting you know, “Here's the new episode, this is what we're talking about this week. Click here to listen.” We can hone in on everything and just be really, really simplified and easier to manage.

I've been looking for and praying about ways to streamline and simplify all my processes in the business as I close out 2018 and get ready to go into 2019, and all the new and huge things that are coming. Plus, our personal life stuff like our adoption is going to happen, hopefully geez, in 2019. There's just a lot coming. A lot of it is really good and I want to make sure I have space for it.

So, those are all the little reasons that we're going down to one episode a week. It's kind of a unique thing that I'm seeing right now because all I'm seeing everywhere else is people increasing, adding episodes, adding more blog posts, taking a second book deal even though their first book just came out a week ago, and all of these things.

I love growth and I'm always seeking to meet my goals, up level, get better, know better/do better and that whole thing. But, you know, I'm human and I know that I can't up level in every area at the same time. I'm choosing to focus on what I know I'm good at, on what I know works and do my best work in my best places. Then whatever extra room I have for other things, that's fine. So, I think that this is going to make The Purpose Show even more potent and powerful and I hope you agree with me.


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Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!

Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?

I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.

It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.

We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.

What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.

This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.

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Okay. Having said all of that, 10 minutes into this episode, let's dive into the content for today.

So this episode, the whole idea for this was kind of born out of something that I do all the time, which of course a lot of my episodes are, but this is something that I do when I get to a place where it just kind of feels like nothing is working. It's usually not really true, but it kind of feels that way. I think at some point or another we all get there.

Usually it starts out with just one area. Maybe you get really frustrated that you keep not doing what you need to do to change your fitness level. Or maybe you keep not doing what you need to do to stay in your routine. Or maybe it just feels like you're never, ever, ever caught up on the laundry so you kind of have a lack of a laundry routine. Maybe it's that and your marriage is on the rocks. It’s one or two little areas that are just really not working and making you really frustrated.

Then the thoughts start flooding in with all of the areas in your life that are a mess. You feel like you need to change your entire life, like you need a complete overhaul. You need to get away from the kids for like three days and just revamp everything.

Because you feel that stress, you're snappy with the people that are closest to you. You're super frustrated with everyone and everything. This is just the place we get in every once in a while. I would say I probably get there, I don't know, maybe once a year. It's just kind of a part of life, which is why I want to talk about what to do when that happens.

I think it's important to take action and get yourself out of that, use that frustration to leverage yourself out of it.

This, what I'm describing right now, is actually why I created Unburdened. Unburdened is one of my ecourses. It's the one that I talk about way less than Your Uncluttered Home, but it's basically my philosophy of simplicity and minimalism for your life, not just your home, although home is definitely part of it and it's a section in that course.

This is like when you get here, you do kind of need an overhaul. It feels like every single thing is going terribly. It's not. It's usually a few key areas though, so you need to look at your routine. Look at your schedule. Look at how you're spending your time. Look at how your home is functioning. Look at what you're committed to. Look at how your house feels. Look at what is taking up space there, if it's affecting you. It's kind of everything.

The other stuff I talk about in my course Your Uncluttered Home is all just for home. The A-Z of getting minimalistic in your physical space.

But what about when everything else gets like that? What about when you just feel like you have no routine? Everything's a mess. Life just feels like this massive hurricane that you're surviving, gripping onto something and holding on through instead of enjoying, living and thriving in.

What about when everything else needs minimalism, everything else in your life?

I'll link to Unburdened, by the way, if you guys are wanting to get in there. It's a smaller course and it's a lower price than Your Uncluttered Home.

But let's dive into a little bit about what to do when you get to a place like this.

So, when it just feels like your whole life needs an overhaul, you're really frustrated and it feels like nothing is working, the first thing you need to do, step one, is you need to realize that it's not all true.

You're doing a lot of things right. Okay? I need you to focus on the grace and on the good. If you're listening to this and you're in this season right now, (even if you're not, you should do this anyway) I want you to just take a second and think right now of three things that you're doing right.

Maybe everything kind of feels messy and your marriage is not on the rocks, like your marriage is going well. Maybe you've been really connecting with one of your kids lately and that feels really good to you. You've been doing a really good job of understanding them and responding better to their behavior instead of what you normally do.

Maybe you're super caught up on the dishes or the laundry and that is going well. Maybe you've been being more intentional with how often you're on your phone.

Think about something that's going right. Even if it's small. Even if this morning you ate a healthy breakfast instead of your usual bagel and cream cheese. Even if it's small, just think about some of the things that you're doing right. Because there are things.

It's not totally true that everything is a giant frigging mess. It's just a feeling of total frustration and overwhelm.

And I like to describe it like this. The things that are going on in your life are all domino pieces, so your life is like dominoes, and when one or two or a few dominoes get knocked over, it affects all the rest of the pieces and they all fall, right?

So, if you feel like you have a lack of routine in one area, you've been making poor choices in another area and one of your relationships feels really sloppy, those three things are key things that are going to affect everything else.

Imagine this. Have you ever noticed that maybe if you feel like you're really behind in one area, and you kind of feel gross, overweight and blah because you've been making poor diet choices lately, like those two things - you feeling kind of gross and a part of your life really lacking routine - will affect your marriage or your intimacy with your husband. That's because of the domino effect. Okay?

So, realize that it's not totally true. Not everything is messy. It just feels that way. There are a lot of things you’re doing right and you’re feeling the effects of a few dominoes falling over and affecting all the other ones. You feel totally frustrated and overwhelmed. I think that can help put that into perspective. So that's step one.

Step two is get out a journal, or my favorite way to do this is the notes app in my iphone. I use my notes app for all brain dump things. I just did this recently. I made a list of what's not working.

After you address the things that are working, the things that you're doing right, and you get a little bit positive, go ahead and go to that frustrating place and focus on what's not working. What are the key domino pieces that are affecting everything else? Now remember not to get super hard on yourself and make a list of every single thing ever. Like, “Oh I don't floss. I don't dress well enough. I hate everything in my closet. I hate my hair color.” Just focus on the key things that are affecting everything.

For example, you’re not feeling good. You don't feel good because you've been eating really bad. You've been eating a lot of takeout. You haven't been cooking as much because your family has been busy. Your skin is broken out. Your jeans are tight and it's just making you feel like crap. So there's one.

Maybe the second one is your kitchen is always a mess and you just feel like there's no routine around doing the dishes, sweeping up and just getting your house to feel put together. So, you're lacking a home routine.

Maybe one of your kids is just really acting out and you feel super distant from them and their behavior is really affecting your day. So maybe that's one.

And then maybe you've got like 17 loads of laundry to do and it's just really overwhelming and you feel like you're never caught up.

Those are some key domino pieces that are affecting your life. So just make a list. What's not working?

Then after you make that list, go in and underneath each thing you put on your list, put some possible solutions. Here's the key with this: You're not writing down, “Here's my solution. Here's what I'm going to do.” You're not doing that. You're writing down possible solutions.

So, let's just say that you have no routine when it comes to meals, when it comes to serving your family, and this is one of your key domino pieces. Some possible solutions would be checking out a meal service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Maybe you decide that you work at home and you always seem to skip lunch, get really cranky, feel really sick and then you binge eat later. So maybe you'll set up having lunch delivered by Uber Eats or Seamless or you know, get a college kid that's wanting to be a personal assistant and deliver your lunch for you. I'm just being creative. But you have solutions. You're just throwing out possible solutions.

Again, this doesn't mean you're going to do this. It doesn’t mean you're immediately going to do all this. You might, that would be great, but you're just throwing out possible solutions. When you do this, it gets your brain going and you leave frustrated-victim mode and you get into problem solving-awesome-be-a-mom mode. And that's where we want to be, right?

Maybe another thing that you brainstorm is not stressing out less about the content of a dinner, like how Paleo it is or how Keto it is, and just get Blue Apron, get Hello Fresh, and just start making something. Just see if I can make cooking happen in the middle of this busy season that we're in.

So yeah, you're just brainstorming solutions. I'm out of brainstorming solutions for this specific problem because it's not my actual problem right now. But you can see where I'm going with this.

Let's get back to the health example just because this is on my mind right now. I was just talking to a friend about it yesterday. Let's say that you’re feeling unhappy. You feel blah. You have no energy. Your jeans are feeling a little snug. You just don't feel good. You’re not yourself. So, let’s brainstorm solutions for that, if that's one of your key domino pieces.

Maybe you can say, okay, let's look at my schedule. I want to do some form of movement or exercise for 30 minutes, four days a week. I need to start work at 9:00, so I'm going to get up at 6:45 every morning. Instead of just waking up to the noise of my kids and starting my day accidentally, I'm going to set my alarm for 6:45 and take a walk, do Pilates or yoga, or go to the gym or whatever for 30 minutes, four mornings a week, and we're going to make it Monday through Thursday. And that's that.

Let's say you have some plans. So, Monday you're going to use your Nike App and go for a run. Tuesday, you're going to do yoga from YouTube. Wednesday you're going to go for a brisk walk. Thursdays you're going to go to the gym or do Pilates in your living room or whatever it is. You come up with a detailed plan. You're just brainstorming solutions

Remember we're exiting frustrated-victim-mode and entering problem solving-be a-mom mode. Just keep brainstorming. Don't let perfectionism or little hurdles get in the way of getting out of this place.

Let's say another thing you brainstorm is “I'm going to download an app and start keeping track of what I'm putting into my body each day.” So, you brainstorm that and you download My Fitness Pal or something similar and you start tracking your food, just getting more intentional and mindful about watching what you're eating.

Maybe you set an alarm on your phone for 7:30 and you say, “7:30 p.m. This is when I cut off. I'm not gonna just graze and eat mindlessly at night anymore after the kids go to bed.”

Maybe you try something new, like a certain diet or something that's been attractive to you that you want to just try and see how you feel. Maybe you set some alerts in your phone to go off that remind you to drink water. Maybe you cut the cream out of your coffee. Maybe you do Whole 30 for a month. Whatever it is.

Sometimes when I'm identifying the problems, they'll get more specific. Like, I’ll identify, “Okay, well I'm not feeling good and I'm not eating well, but really the main problem is my nighttime snacking problem.” So what are some solutions for that. Stop. Thank. Write down what you're feeling. What might be the reason that I want to eat right now? Because the kids went to bed. It's quiet. I'm bored. I'm downloading the emotions of the day and I'm reaching for food.

Maybe you set a strict bedtime, you're going to go to bed at 10:00 every night. Maybe you're going to make sure that you eat more dinner and have more protein in your dinner so you're not actually hungry. Maybe you have a big thing of lemon water at night or make yourself a turmeric latte at night so that you're enjoying something and you're not feeling like you need something.

Maybe you go for a walk at night instead of eating. Maybe you ditch the junk food in your house. Maybe you decided I'm not going to have any alcohol in the house. I'm going to only have alcohol on date night with my husband. Things like that.

You're brainstorming out the problems. I'm sorry if that was way too many examples. I'm just trying to get as specific as I can and brainstorm out all the possible solutions in my example so that you see what I'm doing. You're just listing this all on your notes app on your iphone, or your journal, or your Google Doc, or whatever it is. It doesn't matter.

You're brainstorming it all out. What am I going to do? What could possibly help me with this? This is not your to do list. It's just, “Okay, here's one of the key dominoes that's a problem. It's affecting all the other dominoes in my life. What are the possible solutions here?” And you're just brain dumping that all out.

So next, after you've done all that, you kind of get out like what could possibly help me here, you're going to start with one thing. You're going to look at your notes on the changes that might help you and you're going to pick one thing.

Like…okay, it is really bothering me that I am never caught up on the laundry so I'm going to minimize or get rid of the stuff that we don't really need. The clothes that are just unnecessary and just getting into the laundry because they exist. We're going to narrow things down to a simplified wardrobe for each member of my family. And then I'm going to do one load of laundry every morning after I do five loads of laundry tonight. So, I'm going to stay up a little late. I'm going to watch The Office, do a few loads of laundry, fold them and put them away. And thereafter I'm going to do one load of laundry every morning while I have my morning coffee.

That's a small, simple change that’s going to get you out of this frustration mode and into some action.

Or going back to the health analogy, I just set an alarm to stop eating at 7:30 at night and a reminder to take a walk. I got all the ingredients to make a yummy turmeric latte so that I feel like I'm enjoying something and I'm not needing to have a snack.

Side note, the turmeric latte thing is a real idea that I did for myself. It really helped me. I've shared my struggles with overeating and emotional binge eating and this was something that's really helped me. I go back to it often. I don't have it every single night all the time, but it's something that I really enjoy and it really helped me with my late night snacking. I will link to that recipe for you guys. It's from Nutrition Stripped and it's really yummy. So, I’ll link to that for you guys since I've mentioned it so much in this episode.

So, you just start with one thing and you go from there. Okay? The key to taking action is to set reminders. Where are you during your day? Do you use Google calendar? Do you look at your fridge, your mirror? Put a Post-it Note, set a reminder, or make your phone go off to remind you, whatever it is to do the thing that you're setting out to do.

And I want you to take this last little thing from me in this episode and I really want you to say it over and over and over again to yourself, and I want you to really feel the power, the freedom, and truth in this: This new day, this brand new day - even if it's nighttime right now - this day, this new day, can really be the first day of the rest of your life. The beginning of the new you.

It's only a mundane day. It's only like, “Um, another episode. Yeah, I could totally change that. Whatever,” it's only mundane and pointless if you let it be. That choice is in your hands. You can make this day exactly what you want it to be and that is really a powerful truth.

Today can be the day that you remember was the first day that you started acting different. That you started making changes. That you pulled yourself out of the ditch and started acting like the new version of yourself. The one that takes action, that isn't perfect, but they see the problems, they see their frustration, and they exit victim mode and enter problem-solving mode. That choice is in your hand every single day and that is so amazing and incredible. Really soak that up and take the freedom in that. You can make this whatever you want it to be. It's only mundane if you allow it to be.

So, I hope this was encouraging. I hope this was actionable and that you can go and start to problem solve, take action and remember that you don't have to be the victim. You really don’t. It's all up to you. It doesn't matter who did what or who is currently doing what. You don't have to be the victim unless you choose to be, so go! Take this new day, take action and let this be the first day of the new you of the rest of your life. Go problem-solve what is weighing you down.


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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 081: Love in Action with Bob Goff

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Bob Goff is the author of Love Does, Everybody Always, and Love Does for Kids. Bob is known for the way he loves people, especially the people who freak you out! Instead of avoiding those people and staying in your safe bubble, reaching out and being Jesus to them and loving them like crazy. He shares so much wisdom in this episode. So grab your coffee and get ready to listen, because I know you will walk away inspired in so many ways!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Bob Discuss:

  • The importance of what we are speaking over the people we love most and how it shapes who we actually are.

  • Why discipline is kindness, not disapproval and how you can make sure your kids feel your kindness in the way you discipline.

  • How we are either reflections or reactions to the people closest to us.

  • Ways you can challenge yourself to be curious (which will inevitably challenge you to love other) and how you can teach your kids to do the same.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Bob’s book, Love Does For Kids, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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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, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hey, sweet friend. Welcome to The Purpose Show! Today's guest, what a dream to sit and talk to him. Seriously, I'm so, so excited for you to hear this. Bob Goff is a lawyer. Actually, he calls himself a recovering lawyer. He's an author. He's hilarious, amazing, real, funny and just the kind of person that you want to sit and have coffee with all day long because you have so many life questions that you're dying to ask him. He's the author of Love Does and Everybody Always.

His newest book is Love Does For Kids, written by himself and his daughter, Lindsey, who is a teacher, for kids. I was sent an advanced copy. I loved looking through it. I've given it to my kids and my daughter Bella, who's 9, is just loving it. She's asking me questions about it and loving difficult people, loving people who are different from you.

Bob is a big advocate of loving people who kind of freak you out as he talks about a lot, especially in Everybody Always. He talks about spending time with Witchdoctors and just people that are in different communities that freak you out and are so different from you. Instead of avoiding those people and staying in your safe bubble, reaching out and being Jesus to them and loving them like crazy. And I love him for that.

I'm so honored that he was on the show. I'm just really excited for you to hear this interview. So, let's welcome Bob.

ALLIE: Hi, how are you? How is your day going?

BOB: It’s going good. I did a chapel for a school that everybody just kind of getting back to school today, so there's a bunch of parents doing those big, ugly, snotty cries. I hated that. Even when my kids went to college, I hated that.

ALLIE: I bet. I actually homeschool my kids, so I haven't really dealt with that. But I think sometimes I envy that.

BOB: Yeah. Totally. It’s just kind of interesting. I met with a friend and then I did a podcast with somebody this morning, Jo Saxton. So, I'm in San Diego, which I am loving and it doesn't happen that often, so this is great.

ALLIE: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to have you here. I'm really looking forward to sharing just your insight with my listeners. My audience is mostly moms and I think it's a really neat thing, first of all, just as a person to hear you talking about loving other people. Then immediately my mind goes to how can I teach this to my kids? How can I show them…live by example? And also help them kind of navigate life and difficult circumstances with this kind of love other people/everybody always kind of in mind, so I'm just really glad that you're here.

BOB: Yeah, thanks. I just can't affirm enough, moms that are listening, the importance of the work that you're doing. I was reading something just this week. It said that young girls between ages of 7-13 lose 30% of their confidence. Isn't that crazy? Just think one of the things that we could be doing is the words that we're speaking over our kids, it isn't just saying, “You're nice.” It isn't just words of affirmation, but telling them about who they're becoming. “I see this in you. I see this happening. I see courage in you. I see bravery. I see commitment and loyalty.” To just let them know. The crazy part, moms or dads that are listening, it's like you're speaking that into your grandkids because your kids are going to tell them the same thing. They're going to say, “I remember my mom used to say this, that you saw in me this person.”

So, we do that, not to just blow sunshine at each other. Even around the office, we just let each other know what we see in each other. It's truly a beautiful thing. I hug everybody. I'm a total hugger, but I don't hug the people that work for me because it'd be creepy. So we just do like duck, duck goose. Just take a moment to just say, “Hey, this is what I see.” If we could slow down the cadence in our lives to do that with people that we love the most we’d really see some big benefits.  

ALLIE: Yeah. And I love, too, what you said about for girls, especially. I mean, that is huge. And I love focusing on who they're becoming and what you see in them versus, “You're beautiful. You have the prettiest hair.” Instead, “You're really brave. I really admire you for doing this. I really see that in you.” I love that. And I agree. I do think it comes from slowing down a little bit and just noticing things in your kids.

BOB: I spoke at a school earlier today and there's all these moms and dads dropping their kids off for school. It was just so beautiful to see moms and dads that are engaged in their kids' lives. Whether you're homeschooling or you're doing a traditional school, to just be that parent that's engaged in your kids and see who they're turning into.

My daughter, Lindsey, we wrote a book together. Lindsey is like Mary Poppins with grenades. I mean she's kind and nice, but absolutely fearless. She's a second grade teacher and the one thing that she was afraid of more than anything is getting what's called a PC. It’s called a Parental Communication. So if you don't do something right or you do something wrong, then you get a PC. Lindsey was just perfect, so she never got any PC’s.

So sweet Maria Goff and I sat her down and said, “Before this year is over, you must get one PC. I don't care what you do, you can park the principal's car on the roof if you want, but one PC. And one day we go out to the lot and she's coming out of school just weeping, and she has this PC. She forgot her homework or something. And we were like, “Yeah!” We went home that night and I got a big fat Sharpie and I wrote over the top of it, “Lindsey's a great kid.” And we sent that back to school with her the next day. Lindsay's now 30-years-old and she was telling me about how she had messed up something and her husband sent her a text message and it says, “Lindsey's a great kid.”

The things that we start speaking over the people that we love the most, it starts shaping who we actually are. And some of us have believed these lies that got spoken over us. It was an old boyfriend or girlfriend or a teacher or somebody along the way, they said something that we actually believe this lie. And so, I think one of the things we can do beautifully in each other's lives is to just say true things about that.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love the power of that. I love the power of talking to our kids and that we have that control. Even if they go to school, whether they're homeschooled or they’re away from us for the day, whatever, that we have that control and that power with our words.

I have four kids, but two of them are very sensitive. Any look, my mom glare, “uh oh, I’m in trouble” Like, so sensitive. And I think sometimes the pressure of that…as parents, you don't want to screw them up. I’m always thinking, “I just don't want to screw them up.” Do you have any advice on how to balance that? Feeling empowered to see the positive in your kids and use your words with confidence instead of feeling like you're going to say something wrong? Does that make sense?

BOB: Yeah. You kinda need to know what you're cooking with. Is this bone china or is this steel we got here? So, for some of the kids you just know that they're wiring harness is such that a sharp word from you would just take them out. And so, I'm a lawyer. I mean this is 30 years. I've never lost a case. It's not because I'm an awesome lawyer. I'm a good picker. And so you’d know if we're arguing because I'd be winning.

But one of the things is that I'm not trying to argue with people anymore. People in our faith communities, people out there. I just don't argue with people anymore. I write books and put balloons on the cover. I'm just like that guy.

We get to decide who we're going to be in the world and we get to decide who we're going to be in our family. In order to do that, we got to figure out what we got to deal with. So, are you hip to that Enneagram? Have you read any of the books about that? For those of you listening, like the Enneagram is a personality profile. You could be a 1-9 on this.

So like a 7, that's me. I'm a like a flaming 7. My arms are usually over my head waving. But my sweet Maria Goff, she's a loyalist. She's a nine. I have a son-in-law who's a perfectionist. He's a 1. So you've just got to figure out who you are. How did God wire you and how did God wire your kids. Right?

So try this with me. Go with me to Florida and we're waist deep in the water. Okay? It’s a beautiful day. And now this fin is swimming at you really fast. Tell me, is that a shark or a dolphin? And there's no wrong answer. What do you think?

ALLIE: Shark.

BOB: And you'd say a shark. Now somebody else listening, they’d go “dolphin.” I'm a seven. Even if it was a shark, I'd say dolphin with a lot of teeth. Right? So the things in your past would cause you to reach that conclusion. We're both guessing. We’re kind of guessing about life. What limiting beliefs do you have? What things have happened to you which would cause me to say “dolphin” and you to say “shark?”

And I think when we're in relationships with the people around us, whether it's people at school or people you're married to or dating, you just got to figure out how are they wired. And if we could spend a little bit of time and instead of asking the first question, which is, “How was your day,” go to the third question, which is “How did everybody make you feel today?

So, “How was your day today?” “Great, pass the potatoes.” But if you say, “Tell me a high and low point today? Tell me something you're dreaming about.” Get involved in these adventures with your kids.

When our kids were 7,9, & 11, we wrote to every leader on earth and we asked them if they wanted to come over for a sleepover and if they couldn't come over, could we come over to their house? This hasn't stopped. Our kids are big kids now. They’re ready to start having kids. But we're still writing to people.

May 14th, I knew I was going to be in London at this thing, speaking. And so in April, I wrote to the Queen. I said, “I'm going to be in London on the 14th. If you're going to be in London on the 14th, we should hang out, right? Your place or mine?”

And so I got a letter back a week later from one of her Ladies In Waiting. (I'm like, “Lady, what are you waiting for?”) But one of the beautiful things she said, “The Queen is terribly disappointed…” People, write to the Queen with your kids today. Don't put it on your list. Pick up the phone. Google it. It'll take you about 30 seconds if you stop for coffee. What's the Queen's address? Write the letter. Your kids will be rushing to the mailbox.

Write to the people you don't know. You’re a low hanging fruit because you're like super nice. I mean who wouldn’t love you? But find some people that creep you out a little bit to say I'm going to actually engage some people that I don't understand, and then just these beautiful winsome things will happen. There's something beautiful that happens in our kids' lives and in our lives when we do that. We start by getting a better hold of who we are. What's our role in this big life that we've got?

ALLIE: I absolutely love that. You're very curious and very adventurous and it's like this childlikeness that I want. I'm an eight so I'm like super driven. I think this is why maybe God gave me two sensitive kids because it is such a trial for me to reel it in, be careful and slow to speak. It’s a challenge. So, it's really interesting to watch you be so curious and childlike like that and why wouldn't you write to the Queen? I feel like my thoughts are very logical and so I just don’t go there.

And so, I think that's why I love your books too so much because you tell these stories in there and it's like this guy is like a psychopath.

BOB: {laughing} With balloons.

ALLIE: It's amazing and it's so encouraging and inspiring. I was telling my husband that before we got on the call together that I'm so grateful that you are where you're at right now, writing the books right now while my kids are little, so that I can get this inspiration and not feel like “Dang it. They’re grown.” You know, grandkids and stuff, but I want to do this while they're here and they're home with me. It's just so encouraging. I love it.

BOB: Yeah, I get easily distracted. That's one of the things that go with being a 7. It’s like that dog and squirrel thing.   

We’ve got this old Suburban and sweet Maria and I've been sharing this thing. It’s a 2000 Suburban. I went down to pick up this trailer of ours… You know when you're driving somewhere and you realize, did I shut the door? Did I turn off the oven? I'm driving down the highway and I thought to myself, I just don't remember latching the trailer to the ball. I didn't slam on the brakes. I kind of pumped the brakes and pulled off. Sure enough the trailer is hanging on the ball, but it's not latched. So I was one bump in the road away from having that thing pass me in the fast lane.

And I think if you want to really lock things down, you can look like you're going somewhere as a family. You look like your hooked up without actually being hooked up. You can look like that in your marriage without actually having a latch on it. And I think that's what you do. Each of these winsome things, it's that childlike faith. It's like putting a latch on it to say, I don't want to just feed you and clothe you. I want to do all those things certainly. But what will really be the memorable things are these ideas that you pass along to your kids.

I've got something. Why don't you just do geocache messages for your children? Put little messages in jars and just start putting them. I go all around the world and I bury stuff for my kids everywhere.

We've got schools in Iraq. We started a school in Afghanistan four months ago. The Taliban won’t let little girls learn how to read and write because they’re are girls. That just ticked me off. So we started talking to this guy on WhatsApp. I'm not kidding, we're talking to him on WhatsApp and I don't know what team he is playing for. It became evident I actually needed to fly to Kabul to meet him, and Kabul is the most dangerous city on earth right now because there's just a lot of instability there. Well, we get off the plane and there's a text message from him and he said, “Bob, I can't meet you at the airport.” I’m like sh…actually I didn't say shoot. So he said what you need to do is leave the airport grounds and start walking through Kabul and after a while you're going to find a car. The license plate has a number 7 on the back. The engine will be running. Inside there's a guy that doesn't speak English. You need to get in the car and go wherever he takes you.

So what you do? Number 8 on the Enneagram?

ALLIE: I wouldn’t have even been at the airport!

BOB: Well, I’m a 7, so I started walking. There's a car, the engine is running, we get in. It turns out this guy had security for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He wanted to know if I would trust him enough to do what he told me to do, and if I would, he trusts me enough to start a school for girls.

I think sometimes as a parent you need to say, okay, so how am I wired? And I know some people don't have a relationship with ambiguity, like you're seeing other people. Ambiguity and I go everywhere together because that's my wiring harness. But find out how God wired you and then live fully into that.

If your wisdom says, “don't go” well, then certainly don't go. But I don't want fear to chase us off from being the men and women, and I don't want fear to chase our kids off, fear in our lives, that would prevent them from growing into the people that God wants them to be in. The way you tease that out is again, by asking the third question, not “How was your day?” But, “How did that make you feel?” Boy, you're going to get some real answers because people don't listen to what you and I have to say. What they listened to and what they remember is how we made them feel about what we talked about.

And so I think if we could get at that with our kids then we would really have a ball game and we'd have some really meaningful conversations? Where the woundedness is and where the joy is, and everything in between.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I was talking with Nicole Nordeman on this show.

BOB: I love that girl.

ALLIE: I love her. And she brought up something that I feel like I've seen in you with the whole teaching your kids to be curious and letting them know that you are too. And you don't know it all. She talked about being okay with telling your kids “I don't know” to something, especially difficult issues like big social issues that are going on right now and you don't really know what's right and wrong or what you're supposed to say. Just the power in letting go of this facade that we tend to want to carry around of knowing everything as parents to our kids.

I wanted to know, have you had experience with that? What are your thoughts on that? That power of “I don’t know” in raising kids because I feel like I see that in you with just being curious and like, “I don't know, let's go find out.” You know what I mean?

BOB: Yes. I remember going to Africa the first time. I read up on all the how to be polite and how not to offend everybody. I get there in Uganda and I'm there for 10 minutes and I tick off the first Ugandan. Did you grow up the way that if you forgot to say “thank you” then your parents would correct you and say, “you're welcome?” These words of correction? Well that happened to me. I'm there five minutes and this guy says, “you're welcome.” And I’m like, “thank you.” I didn’t know what I had done wrong. And then it happens again. Somebody else says “you're welcome.” And I'm like, “thank you.” But I still didn't know what the deal was. And after the third time I slowed it down, and I realized he's saying “you are welcome here” and that these aren’t words of correction. They are words of invitation.

So I think if we just invite our kids into these things. Not always words of correction, constantly saying “do this, change this to this.” If you’ve ever had somebody tell you when you cleaned up your office or your room, you say “you missed a spot?” That has never warmed my heart. I’ve never thought, “Thank you so much for pointing that out.”

We got our floors redone here a little bit ago and the guy missed a spot and when he came back over he said, “oh, that's a holiday.” I’m like, “a holiday?” I'm really into entomology, the origin of words. And so I looked up “holiday.” Sure enough when they were making these big square riggers, like in Christopher Columbus’ time, the gaps in between the boards they would fill with tar. And if they missed a spot of tar, they'd say the person was “on holiday.” In other words, they just weren't looking. It was just such a kind way to say that.

So, when your kid mess up just say, “Oh, that’s a holiday.” You can find another way to express it rather than words of correction. There are words of celebration. It's like “I get it.” Finding kinder ways to express ideas.

Faith's a big deal for me. It may be for some of your listeners and not for others. There's something that some people in our faith community that says, “always be ready to make a defense for hope.” Like we're supposed to be Jesus’ lawyer. And they forget the last sentence and it's to do with kindness and gentleness. And so that's why I call things holidays. When somebody that works for me messes up, I’m like, “that’s a holiday. Paid vacation.” Just like “you missed a spot,” but it's just such a nice way.

I was talking to somebody and they asked me in the middle of the conversation, are you a friend of Bill W? I’m like “I don't understand. I don't think so.” Bill W was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and they thought maybe what I was talking about was kind of like a 12-step program and instead of saying, “are you an alcoholic” they said, “Bob, are you a friend of Bill W?”

That was just such a kind, kind way to communicate. It was almost like they said “if you had a holiday, if you kind of missed a spot, I just want you to know you're safe with me.” And so, as a person that makes a living choosing words, I just think we could just choose better words, kinder words like gentler words with one another. When they mess up, just find another way to say it. It's like you wrote right across it, “Lindsey’s a great kid.”


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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

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For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

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ALLIE: So I'm curious, what did discipline look like in your house when your kids were growing up? Like when they really did something wrong that you needed to correct? How did you handle those kinds of things? You’re just such a fascinating parent.

BOB: Yeah, it would be a kindness, not disapproval to say, “oh yeah, yeah, that's just not how we roll.” But I remember when the kids were growing up my boys were like daggers for each other. They were using words I hadn't even heard and I thought I heard them all as a lawyer. And I'm like, “wow!” And then they all went away to college. Now they're all inseparable. So under my watch they were saying all kinds of rotten things to each other, and as soon as they got out from under me they did great. So I would preface this by saying I'm no authority on this.

But one of the things that we did is sweet Maria and I, we didn't have disagreements in front of the kids. We just had an atmosphere of kindness.

When Lindsay was going to high school, I wanted her to be a nun, but she liked guys. So I said, “When guys come by and want to take you to the prom, just ask them this: What's your definition of love?” And if they come back and say “It's like butterflies,” I mean you could get that from bad pizza but “love, sacrifice and commitment.” And so, if we tell our kids it's sacrifice and commitment. Right now, one of the things that we don't sacrifice are some of these values that we have. You get a holiday on this one, but one of the things I want you to return to is this

We didn't have a place for time outs; we called it the seat of knowledge.

ALLIE: That's amazing.

BOB: “You need to go to the seat of knowledge.” We didn't make them wear a hat or do anything, but it was just a better way than shame. “Go to the seat of knowledge and you’ll figure it out.” I don't know if anybody learned anything, but if they did learn something, they learned kindness. One other thing around our house, kind of a banner over our door, is “100% kindness and 0% drama. Because what makes for a great TV show will make for a lousy life.” And I think I've seen that in the kids. There's just not a lot of drama. There's not a lot of intrigue. If you need to catch your breath, you go to the seat of knowledge if you need to, but we're just not going to do a bunch of drama.

Wouldn't you agree that we're either reflections of or reactions to the people that were closest to us?

ALLIE: Absolutely. Yeah.

BOB: How are you a reflection and how are you a reaction? Tell me from the way you grew up.

ALLIE: A reaction? I went to school at a very prestigious, very legalistic Christian private school and I am a reaction to that by just going the other way and focusing on studying Jesus instead of coming out more like a Pharisee. And I would say I'm a reflection of my parents in that they counteracted that for me and they were more this way of just, “Look, we just didn't want you to go to this school. So we sent you to this one, but it’s kind of crazy over there, so just go to chapel and be good. Just love other people and follow Jesus.” I'm more reflection of them in that way.

BOB: I go to the deep south a lot to talk and when I come back, if I’ve been there for a week, I’ll say “ya’ll.” And the total of nobody in San Diego says “y'all,” and that's rounding up. So I'm a reflection of that. But I'm also a reaction.

I grew up in a family where there wasn't tons of hugs given. Right? So, I hug everybody, because I'm just a reaction to that. It’s just too good to miss. What are you reflecting? What are you reacting to?

Oh, I grew up with grandparents. My grandfather was a firefighter on the docks in San Francisco. For 40 years he worked the graveyard shift. Guess what? He never put out a fire. I don’t even know if he knew how to. But he was the kindest person. I try to be a reflection of him because I had these examples. I think your kids are dying for us to be somebody they can reflect.  

ALLIE: Is this the same grandparents as the grandmother with the bike?

BOB: Yes! Bingo!

ALLIE:  I love that story.

BOB: That’s how you do it. Find something. I don't want my kids to grow up in thinking my dad's a lawyer (and I got a piece of paper in a file cabinet somewhere that says I am) but actually that’s old Bob. Old Bob’s on the bus.

One of the things that I would say to some of the people listening is don't be limited just by your capabilities. I’m capable being a lawyer, but I am made to be fun, to be adventurous. It will lead you in different ways, in different directions. Sometimes we think people that go across an ocean are doing noble things and it actually isn’t noble at all because think of all the tens of millions of people I flew right over the top of doing nothing. What Jesus told his friends is what's a big deal, what really wows Him is when we go across the street. Go across our office place. When we go across the school yard or the PTA or we find somebody who's actually a little bit creepy and we just love them without an agenda. Because when love has an agenda, it ain’t love anymore.

And so one of the things that I think I'm a reflection of in my grandparents. They just loved people. Jesus didn't vet the guy on the cross next to him and say, “What do you think about same sex relationships? What do you think about this? What do you think about the president?” He just said, “See you in paradise.” Like literally, check it out. So, if I meet somebody really difficult, I just say, “See you in paradise.” It just reminds me of why I’m doing… If you know why you're doing what you're doing, now we got a ballgame.

Oh, you will not see me without wearing a Boston Red Sox hat. I've never gone to a Red Sox game. I'm not even a baseball guy. But my neighbor, Carol, was a huge Red Sox fan and so she ended up getting cancer. We knew she'd start this eternity long dance with Jesus by the end of the week. So we made a deal. I said, “I'll wear your Red Sox hat for the rest of my life and represent the Sox here, but every time Jesus walks by you, you need to mention my name.”

ALLIE: Hey, that’s a pretty good deal.

BOB: I know. I’m keeping my end of the deal up.

One of the things is if you know why you're doing what you're doing when it comes to your kids, and you go like forget this whole count to ten thing, ask the third question. How did that make you feel? Ask them to ask you, “Will you ask me how that made me feel?”

Give them the language to ask questions that they wouldn't think to ask, because we've been around the sun a couple more times and we say, “I’m going to ask you this question, then will you ask me this question?” You just de-escalated that whole thing. I'm going to ask you how I made you feel, then you ask me how I feel.

And then if you could have the presence of mind to say, “It made me grateful that you're my daughter.” I'll tell you, you just replaced 30% of her confidence. You just blocked all those statistics. Because then she's like, “You know what? I made my mom feel like a boss even when I felt like I was at my worst.” There's something beautiful, like kind people, they just have this impact that just can't be calculated.

Oh, I live down on the bay with sweet Maria Goff and people now know where we live.

It’s so awkward. They come by on their boats and they talk about me and it's so awkward because I can hear what they're saying. Their voices carry over the water. What I'm learning is that humble voices carry the furthest in this world. To carry far, continue to do your podcast, have a humble voice and say things that are true.  

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. I love that. I have two questions for you that I am obligated to ask because we did Everybody Always in the book club that I host. I never say that I'm going to interview anybody if we happen to pick their book in the book club because I just feel like it sounds annoying. Like, “Oh, I'm actually going to be on the phone with him.” Nobody wants to be friends with that girl. So, I didn't say anything but at the end I said, “If you guys could talk to Bob, you know, what questions would you have?” And I didn't say a word. They don't even know this is happening.

And so I got two questions that were actually really good that I just have to ask you that came up. The first one is how do you connect to God enough to have this much that you have to pour into others? I know that God is probably blessing your heart and your efforts like crazy, but we were wondering like, are you just crazy extroverted? Like how do you have this much energy? Like you raised a family and you have a marriage and you're a busy guy and the Uganda Ambassador thing, how do you have this much to pour into other people?

BOB: I think I'm just curious about everything. I think I'm a reflection of my grandparents, so we're just curious.

Did you know a banana is a berry and a strawberry isn’t? Mind blown. Yeah, really true.

You can pet a bee on his back when he’s drinking water, and it won’t sting you.

ALLIE: I am going to tell my boys that and I will email you if somebody gets stung.

BOB: Oh, and don't do the whole Mentos and Diet Coke thing. That's for sissies. Go get dry ice and put it in a one-liter bottle, add a little water. Run! Because that will blow up.

ALLIE: I’m writing this down because they love that kind of stuff.

BOB: If we're curious about the things around us, the world around us, you’ll actually be curious about your faith and whether the people that are listening will feel like you've been hanging out with Jesus for 20 years or 20 minutes or not interested. Just stay curious about everything.

I was driving here from the North County and there’s a guy with a pickup truck and there's this beautiful dining room table in the back, like claw feet and all that. Every time he went on a bump, it moved six inches closer to the end. I'm like honking the horn. Every time it's another six inches, another six inches. And sure enough, it goes right out the back of the truck into a hundred pieces. Well, because I'm a 7, I'm thinking I can fix it. But I took a picture of that and I just am trying to capture images along the way, not to put them up on social media but I want to capture that and remember that and make sense of it later.

So, I will write down, maybe send myself a hundred emails a day. I've written down everything I think about, everything in one place. I have a document that's 1.6 million words long. I’ve been at for 20 years. I just write down everything. I think about everything. Some people in our faith communities have what are called “quiet times” in the morning. I've never had one. 20 years. I'm clean and sober on those. Mine are super loud. I take everything I thought of the day before and I say, I know it sounds right, but is it actually true? What can I learn from this? What can I pass on? How can I be curious about this and talk to my kids. I'm not looking for talking points. I just want to be so engaged in life that I'm actually curious about my life. I'm curious about my kids.

When people ask me, “Bob, how you doing?” I could say “fine,” but what I do now is I go through this little checklist. How’s sweet Maria? How's Lindsey? How’s Richard? How’s Adam? Because like you, if they're okay, I am okay. If they're not okay, I'm not okay.

And so I'll literally think if Lindsay's okay, Richard's okay, Adam. And if I don't know the answer because I haven't called Lindsay in a little bit, I'll literally call her up and I'll say, “Lindsey, somebody asked me if I'm okay. And I don't know if I'm okay till I know if you are okay?” It slows it down a little bit, but wonderfully so. And it hasn't happened yet, but wouldn't it be great if she said, “Dad, you know what, let me call my husband John and see if he's okay. If he's okay, I'm okay. And if I'm okay, I know you’re okay.”

So if you ask me, “Bob, how are you doing,” I’d be like, “This is gonna take a second.” But again, if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Because I literally don't want one of my kids to go for very long without me knowing how they’re doing. The third question…not “How are you doing?” But, “How are feeling about what you doing?”   

ALLIE: I love that. Oh my goodness. Okay. The last question, we'll wrap up with this. We had this big conversation about this and I'm getting a little vulnerable just sharing something that I struggle with and just wanting to know how you do this?

So, I'm really good at setting boundaries. Maybe it's something that I'm a reflection of or reaction to. I haven't thought about it before. I've got four little kids that I homeschool. I love my husband and I love our time together. So, I'm a fierce protector of that. I love my business and my mission and I kind of worry that there's so much on my plate that if I don't carefully guard my time, you know it's not going to get done. And I'm not going to have my stuff done. And so when reading your books I really began to feel like maybe sometimes I use healthy boundaries as kind of an excuse to maybe shut people out a little bit or not reach out and help them, not really serve. And I’m like, “Man that’s such an “8 thing” to say, right?  Head down, focused.

You also have a ton going on, so how do you handle that? Where is the line for you between…You’re so available and you're loving and you're serving other people? Do you have boundaries? How do you balance that?

BOB: Yeah, sometimes people talk about balance and I felt like there was a period of time in my life that I spent so much time trying to find balance that I tipped over. You need to chase this, chase this. And I felt like at some point I was kind of tilting at windmills. So I just, hey, I'd make some rules that kind of like actually worked internally for me.

For instance, I don't make appointments with people, so somebody says, “Can we go out for coffee next Tuesday at 3? I'm like, “Oh, heck no, but we're actually talking right now so we could have coffee or tea, whatever you want.” But I just don't make appointments. It’s been 3½ years since I made an appointment with somebody. What I'll do is I'll tell them the trajectory. I'll say, I'm in North County, I’m in San Diego, I’m in Point Loma, and if somebody wants to intersect that, then that's terrific.

I put my cell phone number in the back of 1½ million books. It’s been terrific. For me, living a life of constant interruptions kinda reminds me of the way that Jesus lived His life. He was constantly interrupted and He didn't give off this vibe like, “I'm too busy.” I can't think of one time where somebody said like, “You're really busy.”

So if somebody says, “Hey Bob, I know you're really busy, but…,” it makes me pause to say, “Am I doing something that's giving off the vibe that I'm self-important, or busy or something?” Because I'm just the opposite. So, tomorrow is Wednesday; I will be at Disneyland. You know why? Because I go to Disneyland every Wednesday. From 10 to 2, I'll be sitting on Tom Sawyer Island. I promise there'll be 10 people waiting for me because there's always 10 people waiting for me and it's just so beautiful.

So, if anybody wants to meet or have that, like let's hang out. I say Tom Sawyer Island, Wednesday, I'll be there.

And then I drive up to Pepperdine and teach a class at their law school. It's a class on failure. It’s awesome! All my friends who screwed up, bring your biggest screw up sometime.

Do you know why you're doing what you're doing? This idea of availability?

But now let me speak to your 8. This beautiful, precious, wonderful God-created 8 that needs order in their life and that needs to have a sense of purpose. Just live into that girl. Just continue to be just full blown, the healthiest version of that. The humblest version of that

So what I do, and tell me if this would be helpful to you, I'm 59 so I spend most of my time talking to 69-year-old Bob, like 10 years, me plus 10. So if there's something that's stressing me out, I say to 69-year-old Bob, “How do you feel about that?” He’s not stressed out at all. He can barely remember his name. And I also have the 10-year-old version of Bob, like little Bobby Goth. He is full of hope. He's not distracted by that stuff.

So, I would say for your listeners, add 10 to your age. Take wonderful you, where you are right now. Take that person as 10 years older and take the 8-year-old version, the 10-year-old version of you and all three of you make one really well-adjusted person, and you make decisions together and let those other two out vote you.

ALLIE:  I love that! That is so amazing! Thank you!

BOB: Thanks so much for making some time and talking. I’ve got a new friend.  

Did you know if you get a handful of sand, it has 400,000 grains of sand in it? I haven't counted it but Wikileaks wouldn't lie to you. So, Wikipedia. Wikileaks is actually trade secrets.

So, if you meet 12 people a day and live for 92 years, that's what 400,000 is? So that's what I'm telling you to do. 12 actual authentic conversations every day. If you can have your listeners just do that, 12 conversations a day, it will blow your mind what will happen to your life and the people around you. And make your kids, your spouse, the people that you love among them. Have a couple of conversations. You gotta to go to question number 3, not just the easy one. Just say, “How do you feel about that?”

Now, here's the primer. If you're married to a male, you say, “Now is the time where you ask me how I feel about this. So go!”

ALLIE: Yes! We do date night once a week, every week. We'll be on the drive, and I always start the conversation and then I'll ask my questions and it's just like comfortable silence. And I'm like, um, “I'm good too. My day…” Like he just doesn't…

BOB: Prompt him. Just say, “It warms my heart when you ask these questions of me. You don’t know that because you’re a guy, but it warms my heart. It actually makes me feel accepted, engaged, loved and appreciated, when you ask questions about not just where did you go.”

Maria drops me off every morning at 5:45 in the morning and I fly somewhere to go talk and then I fly home. But we never talk about geography. When people ask her, where's Bob, she always says he's on his way home. Because that's a way to honor her. I just get home.

And so if we can continue to run home to each other, but don’t just be in proximity to each other. Once you're there, (I'm speaking to the guys now and to the women to prompt the guys to say), “Ask me how I feel about the day” and I'll tell ya, I'll feel so good because you cared that much.

ALLIE: That's amazing. Thank you for this conversation and all this amazing advice. I can't tell you how excited I am for this to air. I really am!  

BOB: It was so great talking to.

ALLIE: Yeah! Maybe I'll see you one time at Disneyland because I live right there.

BOB: 10 to 2! I’ll be the guy wearing the Red Sox hat.

ALLIE: Perfect! Thank you so much.


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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 080: Creating A Cozy Minimalist Home with Myquillyn Smith "The Nester"

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Myquillyn Smith is a blogger and an author. She's written The Nesting Place and her new book, Cozy Minimalist Home (which is right up my alley). Myquillyn and I talk about ways you can create a space that is both cozy and minimal in your home. She is really great at teaching her audience to create an atmosphere that allows them to live and focus on what really matters to them, and less about maintaining their stuff.

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Myquillyn Discuss:

  • Ways you can give cozy a purpose when it comes to creating a minimalist space in your home.

  • What it means to give your eyes a Sabbath on your home and why it is so powerful.

  • How you can bring your own sense of style into your home while still pursuing minimalism.  

  • The difference between a stuff manager and a home curator.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Myquillyn’s book, The Cozy Minimalist Home, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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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, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hi, sweet friends! Welcome to The Purpose Show! I'm so honored that I get to be a part of your day today and that you're taking time out of your busy life to listen to my show. I'm also honored at the guest that I got to have on today and so excited that you get to listen in on our conversation.

Myquillyn Smith is a blogger and an author. She's written The Nesting Place and her new book, which just came out, is called Cozy Minimalist Home and it is just right up my alley. And if you're here and you love The Purpose Show, it's right up your alley too. We dive into talking practicality when it comes to your home and decorating and how to create a space that is both cozy and minimal and that serves you and works for you.

So, I'm so honored to welcome my guest, Myquillyn Smith. Here's our conversation.

ALLIE: Hi, Myquillyn! Welcome!

MYQUILLYN:  Hey Allie! Thanks for having me today.

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm so glad that you're here. You are one of our authors for our October book month. And your book Cozy Minimalist Home, is your second book, right?

MYQUILLYN: It is, yeah. My first book was called The Nesting Place. It was all about embracing imperfection. And so, this one is more hands-on, how-to approach decorating in your home like a cozy minimalist.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. So, one of the main reasons that I wanted to have you here is because, I mean, we do something pretty similar. I talk to moms about simplifying their space and in doing that you really simplify your life, and you create an atmosphere that allows you to live and focus on what really matters and the people and less about maintaining your stuff. So, when you came across my desk, I was like, “Oh my gosh! This is amazing!”

I love that you really talk about this from a decorating perspective because while I love to decorate, I actually studied interior design like you and then ended up not…I just didn't like doing it for other people.

MYQUILLYN : Yes, I get that.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. I just want it to be for me. I don't know how to describe and teach that. It's just not my gifting at all, but it is for sure yours. So, I feel like everyone's going to be really excited about this episode and you're kind of filling this gap I have. I feel like I know how to do it, but I don't know how to show you how to do it and you do that so well.

MYQUILLYN : Well, thank you. You know, I didn't want to go in people's homes. I'm such an introvert. And so, I did some design school and I was like, “This is the pits. I don't want to go in people's houses and move their recliner.” But there's something about the internet and encouraging women to do things themselves, I can do that.

It's been like 11 years now. I'm one of the grandmothers of the Internet when it comes to that. It has been so fun. People can actually change their homes, which really in turn helps us change the way we function, and changes our lives in many ways.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love it. So, I just want to dive right into this book and what it's about and just pick your brain a little bit.

Basically, the whole thing is cozy becomes clutter when there's no purpose behind it and that we don't have to have cozy and minimalism opposite ends of the spectrum. They can actually live together, which I love.

I actually have a really modern style. I like clean lines. I like a lot of white. So I feel like I kind of fall a little bit stereotypical minimalist in some ways, but I never want my home to feel like you can't sit down and put your feet up on the coffee table. I let my kids jump on the couches. I want my house to feel warm and welcoming and you talk about that same thing so well. That you can have cozy and minimalism in the same space and, you should really, because it serves such a purpose. So, can you talk about how we can give cozy a purpose and what you mean by that?

MYQUILLYN: Absolutely. I love that question. You know, cozy, really the whole purpose, is to be comfortable and to let us let our guard down when we come in people's homes.

I think for a long time I thought that cozy was a style. So I thought, “Oh, I want my home to be cozy so I need to get more and more pillows from Target, and more and more throws, and more things on my coffee table,” but that is just filling a house up. When you kind of flip it and think of the purpose of cozy is to serve the people, then you have a starting point and you also have a finishing point.

And that's what I could never grasp in the early years of making home was I never knew when it was finished. I just kept feeling like I needed to add more stuff.

But when I thought about cozy as that tool that I can use, same with minimalism, thinking of it as a tool. So instead of two opposite extremes, they actually can be BFFs, that are tools that we use in our home. So, the cozy brings in that comfortable feeling and the minimalism brings in that peaceful feeling. And I know all of us want both of those things in our home.

It just made sense to me and it kind of helped me find my way because I really admire minimalism and minimalists. I love that. But I also love beautiful things in my home and want it to feel warm and welcoming. There are so many of us, that's really what everyone wants. No one wants a cluttered home when it comes down to it. We might not behave like that, but you know, on paper we would say we don't want that.

And the same with a super sparse, unwelcoming, cold home. Minimalists don't want that either. So, we're all somewhere in the middle of that. It just depends on where we fall and a lot of that has to do with our personal style. But a cozy minimalist at the heart, when it comes to home, she wants the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Your book is divided up. I really feel like you kind of get to the point. It's not a difficult read. It's not super thick and loaded with stories. In the beginning, you just kind of talk about how you got here and your journey with this and then you dive right into like practicalities, which I love.

But in the beginning, you kind of talk about how you realized that you were more of a stuff manager instead of a home curator. I love the way you phrase that. So, can you talk about that and kind of unpack that and what's the difference?

MYQUILLYN: Yeah, you know, I didn't realize I was this stuff manager at the time. It took us moving from a bigger house to a smaller house, which is a trigger for many of us. And I realized I had collected a lot of stuff. I think it started back when we had a younger family and we would move into a home and we needed a chair for a desk and a lamp to work next to. So, we actually needed things for our home and so I would go thrifting. I would find it at a great price and give myself a high five. Like, “look what I did!”

But I didn't have that feeling of enough. I never knew when to call it, when I hit that line of okay, I have enough lamps, I have enough chairs. I just knew like, oh, if one looks great, I guess 10 more chairs would look 10 times as great. And I found them for a great deal for $7.

So that got me in a little trouble. I didn't trust that if I was good enough at finding a deal in the first place that I would be able to find it in the future. I had a lot of fear about, you know, what if I need that later, what if I get rid of it now and I need it. So, I was holding onto things out of fear.

Then when we moved it was a huge burden. I realized that I was spending a lot of time moving stuff, organizing stuff, taking care of stuff, washing stuff, fussing about stuff, tripping over stuff. And I'm like, I am a freaking stuff manager. This is crazy town. This is not how I want to live my life.

I felt like my stuff was in charge of me instead of me being the boss of my stuff, kind of like a museum curator, of really being intentional, which I know you appreciate, about what comes in and also what goes out.

When it comes to design, I think something no one ever talks about is the fact that we always have to be on our toes editing. I think we all can agree in our life we need that margin and white space, but we also need that on our walls, on our mantle, in our kitchen and in our bedroom. It covers so many areas of our life and I was ignoring that for a long time.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I think we get kind of caught up in what everyone else is doing or what typically is done. I always use the example for my own story of the kitchen. I don't like to cook. It's just not my favorite thing. I started to, six or seven years ago now, figure out like, oh, my life is ruled by the maintenance of my things. I started to clear that. I stopped putting every single thing on the countertop. Only my coffee maker and my Kitchen Aid were there. I put the toaster oven, the crock pot and things that I used, but not every second, underneath the countertop and it cleared my counterspace. It takes me, like what, two seconds to pull out the crockpot to use it.

But the ambiance in my kitchen is so much lighter, I actually started to enjoy being in there. I would make cooking this ritual where I pour half a glass of wine, put some worship music on, and just be in my kitchen. And I was enjoying that space instead of maintaining stuff, going into my cluttered kitchen and then doing my least favorite thing at the end of a long day.

And it's so funny how just clearing, and I’ll get into it in a second how you talk about quieting that room, lightened my load so much and actually made me enjoy something that I was dreading. I mean every day I cooked and I hated it. It sucked. It matters, you know?

MYQUILLYN: Yes. It's such a great example and I think again, like for the longest time I was really attracted to like what you just said, but I assumed that meant like every space in my house needed to be cleared off.

But what you said is the perfect example. If we can give ourselves the gift of maybe one cleared off space per room and not worry about the rest. That’s such a nice baby step. You kind of become addicted to it because it's so nice to come home to.

It doesn't mean that your kitchen island is empty 24 hours a day. What it means is it's empty and ready for you to mess it up and use it and have life there. And that's the beauty of having a few designated empty spaces or surfaces in your home. It’s so that you can use them to the fullest, live in your house and not have to move seven decorative things off just so that you could get to a space, which was the story of my life for a long time.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I think that's going to be the quotable that we use for this episode. It's so obvious, but it's a light bulb moment for so many of us because that's just how you do things. Especially in the Instagram sphere, everything's got to look perfect and there's three little things set by the sink just perfectly. And that's not practical. I always see people's homes like that and think like, is that always there? Because that sucks. Like it's in your way. You can’t even wash your hands without moving a little bird out of the way.

MYQUILLYN: That is so true.

ALLIE: So, can you, and you kind of did a little bit, but if there's anything left there, I really want everyone to leave this episode feeling equipped and like, okay, I've got it and they can go and take action. So, can you explain a little more the feeling of having how you talk about like “just enough” in your house? What does that look like?

MYQUILLYN: Whew, that is really good. Well first of all, you know, I think sometimes we can think like, oh well this is just for people that are super visual or this is just for people that are “designery” or are born with that gene and that's so untrue. I think most of us can attest to that.

There's even a study that shows that when women walk into their own cluttered home, their cortisol levels rise, which is so unhealthy for us. I do not need a person in a lab coat to tell me that. I have experienced that in and of myself. So just knowing that helps me to realize that I need to be able to draw the line. So where is that going to be?

And I think the grace in the cozy minimalist message and in the minimalist movement is that your line might be in a different place than mine. And that is okay. That's what I love. What you need in your life right now is different than what I need. If you have babies. I have three boys that are 21, 18 and 17, so for me in my family room, we have tennis shoes, backpacks and phone chargers. And I'm okay with that.

So, when it comes to thinking about enough, like if you think about furnishing a guest room. So, in my olden days I would say, “Oh, I get to furnish a guest room. I'm going to find every pillow that will work with my style, that I can afford, that I run into today.” And that would have been my cutoff. Whatever I can find that I can afford.

But now as a cozy minimalist who wants the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff, I will say, “What can I get the biggest impact from that will serve the person who needs to stay in the room?” So, if I'm a person in the room and I get up in the morning I want to put my feet down on a cozy rug. I need to have privacy so there needs to be something on the windows. I need a light to read by. I want them to have super cozy, the comfiest sheets in the world. The things that help the people, that is my line for coziness.

I can't go too over to the minimalism and have zero sheets on the bed. That is crazy. But also, I don't need 24 pillows on the bed. We get to decide that line based on how people are going to use it and how the stuff serves the people.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that. You're perfectly leading into my next question. I hate when I'm going to do a podcast and they send me the questions beforehand because I'm like, “No, it's just going to feel forced.” People are going to think that I did that because you're leading me literally to the next question.

But I was going to ask you if you could talk about that shift between trying to make your home look better and making your home serve better. As somebody who appreciates a beautiful aesthetic and I really love design and style. I am with you where I tend to naturally be kind of like, well these throw pillows are all beautiful and on sale and they go perfectly in this room. They just look so great, but then it sucks to throw 58 throw pillows off the bed before I climb in. How do you kind of make that shift and maybe find the balance between those two things?

MYQUILLYN: I think a lot of us think like, okay, I want to approach my room. It needs a change. It needs to be freshened up. So, I guess I'm going to the furniture store. False! Stop! We never start in the furniture store.

One of the ways you always start is you think about how you need to use that room in the next year or two. So not how you used it in the past, not how you're going to need to use it when your parents move in in 10 years, but what season of life you're in right now and how you need that room to serve you.

Even if the builder said, well that's the dining room, it doesn't matter. You get to decide and be the boss of your room, how it's going to serve you. And when you start with that mindset, then you are able to step into that and allow your rooms to work for you.

So, then you'll say, “Oh, we're going to have family game nights? We need a surface big enough to play the games that we like to do together.” If you're going to eat pizza in your room, nothing wrong with that, but you probably don't want to get a silk sofa. You get to think about how you're going to use the room.

What that does is it helps with decision fatigue. Isn't that the scary part? It's making those decisions. That's all design is, is making smart decisions about your home based on what you like and how you're going to use it.

So, as you think about how you're going to use it, that really limits your decisions, which in this kind of world is actually a really good thing. I think it's so helpful to know this is exactly how we're going to use our room. It doesn't matter what my mother-in-law says or how the people who lived here before, this is how we need to use it now. And that's how you move forward in that.

ALLIE: Yeah, that's very, very simplified. I think that's where everyone gets held up. One time I did a Q & A for “what's troubling you with decorating” and everybody’s was this and I didn't know how to describe like, “Well, just do it. What do you need in the room? Like just do it.” It just comes naturally to me.

But that’s the answer to it. What are you using it for right now? Don't get overloaded with what it was supposed to be. Our dining room is our homeschool area because that's what we need. You can make it beautiful. You can make it cute and stuff, but it's got to be functional above all. I think you just hit it on the head. That's what's holding everybody back is that feeling of decision fatigue and like, “Is this what I’m supposed to do?” And it doesn't matter. What do you need? I love that.


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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.

I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available

My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don't overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that's resonating with you and enroll.

For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

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ALLIE: So, you talk a little bit in the book about giving your eyes a Sabbath from your home. Can you elaborate on that and what did you mean by that?

MYQUILLYN: Well, what I meant by that is kind of what we touched on in the beginning is about having margin, and a period of rest in our life, which some of us do that on Sunday where we kind of set up our life to have that rhythm and routine of a built-in rest.

But for me, when it came to my walls, I would put something on my wall and be like, well that's too small, so let me add 20 other things. I felt like any empty space in my home was a problem that needed to be solved by filling it. And I didn't realize the gift of having some white space on my walls.

A practical step to learn to appreciate that is what I call “quieting the house.” I do it one room at a time even though I say house. But sometimes I'll do a major “quiet” if I'm going to attack the whole room. I'll take everything out except the big furniture. I'll take the artwork off the walls, the lamps out. It helps you to see your room with fresh eyes again.

But if you just need a little reset and if your room feels a little off, sometimes the simplest thing to do is just to take everything off the walls and tell yourself I'll put it back by 5:00 tonight or maybe you give yourself permission to live with it empty for 24, 48 hours. Something kind of magical happens when you do that. And every time, without question, I realized that I have too much stuff out.

A lot of us over time add to our home. We bring home a little trinket from Target or Home Goods or whatever and we are constantly adding. But unless we take the time to intentionally subtract, and I like to subtract kind of like all in one, and then I'll bring stuff back.

Allow yourself to like, “Okay, I'm gonna take out all the chotchkies, or I'm going to take out all the artwork, or I'm going to clear off every surface and let it breathe for a night. We're going to use this room tonight as a family without stuff on every surface.” Just wait and see how your family reacts. Even the dog notices. It is crazy.

ALLIE: Yeah. That's so funny. I love that. Would you say that that's maybe a good place to start or is there another way you would have people start implementing this whole idea?

MYQUILLYN: If you've never really attacked a room and focused on that one room, got it looking the way you've always hoped so that you can use it the way you've always dreamed, not so that you can show it off or have it in a magazine, but so you're comfortable using it, I have a whole step process that I go through in the book. It's not anything mind-boggling.

I mean, it's really just talking to your family and telling them. “I'm going to work on this living room for a while so it might look different. So just be prepared. It'll be okay.” If it's the room you usually watch TV, maybe set up another space. Also creating a pinboard. With that room in mind, you just pin with passion anything that for whatever reason you like. You don't have to explain it.

There's some back steps like that that are so simple and they're not intimidating. You're not going to a furniture store and dropping money on a new sofa. Nothing like that. Those simple ways to start, what they do is they give us some little wins and they make us excited about our home. Then we start thinking about how we're going to use it and what we need to set up for. Maybe your kids are going to do homework in there.

So then, and only then, do you start touching things in your room and quieting the room, taking things out. And then maybe a few days later you start moving your furniture around to make sure it's in the right place for your next season of life. You start with what you have. You shop your house. You may look around in other rooms. If you do need that homework table, maybe have a table in the garage or at your mom's.

So there's just really simple steps like that. You're looking for things that you like, that you can use. It's all fun and happy. I mean decorating is fun, but it's not always easy if you don't know where to start.

And so, we really walk through an order of things so that you're not painting your walls green and then you realize that the rug that you love isn't going to go with that. So that takes a lot of the fear out of it, just knowing what the next simple step is. You don't have a huge deadline. You can do this over time as you're working, as you're making dinner or whatever it is.

But it feels so good to have a room that you're proud of because I know when I hate my room I'm a lot less likely to volunteer to host the baby shower, or the community group or whatever it is. And then when I do host it, I'm distracted by how it looks. So, if I can just do a few simple things to get my house in a place where I'm not embarrassed of it or I love it, how about that? Then I am ready to use it the way I've felt called to use it all my life. And that's what I really want for women.

ALLIE: Yeah. I was just going to say before you starting saying that. I love that. It's kind of like when you feel more confident about yourself, maybe you got healthier, you got a new outfit and you just feel amazing, the first thing you want to do is go out on a date night with your husband or go out with your friends, like get out.

We have moved a lot and the first thing I always did was the main living room so that I can have people over. The thing with your home is when you feel confident about it and you love even just one main room, you immediately start serving people and loving people better with your home, which I think is such the point of what we're here to do.

I feel like a lot of people think that this kind of stuff is surface, or extra, or just “not right now,” but if you would just decorate your house better by subtracting from it and start to feel better, cozier, and more confident about your space, it affects your life. It affects how you feel about your family.

And I know what study you're talking about. The one that UCLA did where they did the saliva swabs on the women, and literally the more clutter, the higher the cortisol levels, and the less clutter the less cortisol. And that is a screaming fact. This matters. It's not surface. It's not about having a perfectly clean house and taking that amazing Instagram snap.

It's about having a space that you walk into and you feel like you can take a deep breath and invite your neighbor over who's having a bad day without feeling embarrassed. It's affecting the way we live our lives well and it's so important. I love what you do.

Okay, I feel like a lot of what I hear and what I do with these women is that they're afraid to declutter. It feels so final and abrupt like “officially I'm letting go of this,” whatever it is, even though they're pretty sure it's not serving them and they can live a full life without it. I think they're attaching themselves to their things and that’s super common. I used to struggle with the same thing.

In some circumstances I feel like it's beneficial to maybe temporarily remove something instead of forcing yourself to make that final cut. You talk about that. That's what the whole “quieting” your space is, just kind of temporarily removing something and see how you feel. So, have you done that with anything kind of big? Where you thought, “I'm going to temporarily remove this big thing that everyone else needs.” And then you saw that it was better without it or you kept it? Or anything that you can think of that was kind of like, “Wow, I can't believe I actually made this shift.”

MYQUILLYN: That's such a great question. Let me dwell on that as I respond in other ways of just sharing, because I love pretty things and you love pretty things too. I know it. I love beautiful things. I love having beautiful things in my house, but I don't love them more than having a home that works for me. And so, to always have that in my head helps me be able to part with things.

The beauty of working through our house one room at a time and then kind of being done...the goal is to kind of forget about your house so you can just invite people over and not have to think about the state of your house. Wouldn't that be ideal? That's the number one thing.

Once we work through our home and you feel confident about every room, you don't want to junk it up. You kind of want to get rid of it. And so, it kind of automatically happens where you're like, “Well I'm not gonna mess with that. I just spent a lot of time making sure that really works for our family, so I'm not going to keep extra stuff.”

My family has never guilted us about if they have given us something and we've gotten rid of it. I think that comes up a lot. And you know, I think part of that is just being an adult and saying we don't need it. And if you love it so much you are welcome to have it back or sell it. I hear that so much and it makes me sad. First of all, it's just an old sofa. Let them have it back if it's such a big deal.

So many of us are living with things we hate because someone was kind to us, but we are afraid to hurt their feelings, thinking they're going to be mad because we want the home that they decided they want. They didn't want that thing in their house anymore. But now you have to keep it? It's crazy.

I think bigger stuff is easier for me than the small things for some reason. I don't know why. I'll keep a little trinket for way too long. We've been through a couple of pianos because we used one for a while and then we didn't need it. No one guilt-tripped us and I'm so grateful for that. I want to keep that in mind with my own boys as they get older. I never want to guilt them with furniture gifts and the expectations that are tied to that.

ALLIE: Yeah, like what’s sentimental to me has to be sentimental to you. That whole thing. I see people do that a lot with their kids' toys, which is so funny because this is a place where I started. I don't know if you know my story at all, but I had this terrible life where I was burdened and overwhelmed. When I started to just purge it all out of my house, I started with the toys and it was so easy for me like, “Well this isn't my stuff. This is all pointless, loud, and they don’t even play with it.” But I see people doing this. “Well I had this when I was a kid.” Well, do they play with it? No. It’s as if your kids will have the value that you had. I think people are afraid to hurt people's feelings.

It kind of comes down to a boundary issue a lot of time. My great grandparents passed away and their home was beautiful, like 70’s legit furniture, and my mom and my aunt brought everything down from the Midwest out to California and gave me everything. It was like, “Well, I'm so glad and I will keep this lamp but I don't really want this.” And they were so offended but they didn't want it. I think letting go of like, “Well, I'm not obligated here.” Again, it's just a boundary issue.

I think that what you just said about that sets people free so much. You’re not obligated. There's no secret contract that you've got to hold onto this and value it for at least 10 years.

Okay. So Cozy Minimalist Home comes out this month and you can get it anywhere, right? Amazon? Barnes & Noble?

MYQUILLYN: Anywhere. You sure can.

ALLIE: Awesome. I'm so excited for you. I have your first book and I have this one too, obviously. It's such an easy read. Both books. Very simple. It doesn’t run on  unnecessarily. You make your point. You back it up with some examples and then that's it. You show us how to do it and I love that. For moms, especially, that's the kind of writing we need. What can I do though? Like help?

MYQUILLYN: Yes. I hope it's super applicable. That's my goal. Thank you for those words. Super encouraging.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you for being here with us. I'm so excited that you were here and that you're sharing this with these women. I think it's going to be just really practical and really helpful and we all need some more of that.

MYQUILLYN: I hope so. Thanks Allie.


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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 079: Essentialism: The Key To A Life Lived on Purpose with Greg McKeown

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Greg McKeown is the author of the book Essentialism (one of the most important books I have ever read!). He is really good at taking people through the areas that are consuming too much of their time and guides them back to what is essential. In this episode, Greg guides me through that journey in specific areas of my own life and I am excited for you guys to listen in!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Greg Discuss:

  • What the paradox to success means and how essentialism is the antidote.

  • The power that nonessential things have and why we get sucked into them without really knowing it is happening.

  • Practical steps you can walk through to focus in on what is truly essential in your own life.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Greg’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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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, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hey beauties! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Today's guest is just such a sweet, kind, esteemed person. I am so honored to even be recording this intro. I just wrapped up our interview and it was so good. I am so, so freaking excited for you guys to hear this interview.

Greg McKeown is so many things. He is one of the smartest guys I've ever had the opportunity to speak with. He's a gem and he is such a good man of faith. He's a family guy, he's an author. He's so accomplished. I just sat down with him and felt like being here with him was so, so good.

Greg is the author of the book Essentialism. I've written blog posts about this, shared it and talked about it a lot over the past two years or so. I think the first time I read it was about two years ago.

I wanted to have Greg on the show specifically for this month, where we're really talking about my favorite authors, diving into books and reading more. This book is so important. It's so important that you read it. It's actually a really great book for listening as well, so if you prefer audio books, this is one of those where you could totally listen to it and really still gain everything that you would gain if you are reading it in paper. I know sometimes you get an audio book and you listen to it and you're like, “Dang it, I really wish I had that in paper.”

I think it's a good one. You're going to want to maybe take some notes to reference later, but it's totally one you could listen to.

This interview with Greg was one of the most powerful interviews I've had so far in my career. It was practical. He takes me through essentialism in my own life right now, at the time of this recording. We opened my phone together and looked in settings and found that I was spending a lot of time texting and doing things on my phone that I didn't realize was still so bad. You guys know I talk about phone time and getting intentional with that all the time, but the phone is a part of my job and I have to talk to people in my business throughout the day. And just seeing that number, the amount of hours was such an awakening for me and so humbling.

There's always room to grow and improve and yes, there's basically no time spent on social media, but there's a lot of time spent texting and how can I improve that? Is that worth the time? He takes me through practically speaking, essentialism, and setting up a part of my life and what is essential.

It's so good. I can't wait for you to hear this. I'm so grateful to Greg for totally just taking over this interview and making it a practical life changer for you guys. I think hearing the examples that he walks me through is going to help you actually go and make changes in your life today. I am so, so excited. All of that to say let's dive in with Greg. This is so good.

ALLIE: Hi Greg. Welcome! Yeah, I'm excited. So we're just gonna dive right in. You are the author of Essentialism of course, and I love the story in the book about how you got into essentialism. Would you mind just kind of opening up by telling that story?

GREG: Well, there’s two parts to this story. The first is I was working with Silicon Valley companies and I noticed this pattern. The pattern was when people were focused on the right things, it led to success, which we had tons of opportunities which actually got in the way of continued success because it distracted them from the very focus that had led to success in the first place. I call this the paradox of success.

But simultaneously I also had an experience in my personal life that I realized this isn't just a business phenomenon and this is a human phenomenon. And I received an email from my boss at the time that said, “Friday between 1:00-2:00 would be a very bad time for your wife to have a baby.” (I mean she was expecting otherwise that's an even stranger email to receive.) And sure enough, we were in the hospital, our daughter is born in the middle of the night, Thursday night. We're in the hospital Friday morning and instead of being present, focused, invested in the singularly important moment, I was feeling torn, stretched and pulled in at least these two different directions.

How can I keep everybody happy? And to my shame, I went to the client meeting. And really I walked away from that, in hindsight, clear, as I'd made a fool's bargain. I violated something essential for something nonessential. And I learned from that a simple lesson which is if you don't prioritize your life, someone else will.

And really, that's me, but the people listening to this right now can ask themselves some litmus test questions. Have you ever found yourself being stretched too thin at work or at home (like I was)? Have you ever found yourself feeling busy but not productive (like I was)? Have you found your day being hijacked by other people's agenda and feeling that you don't have a choice, you just need to do it all? If the answers to any of those questions are “yes,” then this is what I wrote Essentialism for was to try and address people like me who find themselves saying “yes” to those kinds of questions.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. I think everybody can relate to that in some way, and I think especially in motherhood specifically, I mean now you have four kids, right?

GREG: That’s right. Four children.

ALLIE: You understand that things are popping up all the time and while some of it is a little outside of our control, there's a lot of things in just being a parent and being involved in school, sports and things, and things just kind of come up. A lot of the time it feels like, like you say in the book, how can I do all of this well? And that's not the question that we're supposed to ask.

So, having said that, can you talk to us about what essentialism is. I know you break it down to a few steps in your book.

GREG: Yes. So, the problem is this paradox of success is the undisciplined pursuit of more. This is the problem. Where you feel like you have to do everything for everybody and that your job is really to stuff everything in. Because if you can stuff it all in, then you can have it all. This is the illogic of nonessentialism. This is our problem. This is the challenge that we have to overcome.

And the antidote to that challenge is the disciplined pursuit of less, or essentialism. Essentialism, really, is this perpetual, continual, pursuit of (1) What is essential. (2) Elimination of what is nonessential. (3) The creation of a system that makes execution as easy as possible in supporting the things that you've identified as being most important. That’s what essentialism is.

ALLIE: Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. So how exactly do we begin to discern what is really important for us in our lives when it can all feel like, oh, I can see how this is important, I can see how this might be worthwhile. If it helps to answer it, how do you discern what's actually important for our lives?

GREG: So, Allie, are you up for a little experiment? Let’s take this conversation out of the philosophical and let’s make it sort of practical and apply it. As people are listening to this, they can do the same exercise themselves. Of course, their answers will be different.

The first thing to do is to think about importance continuum. So, think about the room that you're in, right? One side of the room is like 0-10% important. It’s one far side of the room. And on the other side of the room is the most important, the very most important things, maybe 90-100% important, or the essential things.

So, you've got this full continuum and everything that we do or could do can be placed somewhere on that continuum. Does that make sense first of all?

ALLIE: Yes.

GREG: So, Step 1 in essentialism is to explore what is essential, to create space to explore what is essential. And you’re doing that now, and I'm doing that now and everybody listening is doing that now. We are creating space to think about not just what’s good or important, but what is very important, the essential things, this 90-100% area.

Here's what I want you to do. The first question I have for you is what is something right now that you know to be very important, essential, that you are either not investing in or you feel that you are underinvesting in right now?

ALLIE: I would say revenue-producing tasks in my business keep getting pushed to the back burner.

GREG: Revenue producing tasks in your business. Tell me what that means just a little more concretely.

ALLIE:  Writing some emails that will take me a lot of time that I keep pushing off that will produce revenue that we're needing to meet our goals for September.

GREG: Right. So, you've got some emails that need to actually be created and sent out. That needs to be done. It's a job. You know it needs to be done. You’re pushing it off. There’s something about this that’s not pleasant. I'm sure a variety of things, but that’s the work. Why does it matter to you?

ALLIE: Because it’s my family's livelihood. It's our revenue, our money. We need it.

GREG: Okay. Give me one more level of why. Why does that matter to you? So you need it for your family. That's your revenue stream. Why does that matter? Give me one more level of why.

ALLIE: I don't know if this is right, but what comes to my mind is that I also can't get these women into the program that will change their lives if they don't buy it. And then also we can't do the things that we need to do as a family and as a business, if that money doesn't come in.

GREG: Okay. This is jugular. This means your double bottom line is affected. That's what you just said. It drives the mission. No margin, no mission. If you don't get the revenue, then you can continue to make the contribution you want to make professionally to all of these people and also within your own family. You want to be able to provide so that they can live, grow and succeed. This is why.

Okay, we have now identified what matters and why it matters. Now a little more just on Step 1, this exploring what’s essential is, what would success look like? Like how would you know that this work was taken care of? That it was completed?

ALLIE: Spending about two hours, really thinking through the wording and the copy that would go into the emails. Actually writing it, proofreading it, editing it, and sending it off to my business manager for execution. That is my part of finishing that.

GREG: Perfect. In total? You said two hours, but was that two hours the first part or was that total? What do you think?

ALLIE: Total task done.

GREG: Ok, total task, two hours. That’s Step 1 done.

Okay. Now we're going to move Step 2, which is the opposite side of this continuum. What we now are looking for is an activity that you know to be very unimportant, nonessential, that you're still spending more time in than you think it deserves. Give me something that you go, “You know, I wouldn't mind spending this much time, but I'm probably spending this much time.” Something that is still nonessential in your world.

ALLIE: I would say this week, kind of trivial, but time consuming, catching up on the laundry from a bunch of trips that we just took. I could easily give that to someone else.

GREG: Okay, so we've got laundry on there. How do you do on social media?

ALLIE: I delegate a lot of it, but I do spend quite a bit of time.

GREG: More than you wish you did? Would that also be on your list?

ALLIE: Yeah. I could cut that down for sure.

GREG: Okay, so I want to do this because I think this is a fun thing, and by the way you're being helpful and brave to even do this experiment right now.

Okay. So, do you have your phone with you?

ALLIE: I do.

GREG: Okay, so everybody listening to this do the same thing. Pick up your phone and don't get distracted by it. Look up, go to settings in your phone. Under settings, go to battery. Under battery is listed all the apps on your phone right now. It will be preset. There's a blue tag there we preset to one day. Next to that blue tag is seven days. Will you click seven days? And then next to that seven days there's a clock face and I want you to click that clock face as well. Okay?

Now what you can look at. Now, this is just one tiny but factual resource for how people are spending time. Underneath there now you will see how much time in minutes and hours you have spent on all of those different apps over the last seven days. Do you see that? Anything striking you?

ALLIE: I'm surprised by how much texting. 5 ½ hours texting? I feel like I don’t text that much, but this is humbling.

GREG: 5 ½ hours texting?

ALLIE: 5 ½ hours in Messenger; 7 minutes only is in the background.

GREG: You’re doing it. You can't believe that, can you? Because you're running lean in your life. You’re already applying these principles in your life. You’re already above average. But you could be above average in today's world and still, in fact everyone is, still sucked into nonessentialism. This is the power of nonessentialism. It's everywhere. And it’s not everywhere by default, it’s everywhere by design.

I think you said Messenger, but it could almost be any messaging app. How much money has been spent, how much effort has been spent building a system to make it effortless for you to be on Messenger. If it was neutral meaning if the world was not built nonessentialist right now, then we might say no money has been spent on it. You just live and you can choose to focus on one thing or another and it's just neutral.

But it's not neutral. Billions of dollars have been spent building the machine that you're using, the phone that you’re using to be on Messenger. Billions of dollars have been spent by the team at Facebook to make sure that Messenger is built a certain way. All of this should help us to see why, “My goodness, of course I'm doing this.”

Now just found yourself 5 ½ hours. Now I don't know how much of that for you is productive. I'm not saying every time you're using Messenger that is a waste of time. Can you tell me what you would like that to be?

ALLIE: I would like to cut it in half. I know a lot of the texts in this are business management texts that need to happen. For me, I’m thinking 5 ½ hours doing anything that isn't really money producing or intentional living is not okay with me no matter what I was doing.

GREG: Yeah. I remember the first time I ran this exercise with myself when I was first testing this and I was surprised too. I found an app, for me it was news. I was reading way more news in terms of hours per week than I realized and I thought, okay, that's got to change. That's not what I realized I was even doing. That's one of the reasons I like just running through this little exercise

So, let's say you said you cut it in half. That's what you wanted. Look at that. We just found you over two hours, which is exactly the amount of time you're looking for. And we didn't get too close off the goal. We didn't get too complicated about this. We didn't have to get into lots of jargon. We just identified the extremes.  

Now, that is not sufficient. That might be sufficient for you because you might be somebody who just has a high execution capability so you'll translate this. You'll make you make the decision and you'll go into operation.  

So, we've identified in Step 1, what's essential. We've identified Step 2, what's nonessential. And the trade-off is the inherent part of the essentialist strategy.

Essentialist strategy means trading these things off. It’s not just saying “yes” to something important. It's not just saying “no” to something not important. It's making the trade-off between the two so that you are now living a more essentialist life than before.

Once the decision is made, the tradeoff, we now move into the 3rd Step, which is execution. Execution has multiple parts to it. A nonessentialist approaches execution in a very forced way. At the last moment, I'll make this thing happen. You know, I'll stay up till midnight trying to get these emails done, let's say, at the last moment. This is one approach, but what I have found is that essentialists approach execution from how do we stack the deck in our favor?

That's what we're trying to do. That's what I want for you. I want us to right now build a system that means that it is more likely than not that you will do it, and even if you don't feel like it. So that while you do feel like it, right now in this conversation you feel like making the change, you're making the trade-off, you use that discipline to build a system that means you'll execute even when you don't feel like it.

So, it’s a different way of using your discipline currency. You're buying a system instead of trying to buy directly the execution. You want to build a system that encourages execution.

So let's do that. So, the first thing I want you to do is I want you to describe for me a graphical progress mechanism. Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of words. A chart of some kind that you use. Now I can give you options, but sometimes people have preference. They have some way that they like to do this.

Seinfeld uses a calendar and he makes a red cross over every day that he has sat down and written comedy, and if he doesn't do that he won’t do it because this is the hardest part of his work. And so, he has a visual representation and his goal is to have as many consecutive days in a row.

So, let me give you another alternative. A star chart. Literally a star chart, just like we would use with our children. We're all big children. We love star charts. You could have a stock chart, but I'm asking for a graphical representation of the work that needs to be done. What sounds right to you?

ALLIE: I have a big calendar on this wall in my office that's just for looks and I would just put a big x on each day that I did what I need to do so I can see it.

GREG: Okay, so let's break it down. Let's say that it's half an hour a day until you're done. Is that how you'd want to approach it? So every day you get half an hour done. Every day you have traded off, like I might even encourage you to have one red diagonal line for every day you spend half an hour writing these emails. The second line that makes the “X” for every day you've given up half an hour of time on Messenger, so you are actually keeping yourself honest for both elements of the trade-off.

Okay, now we have checklist, we have a graphical representation. Now we need a reward. This is an external carrot. This has nothing to do with the intrinsic benefits that you will gain, and of course, motivate you inherently to want to make these trade-offs in the first place. But I mean something very tangible that’s some reward for you. Every day would be ideal, so every day I do this, every day I get both “X’s” I get to…what? I get what benefit? What’s something for you?

ALLIE: Being able to read in the evening. I never do it because I'm catching up on things I didn't do during the day. I would love to be able to sit and read for a half hour before I go to bed instead of finishing up work things.

GREG: Super. So, you have a favorite book and you're going to get to read it. If you do this, you get to reward yourself by reading this. Okay, good.

Now we need to take away. We need something that if you don't do it, you don't get it. Not just that you don't get to read the book. Something that is, again, tangible, physical. I can give you examples from people that have done this before, but does anything come to mind for you? You want to examples?

Okay, so I have one person who has a hundred-dollar bill pinned up on the wall. On any day they do not do what they've identified, they have to rip up the $100 in multiple pieces, throw it away. It cost them $100 if they don't do it.

I have another person who has a favorite wine. Both his reward and take away is this. He gets to drink his glass of wine if he does what he's committed to, and he has to pour down that glass of wine, just pour it down the sink, if he doesn't.

Here are examples. I can give more but what do you think?

ALLIE: I liked the money one because it motivates me and because my task is directly related to creating revenue and so it really hits me because it's a physical, it's related and it's a big reminder.

GREG: It’s a physical, direct representation of exactly what you're trying to do. I like that too. So literally, your job is to get $100 bill and pin it up right next to that calendar, so it's there.

By the way, how do you feel about that? Like tell me about the emotion of it, the thought of taking that and ripping it up. How do you feel about that?

ALLIE: I feel incredibly stressed even just thinking about it. It's funny because in writing these emails, like I'll make much more than that. If I don't do it then I'm losing. Not only am I losing that money from not writing the emails, now I'm losing $100 that could be given away to somebody who needs it or used to pay a bill. It's so painful.

GREG: What it is, what the research shows, is that a takeaway is generally about six times more effective than a reward, which is just amazing. I almost wish it wasn't this way, but it seems to be. Certainly when I share these ideas with people it’s the part that gets people's attention. Everyone's listening to this part. Oh my goodness they think, “I have to throw that away. I have to give that thing up. I have to rip up $100.”

ALLIE: My palms are sweaty just thinking about it.

GREG: The goal isn't to stress you out, but it is to give teeth to this commitment. We say we're committed, but somehow we're more committed at the moment that we're willing to rip up $100 bill. Somehow that changes the emotional intensity behind what we're saying.

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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

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GREG: There are many other things that we could do to aid in execution. I could go through them. I mean, you could take Messenger off your phone for this week. You can turn off your phone altogether for this hour a day. You can give your phone to somebody else. You can write out your email and not even be on technology. Just write it out on paper so that you don't have that distraction in place. One thing that I think we should still do is now building an accountability partner, right? So who is going to help you stay accountable to what we've just described? I want a name.

ALLIE: Hayley, my business manager, that’s her job so I would enlist her for that.

GREG: Okay. So let's do now this part of the exercise. There’s two better reasons to do it this way. One is to practice for this conversation with Hayley, but there's a second benefit to it and I'll get to that after we’ve done it.

I want you to tell me like as if I am Hayley. I want you to explain to me what we've just done just as if I am Hayley. Just tell me what we've just done and where you're looking for help.

ALLIE: Okay. So, I’ve decided that I need to write some email copy for 30 minutes every single day and I need you to hold me accountable to that. If I don't do it by 5 PM Pacific, then I have to rip up $100 and sweat. I would say, check in with me at 4:00 every day as a kind of you have one more hour to get this done if I haven't done it already.

GREG: Okay. I love that. I thought that was so clear. You gave structure to it. Because we'd used the systematic way of building this, you were able to express some of that.

Let me share something that I would encourage you to do and I actually want you to do it again now, based on this idea. And let me just say this is universally not done when people go through this exercise. Even though we just did it, they still miss it, and that's because…I don't know why really, but it's very inherently human, to not explain why.

For some reason we assume people know our intent and it’s the cause of an enormous number of human relation challenges. We assume people know our intent and in fact, it is unknowable. Our intent is the most private part of us. It's like deep down in our secret part. A big improvement to becoming an essentialist is to express “why am I doing this” before asking people to do what.

You don't have to get through the whole thing again, because the structural part was really clear, but can you just express, as is if I'm Hayley, why do you want to make this change?

ALLIE: Okay, I want to write this email copy every day because this task keeps getting pushed away until the end of the month and then it becomes a point of stress. And without this done, we are not able to meet our revenue goals. We are not able to give to the charities we would like to give to in the amounts we'd like to give. And everything as whole in the business becomes very stressful, versus peaceful and well planned.

GREG: Yeah. And there was even a little more because... I loved what you said…but there was more. There was, “This is jugular to the business and to my family. This is personally important to me. This is personal for me to make this change because it provides for my family, it provides for our business. This matters to me.”

What everybody needs, who is listening to this, is to be as clear about what they're trying to do, what's really important, what's essential. As clear, and as many reasons as possible for why because that produces the emotional energy to be able to then make the trade-off. You need to have your “yes” be clear, poignant, visceral, strong, emotional, so that it gives you the energy to make the trade-off to build this system. That’s what pours energy into the process.

By the time you're done with the process, the process is feeding you, so that when the emotional strength isn't there, the system is there. You've now got an accountability partner. You've got a graphical representation. You've got a reward system for doing it and a takeaway for not doing it.

Now we have gone through the 3 Steps. That's one application of essentialism. What's essential? What’s nonessential that can be eliminated? And let's build a system to support it. How do you feel as we went through that process?

ALLIE: I feel so good. I feel inspired and encouraged, because life is just so loud. You get distracted by other things and you forget like, what are the things I actually need to do though that have to get done? I've been distracted by, you know, we just started our busy season as a family with sports and homeschool, extracurricular activities, and all these things and they're great. They're good. But they're distracting from the things that we won't be able to do those things if these three, four or five things don't happen.

And so those essential things are getting pushed because they're time consuming and it's such a reminder of that is not the order that is going to bring me a peaceful life at all. So I feel really smacked across the head and a good way.

GREG: {laughing} Well, I don’t know how I feel about having created a smacked across the head sensation for you, but I liked the idea that what I heard underneath of all that was a sort of wake up and an empowerment. A sense of first of all, I am not doing something that I clearly can do and now I’ve got a system that’s going to encourage me to do it.

What is your current confidence level in actually doing that within the next week?

ALLIE: I feel very confident actually. Writing emails and writing in general is what I feel I'm most good at and I like doing it. I don't know why it always gets pushed. It’s probably really just a time thing. I don't think there's much in-depth heart things that I am not dealing with about it because I like writing and I am confident about it. But just the reminder and like you said, the awakening of this matters more than you're treating it like it does. Let's set this up so you'll do it. I feel very, very confident that I'll do it and I would never rip up that $100 bill so I will do it.

GREG: Yeah. See, there's a few things you see. Something you just said I really liked was the idea that this exercise drew into contrast all these activities that were muddled in the middle that appeared to be all approximately the same level of importance. We've got the sports, we've got the extracurriculars, we've got curriculum that we've got to get through. We've got all these activities, we've got the emails to write, we've got Messaging, communication to have with other people. It sounded to me as if it was all melding into the sort of the middle area of that continuum. It's all pretty good and it all kind of has to be done.

ALLIE: Yes.

GREG: But when you try and stretch the continuum and be more precise, you find actually some things are hugely important. They’re way up one side and some things are way off down the other side. Of course, some things are in the middle. I mean that's the idea of a continuum. But by stretching the continuum, you start to see they aren’t all approximately the same level of importance.

Some are way more important. Some must be done first. They enable the other things in fact. Like the kingpin in bowling, you hit the one right thing and it will have a positive effect upon many other things. And that’s confirming that you've chosen something that isn’t essential.

But let me just go one step further with this. The continuum we’re describing isn't static. Meaning, if you take the whole continuum you just described, a year from now, five years from now, whenever, everything that you now think is 90-100% important, that could be stretched to be a whole new continuum.

I don't want people to get stressed out listening to this, but things that used to seem important can be eliminated altogether. When you say, you know what, I'm done, I'm done with television, you can be done with television. These are extreme things to say. They'll sound extreme.

I am done with Facebook. There's no need to be on Facebook. I can be on Facebook one minute a month, a year. I am just done with it. Suddenly the things that you used to go 90-100% become your whole life. You're spending all of your time on what you have identified previously as 90-100% important, so your whole life is now full of things that used to be just sort of a portion of your life.

And that process continues and continues so that in the new continuum, you keep looking for those items in your “new” 90-100%. This is the 90% rule. You keep on looking for 90 % and above. You keep trading off your 0-10. This is why it's a disciplined pursuit. It's an ongoing process so that eventually your life is fuller and fuller with more and more of the most important things.

So that's how essentialism is different than almost every other productivity and efficiency approach anywhere. This is about perpetual pursuit. It's not about doing more things, it's about doing more of the right things. And you keep on doing that and you keep on becoming more selective. Things that you would have said were 50% important last year, now are no longer even on your list. That's gone completely when you keep on becoming more and more selective.

And this way you become far more valuable. Your contribution goes up significantly. And over time your stress can also be decreased at the same time. That’s the value.

ALLIE: Yeah. That’s amazing. My mind is blown all over again just talking to you.

GREG: I'm pleased because essentialism for me continues to be a stretching, challenging model for me as well. I'm a struggler. I'm learning this and I continually try to apply these ideas. I have found that over time it's a richer journey than it was in the beginning. It gets richer and richer over time. It's not like an idea for me, like many of the ideas I’ve come to and even fallen in love with through my life to say, “Okay, that's done. I'm done with that. I'm moving onto the next thing.”

For me, it is something that the more I live it, the richer it becomes, the more and more selective I can be, the better the opportunities. I'm investing in the right thing, so that means you get more of the right things coming. Relationships are the most important. People get better and better.

You get to discern better. At first, someone might be saying, “Hey, I'm going to go on dates with my wife.” Then eventually someone says, “Well, hold on. I’ve been doing that every single week. I never not do that. I'm going to start designing and planning it at the beginning of the week, not just last moment. Start designing it.”

Over time you become more and more thoughtful, more and more selective as you take this very rich journey into essentialism. Because the beauty of life…and whether it's useful or not…the overwhelming reality is that almost everything is in fact noise, but a few things are so valuable, so important that they are incredibly useful to identify and pursue.

I'll give a business example of that from a quote I read years ago that has been helpfully haunting to me. And it’s this: “All you need is the one right idea to live like a king for the rest of your life.” The idea that I think is powerful in that is that it’s not about ideas; I can have a million ideas. But find the right one, the most important one, now it’s rich.

This is true, I think, in all of life. It's all about trying to pursue that trade-off with other things so that we can keep pursuing and discerning even more clarity within what we've identified as important.

ALLIE: Yeah, and I think even just the idea of what you're saying for so many people listening and for me, is just what would life even look like if the only things I spent time and energy on were things in the 90%. Things that really mattered, were so worth my time, that were essential, that have to happen. I would imagine you would have a lot of free time that would either end up being fun and play, which you also talked a ton about in the book and I love that chapter, or more time spent on those things.

GREG: Exactly. Something that has been profound to me is I read a graphical essay available online that’s called The Tail End, and in it the author is giving graphical representation of how much time we have remaining or how little. He shows, for example, the crescendo insight that he has is that he plots out all of the face-to-face time that he will have with his parents. And he crosses off all of the face-to-face time he has had so far. And he concludes that by the time he left home he had had, I think the number was 94% of the face time he'll ever have with his parents.

That's like a shocking insight. It’s a shocking thought to me, but totally real. I mean once you leave, you can talk on the phone, yes you can meet in person, but unless you will be incredibly deliberate, and even then, you have spent that face-to-face time. That is done. Of course, as a parent we can see that from a reverse point of view that “Okay, we are all in the tail end of our parenting. We are all in the tail end of our lives in a sense, so we have to use our time differently.

This is all to set into context. The idea that in the final analysis we have so little time remaining that if I don't spend it constantly searching for the 90% and above and pursuing those things, then I will be trading off those 90% and above for trivial things. I'll be making a trade-off. Now it might not be as dramatic or as foolish as the trade-off I made to go to this meeting instead of being focused on my wife and daughter on the day of her birth, but it will still appear a fool's bargain in hindsight.

I'll give you another positive because I know there's lots of negatives that have depressed us all, but I remember a positive for me, I went through a similar process like you and I just did and identified a top thing for me, an essential thing, would be speaking to my grandfather each week. I was probably at that time spending about 15 minutes a week on Facebook. Not a lot of time, but some time. It's still 15 minutes, right?

And so I stopped. I made that trade off. Almost every week for the rest of his life, which was a couple of years or something at that point, I spoke to him on the phone and that was my trade-off. Nobody hearing that story has ever said to me, I think you really should have spent that time on the Facebook. It’s obvious. In hindsight, it’s obvious.

People can make these trade-offs. You can live a life that really matters. You can make small adjustments. Don't get down about the times we get it wrong. Of course, we get it wrong, but keep coming back to what's essential.  

I’ll leave you on this. When you are on a flight from San Francisco to New York, the plane is off track 90% of the time. It gets to where it's supposed to get because it keeps coming back. It comes back to being on track. That's exactly how I feel about living essentialism.  

We’re going to be lost. We’re going to be nonessential. All of us will be off. How frequently can we come back to that primary question, what is essential? What do I need to be focused on next?

As we do that, the faster we come back, the less time we waste and we get to celebrate the wins that we're having and feel encouraged every time we get it right. Write it down. I do that in my journal. I write down every day the things that I felt grateful about, the essential things that did get done. It's a positive cycle and I don't have to feel discouraged about all the times I messed it up today. Keep coming back.

ALLIE: Yeah, just kind of constantly calling things under the light and looking at is this essential and do I want to keep going with this? I love that you say that. It's not about get it right and then live your life that way. It's about keep bringing it back underneath the light and looking at it and asking yourself and checking in. I love that.

GREG: That's exactly right and you said it perfectly.

ALLIE: This is amazing. Thank you so much for making this practical. It's so helpful, but it's overwhelming sometimes and I think that you made it practical and gave those examples with me and my stuff. It's so, so helpful. I just thank you so much for being here. This was so great.

GREG: Well, I very much appreciate it and best of luck to you and all your followers and listeners.

ALLIE: Thank you so much, Greg.


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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 078: Living Light in a World of Excess with Jen Hatmaker

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Jen Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. 7 is a day-to-day journal that Jen kept of an experiment that she took herself through for seven months where she really severely limited herself in seven different areas of her life. Really, it's about perspective, getting honest with yourself, looking at how blessed you are, where you're wasting and getting back to grateful. It's just a really unique book. I absolutely loved reading it and know you will love it too!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Jen Discuss:

  • Seven areas where there tends to be major excess and the experiment Jen did to change those areas in her life.

  • Why fighting excess can be challenging, yet humbling.

  • Ways the 7 experiment has shaped Jen’s life and ways she is implementing what she learned today, years later.

  • How you can start your own 7 experiment.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Jen’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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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, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hi, beautiful! Welcome to The Purpose Show. Today's guest is someone who is really special to me. She's been a big part of my life over the last few years. I was honored that I got to sit down with her.

She's the author of about a million books…no, just 8, but that's a lot to me. I sat down and talked with her about one book in particular.

Jen Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. 7 is basically a day-to-day journal that Jen kept of an experiment that she took herself through for seven months where she really severely limited herself in seven different areas of her life. Really, it's about perspective, getting honest with yourself, looking at how blessed you are, where you're wasting and getting back to grateful. It's just a really unique book. I absolutely loved reading it. It's right up our alley. It was just a perfect fit for this podcast.

So, I sat down with Jen and asked her some questions that I had after reading the book and we talked about all kinds of things. I'm so excited for you to hear this.

I also just got really honest with Jen and shared a struggle that I've had in the last couple of years. As you guys know, especially if you've listened to Episode 6 of my podcast, you know Brian and my story, the rags-to-riches story. We went from one extreme to the other, really being broke, broke as a joke, and then going to the other side of that and having the business explode. Having wealth, all of a sudden, it really does a number on you and makes you realize things. And I've found this need to pacify myself and remind myself that I'm not broke anymore. We have what we need.

It's made me a very, very generous person, but it's also brought up other more negative things in me as a person. And so, I got really honest with Jen about that and we talked about that. Her words of wisdom are just…she's such an amazing person. This interview is awesome. I can't wait for you to hear! So, let's dive in with Jen Hatmaker.

ALLIE: Hi, how are you?

JEN: Good morning!

ALLIE: Oh my gosh, there's so much that I want to talk to you about, but I have to stick to just one book I guess.  

So, there is so much that I wish I could talk to you about. Adoption. How you do so many speaking engagements in a row. I don't know if you're super extroverted or what, but I can't even. How you love the crap out of the LGBTQ community. I just love you. You're amazing. I'm so glad you're here.

JEN: That’s nice! Thank you.

ALLIE: But today I really want to talk to you about your book, 7. I just finished it. I actually can't believe I never read it. It's amazing and it's right up my alley. I love it.

So, you call 7 an experimental mutiny against excess. Can you tell us a little bit more about what the book is about, and how you came to write it?

JEN: Yeah. I wrote 7 several years ago. I had this sense, I don't know, I had this nagging sense that I couldn’t pinpoint exactly, but I just felt like, “Gosh, we have a lot. We have a lot. We spend a lot. We waste a lot. I don't really know what it is or where it's going, but it feels unregulated.”  

Honestly, it felt like our stuff owned us. That's really how it felt. And that we were locked into this unhealthy relationship of wanting more, spending more, appreciating less. This was for our family, just nothing I had really ever examined in earnest.  

I just do not know how to do anything halfhearted. I just really don't. I wish I did. I honestly wish I did. It would be easier if I could just do something medium. But I just don't have that gear.

Right around that time, my girlfriend, Susanna, was just in her own little life doing this little personal project that she called Pick 5. So for 40 days she picked 5 of the same foods and that’s all she ate for 40 days and journaled through it. And I was like, “You are crazy! Why?”

But, I could not shake it. I couldn’t shake the idea of it. It was kind of like in the spirit of a fast, where for a short amount of time, for a temporary amount of time, you go full restraint, whatever that looks like. Whether it's complete abstinence or less than or whatever.

And so, I was literally in the shower one day and the whole idea of 7 just downloaded into my brain in a second. It was sort of modeled off of Pick 5, but it wasn’t just food for me.

Over the course of a handful of weeks it developed into what it ended up being, which was we took seven areas in our life that felt extremely excessive, unchecked and out of control. And we were like, what if we boiled it down, our options to that category for seven things for a whole month. We picked food, clothes, spending, possessions, waste, media & technology, and stress (busyness). All of that felt out of control.

And so, we spent one month on each thing with seven choices. For example, we ate the same seven foods for a month. Then we wore the same seven pieces of clothes for a month. We gave away seven things a day that we owned for a month. We only spent money in seven places for a month. It was radical, obviously, and extreme, clearly, but it permanently changed our lives. And so that project, that experiment, became 7.

ALLIE: That's amazing. So, did you say that you gave away seven things you own every day?

JEN: Yes. And to be honest with you and you've read the book so you know, I was afraid that I was going to run out of stuff by the end of the month. I'm like, “who can give away seven things a day?” Just for your folks listening, I let you know in this book when I blew it, when I tried to cheat or did cheat, so this is not like some guilt trip book at all.  

But I pre-hoarded some things. I had cleaned out my kids’ closets a couple of months before and I thought, “I might need this. I might need these by the last week of the month and I'm just going to put these in a side drawer.” Terrible. And the truth was I didn't need it all. We gave away way more than whatever it was going to end up being, 210 things or whatever, because it turns out we had more than I thought and we weren't even using it.

ALLIE: It's crazy how much you don't realize. I mean that's kind of what I teach, really, your things not owning you; you owning your things. And it’s so hard. On a regular basis I'll be teaching a class or whatever and be like, “Okay, I'm taking you into my closet and there’s really not going to be much in there, but we'll just see what we can find and I'll show you how I make decisions.” Then I’m like this is literally a “10” on the awkward scale. I have three bags of stuff.

JEN: Totally. I remember at one point, especially during that month when I was frustrated with how many things we had stashed away in drawers, in closets, in nooks, in bins, under beds. And I was like, “Oh my, who bought all this?” And I was like, “Oh, I did. I bought it. I paid money for all of this.” It just sneaks up on you. It really can. If you are not keeping an eye on it, if you not paying attention, then all of a sudden you are owned by what you bought. And that's where we were at for sure.

ALLIE: Yeah. I think my favorite section in the book is the food one just because I love food so much. I'm not going to say I could never do it because I want to do it. I just finished the book, so I've been thinking like you’re right in a way that, like you said, it's not a guilt trip. But also, I'm super convicted in a good way and I feel like I can't just read this book and then move on.

This is kinda what sucks, and I know you know this about being a podcaster, is that you read these amazing books. And then, “Dang it! Now my life is changed and I have to change this area.” I remember it was chicken, avocado and spinach, was a few of the things that you were eating.

JEN: Those were three of them. Chicken, eggs, bread, avocados, spinach, apples.

ALLIE: And it was the section where I actually was laughing so hard that I stopped and read it to my husband and he was like, “What are you reading?” It was the part where you wrote a paragraph about how much you hate chicken breast. About how terrible it is and you wanted to die, and I was just dying. Because you couldn't use onions and things that basically chicken relies on for tasting good. It was hilarious, amazing and just so eye-opening. We have so much wealth here. It was really, really eye-opening, the way you spoke about it.

I wanted to know what do you think was the hardest thing to give up?

JEN: Funny. I thought it was going to be clothes. I thought going into it… “Gosh, the same seven pieces of clothes for a month.” Over the course of that month, I was traveling to speak, so I had to have something in there that was at least decent enough to be in front of people in, like on a stage. This is going to be terrible. Easiest one of the all.  

It wasn’t clothes. I actually loved the freedom of “this is what I have.” No decision making. Hardly any laundry. And you know what? Nobody cares. I assumed that I was going to be fielding questions every day. Why are you wearing that shirt again? Why am I seeing you in that shirt again? Nobody cares. Nobody is paying any attention to what we’re wearing. They don't care.

What was hardest, actually, was spending. I combed through all of our bank statements for a year just because I didn't even know where we spent money. I couldn't have even told you. We averaged – averaged – every month spending money in 66 different places. That's not even repeat expenditures. That's just 66 different places we spent money month every month. Different places. That for sure felt out of control

So for 7, for the project, we got to spend money in seven places for the month. We had to do some consolidating just because of bills, so we counted bills as one. But that month was hard. I had no awareness of just how casually and all the time I was spending money. This little thing, that little thing, none of it felt super substantial to me, although the number 66 tells me that it was.

Just having to essentially say “no” to almost everything. I mean, our 7 options really just gave us food and gas in our cars. We kept a lineup item open in case we had emergency medical, which we never used, so I didn't even get to use that one. There was nothing extra at all and it was hard. That one really pinched.

ALLIE: Was it just that that was the hardest or would you say that area or another area was maybe the most eye-opening and humbling for you? Or was there a specific thing in that area that was really eye-opening for you like, you know, when you get embarrassed in front of your own self?

JEN: For me I think there was this “dawning,” this sense of, “Oh if we really renovated this portion of our lives, how much money we spend, and where, it would mean a lifestyle change for us. It wasn't just a quick toggle. On my clothes, for example, I was wearing the same thing obviously virtually every day, but my life carried on. I still did what I was doing. Whatever my life was, was still my life.

But the spending piece was prohibitive. My friends were like, “Let's go to lunch,” and I'd be like, “I can’t.” Or, “I've got to bring my own lunch.” And I did that a couple of times. I brought a lunch to restaurants. “Let's grab a glass of wine.” Can’t do it.

So, I realized how much of my social world is predicated on spending money, as opposed to just quality time. So yeah, that one was really, really eye-opening because I'm like this isn't just what we're doing, it's how we're living. And so, we would have to make some monumental changes to curb that really crazy appetite.

ALLIE: There was one part in the book where you talked about you were adopting your kids in the process of this book, so you kind of had your mind on Ethiopia and the conditions there, especially the food conditions there. Can you tell the story that you say in the book about when you were doing 7 and eating your dry spinach and you made your kids the breaded fish and all that, and the trash can, can you tell that story because I just think it's so powerful.

JEN: Yeah. So, I'm thinking about my kids a lot, and my adopted kids, my youngest two are Ethiopian, so at the time they are in Ethiopia, across the world. We were not even matched with them yet. We didn’t even know who they were. We didn't know anything about them, but we had the promise of them.

By the way, our kids did all of 7 with us except for food and clothes. I can’t do everything; that’s just too much. And they would have been like, “When I was in fourth grade, my mom made me wear the same outfit for a month.” No thank you.

So, I had made my kids this separate dinner. It was not good food, it was just like fish filets. I put their plates out, went to the next room for like a minute to do something, come back in and I see (I can't remember if it was all of them or one of them now) but they were done. Two minutes.

And I was like, “Did you eat all your food in two minutes? And I think it was my son, Caleb, who just kind of gave me the look. And I go and I open the trash can and I look in and his plate is in there, absolutely full, hadn’t even taken a bite of anything I'd put on his plate. And I was like, “What in the world…” And he said, “Well, we didn't have any ketchup.”

And I’m like, “Okay.” So, I'm raising kids right now to have such little respect for what it means to not go hungry, to have food, that they'll literally throw away a full plate of food because it doesn't have the right condiment with it. That is how far away we are from gratitude. Then I've got my other kids in the back of my mind knowing for sure that they were probably going to bed hungry, and that food insecurity had been such a part of their childhood, which it was.

And the dichotomy was so painful and so upsetting and it just broke my heart and I'm like, “This is the problem. This is the problem. We have too much. We're not even grateful for it and we are willing to waste it.” That solidified it for me, this is why we're doing this.

ALLIE: If I can ask, because I just was so curious about that story. What did you do? How do you change that? Because we live here, and this is the way that it is. Did you do anything to start to open their eyes? How did you handle that after that realization about your kids?

JEN: Oh yeah. Well first of all they got an earful on that. You can believe that.

It’s not a simple answer, like these are the things we started doing and now we have grateful kids. It’s not like that. It’s more that the things that we were paying attention to and sort of weaving into our lives became more like the air that we breathe. So, these are things that now we're talking about all the time. These are things we are paying attention to now. These are conversation points that we are engaging our kids with now.

So, it wasn't like we just started doing a thing, like a program, but more like, “Guys…gratitude. And stuff. All this has a lot of power over us.” 7 was obviously a short-term experiment. It was never meant to be permanent. No one was going to eat the same seven foods forever. It was meant to be short-term, but a lot of the effects of it were permanent for us, even some of the habits.  While the exact mechanics of the way we went about 7 obviously had an end date, the effects linger on. I see that now in my kids, that a lot of our life was shifting, tilting, and turning toward different conversations, different set of values, different habits, and those just stuck.

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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.

I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available

My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don't overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that's resonating with you and enroll.

For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

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ALLIE: I'm really curious about the things in the book that center around things like the shopping, clothing and possessions sections. I know how you limited yourself in those areas. I mean I know it's been years.

I think one thing that bothers me about what I do, what you do, is that people tend to think that if you ever wrote about something you do that all the time and that's how you are. It's kind of frustrating. Not meaning this to sound like that, but in those three areas – shopping, clothes and possessions - what has stuck with you? What has lasted in the way you live now?

JEN: Yeah, and a lot of it didn't. You know, a lot of it didn’t. We still will catch ourselves being out of control. It's just so easy because that's the norm around us.

During the course of 7, I gave away about 80% of my closet and I have really, to be honest, never really filled that thing back up again. Like I mentioned earlier, I discovered that’s not a value of mine. I thought it was. I thought it was going into it, but it turns out I it wasn’t. That one line item. Now I'm not saying all possessions, I'm just saying that one thing. While I'm on your podcast, I'm wearing a tee shirt. That’s not my thing. That for me, has stayed under restraint, but there are other areas that still just kind of slip out of my grasp, and all of a sudden I'm like, “What the heck? Why am I doing this?”

I don't mean this to sound inconsequential because it's not. Like I spend too much on books. For me, I've think this will probably just be forever, things that we kind of have to sit down with one another and be like, let's do temperature checks here.

For example, right now, this very second, I'm sitting in my office and directly behind my office is an industrial-sized dumpster, like the kind you would see at a work site. And my husband ordered it two weeks ago because he's like, “We’ve got too much. We're generating too much. We're wasting too much. We're buying too much.” It's literally behind me full. So that will tell you right now that we have to keep putting gas in this tank or the tail will start wagging the dog again.

ALLIE: I've been thinking about this a lot lately in my own personal life. Just to briefly give you a backstory, we used to be, I hate saying “poor” because it's very much America's version of what that looks like, but we were. And then the blog, my business, and my husband came home, and we run it together now, and we are very much on the opposite end of that now.

And I find myself pacifying with food. I used to have a cup of soup or whatever, but I can go and get Sushi, so I’m going to. I need to feel that in myself. And with things and clothes, I'll find myself filling that God-shaped hole with things and comforting myself. So, it was really perfect timing for me to read 7.

We're 3-4 years into this now, but it's just the remaining, almost like a PTSD of the past. I think it's so neat how you talk about these things, you're so honest. “I just went and I ate this food and I don't even care.” But I think like how you talk about that it keeps coming back in.

I think we all kind of do what Brian and I've been struggling with on a regular basis. Comforting ourselves or filling something in our lives with buying things. Even if it's not to that extent. But, why? Why do we have to go to Target and fill our cart with pointless things just because it's there? Is that what you mean when you're saying “temperature check,” that you have gotten to that point where you're just needlessly bringing things in and you have to get it back out?

JEN: Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. Just this morning, I was in the house and my husband and I sat down for probably an hour and went through, “Ok, what are we spending?” We sat this morning and he's going through it, line by line, and he's like, “What is this? What is this?”

Not like in a gotcha kind of way. He's talking about his expenditures. Frankly (and he would say this if he was in the room) but he’s the spender in our marriage. And he's like, “Okay, this is what it costs to live our life in a month.” I mean we just went through it again. He’s like, “so in these areas, we’re slipping. We need to tighten it up. We need to lock it down.” And so, I think it's just that sort of attention that we give it. Do not expect it to run on its own momentum forever. It won't. It just won't, because there's so much competing for our loyalties, too much competing for our headspace and definitely too much competing for our dollars.

I just feel like for us this is just work that we will have to just keep our foot on the gas with these sort of periodic dumpsters and spending renovations. A lot of this has to do with our kids too and what they feel entitled to.

We were a lot like you. We've been married for 25 years and it wasn't until probably the last seven years that I could fill my whole tank with gas and not be afraid that I didn't have enough money to do it. We really struggled financially for the majority of our adult life and marriage. I ran a student ministry at church. I was a teacher and then I had a bunch of kids so I stayed home. We just really scraped it together. So that sense of scarcity for us, still, is like a ghost that haunts us.

And to your point, we find sometimes just the ability to buy what we want to buy such a comfort. So we have to also pay attention to that. And I’m not one that says, “You can never have anything nice.” I'm not like that. I hope that those listening don’t think, “These two are a drag. I can never get some sushi?” Yes, you can. That's not my life philosophy. I'm not some, “you can never have anything fun or nice again.”

But we do pay attention to our motives behind it. Are we feeling grabby and desperate, or do I just want to have sushi with my friend? I suspect that we will probably never be fully on the other side of this.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love your honesty about that. So just curious, is there anything since 7 that you just can’t personally justify buying or do anymore?

JEN: I don't know if it's so much a brand issue like that. I think just because I came into this one at a zero, I mean I'm an absolute, “I've never even thought about this, much less practiced any of it,” that stuck the most was waste when it came down to the earth and how much we use. And that concept for me was pretty revolutionary.

So, it's funny now when I go back and read it, I'm like, “Come on Jen. I was real green there.” Pun intended. Now I read it and go, “That's not that special. Everybody else was already caring about the earth. You were just a dumb-dumb.” But at the time, to start from nothing. We took on seven habits for “a green life” in the project and it was real eye-opening for me. And so those things stuck for sure. Well, not all of them; we're not still collecting rain water, but we are careful. We're careful about that.

That is something now that my kids don't even know another way than this philosophy of earth-care and economy. We never went back to burning everything like we used to, just burning through it without a care in the world. We're really careful about what we buy, what we reuse, what we won’t purchase in like one-time use stuff. Big time recyclers. All of it.

ALLIE: This is embarrassing, but we just started recycling and you know why? Even my reason for doing it was vain. I was so tired of somebody coming over and being like, “Oh, do you recycle?” And me being like, “No.” It’s just unfortunately not something that's on our minds unless it was instilled in us as kids or something. So yeah, I love that. I love that it stuck with you guys.

So everyone listening is going to want to do this. So where can they go? How can they get 7? I know that you have a whole thing that goes with it now.  

JEN: It's really easy now. We've taken 7 and we've digitized it and now we have bundled it. Now we've got just the book. We've got a workbook if you want to go through it. Let me back up real quick and then I'll answer your question.

When I first did 7, I just wrote it and it never occurred to me one time that somebody would ever want to do it themselves. Not one time. I thought, “I'm not writing a prescription here, this is just some random story we're living.” And then when everybody started buying that book and were like, “We're going to do it in our neighborhood. We're going to do it in our family,” I'm like, “What? I cannot believe it.” I was shocked by that.

And so, my publishing team came back a few months later and they're like, “Everybody is wanting more instruction on doing it.” I'm like, “Well I didn't give any instruction. I wasn't thinking like that.” I went back six months later and wrote a workbook through it.

In the workbook, there's a ton of options. It’s not like this is how it has to be. It’s not really formulated. I never meant for it to be like that. It was more like Food: Here's 10 different things you might want to do. Do what makes sense for you.

And what I noticed is the outcome is the same. So, the mechanics may be different, but the ideas are the same. So, there's a workbook and there's videos. I filmed videos to go with every single chapter, all seven chapters. We've got an online Facebook group that's private and everybody's going through 7 right now.

You can get all that on my website. It's Jenhatmaker.com. If you click on the “store” tab, it'll take you to it.

I went through this with a bunch of girlfriends. I call them The Council. There were seven of us total. They did “versions” while I did it a specific way. Having them in the project with me, I just can't imagine not. And so, I think that 7 is best done in a small group or with your friends or with a couple of families. There’s a lot of powerful conversations that come out of it. There's a lot of discussions. To me, it’s better in communities.  

ALLIE: And you have given us a coupon code too. So, if you guys want to use the code PURPOSE, you get 15% off. It's awesome.

I'm trying to work on texting some of my friends. When you describe what 7 is, it's like,“Hey, do you want to, I dunno, come and basically be in a concentration camp with me for seven months? It'll be fine.”

JEN: Well you know what, a lot of people do it just a week. There's so many ways. There’s no one way to skin a cat. It's okay for you to be like, “this is a way that I think will still be impactful in my life, but not destroy my life.” There are versions of the project for sure.

ALLIE: Yeah. And I think the point is looking at how you're spending, what you're doing, like how I talked about pacifying myself with these things. The point is being aware, which is huge.

JEN: So, for sure, all of your listeners can get 15% off any package that you want with the coupon code, PURPOSE.  At checkout, you put it in PURPOSE and you're going to get 15% off.

ALLIE: For you guys that are listening, I'll link in the show notes so you're not searching everywhere for it.

Thank you so much!

JEN: I love talking about 7. It was such a monumental time in my life and paid such dividends forward. I feel like I'm the leader and the mom that I am right now, largely in part because of what I learned during the year of 7.

And so, thanks for being interested in it. Thanks for putting in front of your listeners. I love that. They can always find me online if they've got questions or want to talk about it. I'm all over social media.

ALLIE: Yeah. And guys follow Jen on Instagram because you share so much. I love watching a mom who's a couple seasons ahead of me and your daughter just went off to college and just seeing your thoughts and your tears and your honesty about everything. Even this morning you posted something hilarious about your kids going to school and all that. I just love you on Instagram.

JEN: It's so much fun, isn't it? It's my favorite of all the social medias, it feels like that's where we go to have a good time. All of the others are where we go to have some drama, but Instagram is fun.

ALLIE: Yeah, it's really easy to spend time there.

Okay. Well I will let you go. Thank you again so, so much and I can't wait for everyone to hear this.

That was such an incredible interview with Jen. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with her. She's amazing. All the things that Jen and I talked about, especially about you taking the next action step for yourselves and reading the book 7, maybe getting the workbook and putting it into action in your own life can be found in show notes. You can find that at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/078. Everything you need will be right there. The link to her shop, the coupon code that you can get 15% off of everything, all that good stuff. So head over there and take action because you know that's what I'm all about and that's what The Purpose Show is all about.


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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!

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