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.

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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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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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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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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!

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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!

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

Ep 077: Living Happy with Alli Worthington

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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.

Alli Worthington is the founder of Blissdom, which is the largest international women's small business conference in the world and she just released her third book, The Year of Living Happy. She is driven to see conversations about happiness change from an external perspective to an internal one. Generally, unhappiness is caused by little things and if we just make little, small changes - changes to the way we think changes to our habits - it brings so much happiness into our lives.

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 + Alli Discuss:

  • What a holistic approach to happiness means and how it differs from what the world defines happiness as.

  • How to balance social media and happiness, especially since we live in a time where social media can be so damaging to our happiness.

  • The things that typically rob mothers of their happiness and how to overcome them.

  • Why it is important to escape the tyranny of urgency and how you can implement that escape in your life.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Alli’s book, A Year of Happy Living, 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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ALLIE: Hi, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. Today's guest is somebody who I have a lot in common with. We have the same name. We both love superhero movies. We both have a lot of boys. She actually has five boys. We both love Kombucha and dark chocolate and we're both passionate about business. We also both have a rags-to-riches kind of story that started with her husband's jobs is not working out.

Alli Worthington is joining us today. She is an author and she's the founder of Blissdom, which is the largest international women's small business conference in the world. So proud of her for that. That's amazing! Alli just released her third book, The Year of Living Happy. I've read it. It's absolutely incredible and I am so excited to welcome her to our show today. Alli, let's dive in.

Hi Alli! Welcome!

ALLI: Hi, I'm so excited to be here!

ALLIE: Yeah, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day and talking with us. I think you can encourage my audience in a really fresh way and I'm really excited.

ALLI: I sure hope so!

ALLIE:  Okay, so maybe just start by, can you just tell us a little bit about who you are and your family and what you do?

ALLI: Sure. My husband and I live outside of Nashville. We have five boys. The baby is 10 even though I know a 10-year-old does it seem like a baby, but when you have five boys, he's always the baby. The oldest is 19, almost 20. He's a sophomore in college.

I have two careers which people always find really confusing. On the ministry side, I write books. I wrote a book called Breaking Busy about getting off that hamster wheel of busyness. I wrote Fierce Faith about overcoming fear and this new one is The Year Of Living Happy. So that's the ministry side. Really practical, but with a spiritual component. I'm also a speaker.

But then the other side of what I do is I am a business coach. People always find it a little confusing that I do all of those things, but it really comes down to my passion is helping women be all that they're called to be, whether that is on spiritual realm or business and I love doing it.

I am proud to say I've never worked an office job. One of my boys actually said to me the other day (my 11-year-old) he referred to me as a stay at home mom and I was like, “Buddy, mom travels a lot. I have a home office. I'm not sure I'm a stay at home mom. I used to be. I was a stay at home mom for 12 years.” He goes, “No, you're here. You're with us, so I'm calling you a stay at home mom.” And I was like, “That's pretty cool. I'll take it.” So, business owner, speaker and according to my kids, stay at home, mom.”

ALLIE: I love that. That would make me so happy if my kids described me as that because you do feel that pull, “Man, I’m really working extra this month” and then some months the balance kind of swings the other way. But yeah, you always are feeling that pull of mom/work, especially when your job involves travel. Mine does too and it's weird and sometimes I feel like “am I gone too much?”

Okay. So, you have authored I think three books, right? Yeah, Breaking Busy. I've read that one. Fierce Faith. And then your new one is The Year Of Living Happy. So, what is that book all about?

ALLI: Well, it's funny. When I was writing Fierce Faith, I wrote it from kind of a dark place. I wrote it all about overcoming fear while I was learning to overcome fear. My husband had developed a chronic illness and life was just throwing us around, but I knew that I was supposed to write on fear. And so, the way it works with me, with my books, is God will kind of give me a word that I'm supposed to write on next.

As soon as I finished the Fear book, He gave me happy. And I thought, “This is ridiculous. I don't know what to say about happiness.” But I went on this journey for a whole year to figure out what's true in scripture about happiness combined with what researchers are pulling from science to say makes us happy and what I love is so much of it is the exact same thing.

So, I wanted to create this book and have 100 entries that people could go to that's super practical and said, “here's exactly what we do to have a happier life,” both scripturally sound, but also backed up by research. And it just kills me that scientists will say, “sure enough, we found the secret to happiness and it's X, Y, and Z,” and we're like, “We know. That's been in the Bible all this time.” But I love to marry those two things together.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that too. And I think when a lot of us think about happiness the first thing that comes to mind is sort of shallow and transient whereas you kind of talk about happiness in a way that’s so different and I think it's has such a stronger and deeper foundation.

I know this is hard but in a sentence or two, can you unpack your definition of happiness for us? I guess this would kind of be like a summary of what you've figured out.

ALLI:  Totally. Okay. This is fascinating. I can't do it in a sentence or two, but I think it'll be worth it. What I learned was in the original language of scripture, there's no differentiation between joy and happiness. And all throughout history, Christians have always used the word happiness. They never looked down on us. It wasn't thought as worldly. It was just a little over a year ago that a minister and an author decided that happiness was secular, worldly and fleeting and joy was holy. So now we've got a bunch of grumpy Christians saying “we're not happy; we're full of joy,” and people are looking for happiness out in the world. We can't find lasting happiness that way.

So, my passion and my hope with this is that we can change the conversation from happiness is out in the world and it's fleeting and it's external, but happiness is inside. We're commanded over and over again in scripture to be holy, but also to be happy because real lasting happiness is only through seeking God. If I could get up on the rooftops and shout that every day, that's what I’d do for the rest of my life.

I feel like it's such an important message because culturally we've bought this bill of goods that happiness is silly and superficial and it's not what we should strive for. I think that we are supposed to be happy and we are supposed to strive for it. But so much of our unhappiness is caused by little things and if we just make little, small changes - changes to the way we think about things or habits - it brings so much happiness into our lives.

ALLIE: I love that. I feel like your approach to practically living out happiness is really neat and kind of holistic and just like “how can I bring everything into this?” And I like how you really go all in and that's really how your book is laid out too, is it 12 sections? Yeah, I really liked that.

So, can you talk about the areas that contribute to our happiness? Because I feel like you've given us permission, like you said, like happiness is not shallow. Happiness is not different from joy and if you're of faith you should be focusing on joy. I actually like that your book has the word happy in it. So, if we know we should be happy, we should be striving for happiness, what areas contribute to us getting there?

ALLI: Our biggest area by far is our thoughts and our mindset. So, whether I am talking to a friend or I am talking to somebody for business coaching, I tell everyone 80% of our happiness, 80% of our success or failure in business, 80% of everything is internal. It is how we're thinking, how we're talking to ourselves, because most of us have on play this kind of negative loop of self-criticism. And I believe we have to practice self-compassion as opposed to self-criticism. Because if the one voice we hear more than anybody's voice in our heads all the time is our own and most of the time that is, “oh, I can't believe I made that mistake. I'm so dumb. Things will never work out’” all of those things, we rob us of our own happiness that we can have.

So many people think happiness is in the external; that would be the other 20 percent. But the 20 percent that's external would be our resources, our time, our community. But 80% of it, that's the internal game. Once we become aware of our thought life and we kind of bring it into balance, that's when we can find real happiness because sometimes unfortunately, because of lessons we've learned from other people, habits we've learned from our own families, we talk to ourselves in a way that we would never allow. I tell people, “Don't talk to yourself in a way that you wouldn't allow people to talk to your own children.” We would never let people talk to our kids the way we talk to ourselves.

ALLIE: Right. I love that. I've never heard anyone say that. That's an amazing rule of thumb. I love that.

You have this fantastic chapter in the book that kind of talks about social media and comparison and how that damages our happiness. That's another thing I love too, you talk a lot about what creates happiness and how we can seek it out, but also protecting ourselves from what is hurting our happiness.

In some ways our jobs are similar and they involve a lot of social media, being on the computer. I think when you're in the public eye in any way you just... I mean you can have people that help you manage all the comments and stuff, but you see hurtful things, you see negative things, feedback, book reviews and all that kind of hurtful stuff. How do you balance staying connected, showing up for what you do and showing up for the women that you serve, but also having boundaries in social media and feeding that happiness for yourself?

ALLI:  I have a rule that if I'm not emotionally healthy, I'm not going on social media. So, if I am depressed, if I'm sad, if I have PMS, if somebody’s hurt my feelings, if I need affirmation from outside, if I want to go on social media to post something so people will be like, “you're great” or “your hair looks cute,” I do not allow myself to even pick up the iphone because I'm not emotionally healthy enough for it.

And what I've found in research, the research started coming out a couple of years ago, but more and more coming out all the time, that the more time we spend on social media, the more depressed we are because subconsciously we can't help but compare our lives to everyone's highlight reel. It's brain science. We can't deny it anymore.

I wrote about this in Breaking Busy, you’ve probably heard this before, but the way we can use social media and not get depressed is use it and actually engage with people. So when we “like” things and we comment and we engage, it protects us from just passively scrolling. Passively scrolling is a recipe for depression on social. So that's what I do. If the dog is throwing up and I'm cleaning the carpet, I'm not allowed to go on Instagram and look at people's vacation photos. I'm just not in the right headspace, can't do it.

And then also I limit the public's access to me really carefully. I have a Facebook group that I run kind of “my” people and I'm there all the time, whether I'm in a good mood or not. But I'm not doing Instagram TV and having comments from all over the world coming in because it is hurtful and it is weird. So, could I gain more followers and build my business even bigger if I lived on social media all the time? Yeah. But for me it's not a healthy way to live and it's not a healthy way for me to live as a wife or a mom.

ALLIE: Yeah. It's not worth it. So, I'd love to know from you, for mothers specifically, what are some of the major things that rob mothers specifically of happiness?

ALLI: Oh, such a good question. The biggest thing is this idea that our mothering is supposed to look a certain way. I remember when all my kids were little, I said to my mother-in-law, we were at her house, she was making breakfast and she was in a good mood and I said, “I wanted to be the kind of mother that was really happy and I made big breakfast and everything was great.” And I said, “But everything's really hard and when I'm cooking and all the kids are fighting or under my feet or they're spilling milk all over the place, I'm just not as happy as you are. And I watch you being happy and cooking and being calm, and I wish I had that.” And she said. “I didn't have that when all the kids were little. I have that because you're visiting.” And I was like, “Oh!”

She said, “I was just like you when I was in the throes of it.” I don't know how I didn't put 2 and 2 together, but it was such an eye-opening moment for me because I realized, “Oh, I'm in a hard season and it's supposed to be hard. When you have a bunch of little kids, it's just difficult. That’s just life. But when we can learn to give ourselves grace and go, “You know what? I'm not supposed to be Mary Poppins today. I'm just supposed to be keeping the kids alive because they want to jump off the roof. This is the season that I'm in. Things don't have to be perfect. Things are okay.” My role was always if my made my boys feel loved, if they were able to give and receive love to each other and they had the beginnings of taking personal responsibility for themselves, everything else was gravy.

It didn't matter if when I went to bed that the dishes were in the sink or the toys were all over the floor. That doesn't matter when they're grown men. It doesn't matter when they're 15-years-old. What matters is they know how to give and receive love. They know how to begin to take care of themselves and take responsibility for themselves. If I did those things, I was winning it as a mom.

So luckily when my kids were little, there wasn't Pinterest. And to be quite honest, there wasn't Instagram because if I had all of that, I would have been the most depressed mom ever because I would have been comparing myself to the pictures we see. Not knocking it, but looking good for photos that can be posted on Instagram or Pinterest is a whole business model. So, when we see a woman and her house is pristine and it's professionally decorated, her kids look amazing and her hair's done, there's probably 10 people in the background that get done. That's nobody's real life. I'm just glad that when my kids were little I didn't raise them with me feeling that extra pressure on myself.

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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 about how we can choose to be happy. I think that is very liberating because I feel like sometimes I've been in conversations or heard somebody talking about a book that talks about this and they kind of come at it like, “Well that's easier said than done,” but to me I think that saying you can choose to be happy is really liberating because you're in control. You can make that choice. But I would love to hear how you would, maybe some practical suggestions on like how to do that. Let's say a mom is listening and she's got little kids and it's a difficult time. Her husband's working. She's at home doing the whole mom thing and she's just feeling done. In a mundane life like that, how do you choose happiness and create that.

ALLI:  Okay, this is gonna sound really dark and this is going to be crazy. I didn't even put this in the book, so this is bonus because this is too dark for the book. I read this book once from this big researcher and her point was if we are unable to feel gratitude for the day we are in that we need to think, “What is the worst thing that can happen? What happens if we lose our family? What happens if something terrible happens? And how grateful would we be if we just had today back?”

It's so dark. But when you allow yourself to go there and go “Look at all of the blessing that I have, with the kid that's spilling Fruit Loops all over the kitchen or the house that we live in.” One thing I say all the time is we have to stop and give thanks for the things that we once desperately prayed for. All of the details, the mess of the day. Things are never going to get done. They're never going to get done when your kids are older either. I mean that's just life.

But if we can focus in and go, “What are the big things that I used to just dream about and pray so desperately for that I have now,” that can refocus our mind into gratitude and gratitude, both biblically and from a research perspective is the key to happiness. If we can focus ourselves on not these 10 things that aren't perfect, but these 2 or 3 things that are perfect, it can resettle us to decide to be happy about it. Because we can tell ourselves, “Oh, I'm so happy about this in my life.” Or we can tell ourselves, “The garbage disposal is broken again. Everything stinks. I can't enjoy my day until the repairman comes.”

We have that power to control our own energy. We have that power to control our own thoughts. It's just we have to get in the habit of doing it and give ourselves permission to do it. For most of us, as women, we keep waiting for permission to be happy. We keep waiting for permission to be told that we're good enough. We keep waiting for permission to go after our dreams. We don't need it. We have it and we've had it all along. We just have to be reminded of it.

ALLIE: Wow. I love that. You kind of answered my next question a little bit, but you kind of weigh out scientific research and what Jesus says about what happiness is and kind of align the two and show they are the same. Would you say gratitude kind of all comes down to being grateful

ALLI: Two things that's both biblically sound and researched-backed: gratitude and the quality of our relationships. In fact, one study that I found said that a healthy, quality relationship brings as much happiness as a $133,000 raise every year. People have studied it. When you make more money, you're really happy in the beginning. Or when you win the lottery you're really happy at the beginning. But then within a very short amount of time, your happiness evens out to the same level as it was before, like we kind of run at a set point. But the thing that will continually make us happy and keep us happy is really a discipline of gratitude. Practicing the discipline of gratitude because it doesn't come naturally. We're not naturally grateful people, you know? The discipline of gratitude and investing in our relationships, whether it's with our spouse, our kids or friends in the community, those are the things that make a happy life.

When people are interviewed at the end of their lives, the big regret that people have is that they didn't invest in relationships like they wanted to.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I think that it's funny because, at least for me, that's the first thing to go when things get really busy, is extra relationships and friendships, coffee with my best friend and you know, “Can’t make it this week. It's really crazy.” And what would happen if we turned it around and in the busiest times we prioritized it? I wonder how much different we would act from that, from creating that happiness during stressful times?

ALLI: That's always my default too. And one way I fixed it this year just on a really practical level is I've joined a small group of women through the church and we essentially promised each other that we show up every week for each other. Because if I don't have an outside obligation, I'm probably gonna get tired and go, “You know, I just want to hang out on the couch and watch TV with the kids tonight.”

But because it's an outside obligation and I know they're expecting me to show up, I'm actually going to show up and put those relationships first and it's made me so happy this year. I never imagined being part of a small group would do that to me, but it did. But now I'm realizing probably any goal I want to reach, I'm going to have to put outside measures on it. Like I can't force myself to exercise. I just can't. But maybe if I sign up to an exercise class, I will. So that's my next plan. We'll see. Maybe the next book will be about actually trying to get healthy. We'll see.

ALLIE: I hope it is. I would love that!

ALLI: It’ll be a challenge because if I do a pushup, I'll feel like a 90-year-old granny.

ALLIE: I feel like if you say that, then God's like, “Oh, okay, that's your next book. Please focus on that.”

ALLI: Please no! Nobody wants to read that.

ALLIE: I think my favorite chapter in the book was escaping The Tyranny of the Urgent. I mean we do, we daily face like so many little mini crises and it's crazy. I mean I think in different seasons they appear in different ways. But right now, for me, I was just talking to my husband about this after I read that, like that is exactly what this is. Our life right now is just crisis, one after the other, little mini things that right now needs to be fixed. So, having said that, could you share how you even begin to make the escape from that?

ALLI: Totally, totally. And the Tyranny of the Urgent basically says that the things that are urgent will take up all the importance in our lives if we let it. So, we'll focus on what's important, basically what's on fire, instead of what's really important. What's urgent instead of important.

And so, what we want to do is go, “okay, the urgent things that have to be taken care of. Yes, we'll do it, but we won't forget the big things that will take us where we want to go in life.” And so, I think it's kind of like a game of Whack-A-Mole where you know, at the circus you hit one mole and five others pop up? That's basically living in that cycle.

So, one thing that I do is at the end of every day I write down the three things that were really successful for me that day and I'm grateful for them. Maybe it's I had a great moment with one of my kids, or I helped a client, or whatever it is that I did.

But then I think what are my three big goals for tomorrow? Because I used to do the three big goals in the morning, but in the morning the kids need food, everyone’s a little bit crazy. I can't wake up before them because they wake up at five. Some of my kids are just early birds and they talk the whole time. So, I don't have quiet time in the morning like that. So, at the end of the day, three things that are really great that I did that day because here's the thing, as women, also we don't give ourselves permission to celebrate our wins. And if we can go, “here's three things I did really successful today,” it's going to change your life. So, three things from today that were good.

But then the three big goals or the three big things that are really important for tomorrow. Write those out and then when the fires start popping up and when we get distracted, we can look (I just do it on a post-it note) I can look at it and be like, “Oh, here are my big three today. This is all I'm going to try to get done.” That is so simple, but it works. And the thing with trying to change our lives, develop a new habit or try to be happier… sometimes we think that it's going to require so much work, when it's just the little, tiny, small things that'll have the biggest changes.

ALLIE:  And that also is empowering to just keep it simple, and it's that little bits of progress that end up making that new habit or changing everything. I'd love to ask you about mindfulness. I think that that is something that we hear a lot about today and actually this part of your book came at a perfect time for me because I've personally been on a journey of just really researching, looking in the Word, and researching the overlap of kind of (I think it kind of comes from like a new age) mindfulness, meditation, and I'm so drawn to it. I love just getting still. It’s so powerful for me, but just really looking at like, okay, what is that version of this? Where is the overlap here? What does God say about this? And so I'd love to hear you talk about, you've sort of coined this term, I think of Godly mindfulness. What's the difference and how do we cultivate that? What does that look like.

ALLI:  The world will say we just need to empty ourselves out, practice a chant or whatever it is. There's even research that shows how beneficial it is, but it's beneficial because we're getting quiet, we're getting focused, we're breathing deeply and we’re calming our mind. So that's where that benefit comes from. But with Godly mindfulness we want to do the same things where we relax, because chilling out is so important for our happiness.

We relax, we take deep breaths and we're filling ourselves with God. We're focusing on the things that will actually bring us peace, and bring us happiness in life. That is the secret to calming so much of the anxiety we have on a day-to-day basis. Getting quiet. Getting focused. Filling ourselves with Him. Focusing on Him.

For me, just on a kind of a rabbit trail, worship music is my jam. There's no way I can drive from here to Target and be in a bad mood if worship music is on. That's just kind of part of our lives. It's how we fight all the things that come at us on a day-to-day basis because if we're not filling ourselves up with the only thing that's going to bring true happiness then we don't have the weapons to fight against it.

Oh, one other thing I want to tell you that's really fascinating, that goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness. The one thing that research shows will calm anxiety and make people happier is breathing. It's so crazy. Even the Navy Seals, they get trained in this breathing technique, which is called “box breathing.” You can google it. Basically, you're breathing in, holding it, breathing out. That is the one thing that the Navy Seals learn how to do to chill out, to calm their anxiety, to be happier and I'm like, every mom should know how to do this.

ALLIE: That should come in your hospital pack, when you leave.

ALLI:  Yeah. If it's good enough for the Navy Seals, it's good enough for mom. We need this technique. Sometimes just practicing, getting quiet, practicing mindfulness and breathing is going to make us so happy, but also practicing mindfulness as we go about our day. Here's where I am in life, here's what's going on. I'm so thankful for my kids. I'm so thankful that the car runs and I get to Target and praise the Lord, Target has that Dollar Section in the front. That's the stuff. It seems silly, but just being aware and being grateful as we go through our day, it does make us so happy.

ALLIE: Yeah, and like you said, the act of getting still for moms is huge. It's so the opposite of how the rest of our day is going to go. So for me, when I just sit and I'm just quiet for a second and I focus on my breathing…Stuff will come up; I'll notice I feel really anxious. And instead of just emptying myself of that, giving that over to the Lord and just fill me, what is the opposite of anxiety? Peace. Fill me with peace and just being intentional in that stillness. It's huge, even just five minutes. It's huge.

ALLI: And there's so much guilt about screen time. Now as a woman who has raised children who are grown, I'm just going to say don't fear screen time. If you need to put your kids in front of a good cartoon, as long as it's a good show, put them in front of the show and go chill out because you're going to feel so much better after and you're going to be a better mom for the rest of the day. My oldest son never watched TV, Baby Mozart, I did everything right. Bless him. He's just like his mama. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes and he'd say that. Second son I just gave up and let them watch all the TV they wanted because I was like, “I guess you guys are going to watch cartoons today.” Nobody’s going to be Valedictorian this year.

I don't know if that helps moms out there, but we are not in control of how our kids turn out, exactly. They are just them. We can help, but there's a whole industry in making women feel bad because you let your kids watch some cartoons every day. Don't feel bad about it. Take care of yourself if you need to.

ALLIE: For sure. That’s something that I talk about a lot. What's the reasoning? Do you need a break? It's a babysitter built into your TV. Take a break here. If you're struggling and your using it to get your kids away from you instead of maybe you could do something else and go outside and connect with them, but it depends on what's going on. What's the reasoning and the intention behind it. It can be such a help. There is no way that I could homeschool my kids and run this business without Netflix.

ALLI: We hold ourselves up to this crazy image of perfection and what a mom should do, which nobody is doing that behind the scenes. We hold ourselves to that image of perfection. We make ourselves miserable. I used to become this mom that kind of gritted her teeth and you know, made myself do everything that I was supposed to do, but I was miserable at it, instead of giving myself grace and just focusing honestly on loving the boys and having a great time.

ALLIE: I love that. I'd love to wrap up by asking you a final question about balance. There's constant pressure on women to find balance, and especially work/life balance, and I would love to hear your take on that. I just think you breathe life over everything that has to do with being a woman and living a good life.

Is this balance even possible? Is it something that you've attained or are aiming to attain? Like what's your thought on that? Finding that perfect work/life balance that everyone talks about.

ALLI: I think I have found the balance and it's not what everyone thinks because the balance looks different in every season. I just came out of summer season. I only traveled once all summer long. I would work during the day, as soon as work is over at 4:00 PM, close my computer, walk 10 feet down the hall and it's family time. Summer balance was pretty much all family, all the time.

Now fall has started up and I'm in speaking season which means every weekend or every other weekend I leave on Friday morning and get back Saturday night because I'm doing a women's event. So, balance in this season for the next three months looks like a lot of travel and a lot of work, but I don't feel guilty about it because the last season was summer and it was all family.

For me I think balance looks like going, “okay, what season am I in right now? What do I need to focus on right now?” The other things are still there. We're not dropping the balls, but it's just that's not where all of our focus is and to give ourselves permission in different seasons of life to focus in on other things. Because as women, if we are working on balance and that is our goal, we're not the kind of women that are going to just neglect something.

We're the kind of women and that are too hard on ourselves. So, we need to give ourselves tons of grace and go, “This is what I'm focusing in. These other things aren't taking as much of my time. They're just as important, but this is what I need to focus on right now.”

ALLIE: I love that. Well said. Thank you so much for this amazing interview. I feel like this is the type of interview that they're going to listen to and just take their headphones out and feel a breath of fresh air, just encouraged. And I really appreciate that.

Okay, so as you guys are listening to this, The Year Of Living Happy is out and you can get it. You get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, everywhere you can get books. We'll link to it for the show notes for you guys.

But thank you Alli so much!

ALLIE: Thank you! It's been great to be on the show.


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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 076: Reviving Creativity in Yourself + Your Kids with Jenny Randle

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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.

Jenny Randle, author of Courageous Creative, is on the show to chat all things creative. From embracing your own creativity to cultivating and encouraging creativity in your kids. Because when we are walking in a healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others!

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 + Jenny Discuss:

  • What creative identity is and what it looks like to fully understand it, in yourself and your kids.  

  • Ways you can cultivate your kids creativity and help them find their own creative identity.

  • Things that will help you overcome the fear of walking in your creativity.

  • Why it is important that you speak life into your kids creativity, even if it seems crazy.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Jenny’s book, Courageous Creative, 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 friends! I am so looking forward to bringing today's guest onto the show. Before she comes on, I just wanted to give an intro to her. Jenny Randle is one of my favorite people in my life. I just adore her. She's so hilarious. We laugh so much together, which you’ll be seeing that in the interview. She's just an amazing human being. She really inspires me. She's a mom and a wife. She's an author. She's an Emmy Award winning video editor. She works with me. She's on my team and she handles all the Facebook, Pinterest, Facebook Ads, analytics and all of this backend stuff that is so over my head and so overwhelming for me. She's one of the best workers I've ever come in contact with. I love her and she and her husband Matt both do work with me and for me and I just love them so much.

Jenny is an amazing author as well. She is the author of Courageous Creative and that's what I am having her on the show to talk about. She really teaches how to be creative, how to come into your own creativity in a beautiful way. I think a lot of the time in our lives we lose the creative spirit that we were born with and we are all designed to be creative in some way or another.

Jenny and I are going to talk about the stereotypical ways of being creative, like being an artist, being a singer or being a writer are only one small aspect of creativity. There are millions of other ways to be creative that you're just not seeing and how to cultivate your own creativity.

We're also going to be talking about how to cultivate creativity in your kids and how to make them different and not raise them to be like the average person who's creativity totally kind of fizzles out after age 10, which is so sad to me.

We're having lots of good discussions. I ask Jenny some pretty raw questions about my own kids and my own self. I'm sharing some things that were said to me, things that happened to me that kind of just stifled my own creativity and how I'm overcoming that. I've been really inspired to come back into that in different ways. It's just a really good inspiring conversation. So, I'm so excited to welcome Jenny to the show. Let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hey guys! Welcome! I'm here with Jenny Randall. Say Hi Jenny.

JENNY: Hey!

ALLIE: Jenny is many things. She is an Emmy winning video editor, which I feel like we should talk about that for a second and she's also... How do I describe you? You are my social media, Facebook Ads, Facebook everything extraordinary. You're amazing.

JENNY: I'll take that. That's a good description.

ALLIE: Yes. So how's it going?

JENNY: It's going good. I feel like we're just two gals chit-chatting away.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. And it's weird to be not talking about Facebook ads with you.

JENNY: I know. I'm like, “There's so many things I need to discuss with you.” I'm kidding. Let's discuss creativity.

ALLIE: Let's do this. So yeah, that's what we're here to talk about today. I want to talk with you about being creative as a woman, being creative with your kids, encouraging your kids to be creative and I feel like a great place to start is this page that I dog-eared in your book which comes out today.

JENNY: Yeah. I'm so excited!

ALLIE: Comes out today, at the time people are listening. This is really awkward because it's May right now.

JENNY: Yeah. So yeah, I can't wait. It's weird to think about that this is going to be launching the same day the book launches.

ALLIE: So. Yeah. And the thing that you're working on so much is actually going to come out and be in people's hands. It's exciting.

So in your book, Courageous Creative, you basically talk about the premise being that when you're a child you're uninhibited, your creative naturally, we're all born really creative in one way or another, or lots of ways. Then as you grow up (I want to say the chart that you showed in your book said around age 10), it significantly drops, which makes me so sad. I mean really it breaks my heart because it's true. And then as an adult it goes down to 2%. The average adult is 2% creative or something like that. Most people are not working in something that aligns with how they're creative, so the bulk of their time is not being spent really doing something that they were made to do.

How did you come across being passionate about that and what made you want to write this book?

JENNY: When I saw that study it said 4 & 5-year-olds are 98 percentile, genius-level creatives. My kids were that age when I discovered the study and I could see that in them. Then to see that it went down to 2%. Like you're saying, it broke my heart. As I was studying creativity and praying through it and figuring out what is that gap, I figured out that it's things like sin, shame, guilt, pain, fear, comparison, people-pleasing, all these different things, rules and regulations in school. All these different things stifle that creative nature that we're supposed to be walking out. So, it's now my mission to help people get that back so they can let their light shine.

Because I think when we're walking in healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others in whatever sphere of influence we're in. I think that's one of the most important things we can really get a grasp on is understanding our creative identity. So that's why I'm here.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And you do such a great job. The book is divided into all these different sections, breaking it down how God created us and He is creative. I like how you say God basically makes stuff. We're made in His image and He created us to be that way as well. Everybody's good at something. I like how you bring it all in. There's different sections for different types of creativity, but you're not segmenting it to, “Oh, if you're an artist, here's an assignment, work on your creativity. If you're a writer, here's your assignment.” You encourage the reader to do all of them.

And I even noticed that some of them are intertwined. I jumped to the writing section even though I think in the beginning you said not to – sorry! I jumped to the writing section and there was something about drawing. Just kind of express yourself. What are you feeling? What's going on and draw it out. Doodle. Go ahead and just start writing words, whatever it is. And that is what this book does. It opens up your mind to just the creative flow and stepping outside of yourself and what it normally looks like.

So can you give us a little bit of an idea of what that looks like for you? How do you express your creativity? How do you get outside of that box for yourself and do your thing?

JENNY: Yeah. Well this past weekend I spoke at a retreat called Camp Create. It was like you go and you make crafts and you do painting and you do things with your hands, which I am so not. I'm in the computer. Let me design something or let me write something. I left being so fueled and filled up by just being intentional to paint and do something that I'm horrible at. It sparked something inside of me that made me want to even do it more and cultivate that. I'm not saying I'm going to be the next expert painter, but when you work on the different areas, even the ones that you think you're horrible at, I think it spills over and it can inspire you to kind of take on something else.

ALLIE: When I was looking at your book and reading, especially certain parts…I always enjoyed expressing myself through writing the most out of everything. But I used to want to sketch and draw in my free time as a kid. And along the way I got the impression that I wasn't very good at it from other people and I stopped. It was just dumb little things. I would just sketch Ariel or something, whatever movie I was into. I was super little. I still have those sketchbooks and when I look back at them I get really sad. Kids pick up on stuff. No one was ever like, “You’re the worst!”

JENNY: This is the moment and we are going to go there. That makes me really sad for you because you had a passion, you had a gifting. You felt comfortable doing it and someone basically spoke death to your dream. That makes me so sad. I met this actor dude who wanted to be an actor and his dad's like, “Why would you act? Actors are a dime-a-dozen.” He said that to him. And a lot of times people are parents. We have to be so intentional not to speak death to our kids’ dreams or anybody. So how are we going to get through that Allie?

ALLIE: Well, that's why I wanted to bring up. This was such a God thing because, before I knew that you were coming out with this new book, this new version of it, I had purchased a painting from Lindsey Letters. I saw it online and I remember feeling something. Not to sound dramatic or super hipster, but I instantly connected with it and loved it. I purchased it. It sits on my mantle, and every day I see it in the main room of the house. Every day I think “I really want to do that. I wish I could do that.” But then I remember…

Side Note: The same thing happened to me with singing. I used to sing on the Worship Team and one time this co-singer said something to me that I wasn't as good. Because I'm competitive and have a need to be the best, it really affected me.

I felt the same way with the painting thing and just art in general. My daughter, Bella, is incredibly creative, artistic and very good at art. So I feel like this is for other people, not for me.

I was thinking about it the other day since I've been looking through your book again and just thinking like that is so dumb. I'm done. I don't want to do it anymore. And so, I put it on my to do list for the next time I'm by Hobby Lobby to get a canvas and some paints and just have at it.

JENNY: Yeah. That's so good. Yeah. I always like to teach people whatever makes your soul come alive. Like you're saying, you were connecting to those things. Whatever speaks to you, I think we have to pursue that. I always like to ask people, “What did you love doing as a child?” Because a lot of the times you'll still love doing it. You just have to be intentional to cultivate it, keep after it, and pray. Ask God, “Okay, is there anything that's holding me back in this area?”  

And Allie, you don't have to be the best at it. You can do it and bring God glory and just have fun and embrace that child-like wonder of just creating and going in that space. Which makes me want to ask you, do you want to sing us a song?

ALLIE: I don't. I had to go to the dentist really early this morning and there was a spider in my office - I don’t like spiders. Spider in my office and the dentist. I cannot. I was so anxious, so I put on that one song by Keane, Somewhere Only We Know. He really belts it out at the end. But I sang at the top of my lungs and totally soothed myself, because I am super creative. We all are, but I am aware of it and kind of tapped into it at least a little bit but I only stick to what I know or at least I feel confident that I'm really good at it or one of the best.

I feel confident with writing and expressing. Getting a point across really powerfully. That's what I do. That's it. But why can't I sing? Why can't I paint? Why can't I draw? Why can't I learn and express myself? It's silly.

I think even if you're not competitive and you're not coming from the same heart issues, for lack of a better term, that I am with competition, I think we all feel like we can't do something creative that we used to do in some ways.

JENNY: I think in that insecurity though, we're giving God space to show up and find our security in Him. I know it might be dumb, but being like, “Okay, God, help me paint and be able to fully express myself. The other day at church there was a girl that was twirling down the aisle during worship and just so free. When we have that moment of freely expressing ourselves and not feeling shame over who's watching me or who's judging me, when you can come to that moment of fully expressing yourself and feeling comfortable in it, I think that's huge.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that. And I think what a form of worship, too, to be fully expressing and it doesn't matter. No one has to really see it if you don't want them to, but just expressing yourself to your creator I think is really powerful and that's the thing that I see in your book.

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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 talk to me about with your kids, because one feeling that I felt when going through your book was this excited panic, I guess, of just they're so little and Bella's 9, so she's kind of close to that age. She's so creative. I think with homeschooling especially we have time to cultivate that a lot, but I don't know…what about the kids that don't really seem to stand out as super creative in one way or another? What would you say to that?

JENNY: Well I think it's how you view creativity. The most simple definition, we kind of touched on it earlier, is just the act of making stuff. So, if you view creativity like that, maybe your kids are really good at making decisions and you can cultivate that in them. Or they're more engineer, tech-minded, cultivating that. I think it's finding where they are thriving and being super intentional not to stifle it.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. And that's really straightforward and simple. It's not complicated to do that.

JENNY:  There was this one lady at preschool pickup who was like, “Oh, I hear you teach on creativity?” “Yeah,” I said.  And then she’s like, “I'm just not creative.” I just wanted to punch her in the face because it's like, “Okay, well…lesson one. Yes, you are.” And then we started talking. She has her own business. She coaches people on fitness. I'm just sitting here thinking, “You don't know what creativity is.” I think it's having that broader view of understanding how we can express ourselves.

ALLIE: Yeah, because when I think about what creativity looks like, I immediately think of Bella and her painting, writing, being super artsy, wearing slightly off-the-shoulder loose tunics with tattoos and being in your house with your succulents - just expressing yourself.

That was a really good description. That is detailed and I want to say that I'm really proud of how I described a creative person.

JENNY: That was amazing. That's awesome. And that's how it is.

ALLIE: But you think those types of expressive creativity only. But really, being business savvy is expressed as creative and is an expression. Marketing - that's something that I love and feel like I'm really good at and I love expressing my heart for my business through that. There's other things that are not stereotypically creative, I guess.

JENNY: Right. Creativity to me isn't just painting. It could be how are you parenting your kids in a creative way? When you need to discipline them, “Okay, this isn't working, what else can I do?” You know? I think it's viewing it like that and asking God for wisdom.

There's so many stories in the Bible when God would be like, “Do it this way!” Speaking wisdom and being open to that creative correction is huge.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And also, that's another huge weight off of us as parents - to know that there's room to be creative. You don't have to read the parenting books and do it exactly that way. If it's not working for your kids and there's something wrong with them or with you that you can take a step back. Be creative and find a way that works just for you guys.

JENNY: Yeah. Yeah. I went through a season of finding myself because I was so exhausted saying “no” to a lot of the things my kids wanted to do. Then one day they were like, “Will you get the fan down. And I'm like, “No, I'm not going to get the fan down.” And then I walked into the playroom and they had created this massive zoo truck, a truck that was going to go to the zoo. They rearranged all the furniture and because I did not get the fan down, they did not have an engine. I saw it and I'm in the midst of writing my book on creativity. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I am putting regulations on you like no one's business.” So, I said I was sorry. I got the fan down and they kept playing.

Seeing that process of me saying “no, no, no” just because I was tired, it was so dumb. I was so mad at myself. I think it's always being self-aware and asking God like, “Okay, what's holding me back from my creativity and how can I change that? And then obviously looking to Him for strength and doing that.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I didn't want to have prepared questions for this because I just wanted the conversation to flow and be creative, so I am bouncing back and forth a bit.

What happened with me and the art thing and the singing thing, I am sure that story mirrors everybody listening in some way, big or small. So, coming out of that fear of “I'm just not good at this, so I don't want to do it,”what are maybe some inner scripts or something that you could give to overcome that and walk ourselves through getting started with what that thing is for us again?

JENNY: That's a good question. Do you know the story of Moses when he's called? There's a burning bush and God said, “Go free the people!” and then he makes five excuses. Basically he says, “I'm not good enough. I'm not talented enough. Who am I?” All these different things. And God says, “I am who I am.” And He's not being like, “Moses, you're so amazing!” He just turns it back on him. I think when we can flip those lies that we’re holding onto, turn it back to God and be like, “Okay, well God's put this desire on my heart. I might as well go after it and see what happens.” Because honestly it's not really about you pursuing that thing, it's more just finding freedom. If you look at the bigger picture, obviously there's wounds there if there's something holding you back from doing something you feel passionate about. It's really pressing in and seeking Christ in that and learning how to overcome it and then just doing it. Just take a risk and do it and if it's so uncomfortable then just do it a little less and work your way up, you know?

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'm really going to take action on what was happening with the painting thing and really push myself to do that, but I think it wouldn't be super difficult or painful or anything. It would be freeing to put to rest that inner voice and just be like, “Who cares? I'm going to do this.”

JENNY: I bet you'll surprise yourself with how great you can do at it.

ALLIE: I'm going to be the best painter.

JENNY: You are going to be the best painter. Let's just sell your artwork. Make a new shop, new business. But I think too, there's a reason you're passionate about that and who knows what else that would unleash in you, you know? It's just being faithful to what God calls you to right now in this moment. And if you feel like, “Okay, I want to try painting” just do that and see what happens. It's going to be fun.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And it's one of those things that has always come up. It will always come back to me my whole life and I just always thought like, “Sucks that I suck at that” and it's so dumb. It's just so dumb.

I think too as parents, it really shows what awaits those kinds of…like nobody “said” that to me. It was body language, a facial expression. I was seemingly annoying to want to be putting my time into that. It just seemed like okay, I'm getting a vibe here.

And it's so crazy how that is the power that we have, flipping it around to my kids now and I totally relate to your fan story. I did this on purpose. That's the whole thing behind having less toys, minimalism, an intentional space that cultivates their imaginations and constructive play. Bella is extremely imaginative, very creative and Leland is very strategic, has that engineering mind like you said earlier. And the other two are just there because they’re just really young. They make up these big things. And they ask me for something and I'm like, “I guess.” I cultivated this and then you just get so irritated and that is the kind of stuff that gives the message I think that creativity is immature and there's no place for it as you get older.

JENNY: I look back at growing up and my parents provided me with resources and tools and video cameras and I'm like “I'm moving to Hollywood!” I was in New York and they never were like, “No, I don't think you should do that.” As crazy as that dream sounded, they always spoke life into it. That's the type of parent I want to be. I'm getting emotional talking about it because their ability to empower me to do that changed my whole world, you know? Our job as parents is to disciple and foster our kids in the areas that they feel called to do and speak life over them.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love that. As parents, how can we seek out what our kids are good at, especially if it's not an obvious creative like art or building or whatever? And I don't mind saying this on the show, but specifically Hudson, he's 5 (6 at the time this comes out) and he is like Brian. He is very sweet and always putting everyone else ahead.

For example, for his birthday, his favorite cake is lemon and he said “I don't really want lemon though because not a lot of people like lemon, so I'm going to get chocolate because everybody seems to like chocolate.” He is very pleasing and he is a “prop” in his siblings’ play like all the time. It's hard for me to find what is your thing? What is going to be your thing so I can cultivate that? There really is no middle child right now, but he falls into that stereotypical role, being tossed back and forth, and he's happy to play with them.

But how can we, for anyone listening that kind of relates to that or has a kid like this that’s not so obvious like Bella’s painting things and all of this stuff, how do you exactly seek that out? How can you take a step back and watch for that and cultivate the little things if you do see something?

JENNY: Well I always say we can be self-aware through prayer. So I think it's asking God to reveal to you or to highlight things to you when you notice him playing in a certain way. You can already tell he's really compassionate so maybe it's even serving your community and taking him with you to a homeless shelter or doing something to cultivate that in him. My son's the same way and that is something that I really want to cultivate, especially in a male. I don't want that to go away. So being intentional in that and praying about it.

But also exposing him to a bunch of different things and then seeing what he connects to. I think it'll come when he finds it, right? Like my Zoe loves dancing, but we signed her up for dance at 2 and she had a breakdown every time. Now she's 4 and she's awesome.

It just takes time to feel comfortable in that space for them to express themselves. So he'll show it soon.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I think it is just kind of the way it goes a little bit for a middle child. They want to be with their siblings so they go and do what they're doing and they're not really thinking about, well what is my thing? He's 5.

JENNY: Yeah. Well my daughter will copy everything her older brother says to the point where she'll be like “Is Max eating his lollipop right now?” And I'm like, “I don't know, use your brain, you have freedom my child.”

ALLIE: I love that though. That was really practical. Yeah. Very actionable. Which is helpful when it feels like a big weight. I don't want to mess them up. I don't want to mess up their creativity. I don't want to stifle it. I want to encourage it. That’s a big thing to say and it's hard to do.

JENNY: Yeah. It’s just noticing it. Like the one character trait you mentioned, you can foster that. You’ve noticed that he's compassionate and kind. So figuring out ways to strengthen that in him and then maybe from that other things will come out. Maybe he'll like writing a story for a certain type of person or…

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. You give a lot of easy action steps and hope even just the way you talk about it and it's very relaxing, I guess.

JENNY: Welcome to The Spa! Spa Jenny!

I do want to say the goal of the book is to help people cultivate their creativity. Whenever I do speaking or talking, the whole goal is to have people take action, so that is what is in the book, so I'm really going to put you on the spot right now because this is fun, but will you cultivate your creativity live on your podcast? I feel it happening. Will you just freestyle rap for us please? I feel like this is your moment and you're going to be so good at it. I'm going to give you a topic…

ALLIE: Do not make me rap. I’m not going to rap. I do not feel creatively inspired to rap.

JENNY: What if I gave you a beat? That'll inspire you!

ALLIE:  I am going to freak out. {laughing}

JENNY: Listen, I did this at a church event and I accidentally called it a freestyle battle, which is totally different and people were like, “Am I supposed to do ‘your mama’ jokes and make fun of people?” And then I had to be like, “No, no. Keep it clean.” And then it was fine. Well, why don't you do that? That’ll really set people free.

ALLIE: I just feel really creatively inspired when I'm making people feel terrible about this. {laughing}

What I am going to do is I'm going to go today and get stuff to paint and I will send it to you.

JENNY: Okay, that's fine. That's fine. I mean, if any of the listeners want to do a freestyle rap, just send them to Allie. She's gonna love it.

ALLIE: Send them to me on my Instagram DM and I will open them all.

JENNY: Maybe that'll inspire you, their freedom of expression.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. So Courageous Creative is out as of the date of this episode. And so where can people find you and connect with you more about that?

JENNY: I love going on Instagram. I'm on Facebook. My website, jennyrandle.com.

ALLIE: And you can get the book anywhere books are sold, right?

JENNY: Oh my gosh. I've been so excited to say that. Yeah. Anywhere books are sold!

ALLIE: I should've let you say it.

Okay. Well guys, if you want to be encouraged as a creative, even if you think you're not creative and also have a great handbook for (there's like so many highlighted things in my mind) raising creative kids, encouraging your kids to be creative, especially from a biblical perspective. It's really about how God created us to be this way. It's empowering, I think. It is biblical, but it's really empowering to see that that's biblical, if that makes sense, and this is how we're created. It makes you come alive and get excited about it.

It's a really good book. Definitely something that I want to have on hand to raise my kids to just be expressive, be creative and be who they were made to be. So, we'll link to Jenny's Instagram and all that good stuff in the show notes as well as the link to the book.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today. This is an important subject and I really liked talking with you.

JENNY: Thanks for having me on!


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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 075: Coffee+ Questions with Allie (Book Month Edition)

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

This month’s Coffee & Questions is a bit different than previous months because we are diving into one of my favorite things all month long … books! 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.

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 Discusses:

  • The books that have shaped her life.

  • Why she never read a book on minimalism and how that has impacted her journey to simple living.

  • How important it is to take action from what you are learning in the books you read.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Since I am featuring incredible books and authors on the podcast for the month of October, I am hosting giveaways on The Purpose Show Facebook Community! Head over to the page to join in the fun! 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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Okay guys, I'm excited to jump into this edition of Coffee & Questions. Truth be told, I have already lied to you once. I am not drinking coffee this time. Usually I really do like to have a cup of coffee and make it kind of like a ritual, sit down, cozy up, have a cup and talk with you guys and answer questions.

I think the whole idea of podcasting can be kind of weird sometimes, really impersonal and I never want that to get picked up in my tone. If I'm sitting at my desk and I've got this high-tech microphone in front of me and these notes to remember what points to hit in an episode, I think it could easily become stiff and non-conversational and that's just my worst nightmare.

I mean I'm sure every once in a while there'll be a really important episode that I need to hit all of the certain points or whatever, but typically, especially for the Q & A episodes every month, I want it to just feel really relaxed, friendly and friendship-y. So, I really do sit down with a cup of coffee and try to pretend that I'm just sitting with a few of you chatting and answering things.

But today I have a sore throat and I've got a Lacroix sparkling water. I actually have the apple cranberry flavor, which I've never tried before and it's super good. I normally don't like cranberry things, but this is amazing. It does not taste like cranberry. So anyway, it's Lacroix & Questions with Allie today.

I am going to share with you a few of the books that have shaped me for this episode of Coffee & Questions, or Water & Questions in this case, and I'm really excited because I think it's going to be really helpful. I always love getting book recommendations from other people and I think this is really cool and specific and these books are the ones that jumped out at me when I thought about what are the books that have shaped me and made me who I am as a person. So, I think this is going to be really great and really helpful and that's my hope with this.

The first question that I want to answer, I'm really excited about and I've never talked about before and that is what are a few of the books that you would say have shaped you as a person? And I'm really excited to answer this question because first of all it was a challenge, so I had to kind of sit and think.

Again, truth be told, I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about this. I didn't spend days and go through my house and look at all my bookshelves and skim the shelves for books that I thought shaped me. I didn't do that because I know that when I do that a bunch of books are going to jump out to me and I'll be like, oh yeah, that book shaped me too. And I feel like if a book really shaped me, if it really made an impact on me, it would come to the front of my brain.

So, I'm sure I'm leaving several great books out that did in some way shape me in this list, but these are the books that came to my head right away. And I think that's important.

I also wanted to say that I think a lot of people expect me to list at least one book on something to do with minimalism, but I've actually never read a book on that topic for pleasure because of how my story went. I started this journey to “less” and just being really intentional about my things, figuring out that it was taking up my time and that it mattered, and it was something that I should be looking at constantly, about six years ago at this point.

And I didn't know that minimalism was a thing. It wasn't trendy. I hadn't really ever heard of it. I had no idea. It was just an epiphany that I had in this moment with God on my bathroom floor after like a serious breakdown and a terrible season of being a mom. And so, I didn't know. I didn't read this anywhere. I didn't figure that out. So that just isn't my story.

I think it's great that the message is so out there now for other moms, that's fantastic. But I didn't have that, so I never read a book on that and then it changed my life. That's just not how my story went.

Also, now I've really hammered out my own philosophy of minimalism that’s specific to mothers that's really realistic and doable. And some of the things that I have seen or read now just don't really feel that way. It feels a little bit stiff and legalistic and hard to follow when you're a busy mom with multiple kids and you're not really thinking about being that perfectionistic about this whole minimalist thing.

My philosophy is really shaped around just being realistic and doable and helpful. It's a side note to back you up as a mom. It's not a lifestyle that rules everything you do and you know, takes over. So, I figured this out myself and then created my course and created all my stuff, around that.

The only time I have read a book on the topic of minimalism has been for research for work, specifically my book proposal. You have to discuss other books that are similar to the one that you want to write and how yours will be different. So, I've had to skim and read a couple of big name ones in research for that. But other than that, I've never really read a book about it. So, none of these books have to do with minimalism.

I have a list of about six books that I feel like they kind of popped up in my head and I'm going to share them with you now.

The first book that shaped me is actually somewhat of a recent read. Full disclosure, I'm kind of all-in/embedded in this topic in my life right now. If you were to peel back the curtain of my life and look into what's Allie learning right now, what's Allie going through right now, it would be this. I'm all-in. I'm actually rereading the book I'm about to tell you about for the third time as I record this.

I've dove all the way in. I'm studying it. I'm really taking it and putting it into action in my life. It's just something that I'm really deep into right now and that book is Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf.

This book was such a sign for me to read. It kept popping up. No matter where I looked, no matter where I turned, I would see this book. It's kind of hard to miss because it's got a weird cover. It's bright teal and it's got a big purple sparkly brain on the cover. It's not super cute. It's just kinda like, it is what it is. And so, I noticed it every time I would see it. It's not a new book. The idea is not new. Dr Caroline Leaf is not new. She's been a practicing scientist for decades, but it just popped up a lot.

It struck me as a boring read, so I didn't dive in. I finally ordered it after I saw it a bunch of times and I finally read it after it popped up three or four more times after I had it sitting on my shelf to read later. I finally dove in on a trip that I took and then I read it again on a recent trip, and now I'm reading it again now because it's just that crazy.

Switch On Your Brain is all about the God-given power of our brains, what we think, how thoughts actually take up physical matter in your brain, and how you basically are what you think. This has always been fascinating to me in my adult life, but this book really put it in perspective. This book taught me a lot about why I was so drawn toward meditation, getting quiet and really being intentional with what I'm doing with my brain.

I'm not a Buddhist; I'm a Christian and I'm not really into the “new age” sort of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but that's just not what I believe. And so, I always was kind of drawn to that though. Meditating is so great for me, but it's hard to learn about meditation without getting that side of things, that side of research.

Switch On Your Brain explains why it's so important to get still, to meditate and to control your thoughts. And it's all backed by Scripture. This book changed my entire life. I'm absolutely still learning and really focusing on this area of my life right now, like I said, but I was a different version of myself after this book came into my life. I can 1,000% say that. This book absolutely changed my life. Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I will link to that in show notes.

The next book that shaped me was a funny, funny, funny, little book. The topic is not funny, but the cover is funny. It's a weird little book called Hung By The Tongue by Francis Martin.

It's a very tiny, pamphlet-size book. It's got a picture of this Indian guy on it and he's being hung and his little tongue is sticking out. It's really random and weird. My mom gave it to me in high school…actually she didn't. It was just on her shelf and I picked it up and decided to read it in high school. I always have loved reading even as a child, but that's how I really started to learn that books can change your life and really be passionate about reading all the time, was in high school from my mom's bookshelf. So, thank you mom for having great books on your shelf all the time.

I picked this little book up and I want to say that I had started to date Brian. I think that was around the time. It was the end of high school. I seemed to be a really passionate person who had a very hard time controlling my words. I would say these true, but cutting and hurtful things to my boyfriend at the time, Brian, and it seemed to really hurt his feelings.

I was just so confused by that. Like, why? What's the problem? Why are you so upset if something I'm saying is true? I was just so young and dumb and I just didn't know what I was doing. I hadn't really come to grips with, and I’ve shared this with you guys before, that I am such a fiery, passionate person. My thoughts and my words, they just will flow out of me without any filter if I'm not careful. I feel what I'm feeling 1,000% all the time.

Hung By The tongue caught my attention because of the title, the cover, it was weird, and a small read. And I remember sitting in my little Civic and reading that book in the parking lot of Del Taco, reading it in one sitting, and being so shocked. I never read it again, but it stuck with me.

It's basically just the idea that what you say matters, and you get what you say. It was Scripture-based, really short and to the point, really powerful and really hard hitting. It was like a punch to the gut. That weird little book shaped me for sure.

That was when I really started to think about what I said and notice a pattern of when I say things, it changes my relationships. It changes what's physically happening in my life and it taught me that you are what you say. You get what you say, get what you speak.

And that was huge for me. I went on branching off of that new belief and new realization from there.

I've talked a lot about what I've learned about that topic in terms of being a parent and raising my kids and talking to them. There's a whole episode that we have that we'll link to in the show notes too, about the power of words and your children. It’s about how I learned about raising my toddler son, Leland, when he was so difficult, the words that I spoke over him and how that totally changed the path he was on and the behavior he was exhibiting. This is huge and this was kind of the start of that for me. So, Hung By The Tongue by Francis Martin.

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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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The next book that shaped me was You’re A Badass by Jen Sincero. So, this book is not a Christian book. You will have to take the idea of it and back it up with what you believe if you are a Christian. But Jen is amazing. I'm a huge fan of hers. I would love to meet her one day. She's awesome.

Her book is really in line with these two books I've already named. It’s really about, “Stop kidding yourself. Get your stuff together and start to create the life you want. You don't have to be broke. You don't have to be stuck. You can change whatever you want. You have the power to change your life. Let's do this.”

And it came at a time when we were living in northwest Arkansas. I was trying to start the business, but it was in the very early stages and it was slow going and difficult. We were super broke and we were just at this point where we didn't care anymore. We just wanted things to change. And I read You Are A Badass. I actually listened to the audio version of it. I remember having to make a new email account so that I could make a new Audible account and get the free credits for the book so that I could read the book because we were so broke.

I remember lying on my living room floor, listening to that book, soaking up those words and realizing I can change everything. I can do this. I know what my purpose is. I know that my message will change mothers all over the globe and will help them. And I know that this is what I was put on earth to do and I'm going to really do this.

This is when I learned about speaking affirmations specifically about where I wanted to go, about really using my brain to take me to a new place to change my life. So, I credit this book with what happened in our life. Obviously, I credit my hard work, the power of God and the purpose He had for me, but in terms of books, this is the book that turned everything around for us and taught me what I needed to know.

Now I have to give a quick disclaimer before I give the rest of the books. You'll notice that all of these books, like they're great. You can read them though and nothing will happen. Every single book I read, I take action on it.

Brian always jokes with me that it's really important that I'm careful with the books that I read because every time I read a book, I go and I do what I learned. I actually do it and I'll change my whole life after what I just read. And so, that's the key. Nothing gets done without action. You can read an amazing book and feel really inspired and not do anything about it. You've got to take action.

So, I took action with Switch On Your Brain and I started being more intentional about my morning meditation, my morning quiet time, my thought process and taking my thoughts captive.

I read Hung By The Tongue and started watching my words to my boyfriend at the time, to my parents, to my friends.

I read You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero and I started speaking affirmations, journaling through my thoughts, dealing with my money blocks, taking control of my life.

You've got to take action.

The fourth book that shaped me is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. He is actually one of our authors and his episode is coming quickly this month. He is just incredible. That book is absolutely incredible. I read it for business, but it applies to all of life.

Essentialism is the book that helped me begin to delegate, to realize I needed to hire other people and only work on what I need to be working on. It was huge.

Essentialism is about doing less of all the things and more of the things that matter. So instead of looking at my big to-do list and just going through it and knocking things off to feel accomplished, it's looking at my big to-do list and asking myself, “What are the things that are actually essential to be done? What has to be done? What, if it's not done the business won't go on? My family won't go on? What has to be done?” Focusing on doing those things first and prioritizing. He says in the book, “if you don't prioritize your life, someone else will.” It's very empowering in terms of managing your life.

I really, really loved it. We'll talk more about it in his episode, but Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

Another book that shaped me is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I've talked about this book before. This book is about how we tend to self-sabotage and stop ourselves from moving onward and upward, whether it's in business or love or just having a great abundant life. This is a very important read. I would highly encourage all of you guys to read all these books, but this one is just really, really good for stopping the self-sabotage in your life and realizing that you can have a good abundant life. You can really heal yourself from illness, heal yourself from marriage problems by choosing to control your brain, what you think and be intentional about that.

I’m feeling like there's a pattern in the books that shaped me and maybe why I tend to try to be positive all the time, control my thoughts and my words, because all of these books have that theme really.

So The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It’s a game changer.

The next book is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I read this book years ago and I've read it again since. This book is basically non-Christian thoughts on the Christian faith. I think that's what he calls it. He's really funny, really real and he just helped me understand God.

I grew up in a really awesome household. My parents are awesome. They're super relaxed and laid back. We went to small churches growing up and we just had a really cool, relaxed Christian faith in my childhood. But the school that I went to was a really elite private school. It was a Christian private school where you memorize Scripture and you're graded on how well you did. You go to Chapel every week, sometimes twice a week. It was very religious-based.

Obviously, I spent a lot of time there and so I kind of went into adulthood with beliefs about God that aren't actually truly who He is. So Blue Like Jazz, I credit that book with really opening my eyes to who God really is, that He cares and He wants a relationship with us. It just opened up my faith. And that was the start of all of that.

Now, the super rigid religious, works-based type of Christianity, just has such a bad taste in my mouth and it really puts me off. It bothers me when people see that I'm a Christian and they assume that I'm that sort of Christian and they put that label on me. They talk to me in that way, or use Christianese to talk to me. I believe in God and I love Jesus and I talk to him every day. He is a part of my life and I have a relationship with the living God that created our world. In that sense, I’m a Christian. So, I’ll just leave it at that.

Blue Like Jazz just really helped me see who God is, see what He is in, how He works, what His personality is. That really helped me at a pivotal time in my early adult life.

So, there you have it. Those are a few of the books that came to the front of my brain right away that I believe have shaped who I am as a person. That was really fun and I hope that helps you out a ton.


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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 074: For the Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

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Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about. I am talking about when Brian worked crazy long hours and I was barely surviving as a wife and mom through it. It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. I hope this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change for you!

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand. I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone for long periods of time. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better. Things can change if you want them to and if you're open to it. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why it is important to rise above your circumstances, say no to complaining, and work towards joy in anyway that you can.

  • Practical ways you can make your husbands time off well worth it for your family.

  • How to use your routine as a guideline that keeps your family functioning smoothly.

  • What you can do to protect time with your spouse and ways you can encourage him throughout the day while he is working those long hours.

Mentioned in this Episode:


If you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart during those long work days, let me help you out! I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that you can send to your husband to get a connective conversation started. It is a FREE download that you can save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit through the day!

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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! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about.

However, I have a blog post that I wrote years ago that has just kind of always gained traction, and it's on this topic of what you can do as a wife and mom when your husband works crazy long hours, because that is a difficult role to be in. It takes a lot.

This is mainly for women who are stay at home moms and their husbands work really long hours. That's the role that I was in for years. That's where I was at when I started my blog about seven years ago (at the time that I'm recording this episode) and it's how I came to find minimalism and simplify my life out of necessity.

Brian had a job at a big global company where he did tech work and he installed cable in different corporate offices and things like that. It was a physical labor job too. He would have to climb up into attics in 100-degree weather and install and run cables and all sorts of things. So, he was gone and he was gone a lot. And he was exhausted when he would come home. He usually left before the kids and I would wake up in the morning and came home after they were in bed, and sometimes even after I was in bed because it was so late. So, this isn't really a fond time in my life for me; parts of it were, but it was really, really difficult.

It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. Actually, I hope that part of this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change.

If anyone was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We were living paycheck to paycheck. We were super, super broke. There was no cushion for us to leave or find something else. We lived in southern California, which is where we live now. And Southern California is expensive. At that time, and even now, there really weren't a lot of jobs, but especially at that time. It was after the recession hit and there just really wasn't a lot of work. People were really struggling.

So, we felt really grateful to have that job and to have the opportunity for overtime, even when the overtime was forced. We were able to barely make ends meet, but they were met and we were okay. We just really missed each other and Brian missed out on a lot of really key things as a dad. And speaking of that, two things, if you have not listened to our story of how we got out of this time, listen to episode six, how my blog saved my husband from his 9-5 or got my husband out of his 9-5 I think is the less dramatic, actual title. It's very emotional. I cry the whole second half of the episode. It's our story, our money and business story, and it's really powerful. And there's also like a free download that comes with it, if any of you are interested in starting your own blog business

Basically, we went from super, super broke as a joke and then all the way out to the other end of the spectrum of a seven-figure income from my blog and me pursuing my purpose. And now Brian and I run our company, The Purpose Group, Inc., together from home, we homeschool the kids and we kind of take turns and swap out all the different roles. And it's awesome. This was our dream and we never, ever thought it would happen.

So, having said that, the second thing I want to tell you is if you’re resonating with this episode once I get into it, and you're just like, “Oh my gosh, I need to simplify. I need to be able to think about these things. I need to be able to breathe and enjoy my kids. I don't want every day to feel like I'm just waiting for the end of the day to come so I can be done,” go right now and download The Minimalism Starter Kit. You can go to alliecasazza.com/starterkit and get it for free or you can just go to the show notes for this episode and get it there, but The Starter Kit is exactly what it sounds like.

It is a beginning kit for moms who want to simplify their physical space so it's all about the home and how you can cut down on the clutter which is taking up your energy, your time and your focus. And you need to have as much of those three things as possible to pour into your kids and your family, especially if you are a wife of a long-hour husband.

So, go get that free download right away. And having said those things, let's dive into this episode.

So, when Brian got the job that he had for about eight years, before he left and even before that, the jobs he had before that were in the same industry and they were all really similar, but that job he had the longest so it stands out to me in my mind as that season.

Before he left so I could go all in with my business, he worked there for about seven or eight years. When he got that job, we were told that the hours were 8-4:30 and it was about an hour away from our house. So, with the commute and traffic, we were already kind of like, “Okay, well you're not really gonna make it home for dinner unless you get off early. But that's okay. We'll rearrange our schedule. We'll eat dinner late or you can eat dinner when you get home. We'll figure it out. But this job is awesome and we're super grateful.”

So, once he started working, we really quickly realized, through a lot of arguments and canceled plans, that overtime was just a part of his job. Brian never really knew when he would be off work. It changed day to day and depended on the heaviness of the workload and the type of work required at his final job of each day. And also, we started that job like when we had just had Bella, (or before we even had Bella, I think, I don't remember) but as our family grew in that job and once we had 3,4 kids to support overtime was no longer the company's decision. It became a mandatory part of his job in order to make ends meet.

So, at that point in our lives, we'd come to a decision that as long as his job could support our family, it was better for him to be at work for long periods of time so that I could stay home with our babies. And that was both of ours decision. Neither of us ever went back on it. Every once in a while things would get really financially strained and we'd think like, “Hey, is this right? Should I do something? Should I go get something to contribute? What can we do?” We just never, ever, ever felt peace about changing that. We always both felt really great about me being home and Brian working. It just never really made sense for us to both be gone at a 9-5 or whatever and pay for childcare and all that. It just wasn't going to be worth it.

We were always thankful for his job and the opportunity to have the overtime, but it goes without saying that it was really, really hard because basically what was happening was he was consistently working six days a week. Every once in a while he would even work seven days a week and he was working 12 to 14 hour days each of those days.

That's a really big thing and it requires a lot more than people realize. At that time most of my friend's husbands would come home before dinner was served and I just didn't even know what that was like. I used to think a lot about all the family studies that have been done showing that families who eat dinner together every night are stronger. They stay together. They sent happier, smarter kids out into the world.

And of course, as a believer, you know, it would be ridiculous of me to believe that God can't rise above that statistic and our situation and you know, make all things work together for good, but it still hurt me so deeply to know that we did not have a lifestyle that allowed for that type of daily family time. That was really hard. But I learned over the course of some time that the hard truth was that moping and complaining about it or trying to change things out of my control or out of anger is never going to do any good.

So, I continuously prayed that my husband would be where God wanted him and that He would just keep blessing us and guiding our work decisions and keep giving us peace about one decision or another, whether I would go to work or Brian would get a different job or we would stay where we were with Brian at that job and me at home. That He would just continue to guide us and keep giving us peace. That we would know that we were following Him no matter what changed or what happened

And that was really the best thing that I could do. It was the most powerful thing too. I know that that was where Brian was supposed to be at that time. And because of my prayers, God nudged me when it was finally time to make a change years and years later.

I want to say, I don't know if that sort of a schedule, if that's where you're at, if that's your lifestyle right now. I really don't know if that sort of schedule is sustainable for a couple who wants to have a happy, close marriage since you're really not able to share and talk much. But we did do that for a long time and we made it work. And even though we had a lot of struggles that wouldn't have happened if our schedule was lighter, it did work.

Yeah, it was some of the darkest times for us. Our marriage went through a really dark time several times in there. And I was really lonely. I struggled with depression. I had a lot of negative things happen, but it doesn't have to be everybody's story. I'm just sharing what happened to us.

So, if you're in that situation and it feels really tough, I want to encourage you. Pray. Be open to some other way, somehow. Wait. And in that waiting be all there where you are. Show up to make things as good as they can be in that season.

Like I said before, if there was ever going to be a family who was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We had no way out. We had no college or experience or anything that could get us an amazing job. Brian was constantly trying to do inner-company education, to get a better job and the company kind of dangled by like a carrot in front of him for years and years and promised a raise, six figures a year and all this stuff. And that's actually why we moved to Arkansas because of a promised position that would be much better for our family. And we got there and it was a total lie. It was actually worse and that's when we started the business.

I just want you to know that even when things are difficult, like look at what I just said, we moved away from everyone we know and love and things got even worse and that was God getting us into the position to make a change. He had a plan all along, so just pray, be open to anything, be open to some other way and show up and make things as good as they can be while you wait in the current situation.

So, in that season of our life, my job was to rise up in that circumstance, say “no” to complaining. I would always think about how does it make my husband feel when he's working as hard as he is and then he comes home to a complaining wife. I just didn't want that for our marriage and you know, feeling sorry for myself and all that. And I just decided to not do that, to come into this role and work towards joy in any way that I could. I'm sure you can see how this kind of led to minimalism and simplified living and all the things that I talk about now.

But here's really at the heart what I was focusing on during that time. It pleases God when I choose to praise when circumstances do not make it easy. It makes my husband so happy when I choose joy and I'm happy with him and grateful for his hard work ethic and his job. It pleases God when I make my husband happy. So clearly it does a lot of good when I choose joy and no good at all when I give into my flesh by griping, giving into depression and letting this “own” me and take over.

Plus, I would always think about who was watching me: four little people with souls and hearts open to receive what they see in me. As the mom, I'm the heart of the family. So what I say and do and the attitude I exude is everything in my house. And that's really powerful.

So having said all that, how do you handle life with small kids and being a stay at home mom with a husband who is mostly gone?

There are a few key choices that I made and I'm calling them “choices” on purpose that made a big difference and I want you to keep in mind that I was never perfect. All of these things were struggles for me. I failed all the time, but these are the things that I kind of figured out helped make it a little bit better.

So first of all, Brian's days off called for some serious family time. So, when Brian would have a day off, I pretty much ignored my cell phone and so did he. We would just turn the world off and tune into our family. Depending on what we were feeling was best for our family that day, we would either hang out at home or spend the entire day out, totally bypassing nap times and just paying the price of cranky babies and soaking up every hour together.

If we did stay home, we would really be engaged. We'd read books to the kids. We'd have a fun family movie night. We'd go for a hike near the house. Maybe even get caught up on things, whatever. Whether it was super fun or really mundane as long as it was done as a family, that was the goal. We involved the kids in everything, even when they were super little in any way that we could, because we just wanted to be together.


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Hey girl, real quick! Let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally

free and amazing and that I am so excited to have you get your hands on! It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Maybe you've been just feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home and letting things go that you don't really need.

Maybe you’re simplifying your lifestyle, but you haven't really done much. Or you've tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you just feel like the house is actually never clean.

I can totally help you! And it can be simple to get started! I have put together the Minimalism Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you. To help just launch you forward into momentum and success in your minimalist journey.

And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

It's life-giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love, what you really need and creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. Because that's what really matters, right?

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.

It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it gonna do for you? Where's it going to take you?

It helps you find your “why” and has you answer some questions for yourself. It's fillable on the computer or you could fill it in like a journal, with a pen, old-school style.

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes. The two biggest time suckers for moms, right? It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start. It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in just making decisions and just letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and will help you keep going.

It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge. And it will help you keep going after you're done with the Minimalism Starter Kit. It has resources and some just really punchy words in there, from me to you, that will help you keep going.

It's got resources like my top blog posts and other things that I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going, so go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.
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Next thing was we took advantage of technology while Brian was working. Brian would leave for work before the kids were waking up and he would get home after they were in bed. We really tried hard to come up with a very unique schedule like I tried to have the kids be awake when he would come home from work and then just hope they would sleep in the morning and that didn't work because they were really little at the time.

We tried a workaround where we could be together when Brian got home or before he went to work, and nothing worked. So, I learned, okay, they need to just have normal wake up and bedtimes and we're going to have to figure something else out. So, when he was working and he wasn't seeing them, we ended up switching to iphones so that we could take advantage of Facetime.

The kids just freaked out and they would love talking to their dad on Facetime. We would do Facetime during Brian's lunch break a couple of work days a week. But I was careful not to tell the kids that it was going to happen until it was actually happening just in case something came up and it didn't work out because that caused a lot of arguments and frustration on my end when one of his jobs would go longer than normal. We'd be waiting to talk to him and the kids would not understand and they'd be crying. I definitely didn't want to foster any abandonment issues or anything, as slight as that might be. I just didn't want to cause any more heartache. It was really, really hard on us that he was gone so much.

I would also send him tons of pictures and videos of whatever we were doing that day. Even if he didn't respond or he couldn't see them until the end of his day, he always told me that that really helped him feel like he missed less and brought him a lot of joy.

The next thing was I would have it in my mind that I am a single parent on the days he's working. What that did was it removed all of my expectations for Brian for when he would be home. So, if he could get home early one night and help me with the bedtime routine, that would be great. If we could maybe make it to a social event that we were invited to together for once, that would be great. But I didn't hold onto those things as expectations.

I didn't want to be let down because when I would hold onto those things, like, “okay, this is gonna happen. Brian said he would for sure be off by 3:00. We're going to go to this dinner party. Great.” I would never let myself get there, after a couple of years of arguing and total chaos. I let go of those expectations because when I didn't, when I held onto them, I was completely let down if it didn't end up happening how we had planned. And then I'm in a terrible mood and I wouldn't be able to love on my husband when he got home and be in a good mood because I was just stressed and honestly a little resentful because the whole lifestyle was so stressful.

I always compare it to like a casserole that you're putting in the fridge for leftovers. You put Saran Wrap over it and that Saran Wrap is put super taut over that casserole. If you poke it with anything sharp, it's going to not only poke a hole but the hole stretches and expands into a bigger hole. And I kind of felt like that at this phase of our life. Like I'm just stretched so thin, if one little thing pokes a hole, the whole thing's gonna collapse and I'm done.

So, I acted like on the days when Brian was scheduled to work, I am a single parent. I have no expectations for a husband today. I would go out for coffee with a friend once a week and my mom would come over and stay with the kids when they were in bed so I could go. I would go every week to that no matter what. I kind of just did my own thing and had my own life. I went to barbecues without Brian. I attended things that we were both invited to by myself. Sometimes I'd go with the kids; other times I'd have a grandparent watch the kids and I would go by myself. But I didn't have any expectations of him and that way if he did end up coming, it was great.

And I know I just mentioned that I went out for coffee with a friend and kind of live my own life, but that's actually another point of something that I did to help myself during this season. Going out for coffee with my friend. It used to be on Monday nights and I'll never forget it. We did it for years. It was so great. She's still one of my closest friends and we live near each other again after the move to Arkansas. We live together again in Southern California. We used to go out for coffee on Monday nights every week no matter what.

I had to take care of myself and I had to make sure that my well was full so that I could continuously and constantly be pouring out to my family and coffee with my dearest friend was such therapy for me. It got me out of the house. I'm sipping a delicious cup of coffee that I didn't have to make myself. It's still hot. I'm talking to another adult. Total perfection. We never, ever missed a coffee night. Maybe it had to be rescheduled for a different night that week, but it was always once a week.

I remember one time we had the flu hit our house and somehow with quick healing and essential oils and a lot of juice, we still made it happen that week. We didn't care if the other got sick. We just stuck to it religiously. We both needed it in that season of our lives. And we had a great time and we always started our week out refreshed because of that coffee date.

Another thing that I did was I planned for an occasional nap during the week and I mean I really planned for it. Since my mom hours were almost double most peoples’ I was really tired a lot. I tried to let go some of the chores and just lay down on my couch a couple of times a week during the kids' nap times. Then when Bella got a little older and stopped napping, she and I would just cuddle up on the couch and we'd turn on Dora the Explorer or something and I'd just rest my eyes for 20 minutes or so while she watched her show and had a snack.

I just incorporated a lot of rest because I realized because my days are so long and I'm doing everything in the house - all the cooking, all the errands, all the parenting, every single thing – totally and completely from dawn to dusk by myself, I wore out quicker than most moms and I just need rest and I allowed myself that as much as I could.

Another thing that I did was I had a routine that I used as a guideline and it really helped me. This is when I started getting really into routines and I realized that even though I'm a super spontaneous person and I tend to want to reject all routine in order in my schedule, it makes me feel kind of trapped, this is when I learned that that is actually not what routines do at all. They actually enable you to have things taken care of so that you can afford to be more spontaneous and have fun because things aren't behind, like ever. And it really brought me a lot of freedom.

So, I would have a list of daily and weekly “must dos” kind of like the things that kept our family functioning smoothly. I would never fulfill it perfectly (it's not really my personality anyway) but that really helped me keep the cupboards full of snacks, the house picked up, the laundry caught up, all those things. And when you don't have your husband home to wrestle with the kids in the evening while you catch up, a routine is a huge lifesaver.

By the way, if you want to get some help in establishing some rhythms and routines in your day, I also have a freebie for that and I'll put that in show notes as well. I know I mentioned the Minimalism Starter Kit but I'll put that Developing Rhythms and Routines Workbook in there for you guys too. It's totally free. So you can go to show notes for that and I'll give you the link to that at the end.

Another thing that I did was I didn't let the work schedule, Brian's work schedule, become a “pause button” for our family.

What I mean by that is Brian's work schedule used to really bring us down. I would wait to do anything of memory making substance until he had a day off. And a lot of the time he would be so exhausted that he wouldn't want to do anything. He would want to stay home on his day off. And so, I was kind of constantly let down and frustrated and we felt like we were battling each other for serving my needs and getting out of the house and having a fun family day and serving his needs of lying low and letting him rest.

Especially the weeks where we only had one day off. That was really hard because normally when we had a schedule for a little while where we had two days off, we would just compromise. One day we do what you want to do; the other day we do what I want to do. When we had one day it was really high pressure to have a lot of things packed into that day. A lot of rest, a lot of play, a lot of family time and that just doesn't really work in one day with kids who are on a nap schedule.

So, I started just taking the kids to do fun things by myself. I didn't wait for Brian to be off anymore. While he was at work, we did fun things. Things that you would normally think, oh, we'll wait for daddy to have a day off, I just did them myself. I would invite a friend or a grandparent to come along with me if I needed to, because I knew my limits and when I could and couldn't handle the kids on my own, but I lived my life as their mom.

I took them on fun adventures all the time. We had Disneyland passes for a while, especially when Brian was working a ton of overtime and we had a little extra cash. I took the kids, eight months pregnant with my 11-pound baby (oh my gosh, that's a story for another day) to Disneyland by myself with a stroller and everything all the time in the heat of the summer. It was great. We had a great time.

So, I grew a pair, for lack of a better term, and just decided, “I can do this myself. Single moms do this. I can be super strong and handle this.” And I just did a ton of fun stuff without Brian and we had some awesome memories. It really cemented the closeness between me and my kids.

Another thing that I did was I planned a monthly night out, and some nights in on the weeks in between, with Brian and myself.

So, we are really, really, really, really, really, really, really big on having time together as a couple. In this season of our lives (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know this) but we go out on a date night every single week. Sometimes I share that we're going; sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just need a break from my phone and don't care if you guys know that we're on date night. Before it just had to look different because of his crazy schedule.

The bottom line was that we had to have alone time together. Every married couple does and we were really big on that. We felt like it was extra important for us because our schedule was so crazy. When we would go out, we would choose a restaurant that we could afford, that we liked, and enjoyed the benefits of his working so much with a nice meal that we paid for, that we didn't have to cook. We would really make the most out of it.

I remember date night being once a month for a while during that season. We would sit close to each other, hold hands, kiss and act like a dating couple. Then on the weeks in between our outside of the house date night, we would stay in, cozy up on the couch and we'd act the same way together on our couch. As long as we were without the kids and enjoying each other's company, the goal was met, the marriage was strengthened and that's all that mattered to us.

We've said it before. We've done quite a few episodes of the podcast on our relationship and on date night (and I can link to those in the show notes for you guys as well) but date night has always mattered to us a lot. And even when it wasn't called date night and it wasn't every week and it wasn't fancy and fun like it is now, our time together has always been the most important thing outside of our relationships with God.

The next thing and last thing that I did to make that lifestyle easier for myself was I had a goal to leave the house once every day. So if I knew that at some point every single day I was going to leave the house with the kids, it helped motivate me to get dressed and put myself together in the morning, which always helps me feel energized. It lifted my mood. It helped me be more productive. Usually my outing would be the gym. For a while we had a really awesome affordable gym pass with Kids Club at this awesome gym. It ended up closing down. It was by my house. They probably closed down because they were so cheap.

But they had this great Kids Club with face painting, activities and a jungle gym. My kids loved it and they would beg to go every day. So, I used the opportunity to up my fitness game and get a break and it was just the perfect place to go. I had motivation and exercise boosted my moods and helped with fatigue. It was fun for my kids. I lost weight and got healthier.

On the days that we would skip the gym, we would do the park or the local lake or something, but pretty much every single day we left the house at least once. That was kind of my rule. It was pretty rare that something would come up that we didn't leave, like sickness or, I was fine, I had a lot of energy and was getting a lot done in the house and didn't end up leaving and that was okay. But the point was to help the day go by and be finished well. To have a good time together and just break up the day. Break up being home.

That's all I have. I know it's nothing hugely groundbreaking or anything. If you want more tips like this, you can listen to the episode about Life Hacks for Moms of Little Ones, which I'll link to that episode as well.

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand and I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone like overnight too. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better.

Things can change if you want them to if you're open to that. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

Also, if you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart, a while ago (I think like years ago when I first wrote that blog post that was based on this topic) I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that I would send to Brian that you could send to your husband to just kind of get a connective conversation started. I had it rebranded so it matches my business right now and it's a pdf that you can just download and save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit and he's away from you. It’s 20 Text Messages To Send To Your Husband. You can get that at the show notes for this episode. Again, it's totally free. You can go snag that and the Rhythms and Routines Workbook and the Minimalism Starter Kit Workbook and see all of those other episodes that I mentioned.

You can find everything that you want for this episode is at alliecasazza/shownotes/074. I love you guys and I hope you were super encouraged by this episode.


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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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