Ep 126: Feminism & Being a Strong Woman with Kara-Kae James

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Feminism has kind of been a dirty word in our society. I know a lot of us have been misinformed or hurt by this word or some of the ideology behind this word, but I have learned so much over the past few years about feminism and about God’s heart and purpose for women.

And I have wanted to talk about this for many months now, but it’s such a big and careful conversation to have. So, I asked my friend and author, Kara-Kae James to join me in a discussion about feminism, what it is, and the stigma surrounding this word. I can’t wait for you to hear it! Let’s dive in! 

 
 

In This Episode Allie and Kara-Kae Discuss:

  • What feminism is by definition

  • The stigma surrounding feminism

  • Feminism myths

  • How to raise daughters and sons to be feminists

  • Sharing your voice & story with the world

  • How to be a feminist in the day-to-day

Mentioned in this Episode:


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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.


Hello, all you beautiful women! This episode is absolutely for you! All of the episodes are technically for you, but this one is really, really for you. I'm so excited to have this conversation and to shine a light on this topic.

Feminism has been kind of a dirty word and associated with a lot of bad, negative things in my life as I was a young girl in the Christian circle growing up. I have learned so much over the past few years about feminism, what God's heart for feminism really is, God's heart for women, and what we were created to be. And I'm really, really looking forward to you hearing this conversation.

My guest today is Kara-Kae James. She is a writer and an encourager. She's super passionate about seeing women's lives changed. She is a world-shaker-upper. That's not in the intro; I'm adding that because she just is. She's the founder and executive director of Thrive Moms. You may have heard of them. They're doing some really cool things. They are basically a ministry that helps moms step out of survival mode and really thrive in the abundant life that God calls them to. Sound familiar? We’re kind of aligned.

Kara-Kae is also the author of the book Mom UP. It's an amazing read and I highly suggest you get it. I will link to it in the show notes. She's also the coauthor of the Thrive Mom's Bible studies: Abundance, Freedom and Rest. She is married to her husband, Brooke, and she's a mom of four kids: three girls and a boy. So, the opposite of me. I have a girl and three boys. Also Kara-Kae just launched an amazing podcast that she co-hosts called Asking For A Friend. It's basically hard topics that women are maybe a little bit afraid to talk about but need to talk about. It's really great. I encourage you to listen to that as well. We will link to that in the show notes, too. 

Please welcome Kara-Kae. I encourage you to listen to this full conversation and come in with an open mind. Especially if you have been hurt at all by other women or the idea of feminism. Or if the word has felt dirty to you in the past. Or you're just curious about this. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you guys today.

ALLIE: Okay, so we're just going to jump right in. Like I said before we recorded, I've been wanting to have this conversation for months. It's  a feeling that’s heavy on me and I know that I want to do something. I need to do something, but I needed to think about how and when, and making sure that my voice is coming across as gracious.

KARA-KAE: Yes. That’s a good word.

ALLIE: Not my strength. I just want to talk about feminism with you. I think that you would probably agree with me that we should start at what feminism actually is by definition, maybe?

KARA-KAE:  Yeah.

ALLIE: I think it gets blown out of proportion. People think that it's the hatred of men, the putting down of men, or the rising up of women no matter the cost. That's one thing that I see a lot. So, can you talk about that a little bit?

KARA-KAE: Yeah, I agree. I think I grew up thinking the same thing. Maybe until not too long ago, I thought that if I was looking at myself as a feminist or seeing other women who call themselves feminists, that they were man-haters. It was that idea in my mind of, “Oh, they're burning their bras, they're doing this thing and it's just this weird thing.” And I was like, “But I want to wear a bra and I want to be on this equal playing field with my husband. ” And I eventually realized that's exactly what feminism is.

It's just about creating equal spaces for men and women. Once I started really having conversations, I learned this more from some men in my life who lifted me up. Especially my husband who really showed me what it meant to walk in the gifts that God gave me and really understand, “Oh, I am talented in these ways. I don't just have to be a mom and a housewife.” He jokes all the time with me about those things because I think, “Oh, well, I'm just a mom. I'm just a housewife. I don't have the capabilities of doing things that men do.” And so many times our society has put that on us as women—that we aren't able to do those things. But feminism is just really about creating spaces for women to have the same opportunities as men. It's not about negativity toward men or women. It's just equal opportunity.

ALLIE: Right. It’s also not about not being a homemaker.

KARA-KAE: Yes, exactly.

ALLIE: It’s about choosing to, rather than feeling that that's all you can do. Or that is the choice made for you.

I've loved you for a long time and read your book, but I saw you talking about this on Instagram so well. And I think what really drew me in is that you said that you kind of learned about feminism from the men in your life. And the same happened with me.

Our pastor and my husband were the ones that really helped me understand. I felt a lot of shame around starting my company and doing well. I started doing well and I was like, “Oh shoot, am I doing something wrong?”

KARA-KAE: “I'm not supposed to be successful.”

ALLIE: Yes. And so, my husband was really feminist before me and just like, “Why would you feel like that? That's ridiculous.” I was raised in a private Christian school. My mom worked, my parents ran a business together, and so I don't really know why that didn't sink into me.

KARA-KAE: Same. I grew up with a working mom too and so I don't know why that…

ALLIE: For you, was it more in the church? I went to a private Christian school and so it was there that I got my message about feminism.

KARA-KAE: Yeah, I don't really know where mine came from. I grew up in a really small town, small church and I went to public school. But I don't know, I just probably put that on myself that this is how I'm supposed to be. We just heard that and thought, “well….”

I think when I went to college I had big dreams and goals of what I wanted to do, but so many of my friends were going to be teachers. And they wanted to be stay-at-home moms and they wanted to do these things. And I kept saying, “I don't want to do that. I don't want to stay home. I’m not even really focused on having kids. I want to work.” I was really focused on building a career. I wanted to write books. I wanted to do all these things, but I kind of felt like I was doing the wrong thing when I wanted to focus on building a career.

I think a lot of it maybe even came from the women in my life who were very focused on, not that they were doing anything wrong, but they were focused on the family side of things. And that was just their goal: having kids, staying at home and doing that. And I thought, “well this is the only thing I can do as a woman...get married, have kids, stay home and do whatever my husband tells me to do” I guess I thought that was the picture of being a woman, a grown woman.

ALLIE: Especially in the Christian circle is where I experienced it. Especially there. I think so much, and probably for you, especially, it comes from the way other women talk. Not just about their choices, but talk about other women's choices. I was a stay-at-home mom at first. My time as a stay-at-home mother still wins out the time that I've been a working mother. It was seven years, I think, of stay-at-home motherhood and I would hear things like, “Good for you, good for your kids. Oh, you're so lucky that your husband works so that you can stay home.” And I'm thinking, “We are broke as a joke. There doesn’t seem to be any luck here.”

I mean we had felt good about that choice. I wasn't feeling like, “Oh my gosh, I'm miserable.” It was just where I was at that time in my life. But I remember thinking in a  confused way, I guess, or as a really young woman (because I started my family so young), taking in those words like, “Okay staying home seems to equal, ‘I'm doing a good job.’”

And then when I switched roles I didn't get those comments anymore. I never, ever, still ever, get comments like, “Good for you! Good for your kids to see that you're working.” No one ever says that to me. Online when I talk about this, I'll get messages like that, but in real life, from other women, I've never gotten a comment like that.

I think a lot of it just comes from these assumptions that we put on ourselves from messages other women are saying when they ask those boring surface questions when they're getting to know you.

KARA-KAE: I see that for sure.

ALLIE: I wanted to go over with you some of the main myths about feminism. We touched on some of them, but I really feel like this is something that I want to blow up, open up, and talk about. There's two that I had on my mind that we already touched on, but I wanted to dive deeper.

First is the myth that you can't be a feminist or that the word equals this type of woman, who is like growing out their armpit hair, burning their bras, passing on the use of menstrual cleanliness products. I remember there was this woman years ago and she ran a marathon on her period and didn't wear a tampon. It was like a pride thing. She was like, “I don't need to be clean for your benefit.” And then I remember—I don't know who it was, but a woman in my life—I remember this person that I respected saying, “That is why we're not feminist. It's embarrassing. They're just ruining everything and it's so disturbing.” And talking really negatively saying, “That is what feminism is and that is awful.” And I was like, “That is a little disturbing to me. I’m not gonna lie.”

KARA-KAE: Yeah, that is a little odd.

ALLIE: So, what do you think of just that myth of like this is what feminism is? Which, there's extremes of everything. There are extreme Christians. There are extreme Muslims. There’s extreme everything. So, I would just like to hear from you on that myth.

KARA-KAE: Yeah, I agree there is extremes and it's hard for us to say, “Well here's the right way to do this,” because it's going to look different for every person. It will look different for me than it does for you, than it does for the next person.

What feminism means for me…it might look a little bit different for us because what we do is a little bit different. And the way we're supported in our lives is a little bit different. And so, it is hard for us to say, “Here's the standard.”

I think that is the challenge there because we want to set the standard. And I think we want to do that in everything whether it's politics, the church, or schools. There’s so many things we want to say, “Well here's the right way to do this. And if you're doing it this way, you're on this side; if you're doing it this way, you're on this side.”

I think, especially for women, I think it's so important for us to realize we're on the same team with this and not be fighting against each other, but really listen to each other and listen to each other's stories. And yeah, sure, somebody may be kind of gross to us in the way they show their true self or their feminist nature, and we might not understand it, but if we can listen and learn from them, it might open our eyes to something really new that we might be able to learn from and walk in a little bit. That's why it's important for all of us to share our stories in some way, whether it's on a platform like this, or just with our neighbors, or a friend. Open those lines of communication and say, “Here's how I feel. I just need a place to talk about these things, to be open, to be honest, and be who I really am.”

I've always struggled with that because I'm afraid if I am honest about who I am and how I feel about these issues, people will think, “Oh no, here comes this crazy person. She's the crazy extreme. She's a feminist,” and then they close off immediately.

And so, I think having these conversations are so important because we can start making this word that has become taboo a little bit less taboo. As I've started to talk about it more, I get messages from women online that say, “I can't believe you're using this word. That's such a negative, bad word to use.” And I just ask them, “Explain to me, explain to me why it's so negative.” And usually they've had a negative impact from it. You know, something in their life, in their own story, has negatively impacted them.

And so really just shining some positive light on it and having open communication with other women can make a huge difference and make it not so crazy anymore.

ALLIE: Yeah. I really like what you said too about listening to the stories behind people's extreme opinions because I bet you if we had that woman here who ran the marathon, there's something in her life that happened that she felt liberated to be so extreme. And what is so judged by other people and seemingly gross to others, she could have felt like he was on Cloud 9, just so liberated and set free from shame or assault or something that happened to her. I think that is a perspective that we need everywhere for every issue—not just this one.

Going back to the other myth being feminism is the hatred of men, or I think it's not even so much always the hatred of men, but so often it's the aggression toward men out of defense, if that makes sense. It’s this putting up a wall where anything that a man says you're like, “Well what does that mean? I can do that.” I just feel like there's so much of that out there.

And like I said, my husband was really a feminist before me. I don't think he slapped that label on it, but he just really questioned, “The God that I serve would never create you to be good at these things and then be like, ‘Whoa! Too far! Too much success!’”

KARA-KAE: “You need to stay in your box.”

ALLIE: Exactly. Yeah. I love that. And I think that men get a bad reputation. I see it. I see the reason for feminism out there all the time. I travel for work. I was just having a conversation with my husband last night because I just got home from a few days at a hotel in San Diego and there was this conversation happening with two men near me that I won't get into, but I purposely just let myself listen so that I could understand their perspective and I never really did. I walked away just like, “Wow, they're the worst.”

But basically, just speaking about women, like they are nothing, like they were objects put here for their use. And it was so discouraging. And I just want to hear from you about feminism and men. We're both raising boys, so say whatever comes to mind with all of those things.

KARA-KAE: Yeah. That is a huge point is we're raising men. I had three girls and then finally got my boy and thought, “Oh no, I'm in trouble now.” I could figure out the girl thing because I'm a woman. I could figure out how to raise little girls. But then I had a boy and it was like, “Oh gosh, this is a whole new world. I have to raise this little man to respect women, to treat them right, to see them in a new way. I want him to grow up to be a feminist just like his dad is.” That's really important to me because I don't want him to be one of those men sitting at a table someday objectifying women.

And it's heartbreaking that there are people in our society that truly believe that there is this line between men and women and that women can't do certain things. It’s so challenging to break down some of those lines. I think a lot of it is the same thing of communication and really rallying some of these men around us.

My husband and I, we are raising a black son. He's adopted. We read a lot of books. We're learning a lot about his culture when he's being raised in a white home. I know people can't see me right now, but I'm a white woman. And so that is a little bit of a challenge for us. It’s really intentional for us to make sure he knows all about his culture and to surround him with other people that look like him. And I think the same thing goes for this type of thing. I think it's important for men to be surrounded by other men who get it.

A lot of times I'll be talking with some of my black women friends who are trying, are working so diligently to teach about justice and race, and sometimes there are white women that just don't get it. And they will say, “It's up to us as white people to do the educating here.” And I think this is one of those same situations where our husbands who are feminists can step in and say to their friends, to these other men, “This is what this means,” because they're not going to listen to us as women, but they'll listen to the man. And so, it kind of helps break down those lines of communication.

And when men will step up and talk about these topics it is really important. And I've seen some men do it and it's so encouraging to see them uplift women, support them and show what they can truly do. And not just in a, “Yeah, she's great. Go buy her book,” or “Yeah, she's great, do this,” but really champion them. Walk alongside them, give them jobs, put them in positions of leadership and give them a voice.

ALLIE: With the same titles as the men are getting in the same position.

KARA-KAE: Exactly. We're seeing it in Hollywood. We're seeing it in the corporate world. We're seeing that in the media right now. All of these things are happening. And I think it needs to happen more in our communities, too. Because most of us are not in that world, but most of us are just in our communities. We might be fighting the middle school principal who is a man and won't have a conversation with us because we are a woman and he'll only talk to our husband. We may be dealing with those little situations and we're fighting against the system of feeling like we can't break through this barrier between feeling like we are not important and we are not seen as women.


Alright, my gorgeous, gorgeous friend. Pause for a second. I want to ask you a gut-check question. Check in with yo’self. Is the holiday season this year making you feel that dropped-stomach-stress, anxious feeling in any way, shape or form?

Do you feel like this season is total magic and it's joy-filled? And you are going to be not stressed about your budget? Not stressed about decorating your house and having people over? Seeing your family? Seeing all your relatives and having those conversations? Buying gifts for the people that you love and receiving gifts from the people that you love?

Your traditions with your family - Are they life-giving? Are they filling you up? Are you really excited about the whole process?

What about when the holidays are over? Do you feel like, “Oh thank goodness! I want to get this crap out of here?” Or are you feeling like that was a really sweet time?

 Gut check with yo’self because this time of year is a big deal. The holidays take up a decent amount of our year and there is absolutely no excuse for feeling like you are completely overwhelmed and totally stressed out.

I have a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify and pursue less in the holiday season by teaching you how to create sort of like a mission statement for the holiday season.

It's really about setting the intent. Deciding before you get too deep into it. What do I want this to feel like? What are my goals here with my family? How do you decorate minimally without totally overdoing it and making your house feel like a clutter festival? How do you transition your family to a simpler Christmas and holiday season when you've previously totally blown it out of proportion and gone way overboard?

What about traditions? How do you check in and decide, “This tradition has always happened but it's really not serving us anymore. It's really not fun.” How do we make new traditions that are life giving, helpful, and fun for everyone?

How do you deal with buying gifts with your budget and a minimalist mindset? And what about receiving gifts from other people? You can't really control that. Is this totally going to undo minimalism for you just because it's the holiday season? There are so many things about choosing joy and simplifying.

I have this super short, super cheap video course that I want to get you into. It's called Your Happiest Holidays. It was previously known as a Merry Little Christmas. You might have previously known it as that, but we've changed it because it's covering all the holidays, not just Christmas.

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You never know when there's going to be a year that the holiday season is making you feel more like “Ugh” instead of so excited and ready for it.

 Alliecasazza.com/holidays.  Go there. Let’s get you simplified.


ALLIE: Okay, so something that you said in one of your Instagram posts was that “women have a voice and if you are a woman, that does not mean that you have to basically sit down and shut up and stay shut up.” I think I know where you're going to go with it, but can you just talk about that and why is that even needing to be said? Why do people think that and where does it come from?

I was hearing from Hillary Rushford, I don't know if you know who she is, but she was saying, “At first I didn't get the ‘babes support babes thing,’” it's kinda like “duh!” But then she started to see, “Oh, not everybody…babes support babes.” It's not “duh” at all. And I feel like that is one of those statements. “If you are a woman, it does not mean you have to sit down and shut up.” That is so like “duh.” Where does it come from and why do people think that would need to even be said to them?

KARA-KAE: Yeah. I think that so many women feel like they don't have a voice or that their opinions matter. I even find this happening with me. My husband is a pastor at our church and he will be having a conversation with some other men around him and I will notice that I just get silent. And it's really interesting because I'm a very outspoken, strong woman and not that I can't contribute to a conversation, but I always find myself getting silent. It’s just this subconscious thing that I feel like I am not welcome in this conversation. And when there is a lot of men talking, I feel like, “Oh, they're going to look at me like I'm crazy if I provide anything into this conversation.” I think that we just always feel that way as women, even if we're in a conversation with women. I think sometimes there's so many women that feel like, “Well, they already have something to say; I don't have anything to say.”

I think this goes for if we're sitting in a room talking to people. You and I both put content out into the world and I think it goes for that too. We see somebody else put content out there that's maybe similar to ours and we think, “Well we don't have a voice because they already said it. It's already been done.” But I think we all can bring something to the table and we can have a seat here and say something differently that might reach somebody in a different way, that might impact somebody. You could literally say the exact same thing that I say and say it two words differently and you could change somebody's life. And the way I said it could just go right over their head.

I think that all of our voices really need to be heard. And if we have these things in us, we don't need to just sit down and keep them in us. No matter what it is: if it's a big deal or a small thing. We don't have to feel like we always just have to shut up and not contribute to conversations or whatever it may be that we feel called to.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that you mentioned that it happens with women too, in women's circles. Even in the stay-at-home motherhood, I just always really liked to learn about marketing and I really liked to learn about business. Looking back with hindsight, I was always an entrepreneur and always trying to make money. And so, I would be there and I'd be with these women in stay-at-home mom situations, like a play date at the park when my kids were really little and things like that, and the conversations always kind of go the same. Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, weaning, which sippy cup doesn't leak, which is the best sippy cup and all of these things and it's fine, but I would remember always feeling “out” like, “I don't even think about those things. Am I a bad mom? I don’t even care. I got the one that was the cheapest and then went to the book section and picked up Jen Sincero’s new book.”

I think that what I want people listening to understand from what you're saying is, it's also in our own head. If you find yourself in a conversation with men where you feel that natural, “Oh, I pulled back. I just don't belong here,” which is sometimes not your fault. Sometimes they'll turn the conversation to something that they wouldn’t if they valued you.

KARA-KAE: Absolutely! It does happen.

ALLIE: It does happen for real, but sometimes it's just us and it's just in our heads. Going back to that version of Allie, like at the park with those conversations, I would immediately feel shame. Like I must be a bad mom. I must be worse than they are because I didn't even know there were better brands of sippy cups. I don't spend my time thinking that. Instead, realizing this is not where my mind naturally goes, but it is where their’s go, and how can I ask questions, use what they're saying to get value, or to help myself be better at this part of motherhood because I don’t even think about it.

I remember a conversation with this mom talking about her kids not drinking out of plastic. And I was at a point in my life where like, “Look, they're happy that there's even water. We're so broke, I don't care.” But actually, now I have learned so much from her saying that, reading and figuring out for myself, and now I really try as best as I can to have Mason jars instead of plastic cups. And it's so cool that she mentioned something. And at first I started to feel shame, like I must be a terrible mom, but actually she sparked an idea in me and that is something small we can do to help the environment and help our kids live healthier.

So, I think it's just sometimes in us and we have to gut-check ourselves. Am I putting myself out of this conversation and feeling bad for myself? Like “Oh, they're not including me,” or, “I'm bad at this and I'll just let them.” Or can we insert ourselves? Can we do that for ourselves? And just asking that question.

I really like giving action steps or examples whenever I can. And when I'm talking about something like this, it's a little more difficult, but I would just love to hear, maybe we can both kind of share, what does feminism look like lived out, day-to-day, in your home with your family? Is there anything that you could share or give the women listening to maybe have a different perspective? Or just give an example of what it looks like for you to help them go out and do something different.

KARA-KAE: So day-to-day lived out…I think for me in my house, which it's going to look different I think for everybody because like we said, our husbands are both feminists. We are both very lucky in that. There may be a single mom listening that's like, “Okay, well I'm on my own in this, how do I do it?” So, it may look different for each person, but for me, we make our jobs equal in our house.

My kids see that and I think it's really important for my kids to see that my husband and I are on the same team. We're on the same page. We both work, but I do more of the kids' stuff just because my job is flexible and that just is more natural. But he still does a lot with the kids and so we still try to make it to where we're a team and it's not, “Well, he works, so he comes home…” I always think about the 1950s housewife thing of you have to have dinner on the table, he comes in the door, goes to his recliner, and has to have his drink a certain way or whatever. I think about those things and I'm so grateful that that's not the stigma anymore because I rarely have dinner ready by 5:30 and at 5:30 I'm usually going, “Oh no! People around here want to eat food!” I'm just not great at that. But my husband will step in and say, “Okay, well let me run and pick something up, or let me grab the oldest kids and we'll make something together,” or something, you know?

It can be little things in day-to-day life. I think it's really important for us to show our kids that mom isn't just this person that does all the things. She's not a pushover. She's not, you know, whatever. Because I do work, I try to show my kids my work time is important, what I do is important, and bring them along in that so that they can see how important it is for me to do the things that I've dreamed about my entire life. And that it's great for them to have dreams too. If they want to grow up and stay home with their kids and their kids be their #1 job and them not work for 10 years, that's great too. I want them to see those things, that there is value in doing all of those things.

I think a lot of it is just really being on the same page with your spouse, making sure you're walking that out every day. And then practicing some of those things like we were talking about with communication, just trying to step out of your comfort zone a little bit and having conversations that might be a little challenging. If you have someone that does talk down to you maybe have a hard conversation and just make yourself available. Make yourself presentable to them, that you can show them, “I am here. I can have the same conversation with you that you can have with anyone else.”

It doesn't have to be a confrontation, but sometimes we get quiet, shy, or scared of someone in authority, whether it's, like I mentioned, a principal or something like that. If we have to have a conversation with them, sometimes we get a little, “Oh, I don't want to. I don't want to deal with that situation.” But if we can just sometimes step out of our comfort zone a little bit and just say, “Hey, I can do this. I am a strong, capable woman. I can have this conversation,” and just go for it.

ALLIE: Yeah. I think especially around certain things that women, not everyone, but women tend to struggle with certain topics. More like money, money management. There's certain things…I mean when those things come up it's hard, but I try to just own that weakness, work a little bit each day to change it, read a book about it, or listen to podcasts about it. That is such progress and our kids are seeing that.

And when my daughter gets to whatever age and she realizes that most women don't understand how to do something, or a lot of women think a way about something, that she will look back and see like, “Oh, my mom didn't do that. I didn't realize that that wasn't normal or that was different.” That is the best we can hope for, you know? We're not going to change everything and make it all perfect.

I think we're just here to show our kids that you can do what you want and you don't have limits unless you put them on yourself.

KARA-KAE:  And I think it's good for kids to see us struggle in different ways. My kids know that I'm bad at math and they tell all their teachers. They think it's funny. They bring me their math homework and they laugh at me when I try to help them. But I think it's good that they see that these things that are a struggle for me. There's things that are not always going to be easy, but you want to bring me a writing assignment, I'll sit down and I'll knock that thing out with you because that's fun for me. That has always been my passion.

They know that and they see that you don't have to be great at everything, but you can put your heart and your passion into something that you love and work hard at that. You can be strong and you can still work hard at everything you do. I think it's important that we show them that.

ALLIE: I think the other thing that I wanted to mention too is…I wrestled a lot with how to communicate this topic to my kids. I'm not really worried about my daughter. I was really more worried about my boys. I am not a boy, so how do I communicate this to them? And I think you're right, it goes a lot through my husband and the other men that are in their lives.

But I just want to encourage you guys that are listening that if you're feeling like, how do we do this though, like example action steps, one thing that I've been doing is looking for opportunities for conversations. Recently we were driving in the car and our thing as a family is we always listen to music almost at full volume when we are driving, roll the windows down, all the time, we always have music on. My kids just love music. We were listening to something secular, it was just like a regular playlist, and this song came on and we didn't finish listening to the song, but the jist of the lyrics was this girl singing about you can treat me however you want. I'll just take whatever you give me because I'm so obsessed with you. And it's okay if you make fun of me in front of your friends and make me feel like crap, I'll just cling to whatever you've got. I turned it off.

At first I was like, “I'm just going to change the song.” But then I was like, “No. I'm looking for opportunities to have conversations, even if they're like, “Here goes mom again with one of her mid-music lectures.” But I just turned it off and I had a conversation with the kids. Only my oldest three were in there, so it was perfect.  I just explained where this girl was coming from and where her value really lies. And from the men's perspective, he is using her for himself, not considering how she feels and putting her down to make himself look better. That has gone on for a long time and it can't anymore. We had this awesome conversation and they were all just kind of quiet and I had that mom feeling where I was like, “This did nothing.” But a few weeks later, my oldest boy, who's about to be 9, mentioned it and asked me something about it. And it was like, “Oh, at least it got in there.”

And so, I think just having those conversations or looking for opportunities. You know, if your kids are sad that you're going to work or something, it's okay for them to feel that way. It's okay for you to feel like, “Oh, this is hard.” Just talk to them about it. Have those conversations when you see a circumstance like that song.

I think that is really the best that we can do outside of just living out the example.

KARA-KAE: Yeah, I love that.

ALLIE: Well thank you for talking about this thing with me! It's so big.

I'm really happy you came on and I'm really happy we talked about this. I am sure that I will get some messages that are not so happy, but I hope that I get a lot of messages that it helped somebody come out of a perspective that was put on them and to see the truth.

Kara-Kae and I are both Christians. Jesus valued women and that's a whole other conversation, but this is that other way, that you're not valued, that you can't do what you want, that you have to be quiet, is not the truth.

And so, we just want encourage you to come out of that, ask questions, figure out what the truth is and what that looks like for you, your family and your relationships.


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 125: Kinda Super Helpful with Kendra Hennessy

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This episode is the start of a new segment called “Kinda Super Helpful” with my very good friend, Kendra Hennessy of Mother Like a Boss. We’re having a conversation, and it’s really laid back and fun, but we also talk about some serious stuff. There is so much gold in this episode. We’re chatting about judging others, being empowered to make choices that are right for you, traditional gender roles, preparing your home for company, routines, and so much more.  I hope you enjoy it!

 
 

In This Episode Allie and Kendra Discuss:

  • How to separate the condition of your home from your identity and worth

  • Being empowered to make choices without judging others for theirs

  • The importance of digging into our feelings to find the root cause

  • What to do if you find yourself stressed and cleaning to prep for company

  • How routines help you be proactive instead of reactive

  • Why charts, checklists, and instructions are useless if you don’t do the work

Mentioned in this Episode:


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


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


Hi friends! Welcome to The Purpose Show! Today's episode is the start of something new. I am sitting down with my very good friend, Kendra Hennessy, of Mother Like a Boss and we're just having a really incredible conversation.

I'm really excited for you to hear this, but if this is your first time listening to The Purpose Show, it honestly might not be the best episode to start with. If you want to maybe turn this off and come back to it another time and listen to a different episode or something. There’s nothing wrong with this episode; it's just a very different format and it's really unlike all the other episodes that I produce.

This is a new segment that we're calling “Kinda Super Helpful” because it's a conversation. It's really fun. We laugh a lot. We connect. We also talk about some real stuff, serious stuff, big things. So, you'll either find it super helpful (or kinda helpful) or you might kind of hate it and that's okay too, but it's just something that we wanted to do together. It's a random segment that we're bringing into The Purpose Show.

I love Kendra. She's a really good friend of mine. She does incredible work in her business and when we get together, really amazing things happen, so I'm bringing her on and we're going to occasionally sit down and have conversations like this that are very Q&A style.

We’re bringing topics from you guys, questions from the audience, and talking about hard things. I think our perspective is different than a lot of other leaders and that's why I think it's important that we have these conversations, that we shine a light on issues that women and mothers are facing.

That's what “Kinda Super Helpful” is going to be about. It's much looser, way less structured, really conversational. There's so much gold in this episode - so, so much because Kendra's here with me, so please enjoy this.

We're going to sit down and do this occasionally. It's going to be really fun and really laid back and I'm excited. I'm excited to bring this new thing into my show, break things up, and shake things up a little bit. I hope you guys enjoy it.

ALLIE: Okay guys, Kendra and I are sitting here. We've been talking for 20 minutes, being together, laughing, joking around like we do. We were talking about how we don't want this little segment on the show to feel podcast-guesty. I know you know what I’m saying. You have a guest on your podcast and you think, “I just want this to be a conversation,” you know? We all say the same thing and then you hit record and you have to do the fake, “Hello.” I hate the fake hello, “Hi Lindsey. Welcome.” I would never say that in real life. Why all of a sudden is that, why is this happening?

KENDRA: Also, it's as if you weren't just talking for five minutes before you hit record too. That's why it's so funny. It's like I know we've already been talking, and then I said, “Okay, I'm going to hit record.” This is a behind-the-scenes for anyone that doesn't know. No, we don't just get on the call and then hit record the second somebody gets on. And that's what makes it seem so fake.

ALLIE: Yeah. It feels so fake. And the other person's used to it, so they are like, “Hey Allie. Yeah, thanks for having me.” I don't know what else to do though. I don't. I've really thought about this a lot.

For those of you who don't know…we'll talk about who you are in a second. Let me have a moment.

KENDRA: You talk about you now. It's your podcast. It's okay.

ALLIE: But Kendra and I are friends in real life. I don't feel awkward saying that we're best friends in a way, even though we live across the country from each other and never see each other in real life.

KENDRA: Not really. Yeah. We don't really see each other that much, but I’d call you more than a casual acquaintance. I think. You’re alright.

ALLIE:  I'm okay spending a little bit of time on you.

KENDRA: Yeah, for sure. I don't trust you completely, but I trust you enough.

ALLIE: It's enough. It's all right. We make time to fly across the country to each other, usually her to me because I live in San Diego and I have a billion kids.

KENDRA: And no one wants to fly to upstate New York. Sorry. Sorry, upstate New York.

ALLIE: Also, usually we do a February-ish thing or December and I feel that you want to come here during those months.

KENDRA: Oh, 100%. We're coming there in December, after Christmas. I'm taking my family out to California two days after Christmas, which is going to be awesome. My kids can't wait. They will not shut up about it. And that's because, you know, upstate New York is chilly that time of year, although I don't mind when it's that way around Christmas because it's got that Christmas-y feel. But then once January 1st hits, I'm like, “Okay, I'm done with this. No more.”

ALLIE: I can't imagine. I don't do well. It's nice to see and like, “Oh, the kids built a snowman!” Then the snowman gets buried and frigid blizzardom and I can't take it. It’s nice to visit, but then I'm back home.

KENDRA: Then you’re done.

ALLIE: I'm good. Okay.

Well anyway, we have been friends for a couple of years and we've done a lot of things together. We have a course together, Made For This Mom (that’s a plug). We have done bundles together, put our courses together, because what we do goes super well together.

Just because this is the first time…I know a ton of people listening already know everything about you…but just do the obligatory. Tell us about yourself and have you ever…quick side note...have you ever been in an interview? Like you're the one being interviewed and they say, “tell us about yourself,” and you get the sense that you're talking way too long, they're extremely annoyed and want you to hurry up?”

KENDRA: Yeah. One of the most awkward things is knowing do you want my full bio or do you want just the CliffsNotes version? Do you want to just the one sentence - what I do and who I serve - or do you want me to be like, “So back in 2006…” Which do you want? Because sometimes I do it too fast and then they're like…

ALLIE: “Okay, well yeah, let's unpack this.” Whenever someone says that I'm like, “Oh boy!” I just never know what to do. But anyway, as it suits me and my expectations, tell us a little bit about yourself.

KENDRA: So in 1983 I was born…

ALLIE: “It all started on a brisk December morning…”

KENDRA: “…a very brisk December day...”

So, I'm Kendra Hennessy. I'm the CEO and founder of Mother Like A Boss. I have a podcast of the same name, the Mother Like A Boss Podcast, and what I like to tell people, the quick version, is that I'm a home management coach for modern moms. What I try to do is put a fresh and modern twist on homemaking for moms, so that they feel more comfortable and empowered in their homes. 

The way that Allie talks about minimalism and purposeful living is sort of the same way that I talk about home management, routines, cleaning, things like that, which is why we go so well together because we have this same overall purpose in life and mission to really bring more intention to moms’ lives.

I feel like we have gotten so far away from intention, we just do things because we're supposed to. We feel obligated to do things, but there's no purpose and intention. So, I really try to bring a lot more mindfulness to the way that I teach women to run their homes, especially around cleaning, having routines, and managing how they run their homes so that they feel better in the dwelling that they have.

I really feel like homemaking is more than just the sum of its parts. It's not just cleaning, routines, organizing and decluttering, and meal planning. It's so much more than that because we really do carry our homes with us everywhere we go.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. That's perfect because what Kendra and I intended for this little segment that we're going to do on the show is to have it be Q&A style and let you guys guide what we talk about.

I really value what you bring to the table. I value your perspective and I love how even though we're very, very similar, we're also very different. We come from different backgrounds. We have different thoughts and opinions. Just the way that you would say something is very different than the way that I would say it, even if the underlying message is the same and sometimes it's not. I think I wanted to bring that here. I think that letting the audience decide what we talk about is really cool and really helpful for them.

What we did for this first one is…we both keep handy a lot of the regular Q’s that come in that we can give A's to. (That was really annoying, the way I said that.)

KENDRA: I say it all the time. I type it. I'll be like, “Here's the A's to your Q’s.” And I'm like what am I doing with my life?

ALLIE: Yeah. We keep tabs on that and we listen to you guys. We both are really audience heavy. We really listen to you guys and that's not really that common, so I appreciate that you're like that too.

When we were preparing for this one, we kind of knew where we wanted to go and we were just looking at the questions that had been asked. Basically, there is no one question that somebody asked that made us say, “Yup, that's the exact phrasing that we want,” but we saw a lot of the same theme and that theme is women and mothers struggling with something that we both talk about all the time.

That's the thing that came up all the time is. “You talk about this all the time. I hear you talk about this all the time.” Some people even said, “I heard you talk about this with Kendra and it really sparked in me but I don't know what to do with it.”

We talk all the time about you not being attached to the ‘performance side’ of you running your home. Your home, how clean it is, how it looks is not attached to your identity and who you are as a woman, and that there needs to be a serious and abrupt detachment of those things.

But also, we teach that you need to feel good in your home and your home doesn't have to be a total crap show. It doesn't have to be chaos, stressful, overwhelming and all of these stereotypical mom things.

 

I guess the questions that we've been seeing a lot are: How do you bridge that gap? What does it mean to be detached from how your house is and not taking it on as your identity? But then also having it feel a certain way and obliterating stress, chaos, and overwhelm from it.

We're going to have a conversation about that and I'd love for you to start with that.

KENDRA: I think one of the greatest realizations that I came to, and it was probably within the last few years, was that my worth was not attached to my productivity because as someone who grew up as a very headstrong, straight-A, want to do well in school, want to please people, want to be the smart kid, I attached my worth to that. My worth was attached to how well I did in someone else's eyes. Because that's really what a grade is. To someone else you are worthy of an A; to someone else you're worthy of a B, and I always attached myself to that.

Then when I became a mom and a business owner, which kind of happened at the same time, I feel like I was always attaching my worth to how much I got done. If it was a day when I felt lazy then I was like, “I'm not really being a good mom today. I'm not being a good wife. I'm not being a good business owner because I didn't get much done.” I really do think that at the root of all of this is that moms attach their worth to their productivity and how much they get done.

Then that trickles into running their home and feeling like the way their home is being run is a reflection of them as a person when really it's just a reflection of what you've shown up to do that day.

Sometimes you show up with more purpose than others and sometimes there are absolutely things that you can be doing to improve that. That's why Allie and I have businesses to help with that, the practical side of it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Allie.

What happens when a mom has decluttered her home, she's gotten rid of the stuff and it's still not good enough? I am sure you hear that all the time. I've done all this. I've gotten rid of 90% of the stuff. I don't feel cluttered. I don't feel overwhelmed. And yet I still feel unfulfilled in my home. I still feel not good enough.

That's what we really want to talk about is your worth is not attached to that productivity. It's not attached to how much you got done. I really think that it all comes back to that.

ALLIE: Yes. And I think it's so hard to maintain that. We’ve shared before that we struggle with the feelings that we're helping other women come up against because it's the norm. It's a societal norm. It's a generational thing too. I know older women who are incredible and just trailblazers and pioneers of a new, and I think a lot of us would agree, better way of thinking about things. And I also know younger women who are stuck in old traditions that are not serving anybody anymore and they're so judgmental and ripping other people, in particular, their fellow women, apart so it's not old versus new or old versus young people. It's just the way that we think.

I think that there's a lot of societal norms, and I've experienced this a ton in the Christian circle being in that myself, that are attached to woman = house. It's destructive. That's not God's intention. That's not what He designed for us. It stems from old tradition and the way the world used to work. As humans change, the world evolves, people change and evolve, they're realizing that there's this huge gap left and it's unfulfillment. How lame would it be that you were created to keep your house clean? It's ludicrous. But this is really at the crux of a lot of things. I know I'm going to get comments about what I'm saying right now and that's okay.

KENDRA: Of course. Because it never ends.

ALLIE: Yeah. It never ends. I'm learning too, we should talk about this another time too, there is literally nothing that you can say that will make everybody happy. It's so overstated, but when you really accept that, Oh my gosh, I just have like stopped caring.

But what I have found to be true, and I think listeners also need to realize that you and I spend the bulk of our days in the midst of thousands and thousands of women, so it's not like what we're saying is just coming from our opinion. Of course, everyone has an opinion. Kendra has an opinion, but it's not just that. It's literally seeing the damage done from certain traditions, opinions, the way that people feel about their home, the way they feel about who they are and what they're here for. We have seen so much damage. That has really done a work in me as a person, as a Christian, as the way that I went to school and how I was raised to believe what women are here for. It's so much damage.

KENDRA: Yeah. And then there's also the opposite. I never wanted to associate with the word ‘homemaker’ for the longest time because I was like, “Well, I'm not a homemaker. I'm better than that. I'm better than that word. I'm a working woman. I'm going to own my own business and I'm going to do this.” And it's again, because we took that word and we made it mean something that it didn't. 

We made it antiquated. We made it outdated. We made a ‘homemaker’ this word that was associated with a 1950’s housewife in heels and an apron that had this perfect home and a hot meal when her husband got home. That's what we associated it with instead of what it is, which is a maker of a home.

You can be a homemaker and not a woman. You can be a homemaker and a single dude living by yourself. You can be a homemaker and not be married or not have children. All it means is someone who's making a home. 

I've even stepped out and said this: I consider my children to be homemakers in their own way because every time that they're helping with something in the house, every time that they pick up their toys, every time that they do the dishes or learn something new in the house, they are helping to contribute to the way that our home is run. Every time that we sit down and have a family meeting, they're contributing to that. We're all contributors. The pendulum just keeps swinging from one extreme to the other.

Allie and I talk about this all the time - we do not want to be on one side of the pendulum or the other. We want to be swinging right in the middle where it's okay to be a little bit of both. It's okay to take pride in your home without that being the only thing that you take pride in.

ALLIE: Yes, it is absolutely empowering still for your choice to be that you are at home, that you don't work anywhere else, that you take care of your home, you take pride in that and you have a hot meal for your husband when he gets home at the end of the day. And I think the flaw is in calling that the only version of homemaking and calling that a bad use of your womanhood. It's not a bad use if that's your choice, if that's what works for you and that's what you want to do. 

But I think labeling women as a whole, “this is what you're made for and this is what women should do” was so damaging to me, like there was ‘little Allie’ sitting in Bible class. 

Which by the way, I was raised by two parents who co-owned multiple businesses. My mom worked. That's why we were even at school. She was like, “Yeah, go, get out. I gotta to run the business.” This is before the digital age. They have a service-based business, so exchanging time for money and they would delegate by having subs that would go out and do the work for them and stuff. They built from the ground up, my dad's a Cuban immigrant, this amazing business that's still successful to this day. So that's who I was raised by. 

But I went to school at a private Christian school where I was sitting in Bible class and the boys were being taught how to balance checkbooks and the girls were being taught how to get up in the middle of the night and take care of a screaming baby. And there was no, “and now we'll switch.” There was just that. 

I actually didn't know that about the boys’ class until I married somebody from the boys' class and we talked about it and I was pissed. There was ‘little Allie’ sitting in that class learning. “This is tradition, this is what you're made to do,” and feeling this disappointment that I wouldn't get to do the things I felt like I had in me. It was very strange. 

Also, they would place a huge checkmark like, “Yes! Good job!” of getting a college scholarship and going and furthering your education. And I was sitting there the whole time like, “Why? Why would I do that if I was just told that as soon as I have kids it's all over?”

KENDRA: Yeah because then that's your job. Your job is now to take care of children and that's all you're going to do.

And again, I love that you said if that's your choice, that's fine. There is nothing wrong with that. But we have this weird society that won't just allow people to live in their own choices. We have to then dictate to them what their choices should be. We're like, “Well, I'm a working mom because I've chosen to do this and I like this, and you like your choice and you love that you're allowed to make your choice.” But then when you hear that someone is staying at home, your defense mechanism is to judge her. “Must be nice. Must be nice for her to be able to do that.” Like you've talked about ‘the grass is greener.’ It's like, “No, she has made her choice.”

Also, you don't know why people have made their choices. Maybe that choice was made for them. The working mom may be working because she doesn't have a choice. Maybe she's a single woman, or her husband or partner can't work, or they need two incomes. Maybe that woman is staying home because she has a special needs child and she would like to go back to work, but that's not what works for her.

I know that we're getting off on a different path, but I really do think that it all comes back to judgement, like we were talking about before we hit record. It all comes back to judgment because really what you're saying is if my worth is attached to how clean my home is, how kept my home is, how managed my home is, what you're really saying is I judge myself if I'm not doing X,Y,Z and I'm waiting for other people to judge me as well.

ALLIE: Yes. Going back to what you were saying about a choice, choice is empowerment. You can choose whatever you want. And I think sometimes people talk about the choice to stay home is like, “Yeah, that's fine. Good for you. That's your choice.” But really that is an incredible empowered choice.

But I think we also need to remember - let's just call a spade a spade, we’re two white girls sitting here - having a choice is a privilege. And not everybody even has that choice.

It makes no sense to say that the rule is ‘women do this; men do that’. One of my least favorite things about the Christian circle, the Christian community, and the traditional conservative Christian people that are leaders that talk about this stuff, is when they are faced with the question… I heard recently an interview where a well-known conservative Christian leader was asked, “What about the black woman who has to do this and she doesn't have privilege, she doesn't have a freaking choice?” And he's like, “Oh well that's different. Good for her. Good. That's just different. She doesn't have a choice and there's mercy and grace for that.” Mercy and grace for that? I just can't. I won't even go off, I just can't.

There's so much to be said for that, and you need to remember that your bubble is not the only thing that there is, and to say across the board like, “Oh there's exceptions. That’s so sad over there. You're in poverty and you have to work two jobs to provide for your kids, but everyone else that has the choice you need to make this one.” It’s just ridiculous. I can't.

KENDRA: I feel like my eyes are going to roll out of my head from rolling so hard. That is such a ridiculous concept. And it really is because we, for lack of a better term, we sort of whitewash everything. We paint everything with really broad strokes and we're like, “Well, if you're a mom in America, here are your choices: choice A or choice B. You either work and neglect your children or you stay home and you don't provide for your children.” That's what we say. That's really what we're saying. It's like you can lose or you can lose. Sorry, moms. I hear that all the time.

I even heard someone saying in a Facebook post from a friend of mine who is a hairdresser and she just had her second kid. She's actually my hairdresser. Someone came in and was like, “I would never have sent my babies to daycare. I didn't want anyone else raising them. I want to be raising them,” and went on this whole thing. And Danielle was like, “Well I love what I do so I'm going to do that, and we've chosen a daycare provider that's really great.” And I thought, “Danielle, don't justify this to this woman. You don't need to justify yourself to her.”

But that's what we do. We say, “Oh you're a working mom. It must be really hard that you're neglectful of your children all the time. That's hard.” And then I know working moms that will say that about stay-at-home moms, they will be like, “Well that's really great for you. I mean I just think it's horrible that you don't have any contribution to your family's finances whatsoever.”

ALLIE: Or one of my least favorite things that I heard all the time because I was a stay-at-home mom, the bulk of my time as a mother still has been being stay-at-home because the years haven't outlived the past years yet. But what I would hear all the time is either, “Good job! They are so blessed!” Or, “Oh good for you!” Or, “You don't want to do anything? You don’t have anything that you want to do?” Weird.  

I love that you brought it up because I was about to bring up the whole, ‘I don't want other people raising my kids’ thing. Again, this is an opinion. It’s ridiculous, but I think that there could be circumstances that I've heard from other women where it's like, “I literally never saw my parents. They worked all the time. They were gone. They traveled. The live-in nanny was like my mom because I saw them.” But when somebody is sending their kids somewhere for a set of hours during the day and then they pick them up and they take them home or they travel occasionally, that's not what's happening. Parents raise kids. Schools don't raise kids. Daycares don't raise kids. Parents raise kids and you can exit yourself out of that and go extreme. And yeah, there's a line. I think you need to gut check yourself if that's what you're doing. Are you even there? Do you know what's going on with them at school? Do you know them? But it is so awful and degrading to tell a woman that you would never let someone else raise your babies like she is when she's cutting hair, making a living, doing what she loves and her kid’s down the road at a daycare for five hours.

KENDRA: Exactly. Yeah. And that just goes back to the judgment. There’s so much about judgment that I've learned over the last few years. I'm so thankful that we live in this digital age where I'm able to learn from other people and really take a hard look at myself because we can all sit here and say, “We need to just stop the mommy judgment.” but the truth is we all do it. We all do it. And Allie, I’m glad you've called that out before. You're like, “I've been judgmental. I have been a judgmental person.”

ALLIE: It’s the first reflex and we have to realize it is, but then what do you do with that reflex?

KENDRA: Exactly. And I catch myself now. That's the difference. It's like the idea of toxic positivity. You don't need to just stop judging, “I'm just going to stop,” because that's never going to happen. We're never going to stop judging because that is how we discern a lot of times, good from bad, in our brains. It comes from that. You need to be judgmental. If there's something lurking behind a bush, should I flee or should I fight it? Is it a squirrel or is it a tiger that's going to eat me? That's where it's all coming from. We just have it now and we just judge other people.

And really what it comes down to is: what are they making me feel about myself? Every time I feel myself judging someone else, I catch myself now, much sooner than I ever have, and I go, “What are they triggering in me? What about what they said, did, or how they're living is bringing something up in me?” Maybe it's guilt. Maybe it's resentment. Maybe it's fear. Maybe it's ignorance. Who knows? But it's bringing something up.

And so, we have to know that about when we're being judged. So, if it's your mother-in-law that's walking in your house and making a bunch of comments about the way that you’re housekeeping, that has nothing to do with you. Nothing. Really nothing. You may be able to sit here and say, “No, but it is because my counters were cluttered.” So what? Someone else could walk in your house and that's not going to bother them at all. It has to do with her and what your home is triggering in her. And that’s what judgement is.

ALLIE: Yeah. And I think too that if something your mother-in-law says really bothers you, it comes down to needing acceptance, or abandonment issues people struggle with. “This is my family now cause my family kind of sucks and now she doesn't think that I'm right.” I mean I have so many friends who have had such crappy backgrounds and then they put all the weight on this new family. And the new family, either it knows that and loves her, accepts her, and just showers her with love, or knows that and manipulates it and uses it to get the daughter-in-law to do what she wants with her grandkids or whatever.

And so, I just think everything that we feel - dive into that. Why did that make me feel this way? I've been doing this recently because as my platform grows, I get more and more negative feedback on everything that I say, which just means that I'm doing something right, usually. Sometimes it means I'm doing something wrong and I need to look at it.  

But why did that bother me? Why am I afraid to open up Instagram because there might be a negative comment there? What am I afraid of? Do I just need a break? Or am I avoiding conflict that needs to happen because somebody has got to shapeshift the world? What is it?

That was so good. We needed to have that discussion. I think we needed to have that discussion before we even answered the original question.


Hey friend! I just want to talk to you real quick about the holidays because they're coming up on us! If you are sick of being super stressed out and dreading seeing certain people, going through certain traditions or dealing with the budget crisis of the holidays, I want you to know that there is a no-stress way to handle more stuff coming into your home, dealing with boundaries and relatives, dealing with traditions.

I want to help you craft this Christmas mission statement and not just for Christmas but for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. I want to help you decorate your home without making it feel super cluttered and too much, with things that are special and matter.

I want to help you transition your kids into a simpler Christmas and stop expecting so much stuff. I want to help you make new traditions and let go of the ones that are stressful and a burden that you're holding onto out of obligation that aren't serving your family anymore. I want to help you buy and receive Christmas presents with a simpler mindset. Plus, I want to help you know what to do when the holidays are over and starting out the New Year right.

We're going to talk about buying your kids' presents, dealing with relatives and their gift giving, preparing your house. What if your husband doesn't want a simple Christmas, but you do? Anything and everything you can think of!

It's all in my super short but powerful, powerful punch-packer, A Merry Little Christmas. It's a mini course. It's only $39. It's available now. It's DIY. You just get in there, login, take in the teaching and simplify your Christmas.

To snag this, go to alliecasazza.com/amerrylittlechristmas. $39 bucks for a simplified Christmas. Come on. Let's get in there. Let’s do this. Let's stop spending this precious time of the year feeling super, super stressed out.


Having said all of that, how can we as women, and these listeners as women, detach themselves from their identity in their home when, “This is all good and well Allie and Kendra, but then my house is a mess and I'm about to have company over.” I have so much to say, but I want you to start. “I have company coming over and it's just a total crap show. I'm anxious. I'm cleaning up and I'm freaking out. How do I detach myself from how my house is?” Because you obviously can't - you could - but you don't want to just be like, “Come in. My house is awful. Welcome! I don't care because I'm detached from how my house looks because I have another fulfillment elsewhere,” or whatever it is, you know?

KENDRA: Right. Well, I think you and I have very similar answers to this. I think I know what your answer is going to be, so I'm going to say something else and say the first thing that I tell people all the time when they have a feeling of how do I let this go, how do I let go of this feeling, is what are you getting from the feeling in the first place? Because you and I talked about it beforehand and we don't do anything unless we're getting something for it. Even the negative habits that we have, we're getting something for it in the moment. No matter what habit you have, no matter how much you want to change it, there is a positive hit that you're getting in the moment.

It's the reason people still smoke. I used this example with Allie, like if I'm feeling really emotional and I eat my weight in chocolate, I don't feel good physically. I feel like crap. I feel horrible, but for the moment when I'm eating it, I feel good. And that's why I still do it because I'm getting something for it.

So, this is a deeper question of what am I getting by staying in this cycle? Am I getting to stay the victim? I wish I had brought these beforehand, but my coach has three questions that it always comes back to, or three reasons, which is: You want to stay right. You don't want to be wrong. You want to be seen as smart or an expert in something. And there was something else. I’ll have to think of it. Maybe I'll look it up while you're talking. But basically, a lot of times we don't want to give up the negative feeling that we have because we don't want to be wrong.

We want to stay right. We want to stay a victim, because being a victim feels good. In the moment, it feels good. It feels good to not have responsibility.

ALLIE: It's like a security blanket, a big excuse, “This is why.” But yeah, I think that's brilliant. And I don't really hear people talking about things like that. The society thing and the putting this on women is one part of it, but when you really look at it and you say, “Okay, I know all of that. I don't feel that way, but why am I still attaching myself to the outcome of how my house looks?” That is what Kendra is saying is that it's like there's something that you're getting from that negative feeling. It's serving you in some way that you think it’s serving you, but it's actually really not serving you in terms of where you want to go, how you want to feel and how you want to move forward.

And then the other side of it, which I am itching to talk about is if you are feeling that… when we looked over the questions, that was the underlying theme in so many of them. “I hear you guys talking about this. Allie, I hear Kendra talking about this. That’s fine. I can detach myself from how my house looks, but then something is happening. Company’s coming over and I'm running around cleaning up because I care about what they think and I care about how the house feels.”

Kendra just addressed the feeling, but I want to address the logic in it. Why do you have your house running in a way where you are stressed out and scrambling to clean it up before company comes over? I want you to value yourself enough to where your home feels good for you, for your sake.

And that doesn't mean that now you're yelling at your family, freaking out, stressing out, and scrambling to get it cleaned up all the time, every day because you deserve it. It means you have too much stuff. It's too much for you to maintain because you're stressing out and freaking out before company comes over. You need to simplify. And that is at the core of what I teach is that you have to release the burden of the stuff because everything that takes up your space also takes up your time.

You are buying these items with your dollars and then you are having a recurring fee of minutes the longer you own that item. It's taking up your time. You need to release that so that you have your house in a way where, yeah, you’ve got to do a nightly pickup or whatever. You have rhythms in place where things are getting taken care of. You know if you don't dust, there's going to be dust. There's basic things like that, but overall it's pretty simple and it's pretty much running smoothly all the time without you having to be freaking out because you don't have too much on your plate, meaning too much stuff. Too much that needs to be organized. Too many things that need a home.

And I think that this lie of you just need to get organized, it’s gone on long enough. Organization really has no place until you're like, “Oh I want this to look better for me. I have the things that I need to have and nothing else. I just want this to look better for me.” Organization is like a frill. It's not a solution to a chronic problem of overwhelm and stress. That is huge.

The problem isn't, “Oh I guess I'm attached to the outcome of how my house looks still because I'm freaking out about what people are gonna think when they get here.” Why is your house feeling like that in the first place?

I feel like you and I both Kendra, as we grow as leaders and we talk about things, we evolve. The way I talk about things shifts and gets better. The common denominator is the same, but I'll come into my own under a certain issue. And one of those things lately has been being real about the fact that I think people think my house is perfect all day, every day, because I have minimalism, rhythms, and I never miss a beat. Everything is just perfect and photo ready all the time. The truth is when there's minimalism that's great, but there's still people living in my house. There are still items that we have, use, love, and like that are here in our house that get taken out and set down instead of put away because I don't breed robots. I breed humans that forget to do their chores and use something and set it down.

So, during the day if I were to take a selfie in a mirror, there would be clothes on the floor. There would be an unmade bed. There'd be stuff behind me. There'd be old coffee from that morning out. There would be things out. It's just that at night, the rhythm kicks in with picking up, emptying the basket at the bottom of the stairs and putting the things upstairs where they go, the kids doing the dishes, and that's how it works.

It doesn't mean that everything's perfect all the time. It just means that things are functioning and I am not freaking out, stressed out, overwhelmed like a crazy person all the time anymore.

KENDRA: Yeah. You and I have the exact same feeling on this because that's how my home runs as well. I look at how fast can I get back to normal? How quickly can we snap and get back to it? Because what most people, to get back to normal is a whole process. And when you're living a simplified life, when you're living with less, when you're living with better rhythms and routines and having those things in place and delegating to the people in your house, you can get back to that normal place much quicker.

Anytime somebody asks how to do something, my first answer is you need to look at how to be proactive instead of reactive. Because most of the people that I see that are speaking in the homemaking/cleaning/organization like our sort of niche are very reactive based.

So it's very like, well, instead of fixing the problem, let's work on the symptom. And that's what organizing clutter is. It's taking the symptom and fixing the symptom. You're not actually fixing the problem; you're just putting a band-aid on a bullet wound and hoping that it heals. That's what's happening.

And what Allie and I are trying to do is trying to get to the root of the issue so that you can be proactive so before something even happens, you're ready for it. You're prepared for something to happen.

When I do my routines workshop, I talk about the analogy of when I worked at a pizzeria, we didn't just base our life, or base our work on to-do lists. We didn't come in every day and then go, “okay guys, what do you want to do,” and just become overwhelmed. We had a list of things we did in the morning and then we served our customers all day. Then at night you had a list of things you did at night. If you came in in the morning it was clean because it got cleaned the night before. But if you came in at noon during lunchtime, there's going to be full garbage and there's going to be stuff on the table if the crumbs weren't cleaned up yet. That's just the way it is because you're living the life of serving people.

We didn't freak out. We didn't go, “Everybody needs to get out of the pizzeria because we have to clean it. We have to deep clean it.” No, we didn't freak out about it.

ALLIE: Or, “nobody can come in. No customers, cause this is so embarrassing!” Life is being lived.

KENDRA: Exactly. And so, you do what you can. You manage it. Then at the end of the day when everyone has left you go, “Okay, now we have a routine of closing up and now we will do that and then we are prepared for the next morning.” It is a perfect analogy of how when you do that in your home you find so much more peace because honestly at 4:00 PM if there's stuff around my house, I don't care. It doesn't bother me. I don't freak out about it because I know come 8:00 or so it's going to be our normal routine to clean things up, to clean up the kitchen, to do the dishes, to do all that stuff. And then back to normal we are.

ALLIE: Yes. And there are things that you can do, there are things you can set up to where there is less to clean up at the end of the day. One example that I love using is sports equipment because we're a sports family. My boys play baseball. Bella tried once, it was the worst season of all time. She'll stick to horseback riding lessons for now and art.

Normally with the way that the rest of the house goes, it's chaos during the day. We have stuff out and it's fine. We pick it up at the end of the day. But with sports equipment, we have hooks in the garage that they hang their bags on, they put their cleats in there and that's where the stuff goes. That's one less thing for me and us as a family to pick up at the end of the day.

So yeah, there are little things you could do like, “Oh, this belongs here so that I never have to pick it up.” But not everything can be systemized like that. That's not a life that you really want to live. That's joyless, boring, lame, and not fun for your kids at all. It's not good memories. So, when you can have a solution for something like the basket at the bottom of my stairs that I always talk about and the hooks for the sports equipment…do it, that's fine. But don't try to systemize your whole life and put out all the fires because that fire is where life happens and it's not going to be perfect. It can just be lighter and better.

And this is my problem with the minimalist community, sometimes, is that it becomes less for the sake of less, minimalism for minimalism’s sake. And I don't want that. I have no desire for that. And that's why I think some of the other leaders in the industry kind of hate me and I'm okay with it because I want less for the sake of more, less stuff for the sake of more of what matters. So, I don't care if it's ugly, unsystemized, and messy during the day. I know that I'm living present. That I'm able to say, “Yeah, come on over for dinner; we're just here hanging out,” because it's never going to be so bad that I'm humiliated. And I don't really care if people come over and my house is lived in like the pizzeria example.

So, this was really good. I love this conversation. We’re amazing!

KENRA: We really are. We're also super humble. I think that's what I love most about us is our humility.

Also, I have to say that one of the reasons that I love you so much is your feeling about minimalism, the ‘less for more’ because things get so legalistic that it makes my head want to explode.

And the same thing goes for cleaning routines. I'm sorry I'm calling it out: we are out of control with the charts and principals, guys! Out of control!

ALLIE: I would like to know what percentage of people actually print them out. I mean I don't feel like you're a Type A. Are you?

KENDRA: No! I’m not a Type A.

ALLIE: Okay. Maybe it's the Type A people. I'll have to ask Amy on my team because she's super Type A and amazing. She needs to be that way. But I wonder who is freaking out about the mess, swinging way the other way on the pendulum and going and downloading all of the printables, PDFs, and charts and then actually doing it? Like, “I remember the day I downloaded those PDFs and from then on we did all of them and everything has been perfect.” I'm just curious to see. It's such a quick fix.

KENDRA: And the problem is that it’s not a fix. I just talked about this in my… you'll love this example. I just talked about this in my latest webinar and I use the example of Kevin Malone from The Office and the episode where he starts talking in less words. Remember where he starts talking in less words? How he's going to be efficient? He's like. “I can say less and then I can have more time.” But the problem is by saying less people don't understand him because he's not effective with the language so he's saying less words but he's saying words and putting them together like ‘SeaWorld.’ Then Jim's like, “See, I don't know if you want to go to SeaWorld or if you want to see the world? I don't know what you're saying.” And so, it takes him longer and that's what efficiency is.

Efficiency without efficacy is useless. And all of those charts, if you are not effective with what you are doing, if you don't have effective routines in place, if you don't have your routine down, if you haven't really tried it and jumped in and see what works and what doesn't work, those charts are just really pretty reminders of what you're not doing. That's all it is.

A chart is not going to do itself. It's not going to check itself off. I think what happens is people so badly want instruction but they don't want to actually dig in and figure out the root problem.

And the same goes for minimalism. So many people just want someone to be like, “just get rid of all your stuff and only keep what brings you joy,” but they don't actually want to dig into, “Okay, but why am I keeping this really? And what do I really want out of my home? And what kind of joy do I actually want to be living in?” That is just a huge difference in wanting to be efficient versus effective.

ALLIE: Absolutely.

KENDRA: Well, we're amazing. Wow.

ALLIE: I am inspired by us.

KENDRA: I mean when we get off our calls together, really, we just go and do more in our house because we're so inspirational to ourselves. Really.

ALLIE: Yeah. Really, really. Like I'm just… I’m made anew from this. I just love you. You are one of my favorite people on the planet, really.

KENDRA: I am one of my favorite people on the planet too, so I think that we have that in common.

ALLIE:  On my list of favorite people on the planet, you're right under me.

KENDRA: This is a glimpse into our regular conversations. It's just Allie and I making this constant joke about how amazing we are.

ALLIE: You think anyone's going to leave a review like, “Love this show!” Because you know how mean reviews are always like a backhanded compliment. “Love the show normally, but there was this one episode where they were just talking about how much they love themselves.”

KENDRA: I know because the sad truth is that people apparently in almost 2020 still don't understand what joking is and they still just cannot understand the concept of sarcasm at all, and also can't understand how to just turn something off if they don't like it. They have to make the world know that they didn't like something instead of just being like, “I don't like this,” and then just shutting it off.

ALLIE: It’s going to happen because with our sense of humor you can't really tell when we're joking in our tone versus when we're actually talking. I'm curious how this is going to go. We don't love ourselves; we're just kidding.

KENDRA: And that's the point is that we're saying all this stuff, but to be honest, Allie and I inspire one another. I read stuff from Allie. I read her emails. Every email she sends, I read them and I'm like, “I hate how inspirational she is. Now I have to get up and do something. Ugg! I have to get up and do something now because she’s inspired me.”

ALLIE: No, really though, there've been so many times where I feel like it always happens in a lull for me. I'm just kind of like blah and then you'll send me a vox message or whatever, or I'll see something on Instagram and you're like, “I was thinking about doing this,” and I'm like, “Dang it! Now that idea is evaporated and I have to be amazing.” You make me want to be better. And there's been so many times where I feel like we've woken each other up.

KENDRA: Yes. And it's a really good lesson to women out there to be open to other women inspiring you, and be an inspiration to another woman. Be there to lift other women up instead of tearing them down. You have a choice every day. Am I going to lift someone up or am I going to tear them down? So even the person that's thinking about writing the review, think about, “Is this lifting someone up or is it tearing them down?” Because you have the choice. You are making that choice right now with every single thing that you do.

And now that I'm more awakened to this, I think about that every time I say something about someone, talk about someone behind their back or you fall into that. I think about that. Is this tearing someone down or is it lifting them up? Because I don't want to be the woman that's tearing anyone down.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.


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 124: Get an Aerial View of Your Life & Make Change Happen

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What I'm sharing with you in this episode is an exercise that I've been practicing lately and it's been helping me find clarity in what things I'm doing in my life that are not aligning with who I want to be, with who I'm working to become. I really believe in the power of always learning and growing because I want to be a better version of myself. I want to be increasing, getting closer to God in my faith, closer to my husband in our marriage, and closer to my kids as I parent them. 

This is kind of like a pep talk and an idea you can take action on at the same time, and I think it's going to give some of you some real clarity. Let’s jump in!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The importance of always learning and growing

  • How stillness and a new perspective can help you notice things

  • Why you should skip the shame and go straight to taking action

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Are you sick of being stressed every year when the holidays roll around?

I created a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify, and pursue LESS this Christmas!


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.


Hey, beautiful friend Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show. Today is kind of like a pep talk and an idea you can take action on at the same time. I think it's going to give some of you some real clarity. I really would love for you to tag me that you're listening to this episode and tell me if you try it and how it makes you feel. Super curious to see who this resonates with.

We talked about something that came up for me during my meditation practice in last week's episode and this week has a similar feel. This stuff has been on my mind a lot lately. The episodes always come out of what I'm seeing in the community of the people that follow me and what's coming up for me that I feel like it won't leave me alone until I share it. And that has been happening with meditation and some things that I've been practicing to honestly make myself a better version of myself, and I'll take that anytime. So, I thought I'd pass it along.

What I'm going to share with you today is an exercise that I've been practicing lately and it's been helping me find clarity in what things I'm doing in my life that are not aligning with who I want to be, with who I'm working to become. I really believe in the power of always learning and growing, and again, as Maya Angelou has said, I’ve said this so many times, “know better, do better.” And I want to know better. I want to know more. I want to be a better version of myself. I want to be growing, increasing, getting closer to God in my faith, closer to my husband in our marriage, and closer to my kids as I parent them. I want to fall more in love with my work, my purpose, spread my message even further and reach the masses.

I'm always wanting to grow, but I think that needs to be done with boundaries and with positivity, not with force, pushing yourself, or trying to be someone that you're not. You just want to be a better version of who God made you to be.

One really powerful way that you can do this is to get still and question what you're doing right now that isn't really lining up with where you want to go. I think that a powerful way you can make change in yourself is to act like the person that you want to become.

There's a lot of things in the world that are said casually that come back to this. In the workplace, people say, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” because it makes an impact. It makes people treat you differently and makes you act differently. “Fake it till you make it,” that's another one. “Smile when you don't feel like it and then you will feel like it.” Really, it all comes down to the way we act, the way we live is what makes us who we become.

The way you think, the way you talk, the way you spend your time and who you spend your time with - all of these things deeply affect you. I think that this exercise I want to share with you can help you see the habits that you currently have, the things that you're doing, the places that you're spending your time, the people that you have in your life who are not helping you, who are keeping you held back.

I don't mean this to sound like, “it's all about me, it's all about you, and it's just all about whatever makes us happier, whatever makes us better.” If you're not your best version of yourself, then you're not able to pour into your spouse, to pour into your kids, to pour into your job, your mission fields where you were designed to help make the world a better place, where you were designed to do the thing you were made to do, so it is important to protect ourselves.

Whenever I talk about boundaries, I always have somebody in the audience who comes up and says, “boundaries are just you being selfish,” and I couldn't disagree more. I've often found that people that say that don't like people that have boundaries because they often have boundaries against them because they're the type of person that needs people to put boundaries up around them.

Having said all of that, I really want to encourage you to try this and see how you feel.


Hey friend! I just want to talk to you real quick about the holidays because they're coming up on us! If you are sick of being super stressed out and dreading seeing certain people, going through certain traditions or dealing with the budget crisis of the holidays, I want you to know that there is a no-stress way to handle more stuff coming into your home, dealing with boundaries and relatives, dealing with traditions.

I want to help you craft this Christmas mission statement and not just for Christmas but for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. I want to help you decorate your home without making it feel super cluttered and too much, with things that are special and matter.

I want to help you transition your kids into a simpler Christmas and stop expecting so much stuff. I want to help you make new traditions and let go of the ones that are stressful and a burden that you're holding onto out of obligation that aren't serving your family anymore. I want to help you buy and receive Christmas presents with a simpler mindset. Plus, I want to help you know what to do when the holidays are over and starting out the New Year right.

We're going to talk about buying your kids' presents, dealing with relatives and their gift giving, preparing your house. What if your husband doesn't want a simple Christmas, but you do? Anything and everything you can think of!

It's all in my super short but powerful, powerful punch-packer, A Merry Little Christmas. It's a mini course. It's only $39. It's available now. It's DIY. You just get in there, login, take in the teaching and simplify your Christmas.

To snag this, go to alliecasazza.com/amerrylittlechristmas. $39 bucks for a simplified Christmas. Come on. Let's get in there. Let’s do this. Let's stop spending this precious time of the year feeling super, super stressed out.


The first thing you're going to need to do is get still. I know that's really hard. Whenever I talk about meditation, I always feel like I need to especially shout out the moms who are listening that have a newborn or really, really young kids – girl, it gets better! It gets easier. It gets a lot easier to create stillness, but there will always be a hurdle keeping you from doing that, making it difficult to do that. Because when your kids get older then you've got pickup and drop-off, baseball, and all these things and there’s always going to be a reason.

So just try, try to create some space for stillness. It's so good for you. It’ll make you such a better mama, such a better wife, friend, and person. Get still.

Then maybe have a journal and pen next to you if you want and ask yourself prompting questions. One example would be just ask yourself this question straight up, “What am I doing right now in my life that's holding me back from becoming the person I desire to be?” Sit still with that for a minute and wait and see if anything comes up.

The first thing that's going to happen is that your mind will immediately begin to wonder. You'll start to think like, “Oh, I left the oven on,” or “Oh, my head's really itchy all of a sudden. I need to scratch this itch.” Or, “Oh gosh! I have so much to do today. This is taking forever. This is stupid. This is not working and I just need to get up and get on with my day.” Control your thoughts. Notice that they're drifting, bring it back, focus on your breathing and just sit still and come back to that prompt, “What am I doing right now in my life that's holding me back from becoming the person I desire to be?”

You might need to prompt yourself in a more specific way if nothing's coming up for you. Like, “Do my evenings have anything in them that is not pulling me forward?” This is a great question because a lot of bad habits happen at night. “What am I doing regularly that's not moving me forward? What needs to be cut out of my habits in my life?”

Maybe it's the way you eat. Maybe your eating habits are keeping you sluggish, tired, and sick, and you're not able to show up for the people you need to show up for. Maybe it's the habit of eating ice cream almost every night, because the sugar hangover the next day makes you feel like crap and you're not someone super fun to be around because you feel like crap.

Maybe it's to stop drinking. Maybe it's to move more and stop sitting so much. Do you know how amazing you'd feel if you just simply changed nothing else except taking a walk every day with or without your kids? You would feel so good! You would see such a difference in your body, your mindset, your mood and your day.

This exercise is so simple. It's barely worth an episode because it's so simple, but it will help you notice what are the things you have going on in your life that you're doing habitually, almost accidentally, without thinking about it because you've always done those things. Or maybe you know it's not really great for you but you keep doing it and you don't want to break the cycle.

Viewing your life from almost an aerial perspective is really powerful because we all get lost in the humdrum of life. We go through life, we have our habits, we have our way of living, we have the things that we do and don't do. We have the people we talk to and don't talk to. What would happen if you just took stillness for five minutes and looked at your life and your week from an aerial perspective and asked, “What am I doing that isn't really moving me forward and helping me up level?”

After you view your life from an aerial perspective, if you really give it space and you really prompt yourself right, something will come up and it'll be something that you really don't want to let go of. Like the ice cream habit, like the drinking habit, like the junk food after hours habit.

Then what I want to challenge you to do is have a gall to get up and change that thing about yourself and up-level yourself.

One note that I want to end with is don't tell yourself that you should be doing this or you shouldn't be doing these things that you're doing. Don't come at yourself in this exercise with shame. Don't shame yourself. The key is to get real with yourself. Get still. Ask the prompting questions about where you're at right now and then see if anything comes up and just notice it.

Notice that that's there. Notice that this bad habit has been a part of your life and it's not serving you at all. It's not serving the people that you love at all. It's not helping you move forward. And then change it.

I dare you to be different than almost everybody else. Be an action-taking, problem-solving woman and change this thing. Let it go and see how you feel. See what happens.

So, so simple. Less is really more here. So simple. I dare you. I dare you guys to try this.


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 123: Releasing the Other Version of Yourself

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This episode is going to be more serious. Recently as I was sitting still in meditation, I had a realization that was so powerful. It was almost in the form of a vision. If you sometimes worry about others’ expectations of you, or even high expectations you set for yourself, this could be really helpful for you. I want to share it because I believe that it can set someone else free, like it did for me.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How others sometimes have unrealistic expectations of her

  • A realization she had during a time of meditation

  • How others’ perspectives and expectations are not your responsibility

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Are you sick of being stressed every year when the holidays roll around?

i created a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify, and pursue LESS this Christmas!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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


Hi friends! I'm so excited to be sitting down and talking to you today! Taking a deep breath because this episode is going to be kind of intense. It's going to be a lot more serious, I guess.

I've actually been a little worried about feedback on this one, but you know, usually I have found that whenever I feel that way it more so means that it needs to be shared. Maybe it will roll off some people's backs, maybe they'll just scratch their heads and be like, “I didn't really vibe with that,” but maybe there are other people who really take to it and really need to hear it. So, I'm going to share it and I’m going to see how it goes.

I was talking about this episode with my husband, Brian, and telling him, “I think I'm going to need to make a joke before I record this that I'm not a psychedelic drug user,” because I'm going to be sharing something that came into my mind while I was having some quiet time and practicing meditation, which I've talked about a lot here on the show and I'm a firm believer in, but people get weird about that sometimes.

So anyway, I won't joke about that, but I've been practicing meditation for a while now, a couple of years now, and more recently in the last 6 - 12 months, I've been really practicing sitting in stillness with almost no agenda.

Sometimes, if I'm really burdened or feeling really heavy, I will have a little bit of an agenda like, “I want to think about this question that I'm struggling with the answer to or think about this problem that I'd really like to know what to do about,” and I'll go into meditation thinking on that a little bit.

But usually I go into meditation the same way every time - whether I'm by myself in my home or if I'm going to a class - I go in prayerfully asking God to sit with me, show up with me and show me whatever it is that He needs me to see because my life is very full, loud, busy and my kids are homeschooled, so they're here all the time and there's very little opportunity for quiet and for me to hear His voice.

And so, meditation is really a time where I quiet my mind intentionally and I quiet my life. I say, “I value my faith. I value stillness. I value what You would have to say to me, God, so I want to make time to hear you, to hear that, and to just let myself be still.”

I come into meditation also very ready to hear and ready to receive. I come in very open, because sometimes I'm coming into meditation time and I have expectations, which is very difficult not to do because we're humans. So, I try to come in open like, “Maybe I'm not going to get an answer to this question that I would love to figure out, but maybe I'm going to walk away feeling really peaceful.”

Sometimes I just walk away feeling so at peace and that is what I needed because that's what I got. Sometimes I do get a solution to a problem, or I'll have a really great idea, or a really powerful knowing that one of my kids needs something from me. It just depends, but there are so many benefits and so much power in creating times of stillness.

And moms of super little kids...this gets easier. It's okay if it's just not happening for you right now.

I have been practicing meditation more deliberately lately. Recently I was sitting still in meditation and I totally had this realization that was really, really powerful for me. It was almost in the form of a vision.

It was so powerful for me, I haven't been able to let it go. I came home right away and told my husband about it. It was just so powerful. I was crying and it really, really helped me. I've been telling friends about it and I just feel like I need to tell you guys about it. I want to share it because I believe that it can set someone else free, like it did for me, and be really helpful.

While I was in this particular time of meditation I was in the middle of an unguided meditation. For those of you who are unfamiliar, there's guided meditation and there's unguided meditation. Guided meditation is where if you were in a class you would have an instructor prompting you through things like, “focus on your breathing, now focus on the pressure of the ground underneath you, now continue to focus on your breathing or think about this.” They're guiding you and it can help when you're in the beginning of your practice and your mind tends to wander. That's natural. Your mind will completely go away from what you're there to do and begin to race with all these thoughts and things you need to remember to do and all of that.

Then there's unguided meditation where it's just silence. You're sitting in silence and you don't need anyone to prompt you. You can focus on your breathing and control your thoughts on your own.

That's what I was doing. I was doing unguided meditation. I think I was meditating for about 30 minutes that day, which is average for me. I was in about the middle of that time. It's always hard to know because in meditation you lose track of time.

But I saw myself. I didn't prompt this in any way. I was literally just focusing on my breathing and being really open to whatever God wanted to show me. I was feeling really heavy emotionally that day, actually that whole month. I was just really struggling. I was finding myself avoiding my job, avoiding showing up for people, avoiding Instagram, avoiding writing emails, just feeling really heavy and tense. I didn’t know why and I wasn't even there to do anything about it. I was just doing my morning quiet time.

While I was meditating at this time, I all-of-a-sudden got a flash of a vision in my head that I didn't put there. And this is why I preach meditation so much because it's so powerful. It doesn't always go like this, but it can, and without creating space for it you just won't have these realizations.

I saw myself in this vision. I saw this version of myself that a lot of people expect me to be. It's sort of like how they see me or how they want to see me. I'm going to talk about that version of myself a little bit so that you can really understand why this vision that I had was so powerful.

That version of myself looks like everything is perfect. This version of Allie always does her rhythms and routines perfectly without fail. She always has everything uncluttered all the time. Her bathroom sink is never cluttered. There's never anything extra. Her closets are always perfectly uncluttered and organized all the time. People dissect the way she lives because they either want to find flaws in it or they want to live that way too.

She always has everything perfectly together and everything is always working out for her. She makes no mistakes. There is never any clutter. There is never any excess. Everything is always perfect all the time.

And despite how often I share here on the podcast, on Instagram, and on my platforms, that that's just not the case…I'm very open and kind of funny about the realness of my life and my home. I'm transparent about my struggles, my weaknesses, my reality, but the things that I figured out and the help that I share has made things less stressful and just simpler for me...I still always feel this pressure and expectation from other people. That is the version that they see of me. And that's the version of myself that I saw in this vision.

That doesn't mean that I do all the things that I'm teaching. Just because I'm teaching them doesn't mean that I do those things every single moment of every single day.

I teach rhythms and simplicity. That doesn't mean that everything in my life is completely simplified all the time. That doesn't mean that I never miss my rhythms or I'm not doing something that I said that I do. That is really hard and really frustrating. Sometimes I'll mention something like, “Hey, if you're struggling with this, what I've really found to help is doing this and I've been doing this for a really long time and it's worked over and over for me and I want to help you by sharing that with you.”

And then because I say something like that, people just automatically assume that I'm always going to do that. It'll be a year or two later and they're seeing something that I showed on Instagram and they'll say something like, “But I thought that you did this in the mornings. You said in this episode you do this in the morning,” and it's like, “Whoa!”

I'm just here to share what I'm learning as I'm going. I am a human being. I am evolving all the time and changing things all the time. I don't hold myself to doing something that I learned is helpful constantly, but a lot of the people who follow me and even some of my friends and family in my real life talk to me in a way where I can see that that's how they view me…perfect.

Their expectations of me are perfection and they hold me to it. They treat me as if they think that I'm really like that. They respond to me as if that's how I am. As much as I work to stay grounded, be myself, and have healthy boundaries, it's hard not to attach yourself to that version of yourself, to those expectations, to that version of yourself that really doesn't exist.


Hey friend! I just want to talk to you real quick about the holidays because they're coming up on us! If you are sick of being super stressed out and dreading seeing certain people, going through certain traditions or dealing with the budget crisis of the holidays, I want you to know that there is a no-stress way to handle more stuff coming into your home, dealing with boundaries and relatives, dealing with traditions.

I want to help you craft this Christmas mission statement and not just for Christmas but for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. I want to help you decorate your home without making it feel super cluttered and too much, with things that are special and matter.

I want to help you transition your kids into a simpler Christmas and stop expecting so much stuff. I want to help you make new traditions and let go of the ones that are stressful and a burden that you're holding onto out of obligation that aren't serving your family anymore. I want to help you buy and receive Christmas presents with a simpler mindset. Plus, I want to help you know what to do when the holidays are over and starting out the New Year right.

We're going to talk about buying your kids' presents, dealing with relatives and their gift giving, preparing your house. What if your husband doesn't want a simple Christmas, but you do? Anything and everything you can think of!

It's all in my super short but powerful, powerful punch-packer, A Merry Little Christmas. It's a mini course. It's only $39. It's available now. It's DIY. You just get in there, login, take in the teaching and simplify your Christmas.

To snag this, go to alliecasazza.com/amerrylittlechristmas. $39 bucks for a simplified Christmas. Come on. Let's get in there. Let’s do this. Let's stop spending this precious time of the year feeling super, super stressed out.


So in this vision, going back to that, I saw myself standing and holding on to a bouquet of balloons and the balloons weren't regular balloons. They were made up of that other version of myself that people assume is the real me. I saw that version of me plastered all over the balloons I was holding.

I know it sounds really weird and that's why I was saying I should make a joke about psychedelic drugs, but it's a vision. It's a dream; it's not reality.

And so, I saw that version of me plastered all over the balloons I was holding and then I stood there for a while just looking at that and feeling the weight of what that version of me feels like. I saw the distance of myself. I noticed the distance between me and the balloons. I noticed the distance between the real me and that version of me and I realized that there was a distance and that wasn't really me.

Then I let the balloons go. I watched them float away for a good, long time and it felt so good. I could not stop smiling as I was watching this play out in my mind. It was amazing! I physically felt myself letting go of a very heavy weight that I didn't really know was there.

I played that in my head over and over again during that time until my little meditation app alarmed dinged. And I've played it over and over in my head a lot of times since then.

The reason that I'm sharing it with you is because I don't think this issue is limited to those of us in the public eye. I think a lot of us have a version of ourselves that come from other things, from other people, or a certain place that you are every now and then like maybe a version of yourself that you are at work or in certain relationships and friendships.

Or maybe the version of yourself comes from you. Maybe you put a version of yourself out there that's made up of expectations that you put on yourself and when you don't live up to them or the real you comes out, you feel like a failure. Maybe you do that in your role as a mom.

I want to invite you into this. I want to invite you to borrow the vision that I had that day and create that vision in your head on purpose. It happened to me, but you can create that on purpose and borrow the picture I painted for you. Let yourself really imagine the details of that other version of yourself and feel the weight of that. What are the specifics of that girl? How does it feel to carry the weight of trying to be her? How does it feel to be pressured to be that girl?

Let those details form the balloons in your mind and then feel the gap between the real you and those balloons. Picture yourself just a girl doing her best, trying to live her best life and show up for the people she loves. Let that girl, the real you, hold on to the other version in the balloons and then let them go. See them floating away. See how that feels. Let the emotion in that and the power in that wash over you in this moment of stillness you're creating for yourself.

Feel free, if you need to, borrow this vision of mine any time. Anytime you feel like you're not enough or you're heavy with what you're supposed to be. Just let it go. Feel yourself letting it go and feel that lightness come over you.

I think it's one thing to have goals, to grow, to shift and evolve into a better version of yourself. I'm always trying to do that. But it's a totally other thing to feel the pressure of expectations of the person that you're “supposed” to be according to other people (or according to yourself, if you're hard on yourself) and to wear that as a mask so often that it's the only version of yourself you really know and you've lost the real you.

You lost the girl who likes to go out with her friends every now and then and take a break from her kids and her husband. You've lost the girl who would rather be in sweatpants with no bra watching reruns on Netflix than going out. The girl who loves to craft. The girl who loves her job. The girl you really are.

I don't want that to sound cheesy, but just sit with those words if they're resonating with you.

I know that as a part of my job and being in the public eye, in the small scale that I am, that people will build their expectations of me. It's just natural. They are going to put me on a pedestal, expect crazy things of me, and assume things about me that aren't true.

This happens a lot with my faith and people put me in a typical, conservative, Christian box that I just don't belong in, it happens with my marriage, and all different kinds of things. It's just part of my job. It's going to happen.

They will choose to not hear things that I'm saying that don't align with the version of me that they want me to be, that they've made up because it benefits them for me to be that girl. It benefits them and what they want to believe. For some reason they need me to be that version. Because maybe if I'm not, then maybe there's no hope for them. Or maybe they just don't want to see reality. They want to believe that there is a perfect, secret way of living, of doing motherhood. And if I'm real with them and honest about the fact that there are just simple shifts I've made to make things lighter but it's still imperfect, that's not what they want to hear.

Or they see me getting attention, having a platform, being on a stage and they get upset. They point their finger and blast the way I do my faith, the way I do relationships, the way I do parenting. So, they keep me in a box. They keep me in the box they made for me and they won't hear anything outside of that. Or they will hear it, but they're going to judge me like crazy for it.

Here's the key part that I want you to walk away with - that is not my responsibility. And whatever this other version of yourself is that’s coming from other people (or from you if you're hard on yourself) - that's not your responsibility.

For me, other people's perspective of what I do and their expectations of me, the things they're holding onto, the things that would be a huge letdown for them if they found out I wasn't that way - that is not my responsibility. That's not on me.

My responsibility is my life. The way I'm truly living. The way I share honestly about what I'm learning, how I'm growing, and how I'm messing up, just like I do here on the show with you guys.

My mission field is my responsibility. My message is my responsibility. My family, my marriage, my faith - that's my responsibility.

I am responsible for how honest I am.

And that's what I'm doing, but I can't make others see what they choose not to see.

I can't force them to not come up with their own version of me, what I do, and what I'm saying.

But I can certainly have a boundary for myself that I don't have to try to live up to that or take that on as a burden.

I hope this encourages somebody. I hope that this kind of mental practice that dropped into my head during this time of stillness in my life will be something that some of you can borrow and let yourself feel the weight coming off.

Practice this as often as you need to. I have honestly made this vision a morning practice, really, really often, almost every day for the last couple of months since the first time it happened.

It was just so powerful I had to share it and I hope that it can become a practice for some of you too, who really needed this.


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 122: #AllieReadsOctober "Stretched Too Thin" by Jessica Turner

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Today I’m talking with Jessica Turner, author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose The Guilt, Work Smarter & Thrive. This book impacted me in such a deep way. It’s really practical and helped me feel like I’m not alone. 

We're going to talk about mom guilt of all kinds, so don't click away from this episode if you don't work because this will still set you free and really help you.

 
 

In This Episode Allie & Jessica Discuss:

  • What questions to ask yourself to determine if you should ditch the mom guilt

  • How mom guilt can sometimes be productive by prompting us to make needed changes

  • Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about loving your work

  • How traditional gender roles can be limiting to the person God created you to be

  • Practical self-care for busy moms

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Decluttering with kids doesn’t have to be a struggle. Let me help you.

We’ll shine a light on the things you need to know and teach you how to begin the process of minimalism with your kids (or succeed in it if you’ve tried before!). 

This amazing FREE web class happened yesterday, but the replay video is still available for a few more days!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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


Friends, it is that time of year again. It's October and we are doing Allie Reads October in my little corner of the Internet. It's so fun. This is our second time doing it. If you were around last year for Allie Reads October, you're going to notice it looks a little bit different this year. We’ve structured it differently to fit where I'm at in my personal life this year. The amount of time that I've had to read for pleasure is much less than it was the year before, so we adjusted as needed. It's a different set up today, or this month, this year, whatever. And I'm really excited about it.

Here's what Allie Reads is - basically it's intended to draw your attention to books and remind you to read more. Reading for women has always been a really important issue. There have been times where women in other cultures, countries and parts of the world were not allowed to read.

I'm really passionate about cultivating strength and community among women and raising a strong woman myself in my daughter, and being a strong woman, I'm very passionate about feminism and I just really want to be a part of drawing attention to the fact that women, especially moms with how busy we are and how much we're balancing, we need to read books.

Maya Angelou said, “know better, do better,” and I think one of the best possible ways that you can know better and then do better is by reading good books, so I want to draw attention every year to the type of books that I read that really made an impact on me, that they changed the way that I think about things. They really helped bring clarity to something that I was struggling with. They made me know better, do better. To draw attention to those books and to those authors. To have conversations with the people that wrote those books. To have conversations with you about the books without the author there. Really celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to read. That it's such an important thing. It's such a great way to grow. And as I said, as Maya Angelou said, “know better, do better.” So that's what Allie Reads is all about.

This year we have a couple of authors coming on the podcast, but the rest of Allie Reads October will be discussions about different books that shaped me as a person, as a parent, the books that I read this year, the books that have helped grow my business this year, the books that help my kids understand minimalism and that can help your kids understand minimalism. We're doing lots of different things like that and it's all happening at Alliereadsoctober.com. It's a landing page for all the things about this month. Take the opportunity, go dive in, and let me know what you think.

ALLIE: Hello beautiful friends! Welcome to the Purpose Show and another piece of Allie Reads October! Today we are speaking with an author. Her name is Jessica Turner, and you probably have seen Jessica's latest book floating around, especially on Instagram, or if you're a blog reader. Lots of people that I respect and admire have been talking about this book over the last few months.

Something that I'm really passionate about is not bringing on authors to talk about their books because their publisher reached out and wanted me to. I want to choose what I authentically believe is good and helpful and have real conversations with people that I've connected with separately, not like, “Hey, I just met you and here we are talking to my podcast.” It's super awkward.

And so, I feel a little late to the game bringing on Jessica to talk about this book, but it is so good and it really deeply impacted me. It's called Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose The Guilt, Work Smarter & Thrive. It impacted me in such a deep way and really helped me. It's very practical. It really helped me feel like I'm not alone in the mom guilt that we feel, that's honestly pretty ridiculous. I bought copies for everyone on team Allie, sent it to them and made them read it. It's so good.

You can get this book at Target, you can get it in the link to the show notes, at Amazon. It's everywhere. The paperback is everywhere.

We're gonna talk about this. We're going to talk about mom guilt of all kinds, specifically working mom guilt, but don't click away from this episode if you don't work because this will set you free and really help you.

Jessica gets really amped up, really passionate about this topic and you'll hear that in this episode. She really cares about helping women step in to their role confidently, whatever that looks like. And if you do work, especially if you work a lot, or if you work outside the home, not feeling guilty about that, not feeling like you owe your family an apology, and stepping confidently into where you're at in life, into your role, and using guilt as a catalyst to make any necessary changes, but also know when that guilt is just not productive guilt and you need to just let it go. And how do you let it go and getting over that.

So, we're talking about all of these things and this episode is really, really good.

I actually share things that I was taught growing up in a private Christian school that really affected me as I became a working mother. We get into a lot of serious stuff.

This episode is so good and I'm really excited to welcome Jessica, so please enjoy this conversation. Don't forget to tag us on Instagram and let us know what you think.

ALLIE: Hi Jessica, welcome!

JESSICA:  Hey! I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

ALLIE: We're just going to dive right in. I know we were already getting into the conversation before we even hit record, talking about how women perceive that they work, and some women don't really perceive that they work or they don't, as you said, “call a spade a spade,” and I just love the conversations that have already come out of us sitting together here.

I love your book. We're going to talk about that. But I would love to first, before we dive back into what we had begun talking about before hitting record, and just hear from you a little bit about where you live, your family, what you do, how you spend your days, where do you work and just let us get to know you.

JESSICA: Yeah. So, my name is Jessica and I've got three kids who are 11, 8, and 4½.  I work full-time outside the home in corporate America for a large healthcare company in Nashville. My husband, Matthew Paul Turner, is a children's book writer. He's written a couple books that you might know, including When I Pray For You and When God Made You. And we also have a puppy named Zelda. She just turned 1, so I don't know if she's still a puppy. Is she a toddler? I don't know...We have a toddler dog as well, which adds to the crazy.

In addition to me working full-time outside the home, I have been a blogger since 2006 and started writing books in about 2014. I've written three books, The Fringe Hours: Making Time For You, which is all about self-care and the importance for women to make time for themselves, My Fringe Hours, which is a book really dedicated to people figuring out their own story and their own passions, and then my newest book, Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose The Guilt, Work Smarter, & Thrive, which just came out in hardback a year ago and in paperback late this summer.

ALLIE: I read this book because it was sent to me because of the podcast and it was so good that I sent it to everyone on my team because they're all working moms. Some of them have grown kids and some of them have really little kids. Some of them are currently having kids still.

I think it's an important message because it's so practical, but you also weave in some stories. There's one part in particular where you shared the raw vulnerability of you saying that you intentionally missed a soccer game, that you cried because you couldn't go somewhere that your kids were going, and the pumpkin patch story and missing out on these things, or working really hard so that you didn't miss out on it and just watching you kind of go through these things that, for me, I have struggled with thinking, “Is this normal? Is it normal to miss a baseball game? I don't really know.” I'm not really thinking, “What works for me right now?” I'm thinking about, “What is everyone else doing? Am I a worse mom than the other moms? Are they missing?” I don't know.

The silly ridiculous stories we tell ourselves, “We're not good if…(insert the thing).” I feel like even just in the parts that you're sharing about yourself in here in this book, when you say those things, even that brought me freedom, knowing, “Look! She's struggling. She cried over this silly little event that she totally could've skipped.” It messes with us and it makes us feel sad. I feel sad when I'm missing out on something because I need to get something done, but if I don't do it, then I'm going to be really stressed out because I didn't get that thing done. And then I'm not going to be a great mom to be around.

So, it was really neat to hear you or to read you, I guess, walking through these scenarios and sharing, “This really made me emotional,” or “I missed this and I didn't really care.” It just was nice to hear you talk about that, so thank you for putting that in here.

JESSICA: Oh, thank you for saying that. You’ve talked to a lot of authors, so you’ve probably heard that those authors tend to remember the negative reviews and none of the positive reviews. I remember one negative review that said, “She really cries a lot,” so I’m glad to hear that my crying stories resonate with some women even though it didn’t with that particular one.

ALLIE: I resonated with that a lot because I am not a crier normally, but I will often get so emotional or flustered about this kind of stuff, this family stuff, and I'll cry to my husband, just like you cried to your husband.

JESSICA: Yeah, we just want to do it right. Whatever right is or means. I think those tears (I'm not a big crier either) but they come from a place of deep commitment and passion and there's nothing wrong with that.

And honestly, those tears can point you to changes you maybe need to make in your life, or conversations that you need to have, or things to think about. Or they might be pointing to that you just need to get a little more sleep and take better care of yourself.

ALLIE: Yeah. Yeah, I love that. You also put in the book, things like, “Okay, so here's the lesson. When you're upset, you're crying, or this is coming out of you, you need to pay attention. Maybe it's this; maybe it's that.” But you also put in little things like, “Fill this out. Is it that you need sleep? Is it that you need to do less? Is it that you need more time with your husband? Is it that you need more time with God?” You put in these little sections where you can fill things out and it's just so dang practical. I love it. I really, really love the way you laid this out.

JESSICA: Thank you. I am a big fan of practical. I'm a big fan of not wasting time and so as I looked in the marketplace for what are the great resources out there for working moms, I didn't find a lot. And so, I really hope that as much as women will feel supported, seen, and see their own stories in the pages that they'll also really be able to make it their own by answering those questions at the end of every chapter. That was something that was really important to me.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. It shows. So, can we talk first about the thing that everyone always wants to know about and that is working mom guilt.

You had a story in here that was something about your daughter. I think she was really, really young. I want to say that she was 4 or 5. And you had said that she drew a picture and you weren't in it. It was a summary of her school year or something and it was her dad being there with her and you weren't there. You cried in front of her and feeling like you missed out and that guilt that creeps in.

I know that when Brian, my husband has missed something and something like that happens, he doesn't get upset. He doesn't feel like, “Why am I not in the picture? I should've been there.” It's a woman thing and I don't really know exactly why or where it comes from except that there's expectations on us, both from the world and from ourselves. So, could you talk about where working mom guilt comes from and whatever you feel like sharing about what you've seen, what you've heard from other women and what you've learned about that?

JESSICA: I think where the guilt comes from is different for different people. So I don't know that I can speak to that specifically, but what I can speak to is the fact that all moms deal with guilt and deal with the tension of wanting to be in more than one place, deal with the tension of maybe wanting things to look different than how they do. And somehow that translates to the emotion of guilt.

When people ask me, “How do you stop feeling guilty?” I say I think that guilt can either be two things. It can either be a lie that we're telling ourselves, which was true in that example of my daughter and drawing that picture at the end of kindergarten of her four favorite memories from the year and one was daddy. And to me that felt like, “Man, she's going to remember you at school (because my husband works from home and has the flexibility to go into her classroom often) and she's going to remember me in an office.”

And that was a lie.

My daughter is not going to look back on her childhood and think, “My mom wasn't present. My mom wasn't there for me.” That is just something that will never be true. I needed somebody else to tell me that because I couldn't see that for myself because in that moment all I felt was guilt for not being the one that she had drawn on that paper. Let's be honest, she was 5. Daddy had been there last week and I hadn't been there in a couple months, so he was the more recent memory for her to draw about. It had nothing to do with who I was as a mother or my presence in her life. My husband needed to say, “That is not true. Where are you getting this from?” And have a conversation with me to straighten me out, so to speak, and pull me out of that guilty, sad place.

Now other times, guilt can point us to changes that we want or need to make in our lives. A woman that I interviewed in the book, you might remember this, she worked on Thursday nights and her daughter was home on Thursday nights. On Friday nights her daughter was at band and the mom felt guilty that she was working on a night that she could be spending home with her teenage daughter who wasn't going to be home for very much longer. That guilt prompted her to talk to her boss and make a change in her schedule so that she could work on Friday nights, the same night that her daughter was out, and then they could be together on Thursdays. So sometimes guilt can be a prompt for change.

Are you feeling guilty about something because you want to make a change in your life or a change needs to happen? Or are you feeling guilty for something that isn't actually true? For personas that you have put on yourself because you've seen them on social media? What you think other people are doing, or judgment that you think people are having?

Listen, no one notices if you miss a soccer game every now and again; no one notices if you miss 50% of them. Nobody is sending out a newsletter about what parent was and wasn't at the soccer game. And so, if you're feeling guilty about that, that's on you. That's not actually a narrative that anyone else is caring about.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I think also one thing that I've learned in this process of just becoming a working mom…it seems like you started out as a working mom, you became pregnant and you already were working.

JESSICA: That’s correct.

ALLIE: So, for me, I was stay-at-home deliberately for a long time and then made the transition to “I'm going to start this business.” And then my husband quit because he didn't need to work anymore. And now we're doing this together, but it's really me.

I went from the opposite to breadwinner, CEO, working full-time, all of it very quickly, so it kinda just shook me a little bit, which is understandable.

But I really carried guilt and these stories I told myself for too long. It stole my joy. It stole my focus. And then all of those feelings would turn into this general feeling of guilt, so I was very defensive all the time. I was resentful about my audience growing. I'm here to serve them, so that didn't translate very well when I was creating content.

Then when I was with my family, I felt so frigging tired, because I was carrying all of these heavy emotions. It makes you tired. That guilt wasn't serving anybody. It was made up in my head. It was making me not a great mom when I was with my kids, and not a great leader when I was in my business, so it just wasn't serving anyone at all.

One particular thing I had to let go of was…we homeschool right now, but our kids had gone to public school for a year, a couple of years back. And the whole invitation to be “room mom” thing came up and I said “no, but I could come sometimes,” because I had this picture in my head like you said, and it wasn't working. It was causing stress. I wasn't going. And one day I sent my husband in my place. He went and he loved it. It worked out great because he's more like a stay-at-home dad and has the flexibility to do that. And I did it the next time, and the next time, but I was still telling myself this story that “good moms go to the classroom.”

I wish this book would have come out earlier because I could have used it so much. My husband seems similar to yours in that he was like, “What if you just let go of this expectation? It seems like it's ruining your life. And it's kind of dumb because Hudson doesn't care, Bella doesn't care. They don't care. You care, but it's really not going to work for your schedule.” And so, I just let it go. I stopped trying to be the mom that goes to the classrooms.

Instead I would make sure that I was the mom that went to baseball practices. I made that switch and it totally freed me up. And so, I'm saying this so that if somebody is listening and there's something like that that you're holding on to and making yourself feel like “I'm not a good mom because I don't do this thing,” that version was coming from nothing. It wasn't productive guilt. It was weighing me down and ruining everything. When I let it go and decided I'm not going to go to the classroom ever, Brian will, it really, really helped a lot. It lightened my load. Then I was present when they got home, so win, win, win.

JESSICA: Right. There is no one way to be a good mom. There just isn't. There's a million different ways to do it. I think that we need to stop holding ourselves to this idea that isn't real. I once read that the “mommy war” is just made up and I wonder if that is in fact true because we all are just doing the best that we can and good enough really is good enough most of the time.


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ALLIE: So, off the top of your head, if somebody is listening to this, maybe they’re driving to work and feeling all the guilt, all the things and they live…I find that a lot of women live in that place. They have that mom guilt, especially working mom guilt and it lives there all the time but then it'll come up really heavy more times than others and it's just something that they live with.

So, if they're hearing this and they're like, “I can live without the mom guilt,” and you're saying you can kind of use it to be productive or just let it go cause it's not productive guilt. What are some of the steps they could take or questions they could prompt themselves with to actually…it's a great idea but actually taking the steps to, “Okay, is this guilt productive or is it not productive?” Do you have anything else? I know it's kind of a big question off the top of your head, but that they could actually do?

JESSICA: 70% of American moms of children under the age of 18 work. And that has been a powerful statistic for me to know because it reminds me, particularly I think in some circles where I feel like I'm the only working mom, that my situation is actually the norm for America, and that lots and lots of kids have the same story that my kids do, which is that their mom goes to work…or even if you don't go to work, if you work from home or you work from home part time…that part of my responsibility and role in our family is to provide for our family.

I think that oftentimes gratitude can really help turn our emotions of guilt on their head. And so, think about all of the benefits that your work brings to you personally, professionally, for your family, for your kids. We'll talk about it with my kids when they're like, “I don't want you to go to work.”

You know, it's challenging. I was very stretched too thin when I wrote Stretched Too Thin. I was working seven days a week. I had a full-time job, then was coming to work early in the morning to write, and I was working on weekends writing so, I was gone a lot. And I needed to communicate to my kids the bigger story that my writing was something that was personally gratifying for me. It was a gift that God had given me and a platform that I needed to steward well. It was helping provide for our family. We were able to go on vacation because of the income that we were bringing in from me having work to do. And that we were fortunate.

There are families who their parents aren't able to get work and because of that they maybe don't have enough food on the table. You know, just really practical. My kids are young, you know, but ways that they could understand that. I think once we start celebrating both the practical and the joy that can come from it…I know that I am a better mom when I'm away from my kids a little bit and I'm getting to lean into my giftings. I think that that brings about freedom from guilt.

And you know what, if you are feeling guilty still all of the time, maybe that is a prompt, that the work that you're doing maybe isn't the right fit for you or for your family. I'm not saying that you should walk into your boss’s office and quit tomorrow because it is very likely that you need to work and you're working because you need that for your family, but think about are there things that you could do differently? Or something else that you could pursue that would maybe bring about more joy or be a better fit for your family, your family's schedule, or your kids' needs and pursue that. There are options.

I think sometimes we feel so comfortable with whatever is kind of the status quo and that might even be the job that you're in, that looking for something different, it feels overwhelming.

ALLIE: That's a really good point. And also, I was thinking about the opposite. I've heard this in my own head and I've also had conversations with friends that own their own businesses or whatever and are aligned with their purpose and really finding a lot of fulfillment from their job, that some of us that feel mom guilt that we enjoy it. It’s like we can't win because you feel guilty that you're even working at all or you feel guilty because, like you just said, maybe you just really don't like being there and you know, “I could be doing something better,” or “I like this too much. I'm so fulfilled by this.”

JESSICA: You shouldn’t. Why do women feel guilty about that? I mean, it just boggles my mind. (I'm talking with my hands here, you guys, I'm really getting fired up.) It just blows my mind that you would feel guilty about doing something that you love. That does not make any sense. That is something that you have skills in, giftings, and passions and we would want our kids to lean into those. Why shouldn’t we also be leaning into those? We should be.

I just kind of want to smack women when they're saying they're feeling guilty about going into the office and that they enjoy doing it. That is awesome! I am a better mom and I am better for my kids because I am leaning into my giftings and I'm using those giftings to not only better myself, to better the work that I'm doing and help at the job that I've been called to do and I'm able to do, but also provide for my family. There is not really a downside to this, especially because now my kids are in school.

I feel like I often hear it more from moms with younger kids where they're having to put their kids into daycare and they feel like someone else is raising their kids or that sort of thing. Well, you know what? I think it's good for our kids to be around other kids. I think it's good for our kids to have multiple mentors. You shouldn't be the only person speaking into your kids' lives. That's what I would hope as my kids get older anyway. So, them having those experiences when they're younger is not a bad thing in my opinion. I'm sorry, I got a little soapboxy there.

ALLIE: You speak so much life over this topic. I've done episodes on this before, but I wanted you to come on and do what you just did because this is what the book feels like. You're passionate about it and you speak so much truth over this ridiculous lie that's so common.

I went to a private Christian school my entire life. Almost every single mom of the friends that I had worked. My mom worked. My parents owned, they still do own and run a business together, and mom worked full-time. That's why we went to school instead of homeschooling, because she wanted to do that but couldn't and she knew that and she sent us. But at that private Christian school, we were literally taught…the boys and girls would be split up for Bible and they would teach the boys life things like how to balance a checkbook and the girls were taught how to breastfeed instead of bottlefeed and stay up all night with the baby. We'd have to do these assignments where we called into the classroom and left a message to prove that we got up with the baby.

JESSICA: I can’t handle this right now.

ALLIE: I can’t either.

And look at who was in the classroom – I’m there getting this message - and look at what my life ended up being like. I told my mom that recently because she didn't know. I didn't say like, “Today I learned about breastfeeding.” I just went to school. And she said the “F” word. My mom never says that. She was like, “What?” She was so upset.

I think that is such an extreme example and I'm glad it happened to me so that I can draw attention. I think that's very extreme, but there is this message in the Christian circle of “women are the helpers and we do this and the men do this.” And it very much damaged me for what my life ended up being.

Then I'm sitting there, in the Midwest at the time starting this business, feeling like I was stepping into something that I needed to step into a long time ago, and feeling super passionate and right where I needed to be, but also kind of struggling subconsciously. “Why would You give me this idea and all of these passions if it's not right? Something feels not right.” And then you know, when you're on the internet people say anything they think of. I started getting comments about that like, “How are your kids doing now that you're working?” Things that they would never ask my husband.

I see where it comes from and it still pisses me off. I get where it comes from, specifically in the Christian circle. If you stay home you get comments. I've done both. I've lived both. When I stayed home, I got comments like, “Good for you, good choice. You're so blessed. Your kids are so blessed. So lucky.” And then now saying, “Do you work?” We were talking about this before we hit record. I started to say, “No, I stay home but I run a company.” Like, no, you don't stay home. You work at home. I just wouldn't call it what it was. I was afraid.

Then I stepped into ownership of that and started saying, “Yeah, I work. I own my own company. I employ 15 other women. Yeah, I work.” The response is, “Oh! Okay, okay.” It's not, “Oh good! Your family is so much better off!” I would literally get told I was basically, “Jesus.” And then over here on the working side, nope, no comments like that at all.

So, I see where it comes from. I understand why women feel this way. But it's still ridiculous and it makes me so mad how many people are missing out on joy. I was a worse mom when I stayed home. Now I have space and fulfillment and I'm more balanced. I'm happier and more patient. There is nothing worse from me doing this, you know?

JESSICA: Well, I'm really sorry that you've experienced that and that that has been part of your story. I was not raised in that home or culture. My husband was, though. He was raised in extreme fundamentalism. And so, I have learned a great deal about that, that whole world, and that space.

My husband and I are pretty well known in the progressive sphere, so those types of ideologies and theologies are just something that really riles me up. I just think that this is a narrative that I hope ends with this generation, that we are not continuing to perpetuate gender roles that are not healthy and are not even biblically based, honestly. I mean, if you look at the Proverbs 31 woman, guess what she was doing? She was working. She was hustling, right? She was working a lot.

I won't camp here, but I think that it is really important for working moms to be strong and confident in their role as a mom who works, be proud of that, teach our kids the benefits of that, and teach our kids the respect for that. That they can do anything they want -boy or girl - they can do anything they want, and that is not something that is hurting their family for them to do that. It is an incredible privilege to call myself a working mom.

ALLIE: Absolutely, it is! Absolutely. I just love that.

Okay, so just shifting gears a little bit (or a lot a bit because that was a lot and really good.)

JESSICA: I’m going to toss some tables here.

ALLIE:  Yeah, seriously. I know. Anytime I talk about that, even just saying it out loud, every time I tell the story I'm like, “What is going on?” I just can't believe that happened. That that was the message and I subconsciously was downloading that. I mean I really struggled when I started my business.

So anyway, I think it's good that it's just an extreme example because if anyone had a little bit, maybe a message downloaded to them by a grandparent or something growing up, and they were like, “Maybe that's be leading into some guilt,” that I’ve got a real extreme version of that and it's okay if that has contributed. Name it. Call it what it is - a lie. And I also want to help women step into their confidence as they work and do what they're doing. It's amazing.

I wanted to ask you about…I actually spent a few minutes looking for another word to call it because self-care is so overdone and over talked about. I feel that self-care has become this picture of the perfect bubble bath, candles, and all these nice things. That's great. But I feel like that feels unattainable for a lot of women, specifically women that have really little kids, or they work full time away from home and have to commute, and then there's homework, baseball practice and things like that.

I really liked your chapter about self-care and I would like it if you could maybe speak to the importance of it and maybe some ideas. I don’t know if you were aware because we just recently connected, but one thing that I talk about a lot is practical self-care, and I thought that you had things that were just different and unique. So, I'd love for you to speak about the importance of that if you would.

JESSICA: Yeah, it's interesting because my first book, The Fringe Hours: Making Time For You is all about self-care, it was a bit of a challenge for me to write it and Stretched Too Thin because I wanted to be sure that it was fresh. But it is a topic that I also am really passionate about. That's why I connected with you because I was like, “We're kindred spirits. How do we not really know each other?” So, I'm so glad that here we are finally chatting.

Self-care - I'm with you that I wish there was a different way of describing that - but it is about a lot more than bubble baths, manicures, and massages. It really is a holistic pouring into yourself so that you can take care of others, that oxygen mask philosophy that you've got to take care of yourself first. Put your own oxygen mask on before you can take care of everyone and everything else.

For me, part of that is bubble baths, honestly. My husband, when we're recording this now, is out of the country for three weeks and I am taking care of three kids in three different schools while working full time. Last night I took a 45-minute bubble bath and read a book. Even though there were a million other things that I could do, I knew that the best thing for me to be able to keep my head metaphorically above water during this season right now, these really hard couple of weeks, was to do something that was going to bring me joy, give me calm, peace, and rest at the end of the day by doing that.

So sometimes it is that, but it really is recognizing your passions and making time for those passions. It is taking care of your body. I think for so many women that I speak with around the country, that is a big area of neglect for us.

And I'm not talking about weight or food. I'm talking about healthcare. Have you gone to the dentist in the past six months? Are you making time for annual physicals and seeing your OB/GYN and all of those types of things?

I share a story that I won't go into a ton of detail on here just because of time, but last year I had something like six surgeries in eight months and a lot of that was due in part to ignoring my own health. So, here I am speaking on stages across the country, talking about self-care and I was ignoring my own needs. I was ignoring that I was hemorrhaging and really needed a hysterectomy, but I didn't have time for that. I didn't have time to be off of work and have a surgery that was going to put me out for six weeks. That just seemed like too much. And so, instead I lived in pain every single month dealing with these horrific menstrual cycles. When the surgeon went in there, I was in Stage 4 endometriosis. It had spread to my colon, and it was so much worse because I hadn't taken care of myself, right? That's an extreme example.

I think so often for us, we ignore ourselves for the “sake” of our families or for our kids or for our work even. And we've got to stop doing that. The only way that you are going to be able to be fully present and at your best potential is if you're taking care of yourself. It isn't selfish; it's actually selfless, honestly, to take care of yourself, take care of your body, to take care of the things that God has put inside of you that bring you joy and you're passionate about. Those things are really important.

And again, when we look at it through the lens of motherhood, we would never want that for our kids. I want to make space for my daughter to be creative, for her to enjoy playing soccer, for my son to be on the soccer field, and be building things, right? I want them to have those experiences because those are things that bring them joy. I also am sure to take them to the doctor, to pay attention when they say something hurts, right? Not just ignore it.

The same should be true for us and we also need to be modeling that for our kids so that our kids don't grow up in a home where they never saw their mom go to the doctor. They never saw their mom say, “You know what? I'm going to go take a bath and just do something just for me.” Right? They need to see that so they know that is healthy, normal, and appropriate.

Then one other thing I'll say and then I'll stop talking - that biblically, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And I think we so often get caught up in the “love your neighbor” part that we forget that the directive was “as yourself.” So, if you aren't taking care of yourself, that is really the level at which you're going to be able to take care of your neighbor, everyone around you. When you are really leaning into taking care of yourself, that is when you can love your neighbor to the fullness that you have the capacity of doing.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. That’s exactly what I wanted you to talk about is the self-care aspect of literally just taking care of yourself. Going to the doctor, getting that weird tooth thing in the back of your mouth that you just kind of lived with fixed, but wrap it up with something else. Make the dentist appointment and pick up a latte on the way home, and take the long way home and just drive for a minute in silence. It can be so simple.

I just took a bubble bath the other night and it was amazing, but some women just don't have space for that all the time and that's okay. It doesn't have to be this big overdone, perfectionistic, Instagram-worthy event. It's just a moment to yourself. It's making sure that you're taken care of. If there's something bothering you, you go and you get an appointment and you get it fixed.

I think that is what's missed about self-care. It's become this weird super stereotype, blown-out-of-proportion thing. And it's just sometimes you just need to make a doctor appointment. Sometimes you need to go listen to a podcast while you drive for a minute, you know?

JESSICA: Here's the thing, you are always going to make time for what's important to you, and so if you make it a priority, you're going to have the time to do it. I don't even think saying, “I don't have the time for that,” is a great excuse. I think it's just an excuse. In both The Fringe Hours and Stretched Too Thin, I talk about the importance of time tracking for a week and that if you do that and see where all of your time is going, you can find those pockets of time, which are the fringe hours. Those minutes that often go underused or wasted and you can really leverage those to do something for yourself to practice some self-care.

My friend, Stacey, once said to me, “How you spend your 5-9 determines how you'll spend your 9-5.” I love that and that principle of pour into yourself first so that then you can pour out for that 9-5. I would encourage women that if you feel like, “Oh, I'm in a season where I can't take care of myself,” to really reevaluate what that looks like, where your time is going, and see if that really is true. Because my gut says that there probably is some time that you could be pouring into yourself that you maybe aren't using in that way.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely! Well, thank you so much. Can you point us in the right direction for those who just love you and want to connect with you now?

JESSICA: Yeah, so my favorite place to hang out is Instagram and I've got two Instagram accounts. My main one is @jessicanturner.

And then if you like to read…I am a huge reader. I especially love reading fiction and talking about books, so I actually started a separate book account called @booksnobbery and that is just book talk all the time, which is super fun and I love connecting with other readers on there.

You can find my site at themomcreative.com and you can get information on all my books and my speaking as well as my blog and lifestyle work on that site, so we'd love to connect with folks there as well.

ALLIE: Yeah, thank you so much! I'm really glad we finally got to talk! You've been around in the blogosphere and we know so many of the same people but we just never really got a chance to connect, so thank you for doing that here with me and for sharing and for your book. We'll link to everything in show notes and I just appreciate you so much.

JESSICA: Thanks Allie!


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 121: #AllieReadsOctober "Rise of the Truth Teller" by Ashley Abercrombie

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I absolutely cannot wait for you to listen to this incredible, powerful conversation with Ashley Abercrombie. Ashley is a beautiful, amazing woman, and the author of the book, Rise Of the Truth Teller: Own your story, tell it like it is, and live with holy gumption.

Ashley's story is powerful, and is also really heavy. You'll hear a lot of it in the podcast episode, but I would not recommend this book if rape or abortion are triggers for you. I want to be honest about that up front so that you can be aware of that. 

Even if you haven't experienced trauma or you're not one of the many, many women who have been raped or had abortions, come into this conversation with headphones, first of all, for your little ones to not hear, and with an open heart because there's so much goodness in here. I'm really honored that I get to air this conversation on my podcast.

 
 

In This Episode Allie & Ashley Discuss:

  • Ashley’s story and how trauma has impacted her life

  • Ways that they manage the tendency to want to control

  • The importance of processing trauma so that digital media isn’t a constant trigger

  • Practical steps to move forward and deal with traumatic events

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Decluttering with kids doesn’t have to be a struggle. Let me help you.

I’m teaming up with a child play therapist to bring you a new FREE web class.

We’ll shine a light on the things you need to know and teach you how to begin the process of minimalism with your kids (or succeed in it if you’ve tried before!). 


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.


Friends, it is that time of year again. It's October and we are doing Allie Reads October in my little corner of the Internet. It's so fun. This is our second time doing it. If you were around last year for Allie Reads October, you're going to notice it looks a little bit different this year. We’ve structured it differently to fit where I'm at in my personal life this year. The amount of time that I've had to read for pleasure is much less than it was the year before, so we adjusted as needed. It's a different set up today, or this month, this year, whatever. And I'm really excited about it.

Here's what Allie Reads is - basically it's intended to draw your attention to books and remind you to read more. Reading for women has always been a really important issue. There have been times where women in other cultures, countries and parts of the world were not allowed to read.

I'm really passionate about cultivating strength and community among women and raising a strong woman myself in my daughter, and being a strong woman, I'm very passionate about feminism and I just really want to be a part of drawing attention to the fact that women, especially moms with how busy we are and how much we're balancing, we need to read books.

Maya Angelou said, “know better, do better,” and I think one of the best possible ways that you can know better and then do better is by reading good books, so I want to draw attention every year to the type of books that I read that really made an impact on me, that they changed the way that I think about things. They really helped bring clarity to something that I was struggling with. They made me know better, do better. To draw attention to those books and to those authors. To have conversations with the people that wrote those books. To have conversations with you about the books without the author there. Really celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to read. That it's such an important thing. It's such a great way to grow. And as I said, as Maya Angelou said, “know better, do better.” So that's what Allie Reads is all about.

This year we have a couple of authors coming on the podcast, but the rest of Allie Reads October will be discussions about different books that shaped me as a person, as a parent, the books that I read this year, the books that have helped grow my business this year, the books that help my kids understand minimalism and that can help your kids understand minimalism. We're doing lots of different things like that and it's all happening at Alliereadsoctober.com. It's a landing page for all the things about this month. Take the opportunity, go dive in, and let me know what you think.

ALLIE: Friends, hello! I am going to dive right in because I absolutely cannot wait for you to finally listen to this incredible, powerful conversation with this beautiful, amazing woman who is my guest today.

But before I let you hear, there are some things that are really important that you hear me say to you, so don't skip ahead on this. I have a disclaimer and some warnings and I just want you to hear me.

Before I do that, I want to let you know that my guest today is Ashley Abercrombie. She lives with her husband and her two sons in Harlem. She is the author of the book, Rise Of the Truth Teller: Own your story, tell it like it is, and live with holy gumption. What I love about this conversation is that Ashley and I talked just like I normally do to you. I want everybody, no matter what your beliefs are, to be able to hear my podcast, take in my content, simplify your life, lighten your load, and live better whether or not you share my faith. This book is very faith-based. It's absolutely a Christian book, but the conversation here is for everybody.

I want to welcome you into this conversation and I would love to hear your thoughts on it. As always, please share and tag Instagram and social media for me.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that Ashley's story is really a lot. It's really heavy. You'll hear a lot of it in the podcast episode, but I would not recommend this book if rape or abortion are triggers for you, unless you're ready for that to be triggered and you're ready to deal with it.

In the conversation here, she doesn't get into any details, so you're good to listen to this. But I am recommending this book and I don't want to do that without saying that there's a lot of heavy stuff in here. She paints pictures with her words of the things that she went through, things that happened to her, and the trauma she endured and I want to be honest that that could be very triggering for some of you. I want you to be aware of that and be honest about that upfront.

This is such an important conversation. I've had a lot on my heart for a long time about abortion and women who have had abortions. I want you to know that you are so, so loved and so welcome here and I know that you're about to listen to this conversation on purpose. I believe that with my whole heart. I'm so glad that you're here.

Even if you haven't experienced anything like that, if you haven't experienced trauma or you're not one of the many, many women who have been raped or had abortions, come into this conversation with headphones, first of all, for your little ones to not hear, and with an open heart because there's so much goodness in here. I'm really honored that I get to air this conversation on my podcast. This is such an honor. Having said that, let's welcome Ashley.

Hi Ashley!

ASHLEY:  Hi Allie! I'm so happy to be here with you.

ALLIE: Yeah, me too. I always feel so awkward when we do the fake “hello” after we’ve been talking but how else do you start?

ASHLEY: You have to do it. Hello!

ALLIE: Before we connected with you guys, Ashley and I got on the phone together and I told her about how I don't want it to feel podcasty, fake or weird. I want us to talk and be friends and just have a conversation together. But it's so funny because there are some parts of that you can't avoid. It’s so dumb.

ASHLEY: It’s so true. Yes, very awkward.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. I saw this on the schedule…I don't know about you but I can only handle looking at the next day. I will kind of give my week an overview on Sunday night like, okay what's going on, but I don't really know what's happening until the night before. And so, I saw your name on my calendar and I got so happy because you are such a freaking light. You're one of those people where it's like, “How can I get more of this person in my life?”

I read this study something about our primal nature that it's a survival technique that you're drawn to people that you think, “This person can help me or this person's really awesome, I feel something about this person that would make me better.” And you're one of those people for me.

I think that you're magnetic, joyful and you've overcome so much. Your life story is almost the opposite of mine. And I think that's so interesting to me to hear you work through all these hard things at such a young age. I'm really excited to have that conversation with you today.

ASHLEY: Oh my gosh, Allie, thank you so much! That means the world to me. I feel like I have learned so much from you and Brian. I just last night was thinking of you as I was cleaning out my bathroom for the hundredth time in the last two years - Allie would be so proud! It’s a constant, ongoing journey, but you really are making the world a better place and I’m grateful for you.

ALLIE: Thank you!

I have to just say that this has kind of become a theme on the podcast lately where I feel I've been learning about this a lot lately, maybe in the last year in my life…I don't know if you know, but I was a stay-at-home mom and then I started my business and became not only a working mom but the CEO and the boss and having people working for me, just the opposite. I was pregnant all of my twenties, super stay-at-home mom, homeschooling, and now it's really the opposite. And so, one thing that I've been learning is taking ownership of the strength that God gave me, stepping into my role and becoming a confident working mom, and not apologetic that I work or anything like that.

So strong women has been something that I've been coming back to over and over again. I love…you are so raw in your book when you say…almost like a little jabs, you're not really talking about that but you'll throw it in, “also if you ever have felt this or you believe this, you're not my people and you're not going to like me very much.” And before we get into some of the deeper stuff, I just wanted to draw attention to one section where I highlighted the crap out of it.

ASHLEY: Oh! I love that so much.

ALLIE: And I wrote, “Yes! Let's talk about this!” You said something funny…it literally had almost nothing to do with the section…you were talking about when you met your husband, but you talked about the “Christian girl lists,” who you were going to marry and I was cracking up and also annoyed at everything and frustrated at the same time because I grew up in a really conservative Christian school and went to youth group and I did all of those things, so our teen years and our college years I feel like were opposite.

But I was in that circle where all of my friends were making these lists…so specific like, “he will have gray eyelashes and a hard butt.”

ASHLEY: Because that’s what you say when you’re 18, “he needs a hard butt.”

ALLIE: “He'll love Jesus so much and always put me first.” I remember partaking in that at one point, but feeling really weird. I remember telling my best friend, her name was Juliet and I was like, “Jules, if a guy is making this list about me, I'm gonna smack him so hard, and be like, ‘You're the worst!’”

ASHLEY: “And no, I will not go on a date with you! You’re awful!”

ALLIE: “No I'm not going to conform to your stupid list. Burn it!” I would have been so annoyed. I was cracking up because anyone listening that was in the Christian circle growing up knows what we're talking about and it's so dumb. I was laughing so hard!

And you said, “Oh, he didn't fit my future husband items,” but really, who does that?

ASHLEY: Literally who does that? Who makes a list on the front end for somebody to fail? Who does that?

ALLIE: And then it's like, what do you do? You meet somebody and you really feel connected to them, but you're like, “I really wanted brown eyes.” This isn’t a latte order that you send back.

I just had to point that out because I was laughing so hard and feeling like, “oh my gosh, I'm going to raise my daughter so much different, and my boys, if they ever make a list.” I get the idea of it was really important to me that this person is generous or something like that.

ASHLEY: Character, but not image and all the other things that we think.

ALLIE: Yeah, like he really needs to shop at Target. If he goes to Walmart, I just can’t do it.

ASHLEY:  I love it. Walmart's off the list, you know?

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. So, I would love for you as short or as long as you want, tell us about yourself. Your story is basically this entire book and I know you can't do that, but your story is so incredible. So, I'll let you dive into that and let these women hear about how incredible your story is.

ASHLEY: Thank you so much. I grew up in a really tiny little town in North Carolina, which I loved. I mean there were like 14,000 people in our whole town, so this is very, very little. And what's beautiful about that is that you kind of know everybody, but what's not beautiful about that is that you also know everybody without anybody really knowing who you are, so for me it became very easy to hide.

I was also a master performer. Captain of everything. President of everything.  I always had lots of achievements and saw my significance in a lot of the things that I do. And so, because of that, from a very young age, I feel like I had a PhD in pretending and performing. I knew how to put a mask on. Even if I was dying on the inside, I knew how to turn it on.

And then when I went off to college and left my little hometown, on my campus there were 28,000 students just on the campus, not even in the town, so to say I was overwhelmed is a complete understatement. I started that year with drugs, with alcohol, eating disorders. The eating disorder sometimes can be about image for people, but for me it was a lot about being able to continue hiding and controlling my life, and also finding a place where I could release pain and release emotion. That's what the eating disorder was about for me because I didn't know how to have reciprocal relationships. I knew how to be the one that people came to. I knew how to be the strong one, the one who had advice, the one who could be ready for friends, but I didn't know how to courageously let down my guard and say I also have needs and I'm also really struggling. And because of that, because I didn't have anywhere to push all that negativity out, then I began to self-harm.

Then my second year on campus I was sexually assaulted and raped by a guy on campus that I knew. I know that sounds really heavy even to hear it now. And at the same time, it doesn't have the same hold on me that it used to, so I don't share that in a way that is belittling the experience or skipping over the pain of it, but to say that it doesn't have the same hold over me.

I remember waking up the next morning and because I was such a master pretender, I literally went to work as if nothing had happened to me and I did not know another way to live. I thought that when bad things happen to you, you just stuff them somewhere where nobody can see them and you run. You keep running. You keep doing your life. You keep filling it with busyness. Keep filling it with achievements. Keep filling it with other things so you don't have to really dive down deep into stuff.

And so, for me it all came to a head when I made the decision to move to Los Angeles, which was 3000 miles away from North Carolina. Two days before I moved out, I discovered that I was pregnant and unfortunately made the decision that evening to have an abortion. I went out to LA with that weighing heavy on my soul and didn't know a person when I moved to LA, so I really, truly thought, “This is my opportunity to start all over. This is my opportunity to do something different with my life.” And I remember getting out there and for the first couple of months it really was like that. It was like no one knows me. I don't have to be anybody. I don't have to turn up as Ashley, this girl who does all these things. I can just be myself. I can let it be.

And then of course everywhere you go, there you are. So, I soon discovered that all my stuff had followed me. Lucky for me, I ended up meeting this wonderful group of people. I had actually grown up in church but left the church when I was 16. There was only women's quilting with the sweet, sweet older women in our church. They were beautiful and I loved them, but at 16 that was not a fun experience for me so I decided to leave. I met this wonderful group of Christians who went to this faith community. Actually, they never even invited me to church, they just started hanging out with me. You know, I would rage, party, do drugs, drink alcohol, do all this stuff, and they would just drink Diet Coke and sometimes drive me home and just were so kind.

I remember asking them like, “Why are you guys like this? I have never met Christians who are this kind. I've never met Christians who are this loving, who didn't call me names, who didn't treat me poorly. I want to know who this God is that you're serving.” Then I began to walk alongside them, journey in my faith and begin the recovery process, through a series of relationships.

I remember the climax moment for me of really deciding to admit my life was out of control, as I was driving around one evening (I used to smoke cigarettes) and I was smoking trying to release stress. I pulled over in a parking lot. It started dumping buckets of rain. I just remember shouting, “Where are you God? Where are you? If you exist, where are you?” And just feeling the heaviness and wanting it so badly to go away.

I remember immediately feeling the presence of God, feeling the lightness of God, and recognizing for the first time, “It's okay. My life is totally out of control.” And saying that out loud to myself and saying that to God brought a new little light of freedom into my heart, into my soul.

I wasn't brave enough yet to begin telling people my story, to begin telling people what was really going on with me, but at the same time, just having that moment with God and then alongside these people who were full of joy, full of life, and full of freedom made me think to myself, “Man, maybe we can be broken and still love each other. Maybe people can still know my story and not reject me, not abandon me, and not push me out.”

And I discovered that that was really true. That even though people knew my story, even though they knew the things that I had experienced, or even the bad decisions that I had made, the fact that they didn't walk away from me was revolutionary. I didn't even know that was a thing - that you could put stuff out in the light and it be okay. So yeah, that's the short version of my story.

ALLIE: Yeah. I think that what I connected to you in your story…because when I first…I knew what this book was about before because the publishers had reached out and I got the whole rundown and I remember thinking, “I don't know…” I would be listening and not really relate, which is fine.” And now that we were talking before we recorded, we both know that we're 8’s on the enneagram and I actually really related a lot to your need to control and your need to perform.

My parents actually never really did anything to make me feel like that, but it was like I translated a lot of things that they said and did as, “Oh, you do good then you are good.” And actually, my mom, we've talked about it and she is really not like that, but it was just my translation of things. I was the oldest of four. There was a lot going on. And so, I was like, “I need to show up and be helpful, and then I'm good.”

I'm curious to see, I don't know if you've ever even thought of this, but in your story when you were sharing that you needed to control things and that that's where the eating disorder came in for you, I read that and was super emotional because I was around the same age that you were when you were in college that I got married and my controlling came in my relationship.

I was really controlling and I would notice it and not want it, but I would just find myself going to controlling everything, almost manipulative control. And whenever I say that, I'm grateful for this, but people will say, “That doesn't seem like you at all and I can't believe that.” And I'm so, so glad. Please keep saying that because that was the worst. I was a very different person. I struggled in that same way with that control and it just came out different. And, you know, maybe that would've been your story too if you had had a relationship or been married or whatever.

But I think that what I took from that is that when we performers perform so much that we start to break down. There was no safe place for me, even in my friendships. My best friend growing up had a really hard life and my family life was really healthy. And so, I felt like I was always the rock. She was there for me, but I wouldn't let her be. My parents were there for me, but I wouldn't let them be. It was my bad. So, I think that control comes out of desperation, out of anger, and not having anywhere to vent. Even in my relationship with God, I performed. I don't know if you relate to that.

ASHLEY: Right. Oh, I relate to this. And control is a very real thing. I think sometimes…I talk about this a lot because I think it's important for us to recognize that things like control, pride, or anger are not a personality type. Sometimes I think you could assign those things to more dominant personalities. You could think to yourself, “Oh, Ashley's probably a person who struggles with pride or control or anger,” and you'd be right about that. I think the facts are that we all are very concerned about our image, whatever our personality looks like, image is a very real thing for us. We care about what people think. We care about the way we present ourselves. We care about what others are going to say about us. And I think because of that we all struggle with some level of control around our image and around the way we do lives.

And for me, control made me feel secure, so having control was actually the root of my security. It's like when I have control, I feel secure. I feel like no one can hurt me. I feel like if I could get my way, then I can establish my environment. And everything's going to be okay. And so for me, that's a lot of what control is about. And I think most of us can relate to that. Whatever our personality types are, we want to be able to cultivate an environment where we can’t be hurt, or an environment where things go according to plan, or an environment where we don't have to respond to something that is an uncontrollable variable. But that's just not actually life. There is no way for that to be our real life.

I think most of our journey is discovering how do I not live in perpetual disappointment because I was expecting perfection. How do I adjust my expectations? How do I adjust the way I do my life so that I can flow with the ease and grace that life really is and that God really created me to have?

ALLIE: Yeah. So, would you say that that control issue has resurfaced as you've done life and you did get married and you did have kids, is that still a core? You know, everyone kind of has their thing? My thing is control and then my other things come out of that.

I tend to yell. I was raised in a really loud house. I'm Cuban. I'm loud and out of my need to control comes yelling or being manipulative - accidentally, kind of not really accidentally - and then noticing and having to call it.

Since you're saying “yeah” you still struggle with that. What are the things that you do in the moment as a person who tends to get really controlling that stop that cycle? Because for me it just starts and it's like, “Shoot, I'm being controlling again.”

ASHLEY: For me, I have a couple of practices that I put into place. One is that I don't expect myself to be perfect anymore because when I expected myself to be perfect, then that meant every time I didn't do it right, I became even more controlling. I was like, “I'm going to control myself to control the environment to control everything that's happening.” For me it was about recognizing I wasn't created for perfection and nobody can live up to this impossible standard that's in my head.

But my husband and I, we both have been in recovery, and so we talk so often about the neurons in our brain pathways. My husband calls this “creating an exit ramp” because once you have an established pathway for which you respond to life, it creates this sort of rut or a divot in your brain and it's a well-worn path that you can easily travel on. I’ve heard it called “the crazy train.” You just jump on that thing and ride it. It happens without your permission even. And so, creating an exit ramp.

For me, I do a couple of things. One is I'll take a deep breath. I know that sounds very small, but for me it's very big for me to just stop in the moment. That's me creating an exit ramp - stop, take a breath. And when I exhale, then I think to myself, “What is the word that will help me get off this train?” For me, instead of control, I want to choose love, so I think of the word “love” literally, and it is like an exit sign for me. It's like a big green sign that says “love” and that puts me on a different ramp.

And as I think about love, then I think to myself, “What will happen in this situation? What's a better way to respond than me trying to control this moment?” Whether it's my kids and I want them to just put their shoes on because I'm impatient, I'm ready to go, even though we might have a little more time than I'm giving them. Creating that little big green sign of love helps me go, “You know what? I can sit down on the floor. I'll help you put your shoes on. I'll calm down.”

And then same thing in marriage. If I think to myself, okay, I'm trying to be controlling about our life, our schedule, our plans, or even the way you're driving right now. Just ridiculous things - there's no need to control that, but for some reason I think there is.

ALLIE: Sometimes it feels like there's a need when you miss the exit, even though I said it three times.

ASHLEY: That happens to us too, by the way.

But yeah, creating that little love ramp. When I see that word love in my mind, then I think to myself, “It would be better if I was just quiet right now. It's not necessary for me to speak, so I'm going to hold this. God help me hold it.” I think for me that's a very internal process.

Then on the external end of things, I try to create opportunities for me to share and process what happened, so I need a few good friends. And none of mine live here unfortunately. I have some great friends in the city, but my closest, oldest friends that know my rhythms, know my habits, know my marriage, I'll reach out to them and just say, “You know what? I'm really struggling with control right now.”

And then I'll process with them what are the stressors that are creating my need to control. Am I over-scheduled? Do I need to look at my calendar and see am I too busy? Am I really missing some time to replenish myself? Oh yeah, I haven't had a moment to myself in three days. That's probably part of the problem here. Then creating room in my life for myself to be replenished because I need that.

I think everybody has to discover what are your things that you need but that's my internal process and then those are my external ways of doing things.

ALLIE: Yeah. I think that a lot of stuff like that, like even just as you were saying it, the common denominator in a lot of that is knowing yourself. I am preaching to the choir here, I need to do it myself, but self-care (and that word is so annoyingly overstated today) is not something that is frilly and extra. Just taking a freaking second to be still and just connect with yourself, when I do that I always have a takeaway. Something will just come up for me out of my own self even if I just sit for a moment.

I know my husband does this and I've called him on it and he's like “no, I'm just in there,” but he'll go in the bathroom for way longer than any human needs to. I totally know you’re doing self-care in there. Let’s call a spade a spade. Stop. Are you seriously ill or are you trying to sneak in a few extra minutes in there?

But sometimes I will take a cue from him and just sit in there for a moment and even turn the sink on for white noise for 30 seconds just standing in there and not letting myself think about anything. And something will come up like knowing, “You really haven't had any time to read and you love to read. You need to make time for that,” or “You really need to apologize for what you said to Bella earlier that day.” Something will come up that the thing that was making me feel like I needed that moment in the bathroom. So, I think that stillness is so important. If you're a Christian or not, if you pray or not, just be still.

ASHLEY: That's right.

ALLIE: It's everything.

ASHLEY:  It is. I also love something you just said about apologizing to Bella, your daughter, because I think that's another part of it, right? No one's expecting perfection from us, but being able to say “sorry” when we get it wrong is huge, because then we're teaching our kids that wasn't the right thing. Instead of control is a way of life, we're teaching them, “Oh I didn't do that right, and I want you to know that I didn't do it right and I'm sorry.” And I think that's a really important practice as well. It's huge.

ALLIE: Yeah, and I also have learned because saying “sorry,” which I'm sure you'll relate to this, but saying “sorry” has been a very long time coming for me. I absolutely would not do it before. I never did it. I would actually find ways out of saying “sorry,” only in my marriage; I didn't really do this anywhere else, “but actually it's your fault,” and things like that. That is a manipulative side where I am my least healthy self, when I'm the furthest from God. That's my personality.

I have learned to say “sorry” over the last maybe five years or so, and I will say the more you do it, the better you get at it, the more you notice that you need to say it and the easier it gets to say it.

ASHLEY: I wholeheartedly agree with you.


Hey girl! Quick interruption because I've got something new that's coming! It's totally free, it's going to be amazing and I want to make sure you know about it!

Do you feel like you are always picking up toys or nagging your kids to pick up? That they've got too much stuff? Do you feel like maybe your kids have a lot of toys, but all they want to do is play technology, video games, and all that stuff and you feel out of your depth with the limits on that? Do you feel like you've tried to declutter to the toys before but it just really didn't go very well? Maybe your kids' stuff has made its way into every part of your home. If you are struggling with any of these things and especially if you're struggling with all of it, you need to be at my next free workshop.

It's live and it's happening with Amy Tirpak, who is a part of Team Allie, and she is a Child Play Therapist. She has so much expertise to bring to the table. We are going to be talking about minimalism and kids and how you can take action and change these problems in your life.

I think the biggest thing I want you to understand is that as adults we can control how much stuff we have and what comes into our homes, but as long as you have kids at home, stuff will continue to pour in kind of without your control in terms of it initially coming into your house. Kids are constantly outgrowing clothes. They get new toys from other people and stuff seems to come in from school, Sunday School, birthday parties and presents from other people, school and art projects, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, generous giving relatives and all of these things, while at the same time studies show that too much stuff breeds some seriously bad stuff like materialism and ingratitude. It can hinder creativity and even their cognitive development.

This is where Amy Tirpak and I are coming together to step in and help you. This free live class is going to pack a punch. It's going to shine a light on the things that you need to know and teach you how to begin the process of minimalism with your kids or succeed in it if you've attempted before and feel like it was a big fail. And that's okay; you're doing great!

We're here to help you, encourage you, and lift you up!

To sign up for free, go to alliecasazza.com/kidsclass.

Live seats for this event are super limited, but there's going to be a replay and we're leaving it up for a good week so you will be able to watch this class. We're giving you plenty of time, but to get the information, the links, you've got to be signed up.

This is happening live October 8th! Again, it's totally free! I can't wait to help you with this.


ALLIE: Okay. I could talk about that for a long time, but I really want to hear from you about trauma because I told you before we hit record I've never really had somebody come on and speak really about trauma.

In today's world, and with everything going on, I feel like “trauma” is almost used for things that are not trauma; they were just hard for you. I say that so carefully, but like everything is offensive. Everyone is so sensitive and you can't say anything about anything. And really when you meet someone that has been raped, that has chosen abortion and dealt with the effects of that, that has had these serious things done to them that were traumatizing, I want to hear from you about that because I know out of the hundreds of thousands of women, amazing women that listen to this show, somebody has experienced real, awful trauma and stuffed it down and not really dealt with it well.

ASHLEY: I think that trauma is such a huge part of the reason we're seeing so much of what we're seeing in our world today is un-dealt-with trauma and we don't even realize it. I'm not a therapist. I'm not a psychologist. At the same time, I remember growing up we didn't have words like “trauma.” I don't know if you can relate to that, but we didn't just walk around talking about “this is trauma” or when we behave like this in our family or when the extended relatives do this, “this is trauma.” We didn't know that. You know?

I feel like it should be a class in school because we need it. Trauma and budgets should be required throughout the entire schooling, right? Because it’s two things we don't want to talk about but we need to.

I was reading this beautiful book because I'm trying to understand my children better. I am so out of my depth when it comes to parenting. I have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, so I'm learning, right? I don't know what I'm doing. I read an awesome book called The Whole Brain Child.

ALLIE: Yes! I have it right here on my desk!

ASHLEY: Oh my gosh. It's one of my favorite books and I love the integration of the different parts of the brain and just becoming a more holistic person. And it really helped me as a person grow. Well one of the practices in that book is called “name it to tame it.” The author is talking about how when something happens to our children, we need to teach them how to name it and how to tame it because once you can name something then you can tame something.

And for me, I didn't understand trauma. I couldn't name it. I didn't know what was happening to me. I was literally raped and then went to work the next day like nothing had happened. I mean that shows that there's been a series of trauma, a series of suppression, a series of shutting down of a person's whole self, and I really needed to deal with that.

I think for me that big step out was making the big decision to talk to people like I've already said, to begin to tame it, to begin to tell my story, to begin to own it, to begin to say, “These are the things that have happened to me.” And honestly that came out of a place of desperation where it was like, “I don't care anymore if you don't like me. I'm so broken. I'm so tired of hiding that I need to share this.” So, starting with the story and then getting into therapy, going to recovery groups, going to support groups, those were all huge things for me. And then I thought that the trauma would be over.

That's the interesting part of life is that we think that we're going to arrive at this beautiful place of euphoria where we have no issues, no problems, no pain. But even if you yourself are not personally experiencing trauma, you will know people in your lives who are and I think it's really important for us to understand these issues and to understand that they affect us.

And the reality is that one in every four women has been raped and that's only reported cases. One in every four women has had an abortion. That is a huge amount of the female population who is going through these things and maybe has no safe outlet to talk about them or no way of really going, “I made this decision or this happened to me,” and we need to create more spaces like that.

And we lose people. You know, we lose people to diseases, we lose people to different addictions. Things are happening all around us all the time. It is very traumatic and we have to learn to deal with it. We have to learn to process our pain in a really healthy way or it will deal with us. If you don't deal with trauma, trauma will deal with you.  

ALLIE: Can I interrupt really quick and ask a specific question? 

ASHLEY: Yes! Please!

ALLIE: We'll have to come back to trauma after, but…so I have never had an abortion, but I have known women who did and actively been trying to talk somebody out of it as it was happening and all of these things so I am aware of how common. It’s very common.  I didn't actually know that statistic, but it doesn't shock me at all.

With all the things that were going on in New York recently, with the laws about abortion, all of these things, everyone on the other side, you know, pro-life, starts to post things and comes out of the woodwork all of a sudden. And I always wanted to ask somebody who had experienced abortion themselves, “Do you feel like we need to shift the way that we're talking about being pro-life and coming up against abortion?” Because sometimes I see these posts and I feel like “My gosh, if I ever had had an abortion this post from a person that I respect would have just sent me…” Even if you're healed and you have taken the issue to the Lord and you worked through it, I mean it's just so hateful. And I knew it was so common. So, are all these women seeing us “Christians” posting about this and being so awful?

I guess my question for you is, I would love to hear your thoughts on that. How can we speak about this without having experienced it ourselves and not be so…It’s really condemning and really hurtful and I hate the “speak” in the pro-life circle.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I agree with you. And it was a very, very painful experience. I mean digital media is new so we are underestimating what it's doing to our brains and we are underestimating its impact. And while I love it, these are the times where I'm like, “Oh, this just breaks my heart.” And I was getting phone calls from women and text messages and direct messages like, “What do I do? I'm going crazy.” I'm like, “Just turn your phone off for a week. Don't go on social media. Don't even go look.” Because these are women who are trying to step out of shame and trying to step out of hiding and now it feels so condemning. It feels like God's never going to love me or these people are never going to welcome me in. And that's actually not…

ALLIE: They keep posting the facts like, “did you know a baby feels…”  But some people have had that done and regret it. I feel like it’s not productive on changing the people that are for abortion and it’s not productive at all in our neighbors, friends, and the women that follow us that are hiding this secret.

ASHLEY: That's right. It isn't productive. That's exactly what you said. And I think if we could be more loving, be more understanding, and be more gracious to value all life. So not only do we have to value life in the womb, but we have to value how our words are going to impact the life of the woman who has dealt with this trauma. And some people might even think to themselves, and I've heard this, people say, “Well, she deserves it if she made that choice,” which is a terrible thing to say because we all have things that we've done, we all have made mistakes and no person should be held to the worst decision they have ever made. No one would want to be held to that.

And I think because this is such a private issue that's become so very public, I think it's been a very difficult time. So yes, I affirm that that is not the best way to handle this, that there are other ways to talk about being a pro-life person that also value the women and the families who have made these decisions and are trying to overcome that hurdle.

ALLIE: Yeah. I don't even know. Again, we talked about this before we hit record but I'm going into action-taker mode and I'm like, “Let's start a movement. Let's start an Instagram page.” There needs to be somewhere safe for women to go when all those things happen and they are, “I’ve done that and it was the worst time ever.”

Everybody has something that they just wish no one would ever find out. And they can't believe that? What? That's not them anymore. That was so difficult. And then for that specific one to get thrown at you, maybe once a year, maybe whenever something happens, “Yeah, you are the worst and I can't believe you…” Or knowing what if it was a friend that you were getting to know and now you know that girl feels this way about something I did. I just only see it causing dissension and pain. I don't see it doing anything positive.

ASHLEY: I wholeheartedly agree with you.

ALLIE: I’m glad we talked about this. Somebody is listening…I can feel it even though they're not listening. They're going to find freedom in that.

ASHLEY: And hope and the comfort of knowing that they're not alone.

ALLIE: Yeah. It’s okay to turn your phone off when things are happening.

ASHLEY: Yes! And unfollow people, do whatever you need to do.

ALLIE: Okay. So thank you.

And then getting back into your story about trauma…I would love to hear since you've worked through your stuff, you've gone to therapy, you’ve done classes, you did Recovery, what are your biggest takeaways for somebody? I would really like to focus on the person listening who has experienced trauma and never talks about it. It's kind of like that dark closet door that you shut.

I'm specifically thinking about my mother because I know that she's experienced so much trauma and she does go to therapy, but it just is always coming up. So, the woman who has experienced something has shoved it down and needs freedom. What does she do? It seems silly to ask a practical step about something so heavy, but what did you learn? What are your takeaways and what could you offer her now?

ASHLEY: Well I think that you know, the practical stuff is actually the real stuff and it isn't silly at all and even though this feels very heavy, I think that we really need ways out. We actually need tangible ways forward when we are dealing with something this traumatic. I would say the first step is stepping out of denial.

You know, it's the #1 step in the 12 Steps Of Recovery is coming out of denial and recognizing this is what happened to me, or this is what I did, these are my decisions and these are the things that have been done to me. And just laying it out on the table and really looking at it.

One of my dear friends and a mentor said to me once, “What is the worst that could happen if you do that? What is the worst that could happen if you lay it all out and look at it?” And I shared with her what I thought would happen. She said, “Could you survive that?” And I said, “Yes I could.” And that's guided me through the process of opening up. It's like, “I'm going to lay this all on the table and if I get rejected, if I get abandoned, can I survive that? Yes, I can.”

ALLIE: That's the process too, of working through anxiety, like exposure therapy, and I think it’s so interesting that it's both, you know? It’s kind of like the “salve” or the “how to” of those two problems.

ASHLEY: Yes. That's exactly right. And they go hand-in-hand, trauma and anxiety, right? Because when you've had things that happen to you, it's coupled with “what could happen now?” So, you're constantly thinking about the past as you move forward. But that's a big part of it is recognizing that. And then I think another practical step is discovering at least one safe person in your life, even if it does have to be a therapist in the beginning. But I encourage you, whether it's a person at the park, like a mom at the park, that you regularly see someone at school that you're regularly connecting with, a person that's in your life on a more consistent basis and taking a brave step forward. Just like, “Can we grab a cup of coffee? Can we go to dinner? I just want to talk.” And maybe start to unpack a few things in your story with a safe person because really that is the process.

Our faith is communal. The faith that I have is communal. And even if you don't have the same faith that I do, we all have this deep desire and this deep ability and capacity to live in relationship with others. We are created for community. And without that we can never really experience the fullness of life. And so, I think it's really important that we work at building that.

And I do know that some seasons change. You know, my community has changed so much in the last 16 years of my recovery journey. It's changed a lot. I've lost a lot of friends. I've gained some new ones. And so, I think it's really important to, at every season of life, do I have people that I'm opening up with? Do I have people that I'm sharing my life with?

And then on a deeper step, I have this great list of accountability questions that I could give you to put in the show notes. They're so great. I do it with a group of three girls. We did this on a weekly basis. They don't live in the same city as me, so we do a lot of this over Marco Polo, just to get very practical with you guys. If you have friends who are out of the city or out of the country, we do a lot of this over Marco Polo. But it's a great list of questions.

There are questions like do you like the person that you're becoming? Is your heart for God growing or shrinking? Is the pace of your life sustainable? Are you giving your family your emotional scraps? Have you compromised in your financial integrity?  It asks these really awesome questions that we get to answer in the center of relationships, so it's not just like we don't know each other, we love each other, so whatever comes out, we're not going to be judged. We're going to be loved. And so, we have this great list of accountable accountability questions that we walk through. 

That helps me experience safety and love in the context of reciprocal relationship. Then I'm more prepared to handle the stuff that life throws at me. Because I know it’s going to. I know things are going to happen. I know things are going to get hard. And because of that, I have a safe group that I can return to. I think that's sort of the process of stepping out of denial, entering into safe relationships, going deeper in your relationships.

Then the final thing I would say is to start serving somewhere. Honestly, serving has been such a catalyst to my healing. I don't even know how to tell you. I mean, it's changed my life to be able to give back.

I remember even doing this before I was fully healed, finding a place where I could serve, beginning to lead small groups of women where people could unpack their life and not feel like they were going to be judged for it. We had a safe space where we could suspend judgment and offer empathy to people. I've led groups in the past for women who are going through abortion recovery. I've led grief recovery groups. I've gone through many different ways that I could serve others. I've been a Chaplain in the jail. I think it's really important to find what is the outlet that you can serve somebody.

In some seasons maybe you have little kids and you're like, “Look, I'm serving no one.” But you are serving your children, you're serving your family. And that's okay. That is enough. You don't even have to find something big out there. But a way that helps me give back because that keeps me outside of my own head, it keeps my life from being insular, from the whole focus being on me.

It helps me go, “You know what? This world is larger than I am and I take great comfort in that, and Lord, while my inclination is to hold on, to take, and to critique, I'm going to open my hands in generosity and love. I'm going to participate instead of constantly being a spectator, you know? So, I think serving as the final key and catalyst to finding healing and breakthrough.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. One thing that I really wanted to ask you…I know we're kind of going back and forth all over the place, but that's what a conversation is…I really had it on my heart to speak about this for the women that are listening who have had abortions, because I know they're there. I love them so much and I want to speak life over them.

But one thing that I learned from knowing someone who had multiple abortions is that after it's done and you realize that it was the wrong choice, but you feel glad that you don't have that child still, that you didn't have to deal with that side of things. Then the guilt that hits you that you're kind of glad. That is hard to hear, hard to say, but that's the real emotion. I was wondering if you would speak to them and speak to that about what you learned and anything that you went through if you experienced that. I want to give them something here to work through those emotions and then encourage them to go and really fully process everything that happened. 

ASHLEY: Yes. This is huge because I think it's such a process. I don't think it's something that can be done in a moment. I think it's something that's done over time, over a long period of time. And yes, I did experience many of those things, just like many other women who make the decision to maybe not be in an abusive relationship or not want to put their child through the hell that they might be facing in their current life. I mean there's many, many reasons why women make these decisions and I definitely can relate to that.

And, in fact, having the abortion was the only time in my life that I would go to bed at night and pray I would never wake up. I mean I just did not even want to wake up. The decision was so devastating to me that I was unclear on how to even move forward in my life.

I felt so depressed, so down, so lonely, so isolated, and I just didn't even know who would accept me now that I've made that decision. And so, if you're out there and that's you and you're just like, “I don't know if anyone will ever accept the fact that I've done this. I don't know if anyone can love me on the other side of this,” I want to tell you that yes they can.

There are people who will care for you. I mean even the gentle way that you hear Allie speaking about you and to you right now, that is how so many women feel. There are arms open to you. There are so many women who have not only gone through what you've gone through but are on the other side of it. And experiencing great freedom in their lives. And so, it is possible for you too.

As silly as this is, Daniel Tiger Song, right? There's a great song where he talks about ‘sometimes you feel two feelings at the same time and that's okay.” I think it's important,  as silly as it is, that's something that is real in our lives where we experience great sorrow and great pain and at the same time, great relief, even though the decision may not have been the best one. And so, I think that it's okay to be where you are. You don't have to push yourself out of feeling what you feel because that's not actually going to help you heal.

You have to acknowledge what you're feeling. You have to acknowledge what you're going through because that's the only way forward. When you deal in reality, then you know that you can deal in the future, you know, because it's important. If we face reality, then we can find our way forward. But if we don't, we won't.

ALLIE: Yeah. There's an expression in the world of meditating, manifesting, goal setting, all that, that “what you focus on grows.” So, if you focus on wealth and you really focus on abundance, that creates more of that. And I do believe that that is very true.

I wrote this in my journal, maybe six months ago, and I looked at it a lot since, that's not always true. Sometimes what you ignore actually grows. It's like that with anxiety too. If you ignore…“I'm not anxious, I'm fine.” If you ignore it, it gets bigger and bigger until you look it in the face, call it what it is, and say, “I'm feeling really anxious right now.” Then it's almost like you shed the flood light on it and then it kind of grows. So, in that sense, what you focus on grows. But I think that we ignore things that need to be looked at and because we're not looking at them, they're actually growing, getting bigger, darker, scarier and worse.

ASHLEY: That's exactly right. We have a saying in the recovery world, “secrets make you sick.” It's really important to recognize that the things that we hide and that we're the most afraid of are the things that are making us sick and it's important that we look at them.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Okay. Well the last thing I wanted to ask you about, since we're over time, is I love that you took all of this and I know that there's so much in the book about how hard it was and what you went through to begin telling your story, but if there is someone listening who has something that's happened, a life story that they've lived and they're not telling it because they're afraid, worried, or whatever, how do you begin to take an action step to sharing your story? I love what you said about the mom at the park and just sharing it in your life, but is there anything you would add to that before we close up?

ASHLEY: It's just doing things afraid. I mean this life, whatever it is, you have to do it scared. You're never going to not feel afraid. It's never going to not feel scary. And so, you just have to do it. You have to make the choice no matter what's on the other side of it. You have to just do it afraid. And that's true whether you want to talk about your own personal story that you're trying to own and whether you really want to tell it like it is. And it's true. If you're trying to build a dream or a business or you're trying to build a nonprofit, whatever it might be, you have to do so many things afraid.

I think if you wait to feel good about doing it, you'll never do it. It just has to be a bold step that you take and it will help you live your life with grace and gumption. You just freaking do it scared.

ALLIE: Yep. Absolutely. I wholeheartedly agree. That's how I started my business and that's what I keep doing to make it what it is today. And that's what you've done. The proof is in the pudding, you know? That's how action-takers get to the other side of hard things.

ASHLEY: That's exactly right.

 

Well, I just love you so much. I’m so glad we talked. It seems like you like Instagram? Is that right?

ASHLEY: I love Instagram.

ALLIE: OK, what’s your name there so we can find you?

ASHLEY:  @ashabercrombie, just like the store.

ALLIE: I'll link to it in the show notes.

We have your book, we're linking to it in the show notes, but also what is your website? Anywhere else you want to just direct people? Is there a specific page where there's something helpful or anything that comes to mind or just your website?

ASHLEY: My website has many things you can download. Bible studies on there if you like those from YouVersion. You can check out all the info about my book, watch my trailer.

And it's just ashabercrombie.org.

ALLIE: Perfect. Thank you so, so much! This was amazing! I really just want to hug you in real life and I hate that you're literally on the other side of the country. Thank you for being here in this space and for sharing hard things with us.

ASHLEY: Yeah, it's my pleasure and my honor, truly.


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 119: The Power of the 15 Minute Reset

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I was so excited to share this with you guys that when I recorded this episode I actually streamed it live on social media. I want to talk to you guys about the power in 15 minutes. I started doing these little 15 minute “resets” and they are total game-changers!

How many times have you been going about your day and you feel like things are just not going well? You want to hit that reset button, but you also feel like you don’t have the energy to do that because you’re tired, drained and it’s going to get undone anyway.

This 15-minute reset hack is going to pull you out of that negative spiral so you can take action and change the situation. I really think this can be applied to just about anything and everything. So, let’s jump in and talk about it! 

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • What the 15-minute reset is

  • Why using it in your marriage leads to a stronger relationship

  • How to apply it to your home—cleaning & chaos

  • How it can totally shift your mindset when it comes to exercise

  • Giving your problems 15 minutes of brainstorming power

Mentioned in this Episode:


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My Totally !@#$% Day Checklist is one of my favorite free downloads! It's basically a list of the things you can do to turn your day around. It has a list of my favorite happy dance songs, my favorite scriptures and affirmations for a bad day, links to funny videos if you need to laugh in the middle of a bad day, and more!

This is a great resource to download and save to your phone so you can pull it out when you need it!


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.


*If you’re listening to this podcast episode, you’ll notice that I mention my course Unburdened opening for enrollment soon. When I recorded this episode in early August 2019, I streamed it live on social media, so I was letting everyone know who was watching that the doors would be opening later in the month. This episode is going live in September 2019, and the doors are closed again, so those portions have been removed from the transcription below to avoid any confusion. You can click here to get on the waitlist to be notified as soon as it opens again!

Hi friends! How are all of you? It has been a minute since I was live. I am so excited to hang out with you and I have a surprise for you! Something cool. 

I want to talk to you guys today about the power in 15 minutes. I have been doing these little things that I'm calling 15-minute resets. They're game changers. I've been thinking so much about how this can apply to just about anything and everything. There's so much power even in 5 minutes or 10 minutes, but I think there's something really special about 15 minutes because it's just the right amount where you really can get somewhere and really make a little bit of progress in a short amount of time. And so, I just want to talk about that. 

I want to talk about the power in 15 minutes and how this idea of the 15-minute reset could really be applied to almost anything—cleaning up, brainstorming through a problem, talking through a relationship issue, exercise. Just the power of setting a 15-minute timer and going all in on one thing for a set amount of minutes, I think it's so deeply, deeply underestimated.

One of the things that I struggle with as a person is being “all-or-nothing.” This is “all-or-nothing syndrome,” and I am the epitome of it. I struggle with it so much. You know my right-hand girl, Hayley. She's the COO of my company and she knows this better than anyone. She’ll let me finish talking something out and then she'll say, “Okay, but we don't have to do it like that. You could just get it out there for everybody and then add that later.” And I'm like, “Oh yeah, you're right. It doesn't have to be perfect or completely “all or nothing” all the time.”

That’s perfectionism. “All-or-nothing” syndrome is just another way to say perfectionism. It’s a version of perfectionism and it's a struggle that I have. I think it's a struggle that a lot of us have.

But these 15-minute resets have really, really helped me. How many times have you been going about your day and you feel like things are not going well? You’re bickering with your spouse and it's just ruining your day? Or something with your kids? Or the house feels like a total crap show and you're really frustrated? Or you feel like you want to hit that reset button, but you also feel like you don't have the energy to do that because you're tired, drained and it's going to get undone anyway and you find yourself in that negative spiral? 

This “hack” is not new. I didn't make it up. I am sure if you Google it, you will see all kinds of people who have done this before me. But as a busy mom, I'm learning the power in these little 15-minute resets. It's hitting that reboot button in an area you’re tired of being “all-or-nothing” in. Where you're tired of not making progress, and you just want to hyper-focus on it for a small amount of time and make it better. 

Okay? I think I've explained it enough. So, what I want to do in this episode—in this live stream—is apply the 15-minute reset idea to different situations you might want to use it in. 

One of the first ideas that I started implementing this with was actually a relationship thing—which is funny because you would think that you would do this with other things and then be like, “Oh, I wonder if I could apply this to my relationships.” But, for whatever reason, I thought of this first. 

So, you know Brian and I are home together all day, everyday, all the time. We run our business from home. I'm at my home office right now, upstairs. One of the kids’ bedrooms is across the hall. I'm here all the time. We homeschool our kids. The school room is downstairs. We are all here, altogether, all the time. 

And while that is our dream and it is what we wanted, it can get very difficult to have a full conversation. (You guys, you don't need to have our lifestyle to know that. If you have kids and you're married, you already know that—no matter how much time you spend together). We're together and we're running our life together so much. It's not like he's at work and I'm running the business, then at the end of the day, we connect. We're doing all of that together, all day. So, there is a lot of need for conversation, working and figuring things out. And that can get really difficult. And it can sometimes cause disagreements, tension or feeling like “why can't you listen?” (Why can't he listen? Because there's a freaking kid pulling on his leg every two seconds.) 

But whatever it is, I want to be like, “Can we just get the kids settled and set a timer for 15-minutes and work this issue out? You talk and then I talk? Then we come to a conclusion?” So, the 15-minute reset totally works in relationships and talking stuff out. 

What's great about it is that you could give three minutes to your spouse and three minutes to yourself, uninterrupted. You guys get to share your side and then spend the remaining time trying to come to a conclusion, trying to come to an agreement, trying to solve the problem. And it's okay if you don't; No pressure to make this magic happen. 

But you're showing up for each other. You're giving space for each other. Reminding each other that you're on the same team. Giving it a shot that you can work this out. Setting aside set time in the day to connect. Then, even if you're not agreeing on how to get where you both want to go, you are agreeing you both want to get there, you’re just disagreeing about how. 

These 15-minute resets have been amazing for Brian and I to say, “You know what? It's okay for the kids to have 15 extra minutes of technology that they normally wouldn’t have for us to get this time to hash this out.” So, we'll do it. We'll pull all the iPads and say, “Guys go play.” The kids are like, “Oh my gosh, yes!” It's great for them. They go play and we can go upstairs and just sit together and say, “Okay, three minutes for you; three minutes for me.”  Or you know, five minutes/five minutes. Whatever it is. And then the remaining time just spend like, “Okay, so now that I hear where you're coming from, and I didn't interrupt you and same for me, where are we going to go?” And getting on that same page.

Oftentimes it doesn't lead to any decisions, but it leads to camaraderie and it leads to a stronger relationship moving forward in the rest of the day. And that is huge. 

So, 15-minute reset for relationships and decisions that need to be made is magic. 

Another area that you could apply the 15-minute reset idea would be the house. 

When the house feels messy, set a timer for 15 minutes and just have at it. Clean everything that you see. Get your family involved if you can, if your kids aren't super, super little. Even if they're toddlers, they could do something, even if it's not really helpful. We're making the habits for later, right? 

I think we overthink it and we think like, “Oh my gosh, I didn't do what I needed to do today. This day is a total botch. Now I'm going to have to make it up for tomorrow. No one helps me…” And we spiral, spiral, spiral again into this negative mindset of “it's all too much,” and “I don't have any freaking help,” and “it's just too hard and now it's going to take forever,” and it doesn't need to be like that. 

You guys, magic can happen if you just pick up for 15-minutes. If you have really little kids, try to get them busy with something, and just do what you can. You just never know what you can get done. 

The other day I did this and I ended up going a little over. I did about 20 minutes in my kitchen. I had been working on a big project and Brian was “in charge” and he's just not me. He’s not able to balance the different things that I am, and the kitchen was a mess and it was left a mess and I couldn't take it anymore. So I came downstairs (I wanted a break from sitting in this desk chair) and I just decided, “You know what? Being resentful over this, being upset that he's not keeping things the way that I keep them…I'm not going to give space for that in my marriage. That's ridiculous. It doesn't have power over us and I'm not going to let that derail our day. I wanted a break from the office anyway and he's gone with the kids running an errand, so I'm just going to do this.” 

I set a timer for 15 minutes. I got the entire kitchen from really bad (we cook from scratch basically everything, so it was really messy). I got all the dishes washed, everything put away, counters wiped down. I picked up the living room, put some oils in my diffuser and got the house feeling like it had a touch of Allie in it. It felt so clean and so beautiful. The timer had gone off 5 minutes before I was done, because sometimes you set the timer and you go even longer. The point is just 15 minutes. It makes such a difference. And even if you don't get it all done, you got 15 minutes of focused energy onto a problem. 

Recently the upstairs of the house was just a mess. We had been downstairs a lot, we were planning out our curriculum for the next homeschool year, there was a guy here fixing our sink, the kids were being crazy ridiculous…it was just a mess. For two days we had stuff like that going on, so I didn't do my morning rhythms. I just let it slide and I shouldn't have. It was a mess up here. So, I just went at it for 15 minutes and it was almost all the way done. I just didn't get the beds made and things like that. But I started a load of laundry, I sorted the laundry that needed to be done, I got things picked up, and that was progress. It wasn't perfect, but it was progress. I felt so accomplished and so much better. 

Do you see how the 15-minute reset idea can get you out of that perfectionism? That all-or- nothing mode? You're doing something. It's something. It's good. Not everything needs to be done all the way. Just set a timer and do what you can. 15 minutes now and do the rest later. 

Another area where we can apply the 15-minute reset that I think is really beneficial—and not the same as cleaning—is if the house just feels really overwhelming. This is another house one, but I think the house can feel really overwhelming in a way. Not just because it's messy, but because it's chaotic, overstimulating, loud and tense. Set a timer for 15 minutes and attack that. 

Listen to your kids. Why are they whining? What's the root cause? What do they need from you? Pick up the messes that are in your way right now, right where you are in that room. Light a candle. Turn on your oil diffuser. Start playing some praise music or rap—whatever the mood is, right? Solve the problem. Come in and bring peace over your home. 

Listen to your kids for a second. Just diffuse the situation like, “Okay, you got listened to. We're not doing that right now, but I would be happy to talk about doing that a different day.” Get the vibe in the house diffused. You know what I'm saying? It’s when your house is needing you, but it's not necessarily just the mess. It’s what's going on inside, and it's just too much. There's too many people and it's loud. So, solve the problems—just for 15 minutes. 

Stop cooking dinner and just hold on. Sometimes your house just needs you. You're so good at running it and sometimes it just needs you to pause, evaluate, and diffuse certain things. The timer can help push you to go “all in” on that problem—right now—so that it just gets done. The timer is just pushing you to spend a small chunk of time on a problem. That way when it dings, you know you tried. Maybe the kids are still being jerks (because let's face it, sometimes they are) and maybe things are still chaotic, but I put what I had into my home for 15 minutes and I did something about it. Now I'm going to get back to making dinner, or whatever it was.

Let's talk about exercise with the 15-minute reset. Let's just say that you know that you need to do it but it's never happening. You set goals. You say you're going to do something. You Pinterest the plan that you're going to follow. I've done that a million times. And over and over, it just keeps not getting done. Get out of “all-or-nothing.” You don't have to follow the Pinterest-perfect plan to live healthfully, to take care of yourself, to move your body. Movement is so good for your bodies, ladies. It is so, so good and it is worth pursuing. But “all-or-nothing” syndrome so often kills what we want to do, what we need to do. You don't need to go to the gym for an hour to get what you want. You don't even need to go to the gym at all.

My friend, Robin Long, talks about this so beautifully. She's at The Balanced Life by the way. If you're not following her or subscribed to her Pilates workouts, what are you doing? Go! But you know, just set the 15-minute timer, get the kids busy, and hit it girl! Go! Do squats, pushups, tricep dips, arm circles, or just flip on that rap again and proclaim a dance party. Go hard for 15 minutes. Make your kids think, “What the heck is wrong with mom?” Just go! 

I have totally done this. If you have followed me for a while, you might remember when I posted a slow mode dance video in the living room. I'm going crazy and one of my kids is with me. We do that all the time. It's like, “I can't make it to spin class. I am not going to go to the gym. It's just too much. I'm frustrated. I need to move today, and this is just how it's going to get done.” 

It can be so fun. Bring the fun back to life. Stop with the to-do lists, the checklist, the perfect workouts from Pinterest, the pressure that you need to get toned, and all these ridiculous things. It's good for you to move. It makes you a better mom. It makes you more fun. It makes you feel beautiful. It gets those endorphins flowing. It's not for your abs or your shape. It's for you. It's for your family, for you to move and feel good. So just get it done. 

The 15-minute reset can just make things happen that you keep not doing, and for me exercise is a big one. 

I think also doing some kind of movement for 15 minutes every day is such a fantastic way to boost your mood midday. I'll say this gently, because I know some of you guys have kids and stuff around, but this is also a really great way to get “in the mood” for an intimate night with your spouse. To be slow, calm, and present for romance with your husband because a lot of the time, even though we love them, we're just not feeling it. And sometimes, if you were to just move your body, put your headphones in, listen to some peaceful music and just stretch, take a shower, go for a walk by yourself. Say, “I just need a minute. It’s been a day.” Move your body by walking and getting those endorphins going, by stretching, by taking a deep breath, taking a bath, taking a shower, breathing and unwinding for 15 minutes. Think about all the positive things about your husband, and just move, stretch, flow is such a perspective shift. It will work. Trust me. I don't mean that to be TMI; I'm just trying to give you life-hacks because that's what I do when I need to—and it works. It's a marriage saver. It saves me. I want to be with my husband, but sometimes it's just hard to transition into that slow mood when it's just been like write an email, go live, post this video, do this, talk to this person, business coaching, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, cooking, kids, kids, kids, kids. And then you’re like, “Oh, well, yeah, you. I forgot.” So, this can be a great transition. It can really help you honor your body and honor yourself. Just 15 minutes of movement. It's so good for you.

Throw away all the other things. You look amazing. It's not about that. It's just about pressing pause, doing what your body needs, and creating space for that. 


Okay friends, we want to take action, right? I don't want you to just listen and walk away. I want to do everything that I can to help you take real action. So, on top of giving you these ideas, hopefully giving you some inspiration about the 15-minute reset, I also want to give you something that you could have tangibly in front of you or downloaded and saved to your phone to help shift your perspective and reset your day when you need it. 

I have a free download called The Totally Crap Day Checklist and that's exactly what it is. When you're just having a bad day on top of all these ideas with the power of the 15-minute reset, The Totally Crap Day Checklist has a list of the types of things that you know it, but you're not thinking that way in the moment when you're negative, everything seems to be going wrong and you know something needs to shift, but you're not really sure what. 

 It's got ideas like how to get a change of scenery and get out of your house for a second, find the humor in situations, remember what you can and can't control, and these detailed little perspective shifts and ideas. 

Do you realize how powerful that would be to have saved on your phone that you could pull up at any time, have printed on your fridge as a constant reminder, or taped inside the inside of your pantry so you see it every time you're going to get a snack. You have it there; it's a resource. 

This is totally free. There's really no reason not to go and download it, print it out or save it to your phone, your laptop or wherever you need it. 

These types of reminders…these are the small stepping stones that we can set ourselves up with that can help us walk into a better life. They are constant reminders of who you really want to be when things are good. 

But then when things turn and get hard or negative, what are you going to do? Are you going to go back on the hamster wheel of the cycle of anger, resentment, nagging, yelling and negativity that hasn't been working for you? Or are you going to pull out that stepping stone that you saved before when things were good and use it to turn your day around and have a better day? 

I want you to get this Freebie. Alliecasazza.com/shownotes/119 that's where you can grab it.


The last thing that I wanted to share with you guys about how we can use the 15-minute reset is brainstorming through a problem. Oh my gosh, I think I might do this almost every day. I'm such an external processor. Lori Harder says, “As an entrepreneur your job is to solve problems and put out fires constantly. If you're not putting out fires and you're not solving problems, you don't have a job anymore.” And it's so, so true. So, basically I'm always brainstorming, thinking, finding a way around a problem. I don't take “no” for an answer and that's just my personality. If something isn't working, I need to find a way. 

There's just a lot of brainstorming in my life. There’s brainstorming also in my personal life to come up with these life-hacks for you guys. So, when I notice, “Man, it is really hard to work at home, homeschool your kids, and have a clean house, but I'm not okay with that. I believe we can have all of those things functioning well together.” And so, I will find a way and I do find a way, and that's my courses. I'm always brainstorming. 

The 15-minute reset applied to this. Guys, it's just been absolutely mind blowing and such a game changer. First of all with this, you need to know if you're an internal or an external processor. 

The way you know this is, if you are an external processor, you come to conclusions by talking about it to somebody. For example, if you go to coffee with a friend and you're like, “Man, I'm really stressed out about this,” and she's asking you about it and you're talking through it. But as you're talking through it, you say things like, “I think I just solved the problem for myself,” or “I think that's what I need to do. I don't know why I didn't think of that before.” It's because you're an external processor and the way your brain works isn’t to come to conclusions and solve problems internally. 

Now, Brian is an internal processor. Amy—you guys might know Amy, she's on Team Allie and she does so many things for us. She's the one who has therapy experience who’s working with me to make The Uncluttered Kid’s course. She is an internal processor. So, when they need to figure something out, they have to be quiet and think about it. 

We use Voxer, which is a walkie-talkie app for your phone. Amy and I use Voxer to communicate to each other. I'll talk something out to her and then I'll be like, “What do you think?” And she will respond and say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” And at first it was so weird to me because I'm like, “How?” And it's because she's an internal processor and Brian is the same way. He needs to sit there and stew over it for a little bit. 

I'm not gonna lie, it annoys me sometimes because I want to be external. I want everyone to be external and I want to talk through things. But it's just not the way he works. It's not the way Amy works. It's the way I work. We're all different. I think knowing which one you tend to be, that knowledge is power. 

Once you know, set up a 15-minute timer and brainstorm the problem in the way that you brainstorm it. A lot of internal processors like to journal through things. I'm an external and I still will journal through things sometimes. It's almost like I just need to get it out in one form or another, whether it's talking or writing, but usually it's talking. 

As an external processor, one way that I use the 15-minute reset in brainstorming through a problem is I will set a 15-minute timer and go for a walk around my neighborhood. I will open up my voice memo app and talk to myself like I'm talking to a friend.

I got this idea from Hilary Rushford. She's a stylist and a business guru. She's amazing. I'm in her mastermind class and I adore her. She gave me this idea. You're talking it out, but you're not having to have a physical other person with you because sometimes that’s just not doable. And so, I will talk out the problem as if I'm talking to a person. No one knows I'm not on the phone so it's fine. I feel a little crazy, but it's okay. It gets the job done. Just talk it out. If you need to phone a friend. Bring your husband and go for a walk. Whatever. But talk it out for 15 minutes. Usually you only need a few minutes. 

If you're an internal processor, go for a walk and just be quiet. Just process. Just think. Whatever you need to do. Grab a journal. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit down and just journal through the problem. 

Do you guys remember the episode of The Purpose Show where I did How To Be An Action-taking, Problem-solving Woman? In that episode you could do that process, just writing out here's the problem and here's the brain dump of possible solutions on the other side of the paper. Even if they're stupid and I can't believe I just wrote that down, you're getting your brain going and you're being an action-taker. You're solving problems. 

You know the stereotype of women who just complain, nag, go to brunch with Mimosas and whine to their friends about how their husbands suck, everything's so hard, and they can't remember the last time they showered…? Say, “no” to that. We don't live there. We don't go there. We don't stay there for sure. We are action-taking, problem-solving women. If we don't like something, we take action. We shut our mouths and we do the work. We show up and we fix it. 

And the 15-minute reset for this kind of brainstorming through something that's bothering you is everything. It could be a business problem. It could be a relationship problem. It could be something as simple as why is the house so dang tense every day from 3:00 – 4:30? It's called the witching hour for a reason. Why is our house so tense? I'm going to brainstorm through this problem. Okay, what can I do? 

Maybe I need to have more crockpot meals so I'm not also having to cook dinner during this stressful time. Maybe we a drop an extracurricular activity. Maybe I need to have a better system in place for when the kids get home from school and create a peaceful atmosphere. Maybe I need more rhythms and routines that serve me, my family and our timeline better. 

Brainstorming through, getting your brain going and solving problems instead of whining, complaining, staying in the same place, being so tired and giving in to that to where you're living in the same day over and over again. That's not where you belong, girl. It's just not, so let's climb out of that. All it takes is 15-minutes and just focusing on the problem. 

As moms especially, there's so much going on all the time. Everybody's talking to us. Pulling at us. Asking things of us. The PTA, extracurriculars, the kids, school—whether homeschool or public school, marriage, grocery list, to-do list, and all of the things. It's just so much. We need to dedicate a small amount of time to say, “Look, I am not happy with this, so I'm going to dedicate a tiny chunk of my time and I'm going to work through it and brainstorm through it. Maybe one time isn't going to be enough and it's going to take a couple of times, but I'm going to start because I don't want to lie down and take things. I want to come at things and be better. I want to be beyond average and this is how I'm going to do that.” 

The 15-minute reset is magic, magic, magic. Try it. 

Also, I know there's so many other ways we could do this. I want to know from you guys. Please tag me on Instagram. Send me a DM. Whatever it is, I want to hear from you. 

How are you taking the 15-minute reset and applying it to other things? Your meal planning, a different perspective shift on applying it to a relationship issue? I want to hear from you guys. How did this inspire you? What is it that you're using it for? How are you making this actionable for you? 

TARA: Will you speak on affirmations? 

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. The 15-minute reset for affirmations. That's a lot of minutes. I don't even do 15 minutes of affirmation. That's amazing. 

So, okay, let’s just say you are having a bad day and you're like, “You know what, I am caught in the negative speak cycle.” Because it is a cycle; it's a cycle of lies. It's a cycle of negativity. You get stuck there and it's hard to get out. It's like quicksand. 

We were learning about quicksand for homeschooling the other day and I was just really emotional. I was thinking about clutter and negativity simultaneously and how it truly is quicksand. That's so cheesy and I'm aware of it, but it's where my mind went. I think this cycle of negativity is exactly like quicksand and we need to deliberately pull ourselves up and out, and stop it before it gets worse. 

Affirmations could absolutely be a part of that. They're a part of that for me. I think 15 minutes is a lot. If you want to do that, great. I would just ask, “What's the opposite of what you're feeling?” Locate what you're feeling. Like, “I'm feeling really negative about my husband.” Okay, great. That's okay. It's normal. What exactly? “Well I just feel like he doesn't help enough.” Well, is that the truth? Really? That’s such an opinion. Really is that it? And start saying truths like, “What is good about him? What is good about your relationship? What does he do? Where can you be more of a team player in this?” Start to speak truth. 

Let's talk about body for a second. If you are looking at yourself and you're like, “I need to change this. I need to lose that. I need to be better here. I need to be fitter there.” Stop. What is the truth? The truth is: “I am wonderfully made. I am beautiful. I am strong. My body has done amazing things for me.”

This was really, really huge for me, you guys, when I had C-section after C-section after C-section. Trying to have a baby naturally and just feeling so broken. Having hormonal disorders. My body can't even regulate itself? What's wrong with me? Having issues with my leg muscles where I had to stop being a dancer when I was in high school and it broke my heart. My body was just so broken. And I told myself that over and over again. Stopping that negativity and just speaking life totally changed the game for me. 

There's an episode of Positive Words Over Your Children. This changed my son, our relationship and the way that he behaved…literally. Words are so powerful. 

What an incredible way to use the 15-minute reset on your words and literally just flip the story. I absolutely love it. 

ALLIE: Crystal says, “I need sibling reset tips.”  Okay, let me think through this while I talk it out because I'm an external processor. 

Okay, so sibling reset. I think it's so funny because so many of my followers act like my kids don't ever fight or something. I think it's because I talk a lot about minimalism and how it's brought so much peace, so much togetherness and it absolutely has. But of course, they bicker and it's the most annoying sound of all time. You know how it is. I can't. Like cannot. 

The 15-minute reset could totally be applied here, but if I was going to do it that way, I would say, “Okay guys, 15 minutes: 10 minutes apart, 5 minutes talking it out. Apologize if you need to apologize.” 

I try really hard not to do the thing where you make your kids apologize. I try really hard to just say, “You know what, if you feel you need to apologize, this is your time to do that.” Or, “Go ahead and take some space and then come back when the timer goes off.” I have the timer on my iPhone set to the dog barking sound, so I'll say, “When you hear the dog bark, come downstairs and if you feel that you owe Leland an apology, you can apologize to him” (or whoever it is). That's how I would do it. 10 minutes apart, when the dog barks come back, and if you feel the need to apologize you can apologize and usually they will. 

Sometimes they won't and I'll make a note to remember and during bedtime later I'll sit on that kid's bed and be like, “Hey, how come you didn't apologize? What did you feel about that? What do you feel? What happened? Where are you at?” And that works. 

15-minute reset would be great for sibling rivalry.

Okay guys, we're wrapping this up. Those of you who are watching this episode live…so fun! I love you all so much! Thanks for listening with me! So fun! I love, love, love the surprise episode, doing live with you guys. So fun! 

Thank you guys! I love you! 

Alright guys, thank you so much for listening in to this episode. If you feel like you had “Aha!” moments, if it's helped you at all, I would love for you to share it on social media. I would love for you to consider leaving a review. Reviews are everything on iTunes. They are everything for this podcast. I work so hard to not have ads and sponsorships from other companies and I would love your help to just maintain this content, maintain this powerful show. 

Thank you so much for listening! I'm so, so glad you're here! I appreciate you more than you even know. Thank you so much for being here. 


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 118: When You're in A Slump

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Everyone has low days when you just feel tired, weary, lackluster, or defeated. In this episode I’m talking about how to deal with life when you’re in a slump. I want to be really honest with you and share practical things that you can do when you’re feeling that way. I hope that this helps you guys, that you feel like you could come back and listen to this to get some inspiration when you're really feeling uninspired. Let’s jump in! 

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How to deal when you’re in a slump

  • What abundant life is and what it isn’t

  • The truth that everyone deals with “low” times

  • How meditation, affirmations, and a good nap can help you through your bad days

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Words are powerful, and they're directly connected to our thoughts and our hearts. Speak life over yourself and your circumstances with positive affirmations.  

I've put together a list of positive statements for every area of your life. Start saying them out loud and watch your world transform!


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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.


Hey friends! This episode is so important! It is something that I have been working on for a long time. It's funny because things just kind of come up. You guys send me messages on Instagram, Facebook, emails. Some things I see, some things my team sees, but we all meet together regularly and we talk about you guys. I see what it is that you're asking, what it is you want. 

And it's so funny because, more often than not, questions come up in waves. It's almost like everybody's asking the same thing at the same time. And it's really cool. 

One question that's been coming up a lot lately is: How do you handle when you're in a slump? What if you're having a series of low days—not necessarily depression, that's a different issue—but where you're just tired, not yourself, lackluster? What does that mean and what do you do about it? 

I want to dive into this topic because I'm a feeler. I go by how I feel. I dress by how I feel. I make decisions by how I feel. And I have to be really, really mindful of how I feel, and of the fact that I am a feeler and that I make decisions based on my feelings. I have to practice mindfulness a ton because of the way that I am.

Whether or not you're like that, I think this episode will help you. I want to be really honest with you guys and share practical things that I do and that you can also do when you're in a little bit of a slump. 

I think the first thing to know here is that everybody has low days. It's very easy for us to be on social media and see people that we admire or that seem to have it all together and think that they never struggle. And that's just an absolute lie. 

I'm normally a pretty positive go-getter, but every once in a while I just feel really low. I feel really “blah.” Not even really like, “I'm just tired, I just need a break.” Maybe it's defeat. Maybe it's weariness. Maybe it's a few days, maybe it's a few weeks. But whatever the cause or whenever the time, there are down times. Everybody has them. 

Here are the facts that I want to get straight. 

When I talk about abundant life and abundant motherhood that doesn't mean that you're always going to be highly energized, super excited about life, and happy-go-lucky. 

I don't think I'm ever like that. I think people assume that about me because they want to, but I've never said that and that's not how I live. I definitely have my moods, my highs and lows, good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments in the same day. 

Abundant life is actually about having space to live life, to feel, to be able to do what is needed. Whether that is being in a very energized, happy space where you're doing a lot, you're busy, you're in a full season. Or you’re taking time off to rest, restore and heal. To me, living abundantly is having space to do what is needed for you in that. That's going to change and shift.

I think people couple abundance and perfect happiness together and it's just a huge mistake. It's going to make you feel real bad about your life and yourself, because that's just not the truth. 

I want to admit freely to you guys that I absolutely have lows. I get into slumps. In the last week, I feel like I came out of a slump that had lasted a couple of weeks. Nothing situational, really. Just kind of like, “Man, I'm just not myself. I'm tired. I feel like I don't really feel super excited to do this work or really excited to write this email.” And I'm normally not like that. I normally really love my work. I love writing emails to you guys. I love talking with you guys. I love interacting on social media. I was not myself. I was just tired, just tuckered out and kind of just blah. So, I took a break from social media for about five days and I let myself feel that low. 

That's the first thing I want to say. I'm going to go into a list of what I do in the slumps for myself and you guys can take whatever you like from this and mimic it or shift it to a way that applies to you better. The first thing that I do when I feel like I'm in a slump is: 

I let myself feel. I don't try to change it or force it away. I also don't use it as an excuse or lean all the way into it like, “Oh, I'm just so high maintenance, super feely and I'm just in a low place right now. So, everyone just needs to deal.” I don't do that, but I do let myself feel. I don't force it to change.

There's a meditation practice where as soon as you get still and you practice meditation, your mind immediately starts to come up with all these thoughts. Things you forgot, or things you have to do. And one thing that I've learned from practicing meditation on a regular basis is that you don't try to judge your mind for coming up with thoughts or try to force them away. You simply acknowledge that they're there and then you let them go. That's really benefited me a lot in my job with people's opinions, negativity, bad reviews, and unkind comments and messages. And also with things like this, with how I feel. 

I have learned that feelings are just that. They’re just feelings. They’re kind of surface.

They don't really last. They're not really dependable. They're not things that we should make decisions out of. They're not things that we should depend on. 

So, when I feel like I'm low, not really myself, and in a weird slump, I don't really super dive into it and try to figure out where it's coming from or freak out and think, “Am I getting depressed?” I don't judge myself for feeling like I feel. I used to think, and sometimes I still do, but I try not to think, “Oh my gosh! Of course, I'm feeling like this now. Of course, I'm lacking energy right now. I have all this stuff to do. Of course, this would happen.” I don't get like that. 

I just let myself feel. I acknowledge that I'm feeling that way and that's it. I don't let my mind take over and I don't let the negativity win. I allow my thoughts, I allow those feelings, but I don't let them come in the gate. I just let them come up to the gate. I don't let them come inside, take over, and kick the positivity that I've been working on so hard all the way out the door. The negative thoughts like, “Woe is me. Oh my gosh, of course! This is such bad timing. We're about to do a big launch and I'm feeling really low. Oh my gosh! Where is this coming from?

Because, when you've had postpartum depression or you’ve struggled with depression at all, it can make you feel panicked to have any kind of slump. 


Hey friends! In this episode I talked about my affirmations. I mentioned them off hand, but really this is an incredible download that you can have on your work computer, on your home computer, your laptop, your tablet, your phone, you can print them out. 

Actually, one of my business coaching clients showed me the other day on our video call that she had printed them out, hole-punched them, and wrapped a ribbon around them so that she could flip through them anytime. And I thought that was just genius. 

These are affirmations that are written and done for you to help you speak truth and life over the different areas of your life. There are affirmations for every area of your life - business and success, motherhood, marriage, relationships, yourself - everything. These are things you can just pull up and begin to speak truth over yourself. 

What you say becomes flesh, right? That's a fact. And it also really determines how you're thinking about things. We act out of how we're thinking and talking about things, so this is huge!

 If you want to change your life fast, change the way you speak. Begin to speak truth and life! 

To get these affirmations, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/118. They're 15 bucks. Super, super affordable, super easy to download and have with you at all times. You can see everything about this episode and get that affirmations package right away. 


“Oh my gosh! It's coming back!” I have those thoughts, but I let them come up to the gate and then I don't let them in. You will have thoughts, almost uncontrollably. But what you do with those thoughts is the part that you can control, and that's what you need to watch. 

I don't let them take over. I don't let them kick out the positivity; I counter them with positivity. This is why affirmations are so huge. I have a really low-cost affirmations packet (I think it's 15 bucks or something) that are pre-done, written-up-for-you-affirmations for every area of your life. Those are the actual affirmations that I use in my life. I keep them on my phone so I can just scroll to the affirmations I need. 

Sometimes I'll just go through them all, but usually there's one area of my life that I just really need to spend a little more time being positive on and speaking life and speaking truth over. And so, I'll do that. By the way, I'll link to that packet here, if you want to grab that. It’s just really handy to have affirmations saved in your phone, so you can pull it out whenever you're feeling low, you're doubting something, or if you're feeling nervous or anxious. It's a really good anxiety combater too. 

I don't let my mind take over and the negativity win. I just allow it to be there. I notice that it’s there. I let myself feel. I don't force myself out of it, but I also don't let it come into the gate and take over my inner house.

Another thing I do is: I rest as much as I can. I might look at my calendar and think, “Is there something on here that isn't high priority that I could cut out altogether or push back to when I'm in a more energetic place?” I actually just did that when I shared that I was in one of these low slumps a couple of weeks ago. It ended this past week but it lasted about a week and a half, maybe two weeks. I looked at my calendar and I saw there were things that could be pushed, that could be canceled. It wasn’t going to serve me, this other person, or anybody else for me to show up like that. It's going to make this linger longer and I want to do things to help myself pull out of it without forcing myself to feel differently. 

And so, I create rest. I cut things out of my calendar. I pass on new commitments that pop up and I just create rest. I don't lie on the couch, eat potato chips, and watch Friends on Netflix. I mean, sometimes I do, but I don't just because I’m resting. Remember, we can't use things as excuses. We just need to take care of ourselves. So, I will create rest. 

I will create less commitments, less events, less interviews to have on the podcast, less press, less work. I'll see what can be pushed. Maybe this could be done later? Do I really need to write these emails right now? Do I really need to record these podcasts episodes right now? I push anything that I can.

I won't completely clear my day because I need to have normalcy, I need to get my things done, but if there's something that's extra and really not life-giving and can be moved, I will do that. 

And you know, I'm big on naps. That's the next thing—I take naps. There is so much power in taking a nap. I've got friends that are not nappers at all, and that's fine. But even if you're not going to fall asleep, just lying down for 20 minutes, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing is incredibly powerful—especially for moms.

So, I will create space in my calendar and I'll also create space in my day. I'll set my phone timer for 20-25 minutes and just lie on the couch, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. That's a meditation practice, too. Anyone can do that. Place your hand over your abdomen and just feel your breath. Breathe in and out slowly until the timer goes off. It’s so good for you. 

Another thing I do is: I move my body. I've been exercising pretty regularly, but I will also make sure that I don't skip. Because when you're tired and feeling “blah,” the first thing you want to drop is exercise. But don't drop it. If you already exercise, keep it up. If you don't exercise, consider movement. We’re really made to be active. And a lot of us live sedentary lives nowadays. So, take a walk. Go for a hike. 

If it's hot outside, I'll take the kids somewhere like the mall and just walk around the floors of the mall and let the kids play in the kid’s play area. It's indoors, it's air conditioned. I'll just walk around that kid's area over and over again. Or I’ll take them to the park and I'll let them play outside if the weather allows. I'll walk around the playground and just move my body. Do some squats. Have a dance party in your living room. Your energy probably won't match that last one, so, you might want to do something different. 

Movement is so important, so I make sure that I make time for moving my body. Whether that’s a yoga video on Youtube, going to a Pilates class, taking a walk with the kids, I’ll do something. 

Another thing that I do is: I choose a salad over a cheeseburger. This is a metaphor for not indulging in crap (even though I really feel like eating crappy food when I'm in a slump) because it isn't good for me. It's not serving me to indulge and enjoy at this point. 

So, this isn't about diet culture. It's about what your body needs from you right now. When you're in a slump, you need to fuel your body and serve it well so that it can get back to serving you. I try to make it a point to avoid and not give in to the sudden craving for Oreos when I'm in a slump. It's emotional eating and I've shared before on the podcast that emotional binge eating is a struggle that I've had. So, I need to be very mindful and aware. 

I always try to limit dairy, gluten, and sugar. I have them in my diet, as a part of my diet, like any other food. But I try to really limit them. Especially in these seasons of life when you get into a little slump, really make conscientious choices and eat a lot of greens. Get a smoothie if you can't fit all your greens in, whatever, but try to choose the healthier option, especially when you're in a slump. Then when you're done you can get back to your more balanced eating and have the occasional piece of cake or whatever it is that you normally do. 

Another thing I do in a slump is: I get back to my normal as soon as possible. Usually a slump will just last a few days. They don't happen very often, maybe a couple times a year for me. It’s usually just a few days, but every once-in-a-while it's a couple of weeks and I just need to rest. But I do try to get back to my normal as soon as possible. 

I do that by doing all of these things that I'm listing, but also prayerfully and mindfully walking forward and trying to be back to normal. So, I'll look at my task list and my calendar for the next day and just kind of ask myself, “What about this is making my spirit fall when I look at it? Is there an interview, a work task, or something that makes me feel sucked dry of life when I think about doing it?” That's not me normally. Normally I'll just push through and I know I wouldn't have anything on my task list or my schedule if it wasn't important and so, I'll push through and do it even if it's not my favorite. But if something is really making me “fall” like that, I'm not ready. 

So, I check in and I get back to my normal ASAP. And that leads into my last point. I sense when to push through, get back at it and when to extend my pause. It's really about learning to get to know yourself and to feel where you're at. And this is all coming back to mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is such a hot topic right now. It's trending and everyone's learning about it, but few people are actually practicing what they're learning. This is ancient. This is biblical. This is old school. We've known this for so long. We're just not doing it. Our culture is getting further and further away from mindfulness with smartphones and all these things. 

Really, it's just sensing where are you at? Is it good to push through tomorrow? Is that going to help you? You want to try it? If it's a huge mistake, you can just rest extra the next day. Not saying things like, “Oh well, I have kids so there is no rest for me.” Yes, there is. You can rest with your kids. I do that every day and you can absolutely do that. Even when my kids were toddlers and babies. Yeah, I was exhausted and it was a very frazzled, chaotic season of my life, but I still could create rest. Your kids just want to be with you. What happens when you sit on the floor and you have babies and toddlers? They climb all over you. They love it. They love you. They want to be with you. You can make that restful. It's all about your mindset. 

These are the things that I do when I'm in a slump and I feel a little stuck in a low place. I hope that this helps you guys, that you feel like you could come back and listen to this to get some inspiration when you're really feeling uninspired. 


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.