Connections

EP 104: Forming Authentic Connections When Your Lifestyle is Different

Facebook_EP_104.png

Let’s get honest for a moment … forming authentic friendships takes work! And forming those connections when your lifestyle is different takes even more work. Whether your lifestyle is different because something has happened to you in your life, like being widowed, or your lifestyle is different because you've chosen that lifestyle. I just want you to feel you're not alone. I hope you find comfort and joy in the lifestyle you have chosen. And I hope this episode helps you figure out to form real connections through it! Because I get it - It's hard to feel understood and hard to form authentic friendships because of what I do. But let’s take action together towards authentic friendships because we are in this together!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her personal struggles with forming authentic friendships because of the business and lifestyle she has.

  • The power of having at least one person in your corner.

  • Why it is not ok to stay in a place where real friendships don’t exist, because we aren’t meant to do life alone.

  • The importance of being vulnerable with people and letting people in.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The_Supermom_Vault.png

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

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

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

This is definitely the place to go!


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, beautiful! Thank you so much for listening to my podcast today! It means the world to me that you would give me this chunk of your very valuable time. I don't take that lightly. It's one of the main reasons I am so adamant about making my podcast a little on the shorter side and to the point, and if it is longer, there is a big purpose behind that.

I love knowing that there's somebody else on the other side of my microphone. I love seeing you guys’ posts on social media, especially lately there's been so many posts about you feeling like this podcast is making an impact in your life, that it's helping you feel like you've got a friend, that it's helping you feel like there's somebody in your corner and you have a connection with someone who gets you. And that makes me so happy!

And it ties in perfectly with what we're talking about today. And that is forming authentic connections when your lifestyle is different. In one way or another your lifestyle feels different than most people. I live that. I totally relate to it and we're going to talk about it today.

My hope in this episode is that it relates to a lot of different people experiencing a lifestyle that feels different in lots of different ways. Maybe you're a military family and your life feels different in that way. Maybe you're a widow. Maybe you’re a single mom. Maybe you're not a mom at all and that is making you feel different like people are asking you why you're not starting a family (because people are nosy and they do things like that.) Maybe you're a mom and you've got a lot of kids and your life is just crazy and chaotic in a way that a lot of people don't get.

Whatever this looks like, if this episode resonates with you, I hope that you find comfort in it and I hope that you find joy in your different lifestyle. Whether your lifestyle is different because something has happened to you in your life, like being widowed, or your lifestyle is different because you've chosen that lifestyle. I just want you to feel you're not alone. And I want to help by sharing some of the simple things, the action steps that I've taken to not feel so lonely.

And that leads me into my first talking point for today, which is that sometimes my world feels lonely. I'm always really hesitant to talk about this. I know I've mentioned it before, but I never want to feel like I'm coming across as annoying, whiny, ungrateful, or like I'm trying to talk about my success from a negative standpoint. You know when you can tell that somebody is just talking to hear themselves talk about how successful they are and they talk about it like it's hard, like it's a burden, but you can tell they just want to talk about what they've succeeded at. Does that make sense? I never want to come off as that.

For those of you who have been listening for a while or follow me on Instagram, you see me online and you know my heart and can see my personality, I know that you won't think that, but you never know when somebody new to your podcast. So, I just never want to come off that way, especially if it's a first impression. And the Internet is weird like that. I can't know who's listening in when and if you've listened to before. So hopefully I don't come off that way.

Being a public figure, being an online influencer (which I'm so irritated with that term, but I don't really know what else to call it), being somebody who teaches online and is viewed as a public figure in a lot of different ways, it's lonely sometimes. I have a hard time knowing if somebody really wants to be my friend or if they just want to use me for my connections or my knowledge on certain topics, or they just want to pick my brain about my online business and how I started it.

I sometimes feel like people only invite me to things so that they can tag that they were with me and that's really hurtful and weird and hard. I just feel lonely in terms of friendships sometimes.

I live in California. I grew up here. I moved away for a few years a while back but we've since moved back. I have a lot of people in my life here, but a lot of my really good friends, my life buddies have moved away and I don't have a lot of in-person connections anymore.

I also feel loneliness in terms of “being normal” in the sense of…for example, my podcast is really loose-structured. I don't sit with a billion notes and word-for-word what to say, so that's why sometimes I stumble over my words. I want it to feel authentic, but I realize sometimes that can be frustrating. So, I apologize for my “ums and uhs” here, but one example of loneliness in a different regard is it's hard for me to answer the question, “What do you do?”

And that is a question that you get asked often. It's hard for Brian and I to answer that. Usually he gets asked, “What do you do,” because he's the guy (don't even get me started on that…like I don't have something that I do.) But it's hard for us to answer that question because what we do is so new. We're kind of trailblazing this new really cool way of living where our business is online. We've started a company from nothing. And it's not a tactical physical company; it's all Internet based and it's just kind of hard to answer that. It leads us into this fumbling over words to come up with this stuttered explanation of, “Well there's a podcast and an online business and courses and we help women lighten their loads and simplify their homes and their lives.”

And it's just this big long explanation. It's not like, “I'm a lawyer.” I mean I could come up with something like that, a one-liner, but it leaves so much to be answered, you know? It's just hard. And so sometimes I feel lonely because I don't even really know how to answer that simple question. What I do is unique.

Not a lot of people understand it and definitely not a lot of people understand that Brian and I are home together all day and that is something that we wanted. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, “Oh my gosh! I would never want to be with my husband all day,” and I don't really know what to do with that statement. What do you want me to say? What do people want me to say to that? I just kind of stand there and smile. It's weird. Am I supposed to be like, “Well I do!” It's just weird.

I think that people just don't really know what to do with us because our lifestyle is very unique in a lot of different ways. Our story is really different, kind of dramatic and people I've noticed, for a really long time, don't really know how to deal with our lifestyle change. If you don't know what I mean, I would maybe suggest going back and listening to episode six of the podcast because it kind of explains our life/business/money story. When your life changes from one extreme to the other really quickly, you lose friends, you lose connection, and you lose what was once your norm. It's weird, hard, sad and happy all at the same time.

So, I've just struggled with feeling lonely…maybe I'm not just lonely, but maybe I lack authentic connections because our lifestyle is different. We homeschool our kids. We want to homeschool our kids. It's not our most favorite thing in the world to home educate. But we love the lifestyle that homeschooling our children brings to our family and the freedom and flexibility it gives us. I love my business. I love my work. I love working. And previously when I was a stay at home mom, I personally struggled with feeling a little unfulfilled. And that's just my truth. Sometimes I feel really judged for that and that makes me feel lonely.

I love my husband. We’re friends. He's my best friend and I love being with him. And when we weren't together very often it was a big goal of ours to somehow, someday find a way to be together and do life together all day, every day. To raise our kids day-to-day together. To run our business day-to-day together. To figure out some way to make that happen.

We actually didn't know that it would be running a business together. I'm saying that now because I know that that's what ended up happening, but we just always dreamt of being together through the day and not doing our everyday life separate all the time, which is what we were previously doing. And a lot of people don't get that. I think maybe makes them feel defensive or convicted or something, and then they make me feel judged for wanting that. It's weird. I have picked up on all of these weird conversations, weird vibes, and different interactions that I've had with people over the last few years, and it's all led to this really weird, unique version of lack of connection and loneliness. It's hard to feel understood and hard to form authentic friendships because of what I do.

I’m going to give a few more examples because I want to really cement what I mean here. For example, in the homeschool circle, I never feel like I fit in because I am not a really crazy, passionate homeschooling mom. I'm not. My husband does most of the homeschooling at this point. That's new. Previously I did do all of it, and then most of it, and then some of it, and now I do about 20% of it. So, in the homeschool community, I don't fit in because I don't hate the public school system. I don't think it's terrible. I don't think it's a terrible choice that I would never, ever do. I have done the public school system with my kids and I would do it if my life led me to needing to do that. I'm just not ‘that homeschooling mom.’ So, I kind of feel like I don't belong there.

Even in the mom's circle, a lot of the time they talk about their husband's work schedule and that kind of lifestyle. What sippy cups leak and which ones don't. Breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and nap schedules and I feel like I don't fit in there either. And I never did. Even when I had babies and toddlers, I just always wanted to talk about something else too, you know? And I just always felt like I didn't belong. And at this point in my life, when I'm around other women that are in my phase of life in terms of the age of their kids and stuff, I always feel like I just don't fit in a little bit.

I try not to be so self-aware and try to join the conversation, but I'm always left with the knowledge that my life is just different than most people. I often don't feel known and I often don't feel understood. I find myself struggling with feeling like I need to make excuses for my life, dumb it down, or make it less than it is to avoid judgment. Or I'll freeze up because I'm in a completely different season or role in my life than most women in my season. A lot of the times I feel really misunderstood.

I think one of the biggest things for me is in conversations when I meet people or I'm around people that I haven't seen in a while and they're asking about what we do and our business and I will launch into my one or two sentence explanation. There's often a joke or a nudge. “Oh yeah, you're like an influencer. You take pictures in front of walls for Instagram and post about life and stuff.” It's almost like this judgmental undertone and I don't really know what to do with that because I don't really know what to say. I don't know how to explain what I do without sounding braggy or irritating and I'm very self-conscious about that. I just will admit that. I am very self-conscious about that. I don't want to come off the wrong way and what I do and how my lifestyle is intentionally very different from the norm.

Brian and I have talked openly with you guys about how we don't want to be the norm.

We want to live a life that's different than everyone else. We want to live abundantly and we are constantly in pursuit of that. You might enjoy episode 100 where Brian and I sat and talked about what abundant life means to us and what it means when we always talk about that and bring that up. That's the verse for this podcast. It's our life verse John 10:10. We're constantly in pursuit of that and that means that we're different than most people. We’re different than most couples. I'm different than most women. And while I want that, I want to be different, I want to live an intentional and purposeful life, it does sometimes lead to feeling misunderstood and left out.

While I don't think there is one solution to this feeling, I do want to share a few things that have been really helpful for me in living this way and fixing the problem, finding some solutions to it.


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

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

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

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

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

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.


Firstly I want to say that I think it's important to have at least one person in your corner who gets you. Find a friend. Find at least one person who gets you. I have this one really great friend who has been very close to me for years. We have very different lifestyles, but through it all, through all the ups and downs and changes, she has understood me. She has asked questions. She has stayed connected. She has talked to me, had coffee with me, and sought out understanding of my lifestyle, my reasoning behind the choices that Brian and I have made. We are connected. We are soul sisters and we are friends for life. We started out kind of on the same page and the same lifestyle and so much has happened to lead us on different paths and we are still close. So have at least one person in your corner who gets you. And if you don't already have that person, it's okay. We're going to cover that.

The next thing that I would say is that if you are married, I think it's really important when you're feeling this way to build a stronger connection with your husband. Create a friendship/passion with him that you feel super supported, super loved, and very deeply known and understood by him. Having that with Brian has been a game changer for me as a woman, as a person, just as a human going through life. It's been so huge. The lack of connection and lack of feeling understood in my social circles, and in the other areas of my life has brought Brian and I closer together and done wonders for our marriage.

If you relate to this way and you are married, then use this negative thing that you kind of feel misunderstood, unknown, and like you lack connection, use that to catapult your marriage into the most passionate season that it's had to date. That's what we did and it's been amazing, just absolutely tremendous growth in our marriage over the last few years. And it's given us this friendship, respect, mutual understanding and passion for one another that I really believe is going to lay an even stronger foundation for our future and for future hardships that we will without a doubt face. Building a stronger connection to your husband if you are married is huge to have you feeling supported, loved, known and understood.

I think the next thing I want to say is (I was really passionate about making sure I wrote this down so I didn't forget to say this) I think that you need to not be okay staying in this place. I think that not having authentic connections and living a different lifestyle and not feeling really connected and known needs to be a season of your life, and not a way of life. Don't stay there.

I think it is so important. This is so key. If you don't take anything else from this, take this. Don't be okay staying in that place. It needs to be a season of life, not a way of doing life for good. Seek out other people who get you, who live similarly to you, who are passionate about the same things as you. Pray for those connections to come into your life and seek them out. Manifest them into your life.

One example for me is I very intentionally did this. I started to pray about getting these people, people who got me, people who do what I do, who understand me and Brian and our dynamic. And I just started to pray for them to come into my life. And one great example of this is my friend Joe Sanok. Joe Sanok runs Practice of the Practice, which is a podcast and an online business like mine for therapists who want to take their practices online.

We met because his wife is a student in Your Uncluttered Home. She took my course and shared me with him and we connected and got to talking. I went on his podcast and talked about business, and it was just this friendship/love connection between me and Joe and Christina Sanok, he and his wife, and we just connected. We started texting, talking and just getting on the phone and talking about business. And then Christina and I are texting and we're really close. And then Joe and his family ended up intentionally making a stop in our city on their family vacation to southern California. It was more than an hour away from us, but they came intentionally out to our city because they wanted to spend time with us because of this random online connection. They came to our house. We had lunch. We went to the park. We talked. Joe and I did side-by-side live streams on each other’s platform. We had a great day.

Christina and I had a really, really good talk about being mothers and women of faith. And it was amazing. We had such a good time. The guys went and got pizza for everybody while me and Christina sat at the house and just chatted. It was so good and life giving.

Out of that connection has come other connections. Joe has connected me with other entrepreneurs who are at my level of success and at the same point I’m at in my business. More connections and more friendships have formed from that one. If you put it out there, if you pray about it, if you say you want it and you begin to just be open to seeking out others who get you, then that's what you'll get.

You get what you think about. Start to think about it. Start to pray about it and start to ask for that. Bring those connections into your life and it will happen. Don't be okay staying in a place of isolation. It's so unhealthy and that is not how God created us to live -isolated - not at all.

The next thing that I want to say is I think it's really key to be open and vulnerable with others. Let people in. Don't live jaded and super guarded out of fear or because of things that have happened in your past. Guys, I have been robbed literally financially. I have been robbed by a friend that I hired. It sucked. I have been hurt. I have been stabbed in the back so much that it's begun to feel physical, like a physical stabbing because it was so much, so often.

I have been used so many times. I have been gossiped about by people in my lifelong inner circle because they're jealous. I don't know. They're weird. They can't handle what I've done in my life and in my business and online. And they just love to say negative things that usually aren't even true about me.

I think that it's so easy to act out of that and to begin to be really guarded and continue to isolate yourself. But we can't do that because the only people we’re hurting is ourselves.

So be open. Be vulnerable. Don't live jaded and guarded. Let people in. Show up and serve others. Love on other people. I think if you're doing that, then you become the type of person that other people want to have authentic relationships with. And it's just helping you as you manifest that into your life.

So while you're seeking out other people who get you, while you're praying for connections with people who live similarly to you and understand you, while also being vulnerable and loving on people, not being afraid, showing up for people and inviting them over for coffee, just serving people and seeing where it leads, that's a great combo. That's the magic combo to get some seriously authentic connections in your life.

I think the next thing I would say in terms of action steps is to lean into your faith. Talk to God. Know Him. Trust Him. Talk with Him about what’s weighing on you. Tell Him what you need. He knows the desires of your heart and He wants to give those to you, but you got to talk it out with Him. That can help alleviate the frustration and any pain you're experiencing right now, in the moment, while you wait for those authentic connections.

And one more thing that I want to say…I've had this conversation with people on my team multiple times. When we had our team retreat back in February in Nashville, we all talked about this extensively. So if nothing else, I get it. I and Team Allie. We get it. We understand what you're going through. We all have that same type of lifestyle where we're entrepreneurs, we work for ourselves, we're home a lot. It's crazy. People don't respect our boundaries because they think if you work at home then you don't work at all, you can do whatever you want and you never have to actually work.

People see my interviews online that my business has made seven figures and they just think that I somehow pocketed all that money and I’m a billionaire and don't have to worry about anything, which is not true at all. They assume things, judge me, gossip about me, and don't want to be friends with me or opposite - super want to be friends with me for all the wrong reasons, for selfish reasons, hurtful reasons.

So if nothing else, know that I get it. Know that Team Allie gets it. We understand what you're going through and these few simple action steps I laid out for you guys in this episode, are the things that have helped me get over it, through it, and use it to my advantage, which I think is such a powerful thing to do. To not just get through stuff, but to use your hardships in life to your advantage to make you stronger. To force your marriage closer together. To force stronger vulnerability. To better relationships in the end. I mean what a powerful woman you would be if you could learn to use your hardships to your advantage, right?

I hope this episode has been encouraging for you. I hope it's made you feel like you're not alone. I know that some of you out there are going to totally know what I'm saying. Totally vibe with it and be like, “I know exactly what you mean. Thank you for this.” And you my friend…you're the one that I recorded this for. So, tag me on Instagram. Share on Facebook. Let me know that this is you, that this was for you, that you loved it. I want to hear from you.

I love you guys so much. You are not alone. Go pursue those authentic connections even if your lifestyle is different. Those people that get you are out there and they're waiting for you as much as you're waiting for them.


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.