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BONUS: How to Stop Multitasking & Practice Mindfulness Day-to-Day

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Multitasking may feel like you are getting a lot done, but when you really think about it, are you? Because, truthfully, we can’t show up in multiple places at once. We can’t show up for a workout, plan our calendar, and think about dinner at the same time. Maybe we can, but are we doing it well? Probably not. Multitasking can create this inner noise and feeling of things getting done in a rushed or hurried way. We need to show up well and be fully present in life instead of just letting it pass us by. This is something I am totally learning right now and I am excited to share the journey with you!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why multitasking creates inner noise and causes feelings of being rushed.

  • The value of showing up to one thing, not multiple things.

  • How to set up a rhythm for all the things that need to be done so you can avoid multitasking.

  • Action steps you can take to practice mindfulness during your day.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Unburdened is one of my online course programs that focuses on simplicity and minimalism minimalism for your life, your calendar, your schedule, and your daily structure.

Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn’t know how to do that.

Unburdened is open for enrollment! Don’t miss out on this amazing course! Normally it is $160 but it is cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while. And I want to see you in there before the doors close. So take action and sign up now!


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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, beautiful friend! Oh my gosh, I feel like I just need to take a moment right now and take a deep breath. Feel free to join me if that's how you're feeling right now. I am about to record this episode with you and I just had to start over, which I never have to do. I really never have to stop and do another take when I start recording an episode. I pretty much just hit record and talk realness with you. There's not a lot of editing that goes into my words, just putting in the intro, the music and stuff.

But I had to stop and restart this episode two or three times because I was in this mentally rushed state. I quickly helped Brian get the kids, the boys, ready for baseball, get the other two kids ready to go with him so that I could have the house to myself for an hour to record this episode and get a little bit of writing done.

I just was rushing around getting everyone's shoes together, helping everyone get out of the house. I grabbed a snack. I grabbed a coffee. I’m trying to hurry up and finish the coffee cause I'm tired today and I need it, so I'm quickly drinking the coffee. I'm responding to a text message from someone on my team and troubleshooting a problem all while sitting in my desk chair, barely breathing and about to quickly hit record on this episode. And it's like, “No! What is this episode about?”

It goes to show that this is something that always needs to be worked on. This isn't about me coming on here, sitting in front of my microphone and preaching at you how I've learned to be amazing at things and you can too. Barf!

It's about us sharing what we're learning, sharing inspiration, encouraging each other, rooting for each other, which is something that sadly women don't do a whole lot. Coming together and trying to know better and do better one day at a time. And soak life up instead of passing it by.

I just had to take a second, restart this episode a couple of times, take a deep breath and invite God to come and sit with me so that I can practice what I'm about to talk about.

It's something that I have been learning more and more every day and really, really feeling like this episode is just where I am at lately. And so, just being truthful with that before we dive in.

Having said all of that and giving you that honest disclaimer, I've got an iced coffee here with me. Can you hear it? We're just going to sit together, take a beat, and we're going to have coffee and talk about multitasking and the importance of mindfulness in your day-to-day life and what I have been learning lately about this. Not what I have been doing perfectly, not what I've gotten down and I just have to tell you how to do it, but what I have been thinking about lately. What I've been noticing. What I’ve been working on in myself.

I've got a phone background that reminds me to take one thing at a time and be mindful. It's something that I think about in the morning when I wake up and at night when I look ahead at my day and look at my calendar and see what's going on in the next day, thinking how can I take each thing one at a time and really show up there where I'm going to be and not be doing a bunch of other things mentally at the same time.

So, let's talk about this.

This episode was really born out of, like I said, just what I've been learning, what I've been thinking about lately in my own personal real life. I love those episodes because I feel like even though it's one-sided, obviously you're not here with me, it feels like you are. It feels like we're just having a conversation and it's my turn to share. Do ever have a friend like that where you go out to coffee and she has her time to share what's been going on with her? You talk about that together for a little bit and you pour into her and then it's kind of like, well what's going on with you? What have you been learning? And then it's your turn to share. It kind of feels like that. Like it's my turn to share with you what I have been thinking about and that's what this is to me. That's where I'm at with this stuff.

This conversation actually started in one of my therapy sessions. I've shared a little before that I go to a therapist once every-other-week and it's just like self-care. It's just so good. Sometimes we have a lot to talk about and other times I don't really know why I'm going except that it's good for me. I believe in the power of taking care of yourself. I believe in therapy - if you have a good therapist - I believe in that. I've seen so much good come out of it. I'm so against those stereotypes of if somebody goes to therapy they’re really in the thick of a hard time, or they're really going through something or they're struggling with something, or they must be super depressed or on meds or something. I think that every single one of us could benefit from having a really, really good therapist. I've got a really good therapist and she's just a gem.

We were having a conversation and talking about this, and so this episode came out of a conversation with her and what I have seen in my own life lately. We were talking back and forth. We're both working moms and seeing in her life how she’s seen multitasking rob her of productivity and sweet moments and me sharing in my own life.

So, we had this conversation and I just really started to become aware of when do I find myself multitasking? Is it something that seems involuntary? Do I naturally tend to multitask because it's something that I choose to try to do in order to get more done?

How is this showing up?

After I had that conversation with Ann (Ann is my therapist) I started to be really aware and I noticed that it was both. I would find myself looking at my giant to-do list and thinking, “Okay, I can get this done while I go to this place. I can get that done while Brian drives our family to this thing. Then I can get this done while I'm going to the bathroom. I could think about this and make a decision about that while I take a shower.” I would ‘plan’ to multitask and I would also involuntarily fall into multitasking. Sitting in a moment, sitting in at one task and being present and showing up in just that task was really hard for me.

I started to get unsettled about that. I don’t like that. I want to live a little bit of a slower life. I like having a full life. I enjoy having a lot going on. I always have, it's just my preference in life. When I was having babies. I liked a very, very simple slow life for sure. But when I'm not in a specific season like that…this thing is a little bit harder…like for me having babies and really tiny toddlers, it's harder for me than having older kids. I know a lot of people feel the opposite, but for me, that was just my truth.

Normally when I'm in a season that’s not super difficult or anything for me, I like being busy. I like having a full schedule. I like having a lot going on. I really thrive in that. That doesn't mean that I have to multitask. It doesn't mean that I have to cram things in where they don't belong.

One example that I noticed this in was in my workouts. A few months ago, I hit a wall. I was making healthy choices, exercising and eating well but was just having hormonal issues. And a part of that was hitting a wall with weight loss. I had a goal to lose weight and just feel better. I just wasn't feeling good and I wasn't seeing the effects of my workout.

So, I decided, “You know, if this is my peak, if I'm going to have to kill myself physically in my workouts to lose more weight, I don't want to do that. I want to feel good. I want to do workouts that I enjoy, that work up a sweat, are good and difficult for me, and challenging for me, but don't make me hate getting up in the morning to exercise.” So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to level up and hire a personal trainer. Somebody who knows her stuff. And I'm going to really show up there and tell her what I'm struggling with, show up and work out and take care of my body. And if I lose the rest of the weight that I want to lose, great. If I don't, okay, well we'll figure that out. Cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, I took this step in my life and I started to go to this trainer and I found that after the the ‘honeymoon phase’ of exercising with her and having this trainer wore off, I started to just get irritated that I had made this choice. I started to feel like, oh great, now I have to get up early, go and do this and I don't want to. I have so many other things to do this morning.

You guys know that I'm usually a pretty early riser and so I would think, “I want to get up at five in the morning and I want to get my work done. I want to get this stuff out of the way. I have so many better things to do than work out. I'm over it. I'm not even there anymore. I don't even care anymore. This is so dumb.” But because of my personality type, how I show up and perform with accountability, I didn't want to feel like a quitter. I knew that I couldn't just back out because Carrie, my trainer, would ask me about it and check in with me. I knew that I needed to do this and I couldn't just back out and stop it. I could, but it's not how I wanted to live. You know?

You know what I'm talking about? You know when you feel like, “oh dang it, why did I have to get my ish together? Now you have to go to the stupid thing that's good for me and I don't even care anymore. I'm over it.” You know? Like that ‘honeymoon phase’ of “I'm going to get this together. I'm going to really level up. I'm going to really improve this part of my life.” And then you're just like, “Nevermind. I'm over it. I hate this.” That's kind of where I was at.

But I started to show up like that. I would drag myself out of bed and get ready for my workout. I would be multitasking on the drive to my workout. I would be voice texting and sending voice emails while I drove. Starting my work day. I would get to the workout and mentally be somewhere else. I would be planning my day, thinking about what I was going to do when I got home. I wasn't really showing up in my workouts and I was having little to no results.

And I started to think, “This is dumb. It’s money to have a personal trainer. It's time. It's a lot of effort. It sucks.” You guys, working out is probably one of my least favorite things to do ever. I'm not a person who enjoys exercise. But I am a person who thrives on accountability. So, it works for me, but not if I don't show up.

And so, after I was having this mindfulness conversation, this multitasking conversation with Ann, at therapy, I was like, “Okay, I wonder what would happen if I just showed up at my workout? Let's test this. Let's see.”

I did a little research and I encourage you to do the same, but science is pretty clear. Multitasking doesn't work. We are disheveled and scattered and we don't really do anything very well when we're doing things multiple things at the same time. There's even been studies that show that multitasking mentally makes you not have results in things that you're trying to do.

I wanted to see if this was true with my workouts. I decided for a couple of weeks I'm not going to work in any way, even mentally on the drives to my early morning workouts. I'm going to listen to worship music and just be in the moment, pray over my day, or sit in stillness and listen to the music. Get woke up and be thinking about my workout.

And when I get there I'm going to turn my phone off, put it in my bag. I would go to get a water break in between my workouts and tap on my phone screen to see if any of my emails had been responded to. Guys, I was just not there. I don't like working out. I was totally unpresent. I would check the time, like how many more minutes do I have to be here? I was just mentally not there. I was physically there because I had to be and that was it.

And so, I stopped that. I turned my phone off. I put it away. When it's time to stop the workout, the workout will be over and that's it. It was just me, my trainer, my water bottle, and me fully being there. I would focus on every movement, every squat, every bicep curl, every punch on the kickboxing bag, everything.

I would show up for it and I would notice I was way more sore. I was doing better. I was doing more. It felt like the things I was showing up and doing were actually having an effect on me. I noticed that I mentally felt so good when I would leave my workouts and it started to reawaken my excitement about why I did this whole thing in the first place. Why I got a trainer and decided to show up in this area of my life in the first place. It reinvigorated that fire in me and I would leave my workouts super amped up for the day. I would be so excited. I would have more energy. I felt mentally clear. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. I felt clear headed and focused.


Hey sweet friend, in case you haven't already heard, I've been talking about Unburdened a lot in my world lately because the doors are open and it's going away and I want you to hear about it before it does.

Unburdened is one of my online course programs. It's the second one that I created. The first one is minimalism and simplicity and intentional living for your home and your physical space. This one, Unburdened, is that for your life, your calendar, your schedule, your day structure. How do you structure your days and make sure you get the important things done, but not be tied down to a rigid schedule? Because not everyone wants that and that freaks some of us out, me included. Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn’t know how to do that.

Unburdened lightens your load by taking you through a four-step framework that I have refined over the last three years.

Step 1: set boundaries for your phone and tech, for yourself and for others, to make space in your life for what really matters.

Step 2: take ownership of your time. Clear the calendar clutter. Create your ideal day. Set up daily and weekly rhythms so the important stuff gets done on autopilot and you're not having to constantly make sure you're thinking of it and remembering everything.

Step 3: implement a plan for doable self-care because you cannot give your family water if your well is dry.

And finally, step 4: get purposeful in your day-to-day life. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

If you're into this and you're like, “Oh my gosh, I need that,” guy's, the door's open!

Unburdened is normally $160. It's cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while.

So, the doors are open! They close really soon!  Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife.

Get all the details to get all the info and enroll.

I want to see you in there before the doors close.


I stopped needing to catch a little bit of a nap midday. I have said a lot of the time I'll wake up early and I'll just catch a little catnap in the middle of the day. I stopped needing that. I stopped needing that afternoon cup of coffee. Sometimes I would have it because it's a joy to me but I didn't need it. I didn't feel like, Ugg! I need coffee! Will you go get me one babe or can you put the coffee pot on for me? I really need coffee so I can finish doing this with the kids or whatever it was. I felt awake in my life.

Then I tried it with work. I’m always tempted to check my email while I'm in a meeting because it still looks like I'm looking at the screen when I'm in a meeting in a zoom room. I would check my email, multitask, respond to text messages, catch up on my phone, catch up on my email, catch up on Instagram comments. You know, I would do two things at once. I decided I'm not going to do that. When I'm writing, I am writing. My phone is off. I am focused.

When I'm in a meeting, I'm looking at that person. I'm looking in their eyes like we're in real time, like I do when I'm really with somebody, because I don't do that it in real life. I love showing up and using my body language and my facial expressions to make people feel valued, so I started to do that in my work. And of course, I felt like I knew exactly what was going on. I never got caught off guard in a conversation like I wasn't paying attention. My work started to be more productive. I would spend less time doing things and get more done because I wasn't allowing distractions and I wasn't distracting myself.

I have my life set up pretty well for not being too distracting. My phone doesn't really make noise or light up for really anything except phone calls or texts from Brian. My text message alerts are off. All of my apps are off. I only have Instagram on my phone. All the alerts for that are off. I have to open the app to see what's going on.

I realized that I was allowing myself to get distracted. I would pick up my phone and open it and look at stuff. I would open Instagram and decide to respond to comments in the middle of a writing session instead of focusing in and plowing through. “No, I'm writing until 11:30 and it's only 11:01. Why am I picking up my phone, letting myself take a break and get distracted?”  It's not good for the way that our brains work.

I stopped doing those things and my work improved. I was spending less time doing work, getting more done and the work was really good quality work. The writing was better. I was writing more powerful subject lines for the emails that I send to you guys. They were getting opened more because they were more enticing and exciting and I was focusing on that.

My Instagram started to blow up. I was just showing up better when I was writing the message I want to give you guys in my captions. They were captivating. They were getting more engagement. Everywhere that I showed up was increased just because I stopped multitasking and started focusing in on being mindful and present in each task.

Then I started doing it, (which I should have started here, but I didn't cause you know, I'm a human being, whatever) I started doing this in my motherhood. Putting my phone away out of sight, and sitting down on the floor.

Do you know how hard this is? Have you guys tried this? Sitting on the floor with your kids? I mean, real talk, you immediately start to think, “There's a billion things I could be getting done right now. I'd rather be doing a lot of things but this,” and that's just real talk. I'm sorry. I think a lot of us would agree.

Maybe some of you are like, “I would never feel that. Oh my gosh, I'm so shocked by this!” Unsubscribe. That's fine. You do you, it's okay. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe not, I don't know.

But I think most of us would get that and be like, “Yeah, that is how I feel. And I feel a little guilty about that.” Just throw that away, girl. Most of us feel that way. I feel that way. It's fine.

The last thing on this frigging earth I want to do with a giant task list, with a house to run, with a business to run, with social media that’s constantly blowing up, is sit on the floor and talk about Ninjas. That's the last thing I want to do. But I started to just try. And you know what? The world can wait. This moment is fleeting. These babies are growing up so fast, so dang fast. I'm just going to sit for a minute. And you know what happens when you sit on the floor? Your kids flock to you.

I sat on the floor and I took a deep breath and I made myself just be there and it was great. I was on the floor for a couple minutes and the kids came up, Emmett sat on my lap, snuggled me and started talking to me. The kids flocked over to where I was and started taking turns talking to me. It made me see how rarely I pause, sit and be mindful with them and that's not what I want.

I don't want it to be a rarity. It taught me a lesson and so now I try (key word…try). I am trying to make this a nightly thing, at least once at night when we're getting ready for bed or after we get ready for bed, to just sit on the ground. Maybe I have a cup of tea or a glass of wine or whatever, but at the end of the day just sit and be. Sit on the floor, be available, let Emmett sit in my lap and just take a deep breath and listen to my kids talk to me about their day.

This has basically replaced story time which was getting pushed out anyway. Let's just face it. I always say we have story time at bedtime but it would often be like, “no story time tonight. Go to bed.” I'm just being real with you guys.

I make myself do it. I don't want to do it. I rarely want to do that, but I'm making myself do it. And once I am sitting and I'm hearing about their day, even if I'm exhausted, it feels so good to be present and not be multitasking.

I'm learning that multitasking, it feels like you're getting a lot done. It feels like, “oh, I'm a woman. I can multitask.” Like you're getting a ton done and you’re making the most out of every moment, but actually you're making the worst out of every moment.

Multitasking totally creates this inner noise and this feeling of constantly being rushed and hurried. Because the truth is we can't show up at 2-5 places at once. We can't show up for a workout and mentally be at our desk two hours from now thinking about what we're going to be working on, or what we're going to make for dinner. You don’t get things done well.

You're doing these things, but they're not getting done well. Yeah, they're getting done. I'm not saying that multitasking is impossible. I'm just saying it's not effective and it's not the way that any of us truly want to live.

I'm learning to practice mindfulness in day-to-day tasks. It's so hard to do that, especially when you're a mom, but it is possible to slow down. It is possible to do it.

I'm going to give you guys a few action steps that I put in my phone for myself that I'm really working on doing and I'm inviting you to join me.

The first action step is bookend your day with stillness. And if you can't bookend your day, do what I'm doing and do it once a day, whether it's in the morning in the beginning of your day, or at the end of your day. Put some stillness in your day and be intentional about that.

Decide. Put an alert on your phone that goes off like, hey, it's time for some stillness and just sit on the ground. Be with your family.

I like to be with my family in the stillness because it connects me to them and reminds me that these people are here and they love me and I love them and I want to have memories with them. I want them to remember me sitting with them and talking to them. I care about what's going on in my kids’ day.

If I don't intentionally pause and ask about it, I'm never going to know and I'm going to miss out on a lot.

Bookend your day with stillness if possible. If not, pick one of the bookends, the beginning or the end of your day, and just create some stillness intentionally.

Next, find yourself multitasking? Stop. Just stop. I do it all the time.

You guys remember when I did my 30-days-no-yelling challenge with myself? This was years ago when we still lived in the Midwest and those of you who have been around a while might remember that. It was like that.  I had to put a rubberband around my wrist and snap myself whenever I started to yell. It wasn't a matter of like, oh, I stopped yelling and it's hard to remember to not yell. I would yell and I would have to stop myself. For a long time, out of those 30 days, it was almost impossible to not yell. I would start yelling and then stop, and then that turned into no longer yelling, and this is the same way.

I find myself multitasking almost constantly. It's a mental multitasking. That's what's killing me. You have to decide, “stop multitasking,” when you catch yourself doing it.

If you're doing something, don't let yourself, “okay, I'm going to respond to this text and down this cup of tea. I'm going to quickly respond to that email while the water's warming up so that I can do the dishes, and then I'm gonna do the dishes and I'm going to run and do this.” Just stop.

Are you going to do the dishes right now? Then do the dishes right now.

Side note: Let's say you're doing the dishes and you usually have some prayer time while you're doing the dishes. That's great. I'm not saying that. That's productive. You're good.

I'm saying that rushed, hurried feeling that you have to be doing everything at once. That you feel like you've got to respond to that email. Answer that phone call. Wash the dishes. Have the laundry going. Get the kids ready for baseball. All at the same time.

No. Pause. Stop multitasking. Be Present.

What needs to be done right now? Do you need a break? Do you need to drink a cup of coffee and take a breath? Do that. The dishes can wait a second.

Do you need to get the kids ready for baseball and get them fed? Okay. Help them find their baseball gear. Make some quick sandwiches. Just show up in that, in getting ready to get out the door. The dishes can wait there too.

Do you see what I'm saying?

The multitasking that makes you feel rushed, pushed, hurried and creates that inner noise, that inner loudness, that stress you feel in your gut. Stop that multitasking.

The next step that I'm working on is leaving room in my schedule for showing up fully in the thing that I'm at. So, not scheduling something immediately after something else. Giving myself some more white space. I used to be really good at this a couple of years ago and things just got so full of good things with the business growth, career success, the kids getting older and having different activities and sports and things they were into, and it just got so much, you know? I am trying to be good at this again.

Leave room in your schedule that allows you to show up fully in the thing that you're going to.

If you're going to have lunch with a friend, try to create a day that allows you to show up for your friend at lunch that you're not checking your phone, freaking out, and realizing that you have to go to a meeting after and you don't have notes ready for that meeting. Now you'll have to be thinking about what you're going to say at the meeting while your friend’s trying to talk to you about her marriage.

How can you show up fully for the thing that you are at?

Like I did with my workouts. How can I show up fully for where I'm going to be so that I'm really there? I'm showing up. I'm getting the most out of it. I'm being intentional with that thing.

This way we're not wasting time and money, right? We're not wasting anything. We're showing up fully where we say we're going to be at.

The other thing is just turn off your phone. Your phone begs you to multitask. I am seeing that so much.

I would encourage you, step one, get your phone settings set up the way I always talk about. This is the way that I have my phone set up. There's a free download that walks you through setting your phone up better.

That's step one, but sometimes you have to take it a step further and just turn the dang thing off and put it away. Put it in a drawer. Just get it out. It doesn't need to be a part of every moment of your day. This is something that I dive really deep into in my course Unburdened, which side note, is open right now for enrollment and it's going away for months.

But this is why we kind of start there when we get to the part about your schedule and you're structuring your days because the phone steals so much of your time.

And for some of us, the phone is our job. Like for me, the phone is my job. So, my screen time…on the iphone you can see your screen time…it's way higher than most of you, I bet. Because it's part of my job and that's okay. I'm good with that.

But I know when I'm getting something done and I'm enjoying the freedom of working when I'm on the go and not having to be tied to a desk versus when I'm allowing something to steal mindfulness from me, steal moments for me, when I'm allowing it to take over. And you know that too. You can feel it.

That's why this is something that we touch on major and dive deep into an Unburdened because it matters.

You've got to get your phone in its place. That's a huge part of mindfulness.

And the other thing, the other action step for you guys, and for me, is when things need to be done, like they have to be done for things to run smoothly, set them into a rhythm so you don't have to worry about it, and you don't have to constantly think about it. It's not pulling brain calories from you because you only get so many per day.

You don't even feel the need to multitask because the things that must get done - like the laundry so your family has clean underwear to wear, the dishes so your family has clean dishes to eat off of, the meal prep so your family has food to eat - those things that must get done for a successful smooth day are set into rhythms. They’re automated to different parts of your day that work for you, so you don't have to think about it.

It is just a part of your day. You quickly get it done and the rest of your day is open to your appointments, stuff on your calendar, the people in your life, whatever is going on in your specific day. Does that make sense?

Speaking of Unburdened, this is the core, the chunk of what this course does. Most people know me for teaching simplicity and minimalism in your home, Unburdened does that for your life, for your schedule, your calendar. To create a non-multitasking life. To create a mindful, focused life. Focused on the people. Focused on what matters to you so that you're not running around like crazy. You're not trying to find a pair of clean underwear while you're 30 minutes late to preschool drop-off. Because you've got the things that must get done set into simplified rhythms in your mornings and your evenings and your day is freed up for work or for whatever it is you fill your day with.

So, join me in just being better at not multitasking.

Let's work together to practice mindfulness in our day-to-day lives. And to show up fully wherever it is that you are.


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 101: Stop Over-Complicating Decision Making

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We all do it. We all over-complicate decision making because sometimes it is easier to not make a decision than to take action on a decision. But unmade decisions carry unnecessary weight and unwanted stress that shouldn’t have to carry. Some decisions cannot be made right away and need time, but whenever they can be made right away, just do it. Just get it done. Do what you have to do to come to a decision as quickly as possible - then you won’t have to carry that load any more! On the flip side, if you have a big decision to make, I hope you find this episode helpful as I share how I process making decisions (and avoid over-complicating them!)

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The weight unmade decisions carry.

  • Understanding the difference between decisions you can make now and decisions you have to process through before you can take action.

  • Various ways she processes through decisions.

  • The power of taking action even while you wait to make a decision (and what that actually looks like!)

Mentioned in this Episode:


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The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a FREEBIE I have been working on just for you! If you feel like your days are full of hassle, like the things that need to get done are not getting done, and that is causing you a lot of stress and chaos, I want to help you find harmony. This 5 day video series will help you structure your life, calendar, and daily rhythms and routines.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent.

This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life. Don’t miss out of this FREE video series! Enrollment is open now!


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 friend! I want to quickly tell you about a free 5 day video series that I have been working super hard on creating just for you for the past couple of months. It is finally ready and free enrollment is open! This video series is called Hassle to Harmony and that is exactly what it is going to take you from and to. Basically, each day there is one short video that is going to redirect your perspective and get you refocused.

So, Day 1 is called “Quiet the Noise” and we talk all about your phone settings and setting yourself up to not be constantly distracted from what is right in front of you. Day 2 and Day 3 are about rhythms; Day 2 is for daily rhythms and routines, Day 3 is for weekly rhythms and routines. Day 4 is all about owning your time and shifting your mindset out of victim mode when it comes to time and how much time we have. Day 5 is all about how to live with intent, because you don’t get to where you want to go by accident, only on purpose. I really want you in here! It is going to be so good!

This is not something that is going to be open for forever, this is a live freebie sort of thing. Enrollment is open now and it is free! The videos will go live on April 8th and only be available for a few days. So after Day 5 is over, they will be gone and off the internet. This is something you will want to partake in while we are going through it together. To get this free video series go to Hassle to Harmony. I can’t wait for you to see this!


Hey beauties! Welcome back to The Purpose Show, or welcome if this is your first time listening! I'm so excited because today we've got another stop-over-complicating pep talk episode. I love these!

We've been doing them for a little while. There are several if you wanted to go back and find them. Basically, what this is…I guess it’s like a personal philosophy that I have in my own life. I try to simplify everything that I can. It stems from minimalism, my story, and my own personal motherhood of how my life was before and then how I came to figure out that my problem and why I was struggling with depression, overwhelm, I was yelling at my kids and snapping at my husband, nagging, and just not the person that I wanted to be in any of my close relationships because everything was overstuffed and over complicated.

As I purged that physical clutter, it taught me something philosophical about the internal stuff too. I found that we overcomplicate things so much of the time from healthy eating, housework, marriage, relationships, and things like making decisions.

So, the stop-over-complicating series is just kind of an ongoing thing that I do when inspiration strikes.

I was going through my Instagram messages, as I do sometimes, and looking for the types of things that make episodes that you guys need, and this came up a lot. Then I had a conversation with a friend over lunch that lined up with this and I was just like, “It's happening. This is showing up in my path over and over again. We're going to do a stop-over-complicating episode about making decisions.”

First, what you need to know is that unmade decisions weigh you down. When you know that something needs to be decided, you've got to decide something that you're going to do, big/small/whatever, unmade decisions wear you down. It's like a mental clutter. It affects us. It makes us feel stressed.

Some decisions, I realize, cannot be made right away and need time, but whenever they can be made right away, just do it. Just get it done. Do what you have to do to come to a decision as quickly as possible.

For example, today I was going about my day. I've got my schedule. I've got my to-do list. I'm just getting stuff done. And something small came up. My COO got in touch with me and she was like, “Hey, I just need you to look over the two emails that I sent you. Could you do that?” And I said, “Sure.” I started to add it to my to-do list and I stopped myself and thought, “This is adding length to my to-do list. I'm sitting at my computer right now and I'm not in the middle of anything. I could just check them right now.” So, I checked them right away and got it done. Then the decision was made. Everything was out of the way and my to-do list didn't get any longer. It only took me a couple minutes.

Try to avoid adding things to your to-do list and just get it done whenever possible. Don't interrupt important work, but whenever possible, just get it out of the way. Because when things linger and they're not finished, unmade decisions are lingering, it weighs us down and it causes stress. It literally causes your cortisol to rise.

We need to get decisions off of our plate whenever we can. So, call whoever is involved and talk through it real quick, go for a walk and pray about it, ask God to show up and He totally will, for those smaller decisions like are we going to do this trip? Are we going to send that email? Are we going to have dinner with your parents? Whatever it is, just get it off your plate whenever you can.

But sometimes decisions are bigger and you need more time, or some other circumstances outside of the dry decision need to fall into place for you to know what to do.

I want to share with you guys my mental process on making decisions. The reason is I get asked a lot how we seem to make so many really big decisions so often, and so confidently.

First of all, I want to say that that is just the outsider's view on the inside. On the inside obviously I'm not live streaming on Instagram me and Brian fretting over a decision or arguing because we think we should do something different than the other person thinks. You're not seeing all of that. But I will say that our life is really full and really intense.

There's a lot of things that are a byproduct of our business and the fact that we're seen that bring up a lot of big decisions. We've made a lot of big decisions. We've made them very publicly and we've even gone back on them very publicly. Both of those are decisions…like making the initial decision and then making the decision to not move forward anymore with the original decision, to change our minds. We do make those decisions very confidently because of the process in making decisions that we have in place.

I'm going to just share my personal decision making process.

First of all, I'm an external processor, so I need to talk things out. I will grab my husband and we will go for a walk around the block and just talk through something. I will literally just go up to him and say, “Hey, I really need to talk something out.”

Ashley, she's on my team. She runs the podcast and my schedule. She and her husband were hanging out with me and Brian in Nashville and I saw her doing the same thing. And I know she has the same personality type as I do, or the same number on the Enneagram, and I know that she's also an external processor, which is one of the reasons that we work so great together because we can talk things out and come to decisions very quickly and effectively.

I saw her do the same thing to her husband, Billy. She said, “Hey babe, will you pause real quick? I need to talk something out with you.” She said a few sentences and came to her own decision without Billy really even doing anything. And that's exactly how it works for me.

Brian is an internal processor. We talked about this in our marriage episode. I don't remember which episode it was, but I'll find it and link to it for you guys in the show notes. We talked about our difference in personalities and how it can cause conflict, but how we work through it and make it work for us instead of against us.

One of the things that is a part of that is the fact that he processes internally, so it'll seem like he's not listening because he's just quiet and still because he's thinking, and I have to talk it out.

When I need to make a decision, I've got to talk it out. So, if I need to call Hayley (that's the COO that I mentioned earlier) and talk something out with her for a business decision, or if I need to go for a walk with Brian, if I need to just pace downstairs while Brian sits and does nothing and just talk it out, but there's gotta be another person there and I've got to be talking it out to that person.

Even if they just sit and do nothing and they don't contribute to the conversation, I've got to talk it out. It's weird. I wish I could change it because it's unfortunate when I am running a business. I wish I could just sit and think about something and come to a decision, but I can't. I have to process it out loud. There has got to be another living body there.

So that is one of the things that I do. There's no shame in that if you're resonating with that and you're like, “Oh, I think I'm an external processor.” To learn to talk it out, get your people in your corner and talk it out. Offer to take your mom to lunch and just talk it out with her or get the kids in the car and go for a little drive and just talk things out with your husband.

Figure out a way for you to be able to do that because as you talk it out you work through the problems. 95% of the time you come to your own conclusion without the other person even doing anything, or doing much of anything. You just needed to start your brain flow. The way that external processors start their brain flow and get it flowing is by talking it out.


Hey girl! Ok, I am interrupting what I was talking about because I want to tell you about this one more time. I feel like when you are listening to a podcast, they are talking about stuff and most people have ads and sponsorships from other companies and stuff like that. But this is important and I don’t want you to tune it out!

The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life.

I help a lot of women in my course, Your Uncluttered Home, clear the surfaces in their homes, declutter, and implement minimalism but this is for your life, calendar, and structure of your days. I am going to help you set up a few rhythms that are going to help you function really well. It is called Hassle to Harmony for that very reason: because if your days are feeling really hassled, the things that need to get done are not getting done, there is a lot of stress and chaos.

We can help harmonize that, and sync it up to where it needs to be.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent. This is legit stuff! We are dealing with big issues here! I really want you in there.

Again, this is something that is happening LIVE. So you can’t listen to this episode in the future and go back and get this. It is happening live right now! The opening for free enrollment is right now - again, totally free! You can go to Hassle to Harmony and sign up for free! You will get 1 video for each. After Day 5, these videos are going to be removed. So you want to not only sign up live, take part in the videos, open those emails, watch the videos when they come to you so that you can take in this content while it is here. Once again, that link to sign up for FREE is Hassle to Harmony.


Another idea, especially for those who might be more internal processors, is to journal through it or do a pros/cons lists. Something with pen to paper. There's power in that. Just start journaling. Just start writing. Open up your journal and just write, “I'm in the middle of making a decision about whether or not to take this job” or “I'm in the middle of making a decision about how to handle this disciplinary issue with this child.” Whatever it is, just start writing.

It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect. Just start writing a sentence. When your pen starts to flow, your brain starts to flow and you will have no more issues journaling through this problem. And pros/cons lists…old school, but it’s amazing. They work. Try it.

I also want to talk about another part of my mental process of making decisions is just sleeping on it.

Studies show that our subconscious actually works things out for us while we sleep, and that's an amazing, amazing gift that our bodies and our brains give us. So, give your decisions some time to air out. Give it some space and watch what happens while you sleep.

So many times I will go to bed not really knowing what to do about something, just kind of sifting it around in my brain a little bit. I'll talk it out with Brian and go through the evening like that, and not really come to anything exactly. But I'll go to sleep and I'll wake up and I'll know what to do.

This also happens when I need an idea for something, like a business idea or a way to communicate something to the kids for homeschooling, and I just can't really figure it out. I'll go to sleep and just ask myself, “What could I do to teach them this important topic in an effective way? What's going to work for my kids?” And I go to sleep with that, and wake up in the morning and have the answer. Try it. Sleep on it. See what happens.

Another piece of the process for me is imagining the details of each choice, each option. Take a second and imagine that I chose option A and walk down that path of my life with that choice. Visualize the details.

Let's say that you're trying to decide if you're going to homeschool or send your kids to school. That's a big decision. So, imagine the details. Imagine yourself homeschooling your kids. Imagine the hard days, the frustrations, what conversations might be had, how you might feel, how they might feel. How will your child's personality show up as a homeschooled kid? How will your personality show up as a homeschooling parent?

Imagine the days. Imagine them being there when you wake up. What would you guys do in the morning? What time of day would you start school? Imagine, feel yourself walking through your life (not your life, cause that's overwhelming) but a couple of days as this decision has been made, we are homeschooling. Let yourself feel what it feels like to live in that decision.

Then option B, sending them to school. Imagine the details of getting them a backpack. Packing them up each day, having to wake them up early. Imagine the pros and the cons of each choice. The con of homeschooling...it's hard having your kids there all the time. Imagine yourself doing that.

But that's also a pro. How does it feel to enjoy every moment with them?

Sending them to school…con…they don't get to rest in the morning until they're ready to wake up. They've got to get up super early and jump on it and get ready for school. Pro…you have time in your day where you are a little bit separate so it makes being together all that much sweeter.

Let yourself live out each option. Imagine yourself living in it. Sometimes you get a gut feeling…one feels really great even though it's a little scary and feels hard and you're not sure but still you know that it's right.

That's mostly my process for making decisions. I hope that was helpful.

Just going over it before I move on…talking it out because I'm an external processor. Journaling through it or making a pros/cons list. This is helpful for internal processors. Sleeping on it. Giving decisions time and space and just seeing what happens in the morning. Imagining the details of each choice option. See how I feel living in each decision in my head.

I also want to talk about something that I see happening all the time. I think it's important. Obviously, it's important for me that I pray about my decisions. That's something that I do for pretty much everything, like ridiculously small things and huge things.

But I think it's also really important to walk forward while you pray and think about what to do. Don't just stand still until you know everything for every step of the way.

One example is for when we were buying a house. We didn't really know what we were supposed to do, where we were supposed to live. A house came up in front of us and we just walked forward and moved forward with buying it. We had just started to like, “Okay, we're going to pray about this, we’re going to move forward feeling pretty good about this. We are just going to move forward until the door closes.”

There's power in doing something while you wait until you know what you should do. And there's power in that type of faith in action because lots of people wait to “hear from God” before they do anything. But God so often shows us what He wants for us by opening and closing doors as we walk up to them. So, praying, “God, show us. If you don't want this house for us, let it not work out. Just give us a hard ‘no,’ give us peace about walking away and canceling this deal. Don't let it work out in some way.” And God did that for us with the house.

And He'll do that for you with whatever your decision is.

One quick thing to note…sometimes living this way makes you look silly. It makes you look fickle. It makes you look like you don't have your ‘you know what’ together. You know, like, “Oh, we're moving across the country.” Actually, no we're not, but who cares?

This is your life. The one and only. Live boldly. Walk forward. Prayerfully move on. Stop feeling bad about changing your mind.

Also go listen to episode 17. It's called, “it's okay to change your mind.” It's amazing and powerful. It's another pep talk and I think you might need it if you're listening to this one and vibing with what I'm saying.

I just think there's something to be said about not sitting still and waiting for God to tell you, “This is exactly what I want you to do. This is exactly how it's going to feel. This is exactly what's going to happen.” So often that’s not how He works.

So, pray and move forward. Start walking. Start going towards something that you feel good about. Ask God to align your heart with His. Ask Him to align what you're doing with His will, but move forward as you walk and pray and seek out what is right.

Sure, you might look silly and people might think, “Hey, I thought you were taking that job,” or “I thought you were going to homeschool,” or “I thought you were moving.” And you're going to be like, “No, that ended up not working out.”

Who cares? It's okay to change your mind and it's okay to just walk forward.

Stop over-complicating decision making. It's stressing you out. It's not worth it.


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 096: Real Women Are Strong Women

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Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. From breastfed to formula fed, working from home or at a 9 to 5 office job, having a clean home or a messy home, your birth plan, how you school your kids, and so much more. Shame comes in all directions and most of us feel like we never do anything right because we are being shamed all the time. But we have to stop this! No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other. Who is with me?? Let’s do this together.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Specific ways we shame one another, especially as women.

  • The importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you, not tear you down.

  • What you can do to help fight against shaming.

  • How powerful “not knowing” can be.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And there is a community of women waiting to support you and rally around you in the journey!


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! Welcome! I'm really glad that you're here! We're going to dive right in to a very important discussion about real women, strong women and mom-shaming.

Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. Other people that we love and respect who shame us. This can be a heavy episode, but while focusing on the heavy things, it's also going to be an incredibly lightening episode.

I'm just excited to dive in.

Right before I recorded this, I was sitting at my desk just looking at my notes on the things that I want to cover today and just feeling really honored that I even get to have a platform that I know people listen to, to talk about this on. This is the kind of stuff that just lights me up and makes me feel like everything that it took to build this platform is worth it. If I can shine a light on these things and help bring truth and life to you guys in these areas, then it was all worth it.

I want to discuss the things that are often viewed and treated as failures for women. And I want to point out before I go down this list that I'm going to read to you guys...there's a list that I have here of things that women in my actual audience responded to when I asked them, “What are some things that are a part of your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for?” That's all I asked. I didn't give them any other preface to it. I just asked, “Off the top of your head, what are the things in your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for,” and they were able to submit their answers.

There wasn't a long space for answers. It was very short. It had to be just really short. I did that on purpose so that they could, “what’s on the top of your head, what's the main point of it” and not give the backstory.

And these responses are incredibly disheartening.

I want to point out the irony of the opposites on this list. Okay? I'm going to read them to you:

Having C-sections. Formula feeding. I get disapproving looks in public and even comments. Mistakes in parenting. Working and not being a stay-at-home mom. Being a stay-at-home mom and not working. Being too young to become a mother when I was 21 and we felt ready. Homeschooling my kids.

Having a clean home. Having a messy home. Extended breastfeeding. Prioritizing our marriage and leaving the kids with a sitter once a week. Not having an out-of-home date night away from the kids because I didn't want to leave them with anyone. Having a home birth. Choosing to be a single mom and not stick it out in an abusive marriage.

Having a large family and overpopulating the earth. My child's meltdowns due to special needs that are not obvious to the casual observer. Co-sleeping with my baby. Losing the baby weight right away without trying. I got so much hate for that.

Being organized and put together. Overscheduling my kids and extra activities. Not having my kids in enough extra activities. Educating myself like crazy and choosing not to vaccinate my kids. Researching a ton and choosing to vaccinate my kids.

Planning to have a natural childbirth but opting for an epidural during labor. I am treated like I was weak.

Feeding my family nonorganic foods. Changing my mind. Having childcare so I can work.

On this one she wrote quote from my mother-in-law: “I don't know why you bother having kids if you're just going to have someone else raise them.”

When these were coming in on my phone, I was reading them live. I left my phone open and let them pour in. For about an hour, I just sat there journaling some thoughts that I had for this episode and some things that I wanted to say, and then I would periodically look at my phone and see what responses had come in.

I got so emotional and just started to cry. My mom was actually over and we talked about it. It just poured out of us. How ridiculous this is. How sad this is.

And the irony of the opposite answers, these opposite responses. Having an outside date night with my husband so we can prioritize our marriage; not having an outside of the house date night away from the kids because I'm not ready to leave them. Homeschooling; sending my kids to school. Like these are opposite - vaccinating; not vaccinating. These are opposite responses.

Some moms feel really judged that their house is clean; some feel judged that their house is messy. “I'm shaming you because your house is clean and it brings out something in me that I feel inadequate about, so I'm going to make you feel bad about it.” “Oh, your house is messy. Why can't you get it together?” You know, it's these opposites? So ironic!

And the fact is what this shows me is that this is ludicrous. We can't win no matter what we do there is someone who is unhappy about our choice. Why do they even care, first of all? And that person lets you know exactly what they think in a very judgmental, shaming way.

I was having a conversation with my friend Kendra, some of you guys know her. She runs motherlikeaboss. We were talking about passive aggressive comments that lead to mom-shaming.

It sounds something like this. Someone asks you something and you answer them and say whatever it is that you and your family do. Like let's say it's not vaccinating, or not feeding your kids every single thing that's organic, whatever it is. And the person will respond with something like, “Wow! I would never do that. But I guess I'm just different.” Something like that. So passive aggressive that it leaves you standing there with your mouth open. Like, “I feel like crap. And what do I even say here?”

There was a study that was done recently that I read about in an article that revealed that most mom-shaming comments come from family members. That is so sad.

And in that same study it showed that 42% of the women who received critical remarks said that it made them feel unsure about their parenting judgment that they'd previously felt really good about after a lot of thought.

So, basically these women are raising people - that's scary in itself. They're doing the best they can. They're thinking it through, probably talking it out with their spouse, researching and they land on a decision: “This feels good to me. For me and my kids, this feels right.” And then they get shamed and judged verbally and it leaves them feeling unsure about a decision they had previously felt really good about.

Here's the thing, those people are not the parents of your kids. I say this all the time and it is worth saying again here: You, sweet mama, you, were chosen out of every single woman who has ever lived in any era of time to be the mother of your child or your children.

It doesn't matter if you have bio kids, if your kids are adopted, if you are a stepmom, it doesn't matter. You were chosen. In some way, shape or form, you were intentionally chosen to be their mom.

It is on you how they're raised. What decisions you make. What kind of food they eat. What kind of school they go to. What kind of stuff you put into their body, vaccine or otherwise. How many siblings they have or don't have. How many babysitters are in their lives or not. How many date nights you and your husband have or not. It's up to you. It is up to you, not them.

So first of all, I just have to say that. Just remember it is on us. And when all is said and done, how our kids turn out - honestly, it's kind of a toss-up. I really am not a fan of when people blame the parents for everything. It's not, you know what I mean? That’s not the case.

Kids are their own people. They're going to grow up with their own brains. They're getting influence from other people in other areas and they're going to do their own thing. They're going to turn into adults. But for now, as we're raising them, it's our responsibility and our choice how their childhood is. How they grow up. The things they eat, see, do, and get signed up for. Where they sleep and how we handle their meltdowns. All of that.

And you know what's really sad is that one. That one that said, “My child's meltdowns that are due to special needs, which are not obvious to the casual observer.” I can just see this poor woman in Target trying to check out and her child having a massive meltdown that just looks like ‘what a brat’ and it's special needs and you can't tell from the outside, not that that should even matter. And strangers leering at her and shooting her looks like ‘get it together’ when she is trying. Even the fact that she's out at Target with her child who she's gone through so much with is a win and people are shooting her down.

We as women have to stop this. We have to stop. No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other, leering at each other, speaking ill of each other and gossiping about each other. It's poison. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other.

Having said that, I get super emotional about this, obviously. Having said that, I want to go over some things. These are some things I've had come up in conversations with friends, some things that I've learned, you know, by myself and some things that just came to me as I was journaling through this episode while reading these responses from women in my audience to what they felt shamed about.


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I want to go over some things that you can do about this. Unfortunately, it's a real problem. It's probably not going to go away anytime soon unfortunately. So on top of being a part of the change and not being a part of the problem, and cutting gossip straight up out of your life, stop talking about other people no matter what you think they did or didn't do.

Guys, I know it's hard. I know it's hard. I had somebody who is very dear to me and worked for me, steal from me, and we're in the same circle. We’ve got friends in common. I will not speak badly about her and her character. I won't. I can say the facts, say what happened, this is what we did about it, and that relationship is over. It's very sad, but I'm not going to pull the whole defamation of character thing. Even if it's true, it doesn't matter. You've got to draw a line.

It's awkward. I've had to say, “I'm not going to gossip about this.” We've got to do that because the line has to be drawn somewhere. That's an example of someone actually doing something terrible.

When one mom is doing parenthood one way and you don't like it, what gives you the right to shoot her a look, put her down or talk badly about her to somebody else because it's different than what you would do? Who cares? It's her child.

So, first of all, we’ve got to go there and stop that. We've got to stop it.

For the moms who are dealing with this kind of thing, who are feeling this way of feeling these reactions from people in your life about the choices that you're making, here's what we can do about it.

Number one, expect to be judged. A motherhood without judgment is unfortunately highly unlikely. Learn to expect it so that when it does happen, you're not so caught off guard. I'm really sad to even be having to give this point in this podcast episode. But I do think that it's worth saying. Just expect it so it's not so, “I'm shocked by this. I'm shocked that someone's unhappy about this.”

Take it from me. A part of my job is to just inevitably get people's opinions about me - how I look, how I talk. You know, I'm a Christian and sometimes I think there's just no other word to describe things than with a curse word and I don't really care. And that's just how I am. People say things about that all the time. If that's your problem then don't do it. Just don't do it.

Don't tell me how to talk.

Don't tell me that I need to dress different because it's not flattering to my shape.

Don't tell me that I go on too many (I've been told this) I go on too many date nights. What about my kids? First of all, I homeschool them and I work from home. I get plenty of my kids. And that's why we have so many date nights. Not that it's any of your freaking business.

So, I get it. It's part of my job. The con of what I do, who I am, what I've built with this audience, is just getting needless remarks, from people that I will never even meet, about exactly what they think about me and my lifestyle.

So, let me take this lesson that I've learned and give it to you who may not be in the same public situation and say, it doesn't matter what you say or do. You're going to be judged and people are going to be unhappy. So be yourself. Follow your gut. Pray about it. See how you feel. Make your decisions for your kids yourself and expect that you're going to be judged.

I promise you, you're going to feel so much better and you're not going to be so caught off guard. You're not going to be hurt. You're not going to be bothered about it all day. It's not going to ruin your day, or even your hour, because you're going to know ‘we're doing this and I'm going to be judged for it.’

Let's go back to the date night example. Brian and I have talked about this so many times and have landed here. We have a lot of date nights. We have basically a weekly meeting about business and homeschooling because there's a lot going on and we're in charge of a lot of things and we need to go over that together. And then we have a date night every week.

And you know what? Sometimes it's just too much and we just need it and we'll go out again. My brother, he works for us and he watches the kids. He's so good with them and I adore him. He comes over like, “Yeah, okay, I'll come over and watch the kids again.” We get so much flack for that.

And you know what? These people are the people who have other problems. It's not about us, it's about them. Maybe they're feeling guilty that they don't prioritize their marriage or sad that their spouse doesn't want to spend time with them. Whatever it is, whatever it's coming from, it's coming from somewhere negative in them, not negative about us. Who cares?

And I only show parts of how much time we spend alone together. If I actually opened up and showed everything (which I don't even want to do because I don't like even having my phone) then what else would people say? Who cares? Leave us alone. It doesn't matter.

Remove yourself from the situation. Let it go. Do what is going to work for you. You know, these are the same people who would be extremely judgmental if our marriage ended and we got a divorce because we didn't prioritize ourselves enough for what our lifestyle needed. So, no matter what you do, they're not going to be happy with you.

And why are you trying to make them happy anyway? Take it from me. Live your life. Do what feels good to you. Do what feels right for you and your family. Talk to your spouse (if you have one). Decide for yourself (if you're a single mom). Decide what's going to work for you and do it expecting that somebody is going to be unhappy about it and remembering that it doesn't freaking matter.

And when all is said and done, if nothing else, remember that your BFF Allie is getting judged a heck of a lot harder than you are. Maybe that will help you feel a little bit better.

Going back to what do we do about this? I think number two has to be realize that, like I said before, that this so often has nothing to do with you as a mom and everything to do with them as a person. For example, maybe your mom makes a comment only to insert herself in your child's life and your parenting so that she feels more involved. That's about her feeling like she doesn't matter. It's not about you being a bad mother. So remember, almost always comments have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. And that's a really powerful piece of knowledge to remember when you're struggling with something that somebody has said or the way they looked at you and made you feel.

Next thing is ask yourself if this person is just a know-it-all who's talking just to hear themselves talk and to seem smart about something that they're actually really insecure about, or maybe they're making up for something else in their life that they feel ashamed of. A lot of people bring others down to avoid the shame they feel about themselves.

So again, this goes back to #2. It's about them and not you. It brings it into a new light. It can help to feel sad for somebody who's being mean to you and judging you for something if you see it that way. That basically they're just really insecure. They're feeling shamed by themselves so they are putting that shame out on you instead to make themselves feel better.

Next, I think you need to limit your time with the shamers. If they're in your life, if they’re family - as that study showed that most people who feel shamed from somebody, the shame is coming from family members - set some boundaries. Get away from them. Don't spend time with them. Don't say ‘yes’ to that dinner party if you know you're going to leave feeling dogged for your momming. Don't do that.

Read the book Boundaries. Like now. I'll link to it in shownotes. It's amazing and a classic and a life changer.

Limit your time with them. Set boundaries. Step away. Get away from them. Don't make them a part of your life more than they need to be.

Also find your people and surround yourself with the people in the outlets that lift you up and get you. If you're a single mom, find a single mom’s group to hang out with, breastfeeding groups, formula feeding groups, friends who love and accept you, even if you're doing things differently.

Even podcasts and following certain public figures online who make you feel good, inspired, and encouraged can be super helpful if you don't have an in-person circle.

So basically, what is the venue you're feeling really judged and shamed for? Find people who agree with you.

I never want to be closed-minded and only hanging out with people who agree with me about everything, especially in faith and Christianity, that's a dangerous thing to do because people are very closed-minded. They're very judgmental. Honestly, I say this all the time and I'll say it again, Christians can really suck and they can be really embarrassing. So much so that I often don't even like to label myself that because it's embarrassing. They're full of hate and they just are embarrassing.

And so, you know, find people that agree with you.

You know, again, we don't want to be closed-minded and just only hang out with people who are like us and avoid all conflict, but if you're feeling really shamed about something, go and find somebody who gets you. If you're feeling really bad that breastfeeding didn't work out for you, or you just didn't want to do it, you're formula feeding your baby and you feel super dogged about that, go and find a formula feeding group. Be encouraged there. Make a friend. Let yourself be immersed in people who are doing what you're doing and that'll help you so much.

Also, I think you need to know that some days you're going to have guilt and you're going to struggle with a feeling that you've messed up, with or without the shaming, and that's a normal part of being a parent. So here are some things you can do. Maybe you could jot these down. I purposely left this at the end of the episode so you could easily go back and find it. Jot these things down and work through them when you feel guilty or like you've messed up or you're struggling with guilt and shame in yourself about your parenting.

First, evaluate your feelings. Are they authentic? Is this an authentic thing? I feel really guilty because I yelled at my son when he dropped cereal on the floor. That's authentic. You don't want to do that. That's not the kind of parent you want to be. What can we do about that? Evaluate how you're feeling. Where is it coming from?

Also ask yourself is this fear based? Are you feeling really guilty about formula feeding your baby or breastfeeding your baby because you feel like they're not getting enough nutrients and the doctor told you that they're not. But he seems totally healthy and happy. He’s sleeping great. He's happy and he seems to be doing well. That's fear based.

Are you worried about formula feeding because somebody made you feel really guilty about that and the formula is going to cause cancer? That's fear-based.

Are these things authentic? Are they coming from a place of fear?

What do you feel is right for your family in your gut? That's the next question. What do you feel is right for your family in your gut?

Also, never be afraid of research. Research and see for yourself what you think is right.

And also, guys, it is okay to not know everything. It's okay. You're a mom; you're not God. And you're not meant to know every single thing about every single thing. It's okay that you fed your kids something without realizing fully what was in it. It's okay.

It is okay to not know everything. Give yourself some dang grace. Mothers need the most grace out of everybody and receive the least.

What I hope this episode does for you is that I hope it sets you free. I hope you feel set free. And for all you mamas who responded to what you feel shamed and judged for with C-sections, formula feeding and all those things, please know that I get it. I still get it. I so understand, especially with the C-section thing, and that might be another episode.

I totally get it. And I get judged daily for the way I live my life. So, remember your BFF Allie is getting it way worse than you are and I understand, if nothing else, I understand and we can have camaraderie in that.

Remember that you're amazing. You're doing a fantastic job. You're doing what you feel is right and that's your job. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks and just remember that you're doing great!


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 095: Allie & Brian Get A Marriage Coaching Session From a Personality Expert

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A few months ago I had Enneagram expert and coach, Beth McCord, on the show to discuss all things Enneagram. In this episode, Beth is chatting with Brian and I about the Enneagram in the context of marriage. It’s a fun coaching, therapy session! We get real vulnerable as we discuss our personality differences and the hot button issues in our marriage (everyone has one!). Beth helped us navigate how to handle issues that continuously come up in our marriage! We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us and that is because Beth helped us understand each other’s personality! She is amazing and inspiring, and I know you will walk away challenged in your own marriage.

 
 

In This Episode Allie, Brian, and Beth Discuss:

  • The value of the enneagram in understanding your own personality and how it integrates into your marriage.

  • How the enneagram will help you navigate responding to your spouse and their needs.

  • Ways to handle conflict resolution in light of the enneagram and your spouse’s personality.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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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 guys! I'm so glad to be here with you! Welcome to The Purpose Show!

Somebody messaged me the other day on Instagram and said, “I really hate when people say, ‘hey guys.’ I'm a girl. Like, could you stop saying that?” And I think subconsciously I wanted to spite them, because it irked me and I said, ‘hey guys’ accidentally intentionally. Anyway, everyone has an opinion about everything, right?

Today's episode is phenomenal. Not because of me, because of our guests today. My hubby's joining us today. This is going to be so, so good. But there's a couple of things that you need to know before we dive in.

So, this episode is all about marriage and the Enneagram. You can say that word different ways apparently. I've heard the makers of this personality development (it’s not really a personality test; it's like a personality development…a whole big thing) say it one way and then other people who coach in it say Enneagram (anagram). There's so many different ways to say it and opinions. I just say it however it comes out of my mouth in a sentence. So, it's fine.

But we're talking about the Enneagram today and how it has to do with marriage. This episode is really, really special because Brian and I are sitting down and basically getting a coaching call with Enneagram coach and expert Beth McCord.

If you're unfamiliar with the Enneagram, basically it’s sort of like a personality test, but it's an extremely deep dive. It's so much more above and beyond, and deeper than just a personality test like the Myers Brigg test that's been so popular for decades.

If you're not familiar with it, definitely Google it. You might be a little confused on this episode. I mean, not really, but it just helps if you have a basic understanding of the Enneagram, what it is and how it works.

Beth McCord is our coach today. She's basically doing a live Enneagram therapy session with Brian and I and it's really awesome. We get really vulnerable. We even bring to the table one of the common conflicts that we have. We bring it to Beth and ask her with our personalities, the way that our minds work and the way that we function as two different people, how can we better handle this so that we stop hitting this wall and stop coming back to this typical marriage conflict and she was so helpful. Her answer really helped us and we've been applying it ever since we recorded this and it's been so, so helpful.

We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us. This everyday conflict, the thing we bring up, is one of our typical walls that we bump into as a married couple. I think everybody has things like that. We brought Beth ours, one of our main things. It hasn't come up lately and I really think it's because we learned to respect each other a little bit more, understand each other and know how to communicate this issue better to each other. Super, super helpful.

Brian and I talked when we first had the idea to create this episode for you guys and we really got on the same page and both agreed it is always awkward to be vulnerable and raw when there's millions of people listening, but we're not afraid to do that.

We want to help you guys and I really believe that the key to changing the world and helping other people is by being vulnerable. And if people don't like what we have to say, you know, of course they can stop listening. They can unfollow or whatever floats their boat.

But we want to open up and we want to be really vulnerable. I keep using that word, but we do want to be really vulnerable with you guys, open up and say, “Hey, every marriage hits walls and this is the one that comes up not day-to-day, but week-to-week, month-to-month. It's just our main hot button issue.

It's really interesting, I think, to hear an Enneagram coach who's focused on personalities and focused on how we each function and process things, words and the way that God designed us…to hear an expert on these things give that kind of coaching.

So that's who Beth McCord is. She's incredible. I do want to say that Beth has been on our show before. Her episode was # 86 and I really think you need to listen to that first in order for this episode to give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak, to really make it worth your time and have you fully understand.

In Episode 86 Beth basically intros the Enneagram and goes over each of the 9 types. You can listen to that and let the descriptions of each type trigger you or not trigger you, and  figure out which one you might gravitate toward and which one you might be.

I'm an 8 and Brian is a 2. So as an 8, I'm more what Beth calls ‘a snowplow.’ Always striving for something, always pushing towards something, getting things done, super productive, super driven, super blunt. Brian being a type 2 is more like a servant. He's very sweet and humble. He's always putting others first, almost to the point where it can become a flaw. And it often does. He's very, very sweet and mild mannered. He's very sensitive. I'm sure even as I just described our two types, you can see how we would work really, really great together, and how we might run into conflicts, especially in communication.

This episode is super helpful even if you are not in a relationship where one of you is an 8 and one of you is a 2. Beth did a really phenomenal job of leading us in this episode to be helpful for anybody. Anybody who's married or in a serious relationship where you want to learn how to understand and respect the other person more, and deal with conflict and communication.

Brian and I also discuss a really, really big issue that we hit in our marriage almost in a ‘us against them’ way. Not really in our marriage with each other so much, (although it was that way at first in the first few months of a big shift that happened in our lives) but more like other people not understanding our dynamic, not understanding our roles, and not understanding our marriage, particularly in the Christian world where in my best life and my best role for my personality I'm the breadwinner.

I run the business. I am driven. I'm motivated. I'm an entrepreneur. I'm always on fire mentally where I can come up with ideas. I have a bunch of ways to make money, all these great ideas and I could do a million things at once. I'm so goal-oriented and driven – snowplow.

And Brian is really kind of humble and made to serve and support. He does a great job at that. And other people haven't understood that. I don't want to give too much away, and I don't mean to ramble on, I just think it's really important that you understand how important this episode is and how good it is that you're listening right now.

So, if you want to go back and listen to Episode 86 first, then come back and listen to this. This episode is incredible and I'm so honored to have it be a part of my show.

ALLIE: Hi Beth! Welcome to The Purpose Show again.

BETH: It’s so great to be back. Thanks guys!

ALLIE: Brian's here too. Okay. So, I'm super excited about this. Alright, Beth, they already know what's up and what we're doing, so let’s dive in!

BETH: So, we've got obviously a type 8 and a type 2 and you guys have taken my Exploring You course which has both the Discovering You course, which is the foundational piece of what the Enneagram is, how you use it like an internal GPS and an overview of all types. And then you watched the Exploring You, which is my online coaching course.

Just to let the listeners know…what they did was they had 5 pre-recorded coaching sessions with me that are ready for them to go with guide sheets for each of the 5 coaching sessions. It's specifically talking about why you do what you do. It breaks down your personality so you can understand yourself in a much deeper way and grow without being so overwhelmed. “What is this ‘Enneagram thing’? I don't understand what they're talking about in these books.” I bring it down into a Cliff Notes version.

So, what was it like guys? How did it go?

ALLIE:  Good. I feel like you were the most surprised and maybe you seemed comforted by the information?

BRIAN: Yeah, well it was nice to realize what I am and why I do things. Why I get mad or frustrated. Or how I react certain ways and how you don't. And it makes sense. Then thinking about some of my friends and people that I know…I could probably think, “He's probably a 6 or they are a 4.” Even though they haven't taken it, it makes me understand them better but understand myself too.

ALLIE:  For me, I'm usually the one that will dive into something and be reading, studying about it and pass on the information. And so, it's been really cool for him to listen to you, seeing your face, hearing your voice and hearing you explain, “You probably feel like this when this situation happens,” and it's just comforting. I was really happy to see him. It's freeing, I think. And just helpful.

BETH: Here's the cool thing…now this would be, this is a different question specifically for you guys. So, the listeners out there, they're not a couple most likely that are an 8 and a 2. I mean there's obviously going to be some out there, but there's 45 different combinations when you put them all together.

So that being said, we have a female 8 and a type 2 male. How has that been for you guys now learning about the Enneagram and recognizing how God has created you uniquely to have these really incredible attributes, but also in a society where some of these attributes are confusing in the female/male role?

And I'll explain to the listeners real quick. So, the 8’s can be very bold and aggressive and what you see is what you get. They're going to say it like it is. Whereas the 2’s are very warm, kind, gentle, thoughtful and nurturing. So having that background, tell us what has the dynamics been before learning the Enneagram and the confusion that may have brought you guys, but also now recognizing how beautiful that is to have that combination?

BRIAN:  Looking at it on paper and seeing the 8 being the strength and the abilities that the 8 has compared to the 2, it seems like normally you would say, “Oh yeah, the 2 would be a woman and the 8 would be a strong kind of guy, you know?

ALLIE: Like a stereotype. They’re the opposite.

BRIAN: So that's what's funny. As much as I can be that because I'm a guy and I can be an 8, I just feel in myself I want to do these things like the 2 with us together, supporting you and being behind the scenes. I don't want to necessarily be out in front and be in the spotlight and I'm okay with that. And you know, I know some people aren't.

ALLIE: I’m not. And that was our old life. I don't really know how to word that (old life sounds weird) but the way we used to live and we felt good about it. We know that's where God had us, but I definitely struggled. I was a stay-at-home mom and I was happy doing that. I never thought I'd work or do anything else. But once God shifted where He had us and the business happened, I was kind of like you. I didn't know what I was missing for my personality type until I had it and I felt so much better having two things, like my kids & my family and my business. I realized how strong I am and that my strengths were made to do what I do. But we had years of struggling with our roles switching and each other.

I would say the first six months of Brian quitting his job, his corporate job (because of the business we needed to be home together and run it together) were really, really hard. It was so hard and weird. Lots of bickering, lots of confusion. And then once we were okay with it, we moved back home to California and were hit with other people in our lives having a problem with it.

I talk a lot with him about how it's hard for us to find ‘couple friends’ because the man always seems like he doesn't like me or is threatened by me. We actually lost touch with some friends because the husband said something basically to the effect of “I would never stop providing for my family because my wife was.” He obviously has some kind of insecurity. But things like that, especially in the Christian sphere, it's very the ‘traditional roles’ and that's it and that's what's right.

It's been weird and hard. I struggled. My mom worked. My parents ran a business together. But in my school (we went to a private Christian school) and the churches and the people that I grew up around formed me to struggle deeply with being a woman and working. Not only working but creating jobs, running a business, making more money than men in my life, than my own dad, than people that I respected it. It caused a stir.

It's been so hard along the way. It's weird that that would be a problem for some people, but it is. So, we have had to get really comfortable with that is who you are made to be and God brought us together and look at why. Look what this has turned into. What would happen if my life, my business all turned into this and you were also an 8? Fight much? That would've been terrible.

BETH. So true. That's so true. That's why I wanted to bring up that question because what you just talked about is what so many couples are dealing with, obviously with a different type combination. But they're looking around at everyone else, especially the young couples and going, what's wrong with us? Or why is this so hard? And so much of it is because we don't understand why we do what we do. And definitely the person sleeping next to us. Why are they so weird? They just do things so opposite.

But I think the beauty of the Enneagram is that what you're now being able to see is you guys have “fallen” into this beautiful calling (I mean obviously God lead you there) but it kind of feels like it too, right? You were doing this one life and the traditional thing and then it turned and all of a sudden now you're in this completely opposite role and yet it's working, you know? And I feel like that's such a beautiful thing the Lord has done because it's not that what was happening before was wrong. Like you said, that was His calling on your life then. But he also has graciously brought you to a place that fits you guys really well. Am I my speaking the same thing for you, Brian with the role that you’re playing right now?

BRIAN:  Yeah, it feels like this is my purpose. This is what I was really made to do. I struggled with things, being at work when she needed so much help at home with the kids. I just felt a pull to be here and help out with other things too. Now that we've fallen into this and we're in this place now, it feels more right with how we are together than it was before.

ALLIE: Even though he always said that, and I hate that this is part of our process, but even in the beginning I was like, “Don't you want to do something? Don't you want to do something else?” I'm just so driven, I don't understand that he's so content and knows,

“Nope, this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.” I would try to pull other things out of him and he's like, “No, I know this is where I'm supposed to be.”

And also despite his guy friends saying like…it's always about what do you do? What do you do? What do you do? It’s working so well. When we stop that noise and we focus on who we were made to be, the way God made each of us, what our strengths are, we are so much more successful. We're reaching more people and changing lives. Making more money. Having more joy in our family this way than the old way.

That was basically because that's what we were taught is God's way and I struggled with, “Well then why did You make me so driven? Why did He make me have these ideas?” I would suffer and struggle and go to Him with them. We reached a point where it was like, “Why are we killing ourselves here? We need to step into this, not push it down.”

BETH:  This is a great place where you would implement a “strength finders” mentality. Why not go with your strengths? Why not go with the way God has designed you? Obviously if God calls you to do something that's difficult and hard, obviously we have to step out into that because He is calling it. You probably agree with what I'm going to say.

The role that I'm playing in my company is the most rewarding but hardest thing I've ever done, but I feel like I'm in the right spot. So I'm not saying do what's easy. It's actually not easy, but it is also right.

That's what I love hearing about what you guys are saying because you guys are now doing a new dance in your life. No longer are you stumbling over each other as much because you're in the right positions. And the other thing that you're learning is, wait, I was designed for this. This isn't I'm less of a person because I'm doing a non-traditional role. In fact, I am not only able to bless others, but I'm reaping the rewards too in my own spirit and soul and providing for my family.

I think that's what's really important for people that are listening is how has God designed you? Who has He created you to be and to live in that freedom?

When I talk to people, I'm wanting to bring the full gospel to each person by knowing who they are and whose they are. The who you are part is how did God design you?

With the Enneagram (and there's lots of assessments out there that are great) but with the Enneagram…like for you guys, like you said Allie, you’re driven. You’re a type 8. You're driven. Now that ‘driveness’ can be good and bad, depending on how you use it. And I'm sure you're fully aware of that. I call 8’s ‘snowplows’ and so either you're plowing a path for others and you see them ahead of you and you're like, “Hey everyone, get behind me and I'll plow the path for you.” And then everyone's like, “Thank you! We have to get here and there and everywhere.” And you're happy to do that. That is just the role God created you to be.

But if your heart's out of alignment with the Gospel, you'll start to nick people on the road or plow over people and that's not good. So, the same gifting can be used for good or bad. And then the same for the type 2’s. We all have those things, but once we recognize what it's like when our heart is aligned, we can then better get ourselves in that position. Then it's knowing whose you are in Christ.

What does that mean? It’s being fully redeemed. Fully set free. Being His beloved. Cherished. All those things that people hear, but do you really understand it? Because it's when you really understand it, especially through the lens of how you’ve been created. And that's what we do, as I'm sure you know, especially in session 5 in Exploring You, we take you through the implications of grace. Basically I’m speaking the Gospel in your “mother tongue or your personalities language” so that you can fully hear and resonate with the Gospel in ways that probably you've never quite heard before.

What was that like for you guys to hear grace it's in a unique way? For you Allie, you will not be betrayed and for you, Brian, you are loved and wanted just as you are. What was that like for you guys to hear those messages?

ALLIE: I got really emotional and I get emotional even just as you were talking about and hearing it again, just because I think as an 8 and all the strengths and features that come with that, it's easy to feel like you're too much. It's easy to feel like you’re taking over when you're not meaning to. Just like you asked and I know what to say, so I'm going to talk about it until I'm done making my point. I will always get this face that says, “that’s a lot.” You just always feel like you're too much, like I need to edit myself.

Reading that, hearing you say that and learning about that…this is how I was made and you're not too much. People always say, “I always feel like I'm not enough, I’m not enough.” And I always felt like I'm way too much. It was so freeing to here that God made me like this intentionally and He loves how much I am and it's not too much. There's a place and a role for how much I am and how driven I am. I just need to find the right places and know when to be sensitive and hold back a little bit. Not editing, just being respectful of other people and holding back and that there's nothing wrong with me I guess.

BETH: Right? Yeah. And that's so freeing, right? Like you're just where you should be. You can just relax in the love of Christ, you know? Because it's there for you. You already have it.

I always tell people when it comes to the Gospel…so if you're in your office and I'm in my office, and if you and I were both like, “Oh man, if we could just get in our offices, life would be like so amazing!” And we're like, “Okay, you're there guys.” And that’s what it’s like with grace. You're there. You already have it. You just aren't fully able to realize it and that's where we have to open ourselves up to allowing Christ to speak it more deeply into us and set us free.

So, what was it like for you, Brian to hear the implications of grace for you?

BRIAN:  It was nice to hear ‘You do love me for what I am doing’, you know? A lot of times I crave that. I do things and want to be loved that way, you know? That's why I'll do a million things for everyone else and not for myself. It's almost like who cares about how I feel because I need that from you. And to hear that and feel that…it's just so nice to get that and know that that's how I am and it's just great.

ALLIE: You’re a server. That’s such a gift.

BETH: One thing I go over in a lot of my personal coaching is Jeremiah 2:13 where it talks about we have forsaken God in two different ways. We have turned from the Spring of Living Water. Let’s say we're standing and right to our left is the Spring of Living Water and it's flowing. It's fresh. It’s amazing. To your right is the cistern. A cistern is like a well that you’ve dug but there’s no fresh water in it. So you've dug it, you put mortar around it and now you have to put water into it. But what it says is not only have you dug your own cistern, it’s broken. So even if we brought water to it, it just goes away. It's not lasting. So, with our spouses, our family, shopping, eating, drugs, whatever it is that we're trying to fill ourselves with, we think is going to bring a satisfaction…it can't ever sustain it. It can never bring us what we want.

So even if we're upset with our spouses, like why aren't you filling up my cistern? You should be doing it this way. Well even if they came with five gallons of water and put it in there, it's broken. But if we turn to the Spring of Living Water - which is right there, we already have it - and we soak up as much as we want, whenever we want. Then when our spouse even gives us a thimble of what we were hoping to get, we will be like, “Oh wow, that's awesome! Thank you so much!” Even this little bit or just a glass full and we'll be so satisfied by what our spouse is doing even if it's just a little bit. Whereas before we were demanding it from them and they just can't do it. It's only Christ that can fulfill it.

For Brian, what you're saying is when I can know that I'm fully loved and wanted by Christ. He literally left the throne of heaven to come and live a really brutal life because He pursued you and wanted you, not because of anything you did. In fact, you were sinning (Romans 5:8) but He wanted you. Then when you soak up in that, it's like, wow, not only am I not rejected, I am fully treasured. Then anything that Allie does or doesn't do, you're already at a great place and you can move towards her instead of demanding her to fulfill you. Does that kind of feel what's right?

BRIAN: For sure. It helps to know that so much and just makes me feel so different than before, thinking that way.

ALLIE: I see him struggle a lot with that “performing” and then the let-down of other people. Especially parents not giving him what he has always needed and so it's been really, really freeing for me, but as his wife, I don't want him to hurt. I don't want him to constantly be let down. He's such a giver that he's kind of attracted in friendships and relationships to ‘takers’ including myself. When I'm in a really good healthy place, I am super giving, but when I get stressed or brought down I don't even think about anybody else. It's been freeing for me as his wife to see him being fulfilled and realizing what a beautiful being he is and what a perfectly made human he is, so that he's not needing to get that from other people.

BETH:  Exactly. And this is where it's going to be really cool with other people that are listening. They're probably sitting there going, “Well, I'm not an 8 or a 2.” Well, guess what? This works for all types. You have to learn about your personality type, which is where the Exploring You course will help you. Basically, you get a course for yourself. I'm a type 9 and my husband is a type 6, so I would get a type 9 course. He would get the type 6 course and then we would watch it together because not only will I learn about myself, but he learns about me and vice versa. In each of the guide sheets, there's these reflection questions where you can start talking, “Oh my goodness, that's how you see the world. I had no idea.”

Then what's really cool is you get to speak into their life and point them back to Christ instead of trying to fix it yourself. Brian isn't that so great?

BRIAN: Yes!

BETH: Brian’s like, “I am not Jesus. Allie, I love you, but you right now are so stressed. You really need Christ and He is your strength. He won't betray you. I'm here for you, but I can't come through for you in the way that you need, but I'm pushing you to Christ.”

What has that been like for you guys to do that pattern in that way, but then in the other way, Allie, how has it been for you to say, “Brian, you really need to take care of yourself. I want to get you away from all of your stress so you can go do something fun or relaxing.” What's that been like to really care for one another?

ALLIE:  Yeah. I feel like, especially because I've been doing the Enneagram stuff longer, it's getting cemented now. I feel like I've practiced it enough to where now if he's…he doesn't really ‘lose it’ ever. I do. But when he does start to get where he's just done and he's stressed…it's always something else unrelated that's bothering him. Somebody did something, didn't value him, or didn't give him the affirmation that he thought he would get for doing something or whatever. Just kind of losing it and volcanoing out because he's been suppressing it.

Like our weekly date nights and letting him talk instead of me just talking the whole time. Going and doing something that he wants. Having family come over and hang with the kids for a little bit while we get out and go for a drive or just talk.

I feel like it's made me less being like a snowplow and there's always more to go, more to do, always working on something and always go, go, go. Realizing how to slow down and just be together. It's not only helped me help him but it's also helped me almost kind of take on some of his traits because I know it so well and calm down myself.

BETH:  Yeah, that's awesome.

BRIAN: It's helped me figure out how to respond to you or help you when you need certain things. I feel instead of looking at a giant book and trying to flip through and figure out what it is that I can do to help you, this narrows it down to one page or a paragraph. I know you’re like this, so you need these things, and I know what to do and what things I shouldn't do too. That has just been so huge for us in everything we do.

BETH: It’s like I'm in the background in the video course going, “Okay, don't go to that landmine. No! There's a landmine over there too. Don't do that either.”

ALLIE: Yeah, don't phrase it like that!”

BETH: “Stay clear!”


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I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!

BETH: Here's where this really cool thing is, and where it comes together for marriages, and we talked about this at the beginning before we got on here, was that we literally just today I got the manuscript done, proofed, everything for my Becoming Us book. It’s my husband and I really talking about what has been like for us to use the Enneagram with a gospel perspective through communication, conflict, family of origin, all those things that are really at the core of what we struggle with, right? In marriage?

Then the backside is exactly what you guys are talking about. It's called The Roadmap. It's where there's going to be four pages on let's say type 8 for instance, or type 2, and it's understanding me and then there's two pages on understanding them. Now obviously it's all geared towards that same type, but it just brings it in a mindset of…so Brian can flip to the Understanding Them and go, okay, where's the landmines again? What’s the path I should be taking?

Now, you would obviously read the other part too, just to gleam a little bit more, but we're trying to really address it to each of you so that you could understand how to work better together. That will be coming in October and so that will be really another great piece for people to have.

ALLIE:  Yeah, definitely. We're so thankful for what you do because you explain it…I don't mean this the wrong way, but it's almost like the Enneagram For Dummies broken down. What do you really need to know? And it takes a very complicated deep thing and makes it very clear and understandable. He was able to just jump in and just immediately understand himself and understand me and now we use it in conversation all the time. I'll say, “Well, because of the way that I was made, I wasn't thinking of that or I didn't see that.”

Also, one thing I always really want to push with listeners listening to all of the Enneagram episodes that we're going to do and all the things you're doing, is that I think it's important to never ever use your type as an excuse. I've thought it a couple times. I don't think I've ever really said anything that's like, “Well I'm just like this. That’s the way that I am.”

BETH: We say don't use it as a sword or a shield. So Allie can’t go, “Brian you’re being such a 2, or you’re doing that.” We might think it, we might feel it, but man, this is so vulnerable, right? This is at our core and so we want to treat each other as best we can. If we do, by accident, because I've even done it with my husband who's probably listening at some point. I've said things and he's looking at me like, “Oh, that was kind of a jab.” And I'm like, “Oh, I'm so sorry!”

We just need to realize we have to own it and apologize, but yes, we can't use it as a shield and be like, “I’m a 9 and I can be slothful. Just deal with it.” That’s just not going to help the relationship, you know?

But that's also where the gospel shines because the Enneagram can really expose. And it almost take your breath away of, “Oh my goodness! Those are my not so great spots.” But when we know we're already forgiven, cherished, and loved, and then we have Christ’s righteousness on us, we can look at that because nothing has changed and it allows us to go, “I am sorry.” Knowing that we're still the same. We're still His. We're still loved. We're still cherished. And in fact, by doing that, it actually brings our relationship closer. That's a really, really powerful thing. So yes, don't use it as a sword or a shield.

ALLIE: Yeah. I actually have a question. We had this discussion that we have often last night and I was thinking that even though it's vulnerable, I think we should bring it to Beth and let her hash it out with us on the episode because I think it will be so helpful for the listeners.

Because of our lifestyle, because of our personality types, and because of the roles were in…you know how every couple has their go-to conflicts that comes back in a new way? Those have all shifted. Sometimes I think back about the old ones and I think, “Oh, Allie & Brian, you knew nothing.” I don't know if it’s more complicated, a higher level, big stuff, but it’s a wall we keep bumping into.

I used to be in the role of taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, homeschooling the kids, making meals and that's it. Now, we share the load. He'll help me with pieces of the business and I definitely will cook meals and do some of the kids' schooling, but it's like 70/30, maybe even 80/20 some months. I'm mainly the one making the money, running the business, managing my team, coming up with ideas, working, even if it’s a couple of hours of the day, that's the main thing that I'm doing. And he is mainly the one holding down the fort.

And so, because I used to do it…I’ll be like, “How could you not see that? How come you're not doing it this way? Well you just have to, for lack of a better term, get your head out of your butt and look alive. Plan better. Pay attention!” Or I'll be like, “Oh my gosh, you didn't call about that? How could you not see that I needed you to call? Do I have to do everything?” This is the new dialogue. I'm being dramatic to show the ugly parts of it.

We talk it out. We work on it. And then we're like, “Okay. I see. I'm sorry. I am sorry for being perfectionistic. You're sorry for not maybe being more organized.” Whatever it is that day. But it's just that wall that we keep ‘bumpercaring’ into. I wanted to bring that today because I think it's really vulnerable and honest and also really specific so that people could see how you can use the Enneagram to work through stuff like that.

BETH: Absolutely. One thing that we talk about with the Enneagram is how it's like wearing different sunglasses that have different colored lenses. Allie, for you, let's say you're wearing red lenses and Brian’s wearing blue lenses and you're seeing the same thing, same circumstance, but in a completely different way. For you, Allie, it's like, “Hello! It's clear as day. This is red. How could you not see this?” And he's like, “Can you just put on my glasses for a second?”

Then you put on his glasses from his perspective. So, understanding his core motivations, how he operates, functions and the hard wiring. And then all-of-a-sudden that's when you have this compassion of “Oh wow, you totally see it different!” Or “You've got your mind in a thousand other directions to help other people and you're feeling everyone else's emotions, whether it's here at home, our friends or whatever is going on…you're being pulled. Of course, you're going to drop a few things or not notice a few things because you're really being pulled in lots of directions.”

Now as an 8…it's like an eagle. You see what needs to be aimed at and you just go straight for it. It's obvious. How can this not be so simple? Then plus 8’s can't hold back their opinions most of the time. It takes a lot of effort to, like you said, ‘edit it.’ So for  Brian to realize, okay, when she just spouts out something, her heart most of the time, obviously not all the time, but most of the time is not to hurt and harm me, Even though it just landed on me really harsh because as a 2, they're very sensitive and he's probably like, “Oh wow, that really hurt!” And you're like, “I'm just saying, you know, it's just obvious.”

ALLIE: Exactly.

BETH: And that's where, you know, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, I totally hear what you're saying…” Now this is hard for 2’s because this goes into a lot of other things, but 2’s, it's hard to admit where they struggle because then you'll reject them. I remember it because the 9 is somewhat similar. I would tell my husband, “It's hard to say ‘I'm sorry,’ because then you're going to see that I failed or something.” He's like, “Yeah, don’t think I haven’t already noticed.” Right? So what I realized is, “Oh, okay, wait. Everyone sees it, so just own it, apologize and move forward.”

That being said, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, you know, you're right, but I just want you to know, not to make excuses, but I want you to know what else is going on with me, why I may have missed that. Where I could really use your help is not to take it over, but…” Let's say it's a dentist appointment that you forgot to get the paperwork into. Let's say, Allie, maybe that's like breathing air for you. You just get it done. It takes five seconds. For 8’s, you're going a billion miles an hour but for the rest of us, we just don't go that fast.

And so for you, it may not be that you have to do it (because you are busy) but it could be, “Hey, I'm going to write down a note in this one area, put it on your phone or whatever because I know that's maybe not your strong suit and that's okay. But I'm going to give you a leg up on it. I'm not going to take over. I know that you're going to do your best. If you need my help to come through, let me know and we'll work that out.”

Does that sound like a better dance and something that would work for your two types?

ALLIE: Yeah, and the thing that I love about it is that you just removed…because the problem is…like I was saying last night I'm not meaning to belittle anyone's role. But I know what my strengths are and I know that I could run the business, do all of this, do all of it and be okay. But we're in this together and I want us to be a team. I know that I could just not worry about you doing it because you might forget. I could just do it.

BETH: You could just plow it over.

ALLIE: Yeah, I could just do it, but I'm going to get resentful. If I’m carrying all that and I feel like you're not sharing that life, then I'm going to get really resentful and I don't want that for us because that's just a marriage killer.

BETH: And here's the other thing for the 8. This is when we get into lesson two, there's kind of the hidden side. The hidden side of the 8 is it’s not that you don't mind getting lots of things done. In fact, 8’s love the intensity of life and having lots of stuff to do. But the thing that's really painful and hard for them is they feel that there's no one bigger and stronger than them to be able to come in and rescue them, that they have to be the one.

Well first, if you are relying on your spouse for that only, it's never going to work. And sorry, Brian, this has nothing to do with you. Because as a 2, I'm sure you're doing lots of wonderful things. This is just fact across the board. But the cool thing is God is bigger, He is stronger and He proved it through His life, death and resurrection. He is all powerful. And when He says He's not going to betray you, I mean he was the most betrayed.

So as an 8 it's like, “Wow! He really knows what that is and He is not going to betray me. He is stronger and more powerful so I can trust Him.” It doesn't mean you just trust Him and not help Brian at all or point out things. It's not that. It's like, “Okay, I'm going to do the best I can to support Brian in doing some reminders or some leg-ups or things that help that process, but at the same time trusting that it is what it is and God is going to be really good.” But then also asking Brian, “How can I love you better in this? Give me some clarity. What would be freeing for you? How can I support you? Is it reminders? Is it taking it over this one little thing?”

Because I know for me when we were doing our kids’ college applications and stuff or the FAFSA, I mean it just makes me want to shut down. I was trying to do it for my husband. As a 9...procrastinate, procrastinate. It felt too overwhelming. I just had to realize it is so scary for me that I'm going to mess it up. I just need to have him start it. And that's when I said, hey, can you just start this? I'll probably be able to finish it, but I'm just almost too scared to even start it. And that's where it's really cool for us to be vulnerable with each other and knowing that hey, I have weaknesses and you have strengths and vice versa, how can we really tag team this?

But you know, like you were saying for Brian to recognize, and this is going to be really hard because in the moment the feelings get hurt. When your feelings get hurt, you can go, okay, first I'm not rejected by Christ. And I know Allie well enough to know that her intention is not to hurt me. She just has a very blunt personality. Now that doesn't mean you can't say at some point, whether it's in the moment, but probably later, hey, you know when you said that in this way? You have to preface it, “I know you were not meaning to hurt me, but it did kind of land on me harsh. Could you say it maybe this way next time?” That way you're showing them, I see your heart, I see who you really are and your love for me, but a little adjustment would be very helpful.

And that's where the Enneagram can be so powerful because most of the time we can't say “I see your goodness. I see your beauty.” Because we're seeing it through our lens and all we see is you're not doing it right and we just want to put them down. “How could you?” Or “You're so dumb.” Or ‘You're so mean.”  Wait. No. Let's put on each other's lenses. Let's see the world through their eyes and then communicate in a much clearer way.

The big thing (and we may have talked about this last time, Allie, I don't remember) but the big thing to remember is don’t commit a suicide. It's where you assume they're seeing the world through your perspective and they are not. And that's where you ask clarifying questions without pretense of you are wrong and bad and I'm right.

Here's an interesting statistic. John Gottman is a marriage researcher and he found that 67 %, I think it's 67, it might be 69. Anyway, somewhere in that range, of all conflicts or arguments have no right answer. Meaning it's really personality driven or belief system. It's not like there's this really hardcore right or wrong answer. So that just lets us know we really could ask clarifying questions and try to see each other's point of view and how can we come to the middle through prayer and through being with one another and supporting, so that this thing can really move forward in a really dynamic way, which is exactly what you guys are doing with your business and your family life.

You had those rough spots where it was really rocky, but now you're in this really smooth place. Now of course there's bumps and turbulence on the way, but you guys have really gone through the major stuff to now navigate this stuff. Now the Enneagram comes in and it's like, “Now we have this tool to smooth it out even more,” which is so amazing.

ALLIE: Yeah. This was so good. I'm so glad we did this this way. I think it will be super helpful even for people that have different personality types than us.

BETH: Good. Well thanks guys.

BRIAN: Yeah, it’s so helpful!

BETH:  Thanks, guys!

ALLIE: So can you just remind everybody where they can find you? I really love you on Instagram. Can you share your handle there? You're so good at Instagram. You guys Beth shares things that are so helpful and mindblowing. I always watch your highlights over again because you have all the different types. What would each type do at a Christmas party and different situations and it's so helpful. My mom now is all into it and we understand why we butted heads so much when I was a teenager. Share where on Instagram and your website and all that good stuff.

BETH: Thanks! On Instagram it's yourenneagramcoach and then you look at the highlights.

And then our website is yourenneagramcoach.com and that's where you're going to find the online courses that we're talking about here, which is Discovering You and Exploring You.

If you don't know your type, go ahead and get Exploring You and Allie will put a coupon code in her show notes, so grab it there. If you know your type, then go ahead and get Exploring You because Discovering You is already inside it and so then you can watch both of those together.

Then if you're a couple then get one for you and one for your spouse unless you actually are the same type, then you only have to get one. That's kind of rare. But it does happen.

My assistant, both her and her husband are both 9’s.

ALLIE: Wow! We have best friend couples that live in another state. I grew up with the wife and we always mess around with them and joke with them…“Well, I'll just make the decisions for all four of us.” Because I think they might both be 2’s or both 9’s because it's like, “Where do you want to go to lunch? Well where would you want to go? Well…” And I'm like, “Oh my God, we're going to get pizza.”

BETH: Or another solution you could do is you can say, “Okay, here are the three options (or two because that many people just do two options). Okay guys, “I think the pizza or Italian. Which one? Raise your hand.” That way you don't have to always make the final decision.

On October 1st the Becoming Us book is coming out. And we're also going to be doing five date night events in five major cities this summer where we're going to really teach on how to deal with what we're doing here with a big crowd so that they can get used to it.

Also, we're going to have an actual marriage course coming out this summer specifically related around the book of Becoming Us. So that will be probably the next step after you do Exploring You.

There's lots of great things to come. Everyone's waiting for Marriage, so hang on tight. It’s just around the corner.

ALLIE: We’ll link specifically to all the programs with a little bit of a description on each one for you guys so that you can just find all that in the show notes.

Thanks Beth!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party, go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter. Also, enter code PURPOSEHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!


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 094: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Moms Make When Trying to Ditch the Clutter

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When I started my journey to decluttering my home, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it happen. At the time, I could only find help with organizing clutter, not clearing it - and I wanted to clear it out! I learned a lot along the way which is why one of my main missions is to help you declutter faster, quicker, and more effectively. I want to take you all the way to the other side of simplicity and experience the joy and freedom in half the time. So here are the 5 biggest mistakes I see people make (and I have made myself!) when it comes to ditching the clutter.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Where her decluttering journey began and the things that were frustrating at the start.

  • How you can use the feeling of overwhelm as a catalyst to motivate yourself to declutter.

  • The best place to start in your decluttering journey that will help you sustain motivation.

  • The balance between taking decluttering too serious and not serious enough.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hello, beautiful friend! Happy Wednesday (If you're listening to this on its air date or a different Wednesday) I'm so glad you're here! Truly, I'm so, so honored that you're choosing to spend some of the time out of your busy day to listen to me. It really means a lot to me. It means a lot every time. I just love you and I'm super glad that you're here.

I'm extra excited because we get to talk about clutter and the act of letting it go, which is one of my favorite things to talk about, and I get to do it in a way that is my favorite because we're going to talk about the 5 biggest mistakes moms (or really anyone) make while trying to ditch the clutter. This episode is going to give you a kick in the butt and that's my favorite thing to do - give you a kick in the butt.

So disclaimer…this episode is not meant to make you feel worse about yourself, make you feel dumb, or make you feel ‘less than.’ The tone here is not like ‘these are the five biggest mistakes that I see mom's making when they're trying to let go of the clutter. They don't even know how and I know how, and I'm going to tell you how.’ That's not what I mean at all.

It's more like…girl, these are the five most common hurdles that hold people up and I know because they held me up at one point. I see them holding people up every day because it's my job and I talk about this stuff every day, all the time, and I don't want you to get held up. If you are held up, I want to show you what the problem is and help you overcome it and we're going to do this together.

This is meant to be very helpful, hopeful and encouraging. The type of episode that you want to share all day, tell your friends about because it's amazing and it helped you see the truth. It helped you overcome something that's been holding you back because the fact is that this stuff matters, right?

It's not about having a clean house. It's not about having a nice space for the sake of having a nice space. It's not about legalistic minimalism. It's not about less for the sake of less. It's about less for the sake of more of what matters. It's about ditching that massive task list and just simplifying your space so that you can simplify your life. Then you can be the type of mom you want to be because you're less stressed, there's less overwhelm in your life, there's less clutter taking up your time and your space.

Having said all that, let's get into this awesome episode that I've been super excited about for weeks.

My own personal journey into decluttering and becoming a minimalist mom was about six years ago. I really wanted to get to a lighter place with less overwhelm, less clutter and more time to be the mom that I wanted to be. Actually be with my kids and enjoy their childhood. Not be one of the moms that says, “Oh, it goes so fast and I wish I would have been more present. I missed so much of it.”

I think there's always going to be some aspect to that, but I just wanted to live a life where I knew that I had done all I could. That I was there. That I didn't yell all the time, which I was doing before this. I just wasn't the mom I wanted to be. I was depressed. I was anxious. I was making myself sick because I was so overwhelmed in my life.

The first piece of the puzzle to undoing that was decluttering. I remember in the beginning of my journey wishing that there was someone who wanted to help me clear the clutter, not just organize the clutter.

In our society, in magazines, and on Pinterest, organization is seen as the cure-all. I always say organization has its place, but when you're trying to use it to fix your life and your home, it's really just putting a Band-aid on a gaping bullet wound. It doesn't work. It's not a solution. It’s a side note.

At that time that's all I could find…how to get organized. I didn't have anyone to coach me through it and I made a lot of mistakes.

There are actually 5 big mistakes that I made and that I see women making over and over again as they're trying to declutter. They just want to get this done. But they've got kids, work, husbands, cooking, other stuff on their plates, and their minds are just not there. They're not seeing it with the 20/20 vision that I have, this aerial perspective that I have because this is my job and I do this every day. So, I want to help you learn how you can avoid them or get out of it if you're in one of these.

I wasted a lot of time on my journey figuring out how to make it happen, especially with little kids in the house and my husband's crazy work hours. I was all by myself trying to get to this other place that I wanted to get to so badly. It took me way longer than it needed to. One of my main missions now is to help you declutter faster, quicker, more effectively, and get you all the way to the other side.

I always say that Your Uncluttered Home (which is my course if you're new here) is the A-Z of minimalist motherhood. I want to help you get to that. You've done A-Z. You're done. You're on the other side and you're experiencing the joy, freedom in half the time.

We're going to dive into 5 of the biggest mistakes that I see women making when they're trying to ditch the clutter and get to that post-Z point.

The first one is I see them letting overwhelm keep them from taking action. This is super common. I experienced it myself, in this area as well as other areas of my life since then. And it makes sense, but we don't have to let it be our story.

People let overwhelm (and I'm using that as a noun on purpose. I realize that it's not, but it's something that I do) keep them from taking action. You got to this point - where you need this, where you need less and you're craving simplicity - because you're overwhelmed.

You know, you're listening to this podcast because my website or something on it, or something that a friend said, a recommendation, intrigued you and got you here because you're in an overwhelmed place. Now, ironically, the process of simplifying your home and letting go of the clutter is incredibly overwhelming all on its own.

That feeling of overwhelm - you know, how am I even going to get through this house? All of this stuff, every countertop, every drawer, every closet, every shelf, every room. There's no way I can do this - that right there - that overwhelm rises up as you stand in your living room and you look around. It makes it feel like it's never going to happen and you get so overwhelmed you can't move forward.

The good news is that's a totally normal feeling to have. The bad news is that so, so, so many people, so many beautiful moms with a story, a mission, and a purpose that are just bogged down, get sucked into that and they just end up doing nothing, and they think, “Well, I've gone this long. I'll just do it later.”  Or maybe they start to do a couple little things that they think are a good idea, but they get discouraged because nothing's happening. They don't see a difference. They don't see any changes right away. It's like dieting. If you don't see the results right away, it's hard to keep going.

The solution to this is to use that overwhelm that you're feeling, that bogged-down overwhelming feeling of “Ugg!” as a catalyst. Use it to your advantage. This is a trial. It doesn't have to end in the story of you saying, “Well, next time.” Use that overwhelm as your personal catalyst into change. Don't let it bring you down. Don't let it be the thing that keeps you from moving forward. Clear it. Realize that it's there and say, “No, this isn't going to hold me back. I know where I want to go. I know how I want things to be. I'm going to get there. It's not an option. I'm going to get there. I'm going to close my eyes and just start.”

And I mean that pretty literally. I want you to go into a room where you're going to start decluttering - a closet, a drawer or whatever - close your eyes, put your hand out, pick up an item, open your eyes, look at that item and make a decision. Keep, Trash or Donate. Put it in the according pile. You just started.

You can't overthink this stuff. Just decide that you're going to start, close your eyes and do it! There is no magic trick. Just do it!

#2 in biggest mistakes is I see women starting in the wrong place. I realize how this sounds. I don't want to sound like, “Oh, you did it wrong. I’m an expert.” No, that's extremely annoying and if I ever sound like that with somebody, buy a plane ticket and come slap me. I give you full permission. What I mean is this can be detrimental to your journey into minimalism and it's a bad idea to decide that you want to simplify and declutter and then start somewhere that's just full of emotion and sentimental value.

For example, a box of your daughter's old baby clothes, or your shelf full of photo albums. If you start at a place like that, it is kind of the wrong place. It's incredibly overwhelming. You don't need to even touch those things for quite some time. Just leave it for later. Wait until you've built up some confidence and some momentum in the decluttering process.

The right place to start is somewhere emotionless. Maybe you're feeling feelings of overwhelm, but you're not feeling like, oh my gosh, I don't know how to make decisions about this stuff because it's just loaded with emotion. This is my late husband's closet or the stuff for the baby that I was buying that we miscarried, or somewhere like that. You can't do that. Start somewhere more emotionless.

The bathroom is a great place to start. I don't know a lot of people who store photo albums and baby clothes in the bathroom. When you start somewhere simple like that, you allow the process to just begin without all the heart wrenching emotions. Okay? You won't struggle to get rid of old eyeshadows, old hair products, old ponytail holders and things like that. It's likely at least (I guess I can't speak for everyone because I don't know your house) but it's likely that you're going to feel good about the progress you're beginning to see right there in front of you because you're making these easier decisions like “this is trash, this is old, this eyeshadow is older than my daughter and this is unsanitary.” You are making these easier decisions. You'll get this momentum built up and then it helps propel you forward. It’s a snowball effect for sure.

So even though it was a small victory, it was still a victory and you wouldn't have seen that victory if you had started somewhere more complicated. So, don't start in the wrong place.

Mistake #3. They don't take the process seriously. Look, this is a big deal. It's a big project. I'm not gonna lie to you. You're taking on this huge task of trying to simplify your entire life and declutter your entire house so that you can have more intentional free time on your hands and be able to live a fuller, more abundant life. Doesn't that sound awesome? Heck yeah, it does!

But it's not going to come easily. Nothing that good comes without trial. You've got to treat this like it really matters. My suggestion is making an appointment with yourself in your phone. Look at your schedule. Look at what times you need to be at work, when you're at home, when you have to take somebody to a playdate, to school, to soccer or whatever it is that your week looks like, and carve out some really intentional times.  Even if they're small spaces (because you're just that busy; it's okay) and put them on your calendar.

For example, Monday and Saturday mornings for me in the beginning of my journey, were dedicated to decluttering. I called them ‘purge appointments.’ (This was before the Purge movies came out where everyone slaughters each other in America, so I wouldn't call them that now because seeing ‘purge appointment’ in my phone might make somebody call the cops.) This is when my decluttering really got kicked into high gear and I really started to make progress really quickly. I realized that there was something to taking this more seriously and treating it like it actually mattered. So, look at your calendar, check out your schedule, see what you can do even if it's just 30 minutes once a week or a collective six hours a week. Whatever you can do. Make it happen.


Hey friends, if you are not one of my students in the Your Uncluttered Home community, you have got to get your booty over there. Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And that's what we're always talking about, right? Don't just take my word for it though. Listen to these words from one of my beautiful Your Uncluttered Home students.

Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we've always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter.  Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.


We have the time that we make. If you need to get something done and it was like, “If you spend three hours a week doing this, you'll get a million dollars,” you would make it happen. You would. This has a return on investment that you don't realize how big it is until you're in it.

Obviously, the more time you dedicate to this, the quicker you'll work through this. Do what you can, but just realize that this is important. Take this seriously. Treat it like it's any other important appointment that you wouldn't cancel unless you absolutely had to. Put it in your calendar. Make it a date with yourself. Don't cancel it unless you must cancel it. I'm talking like you've got the flu and you're just vomiting every two seconds. Okay?

Mistake #4. People take it too seriously, so it’s coming at a different angle from #3.

You can declutter as you go about your day. It doesn't have to be this huge ordeal every time. You don't have to declutter only when it’s one of your appointments on your calendar. You can make progress while you're waiting for the water to boil for your dinner that night. You can do things as you work through your day. I did a lot of decluttering as I did my regular cleaning. If I was having my Saturday morning pickup session, I would declutter some stuff, throw some things out and put some things in the donation bin as I went. Progress is progress, big or small.

We're doing Declutter Like A Mother right now (if you're listening to this when it airs). January is Declutter Like A Mother. That's what the whole premise is. It's just a few minutes a day, every day, for 30 days, because progress is progress.

If you've set aside big chunks of time during your week or your month where you're dedicated to decluttering your house, that's great. You should take it seriously and do it that way, but that doesn't mean that you can't declutter the kitchen cupboards while you wait for your dinner to boil. You see what I'm saying? So, balance it.

You've got appointments, you've got times where you're like “this matters to me, and the results of this are just too big to screw around with, I'm going to make this happen, and you're balancing that with, ‘hey, while I wait for my tea to brew, I'm going to declutter the junk drawer.’ Balance.

#5 in the 5 biggest mistakes I see moms make when they're trying to ditch the clutter is they don't follow through. I think this might be the biggest mistake that I see again and again and that is that people don't follow through when they are decluttering an area of their home.

What I mean by this is they get in there, they pull all the things out, they sort all the things into piles – Keep, Trash, Donate - and then they walk away and they leave the pile sitting there. Or they think that magically shutting the door to this room is going to keep everyone out. Things don't get bagged up. They're still sitting in the house. The job is not yet complete.

What happens is somebody is going to come in and undo your piles (because kids and pets or husband) or they see something in there and they're like, “Hey, I've been looking for this!” (Even though I haven't known it existed for the last three years.) And all this precious time you spent decluttering is wasted and the job gets undone.

You're not done with the decluttering session until you have bagged up the trash and taken it to the trash can outside of your home, you have bagged up the donations and put them in the back of your car ready to be taken to a donation center, and you have put the things that you are keeping in their new home. Okay?

Also, don't forget to set an alert on your phone to go off in 2-3 days to remind you that this is your deadline to take those donations to the donation center. Be sure you really follow through. When all of this has been completed, you're done decluttering that area. Girl, you've got to follow through, especially if you're a busy mom, because things will get undone and you don't want to waste your time. If you do these things, avoid these mistakes and follow through, I know you're going to have serious success and it's going to be quick.

These can be really great shortcuts for your decluttering process and get you to the other side a lot faster. And you know what? The fact is if you're struggling - if this is good for you and you're like, “yeah, I'm going to overcome these things, I'm going to do these things” - the fact is these are great decluttering hacks, but if you want to follow all the way through and go all the way you need some skin in the game. Okay?

This is the very reason that 3½ years ago I created Your Uncluttered Home. It's everything. It's literally everything. Decluttering - it's not just about your house. It's a lifestyle change. When you're going against the grain, when you're saying ‘no’ to excess and ‘no’ to clutter, stress, and overwhelm, you are literally going the opposite way of our society and what our culture says motherhood has to be.

You're saying ‘no’ to that lie and walking down a different path. It's brighter and happier, more fulfilling, more joy filled. It's abundant life and that's going to upset some people. You're going to make some people feel super convicted just by the way you're living.

Problems are going to come up. What if your husband is having a hard time and he just doesn't get it? What do you say to him? How do you navigate that? What if your kids are giving pushback? How do you get them onboard? You're changing your family's lifestyle. You're changing the fabric of your guys’ family culture. It's a big deal.

What about when holidays roll around and it feels like all your hard work is being undone because there's an influx of stuff coming in? What about birthdays? Does this mean they're joyless now and you can't accept any presents? What kinds of gifts do you get for your kids? How do you raise them to be focused on the right things?

How do you actually declutter your office? What about the homeschool room? What about the garage? Is there even a system for storing things in a way that serves your family?

How do you decide what stays in your kitchen? What if you absolutely love to cook and you don't want a super minimalistic kitchen? Is that okay? What kind of things do you put in there? What kind of things do you say ‘yes’ to? What kind of things do you say ‘no’ to?

How do you get into maintenance mode when you're done? How do you make sure this doesn't get undone? How do you set goals and follow through and make it happen?

All of this stuff is in Your Uncluttered Home. It's 50+ short, to-the-point, powerful lessons of this is exactly what you need to do. I'm taking the brain work out of it. I'm giving you the answer. I'm giving you the shortcut. I'm giving you exactly what you need to become a minimalist, intentional living mother in the way that fits who you are, for your family.

That doesn't exist anywhere else. I created this and I'm so passionate about it because it's one-of-a-kind. It's changed more than 10,000 lives. I've got the testimonials to prove it and the emails that I get pouring in every week that fill my heart to the brim because this is my passion. This is what I was meant to do and I know that.

So, if you want to get some skin in the game and you want to commit and go all the way, you've got to get into Your Uncluttered Home.

This isn't something that I just pulled out of nowhere and said, “I'm going to make this and charge for it.” This is my life's work. This is my wisdom, my experience.

Do you guys know that when I was creating this course, I took money that we really didn't have and I flew back home to California (I was living in the Midwest) and I decluttered 5 houses with friends and friends of family. I studied and took notes. I worked with one woman who was so emotionally pent up about letting go of her stuff. She had a lot of emotional issues and she really struggled and I studied her. I helped her. I learned what was making her emotionally tied to things for the ‘Sentimental Items’ lesson in Your Uncluttered Home. I physically decluttered rooms and full homes - toys, books. I found some of the funniest and saddest things in these people's homes with them and worked through it with them.

I'm not just sitting here from my desk claiming to be an ‘expert’ and charging you money for nothing. This is, like I said, my life's work and I believe in it. If you enroll in this course and you go through it, your life will never be the same.

You've got to get in there if you want some skin in the game and you want to make things happen. Okay?

So, I had to say that because I want you to understand what it is that I do. I want you to understand why I create the things I create and why some are paid and why some are free.

If you want to learn about Your Uncluttered Home. There's a ton of information on this page that I created about it. You can read my story, my process and all about the course. What's in it. The benefits. You can look at a preview of the curriculum. You can watch testimonial videos. All of that good stuff. Get the pricing and all of that. It's http://alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter.

Okay guys, that's it. I hope it's encouraged you greatly. I hope you feel like, oh man, 1,2,3, or 4, even all of these hurdles just really spoke to me and I know exactly how to overcome them now because that's the goal, that's what I'm here to do, and that's how I want to help you.

So, your action step for this episode is identify which of these big mistakes (or which several of them) are your hurdles. What did I say about that specific hurdle? What spoke to you? What are you gonna do about this? Don't just let yourself get all inspired and then go make lunch and forget about this. How are you going to take action? Set a reminder in your phone for later tonight after the kids are in bed to revisit this episode.

Maybe just read through the show notes. Every episode is transcribed so you can read through it. If you go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/094 you can just read through and skim this episode's content.

What are you gonna do about this? Don't let this bypass you without taking action.

And action step #2, if you're really wanting to, like I said, get some skin in the game and make this happen, just go to that webpage and just look. If you have a question, email my team. Ask questions about the course. We're here for you. We don't want you to feel like you're purchasing this mystery product. We want you to understand how amazing it is. We want to answer your questions and give clarity.

To check out Your Uncluttered Home it’s alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter.  And if you want to email my team, just email hello@alliecasazza.com and ask your questions. Kena will get your email and she'll respond within a couple of days and you'll get your answer.

We're here for you. We love you. Everything that I've built, everything that this company does is to support you on this journey to less. So, just know that we're here and you've got my support.


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 089: Minimalism For Those Who Enjoy Shopping

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There is this awkward tension in our culture where we feel we have to choose between being minimalist and enjoying shopping. Why can’t we choose both? Just because we enjoy shopping doesn’t mean we buy everything we see on the shelves. I enjoy shopping! Strolling the aisles of a store is where I find inspiration and get refreshed. For me, it is about browsing and enjoying, without feeling the pressure to buy every single thing I find that I like. I'm not shopping to shop. I am shopping because I truly enjoy the process of being out and finding inspiration! And I know that like me, a lot of you would say the same. So I hope this episode encourages you to find freedom in being a minimalist who enjoys shopping.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The two core reasons people love to shop and their impact on minimalism.

  • How you can find freedom in enjoying shopping and being a minimalist (you don’t have to choose one or the other!)

  • Why her closet isn’t as minimal as the rest of her house.

  • Questions you can ask yourself as you shop to help you decide whether or not to buy things you find.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Anyone else love shopping? I do! When I go shopping and see something I love, I run through a list of questions before I buy it. This way I am checking my heart and intentions before making a purchase I really don’t need to make! Download this FREE PDF and image for your phone so that you can have these questions with you when you go shopping!

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hey, beautiful lady! Thank you for listening today! I’m really glad you're here!

This episode…I've been feeling weird about this episode - and I'm just going to say it - because in what I do, there's another type of person. And that person is very extreme. Minimalism for the sake of minimalism. It's less for the sake of less. They know how many of everything they have and they're really set on “I can't have more than this amount of stuff because then I'm not a minimalist” and I just am not that way.

I hope that is what draws you listeners to me, because it is different. It's not that there's anything really wrong with the other way; I just don't vibe with that. It's not how I am. I don't like anything that feels really legalistic and limiting – ‘now I feel like I can't be who I am because I want to be a minimalist. I'm having to change who I am and say ‘no’ to things that totally bring me joy and add to my life in a really positive way with no negative side effects because it's not minimalist’ - I just don't like that.

A lot of times people will come to me and talk to me in that tone…like I'm like that. And I always have to redirect them and say, “Well, the way you're asking that question is very minimalism for the sake of just being a minimalist and that's just not how I think. So, let me redirect you, ‘rephrase’ this for you, and help you make this decision about this area of your home under this mindset instead.” And it's something that I have to say over and over again, almost daily, because it is such a common thing in minimalist teachers.

Whenever I talk about what I'm about to talk about, I get a lot of flack and that's okay because I think if you're not getting any negative feedback you’re probably not really doing anything that's worthwhile. But I also get a lot of positive feedback.

So I'm just going to lay it out on the line. This episode has been on my heart for a while because it's for me. I'm talking to me. Minimalism For People Who Enjoy Shopping. So we're gonna just dive in.

There are one of two hearts at the core of someone who says they love to shop. One, they're filling a void and they are addicted to the ‘high’ that comes with shopping, which is totally a thing. Look it up. Or two, they're like me, and they just like being out alone – browsing, walking, looking, getting inspired and finding the occasional perfect thing they have been looking for. They also might just like clothes and like putting outfits together and like fashion, which is also me.

So that's kind of what I've learned, that there's 1 of 2 hearts at the core of somebody who says they love to shop, and that's like a thing that kind of makes them panic a little about minimalism.

So they’re either coming from total panic and anxiety like, “Oh my gosh, you’re going to take away my ‘drug’ because shopping is filling a void. I shop and I buy things incessantly all the time because I'm filling this void and I’m trying to get away from this problem and just fill a void.” Or they just really enjoy the process. So, check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, right? Where is this coming from? What's the heart? Where are you at?

But if you're like me and you just like the process of shopping, don't you dare feel guilty about that. That's ridiculous. Especially because most of us listening are mothers. Of course you like to shop. You can get away from your kids and browse and take a deep breath. My favorite thing to do in the whole world, seriously, no joke, is to get my headphones, go to Target, order a coffee, put in a podcast or a song and just walk and breathe and I don't have anything that I need. I'm just there and I'm just looking and browsing.

I have self-discipline and I am a minimalist. I don't grab incessantly needless things. I don't feel the need to do that. But that's how I get inspired. That's how I refresh and recharge. I'm alone. I'm out. I love looking at things and like, “Oh look at that. It's so beautiful. That is something that I could do with that one corner of my house I've been wanting to get decorated. That's a great idea!” It's just refreshing to me. I don't know. It just is.

When moms tell me that they want to simplify their homes and go minimalist, but shopping is their joy, it's their escape, and they don't want to hate themselves, I totally get it. I love shopping.

So, here's what I hate – “Why don't you just walk around outside instead? Why do you have to walk around at Target?” Umm…because I don't want to walk around outside. I want to go to Target because it's hot or cold or wet, and there are bugs out there, and rapists, and other kids climbing trees and stuff, and because…Target. I want to go where I want to go. Leave me alone.

That's the kind of legalist BS that I really just don't like. And secrets-behind-the-scenes’ peek - it's made other minimalists not like me either. And that's okay.

But seriously, browsing is how I get inspired and refreshed. Who cares if I leave the store with something for my bookshelf. Leave me alone. I'm not about this like, “Oh, I’m a minimalist and I don't need to go to the store. I just sit on my rug and do yoga, breathe deeply, surrounded by all white walls with nothing fun in the house. I wear a black T-shirt every day because even though I love fashion and I love putting outfits together that's not minimalist and that is just what I am.” No, you're never going to find that from me.



Hey guys! Have you heard? Declutter Like A Mother is coming back! I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like A Mother is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like A Mother is where you need to be!

It's totally free to sign up. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!


I also enjoy making trips to the store for necessities and I like to make that a nice experience. Here's what I mean by that. I am home a lot, you guys. My life might be a little different than yours. So just consider my life as you take this in. My life is home all the time. I homeschool my kids. I work at home. My office is literally a part of my home. I walk out the door and I'm in my office. I even do a lot of my working out at home because we have a gym in our garage. So I'm home for pretty much everything.

When that happens, you notice that you're out of paper towels and you kind of get this like, “Oh, I'm out of paper towels! I need to go to target.” And I love that. I totally make it a thing. I tell Brian like, “Hey, are you good? Are you good with the kids? I would love to just get out for a second.” Sometimes he'll do this too. Sometimes we all do it together and we'll let the kids get a little apple or a little snack bar or something and we'll all go to Target together. Just walk around, be together and talk. Brian and I will get coffees. The kids run alongside the cart because the store is empty because we homeschool and no one else was at the store in the middle of the week in the morning. And we just be.

I love making my trips to the store for necessities a nice experience. So, I will go to Target because I need paper towels, but I'll bring my headphones, get a coffee, take a deep breath and browse. I'll be there for an hour and leave with just paper towels.

It's about browsing and enjoying and not buying every single thing. Just because I find something that seems like, “Oh my gosh! This is perfect for me. I love it. It's so cute.” doesn't mean I buy it. I have another episode that I did on this that I'll link to where I talk a little bit about this, not having to buy every single thing even if it seems perfect and, of course, you have to buy it – no, you don't.

I will definitely be browsing and go for paper towels and see, “Oh look! This book came out. I didn't realize this book was out yet! I've been wanting to read this. I'm going to get this book.” Or “Oh my gosh, the perfect pencil holder for my desk because my other one fell off the desk and cracked and broke. I'm going to get this.”

Sure, that kind of stuff happens, but I'm not shopping to shop. I'm not a minimalist for the sake of being minimalist and I'm not shopping for the sake of shopping, you know? Just buying stuff because I'm out. I can enjoy and appreciate something and not get it. It's more about being out and about and enjoying that process.

I've talked about this so much. I don't want my podcast to be super repetitive, but when it comes to clothing, I love to shop. I don't get cheap crap at Target and stuff really anymore. It's pretty rare that I will leave with a piece of clothing from Target. But you know, like the other day, it was a holiday weekend and my family went down to Carlsbad because we live in California, and we were just walking around. Brian needed some new tennis shoes. His were worn out and had holes in them and he went to go to the Nike store and there was a Madewell there. I love Madewell. So, I went in and I was looking around and I found a beautiful sweater. I loved it and I bought it because I loved it. I've worn it three times already since then.

So yes, I love to shop, but it's not shopping for the sake of shopping, buying everything that you see that you like. Where is your heart? Where are you coming from? I really hope this is resonating. I really hope this is making sense to you guys. I never want to misconstrue my message.

Why are you doing something? Are you doing it because of being, oh, you're a minimalist so you can't buy jeans? Or you don't need that, so don't get it, otherwise you're the worst. Or are you doing something because it's an area of your life that you want to simplify? What's your purpose?

What takes up your space takes up your time, right? We talk about this all the time. Of course, it is important to be minimal and to be a ruthless editor of what comes into your home, but not in everything to where your joy is totally sucked out of you.

I'm going to link in the show notes to this episode to a video that I made about this, about my story with doing this to myself. Having a capsule wardrobe and being very extreme, limiting my capsule wardrobe, limiting my clothes and how I started to really almost get a little depressive because I wasn't able to be myself, and have clothes and outfits to put together and play with that area of my life.

I love that. It's a huge part of who I am. If I wasn't doing what I am doing now, I would probably either own a flower shop because I love putting flowers and bouquets together or I would do something with fashion, clothes, styling and dressing for your shape. I love that kind of stuff.

I'll link to that video in the show notes that you can get at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089, if you want to watch that video because it's all about that. I won't bore you with it again here.

Be an editor of your home. Get intentional with what's taking up your space because it's taking up your time too, but don't do that just for the sake of being a minimalist to where your joy has totally left you and a big piece of who you are is just not getting satisfied because you're trying to be minimal. That’s no fun. That's not what this is about.

For a personal example, a lot of the areas of my home and my life are super minimal versus my closet and my wardrobe, which is not super minimal, because that brings me so much joy and it's such a huge part of who I am. So my kitchen - my kitchen is very minimal. We do not have extra dishes and stuff. I don't love being in there and love cooking all the time. I do what I have to do and then I'm done. So, I have the storageware that we need. I have the Tupperware that we need. I have the pots and pans that we need and the spatulas that we need. I don't have anything that I don't really need for how I cook for my family because it's not an area where I feel really inspired.

I have students in Your Uncluttered Home who have told me, “I feel like a chef. I love cooking. I love getting creative. I love being inspired in the kitchen. I want to have all these extra appliances and all these extra things to try even though they're not necessities and I don't use them all the time.” That's fine. That's their area where they want to get messy and they like to have joy and they like to have a little bit of excess. They'll deal with it taking up their time. They'll deal with that taking up more space and time because it's worth it to them. Because it's joyful for them.

I'm not that way. My kitchen is very minimal. My kids' toys are very minimal and all of the stuff that most people have in their drawers and their closets – mine is super, super minimalistic - but not my wardrobe. Make sense?

To help you guys out, I'm going to leave you with this. Here are some questions that I run through in my head to make sure that I'm not needlessly buying something when I'm out shopping and browsing and just walking around. You can write them down. You can keep them in your phone or you can go to the show notes for this episode and just download them. It's a pdf you could just save to your phone to have on hand.

Question #1: Is this something that I had been planning to buy for some time? Is this a planned purchase? Not just a random, you know, I'm going to get this.

Question #2: Is it necessary?

And keep in mind, please, that these questions or not, “If the answer is ‘no’, you can't get it, because that's minimalist for the sake of being minimalist. But this is just some things I just do to remember, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

So these are just kind of gut-checking questions that you can ask yourself to kind of feel out where you're at.

Question #3: Is it replacing something I no longer have or have now, but I'm planning to get rid of?

Question #4: How does this add to my life or improve the lives of my family?

Question #5: Do I own a version of this that works just fine already?

Question #6: Will I love this in a month, or a year, or 10 years (applicable to what the item is). For example, it's not super likely that you're going to love the same wall art 20 years from now. That's a given. But if you think you'll be sick of it by the end of this current year, maybe it's not right for you. Maybe that's not a smart way to spend your money.

Question #7: Also is it decorative or functional or needed? Why are you buying this?

These are just things that you use to check yourself.

If you want to get this list of questions - I have this in my phone, literally I have it in my notes - I put it on a pdf for you. Just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089and you can download that and put it on your phone. Super helpful. If you do enjoy shopping, but you feel like you've overdone it in the past and you're worried that you're going to undo your minimalist work, just have this list of gut-check questions for yourself and that can be super helpful.


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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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

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

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

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

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

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Jen Discuss:

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

  • Why fighting excess can be challenging, yet humbling.

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

  • How you can start your own 7 experiment.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALLIE: Hi, how are you?

JEN: Good morning!

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

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

JEN: That’s nice! Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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

Ep 071: Simplifying Your Budget with Sami Womack

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Budgeting, debt, and all the other financial-terms can make you shrink back and bring up a swell of negative, overwhelming emotions. Let me encourage you, it doesn’t have to be that way! We have the power to take control of our finances and our mindset towards it. Sami Womack is really great at taking the concept of living really well, living fully, and living abundantly and applying that to finances. She has this very realistic approach to budgeting, being a good steward of your money, and getting out of debt. Her family has an amazing story that I am really excited for you to hear!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Sami Discuss:

  • How changing your mindset about your worth can change your finances.

  • Simple tips for starting a budget and examples of a budget for the average family.  

  • The most common misconceptions that (mothers in particular) have about money and budgeting.

  • Ways you can approach budgeting positively and deal with all those heavy overwhelming emotions that come with finances.

Mentioned in this Episode:


 

 

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 it's a really good, simple place to start.

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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Hey ladies! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. I'm here with my friend, Sami Womack. I'm really excited that she's here.

Sami does a lot of bouncing off of the idea of living really well, living fully, and living abundantly, but definitely more geared towards the financial aspect of what that would look like.

She has this very realistic approach to budgeting, for lack of a better word, (I really don't like the word budget, but it is what it is) and just kind of I guess being a good steward of your money and getting out of debt. Her family has an amazing story. So, we're just going to dive in.

ALLIE: So Sami, tell us about your family before we get into the finance stuff.

SAMI: Okay. So, me and my husband, Daniel, have been married almost 10 years and we have three daughters. Our oldest is 7. We have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. All girls. We are also a homeschooling family and we are from East Texas. My husband has an offshore job, so he's gone for three weeks at a time and then he's home for three weeks at a time. So, it's amazing with homeschooling and living so minimally we have so much free time and we can really use all of that time when he's home.

ALLIE:  Yeah, that's awesome. I understand that too because for us, when we put the kids in school temporarily, we had worked so hard to get out of the typical 9-5, everyone vacations at the same time schedule, and school puts you right back in that. So, I can imagine if he was gone and then he comes home and you're like, “Okay, girls, bye!” That's awesome.

Okay. So, I want to get in with you to how and why did you start sharing about money and budgeting and kind of start spreading this message. You really reach everybody. You're not really specifically women. How did you get into that?

SAMI: Well, I do kind of focus a little more towards women and a little more towards families. I do have a lot of women who are readers and even students who are single or married with no kids, which I think that's still a family, whatever you consider your family.

I do everything kind of family-based and usually for the women who take care of the money in that part of the household chores, because I think it's just another part of your household duties really.

We started getting out of debt about four years ago now and then I've been blogging and coaching for almost two years now. And really why I started doing it was because I just wanted to share, you know? I just wanted to spread this message. This had literally saved my life, saved my marriage. It saved my motherhood and it saved me. It brought me closer to God. It brought me closer to myself, like literally every single aspect.

And so, I was just like, more people need to know about this, you know? I don't see a lot of young women, young family type people, talking about this. Everybody knows Dave Ramsey and I love Dave Ramsey. A lot of his teaching is kind of where I started because I didn't know anybody else. There wasn't really anybody else.

But you know, he's an older man. And I was like, “I kind of want to hear it from a fellow mom, you know? I want that mom perspective. I want somebody who understands what it's like to budget in formula, and two kids in diapers. My youngest two are 20 months apart. They literally were both in diapers while we were paying off debt.

ALLIE: I had three in diapers at once and for a period of time. It was crazy and it was so expensive. And I think too, not just your season of life as a mother and with young kids, but just your season of life from your age is so different. He’s amazing. I love Dave Ramsey and he can speak to that, but there is something about hearing it from somebody really in it right now. And I love that you're a woman. I love that you have young girls. I love that you've gone through what you've gone through. And you’re right. A lot of our age bracket or even “millennial” women are not thinking about money because we're not at the point where it's like, “Oh, you have to start thinking about retirement” or it's kind of forced because of your age. You talk about getting there now, dealing with that now, getting financially secure now. And I really liked that.

SAMI: Yeah. And it's a lot of the same things you teach about being intentional with your family and being intentional in your motherhood. We say “budgeting” for kind of lack of a better word, but it's really just intentionality with your money. It's being intentional.

And I throw in a lot of positive thinking. I'm a Christian so I throw in prayer and a lot of  different things. So, it's not just strictly budgeting and money mindset and all of that kind of stuff because I think it's also important.

One of the things that I really speak to a lot of my ladies about is that worthiness and we feel like we're so young, we feel like, “Oh, I'm just a mom. Who am I to have aspirations to be a millionaire? I'm just a regular person.” So, I kind of try to break that and speak to those women about their worthiness, their mindset and all of those kinds of things.

ALLIE: And so much of anything that we want to do or anyone we want to become is a mindset issue, so I think it's really good that you don't ignore that or just “I guess they can figure that out for themselves.” You really equip people. I've seen your affirmations and all of that and you know I'm big into all that.

You're dealing with the “root” important things and the surface things like “Yeah, you're in debt. You have a credit card problem. You have a shopping problem. You have an income problem. But those all came from somewhere, so let's get to the root and fix what's going to make this last.”

I know that your family has pulled out of how much debt in how much time?

SAMI: $490,000 in about 3 - 3½ years.

ALLIE: And I'm sure that you are aware that mindset is such a big part of that because you went through that and that is what really led to you falling all the way through and creating that lasting change.

SAMI: Yeah. One of the things that I always like to share is that my husband has had the same job for 11 years. He's had this job longer than we've been married. We've been together the whole time, but he has only gotten gradual little tiny raises. He basically is making the same amount of money that he was making 11 years ago. So it’s just like when we had no kids, we weren't married, we were renting a little apartment. The job didn't change. What changed? It was our mindset, it was our spending habits, that we weren't being able to make it with basically the same income. Now we're able to be out of debt and keep three kids fed. It was all our habits, our spending habits and our mindset because the income wasn't the issue, which it is for some people, but it's not always the issue.

ALLIE: Right. And that's the thing that everyone always says too. You think, “Oh, if I just had $500 more a month, then we could make this work.” Then you get that, and it's not enough. You increase as your money increases. So no matter if you have a six-figure income a month or way, way, way less than that, almost at poverty level, you have to make it work with what you have. It's always never going to be really enough if you choose to have that mindset and you can change that.

So, what would you say is maybe one of the biggest or most common misconceptions that mothers in particular have about money and budgeting?

SAMI: I think that they feel the guilt and they feel like they're going to be depriving their kids. “I can't not let them do that extracurricular or I can't send them to school without Nike's.” They don't want to put them in a little house. They want the best for their kids. As a mother, I feel that way too, and I've totally dealt with all of that guilt and that kind of “show” and that “materialism” kind of thing. But you know, as a mother that is so important and you want the best for your kids, but the real question is, “Is that really the best for your kids?” Or is showing up and actually being able to be there for them, have more quality family time, rather than parents who are working, working, working (which if you're in debt you're going to have to kind of hustle) but do you want to live in that hustle forever?

Focusing on the quality time - that's way more important. Saving for them to go to college one day or getting your money right, so parents aren't fighting in front of them about money. They're not getting divorced over money. I think that is ultimately the most important thing.

ALLIE: Right. And when you look back, your kids are not going to care that you didn't give them designer shoes and send them to school in that. They’re going to remember that you always argued about money.

I know that you're a fan of Jen Sincero’s books and a lot of what she says is that you want to deal with your money mindset issues. Think back to when you were a kid. What was going on about money? You got to deal with the root stuff. And we're forming that for them whether we realize it or not.

It's so much more important to give them that stability, live a good life, debt free or close to debt free, and un-tense life financially, than to “buy” them love. And I think especially if people come from poverty, that might be a big trigger for them and they feel lead to just kind of “buy” their love, buy their contentment I guess. And I love that you talked about that. I think it's really common.

SAMI: That’s kind of a lot of how we got ourselves into debt. Neither one of us came from money. My husband has a pretty good job. And so he was like, oh well that means we've made it. So now we have to have the big house to show for it. We have to have the nice vehicles and the nice clothes. We have to go out to eat to show that we're successful. And that's actually what ended up getting us into debt.

Now we're in a tiny two-bedroom rental house and we're much happier. We don't really care what anybody thinks now because we know what our savings account looks like. Back then it was “fake rich” and now it's like actually growing wealth, not all materialism. And what are we showing our kids? We’re showing them that how you look on the outside to society is the most important thing or what you're actually doing inside and at home is really what's more important?

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And you're living within your means. It's fine to have a bigger house and the nice things if you can do that and have both. But you realize status is nothing. It's not something that we're going to care about anymore. So, here's what's within our means. Would we rather have more of this or more of this? And you made that choice. I love that.

SAMI: It's also an abundant mindset kind of thing. We're still on this journey. We're still working on it. We're working to get away from that “scarcity” mindset. We are being really intentional with our money and we don't want to have to be forever. We're helping our kids and we're helping ourselves realize there's so much more. And so, we're working on that abundance mindset with them as well. It's not like, oh, we're stuck in this little house and we're going to be stuck here forever. Get into that more abundant mindset.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I just wanted to ask you, because I've experienced this so many times and I was just curious, maybe Texas is different, but when you guys were moving out of your big house and into this tiny rental with three kids, did the people renting it say “Why do you want to live here?”

SAMI: The current landlord that we have didn't, but we did go and do a walk-through with a house that’s almost twice as big as this one. It was actually a three-bedroom house that was quite a bit bigger. The guy found out that we had three kids and he was like, “Oh well you don't want this house.” They almost wouldn't even show it to us.

ALLIE: I know! You know we have four kids and our house is three bedrooms, then we turned the garage into an office and gym. And the guy was like, “why?” And every single time before our houses have always been even smaller. This one at least has two levels. Our houses are always so small and they just didn't understand it. We would get turned down because it was small for us, they were deciding it was too small. It was just funny.

SAMI: Those people basically pushed us out. We did go walk through it but they didn't want to rent to us. But the guy we actually ended up renting this from, he was like, “Yeah, I raised my three kids here until they were teenagers. We bought a bigger house because they couldn't all share room anymore.”

ALLIE: That’s awesome. There’s a funny quirk about being minimal and living simply.

SAMI: We’re fine. We're so comfortable in this tiny house. We're totally good.

ALLIE: People don't understand - the bigger the house, the more stress. We're at a point where Bella is 9 now and we're probably going to grow our family this year, and we do need a little more space. It’s good. We need it. And I kept it as small as I possibly could, but it's more. It’s more work. It’s more stress. It just is. So if you can get around it until you feel like you can’t or until you feel like it’s not worth it anymore, do it.

SAMI: And it was so cheap. We were like, “Yes! This is so cheap!”

ALLIE: You can go and do things. Or pour money into making the house decorated where you really love being there.

SAMI: And then you have a lot more wiggle room.

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ALLIE: I don't know if this is something you can pull off the top of your head, but what is a sample budget for an average family? Maybe if you could give some percentages? How much of a percent is a good starting point for things that they can have control over, like rent and car payments? I feel like you're kind of set for awhile there, maybe you can have a long-term goal of changing those things, but right now like with groceries, what kind of a percentage of income should be spent on things that you can control?

SAMI: Well, I try not to put exact percentages on people because I feel like it really goes a lot with your priorities. It goes a lot with what is important to you with your house, what is important to you in your diet. A lot of people's groceries are gonna look a lot different. Deciding on what size house you want is going to look a lot different. The part of the country you live in can be way different.

So, I try to get away from that because I try to really tell people it's your budget and it should really reflect your priorities. Like for example, this  whole debt free journey we went without satellite TV to save the money. But yet we never took our daughter out of dance class and most people would be like that would be the first thing to go, but for us it was a priority, so we could make it work. It slowed us down $50 a month on getting debt free, but that was our priority.

I think it's really about laying out your budget and looking at does this really reflect our priorities? Is our priority eating out $800 a month? Probably not. Are we spending too much on our house? Which is kind of where we were in our big house. It was too much. I really feel like it's kind of a personal thing. I try not to do too much percentages.

One of the best outlines that I do is I tell everyone to start with your bills. You have to make sure your bills are paid. Then go into what should your spending money be second. Because you can always scrimp on groceries, get a cheaper brand or have a meatless dinner or do something a little bit cheaper.

And then what is leftover? Whatever's leftover is what you apply to your debt or you save depending on where your priorities are. If there's no money leftover, if you're negative, work backwards. Reprioritize. “Yeah we do need to get rid of the satellite TV” or “Yeah, our house is too expensive” or “Yeah, we are spending too much on groceries.”

So, I do bills, spending and then savings. I keep those all three in separate bank accounts which is so, so helpful. We have a debit card for our bills account and we have a debit card for spending. We keep them separate so you never accidentally spend the rent money on groceries, that kind of thing. Or the electric bill is still pending and you go to Target and you think you have that much money and you really don't. That keeps it separate. And your spending money, that’s what you're allowed to spend until payday and when it's gone, it's gone.

ALLIE: And it's very simplified, which is what you need when you're overwhelmed.

I'm speaking personally (if you guys have listened to episode six of the podcast, you know, Brian and mine’s money and business story), but how do you handle if you have a client or if you yourself have really heavy emotional attachment to money issues? We just recently worked through this. I'd love to even do a second episode or something with you about this, because I think it could be a whole half-hour on its own. But we hired CFO’s because we were very overwhelmed by dealing with our money and that was something we just chose to delegate to bring yourselves more peace. And they were like, “Okay, so let's go over your personal budget.” Even just the word made me go back to the past (I’m poor!), almost like PTSD.

So how can somebody who doesn't have CFO’s, who doesn't have all that, just a normal person with a budget kind of approach it? What I'm saying is I think you want to avoid when you're scared, when you're scarred, when you've been through something or even if you haven't, just avoidance is such a cop-out for just not dealing with it. And then when it comes down to like, okay we have 200 bucks left and we're not getting paid till Friday. How can we make this work? And that's a bad cycle.

So how can somebody approach budgeting positively and deal with all those heavy overwhelming emotions?

SAMI: Yeah. That is the root of what I do and why I do it. I say that a lot (PTSD); I say that all the time. Our debit card got scammed a couple of months ago and it was just that PTSD of like, oh my gosh, we don't have any money, I can't use my debit card. And then I'm like okay, you have another account. It's okay. But it really is like that - PTSD.

Honestly the way you work through that is just the way you work through any other traumatic experience. It's going to take time. I think it's a lot of really diving in and dealing with the heart issue behind it, dealing with the guilt or the PTSD-like stress from it.

That's why I try to infuse a lot of motivation into what I do and a lot of mindset into what I do, because it's so much more than just the numbers. It's so much more. And then the spouses are getting back at each other – he spent this, so I’m going to go spend that. That root where you’ve hurt each other with money before. Or you've lied to yourself and you can't forgive yourself.

That's how I was. I had told myself, “Okay, I'm going to get serious, I'm going to budget, I'm going to do this.” And then I just kind of taper off. Like a workout program that you’re going to do, then three months later – what workout program?  

I would do the same thing with budgeting and I lied to myself so many times. It's just like dealing with any other heart issue. I suggest affirmations and journaling through that and looking for what are your triggers. Noticing, “Okay, I can’t grocery shop at Target because I can't trust myself. I'm going to go in there and come out with new shoes. I'm supposed to go in for groceries.” If that is a trigger for you, then don't grocery shop at Target.

There are people who tell me, “I can't even trust myself with a debit card. I've got to go all cash.” Do what you’ve got to do. You've got to pay attention.

And it's not going to be the same for every single person. It's not cookie cutter. Every person's story is different. Every person's money situation is different. Everybody's childhood has been different, their marriage is different. So, you've really got to dig in.

If you're married you’ve got to just rip that Band-aid off and have that really painful first conversation. Somebody's got to get the ball rolling. If you can just take a deep breath, jump in and just be like, “Hey, I think we need to sit down and talk.” One of the best things that we did was we sat down when the kids were in bed already. It was a late night, kind of like a date night kind of thing at home. A “dream” date is what I call it. We sat down and we shared our dreams and we ended up writing it down. That became our first goals list.

The thing is when you're in survival mode and you're just like payday, payday, payday, and that tunnel vision, oftentimes you haven't talked about your dreams in a long time. You've talked about there's not enough money for groceries, you're arguing and you're stressed. When was the last time you sat down and got excited about life together and dreamt about the future together?

That is a great first step if you're married. Get excited about life. Dream. Write some things down. Then say, “Hey, if we want to accomplish these dreams, we're going to have to work together.”

ALLIE: Focus on the positive goals, not the punishing budget.

SAMI: Exactly. And if you're single, then get your best girlfriend, your sister, whoever you know is going to be a positive reinforcement for you, and do that with whoever that trusted person is in your life.

Definitely notice those triggers. Journal. Do all of those mindset things that you have to do to grow.

ALLIE: Yeah. For sure. Okay. If somebody is listening to this and they want to find more of your resources…I feel like you have a lot of really great free resources just from what I've seen pop up from following you. Give us your website. I know you also have a budget course and some other things going on, so share where they can find you.

SAMI: Okay, so my website is asunnysideuplife.com. I'm on Instagram with the same name and Facebook. I have a really great Facebook group. It's growing and growing. A Sunny Side Up Life Community is a private group for women only, so it's a safe environment where you can share your wins, your struggles, all that kind of stuff.

And yeah, I do have a lot of free content.

I'm on Pinterest. I'm on Youtube. Every Monday I do a motivational Monday video, so it's basically 10 or 15 minutes of here's your little pep talk for the week, here's your little dose of motivation. Those are a lot of fun.

I blog. I have a free email course which is five days. It’s Take Control of Your Spending and it's very, very basic of getting your feet wet with budgeting. It's not overwhelming, it's just one simple email a day for five days. You start tracking your spending, figuring out where your money's going and all that to kind of just get your feet wet because it is a little scary at first, but you don't have to be overwhelmed by it.

Then I have my full budgeting course. It's called Your Sunny Money Method and it is 30 lessons. It's 10 lessons on the “why” where we walk through the mindset behind it. All those questions like, What if your husband's not on board? What do you do with your kids? How do you talk to your friends and family? All that stuff. Then 20 lessons on the “how.” It is so simple that we literally have one lesson on what to do before payday for your bills. One lesson on what to do on payday, one lesson for what to do after payday. So it's very, very broken down, very simple, very beginner-friendly. You can just do one lesson at a time. You don't have to get overwhelmed. You're not going to leave crying “oh there's one more chore.”

I'm really proud of it and we've had a lot of success with our students. All the ladies are doing amazing things. We also have a lot of bonuses. We do a live monthly group coaching, which is so great. We do it on zoom so everybody can come in with their little videos and we're all just hanging out. You can ask questions. That's included in the course. It’s worth the price of the course just to get that community and that access to me.

ALLIE: That kind of brings peace to talking about money and I love that you bring community into it because it would be very easy for you to not do that because talking about money is kind of taboo and it's really not done. People just have such high emotions attached to money. They just don't want to talk about it, especially with other people. So, I think it's really neat that you do that and I think that is incredibly valuable. And how much inspiration would you get from going to something like that, you know, spending 30 minutes talking to other women about what they're doing too.

SAMI: Yeah. And I just try to be really open, really honest and share “Guys, I've screwed up. I'm just a normal mom. I have three crazy kids. My house is loud. I spend money on diapers. I'm a normal mom like you.” I try to share where I've screwed up and that if you screwed up too, it's okay. We all make mistakes and we can all still grow.

ALLIE: Yes. I love that. Well, we'll link to all that for you guys in the show notes, Sammie's website and her courses, her free course and all of that.  I have your paid course and I have gotten your free course and it's all very DIY. It's very, very, very, very DIY. The format that your stuff is in, video and audio, and just the way that you talk about it… you give examples and you're really good at talking through it to where I feel very intimidated by money and I feel like, oh well that is easy. Then I can do this. And it's like I can do it myself. But you walked me through it to the point where it's like I feel unintimidated and really capable. You definitely have a gift for what you do.

SAMI: That's why I have a couple of intro videos and the first 10 lessons are just my face, just video talking and it's kind of like, “Hey, it's okay. We're just friends. I'm going to get you through this.” Then by the time we get to the last 20 lessons where we're actually setting up your budget, it’s slides and everything, but by then you're like, “Hey girl we’re just hanging out. We're good. It's not scary, I promise.”

ALLIE: I love that. Okay. Well thank you so much. This was really empowering. It's hard. People don't want to talk about money, so I'm going to encourage everyone. Click this episode even though the word “money” is going to be in the title. Just dive in and get to a point where you feel capable, enabled and empowered to handle this important area of your life. Avoiding it just really doesn't serve you at all. So thank you so much.

Okay guys. Once again, we'll link to everything in show notes for this episode and we'll catch you next time.


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