This episode is going to be more serious. Recently as I was sitting still in meditation, I had a realization that was so powerful. It was almost in the form of a vision. If you sometimes worry about others’ expectations of you, or even high expectations you set for yourself, this could be really helpful for you. I want to share it because I believe that it can set someone else free, like it did for me.
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
How others sometimes have unrealistic expectations of her
A realization she had during a time of meditation
How others’ perspectives and expectations are not your responsibility
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hi friends! I'm so excited to be sitting down and talking to you today! Taking a deep breath because this episode is going to be kind of intense. It's going to be a lot more serious, I guess.
I've actually been a little worried about feedback on this one, but you know, usually I have found that whenever I feel that way it more so means that it needs to be shared. Maybe it will roll off some people's backs, maybe they'll just scratch their heads and be like, “I didn't really vibe with that,” but maybe there are other people who really take to it and really need to hear it. So, I'm going to share it and I’m going to see how it goes.
I was talking about this episode with my husband, Brian, and telling him, “I think I'm going to need to make a joke before I record this that I'm not a psychedelic drug user,” because I'm going to be sharing something that came into my mind while I was having some quiet time and practicing meditation, which I've talked about a lot here on the show and I'm a firm believer in, but people get weird about that sometimes.
So anyway, I won't joke about that, but I've been practicing meditation for a while now, a couple of years now, and more recently in the last 6 - 12 months, I've been really practicing sitting in stillness with almost no agenda.
Sometimes, if I'm really burdened or feeling really heavy, I will have a little bit of an agenda like, “I want to think about this question that I'm struggling with the answer to or think about this problem that I'd really like to know what to do about,” and I'll go into meditation thinking on that a little bit.
But usually I go into meditation the same way every time - whether I'm by myself in my home or if I'm going to a class - I go in prayerfully asking God to sit with me, show up with me and show me whatever it is that He needs me to see because my life is very full, loud, busy and my kids are homeschooled, so they're here all the time and there's very little opportunity for quiet and for me to hear His voice.
And so, meditation is really a time where I quiet my mind intentionally and I quiet my life. I say, “I value my faith. I value stillness. I value what You would have to say to me, God, so I want to make time to hear you, to hear that, and to just let myself be still.”
I come into meditation also very ready to hear and ready to receive. I come in very open, because sometimes I'm coming into meditation time and I have expectations, which is very difficult not to do because we're humans. So, I try to come in open like, “Maybe I'm not going to get an answer to this question that I would love to figure out, but maybe I'm going to walk away feeling really peaceful.”
Sometimes I just walk away feeling so at peace and that is what I needed because that's what I got. Sometimes I do get a solution to a problem, or I'll have a really great idea, or a really powerful knowing that one of my kids needs something from me. It just depends, but there are so many benefits and so much power in creating times of stillness.
And moms of super little kids...this gets easier. It's okay if it's just not happening for you right now.
I have been practicing meditation more deliberately lately. Recently I was sitting still in meditation and I totally had this realization that was really, really powerful for me. It was almost in the form of a vision.
It was so powerful for me, I haven't been able to let it go. I came home right away and told my husband about it. It was just so powerful. I was crying and it really, really helped me. I've been telling friends about it and I just feel like I need to tell you guys about it. I want to share it because I believe that it can set someone else free, like it did for me, and be really helpful.
While I was in this particular time of meditation I was in the middle of an unguided meditation. For those of you who are unfamiliar, there's guided meditation and there's unguided meditation. Guided meditation is where if you were in a class you would have an instructor prompting you through things like, “focus on your breathing, now focus on the pressure of the ground underneath you, now continue to focus on your breathing or think about this.” They're guiding you and it can help when you're in the beginning of your practice and your mind tends to wander. That's natural. Your mind will completely go away from what you're there to do and begin to race with all these thoughts and things you need to remember to do and all of that.
Then there's unguided meditation where it's just silence. You're sitting in silence and you don't need anyone to prompt you. You can focus on your breathing and control your thoughts on your own.
That's what I was doing. I was doing unguided meditation. I think I was meditating for about 30 minutes that day, which is average for me. I was in about the middle of that time. It's always hard to know because in meditation you lose track of time.
But I saw myself. I didn't prompt this in any way. I was literally just focusing on my breathing and being really open to whatever God wanted to show me. I was feeling really heavy emotionally that day, actually that whole month. I was just really struggling. I was finding myself avoiding my job, avoiding showing up for people, avoiding Instagram, avoiding writing emails, just feeling really heavy and tense. I didn’t know why and I wasn't even there to do anything about it. I was just doing my morning quiet time.
While I was meditating at this time, I all-of-a-sudden got a flash of a vision in my head that I didn't put there. And this is why I preach meditation so much because it's so powerful. It doesn't always go like this, but it can, and without creating space for it you just won't have these realizations.
I saw myself in this vision. I saw this version of myself that a lot of people expect me to be. It's sort of like how they see me or how they want to see me. I'm going to talk about that version of myself a little bit so that you can really understand why this vision that I had was so powerful.
That version of myself looks like everything is perfect. This version of Allie always does her rhythms and routines perfectly without fail. She always has everything uncluttered all the time. Her bathroom sink is never cluttered. There's never anything extra. Her closets are always perfectly uncluttered and organized all the time. People dissect the way she lives because they either want to find flaws in it or they want to live that way too.
She always has everything perfectly together and everything is always working out for her. She makes no mistakes. There is never any clutter. There is never any excess. Everything is always perfect all the time.
And despite how often I share here on the podcast, on Instagram, and on my platforms, that that's just not the case…I'm very open and kind of funny about the realness of my life and my home. I'm transparent about my struggles, my weaknesses, my reality, but the things that I figured out and the help that I share has made things less stressful and just simpler for me...I still always feel this pressure and expectation from other people. That is the version that they see of me. And that's the version of myself that I saw in this vision.
That doesn't mean that I do all the things that I'm teaching. Just because I'm teaching them doesn't mean that I do those things every single moment of every single day.
I teach rhythms and simplicity. That doesn't mean that everything in my life is completely simplified all the time. That doesn't mean that I never miss my rhythms or I'm not doing something that I said that I do. That is really hard and really frustrating. Sometimes I'll mention something like, “Hey, if you're struggling with this, what I've really found to help is doing this and I've been doing this for a really long time and it's worked over and over for me and I want to help you by sharing that with you.”
And then because I say something like that, people just automatically assume that I'm always going to do that. It'll be a year or two later and they're seeing something that I showed on Instagram and they'll say something like, “But I thought that you did this in the mornings. You said in this episode you do this in the morning,” and it's like, “Whoa!”
I'm just here to share what I'm learning as I'm going. I am a human being. I am evolving all the time and changing things all the time. I don't hold myself to doing something that I learned is helpful constantly, but a lot of the people who follow me and even some of my friends and family in my real life talk to me in a way where I can see that that's how they view me…perfect.
Their expectations of me are perfection and they hold me to it. They treat me as if they think that I'm really like that. They respond to me as if that's how I am. As much as I work to stay grounded, be myself, and have healthy boundaries, it's hard not to attach yourself to that version of yourself, to those expectations, to that version of yourself that really doesn't exist.
Hey friend! I just want to talk to you real quick about the holidays because they're coming up on us! If you are sick of being super stressed out and dreading seeing certain people, going through certain traditions or dealing with the budget crisis of the holidays, I want you to know that there is a no-stress way to handle more stuff coming into your home, dealing with boundaries and relatives, dealing with traditions.
I want to help you craft this Christmas mission statement and not just for Christmas but for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. I want to help you decorate your home without making it feel super cluttered and too much, with things that are special and matter.
I want to help you transition your kids into a simpler Christmas and stop expecting so much stuff. I want to help you make new traditions and let go of the ones that are stressful and a burden that you're holding onto out of obligation that aren't serving your family anymore. I want to help you buy and receive Christmas presents with a simpler mindset. Plus, I want to help you know what to do when the holidays are over and starting out the New Year right.
We're going to talk about buying your kids' presents, dealing with relatives and their gift giving, preparing your house. What if your husband doesn't want a simple Christmas, but you do? Anything and everything you can think of!
It's all in my super short but powerful, powerful punch-packer, A Merry Little Christmas. It's a mini course. It's only $39. It's available now. It's DIY. You just get in there, login, take in the teaching and simplify your Christmas.
To snag this, go to alliecasazza.com/amerrylittlechristmas. $39 bucks for a simplified Christmas. Come on. Let's get in there. Let’s do this. Let's stop spending this precious time of the year feeling super, super stressed out.
So in this vision, going back to that, I saw myself standing and holding on to a bouquet of balloons and the balloons weren't regular balloons. They were made up of that other version of myself that people assume is the real me. I saw that version of me plastered all over the balloons I was holding.
I know it sounds really weird and that's why I was saying I should make a joke about psychedelic drugs, but it's a vision. It's a dream; it's not reality.
And so, I saw that version of me plastered all over the balloons I was holding and then I stood there for a while just looking at that and feeling the weight of what that version of me feels like. I saw the distance of myself. I noticed the distance between me and the balloons. I noticed the distance between the real me and that version of me and I realized that there was a distance and that wasn't really me.
Then I let the balloons go. I watched them float away for a good, long time and it felt so good. I could not stop smiling as I was watching this play out in my mind. It was amazing! I physically felt myself letting go of a very heavy weight that I didn't really know was there.
I played that in my head over and over again during that time until my little meditation app alarmed dinged. And I've played it over and over in my head a lot of times since then.
The reason that I'm sharing it with you is because I don't think this issue is limited to those of us in the public eye. I think a lot of us have a version of ourselves that come from other things, from other people, or a certain place that you are every now and then like maybe a version of yourself that you are at work or in certain relationships and friendships.
Or maybe the version of yourself comes from you. Maybe you put a version of yourself out there that's made up of expectations that you put on yourself and when you don't live up to them or the real you comes out, you feel like a failure. Maybe you do that in your role as a mom.
I want to invite you into this. I want to invite you to borrow the vision that I had that day and create that vision in your head on purpose. It happened to me, but you can create that on purpose and borrow the picture I painted for you. Let yourself really imagine the details of that other version of yourself and feel the weight of that. What are the specifics of that girl? How does it feel to carry the weight of trying to be her? How does it feel to be pressured to be that girl?
Let those details form the balloons in your mind and then feel the gap between the real you and those balloons. Picture yourself just a girl doing her best, trying to live her best life and show up for the people she loves. Let that girl, the real you, hold on to the other version in the balloons and then let them go. See them floating away. See how that feels. Let the emotion in that and the power in that wash over you in this moment of stillness you're creating for yourself.
Feel free, if you need to, borrow this vision of mine any time. Anytime you feel like you're not enough or you're heavy with what you're supposed to be. Just let it go. Feel yourself letting it go and feel that lightness come over you.
I think it's one thing to have goals, to grow, to shift and evolve into a better version of yourself. I'm always trying to do that. But it's a totally other thing to feel the pressure of expectations of the person that you're “supposed” to be according to other people (or according to yourself, if you're hard on yourself) and to wear that as a mask so often that it's the only version of yourself you really know and you've lost the real you.
You lost the girl who likes to go out with her friends every now and then and take a break from her kids and her husband. You've lost the girl who would rather be in sweatpants with no bra watching reruns on Netflix than going out. The girl who loves to craft. The girl who loves her job. The girl you really are.
I don't want that to sound cheesy, but just sit with those words if they're resonating with you.
I know that as a part of my job and being in the public eye, in the small scale that I am, that people will build their expectations of me. It's just natural. They are going to put me on a pedestal, expect crazy things of me, and assume things about me that aren't true.
This happens a lot with my faith and people put me in a typical, conservative, Christian box that I just don't belong in, it happens with my marriage, and all different kinds of things. It's just part of my job. It's going to happen.
They will choose to not hear things that I'm saying that don't align with the version of me that they want me to be, that they've made up because it benefits them for me to be that girl. It benefits them and what they want to believe. For some reason they need me to be that version. Because maybe if I'm not, then maybe there's no hope for them. Or maybe they just don't want to see reality. They want to believe that there is a perfect, secret way of living, of doing motherhood. And if I'm real with them and honest about the fact that there are just simple shifts I've made to make things lighter but it's still imperfect, that's not what they want to hear.
Or they see me getting attention, having a platform, being on a stage and they get upset. They point their finger and blast the way I do my faith, the way I do relationships, the way I do parenting. So, they keep me in a box. They keep me in the box they made for me and they won't hear anything outside of that. Or they will hear it, but they're going to judge me like crazy for it.
Here's the key part that I want you to walk away with - that is not my responsibility. And whatever this other version of yourself is that’s coming from other people (or from you if you're hard on yourself) - that's not your responsibility.
For me, other people's perspective of what I do and their expectations of me, the things they're holding onto, the things that would be a huge letdown for them if they found out I wasn't that way - that is not my responsibility. That's not on me.
My responsibility is my life. The way I'm truly living. The way I share honestly about what I'm learning, how I'm growing, and how I'm messing up, just like I do here on the show with you guys.
My mission field is my responsibility. My message is my responsibility. My family, my marriage, my faith - that's my responsibility.
I am responsible for how honest I am.
And that's what I'm doing, but I can't make others see what they choose not to see.
I can't force them to not come up with their own version of me, what I do, and what I'm saying.
But I can certainly have a boundary for myself that I don't have to try to live up to that or take that on as a burden.
I hope this encourages somebody. I hope that this kind of mental practice that dropped into my head during this time of stillness in my life will be something that some of you can borrow and let yourself feel the weight coming off.
Practice this as often as you need to. I have honestly made this vision a morning practice, really, really often, almost every day for the last couple of months since the first time it happened.
It was just so powerful I had to share it and I hope that it can become a practice for some of you too, who really needed this.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!