Ep 118: When You're in A Slump


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


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How to deal when you’re in a slump

  • What abundant life is and what it isn’t

  • The truth that everyone deals with “low” times

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

Mentioned in this Episode:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the facts that I want to get straight. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!

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

Ep 117: One Simple Shift Anyone Can Make to Have a Better Day


I want today’s episode to be a perspective shift for you guys. It's a really, really simple thing you can do to set yourself up to have a better day: Don't check your phone first thing in the morning. When you open your phone in the morning and you’re looking at your text messages, or your Instagram, or opening your email, you’re automatically giving away your power. In this episode I’m going to explain what I mean by that. There are habits that you need to break when it comes to your phones in order to set yourself up to have a better day. Let’s dive in! 


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why checking your phone first thing in the morning gives away your power

  • How an early morning email totally ruined her husband’s day

  • How morning quiet time and mediation can help you set the tone for your day

  • The adjustments she made in her phone settings to take back power

Mentioned in this Episode:


I’ve created a free and easy guide for you that lays out the different phone settings that I use to help me stay present in my life and with my family.

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hi guys! Welcome to The Purpose Show! Oh my gosh, I'm so happy to be recording today. It feels like it has been forever since I hit record on an episode. I mean it has been. Because of the way I batch the episodes that I last recorded, and then taking July off, it's been a minute and I'm so happy to be back in front of my mic. I love it.

Okay, so before we get into this episode, I should just share with you guys...I just finished this amazing latte. Hear it? The remnants? So good! Seriously, so good! Maybe there's somebody who's trying not to have sweeteners and sugar that will thank me for sharing this, but I have figured out this iced latte situation that I'm really happy about. Actually, Brian figured it out and it's amazing.

I have this little coffee place in our town that makes handcrafted, artisanal coffee. It's not a Starbucks. You can get it with oat milk or almond milk, whatever your milk alternative choice is, or regular milk if that's your thing. I order a latte with almond milk and I get an extra shot of espresso so that it actually tastes like coffee and doesn't taste like I'm drinking a cup of milk, because I like coffee. I say, “no sugars, no sweetener.” Then I ask them to add a little bit of honey instead. Now the person has to add the honey to the hot espresso, not just dump it into the cold latte otherwise it won't mix right. But if they do it right and you ice it...oh my gosh. It is so good, so refreshing, so nice in the middle of the afternoon as a little midday pick-me-up. It's super good.

I notice at Starbucks…they don't get it right. Which in my opinion, I don't really like Starbucks so they don't get a lot of things right. I only go to Starbucks if I have to or if I really want coffee and it's just super convenient. But anyway, this is just super good. We've been traveling a lot lately and I've been getting this everywhere I go—in every state—and it's just been really good. They get it right at many, many places and it's really yummy and refreshing.

So, if you are a person who is trying to cut out sweeteners and all that stuff, I've been on that boat for a really long time and haven't had artificial sweeteners or even Stevia or anything for so long. It’s like a honey latte. It's really, really good. Okay. Anyway, that was a side note.

Today's episode is…I don't know if it's a pep talk or what, but I think I want it to be a perspective shift for you guys. It's a really, really simple thing you can do to set yourself up to have a better day. We’re gonna just dive right in…

Don't check your phone first thing in the morning.

Now don't quit this episode because you've heard this before and you think it's going to be about all the scientific studies that show the effects of the phone first thing in the morning or at night when you're going to sleep. All of those things exist. We know those things.

I think for most of us we see those things. We look at that data and we're like, “Wow! That's really crazy.” And then we just keep doing it. We don't make any changes. And I have stuff like that too. It's fine. But this isn't about that. This is more of a psych/spiritual thing.

I'm going to tell you a story. This happened to my husband, Brian, and after it happened, we were talking about it and I was like, “You know, I think I should share this on the show.” And he's like, “Yeah, absolutely. It’s totally a bad habit. It ruins a lot of days. People need to know to make this shift because it’s something you do without thinking about it.”

Here's the thing I want you guys to understand. When you open your phone in the morning and you look at your phone in the morning, it's not that you just have opened your phone and you're just sitting there doing nothing on it. You're doing something on it. You're probably looking at your text messages, or your Instagram, or opening your email. You're doing something and that is automatically giving away your power.

I’m going to explain what I mean by that. There are habits that you need to break when it comes to your phones. I talk about this stuff all the time. I don't really struggle with my phone so much anymore. I used to be completely addicted to my phone, social media, and constantly be mindlessly scrolling, and for the last few years I really haven't been. I've broken that in my life and it's a really great feeling. I would love for you guys to get there. I do have a free pdf that I've created that people love. It's really helpful. I think it's called Phone Settings For A Present Life. It's free. I'll link to it in the show notes for you guys. You can go grab it to get started.

I know they say you're not supposed to have your phone in your room and all of that. And I still do. I have my phone on my nightstand and it charges at night. It's my alarm clock. But I don't struggle to open it up and mindlessly scroll anymore. I really don't. I really only open my phone if I'm going to do something on it and it needs to happen.

But my husband, Brian, has had a harder time making this shift happen for him. And so, we've been talking about this a lot lately because he's noticed how much time is wasted on there. This situation happened where Brian inadvertently gave his power away first thing in the morning by checking his phone.

This can happen if you're on Instagram and you see something that upsets you, but I think it really happens when we open up our phones and we get into the communicative apps first thing in the day. That would be things that people are communicating with you on. That could be Instagram because there's DM’s and comments, but usually it's text messages and email.

When you open up those things first thing in the day, that's where you're really giving away your power. You're basically putting the power of your mindset for the day in the hands of strangers and in the hands of other people in your life who are getting in touch with you. They get to decide how your mood is, how you start the day, how you feel as you go about the day because you gave them your first moments of the day.

I'm not sure why, but ever since the digital age with cell phones, smart phones, apps and notifications, humans have allowed a simple vibration or beep from their mobile devices to totally interrupt their lives. We are spending time with our kids, we hear our phone vibrate on the counter and we just need to know who's texting us. We need to know: what does that say? We need to know: what does this Instagram message say? Who liked my photo? What is my dad texting me about? What is this email from my boss? We have to know right now. It's kind of a blessing that we can do that; It's really cool, but it's also a major curse because it's constant interruption to where we are currently in real life where we're supposed to be present and we're not so present anymore.

I want to help you shift from constantly allowing yourself to be interrupted to living a life that is aligned with what you say your priorities are. Because saying that your family is your priority is totally different than backing that up by the way you live your life, the way your phone is set up, the things in your home and your schedule that make space for you actually prioritizing what you say your priorities are.

I have this free pdf that I mentioned in this episode. It's called Phone Settings For A Present Life. It's totally free. It's a fan favorite. People love it. My phone settings are exactly like this still to this day and they have been for years.

 It is basically how to set up your phone to stop interrupting you for things that don't matter, but still collect your notifications quietly so that when it's time for you to go check your phone, you can check your phone and see who's texted you and who's gotten a hold of you...all of those things.

To get this free pdf, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/117. Again, it's totally free. Let me help you simplify this area of your life. Quiet the noise so that you can be a more present mom.

Here's an example of what I mean by that: A few weeks ago, we were waking up in the morning and lying in bed. In the morning I normally will wake up and I'll lie there for a second and let myself wake up. I wake up a little slow. I'll usually do my gratitude. I've shared on Instagram about this. You guys might already know about that. I'm mentally going through a slow list of things that I'm grateful for as I wake up and come-to for the day.

Brian woke up and he grabbed his phone, turned his alarm off, opened up his apps and opened up his email. When he did that, he saw an email from somebody and basically this person was doing something that was just not fair when it comes to my business. They were basically copying some of the content and the ideas in my business. It's somebody that we know or used to be close with and it upset him really bad.

I won't get into all the details, but basically, he opened up an email that upset him and it was one of those things where it's like, “How could this person do this? This really is not right. Oh my gosh, should I say something? But if I do say something…”

You know one of those kinds of emails where you're just like, “Oh my gosh! Why did I have to see that? Why does this have to be happening?” It was making all of these ugly feelings come up in Brian and he was having a really, really hard time. It was really hard for him to shake. He was getting ready for the day. He was having his coffee. We were doing breakfast and everything, and he was in a bad mood. It ruined his day. He had a hard time shaking it.

Even later in the afternoon after we had gone through so much of the day, it was almost dinner time and he brought it up again. “How are you not upset about that? I can't believe that! It's just not right. I just can't believe this person...” He was really upset about it.

Look at how that went: First thing in the morning, he is barely even awake for the day and he chose to instead of taking the power in his own hands for his day and deciding, “This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to choose to be grateful. I'm going to read my Bible. I'm going to pray. I'm going to go for a run, or I'm going to do something. I'm just going to relax and breathe.” He opened up his phone, he opened up his email, and he gave the power of his day away to somebody else who had sent an email and upset him.

This has happened to me as well. In the past I have struggled with my phone. I've opened up an email or seen a text message somebody sent me—something really early in the morning—and it was upsetting. Or they're asking me to do something when I really have a full day and then I'm upset because everyone is always wanting something from me and I have things to do.

My big problem in life is that people think that because we do school at home or because we work at home we can do whatever we want, and there's really no schedule and it's just chill. It's frustrating because people that have jobs outside of the home and schedules, they think that we can just do whatever. And so, maybe somebody sends me a text with that air about it and it upsets me. 

First thing in the morning you are not in a place where you are calm. You haven't set the tone for your day yet. It's almost like you're a blank slate. It's so important to take that morning time, even if it's just for five minutes, and be intentional with it. When you're not, you're giving away your power.

This day is the only time you'll get this day. It is so important. We've got people to raise. We've got a business to run. We've got school to teach the kids. We've got people to influence. We've got stuff to do. We've got conversations to have. We've got food to make. We've got energy that we need to keep reserved for all the things that are coming in the day. And you grab your phone, you check your emails and someone upsets you, you just gave them the most important part of your day and you let them have that power.

Brian and I in different situations. And Brian—in this specific situation—if he would have had self-discipline, if he would have just not checked his phone first thing in the morning and instead had an intentional morning with meditation, prayer, reading and gratitude, seeing that email or a text message later would've had a totally different effect on him, right?

It’s not that the email wasn’t upsetting, but it was because he opened his phone and he looked at it first thing in the day before he's really even come-to and you're just kind of out of it, right? He gave it the first moments of his day. It upset him. He was so upset. 

Let's rewind and play it a different way. If Brian had done what we normally do: woken up, gotten straight into gratitude, done meditation, read our Bibles, sat out on the porch with coffee and had a conversation, prayed with each other, and then Brian usually works out, and then he went and checked his email, it would've had a much different effect on him.

Yes, it still would have been upsetting. Yes, it still would have been a bummer and brought up emotion, but that person wouldn't have held the power over his day. He probably would have been in a certain frame of mind from having all of his spiritual quiet time to respond to it differently. I mean, he didn't respond to them. I'm saying respond to it within himself differently because he would've set the tone and decided for himself how his day was going to go.

 If anyone has ever practiced gratitude even once, or if you pray or read your Bible, or do anything for yourself in the mornings, you know that you are a totally different person when you do that in the morning than when you don't, right?

You take the power of your first morning moments in your own hands and you decide, “This is the person that I'm going to be today. This is how my day is going to go. Yes, I'm flexible. I've got kids. Crap might totally hit the fan, but at least I gave the first moments of my day to something that mattered. Something that set it in a good tone. Something that's going to help me.”

When life happens, things get crazy, somebody upsets me or sends me a rude text message, it has a different effect on me because I'm centered. Because I'm standing on a firm foundation. For me that's my faith, you know?

When we set ourselves up in that way in the morning, we are putting the power where it belongs and we're not giving it to other people. We're not saying, “Hey, you can decide how my day goes. You can take the first moments of my day. You can set the tone for me.” We set the tone for ourselves. We decide.

The power of your first morning moments are really important. It's really powerful.

I wanted to share that story, this thought, and this thing that we've been learning. I learned how to do this years ago, but of course there's always moments of struggle where it's easier to grab your phone. For some reason on the weekends it's not the same as any other morning and you can grab your phone and it's cool because it's not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. And that doesn't make any sense. You're still a person. You still have a powerful day ahead of you. You still have a powerful opportunity in your morning moments.

If we set these simple rules and we say, “You know what? I'm going to set the intent that I am no longer going to grab for my phone first thing in the morning. I'll turn my alarm off and that's it. I'll get into my morning practice.” Even if your morning practice is just going downstairs with your kids and making them breakfast, and you're not even having quiet time, that's okay. But you're not giving the power to other people who don't really care how your day goes, right?

Maybe consider setting that intent and making that really small shift. Set yourself up to have a better day.

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 116: Everything Back-to-School, Totally Systemized & Simplified


This episode is a little different. It is actually the audio from a live class that I led on social media. And it is jam packed with some serious value. I’ve got everything that you would need for the back-to-school season and beyond. This episode is about systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling incoming paperwork, email systems, extracurricular activities, routines & rhythms, meal planning, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. So, whether you have school-aged kids or not, this should be helpful! 


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Processing incoming paperwork and emails

  • Life-hacks to make mornings easier 

  • Simplified meal prepping 

  • Solutions for your family’s “drop zone” 

  • How to decide what’s worth your time and what isn’t

  • Setting a seasonal intent for your family 

  • Teaching your kids responsibility 

  • Maximizing the fringe moments with your kids

  • The benefits of a digital calendar

Mentioned in this Episode:


Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hey friends! Oh my gosh! This episode is packed with some serious, serious value. It's longer than my usual episodes because it's actually the sound pulled from a really big live class that I held on social media. So, if you missed it or you just want this for the future, here it is for you! 

It is seriously packed with everything that you would need for help for the back to school season. But this doesn't even have to be listened to when it's just back-to-school. It's systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling: incoming paperwork, alerts, events from the school, your mail, your regular life, email systems, before and after school routines, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. 

What about extracurricular activities? How do you decide what your kids should do and what's not for right now? What about obligations like being the “room mom”? And you have all of these feelings like you should be doing more? How do you weigh out to say, “yes” or “no” to those things? What about simplifying lunches, meals and just everything if you have school-aged kids?

It's really, really jam-packed. 

So, I'm going to let it play for you now, but please know that this is for everybody. Amy, she's on Team Allie and she was at the live to be admin in the chat for me and she texted me afterwards, “Oh my gosh! That was so good! I don't have school-age kids yet and I got so much out of it!” Her oldest is 2, so just so you know, this is for everybody. But it was so good and I didn't want to let it fade away into the cyber universe, so I'm sharing it with you here today. 

Alright, so here's what's going on: My name is Allie Casazza and I help overwhelmed women, particularly mothers, simplify their lives so they can spend more time focused on what matters and less time on the side-note things. The things that are supposed to be “extras” that support the life you want to live, but if we're not careful they can tend to completely take over and “maul” us and then all we're doing is the side-note stuff like cleaning up and meal prep. Then, all those things that are supposed to support a great life end up totally taking over and distracting from it. 

So that's what I do. I think it all starts at home. I love to get people started with clutter, but then that spills over into calendar, schedule and all of that. My personal opinion after years of doing this for myself and with other women—leading these online programs that I create and coaching women to take action—my belief at this point is that home-decluttering is Step One and that everything kind of stems from there. Then, from that place, the next step would be to apply this kind of minimalistic approach to your schedule, your life, the way you're living, and the way you're spending your time. 

So we’re gearing up for August to focus on that Step Two, because a lot of you guys came to the How To Declutter Your Home In Two Weeks live trainings that we did, and a lot of you guys have come to join Your Uncluttered Home and you're getting your house simplified and doing all of these great things and you're ready for Step Two. Step Two is all of this kind of stuff. 

It's back-to-school season so it (accidentally) works out perfectly, and I think that we should take advantage of that and make it happen. 

If you haven't decluttered your home yet, it's okay. But just know that you can set up rhythms and routines and simplify all you want but you're not going to really see a huge difference if you don't declutter first. That's a tough truth and it's a little disappointing when you just want to get things lighter and you haven't started yet. Everyone has to start somewhere and it does matter where, okay? 

Part of the thing that I do in creating these online programs is I passively coach women on their own time because it's all prerecorded and automated. Sometimes we'll add in an accountability group so that they can talk to me live and talk to each other as they're all working towards the same goal. But basically it's like passive coaching because everyone's in different time zones, in different countries, and it's a really cool setup. 

So, essentially what I create are these passive coaching programs for women who want to simplify. We do Step One, Your Uncluttered Home, and then Step Two would be Unburdened. If you find this episode helpful (which it’ll be super deep and really helpful), Unburdened is times a hundred. So, if you've ever been wondering what's the difference between the programs, that's the difference. 

Unburdened is life stuff: systems, rhythms, and getting things done in a way that serves you in the life you want to live. I hope that makes sense. Okay, let's get started. 

The first place I want to start with is paperwork because, whether you have kids or not, paperwork is always coming in. But when you do have kids it absolutely increases, right? We get a ton more papers just by the fact that we have kids. 

You send your kids to school and in come the papers—announcements, activities, all these things they're sending papers home for. If you homeschool that can mean even more paperwork than if you don't. What do you do with all the paper? A lot of schools are doing a more digital setup where it's email-based but that can also create clutter. 

We're going to talk about how to handle it in a way that is helpful, life-giving and feels attainable. Sometimes people share decluttering tips or organization systems and you know you’re not gonna keep that up. My least favorite thing in the world was when I moved into a two-story house for the first time and looked for tips for how to handle when things are downstairs that belong upstairs. Things were making a mess at the bottom of the stairs because no one was going up and putting things away. And all of the tips were like, “Oh just be disciplined. That’s the rule. We go upstairs and we put it away. Don't be lazy. We just go upstairs and put it away.” 

Maybe I'm lazy, but I'm not going to go upstairs to put something away when I'm staying downstairs. And I know that I could tell my kids to do that all day, but it's going to turn into a nag session and a fighting match that I don't have time for. So, I had to create my own solution. I put a basket at the bottom of the stairs instead and that is where things that belong upstairs go. At the end of the day, we bring it up and we empty it. 

I like to do things like that. I like to take whatever is not working for everybody and I'll just figure it out for all of us and then share it. That's what we're going to do today.

So, I'm going to teach you my system for incoming paperwork. I know everyone's getting started with back-to-school, maybe your kids have already started. I homeschool my kids. Emmett goes to school a few days a week and the other kids have programs that they go to a couple of days a week, so I'm kind of half in and half out. But it doesn't matter because there's a system that I have that's for everything: mail, random papers (like when you write a note down on a post-it and you're like, “I'm not going to remember that; I’m going to lose it,” or you write it in your journal and you don't want to forget it, so you’re like, “I'll rip it out and put it here”). I have a system for all paperwork ever and this will absolutely work for back-to-school. 

Okay, here we go. 

The first thing you need to do is basically create an “email inbox system” for physical papers. So, the first thing you're going to do is get yourself a physical box. Mine is tin or metal and I got it from Target. It's white. It matches my house. And it's super simple. It's like a magazine holder. So, you're going to get a physical inbox and this is your home, this is your landing zone for paperwork that comes in. Okay? 

The other thing you're going to get is one of those normal folders that you can just get for school or whatever. Get whatever color and pattern you want. Mine says “follow up” on it. The folder is going to live inside of your new physical inbox. 

Okay. So, Step One, buy a physical inbox. Step Two by a little folder. Now, I’ll explain how this works. 

When the kids go back to school or if they already have, you will need to process all the papers. I'm going to show you how to set up a normal weekly rhythm for processing incoming paperwork, but when your kids first go back to school, you're probably going to have an extra amount of papers, so you're going to want to process them all right away and then start your weekly rhythm, okay? 

I have one day of the week that is my physical inbox processing day. It used to be Sunday, because we have our Sunday meetings. I don't know if you guys have heard that podcast episode or not, but Brian and I have a Sunday night meeting before the week starts and I thought, “Oh this goes in perfectly with that. I'll just do it then.” But it didn't go perfectly with it because I don’t want to process mail and big decisions like that on Sunday night when I'm not usually in my calendar, I'm definitely never at my computer, and sometimes mail comes and I need to update an insurance problem or something. I'm not going to do that on Sunday night. 

So, I moved it to Friday. It's the end of the week. I'm wrapping things up. I usually have team meetings on Friday; I'm wrapping up work. I'm in my office. I'm in that mode of let's get things done and wrap it up so we can have an amazing weekend because we take Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for our weekends here. So that's my mental process. 

Pick a day. Don't overthink this. Just pick a day. What day of the week is going to work for you? It's okay to pick a day and then move it later. Just pick a day. That day is your processing day. 

Make it fun. Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee or tea, get a juice, or whatever. Sometimes I'll go and get an iced latte and bring it home. Make it a treat. This shouldn't be a burden. It shouldn't be a big ordeal. It should be something you look forward to. You have a system. You are being an action-taking, problem-solving lady. You’re the CEO of your home and this is the day where you organize, systemize, and handle that crap that would stress you out otherwise. 

You're going to sit down and go through things. You are going to process piece-by-piece. Open the mail, look at the school flyer, whatever it is. Look at it and you're going to be processing that. What is this paper? What's the point of it? What action needs to be taken on it, if any? 

Sometimes the action is a quick action, like adding an event to your calendar. Other times it takes a little more time. Maybe it warrants a response from you or maybe it warrants a conversation with your spouse about what decision you want to make about the idea that this paper is presenting to you and your family. 

Whatever the action is, do something immediately. If it is a quick action, do it immediately. Add an event to your calendar or add a task to your to-do list or make a reminder of something. Do that right away. You look at the paper and you're like, “Okay, 5K for the kids' elementary school project on September 5th. Yes, I want to go to that. I'm putting it on my calendar. I'm sending a teacher an email. Yes, I want to do that.”  Now, done, processed, finished, trash. 

If it's not a quick action that you can take, if you need to think about it, pray about it, talk to your husband about it, talk to your kid about it, or whatever, then you're going to put it in the “Follow Up” folder. This folder is for following up on things that aren't quite closed and also for decisions you haven't quite made. Your goal every processing day is to put as little amount of papers in this folder as possible. Any time that you can take immediate action and make it a quick task, do that. But if you must, put it in this folder, okay? 

This is just a place for you to come back to. You know that your physical inbox is empty because you processed things, but these are things that you are not quite done with yet. If you need to come back to something in the middle of the week, like maybe you send an email to somebody and then you have to wait for them to email you back, that paper is a reminder of what you emailed them about and all the information you might need. So you put it in that folder. 

You could take a picture of it and make it digital if you want. To me, I'm coming to this zone of my house when I'm dealing with incoming things, so I just want it all in one place. I don't want to take a picture of it. I'm already minimalist. I've already taken pictures of tons of stuff. I don't need another iPhone folder. This is already here. It’s just easier for me. Does that make sense? 

Let's say that you get a piece of mail and it's something from your insurance. Something happened and it lapsed or something and it's Saturday. Okay, well that sucks. You need to follow up with that. So, you reach out to them. You call them. You leave a message. You email them or whatever. That's going to go in here because it's not finished. It's not processed all the way yet. When things finish processing, when the decision is made, the action is taken, the issue has all panned out, then you can put it in the “done” pile, shred it, throw it away, or whatever. Okay?

When you are in a rhythm like this, there are really not a lot of things that you will need to take immediate action on. Everyone usually freaks out, “Once a week? But what if I receive it on Thursday and it needs an immediate response and I can't wait til Friday?” Well, usually there's a note on the envelope, “immediate action required,” or a pink slip or yellow slip or something in there. It’s okay to break your own rule and respond to it or whatever you need to do. But usually things can wait until Friday, so once a week is enough. It'll be fine. 

The goal here is whatever the action is, take it immediately if it's quick. If it’s not, add the action to your to-do list and put it in your “Follow Up” folder to reference until it's completely processed. 

Your new inbox processing day is now a nonnegotiable. Okay? Because if it's negotiable, you're going to get all inspired and you're going to be like, “Oh, Allie told me to do this. I'm going to go do it.” But when life happens, you're not going to take action. And then you're just going to have this pretty inbox sitting there and it's pointless. You need to make this a nonnegotiable. Put it on your calendar. Set alerts to go off to remind yourself for 30 days until you have formed a habit. 

You need to understand that you are going to be overwhelmed, you're going to cause yourself so much stress, you're going to fall back into that hot mess mom culture that we don't want to be in (that's not where we belong and it's not necessary) if you don't get a system in place. 

This is the part where everyone has excuses: “Oh, there's no day of the week...Well, I'm not good at things like this.” And this is my favorite one: “This won’t work for me because of [insert reason.]” Anything can work for you if you make it work. If you decide that you don't want to be a mess, if you decide that you want to process things, it will work. 

There are weeks where I have to move the day. Whether I'm just so exhausted I forget, or I'm out of town so I have to do it on a Monday. It doesn't matter. The point is there’s space in my calendar to handle my life, to make decisions, to go through the mail, to respond to things and it all works out. 

Then you get to feel like your to-do list is crossed off. You responded to those emails. You answered those papers. You committed to this event and not that one. You were on top of it and you did something about it. Okay? 

Email basically works the same way except it's already an inbox just digital. We took the physical inbox idea from the idea of how email works. Email is just already set up for you. What I want you to do in your email is I want you to set yourself up with three new folders. Basically any email system that you use (I use Gmail) will allow you to make subfolders in your inbox to categorize different things. 

I want you to make three new folders (or labels, tags, however your email system works):

  • Respond Today—I have a rule where I don't respond to almost anything right away. I will put it in the “Respond Today” folder and wait and just think through it or talk it out or whatever. 

  • “Respond This Week” 

  • “To Reference Later” 

I got this idea from my friend, Stacy. She's amazing. It's brilliant. I've had this setup for a while now and it works so well because it keeps you constantly at “inbox zero.” Your inbox can be such a complete crap show and it doesn't need to be. 

I immediately label everything either: “I need to respond to this today,” or “I can respond to this later this week,” or “I need to just save this information because I might need to reference it later.” 

You can get as deep as you want. You can have subfolders. I have subfolders underneath: 

  • Reference Later/ Receipts, 

  • Reference Later/ Giving, 

  • Reference Later/ Business Tips I want to see later but I want to save. 

You can do whatever you want. So, you might have “Reference Later/ Kids School.” Or Reference Later and it's all general and you can just search to find stuff. So, that’s how you are going to organize this. 

Use “Unroll Me” to originally purge your inbox. Say you get emails from Anthropology—I mean, I don't know why you want to unsubscribe to those because their emails are just so beautiful, but let’s just say you want to unsubscribe from Anthropology. Search for “Anthropology,” select one, “unsubscribe” from it and then go back and select all of them and delete all of them. It will take you time, but you can also use subscriptions like “Unroll Me” and things like that. Do the original purge and get to that “inbox zero” and organize everything else by folders in your inbox. Okay? 

That is how we're going to handle both physical and digital incoming information. Especially for those of you who might have ADD, or a lot of kids, or just a lot going on, having a system like this is ingenious. It takes the problem out of it. I literally put everything in my digital or physical inbox. Every day I check the mail and I put it in there. Then on Friday I go through it. 

If I write down an amazing business idea on a post-it note while I'm cooking dinner, I take that post-it note and I put it in the inbox. So then, later, when I'm processing on processing day and I see the post-it note, I'm going to open up Asana where I keep dreams and ideas and I'm going to put this in my “ideas” list in Asana. Now I can throw the post-it note away because I processed it. At the time when I had the idea I physically couldn't get to Asana so I just jotted it down. You guys, if you do things like this, this is the answer to all of the things. 

Sometimes I will empty out my purse because I've shoved random gum wrappers, post-its, pieces of paper with ideas, thoughts, and to-do lists in there because I couldn't get to my phone at that moment. I will empty out my purse of all the things I jotted down and put it in the inbox to process later. 

Sometimes I voice-memo myself on my phone and I will put a post-it note in the inbox as a reminder to process voice-memos. So, when I'm processing I'm like, “Oh yeah! I voice-recorded some ideas and things I needed to do,” and I'll go back and listen to my voice-memos and then I'll make it a to-do list or just do it right away. Okay? 

When it comes to the morning time, I think the overwhelm is because there's so much to do. The kids are sleepy. You've got to wake them up. You've got to feed them. You have so much to do that it becomes this tornado of chaos and you end up sending them out the door while you’re yelling and you aren’t who you want to be as a mom. And that is absolutely the worst feeling ever. It sucks. 

I know that's not how you want to be. I know that’s not aligned with who you are as a mother. It just comes out sometimes when you're really, really busy. There’s a rush and there's a consequence if they're late all the time. You look really bad and you're embarrassed. You just wish you could get it together. 

Here's the thing that nobody does that is going to solve a lot of that upfront: Count backward from the time that controls you. What I mean by that is: count backward from the deadline. So, if you're homeschooling and you say, “I want us to start school by 9:00 AM every day, otherwise it's just going to take too long and it's not going to work,” then that is the time that controls you. If your kid’s school starts at 7:45 AM then that's the time that controls you. When I say “the time that controls, I mean: “When do you have to be there?” Or “When do you have to be done?” 

I like to give myself an extra 10–15 minutes because I know myself and I know my kids.

So, whatever the time that controls you, select it. Add a little “give” if you want. Then you move backward. If you have done this multiple times, you have kids that have been in school a few years, you probably just know that it takes 30 minutes (or however long) for everyone to get dressed and brush their teeth. And it takes 15 minutes (or however long) for them to eat breakfast. You might already know. Take those time increments and count backwards. What time would that mean that you've got to be up and going? I would even add another 10–15 minutes to that and that's your wake-up time. 

How far is your drive to school? How long does it take you to get ready? How long does it take your kids to get ready? If you don't know, test it out. Estimate what you think, and then keep tabs. It's a little bit extra in the morning, but if you give yourself some extra time, you can jot it down in a journal. How long does it take? That kind of data—that's power right there. You’ve literally got data on how your family does their mornings. That's amazing. That's so powerful for you to know. Knowledge is power, right? That's how this works and these are the kinds of little tweaks that nobody else is doing. 

So, from there decide what everyone's wake up time is. Is yours going to be earlier than theirs? Is there anything you would like to get done in the morning for yourself before the day starts? All of these things will factor into what time you wake up. If you calculate that and it's an ungodly hour and you're like, “I'm not getting up at 4:00 AM” or whatever it is, then you have a choice to make. What things are you willing to drop? And let me also tell you this, the most helpful shift you can make is to ask yourself, “What could I possibly get done the night before?” 

Act as if this were a game of “Who can get the most stuff done the night before?” and the prize is $1 million. Think about it like that. I bet you can think of so many more things than you ever have before, such as: 

  • Laying out the outfits and shoes, that's a given. 

  • Making lunches. 

  • Giving your kids showers and baths so they don't have to do it in the morning. 

  • Having their backpacks packed, and everything ready to grab and go at the door. 

  • Having your dinner ingredients chopped or things in the slow cooker. Whatever you could chop, slice, dice for the slow cooker and put in the fridge the night before. 

  • Make breakfast the night before, and only make breakfasts that can be easily eaten and still be yummy the next morning. There's so many ideas on Pinterest for that. I'm not going to provide you with any; go look. 

  • Set your coffee timer 

  • Maybe have your quiet time the night before when the kids are in bed and asleep and you're just sitting there. Don't turn on Netflix. Read your Bible. Journal. Read a book. Pray. Go for a nighttime walk. Maybe you could implement some peace the night before and then you just wake up and go. 

What could you get done the night before? How much can you cut from your morning? All of these things are going to help you. 

Then when you know what your morning must-do’s are—these are the things that, no matter what, must get done in the morning—you use those things to count backwards from the time that controls you. Then you know about how much time you need. And you can test and tweak it, but I think that you should give yourself a little bit extra time too—at least 10 extra minutes. 

I feel so much better when I know that I've given myself an extra half-hour in case Emmett decides all-of-a-sudden, “Oh! I can't get my shoes on,” and does this weird lazy drop thing that he does. Anyone who knows me in real life knows what I'm talking about. He'll just drop and he's suddenly “paralyzed” and just can't do anything for himself. It's super annoying and I'm not going to have it, so I have to do the whole, “Emmett Finn! Get up right now!” thing. So, I feel really good when I have an extra 25-30 minutes and I'm not having to yell and freak out. I can have my kid do a toddler-drop situation and not freak out. 

The main goal for me is to not be freaking out. I just want to be calm. I just want to be the mom that I want to be. Sometimes it's a total botch and it doesn't happen. But when you prepare and you are an action-taking, problem-solving woman, then you've solved a lot of the problems before they even start. You took action. You know you tried and everyone just has bad days and that's okay. 

Okay, so let's talk about a few quick tips for making meal prep really simple because time at home in the evening is often limited. I was just talking recently with my friend Kendra Hennessy (I think some of you guys probably know her and follow her) about how everybody tends to think you have to have a brand new, amazing meal, especially at the start of the school year. We all go into it like, “I'm going to be like June Cleaver. Everything's going to be perfect. I’m going to have this amazing meal because I have these new routines in place.” Routines that we all know you're not going to stick with for more than two weeks because they never work. We've got to solve the actual root problem so that our routines can stick. Right?

You don't need to have a different meal every night. I have friends that rotate two weeks’ worth of meals constantly and that's how they are. I feel like I'd get sick of things, but they don't and that works for them. Does that work for you? What can you do? 

Crockpots and Instant Pots are life-changing. They’re lifesavers. They’re serious, serious, serious help.

Instant Pot. I love it. Pre-chop and prep the ingredients. If you're like us and you need to cook a lot of things from scratch for health reasons or just your preference, then pre-chop and prep the ingredients the night before, or even the week before, freeze them and then saute them up to defrost and then cook. 

There's so many things you could do no matter what your dietary restrictions are, no matter what you’ve got going on to simplify meal planning. Get the meals ready the night before. Set a takeout night on the hardest night to cook. What is the night that you pick up the kids late from school because they had something extra and you had to rush? You don’t even go home, you just go straight to the sports or whatever. What is the night of your schedule that is just the worst? How can you flip it around and make it positive? Is it that the kids look forward to eating out and you budget for that because you know every Thursday you’re eating out? 

On the night that you guys choose to have a takeout night or a “no cook” night, find a place where the kids eat free that night and go there. If you have time to go into a restaurant, that's a great option. But if you're choosing that night because it's crazy and you can't go out to eat and sit in there and eat, then just order from somewhere and take the load off yourself.

If you guys don't have a ton of extracurricular activities, just pick a night that you tend to kind of poop out. What is the day of the week where you're like, “Man, I'm really ready for the weekend. I’m done.” Is it Wednesday? Thursday? Is Monday really hard because you're coming back from the weekend? Pick a night to simplify. 

Maybe you have frozen pizzas in the freezer and you just pull those out every whatever night that is. Maybe you order pizza, order takeout, get Uber eats or whatever, but pick a night to give yourself a break. Plan on that. 

I'm not a meal planner/teacher. There's Pinterest for a reason. There's so many other things. If you have Your Uncluttered Home, you’ve probably got the bonus of The Minimalist Meal Planning that comes with it. Go to that. Use Hello Fresh, or whatever you want to do. But just know the biggest takeaway is that meal planning is an area that we overcomplicate so much. 

Stop over-complicating meals. You don't need something new every night. You're doing a fantastic job. This is the place with a lot of wiggle room. There's not a lot of wiggle room in other zones. Your kids have to be at school at a certain time. There's not a lot of wiggle room there. There’s not a lot of wiggle room after school either. Simplify your meals. There’s so much wiggle room there. You can make it so flexible. 

Hey beautiful friend! Pausing this content right now because I want to talk to you about something that is currently open and is super temporary. I don't want you to miss out!

 Do you ever feel like you are just stuck in the mud? Every day feels like you're sinking in quicksand and you can’t get out? No matter how much effort you put in you just sink further and further? 

If life feels like it's just heavy…maybe you've decluttered, maybe you've simplified your home but life, your calendar, and your schedule just really feel heavy and you wish that you could implement minimalism to that part of things just like you did with your house. I am so excited if you’re saying “yes” to this because Unburdened is open! 

Unburdened is the second course that I created. It is basically a tool and resource for you to use to pull yourself out of that pit and do it a whole lot faster than if you did it without help. 

Basically, Unburdened will help you set boundaries for your phone, your technology, yourself, and other people, to make space for what matters. 

It'll help you take ownership of your time. We're going to gut your calendar and clear the clutter in your life and your schedule, create your ideal day and set up daily and weekly rhythms (which for those of you who don't do routines and you can never make them stick, this is the answer because I'm like that and this is literally my biggest secret.) 

I'm so, so excited! 

Step 3 in this program is you're going to implement a plan for doable self-care because you can't give your family water if your well is all dried up, right? 

And then Step 4, you're going to get purposeful in your day-to-day, because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, right? This stuff matters. 

Unburdened only opens up twice a year for enrollment. This is your chance. Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. The doors are open! It's a $99 program.

I'm super excited to get you guys in there and help you reach success in the change that you're seeking for your schedule, your routines, and how your days go because this is the kind of stuff that's so exciting to get to work on once you've simplified your home. 

Let's talk about “the drop zones.” The entryway, places that your kids tend to drop stuff like their shoes, their backpacks, sports equipment, like just everywhere. This is tactical, practical stuff. 

First of all, I don't think enough can be said for hooks and baskets in the entryway or your “drop zone.” Some people come into their house from their garage. Some people come in entering the kitchen. Some people have an actual mud room. Some people are like me and they come in the front door and there's not really a mudroom, but they made an entryway for themselves. Whatever your situation is, where do you guys come in? Where do things tend to get dropped? 

Listen, let me just save you a lot of effort and freak outs. Wherever the drop zone is right now, wherever your family tends to dump stuff, that is always going to be the drop zone. Don't try to change where the drop zone is. I personally don't think it's worth the effort. It is so much harder to change a habit. This is just the way your family seems to use your home.

I think we should just see that the drop zone is the drop zone and create a system there. So, unless it's a terrible place and you just have to change it, I think it's better to just make it work instead of changing the habit because you're going to end up nagging and being like, “Dang it! I told you don't put your stuff here!” And we don’t want to go down that path. Just accept that the drop zone is the drop zone and set it up so that the dropping isn't a problem anymore. 

This is kind of the same idea I mentioned earlier of how I put a basket at the bottom of my stairs where stuff collected. Instead of telling my family, “New rule! Nobody drops things here. Everyone takes everything upstairs when you're done. I don't care if you're staying downstairs, go upstairs and put it away,” the basket came into play. Because, otherwise, it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to do it. So how could I expect them to do it? I need to get stuff done and move on. I just need somewhere to put my thing until I'm ready to go upstairs and put it away. So, I put the basket at the bottom of the stairs and that's where we put things that go upstairs. 

At the end of the day we have our nighttime family rhythm (Unburdened—it's opening soon— teaches all about rhythms) where we do a quick 15-minute, whole-house pickup as a family. And part of that is emptying that basket and putting things away upstairs, then putting the empty basket back downstairs at the end of the day. 

So, what is your drop zone going to look like? Do you need hooks for backpacks? Do you want a basket or bin for shoes? A bin for sports equipment? You can have hooks for backpacks. A bin for shoes. I hate shelves for shoes because the kids never lined the shoes up on the shelf and it ends up piled. Instead of piled on the floor, it's piled on a shelf. So, we just got a metal bin from Target and we all just throw our days’ shoes in that bin and it works great. 

You could do hooks for backpack and jackets, a bin for shoes and then a basket for sports stuff, so that it's basically on a wall altogether. It looks super organized and pretty, but it's housing all the drop zone stuff. 

If you guys just naturally come in through the garage when you come home that's even better, because you don't have to have it in your house. You can make a mud room wall in your garage and everything's out. That's amazing. If you don't come in through the garage, you have to just ask yourself, “Where is the drop zone?” Is it in the kitchen? Is it in the front of the house? The front door? Where is it? What is going to work? And get creative. 

Another great thing to look up on Pinterest is faux mud rooms and things like that, but I suggest you stop trying to get your kids to hang stuff in the closets (unless they already do) and just start noticing, “Okay, where’s the drop zone in my house? I'm going to create a storage solution right around there so that I don't have to change the habit, and we're all happy.” 

You might also consider doing what I did and putting your physical inbox (that we talked about earlier) in the drop zone as well. That way you could have the kids hang their backpacks on the hooks, pull out all the papers their teacher gave them and put it right there. Then the physical inbox is already in the drop zone and they're putting their papers in there for you. You know where to go and get your physical inbox when it's time to process. 

Let's talk about saying “no” and extra commitments and all of that. Classroom parent stuff, being the “room mom,” classmate birthday parties and being the mom that brings the homemade cupcakes, extracurricular activities, just all of the things that we feel obligated to do. 

If you guys came to the two-week class that I hosted multiple times, or if you have had me teach you about decluttering, you know that the first thing I say you need to do when you're walking into a room you're going to declutter but you don't know where to start is that you need to set the intent for that room. This is a really, really beautiful way to make decisions in your life too.   

I'm not going to tell you right now to set the intent for your family. I think you should, but I'm not going to tell you right now to decide what your core values are. That's a really big discussion and I think it's important that we all do those things, but that’s not so much what I’m talking about when you're prepping for back to school. I think, right now, it’s important to just set the intent for this season for your family. 

For example, and I think a lot of you guys might do this because whenever I talk about it people are like, “Yeah, thanks for saying that. We do that too.” For our family, we kind of flip flop. We will head into a really restful season. The intent that we set for that group of months or weeks or whatever is set to be in “rest mode.” It is full rest mode. We say “no” to everything and we just rest. 

We just came out of a really big rest season and now everyone's noticing that I'm back. I'm doing multiple webinars a week. I'm doing all these things. We're getting ready to open up the doors to Unburdened again and do this great big launch party with everybody that's joining this time around. We're doing all these big things because I just came out of a season of rest. We're getting back to homeschooling. The kids are going to start baseball soon. I love baseball season because we don't do it every season. We take rests, so when it comes back around, I'm ready and excited and I can't wait. I'm not fatigued because we also did soccer and now we've got to go straight into baseball. 

Set the intent for every season for your family. What do you guys need right now? Do you need rest? Do you need structure? Summer’s over and you’re like, “Everyone's bored. We all feel like we're going to kill each other. We need structure.” What is the intent that you're setting? 

How do you want your kids to feel the end of this season or the end of the school year? What do you want them to be like? How old are they? If I really sat down and spent 10 minutes or so on each of my kids and I thought, “Okay Bella first. What do I really want for Bella this school year? I really want her to feel confident in overcoming some learning disabilities that she struggles with. I really want her to continue to love reading. I want her to create a group of friends, and I want her to just feel more confident in general.”  That's a really great intent and every decision that I make will either align with that or not.

Just like we set the intent in a room before we declutter, we set the intent for this season of our families’ lives before we say “yes” or “no” to things.  And when you're in a room and you're decluttering and you have set the intent, that is going to help you make decisions about what stays and what goes, because you say, “Well I wanted this room to feel like this. Does this item help with that?” Yes or no? It's simple. 

Same thing with your calendar and your schedule. If you set the intent for this season of your family and it’s rest, then you’re going to go ahead and pass on football this season. You're going to pull out of that. Cancel. It doesn't go with your season because that's not going to be restful. There's multiple practices a week. There’s games, maybe some travel. It’s a lot. It's not rest. So it doesn't align, right? It makes it so much easier to say no. 

It makes it easier to ask yourself things like, “Will saying ‘yes’ to this serve my entire family and align with the intent that my spouse and I set for this time?” If not, are you willing to push that intent back? Probably not a good idea. 

I also think it's worth asking yourself why you’re considering this commitment. Why are you considering being the room mom? Is it because you feel guilty because you work and you feel like you should? There’s something in there to work through. Heart issue alert, right? Is it because you're controlling? Is it because you love it and it's something that you want to do? Great! That seems like a green flag to me. Thumbs up! Ask yourself, “Why am I even considering this?” There's such an easy pull to say “yes” to everything. 

I also want to give you guys freedom. We don't put our kids in things all at the same time. They take turns. Two of the boys will be doing baseball, but we're not doing horse lessons for Bella right now. She's going to have to wait. There's give and take. And if they ever are doing things at the same time it's not in the same time frame, so it’s not like Bella is doing soccer, Hudson's doing football, and Leland and Emmett are doing baseball. So, there's two different baseball teams in the afternoon, plus a horse lesson in the afternoon, plus a football practice in the afternoon and we all have to split up. I don't do that. We're a family. We're together. 

If Bella's horse lessons are in the morning on Wednesday and Hudson's piano lesson is on Thursday mornings and is a part of school, great, then they can all do their things in the same season because they don't overlap. But I'm not willing to spend time apart from my family and do the crazy run around thing. Not at all. The boys play baseball in the same league, so even if they're on fields that are next to each other, we're all in the same place together. We might need to take turns watching each team, but it creates togetherness. I want my intent for my family in every season to create togetherness. Do you see what I'm saying? Set the intent. Where do you want to go? 

Remember my favorite quote by Annie Dillard, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” These are the decisions, ladies. These are the decisions that you're making that are going to create how you're spending your day-to-day, and that's going to end up being the life you live. That's going to end up forming the childhood your kids will look back on and say, “My childhood felt really busy,” or “It felt really happy,” or “It felt really balanced.” This matters. 

If all of the decisions you're committing to will mean heading into a busier, fuller season, okay; it's good that you're noticing that. Are you just now wrapping up a really restful season? If not, it might be too much. It might be exciting to look at all this structure like, “Okay, good. They're out of the house. They're going to school,” or “We're starting our homeschool year. We've got our new curriculum. We're going all in. We have baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we have Karate on Wednesdays, and we have the…[whatever.]” It might look good and you might feel like you're doing your kids a huge service by making them so cultured and putting them in different things, but you’re really, really not. 

You're going to poop out. If you don't have enough space in your week to call it off, to take an afternoon to breathe, to just be a family, order pizza, and just chill together for your kids to catch up on homework, it is too much. It's too much. 

Let's talk about delegating and getting your older kids involved as much as possible. I'm just going to do a quick note on this. My goal is to raise good people, confident people, capable adults who will be an addition to society and will make great spouses. But they are currently children, so they're in training and there's so much grace, but ultimately when they're done and they're all baked and heading out into the world, that's my goal. So, I need to teach them—graciously—how to manage their time, their things, their responsibilities by giving them responsibilities in the first place. 

I need to teach them teamwork and help them learn how a home runs smoothly, right? And it runs so much more smoothly when we're all doing things together. Yes, Emmett—and the things that he does—is not really helping me, but it's not about that. It's about teaching him, “Look, you matter. You have a say. You have a job here and we need you to pick up the toys. Thank you so much. You're doing a great job.” 

You know the older kids (Bella’s 10, Leland's 8) they do the dishes and they help with the laundry. Those are big things and they’re finally at a point where they really do help me. And so, communicating that, giving them those responsibilities, and showing them, “Look guys, you chose to play instead of doing your chores and now we need the dishes washed for this meal.  So, now you have to hurry up, and it's a bummer.” Just showing them that, teaching them that. 

I'm really, really big on bringing the kids into things. I'm not big on the whole idea of a massive chore chart—all of these responsibilities and consequences without any teaching. I think it's unruly and a little harsh. Then the mom freaks out and is like, “Who washes a dish like this? Get back here and do it again.” It’s like you never taught them how to, you showed them once and that's it. Of course, I make mistakes and I yell and I have freak-out days, but in general, I really, really am big on teaching, showing, talking to them and understanding that it's my responsibility to teach them. It's not their responsibility to know how to do everything. 

I really don't like when there's talk, especially in the Christian circle, about kids and chores. It's very harsh, almost demeaning and demanding. You guys know what I'm talking about? Kids need to be taught. They need to be talked to. They’re people. Respect is mutual. We're all in this together, and I'm wanting to train them to be good humans. Yelling at them and expecting them to know things that they couldn't possibly know because they’ve never learned is not doing that. 

I think you should ask yourselves, “What are my kids capable of doing?” Think about what they're doing in school. They're given so much responsibility. They're doing homework. They're learning big things. They can probably do more than you think they can. Just try it. Say, “You know what? I'm going to give you the job of after dinner dishes,” and see how it goes. Be with them. Show them. Teach them. If you want to do monetary gain for doing chores, do it. That's your call. 

For us—just to give you guys an idea if you need help—we don't do paid chores. I think that we are all a team and we're all here to help. However, there is a list of extra work that if somebody wants to do, there is an attached payment for and it's like $1 or $2, so they do earn for extra things. And I really like that setup. It's worked really well for us. But you guys do what you want. 

I also think it's possible if you have kids who are a little bit older, to give them the breakfast role. We've done this in our house and it's great. Having the kids be in charge of making or grabbing a really simple breakfast for themselves. My kids get their own breakfast unless we're having a special family breakfast because we won't be together for dinner, which we do sometimes especially if I'm going to travel that night or whatever. 

Some really simple breakfast ideas like cereal and fruit, oatmeal and fruit, pre-made smoothies packed with nutrients that you made that they get out and have. Toast and hard boiled eggs. The hard boiled eggs are pre-done and they just make toast and put butter on it themselves and they eat their breakfast. Things like that. Teach them that responsibility. Obviously, this won't work for super little kids. 

Have them help pack their lunches the night before and then come up with a plan to give that responsibility over to them. Have them pick out their clothes the night before. I've taken this as an opportunity to actually teach my kids how to form an outfit that's socially acceptable. And it's been great. My kids totally know how to dress and I love it, because you guys, if you follow me for a minute, you know that I love that kind of stuff. I've taken that opportunity to teach them like, “Okay, this isn't going to work because you’ve got navy on navy, so we need to pick something green or white. You really don't want to do black and navy.” I've taken the opportunity and it's been great. Make it fun. 

Okay, let's shift into ways to maximize time spent together in the evening. I know we’ve got a lot of work-out-of-the-home parents with kids in public school, private schools that are trying to squeeze in dinner, homework, bedtime routine all in an hour or two, so we need to get into where are the fringe moments that you have and get into quality time over quantity time, which is all that matters anyway, and how we can streamline. 

There is so much to be said for a bedtime ritual. This is such a sweet time. I know you're exhausted. I know you're pooped and you're done. Just so you guys know that I'm human too. Brian got the kids this book from a Navy Seal that wrote a children's book (which is questionable already; it seems like it would be disturbing, but it's not.) And it is the longest children's book ever written in human history. Literally feels like I'm reading the Bible out loud. It is so long. Also, I don't like books that have very little writing on the page, so you're turning the page every second. It seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’m lazy. But it is the longest book in history and the kids, of course, loved it. 

After I spent five weeks glaring at Bryan with the evil eye because he bought this book for them, I decided we're done with this book. The book went “bye-bye,” and I hid it. I don't want to sit and pour into my kids, read them this giant story, and hear their hearts. I'm tired. Go the frick to sleep, people. But having said that—so you know, I'm a normal mom, I'm tired and I don't want to do it—it only takes a minute. 

Put the long Navy Seal book away and don't read at all. Go and sit on the edge of their bed. If you just make a minute to listen to them, hear their heart for a second and just make space for them to feel, that's what kids want. That's all they want. They can share with you without the stress of knowing that there's a rush to get somewhere. 

Earlier in the evening, there's just so much rush, even if you don't have extracurriculars. There’s dinner, homework, stress, and sibling rivalry, and you yelled because you’re just done. At the end of the day, that bedtime moment is really a sweet time. 

But I think we overthink it like it’s got to be a story, a prayer, and this long, overdrawn-out thing where you're just like, “Look, am I a terrible mom that I don't give a crap and I don't want to do that?” No. You’re not a terrible mom. You're just normal. 

I think it's just about simplifying it. Make it a minute, just a moment. Sometimes I'll go in, sit on the edge of the bed, and just ask, “How are you feeling about tomorrow? You ready for a new day?” And just see if anything comes up. It’s just a minute. Usually there's nothing. But every-once-in-a-while one of the kids will be like, “Something weird happened today and I just feel really bad and I want to talk.” They'll start to talk to me about somebody who said something and it hurt their feelings or whatever. And if I hadn't just made a second, it wouldn't have come up. 

And you know what? I will hide the really long books all day long and I might really botch the bedtime prayer because I want it to last about 2.5 seconds, but I will always create space for my babies to just have a moment with me. And I can do that. We can do that. No matter how much we worked in a day, no matter how tired we are, we can do that. 

So, just simplify it. Just make it a second. It's a wonderful sweet little pocket of time that we can cultivate. 

The next part in maximizing our time together in the evening is to never be afraid to reevaluate the things that you've said “yes” to. Not to talk about the podcast the whole time, but there's another episode called It's Okay To Change Your Mind, and that's what this is. There's no shame in backing out of a commitment. You don't want to do that all the time, but if that's what's going to shift, if you're going to learn a lesson from that, back out of it. Just be better next time. It's okay to back out. 

Every day is time on this earth. Time with or without your family that defines where you guys end up. So don't waste it pushing through until the end of a commitment that is toxic to you and your family simply because you said you would do it. That's ridiculous. 

Bouncing back to some of the practical stuff, I also want to highly encourage you guys to use the Google calendar or iPhone calendar, something color-coded to keep track of your practices and appointments. That's just the way to go. Color coordinated helps so much. Put events on your calendar, not tasks. Have a separate place for your tasks. You can even get something that syncs with your calendar so that tasks show up in a different color. 

On my Google calendar I have reminders in bright green that every Friday is physical inbox processing day and it's also the day that Brian takes the cars to get cleaned out. We get our cars cleaned and detailed so they feel clean and nice. We're paying for them for a reason. It's a nice car and it feels really good and clean like our house does. So, that's a reminder not an event. An event is at 2:00 PM on Friday you have a doctor's appointment, or for me at 1:30 on Tuesday you are doing a live training. Don't clutter your calendar with ideas, thoughts, to-do lists. Don't do that. Have those separate. 

Let's get back to the idea of Sunday night meetings. Sunday night meetings are basically when Brian and I will come together, we'll sit together and we will just look over the week. What's going on? What do you need from me? What do I need from you? How can we support each other? How can we make this week simpler? Where are the really heavy days? 

For us, Tuesdays are always a really heavy day. It’s a really big day of work for me because it's technically my Monday. I'm always really excited and inspired to get back to things on Tuesday, so I really go all in and have a really thick, heavy, long work day where I'm working all the main part of the afternoon. I'm working all day. Where are the cracks? What could we do to make this better? All of that. 

Consider adding Sunday night meetings to your Google calendar into part of your weekly rhythms because it's a really great way to reconnect. We keep this separate from date night because I don't want date night to be a CEO/COO planning session, which it can feel like if you talk about these kinds of things there. I want date night to be just fun. 

On Sunday night we stay at home, we get the kids busy and we go over everything, get on the same page. This is so important for you to feel like you're not running crazy. You know what I mean? It's so, so helpful. 

Consider adding a Sunday night meeting. Go over all the things. Pull out your calendars, ask how you can support each other. It gets you on the same page in a really positive, action-taking way. There's a whole podcast episode and blog post about that. You can get that freebie, go listen to the episode if you want. There's a lot about it because it's so helpful. 

Okay, I just want you guys to know before we go, if this helped you at all, you're going to frigging love Unburdened because it is a masterclass for your entire life. Your entire schedule, your rhythms, your routines, how your life is flowing and going, all condensed into a boot camp style, masterclass for everything. There are life hack tips in there like the basket at the bottom of the stairs, tons of stuff like that. 

I help you completely set up rhythms. I don't like calling them routines because it's not routines. Routines don't really work for me. They never stick. But I found a way to create rhythms that do stick because they're just attached to things that I'm going to be doing anyway. Every day I wake up. Every day I eat lunch. Every day I get ready for bed. So, I attach the things that need to get done to those things. And then they're just natural rhythms. They are almost more like habits. 

And so, I teach you how to take that idea and set up routines where you need an actual routine, but set up rhythms where routines just aren't sticking, but you've got to get these things done for your life to feel like it's put together. I walk you through that in your entire life. 

It is a deep dive masterclass. It’s pouring into all the things like this about fixing your life, your calendar, your schedule, how your days feel like they're flowing. You walk out of Unburdened feeling a million times lighter. I think it's one of my favorite things to teach you guys.

Unburdened is only $99 too. Your Uncluttered Home is a higher price point. It’s so much bigger, thicker, and a huge undertaking, and Unburdened is less money, less time and packs a huge, powerful punch. 

And again, it only opens once a year. So even if you're not ready to do it right now, just get in while you can. The price usually goes up, and it's closing for at least six months, probably. I think, looking at my year, maybe more. 

But anyway, love you guys! We're done here. I hope this was super helpful for your back-to-school needs. 

Homeschoolers, if you didn't get what you need it's because the Simplify Your Homeschool course is legit every single thing that you'd ever need to simplify your homeschool. So, head over there and get that. 

I love you guys so much. Thanks for hanging out with me and I'll talk to you next time. 

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 115: Trial and Error: Ways I Tried to Simplify My Life


This episode is fun to share. I don't try to simplify everything, but sometimes when something is taking a lot of time or feels a little bit too much, I'll ask myself, “How can I simplify this?”. I thought it'd be fun to see the “bloopers” side of simplifying because there are definitely some things that I've tried that I thought would simplify my life that just didn't. In this episode I’m sharing some of those things and talking about what I learned and how I adjusted. So, let's jump in!


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The beauty product meant to simplify that turned out to be super complicated

  • How delegating too much in her business has had negative consequences

  • The adjustments she has made to her laundry routine

  • Why prioritizing exercise in the morning wasn’t a good fit for her

Mentioned in this Episode:


Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hey friend! There are things mentioned in this episode that I know you're going to want to look up and links you're going to want to click. So just so you know, you can find anything mentioned in this episode at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/115.

This episode is fun to share. I have been thinking a lot about this. I don't try to simplify everything. I think that the world thinks I try to simplify everything because I'll get questions like, “Where does minimalism and simplicity come in when it comes to this?” And it's like it's my job and I've never even thought about that.

So sometimes you guys are way deeper into this than I am, but I just sometimes think when something is taking a lot of time or feels a little bit too much, I'll try to think how can I simplify this?

Sometimes I do that with something and it doesn't work out, so I just thought it'd be fun to see the “bloopers side” of simplifying because there are definitely some things that I've tried that I thought would simplify my life that just didn't. And then just kind of talking about what I learned and how I adjusted. So, let's jump in!

One of the first things that came to mind when I was thinking about this episode (actually, this is what sparked this episode) is eyelash extensions. Have you guys heard of these? I thought they were super creepy, scary, and would hurt to get put on when they first came out and I was just like, “No! Get away from my eyes!” But then I learned how it works and I saw people getting them and their lashes looked perfect all the time.Somebody told me what a timesaver it was, they don't have to wear mascara, and it was so great. And so, I thought, “Hmm, what the heck? My eyelashes are pretty dark and they're not super short or anything, but I definitely have to put mascara on in the morning and like, that might be cool.”

One girl, this blogger that I follow, she told everyone that her lashes keep her from wearing mascara and she likes that because it's a little bit more natural. She didn't have to wear so much makeup right around her eyes, and they're so dark and full that she doesn't have to wear eyeliner. I don't really wear that much eyeliner or I just do one brush across to make my eyes look a little bit more open. So I was like, “Okay, cool. That might simplify. If I didn't have to do eye makeup that would be great. I’d just do my face, my eyebrows and that'd be great.”

And so, I went in and I got them done. I was all excited and...it was just kind of a bummer. If you sleep on your side or stomach, which I do (I sleep on my stomach usually), your face smashes into the pillow and my eyelash extensions would get all bunched up and weird. I'd have to get this really light cleanser and put it on one of those little eyelash brushes and try to brush it out and it just wouldn't really work right. They looked kind of funny.

And they fall out. Obviously, your real lashes fall out on a regular basis so when they fall out, the extensions fall out because they're attached to your lashes. It definitely didn't hurt or anything at all to get them put on. But the eyelash extensions themselves, they just weren't really working out. They bunched up and they fell out.

There's some that are super intense, like they're really dark. They're just a lot. I just had regular, more natural eyelash extensions, just a little bit darker than my regular lashes. That's what the place that I went to offered. I just didn't really like the look of the other ones because they seemed really fake and just a bit much.

But there were times for date night or if I was going to be on TV or film something that I would want more of a pop and the extensions wouldn't get the job done, so I'd add some, extension-safe mascara. And I was thinking, “Well, now I'm doing mascara.” I don't know, it just wasn't great.

Also washing my face…I love washing my face at night, getting my makeup off, getting in the shower and just washing my face. I'd wash my face and splash it with water to get all the wash off. And what's the next thing you do? You dry your eyes off. I'd have to be really careful not to wipe the extensions too hard so they didn't come off. It was just a lot. I don't know. I didn't like it.

I also noticed that because I got pretty natural-looking extensions (just because that fits my style), my real lashes looked about the same. It just looked like I had a great mascara day and that just wasn't worth it to me. And the cost of the extensions, it just wasn't worth it.

The only good thing that really came out of the extensions is that I now know that they don't work for me. But I also got to know the girl who did my extensions and I really liked her. We became friends and I would look forward to our conversations. She's a really great girl, so that was cool.

But I don't know, I dropped them. I let them fall out. And the girl that does the lashes, she went on a vacation for three weeks and while she was gone, I just decided not to go and find anyone else cause I wasn't super jazzed about the extensions anymore. I just let them fall out.

And while my real lashes were growing in, I wore those magnetic ones (once I figured out how to put them on right. I'm glad that no one was filming that because that was a process). I really liked them and they looked great. I found some natural ones that looked like my real lashes and they were fine. So, now my eyelashes are back and I'm just wearing mascara like a normal person.

But what I learned from this was not everything that seems like it will simplify your life actually will. And that's okay.

Another thing that I have done, this is kind of a general one, but another thing I've done to simplify my life that sometimes doesn't work is delegating too much in my business.

So, I know some of you, we've worked together. I've got some business coaching clients now and I love working with you guys. It's amazing. And I've been talking more and more about business here on the show, on my platforms, and on Instagram and stuff.

One of the biggest core beliefs I have about being a business owner is that I believe that your business should be built around your lifestyle and not the other way around. So, I like to think, “What life do I want? What lifestyle do I want?”

I want to be present with my kids. I want to be able to drop everything, go grab lunch and go out for a midday drive. I want to be able to have Legoland days with my kids and have fun in the summer, fall or winter, no matter what the school schedule is, no matter if they're taking a break from school or not.

I want to be able to take trips and vacations. I want to have the freedom to be a mom and to be present and have fun. And I want my business to support that both in terms of my schedule and my money. So that's how I view things. And because of that, I delegate a lot.

I basically have the perspective in my business of, “Why is this on my task list? Does it have to be on there? Does it have to be done? And if so, does it have to be done by me?” And if the answer isn't, “yes, yes, yes, yes and yes,” then I remove that item from my task list and either give it to somebody on my team or remove it completely because sometimes we think things need to get done and they don't actually need to get done.

Delegating is amazing and I really believe it's the key to having joy, happiness, and honestly, success as a business owner. The more I delegate, the more successful I am. And I think that's because I have more white space in my brain. I just feel happier. I have more space to come up with fresh ideas, come up with new product ideas, and new marketing ideas.

No one really talks about this but I think it is possible to delegate too much of certain things in certain seasons to where it leads to a disconnect. Here are a couple of examples that I'm willing to share with you guys about this.

One area where I found myself delegating too much in order to try to simplify my life and my schedule was with my finances. I delegated basically everything in my finances.

I have a CFO. She's an accountant and she watches everything. She makes sure that everyone gets paid. She's in charge of payroll. She watches what's coming in and what's not. She knows what our bottom line is. She knows when to tell me that we're getting too close to that or otherwise it’s okay if we're getting way above that or whatever. She just watches the finances.

Then I have two other people who are along with her because I don't think that you should have just one person in charge of your money. I think that that's where things get scary, people get hurt and stolen from and all that nasty stuff. (Not that I don't trust my CFO—if she's listening, you're amazing! You're doing great).

But you don't want to be stupid, right? You want to be smart.

I've shared before, Brian and I have had quite a money story. If you have not listened to episode six of this podcast, go back and listen, because it is the story of our business and how we went from our past life to our new life through the business that we started.

I have struggled with money and looking at it, even if there is a lot of it or a little of it. It triggers me. I've shared a little before in the past that I had been diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist a couple of years ago. I was having night sweats and recurring nightmares about the repo guy banging on our door and taking our car away—the panic attacks that I used to have. Money and me have been through quite a process.

And even though I had healed from a lot of the money stuff and a lot of money blocks and issues that I had, I just really didn't like dealing with money. So, I delegated it pretty much completely. And then I would check-in and we'd have monthly meetings about what's going on. I looked at the profit and loss reports and just saw what was going on. 

But then I started to cancel those just because I knew everything was fine. I knew everything was going well, but I just didn't want to look. I just didn't want to look at money at all. For a good chunk of time there was this season where I wasn't connected to my money at all. And that disconnect led to a disconnect from my money and a drop in revenue.

I wasn't connected to the cause and effect. I wasn't connected to the fact that I'm sharing a message and that message is helping people. And people are paying me to honor the fact that I helped them and to dive deeper into what I can teach them. I'm seeing that money create jobs, create revenue, and take care of my family. I got disconnected from that and that had negative consequences for sure.

It wasn't healthy for me to delegate all the way in that area because I have had a difficult money story. I needed to be connected to it. So, I learned from that. And now, I'm in my personal bank account and our business bank accounts every single morning and I am very involved in what's going on. I check in with what we've made each day.

I listened to a podcast that my COO sent me. It was an interview that Tim Ferriss did with the CEO of Walmart and the CEO of Walmart checks in on what they made the day before every single morning. The CEO of Walmart. I think it's pretty safe to say they're making a lot of money and he checks in every single morning. And so, I realized that if the CEO of Walmart is looking at the finances, then obviously looking at the finances doesn't mean you only look if you don't have any money or if you don't have enough money.

I was lying to myself subconsciously because of my issues with money and saying, “Well I don't have to check cause we're okay. Everything's okay.” I used to have to check all the time because I needed to know if I could swipe for gas or not. But now I know that we can swipe for gas and everything's fine, so I don't need to check. Like checking your bank account equals you're poor and broke and you have nothing or you don't have enough. And so, by not checking, I was not only avoiding money and comforting myself in that way, but I was also comforting myself with this lie—this subconscious lie that I was telling myself—that if I didn't check our bank accounts, it was because I didn't need to, because we had everything that we needed.

The money is there whether I'm looking at it or not, and the disconnect that I had from the cause and effect of how I make money caused a drop in revenue, caused a lack of connection. It caused just a big disconnect. It caused a gap in my business, in my mindset, and in my energy.

I really believe that when you are a creative business owner like I am, your business and your revenue is a reflection of where you are personally. So, when I was avoiding money and pushing it away, delegating all of it, delegating too much in that area to other people, I was not connected to that flow of money into my life. And I really believe that it caused a negative drop. So, that is what I learned there.

Hey guys! Okay, so in this episode we're talking about how not everything that you will try to streamline in your life will work out. I have had multiple things that I tried to simplify in my life that didn't work out, right? That’s normal. It's just trial and error, but you've got to be flexible and try, try again.

One thing that has always been the answer for me in simplifying my life, making things easier for me to maintain, and creating more space for me to focus on what really matters to me is setting up simple rhythms for my days and my weeks. 

I have daily rhythms and weekly rhythms in my life. Rhythms are basically what happens when routines and habits have a baby, and they're perfect for people who tend to not stick with routines. You say you're going to live a certain way, stick to a routine, and then it falls away. You fall off the bandwagon and it doesn't stick. Rhythms are so much easier because they're attached to things that you're going to do anyway.

If that doesn't make any sense to you, but you know that you like me, you trust me, you want to learn from me, and typically what I say works really well for you or makes a lot of sense to you, you're going to want to check this out.

Rhythms keep things running. What has to get done always gets done. They are the secret. This is what I teach in my second course, Unburdened.

Unburdened is only available twice a year and it is currently open. I'm so excited!

Unburdened is basically Step 2. If you have simplified your home, you've simplified your stuff and decluttered a bit, and you're really wanting to simplify your life, your calendar, your schedule, get some boundaries in place, start living a healthier life, have things that need to get done just on autopilot, set up your life and your schedule to work with you just like your home works with you when you follow my process and philosophy of minimalism, then Unburdened is going to be perfect for you.

Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. Alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife and check it out while it's available.

It's going to go away again for over six months, so now's your chance!

Also, another time I delegated too much in order to try to simplify was in different areas of my business. I was really scrappy when I started my business. I had to be because I didn't have any money even for bills and food, let alone to hire somebody to help me with my business that I was starting.

In the beginning I learned everything about everything. I knew everything about Pinterest marketing, Instagram and Facebook marketing, and the backend of everything. I learned how to code my own website. I learned everything about creating opt-ins, web pages, lead pages, and growing your email list. I knew everything by myself and I didn’t hire until I absolutely had to because I was scared to. So, I knew everything back in the day.

That helped me a lot because I could know when somebody was screwing me over or trying to charge me too much for doing a job that I knew how many hours that would take. I knew how much effort that would take. It really helped me.

But that was years ago and as the years went by and I grew, Pinterest changed, social media changed, the rules of tech and the way things work changed. I was delegating things—which is good, you need to delegate things—but some things I delegated a bit too much and didn't check in enough.

I believe that knowledge is power. So now I'm reading books about all the different things in my business—even if somebody else does them—because I want to know the latest and greatest tips for running Pinterest, running social media, doing Facebook Ads, growing your email list, and all these things.

I don't just read about what I'm doing. I now read about everything that has to do with my business so that I have a hand on what is going on. And I do that now because I delegated too much and it led to people getting lazy and not doing their job well. Then they would be the ones that knew how things worked and I wouldn't really know how that area of my business worked, so I would feel a little trapped in the relationship with them and like I didn't have control. That lack of control, it just wasn't good for me. It caused panic and it removed peace from my life and replaced it with stress.

So, I do think that delegation is one of the things that I believe in the most for anybody, but especially a business owner. I think that it's the key, like I said, to freedom and living the life that you love while also having a business that you love. But I do think that you can delegate too much in the wrong areas and no one really talks about that.

Another thing that I've tried to simplify in my life that didn't work is my laundry routine. I actually have an episode about my laundry routine. It's awesome and it's super helpful. If you haven't listened to it, I will link to it in the shownotes so that you can listen. I had a great laundry routine but, as life does, things shifted and my season of life just kind of changed. I was looking for ways to create more peace and more time in my mornings so that I could do enjoyable things in the morning. I was moving out of this time of waking up and getting things done and really wanting to just simplify everything that I could.

I had hired a couple of girls from the youth group at our church to do some things around the house for me. They were thankful for the money and I was thankful for them saving me an hour or two a day. And so, I said, “I want you guys to start doing my laundry for me. And I was so excited. I thought I was going to simplify my life so much and it actually didn't.

They were only able to come for an hour a day, so they weren't able to wait for the load to finish, switch it and follow through on a load of laundry. So, me delegating to them and giving that to them led to the laundry sitting and it was just kind of messed up. It just wasn't going well. I don't know. It was weird.

I was also really worried that they were going to shrink my stuff. And girls, if you're listening, I love you. You're doing a great job. I know you never shrunk any of my stuff. But I was just worried. I'm thinking about my Free People tops that I use for speaking engagements that are so delicate and dainty. I was terrified they were going to shrink stuff, bleach stuff, or mess something up. This was an afterschool job that they just had an hour or two a day, so they weren't able to really complete a full load of laundry and it made things worse. It just made things harder.

So, I adjusted. I realized that this wasn't helping. I realized that it was just making things harder. I didn't even really need to get my laundry off my plate. I was just looking to up-level as a woman and as a CEO, and if there's something that you can have done for you so you don't have to do it, then why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you simplify?

But, my laundry routine was so good to me and I ended up going back to it. Go listen to that episode. I ended up going back to it. The only thing that changed is I do my laundry, but I have the girls fold it.

When they come over after school for an hour or hour and a half, they do a couple of things. They dust, pick up, and do a couple of deep cleaning things for me. And then they fold the laundry that I did the day before. That's it. They're just folding it and putting it away. And that saves a little bit of time, a little bit of effort for me. My kids put away their own laundry, but they put away mine. I have to hang up my delicate shirts so when they're dry, they come over, get them and hang them up for me. They put Brian's clothes away. They put my clothes away. They put Emmett's clothes away because he's little. But that's it for the laundry. 

What I learned from this is sometimes simplicity just needs an adjustment. Maybe the thing you simplified isn't working. That doesn't mean that it's a trash idea and you're stupid and you don't even know how to simplify. It just means sometimes it needs an adjustment.

The last thing I tried to simplify in my life that didn't work was getting my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning. 

Now this is just me talking to you guys and sharing. This isn't even fully thought through. I'm just sharing some things with you. This might be a thing that was a problem in my season of life. It might not be a “this-sucks-permanently-thing,” if that makes sense. 

For a while back in January—I think it was the end of January—I decided that I wanted to work out because I was eating really well and not feeling healthier. I was feeling really sick. I was definitely not at a weight that was healthy for my height at all. I was just not feeling good. I was not fitting into my clothes and I just didn't feel good at all.

I was having weird pains and I was just like, “You know what? Maybe I'm over 30 now and I just have to work out more.” So, I signed up with a trainer friend of mine and I started going to her in the mornings. I would get up really early in the morning (which I was already doing anyway), and I would go immediately and work out. It was good for a little while, but over a couple months’ time, after the ‘honeymoon phase,’ I started to feel really, really unhappy about it. I started feeling really resentful—not of my trainer or anything, she's amazing—but of doing this thing. It was sucking my joy away from me.

Every night when I'd be going to bed, I would start to dread the next morning and that is not where I want to be. That is the opposite of what I believe, what I teach, and what I want. That was when I knew like something was off.

Side note: I did not lose any weight from working out. I did not feel much better at all. I came to find out that my ovary syndrome that I've had since a teenager was back and flared up really bad, and I was sick. I needed to balance my hormones. That's a side note. Story for another day.

But anyway, it was so frustrating that I was doing all this work and not feeling any better, but also my mornings were ruined. I realized that I missed my mornings and my morning routine. You guys know my morning routine, my morning ritual, I missed it. And so, this wasn't serving me.

So what I did was, I switched to doing my exercise in the middle of the day or just at some point in the day. It was something that was on my to-do list, not on my schedule. Does that make sense? My schedule is like, “Hey Allie, you have to be here at this time. You have to go live with Kendra at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. And then, after that, you have a doctor's appointment.” There are appointments, events, things that are on my schedule, but my to-do list is things that need to be done when I sit down to work or when I decide I'm going to do them. Make sense? So, moving my body became a thing on my to-do list. 

At some point in the day, I'm going to be ready for a break. If I'm homeschooling the kids, I'm going to want to break from that at some point. If I'm working, I’m going to want to get up from my desk and take a break. Whatever it is I'm doing, I going to want to take a break. When I take that break, I grab a water bottle, I get my tennis shoes on, and I go outside. I take a long walk, or a really short brisk walk, or I'll sprint with the kids in the backyard, we'll play kickball at the park, or I'll just do some squats and pushups while I wait for my snack to be ready or whatever it is.

I moved that there instead of making it this big hour-long thing—plus the drive time, plus the waking up and getting ready time–first thing in the morning. By the time I got home, it would be 8:00 a.m. and I'd have to start to get ready for my day because my work day normally starts at 9 or 10, depending. My whole morning ritual had to get nixed because I had to get up and go exercise and it just was a joy-suck for me.

I was trying to simplify life by feeling better and getting my exercise done right away. But what happened was it backfired and it sucked. I'm glad that I did it for a little while because, first of all, I learned a lot about how to work out and work my body really well, and my trainer taught me some really great moves to do. I definitely felt empowered by getting that done for a short season of time, but then it started to drain me.

What I learned from this is that it's okay to change. That’s another podcast episode to go back to. It's okay to change. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to need to pivot. (Pivot! If you don't get that, I'm sorry. It's a “Friends” reference).

I also learned from this that sometimes simplicity is fitting things in when it works day-by-day and not being super scheduled and rigid. And you guys, I've talked about this so much because I am generally not a super organized, scheduled, rigid person. I love being spontaneous. I love being able to do what I want as things come and go and fly by the seat of my pants.

And pretty much every time I get super rigid I get out of it because it doesn't make me happy. It just makes me feel stuck. And I think there is a way to balance the things that need to get done and having rhythms and routines that serve you without feeling super rigid and stuck.

So, those are some things that I've tried to simplify in my life that didn't end up working, and what I learned and how I adjusted.

I hope that this makes you feel super known, understood and seen. It's okay. Life is real.

Sometimes you see somebody online talking about something and you think that they're perfect in that area and in every area of their life. And that's just not the case. And if they say it is, they're lying. I'm not saying that it’s perfect. I'm being honest with you and sharing the behind-the-scenes simplicity bloopers.

I hope this helps, makes you giggle and see that you're not alone, and maybe feel a little inspired to adjust in the area of your life that hasn't been working for you.

Love you guys!

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 114: How My Morning Ritual Has Changed


This is a sort of follow-up episode of one of the most popular episodes that I've ever done for The Purpose Show called “How My Morning Ritual Is Changing My Life.” I used to be really religious about doing my morning ritual. It was such a life-giving time for me. Then some things changed and my mornings looked different. This episode is about how some things have shifted for me, what I've learned, and what my morning ritual looks like today.


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • how and why her morning ritual has changed multiple times

  • what her mornings look like now

  • how her morning ritual affects her mindset for the day

Mentioned in this Episode:


Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hey guys! How's everybody doing? I am super honored that you chose to spend some time in your day with me. Thank you for being here! Also, thank you for all the positive reviews on the podcast lately.

I just want to say that I really, really, truly appreciate everybody who has taken a couple of minutes out of their day to just go onto iTunes and leave a positive review. It has really been making my day. There's been a big influx of them lately and I'm really thankful for you guys.

Reviews are everything on iTunes. They basically decide if other people see and find the podcast or not. Positive reviews can put me in the noteworthy section on iTunes, which is a huge deal, and has happened, and I am just really grateful for you guys doing that for me. It takes a lot of time, manpower, and effort to make this podcast happen. I appreciate when you guys who partake in it also give back. Thank you so much. It means the world to me.

If you have not left a review and you want to, I'd love to see how you're feeling about the podcast and what you love about it. You can go to iTunes and do that. Thank you so much.

Okay, let's dive into today's episode. This is a sort of follow-up episode of one of the most popular episodes that I've ever done for The Purpose Show. It's kind of an “accidental” follow-up because back in the day when the podcast first launched, I did an episode called, “How My Morning Ritual Is Changing My Life.” That was like a year and a half ago. This new episode is how some things have shifted for me, what I've learned, and what my morning ritual looks like today.

The Morning Ritual episode is one of the most shared episodes ever. Pretty much anytime I get tagged on Instagram that somebody’s listening to my episode, I know it's going to either be the latest episode, Episode 6, or the Morning Ritual episode. You guys love that one. It always gets shared. I want to do more of what you guys love for sure and I think you guys will love this episode.

I want to talk about how what I do before a speaking event has translated into every day for me. I think you guys will find this pretty interesting, hopefully. If not, then why are we here? But hopefully you do.

A year and a half ago when I came out with that episode about my morning ritual, I was really religious about it. I would do my morning routine or my morning ritual (I feel like routine kind of feels like “work” or sounds like there's work involved. So, I like to say morning ritual because this is really just a very slow and life-giving practice). But anyway, I would do that every single morning and it was so good for me. It was such a life-giving time for me. 

But I shared in a recent episode that my mornings shifted when I started to have health issues. I decided that I needed to prioritize exercise and that it would just simplify my life if I got it done right away in the morning. So, I kind of left my morning ritual. I told myself that I would do it in the morning after my exercise time or in the afternoon during a midday break and I just needed to give my mornings to exercise. 

I started to do that and it just drained me. It was really not helpful. It was not life-giving at all. It felt empowering to get my movement done and out of the way and to take care of my body right away in the morning, but it made my morning ritual totally slide.

I never had time to do it when I got back from my workouts because I would get up really early in the morning, make a cup of coffee, grab a quick snack, drink some water, use the restroom, and get myself ready. Then I'd have to drive 15 minutes to my trainer’s house to train in her home gym. The workout was an hour, and then I had to drive all the way back home. When I got home it would be time to make the kids breakfast and I'd have to get ready for my work day because my work day starts at 9 or 10 a.m. 

So, even though the day started early, I just wasn't doing my morning ritual anymore. I wasn't doing the life-giving, slow practice of reading and stillness and all that that I was doing before. It was just get up and go. And that wore me down so much. I think there are a lot of people out there that it works for them to get up and get their exercise done and that is a great ritual for them. That is life-giving for them. But that was not the case for me.

I worked out in the morning first thing for about six months straight, and there were good mornings, but it really started to get hard. It was just draining the life from me, making me feel like I was dreading the mornings. I'd go to bed at night and start to just feel dread for the coming morning and that is not how I want to live.

So, I realized that was not good for me and I shifted my exercise. I moved away from my trainer. I thanked her for teaching me. I definitely learned really great, helpful things about how to move my body and how to take care of myself in a physical way, but I was not going to be able to come in the morning anymore. I was going to start to get my movement in throughout the day whenever I took a midday break, when I took a break from work, or took a break from homeschooling or whatever. And that has worked really well. But I had gotten out of my morning ritual routine.

Now that I had my mornings free again, I would wake up early, make coffee, sit and read a little bit, have some prayer time. But I had lost the passion and flow of being very specific and strategic about what I was doing during my morning time. And so, I was kind of in that space for a little bit.

I was really enjoying not rushing out the door, exercising super hard, rushing back, feeding the kids, getting ready for the day. I was really enjoying not being in that space anymore. And so, I just kind of stayed there for a little while.

Well, in the midst of all this, I had a speaking event. I don't take speaking events very often, but when I do, I make sure they're really great and I'm going to reach a lot of women and get paid well to leave my family for several days.

I had a speaking event, so I went to Virginia. I was there, and I have this speaking event ritual—I guess I'm big on rituals—and I immediately fell back into it.

It had been a while since I had done a speaking event and so I was like, “Oh yeah, I have this, pre-speaking event ritual that I love to do that gets me in the right mindset to show up for people and really serve them in my talk.” And so, I started to do that ritual the morning that I was speaking. 

I woke up early, and I practiced gratitude. I prayed. I spoke life over my day and the people that I would interact with. I did positive affirmations. I sipped my coffee in my hotel room and kind of just paced back and forth while just speaking life and saying, “The day is going to go well. I am going to help people. I am going to say the words that they need to hear, not the words that I want to say.” I started to speak affirmations over my day like that. Then I took a really brisk walk outside and listened to an empowering mindset podcast and really got into this flow of being ready for my day, ready to speak.

I spoke 4 times in 24 hours. It was like a marathon. It was crazy, but it was so good. And I did that morning ritual every morning that I spoke. When I was flying home from Virginia, I thought to myself, “Why do I do this when I'm going to speak, but not for my normal day? What would happen if I not only got back to having a structured and life-giving morning ritual, but if I applied something more like this ritual—my pre-speaking events ritual—to every single day? Why would I treat the mundane days, the “everyday,” as any less important than speaking days?”

What I'm doing at home is far more important than what I'm doing when I'm speaking. I'm raising people. I'm doing live streams. I'm talking to the world. I'm writing emails that get to hundreds of thousands of people. That is a big deal. I need to show up for that better.

So, I decided to come out of this weird funk that I had been in with my morning time and be a little bit more intentional about it like I used to. I knew what my previous morning ritual was and I didn't really feel like it fit anymore. I wanted it to be different. So, I wrote out what would give me life, give me energy, and make me feel like I had connected with God, connected with myself and just really shown up for the day before it even began. And I just want to share with you guys what that morning ritual is like now.

My pre-speaking ritual has turned into my everyday ritual, and it's really life-giving. It's really beautiful and I know that it will help somebody out there, so I want to share it with you guys.

Hey beautiful friend! I’m pausing this content right now because I want to talk to you about something that is currently open and it's super temporary so I don't want you to miss out!

Do you ever feel like you are just stuck in the mud? Everyday just feels like you're sinking in quicksand and you can't get out? No matter how much effort you put in, you just sink further and further?

If life feels like it's just heavy - maybe you've decluttered, maybe you've simplified your home - but life, your calendar, and your schedule just really feel heavy and you wish that you could implement minimalism to that part of things just like you did with your house.

I am so excited if you're saying “yes” to this because Unburdened Is open! Unburdened is the second course that I created. It is basically a tool and resource for you to use to pull yourself out of that pit and to do it a whole lot faster than if you did it without help.

Basically, Unburdened will help you set boundaries for your phone, your technology, yourself, and other people, to make space for what matters.

It'll help you take ownership of your time. We're going to gut your calendar and clear the clutter in your life and your schedule, create your ideal day and set up daily and weekly rhythms. For those of you who just don't do routines and you can never make them stick, this is the answer because I'm like that, and this is literally my biggest secret. I'm so, so excited!

Step 3 in this program is you're going to implement a plan for doable self-care because you can't give your family water if your well is all dried up, right?

And then step 4, you're going to get purposeful in your day-to-day. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, right? So this stuff matters.

Unburdened only opens up twice a year for enrollment. This is your chance! Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. Alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife.

The doors are open! It's a $99 program. 

I'm super excited to get you guys in there and help you reach success in the change that you're seeking for your schedule, your routines and how your days go, because this is the kind of stuff that's so exciting to get to work on once you've simplified your home.

The first thing I do when I wake up is I literally stay in bed. I wake up and I lie in bed. I'm not waking up super, super early like I used to anymore. For a really long time when I was starting the business, I'd get up at 4 a.m. and work. Then for a really long time I got up at 5 a.m., then it was 5:30, and then it was 6:00 for a while.

I own my business so I can start my workday whenever I want, and about six months ago I decided I'm never going to start my work day before 9  or 10 am. (90% of the time it's 10 a.m.). Every rare once in a while I need to start at 9 a.m. but it's so rare I can almost say it's never. I basically always start my work day at 10 a.m.

And that's hard because I live on the west coast, so that's like 1 p.m. for everyone on the east coast and a lot of people that I work with are on the east coast. But I just decided that this was worth it for me. That I needed to have a slower morning. That it's super life-giving for me and my family. I yell less when I'm not stressed out and rushed and I needed to have that morning space. I'm the boss and I worked really hard to be the boss, so I'm going to set that tone of the day how I want it to be. So, I shifted that.

Now I don't really get up until in between 6:30 and 7 a.m. I wake up when my body wants to wake up, but I do have an alarm set for 7 a.m. in case I do sleep late, which never happens. I always wake up before my alarm. I wake up naturally, which is really nice, really slow.

You moms who have young kids who wake you up super early, it gets better. It is coming. It's okay. Trust me.

Right when I wake up, I stay in bed. I open my eyes, I take a deep breath, and I immediately practice gratitude. And this is a super simple, juvenile, whatever comes to mind kind-of-thing like: “I'm grateful for this beautiful home that I get to live in. I'm grateful for my bed. It is so soft. I remember having a really crappy mattress for years and years because we were so broke and it was so hard. Nothing was luxurious or nice at all. So, I’m grateful for my mattress. I’m grateful for my blankets. I’m grateful for all those books on my shelf. They make my room feel cozy. They remind me of all the things I've learned and how easy it is to get knowledge today. I'm so grateful for that. I'm grateful for this man sleeping next to me. He's such a good man.” Or sometimes Brian's not next to me. He's downstairs already because he wakes up early.

I'm grateful for whatever the situation is, whatever comes to mind. “I’m grateful for my candles. I’m grateful for my flowers on the nightstand. I’m grateful for date nights. I'm grateful for my kids and grateful for cereal on the mornings that are hard. I'm grateful for…” You know, whatever it is. I'm just grateful and I practice that for a few minutes.

Then I get up and I get my slippers on. I grab a sweater. I make a cup of coffee and I go and sit on my porch. This is where I practice prayer and stillness. I just sip my coffee. I sit really still and I listen to the sound of silence out front.

Everyone always wants to know where the kids are and you know, sometimes they're still asleep. It depends on how early my body woke me up. Sometimes they're awake. Breakfast is at 8 a.m. so they know to just kind of hang out. If they want to make their own breakfast, they can make their own breakfast earlier. That's okay. They can go to the bathroom, get water, play, get breakfast, whatever they want. When your kids get older, it gets like this and it's nicer. We homeschool so we don't have to rush out for school. One of the biggest reasons that I love homeschooling and owning my own business is the ability to set a slow tone like this in the mornings.

So, I sit outside and I just enjoy the stillness. As I finish my coffee and I finish being still, I begin to talk to God and I just pray and I have a conversation with Him. And conversation involves listening. So I talk and I listen. Whatever comes out of me. It could be about my day. It could be about the previous day. It could be about a relationship issue. It could be about a work thing. Whatever comes out, I just talk to Him. Sometimes I just ask Him what He wants to talk to me about and I listen. Sometimes not much comes out of this and that's okay. But I practice prayer and stillness for a little while.

I have my headphones with me. I love my Airpods. I don’t know if you guys have those, but I have a pair and I love them. I put in my headphones and I listen to an abundance meditation. You can just Google it and find one that fits your beliefs, fits whatever floats your boat. There are so many out there. I just listen to an abundance meditation and I really focus on it. I breathe in, and I breathe out. I listen to the words about just creating a beautiful life, reaching your goals, succeeding in the things you want to succeed in, creating more of what you want so that you can share it with others, and just creating an abundant life.

Then I do a quiet space and visualization exercise. So just more stillness. I usually still keep my headphones in and I'll just put on some lyricless music on Spotify or something. And I just practice visualization. I really believe in the power of our minds. I believe that I am made in the image of the Creator of the universe. He is the All Powerful Creator and I'm also a powerful creator. I create what I think about.

Our minds are incredibly powerful. I believe the power of life and death is in the tongue and you say what you think. It all starts with your thoughts and it is very important to guard and protect your thoughts and also intentionally use your thoughts for good and not evil. I think that when you think that the world is awful or life is so hard or your husband's a jerk and your kids are just so difficult, then you're going to get more of that because you're thinking it, you're seeing it, you're proving to yourself that you're right.

But you can choose to switch that. Think positively and visualize joy, abundance, good in the world, and good in your life. Practice gratitude and visualize more of that. Visualize what you want.

I visualize my business going really well. I visualize specific revenue goals coming to fruition. I visualize having a good relationship with my kids now and when they're older. I visualize a happy marriage. I visualize it happening right now and into old age. I visualize a lot of different things. I don't need to share all of those things, but I visualize getting where I want to go. Reaching goals.

I visualize some big charitable giving goals that I have that I can't wait to see come to life. And I know they will. I visualize writing those checks to charities and organizations that are doing great things that I care very much about. I just use my mind to visualize big things.

Then I move into visualizing small things like my day going really well. I know what's on my calendar, I know what I'm doing that day, so I visualize those things going really well. I just go over it in my head like, “Okay, today I've got a livestream at 11 a.m. and that is going to go beautifully. If there's tech issues, we'll deal with it. But there's not going to be tech issues and it's going to go really well. I'm going to reach a lot of people with this message and they're going to find freedom in the words that I have to say.”

I invite the Holy Spirit to come and be with me and rest on me and speak through me. I visualize the whole day going well. I visualize having the time and space to do what needs to get done. I visualize being empowered to make decisions about what needs to just wait until later so that I can have time with my kids and have time to do everything that I need to do that day.

If it's date night I visualize no tension, high expectations or bickering happening that day. (Because if any of you are married and you've ever had a date night, you know that it's very easy for there to be a lot of tension on date night for some reason. That's just the way it works.) I visualize no tension before date night. I visualize a beautiful day and a great, fun romantic evening with my husband at dinner or whatever it is we're going to do that night. I just feel grateful again. I thank God for everything that He gave me and that I do have the power that He gave me in my mind and I can visualize things happening and that is His will for me.

Then I do something that's kind of specific to me in my story. If you are new here, you're going to be like, what the heck? But after that, I open up my bank accounts. I check the business bank accounts. I check my personal bank account. I check the platform account that basically tells me how much money the business made yesterday and today so far, and what's coming in. I look at the flow of money in my life and I connect with that and I practice gratitude for it. I'm connected to that. 

I shared in another recent episode that because of my PTSD diagnosis because of our money struggles, I had avoided looking at money for a very long time and it wasn't good. It wasn't good for me; it wasn't good for my business. And so, now I'm very connected to money in a healthy way. I check in every morning and I just see what the business made and what's in our account, what bills have come out, what needs to be paid, what's coming in and going out. And I just feel grateful. 

I say out loud that I'm so grateful for this money that I've been given and that I can do good things with it. When good people make good money, they do great things and I want to be one of those good people that do great things. I'm thankful for this flow of money in my life and I thank Jesus for it. That's just a personal thing that I do because of my personal story.

Then I come inside and I kiss my babies because they're definitely up, awake, and downstairs by now. I make sure that they've got breakfast going. If they don't, I help them get it started. And then I grab my flip flops or my shoes, I kiss my hubby and I take a walk. I just go. I walk around my neighborhood and sometimes I get grateful again. If I feel like I've just been kind of stuck in a negative place and I need even more gratitude, I will do that.

Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast. Usually I listen to a podcast. I love podcasts about mindset and I try to give that to you guys here. But I also love James Wedmore's Mind Your Business Podcast. It’s definitely business-centric so if you don’t own a business you probably won't like it. But sometimes I listen to that, especially if it's a day that I'm going to be in the office. I will listen to something positive, walk around and get moving. Usually I stop and do some lunges, squats, or push-ups or something, get my body flowing a little bit. Then I come inside, eat breakfast, have another cup of coffee and spend time with my family. And then we all get dressed for the day.

That is a very specific look at my morning ritual. I've been doing this every day for a couple of months now and there's no end in sight. It's so fulfilling.

Basically, I can wake up with stress on me and just having this practice of talking to God, connecting with myself, connecting with my Creator, connecting with my day, connecting with my brain is so powerful. It's really healing. Whatever I'm going through, whatever stress there is, it really doesn't have a place to stand on when I practice this because it just falls away. I'm reminded of all of that I have to be grateful for. And I see all that I have to do in a positive light instead of with a perspective of dread like, “Oh my gosh, there's so much to do.” 

I hope this helps you guys. I hope this encourages you and inspires you to get your own morning ritual. And please tag me, share that you're listening, tell me what you're doing in your mornings—based on this episode—that is just giving you life. I'd love to see how you're partaking in this!

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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!

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

Ep 113: 3 Free, Powerful Ways To Water The Grass In Your Life Right Now


This episode is actually the audio from a live stream that I did a while back about the quote “The grass is greener on the other side because it’s fake.” The response I got on this was so overwhelming. A lot of people found it really raw and impactful. Most people loved it, but it ruffled a few feathers too.

This is one of those messages that needs to be shared and spread to the masses because it's so important. It’s so key, so impactful, and such a perspective shift. I’m excited for you to listen!


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • how social media can affect how we feel about ourselves and others

  • the role gratitude plays in self improvement

  • ways you can show up for your life right now regardless of your situation

  • the value in creating stillness in your life

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.

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

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hi, beautiful friend! Welcome to the show! So, I'm so excited for you to hear this episode. It's actually the audio from a live stream that I did a while back and the response I got on this was so overwhelming. Some people were happy; some people, not so much. People had a different perspective or push back to it. But I think that when something is really raw and I think when something makes an impact, it also can ruffle feathers.

I think it's good when there's some people that are happy about it and some people that are not happy about it. I think that's a good sign. I actually get a little worried when everybody loves something that I say because I think it means I'm playing it too safe. So, I'm super excited for you to hear this episode.

I purposely recorded myself on my microphone while I sat at my desk and did this live stream at the same time because I knew I wanted this to be an episode of the podcast. So, please enjoy! Please take a picture, take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, tag me, share with your friends. This is one of those messages that needs to be shared and spread to the masses because it's so important. It’s so key, so impactful, and such a perspective shift. And I really need you guys' help in spreading this message. Tag me. I want to see it.

Thank you so much for helping me shift the perspectives of people and women everywhere. I really appreciate you. Enjoy this discussion.

Hello beautiful friends! Welcome! I'm so glad that we're hanging out right now. I'm so glad you're here to listen to my message. I want to talk to you about some things and we're just going to jump right in.

I just got back from a gratitude walk, which I want to do an episode about these. I think they're incredibly impactful and they're changing my life so much. I got hit with this idea and I just wanted to talk with you about it. I was thinking about it and just letting it sift in my brain a little bit.

There's this quote, it says, “the grass is always greener because it's fake,” and it has been circulating in my feed a lot lately. Who has seen that? Raise your hand. Raise your digital hand. Give me some emojis if you're on this live. Comment to me if you've seen this quote, “the grass is always greener because it's fake.”

I have seen it in many different forms, different memes, straight-up used as the caption on people’s posts. In one way or another, I have seen it so much lately. Yeah, a lot of you are seeing it. Yeah, you guys are seeing it, so it's not just me. It's been everywhere lately. And so, whenever something is everywhere, it's because it's either resonating with people or it's doing something to them, right?

I've been thinking about this so much. This quote was bothering me a bit and I wasn't really sure why. Whenever I feel a little bit of resistance to something, I want to dive into that.

Why is this bothering me? Is this bothering me because it's an area that I could grow in? Is this something that I want to talk about on the podcast? Is this something that I want to deal with in myself? I am always seeking to grow, learn, and as Maya Angelou said, “know better; do better.”

So, when this quote, “the grass is always greener because it's fake,” started circulating a ton in my feed, I let it sift around. And I think what I've come to is something that I really, really want to share with you guys.

While social media has absolutely contributed to a world in which some people are fake, social media isn't to blame. Some people have always been this way. Maybe not in every era, but in eras past, there have been people like this who are fake despite the lack of social media. I think that we just see more of it (obviously that's not a monumental conclusion) because of social media. 

But there have always been people who are fake, who put up a front for one reason or another. Give me some emojis again. Comment. Tell me. Raise your hand if you have known somebody who always posts about their marriage a lot and/or their husband and how amazing he is and then they split. Those are the moments where you kind of “wake up” to the fact that there is so much that is fake in this world. But it has always been that way. There have been fake people forever.

I was thinking about this a lot and I think one reason that this quote, “the grass is always greener because it's fake,” has been trending so much lately might have something deeper underneath it. Maybe you'll disagree and that's okay. But I was thinking about how there might be something further in there.

What if it's giving people comfort to think that those who have reached a higher point than they have, those who have sought abundance more than they have, those who are reaping what they've sown in a good way, aren’t really happy? What if that comforts people in some way to think “oh, it’s fake” for those who have put in the time, put in the energy, put in the work, put in the investment, put in the money, put in the conversations with their spouse to build a good marriage, put in the money in terms of date nights (I'm using marriage as an example, but it could be anything you put money into…business, health, wellness, anything).

What if one reason this quote is catching such fire is jealousy. There are people who are seeing this and thinking, “Yeah, yeah! The grass is greener for her because it's fake. Totally!”

But really it's those who have worked harder, who have sought that abundant life, who have sought to be bigger and better than average, they're reaping what they've sown. And those people who are seeing that quote and sharing it like crazy have also reaped what they've sown. They're getting what they put in. And that is hard. And so, they see that quote and they're just like, “Yup. It's fake.”

So yes, it makes us feel better to stay the same. Absolutely. It makes us feel better to see somebody who has the life we deep down really want and say, “Oh, it's fake. They don't really have that because I don't really either.”

I think the fact that these people might actually be living this way, that they might actually have earned this and gotten themselves to a point of living this way for real is very uncomfortable for “non-reachers,” because it shines a light on why their grass is brown, right? So there’s jealousy, blaming, and saying things like, “Oh, she's so lucky.” I hear this a lot in the business-coaching world when it comes to money and seeking wealth.

Look, money makes the world go round. You can only give your time if you cannot give your money. And so, there's nothing wrong with seeking wealth because “when good people make good money, they do great things,” as Chris Harder always says.

But, they'll say things like, “Oh well, rich people are just stealing everything from us. They are so greedy and I am not in this for the money. I just want to make ends meet.” And it's like, really? Is that really what you want? 

I don't think that everybody is called to wealth, but do you see what I'm saying? These people are saying these types of things because of jealousy over someone else’s “lack and stuckness,” you know? Especially with, “She's so lucky.” That's a big one for me. It really bothers me because these are all things people say to cover the lack of joy and fulfillment that they are struggling with within themselves.

And so, rather than looking at someone who is living a life that you wish was yours and thinking, “Oh, her grass is greener because it's fake,” why not just water your grass? Why not do that in the same way, in the same places, in the same patches that she watered it? Let her be an inspiration that drives you into a new lifestyle, not something that you are filled with disdain about, that you're jealous of. 

That's why I'm here. That's why I do what I do because I want to inspire women to be action-takers, problem-solvers and go-getters. I want you to not be a jealous onlooker of other people living the life that you really want. When you see other people living the life you want, I don’t want you to feel jealous, insecure, unfulfilled, and upset that you're still at Square A, you know? Who's felt like that?  I know that I’ve related to that.

I really believe there are no rules in terms of what your life can look like except the ones you make for yourself. I see this so much in motherhood. Motherhood does not have to be a crap shoot mess all the time that leaves you drained and dumped on unless you choose to make it that. And I think that's a hard thing for a lot of people to hear because we've been told that good moms are servants, they don't take time for themselves, they don't spend money on themselves. Those are lies. It's BS, and I'm over it. If I don't die having changed that perspective in the world, what was the point? What was the point?

I just want to encourage you guys. I think that there are fake people out there and I think we need to watch that. I really do. The people who have beautiful Instagram feeds—which side note: I'm so tired of people that have beautiful Instagram feeds getting crapped on. I love an aesthetic. I get this with my home too because I love design. I love decorating. I love really waiting to find that beautiful piece for my home and creating a beautiful, clean ambiance in my home and in my business. I love branding. I'm obsessed with marketing. I love it. It lights me up. And I'm so sick of getting crap for that. Like, “Oh your feed’s pretty, so you’re fake.”

There is something to be said for beautiful pictures that make you stop your scroll, but read the dang caption. If this girl is just making you feel worse, if she's making you feel like you're not good enough, if she makes you walk away like, “Uh, I just feel gross, like worse.”  Not because you're jealous and unfulfilled, but because she's negative, she's fake. It's like all of these fake things have no depth. Unfollow her!

If social media is such a problem for you, clean out your feed. Unfollow them. Follow people who make you stop your scroll and then enlighten you, shift your perspective, make you walk away better, lighter, convicted in a good way. Follow people who inspire you to action like, “Yeah, I need to get on this. I need to be better at this.” If you're discouraged and disheartened when you're on social media, that's your fault. Unfollow those people. You have a choice to fill your feed with people who make you want to get out of bed in the morning and be so much better.

I love “nighttime lives” because I love thinking about the fact that it's 8:00 p.m. for me (I'm on the west coast) so, for a lot of you guys, it's well past the kids' bedtime. So, kids are in bed, you're sitting there watching me, and I want to make you think, “Holy crap, this is amazing. My perspective is so shifted. I can't wait for my kids to wake up in the morning so I can know better, do better, be better, and show the heck up.” That's my goal. That's what I'm here to do. I want to inspire women to be action-takers and problem-solvers, not jealous onlookers of the people who are living the lives they deep-down really, truly want.

And again, there are no rules except the ones you make for yourself. So, if you believe that motherhood is just always going to be hard no matter what, if you believe that it's just give, give, give and you're not allowed to take for yourself because you should feel guilty about that. If your mom or your mother-in-law (Mothers-in-law are famous for this! Mothers-in-law, be better! I want to be an awesome mother-in-law when it's my time) make you feel guilty for taking time for yourself, get out of there! Don't hang out with them. Don't let them get control of your mind, girl. Realize that you are pouring into yourself because you have to pour out to your family on a constant basis.

So okay, let's take action, right? Because if you've been around me for a minute, you know that I do not leave you without giving you something to take action on.

Hey, sweet friend! Let's play an imagination game for a second. Imagine walking in the door at the end of the long day, setting your bag down and heading into the kitchen to make dinner. Your counters are clear. You like being in your kitchen. You're happy to be there. You have the patience you need to answer your kids’ questions and have a good evening with them. You like going to bed in your cozy haven of a bedroom. You're excited for that. You have the mental capacity to talk with your spouse and veg out together via Netflix. There's no arguing, nagging, or mentally draining to-do list adding up every time you glance around because there's stuff everywhere. Imagine that maintaining your home is just a side note in your life. It's not a stress causer or a time suck.

This is the reality of the women who go through my Your Uncluttered Home program. 

This is so different from anything free, anything on this podcast, anything that you can find anywhere else because it is an all tied-together program with video, house walk-throughs, and very detailed deep-dive lessons about every single nook and cranny and area of your home.

All of this in simplicity. Everything about living a minimalist life starts at home. There is so much power in letting things go and in doing it the right way, the shortcut way, the way that I didn't have when it was my turn to do this 7/8 years ago now. This is what I created for you.

There's a reason that this is a paid program. There's a reason that it goes all the way deep and that women that listen to the podcast enroll and still see so much more of a difference in their lives because it is so different than anything else. It is such a deep dive.

It is truly, truly a game changer and a life changer. I'm so honored to sign my name to this program and invite you to join all the thousands of women who have gone before you and done this.

What do you have to lose by not enrolling? You can always just test the waters. See if it works for you. There's a 14-day refund period. No questions asked.

This was made for you. This was made by me for you.

What do you have to lose if you don't enroll? What do you have to lose? 

Progress. You'll stay stuck on that hamster wheel that’s not working for you, right?

You have time to lose. You'll keep wasting these precious days of this fleeting season in your life and your kids' lives.

You’re going to lose self-care. You’ll continue to show yourself that you don't value yourself, that you don't matter, that your home and your time or not valuable.

You will lose peace. You'll keep living that same stressful, overwhelmed lifestyle that’s been making you feel awful for way too long already.

But what do you have to gain by enrolling? You gain progress. You'll finally create change. You gain time. You gain self-care. You gain peace. You gain love because your relationships are going to seriously improve.

If you don't believe me, just think about this. Less clutter equals less stress, which equals a less stressed out you. So less naggy. Less yelling. Less frustration. A better version of yourself for everybody involved with you. You also gain your kids’ childhood because we all know they grow up way too fast.

Let's stop wasting time. Prioritize what we say is truly important. Put our money where our mouths are and get you to the point of being the present person that you want to be.

I offer 10% off for podcast listeners only. Go to alliecasazza.com/getstarted and at checkout, enter the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off. I can't wait to see you in there.

There's a whole free community that comes along with the course. It’s for students only. And I can't wait to see you posting in there that you're ready for change. You can share your before and after photos and get us to cheer you on. You can post about any problems that come up for you. I can't wait to interact with you and have you be a part of that community. Go girl. Let's do this!

Three ways to water your grass right now. Why does that sound dirty? I don't know, but it kind of does. Three ways to water the grass in your life right now. 

#1: Get grateful. Get freaking grateful. There's a reason that gratitude is so overdone and over -talked about. It's the crux of every self-help movement—religious or not religious, it doesn't matter. Gratitude is always the foundation of every single thing when it comes to being a better version of yourself or showing up for your life, for growing, for getting more.

So, like I said in the beginning of this, I just came back from a gratitude walk and you know, it's so juvenile, it’s so simple. Look, I'm not Ann Voskamp, the woman who wrote A Thousand Gifts. I'm just not her. I'm not able to think, “I'm just open and thankful. Gratitude is flowing because of the withering leaves of the weeping willow in the back.” I can't even fake it. I'm not good at that. I'm so juvenile and basic.

I am grateful for my kids and their relationship with each other. It's awesome. I am grateful for the noise level in my house because it’s loud and I'm grateful for that because one day it's going to go away. And I am grateful for the abundance of leaves in the trees that I am walking through right now because it just reminds me that I serve an abundant living God and I live in an abundant world. Little things like that, literally just what I see. So number one, get grateful.

Side note: all of the tips I'm about to give you, the three tips I'm about to give you can be done right now. They cost no money. It takes nothing. You can do them tonight. Right now. Literally. This is good stuff, if I do say so myself.

#2: Show up right where you are right now. No matter what. No matter how broke you are. No matter how heartbroken you are. No matter how hard your day was or what’s going on. Show up right where you are. Stop waiting for the thing that you want to happen. And if you focus on being grateful, if you focus on showing up right where you are right now, that thing is way more likely to come into your life.

It's way more likely that you will be given that thing because if you can do well with what you have right now, you're going to be given so much more. This is a lesson that I've learned about money: if you don't tithe 10% or give generously, give to charity, do something good with $1 out of $100, you're not going to give $10,000 out of a million. You're just not.

So, if you don't show up right where you are, right now, who’s to say that you're going to show up when that thing you really want finally does come into your life? Because guess what? Once it comes into your life, it's great for a little bit, and then it's old news. And then there's another thing that you want, another goal you want to get to, another thing you want to reach. So show up right where you are right now.

If you are on the east coast it's late at night, right now. You're lying next to your husband and you're pissed at each other. You're fighting. You bickered today. He made you upset. Show up right now. Be the bigger person. Apologize. Start the conversation.

If your house is a total mess and you're dreading tomorrow, show up right now. Decide that you're going to invest in your haven, invest in the place where your babies are being raised, your memories are being made and you're going to get it under control tomorrow morning. Set your alarm, get up, show up. Don't be overwhelmed. Don't let the mess get the best of you. This is a mindset issue. You need to show up right where you are. Stop waiting for the next thing. 

Stop thinking, “Okay, well I'll show up then,” or “Well, if we just had more money in the bank, then...”

I've been there. I've been completely broke. I didn't even have enough cereal to feed my kids one night. Literally. I had to go to a food bank. Now I have a multiple seven-figure business. I had to show up where I was so I could prove that I could show up with what I have now. This is huge you guys!

#3: Get still. Stillness is such a key and it gets so overlooked. I think it’s overlooked and it also kind of gets over-talked about, if that makes sense. Stillness can look like a lot of different things.

As I shared in my Instagram just a little bit ago, tonight I was a mess. I was really stressed out, feeling like I needed to do all the things to fix the things that were stressing me out. And I was like, “You know what? No.” Because when you feel like you need to take action and do everything, a lot of the time the answer's actually to just stop and get still. So I did.

I forced myself. I forced myself to get still. I went upstairs. I ran a warm bath. I lit candles. I got in there, I put my noise canceling headphones on, and I just listened to an abundance meditation. I turned it off. I prayed. I talked to God, and more importantly, I listened for Him. I got still and I just let Him know that I was there. I listened for His voice and I waited for Him to speak to me.

And you know what? He dropped some ideas, some wisdom and words that I needed to hear in order to be better at pouring into other people. And I got out, rinsed off in the shower (because I can't get out of a bath and dry off. It's weird. It makes me itchy. I had to shower), then I went on my gratitude walk and just got grateful.

I think a lot of the times we talk to God, but we don't wait for Him to talk back. It's such a common problem. So, get still.

What does stillness look like for you? You know, I'm a Christian. I love Jesus, but I always have a goal of creating content and reaching out to you beauties who are not, and who've been hurt by Christians. Christians can suck. Let me tell you. So, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are or what your religion is. What is stillness for you?

Is it just sitting on your front porch and listening to the sounds? Is it getting away from your kids a little bit? Is it praying? Is it meditating? Is it sitting still and just being quiet? Is it listening to lyricless music and just closing your eyes, shutting out the distractions, taking some deep breaths?

What is it for you? Get still.

So, three ways to take action right now and water the grass in your life right friggin’ now.

  • Get grateful.

  • Show up right where you are right now. Stop waiting for the next best thing and thinking, “Oh well, when we do that, then I'm going to show up better. When I lose weight...when I have more money...when we have a bigger house...”

  • Get still. Create stillness in your life and cultivate that.

These things take no money. You can literally do them right now.

And you know what? I also want to say for those of you who are ready and you're like, “I want to up level. I want to change my life. I don't want to be the mom who is stuck in this crapshoot of excuses. But it's just so hard. I have twins. We just moved. My kids are close together. We don't have any money. I don't have any time...” I want to say: Invest where you want to succeed.

This is what I was just saying to some of the women who are purchasing my business-coaching. When you invest in your business, you succeed in your business. Even if it's small; sometimes it's big. If you want to succeed in your home, if you want to create a home that you see online, you can. A lot of people message me things like this, “Well, your home, it's just so nice. It's so clean, inspiring and beautiful. It just feels like a safe haven.” Yours can too.

This has nothing to do with design. It has to do with junk. It has to do with clutter. That's why I created Your Uncluttered Home. Invest where you want to succeed.

You can do these three things to water the grass in your life right now for nothing.

But at some point you’re going to have to take it up a notch and invest in something. In your marriage. In your home. In your family. In your peace of mind.

The thing that I love about teaching people how to overcome clutter is that it does all three of those things. It does. It's you, your family, your relationship with your kids, your relationship with your home. You have a relationship with your home, whether you realize it or not. How you feel when you walk in your home at the end of a long day is a temperature-taker of how your relationship with your home is going.

Holy work happens in your home. You are raising the next generation, my friend. That matters! How you feel in that space matters! Do you think it's just a side note? Do you think it’s supposed to be messy? “Good moms have sticky floors and happy kids.” No they don't. No. Because a mom can't be a good mom if she is stressed the freak out. She just can't!

You have to feel good. You have to be filled up. You have to feel confident, happy, fulfilled, and successful to really show up for the people in your life in the way that is best for you. And that’s going to look different for everyone, but the way to get there is the same.

I just want to say this too: If you have been on the fence about investing in anything, whatever it is. Whether it’s some kind of tool that's going to make you better at taking care of your house or that’s going to make your life easier in taking care of your house. Whether it’s delegating to a housekeeper once a week or investing in good quality, healthy food (unfortunately, good quality food is the most expensive). Whether it’s investing in your business idea to create more income,  investing in your marriage, in your relationship with God, going to counseling. Whatever it looks like for you, just do it. Invest!

And if you are stressed out, if you are struggling, if you are unhappy when you walk in the door, if it always feels like you're cleaning up…know it's not normal. It's not normal. It does not have to be that way. It is a freaking lie! (It’s so hard for me not to cuss right now; I’m really amped up!) It is a freaking lie that it has to be that way! I'm living proof.

I'm living proof and so many other women that I have come into contact with are living proof because they did the work. They showed up. They watered the grass in their life and they got change. They reaped what they sowed. So, the grass is not greener because it's fake all the time. And if you like that, if that does something to you, if that fulfills you, if it's comforting to say, “Oh, it's greener because it's fake,” check yourself, girl. Check yourself.

Are you lying to yourself? Do you need to get up and do something about that? You know, heart check?

Okay guys, I love you so much. Thank you for hanging out with me.

Take action. Invest where you want to see success.

Your home is the heart of everything you do. It all starts at home. There’s a reason that I have the Your Uncluttered Home program open all the time, but Unburdened opens only twice a year because you don't always need that. You need to start at home. You need to get your ish together there. You need to create a space, a haven that you love that can be the foundation of your family and your memories. It's important. It matters. That's why studies show over and over and over again that this has a serious effect on us, especially as women.

Okay, go do your three things. Water the grass in your life. Know better; do better. If you saw this live or if you heard this message, that means you have no excuse.

Make sure you DM me on Instagram and share with me what you did with this message and how it impacted you. Show up. Share your stories. Tag me. I will see it. I will be checking. I want to hear from you. Please make sure you tag me. It keeps me going. It keeps me percolating with these messages for you guys. So, share and tag.

Love you guys!  

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 112: Live Chat with Allie


I think social media can be such a waste of time and on those same platforms where so much time is wasted, I love creating spaces that are intentional and inspire you to be better. I have a free Facebook group that’s really big, really fun, really engaged. It's an attachment of this podcast, a place where we discuss episodes. Discuss abundant life, simplicity, and intentional living for mothers and women of all types. It's such a cool place.

Once a month in that group, I do what is called an Allie Chat where I pull somebody out from the community there and we go live together. There was an Allie Chat recently with a woman named Christina who is just a gem. She asked such amazing questions about her motherhood. I loved the conversation we had and the audience loved the answers that I gave. It was such a powerful Allie Chat and I knew that I had to use it as an episode for The Purpose Show.


In This Episode Allie + Christina Discuss:

  • encouraging creative play in toddlers without living in constant mess

  • transitioning between seasons and when you need to change up your routines

  • self-care practices with and without your kids around

  • how the Enneagram empowered Allie’s marriage and relationships

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.

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

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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

Don't have time to listen_.jpg

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

Hello, my beautiful, beautiful friend! I've got the coolest, most unique episode ever for you today.

I have this free Facebook group. If you're already a part of it, you know, but if you're not, you've got to get over there. I will link to it in the show notes for sure, or you could just search for it.

It's a free Facebook group that's really big, really fun, really engaged. The women there are just incredible. There's this energetic current that flows through that group, and that flows through me every time I spend time in there. It's really an amazing place to be on the internet, which is awesome because that's one of my biggest goals in my business. You know, I think social media can be such a waste of time and on those same platforms where so much time is wasted, I love creating spaces that are the opposite of wasted time.

I love creating spaces that are intentional and inspire you to be better. When you're on social media with me, you are bettering yourself, not wasting yourself. I love doing that. And this Facebook group is such a picture of that. It is The Purpose Show Community with Allie Casazza on Facebook. It's an attachment of this podcast—a place where we discuss episodes, discuss abundant life, simplicity, and intentional living for mothers and women of all types. It's such a cool place.

Once a month in that group, I do what is called an Allie Chat where I pull somebody out from the community there and we go live together. She gets to ask me basically anything she wants. It's really, really cool.

There was an Allie Chat recently with a woman named Christina who is just a gem. She's so cute, so sweet, so beautiful and amazing. She asked such amazing questions about her motherhood. I loved what she chose to ask me. I loved the conversation we had and the audience loved the answers that I gave. It was such a powerful Allie Chat and I knew that I had to use it as an episode for The Purpose Show.

We discussed a lot of things, but here’s a quick surface recap. We discussed encouraging creative play in toddlers without living in constant mess. We discussed transitioning between seasons and when you need to change up your routines—which is a really frequently asked question in my community so, I'm happy that I had a chance to answer it live with Christina. We discussed self-care practices with and without your kids around. We also discussed how the Enneagram empowered my marriage and relationships.

This is not doing it justice. This is a really powerful episode, so keep playing this. Put it on while you drive, while you go do whatever it is you're doing today. I encourage you to listen.

Thank you, Christina, for being a part of my community. Thank you for asking these important questions. Guys, enjoy this conversation. It’s so, so good.

ALLIE: Hi, can you hear me? How are you today? You look beautiful.

CHRISTINA: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here! I'm such a fan of yours. I'm so emotional already. I love you so much. You changed my life in so many ways. I'm just so excited. You're like my hero, so I'm just happy to chat. I got some coffee.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. I left my coffee upstairs and right when I got on, I was like, “How awkward, on a scale of 1 to 10, would it be if I just hung up and ran to go grab it? No, it's fine. I’ve got water, and I should drink it.”

Okay. So, I have your questions here, but I would rather you ask them since you're here. I have them just in case we have tech issues or in case you couldn't come. I love what you asked though. And I saw that you have a Bella too!

CHRISTINA: I do! I actually named her after you. Not in a stalker-kind-of-way. But I love that name. I actually named her Isabella, but we call her Bella and she's just a little light in our lives though. I just saw that name and I think I first heard it from you.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. Well, when we named Bella we couldn't name her—well, we could have, but we didn't want to name her—Isabella because our last name is such a mouthful. I feel like it's a lot for a 2-year-old to be Isabella Casazza. It’s just a lot. And so, we just did Bella and I was feeling super unique. It was an old Italian name and every time we said it people were like, “Wow! That's really unique.” And then Twilight came out and ruined my life and made me super mad. Everyone was like, “Oh, I like Twilight, too. Are you going to have an Edward next?” Yeah, I hated everything for three years because it wouldn't stop.

So, talk to me about what you want to talk about today.

CHRISTINA: So, I've actually been through the decluttering process. I actually did it before I found you. So, I’m really on the other side of it. I post a lot in the group—testimony to how this minimalism thing can change your life and add time with your kids. But my kids are so little still, they are 4, 3, & 1.

So my first question is: After you have completed the decluttering process, how do you keep your toddler messes to a minimum without discouraging creative play?

My 4, 3, & 1-year-olds love exploring. We've gotten rid of so many toys. We have a box of Legos and some dolls. But they are so creative, they just get into all this stuff, you know? Like my 1-year-old is taking stuff out of the dressers. The 4 & 3-year-olds are pulling out the pots and pans. They want to dress up in mommy's clothes.

And for a while I was like, “Okay, I'm putting all the clothes up. I'm not letting you guys change six times a day.” And it worked for a little while, but I want my 4 & 3-year-olds to help, and I want them to learn. I don't want to do everything for them. So, I guess what is the balance between that? I don't want to put everything up so that they can't access it. I don't want to be doing everything for them, but I don't want to be walking around all day cleaning up all these random messes.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. For me, in my experience, you're right at the point in motherhood where you go through these tiers. You go through these stages. I remember times when I thought, “Oh, are timeouts irrelevant now? Do I need to do something different because they're so old?” It's weird. You realize like, “Oh, I think it's time for this now.” And you're right at that point where it's time for them to help.

CHRISTINA: Even though it takes twice as long.

ALLIE: Yeah, oh my gosh, but that gets way better. And some moms don't have the vision that you have for your kids. They don't mind doing everything and that's not what they want for their kids. So, if you're watching and that’s you, disregard.

But for me, I really wanted my kids to help. I believe in chores. I want them to be helpful and not entitled. And that's just important to me. It gets so much easier when they're older. Now Bella and Leland are 10 and 8 and they do the dishes after dinner. Every once in a while if they have extra schoolwork or they've just had baseball and they're just really tired, I'll do it for them. But typically, they do that. And it's because, around the ages that your older two kids are, we implemented, “You get something out, you need to pick it up.” I'll help them if they need my help.

It's basically disregarding the idea in toddlers’ heads. There's this book called Happiest Toddler On The Block and it talks about how they're like cavemen and they don't know anything. When you have toddlers you have to say sentences like, “Please get your finger out of your nose while we're at this restaurant.” You have to explain the basics. So, thinking of it like that…they just don't know.

You're basically having to untrain them to just make a mess and not care. You have to teach them like: “Okay, new thing is being introduced: When you make a mess, you need to be polite and help clean it up.”

It's just a thing you have to spend your time on for a little bit.

But I'd like to encourage you, because you're in such a cool time, but also such a hard time. This is not something that I made sure they followed through on every single time. I wasn't a psycho about it. When you want something for your kids, it comes out of you for them. So, if you want your kids to be helpful when they make a mess, you're going to be able to fight that urge to clean it up. Call them back and say, “Hey guys, this looks awesome. What did you guys do with this? Tell me what you were playing. That's so fun. That's so great! Okay, let's clean it up though. We don't want to just leave it out.”

Make it fun. I was never like, “Get over here!” You don't have to be crazy about it. But when you make it fun, you just infuse that in your day. Of course, there were times when I was like, “Screw it. I'm just gonna clean it up. It's fine.” But typically it was me saying: “Hey guys, come back. Remember? What do we do after you play with something?”

Make them learn that it's just a part of their lifestyle. You've already done that with minimalism and toys and look at how your kids are.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, they’re so creative.

ALLIE: They don’t come to you saying, “I'm bored.” They know how to create, play, be innovative, and messy because that's all they know. Eventually cleaning up after themselves will be all they know and it will just happen. It's awesome and it's so worth it. I think that you can start to do that.

Also, I don't like this idea that people have: “Oh, having toddlers, is just messy. It just is what it is.”

When you're living life and having fun, you let things go. But it doesn't have to be like, “Oh I have toddlers so this is just a total crap show. It's always messy. It's always hard and I can't wait for them to get older so I can have a clean house.”  That's not a good mindset to carry.

But to some effect, when you have creative kids, they do get things out. They think the broom is a horse and they get it out and they play with it. It is to some extent part of it, but there's no reason they can't put the broom back when they're done. There's no reason that you should be running around putting things back by yourself anymore. You have the badge of honor that you have a 4-year-old and she can help put things away. That's just what I did.

What might help you is implementing what I called: “the dinnertime pick-up alarm.” When I made dinner, I would set an alarm for 10 minutes or 5 minutes. You can gauge the amount of time your kids can handle at their ages. Again, super fun. No one's in trouble here. We're just doing our family thing and you say, “Guys, it's time for our dinnertime pick-up dance party.” We would blast Taylor Swift and dance around.

Do you know about the laundry hamper trick? Have them pick up everything in the room and dump it in. It makes it easy because the laundry hamper can be pushed around on the floor by toddlers and they're not having to go and put everything away. They’re just putting it in the hamper.

Then you can make the call. Sometimes I would just go through the house after bedtime and put everything in the laundry hamper where it goes. Sometimes I would have them help me. Definitely as they got older, like once Bella turned 6, it was her job. Go put this in whoever’s room it belongs in. If it was my flip flops she would put them on the floor in my room, which was at least more helpful than them being downstairs on the floor, under the table, or wherever. But yeah, make it fun.

I think that moms struggle because they're exhausted and they don't feel fun, so they don't make things fun and normal life things feel like a punishment. And that's when kids freak out. My son, Leland, has always been my harder one. He'd be grunting, stubborn, and saying, “I'm not going to do it.” All because I sounded like, “Guys what the heck? What is wrong with everybody? Why is it so messy? Pick up right now.”

But if you set a timer and play music, and you're helping and just dancing around, and you say, “Look, let's see who can put the stuff in the hamper the fastest.” How could they not want to? Toddlers love that.

Even if it was super fake and I was really annoyed and didn't feel it, I still made it fun. It’s like a fake-it-till-you-make-it thing, because then you do eventually feel like that and the kids catch that and they like it.

Then that solves the problem that your house feels really messy and it's all on you. If you implement that just every once in a while—having them clean up after themselves, reminding them, calling them back, and then you implement a nighttime pick-up party—then you've solved your problem.

And you can do that. It could be after every meal, you just say, “We just finished a meal. What do we do?”

CHRISTINA: That way it’s more often because I definitely need it at least three or four times a day.

ALLIE:  Yeah, you can do that whenever you want, five times a day, once a day, whatever. I think the key is to just make it fun. Infuse that into them and make them feel like, “Wow! You're such a help to me.” You know when people feel valued—it doesn’t matter if they’re 3 or if they're 90—if they feel valued, they want to show up for that.

There’s this marriage book that I read a long time ago. I think it was called For Women Only, and basically there was this section in there that changed my life and I've applied it to my marriage and everywhere else. It talked about when you want somebody to do something, telling them that they suck and they need to do better doesn't do anything.

If you told your husband, “I just want you to know I think that you're so romantic and you did this (insert small thing that wasn't really romantic, but you're just trying to praise him) and it just really made me feel loved and I felt really close to and I love you.” He's going to notice that and respond by doing another romantic thing instead of you saying, “Why can't you be romantic?” Do you see what I'm saying? Apply that to your kids. If you make them feel valued, make them feel like they’re so good at cleaning up, that’s going to make them want to be better at cleaning up instead of you nagging them.

CHRISTINA: That's awesome. I love that. I use a lot of Wendy Snyder's praises. I love her. And this morning I was asking my toddler—the second one, she's 3-years-old—“Could you please put that up? And she was like, “Nope, I'm not doing it.”

So I said, “Oh my gosh, could you do it as fast as you can? I'm going to set the timer.” Then my 4-year-old came running in and she's like, “Can I do it too, please?”

So, yeah, I need to remember to keep it fun because sometimes I'll definitely be like, “Oh my gosh, why is this room such a mess?” You know?

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah. I just did that yesterday. I freaked out and I was like, “Wait, okay guys, sorry. It doesn't matter how you've messed up today. It doesn't make it okay for me to mess up and I just messed up and I yelled, and I'm sorry. Let's just hit the reset button. Let’s clean up and then let's go downstairs.”

We have this little jar of Hershey Kisses that are for Emmett when he goes potty in the toilet. And I was like, “Let's clean up and let's go downstairs and everyone can have a Hershey Kiss because I think we all need chocolate right now.” And they just laughed. It fixed the day.

I think shifting that perspective in yourself is so powerful. And you can also solve your problem. You don't have to have “good moms don't have sticky floors and messy whatever and it’s a crap show, but at least I'm having fun with my kids” mentality. You can have both.

CHRISTINA: It's good to hear that you're on the other side of that too. That's awesome. I think one thing that they do really well now is they lay out their clothes and they get dressed in the morning. That took forever, but now they're doing it on some level.

ALLIE: Amazing. Yeah, that's amazing. It’s a little thing that trims our morning down a little bit. For me, my son Leland, has definitely been my tougher one. He’s weird about his socks and shoes. There couldn’t be any bumps. He would just take forever. So, I was thinking, ‘How can we fix this when we have to go in the morning?’ Having him try his socks on at night before bed. While I got Emmett’s teeth brushed and got Hudson in his pajamas, Leland's working out his sock issues and then he lays them out and they're ready for the next morning. He already knows that they are going to work and he's happy with them. Those are mom hacks that you don't think about because you're drowning.

So, I know that you had a question about life transitions and routines and stuff.

CHRISTINA: I can read that one. How can you tell when it is time to transition to a new season of life and change up certain routines? I don't want to stay stuck in my routines if they are not serving me.

I’m the kind of person who gets into a routine and can get a little lazy in that. For example, my baby, I'm nursing her at night and a lot of times I'll bring her in the bed and snuggle her. She’s probably at that point where I can start getting up early again. She's sleeping a little bit better, but I'm still stuck in that routine. She's in the bed in the morning, so I'll just sleep in. I'm enjoying that time with her. But I feel like a lot of times we start doing something that's working for us and boom, it changes, you know? Like for you, putting your kids in school and then taking them out. I had such respect for that when I listened to that episode where it's okay to change your mind. You know? If it's not working for your family, you don't have to follow through with it.

So just do you have any examples or tips there?

ALLIE: You like that time. You don't seem ready. I don't know if everyone has this. I talked to a few friends about it and they all agreed so, I don’t know if it’s a mom-thing for everybody, but when I was nursing, I really enjoyed it. My other two babies had issues and they wouldn't nurse. So, when Hudson and Emmett nursed, I just held onto that and it was so sweet for me. Emmett nursed for a really long time. He nursed for almost two years and Hudson nursed for nine months. And at the end of both of those journeys I started to feel different about it. My skin would kind of crawl and I would just kind of be like, “Oh. Ugh, we have to sit down and nurse.”

I feel like it's God's way of getting our bodies ready. It’s like at the end of the pregnancy you're like, look, I don't care how much it hurts, get out of me. It's like your mother's natural way of closing a season off. I think it's beautiful, and I think it's really, really beneficial when your life allows you to make decisions based on that. And you don't have to go and do something else and stop when you're not ready. So, you don't seem ready. Enjoy that. Snuggle her. Sleep in a little bit. Enjoy that sweet time and look for other ways in your life that you could fit things in. Unless you're Type A and you just love routine. I’m not, and being really rigid makes me feel super trapped.

But the fact is, spontaneous or not, the laundry has to get washed, the dishes have to get run, meals have to be cooked, things have to move forward for our houses to run smoothly and for our families to be taken care of.

So, in our family that role is split now between Brian and I. But before it wasn't. It was on me. And so, those are what should be routine. What are the things that absolutely must happen for you guys to function well? Don't put things that are an ideal in your routine right now. Just enjoy sleeping in with your baby girl. Soak up that time and then just know, okay after that I get the girls breakfast, then I put a load of laundry in,  and that's my morning routine. Whatever it is.

The way you know that it's time to switch transitions and bring in a new routine or let go of an old one is when you're like that nursing-skin-crawling-feeling, so to speak, in your life. It should serve you and you can tell when something is serving you versus when it's really inconvenient. You know that feeling when you just feel like everything is just a mess and you feel like, man I need to get my ish together... Like now...This is just not working?

But it depends on your life season where that routine goes. If you feel like that, but you love that snuggle time in the morning and you don't have to be at work at 9:00 AM or you don't have anything, you can fit in your morning routine somewhere else. Make it work for your life. It should feel good. Maybe you snuggle with your baby girl in the morning but at nap time instead of watching Netflix, you first switch the laundry and run the dishwasher, then you veg out and watch Netflix. You can fit it in wherever it works for you right now. It should make you feel like, “Oh that's good, that's really good.” It shouldn't make you feel like, “Oh man, I have to get up. I have to.” Unless you're a working mom and you've got to get up and go. That's a different story.

CHRISTINA: Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. And I think you're right. I feel to be productive, I need to get up at 5:00 AM, get all my meditation and blah, blah, blah. But I do get that stuff in. I just don't do it super early. I think you're right. It feels good right now, and I’m enjoying her.

ALLIE: I didn't even start doing a super early morning routine until I started getting up early and working on my business when Emmett was one—because that was our story. That's when the idea hit me. That's when it needed to happen. But with all my other kids, I didn't do early morning things until they were two. I think people look now and my youngest is 4 ½; That's why I get up at 5:00 and go exercise, then come home and meditate, and have a good time with my family. It seems so easy and smooth now because I have no babies. Just know your season.

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

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

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

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

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses

CHRISTINA: Okay, now my next question is: What is your go to self-care when you're just feeling done? What's something you do that helps?

ALLIE: Do you want something that you can bring your kids to? Or something where you’re leaving and getting away?

CHRISTINA: How about one of each?

ALLIE: Okay. So, for myself, I could have no makeup on, have my hair in a topknot because it hasn’t been washed in six days, but if I have a manicure, I feel on top of the world. So, I always have my nails painted and pretty fresh because it makes me feel so good. Maybe think of something like that.

I feel like as women, if we feel good physically then it transfers. If you feel like crap (just getting real here: you've got no bra, sweaty under boob and you're feeling like you're gross), then you feel gross.

What’s the one thing that just makes you feel really, really good? I have a friend who's a little more high maintenance than me and she really loves facials. And so, she found a place to get a cheap organic facial and she goes every week on Wednesday morning. And that's her thing.

It could be like that or it could be less extreme. Going for a drive, getting yourself a chai tea latte—or whatever vice it is—and just going for a drive by yourself.

Then with the kids, I've switched back and forth between two things. We live in California, so the weather isn't really something I have to worry about. So, when we're having a day where homeschooling isn't clicking, everyone's just pissy and bickering, I'm done, I'm yelling, I'm not who I want to be, then it's time to get out of there. You need a change of scenery.

If it was raining or cold, we would take a drive. I would buckle the kids up. There's something magical about your kids being stuck in their car seats when they're driving you crazy. We would just listen to the music and just relax.

Then the other thing we would do, which was my favorite thing, which you might've heard me say before, is, I would get my headphones, get my phone, pack the kids up, get them all ready to go and take them to the park. There was this one park where there was a playground and a little sidewalk to walk around. It wasn’t really wide, but it went right around the playground so I could see them wherever I was. I would just put my headphones in and watch my kids play and listen to a podcast, something that encouraged me.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, like The Purpose Show?

ALLIE: What is the issue? Did you have a fight with your husband and you feel like you're having a crappy day? Listen to a marriage podcast. Are you struggling with one of your strong-willed kids? Listen to a parenting podcast.

Or maybe you need to exit the arena of whatever is causing stress that day, then don't listen to that. Listen to something for yourself. Get something in your head because words are powerful and when you're having a bad day and you put positive words literally in your head, you're going to leave that park different and your kids got their energy out. We would blow off nap time and just go whenever we needed to. And even if it was like 20 minutes, it changed the feel of the day.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, I love that. I do that. We have bad weather right now, but I'll just go to like Chick-fil-a if I can or an indoor playground. But yeah. I definitely use the podcast thing, but it's always you. Why are you doing one podcast a week? Please up it.

ALLIE: Good, that’s what it’s there for.

CHRISTINA: Okay. That was very helpful. Thank you.

Okay, so my last question is: What would you say has been the biggest impact of studying the Enneagram on yourself, your husband, and your kids? I am fascinated by the Enneagram. Yeah, I think I'm a 9.

ALLIE: Are you? They’re all great, but there are certain ones that I think I just kind of vibe with more because of my personality. It was funny because I'm such a dork. We were having a get-together at our house and I basically made everyone pick what they were on the Enneagram. I just wanted to know. All of my friends are like 2’s or 9’s. I think the biggest impact was marital for me.

I know I've shared about this on the podcast and it's repetitive, but I always could cry when I talk about it because I just felt so excluded all the time. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. I didn't always fit in the mom circles. Like can we talk about something other than what Sippy Cup doesn't leak? I didn't get along with a lot of moms. I wanted to talk about marketing and blogging.

CHRISTINA: You’re passionate. You’re fiery.

ALLIE: Yeah. I'm super blunt and my sarcastic sense of humor would sometimes not go over well. I didn't fit in the business industry because they're all like, “Oh, where do you summer?” And I’m like, “I don't. I have a million kids.” I always felt my whole life, even as a kid, like I didn't belong anywhere and like I always needed to tone it down. “Relax” was basically the message that I got all the time from everyone.

And the Enneagram showed me, when I figured out that I was an 8 and I looked at what that meant, it was like my identity and who God made me to be. It was like a light was shone on it. I just cried. I felt so at peace and like, “Oh my gosh! It makes sense why I would take something basic and have to run with it and do way more than anyone else thought I would do with it because I'm passionate about it.

Especially being a woman and being an 8, when Brian and I would have friends, couple friends and stuff, the husband never liked me. They always seemed irritated or intimidated by me. I noticed that even being a teenager, and then especially after I started my business and our friends would see things online about the success of the business. Relationships changed. I never got along with my friends’ husbands; they just wouldn't like me.

And so, the Enneagram helped me see that I'm just super driven. I'm made to be an entrepreneur. I'm just powerful, confident, fiery, and blunt. That doesn't mean that it's an excuse to be rude or anything, but it's helpful to know yourself. Then knowing that and then seeing that Brian is a 2, we have always felt like we were the opposite of what we needed to be. I learned that it's not that. It's actually that we're just the opposite of tradition, and the traditional roles we were in almost split us up and they caused so much unfulfillment, drama, and just fighting.

And so, when I took the Enneagram, it really helped me step into my role and who I am. No matter who that threatens and no matter what other moms think about that. For Brian, he was like, “This is crazy. I’m literally designed to be a support. And I love supporting you, but I always felt weird about it. Like, am I nuts? Am I doing something wrong? Am I supposed to be the provider? What's going on?” So that was really liberating for us.

With my kids, I feel like I'm still figuring them out. I couldn't say that I know what all their numbers are right now. But I'm aware of the different attributes of the Enneagram and the different personality types and it's helped me see those in them and in my parents and siblings.

I have three siblings, so you know, those relationships are sometimes weird. I'm really close with one of my brothers, but my other two I'm like, “I need to figure you out. Are you being really rude or what's your problem?” The communication there, you know? And so, it's helped me see there's not somebody that's wrong and somebody that's right. There's not somebody that's annoying and somebody that's funny. It's just a personality thing. It's been really liberating in that way.

CHRISTINA: That's awesome. I think for me, my husband and I are kind of like the more traditional roles. He is a 3. Which one is the achiever? 3 or 6? I don't remember. He really works on his image and has to be very successful. It really means a lot to him. And I'm more or less like, “Just let's not fight. Everybody get along.” You know, the peacemaker. So yeah, for us it is a little bit more traditional, but I love how you embrace what you are.

It’s sad that the world hasn't come to that yet. I feel like in this age we should be at a point where we're accepting each other. I think that your accepting that about yourself is just awesome. Especially Brian, who is just so sweet. I just love him. He's so cute. I love you guys.

ALLIE: He's so funny when he does the podcast. I always say, “You don't have to be on anything. I never want you to feel like you have to.” And he's always like, “Oh no, I really want to.” He'll come to me with ideas and then we sit down to do it. I always have my hand on his knee and I can feel him tensing up, and we have to do seven takes in the beginning of the episode. He's like, “Okay, I got it now.” And then we'll just go with it and totally flow and the episode is great. But it's so funny to me because he seems so nervous and tense and I'm like, “You don't have to be on here.” He's always like, “I'm just thinking about all those people listening.” And I'm like, “Why would you think about that? I never think about that. I just do my thing.”

It's just funny that you can be so different, but you can still show up in the same way. He can still show up and serve people, it’s just different. It doesn't take him one take with no mess ups, like it does me. It's cool to learn how to be patient with each other's quirks and stuff.

CHRISTINA: Yeah. That's awesome. That's the last question I have.

ALLIE: That’s the last one on the list. I try not to look at every single thing that's typed up because I don't want to come in pre-prepped, but it's helpful in case people don't show up or whatever. But I saw the topics that you picked and I was like, “Oh! This is going to be so good!” And I was really excited.

Thank you for caring, listening to the show, and showing up with amazing questions. You are just such a light. You are. You’re just doing a great job. You're beautiful, shiny, bright, and amazing. You're inspiring to me. So just know that.

CHRISTINA: Thank you. I wish you could see how many women that your life has touched.

I mean I'm sure you see it in some aspects, but there's a lot of women where I share your message and they're constantly messaging me like, “Oh my gosh! This is changing my life. I'm actually scheduling time to get down on the floor and play with my kids.”

I'm your biggest fan. I share you all the time. Your messages are just so good. It's so good. It’s so important that this message gets out there because there are just so many moms that look at each other and they go, “Oh, that's just how life is. It just sucks. It's always a mess. Your kids are always going to be either in a pile of crap or you're going to suffer cleaning all day long.”

ALLIE: There's a lot of shame in being a total mess mom, and there's also another level of shame in not being that. Not that I have it all together. There's always something that's kind of dropped off. If I'm killing it at the business one day, then my house is a little messy. If I'm killing it at motherhood then, in the business some things didn't get done. There's always a balance, but I think there's a different level of shame that comes in when you are doing well and loving it. There's shame in that and it's awful.

CHRISTINA: It is awful. How do you respond to them? I mean I know that's your business, that's your heart. But for people who follow you, and we want to share this and want to share you. Usually I'm just like, “Okay, there's this girl named Allie…”

I'm the peacemaker and I don't want to rile people up. But when I see these people posting, a lot of times on social media, things like: “My house is a crap mess.” I hesitate to comment because I don't want to shame them. I want them to see that there's a light, but I also don't want to make myself look like I'm better than them or anything. What would you suggest if you see people posting things like that? Even if they are asking for help, what's a good way to say that this message is out there, without being rude and without shaming them?

ALLIE: Yeah, I understand that because that's my job. I love marketing so much, but it is so hard to figure out the marketing message behind what I do without coming across as preachy. I can't even tell you how many hours and hours and hours Brian and I have poured into it. Especially him being a guy, he'll say, “Why don't you just say this?” And I'm like, “Okay, if I said that—that was a guy thing to say because I would never get a follower again.”

It's very hard to say, “I can help you,” without it sounding like, “because I'm better than you.” And that is not my heart at all. What I would say and what I've been doing is thinking about it like it's a story that you're telling and you've been there. You've stood where they're standing and you came out of it. Come at it with that heart, like you're doing them a service by telling them, “Oh my gosh, yes! I could have posted a picture just like this times 10 last year. Have you ever heard of (whatever)? It's been such a lifesaver for me.”

I always try to say, “I'm not going to preach at you. I'm not gonna tell you exactly what to do, but rather just help you shift your perspective so you can figure it out yourself.” That's just how I've done it. Tell a story that started exactly in that photo: “That was my photo and now it's not, and it doesn't have to stay that way.” Rather than, “You should…” Never say “should.”

You know what really breaks my heart too, is when I get tagged in something and it's something like that. I wish there was a way to remove that tag. I do not want to be associated with: “You should look at Allie. You can be way better than this. She'll just help you.” No. That is not what I do. I hate it.

It's a problem and, especially, I think, mothers are very protective over their role and what they're doing, and it can feel convicting because of what’s within their own selves. So you can't control that. But I think if you can look at the comment and you're like, “This isn't preachy. This is funny and relatable and I’ve stood where you stood,” and it’s helpful, then it's a green light, you know?

CHRISTINA: Yeah. Awesome.

ALLIE: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I'm so happy that you're here. Really. This was so good and you're just amazing. I'm really thankful for you taking the time away from your kids to talk to me and help the ladies that are going to watch this later and that are watching right now. Thank you so much.

CHRISTINA: Thank you so much for having me. I just want to say to anybody listening that hasn't been down the journey before, it's so, so, so worth the work. Get one of Allie’s courses. Anything she has is amazing and it changes your life. So yeah. Team Allie!

ALLIE: Thank you Christina. I just adore you. I will talk to you later.

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 111: A Simple Practice for Daily Happiness, Mindfulness & Making Decisions with Emily P. Freeman


Did you know that, on average, you make 35,000 decisions every single day? That is a lot and feels overwhelming! But decision making doesn’t have to be that way. If we shift our focus from putting off decisions, putting pressure on them, or ignoring them and we turn our focus to the next right thing, the whole decision making process will be more fun and less intimidating!

Emily Freeman is the founder of an incredible movement called The Next Right Thing. She has a book and a podcast around this theory of focusing on the next right thing in front of us and the power that has in our decision making. Give yourself permission to stay in the moment and take action on the next right thing! (Like listening to this episode, because it is a GOOD one!)


In This Episode Allie + Emily Discuss:

  • Advice for mama’s of teenage girls (because we all need it, right?)

  • What The Next Right Thing movement is, where it all began, and how that phrase will help you in your decision making.

  • Practical steps you can take when making decisions, even in those mundane, day to day decisions.

  • What unmade decisions do to us and the power they hold over our lives.

Mentioned in this Episode:


This conversation is all about decision making and staying present as you focus on the next right thing and I have the perfect freebie that will support you as you shift your perspective in this direction!

Phone Settings For Our Present Life walks you through what phone settings I have set up on my phone and a less extreme alternative for those of you who might not want everything turned off. It tells you exactly what to do in your phone, and also a lot of the heart behind why you might want it like that. Why I think it's important and where technology maybe should be in our priority list.

The less distraction you have from your phone, the more present you can be to make those every day decisions. Because 35,000 decisions every day is a lot! So don’t miss out on this free PDF. I know it will help you take action, feel more present, and do the next right thing.

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.

Hi, beautiful friend! Oh my gosh. This conversation that you are about to listen in on is life-changing. If you will really just quiet your mind and give this interview, which I can't even call that, it was a conversation, an amazing conversation. If you will give this your focus, oh my goodness, it will shift your perspective, change your life, and give you some really simple keys to simplifying your decision-making process, finding quiet in the midst of your very full life.

If you’re listening to this, you are likely a mom or a very busy woman and you need this. I needed this. It was so good. This was one of those rare podcast conversations where I was shifting around in my seat because it was so good. It was moving me and had me thinking, really thinking, and it was just so good.

Emily Freeman is my guest today. She is a beautiful soul. I was so happy to sit and talk with her. She is the author of The Next Right Thing, which is a book that's actually based on a podcast she started, which the podcast is also called The Next Right Thing. I love listening to her podcast. It's one of my favorites. It's one of the only ones I actually do listen to. Emily really has a good personality. She's very pointed when she speaks and she gets to the point, which I like. I just really liked her.

Her book, The Next Right Thing is simple, soulful practices for making life decisions. Emily talked a lot about decluttering your soul and your brain, and uncomplicating the art of making decisions day-to-day. Not big life decisions but day-to-day, because the average person makes 35,000 decisions per day. Obviously this is something we need to be talking about and looking at.

Emily is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She's an incredible soul and this conversation is worth giving your time to. So let's welcome her and enjoy this conversation, ladies. I know I did.

ALLIE: Hi Emily! Welcome!

EMILY:  Hi Allie! Thanks for having me here!

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm so excited to talk with you. I'm super excited to get to know more about you and introduce you to our listeners. I think that we have a lot of overlap in the things we talk about and that's always super exciting because I feel like you get me and I get you.

EMILY:  I feel that way too.

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm excited. Okay. Before we get into all the other things about the amazing book that you've written, which I read in one sitting yesterday.

EMILY: So impressed.

ALLIE: It was so good. I made space for it because it was so good. I just want to learn a little bit about you and have our listeners connect with who you are.

So tell us about, tell us about you. What's your personality type? Do you know what you are on the Enneagram and all that good stuff?

EMILY: I do. On the Enneagram, I identify with Type 4. I probably lean more towards the 3 wing, but as I get older a little bit, I'm finding more 5 tendencies in me a little bit. My sister's a 5 on the Enneagram, so I kind of get that space too.

I don't even think I identified really as maybe a creative person until maybe college or after college. I didn't see myself that way. But as I've gotten older, that part of me has come more fully alive and I think has always been there, but I never really gave it a name or gave myself credit for being creative, which I actually believe everybody's creative. Creativity expresses itself differently in different ways in each of us.

I think when people listen to my podcast and then they meet me in real life, I think they're surprised that I laugh really loud and talk pretty fast and I'm a little kind of sillier maybe than they expect. Because the podcast is a little more contemplative and slower paced because that's the purpose of that show. While that is me and that's my personality, you know there are different aspects and facets of personality that come out in different places.  

ALLIE: Different settings. If you're in a person-to-person social setting, you get an energy that's different than when you're sitting at your desk talking about your work.

EMILY: Right. Exactly. And that's kind of what it is. And I think in general, I feel most like myself when I'm writing and when I express myself through writing, but I feel most alive when I'm communicating with people or speaking or using my voice to say words, even if it's just with other people in a small group setting or even on a stage speaking at an event or something. That wouldn't be my preference to do that a whole lot. But when I do it, there is a certain sense of fulfillment I think that comes in those moments.

ALLIE: I love that. I'm the same way. I really don't like speaking when I'm planning to go speak somewhere, but once I'm on that stage, something happens where I come alive and I'm like, “I need to do this more.” And then I'm like, “Well, maybe not.”

EMILY: I've never heard anyone say it that very way. I feel the same way. The hardest part of my job is prepping to speak somewhere. But then once I get up there, it doesn't feel hard at all compared to the prep. Sometimes I’m like, “Am I doing this wrong? There's gotta be a magic way that I haven't figured out.” But I don't know if there is. I think that's just part of the job,

ALLIE: I think so. I've never heard anyone else really say that they didn't love speaking either. I think people do it because they love it and they're good at it, but not a lot of people are really willing to push themselves past their comfort zones, I think. And I am. So that is that for me. I will only take the ones that are super worth it because I don't like it very much.

EMILY: I love it. I totally resonate with that.

ALLIE: Tell us what is your absolute favorite thing to do when you are by yourself?

EMILY: Well, I love being by myself, so that's a favorite thing all alone. I can spend a lot of time just looking out the window, which sounds so boring, but I live a lot of life in my head, so having the space to actually stare out the window. A lot of times I will go back through journals that I've written in, old journals from years ago, and reflect on things I've learned or ways I've changed or the way our life has changed. That can be really life giving for me to sort of see patterns and to spend some time in reflection. Also reading when I'm alone. I'll either watch a show I love or spend some time with a book that I love. Lately I have been craving reading more fiction because I haven't been reading a lot of fiction and so I sense that itch to read a really good story.

ALLIE: I go through really long seasons of not reading it at all. fiction, when it does come into my life, it's a happy escape from the norm. Regular books, nonfiction books, they don't do that. You’re thinking about your life as you're learning this new thing. It's just when the fiction has a special place.

So, tell us about your family.

EMILY: My husband John and I have been married for almost 18 years now and it's gone by really fast. That's weird because I remember when my parents were married for 18 years, you know? That’s so weird. We have three kids. We have twin girls who are 15, they're in 9th grade. And then we have a son who is almost 13. He's in 6th grade. This was a big year for us, first time middle school for our son and then first time high school for the twins. Lots of transition, but they've made them fairly smoothly. And so, we're navigating interesting teenage waters these days with our family, which has been really a gift, but also it makes you realize, “Wow, we've been parents for 15 years. We still don't really know what we're doing a lot of the time,” because we've never been parents of these kids at this age. It's always learning and staying on your toes.

ALLIE:  Do you have any advice for those of us with girls that are…my daughter's 10, so setting the stage for those teenage years? What would you say has been helpful and that you think you did well?

EMILY: That's a great question. A lot of times it's the things that you don't realize and you might just do naturally and they don't feel like a big deal. But I had a mom tell me once that people always commented on how close she was with her teenage girls. And this mom said, “It started with the Barbies. I would play Barbies with them or play the games that they wanted to play when they were young.” So then as they grew, it was really normal for them to just let her into their world.

Though I'm not the best Barbie player…I was when I was younger and was actually playing with them, but as the girls have gotten older, one thing is they have each other. They're twins, so they do a lot of that themselves. But being around and letting them know that I was present. I think I discount the value that that has.

When I look back and I think, “Oh, I should have had more serious and intentional conversations with them about A, B, C, you know, about all these really big important issues.” And maybe that would've helped, but I don't know if they would remember, but I guarantee you what they remember is time spent and just me being around.

And I think that's sometimes a filter through which I make decisions about work or travel or whatever…there are seasons when I'm not able to be fully present because I am traveling or working. But then when I'm home, I'm trying to be all there. I think that really goes a lot further than we realize.

Maybe 10 years from now I'll look back and remember, “Oh yeah, that was important,” because when I think about my own relationship with my mom, I don't really remember specific conversations or “lessons” that she taught me. But I do remember her presence and I remember her just being there. And I think that's really important, and I think a lot of times overlooked.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Your kids have always gone to school?

EMILY: Yeah, they're all three in public school. Charter School for a couple of years, but mostly they're in the public school.

ALLIE: I love that, cause we homeschool our kids and it's not out of a love for homeschooling. That is for sure. It's just the flexibility of schedule because we like to bring the kids with us when we travel for work. But a lot of the time when I talk about being intentional and making time and being present, people – mothers - will blame it, “Well you homeschool, so you're always together.” And I am always trying to get a conversation with somebody who does not homeschool and has that because I don’t think that's it.

I actually think it can make it harder because you think, “Oh we have all day. We're always together. There's lots of opportunities for that.” And it actually slips by even more. I love that you said that and that your kids go to school. It’s not a lack of the availability of time. I think it's what you do with the time you do have together.

EMILY: Right. Yeah, that's a great point.

ALLIE: Okay. So, you are the host of The Next Right Thing podcast, which I love because it's short, pointed. It's one of those shows that if I'm listening…sometimes I just want silence because my life is loud and my kids are still really little and my oldest is 10 so I've got a 4-year-old, and lots of boys, so it's very loud…but sometimes I want to listen to something while I get ready and it's perfect because the episode is done by the time I finish doing my makeup or putting my hair up or whatever. It's easy and pointed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like the podcast is really short and pointed and bite-size perspective shifts and the book is still not super long or anything, but just really beautiful and a little deeper.

I really love the way you wrote this book. It's amazing. And it's also called The Next Right Thing.

When I immerse myself in an author, I've been looking at your website and I followed you on Instagram and read your book in one sitting yesterday, so I have to remove myself and, “Wait, for somebody who does not know any of this, let's start from the beginning.” What is the next right thing, this movement you started? Tell us what it is about or if you want to share where it started for you. Anything that you want to give us the 101 of The Next Right Thing.

EMILY: Well, that phrase, “the next right thing,” it's certainly not one that I came up with. It's been around a long time and has been said by a lot of really smart people over the years.

The first time I remember hearing it was when I was in college. I was a transfer commuter student at a school locally here. Because I was a commuter student, we had to fight for parking. I had to get to the school an hour before my first class started just to find street parking. I also learned to be a really great parallel parker by the way, so I can whizz into a parallel parking space, no problem.

But I would get to school early and then there was nothing to do because there wasn't a smart phone back then and no podcast to listen to. So I would listen to a little radio show that was about 15 minutes. It was like one of my podcast episodes. It was called Gateway To Joy and it was hosted by author Elizabeth Elliot and she would often quote a little poem that was called, “Do The Next Thing.” It was kind of sing-songy. It stuck with me because as a 18, 19, maybe I was 20 by that time -year-old, that was really powerful for me because it's the time in your life when you're looking at the future and you're looking at all of it at once and it can be overwhelming to say the least. And so that little small encouragement to just do the next thing, do it with prayer, do it consistently, was really helpful for me. It kind of just lodged in the back of my mind all those many years ago.

But then as I've grown and started writing, I find when I look back over books I've written and blog posts I've written over the last decade, I find that phrase here and there, “just do the next thing” or “do the next right thing” in my own writing, just kind of tucked away.

It was only about two or three years ago when I had a big decision to make that I started recognizing how this unmade decision that I had to make had a lot of power. And I think that's true across the board for a lot of us that unmade decisions hold power. They hold our attention. They keep us on our toes. They can have the power to wake us up to God, to friendships, to communication or whatever. Or they can also have the power to shut us down. To procrastinate. To put the decision off. To delegate it to somebody else. That's a lot of power that unmade decisions have.

A lot of us want to go ahead and make the decision and we want to be done with it. Others of us, we'll drag our feet.

It was sort of two things happening. I had this decision to make, but then on the inside level, my inner life, I was looking at how that decision was informing my relationships and the way I related to God and to people. That’s when I started to think, “Oh, this decision-making thing. There's something to this. I want to explore this.” And I thought it would be my next book because I'm a writer and that's what I do.

So, I started taking notes on the decision-making process and how this unmade decision was causing me to question some things and solidify other things and how my own spiritual formation was becoming a real big part of this decision-making process. But as I tried to write it as a book even after I made that decision, it was so stubborn and did not want to be a book. It was the worst. I tried to force it into an outline; it would not do it. Finally, long story short, I decided maybe the medium that this idea wants to come to life in is not in written form, but in spoken form. That's when I had the idea to explore this idea of decision-making and doing the next right thing in a podcast.

What should I call it? Decision again…how about I just call it “The Next Right Thing,” because that's the phrase that has always helped me approach decisions a little bit in a more friendly way and not such an intimidating way.

If it was “just do the right thing,” I think it's like, “Well yeah.” But that's kind of intimidating and we don't always know what's right, but when we put that word “next” in it, I think that makes it a little more approachable. We can usually access the next thing that's right in front of us, even if we're not quite sure what the exact right thing is to do.

So, that's kind of some background. That phrase has stayed with me and I'm sure will continue to stay with me for the rest of my life because this “next right thing posture” has really changed not only how I make decisions, but also how I move through my day in everyday life.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. So, what does that look like? Maybe give me some examples because I'm curious about the mundane stuff. You say we make 35,000 decisions a day. Is that right?

EMILY: That's what I hear. I've looked it up in many different places and that's the number that keeps coming in. Isn’t that crazy?

ALLIE: And you know, in my personal day-to-day life, I've been working through when to apply grace to myself and went to keep pushing because I've been finding myself feeling really exhausted and done for the day very early in the day. And I'm like, “Okay, I've been trying…do I need to move my exercise so it's not in the morning? What is it that I need to do?” And reading this book…I intentionally left it for right before I interviewed you so that it would be fresh…in reading this book, I'm like, “Hold on 35,000?” I know my life, I know my job, I know how many people are on my team and I know my kids are always with me, so I'm just gonna assume that I probably have more than the average person.

EMILY: I think you probably do.

ALLIE: I was thinking, “You know, I think it's that.” I think it's just the constant like that. What is the New York Times article about decision fatigue?

EMILY: Yes, it's a real thing.

ALLIE: I don't really know what to do with that information, but it helped me feel like it's okay. It makes total sense. I'm constantly being talked to and some of that quiet I have control over (like with my phone) but a lot of it I don't. Like with my kids, they're here and I don't want them to feel, “Don't talk to mom. She's going to be pissed or whatever.” I want to be there, but it's just exhausting. And little things like, “Yes you can have applesauce or are you going to have slides at your presentation at this conference?” I don't know…things like that. It's just constant. So, I guess my question, messily, is what do you do with that in day-to-day? What do we do with that information? What does this next right thing look like lived out in those mundane things every day. And is there a way to avoid that exhaustion that I've been going through?

EMILY: Well first I would say to answer your question, I think that you showing grace to yourself is always the next right thing. Because it sounds to me like your personality, I can totally relate with it, probably you might never be a person who needs to totally push herself because it sounds like you naturally push yourself. You probably need to intentionally not push yourself sometimes, especially in your life stage. Man, that's so tough.

But as far as the mundane things, it's such a great question and I gotta tell you, it's in the mundane things where The Next Right Thing concept is the most helpful for me because I will literally wake up in the morning and maybe I'll have a little morning routine that I can rely on, which is really helpful, actually small, short morning routine.

But after that, sometimes I'm like, “Uhh,” and I'm literally spinning in my living room. Where should I start? What do I do first? Because everything feels like it has equal importance. When someone says, “Well, do the most important thing first,” it's like, “Well guess what? It feels like there's 20 of those.” Everybody else has their own idea of what's “important.” So, choosing one I think is helpful.

That whole idea of “the next right thing” sometimes is, “Okay, go take a shower.” And then I get out of the shower and it's like, “Okay, now what's the next right thing?” I’m going to listen to this podcast while I do my hair, okay. Giving myself permission to stay in that next right thing while I'm in it, knowing that I'm going to have the opportunity to ask the question again in 15 minutes. And that helps.

It’s like a weird mindset-magic that happens for me personally when taking a shower is my next right thing and I let that be my next right thing for 15 minutes. Then I can be in the shower and it almost feels like time expands because I'm not spinning in my mind about, “Well I'm taking a shower now, but really I should have been making the grocery list and running out to the mailbox,” rather than forcing myself into spaces where I can't be all at once because we can really only do one thing at a time, even the best multitasker among us. We might be doing many things in succession really quickly, but you can't chop an onion and peel the oranges at the same time. You can do them really quickly, but it's one at a time.

But giving those activities a little bit of bumper room in between each other by asking the question, “Okay, now what's the next right thing?” And trusting yourself to choose. If there's 10 things and you can't figure out which one's most important, then there isn't an answer there. There isn't a wrong answer. Just pick one.

I can't tell you how many times I have not done that and I've looked back on my day and been like, “Wow! I got nothing done, but I was working all day long.” Because I was frenetically switching, task switching, from half an activity to half an activity and it wore on my energy. It made me grumpy because I didn't finish anything. And I felt like a failure even though I was just as tired or maybe more tired than I would have been had I just chosen three things and finished them to completion, and then gave myself permission to say, “What is your next right thing.”

And the final thing there is let the next right thing sometimes be it's time to close the day. It's time to be done with work today or whatever the thing you're working on. That is a valid next right thing.

ALLIE: I love that so much. Yesterday, I was frustrated because I was faced again with that feeling of, “I’m feel tapped out. I feel like I will not be able to even cook dinner and deal with my…and that's when it's a trigger…when I'm thinking, “deal with my family.” That's not how I want to come to the table at the end of the day, you know? I was feeling like, “There's no way.” But there's all of my task list (Emily was like “20 things left”) and they were big things. I just reached out to Hayley. She's my right-hand man. She helps run the company and I said, “I just don't know what to do.” And she was like, “Well, none of these things are pressing right now. Why don't you just be done for the day?”

Why do we give ourselves this fake urgency? Because I assigned it to today, a long time ago when I was just putting my tasks in Asana, I was like, “Well, this task needs to be done today.” I think it was funny cause I laid on the couch, I just laid there like a Zombie vegging out for a second. And it was like how often do we do that to ourselves where it is so unnecessary and it's so urgent, but we’re are the ones that have the power to say this is not urgent anymore? It's just one of those novel concepts. It's so obvious, I think to certain personality types.

EMILY: It is and I love that you pointed out that you reached out to Hayley because number one, I think we all need a Hayley in our lives, whether we're writing or whether we are just running a household or whatever the thing is. And too, looking back, that was your next right thing, was to reach out to her and to let her be a co-listener with you to your own energy and your own life. And for her to say, “I'm going to be a “no” mentor to you right now. It’s time for you to say “no” and close the day.” What a beautiful next right thing that you did without even realizing it. I think that's so great that you have her and that you know, “Okay, when I'm at my wits end, I’m going to reach out to Hayley.”

ALLIE: I think sometimes we just get stuck in our own heads and we can't have that aerial perspective over our own life because we're just muddled. It just gets messy.

Hey sweet friend! I'm interrupting this incredible conversation that I'm having with Emily because I wanted to let you know that I know when I'm having conversations like this on the podcast, it really gets me thinking. It really gets me inspired.

This was one of those conversations that when we were recording, I just really felt alive. I felt really excited. I felt super inspired. I was thinking to myself, “I need to make sure that I come back and listen to this episode myself later on.”

Those recordings are rare, but when they happen, I feel like I'm on fire inside. I get so amped up about what we're talking about. I think that happened here with Emily because well, first of all, she's amazing and this conversation is so good, deep, and just extraordinary. And I think also because there's crossover with what I talk about, and I'm passionate about this, so it really gets me excited for you guys.

What I wanted to do is just draw attention to a freebie that I've created in the past for you guys that has become a fan favorite. People love it. It really deals with something that you wouldn't think is really deeply impacting your day, but it is. It deals with your phone settings.

I talk often about how I have my notifications basically turned off in a lot of ways. They're really turned off. I don't get my phone vibrating, making a noise, or lighting up when I get a text message. I don't have social media interrupting my day. My phone is a side note. It's extra so I'm living my days focused on what's in front of me, on my family, on my work, on whatever it is that I'm doing in real life that day. I don't think that technology should be able to tap us on the shoulder and interrupt our actual, real life whenever it wants to.

I talk a lot about that and I have this free download called Phone Settings For Our Present Life and it literally walks you through exactly what phone settings I have set up on my phone and a less extreme alternative for those of you who might not want everything turned off. It tells you exactly what to do in your phone, and also a lot of the heart behind why you might want it like that. Why I think it's important and where technology maybe should be in our priority list.

If you're interested in getting that, it's totally free. It's just something that I have on my website that I thought would be important and helpful to draw attention to while you're listening to this episode.

To get that for free, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/111.

ALLIE: I love something that you talk about in your book, how unmade decisions will smoke out things that we’re addicted to, like these hidden addictions. Not like addiction to alcohol and addiction to other things, but addiction to needing clarity or needing the approval of other people before you make a decision. Can you kind of unpack that for us? I just thought that was so astute and wise. I’ve noticed it in my own life when I've had to talk through things. Can you talk about that?

EMILY: It’s such an interesting thing to think about because it's very meta to think about how we make decisions, because usually we don't think about the process. We just either do it or we don't do it. When I think about decisions that that give me the hardest time or the ones that I'm procrastinating on, that's what I think our decision making and the process can begin to smoke out those addictions that we don't even realize are there.

For example, sometimes when I'm putting a decision off, the reason is because I'm afraid of the people I'll disappoint one way or the other. If I make this decision, these people are going to be disappointed. I make that one, I'm going to let these people down. Sometimes it's just perceived. I'm just afraid I'll let those people down. It might not even be real, but it's a fear of that.

And that can be an addiction to really deeply caring what people think to an unhealthy degree. Or it could be, I put something off because I am addicted to my own comfort. Even just buying a plane ticket. It's like, “Uh, I don't like the feeling I get when I'm having to make a decision that's definitive. I leave at this time and I get back at this time.” There's something in there that, though it might just be a quirky thing that we do, there could be something in there if we listened to our life that we realize could unlock a deeper issue. So, it's like these surface unmade decisions can actually inform something that might be happening beneath the surface.

And another thing, I think when we put decisions off, a lot of times and you mentioned it, it's because we are addicted to a sense of clarity. We think that until I know everything there is to know, and until I feel a perfect peace, I will not move. But in reality, a lot of times the peace and clarity come on the other side and it's once you finally make the decision and walk into the foggy future, that clarity begins to reveal itself to us over time.

Sometimes we're never sure if it was “right” or not. We just did the next thing we need to do at the time. That addiction to clarity, if we're waiting to feel clear, perfect peace, man, we might be waiting for a really long time.

Marie Forleo talks about clarity comes from engagement not from thought. Sometimes we think, “Well, if I think this through every single possible outcome that could come from this decision, then I'll have clarity.” But her point is a good one in that a lot of times it's engaging with the decision, engaging with our life, that actually brings the clarity to us as we move forward, even as we're carrying some question marks.

ALLIE: As you're talking about this, I'm just thinking about people who struggle with anxiety and I'm wondering do you have any experience with this helping ease just regular anxiety? Does that even make sense? This is not in my notes, this is an unformed question, but how does this affect people that struggle with being anxious in those little moments, unexplained anxiety?

EMILY: Well I think that's a great question and first of all I think sometimes we feel shame when we have feelings that we can't explain. Anxious feelings or fearful feelings.

And I just want to point out that feelings are always valid. They might not always tell us the truth, but they always give us information. So if we're feeling anxious, pay attention, you might not be able to explain it, but it can be a red flag of something that could be really helpful to know. But it's okay if you can't explain it. I think paying attention to those triggers when we do feel anxiety and maybe getting beneath that and asking yourself why.

Another thing in an anxious place, especially when it comes to decision making or something I'm being asked to do, try to put into English words what you are afraid of. Sometimes fear is a smoky enemy, but when you get down to it and you put it in English, it loses a lot of its power because you realize, oh, I was afraid…just general fear, but when I put it in English it’s like, “Oh no, actually, I'm afraid that I will miss my daughter's performance.” There can be really specific things. Once you have that fact or that information, you might be better equipped to deal with the thing you're actually afraid of and saying it out loud can help loosen some of the power.

One question I like to ask myself when I'm feeling stuck in a decision is am I being pushed by fear or am I being led by love in this decision? And looking for the fear and the love in decision making can be really informative. It might not always help us make the next decision, but I think it can give us a lot of information about, “Okay, oh I am afraid. Well why is that?” Asking the question beneath the question when it comes to fear.

I know sometimes even just asking that question, “Oh, am I making a decision out of fear or am I making a decision out of love,” sometimes that alone is enough to help us know maybe not the whole decision, but at least our next right thing.

ALLIE: That makes so much sense. I love that.

You talk about naming in your book and I also really loved this section. You have those two core principles about choosing the next right thing and having sole minimalism, which we will totally dive into. I might be wrong; I think this was the next section. I actually marked this section that I wanted to read so that you could expand on it. It's so good and you lead into it with saying “put into English words.”

You say in the book, “sometimes indecision is the result of a busy schedule or a hesitant personality. Other times it's because something within us remains unnamed and we simply don't have enough information or self-knowledge to move forward. Without a name we can't be specific and there's nothing fear likes more than nonspecificity.”

I just love that because it's true on so many levels. And I think you just touched on it with the anxiety question a little bit about like, well, what is it? Because it's either going to be a little ridiculous and you'll realize that, “Oh well, this thing isn't going to happen,” or it could totally happen, but you now can take steps to protect it or help it not happen.

Can you talk a little bit more about that naming? Examples that you have done or anything that you could help us see more clearly that in our day-to-day life?

EMILY: I think it's a great question and I think it is an important part of the decision-making process that's often not talked about and overlooked. We go straight from, “I have to make a decision,” and then we jump straight into whatever the decision is without taking a little time to listen to our own life. Part of that listening process is putting a name to some things.

I'm trying to think of a good example. I share the story of the Writebols in the book where Nancy Writebol, who was diagnosed with Ebola virus when she was a medical missionary. During that time, I saw a news brief where she and her husband, after she was better, were giving a news conference about her experience.

She and her husband shared a lot of the difficulties, a lot of the fear. They thought she wasn't going to make it at one point, but she pulled through and they talked about their faith. They talked about the hope that they had in God. But that there were also some hard times.

I was on the elliptical at the gym when I was watching this news conference and I was listening. At the end of it, it was so interesting because the news commentator summed up the news conference with the Writebols and she said how beautiful their story was. She said their's was “a narrative of joy.” I had to take my earbuds out and stop the elliptical because first of all, I thought that was such a beautiful way to say that, “a narrative of joy.” But it was also really counterintuitive to call that a narrative of joy because they were talking about her recovering from Ebola, this terribly life-threatening sickness.

And I thought, you know what? The “narrative” is the keyword there because each plot point in their life when she was on that bed and very sick and her husband couldn't even go in the room because it was too dangerous, that was not joyful. That was dark, filled with grief and probably a lot of fear and anxiety. But when they look at the whole narrative of her life and even of the experience, the whole thing, they could name that narrative as one of joy, even though each plot point was not joyful.

When it comes to my life, oftentimes I am tempted to look at the plot points and call that the story. And I can get stuck in a difficult day or difficult moment, an argument or relational disagreement, a work setback. And I can say. “This is hard.” And I named the narrative hard, difficult, fearful, anxious, wrong, discouraged. Rather than letting that day or that moment be a plot point in a larger story, a larger narrative. It’s an example of taking a step back at your life and seeing it for what it is on the whole. It doesn't mean that those plot points aren't to be named. They are.

Sometimes I think we rush too fast. I think we can do both. We will either wallow in the difficulty and refuse to see the narrative that's bigger, or we feel shame for feeling the difficulty. So, we will rush too quickly to the joy or to the hope. Or when we see someone around us struggling, we will be uncomfortable in their struggle, so we'll rush them to a narrative of joy, but they need to be in that plot point and name it because we cannot heal from what we do not name. And don't confront.

I think a lot of times we're walking around with a lot of woundedness and a lot of things from our past, decisions that we've made, that maybe we regret but we haven't named it regret. Instead maybe we are living under a banner of disappointment or whatever the thing is, but we didn't trace it back to a certain decision at a certain time in a certain place. Call it a plot point but don't make it the whole narrative.

Making that differentiation between a plot point and the narrative has been really life giving for me and has freed me up to let the hard things be hard, but not to let them define the whole story.

ALLIE: I love that. I love it so much. It's such a perspective shift. If you can do it now before a really hard thing happens, then you're going to be equipped with that when it does hit. I have a really dear friend that I grew up with that she was fostering a little boy and he actually ended up getting murdered by his birth mom. It's this awful thing. I'm watching everybody around in our lives try to get them where they wanted them to be faster. We're seeing these people that we all love in pain, in incredible pain, that really none of us understood because that's a very unique trauma. No one had gone through it. And naturally, you don't really know what to do. But as I went, I flew out there, and I sat with them, I noticed people were uncomfortable with their discomfort and wanted them to just feel better.

It was exactly what you're saying, rushing them to get into that narrative that makes us feel better. Like, “Oh, you're not in pain anymore. I'm so glad you got through that. God is greater.” And it's like, they're not there yet. They're really upset. I learned so much about that.

But I love that you talk about that for ourselves too. Not forcing and not rushing that clarity, and that knowing of this is what’s in my story. You don't need to know sometimes. And that's so hard for my personality, but so true.

EMILY: I so get that. I shared this story, you might have read, but I had some back pain and I went to get a massage. My mother-in-law was like, “You need a massage. I'm going to pay for that.” I'm like, “Eh, okay.” But when I went the massage therapist, she told me, she said, “Actually, which side of your back hurts?” And I was like, “It was the left side.” She said, “Well, I actually noticed more trouble in your right side.” So immediately I'm like, “What does it mean?” You know?

I was like, “Well, tell me, what does that mean that it’s the opposite side? And I kind of freaked out like, “Oh great, I have a whole back that's troubled.” She very calmly answered and she said, “Um, it doesn't mean anything. It's just information.” And I thought, oh I was trying to rush to an explanation, but she was making, forcing me to be satisfied with information.

And sometimes that's all we get. We don't have an explanation or a diagnosis. But sometimes naming it and seeing it for what it is and letting let that be enough. That might be all we ever get. And like you said, it can be super hard and frustrating, but it still can be helpful.

As we move forward, especially with people who are in trauma situations, like you mentioned, the more comfortable we get with carrying our own question marks, I think the better friends we are to those who are living in a giant question mark that none of us understand. We can more quickly and empathetically identify with where they are and let them be in that space. Which I think is where a lot of people need to be sometimes for an amount of time that we might not be comfortable with.

ALLIE: Yeah. The whole idea and the philosophy behind doing the next right thing is really a beautiful way to live in a really beautiful way to show up for others too. It’s not just about us.

I do want to talk a little bit about the soul minimalist idea that you present. I think it's in the second chapter or something. It's kind of like a crux of the whole point of what you're saying. I love that you call it soul minimalist because that's what we talk about here on The Purpose Show is minimalism in all different forms.

I saw that it was in the Table Of Contents and I was tempted to jump to it, because as a minimalist and one of the teachers of this, I'm like, “I don't know what that even means.” I feel like I'm out on some secret and I want to know.

It was so beautiful the way you talk about it, so I want you to explain what that is, what you mean by that and how you practice it.

EMILY: Well, Joshua Becker, who writes about actual minimalism in his books and on his blog, Becoming Minimalist, I heard him say once that minimalism is not that you should own nothing but that nothing should own you. I think people who practice minimalism in their homes and in their lifestyle, you want freedom. You want to not have things so much that it's overcoming you. That it becomes the boss of you rather than the other way around. And so, he talked about how we often have regular input of things into our homes, but we don't always have regular output.

And when I heard him say that, I thought, “Oh wow!” Because I'm always thinking of the inner life, I thought how that is also true on the level of my soul. When it comes to the interactions that we have everyday, deadlines that are put on us or that we put on ourselves, emails that we get, conversations with people, family members and friends, and strangers, that is constant input to our psyche, to our soul, our mind, our will and emotions. And we carry that stuff around. Especially when it's difficult. We carry that stuff around. Our souls are very sticky and all that stuff sticks to us. It’s constant input, but we don't have a regular practice, many of us, of output.

In fact, many of us don't even realize we're carrying stuff around all day, every day. And we also wouldn't even know how to get rid of it if we tried. And so, this idea of not owning nothing, not emptying your insides, but having none of that own you, can apply in the inner life as well as the outer life.

For me the way that practice can be brought into my everyday life in reality…What does it look like to become a minimalist on the soul level? The same way decluttering is to our home. For me, silence and stillness is to my soul. That really literally looks like some intentional time when I can get it, or during my morning routine, I'll sometimes set my phone for just a couple minutes, sometimes 10, usually 4 or 5 minutes, set it, hit start. And that time is just a time for me to sit in stillness and silence.

Sometimes I will name, silently, some of the things that I'm carrying. Usually for me, it's an interaction with someone that rubbed me the wrong way, or a way I felt dismissed in a conversation, an argument that maybe I had with my husband that morning, a way that I was short with my people. I will name that and then imagine releasing it into the presence of God, but doing it without an agenda.

What I’ve said so far is a lot more than I usually do during that time of silence. That's one way of releasing, but sometimes it's just silence for the sake of silence and letting that 5 minutes of silence be my next right thing. Knowing that when the timer goes off, it will go off. Sometimes it feels like it's been 20 minutes; sometimes it feels like it's been 5 seconds, but it will go off in five minutes. Problems aren't necessarily solved and the world isn't necessarily changed. But I am a little better prepared to face my problems and to enter the world because I have cleared a little bit of space on the inside.

I don't understand it fully. I don't know fully the science behind it, but I do know that when I'm able to do that I feel a little bit more like myself and a little bit more able to confront the day with some space so that those things are not owning me because I've recognized them and I've spent some time in silence to let them go.

ALLIE: I love that so much. It's so true and it's funny to me that mindfulness and meditation is this hot topic right now and it's like this is biblical. This is this idea of being quiet and not always filling your every second with noise and grabbing your phone, or whatever it is, is not new. It's just affecting us at a much deeper level because we need it so much more, I think. People are really grabbing onto it. Just being still and being quiet.

I think that for Moms, what I always hear when I talk about this is, “Well, how do you find the time when there's always somebody there?” I think that, and I want to know what you think too, but I think that sometimes silence, it doesn't have to be perfect silent, perfect stillness where you're on the floor and there's no one. Sometimes it's just a quiet moment.

I know you mentioned, I don't know if it was in the book or podcast that you mentioned but, the walk to the mailbox or you wait one extra second before you get out of the car and wake your baby up from their nap in their car seat. Little things. I mean is there anything I'm missing in terms of busy mothers trying to find that stillness?

EMILY: I think you said it so well Allie. I think that can be a great first step practice is if you can't even find 5 minutes, and sometimes we can't. I mean, I had twins, two babies at once. I remember the relentless, it was almost like there was no one big decision. It was just 10 million tiny decisions. And I didn't know if I was making any of them right. It was just so hard. And those five seconds you get alone are so sacred and sometimes you feel like, “I need to take a shower.” When you finally get that time, you want to spend it doing something that feels really life giving.

Quite honestly, silence doesn't feel life giving to all of us all the time. We don't see an immediate benefit. It's a slow work. If we don't know exactly what's going to come of it, sometimes it can feel a waste of time. So instead of maybe doing it that way, doing exactly what you said, have it be an unconventional spiritual practice of almost playing a game of finding the silence, the natural silent moments in your day that already exist in your day. You're not recreating the wheel.

It could be walking to the mailbox. It could be, like you said, sitting in the car for five more seconds. And letting it be five full seconds. That can actually go a really long way.

If someone is there and helping you with the kids, let them be there. Don’t stay in that room. Leave the room. Leave the house if you can. If you work outside the home, maybe you're able to get to work a few minutes earlier than everybody else and just take that time to be silent time.

I think that we all have silent moments in the day, but we tend to fill them with something else just because the truth is, it is a lot easier to stay moving and to stay distracted than it is to be still and to be silent. It just takes a lot of intention.

I never want to make it sound like this is easy, but I think it is worth it. It's a slow work and it is a reteaching of ourselves, of the values that silence can have in our lives. It can really begin to nurture us in ways that the distractions and the noise just aren't able to do.

ALLIE: Yeah. So, so good. I mean, gosh, so good. So, The Next Right Thing, the book is out?

EMILY: It's out. It came out April 2nd.

ALLIE: Good. Awesome. It's so good you guys! And I love the minimalistic look of it. It looks really cute on my coffee table.

EMILY: Good. That's the goal.

ALLIE: I mean if it can't be in an Instagram photo, why do you even write it?

EMILY: Why would you even write it? I completely agree.

ALLIE: Okay, so guys, I'm going to link in the show notes to this book, and to the Emily’s podcast. It's so good. And so short. I think the average is like 10 minutes, 12 minutes per episode. So short. And just pointed and good.

Other than that, where do you show up online? Where do you want people to go and find you?

EMILY: Yeah, I love Instagram. You mentioned Instagram. I'm at Emily P. Freeman there. That's probably where I spend most of my time online.

Also at emilypfreemen.com is my website where you can find the podcast and the books there too. And then, of course, The Next Right Thing Podcast.

ALLIE: Okay. Thank you, Emily! This was so good. I really appreciate your time.

EMILY: I loved it. Thanks for having me!

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