A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.
Alli Worthington is the founder of Blissdom, which is the largest international women’s small business conference in the world and she just released her third book, The Year of Living Happy. She is driven to see conversations about happiness change from an external perspective to an internal one. Generally, unhappiness is caused by little things and if we just make little, small changes – changes to the way we think changes to our habits – it brings so much happiness into our lives.
Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!
In This Episode Allie + Alli Discuss:
What a holistic approach to happiness means and how it differs from what the world defines happiness as.
How to balance social media and happiness, especially since we live in a time where social media can be so damaging to our happiness.
The things that typically rob mothers of their happiness and how to overcome them.
Why it is important to escape the tyranny of urgency and how you can implement that escape in your life.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Alli W.’s Book: The Year of Happy Living
Alli W.’s Book: Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace in a World of Crazy
Alli W.’s Book: Fierce Faith
Alli W.’s Instagram
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
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, sweet friends! I’m so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I’m so happy to finally unveil what it is I’ve been working on!
This month, October, is all about reading. We’re calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.
A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I’m taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.
I’m interviewing some amazing authors this month and we’re talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I’m going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.
Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?
Let’s celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We’re going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.
I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let’s encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.
ALLIE: Hi, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. Today’s guest is somebody who I have a lot in common with. We have the same name. We both love superhero movies. We both have a lot of boys. She actually has five boys. We both love Kombucha and dark chocolate and we’re both passionate about business. We also both have a rags-to-riches kind of story that started with her husband’s jobs is not working out.
Alli Worthington is joining us today. She is an author and she’s the founder of Blissdom, which is the largest international women’s small business conference in the world. So proud of her for that. That’s amazing! Alli just released her third book, The Year of Living Happy. I’ve read it. It’s absolutely incredible and I am so excited to welcome her to our show today. Alli, let’s dive in.
Hi Alli! Welcome!
ALLI: Hi, I’m so excited to be here!
ALLIE: Yeah, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day and talking with us. I think you can encourage my audience in a really fresh way and I’m really excited.
ALLI: I sure hope so!
ALLIE: Okay, so maybe just start by, can you just tell us a little bit about who you are and your family and what you do?
ALLI: Sure. My husband and I live outside of Nashville. We have five boys. The baby is 10 even though I know a 10-year-old does it seem like a baby, but when you have five boys, he’s always the baby. The oldest is 19, almost 20. He’s a sophomore in college.
I have two careers which people always find really confusing. On the ministry side, I write books. I wrote a book called Breaking Busy about getting off that hamster wheel of busyness. I wrote Fierce Faith about overcoming fear and this new one is The Year Of Living Happy. So that’s the ministry side. Really practical, but with a spiritual component. I’m also a speaker.
But then the other side of what I do is I am a business coach. People always find it a little confusing that I do all of those things, but it really comes down to my passion is helping women be all that they’re called to be, whether that is on spiritual realm or business and I love doing it.
I am proud to say I’ve never worked an office job. One of my boys actually said to me the other day (my 11-year-old) he referred to me as a stay at home mom and I was like, “Buddy, mom travels a lot. I have a home office. I’m not sure I’m a stay at home mom. I used to be. I was a stay at home mom for 12 years.” He goes, “No, you’re here. You’re with us, so I’m calling you a stay at home mom.” And I was like, “That’s pretty cool. I’ll take it.” So, business owner, speaker and according to my kids, stay at home, mom.”
ALLIE: I love that. That would make me so happy if my kids described me as that because you do feel that pull, “Man, I’m really working extra this month” and then some months the balance kind of swings the other way. But yeah, you always are feeling that pull of mom/work, especially when your job involves travel. Mine does too and it’s weird and sometimes I feel like “am I gone too much?”
ALLI: Well, it’s funny. When I was writing Fierce Faith, I wrote it from kind of a dark place. I wrote it all about overcoming fear while I was learning to overcome fear. My husband had developed a chronic illness and life was just throwing us around, but I knew that I was supposed to write on fear. And so, the way it works with me, with my books, is God will kind of give me a word that I’m supposed to write on next.
As soon as I finished the Fear book, He gave me happy. And I thought, “This is ridiculous. I don’t know what to say about happiness.” But I went on this journey for a whole year to figure out what’s true in scripture about happiness combined with what researchers are pulling from science to say makes us happy and what I love is so much of it is the exact same thing.
So, I wanted to create this book and have 100 entries that people could go to that’s super practical and said, “here’s exactly what we do to have a happier life,” both scripturally sound, but also backed up by research. And it just kills me that scientists will say, “sure enough, we found the secret to happiness and it’s X, Y, and Z,” and we’re like, “We know. That’s been in the Bible all this time.” But I love to marry those two things together.
ALLIE: Yeah, I love that too. And I think when a lot of us think about happiness the first thing that comes to mind is sort of shallow and transient whereas you kind of talk about happiness in a way that’s so different and I think it’s has such a stronger and deeper foundation.
I know this is hard but in a sentence or two, can you unpack your definition of happiness for us? I guess this would kind of be like a summary of what you’ve figured out.
ALLI: Totally. Okay. This is fascinating. I can’t do it in a sentence or two, but I think it’ll be worth it. What I learned was in the original language of scripture, there’s no differentiation between joy and happiness. And all throughout history, Christians have always used the word happiness. They never looked down on us. It wasn’t thought as worldly. It was just a little over a year ago that a minister and an author decided that happiness was secular, worldly and fleeting and joy was holy. So now we’ve got a bunch of grumpy Christians saying “we’re not happy; we’re full of joy,” and people are looking for happiness out in the world. We can’t find lasting happiness that way.
So, my passion and my hope with this is that we can change the conversation from happiness is out in the world and it’s fleeting and it’s external, but happiness is inside. We’re commanded over and over again in scripture to be holy, but also to be happy because real lasting happiness is only through seeking God. If I could get up on the rooftops and shout that every day, that’s what I’d do for the rest of my life.
I feel like it’s such an important message because culturally we’ve bought this bill of goods that happiness is silly and superficial and it’s not what we should strive for. I think that we are supposed to be happy and we are supposed to strive for it. But so much of our unhappiness is caused by little things and if we just make little, small changes – changes to the way we think about things or habits – it brings so much happiness into our lives.
ALLIE: I love that. I feel like your approach to practically living out happiness is really neat and kind of holistic and just like “how can I bring everything into this?” And I like how you really go all in and that’s really how your book is laid out too, is it 12 sections? Yeah, I really liked that.
So, can you talk about the areas that contribute to our happiness? Because I feel like you’ve given us permission, like you said, like happiness is not shallow. Happiness is not different from joy and if you’re of faith you should be focusing on joy. I actually like that your book has the word happy in it. So, if we know we should be happy, we should be striving for happiness, what areas contribute to us getting there?
ALLI: Our biggest area by far is our thoughts and our mindset. So, whether I am talking to a friend or I am talking to somebody for business coaching, I tell everyone 80% of our happiness, 80% of our success or failure in business, 80% of everything is internal. It is how we’re thinking, how we’re talking to ourselves, because most of us have on play this kind of negative loop of self-criticism. And I believe we have to practice self-compassion as opposed to self-criticism. Because if the one voice we hear more than anybody’s voice in our heads all the time is our own and most of the time that is, “oh, I can’t believe I made that mistake. I’m so dumb. Things will never work out’” all of those things, we rob us of our own happiness that we can have.
So many people think happiness is in the external; that would be the other 20 percent. But the 20 percent that’s external would be our resources, our time, our community. But 80% of it, that’s the internal game. Once we become aware of our thought life and we kind of bring it into balance, that’s when we can find real happiness because sometimes unfortunately, because of lessons we’ve learned from other people, habits we’ve learned from our own families, we talk to ourselves in a way that we would never allow. I tell people, “Don’t talk to yourself in a way that you wouldn’t allow people to talk to your own children.” We would never let people talk to our kids the way we talk to ourselves.
ALLIE: Right. I love that. I’ve never heard anyone say that. That’s an amazing rule of thumb. I love that.
You have this fantastic chapter in the book that kind of talks about social media and comparison and how that damages our happiness. That’s another thing I love too, you talk a lot about what creates happiness and how we can seek it out, but also protecting ourselves from what is hurting our happiness.
In some ways our jobs are similar and they involve a lot of social media, being on the computer. I think when you’re in the public eye in any way you just… I mean you can have people that help you manage all the comments and stuff, but you see hurtful things, you see negative things, feedback, book reviews and all that kind of hurtful stuff. How do you balance staying connected, showing up for what you do and showing up for the women that you serve, but also having boundaries in social media and feeding that happiness for yourself?
ALLI: I have a rule that if I’m not emotionally healthy, I’m not going on social media. So, if I am depressed, if I’m sad, if I have PMS, if somebody’s hurt my feelings, if I need affirmation from outside, if I want to go on social media to post something so people will be like, “you’re great” or “your hair looks cute,” I do not allow myself to even pick up the iphone because I’m not emotionally healthy enough for it.
And what I’ve found in research, the research started coming out a couple of years ago, but more and more coming out all the time, that the more time we spend on social media, the more depressed we are because subconsciously we can’t help but compare our lives to everyone’s highlight reel. It’s brain science. We can’t deny it anymore.
I wrote about this in Breaking Busy, you’ve probably heard this before, but the way we can use social media and not get depressed is use it and actually engage with people. So when we “like” things and we comment and we engage, it protects us from just passively scrolling. Passively scrolling is a recipe for depression on social. So that’s what I do. If the dog is throwing up and I’m cleaning the carpet, I’m not allowed to go on Instagram and look at people’s vacation photos. I’m just not in the right headspace, can’t do it.
And then also I limit the public’s access to me really carefully. I have a Facebook group that I run kind of “my” people and I’m there all the time, whether I’m in a good mood or not. But I’m not doing Instagram TV and having comments from all over the world coming in because it is hurtful and it is weird. So, could I gain more followers and build my business even bigger if I lived on social media all the time? Yeah. But for me it’s not a healthy way to live and it’s not a healthy way for me to live as a wife or a mom.
ALLIE: Yeah. It’s not worth it. So, I’d love to know from you, for mothers specifically, what are some of the major things that rob mothers specifically of happiness?
ALLI: Oh, such a good question. The biggest thing is this idea that our mothering is supposed to look a certain way. I remember when all my kids were little, I said to my mother-in-law, we were at her house, she was making breakfast and she was in a good mood and I said, “I wanted to be the kind of mother that was really happy and I made big breakfast and everything was great.” And I said, “But everything’s really hard and when I’m cooking and all the kids are fighting or under my feet or they’re spilling milk all over the place, I’m just not as happy as you are. And I watch you being happy and cooking and being calm, and I wish I had that.” And she said. “I didn’t have that when all the kids were little. I have that because you’re visiting.” And I was like, “Oh!”
She said, “I was just like you when I was in the throes of it.” I don’t know how I didn’t put 2 and 2 together, but it was such an eye-opening moment for me because I realized, “Oh, I’m in a hard season and it’s supposed to be hard. When you have a bunch of little kids, it’s just difficult. That’s just life. But when we can learn to give ourselves grace and go, “You know what? I’m not supposed to be Mary Poppins today. I’m just supposed to be keeping the kids alive because they want to jump off the roof. This is the season that I’m in. Things don’t have to be perfect. Things are okay.” My role was always if my made my boys feel loved, if they were able to give and receive love to each other and they had the beginnings of taking personal responsibility for themselves, everything else was gravy.
It didn’t matter if when I went to bed that the dishes were in the sink or the toys were all over the floor. That doesn’t matter when they’re grown men. It doesn’t matter when they’re 15-years-old. What matters is they know how to give and receive love. They know how to begin to take care of themselves and take responsibility for themselves. If I did those things, I was winning it as a mom.
So luckily when my kids were little, there wasn’t Pinterest. And to be quite honest, there wasn’t Instagram because if I had all of that, I would have been the most depressed mom ever because I would have been comparing myself to the pictures we see. Not knocking it, but looking good for photos that can be posted on Instagram or Pinterest is a whole business model. So, when we see a woman and her house is pristine and it’s professionally decorated, her kids look amazing and her hair’s done, there’s probably 10 people in the background that get done. That’s nobody’s real life. I’m just glad that when my kids were little I didn’t raise them with me feeling that extra pressure on myself.
Most people know I’m a blogger and a podcaster, but that’s really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That’s why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.
I don’t spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life – change that lasts – this is what my courses are for.
This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.
I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available
My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don’t overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that’s resonating with you and enroll.
For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW. Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they’re different from each other and which one might be best for you.
I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.
ALLIE: So, you talk about how we can choose to be happy. I think that is very liberating because I feel like sometimes I’ve been in conversations or heard somebody talking about a book that talks about this and they kind of come at it like, “Well that’s easier said than done,” but to me I think that saying you can choose to be happy is really liberating because you’re in control. You can make that choice. But I would love to hear how you would, maybe some practical suggestions on like how to do that. Let’s say a mom is listening and she’s got little kids and it’s a difficult time. Her husband’s working. She’s at home doing the whole mom thing and she’s just feeling done. In a mundane life like that, how do you choose happiness and create that.
ALLI: Okay, this is gonna sound really dark and this is going to be crazy. I didn’t even put this in the book, so this is bonus because this is too dark for the book. I read this book once from this big researcher and her point was if we are unable to feel gratitude for the day we are in that we need to think, “What is the worst thing that can happen? What happens if we lose our family? What happens if something terrible happens? And how grateful would we be if we just had today back?”
It’s so dark. But when you allow yourself to go there and go “Look at all of the blessing that I have, with the kid that’s spilling Fruit Loops all over the kitchen or the house that we live in.” One thing I say all the time is we have to stop and give thanks for the things that we once desperately prayed for. All of the details, the mess of the day. Things are never going to get done. They’re never going to get done when your kids are older either. I mean that’s just life.
But if we can focus in and go, “What are the big things that I used to just dream about and pray so desperately for that I have now,” that can refocus our mind into gratitude and gratitude, both biblically and from a research perspective is the key to happiness. If we can focus ourselves on not these 10 things that aren’t perfect, but these 2 or 3 things that are perfect, it can resettle us to decide to be happy about it. Because we can tell ourselves, “Oh, I’m so happy about this in my life.” Or we can tell ourselves, “The garbage disposal is broken again. Everything stinks. I can’t enjoy my day until the repairman comes.”
We have that power to control our own energy. We have that power to control our own thoughts. It’s just we have to get in the habit of doing it and give ourselves permission to do it. For most of us, as women, we keep waiting for permission to be happy. We keep waiting for permission to be told that we’re good enough. We keep waiting for permission to go after our dreams. We don’t need it. We have it and we’ve had it all along. We just have to be reminded of it.
ALLIE: Wow. I love that. You kind of answered my next question a little bit, but you kind of weigh out scientific research and what Jesus says about what happiness is and kind of align the two and show they are the same. Would you say gratitude kind of all comes down to being grateful
ALLI: Two things that’s both biblically sound and researched-backed: gratitude and the quality of our relationships. In fact, one study that I found said that a healthy, quality relationship brings as much happiness as a $133,000 raise every year. People have studied it. When you make more money, you’re really happy in the beginning. Or when you win the lottery you’re really happy at the beginning. But then within a very short amount of time, your happiness evens out to the same level as it was before, like we kind of run at a set point. But the thing that will continually make us happy and keep us happy is really a discipline of gratitude. Practicing the discipline of gratitude because it doesn’t come naturally. We’re not naturally grateful people, you know? The discipline of gratitude and investing in our relationships, whether it’s with our spouse, our kids or friends in the community, those are the things that make a happy life.
When people are interviewed at the end of their lives, the big regret that people have is that they didn’t invest in relationships like they wanted to.
ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I think that it’s funny because, at least for me, that’s the first thing to go when things get really busy, is extra relationships and friendships, coffee with my best friend and you know, “Can’t make it this week. It’s really crazy.” And what would happen if we turned it around and in the busiest times we prioritized it? I wonder how much different we would act from that, from creating that happiness during stressful times?
ALLI: That’s always my default too. And one way I fixed it this year just on a really practical level is I’ve joined a small group of women through the church and we essentially promised each other that we show up every week for each other. Because if I don’t have an outside obligation, I’m probably gonna get tired and go, “You know, I just want to hang out on the couch and watch TV with the kids tonight.”
But because it’s an outside obligation and I know they’re expecting me to show up, I’m actually going to show up and put those relationships first and it’s made me so happy this year. I never imagined being part of a small group would do that to me, but it did. But now I’m realizing probably any goal I want to reach, I’m going to have to put outside measures on it. Like I can’t force myself to exercise. I just can’t. But maybe if I sign up to an exercise class, I will. So that’s my next plan. We’ll see. Maybe the next book will be about actually trying to get healthy. We’ll see.
ALLIE: I hope it is. I would love that!
ALLI: It’ll be a challenge because if I do a pushup, I’ll feel like a 90-year-old granny.
ALLIE: I feel like if you say that, then God’s like, “Oh, okay, that’s your next book. Please focus on that.”
ALLI: Please no! Nobody wants to read that.
ALLIE: I think my favorite chapter in the book was escaping The Tyranny of the Urgent. I mean we do, we daily face like so many little mini crises and it’s crazy. I mean I think in different seasons they appear in different ways. But right now, for me, I was just talking to my husband about this after I read that, like that is exactly what this is. Our life right now is just crisis, one after the other, little mini things that right now needs to be fixed. So, having said that, could you share how you even begin to make the escape from that?
ALLI: Totally, totally. And the Tyranny of the Urgent basically says that the things that are urgent will take up all the importance in our lives if we let it. So, we’ll focus on what’s important, basically what’s on fire, instead of what’s really important. What’s urgent instead of important.
And so, what we want to do is go, “okay, the urgent things that have to be taken care of. Yes, we’ll do it, but we won’t forget the big things that will take us where we want to go in life.” And so, I think it’s kind of like a game of Whack-A-Mole where you know, at the circus you hit one mole and five others pop up? That’s basically living in that cycle.
So, one thing that I do is at the end of every day I write down the three things that were really successful for me that day and I’m grateful for them. Maybe it’s I had a great moment with one of my kids, or I helped a client, or whatever it is that I did.
But then I think what are my three big goals for tomorrow? Because I used to do the three big goals in the morning, but in the morning the kids need food, everyone’s a little bit crazy. I can’t wake up before them because they wake up at five. Some of my kids are just early birds and they talk the whole time. So, I don’t have quiet time in the morning like that. So, at the end of the day, three things that are really great that I did that day because here’s the thing, as women, also we don’t give ourselves permission to celebrate our wins. And if we can go, “here’s three things I did really successful today,” it’s going to change your life. So, three things from today that were good.
But then the three big goals or the three big things that are really important for tomorrow. Write those out and then when the fires start popping up and when we get distracted, we can look (I just do it on a post-it note) I can look at it and be like, “Oh, here are my big three today. This is all I’m going to try to get done.” That is so simple, but it works. And the thing with trying to change our lives, develop a new habit or try to be happier… sometimes we think that it’s going to require so much work, when it’s just the little, tiny, small things that’ll have the biggest changes.
ALLIE: And that also is empowering to just keep it simple, and it’s that little bits of progress that end up making that new habit or changing everything. I’d love to ask you about mindfulness. I think that that is something that we hear a lot about today and actually this part of your book came at a perfect time for me because I’ve personally been on a journey of just really researching, looking in the Word, and researching the overlap of kind of (I think it kind of comes from like a new age) mindfulness, meditation, and I’m so drawn to it. I love just getting still. It’s so powerful for me, but just really looking at like, okay, what is that version of this? Where is the overlap here? What does God say about this? And so I’d love to hear you talk about, you’ve sort of coined this term, I think of Godly mindfulness. What’s the difference and how do we cultivate that? What does that look like.
ALLI: The world will say we just need to empty ourselves out, practice a chant or whatever it is. There’s even research that shows how beneficial it is, but it’s beneficial because we’re getting quiet, we’re getting focused, we’re breathing deeply and we’re calming our mind. So that’s where that benefit comes from. But with Godly mindfulness we want to do the same things where we relax, because chilling out is so important for our happiness.
We relax, we take deep breaths and we’re filling ourselves with God. We’re focusing on the things that will actually bring us peace, and bring us happiness in life. That is the secret to calming so much of the anxiety we have on a day-to-day basis. Getting quiet. Getting focused. Filling ourselves with Him. Focusing on Him.
For me, just on a kind of a rabbit trail, worship music is my jam. There’s no way I can drive from here to Target and be in a bad mood if worship music is on. That’s just kind of part of our lives. It’s how we fight all the things that come at us on a day-to-day basis because if we’re not filling ourselves up with the only thing that’s going to bring true happiness then we don’t have the weapons to fight against it.
Oh, one other thing I want to tell you that’s really fascinating, that goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness. The one thing that research shows will calm anxiety and make people happier is breathing. It’s so crazy. Even the Navy Seals, they get trained in this breathing technique, which is called “box breathing.” You can google it. Basically, you’re breathing in, holding it, breathing out. That is the one thing that the Navy Seals learn how to do to chill out, to calm their anxiety, to be happier and I’m like, every mom should know how to do this.
ALLIE: That should come in your hospital pack, when you leave.
ALLI: Yeah. If it’s good enough for the Navy Seals, it’s good enough for mom. We need this technique. Sometimes just practicing, getting quiet, practicing mindfulness and breathing is going to make us so happy, but also practicing mindfulness as we go about our day. Here’s where I am in life, here’s what’s going on. I’m so thankful for my kids. I’m so thankful that the car runs and I get to Target and praise the Lord, Target has that Dollar Section in the front. That’s the stuff. It seems silly, but just being aware and being grateful as we go through our day, it does make us so happy.
ALLIE: Yeah, and like you said, the act of getting still for moms is huge. It’s so the opposite of how the rest of our day is going to go. So for me, when I just sit and I’m just quiet for a second and I focus on my breathing…Stuff will come up; I’ll notice I feel really anxious. And instead of just emptying myself of that, giving that over to the Lord and just fill me, what is the opposite of anxiety? Peace. Fill me with peace and just being intentional in that stillness. It’s huge, even just five minutes. It’s huge.
ALLI: And there’s so much guilt about screen time. Now as a woman who has raised children who are grown, I’m just going to say don’t fear screen time. If you need to put your kids in front of a good cartoon, as long as it’s a good show, put them in front of the show and go chill out because you’re going to feel so much better after and you’re going to be a better mom for the rest of the day. My oldest son never watched TV, Baby Mozart, I did everything right. Bless him. He’s just like his mama. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes and he’d say that. Second son I just gave up and let them watch all the TV they wanted because I was like, “I guess you guys are going to watch cartoons today.” Nobody’s going to be Valedictorian this year.
I don’t know if that helps moms out there, but we are not in control of how our kids turn out, exactly. They are just them. We can help, but there’s a whole industry in making women feel bad because you let your kids watch some cartoons every day. Don’t feel bad about it. Take care of yourself if you need to.
ALLIE: For sure. That’s something that I talk about a lot. What’s the reasoning? Do you need a break? It’s a babysitter built into your TV. Take a break here. If you’re struggling and your using it to get your kids away from you instead of maybe you could do something else and go outside and connect with them, but it depends on what’s going on. What’s the reasoning and the intention behind it. It can be such a help. There is no way that I could homeschool my kids and run this business without Netflix.
ALLI: We hold ourselves up to this crazy image of perfection and what a mom should do, which nobody is doing that behind the scenes. We hold ourselves to that image of perfection. We make ourselves miserable. I used to become this mom that kind of gritted her teeth and you know, made myself do everything that I was supposed to do, but I was miserable at it, instead of giving myself grace and just focusing honestly on loving the boys and having a great time.
ALLIE: I love that. I’d love to wrap up by asking you a final question about balance. There’s constant pressure on women to find balance, and especially work/life balance, and I would love to hear your take on that. I just think you breathe life over everything that has to do with being a woman and living a good life.
Is this balance even possible? Is it something that you’ve attained or are aiming to attain? Like what’s your thought on that? Finding that perfect work/life balance that everyone talks about.
ALLI: I think I have found the balance and it’s not what everyone thinks because the balance looks different in every season. I just came out of summer season. I only traveled once all summer long. I would work during the day, as soon as work is over at 4:00 PM, close my computer, walk 10 feet down the hall and it’s family time. Summer balance was pretty much all family, all the time.
Now fall has started up and I’m in speaking season which means every weekend or every other weekend I leave on Friday morning and get back Saturday night because I’m doing a women’s event. So, balance in this season for the next three months looks like a lot of travel and a lot of work, but I don’t feel guilty about it because the last season was summer and it was all family.
For me I think balance looks like going, “okay, what season am I in right now? What do I need to focus on right now?” The other things are still there. We’re not dropping the balls, but it’s just that’s not where all of our focus is and to give ourselves permission in different seasons of life to focus in on other things. Because as women, if we are working on balance and that is our goal, we’re not the kind of women that are going to just neglect something.
We’re the kind of women and that are too hard on ourselves. So, we need to give ourselves tons of grace and go, “This is what I’m focusing in. These other things aren’t taking as much of my time. They’re just as important, but this is what I need to focus on right now.”
ALLIE: I love that. Well said. Thank you so much for this amazing interview. I feel like this is the type of interview that they’re going to listen to and just take their headphones out and feel a breath of fresh air, just encouraged. And I really appreciate that.
Okay, so as you guys are listening to this, The Year Of Living Happy is out and you can get it. You get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, everywhere you can get books. We’ll link to it for the show notes for you guys.
But thank you Alli so much!
ALLIE: Thank you! It’s been great to be on the show.
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!