One thing that comes up a lot in my business and my community is the question of downsizing. A lot of times it’s the obvious next step after decluttering, but it can be a really hard step to take for a lot of reasons.
Patrice Washington is a best-selling author, speaker, and host of the podcast, Redefining Wealth. She and her husband decluttered their 7,000 square foot home in CA and moved into a 2,000 square foot apartment before moving into their forever home in Georgia. I just love Patrice and I’m so excited that she took the time to talk to me about this issue that comes up a lot.
If you’re thinking about downsizing, this episode is especially for you. But stick around even if you don’t really care about downsizing because we ended up talking about so much else. OK, let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Patrice Discuss:
That Wealth Doesn’t Equal Money
Chasing Purpose Not Money
How to Know What Your Purpose Is
Decluttering & Detoxing
Clutter & Energy
How to Let Go of Caring What Other People Think of You & Your Family
Mentioned in this Episode:
Allie’s Facebook group
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
For the first time ever, I’ve broken down my big course, Your Uncluttered Home, into pieces you can purchase separately.
I’m calling it The Clutter Page, and you can scroll through and pick out which sections you really need!
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.
Guys, I am so honored to be introducing you to today’s guest. If you do not already know Patrice Washington, already have her and her podcast and all of her amazing teaching in your life, your life is about to get so much better. You’re welcome in advance.
Patrice Washington is the host of the Redefining Wealth podcast. This is a podcast that I listen to pretty regularly and I actually don’t listen to podcasts very often at all. I have very few podcasts that I do listen to and even fewer that I listen to on a regular basis. And hers is one of them.
I’m a big believer that I need to be intaking content much less than I am producing content, so I intake less and I produce more as part of my creative entrepreneurial flow.
The Redefining Wealth podcast is just a well of wisdom. It is such a good show. Patrice is the incredible host of that show. She is a bestselling author. She is a speaker. She self-describes herself this way: “She restores hope in women.” I love that. And I was drawn to her because there’s so much about her that just makes you feel like your life can be so much better. Like you can make that happen, and you’re ready to make that happen. She makes you want to get up and do things.
She speaks about wealth in such a unique way, so I don’t want that ‘wealth’ word to throw you off or make you think, “Oh, this is for business,” or “Oh, this is about money. I don’t want to listen to this.” It’s not. That’s why the podcast is called Redefining Wealth, because she is doing just that. She’s redefining it and she’s talking about wealth for what it really is. It really has very little to do with money and everything to do with your general wellbeing and your life.
She defines wealth by six pillars of life: Fit—not just fitness like physical fitness—but being a fit person over all, your wellness, the people in your life, your space, your faith, your work—having purposeful work—and your money. All of it has purpose underneath each of the six pillars.
I love Patrice and her message. I’m so excited to introduce you to her today. We are talking about a lot of things, but the main reason I had her come on is to talk about downsizing because she and her family recently downsized a lot. I know that is often the next step for a lot of you.
But stick around if you don’t really care about downsizing because we ended up talking about so much else. This is one of those episodes that you are going to want to share on social media and make sure that your friends, your followers, your family listen to because it’s going to make their lives better.
It’s the sort of thing that just makes you like, “Wow! That was a great conversation. I want more of that.”
So, here you go guys. Again, you are welcome in advance.
ALLIE: Patrice, welcome to The Purpose Show.
PATRICE: Thank you for having me! I am so excited to be here!
ALLIE: I know! I am so excited to talk to you and connect with you. Oh my gosh!
I told everyone how I found you and how important you are to me in the intro. And I know you know, but just thank you again so much for taking time out of your busyness and coming in. I feel like you’re going to speak so much light into the women that are listening today. So, thank you for taking time to give back.
PATRICE: Absolutely. It’s my pleasure.
ALLIE: Why don’t you just tell us about your family and also what you do in the world because it’s really important. Crazy important.
PATRICE: So about my family, I’ve been married for 12 years. I also have a 12-year-old daughter who is Queen Bee around here. Anyone with children who are in middle school, you know what I’m talking about. She was my sweet little baby maybe 2-3 months ago and then she got to middle school and discovered boys. So, that’s that.
ALLIE: I’m right before that, so I’m all ears for advice for that season.
PATRICE: Allie, I didn’t listen to people when they said she would change. I was like, “Not my girl.” I don’t know about your kids, but…” So, I am navigating motherhood now from that perspective, which is a blessing and a miracle in itself because she’s the baby that almost didn’t make it. I’m so super grateful to even have her challenge me in these days.
And what I do in the world is really…I feel like I’m really called to restore hope to people in the area of personal finance. My mission in life—at this point—is to teach people that wealth is not just about chasing money. It’s not just about money and material possessions. The 12th Century definition of wealth was: ‘the condition of wellbeing.’
In the work that I’ve done for years—for the last decade—working with people one-on-one or working with families and helping people stop mismanaging their finances, what always got to the root of it was their fulfillment, or lack thereof, typically connected in some way to the money. And that’s what we’d have to unpack. Now, I focus on wellbeing. So I’m like the financial expert who never talks about money anymore.
ALLIE: I love that because that’s how I found you and that’s what drew me to you. Your site, your title, everything is about money and wealth, but really those words rarely come out of your mouth because it’s connected to so much else that other money gurus are not talking about. Your wealth, your money, your bank account is so directly related to what’s going on inside of you and what you’re okay with allowing. And that is what is so amazing about you. I love that.
PATRICE: Well, you know, when I was helping people one-on-one back in the day, Allie, they would come in and they would say, “No. I just need the right budget. Give me the right budget.” Or, “I need the right app for that,” or, “I need this…” And it was very clear to me as soon as we would get into the conversation, I’m like, “You don’t have a paycheck problem; you have a people problem. You don’t know how to say, ‘No.’ Or you haven’t made it okay to disappoint your children and not give them everything that you didn’t have. And so, that’s the problem. It’s not your paycheck. It’s the fact that you haven’t learned how to manage people around you, or any number of things.”
ALLIE: So, when you say, “Chase purpose, not money,” could you talk a little bit more about what exactly that means?
PATRICE: Yes. So that means that the more you pursue your purpose, the better able you are to assess your priorities, right?
People mismanage their finances because they can’t get their priorities in order. And I say ‘chase purpose’ because I truly believe that the more fulfilled you are, the more naturally inclined you are to manage your finances properly and just make wiser decisions. But people think it’s the other way around. They assume, “Oh, when I have more money, I’ll just do better.” Well, not really. Because it’s a muscle you have to build, right? It’s a muscle you have to build.
And I have had people say to me, Allie, time and time again, “Well it’s easy for you to say ‘cause you already have money.” But there have been so many distinct moments in my journey where I did not have the money and I still chose purpose over money. One of them being—if you know anything about my backstory—I built a successful business straight out of college, a seven-figure business by 25. In the recession I lost absolutely everything and was at the point of scraping up change and applying for welfare.
And there was a point where I had my ‘come to Jesus moment’ I call it, on the bathroom floor, snottin’ and crying and saying, “God, why me?” And what was revealed to me was this scripture: Proverbs 17:16 that said, “What good is money in the hands of a fool if they have no desire to seek wisdom.”
And I felt this immediate check in my spirit like, “Oh my gosh, do people know the difference between knowledge and wisdom?” Here I was thinking I was smart, but I wasn’t really wise. I didn’t know how to apply it. Maybe I should share.
But on the journey to sharing, I was still broke. I was still struggling. I did not have the money, but I had this burning desire. I felt like my purpose was to share this with the world, right? And yeah, those things came up like, “Who are you?” But still, it was burning.
And so, there was one moment in all of this where I didn’t really have the money at all. I ended up volunteering at a financial education nonprofit and the CEO literally called me when I was on the way to accept a job (because I just needed the money) and said, “Hey, you know you’re our star volunteer (because I was broke, didn’t have a job so I was always there)…You’re the star volunteer, we have this position coming down the line. I don’t know when it’ll be available, but it sounds like you.” It was for a financial management consultant and it sounded like a dream job, but it was not immediately available. But I was literally driving down the street to go accept a job that had nothing to do with anything that I ever wanted to do.
And when I got in the office and they were telling me what my day-to-day would look like and what the duties were, it would be a dream for someone, but for me, I was like, “But that’s not my purpose. I’m going to accept the money, but that’s not what I’m feeling called to do.” And before I could even think through it, I blurted it out. And I want to be clear…the person across the table was Steve Harvey. I was getting a job working for Steve Harvey, the comedian, the entertainer. And I said, “I can’t do it. I can’t. I can’t. I’m so sorry.”
And they were like, “Aren’t you broke?” I’m like, “Uh, yeah, completely. However, I don’t think that’s in alignment with what I’m being called to do.” And they were blown away and looked at me like I was an alien. I was inside going, “What are you doing? That’s nuts.” But I didn’t take the job.
There are several other instances like that, but things came back around, right? So, I went for purpose first. I still ended up being The Money Maven on the Steve Harvey show years later. Four years later it came back around, and I wasn’t in there as some office assistant; I came on as this expert and author.
But I had these instances of going for purpose over money. I’m not saying it’s an easy decision, but it’s one that I encourage people to make because the fulfillment on the other side is so much sweeter.
ALLIE: I get a lot of messages from women. And it’s one of those things where your heart is just kind of broken reading them and you know the feeling of what you want to say but you don’t really know how to articulate it. And so, I just want to hear what you would say… So many of them are hearing my story, my business story, and they’re like, “How do you know? How did you know what your purpose was?” And for me, my purpose came out of my hardship, which a lot of yours did as well.
If I hadn’t gone through the worst, I wouldn’t have really been able to do what I’m doing now. Because I’d be preaching at everybody instead of like, “Oh, I was there. Let me help you get the shortcut out.” So, when you say, ‘chasing purpose’ and making those hard decisions where you’re saying, ‘no,’ to something seemingly amazing when you know it’s not right, what would you say is the definition of knowing ‘this is not my purpose?’ How do you navigate that practically speaking?
PATRICE: For me, I felt like there was this burning desire that I couldn’t shake. You can quit a job; you can’t quit a calling. And even before I knew to call myself anything, I felt like, “No, you have to tell people.” There was a burning desire, “You have to share this in some form or fashion.” And nothing else that I could go do would placate that. Nothing else I could go do would give me the same fulfillment and satisfaction. And I just wouldn’t allow myself to settle.
That’s not to say that I didn’t pick up odd jobs because I still had bills. But I refused to let myself get committed and all wound up in something that was not my calling. Sometimes I’ll meet folks, and I get those same heartbreaking emails, and the same DM’s all the time and they’re like, “I want to be in the beauty industry, but I’m a paralegal.” And I’m like, “Well, if you’re going to have a job, at least go get one in the industry that you want to be in so you can be motivated and inspired by it and be exposed to new things. Maybe that’s your testing ground for you to learn different things and meet different folks.”
I learned so much at that financial nonprofit organization when I finally got the job—a year later, by the way. It did not happen immediately; it was a year later. But in the meantime, I did what I needed to do, but I was never willing to commit myself to 40/50/60 hours a week of somebody else’s stuff if it was not in alignment with what I felt called to do. And I’ll say this, it wasn’t that I found my purpose; I embraced it. I wasn’t looking for anything, so I didn’t necessarily find something.
When I built my initial real estate and mortgage brokerage, I was already speaking. I was already educating. I thought it was marketing. So I thought, “Oh, I’ll go out and do these things and teach and educate in order to bring business in.” I never knew that it would become the only thing that I did. I never saw it as a job or a career opportunity. I didn’t see it as an entrepreneurial venture at all. I used it as a means.
I think sometimes we say that we want to find our purpose, but then we’re looking for it to be some big “Ah!” thing that comes out. Yes, we think it’s something we don’t know yet. And I’m sure, I don’t know much about your story yet, but I know that you probably were already into the decluttering and minimalization and all these things. It was like tapping back into something that was already kind of there. Now you were just giving it permission to come to the surface.
ALLIE: Yeah. To help anyone who’s listening, wishing for more, I think I was always an encourager. I was always the one who could say the thing everyone was afraid to say to the girl talking without making her feelings be hurt. Saying the truth in love, being a truth speaker, and speaking life over people. And then I used my story to do that internationally. And I think that is what you’re saying. It’s not something you figure out or find like, “Oh there it is!” It’s already there. How can you take that and put it out there and get paid?
PATRICE: Yeah, absolutely.
ALLIE: As part of you, who you are, and everything that you share on your amazing podcast, which we’re linking to. It’s amazing. I love it. I think I’ve listened to just about every episode. I mean I must have, I’ve listened to so many.
You talked recently about your downsizing and how that has been another piece of purpose for you and your family. And we get asked about downsizing all the time because it is the next chapter in minimalism, especially for people that are not coming from lack. They’re coming from an overabundance of the wrong things and people are like, “I don’t even need these five dressers anymore. I don’t need these 15 toy bins anymore. Oh my gosh, I don’t need this floor of my house anymore. Oh, I don’t need these five closets anymore.” So, the next thing is to just move.
I want to give you the floor here and give you space to talk about your downsizing process, what led to the decision, and how it looked for you guys.
PATRICE: When we lost everything and were rebuilding, one of the things my husband and I used to say all the time, we’d go through the really nice neighborhoods wherever we were and we’d be like, “Oh, been there. Done that. On the way back.” That was our mantra: “Been there. Done that. On the way back.” And we felt like for many years that the only reason we were doing everything we were doing…not the only because there was purpose there…but it was also like, “We’re going to get back into that big house because our 6,000+ square foot home foreclosed in the recession and we politely returned two matching Range Rovers to Land Rover. Like, “Hey, can you come get these?” We had literally lost everything. We were really at the point of scraping up change, so when we were in that little apartment, all we dreamt about was the big house again… “When we get the big house…when we get the big house…”
Years go by and in 2015, I had just come off of a tour with my book. In 2016 the book got picked up by another publisher and had this big release. My husband had been named the CEO of a production company that had several hits on television, and we went back from doing low six figures to mid seven figures within a year or so. And we did what a lot of people do. I have the Certification in Financial Psychology, and still it was like, “Oh!”
So, when we moved back to LA, we had a housing stipend. They put us up first in a townhome in Beverly Hills, and then I was like, “Oh, Beverly Hills, I don’t want this for my daughter. I want to move to the burbs.” So, we went to South Pasadena and moved back into this home that was 7,000 square feet and four-car garage, plus cars hanging out in the driveway. We did the stuff— the private school, the first-class trips everywhere. We did all the things.
Then one day my husband and I start talking (about two years into all of this; it’s 2017/early 2018) and we were like, “What the heck are we doing?” Because we realized that the three of us never really left the same two or three rooms in this huge house. We had a full-time house manager. We had another person who would come help her clean because there’s no way she could clean it all by herself every week. We had all of this stuff. We were paying to heat and cool all of these rooms and all of this stuff that we never saw, rooms that we never went in, parts of the house that we never enjoyed.
The three of us would snuggle up on our little Clouds sectional in the den, in the family room and that’s where we hung out: there, the kitchen and then our respective bedrooms. That was it. We walked by the beautiful dining room and the chandeliers. We walked by all this stuff that we never used and we got to a point where one day we sat down and we had an honest conversation. I don’t remember who brought it up first, but one of us said something and the other one said, “You feel that too?”
We felt, “Yes, it’s beautiful. It’s tidy. It doesn’t feel cluttered because everything has a space and all this, but does this define success? Are we doing this because we want it, because we need it, because it brings us any joy? Or are we doing this because that scarcity mentality of when we were in lack this is what it looked like, and now that we have the means to do it, are we just doing it just because?”
We made the decision to downsize. We made the decision to first leave California and move back to Georgia, but we wanted to wait for my daughter to get through sixth grade.
And we said, though, “We won’t even do this for another year.” We literally made a decision. Even though we have to wait for her to get out of school because that’s a promise we had made to her—that she would be able to finish school with her friends—we won’t even do this for another year.
We were like, “It’s going to help us if we move into an apartment for a year because it’ll help teach us what we actually value.” Because it’s really hard to decide when you have so much space and you can hide your foolishness, right? And so, people think clutter is just, “Oh, the undesirable things.” No, it’s just anything that’s not of value or use for you. There’s no purpose for it. Why are you paying someone to dust it? You don’t like it. Or even if you like it you don’t need it, you’re not using it.
We decided to downsize into this apartment that was about 2,000 square feet near my daughter’s school. We made a decision that we would only bring the things that we loved, that we absolutely loved. Do you know just about everything we really loved fit into 2,000 square feet? There were maybe a few pieces where we were like, “We’re going to have to put that in storage because we really do love that. It’s just not gonna work here.” But everything that we really loved was in that apartment.
My husband is on the episode—you may have heard—where we’re talking about downsizing. And one of the biggest things that really hit me (because I talk about clutter so much in the space pillar) is I didn’t realize how many things I was lugging from season to season in my life that just no longer supported me because I could neatly put it away on a shelf in one of these closets.
I didn’t see it as junk, but I also didn’t recognize that it was still clutter. It was unnecessary stuff that I did not need in my life anymore. So many of the things that I was hiding away in all these nooks and crannies, they represented some times in my life that I don’t really want to rehash every time I look at it either. “Why are you keeping that?”
There was one point where we were clearing out our house to move into the apartment that my daughter got sick, my husband got sick, I got sick. We all had physical ailments going on and we just could not. “Why are you sick? Where is this coming from?” And my husband said, “Babe, you know what? I don’t think we’re just decluttering. I think we’re detoxing. This is detox. We are being spiritually detoxed in this process and it’s coming up as physical ailments that we’re having.” It was one of the best things we could have done, Allie.
ALLIE: I love that you said that about being physically sick because I’ll never forget one time I was doing a livestream about this and I was basically addressing the question: why did I create my online program that I have? Basically, it’s a course that teaches detoxing your house. And I was explaining, “Nobody realizes how hard this is. Nobody realizes till they’re in it.” I was explaining this and a woman came on—you know those kind of people that just barf out a comment and then leave?—And she was like, “Um, you’re being dramatic. Just get rid of the stuff,” is basically what she said. I was like, “This person, if you’re even still here (but she must not have been because she never said anything else) you have not done this. You have not purged.” It is spiritual. It is emotional. It is physical. It’s everything. It is draining.
And I will say too, as somebody who has also been super broke, we attach a lot to our items. I was using items and possessions at one point in my life as almost like a security blanket. Like, “See, I have money. This is from Anthropology. I’m safe.” I’ve so many years of always getting declined, always getting denied credit that I needed, always having to just get whatever car I could get for cash and not being able to choose. So then I started to choose a lot of stuff.
And when you’re removing that it’s like you’re healing. You are ripping off something that has been a security and that space is empty. And it needs to be filled with purpose. With Jesus. With faith. With the right kinds of abundance. And it is so hard. So yeah, this is heavy. It’s a lot. And that’s why there are people who teach it because you need a teacher sometimes. It is so heavy and so hard.
When you’re detoxing something in your life, you might get sick. When you’re up leveling, you might make yourself sick because all of these things, our physical selves, really are just showing us what’s going on internally. I love that you mentioned that because I think it’s really heavy and it does sound dramatic if you’ve never been there, but that’s what happens. You’re purging a lot.
PATRICE: It’s so true. I mean it’s so true that my 10-year-old felt it. She was 10 at the time that that process started and she felt it. She felt the separation of having to make the decision on these stuffed animals that had taken over this huge closet that she had in this huge room, where she was literally to the point of, “Which ones actually matter?”
Girl, I can get your housework down to 30 minutes a day or less. I can help you create a home that supports the lifestyle you want to live, the kind of mom you want to be, the amount of presence you want to have in your home and your family instead of smothering it and keeping you from it. The answer to all of this truly is getting rid of clutter.
So, what I’ve done is I’ve created something that I’m calling The Clutter Page. It is resources for every area of your home that you might have clutter. We have paper and digital clutter, kids’ stuff clutter, events like birthdays and holidays and other people in your life that add to your clutter.
If you’re just overwhelmed and don’t know how to start and you just need the beginning help. If you’re a visual learner and you need video tours of a minimalist home as inspiration, if you’ve already purged but the clutter keeps coming back, what do you do? Or if you need help with all the things…if you’re like, “Just give me all of it. I need serious help in every area.” I’ve got you covered.
Go to alliecasazza.com/clutter and pick your poison or I should say choose your own adventure. Pick what you need help with and I’ve got resources ready to go. All you have to do is select your trouble area to get started – alliecasazza.com/clutter.
Guys, this is what I do. This is where I shine. Let me come in and just breathe simplicity over these areas of your home so that you can stop maintaining the mundane all the time and start living according to what you say your priorities are. alliecasazza.com/clutter
PATRICE: When you have to ask yourself, “What really matters,” because you become accustomed to allowing everything in your space, that is freaking hard work. It’s not being dramatic at all. But there is such healing in it. If you’ve never done it, I’m not going to say that it feels amazing, but it is necessary.
There is such healing on the other side because I know, even for my husband, who, like you, had more of an attachment to the stuff, right? Because it represented his success and it represented, “Oh, but I’ve made it. I don’t ever want you to think these are my Taco Bell days.” He worked at Taco Bell during that time that everything happened. It’s like, “If I don’t have all these suits and all this stuff, less you believe that it’s a Taco Bell moment,” you know? And to see him, as time has gone on, to be able to be okay with just being Gerald, right?
The stuff also allows us to wear all these labels and we take such comfort in our labels and what we attach. You know, nothing has meaning except for the meaning that we assign. And you’d be surprised at the meaning that you can assign to a three-piece suit or a particular pair of heels, a particular bag, or this piece from Restoration Hardware. No one knows. No one can see your labels. No one cares. But we attach such meanings.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.
In the intro, I explained the pillars of wealth, but in the space pillar you talk a lot about how “clutter is where energy gets stuck.” And I love how you talk about if you’re working and you have a cluttered space and you have writer’s block, you can physically get up and do something about that. Could you talk more about that because we have so many work-at-home moms, and I feel like when I do business coaching on the side, the clients will come in and they want me to give them a launch strategy and all these things. And I’m like, “First, I see your background and I can’t. We need to deal with that because you won’t be able to create when there’s a bunch of crap behind you.” I love hearing you talk about that and I want them to hear you speak more to that specific piece.
PATRICE: When I was first getting started creating a home office, my home office doubled as nineteen different things. It was my office but it was an extra bedroom. There was also storage. It was also the place that everything in our house went to die. Anything you didn’t want to see at that time just went in that room.
One day I got to the point where I was blogging and trying to create content and all this stuff and it hit me. I started looking around and I was like, is this the office space of a bestselling author? Is this the office space of a six-figure entrepreneur—which is what I was going for at the time. Is this the space? I had to really start questioning, “You say you want one thing but you’re not creating the space to receive that. You’re not creating the opportunity to really flow in that type of creativity when you’ve got laundry piled up here and all these boxes and things.”
In one weekend I made my husband help me completely clear it all out, reorganize and do all this stuff. Well, not reorganize, but get organized and it opened up so much. I was able to go in that room. First of all, I didn’t dread going in the room. I was able to go in there with an entirely different spirit. Light my candles, set the mood, set my intention for the day and freaking get to work and crush it. I am such a stickler for space because I believe every space that we reside in should be considered sacred. I don’t care if it’s our car or you know, your cubicle, or your office, your wherever…what is the true intention of that area?
Because every area—in your home, your office, in your life—there’s an intention for it. So how do you create the space for that intention to flow through? Because we think that these bottlenecks that we create with all this clutter and stuff is just stuff. It’s blocking our energy, right?
Money is currency too. It needs to flow. You may be asking yourself the same questions over and over and over again. It’s not that you don’t have the answer, it’s not that God doesn’t have the answer right there for you; you don’t have the capacity to see it or receive it because you’re allowing your clutter to block you.
We always say that clutter is the physical manifestation of chaos in our mind. It’s not that the answer isn’t there. You’re not ready to receive it.
ALLIE: Absolutely. And I think this goes for everything. It goes for being a mom, being a stay-at-home mom and doing your mom thing at home. It’s like that expression, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Same with our space. I love that you asked yourself like, “Is this the office of a bestselling author, of a multiple six figure entrepreneur?” You weren’t there yet but you knew where you wanted to go.
What does that type of person dress like? How do they take care of their bodies? How do they eat? What kind of choices? How are they fueling themselves to have the energy to be making that much money? And you know, being that kind of mom, being this kind of type of person. Act like that. And then you create flow for that person’s type of energy to come into your life.
I think that is so groundbreaking. Even now I’m frustrated that people might glaze over this part of the episode because we’re just talking, but that is everything. That is so much. And if you would just take that piece of this episode and go and apply it, how much of your life would totally turn around?
PATRICE: You know, even when we were downsizing into the apartment, Allie, there was one point when my girlfriend was like, “Why are you hanging stuff on the wall? You know you’re not going to be here long. You’re putting mirrors up and pictures up?” And like I’m like, “Because this is my space. My space.” Even if it’s just for 12 months, I have to set the tone for the atmosphere, right? I get to choose. I get to choose the vibe that’s in here. And if that includes bringing people in to hang stuff (because my husband is a terrible hanger so we don’t allow him to hang anymore) to me it was not a waste. It was an investment in making sure that my spirit is settled, that I’m settled, and that I’m able to create from the best possible place, you know? Because my space is set up to support me in being this person.
Even in that apartment, I launched a mastermind. I launched a group coaching program. I launched all these things and I know it was because I really believed, “Yes, I could have the intention all day,” but it was like a huge open space too. I could see kitchen and dining room, you know? And if that was chaotic, with my office now just being out in the open, oh my gosh, I wouldn’t have been able to get anything done for a year. And my podcast and all of that stuff really became birthed out of that space. It wasn’t the huge house. It wasn’t all that. It was just making sure that again, wherever wherever I am, I set up my environment to support me in being who I say I want to be.
ALLIE: Yes. People are like, “Well, how do I know I have too much clutter?” Which, umm, it’s pretty obvious. And I’m like, “Your home, the space you do life in is supposed to support the lifestyle you want to live.” But 90% of the time, especially in America, it does not support the life you want to live. It’s actually suffocating you and keeping you from it. And I think it’s such a good gut check. “Is my space supporting the work I want to get done here? Whether that is changing diapers, taking care of babies, cooking food. Or it’s doing that and getting ready for work. Or working here and money and creativity is supposed to flow through here. Can it? Walking through and feeling. Women are so powerful and such amazing feelers. Walk through your house and just feel, “Where is the energy stopping? What is not good here?” It’s powerful and so simple.
PATRICE: I think so many of us have these lives, these homes that we’ve built, these spaces that we’ve built to impress other people. For us, when we looked at that huge house and we thought about how often we were entertaining (three parties a year) I’m paying this type of money every month, every year for three parties a year? That didn’t serve us. Are those parties great memories? Do we have pictures and video? Yes. It’s awesome to look back on these amazing parties, but your life should be set up to support your purpose. Your environment should be set up to support your purpose, not your perception of what other people’s perceptions are.
ALLIE: When you downsized, did you continue at all to struggle with, for lack of a better way to say it, what people will think about why you’re downsizing?
ALLIE: Cause you went from super wealthy to broke?
PATRICE: Yeah, we did. On our episode, my husband and I, we talked about having to have a conversation, “What’s coming up for you?” And my husband was like, “People are gonna think that we’re broke.”
ALLIE: Yeah. We went back again.
PATRICE: “And now you have this career. And you don’t want people to think that you’ve been a fraud and you haven’t been following your own advice.” All these things. And it was like, “You know what? I’m just going to tell my audience straight up. Listen, I’m downsizing because this does not serve my purpose. This was what I thought I wanted and the beautiful thing is I got to do it and realize, “Really, this doesn’t define success for you anymore.” It did. And that was our honest truth. It did. And then we got to the point where we’re like, “No.”
But we struggled. We went back and forth before we actually pulled the trigger. We went back and forth for weeks. It wasn’t like we sat at the table and we were like, “We’re going to do this.” And then we got an apartment the next day. We literally went back and forth and back and forth and we prayed about it.
What we found was that, man, what an awesome example this could be for people who are struggling with managing other people’s perceptions. What if we looked at this as an opportunity, for me in particular because I have the platform, to really give other people permission to not care about what other people thought? Or what sacrifices. If it’s from a place where you just can’t afford it and you need to, cool. You still need to do what you need to do and not care about what other people think. If it’s from a place where the money’s not an option, it’s just not serving you, cool. You still need to do what you need to do authentically for you and not care about what other people think.
Releasing that episode and even doing a follow up a year after having done it…such joy because the number of people who reached out and just said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was a slave to my mortgage. I have been a slave to this car. I don’t even want a car. I want to travel. I want to be bi-coastal and I don’t care about a car.” All these things that people were saying, I was like, “Oh my gosh!”
Sometimes we don’t do things or we don’t say it out loud for fear of what others may think, but I’m just so grateful that I was obedient with that piece in particular because it gave so many people permission to just be real with themselves about what matters and what doesn’t.
ALLIE: Yeah. Yes, you did. You gave them permission and I love that.
Okay. So, one last question I want to ask about downsizing is, “What would you say to people who feel like they want to downsize and it keeps coming back? I think that’s how we know to take the next step: it keeps coming back. But they’re afraid of that? What if I need this stuff again? What if I need that space again? What if this happens and we need that space again and we shouldn’t have moved. What would you say to speak into that fear?”
PATRICE: One of the exercises I love doing is ‘what if’ versus ‘what is.’ I always fold a piece of paper in my journal and I might write the ‘what if.’ What if I need a new space? What if I should have kept that dining room buffet? Kept the extra mattress? Or what if, what if, what if?
And then on the other side I put ‘what is’ and what’s the reality? Well, if you move, if you downsize and you need something, you can always move again, right? You really can just play this game with this.
ALLIE: Why is it the end of the world? “Oh, we moved. Here’s where we are now, forever.”
PATRICE: No. No one is saying you have to live there forever. No one is saying that has to be your experience forever. The great thing about all of this is you have the right to choose. You have the right to choose. So, should you find yourself in a place where it would make more sense to have another room, you have the right to choose to move back up to something.
But here’s the deal. In the meantime, in the six months, a year, 18 months, or two years, that you didn’t have to be bothered with that, man, think of how good you’ll feel.
ALLIE: Think about the mental energy you just freed up from not having to think about upkeep, picking up and everything. Decorating that large of a space. Dusting that large of a space. Hiring out to clean that large a space, if you’re not doing it yourself. It’s all energy.
PATRICE: It’s all energy. So look at how much energy you would save, how much time you’d save, how much money you’d saved, how much peace you’d have, and if it gets to the point where it’s necessary, then just make a new choice. You have the right to back out. Don’t be above backing out. You can say that I’m trying it for a year and then decide to do something different.
When I moved to Georgia recently, as I was sharing with you, I didn’t move back into an apartment. I live in a house. I live in another big house, right? Not as big as the other one, but we got a house that was perfect for the furniture that we had. I was like, “I will not re-furnish an entire place.” We’ve been practicing more minimalism, right? We decluttered so much stuff, all three of us, we just got rid of so much stuff. Now we just really have the things that we need. We have a huge storage room in the basement with not a lot of stuff stored because we only brought what we needed. It feels so good. It just feels amazing and we’re all committed to not filling it up just because we have the space.
But you can choose something different. Now I can entertain again. I almost didn’t want to, but that’s another story. Now because this is more of a forever home, it wasn’t a temporary move, it’s like, “okay, we’re going to get the space that we want and the space that’s conducive for our lifestyle now.”
And either way it goes, guys, there’s no judgment. As long as you have peace about the choice that you’re making, and financially you have peace, mentally you have peace, physically there’s peace, spiritually there’s peace, there’s no judgment.
But if there is no peace and there’s a lot of chaos around any one of those areas, then you have to ask yourself the hard questions and you may have to make some difficult decisions.
ALLIE: Yeah. And I think if anyone is listening who needs that permission, I think that we want you to know: you have permission to make a decision season by season. You don’t need to make a decision that’s supposed to last forever.
There’s so much weight on that. Where your kids go to school, where you’re going to live, moving, and all of this. When we talk about life, minimalism, and simplifying, these decisions can be simplified. It’s okay to make a choice that works for this season that might not work for the next one.
PATRICE: Girl, it’s okay to change mid-season.
ALLIE: Yeah, it’s okay to change your mind.
PATRICE: It is just okay to change your mind. I love that you brought that up because we actually bought our home based on the school that my daughter got into and it was a private school that we had researched and she loved it. We did the tour, we did the parent interview, we did all these things, flew here back and forth. She got into the school. Six weeks in, we realized it was not the best fit for her. Within six weeks.
Now I’m the type of mom that’s like, “Oh my gosh, it’s the middle of the semester. We at least need to…” And we were doing all this and I was like, “I will not let my daughter suffer because we don’t want to answer the question (and not that this was even a thing, but it comes up, right?) but because we don’t want people to go, “Oh, what happened to the school for the super smart kids?” It’s a very prestigious school, so it’s super expensive and super prestigious academically and all this. “Well, what was wrong? Could she not cut it? Was she not getting good grades?” And she didn’t want to tell us because that was her thing. I could see it on her though.
One day we were going to dinner and my husband and I asked her, “Reagan, what do you honestly feel about this school? Don’t say what you think anyone else wants to hear. Don’t say what you think mom and dad want to hear. What do you feel?” And she’s like, “I really liked the idea of it, but being in it now, I realize that this is just not for me. I know that we went through so much to get me in.” Stop right there. That was a Friday. Monday morning, I was at the local public school…middle school. Went there, took a tour, did all the things, put her in. She’s the happiest I’ve ever seen her. She’s so happy.
I gave her the permission to tell the truth. What really matters is her happiness. I don’t care that it’s the number whatever school in Georgia. I don’t care that everyone in the neighborhood when we moved in was like, “Oh, she got into that school. Oh wow!”
Even as an 11-year-old, just now turned 12-year-old girl, she was like, “I was getting attached to how people looked at me when I would say what school I went to.” And I was like, “Oh girl, they love you because of you. Nobody cares about the school you go to. You’re just an amazing kid, so folks are gonna love you anyway.”
What if parents, and I can only speak for myself because I didn’t have that growing up, but what if you got that level of permission to be honest and true to what’s really on your heart and your spirit at that age and that was your experience growing up? I told my husband, the only thing I care about is that every time she’s in a position where it is just completely not in alignment for her, she feels empowered to make a choice that serves her.
I mean it’s going to hurt people and all this stuff, but even if it does, sometimes that just is what it is. But being authentic to her choice and knowing even six weeks after the semester has started, you have the right to choose. You have the right to choose. And now when the neighbors are like, “Oh, I thought Reagan was going to so-and-so?” “Nope, it wasn’t a good fit.” “Oh, she should have stuck it out!” “Don’t tell me what my kid should have done. You have to stick it out and be unhappy to do what? To make you feel good? You’re the neighbor. You’re not her parents.”
ALLIE: Absolutely. Good for you. What an amazing, empowering mom you are! I mean, that was such an important moment for her. I feel proud of you, for you. That’s amazing!
I mean really, there’s so much that was on how you handled that, that she admitted how she felt. I just think that’s incredible. It’s crazy because all of this purpose is underneath it. What is the purpose behind the stuff you have? The decisions you make? The decisions your kids make? That’s why it’s just my absolute favorite word. It’s behind everything good.
Well, thank you so much for just being here, and this amazing conversation.
I really appreciate you. This was amazing! Thank you so much!
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!