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Pouring into Yourself in the thick of Motherhood

Transcription for: Humble Rising E71

We all deserve to have fulfilling careers and lives. We deserve to experience joy and peace and freedom, and all of those things that make us feel truly alive. It takes a lot of courage for us to take the reins in our lives and take action that honors the deepest parts of ourselves in this current season of life. It takes a lot of courage to lean into growing and to lean into learning and to know when it's time to make a change.

I'm Arivee. I'm a first generation Latina, mom of three, and life and high performance coach to women just like you. And this podcast is for all of us looking to grow and learn and explore what a joyful and fulfilling life and career can look like and how to start living into that life right now.

We're going to go deep and we're going to honor our truth in this podcast. And the best thing is we're gonna do it together. So welcome to the Humble Rising podcast.

As a mother, I'd like to help end this false narrative - that we always have to be or we feel like we're expected to sacrifice our own well-being, our own desires, what we most want, what we most need, to be there for our children, to be there for our partners, to be active in our communities and in everything else that we do. I'll never forget when President Obama said, I forget when he said this, but I remember him saying this, that having children is like having your heart live outside of your body. And this is true. I feel that way all the time. There are just no words for how much you love your children and how much you think of them, how much you want them to be okay.

You hope you're raising really good humans. For me, characters, one of the most important things, probably the most important thing for my kids or for me in raising them, but I know there's no manual for any of it. There's no manual for life. There's no manual for mothering. There's no manual for parenting. There's no manual for integrating all the different areas of your life and all the different parts of you. There's no manual for how to show up the way that you know you wanna show up at work for your colleagues, for those you serve, for a partner, for your friends, for your parents, for your children. There's no manual for figuring out when you're transitioning between either careers or jobs or you go from one baby to two babies to three, or you go from zero to one baby, and you're figuring out, “Oh my gosh, who am I? How do I do this? Who am I? I'm a mom, but who am I? Like, I was someone before I had children.

Who am I now with children? What makes me happy? Who am I beyond the definition of motherhood that society has imposed on me? That I may have internalized a bit.” Right?

And if there's one thing I've learned in the past year is that you have to give to yourself just as much as you give to other people, especially your kids. Right? We work tirelessly in our jobs, for families, all that planning we do for the birthday, and the family visits, and the flights, and the next size up in clothing that just seemed to appear as our children get older. The size shoes that just happened to fit because mom thought of buying the next size up in advance before the shoes don't fit anymore. We're doing all these things.

And so all of our work for other people, all of the work that we pour into some things that we love, like some of the stuff that we love, we pour ourselves into that too, and that's great. But the work that you do that's so intense and so mentally and emotionally consuming, all that work cannot come at the expense of your well-being. All the things you do for other people, all the things you're doing to give to people, to port into people, to quote unquote do your job at work,

it cannot come at the expense of your well-being. The cost cannot be your well-being all of the time. Like, we can believe differently. We can do things differently. To make small and sometimes really big adjustments, to make our well-being a real priority, having supportive people around us can help that make that happen. I will be one thousand percent honest that my mother is such a great support system and my parents has a great support system for me and my family. And if something pops up and she's available, she can come and help with the kids. She can come help me do something if they're sick and I have a critical meeting at work. She can comment. She can help me with that. And I'm so privileged and lucky to be able to have my parents close by, that they're able like, physically and mentally able to support in that way. It's important that you have some type of support system. It's really support system to help with your well-being in addition to all the responsibilities that you have. Right? Because before you had children, before you had a partner, you were a person with your own identity.

You had your own identity. You had dreams. You had ideas about what your life would look like, how you would feel. You had and have your own interests. And you had a way of taking care of yourself. You may not have realized what you were doing, but you did have some kind of method of taking care of yourself. Even if it wasn't intentional, you were doing something to take care of yourself.

Because becoming a mom doesn't mean that all of those things that you used to do and who you were and who you are gets pushed aside. It's just an evolution of your identity. It's an evolution of who you are. It's an evolution of all of those things. And so what I wanna encourage you to do today moving forward is to see yourself again, see you again.

How do you do that? “Arivee, how do I see myself again?” It sounds kind of woo woo, right? Well, it's not. Okay? It is not woo woo. And sometimes, woo is just what you need as long as you know how to apply it to your life. So how do I see myself again? I will say to start with two simple steps.

The first thing, to get back to you, to get back to who you are, to pour back into yourself, to make your well-being a priority to figure out what is going on with me and how do I prioritize taking care of myself? Well, the first step is to start spending time with yourself alone. Start spending time with yourself alone. Your problem thinking, “Come on, spend time with myself?” Yes, that's exactly what I said. And if you had some kind of reaction to what I just said, that definitely means you gotta do this. Right? There's a reason why you're reacting a little strongly to what I'm saying. Right? Say attention to that feeling. Where's that feeling coming from? Pause this. Figure that out. Ask yourself that. See if you can answer that. And then come back to me.

So you are going to start spending time with yourself alone. What does this mean? Well, if you're in the car without your kids, don't put the music on. Don't put a podcast on. Be in silence. Be with your thoughts. If you like running, if that's part of your routine or part of what you do to move your body, go for a run, but don't take the headphones with you. Just run without anything in your ears. If you do things with headphones, so sometimes I'll do the dishes and I'll have Alexa on and I'll be playing some music, you know it's gonna be Beyonce. Adele has to listen to, but, you know, Beyonce is my girl. And she was robbed of that grammy. Let me just tell you robbed off of album of the year. Okay? Just that's a sign now.

If you are doing things like cleaning, doing something that you typically do, or you're organizing your desk, or whatever you're doing, and you typically have music on or podcast running or the news running, NPR, whatever it is, shut it down. You can get your news later. You can read the news on your phone. If you're doing something with headphones, try not to use them. Be alone with your thoughts. Be with yourself. Be with your feelings. Recognize what's coming up for you. This may mean you have to get up earlier when it's really, really quiet where you live.

Right? So you won't be interrupted. Because when you spend time with yourself, you learn things about yourself. You learn things about yourself. I like to think of empowerment. You know, I talk a lot about women empowerment. I like to think of empowerment as simply a rediscovery of who you are and owning it, and owning it, owning all you deserve, owning all you're worthy of, and then having what you do each day and how you show up match that, match that ownership.

Because what we do and you know, I do it too, what we do is we like to distract ourselves. Like you know, I'm gonna feel good, so I'm just gonna put on some music today. That's amazing. When you use music as like a motivator, that's great, I support that. I do that too. But what I don't support is you running away from yourself by distracting yourself by saying, “Oh, I'm so stressed. Let me just organize.” How about you stop for a second before you start organizing?

You know exactly what I'm talking about? You whip out the Windex, you whip out the 409, or your Clorox wipes, a paper towel, and you're like, “I just need to organize. I just need to organize. I just need to clean.” Because something is going on in your minds and in your body and in your feelings. And you're trying to address it through the physical activity of cleaning. What you really gotta do is clean house, in the mind, in the heart, in the soul. That's what you gotta do.

But you're distracting yourself. You're distracting yourself by going to clean something else. When you have to stop cleaning externally and start cleaning up internally. Right? You know you do it. I do it too. I do it too. I'm not saying if you clean, that automatically means you're distracting yourself from what's inside. That's not what I'm saying. But you know what I mean.

You know exactly what I mean. When you are feeling some kind of way, then you're like, “I just have to go to CBS. I just have to go to the pharmacy. I have to go to Walgreens and pick up some things. I have to go run errands.” You know when you actually need to do those things and when you're using it as a distraction. You know. I know I do it too. I'm just asking you to pay attention to it.

So that was our first step, right? Start spending time with yourself. This is how you're gonna see yourself again, get back to what you need to take care of yourself and to take care of your well-being. How are you gonna pour back into yourself? How are you gonna rediscover who you are to do those things? Number one, start spending time with yourself alone, being with your thoughts, being with your feelings, recognizing what comes up for you in those moments of silence. Alright?

The second step is you're gonna write down what you experienced. You're gonna write down what you think, what comes up for you, or you can instead of writing it down, if that's not your thing, you can share it with yourself through the voice memo app on your phone. Any kind of voice recording app, you can speak into the phone and just share what you're feeling if that's easier for you. Like, if you're writing in your car and you can safely do this, you can press ‘Record’ and record yourself. Record your thoughts as you're driving in the car. I have totally done that before, and sometimes I don't listen back to it. But sometimes I do. And a lot of times I'm rambling, but then there's these nuggets of things that I'm like, “Oh, yes. I have to dig deeper into that.” Okay? So you're gonna write down what you think, write down what it comes up for you, what you're feeling, or you can speak it into the phone. Again, if you're driving, you do that safely, obviously.

If you need prompts, I'm gonna give you some prompts. So get a pen and paper. You can pause me and come back. But you can use these prompts. There are ton more prompts you can use.

These are just some of the ones that I use that I find really helpful and that some clients use that they find helpful. So you can ask yourself, “What am I excited about in my life?” And that includes your career. Your life includes your work. So when I say life, I also mean work most of the time. ”So what am I excited about in my life? What has been bringing me joy?” You can ask yourself, “Do I feel like I'm pursuing something meaningful in my life?” You could ask yourself, “What am I looking forward to?” And if you have trouble answering those questions, like”What brings me joy, what makes me happy? Am I happy? Do I feel like I'm pursuing something meaningful in my life? What's exciting to me about my life?” If you have trouble or hesitancy or like a resistance to those questions, I would ask myself “Why is that? What's coming up for me?

And why? What is the reason this is hard for me to answer? What is that reason? Where is the resistance coming from? Where is the doubt coming from?”

And then you can also be asking yourself, you know, “What am I struggling with? What's the reason why I'm struggling with this? You can ask yourself, “How can I navigate this challenge? How can I navigate this struggle?”And one of my favorite questions to ask, which I think is really hard, but it's important to ask yourself is, “What will happen if I don't learn to navigate this challenge? Like, What if I leave it at status quo? What's the cost of that to me? What's the cost if I do nothing? What will happen to me? How will I feel about that? How will I feel in a week, in a month, in six months?” You know, there's something really powerful about writing down or speaking into, like, a voice memo and reading it, listening back to it. There’s something really powerful about that, when you are sharing within your heart, within your head, what is true for you in that moment. It's true for you in that moment, so it's true. Right? You're getting all of that out onto the page or on the phone. And that's important because you're clearing that space for new ideas and thoughts and energy to enter that beautiful body and mind and heart of yours.

But in addition to that, if you're really honest with your answers, to the prompts that you shared or to just what comes up for you in those moments that you're alone, if you're really honest with yourself, with how you answer those prompts or if you're honest with yourself in terms of what's coming up for you, you are going to discover some things about where you're at, some truths about how you feel about where you're at. And I'm going to challenge you here to decide on one thing you're going to do differently today, to feel better about your life, to feel better about those answers, to feel better about it all, and then you're going to commit to yourself because this is for you. You're going to commit to yourself to taking one small step each day to make that a reality. To make that feeling, that feeling better a reality. Because this is for you. This is not for anyone else. It's only for you.

Yes. Those you care about and those you love are obviously impacted when you are feeling like you, and you're feeling good, and you're feeling joy and you're able to have perspective on the day and the month and the year and the energy you bring and how you show up. That all impacts people around you, but also starts with you, starts with your intention, you rediscovering what you need, what you want, how do you take care of yourself first? So this is for you. This is for you. We gotta do more stuff for you. Right?

And I wanna be really clear that we're doing this but from a place of self compassion and kindness. We're not berating ourselves here. We're not beating ourselves up. It's not like, “Oh, what am I struggling with? Well, I didn't do x and I didn't do y.” Uh-uh. We're not doing that? Don't do that. Tell that voice, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, I know. I have some to-dos, but what I'm doing right now is something different. So I need you to take a seat, but I see you, I hear you, I need you to sit for a second because I gotta handle something.”

Engage with it and let it go. It's really important that you don't use this exercise or these opportunities as a way or means to beat yourself up because we can be really too hard in ourselves. Don't open yourself up to another chance to do that to yourself. Let's release that judgment, release that self-judgment, and go into this with a frame of mind of “I'm here to be kind to myself. I'm here to love myself and be compassionate because that's exactly what others would do for me.” And I need you to know, and I don't need to know you personally to know this, I know that you're doing a great job, like that Alicia Key song, good job? Doing a good job. Doing a good job.

I would sing, but she's a really, really good singer. And I wouldn't be able to do it justice so I'm not gonna sing it, but you're doing a good job. And in those moments, when you wonder if you can hold up together, with all you have on your shoulders, all you have on your plate, all the what I call the invisible responsibilities that you always just handle because we get stuff done. We get stuff done. We gotta do stuff for ourselves too.

So I want you to remember that you're not alone in all of that. You're not alone in those struggles and those challenges. I want you to remember to be kind to yourself. I want you to recognize how far you've come. To this point, how far you've come?

And take care of yourself, take care of the person you truly are deep inside. Take care of her, fulfill her needs. Feed her soul. See her again. Pay attention to her. She needs you to be there for her just like you're there for everybody else. Don't forget about her. She's in there. She's in there.

You deserve to do this for yourself. You're worthy of it? I'm telling you it's true. It's true.

With that, I want you to know how powerful you are. You are so powerful right now to create the life and career that you want and deserve. You are so powerful right now. You got this. You got this today. You got this every day. You're a mom. You always got it. You just gotta have your own back too. Gotta give it to yourself too. I'm right here with you. Trust me, I'm right here with you.


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