Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

The Empty Nest Adventure with Michelle S Evans

June 29, 2023 MaryAnn Walker, Michelle Evans Episode 47
The Empty Nest Adventure with Michelle S Evans
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
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Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
The Empty Nest Adventure with Michelle S Evans
Jun 29, 2023 Episode 47
MaryAnn Walker, Michelle Evans

This week I'm talking with empty nest adventure coach, Michelle S Evans.
Michelle compares her resistance around giving birth, something unavoidable, to the emotions that can come up around the transition into empty nesthood.

Want to follow Michelle? Click here! 

Show Notes Transcript

This week I'm talking with empty nest adventure coach, Michelle S Evans.
Michelle compares her resistance around giving birth, something unavoidable, to the emotions that can come up around the transition into empty nesthood.

Want to follow Michelle? Click here! 

MaryAnn:

Well, hello and welcome back. So I would like to introduce Michelle Evans to the podcast. Now, funny story, like Michelle and I, I've, I have known her family for years, but I only met Michelle recently through coaching, so that's been super fun. She's now a friend and colleague, and she is an adventure coach, and she recently posted something on her Instagram that I just loved and totally resonated. About when she was pregnant with her oldest son, and it was getting close to the time that she would deliver him, and she found herself backpedaling as fast as she could because she knew the delivery would be painful. And she talks about how as she got closer to empty nesting, she had similar feelings. She wanted to backpedal and redo some of the ways that she had showed up as a parent. And, and I just love that she was talking about how, you know what, like these are things that we just can't avoid. They're a part of life. But that just so resonated with me, especially as a mom. I'm not an empty nester quite yet, but I'm on my way there with, two outta my three kids being adults. And so I just thought for very selfish reasons, I would have Michelle on to talk about, yeah, how does backpedaling show up in life and, and resistance and all the things. So yeah, welcome to the show, Michelle. Oh, thank you so much, Maryanne. That was a great intro and I so appreciate being able to collaborate with you all the time. Maryanne is a master at her craft, so, I think the way that it shows up for me the most is I can see it coming and with my first son, you know, I was pregnant and I was 22. Mm-hmm. And I could see it coming and I was like, I don't know if I can do this. I don't, I don't think I can do this, but at that point, I mean, I was like 36 weeks, there is no going back. Yeah. So there is only one way through, and so it's just going through it. But I, I could see that I was starting to kind of throw up all this like resistance towards it. Yeah. Just because I was scared. And I think that a lot of times when we have resistance, it's because there's usually some fear or something behind it. And I was afraid at that moment, I was afraid of the pain. Of the actual delivery. Mm-hmm. So I went, I went through this like really hard, you know, delivery. And then on the other side of that it was like so beautiful and amazing. And that has also, like with empty nesting, it's the same thing, right? You're getting close to the last kid leaving and you're starting to backpedal like, wait a minute, I don't know what I'm gonna do. Mm-hmm. Because so often, especially as moms, we start to orbit around our kids. Mm-hmm. And we are our life orbits around their life. And so when they move out, what do we do and where do we orbit and how do we reorient ourselves? Mm-hmm. And it's that same feeling of, it's like they bring you, they hand you your baby and you're like, oh my gosh, what have I done? What am I doing? I don't know what I'm doing. Nobody told me what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing. Yeah. And the same feeling when the last one leaves is like, I, I don't know what I'm gonna do with myself. Mm-hmm. And so it can feel very untethering. Yeah. And we can add layers onto that of like resisting what is, and we can club ourselves with guilt about, you know, how we parented, what we could change when reality, we can't change any of it. We're just adding to our own misery. Yeah. Oh, I love that because yeah, as you were talking, I was thinking about how. When we're experiencing a lot of that resistance, so much of it I think is because we're living in the past, right? So we're living in guilt and regret over what we think maybe could have been or should have been. And also really fearing the future and the unknown and the uncertainty and, and really, I. The discomfort, right? Just how you were afraid of the pain of labor and delivery, the pain and the discomfort of, but I don't know what's coming. Like I don't know who I am without my kids around. And of course that's going to be uncomfortable. but both of those experiences, it's either living in the past or living in the future, which prevents us from actually enjoying that present moment. Right. And it's funny, right, RO you're raising kids because it's like you get so entwined in their life and you, you enjoy it so much. Mm-hmm. And there's some, you know, hard things obviously as well, but then when it comes to an end, you can just still enjoy them as adults. Mm-hmm. And you don't, you don't have to like pine for what was Yeah. You can just. Embrace and love that you did the best you could. Mm-hmm. And that you get to now figure out how to be a parent to an adult child. And I always think it's really funny that I'm like, I raised my my boys to be independent and then they grew up and they were independent and it was so annoying. That's hilarious. Yeah. Again, resisting that reality, right? It's like that was the whole purpose, but you still want'em to want their mommy. Oh, and I should mention too, Michelle is the mama. Wait, is it six boys? Yeah. Six boys. Yeah. So she is, she's been through it a few times. Yeah. Well, and I mean, you know, I mean it depends on when you start parenting and how many kids Yeah. And how long that lasts. For me, it was 27 years of, you know, being a mom. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Parenting with kids in the home. Yeah. And then, you know, they all grow up, they leave. Mm-hmm. And become these independent humans. And I'm like, well wait, what about me? Yeah. Yeah. When it's so interesting you just noticed, like for myself, I was wondering like what's has my resistance been? And I kind of started to see it more as my oldest was approaching high school graduation when I was like, look, like I need to figure out what I need moving forward. Like how am I going to fill my cup? Because I had really identified as the mother and the caregiver, and I recently saw this TikTok that really had me busted up where there were two friends and one of them had children and the other one didn't. And the one who didn't have children asked the friend who did, so how have you been? What have you been up to? She's like, oh, you know, Janie's potty training. And that's been a lot of fun. And Timmy's on the soccer team, and she's like, But what about you? Like, what have you been up to? And, and it was done, to be funny, but it also was, has so much truth to it as to we do sometimes over-identify when we are working so hard to create, as she said, you know, these children that can be strong, independent adults, and then sometimes we lose ourself along the way. And so how would you encourage women to transition through that stage? Right. So it's interesting you brought up transition. Mm-hmm. So I'm just gonna insert this because I think it'll be really interesting and very applicable to your audience. Mm-hmm. you know, in the military when they're deployed, the most casualties come when they're doing a transition. And so they're very methodical about how they transition troops in and out. And so if you think about that with your life and you're like barreling towards empty nesting or barreling towards motherhood and it's going to be a transition and you have no plan. Mm-hmm. Then that's when you are personally gonna take on your own personal most casualties. And that can be in the way that you're showing up, not being intentional, you know, it could impact your marriage. And so it's like actually being very intentional and steering it instead of just like watching yourself hurling towards it and being like, ah, yeah. That is so interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And so like the first part of that is just being able to identify mm-hmm. Like what will be coming up. That you can foresee that this may be an issue. Mm-hmm. So, for example, for me, we have, a lot of horses mm-hmm. And a dog and my boys do the chores. And in the wintertime, I. They are the ones that make sure that they, you know, haul water if it gets too cold and you know, the water freezes or whatever. Mm-hmm. So that falls on me. Mm-hmm. And so I could see that, like I was hurling towards that and all I could see, my only plan was I'm gonna hate my husband. Because this are his hobby. Mm-hmm. Which is a terrible plan. Right. Choosing ahead of time to resent. Right, right. It was just, just a terrible plan. And so then I like, oh wait, wait a minute. Um, let me just write down what I can foresee. Yeah. That in transition may be an obstacle and we can't anticipate everything, but the things that we can anticipate instead of just. backpedaling from them. It's accepting them and making a plan of like, how am I gonna handle this? Mm-hmm. How am I, how are we going to tackle this, and how do we want to show up? So it comes from a very intentional, like holistic place as opposed to, I'm a victim of my own life, of my own choices and all of the things that I've got going and now I hate my life. Yeah. Oh, I love that. And I kind of wanna sit for a little bit longer in the idea of transition. And that was really interesting how you said that we, with the military, it's during those times of transition that they have the most casualties. So my husband works for the Army. He's not in the military, but he works for the Army. And so he would travel quite a lot and a lot of people in our town are military and travel quite a bit. And so it's really interesting when you said that I was thinking back on how many conversations I've had with other women about the transitions, with the spouses coming and going and how hard that can be. And yes, it's a good and exciting thing. And also so hard and thinking too, backing up to what you'd said as we started out about the transition of labor, like that's what we have midwives for and when we need the support, is through that transition. And it had me thinking about when you said, you know, thinking really about what are the foreseeable things that I might experience. And planning ahead for that, using your prefrontal cortex. Because as soon as we're in the transition, our prefrontal cortex, it's more than likely gonna be offline, right? Because that's gonna be the part that's really the struggle. But allowing your prefrontal cortex to do the, course corrections ahead of time. Noticing when your brain is saying, no, I'm gonna resent my husband ahead of time. But noticing, in course, correcting and choosing proactively. Okay. When that comes up. What am I gonna do? And having that plan in place and practicing that plan in place ahead of time, rather than letting your primitive mind run the show. I, I think that is, that was very profound. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah. And I think that when you are in a transition, you are more in that survival state. Yeah. Because you're just trying to survive it. Mm-hmm. And so yeah, your prefrontal cortex is totally offline and so anything that you can anticipate in advance mm-hmm. So that you can plan for, because there's gonna be things that you can't Yeah. That will come out of left field that you don't, you don't anticipate, but you can also plan for those. Yeah. So that you don't have to act surprised. Mm-hmm. That. This just came out of left field. But you can have that already planned. Like there are gonna be things that I don't foresee and I'm planning to know that that's gonna happen. And so then I don't have to be surprised and get all, you know, up in my own mind and act all crazy. I love that to, to plan for the unexpected. So you aren't derailed by it, right? Yeah. So what have you noticed have been the most common themes around, The mind drama around empty nest hood, what are the things that people should be kind of planning and preparing for? So a couple of things. Trying to kind of explore maybe what you have given up or you have not been doing for yourself. Mm-hmm. And so being very intentional if like, if there's hobbies that you've always kind of had nagging at you that you're like, oh, I've always wanted to kind of try that. Mm-hmm. And so that you can start to move in a direction that you love the feeling of, of exploration. Mm-hmm. Otherwise, you are going to be so uncomfortable and so untethered by your identity crisis. Mm-hmm. Because it's gonna be like, well, I was a mom for all these years, so what do I do now? Mm-hmm. And so it's being able to like identify what are those interests? How am I going to plan to start? You know, transitioning over into some of those things, how do I wanna set up my time? Mm-hmm. Like kids, they take up so much of our time. We're going to their events. They're going to the plays, we're going to the, you know, we're running'em here, we're going there. Um, and then they leave and we're like, drumming our fingers and we're like, what do we do now? Mm-hmm. Well, this is like that season where you get to just embrace. You. Mm-hmm. In a very loving way. Not in a selfish way, but just in a very loving way. You have nurtured and taken care of like all these kids for so many years, and now you get to nurture you. And so what have you left on the table that you haven't explored? Right? And so for me, I'm an adventure coach. For me, it's adventures, right? Mm-hmm. Which some people that's like, that sounds terrifying for me. It sounds exhilarating. Mm-hmm. I'm like, what? Hike bike raft I'm in. You know, and so, um, and, and I didn't like just transition into it immediately. It started out kind of small. Mm-hmm. And just like, let me, I'm gonna go try this. I'm gonna go hike this. I'm gonna go see if I like it. Mm-hmm. And um, I also got into pottery and I had Okay. Seriously. I have always thought about pottery because of the movie Ghost. Yeah. I mean, I think that's true for a lot of people. Yeah. So, I mean, it's just always kind of been in the back of my mind. Yeah. And so I was like, well, I'm gonna take a class and I'm gonna see if there's really something here. Yeah. You know, and I fell in love with it and I, and I absolutely love it. Mm-hmm. Um, but it's just being able to identify what it is that you are even interested in. Mm-hmm. And do you even know? Mm-hmm. Yeah. I love that because, and that's one of the things I've heard a lot too with people with depression, is having something to look forward to. Even if it's something that's a ways off, like it really helps to keep that forward momentum so you don't get stuck in the despair. I. So I love that about thinking about, okay, what hobbies have I been neglecting? What would I like to improve with myself? what would I like to learn how to do? Be it ceramics or rock climbing or whatever your definition of adventure is, what's something new that I would like to cultivate in myself? I think that's beautiful. and you also kind of talked a bit about the identity crisis, and I'm wondering too, I'm sure that's true for a lot of women, and we did talk a little bit about that, but I think too, the identity crisis around. The marriage relationship. I know for a lot of women they struggle with. I've identified as the mom for so long and been so kid focused that a lot of the fear around empty nest hood is navigating the marriage relationship. Is that something that you've done some coaching around as well? Yeah, and it's so funny how it showed up for me. Yeah. Because I was like, I'm, I got married, you know, kind of young 21. And I, I was like, do I even like this guy? I don't even remember. Yeah. I mean, like, we've been co-existing and parenting and, and being married and he's a great guy, but do we have anything in common? Because I can't remember, we've been doing the kid thing for so long. Yeah. So it's like rediscovering and anticipating, like rediscovering in a very loving, kind way where you're giving both of you space to grow into this new version. As opposed to. kind of putting the brakes on it, and adding a layer to the transition of like, well, I don't like this guy, so I think maybe we should get separated, right? Mm-hmm. Because that's how you take on more casualties. So in the transition, one of the ways that you want to kind of eliminate some casualties is don't do anything huge at the same time, so you don't wanna layer on additional. Things into the transition, so don't make a huge move. Mm-hmm. Like, give yourself a minute. Mm-hmm. Don't make a huge decision like abandoning the marriage. give yourself time and allow your nervous system and your mind and your body and everything to catch up to whatever is happening. Mm-hmm. And just be very patient because if you start making very snap decisions and you know, very impulsive because you know you're feeling untethered and so, you know, you're starting to create all these other things in your life. Mm-hmm. Um, you, you add additional casualties. Yeah, I love that. But you're really giving yourself time to transition. Again, it's just knowing what's coming. Yep. Choosing ahead of time how you wanna navigate it. Knowing to give yourself some grace by not adding too much, by adding all of the things on top of transitioning into empty, nested. Right. And, and just being able to have grace also for the other person. Mm-hmm. And you know, bearing in mind, like whatever you focus on will expand. And so if you're focusing on the fact that the husband, the spouse or whatever, you know, they, they do these annoying things and you focus on them, they're gonna be amplified like 25 billion times. Mm-hmm. And it's gonna drive you crazy. Mm-hmm. So it's being able to steer your mind in a very intentional way of what are the things that I really appreciate? What do I like about this person? What do I wanna cultivate with him? And not in a way that you're trying to change or alter him. It's the way you are trying to change and alter your own mind. Because whatever you think you're going to bring up to fruition mm-hmm. That's gonna be the result that you create. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And definitely including that mental piece into it as well. Cuz sometimes we do kick caught up in, you know, I've heard many women say, well, because I've been a stay-at-home mom for all these years, I've been doing this for him so he could work and it's my turn. And it's great to have the opportunity to go and do those things to yourself, but keeping that in, check that, but what am I doing mentally? Am I doing this out of bitterness and resentment that he got to do all these things and I had to stay at home and noticing like, okay, maybe I need a little coaching around this. Like what's coming up for me? Is this gonna be supporting the kind of relationship I wanna be creating during this time of transition? But again, noting. To minimize casualties. I'm just gonna keep coming back to that. Do everything in your power to minimize the casualties through this time of transition and allowing space for grace for everybody involved. And I suspect that also is not only allowing space for grace for you and your partner, but also for your children as they're transitioning into adulthood. So what advice do you have on on that? Have you had any of your kids come back and need a little help with their own transition? Yeah, so I had like my oldest ones, they're like, you did not prepare us for some of the stuff. And I was like, I didn't. And they're like, no, we, we don't even know how to pick classes. And I was like, you know, there's some things that you can prepare them for. Mm-hmm. But there's some things cuz when I was going to college, we weren't on the internet, we weren't logging. Like we didn't do any of that. We went in. Mm-hmm. We met with an advisor. Everything was stand in line with the paper registration. Mm-hmm. So, I had really no insight because it's a different age. Mm-hmm. And so it was like, I just was able to like, you know, you guys will figure it out. Like you, you just have to ask a lot of questions. Mm-hmm. And, you know, there was a couple of other things that they told me and they're like, you did not prepare us Oh. For credit scores. Ah-huh. We, we don't have credit. And I was like, You know what? I think you're right. Mm-hmm. I didn't do that. I wasn't thinking like, let's go get loans and get you in debt so that you can have credit. Mm-hmm. It, it never, that never really crossed my mind as a parent, and I don't think that that was a mistake. I think it was, gives them a learning opportunity mm-hmm. As an adult to like figure those things out. And you know, they'll be better off because they'll have figured it out. Cause they don't need me to tell them, like, I raised some very intelligent mm-hmm. Resourceful humans. Yeah. And so they have the ability to find those answers themselves. And by the way, everything's on YouTube. Yep. I know. I, I feel a little ripped off. I didn't have YouTube growing up. I'm like, wow, that's fantastic. What a tool. You can figure out anything. Exactly. But just to go back to the identity thing for just a second. Yeah. Um, normally for women we have three identities, three roles I guess I should say. We have wife, we have woman, and we have mother. And sometimes they get out of balance and one of them is overtaking, which that happens quite common. when you're right in the middle of, raising kids mm-hmm. That mother role takes over and the wife and the woman role get neglected and they become smaller. Mm-hmm. And so it's just being able to like, Bring those back into focus and mm-hmm. Being able to expand them and maybe shrink that mother role because, you know, your, your kids aren't gonna want you all up in their business. Yeah. And when they want it, they want it, but when they don't, they don't. Mm-hmm. And so you have to kind of shrink that mother role and, you know, take a bigger step into woman and wife mm-hmm. And develop those skills and those. Those roles in your life. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I appreciate you saying that because I've also seen in some relationships where when the children are out of the house, then the wife tends to like mother, the husband, and then I think that kind of muddies those waters where if you're seeking to have that, intimate. Relationship and partnership with them. It's hard to have a partnership when you're essentially trying to create the, one up and one down position of now mothering and treating your husband like a child, right? So I'm just noticing like, okay, I do have this mother energy in me and I am transitioning that mother energy to be, kind of how you describe maybe a bit more coach energy where it's like, you know what, now I'm your cheerleader. You can figure this out. I didn't teach you about credit scores, but you're fully capable of learning how to navigate this and just shifting the mother energy into something that is more empowering for both parties rather than, Hey, let me cut your sandwich. You know? Right, right. Yeah. And it's also like being able to, allow them to make mistakes, like mm-hmm. I hear a lot of, women say about their adult children. Mm-hmm. They're like, I just don't want them to suffer. And as soon as we let go of that thought, because every human on earth, nobody goes through unscathed. Yeah. Everybody suffers. Right? And so it's not like we wanna like, Hey, this is great, my kid's suffering, but we don't have to add layers to it when they are by. Mm-hmm. For ourself, because we create our own suffering. Mm-hmm. Because we think that they shouldn't. And Right. They are perfectly capable humans that we've poured our very best into. Mm-hmm. And sometimes our very worst, but we've poured what we can into them. Mm-hmm. And it's being able to then accept and not resist, like their path that they pick. And even if their path isn't what you would pick, it's still they get that choice. Yeah. Well, and shifting the energy, like you said, from maybe I'm gonna do everything to make sure my children don't suffer to, I'm gonna teach my kids how to navigate suffering. Yes. Because I know it's gonna happen. And that's what's gonna give them the help and support that they need to find their own independence is just what a gift to be able to teach your kids how to navigate suffering and just be able to sit with'em and be like, yeah, that is hard. Yeah. It is a challenge, like to think, my mother didn't teach me this and I don't know how to do this. Yeah. I get it. Yeah. And now what's she gonna do? You know? But giving it back to them that this is also part of the processing and part of the transition is allowing them to be uncomfortable cuz that's how we learn and grow. Right. Right. And people always say, I know, but being uncomfortable is uncomfortable. Right. It really is. It's, and suffering is uncomfortable, but we don't have to add our own suffering. To, you know, magnify it and make it bigger. Right. And so just being very cognizant of those things. And then I think the other thing with like just transitioning into like empty nesting and stuff in general mm-hmm. Is we tend to club ourselves. Yeah. On what, what could have been when you mentioned that earlier. And I think it's really important to. Be able to really extend grace to our younger self. Mm-hmm. And be able to let go of some of the things that we did wrong. Mm-hmm. As a messy human, I actually cannot stand the term good mom. Mm-hmm. I think it's the worst thing. Oh, I just wanna be a good mom. Like, what is that? Anyway, Right. Yeah. And everybody gets to define what that looks like for them. Mm-hmm. And just because it looks like one way for one person doesn't mean it looks like one way for somebody else. Mm-hmm. And so you can just have like that grace for yourself because we don't have a time machine and we have no way of going back and course correcting something we did. It's done. Mm-hmm. And so at this point it's like we just have to accept what is. Mm-hmm. And what was, and if there's ram, if there's anything that we need to make amends for great. Like own that. Own that space. And then move on. But, but whatever we do, don't sit in mom guilt. Right. For the rest of your life. Right. The second half of your life about how you did a terrible job. Yeah. One is so interesting cuz you were talking that I was thinking back on, how many times I'll pull up my Facebook memories and I cringe when I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't believe I said that 10 years ago. I am so embarrassed and then I'm living in that place and I'm like, okay, I have to remind myself, okay, I'm not that person anymore. I have evolved since then. And for a long time I kind of debated like, well, what do I do? Like I'm really embarrassed about that. Should I delete all of these Facebook memories that make me feel uncomfortable? And ultimately I decided no. Like I'm gonna keep them there so that I can see that I have evolved, that I have grown, and I think that doing that has helped me also to extend compassion towards other people, you know? Cause sometimes I do look at people and like, oh my gosh, they are so naive. Like they have no idea. And then I can remind myself, oh, remember when you said that one thing and you were like super embarrassed 10 years later, like, it's gonna be fine. Like everybody's on their own journey. Everybody's on their own timeline. And it's gonna be fine. Uh, it helps me to extend that compassion towards myself that okay, I am capable of evolving and also that compassion towards others. That that's just where they are right now. And I remember that place. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think anytime we can do that for ourself and other people. Mm-hmm. It's just such a gift. And when my kids started having kids, so I had some grandkids mm-hmm. And I thought, oh, grandmas are supposed to be visit. Mm-hmm. But I, I didn't want to. Mm-hmm. And so, and so, and so I actually got, had to get coached on it. I went and got coached myself because I was having all this drama, like, I should really want to babysit. Yeah. And I love, I love when my grandkids come over, but I don't wanna watch'em two, three days in a row. Mm-hmm. I mean, I can do it occasionally, but not, not like, you know mm-hmm. Weeks on end. That's just, it's just not my thing. And I had to like, kind of clean that up. Mm-hmm. Because it was like, well, who says that's what makes a good grandma? And I was like, well, I don't know. Like that's kind of what my mom did. She helped me a lot. Mm-hmm. So I should, you know, want to do this. Mm-hmm. But I had to like get to know myself and be okay with how I was a grandma and it looked different than the way my mom was. And it's okay. Yeah. And so it was extending grace for my past self, my, my current self. Mm-hmm. Right. And then also my future self. Yeah. And what a neat thing to incorporate during the time of transition is acknowledging what things you do and don't want to give a wholehearted yes to, right? Like if you can't give a wholehearted yes to babysitting the grandkids, you know, three, four days a week, that's okay. It's good information to have, but not making it mean that you're a bad grandma. And also like noticing like what an amazing opportunity is an empty nester to have more time and space to invest into the things on purpose that you can give a wholehearted yes to because you do have that time and space. Right. Right. But most people, once they become empty nesters, they're like, I don't know how I ever did it. Yeah. Because like, I have no time because we end up filling our life back up. Right. Right. And so it, it's just giving ourselves that, you know, time and space to really evolve mm-hmm. And figure out what it is we wanna do next. And, and maybe that is working, traveling. I mean, it can be just a variety of things. Mm-hmm. So my next question for you is around presence. Like we kind of talked about how we are maybe resisting the future of the idea of all the kids leaving the house and also like living in the past of the fear and guilt and oftentimes those prevent us from being present. So how, how would you suggest to people that they helped you plan and prepare for the future? Um, so that they can have a smoother transition with fewer casualties while also remaining present and enjoying that time when the kids are home. Yeah. So I think that it's just being very aware of like, what, what's coming up for you? And if you're having some resentments about, you know, like the kids are leaving or like, You have to be very aware of what's running on in the background of your brain. Mm-hmm. And what thoughts are happening so that you can be very conscientious and choose those on purpose instead of they're just running around willy-nilly. Mm-hmm. Right. And so there's a couple of'em that I kind of keep my eye out, and this is something that I do like in the present. This is like how I try and maintain presence is, If I am distracted by like my phone or you know, something going on and I'm not there, like when my kids are visiting or if I'm going on a hike and I'm just, you know, all up in my head about other things, it's, it's like, wait a minute, wait a second. Let me just take a breath. Mm-hmm. And let me just like settle into my body for a few minutes and just like, enjoy what is mm-hmm. And then also, like if I have like some nagging things that are running under the surface, like resentments or judgements mm-hmm. About, you know, something that maybe is going on, then I, I can actually like put that on a list and then when I want to address it, it's like I take that box off the shelf mm-hmm. And I'm like, okay, I'm gonna open this up and I'm gonna look at a few of these things because I saw that I was starting to become a victim to my kids. I was thinking that my life was so hard because my kids, you know, I have so many boys and they're got really big personalities, and I was becoming the victim of my own kids. I. But I had to be onto my brain about what I was making, that, how I was ha creating that for myself. Mm-hmm. And so it takes that ability to slow things down and like question your own self. Mm-hmm. Like, what am I doing here? Mm-hmm. Like, what am I creating? I love that. So just noticing, taking a moment to take a breath. Notice that that victim energy's coming up, either victimhood around the kids leaving or maybe you wanting them to leave or whatever the story is you're telling yourself, but just being aware of what the story is so that you can decide if you wanna choose it on purpose or choose something else. Yeah. So my one son just graduated from high school. Mm-hmm. And he's trying to, you know, spread his wings. And so I had asked him to clean his room. Mm-hmm. And he said, actually, I'm just gonna move out. And I was like, well, that's totally an option. Yeah. And he goes, well, I don't really need my mom telling me what to do. And I was like, I know, but your room's a mess. So you kind of do. Yeah. And, um, I watched myself get a little bit resentful towards him. Mm-hmm. Because the, the thought that was running through my mind was like, for everything I did for you, this is how you're gonna repay me. Mm-hmm. And I was like, wait a second. First of all, I've never asked for repayment. Mm-hmm. And I, he is not indebted to me. Mm-hmm. He is his own human with his own path. Mm-hmm. And so I was like, where did that come from? He doesn't owe me anything. And so anyway, so I was able to just kind of let that story go and then I could have a conversation with him in a lot cleaner way, because if I hadn't, then I probably would've escalated and like, you know, you're being a big fat jerk. Mm-hmm. Not those words, but something similar. Yeah. And then I would've showed up in a way that I didn't respect. Yeah, I probably would've created some more regrets. I would've had to go back and apologize, you know, which I'm not opposed to doing. Mm-hmm. But if I can catch it in the moment so that I am being very present with the emotions, because my anger came up immediately and I, and I know that most of the time anger is a secondary emotion. Mm-hmm. And so when I was able to let you know, process through the anger, I knew underneath it was just hurt. Like, Like, I just wanted him to be a little bit kinder. Mm-hmm. And so then I could have a conversation and be like, you know, the way you said that, like the way you said, mommy, I don't want my mommy telling me what to do. Mm-hmm. You know, that kind of, that hurt me a little. Mm-hmm. And so, you know, just be aware of like the words that you're saying and like what your intent is. Mm-hmm. Because, you know, you create hurt in the world when you do that stuff. And, and he was like, you know, I'm really sorry mom. Which was a better outcome for me than me losing my mind. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think that there's a big, a big part of the transition is practicing that radical acceptance, right? Where I can make a request of my adult child to clean their room. And they can fulfill the request or not. And also kind of trusting the process, right? Because in my brain I'm thinking, well, isn't that interesting? Because, you know, he wants to move out because mom says, Hey, you need to clean your room in our shared space. But what's gonna happen if he moves out into an apartment and has a roommate that has a different standard of cleanliness? So it's like, okay, I mean, sure, that's fine, but it'll either be your mom or your roommate or or you know, unless he has a place by himself. And then he is probably paying a bit more. And it's like, I mean, you know, we all get to pick. What you gonna choose? You're gonna choose to pay, rent. You're gonna choose to clean your room. You're gonna choose roommate situation. And it's all just radically accepting. Okay, this is how they're gonna learn and grow. It doesn't mean that they don't appreciate me as a mom, it doesn't mean anything other than this is them practicing having their own free will and agency to figure out how they want to navigate life. And that can be a pretty cool thing to witness. Right. Yeah. And we get a front row seat. Yeah. To watching our kids be adults. Mm-hmm. And so that's like amazing. Okay. There's one thing, there's one other thing, like I have to touch on it. Oh, good. Let's hear it. Um, because I have six boys. Mm-hmm. I had a lot of resistance about daughter-in-laws. Mm-hmm. I had a lot of stories and, and by the way, I am one. Yeah. But all I could see was like, what if I have a lot of daughter-in-laws and they don't get along and they don't like me. Mm-hmm. And so when my kids were younger, I was like, make sure you marry somebody who likes me. Like they can like you, that's good. But me, I'm more important. Yeah. Totally not true. But, as I got into coaching and understanding, like what I was creating with that was I was creating a situation with future daughter-in-laws that was gonna be really destructive. Mm-hmm. Because I was already a victim to them. I was setting myself up and they didn't even exist yet. Yeah. And so I realized that I could just love whoever my kids marry in advance. Yeah. I can just love them ahead of time. So then, you know, like my boys will say, I know I'm dating this girl and, and I gotta make sure you like her. And I was like, I love her. And they're like, no, no, no, mom, you don't know her yet. I'm like, no, no, no. I love you. I trust you. Mm-hmm. And I love whoever you pick. Yeah. Like, I just love them in advance and it, so then it keeps my side of the street clean. Mm-hmm. And I'm not going in with all this like, anticipation or nail biting about Oh my gosh. And it's that same resistance that backpedaling. Mm-hmm. You know, that energy of like, I don't know if this is gonna work, like having six daughter-in-laws. Ah. Mm-hmm. Right. And once I shifted over into that, like I am just gonna love them. Mm-hmm. No matter what, and I can choose that for myself and for them. Yeah. Then it just made it so much easier and I wasn't creating. Suffering ahead of time. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that shifts the relationship so much when you can choose not only to love, the future in-laws, ahead of time, but also to just to choose to love your child like a after attending life coach school, where they really teach on that a lot about our job is to love, like that's it. We can just choose to love people regardless of how they show up. And I think of how much that has shifted and improved the quality of my relationships with my kids when I'm like, yeah, you know what? They're gonna make mistakes. Guess what? So did I, I can just choose to love'em no matter what. They're not gonna do things exactly the way that I would've done them. Guess what? I didn't do things exactly the way my parents wanted me to do'em. I'm like, we, that's part of the process. That's part of the adulting. And, and when you're able to show up and be like, you know what? I love you. you know what? Maybe you're gonna make mistakes, but I'm still gonna love you and I'm. I'm really curious to see how you're gonna navigate this. It completely shifts the energy of the relationship and I think makes it more likely that they will actually come to you for guidance and support because they won't have that fear of Uhoh. Is mom gonna like her or not? Like, I don't know if I wanna bring him home. I don't know how this is gonna go, but it's just, Hey, like this is me and this is how I'm gonna show up and yeah. That's beautiful. That's a beautiful expression there in that relationship. Yeah. And the guidance part, like guiding your adult kids. Mm-hmm. Uh, one thing that I've learned is I thought that if I told them, like they came and they asked me. Mm-hmm. Then I thought, then well then why aren't they following it? Yeah. Like, why are they asking my advice if they're not gonna follow it? Just don't ask. And then I realized like, oh, this isn't about me. Yeah. And they're just trying to. Basically use me as a sounding board. Mm-hmm. And they're trying to soundboard off my brain. Mm-hmm. And I can give them that. Yeah. And I don't normally, now I don't give them a lot of advice. I mean, occasionally I'll kind of try and help'em a little bit like I. You know, steer them if they, if they really, if that's what they want. Mm-hmm. But I usually ask them mm-hmm. Like, what is it that you want? What do you think? Yeah. How do you think that you can work this out? How do you want to solve it? And it allows them to critically think through for themselves. Mm-hmm. And that is actually so beautiful to behold. Mm-hmm. Because then you get to watch your kids' brain unfold in a really, and it, and it doesn't think the way that you do. Mm-hmm. And that's okay. Mm-hmm. It's okay. Yep. Yep. That is beautiful. Well, Michelle, this has been a very enlightening discussion. I'm so glad that you're able to come on here. And do you have any other additional thoughts in closing here? Uh, I think, no, I think we covered most of it. That was a, that was, this has been amazing. Oh, good. I've enjoyed myself too. So, Michelle, how can people find you if they wanna come and follow your awesome content? So, I have a podcast also. It's called Win your Weekends. And it's on all podcasting platforms. And then I'm on Instagram and I'm also on TikTok. Awesome. And I'll put all of her contact information in the show notes so you can easily just click and connect with Michelle. So yeah, thank you so much for being here, Michelle. This has been great. Thanks Marianne. All right, you guys, I hope you have a great week. Bye now.