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

Navigating Life's Transitions: Lessons From a Cross Country Move

August 10, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 53
Navigating Life's Transitions: Lessons From a Cross Country Move
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
Navigating Life's Transitions: Lessons From a Cross Country Move
Aug 10, 2023 Episode 53
MaryAnn Walker

In this podcast episode, MaryAnn Walker shares her personal journey and insights during a major life transition - moving her family across the country. The episode delves into MaryAnn's recent move and the valuable lessons she learned along the way. She discusses topics such as managing expectations and manuals for herself, family, and friends, practicing presence and self-compassion, dealing with decision fatigue and information overload, as well as self-care during a transition.

Want to connect or book a call?  Click here! https://linktr.ee/maryannwalker.life

Show Notes Transcript

In this podcast episode, MaryAnn Walker shares her personal journey and insights during a major life transition - moving her family across the country. The episode delves into MaryAnn's recent move and the valuable lessons she learned along the way. She discusses topics such as managing expectations and manuals for herself, family, and friends, practicing presence and self-compassion, dealing with decision fatigue and information overload, as well as self-care during a transition.

Want to connect or book a call?  Click here! https://linktr.ee/maryannwalker.life

Well, hi there and welcome Back. So today I'm just going to own, it ran out of the gate that I am a little bit more anxious than usual with this recording. And I'll tell you why it's, because I'm trying something new. So I have been traditionally just putting this podcast out just with the audio. But I thought, you know what, I'm going to lean into the discomfort and I'm going to also record video for this podcast so I can publish it on YouTube. So in addition to being on the regular podcasting platforms, I will now officially be posting more content. On I YouTube. I have been posting my little reels over there that are like generally 90 seconds, but I thought, you know what? I'm going to lean into the discomfort of putting my face out there even more. so you can come and find me on YouTube for those of you that have found me on YouTube. And you want to learn more? this is actually episode 53 of this podcast. So that means that there are 52 other episodes that you can listen to on any of the major podcasting outlets. Um, so you can just find me by searching for inner work with Marianne Walker. I cater to the helpers, healers and people pleasers. And so if what you find here in today's episode feels helpful and supportive for you. Come and find me on apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon music, and more. And you can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik TOK. So let's connect. And speaking of connection, I have something to share that was so unexpected. I literally laughed out loud. So I like to randomly check my stats to see where people are listening from. It helps me feel more connected with my audience, and it's also really fun to see all the places that people are listening from. It's fun to see places that I visited that pop up on my little map and it's fun to see places that I've never even imagined visiting. And so it's just really fun for me to see where people are listening from. And to see how far reaching a tiny little podcast can be. So it's been super fun, but this last week I laughed out loud when I saw which city had the most downloads for that particular episode. And I'm sure it's probably not going to remain this way for too long, but it was really surprising for me to see which city had the most downloads. So make a guess in your brain, if you have an idea of which city had the most downloads. You ready? It was Halifax, Nova Scotia. Now I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that a city that is not in the U S has had the most downloads for a specific episode. So thank you for listening and spreading the word Nova Scotia. I really appreciate you guys. Okay. So now for today's content, for those of you that have been following me, you know, that I have been moving my family across the country and I am so happy to say. That we are officially now in our new place. There are still boxes all around the places we're working to unpack and find new homes for things we did downsize a little bit. So that's a bit of a challenge. But we are here and so far, we just love it. And back on episode 41, I shared an experience where I actually took cookies to a new neighbor. In an effort to make friends. And then when they opened the door, they let me know, Hey, like we appreciate the cookies, but we're only going to be here for a year or so. So we're not looking to make friends. And, oh my goodness. You guys had a lot to say about that. So I'm going to let you know that the day that we moved in a neighbor brought us brownies. How sweet is that? So she had seen our moving truck pull up and she baked brownies and brought them over to share. So I really think that we're going to enjoy our time here. I really have learned a lot about myself through this move. And that's what I really wanted to share with you today is some of the things that I've learned. And my hope is that as I share the things that I've learned through this life transition. That it will be helpful and supportive for you. Through your life's transitions, whatever they might be. So maybe you're transitioning into, or out of a relationship or maybe you're changing jobs, or maybe you're changing your health and fitness through diet and exercise. Maybe it's a transition that you're choosing on purpose, or maybe it is a transition that has been forced upon you, but whatever your transition is, my hope is that you will find the content here helpful and supportive and applicable to you. So, as I said, like, this is a transition that our family chose on purpose. We really felt strongly that now is the time for our family to move closer to family. And we've lived away from them for 16 years. And there's many reasons why we felt like now is a good time to move and I won't get into all of those reasons, but we did feel strongly that now was the time that we needed to move. And so we chose this change on purpose. And even when you're choosing to transition on purpose, there can still be some challenges that come up with that. Now on episode 47, I was talking with my friend and colleague Michelle Evans, and she said something that was so applicable and so timely. For my move. She said that in the military, the military knows that it's during those times of transition, that they're going to experience the most casualties. And so they're very intentional about doing all that they can in order to minimize these casualties. And this thought really became my mantra for this move. I kept repeating in my mind, okay. Do what you can to minimize casualties. So it was tensions were rising and I was getting overwhelmed and I was getting too tired to really navigate things with my prefrontal. Cortex like fully online. Then I would just remind myself, okay. Breathe and do what you can to minimize casualties. And so I thought at the sentence more times than I can count. And honestly, I'm still repeating it to myself even as we are in our new home and getting settled. And so today I thought I would share with you eight things that I have learned during this move. So the first thing I learned was the existence of manuals. Now we've talked about manuals in episodes five and six specifically, but for those of you that are new here, a manual is basically our invisible list of instructions for how we think other people should think and act and behave in any given situation. And these manuals might be for other people, or they might also be for ourselves for how we think we're supposed to be showing up. And I have worked really hard to become more aware of my manuals so that I can let them go. I mean, I am a life coach, right? So I help people to recognize and let go of their manuals every day. But when it came to me, going through my own major life transition of moving across the country, even I was blown away by how many manuals. I discovered. And as is often the case. I didn't even know that I had expectations that weren't being met. Um, until I saw how people were showing up. Right. So when people started to show up differently from how I thought that they should. Then it really brought these things into my awareness. So I don't care how much work you have done on yourself personally. Life transitions are going to bring things into your awareness that you maybe thought that you had overcome. And oftentimes this comes in the form of these invisible manuals for ourselves and for others. All right. Number two, and this goes along with manuals, but digs a little bit deeper, but I recognized I had some pretty specific expectations. I have my husband and my kids. So, for example, I had an expectation in my head for how much leave. I thought my husband should be taking from work in order to assist with the move on the home front. I also had expectations for how much my kids should help. I had expectations for how much time. They should spend helping to get things ready. That was like general household stuff versus in their bedrooms. You know, I had a lot of judgements around how much time everything should take and what they should all be doing and what the cleaning up should look like. And, and the basic home repairs is where we were getting our home ready to list and to sell. And it was especially interesting to notice my brain on our last day. Right. Cause the last day was the time when my fatigue was at its peak and also my emotions were at their peak. And so I worked really hard to manage my mind throughout the move. So I was really trying hard to be a curious observer on, especially that last day. So for example, friends would stop by to say their goodbyes to my kids and my kids would stop working to say those goodbyes. And of course they would stop to say goodbye, right? This is the only home that my kids remember. And many of these friends are friends that they're never going to see again. And it was really interesting to notice my brain. Around how much time these goodbyes should take around how much time they should take to feel their feelings or what feelings they should be experiencing around different relationships. And of course my higher self knows the goodbyes take as long as they take. And that feelings just exist. They're going to come and go in waves. But the more tired I became with this move. The easier it was for my primitive mind to take over. And the primitive mind can act like a tantrum throwing toddler. If you let it. So it seemed like my brain was kind of constantly swinging between higher mind and premise of mind. And it was really interesting to watch. And yes, once I became aware of it, I was able to keep that primitive mind in check, but it is noteworthy that during times of transition, It's extremely important to do whatever it is that you need to do. In order to keep your higher mind and your prefrontal cortex online. All right. Number three expectations of friends. Now not only did I have manuals for my family and how I thought they should be showing up, but I also hadn't had. For my friends for how I thought my friend should be showing up what they should say, what kind of help they should be offering. And it's super easy to make these assumptions of other people, especially when you're feeling physically. And emotionally drained. So in addition to coaching myself around my expectations of family, then I also really had to coach myself around my friends. And I was reminding myself again and again, that friends are not mind readers. And if I had something in mind that I would like assistance with, I needed to actually be proactive about making a request for that. And it sounds so simple in theory, right there really think about when you are in need of help. How easy is it for you to ask for help? So even though this is something I've really worked on, that's something that resurfaced for me was I recognize that my old. People pleasing self was coming out of hiding and really didn't want to be a burden on other people. Like I knew how exhausted I was with this move. And because I care about my friends, I didn't want to ask them for help because I didn't want to exhaust or overwhelm them. I didn't want to share my exhaustion and my overwhelm. So I found myself practicing, leaning into the discomfort of asking for help when I needed it. And also I was highly aware of the fact that sometimes, like I knew that I had a lot of things to do, but the things I had to do were not necessarily things that I could ask other people to help with. And this was mostly around the decision-making. You know what to pack, how to pack it, what to sell all of those different details. And that leads into number four, decision fatigue. The decision fatigue was so real for me. There was one day in particular when I had a friend reach out and she asked me how she could help. And my honest answer was. Hey, could you just come to my house and follow me from room to room and tell me what it is that I need to do to get ready for this move. Transitions can be so hard and they can really lead to some serious decision-making fatigue. There were just so many decisions to be made. You know, even as I looked at my checklist of things to do much of it was, well, you need to figure out that and you need to decide on that and you need to figure out this. So it was things like, okay, well, what do I want to pack? And if I do want to pack it, how do I pack it? So it won't break. And is that too high of a risk if it's going to break and I should just leave it here on this end. And if I leave it here on this end, or I want to donate it, do I want to sell it? What's that going to look like, okay, if I'm going to sell it, what am I going to sell it for? How am I going to arrange for the pickup for this person to come and pick it up? And there was just so much coordination. And so many decisions that needed to be made and I was just completely exhausted. And so legit, this friend showed up at my house. And she walked with me from room to room and I just kept notes. And she was just my brain for about an hour. So I could just ask her questions. And she gave me some great ideas on how to pack certain things. She gave me ideas on like, what things could sell for on this end versus what they might sell for on the receiving end. If there were things I wasn't sure about if they would fit or not. Uh, she told me how to dispose of our chemicals and let me know about the lending closet on posts, where we could take things that we were no longer using, but they could really help out another family. Uh, she helped me think through how to transport my plants and how to help my cat. With the transition, you know, with that many hours in the car. And it was just so helpful. And at the end, I just filled up a bag of food from our freezer and I sent her on her way and she felt like she hadn't done that track. She's like, I felt like I just came over to get food. But honestly, it was just so helpful to have somebody else just be my brain. For a little while when I was feeling so overwhelmed. So when you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be uncomfortable, but practice leaning into the discomfort of identifying what your need is and being willing to ask to have that need met. Number five practicing presence choosing ahead of time. How I want it to show up. Now, one thing that I did know I wanted to do through this move was just be as present as possible. And as you may or may not know, I am also on the podcast, the society of happy things. And on that podcast, we pick one happiness practice that we're going to do for five to 10 minutes a day for one month. Something that has been scientifically proven to increase one's level of happiness. And honestly, I was kind of worried about the timing of this podcast launch. Because it came right during my move, but actually it turned out to be super beneficial for me. So our first happiness practice was spending time in awe of nature, not just spending time in nature, but spending time in awe of nature, which completely shifts the mindset. Right. So as part of this practice, I spent some time in the mornings, outside on my porch, just listening to the birds. There are so many birds in the Midwest, and I could hear each of their individual calls and I could hear the buzzing of the cicadas and the wind through the trees. And I just sat and listened to those sounds on purpose. Making that a part of my closing ceremony of sorts. And another day, I just sat outside in awe of the extreme heat. And humidity. It was miserable. But approaching it through that place of awe and that lens of odd, knowing that in a short while I would be living in the dry desert heat. Then it really helped me to appreciate and be in actual awe of the heat. And they oppressive humidity and it sounds so strange, but really I found so much beauty in that. And as a side note, the day that we were loading up the truck, it was 114 degrees outside with the humidity and the heat index. And it was miserable. Everybody's shirts were drenched. But shifting it to be like, wow, isn't that amazing. Instead of just beating ourselves up really helped with the actual loading of the truck. And also as part of my presence practice, I also practice being more present. With my people. So I made it a personal goal to get selfies with as many of my people as possible. Before we left. And this meant that I was whipping out my cell phone, like at Walmart or on really hot and sweaty walks when we all looked ridiculous or just wherever I was, I really was intentional about taking those photos with people. It was really interesting for me to think on how many years I had lived in that town, how many people I was friends with on social media, but we'd never actually taken a picture together, spent any significant amount of time together, where we were taking photos. So I really wanted to do that on purpose. And in fact, we decided to plan our own going away party. It was very last minute impromptu because honestly this move happened so quickly, but I really wanted to set a stage where I could connect with people. So I posted about it on social media and just said, Hey, I know it's last minute. But even if you're just able to show up for a quick selfie and a hug, I would love to see you. And honestly, there was one person that showed up where she walked in the door and she said, Hey, I'm here for the selfie. And that's exactly how much time she had. We got a selfie together. I hugged her and then she took off and it meant so much to me that she would take that time. So, yeah, it's something that was really important to me was creating space for that level of presence with each person. And it was really beautiful. What came from that practice of presence? You know, there were a handful of friends that came to visit me and sit on my couch before I left. And while they were there, they expressed wishing that we'd had more time together, wishing that we had been more intentional. About our time together while we still had it, you know, before I was leaving and it was hard and painful to sit in that. Feeling of mutual regret. And also, it was really beautiful to witness because I know that those feelings were there. Because of the love and connection that was also there. Because nobody regrets, not having time with people that they don't care about. You only regret, not having more time with people you truly do love and care about. And so it was really a beautiful thing to even witness the regret, showing up and to just sit on my couch and cry with my friends in that space. Uh, number six. Fatigue. All right. The fatigue really surprised me. I mean, I knew I would be tired, you know, as we were packing up to leave, I was basically living on caffeine. But in my head, I truly thought the other, once we get there, it's going to be so much easier. I can take my time on packing. It'll slow down. We won't be on such a firm deadline. My energy will come back and Mike would be, you know, normal again. But that hasn't happened yet. So we've been here about a week and a half and I am still honestly so exhausted. And while I was living on caffeine to get a smooth, now I'm intentionally cutting caffeine. So I can work on rebuilding that, uh, communication with my body and tuning in to see when my body needs rest. I'm doing this has meant to say no to some things that I really want to say yes to. You know, we're moving back to the place where I grew up. And so while we haven't lived here in 16 years, I do actually have some community here and I truly love and appreciate them. I love them so much. And also I've had to let them know. That my body is still on Kansas time. And my energy level is it about a four out of 10, most days. And so I find myself reminding both me and my friends where I live now. That guys guess what we live here. We've got time. So, Hey, like in a week or two, I'd love to hang out. And it's been really interesting to just notice the impact that that lingering fatigue has had on me. And also like, I have coached people through many life transitions and my brain knows that this fatigue is normal. This is all a part of it. This is what it looks like when you're going through a major life transition and. The thing has, it's not just the physical fatigue, right. There is that fatigue. That's very physical. That comes from the packing, the lifting, the moving, the hiking up and down the stairs going in and out of the track, like, like all of the weight of those boxes that you're carrying with your physical body. But there's also the emotional fatigue, the emotional fatigue that comes from saying goodbye to friend after friend that you've spent so much time with, but you've raised children with. Saying goodbye to the only home that my kids remember holding space for my kids, as they say their goodbyes to friends and significant others, you know, those last hugs where you're just breathing in the friend's scent so that you can really just soak it all in the emotional fatigue is so. Real. And honestly, that's kind of a prime example of experiencing multiple emotions at the same time. Because at the same time that I'm experiencing this loss and this morning and the screen and this longing that I'm also experiencing this joy and excitement and anticipation. And so through all of this, you know, I'm really trying hard to just be present for all of it. And I can't say that I've aced it with being present for all of these emotions, but I can't say that it's something I'm really trying to practice and leaning into. And so just notice when you are experiencing that fatigue. That. Okay. This is part of it. This is multifaceted. And even like breaking it down to what kind of fatigue it is. Is this more mental? Is this more emotional? Um, is this more physical that will help you to better identify what it is that you need in that moment? When it comes to self care? To help assist with that transition. All right. Number seven information overload. So now that we are here, the decision fatigue has dissipated a little bit, but also it has in many ways kind of exploded into this realm of information overload. So I have imagined that once we got here that I would be quite social, right. Like I be catching up with old friends and hanging out with family, but instead I have found that I am just a bit more reserved. Than usual. In fact, I noticed on my walk this morning that I am just really experiencing a lot of information overload. So, yes, I lived in this valley 16 years ago, but everything's still feels so different. So I'm trying to learn how to navigate new traffic. Uh, learn the flow of the new grocery stores and where they keep things. Get my daughter registered for a new school meeting with the new school counselor, finding new doctors and dentists and trying to memorize my new address There is just so much to take in. And the phrase drinking water from a fire hose has never felt more applicable to me. And also I recognize that this is all part of it. This is what it's like to move across the country. You can't go over it. You can't go under it. You have to go through it. So each day, I try hard to just do a little bit more. I maybe learn a new route to get to the store or I'll explore a new trail or I'll find a new store or I'll arrange a new shelf. And this is all part of it. And, you know, and this all kind of leads into number eight, which is compassion, fatigue. And it's funny because part of me wants to say that transitions are hard. And another part of me is really resistant to labeling it. As hard. So, I guess what I will say is transitions are whatever you choose to make them. So for me, it has been hard and magical and connective and confusing. It has been both overwhelming and underwhelming, both too fast and too slow for me. This transition has been any emotional contradiction. And I know that I am still not on the other side yet. Right. I'm still in the thick of it. So, I don't know what your transitional include, but I do know the self compassion is the key when it comes to making it to the other side. You're the only one that knows your energy level, your state of mind and your experience. And it can be really easy to assume the energy level, the state of mind and the experience of those around you, even those going through the same experiences as you, but it's different for everybody. And even in my own household, our emotions come and go in waves and at different times, We have good days and bad days, and they're not in sync with each other. We grieve and we mourn differently and we look forward to different things. And yes, we all moved across the country and into the same home. And also her experiences are vastly different. And while I can't know my family's individual experiences, as intimately as I know my own, I can work on me. I can take care of me. I can rest when I need to rest. I can choose to plow forward when I have the need for that feeling of forward momentum. I can manage my own mind. I can journal. I can get coached. I can do all of the things that I need to do for me so that I can better hold space for those around me. I can see that the more compassion I extend towards myself, the greater my capacity will be to extend that compassion to those around me. The more understanding I will be of how it is that they're showing up. The more understanding I will be of their personal timelines in different areas of life. Now I have so much more than I could say on the subject of moving, I could share more about what it was like to drive across the country with a very anxious cat or I could talk about what it was like when my daughter found a screw in her tire, somewhere in the middle of Colorado. There are so many other things that were a part of this transition west, but for today, I just want you to remember to just be kind to yourself. Especially when you find yourself in a life transition. For many women when they are in labor is the transition phase. That is the most challenging part. There are so many changes happening so quickly that you might not get as much relief as you would like between the waves and the stages. And the same is true when you're going through a life transition. So be patient with yourself. The relief will come and you will eventually feel recovered. But each person's experience is going to be different. So don't compare your experience to other peoples, just tune into what it is that you need. And if you need help. Do your transition come and work with me. If you're feeling too worn out to continue if you're experiencing decision fatigue, or if you just aren't sure what your next step should be. I invite you to come and work with me. I am currently accepting clients for September. So come and applying now to work with me. And Hey, I want you to know a little bit about what it looks like to work with me so that you can see if it would be. A good fit for you. So for those of you that are interested in working with me, let me tell you a little bit about what that would look like. So I'm currently offering six week packages. So that means we would meet together once a week for about an hour, for six weeks. I find that this is kind of like the sweet spot for coaching. So it's short enough that it doesn't feel like a huge commitment, but also a long enough amount of time that you can see significant growth and something else that I like to do just to make sure that we're a good fit for each other is currently. Then we will meet together for our first session and your invoice will not be sent out until after. After the first session. So that gives us a whole session where we can see if we're a good fit or not. If we are a good fit. I'll go ahead and send you the invoice and we'll have our five other sessions. And if for whatever reason, we're not a good fit, then that first session will be at no cost to you. So really there is no risk to you when it comes to working with me. So if you are interested in working with me com and email me@marianneatmariannewalker.life, or you can find me on social media, I'll also post all of my contact information in the show notes. So come and find me and let's work together. So, whatever life transition you're going through right now, it's going to be okay. There are helps and supports in place. Just remember to offer a little bit of self-love and self-compassion. Alright. I hope you have a great week and I'll talk to you soon. Bye now.