S05|01 - A Minimalist Life: Stillness, Simplicity and IntuitionJul 18, 2022
I’m back from a lovely 6-week break from IG and the podcast… and I’ve learned some things along the way that I feel called to share with you. I spent much-needed time resting, pausing, being still, connecting and spending time outdoors. Doing this taught me a lot about my own self-worth, how to be more intentional in my be-ing and my do-ing, and why it’s kind of amazing to do less.
What we chat about today:
- Minimalism in our life, parenting and schedule
- Simplicity in life comes from stillness, pause and rest
- Self-worth tied to productivity
- Sneaky expectations in parenting
- Tuning in to our parental intuition
Coaching has changed my own life, and the lives of my clients. More connection, more healing, more harmony and peace in our most important relationships. It increases confidence in any difficulties that come up in parenting, which helps you be the guide and teach your children the family values that are important to you- in clear ways. If you feel called to integrate this work in a deeper way, that’s what I’m here for.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life, where you go to school to be taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you learn. Now, you can get that help here.
I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and use life coaching tools with connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.
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Hello, welcome back to the podcast. I am so glad to be here. I took a little break. I haven't ever taken a break between seasons yet, but it felt much needed. And, I also took a break from Instagram. I'm excited to share with you in today's episode, all the things that I learned during that break.
But first of all, welcome to Season 5. Welcome to any of my past listeners. Welcome to new listeners. This podcast is all about connection, connection-based parenting, parenting in a different way than what you may have been parented and what your parents have parented and what, you know, all the generations up until now may have parented.
And, because it's so different, it takes a lot of intentionality; and it takes a lot of self-healing, of inner healing - some people call it inner-child healing - and that's all the kinds of things you can expect from this podcast.
You can come and listen to some mindset tools, to some emotional tools, to some client stories, to my own stories. I think that we learn so much better from story, and that's what happens here. That's what we do on this show. So, thank you for being here. I want to put a little plugin to share this show with others.
If you feel like it's been supportive for you and it's helped with your relationship with your kids, I would love it if you could either share it on social media or share it with a friend and spread this work even farther.
And, if you were interested in learning coaching and learning how to implement these tools in a deeper way - not just consuming this, but really integrating it and doing that healing, and you want more guidance in that process - then check out my coaching program below or reach out to me on social media, and we can chat.
I love working with moms who are amazing, who are successful, who are doing such a good job in parenting. And, I love to help them have even better relationships with their kids; to help them figure out their family values, figure out how to instill boundaries, figure out what it is that they want to teach their kids and do it with a little bit more intention.
The 3 things I learnt during my break
So, if that feels like you, definitely reach out. Now, let's get into episode, Season 5, Episode 1, A Minimalist Life: Stillness, Simplicity and Intuition. So, these are three things that I learned during my break. I learned all about stillness, all about simplifying and slowing down and rest. And, I was able to spend time more intentionally, tapping even deeper into my intuition.
And, I would love to share with you these three things that I noticed during my break.
Number #1, rest. Rest is so important. Rest is important for the soul, for the mind, for the body. Rest doesn't have to have a purpose to it. You don't have to be doing it just so you can like check off, ‘okay, rested today, off my day.’
Rest doesn't need to be productive. It doesn't need to have any sort of reason. You can rest just because. What I've noticed is that rest, even though I was getting better at it, I still was feeling like it needed to be like, you know, I'm going to lay down on the couch for 20 minutes so that then I can go do these other productive things - versus rest just being a part of my rhythm of the day.
When I'm feeling like I either my soul or my mind or my body needs it, I'm just going to go and rest. It doesn't have to be something that's earned. I don't have to have finished a bunch of things before I rest. It doesn't even need to have a purpose. You can just rest.
I think in our society, we've been taught that rest isn't okay, that we need to be Go-Go-Go, Do-Do-Do, Busy-Busy-Busy all the time. And, I think that the opposite is actually true. I think that the more that we're able to rest, the more we're able to heal.
So, take some time just to tune into your body, your mind, your spirit; take time to really listen to what it needs. Does it need some rest? Do you feel a little bit physically exhausted? Maybe you feel a little bit mentally exhausted. Maybe you feel spiritually or emotionally exhausted. Just take some time to rest.
Sneaky expectations in parenting
I think that rest is not only so helpful, but I think that it's really hard for us to allow ourselves to do, because we've been raised in this culture where productivity is really up there, right? We're like, ‘no, we have to be productive. We have to get a lot done. We have to write to-do lists. We have to make a lot of money. We have to be successful.’
Like, we have all these expectations in our mind. And, even if they're not crazy expectations, we can also have some sneaky expectations. I had a client who reached out to me, and we were chatting back and forth; and she was talking about how she had this idea of having a super-fun summer.
She just wanted to be a super-fun summer mom. And so, in her mind, it was like every single day, out on an adventure; going to the pool, doing stuff. Also, she's pregnant and has lots of little kids.
So, she has this idea of this like super-fun summer mom. And also, has this body that needs nourishment, this baby that's growing inside, these little kids that need help; herself, that needs help. And so, this sneaky expectation of what a fun summer looks like, kind of just wiggled its way in there without her even really noticing that it was there.
And because of this expectation she had - which sometimes our expectations are kind of subconscious - she was frustrated at herself and her situation when some days she just stayed home, and they just rested and they just played and they really didn't do a whole lot.
They didn't get a lot “done”, and they didn't go out as much as she had hoped for. So, she felt like it was kind of failing. So, when we were able to zoom out and kind of notice what those expectations were, one thing is if we did fulfill all those expectations, if we were able to be that super-fun summer mom and going out every single day and doing things every day, what would we make that mean about us?
Would we make that mean that we’re finally fun, that we're finally a good mom, that we're finally a good person; this is the way it's supposed to be, that we're whatever culture is expecting us to be? What expectations when fulfilled would make us feel-- Would it make us feel better about ourselves?
Self-worth tied to productivity
For some reason, our society has mixed up self-worth and productivity, and kind of enmeshed those two things together. So, we think the more we do, the more we get done, the more active that we are, that we make that mean something about us and our inherent value and worth that. We're a good person.
That we're a good mom. That we're enough. It's like our output, our to-do lists. That's what makes our self-worth. But really those two things aren't connected at all. Our self-worth is inherent; doesn't ever change, doesn't shift.
It's just innate. It's like a rock. It's just there. It's the shape and the size that it is, and it's always going to be there. We don't need to hustle our way to self-worth. You can't hustle your way to self-worth. There's no amount of doing more that's going to finally allow you to feel that.
It's like we have this measure of enoughness; like once we finish this race and we get to the end of whatever it is we feel like we need to do - that will finally allow ourselves to feel enough, to be enough, to be okay, to settle down. But our brain never reaches that.
We never allow ourselves to feel that enoughness, unless we give it to ourselves intentionally. So, my goal here with rest and what I noticed and what I would invite you to notice also, is to do less and love yourself more. Intentionally focus on your self-worth and focus less on your productivity, on your output, on your to-do lists.
What I've noticed is that when I do that, I naturally do less, with more intention. When I spend time just resting and I spend time just being with myself in the calm and in the quiet. And, I spend time focusing on my self-worth and my own value and my own enoughness, then I don't have to do so much.
But what I choose to do, I choose it and I choose it with intentionality. I'm deciding what I'm going to do, and it doesn't have anything to do with my self-worth. So, the number #1 little tip I have for you that I learned, and I think is so useful, is Rest.
Take time for rest; and rest in all the areas - body, mind, spirit.
Number #2 is Stillness. And obviously, this is connected to rest, but you don't have to have a 20-minute nap or you don't have to take a long time to tap into stillness.
Simplicity in life comes from stillness, pause and rest
I read that listening to birds chirping, decreases your blood pressure. Being in nature, having that amount of green space can actually negate what's going on in your brain because of the screens in the tech that we’re around. Right?
So, if you spend a lot of time on your phone or a lot of time on your computer, you might notice that you have a little bit of that brain fog or lack that creativity, or you have a hard time slowing down your brain. All of those kinds of things are negated by spending time outdoors in nature.
So, stillness can be out in nature. It doesn't have to be, and stillness doesn't have to take a really long time either. It's just taking that time to just calm down and slow down and be still just to pause and think and feel and be; just to slow down your thoughts, slow down your actions, allow time for quiet, allow time for boredom.
And, one of the things that I love about stillness is that it doesn't have to be calm around you in order for you to take time for stillness. So, maybe you're listening to this and you're feeling like, ‘I have a lot of kids running around,’ or there's a lot going on - like, ‘how am I supposed to take time to be still during this?’
Well, stillness is like a sense of being, the way that you can be - even in chaos; it's just mindfulness. So, I can just tune in, like I'm making dinner maybe, and I'm tuning into like how I'm thinking and how I'm feeling.
Maybe I'm being really mindful about the smells or the tastes or the textures of what's around me, what's happening around me - just to really tune in and focus on what's happening inside of me and for me. So, this can just be tiny little pockets throughout the day.
It's amazing if it's by yourself and you can find a way to kind of tuck yourself away. I have this big walk-in closet right now, and I go in there in the morning and I do some mindfulness. I might light some candles. I might sit there and take some deep breaths, and meditate; and just have time to be with myself, be really quiet and be really intentional and focused.
And, that's a great way to do it. You can go to retreats away for the weekend, where the whole goal there is, you know, to be still and be restful. But those kind of bigger pockets of time don't always happen for us.
And so, what we can also do is just take time throughout the day, maybe we're driving and we just turn the radio off. We take time just to breathe deeply and to be still, maybe we can go for a quick walk in the morning.
Maybe we can take time to be still as we're cooking or cleaning or taking care of our kids or at work, whatever it is, whatever role that we're playing, we can take time during that to pause and have time for stillness. And, what I've noticed with this is that there's power in stillness.
There's power in being able to tune in to yourself and what's going on, and tune into answers - which is what I'm going to talk about next. And also, it helps to simplify your life.
Minimalism in our life, parenting and schedule
I've been able to calm down and slow down, and really take time to slow down my thinking and my way of being, and to do a lot less. And, just that, has made my life feel so much more minimalist.
I've always been - well, not always - but for the last five or six years, been a minimalist in my home, like my physical space. I really got into minimalism; I read some books, I watched a couple documentaries, I read some articles about it. And then, I like did my whole house.
It took some time, but the purpose behind minimalism for me was to spend more time doing things, and to experience things and experience life, and travel more. And, to experience relationships more; be more focused on that, and be less focused on stuff.
And, I love minimalism; and I love what it did for me in that space in being able to access my ability to work more on my relationships, and to focus more on experience and just being every day. I loved minimalism about that, but I noticed that there were still some areas where I wasn't super minimalist.
One of them was my schedule. I still had a lot of things on my schedule, even if the schedule was like, ‘take time for stillness, but also now go read this book; now, go to homeschool your kids here, now go clean the room here.’ Like whatever those things were, I was still kind of stacking my day with a lot of stuff.
So, I started being more minimalist in my schedule. I started slowing down how much I was doing. I also noticed within my business, I had a lot of things going on there; a lot of things that I was doing, and a lot of to-do lists and tasks over there. So, I started slowing that down too. What are some things that I can do?
How can I slow this down? Maybe take on less clients, maybe send out less emails, maybe post less on social media. Just little ways to have things be a little bit more simple and a little bit more light so that I'm truly aligning this idea of minimalism with every area of my life, simplifying all of it.
Okay. Number#3 - the third thing that I learned and that I noticed was Intuition. And, a quote that I want to share with you from Sue Monk Kidd is this; “I asked myself, How many times have I denied my innermost wisdom and silenced this voice? How many times can a woman betray her soul before it gives up and ceases calling to her at all?”
I teared up when I read that for the first time, because I thought of all the times where I didn't take time for rest, where I didn't take time for stillness and I didn't take to tune in to what knowledge or what insights were inside of me.
And, I wondered how many times my soul had been trying to call me and I didn't listen. I didn't take the time to pause and to calm down and to be still, or to even trust myself.
It's through rest. It's through stillness that you'll have time to listen to you more. And, you have more important things to say about you, and your life, and your kids than anybody else. You have more knowledge with the capital ‘K’ inside of you than people do for you and your life around you.
Tuning in to our parental intuition
You are the expert in your life. Now, intuition is called by many names. So, if you're not resonating with that, it could be ‘gut instinct’, it could be ‘hunch’, it could be ‘spirit’; it could be ‘divine’, ‘inner knowing’, ‘higher self’, ‘inner wisdom’. There's a lot of different words that we use across the board for intuition, but I'm just going to for simplicity's sake, just call it intuition.
It takes that stillness to be able to tap into that intuition, for sure. But it also takes a lot of self-trust, knowing that you are your own personal authority, that you know the answer for you more than anyone else knows the answer for you.
It takes that level of trusting yourself instead of self-doubt, right? There's all these things that can block our intuition, and self-doubt is one of them. Confusion - not knowing what we should do - busyness, all of those things can block that intuition.
And so, one thing to work on, if you are leaning more towards this and you're like, ‘yeah, I want to parent in a more intuitive way, ‘I want to live life in a more intuitive way,’ ‘I want to do my business or my career or my goals in a more intuitive way’ - that is going to mean taking time for stillness and rest.
But even more so than that, it's going to mean taking time to trust yourself, to trust that you do have the answers inside of you. I just met with a client today, and she was talking about how she didn't know what to do with her child.
We were kind of working about around family values and boundaries, and she was talking specifically about screens and she just wasn't sure what to do. But as we started talking, I realized that she knew what to do. She knew before we even got on the call what to do, the not knowing wasn't the struggle.
It was the self-doubt. It was the lack of self-trust that there was that answer inside and trusting it anyways, even if it's uncomfortable. I don't think that intuition is always really comfortable, and easy, and flowy, and lovely, and sparkly, and magical. I think that sometimes intuition feels kind of pukey.
Like that thing that you feel like you know you should do, but you don't really want to do it; and you kind of feel scared and nervous and pukey, all wrapped up in one. Like, I feel it in my stomach when something happens to me and I feel that way, I know that that's my intuition calling me. I'm like, oh yeah, that's that feeling? It doesn't always feel light and amazing.
So, here's a couple affirmations to help you. If you are struggling with self-trust, remember - you don't need to know, you don't need to be right. There's not one right way to live or be. It doesn't need to be perfect. Here's some thoughts that might help too. I have everything I need. Everything I need is inside of me. I trust myself. I give myself permission to be wrong. I give myself permission to try. I love myself no matter what. I can tap into my intuition whenever it's needed, it's always there for me.
If you're really struggling with this concept of self-trust, I want you to think of some other source. So, what I mean by this is if you have a belief in God or belief in divine; maybe you have a belief in the universe or source, or some other religious or spiritual belief - I want you to think of something greater than yourself.
And, in those times when you're struggling to trust you, trust that there's something greater than yourself out there that's connected to you, that you are that also - some people call it like the divine inside of you or the God spark - but you have that inside of you. And that, that trust of something greater than you, even when you are struggling, can sometimes help to build your own self trust, your own Inner Knowing.
So, those three things - rest, stillness, intuition - that's what I gleaned over this six-week break that was awesome. And, I was able to simplify not only my life, but also my business and take on less. And, it's just really been lovely.
Privilege & Self-actualization
I want to mention something, also, that came up when I was chatting with a friend of mine.
We were talking about privilege, and we were talking about self-actualization. So, if you haven't already heard of this, you can Google it, but Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is like a triangle. And, it's more so than a triangle, it's more of like a ladder. Like you have to kind of get to the first rung in order to climb to the second rung, and so forth.
So, the bottom is physiological needs - air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction. And then, we go on to safety needs – personal security, employment, resources, health, property. There's love and belonging needs like; connection, and belonging, and intimacy.
We have these esteem needs. And then, eventually, we get to self-actualization, which is desire to become the most that one can be. And, when I think of connection in parenting, I think it is in the self-actualization level. That's what we're helping our children to get to. It's also what we're helping us to get to, but we have to go through these rungs first.
And, I also recognize that there's a lot of privilege to this, right? I was raised in a home where I had the ability to have good access to clean water and healthy foods and education and nutrition, and not everybody has that.
And so, there can be blocks that can be blocking you from being able to kind of move up to this ladder. So, I just want to take the time to recognize that I know that it is a privilege to have help, and support, and guidance, and the ability to kind of work on this idea of self-actualization.
And also, that if you're out there and listening to this and you are struggling with this and you are maybe struggling to make just the basic needs be met for that basic love and belonging, I just want to honor that you're doing that work and that it is big work to do. And then, just touching this work can make shifts happen, even just knowing about it and acknowledging it and becoming more aware, can make big shifts happen.
So, that's all I have for you today. I would love to hear more from you about what you want. So, maybe there's like a difficulty that you're having in parenting that you would love for me to do an episode on, or you have some questions about, or maybe there's a guest that you're like, ‘I think this would be such a great connection, you really should have this person on,’ I would love to hear all those little bits and pieces from you.
And, I'm excited to dig into this season with you and to share more sparkly goodness and wisdom. Each week, it's just going to be a little nugget of something that I feel like is going to be really useful and really helpful for you. If you're not already on my email list, make sure you hop over to the show notes and click on the link there and get on my email list, and we will see you next week.
Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me, send it to a friend or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.