During our empty nest years our health can challenge us. It’s just a fact of life that we can’t do everything at the same level as we use to do. Our bodies due to stress and time begin to break down. It starts with just the little aches and pains here and there, right?! Well, for some of us, those little aches and pains turn into bigger issues. That's how it happened for me...
For a number of years I’ve had some hip pain but I chalked it up to over use from running. I stopped running and tried biking instead. I loved biking but over time my thumb started hurting and I couldn’t shift the gears without pain. That's when I started swimming, thinking that was a good idea since "everyone" says it’s the easiest exercise on your body as you get older. I was really starting to feel like I was 100 years old. At this same time, I noticed that my neck was bothering me and it especially flared up when I was swimming. Keep in mind, I’m a terrible swimmer so I thought for sure it was just my technique.
Come to find out it wasn’t my technique at all….
I finally decided to get it checked out. Fortunately, during this time my husband was a business consultant for a brain and spine surgeon, who also practiced functional medicine. Functional medicine doctors get to the root cause of the pain rather than just treating it. This is a very simplified definition.
So after two MRIs, we discovered that my hip and thumb pain were from inflammation, nothing structural but my neck was in bad shape. To my surprise I have degenerative disc disease. I also discovered that my disease could've been avoided had I been treated earlier.
28 Vials of blood later
After 28 vials of blood and weeks of waiting, the doctor uncovered that I had an overgrowth of yeast in my stomach which led to leaky gut, which in turn caused my auto immune disease. I also wasn’t absorbing most vitamins and minerals from my food. I wasn’t getting the nutrients from food that my body needed to function properly so it had to get it from some where, so it stole from itself. Thus the deteriorating of my discs.
I’ve since been treated for the yeast and I’m still working on healing the leaky gut. But the neck was too far gone. Unfortunately, I have to have surgery to replace the 4 discs.
What I want to point out here and the moral of this story, is that even though I’m now going through a new transition, the same tools apply. I still implement the 6 Love What’s Next Pursuits into my everyday.
I continue to exercise
I continue to exercise…Move It Or Lose It Pursuit. Of course it’s not the same exercise I’m use to doing, but I still move my body and eat what my body needs now more than ever.
I find ways to add in my Simple Bliss Pursuit, those simple pleasures that bring me so much joy. I can’t have caffeine or dairy any more which was pretty devastating at the time (you all know how much I love my Starbucks Lattes) but I’ve come to love a decaf, coconut milk latte almost as much.
I lean on my friends
I draw on support and love from my friends and family (Humans Pursuit) and I’m constantly working on what I love to do the very most, my Limitless Spark, and that’s helping women navigate successfully through their midlife transitions. I enjoy more than anything seeing a client, someone who I’ve come to admire and adore, uncover what brings them unimaginable joy during their new season in life. It’s incredibly rewarding and brings me so much joy!! Through my Limitless Spark, I’m able to add the Stash Some Cash Pursuit into my life because I’ve created a business out of my new identity and purpose.
I embrace this new stage because I know how
My life doesn’t have to stop because of this new transition I’m working through. I’ve got the tools to embrace it and still find joy amongst all the changes it’s brought into my life, which is all any of us can ask for, right?!
If you have a big transition you're working unsuccessfully through, let's chat. Together we can create a game plan for you so you too can embrace your new stage in life. It will be the best free hour of time! Go to my calendar and set a date for us to talk!
Share with us in the comments box below your transitional stage that you're navigating through and how it's going. Does my story resonate with you?
The second half of marriage starts once the kids leave the nest, but this can be a difficult time for many couples. They find they were so caught up in the lives of their children for so many years, they forgot to build their relationship with each other over the passing years. Kid's needs seemed to come before their relationship and over time they drifted apart.
As a mother of three, I understand how this can happen. As mothers we tend to put our children's needs before everything else in our lives, including our spouse. Right?! I remember my dad telling me that if he and my sisters and I were drowning in the ocean, my mom wouldn't think twice to save her girls first. He wasn't criticizing my mom, he was simply sharing the love and protective nature of a mother. He understood and accepted it.
Sometimes as mothers, myself included, we can take that love and protection too far, and this is where the disconnect between you and your spouse can happen. Side note: By no means am I saying that this is the only reason husbands and wives drift apart. Each person plays a role for sure, this is just one example.
Whenever my husband and I would have any struggles, it was usually centered around the kids and many times because I was quick to defend them and in return not support him. This caused hurt feelings and resentment which pushed him away.
After years of doing this, I remembered my dad (oh the wise one) sharing more words of wisdom with me. He said, "Remember, your kids will grow up and move away but you'll be with your husband for the rest of your life." Of course we all know this, but do we really take it to heart and thus, prepare for the second half of our marriage?
Well, if you've found yourself in this predicament, I have some tips for you that will help you reconnect, fall in love all over again and enjoy this new phase in your life.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST
Rediscover who YOU ARE now that the kids are grown. In order to be able to give to someone else, it's important to love yourself first and find joy every day in your life. If you're not happy, it's hard to show love to others, especially your spouse.
2. BE CURIOUS
Be curious and open yourself up to learning something you've always wanted to learn. Take a class, listen to podcasts, and read more. By doing this you bring something of interest to share into this renewed relationship with your spouse. Instead of talking about the kids, challenge yourself to share something new that you learned.
3. KNOW YOUR SPOUSE'S "LOVE LANGUAGE"
We all have a way we show love and a way we receive love. Knowing what that is for yourself as well as your partner is so important to the health of the relationship. When you understand your partners love language it helps take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs, and therefore, they feel loved. If this is a new concept, you can learn more about how to identify your Love Languages through this link.
4. BE MORE ADVENTUROUS
This begins with being open to experiencing things you wouldn't normally think to do. Take a walk or an easy bike ride after dinner and share about your day with each other, instead of sitting in front of the tv. You're not only experiencing something different than your norm, you're creating a healthy lifestyle...physically and emotionally. As well, be open to doing things your spouse enjoys even if it's not something you would normally choose. You'll gain serious points with that one! Having an adventurous spirit can bring excitement and youth back to your marriage.
With the right attitude and a willingness to rediscover your relationship, this truly could be the best years of your life.
I wish you all the happiness in your marriage during this new stage in life!!
Sara appears to have it all together, a great marriage to a wonderful guy with three amazing kids. She has a successful career as an interior designer and lives in a beautiful home in a nice suburb outside of Denver. On the surface, Sara is happy.
But what you don’t see is what she’s hiding and what she so desperately wants out of life…JOY! Being present in her life, being grateful for all she has been given, having purpose, that spark the sets her soul on fire, and finding peace no matter what life throws her way. This is the kind of joy she’s seeking but doesn’t know how to find any more.
Over the years Sara and her husband have had their fair share of ups and downs along the way, who doesn’t right?! But they've always found a way to come together. But over the last couple years they’ve somehow drifted apart. They’re both really busy with their jobs and haven’t made each other a priority and with all three kids grown and on their own, they’ve found they have less and less to talk about.
Sara does enjoy her job but somehow she's feeling a sense of loss she just can’t shake since the third of her three kids, Jake, left for college this year. She’s always had a good relationship with God and she tries to call on him daily for peace and direction but isn’t always the best at that. Being a mother has always been her most fulfilling job so she’s feeling an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about her new role as a mom of adult kids and how to find that fulfillment/purpose again in something else.
Oh, and on top of all that the wrinkles are creeping in, gray hairs seem to be popping up every where and weight gain is harder to keep at bay. She’s having a hard time staying positive about her self image which plays out in her intimacy with her husband.
She's introspective about the world and how she fits into it, especially now that her kids are grown and she’s not a full time mom any more. She asks herself often, “Who am I in this new phase in my life and will I be as happy as I was before my kids left home? Can my husband and I rekindle that spark we use to have? I just don’t know where to begin."
This is a similar story I hear from women who enroll in the Love What’s Next Project. They live very blessed lives but still feel unfulfilled with where they are in life. It’s incredible to see the transformation that happens when they begin to move out of this rut and into a daily state of joy!
Does any of this sound familiar to YOUR STORY right now in your life? We all go through different transitions throughout our life time but some are more difficult to work through alone. I created the Love What’s Next Project to help women rediscover who they want to be in their next phase in life because I could so relate to the woman in this story.
I would love to help you grow and mend your most meaningful relationships and show you how to create a life you can’t wait to live!! If this sounds like something you’re searching for in your life then let’s chat! Set up a time to talk with me at your convenience. Just don’t wait too long and let another day of not living a life you love when I can help you move quickly to JOY!
Let's Chat! Click the link to my calendar and schedule something TODAY!
CAN YOU RELATE TO SARA'S STORY? COMMENT BELOW AND SHARE YOUR STORY!
I’ve so been there! You know that rut that feels like a canyon you just can’t seem to climb out of. You so desperately want to feel more joy in your life but you just can’t seem to muster up the energy and the will power to do it. Every night before you go to bed you tell yourself tomorrow’s the day, I’m going to start that exercise program and I’m going to pack a healthy lunch to take to work. I’m going to reach out to my friend I haven't seen in forever to see if she wants to meet up this week some night for a glass of wine. I’m going to look for a new job online during my lunch break and then I’m going to make a delicious dinner for my husband so we can have a really nice dinner together.
Morning comes, the alarm goes off an hour earlier in order to have time to get to the gym and make that healthy sack lunch before you head out to work. You hit the snooze button and fall back asleep. Now, you’re behind and don’t have time to get everything done that you told yourself you wanted to do before going to work. You’re mad at yourself but not mad enough to jump out of bed and move fast to accomplish at least one thing, a walk or pack your healthy lunch.
The rest of the day ends up being just like every other day in this “canyon” you’re trying to climb out of…unsuccessful and disappointed again. You didn’t pack a lunch so you had to go out for lunch. That led to not having time to look for a new job during your break. You weren’t in the “right mood” to call your friend to set a date to meet up even though you know it’s what you need to help you get out of this funk and after work you’re feeling defeated again and don’t feel like cooking so you pick up pizza for dinner.
And the cycle continues…Am I right?!
If this sounds familiar or a story similar, just know you’re not alone! EVERYONE at one point or another goes through this “transition". Whether it’s something traumatic that’s caused this rut, like the loss of a loved one or overcoming an illness or maybe it’s a transition into empty nest (this is most definitely a feeling of loss), we’ve all felt this way or will some time in our life. Our parents are aging, our kids are moving out and we’re facing a "new normal”.
I most definitely felt paralyzed when the youngest of my three left for college. I so wanted to be excited about life but I just didn’t know how to climb out of my “canyon”. Over time I got so sick of feeling this way that I finally decided to make a change. I committed to making one, small, NEW, GOOD decision a day. Focusing on one, new thing prevented me from feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Instead I felt accomplished and proud of myself for making progress towards my “new normal”. That one decision led to another and another and over time I was soaring above the canyon full of joy!! I began to research what the most successful, grateful, and joyful people in the world do to prevent falling back into that rut. I studied them, tested and experienced each one and those were my ONE, NEW, GOOD decision each day that I implemented into my life that catapulted me out of the canyon.
If you're in a rut and want to be led out as quickly as possible, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We can set up a time to chat! Make that email to me your first, NEW, GOOD DECISION on the road to finding joy every day in your life!! I've been there, I can help!!
I had this dream when my children were born that one day we'd be friends. Now I understood that I first would have to be a parent and guide them as best as I knew how through this crazy life but eventually, I hoped they would want to share their life and confide in me like a true friend. This was my goal and it wasn't going to be easy I knew that for sure.
I also knew it wasn't going to happen in high school and probably not fully in college either, although I hoped I had created the ground work while they were growing up that they could trust and rely on me for anything.
As my children each graduated from college, our relationship did grow into an authentic friendship. It's actually more than I could have possibly dreamed of having with each of them. They actually call to share what's going on in their lives without being prompted, and they genuinely want to spend time with me. Okay, so I do offer to make them dinner occasionally and make them cookies (lol) but I truly believe the feeling is mutual. The highlight of my transition into empty nest has most definitely been growing my relationship with my adult kids.
So, how did I do it?!
I could share all the ways I laid the ground work when they were kids but that's probably not going to help you today because if you're reading this most likely your kids are grown, right? I'm going to share a few things I do today to grow our relationship that will totally help move you in the right direction and then, I'll share my number one tip at the end.
1. BE INTERESTING
Do you know what I mean? Don't talk about the crazy neighbor, the weather or go into detail about your favorite TV show (unless it's there's too). Instead, challenge yourself to learn something new every day so you have something of interest to share. Read the news, listen to podcasts, talk to the person in line at the coffee shop or follow people on social media who inspire you and subscribe to their newsletter. Not only will this help with your kids but also grow your relationship with your husband or partner. If you're doing this you can always bring something interesting to the table.
2. BE AN EXAMPLE
Go live your life! Experience all this life has to offer YOU! Now, is the time to try that cooking class, learn to dance, become a certified yoga instructor, join a group, volunteer, whatever interests YOU, go do it! Kids are the same when they're young as well as adults, they learn by example and if you're living your life to the fullest so will they!
3. BE VULNERABLE
This is the #1 tip but it's also the hardest for us moms! We're so use to being strong for our kids that the thought of being vulnerable seems counterintuitive right?! Well, think of it this way, when you're with a good friend and they open up and share something they're really struggling with, it grows your relationship right?! You feel more connected especially if you can help them work through their problem. This is the same with your adult kids, if you want to have an authentic relationship you have to open yourself up in a vulnerable way so they can feel safe to do the same. But not only that...they just might be able to help you work through what ever it is you're struggling with in your life. Give them that opportunity, they're pretty darn smart!!
This doesn't happen overnight by any means but it's a way to start. Be patient and overtime you'll see your relationship grow into a beautiful friendship!
If you want to share any thoughts you have regarding your relationship with your adult kids, share with us in the comments below.
So I’ve always thought my husband and I communicated love to each other pretty well but one day I read something that was a huge "AHA" and changed everything for us! The Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman completely changed how we communicate love to each other. Stay with me here, it’s actually fascinating!!
I was listening to a podcast by a couple of ladies, who read self help books, and then implement it into their life for two weeks. They come back, share their experiences and report back if it worked. When they first decided to read the Five Love Languages, they were pretty cynical about the whole concept. They thought it was a crazy concept.
The book explains that we all have at least one “language” out of five, that describes the way we show love as well as how we feel loved and appreciated. According to Dr. Chapman, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
The podcast ladies didn’t believe in the idea of "love languages" so they went out to prove the theory false. What they didn’t expect to have happen was how it changed their friendship as well as their marriages.
In my case this was the same. My main love language is to show love by acts of service and my husband’s is to show love with words of affirmation (the book helps you identify what yours are if you’re not sure). What I didn’t understand at the time was that we also want to be shown love in the same way as we give it and if we aren’t getting that we don’t feel loved and appreciated because we don't recognize it as an act of love. Does that make sense??
So once we both realized this, just like the women on the podcast, we became more aware of what our partner needed and we could show them love in their language. When you understand your partners love language it helps take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs.
This changed everything for us! Our communication today is so much better, we tend to disagree less, and we definitely appreciate each other on a different level.
Knowing and understanding how your children feel loved and appreciated ("Love Language") can grow your relationship with them as well. One of my kid’s love language is “quality time” so I know when they ask me to do something with them like stay up late and watch a movie, even though I’m exhausted, I say, “yes!” because I know it makes them feel loved and appreciated. It’s totally worth it!
I would encourage you to read the book ASAP! It will change the level of joy you currently have in your life!
This post is based on our Humans Pursuit, creating and growing lasting relationships. To learn more about how our Love What's Next Six Pursuits can bring more joy into your daily life, click the link.
Comment below if you've read this book and how it's changed your life!
Embrace life and Love What's Next!!
Think about it…when was the last time you accomplished something meaningful on your own? Whether it’s raising kids, starting a new career or jump starting an old one, moving to a new city, recovering from a health crisis, or overcoming the loss of a loved one (just to name a few), we need each other and it takes a village as they say, to get through this life successfully!
Recently, I received the sweetest message from a friend I haven’t talked to in years. Last year she became an empty nester like me and was really struggling with the loss. She said looking back she’s not sure why it was so tragic but "it’s a huge heart thing…letting go.” Her note was to thank me for inspiring her through Love What’s Next, "where women can get wisdom when they can’t see what’s right in front of them.” (her words)
Empty nest syndrome is a very real thing and can take a while for some of us to recover. Just like any of the examples I just noted, it takes a support system, a village, to overcome this struggle and move into the next chapter in life!
Her note touched my heart so much. I so love what I do and for her to take the time to share her heartfelt message meant the world to me. Thank you Valeri!
Are you struggling with something currently and trying to deal with it alone OR are you asking your friends and family for help? Who’s in your village? Take the time today to thank them. Without them in your life, you wouldn’t be where you are today…guaranteed! If you're looking for a village to help you maneuver through something meaningful, check out our Scholarship Program below! We'd love to be your support system.
We all need a village and we want YOU to be apart of ours! I believe every woman should have the opportunity to Love What’s Next. So we want to make sure every woman CAN! We offer 24 scholarships a year so if you, or you know someone who is in need of the Love What’s Next Project, click below to learn more. We all need a village and if you need help navigating through this next phase in your life, we'd love to help!
Love What's Next Project
If you're someone who doesn't need a scholarship but would love to find a path that leads to joy during a transitional stage you're facing, you're in the right place! This is what you'll experience in this life changing Project...
Now that the kids have left for college and you’re trying to muffle through all the feeling of loss and sadness, why not figure out what’s next for you? What can YOU do to rediscover who you are without kids full time?
I have a solution….
In our Love What's Next Project our participants use an acronym to help them uncover what it is they want to do within each of the 6 Love What's Next Pursuits and then make it a reality. It’s called the RISE Higher process...it's so simple and yet it works every time!
It takes you step by step through the Pursuit to really figure out what you want to do and how to accomplish it.
I’m going to show you how this can work for you based on the question at hand…”What NOW?"
R-REFLECT: Think about what it is that you want to do now that you have extra time and write down everything that comes to mind. Here is an example…
I-IDENTIFY: Decided what it is you want to do from your brainstormed list of ideas.
S-SEEK: Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to seek out the avenue that will enable you to accomplish this new pursuit.
E-EXPERIENCE: Now that you’ve REFLECTED and taken the steps necessary to IDENTIFY what it is you want to do and you’ve SEEKED out how you can make this a reality, it’s time to EXPERIENCE it.
The last, but not least step in the RISE Higher process, is to document (journal) your experience! This gives you a roadmap for the future. If you write about your experiences, how you’re feeling about this new adventure, and what you’ve gained or not gained from it, having written it down will help lead you the next time you want to figure out “what’s next”.
Viola! That’s how it’s done! Easy Peasy RIGHT?!
Now it’s your turn! Use the RISE Higher process to discover what’s next for you during this new phase you’re facing. It can be your next great adventure!!
Do you have an idea of what you want to do now? Share with us, we'd love to hear all about it! Use the comment box below.
We live our lives making decisions every day but how often do you make a NEW decision?
Yes, every day we're making decisions but most of the time they're the same decisions. We wake up at the same time, we eat the same thing as we're running out the door to make it to work on time, we listen to the same people on the same radio station and most often we do our job the same as the day before.
Have you ever thought about how one decision could've changed your life?
Have you ever looked back on your life and thought...
Well, this is the thing... we can't live wondering about the "what ifs" but we can make a decision to change the course of our life simply by making ONE NEW DECISION different than the norm today and then tomorrow and then the next day and so on...
What if...you decided to make ONE NEW DECISION a day?
Imagine this... tomorrow you decide to get up thirty minutes earlier than normal to take a brisk walk (one new decision...just one!). Then the next day you get up again thirty minutes earlier, take a brisk walk AND THEN practice gratitude while on your walk thanking God for all your blessings (one new decision....just one!). Then the next day you get up again thirty minutes earlier, take a brisk walk, practice gratitude while on your walk thanking God for all your blessings AND THEN you decide to listen to an inspiring podcast while driving into work (one new decision a day....just one!).
HOW WOULD THIS CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
First of all you in this particular case you will have more joy because within five minutes of moving your body, you will feel happier! Once you get moving, your brain releases serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals make you feel good! So it's proven, starting your day moving your body will only improve how you feel about your day.
Then, practicing gratitude allows us to see everything that's good in our life rather than focusing on what's wrong. It's proven that people who practice gratitude daily tend to be more positive, sleep better and are overall healthier. When you feel good and you have a positive attitude, people are drawn to you. You'll meet interesting people and they could potentially introduce you to something new and exciting.
Lastly, when we feed our minds with inspiration in this case, through a podcast, we can't help but feel more motivated in conquering what's important to us. It sends a jolt of excitement to want more in life and the more you feed this part of who you are the more successful in life you'll be. This then leads to you being more active and taking action in reaching your goals. Opportunity then arises and before you know it you're on the path you've always dreamed of walking.
These are just three examples, of three new decisions, made over three days. Can you imagine if every day you added upon each new decision you made where your life would take you... simply by making ONE NEW DECISION A DAY!?
YOU WOULD LOVE WHAT'S NEXT!!
To change the level of joy you have in your life, it doesn't take a major transformation...it takes simple, daily, new decisions built upon each other to re-discover what's next for you in this new phase in life.
What's one NEW decision you are going to make today? Share with us in the comments below.
It's 6 am and you're lying there in bed thinking about your day. Are you looking forward to it or dreading it? Are you planning to do something that fills your soul with joy or are you just going through the motions of your life...just getting by?
I believe everyone has in them something that makes their soul sing or what I like to call their "Limitless Spark". But not everyone knows what it is or is willing to makes the effort to figure out what it is, so they can accesses it often in their life.
There are the lucky ones (you know them right? Super passionate!) who from the time they can remember have always known what it is that feeds their soul and will do anything to figure out a way to make it a reality. But for those of us that it's not so clear, we need to figure out what it is.
One thing I know for sure is that we were all made to know what it is that gets us excited to jump out of bed and start our day doing what we are meant to do. We all have it in us, it's just whether or not we're willing to take the time to figure it out.
I was one one of those people who didn't know what made my soul sing except for being a mom so when my kids left, I needed to re-discover myself in order to figure out what my Limitless Spark was.
What I discovered was the importance of taking action daily and a desire to be fulfilled, in order to figure out what it was. It took countless hours of prayer, journaling and research. But when I did figure out that my Limitless Spark was made up of leading and inspiring women to live a life full of unimaginable joy, I had to figure out how to make this a reality in my life.
When I started Love What's Next, I didn’t know how to create an online business or how to build a website or how to market on social media. But I was given some really great advice but so simple from my husband, who is incredibly smart and successful, he said if you don’t know how to do something it’s simple, Google it! Simple right?! So that's what I did to figure out how to live out my Limitless Spark! And one of my favorite mentors, who I found online, Marie Forleo, also says, "Everything is figure-out-able." And it’s so true!
So in order to live out your Limitless Spark, that thing that gets you excited about life and makes your soul sing, you have to be willing to take action. Take action to figure out what it is and then take action to learn how to live it and implement it into your day... every day!
You Limitless Spark doesn't have to be a career like it ended up being for me, there are so many ways to implement what it is you're meant to do without it being a job. The last Pursuit in the Love What's Next Project is uncovering what you're meant to do... YOUR Limitless Spark. All the other 5 Love What's Next Pursuits are important to discovering what's next and finding joy there but it's the Limitless Spark Pursuit that completes the circle to having true joy every day in your life!
Do you know what your Limitless Spark is or are you searching? Share it with us in the comments below.
Nicole Cavey is the Chief Pursuit Officer of Love What's Next. Through her personal journey to uncover what was next for her, she discovered that you can love where you are no matter what stage in life you are in... as long as you know how. Her mission is to show YOU how!