Oh my goodness I struggle with knowing when to parent and when to just support my adult kids. Can you relate? I do trust that my husband and I've done our very best to raise them but you know when that "momma instinct" kicks in and you almost can’t stop yourself... what do you do?!
It’s so hard right?! I recently had an experience where my son was traveling 8 1/2 hours in his ’97 beater Geo Prism car, he lovingly named Gary, in a major thunderstorm (hail, tornados off in the distance, heavy rain) on his way to very important, life changing event. Everything that could go wrong pretty much did. He had it all under control but I was dying inside wanting to “advise” him on what to do.
Then the really, stupid, overprotective questions come into play, right?
Duh…it’s one of the most important days of his life and he’s not going to do or think of all these things!
What is wrong with me!?
I’M A MOM!!
I don’t think that feeling will ever go away but for me it’s learning when and where it’s appropriate to “offer" my advice and how to control my “mom emotions" (which probably are the strongest emotions I carry with me). Learn how to trust that I really did do a good job teaching my kids how to function and be successful in life! I think it’s through trial and error we learn.
I’ll admit it I didn’t have my finest moment through this one, but I definitely learned something...he does have his act together (I always knew this but remember that mom instinct to protect kicks in) he’s responsible, he’s spent the last four years on his own and he’s been able to create a successful life without me in his life every day! Isn’t that what we really want?
My mom says you never quit worrying about your babies no matter how old they are but you do learn how to support them, cheer them on, and pick them up if necessary from the sidelines instead of on the field, in the middle of the game! In other words...Keep your mouth shut and only give advice when asked! Yikes that's going to be hard!! LOL
If you struggle with knowing when to parent your adult children, comment in the box below and share what you do to overcome the "momma instinct" to protect!
Over the last couple weeks I have been facing a potential NEW TRANSITIONAL STAGE in my life. A few months ago, I noticed a lump in my right breast. I’ve been diagnosed in the past with having fibrous tissue in my breasts so to be honest I wasn't terribly worried. We had new health insurance and I had to find a new doctor and an imaging center so that was taking some time. I really wasn’t in any big hurry because I’ve found these in the past and they’ve always been nothing to worry about until… a few weeks ago while in the shower, I found that the lump had changed shape and size significantly.
As you can imagine this was quite frightening to say the least. It took me a week to get into to see my new doctor and another week before I could get a mammogram and ultrasound. During this period, I took a lot of time to reflect on what I was facing and how I would handle it. After the shock of what I had found and the immediate fear and sheer panic that ran through my entire body, I actually found some peace. Don’t get me wrong, every now and then my stomach would drop thinking about the “what ifs”.
This is how I found peace throughout this very scary time...
Throughout my four year Love What’s Next journey, I worked really hard to find joy…to be present, to be grateful, to have purpose and find peace. I discovered the Six Pursuits to Love What’s Next and I implemented them into my daily life. It was through this that I found the joy I was looking for when I was left with an empty nest and facing a new transition in my life.
So here I was faced with another very different kind of potential transitional stage in my life. I knew I was the healthiest I’ve ever been (Move It Or Lose It Pursuit) and I also knew I had the love and support I would need from my family and friends (Humans Pursuit) if it turned out to be the worse case scenario. I also know how to find joy in the simplest of things (Simple Bliss Pursuit) and I have something I love to do and can’t wait to jump out of bed every day (Limitless Spark Pursuit). And finally, I’m covered financially if that became a necessary step (Stash Some Cash Pursuit) .
So next, I had to figure out how I could take this new stage in my life if it happened, and do something I wouldn’t normally do (Redefine Normal Pursuit). What I didn’t mention earlier was that about 14 years ago I had a lump removed, it was benign thank goodness but I will be completely honest, I didn’t handle it well. After the surgery, I spent most of the weekend crying and living in fear while we waited for the test results to come back on that following Monday.
So this time through I definitely wanted to handle it differently…REDEFINE NORMAL to experience something different!!
On my four year LWN journey I spent every day praying, journaling and practicing gratitude. It’s incredible the direction that's given when you do these three actions. So this is exactly what I continued to do through this new experience and what ultimately could’ve become my next transitional stage in my life. I had so much peace and calm this time around. I’m not naive enough to think that it couldn’t happen to me, it wasn’t like that at all, I had a sense of peace that no matter the results, I could endure and actually thrive with whatever results came, because I know where to find joy even in the thick of a really difficult phase in life.
Thankfully, the lump turned out to be a clump of cysts and nothing to worry about. It was at that moment that I cried uncontrollably in thanksgiving. It was very different from the tears I shed in fear fourteen years before.
Please know that I'm not passing any judgement on anyone who’s going through this and having a difficult struggle. It’s a horrible experience to endure and I was extremely fortunate with my outcome.
I share this with you only to express how grateful I am for the journey I had to go through when my kids left home because it’s change my life in more ways than I even knew it would! I didn’t realize until now the gift of that journey and how it would affect this new journey I'm now living.
Are you going through a difficult transition right now? If so, can I help you. Let chat! Schedule a time for us to visit and see how I can help you. Nicole's Calendar
Life is full of transitional stages...graduation, marriage, new career, motherhood, a new move, kids going into school for the first time, kids graduating, divorce or being widowed, aging and empty nest are just a few that you may be currently experiencing or have faced at one point or another in your life.
Many of these life changes can be difficult to maneuver through with joy. I can check many off that list that I've experienced so far in my life and I can honestly say I didn't always deal with them with grace....BECAUSE CHANGE CAN BE HARD!
I was reminded again during my most recent life change, empty nest, that changes can be stressful...let's not kid ourselves, life is stressful and how we deal with stress ultimately determines how much joy we have in our lives.
Stress doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing though. Wouldn't you agree that without stress you'd probably be less determined to accomplish your dreams and goals in life? It's those stressors that move us to change the current situation or "transitional stage" we are in and how we feel about it.
I recently learned that there are two types of stresses...eustress and distress. Eustress is the type of stress that usually creates a positive outcome like the stress you feel buying a house or the stress that comes with learning something new. The outcome of these two examples is a positive one...a new house and a new hobby or career.
Distress causes a negative outcome and usually is brought on by not being prepared and comes from things we can't control such a death. Negative thought patterns such as worrying and being fearful of things we can't control can most definitely be distressful as well. The outcome is most often anxiety and depression.
So how do we deal with both so that we can find joy (being present, being purposeful, being grateful and finding peace in our life) during the transition we're each facing right now?
Just being aware of the two types of stresses in our lives and their outcomes, will help us to not react but be more thoughtful to the different stress that comes along due to this new phase in life. If we think of the situation we're in as a eustress (positive stress, one that will bring a good outcome) not a distress (negative stress, negative outcome), we can use this new phase in life as motivator to move us to take action to find joy in this new stage in life. And know that distress can be turned into eustress if we make a positive change in our thinking and actions.
I completely understand this isn't an easy task and it usually doesn't happen overnight, at least for me it didn't. I created the Love What's Next Project to bring eustress (positive stress to gain a positive outcome) into the lives of women going through a transitional stage in life so they can discover what's next and figure out how to love this new phase they're in. Through simple, daily challenges (eustress, positive stress) participants design and create a life they love!
What our Love What's Next Project participants are saying and how they've take the stresses in their transitions and turned them into positive outcomes ...
"Had two great interviews! I’m grateful for my new opportunity, increased income and feeling validated yesterday by being considered for two jobs." -Jennifer LWNP participant
"Here’s my spontaneous “redefine normal” favorite moment so far. I was walking out of Target today when this gentleman asked if I could buy him lunch. I asked him if I could join him. We had a pretty amazing conversation about life and choices and belief systems. " -Carrie LWNP participant
"So I finally got a run in! My goal was a mile and I made it 1.25 Miles. Woohoo!"- Rauna LWNP participant
When my youngest was gearing up and excited to leave for Gonzaga University at the end of his senior year of high school, I was secreting "dying" inside. My heart was breaking, in fact I'm holding back tears right now thinking about it. I understand not all moms go through this but it was a very sad time for me. I was so sad when each of my three kids left for college but with the older two, I always knew I had at least one more at home to care and tend to.
My kids have always been my most important purpose in life and I think many of my friends would say the same thing, so when they all left, I felt like they took my purpose with them.
I share this because I know some of you are experiencing these feelings right now as your own babies are getting ready to leave too.
It's a feeling that is indescribable! Am I right?! You don't want them to stay but you don't want them to go either. There's a huge sense of loss but at the same time you're excited for them to spread their wings. You worry about them making the right choices even though you know in your heart they're ready to make them on their own.
You still want to be needed. You wonder what will I do once they're gone?
I'm not sure you ever get use to them being gone but you do find a new normal. I'm here to tell you it does get easier with time and once you find a "new purpose", understanding they will always be your number one purpose, life begins to look a lot brighter. And once you're ready, you can begin to write your next chapter and you can write it however YOU WANT!!
Because I've been where you are and I went through years of learning how to find joy with an empty nest, I can lead you on the most amazing journey of discovery to find "what's next" for YOU!
In 13 short weeks (it took me 4 years) you will begin to rediscover yourself again without kids and experience all that life has to offer. It's AMAZING where this journey will take you. I've never had so much joy..EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Our next start date for the Love What's Next Project is September 9th. Perfect timing for you to jump start this new chapter in your life as your babies are leaving to begin their new, exciting adventure!!
I so wish I had this Project when I was facing what you are today! I PROMISE YOU that I can show you how to find more joy in this new transition in life.
When my kids left to pursue their dreams and I was left with an empty nest, I didn't have a clue what was next for me. I started a business with a good friend and colleague in a previous company, a few years before my youngest was leaving for college, truly in hopes to have a new purpose. Most of my career I've either worked for start-ups or started my own businesses which I love to do but raising my kids has always been my purpose and what has brought me the most joy.
So, when the business with my friend failed and my youngest left for college, I was right where I hoped I wouldn't be...WITHOUT PURPOSE!
This post isn't necessarily about empty nest or my sad story, it's about living with purpose and how important that is to our joy! Joy is a sense of being...being present, being grateful, being purposeful and finding peace in our every day life.
Do you have purpose in your life? You know... that one thing that gets you out of bed excited to start your day? That one thing inside you that if you don't do it you're not fulfilled some how?
I call this your Limitless Spark, feeling like you are doing what you're meant to do, and I believe every person no matter what, has to have purpose to possess joy.
Step back for a minute and think about it and ask yourself, "What is my purpose?"
Our purpose can change overtime and we can have more than one, so I don't believe we have to find our "one true purpose" in life. You just need to constantly be living with purpose throughout your life to truly have joy.
If your answer to the question, "What is my purpose?" is "I don't have one!" Not to worry! I can show you how to find yours...the purpose you're looking for right now in your life... right where you are.
Over the four years I searched for purpose and joy in my life while I faced empty nest, I discovered what it takes to love what's next and how to find joy there. There are six, key, areas in life (I call them Pursuits) that we need to access daily to have joy and the most important of the six, is purpose...Limitless Spark Pursuit!
I found the formula it takes to uncover purpose and then how to implement it in your life! It wasn't easy and it took years to figure it out and then, put it all together in a Project so that I can teach you how to find yours too!!
But if you're living your life with purpose, it doesn't necessarily mean you're always going to be happy. You will definitely feel like you're doing what you're meant to do but because life is constantly throwing curve balls at us, we need the other five Pursuits of the Six Love What's Next Pursuits to help us create a sense of being present, being grateful, and finding peace in our every day life.
What if you deliberately decided you were going to spend more time trying to be happy? Do you think you actually become happier?
It's an interesting question, right? I recently read an article where a woman, Dr. Brett Ford, did research in four countries Japan, US, Taiwan, and Russia, on this exact question, "If we deliberately decided to spend more time trying to be happy would we actually become happier."
As I put some quick thoughts to this question, I began to think of how I would spend my time trying to be happier.
Before my love what's next journey, I probably would've first written down all the things I thought made me happy....favorite foods, favorite activities, and who I enjoy sharing those things with and I would attempt to do them all in hopes to be happier.
How do you think you would spend your time being happier? Would you too make a list of all the things you love to do and do them? Would you go buy yourself something nice or do something nice for yourself like get a massage or a manicure?
What I found was that all those things I thought would make me happy were fleeting. That kind of happiness isn't sustainable because it only lasts for a short period of time. But just for the record there isn't anything wrong with doing these things. They are fun, they do bring a smile to your face and they play a role in your joy...but just a small one.
So what is it that creates joy? If you have been following me for a while you know my definition of joy...joy is a sense of being...being present, being purposeful, being grateful and finding peace. The goal in life or at least how I see it, is to create JOY not happiness every day.
Well, what's fascinating about this study Dr. Brett Ford did was that the other countries were happier when they spent more time being happy but the US didn't. She discovered that other countries spent their time doing things for others such as a family member, friend or their community and the US participants spent time doing things for themselves hoping to be happier.
Aha! Finally the answer to the daunting question, "How can I be happier?" isn't about us...it's about others!
Well, that's not the complete answer but it definitely plays a huge role. In the Six Pursuits to Love What's Next, I discovered that 70% of our joy comes from our relationships (Human's Pursuit) so this makes perfect sense. Develop your relationships by spending your time doing things for the people who mean the most to you and in return your joy will increase.
So the next time you are feeling low, don't rush off to buy yourself something hoping it will make you happier, think about who you could do something nice for in your life and do that instead! It's proven to make you happier!
Can you relate to this topic? Do you have a specific incident where this rings true? If so, tell us about it in the comments below. Thank you for sharing!!
I think sometimes about how hard it can be to be ourselves…truly who we're meant to be. I especially feel this way while I’m continually building my business at Love What’s Next. I want everyone to love what I have to offer because I believe I have something really great to share and I believe everyone could benefit from what I learned while on my LWN journey. So I’m constantly trying to figure out how I can appeal to everyone so I can reach more people. But it hit me the other day, I can’t appeal to everyone, not everyone is going to like or relate to me and that’s okay.
The only thing that matters is that I am true to who I am! Be who God made me to be and share that with the world. I can’t be who I’m not to appeal to the masses. If I can do that, then I will find "my people".
Do you ever find yourself feeling this same way? Afraid to be who you are for fear someone might not like or accept you? I’ve always admired those people who know who they are and aren’t afraid to be themselves.
I heard a story yesterday of a young man, who from the time he was really little, loved to sing. In fact, he always had a tune in his head going most of the time. One of the things he loved was singing in the shower and as he grew older it was either rap from Chance the Rapper or contemporary Christian music. I know, seems like a contradiction, I was thinking the same thing but it’s actually not, Chance sings about his faith in his music too.
He’s played on a traveling sports team most of his teen and now adult years and has a new roommate every time the team travels. Growing up he was conflicted by being himself (singing in the shower or just openly playing his Christian music like he did every day) and taking the risk that the guys he’s rooming with might not like him or judge him in some way.
On a most recent trip he decided to be completely himself. He cranked his Christian music while he was in the shower every morning on their trip and sang just like he would in the privacy of his own home. He also played his music in the hotel room whenever he was just hanging out in there.
Because this guy was being himself, it allowed for his most recent roommate to feel comfortable about opening up to him about his life and some family issues he’s been struggling with at home. That particular weekend three guys from his team asked to go to church with him while on their trip.
To me the moral of this story is that when we are ourselves, it allows others to feel safe to be themselves as well. The world needs each of us to be who we're meant to be. People need what we have to offer no matter who we are.
This guy needed to be himself at that particular moment so that his teammate had a friend to confide in about his struggles. I need to be myself fully so that I can help those who are looking to love where they are in whatever transitional phase they may be in and YOU too, need to be yourself and share with the world who you are. You just never know who you're going to meet that needs you in their life!
What holds you back from being truly yourself? Take one step today showing someone who you truly are and see what happens. If they turn you away, they're not "your people" and that's okay. You can't make everyone like and accept you and that too is okay. When you accept and understand this, it's actually quite liberating!!
A big part of loving what's next and finding joy there is connecting with your tribe..."your people". We were made to connect and have lasting relationships so why not create those relationships with the people that "get" you?! BE YOU so you can find them!!!
It's not what you do or what you have that matters, it’s who you become. -Mathew Kelly
Share in the comments if you can relate. Loved to hear your story!
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At the start of every year, we reflect back on the previous year and ask ourselves if we lived up to everything we set out to do.
We might ask ourselves...
Why is it important to us to set goals to reach new heights? Scott Barry Kaufman, author and researcher said it best...“Years of research on the psychology of well-being have demonstrated that often human beings are happiest when they are engaged in meaningful pursuits and virtuous activities." We do this because it actually makes us happier believe it or not!
So, based on how we answer the above questions usually determines where our focus will be the next year. What do you want to accomplish this year? I heard from many of you on social media what you plan to do and I celebrate you and everything you want to accomplish this year! I'm your biggest cheerleader!!
Having pursuits is awesome, but to be successful they must also be in accordance with your best self. Choosing pursuits that align with who you are and what you believe, result in greater outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction. It's true! Have you ever set a goal but it didn't really resonate deeply with you? If you're anything like me, chances are you didn't reach your goal and if you did, it was probably pretty painful getting there.
So instead of asking yourself questions like the ones above at the end of the year and the start of a new one, begin the year asking one of the most important questions for success of any pursuit, "WHY? Why is this pursuit important to me?"
Simon Sinek, best selling, motivational author and speaker says, “that it’s not enough to know WHAT you do and HOW you do it. At our essence, we are most motivated by knowing WHY we do things.”
So this year, when setting out to make this the best year ever, take some time and reflect on this year's pursuits and why they're important to you. Do they resonate with your best self and are they meaningful and virtuous? If your answer is "YES" and said with excitement, you're on the right track!
Happy New Pursuit Year!
If you have a word of the year to help keep your focus on your pursuits, comment below what it is and WHY it's important to YOU! We will be doing a drawing for a my intent bracelet with all those who share.
Every day you have the opportunity to create your own story. Have you ever thought of it like that? Every day is the start of a new piece of paper in a new chapter in life. I’ll admit I didn’t always see it this way. When I was transitioning from my role from every day motherhood to an empty nest, I had a really hard time figuring out how to create my own story. I was so caught up in figuring out what happens at the end of the chapter of this stage of my life’s story (that’s where I'm living a life full of joy and purpose as an empty nester), that I couldn’t create what happens on page one!
Does any of this resonate with YOU?! It doesn’t even have to be empty nest you're going through. It could be any transitional stage in your life like... motherhood for the first time, a relocation, a relationship change, or a career change.
We all go through different stages in our life, and I like to think of these as new chapters. Once I figured out that I do have control and I figured out how to create and design my own life every single day, life appeared very different. Through the Love What’s Next Six Pursuits that I discovered, I now know how to CREATE MY OWN, ON PURPOSE, INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY.
On page one of your new chapter in life, you don’t have to know how it ends to begin today to love what’s next and live life to it’s fullest. That’s the truly beautiful thing!! You just need to know how to get there.
It is my true hope and wish that through our Projects at Love What’s Next, you can learn how to create YOUR OWN, ON PURPOSE, INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY too!
Comment below what transitional stage you are going through in your life and I'll share with you what Project would be best for YOU!
This time of year can be difficult when you’re in a transitional stage in life. Moving to a new town and not having your normal friends and family near or starting a new job and maybe money is tight and you can’t get home for the holidays. If you have lost a loved one and this is your first year without them it can be extremely difficult.
It can also be the best time of year if you are going through the empty nest stage and your kids will be home for the holidays or you have since moved away and you are heading home yourself for the holiday season. There are all kinds of emotions that go along with this time of year, but whatever it may be for you, it’s important to be sure you set yourself up for success for when the holidays are over.
I lost my dad this past June and the holidays will be different this year without his sweet, jovial, giving spirit. I didn't always get to spend the holidays with him and my sweet momma but the traditions we celebrated from a distance will be missed. I will be forever grateful to him for the example he set for me of giving and the true reason we celebrate this season.
If the holidays are a difficult time of year for you, staying focused and diligent on your normal, daily routine of meditating/prayer, exercise and feeding your soul with positive and motivational content, can be extremely helpful in getting you through this difficult time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones to help you get through this time of year and creating new traditions can also bring a positive light. My family is planning a new tradition that will reflect on who my dad was during this time of year.
I know from my own personal experience that January can beat me up! I come off of this huge high of having my family together and being busy with the festivities of Christmas that when it's all over there is a huge let down. Can you relate?! Don’t get me wrong, it is nice when things slow down again but after the dust settles do you find yourself asking yourself, “What’s next and how can I find joy there?”
Love What’s Next was created to inspire each of you to learn and experience ways to create a life you love... ALL YEAR LONG through our Six Pursuits. So even while you are rushing through the season, you don’t lose sight of what fulfills you the other eleven months out of the year... and when the dust settles, you still have joy, purpose and meaning in your life.
We are offering a FREE Project called the 24 Days of Holiday Fun to enhance your experience this time of year with fun challenges in each of our Six Pursuits. We call them "challenges" but don’t let that word scare you...these challenges are FUN and EASY and will make your holiday season so much brighter! This won't add to the chaos but only help YOU get into the spirit of the season more!!!
So whether this is a happy time or a difficult time of year for you, this Project will only create joy! I PROMISE! I hope you choose to join us!
Comment below what this time of year brings for you. We would like to support you at Love What’s Next.
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!