Our Modern Heritage: The Home & Family Culture Podcast
Summary: This is a family inspiration podcast where I discuss how the culture in our homes and families - the environment, habits, traditions, language, expectations, and feelings at home - are shaping the minds, hearts, spirits, and bodies of our children, and the nation, with parents, educators, authors, and leaders who are inspiring children toward success.
I have a neighbor who goes out of her way to make sure everyone in our neighborhood feels included. Their family hosts cookouts and parties all the time. They had a party for Easter and Memorial Day. For Halloween they have a table out front for snacks and make sure everyone has glow sticks. When they found out we were moving, they made sure to host a cookout to send us off right. It was so amazing to live here where this neighbor mindfully created opportunities for our neighborhood to bond. We have become way closer than we would have otherwise, that's for sure! We are normally very private and quiet. This neighbor taught me that you have to create opportunities to connect if you want to cultivate a relationship! Transformational Experiences Form Bonds Recently, a friend shared about how her son is serving a mission and feels a camaraderie and brotherhood with the other missionaries he has served with for the last two years. This story reminded me of the time I served as a missionary for eighteen months. I mostly served with women, and we become just like sisters. When I got home, I was watching The Lord of the Rings movie, "The Return of the King" when Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin return from their epic journey. They are sitting in their local pub in the Shire and no one around them has any clue what has just happened! I started bawling because that is how I felt after coming home. I grew up a lot on my mission. I felt a real bond with those women I served with who understood what I'd just been through! Shared Experiences Create An Identity As I pondered these stories, I realized how our family culture is influenced by our shared experiences. I thought back on my childhood to the things that have strengthened my family. I think of holiday traditions, road trips, service projects, and even trials. These shared experiences refined our identity as a family and made us who we are. As we work to shape our own family culture, I believe it is important to deliberately orchestrate experiences that give us our identity and strengthen our bonds. These can be epic experiences, like I talked about with Greg Denning in Episode 078 that stretch our souls and force our grit. Or, they could be Family Board Meetings, like I learned about from Jim Sheils in Episode 055. Shared Experiences Are Essential We can create opportunities for our families and communities to bond over the deliberately planned activities that create these shared experiences. In fact, I think it is something that is crucial to our modern culture. Neighborhoods, schools, communities, and congregations would do well to create ways to connect and form bonds that ultimately create a culture. Children who know where they come from and know their family stories are more resilient (See New York Times article, "The Stories That Bind Us"). When we listen to our parents tell us about their lives, or read the stories of our ancestors, we feel connected to them because their stories become our stories. Their stories become shared experiences. Even hearing or reading stories within an organization creates a bond of shared experiences. I recently watched the movie "Forever Strong" and one of the practices the coach did to strengthen his team was to give them a letter from a former player who wore the same jersey number. Knowing the person they were representing by wearing that number created an identity that bonded the players together. I feel that same connection when I hear stories from leaders recounting trials and victories in their lives. These stories create shared experiences. They create culture.
Nephi is first and foremost a husband and father. However, in the private sector, Nephi has contributed 15 years working in the medical device industry (first as an engineer and then later as an executive and CEO), launching over 100 products that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars, co-authoring 5 international patents, and leading and mentoring individuals and large teams alike. Nephi has travelled all over the world leading teams, negotiating contracts and deals, and working with government regulatory agencies and manufacturing facilities. As fun as this has been, his true passion lies in the area of wealth education. His ability to relate to kids and explain difficult concepts in ways they will understand makes him a powerful teacher. Nephi loves teaching wealth principles to kids, and a main joy and pride for him comes from helping kids succeed. He's not a stuffy businessman, but is relatable, on a first-name basis with everyone. He regularly teaches adults and youth in small and large gatherings about money, wealth, entrepreneurship, life balance, and personal relationships. Nephi finds that he feels most fulfilled when living his purpose in helping others change their mentality about wealth. True wealth is more than just money. It really has more to do with health, relationships, personal well-being, and time. Addiction is one of the biggest killers of wealth. Luckily, being entrepreneurial and creating new things is an addiction prevention program. The future of jobs and education is unknown and very likely will be completely different even 10 years from now. We need to teach our families principles which will always be true, even when everything is different in the economy. The key to success, now and in the future, is finding ways to create massive value for others. It is about being focused on helping other people. Cultivating an abundance mindset and teaching our children about wealth is easier than you may think! It's all in how we approach the topic of money! Most of us learn how to manage our money by stuffing it in a piggy bank when we are kids. Without realizing it, we were learning how to develop scarcity around money because we believe that if we spend it then we lose it. The wealthy think differently about money. It is a tool for purchasing assets to get more money. When we teach our children about their future, we want them to focus on solving problems, creating value, and fulfilling a purpose that will also provide them with a livelihood. I had a great conversation with Nephi about all of this! We can create a culture of abundance and wealth by teaching our children how to create value. Where to Connect with Nephi Website: https://wealthmentalityfamilies.com/ Facebook Instagram Katie Bell and the Wishing Well: A story of Finding True Wealth The Big Startup Guidebook for Kids: A Principle-Based Approach to Entrepreneurship
Cara Rector is the mother of five wonderful daughters. She has been guiding the homeschool efforts of her family since 2010, and she herself is the product of homeschooling off and on from her elementary through high school years. She has a great love for music and vocal performance. She has an associate degree in liberal arts from Southern Virginia University. I met Cara at the Latter-day Saint Home Educators conference in May where she gave a class on boundaries. She taught about the power of true boundaries and the destructive nature of false boundaries. I never knew there was a difference! Cara describes that having false boundaries is doing everything we can to protect ourselves except for being assertive and setting clear boundaries! She said it is like having a potted flower that needs water, soil, and sunshine but also needs protection from wind, predators, and pests. We want to protect the flower, so a false boundary would be to put that plant in a box to keep it away from those negative elements. Sure, it's safe from those elements, but it is not receiving the nourishment it needs to thrive. We set false boundaries when we refuse to address the real issue so we justify ourselves, we blame others, we ignore the situation, we make excuses all so we avoid addressing the real problem. I just heard a story about a friend who let her car registration expire. Rather than taking the time to update it, she was making sure to drive the speed limit, and paying extra to park in a garage instead of on the street so there was less risk of being caught with expired tags. Doesn't that sound funny? Yet, how often do we do things that feel safer so we don't have to confront the problem? How much extra stress do we create when we avoid finding a proper solution? True boundaries are about taking care of your wellbeing. You don't need to justify why you set the boundaries, and you aren't responsible for how other people feel about the boundaries you set. True boundaries allow us to grow with true connection rather than fostering resentment, jealousy, or retaliating against the person you resent.
Sarri Gilman, LMFT is a psychotherapist, author, and workshop presenter. She is the author of Transform your Boundaries® (2014) and Naming and Taming Overwhelm for Healthcare and Human Service Providers (2017). She has a private therapy/counseling practice on Whidbey Island and devotes the rest of her time traveling and teaching on the subject of boundaries and overwhelm recovery, trauma, and the reflective process SoulCollage® Sarri trains trainers in boundary recovery work. She has CE classes for Nurses, LMHC’s, LICSW’s and Psychologists.. She accepts a few teaching positions each year on boundaries and overwhelm recovery that will help people in the fields of healthcare and human services. Her books have been selling around the world. Each year she also offers a three-day boundary immersion retreat for people recovering their boundaries. I've been thinking a lot about the importance of boundaries lately. After talking with Sarri, I'm convinced that many of our stressors and struggles stem from a lack of clear boundaries. One of the things that stood out to me the most from this discussion was that people will get very creative when there are clear boundaries. Think of what happens when you establish clear rules about media use. I overheard a conversation about how to have a screen-free summer. The consensus was that the best way to do it was to have a clear rule that there would be no media use. Period. If there are exceptions then there are ways around the rule! That's when arguments start. I'm telling you. It's a lot easier to comply, and get creative when boundaries are clear. There are many, many benefits to having clear boundaries. I hope you discover a few in this episode! Connect with Sarri www.SarriGilman.com Facebook LinkedIn Pick Up Sarri's Book Transform Your Boundaries
Develop relationships of trust. Hank Smith PhD taught me about the importance of trust relationships based on these four principles: - Compassion: You are kind and benevolent, you value the other person, and you give them your time and attention. - Openness: You are willing to be mutually vulnerable with each other. You have confidence that the other person will not violate your trust. - Reliability: You are predictable. You will respond to situations consistently and without judgment. - Expertise: You have experience and wisdom. It is hard to trust someone who is ignorant even if they are compassionate and open. Dr. Smith told me about how to build trust through developing our listening skills. I made this infographic below to illustrate the levels of listening we experience. This could perhaps give us a clue why sometimes people believe we aren't listening! We build trust by improving our listening skills! This is such a powerful reminder that we cannot be casual about our interactions. We need to take the time to truly listen! Dr. Hank Smith grew up in St. George, Utah and has an MBA from Utah State University. He also has a Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he works as an Assistant Professor. In addition to consulting Fortune 500 companies, educators, and parents, Hank loves meeting students at school assemblies around the country. Hank has also authored many books and Audio CDs with Covenant Communications, including Be Happy: Simple Secrets to a Happier Life. Hank and his wife, Sara, currently live in Mapleton, Utah. Hank says, "Sara is amazing, she knows everything about me and still loves me." They have five incredibly adorable children that look exactly like their mother. Hank enjoys running marathons and eating lots of ice cream, which is why he runs marathons. More than anything else he loves being with his wonderful wife and children. Connect with Hank: Facebook Instagram Grab Hank's book, and Audios: This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure statement.
When I started this journey almost three years ago, I'd been studying parenting and self-help books, as well as business books. I had been wondering what it takes to have a successful family. See, for several years, it had felt like Michael and I were floundering! We had a solid relationship, but we were miserable around everything else in life. We were stressed out, mostly. Michael was underemployed, we were living in one of the most expensive areas of the nation. We were digging ourselves into a grave of debt. We were missing some of the crucial components of a successful family culture. First, the vehicle. Family culture is about your family's identity. We're a minivan family, right! Like, figuring out who your family is, is just the first step in shaping your family culture. We're Michael and Jodi, and we have four kids. We live simple, private lives. The vehicle gets your started on your journey, but where do you want to go in that vehicle? Next, you need a destination! When we first got started, of course we had a destination -- eternity! But really, what does that mean? What do we really want to accomplish and become as we travel toward that destination? That's where a mission statement comes in. Your family mission statement is your destination! Third, a GPS. What does that mean? When you get started out toward your destination, you probably have a general idea how to get there. But soon, you find yourself on unfamiliar roads. What do you do? You bust out your GPS and see where you are in the world. That global positioning allows you to get a big picture so you can envision the next steps in your journey. Your GPS is your family vision. Where do you picture your family in ten years, twenty, thirty, forty years? That's your vision. It's where your legacy develops. Fourth, every navigator needs a compass. A compass keeps you oriented to north and south. In a family, we need to know how to stay oriented to our True North -- the core values that inform your decisions along the journey! Your core values are those things like integrity, unity, faith, or work ethic. These core values inform your other values and decisions! Fifth, maintenance for your vehicle. How do you keep up with your identity and values? A car needs refueling, oil changes, tire rotations, and all kinds of other stuff that keeps your vehicle running smoothly. A family culture needs maintenance, too! The fuel for a family is fun and uplifting activities. Your maintenance happens during family meetings, vacations, family history research, and checking in on our vision and mission. Every family needs regular check ups to make sure everything is going well! Finally, you need a roadmap! Doesn't that seem a little old-fashioned? Nope. When everything else seems to break down, it's time to bust out the analog tools. A roadmap is what you need when things don't seem to be going according to plan. You need to have a strategy for detours and roadblocks. It's also your strategy for slowdowns and traffic. How are you going to navigate these things that seem to sidetrack your journey? The roadmap is a powerful tool but it takes practice to learn how to use it. I have created a course with powerful strategies for helping your family navigate the roadblocks every family faces on this journey of developing our family culture. I almost have it finished and will be launching this course very soon! In the meantime, I want to hear from you! You can email me, or go to the shortest survey ever (2 questions) and opt in for updates. You will also be given access to something new I am planning. I will be hosting a live 30-minutes strategy call via Zoom for anyone who opts in and wants to join! This is the platform I use for my interviews so it'll be like you're my guest! You can join in via audio, video, both,
You won't want to miss this conversation! I studied health promotion for my undergrad, and I remember thinking it was a little strange when one of my classes was completely focused on reproductive health even though it was supposed to be about general health throughout the lifespan. The reality is sexual health is not just something that comes up every once in a while. It isn't a "talk" you can have once or twice and check it off of your parental responsibility checklist. Talking about sexual health is infused into everything we do. If you don't believe me, listen to this episode. We all need to get really comfortable with this conversation. Our kids are going to look for this information one way or another. It needs to come from their parents. More than this, our culture is already steeping in sexual culture. If we don't talk about it and help our children recognize it, they will hear about it even without trying. Kristin shares an example of teaching her son how to recognize sexualized lyrics in the music he was listening to. I talk about subtle language that creeps into the way we talk to one another that prepares our children to consider boundaries and consent. It isn't always an explicit discussion about sex. It is talking about appropriate touch, red flags, safety, relationships, and interactions with one another. Kristin Hodson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She is Founder and Executive Director of The Healing Group mental health clinic in Salt Lake City and Co-Author of the book Real Intimacy: A Couples Guide for Genuine, Healthy Sexuality (Cedar Fort 2011). Additionally she works as an adjunct professor teaching human sexuality to master level students working to become Social Workers and founded the Rocky Mountain Sex Summit in an effort to increase sexual health competency in mental health professionals. She has a unique ability to break down the topics of sexuality into easily digestible pieces empowering people to further develop their sexual identity, hone their sexual values, improve their communication around sexuality all with the intention to improve people’s relationships with themselves and others. Kristin is approachable, relatable and has a light sense of humor around something that often feels intimidating or heavy. She has been a guest presenter for nationally renowned sex therapist Dr. Gina Ogden and Dr. Tammy Nelson and has contributed to national media outlets including Huffington Post Live, NPR, Women’s Day Magazine and MTV and local outlets including RadioWest, Studio5,The Deseret News, RadioWest, The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City magazine, various podcasts and local news outlets. Kristin is a Mom of 3 wild things and a partner to her husband Jake living in Salt Lake City, Ut and Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Connect with Kristin: kristinbhodson.com @kristinbhodson Get Kristin's Book: Contains affiliate links
Greg Denning is a Total Transformation mentor and coach, and the creator of The School of Awesome-Sauce coaching program. He has been inspiring and training families for the last 21 years on 5 different continents. He grew up in a broken home and ended up out on his own at 16. He studied voraciously to learn the principles and practices of those who live purposeful, meaningful, happy lives. Greg was determined find the keys to success, build an epic life and then help others do the same. He and his wife Rachel now have 7 children and have been worldschooling around the globe with their family for the last twelve years. They are passionate about family, education and adventure! They inspire and train ordinary families to live EXTRAORDINARY LIVES. I am SO excited to have Greg back on the show! He was one of the first guests I EVER had on my podcast almost three years ago! He was so gracious to agree to come back! I had a great time talking with Greg. I bumped into him in Nashville earlier this year, and again last week in Williamsburg. He has such a powerful, and needed message for parents and youth!! Greg and I talked about why youth these days are experiencing what he calls a "failure to launch." Basically, good parents, good kids, and good families are turning out young adults who don't know how to cope with growing up! These aren't families who are struggling with communication, or substance abuse, or anything like that. These are families just like yours and mine! I learned from Greg what's going on in our families that is keeping our youth in a developmental stage before adulthood where they are still living at home in their twenties, struggling to leave home to serve missions or go to college or get jobs! Kids these days are too safe! They are too coddled, too sheltered, protected too much from challenges that build resilience and fortify personal ability to cope with challenges. Greg told me about how to cultivate resilience and bravery in our kids. He said they need two things: to study and be taught from the lives of great heroes; and have epic, challenging (and safe) experiences that force them to grow physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Did you know Greg offers EPIC courses for parents and teens?? He is on a mission to support families to prepare their teens to launch into adulthood with confidence and integrity. Click on the button below to learn more about Greg's courses. Learn More About Greg's Courses!! Contains affiliate links
About Monica Monica Tanner is a wife and mother of 4 amazingly talented and wonderful children. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She went to college at the University of Texas at Austin and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and child development. Shortly after graduating from college, She met the man of my dreams and they moved to Boise, Idaho to raise their family. Monica has been a stay at home mom and small business owner for 15 years and she is super excited to share some of the lessons she's learned with you through her podcast. On the Brighter Side is a podcast for anyone who is ready to up-level their lives in the area of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health. Monica will discuss real life lessons she has learned as well as interviewing others who are living their lives on the brighter side. She also started the non-profit, Just Do Some Good last year. All of this keeps her busy and on her toes. I enjoyed talking with Monica about the impact she is creating in your community about the importance of service! Monica recognized that the youth in her community were getting attention and positive reinforcement for doing stupid things on social media! She decided to do something about it! With Just Do Some Good, Monica is creating a movement around service with the youth in her community to help them recognize the importance of service, and to use their experiences to lift their social media environment by posting about their good experiences with service! You can learn more about Monica's foundation at www.justdosomegood.org and follow her on Facebook @JustDoSomeGood. Look for Monica on Instagram @monitanner1. Monica also hosts her podcast, On The Brighter Side wherever you listen to podcasts, and you can check out my interview with her here: "Creating Your Own Family Culture." More Ways to Serve justserve.org feedingamerica.org volunteermatch.org nationalservice.gov/serve hefy.org Also, check out these courses for giving youth opportunities for "epic" experiences, including service, with mentor and coach, Greg Denning, who will be on the show next week: gregdenning.com Maybe consider these, too: goabroad.com volunteerforever.com This post contains affiliate links
Back when I posted Episode 065 on the importance of tidying-up, I had no idea how very important it really is. Even though I talked about four different methods of tidying, I had neglected one method of home organization that I was not so familiar with. All I thought I knew about Feng Shui is some superstitious way to arrange your furniture or the placement of our home on the street. I had no idea that it was really about the flow of energy in your space. Maybe that still sounds hokey, but think about it! When you rearrange furniture or purge unwanted clutter, the feeling in your home changes. The ENERGY in your home changes! Feng Shui is a method of arranging your possessions in a way that serves your desired energy, and the vision you want for your future. Since my interview with Laura, I had my friend Lee Waters (from Episode 034 Part 1 and Part 2) come into my home for an assessment. She may not be a Feng Shui specialist, but she gave me lots of tips for how I can arrange my furnishings to serve my family better! She has the capacity to do a full makeover of my space! I have already put into practice a few of the small arrangements that she suggested, and it is totally changing the energy in our home! It feels SO good! I love getting these kinds of ideas. I hope that learning about this different methods helps you find one that serves your family. The idea behind Feng Shui is that we can evaluate our space around the our goals and the feeling we want in our home. Isn't that what family culture is all about!? My home reflects our values, and the feeling we share. Our home can impact our behavior, our choices, and the level of comfort we feel. In can impact our influence on those who visit our space, too! What is your family brand, your family flavor, the feeling that people have when they enter your space? How does your space influence your thoughts, your goals, or your actions toward your personal growth? Does it really matter?? I argue that it does! About Laura The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura helps people thrive in the physical spaces where they live and work. She educates people about the optimal arrangement of belongings for comfort, safety, and flow; de-cluttering for freedom; and planning transitions to new or updated spaces for optimal joy in life. Laura knows that the conditions of our homes and workplaces shape the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by more than a decade working with a variety of clients, Laura uses herintuition and expertise to help her clients produce remarkable results in their lives. Her own awakening to the power of feng shui came on the heels of a flood and the realization that she could live with beloved belongings rather than unloved hand-me-down stuff. Feng shui invites us to live with what we love and enjoy our lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes public speaking, writing, and compassionate coaching. Laura is a published author of the books Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui and Cherish Your World Gift Book: 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Your Life.Proceeds from the 100 Tips Gift Book support donations to Habitat for Humanity. In the autumn of 2018, Laura was honored as a Global Goodwill Ambassador and was featured in Role Model Magazine, Winter 2019, Inspiring Stories of Unstoppable Women and Girls. Prior to becoming the founder of Cherish Your World, Laura was a full-time parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include loving her dog, laughing with great friends, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. Connect with Laura Linkedin.
My husband, Michael joins me in this episode to talk about our recent decisions to transform our family culture. I lately posted three episodes telling our story and all that we have learned on this journey of figuring out our values and vision! You can listen to those episodes here: Episode 070: We Were Stuck and Scared of the Future Episode 071: I Was Alone So You Don't Have To Be! Episode 072: Breaking Free of the Conveyor Belt Today's episode is a continuation of this saga. A while back, I posted in Instagram that Michael had left his job. Actually, he quit his corporate job, and started working in the same industry for another firm as an independent contractor (see the post below). This move started us down a course of learning what it takes to be self-employed in a way. We had to learn how to get insurance for our family that was not through an employer. We learned about paying taxes that weren't automatically deducted from the paycheck. We started an LLC for his work. All that being said, he was still employed and working in the same industry he's been in for the past six years, and still miserable. That was our "back-up" plan. That was all we knew how to do. View this post on Instagram I am so proud of this man! Today is the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a new adventure. Today, Michael submitted his notice to leave his position. We don’t know what we will do next but we know that we cannot keep doing this anymore. (Don’t worry, we have a back-up plan). For ten years we have had one foot out the door waiting and hoping something else would come along to sweep us away from our life; hoping that one of those resumes would finally get results; hoping that someone would finally see his profile, or appreciate his capabilities; hoping to be somehow rescued from our situation. The reality is, the only person that needs to appreciate who you are is YOU. The only person capable of changing your life is YOU. It has taken a long time to recover the confidence to step out into the dark. We always justified our choices that we needed security, or we needed more faith. We have followed what we thought was inspiration before, only to end up getting burned. I don’t know what’s going to happen this time. All I know is that we are taking steps toward living our authentic lives. God-willing, we are gonna make it! #authenticity #goodbyejob #faith #corporateamerica #selfemployment #selfefficacy #abundance #conveyorbelt #unscripted #fastlane #ambitious #leadership #independent #marriage #partnership #eternalcompanion #bestfriend A post shared by Jodi Chaffee (@familyculturepodcast) on Aug 1, 2018 at 7:32am PDT In March, Michael and I started to get an inkling that there was a new path we needed to take. We started noticing messages stand out to us about taking a leap of faith, and making major changes. We knew that if we didn't make a drastic change soon, we were going to go crazy! Michael also knew that if he kept doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results he would lose his mind. He did not enjoy his industry. His employer knew this, and offered him a raise whenever he'd express his displeasure. Here's the thing, no amount of money will ever change a miserable situation. It has actually been proven that people would rather do what they love and make less than get paid more to do something they hate. Michael's dreams, skills, and knowledge were put on the back burner, and we weren't even surviving. We discussed it, prayed about it, studied it out, prayed about it some more,
Get The Rest of This Conversation! Kalyn and I Kept Going For Another Hour After the Episode Ends! Click Here! Kalyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Social Work form the University of Washington in Seattle WA in 2003. She has a background of working with youth and their families as an Intervention Specialist, serving as a Clinician and an Assistant Dean at a boarding school for high risk youth, and as a Professor of Social Work at Longwood University. She currently works as a School Social Worker in three schools in the Chesterfield Co. Public School system and as an Adjunct Professor at Longwood University. Kalyn has incredible expertise in this area! I'm so grateful she came on the show to talk about this important subject to teach us how to talk about hard topics. As parents, it can be scary when our kids bring up these tough subjects! How do we address their concerns? When we have an open attitude about difficult subjects then our kids feel safe to bring up important topics. I brought up my concern with bringing up body image with my young daughter. I sometimes fear that if I talk about body image itself then she will start to feel concerned about it. Kalyn advised me that if I am just open to talking about my body in a healthy way then when my daughter is ready or has concerns about her body image then she knows she can bring it up with me. I can see how this would translate to other concerns, such as sexual health, relationships, faith, mental health, or other important subjects. If we are willing to talk about them openly then our kids will let us know when they are ready to take the discussion deeper as they encounter challenges. Kalyn brought up the analogy of an emotional pendulum. Let's say this pendulum swings equally in both directions. On one side is emotions we interpret as uncomfortable, and on the other side are emotions we label as pleasurable. When we encounter the uncomfortable, we tend to put up blocks to keep ourselves from having those feelings again. What we don't realize is that by stopping the pendulum on one side, we are keeping it from swinging all the way up on the other side, too! We may not feel those hurtful feelings anymore, but we are also keeping ourselves from feeling the joyful once, too! As parents, it's important that we address our own blocks that are keeping us from embracing those uncomfortable feelings. We may be triggered by our kids' big emotions! Young children allow their pendulum to swing both ways to their extremes! Because we have our own blocks from our past we sometimes react by not allowing our kids space to manage those feelings. Parents can do their own inner work of breaking down their blocks to allow us all to live for the future! Pain is an inevitable part of life. But, life is full of both highs and lows! When we label our uncomfortable feelings as bad, we often attribute shame to feeling bad. As parents, we create a space for our kids to feel safe by our actions and making ourselves open to communication. We create this environment by letting go of our own baggage, and allowing our children to express their own feelings without making it about us. Parents also need to be consistent to model behaviors that will help our kids see that we are coping with our stress and emotional baggage. We can't just say that we need to exercise as a way to release stress, or model good behaviors, it needs to become part of our routines. Reference: Yale Study - "New way to combat childhood anxiety: treat the parents" When parents learn skills to cope and manage their own stress and baggage then they can mentor kids through their own struggles. In fact, kids who have mentors from both parents and other trustworthy adults they are more likely to be resilie...
I asked Alex to be on my show after hearing his experience in church! He talked about making significant lifestyle changes that would put him on a different track in life. Knowing that change is often a necessity when creating an intentional family culture, I felt like Alex's experience would impact some of you who may be undergoing changes in your family. Alex's story is awesome! He felt compelled to change because he had his future family in mind. When he considered the direction he was going, he couldn't see his life going anywhere if he stayed on the same path. At first, change was hard. He felt awkward. But, with time he was able to feel good about the changes he was making! More than this, Alex learned the importance of having a vision. He and his wife sit down regularly to discuss where they want to be sixty years into the future, and then work their way back. They evaluate where they are on their path, and then they make adjustments as needed. When I asked Alex what legacy means to him, he shared an incredible experience as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are many reason members of the Church serve missions. Alex knew it was something he needed to do for his own reasons. But, what he learned from his Mission President has stayed with him and impacted his reason for doing everything in his life. Best Practices Focus on the feeling you want to cultivate in your home. Alex didn't remember particular teachings or activities his parents did that he wanted to replicate, he wanted the feeling he remembers having when growing up in a home where he felt loved, where he could grow, and feel the Spirit. Cultivate a vision that will motivate you to live intentionally. Alex had an epiphany that if he kept living the way he was living as a dancer, he would be stagnant and if he had a family, they would be miserable. He kept the vision of his happy family in his mind throughout the changes he endured. He and his wife evaluate their vision regularly now. Change is gradual. It takes dedication and commitment, and learning from obstacles and failure. Legacy is making an impact on those around you, and on future generations. You'll know you've done well when your children and grandchildren model your values. Resources Referenced: "Now is the Time" Elder Jack N. Gerard, General Conference October 2018 Episode O24: Max Weichert - Fostering a Flourishing Environment "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek (affiliate link) Timestamps: Alex tells his story Alex starts making changes Change doesn't happen overnight How Alex and his wife visualize the course of their lives What Alex's parents did when he was a kid that inspired him to change Don't get distracted by the checklists that detract from the feelings we want to cultivate in our family culture What vision sustained Alex through the challenge of going through his transformation I share a story and quote about legacy Alex shares an analogy about distraction and how it keeps us from living our vision Alex shares an experience that taught him what legacy and success really looks like What legacy means to Alex Conclusion I'd like to hear from you! What stood out to you in this episode? Did you feel inspired to make any changes in your life? Did you evaluate your own legacy, and the impact you make in your sphere of influence? Come tell me about it on Instagram @familyculturepodcast.
Creating an intentional family culture requires some independent thinking. When I started out on this journey, I had no idea that God was guiding me to start a movement for my family and my audience that would lead me toward true freedom. What does success really look like? What does it truly mean? Is failure really the end? Perhaps success and failure are really just a narrative that is keeping us reluctant to make progress and be proactive agents of our lives. Where does this fear of failure and pressure to perform come from?
My story continues in this, the second of three episodes in a series where I share my story. In this segment of my saga, I share how I felt abandoned during the most difficult times of my life. Michael and I had been living away from our families. We were pretty sure we couldn't live near our families even if we tried, but still. We didn't have our families to depend on. We were struggling to make ends meet. There was no one we could rely on. On top of our struggles, I had a huge falling-out with my sister. She was my best friend! My confidant. She and her family were visiting for a week, and by the end of their stay, she walked out the door and out of my life for two years. I had no explanation why, but she would not talk to me for two years. To say I was hurt would be an understatement. I didn't understand why God would allow something like this to happen to me when I was already feeling down. I felt abandoned and alone. But, this experience has allowed me to evaluate where I put my trust. Losing that connection with my sister taught me to rely on my relationship with God more and become more autonomous! I also learned that I could be strong on my own! My relationship with Michael was strengthened. I became more familiar with grace. I drew this illustration during my trial that helped me understand how grace really works. Forgive me if I've over simplified what the standard Christian belief looks like, but this is what I have been led to believe. I have learned that God doesn't abandon us on our journey. He is with us the whole way! We are never really alone. We are never alone because Jesus suffered alone so that we wouldn't have to be. When I felt alone, I learned all kinds of empathy and compassion. I learned how to depend on my Savior, and I learned how I could be like Him if I use my experience to help other people who are struggling. I went through my experiences alone so that you don't have to! I learned about forgiveness. I learned how I could make it on my own. Something I didn't talk about in this episode is that when I realized that I was going to make it, even without my sister, I started to change my life! I felt empowered. I went back to school to finish my degree. I lost fifty pounds. I worked very hard to adopt healthy habits, and be a force for good for my own life. Still, I was jaded. I was frustrated. I felt like I couldn't depend on people in my life. I remember one day spending the morning on my college campus pushing a double stroller with my infant and my toddler. I was there so I could go buy my school books, only to get to the campus bookstore and find most of my required books unavailable! I went from campus to a group where moms were meeting for a playgroup. I was irritated and frustrated. What made that whole experience worse was that no one at that playgroup talked to me. Maybe they could tell I was upset, but you'd think that would have concerned someone. That experience made me feel that much more alone. I didn't have anyone in my mom group that understood me going back to school, and there were certainly no students on campus who were young moms trying to finish their degree. I know everything I did was laced with distain for life, and the loneliness I was feeling. I learned that what I was going through was depression but I didn't know it at the time. In this journey of forgiveness, I have learned how to use my experience and my pain as a catalyst to serve other people. I know everyone has experiences that are trying, and life is so hard! But, we don't have to do it alone. I am an advocate for new moms who are lonely. I know that God does not abandon His children. This is what I have been called to witness, and I am grateful for this blessing!