Eps 438: The power of presence while navigating relationships

Episode 438

Join me this week in an exploration of what it means to be present, and what becomes available in relationships when we choose into that practice.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Checking in on what’s alive right now
  • We are blind to our blindness
  • Our experiences becoming our truth
  • Having an intentional practice of presence and awareness
  • The path is in the practice
  • Having the willingness to continue to grow and learn
  • The practice in action
  • Using our three intelligences – body, heart, mind – to shift into presence


Resource mentioned:

Eps 426: Cultivating Your Observer: Navigating Tough Conversations with Teens

Today… Joyful Courage is breathing into discomfort and allowing it to be there. It is trusting that the feelings I’m having will move through me. It’s being present to the moment and allowing it to be what it is.

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Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, Welcome back. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we work to keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead. It's browsable. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together, we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Enjoy the show. Hi, everybody. Hi, everybody. If you are listening on the day that this show comes out, Happy Thanksgiving here in the States, it's Thanksgiving, which means for a lot of us gathering around with extended family or friends, with our kids hoping that everybody's you know, behaving mingling, staying off their phones. I hope you have a great day today. I hope you had a great day today. Maybe you got to take a walk and you're out catching some fresh air and listening to this pod. Or maybe it's later in the weekend. Anyway, however you have come to this podcast, I'm so glad that you're here. I am just as I record looking out at the most beautiful view here from my office, the lake is just gorgeous, and the sky is blue. And I'm just feeling a lot of gratitude, gratitude. It's the feeling for the season, right? We're in that season of gratitude, and I'm here for it. I'm here for it. I feel so good. When I shift into gratitude, even when things are really hard. You know, what can I be grateful for here? What am I learning here? What's the opportunity being presented to me? And can I be grateful for life as it unfolds? I mean, why wouldn't you want to be that way? Why wouldn't you want to look for those nuggets? Right? Even when there's a lot of pain and suffering in your life or around you? I think there's something really powerful and we can take a moment or two or even more to just sit with okay, what can I hold that I can be grateful for in this moment? So just throwing that out there. I loved my conversation with Valerie T on Monday. Did you listen, Valerie is an Enneagram master. She's a positive discipline facilitator, parent, coach, awesome human, she helped to lead my Fall Retreat with my members and just like brought us to our knees. Last weekend, it was really special and just remind you the Enneagram it's a personality test. But it's so much more. And we really in the show on Monday kind of took some broad strokes and at the heart of the conversation and the heart of the work of the Enneagram really is about being present, present and always mind, body, heart. So what I want to do today is take that invitation to presence that was delivered on Monday and dig in. Right and dig in. So we're all on different places in our journeys of parenting. Right some of you just coming into the teen years maybe this is the first year of middle school. You're a few months in now. How is it going? How is this new territory? Are you feeling like woof? It's not as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Are you feeling like oh my gosh, this is a wild terrain. Do things feel markedly different than grade school? How are you doing? How are you You're doing my parents of early teens, middle school kids thinking about you? What about those of you that are kind of in that mid 14 1516? Like you're settled in? You've been here for a minute? How's it going? How's it going? Are you experiencing time standing still? Or moving too fast? My guess is probably both. And I remember being in that mid time, while different was different kids, right? But it could vacillate between like this frantic? Oh my gosh, everything's moving so fast. How do I slow this down? To Alright, we're in flow, we're in the groove of things feel steady. And it's so interesting how quickly the energetics can change, right? And then, hey, what about the rest of you who have older kids? Maybe, you know, they're moving through their first half of their senior year, right? They're applying for colleges talked a lot about that lately, with Ian being on the show. How's it going? How are those milestones? I just notice, it's so crazy for me to like, well, first of all, I'm not very good at keeping up with all the deadlines. I don't know why. I don't get the memo. Maybe it's just a lot of information coming into my inbox. But I have one friend who's like, oh, did you know Sr, pictures are due tomorrow, and this is due tomorrow. And this is due on this day? And I'm like, where are you getting this information. So I feel some franticness around that. And it's new, you know, my story with Rowan, she didn't have a senior year, she didn't have all of these milestones, all of these stepping stones towards graduation and what's next, and it's really exciting and fun. And I'm really am working to be present for this end. Because it isn't end. It's an end of an era, right? We're always in transition, things are shifting. And it's really easy, no matter where we are on the continuum of this season of parenting for at the start or the end. You know, it's really easy to get wrapped up in the things that take us away from tuning into the experience that we're having. Right? And what I mean by that, and I think Valerie talked about this on Monday, is that, you know, there's the external experience of just life happening. There's the internal experience of how we are thinking about feeling about experiencing life happening, right. And I think that presence is such an important practice for all of us, specially for those of us that are moving through parenting teenagers, right? Because it's so easy to just get to slide in to the stories we're telling or the feelings we're having, or the physical experiences that are prompting us into action. Without taking time to really be curious about why do I think that? Why do I feel that what's going on with my body that I am experiencing this situation this way. And when we don't do that we fly into actions and reactions that aren't helpful, right? And we're blind to our blindness. We don't know what we don't know. We think we're in our truth, because that's what's coming up. For us. That's what has always been, that's our experience. That's what we learned over time. Right. So I think one barrier to presence is that blindness that we have, how do we discover where our blind spots are? Right? How do we discover that so that we can be evermore present? While the good news is that there's no end to this work? Right? Like, it's like peeling the onion, we find one blind spot, only to discover, oh, there's more blind spots, and the way that we can really connect with and notice the places that we have blind spots is with an intentional practice of presence and awareness, and also the outside observer work that I spoke so much about on episode 426 Right.

Casey O'Roarty 09:53
The path to presence is in the practice. The path is in the practice my friend and mentor, Christa Patti, who you've heard me mentioned already recently on the pod, her work is so powerful. The path is in the practice. This is something I learned from her. This is huge, there is no destination. Just like with parenting, everything keeps unfolding, right? When we think, Okay, we've moved through that, something else comes up. So we get to keep practicing. The path is in the practice what is consistent, and real. And something we can depend on lean on, the only thing really, is our practice, our willingness to keep going deeper, and keep exploring further to keeping in the inquiry of noticing what we're doing, how we're responding, how we're feeling, being curious, why do I feel this way? Or what's getting in the way of what I want to be feeling? Right? And notice, notice, when you ask the question around what's getting in the way? Are you looking externally? Or internally? Because much of what's happening externally? We have no control over. Right? So if we're like, God, what's getting in the way of me feeling grounded and peaceful and connected and patient? And then our answer is the goddamn kids. Or my partner, or, you know, there's a million things that we blame, right? We have no control over those people are teens and the dishes in their room or partners clothes on the bathroom floor, or the checker at the store who was kind of addicted to you, we don't have control over the external environment, when we start to shift our focus, and that question of what's getting in the way of how I want to be feeling when we start to shift our focus and realize that we get to hold the energy of what we are experiencing in a new way. It's magical. It's magical. So I'm gonna give you a story about this. That happened recently. So I got to go see a couple of bands play. Recently in Seattle, it was super fun. I went side jam band called pigeons playing ping pong. I know that's a very silly name. They were really good. And then the next night, I went and saw a band called The infamous stringdusters a bluegrass band. And I met up with a bunch of friends that I hadn't seen in a while I was so excited. I was so happy to see them. I was chatting them up during the opening band when we went and saw the bluegrass band. And you know, I was watching him and I was talking to my friend. And during the time between the opener and the main band, this gal came up to me and told me that all she could hear during that opening was my voice and just the vibe, she was just so passive aggressive, and so negative vibe. And I said, oh, sorry, I was so sorry. And she just kind of rolled her eyes and walked away. And I was like, wow, she is bugged. And I felt like I let it go. I was like, okay, she can have her experience. And for throughout the first set of the next band, I was distracted by this feeling of bad energy between me and this cow. And I went up to her during this outbreak and I said, Listen, I pride myself on situational awareness. And I really didn't realize I was talking so loud. And I'm really sorry about that. And you know, she was so grateful that I came over and she was like, thank you so much for saying that. And then I got to tell her how much I liked her shirt and how adorable she was. And we made friends and there were no weird vibes. It was over. I shifted the dynamic. My girlfriend was like, Oh, you totally disarmed her. I don't know what her deal was. I don't know why it was so triggering that I was talking during the first band. But it's fine. I'm so glad that I could help shepherd her into also letting go. I don't know how she was experiencing it. But anyway, again, I chose not to sit inside of negativity. I chose to be present with myself in the situation. And initially, I was like, wow, I don't you know, whatever, that lady, but I noticed like it was bugging me. And I couldn't really enjoy the music as much as I wanted to because I could feel this like energetic thread between her and I and I changed it up. She could have held on she could have doubled down and said more mean things. But that didn't happen. And if it had happened, I would have known that her problem wasn't with me but with something else that I didn't have anything to do with you know what I mean? Another example, and I realize these aren't teenager examples, but you know, we're not just parents of teenagers that is not the primary or the only relationship that we are experiencing. Sometimes it's experiences with strangers. Sometimes it's experiences with partners, I'm going to share that dynamic because right now, that's been the one that's been the hardest in my life. So, and you guys have heard me joke about marriage counseling on the podcast a lot. Mostly because I think everyone should go to marriage counseling, I think it's such a powerful space, where we can do better for each other. And having that third person helping us work our shit out is just the bomb. It's so useful. And what's relevant for me is that our marriage counselor, like I've said before, on the pod, totally calls me out on my stuff, it is annoying, and she's always spot on. Also totally annoying, but not really mean it's useful. And it's just, you know, it's hard to hold that you're the biggest obstacle to what you want in a relationship, right? It's hard to hold, it's humbling. And I will be honest, I have been in a very defeated black or white headspace, in my marriage, really resistant to some things really attached to my idea of what marriage should look like. Especially, I mean, we're almost 25 years in, right. And I have this whole vision of what, you know, 25 years, married almost 30 years together should look like. And it spills out into how I relate to my husband and to how I feel throughout the day in our interactions. And it's no bueno, that resistance that defeated black or white thinking. It's not useful. And I found that even though there were certain things I needed to let go of, I couldn't do the work, not in a deep and real way. It's like my head knew what I needed to do. And my heart wouldn't let go. Right? My heart wouldn't let go. But then a couple of weeks ago, I had, I mean, some kind of breakthrough. And let me tell you, I've met with our marriage counselor, I have talked about this with other life coaches, I met with an intuitive trying to work this stuff out for myself, like trying to really look at my resistance. And they all said the same thing. Like, let it go, you had to let it go. You have to move on from this grip. And so a few weeks ago, I shifted, I shifted, I pushed back against my ideas of what marriage should look like. And I made a move. That really worked for me. It really allowed me to let go of some things. And to be get this more present with my husband during the day. Rather than all up in my resentment and irritation. I also realized that I was completely weaponizing our marriage and saying things like, well, I can't do this forever. Or, you know, do you even want to be married? Really as a dig, like as a push? When are you going to do something different? Because look, I'm all up in my angst, and an expression. It was an expression of the DIS ease, right, that I was feeling in our relationship. And as soon as I realized I was doing that, like, wow, I'm really throwing this out there. Like that's my final like, you know, I don't know if we're gonna stay married

Casey O'Roarty 18:36
when I would throw that out there, I was bringing that energy into our marriage, right. And it was definitely creating this foundational energy that felt wobbly for us to stand on. Everything just felt wobbly. And even as I say that, I don't know if Ben felt like that. But that's how I felt, right? I'm talking about my experience. And I decided, you know, I'm not gonna do that anymore. Like, I know, I want to be with this guy. And I know this guy wants to be with me. We're in it to win it. We say that all the time. And yet here I am, like, are you man. So I let that go. I stopped weaponizing. I made some adjustments. I let go of some things that were really like putting my micromanager in overdrive. And you guys were so good. We're so connected. It's so playful. It's so light. I feel so close to him. And again, Ben is the same guy doing the same things. I'm the one that finally shifted into a place where I get to be in the energy that I want to be in with my man. And it's about presence. Right? It's about recognizing how do you want to feel? How can you generate that energy, what's getting in the way? And maybe what's getting in the way are the stories that you're attached to, right the quote true issues that you think you're living inside of maybe that needs to be, you know, explored, maybe you know, your heart is getting in the way and your feelings and your tenderness. And I love feelings and tenderness. But sometimes when we're not paying attention, it can take us out of our moment and put us somewhere else. And then we think that the reality that we're experiencing is the only one that's available to us. And I love how Valerie talked about the three intelligences I just mentioned a few body heart mind, yes. Where do you want to start? So each of the intelligences give us indicators like was mentioned in the interview, that we're off track, that we're out of alignment, that we're not present. So when our heart hurts, when we're taking things personally, when we're up in our feelings, we get to treat ourselves with love and compassion, we get to attend to our feelings, by Re parenting ourselves into feeling seen and attuned to, right. And then we get to move into what is more real and true for us. So there is attending to when the heart is hurting, for coming to presence, right? So maybe it sounds like Oh, my son blew me off. My child is hurting themselves. My daughter doesn't want my advice. Literally, this just happened like two minutes ago. And that hurts. I just love them so much. Can't they see that they're hurting my feelings. Okay, so again, here I am. In my feelings. case, it's okay to feel that way. It makes sense that you feel that way. You love the kids so much. And you're just the right mama for them, you're beyond worthy to be their parent, and you're doing a great job. You care so much. And they love you with all their heart. And this isn't about you. So pause, fill your feet on the floor, let it go. That could be the pep talk. Or my son Lumia. If my child is hurting themselves, or my daughter doesn't want my advice, and I'm so scared and worried for their future, I'm spinning out into all the worst case scenarios. What if they never talked to me again? What if they aren't able to take care of themselves in the future? What if they end up hurt by someone else? Right with the head spin out now? Again, noticing Oops, there's the mind spinning out? Yep. All the fears and worries are feeling all the stories and craziness. Kevin to slow this down. I'm going to feel my feet. Take some deep breaths. As I slow my breath. I'm going to slow the thoughts. I'm going to look at each one from a broader outside perspective. Is this true? Is this an emergency? Is there more information that I need before freaking out, slow it down? Right slowing the head down to come back to a place of presence. And then finally, you know, the experience of my son blew me off or my child is hurting themselves or my daughter doesn't want my advice. And I'm so scared and worried for their future. So I follow them in their room and I tell them all the things are doing wrong or aren't understanding I throw myself into what consequence or reward will get them to do what I think they should do. I lecture I threaten right here. The body has taken over and I'm noticing I am in desperation mode. I am in desperation mode, thinking there must be some way to control the situation I'm grasping at things. And as I look for control, I'm feeling totally out of control. When I realize I am where I am. Take that breath, feel my feet on the floor. I pause. I pause. Maybe I even bring in some lightness Whoa, do I feel out of control? Or what I might need to make some things right? Sorry about that. I got a little desperate there. I love you. And I'm gonna go take care of myself. In all of these responses, right? The best thing we can do for ourselves in the situation is practice coming back to presence, coming back to neutral, finding the pause, right finding the pause, you can do it, you can do it. I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. And you don't have to be perfect at it. You just have to be willing. It takes willingness to pull ourselves out of the experience. We're having to feel those feet and to take a breath and pause. Right You have to be willing to let go of the story. You can always pause. I had a sign up in my classroom when I was a teacher a million years ago that said check yourself before you wreck yourself. Turns out that is sage advice people check yourself before you wreck yourself. I put it up for the students. But I think it's really powerful for all of us parents, right? Yes, it would be amazing if everyone did that work too. Right if our kids would check themselves before they wrap themselves if our partners would practice more presence and we can't control that. So you're actually doing yourself a favor by cultivating your own practice of presence and doing yourself a favor, as well as the people around you. And they will respond differently to you, when you start responding differently. Right. And I'm into it. As I like to say life is an inside job. Life is an inside job. We get to decide how we experience it, not necessarily how it unfolds. Right? Isn't that the truth? What do you think about all this? Are you with me? What are your questions? How can we explore this deeper? No doubt we will. I mean, that's kind of what this podcast is all about. Especially these solo shows. I am so glad for you. listener, thank you for hanging with me. I love you. And again, considering this is coming out on Thanksgiving Day here in the States, I just want to say enjoy the holiday. Practice your presence, because the opportunities are going to be endless over this weekend. Practice your presence, and I'll see you next week.

Casey O'Roarty 26:19
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at B sprout double.com. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.

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