Eps 447: Viewing parenting challenges as invitations with Andrea Owen

Episode 447

My guest today is Andrea Owen.  Andrea and I connect over our love of coaching and keeping things real and authentic (and our matching ‘surrender’ tattoos!).  Andrea shares what she’s working on with her own two teenagers right now, and I ask how we can shift our perspective to view parenting challenges as invitations instead of just focusing on problems.  We talk about how we can trust that things will work out okay, and Andrea shares what questions she asks people to help them discover their values and why value work is important.  We dig into how we don’t know the impacts of our parenting, how our kids experience it, or how we will all remember what happened.  Lastly, I ask Andrea how she coaches parents to move into a more present way of being in their relationship.  

Guest Description

Andrea is an author, global keynote speaker, and professional certified life coach who helps high-achieving women maximize unshakeable confidence, master their mindset, and magnify their courage. She has taught hundreds of thousands of women tools and strategies to be able to empower themselves to live their most kick-ass life through keynote speaking, her books, coaching, and her wildly popular podcast with over 4 million downloads.

She is the proud author of How To Stop Feeling Like Shit: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness, published in 2018, then updated and re-released in 2022 (Seal Press/Hachette Books) which has been translated into 19 languages and is available in 23 countries, as well as Make Some Noise: Speak Your Mind and Own Your Strength (TarcherPerigee/Penguin Random-House), and 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve, (Adams Media/Simon & Schuster).

Andrea is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from The Coaches Training Institute, a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation, a SHE RECOVERS® coach, as well as a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator; a modality based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.

When she’s not juggling her full coaching practice or writing books, Andrea is busy riding her Peloton bike, or hanging out with her two teenagers. She is also a retired roller derby player having skated under the name “Veronica Vain.”

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Takeaways from the show

  • How our own teenage years impact our parenting 
  • Viewing challenges as invitations 
  • Trusting that things are going to be okay 
  • Defining your values: What’s important to you?  What’s important about the way you live your life? 
  • Values change over time 
  • “Sending our kids to therapy with a carry-on bag, not a U-haul truck”

What does joyful courage mean to you

It’s finding joy.  One of the things I learned early on, when my kids were little, was to take snapshots of little moments.  I intentionally and very consciously, took snapshots of small moments, whether alone or mostly of the two of them interacting. I have so many memories of the joy they brought me as children and as siblings together.  I think that, and Brené Brown talks about this, that joy is one of the most courageous feelings and experiences for us to feel because we all know the feeling of having that snatched away from us, so many times we avoid it.  That’s what it feels like to me.



Andrea Owen’s Website

Andrea’s Books 

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I know that you love listening every week AND I want to encourage you to dig deeper into the learning with me, INVEST in your parenting journey. Casey O'Roarty, the Joyful Courage podcast host, offers classes and private coaching. See our current offerings.


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Andrea Owen, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:03
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and 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 at Sproutsocial. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this 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 real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, 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 all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:26
Hey listeners, welcome back. My guest today is Andrea Oh N Andrea is an author, a global keynote speaker and a professional certified life coach who helps high achieving women maximise Unshakable Confidence, master their mindset and magnify their courage. She has taught hundreds of 1000s of women tools and strategies to be able to empower themselves to live their most kick ass life through keynote speaking her books, coaching and her wildly popular podcast which has over 4 million downloads. She is the proud author of How to stop feeling like shit 14 habits that are holding you back from happiness great title, which was published in 2018 and then updated and re released in 2020. It's been translated into 19 languages and is available in 23 countries as well as make some noise, speak your mind and own your strength and 52 ways to live a kick ass life. Be as free wisdom to ignite your inner badass and live the life you deserve. Andrea these titles are just I mean, these are the books I'm pulling off the shelves so I'm

Casey O'Roarty 02:37
about to read them out loud. Andrea is a certified professional co active coach from the coaches training institute, a professional certified coach with the international coaching Federation as she recovers coach as well as a certified daring way facilitator, a modality based on the research of Dr. Brene Brown. When she's not juggling her full time coaching practice or writing books. Andrea is busy writing her peloton or hanging out with her two teenagers. She's also a retired roller derby girl having skated under the name. Veronica vein, I love that you include this in your bio. Hi, Andrea, welcome.

Andrea Owen 03:15
Thank you so much for having me, Casey. It's so fun to be here.

Casey O'Roarty 03:18
Yes, I'm so excited. It's so fun to read your bio, first of all, I mean, I think it's really as another certified coach. It's always excited to talk to somebody who actually has the legit accolades around coaching. I don't know if my listeners recognise that, but I just want to tell you guys like She's the real deal. Yeah, the real deal. It's

Andrea Owen 03:41
been a minute, I got my certification in 2010 when nobody knew what life coaching was. Yeah, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 03:45
You know, gee, I love it. I love it. And you're a mom of teenagers.

Andrea Owen 03:50
I am. That's been the real work. Let me tell ya. Yeah. How old are your kids? My son is 16. And my daughter's 14. They just had birthdays a couple of months ago.

Casey O'Roarty 03:58
16 and 14? Yeah, so you're a few years. So mine are 20, almost 21 and just turned 18? Yeah,

Andrea Owen 04:05
lemon, a blink, and I'm gonna be there. I know. Because I feel like they're just blanked. And they were toddlers just a minute ago.

Casey O'Roarty 04:10
I know. It's so crazy. I'm so excited to talk to you about all the things will you start first around just sharing the highlights of what brought you to doing what you do and empowering so many women across the land. It's kind of

Andrea Owen 04:23
an interesting story how I got here because originally Well, I was never one of those people who knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. It didn't have a great work ethic. I was the youngest of five kids and I was a later in life last child so my parents were like good luck with life. Bye. Oh, no, they were great. And so many regards without when I didn't have a lot of direction at all. I was like Cher from clueless, like I have direction to the mall like that was me. And there was a few things I wanted to do. And I considered becoming a therapist, but I was just too much of a hype girl. Like I am like, oh, I don't know if I can sit with people and their deep, deep issues, because I couldn't sit in my own but that's another story for another day. time, but I ended up getting my bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and I worked corporately for fitness company and also was a personal trainer. And when I was a personal trainer, which I love doing, I had all female clients and with many personal trainers, I think it's kind of like your hairdresser. You end up sort of confiding in your stuff. Yeah, the goals and stuff that you want to do that you haven't done yet. And I realised that so many of my clients needed something else beyond miles on the treadmill. It was that I felt like they needed was coaching. This was in the early 2000s. And then I learned about what coaching was. And then a couple years later, my life completely fell apart. I was married before and my husband had an affair with her neighbour and got her pregnant. And then I dated this guy that lied about having cancer, like it was a rock bottom moment. And that's when I thought, you know, what would be a good idea for me to do right now? Go back to school and become a life coach, which all of my friends and family were like, you're going to do what? Feel like what you need to do is like, is that therapy? Yeah, yeah. But I did both. And that was in 2007, when I started the training, and I got remarried and had two babies at the time and then had built a business from there. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 06:08
well, what I love about life coach training is, at least in my experience was the whole first half of it was, how to be coachable. Right, and getting the coaching and experiencing the experience, and then on your own stuff, working on your own stuff. Yeah, yeah. And that was so powerful for me and then getting to then shift the role and becoming the coach and how much I'm sure you've had the same experience, how much I've learned and grown, from those early days, those early clients to now and you've really niched, you know, my coaching clients or parents, mostly moms, but more and more, I'm getting the whole couple, which I love, right, but it's a lot of women, and it's a lot of unlearning. So when you work with women, like when you think about who your clients are, who are your typical clients, they're typically

Andrea Owen 07:00
women, you know, the majority of them are middle age, Gen X elder millennial. And they've gotten to a point in their life where they can check off a lot of really great boxes, and they've accomplished a lot and there's like some certain things that they just kept getting stuck on. Sometimes it's their mindset, more specifically around their self confidence, but like no one really would know that they lacking self confidence. And it sounds kind of unsexy. But really the thing I focus on is coping skills. I mean, that's what how to stop feeling like shit is about you know, all these ways. When you said unlearning, I was like nodding my head over here, like Yeah, like we learn to cope through numbing out perfectionism, people pleasing control, you know, which leads into parenting. And those things work for a little while until they don't. And then that's when they're like, I need to figure out better ways of living my life. And then sometimes it's just kind of coaching one on one, they have these goals that they want to achieve that they just can't seem to figure out. So that's sort of the gamut of what I do. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 07:56
Well, I mean, like I said, in your bio, I love the titles of your books, and the titles of your books really kind of capture in my experience of you, how you present, right, just real talk. I love your Instagram, I love your podcast, I was just recently listening to your latest little mini episode, and your message around, it's okay to be human. It's okay to make mistakes. We're going to slide back. You're such a powerhouse, you, Andrea, and your authenticity really shines through. And you know, I feel like for me, that's one of my superpowers, too, is like I'm keeping it real over here. Yeah, I live and breathe and talk and sleep and all the things parenting. And I'm also in my own practice of being a parent, which is messy and imperfect. So I would love to know from you what's been a recent life challenge where you've, you know, and sometimes I don't know if this is what happens to you with podcasting, but there's a lot of inspiration for an episode in my own lived experience. Yeah, and my clients as well. So wondering, like, what's been a recent life challenge that has reminded you of your humaneness where you're like, oh, look, here I am. Okay. I'm a human too.

Andrea Owen 09:11
That's one of my favourite sayings. Like, Oh, there I am. When you're when you're seeing something in yourself, especially when you're see something and someone else that you don't like, yeah, there I am. I think, you know, for the sake of privacy of my children, you know, how am I going to talk about this? I think it's okay for me to say, you know, my daughter's 14 When our kids are little, so many parents of teenagers tell us Oh, wait until they're teenagers and we're all sort of like bracing ourselves you know, we go in my experience, I loved the newborn phase and Finn stage like that was my favourite up until about two years old and I didn't love two and three. There were some great things about it, but it wasn't my favourite stage. And then when they get into like elementary school, that was so fun. And so I was sort of like, completely bracing my myself for the team, yours. And my son, I felt like his attitude started like around 11. And I'm like, oh my god, it's already here. And I'm in these parenting groups. And they're like, yeah, oh, yeah, welcome. And with my daughter, it was a little bit later. And I noticed, and this is something that I swore I wouldn't do. But my reactions are different based on their gender. I have beaten myself up over that so much. And so I finally stopped out. And I'm like, I'm interested in digging into this more like, what is this about? And it's only been recently that I've realised that so much of my reactions to my daughter, when first of all, every time I think something's really wrong with like, our relationship, or how she's, you know, behaving towards me, I'll post anonymously and like a parent group, and people are like, so that's developmentally appropriate. Yeah, yeah, you're just taking it personally, which you just PS, of course, we're gonna take it personally, like, please don't let any self help person tell you to not take it personally, when your children treat you poorly. Yeah, or their mother. But also in the point that I'm trying to make is, I think so much of the way that I react and behave towards her is based on the relationship that I have with my mother. So so much of that is coming up. Because I think when we kind of turn that corner out of adolescence, and when we're tweens, and then into teenagers, our relationship with our parent shifts, and it's up to our parents to handle it a certain way. Yeah, not everybody's great at it, you know, because they were raised by humans that probably didn't have all the skills to and so my mother has so many amazing qualities, both of my parents, and definitely, and it's not about it, and and my relationship with the both of them definitely shifted when I became a teenager, and it wasn't my favourite. And so I realised, and this isn't just my daughter, it's both of my kids, like, I have so much unhealed and even just like unprocessed stuff. So take my happy aspect to therapy. Work out some of my own challenges that I have with both of my parents, my father has since passed away, but it's been interesting to sort of stand outside of myself and watch me parent them, and then go, Oh, there I am. And also try to come at it with tonnes of self compassion. I don't know if if anybody else sees this on tick tock, but I'm definitely on like inner child, tick tock, where there's like poems about you know, if I could meet my mother when she was a child, and like, how differently I see her, if I could see all of the iOS make me emotional, if I could see all of the pain that my parents endured when they were kids and young adults, would I think differently of how they behave. It's just like, all of those kinds of things that I'm navigating right now. And just like a lot of forgiveness around my parents a lot of forgiveness of how I've parented or forgiveness for my kids, just like just so much compassion. Thank

Casey O'Roarty 12:55
you for that. I have not been led into, you know, there's a lot of offers to talk to ourselves as young kids and to give ourselves our younger selves, love and tenderness. And I haven't ever heard going back into meeting our parents as young kids. And that is such a powerful invitation. So thank you for sharing that. And I also, I'm so relating to the 14 year old daughter experience that was when for me, and my daughter were things all of us like, man, if you can make it all the way till then, without having any of your shit come up. The team, yours is going to open things up, right? Yeah, and my daughter has been on the podcast a couple times. And she's funny. She's like, you owe me money. I give you so much content. She's so generous with allowing me to share but yeah, 14 was the first like, big Whoa, and then connecting like, oh, thinking about what I was going through at her age and how my response to her had everything to do with that. And I think this is a great road into my next question. You talk about challenge as invitations and I love this. I think we speak a lot of the same language around this. I talk about this a lot with parents, we in fact, start workshops with like, what are the current challenges? What are the life skills you want your kids to learn to embody by the time their brains are fully developed? And how can we hold these challenges as opportunities to model teaching practice? These life skills, right, these challenges? They're like the training ground? Yeah. And so talk about how you work with your clients around that concept of challenges as invitations.

Andrea Owen 14:48
I want to preface this conversation whether I'm up on stage or I'm on a podcast, I always preface this by acknowledging that this particular perspective shift is not for everyone. You know, if you're in the weeds with, you know, a pregnancy loss or something that's just an egregious life crisis. You know, I invite you to punch me in the face if I tell you like, what is the gift in this? Yeah, there's just sometimes there's just not not yet little too soon. Right? I think if you're in a place where, you know, for me, the first time this ever came up in my life was when my life completely fell apart around me, I did not have children at the time. And so I was on my bedroom floor, just like two back to back relationships that had fallen apart. It was awful, just so dramatic. And I was so humiliated and ashamed of where I had ended up. And I decided after a few days of wallowing in that sorrow and feeling so sorry for myself, and also like, really, like jockeying for like getting people on Team sad, Andrea, like, I wanted people to feel sorry for me, like I was that sympathy seeker letter, a few days of that, it was like, I don't want this for myself, like, this is not what I came here to do. This is not what I want to be known for. What I was really speaking to was like, it wasn't my value. You know, I hadn't done values work before, but it was not important to my life. And so it really was so similar to and I hadn't even read any of the Harry Potter books at the time. I think they were just coming out when all this was happening. But when the owl comes to, like, give any Harry Potter fans out there to like his invitation to Hogwarts, you know, and then it gets thrown away. And then the invitation the owls just like keep coming with all these invitations. That's what I felt like was happening. It was like the universe or God or whatever you believe in, even if it's just sort of like, life energy was sort of flirting with me almost. And just saying like, Oh, do you want to? Do you want to come this way? There's another way. And really, it was just looking at like, you sound like, what are the opportunities here? And it really is sort of life coaching one on one, like, okay, we can talk about the problem all day long. But that's just going to make you feel bad. And just keep your wheels spinning. Like, do you want to start thinking about the solutions? And I was honestly, at a time in my life, Casey, where I was like, there is no solution. This is the worst. You know, it was like, Michael from the office like I was that permanent gift? And finally, I just got sick of my own BS. Yeah, just starting, like, Okay, what if I could look at this as an invitation. And it started with just a list of 10 things I was grateful for. That's where I started. And I surprised myself that I could even do that. So that was a long way of me saying it's a perspective shift. What if you could look at this as an opportunity for the rest of your life, that the universe is winking at you that there might be opportunity here. So instead of just focusing on the problem, because we love to focus on the problem, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 17:35
And sometimes, you know, I really appreciated your caveat at the start. Because sometimes things Yeah, it's like full permission to feel all the things that come with a big life change. Or, you know, we, through the pandemic, my husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, we navigated blood cancer, he's doing great now, you know, like, be with it. And that kind of reminds me, I do want to circle back on values and values work and what that means to you, I'm really excited about that. But before we get there, you know, there's also something that helped me when Ben was sick, something that helped me when my daughter had a pretty significant mental health breakdown. And I was just talking to my mom about this, but like mindset, also, and I was working with a client around this recently, you know, sitting inside of, they're never going to be okay, they're never going to move out, they're never going to be able to take care of themselves. Like, that's an option. sitting inside of that mindset is an option. There's another option, which is, I'm just going to trust that they're going to make it through this and come to the other side. And when I think about how I want to feel throughout the day, I want to feel like everything is going to unfold in a way for best possible outcome, whatever that is, I would love to know what that is. Don't get me wrong, when that'd be dreamy, that would make it so much easier, you know, to know that everything's gonna be okay. And we don't get to know and we don't even get to know what everything is, okay? Even means, right? What does it look like? Right? It just changes the way we experience our experiences. And that's what I meant to, because the experiences are gonna keep coming like they did for you, you know, they keep coming. And we get to decide, am I going to sit with this being the worst thing ever? Which, okay, sit with it for however long you need to? And then, okay, what's opening up for me? So I really appreciate that. And you said, I hadn't done my values work. So we tell me about that. What is values work?

Andrea Owen 19:37
Yeah. And this is something that I feel like I repeat myself in my books, but I told like my agent and like any editor that I have, like, I can't not talk about values in every self help book. Like it's absolutely foundational. And when I'm presenting it and then teaching it, I asked these two very simple questions, and it's what's important to you, which is very general and very broad, but it's that way on purpose. The second question is what's important about the way you live your life. And sometimes people get stuck, especially the women that I work with, because they put everyone else before them, they tend to put other people's comfort way before their own. And so they are deer in the headlights like, I have no idea. And so I then ask the question, like, what pisses you off, and then they can usually give me a list of things. And from there, we can work it out. But it's for those of you listening who have never done it, it's such an easy Google search, just type in values work or list of values list of common values, and you'll see a bunch of them, but I care less about what the name of your values are, and more about what do they look like in your life. I wrote in house I feeling like shit, you know, just naming your values and saying that you're done with the work is like naming your children calling that parenting. Like, that's not how that works. Like, it's the everyday behaviours and decisions and conversations that you have that make up what parenting is. So for values work, I care more about what your values look like. So for instance, one of mine is responsibility. And what that looks like is cleaning up your messes when you make a mess. And it's something I've been like teaching kids, since they were little like, it's not always just going to be a mess of Raisin Bran all over the floor, it's going to be like you said something hurtful to someone, you made the wrong choice on the other side of this, and you hurt someone's feelings. And it's about how you clean it up, and just acknowledging the mess that you made. And it's an incredibly vulnerable thing to do. That's why people don't do it. Like, yeah, I don't watch that much reality TV, but I got sucked into selling sunset and selling the OSI. And I think it's, it's very much like real housewives. And from what I've heard, it's fascinating conflict happens. Hardly anyone takes any responsibility and yelling at the TV, please hire me, I will sign that contract to come on there. And I will gently call people out for not taking any accountability and responsibility because it makes us defensive, it drops us into shame, or having made the mistake in the first place. And so anyway, I could go on and on about that I get fired up. But that's really what values work is is like what's important about the way you live your life. And when you name those attributes, those values, what does that look like? What are the behaviours that encompass that?

Casey O'Roarty 22:10
I love those two questions. What's important to you? What's important about how you live your life? I love those questions. They are so much more expansive than what are your values? Sure. Yeah. Right. And so

Andrea Owen 22:22
that's what we paid a lot of money to go to coaching school for OKC. That's right. That's

Casey O'Roarty 22:26
right, isn't it a Part D isn't it apart, and it's work. And I think this kind of speaks into where we started with your, you know, how to be a human. We're all human podcast, and the work that you do and this value, like, you know, we get to also Mind the Gap, right? Between this is what's important to me, this is how I want to live my life. And I also get to look and see who I am not living into my values, right. And I think that something that gets in the way, can often be like, you know, we get blind to our blindness, right? We don't realise that we're being driven by old conversations or beliefs or conditioning. I know I definitely my daughter, in 11th grade dropped out of high school and took old side road in her education that I didn't realise how deeply ingrained the messaging that connected education to your worth, was from my family of origin. And then even when I realised like, oh, that's where this is coming from. It was like, in my body, it was so hard. Yeah, it was so hard to shift out of how do you work with your clients? Because this shows up in parenting, like,

Andrea Owen 23:36
oh, all the time, right? Just trauma that shows up for people. Yeah, yeah. And

Casey O'Roarty 23:41
so there's those conversations and beliefs that we might not even realise are taking hold. We get to shine the light on them. And how like, I know, you talked about like, what are some different conversations that we can be having? How do we shift into a more empowered place where we are walking in our values and feeling you know, confident that our come from in the moment is from this like more pure, value driven place versus society patriarchy, conditioning, Emily's family of origin bullshit.

Andrea Owen 24:14
I love that you pointed this out, because when I talk about this, in longer form, that's one of the things I say like, first, your values will change over time, depending on the season of your life, you're going to have different values from season to season. Second, so many of our values are aspired values. So someone might see a list of common values. And they'll say like, oh, you know, courage. I want to live a more courageous life. I want to set boundaries and have hard conversation and really tell people how I feel and learn, you know, good communication, but I'm not doing any of that. So I can't put it on my list. And it's like, well, no, that's kind of the point. You know, it's figuring out how you want to live your life and what's important to it and like you said, like minding the gap. That's a large part of what coaching is, but to answer your question around the finding out if these are actually your value, Use or things that have just been sort of handed down from you is just sort of teasing it apart. So it might be, you know, if you have a value around education, what's important to you about that? Like, what do you think would happen if someone or if you didn't value that? Or you could ask yourself, Where do you think that value came from? In other words, like, we're putting worth on it, like, if my value is around courage, I somewhere along the line have put worth on someone as a courageous person. But when it comes to education, like that's what I would be curious about, if that was my client, like, what makes someone more worthy if they have an education versus someone who doesn't. And you might still walk away and have education as one of your values. And it's like, of course, I think it's amazing. Like, the whole point isn't to change your mind. The point is to really get to the bottom of, is it yours? Is it truly your highest self? Or was it handed to you? And it's really like in a perfect world where no one cared? Would it still be your value?

Casey O'Roarty 25:56
Yeah. Well, it's interesting to listen to you talk about it, because as I'm listening to you, I'm also thinking about this experience of mine. And yeah, I think that the offering to me, I think was, you will be seen a certain way with a certain level of education and education in that context was really certificates, right? Like degrees. And when I think about because I do value education, which is different than your value is based on your education, right? Like I value learning and exploring and perspective taking, and being a white belt again, and again, and again, and being in the beginner's mind, and the lifelong learning conversation. And it's such a different way to hold it than my parents. So I love my parents. And I wonder if I said, you know, this is what you handed over, they probably be like, No, it's not about that. But that's how I interpreted it and received the message. So it's just really interesting. I love the work that we get to do I love teasing apart the human experience, and like rolling around in it, and being in curiosity, it's so fun. And

Andrea Owen 27:12
I've say one thing, that sort of off topic, but it's directly related to what you just said about your parents and how totally, if they heard this conversation, they'd be like, That's not how we did it. One of the things that I accepted early on in my career as a mother is, you know, I think we try so hard to kind of, you know, like, hustle around our kids with orange cones, and be the best parent that we can be so that they don't have all this trauma bestowed on them from us as their parents and what I realised is, and this came from conversations with my own mother, and, you know, talking to her about things that I experienced and having her either not remember them at all, or her recollection is different than mine. And my sister, too, were 12 years apart, but like, you know, we have different perspectives on certain things. And here's what I realised that I'm so glad that I realised this and I hope this is helpful for anyone listening who hasn't accepted this is no matter how hard we try to be good parents, our children are going to end up in therapy talking about us. Yeah, probably talking bad about us. Because they are going to experience our parenting our words, however, they're going to experience it. And that's not up to us. Like the impact we have no idea what the impact is. And also our memories. Like science tells us that memories are crap. Yeah, like there could be made up like that's my worst nightmare isn't made up stuff, that I'm not gonna have any control over. Whether it ends up impacting, that has kind of allowed me to take a step back, and just be like, Okay, I'm just gonna do my best. And I'm so sorry that you're gonna end up in therapy. Anyway. I got the word surrender tattooed on my arm, like for this resume, not

Casey O'Roarty 28:55
you. I surrender. Yes. On my wrist girl. Yeah,

Andrea Owen 29:00
my own handwriting. Partly like, this is one of the things that I've had to surrender to like, yeah, it was born of my father passing away. And it was the first time I had ever encountered grief like that. And I was like, oh, okay, I guess I can't have control over this. But parenting is another thing that we don't have very much control over, especially when they become teenagers. Oh, my God.

Casey O'Roarty 29:19
Yeah, totally. And I feel like and I've said this before on the pod, like the goal is to have them show up to therapy with a carry on bag instead of a U haul trailer.

Andrea Owen 29:31
Use that and I'll credit you.

Casey O'Roarty 29:34
I mean, right. Like, I

Andrea Owen 29:35
want to add one more thing on that, not just the carry on, but as a parent who's willing to have conversations with them. And like I was saying, like, take responsibility for anything that they did do and just remain curious and open at their experience because like, I think we've all had that experience of being shut down or told we're wrong about something, and that hurts to not be seen and understood. So that's what I'm gearing up for. I'll let you know how it

Casey O'Roarty 30:02
goes. Yeah, well, yes, mine is already in, you know, my oldest is already she is a supporter of therapy, she loves therapy. And I love her, you know, figuring out, I feel like with some of these kids, and I've said this before, you know, when there's a lot of mental health stuff happening in the teen years, and once they find their willingness to do some work around that. It's such a special opportunity for personal growth and development that I didn't step into until I was well into my 30s, you know, and had my small kids. And I was like, Oh, it turns out, I have some issues, I guess I better figure this out, like she is, you know, and has a 20 year old brain but also is so emotionally intelligent, because of her experience of working with a really skilled therapist, and also just someone who she feels deeply seen by which is such a powerful opportunity. And going back to what you said about valuing, cleaning up our messes. I got really excited when I realised that you also meant like not like the brazen brand on the floor. But actually, you were hurtful, or you made a mistake or whatever. That's often when parents come to me and they're really struggling with their teens. That's the first invitation I give them is like, let's take a look at your contribution to the current dynamic. And like you said, it's so humbling. And it takes a lot of vulnerability. And well, it takes a lot of courage, right to be able to go but I mean, our kids are experts on us. They have been in observation of us since the beginning

Andrea Owen 31:37
for their centre of their universe for a long time. Yeah, yeah. So

Casey O'Roarty 31:41
just going in and saying, Well, I'm gonna start doing things differently. They're like, yeah, we'll see. And then it comes back to Okay, so if I'm going to do things differently, how am I going to interrupt what has become this well worn pattern? So do you have any, you know, that shift, whether it's a shift in the boardroom, or a shift in how you are in friendship, relationships, or partnership or with our kids, and I do think it's a matter of resilience, it's a matter of willingness to try something new to like, catch yourself or, you know, we don't always catch ourselves. Sometimes it's like, going to clean up the mess or somebody else does. Yeah, yes, exactly. Kids are so great partners like that. And that out. So what are some tools that you have that you share with your clients around shifting into a more empowered, more resilient, more conscious, present way of being in their relationships?

Andrea Owen 32:38
Yeah, I think you'll hear from probably any personal development expert that like the awareness piece is half the battle, like, you go from that, sort of like you don't know what you don't know, into, you know, what you don't know. And then I just want to acknowledge that part. And I also I often say, brutal play. Oh, it's a brutal call. It's a point of no return. Like I've named it because I have been there before and also felt like why is no one talking about this place where Brene Brown calls it like high centred, she uses the metaphor, like if you drive over a median in your car, and you get stuck, and like just the sound of the metal underneath your car, you can't back up like, because, you know, like, we're talking about personal development, like you can't unsee what you just saw. And you also like to move forward feels paralysing because either you don't have the tools or if you do have the tools, it feels so uncomfortable and vulnerable. And something you've never done before we can take the example of having a hard conversation. Or maybe you have experience from your own family of origin, there was a lot of conflict or just completely shutting down and stonewalling to do that, to have that hard conversation you're like absolutely not. And I want to also say that there's grief in that, you know, because you're venturing into this whole new territory. And I've often said to like, there are days where I wish I had a different profession, like that's how hard it is where I've like looked up at the sky and I'm like, really? Could I just have stayed a personal trainer and just been like blissfully unaware of the importance of therapy and John Gottman 's work and Brene Browns work and all this personal development because I just want to talk about like, new hairstyles and selling sunset. Yeah, it's some days like I go there. But definitely that point of no return is really, really tricky. But after that, when you've been in that place, I always advocate for baby steps, you know, Turtle steps even because sometimes baby steps are too small. And it usually starts, especially if you're in relationship with someone is like acknowledging a couple pieces. I'm just going to name like two kind of key ingredients. always acknowledge your part, like we were talking about. And it might sound something like you know, I've noticed that we have a pattern in this family where we sort of just step over big emotions and anytime something really hard happens, we just kind of like pretend it's not happening and sweep it under the rug. And I've noticed that that's how I was raised. And I definitely don't want to keep doing that. So I'm going to actively work harder to change that. So it's just like acknowledging, again, like your contribution. And also wherever you can place it, like, put in some gratitude. And what that might sound like is, I just want to tell you how grateful I am that you're willing to even have this conversation with me, Casey, I appreciate our friendship so much. And this is such an uncomfortable conversation for me to bring, but I value our friendship so much that I couldn't not do it. So thank you for your time today. And then go into you know, the thing that I just said. And keep in mind, like I've been doing this for a long time. So the script comes off my tongue very easy, but it comes off my tongue very easy to tell other people how to do it. Exactly. It comes to me. I'm gonna procrastinate. anymore.

Casey O'Roarty 35:47
It's not so funny, too. I feel the same way when I'm talking to parents. And they're like, Gosh, I really wish you just make it sound so easy. You, uh, you always know what to say. And I'm like, Listen, I'm great in the observer role. You know, and that's what I'm doing right here is I'm observing your situation. And yeah, because our own emotional experience shows up. But I really appreciate that. And we talk about a continuum of change in the work that I do. And there's the unconsciously unskilled, I don't know what I don't know. And then the consciously unskilled. I know what I don't know. And yeah, right, those baby steps to bridge into consciously skilled where it's wobbly, right? It's wobbly, but we're willing to step in, we're willing to be imperfect, positive discipline is what I teach. And we have a mantra called the courage to be imperfect. And I think that's really what it takes to take those turtle steps or those baby steps or step into that conversation. And as I was listening to you, I was also thinking about values and like values that are displayed that are modelled that are animated when we're willing to highlight just the way you said, I noticed in our family, we glaze over hard emotions, and then connecting the dots around your own experience of that and, you know, just bringing it back to values. I think often in the relationship that parents have with their kids, they forget kids have to see values modelled in action, you know, like really organically not as like, now I'm going to show you what it looks like to clean up my mess. But instead like this is the norm in our house. This is what we do. This is common language. We used to call it making it right. You know, and that was kind of code around like okay, you know, you got to clean it up. Now. What does that look like? Do you need support? Do you know what to do? And is the other person ready? Right so I think there's something really powerful when we just normalise hard conversations and it makes that consciously skilled place ever less wobbly or it normalises the wobble?

Andrea Owen 38:01
Yeah, it normalises the mess? Yeah, that's what I call it. Yeah, well, I have a client actually, that calls them wobbly bridges, which I like I like because it is like a bridge that you're trying to get from one place to another. And it's like one of those suspension bridges. Where

Casey O'Roarty 38:18
am I gonna be like aim at the carnival that nobody ever wins. All the prizes are gigantic, because nobody wins except for the guy that the carny is the only one that could do no, not those bridges people a little wobble the more stable a little bit. Yes. Well, I'm so glad to have gotten to talk to you about this. I love your work, Andrea, I said I think before I hit record, and I would encourage everybody to jump into Andrea's website and see all the things that she does and all the ways that she speaks to groups and companies and works one on one with clients. You know, I went through your list of keynotes and just was like, oh, yeah, I bet these are really powerful. And I'm so glad that you're out in the world doing the work that you do. As we wrap up. Is there anything you want to make sure that you land for listeners? I'm

Andrea Owen 39:14
just so glad of the work that you do. I think that there's just I mean, I don't know, maybe it's because I'm just not in it enough. But there's so much support out there for like new parents and you know, school age, but then teenagers and I think teenagers just get such a bad rap. You know, like, I really love teenagers. Like, I wish that I could go back and have just some of that, like, you know, I guess it's the underdeveloped prefrontal cortex where you really, in so many ways just don't care about like the amount of fun loud fun that they have with what other people think that's what I love about teenagers. Although I know that there's insecurities there, but teenagers are just rad like they really, really are. And you know if I could go back and hug my own inner teenager, I'd Definitely woods. So just glad to know that everybody out there listening is really just rooting for their own teenagers at home. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 40:07
Yeah, me too. Me too. What does joyful courage mean to you?

Andrea Owen 40:11
Oh my gosh, it's finding joy. One of the things that I learned early on when my kids were little was to take snapshots of little moments, I intentionally and very consciously took snapshots of small moments, whether they were alone or mostly of that the two of them interacting, and I have so many memories of just the joy that they brought me as children and as siblings together. And I think that you know, and Brene Brown talks about this, that joy is one of the most courageous feelings and experiences for us to feel because we all know the feeling of having that snatched away from us. And so many times we avoid it. So that's what that feels like to me.

Casey O'Roarty 40:54
Thank you, where can listeners find you and follow your work?

Andrea Owen 40:58
My website, Andrew owen.com and my podcast it's called Make some noise. Beautiful.

Casey O'Roarty 41:02
I'll make sure that those links are in the show notes listeners. As you know, Andrea, thank you so much. Thank you for hanging out with super fun

Casey O'Roarty 41:17
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners, as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts probable.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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