Eps 400: Joyful Courage Book Club – The Intro

Episode 400

Join me in reading Joyful Courage: Calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey, the book I published back in 2019. I will be discussing what holds up and things I’ve learned during the wild years since it came out.

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Takeaways from the show

  • An introduction to the series
  • My story of coming into my role as a mom and how transitioning to two kids was my invitation to growth
  • My definition of Joyful Courage
  • The context of when I was writing this book, and advice I would give myself now
  • Paying attention to the indicators that we are off course


What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

Today Joyful Courage is being vulnerable, allowing the raw places to exist, and fighting for what I want most.



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Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, listeners. 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. 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, and life skills to be developed. My name is Casey Oh Bertie, I am your fearless host, positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sproutsocial. Also mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting you are in for a treat. This episode is part of a 10 part series where I'm reading from my book, joyful courage, calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey that was published in 2019. I'm sharing the book with you and reflecting on where it holds up, and how the work has been expanded in the four plus years after writing it. If you're finding the series in the middle, I encourage you to start at the first episode, joyful courage book club the intro so that you can follow along from start to finish. The series is meant to be a resource to you and I work hard with everything I put out in the world to keep it real transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Along with this series is a free companion guide designed to prompt you in reflecting on what you're hearing and taking steps to integrate it into your life. You can find the guide and buy your own copy of the book by going to www dot fece browsable.com/jc book. And please don't forget, sharing really is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around, snap a screenshot and post it on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. Enjoy. All right, here we go. Here we go. My friends, I've got my book in hand. I've got my book in hand joyful per edge, calming the drama, and taking control of your parenting journey. I'm excited for this little adventure that we're gonna go on. And I hope that you are too. I haven't read my book in a long time. And I have a feeling that it might be kind of emotional for me. Yeah, so let's dig right in. This episode is just going to be the intro. I'm gonna read the intro to you and then reflect on some things at the end. So yeah, this is going to kind of just set the tone for the rest of the series. And I hope you're excited because I'm excited. I'm excited. So yeah, let's get started. Hey, there, I start. Hey there, my name is Casey. I am a mom just like you. I came into this parenting gig thinking that it would be so great. So easy. I figured I was at the perfect age in a solid relationship with my husband. We were both ready to jump into the next part of our life. We went for it. I have always been a kid person. I was a camp counsellor, a babysitter. I went into teaching when I was 25. Kids were my jam. I just got them. It was easy, right? And then I had my own. From the start, I was surrounded by moms that I looked up to moms that introduced me to natural childbirth, attachment, parenting, extended breastfeeding, everything I learned in those early years, felt really instinctive. It felt right. My first baby was like another limb. She spent a tonne of time in the sling, riding along snug against me, no matter what event or experiences were at hand. She nursed on demand, we co slept. And this worked for both my husband and me. We like to have an A right there. We found our rhythm and I learned to navigate the world with a baby quickly forgetting what it was like before. Then I had my son Hey, one is good. Two is better. Right? I read a bit about the transition from one child to two about the mama bear instinct to push your older child away. And in no way did I think this would be something that would happen to me. I was more concerned with how I could possibly love another child as deeply as I loved my first then he arrived while I was there so much love and that Mama Bear instinct kicked in hard. Those of you with more than one child no How this is you have another baby, and the older child becomes a giant overnight. And while I knew in my mind that she still needed me, this other tiny brand new human and seemed to pull me right in, it turns out that I did indeed push my older child away. And it wasn't pretty. And it really hurts to share that. I think about how confusing that time must have been for her all those years ago, when her mom changed so dramatically. My heartbreaks, as I wonder if some of the struggles she is dealing with today come from that early messaging and the experience of feeling like she didn't fit in the family. I mean, I wasn't terrible all the time. But my threshold for what I could handle was low during those early years, I would snap and get mean, mean to the girl I loved most, the one that made me a mother. It was a dark time. But what could I do like so many others, I was home all day with two babies. It was both completely chaotic and monotonous. Like there was no time and so much time, I felt guilty about not being grateful. So I'd put on that brave face. Man, I loved those babies fiercely, of course. And the pendulum would swing hard between the nurturing, connecting loving moments that we would share and the angry dysregulated less than loving moments that we would live through. Wow, this is emotional for me. During the same period of time, I was working on growing my parent education business. Ha. I'm sure you can imagine the conversations I had with myself around that. How could I stand up and speak to advise and support other parents when so much of my own parenting felt out of control. In 2007, I decided that what I was doing clearly wasn't working for me or my family. My daughter was picking on her little brother, I was picking on her for picking on him, which led her to pick on him more. It was a disaster. This is when I took the advice of a mom that I still love deeply and admire so much. And I looked up positive discipline. A month later, I went through the training and became a certified positive discipline parent educator. Learning the philosophy and practice of positive discipline and facilitating others and learning about it was a game changer for me. Not only did it shift the dynamics in my own family, and specifically my relationship with my daughter, but it was also a philosophy I was so proud to share. In the years that followed the climate of our home shifted, my daughter and I were able to mend our relationship and move forward in a connected and loving way. I learned to recognise how I was contributing to the dynamics that were happening in our home. And I learned strategies for creating a home environment that celebrated contribution, cooperation, and more important than anything, learning from mistakes. Teaching parenting classes kept me in the practice of walking my talk most of the time, it offered me a beautiful practice of accountability and personal responsibility for my actions. I was not, and I am not a perfect parents. I'm a shitshow a lot of the time, but I'm aware of what is happening. And I'm willing to be honest and vulnerable with my kids and with other parents. I'm willing to get up and try again. In 2011, I began to write about my parenting experiences and a blog, I found that it was helpful for me to tell my real and Ross stories, and that it also helps others to read them and not feel so alone. That blog evolved into a website. And in April of 2014, I published my first podcast, I am now over 150 shows in actually I'm closer to 400 Now that the time of this reading, what has always been important to me in holding space for parents, is to help them make sense of their journey to help parents recognise that there's always room to grow, evolve and expand as humans and that our children choose us to light their way. As of writing this book. My children are 12 and 15 years old. I remain in the thick of it, but I am stronger and more committed than ever in how I show up for them. The pendulum still swings but the arc is much smaller. Not only do I continue to facilitate parenting classes, I also speak at conferences, lead online workshops and coach private clients, all with the intention of supporting other parents and being and growing into the best versions of themselves.

Casey O'Roarty 10:00
Parenting is no joke. I know I'm not the only one that assumed it would be easy that I would be filled with love and enjoy every precious moment I could spend with my children. And yes, of course there is love and joy. But there is also anger, fear and frustration that maybe we've never known before. It can take us by surprise. It definitely took me by surprise. I didn't know you were a complete control freak before you had kids. Neither did I. And those intense moments of emotion. It can feel like our bodies have been taken over. We may say or do things that we never thought we would do or say it can get ugly. We all start off wanting to be good moms and good dads, only to find out we don't always know what that means. challenges arise and it can feel like the wind is being knocked out of us. Our hopes of being a positive, conscious intentional parent might fly out the window, it can be startling. It can be painful, and it can leave us feeling helpless and defeated. This book is all about how to navigate the challenges of raising children while choosing to be a connected human being. How to be engaged with the demands of parenting while riding the emotional freight train. This book is about parenting with joyful courage. Part one of this book will help you get more familiar with your personal and unique emotional freight train, what it is, how it feels, and the baggage and passengers that join you for the ride. Part two will help you identify who you want to be as a parent, help you practice being that parent and offer tools that will help you get off the train. Part three will help you integrate and sustain those practices so you can live the life you want. We are imperfect, we will make mistakes. But there are ways to integrate the lessons from this book into your life so that you'll be more likely to show up as a present, courageous, joyful parent. But what is joyful courage. In 2012 Joyful courage was simply the name I chose for my business. I love those two words together. I love to think that being brave, stepping into courage can be a joyful experience. A few years later, I ran a couple of programmes online that really took off and nurtured a mighty group of moms. They were thrilled to learn tools for being in relationship with their children, while also growing themselves. They began to speak of joyful courage as a concept. And why wouldn't it be? For a few years now, I have asked my podcast guests. What does joyful courage mean to you? I love the variety of answers that show up. I love to hear the people that inspire me speak into their own definitions of joyful courage. Recently, I have come to realise that it's time for me to define what joyful courage means. The era of parenting I am now in lends itself perfectly to joyful courage. My children are beginning their journeys of navigating middle and high school, I'm coming to realise that nothing can really prepare you for watching your children struggle with all the challenges that come with adolescence, I am being called into some deep work as fear and a sense of losing control bubble up inside of me. When I can pull up and out of my experience, when I can look at what is happening with my kids instead of from it, I have a broader perspective, I can see that my role and all of this is to love them and get out of their way. I'm also experiencing while writing this book, how challenging that can be. I believe that our children choose us that even before we come into these physical bodies, our spirits make agreements about what we're meant to teach each other through our human relationships, and experiences. I believe that we're meant to evolve and expand each other as we navigate the world and all that crosses our path. And this gets me really fired up. At the same time. It brings me a sense of peace because if that's true, if children are meant to teach us, then there is purpose to the path and purpose gives me something to anchor into, especially in times of high stress and fear. So the definition that I've landed on is that joyful courage is rejoicing in the opportunities for personal growth and development on the parenting journey. While creating a home environment steeped in love, learning and connection. Joyful courage is taking a pause, finding perspective and parenting in a way that maintains the relationship with the human in front of you while also connecting with the learning that your child is in biting you into joyful courage. Parenting is parenting on purpose. It's thoughtful, it's respectful. It's being confronted by a child having a hard time. And choosing to show up in a way that is helpful and not hurtful, joyful. Courage is trusting yourself and your intuition. Even when that feels hard to do. Joyful courage, parents have decided who they want to be. And they practice that way of being on a regular basis, so they can access it when they need it. When it really counts. It isn't easy, it's messy. We are emotional beings in a relationship with other emotional beings who have very limited life skills, it can feel like a straight up dumpster fire, sometimes, this book is going to help you with that. When we take the time to choose the way we show up to choose a way of being that will serve us and the relationships we have with the people we love. We can be better for ourselves and our children. Even when it's hard, I promise you, it's worth it. I hope you will join me. Oh, oh my gosh. So that was the intro. That was the intro to my book. And I noticed as I was reading it, that my chest gets tight. And there is a lot of emotion for me, thinking back to this time of parenting. So I was writing this book during my teenage daughter's freshman year of high school. And if you follow the podcast, if you follow the podcast over the last four or five years, you know, I've documented how challenging things became as she moved through adolescence. And when I read this intro, I think about who I was four years ago, five years ago, really because it was published in 2019. But I was writing it 2018. So yeah, freshman year, and I had no idea what was going to be coming down the pipes for me, as a parent, and I really hold the gal who wrote this intro in so much love and tenderness. And what I would say to her is buckle up, buckle up, buckle up, because things are about to get really real. And you know, you all have heard me talk about this on the podcast, the narrative of the teen years that we don't realise we're holding, can be pulled out from under duress, at any given time. And maybe that's not been your experience. But it definitely was my experience. And it wasn't just one rug that was pulled out from under me, but quite a few. And so as I read about my definition of joyful courage, I think about even how that's evolved.

Casey O'Roarty 18:11
I don't know if you notice, but on the website on the web page for each of my solo episodes, there's a section where I write what joyful courage means to me today. And it evolves, it evolves every week. I mean, it has the same kinds of themes. It's a lot of trusting the process, it's a lot of letting go and surrendering. But it's an evolution, right. And I think the through line is keep showing up, right? Keep showing up, keep being willing to grow, keep being willing to expand, keep being willing to look at yourself, honestly, vulnerably, check the inner critical dialogue at the door, and just really be with yourself, and your beliefs and your thoughts. And ask yourself, do these beliefs and thoughts line up to who I want to be? And even who I am, in my essence, because when we're in discomfort when we're in those experiences of anger and fear and frustration and worry, there is a misalignment, it is an indicator. And we're gonna get into that a lot in the series. But it is an indicator that we have gotten off course of who we are, right, we've gotten off course of who we are. And the work is to come back to that place of who we want to be who we want to be for our kids, when it's 20 years from now, and they're looking back. I think I said this on a show recently, and they're looking back and you're talking about, you know how you rose to the occasion of parenting them during adolescence. Who do we want them to remember? Right? And it's not about perfection. You're going to fly off the handle. That's what this book is all about flying off the handle pretty much, and how to course correct, right, the flying off the handle isn't the issue. The issue is when we are flying off the handle, and we're not taking the time to self regulate, to check in on where we're off course, to course correct to make amends and to repair. Right, that's what the work is all about. That's what this book is all about. Like I said, I have a feeling that reading this is going to be really emotional for me. So you get to bear with me on the emotional part, right? And join me, because raising adolescence is an emotional journey. As you know, right? If you're doing it right now, you know, it's an emotional journey, you know, that it takes a tremendous amount of resolve and self awareness to be the parent that we want to be as our teens and tweens push back individuate move through their adolescent brain development, it takes a lot of work on our part. So that's what this series is all about. So as I read this book, I want to reflect you know, on what I'm seeing, and, yeah, it's a lot to look back, and to remember those early years of my own growth, going from one to two kids, you know, navigating that conditioning, that had me lashing out on my daughter, Rowan, it still makes me feel a certain way to remember who I was, as a young mom, not so much who I was, but just, you know, where I was in my skills, right. And I work with a lot of parents who are just coming into the positive discipline mindset. And their kids are teens and tweens already, and they are looking back. And they're reflecting on how they have been over the course of their parenting journey. And there is a lot of guilt. There may be right, there may be guilt and shame over some of the ways that we've shown up and I just want to hold that we're all doing. And we have all been doing the best we can with the tools we have in the moment. And when we learn better, we have an opportunity to do better. That's been my experience. That's been the experience of the parents that I've worked with over time. And I certainly hope that that's been your experience. And integration is the key. Integration is the key. And as I wrote this book, that was really important to me, I didn't want to create a resource that was like, Oh, just do this, you know, broad strokes, about development, broad strokes, about ways of being I really wanted to create something that was practical for you. That was something you could put into practice on the daily. So over the next 10 weeks together, as I read through this book, we're really going to dive into the practicality of what I shared. We're gonna dive into the collective journey that we're having, and the hope that I want to instil in you not only hope, but really empowerment, I want you to feel seen and heard, of course. And I also want you to feel like there are steps you can take to really shift the dynamic that you're in with your teens with your adolescence. And maybe you're listening just because you like me, and things are going really well. Great. I hope that you find validation over the next 10 weeks, as we move through the book and through this series. Because, man, doesn't it feel good to be validated? Right? Adolescence is hard. And I'm finding, you know, my kids are now 17 and 20. And the work continues, my friends, the work continues, not only the work, but also that looking back, you know, I've been doing teaching, facilitating positive discipline for over 16 years now with my kids and in the community. And I still am challenged by feelings of guilt, by feelings of having not done enough of, you know, taking responsibility for some of the challenges, especially that my oldest continues to move through because we're humans, right, because we're humans and challenges like, don't stop because you're 20 or 30 or 40 or nearly 50 or beyond. And I get to really sit with that. And I get to keep showing up as a mom who is connected and present, who's checking her agenda and narrative at the door and really be Being with and seeing the growing young adults that are in front of me. And it is it's so beautiful. It's such a beautiful place. And I'm still being called in to courage, I'm still being called into being brave for my kids and, you know, finding my confident authority and saying no, and sharing hard things, and also wanting to make sure that relationship remains intact. Yeah. So that's what I've got for you today. The intro to joyful courage, calming the drama, and taking control of your parenting journey published in 2019. By me, yeah, think about who you were four years ago. What were you navigating? And what would you say to yourself, your parenting self from four years ago to let him or her know that they were going to get through it, they were going to make it through? Right, and that they were going to continue to get through it. Because parenting never ends. Turns out. All right. I will be back next week with Chapter One of the series, the joyful courage book club, and I hope that you join me on the way. All right, have a beautiful day.

Casey O'Roarty 26:27
Thank you so much for listening. Thank you to my Sproutsocial partners, as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there. Don't forget, get your free companion guide to this series created to expand your learning and your own copy of the book by going to be spreadable.com/jay Z book. I'm so appreciating you and I'm here to support you and your journey of parenting tweens and teens. Find me on social media or shoot me an email at Casey at joyful courage.com to discover how we can work together. Tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I'll be back with another solo show next Thursday.

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