In this episode, Lisa talks about the emotional challenges of needing to be away from your kids so you can ensure your personal goals, dreams and plans don’t get left by the wayside (and you pave the way for your kids to believe in their own dreams and capabilities). She shares her tips for staying connected even when you’re in a different state or time zone, and some of the advice other mothers shared with her on a difficult day.
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hey guys. A super quick podcast from me today, and I’m going to tell you the reason why. I’ve just come back from a weekend in Perth, where I held an event with the amazing Jude Blereau, and if you don’t know who Jude is, you better go Google that lady. She’s an awesome woman, and someone I feel very privileged, actually, to call a friend. I reached out to her years ago, and asked to interview her. Before I had a proper blog or anything, I interviewed her via Skype, because I was so inspired after hearing her talk, back when I was a Thermomix consultant. And she spoke to a bunch of the Thermomix people up here in Brisbane, and I was like, ‘I’m going to do a Jude and Lisa blog, like the Julia and Julia one, and cook all your recipes.’ And she was like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing. Do it!’ Clearly I didn’t. Anyway, we ended up becoming friends. Helped her launch her book up here in Brisbane last year. It’s just a beautiful, wonderful friendship.
The best part about it, the whole reason I actually went to Perth, was because my Small Steppers, the Small Steps members in Perth, were all having a get-together. And I saw them all chatting about it on Facebook, and I’m like, ‘I want to go. I just want to go and meet these people.’ They’re getting themselves together. Some of these women did my very first round of Small Steps to Wholefoods, back in 2014, and I was blown away, number one, that they really feel like a community. We’re all like-minded, everyone in that membership Facebook group is just so supportive, and they wanted to get together as the Perth peeps. And I wanted to go and meet them, so I packed the kids up on a plane. Nick came and met me, he was in Melbourne, and he came and met us over there. Literally, arrived Friday night, did the Jude event Saturday morning, met up with the Small Steppers in the afternoon, and flew home Sunday. And it is now Monday night, and I am about to jump on a plane tomorrow to America.
You know, sometimes I’ve got it all together, and sometimes, I just really don’t. And this is one of those times when I think, ‘Lisa, possibly bit off more than you could chew.’ So, today’s podcast is actually about two comments that friends made to me today, while I was completely losing my shit about the fact that I was leaving for five nights, to go to America. Leaving my kids, leaving my husband. My mother-in-law is here, to help out a bit, but just generally leaving, having to say goodbye. There were actually three friends. Four, was it? I can’t remember how many people helped me get through today, and my mother. And I just started to really just lose my cool about it. I just thought, ‘Who am I to be going to do this?’ And it’s actually for a work-related thing, I have a mentor in America and I’m part of, like, they call it a Mastermind. Where people who have similar goals in their business, or are really looking to improve their personal development, really move through some of the things that might be holding them back, experiencing life on their terms. And I just really admire this guy, and everything that he’s about. I’ve looked at him for a long time, and he opened up this inner circle Mastermind, and I thought, ‘Man, I want in on that.’
You know, I was always the person at school who put my hand up for leadership retreats, and I was School Captain, and at Uni I was a Student Rep on the trips to Great Keppel Island and Central Australia. That’s just, like, who I was. I was the extracurricular chick. I put myself in uncomfortable positions all the time, and I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was stretching me, and growing me. And you can’t have that growth without that ‘uncomfortable’. I guess working for myself, a big reason why I did a crazy thing like fly over to Perth to meet Small Steppers, was because I miss that interaction. I miss that real life element, and I’d love for 2017 to be more about that. And I say this, and yet, this trip to America. There are meant to be four this year. I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to do that, it just seems too intense. But this first one, I think in my mind I want it, and then it comes to saying goodbye to my kids, I’m like, ‘Oh man, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know why I’m doing this.’
It makes me question, I guess, what it means to be a good mother. Because, you know, a good mother doesn’t leave. Okay, I promised I wasn’t going to cry. Deep breath. And I felt like recording this, at this exact time, because I could do a podcast next week, and it’s like, ‘I did this, and it was so amazing, and I feel so great, and my kids are better off for it, and I’m a better mother because of it.’ But right now, in the moment, when I’ve just kissed them goodnight, and was speaking to them about what’s going to happen. And knowing that I’ll get up in the morning, and I’ll have to say goodbye to their beautiful faces. Man, it hurts, and it makes me question what I’m doing, because it hurts. So I had a few friends help me out today, as I was crying a few ugly tears, in the bathroom, because I don’t want the kids to pick up on that energy.
One of them said, ‘Lisa, you are expanding their trust circle.’ And I was like, ‘What did you say?’ And this is the beautiful Jewls, who is a gorgeous friend up here in Brisbane, and she’s also the yoga instructor in the Small Steps Living membership. So she does a weekly live yoga class for us, and she just said, ‘If you think about it, right now, they believe that you and Nick are the people they can trust. But they’ve got Grandma there this week, and they’re going to learn that they can trust her too. And it shows them that they can place trust in other people, and that there are more people in the world for them to trust, apart from you guys. It expands their trust circle.’ I was like, ‘Wow.’ I cried, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really, really nice.’ And I think so much of my dilemmas with motherhood are because I think I’m the one who can do it the best for them. They’re my kids, I want to be there for them. I know them better than anyone, and yet, it could possibly be a really great thing for them, for me to step away for five nights and have someone else come in and expand that trust circle.
I wanted to share that with you, because I thought it was really beautiful. And then another friend said, ‘You know, you doing this is actually-, you owe this to them. You are showing them what’s possible in your doing. You are showing them that you can go after what you want to go after, and that love still prevails. Love will always be there, but women, mothers, can follow their dreams. You owe this to them, to show it to them.’ And I was like, ‘Yes, she’s right on that one, too.’ Now, some mums have absolutely no intention of stepping away from their kids, and for me, intellectually I know they’re going to be totally fine. I’m just going to have a cry, and then I get through customs, and be like, ‘Whoa, okay, this is awesome.’ But as I said before, right now, I needed my village to remind me that this is going to be okay. And another friend, who has raised her boys on her own since they were six and four, and she just said she’s just left guilt behind, because she tries her freaking best, every single day. And her ex-husband hasn’t even been in the country, she’s had to do it totally by herself. Of course with amazing support from her family.
In fact, I need to get her on the podcast, I reckon. You would love her story, far out, she inspires me so much. And she’s like, ‘You know, there is no guilt here, because you’re doing something for you, and they will be better off.’ You know those people, those friends that you’ve got, that you’re like, ‘I just-, yes, because you’re wise.’ And, you know, I’m saying all this also knowing that I have a choice, at any moment, to not go. I could just say, ‘No,’ feels too gross, but I know, deep down, I want to. It’s just that when you’re a mum, you know, your heart is in a million different places. Like, all of my children have my heart, and I cannot do life, I don’t want to do life, without them. But I need to do some things just for me. I need to tap into that dorky Leadership Lisa, whose cup was filled, and was high for days, after going away with random people, in High School, and all that sort of stuff. It’s what I did, and this is, I guess, my version of it now. In fact, it’s something that I’d love to create for other women really yearning for those get-togethers, just together, jamming on stuff, taking ourselves to the next level. You know, there are so many things that I’d love to share. Anyway, there I go, adding another thing onto my list of ideas. They don’t stop coming!
The other thing that I wanted to say is that, in these moments, for me, and my kids, the two things that have worked before are giving them little crystals to hold, and that I kiss them, so they’ve got my kiss whenever they need it. The other thing is the invisible string, and one of my most beautiful, amazing friends, recommended a book to me called The Invisible String once. I think it was when Nick and I left together, the year before last, to go to New York for a week. That was intense, and I think all of the emotion of that is coming back to me now. You know, I was so traumatised, I couldn’t stop crying for about six hours, which makes you think why am I doing it again? But I also know the big, huge transformations that happened for me on that New York trip. The really big mindset shifts about what I stepped into. Anyway, the Invisible String book is just beautiful. It’s just basically saying that mothers and their kids are always connected. Like, no matter if we’re on the moon, no matter if we’re climbing tall mountains, no matter if we’re at the bottom of the ocean, there’s a string that connects us. And I can pull the string, and they feel it; and any time they pull the string, I feel it.
I really recommend that book, and I’m teary again, because I know that it works, and that connection, that love, the umbilical cord that never really gets cut, is such a strong, powerful force. And there’s been part of me over the last few years that was like, ‘Oh man, it would be easier if I didn’t care so much.’ But I can’t help the mother who I am, and really try to balance out who I am for them, and who I am for me. And it’s just a constant learning journey, and I have no idea if I’m fucking them up for life by doing these things, or whether our love, and our connection, and them seeing that this is what a mum can do, is going to be good for them. I know that 100% they’ll be fine. They’ll cry, when I leave, and then they’ll get to it. And if they feel sad, they’ve got their string, they’ve got their dad, they’ve got their Grandma, they’ve got each other, and they’ll have me on Facetime, like, three times a day. How good is that? It makes everything less traumatic, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ll worry about them the whole time, and I’ll think about them, and I’ll ache to see them, even although so much, I ache to have these moments to myself.
You know, far out, motherhood is a contradiction, isn’t it? I just wanted to share with you, in this moment, right now, what’s going on for me. So you know that if it looks from the outside like I’m gliding through all this, or it’s easy to make these kinds of decisions, that we’re all facing the same stuff. It’s not easy for anyone, I don’t think, and I hope to come back renewed, refreshed, with a whole stack of clarity. Because, as I said before, I’ve got so many ideas, and after speaking to the Small Steppers on Sunday, you know, my brain just explodes with things that I could do, and ways that I could help, and what I want to share, and where this is all going. I never thought I was a creative person, ever, because I couldn’t do art, couldn’t paint, couldn’t draw, nothing like that. But I guess I’m creative in the way of thinking up stuff from nothing, and all of it is really around helping people. That’s why I started, and that’s why I want to continue.
So I look forward to coming back with a bit of a spring in my step about more exciting things in 2017. So, I hope that this all made sense. If in any way it was helpful hearing what my friends shared with me, and also the book that my kids and I use in these situations. I hope that that was helpful, a little small step, for you. If ever you need time on your own, you know, we have to claim it. We have to claim that everything is going to be fine, and we owe it to ourselves to continue our own journey, as people. You know, in saying this, my kids aren’t-, I’m not making them any more, they’re not on my boob. My youngest is two-and-a-half, and articulate as all get out. It is a different stage of motherhood to where I was, you know, two years ago, even one year ago. It’s just all evolving. Anyway, reaching out to all you mamas out there, and signing off. Next stop, California.
Stay tuned also, for more information coming your way extremely soon, about the next round of Small Steps to Wholefoods, which is the program that kicked all this off, and the program that I keep on bringing out because people keep on telling me they loved it so much. The Small Steppers really reminded me of that on the weekend. You know, there’s part of me that thinks maybe Small Steps has had its day, and I’ll just focus on the membership, but Small Steps to Wholefoods, that eight-week program. You know, hearing people tell you that it’s changed their lives. I’ll owe it to you, I’m going to bring it to you. Maybe this will be the one last time, we’ll give it another round. We’ll get all those who haven’t jumped in, but have been looking from the outside, and rock it. I’ll be bringing you more information on that soon. Otherwise, wish me luck on this trip. See you on the other side. See you, guys.