This podcast episode marks a new chapter as we step into the world of video for the very first time! My producer convinced me that the possibilities with video are endless, so here we are!

Today, I’m embracing a cozy vibe with my favorite Monday T-shirt and my hair freshly washed and left to its natural curls instead of the meticulous look you might be used to. Feel free to check out our YouTube channel for the video experience rather than the audio version. If there are any unexpected quirks or if I need to clarify things differently, it is all part of this exciting transition.

Today, I want to share what has been happening with the podcast.

Finding Direction for the Podcast

Since taking a break over the summer, we have been figuring out our path forward. We began in January 2020 as Conversations with Cristie, where I discussed topics I could not address in my psychotherapy practice. Therapy is about not giving advice, and this podcast gave me a chance to offer some guidance mixed with personal anecdotes. Now, as Ask Your Mother, we aim to answer all the questions you might want to ask a parent or mentor but don’t feel comfortable asking.

Tuning In to Your Inner Self

One of the core questions we explore today is, How do I know what I want? Many people grapple with that when facing life transitions or evaluating their choices. We often follow societal expectations or external pressures without tuning in to our desires and values. To address that, I have developed a process I call tuning in to help individuals pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in everyday moments. Tuning in is a practical way to begin understanding ourselves better and find answers to life’s questions.

Concrete Exercises for Self-Discovery

We have also incorporated concrete exercises to help individuals to figure out what they want. One such exercise is the Circle of Life, a visual representation of life satisfaction in various areas. This exercise allows individuals to assess their current situation and decide where to focus their energy. Another tool is a Values Sort, which helps individuals identify their core values and align their choices with those.

My Journey of Career Changes

I have experienced significant career changes, transitioning from teaching to various roles while continuously tuning in to my instincts. Those changes have not always been easy, and I had to balance my passions with practical considerations. My journey highlights the importance of trusting your gut instinct and using the tuning-in process to guide your life decisions.

Recognizing Privilege in Our Journeys

I acknowledge that my journey and ability to tune in to my inner self came with privilege. I had the support of a partner with stable employment, allowing me the flexibility to explore different career paths. I know others may not have that privilege, so I recognize and address systemic barriers that often limit people’s choices.

My Career Journey

In the early stages of my career, I had the luxury of not being financially dependent on any specific job. That freedom allowed me to take my time in making informed decisions about my career path while exploring roles and industries that did not offer high pay but intrigued me.

Private Practice 

Several years later, I knew I wanted to establish a private practice. From the moment I began graduate school, I had that goal. I had briefly considered working in hospitals before realizing it was not the best fit for me. My age brought me the clarity to know my true calling was private practice.

Working Online 

I spent a decade working online, from blogging to social influencing, before it became a recognized field. When I earned a certificate as a holistic health coach, I learned how to leverage social media to grow my business.

The Pitfall of Comparison 

My internet-focused background had an unexpected impact on my perception of success. After opening a private practice, I found myself comparing my journey to the standards set by the internet. I felt like a failure because I did not have a book deal, hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers, or any local news appearances. I had bought into the idea that success had a predetermined definition and felt I was falling short of it.

Rediscovering My Passion 

After spending significant resources on coaches and self-help programs, I finally reached a breaking point and began questioning what I truly wanted.

The Power of Self-Reflection 

It dawned on me that I had allowed external influences to dictate my perception of success. I had a thriving private practice I loved, yet my focus on external markers of achievement had overshadowed my contentment. By reconnecting with my values and desires, I regained clarity and purpose.

Tuning In 

Tuning into our inner selves should be a daily practice. We must ask questions like, How am I feeling?, and, What do I want more or less of? We should also engage in more extensive exercises of re-evaluation periodically, especially when feeling stuck or overwhelmed. Those exercises help us reconnect with our goals and values, erase external noise, and focus on what truly matters.

The Art of Knowing Oneself 

Knowing what you want begins with knowing who you are and understanding what feels right. Once you know who you are, what you want, and what is important to you, you can navigate toward more of what resonates with you and less of what does not.

The Journey Continues 

Discovering what you want is an ongoing journey that requires regular self-reflection and the courage to tune out external expectations. It is ultimately about finding fulfillment on your unique path rather than conforming to predefined notions of success.

What I am Noticing?

Our discussion is relatively light this week as we focus on tuning in. Remember that turning your attention inward and exploring your thoughts and feelings is more important than seeking external fulfillment.

A delightful recent discovery in my life is mint cream coffee, introduced to me by my daughter when we stayed at a friend’s house in the Catskill Mountains some time ago. Just muddle some mint leaves, soak them in half-and-half overnight, and strain for a deliciously creamy minty coffee experience!

An interesting read I came across recently is a new James Comey book, Central Park West. Comey, known as the former FBI director and for his involvement in various high-profile cases, has now ventured into fiction. Central Park West is a murder mystery that offers a unique perspective on his experience in the New York District Attorney’s office.

That’s what I have noticed this week. I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

Till next time!

Links and resources:

Women of Wonder (W.o.W) Founding Members

Information for Women of Wonder (W.o.W) Community 

W.o.W Landing Page

Central Park West: A Crime Novel Hardcover by James Comey