Julie Cass is the founder of The Positive Change Group. She helps people create positive changes in their lives through business coaching and personal development. Julie, a wife and proud mom of 2 children and 3 stepchildren, is also a motivational speaker, certified health, mindset and business coach, and a yoga instructor. Julie has scaled and grown 7 & 8 figure businesses as well as coached hundreds of leaders and business owners to success. Julie’s passion is to help ambitious women who are struggling with guilt and fear of growing to the next level. She helps them uncover a success road map to abundance without compromising their truth.
In this episode:
- The importance of nurturing yourself as a mom so that you can be the best version of yourself.
- Making you a priority in motherhood involves things such as setting boundaries, giving yourself grace, making self care non-negotiable, and remembering that it’s okay to say no.
- Your relationship with yourself strengthens your connections with others.
Connect with Julie:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thepositivechangegroup/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepositivechangegroup
- Facebook Group: Elevate Your Biz – Getting Beyond the Layers
- A community of like minded business owners, leaders and aspiring business owners who are ready to elevate to the next level.
- Website: https://thepositivechange.ca
On this episode of The Part-Time Jungle Podcast, I had a great conversation with Julie of The Positive Change Group! We talked about the importance of nurturing yourself as a mom, making you a priority in motherhood, how your relationship with yourself strengthens your connections with others and… we even talked about Fortnite! Yes, we did! I really enjoyed my conversation with Julie. It was like sitting down for a cup of tea or coffee with a dear friend who really has your best interests at heart.
One of the first things that Julie learned, when she was in her 20s, is that when you sacrifice your own sense of self and you put yourself second, it eventually catches up with you. She used to feel that in order to be successful she had to work seven days a week. Julie did this for a year. This had a negative effect on relationships in her life and she also lost herself and who she was.
PUT YOURSELF FIRST
Julie is grateful that this happened before she became a mom because she learned that nothing is worth sacrificing yourself. You cannot possibly be the best version of yourself when you put yourself last or second. Julie grew up with a belief structure that when we as women put ourselves first that’s actually selfish. She’s done a lot of her own work in really unpacking that belief. It doesn’t actually make sense when you think about it. You should put yourself first so you have more to give to others.
As women, we are awesome at nurturing other people. That is easy for us to do. When we turn that love and that nurturing inwards, you realize that doing that makes you a better version of you. You have more to give to your career. You have more to give to your kids. You have more to give to your husband or your partner. Ultimately, you are a happier person. The point of this life is actually to experience joy. We are here to experience joy and we shouldn’t feel guilty about that. The biggest thing for Julie is the importance of giving herself permission to take care of herself.
MAKING YOU A PRIORITY IN MOTHERHOOD:
- SELF LOVE: Self love involves self care in the sense of really working on your mindset. This is the mental chatter and dialogue that we have with ourselves where we love ourselves unconditionally. The mindset piece is probably the biggest thing because every other dot in your life connects well when you work on your own mindset. This is the brain training piece. It’s connected to everything including what we eat, how we move our bodies, and it’s connected to some of our daily rituals. It’s everything.
- GIVE YOURSELF GRACE: Right now, we are going through interesting times in our world. Julie reminds us that it is normal to feel like you’re on a bit of an emotional roller coaster now. There’s a lot of shifts happening on our planet. We need to give ourselves grace.
- MAKE SELF CARE NON-NEGOTIABLE: Now, more than ever, self care has to be a non-negotiable. Meditation is a part of Julie’s morning routine and is followed by physical activity. This provides a huge stress relief. With COVID-19, Julie has actually increased her meditation time from 20 minutes to one hour. Meditation and physical activity are commitments that she has made to herself. It’s a sacred self loving contract that she tracks everyday. She keeps herself accountable. The most sacred relationship you have is the one with yourself.
- BE AWARE OF THE “CRITTER BRAIN”: Julie works with clients to bring a higher level of consciousness to the mindset mental chatter which she refers to as the “critter brain”. The “critter brain” is the one that says: “Oh, I can’t do that”, “Who do I think I am too to want to be able to do that?”, or “I don’t have time for this”. We’ve all done a version of this. By bringing a level of consciousness to when that “critter brain” starts to creep in, when self-doubt or self-deprecation comes, we can catch ourselves. We can train our brains to say something more uplifting, affirming, or positive. The more we do this, the more we train our subconscious to actually live in that state of being. Your subconscious now becomes trained in that frame of mind and that starts to show up in your life.
- BE PRESENT: Julie has learned the importance of being in a present state. This means that when she is at work, she is at work. When she is at home, she is at home. Julie used to interview potential employees and ask them about multitasking. Now, she doesn’t want people to multitask. She wants you to be focused and present in what you’re doing because you actually can achieve more in a lesser amount of time. When she’s playing with her kids, she’s not on her phone. She’s not distracted. Julie is present. Both Julie’s and her kids’ emotional cups get filled with this engagement. Through this mindset work, Julie can be really focused. She can be in her creative power and energy. This allows her to be less scattered. Julie is a firm believer in hitting the easy button.
- SET & COMMUNICATE BOUNDARIES: When we communicate our boundaries, it takes all the energy and anxiety away. If you don’t communicate these boundaries and others don’t feel our presence, that’s where you get that emotional drain. It’s profound to be able to speak your truth and to communicate that.
- FOCUS ON PERSONAL EQUILIBRIUM VS. WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Julie talks a lot about finding your personal equilibrium, which is really about work life balance. Work life balance is kind of an interesting phenomenon because it’s never going to be in perfect balance. The key is for you to have inner equilibrium which is inner balance. The only way you can do that is taking care of yourself, filling your cup, being present where you are, and having boundaries. If you have a busy work week, that doesn’t mean you’re out of balance if you’ve communicated that and you’ve nurtured yourself. We can be in flow more when we communicate our boundaries.
- REMEMBER THAT IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO: Learning to say no is key in increasing our energy. COVID-19 in many ways has forced us to do a calendar cleanse. Julie recommends that before we go back to our previous lifestyle, we should do an audit. Ask yourself: What do I want to put back on my calendar? Who do I want to spend time with? It doesn’t serve our loved ones when we do things for guilt and obligation. That will drain your energy more than anything else. Guilt is a low vibration energy so eradicating that would be a good thing to increase energy.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF & OTHERS
The most important relationship we have is the one with ourselves. One day, are we going to look back on our life and I think that I wish I worked more or I wish I felt more guilt? No. We will be thinking about how rich of a life we lived meaning richness that comes through relationships. Connection is a driving force for us. In order to have rich connections with others, we need to connect inwards with ourselves first. Living your truth is the key to happiness. This means being honest with yourself first and being loving with yourself first which will allow you to love others deeper and more intimately and on a more connected level.
A RICH LIFE
Julie talks about a rich life being one where you are true to yourself, where you love yourself, and where you emulate that to your family and kids as a role model. Connecting inward is really remembering who we are. You can’t remember who you are and have that sense of peace and connect to that sort of higher intelligence if you’re distracted in your life. The whole point is to evolve into a better version of ourselves every day. In order to do that, we need to go inward. We need to reflect and love ourselves deeply. Then, we can love others deeply.
TECHNOLOGY – A BLESSING & A CURSE
Julie has huge gratitude for technology for its ability to connect us and to give us further reach in the world. However, it is also a source of distraction for ourselves and for our children. We need to show our children, through our example, a balanced approach with technology. Life on technology is not real compared to walking in nature and seeing magic around you. You’re going to get a different level of grounding from one versus the other. These days, modelling that inner work and self-reflection for our kids is more important than ever. Our children are watching us. As moms, if we are struggling with guilt in investing time and energy in taking care of ourselves, we can reframe that. We can remind ourselves that our kids need to learn how to do this.
In reflecting on her experiences as a mom, Julie shared how she has taken things from her own parents. There were many blessings but also things that she wanted to do differently. She knows that her children will likely do the same with their children one day. Julie’s children are 4 years apart. Her daughter was an only child for a stretch of time so when her brother came along, it really changed her world. In looking back now, Julie wonders if she could have balanced that experience for her daughter differently. Could she have made her daughter feel more precious and sacred, even though there was this little guy who took up a lot of Julie’s time and space? When you’re a parent of multiple kids, it can be hard to carve out time for each of them individually. She wished that she had done that more often with her daughter. Julie really tries to be more conscious of that now and to find those opportunities to connect.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Connection time with our children can be meaningful with big events and special times but also in smaller and simpler ways. These can be technology free meal times together, a walk around the block, a frappiciuno date at Starbucks, or a quick game of cards. Sometimes we get overwhelmed as moms because we think that we aren’t doing enough. Small windows of intentional connection will fill both you and your child’s emotional cups. The key is to be present and to have them feel your energy. You need to look in their eyes and not be distracted by anything.
ACTION ITEM: YOUR THREE SELF CARE COMMITMENTS
- Take out a piece of paper.
- Write your name at the top and the date.
- Write the numbers 1, 2, and 3 along the side.
- Write down three realistic self care commitments that you are going to make to yourself that will replenish your energy and elevate your emotional state.
- Sign the page at the bottom. Make it a contract to yourself.
- Post it somewhere so that it is a visual anchor that will help to keep you accountable.
EXAMPLES OF SELF CARE COMMITMENTS
- Get outside for a walk
- Do a 5 minute daily meditation
- Track water intake and increase water consumption
YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING THRESHOLD
If you can do those three things, then what happens is you increase your mental well-being threshold. Then, you can consider your next threshold by increasing your three commitments or by coming up with new ones. Your commitments will become habit forming and you won’t even consciously think about them anymore. We all have twenty four hours in a day. The key is how you’re prioritizing yourself within those twenty four hours to make that shift and that difference. Julie believes that overwhelm is something that we can conquer. It’s something that we can overcome.
Thanks so much to Julie for this fantastic conversation and thank YOU for tuning in!