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Redesign Your Life for Happiness and Success: Insights on Rituals, Routines, and Radical Self-Love with Carmen Ohling
Episode 357th March 2023 • Momma Has Goals • Kelsey Smith
00:00:00 00:54:36

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I'm thrilled to be chatting with Carmen about the differences between routines and rituals, how to design a fulfilling life, radical self-love, and so much more! Carmen Ohling is a corporate executive turned holistic life coach, podcast host, and speaker.

She has shared her expertise on Fox News, Living Local, and various podcasts focused on women's well-being and business. Carmen is the founder of Flow Academy, a holistic life coaching school for entrepreneurs, leaders, and coaches, as well as the Permission Slip Retreat, which focuses on empowering women to harness their authentic power and create a fulfilling life.

Carmen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 25, which motivated her to redesign her life and help others do the same. She breaks down complex ideas into simple, actionable steps to make change achievable. Her purpose is to spread and receive love, inspiring others to do the same and create a positive ripple effect.

I am so excited to bring Carmen onto the show; she has impacted me greatly over the past year, helping me overcome excuses and show up authentically. She will give you the permission slip you need and provide support and resources to help you design a fulfilling life that aligns with YOUR values.

What you'll hear in this episode:

[0:45] Carmen’s background.

[3:30] At 25, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

[6:50] Red flags that she sees in her clients.

[13:30] If you don’t know what your deepest priorities are, you’re going to be saying yes to anything that’s shiny

[15:50] Why you need to focus on what feels good to you every day.

[19:15] The importance of putting yourself first.

[25:45] What does it mean to truly decide and make a decision?

[29:00] You can never make the wrong decision, ever, because there’s always something to gain from it.

[32:45] The importance of showing up and being present.

[35:50] What’s her plan? Where is she headed?

[41:55] What does it mean to be “present”?

[44:40] A simple morning ritual you can start now.

[48:00] Flow Academy is holistic life coaching certification for leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches.


Follow Carmen @cohling

Learn more at:

Take the Superpower Quiz:

Listen to The Permission Slip Podcast:


Follow Kelsey: @thisiskelseysmith

Follow Momma Has Goals: @mommahasgoals

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Learn more at

Join our text list. Text "Goals" to (707) 347-0319


Kelsey Smith 0:00

Understand how by doing this, you feel better throughout the day understand. By doing this you're more present with your family understand by doing this you're more focused and more productive in your business or outward. Understand by doing this you feel better in your body and your health is better and you don't have that anxious feeling all day long, like understanding collect evidence, how it's working, and then add something else that you want to try.

Let's reimagine mom life together. Mama house schools is your hub for relatable support and helpful resources that help you fuel yourself alongside motherhood. Your identity is bigger than mom in whatever your goals are. Together, we're making them a reality.

Today, I'm super excited to be chatting with Carmen only about the difference between routines and rituals, how to start the process of designing the life you love, and radical self love and so much more. Carmen olink is a holistic life coach speaker podcast host and former corporate executive. She has served as an expert on many media outlets such as Fox News, living local and a variety of business well being and women centric podcast. Carmen has traveled the world as the founder of flow Academy, which is a holistic life coaching school for leaders, coaches and entrepreneurs, and the permission slip retreat, to highlight critical issues for women and to create a better understanding about harnessing the authentic power that is inside each of us in order to design a life that we truly love. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 25, Carmen set out to redesign her life in a way that no longer left her full of self imposed limitations, overwhelming burnout, or overworking that only lead to unfulfillment. She does this by taking complex ideas, thoughts and strategies and breaking them down into simple actionable steps that can be easily implemented and sustained right away. Carmen's purpose is to give and receive love and to crack people open to do the same in their lives, creating the most beautiful magic ripple effect in the world. I am so excited to bring harm into the show, she has been such an impactful person for me over the last year, we met through a program that we were both a part of. And she truly helped me understand the best ways to really step out of maybe some excuses I was making how I wanted to show up, and also just authentically allow myself to worry less about how I was showing up for others. So I am so excited to have Carmen pour into you, she will allow you truly have that permission slip that she talks about while giving you the support and resources to do so in a way that feels good. So let's dive in. Carmen, I'm so excited to have you here. You've been such a pivotal part of my journey over the last year, being able to just come to you and understand where you come from all of your life experience, as well as your professional experience so much insight into all the different things that I really need. And I'm so excited for you to pour into our audience today. I just want to dive right in and talk about really how your life drastically changed at the age of 25. And how you've shifted to show up in maybe a different light since then,

Carmen Ohling 3:19

huh? Yeah, diving right in. Thank you, Kelsey. I love that. And I love being a part of your life over the last year too. So I am so honored to watch you grow and watch you grow this amazing community and podcast. Now at 25. I was diagnosed with MS. So multiple sclerosis, which basically says maybe tomorrow you might not be able to walk talk or see and we don't know what causes this. But hey, maybe you should inject yourself with this medication three times a week that makes you feel like crap, or like, you know, see what you can do here. So you would think that I would have slowed down but because at that time, when I was 25, I was still really operating in what I'd call like my ego self. So myself that was really looking for outside approval and acceptance in order to feel worthy of myself. So instead of slowing down, actually did more. So I didn't want people to know that I had this diagnosis because I thought that I would be passed over for promotions at that time I was well into my corporate leadership career. I thought people would feel bad for me, I thought they would look down on me somehow. I made it in my head that I would be less worthy if I had this level of MS diagnosis. So I actually did more. So I started working more I started working my way up the corporate ladder. I worked in finance for 16 years. And the last call center that I managed was the number two revenue producing center in Oregon. And one day I was getting ready for my team because I pride myself on being an amazing leader right leading others and I just got really upset and it was so unusual primarily The unusual because I didn't let myself really feel anything, I was the one that was like always fine and supported everybody else. So I went home that night and talked to my husband, Joel. And he asked what was wrong. And I said, I didn't know, but I was going to figure it out. And so that was really like the catalyst to become where I'm at today. So I decided that I needed to leave my successful six figure position, and I wanted to do something different to help people. Now at the time, let's see, our son had just gone off to college. So we have two kids today, our son, he lives in Dallas, and he's 26. And our daughter just turned 21. And she lives in Oregon. But he had just gone off to college at Northwestern. And our daughter was in a middle school. And at that time, I decided that I wanted to go after my dreams and goals, because the kids were getting older. And that was to help people with nutrition. So I became a holistic nutritionist and started my coaching career that way and built a big practice in Oregon, where we lived. And I thought I was going to be a personal trainer along with a nutritionist, but I realized really quickly that people needed more help with diving into their mindset, their personal growth and their spirituality than they did me telling them exactly what to eat or how to work out. And then it kind of brings it full circle to today, where I'm a Holistic Life Coach, I take on a select number of people for one on one coaching. And I also am the founder of flow Academy, which is an academy for leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches who want to get to the next level in their career in business.

Kelsey Smith 6:33

And I love that you bring that up. Because while you have helped me with learning about nutrition, and about how to show up for my body in a really good way. There's so much more to it from that mentality standpoint and how you learn really what you need to work through. And I'm sure that was part of when you made this decision to leave your career and you realize, hey, I'm not letting anyone into what I have going on. And I really need to do this for me. But I also want to help others. I want to know what are some of the like upper limits that you hit? I know you talk about the upper limit problem, I'd love to hear how that has shown up for you as well as in your clients. And what are some red flags that maybe our listeners may see to know that this is something they're navigating?

Hmm, yes. So the number one thing that I found in most of my clients for like is we start off and we we start a business and we're really passionate about it. But then we go through like multiple layers of burnout, where we're feeling like we're just like white knuckling it every day, we're feeling like, wow, I started this business, but I'm like someone else is running my time other than me, right, there's always something to do on the to do list and you're not fully present for the things that are most important to you like your family, or even like taking care of your health kind of goes by the wayside a little bit. And so with the upper limit problem, you'll see that a lot and it's like we start to lose our zest for the thing that we were once so passionate about. And usually that has to do with serving people, other signs that you can look for our worry. So worrying a lot about everything. Because what's happening there is like we're meant to go to the next level naturally, like, naturally, the universe wants to conspire to bring us the most beautiful gifts, right. But we can only do that if we have an equal energy exchange. So if we start worrying that it's the limiting belief that's going to keep holding us back. That's like our ego self, that's going to keep holding us back into this small place. So we can't grow a little bit bigger. Other things that happen often is like I already shared in my story, you get sick, yeah, you get sick often. And people just think like that's a normal thing. But actually, it's not that normal to get sick. Often. Usually what's happening is you're in a state of chronically going, you're chronically activating your nervous system. So it's suppressing your immune system, even though you might be doing quote unquote, good things, like getting up doing your morning ritual, doing the things with the kids working out doing your business, but you're constantly going and going and going. The other thing is self criticism. If you find that you're criticizing yourself often, and less and less thoughts about things that you're doing well, or congratulations for yourself. Another thing is just not being open to receive and not being able to have a beginner's mindset, because keeping ourselves from growth is really huge. You may notice that you see something and you try to learn it. And then you go, Oh, I already know this. And because you already know this, you turn your brain off. But what happens is we're constantly consuming all of these things that we think that we need. But what happens is we never fully integrate it into our lives, so we never fully try it out. And so it's just all this information that's overwhelming us. And second, we're not implementing anything. And so it's just information overload that's causing us to stay at the level where we're at, which is most of the time just good. But in order to get to create, we actually have to do the mindset work to uncover the limiting beliefs to uncover the patterns to uncover that triggers to start setting boundaries to possibly even changing our environment, or maybe even just getting really, really clear on what it is that we actually want in our life, not based on what someone else says that we should have or society says that we should have, but what we actually desire for ourselves and for our families.

Gosh, so many goodies in there a couple things I want to unpack something that you've been so pivotal for me with is like internal trust and confidence and how we show up. And I think going back to the first thing you said, with your story is your maybe showing up in your ego to start, right. And then as we do more of this mindset work, we ask ourselves questions, and we be able to create that self confidence with ourselves. But if we're hitting that upper limit problem, and we're not creating that space, and we're not being aware of what we have going on, we're not even understanding we're in this cycle, right. And then there's also the health piece that gets thrown in there for maybe someone that's in that space, right? Like they think that they know, then they're learning but they're not implementing, and then they're coming back and questioning themselves. They're almost in this like version of a self sabotage cycle, but they're not even aware of it would be the first step for them to take to get out to be able to say, Okay, I have an upper limit problem, I have an ego, maybe it's not a problem. But you're redirecting your ego in a positive way that sometimes you're confident, but then you're negative way, because you're questioning your confidence, right? And being able to kind of show up in your power, what's the first step that they would take.

So when you think about that, you really need to create the white space in your life. Most of the women that I work with, and I know when I was going through this myself personally, is if someone asked me like, what my favorite thing is, what do I want, or even if I had any time to actually think actually sit in contemplation and discernment, what was right for me, I didn't have time for that, because my To Do you list was too big. And I wasn't calm, I didn't have a sense of inner peace. So it was like this, I would get up in the morning. And maybe I would do a checklist of things that I thought I needed to be doing in order to be successful, right. But it wasn't like a ritual where I'm being intentional about things. And then you get going with the day with work with the kids home, dinner, all of that, and you just go to sleep and start again, you don't have any time for discernment, or just even contemplation to think about what it is that you want. So first things first is creating white space in your day. So you can have the calmness that you need in order to create clarity. And then once you have the clarity of on what you actually desire, then you can get curious and try it out and see what you really want in your life. So what does that look like? It looks like sitting down and figuring out, okay, what season of my life am I in right now and then deciding what are my deepest priorities in this season of my life. And so what I mean by that is oftentimes I know I did this for a long time, you know, you graduate high school, and then you go to college, and then you get the career and you have the family and then you get the house. And then you get the dog. And then you start volunteering and see all of these layers are just like adding on adding on adding on. But we're not ever letting go of old things, maybe old, old relationships, old friends, or familiar what like roles within our family to do things like within our like extended families that maybe we need to let go up for a while, or thoughts or routines or rituals. So you need to think about like what's most important in this season of my life, as I shared, my kids are a little bit older. And so my priorities are going to be a little bit different. I'm developing my intimate relationship with God taking care of myself. And then it goes to my relationship with my husband, and then my kids friends, and then my opportunity to serve and show up and serve the world and do the work that I do. Right. So if I'm thinking of those four things, I can make decisions based off that. But if you don't know what your deepest priorities are, you're just going to be saying yes to anything that's like a shiny object, right? Instead of just saying discerning, like, you know what that sounds like something I want to do. However, I'm not able to do that right. Now, let's save this for a little bit later. Because I do believe that we can do everything and anything, but just not at the same time. Because the overwhelm that people fill most often is not because they have too much on their to do list. It's because they're not freaking clear on what they want. And so they say yes to everything, and everyone and it is so exhausting. And so the stress that you're feeling right now doesn't come from things externally. It's your thoughts about the things that are happening. So if you can eliminate some of the things going back to your question is like, then you can create a little bit of whitespace What if you had even 30 minutes a day to sit with yourself? What is my intention for the day or maybe not in the morning? Maybe it's in the evening and you sit and you celebrate something that happened that day? Because if you're being intentional to start your day, and you celebrate something at the end of the day, you're getting curious and you're collecting evidence that you can do it. It's going to build your confidence, right?

Yeah. And to your point every season's gonna Look at all different, right? You know whether your kids are older you're working, not working, maybe you're working towards a really big goal. Maybe your home's in, you know, construction mode that might change things up whatever it is that you have going on in your life might change things. But you have a really impactful routine that you stay true to. And you're really good at keeping boundaries with yourself. I'd love for you to talk a little bit about what your routine looks like now, maybe how it's transitioned through those different seasons, how you transition into different moments of your day, and different ways that you show up for different people throughout your day. And the times that you say no, and you set boundaries to how do you kind of really show up for yourself throughout the whole day?

Hmm, yeah, well, let's go back a little bit, because I want to recognize that this did not happen overnight that I've been, I've been doing this work, I've been on a personal growth journey for over a decade and trying things out. And so I was once probably where many people are that are listening, that we're starting and stopping things often, right? And so then it kind of feels like you're letting yourself down. And the reason why I found and what I find in most of my clients as we're starting and stopping is because we're doing things we're trying it out, but we're not actually filling into them. And really understanding how this is working in my life and figuring out a way that it actually makes a difference in life. Because if you just want to super simplify it as a person, we should be focusing on what feels good to us every single day. So how do I move my body? How do I feel my body? Who do I talk to? What do I let into my my environment? What it How am I showing up? How am I dressing like what are the things that feel good to me each and every day, and like focusing on making that happen. And so I would start and stop things. You know, I was always focused on health, I was the one in high school that would quote unquote, eat healthy and what I know now it wasn't really but that's the information that I had, then I would go and I would work out and wait train and do cardio like before I went to school. So I've always said into that. But each new year, each new level, you get more knowledge, more education, and you just get better and better at it. When I first started in what I recommend for everybody is a morning ritual. And I want to be really clear that I first started this as a morning routine. So I read a book that said that I needed to drink water, move my body meditate read in journal every single morning, because that's what successful people did. So I was like, Okay, so first of all, this is a good move, right? This is like I've learned something. So now I'm going to implement it. So I implemented it. And I did it every single day. But it was really like a checklist. It was like Dun dun dun dun, great. Now I have an invisible gold star for doing all of these things. But I wasn't actually intentional with it. It wasn't I wasn't focused on anything like feeling into my body. I didn't sit in deep contemplation at all. I wasn't really doing it and like being present with it. So it wasn't until I sat and was like, what are the things out of this that I've implemented that I really want to integrate into my daily life that actually makes a difference for me. And that feels good to me. Because just because quote unquote, all these successful people do all of these things doesn't mean that that's going to be right for me. So my things are in the morning, I drink lemon water with chlorophyll in it every morning, 20 ounces before I have anything else. I also do a ritual with my body because at one time I found that every time I looked in the mirror, I was saying something crappy to myself. And because I was so aware of that I started noticing that like okay, I need to change that subconscious programming. So I started every time I looked in the mirror, if I said something negative, I would say something positive over and over and over again, I did this mirror work. There's a really great book by Louise Hay that you could follow for this. And now when I look at myself in the mirror, I say something positive. But in the morning, something that I do is I brush and floss my teeth because if I wait till the end of the day, I'm never going to floss my teeth. I used to always tell myself I was too tired this like kind of like habit stacking, right? Because I always Yeah, brush my teeth in the morning. I take coconut oil and I rub it all over my whole body and just like skip things for my body and just be like grateful. And then I happen to live in Miami Beach. So I go and sit on my patio. It's like endless summer here. I do reading devotional journaling, every single morning some sort of prayer and meditation. And then I go on a walk. A walk can be a meditation too, by the way, you just don't have to be sitting on a meditation pillow. They do what's called a god walk. And so basically this is time that I can listen. Because you know prayer, we're talking to God. But when are we having time to actually listen to the divine guidance that needs to be coming to us so often I won't listen to anything. Sometimes I will listen to a sermon or some instrumental music. But I get the most beautiful downloads and I get to be outside because nature heals you. If you can get sunlight in your eyes for the first 20 minutes. It helps with your sleep and your circadian rhythm. So that's what I do every single morning but in In addition to that, like the things that I know that you've seen, our I make sure to move my body every day, I'm very intentional. I believe that every single person, every human should be doing some sort of resistance training. So we can keep up our muscle strength in addition to just walking, you just walk and it's going to do so much for you. And then I eat a specific way as well. Yes, because of my MS, but also because it's what makes me feel good. So I eat dairy gluten free, refined, sugar free. And if I don't know what the food is going to be like, if I'm attending an event or something like, I'll bring the food with me. And people used to give me a hard time all the time. Like, why are you doing that? Why are you on a diet? And it's really unfortunate, because if I just said like, Oh, this is how I like to eat, they'd give me a hard time. But if I said, Oh, I have MS. So I want to eat an anti inflammatory diet, then it's okay. But shouldn't everybody be able to choose how they want to feel their body and how they want to be healthy? Every day? Yeah. So I go through my day, I focus on my energy, I plan my day based on my energy, not just the time available. At the end of the night, I do another walk, and then I'm present with my husband, we always have dinner together. And we talk about our day, we celebrate like the high points, and we talked about and plan the next day. That's kind of what like some of my rituals and routines are currently.

Yeah, and a couple things that I love about how you show up each day. And what you shared is it's for you, right? Sometimes I think, especially in the mom world, we forget that we should do things for us. And a huge, like factual piece of that is if you are not filling yourself up, you're not caring for your body, and your mind and your spirit. And all of those things you can't provide, you're not gonna be able to provide to your family and to your community, you have to put yourself first it's truly that like oxygen mask analogy. But also to your point of like, if you want to eat in a certain way, if you tell people why they may be more supportive, but you don't owe them an explanation of how you want to show up. And I'd love for you to talk about how you've been able to put yourself first how you've been able to set some boundaries. And for maybe there's someone that doesn't have a supportive home environment, maybe their partner isn't supportive of the changes they want to make, or maybe their extended family and friends or they just feel they're not supported. Sometimes I think we project this onto ourselves, because we're like, oh, well, if I do or say this, people aren't gonna be supportive, and we don't actually know. So I would love for you to just talk a little bit about putting yourself first the importance and maybe the first step they

could take. Mm hmm. Yeah, I love that so much. And I think back to when I first started really focusing on focusing on my nutrition. And so because I did work a corporate job, I would actually meal prep all my food and put it into containers for the week, including when I was going to eat like for dinner. And so something that we did with our family was we never had daycare, I worked during the day and Joel he worked graveyard and so we were always there for our kids. And at night, we always had family dinner together. And this is a question that I get a lot is like, why don't want to make more than one meals, like, Okay, that's a choice that you're making, to not take care of yourself, if you need to be eating differently. Or maybe you need to be feeding your family differently, right. And so I would often eat something different, but we're all eating together. And the point is like having conversation and being with our family, when our kids were younger, I always worked out in the morning. So I would sacrifice myself and I knew that if I worked out I would be able to show up so much better. But I remember the time that I was sitting on the couch, and it was you know, after dinner and it was like 7pm and the kids were both upstairs just individually playing in their rooms or doing whatever they were doing there. That ain't like real independent, right? Yeah. And I sat no thought for a minute. I'm like, why am I breaking my back to get up so early? And then I had this guilt like that I needed to be home with the kids at nighttime. And so you know, I called them like I went up there was like, let's have a little talk. I was like, Would you guys care if after dinner I went to the gym and worked out. They're like, No, why would we care? We don't have to go do we? And I said no, you don't have to go because you know my husband and I would go and workout together like on the on a day that he had off or whatever they would go and like bring their games or books or whatever and they they'd sit and wait. And since dad was home even though he was sleeping in like I was like no you don't have to go but I just always felt like I should be here with you. They're like no, we don't care you go to the gym for an hour. And so it was like having that open communication even with your kids. Just to show like hey I care and this is what I'm doing but it wouldn't be really nice if I didn't have to get up so dig early. Go to the gym. And just something as simple as that. Like you don't think about just having conversations conversations with your kids. But it also shows them how important it is to take care of yourself like my kids know how to cook they they work out they do it on their own without like any like prodding they talk to us about it. But as far as it goes with, like supportive family Um, Joe's always been pretty supportive. But I will tell you, he eats like garbage. He looks, he looks great. So he eats different than I do. And we just, that's okay. Oftentimes, I cook two separate meals or he'll cook his food, I'll cook my food, but we always eat together. And there's always those comments, right? There's always those comments when we go out to a restaurant and I have food in my purse, no joke, if I'm not picking it, and it's not a great restaurant, like all bring stuff and just order like a salad. And then put my food on top of like this, these this iceberg lettuce, you know, the iceberg lettuce with one slice of cucumber and the one like grape tomato on it right that you get, because you say, no croutons or cheese. And so people say things, but I want you to know that like, comparison is so hard. And judgment is so hard. If someone is passing judgment on you. It's not because of a lack of something you're doing. It's something that they see in themselves, something that they really wish that they could do, or they could have. And so they're speaking that out loud, and you just don't you have to let that that sort of stuff like bounce off of you. Because judgment can be so hard if we make someone else's words mean something about us. Of course, a miracle says nothing has meaning until you place meaning upon it. So if you just say I'm doing this, because it feels good to me, and just show up and keep showing up and being the example you'll see how many people you're inspiring, even if they don't say anything at all. But I would agree like sometimes it's hard. But just going back to like, I want to feel good every day. And remembering when you don't feel good. Be like I don't want to feel like that.

Yeah, I would love for you to talk a little bit about like just deciding to make choices for yourself, right? Because that's really I think the next step to this, I think sometimes we don't share what we're doing, or we don't show up that way in every light. Like we might be like, Oh, well with that friend, I'm going to tell them my goal and what I'm working on, but I'm not going to tell that friend. And there is some power into like protecting your peace, right and not sharing what it is that you're working towards with the people that you know are just going to kind of like kibosh your dreams and goals. But there's also this part that I've noticed with myself and others, that it's maybe me not committing, right, I'm not sharing it with someone because I'm like, Oh, well, if I tell that person, I've made this commitment, are they going to hold me accountable? Are they going to see that I failed if I failed? So I'd love for you to talk a little bit about what does it mean to like, truly decide and make a decision to move forward and show up in that way?

Yeah, and I would love everybody right now to like, take on the affirmation or the mantra, whatever you want to call it, like, I am a decisive person. Like if they're listening, like say it out loud, I am a decisive person. Because what's happening is, we're in constant consumption of information. And then it clouds our judgment, even if we do what I talked about, and we take the time to get really clear of what season of life of man, what do I need to let go up? What are my deepest priorities, then you get clear on what you're going for. Things knock us out often. And the biggest things that knock us out often are old beliefs that we like, we haven't let go up. And so we get triggered. And we're not like recognizing we're getting triggered. So we get knocked out of alignment. And then we don't keep that commitment or make the decision that we that we want to make. So just be decisive and go for it with everything. When you have asked things, you're going to get like a half assed result, basically. So if you're trying to start a business, if you're trying to lose weight, if you're trying to be fully present with your kids, whatever your thing is that you are doing, go all in on it, just try it out. And like forget about what anybody else is doing. Because the thing is like nobody everyone else is thinking about themselves anyway. So just go all in on the decision. Because how does it feel when you're sitting in indecision? It feels like anxiety, it feels like overwhelm. So it's like sitting down right now get on a piece of paper, what is all this crap that's in my mind that I need to make a decision on? And it could even be like, which dry cleaning place should I go to? Right? So like the small things, all these things pull on you. And it's not. It's not about having the right amount of time. It's about harnessing your energy and keeping your own inner peace and not being reactive to your environment. That's what's going to be the best for you. So right out right now all the things that you need to make a decision on some of the things you can let go some of the things you can ask someone else to make the decision. And the other thing is once you decide, just go for it, because here's what I want everybody to know about decisions, you can never make the wrong decision ever. Because there's always something that you're going to be able to gain from it. Even if in the moment you quote unquote think that you made the wrong decision. It is always going to end up being the right decision because the lesson is going to be such a huge gift and blessing for you if you choose to see it that way. So you can now ever make the wrong decision? Right now everyone has a permission slip to just make all the decisions that they need to make and go for it. And then surround yourself with people who will support you, but not only support you and say like, Oh, you're so great, but challenge you, and then call you on your on your BS to like, you know, like you Kelsey. Like someone like you who will say like, Okay, I'm here, I'm going to support you. But then also you see, when I'm not doing it to be like, Hey, you said, you're going to do that thing, Carmen, like, when are you going to do it. So we need to have those people in our circle. And that's why like your community is so important. That's why being a part of something is so important. Because once you decide, then you need to have that support, because none of us are meant to do it alone. Right? I used to think for a long time that I was meant to do it alone. And I just got kept getting stuck, stuck, stuck, stuck, stuck, because we're meant to be in community with with other people. And I think all too often we get so busy, especially with families, like just doing our same thing with our family. And we have to have those times where we can be around other people, because our partner or husband or significant other, they can't be everything to us, even though it'd be great, you know if they could, but they can't, I used to think that Joel could be everything to me. Like, if he has to talk about like business systems and strategy one more time, he's probably gonna poke my eye out. He does not want to talk about that. He does not want to talk about period and cycle sinking. He does want to talk about that stuff. Yeah, so we want to talk about other things. So you have to have a supportive community, once you do make the decision to be able to keep your momentum going.

Yeah, and we don't always want to be those people for them, right? Like, I don't want to be the person that's supposed to pretend to be excited about all the things my husband wants to write about, right? Like, I just don't care about that. I don't want to have that conversation. And I don't expect him to do the same. So it is important to find those other people. And, you know, I think that we have to remind ourselves some of the things that we need to teach our kids, right. I think that we want to teach our kids things like resilience and resourcefulness. But we almost forget that we have to reteach ourselves that to at different seasons of life. And that we may get to a point that we're like, oh, I don't know how to do that. Or I don't know how to make that decision, or you don't know how to take on this next season, when we need to bring back our own ability to be resourceful, and resilient and do it with peace. But we also are trying to teach our kids the same things. I know that I look up to you so much by doing that for yourself. And I've heard you talk about how you've implemented this into your parenting journey and how your kids now as adults, you really pride yourself on their ability to be resourceful and resilient. I'd love for you to talk a little bit about that.

Yeah, it's so good. I think that one of the things that we think about is we want more for our kids than what we had. Of course we do. Like we all want that. That's something Joel and I really modeled really well as far as showing up and being present. We were the parents at school at the PTA at the site Council PTO, whatever it's called. Now, I'm not even sure you know, they probably changed the name. What is it called?

Now? I don't know. I think every school calls it different. But I think PTA is the most common.

Okay, I just want to say right now that new math like screw that, like, we need to go back to the old system of math, if anybody knows what I'm talking about. So anyway, I remember when that first came out, our daughter was in grade school and we went to the teacher because we were having our daughter Janay. She we could not help her with her math homework. She kept telling us that we were doing it wrong, like this basic math. And so we went to the school meet with the teacher and the teacher is like, I'm not really sure yet it just kind of rolled out. I was like that is not helpful. Anyway, but resiliency with kids. And so I guess that's a really great example. So what we told Janae was, honey, you have to ask for help. And so she was not asking for help in class. And so she wasn't doing her work specifically around math because she wasn't getting it. And so she started asking for help more, and we got feedback from the teacher. But that's just a way to be resilient and resourceful, right? We're like, okay, we're trying to help you. So we need to learn to we can't learn. So how can you do this on your own, you know, it's like fourth grade, we shouldn't be able to do fourth grade math, but teaching her to do that on our own. And our son is great, you know, he went to college, so proud of him. One of the biggest things that I'm really proud of him for is being independent and being an independent thinker, and not caring what other people think and but also having like a heart of gold. So he graduated from Northwestern, and he got a really nice corporate job. And the first year out of college was making like $80,000 a year which is kind of unheard of, because you know, like, it's just a corporate job, right? You have to work your way up. And so he's making all this money saving money. He did such a good job saving money. And then he like came to us. He's like, Hey, I just want to let you know that this is sucking the life out of me. I don't care about this corporate stuff. These are the words It wasn't that it was sucking them life out of him. But he wasn't showing up as his like highest and best self. And so he felt like he was doing a disservice to the corporation that was paying him good money, and he wants to do something else he wants to go after his dreams up, he got a biomedical engineering degree. And so he wants to go after his dreams of like helping people with handicaps become accessible with video games. And so now he's working at a custom video game controller place that is a startup wanting to work his way up like penny pinching, because he knows that this is history. So cool. We're like, great, he doesn't ask us for anything, of course, we would be there to help him and support him with what he needs. And the same thing with our daughter. You know, she's figuring things out right now, she thought she wanted to be a dental hygienist. But now she wants to do something different. And so it's like, instead of just giving it to her, like being like, okay, let's talk, you know, what can we do to support you? What's your next? What's your plan? Where are you going to go for this? And it's just so big, because she is She has asked for help. But asking for help can be really hard, too. She doesn't ask often. But she's asked a couple of times, and I'm just really proud of her for being able to ask, I know when I was at age, I wouldn't even I want to ask anybody for anything. I was too prideful to ask for help, even if I really needed it. So being resourceful and being resilient, figuring out what your resources are, maybe even not just your parents, but other resources in that community, your friends, your circle, your network, is so important.

Yeah. And it starts with us. Like, as a mom of younger kids, I'm realizing as I step into this journey, you know, if I'm not showing my kids, hey, I don't have all the answers, I need to go get help from women like Carmen, I need to go, you know, ask Carmen about this, that's showing them like, go ask someone go find the right person, it doesn't have to be in your direct circle, it doesn't have to be in your, you know, direct family or your direct job. It's really finding people outside of that. And, you know, I think it comes back to the theme that we've been talking about of the different seasons, and the different transitions of you may have made this decision to go into this job or this career path. And it felt really good for a period of time. But then things change and seasons change. And you have to have that whitespace, you talked about to get clear with yourself and really think about, okay, what is this chapter look like? And how can I show up in these different areas? For myself? And who do I need to support me? And what is the routine that I'm going to implement to be able to strengthen all of my ability to show up in these ways. So I absolutely love that one of the other things that I really look up to you for is how you show up in one area at a time full out and you don't necessarily like bleed all over. You know what I mean by that, it's like a multitasking in the bad way where people think that they can kind of be present in 10 things at once. And we can't write we have to really transition from maybe the title of working mom to the title of mom. And while there's times where I'm definitely trying to navigate the two. I've heard you speak a couple times about transitioning through those different roles throughout your day. And in the situation. I'd love for you to give some feedback on that.

Yeah, so it's what I call there's different types of rituals. And I want to I don't think I mentioned the difference between a routine and a ritual. So routine is just a checklist. I'm like, dun, dun dun, remember when I said the Invisible ghosts are in a ritual is when you're fully present, using as many of your five senses as possible. So just a just a little side note. So if you're figuring out if you're being fully present or not, you can be like, What can I see? What can I hear? What can I touch? What can I taste, what can I smell, and then that's going to bring you back into your body out of your head out of your never ending to do list if that's an issue for you. And so a transition ritual is so important when you go from one activity to the next activity, and it helps you be intentional. So let's say you started your day and you took 10 minutes, and you did some journaling. And you set your intention for the day. And your intention for the day was to be fully present, and enthusiastic and whatever you're doing, right. So sometimes it's hard to be enthusiastic when you're doing the dishes and fully present, right, but you can if you implement what I'm talking about with transition rituals, and where this came from was for a long time I worked really near our home. And so I would get home and it was almost like I didn't have time to decompress at all. It was moving from leader and boss babe in this big black suit right for this wonderful corporate job that I loved. And then right home to like being mom and that dogs like getting me to and trying to get her off my black suit. So don't get dog hair on it. And the kids need something and Joelle need something and it was like there was no like end of this energy and beginning of this energy or like breathing space. So I started working about 30 minutes away. And I realized that when I had that drive home, I would listen to music. I would seem really badly but really loud in the car because I was by myself and I would have different tracks that I you know, different playlists that I would listen to, and I would actually transition from my Work Day. And I would take some time, if any thoughts came up. When I pulled into the driveway, I would email them to make like a list of thoughts that I had in my head, I would email them to myself at work. So I'm no longer at work. I'm decompressed, I've done this transition ritual to transition from working mom, right to mom. And when I came in, I was excited, I wanted to hear about their day, I wanted to hear about all these things I wanted to help them and it wasn't then like the energy was so low. And so you can do a transition ritual with anything I do it I mentioned, they do a walk in the evening to the reason why I do that one. I live in Miami, and it's beautiful. But too is because it ends my work brain, and then it starts just being fully present to what's available. And when Joel gets home, then I'm no longer thinking about work, because I've ended my day with that. So it's basically using something, even if it is just taking a few deep breaths to transition from one activity to the next activity, so that you can be fully present. Because when you're fully present, then that's when like you're going to actually experience life. So for a long time, I told myself that I had a bad memory. And it wasn't that I didn't have that I have a bad memory, it was two things. One I wasn't fully present. In the moment, I was always thinking about the next moment, thinking about what I just did thinking about somebody judging me thinking about this thinking about that, or to I wanted at any cost to avoid any feelings. So I do what's called disassociate, and I would try to be busy, so I didn't have to fill this thing. And so because I was disassociating, and not being fully present in the moment, I wasn't remembering things. Because I wasn't really present. I wasn't feeling them in my body. And so a transition ritual really helps you fill those moments in your body, because that's what we really want, right, the miracles, and the blessings, and all those synchronicities and the signs and the guidance and all the magical things happen in the present moment. But often we're allowing things to take us out of it. So trying out any type of transition ritual is so helpful.

One question that stuck with me while I was listening to you was like, what does it mean to be present for you? Right? Like presents may look different to different people, but you have to decide what that means. And like, be real with yourself. I feel like that's the other thing that I love about you is you're not, you don't like sugarcoat things to yourself, you're like, are you being like, Are you showing up for yourself or not? Are you making that decision? Are you being? Are you doing what you say you wanted to do? How are you showing up? And how are you being present. And I think if it's being present in whatever you're you know, we talked about moms with goals here. So whatever your goal is, like, if you're committing to this goal to get yourself put together every day, or it's a job or career, or it's being present with your kids or working on your spousal relationship, or partners or friendships, like what does that actually mean? How are you defining that goal? And are you making the decision? Like you said, Is this the what does it look like in this season and and how you're transitioning in and out to be able to make sure that you're doing that? And I know, some people do things as simple as like, they take, like a hair tie, and they like, pretend to take or they actually take the hair tie off when they leave like the at home office and they walk through that door. So it's like, Nope, I'm transitioning from working mom to present mom. I think that the walks outside like are one of the ways for any moms that are like this all sounds great. But I'm not really sure how to take action and implement this. I know, You've helped me so much this past year where I've tried to take things and try them on for size and figure out what can I fit into this season of life and walks are a big one for me. And I think you can take any kid with you on a walk. And even if you're not able to do it on your own, you can put them in a stroller or you can commute if your kids too big to be in a stroller, you can communicate, this is a time for us to be quiet, we're going to walk together, but we're going to be quiet. And you're teaching them that and you're implementing this into like a family routine. And for me, that's one of the first places to start because that fit into my life. And it made me feel really good. When I thought about the things that made me feel the best. That was the one where I was like, This feels so good for me. For other people listening, you know, we covered a lot of the things that you do in your day. If someone's leaving this where like the sounds good, I want this for my life. What's the very first step that you would recommend they take within the next like 72 hours, the first thing that they sit down, you said the decision list. So I love that outside of the decision list if they were going to maybe put something into a routine or ritual that we're going to start with one what would it be

so important, the one that they can do consistently every day. And that's going to be different for everyone. So if I would say drinking water when you first wake up and taking 10 minutes for yourself to drink the water before you do anything else even if the kids are all like running around and doing something you can still take 10 minutes and drink the water for yourself and set your intention for the day. Just ask yourself how I want to fill today, answer that, and then think about, okay, what are the things that I need to make sure to do that are going to help me feel this way. And they don't have to be big things. So how do you do this, you filled a water bottle up the night before, put a little ice in it, put it by your bed stand, when you get up, it's right there maybe have to do in the bathroom, because maybe that's the only place that people won't bother you for 10 minutes, right? Like, that's okay. It do whatever, do whatever works for you. And then start collecting evidence. So don't just make this another checklist item. Understand how by doing this, you feel better throughout the day, understand, by doing this, you're more present with your family. Understand by doing this, you're more focused and more productive in your business or outward. Understand by doing this, you feel better in your body and your health is better. And you don't have that anxious feeling all day long, like, understand and collect evidence, how it's working, and then add something else that you want to try. Because like I shared my my rituals and routines didn't happen overnight. But they happened slowly. And they work for me. And so just trying something is going to be the most helpful, but that's what I would say 10 minutes in the morning drinking water. And why am I saying drink water in the morning? Well, primarily because at nighttime, you're fasting. Fasting just means not eating or drinking. So your body's actually dehydrated, and many of us reach for coffee is the first thing. So what's going to happen is that's going to chronically activate our nervous system even greater, and we're going to be dehydrated. And so dehydration also causes us to like over eat and things like that. So water first thing, and it'll help you really be intentional, because you can set yourself up the night before for success in the morning. You can also set yourself up the night before for success in the morning by telling your family what you're going to be doing.

I love that, before we wrap up today, I want to make sure that we can give insight into really where because I could talk to you all day about so many things. It's from the fact of how you've just allowed me to show up in so many different ways as a human as a mom, as a friend, you've given me so much insight, and we'll definitely have to have you back. But one of the things I know when I started my journey into entrepreneurship as well as into just like my own self discovery, I didn't really understand what was available for me to learn to step into coaching, like how do I get a coach to become a coach. And also, if I didn't want to go the entrepreneur path, what a coach could do for me personally, and I know you support people in both ways, you support people by coaching other women to step into their ability to lead. You're such a strong leader, and you really help women come out as the leader that they believe they are inside. And you have an amazing program to help women to do that. So I'd love for you to talk about what that is. And then if someone's like, well, you know what, I'm not sure I want to be a leader yet. But I do think I kind of want some help in figuring out how to take my next steps, what would be the advice, you'd give those two different lanes of people.

So thank you. So the program Kelsey is referring to is flow Academy. So flow Academy is holistic life coaching certification for leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches. So a leader entrepreneur who feels like I was talking about earlier is like those like white knuckling it can't get to that next level is feeling kind of stuck, it's actually taking and instead of focusing outwardly, it's focusing inwardly and giving the tools and resources that we need to be a self resource person and show up at our highest and best and what that looks like for us. It's also an opportunity if people want to uplevel their coaching or become a holistic life coach that they can do that as well. So that's what flow Academy is. And if people want more information, it's going to start let's see, spring enrollment starts in April and kicks off in May. And I'm sure we could put something in the show notes for that. But a coach is someone specifically my type of coaching is holistic life coaching. So it's not just about mindset, we look at all the different areas of life. So the wheel of life, we look at the whole thing, it helps you with everything from dreaming big, to holding you accountable to finding meaning in life, especially during the challenging times. Sometimes it's really hard to get out of a victim mentality when we've had such a big challenge in life, also keeping your ego self in check. So basically getting out of those limiting beliefs that are holding us back. A life coach helps you stay competent and committed is a support system and also is an expert with proven strategies. So I have so many proven strategies from like my sales expertise and my corporate job to my holistic nutrition to relationships, to mindset and everything in between. So that's what a coach does for you, a holistic life coach. And it's so important, I would not be where I'm at today. And I know Kelsey, you wouldn't be without coaches without other people mentoring and guiding me it's just such a slower process because we can't see our own blind spots. And if we can have the tools and resources to no longer be reactive in the moment, but to hold our inner peace and respond as our highest self more often than not, then we'll be feeling good each day we'll be reaching our reaching our goals faster, we'll be having better relationships with ourselves, with our families with our significant other with our friends. And overall, we'll just feel happiness, peace and joy and freedom each and every day. But it takes work that we don't get taught in school. And we don't know unless we dive into something like this. It's not taught in a leadership class. And it's not taught in the entrepreneurialship class. It's not about more more strategy, right? It's about turning the mirror back on yourself and being like, Oh, maybe I should clean up my side of history and see, see what I can uncover here. So

yeah, and that's ever evolving, you don't graduate from it, right? Like each level that you hit, there's a new unpacking, which can feel a little daunting at times. But I also think it's just really powerful to allow ourselves to always grow into that next level, I would love for you to talk a little bit about your quiz. Because I think that when we're starting these ideas of do I want to life coach, or do I want to step into coaching? Do I want to take this next step for my business, my career, my goals, whatever it is, knowing your superpower is a really powerful way to know which step to take next. And you've put together such a beautiful, organized quiz, where you answer questions, and then you get this insight of who you are, and how you can show up into the world. And I'd love for you to talk about how they can find the quiz a little bit about what they can expect when they take it and why everyone should take this free superpower quiz.


Yeah, I took a I got so much insight. I've taken all those things like you said anagram Human Design. I've taken 16 personalities, all of that. But the unique superpower really gives it to you in such a digestible format to like you said, know what your superpower is the highlights of that, but also where maybe you can look for the gotchas of how you're showing up in kind of your kryptonite, if you will. So I definitely recommend that where else can our listeners find in support you connect with you? Like I said, Carmen has been such a wealth of knowledge for me every single time I feel like I'm opening this like little secret book of life that she's providing me with her insight. And I always tell her, she's like my little fairy godmother of like, hey, Carmen, what about this? I have a question about that. And truly just for like life and motherhood, but life like how to show up in the best way for yourself. That's what I love about you so much as you always give me permission. Like you say the permission slip Podcast is your podcast, and how to show up for myself to be able to lead all those that I want to impact and love on. So how can we all connect with you more?

Thank you, I fully receive that. And it's been fun watching you really show up for yourself and shine for yourself, your family and your community. So listen to me on the permission slip podcast, you can listen to that on any application. I'm always on Instagram. So I do answer all of my DMs. So at Carmen Ohling. And you can check out some of my offerings on my website at Carmen

Thank you so much for being here. Carmen. I cannot wait to have you back again. Because like I said, we could unpack so much more. Thank you so much. Hey, Mama, I want to make sure you know about this really epic opportunity we have going on right now for you to win a woman owned product to celebrate Valentine's Day and Women's History Month from February 13. Through the end of March for Women's History Month. We are giving away a woman's own product every single day in our free phone app. All you have to do is go to your app store type mama has goals M O M M A has goals, download the app, say hello to the community in the main activity feed group and you are up to win one of our epic giveaway prizes 46 different opportunities. So tap in say hello and see what you win.