In life there are times when you come across people who you just know are going to be instrumental in changing your perspective on life and I am really not over playing it when I say this about Zoe. She has read, trained and pulled together all the research and best practice on navigating motherhood with self-awareness and her insights on intergenerational cycles, conditioning and what every child craves are tempered with super practical things we can do with this new found self-awareness.
I wish Zoe had been around when I was raising my two children as I know I would have found peace of mind in my own parenting so much sooner for having known her. You’re in a for a real treat.
Here are the highlights:
(01:57) The most precious inheritance is happiness
(06:07) 80% of parenting is modelling
(11:54) We didn’t talk about feelings enough
(16:38) Preparing for parenthood
(24:49) Self-care isn’t just bubble baths and yoga
(30:25) Three core needs
(33:59) Making complex science pallatable
Find out more and connect with Dr.Maryhan at www.drmaryhan.com
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To access the free resources mentioned in this episode visit https://drmaryhan.com/library
To purchase your ticket for my next online talk visit 'Tantrums & Meltdowns' on Thursday 23rd February 2023
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Hello, and welcome to the How Not To Screw Up Your Kids' Podcast. So pour yourself a cup, find a comfy seed, and enjoy the conversation. This is episode 76 and today's episode. Finding peace of mind is a conversation I had with Zoe Blaske of Mother Kind. Now we met over the airways on a radio feature on BBC five Live with Nikki Campbell and we were talking about perfect parenting and whether it exists, which we all of course know doesn't.
Zoe has a real gift for taking the much talked about concept of self. Which I think we all kind of r against sometimes, but framing it around this notion of finding peace of mind. I personally, genuinely will never talk about self-care in the same way having had this conversation. Zoe is the founder of Mother Kind, a self-empowerment platform for modern mums through mother kind, Zoe coaches, mothers of all backgrounds, from CEOs to full-time moms on how to navigate the huge challenges of modern mother.
Zoe hosts the incredibly successful mother kind podcast, which covers topics from self care, career notion, mental health and parenting, and actually so much more. I believe that in life there are times when you come across people who you just know are gonna be instrumental in changing your perspective on life.
And I'm really not overplaying it when I say this about Zoe. She has read, trained, and pulled. All the research and best practice on navigating motherhood with self-awareness and her insights on intergenerational cycles, conditioning, and what every child craves are tempered with super practical things we can do with this newfound awareness.
I genuinely wish Zoe had been around when I was raising my two children, as I know I would've found peace of mind in my own parenting so much sooner for having. You're in for a real treat. My give this week is some more information on Zoe and how you can connect. As usual, all you need to do is head over to my free resource library, dr.
Mary hand.com/library, where you'll find the link to download the resource. All you need to do is pop in your email address and you'll get instant access not only to this week's resource, but all the other free resources across all my podcast. As ever. If you have enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you could follow and review this podcast so that others can find us and we can spread the love.
So until next time, here's
So Zoe, I want to dive straight in and particularly around a quote that you have on your website that I just love. I really, really love. So the quote is, The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own
happiness. ? Well, I think, you know, I think partly that's because my, my experience is that I had in incredibly loving parents to, to us, but they weren't particularly happy in their own lives.
And I think I can really see the impact that that had on me now as an adult and, you know, decades of, of therapy and healing work to unpack it all. And so it just really speaks to this idea that I think when we become parents, We think all I want is for my child to be happy, and we put all of our energy and our focus there is actually, you know, the thousands of hours of study and research and podcasting that I've done on this all tells me the same thing, which is that the, one of the most powerful ways we can help our children be happy is.
By making ourselves as happy as we can be. And that doesn't mean that we're, you know, dancing around with rainbows and glitter. And it's, it's a far more spiritual idea of happiness, I guess, which is, can we make peace with ourselves? Can we, you know, look at maybe what went on in our, in our own childhoods and see our blind spots and work on those, And can we grow as a person and a parent and allow our children to see us doing that as opposed to ignoring ourselves and putting all of our energy and.
Onto our children and, and, and willing them to be happy, whereas in fact, being unhappy ourselves. So really that quote speaks to me just on every level because it's how I try to, it's how I try to parent and live, and it's what I talk about a lot in my, in my work is actually what if, What if part of parenting was about raising ourselves a bit as well, about looking at our own lives?
Are we living the type of life that we, that we want to live? And are we, are we happy? Do we experience peace of mind and joy and all those amazing things? So yeah, that's why, that's why it's on my website because it means a lot to me, that quote. And I love that
it's, you use this word about peace of mind because it isn't about being this super.
I am, but actually it's just peace, isn't it? It's that
peace of mind. Yeah, exactly. And I feel like, you know, particularly as modern. Parents. There are so many things that try to rob us of our peace of mind every single minute, of every single day. You know, comparison on social media that what the chatter is at the, at the school gates, you know, our, our work, our careers, the pressure to be and do and have and to look a certain way and buy a certain thing, you know, constantly.
We are being invited in this modern world to be robbed of. Peace of mind. So it's actually an incredible act of resilience, you know, almost rebell that they actually know I am going to know who I am, I'm gonna know what my values are as a person and a parent, and I am gonna stay true to that. And, and I think that is arguably from my perspective, be interesting to get yours.
You know, one of the most powerful things that we can do as parents is to know who we are, what's important to us, and can we stay true? .
Well, I think it's crucial and you know the other quote that you've got about 80% of parenting is modeling. It's crucial. If that, if those are the qualities that we want to instill and we want to raise in our children and they're watching us, if we do that, then they are gonna get that is the greatest inheritance, surely.
Yeah, I think so. I think so. And you know, it's hard sometimes to that there's two sides when, you know, when I talk about this to to, to the modeling and also how can we have that idea without putting pressure on ourselves and without using that as another thing to beat ourselves up about. But I really think it's more around this idea, you know, if we have limited resource, What I'm really saying is let's put some of those resources, of course, to our children.
I don't think many parents, particularly mothers struggle with that, that aspect of mothering. I, I, I rarely meet your mother. He says, I really struggle to, to care about my child and to give to them and to worry about them and to think about them. I rarely meet that mother, but I, every single day I meet Melody, say, I really struggle to focus on me and what's going on for me, and how I feel, and how I'm showing up and what I'm doing in my life.
So really what I'm saying is, if with that time and that resource that we have, of course we're gonna be giving to our children, but also, and we have to. To ourselves, and I think there becomes, you know, you bump up against so much fascinating conditioning when you start to try and do that. You know, as a mother, when you start to try and rest a little bit or maybe you start to change a, a mindset that you've had for decades, when you start to identify that you have an inner critic and you try to change that, you will bump up.
So much amazing. I, I call it amazing because I think whenever we notice our conditioning, it's not okay for me to rest. Who am I to deserve, you know, moments of joy and happiness or a career that I love? That's all incredible information that we can, we can learn about. Okay, where did that come from? This idea that it's not okay for me.
You know, would I want that for my child? Of course not. Okay, so how can I give that to myself? So it's parenting our children and you know, parenting ourselves as well. Self parenting, which I think is just absolutely fascinating and not talked about enough, which is really how I came to start Mother Kind and the work that I do, because I had my little girl, uh, nearly seven years ago.
And what it brought up in me was all my stuff. It wasn't really about her, of course, it's her having a baby. But what it really brought up in me was my fears, my control, my perfectionism, my low self-worth, my comparison, and I started to read all these parenting books. And none of them were helping me cuz they were just telling me about, you know, the naughty step and sleep routines and bottle or breast.
And I was thinking, I'm not really struggling with any of that. That's, to me, that was, that was small fry compared to what was going on to me internally. So I turned to other sources. I started to turn to people like Dr. G Marte and Dr. Gordon Newfeld, and I start to learn about, you know, generational cycles and really dive into understanding.
You know, drama and, and loads of fascinating concepts. And that actually started to help me. I was like, Oh, I understand this now I understand why this little being is bringing all this stuff up in me. And I did at the time, you know, mother kind started five years ago. Now it's very different now. I'm really excited.
It's different now, but at the time there was just not that conversation in the parenting space, particularly not in the podcasting space. So that's why I decided to, to start the podcast. And to start having these conversations about our experience as the, as the parent, as the mother, I, I wanted to focus on mothers cause of course that was my personal experience.
So that, that really is what is what fed into it. And it was really different than what I was seeing out there when I was looking for content and workshops. A lot of it was around what I should wear as a mother, what buggy I should buy. And I just felt this is so unhelpful to me, you know, to some extent.
Brilliant. Everyone wants a good buggy, but actually. I feel crippled with my perfectionism here and this ball of emotion that I seem to be living with AKA a toddler is triggering. You know, all I wanted to do was shut down her feelings the whole time cuz it was triggering so much in me cuz of course I wasn't allowed my own feelings.
So, you know, the moment I got aha, this is an opportunity for me to heal. For me to start to get more comfortable with my own feelings to, to enable my kids to have theirs. I was like, Wow, this is transformational. Parenting is transformational. If we see it that way. Right. If we don't see it that way, then of course we're down the, this is why mommy drinks gin root, which is the, the complete opposite track of where I'm coming from.
Right. So, so I was thinking this is actually a massive, amazing gateway and it's really hard and I wish there was some more support and that's, You know, really what I try to do is support parents who are interested in, I guess that's slightly different, slightly deeper conversation about their experience of, of parenting and how we can use it as a feel to completely transform how we feel about ourselves, and then completely transform how we parent and how our children feel about themselves.
And I like talking about cycle breaking because I think it's absolutely fascinating how we can do that once we have that a. I don't remember the question. . No, no,
God. That's just, I think that that is what's so incredibly powerful about what you do and why it's so important. And I would say, Zoe, it's probably still not something that we talk about enough.
I think it's a huge, huge bit. Can you expand a little bit more, because I know what you mean, but I maybe, I think probably is a lot of people listening to this who won't understand this concept of generational cycles and why it is so important. That we understand that to look at shifting and breaking it.
Yeah. And there's loads of, There's loads of ways into looking at this, but I am. Trained in coaching. So I'm not actually trained in therapy or psychotherapy. So the way that I look at this is, is really practically, um, through some really simple coaching exercises, which is when you become a parent thinking about what was it from my childhood that I would love to repeat into the next generation?
This is a super simple coaching exercise that anyone can do with sort of 10, 15 minutes in a. What was it? Okay. Well, my parents, you know, were amazing at helping me get my schoolwork done. I really want to repeat that. They were amazing at making sure that we always had, you know, fresh meals every evening and they were cooked and you know, they took us on some amazing hold.
I really, really want to repeat that. Into how I, how I parent and our family. And then on the other side, what were some things that you didn't experience and you don't want to repeat? Well, actually, you know, the, the emotional landscape was pretty Barron, you might realize, which I think is a really common experience.
We didn't tend to talk about feelings. I felt very lonely as a child with my feelings. And actually that fed into me feeling. Really anxious and actually that, that led me feeling into like, I had to numb my feelings and I found myself in my twenties drinking too much. You know that that might be some of the things that you write down.
Okay, so there we have it on a piece of paper and it's super clear you've got that list, and of course you might add some things to that list over time. As you realize and remember, it's not about perfection and unturn every stone, it's just making a start. You might have three bullets on each side. Okay.
So how can I make sure with intention that I do repeat the things that I want to repeat? How can I make sure that that happens? And actually, if you want to create a deeper relationship with the generation above you, you can share that. You know, Mom, dad, you did such an amazing job at taking us all these incredible holidays.
And you know, they're really precious moments that I have of my childhood. So I'm gonna make sure that I take my two kids on holidays like you did, you know? Thank you for that. It's really, it can be really beautifully connect. Conversely, Okay, so I, I've recognized that actually my feelings weren't validated.
How am I gonna learn about this? And this is where the Mother Kind podcast comes in, because it's essentially a school for parents who need to learn about things they weren't taught. Right. I'm gonna go and find, you know, another kind of course or one of your episodes, Maryanne, about feelings. And I'm gonna learn about my emotional self and how to connect my feelings.
And we live in a world where there's tons of amazing resources about that. I'm gonna practice that for myself for a month. Say, how do I feel? Checking with how I feel, allowing my feelings, noticing what happens when I cry, you know, whenever I would cry. I had this voice that said, Who are you to cry? I had that for decades and I don't have it now cause I've done so much work on connecting with my feelings.
So then knowing that by us doing that and working on that, we will then when our child comes to us crying, we will not say to them, which may have been said to us, What are you crying about? It's just a blue cup. Don't be ridiculous. We might say, That looks like you are really sad about the blue cup. I can see that's really upsetting you.
I get why that would really upset you. You want the blue cup and mum's giving you the red. What we gonna do about it? That is generational, psycho breaking. People think it's like this huge thing and you have to go to decades of psychotherapy. It's not how I see it. I think it's cuz I'm trained in coaching, so I'm trained in making things really practical, really accessible, really simple for people.
That's how I see it. It's being really clear about what do I wanna repeat, what don't I wanna repeat, and where are my gaps in my knowledge about what I don't want to repeat. So for me, a lot of what I don't wanna repeat is perfectionism. So I've really had to learn, okay, about perfectionism. I've had to learn, I've had to go back to school.
I've had to engage some specialist therapists. I've done some specialist training in it, which ultimately resulted in me creating a course for it for, for my community. So that, that's essentially what it is. It's about am I prepared to go back to school a bit to learn some things that I didn't learn in my childhood so that I don't repeat it for the next generation, which
And I love that it is so supremely practical in the way that you approach it. And I think you're absolutely right. It doesn't, you don't need to, um, you know, this isn't about diminishing therapists that do the work, but you don't need that extensive years and years. It's that. Acknowledgement of the things that happened that your parents did, which you love and you wish to repeat, and that recognition of the gaps in, in the ones that you don't do.
I guess you probably answered the question already, Zoe, but, so this tends to show up the as. As we become parents. This isn't something that the, Or do you think that the work can begin to happen before we're even
parents? I think. Everyone's different. My, my experience and with most the people that I work with, it becomes very real.
When it's like marriage, it's the same thing, isn't it? Like you can never prepare for how it's actually going to feel to be married or like even, you know, when you are doing like a physical challenge, you can do all the training in the world, but actually it's when you are in it that the rubber really hits the road.
So I, I think. You know, and we hear about this, don't we? So many people joke about the parent that they thought they would be, and then they become a parent. , You know, I'm never gonna shout on my kids. And then, you know, two years in, you find you are just shouting 80% of the time. So I, I, my personal view on this and, and, and I've heard different views on it, and lots of people say different things.
This is my experience with myself and my community is that it's, it's, you have to have that experience. You have to have that little trigger I would call, Um, in front of you, aka your child, often your toddler, which is when it really kicks in, in, in order to begin doing the work. And I think it's another important point around, you know, some people will find when they start to look at this, that there are areas where they absolutely need professional support.
So as you said, I'm not. I'm not diminishing that, but you only get to that point where you realize what professional support you need, what type of professional support By starting with, with a really simple coaching exercise like I'm suggesting, and, you know, I actually hand off tons of, of my community and clients to specialist therapists in different areas, you know, which I, I would never, ever, ever go near because that's not, that's not what I'm trained in.
So, you know, if you need a trauma specialist, A lot of people realize an uncover there's been abuse in their, in their history when they become parents themselves. You know, that is absolutely when you might need to go and get a go and get specialist support, but you only get there by starting with answering those, those questions for yourself.
Yeah, and I think, you know, what you talked about, about this idea of self parenting, I think is so crucial. You know, maybe I've been slightly naive. I've not really sort of thought of it that way, but it's so crucial. We talk about us parenting our children, but there's that self parenting of us too that is so crucial as we navigate this.
Absolutely. Because you know, we have to. Fill those gaps. It's like a, it's like a coloring picture, isn't it? Like we'll be given, we'll, we'll arrive at adulthood with, you know, maybe half of the picture colored in and half of the picture not colored in. And every single person's picture and map will look totally different, you know, depending on their experiences and their, and their parenting.
So if we realize, actually I have a, I have a really, a white spot here. A big gap around being kind to myself, for example. Now, probably your parent is not gonna step in when you are in your thirties and parent you through that. That's probably not going to happen. So therefore, who's gonna do it? You're gonna have to become your own parent in that way.
Say, Okay, I've got a skills gap here. I, I really dunno how to be kind to myself. I have a raging critic and I just beat myself up about everything. I'm gonna have to parent myself through this. And, and, and, you know, just as you talk about so much Maryanne, you know, being a kind, loving parent. Okay, so validating that this is really real for you.
What are we going to do about it? It's, it's becoming that inner coach for yourself in a parent, in a coach, whatever words work for you. That is what growth looks like, as opposed to, you know, the alternative, which I think, you know, so many people, unfortu. Can't find if it's got too loud, you know, you have to numb it by keeping really busy, particularly with the critic, you know, keeping really busy or numbing it with, with drinking sometimes, or, you know, other, other things that we do to, to avoid it because it can feel so overwhelming to, to even recognize it or become aware of it.
So it's definitely not simple and it's nuanced and it's complex, but I think the idea of, of self, of giving ourselves in adulthood, what perhaps we. From our own childhood. You talk about scaffolding a lot. You know, where, where are the, where are the, I dunno what the, they're called. Where are the poles? You know, where is the scaffolding?
Where have you got a few poles missing and how do I build that scaffolding for myself in adulthood? That's what it is. Yeah. And
that's just so, and I think it's such an important piece that we repeatedly miss and not do. So how do. You know, I'm sure there'll be people genuinely listening to this. God Zoe, I wish you'd been around when I was parenting
I could have saved myself a whole load of angst and guilt very early on. But, so there'll be people listening. I absolutely know for sure that are thinking. Zoe, you are absolutely speaking to where I'm at. How do people begin to start to take those first steps in being able to recognize. You know, obviously that exercise that you've talked about, I think is brilliant in terms of the generational cycles and and that sort of thing.
But how do they even begin to recognize and be really honest with themselves, that actually I do have this narrative about resting and taking care of myself or prioritizing my needs. How do they begin that
bit? It's typically looking at where you're struggling the most, just like we would with our children.
You know, just the same. Where are you struggling the most? Are you feeling, for example, Super resentful towards your partner. Okay, let's start there. Are you feeling just absolutely burnt out because you are pushing yourself thinking that you are some sort of robot without human needs? Okay, let's start there.
Are you completely trapped and stuck in work that is sucking the life out of you and you, but you just want to change there? Or are you feeling. Like you never get a rest you, you always just feel on, and maybe that's leading you to feel anxious or, So I would say at start, wherever you feel the most out of as a coach, I would call it alignment.
But sometimes that word doesn't mean anything is it's where you are feeling the most pressure, the most stress, and the most away from where you want to be. So that can be a really powerful place to. Okay, how do I want to feel? How do I want to feel? And I remember doing this exercise a long time ago now, and it felt like a, it felt like a joke from how I felt to how I wanted to feel.
And of course, now I do feel how I want to feel, which is just incredible. Most the time. But how, how do I want to feel and where am I feeling most distanced from that? And how can I start to think about plugging that gap is, is a really powerful way. And coaching lots of coaches will, will take a new client on and ask them to think about areas of their lives and school them.
And that's a really, that's a really simple, effective tool as well. So what are the eight areas that that make? Your life, You know, is it, is it work, parenting, friendships, partner, home life, whatever it might be. And, and how do you score each of those? If zero is, it could not get any worse and 10 is actually, this feels really good, where are you on each of those areas?
And you could start with perhaps the area that is either scored the lowest or, or the area that you think, Okay, if I really focused on this area in my life, that would make the biggest difference to how I. . Yeah. I think
that that's a really powerful thing. And I guess how do, how do we avoid getting caught up in this?
So, you know, I, I talk about self care a lot, but I don't do anything that you do zoe around the unpicking and helping Par, you know, mothers. sort of discover that. But what I do tend to hear time and time again is this almost, and I'm guessing it's so superficial level, it's this sort of, Well, if I just had more time, everything would be fine.
Now how do we get that really scratch that itch and really get deep so that we stop this sort of, well, if I just had a bit more help with my other half helped out more, or if I didn't have this problem with my child that I'm having to constantly deal with, So that we can really get to the actual nuts and bolts of what the issue is that we need to work.
Yeah, I mean, they're absolutely right. Those, those clients of yours, because they're probably thinking that self care is an hour long bubble bath or an hour long yoga class or a walk or a run, all of which require often time and money, which is as parents, particularly as mothers, we, we don't tend to have, I see self care as, as differently than that.
I see self care as really caring about my. Is really caring about my experience and what can I do in order to shift how I feel and how I show up and how I am in my life. And often the self care, I don't even use that phrase very often actually, cuz I get exactly the same. It triggers in people this idea of, you know, products and time and spar breaks and it's none of that.
It's really like, what are the shifts that I can make in my mindset. So, for example, you know the mother who's saying, There's no time. There's no time. There's no time. I'm too rushed, I'm too rushed. Maybe her self care is, is thinking about, okay, am I using boundaries in my life? Why am I so rushed? Why is my life feeling like I'm a hundred feet behind?
Constantly? I wake up feeling like I'm behind. I wake up running my to-do list through my head. What is that? And even just answering that question is incredibly powerful because what you might start to very quickly uncover is, Huh? I'm saying yes to everything. Hmm. I've always done that. Gosh, maybe I need to learn to say no, and then you're gonna bump up against all your conditioning.
Okay, Well, I'm not gonna be liked. , what's gonna happen if I say no, I'm never gonna get that work opportunity again. And that's all amazing to notice all that conditioning, cuz that was exactly the thing that was driving you into all the busyness in the first place. Or you might realize, Huh, You know, growing up we were always really busy and I did seven clubs a week and I've really got this idea that my worth is about how much I produce and how much I do.
So no wonder now I feel like there's no time for me because actually I've never, I've never experienced. . So it's moving away from feeling like we're choiceless in our circumstances to feeling more empowered. And ultimately the work that I do is empowering mothers to think, Okay, let's empower you. This isn't, um, you know, blah, blah, blah, is not gonna fix a thing.
It might feel nice in the time, but it's really not nosy yoga class, to be honest. Nausea, run What's gonna fix this and hopefully transform it for you is thinking, what is it that is making me feel this? , Where does that come from? Quick glance back. We're not, I'm, I'm not doing therapy with people, so we're not digging and digging and digging and digging.
That's not, I'm not trained in that, but we're doing quick glance back, Where did that come from? Ha. I understand now. Okay. How are we gonna change that? And I think it's in that change that the support from. Platform like Mother Kind is absolutely crucial because when we start to change, that's when it gets really, really, really hard.
Because of course these neural pathways are like, you know, deep, deep, deep cloud grooves in our brain of how we work and operate. So it can feel like trying to turn an oil tanker around trying to change, You know, if you ask a mother who has been basing her worth on her productivity and how she looks and how things look and you know, to sit down for 20.
And do a simple breathing exercise that will feel incredibly, I'm understating that incredibly hard. So I think it's understanding that, you know, it's the awareness, where am I struggling the most? Using some of those simple tools that I've already shared. And then knowing that change is really hard. It's not as simple as, Oh, okay, I've been running my whole life.
You know, my worth has been based on productivity. I'm gonna change that. It's not that simple. Unfortunately, it's gonna take a lot of work. It's gonna take a lot of effort. It's going to be so worth it. Also, remembering that you are modeling that, of course to your children, it is going to be so worth it, but it's gonna be hard.
So the key with any changes, to start really, really, really small. So with that client that you were just describing Maryann about, you know, there's no time. There's no time. If I was working with her, I'd be saying, How could we build in five. To just be still today. That's what I would be doing. Wouldn't be talking about hour long.
Any things I would be talking about five minutes, I'd be saying, okay, how can we practice? Where can we practice saying no to something that feels not not big? You know, I'm not gonna get you to say no to your mom-in-law who wants to come and stay for a week and she's not gonna help and not, we're not gonna practice on that straight way.
That's too big. Where can we practice a really simple, small no. Could it be with your partner where you feel quite loved and supported and you know, he's asked you to do something extra this week, or he's said that he can't do the school run that he normally does. Could we practice there and saying, Actually, I need you to do this for me.
So, So it's about starting really small because change is hard. Yeah. Oh my
God. I love, Well, I dunno about anyone else, but I love the way. Explained that and it is that conditioning and it is, it's almost like that constantly asking why? Why do I value, Why do I have to be super productive? And actually so much of it comes from
It's what we've learned. Can you just expand a little bit more Zoe, around what conditioning is so that people kind of, I think there's probably, most people have probably got a basic understanding of it, but it is a really powerful way in
who we then, . Yeah. So as ch as children, and you know, clearly I don't need to tell you this right now, we have, we have three core needs, which to be seen, to be loved and to be validated.
So children are super smart and we are really adaptive. So essentially we will change our behavior in order to be seen, loved, and validated from our parents based on what they value. So if we are in a household where to be seen, loved and validated, we get loads of. When we come home with an A or we come home with an awards or we come home, if that can happen, this isn't just one-offs.
This is like consistent over years and years and years and years and years. You are likely to develop a neural pathway in your brain conditioning programming. There's lots of different words for it. Use whichever word feels right for you. You are likely to develop this condition, which is like, huh, okay.
So I get seen, validated, and loved when I achieve simple. So then you are likely to go into your adult life with a desire to want to be very high achieving. You're likely to, to have some perfectionist tendencies. You're likely to be someone who is, is, will push themselves to the point of burnout. Because we, because everything that we do as children is adaptive.
We're really adaptive as children, aren't we? So everything that we do is to get the love of our care. . So that is what I mean by conditioning and understanding what that conditioning is or that programming is, I think is, is really, really, really, it's, it's fascinating and it's really important because then we give ourselves a choice about it as opposed to being unconscious about it, where we're just running through our lives and we're not aware actually that this conditioning and you know, they talk.
You know, studies show us, and, and all our friends in, in neuroscience tell us that about 80% of our behavior is driven from these unconscious beliefs, this unconscious programming. So essentially, until we become aware of it, we'll be like that client you describe Mary h is going, I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too stressed, I'm too busy, I'm too stressed.
Which, that's just unconscious programming. That person isn't realizing. Actually, it would be really fascinating for me to look into this and could I, could I empower myself? Could I make a different, Could I make a different choice? And the answer might be I'm not ready yet. That's totally fine. Of course, everyone will come to their own change and transformation and, you know, mini awakenings and awarenesses totally on time for them.
I really think that's true. But yeah, understanding our conditioning and programming for me was just, I, I, I think I, I, I tend to like putting a positive spin on it, and I think that's because I don't have any trauma with a capital. So I find it fascinating and interesting. I think if you're someone who has, who has very dark, you know, experiences in your childhood, it wouldn't be fascinating.
Interesting. Potentially that is absolutely where you would need to get support to unpack some of these things. But for the majority of people who have traumas, you know, with little teas where these are, you know, these are sort of scratches, not, not huge wounds, it's something that we can absolutely work.
On our own. Maybe with a supportive partner, maybe with a coach, someone like me, or even just listening to my podcast. You know, there's so much support and and resource to understanding this. But yeah, once you understand your programming, it gives you a choice. And when you have choice, you have freedom.
And that's really what what most of us want. Definitely. Oh my
God, I would imagine there are lots of people going, Oh my goodness me, Zoe's just explained it in such an easy
way. Well, I think this is one of the gifts that I, I have is, you know, because I'm not, I'm not trained in, in psychology, I have not done decades of psychotherapy training.
I've spoken to all the best people in the world who have, Right. So what I'm actually, one of my gifts is, is that I'm really good at taking tons of this complex, you know, study and information and understanding and, and trying to distill it in a really simple way, simply because I am a really busy. Of two also trying to do a lot of this work myself.
So it has to be simple. And I, in a way, I've done a lot of the hard work for people cuz I've spent, I should have done a PhD, honestly. I spent thousands of hours reading, you know, gosh, tones on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and drama and generational and, and what I try to do is simplify it, make it really practical and applicable for people, because that's what I think, I think we need, isn't it as busy.
that's your superpower because you've disseminated it all. You've made it simple because I think that that probably is often the block and the barrier to us as mother. Doing the work because it feels overwhelming. We read in lots of different books and you know, I'm never ever gonna use self care in the context.
Now having spoken to you, because of course it just triggers all of these connotations about a bath and all these other things, which as you say are ultimately not going to fix what the conditioning and the patterns that we keep perpetuating again and again
and. . No, it's that, that it, it, it won't, That's like sticking, you know, a sticking plaster over, you know, a sort of river trying, trying to stop it, you know?
It just, it, it, it, it won't, it will, it will give a short term feeling of relief, hopefully. Although often, you know, if you're running a strong critic and you know, you, you are stuck in that painful, painful place and you try and get in a bubble bath for an hour, it will be torture. It will be torture because, because that, that thinking will just be stuck with you, so it won't even feel good often.
And the same with massages. So many people say to me, you know, I crave a massage I crave that tend to touch, and I, I crave it. And then I lie on that bed and all I have is just ruminating thoughts. My mind is rushing with, you know, it's, it's, it's not enjoyable. So I think that's something way deeper that, that we have to get to around the conversation, which is real self care is, self-awareness, isn't it?
It's having the courage to be like, Okay, what am I gonna do to be aware of what's going on for me and, and what are some of the things I want to change that is real self-care. It's not, Yeah, it's not a spa day. Even though they're love, they're lovely. I'm not gonna deny anyone a spa day, but it's not, it is not gonna shift the needle at any meaningful long term way.
No. And especially if we go back to what we said, you know what you said right at the beginning about this finding peace. We can't find peace if we can't stop that chatter whilst
we're taking that bath. Exactly. . Exactly. It's like meditation for lots of people. You know, When I first started doing it, I was like, This is hell.
What is this? It was awful because of course, all that stuff that I've been busy numbing and running from, I'd try and sit still and it would all come up. So yeah, I think it's, I think it's just. Taking it in really small, slow, manageable increments because unfortunately we don't get to press pause on our lives as parents in order to unpack all of this.
You know, we also have, you know, work cost of living crisis school, you know, children potentially you need extra support. You know, we might be going through a divorce or a breakup or marriage. You know, let's just, life doesn't get to stop to do all of this, so we have to. in such a way that feels really simple as an accessible and is always additive, is always feeling okay, I can see the benefit in this.
Yeah. Yeah. And as
you say, it's breaking it down into small, manageable pieces and we can find, as you said, when you get that example of how you'd work with our, with our, with our busy money, it's, they're busy. Mummy. It was like, let's find five minutes. Let's start there.
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, with some clients have started them on two.
Particularly if I have a high achieving client. They hate that. They hate it. They're like, what? ? Because of course they want me to give them some eight hour, 20 step plan that they can get a gold star in. Cuz they're looking for that. You know, they're running that program of achievement organization. So yeah, sometimes I'll do that with a bit of a rise smile.
You know, I'll say, Oh, haven't work for this week is two minutes every day for you. And of course you know, that's really achiev. And when we start to achieve things, it's called habit stacking. You know, when we can start to achieve things, we start to then be able to stack on bigger and bigger and bigger changes.
That is how change works. Change does not happen in one big thing that we do, and we, we are one and done it. It just never, ever, ever happens that way. Change happens by tiny, small increments of stacking habits on top of. Which
I just, I think that's such a lovely and powerful thing to re, to really keep ourselves focused on, because quite often we, we lurch as parents, I think, to the sort of feeling that we need to do some great big grand thing and then we're back to, well, it doesn't work.
I've tried that and it doesn't do, it doesn't do anything for me. So let's just go back to what I've been doing. Habit.
Yeah, and it's the same. It's the same with parenting. You know, sometimes I feel like the amount of parenting advice is incredible cuz there's loads of really good stuff like you and a few others that I really respect and love.
And I think it can be rechallenging. Cause I think people can think, Okay, I'm gonna try this thing, you know? And it's like, kids, we're not gonna do it this way anymore. We're gonna do it this way. You know, , it's just, in my experience, it's just not how it works. It's like changing one tiny thing at a time.
Learning from it. What, what did, did that work? What did we learn? Okay. Is that something we want to carry on with? Okay, let's maybe increase that idea. Or actually, no, that didn't work. That didn't work for me, and so I'm gonna try a different idea. But yeah, I think when we try and just change everything or throw everything out, and that's very, that, that comes from a big place of ego, you know, particularly around new resolutions.
That's why 90% new year resolutions never, ever, ever come, come into fruition because we write these huge things from a place of ego and you know, I'm gonna do this and this and this, and this, and this, and this and this. And then of course it's totally impossible. So no one would ever write news resolution, You know, I'm gonna, Down for two minutes and take some breaths.
No one would ever write that as new's resolution because it doesn't feel, It doesn't feel impactful enough, and yet that's probably one of the most impactful, tidy changes that so many of us could make. Right. Yeah,
I think, and I, I just think that that's probably the perfect sort of concept and thing to be thinking about, to sort of end the podcast with is this, it isn't about making huge changes.
It is about doing something, you know, a a small level, but being consistent and then being able to kind of stack that. Zoe, thank you. So, Oh my God. I could talk to you for hours and I think you, we need you back to talk about other bits and pieces too. Thank you so, so much
for your time. Oh no, I've loved it.
Thank you so much.