You are currently viewing Episode 147 – What to do When you See a Snake

Episode 147 – What to do When you See a Snake

Have you ever seen something out of the corner of your eye and jumped, only to find out it was completely harmless? This week I thought I saw a snake and I’m sharing all about what happened next, and how it applies to life after babyloss.
Miscarriage, stillbirth or any kind of pregnancy or infant loss seems to put a lot of scary things in our path. If you want to stop being afraid and take back your life, you have to listen to this episode.


Hey, how’s it going out there? How are you today? What are you up to? Are you on a walk? Are you on a drive? Are you just cleaning up around the house? Whatever you’re doing. Uh, I am so grateful that you have given me this time to talk to you, and I had a different podcast plan for this week, but something happened to me this week and I thought I have to share about this.

It’s so important and so simple, but so helpful. Today is going to be a good one. Before I start, I just have to tell you that fall spots are open to start working with me. I have my signature lift program that is for anyone living life after baby loss. Whether you’re deep in grief or you’ve got some big goals and you just need some help getting where you need to be.

That is a program for you. Then I have my Pregnancy After Loss Peace program. It is amazing if you are trying to conceive or you are pregnant, no matter where you are, you need support. Pregnancy after loss is not easy. Don’t do it alone. Let me help you. You can find all the information about those programs over on my website,

Um, so go check that out. There’ll be a link in the show notes. But you gotta hurry. We do have people filling these spots now, and my schedule’s pretty busy, so I want you to get your spot. If you’ve been feeling like coaching is a thing for you, let’s do it. There’s no better time than today, and especially with back to school and pregnancy and infant loss awareness month coming up, and then all the holidays.

This is definitely the right time to get the tools you need to handle all the things in your life. Okay, let’s talk about what happened the other day. I had a really good habit this summer of walking. I had two friends and we made a little walking group so that we all had accountability and we had to go walking and we couldn’t just stay in bed if we wanted to.

’cause we knew that, that the other ones would be waiting there and. We did so good. We were so consistent, and I walked almost every day this summer from the time we started doing that, and it was awesome. Well, weekday, I took the weekends off usually. But we just moved and we’ve been busy with getting everyone into school.

And then my little Rainbow boys got sick, so I haven’t been walking as much. But the other day I got up, I had time, I put on my workout clothes and I put on my walking shoes and we walked to school. And then after I dropped off my littles, I went for a walk and I was just going along doing my thing. I was probably listening to a podcast in my ear and just enjoying the day.

And then all of a sudden I see something on the ground and it looks like a snake, and I immediately jump and was like, Ugh. What is that thing? And. I looked down and it was just like this. There’s these trees with these long seed pods here, and it was just like this seed pod that kind of looked like a snake.

I took a picture of it ’cause I was like, oh, this is a good lesson and I’m gonna put it on the, the podcast and on Instagram @amy.smooth stonescoaching and you can see it there. But this all happened within like, 1.78 seconds. I don’t even know. It was like, I’m just walking. Everything’s fine. I notice this thing on the ground.

My brain is like, that’s a snake, or that might be a snake. I kind of jumped and like stopped and then I looked and it wasn’t a snake, and so I just was like, woo, take a breath, breathe out, and keep on walking. Well, This is the nervous system explained. This is my lower brain. This is your lower brain. This is what it’s supposed to do.

When we see danger, we’re supposed to react. When we’re just moving through a life and there’s not anything to be really afraid of. Now, as a woman, I had one ear pod in. I’m kind of paying attention to traffic. I’m kind of paying attention to my surroundings. ’cause unfortunately that’s kind of what we need to do even in the safest of places.

But I’m saying as I’m walking, I’m not really fearing a tiger or a bear or anything in this situation. So my brain is supposed to be just doing its thing, enjoying the weather, listening to a podcast going along. When it senses a threat, it is supposed to react. This is good. This is what we want. This is how we are designed as humans, that when a threat is near, we would react.

So what does this look like for me? Well, in this moment, My body got hot, you know, like that, that energy just runs through you, your skin, everything. You feel hot. Um, I jumped or I think, I mean, I didn’t even, I bet someone walking wouldn’t have even noticed. But for me, I kind of like stopped mid stride and, and, um, Just like wasn’t gonna go any closer to this thing on the ground, and my heart was beating faster.

I probably had a tiny bit of like, sweat, you know, that like instant snap, hot, sweaty, um, reaction. And again, this is what I’m supposed to do. This is what the nervous system does, this is how it keeps us safe, right? It’s ready. To fight or flight. And in my case, it was gonna be flight for sure. I was not gonna like try to stomp this snake.

I was gonna get myself out of there. So the first thing I wanna point out is our nervous system is good. Reacting to things is good. It protects us when we need it. But here is the lesson. I went through this. I was walking, I noticed a snake. My body reacted. My brain was able to catch up with my body and realize that’s not a snake.

I was able to exhale, calm down, laugh at myself a little bit and move through. So I completed that stress response cycle, and this is where in life we often get stuck. We do not complete our stress response cycle, and I think a lot of people, and especially lost moms and dads and parents, we are in a state of fear a lot.

We are activated a lot, and it’s not healthy. Now, if you are in this boat, you’re not alone. This isn’t like a problem we wanna judge ourselves for. It’s. I, it is just that a lot of the dangers that we see are really in our head, right? They’re not physical threats. It’s more things that we’re afraid of, and.

That is even harder to continue this stress response until completion, and that’s what we want. So we have to learn how to do this. So I have some questions today. First of all, I want you to think where are you, um, getting stuck? Where are you feeling a lot of fear? Where are you feeling anxiety? Where are you feeling, overwhelmed or afraid?

Your life first, you wanna kind of identify that. And if it’s a really long list, that’s okay. Um, maybe you can pull out some themes of like, things that are hard. But the question I have is what are the snakes in your life?

And what I really want you to dig deep in, what are the little leaves or whatever that look like? Snakes. Your life that you are reacting to, you’re reacting with fear to something that is actually harmless

because this is a difference, right? There’s legitimate fears and our body is made to react. It’s going to react when you need it to you, but we’re, we’re going around just like afraid of everything and it’s not really fun. So the question is, what are the snakes in your life? I want you to think about this, and then my next question is, what is stopping you from believing that they are harmless?

What is stopping you from completing that cycle? What is stopping you from taking a look and recognizing that that little leaf on the ground is not going to bite you. There’s two parts to this. I wanna be really clear. There is some trauma that a lot of us have. We carry some trauma, and your nervous system might be reacting, and if that is the case, then definitely you need to resolve that trauma in your body.

You can go get E M D R, you can do lots of things. You can talk to different therapists, you can work through it. You can heal that, you can help your nervous system to calm down and stop overreacting. But what I really wanna focus on today is your thoughts. What are you labeling as a snake? That really is a leaf.

We do this a lot. And I give people a lot of grace. If you work with me and you’re just freaking out about being anywhere near your sister-in-law or going to a party or walking through the diaper aisle, I am gonna give you all the love and support, and we are gonna work through it and we are gonna allow for it.

But there’s also this part where we feel like we are powerless. That we’re never gonna be able to walk through the baby aisle, that we’re never gonna be able to enjoy family get togethers, that we’re never going to be able to go back into the hospital where our baby was born. And that’s just not true.

We’ve got to look at where are we just stopping ourselves? Where are we creating fear, where there does not need to be fear? And I’m gonna just be honest here, and I talked about this a little bit in my episode on, um, when everyone seems pregnant, but for example, babies. Babies are harmless.

Babies are cute. We love babies. But after loss, babies can seem really, really dangerous. So if that’s the case for you, , just use this example. But think about it, what is so scary about a baby? Why do they seem like they are a snake that’s gonna bite you? What’s usually happening is you don’t like how you feel when you’re around a baby.

You don’t like the way you think when you’re around a baby. You don’t like crying, you don’t like feeling out of control. All those things are inside of you. All those things are actually in your control. You do have the power to control them and to guide them and to support them, but as long as you keep saying, I just can’t, I can’t be near babies.

I can’t go to that baby shower. I can’t go visit my new niece or nephew. I can’t, I can’t. What you’re doing is you’re refusing to look down. And see that the snake is nothing to be afraid of. It’s not a snake. So you’re kind of like just looking around or it’s like if I had just seen this thing outta the corner of my eye and just ran away and then continued to tell the story.

I saw a snake. Today. I saw a snake. Today it almost bit me and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and scarier, and scarier and scarier. And then I’m going around this city neighborhood, which probably has zero snakes. Afraid of snakes because now I’ve told my body, Ooh, there could be danger anywhere. And that is what I see a lot of my clients doing.

That is what I see a lot of lost parents doing, and again, I have no judgment, but I have to call it out. If this is happening for you or if you’ve noticed this, it’s okay to call yourself out and just say, Oh my goodness. This is what I’m doing and I am stuck in this cycle of like high alert reaction to something that isn’t scary, that cannot hurt you.

I want you to just take a deep breath and think about where this is happening for you. It’s okay if you’ve been afraid to look at these things or been afraid to put yourself in the situation, but listen to me. You can handle a lot more than you think. Now, you can make choices about who you wanna be with and where you wanna be and what you wanna do.

Of course, you’re an adult. You always get to choose, but you have to look at your reasons if you are making choices because of fear. It usually doesn’t get you a great result. So we really need to look at what am I thinking about this certain thing? Why do I think it’s dangerous? What are these snakes that I’m avoiding that maybe I don’t need to, why haven’t I been able to, um, address this or look at this?

And a lot of times it’s just ’cause we don’t know how. It’s a lot easier to just avoid it, right? If something’s hard, just avoid it. Go around it, block it out of our life. But I want you to have a full life. I want you to have everything. I want you to be just out there in the world doing everything you want and not being afraid of these shadows around the corner.

So I wanna leave you with a challenge. I want you to make a goal to really defeat these leaf snakes in your life. Just take it one step at a time. Maybe pick the easiest one, or you can pick the one that’s like the most pressing, the one that’s most on your mind, that’s most in front of you, that you’re finding you’re using a lot of energy, avoiding.

That’s the one you should start with, but make it easy. Make it fun. Get some support. If you need to talk to me, my goodness, you can dmm me anytime or send me an email, whatever you want. Let’s talk it through. But you gotta defeat these leaf snakes. You really can. And then you’ll be able to get back to calm.

So this little cycle that I went through is exactly what’s supposed to happen. We are supposed to react. And when your baby has died, yes, react, but at some point we gotta take back the reins and we gotta say, I don’t wanna live like this. I want to work through this cycle and recognize. And take a deep, long look and say, that is not a snake, that is a harmless piece of vegetation, okay?

And, and it will free you, you will feel so much better. It takes so much energy to avoid the baby aisle in every store that you go into for years. What if you could just walk anywhere and it didn’t matter? Yes, you have to stop and you have to do some work, and you have to think about it, but I am telling you this work is worth it.

I would love to help you with it. I have lots of options if you need help working through these snakes in your life.

I’ll see you next time.

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