Today’s episode is, like, ripped from the headlines of my life. Something just happened. My husband said something to me and I immediately refuted it and just got so I was like, how dare you say that about me? And so I had to talk about it on the podcast. But before I tell you about that, I just want to give you a quick reminder.
Right now, up until October 8, 2023, you can submit your baby’s name and the lessons they taught you. To be read on the podcast for a special episode, it’s going to be the fourth birthday of the smooth stones podcast. I am so excited and I want to feature you and your babies and the lessons that they have given you through their lives, even though they were very short.
So please go in the show notes. And you will find the link there. If you don’t know how to do show notes, you just scroll down on the podcast, in your phone and there’ll be right there, there’ll be a link, or you can go to my Instagram at amy. smoothstonescoaching and go to the link in my bio. It will be there as well.
This is, we’ve got just over a week to submit those. It’s really easy. It’s just one box. And then. Really exciting. I decided to just add on some prizes. This totally wasn’t the, you know, I just thought let’s do some presents. Let’s give some prizes. So you can enter your baby and then if you would like you can also be entered to win some prizes.
I am going to be giving away some cards for joy. I might be giving away some books. I usually just have some good fun surprises and they’re going to get mailed to you. It’s going to be so awesome. Go do that. Pause and go do it if you want to, or take a minute and think about it. But please go do that before October 8th.
Uh, as a gift that you could give me for the podcast birthday, is really to share this podcast. One of my goals with this podcast is to help every single lost parent who needs it. Every grieving parent who, is wondering, how the heck do I do this? How do I keep going on and how do I keep living my life and how do I heal?
And what do I do? I want them to know the answers because I have a lot of answers and I also really want you to find your own answers finding your own answers and learning to trust yourself again after loss is like The dream it’s so so good and it goes little by little and there’s like Setbacks and all kinds of stuff as we go, but really that’s what I’m here for But if people don’t know this podcast exists, then they won’t be able to get the tools that you’re getting as you’re listening So please share If you haven’t dropped a review, I would love a review because reviews help people feel comfortable like, oh, maybe this is kind of cool.
I love reading reviews. I’m like a review researcher. I read all the reviews. So I love, love, love reviews. Okay, so let’s talk about what happened. My husband and I were talking. Now, if you don’t know, I can’t remember what I’ve shared on here, but at the moment, we’re living with my husband’s parents.
We sold our house and , my husband is on a temporary assignment and we’re not exactly sure where he’ll be with his job afterwards. And so we’re in a really good situation, totally safe, like nothing. We’re not, we’re like really secure. It’s just, we don’t know where we’re going to end up living. And so we’ve been looking at all these different places and all these maybes and looking at houses, which we love looking at houses are totally like house nerds.
Um, It’s so interesting. Love real estate and he was, you know, I was just messing around and I, I asked him the question. I said, what if like you like one house and I like another house, then who wins? Who gets to choose? And his response was, and I was just playing with him. Cause like, I know that it’s me, but I was just playing with them.
And he said, yeah. You know, it’s you because you’re just more opinionated about the house and I was like gasp Like how dare you and I so I immediately fired back with I’m not opinionated I just care more and as we went through this little conversation. I thought Afterwards it was so interesting my reaction to being called opinionated and I wondered, like, why is being opinionated a bad thing?
Why did I have such a, just like this snap reaction to that word? And I was thinking, what are my thoughts? What, what am I visualizing? What do I see when I think of someone who is opinionated? And this is me. I just like, this is how I self coach a lot. I don’t always have time to write it down, although I highly recommend writing it down, but you just make it work for yourself.
So if this ever happens to you, just do what I do, which is I just really pondered it. And I, when I think of opinionated. I think of letters to the editor, like opinion pieces, and A couple of times because of my husband’s job, he’s been on the end of some opinion pieces, letters to the editor, uh, that was not a fun experience and really just obnoxious, to be honest.
, I think about like social media, I’m gonna just say trolls, but really just, they’re not trolls. I don’t like to like call people names, but people who just can’t. Like they can’t pass up an opportunity to share their opinion. And we all know the topics, like the things that you would never say that I even I’m like, Ooh, should I even say it?
Like politics, uh, vaccinations, breastfeeding, allergies. There’s just, like, there’s so many things, oh, like, yeah, just dietary things, medication things, whatever. These are the things that I would think if someone’s opinionated, they’re just going to say it. You know, they’re just going to say which candidate they think is best and it doesn’t matter what they’re doing and it just, it seems contentious.
It seems to me, my opinion is it’s like. It’s such a waste of energy. I don’t know very many people whose opinions on, like, abortion are changed by someone commenting on their Facebook post. It’s just, it’s not productive, in my opinion. But… Yeah. And then I also thought about judges. So we live in a world where we judge everything like, you know, baking shows and singing shows and all of these things we’re judging.
We’re almost training everyone to be judgmental and to share their opinion as if like all of our opinions always matter, which they don’t. And so I think of someone like a Simon Cowell. I don’t, I’m not sure how old everyone listening is, but for me, I was there like first season of American Idol. And we all were just like, who is this guy?
And how does he just say such awful things? So I think I had like this negative connotation that, that opinions are generally. Negative. When someone’s opinionated, they’re sharing their negative opinion.
Uh, so I want you to think, what do you think about being opinionated? Do you share some of the same thoughts that I had? And this is just a thought download. This is just being curious, being compassionate. I’m not mad at myself that I reacted to being called opinionated. I’m just thinking like, wow, this really got to me a little bit.
Why? So just asking why, just exploring, this can be so, so helpful in life after loss because people say things and we have reactions. Why do you have a reaction? What do you think they mean? What are you making it mean? So many questions that we ask as we’re self coaching. And this is what I do with my clients,
here’s the last thought that I had, which, as I was writing this episode and kind of just downloading what I was thinking, one of the thoughts then, beliefs that I had about being opinionated is women shouldn’t have opinions. Now, I don’t believe that, like my higher brain is very much a feminist. I really think that there’s a lot of ways that women really do need to speak up.
I think they should have opinions and I think they should be able to share them. But in my brain, and all of us have this, if you’re socialized as a woman, if you’re female, there is this thing, women shouldn’t have opinions. Right. Maybe we have thoughts and we have feelings and we, you know, have passions.
We’re allowed to have all those things, but we shouldn’t have opinions that we share. We should just keep them to ourselves because, you know, we don’t want to upset anybody. We don’t want to cause problems. We don’t want to be hysterical. We don’t, , want to be too much. We don’t want to ruffle any feathers.
We need to be really nice. And so that thought was in there, and it’s so, so interesting just to pull that out. So I want you to ask yourself, have you dived in, dove in to your beliefs about your own voice and your own place in the world and your ability and right to take up space? Now. When I immediately rejected this being opinionated label, what I said was, but I just care more.
Now, why would I put it that way? Well, since I am a woman, I am a stay at home mom, besides like coaching and all the other things I’m doing. The home is important to me. I spend a lot of time there. I care about my family. Caring is good. I, when I think about someone who cares more about which house we buy, I visualize a good, kind, confident person because I do believe like, I’m smart.
I’m good at this. I actually thought about being a real estate agent at one point because we have bought and sold houses for sale by owner. I think at least three times now, and I’ve been able to handle that. I, I understand a lot about homes and I love to build and do projects. And I understand how like the systems in the homework and, and what’s important and what to look out for in like a lemon house and resale value, all of those things.
I’m very confident in that. So I have those parts that I believe about me. So in that way, I just say, yeah, I care more. I’m knowledgeable. I’m going to do a really good job picking a house. I haven’t steered us wrong yet. We’ve loved every home that we’ve lived in and we’ve always. improved on them even.
We’ve loved them when we got them and then we’ve improved on them. But I really had this question because this happened literally in one second. He said, , you’re more opinionated. And I said, I care more. And it just happened in a snap. When I was pondering, I thought, what is the difference between being opinionated, which again, I was putting a negative connotation on, or caring more about the house, which I was like, oh, you know, that was a good thing to care about our home.
I think one of the main differences is speaking out. So I want you to sit with that. What are things that you care about? You really don’t share your opinion. You’re not being opinionated in the sense that you’re not expressing what you feel, what you think. We are so socialized to care about others, to put others first, to sacrifice, right?
And we’re sacrificing a lot of times what we think and feel and want. We are socialized to worry what other people think. So in this example, if, if it came to that, which it wouldn’t, uh, like if my husband loved a house and I loved a different house, would I give in and just say, well, I want him to be happy.
So we’ll just go with that house. And then I would talk myself out of it. Like it doesn’t really matter. They’re both great houses. We’ll be happy anywhere. We can just go with the one he wants. That’s what we do kind of a lot. And once you notice it, you’re going to notice it a lot. This is okay. Don’t freak out.
I do want to add a little. Caveat here and a sidebar and just say, when I talk about speaking out, I am not encouraging you to go on the internet and tell everyone how wrong they are about like what car seat they have their kid in. I’m talking about things that align with your values. Like if you value kindness, can you share your opinion in a kind way?
, if you value how other people Feel if you value like workplace, , harmony, those are your values. You’re not going to go in there and just like blast your deepest thoughts about politics. That’s not what I’m saying. So always, always, whenever we talk about anything, you want to be aligned with your values and who you are, like your inner.
Yeah, I’d like your essence, right? That’s not, it’s not to say that you need to be speaking out in a negative way, but I am saying, where are you not speaking out about things that really do matter? And why aren’t you speaking out? I was thinking of a great example of someone who really spoke out and was opinionated, which is my grandmother.
We called her gran. She’s English. She came over. To Canada from England as a teenager and two of the things I remember most about her that she was opinionated about were typos and she would, she was a teacher for a lot, a lot of years, and she would tell anybody anytime. that they had a typo. I remember being at a restaurant and her telling the waiter that there was a typo on the menu and being kind of mortified as a teenager, but she did not hold back.
Like she really cared that things were spelled correctly. And then table manners. She was very, Very opinionated on table manners on you having the fork and the spoon and everything in the right place You holding your fork the right way The way you talked the way you put your napkin like very opinionated and she did it with love But she was not She didn’t hold back.
She didn’t feel bad when she Wanted to tell you what she thought about how you were behaving or whatever it was She would just tell you and and I love that about her. I love what an example she is to me. So what do you stop yourself from sharing and Why what are you afraid of? What do you want to say that you’re not saying?
Where in your life are Are you not letting yourself be opinionated? It could be about the smallest thing. I noticed it for myself just in the, the littlest, you know, just, um, so for example, I’m just pulling something out of my head on the fly here. Uh, my in laws drink a lot of soda. We don’t generally drink a lot of soda, but they kind of were, you know, asking what kind of soda I would like.
And I’m just like, oh, well, like. I didn’t really say anything or I wouldn’t be like, Hey, can you get me this or this flavor, whatever, which is ginger ale. I love ginger ale. Um, and yeah, it’s just like little things, but those little things really add up. They really do. And even getting on a podcast and saying what I think, of course, I always try to stay aligned with my values.
And I, as your life coach. Even if we haven’t worked together yet. I feel like I’m your life coach. My opinions don’t really matter. What matters is me helping you figure out your own opinions. But if you want to know who I am, like I do have strong feelings about a lot of things and sometimes I don’t share them.
For example, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I love my church. I love My beliefs, I love the promises I’ve made in my life and also I want this to be a space where everyone feels welcome, where it doesn’t matter what religion background, you know, ethnicity, anything. I want this to be a welcoming space.
So I will share my beliefs and I also want you to know that you belong here. So I’m not going to talk about it all the time, um, but that is very near and dear to me and I’m happy to talk about it anytime you want to ask me, but it’s just, we got to find a balance. So what do you stop yourself from sharing and why?
So I like my why
, and I would just offer that you question that if you’re ashamed or afraid, or you feel a lot of like those icky feelings, Just question it. I have this quote from Brene Brown, which I heard recently. I don’t know if she said it recently or just like came up on my algorithm or what happened, but I might share it over and over because I am loving it.
It is “the opposite of belonging is fitting in”. So Brene Brown said the opposite of belonging is fitting in. We don’t share our opinions because we want to fit in. But fitting in means you’re pretending to be someone you’re not in order to like be part of a group that doesn’t really know you. And I think this is a huge problem right now where so many people feel so disconnected, feel like they don’t have strong friendships, feel like they don’t have strong, even relationships within the family can be difficult because you’re, you’re suppressing and you’re like watering down who you are.
So that you don’t offend anyone or say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, then people don’t know. Like if you are super passionate about plants, I’m thinking of this one, , guy I follow on Instagram. He’s amazing. He’s, um, Stacey Harkey from Studio C. He has , this plant obsession and it’s so funny that, and he just owns it.
Like he owns that he has like hundreds of plants in his house and, , that’s part of him and he shares it, but he could hide that and be like, people are going to think I’m really, really weird if I show how many plants I have. But instead he just makes reels that are hilarious featuring his plants.
So let people see the real you. If you love plants, if you love a certain sport, if you are into whatever. Own it. As I went through this, like I said, the self coaching journey within my own head, I had to shift my identity a little bit and look and say, yes, I am opinionated about my house.
What are you opinionated about? Own it. See how. It’s true that you’re opinionated. Whenever we have an argument or someone says something towards us and we’re like, whaaat?, how is it true? This is such a powerful question. How are they right? Let them be right. My husband is right. I am opinionated about my house.
I really just have to, as we wrap up, I really want to just touch on this. When we look at how we’re feeling, how we’re acting, what is happening in our lives as lost parents, we can really lose our voice because we were somebody. And then we got pregnant and at some point along the line, we don’t have that baby anymore and we’re sad and we’re lost and we’re in shock and the people around us are saying stuff and doing stuff and they’re trying to help or they’re not trying to help or whatever your situation is.
What happens is we can just feel like we get railroaded. Um, we can feel like we’re not being heard. We can feel like so many things happen. And a lot of times it’s really just like, I don’t even know what my opinion is anymore because I don’t even care because , I’m just sad and I’m broken down and , who cares about the elections or whatever when your heart is broken into a million trillion pieces and you’re on the floor crying this.
Is part of it right? You’re gonna lose your voice for a while. For most people. That’s what I see happening. And then they have to build it back up. So I want you to know that if you feel like you’ve lost your voice or you’ve said things like maybe you’ve told your family a million times, like, please include my baby or please Don’t ask me when I’m having another baby or please, you know, whatever.
And they’re just not listening. Number one, we can’t control them. Right. And I’m not saying just keep hammering the same thing, but I am saying if you have something that is incredibly important to you, you have permission and my encouragement to say it. To get out there. I see so many amazing examples of this, of kind of taking that pain and turning it into a loud voice to protect others from the pain that we’ve gone through.
, you might feel strangled. Honestly, that’s what a lot of my clients will say. When we go into our body, we think about how we’re feeling. We, we feel
it you want to scream and you want to shout and you want to share and you just. Don’t know how I want you to think about this. Your opinion matters. What you care about matters, whatever label you put on it, be opinionated. People need you. Your family needs you. The world needs you, you, your unique, amazing, incredible self with your unique talents and your unique experiences and your unique voice.
We don’t need a bunch of clones. You don’t need to look a certain way or be a certain weight. You don’t need to like any of it that the world tells us. You can’t have an opinion unless you fit in this box. You can, you have one. You just gotta let yourself speak it into the world. Whatever that looks like for you and however that aligns.
It could be messy. That’s okay. It could be embarrassing. You can fall flat on your face. You can get whatever reaction. Just put it out there, see what happens and see how you feel. Like I will put my opinion out there that for a long time, I wasn’t really afraid to say it, but. Maybe I would like soften it.
Like I said, sometimes we just soften things down so they’re more palatable to the others. But I want to say to you, my opinion is life after loss is amazing. It’s amazing in the parts where you feel like complete garbage and you don’t know what’s going to happen. And it’s amazing when you start figuring stuff out and it’s amazing when you fully healed
but life after loss. Is amazing. And I’m not gonna dial that light down. I want to be an example for you that this is possible. You can have what you want. You just have to learn and practice and try and fall on your face. And it’s all good. Please be opinionated. Come on over to Instagram and tell me what’s up.
If you really need coaching, if you’re feeling, if you’re sitting there being like, Oh, I have something to say and I want to say it. I need to get into the world and it’s just like sitting in the back of your throat. Come and talk to me. That is what coaching does. I am going to show you how to be confident to trust yourself and to find your own voice again.
This is so vitally important. You can, I hope you can hear