Is this thing still on? Hey there, everyone, its Maria. And I know that we've been away for quite some time. But we're back. Let's take a quick deep breath, center ourselves, feel our body. And just recognize that it has been an incredible year. And I say incredible, not because it was all sunshine and roses. But I don't think anyone any of us could have expected to have had the year that we have had. So for today's podcast to launch season four, I'm going to go back and just share some of the lessons that I took away from this last year. And maybe you'll say it's like finding silver linings, or seeing the good, I recognize that this year has been really, really tough for a lot of us, and for some more than others. And so for those that are really struggling still, or have suffered loss through this time, I send you my deepest condolences I send you love. And that I hope that soon you find yourself on the other side of this in a better place

Welcome to raising a powerful girl. I'm the founder and your host, Maria Fuller, I'm so excited that you are here. If you're looking for stories, tips and tools on how to foster independence, leadership and strong personal identity and girls, so they can change the world. And you've come to the right place. As a mom to two amazing girls, I'm on this journey with you. My wish is that you come to this space with an open mind and an open heart. We know that in order to create change, we need to learn to do things differently. I ask that you lean into the things that may make you squirm or sound odd. And that you open your mind to the possibility that it may just be what you're looking for. Take what works for you and your family and leave the rest behind. I'm so thankful that you push play today. And thank you for being a part of our mission to empower girls all over the world. And now onto today's show.

All righty, so we're back. And today, I decided that I wanted to start out season four with sharing a little bit of my own experience. As you can tell, the last episode that we dropped was in March, it was right when the United States started kind of going into lockdown. And I found myself like many people really having a tough time with all of this. It didn't feel right to me to share some of the previously recorded podcast episodes that had been recorded before we went into lockdown. And energetically I was done. I was really depleted. I had gone from we had just started our homeschooling journey that past fall, and really diving deep into it. And starting at this new education center where my girls are taking classes. And I was getting up at three o'clock in the morning or 330 in the morning to get work done, you know, from like 330 until 830 and then take the girls to their classes. And I was teaching and running, raising a powerful girl and I was also doing some consulting work on the side. And I was burnt out. So burnt out that I put our family into lockdown actually almost a week before our homeschool community center shut down. And I have to tell you, I was so happy to have done that. That's how exhausted I was. I went to the grocery store I stocked up on food for like a month. And I was like that's it or hunkering down and we're not going anywhere. And I got some sleep, which I desperately desperately needed. And so looking back at the last 10 months, I really realized that like many women, we bear the brunt of the weight and load of raising children of working and raising children. Then Then we went into pandemic schooling and while we were home schoolers, most of Alexis classes went from being in person to online so we had a taste of the pandemic schooling lifestyle. And it was tough. And for us as women having to continuously show up, plan for food, you know, people were stocking up on food there was it was hard to get supplies. Plus you're trying to juggle a job or maybe you weren't working in your home. And you were navigating schooling with your children and their stress and their anxiety and our stress and anxiety of the unknown. It was really really difficult. And it's not sustainable. What we were going through was just not sustainable. For us the homeschooling for our yet within a week. She was just not going to do the zoom calls. You know, she was Five and a half years old, it was her kindergarten year. And the zoom calls just brought her stress and chaos and anxiety. And I tried because I didn't know what else to do. And like many parents out there, it's really hard to pivot or to make different decisions when you're coming from a place of being in crisis. And so, at one point, I was just like, you know what, she's five and a half, we're just not going to do this anymore. And I just took her off of all of the classes, and decided to just give her some time to decompress, and do her own thing. Alexa, navigated it much better, but it was still kind of chaotic. So even while homeschooling it was still really tough, I realized for myself that I was not sleeping enough, just from the lifestyle that we were running in the way we're doing things that 3:30am wake up was not sustainable. So I took myself off that schedule for a good month, I just let myself sleep. And I slept a lot, I was so tired and energetically, I'm an empath, I was feeling so much of the energy of the world and I really had to work on training myself not to feed off of the energy goes grocery shopping trips, were so hard for me because I was just feeling everyone's energy of terror and fear and anxiety. And I took that on. And that was really tough. So I had to learn how to manage my own energy with that. I stopped accommodating my kids so much. And while my kids are very independent, and I've always had my house set up to be very independent, I realized that they needed to be even more independent during this time, because I could not be in charge of Alexis schedule, and get stuff done, and be making lunches which they did. But when we came into like the house mode, they kind of fell into this, like, Hey, Mom make me lunch. And I accommodated and I stopped doing that. So I stopped accommodating. And I started setting them up more even more independence. But some of the beautiful things that came out of this is that we found that we had more time we created more time in our schedule. And for Aria, it was a huge transformation. Because I had to find something for her to do to fill her days up so that I could still try to get a little bit of work done with some of the consulting clients that I was doing and other projects that I was working on. And because she couldn't be just on technology all day looking at the iPad, or, you know, watching TV that affected her mood a lot. And what we found was her art she had all this time now to really get immersed in her art. And I'm sure many of you saw that mo Willems was doing some of those drawing tutorials. And I sat down with her one day and she did one and she you saw the light just shine in her eyes. She got so excited. And I realized that she loved these drawing tutorials. And so I started deep diving into finding YouTube videos and all of these different things. And I stumbled upon an amazing business and I'm not an affiliate or anything. I'm sharing this because I love her work. Her name is Miss Patty and she has a company. She's too She wasn't one that teach helps teachers prep our curriculum for teaching kids in school, but she has this online membership called primary comm where she does these online video tutorials for kids. And she teaches right to the kids on how to draw all of these things. And they learn about color theory and mixing and how to draw and she works through perfectionism and just getting them really to draw and she teaches right to them. So you don't need to sit with them. She tells them how to set up before our and how to clean up after our. So Arya would spend hours doing these tutorials and just painting and drawing. And I really started to see that she was gifted in art and drawing and we started getting some more supplies and just letting her deep dive. And if we hadn't had this experience happen with our busy busy schedule. I don't know how long it would have been or if we we've either would have ever found out that she was this talented in art. So that was such a huge, huge blessing for us and for Aria and and now, you know, things have loosened up a little bit and she's taking some classes outside of the home with small little pods. She still spends a few hours every week, large chunks of time creating art. And we see moving forward that this is a huge part of how she learns and how she expresses herself. And it is such a blessing that I was able to find that during that time. And for Alexa, she had some more time still with all this especially moving into the summer months, because we were really staying in our close pod and not seeing a lot of people. During all of this even outdoors. Alexa had always struggled with reading and one of our goals in our first year of homeschooling was to help foster a love of reading again and we were getting there slowly. Surely we're getting there, we're getting her to read a little bit more. But during lockdown, she had so much more free time. And, again, I still wasn't, I was still holding to the boundary that I didn't want them spending hours on technology, just because that's part of our family values. And I find that both of my kids behavior wise, they change when they've been on technology for long periods of time. So she really dove into reading. And she discovered that my mom saved all of my old babysitter club books. For those of you read babysitter club books when you were younger, and I'm dating myself now, and she found them and she started reading them. And it was like, Oh, my gosh, it was so exciting for me, because I loved those books when I was younger, and she just started tearing through all of these books and reading and asking for more books. And unfortunately, our library was closed for quite some time, they opened up in the summer to, you know, pick up. So I was able to get some of the ones that I didn't have. But she just started tearing through those books, and then getting into some bigger ones. And I think she read like her first 500 page novel in a few days. And that was huge, because she really found this passion for reading, worked on that skill that she was struggling on. And it was all because we had all of this extra time that we hadn't had before. So that was really incredible. And, you know, again, I was thankful for that opportunity. And I really, really realized and I've always said this on the podcast, that kids need to have time to be bored. Like boredom is the beginning of creativity. Boredom creates creativity. It gives children this opportunity to think and create an idea and make magic. And unfortunately, these days kids don't have opportunity to have large chunks of time to be bored. And for us as parents in the beginning when you're when you have a child that's very over scheduled or very structured, and doesn't have a lot of downtime. And by downtime, I mean time when that's like they're not supposed to be on technology. Because kids do have technology, they do have downtime, but then they're filling it right away with video games, TV messaging with friends, and not that that's bad. But those are instant dopamine hits for the brain, right. So they go in there getting hits of dopamine by talking to their friends or playing these video games, it doesn't allow them to really have this time to create. So kids really need, you know, a window of time two to three hours where like, they're not allowed to be on video games. They're not allowed to be on technology or watching TV so that they can figure out what do I do with this time. And it's really, really important because, you know, for many of us, I'm sure we can relate, especially for women. We are, we are so scheduled, we are so busy, that we don't know how to just be we have moved away from human beings into human doings. And all we know is how to do doo doo doo doo. And I hear this all the time from you know, moms is that I have so much guilt, when I just sit by myself for a little while and do something Why? Because there's always something needs to be done a load of laundry, something with the kids a grocery list, I should be purging this room, I should be cleaning this, I should be doing that. And that's not healthy and not sustainable. And what we really need to do is to make sure that children are okay and comfortable with boredom and not having something always scheduled. And for the most part, a lot of kids are not comfortable with boredom. They don't know what to do. They don't know how to figure out how to do things for themselves. And so I think it's so important that we really create this space for children to learn to be bored, to be comfortable with it, and to find something to do with their time. That's not on technology that is fulfilling that they can use to move forward. Whether it's reading or getting out into nature or doing something with art, or creating with Legos, they really really need that because later on in life, especially for girls, they need to be okay and not have this shame and guilt attached with just being and not always doing. Another thing that that was really important and I think everyone in the world saw this was this really gave us an opportunity to get back into nature. And I recognize that I'm very, very lucky and where I live in that we live on a river we have access to water we have access to equipment that gets us on water. We have a yard and not everybody has that. to hopefully understand that people living in cities and such, parks were closed, and that was really hard. But getting back into nature, I think was really important for us and, and was a bit of a saving grace. And so we spent a lot of time outside. And it wasn't always active when we were outside. Because I think for us, when we were getting out into nature, it was always to do something like let's go and do this or do that. And we always had to be super active. And what we started doing was having more time of being quiet and observant in nature. So whether it was going out on the kayaks, and just being quiet in nature, or when we went out sometimes on the boat, we spent time looking for birds. And we've discovered all the eagle nests on on the river, we're really fortunate that the bald eagles actually nest near us in Connecticut. And we started the girls start to recognize actual bald eagles, they could recognize him from the sky. And we were able to learn about what the matures look like and what a mature Eagle looks like. And they could start guessing and estimating ages by looking at them and observing them with the binoculars and all of these things I think were were really interesting. And they learned so much from it. We watched Gosling's grow up and a family of swans. And we're able to see them some about they would actually come into our backyard and watch them grow up and to slow down and be observant. And a lot of this is mindful practice that is so important. We missed so much in the world and the beauty of the world because we are so busy that this really allowed us an opportunity to see the beauty around us. For me when I was hitting those moments of being really anxious and I flowed from being like, Okay, I'm okay with this, this is going to be okay, too, all of a sudden crashing for 48 hours. And getting outside and looking at the sky, for me was humbling and grounding, not wearing shoes, and I never wear shoes outdoors, I've always been one to ground to the earth of my feet, and to touch the earth. And these are all tools and skills that therapists and coaches use with clients, when they are having anxiety, get outside, look at nature, slow down your mind, look at the leaves count leaves touch the earth feel. And that helps so much for all of us to kind of lower our anxiety and really work on mental health and keeping it a priority. And, you know, that's something that I think is really important that we talk about is mental health, and how that needs to be a top priority for all of us. I think during this time, it's been a huge awakening for all of us. And we keep hearing about mental health and the mental health of children and why they need to get back to school. And at the same time I say to parents, those that are worried about pushing on these timelines, everyone keeps talking about their children being behind and they're not on schedule anymore. And all of this, obviously, the timeline is going to be changed for everyone. And for me, I feel that timelines need to be dissolved in general. I think one of the reasons why I gravitated to alternative education where it was monastery first and then ended up going to homeschooling was because these timelines never worked for me. And for my children, my children never met those standard timelines of like baby development, they were either like super ahead in certain areas, or like, so far behind and others. And what did those timelines do for me, as a mom, it just made me feel guilty or shamed or less than because my kids weren't meeting those exact parameters. And I think it's important for us to realize that there's a reason why they create timelines, and why things are done in a way. And it's in order to be able to duplicate things that are they're doing, especially like an education for the masses. But it doesn't mean that it's the most beneficial for your child. And I think the more that we can lean into seeing, what does my child need right now? What is their timeline, and working off of that is going to be way more empowering, and going to lighten the mental load. And I recognize that that's hard to do when you're in the public school system, and that homeschooling and alternative education is not something for everyone. But I think right now we have the opportunity since we know that so many children are working on alternative timelines, that it's okay and to push a little bit even more and say, you know, I'm not I'm not going to push on this and, you know, maybe your child is struggling right now emotionally because their world has been turned upside down and say, You know what, it's okay. When children are functioning from a good sound mental health, their capacity to learn information is so incredibly fast. So I tell you this because they will catch up, if you're feeling stressed about where they are academically and how this is going to hold them behind, or how are they going to do, they're going to be okay. The more you just work on, keeping their mind and their spirit strong and pouring love into them, and just keeping at a pace that works for them and not allowing this external pressure to, to tell you of where to push, they're going to be okay, they will catch up. And it's really, really just important to recognize that, you know, children learned so quickly, and yes, this has been a bad year. And yes, we probably still have several more months, or maybe an even another year of chaos. But in the grand scheme of things, they they will catch up. Oh, that's a lot of talking really, really fast. You know, but I think I think for even for myself, I recognize through all of this is that when looking at mental health, and not only our own children, but our own, it's so important. You know, it's really about putting on your oxygen mask first, right? When have you ever flown in an airplane, they tell you, if there's a drop in cabin cabin pressure, and the oxygen masks fall down, the first thing you do is you put yours on first, and then you put your children's on. And for me, during this time, I realized that my mental health was not in such a great place. Because I was doing too much because I wasn't sleeping enough because I wasn't asking for help. Because I was doing doing doing and not a human being. And so this time allowed me to kind of reboot and reassess, and be more intentional in what I wanted to do and what I was going to allow in. And I saw as a direct result that when my energy was in a better place, when my mental health was in a better place, it automatically affected my children. And they were in a better place and days where I was struggling at the beginning their behavior, they feed off of it, they feed off of the energy. And so speaking of energy, after a lot of a lot of deep thought on what I wanted to do with the podcast moving forward, I realized that and really being authentic and being true to who I am as an individual, as an individual that's always growing and learning. I'm someone that loves to learn, I there's just something about it. That's so satisfying to me. And maybe it's just because I'm good at it. But I love to learn, I love to learn about different cultures, different ways of doing things. I i've been holding back for the last few years in the podcast. And so I've been sort of in the spiritual closet, sort of say, that sounds really scary to say that. And so this year, I decided that I'm not going to hold back anymore, that I am going to share everything that I know, and everything, I'm going to bring people on that I want to learn from even more, because I think there that right now we're witnessing, there's so much chaos in the world right now in so many areas that we really need to create change. And in order to really create this deep change that we really need. That means that we need new information, we need new ways of doing things, new ways of looking at things, new tools, new ideas, and we need to pull from lots of different philosophies and just try things. Just see what might work. And so my intention for the podcast moving forward is for you to take this as an opportunity to learn and to play and and what do I mean by play? I mean, try things even if it sounds kind of strange. You're like, I don't know about this. Try it because you don't know what will or will not work with your children. For example, when I had Alexa, that was kind of my first I mean, I started a little crunchy with Alexa and having had a home birth with her but that was because of my experience of having worked in the medical field. So I'd already started into researching and doing things differently. But I remember we use something called Bach flower essence of Bach flower remedy with her when she was born because we both had a lot of trauma. After her delivery, she had a very traumatic delivery, very long labor. And my midwives are like here these these buck flowers and it was like this, this oil and essences, Bach flowers or essences made from flowers, that all have different energetic properties. And it was this little oil and she's like when she's really stressed out, you're going to take a little bit of oil and just place a little bit on her forehead in the back of her ears. I think it was I don't even remember. And I was like, What is this? Magic? What is this that you're trying to get me to do? But I was so desperate, like, my baby was so miserable. And we had a lot of doctor's appointments. And for her her biggest stressor was the car, a car seat, oh my gosh, have you ever had a newborn crying in the car seat like, you know how bad it is. And as a mom, you're like, I will try anything, to just not have this baby screen. And I was like, whatever, give me the claws, like, I will try it. Anything and I put it on her. And wouldn't you know that when I used it, it worked. It worked so much. And she was really stressed. And we were doing again, another weird thing, cranial sacral therapy on her because she had the way she was in my pelvis, her head was twisted at an angle, she pinched a nerve in her mouth. So she couldn't even open her mouth you like, Don't even think about breastfeeding. That wasn't happening. I couldn't even bottle feed her her mouth would even open for a bottle we syringe fed her for for two weeks. And we worked with a cranial sacral therapy therapist. Again, I'd never heard of any of this. And I sat and watched and observed and I just went by my mother's intuition. And I watched this incredible practitioner rock her very, very gently and softly humming. And they were just running their fingers down the back of her head kind of massaging and down her spine. And that was cranial sacral therapy. And by doing that, they were able to relax the muscles in her mouth. And eventually she was actually able to latch and breastfeed. So all of these things I just learned about I had people around me and they were like, Here, try this, this is a different way felt more gentle, it felt more natural. And I was like, What do I have to lose? Maybe it doesn't work for us. But what if it does, and so that's what I'm gonna ask you to do with this podcast is, is come to the podcast with an open mind and an open heart. I want you to really lean into the things that make you squirm that you're like, Oh my gosh, like that sounds so weird or so different. Or Oh, like, really lean into it. Try it. And if it just doesn't jive with you and your family values and your belief, then just leave it, leave it behind and listen to another podcast episode. Don't try that, right. But I'm really not serving my audience. And we are a global audience. We have listeners all over the world, I'm not serving you, if I'm not sharing with you everything that I know, or everything that I'm looking into, and everything that I myself am trying, and many of our speakers that we're going to be have have on, I'm going to be learning just just alongside of you. Because I myself, I'm raising two girls that I want to see step into leadership. I actually, and I've never really talked about this. But with raising a powerful girl, I actually co own a creative agency that works with thought leaders, light workers and healers and helping them with their company. So I hear firsthand from incredible, incredible people out in the world that are doing work, their struggles and their strength. And they talk about what they wish they knew what tools did they, they wish they had, I learned from them on, I realized how many people in business actually really talk about like manifestation and putting your vision out there and energy of calls and bringing energy to the table. And it was like this big like, aha moment for me. So through that I take from them. And I asked them, you know, like, what, what are these tools that these, you know, especially women girls need to step into leadership? What do they need to know, and they share that with me. And so then I go and I search for the right people to bring on to share these stories with you. So I'm really excited about this season. Season Four is going to be incredible. I've already connected with so many incredible people that we're going to be have on on the show. And, you know, again, I just ask that you just experiment. Keep this fun, play, try things, because you never know if it's exactly what your child needs. And again, take what works for you and leave the rest behind. And I asked that if you're learning cool things. And if you love it, please share it with others because my goal is really to help as many people as I can get the information that they need to help empower their children, to be the change makers in the world that we so desperately need. So from the bottom of my heart, I really really thank you for pushing play for continuing to be a follower, to continue to listen and be alongside this journey with me. It makes me feel amazing because I know that I'm not alone in helping to Raise girls that are going to be changemakers out there. And I know that when we come together that we really are going to create this incredible change that we need. So, thank you again, and I'm excited to share season four with you.

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