July 22, 2021

Let's Rise Above the Chaos and Clutter with Renae Fieck

Let's Rise Above the Chaos and Clutter with Renae Fieck

Giving yourself a break is much easier said than done. When balancing a family, a full-time job, and your personal time, it can feel like everything needs your attention at every moment. 

Finding peace among the chaos can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. My guest this week, Renae Fieck, a mom of 3, occupational therapist, and advocate for moms who desire more grace, space, and rest within their lives will teach us how to ease up and be more patient with ourselves in this episode.

Renae is also the founder of the Rising Moms Club, a community for moms who are ready to RISE ABOVE the chaos and overwhelm of life and busy days and trade exhaustion and the never ending to do list for a life with more JOY! She is the host of the More than Mom Summit, The Great Clutter Clear Out Challenge, and the host of Rising Moms Podcast. 

Timestamps:

[3:00] - Let’s face it, mom-life is hard!

[8:42] - You don’t need to be on your A-game all the time

[11:54] - Renae’s framework for busy moms

[16:28] - What pre-existing thoughts or stories are holding you back?

[20:01] How to ease up the negative voice inside your head

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For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

 

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -

Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

Renae Fieck -

Website: www.renaefieck.com 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/renaefieck

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/risingmoms

Renae’s Free Trainings: www.cleanerin15.com and www.renaefieck.com/5stepstodeclutter

Transcript

Christine Li:

Hi everyone, welcome back to the show. This is Episode 32. If you've ever wondered if there's a way to make your daily life a bit easier or less stressful, this episode is for you. My special guest Rene fick has experienced many of life's stresses, which you will hear about inside the episode. But Renee has also found her life's purpose by getting through those stresses and by making some important decisions about how she wanted to live her life on purpose. She is now the founder and leader of the rising moms club, a community for moms who are ready to trade exhaustion and overwhelm for a life of more joy and ease just like she did. I am very grateful to have her on the show, as she is so lively and lovely, and full of great strategies for living life. Well, if you like what you hear in this episode, please take a few minutes to leave a five star rating and review for the podcast. I would love it if you did that, because your review will help more people to discover the show. Let's go listen to the episode with Rene now. Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn about powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. Hi, everyone. I am so happy today to bring on my special guest Rene fick to the show she and I met just recently. But we knew quite immediately that we were doing very similar work, and that we have very similar passions. Renee is a woman who helps other women to create more space and clarity and intention in their lives. And she's just a rock star. She just had me on her interview. And she's a lovely interviewer. And I'm so happy to have her on my show. Now, welcome to the show.

Renae Fieck:

Thanks for having me, Christine. So excited to be here for you.

Christine Li:

Thank you so much for being here. So can you share with us the kind of work that you do with women, your lovely women followers and listeners, and how you got to be the person who teaches women how to be more intentional?

Renae Fieck:

Yeah. So my story kind of started out about five years ago, when I was pregnant with my third baby. It was the year my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And I got my dream job. So I was going back to work much more time than I really wanted to because it was like, This is my dream job. I've got to do what they need me to do. And so I was working a lot more than I wanted. And I was pregnant with my third baby, and then my husband's tumor and all the things. And then he started developing, he's developed seizures. And so we went through a really rough year of him not being able to drive and I was the solo driver and driving everybody back and forth like newly third baby in her house and then having to go back to work. You know, just a couple weeks after my baby was born and just feeling really overwhelmed with all that was on my plate and trying to juggle all of it. And it was about six months post that my baby was born that we were on our anniversary trip and I was like I am done. Like this is too hard. Mom life is too hard. I don't want to do this anymore. This is not what I signed up for just that point of being so burnt out and feeling so exhausted and there was no joy in it. It was that hamster wheel every single day, waking up on repeat and then getting to the end of the day I'd put my head down on the pillow and feel like did I get anything done but yet I was spinning my wheels like all day long, just feeling really frustrated. And that phrase of barely treading water like to keep my head afloat was just like all I could do right? I was like all I could do just keep myself afloat, keep myself from drowning. And when I reached out to other moms, I was like maybe this is postpartum depression. Is this with this? Is this what I'm feeling right now? And they were like, no, you're just experiencing mom life. I was like, this sucks. I don't want to do this. So at that point for me, it was like I have got to do something different because this is not how I want to navigate through the rest of mom life, I don't want to feel like my kids are 18 and moving out, and I'm filled with tons of regrets because I just was surviving through the season. I didn't want to sit there and feel like I was angry and frustrated with them all the time. And, you know, just waiting and longing for that season to get better. But yet wondering at the same time, like, Is it gonna get better? You know, like, my every mom talks about different challenges that they have in mom life and each season. So if I'm always waiting, like, how long am I gonna wait. And so it was that moment that was like, I've got to do something different, like what you're doing right now is not working. So you have got to try something different. And that was the catalyst for me, like exploring and trying to figure out I like dove all in on coaching and support and books and conferences and reading and all of the things and really figured out there clearing out the clutter clearing out the stuff that was clogging up my time in my house was like the first stepping stone, and then really figuring out how do I clear out that space in my time? How do I clear out the thoughts that are running through my head that are telling me I'm not good enough. And I can't do this and all those types of things, and just really started navigating that pathway of trying to help other women really build that life that's full of intention and clearing out the stuff that you don't want to be there that doesn't bring you joy, that's not helping you live that more fulfilling life. And really just let go of that so that you can step into that full version of who you want to be.

Christine Li:

Thank you so much for describing all of that. And since we're new to each other, I'm sitting here thinking, Whoa, that was quite a time. For you. I can only imagine how much stress you're under on a day to day basis. So I'm glad you're on the other side of that. And I'm glad you found your mission in the process as well, by helping yourself you're able to help so many others now. Can I ask how organized were you before that year of distress?

Renae Fieck:

Well, if you look back, like I've always had an extra special tool in terms of like doing a lot, like I've always been good about like managing a lot of different things all at one time. But that year, my house definitely got to a disarray, like there was just too much in general. And I feel like organization is kind of a weird word for me. Because I feel like I don't ever really stick to one method of organization very well. Like I sometimes I'm using my digital calendar, sometimes I'm using a paper calendar. And so there's no consistency in how I'm managing and organizing. But the ability to sit down and say like, Okay, this is like today, I've got my list like what do I need to get done today? You know, and that element of organization was much easier for me. But it's the same thing like bringing that intention to it. Like if I'm just trying to flounder around like there's, it goes crazy. But so it's kind of that mix, right? Like I'm not a type a totally structured, totally rigid person. But I'm also not totally chaotic and floating fairy all the time. Like a middle ground.

Christine Li:

Okay. So during that year of intense stress, was there something that was preventing you from maybe the stress was preventing you? What was preventing you from using that intentionality? What were the negative thoughts that you were having what was the resistance is saying, I've got this, I got to change this, I can do this. I can make small steps, all those things that you eventually came to.

Renae Fieck:

I think initially it wasn't even, I wasn't even really aware that that was even a possibility. And I think that that's partly why mindfulness has become so popular in the recent years is because, you know, in our society, it's it's so focused on Go Go Go get more done, get done, get faster, go faster. And so there's this element and this push to just push and push and push and go and go and doo doo doo. And you know that to do list is ever growing. There's always something to do. And so that feeling of always being behind. Can you make you feel like that and make you feel like you're failing all the time without even really being aware that that's happening, that that's part of what's contributing to it. And so, for me, it was that element of constantly feeling like I was a failure. I've seen those images of a person that has like eight different arms and they've got eight different things going on at one time. And that was how I felt like there was just like, I was dabbling and multitasking a million different things at one time. And then that phrase of like, doing a bunch of different things but not doing any one of them very well. And that's how it felt like I was semi being a good parent. I was semi going to work and I am remember, at one point, somebody saying like maybe this is just your season to be a B player at work. And I was like, I never really thought about that. But I don't have to be an A plus player at work right now, like, I can be a b minus or C plus player at work right now. It's okay, if I don't, you know, on my performance appraisal every year, I don't have to get glowing remarks on the whole thing. That doesn't need to be the aim. And I think it was that shift of realizing, what are those things that really matter the most to me right now. And with a million different things on my plate, what are those things that I need to do? And where do I need to focus? And so I think it was that the intention was just that awareness of bringing it in that there's always going to be a million things coming at you, there's always going to be something that's asking for your attention, there's always going to be stuff clogging up your time or your whatever. And that intention was about figuring out what do you want to be there? What goes there? Because you choose it to be there, versus just being thrown at you?

Christine Li:

Yes, absolutely. 100%. And I particularly love that you could just be a B player at work in this season, that we're trained from the earliest years to just be the best and do your best. And nobody seems to you to just give yourself a break to take it slowly to understand when your body is reacting against what you're trying to push yourself into. So I love that. And I love your emphasis on just going for and labeling and prioritizing what matters the most. To you.

Renae Fieck:

Yeah.

Christine Li:

Can you describe to us now how you coach people to do these things? Because I can imagine that people have resistance, if only just because they've been in the habit of being a player's?

Renae Fieck:

Yeah, yeah. And I work with moms particularly. But I think that the practice really does apply to anybody is my three step framework. The first step is to prioritize. And I think oftentimes, especially with women that I work with is moms, they go through the season, or they are a person, and then they have a baby, and they become a whole nother person, but they don't always necessarily know what that identity as that new person is. But I also think just in society with that hustle mentality, a lot of people in general just don't know who they are, right? We don't know, what are those things that really matter to us? What are those things that really light us up and make us feel good? What are those priorities that we want, not what we think the world thinks we should have as priorities. And so that process, I think, is step number one, like, you have to know who you are not who you think other people think you should be? Or what other people tell you or anything like, like, what is it that lights you up, makes you feel good, those priorities and starting there. So you have to know what that key piece first. And then step two is to eliminate and declutter the rest, right? So, when you know that number one thing, like, you know, this is what feels good to me, these are my family's core values, this is my core values, these are things that light up, makes it so much easier to say yes and no to things. And to set those boundaries and say, Hey, I understand this is important to you. But it's not important to me right now in my current situation and season. And so I'm going to have to respectfully decline, you know, and, or whatever it might be, or that same thing with stuff coming into our house, like, it's so easy to just let stuff and stuff pile up. And then that visual clutter can stress us out so much, and we don't even realize it. But oftentimes, it's just like, it just comes and we take it and we take it in and we take it in and we take it in. But we have to be able to set those boundaries and let things go that aren't matching up with those core values. And then the third one is finding that rhythm and that flow with it. And particularly for women, we have a generally a 28 day cycle. And even if you're not cycling, you still have a rhythm in the same sort of way. And so tapping into where you are and creating those rhythms and making it so that it flows makes it so much easier. So for me my my clinical training is in occupational therapy. And so much of my training is in rhythm and habits like routines and habits sorry, routines and habits. Because when we can create something that's a habit, it's like it, the neural pathways that it creates, makes it so that your brain doesn't have to think about it anymore, gets it done faster, more efficient and easier and just so much smoother. And so anytime that we can create these habits and rhythms and routines, but yet that's aligning with our biological rhythms, it just makes it so much easier. So those are the three huge key pieces that I work with women and helping them kind of rewrite those stories that are going on inside their head and clear out all that stuff so that their lives feel purposeful and meaningful to them, not with any other things or telling them that it should be.

Christine Li:

Okay, this is a beautiful system. So I'm going to repeat for our listeners, the first step is to prioritize and know who you are. What do you want? What lights you up? essential elements? Absolutely. The second point is to eliminate and declutter the rest. The third is to get that rhythm and flow. And you do that through habits and being mindful about what is going on what you're letting happen, what you're letting in. So I have a follow up question about Yeah, the clutter piece?

Renae Fieck:

Yeah.

Christine Li:

Because you said yes, once you decide who you are and what you want, it does make it easier to say yes and no to things. I'm going to ask, what if you have someone maybe like me, who might be a little bit more resistant to making the changes that are obviously going to be helpful? And for me, that's that clutter piece? Yeah, I know that clutter bothers me. I know, it's always around. I know, it's always distracting me. I talk about it on every other podcast episode that I host. But I also seem to have trouble getting to the end. Yeah, you know, so what would you say to someone like me?

Renae Fieck:

Well, I think it's important to kind of figure out why you're holding on to it in the first place, right? There's so many layers, in particular to our stuff, we hold on to stuff for many reasons other than the item itself, it oftentimes can be layered in with different fears, and beliefs about our stuff. And then we go back, there's like all those layers of stuff and dots that our parents gave us and the grandparents gave us and all those types of things. And so being really mindful of those, those generational, even stories that we have created about our staff, and how we've learned. So oftentimes, I work with a lot of women who hold on to things because somewhere in their history, there was a in family circumstance of like poverty, or not sure if they were going to be able to live with or go without or like that they were going to have what they needed, right? So you collect and you hold on to a lot of things because of that fear of what if I don't have what I need down the road? What if I, what if I need it, or maybe there's a fear layered in there around something else about time or somebody gave this to me sentimentally. And if I get rid of that I'm dishonouring that person by letting go of it, and and all of those types of things. So you have to find out what that root reason why we're kind of holding on to stuff in the first place. Because oftentimes, it's not just, Oh, I like my stack of things in the corner, right? There's some reason there. And so digging in and figuring out what that is, and like you and I both know, sometimes it's hard to do that went on your own. And so having that coach or support, or somebody that can help you kind of pull back those blinders and figure out like, oh, why are we operating this way? How is this happening? Why is this happening can be really impactful and powerful, because it is oftentimes not just surface layer sort of things, it's really ingraining those habits and changes does kind of get back down to those foundations, right? redefining who we say we are, if we're always sitting there telling ourselves like I'm disorganized, and I'm cluttered all the time, we're we're gonna just then take habits and do things that are going to help reinforce that identity that we've created for ourselves. So if we want to really fully step into that new clutter free, organized sorts of person, how can we go back to that identity of who we want to be? And what matters to us at the beginning, and rewrite those stories? Yeah, so that it becomes easier, those habits become a little bit more automatic. And they don't feel like that cognitive dissonance, right? Like where our head is telling us one thing, and we're constantly telling yourself that I'm disorganized, I'm disorganized. But we're trying to put in these habits that are organizational habits. There's like a disconnect there. So we have to start with that cognition piece, and tell ourselves like I am organized, I can put organizational habits into my life. And I can do this and really starting at that foundational level to so that those habits become easier and they're not contradicted, like having a battle inside your head.

Christine Li:

I love it. Thank you. I think you've diagnosed and treated me and a few minutes. So I appreciate that really wise wisdom. Since you're so helpful in this way. Love your style. You're both pragmatic and loving at the same time. It's amazing. Could you think, teach our listeners how to ease up on a more negative or self critical voice? What do you do? What techniques do you have there? Huh?

Renae Fieck:

I think the first step is just awareness. And it really is about learning to listen to those thoughts that are coming, and not judging them, letting them comment, and know that all of us are going to have negative thoughts that come, right, we're all gonna, that's just the way the world is. And it's really a matter of how long we let them stay and take up how's it in our house in our heads, like if we let them create permanent residents, or if we say hello to them, and then let them walk out the door and the other way, that's, I think the key difference. And so honoring and understanding that sometimes there's going to be those negative thoughts that come into our mind. But we get to choose how long they stay there. And so that I think is the key thing that's been really helpful for me and with a lot of my clients is just giving that grace and awareness that those are going to come there. And I think empowering yourselves to have other choices instead, right? Like, what are those other thoughts that you would prefer to have instead? And this is something my 10 year old, and I have been working on a lot because she has a tendency to go to that negativity. You know, that's just her personality, I was actually looking up. I'm like, Oh, I think she's an enneagram. Four, because she's super creative. But that pessimism is so strong for her. And so we've been working on that is how can we rewrite those stories that are there and I was reading? Was it the is it john Gottman? I think maybe the love researcher, his research, I think said for every one negative comment that you say to your spouse, it takes five positive ones to kind of devoid that one. And there may be other research and stuff that I've heard 10 to one or whatever, but really, that five to one ratio. So for every one negative comment that's in your head, how can we replace it with five other positive thoughts that are reinforcing how great you are, are those things that you are doing. And so recognizing the small wins, the small places that you're doing well can be really powerful. So maybe you didn't get up and do your exercise routine today, like you had anticipated and you'd planned for but, you know, maybe you intentionally let yourself sleep in because you knew your body needed the rest. So instead of letting yourself stay in that place of like, gosh, I didn't work out I've been doing really well I've been you can replace it with that intentional thought, like, you know what I chose to sleep in my body needed sleep sleeps also important. And I can choose to drink a great water today and still be giving my body what it needs. And so it's just taking that that one negative thought and replacing it with like that intentional truth in some other way.

Christine Li:

It's amazing how powerful negative thoughts can be. Yeah, right? Yes, we'd require five, five extra support positive thoughts to just counter one. But thank you for those tips. Those are great tips. And I think I want to back up what Renee said to just decide what you're choosing between, and then really go with your life's energy and with your intention towards what really is the right answer for you. And that I think we can take the strain out of doing that kind of decision making over time. I think coaching helps. Yeah, I think people like Renee and her work really do help. Renee, can you describe the membership that you have and what services you have for your clients?

Renae Fieck:

Yeah. So rising moms club is kind of my primary place that I like to hang out and support women. And so I work predominantly with moms. So moms who are ready to kind of rise above that chaos and overwhelm every day and find a little bit more peace and joy every single day. So that is my primary place. But I also provide a lot of resources and supports in actually eliminating some of that physical clutter, because it makes a huge difference, when we're not spending our time just organizing and sorting stuff, but really having less stuff in her space. That's not taking up that preoccupation, or pre Yeah, whatever that word is. But so I have a couple of resources if you want to go over to cleaner, so cleaner in 15. So one five, so cleaner in fifteen.com, you can get access to my like a free gift mini course on how to have a cleaner house in just 15 minutes a day. So that you're not spending all of your time just trying to keep up with the chaos and the order inside your house. So that can be for you guys to have.

Christine Li:

Thank you so much for that. I want to wrap up with bringing us full circle. And you described kind of that difficult year of chaos and lots of stress. Can you describe to us how your home feels now that you've taken this journey. And all the kids are a little bit older and you've developed this philosophy for yourself.

Renae Fieck:

Yeah, I would say that overall and the past walking into my house and just like the day to day did feel like that like running against a brick wall every single day. And now I feel like there's a lot more purpose, there's a lot more, there's, I mean, right now, my house actually looks really good. It's not like that 100% of the time, right? Like, we have people that live here. It's not Pinterest perfect, worthy all the time. But it does make it something that routine of being able to go through and clear out has become so much easier. We have systems in place. So my kids are on board, and everybody's a part of it. They know there's certain areas that are are clean, and other areas that can be a little bit more free rein for whatever they want to do. But ultimately, it's about helping. I just feel like every day I wake up with a little bit more intention and joy and peace knowing that I'm showing up the best way that I possibly can show up. And even when there's days that are stressful, because there's gonna be those days and even days that I still sometimes get to that place where I feel a little bit overwhelmed, a little bit chaotic. I am aware of it and have tools and resources that can help bring me back down and and kind of refocus and reorient. And so that to me is invaluable, because we are going to have those moments right where those negative thoughts come in, or when we do explode. And we have to figure out what do you do after that, right? How do we navigate post an explosion or pose that moment when we feel sort of overwhelmed like rather than just staying stuck in that space all the time.

Christine Li:

Beautiful, that sounds a lot more fun, and really lovely. And thank you for describing your journey and your tools and what you do with all the women you work with. Thank you so much for sharing your time and your wisdom with us today.

Renae Fieck:

Yeah, thanks so much for having me on. It was great.

Christine Li:

Thank you. It's been great to get to know you today. Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Renae Fieck

Occupational Therapist and Mom Advocate

Renae is a mom of 3, occupational therapist, and advocate for moms who desire more grace, space, and rest within their lives. She has found strength beyond her own to navigate life's struggles...multiple miscarriages, life with 3 kids, working mom life, stay at home mom life, and a husband with a brain tumor and seizures. She’s the founder of the Rising Moms Club, a community for moms who are ready to RISE ABOVE the chaos and overwhelm of life and busy days, trade exhaustion and the never ending to do list for a life with more JOY! She is the host of the More than Mom Summit, The Great Clutter Clear Out Challenge, and the host of Rising Moms Podcast.