Ep. 207 Reflections on Motherhood

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In this episode, I discuss:

  • The physical experience of being pregnant as an empath
  • How co-sleeping became a game changer for Sarah
  • How to find the balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship
  • The practical and emotional struggles of solo-parenting

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Episode Transcript:

I trust myself as a channel, I trust myself as a healer. I trust all the information and the wisdom that I’ve gathered up until this moment in my life, so that now during this season, this phase of my life, I could just be in the being and the doing. I don’t need to be consuming, overthinking. It’s just open and I’m letting it flow.

This is a Soulfire production.

The physical experience of being pregnant as an empath

Hello, beautiful community and welcome back to another episode out of The Uncensored Empath Podcast. I am currently recording this episode in bed and I’ve got all my podcast equipment hooked up here, and I have a baby monitor next to me and I’m watching my daughter as she sleeps. She just went down a moment ago and there’s every possibility that she will wake up while I’m recording this and I’ll just have to stop and I’ll come back, but we’ll see how far we get. And I feel like this is an appropriate way to tell you how I’m even recording this because today’s episode is a reflection on motherhood and this new identity that I have stepped into over the last eight and a half months now. And right after Emersyn was born, I recorded a solo episode on my birth story and I talked a lot about every little detail of that day and how fucking incredible that experience was for me. And then I had my husband Andrew on, and we had a conversation on what everything was looking like, feeling like, how it was going in the early days of parenthood; him as a father and me as a mother. And I just feel like it’s time to check back in with you all and have a really honest chit-chat right here about what these last eight and a half months have looked like for me.

And I don’t have a plan. Instead, I just wanted to come on and channel from my heart and share my very raw experience while also saying, full disclosure, I am figuring it out still. I think we’re all still figuring it out as we go, regardless of how old our children are. And in some ways, the last eight and a half months have felt like I’ve been a mother forever, and in other ways, I feel like I have so much more to learn. And as she changes, my daughter changes and grows, there are new things that come up. There are new ways to connect with her and amazing things that she’s learning and new challenges at every stage. Something I wrote a lot about on social media in especially my third trimester, but I was feeling this throughout a lot of my pregnancy, which was not an easy pregnancy, was this term, a German word called Zwischen and it translates to in between. And this word was coined a word that we can use to describe this shedding of one identity, this death of the old you as you peel back those layers and uncloak and you’re taking the steps towards becoming the mother, but you’re not quite there yet.

And for me, especially as an empath, it was so hard to share my body, and at the same time, I wanted nothing else than to share my body with my daughter and to birth her. But this is an uncensored show and my reality is that it was also extremely hard to share my sacred space, my womb with her, and in that Zwischen, that in between, I could feel the discomfort physically but also spiritually because I knew that I was about to become a different person in many ways. I think there are so many layers to this. There’s the layer of physical, where now we have research studies that show that fetal cells can be found in the mother for years and years and years after that baby is born regardless if that baby went to term or not, or ever even came earthside. I think that that is fascinating and helped validate my experience of feeling like my daughter is a part of me in some ways, and at the same time, she’s her own person.

So there’s a physical shift that happens that you continue to carry new cellular information in your body. Then there’s the label that simply comes along with it, this new label, this new title of mama, mommy, mom, mother, and that has an emotional impact of how you see yourself and the responsibility that we take on in that instant. And that’s been part of my journey as well is just so much more responsibility of having to and wanting to, but sometimes it’s having, sometimes it’s want, to care for my daughter’s every need. So we have this label, we have the emotions that come along with it that shift, there’s the literal physical cellular information that changes, and then on a more spiritual or energetic level, there’s, I’m not quite how to put this into words, to be honest, but there’s this shift of your deeper why, your deeper purpose, your priorities, the way in which you see the world, the lens in which you look through that also in many ways has shifted and changed for me because Emersyn is the most important thing in my life now.

And that has meant that my day-to-day as a mama who’s also a CEO, entrepreneur, coach, healer, mentor, podcaster, author, all the roles that I was already playing in life, now that mom coexists with all of those things, those things look slightly different and the way in which I structure my day also looks extremely different. And that has taken a lot; a lot of tenderness with myself. I don’t know if you all have noticed this, and it wasn’t really a conscious, intentional thing, but I’ve had a lot of moms on the show lately, whether they were on to talk about that or not, usually, we still touched on it, and I’ve noticed myself and the people that I’m drawn to be in their space and in their…whether it’s literally just following them on social media or investing in mentors. I just worked with for the last two months, a new one-on-one mentor, and as I was deciding who I wanted to work with, I noticed myself only wanting to work with other mamas. And it’s not anything against the women who aren’t already or maybe never want to be a mom, but I just felt like I needed someone who understood the nuances and the challenges and what my day-to-day really looked like in a mentor, and that was never on my radar before.

Prior to being a mom myself, I just hired whoever I felt drawn to, regardless of whether that was in their wheelhouse or not. And now I’m craving so deeply, there’s just hunger in my belly that is wanting to be in community with other moms, whether that’s somebody I am hiring as a mentor or even the Instagram Stories that I’m following. And especially in those first 40 days, sacred window, first really couple months of motherhood, I noticed myself really just zoning out, drowning out any other Instagram Stories or things that I was consuming that, mm, were just not what my soul was hungry for at the time. And instead, I was really just looking for the moms who were talking about real-life challenges, celebrations, emotions, the depths of what you go through.

And that’s part of what inspired me also to record this episode is just that I only found a few women who were sharing on a regular basis and who happened to also be in a similar timeline of their life as me because that’s what also sort of what I was looking for. And you may be on a completely different timeline, but I hope that you still receive something from this today, whether you have kids who are 25 years old or you are in maybe your preconception journey, wherever you are in that process, in that timeline. And I fear, to be honest, I fear that at times, the image that comes across, the feeling, the emotion that comes across from my own social media is that I’m fine, I’ve got it all figured out. And that’s not my uncensored truth. My uncensored truth is there’s days where I’m like, what the fuck am I doing? And I certainly don’t have it all figured out and that has so many layers to it.

And so, I’ll just go back to breastfeeding. And my breastfeeding journey has been so challenging. Emersyn latched initially just fine and then we discovered that her latch was not… She wasn’t latching so she wasn’t holding suction on my breast. And after seeing some practitioners and getting several different opinions, we realized that she had a tongue tie, lip tie, and cheek ties. And so, her mouth was just really, really tight. So we had a revision done where they laser all four of those areas. And that, oh… When we took her in, it was, I think if I’m remembering correctly, around six; just somewhere between six and eight weeks. And those were the first tears that she ever cried. It was so hard to hold her after that and just see her in pain. And at the same time, it felt like, especially intuitively, the thing that was the right thing to do in order to support her and so that we could have a breastfeeding relationship moving forward. And there are many other reasons why you would want to get a revision for her overall health and oral function, speech, et cetera, for years and years and years to come. So it wasn’t just about breastfeeding.

But that included stretching and doing these tons of different exercises every four to six hours for six weeks. And after six weeks, we went back in to check on her mouth and they coined her a super-healer because even though we were doing everything correctly, we were getting the bodywork done, we were doing the exercises, all of the things, she healed too tight and kind of went back to the, not all the way back to the way it was, but to some extent, and her latch was still really shallow and she wasn’t creating suction. She was basically just gnawing with her gums in order to work hard and work even harder to try and get enough milk from me and that led to fissures in my nipple, deep, deep cracks, and so much pain. And by this time, I was already back at work and having client calls. And granted, it was definitely less of a workload than what I was used to, but I just remember feeling, when I had a couple hours of calls, like I needed to be pumping and/or breastfeeding every two hours. And that in itself was a full-time job for months and months.

And we got the second revision done because she did heal too tight. And that second revision, same thing. I think we checked in at three or four weeks that time and she had healed tight again and they just basically said, you guys have done every single thing you can. And I sat on the couch with my lactation consultant at my house and we had a little cry together and she’s just like, I’m so sorry. And she didn’t say it this way but the feeling was that I was going to have to stop breastfeeding before I was emotionally ready. And I started to grieve that quite a bit and it was deeply emotional. And by some miracle, we were doing triple feeding, which is when you feed at the breast, and then feed pumped breast milk in a bottle, and then sit there with my pump at every feed. So every two hours, it was feed her as much as she can take from the boob, then fill her belly up with pumped milk, and then make sure that my boobs are actually completely emptied; so I have to go pump. And so, that made it feel like even more than a full-time job because it was 24/7 and just so constant.

We took our first vacation in August and we went to go see my grandparents and some other family members on Nantucket Island. And I was just in the car every time we were driving out to the beach; you drive your car out to the beach there, and pumping; pumping at the beach, breastfeeding at the beach and in the car, and… Not breastfeeding in the car. Although I will say I have done the lean. Maybe other moms know what I’m talking about. There have been moments where she was just inconsolable where I definitely leaned my boob over her car seat. So she was still strapped in, okay, but I was not strapped in and I just leaned over and let her calm down and get some comfort for a moment. That was not a regular thing, but definitely out of desperation did that a couple of times. So this was all-consuming and there are so many other things that are going on in life, right? So whether it’s being an entrepreneur and being able to show up for my clients or just basic things like basic needs like making sure that I’m eating every day and all the other things that come along with a baby. Not just feeding them, but getting them to sleep and changing them. And so, that to me was one of the most challenging parts of the last eight and a half months.

And I was hinting towards it but never quite got there a moment ago, that by some miracle we still have a breastfeeding relationship. And I say it that way because I don’t really have an explanation on how we’ve been able to continue to navigate this, but over time, Emersyn’s latch got better and better and better and stronger and stronger and stronger to the point where her latch is great now and I don’t have to pump anymore. I think I stopped pumping probably like a month ago and we’re just breastfeeding as needed. She’s also eating solid foods now so that helps a lot as well. And she loves her solids, let me tell you. Especially salmon and oranges are her favorite right now. But it’s been an extremely emotional journey and I just was naive. I mean, I don’t know how I would’ve prepared for this or anyone really would prepare you for it, but I just didn’t know that there were so many nuances to breastfeeding. And now I have deep compassion, sympathy, empathy. I see you mamas who have any sort of challenge with breastfeeding and grieve alongside you if you had to cut that journey shorter than what you ultimately wanted or desired it to be.

And there are all sorts of things that circulate around ‘breast is best‘ versus ‘fed is best‘ and I’m not about to get into that today. This is just about my experience. I’m not saying what is better or worse than the other, other than just what I do want to say is that there is deep, deep, witnessing, space-holding for moms as they navigate how they are going to feed their baby and all the emotions that come alongside that. So we’re in a place now where it’s not such a stressor, but boy, oh boy was it. And then there’s sleeping on top of that. And I don’t necessarily want to break down every single detail of every single thing that I’ve gone through in motherhood, but I will say that the opinions that exist around, and the theories, and all the things around how you get your baby to sleep, even just navigating all the things that exist in itself is exhausting. And there are so many differing and conflicting and overlapping opinions.

In the very beginning, again, early days, it was just get your baby to sleep however you get your baby to sleep. And that worked for a while, especially when I was on my maternity leave that I gave myself and then I came back very part-time to work. And now that I’m parenting alone and also working full-time, I’ve had to alter what this relationship to sleep for Emersyn looks like so that I have a moment to breathe, so that I can be here sitting in bed, recording this podcast. And what happened for us was around… I worked with a sleep consultant really early on, and I’m so glad I did and she was so supportive. And we took all of her tips and her advice and Emersyn was sleeping really quite well. And I mean, what the fuck does really quite well even mean, right? To me, that meant she was waking up, mm, two to three times a night for the most part for a few months there and that felt manageable for us. And she was sleeping in her bassinet beside our bed or in the Pack ‘n Play if we were traveling.

How co-sleeping became a game-changer for Sarah

And then around four and a half, five months, it just completely declined and she was waking up every hour. And I would get up and I would nurse her and I’d rock her, and then I’d get her back to sleep and I’d transfer her back into the bassinet or the Pack ‘n Play. I’d get back to sleep. And it was like by the time I got back to sleep, she was up again. And we did this back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And I lasted about a month of hourly wakes until I just hit my personal breaking point and looked at my husband and was just like, I cannot. Because it was like she would only go to sleep for me. So while he was still waking up because he heard all of this, I was the one who was doing all of this. And so, we were both exhausted. And I just looked at him and said, honey, I can’t. I can’t be waking up every single hour of the night. It’s been four weeks of this and something’s got to give.

And I had never even considered bringing her into bed with us. I don’t know why. I think because there’s so much stigma around it and shame around co-sleeping. But in a moment of desperation, I did some research and the research around how to safely co-sleep. And after realizing that that felt like such this exhale, such a breath of fresh air, such a relief for me to have that as an option, I brought that baby into bed and holy smokes, was it a game-changer. All of a sudden, she was sleeping for longer stretches. And though she was still waking up quite a bit, it was way easier for me to not have to get out of bed, transfer her, try to get back to sleep. And the feeds that she was doing in the night were more like dream feeds where we both could stay pretty comfortable and sleepy and not wake all the way up. So we did safe co-sleeping which means there’s these seven different things that you can do like don’t put blankets on you and obviously, don’t put your child at the edge of the bed. And I tied my hair back and I wore clothing that wasn’t going to go over her face or anything. We sleep in the ‘C curve’ and I tuck her into my little cave of my ‘C’ in my body. And we did all these things out of desperation.

And it’s interesting because now I’ve done a lot of research/Instagram scrolling and realized that marital satisfaction typically declines if you co-sleep out of desperation versus it stays the same. There’s no difference between couples; marital satisfaction; when they co-sleep out of choice versus however else you sleep your baby. And I could understand why that would be the case, but for us, I feel like that was not the case. I don’t feel like it affected our marriage and our relationship in a negative way. And instead, it was like, this is the thing that’s going to help all of us survive this time. And then it wasn’t until three weeks ago…well, actually it’s been about a month since Andrew left. So two days after Christmas, my husband left. And I’ve already shared this on the podcast, but we moved across the country, moved from Colorado to Michigan. We were at my parents’ back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s house for two weeks, and then we were at an Airbnb for a month, and we got the dogs with us. And now we are finally in our new home and I’m still not completely unpacked, but we’re here. And three or four days after we bought this house, Andrew had to leave for work and he’s going to be gone for almost a year.

And I was still co-sleeping at the time. And the night he left, the day he left, I was like, oh, I just want to be close to my baby so I kept her in bed with me. But after that, I realized that if I was going to survive this year 2022, that I needed to not be going to bed at 7:00 p.m. every night with my daughter. And instead, like I am right now, I put her to sleep, and then I have some time to do the dishes and do the laundry. Literally, before I came up here and sat into bed, I locked up the house, I did the dishes, I switched the laundry, I put all the toys away, made sure the dogs went out one more time. You know, that just sounds like easy little things to do, but when I was going to sleep at 7:00 p.m. with my daughter every night, those things felt exponentially harder. And so, I realized that I needed to start to adjust her to sleeping in the crib. And I don’t use the term sleep training because it means so many different things, it drives me wild. It makes me want to pull my hair.

Because sleep training has a negative connotation. There are so many opinions. But like what the hell does sleep training even mean? It can mean this; it can mean that. It can mean so many different things. And so, I just say that I’m adjusting her and getting her comfortable to sleeping in the crib. And to each their fucking own, but for me, that has looked like still responding to her needs. So every time she cries, I go into her crib, I nurse her whenever she needs to be nursed. But we’re just adjusting to getting her more comfortable in there and so, that has been working fairly well. However, every fricking kid has different needs, different sleep, all the things, and I’m still waking up, I would say on average, five to eight times a night by the time I get to bed. Then I’ll wake up five to eight times to soothe her and then put her back down and soothe her and put her back down. And then I usually just bring her into bed with me around 5:00 a.m. We do two hours of cuddles and breastfeeding between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. before we both officially get up for the day.

How to find the balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship

Same as breastfeeding, I was just so naive and so clueless that my kid wasn’t just going to plop into a crib and sleep through the night by eight weeks or 12 weeks or something. And here we are, eight and a half months, and I haven’t slept through the night in eight and a half months. And there’s just a level of respect that I have gained, that I’ve garnered through this experience for moms and for parents, and especially moms who are also running a business. And that’s one of the other things that I want to touch on here; running a business, being a CEO. I feel like most of you listening are probably in the coaching industry, coaching world, personal development world, or spiritual world. Maybe you’re on your own healing path, your own personal development path as an empath and/or an empath entrepreneur and/or empath mama entrepreneur. And for me, my business was one of the most important parts of my life up until May 8th, 2021, the day my daughter arrived. And in this last eight and a half months of transition, that zwischen I was talking about, that in between, that shifting of identity, shedding old layers and becoming this new version of me, I very much so have let go of so much pressure, expectations, honestly, just random fluff and bullshit that was existing in my business that didn’t need to be there, and in my life in general, because priorities have shifted.

And I was so annoyed by the parents of the world during my pregnancy, who were basically just shouting from their little megaphones that your life is over after you have a kid and you’re going to have to sacrifice so much and it’s so hard and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they weren’t all wrong, but I didn’t appreciate their delivery of that information. And so, again, that’s part of what inspired me jumping on right now is just to talk about this, not in a way that I’m ever going to say you need to sacrifice all your dreams or you need to give up your business or you need to let go of the things you love because I don’t believe that’s true and that has not been my experience. Yes, I’ve absolutely sacrificed many, many hours of sleep, but I have not sacrificed… To me, that is a cute, short-term, low-level sacrifice. I have not sacrificed the things that are most important to me in life as a human outside of just mama or CEO. But as Sarah, the things that are most important to my life have not been sacrificed.

And I want to speak to, especially the expecting parents or the mamas-to-be sometime down the line in their future, that you don’t have to give up or give away the things that you are passionate about, but they might look different. And again, this is the conversation that I was so deeply craving. I’m hoping to have actually a couple other fellow mompreneurs, my modern-day village that I’ve been building on the show in this next month. I think a conversation with them is going to be even more productive and even more eye-opening for you as we toss ideas off of each other. But in this solo episode and me really just sharing my personal experience today, I can only speak from my journey, but my truth is that the way you do things may change but you still have choice in how you want to live your life. So for some people, that’s going to mean they become a mom and then they realize this is not what I wanted to be doing, this is not what I want to do. And hey, I want to let that go now. I’m not going back to the life I had. And for others, it’s going to mean readjusting or pivoting. For somebody else, it might be doubling down and saying more of this, more of that.

For me, the spaces for creation, creativity, supporting others has drastically decreased. But being a Projector in human design, I feel like my strategy and authority within human design was literally made for this and not the way that I used to run my business. The Projector in me is so happy to not have all the time to be doing all the things because now in these very segmented periods of time, this allotted time here and there and there and there, I’m able to be so effective and so focused on what it is that I am putting my energy towards. When we were co-sleeping, that ended up lasting about three months. And I guess, technically, we’re still doing a little bit of co-sleeping in those mornings. But I would go into bed at 7:00 p.m. and I’d usually stay up till about 10:00 p.m., but I would just be laying/on and off breastfeeding my daughter during those three hours, and I was on my phone working. And for some of you, you’re going to be like, what the hell? or I don’t want to do that. And it’s not that I necessarily wanted it to be that way, but that was what worked.

And so, then that was a space that I had. So I made it work because I care so much about the mission of this business and the work that I do and I wasn’t willing to let that go. And so, I had to be very mindful of how I was going to fit it in knowing that also my daughter is my priority. So I was working on my phone for two to three hours each night and just making it work. Prior to that, it was when my husband was home because we haven’t had any childcare, daycare, nanny support. And so, whenever Andrew was home, that’s when I would schedule calls. And I’d go up into my office and I would work for an hour here and two hours there and jump on a call for an hour and a half while he was available and home. So what I’m saying if we zoom out bigger picture is, when those times were available, which have been few and far between over the last eight months, but I dive in and I dive in deep. I’m so intentional with those moments.

So I’ve still launched programs, I’ve still supported ongoing clients, I’ve still maintained the backend of my business and been able to pay all my team, my employees, and kept the podcast going. Publishing an episode on a weekly basis is no fucking joke. I sometimes joke with other podcasters who also are truly dedicated and committed to this path and this journey of producing a show on a weekly basis. For me, I think it’s going to be four years next month and that in itself is a giant commitment that has meant in our Airbnb and shitty sound quality, right? But rooms with bad audio, just doing it. The lesson for me there has been that all the things I perceived to be as blocks, as barriers, as imperfections, I had to let go of and release attachment to so that I could take action. If I was going to be held back or have this barrier to entry because the audio quality wasn’t perfect or because I didn’t like the lighting in a room or because this time, this one hour during the day wasn’t when I wanted to do something, that all is released. And when there’s time, I go in, I dive in. If the lighting’s shitty, I still create.

It is like the perfectionist’s worst nightmare and most healing code ever. And that has been my journey. Releasing every ounce of perfection and just taking the damn action so that I can continue to move forward and don’t get stuck in this analysis paralysis, perfectionist waiting room, and instead, create from the inspiration that I am experiencing. Because my daughter is the deepest inspiration in my life now and there’s so much else. Other than a literal human, there’s so much else that wants to be birthed through me. And again, this is just in my experience, it would feel constricting like I’m sort of putting a dam up on my energy if I weren’t able to have the outlet or the channel to do that at this time in my life. And so, release the dam and let it flow in the most imperfect frequency I’ve ever allowed myself to play in. This is it. This is the most imperfect frequency I have ever, ever played in. And not that finances are a direct correlation to the impact you have because there are way more other ways to measure impact on this planet, but I will share that the last two months, so December 2021 and now I’m recording this on January 24th, but up till now in January have been some of the highest income months in my business to date.

I looked at my 2021 financials the other day, a little late. I was a little behind on them. But I looked at them and we made 20K more than I realized that we made and had our highest year ever. And I thought we were going to hit it, but I didn’t realize that we actually had hit it until just the other day. And I took a step back and I felt so proud of myself. So proud of myself for being so innovative, such a problem solver, trusting my intuition more than ever, and playing in the frequency of imperfection in order to actually just take action and stop overthinking. Because there’s way, way, way more things I can overthink in my life; doesn’t need to be this. I trust myself as a channel, I trust myself as a healer. I trust all the information and the wisdom that I’ve gathered up until this moment in my life, so that now during this season, this phase of my life, I could just be in the being and the doing. I don’t need to be consuming, overthinking, pausing unless it’s literally for rest because we do need to pause for rest. But as far as the channel that I am, that I embody goes, it’s just open and I’m letting it flow; flow, flow more than ever.

So again, as we zoom out and I share what it’s looked like to be running this business, it’s been in the wee hours of the evening, the wee hours of the morning, the 15 minutes I have here while Andrew was putting her in the bath, the hour-walk he took her on so I’m home alone for a moment and it’s actually quiet enough to respond to clients or to record podcast episodes. And now that I’m parenting alone and it’s been one month of parenting alone, I realize that I needed my village. I needed my modern-day village that you heard me talk about with Becca Piastrelli in a recent episode. So I found my soulmate nanny, who is going to be coming over two days a week to support me. And it was really hard for me to realize that I needed that help, which in some sense, my brain is like, Sarah, you’re literally parenting alone. You have a whole pack of dogs and babies that you are supporting; of course, you need help. And my ego-mind continues to go back to, I don’t need anybody. I am an independent fucking woman. I can just depend on myself. I don’t need anyone. And that’s been coming up a lot for me lately and it’s rooted back in childhood. It’s triggering past events. And I truly feel like this season of life is inviting me to heal all of that that says I have to do it alone or that I can’t depend on people and instead, to receive support, receive love, be witnessed, be seen, and trust myself.

So I hired the nanny. We’re in the process of hiring a dog walker for Gus Gus because he is so anxious and he is acting out because Andrew’s gone and he’s confused and we’re in a new space and he’s not getting enough stimulation. So I want him to feel supported as well. It meant today we got probably three or four inches of snow and I went outside to shovel off the deck and the sidewalk and the driveway and a little path to our recycling and our trash and my neighbor came outside, brand new neighbor, only met him once, and he just saw me with a baby on my chest, bundled her up, bundled myself up, and I was shoveling the shit out of that driveway. And he’s like, I got this. And old me would have been like, oh no, no, no. It’s fine. All good. I got this. And instead, I looked at him and I just said, thank you so much. That is such a kind thing to do. Thank you for being such a sweet neighbor. I really appreciate it. Thank you. And I walked inside and I let him do that or the rest of it for me. And to me, that is massive growth from where I came from and the life that I have been living.

This is a season of letting people in. This is a season of receiving the support that I’ve always craved, desired, wanted, but been too scared to receive, not trusting enough to allow in. And I was talking to Kelli, the CEO of Soulfire Productions who produces my show, and she asked me, Sarah, what do you think is the deeper lesson of this season of your life? Because shit is hard. My husband is thousands of miles away. We don’t see each other on the weekends. We usually can FaceTime once a day. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. And so, it’s hard. I am not going to downplay that. And I needed her as my mirror in that moment because I looked at her over the screen and just was like, Kelli, I don’t know if I have a good answer for that yet. And she said, Sarah, I think that the lesson is that it’s safe to trust yourself. And I felt my muscles unclench in that moment and just allowed that to enter into my bones, my body, and realize that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing is trusting myself, trusting my resilience, trusting my strength, trusting that I’m well-resourced, trusting that I can find the answers, trusting that I know enough already, that it is not the season of life for consumption, and instead, I am just allowing myself to be present.

And children, babies are beautiful teachers of presence because they require your presence. And so, I’ve been so present, so playful, so adaptable, so resilient and I have my daughter to thank for that. In many ways, she is one of already my greatest, greatest teachers. And so, I don’t know what the future has in store. We do have an announcement coming on the podcast soon. It’s not here quite yet, you’re going to have to wait. But there’s an announcement coming soon here on the show. Ultimately, even the way I just even structure my offers are starting to shift. It’s not this 180. It’s an evolution of me and who I am because I have changed. I am not the Sarah Small who recorded episode one, titled ‘My Healing Journey‘ in 2018 I think it was. I am not her anymore. People still listen to that episode all the time and it kind of makes me laugh and it sort of makes me cringe. But I’m glad that there’s still people who receive something from that so that’s why it’s going to continue to exist, but it’s also not who I am anymore.

The practical and emotional struggles of solo-parenting

I recently shared on Instagram that the rebirth, the Zwischen, the entry into or from maiden into mother was an identity shift. But now there’s a collective energy of rebirth that I’m experiencing again. And part of it is amplified by the fact that not only am I a mother, but I am solo mother right now. And it’s bringing up all sorts of new things that in the last four weeks, I’m navigating and figuring out, what does this mean for me and how or what actions am I going to take in this season of life, which is arguably one of the most challenging so that I set the stage, I set the foundation for how I want life to be as I move forward? So the level of intentionality is greater than ever. I am allowing my modern-day village to be built in real-time as I go. I’m allowing myself to say yes when my ego wants to say no. And I’m choosing to believe in myself even when doubt creeps in. There are moments when, throughout my day, in my head, I say, Sarah, can you do this? I don’t think you can do this. I don’t think you can carry the mountain of recycling from all the new furniture and shit we’ve been getting for this new house, which is coming together beautifully. But holy crap, the recycling, all the cardboard, I don’t think I can carry that all out to the curb with a baby on my chest.

And then I have to course-correct, I have to reframe in that moment, otherwise, I would be sitting in this house alone, feeling so isolated and so frozen in fear. So I strapped that baby on my chest and I just one box at a time, carry it all out to the curb. Yes, this is a very silly example maybe, but it’s just moments like that throughout the entire day that I realize, oh, my husband used to do that. Mm, I don’t know how to do this. Hmm, okay, where am I going to learn how to do the thing that I haven’t done before? And/or how am I going to take the action that I’m afraid of, that fear and doubt is creeping in my internal dialogue around and move and move and move and move, and believe in myself to a deeper degree than I have ever believed in myself, trusted myself to the depths of my existence so that at the end of 2022, I can look back and go, wow and feel in awe of myself and what I have navigated through? And I know I can be there and I know this year is going to be the most transformational yet. It’s 24 days in and it’s already bringing to life so many things that I never even thought I would have to live through, but there’s such deep blessing in the newness of my experience.

So I do want to end with an invitation for all of you because if this is resonating, maybe you’re in a similar season of life and in your own way but you relate in some ways to my story or the literal circumstances. And I just feel that there’s a choice there, whether it’s me or any other mentor or leader that you’re considering sharing space with. And I feel like you can watch as I go through all my things and come out with the elevated sense of being, the deepening of lessons, the integrated self, the alchemized pain, or you can sit at the table with me. And the space to do that in is Illuminated. Nine months out of this year, we will be together as healers, coaches, and leaders to deepen our sense of self and mastery to our skills in our spiritual tool belt and ascend by going inward to our hearts into that deep level of trust in your abilities to have the impact, to create the change, to embody the human that you want to be on this planet.

So you’ve heard me talk about this before unless you’re brand new to the show today. And if you’re brand new to the show today, welcome. What a show. What an episode to start with. Most of you heard me talk about Illuminated. And this is a training program and a certification program where you’re going to be certified in many different modalities, but it’s also blended in part mastermind, part retreat; we have a one-day virtual retreat, part business training. We have a whole business module and support you with building your business while you’re also building your toolbox, while you’re also navigating even just the creations you want to birth on this planet. The feedback as you’ve heard in the last several episodes is not so much that, oh my gosh, I’m so glad I got trained in all these things, and instead, they’re so glad for the experience, the sisterhood, the community, and the internal shifts they go through so that they can be the woman that they’ve always been. We just help her come to the surface.

If you want to learn more about Illuminated, everything that’s included, all the details because there is so much included, we have tons of bonuses, all the things, go to theuncensoredempath.com/illuminated. We’ll also link that in the show notes. The enrollment period is currently open and I would love for you to pull a chair up next to me this year. Even the numerology of it being a six-year, so you add two, zero, plus two, plus two; 2022 equals six. This six-year is all about service and impact. And I just feel like there’s so much potential for us to alchemize within ourselves so that we’re, by the time this year is over, feeling raw in a sense that we are the purest version of ourselves all the time. Not just in this little space or that little space, pure in all areas of our life.

Thank you for sharing this space with me, for hearing me talk on and on about motherhood. I hope that you leave this conversation today feeling that you’re not alone in your journey or maybe you got a little peek into just the realness that is motherhood and how important our modern-day villages truly are. Oh, it has been a wild ride and I’ve got so much more in store. We’re only at eight and a half months in. So thank you for witnessing me and for holding space for all of my emotions today. I love you all so much and I will see you on the next episode.

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February 5, 2022


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