You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 278. We’re talking today about how to take a leap, how to make a shift to bring your life more into alignment with the way you want to be living. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there my friends. Jen here and welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I am so excited to be talking to a friend of mine today, Marci Barragan. She has a beautiful story of changing up a lot of things in her life so that she could feel like she was living in alignment with her purpose. Marci is going to inspire you. She is a regular everyday person who is living a phenomenal and not so everyday life simply because she has learned how to take this leap, knowing that all good things are on the other side of fear.
So, I’m not going to give anything away, you need to listen to this and let’s dive in.
Jen: Hey everyone, I’m here with my friend Marci. Her name is Marci Barragan and she’s a blogger and a certified life coach, a graduate of the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification. And Marci helps women who feel that something in their life has fallen off the rails and helps them to make pivots to get back into alignment with their values and dreams. In her free time Marci loves to read, travel, have deep conversations and make memories.
Marci lives in Wichita, Kansas. She’s the proud mom of three awesome young adult kids. And she has four crazy grandpups. Okay, tell us about the grandpups. How long have they been in your life? Welcome.
Marci: Oh, my goodness. Well, thanks Jen for having me today. Two of them were actually what I considered my dogs. But when my youngest decided he was going to move out he took them with him. So, they’re now his. And yes, and so now they’ve become my grandpups. The other two, each of my older two children, of course, bought the dog right away when they got their first apartment where they could have one.
And so, we have two beagles. And then a couple of mixed breed dogs, one has got a lot of collie, border collie in him and another one has got a lot of coonhound in him. So, it is a busy bunch when they are all together. We love to take them to the dog park and let them chase around.
Jen: Oh, that’s so, so fun. I can tell you guys are a real dog loving family.
Jen: That’s awesome. Okay, well, so today Marci and I are going to be talking about the times in your life when something feels off kilter or out of balance. And I know all your ears are pricking up because we just lived through a pandemic. Marci is going to share her story of those times in her life and what she did to get back into alignment. And that’s the kind of specialization Marci has as a life coach. She helps women get back into alignment when things are off the rails.
So, Marci, let’s hear your story of the times when you had to make those shifts, when things felt off and you had to take some leaps. And I think it’s really courageous. So, I hope that this inspires some people.
Marci: Yeah, that would be great to talk about, Jan. I know every little leap that I made really empowered me to be ready to make the next leap and to get closer and closer to living the life that I dream, that is really in alignment with my values. And I had as a younger woman made smaller leaps let’s say. But then as I got a little older and was right smack dab in the middle of the craziness that can be motherhood with three kids ranging between school age and high school.
I realized that there were some things that were definitely causing some discontent in my life, things that were just wearing me out, leaving me feeling like my life was off the rails. There were things that just were no longer working for me. So, one of the first things that I did, I was really evaluating what I was doing on to the money into my family. So, for my living I was working for a large non-profit that required a lot of hours, a very flexible work schedule. And it was high emotion, high energy, high traffic.
So, I would get home at night and some days I would feel like, “Don’t look at me, don’t talk to me, don’t need anything from me.” And I was like, “What am I doing? This is my family. This is where my focus is supposed to be. And instead, I’m giving everything away to everybody else during the day.” So, I made the decision to – I made out a big list of the things that I would be looking for in a new position. So, I was the primary income earner in our family. And so, I was not able to just quit my job and stay home, that wasn’t an option for me.
So, I made a pretty lengthy list of what things my next job would need to have. And I decided that I was not just going to make a jump to any old job. It was not to the point where I didn’t have a job so I had to take the first one that became available. I was in a good spot to find the next right thing that really was a perfect fit for my family. And it took me almost two years to find that right fit from really great interview processes I went through, jobs I really thought I wanted, which in hindsight now I know were not the jobs for me.
And then landed in a really good position that essentially restored some sanity to my life. There were now boundaries around my workday. There was not after work, after hours, weekend, holiday issues that maybe would creep in, which really restored a lot of sanity to the life I was living. So that was really the first leap that I was able to make. And patience to see that through was probably the biggest lesson that I learned in that.
Jen: So, how did you – what obstacles do you feel like you had to overcome to take that leap?
Marci: Right. So, I already was working a more than full-time job. And already raising these three kids. And so then taking on a job search which can be a full-time job in and of itself, required me to kind of put some parameters around that search. So, I actually went online to Indeed, a big job search engine. And I decided that I could only really dedicate one little time block per week to looking at what had become available in the week. And filling out those applications right then and there.
So, I actually designated Sunday mornings as my time because had I been paying attention to every single new position that popped up all week long I would not have been able to focus anywhere. That would have probably put me over the edge on top of everything else that was going on. So, I kind of had to compartmentalize that part of the search. I knew that I needed to make a certain dollar amount in order to make the leap.
And like I said, I kind of had my list to go on, you know, I needed something that would still be flexible. So, if a kid had something going on at school or was sick, I needed to, as mom, have the flexibility to be able to meet my family’s needs as well. So there really were those items on my list that were non-negotiables to me. And I had to be willing to look outside kind of the limiting belief I might have had about what it was I could do. I had the skill set. And in my mind I was like, okay, what does this translate to?
And the particular job that I landed in which is in the financial industry, I had no financial industry background. It’s in an IT department. I had no experience in an IT department. And it was actually a girl who had worked for me at the non-profit previously who kind of hooked me up. And she’s like, “Don’t even read the description, just fill out the application.” And so, I read the…
Jen: I love that.
Marci: Yeah. I read the job description and I called her back and I’m like, “Do you know me at all?” I’m like, “This says IT.” And she’s like, “Just fill it out.” So, I really do believe that God, the universe, whatever the greater power is you believe in leads you to the right place at exactly the right time. And I just had to be willing to try out a bunch of different applications, different processes, and kind of hone my skills on interviewing. And there was growth alone in that journey going through some of those extensive interviews as a candidate.
And so, there were just a lot of moving pieces but I really, like I said, learned patience, learned to take it one step at a time. And had to learn to not try to control the trajectory of the journey. Because having been someone who felt like I had to control a lot of things in order to keep my life on the rails, that was difficult for me to just kind of go with the ride and just let it take its rollercoaster, hills and valleys and had faith that I would land where I was supposed to land.
Jen: Yeah. And what’s cool is you decided, “This isn’t working, I want something else.” That moment of decision, you didn’t know how it would come. But the other thing you did was you opened up a little space for the possibility, for Sunday mornings to do the applications. And then it happened. So, deciding and then making a little space for it. It’s beautiful and often we get stuck even doing those first two steps, so kudos to you, that’s awesome.
Marci: Yeah, because if you wait till you have the time it’s never going to happen because you’re not going to have the time. You have to make the time.
Jen: For sure. So, you got a new job, how was life better after that?
Marci: Life was so much better. I was coming home and actually able to enjoy engaging with my family, not feel like I was really drained from what I had experienced throughout the day. I felt a lot more sane. It was exciting because it was a new industry. It was new job responsibilities, new people. So that kind of really fueled, I was like, “Okay, well, I fixed that problem. Still feeling a little discontent, what’s next?” And then, “Okay, if I freed up that kind of time, what else can I do?”
Jen: Yeah, okay.
Marci: Yeah, you get that one little nibble and you’re like, “Oh man, that tastes awfully good, where am I going to go with this?” So, another area I was kind of feeling overwhelmed and I’m sure most moms can understand this was just the sheer volume of stuff and taking care of all that stuff that goes with having a family with three kids and two dogs and being a working mom. And all the craziness that goes on with that. So, I was spending most of my evenings chasing after kids, to all their activities and that kind of stuff, trying to execute homework, dinner.
And then the weekend would come and I would spend most of the weekend trying to restore order. So, you’re picking up the house. You’re trying to clean the house. You’re trying to get the laundry done. You really want to get to the grocery store and plan some meals and get some food in the house so you’re not starting the next week behind. And I was spending my whole weekend just on maintenance. And I’m a good time manager and I’m like, “Why is this the way that I’m living? This is not okay.”
So, I started to think about what could I change to kind of reduce essentially overall the number of things that I had to pay attention to. Well, obviously going to my kids events and things like that, that was not negotiable for me. I was not willing to take that off the list. But I was like, “Why am I taking care of a five bedroom house with two living spaces and a huge yard, why is that a choice?” So, I really started entertaining that idea.
And one day I was driving literally an eighth of a mile from our house and I saw some new duplexes going up. And I was like, “Hm.” So I drove into the little development. I looked at one of the little lots and I was like, “This is kind of perfect, it’s on kind of a dead end, there’d be room for the teenagers cars. There’s a little side yard.” There were no walls to this place yet so I had no idea what it was going to look like. But I actually got out and walked on the cement pad. And started envisioning, what would life look like if this space was all I had to take care of?
So, I called the number on the sign and they actually had a unit in another development that I was able to go look at. Well, then once I saw that then all of a sudden I’m placing my family in that space and then thinking, boy, it’s about a third of the space, if it was that much. And I’m like, “No yard work, no snow removal, no, you know, a lot less to clean, one living space.” And I was just like, “Hmm.” And it literally maybe took me a week to make the leap. And I called the woman back at the leasing agency and I said, “When will that particular unit be done?”
And we made the decision, talked to the family and I was just – and my oldest at that time had just left for college. And so, reducing kind of our footprint, I was starting to see okay, my daughter, my second born is right behind him and leaving. And I’m like this is going to happen fast because these kids grow up super-fast. So, I’m like, “What if I can make this move now to make life more manageable?” So, I did.
I signed the lease and I started thinking, okay, well, how am I going to put all this stuff in that house? And I’m like, “You’re not, you’re going to sell all this stuff and you’re going to sell it on Facebook Marketplace.” Craziness. So, I started with my hall closet and I was just like, “Okay, one shelf, just do one shelf.” And that led to a second shelf, which led to a second closet, which led to the drawers. And I literally went through every inch of that house.
Jen: Nice, just de-cluttering, it lightens your soul so much.
Marci: And I lined both sides of the garage with boxes. And started putting stuff in batches, posting it on Facebook Marketplace. And then I started looking at the furniture and I’m like, “This furniture’s too big for the new space.” And so, I’m like, “I’m going to sell that too.” So, the kids were joking and they was like, “Are you going to sell us next?” And I’m like, “Well, maybe.” So, I sold literally all the furniture.
And with the money that I earned from all these sales I was able to order right sized furniture for the new place we were living, a new mattress for everybody which was needed. A new refrigerator which is my dream refrigerator, I’d always wanted to buy. And I didn’t have all this stuff to maintain. So, I had all these fancy – they’re not fancy but they were Crate and Barrel dishes, serving dishes for all of these parties I thought I was going to host. And I’m like, “No, what do I do?”
I open a jar of salsa and open a bag of chips on the counter and that’s how we entertain. That was our reality. So why do I need all of these beautiful stoneware pieces that are just collecting dust on the top of my cabinets? And so literally if it did not serve more than one purpose or if I hadn’t used it or worn it or needed it in a year it was gone. And I was ruthless. But every time somebody came, they would meet me so I was working and I would only meet people right before work, right after work, or at lunch break near work so they didn’t know where I lived, so safety.
And every time something would leave my possession and I would put money in that special savings account that I had set up for this, my soul just got lighter, and lighter, and lighter, and lighter. And once we moved, literally we had, when we had moved to Kansas, seven, eight years prior, we had needed a semi and a half. And when we moved to the duplex we rented a little U-Haul, it was probably 25 feet long and made a trip and a half.
Jen: Wow, big difference.
Marci: Yeah, huge difference. And a lot less expensive, number one. And what I found in getting rid of all that stuff was I was coming home in the evenings. And if I didn’t have anything for the kids, I actually was able to grab a book and go sit out on my deck.
Jen: Whoa, yeah.
Marci: Exactly, what a concept, right? And on the weekends I could go run a few of my errands but I had time to sit down and actually plan meals for the family for the week because I didn’t have an entire house of 3500 square feet to vacuum and dust, and three bathrooms to clean and all of that. So, it just really, really gave me back my time in order to then really begin the journey of taking care of myself.
Jen: That’s awesome. Okay, so in the background of all of this you have a spouse and it sounds like a single mom story. So, fill us in on that part of it. And I know this can be sensitive because your ex could listen to this. So, share what feels comfortable to you.
Marci: Yeah. So, I very much am about telling my story. His story is not mine to tell. My children’s stories are not mine to tell. Let’s just suffice it to say that he worked a lot. And he had some demons of his own that he really needed to address. And I had tried for years, and years, and years to be the person that, like I said, tried to control and keep things on the rails and keep everything running the way it was supposed to run.
And as I was starting this journey of freeing up my life I realized, you know what? His battle is not yours to fight. That’s his and you can’t fix that for him. And so, as my spirit was lightening and I was doing tons of personal development work. I have always loved personal development and reading. I mean it started back with Oprah in high school I think it was, watching her after school every day. And that love of those types of books and podcasts now and all that has been there for quite a while.
And the more I learned the more I realized that feeling of discontent that’s still there. You’ve changed your job. You’ve changed your house. You still have this feeling of discontent going on. And it was because all this time I was trying to solve something that was not mine to solve. And that was huge for me.
Jen: So, you thought all of these changes would fix your partner?
Marci: Exactly, yeah. And if not fix the partner then it would solve my discontent because I was like, “Well, if I don’t have that to worry about and that to worry, and that to worry, then I’ll have plenty of energy to deal with this.” When in fact, yes, those other things were draining me and were unnecessary things to have in my life if I was going to focus on me. I realized that I needed to take care of myself first. And if I didn’t do that then I was not being the mom that my kids needed me to be, so huge.
Jen: Wow. So, you decided to downsize. You found the duplex. You got rid of all the stuff and you moved. Then what?
Marci: Then I actually had a 50th birthday coming up. And I made a decision, so we had been in the duplex about a year by that point, and I made a decision on my 50th birthday that I was not going to turn 51 still feeling the way about my primary relationship as I was. And if things did not change I was not going to turn 51 feeling that way. So, my birthday is August 27th. And on August 26th of the following year, I filed for divorce.
Jen: Wow Marci, look what you did, you created a deadline, yeah.
Marci: Yeah, it was huge. Created a deadline and I’m great at keeping promises to other people. I never break a promise. If it lands on my calendar, it’s happening. But I had not always been good about keeping a promise to myself. And this was a huge one.
Jen: Oh my gosh, can you just walk us through the thought process? I mean I would be thinking what about the kids, oh my gosh, how am I going to….?
Marci: Yeah. Well, and that’s why I gave myself a year. That’s why I had set that deadline that far out because I knew having watched a lot of friends go through similar types of situations that there were just so many logistics and moving parts. And because I am a planner. And there were things I could control, I’m like, “I’m going to give myself a year because I want to make sure that I’ve done the work to make sure this is as easy on everybody as possible.” And that included my now ex-husband. I made this process extremely easy for him.
I definitely, you know, he is the father of my kids, I don’t wish him any harm at all. And I wanted him to be successful in this new life as well. So, I did things like making sure – I had bank accounts set up that were only in my name. Making sure that his check was going to the checking account he’d be left with and mine was going to my checking account. Making sure that I knew, because I did go talk to a lawyer, making sure I knew what does this look like for my kids? What can I expect? And my kids were older, my youngest was 15 at that point in time.
But you’ve got a 15 year old and the last thing he’s going to want to probably do is have to go between houses on the weekend. So, it was really kind of looking at that. And looking at my older two who were on the college journey and how is this going to affect them? And how am I going to mother them through this? And where is my support group in this? I have always had a strong group of girl friends. And boy, did I rely on them heavily through this year and that I was living through.
And so, there were – I can’t even tell you how many miles a couple of my girl friends and I walked, sometimes on an every night basis just to kind of talk me through some of the logistical things. And really make sure that my heart was in the right space, I was doing it for the right reasons. But what it all came down to at the end of the day was my kids were older. And it had gotten to the point where I realized and somebody said this to me and I don’t even remember who it was. But they said, “If this were one of your kids living this life what would you say to them?”
Jen: Wow, yeah. And what would be your answer?
Marci: I knew exactly what I would say to them. “You need to love yourself enough to let this go.”
Jen: Wow, that’s good.
Marci: Yeah. And I have always been a rule follower, oldest born, super responsible person, that’s just my nature. And so, this is a should. In society you should do everything you can to make this work. And I had made a lot of decisions in my life about you should do this, and you should do this, and you should do this. The job was a symptom of that. It’s like, yeah, you’re going to be a working mom, you should keep wanting to climb that corporate ladder.
And the big house was a should because obviously you’ve got to keep up with the Jones’ and your kids each need their own bedroom. And you need the space and this beautiful yard, and this deck. And working on your marriage, that’s a big should in society. And giving myself permission to know that I had done absolutely everything that I could, we had been through marriage counseling a couple of times. Giving myself permission to say, “But wait, you should take care of yourself, number one.”
Jen: Yes. Wouldn’t that be crazy if that was an actual social should, “You didn’t do your morning routine, oh my gosh, let me take your kids, you can have that, girl.”
Marci: And why isn’t that? And where did we stray so far that taking care of yourself is kind of a taboo thing for a lot of people.
Jen: I know, it’s ridiculous.
Marci: It is, it’s just ridiculous. So, discovering that and finding the things that really feed my soul, it’s just been this beautiful journey. And I have done so much mourning during that year because I knew. Once you know something you can’t unknow. And one of my favorite quotes is ‘be still and know’. And through all of these transitions literally I’d be like, “What am I going to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” And the minute I would give myself time to sit still I would just get this divine download of here’s the next right thing. This is what you’re supposed to do.
And supposed to do because that’s where your heart is. And so again once you know you can’t unknow. So, there’s that bit of now what am I going to do with this? Now I’ve got to do something with it. But it really did serve me well to really sit in that space each time and reflect on what is my next step supposed to be and how can I – and I did it in all three. How can I execute this without burning down the entire house in the process? So, you can make a pivot without having to burn down the entire house.
Jen: Yeah. Well, what was the hardest thing about that in terms of your ex and your kids, and what was the most awful thing? I’m just curious.
Marci: Yeah. I think the most awful thing about the whole thing was I could no longer control the outcome of his relationship with the kids. So, I spent a lot of time trying to cover up — that might be a bad word but it might also be accurate — areas where he lacked in his interactions with them. Or things that were causing them pain in their relationship with their dad. I did what I could to try to soften the blow for the kids. And then all of a sudden it was just like these interactions were no longer happening within the confines of my four walls where I was present and witness.
So, all of a sudden I’m like, “You know what? Their relationships with their dad are their relationships with their dad.” And again, that is not my responsibility. And so, they’re going to see the full truth of their relationship with their dad. And it’s between them to work out. And that’s really difficult as a mom and as an ex-wife. And that his journey after the divorce was his journey. And I had done what I could to soften it to that point. But that was the cutoff point. This is now your responsibility. It’s no longer mine. And that was probably the hardest part for me.
Jen: Yeah. Did your kids have their feelings hurt or did it turn out surprisingly well?
Marci: They actually did surprisingly well with the idea of the divorce. They struggled a little bit with – their dad does not live in the same city we live in anymore and that’s been tough for them to navigate. Again, I feel blessed that they were as old as they were when this all went down and that we have the technology we have and things like that because it could have been a completely different outcome for them. But again, I support them in the ways that I can. And I’m here for them.
And I’m a sounding board. But I very much place the responsibility, now my youngest just turned 18 and they are all now adults. And so, I can support them. I can listen. I can help them change their thoughts. I can help them deal with the feelings that they’re having. But at the end of the day the responsibility for their relationship with their dad does fall to them and falls to their dad. And they get to decide what their boundaries are. They get to decide what kind of contact they want to have with anybody in their life, not just their dad but anybody that comes along.
And I think that’s a growing up piece that parents deal with to a certain extent as it is. All of a sudden your kid might be exposed to people at college that you don’t know or necessarily approve of. But that might be the person they bring home the first time they come home. So, I think there is a piece of that and I just maybe had to learn it a little early and help them to discover that with relationships that were really, really close to them, the extended family, all of that.
I really, when we were going through the divorce and I did say this even to my parents and my sisters that I’m very close to, our friends. I just essentially said, “Right now I have the bandwidth to deal with my feelings and emotions surrounding this, and my children’s. I am not responsibility for anybody else’s reactions to my decision to divorce my husband. So, you need to go deal with that however you need to deal with that but please don’t bring it to me because I…”
Jen: Very nice.
Marci: Yeah. “I am choosing to put my children and myself first.”
Jen: I can tell you’ve really been into self-help for a while. You’ve figured out a lot because there are a lot of stories that people have about divorce like it’s going to ruin your kids. Or you’re betraying God if you divorce. Or you’re sinning. There’s heavy stuff. So, give us in a nutshell, I would say – I’ve heard several, but the three, or four, or five most powerful beliefs that enabled you to take that action of divorcing? We learn about thought tables in the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification. You were excellent at them.
If those listening don’t know what a thought table is, that there are facts. Marci decided to have a divorce, that’s a fact. There are thoughts about those facts. And every single thought generates a feeling. So, if your thought had been divorce is a sin, you would have felt afraid. You probably wouldn’t have taken the action of having the divorce and creating a life that felt more aligned. So, thoughts yield feelings, which lead us to actions and generate a result.
So yeah, in a nutshell what were the thoughts that you chose to think before your divorce even began that helped it come to pass essentially? I heard some empowering ones.
Marci: Yeah. I think one of the biggest for me, especially strong in religion. So, I grew up Catholic. There’s a whole lot of guilt that’s inherent in that particular religion. I’m no longer a practicing Catholic but still a 100% believe in God. I’m a very, very spiritual person. And I really reflected and prayed on it and I’m like, “You know what? The God that I choose to believe in would not want this for me.” And so, I was just like, “Okay. Well, if He wouldn’t want this for me then why am I forcing myself? I mean this is, I’m doing this to me. I’m doing this to me.”
Or society has certain thoughts around it and a lot of opinions around it. And then I was like at the end of the day, I’m like, “People who love me, people who love us, myself, my ex-husband, my children, if they don’t understand why it is we are splitting, if they can’t see that, do they really have my best interest at heart? Do they really love us?” I went around and round with that a lot. And when I again realized that I was like, “That’s a hard boundary for me. You don’t live my life. You don’t get a vote. You’re not me.”
So that realization for myself that you know what? The only, at the end of the day, the only two people in this relationship are myself and my ex-husband. And the only person whose opinion needs to matter to me is my own. And I was in alignment with God then, and in alignment with myself. And the last thing I think that kind of came to me, because I think a lot of times as women we’re like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t afford to live on my own. I don’t know how I would raise these kids by myself. I don’t know how I would get all the things done.”
We tell ourselves all these reasons why we should settle for something that’s not good for us, simply based on logistics. And I was like, “You know what, Marci? You’re a smart girl. You’ve always figured it out, no matter what life has thrown at you, you have always figured it out. And you’ll figure this out too.”
Jen: And so, what has it been like, all the fears beforehand, we’re not going to have enough money, I’m going to burn myself out doing everything, what’s the reality? And be honest, be honest.
Marci: Yeah. It actually has been amazing. I mean I will tell you that. With the lifting of kind of the responsibility for someone else’s outcome. With the lifting of feeling like I had to keep life on the rails. There was just this lightness, and freedom in my spirit. And I did a lot of grieving like I said that whole year that I was trying to figure out how I was going to do this. And did a lot of grieving and once the divorce was actually final, my grieving was over. And I have heard that many times that women a lot of times do their grieving in the relationship rather than after.
And I found that to be true for myself, I think especially if it’s our idea that it needs to end I think that is probably true for a lot of women. But the freedom of spirit, the agency over my own time. I get home at night and I’m not worried about what the dynamic is going to be in the house with the kids, my youngest has moved back home now for a little bit while he’s continuing to go to college, plus I got two of the grandpups back. But I had a couple of week stint where there was no one here.
But it has really allowed me to live life on my terms and to create a life that I really want to create and be able to make the impact I want to be able to make. I am not afraid now that I’m on the other side of it to tell my stories. I’m not a person who tells my stories to very many while they’re happening. I keep my circle pretty tight around those. But once I’ve worked through kind of the emotions and feel like I’ve learned a lesson and things like that. I truly believe I am given mountains to climb so that I can help someone else be able to climb theirs later down the road. But in order to do that I need to share my story.
Jen: So that is such a good story. I love this. And so many women listening I’m sure are like, “I want to feel free. I want to feel relief.” And divorce might not be the path for them. Maybe they’re happily married but they want a different job. Or they need to downsize like you did. Or they need to move to a mountain shack in Manitoba, whatever. I considered that one.
Marci: That sounds amazing actually.
Jen: A mountain shack. Does Manitoba even have mountains? I don’t know, you Canadians can let me know. Well, fast forward, I met you through the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification. What made you decide to take that leap? How did that come about?
Marci: Yeah. And I know I shared the story with you the day that I was considering whether or not to sign up. But I had felt like I needed to be a life coach for probably about a decade. But because of everything that was going on in my life I knew I did not have the bandwidth, the resources, the energy to take that on. That didn’t stop me from looking at a bunch of different certifications over the years, trying to find the right fit. But it just, it was never going to happen with everything that was going on.
So, I was actually on a walk one day and had been working at home during Covid and so I’ve had the luxury of, as part of my lunchbreak I take a walk through my neighborhood. And I was listening to your podcast, which I’ve been listening to for several years. And you were interviewing four graduates from the first class of your certification for coaches. And I was like, “Wait. What? Jen has a coaching certification? How did I not know this?”
And so, I came back and on the second half of my lunchbreak went to your website and I was just like, “Oh my goodness, she does, look.” And so, I’m like, “Okay, ask some questions.” I’m like, “I’m going to email Jen.” And then I thought, she’s never going to answer me today. I was like, “Surely it’s launch day. Today is the deadline. It says right here today is the deadline. And she doesn’t have time for all these questions.” But you did, you got back to me and responded. And so that evening I was actually sitting on the couch watching TV. And still just like, I’m like, “Okay, I have till midnight. I have till midnight.”
And I actually got up from the couch, I came upstairs, I poured myself a glass of wine. I grabbed my credit card and what I actually said to myself was because there’s a price tag involved with certification. I said to myself, I’m like, “You know what? You just spent a bunch of money to gain your own freedom. Why are you going to not take this leap that you’ve wanted to take for a decade? It’s going to pay itself back in spades.” And I literally opened your website back up and signed up. And so, from ten in the morning, eleven in the morning and eight o’clock at night the decision was made.
Jen: I love that comparison. I mean you took the leap and invested in that freedom from the stuff, the marriage. Okay, so now you’re working towards job freedom, what’s that looking like for you? That means doing a job you love, not just…
Marci: Yeah. So, I like I said, I work for a great company, I really do love my job. But my passion is really helping women who are feeling like I was feeling, something in their life is just off the rails. And that can take any form. That can be, I feel like there’s too much stuff in the house, I need to reduce clutter. I hate my job. I need to move to a different job. I am unhappy in my marriage. I need to figure out what that looks like. I’m having parenting trouble. I need to figure out how to better parent these kids. There’s a lot of reasons why your life might feel that way.
And when one thing is that far off the rails it kind of tends to make the rest of your life feel a lot less shiny and like maybe it’s a little suspect too. So really being able to help women figure out what is that necessary pivot they need to make? And then figure out the logistics because everybody has values they hold dear, we lose sight of them sometimes because of the situation we’re living in. And what are their dreams? I think a lot of women have totally forgotten what their dreams looks like. And I had a big picture dream down the road of there is going to be a beach house.
My soul sings the minute I hit the ocean, if doesn’t matter what ocean, it doesn’t matter where it is. If there’s an ocean and a beach I am happy as can be. And so, there is going to be a beach house that I am going to live in. And there are going to be retreats for women.
Jen: Ooh, I like it.
Marci: And that’s the big picture dream. And that is all built on the back of this coaching side gig that I’ve got going where I really just want to help women figure this out. And I don’t know exactly what that journey looks like. My business is young. But that’s great because I truly believe just like I have been led through all of these other pivots in my life that the journey has already been mapped out. I don’t have visibility into what that is. But I’m willing to just let it unfold organically and kind of embrace the whole process.
And I think the coaching certification especially helped me to do that, all of the tools that I learned. And especially the caliber of the women who were in my cohort, in my class. The connections there and the things that we’ve been able to coach each other through has brought each of us to a new level where we’re able to really flesh out those dreams. And say, “You know what? I’m going to do that.” Don’t tell me I’m not going to have that beach house with those retreats because I’m going to.
Jen: You are, I know it for sure.
Marci: Yeah. And don’t know quite what the path looks like to get there but it’s going to happen.
Jen: Yeah, because you’ve done this leap, you’ve taken this leap, a leap so many times you know this is just another leap, that’s it. It’s so amazing.
Marci: Yeah. And with everyone you just get more and more confident in your ability to figure it out. And you learn how to surround yourself with people who encourage you in whichever direction you’re trying to go. And they also are willing to call you out on your stuff. So, if you’re stuck trying to build your side hustle or you’re stuck trying to decide whether or not you’re going to stay in your marriage. You’ve got to have people who are willing to look you in the face and ask you the hard question.
And if you don’t have people in your circle like that, it’s time for a new circle. And the Life Coach Certification gave me another pool of women who have been able to help me raise my dreams to that next level.
Jen: Yeah, up-leveling. So, you always wanted to be a life coach. Is it different than what you expected?
Marci: It’s actually better than I expected. I have kind of always been a coach. One of my girl friends from junior high actually made the comment one day in social media with me. She was just like, “Yeah, you’re the one we all brought our stuff to in junior high and you helped us figure it out.” And I was like, “I’ve been doing it that long?” But I would find myself in situations, whether it was with coworkers or whether it was with friends where I was the person who helped them process. And I didn’t have formalized tools for that.
I kind of was born with an ability to very clearly kind of see people where they’re at, see their possibilities, help them to discover them on their own. And so, when I really embraced that gift in myself I was like, “I’ve got to figure out a way to be able to utilize this and honest, get paid for it because that’s what I love doing every day.” If I could literally sit and do that for a living I would not feel like I was working. It is so much a part of who I am. Having those meaningful conversations and seeing light bulbs go on.
And seeing the empowerment behind another woman’s eyes when she realizes that she is in fact in charge of her destiny and her journey. And that she believes in herself enough to take those leaps and create that for herself. That has just been amazing for me. And it’s never really been about the money, although I need lots of money to buy that beach house. It’s never really been about the money. But it’s been about the impact and being able to help people in a more formalized way than I’ve always done.
So, for me it is, it is up-leveling essentially what I was already doing but now I’ve got all these tools. And the more I coach the more experience I have behind me in order to share.
Jen: So how does formally becoming a coach, how are these tools you’re talking about that you learned in the Coach Certification, how do they actually help? What are they? How do they make you better at helping others?
Marci: So, the thought tables were huge for me. I have always challenged my thoughts but I didn’t have a structure to put them in. So sometimes I was able to get myself to a new thought but it took me a long time of just trying to internally wrestle with it. Where now I can sit down with a thought table in front of me and fill it out. And even now because I’ve done them so many times, can sometimes do them in my head without writing them out. So that has really helped me to kind of increase the speed of a trajectory on any issue that I’m dealing with.
I kind of changed my mindset and free me up for that. I was famous with myself for not actually feeling my feelings. I was so busy all the time. And I would just fill life with busy and if something was uncomfortable, that was why I stayed married as long as I did. If I was uncomfortable with something, the schedule was too busy for me to sit and actually think about it. There was no room there. And I think as a society, I have a blog post on my blog about busy and just that word ‘busy’. As if there was a trophy for being that busy mom and raising these busy kids.
And along comes Covid and teaches us all that that life was probably way overrated. And why were we letting this false idea that busy is the way to live your life, be the boss of us? I don’t understand that now.
Jen: Yeah, I know, it’s weird.
Marci: I look at it now and I’m like, “What? How was I convinced that that was the right thing?” And now I’m like, “No, this is totally the right thing.” So being able to do Feel It to Heal It. And I was not a person who ever would get in the bathtub. And now I’m like, “Okay, feeling something.” I’m like, “Light the candle, go crawl in and work.”
Jen: So, you do your safe space, your feeling work in the bathtub most of the time?
Marci: Sometimes the bathtub, sometimes my little plastic Adirondack chair on my back deck overlooking this little pond, sometimes my bed. But I have discovered new places, the bath thing for me is new. I would just take a shower, get it done. That was a task to be checked off on the box. But now it’s like I don’t care if it’s two o’clock on a Saturday and I don’t need a shower, I can go crawl in the bath if I’m feeling something.
And just being willing to sit and let the feeling move through you changes how quickly you’re able to move past the negative, draining, soul sucking emotions that are going to get you nowhere. You have to feel them, the only way to the other side is through. You have to go through them. But it’s so much nicer on the other side once you actually feel them.
Or you can choose to carry them around with you for weeks, months, years like I sometimes did because you thought that that was easier than dealing with them. When in reality it is much easier to deal with them in the moment and be able to move past them. And then again, go on to your next right thing, rather than sitting stuck.
Jen: Yeah. That’s great. How do your coaching tools help you as a mom and a grandpup grandma?
Marci: Well, as a mom my kids occasionally they’ll say to me, “Are you being mom or are you coaching me?” And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s for you to figure out.” And I’ve always had the relationship with my kids, I mean we do have the deep conversations, we always have. And that was very important to me as a mom growing up. And I’ve actually helped some friends who did not maybe start their relationship with their kids that way but are seeing that it’s necessary moving forward in order to be able to be there for their kids the way they want to be there for them.
So, I’ve been able to, you know, everything is falling apart in your world when you’re in your early 20s and you feel like you don’t have enough money this week. Or you feel like oh my gosh, I’m waiting to hear back on an apartment and it’s the only thing happening in my world right now. And I’m so anxious and I can’t. I’ve been totally able to, essentially talk them off the ledge super quick by helping them up-level their thoughts. And teaching them how to do that.
And it’ll be as simple as a text message, “You know that thought you just had, can you take another look at that?” And they’ll be like, “Oh.” And I’ll be like, “What are you doing with that thought? How is that making you feel?” And so, they kind of know because there’s phrases that I say now that I didn’t say a year ago, that they’re just like, “Mom in coach mode.” But yeah, it’s pretty funny and some of their friends even are just like, “I really think I need to talk to your mom.”
Jen: That’s funny. I have a similar story. I once walked into our office space and my daughter was on the phone. And she kind of held her hand up and motioned me to get out. And as I left – no, but as I left I heard her say, “If that feeling were a color what would it be?” And I’m like, “What are you doing?” She said, “Well, I got your Vibrant Happy Women Club books and I’ve been studying them.” I’m like, “Where did you find those?” “In the storage room. So, my friends know I can do this and they know you’re a coach so they’ve been asking me to coach them.”
I’m like, “Okay. Well, maybe I should have you watch these videos. You can have actually all the skills.”
Marci: That’s a riot. That is so funny. Well, and I think the biggest thing for me has really been my kids being able to watch me make the changes that I’ve made and continue to chase a life that is tied with my values and tied with my dreams. And it gives them permission to do the same thing which I think is so – and it’s modeling through example. I could sit here and say this stuff to them all day long. But if that’s in direct conflict with what they see their mother doing it’s not going to mean anything.
It’s hollow words and we all know that teenagers don’t like to listen to their parents sometimes. But if they’re seeing it on a daily basis that’s a completely different beast.
Jen: Oh, my goodness, isn’t that the truth? Yeah. Well, Marci, I can’t wait. I want to be one of the first ones at your beach house so put me on the list.
Marci: Okay, a deal. I will do that. I will do that.
Jen: I want to be at your retreat. I’ll just come as a regular attendee. I’ll put on my shades, no one will know who I am.
Marci: That’d be great. And I’ve been blessed to have quite a few girls trips in my life. That is one thing that I have always done. And there is just something about a community of women that just really brings you back to your center. I had an old supervisor who used to say, “Back to factory settings.” I really want to be able to be that for women and have them experience that. So, I would love to have you there with me at the beach house and with a bunch of other women, all getting back to our original factory settings.
Jen: Yeah. Well, are you going to the Vibrant Happy Women retreat?
Marci: I am going, yes, my spot is reserved and all I’ve got to do is book the airfare. But yeah, I will be there. So, yeah, I signed up with the early bird discount. I was just like, “I know it’s a year away but I don’t care. I’m there.”
Jen: Yeah, totally. I can’t even wait. It’s going to be amazing.
Marci: It’s going to be awesome.
Jen: It’s going to be crazy. Can you imagine? We’ll have all acclimated from Covid by then.
Marci: I just can’t wait to see. The energy is just going to be amazing. Almost like I can feel it already.
Jen: Yeah. There is something awesome about being around people who are up-leveling for sure and you are one of those people. And thank you for sharing your story of up-leveling with us. This was fantastic.
Marci: Thank you. Thank you.
Jen: Where can people reach out to you if they have comments or questions about what you’re doing, your experience?
Marci: Yeah, they sure can. My email is lifecoachmarci with just an I @gmail.com. I do have Facebook and it’s @lifecoachmarci is my biz page. And then Instagram is life_coach_marci. And then I also have a blog at marcibarragan.com.
Jen: Cool. We’ll put all those links on the show notes page.
Jen: Awesome. Marci, thanks for sharing your story. You inspired me and I hope everyone else who was listening.
Marci: You are welcome. I’ve loved our time together.
Hey everyone, I want you to know that you too can take a leap and shift your life in beautiful ways. I really believe that whatever you have now isn’t all there is. There’s always something beautiful that’s another step ahead into that darkness. You just have to step even if you can’t see the path. So, if you have an inkling or a little itching feeling that there is something more you should be doing with your life. Or that you – something you want to change in a relationship with your kids, or your spouse, or your career, have courage, trust, take that leap just like Marci did.
I think there’s always something beautiful when we do something that scares us. Also, if you suspect that one of those changes for you might be becoming a coach like Marci did. The Vibrant Happy Life Coach Certification is open. We are accepting about 40 students this fall in September. And I would love for you to be one of them. We have classes of 10 where you and nine other students will learn everything about thought tables, the Feel It to Heal It method. How to create and have healthy boundaries.
The Be Her Morning Ritual, all these beautiful tools that will not only change your life as you learn how to process emotion, handle stress, and trauma and heal in beautiful ways for you. But to help your kids have this deep emotional intelligence, to have the privilege of hearing your spouse if you have one saying things that often only come out of a coach’s mouth because they hear it from you. There is beautiful healing to be had for you and for your family.
And then beyond that if you desire, you might even choose to become a paid coach like Marci’s going to do. Maybe you want to host retreats. Maybe you just want to make a difference in someone’s life. And if you’ve always been known as the person who listens, or who others come to, to solve a problem, or you’ve been interested in psychology, coaching might just be right for you. You can learn more about the Vibrant Happy Life Coach Certification by watching our videos. Below those videos you can enroll for September. And I would love to have you.
It is an amazing feeling to get to know some of you very, very intimately, by meeting together with you every single week for about 20 weeks. And then if you so choose, to be a part of the Business and Entrepreneurship Program that I offer called Business Builder where you can learn how to be paid to help other people as a coach like Marci is doing. All of that is included. It is one big program. You can learn more and enroll again at jenriday.com/coaching.
I want to thank you so much for listening. I appreciate all of you. I send you my love. I send you strength and clarity. And until next time make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.