Have you ever felt like you’re stuck? Do you feel like you don’t know where you’re going, what’s ahead, or like you’re treading water? Well, life happens for us, not to us, my friend, and I’m here this week to encourage you to create more adventure for yourself and do what lights you up.
Society says that as women, we should behave a certain way. We have been socialized to put everybody’s needs ahead of our own, and it is fascinating how I and everyone I know have bought into this as truth. But these beliefs keep us stuck and prevent us from leaning into our happiness, fun, and adventure, so it's time to change them.
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. Have you ever felt like you’re stuck, not knowing where you’re going, what’s ahead, like you’re treading water? Well, I recently or maybe for the past two years during the pandemic found myself in that place. And if that is you this episode is absolutely for you. You know as women we have been socialized essentially by our own mothers, by other women, by society, by cultural and religious traditions to put everyone’s needs ahead of our own.
And I find it fascinating how easily I, and everyone I know, how I have bought into that fact as a truth. It is true that a good a mother should put her kids ahead of herself, should put her spouse’s needs first. I recently was coaching a friend and a woman who has a belief that her husband’s happiness is more important than her own. She learned it years ago. And by coaching together she began to be able to examine this belief and to see how harmful it can be.
One of the questions I asked her was, “If you saw your kids grow up to feel the way you feel now, would that be acceptable?” And she immediately got this look of fear on her face, and she said, “No. I would never want my kids, especially my daughters to feel the way I do now. To feel empty and burned out, like nothing I did mattered, that all I ever do is feed my kids, and put my kids to bed, and help my kids, no way.”
And so that began a moment of decision. That began a journey of finding out what she likes again, of living and not just existing, of analyzing and letting go of beliefs like that, my husband’s happiness is more important than my own. No way, that has to go for her because the result it’s giving her in her life is misery. So, what are those beliefs for you? What are you believing that’s keeping you stuck, that’s preventing or stopping you from leaning in to your happiness? Not just your happiness but leaning into fun, and connection, and friendship, and adventure?
For decades now it feels like, okay, probably a decade, maybe two, honestly, my oldest child is 21. I have felt a lack of fun and adventure in my life. This has been compounded by being married to a husband who had all of his fun and adventure before getting married and now wanting to have deep stability, and calm, and sameness every day. While I felt an increasing need for spontaneity, fun, adventure. It has been the struggle of my life, I’m telling you to figure that out.
Because society says as a woman I should behave a certain way. I should keep a nice house, make it safe, and calm, and predictable for my kids. And I have done that. I branched out so far. I used to be a stay at home mom, I branched out and became a podcaster. That alone was wild and completely out of the box compared to my friend circle. I love the women I’ve been able to connect with, the friendships I’ve formed, the opportunity to travel to Florida. And in 2023 to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for retreats. Filled my soul.
I love that it has shown my kids, especially my daughters that you can and should lean into and go after what fills your soul. Why? It’s not hedonism, it’s not selfishness. Guess what? We have that inner GPS, those feelings for a reason. Now, I don’t know what you believe but I believe that a higher power, God, wants me to be happy and that I have kind of a soul contract that I’m going to do certain things while I’m on this Earth. And when we feel stuck, when we feel miserable, that is an indicator from the inner GPS that we’re not on track to fulfill our soul contract, to live our purpose.
What if all those things you’re doing that are keeping you miserable are not what you’re meant to be doing with all of your time? What if you kept doing those things part of the time but added other elements of excitement, exploration, fun, and adventure? I can tell you this. I am on a journey to do just that beyond being a podcaster and getting to know all of you.
Even beyond that, doing something that’s so extreme that every time I talk to someone else about it they look at me with very wide eyes, shock to some extent and then quickly follow up with, “I could never do that. My husband would never let me do that.” I’m going to tell you about that in just a little bit. So, I will tell you in a nutshell right now, my intention is to be a more adventurous woman. As I lean into adventure I believe I will become more connected and more clear on my next steps in life, the lives I’m meant to touch, the purpose I can fulfil this year or this month.
The purpose might change throughout my life. I fully expect to have another 50 years of life left at least. And how about you, do you want to keep doing what you’ve been doing for the rest of your life? Is it enough? The answer might be yes. If that’s true, great. Trust the feelings in your body. Our body is really like a thermostat or a gauge that tells us what is truly true. It’s not the monkey mind saying what society says we should do, what our mom says, and our aunts, and our spouses, and our kids, and that TV show. But what does your body say?
If you’re feeling stuck or miserable it’s time for a pivot. What is that pivot going to be for you? So, for me here’s how it all went down. I felt stuck in the last six to 12 months or so. The pandemic was interesting. We felt all the emotions. We had all the things happening. And I kept leaning into, asking myself the question, what do I want? What do I want? What do I want? If I could do anything right now, what would that be? That is a big question. If I could do anything right now what would it be?
Another really cool question is, what makes me feel alive? So, in the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification we have this lesson all about creating your vision. So, I’ve been working with the students. We came around to lesson 10 and I thought, you know, I’m going to go through that content again. I’m going to see if my past vision is aligned because I’ve been feeling a bit of out of sorts, a bit stuck. Maybe I need a new vision. As a part of that lesson, we also create what is called a soul name.
The soul name helps us pull in the identity of who we really want to be as we show up in this world. My soul name has always been Bold Heart Vessel of Love. I really like that. It worked well when all of my kids were home. My focus was on nurturing them, receiving love from the divine to share with my family, Bold Heart Vessel of Love really worked. Well, as I completed lesson 10 with the students in this round of the coaching certification all about vision I answered all the 20 questions that help you get the clarity.
And I was super surprised at what I started to notice. Now, this was really convoluted and round about for me but I’m sharing this, so you know that we always need to figure out where we are and correct our course, that’s what pivoting is really about. Where do I need to go next? What if you have several new destinations ahead of you in your life? And you don’t just have to retire and work a job that’s so, so and watch your grandkids, even if you love that, I would not love that as far as I know. No judgment. I’m me, you’re you.
But if that doesn’t light you up, what if you were to listen to your inner GPS and find something else that does? And what if that thing you find that does light you up is exactly where you’re supposed to go next? So, I was exploring this, the shoulds of, I should just eventually retire, and I’ll play a lot of pickleball. I’ll hang out with my husband. We’ll eat at restaurants. Our kids will come over a few times a year and that left me feeling so meh. I’m serious and I love pickleball. It just didn’t feel good.
So, I leaned to do, if I could do anything right now, what would it be? First I thought of going north, I’m already in Wisconsin but even more north up to Lake Superior. And exploring the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and going to Isle Royale, which is a national park, a US national park in the middle of Lake Superior. Did you even know? Well, I thought that sounded fun. And then I thought, I can bring the girls and we’ll sleep in the back of the van. And then that morphed into, no, the van’s too crowded, we’ll have a tent.
I just started to lean into what would I do today if I could do anything? An adventure, experiencing new places, being close with people without having to maintain stuff and cook meals in traditional ways. And all the things that feel like how you have to do it when you own a home, it just kept exploding with happiness inside of me. Then I read an article about a lot of couples who retire in Mexico, or Costa Rica, or Panama. And how they can live at a third of the price and I thought, wow, we would retire right now if our cost of living was a third of the price.
What if we retire in the next decade or so and my husband and I both go and live in Mexico on a beach? That feels so amazing. Now, this could be cliché, everyone wants to live on a beach but for me it’s more than that. I crave a slower pace of life. I don’t like that cultural aspect of the US of drive, and achieve, and go, and do. And even though the pandemic has improved it, I love the idea of lazy, long conversations around a table. And helping your neighbor and being close enough to them that you could do that.
Some of that is missing here. So, I brought this to my husband’s attention. “Hey, what do you think about retiring in Mexico? I’m really feeling good about this.” Now, no shame on my husband but he was like, “No, you would hate it.” No offense to my Mexican friends either. He said, “Remember, how we were driving in that one city and there was a lot of trash on the side of the road? Well, that happens a lot in Mexico, and I know you wouldn’t like that just like you didn’t like that in that city.”
I’m like, “Well, I could deal with it, I’m in a different country. If that’s really true, I’m not sure I believe it is, but I could totally deal with that.” So, then he pulled up pictures of, to me, beautiful colorful Mexican adobe houses. And he’s like, “See, it’s totally different.” I’m like, “That’s so cool. I love that.” Then he showed me, he Googled, Mexican slum. I’m like, “There are slums in the US too, it’s not a big deal.”
Well, he did eventually talk me out of it by telling me about two things, cockroaches and I hope this isn’t TMI, in a lot of places in Mexico you cannot flush your toilet paper. So, you have to wipe and put it in the trash. And the thought of that, it was too much. Now, those of you who live in Mexico and know a different side, reach out to me because I still might go. So, all of this was a beautiful exploration of leaning into what felt good to me. And what is wrong with that?
What if this feeling system in our bodies is exactly what it feels like? It’s a GPS telling us where to go. What if we all only did what lights us up or did some of what lights us up every day? That’s the experiment I am beginning, hence this podcast episode. With this exploration I have a new vision and a new soul name I think. I’m going to share what I have so far. My new soul name encapsulates my new vision which is Jen the Adventurous, Fierce Seeker of Freedom and Fun. I really like it. Somehow Vessel of Love, no, not feeling that anymore. Jen the Adventurous, Fierce Seeker of Freedom and Fun.
Why do we want to do this? I am tired of owning my stuff. I am tired of maintaining my stuff. I just backed my van into someone else’s car. I’m tired of maintaining stuff. I’m tired of cleaning up my stuff. So, with my little journey into adventure, I have purchased a very, very cool backpack. And I have created a list of all the things that I’m keeping in that backpack, things that are essentially all I need to live.
Not a lot of clothes, the clothes that will be in the backpack are quickly washable and air dryable. My favorite protein powder will be in that backpack. I will have food options and even a little bit of make-up. But the point is the juice, the freedom, the excitement I feel at the idea of having all my stuff that I need in one little backpack that fits on my back and it’s not even a huge backpack, it excites me to no end. So, I told one of my coaches about this and she said, “Your vibration is so high, I can really feel that. Wow. Yes, this is amazing.”
However, when I have told other friends and I haven’t told a lot of you and here I am sharing it on the podcast, there is a kind of a verse in the Bible where it says, “don’t cast your pearls before swine.” Please don’t be swine, ladies. I’m giving you my pearls. What feels amazing to me, so treat it as the precious delicacy and pearl and jewel that it is by respecting it. I would like to have this backpack so that I can travel and visit any old friends, any new friend, Vibrant Happy Women people, host a random retreat in a random city wherever I feel like at a moment’s notice.
I love this idea. I don’t have to own anything. It’s all going to be in the pack. It’s not hard to pack to go on a trip because it’s all already in the pack. When I commute to my office it’s all already there, everything I need. I’m going to post pictures about this but if you would like to join me, just to witness this adventure, to see if it plants seeds for how you might have more adventure, I’m offering a free workshop telling you all about it and giving you steps and you can sign up for that workshop, it’s free at jenriday.com/adventure.
I’m super excited, ladies. I’ve found my next best step and it doesn’t matter what anyone else wants to do. It doesn’t matter that when I tell a few people about this, I’ve told a few people about this, that their eyes get wide and they say, “You’re the most interesting person I know.” Or, “Wow, that’s so unique. Wow, that’s so way out of the box, I could never do that,” or, “My husband would never let me do that.” You know what? Life happens for us and not to us. I happen to have a husband who will absolutely let me do that. Not that he has control, I guess, to let me do anything. But I won’t have any flack about it because his parents lived a very free and spirited lifestyle. His mom would spend months in the US at her parents and then she’d go back to Switzerland where his dad was. Not because they were fighting but because she’s just free that way. So, I have been blessed with exactly what I need to be able to live this way.
I envision having my home with my husband as a home base. I envision having someone that keeps it clean so that when I come back it is cleaner. But I also envision being able to go wherever I want and connect at the heart level with women like you who I love. So, I would love to have you onboard for this. Again, sign up for the workshop and any other communications that I’ll have afterwards with it at jenriday.com/adventure. I’m going to be sharing pictures of everything that’s going in my backpack. And I’m going to be sharing aspects of my journey. Be sure to also follow me on social media, on Facebook, Jen Riday, on Instagram, Jen Riday. This is going to be amazing.
I am beyond excited. I don’t share this to brag by the way. I share this to say that there is something that will light you up, it’s up to you to find it. Don’t let yourself get stuck in how it should be or how everyone else does it. There is a liberation of freedom that comes with abandoning all of those shoulds and just doing what feels right for you. I don’t know how long I’ll be on this journey. I don’t know what it will look like. I do envision visiting my kids wherever they live, showing up in their city and hanging out, everything in my backpack.
And I do envision people giving me strange looks but I am going to be Jen the Adventurous, Fierce Seeker of Freedom and Fun. And I’m happy to lead the way, let’s all do this together.
My friends, I love you, do what lights you up. Make that your mantra. I do what lights me up. As we liberate ourselves we simultaneously liberate every other woman as well. I love you. I will see you again next week, until then 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.