You are listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode 286. We’re talking about the power, the change that comes when you know how to change your thoughts. 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 my friends. Have you ever come across people in your life that create a domino effect for you, that change everything? Well, my guest today, Lezlie Eidson has a story like that. Lezlie continuously came across coaches who different from therapy would ask her questions that initiated a series of changes in her life, a movement of growth that has made her an entirely different person. I met Lezlie when after working with several coaches she decided to become a coach herself and signed up for the Vibrant Happy Women coach certification.
She was one of 10 students in her class. She was always very excellent at her coaching like many of the other students, okay, who am I kidding? All of the other students. All of you listening, you’re A+ students. But Lezlie is special because she did this after raising her kids. She’s hit the empty nest phase of her life, that phase where many of you ask, “What’s next? What is the next version of myself going to be because I’m not going to be the mom version anymore.” Maybe it’s the grandma version or having a new career. The version where you move.
Well, Lezlie’s transformation involved becoming a certified coach. Lezlie found her radiance and her joy again. And because it was so powerful to her she now works as a coach to help other women do the same. And I love it. Now, in this episode you’re going to hear the process of changing thoughts. Lezlie used to think a certain way. Now she thinks a different way. Coaching, those questions, that space being held for her enabled her to make this shift in how she thinks.
When you change your thoughts everything else cascades down and changes as well. Because as you know, your thoughts generate feelings. Feelings drive actions or behavior. And those behaviors give you the results that are your life. So, if you are not happy with the result with a relationship, or with your weight, or with where you’re living, or who your neighbors are, you can work backwards and figure out what do I need to think so that I’ll feel the way I need to feel to take the action I need to take to get a new result?
Lezlie shares her story of doing that which led her to lose weight, declutter things, change her relationship with her husband and now working to help other women do the same thing. So, if you’ve ever wondered what’s the trick for truly changing in a way that lasts, this is the episode for you. So, let’s dive in.
Jen: Hey everyone, I am here with my friend, Lezlie Eidson who is from Fort Mill, South Carolina. And she lives there with her husband and three cats. After spending several years supporting her husband’s career and raising four children, Lezlie has rediscovered her radiance and joy. And now works as a life coach to help other women do the same. Lezlie is passionate about helping women to find what brings them joy, especially during the empty nest phase and when transitioning to life after the pandemic.
Lezlie also enjoys working as a part-time real estate assistant and in her free time you can find Lezlie spending time with her grandkids, reading and perfecting her crafts of knitting, quilting and cooking. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Lezlie.
Lezlie: Thank you.
Jen: So, tell everyone where we met. How do I have a friend from South Carolina?
Lezlie: Well, I started as lurker back before you even had the club, when you had Time Management for Women. And then joined the club and I wanted desperately to take a life coaching certification. And when yours became available I jumped on.
Jen: Oh, cool. Yeah, I didn’t know you had been lurking that long. That’s cool. So, alright, well, we’re going to hear about your life and how you’ve rediscovered that radiance and joy because I’ve kind of figured out after interviewing a lot of women and talking to a lot of women that every one of us comes to a phase, a transition in our lives, like the empty nest phase or as we contemplate going back to regular life after the pandemic. We come to these phases where it’s time to rediscover ourselves and to redefine ourselves. And you’ve done that.
And you help other women go through that journey. So, tell us your story of doing that.
Lezlie: Well, I noticed that there were various times in my life, they were often times of stress, I had a husband as you said, who traveled almost full-time when I had four kids in the house. And they had very active lives, all the sports, all the things, like most families today. So that was one phase. Then we moved to the Carolinas and my dad became very ill and I was traveling back and forth. And subsequently lost my dad and a few years later, my mom.
And so, there were these periods of transition but it really hit me when my last baby went off to college. And all of a sudden my role as mom took a huge backseat. And I had found that I had gained quite a bit of weight. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, Runaway Bride, but in the movie she doesn’t know what kind of egg she’s likes. And she likes whatever kind of eggs the man that’s currently in her life likes. And I felt very much that way. I had let go of so many things that I just didn’t know what I even liked about anything anymore.
Jen: Wow. You’d lost yourself.
Lezlie: Really lost myself. And so, I started this journey. And when I became a realtor they had a coaching program for productivity. But it really started changing my life. I had never experienced coaching. I’d done counseling a couple of times for a couple of things but never really experienced coaching. And what I found helped me about coaching that I didn’t get from counseling was that there was so much action involved. And so, I started doing these things that gradually started helping me discover myself.
Jen: So, by action you mean people taking action?
Lezlie: Me taking action.
Jen: Oh, you taking action, cool.
Lezlie: Yes. They would talk about what’s holding you back, or what are you passionate about? Or they would ask me these leading questions and then I would have to figure out the answers. Yeah, so as I discovered the answers I started finding out more about who I was.
Jen: So, you’re saying coaching compared to therapy was more action oriented and pushing you toward something?
Lezlie: Yes. And I would say it was more growth oriented as opposed to problem solving.
Jen: Cool, I like that. So, you started learning about coaching, you started on this path of personal growth and it’s addictive. So, keep going. Kind of what was next?
Lezlie: Well, I was always the one that was looking for a solution to a problem. And you could find me, if I was in a bookstore in the self-help aisle. So, I was always searching for something that would unlock a solution to whatever I felt was wrong in life at the moment. And so, this was a natural segway into coaching and working with my human guide to help me uncover things. And so, as a part of the productivity coaching I discovered that I did not want to be a solo realtor.
I did not like the process of finding people. I really enjoyed working with another person. And so, as a part of that I segwayed into being an assistant kind of an operations manager now for the small boutique real estate firm. And I love what I do. This week I was with several different clients showing property because my boss was out of town. And so, I get to do all the best parts of real estate in my opinion. And I don’t have to do the yucky things.
Jen: Yay, that’s good.
Lezlie: So that was really helpful because a coach helped me discover that. I also went on to find a weight loss program that is very coaching based and I really enjoyed that. And so that was the next layer. And about the same time, you created the Vibrant Happy Women Club which is also very coaching oriented. And so, I had these things in my life that helped me discover where the blocks were in having my vibrance, and radiance, and joy in my life.
Jen: Yeah, that’s cool. And what do you think it is about coaching that helps you discover that? If you were to winnow it down, why is it so effective?
Lezlie: Well, I think first it’s having a rapport or a chemistry with a coach. And having them – they’re more like a guide. They’re not telling you what to do. It’s not like they hand you a piece of paper with a to do list, like if you follow this diet plan you’re going to get into bikini shape. Or if you follow this exact program then you’re going to have the best habits and your house will be perfect, or your relationships. It’s all about that they’re a guide walking the journey with you.
And a person, if a person goes into coaching and isn’t ready to do the work, coaching is never going to work for them. And so, I was ready and the people that I crossed paths with, you included, were my guides. And when I would experience coaching with them they would ask me questions, sometimes very uncomfortable questions. And that helped me to really look inside myself to find the answers. It’s helped solve problems within my relationships with my children and my husband, within my job, within my energy, taking care of myself.
I no longer put everyone first. I realized I have to take care of myself first and then I can do whatever anybody else needs me to.
Jen: That’s so cool, yeah. So now you’re helping other women rediscover what they like, how do they like their eggs, right?
Lezlie: Yes, yes.
Jen: So why is that process important during the empty nest phase and also right now as we’re all transitioning back to whatever life’s going to look like after the pandemic?
Lezlie: I think it’s important because a lot of us, especially through the pandemic have kind of lost our mooring. We had these routines in place whether we were rearing kids or we were working, or whatever. When these changes come in we kind of lose our mooring. And it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re passionate about, whether it’s doing something creative, our spirituality, our physical needs.
I know so many people during this pandemic and even during the last years of rearing kids that have gained a lot of weight, they’ve let their exercise go. They’ve kind of just fallen into what I call the funk. And so coaching can help them reconnect with those passions.
Jen: Yeah. And so, for you, how did you discover what you liked, how you liked your eggs? That just sounds so insurmountable for some people, after they’ve put themselves on the backburner for so long, taking care of the kids, the spouse, the job, all the things. What’s the first step to giving yourself permission to even do that do you think?
Lezlie: I think it starts with maybe looking a little bit backwards. And I don’t like to look backwards overall but I think it’s important to do that. And to think about when were times when you felt the happiest. I did a lot of writing about that. And looking back at the things – the times when I felt the most joy. And I found that a lot of the issue was that the times that I felt joy were times when I was doing something I enjoyed. But also, my thinking was in a positive place.
And when I started going into the negative places are the times when life seemed to be getting out of control and that I’d lost my mooring and that I no longer had a center. And as I learned more through coaching, both through the Vibrant Happy Women Club, the coaching certification program, my other coaching experiences. Your thoughts lead to your feelings. And when you have thoughts and feelings then you do certain things. And if you’re thinking positively more than likely your actions are going to be positive and you’re going to have positive results.
And the place where I can do the work is on my thoughts and my feelings to create the more positive actions. And so, I spend a lot of time writing and looking at those thoughts and feelings.
Jen: So why is it important for you to have the guide, the coach helping you with that? Why can’t you just do that work alone?
Lezlie: One, it’s staying motivated to do the work. It’s easy to start the work but it’s hard to stay the course with the work. There’s so many distractions in life and having a coach with a set time when we’re meeting, helped me to focus more, being a recovering people pleaser, I didn’t want to let my coaches down. So, I would do the work. And I think it’s also important because the coach is objective and can look at the things that we’re talking about and bring up maybe some next step things that I need to look at. Or to ask some questions to help me dive deeper into some situations.
I used to think I had a horrible childhood but through coaching I have realized that my parents did the best they could with what they had. And that came about through the questions that I was asked about those situations.
Jen: Yeah. Cool. I love that. It’s really, coaching I feel like is holding space and asking questions. And how often do people even care enough to listen intently to what we’re saying, let alone ask those beautiful questions that get us thinking?
Lezlie: Yes, yes. Well, and how often do you have somebody that’s so objective? Going to have coffee with a girl friend I could sit and I could talk about all the same stuff but they had a vested interest in my point of view because they were my friend. They weren’t my husband’s friends, or my kids’ friends, or my boss’ friends. They were my friends. And so, they really would try to jump in the boat with me. And take on what I was feeling or thinking.
And a coach stays much more objective and helps to ask questions. And they don’t necessarily have a vested interest. It’s part of why I think having a friend as a coach doesn’t work very well.
Jen: Yes, that’s true. I would agree. Because they have opinions as your friend. That’s cool. Have you been able to use your coaching skills with your kids?
Lezlie: I have. I listen to what they have to say and I’m no longer trying to solve their problems. I also no longer feel responsible for their outcomes.
Jen: Yes. That’s huge. Yeah, how did you let that go?
Lezlie: I think it was partly by just understanding that other people weren’t responsible for my outcomes. It started with my journey and then I was able to translate that out to other people’s. And by realizing that my husband wasn’t responsible for making me happy, that we could create a life together and that we could be happy together. But neither of us was responsible for the other’s happiness. I think that’s where it really started.
Jen: That’s humongous. I think that’s the crux of coaching is helping people to see that they are 100% responsible for their happiness and nobody else. And that can be a place where people grieve the loss of the story they used to tell. And also, it empowers everything. Can you remember the moment when that happened for you?
Lezlie: Not exactly. It wasn’t a moment. It was a process. And a lot of it came on the work that I did with my marriage and also with my upbringing. And being able to look at what happened objectively and not have those things mean anything about me. My parents were of the spanking generation. And my mom spanked what I now realize was probably excessively. I mean we used to count how many times we would be hit and that’s how we got through it. But at the same time that didn’t reflect on who I was as a person. It had more to do with her, my mom, than it did with me.
Jen: Yeah. So, learning how to look at life from this perspective shifted how you viewed everything in the past. It made it more positive. And then how do you feel learning how to change your thoughts around these things, I guess, learning how to think, how is it looking different for your future as well?
Lezlie: I think that because I’ve let go of a lot of the old stories, that helps me create a new story for the future. One of the exercises I’ve done over periodically is looking at my future self and what my future self looks like. And before I did this work that was very difficult to do. I could not envision a future self because I was stuck with my past self.
Jen: Yeah, wow, that’s huge. Don’t you think – I don’t know. I’m kind of guessing, 80, 90% of people are just stuck with their past self, wanting it back.
Lezlie: Yes. Well, and wanting to go back and undo choices they made or whatever. And since we can’t do that, we don’t have a time machine. All we can do is deal with our present action or present choice and our future. And if we plan in the present and make choices in the present then we can go ahead and create that future. And that was something that I never connected. And I did more, my dreams, I had a vision of what life was going to look like. And my life looks nothing like that.
Jen: No, interesting. Why is that?
Lezlie: Well, I think some of it was the choices I made. When I started college for example I wanted to be a pediatrician and I love kids. But I also loved being a mom. And I knew when I was pre-med in college that I really wanted to be home with my kids. And it didn’t make sense to me to spend all of that money becoming a doctor to be a stay at home mom. So, I let go of that. But I was resentful about it, that I couldn’t have it all.
Yeah, so as I’ve done this work I’ve realized that that was a choice I made, which brought me to the place that I am which is a mom of four amazing adult children. They’re all working independent members of society. They’re compassionate adults. And I’m so proud of them. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of that journey. And so, I made a choice to do that and to be a part of that. And I no longer resent the fact that I am not a doctor. I’m just finding the joy in what is.
Jen: Yeah, what is. So, looking forward, you’re in the, I guess, the empty nest phase, your kids are adults now. And a lot of people think, believe a story, my husband’s one of these people, that life just goes downhill, or uphill. Did you know in some countries their version of uphill is our version of downhill? So, I don’t know which is which, life gets worse. But I mean I feel like with all the research and science developments on aging, you have a ton of life left. Easily your whole second half of life.
So, tell us more about what you’re looking forward to, what you’re doing to do with your second half of life. Because I think you can be inspirational for us.
Lezlie: Well, I think that what I have loved in life is that I have a blank canvas and I can make it into whatever I want to be. Some of the good of the pandemic, I have lost weight. I have been exercising more. I’ve been reconnecting with my passion for cooking. I’m finding the joy. My husband and I are creating a post child relationship. And so, we can enjoy each other’s company and we can do the things now that we enjoy. I remember the first time or the first few times when we went out to dinner after we had a baby. All we did was talk about the baby.
Jen: Yes, that’s hilarious.
Lezlie: I think that’s true for so many people, raising children is so all-consuming. And unless somebody helps us see that, often we lose sight of our role as husband and wife and as a man and a woman. And we now have the opportunity to find those things. And so, we do that. My Mother’s Day, my daughter said, “Do you want to get together?” And I said, “No, we saw each other on Saturday. It’s fine, you can just enjoy your children. You be the mom and let them spoil you.”
And so, I was able to without any guilt, enjoy a day that normally I would have felt guilty and all of that. So, I think that as we get older we have the opportunity to let go of the guilt and the we shoulds. I’ve stopped shoulding all over myself. And just really working on looking at what are the things that I want in my day, not what somebody else wants in my day, but what do I want in my day? And my husband and I discuss those things and so we have days now that we enjoy together.
Jen: That’s really cool, letting go of the shoulds and figuring out what you want. Yeah, so you have a blank canvas really. Sounds like you can just do whatever you want. Maybe you’ll go back and be a pediatrician. No, I’m kidding.
Lezlie: Yeah. I love to learn but I don’t know that I love learning that much.
Jen: No, I’m with you. I’m with you. That’s neat. That’s really cool. What a transformation. You sound like you’ve changed your entire identity really.
Lezlie: I think I have. I think in a lot of ways I’m still the same person. I’m still compassionate. I still love to hear people’s stories. I love to listen more than I love to talk. That’s why doing something like this is a little bit of a challenge. I would love to hear your story more than tell mine. But I think it’s just being able to reconnect with those things again. And yeah, so it is a blank canvas.
Jen: So, Lezlie, you’re a grandma and many of our listeners are grandmas. Many of our listeners will one day become grandmas. So, tell us what that is like and how you think it – what it looks like to do grand-mothering well.
Lezlie: I think to do – mine are still little, first of all, they’re three and five right now. And so right now doing grandma-ing well is giving my daughter breaks. Where I get to enjoy my grandchildren. We had them over this last weekend for a crafts day and we made a bunch of things. And I just got to have fun listening to them. And being a – I’m called nana, being a nana is just the best. My granddaughter walked in the door and she said, “Nana, we’re here.” And then she said, “Okay, bye dad.” And shut the door in his face, didn’t even let her brother come in the door.
So that, it’s just the best being able to do those things and having conversations with them. And I can see as they grow older being a safe place for them to land. If they have issues holding space and being a listening board for them. And it’s just the best to be able to just be open and enjoy those times. And I think as long as we have an open heart it’s a fun time.
Jen: Yeah, that’s cool. I heard you, you have a couple of beliefs or thoughts that you obviously identify with that help you I think enjoy it. I heard you say I love children. And then you have this thought that you focus on that it’s the best. So, thinking back to – no, because this is important. I am still in the phase of always with my own kids, I can’t imagine just coming to a place where I’m like, “Yay, I love children, this is the best.” So, did you ever used to think less positively about being around kids or is it just in you?
Lezlie: I think part of is it’s in my DNA. I have always loved kids. I loved babysitting. When I was in high school I worked at other jobs as well but I always fit in babysitting for my favorite kids. And so, I’ve always enjoyed them. I always saw myself as a mother. If I had not been blessed with being able to have children I think it would have been quite a blow to me. So, there’s that.
But I think the other part is when you’re a nana or a grandmother, that it’s really true. You get to have them, sugar them up and send them home, it’s how people described it. I don’t sugar them up literally. But I get to love on them and spend time with them. And when they come over I cleared my schedule so that I am there just to be present with them. And I think that’s the key, even in parenting, which I wish somebody had told me, is just to be really present. Having several children, sometimes that’s hard to do.
If you have, all your kids or sick or this one has an issue in this area and another one’s having an issue maybe at school and sports. They’re having issues in all these different areas plus a husband who traveled. I didn’t have the bandwidth to be present. I would fall into bed exhausted. And now I can just clear my schedule and be present.
Jen: Yeah. Yeah, that’s cool, it does get easier. I clearly will need to work on my thoughts about this. I’m going to work on one. My own grandmother she once said when I asked her, “What advice would you have for your posterity?” She said, “Give love.” So, I’m going to work on the thought and start practicing it now that I’m a really loving grandma. Maybe I’m a great listener, I can build in the things that I do look forward to about it.
Lezlie: Yes. Well, and even with my children when things were overwhelming and the most, and all of them would come talk to me. I just thought I’m creating future relationships because I didn’t talk to my mother, talked more to my father but not a ton about anything that really mattered. And I wanted my kids to feel like whether they were 12, or 22, or 32 to be able to come to me and talk to me about anything. And that’s what I’ve created with them. And I do enjoy that in the adult relationships.
But it was hard in the moment when they were kids and bringing all of the stuff to me, to look at it that way. And so even before I knew about thought work, I tied to think I’m creating my future relationship with my kids.
Jen: That’s really good. Yeah. You want someone to take care of you in your old age.
Lezlie: They’ve all told me they’ll find a very special place for me.
Jen: That’s great, way to go, Lezlie, I love this. Where can people go to learn more about you or if they want help with empty nesting and transitioning to life after the pandemic, they want an excellent quality coach, where do they go?
Lezlie: The website is radiantjoyfullife.com.
Jen: Cool. Lezlie, wow, redesigning your whole life. What an inspiration. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Lezlie: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Jen: Take care.
Lezlie: You too.
So, I hope Lezlie’s story inspired many of you to realize it’s not too late to change anything in your life no matter what age you are, 30s, 40s, 50s. Lezlie is not old by any means but she’s a grandma. And many of us have the perception that once we’re a grandma it’s all over. It’s not. You can transform your life and become whatever you want to be. Now, every one of you out there I want to remind you of something. You have a purpose. You have things you’re passionate about often built upon the experiences, the struggles you’ve had in your life.
It's a real thing when you have overcome something that you might want to help someone else do the same. When you have improved a painful situation and turned your life into something pleasant and pleasurable, transforming things, you might want to help someone else do the same. That’s the nature of growth. And what else you need to know is that there are people out there waiting for you, exactly you and your story to help them overcome something similar.
I want you to think about your struggles and your trials in that way. They are often there to teach us something. And once you’ve overcome them they are there to help you be compassionate as you help someone else overcome the same thing.
A while back, Rebecca was on the show talking about how she left an abusive situation and was able to heal from that. Now she wants to help other women experience the same thing.
And in this episode, Lezlie, she overcame a stressful situation in her marriage and lack of fulfilment in a career to make a shift so that she could be way more happier in her marriage, and shift careers into something more meaningful for her. She lost herself as a mom, left herself on the backburner. And she realized, what do I even like? How do I like my eggs? So, my question for you is what do you like? How do you like your eggs?
And how are you going to take the experiences, the struggles, the situations of your life that you’ve grown through and help someone else grow through the same thing? Now, if this resonates for you, and you would like to do what Lezlie, and Rebecca, and so many others have done, the Vibrant Happy Women coach certification is open for enrolment. This is where you learn how to ask those powerful questions, to be the guide on the side as people transform their lives.
When you know how to ask powerful questions you help people dig in to their brain and their subconscious mind and figure out what’s there that has been holding them back, to release it and then replace it with thoughts that are much more powerful, a whole new way of thinking and being that is empowering. Now, I’m super excited about this topic because I do not want any woman on this planet to feel unfulfilled, to feel stuck, to feel like she’s not making a difference, to feel like she lost herself decades ago. No way, not on my watch.
And if that’s you I want to challenge you to step forward, to step up to take a leap, go discover who you are meant to serve and to help how you are meant to contribute, how you can turn your mess into a message. And coaching is a powerful way to do that where you learn the power of holding space so others can have that transformation. You’re invited, you can join us and learn more at jenriday.com/coaching.
And of course, there are other ways you can live your purpose as well. Maybe it’s becoming an artist, maybe it’s going back and becoming a pediatrician. Whatever it is, do it. You are born for greatness. You are meant to be an influence for good. Go do it.
Thank you so much for listening my friends. I love you. I will see you again soon. 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.