I’m Diana Swillinger, and you’re listening to Episode 23 of the Renew Your Mind Podcast. On this special episode, I’m going to interview Jill. She’s been coached before and I even coach her live. So if you’ve been wondering what this coaching thing is all about, this episode is perfect for you.
DIANA: It’s so great to see you. How are you?
JILL: I’m doing well. I’m really glad to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
DIANA: I’m so glad to have you. And before we get too far in, because I have questions I’m going to ask you, but before we jump in, just tell everybody a little story about how we met. I remember a day, I’m not going to say how long ago, though I do say how old my kids are, so it doesn’t matter. This was probably in the early two thousand s and I had just had baby number I guess I don’t remember it that well because it was baby number two or three and a woman came to my door. Yeah, three. We already knew each other through mocks, but one of my clearest memories is when you came to the door with three boys and a baby girl in tow to bring me a meal. Because I just had a baby and I remember thinking, how in the world is this mom with three boys and a little girl bringing me a meal? Do you remember that?
JILL: I certainly do, yes.
DIANA: I have no idea what you brought, but I’m sure it was yummy.
JILL: I have some good recipes, that’s for sure. I should mention celebrate with you.
DIANA: Yes. I’m so glad you were there to celebrate that with me. And you do have amazing recipes. I guess at the end we can tell people about your blog because you share some of that stuff on there. That’d be fun to share. Well, anyway, Jill, you have three boys and a girl, and I ended up having three boys and a girl. So you didn’t know I was looking up to you all these years, but I was crazy.
JILL: Crazy. We survived it. I can’t believe it.
DIANA: We did survive it. And then somehow I can’t even remember all the details. But we were talking last summer and you knew I was starting my life coaching and we just kind of threw it out there like, hey, what if I coach you? And you were all in.
JILL: Yeah, I remember that too. Back then, I just couldn’t figure out why I was unhappy. I had a great life. I had a supportive husband like you said lots of kids, but they were really good kids. Um, a great house. Um, I had God in my life. Yes.
DIANA: We can hear your dog running around your feet. That’s okay. You have a dog, too.
JILL: I’m a real person. Yeah. So I had all these great things and I wasn’t happy. And I thought, what is wrong with me? Am I just ungrateful? And I wanted to figure out why. So I decided to sign up for some counseling, thinking I could get some answers that way, because I couldn’t figure it out on my own. So I did some counseling. It was good. I probably went three or four times and it was good information, but I just felt like I wasn’t making a ton of progress. And I just happened to see maybe it was a God thing, but I just happened to see one of your Facebook posts. We met for coffee and talked more about it. I was really interested and I signed up right away because I wanted to learn more from you.
DIANA: Yeah, that’s awesome. I think it must have just been you and I, we really believe a lot of things happen in God’s timing, and I think that was part of it. So it just lined up and that was perfect. And I appreciated the opportunity to coach you because it is interesting to coach someone that I’ve looked up to for a while. And I think that’s kind of cool because it shows how we’re all just in the journey of life, it never gets perfect. We’re all figuring it out, trying to do it better, and we can all learn from each other. So that’s been kind of cool that we’ve been able to do that for each other.
DIANA: So you did coach with me last summer in my twelve week coaching program. And part of the reason I’m doing this podcast is because a lot of people ask me, what is life coaching like anyway? They don’t know if it’s for them because they don’t know what it’s like. So if we could just give them kind of a starting point, like you said, where you were before you coached, what was one of your biggest takeaways when you did go through the coaching?
JILL: The absolute biggest. Well, first of all, there are so many huge takeaways, but, uh, one that stands out in my mind is that our thoughts cause our feelings. I used to think that a circumstance used to cause my feelings. Like, if you’re in traffic and a car cuts you off, you’re mad because of that. But it’s actually a thought like, oh my gosh, what a jerk. He’s just he. I always say I don’t know why I say he, but it’s always the.
DIANA: Guys cutting us off.
JILL: That’s right. They’re just being a jerk. Um, they almost made me crash. But I learned that it was that thought that was making me mad instead of that person. Actually cutting me off in traffic. That was a huge takeaway. Also, another one is I just expected to be happy all the time. I expected everyone to be happy, and that was the goal. And I realized through coaching that God gave us all kinds of emotions, and we’re supposed to feel them, and we don’t always have to be happy, and we have to process through the emotions.
DIANA: Yeah, I think you said that really well. Especially as a Christian, I’m like, what gives? I’m going to church, I’m reading my Bible, I’m volunteering at the school. I’m trying to keep my marriage in a good place and raising my kids well. And I think I’m doing everything right, and I’m not happy, and that’s a problem. Yes, I’ve learned how to feel better, and I know you’ve learned how to feel better, too. And I always tell people, when you coach with me, you’ll feel better. I’m going to teach you how to feel better. But, uh, the secret we don’t always tell people is we’re also learning how to feel some of the more uncomfortable emotions on purpose and not be so afraid of them. So I’m so glad that you mentioned that. Like, you can be disappointed, and it’s not the end of the world. You can feel frustration and move through it right.
JILL: And not get stuck by it.
JILL: Another awesome thing I’ve learned right at the very beginning when we were coaching together, I was having a relationship issue with a friend. I was just grieving the loss of the relationship and feeling misunderstood. We had talked, and some of the things that were said, I just felt like she wasn’t understanding. I was trying to help her. And through coaching, you helped me figure out that you get to write the story in your mind. And you said that I could feel good about the relationship and cherish those memories that we had together because we had so many great years together and our kids grew up together, and I can cherish those times and be grateful for her. And if she comes back into my life, that’s awesome. But if not, it doesn’t change the great memories that we had together, and that made me feel a lot better.
DIANA: Yeah, I love that that’s like, retelling the story of the past, that the relationship was valuable and awesome, but I know you’re also retelling the story of the present. Like, she’s just a person who’s struggling in life and trying to figure it out, and sometimes she gets it right, and sometimes she gets it wrong, just like me. We don’t have to be mad at friend for not talking to you, because she’s just doing her best.
DIANA: And you can still do some grieving, and it can be okay.
JILL: Right? That was homework. One week. I need you to take the week to grieve.
DIANA: Oh, uh, yeah. I don’t remember giving you that homework, but that’s always good. Homework.
JILL: Yeah. It’s necessary to get through it and not stay stuck.
DIANA: Right? Yeah. So many people who are interested in coaching, they feel like they’re stuck. I think it’s because we either don’t know how to process our emotions or we don’t know what emotions we are feeling or we just don’t want to feel them because they feel icky.
DIANA: But you’re saying when you purposely felt grief for that week, that it helped. Mhm, yeah. JILL: Right.
DIANA: That’s cool. Anything else? Any other stories?
What would you say about coaching in general? Uh, for a woman who’s considering having a coach, but they haven’t worked with one before? I know you work with women a lot. We go to the same church. You’ve been a mentor to church, you’ve been a volunteer leader, and so you’ve been around Christian women a lot, ones who feel great about their lives, and certainly most of us are going through at different times. We’re going through struggles and pain. Do you recommend that women consider having a life coach for some of those things? And what do you recommend they look for in a coach?
JILL: Being a Jesus follower, um, is important to me, and I also, like, pretty much one of the top things was I wanted to find a coach that would teach me how my brain works, but not only that, but one that would bring me back to God and His Word. And that was super important to me. Also, somebody who’s non judgmental, somebody who doesn’t think, oh, that’s a silly problem, or that’s stupid for you to think about that, or anything trivial, or not be shocked by anything. Somebody who will ask the hard questions, even if it makes you cry. Um, because they’re necessary. And I love a coach that will be transparent and use stories from their own life to let me know or will never know that they’re not perfect and that they’re in this journey to learning, doing the best that they can. And of course, humor is a big plus in my book. And I love your French silk pie stories.
DIANA: Oh my gosh. Are you describing me? Yeah.
JILL: There are a great coach.
DIANA: Oh my gosh, thank you, dear. That’s so sweet. And I know there’s a lot of coaches out there, and there’s a lot of other coaches I would recommend, too. But I also know in the life coach space, not all coaches are created equal, even some who say they’re Christian. Um, you want to make sure that they’re firmly rooted in their faith. And what they’re offering when they’re helping people is congruent to the Bible. So that we don’t want to confuse our faith or confuse ways to improve our lives with worldly ways. Uh, so I recommend that too, that if you ever get a coach, anyone who’s listening, make sure it’s somebody who is congruent with the faith that you have so it doesn’t get confusing. What do you think of coaching now. Do you recommend it to other people?
JILL: Absolutely. I certainly do. Um, really? It’s changed my life. Like I said, I did counseling before, and I think there’s a great need for counseling or a great use for counseling. I’m not going to say generally, it’s mostly for people in dealing with your past, and it’s important to do that. But with life coaching, I feel like it works on your present and the future to make your life better. I love that, and I’m just thrilled. I want to learn more and more and more, and I can’t get enough of it. Really anxious to dig in and learn more about my brain and how it’s wired and how it functions to keep us alive. And hopefully I can help other people at some point, like you do. DIANA: And you are already helping people because I know you’re involved at church with lots of women. I know you mentor, um, them, and I know that you are already sharing so many of these great skills and even with your kids, and I think that’s a cool part too. I remember when I first got coached that I was able to show up better in my family and I was able to offer my kids some additional insight and help them get a more balanced view of life and learn how to take some of the drama out of it. Right.
JILL: Yeah, there’s a lot of drama coming up. I’ve got a daughter who’s going off to college, and COVID is the big worry right now.
DIANA: You want to do something fun, then? You just said you have a little drama about that. JILL: Well, drama. There’s a little drama, sure.
DIANA: Well, why don’t I do? I could coach you a little bit on that, and we could include that in the podcast, and everybody else could hear it. Are you up for that?
JILL: I’ll give it a try.
DIANA: Okay. This is going to be fun.
DIANA: Okay. Everyone can see a little bit what coaching is like because it can be nerve wracking if you’ve never been coached before. But really, it’s not that bad. It’s kind of fun. So let me just ask you some questions then.
DIANA: So you have a daughter going off to college. She’s physically moving to campus. Yes. JILL: She’s a freshman this year, and she is moving to campus, and she’ll be 4 hours away, which is that’s a little scary in my brain anyway, but I know it’ll be good. And so far the plan is we’re moving her at the end of the month, and she has a roommate, and they’ll be there. They’re taking precautions using masks. I know many of her classes. I believe four out of five are already online.
DIANA: So moving 4 hours away is scary or Coronavirus is scary, or where’s the drama?
JILL: I think mostly the coronavirus. If she would happen to get it at school, that would be tough because I want to go over and take care of her and make sure she’s okay.
DIANA: So the problem would be that you wouldn’t be able to take care of her if she got Coronavirus.
JILL: Right. Or she might not recognize that’s what she has, uh, or if she had to be hospitalized, it would take me a while to get over there and that’s what’s causing the anxiety, just the physical distance. If something happens to her, if she’s in a car accident, if she gets COVID, it’s a four hour drive. And that may sound silly, but that’s what I’m concerned with.
DIANA: Well, it’s never silly. Our brains do all sorts of different thinking and my theory is none of the thoughts that happen in there are silly because that’s just what our brains do. They just offer us a bunch of thoughts and that’s all they are. Yeah, so I think it’s interesting though, did you notice you didn’t just say Coronavirus, you said car accident?
JILL: Right. Well, there could be a lot of things that happen. She could, uh, lock her keys inside her car and I know she’s going to figure it out, she’ll have to figure it out. But these are the things that are running through my head.
DIANA: So if we had to come up with one main thought, it could be car accident, it could be keys locked in the car, it could be her computer blows up, it could be coronavirus, mhm? What’s the main thought about all of that?
JILL: I can’t get there fast enough to help.
DIANA: Right. So maybe it’s more about something could go wrong and I won’t be able to fix it. JILL:Yeah, that sounds right.
DIANA: Which is actually a little less dramatic than something could go wrong and then I’ll have to rush in the car for a four hour car ride and will I get there fast enough. And now you’ve got it’s like a scene from a movie that gets kind of dramatic in your brain, mhm. But if we kind of try to dial it back to just what is the core thought? Something could go wrong and you wouldn’t be there to fix it. Not always.
JILL: Or to help. Or to help with it. Yeah.
DIANA: So you’ve been around to help her whenever she needs it, you’re there.
JILL: Yeah. Any of the kids. And I think part of this stems from the fact that one of my boys sprained their ankle in a basketball game at college and he could not walk on it. And he called me and I went down there and I took him to urgent Care and the poor kid couldn’t even shower so he was still stinky from the game before. But I remember that thinking, I’ve got to get him to a doctor. And so thankfully he was at a college that was like a half an hour away and I could get there.
DIANA: What if that had been 4 hours away? Would you have done the same thing would you have gotten in a car and put ice on your foot and I’ll be there in 4 hours?
JILL: That’s an option.
DIANA: What would you have done if he was 4 hours away when he sprained his ankle?
JILL: Gosh, my mommy heart would probably have gone.
JILL: Honestly. Because at that time, he didn’t have a car.
DIANA: Or you would have called an Uber or an Uber.
JILL: Or his roommate could have taken him.
DIANA: And then you could have met him at the hospital or helped later out there. Or he could have waited. You would have figured it out, right?
JILL: Oh, yes, definitely.
DIANA: And he was closer, and it happened. And you figured it out.
JILL: We figured it out, yes. He was supposed to go on a missions trip the next day, too, so that added some stress to it.
DIANA: Yeah. Did he go on the trip?
JILL: He ended up going on the trip, yes. Because we got an X ray and it was not broken. And he rode to Washington, DC. With his foot in a 16 passenger van up with ice on it. And everything turned out fine. And I’m sure it will, too, but.
DIANA: Everything turned out fine.
JILL: It did.
DIANA: So what you’re doing is running a lot of what if questions in your brain. Mhm? What if she gets coronavirus? What if she gets coronavirus and doesn’t know if she has it? What if she gets in a car accident? What if she loses her keys? What if? What if?
JILL: What if, right?
DIANA: What’s the answer? What if she gets coronavirus? What’s the answer?
JILL: She’ll figure out what to do or how to take care of herself. She can pack all the things to help her, like a thermometer and gatorade and things that she would need if that happened. DIANA: Or what if she doesn’t pack it? She’s there with no thermometer, no gatorade.
JILL: She can ask a friend. She can ask her roommate.
DIANA: She can orient. Probably a nursing staff on campus.
JILL: Probably. Yeah. Walmart can even deliver to the dorm.
DIANA: Um, yeah, and you can coordinate with the doctor on her behalf. Mhm, you’d probably figure it out.
JILL: We would figure it out, definitely.
DIANA: That’s interesting. So when your brain is giving you all these things, what if instead of just spinning on, oh, my gosh, all this stuff could happen, what if you answer it?
JILL: What if she’s in a car accident? Well, she would obviously go to the hospital, and they would take care of her there, and I would get information at that point. We’d figure it out.
DIANA: I think we underestimate ourselves and our problem solving brains a lot. God gave us these incredible problem solving brains. I remember when my sister when we were home alone, my parents were gone at a later night at church. We had gone to bed early, and I woke up to my sister having a grandma seizure. And this was before cell phones. And this was before 911. I put a pillow by her head. I got to the phone, I opened the yellow pages to the front page. That’s where we found the fire department number. Called the fire department. They came. I had CPR in high school, so I knew some things to do. My brain, I didn’t think about what to do next. It just went ahead and did everything it needed to do to solve the problem.
DIANA: It actually wasn’t that hard. The hardest part was feeling a little stress. But my brain knew what to do next at every step.
JILL: Right. I’m just getting stuck on the what ifs. So I just need to play those through and realize that they’re going to work out no matter what happens.
DIANA: Yeah. Uh, Jill, uh, always figures it out. It’s not always easy, but you always figure it out. JILL: Right.
DIANA: But if you just stay spinning on all the what ifs what if this happens? What if that happens? You stay there. That’s a drama spin. That’s a tape that produces anxiety. That’s a tape that keeps you stuck feeling worried.
JILL: That is very true. Wow. I’m glad you pointed that out. I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.
DIANA: Yeah. You could press stop on the tape. You’re my age. Remember when we had I was going.
JILL: To say, if you’re showing your age.
DIANA: Our cassette tapes in our boombox. And there’d be a big button. It was very satisfying. Half inch high, this big button, and you push it in stop, and the tape stopped. Stop playing this tape. I’m not m playing this tape today. Or the tape played for a little while. And now what I want to do is I want to stop it. Take that tape out, and I’m going to play the other tape. Let me put the other tape in the machine. The tape that says, when my son sprained his ankle at school, I figured it out. When this kid got sick, I figured it out. When that car accident happened, we figured it out. Play that tape, too. Mhm. So at least you’re giving some equal time.
JILL: I like that.
DIANA: Yeah. Is that helpful?
JILL: No matter what it is, she’s leaving.
DIANA: In a couple of weeks. You feel like this is a way that will help relieve some of that constant worry?
JILL: I do. Yeah.
DIANA: You’re such an easy client.
JILL: I’m m not. You just know the brain so well and how it works well.
DIANA: And I’ve coached you before, so I know how I’ve gotten used to how your brain works a little, too. They’re all a little different, but they’re all a lot the same. Um, we just get stuck letting our thoughts come without bothering to decide, do I want to think that thought? Do I want to press stop on this tape? Do I want to think something different? How’s this thought working for me? And if it’s creating worry and anxiety all the time, it’s not working right.
JILL: I guess it’s not working for me so I can change it. I can press that stop button, put. In a new tape mix. Uh, we used to record songs off the radio on the boomboxes.
Oh, waiting all day for waiting. The song.
DIANA: Please play my favorite song so I don’t have to go buy the album.
JILL: Please play that song that I requested an hour ago. Right?
DIANA: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Okay. We could reminisce about that. Waiting online for half an hour just to get the DJ to say, please play my song. And you never know if they’d even play it. Now we have Spotify in my family for all six of us. We can all play on Demand on Spotify.
JILL: I know.
DIANA: All right, well, that was fun. That was a fun walk down memory lane. Yeah.
JILL: Uh, that was fun. And thanks for helping me.
DIANA: Yeah, it was fun.
JILL: Giving you helpful.
DIANA: Giving you something you can go to. I like talking to my brain. Just like, oh, thanks for that, brain, but I’m going to press stop on that tape for now. Maybe we’ll play it again later, but I’m done for today. That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for letting me ask you some questions, and I think that’ll be helpful to a lot of people listening and probably more helpful than the questions I asked you. That little bit of coaching was probably going to be really helpful to a lot of people. So I appreciate you sharing a little bit what’s going on in your life, and giving my audience a chance to see what that’s like to have someone look in your brain a little bit. It’s not so bad.
JILL: Well, thanks for having me on, and, um, I’m a big fan, so keep up the good work. And I’m anxious to learn more too.
DIANA: Yeah, awesome. I appreciate you probably as much as you appreciate me. And if people want to find you, you’re on the Internet, the interweb, where do they find Jill?
JILL: I am I have been running a blog for about ten years. It’s called Jillonthill.com, and it oh, gosh. It just documents some of our family vacations, um, some super easy recipes, because I need easy recipes.
DIANA: Uh, I got one of my favorite cleaning tips off your blog. If it was to use, like, an orange revitalizing oil on stainless steel, I.
JILL: Was like, yeah, that’s a good one. I used one last night, too. Um, you’ll have to look for it. It’s the cooking corn in the microwave with the husk on. Microwave corn. You cut off the bottom end and microwave it for it depends how many years you need. Um, microwave it, and then when it’s done, you just squeeze just squeeze it out. And, um, the husk comes off and everything. So that’s on there too.
DIANA: That’s fun. I’m a corn.
JILL: So much fun.
DIANA: Yeah. You can just do a single serving. Yeah, right.
JILL: And it’s quick and no mess. Yeah, I’m all about easy.
DIANA: All right, so Jill onthehill.com. Is that right?
JILL: That’s right.
DIANA: Super. Everybody go check it out. Support Jill, because she just opened up her heart a little bit to you today. Now you can go check out her blog.
JILL: Thanks, Diana.
DIANA: All right. I appreciate you. Thanks so much for being on today.
JILL: My pleasure.
DIANA: Well, that was super fun having Jill on the podcast. I hope it was as helpful for you as I’m imagining it was. Um, I also want to let you. Guys know before we go, every month, I offer free webinars where I teach you skills to help you manage your mind, improve your life, improve your relationships. Feel better. They’re really great. You should come check them out sometime if you haven’t. This month, August 2020. The webinar is on boundaries. People ask me all the time, should I set a boundary? What is a boundary? Is this a good boundary? Is it appropriate? Am I doing it right? It doesn’t feel good. What do I do about that? All the questions you have about boundaries are going to get answered. And there’s a Q and A. You can type in your questions anonymously, or you can even ask to get coached if you want.
But all your questions can get answered, so there’s no reason not to show up. In fact, if you sign up, I will send you an email of the replay. If you can’t make it at the time that it’s scheduled, no worries. I’ll just send you a copy of the webinar right to your email box. So what are you waiting for? Go sign up, head on over to Rympodcast.com and look for the webinar link. I keep it the same because I do webinars every month. When you click on it, it will show you the current webinar available. So go check it out, sign up, and I will see you there.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call. I started recording because I don’t want to forget to record because that would be so sad. I’d have to start all over. Yeah. I’m only doing this once.