I’m Diana Swillinger, and you’re listening to the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode 40. This is the Part Where…
DIANA: Hey. Hey. How are you doing today? I’m wonderful, loving my life. And that kind of fits well with today’s topic because I’m going to give you a window into how I do that, how I love my life. Like, no matter what’s going on, I always love it. I think it’s experiencing joy in all circumstances, and it felt elusive to me for so much of my life, but now I just get to live it. Joy in all circumstances. I think it was elusive because I did not know how to manage my thoughts about life, but I do now. And today you’re going to hear a fun strategy about how you can do it, too. But first, I haven’t read an itunes review for a while. Many of you have been leaving me reviews there, and I thank you so much. It’s part of how the itunes algorithm works. So if podcasts want to be able to get found easily by other people, reviews and ratings help a lot. So you can do the ratings where you click five stars, but you can also leave a written review. Both of them help. And the more people that do that, the easier this podcast will be found. And that means these mind renewal tools that work and we want to share are going to be found by other people, and they’ll get help, too. So please do your part, leave a review, and you’ll be helping improve other lives, too. So thank you so much for doing that.
Here is a recent review that I will share with you today. It’s from Pockets 47. People make a lot of fun nicknames when they leave a review. I like this one. Pockets. Pockets 47 says the voice you want in your head, in addition to having a calming voice that you want stuck in your head, diana’s ability to articulate thought and emotion management topics is unmatched. Her podcast teaches skills you can put into practice with immediate results. If you’re coaching with Diana, the podcast is a great companion to reinforce ideas and concepts that she teaches. If you’re not coaching with Diana, what are you waiting for? You get some of the most life changing material for free through her podcast. With the Renew Your Mind movement, I’m figuring out how to reach my goals, show up well in relationships, and honor God, starting with my thoughts.
Thanks, Diana. Yes. That is awesome. Thank you, Pacas 47, for leaving that review, because, of course, it feels great to have people appreciate what I’m doing. But the best part did you hear how this is working out for Pockets 47 in her life? She’s reaching goals, she’s showing up better in relationships, and she’s honoring God with her thoughts. I mean, what is better than that? It’s awesome. Okay, so here we go with today’s topic. This is the part where so, I have to say, I originally heard this in Shrek, which I heard many, many times. My oldest son, he’s 21 now, but when he was, like three, four, five years old, he watched Shrek over and over and over. So Shrek is an ogre in the swamp, and he just wants to be left alone. And by the way, if you haven’t seen this movie, I’m not going to ruin it for you. You should totally see it. It’s very fun. So Shrek is a big, green ogre, and he lives in a swamp, and he wants to be left alone. And the town people, as you can imagine, they don’t like the idea of a big, green ugly well, ugly is subjective. But this big, green ogre living outside of town, on the outskirts, they want him gone. So they keep leading these crusades to go out and hunt him. They go out as a group in the dark. This one night, they’ve got a torch, they’ve got their weapons, and they come across Shrek, the big, green ogre. He puts their torch out with his fingers, just like we would if we were pinching our fingers on a candle wick. But, you know, torches are big. He’s got big hands. So that’s, like, impressive already.
He puts their torch out with his fingers, and then he gives them his biggest roar. It’s really dramatic roar, and it lasts a long time. And all the townspeople are shrieking, and they look terrified. And then Shrek stops roaring, and there’s this silence as they stare at each other. So this movie is supposed to be a comedy, and the writers are using this part to point out that these are all players in, like, a typical and traditional story. Like, the ogre lives outside of town. The townspeople don’t like them. They all go out to hunt them. It’s a story we’ve heard over and over. So they’re making fun of it. Like, people encounter this scary monster. The monster acts in a terrifying way. And what do the people do? They don’t usually stand and stare. So when they do here in Shrek, it’s this awkward moment to draw attention to what we thought was going to be the normal human behavior, and they just make it silly. So here’s all the townspeople, they’ve just encountered the ogre’s scary behavior, and then they all are screaming. And then there’s this awkward silence as they stare at each other.
Then Shrek leans in, holds up his hand next to his mouth, and he whispers, this is the part where you run away. So all the townspeople scream and start running away, flailing their arms and then we’re all laughing. Oh, I’ve seen that so many times. And I always thought that line was clever, right? This is the part where you run away like he’s narrating it for them and then they do it. But as a life coach now, I have found tons of value in looking at life like this, where we just stop, we break it down and we describe what part this is that we’re at in the story. So several weeks back, I did a podcast episode about the pain of the past and I shared a tool that I use with my clients where we describe our past like a book. We come up with a title, we come up with chapters, we do all that. We describe the character. But when we’re willing to look at life like that, like it’s stories and they’re unfolding and we can just observe them, or we can be like shrek, too, where we just kind of narrate and call it out. Like, hey, this is the part where so if we’re looking at our past, maybe we’re going to say things like, that was the part where so let’s do that first. For me, for my past, it might be things like, that was the part where my parents divorced.
That was the part where my sister died. That was the part where I got the promotion. That was the part where I was asked to leave my job. That was the part where I loved sailboat racing. That was the part where I was injured in a car accident. That was the part where I struggled to pay my bills. Okay, we can just look at our past and notice how each of those things were just a part of our story. And m when we read books, when we watch TV, when we’re watching movies, we can see that it’s just these kind of stories that are getting played out for the characters in the movies, right? And then there’s the part that they have happiness, the part they have laughter, the part they struggle, the part there’s heartache, the part with love, the part with grief. All the characters in these stories have lives that are just filled with all sorts of human experience and human emotions and all that. And we like these stories because they’re reflecting reality to a degree or to a relatable degree, and they give us permission to feel human and be human and feel like we’re not alone. We love to connect with these kind of stories, even when it includes the human struggle. We like to connect with the human struggle and we like to connect with the human triumph and everything in between. And then when it comes to our own stories, for some reason we just want the triumph and we’re rejecting what seems like struggle.
But what if we didn’t what if we didn’t reject the struggle? What if we were able to embrace it as part of the story? Kind of like when we just look at our past and we say, that was the part when did you know we can do that in the present too. This is the part where this is the part where my son is late for school. This is the part where all my kids need braces at the same time. This is the part where the doctor says I have a disease. This is the part where a, uh, pandemic changes our holiday plans. This is the part where we have a quiet Thanksgiving at home. It kind of makes me think of the episode description for the TV show Friends. You guys know how that goes. It’s really simple.
Every episode description is just like a one sentence and it starts with the one. So it’s like the one where or the one with or the one when and I think there’s some level of comfort when we can do that, where we can just give a simple narration of something that’s less dramatic and less filled with all this fluffy description. And I think that’s what this is the part when or, this is the part where does for us it lets us neutralize to a degree what’s going on. It lets us make it feel more normal, like just part of the human experience. Like, of course this is the part when this happens. Of course this is just life playing out its story in front of us.
At any moment, something’s going to happen and it’s going to be this is the part where this happens. And this kind of narration reminds us that it’s just the natural way of things. Like, we’re just humans and these kind of things happen. It’s normal what we’re experiencing. So you can practice this with things that are more benign, like waking up in the morning. You can just be like, this is the part where my eyes feel too tired to open and I get up anyway. Or this is the part where I brush my teeth. This is the part where I wake my daughter for school. And then as you get used to practicing it, you can take it to another level. Like for me with my daughter, I’m like, this is the part where my daughter struggles to get ready for school by the time we’re planning to leave. Because I used to get upset when she was distracted or overwhelmed in the morning and I used to think it wasn’t okay and I’d have to push her and direct her and manage her and we had to get to school on time and all that kind of stuff. And it was stressful for me. But one of the things that’s really helped me with that, and I hardly ever get stressed in the mornings with her anymore, is I just kind of narrate what happens with neutrality.
Like, it’s just part of what’s going on. This is the part where she pets the cat instead of getting dressed. This is the part where I announce the time and have no expectations of her. This is the part where I feel peace no matter how she behaves. This is the part where we arrive to school 5 seconds after the bell rings and the school marks her tardy. This is the part where the school calls me and asks if we’re having issues getting ready in the morning that make her late. This is the part where I let my daughter know the school is concerned. This is the part where she figures it out. And I still don’t stress. So it really helps to just neutralize if you’re willing to just notice it’s a part of a normal experience of life. The other thing this strategy does is it makes it easy not to try to manage or change other people’s behavior. If we’re willing to neutralize it, then even just in our own head, we take away the need to designate it as a problem and we can just let the other person be them. It’s not a problem. It takes the stress out of things.
Another example, um, Thanksgiving for my family. Our family of six was at home and we were all leaving for a condo for a family thing. We were going to leave the day after Thanksgiving. So everyone was doing laundry. Four kids, two adults, six people. Everyone’s doing laundry and packing their bags. And by the end of the day, the washing machine smelled like burning plastic. So I just was like in my head, oh, this is the part where the washing machine breaks. And I never got stressed about it. I felt more curious. I even felt a little excited. I felt interested instead of upset. I was like, I wonder what’s going to happen next. Stay tuned for next week when the family returns from the condo and the washing machine is still broken. Will they buy a new washing machine? Will they fix it themselves? Will they use the laundry mat? Stay tuned and find out. Like, my washing machine not working was so much more fun this way. Imagine embracing all the variety of your life like that, like a movie or a TV show or a book. It could be so fun. So it’s the holiday season. Um, I’m watching tons of Hallmark movies. I admit it. Are you two just hold up your hand or say, yes, I’m watching the Hallmark movies. So we know how those go, right? And we could say, this is the part this is the part when they bump into each other on the street. This is the part where they build a snowman. This is a part where they enter the gingerbread competition. This is the part where she trips, he catches her and they look into each other’s eyes. This is the part where they misunderstand each other and it seems like it’s all over. Then when there’s 30 seconds left every, uh, once in a while, they don’t do it. When there’s 30 seconds left, they do in the middle of the movie. And my family’s like, what, they can’t kiss yet. It’s not the end, but usually 30 seconds left. This is the part where they talk about it and they finally kiss. And we find comfort in that. Like, we know there’s this formula, and we watch them over and over.
In some ways, I think we don’t like how it happens in our own life because we feel like there is no formula and it feels a little out of control and we don’t know what’s coming next. I will always tell people, life’s uncertain. We really have no clue what’s coming next. But I have to say also, when I think of it this way, in some ways our lives are a little formulaic. Like Hallmark. We get all this stuff. There’s going to be relational misunderstandings. There’s going to be those parts. There’s going to be the parts where we have dead parents. You ever notice Hallmark has dead parents? Yeah. We’re going to get the part where there’s a failing business. We’re going to get the part where there’s a strained relationship. We’re going to get the part with breakups. We get all this stuff we expect in the movies, and it feels formulaic. But for ourselves, we just never know exactly when it’s going to happen. And so maybe it feels less certain that way, but we kind of know what’s going to happen. It’s a weird mix of certain and uncertain. It’s certain that we’re going to have all sorts of variety of comfort and discomfort in our lives. We’re going to have all of it.
But it’s uncertain exactly how and when it’s going to happen. But when it does happen, we don’t have to freak out. We can be like, oh, this is the part when this happens. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know exactly when it would happen. I’d know exactly how it would happen. But it’s happening right now. I can see it right now. This is the part when that happens. Uh oh, okay, I got it. And it’s okay. All of it’s. Okay. This is the human experience. This is the part where let’s just accept all of that as part of our journey. Let’s accept whatever happens as part of our story. It’s the part that’s supposed to happen. And we can just choose to embrace it all instead of wishing it wasn’t so. We can choose to embrace it instead of resisting it. We can choose to embrace all of it and have more satisfaction with our lives and more peace and maybe more joy, no matter what the circumstances. Because we’re just like, oh, this is the part. This is the part, and it’s okay. And if nothing else, this is the part that I didn’t expect.
But this is the part that I can figure out because I know how to figure things out and I’ve done it before. This is the part where it doesn’t feel okay, but I’m going to trust that it’s going to be okay. This is the part where I’m a human. Enjoy all the parts of your story. All right, before I go, if you’ve never listened to my podcast before, you need to know there is more beyond this podcast. I have free coaching calls available still. I don’t know how long I’m going to be doing free coaching calls, but I still am there’s no strings attached. Everybody gets one free coaching call. You should totally try it. I will help you. It’s a 45 minutes zoom call and I’ll help you. Um, the same address that I’m going to give in just a minute has all my resources on, so you can find it. But I want to let you know specifically this week, I have a free webinar. I do free webinars every month. This month is managing stress at the holidays. It’s December 17, 2020. The tools that I teach there will really help with stress at any time, though I’m going to focus on applying them, um, during the holiday time and use examples of that.
So you can see how to start using the strategies right away. But it will help with stress at any time. So where do you go to sign up? You just head on over to Rympodcast.com and look for the box that says Free monthly webinars. Click register and it will take you to the most current webinar sign up. So every month when I do a webinar, you can just go back to the same place and sign up. You do have to sign up and you’ll get a link to join and you’ll get the replay emailed to you just in case you forget to come or can’t make it super easy. Same place you can sign up for a free coaching call. Rympodcast Um.com. Go check it out and have fun enjoying the parts of your story today. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. So I will catch you next week. Take care of you.
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 ah.com to, um, get my free resources or a free coaching call.