Skip to main content

203: Are You Living in a Stable Misery Cycle with Dr. Lynyetta Willis

By September 13, 2022November 7th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
203: Are You Living in a Stable Misery Cycle with Dr. Lynyetta Willis

Hi guys, I have Lynyetta Willis with me today. She is a psychologist and family empowerment coach, and she helps frustrated families stop Stable Misery cycles or unhelpful patterns that keep them stuck so they can create more joy in their parenting or partnerships. Her Triggered to Transformed parent coaching program has helped parents all over the world to confidently deal with their triggers so they can pass on the best parts of themselves and enjoy parenting.

Dr. Willis believes that in order to create lasting shifts in the culture and consciousness of future generations, organizations, and the world, we must begin by shifting the consciousness of families. Dr. Willis is committed to helping transform the world one family at a time. Listen in to this fascinating and powerful conversation!

As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Dr. Lynetta Willis

Dr. Lynyetta Willis, psychologist, family empowerment coach, speaker, and award-winning author – helps frustrated families break free from Stable Misery® and unhelpful parenting and partnership patterns, so they can create more harmony at home. 

Over 20 years of journeying with countless clients led her to design the research-supported Elemental Living® Model and P.A.T.H.S. Relationship Framework. These powerful tools help parents and partners improve communication, minimize overreactions, and transform intergenerational trauma. 

Dr. Willis’ Harmony in the Home Couples Program and Triggered to Transformed® Group Parenting Program have received rave reviews from couples and parents across the globe in South Africa, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia. 

A sought-after speaker, media contributor, and author, Dr. Willis’s multi-award winning book, My Forgotten Self: A Story about a Girl, a Powerful Encounter, and a Universal Message, received high acclaim from individuals such as Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent and “Oprah’s Parenting Expert”; Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, author and spiritual leader of Agape International Truth Center; and Michal Berg, President and CEO of Spirituality for Kids International, Inc. 

Dr. Willis lives in Georgia with her husband and their two children.

Dr. Willis’ Links:

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

Randi’s Social Links

Links & Resources

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the share button in the podcast player above.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


My name’s Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting podcast at Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them. You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 2 0 3. Hi guys. I have Lynyetta Willis with me today. She is a psychologist and family empowerment coach, and she helps frustrated families stop Stable Misery cycles or unhelpful patterns that keep them stuck so they can create more joy in their parenting or partnerships. Her Triggered to transform parent coaching program has helped parents all over the world to confidently deal with their triggers so they can pass on the best pass on the best parts of themselves and enjoy parenting more.

Dr. Willis believes that in order to create lasting shifts in the culture and consciousness of future generations, organizations, and the world, we must begin by shifting the consciousness of families. Dr. Willis is committed to helping transform the world one family at a time. So welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the podcast. Hello. I’m so excited to be here. This is gonna be fun. This is gonna be fun. Okay. And so I wanna hear all about this term that you have coined and I see trademarked, it looks like or copyrighted, whatever. The little circle thing means the Stable Misery cycle, because I think this is really gonna resonate with so many of our listeners.

(1m 31s):
Tell me what is a Stable Misery cycle? Yeah. So I’ve been in this field for over 20 years and I’ve worked with families for that long. And especially with Couples and parents, I started to notice that they would get into this space for Couples. What it would often look like is they would marry their soulmate, but end up living with their roommate. And what I mean by that is they would get married. Things would be fine. And then over the years they would enter into the state of Misery where nothing’s broken by, you know, house isn’t burning down, everything’s pretty Stable, but they’re unfulfilled. They’re not happy.

(2m 10s):
They’re repeating the same fights or the same patterns again. And again, they just don’t work, essentially they’re miserable, right? And it’s not uncomfortable enough to get out, but it’s not comfortable enough to stay there for the rest of your life and retire with each other either. So there’s this underlying fear and frustration and discomfort around like, something’s gotta change cuz I can’t, we can’t be like this forever. It’s not healthy. It’s not helpful. And we don’t wanna model this for the kids. So that’s what it looks like in the Couples realm. Are they fighting a lot or they just kind of coexisting Both. So the cycle looks different for different people. So sometimes it’s just a coexisting, right?

(2m 52s):
Well, I should say in both cases, it’s coexisting. Sometimes they get to a point where they just stop fighting. Like usually what ends up happening is they’re fine. Then they’re fighting, fighting, fighting, and then things just kind of flatline, right? It’s like not even worth it anymore. I can’t even with you. But even when they’re fighting, it’s like the same, it’s like Groundhog day, like a horror movie version of Groundhog day where it’s just like, the fights are the same. The points that are being made are the same. The, you know, it’s like they could sit down before the argument and you could tell each of them to script out the fight and they would essentially write down the same thing. Right. So that’s the Stable, consistent aspect of it. And they might read books, they might go to counseling, they might try these different things to stop it.

(3m 36s):
But inevitably they end up falling right back into the same cycles and habits. Again, my husband and I were there for years. You were, so I get it. We were stuck in that cycle. And so what did you do to what, like, like what did you do if you kind of had to just give us the cliff notes? How did you start to dig yourselves out? That The first thing I did was I, I named it right. I was like, we are stuck in Stable Misery and this isn’t cool. And what’s interesting, like being a psychologist, being married to a psychologist, I’m sure is not easy. And so there would be times where I would offer solutions, but I didn’t know what I was talking about. Cause he didn’t wanna listen to me, even though, you know, I’ve been doing this for a time, so it’s kind of hard to say heal your own marriage.

(4m 23s):
So what we ultimately ended up doing though, we ended up getting help. We AC we actually, we still have a family coach to this day, you know, and we ended up going in and the first, the very, very first thing was we had to acknowledge it. We had to acknowledge what was going on and agree that it wasn’t okay. And then once we did that, that’s where the real work began. I actually created this Framework called the pads model. It’s an acronym P a T H S and there are five steps or paths, whatever you wanna call them, that people I find really need to walk or acknowledge or move through in order to truly shift any sacred relationship that they’re in.

(5m 5s):
So we basically walked those paths together. And the other thing I wanna say about Stable Misery, that’s really important is it’s not an on, off switch. It’s not an on, off switch. It’s more like a dimmer switch. And what I mean by that is if you put, like, I’ll say Stable Misery is at the bottom and dynamic, joy is at the top, right? It’s like kind of where you wanna be. And, and it’s, it’s fluid and it’s moving and, and you’re, you’re happy together. Stable Misery is at the bottom. It’s not, I’m either joyful or I’m in Stable Misery. It’s a dimmer switch, right? Like sometimes we’re pure dynamic, joy. Other times we’re moving down towards Stable Misery. But what that has become for us is an indicator, right?

(5m 46s):
When Stable Misery becomes a dimmer switch type of situation, it’s an indicator. So we can look at each other and be like, you know what? I think we’re moving towards the bottom of the dimmer switch, need to implement some things to help us move back up again. And I find that mindset to be really important for families in general, but especially Couples to understand, because it can be really easy to have like a great week. And then the next week you’re like, oh, this was really hard. And it’s, Upsy, we’ve come right back. We’re we’re right back where we started, nothing’s changed. We can’t change this. And it’s like, no, the Denver switch just went down. Hmm. And when you get the tools, you know, whether it be through the paths or whatever, you can move it back up, which is different from where families start, where they don’t have the tools and all they know how to be is stuck in that situation.

(6m 37s):
Well, and then the stuckness just becomes the norm. And so you just get used to it and you don’t even know what could be better because you’re just, this is just become your familiar. And so it’s kind exactly, it’s like, you just start living in complacency and yeah. And that sucks. Ugh. I was just with a couple yesterday and when we started working together, it was I heterosexual couple and the wife messaged me and she was like, I think I’m done. Like, I, I can’t imagine anything that can change. Like I just, he’s not changing. I don’t know what to do. Like I don’t even know, can this be saved?

(7m 18s):
And now we’re five sessions in and the last session we just had yesterday, she’s like, she’s smiling. And she’s like, oh my gosh, I feel so much more connected to you. You know, for not for literal reasons, for medical reasons. He was outside of the bedroom. And she was like, you know, I really want you to come back. Like we gotta figure this out because I miss you. I miss being connected to you. I, you know, and they were like, if you had told us, we would be here five weeks ago, we would’ve looked at you like you were nuts. Right. But this is the way it is. It’s like, I tell people don’t come to me when the house is burning down, come to me when you start to smell the smoke. Okay. Or when the, when the tech starts going off, because that’s when it’s not that, that it can’t be things can’t be changed when the house is burning down.

(8m 5s):
The thing is when you’re in that Stable Misery space and you start to recognize it instead of just sitting there and existing, get up, get the guidance, get the support so that you can move forward together. So what do you do? And I’m just thinking about somebody. I know she knows that they’re, she wouldn’t have called it Stable Missouri, but now of course, I’m gonna turn her on to your work and they are living in Stable Misery. Mm. I mean, I think a big part of it involves that she’s a very hands on mom and has been for many years, she’s, you know, obsessed with her children. And I think he wouldn’t admit this, but he, he probably just thinks his kids are kind of a pain in the ass.

(8m 49s):
Like he probably shouldn’t have had kids and he kind of resents his children and he resents how much time she gives to the kids and how much time she’s given to. So rather than meeting her there, he just fights her. And it’s almost like it’s another, it’s like the needy man child who wants her attention. And, you know, I think the way she feels is you would get my attention if you’ll just meet me and be as crazy about these kids as I am, and then we’ll on to connect over them. But instead he fights her. So he’s kind of in that rebellious teenage stage, but yet he’s her husband and he’s pissed at her.

(9m 31s):
And she has said to him now for over a year, we need to get a third party. We need to either go to a therapist or find a coach or do something. And he is refusing. So he’s like, Nope, no, I’m not. He’s like, you need to go to therapy. You’re the problem. Oh yeah. And, and you know, I mean, the sad thing is, is that this is a couple that the chemistry, I can see it between them. Like the chemistry has been alive and he just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. So she’s been following people like me and you for many years.

(10m 15s):
She’s a really amazing mom. She’s just, you know, she’s just got, I think she kind of moved up the ladder in terms of self awareness. He hasn’t moved with her. And so now she’s at a place where she loves him and she’s like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here because he refuses. He refuses to get unstuck and I cannot live like this forever. Yeah. So what would your guidance be for that? Hmm, that one’s really that one’s, that’s a tough one. And it’s not, I hate to say it. It’s not super uncommon where you’ll have a couple where one person is like, let’s do this. Let’s go get help.

(10m 55s):
Let’s let’s move. And the other person’s like, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. Don’t want to, you’re the problem. You go get help. You know? And the first thing is she can get help, right. To help coach her through. Okay. What does this mean? You know, like a, are there things that can happen and shift outside of his presence in the coaching space with you B if he never comes, what does that mean? You know, and then also just exploring, are there ways to encourage him and, and help him understand the importance of coming in this space together. Right. And so her having that awareness is great and she may also need support around what do I do in terms of like, how do I move forward?

(11m 43s):
How can I empower myself to move forward in a way that feels good to me so that I can make decisions that feel good to me about myself, about the kids, kids, about my relationship with him, the other thing they were in front of me, I’d be asking questions. Like, why doesn’t he wanna come? Like, has there been a negative experience with coming to this type of coaching situation or therapeutic situation? I’ve, I’ve had so many clients come to me. Like we did Couples coaching it. So didn’t work, our Couples counseling. It didn’t work, you know? And so he doesn’t wanna come cuz he thinks it’s a waste of money and it’s a waste of time. And my thing is always just let’s get on the phone and let’s talk like you can always talk, like getting on the phone with somebody and having an initial conversation about whether or not this makes sense to move forward.

(12m 31s):
Doesn’t mean that you are committing your first born to this relationship. Like just get on the phone and have that’s why for me, I always have like, let’s do a consultation because here’s the thing I don’t take on every client that calls me. I don’t, because sometimes it’s not necessary. Sometimes it’s not appropriate. You know? So let’s get on the phone, let’s have a conversation together. And if at the end you’re like, Nope, Nope. Then I will do my absolute best. Given what I know and what I’ve heard to give you my suggestions on what may be helpful. And then you can move on from there. But my strong recommendation would be, cause sometimes it’s like, we need to go to counseling.

(13m 11s):
We need to go to coaching. Well, we need to get on one call with someone just to get a lay of our land and communicate and maybe come up with a few solutions and some next best steps that feels a lot less overwhelming than let’s commit to this endless process with someone that may or may not work. Right. And even if he does think that she’s the problem. Okay, well, let’s talk about that. And then you can have some say in the way that she needs to fix her problem. If I think back, if I think back to how I air quotes, got my husband to join me and it’s, it’s now 21 years ago probably where we took a six week in person Parenting class.

(14m 3s):
It was before online Parenting programs really even existed. It was just, there was one, it was in our neighborhood. I don’t know how I found it. I can’t remember how I found it, but I had my son who now is 24. He was three. He was a little over three. He was almost, he was three and a half. And my daughter who’s now 21 just turned 21 this summer. She was a newborn and it was one day. And it’s like goes into what you talk about and not wanting to repeat those generational patterns. Okay. Right. So right. So I didn’t even know what I didn’t know, but I remember I had Avery, my daughter who was a newborn and I had her like in her little bassinet out in like for some reason, I thought it was a good idea at, during the witching hour at, you know, five 30 or six o’clock or whatever, to have the newborn out in the common areas of the house.

(14m 60s):
And my husband comes home from work. I was a stay at home mom at the time and he comes home from work and I’m having one of those Cal gone take me away kind of moments because it’s like that time of the day. And he walks in and our three and a half year old son who now I would say he was highly sensitive. He was strong willed. He was highly sensitive. He comes running because he is excited that his daddy’s home and he starts making a whole bunch of noise. The baby starts crying. It’s like a whole, you know, it’s like a whole shit show going on. And of course my, and now my husband who I now know is also highly sensitive and noise pollution is the enemy for him.

(15m 44s):
And so, yeah. And he’s transitioning from work to home, but I don’t know any of those things. And so he immediately starts kind of whether he was yelling or just kind of speaking harshly or just kind of in my, in my brain just was kind of being mean yeah. To our son. And he was just like, you know, trying to quiet him down because the baby just got woken up. Yeah. And, and so he starts kind of getting cross with him and something in my brain Triggered me back to my childhood and I got mama bear defensive. And I, I remember exactly where we were. And in that moment I looked at him and I said, we are not doing this.

(16m 30s):
And he said, doing what? And I said this, I said, we’re either going to marriage counseling or we’re going a Parenting class. And now what I realize, I really gave them two positive choices. They were both, I didn’t care which one It, I was like, but I think I got that kind of, that kind of scary. Yeah. You know, that scary kind of low voice, like, like where It’s like everything stops and everybody looks like, oh Yeah, Like what’s happening. And, and, and I would define that as PAC leadership, which is what was like, my energy was, we are not doing this.

(17m 16s):
I will not have a family filled with rage. And so I said, we’re doing one or the other, you get to choose pick. And he kind of looked at me and he was like, and I think he was thinking what’s, what’s less painful. The lesser of two evil evils. He was like, I guess a Parenting class. I was like, perfect course. Yeah. I was like, perfect. I’ll sign this up next week. And yes. And, but I, I have to say, and he says this all the time because there’s lots of resistant men in that, you know, coming, coming into the process and especially with what I do where it’s, you know, all about Parenting and not nothing.

(17m 56s):
I always say, I’m not a Couples therapist. This is all about Parenting. He’s like, just tell him it’s better than marriage counseling. I mean, that six week course changed our relationship forever. And I’m like, yeah, it’s not that easy. There’s, there’s, there’s many more resistant men than you were. And I think I was, you know, I was kind of like a tough chick. And so I had that like don’t F with me kind of energy going on about me. Right. And, and so it was just like, there is no, this is our family. We are raising actual humans. It is not an option. Yeah. Not to do one or the other, Not to do the work.

(18m 38s):
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So I think the Stable Misery concept is so interesting. And I think, I, I think that’s where I would’ve been. Yeah. I, I really do. I think that, because I would’ve had so much resentment, if we wouldn’t have brought in a third party, you know, and in the form of that Parenting class way back when I don’t even wanna tell you how I got my husband there, because, you know, I can’t say he was a hundred percent sober, the first couple of classes. Oh my, he was like, it was in the evening. It was three hours once a week, three hours in the evening. And, and he was just like, I’m gonna have to have a couple drinks.

(19m 21s):
I was like, you do what you gotta do. You’re we’re Going just be there. We’re just, we’re just going. Yes. And you know, but yeah, the thing that I love about that too, I always tell people, I’m like, well, with me, you kind of get a three and one, cuz I’m trained as a psychologist. I had a private practice for a number of years. And so I worked with Couples and parents and individuals. And so it is not uncommon for me to have somebody come to me with a Parenting issue. And then we get that under control in the first few sessions. And then they’re like, sh should we, should we focus on us now? You know, because like I said, like, I really do think it starts with families. Like you can look at like the government and Congress and Senate and all this stuff.

(20m 1s):
They all come, they all came from somewhere. All these people came from somewhere. You know, they came from families and that’s influencing and influences how we show up in the world. And it’s that awareness that’s so important. So I was trained in systems and one impacts another impacts. Another impacts another. So how I am as a wife is gonna impact how I am as a parent is gonna impact how I am as a coach is gonna impact how I am as a wife. It all impacts everything. And the other thing that you said that I, I think is so beautiful when you mentioned, you realized that you were Triggered in that moment, you know, and so I, I talked about the paths model earlier, the a stands for awareness, right?

(20m 44s):
We have to be aware of the fact fact that there is a problem. And we have to be aware of when we are being impacted by our past experiences or by our present circumstances. Right? So as a new mom, you might have just been super stressed cuz you got this kid and the sleeping kid and the, you know, all this other stuff going on. And that’s just, that’s a lot of stress. The present circumstances can absolutely overwhelm a new mother. And sometimes our past experiences trigger us. Right. We’re in those moments. And sometimes it’s a bit of both, but we’re able, when we’re able to recognize like, Ooh, there is something here and I need to recognize it and it’s old and use it in a constructive way.

(21m 28s):
Like you were like, this is not gonna happen. We are not gonna reproduce this in this space. Right. So you used it really constructively, not everybody’s able to do that. Right? Like the couple that you brought up just a second ago, it sounds like possibly, and again, I have no idea who these people are. There might be some older stuff coming up, maybe even for him, you know, and I’ve worked with Couples where that’s absolutely happened where sometimes, and I know I’ve done this too with my husband and vice versa where, you know, you’re 40 something year olds and you’re talking, but at some point a switch is flipped. You get Triggered. And now all of a sudden you’re like an eight year old or you’re like a 10 year old, you know? And you feel, cause I think you even said, it’s like sometimes he becomes this adolescent and, and you know, you say that as like an example, but sometimes if you ask, like I’ve asked people like you’re feeling a little, maybe like 10 to me right now.

(22m 21s):
Like what happened to 10? You know? And you’d be surprised at how many people are like, oh shoot. You know, like there was something going on and oh my gosh, this is how I felt back then. Right. So being able to be aware of when does our stuff come into the situation and impact how we’re showing up in our relationships, whether it be with our partners or with our kids is so, so important and key in terms of how we break free from that Stable Misery cycle. And so, okay. So walk us through. So let’s say people come to you and you teach ’em about Stable Misery and they’re like, yep.

(23m 5s):
You’re you’re describing us to the tea. Yeah. What do we do? What do we do? Where do we start? You’re a master at systems. Okay. Okay. Psychologist, lady, tell us, tell us Dr. Willis, tell us what we’re supposed to do. How do, how do we fix This? Well, the first thing that I always talk to people about is so in the pads model, the P stands for perspective and perspective takes stands, represents a couple of things. It represents the stories in our head, which are huge. Oh my gosh. The amount of time I spend talking about the stories in our head and how it impacts how we show up, which I can talk about in a moment.

(23m 44s):
But Pete also stands for the vision, right? So our perspective about what’s happening in the moment, like what we think about what’s happening in the moment and also our perspective about where we wanna go. So we get really clear on where are you and where do you wanna go? Where do you wanna move this relationship forward? The example that I always give is, you know, if I was standing on the side of the road and I, you down and I was like, Hey, I need to, I need, I need to move. I can’t be here. I need directions. And you were like, great. Where do you wanna go? And I looked at you and I said, not here, how effective you’re helping me get where you’re like, take two steps to the left there.

(24m 26s):
You’re not here. What do you want from me? Right. And so a lot of times people do is they come into these relationships, whether it be counseling or coaching. And we start talking, right. I have people all the time coming to me and be like, yeah, I went to counseling. We just talked every week. And we talked about the problem over and over and over again. And my thing is we have to start with where you wanna go. So the first thing you need to do is talk about what do you want your relationship to look like? If you don’t want it to look like this, what do you wanna look like? So now you have a vision that pulls you as opposed to a fear that is prompting you all to just kind of escape one another, you know? And so get that vision straight, get clear on the perspective, get clear on what are the stories in your head that are keeping you stuck.

(25m 9s):
So when you find yourself inching towards that cycle, that same argument, or that shut down disconnected space where you’re just aloof and not talking to each other. What are you saying about yourself, about your partner, about your kid, right? What are the stories in your head and recognizing that’s a story in my head. It’s not necessarily a fact. And one of the assignments that I give just about every couple I work with is I say for an entire week, when you get frustrated, I want you to start to the best of your ability with the story in my head is the story in my head is you don’t care. The story in my head is you did that on purpose. The story in my head is right.

(25m 50s):
And what that does is it starts this process of realizing two things. One, it’s the story in your head. It’s not necessarily the reality. And two, you can take responsibility for what you are thinking, just like your partner can take responsibility for what they’re thinking. Right? And once you get clear on the story, like if the story in my head is you don’t care about me, I can be like, oh, that’s how you interpreted that. Or you did that on purpose just to make me angry. That’s what you, oh, right. So now we got a ballgame because now we can start. We have something that we can work with and work around. Let me pause on that. The story in my head, so that I think is a very tangible, tangible way for people to start a conversation that they haven’t been having.

(26m 41s):
And, and before we started recording, we were talking about Brene brown and vulnerability and how people know what that means now. And it’s even in some circles celebrated to show up yes, vulnerably and authentically and all of that. And, and so I think it can be really vulnerable when you’re in a cycle of Stable Misery and you’re just kind of stuck. And you’re coexisting with your partner. You feel like roommates that get along, maybe some of the time, but maybe a lot of the time you don’t really get along. And so there you are stuck in that to have a real conversation and to kind of like extend the olive branch, I think can feel super vulnerable.

(27m 26s):
Yeah. Because what if the other person makes you feel stupid or gas lights you or so, so I think it can be really vulnerable. And so that I think is such an amazing tool, the story in my head, because it sort of unhooks you a little bit and it seems like it’s a way to not attack the other person. Yes. It’s like taking ownership. Right. So it’s, so instead of saying like you’re being such an asshole, right. Which I mean, everyone’s gonna get defensive. Yes, yes. Right. And so instead of, of calling the other person names and being a part of the problem, saying the story in my head, it’s like now all of a sudden I’m not attacking you.

(28m 17s):
I’m not name calling you. I’m just letting you know it’s a little bit vulnerable, but I’m inviting you into the story in my head. Right. I love that tool. I love that. Thank you for doing that. Hey, podcast, listeners, I’m super excited to tell you about something new that I’m doing called the weekend warmup. It’s gonna be on the third Friday of every month and I’m gonna coach you live. I created this because I know a lot of you guys feel like you know me, but I wanna know you too. So you’re gonna come. You’re gonna get on zoom with me.

(28m 58s):
I’m gonna coach you. And we’re gonna get you warmed up for your weekend. What do I mean by that? We’re gonna hunt gather parent our weekends together. If you don’t know what hung gather, parent I’ve turned it into a verb. Just so y’all know. Hung gather. Parent is a book that came out not long ago. I’ve had the author on the podcast. I make it required reading for anyone that comes and works with me. And it’s just about the fact that many of us, especially those of us who come and listen to things like this. Our weekends are just filled with too many kid activities. And there’s no adult time.

(29m 38s):
You know, maybe you’re going from birthday parties to just nonstop, nonstop, fun, nonstop memories. And you’re finding yourself depleted and exhausted. Maybe even more so on Sunday night than you were on Friday. And it’s just not supposed to be that way. So we’re gonna hunt gather parent our weekends together. I’m gonna coach you live. I’m so excited to meet you guys. And I want you to sign up. It’s free. I’m offering it for free. So just go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com slash weekend Mastermind, Parenting dot com slash sign up, sign up, keep Going, keep teaching us.

(30m 19s):
Keep yes. Yes. So the a, as I said earlier, stands for awareness and that is around our feelings and our body sensations. And, and a lot of the people that come to me, I also have a Parenting program called Triggered to Transformed. And I designed it specifically for parents who wanna raise their kids and sometimes themselves differently from how they were raised. Right? So people who came from homes with where I have to say the four horsemen reigned, the four horsemen being pain, blame, shame, and avoidance were often used to parent them. So they come in with these, these tactics and these strategies that they know don’t work, but it’s what they default to when they get really frustrated with their children.

(31m 0s):
And I found that for those, for the people that I work with, and I’m one of them, we have this detachment sometimes from our feelings and our body sensations. So if you’re anything like me growing up, my feelings and body sensations were reliability. At least the vulnerable difficult ones, right? Because I got things like stop crying before I give you something to cry about, what’s wrong with you? Nothing’s wrong, stop it. You know? So it was one of those things where for me, difficult emotions became an enemy. Like, ah, I can’t feel those or sense those. And if they came up, it was like, you are bad. Especially the vulnerable ones like sadness and, and things like that had its place.

(31m 43s):
But the other ones didn’t. So for a lot of the clients that I work, difficult emotions are, are hard to and use. So when we, and, and what ends up happening is we end up reacting from them. So instead of recognizing that I’m right now, or I’m right now, I come at you because from that anger or from that sadness, and what I teach people to do in the a phase is to start looking at emotions and body sensations a little differently. So instead of them being the enemy, look at them as signposts. So sadness is no longer something that should be avoided because when we try to avoid it, it’s like it’s gonna come up in other ways, usually onto the people that we love instead of viewing it that way, view it as a signpost.

(32m 34s):
It’s just an indicator. It’s just an indicator of where you are in that moment. Right? So being able to say, I’m sad right now, or I’m really tense right now. And then where we end up moving from that is you you’re able to use your emotions and your body sensations as indicators of when you’re getting Triggered of when you’re about to shut down of when you are, you know, rounding that bin so that you can shift how you respond in those moments. So that usually takes a lot of experimentation. Experimenting is my favorite word in the English language. I love experiments. You know, it takes a lot of little experiments that we set up, but what ends up happening is it’s a great way.

(33m 17s):
Once you gain that awareness, not just of your emotions and body sensations, but also how other people are responding to you. So when I say this, I notice my partner tends to turn away from me. Oh, maybe I need to be aware of that and think about that. What’s going on in that moment. Right? So becoming aware, and then the T once you get clear on the stories in your head, you know, where you wanna go, you’re starting to use your emotions and body sensations as signposts. The T stands for tools. And I say, we’re always using a tool in every relationship we’re using a tool. The question never is, am I using a tool? The question is always, is this tool I’m using helpful or unhelpful in this moment?

(33m 58s):
That is always the question. So yelling as a tool, taking five deep breaths as a tool, they’re both tools, right? So once you start to get this awareness in all of these different things, now we can start shifting the tools that we use in those moments. And that is when a lot of times people really start to see themselves starting to move out of those cycles a little bit easier. I mean, it starts ahead of time before that, but this is when our actions, our habits that we formed, literally start to shift because instead of yelling, now I’m gonna stop and I’m gonna go into the other room and I’m gonna take a minute, right? So we start to get clear on what are the habits that are still there because in the first three phases, a lot of habits actually shift without us even needing to do much of anything, perfectly honest with you.

(34m 46s):
But sometimes there’re the little lingering ones that still are like, Ugh. You know, like when I get angry, I just start yelling, you know, or I get this one a lot too. It’s usually, if I’m, again, if I’m talking about a heterosexual relationship, the wife will get angry and be like, me, me and the husband will be like, and then the wife is like, you’re abandoning me. You’re leaving, come back, stop. You don’t care. Really. And it’s one of those things where it’s like, okay, so his tool is I’m outta here. Her is right. Which just creates this dynamic. So once we point out what the cycles are, now we can say, okay, can we either reframe the tools or retrain the tools?

(35m 36s):
So when he turns and walks away, he might say, that’s my way of stopping. Like, I need a moment. I have to go away. If I stay there, nothing good will happen. So it’s reframing. Whereas for her it’s, you’re abandoning me. You’re walking away. You’re rejecting me. You don’t care. Reframing it as, oh, you need that moment. Right. And then maybe even a retrain on his part to be able to say, I need a moment. I’ll be back in five and then walking away as opposed to walking away. And then we never come back to it again until we bust into the cycle again later. Right? So it’s like reframing retraining tools. Again, these are all habits that we formed.

(36m 18s):
And sometimes they require little tweaks in order to, so sometimes you don’t need a complete overhaul. It’s like little tweaks to be able to shift how you’re showing up. And that’s what happened with that last couple that I mentioned earlier, they realize like, oh, it’s not as bad as we thought, but we couldn’t see it. And we needed help to be able to see where we were falling off the cliff, where we needed the help and where we needed to shift. Right. So interesting. Because I think that’s what bringing in a third party like yourself quite often, I think it has that extra layer that’s necessary because everyone it’s like the couple that I described earlier, he’s acting like a rebellious teenager.

(37m 6s):
And most likely it’s because the communication, when both of them have been Triggered probably has been a lot of name calling or storming out of the room and not having simple communication tools like this, you know, in their toolbox, they didn’t even know. And so then it just becomes like months and years of built up resentment from him constantly storming out or blowing his top, her crying and or yelling at him or making him feel bad. And so all those unhealthy patterns and how they like how they basically fought, you know, just the unhealthy ways that they fought.

(37m 53s):
It just like builds and builds and bills. And so then all of a sudden, when you have a third party, come in and have some empathy and compassion for, for each of them, it’s not like, you’re right. He’s wrong. He’s right. You’re wrong. It’s like, I’m gonna see your perspective and I’m gonna see your perspective. I think it’s just like such an amazing bridge for people that if more people realize like you don’t have to live like this, like joy is five sessions away, You know? I mean, right. I mean, Seriously. Yes. Yes. Why would you withhold your, that from yourself? You don’t have to.

(38m 33s):
And, you know, I always tell and because the next letter is H which stands for healing. And I always tell clients that I work with, you’re not broken, your partner’s not broken or your kid’s not broken, but you likely have some habits that need to be Hmm. Right. And this, and so what we do in the work is we look at like, what are these habits and how do we ship them? How do we break them so that you are not feeling stuck? And you’re not having to rely because every tool that we have in our box is there for a reason, there was a time when acting like a pet teenager was protective and helpful. Like we don’t form habits for no reason.

(39m 13s):
It’s just, that’s not the way our brain works. It’s not the way our body works. They’re there for a reason. They just might not work right now, even yelling that has a purpose. And so, Right. Yeah. That’s, that’s so interesting. I just started listening to the book. No bad parts. I heard of that one. It’s by Dick Schwartz. Yeah. What do you think, what do you think of, of do you like in, what is it? Internal family systems. Yes, yes. Yes. I trained in that years ago, back when it, before it even became mainstream, I trained in that. I love the concept that we all have many parts. And I say that to my clients now, like even though we appear to be one being, we have many parts within us, you know?

(39m 54s):
And there we go through life with all of these different parts that, that react and respond in ways to keep us safe. And that’s a good thing. But sometimes these parts of us don’t realize that the roles that they serve no longer serve us in this moment. So it’s interesting with like, say yelling, right? So there might have been a time when you were really young where you were yelled at, or you felt unsafe in your home. And now that you’re older, if your child triggers that very young part within you, for some reason that, that got yelled at and was not like, say your child’s like, I hate you.

(40m 39s):
You’re stupid. Right. And that little young part of you is like, right. There might be another part of you. That’s like, you will not talk to me that way. Right. Like, and basically that part’s like, oh, that’s not happening again. What happened all those years ago is not gonna happen again, not realizing that that was an adult, like 30 years ago, who was not very kind to that younger part to that part of you when you were really up, this is a child, it’s not the same situation. Right. But these parts of us, they’re, they’re reactive and they’re very protective. So that’s where the healing comes in. And that’s why healing is so important. Realizing, and I, I differentiate between stressors and triggers.

(41m 20s):
Like I said earlier, realizing when my present circumstance is overwhelming, my ability to cope, that’s a stressor, right? So crying baby dinner needs to get fixed. Homework needs to get done, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m stressed. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t cope. I yell right. Versus a trigger. That’s when your past experience is overwhelming your ability to cope with the present circumstance. Right? So my child’s like, I hate you. You’re stupid, blah, blah, blah. All of a sudden I’m Triggered because now those parts of me that remember what happened long ago or active. And they’re like, oh, not again, never again. And now I’m like screaming at my child, you know, you’ll, that’s, who’s, I don’t understand what’s happening.

(42m 10s):
Right. That’s sign. I would say, stressors need to be honored. Triggers need to be healed. So realizing what within you like, like when we have those moments, Stable Misery is actually a gift. I know, I know don’t throw things at me, but it’s really a gift as are our Parenting triggers and our partnership triggers their gifts because they give us insight into what within me needs to be healed. What within me needs to be honored. And that’s a huge focus of the trigger to transform parent coaching program. It’s about getting clear on, when am I stressed? When am I Triggered? What needs to be shifted and creating new habits to be able to do that effectively in the moment, you know, with your kids, with your partner, so that you’re not feeling you don’t all of a sudden descend into that guilt shame, resentment spiral, God, awful pit, that we can sometimes find ourselves sinking to the bottom of.

(43m 8s):
So interesting to hear, just to hear your language around like all of these concepts, because I’ve been self helping for pretty much, pretty much since I would say before we even took that Parenting class. So I would say for about 24 years, I’ve been kind of a self-help aholic. And here I’ll, I’ll give a little funny story. There was evidently a recent TikTok trend that my kids were telling me about. And one of my friends, I have this adult male friend who is obsessed with TikTok, like literally it’s his drug of choice. Wow.

(43m 48s):
That’s funny. We all got one and it’s, It’s his drug of choice. And, and so he was doing this thing where there was this trend, which is like ranking people in your life. Like, he was like, yeah, he goes, my wife, she’s a 10, but she’s an OCD cleaning freak. So she’s a seven. And then he said, and then he said about me. He goes, yeah, my friend Randi. She’s a nine, but she’s a self-help aholic. So she’s a six. I was like, that’s Fair. That’s funny. That’s wrong. But dang, really it’s call me out on.

(44m 29s):
I mean, I was like, that’s fair. Okay. I don’t remember where I was going before. Oh, I know what I was saying. You know, I’ve read so many things, books by people with credentials, like you books and I’ve read and listened to so many things, books and, and things probably that people like you would discredit or I’m guessing would discredit that are way into the woo. And I Love the woo. Okay. Totally. I love the woo. You, you, you cross over, so I totally bridge. Yeah, you’re a bridge. So I, you know, I’m a high fact finder, so I am, so I love learning and I’ve been, you know, learning all these different things.

(45m 13s):
And so much of what you’re talking about is basically a lot of the concepts that I talk about and teach as well. And it’s like, these are not new concepts. Like we’re not pulling them out of a hat. We’re talking about this method, these ways, like having more self-awareness in understanding that we all were conditioned when we were kids and we bring that conditioning forward and it only plays out in every one of our relationships. And so talk is cheap. You can say you wanna be a different kind of parent or run a different kind of household for your kids than you grew up in.

(45m 55s):
And until you actually dig in and commit to changing these patterns, these autopilot patterns, you’re gonna repeat the same cycle. Yeah. So you, it’s kind of like people who are like, Ugh, I really wanna be 20 pounds lighter or get in better shape. And it’s like, well, you can’t just snap and be witched yourself into that. You’re gonna have to like sweat and be in pain and not eat the ice cream five nights in a row or whatever it is. Like, you’re gonna have to go through some discomfort to achieve that goal. And I think it’s the same thing here.

(46m 34s):
Yeah. It really is. It really is. You know, and the thing that I try to do, you probably tell for my personal is I always tell people like it doesn’t have to be gut wrenching. Like I’m all about making things fun because if it’s gut wrenching and it’s horrible and it’s hard, you’re not gonna do it. Heck I’m not gonna do it. You know, not for long, you know? So there has to be some sort of a win in there. Some sort of a fun piece in there, you know, like even with the Triggered to transform parent coaching program. Yes. There’s a curriculum. And a lot of the, the videos in there are really funny cuz I produce them myself and I, I make them silly, you know? And there’s a community of parents who get it, who are gonna amen.

(47m 16s):
Be like, yes, I’ve been there and this is what I tried. And, and then there’s also coaching where you get me every other week, just there and look at you and answer your questions and help you work through things. Right? Because you need different things to be able to, to get you going. And even with my Couples, it’s like, we co-create the experiments they do because I’m like, let’s do something. That’s going to be fun. Let’s do something. That’ll feel like a lay to you. So even if it’s hard, like a layup, like don’t, I’m not gonna ask you do this particular activity seven days a week until we meet again every single day for an hour a day, you’re not gonna freaking do it, but you can do this one thing for three minutes, two times before we meet again, let’s start there.

(47m 59s):
Right? So even as you’re going through this, like just do tiny little things, tiny little things that you can do to make these micro shifts, to give you these micro wins, to give your brain that hit a dopamine so that you’ll wanna take the next step. And the next step, it’s the same with the call. Just sign up for a call. It’s one call. It’s not gonna kill anybody. You know, if you decide, I don’t like that. I don’t want that. Whether it’s me or somebody else, it’s just one call Just one step. Well, I think we’re preaching the same thing. It’s like, okay, you don’t have to live in Stable Misery. You don’t have to stay stuck like this life, this beautiful life that we were all given, we are meant to be fully alive.

(48m 46s):
And when you’re in a situation that, you know, every day when you open your eyes, you’re thinking like, oh, okay, something needs to shift. Yes. Something needs to change. When like When you wake up and you look at your partner and you’re like, you’re still here. Oh Yeah. Like when you’re, when you it’s like when it’s fingernails on a chalkboard or cringeworthy, when you see your family members enter the room, we’ve got a problem and we can fix it. Can I tell you one other thing too, about the room years ago, divine download, I divinely downloaded this book.

(49m 32s):
It’s called My Forgotten Self. And it’s about this little girl. I don’t even, there are not even that many copies of it left at this point. So I’m not even promoting. I mean, you could probably find ’em on Amazon, but it’s about this little girl who, her family she’s like going to a different family member. She’s like, I wanna do this. And her family’s like, no, you can’t do that was like, oh, I wanna be a teacher. I wanna be a doctor. I wanna, she goes to all her family members and they all tell her why she can’t do what she wants to do. So she gets really sad and she’s in her room. And this being named, I am, comes into her room and they go on this fantastical journey together where she learns that she has power within her and that she is worthy and loved and that she can do all the things that, that she wants in, in different ways.

(50m 13s):
And I share that to say, I didn’t realize it at the time, cuz it seriously was a divine down. Like I wasn’t trying to write that. I was like, I’m not even after I wrote it, I was like, I’m not an author. Like I wrote and published it, everything. I was like, I’m not really an author, cuz that was a download. But it’s a, when I look back at it, now it’s a book at how her family wasn’t trying to be mean. They weren’t trying to discourage her. But what was happening was they had their own wiring. They had their own beliefs based on the experiences they had. And they were passing those beliefs down to her because they had, they didn’t have the awareness. They weren’t aware of the stories in their head.

(50m 55s):
They weren’t aware of the tools that they were using with her. That weren’t helpful. They hadn’t done their healing. Right. So those things weren’t present. So now they’re passing this stuff, this baggage down to this girl, unintentionally trying to help. Right? And then she goes through basically a mystical experience where she is empowered and learns a different choice. But I say that to say, it’s so important to go through this process. Even if you don’t think, even if you’re like, well, I don’t know about this marriage, do it for your kids. Do it for you. Right? Because how we show up every day is impacting our children. It just is.

(51m 35s):
It’s impacting them. It’s impacting what they’re learning. It’s impacting how they’re going to be. I always tell people if you’re, if you look at your marriage and then I tell you, okay, imagine your child having the exact same marriage in like 20 or 30 years. If that makes you cringe and wanna vomit a little in your mouth, maybe you should change that because they’re watching, they’re watching and chances are they’re going to implement what they see. You know? So, so just make a choice, make a choice. What’s that line. Do you remember that line from Glen and Doyle’s book from untamed where she said, why would I stay in this marriage for my kids?

(52m 19s):
If I wouldn’t want this marriage for my Yes. Oh, I don’t know that line so good. You know, it’s always funny when, when authors say things and I’m like, I should have said that so perfect. But it’s that same concept. Yes. Yes. Love Glenn. She’s awesome. Same, same concept. You know, don’t, don’t, don’t subject yourself to that, especially if you wouldn’t want your kids to do it because they, I tell people all the time, your Parenting education journey didn’t start. When you had kids, it started when you were in the womb, it started when you were in the womb, that’s when you started learning what it, what it meant, what nurturing and caring and all that stuff meant every single day that you were parented by some sort of a caregiver.

(53m 5s):
You learned a different lesson on how to be a parent. And that is going to impact how you parent and your children are learning those same lessons. So if you think I need to teach different lessons, I need to scrap this old curriculum, this old textbook and write a new one, do it, hop, do it on my calendar, hop on Randy’s calendar or T2 T whatever, you know, but don’t just sit there and continue to live in Stable Misery. When you realize like, I don’t want this for myself and I certainly don’t want this for future generations. Well, and you know, I think the cool thing is I think it can be easy to because most of us have a negative, you know, inner dialogue happening in our heads where we talk to ourselves in ways that we would never talk to anyone else that we love.

(53m 54s):
We call ourselves NA you know, such an idiot. I can’t believe I said that. Right. Stupid. Right. We beat ourselves up. Okay. And so I think it can be easy to feel so terrible about the mistakes that you feel like you’ve been making. Right? Repeating the cycle, even though you swore you were gonna do it differently, but you know that you’re not doing it differently. I think it can be easy to go down that rabbit hole where you’re just beating yourselves up more and then you avoid even thinking about it. And what I wanna invite every listener into right now is the fact that you are listening to this.

(54m 37s):
Okay? The fact that you take the time to educate yourself, to read Parenting books, to listen to this conversation, like you could be binge watching Netflix, like I’m you could be doing anything, but if you are listening to this, you are the kind of parent who is a trailblazer and who’s been called to more and is taking action. And let me tell you something, it’s a very big deal to be the one that breaks generational patterns. Oh My gosh. That’s huge. Right? It’s huge. And so you it’s like, it’s like God said to Moses, like you are Moses in your family right now.

(55m 20s):
This is a burning Bush fans of the burning Bush. So you’re and so rather than like beating yourself up instead kind of like, look over your shoulder and be like, why, why am I at the one chosen one? Why, why am I not just repeating these patterns and going through life Conscious? Can I back sleep? Yeah, yeah, no, you can’t, you’re awake. You can’t go back to sleep. Sorry. It’s not possible. No, You awake that. And you’ve been chosen. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. I love that so much. I call, I call us revolutionaries relationship. Evolutionaries like, we’re dedicated to evolving our most sacred relationships and it is such a gift to our, not just our children, but ourselves.

(56m 2s):
Right? And the fact that you see these patterns aren’t working, I need to change them to your point. Randi is huge. Like you’ve got the call. Are you gonna answer it? You know? And I also love the fact that you brought up the shaming piece. Like you’re gonna make mistake. I make mistakes. What ends up happening when you start on this journey is it’s gonna feel crappy because it’s gonna happen. You’ve already started. If you’re listening, this podcast you’ve already started, but what ends up happening is you start to notice your mistakes more and you start, and your, your, your impetus is to beat up on yourself more like, oh, I didn’t do that thing. Oh, I didn’t say the thing I was supposed to do. And I suggest reframing that of, wow.

(56m 43s):
I probably would not have even recognized that as something that I didn’t wanna do six weeks ago or a month ago. And the fact that I recognize it now is huge. Now, what am I gonna do about it? Right. So realizing that as you’re making these shifts and implementing these things, you’re gonna Bumble. You’re gonna, like I said, my favorite word is experiment. Just experiment, set up an experiment. What happens if an experiment doesn’t go the way you want you do it again, or you do another one, you change a variable and you do it again. I love it. Experiments. They’re amazing. Right. And, and, you know, I was just thinking, I was thinking about the metaphor. Like if you have the winning lottery ticket and you know, it’s the winning lottery ticket, you’re about to get millions and millions and millions of dollars.

(57m 30s):
You’ll be able to buy anything you want. But you’ve also heard stories that once you’re you win the lottery, like it’s a lot of pressure. You’re gonna have to learn all kinds of things about how to manage your finances. All the randos are gonna come out the woodworks, you know, being your, yeah. Your long lost, relative asking for money, You Know, all the foundations are gonna ask you for money. So there’s gonna be a lot involved. Like there are so many gifts if you won the lottery, but there’s a lot involved. Yeah. Would you not turn that winning lottery ticket in because you’re like, Ooh, I’m not sure I’m up for that.

(58m 9s):
Yeah. Like, like that sounds, that sounds really hard. Or would you be like, I’ll figure it out. I won the lottery. Like I’m gonna Be rich. I’m gonna be rich. Like, that’s what I feel like. This is introducing. Like, if you’re listening to this, you have the winning lottery ticket and yeah. There’s gonna be some bumps in the road and, and it’s not gonna be all just smooth sailing and buying yachts and you gotta turn the lottery ticket in. So take action and, and, and get rich. And we’re here. We want You to exactly generational wealth. That’s what we’re talking about here, man.

(58m 49s):
Pass some of that slaughter winning down to your kid. I love it. I love it. I mean, this has been such a fun conversation. We have so much in going. Okay. So before you go, do you have anything that you wanna any kind of calls to action for our listeners and how they can find out more about You? That yes, yes, absolutely. So if you go to healing, Stable, Misery dot com, you can download the healing, Stable Misery roadmap, and it lays out all the paths and you’ll get some gifts from me every day that will help you to actually implement the paths. So go ahead, grab that.

(59m 29s):
And you can start implementing these and your Parenting and in your partnership, the way they’re designed, you can apply them to both or either. So go to healing, Stable Misery dot com and grab that. Perfect. Perfect. Okay. Thanks so much for being here. It was so much fun to Talk to you. Thank you for having me. Bye. Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household. I want you to go to my website and check out Mastermind, Parenting dot com.

(1h 0m 11s):
We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support, then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you. And As always, we’re on all the social channels under Mastermind Parenting on Instagram, it’s Mastermind, underscore Parenting, and you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives, where I give you teaching and coaching. And I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong willed kids so that they can feel better because when they feel better, they do better.

(1h 0m 52s):
And I love, love, love, getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.

Happy Household Cover

Sign Up for Our Newsletter and Get Our Free Guide

Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein