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Episode 25: Navigating Self-Love in Every Season

Updated: 4 days ago

Mom updating her self-love map
Mom looking at map


Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.

This podcast is a sanctuary for all mothers out there, and we extend a warm invitation to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration. We believe in fostering an inclusive community where we learn and grow together, supporting each other during life's challenging transitions.

Join us as we step out of survival mode and discover the path to thriving, embracing wellness in every season of motherhood. From sleepless nights to new beginnings, we'll explore practical strategies, share heartfelt stories, and uncover the transformative power of self-care and self-love.

Together, we'll unlock the wisdom, strength, and resilience within ourselves, reminding one another that we're never alone on this beautiful, yet demanding, journey. It's time to prioritize your well-being and reclaim your joy, one season at a time.



This is Episode 25, join us as we embark on a profound exploration of the dynamic journey of motherhood. Together, we'll wander through the changing seasons of wellness and unravel how each phase, from childbirth to the varying stages of parenthood, impacts and reshapes our self-love map. Our host, Autumn Carter, will delve into the importance of recognizing our unique paths and the perils of comparison, emphasizing the significance of regular introspection and self-awareness updates.

This episode promises to be a heartfelt blend of insightful conversations and empowering coaching questions aimed at nurturing self-worth and compassion. Autumn will also introduce tools and exercises to help you pause, connect with your body, and feel the truth of each emotion, ensuring that your self-love map is a genuine reflection of your growth and experiences. So, gear up, dear wellness wanderers, for an episode that celebrates the ever-evolving journey of motherhood and the wellness it brings in every season.

Key point #1:

In the vast expanse of psychology, therapy, and self-help paradigms available to us, the term "self-love map" may not be immediately familiar to many. But let's imagine, for a moment, what this beautiful term implies. Picture a map – not of roads or landmarks, but of the very essence of who you are. It's a sacred blueprint guiding you to discover and embrace your inner strengths, while also shining a light on those corners where growth beckons. It prompts you to challenge the shadows of negative self-talk, and instead, paint broad strokes of self-care routines and self-compassion.

Visualize charting out every dimension of your life – from the relationships that shape your world, to the work that defines your purpose, the hobbies that ignite your passion, and the very health that underpins it all. How beautifully empowering would it be to then reflect on how you can infuse even more love into each segment?

This journey of self-love isn't about reaching a final destination; it’s an ongoing voyage of understanding, acceptance, and nurturing oneself on every possible level. It's a reminder that amidst the hustle of life, self-love is a commitment that deserves our patience, our kindness, and our relentless effort. And perhaps, in this ever-evolving world of self-discovery, it's worth exploring this concept further – maybe even sketching out your own personal "self-love map".

Key point #2:

Self-love, though essential for everyone, holds particular significance for mothers. It's common for mothers to place the needs of their children and family before their own, sometimes neglecting their personal well-being in the process. This can lead to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and even resentment. By nurturing self-love, mothers can ensure they are taking care of themselves across the physical, emotional, and mental spheres, thereby augmenting their capacity to care for their families.

A "self-love map" designed for mothers could be a powerful tool to help identify the areas where we need to demonstrate more self-compassion and self-care. A unique aspect of this map would be its focus on elements of life heavily influenced by motherhood. Physical health, for instance, is a critical aspect. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, getting enough rest, and regular health check-ups are components that mothers often compromise due to their demanding roles.

Emotional well-being is another area of focus. Mothers can benefit greatly from finding outlets to express and process their emotions. Journaling, therapy, or heartfelt conversations with friends or family can offer emotional relief. Furthermore, taking periodic breaks and setting personal boundaries can help stave off feelings of burnout, nurturing your emotional wellness.

Personal growth and hobbies also hold a vital place on this map. Mothers should be encouraged to keep alive their individual interests and pursuits that bring them joy and satisfaction, irrespective of their roles as mothers. These activities nourish the individuality and the spirit of mothers, contributing positively to their overall well-being. It also gives us something fun to talk about outside of our domestic lives.

Social connections, too, play a vital role in a mother's life. Nurturing relationships outside of our immediate family, such as friendships, can offer much-needed emotional support, a sense of belonging, and a broader community.

Lastly, but most importantly, self-acceptance forms an integral part of this self-love map. The journey of motherhood comes with inevitable imperfections and mistakes. Embracing these moments as part of being human rather than considering them as failures is an important lesson of self-love.

It's also worth noting that when children see their mothers prioritize self-care and self-love, they're likely to emulate these behaviors, shaping a healthier outlook for their own futures. Every mother's "self-love map" would be unique, crafted based on her specific needs, challenges, and life circumstances. Therefore, it's beneficial for mothers to engage in reflective practices to better understand their needs and how they can most effectively meet them. In doing so, they can strive for a balanced life, filled with love for their children and for themselves.


Segment: Mindfulness Practice:

Find a peaceful and comfortable space that allows for quiet contemplation. Settle into a comfortable position and gently close your eyes. Take a few moments to disconnect from the external world and turn your attention inward, focusing on deep breathing and releasing the tensions of the day.

Now, invite your awareness to your body. Are there areas of tension or comfort? Send a gentle message of kindness and compassion to each part of your body, even those parts that might be experiencing discomfort or pain. This practice forms the first step on your self-love map: nurturing a loving connection with your physical being.

Next, pay mindful attention to your breath. Observe the soothing rhythm of your inhalations and exhalations. Allow this rhythm to guide you deeper into your body's wisdom and abilities. Recognize this innate capacity of your body as an instance of self-love, and appreciate your body for this continuous, life-sustaining effort.

With a calm and focused mind, gently contemplate the concept of self-love. What thoughts or emotions surface when you ponder self-love? What images come to mind? Rather than judging or analyzing these responses, just observe them. Each thought, each emotion is a valuable landmark on your self-love map, shedding light on your current relationship with yourself.

Now, visualize self-love as it pertains to various aspects of your life. Consider your relationships, work, hobbies, and self-care routines. How would self-love manifest in each of these areas? Are there specific actions or practices that you can adopt to bring more self-love into each aspect of your life?

As you delve deeper into this exploration, affirm your commitment to self-love. You might whisper to yourself, "I am deserving of love and kindness. I commit to nurturing self-love in all areas of my life." This affirmation is like setting the compass on your self-love map, guiding your thoughts, emotions, and actions towards self-love.

As this mindfulness exercise comes to a close, slowly draw your attention back to your breath, feeling its rhythm once again. Gradually reconnect with your surroundings, and when you feel ready, gently open your eyes. As you continue with your day, hold onto this sense of self-love and carry it with you in all you do.

This exercise is not a one-time process. Cultivating self-love is a continuous journey that requires patience, compassion, and understanding. As you persist in your mindfulness practices, your self-love map will evolve and expand, reflecting your growing wisdom and self-compassion.


Key point #3:

Discovering who you truly are as a mom is an introspective and continuous journey. It's about diving deep into your innermost feelings, beliefs, values, and experiences, while also evolving in your role. Here are some insights and steps to help guide this exploration:

**Reflect on Your Past**: Your childhood, the way you were raised, and your past experiences play a significant role in shaping your parenting style. Think about what you cherished about your upbringing and what you might want to do differently. This reflection can offer valuable insights into your motivations and fears as a mother.

**Assess Your Values**: What are the core values you want to instill in your children? Is it kindness, resilience, honesty, independence? Recognizing these can provide a clearer picture of your identity as a mother and the legacy you wish to leave.

**Seek Feedback**: Sometimes, those close to you can offer valuable perspectives on your strengths and areas for growth. Engage in open conversations with your partner, friends, or family about your parenting style. Their observations, combined with your self-assessment, can provide a fuller picture. This prevents blind spots in our map.

**Embrace Imperfection**: Perfection in motherhood is a myth. Every mom has moments of doubt, mistakes, and learning. Embracing imperfection can be liberating and can help you discover your authentic self, devoid of unrealistic expectations.

**Mindfulness and Meditation**: Mindful practices can help you become more aware of your feelings, reactions, and behaviors. Through meditation, you can connect deeper with your inner self, allowing space to understand your essence as a mother.

**Journaling**: Writing down your thoughts, challenges, victories, and emotions can be therapeutic. Over time, revisiting these entries can provide patterns and insights into your journey as a mom.

**Engage in Personal Growth**: Read books, attend workshops, or join motherhood groups. Learning from others' experiences and gaining new knowledge can aid in self-discovery.

**Self-Care**: Often, in the whirlwind of motherhood, moms neglect themselves. Taking time for self-care not only rejuvenates you but also allows moments of introspection. It's in the quiet moments that clarity often emerges.

**Seek Professional Guidance**: If you find it challenging to navigate your feelings or are feeling lost, consider seeking therapy or coaching. Professionals can provide tools and strategies to understand oneself better.

**Celebrate Yourself**: Remember to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Recognize and honor the unique qualities you bring to your family. Celebrations can be moments of reflection and affirmation.

In essence, discovering who you are as a mom is not a destination but a journey. It's intertwined with personal growth, experiences, and the ever-evolving dynamics of family. The key is to stay curious, open-minded, and compassionate towards oneself. With time and effort, the layers of understanding deepen, revealing a clearer image of your unique identity as a mother.



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Key point #4:

Your "self-love map," as we're conceptualizing it, is a dynamic representation of your self-understanding, self-compassion, and self-worth. Just as topographical maps evolve with the changing landscapes, your self-love map adapts with life's shifts and turns.

**Children and Your Self-Love Map**:

Every child you bring into the world or raise is a unique individual with their own needs, temperament, and life journey. With each child, your roles, responsibilities, and experiences change, which in turn impacts your self-perception and self-love.

For instance, your first child might introduce you to the vulnerabilities and strengths of motherhood, leading you to map out areas of self-growth and self-forgiveness. Your second or third child might challenge previous parenting notions, urging you to adapt and redraw parts of your map to include flexibility, learning, and fresh perspectives.

**Seasons of Life and Your Self-Love Map**:

Different life stages bring about varied challenges and joys. Young adulthood, mid-life, and the golden years each come with distinct experiences, reflections, and self-realizations. In young adulthood, your map might be about exploration, establishing identity, and self-assertion. Mid-life could focus on deep introspection, acceptance, and legacy. The later years might emphasize reflection, contentment, and wisdom.

**When Changes are Most Likely to Happen**:

Major life events or transitions often act as catalysts for change in your self-love map. Events like childbirth, career shifts, personal losses, or milestones like children leaving the nest can prompt significant map updates.

**Check-ins and Updates**:

**Regular Intervals**: Consider checking in with yourself at regular intervals, perhaps quarterly or biannually. These consistent reflections can help you keep a pulse on your feelings and perceptions. Life coaches are a great resource for this.

**After Major Life Events**: As mentioned, significant life events can be pivotal in self-understanding and should prompt a review of your self-love map.

**Moments of Emotional Intensity**: Periods of intense joy, sorrow, anxiety, or other strong emotions can be signals for introspection.

**Start or End of a Year**: The beginning or end of a year can be symbolic for many. It might be an ideal time to reflect on past experiences and set intentions for the upcoming period.

**During Challenging Parenting Phases**: If you're facing difficulties with a particular child or a specific phase of their growth, it's a good time to revisit your map.

Remember, the goal of these check-ins is not to judge or criticize but to understand, nurture, and evolve. Adjustments to your self-love map aren't admissions of failure but acknowledgments of growth. Life's unpredictability ensures that our maps are always works in progress, and that's perfectly okay. The journey, with its ebbs and flows, is what makes life and self-love so beautifully profound.


Lifehack segment:

**Lifehack Segment: "Mapping Your Motherhood Journey: The Self-Love Edition"**

Hello, dear listeners! Welcome to today's lifehack segment. Today, we're diving deep into the heart of motherhood and exploring a tool that can make this journey more introspective and nurturing: The Self-Love Map.

1. **Childbirth as a Starting Point**: Think of childbirth as a landmark moment on your map. It's transformative, and each time you go through it, you add new contours to your self-understanding. Remember, every childbirth is unique, adding a distinct layer to your self-perception.

2. **Emotional Milestones**: Beyond just the physical milestones of your child, like their first steps or first words, tune into your emotional milestones. Moments of intense joy, challenges, or reflection can be markers. Jot them down, perhaps in a dedicated journal. This way, you're creating a tangible record of your self-love journey.

3. **Regular Map Check-ins**: Just like you'd do with any other lifehack tool, regularity is key. Whether it's after a significant event, during moments of emotional intensity, or even as a yearly ritual around your child's birthday, take a moment to reflect and update your self-love map.

4. **Digital Aid**: Use reminder apps to prompt self-reflection moments. For instance, set a bi-monthly alert titled "Map My Love" to ensure you're consistently in touch with your feelings and growth.

5. **Group Reflection**: Join or form a mother's group. Sharing and listening to diverse experiences can offer fresh perspectives for your self-love map. It's like getting recommendations for new places to visit on a travel map! I have a crazy amount of pins of places I want to visit in google maps and I have a ton of topics written down to explore and speak about from talking to others, it’s the same concept.

6. **The Pocket Pep Talk**: On your phone or a small card, write down affirmations or insights from your self-love map. When the going gets tough, and you need a reminder of your resilience, strengths, and the love that fuels your journey, these pocket pep talks can be invaluable. You can also use an app for this. I have a client who does and loves it.

In wrapping up, remember, motherhood is a journey, not a destination. And like all explorers, having a map – especially one grounded in self-love – can make the voyage even more enlightening and fulfilling. Until next time, keep mapping, keep loving, and cherish the incredible journey of motherhood.


Key point #5:

Circling back to the topic of childbirth, this significant life event underscores the fluidity and dynamism inherent in your "self-love map." Such a map, as we've discussed, is an ever-evolving testament to your self-understanding, self-compassion, and self-worth. Much like topographical maps adjust to the changing landscapes, the profound experiences of childbirth and subsequent motherhood continually reshape and redefine your self-love map, allowing it to mirror life's rich tapestry of emotions and milestones.

Each childbirth experience uniquely impacts this map. It introduces you to uncharted terrains of vulnerability, resilience, joys, challenges, and boundless love. This transformation isn't just about the physical act of giving birth but the myriad emotional and psychological changes accompanying it. The postpartum period, with its whirlwind of emotions, healing, and adjustments, often has pronounced effects on how you perceive and love yourself. It's a season where many mothers grapple with their identities, oscillating between their roles as caregivers and their individual selfhood. It can also be a time of sorrow as we mourn the loss of the person we were while still feeling the love and joy of our new little one.

As each child grows and hits various developmental milestones, these moments serve as reflective points. They offer opportunities to assess how you've evolved as a mother and as an individual. Such introspective moments become vital, especially during intense emotional phases—times of overwhelming joy, fatigue, uncertainty, or boundless love. They are gentle nudges, reminding you to revisit and nurture your self-love map.

To navigate this transformative journey, regular check-ins with oneself become crucial. Be it postpartum reflections, milestones in your child's life, or simply annual musings, these moments of introspection ensure that your self-love map remains a relevant, compassionate guide. Embracing the fluidity of this map, understanding its ever-evolving nature, and using it as a beacon, especially during moments of doubt, can serve as a grounding force in the tumultuous yet rewarding voyage of motherhood.

In essence, just as childbirth is a rite of passage, an entrance into a new realm of experiences and emotions, your self-love map is a compass—always pointing you towards self-awareness, growth, and compassion. Embracing its dynamic nature and regularly updating it is not just an act of self-care but a celebration of the multifaceted, beautiful journey that is motherhood.

Key point #6:

Comparing one's journey to that of others is a natural human tendency, stemming from our desire to gauge where we stand in relation to our peers. However, when it comes to personal growth and the journey of motherhood, comparisons can be particularly detrimental. Here's why it's crucial to resist this instinct and how it impacts the evolution of your "self-love map":

**The Uniqueness of Individual Journeys**:

Every individual's journey is unique, shaped by myriad factors like personal history, challenges, triumphs, aspirations, and inherent personality traits. Comparing your path with another's is like comparing two distinct stories, each with its own set of characters, plot twists, and climaxes.

**Distorted Reality**:

When we compare, we often view others' journeys through a lens tainted by our perceptions, biases, and insecurities. We might see their highlights and juxtapose them with our low moments, creating a skewed perspective. This distorted reality can breed feelings of inadequacy.

**Stifling Personal Growth**:

Comparison can create unnecessary pressure, pushing you to pursue goals or adopt strategies that might not resonate with your authentic self. Instead of listening to your inner voice and updating your self-love map based on personal experiences and reflections, you might find yourself chasing someone else's version of success or happiness. This can divert you from your true path and stifle personal growth.

**Delay in Updating the Self-Love Map**:

Your self-love map is a representation of your self-understanding, self-compassion, and self-worth. It needs regular introspection and self-awareness to be updated. When you're busy comparing, you're investing emotional and cognitive energy into external evaluations rather than internal reflection. This can delay or even derail the necessary introspective processes required to update and nurture your self-love map.

**Breeding Negative Emotions**:

Constant comparison can foster feelings of envy, resentment, or inferiority. These negative emotions can cloud your judgment and make it challenging to recognize and celebrate your achievements. Instead of focusing on your growth and self-love, you might become entangled in a web of negativity.

**Reduced Resilience**:

By continuously measuring your journey against others, you might not develop the resilience required to face challenges head-on. You might perceive setbacks not as opportunities for growth but as confirmations of perceived inadequacies.

In conclusion, while it's natural to glance sideways and see how others are faring, it's essential to remember that each person's journey is their own, with its own set of lessons, joys, and challenges. Embracing your path, without the shadow of comparison, allows you to genuinely connect with yourself, updating and enriching your self-love map in a way that resonates with your authentic self.


Segment: Coaching Questions

1. **Self-Love Map Exploration**: How would you describe your current self-love map, and in what areas do you feel it might need updating?

2. **Childbirth and Transformation**: How has each childbirth experience influenced your perceptions of self-worth and self-identity?

3. **Evolution of Motherhood**: As you transitioned through different stages of motherhood, what shifts did you notice in your self-understanding and self-compassion?

4. **Comparative Analysis**: Can you recall a recent instance where you compared your motherhood journey to someone else's? How did that make you feel, and what insights did you glean from that experience?

5. **Mapping Milestones**: What emotional milestones, both highs and lows, stand out in your journey of motherhood, and how have they shaped your self-love map?

6. **Emotional Triggers and Body Awareness**: Reflect on a time when a negative trigger impacted you. How has that trigger changed over time, and can you practice pausing to feel its truth in your body before reacting?

7. **Affirmations and Self-Love**: How often do you incorporate affirmations or positive self-talk in your daily routine, and how do they influence your self-love map?

8. **Reflection and Growth**: What practices or routines do you currently have in place to reflect on your growth and make necessary updates to your self-love map?

9. **Shared Experiences**: How do shared experiences with other mothers influence your perspective on your journey? Do they offer clarity, confusion, or a mix of both?

10. **Future Vision**: Envision your self-love map a year from now. What changes or additions do you hope to see, and how can you actively work towards making those a reality?

These questions are designed to inspire introspection and guide individuals through the layers of self-understanding, self-worth, and the nuances of motherhood.


Episode summary:

In this episode of "Wellness in Every Season," Autumn Carter took us on an introspective journey, retracing the footsteps of mothers as they journey through life's diverse seasons. From the transformative experiences of childbirth to the evolving stages of parenthood, we gained a deeper understanding of how our perceptions of self-worth and identity undergo continuous metamorphosis. Through Autumn's thought-provoking dialogue, we learned about the potential dangers of measuring our experiences against those of others and were reminded of the vital importance of self-reflection.

We also benefited from Autumn's practical tools, designed to help us pause amidst life's whirlwind, recenter, and truly connect with our innermost feelings. These tools promise to guide our path, ensuring that our journey is marked with self-awareness and genuine self-love.

Stay tuned for our next episode, where we'll shift our focus to "Creating a Morning and Bedtime Routine for Everyone in Your Family." Mothers know the magic of structure; it offers more than just a semblance of order in the household. These routines anchor our children, giving them a comforting sense of routine and security. And for mothers? It’s a sanctuary of calm, ensuring moments of peace amidst the day's beautiful chaos. We will also spend some time focusing on the importance of our own morning and bedtime routine. We are all creatures of habit.



Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.

If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.

Sharing our podcast with others is an act of caring, and I invite you to spread the word by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Your support is deeply valuable to us and enables us to reach more mothers who are seeking transformation and empowerment.

If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website,, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.

Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.

Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.



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