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Episode 39: The Risks of Cutting Out Without Nurturing Within

Updated: 4 days ago

Mom laughing while gardening with child


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.



Welcome to Episode 39 of "Wellness in Every Season," titled "Balancing the Scales: The Risks of Cutting Out Without Nurturing Within." In today's episode, we will delve deep into the often-overlooked dangers of eliminating aspects of our lives without thoughtfully replenishing them. Much like a garden left untended, simply removing the weeds without planting anew can leave a barren landscape. As we navigate the complex journey of motherhood, and life in general, it's essential to ensure that what we let go of is replaced with what nourishes our soul. Join us as we explore strategies, share personal narratives, and offer insights into achieving a harmonious balance in our lives, ensuring our inner gardens remain vibrant and enriched.

Key point #1:

Amelia had always been the epitome of a bustling, multitasking mother. The kind with an endless to-do list, juggling her children's needs, household chores, and her own aspirations. One evening, as the amber hues of the setting sun spilled into her cozy living room, she paused to read an article about the importance of decluttering one's life. Inspired, Amelia decided to cut out some of the 'noise' from her life. She unsubscribed from countless email newsletters, stopped participating in a few social groups, and even decided to take a break from her book club.

At first, the tranquility was intoxicating. The stillness of the mornings without the pinging of emails, the calm afternoons without the rush to social gatherings, and the serene nights without the pressure of discussing the latest book chapter. But as the days transformed into weeks, a void began to form in Amelia's heart. The silence that once felt like a soothing balm now echoed with loneliness. The spaces in her calendar, which she had hoped to fill with moments of self-reflection and peace, often left her feeling unanchored and adrift.

One rainy afternoon, as she watched her children play, a realization washed over her. While it was essential to remove the clutter and unnecessary commitments from her life, it was equally vital to fill those spaces with meaningful and soul-nourishing activities. Without adding wholesome things, the void became a breeding ground for feelings of isolation and emptiness.

So, Amelia began her journey once more. Instead of her book club, she started reading bedtime stories to her children, letting their imaginations travel to far-off lands. She replaced some social gatherings with intimate tea sessions with close friends, where they shared their dreams, fears, and laughter. And in place of endless newsletters, she started journaling, pouring her thoughts and emotions onto paper.

In time, Amelia's life was rich and fulfilling once more. Not because it was packed with activities, but because she had learned the delicate art of balancing subtraction with meaningful addition. The story of Amelia serves as a poignant reminder that while cutting things out can create room in our lives, it's what we choose to fill that space with that truly defines the quality of our existence.

Key point #2:

Are you feeling stuck while trying to do the same thing as Amelia? If you're nodding in agreement or your heart feels a tug, keep listening. We're about to delve deep into how you can create a fulfilling life by making the right choices. And remember, if by the end of this episode, you still feel like you're trudging through quicksand, don't hesitate to reach out. Email me at, and we can schedule a free mini session to help you find your way."

In our lives, especially as mothers, we often accumulate responsibilities, commitments, and habits that might have once served a purpose but now only serve to weigh us down. Just as a gardener prunes away dead or overgrown branches to allow a plant to flourish, we too must occasionally cut away the unnecessary to let our lives blossom.

Imagine your mental and emotional space as a beautiful garden. Over time, weeds of obligation, outdated commitments, and energy-draining tasks can overrun this garden, leaving little room for the flowers of joy, passion, and purpose to bloom. Every weed you pull out, every commitment or task you let go of, makes space for something more aligned with your current life and aspirations.

Yet, it's not just about making space. It's about what these cluttering elements do to our mental bandwidth and energy. Every unnecessary task or commitment is like a tiny energy leech, siphoning away your vitality bit by bit. Over time, these seemingly inconsequential drainers can leave you feeling exhausted, even if you haven't done anything particularly strenuous.

Cutting out the non-essentials isn't about deprivation; it's about liberation. It's about freeing up your mental, emotional, and even physical bandwidth so that you can channel your energy into what truly matters. Into the pursuits that light up your soul, the commitments that align with your core values, and the tasks that lead you closer to your dreams.

But remember, just as we learned from Amelia's story, it's not only about what you remove but also about what you choose to add in its place. As you prune away the unnecessary, be intentional about planting seeds that will grow into sources of joy, fulfillment, and purpose in your life's garden.


Segment: Mindfulness Practice:

As you settle into a serene corner of your home, perhaps on your favorite armchair or a snug spot on the floor, let your hands come to a rest upon your knees and allow your eyes to gently close, if that brings you comfort. Inhale deeply, drawing the breath in through your nose, letting your chest rise, and then softly exhale through your mouth. With each breath in, visualize renewal entering your being, and with each exhale, imagine tension flowing out, leaving you lighter. Your mind begins to still, reminiscent of the gentle stillness of a forest at twilight.

Imagine yourself standing at the entrance of a verdant, sprawling garden. This garden, with its myriad colors and scents, symbolizes your inner realm – your thoughts, emotions, and desires. As you meander through its paths, notice the areas that are flourishing and those that seem to be overshadowed by weeds of stress, doubt, or fatigue. Without casting judgment, simply observe.

Now, envision yourself holding a pair of pruning shears. These are your tools of transformation. Approach the areas of your garden that feel heavy or burdensome. It could be excessive commitments, lingering regrets, or tasks that no longer serve your true purpose. As you trim and clear away these overgrowths, feel a sense of release, as if burdens are being lifted off your shoulders.

In contrast, imagine a pouch of seeds cradled in your other hand. These seeds are tokens of new passions, joys, and aspirations. As you encounter spaces in your garden that seem empty or longing for nourishment, take a moment to lovingly plant these seeds. They might symbolize moments of self-reflection, rekindling a long-lost hobby, or simply setting aside time for heartfelt conversations with loved ones.

Dwell in this space of contemplation and ask yourself, "What does my ideal garden – my ideal life – truly look like?" Perhaps it means reducing the hustle and bustle of extracurricular activities to cherish more family moments, or maybe it signifies setting aside sacred hours just for yourself, to immerse in a beloved hobby or simply to rest.

As this visualization gently fades and you prepare to open your eyes, hold onto the sensations, insights, and revelations from your garden. They are your compass, guiding you towards a life where balance and joy reign supreme. Every step you take towards nurturing this inner garden isn't just about self-improvement; it's a journey of rediscovering and honoring your true essence, one petal, one moment, at a time.


Key point #3:

Life is not merely a sequence of events but a deeply personal journey, constantly ebbing and flowing. As the seasons change, so do we—our aspirations, our dreams, our very essence. Within this intricate dance of life, introspection stands as a beacon, guiding us back to our true selves.

Imagine your life as a garden. Just as a gardener takes the time to inspect every plant, every nook, and cranny, so too must we periodically assess the various facets of our lives. Unchecked habits and commitments can grow like weeds, clouding our true path and stifling our growth. They might overshadow the flowers of joy, passion, and purpose that we've so lovingly nurtured.

The beauty of life lies in its dynamism. What once brought immense joy or held profound value might not resonate the same as time unfurls. Our hearts evolve, our desires shift, and our dreams take new shapes. It's essential, then, to ensure that our commitments and actions still echo our current selves, reflecting our true desires and aspirations.

As we traverse this garden of life, introspection allows us to identify areas that might have become redundant or merely habitual. These are the patches that need tending, the plants that might need pruning. By doing so, we ensure our energy—our life force—is directed towards endeavors that genuinely matter, that truly align with our soul's calling.

And then comes the art of delegation, a pivotal tool in nurturing our garden. Not every task that falls upon us resonates with our strengths. Recognizing these and re-delegating them is an act of self-preservation. It's about understanding our unique gifts and allowing others to shine in their areas of strength. As we discussed with Kate Engler, delegation isn't merely about efficiency; it's an act of self-care. If you missed that enlightening conversation, I urge you to lend it an ear. It's a soothing reminder that seeking help, sharing the load, is not just okay—it's essential.

Without this introspective journey, we risk getting lost in the maze of life, reacting rather than choosing. But with introspection, we regain our power, our agency. We make choices rooted in understanding, in love, and in authenticity.

This journey is also a salve for the soul. It brings to light areas of burnout, of discontent, allowing us to address them head-on. It's a proactive approach to emotional well-being, ensuring our garden remains vibrant, even in the harshest of seasons.

And as we tread this path, gratitude blossoms. With every introspective moment, we cultivate a deeper appreciation for the myriad experiences that shape our journey. We recognize the value in each commitment, each choice, savoring the beauty they bring. And as we prune away what no longer serves us, we make room for new growth, new experiences, and new joys.

In essence, introspection is our compass in the vast garden of life. It's a promise we make to ourselves—to ensure our life remains vibrant, meaningful, and true to our essence. Through this, we don't merely navigate life; we curate it, crafting a journey that resonates with purpose, passion, and profound presence.



Moms, I want you to imagine something for a moment. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision this: You're standing at the crossroads of dreams and duty. You're not just surviving each day, juggling chores and kids, but thriving in a life where your dreams aren't sidelined—they're part of your daily reality.

Can you feel that knot of guilt in your stomach start to loosen? It's that fear of losing yourself to endless days of diapers and dishes. It's the struggle to balance your own dreams with the demands of motherhood. It's the constant juggling act that often leaves you feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.

But here's the thing, I've been right where you are. I understand those emotions, those daily challenges, and the longing for something more. I've found a way out, a path that allows you to be the incredible mom you are while pursuing your dreams.

And guess what? I've helped other moms do the same, and they've achieved amazing results. Now, I'm here to guide you on this transformative journey.

As we step into a new school year, I have some exciting news for you. Four coaching spots have just opened up, and they're waiting for moms like you who are ready to reclaim their true selves, balance their lives, and fulfill their dreams.

Are you ready for this transformation? It's your time to shine. Sign up online at for a free 60-minute coaching call.


Key point #4:

In the intricate tapestry of life, every thread holds a memory, an emotion, a piece of our very soul. Some threads shimmer with joy, while others might be tinged with pain or regret. Over time, certain threads can weigh heavy on our hearts, clouding our minds and spirits. It is here that the profound art of letting go finds its place.

For many, including myself, the journey of letting go is interwoven with past traumas and deep-seated pain. Childhood experiences, particularly traumatic ones, have a way of casting long, persistent shadows into adulthood. These shadows, these memories, often become burdens we unknowingly carry, shaping our choices, our relationships, and our self-worth.

I've grappled with my own traumas, ones that have lingered from childhood into my adult life. The pain of those experiences, the weight of those memories, often made me feel as though I was trapped in a cycle of self-blame and resentment. The person I found hardest to forgive was not the one who wronged me but myself. It took me a long time to understand that as an innocent child, I wasn't at fault. The blame was not mine to bear. Yet, sometimes, we hold onto pain, not for the sake of memories but as a form of self-punishment. It's as if the pain becomes a twisted form of penance, a way to hurt ourselves for perceived wrongs.

Letting go is not about erasing memories or negating experiences; it's about freeing ourselves from the emotional chains that bind us. Every grudge, every past mistake, every painful memory becomes a shackle. Releasing these shackles, especially those tied to trauma, requires immense strength, courage, and self-love.

Grudges, past mistakes, and toxic relationships can become emotional anchors, holding us back. But the most profound act of letting go is when we release ourselves from self-imposed guilt and blame. It's when we understand that our past does not define our worth. It's when we embrace the truth that we deserve love, peace, and happiness.

The journey of letting go is deeply personal, and for many, it's a continuous process. It requires introspection, courage, and most importantly, compassion towards oneself. But with every step, with every release, we reclaim a piece of ourselves. We rediscover the joy of living in the present, unburdened by the past.

In essence, the art of letting go is the art of living fully. It's about understanding that our time here is limited and cherishing every moment. It's about releasing the burdens of the past and embracing the promise of the future. And most importantly, it's about forgiving ourselves, for in that forgiveness lies true liberation.

Key point #5:

The garden of life is vast, filled with vibrant blooms and tangled thickets. Just as in any garden, certain boundaries are essential to protect its integrity and beauty. In the context of our lives, these boundaries are symbolic of our self-worth, our self-respect, and the space we carve out for our well-being.

Boundaries are not walls meant to isolate us but protective perimeters that ensure we grow and thrive in healthy environments. They are manifestations of our understanding of what we deserve, of how we want to be treated, and of the respect we hold for ourselves. In relationships, be it familial, romantic, or professional, setting clear boundaries is akin to demarcating which areas need sunlight and which need shade. It's about understanding our needs, our limits, and ensuring they are acknowledged and respected.

Yet, the journey of setting and maintaining boundaries is not always straightforward. For many, including myself, the absence of boundaries is deeply intertwined with past experiences and traumas. When we don't set boundaries, when we allow ourselves to be continually overshadowed or overrun, it's often an echo of unresolved pain, guilt, or self-blame. Without boundaries, we become vulnerable, not just to external influences but to internal turmoil. We may struggle with self-forgiveness, berating ourselves for perceived wrongs or past mistakes. This internal conflict can manifest in our external world, causing us to either overextend ourselves for others or completely withdraw, seeking solace in isolation.

Imagine a garden where certain plants are continuously pruned, cut back to the point of stunting their growth, while others are left un-tended, starved of essential nutrients. This is the garden of a life without boundaries—a life where we might relentlessly criticize ourselves, holding onto past regrets, while neglecting areas that need nurturing, love, and attention. Over Pruning certain aspects of our lives, like continuously sacrificing our needs for others, can leave us feeling depleted and undervalued. Conversely, neglecting areas that need nourishment, like self-care and self-love, can lead to feelings of emptiness and discontent.

Balancing the act of being there for others while being there for oneself is a delicate dance. It's about understanding that self-worth is not selfish. By setting boundaries, we're not only protecting ourselves but also cultivating healthier, more genuine relationships. When we value ourselves, when we forgive ourselves, we radiate that self-love outward, fostering connections built on mutual respect and understanding.

In essence, boundaries are the bedrock of self-worth. They are declarations of our deservingness, reminders that we are worthy of respect, love, and space. By setting and respecting boundaries, we not only protect our garden of life but also ensure it blossoms, bearing fruits of joy, contentment, and fulfillment. Remember, every time you set a boundary, you're not pushing someone away; you're drawing a circle that includes you. And within that circle lies the promise of growth, healing, and profound self-discovery.


Lifehack segment:

**Lifehack Segment: Journaling - Your Gateway to Inner Growth**

Hey listeners, welcome to today's Lifehack Segment! We've got a gem of a practice that's been around for centuries but holds unparalleled power even in today's digital age: Journaling. Think of it as the ultimate lifehack for tending to the garden of your mind and heart.

So, why journaling? It's simple. Just as you'd jot down a grocery list to remember what you need from the store, journaling helps you remember, reflect upon, and resonate with the myriad emotions, events, and epiphanies of your life.

Here's how you can make journaling your daily power move:

Embrace the Ritual:Set aside a sacred time daily, even if it's brief. This consistency creates a rhythm, making introspection a natural part of your day.

No Blank Page Syndrome: Staring at an empty page can be intimidating. Kickstart your session with prompts like "One thing I'm grateful for today is..." or "A challenge I faced and how I felt about it was...". It's like having a conversation starter with your inner self.

Doodles and Dreams: Journaling isn't just about words. Sketch your feelings, doodle your dreams, or even paste in mementos that hold meaning. It's your space; there are no rules.

Positive Affirmations: In the midst of pouring out feelings, don't forget to sprinkle in positive affirmations. They're like the sunlight and water that help your inner garden thrive.

Journey Back in Time: Every once in a while, leaf through your past entries. It's a beautiful way to see how far you've come, the storms you've weathered, and the joys you've harvested.

Share the Wealth: While your journal is personal, occasionally sharing an insight or a realization with someone you trust can add layers to your understanding. It's like getting a bird's-eye view of your garden.

Listeners, this age-old practice is a treasure trove. Journaling doesn't just capture moments; it magnifies emotions, amplifies insights, and most importantly, anchors you. In the whirlwind of motherhood and life's chaos, it's that quiet corner where your soul finds its voice. So, if you're looking for a lifehack that offers both solace and strength, journaling is your answer.


Key point #6:

Navigating the intricate pathways of motherhood is a journey filled with diverse terrains, each presenting its own set of challenges and rewards. Among these terrains, the experiences of mothers with neurodivergences like depression, anxiety, and ADHD stand out with a unique intensity.

Picture depression as a heavy mist, dimming the vibrancy of life. This mist can make the simple joys of motherhood—like a child's laughter or a shared family moment—seem distant, as if shrouded by a veil. This obscuring cloud often brings feelings of inadequacy, igniting a compelling urge to withdraw and hide from the world.

Contrastingly, anxiety can be visualized as a tempestuous storm, where every gust of wind carries a new worry and every thunderclap echoes a looming doubt. Mothers battling anxiety may find themselves caught in an endless loop of "what ifs", with concerns ranging from their child's safety to their own capabilities. The relentless nature of this storm can make the allure of seeking shelter away from everything intensely appealing.

Meanwhile, ADHD whirls around like a gusty wind, scattering thoughts and making focus a Herculean task. Mothers with ADHD might often feel they're dancing on the edge of chaos, trying to balance the demands of family, home, and self. The pull to escape this tornado, to find a moment of calm, can sometimes be overpowering.

Yet, despite these challenges, it's vital to recognize that complete withdrawal isn't the answer. Each of these neurodivergences, while formidable, brings with it unique strengths. A mother experiencing depression may possess deep empathy, one with anxiety might have a heightened intuition, and ADHD can lend a creative and dynamic approach to parenting.

Retreating entirely can lead to intensified feelings of solitude and amplify the struggles. It's pivotal for mothers to lean into support, whether through professional therapy, communal support groups, or heartfelt conversations with loved ones. These channels of understanding and compassion can help dispel the mist, calm the storm, and redirect the wind.

Bringing our discussion full circle, the tapestry of motherhood, with its vibrant threads of boundary-setting, introspection, challenges, and triumphs, paints a picture both intricate and beautiful. Central to this masterpiece is the theme of self-awareness and self-nurturing. The balance between caring for oneself and others, the importance of periodic self-reflection, and the resilience in facing challenges, be it from neurodivergences or external pressures, all contribute to the rich narrative of a mother's journey.

In essence, motherhood is a profound exploration of the human soul, a dance of love, resilience, and growth. As mothers waltz through this journey, they must remember that they're not alone. Through shared stories, mutual support, and open-hearted dialogue, they can find not only solace and strength but also a community of understanding and acceptance.


Segment: Coaching Questions

As we traverse the verdant pathways of your life's garden together, these coaching questions are intended to be the nurturing soil and guiding trellises. Each one is crafted to deepen your roots and help you reach for the sunlight of self-awareness. Think of every question as a nurturing raindrop or a beam of gentle sunlight, essential in cultivating and blossoming your inner garden of well-being and self-discovery.

1. Introspection and Alignment: How do you feel your current actions and commitments align with who you genuinely are and where you want to be in life?

2. The Art of Letting Go: Can you recall a situation where holding onto something (a grudge, a memory, a relationship) impacted your well-being? How might releasing it change your current state?

3. Navigating Neurodivergences: In what ways do you feel your experiences with depression, anxiety, or ADHD have shaped your perspective on motherhood?

4. Self-Care and Boundaries: How do you define self-care in your life? Are there boundaries you wish you had set earlier or ones you'd like to implement now?

5. Challenges of Motherhood: What has been the most challenging aspect of motherhood for you, and how have you navigated it?

6. Support Systems: How do you currently seek and receive support in both your challenges and triumphs as a mother?

7. Self-Forgiveness: Can you identify an aspect of your past that you find challenging to forgive yourself for? How might releasing this self-blame change your daily life?

8. Growth and Renewal: In what areas of your life do you feel growth and rejuvenation are most needed right now?

9. Understanding and Compassion: How do you cultivate understanding and compassion for yourself, especially during challenging times?

10. Motherhood and Identity: How do you view the balance between your identity as a mother and your individual identity? Are there areas where you feel they might be in conflict, and how do you address them?

These questions are designed to encourage deep reflection and provide insights into the various facets of the motherhood journey, helping to guide and support mothers as they navigate the challenges and joys it presents.


Episode summary:

In today's episode, we journeyed through the winding paths of motherhood, shedding light on the unique challenges and experiences of mothers grappling with neurodivergences such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. We delved deep into the art of introspection, emphasizing the significance of setting clear boundaries while also exploring the transformative and liberating power of letting go. Each segment of our discussion served as a nurturing tool, helping us tend to our inner gardens and ensuring they remain lush and thriving. Through shared stories, strategies, and insights, we aimed to offer guidance and support to nurture well-being across every season of motherhood.

Looking ahead to our next episode, I'm thrilled to introduce Susie Fishleder, a board member of IAMAS - the International Association of Maternal Action. Susie, who joined IAMAS in 2021 while pursuing her MA in Women, Gender, Spirituality & Social Justice with a focus on Motherhood Studies, found a sense of belonging with IAMAS, describing it as "coming home." We'll dive deep into the differences between mothering and motherhood, explore the systematic inequalities affecting the realm of motherhood, and discuss the patriarchal institution of motherhood and how mothering can be seen as an act of liberation. Susie will also share insights on what being a mother means at IAMAS, and we'll touch upon their June 2024 conference theme, "Mothering and Motherhood: Past, Present, and Future."



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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