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Episode 69- A Journey to Peace with Alysia Lyons

Updated: 2 days ago


Woman with brunette-blonde hair wearing a blue shirt
Alysia Lyons


Autumn: This is episode 69. And today I have with me mom support coach Alicia Lyons, and she is going to talk with us a little bit about her, what she calls a piece assessment. And I'm very excited to see similarities and differences between my own assessment as a coach and her book. And I am just so grateful that you're on with us today.

Is there anything else that you want to tell us to introduce yourself?

Alysia: Yeah, thank you for having me on the podcast. I'm really grateful for that. I've been a coach for five-ish years. I fell into it. I think that's how coaches actually come about is they just trip and fall into this work and my passion is to help moms release mom guilt and increase the peace in their life.

Autumn: Tell me what do you typically see mom guilt manifesting as? What does it look like?

Alysia: So it was a really good question. Mom guilt sounds like I should have done this or I shouldn't have done that. It can feel really heavy and it can and ultimately shows up as like I'm a bad mom because I'm doing something or not doing something that I feel like I should be doing or that more specifically a good mom does.

Or a good mom doesn't do it and I'm violating those rules. We don't recognize that's where it's coming from. But ultimately, if you feel like a good mom stays home with their kids, but you're at work because you either want to or need to, now you have this thing called mom guilt because you have to or want to be at work but your rule says I'm actually supposed to be home with my kids in order to be a good mom.

Autumn: And it's so interesting sometimes when we change our rules and we feel guilty about the other way. Just feels like we can't win. So why is this detrimental? Like I hinted at it, but why do you find that to be detrimental?

Alysia: Because no matter what we do, we're failing. And, we love those little boogers so much that we really want to. Ultimately, if we could have it our way, we would have.

Everything is completely perfect. Like they don't suffer, they don't cry or they don't have any pain. They're never disappointed because we know how all that feels. I don't know about you, but I haven't met anybody that had a perfect childhood and got every single thing that they ever wanted and never felt disappointed in any way, shape or form.

Autumn: I think even if they had...

Alysia: everything... It's this expectation that's what we want to provide for our kids.

Autumn: And the thing is, they're still going to be disappointed even if they got everything they wanted. Then they become where they expect that in life.

We've all encountered adults who are treated that way as children and they're not very pleasant to be around or to work for. Emphasis on working for them. Oof. No, thank you. Been there done that. No, thank you. And for me, I noticed when I get stuck in mom guilt, it is just a spiral downhill. It just, everything else just goes with it.

 I just gave my kids a bath. I did haircuts in a bath for the two youngest. So I wasn't doing all everybody altogether. And it's letting out that the water from the bathtub, and it gets faster and faster. And that's what I feel like with mom guilt. So that's why I try really hard to get away from there.

And that's why I'm so passionate about keeping other moms from getting there. And it sounds like it's very similar for you. So can we dive into a little bit of your journey and what led you here?

Alysia: Yeah. And I want to answer how it manifests in me. So one of the ways that it does manifests is that because we feel guilty, we overcompensate in a different way.

So sometimes our yeses mean, we say yes when we want to say no, and we say no when we want to say yes. And just a personal example, like I still notice that it does grab me once in a while. And but I noticed it a lot quicker than I used to which I'll tell that story in just a second.

But like the other day, my son complains about his height a lot and he's a very picky eater. And so we're always telling him if you would, eat different foods, then you're going to give your body the building blocks that it needs for you to grow. But right now, you're really only giving it a choice of five or maybe ten things maximum, and all of them are very similar, and so we're, learning that he's lacking in calcium because he really doesn't like a lot of milk and dairy and whatnot.

And so I got to this point where I was like, you know what? I don't want to hear you complain about it anymore if you're not willing to do something about it. And we're like, we're literally telling you what you can do about it. And you're just stuck in the complaining. And the way that I just said it was actually nicer than I said it to him.

And I felt really guilty about it. And the next morning I was taking him to school and I told him I loved him and he said, I love you too. And then I caught myself wanting to say, I love you again, like three minutes later. So there's this overcompensation for not saying I love you every three minutes is a bad thing, but it really was this overcompensation.

I really want you to know that I love you. Because I violated my good mom rule. A good mom doesn't tell their kid to stop expressing their emotion, that's my rule. I want him to be able to come to me and express stuff. And I'm tired of the complaining about it when there's a very obvious solution and he's telling me no.

So, just a little story about a recent thing. But when he was four years old I left him with a babysitter and she was inappropriate with him. And I did all the things that you would do to remedy that situation. Obviously he never went to that babysitter again. I filed a police report.

I actually even filed a child protective services report because in my mind, a 13 year old girl doesn't do that to a little boy unless it's been done to her. And I got to therapy and none of those things worked really. He didn't want to talk about it. The police report didn't go anywhere because they said they lied and said nothing happened.

And neither did the child protective services. So I really felt like I'd failed because the system that's supposed to protect my son after the fact failed. So I failed before the fact because I didn't prevent it from happening. And then I failed a second time because the system didn't protect him. And so I carried that around for about four years and the way that it manifested with me was that I didn't recognize I was doing this until after my coach helped me deal with it and really release it.

And so after I released it, I recognized that I was pushing him away. So every time he would come and want to snuggle with me, I would let it happen for a maximum of 30 seconds, and then I would spontaneously think of something I need to go do instead of snuggling with him. And that's because of my other programming of: "I'm going to leave you before you have the chance to hurt me."

Cause I imagined that someday he's going to come back to me and say, how come you didn't protect me from this horrible thing? And I just didn't think that I'd be able to handle that. And so my protective mechanism kicked in. And none of this was conscious until after I let the guilt go.

Autumn: So many emotions flowing through me. I have goosebumps. My body's like, I don't know what to do. Wow. And it's not rare, which is even worse.

Alysia: I'm learning more and more how not rare that is. And in my worldview, a girl doesn't do that to a boy anyway. I never had any experience. Luckily, on a personal level, I never experienced anything along those lines, but I knew that happened to girls and to women, but it never occurred to me that it would happen to a little boy.

Autumn: So let's speak for a second to moms who have had, are in your shoes, but four years back, what would you say? 

Alysia: The thing that really supported me was the acknowledgement that there's no way that I could have known. That I did everything. That's the one thing that we do is we get new information and then we beat our younger version of ourselves up for not knowing that information earlier.

And so that's the spiral I was stuck in is I let someone hurt my son. I didn't say here, take my kid and hurt him, please that's a whole different story and just because of other stories that I've heard, the one thing that I'm going to say is, and I hope this is not a necessary thing to say, but if your child tells you that something happened, believe them, and keep them away from that person.

A dear friend of mine told her mom, and her mom's response was, "well the next time he tries...."

I can't even count the ways that anything after that sentence is wrong. And it's not judgment, you can't expect a four year old to be able to stop a man from hurting her, no matter what you arm her with, and some kids are going to lie about it because they're trying to get you out of this relationship or whatnot. But, I just can't even fathom not listening and believing them. So there's my little soapbox.

Autumn: I'm trying really hard not to make this about me because I've experienced that. My mom has as well. The one thing that really stood out to me as I've been uncovering more of my trauma and how bad the abuse was in my childhood and yes, sexual is there as well. A coach, Martha Beck, in one of her books, she talks about how it's so emotional, it's hard to get the words.

Sometimes we put these blinders on to what is really happening, even when somebody will directly tell us. I did this to you. This happened because of how much it will change our perception. Like our brain just is: "Nope, I'm not accepting that." And I'll have to find the quote because I'm totally ruining it, but it made me release some of the emotions I have over another family member who was molested by her brother.

She went to tell her mom and her mom said: "Nope, that did not happen." And what made it worse is she went to her grave. "No, that did not happen. Your brother did not do that. You're somehow mistaken." She was 12 or 13 years old when it happened. It was not a dream. It was very real. It's not something made up and I'm not saying a four year old is going to make something up, but there's so much less arguments that you can have.

For that age, in my opinion, and this person's close enough to me that I still have so many emotions about it, but realizing that it, especially as a mom, putting through this, if I accept this, then that changes my beliefs about myself and how I parented and everything else. There's so much delicacy on both sides there that I can't imagine.

What else would you tell your past self in ways that you can heal your family?Because you've taken some steps that you felt weren't quite the right steps, what would the right steps be? Knowing that this is also individual.

Alysia: I think that it's important to know that the younger version of yourself is doing the best that they can with the tools and resources that they have at the time. And so when you get, and I'm not saying don't get new tools and resources, absolutely get new tools and resources. As they come along, like things are going to come into your path and you're going to learn new things.

And that's amazing. And please continue to do that, but don't go back and say you should have known better and you should have done better. Like right now, I'm learning about intuitive eating. That's not something that I'd ever heard about before. I've probably heard about it a couple of times in the last couple of years and really dismissed it cause I wasn't ready for it.

But now I'm reading this book and I'm like, okay, I'm literally loving every single thing that I'm hearing, or yeah, I listen to the book, so everything that I'm hearing, and there's a way of intuitive eating for children and raising intuitive eaters, and there's a lot of things that we're programmed to do is like dinners at six o'clock and they need to eat what you eat and you need to clean your plate.

A lot of things that we were raised on that really disconnect us from our hunger cues as well as from our satiated cues. And that leads to overeating, undereating in the future. And so I could with this new information go home, man, I forced him to eat Brussels sprouts. He wanted to throw up after taking a bite of a Brussels sprout and, I've made him finish it.

And I did feel really guilty about that. And I could continue to feel really guilty about it because now I've learned this, these new things in this book. But what I've done instead is I told him, I'm sorry that I forced you to eat that brussels sprout and can we do something where we do try on Tuesdays, where you at least try a bite of something new.

Is that something that you're willing to do? And he's agreed to it. And now we have this collaborative process instead of I'm the boss, I'm the authority, and you're going to do what I say.

Autumn: It makes me think of, it's quoted so many places I don't even know where it came from, but when you know better, do better. And I feel like that is super applicable here. Once you have the tool, use it. Don't go. Cause I've been around people, especially in the coaching field where it's okay, I'm supposed to be leaving the door open for you to have these epiphanies yourself, but where they have the tool.

But because of guilt, they don't want to use it. No, still use it. You're helping yourself right now and for the future, and just look back at the past and at, with grace and with curiosity to learn how to make better choices in the future. So I love that you're doing that. And I still won't eat green beans because of the same experience.

Alysia: Exactly. And the phrase is if, when you know, better do better. Not when you know better, do better and beat yourself up for not knowing it earlier.

Autumn: Insert clapping right here. The audience applause now. Yeah. So yes, I feel like that is applicable in any situation, especially with what happened to your son. And I think it goes back to and almost every coach talks about this, trusting your intuition. And making sure to have that for the future and just allowing the space to reconnect with your intuition, if it's not without gills.

Alysia: And, what's really, it's funny cause this, it still comes up for me too. We had a haircut with a new person who works out of his home and which I was fine with and he told me like 20 minutes before the appointment that it was cash only and as you mentioned when we were offline, you're a planner so you can understand how irritating that statement was and his next statement was "you can drop him off and go get money and come back."

And my body reacted to that statement, like, the F I will, and I had a friend with me. And so she stayed and once I met him,I was like, okay, he's not a creep. But I hadn't even heard his voice at that point. And, He is a super nice guy, and he was done way before it way earlier than it took me to leave and come back.

But it's like that was a this. I had a visceral immediately. No to that response. And that's from the trauma of that situation, and I'm okay with that. And then my son got sort of kicked off the bus the other day because he was, doing something that the bus driver thought was not safe.

I'm guessing so he wasn't sitting in a seat. We're reviewing the footage to find out exactly what happened. But the bus driver said, come to the front. And my son always asks why and some, and that gets him in trouble sometimes with certain teachers, which is a whole nother tangent. I won't go on.

But Instead of answering the question why, the bus driver said, sit up here.In this seat or get off the bus. And my son opted to get off the bus and I said, what was going on in, he was left at a school which is safe. None of that was acceptable behavior on the bus driver's. Part.

But I was asking him like, what happened, what was going on? And he said, I didn't, that guy creeps me out. And I'm like, I will never punish you for listening to that guy creeps me out voice. And that's something that we do as parents that we don't recognize that we do, that shuts down our kids intuition.

That your body knows when somebody's, when something's not right. Sometimes it's because of trauma. And sometimes it's because That's your intuition talking to you. And we were at McDonald's one time and he was like, mom, that guy is creeping me out. And I was having a conversation with him and he's like, I don't want to be around that guy anymore.

Can we go outside? And I was like, yeah. So we moved across the restaurant. So he didn't have to be around that guy anymore. And I like, I have had in the past zero connection to my intuition or even really understanding what it was. I would always say I have looking back intuition and people are like, no, no, no, that's your intuition.

You're just ignoring it. So that's why I'm passionate about it. But like intuition is in all of us and it's our internal GPS and it's to let us know what is. And what's not

Autumn: so people who are right now listening, going, yes, I struggle with the same thing. What advice do you have

Alysia: What I've been doing to get in touch with it is just being quiet. I'm going to be spending five minutes with myself for a minimum of five minutes in the morning because you can call it meditation, you can call it whatever. Like some people, I don't resonate with the word meditation, but I mean I do and I have resistance around it, but if I say I'm just spending five minutes with myself, then I don't have resistance around that.

And get to the point where you are really paying attention to the little voices. And that was just such a big thing for me. Like, I didn't pay attention to things. And then the other day I was one day I was driving for Lyft and I was driving down, I was driving to pick somebody up and there was, I was going down the street and the street was a street that my friend that I mentioned earlier, who she passed away five years ago she and I lived on the street, Del Mar.

And so I was like, Oh, interesting. I'm driving down Del Mar and it immediately made me think of her. And then as I'm cross, as I'm driving down the street, a cat runs in front of the car and then a second cat. And then maybe 10 more seconds later, a third cat runs in front of the car. And I was like, Okay.

Okay, that's strange, but at that point, I looked down at the writer's name and when I saw him, I was like, okay, something feels wrong. And I, in my head, I immediately started having this conversation with myself. If somebody tried to steal my wallet, What would I say to them? And I was like, that's a weird conversation to pop into my head.

You know? And so then as I pulled up to this house, there were 15 guys standing in front of that house at 4. 30 in the morning. And I was like, immediately no. And I kept driving and I cancelled the ride. So it was like, there were things that were like, pay attention. For me, I see things in threes, so if I'll, if I see gosh, I'm trying those three things that, like, the cats, there's a connection with my friend and cats, too.

Those kinds of, when they happen in threes like that's when it's oh, there's something happening, I need to pay attention.

Autumn: Sounds like this friend was watching out for you.

Alysia: Oh, 100%. I thanked her after I recognized what happened. I thanked her and I talked to her more than, sane people would think is sane, but that's okay.

Autumn: I was made of cats. I see a cat goiter out of the background.

Alysia: Love it. Yeah, That was a twin of the cat that, that was a connection for us. the cat that was a connection for her and I was hit by a car, a year to the day, after she passed. And I was like she took him.

Or they're together now, whichever feels better in the moment.

Autumn: Maybe both?

Alysia: Maybe a little bit of both.

Autumn: She took him and kept him.

Alysia: I was making her a cup of coffee several days in a row. Or for a couple weeks I was making her a cup of coffee. And cause I had a spiritual friend that was like she really wants you to make her a cup of coffee.

She thinks that you're being selfish when you don't make her a cup of coffee. And I was like,

Autumn: All right.

Alysia: So I did. I just have a little coffee conversation with her while I drank her coffee.

Autumn: How fun. Okay, so let's get into it because of time. You have a peace assessment. Maybe we won't spend as much time as we were planning on with this, but give us a overview and where people can go if they really want to dive into us.

Give us a teaser for it.

Alysia: Yeah, so I have through my research talking to moms They found that there's five things that really increase and decrease our peace. And those are the people in our lives, the pertinent people in our lives. Our exhaustion, our assets, like our surrounding  chaos in our schedule and emotions.

And so emotions being the guilt piece of it. So in my peace assessment, I walk you through like on a scale of one to 10, 10 being where you would ultimately like to be in your relationships with the pertinent people in your life. How would you rate yourself? And one being as far away from it as possible.

So do you wanna, we'll just do a tiny demo with it.

Autumn: So we'll give you answers.

Alysia: The pertinent people in your life, the people that are really important that you interact with on the regular.

Autumn: I feel like, I wanna say seven or eight. I'm about to take a parenting coaching certification course just for one kid in particular who I started with and now it seems like it's going to fit with my nine and a half year old more as he's in the arguing angry stage.

So I'm out there but I have goals.

Alysia: You're feeling pretty good. Pretty good in there. Is there one that feels lower of the ones that I mentioned, like emotions or exhaustion or like your physical surroundings or like the schedule? Is there one that feels a little bit lower, just intuitively?

Autumn: It's my physical health. I'm figuring that out with a doctor. .

Alysia: Yeah.

Autumn: So that would be, which one would That would be

Alysia: the exhaust. Yeah, that would be the exact, yeah. Yep. So kind of self care. So what would you, where would you rank yourself?

Autumn: A five, because I'm on the path, but there's still plenty there.

Alysia: So in the peace assessment, what I would do is I would ask you, what is it that you're doing that, that you feel like is, gets you as high as a five? Because you could be a four, or a three, or a two, or a one, right? So we want to acknowledge what you are doing right. And I'm using air quotes since we're not on video.

And then what would it take to get from a five to a six? Like, what would you need to do? To go from a five to a six.

Autumn: Have that appointment with a specialist to figure out what's, why am I not feeling right? Why am I in pain almost every day? What's going on? And to start to get that plan.

Alysia: So going to that appointment would get, would help you feel like a six.

Autumn: The unknown always bugs me. So let me have that known. Yeah, let's get that plan in place. And you, I appoint, I meant to be a coach, appoint, gimme that plan, right? ?

Alysia: Yeah. And you have the appointment. Set. Okay. And it's soon-ish. Two weeks.

Autumn: It's a specialist, you know, .

Alysia: Yeah. So if we had more time, I might see like, is there anything that we can do in the meantime that can get you to a six?

Basically, we want something that is controllable by you, that's calendar-able,that somebody else can see whether or not you've done it, right? So you have some accountability. And, because a lot of people will say I want more time with my kids. Okay, well, what does that mean? Your brain doesn't understand more time, right?

One more minute today than yesterday. is more time. 30 more seconds is more time. So is that really going to get you to a six? Maybe not. But we want to give our brain something to check off like, yeah, I want to like this is Something that will make me feel better to get from the five to a six.

So what I've heard from a lot of people is like, yeah, my, I really want to go. Like my brain wants to go to a 10, like I want to go from five to a 10 and they don't even have any concept of what that means or what would get them to attend. So that's what I, that's what I do in the peace assessment. And then the peace assessment is really to see if we connect and if we are in alignment and then that's how I go through the coaching program with moms is just really to create that more peace in their life.

Autumn: And then tell us about your book really quickly and then how to find you after that.

Alysia: Sure. My book is called Good Mom Rules. Ditch mom guilt and find your happiness. And it came from interviewing moms too , you know, that's part of where it came from is the interviewing moms. And I did that right after I let go of my guilt.

I interviewed probably 25 moms and I just kept hearing so much guilt in their language. And so at that time, I wasn't as confident in my speaking skills as I was in my coaching, in my writing skills, because I've been writing since I could put two sentences together so I wrote out my responses of these rules that they were violating.

It has a mom guilt toolbox. In there. So a guilt-less toolbox to give you some tools and some general understanding of things that you can do to help feel and intuition is one of them to help feel like you're doing air quotes the right thing with your children. And then about 15 examples of things that moms feel guilty about and some, just like we did on the podcast, like how to feel better about something that you did in the past.

Autumn: Where do we find the book? I think you mentioned Amazon.

Alysia: Yes, the book is on Amazon. You can also find it on my website alishalions.com/books. We'll have all my books on there and the, and some of the upcoming things that I'm working on. But if you type in my name, A L Y S I A L Y O N S on Amazon or Good MomRules both of those should bring the book up.

Autumn: And how do we get Can we do the assessment by ourselves or does it need to be with you in a one in the introduction coaching call?

Alysia: Yeah, so it's a one on one with me in the introduction coaching call And you can schedule your appointment at alicialions.com/peace

Autumn: Perfect. And then how do we get into your world?

Is it social media, newsletter? What do you have?

Alysia: Yeah, so if you go to my website you can sign up for my newsletter and you'll get a free chapter of the book. And you can also find me on social media. I'm at the mom support corner everywhere. I even have an imperfect mom community Facebook group.

So you're welcome to join us there as well.

Autumn: Perfect. Thank you so much for being on and for this time and I have a lot of emotions from all that we talked about. There's a lot here.

Alysia: I appreciate you being here and we'll have to do a coaching session so I can release some of that, the pressure that we created with my story.

Autumn: Oh, I have my own. I have a somatics coach. That's who I'm also working with. So that's how I'm going to get up to my sixth.

Alysia: Perfect.

Autumn: So thank you. And yeah, I love that your peace assessment is similar to my wellness assessment and also different because So many moms get stuck in guilt. So thank you for that.

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