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Shawna Rodrigues 0:00decade ago, and currently for:
Shawna Rodrigues 0:36
Welcome to The Grit Show. Growth on purpose. I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues. And I'm honored to be leading us on today's journey as part of this community growing together as seekers and thrivers. I hope you stick around to the end, I'll be sharing with you about some exciting opportunities to win prizes and get more connected to us.
Shawna Rodrigues 0:57
Thank you so much for being here today. I'm excited for our guest. She is a dynamic powerhouse. Stacie McCoy is a compassionate divorce and co parenting life coach with more than 25 years of professional family support experience. She has served as the Director of Child and Family Services in her local community action partnership, which is how she and I met. I have lived in seven states including New Hampshire, she has supported her journey towards self sufficiency, as well as spending time in DC advocating for families and employees among many other leadership roles supporting children, families, mental health and nonprofit. Following some soul searching after house care, Stacie left the nonprofit world and is doing what she loves most. Helping women to heal and fall back in love with her life after divorce without messing up again. Welcome, Stacey. Thank you for being here.
Stacie McCoy 1:49
Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
Shawna Rodrigues 1:53
I'm very excited because we've talked a little bit about how there's some of your experiences, that you've actually kind of found your purpose and what you're able to do as your full time gig currently.
Stacie McCoy 2:04
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned in the introduction, we'd met via our experiences in the Child and Family Services round, which is something I did right out of college. I just jumped right into it quite by accident. I took a very part time substitute teaching job at a local childcare center thinking that I was going to be a writer, I was going to be a journalist, and I'm just going to pop in here and loved kids thought, you know, this would be a great way to make some money. I was young and I had roommates. And it was like this sheep hook that just brought me in. And I have never really left Child and Family services, in some way, shape, or form are helping folks out. I didn't really know how passionate I was about working with children and families, especially in the nonprofit world, when you get to work with some of the most marginalized families. It brought me such joy and definitely fueled me and gave me a sense of purpose. One of the things that divorce did was really underscore have challenging some of the wonderful advice tried and true advice that I was giving to so many of these women and families. You know, how difficult it was to actually implement this stuff. So, divorce for me, it really honed in on my purpose. Prior to my divorce, I was a wife, I was what I considered to be a really awesome wife and I was a great mom and caregiver. And also in doing this work, I really had honed my skills and I thought I was a really great colleague and so much of my identity and my purpose was tied up in those things and then to experience quite suddenly change in my marital status and realize that this is not fixable, we did try but there was no way that we were gonna be able to put all Humpty Dumpty back together. And so this really left me feeling super, super naked and exposed. And I remember the day that it really all came crashing down by, put my kids down for their nap. And at the time I was taking care of one of my dear friends son that she had adopted from Kazakhstan and on the outside people are looking in they would think I'm doing a great job. Let's, you know, look at her.
Shawna Rodrigues 4:42
She's got it all together.
Stacie McCoy 4:46
She still, yeah, exactly. You know, from the outside, it looks great, but that was Photoshop, my friend.
Shawna Rodrigues 4:53
Stacie McCoy 4:54
It looked a certain way. And I remember putting the kids down and going out to my garden, which is a bit of my, my therapy and sitting in between my raised beds, which was overgrowing with summer squash and zucchini, and those leaves are so prickly and they can be painful when you're in there kind of pulling the weeds and I just remember the pain, the physical pain, but then the emotional pain that kind of came with it with realizing that, you know, you know, I may not be planting in these gardens next year. I don't know if I'm going to be in this house. And I certainly know I'm not going to be in this marriage. And you know, am I providing the best care for my kids right now when I am so emotionally distraught? Naked is the word that I like to use to describe it. It's, it's suddenly you're not these things. So who the hell are you?
Shawna Rodrigues 5:47
Stacie McCoy 5:47
Who the hell are you? And that's when it set me forth on the journey of, of really finding and being more secure in, in my purpose. And that while all of those things made me feel good, to be a good wife, to be a good mom, to be a good colleague, to be a good caregiver to these kids, all of these things were fantastic. In that moment, I realized, damn, these things are very impermanent. And then we feel like shit. And what am I going, what am I going to do? What does this need? Who, who am I? And that's I think, when I just set out on this journey, and realize that purpose is becoming more of ourselves, and, and who we truly are. It really is a returning home and finding ways to feel good about our life during these difficult times. When these other things go away. When these other things change and life morphs, how are we going to, how are we going to move forward and feel good and excited about our lives and the things that we're doing and feel like we're living? So,
Shawna Rodrigues 6:55
but definitely, I think it's something that a lot of people can identify with. We've all had those moments where something shifted, whether it was the job, we thought wasn't going to change, like the pandemic, like, these are things that happen so quickly to shift in your life. And that can kind of make you question, what is happening and who you are and where those things fit in. So you have to take it to a different level. You're not defined by your relationships, you're not defined by your job, you're not defined by where you live, that there needs to be something deeper that defines you. And often, the characteristics of those things helped to define that. So what characteristics did you find from those other parts of your life that have helped you kind of lead into the purpose that you're finding now in your work and in your world?
Stacie McCoy 7:40
One of the things I became really aware of is in being all of those things, and being the great colleague, and being the great wife and the mom, is how much I realized I was a little bit of a contortionist. That I was molding myself at that time to be those good things. To be what I thought either again, it was all external, why other people, yeah, what they needed as individuals, but also what society was constantly barking at me, in order to be a good woman. This was the messaging that we all get. It's not just me, right? But again, divorce shook me to the core, and it made me realize like how many important conversations I was afraid to have with other people. And with myself, that really forced me to stray away from my values. And in my purpose, in my goal to, to be all of these good things, which felt good in the moment is like a quick hit, right? Like it's doing these things. Well, it's like, well, I get it, you know, you get that dopamine, you get that quick hit, but it's fleeting, it's just not sustainable. And so divorce, I think, really did get me thinking about me, and why did I have this conversation, all of the places I did not speak up or hold really important boundaries. And, so as I started to ponder those things and get curious with myself, so much of my journey, also to finding my purpose was repairing and reassuring these parts of myself that I essentially realized I had abandoned. That all of this external, you know, the smoke and mirrors of trying to be the good woman, wife, parent, colleague, in a lot of ways I had betrayed myself. I really had and man that was one of the most bitter pills to swallow is knowing and seeing and recognizing my own part in a lot of this mess.
Shawna Rodrigues 9:41
Yes, that's so hard to see because you are so busy doing it for everyone else, but you're not realizing that you're playing into it as well. So you see individual clients and women who have kind of been through these experiences, a lot of what you do, do you find it hard for that reflective piece to be part of work or do you think that comes easily to people?Stacie McCoy:
I think it's difficult at first, because I think in the midst of the initial pain, what a lot of women will do is they will reach out with their individual problem. And it might be, so now I'm divorcing, and I'm having a difficult time co parenting. I can't communicate where it's problem solving or conflict or a solution so they come with very specific problems that they believe once they're resolved, will take care of the whole kit and caboodle, so to speak. And one of the things that I just enjoy the most is asking certain questions that get women to think a little bit deeper about where they're at, and why they're in the place that they are. So I am happy to and can draw up that kick ass parenting, co parenting plan, and they are important they do that give us a framework. So that's fantastic, those things are great. But if we don't have the self confidence and again, I think this where this comes back to values and purpose, if we are in the smoke and mirrors place where we're doing, like, I'm going to have the perfect parenting plan, and we're going to split our time 50% of the time, and we're going to use this particular software to communicate with, life is messy, and, and what's going to happen when the first person and it might even be you when you need to be flexible, when you need to change something from that decree, and suddenly there is a conflict. And we're not really good with conflict management. So it's that deeper dive that I really love to do with clients. So they feel more prepared with understanding like, what, what are the healthy boundaries to have, and why again, this is going to help you, it's going to definitely help your kiddos and it's actually going to help your foreign, former partner, and it's going to set a really great example for your kids. So part of my job, I think, with working with women is to get them to be more self reflective. And that's where all those nuggets are. That was me in the garden. I was sitting in the garden and really thinking about okay, wow. You know, I'm not these things. So what? So what am I now?Shawna Rodrigues:
Yeah, figuring that out. And that's what the great thing is that so Stacy definitely specializes in working with mothers who are going through divorce and helping with that, whatever taglines is without messing up the kids, because a lot of women have anxiety about how the divorce is affecting the kids. You're still an amazing mom, you're still the same mom, you were. But everything changes so you have to find the new ways of what that means and who you are and how that applies. So that is something you get to work with folks on when they're figuring that out. So can you talk about some of your challenges with the parenting piece after your divorce? Because your kids were young when you were divorced, correct?Stacie McCoy:
Yeah, they were toddlers. So they were two and a half and three and a half years old. So they were incredibly young. And, and they're not anymore. And here we are. And this is the great thing that I have this incredible proof right now that this stuff works. You know, I have the anecdotal evidence to go with the education. right? Which is so beautiful, I've really had to take my own medicine, so to speak, so it's fine to others. And I do think that we get closer to our purpose when we are aware of that piece. So many of the people that do the kind of work we do, the healing work and service work, we do because it allows us to take our own medicine and we feel really good that we're able to help people out but it's just a great reminder and affirmation. But back to your original question, some of the things that I struggled with, one of the things that I think a lot of people can relate to was my former husband was in a relationship before I was. So he was in this relationship with a woman who happened to be younger than me and here I am, at this time rate feeling pretty lousy about myself not feeling great, super tired, rundown and very emotional. And the lens that I was looking at, saw her as younger, more attractive. And, and somebody that not only is going to fit into a role that I once was in, you know, romantically in this situation. But one of the things I really feared was, what was the interactions and what would her role be like with my kids?Shawna Rodrigues:
that was incredibly frightening and anxiety provoking for me. I'd remember, and you can relate to this being in the nonprofit world when I got back into the workforce and going back to doing what I loved to do, financially speaking, it, you know, it didn't quite cover the knot and this other woman who was very successful in her career, had these financial means that I didn't. So she could do a lot of really fun, exciting things with my kids. And these would be the little things that would wake me up at night, right? Like, oh, my gosh, my daughter was having her first manicure with this woman, and gosh, what's that going to be like? I can't provide that. So it chipped up a lot of back in me. But then I thought, you know, is this going to make her more appealing? Is this going to pull my daughter away from me or change our relationship? And so it was just a super scary experience. And many of my clients feel the same way that they are concerned about the differences in households. And it may be the financial means, it might be how they approach discipline, all of these things, and the deeper dive and again, using my own experience, and coming out the other side, I just realized that oftentimes, these fears are so unfounded, and they are not the things we are meant to be focusing on. And that whether or not I could bring my daughter for a manicure is neither here nor there, if I could focus and show up on being fully present when my kids were with me, and also when they were away. And yes, having these different are wonderful experiences that I prioritize taking care of myself and my own wellness, so that when the kiddos came back, I was in a good emotional state of mind to be able to show up and be their mom, be fully engaged for down the hammer, if I needed to discipline as well, to have all of those things, I had more energy to do that. And it was through trial and error. But these are the tools that I love to share with women and to be able to reassure them that, that those things that we inevitably worry about that might wake us up at night are liars with the parts of us those insecure parts of us. And we can do this on a shoestring budget, we can do this with a million dollars, it's really not about those external things. Again, it's about how are we going to show up with intention to be the parent that we want to be, you know, I'd be so curious, I wish my kids were here right now. So I could drag them in here. We could, we could we could pick their brains out.Shawna Rodrigues:
The bigger picture is what really matters. And so and that instant, that felt like the biggest thing in the bigger picture. Now at this age and point in time, like who you are in their life, like that's such a miniscule moment. But when you focus on that, it multiplies. And so for the, for the women going through this or for anyone in any relationship, I'm sure there's plenty of dads who have the same anxiety or when they're going through this as well, that if you're focusing on that, you're putting the energy there, you're gonna make it worse, it is going to become a bigger deal. So that's important.Stacie McCoy:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think understanding and keeping everything child focused, which really is my rule of thumb, when things felt crunchy, when they felt lousy, taking a step back to be able to say like, what is in the best interest of my children right now, and not how I'm feeling emotionally, or if I'm feeling a little bit insecure. And even if something was brought in, you know, it's recognizing, okay, that's my emotional reaction or my take away, however, was to take a breath and refocus on what is best for the children and then being able to set up boundaries and expectations for everyone else. And that just creates such safety for the kids. I've got a great story about a particular birthday point of a first birthday parties that we were going to have for our son post divorce when I was in my new place. And I remember thinking like, how do we want this to go and before my husband and I decided we want to do this one party, and we're going to invite everybody, we would love for everybody to be able to come but that also included his girlfriend. And I knew that this was going to be really hard for people. I knew that this is going to be a bitter pill to swallow for, for both sides of the family and some of the in-laws and some of the friends who were really impacted by the change in our dynamics and so to, to be able to say to folks, hey, listen, I know it might be weird for you, this might be hard, and you might not even be ready for that and that is okay. But this is really what we want to do for the kids. We want to have this really great party, we're gonna have the food, and we're going to be here and everyone is invited. And if you feel like you can't hold it together, you're not ready for this, that is okay. It's okay. But also please don't come and alsoShawna Rodrigues:
recognize where you're at. Yeah,Stacie McCoy:
yeah. It's a bit of trial and error. You know, I think it gave folks and out and respected their own healing journey for where they were at in the process of being part of our family, in our external world, so it just allowed me to be supportive in a way to say respect where you're at. But this is where we are at, this is so important.Shawna Rodrigues:
That was huge. I think a big part of that was you accepting that not everyone is capable of being where you guys are, like, obviously, you've definitely worked through your things, you had yourself as your own coach. And so if people don't have someone, you know, or they're not in a place to be able to do that, they might need to have the separate parties. But I just love the fact that with your family, you were able to do that, because I think a lot of people might say, don't come, but then when they don't come, they're really pissed that they didn't come.Stacie McCoy:
Yeah. yeah.Shawna Rodrigues:
But being able to recognize that different people are different places. And so it's okay. And it might be that, like, if I was the one that got the divorce, that my ex partner might not be able to come, because they are in a place to accept that I've moved on and they haven't moved on. And that has to be okay, as well. And to be able to have those boundaries that you can't change where the other person's at and where they're at in the journey, whether it's your mom, your best friend, your ex partner, etc., that's where they are. And it might even be your kids if your kids aren't in a place that they can accept the new partner, or they can accept having both parents there. Different people are in different journeys and you need to accept that. And it's great to have a coach or a therapist or someone on that journey when possible, which is why Stacy is such a gift to those people that she works with to kind of have someone who has been through it, and can really help them. So when you work with people, do you typically work with them just like one time? Or is it a long term relationship? Or how do you typically work with your clients?Stacie McCoy:
I do think that this kind of work is, it's, this long term. When I think of my recovery, I was so stubborn. I wanted to do it all on my own back then and it's possible to do it that way. But what I recognized is by opening up, it did two things. First of all, it allowed other people to help and be of service, which again, lights me up, right? This is how I like to show up in the world. So it gave me a chance to let other people who loved our family and who loved and cared for me to be able to show up in, in meaningful ways. When again, when your friend is going through a traumatic is like how do we show up? I don't know how to show up and leaving the meantime, girl, I wanted to be just super bootstrapping, right? It's like, I'm gonna do this on my own. But what I started to realize is that we, we do so much more healing, the healing is deeper. And it is faster when we do it in communion, at least with one other person. And so, for me, building relationships with women that are going through this process is what I prefer to do. Clients that I really seek and that I am meant to work with, they're curious at this point in time. They've kind of tried a lot of stuff themselves and they recognize this is going to be a slog, this is going to be a long haul. And so clients come to me, and we blow up our sleeves, and we did the deeper dive. My one on one clients typically work with me from six to eight weeks, but it also depends. Some clients will work with me hourly, for a couple of days a week, and then others it's weekly. So I really try and look at what, what the client needs, what they feel they need, do my assessment, and then we build out a plan. So there's an hourly rate, but there's also a package that folks can, can hit me out for that I can design that's going to meet all of their needs within a healthy and realistic timeline. I want, I want their transformation to be sustainable. This isn't a one offer, this isn't, hey, you're going to workshop, a worksheet and this really is about that deeper dive and creating sustainable change and meaningful change so that when the next life issue happens, because it will, that you feel confident so when these other hiccups in life transitions happen that they feel prepared and can approach it in a sustainable, meaningful way, in a purposeful way. An intentional life.Shawna Rodrigues:
I love that. And it's really is such a gift to give to yourself. To have somebody that doesn't know your ex partner, that doesn't know your family. That is a neutral slate that you can work with to figure out where you're coming from, what you need that can help you peel away where you are and things without all the other voices. Such a gift, such a gift to give yourself and Stacie's amazing because she's actually agree that for all the listeners and if you aren't in a position where you need this support, your friends can definitely use this as well. She offers free initial conversation so you can connect with her and see if you guys connect on her website, which is her name, staciemccoy.com . And she'll spell that for you in a minute. But she's gonna give us 20% of her package sales. So if you do the one on one with her, you get 20% off with grit, G-R-I-T, because you listen to The Grit Show. So you'll get that 20% off, if you do that. So definitely take your time to connect with her if this resonates with you, or if you have a friend, because we all need our hive to find somebody that can support us during these times kind of outside the picture. So as we're getting closer to winding up, Stacie, we'd love to have a thought for our larger audience. It's something that they can do to kind of reflect.Stacie McCoy:
I think a critical component, and one of the first things that I do with womens to really dive into their self care practices and how they are taking care of themselves during any challenging time but especially during divorce. And especially if you are a co parent, I think a lot of women feel it is a selfish thing to do that they struggle with prioritizing their self care and not understanding is one of the most generous things that you can do, not just for yourself, but for your loved ones. Because you are going to be in a place where you are able to be much more responsive and less reactive, and taking a few moments with clients to be able to say what brings you peace and relaxation, and maybe a little bit of joy. And even if you feel like there's no time in the day, there's 10 minutes in a day that you can take a walk, there are 10 minutes in a day that you could pop on a meditation tape or do one of my favorite things. I'm such a huge music fan, get in your car and take a 10 minute drive. Yes, I know gas prices are a little, a lot for me,Shawna Rodrigues:
so a five minute drive. Right?Stacie McCoy:
Yes. I love to sing along and my kids in the current, yes, they will be embarrassed and I will be singing and I will take that 10 minute commute and be singing my favorite anthem. So I think my advice to folks is to really think about self care practices and not that it has to be done any certain way. Or for a certain amount of time, where every single day, but find a delicious snack, a little self care snack and really try and give yourself some grace and some extra TLC during this time, we're going to make mistakes, it's tough, we're not going to be perfect, but start with a little TLC for yourself.Shawna Rodrigues:
That's great. So for anyone going through transitions, or dealing with some challenging things, especially if you happen to be going through a divorce which is a very big transition, that a good thing to deal with is just sit down and figure out even what your self care things are. So as you said things that bring you joy, in that moment of peace and whatever else that kind of,Stacie McCoy:
yeah, recharge your batteries, I think it's going to change and be different because it may just be, I just need a nap. So it is is checking in with yourself and, and allowing yourself to do those things without guilt and understanding that it's an investment in your wellness and your self care. And you will be far better. And I promise you this, a far better parent, co parent, friend, hobby, all the things. Yeah, the things when give yourself permission to take care of yourself.Shawna Rodrigues:
Find out what those things are. And then if they're five minutes of yoga, quick drive, singing at the top of your lungs, stretching, quick walk, whatever they might be, to have them on hand and even if you only have five minutes to fit them in, because you being your best self, not only for yourself, but for everyone around you. You need to make time for that. So find little ways to fit them in and self care snacks. I love that Stacie gave that to us. So take time to take your little fluff care snacks just as important as eating and drinking.Stacie McCoy:
Yes, yesShawna Rodrigues:
That fits right in because we do talk about self care in each of our episodes. And you gave us an excellent examples and as part of you being on our show, we actually have the Color of Grit, which is our line of coloring books we do which is another way to have self care that people can add into their lives but we'd like to give each of our guests a free coloring book so you have another option Stacy to add to your collection of self care.Stacie McCoy:
Fantastic. Fantastic.Shawna Rodrigues:
So you get to choose between Vintage Mermaid and Magnificent Ocean or You Got This, funny and inspirational quotes. Which one would you like for us to send you?Stacie McCoy:
Gosh, I'm gonna do Mermaid and Ocean. I like the sound of that. I'm an, I'm an ocean girl, water, water for me. So let's go with that and I just love that it's already done. You know what I sometimes, I need to stay within the lines a little. You know, sometimes I just appreciate having those boundaries set for me so I look forward to coloring away. I've got a great set of new pencils.Shawna Rodrigues:
That's it. Yeah. Yeah, that's the benefit of coloring. That goes way back to when I was in high school. Those kind of the funny joke that I actually had somebody very talented that I was very close to and so drawing was was intimidating. Coloring was not intimidating. And so that's, Oh, that's before coloring was cool. Before there was adult coloring books way back in my day, I would actually color in Disney coloring book. So I would photocopy them because the kit coloring book paper was not cool enough for me, so, I would, I color before. It was cool. And the meditative quality of doing that is definitelyStacie McCoy:
not with that with you, it's going to be a great extra self care snack.Shawna Rodrigues:
I love it. I love it. Add it to your collection. I'm walking away with some great ideas about how to apply self care to our lives. And so tell us more about exactly how we can find you, Stacie.Stacie McCoy:
I'm going to make this super easy. The best way to find me and all the places I hang out is hitting up my website, which is www.stacie.mccoy.com. And that's S-T-A-C-I-E M-C-C-O-Y. And if you head over there, you can do all of the things. You can check out all of my social media links are there because I love to hang out on Instagram and Facebook and give people little nuggets of wisdom and support there. So you can catch my reels and some of my little thoughts and little pithy rants that I have there. But the other thing you could do on my website too is you can learn a little bit more about me and my background and you can set up a free epiphany call, I just wouldn't be able to have a conversation and see if we are a good fit. So I've got a scheduler right there that folks can log on, look at the time that I'm available, and then you can send me an email, if nothing lines up. But that's the best place to find me and all of the things that I am up to.Shawna Rodrigues:
Yes and follow her on Instagram, she has really great quotes, inspirational things, I definitely enjoy following her on Instagram. So that's a great place to catch her and follow her. We will have notes from the show today and we'll also have the link to her website if that's a little easier for you. Follow us on Instagram so we can keep in touch. If you're interested in getting your copy of one of our coloring books, just Google the Color of Grit, or look it up on Amazon. We will also have downloadable pages available. You can find more about that on our website, www.thegritshow.com. That's also where you sign up for our mailing list and learn more about our giveaway as it comes live. This month we'll be giving away 10 coloring books and a $50 gift card. Where that is to our winner will have some say in I'm voting for a spot, but I'm willing to go with Amazon if that's really what they want. So go ahead and get on over there. Get on the mailing list so you can keep up to date with that giveaway. And follow us on Instagram, @The.Grit.Show, another good place to learn more about these opportunities.Shawna Rodrigues:
Thank you for being here today, Stacie. Thank you for all of you for joining us.Stacie McCoy:
Thanks, Shawna.Shawna Rodrigues:
I'm so glad you came today. It's been great spending time with you. Look forward to connecting with you again on Thursday. Until then, do something just for you. Self care is most important. After all, you're the only one of you that this world has got and that means something.