• Christine Roslund, MFT, CPC

Owning Your Empty Nest, The Way to an Empowered Future

Transitioning into the empty nest time of life is a process that is different for everyone. There are those of you who can’t wait for this time to come; others are dreading it. Some of you have probably been preparing for this time. Others may have been too preoccupied or haven’t wanted to face the fact that this time of your life without children at home is approaching. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, owning your empty nest will show you how you can start feeling more empowered, inspired and fulfilled as you enter the next phase of your life.

When I talk about owning your Empty Nest I’m referring to your ability to step into and take responsibility for what’s coming up for you around being an empty nester. This includes being attuned to your deeper thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Rather than ignoring how this major life change is affecting you, it means dealing with and opening up to the unknown during this process. Becoming aware of where you are allows you to more fully move through what is coming up for you. This will leave you with a greater sense of control in how you proceed moving forward. It says “I am truly in the next phase of life – life without live-in children.” What does this actually mean for you?

Experiencing feelings such as emptiness, a sense of loss and uncertainty about what’s to come are common for everyone. However, some empty nesters have difficulty moving beyond these uncomfortable feelings and actually get stuck. Also, there are those on the other side of the pendulum who do not allow themselves to consciously feel anything at all about this transition. They put their attention outside of themselves so they do not need to experience uneasiness. These parents may be overinvolved in their adult children’s lives or stay so busy they are in automatic mode rather than consciously creating their life to be the way they would really like it to be.

There are empty nesters who own their nest. They feel optimistic, inspired and ready to do all of those things they’ve been wanting to do once their kids grew up. At the same time, they are moving through their challenging feelings about this transition. Their focus is on allowing themselves to face where they are at presently, whether they like it or not. They are dealing with their difficult feelings, facilitating an integration of their experience allowing their feelings to be fully processed.

Here is an exercise that will start moving you in the direction of owning your empty nest. (Remember this is a process that unfolds. If these concepts are new to you it is very important to be gentle with yourself. As you begin to take a look within, and just notice. Know that all of your feelings are valid. Feelings come and go. Try not to judge them.) This exercise will require a timer to be set for 5 minutes to begin with.

  1. 1. Find a quiet place to do this exercise and get into a comfortable sitting position.

  2. 2. Start becoming aware of your breathing.

  3. 3. Take a moment to start bring your attention within yourself.

  4. 4. Gently bring your awareness of where you are in your life presently.

  5. 5. Notice any feelings, thoughts and sensations that come up.

  6. 6. After each sitting, journal about your experience that day.

  7. 7. Set a time for 5 minutes a day to start out for the first week, then add 5 minutes a week until you reach up to 15 minutes a day.

How was that for you? Was it difficult or easy? If you had a lot of intense emotions come up that’s okay. It’s important to let them out and start processing them. However, if you feel that it is too much and you are getting flooded with emotions to the point that it is too hard to get back to doing your daily activities, this is an indicator that you could use some extra support. Also, if you are still feeling stuck in your life, you too can benefit from some professional assistance. There are many kinds of support available such as coaching, counseling or joining empty nest support groups that can help you process what’s coming up for you.

Choosing to own your empty nest will eventually bring you to a place of feeling empowered, peaceful and deeply satisfied in your life. When you honestly own where you are at and stand in your truth, you can become aligned with your core self – this is when you can start to experience a sense of things falling into place, synchronicities, and creation of things you desire to have in your life. It is from this place that people have the experiences of their life being better than they ever imagined.

As life often shifts and turns in ways you could not expect, my wish for you is to create this next phase of your life to be in alignment with where you are at today. Owning your Empty Nest is a great place to start on this journey!

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