An Interview with Kris Rice

I’m super excited for this week’s blog post, I interviewed Kris Rice, She says to imagine creating freedom, clarity, and ease in your life, even amidst the chaos. That’s where she comes in.

She is the founder of the Kris Rice Collective and provides soul-care for mama’s raising kids with mental health challenges. As she says in her bio, “raising children with mental health challenges is often a dark and silent journey. Where do we as mamas turn for support, when we’ve reached the end of our rope, and we need help but don’t know where to turn or who to ask? Our kids have resources and support for their journey, but where do we gain the support we desperately need?

Her vision is to share a permission slip with mothers everywhere to be brave and put their oxygen masks on first.  

I just love everything she’s doing. This post is not just for moms of children who have mental health challenges. I think it’s for all moms. We all need this because honestly, we’re all going through so much, especially with this pandemic. We need to take care of ourselves. We need permission to make ourselves a priority. We don’t have to live stressed out and pulling our hair out and miserable and feeling hopeless. 

If that’s you right now, I really want you to read this and share it with any women that are struggling because we all need hope. As soon as you lose hope that’s when you’re screwed. There’s always sunshine after the dark, there’s always the promise of a new day. 

In this post, Kris is going to share…

  • her journey as a mom with a child who has mental health challenges.

  • some of the quick win tools that she uses to pull herself and her clients out of dark times where they’re feeling hopeless and frustrated to bring a sense of calm back into their life.

  • how growing and learning tools for self-help is a journey and not a destination.

  • how you impact those around you when you choose to care for yourself first.

  • her two favorite tools that she uses to fill herself up.

 

I just love this conversation. So please, read on, because it’s really good. Figure out what you can take away, what you connect with, and what you can try tomorrow to have a different outcome in a stressful situation.

Welcome Kris!

Thank you!  I’m really excited to have this conversation because I know there’s a ton of mamas out there who are feeling overwhelmed.

Dr. Tabatha: You and I were just talking before we started recording about how COVID is just like takes over your life and throws everything on its head and then you just got to like scramble and figured out so I’m excited to for you to like help us with all of this. We’re all in it together, right?

Kris: Yes. Oh my goodness. That’s the key, isn’t it? You don’t have to go through any of this alone.

Dr. Tabatha: Tell me about the Kris Rice Collective. Your mission is to connect women, help women, lift them up and give them tools to navigate raising children with challenges right?

Kris: Yeah, it can feel isolating, and lonely. I know my personal motherhood journey really shaped what I’ve built. It is the support that I needed and didn’t know existed. It’s the tools and resources that I didn’t know about. I built it from my heart and soul. I want to support other moms who are in this space.

I know what it’s like to have this beautiful picture of motherhood, (and there’s nothing wrong with it), but what we ended up with is imperfect, messy, and different than we envisioned. I figured out, okay, I have a choice. I can dig in and be okay with this messy space or I can mourn what I don’t have. I dug into being okay in the mess. 

There are a lot of resources for the person who has mental health struggles or whatever challenge they have been presented with. As the caregiver and a mom, there often aren’t resources. There’s a disconnect there. It can feed that loneliness and a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

So tell me, how you got into all this? Why are you even doing this?

I know, being that I came from corporate marketing it’s an odd choice. I think I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s just part of who I am. It runs in my family, but I didn’t know what I wanted that to look like. When I discovered that my daughter had mental health challenges it definitely shaped that. As I looked for and learned ways to support myself, I realized that there was more I could do. I had the ability to transform other people’s lives. I could meet them where they are and give them these resources so they don’t have to struggle for ten years as I did.

Dr. Tabatha:

Oh my gosh, I love that you have such a huge heart. You created this to help women who have a child with mental health challenges, but I feel like every woman would benefit from the tools that you’re providing because we are all juggling and struggling and trying to just make it work.

Watch the whole video podcast version of this interview by clicking play on the video above.

These tools I feel are for every woman are they not?

It’s funny you say that because I’ve been hearing that more and more lately. While I say this is for the mom who has these specific challenges in front of her, it is for every mom. Now more than ever, we have so much on our plates.

I think giving ourselves that permission and the ability to put ourselves first is such a foundation for feeling better on a daily basis. There’s a disconnect and people don’t know where to start. You hear about self-care all the time, but you’re left wondering how can I do that?

What are the struggles that women are going through that are going to be helped with this?

I feel like it’s someone who feels that weight of the world is on their shoulders, they’re trying to keep all the balls in the air, but things are falling, and probably their own self-care is what gets dropped the most. Their immediate family may not see or notice. It keeps feeding that sense of darkness, burden, and heaviness in your daily life. It’s very easy to sink into that feeling of looking up from underwater and not knowing how to float back to the top.

That’s the person that I’m trying to reach. They know there could be a better way. There could be a different way, but they just don’t know what that is. I can help provide those simple but super effective resources and types of support to really bridge that gap and bring them back up above the water.

No One Is Immune From This Feeling

Dr. Tabatha:

I was surprised at myself this morning because I feel like I have the tools to navigate and get through things. I’m no longer underwater. I’ve focused on self-care for a few years. This morning, I felt like I was right back there. My daughter was diagnosed with COVID two days ago. We are in the midst of trying to figure out schooling from home with three kids and me working full time virtually.

I had a flashback to last year when I was home for six weeks. It was hell. All of a sudden, I was back in that place. I ripped my husband’s head off and I had a little meltdown. I thought, “oh my gosh I’m sure there are other women who are struggling so much. I’ve done the work and I’ve come so far, but you still have those moments. That’s when we need the tools to pull us out. Luckily, I knew what I needed to do to get out of that situation. But last year, I struggled. I didn’t pull out so quickly and easily. It’s a slippery slope down into the dark place, so I love that you are someone that they can reach out to for help.

Kris:

I’m just being vulnerable here. It was a rough morning. I was in tears 30 minutes before we met today. Part of me was like should we reschedule? Can I be my best self to really serve and support people today? Then part of me was like you know what, this is real and this is what life actually looks like. As hard as it is, we have to be okay in those uncomfortable spaces and know that we’re going to make it through it too.

I was throwing every tool I had at myself and my kids and it wasn’t working, but we did our best. I’ve got these tools, but we are all a work in progress. People in the carpool line saw me walking away bawling. People were bringing me Kleenex. I actually got hugs from people that I don’t usually get hugs from. I felt seen and heard in a really deep way and I think especially now, that goes such a long way. I’m here to say, I’m not perfect either, but I have a lot of ways to support myself and support other people and I can help them.

Dr. Tabatha:

You hit on such an important point. You felt like a mess and you were ready to cancel because you didn’t feel like you could show up the way that you wanted to. You showed up. I had this same exact thought. I was stressed and thinking I am so overwhelmed right now. I have so much that I need to do. I said to myself, yes you can because when you show up you provide service to others and when you get out of that comfort zone that pushes you to be better and it gets you out of that negative situation

That’s what women need to do. They just need to do the hard thing. They need to show up. They need to put themselves first even when life is falling apart.

The Next Great Thing…

The new thing that I say to myself literally 50 times a day is just the next great thing. What is literally the next right thing that I can do. It can be so easy to be overwhelmed by the 400 steps to get to the solution or goal that we’ve set. When it gets overwhelming, I ask myself what’s the next right thing? The next right thing is to get a glass of water, walk around the block, whatever it is. Usually, the next right thing is a really tiny thing, but it gets me out of that funk.

Dr. Tabatha: Perfect. When women are feeling like they have nothing left to give, they can’t take care of their kids anymore, they can’t handle this stuff, what do they do?

I am a big fan of stepping back to be with myself in those times. As counterintuitive as that sounds. It took me a long time to learn, but I know that I can’t think or feel when I’m in the midst of all the chaos of it. For me, it’s sitting by myself for 10 minutes. Honestly, it isn’t very fun. Usually, it isn’t a good feeling in the beginning, but when I can allow myself to sink below all the chaos at the surface, I find clarity there.

I think as a mom our superpower is that clarity. It lives in all of us, even if we don’t feel connected to it. It’s finding ways to connect to that because 99% of the time the answer you’re looking for is under there and it’s usually not as complicated as you’re thinking. If you can just sink into that space and be okay with letting whatever comes up come up. I really believe that’s where we can find our next bright thing.

What are your favorite things to do to fill your own cup back up?

I’m a huge fan of tapping. I will do it when I’m stuck. I will go to YouTube and find a five-minute tapping on whatever I’m struggling with. It’s a huge help for me. There are times when I’m sitting in my office, and it all feels like it’s too much. I also use the five senses grounding. You go through your five senses and see what you see, hear what you hear, etc. It’s astounding to me how quickly that can land you right back into the present moment. I would say tapping and grounding are the two that I use to pull me out of a bad place, so I can take another step forward.

What’s the best way to start teaching your kids how to do grounding?

It’s so interesting, I thought a lot of the practices that I came across were just for adults. It’s been so eye-opening to me to see how beneficial those practices are to kids. Usually, you don’t have to modify it too much to make it doable for kids. When we see our kids start to get stressed or overwhelmed, we have them sit on their bed and find five things that they can see, four things they can hear, three things they can feel, two things they can smell, and one they can taste.

The numbers don’t matter. We just mix it up. Simple breathwork was really easy for my kids to pick up too. The beauty is you can do them anywhere, which I love because it’s great if you’re having this moment of complete panic at home where you have all these tools and things around you, but what if you’re out in public? You need things that you can use to quickly without feeling conspicuous to bring you back to the present moment.

Want to try tapping? Check out this video

Dr. Tabatha:

It’s so awesome to share these techniques with our kids. Not only that, but they see us doing it too. They learn to BE different. They don’t HAVE to run around like a chicken with their head cut off.

Kris:

Exactly, I always picture it like a pyramid. We’re at the very top of the pyramid. You don’t realize how much trickles down to everybody else. Your pyramid includes family, friends/community networks. It’s really astounding.

How Would You Recommend Women Tell Their Partner or Family Members About What They Need?

What is incredible is that you don’t always have to have an uncomfortable conversation, say, with your spouse or something, and say okay, I want to start meditating here’s what that’s gonna look like, here’s what I want to do.

If you feel really solid about what you need, you’d be astounded by how people around you really respond and get on board. I think so many times, we overthink it. It doesn’t have to be anything that big. It’s as simple as deciding I need this for me. I know this will support me. Chances are, it’s going to end up having a positive effect on everybody else around you.

It astounds me. I’ll get all spun up about something and my daughters will tell me, you might want to go meditate for a little bit and come back. We don’t even talk about it. that much, but they pick up on it. They realize that mom feels better and shows up differently if she does this. I love that it also gives them the freedom to figure out what works for them too. It gives them ownership over what makes them feel good and what doesn’t. We really do have such an influence over all the people within our little bubble. So if that encourages you to take that leap and give yourself permission, do it! Know that you are going to have such a bigger impact than you even realize.

Dr. Tabatha: We’re talking about some easy things to implement, but life can get challenging, right? Especially with, children who have mental health challenges or physical challenges.

What’s been the most challenging part for you? How are you handling these things?

The biggest challenge for me is always the unknown. I always want to have answers to things. I always want to know who to go to support my daughter, or who can help me feel better. I always want to have those answers., but having accepted that there’s a lot of unknowns (in the last year and a half that has been more relevant than ever), but somehow, it’s always my lesson to go back to. I’m not going to die in the unknown, it might feel like it at the moment, but if I can sit there, I can be okay. I can feel my feelings and I can get out of that logical mind. Miraculously, the answers I’m looking for come. 

Dr. Tabatha:

Calm that mind down and let that energy flow through so that the solution can present itself. I love that.

Kris:

You just have to ask the universe, you just have to sit with yourself, figure out what you need, and just present it to the universe. All of a sudden things start coming. I see it all of the time.

Dr. Tabatha:

When I had to shift to a virtual practice because the wellness center that I worked at closed, I was like, dear Lord, help me figure this out. You know, this is what I need. It all presented itself. When we’re we’re getting in our own way, and we’re trying to figure it out, it just doesn’t happen because we’re not seeing the subtle clues right?

If you could go back and do things differently, what would you do differently? Or would you just do this journey the same way?

For myself, I think there were so many lessons that I needed to go through. I wouldn’t do it any differently. If I look back to what I thought motherhood would be. That beautiful, curated version of it than I imagined. It just doesn’t even hold a candle to what we have now. We as a family are so much more authentic and ourselves. Yes, there are a lot of challenges that were presented to us. Could I have done without an hour and a half of crying this morning? Yes. Overall, I wouldn’t do it differently. I’m thankful for those lessons that I had. I’m thankful I gave myself permission to realize that something needed work there and waiting to see where that led.

Dr. Tabatha: Oh, my gosh, I love that!

If somebody is reading this today and they’re feeling at their breaking point. What does the whole process look like of working with you?

If you have that little desire, that little question in your mind, please jump on a call with me for 15 minutes. I would love to connect and hear what’s going on with you to see if we’re a right fit for each other. I have a lot of different ways that I support people. 

I have a really incredible membership program. It’s a holistic health coaching membership. We have weekly support calls so you feel really supported along the way. I bring in incredible experts. It would be super fun to have you there. I also bring in different wellness experts that have supported me throughout my journey. You can learn more and broaden your toolkit. You’ll end up with a bunch of other resources that maybe you didn’t know about before, but could really support you.

I also have a program called Unstuck. It’s a really fast track to feeling better, having more freedom, clarity, and calm even though there’s a lot of chaos going on. It launched in September. I’m so thrilled to be bringing this to the world. It feels like it’s my heart and soul in this program.

Is there anything else that you want to tell my readers?

Don’t lose hope. I had a lot of moments in there where hope seemed lost.  It definitely can come and go, but cling to hope. I promise it is always there even if it seems a little bit dim.

Dr. Tabatha:

Oh my gosh yes. So true. This has been awesome. I hope you are able to speak to someone through this post.

Kris:

Thank you! It was an honor to be here. I truly appreciate the time. Thank you so much.

Dr. Tabatha: To Wrap Everything Up

My golden nugget for today was to take time to sit and become aware of your senses. That is a great tool to pull you out of some crazy overwhelming moments where you’re just feeling like you can’t even handle it. We’ve all been there. I know you know what I’m talking about. That is powerful.

When you start to get in tune with the world around you and how your body’s feeling, you can shift what’s going on in your brain, and then that shifts what’s going on in your body. The connection is real. Look for tools to add to your toolbox. Try tapping or other tools, see if they are a fit for you, and use them when you feel yourself spinning out of control.