Love Thyself with Caroline Ivey | EU 04

Apr 14, 2021

Do you every struggle to love yourself? Or even like yourself? Do you spend more time focusing on the parts of you that you need to fix-what you think is wrong with you? I’ve been there in the past. I can tell you that learning who you are down at your core and loving that person without reservation and without judgment is the key to happiness. In fact it is not only the key to happiness, it is the key to success in business. On this week’s podcast, I talk with Caroline Ivey.

Caroline is a coaching client of mine who has become my friend. Since I have known her, I knew Caroline was amazing. The problem was Caroline did not always know she was amazing. We talk about her journey to loving herself and what that has meant to every aspect of her life.

And with this episode, I will be stepping away from the podcast. I have more than enjoyed this journey. I have connected with wonderful people, made friends, and learned about myself along the way. I am giving myself the grace to change directions on my journey for now. Thank you for listening and being a valuable part of my community. Please feel free to reach out now or in the future at if there is anything I can help you with. Take care and go out each day and take action toward the life you want!

Meet Caroline Ivey

Love Thyself with Caroline Ivey | EU 04

Caroline Ivey, first and foremost, is a mom to 4 grown or almost grown children who are her heroes! She lives a very active lifestyle and is also a lover of beautiful, healthy, delicious food. Caroline has always viewed mealtime as a time to gather together and show love to the ones she loves the most. With a degree in hospitality management, she has used her gifts, skills, and knowledge to create memories for her family and friends around the table for over 2 decades.

Most recently, Caroline has broken into the entrepreneurial world with her online menu planning service, MenuAffair, and has received a nutrition certification through Nutritious Life Official. Now thriving more than ever, one of her missions is to share more of her life journey with others and to encourage them to live their healthiest and happiest life! Check out her website here and follow her on Instagram @caroline.ivey.

In This Podcast


  • Caroline’s journey
  • Her limiting beliefs
  • How it showed up in her life

Caroline’s journey

As a single mother of four and empty nester, Caroline realized it was time for her to pivot. So a year ago, she began an online menu planning business that allowed to press into herself and who she was created to be. She recognized she still needed clarity on how to move forward in her journey, which is when she reached out to Kathryn for coaching.

By working through her domains, Caroline was able to evaluate her core values and learn how to apply them in each area of her life. She was able to gain clarity and vision about where she was headed in her journey with her business and personal life.

Her limiting beliefs

Having lived in a small town in Alabama for 25 years, fear of stepping outside her comfort zone was one of Caroline’s blocks. She felt like she had a lot offer, but she also felt unworthy, which went back to self-love. She recognized that she deserved a seat at the table, just like anybody else. Caroline knew she had to overcome her fears by leaning into them and digging into what was creating those fears so that she could get out of her comfort zone.

How it showed up in her life

In certain aspects of her life, Caroline was thriving. She had a close knit circle of friends, but struggled with trust issues. As a result, she had been guarded with who she let in. It took her time and coaching to acknowledge that struggles in circumstances shaped her into who is today. She knew that criticizing herself harshly would affect how she showed up for the people she loved. Through her spirituality and in finding self-compassion and self-love, Caroline was able stand in her truth.

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Kathryn Ily

Podcast Transcription


Welcome to the show, Caroline. I am so excited to have you here today.

Caroline: Thank you, Kathryn. I am so honored and glad to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Kathryn: Oh, absolutely. I’m just ready to jump right in. Tell us a little bit about your story.

Caroline: Well, I am a single mom of four children and all almost grown.

And about a year or so ago, I began to realize that it was time for me to pivot. My children had been my purpose and my passion for over 20 years. All of a sudden the reality of being an empty-nester was really hitting me. So I began it’ll be a year ago in June, an online menu planning business and weekly menus recipes and grocery lists delivered to my subscribers inboxes each week for the following week.

It was just time for me to really press into myself. I had spent all of these years just really focused on my children. Not that I neglected myself along the way. I don’t mean that. I had to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of them. However, I just believed that it was time to in another way become more and more all that I was created to be.

And so menu affair was part of that. You and I connected, I really needed some clarity on how to move forward with that part of my journey and through your coaching I have really begun to get that, and it’s been amazing.

Kathryn: Well, thank you so much. And thanks for sharing that part of yourself with us. And sometimes clients come to coaching, like knowing exactly what they want and they just haven’t been able to get there.

Some clients come to coaching and they don’t even know where they want to go. They just know they don’t want to be right where they are. And we’ve been working together for quite some time. What was going on in your life? That sort of, I mean, you’ve told us a little bit about what was going on in your life that made you reach out, but did you know where you wanted to go or did you just know you needed to go somewhere else?

Caroline: I knew I needed to go somewhere else. And you do a, such a phenomenal job with your different domains and really taking those, evaluating them with your clients and just seeing exactly. It really helps me to understand, okay, here are my core values, which I knew for the most part, but then how to take those and apply them to each area of my life.

Be it through my work, through my relationships, all of those domains. So that has really helped me gain some traction and clarity and vision about where I am heading in my journey with my business and my personal life. One thing that I have gained the most from, and I credit this to you really guiding me.

And then of course, you know, I had to do the work, but overcoming fears and putting things behind us and recognizing what was creating those fears and then really saying, okay. Kind of press into them and face them and get out of that comfort zone. And that’s been a huge for me.

Kathryn: Yeah. What would you say were your biggest fears or your most limiting beliefs that you had about yourself before we got started?

Caroline: Gosh, that’s such a great question. I don’t know. Just fear of that getting out of the comfort zone, whatever that was. I mean, there were a lot of things that have caused me through the years just to stay within that space. One thing was, I had lived in a small town here in Alabama for over 25 years.

That’s where I raised my children since relocated to the town where I’m from. The bigger place. That alone was a huge step for me, because I had just come to know the other so well, but at the same time knew that it was time for a change because of where I was in life. And then after I did that, that’s when you and I got to know each other.

And as far as limiting beliefs, I guess my biggest one has been, I’m not good enough. And that goes back to self-love. And recognizing, yes, we are deserving of this seat at the table, whatever that table looks like for anybody. You really helped me to see that. I remember one conversation that you and I had, all of them have just really stuck with me, but there’s one that I reflect on a good bit.

I remember saying to you that sometimes I have a really hard time reconciling loving myself as much as I know I need to. With my spirituality and not that being an arrogant thing, I guess is the best way to say it. I remember you saying that Caroline, God loves you so much. He created you for exactly who you are.

And do you not think that he wants you to love yourself?

Kathryn: It sounds so simple. Right. But it’s not, there’s nothing simple about getting there. And, you know, part of it has to do with these pictures that we create of ourselves over time, based on our experiences and our interpretation of feedback from others.


Caroline: Yes. And it goes way back

Kathryn: And it goes way deep. When we started and you had that sort of thought of I’m not enough. Describe that or paint for us, that picture that you had of yourself before we started. Who were you, how did you see yourself?

Caroline: Well, I saw myself as someone who had a lot to offer. And I’ve thought that for a very long time and over two decades, I really plugged into my children and raising them.

And that has paid off just to be honest, but I still felt like there was more, but there again, I just wasn’t exactly sure what, nor there again did I truly 100% believe that I was worthy of it.

Kathryn: It’s a big one. When we don’t think that we are worthy of living our best lives and actually having what we want in life, we are going to completely overlook any opportunity.

Caroline: Absolutely. Opportunities are there every day. I mean, just talk about a seat at the table. I’ll share something with you years ago. This really goes my spirituality as well, but I attended a couple of different speakers and writers conferences that each one we were required to prepare speaking presentation, so on and so forth. So I shared a story that had happened to me just prior to that. And I love to cook. That’s always been one of my passions and love to bring people around the table to get to know them better and think that it’s very important to bring families around the table.

At that point in time, I was a stay at home mom and really was using my kitchen skills and all of that to reach out to newcomers in the community and welcome them in. And so I reached out to a neighbor and actually kind of rallied the troops around this with other neighbors. We were going to welcome them to the neighborhood with a meal, which here in the South, that’s very common.

So I called the new neighbor and told her what we were planning. And I was going to ask her when would be a good time. And she was from a different part of the country that was not a custom necessarily. And she literally said, do what, what are you talking about? And I said, well, you’re in the South. You know somebody passes away, we take the family food, somebody moves into the community, we take them food, a baby’s born, we take them food. And then I say, Kathryn, I said, we pretty much bring them in with food and take them out with food.

But it’s true. It’s so true. And then she said, if I get hungry, I’ll call you. And she hung up on me. I could just couldn’t help just get a chuckle out of it. I thought, you know? Okay. So I got to thinking about that several days later, actually one day when I was out exercising and I thought, you know what?

And here again, I was relating it to my spiritual walk, but it goes back to what we were saying in terms of opportunity, how often times do we have this buffet of food and opportunity in front of us and we completely pass it by and just like, I’ll check you later and hang up on it pretty much. Just like I was hung up on.

Kathryn: Truly. And so I want to get to definitely the effect that had on your business in your professional life. Maybe some of that, not enough or not worthy. How did that affect how you showed up in relationships and how you approached life? Were you thriving or you stuck in your relationships? What did that look like?

Caroline: In certain ones, I was thriving. I’ve always kind of, as I’ve shared with you, I have a very close knit circle of friends and for very legitimate reasons have struggled with trust issues. So I’m very, very careful about that and I’m twice divorced. And so that is something that I felt like it was kind of the Scarlet letter S. Single two times, whatever you want to call it.

So that really has affected that too. But then once again, when I’ve come to realize that it’s not so much of what we have been through or our circumstances in the past, but what we have done with that and how that has shaped us into who we are today. As long as we take those struggles within those relationships and recognize, okay, here’s what I did wrong.

Here’s what the other person did wrong. So on and so forth. Then I think that things can be better. But yeah, I have definitely felt stuck in some situations because I am so guarded about who I let in, although that is getting better. And then with the significant other relationships, it’s been hard to just get over to in terms of worthiness.

Oh, well I’ve had two failed marriages. How worthy am I at this point? But you’ve helped me.

Kathryn: When we do create these pictures of ourselves and who we are based on our experiences and how we just view the world and ourselves, the tighter we hold on to that picture, the less space we leave for change and growth, the more difficult it can be on us.

And I’ve seen you find space there, right? Between that label of I’ve been divorced twice. And what that means and what it doesn’t mean to what your future can look like. So I love how you’ve been able to do that. I really do. How does the picture that you have of yourself say before versus now, how has that affected you how you approach your career and entrepreneurship? Like before, when there was a little bit of stuckness, a little bit of, not enough, a little bit of not worthy. What were you finding in your career?

Caroline: Well, I have a full-time career that the menu affair and all is a side gig, but I guess before I was afraid at times to just truly be myself. For fear of what people would think. I mean, it was huge for me. I was not even on social media, Kathryn, a year ago. That was just a fear of people seeing me and exposure and just way too much info. I’m such a private person or used to be. I’m not quite as much anymore, but I really think more than anything, I’m just no longer afraid to be myself.

And in terms of what people think of that? I mean, that was what was always just holding me back of what will they think? Not that I just don’t care what people think. I don’t mean that, but at the same time, if I’m going to be myself, I can’t care what people think. People are either going to like it or they’re not.

And that’s okay. I’m at peace with that. So I guess that’s before to now.

Kathryn: Yeah. That’s where the transformative power lies. It’s the gaining clarity and knowing your own truth, but then stepping away from your own critical self-judgment, finding self-compassion and self-love so that you can actually stand in your truth.

Caroline: Absolutely. And it is so empowering. At that point you’re able to see the opportunities that are on that buffet right before us and take from it. And in turn, also give in ways that you can’t otherwise.

Kathryn: When we criticize ourselves and judge ourselves harshly, it doesn’t just affect us in a negative way and how we see ourselves.

It really limits us and how we are able to fully show up for other people that we love.

Caroline: Absolutely. And with me, those relationships with the people who I am closest to. They’re at the very top of my list. In fact, I’ll tell you something with about a week or two ago, my oldest daughter and I were having a conversation and I feel like I’ve raised successful children and they’re awesome.

But there have been points in my life. One point in particular, in one of my marriages when things were just really bad. She and I were talking about that. And she said, mom, I liked the person that you are now so much better than you were at that point in time.

Kathryn: That’s the ultimate compliment, right? That you’ve allowed yourself to grow and change and evolve.

What I was thinking, as you were telling me that story, but I think this is one way that it affects the people that we love and who love us is when we lack self-love we’re showing the people who love us, that they are wrong. If we don’t love ourselves, then we are telling everyone who loves us, that they are wrong.

Caroline: Yeah, it’s so true.

Kathryn: How has this change, this transformation and how you completely see yourself and letting go of a lot of the critical self judgment. How has it changed how you are able to show up and accomplish goals in your professional life?

Caroline: There again, it has brought so much clarity to where I am and where I’m going.

I have been able to be fully present in what I’m doing. I’m not so worried about the judgment and what people are going to think. I’m just like, this is what I’m doing. This is what I feel like I’m supposed to be doing. And so I’m going to do it. And in turn, it’s created some success there again, I’m coming up on a year and it has opened so many different doors that are just amazing.

I have my online business and then I’m also getting ready to launch a podcast myself. Just one opportunity after another, that a year and a half ago, I never would have dreamed. That’s been phenomenal just the way all of that has evolved. In my professional life. It’s a lot of fun.

Kathryn: Absolutely.

So I want to share with all the other entrepreneurs out there, listening that if we don’t get to the bottom of gaining absolute clarity about who we are. What we’re telling ourselves that are holding us back and gain clarity about what’s most important to us. We can’t thrive in our businesses because we don’t remove our personal view of ourselves and how we look at the world, like removing a coat when you walk into the office.

Whoever we are outside of our work is who we are and how we show up and our work. So if there are issues with relationships, limiting beliefs, all of these things affect the trajectory that we’re on. And that’s what I’m seeing with you is like this trajectory change, right?

You were not going downhill or in a negative trajectory, but maybe just flatlining a little bit.

Caroline: Yeah, and that was it. I mean, I needed to get unstuck.

Kathryn: Now this amazing upward trajectory. How does that change how you wake up every day, how you see your day and how you see your life?

Caroline: Oh my goodness. I get excited about the next day when I go to bed at night. And I’ve always been a person of gratitude. Honestly, I’ve always had the gift or the skill of saying, okay, no matter how bad things get, I have so much to be thankful for, but it’s just like, it’s elevated it. I realized there’s so much to be thankful for.

And there again, go to bed excited about the next day and all the opportunities that I’ll have. I’ll wake up excited and I’m much more productive throughout the day, too. It’s amazing.

Kathryn: It is amazing shift that happens. Sometimes people get bogged down in, well, how can I set these big goals for the future, but also be satisfied with who I am right now?

Like how is that even possible,

Caroline: Yeah. And that can be kind of hard.

Kathryn: It’s not easy to get to, but that’s what I’m hearing from you is that you have achieved that. I don’t know if you want to call it a Zen like place. I don’t know exactly. There are many different things we could call it, but that place of being excited about the present, but extremely hopeful about the future. Grateful for everything I have without judgment, but that excitement of knowing that there’s just more and more, better to come.

Caroline: Absolutely. We have to take action on it though. We can’t just sit back and wait on it to fall in our lap. That’s one thing that you are great at is helping people realize what those next steps are and what the homework is. You have to put in the work and there’s a heck of a lot of it, but the rewards are just beyond measure.

Kathryn: Yeah, it’s this combination of going deep within yourself, really having clarity about who you are at your core. But just knowing is not enough. Right? You have to take that knowing and lean into it with not just everything that you think, but everything that you do and everything that you say. So the action has to come to put it all together.

Caroline: Absolutely. And it can be exhausting and there are days when you think, okay, am I really getting anywhere? I mean, it’s not all roses necessarily, and you have to really press into pain and just try very hard to shed a lot of that is important in order to really grow into all that you were created to be.

Kathryn: I’m glad that you said that because we, as humans have a tendency to want to avoid suffering and we want to help the people that we love avoid suffering. If you avoid it, you, first of all, can’t get to the true meaning of who you are. It’s through the suffering that we are able to enjoy the full human experience and then be able to tell ourselves whatever happens.

I can handle it. It might not be fun. It might not be pleasant, but I don’t have to be able to predict the future and control it because I know whatever comes my way, I have the tools that handle it.

Caroline: Absolutely I’m equipped and I can do it.

Kathryn: Yeah, absolutely. So speaking of open doors and opportunities, what big goals do you have that you’re working on now?

And what do you have sights on for your future?

Caroline: I’m continuing on with menu affair. And like I said, I have my full-time job that I absolutely love. I have the opportunity to, along with work with some folks and together, we have grown a company and that’s been tons of fun. We’ll continue to do that.

But I guess the biggest thing on my list right now is my podcast that we’ll be launching here in a few weeks, and I’m so excited that you’re going to come on and actually be my first guest, hopefully help bring some clarity to some more single moms, the name of my podcast. This is actually the first time that I’ve publicly announced it is single mom mission.

My mission within that podcast is to encourage and empower single moms to raise children of excellence. That’s just something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I believe that being a single parent is absolutely the toughest job on this earth, but it can be done and it can be done successfully.

I just want to bring hope to single parents, single moms in particular.

Kathryn: Absolutely love it. I think it’s wonderful because I mean, your children are wildly successful, well-rounded and well adjusted, and we need that in our world right now. So I think your timing is spot on.

Caroline: Thank you. I’m excited.

Kathryn: I can’t wait to hear it and just keep following you along your journey. So tell us the name of the podcast again and where we can find you online or on social media.

Caroline: Okay. So the name of the podcast is single mom mission. It has not yet launched, but it will within the next few weeks. You can find me on Instagram.

It’s really my favorite place to hang out @Caroline.ivey. It is a private account, but I would love to, for us to follow each other on there, I have my menu airfare account, which is @menuaffair on Instagram. On Facebook, I’m Caroline Ivey.

So I would love to connect in any way that I can encourage folks and give any tidbits that might help people just to grow into more of who they are and help them along their journey. Then I’ll certainly be glad to, and that being said, Kathryn, I can not recommend you enough to your listeners as far as a coach. I was thinking earlier today that it’s amazing to me, that we’ve been working together for almost a year.

I mean the time has flown and so much value and getting clarity that you have brought to my life is just it’s beyond measure. And I thank you.

Kathryn: Well, you are most welcome. I’m blushing. I’m glad everyone can’t see me turning around. You’ve done the word and I’m just amazed by you. So thank you for sharing everything that you shared with us today.

I know that it’s going to be a great benefit to many of us. What is one thing that you suggest that all of us entrepreneurs do today to get one step closer to having the lives that we want?

Caroline: Can I give two.

Kathryn: Oh, absolutely.

Caroline: First off, look yourself in the mirror and say out loud I am worthy.

And secondly, every single day, take one step out of your comfort zone.

Kathryn: Amen to that. Our brains want to keep us in that comfort zone. And it’s really kind of a misnomer because none of us are comfortable staying there. The tighter we hold to that, the almost the smaller, the space. It’s the less enjoyment that we get out of life.

But our brain keeps telling us it’s scary to do otherwise. But once you take that first big step out of your comfort zone, you realize it was a lot scarier being in there than it is.

Caroline: Yeah. It’s very empowering to get out of it. So much fun. It’s an adventure.

Kathryn: Absolutely. I second that motion. So I just want to thank you and thank everyone for being with us today and go out and make big things happen and come right back here next week, to learn more ways to move yourself forward on your entrepreneurial journey. Bye y’all.

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