As a "codependent people, pleaser" Alicja Pytlak lived her life on autopilot. Unconsciously living through her marriage and parenting her daughter.
Is your need for perfection a result of needing to prove you're better than the people who hurt you? Or are you recycling the hurt you endured instead of seeking healing and forgiveness?
...Being reactive, being reactive is also a sign of unhealed stuff within us.
~ Alicja Pytlak
Hitting rock bottom knocked Alicja awake so she can begin to live a life on purpose.
In this episode, you will hear tips on how to declutter your heart, relationships, and surrounding. Lots of content to create a checklist for spring cleaning.
Alicja also shares why quitting her job was part of her decluttering process. Not only did Alicja remove herself from the toxic relationships in her life but she also remove the "stuff" that she mindlessly accumulated throughout the years.
Connect with Alicja on IG @mindfulspacesbyala or visit her website
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This podcast was recorded with Riverside.fm
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[00:00:00] J. Rosemarie: My guest today is Alicja Pytlak, and Alicja helps women declutter simplify and organize their lives so that they spend less time feeling overwhelmed and more time doing what they love now.[00:00:15] Isn't that a dream that we all have?[00:00:17] Yeah. So, tell me about, you, and then tell me about that statement. [00:00:24] Alicja Pytlak: Okay. So how I like to always summarize my story in one sentence is basically a couple of years ago, I lost everything. To find myself. So I, I was living alive on autopilot that programming conditioning, the way I was raised and my upbringing, and then all the small things when I was growing up, shaped me for who I became.[00:00:46] And I was very disconnected from myself and not being aware of it. Right. So I was always overwhelmed, always busy, like being a wife, being a mom, uh, coming to Canada. I came to Canada in 2006 from Poland. I have very, a [00:01:00] little in Poland. I always had whatever I needed, but when I came to Canada, I didn't have the awareness that I was really broken inside.[00:01:08] So when I came here, I was like, oh my gosh, this is an American dream. So I found a good job. Like I, I married. We had everything we needed. We were just focusing on getting more and more. So like, you know, new cars and houses when you have a kid. So like you just checking everything off your list, but.[00:01:29] Internally. I so disconnected from myself. I was so unhappy in my marriage. I wasn't a conscious parent. I was dropping off my kids to daycare at 7:00 AM, picking her up at 5:30. I barely had time with her and when the weekend came, I had also no time for her because there was a house. There's a garden.[00:01:48] There is a groceries, all this like a crazy busy lifestyle. And. I basically went through burnout. Like I just, lots of different, small stories. I'm summarizing [00:02:00] it, but I hit my rock bottom. I, at some point I was like, I am the codependent people-pleasers, and I don't want to be this way anymore. I was boundaryless.[00:02:08] I didn't know how to say no, and I didn't have the awareness that I was really deeply wounded through my upbringing. Like my father was an abusive alcoholic and I loved him. I was actually taking care of him when my mom left and in my adulthood, I didn't realize that it shaped me for who I was. So then I married basically my father figure, trying to save my husband also from his addictions.[00:02:32] And I was always stuck in a victim mode, blaming others for like, I am perfect because I was always the perfect one. Not making any mistakes saving everyone and doing a lot of things at once. I was being praised for like multitasking and being like a superwoman. And so, yeah, a couple of years ago I basically mentally drained myself and I decided that I have to, I have to heal and I have to basically, change my [00:03:00] life and.[00:03:01] And I divorced a year later. I quit a full-time job. In the meantime, I got right away engaged in a very toxic, another relationship because I didn't really process my divorce. So I paused and, through my divorce, I sold everything. I, so I declutter my external life to basically , bring space for me and time.[00:03:22] To heal myself. And I got introduced to like, inner healing, inner work, different therapies, different courses, different modalities, because I had so much stuff within me that I kept on attracting the same messiness that had inside. So I committed to my healing and here I am on the other side, living with little, but being super happy and discovering what I really love doing my entire life.[00:03:50] I was always doing an office job being an office manager, and then now I'm helping people, the declutter their space but most importantly their lives. [00:03:59] J. Rosemarie: [00:04:00] Yeah. Okay. [00:04:01] Thanks for sharing that. And it's, we go one of two ways. I was reading the other day, that, the way we were raised can go on a two ways how we react to it.[00:04:11] We could either say, well, I don't really care. And you live your life, I mean, selfishly and, you know, without responsibility or you go the other way, which is work, work, work, because you want to, you want to be the best cause you want to show them. [00:04:26] Alicja Pytlak: Yeah. So it's like, what, what is kind of the. the stickers that are like, what you described.[00:04:32] It's like what? I was like call dependent and the other one, I don't care. It's like a narcissistic, right? So we go two different directions. So I was always attracting emotionally unavailable people to, me because I wanted to give them everything because I had so much, I was so perfect. I just wanted to fix and help everyone.[00:04:53] So it's kind of like codependency and narcissism. I just, don't like to label people because we all [00:05:00] have different like a little bit of each, I, I believe, because we are a broken, right. So we just have to heal and not to run away from it because I don't care. And like being reactive, being reactive is also a sign of unhealed stuff within us.[00:05:14] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. For sure. I can relate to the codependent part of it. [00:05:18] Alicja Pytlak: yeah, codependency is, it's not easy and especially for a codependent person, it was the same with me. I, I really never love myself.[00:05:28] So I was just looking for that love on the external that's why, like, after my divorce, when that man showed up in my life and I was like, oh my gosh, I've never experienced that with my husband. So, because I married my husband. The marriage happened backward. Like I came to Canada, I met him. So for me to stay, we had to marry and I'm like, oh, everything was going to be fine.[00:05:48] Like, I will fix everything. What I don't like now with him. So with relationships, we always go through like honeymoon phase, then there's a power struggle and we either [00:06:00] settle what probably I'm not going to exaggerate probably 80% of relationships. They're just settled for security. And then. Instead of settling, we really want partnership, right?[00:06:11] Like we don't want to settle. We want to be with a partner. So with my husband, I never had the honeymoon phase. We only were for 10 years in power struggle, but it was this man that I met, right after I had this like honeymoon phase, this passion chemistry, and. Later in therapy, I realized that he was basically my father figure and it was so hard for me to release him from my life because of this entanglement, like these, like what they saw like, oh my, how did my soulmate you?[00:06:43] And it was my wound mate basically blocked it, our deepest wounds and, and we caused the what, psychologists names trauma bond. And is it just so hard to release the trauma bond? Because that means that I [00:07:00] have to leave my father and he even looks like my father it was, [00:07:03] J. Rosemarie: yeah. you won't believe how much we have in common.[00:07:07] No [00:07:07] Alicja Pytlak: funny. Yeah. And, you know, it was the first time in my life that I did something that I was ashamed of. I was so ashamed of myself for disrespecting my body and myself, but it was all needed. Right. We, we may get, that's why I love connecting with other women because not only saved me because so many women, unfortunately, they don't get support.[00:07:30] So they. They can get out of this pool of shame and, and they get depressed. Like God forbid, some of them may come in suicide because they just don't know how to normalize it. And shame only can be normalized and community of supportive women where we share what I share my story and other women.[00:07:49] Sure. their's, I was like, Okay. Mine is really nothing. Like I'm just being a perfectionist. A perfectionist that just did one mistake in my entire life, you know, [00:08:00] and I was shaming myself for so long, also not having really support from my family because my family system was all about sweeping everything under the carpet, we don't talk about problems.[00:08:09] Nothing happened. Just let go of him. Like you didn't do anything wrong. And I'm like, I did it. I did, it was horrible. We're not going to be talking about it because the whole family has to pretend that everything is great. Right. so that's what, that's why I laugh. Like I also try to build my own community just to give that support to women just to tell them it is okay.[00:08:30] Like it is needed even. It's so painful to attract people like that. we needed and it's, and it's so, healing, if we release and not attract against that means that we did the right. And if we do attract similar one again, then it means we need more work. We just humans like trying to do our best here on this planet earth.[00:08:53] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, but the thing is that we have to recognize where we are. Right. Because I didn't recognize it [00:09:00] until after my third divorce. And I said to myself and said, wait a minute, here, what's wrong with me? [00:09:05] So I was like you, I wanted, you know, I wanted to prove how good I was, because I have to prove it. And two, I wanted to take care of somebody, so it, it's kind of a, and I think that's kind of. Polar opposite of each other. You know, you're looking for somebody you can take care of, but at the same time [00:09:24] you want this family, this, this they're searching for this connection. Right. And so it doesn't work for the other person because you know, it's not normal, right. [00:09:36] Alicja Pytlak: Because you want to suck the thing out. And, and that's not the relationship. A relationship is all about growing a garden outside of us. Like you, I don't need you.[00:09:50] You don't need me. And that's why so many women get so stuck in these unhealthy relationships because they don't believe in themselves. we are divine. beings, [00:10:00] especially women like the feminine. We should be proud of that side of us.. Versus we function in masculine for, I was, I was never, I was so disconnected from the feminine side of me, like the last two years, allowing myself, you know, to cry, to loud, to take naps when needed to honor my body, not to.[00:10:19] Run through my body, like I always consider myself very athletic person because I was like going for runs just to run away from me because sitting was not comfortable. and now, uh, I'm so like happy that I balanced the balls. yeah, it's it was a deep work and my. Uh, helped me what you were just saying that it's, backfire.[00:10:45] It was such a heavy work that I've done last year, backfiring, everything on me. Right. Because they're just mirrors. So they're like, oh, why is he disrespecting me? Like, oh, where are you disrespecting yourself? Like, which parts of [00:11:00] broken that you allowing that you see it in him because, okay, he's disrespecting you, but you're doing, but it's the same thing.[00:11:09] yes. Why is he, so like, what is they avoiding right? Why are you avoiding yourself? And it was the hardest work that I've done myself, like putting everything on me and, and, um, acknowledging that. I am the one that is broken and I'm not missing and I can't be fixing others because I have to fix myself. [00:11:28] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, for sure. And a lot of times we blame and I hear the complaints all the time. Oh, he did this. Or he was thought, or he was this. I came to the point where you have to start looking at yourself, [00:11:38] Alicja Pytlak: right. You have to start, you have, we have to leave the victimhood. And, uh, and that's what my astrologist explained to me.[00:11:47] Like she's from LA. But she's just amazing. I just love her so much. She helped me so much, even though she's an astrologist like she helped me way more than therapy did. so I am from Poland so obviously my grandma [00:12:00] went through world war second. Right. She survived, but family, lots of family members were trapped in Germany.[00:12:07] So we have so much trauma in our veins, like, and it's being passed and processed POS per generation. So being in that victim mode is something that we strive. Like it's like something that, yes, it is happening to us and why it's happening to us. We, and so it's so comfortable to be there like it is. So I, I see it in my entire family.[00:12:34] I've been going to Poland every summer with my daughter. And, I have to like protect myself with are no violent aura or not to like, This energy past me. So [00:12:44] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, It's enlightening once you're on the other side, but when you're in it, it's a [00:12:49] confusing place. [00:12:50] Alicja Pytlak: Yeah, it is enlightening.[00:12:51] Like I like just before this podcast, my friend called me and I know that she really struggles in her relationship and she's seen that her husband is a [00:13:00] narcissist. It's like he is doing this. So she's been calling me for two years. Okay. And constantly complaining and, and now she's already for the lawyer and she's like, but this there's so much money.[00:13:09] And they say, what if he's not going to settle? And we, we go to the future with all like first we're so stuck in the past because he's this he's this. And today I, I just said to her, like, I really want to help too, but I'm not going to be soft right now. You have to shake yourself. Like you have to think about the present moment.
[00:13:27] Okay. You want to get a divorce? What is the next step? It's the lawyer don't think that the lawyers that are going to help you in two years, because he's not going to set up, oh, your ex, like we, we have to face our fears because if you. I live in a comfort zone, very toxic comfort zone for 40 years of your life, then like, yes, you will have to face fears for the next couple of years and it's not going to be easy.[00:13:50] This journey is like, it's beautiful, but it's so beautiful. The journey of becoming because you every day have to be [00:14:00] uncomfortable, like, because the dreams they die in comfort, like nothing good comes from. Your dreams won't like happen. If you're staying comfortable every day, you have to face your shadow self.[00:14:15] And you know, the alarm is ringing. You don't want to wake up, you sleep in and then your entire day is like, especially when you have kids, I wake an hour before the average. Just give some time to yourself, like, you know, breathe, drink water. So you don't wake up with your kids and you just on this spiral.[00:14:36] So, yeah, it's, it's not an easy work, but, I believe we all came here to live an abundant life. Not like [00:14:43] alive and stuff. [00:14:45] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. Sure. Thank you. All right. what is, what is Alicja grateful for today? [00:14:51] Alicja Pytlak: What am I grateful for today? I'm grateful for my great energy. Actually I woke up at 4:30 and, um, I did usually I [00:15:00] do around hour and a half, two hours of like my spiritual practices and some workout.[00:15:05] And, uh, yeah. So my day was really awesome because I didn't have that snowstorm. I'm actually participating in like a really motivating workshops. So we did motivate it. So I woke up, I wasn't checking any social media, no phone. And that's such a different day that you create when you, when you don't look at your phone for the first two or three hours, when you wake up.[00:15:25] So I am super grateful for the energy and I was actually sending some gratitude to the universe for [00:15:33] that. [00:15:34] J. Rosemarie: Okay. Thank you very much for sharing. I like to put that in the middle of everything. so you know, a lot of times moms, I think worry the most. because we worry about our kids and if there's a partner, we worry about them and their stuff.[00:15:52] Alicja Pytlak: And so I think that one of the reasons that we worry so much is we have so much [00:16:00] stuff to manage or to take care of. How can women, especially moms live a more intentional life away from materialism?[00:16:10] So I do believe that worries. They also come from our condition style. So like from those unhealed parts within us, right. If we not going to ground ourselves every day with some sort of, uh, practice, like really self-care is not about, you know, soaking in a bathtub and doing the manicure, like self care is more about[00:16:33] connecting to our soul, to our, to ourselves, to our inner self, to, to ground ourselves. And I do believe that the morning is the best, the best way to do it when it's still even dark. So when you start doing the work on yourself and I've experienced that as being a mom being very reactive three years ago, To now, my daughter is almost [00:17:00] 12 and that, that is a really hard age, like now to like probably 16, because I am so calm within myself.[00:17:09] I don't worry. Like I don't worry about her. I trust and I have faith that we are. Protected. Like whenever the worry wants to come to my head, I put a hand on my heart and I say, God, like, whoever is your guide. Like, Lord, I, I say, God, like, I know that I'm protected and I'm just asking you for strength. I usually just ask for strength if there's lots of challenging things coming my way, but.[00:17:39] What so many moms struggle with, let's say the basic example, if they're not happy in their life, if they, if they're, if they're in this mode of like blaming or being a victim, or my husband is this and this, but I'm doing so much and then we're projecting it on our kids. So they are doing the same thing.[00:17:59] So let's [00:18:00] say, let's say the daughter is dating a horrible guy. But here I am being in a marriage that was never working. And my daughter was seeing that, but it is so hard and it takes so much work to see it, you know, because I don't, yes, our kids can be emotional. They can be nasty. They can be. We have to allow them to be this way, but it's our choice if we're gonna react[00:18:26] so we're just going to perpetuate this behavior, which is gonna like, add basically that heat to the fire, or are we going to just observe them? And when my daughter is acting up, I'm just right away asking, like, is there anything that you'd like to talk to them? Be that something happened at school and.[00:18:44] Often, I would say 99% when she is in that heated moment. Like when she's like, I hate you and she doesn't want to talk. Right. So I'm like, I'm breathing, I'm literally breathing. If she's going overboard, I'm going to my room. I'm like, [00:19:00] I feel for you, I'm here for you. I'm not going to tolerate this respect.[00:19:04] I'm not going to tolerate that, but I know that there's something big happening inside of you. So you be, you. You scream to your pillow, try to watch your verbiage because I really don't like where words and kids can hear so much stuff at school nowadays. And so 99%, she's not going to talk to me right away, but 99.9, she is going to come after an hour or the next morning and vulnerably say to me what really happened.[00:19:34] So vulnerability is something that we're not being taught at school. We just hide our, like suffering our problems. We pretend that our family is perfect. And then a woman who's divorcing, or a woman who is a single woman is shaming herself. That she's the only one. No you'e not. Most likely the friends that you have that claim that everything is perfect.[00:19:58] They have, and I've [00:20:00] experienced that in my life that I was always like, oh, but he has such a great life. Or she has such a great life. But when you go deeper, basically these people are not honest and that's okay. That's um, I'm not sure if I answered your question, but basically to live an intentional life, everything starts with us from decluttering, our.[00:20:19] External and internal and decluttering friends for me was that the heaviest part, because I was codependent people pleasers. So I only had friends that friends that claimed that their life is great and they fed off of my problems and they were always telling me what to do. And then they were like, we told you to do this.[00:20:40] How come you didn't do that? Because I started like awakening. Actually I'm going to do whatever it feels right for me. So they didn't like it. So, or at work I quit because I started again like healing and I was like, oh no, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna do that because that's not my job. Or I don't feel comfortable.[00:20:59] So [00:21:00] I started saying no. So if a girl who says yes, entire life start says, no, especially surrounded by men. They call her like, you know, a "b" word, or like, oh, what's wrong with you? Or do you, you know, are you on your period? Or offensive stuff like that.[00:21:15] and so sometimes you cannot really fix that. You have to exit the environment, you have to exit the environment where your old broken style and. Yeah, there is a painful bridge in between, but you have no one because you have to work on yourself. You have to scream it out. You have to cry it out.[00:21:36] You have to do bodywork. Like we can not fix our problems on a college campus. The therapy can only take us, take us maybe half way, but then it's the bodywork? It's the breathwork. Is this so much sematic work. Everything is stuck in our nervous system. So it's so hard to. Even if we think that our childhood was perfect, there was always [00:22:00] some conditioning, some subtle things that may like may cause us issues in our outer world.[00:22:07] so yeah, so decluttering relationships, like from what I, choose to work with moms. are so, like they're buying happiness with material possessions, because I can see how even this affects my daughter, like surrounded by kids at school. And she's like, oh, but one this. And I'm like, why don't we just go for a walk?[00:22:28] And so going to school, you don't need anything. You have everything on top of that. If you are at the age, when you grow so much, you literally find with three sweaters because this sweater is not going to work in six months. Uh, so let's create experiences instead of vines, or like, you know, let's, you're not going to sit on the iPad for three hours because I created my life by design now.[00:22:51] So I'm going to spend this time with you. so these are the steps, the small steps that can bring the intention to your life, but it all [00:23:00] starts basically with you. [00:23:01] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, for [00:23:01] sure. and how can we get in touch with you if, you know, we want to talk to you. [00:23:05] Alicja Pytlak: I have my website and I'm mostly a year ago. I would never ever think I will get on social media because I was always through the journey also of my last four years.[00:23:16] I cancel all my social media, but now I'm slowly getting there and I like Instagram. So I have my profile on Instagram. When I, when I share. Tips and ideas on decluttering, your spaces and your lives and bringing like more abandons and manifests really, good, more joy and ease in your life. And it's @ mindfulspacesbyallah[00:23:38] that's my Instagram and the same with my website. [00:23:41] J. Rosemarie: www.MindfulspacesbyAllah.com Okay. I'll put that in the show notes as well. And, and, um, just one piece of advice that you would give to a solo mom on just like a quick couple of quick tips that they could use to start to [00:24:00] declutter, in a holistic manner.[00:24:02] So. So, what do you think comes easier for you? Like, are you overwhelmed in your physical space? Because if you are. Just put yourself on a three-day challenge, 33 items every day for three days, make it fun. Maybe even with your kids, as them to, you know, throw in a bag, everything that is broken or shoes that they don't like or shares are nowhere.[00:24:22] Give them $2 for that and go and get, uh, I don't know, hot chocolate together create an experience for that three day challenge. So after three days, you're going to have. Almost a hundred pieces, less in your space, and hopefully that will create excitement within you. So just tap in right away to that excitement and tap in like, oh my gosh, what is my intention now?[00:24:44] What is my, like always started with intention and with why, so why are we doing it? Like, oh, I want to, I'm too overwhelmed. I don't have time. Okay. So why don't I have time? Why is my space so messy? Why am I so disconnected? Always ask questions [00:25:00] and trust God. the answers will come. Just question, question, everything, question, everything that you have in your calendar, in your space, and then dig deeper, because if you ask questions, be honest with yourself.[00:25:14] The answer usually is inside and that comes from some internal work that you have to do yourself and don't judge yourself just. Allow yourself to be sad, allow yourself to grieve and never judge yourself and go there and share your suffering and share your pain because in pain we, we connect, um, We just, we have to just let go of this toxic.[00:25:44] Yeah, [00:25:45] that's for sure. Thank you very much for sharing that, that those two pieces are really good. I might, I think I would help our audience, so, yeah. Yeah, sure. thank you Alicja for coming and talking to me today I'm glad to have you, and [00:26:00] hopefully you will come back one day. [00:26:01] Alicja Pytlak: Yes. Thank you so much.[00:26:03] I'm sure we'll be in touch.