Big transitions with Stephanie Trzaska

Listen now:

When I first met Stephanie she was wrapping up her career as a montessori teacher and delving into the world of events, community and ultimately coaching. Fast forward two years and Stephanie is flourishing as a coach for those experiencing a life transition. In this episode we delve into the evolution of her career to becoming fully and wholly who she is supposed to be. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Stephanie discusses her journey from leaving her montessori career and pursuing entrepreneurship 
  • Stephanie talks about hiring her first coach and learning from those that have come before 
  • Stephanie discusses overcoming her own imposter syndrome when sliding from events into coaching 
  • We discuss motherhood and the evolution from being a mom to one to a mom to two 
  • We chat about expectations and perceptions of motherhood 

Learn more about Stephanie Trzaska  at LittleScrapsofMagic.com  and follow her on instagram at @Stephanie.Trzaska

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Emily Merrell  0:04  

Welcome to the sixth degree Podcast, the podcast where we grill our guests about the things that make them tick, and find out how human connection plays a role in their life. I’m your host, Emily Merrell.

I’m your host, Emily Merrill. And today I’m excited to have Stephanie Tresca. She is the transition and transformation coach, and founder of little scraps of magic on our show. Stephanie, welcome to the sixth degree. Emily, I’m so excited to be here talking with you today. Thank you for having me. Or should I say six degrees again? Yeah, that’s well, degree the.


Stephanie Trzaska  0:45  

I don’t know. Can’t do math.


Emily Merrell  0:48  

squared. No, I you know, you were my very first repeat. podcast guest. And I think that’s really cool in that. I’ve had the podcast now for over two years. And viewer, I think, like episode probably six or something like that, like an OG episode.


Stephanie Trzaska  1:06  

So it’s neat to kind of check in two years later, where we’re at? Yes, I’m so honored. I didn’t know that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And yeah, so much transpired in the last couple of years. So it’ll be great to hold on all of it. Do you want to do to keep me posted? Or do you want to fill us in? Like what has happened in the last year and a half since we last chatted? Yes. So when I was last on back in the archives, I had just launched my business. Thanks to you, Emily was my first business coach that I ever had. And she showed me so much about what online business was about she you know, I don’t know how to refer to you what person


at that time, I had been a Montessori teacher for close to a decade, a Montessori guide in the elementary years, and I knew I wanted to work from home, I knew I wanted flexibility, I had an almost one year old son, Bruce, who’s now three, and


it is like grow fast. I’ve got my second son, Noah ever who’s almost one. So when I started my business at that time, the biggest Why was time with my my child, and flexibility and how I live my life. And at that time, also, I will say I was struggling a lot with imposter syndrome, as I’m sure many entrepreneurs can understand. And so I thought, well, the only things that I could start a business around would have to be the thing I went to college for, which was Educational Studies. And then like I said, I was a Montessori teacher for many years. And so the pandemic was just starting. And I thought, I’m going to help parents implement Montessori at home, the way I’ve been doing with my son, and I’m trained through 12 years old, got my master’s in education. So this is the perfect thing I’m qualified for, to walk people through. And on the side, I did digital events for moms, to learn about child development and self development. And that was how I ran my business for a few months.


And I have to say, I don’t even think I had one Montessori client. Before I started having women come to me asking how I started my business. And I remember actually, when you were my coach, and you had told me when you were helping me learn the ropes that I would make a good business coach. And at the time, I didn’t see how that was possible, seeing as I hadn’t fully even launched my own business. But I think you’re on to something because a couple of women in my community came to me, you know, they saw me promoting my services promoting my events, and they asked me to help them start their businesses. And so what started as me helping a friend for like, you know, $30 an hour turned into me shifting my title from Montessori coach or consultant to business coach. And then shortly after that, I moved my title to business and mindset coach because as you know, so much about starting a business as you certainly experienced with me, when I was your client is about your mindset, and the negative self talk and the limiting beliefs and the imposter syndrome and, and the analysis, paralysis and all of the things that just go race through our minds when we’re about to leap into the unknown and when we’re about to put ourselves in that vulnerable place of


you know, putting your your heart and soul and your dreams out there to be exposed. And so that was one of the biggest things I fell in love with in my work was the mindset and really,


oh, just like the delicate dance of


helping to someone else to find their power through that vulnerability through being able to meet themselves exact


aptly where they are, and to work through the hard truths. And


yeah, those shadow parts to be able to fully step into the next evolved version of themselves so that they can do what they want in their life. And so now, as you introduce me, I’m a transition and transformation coach, so many different roles in the last couple of years. But this one really feels like it is exactly how I am meant to serve women, it is providing support to women through seasons of change, when you find yourself in this place where you look back, and you think, I’m not that person who I used to be anymore, I’m definitely not her. And I know I’m going somewhere. But it just isn’t clear to me how I get there. And I feel really stuck in this place that I’m in right now. Right. And so I help women to peel back those layers and find their authentic truth, that core self, who they’ve always been somewhere deep down and merge that with


this next level version of themselves. So they’re stepping into and whether that means, you know, becoming a mom of two, whether that means starting a new job, whether that means starting a business, there’s so many transitions that we make in life, and we think we have to do it all alone. And it’s such a space where support, guidance and


permission to rest and pause and be in the mess. As much as that’s not fun. It’s so essential in order to move forward and transition to this next place. So that’s what I do now. 


Emily Merrell  6:43  

Which I think I think that’s so cool. I mean, the word transition,


the idea of like, someone supporting you as you go through life’s transitions and transformations, just seems so luxurious, to be able to have someone help you and nourish you and give you those permissions along the way. When you think about all the different little micro life transitions we have, even from high school to college, from college to a new city, new relationships, new relationship status is new, you know, going from a single woman to a mother or


a solo person,


to Yeah, that happens to you exactly. Whatever, whatever your journey and so what an amazing


what an amazing title for you, especially knowing you. And one thing that I want to also mention to people listening is Steph and I went to college together, I pretty sure I dirty rushed her into my sorority most likely. And think you were one of my littles at some point to family, I need to build my family tree add a little more. But it’s interesting. It’s been so fun to watch your journey in your transformation from going to that Shire Montessori teacher who did only see herself as having one authority to stepping into someone who has this confidence in this, this following. And I want to talk about the following part too, because you built little scraps of magic before you even intended to be a business owner. And, and I think it was so smart of you to build something on the side, even if you didn’t even know what it was going to be. Because by the time that you were set out to the world, I’m going to start something you had this audience that was already warmed up and already nurtured and ready to accept whatever it was you transitioned into. Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit more about the origin of like actually creating little scraps of metal? Yeah, little


Stephanie Trzaska  8:48  

scraps of magic? Yeah, so that’s the LLC. And I was just explaining to Emily, as we were chatting a little bit before getting on the podcast as I chose a name for my Instagram account. Initially, it was just an Instagram account. Now it is the whole business. But I wanted I knew when I started that account that I craved flexibility and freedom in my life that I hoped I would have a business be an influencer, like, I really didn’t know what it would look like. But I was like, This account is the beginning of me going on a journey to find out how I can live outside of the box, like outside of the lines that society says here’s how you do things, right. And I chose a name that I felt would really be able to evolve into whatever I was, was to figure out what’s my path. And I love the phrase, little scraps of magic is about the beauty that you can find them in life, right? There’s so many messy parts. There are so many hard moments and what I loved about that phrase was that it is this whisper to throughout your days, look for the things that bring you joy, look for the things that make your heart flutter and follow those things right and see where they lead you. And so it was my own personal mission to follow and to create and follow my own little scraps of magic to collect the ones in my life through moments with my son through like bargains that I find when I’m shopping, through creating this business through whatever it is. And that was the origin origin. And and from that, right, I had the Instagram community, as you said, I started having women following me moms following me who wanted to see what we were doing at home, it was really a lot about my son, Bruce, and what kinds of Montessori things we were doing cloth diapering, all of that kind of thing. And then, I don’t know, maybe six, seven months in, I started stepping into the space a little bit more and wanting to develop my own identity in that space. And that was around the time that I not met you. But sort of when we reconnected right after our post college days, and I decided to hire you and really start this whole business thing. I had had a few companies reach out to me on Instagram of like, Oh, do you want this product and you want to do this giveaway with us, like really big companies that I had a lot of respect for and love their products. And that was sort of I think my first wink that was like, you’ve got something like you’ve got something here. And that gave me a little competence to think, I don’t know why like, oh to free products that I wanted already, I can build a business. But gee, I’m glad that happened. Because it really did bolster my confidence enough to it was like that sign for me that you’re on the right track here. And this thing that you are imagining and wanting for yourself is possible if you keep going and you get serious about it.


Emily Merrell  11:38  

But you needed something to like give you permission to actually launch and start something.


Stephanie Trzaska  11:43  

Exactly. And so the name still held though it was again little scraps of magic. So coaching, right? Whether it was helping parents parents implement Montessori at home, or whether it was starting a business that became about helping these women helping these moms find their own magic within themselves, right, while honoring their motherhood while having their little scrap of magic which we’ve made those onesies little scrap of magic and I love it. Oh, my magic sweatshirts. And it’s my favorite


Emily Merrell  12:07  

sweatshirt. By the way, I


Stephanie Trzaska  12:09  

wear it all the time favorite sweatshirt, it’s like there’s they’re so great, I’ll have to do another launch sometime after this podcast comes out so people can buy them. Yeah, and, and then it still holds now with the transition and transformation, coaching and bringing in some other elements to the work that I do with women that at the core. What I’ve always wanted in my life, and for my business to be about is magic. You know, I think people used to say I was really too idealistic and romantic because I wanted things to be sparkly and beautiful. And I wanted life to be full of joy and glitter and fun. And so the name to me is just like a perfect representation of that, right of all the things that we it’s our birthright to enjoy every damn moment that were granted on this planet, you know, and to have gratitude for the opportunities before us and to create opportunities for ourselves and to heal ourselves when things aren’t going well. Like, there’s magic and pain to there’s magic in everything. So you know, you can you can hear I’m passionate about that.


Emily Merrell  13:15  

I can tell I’m very shocked that you’re passionate. Now I love it. And I feel like when I think of it, I think of you and I think of that sparkle. And I think of that, that joy and that happiness that you that you alluded to, I think you do a great job of encompassing it within your brand. But I would love for us to switch gears because I think one of the things that we never really I never really understood until being in the season of life is motherhood. And you know, when I met you, you had Bruce, as you said he was like six or seven months, I think when he maybe a year now he’s like, yeah, about a year old when you and I started working. Okay, so about a year, a year old. And like Bruce was your life like there is this aspect where I just remember, you’ve, you were in it, obviously you’re it’s your kid, but like you were entranced with him. And now you’re the mom of two you have a business. You have helped us so much has changed. And I think we should just talk about like, misconceptions of motherhood, you know, I, I want to hear about your motherhood journey. Like what has what was it? Like? What did you think motherhood would be like versus like the reality of it?


Stephanie Trzaska  14:26  

Yeah, yeah. You know, and it’s funny. I remember this question from you in our first episode. And I remember saying, it was so much better than I’d expected. It was so much easier than I’d expected. It was so much more natural and effortless. And you know, it was with my firstborn. It just was. I was expecting the other shoe to drop the whole time though, because my mom experienced postpartum depression with me. And so I expected to have that with Bruce. My mom didn’t breastfeed me. So I expected that I would have trouble with breastfeeding. I did not Everything was it was it was pretty freakin easy. And as you said, I was just entranced I, I will say when I gave birth to Bruce. It was like ethereal. I just remember like, I had him and I was like, Whoa, my I felt like my life was a movie almost like I feel like I How did I earn and deserve the right to this kind of joy and this depth of feeling for someone, and awareness and understanding of myself and this new purpose. And it was a really beautiful season. It was a really beautiful year, I will say it was a struggle at that time, I was still a teacher and I had to go back to work. And that brought on some postpartum depression. I mean, I was really full of grief. And those were hard, hard times leaving him well, before I was ready. Well, before either of us was ready, he wouldn’t take a bottle and I’d have to leave for the day. And that wasn’t like pomp, knowing he wouldn’t drink the milk that I would be pumping. That was something I didn’t expect with him that I will say was was hard. Luckily, he was four months old. So we base my our parents were taking care of them. That was a health it wasn’t that we had to send them to daycare. So that helped. He was like mix breast milk in oats and stuff. So he would get some nutrition during the day. But you know, yeah, so that was tough. But otherwise, it was really this magical experience. And we knew we wanted multiple children, at least to I had been raised in only child and I despised it, I was really bored. And you can imagine, right? I always was jealous of my friends who had siblings and love being at their houses with all the energy and excitement and people were doing things. And so we got pregnant, and we had our second son Everett, when Bruce was just over two years old. And I was nervous. While it was a planned pregnancy. While it was a desired pregnancy. I was really, really nervous about what’s going to happen to my heart because everyone says that it grows. And as you said, like my heart bursted when I had Bruce, I felt like the ultimate capacity and there’s no freaking way it can get bigger, I don’t understand and like, how am I going to love another child that as much even though you kind of you hear or you know that you will you trust that you will in some way that I was anxious? Like, how is this gonna change our relationship? How am I going to manage it all? How am I going to have time for my business at that time, right when I had Bruce, I had no business, I didn’t want to go back to work. When I had Everett, I was in love with my business. And I was at a really high point in my business where I was doing way better than I’d ever expected in that first year or so. And I had big desires and dreams for what I was going to do next. And when we had ever I’ll say like kind of all of my worst fears came true. I it was a hard time I had him. And the birthing experience was easier after having had one already.


Emily Merrell  18:03  

But I remember


Stephanie Trzaska  18:05  

holding him and laughing and being like, wow, so impressed at what my body had done at this little being that I was had created another one in my arms right right before me. But I also within about 30 minutes, I felt vacant, like I just felt broken, shattered and vacant. even know who I am already. And I didn’t feel like my heart grew at all. Not at all. Did you feel like


Emily Merrell  18:30  

you were going to the steps with him like, oh, we had the baby. Now I know what to do. It’s you do this, you do that? Do you think there was like a newness element like with Bruce or everything was new and sparkly? I think


Stephanie Trzaska  18:43  

so i think so I think it’s it is people say that about your first sometimes it is this whole your life. That child made you a mother, you know, I mean, it’s just your being an every child we have, we are reborn again in a different way. And I will explain a bit more about that, that for forever at our love has been a slow burn. And it’s been a slow growth and it is strong and it is beautiful. And he has been the catalyst for growth and work that I didn’t know I wanted or needed and that I never would have touched without him. And so I know, not only do I love him with all of my heart and soul and being but I also know like, I needed him to become who I am now. Right? Just like I needed Bruce to become who I was for that period of time and who else they’ll become in the future. But yeah, I think there was an element of newness with Bruce for sure that didn’t exist with Everett and Everett. It was sad. Sad to say because I had this business I wanted to get back to but like I never could go to it because there was always someone to take care of and someone who needed me and and Bruce was jealous. You know, it was it was very hard in those ways of my poor little toddler boy who was still a baby in so many ways and his whole world was just turned upside down and If he doesn’t understand at all in ways he didn’t ask for, even though he was excited about being a brother, that and


Emily Merrell  20:05  

you also had Everett in the like, in the middle of the pandemic, well, no, Bruce had an opportunity to like kind of be socialized pre pandemic and be loved on by family and have more support. I could imagine that like, with Alfred, it was a little, a little bit more isolating. It


Stephanie Trzaska  20:24  

was Yeah, and I and I, along with, you know, falling into postpartum depression pretty early on, I developed postpartum thyroiditis. So I ended up with hypothyroidism. And it can give you tremendous brain fog. Like I would forget what I was saying that sentence often. Like no ability to write, create, produce original thought, follow along with things. So it made returning to my business really, really, really difficult. And then the hormonal stuff that goes along with that with your thyroid it with staff in Nursing with postpartum depression, ever it had severe acid reflux, and a milk protein allergy. And it took about four months to sort all of that out with him. So he was constantly screaming and crying. And so rage started taking over I mean, yeah, and so it was a vastly different postpartum experience that I had with Bruce. And it was almost, you know, it sounds so awful, but like worse than I could have imagined because I didn’t know that ever it was going to have Luckily his health situation was manageable, right? He was, we weren’t his life wasn’t threatened. And so you feel so grateful for that. But then you feel like you’re you don’t have a right to your pain either. And you don’t have a right to your I don’t even know what to call it, but pain for sure. And I just kind of it was a downward spiral, I would say by October, I was just, yeah, I don’t know how many months that was postpartum six, maybe something like that, who was born in May, again, can’t do math. But it was, it was really, really difficult. And because of the thyroid stuff, I kept kind of thinking, well, maybe this isn’t depression, maybe it’s my thyroid, and it takes a long time for your thyroid medication to start working. So they tell you wait six weeks, and then check and then wait six more weeks, and then check. So I kind of have waiting for, you know, that to kick in before I went to try to get therapy and an antidepressant and things like that. So let’s just say,


Emily Merrell  22:30  

I love I love, like, I hate that you had both of those experiences. But I also love that you had both of those experiences. Because, you know, no experiences, right? There’s no like one size fits all, for every single baby, every baby is different. And you know what, Bruce, you you gotta have that like romantic relationship of really easing into motherhood. And then with Everett, you also had the challenge and like the problem solving, and I think both of them uniquely inspired your business and change within you. So like Rhett, ever, you know, had you be inspired to transition from like mindset coach to transition coach and to transformation coach? Well, Bruce gave me the permission to start an Instagram account. And they both are so influential in your lives. And it’s been so beautiful watching you navigate both motherhood, maternity leave, and all of those things. So I want to ask you, do you have any? Do you have any wisdom or words of wisdom for someone who is maybe at the precipice of thinking about becoming a mom planning to maternity leave entrepreneurial, like any words of wisdom that you wish you had been able to tell yourself?


Stephanie Trzaska  23:47  

Yeah, I think for motherhood, I will say it is something. And I say this to my clients, and like, it’s really not just with motherhood, it’s with anything that you’re really considering, you know, there’s this decision upon you of should I do this? Or should I do that? And I think women for a long time, go back and forth. It is that time, am I ready? Am I ready? And that goes along with starting a business or making a big change in your life, you you consider how things were how things are now, how they couldn’t be if you do this thing, how they could be if you don’t do this thing. And I think when we get to that place of weighing all of these different options, we can start to look outside of ourselves for the answers. And we live in a society that conditions us to seek external validation, right? We starting from a young age when we all started going to school, we are taught to follow the rules, stay inside the lines, conform, be proficient at all of the things right, and to seek that reward or that approval from the authority figure. And that follows us through our lives. And so The sad thing is when we start looking outside of ourselves for the answers, you might get lucky once in a while and the you know, something, something works, someone gives you advice or tells you what they would do or what you shouldn’t do, and it works out for you. But oftentimes, it doesn’t, right. And I think a lot of people can probably relate like, if someone has told you that thing that you should do, even if you went out and sought that advice, even if you ask them, when someone has told you what you should do, you can feel in your body, if that’s the right thing for you to do or not. Right, and you’re good reminder. And that and that is at the core of what I do and work with women. And that is at the core of the advice I would say in any Crossroads you find yourself out, whether it’s it’s having a child planning a maternity leave, starting a business, pivoting, whatever it is, is when you find yourself looking externally, that is your clue that you need to be looking inward. And I know when we’re in a place of chaos and sort of turmoil and exhaustion, it’s really hard to look within. But that is the time when you need to. And there are you know, I don’t want to give a laundry list of like ways to tune in with yourself and check in with yourself and get calm again. Because I think unless you’re talking with the individual and you know them, it’s just like, Oh, listen to a meditation, take some breaths like me saying that here isn’t really going to help you recenter yourself. So I urge you to find something some way that you know, it brings you back home to yourself in some way reminds you of joy you had in your childhood or peace you found once upon a time somewhere and find a way to bring that into your life into this moment where you’re trying to make a decision. So you can find some, like get your get yourself back to neutral and find some even ground and then you go inward. And you know a simple way to ask yourself what yes feels like I’ve told clients to do this, where you take some deep breaths and you get in a space of calm. And you bring to your mind things that make you feel so good. So your child’s giggle. The taste of dessert, like your favorite dessert like rolling across your your tastebuds, or sinking into a warm bath or summiting a mountain like whatever that is for you think of a few things, and really allow yourself to imagine being in that space or having that sensation. And notice what that feels like in your body. That’s what yes feels like. And so then you can imagine like this decision before you and you ask yourself, like put yourself in that space of doing that thing. And if you get those chills that full body sensation, the champagne bubbles, the lightness, the expansiveness, that is your inner knowing telling you. Yeah, it’s the time to do this thing.


Emily Merrell  27:58  

I think that’s a great, that’s a great application for business for motherhood for relationships. So staff, how can people find out more about you find more about your offerings about your Montessori tips back in the day that we’re still I think on your Instagram very


Stephanie Trzaska  28:15  

deep. I just deleted a bunch of the highlights because there were so many of them. But there are if you scroll back down my feed, there’s all about groups and babies, and lots of really practical tips to implement, you know, a way of introducing Montessori at home to have that autonomous freedom for your child and all of that. But where you can find me now I’m most active on Instagram. My handle is Stephanie dot Treska. It’s tr ZASK. And from there, you can join my email list you’ll see different like events that I’m speaking at programs I’m offering right now at the time of this recording, it’s the end of April of 2022. I don’t know when this will be aired. But a really exciting thing I have coming up is a year long program group program. It’s kind of a group program mastermind mastermind hybrid called chrysalis. And we’re going to be following the moon cycles and the seasons. So particularly looking at each season will start in the fall and it’s going to be all about carrying you through a transition in your life whatever that may be. But when you know that you are walking a bridge from where you were and where you are going and starting with the release of fall so there’s gonna we’ll be doing a lot of mindset work and self inquiry work about releasing and shedding different layers just like the leaves right getting ready to go inward. And then in the winter going inward and being reflective and quiet and practicing that with whatever transition you’re going through and then spring with the buds and new life and summer. Fully coming out lush and vibrant. So that is a year long program chrysalis I haven’t don’t have a sales pitch Ah, anything about it yet, but I will be talking a lot about it. And I also right now I’m running some 28 day $28 programs that have five group calls a 20 minute one on one call with me. Don’t ask me why it’s like makes no financial sense. But it was one of those soul whispers that I was like, I have to do it. And I have 10 Women in my group right now. It’s absolutely incredible. And I will be running that a couple more times throughout the spring and summer. So it’s a really good way to get to know me a little bit, let me get to know you. And it’s really about taking pause in your life. And rather than following that really rigid, linear masculine structure and energy that we all are supposed to follow in our world tuning in to your your feminine cycle, we don’t talk about the menstrual cycle a lot. But that’s why it’s 20 days to honor that and the moon cycle as well. And just the beauty and slowing down and the rhythms in nature and within yourself. And that again, It’s All About going inward and following what’s true for you. So those are some lessons


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