Joanna Gaines’ Journey of Self-Discovery Started With a ‘Silly’ Moment With Her Son Crew

Joanna Gaines is sharing how her son Crew taught her a big lesson about living your best life. Gaines is entering a new season of her life and, after feeling burned out, she’s taking time to notice the small and quiet things in life.

Joanna Gaines smiles wearing a black top
Joanna Gaines I Rob Kim/Getty Images

Joanna Gaines learned a valuable lesson from her son Crew

In a new interview with People, Gaines shared a tiny life moment that gave her some big perspective.

Her son Crew asked her to check out some ants at work but he wanted her to get up close and personal. Gaines admitted she wasn’t initially on board but gave in to her sweet son — and it was an eye-opening moment.

“I had just gotten ready for work and he said, ‘Mom, I need you to get on your stomach, on the ground and look at what these ants are carrying,'” Gaines said. “I was like, ‘Baby, I can see them from up here!'”

She continued, “I’m flat on my belly and the whole time I’m thinking, ‘I’m too old for this.’ Then Chip pulls up with the kids and starts honking like, ‘Are you OK!?’ They all thought I fell — because Mom doesn’t normally do that.”

Gaines said it was “simple and silly” but the spontaneity taught her something. “I’ve realized a lot of joy comes from unplanned moments. I’m glad I didn’t miss that one,” she said.

Gaines hopes her journey helps others find joy

The Fixer Upper star was getting burned out from years of grinding and finally decided to step back and explore self-discovery by journaling.

“I was about to turn 44 and I realized, the last 10 years, a lot of it felt like a blur,” Gaines explained. “It was fast, it was exciting, and there was so much to be grateful for, but there was something in me that just felt so tired. I wanted to go back and regain moments that I had missed along the way.”

Gaines shares her journey in a new memoir titled The Stories We Tell, available Nov. 8.

“I feel thankful for the process,” she noted. “In the beginning, I never thought I would share this with anyone. But then when I realized in that vulnerability, when you do share your story, if it inspires one other person to write their story down so that they can see that clarity and purpose in their own life, it’s worth it.”

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Gaines found “amazing stories” in the process. “It brings connection. I just started realizing, this isn’t just a process for me. I truly believe that we all have these amazing stories that we have to hold. And when you hold them well, I mean that’s where life is, that’s where beauty is,” she explained.

Gaines said she is looking forward to being “lighter” and “grounded” in her life.

She explained, “I’m 44 years old, and so say I have another 44 years to go, I want to live it lighter. I want to live more freely. Just be grounded in who I am, what I believe I’m here for.”