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Getting through the prickly parts: An Interview

kathleen seeley
July 15, 2020
  • [00:00:00] Yeah. Pretty. Okay. There we go. Hello world, and welcome back to a another edition of handful of hope, or I forgot to tell you that was the name we came up with. Handful of hope. I love it, right? It’s kind of cool. Yeah. I’m here with, I’m lucky to be joined today by Kathleen and Kathleen’s core motivation is.
  • [00:00:18] To model her authenticity, courage, and compassion, to inspire others to lead love and live their lives more curious and afraid. Her expertise is work targeted to create a sustainable values driven culture and develop values based leaders. And not to mention she’s also an acclaimed international speaker, author and coach who spirit animal is a porcupine.
  • [00:00:40] Kathleen, thanks so much. Yeah. The story with that, but my porcupine. Okay. Imagine a on a cold winter’s night, a group of porcupines trying to stay warm. I’m not getting so close that they poke each other, but close enough to stay warm. I see that as me working through my life, learning how to be vulnerable and engage in relationship without getting hurt or being, um, rather prickly so I can be prickly on the outside.
  • [00:01:09] Tender on the inside. Um, so I’m working on taming my quills, so that’s why the spirit, my spirit, I was with a porcupine. I love that. All my logo too. Hey quills. Yup. I think you know, actually that’s a really interesting thing because you and I were talking offline. And I feel like one of the things that’s right now, the world’s in this massive space of uncertainty and in uncertainty, it seems that so many of it almost invites vulnerability to certain disagree or things that people would normally be a little bit more prickly about.
  • [00:01:45] They’re starting to be a little bit more open and, and having a, a discourse with that. Why is it important for us to Tamer quills. Well, I think that we have quills because? Because it’s based on a  fear, a fear that we’re not enough. We’re not loved enough, or we don’t have enough. So when those foundational needs of having enough, being loved enough and just being enough.
  • [00:02:11] Are threatened. We go into a protection mode and I think what actually happens is the reverse is we shut ourselves away from being able to engage in relationships that remind us that we have enough. We are enough, and we’re loved enough, but we go into fear because the stories that we tell ourselves about what’s happening.
  • [00:02:31] Are usually based on a future event that hasn’t happened yet, and we’re, we’re way beyond what we’re going through all the time and we have the capacity to leap into that next possibility. If we are able to notice  the quills, let’s go with that metaphor when they come out to be able to notice, you know, what’s happening right now and what part of me is disturbed by this.
  • [00:02:56] Am I afraid of losing my stuff? Am I afraid of losing a relationship or am I just afraid I can’t even cope with what’s happening? And just stopping in that moment and and kind of finding the center of gravity of the fear, you can then begin to question what’s happening inside of me. And is it real? And, um, and I think if we, you know, circling back to that metaphor, we, when we aren’t in touch with what, what’s happening inside of us, we get protective.
  • [00:03:26] Mmm. And a lot of it makes sense, right? Jesse? Like to be sensitive, to want to make sure you have, we have to have, um, I do a lot of work in leadership as you know, but it’s, what I teach is that having a balance of healthy self interest and common good. Like, if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t lead others, but if I only take care of myself, I’m really not leading others.
  • [00:03:51] Um, so it’s that balance. I love that. And that, you know, one of the reasons I put, kind of was compelled to put this thing together as there was two, there was two trains of thought, right? There was the thought of, there’s a lot of people who are scared. There’s a lot of people who are in uncertainty. So how can we.
  • [00:04:08] How can we get tactical? How can we provide them with tools and strategies to help them get them out of that mindset? And then there’s the other thought of, I really think that there’s so many people out there who are currently acting and serving as leaders. And maybe this is their first time leading through crisis.
  • [00:04:24] And then I also think that there’s a huge potential right now for people to emerge as leaders, whether it’s emerging as a leader and how you maintain the environment in your household emerging in the leader about how. You’re showing up in your community and whether it’s keeping spirits up, organizing resources, whatever that is, or are stepping up as a leader in your company.
  • [00:04:46] I think that there’s such a extraordinary call for leadership right now. Maybe you could speak to that a little bit. So a couple of things come to mind when you say that is I, I firmly believe, and this is not my original thought, I just, um, have integrated it into my thinking is leadership is a behavior.
  • [00:05:03] It’s not a role. Everybody has the capacity to lead. If we can, um, recognize what’s, what the moment is calling for and those who are in positions of position or in places or positions, I guess a positional leadership like. Certain leadership roles in companies allowing space for people to emerge with their, their gifts and their skills in the workplace or outside of the workplace.
  • [00:05:28] But letting titles go and just rising up because, you know, um, people respond to crisis and very different front way. So think about, um, when you squeeze an orange, what comes out of the orange? She’s a real question. What kind of juice? Orange juice. Not Apple juice. Nope. Why orange juice?
  • [00:05:53] orange. That’s right. Because that’s what’s inside. They’ll use that as a, as thinking what happens to you when you’re under pressure? What comes out. Because that’s what’s inside. And if we go back to the porcupine and the fear, um, people who are able to step up in times of crisis, some people do that. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s remarkable.
  • [00:06:16] And, you know, we, we read books about them. Um, it’s because they’re able to feel their fear to notice it and act beyond it and know that that’s there. So they have enough self awareness to recognize, you know. The best of me can come out right now. So for people who are, who are, you know, stuck in fear, it’s like what’s inside of you?
  • [00:06:39] Cause that’s what’s going to come out. And it’s not good, bad or right or wrong, what it is. But noticing it, you contain those fears. And allow your sort of realness or your, your core motivation or your true self to come out in a situation of a crisis. But if we allow those feelings to overwhelm us, a fear, we do weird things.
  • [00:07:00] Thanks Andy. And it’s those people who step up and step out, um, often I call them. They lead from behind. Um, they’re able to notice their own fears. Mmm. But not get swept away. Just have a relationship with those fears, but not, um, become them. Does that make sense? Yeah, that makes total sense. Yeah. I got total truth bumps when you did the talking about the orange juice, that resonates so deeply with me because it’s.
  • [00:07:32] everybody feels this pressure right now, right? As a global collective, not just, you know, us here are you there? But all seven plus billion of us are feeling some sort of pressure. And so all of us are feeling this, this squeeze happening. And you mentioned just a moment ago, I believe something about, so when you feel that fear starting to come up, right?
  • [00:07:53] Taking pause, right? Assessing and asking the question for someone who may not. Have ma maybe has never done that before or hasn’t developed a ritual routine around it or even recognizing it. Maybe this is the first time they’re even hearing the concept of that they can pause. What would be something that they could do maybe to develop that muscle of pausing and taking a breath and assessing.
  • [00:08:17] So the first thing, um, to begin to get familiar with that part of you is to think about situations that you’ve been triggered. That you might have behaved in a way that doesn’t serve you. And the more you can, it’s not about reliving it, but recognizing the things that trigger you. And also know that when you’re triggered that, um, , it’s coming from a story that you’re telling yourself that may or may not be true fruit.
  • [00:08:43] And this may be a little bit out there, but stick with me on this one, is when we’re triggered by an event, every event that we’re experiencing is neutral. However we create a story because we’re meaning makers and our brain, um, has this power called prediction. So we make sense of a situation before we, no, we’re making sense of it.
  • [00:09:09] And prediction comes from past experience. It can only come from what’s already in it. So that prediction, we make up a story about the situation. And the story then leads to a feeling. It’s either positive or negative and the feeling leads to an action. So that’s the, that’s a path. It’s not circular necessarily, but something happens.
  • [00:09:30] Your brain makes sensitivity even faster than you’re thinking can make sense of it. That story you create. Ends up with a feeling that you act on. So the practical step to this is to begin to notice when you, um, are feeling, I know that my fingers clasp like this, or if you’re feeling the butterflies or, or that anxiety in the middle of the night, like many people are waking up in the middle and I go, you know, with fear.
  • [00:09:57] So sitting in that fear. And and saying what’s happening right now in the moment, because in the moment that story you’re thinking is happening isn’t happening. So it’s, it’s a matter of presencing and it’s to practice. It doesn’t come naturally because we, our brain wants to make meanings. But what’s true is sometimes we have this thing called prediction error.
  • [00:10:22] Sometimes we’re wrong and that’s what makes life interesting, but sometimes we can go off on a story that isn’t true, and that’s where if we circle, again, back to the orange metaphor, is your stories are sourced from what’s happening inside of you. So what’s inside of you that’s making you feel it’s a catastrophic event or a very exciting opportunity.
  • [00:10:46] And that’s our prediction in our brains. So to make it simple is just noticing when you have a feeling in your body or this impulse to react or fear shows up, to just stop yourself in the moment and ask, you know what’s happening right now? Hmm. And, and, and feel it and say what, what part of me is disturbed by this?
  • [00:11:09] Is it a relationship at stake? Is there, is my financial wellbeing at stake? I think that’s where people are mostly going finances and health or is do I feel like I have the competence to cope? So just trying to find it and in the finding of it, in the sitting of it, the energy dissipates and you’re able to clear up your thinking to say, what does this moment call me to do right now?
  • [00:11:34] And that’s how we can break old patterns and habits of impulsively reacting to things with anger or fear or tears, is to just sit in it and allow it. Cause if it’s happening, if you have that running through you, you can cope with it. And how do you know it’s cause you’re not dead yet. Yeah. It’s, I mean, simply you’re, you’re still here.
  • [00:11:54] It’s so powerful because it’s, it’s. It’s, it’s slowing down, having that conversation with yourself, right? It’s, it’s, I’ve lost, I’ve often told people that if you treat your emotions not as facts, but as conversational buddies, you will get so much more out of them and you will learn that maybe they’re just messengers and they’ve been knocking on the cement for so long, trying to get through.
  • [00:12:24] That’s so true. It’s, you know, it’s having a relationship with all those feelings and emotions and, and understanding or recognizing or sitting in them long enough to figure out the source.  Kathleen, that’s just your three year old girl just protecting you. Or that’s your 16 year old who gets jealous. You know, just have a relationship.
  • [00:12:44] You don’t have to enroll in it. You don’t have to identify with it. Relate. Yeah. Do you feel, Kathleen, that fear can be the teacher, and if so, what do you think one of the, what do you think one of the biggest lessons for your house to offer us is? Well, I think when we’re speaking of fear, we’re not talking about the kind that is rational when you’re walking down a dark alley.
  • [00:13:12] Um, but the kind of fear that just shows up what it has to teach us is, that was the question, right? What does that have to do. Um, I think it helps us reveal another part of ourselves that might have been, um, wounded as a child or an old story that we’re playing over and over. And it’s an opportunity when it shows up two.
  • [00:13:33] Check it out and see if the story’s true and instead of running away from it or closing it off, like go in. Cause I heard once, I think it was on Oprah years ago. Um, but feelings don’t go away. They go underground. So if you don’t allow them to show up in their full force and look at them, um, they show up in different ways in and potentially unhealthy ways.
  • [00:13:56] Um, so I think what our fear teaches us is just. First of all, that we’re human and there’s, there’s this big fat lie that we have to know it all and do it all ourself. And it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to reach out for help. And it’s okay to not have the answer and to just sit in it and question it.
  • [00:14:16] So I think it teaches us how to, I think just opened the door for. New parts of our evolution, and it doesn’t ever go away, right? Like you’re kind of something handled and then you’re walking down the road and then something else hits you and you go, I thought I dealt with that. Well, just and then, and then sit in it and say, well, you know what?
  • [00:14:37] It’s been six weeks since that triggered me. That’s a lot of growth, or it’s been six minutes since then triggered me, whatever. Just acknowledge you’ve moved, the acknowledgement of it, you can move through it, but I think fear is just a really great teacher. That. I love that explanation because I think what it can empower everybody listening in is if you’re in a place right now where you’ve been in fear or you’re currently in fear, recognize that there is this tremendous opportunity for growth, right?
  • [00:15:06] To almost like peel that layer back to that acknowledgement piece is so important too. Because I think that, you know, we’ve become such a, a. Success obsessed culture where we don’t take enough time to celebrate, but we just check the boxes off and we, we treat things more as an expectation that I should have already done that 10 years ago as opposed to celebrating the six minutes that we just did right now.
  • [00:15:36] That’s it. That’s exactly it. Weak there. This thinking around this is, I call it playing up or playing down and um, we think we always think we should be further along, further along in a life we’ve never lived before. So how, you know, you should be further along is beyond me. I’m like, it’s like, right. Well when the last time you were at 55, Kathleen, how did it go?
  • [00:16:03] I mean, really, so we can laugh at ourselves by that. Um, but also we do this thing called, uh, playing up and playing down instead of just being ourselves. And it’s, we think of our problems, our challenges or our fear right now. Like people like I, I am, I have abundance in my life. And fear has crossed my mind through this.
  • [00:16:21] Like, Oh, what if, um, and then I work myself through and say, yeah, I got this. But we, we look at our own thing that we have and we say, Oh. Well, someone else has it worse than me. So what am I complaining for? Or that’s called playing down. We play down our situation or where we are or playing up as well. You can never understand.
  • [00:16:42] You’ve never gone through what I’ve gone through. We either play up or play down because we’re playing up against, um, a future that we’ve never lived, but we think we should be somewhere else and just leveling off and saying, what if I was just me in this moment? And what if I was where I was. And what would I do if I wasn’t thinking about where I think I should be.
  • [00:17:06] It’s all that. It’s all in our thinking, you know? And I wrote it up. Yeah. Everyone rewind and rewatch that one phrase, ology. If you get anything out of this, if you do that, it will profoundly change everything for you right now. I’ll have to rewatch it.
  • [00:17:25] What am I doing right after this? Or write that down. Um, one other quick question, then we’ll do rapid fire. So the person, so right now I’m guessing that there’s someone or multiple people watching this right now, that they’re feeling compelled and all this to try to figure out how they can emerge as a leader, how they can step forward.
  • [00:17:46] There’s something on their heart, there’s something pulling them. And maybe they’ve had been hesitant because they play up and play down like that, and they’re saying, well, I’m not the police chief, or I’m not the politician, or whatever it is, so I’ll just stay in my place. But there’s something pulling out them.
  • [00:18:01] If you could give them. And I mean, this is so broad, that’s going to be hard. But if you could give him one thing, the one thing that would compel them to act and honor that which is on their heart to emerge and lead, what would that be? Mmm. Just do something. Just move a little bit. I often just say, just do stuff, do lots of stuff.
  • [00:18:25] Um, do something different each day. It doesn’t have to be grand, like we’re not all going to be like a Gandhi. It’s not that. It’s the little micro things that we do every day. Um, that reaching out to someone else or breaking out of our own, um, familiar zone that we stay safe in. It’s a little micro movements that are, are, are huge.
  • [00:18:48] Um, leadership capacity builders. Cause I don’t, I can’t compare myself to you. I know when I’ve moved myself forward. And so by your own yardstick every day, just say, what’s one little thing that I can do to just move the needle a little bit to make this world a better place to live? And that one thing might just be, maybe get an extra hour of rest.
  • [00:19:10] And that one thing might be asking your neighbor if you can, um, take their garbage out for them. It might be something for you or something for someone else, but everything you do causes something to move. My favorite quote is you never touch someone so lightly. You do not leave a trace. Hmm. So just know that any movement causes something else.
  • [00:19:30] So that mindfulness, but you don’t have to do big things. Just do a micro thing. They add up. How about I answer, Kathleen? We’ll finish up with three rapid fire questions. All right? People are at home. Most of us are either on voluntary, what is it called, self isolation, or we’re in actual new mentoring kind of quarantine now, and we’re really spending a lot of time in our four walls.
  • [00:19:54] And I think that time is really one of the greatest assets we have right now because it presents an opportunity for us to maybe grow, expand, learn, have fun, reconnect, you know, whatever that is for someone. So if you could recommend one podcast that people listened to during this time, what would that be?
  • [00:20:10] Okay. My favorite podcast is my favorite murder. Oh, yes. I was hoping you would say favorite podcast. I just listened to a new one yesterday. It’s, I love it. It’s great for laugh and it’s about true crime, which is my passion. I love it. Book that you’d recommend people read. Um, a book that I’m reading right now is called the well designed life by Kira bobbin it, and it’s really working on, um, thinking patterns and, um, so the neuroscience of the brain.
  • [00:20:43] So that’s interesting to me. And movie or documentary, do you recommend people watch. Um, well, uh, again, a rocket man is the best movie, but I’m sticking with my, I love pretend things and I’m watching the good fight right now. I, I just, I love the good wife and I’m watching the gunfights so I don’t, I’m not super deep on what I watch or, or, um, what I listened to.
  • [00:21:05] I, the books I read moved me along in my intellectual, but the rest are escape. So that’s what I’m doing right now.
  • [00:21:17] Kathleen, thank you so much for your time today. This has been absolutely incredible. And there’s just, there’s, there’s such little gems in here that I hope you all rewatch this and really, really take it to heart. And you know, maybe in the comments when you circle back and watch it, just let us all know how you took pause today.
  • [00:21:33] You know, what, what was the conversation you had with yourself? And there’s, there’s really is, this could be the biggest opportunity of your life too, to have that conversation with yourself that you’ve been putting off. And. Know, move forward and remember it. The marathon’s one step-by-step. And I think this was incredible.
  • [00:21:53] Thanks Kathleen. Well, thank you and thank you for taking initiative. I love being a part of it and um, I look forward to more. Yeah, absolutely. Social distance, high five to finish up.

What would I do if I wasn’t thinking about where I think I should be.

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Listen to Kathleen!

Thank you for the amazing conversation, Jesse Brisendine! We talk spirit animals, stories, fears, and what gets in the way. Things that are always relevant but even more so during these uncertain times.

If you do not know Jesse, you are in for a treat. Jesse is a big believer in humanity and what we can accomplish when we come together at our best…oh and he’s also a fan of professional wrestling!

Now…this is important. The conversation I had with Jesse is amazing but I want that same conversation with you.

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My name is Kathleen Seeley and I provide Tips, Tools, Programs, and Mentorship to help YOU develop your personal leadership skills so that you can take yourself to your dream Business, Job & Life.
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