The Spiritual Intelligence Podcast
Awaken Your Inner Power
SQ Podcast Ep. 002
SQ Podcast Ep. 002
Everyone Has a Blue Dot of Innate Well-being,
with Cathy Casey
"The one thing I would say is, give ourselves a break, you know? We tend to hold so much against ourselves innocently, and we have compassion for others, we take care of others, we're of service to others, but many times we don't do that for ourselves...I'm so grateful to know and accept my humanity, to just be at peace with my flaws and my mistakes and when I totally blow it."
~ Cathy Casey
Spiritual Intelligence Podcast ~ Awaken Your Inner Power
Welcome to the second episode, where Daniel Martinez Stahl and Cathy Casey explore:
- What it means to have inner power
- How all of us have the blue dot of innate well-being
- How the words that we use to describe the energy of life are not important
- Why anxiety is innocently used as a security blanket
- What it means to be "in the feeling"
Cathy ends the conversation reminding us that it's OK to be not OK, and that we are only human, doing what we can to feel OK.
Note: Cathy refers to the Three Principles throughout the conversation, which is the subject of an upcoming episode.
Cathy begins with what having inner power means to her, which leads to the discussion of our innate well-being and how we all have the "blue dot" of innate well-being, regardless of what we have done or what we believe about ourselves.
She speaks about the paradox of life, that we already have what we are looking for, and how she sees that her role is to help people realize that they are not broken and that there is nothing to fix, that "they are fixed already."
Daniel then asks her expand on how our innate well-being and our inner wisdom are one and the same, which leads to some great stories that help to illustrate the point. Including a beautiful story of a man who was asking why he felt closer to Jesus in jail, more than he did out in the free world.
This is followed by how all the culture and religions in the world are pointing to the same thing and how we intuitively and innately know we are connected to whatever we want to call the blue-dot of well-being.
Daniel's next question is about how to help people who are creating anxiety worrying about the future. Cathy again shares beautiful and personal stories of her own journey and reminds us about being curious to understand why the logic behind their (or our) worrying, which she proposes we hold on to like a security blanket and that we do in our attempt to feel ok.
Daniel is reminded of an earlier comment about how "it's in the feeling," and he asked Cathy to share more about what that means to her, and she then finishes the conversation by speaking about the importance of being kind to ourselves and to remember that it's Ok, to not be OK. That we are only human and all we are doing is just trying to be OK.
Once again, the Three Principles that Cathy mentions throughout the episode is a subject that we will discuss in one of our upcoming episodes.
About Cathy Casey:
Catherine has been teaching “Three Principles Based Programs” to a wide range of people in many different environments throughout the world for the past 25 years. Catherine has implemented a Principle based resiliency program in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and a Principles program in Santa Clara County Corrections Facilities and San Quentin Prison, for both adults and juveniles in California.
She has conducted trainings in the UK, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Finland, Norway and Russia. Persons wanting to advance their consulting/coaching careers also seek her out for her mentoring services.
Many of the environments that Catherine has consulted in include:
- Fortune 500 Corporations, e.g.: Dow Chemical, BAE Defense Systems, Chlorox, and Boston Scientific
- Medical Centers
- State and County Government organizations
- Adult and Juvenile Criminal Justice Systems (including San Quentin Prison)
- Law Enforcement
- Educational Institutions (Elementary through College)
- Psychiatric Residential Facilities
- Addiction Treatment Programs
- Social Services Agencies
Catherine’s passion and vision is to reignite the resiliency and wisdom in all persons, in any environment, through the understanding of the Three Principles.
If you would like to contact Cathy directly, she asked that you mention my name and/or this podcast so that she has a context, and she can be reached via email: email@example.com
Daniel Martinez Stahl works with people who want to thrive in this life, with the willingness and courage to question conventional ideas and a desire to look within to access the power of their infinite potential. People who are driven to improve their life by exploring what it means to be both Spirit and Human; who have a curiosity about life itself, of how the mind works and about the relationship between their body, mind and spirit. Fundamentally, someone who is committed to change their life to a new normal by aligning with their higher self, innate well-being and inner wisdom. 💧 www.DanielMartinezStahl.com
(SQP-Ep.002 ~ Everyone Has a Blue Dot of Innate Well-Being ~ w. Cathy Casey)
Editor Note: Minor edits have been made from the original audio recording for easier reading.
(opening intro music begins)
Intro Text: Welcome to the spiritual intelligence podcast, Awakening your inner power with Daniel Martinez Stahl, where we will explore, discover and integrate different aspects of our spiritual and human nature, so that we can all thrive and live life with more grace and ease, instead of struggle.
(Intro music fades away)
Daniel: So, welcome to the Spiritual Intelligence Podcast once again. I am joined by Cathy Casey today. It is an absolute pleasure to have her with us. Cathy is someone that I have spoken with, I have known for a number of years, I have deepened my own understanding of life as a result of the conversations that I've had with her, and she's just a wonderful person, and it's great to have her with us.
Cathy: Thank you, Daniel.
Daniel: So Cathy, I would love to ask you to just give us a brief introduction of who you are, anything that you'd like to share about who you are.
Cathy: You know, it changes all the time. But at this phase in my life, I'm a grandma. (chuckles) That's my number one excitement in my life right now. I have two toddler — two-year-old and four-year-old — grandchildren, a boy and a girl, and they're the love of my life. And so, just enjoying the heck out of them.
The other part of my life is a combination. I always tell people I'm semi-retired and I remember going through customs, going to London, I said, “I’m semi-retired,” and the guy looks at me and goes, "So, which part? The bottom or the top?" (laughs) And I thought, this is going to be easy getting through customs this time around.
Anyway, mostly right now, and I think I was starting to ramp down on my teaching. I've been teaching all over the world, started back in 1996 teaching locally in the jail system, the prison system, drug treatment programs, homeless shelters, professional people, county employees, and people in the business world. So, I started working in the corporate world — engineers and financial people and Dow Chemical, and the full range.
The religious community. I got really, really involved in teaching the Principles in the Orthodox Jewish community, anywhere from Milwaukee to New York, to London, to Jerusalem. So, I've pretty much covered the whole spectrum of cultures and environments. And so I thought I was starting to ramp down, but the traveling was — I'd come home from a trip, from Europe or wherever and I would get sick.
So, I was starting to kind of cut back on that, and then Covid hit (chuckles). So, here I'm thinking I'm slowing down on that part of my life, which I love to do — it's not like a job, to me it's like a calling — and when Covid kicked in, all of a sudden I got busy again, you know, people doing webinars and individual coaching, or people with personal issues. So, now I'm doing a lot of what I'm doing with you, podcast, webinars, individual mentoring, a little of everything. So, my life is pretty much my grandkids and doing this. And in between I love to knit. So, I'm a knitter and I'm totally into knitting socks right now. And pretty much, that's my life. (laughs lightly)
Cathy: No complaints there. No complaints.
Daniel: Excellent, excellent (softer). So, I would love to begin with what Marina in the last episode said was a small question, which I loved, and so it's one of the small questions and then we'll work our way up from there. The name of this podcast includes the aspect of “awakening to your inner power.” So, I would love to get your thoughts about what it means to you — that we all have inner power — what does that mean to you?
Cathy: Yeah, I used to hear that a lot. You know, years ago, you would hear people talk about our inner power or inner strength. Especially — I went through the civil rights movement, I was involved in the women's movement and that's where it really kicked in, you know, women's power and that kind of thing. But I really didn't — I thought power meant control over my external world. That's what I thought power meant. Women had to get paid more, women had to ensure their rights more, in the Civil Rights movement, you know, people needed to get their basic needs. I was more into that kind of power.
And then I was getting my degree, my graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. And again it was still managing your life so that: you're stronger; you have better coping skills; you know, how to deal with adversity. So it was more of an external, “How do I deal with everything going on in my external life?” And to be okay, that was kind of the premise that I operated from. And then I kind of, by accident, fell into this understanding, which we call the Principals, and they start talking about inner power in a whole different way.
And when I first heard it, I'm like, wait a minute, what is that? (begins to laugh) You know, like, wait a minute, what is that? And the first thing I heard is that all human beings are born with innate mental well-being. I heard that. Every human being is born into innate well-being. And I'm like, um, okay, that — that didn't — at first it sounded great, but I'm like, “Well, but when I look at the world, it doesn't look like that.”
Well then, as I started to really understand what that meant. What that means is, every human being is born into the world of thought, we're born into the world of thought. Meaning, when we are born, we become thinking beings, every human being. We come into the world and...and we come in as a thinking being. And I heard this when I was growing up, I was raised a Catholic, we're all born with a soul. You know, everybody...I think a lot of us have heard, "every human being has a soul."
So I thought, okay, there was this thing inside of me that’s called a soul and, and I never really knew what that was. Like, okay, I have a soul. Well, now, I understand as we're in the world of thought, when my mind is free and clear, like when you see little children, they're in that natural "in the moment" resilient, you know, just...again playful, creative, they get over things very quickly, their resilience is there all the time, they bounce back pretty easily. Well, that's what we mean by our inner power.
To me, it's this kind of, what I would call, pristine thought, that allows us to connect to — beyond my individual soul inside of me — it connects me to Universal potential. Limitless potential. Meaning, it's infinity. So, what allows me to be alive on the planet comes from this limitless, and we're speaking to something that's intangible, that formless. So as soon as I'm talking about it, it's taking us away from it. So it's just this energy or this life force or in religion they called God, and in physics they call it energy, in biology they call it the life force, in psychology we call it Mind. It's... in the sports world, they call it the zone and every human being has experienced what I'm talking about. So it's not like, it's separate from me, it's...every cell in my body is this energy, is this life force.
So there's not...people talk about, “where there's a spiritual part of me and then there's the physical part of me.” No, it's one and the same, just two different forms. So to me, that inner power is just this limitless wisdom, resiliency, limitless potential, that we experience through our mind, through where our thinking is and the reason why...I used to say, "Well, why can't I be...why isn't that all the time for me?" Like why can’t I be in this limitless well-being and resiliency all the time? Well it's because of human thought.
You know...we're in thought, we're thinking beings. We can't get away from that. We spend our life looking outside of ourselves, and trying to manage everything out there. Well, to manage everything outside of myself, to have that power over it or control takes an inordinate amount of thought. And that can be heavy. That...that's...life becomes like, kind of with effort, I'm constantly trying to stay on top of that. When all along, this...this place that I can...that I can slip into, and I do many times, is in me already.
We're striving out here, but we are living in this limitless potential. We are this spiritual, innate, resilient. We have this, we're connected to that, which is allow...allows me to be even here on the planet. And every physical form that you see, is a manifestation of this limitless energy, or potential, or thought, or whatever you want to call that. So, that's kind of how I see it.
Cathy: (begins to chuckle) Well, meaning, sometimes I see it, and sometimes I don't. But I have certainty that even when I'm totally out to lunch, and I’m trying to be on top of my life, or I'm trying to control everything or whatever it is I'm doing within my head, which is creating tons of all the thinking, at some deep level I know — thank goodness — that...that core is there. Even when I'm just out to lunch in my mind. It's still there, no matter what, and I can tell you a million stories of people who you would look at them and say, "No, either they got left out, they didn't get it, or it left them." You know what I mean? No, it's in every human being.
Daniel: So, for people that have a belief that they are broken or that there's something wrong with them or that they don't fall into the category that you're speaking about. That we are all living from perfect mental health, that we have access to an unlimited and infinite potential through our innate experience, and our individual experience of life. How...how can somebody who believes that this isn't them, how can they begin to recognize it a little bit more?
Cathy: Well, first of all, I didn't know it and...and I was doing pretty well in my life. I didn't know I had this limitless, innate well-being. I used to kind of think I was lucky, like every now and then I would go through difficult times in my life and I would come out and land on my feet, so to speak. Kind of like, I lucked out on that one, and/or I dodged a bullet on that, or I'm a cat with nine lives and I've used up seven already. I mean, I never attributed my ability to get through things as something that was innate in me. My innate resiliency or whatever you want to call that.
So, me Cathy, who was successful, pretty much, I didn't know that I had what I'm speaking to. So, I can imagine somebody who really is struggling, having a really difficult time. I work...I've worked in so many environments where people truly believe they were broken, and...and everybody would agree they were broken. And an example would be, I got asked to teach a class or course in one of the units in the jail facility here, which was the worst unit. This is a group that's done the worst of worst, and if they had a red shirt on, that meant that they killed another human being. Okay. So these are quote, "the bad boys," so to speak.
So, when they asked me to go in and work with this group, I was...couldn't wait. Because I knew they didn't know they had this, I knew it. Or they had it and they lost it somehow. And, so, when I went in and worked with this group of guys, they were all guys, I could see the weight of them. You know, they were in the life, they were in the gang life, and kind of have that tough exterior with the tattoos and all that, but...but that...you could see it wearing them. It was wearing them down, you could feel, you could feel the weight of that.
And, so when I would go in, the first...they would look at me like, "Yeah, what did she have to say?" Like, I was a joke. I mean, seriously. And they have never had any classes of anything. I mean, the commander of the jail said, "So, would you go in?" Because there was too many fights. There were so many fights in this unit, and he asked me, would I be interested in going in because he saw the results in the other parts of the jail.
And sure. So I go in, and the first thing we talked about was this innate well-being, this innate wisdom, that...that they were born with and that no...nothing has ever taken that way. Nothing. Even though they believed it had been taken away, and my, I had it...my dear colleague, Miss Beverly, who is an amazing person, an amazing teacher, she'd like to do metaphors and draw a picture. So she drew a picture of a human being on the whiteboard and she drew this big huge blue dot. And she said,"Every human being has this blue dot. Every person in this room, I don't care where you've been, what you've done," and her background is pretty, pretty intense. So, she kind of...they could really relate to her. So, she was pretty much from the same world they were from. So she had credibility.
And then she said, "So I don't care what you think or what other...you still have the blue. And it was really cute because after a while, it...it...it started to...they started to connect to it, they started to really hear it. They started...you could feel the difference in the room, they started to relax more, they started to feel, they start to trust me and Beverly, because we didn't come in like this (hands gesturing one above the other), we're here to fix you, we came in, "Hey, we're all in this together, you and I are absolutely the same, we both operate the same way."
And so they had an art class, and in the art class they got to draw, do their artwork — a lot of amazing artists that are locked up, believe me — and so the art teacher put all their artwork around the room. She...just all over the walls. And when the correctional officer came in and he saw the artwork, he got upset and he locked the entire unit down, "That’s it no more classes." And, and when we came in the next week, we were like "Well, where's the class?" They said, "Oh no, no, no more classes, they're doing their gang thing again," and I'm like, "What do you mean the game thing?" And the guy goes, "Well look. Look at all the blues," and I said, "Well, yeah, that's their blue dot." "No, no, no, no, no, that’s a gang color." I'm like, "Sir, I'm so sorry. But, that's their innate well-being," (both begin to laugh) "that they've included in their artwork because it started to resinate." I mean, they...they hung on to that like, "I have a blue dot, really Kathy? I have a blue dot Beverly?" "Yes, you have a blue dot." And, they got locked down because of it.
And I...when I explained it to the officer, he looked at me and said, "You couldn't use yellow?" (both laugh again) And that's when I realized we have to be sensitive to, when you're dealing with the gang culture, you got to...you have to consider all that. So, never use blue or red ever again and any...I got rid of those two colors in my markers. (both laughing) But again, they...again, they...they got it, they heard it and they heard why, they...they...they learned why...that they thought it was gone. It's because of where their thinking was. It was because of the meaning they made about themselves, through thought. So, your well-being comes from thought, but that's this...this clear pristine, kind-of-in-the-flow kind of thought. And then there's this...think of the tallest building in the entire world times 20. That's how much thought guilt has, I'm broken, I'm this, I'm that.
So, when people learn about the nature of thought and how it creates our experience of ourselves, as well as everything outside of ourselves. So, that's what...what the secret is. It's not that we're convincing them of anything, we’re just pointing them to how the nature of where their experience comes from, and then where they go with that is up to them.
I wasn't there to change them or to convince them they weren't broken. I wanted them to see why there're days you feel broken and why there're days you don't. Like what's behind that? What's up with that? How much meaning do we make about our past? How much do we attach? Like, I'm my past. Well, you can't be your past. Yes, things happen to us in our past. Fact of life. Absolutely. But, my...my experience of that can only come to where my thought is today. The only way I can keep the past alive is through thinking, what I think today in the moment and it becomes alive. And, I taught this to guys who have PTSD from being in all the different wars, and they got that. They got that.
So, yes people who feel they're broken. They feel like their life isn't worth living. Well, when you look at what they're doing, they're...in a way...they're trying to come back to their well-being. I don't care if people are shooting up heroin. I don't care if people are overeating. I don't care if people are killing other human beings. The... everybody's just trying to be okay, and whatever they're doing behaviorally, gives them that moment of, "I'm okay." But of course, it doesn't sustain them, obviously, but everybody is just trying to come home. Without realizing it. That’s...we're all just trying to come back.
And so when somebody calls me and they're addicted to heroin and I look at them, I say, "Well, help me understand what help...what...what does heroin do for you?" And the first thing they look and go, "What do you mean? What does it do for..." "No, I want to know." And they go, "Well, it makes me feel okay, I feel relief, it takes my pain away, I don't feel so alone." They start describing where they go after, when they're using heroin. And so I'll get curious about, "Well, is that true all the time when you use heroin?" And they'll say, "Yes, sometimes even when I'm high, and I'm relieved that I'm high, but I still go back to worrying, and I still don't feel as great."
I say, "Well, what's the variable then? What is it? What's... what's the variable that gives you a great high sometimes and not such a great high sometimes? Like, what is that?" And they go, "Well, Cathy it's kind of what my mood is? Isn't it?" I go, "Yeah. So where is your...where does that come from?" See, and pretty soon, I'm pointing them into the direction, the thing they're trying to get to, their...they have it already.
See, that's the paradox in life, everything we're trying to get to, "I'm doing this to be, I'm achieving more, and I'm acquiring more and if I get to that point, I'm going to be okay." But then we get to the point, "Well, I better do this more, and I better do that more, and then I'll be okay." And this...this never-ending "I'll never get there." You know, "I'm working and I'm at point A and I'm trying to get to point B, and when I get to point B, I'm going to be a happy person. I get to point B, I’m not a happy person, well I better go to point C," and it's just...so, when people start to realize where that whole thing is coming from, and that's what I...that's what I'm about. That's what I point people to, I'm not there to help them change, I'm not there to help them, you know, I'm not there to fix them. They are fixed already. They just don't know it.
Daniel: There were a couple things that you mentioned that I would love to have you expand upon a little bit? And the first one is talking about innate wisdom, cuz we talked about innate well-being and then we also talked about innate wisdom and some people refer to them as being the same thing. But most people might not recognize them to be the same thing. So, how do you connect the two?
Cathy: So, usually when I teach (chuckles), and I teach in all these environments, I will, and I probably did it already, you probably heard me talk about limitless potential and innate well-being, wisdom. I use many different words to point to something that's formless. See, we live in the, you know, we live in the physical human world. We live in different cultures, so when I was teaching in the Orthodox Jewish culture, it was like...the Jewish women just flipped out over how I was teaching, they loved it cuz I talked about being moms and being in overwhelm and, you know, having on (a few unclear words) all the children. So, man, I was teaching to where they lived.
I mean, it was a big deal for them, “Cathy knows what the deal is with us.” And so they, like...it was like...I have this following. It was...it was kind of crazy, but it resonated for them. But they still couldn't get Mind when they would go to the large presentations at the conference. You know, Elsie Spittle would talk about Mind, and George Pransky would talk about Mind, and they would come to my...we had some small groups, and I was in charge of teaching the Principles to the beginner folk. So, that's where I was.
So, now I have standing room only, of all these Jewish women and they got it, they got everything that they...it resonated for them. "But Cathy, we get scared when they talk about Mind," And so I talked about wisdom and, you know, it still wasn't doing it for them. All of a sudden, I looked at them and I said, "What do you call God in your religion?" And they go, "HaShem, we...we call him HaShem." I said, "We're speaking to HaShem." The whole room, it's like a penny dropped, "Ohhhh, now we see," all of a sudden,
And I said, "Now, HaShem isn't up there. HaShem...you are connected to HaShem, you are connected, and when you have the day where you set aside a day to become close to HaShem, what that means is your mind quiets down, we become reflective. And we have this quietness, and we, this, this is...within your culture, within your religion, you refer to it as HaShem, or this mystery, I forget the word they use. But anyway, totally opened up the whole thing.
And...and they were so cute because I was talking about, many times we listen to our head all the time, we're in our head, we're in our head. "So, if you had a choice, would you want to listen to your head or do you want to listen to HaShem?" "Well, we want to listen to HaShem." I said, "That's where we're pointing to, HaShem is within you, and your religion teaches you that."
So, depending on which culture I'm in, if I'm in the African-American culture here in the States, oh you're in the States, I’m sorry. I teach so much (begins to laugh). When I say African-American, they go, "Cathy, we're not in the US." I go, "I'm sorry, I’m sorry." Okay, as they listen to me, they'll go, "You're talking about God," I'll go, "Yes, I am." And they go, "My grandmother says stuff like this." I go, "I'm sure she does, this is within your culture, I'm just bringing it to the forefront in more neutral terms, but yeah, we're speaking to the same thing."
I said, so, this one guy who is locked up, he was African-American, he was locked up and he said "Cathy, help me understand this. When I'm locked up, I feel so close to Jesus. I just, oh, I'm right there with him and I feel so close to Jesus (smacks her hands for emphasis), and when I get out, Jesus leaves me, he abandons me and I get into trouble and Cathy, could you explain, why does that happen?" And I thought, "Oh, this is great." (begins to laugh) This is great! I said, "I can tell you why that happens." "Oh, good tell me, because I keep coming back and I don't understand, so I'm feeling so close to Jesus." It was so cute.
So I said, "Well, when you're here, when you're locked up, what happens to your mind?" And this is true for a lot of men that got locked up. Once they're locked up, it's like they stop worrying about their lives, making money, putting food on the table, because "I'm locked up, there’s nothing I can do." So, in a way, all of the stress, believe it or not, just disappears. Most...most guys that are used to being locked up. It's like...it's almost like a break, being out on the street, being in the gang culture and all that. It's like the...their able to...their minds just relax.
And so that's why he felt close to Jesus. As soon as he got out of jail, all the worry thinking came back in, and I asked, "So, what happens when you get out of jail?" Oh, man, my old lady, she's after me, I got to do this, the probation officer, ba ba ba." I go, "So, you go into a ton of thought, don't you?" He goes, "Yeah." I said, "So, Jesus is still with you, it's just that you bury him with all that thought." It just woke him up. He said, (Cathy speaks in an animated voice) "You mean I've been gettin' locked up all this time and that's all I need to know about that?" I go... (post-episode add-on: Cathy raises her arms and has a facial expression as if to say, “Yes, that's all it is.”)
So, given the culture, every culture, every religion is pointing to this. We intuitively, innately know this. This is nothing new. It's just that we forget about it or it gets lost in the translation or whatever. It's so simple. We're...we're born into the world of thought, and as children, our minds...think of thought where they are floating little bubbles and there is a lot of space in between. And then as we get older, the bubbles get more crowded, and more crowded, and pretty soon there's hardly any space in there. Well, it's because we're just in more thinking, and more thinking, and more thinking. But, thank goodness that blue dot, that core, that connection, HaShem, whatever we...Jesus, whatever we want to call that, is still...we're still connected to that.
If...if we weren't connected, we would be dead. (hits the table with her hands for emphasis) We would not exist. So, when we see that, even if we see that a little tiny bit, that goes a long way. I hope that answered your question. (laughs) I got caught up in the guy, I haven't told that one in a long time. I got so excited about him telling me how Jesus left him. (continues laughing)
Daniel: So, I think there's still a...a part of an innate well-being and innate wisdom, a distinction between the two.
Cathy: Not...not if, not if you see it as thought. See, that's the key. That's the key. They're just descriptions of thought. That's all it is.
Daniel: So speak more to that.
Cathy: Well, you know, we unfortunately, we hav...in order to talk about this, we have to use words, you know, we can't get away from using words, and so, that's why when I use words, I don't use just the one word. Like, I don't, "Okay, we're going to talk about wisdom and we all have this wisdom." I want to say, wisdom is a description of this kind of thought that manifests through us, that we're connected to. But what's behind wisdom or well-being or being in the zone or God or HaShem or, what's behind that is what we would call this formless energy, limitless potential, infinity, no top, no bottom, no left or right. It just is.
We as human beings experience this amazing limitless energy, potential, well-being, whatever you want to call it, it comes through us, as thought, and it manifests in us. So, how it manifests in us takes on many different flavors, I call them. Some flavors are, I'm just at ease, I'm just in the moment, I'm just, what you and I are just together right now, that's all. There's no future, we're just right now, here and now. That to me, is what we're talkin' about.
So, other times, I could be...people experience when they're gardening, they're out in the garden and they're just one with the Earth, they're...they're with whatever they're planting, their water. They are just literally just connected to that one thing. And then the feeling shows up when they're in that. See, as soon as my mind gets present, I go into a feeling of well-being, peacefulness and it's not contingent on, it's not even contingent on doing gardening. It's just in me, no matter what I do.
So, that feeling shows up in a lockdown facility, in a jail system. If you walked into the beginning of the class, it's...you can feel kind of the...you can feel it's tight, there's stress, or...you can feel it. Towards the end of the class, the feeling just totally changes. Now, I can't...you can't...It's almost like it's indescribable, and you can't capture it. It just...it just emerges, we just slip into it.
And so how it comes out, we described it many different...in the business world, they call it different things, leadership, customer service. It's all about, well, what's behind leadership? It's being in the moment, being in the zone. Seeing what's needed at any given moment in running an organization. That's what a good leader is, and the more they are in the moment, their wisdom and all their knowledge that they've acquired over all the years, whatever they need in that one particular moment, their...that part of them will...that part will emerge for them, as needed in the moment.
So this is a very dynamic thing. It's not like we just sit around and we just kind of do this om thing. No, it's a very...if 'Im a leader in a big company and there's a lot of steak, and I want my team to be able to perform, then I need to be in real time, in the moment, to see what's needed. So, that...but unfortunately, in the business world, this intangible piece, the invisible piece is never addressed, it's never talked about, it's not even recognized. We would call it, state of mind, but that's not even brought into consideration into what...what's behind the success of a leader. Lots of books have been written about it, but it's this intangible piece. The formless piece.
So, you know, people get hung up on the different words, I tell them, oh well, you know, oh well. You get hung up on, "are they the same, are they different?" Well, it's fine. (begins laughing) People will say, "Hey Cathy, how do I know if I'm in my wisdom?" I go, "I don't know, I mean, I don't know what to tell you. It's something over time you discover for yourself."
Daniel: I'm thinking about conversations I've had with people who have a habit of worrying a lot about what could be, have a lot of thinking around (pauses), I don't know, next week. “I don't know if I’m going to be able to go to that meeting because something is going to get in the way, have it be my kids have it, be my wife, have it be the weather, have it be,” you know, and so they got all caught up in... in the what ifs, in that aspect of their experience. And I find it really hard to point people towards something useful when they are so caught up in the noise of their thinking, as I described it. The noise of their experience, there noise of their worrying, over crowds and overpowers them so much so that it's difficult for them to see past it,
Cathy: Well, I think that's common for all of us, to start with. I think we all...we all think ahead, I mean, we can't escape it. I mean, I don't do it like I used to (laughs), especially when I travel. I mean, after going through the potential trip for the tenth time in my head, after I've set the whole thing up and I've covered all the bases, I had to go through it in my mind, at least 10 more times, if not 20, if not 30. I mean, it was...it was nutty and I knew when I was doing this work, I still did it.
And until one day, I said, "Cathy what is...what is?" I finally just bottomed out from the whole thing and said, "Enough already!" You know? (begins to laugh) I just...it's almost like, I woke up to "What are you doing to yourself?" So when...when...when we do this, the first thing...see, I saw the reason why I kept doing it is, I saw it was like my security blanket. Like, if I do that enough, that ensures nothings going to go wrong. You know what I mean? It's like, it's my security blanket.
So, you know, little kids, when it's time, they have to put their security blanket in the...in the washing machine to get washed and they're like, they're hanging on to it for dear life. Well, that's what we're doing. Our...our thinking ahead is like taking our (unclear word), if you're asking them to let go of their little security blanket, like the little kid. Did you ever see that movie Mr. Mom?
Cathy: Where he sits...oh, you have...seriously this week rent that movie or stream. Watch that movie, it's precious. But anyway, he sits down, he's home because he got fired, his wife's working. So, he's sitting with the kid and having a heart-to-heart with them. "Okay, we...we got to do this. We got to, we gotta get that disgusting thing into (laughing) the washing machine." Well, that's all of us. We're...we get security from that. At least we think...somehow we think, "if I don't do enough of that, something really bad is going to happen." Which is funny because the more we do it, it's inevitable, something is going to happen or we're going to forget something really important.
So, when people do that, first of all, my heart goes out because that's me too. (laughs) This is all of us. So, I first...I kind of like to see the humor in it for myself. I don't laugh at them, but I laugh at myself. And then I get curious and I get curious to find out, in their mind, why it's important that they do it. See, I very clearly see it's my security blanket, but they don't. They don't see it. But actually, they are sitting on this thought, "Something really bad is going to happen if I don't do enough of this."
As parents, it’s kind of...it's kind of like...I thought part of the job description of being a parent was, you know, provide housing, clothing, food and worrying. The worry piece was part of the job description. (hits her hands to emphasize) And one of my mentors looked at me and said, "No, it is not required to be a good parent." And I took him to task on that because my son was in and out of the ER when he was little, he had asthma, you know, it was a nightmare.
So, I carried my son around in worry as he goes off to college. Like, I'm still in that, "If I worry enough, I will keep something bad from happening to him," and I truly believed that. So when he drove to Santa Barbara in his own car, for the first time, my mind...in my mind I thought, "If I have him in my mind, the entire trip, that will prevent another car from hitting him or that will prevent the tire from hitting a piece of glass," See, that was my crazy logic. Until it was pointed out to me, "No, that's illogical."
So, I tested it out and I said, "Okay, my son's going to drive to school for the first time by himself in his car. I gave him all the credit cards, with triple-A, I did the blessing of the car and I said to myself, "That's it, I'm not gonna...I'm not going to worry." I purposely said "I'm not going to worry." So he drove, I told him, "Just call me when you get there." So he drives to Santa Barbara, it's about a six-hour drive and I'm in my day working, come home had dinner, and then I'm reading a book, and all of a sudden my phone rings. It's my son, he says, "Mom, I made it, I'm here." I'm like, (gasps quickly) "That’s right, you drove back to school," I forgot because when he's home, he's with his friends, I'm like "Oh, that’s right. Okay, I'm glad you made it and I felt guilt, "Oh, my God, he did that whole drive and I didn't think about him one time.”
And that's when I realized, that me not thinking about him, didn't mean I didn't love him or I didn't care, but I saw that it would have been worthless. If anything, if something did happen and he called me and I've been sitting at the edge...on the edge of my seat, in a ton of thought, and he would call me, I would go into panic, which would not be helpful. So yeah, people have...they have their reasons for doing what they do.
So, when I'm working with folks, or, or I had a group of engineering guys, and they complained about their kids, "Our kids aren't motivated, they're not interested in..." You can just hear these guys. So I said, "Okay, how many of you, how many of you have the worst fear your kids are going to end up homeless, living under the bridge...under the bridge, out on the streets?" And they all...they're shocked that I said that and my colleagues all look at me like, “Cathy, what are you doing?" I said, "Fess up! What's said in Vegas, stays in Vegas. How many of you, that's your worst fear they're going to...and even add they're going to be shooting up heroin to boot?" (both begin laughing)
They all kind of sheepishly raise their hand and I go, "Okay, how about this one? How many of you, your worst fear is they're never going to leave home? You'll be eighty years old and your kids will still be living with you?" And boy, they all raise their hand on that one. I said, "Now, isn't it interesting, you're trying get, motivate them, but what's coming at them is all your worst fears and they can feel that. That's why when you're coming to have “the” talk with them, or whatever it is, you're trying to do to get them moving. They're experiencing all this intensity that's going on inside of you. Your urgency, your...your impatience, your...your worst fears that's coming at them. So of course they're going to be rolling their eyes and going in the other direction."
And...and they looked at me and I said, (in a soft and reassuring voice) "I know, I know, I'm a parent too. We think that's what we need to do." I said, "Actually, if you don't," and I drew the picture, engineers like [pictures], "If you have all this thinking and you're sitting with your son or daughter, and they're in all their thinking, is that going to have any connection?" And they got it. They saw it, I said, "Okay, we're human, we have our worst fears."
But guess what? If I want to have an impact on another human being, I want to come out and be curious, try to understand, well why does it make sense for them to over anticipate and over plan and over think. Like, what is it about that that helps them? And that's what I do. Regardless of what is in front of me. Like, what's the deal about this? You know? Now first I have to see where I am. Like, as a parent, "oh oh oh, he's going to go off the cliff on his drive home, on his drive to school." That was my worst fear. He's going to drive off the cliff, "OK Cathy, that's...that’s just you, that's just you.” And over time, I have a whole different...cuz my son, when I come towards him, the eyes start rolling, "Yeah, yeah, mom, yeah, whatever, yeah, yeah."
Now, I'm not in that anymore. So, now he comes towards me and if he needs help or advice, he comes to me or if he just needs to let off steam or get things off his chest, he comes towards me. But if I start to go into the mom mode, he'll even say, "Mom, mom, no, no, no no." On his wedding day, he...he looked gorgeous, great tuxedo, the whole thing, his...his bride-to-be, she was beautiful. And I looked at my son, he has this curly hair and I said, "So, Aaron, what about the hair?" (begins laughing) I should have bit my tongue off. I couldn't...I went into mom mode, "What about the hair?" And he was so cute, he goes, "You know Mom, Beth likes it like this." (laughs and hits table with her hand) And I go, "Of course she does, you look perfect." But it still slipped out, you know, it's the mom mode, it still slips out.
So, you know, but just...just to have compassion for ourselves. But yeah, when people get into these different states, we're all doing it to be OK. And we're sitting on this illogical idea about how to get there. So, my job is to uncover, "So, what is that the logical idea?" Like, "If I worried enough, my son would stay safe driving back to school." Well, that was an illogical idea. But it was my logic at the time, but it was illogical. And that's...that's what my job is, is to help people appreciate that they're sitting on something illogical. So, that's...that's how I handle it. (chuckles)
Daniel: Very helpful, thank you. The other cost...the other comment that you mentioned that I wanted to see if you could expand on a little bit more is, you mentioned...
Cathy: Just to warn you, a train is coming through. (laughing) I live near train tracks. Just to let your viewers know that. Somebody thought the train was coming through my place. (laughs) It sounded so loud, I'm sorry.
Daniel: That's perfectly okay. So the other thing I wanted to ask you to expand on a little bit more is a passing comment that you made a while ago about, "It's in the feeling," and the reason that I would love to have you expand on this is because there is a lot of misunderstanding around quote-unquote, "it's in the feeling." And that's something that I personally have found very helpful in my own journey. is to get more clarity around what that means to me. And this is important because it's what...what it means to me. It's not what it means to somebody else and it's not what someone else says. Or it's really about finding that space within myself and to recognize a feeling of connectedness, of wholeness, of something-ness, of...and sometimes it's nothing more than just a slightly more positive feeling, but I would love to have you expand on that a little bit more if you could.
Cathy: Well, Syd...Sydney Banks always talks about the feeling, “It's...it's all about the feeling,” and I used to be mystified by that. Like...cuz I started to see people do this "being in the feeling" like being...being holy, (chuckles) being slow and calm (elongating the words for effect and then start to laugh again). You know what I mean? It was like, people are being a certain way, and when I first got involved with this, and I saw people, most of the people involved with the Principles were that way. And then, there was me.
And I'd been teaching the Principles for about nine months, didn't even know who Sydney Banks was, and I'm looking at these people. and I'm like, "You know, if I have to be that way, then I'm just...I guess this isn't going to work out (laughs and hits table with her hand), you know this...this is not going to work out." And I thought they were really boring people. (laughs again) I really did, and of course, you can imagine how they saw me, like...like I was plugged into a...you know, "Oh God, here comes Cathy," cuz I was just a ball of...I was like a whirlwind, right?
And...but then I overheard George [Pransky] speaking to somebody else about doing the work or whatever. And...and he said, "You know, there are only two things required to do this...to do this work, it's to just be yourself and take license." (chuckles) I’m like, “Well, I can do that, I can be myself and take license.” So, all this concern about how I should be went out the window. I thought, "I can only be Cathy, this is it, this is as good as it gets." So I didn't make meaning about how I should be first. So, me Cathy, I'm...this is who I am, I'm teaching the Principles.
Sydney Banks flipped out about all out of all the work I was doing and he...he doesn't look at what people say or do or how they are. He looks at the impact. He doesn't care what package it comes in. He just saw the impact of the work. And so, over time, what I started to recognize was, what the feeling is...as when we first come together, most people are not present. Their minds are all over the map, they're thinking ahead, they got 20 things on their mind.
When I work with a new group of people, I ask them straight up, "How many of you were sitting here with at least 20 things on your mind?" And they kind of look at me shy, and I go, "It's okay, I don't take it personal, but for real," and they raised, I said, "Yeah, we're all running around with eight things on our minds, while we're doing the one thing." And, I just see, like, this wall of thought that would walk into a room. Now, after a while, as I'm with them and doing whatever I'm doing with them, they start to get really present with me. And boy, the feeling is night and day different from when they walked in, to towards the end of that first day. You could hear a pin drop. You know what I mean? It's like people's minds when it settles down, all the sudden, there's this kind of quiet feeling and it's...it's...you can actually see the difference.
So, I kind of use that as a guide. Like, if my mind is really busy, then I'm going to feel impatient, urgent, rushed. Okay? And that just tells me, "Okay, I...I'm just in a lot of thinking right now," and I just see it, and that helps me settle down. Like okay. I can just as...soon as I just sort of settle down, and as soon as I'm just present in the moment, I'm in the feeling. The feeling is where my thinking is, that's all it is. If my mind is busy, busy, busy, then I'm in that feeling of being rushed, impatient, urgent. So, I...I have my eyes on a feeling of...of the other person or a feeling with...of the room. I have my eyes on that. I keep tabs on that, because if people's minds are busy, they're busy, busy, busy, busy, I'm going to back off. I'm not going to keep teaching. I'm going to take a break, whatever.
So, I account for the feeling all the time, meaning are people in the moment, present or are they in their heads. And to me, that's how I see feeling. And so Syd would just say, "Just, hey, just be in a good feeling and if you're not in a good feeling, then just see that it's thought and it's okay if you're in that too." Like, just see that it's all just coming from thought, and the more we wake up to that, we automatically slip into the feeling. With these Jewish women, when they finally connected HaShem to what I was saying, the feeling in the room went from, you know, upset and worried to relief and "ohhhh", the feeling of the...it was like a visible change. It was like a wave went through the group and they just settled down and "oh okay."
See you want to have eyes on that, in yourself and in others. And yeah, feeling is where our mind is. Thought and feeling are one and the same, two different forms. That's all it is. So, that's how I see feeling.
Daniel: Excellent, thank you. (Cathy is chuckling) So, as we're approaching the hour, I would love to ask you if there's anything in particular or anything specific that you would like to share, could be something that we've spoken about or something completely new.
Cathy: Well, I think, I don't know who will be listening to this podcast. but the one thing I would say is, you know, give ourselves a break, you know? We...we tend to hold so much against ourselves innocently. And we have compassion for others, we take care of others, we're of service to others, but many times we...we don't do that for ourselves. And so, what I would say is, "Hey, it's okay, to be not okay." You know what I mean? It...it's okay not to have it together and it's okay to point yourself in the direction, "well, I would like not to keep thinking about the future all the time; I would like not to think ahead, think ahead; I would really like to stop doing that, but in the meantime, it's okay that I do that. I'm just a human being, and I'm just trying to be okay." You know, just kind of get...less judgmental of ourselves.
And that's what I would say to people. Because until you can have that for yourself. It's...it's like the more I see within myself, about myself, the more I will be of service to others. So, it starts with me, it starts with me. So, I'm so grateful to know and accept my humanity, to just be at peace with my flaws and my mistakes and when I totally blow it. I mean it just happened to me recently. I totally blew it with the dear friend, badly (brief laugh) and when they called me out on it, oh man, I went into a tailspin, for like a week.
Every morning I woke up beating myself up, "You idiot, you shouldn't have said that." I just went over and over and finally I said, "You know what Kathy, okay you may lose the friendship, you blew it and there's nothing you can...and so I had to forgive myself. And, when I finally did, I finally, just let go of it, "Okay, another opportunity to learn something." (laughs briefly) Well, the friendship is still happening, and I did the right thing, and I apologized, and did what I had to do, and now we're back to where we were. So, but you know, I'm so glad I was able to forgive myself for that, because if I hadn't, it's almost like...that would keep that person from wanting to come towards me.
So, be gentle with yourselves, that's what I would say, be gentle. That's it.
Daniel: That's a very nice message. So, if somebody would like to get in touch with you, or to reach out and work with you, how can they do that?
Cathy: The best way, the only way is to email me. That is the best way. So, I don't know if you want, you can just put that out to your...your group. Just put my email out and for them to reference you, because that way, I know the context that they are coming from.
Daniel: Yeah, I'll go ahead and include that in the description of the episode. Fabulous. Well, thank you so much, Cathy for everything.
Cathy: Oh, my pleasure.
Daniel: It was...it was lovely and...and very grateful for everything that you've shared.
Cathy: Well, Daniel, thanks for doing this, because you doing this gives more people an opportunity to hear me and other people speak about this. So, this is great.
Daniel: I appreciate it.
Cathy: Yeah, yeah.
Daniel: Ok, so thank you very much, take care.
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Closing text: Thank you for listening. Hopefully, you've heard something new that invites you to reflect, to go within, and deepen your own understanding of life, and of our universal experience. If you enjoyed this conversation, please follow the podcast series on your favorite listening app, and share this episode with others that you feel would enjoy it as well. Until next time, may we all soar with inspiration, explore with passion and live with love. ❤️❤️❤️
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