Kathy Caprino is an international career, leadership and executive coach for professional women TEDx speaker, Senior Forbes contributor and writer dedicated to the advancement of women in business globally.
Kathy is a former marriage and family therapist and corporate executive as well, and brings that "lens" into all her work. Her podcast Finding Brave is ranked in the Top 100 Apple Podcasts in Careers and features some of the nation's top movers and shakers, thought leaders, business and entrepreneurial experts and creatives who are all finding brave in their work and helping us do the same.
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Episode 14 on finding opportunity in Crisis with Kathy Caprino Welcome to Brave by design. I'm your HOST. LL ORACLE, Ill. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking big, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers and business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Hey, friends, welcome to the episode today. It's me, Laura. I just want to leave you with a few quick announcements before we jump into this really juicy talk with Kathy Caprino. First, if you like what you hear and you wanna learn more, head on over to Facebook and join the Brave by design group. That's where we meet every Wednesday from 11:32:12:30 p.m. Eastern To talk about the episode to see how you're doing and to be in community with one another. It's a great opportunity to meet the incredible listeners of this show and hang out with me for a little bit. Also, if you're interested in learning more about my personal branding workshop, that's going to be coming up if you're in a job transition. If you're thinking Gosh, what's next? What do I d'oh! We're going to talk about that! Had a no vertebrate by design dot net. Join the newsletter and I would love to share more information with you as it comes out. All right, Without further ado, let's dive into this episode on finding opportunity in crisis. Here we go. Okay, everyone, welcome to this episode of Brave by design. I am having like a full circle moment right now with our guest because before I ever started brave by design, Kathy Caprino was someone who I looked up to. Let me tell you more about her. She is an international career leadership and executive coach for professional women, a Ted ex speaker, a senior Forbes contributor and writer dedicated to the advancement of women in business globally. Kathy is a former marriage and family therapist and corporate executive of as well, and brings that lens into all her work. Her podcast, Finding Brave is ranked in the top 100 apple podcasts in careers and features some of the nation's top movers and shakers, thought leaders, business and entrepreneurial experts and creative creatives who are all finding brave in their work and helping us do the same. Guys, go check that out. After you listen to this episode, it is absolutely fantastic. Finally, I want to let you know that Kathy has a book coming out called the most powerful You seven. Bravery boosting paths to bliss. And we can talk more about it. But, Gabby, welcome to break my God. Oh, my. Thank you so much for having
me. What a blast. I was so looking forward to this. I got to tell you, you're just like a the last of powerful energy.
What County and I We had this pre call, and it was like I'm like, Oh, my God. I've met my long lost friend. It was just like this. Beautiful, like it's so nice when that happens. It's so wonderful. And you can kind of
sense it sometimes, can't you? When you reach out even in e mail, you just get a little bit of a jolt. Like I can't wait to learn more. And that that's how I felt about you
two. Thanks, Kathy. So Okay, so it's interesting. We both have podcasts were brave in the title. What that tells me anyway is you and I have been through some stuff way have climbed some mountains on. And I want to know from you for people who don't know you. They haven't heard of you yet. Tell us about yourself. What is what are the brave moments that have led you to where you are today?
Oh, I would
love to talk about
it. And brave. Absolutely. And I would love to know how you came up with Brave by design. And I love to talk about that or listen to your first episode. Probably tells it tells me more
a little bit.
Okay. I'll definitely check that out again. Long story short. I had an 18 year corporate career in publishing and marketing and membership service is And you know, if if you read the book, folks, um, really? When I look at it, what I studied in college and who I really was was not what I went on this trajectory about. I loved books. I loved ideas. I
What did you study? I studied.
Um, I went to Boston University and for half a second I studied. It was the school of communications. It was journalism. And I took that one class about the Who, What, When, Where and how and I went. What the hell is this?
Just your podcast,
Explicit. I'm sorry. I'll try not to swear I like This is not what I wanted. So I was an English major and then spent a year in London, actually. Oh, English literature. You know, Dickins the on it. Bye. I got out and I got took the first job that I was offered marketing a copy writing in science publishing. So what many of you listening? You're probably gonna nod your head too. You know, when your many of us, when we're just starting out we're looking at How do we make money? How do we have success? So I did that, and I stayed on that path for each and years. But the thing is, Laura it was never the right thing. But I was successful on the outside. I made a lot of money, and I was I was good at it, so it was, you know, progressive success and achievement. But when I hit 40 and I'm 59 now, um, those bumps that I face turned into full bloom crises.
Cappie, what was happening on the inside? I never
felt at home or truthfully. I never really liked the corporate world, Mom. And I have to just add this my beloved dad, who and I was so close. He was a G e guy for 30 years, and he felt like he, you know, died and went to heaven. He's in heaven now, but I think I grew up thinking That's how you got to do it. You gotta work for some big behemoth or some very stable company and you'll be you'll love it. What happened? Waas I I always felt like an imposter. I do have kind of an empathic way, and I would look around me and go with I don't even like these people. I don't fit in with these people. There would be decisions as I gotten kind of more, um, higher level. I'd be managing $30 million budgets and there would be mandates from leaders who I didn't even respect, and the mandates were ridiculous. While we have, you know, triple our revenue. But you're not gonna get any more money for, you know, advertise or whatever. So I felt I felt never at home, never happy, but worse than that wa sai face sexual harassment, gender discrimination, toxic colleagues. I faced a narcissistic numbers of narcissistic leaders. What? Before I knew what narcissistic personality disorder.
How was it appearing?
Well, here's years. What basically happened? Um, there was one, and I got to keep it big because I understood. OK, great. I actually got a settlement from what? What I went through. But, um, there was one very senior guy who, um, was my boss had become in to turn around this company. And I felt like literally Laura He I couldn't describe it. And this is what gender discrimination is. You can't often you can't even wrap your head around. But he would look at me and I'm managing lots of money. And he
at me as if Why you wasting my time? Go decorate the kitchen. I mean on
I wouldn't understand. Like what? What's going
on here? But he would surround himself with a posse of men from every company he went to. He was like a turnaround guy. It was all men. Four men. So I complained to hr and the then president and they said, we hear what you're saying. We got your back, you're protected. But you have to go talk to him directly. It has to be on record that you did that Well, I talked to him directly and is as calm as I could be in respectful, he flipped. I was basically saying, I think we have a little bit of a problem because in public, kind of the questions you ask, there's not the support there that needs to be anything. And I was gentle and oh, my God. Here he had a flipped And I believe now I don't have really, you know, strong evidence. But I believe that there was, like, a target on my back from the minute I said that what happened was he then became the president. Oh, my God. He became the president, And they I think it seemed they pushed out the president who was an ally of mine. And, um, it did not go well. And then 9 11 happened. One month later, I was laid off after buying a bigger house, more affluent, you know, area. And they had promised me things. Oh, so, um, narcissism shows up. Can I talk
about narcissism for golf course,
But you know, I do want to talk about how I ended up brave but narcissism. So I became a fit. Here's the end of this story. All of this happened, but I didn't know what hit me. I didn't know what I was going through, so I
therapist and I paid for a career counselor. So this is 20 years ago. The career counselor came out after 1000 bucks of battery of tests, said, Well, looks like you're in the right field for yourself, and I I said, How is this possible? I was also chronically ill. I had an infection of the trivia every three months for four years, and I'm a singer in a speak. What? You know, it was the worst, most painful thing. I wouldn't be able to actually speak to my little Children. Nothing would come out and burning. And I was so sick. Um,
and the final
thing that was not being in their lives, the fabric of their lives. I just worked non stop. But the
worst out of all
of it was waking up and saying, Is this what I'm gonna be doing with my life is I don't understand this this non important, non purposeful, non contributed thing. So while I did try to get help, nothing move me forward till the layoff. And I I love to tell the story if I could. Laura. I'm sitting in my therapists or office a week after crying. I love, love the guy, Dr Henry Grayson, and he says to me, I know this from your viewpoint. Looks like the worst crisis you've ever faced from where I said, It's the first moment you can choose who you want to be in the world. I love it And he said, Who do you want to be? And like every woman I deal with, you know who's wants more different and better, but they don't know what I said. I don't know, but I want to be you on And he said, Okay, what does that mean to you? And I said, I want to help people, not hurt people and be hurt.
Oh, okay. From that Our
conversation, he said, Listen, I've known you for two years. I think you'd make a great therapist. Green
I pursued it, explored it. I became a therapist. Marriage. Wow. But what's interesting? What I want everybody to understand is, you know
just one destination. There isn't one endpoint, the training, three years with life changing, totally like change. And I think that's why I'm a good writer today. That's why I am a good coach. But the living identity of being a therapist. Rape, incest, pedophilia, suicide ality, drug addiction. I did this for about three years and one day a client called up and said, I'm driving my car now. I'm gonna wrapped my car around a tree. I'm ready. I want to kill my gosh. And I remember thinking in one, you know, tiny millisecond one. I'm not prepared to help this. I'm not trained enough to I don't want this in my life. So at the same time, I trained for as a coach and I began to see that I loved dealing with professional women who were depressed and confused. Know the end of the story, as we are in today. So 15 years I've been working with professional women around what and to your point about brave, Why pull the viewfinder back a few years ago? And I said, What is going on? That looks to me like an epidemic here. That What is it that I'm saying? Over and over and over with these women? What are they coming? What is it? What are they missing? And what am I doing? And the answer was there. Missing bravery and they're missing power.
Wow. Bravery and power.
Yes, and it's interesting this has taken a journey. I was first writing a book about bravery, but somebody said to me, one of my clients, bravery is the new. What
did she say?
Basically, bravery is not the end point, Okay? Our is the M point. And, um so, you know, the book is about the seven damaging power gaps that I see professional women face over and over and over. And I did a survey, Laure, 98% of the women I've surveyed and it's almost 1000 have at least one of these gaps. And on it now, over 75% are having three or more of these gaps. And if you have these gaps, you can't thrive.
Cathy, let me talk to you about this issue of power because that is a very it's not like it's a little bit esoteric. What? We're talking about things we give away. Things we received were trying. I would say I would argue in some sense, a little bit of how our energy is put out there or rescinded or expressed. Is that what you mean by power? Can
I give you the seven told seven power gaps. So the first is, um and I see the flip side of it talking about opportunity in crisis. The flip side of it is put the weight of the word brave before it. So I'll tell you what. I'm okay. The first is I don't recognize my talents and gifts. I cannot tell you. I I have this thing called a career path assessment. Thousands of people 70,000 people have downloaded it. I've seen thousands. That's what I start with their responses to these questions that I wish I had. Someone had asked me years ago, and if I had answered them honestly, I wouldn't have made the mistakes I made. Unbelievably, women cannot answer. What do you greater? What do your town? Wow, they can't answer. They literally either leave it blank or they offer something vague. Number two, I speak from fear, not strength. Number three. I'm reluctant to ask for what I deserve. Number four, I isolate instead of connect with influential support number five, I acquiesce Instead of saying stop to mistreatment number six I have lost sight of my most thrilling dream about who I was gonna be in the world and what it was going to do at the Final One is I'm allowing the past and past trauma to continue to define me. Each of these sucks our power. Our self authority are self confidence. Our ability to make decisions sucks it out. Yeah, it's like a gap, like, you know what you see in the roads and it widens with time, just like a gap in the road. So that's what I mean. These are the areas I see women, you know. 98% of those that come to me have at least one of these in usually it's several, and they're serious.
So for people who are, let's talk a little bit about opportunity in crisis as it relates because you said something really interesting. Um, and you and I share this experience of we were laid off. You had a crisis point of, you know, going to the therapist saying, like, What the heck, What do I d'oh? And a lot of people right now, unfortunately, are probably experiencing something very similar. And if they're not laid off, they are concerned about job security. It's a crisis for, you know, personal crisis, societal crisis. What can we offer when we to reframe some of our thoughts around being in crisis? Where do we look next?
All right, so you know, I'm gonna share this as a former therapist. This is a spiritual ideas. Well, not religious, but spiritual. Everything is how you think about it. Everything is mindset. So I was even just it e mailing a friend of mine who is really negative, really negative. And I can see it just in the way he deals with any challenge. So the very first thing I want to throw out to you and I know it's hard and I know when we can't pay the bills. And we were scared. We can't have food. I know that this is hard to ask of you, but if you can look at it as wow, I didn't want this, I didn't expect it. And I'm not prepared for it, but by gum. I'm gonna look at this with eyes wide open and say, What can I get from it? What can I learn from it? What The way. You know, I deal with a lot of people of crises, and not to this degree. We're scared for our lives. I mean, it's really But I love to ask. I want you to put yourself in the mindset of this question. If in 3 to 5 years I could look back and say that was the best thing that has ever happened to me, what would have to be happening now? Now I know people are gonna go screw that. I'm not in the mode. I'm not in the mood, but literally. That is what I've learned from the crises I faced that instead of the two years I had that I'm
such a loser. And and I'm the one that got kicked
to the curb. Although 100 people got kicked to the curb when when 9 11 happened in my company. But I internalized it. I'm the loser. I'm the bad person. I don't have what it takes. If
just stopped that and done what I do now, which is Wow. I didn't want this. But what can I get from it? And you know, Laura, I think you feel the same way. All of us can give more. And I When I feel down, I get frenetic about what can I give what mentorship program I gonna am? I gonna start. So my staff is working on that. What new content can I deliver? I don't want to sit here. They I read once about below the line and above the line below the line Thinking is I can't do it. It's Donald Trump. It's the economy. I don't have what it takes, You know, above the line thinking is holy cow. Wow, I see this. I get it. I didn't sign up for it, but I have what it takes. If you can embrace that and chew on that every single day, what happens is opportunities calm, miracles come. What do you think
I Well, I'm just sitting here nodding my head. I mean, people who are listening can't even like, see this, But I'm like, Yes, Gather. Yes. You know, I read this and it's interesting, cause we're talking a little bit about spirituality, which is something that we often don't discuss in these business settings. But I am like you. And I think it's very important for some of us to have that grounding in, um, some sort of spiritual understanding off. I don't believe there's and I don't believe in mistakes. I personally don't. I think that things are happening things. Either things are in your way or things are on your way, and you have an opportunity to say, Which one is it? That's that's your mindset. Is this
the war way or on your way? It's
exactly all. My challenge is similarly worth I, you know, until I realized that they were on the way to helping me fully express my greatest potential in becoming an entrepreneur. I saw them is in my way until I had that moment of insight where I realized No, no, no. These were all preparing you. And so I love your thought about, um Where do you want to be in 3 to 5 years? And I'm just trying to look up a beautiful quote. You see if I can find it here? Yes. This is a quote that I aah heard in a webinar from a woman I really love. Her name is Caroline. Mace. Love. Caroline. Knees? Yeah, I'm a huge Caroline Mace fan, and she had a webinar a few days ago. For those of you who don't know Caroline maces a medical intuitive. She, um, teaches some wonderful things around how the body works and energy anatomy. I highly highly recommend or if you have any interest. And she said this She said this time is surreal. But then again, so are miracles. Mmm. And I thought, Yeah, you know, and that to me. When I heard that, I thought, That's the choice.
That's the choice.
Yeah, but you know that mine
said, typically doesn't We're not trained for that. Mine's
hard to get there.
It's often, you know, my first book was breakdown. Breakthrough. I mean, I think that's what we're in today. It's typically a breakdown that is necessary and what I'm trying to teach. And so are you, I'm sure. Don't wait for the total breakdown for the breakthrough toe happen. But that is often what humans do.
Why? What do you think that is? I think we have to get that bad.
Well, a few things like if you even just talk careers or what I went through. I spent 18 years killing myself. I
didn't want to start over. I didn't want
the truth to be true. So because
of what the change is because what would
it mean? If this isn't what I wanted? It means I'm starting all over everything. I'm a mast, you know, security for my kids. My my husband, who's now my access. But we're very amicable now. He is a jazz musician. So it was You know, not what you consider a stable corporate job. So I was the moneybags, right?
I thought of myself. Thinks the moneybags. He's the creative genius. So speaking
of opportunity, I talk about this a lot.
I'm very creative. Darn it. You know, I write five posts a month for Forbes.
I have my own podcast. I have I love making. Yes, I create programs and packages and service is Imagine if I never understood that I was a creative person, you know, just like that. You're an amazing entrepreneur and consultant, but we
stay put. One we don't. When you don't know
what you want, you stay paralyzed because there's no there's no pathway in front of you. So that's why a lot of people who in our in mid life and wake up and go what I have here. I hate it.
But what do I do?
They stay for years. So first of all, we don't want to leap to something we don't know. Number two, We're scared of risk, were scared. And, you know, people are really scared. Of what? Humiliating themselves.
Wow. Yes, it's It's not even failure.
It's that I'm gonna look absurd and ridiculous. And people are gonna think I'm a loser.
I don't want to look down. I don't wanna look like a you know that I blew it. What else? Um, change is hard. Unless you
and this is another thing opportunity. Get good with change, because it will change. Like a lot of people say, my secure job. Well,
through Ah, job that they told me. The head guy said by the biggest house you can You're gonna have be in this company forever. And then I get laid off to my right. Nothing. It's nothing is secure except what you have inside of you to give. You
know, Kathy That's such a great point. And I think that people who are probably listening to this that this period in time are waking up to that. But I have been, you know, saying for years to full time employees your quote unquote job security is in your head because at any moment they can and will let you go. And unfortunately, we're seeing that. So you have an opportunity to prepare for when it comes and what you want to do next. And, um or, you know, put your head in the sand and say, No, no, I'm safe. That was our grandparent's generation or our Parentsgeneration. That has not, You know, my dad was at GM for, I don't know, 35 years. Really? Oh, yeah, he was one of those guys. You said, Just go get a good job. You know, you're gonna stay there for life and it'll be grateful for what you got. And that is just not how it works.
It is not how it works. You know, even my sweet dad, he had seven patents with G E. But Jack Welch rest in peace. I think he's passed away, said to my father, What have you done for us lately, Jo? Whoa! And he was so rocked his icon and Jack Welch and he thought seven patents. I don't know what he thought I was a kid, but I know that he was rocked. So even then, companies Or what have you done for us lately? So if
understand that and you can get more comfortable with what can I offer remotely? What can I do is a consultant. What can I do is a private practitioner. You are kind of on your own people. And it's a beautiful thing. If you embrace that, it's not a beautiful thing if you feel the only way I can. I mean,
look at that. Look at
the organization's the disruptors that are now on top. Amazon uber eats
Um, you know, they disrupted the status quo before. Before it was essential to
Yeah, absolutely. And I would say so. One of the pieces of advice I give and I love to hear yours is for people who are thinking Yeah, yeah, Okay. I hear you two. I hear what you're saying. Um but I'm still scared. I don't know what to do. I still don't know what I want to do. I always recommend what first of all, I I actually am of the point of view that you do know what you want to d'oh, but that you don't want to accept the consequences for making that shift because it's scary and because it means a lot of change. And so instead of say, well, you know, I really would like to d'oh ex wires e, but I'm not gonna put work towards it because I'm too scared of the cataclysmic change that will occur in my life. And so we wait for the cataclysmic change to occur for us and then go do it. But, um, other than that tiny, tiny, little tiny bites every day tiny little habits towards your goals, That's what I always recommend for people who are, you know, not ready tow. Bite off more than they can chew. What do you recommend, Cathy?
I love it. And you know, this is what makes a good horse race. I see it a little differently, Laura, and I'll tell you why. And this was me. People come. And in this career past assessment, maybe you'll have a link to it and people can just take it for free. Um, it has What would you do if you wouldn't fail or what have you dreamed of? And I can tell you this, Laura they might write down. This is a funny story, but it's true. I can't tell you how many people, whether you're an accountant, a financial director or CEO of an entertainment. I want to start a bed and breakfast. Um, and that's on the list. But it'll be I want to write a book. I want to start a nonprofit I want to teach. I wanna sail around the world. It'll be this kind of thing, okay? And when I can look at it now because I've done this for 15 years, they don't want those things. Yep. And in fact, every single person I've said Are you serious about the bed and breakfast? I'm dead serious. That's what I want. I know it. I'm I have ah plan for them or five steps. Step back. Let go. Say yes. Try it on and created Smart. I'll say, Here's what I want you to do. Go visit three bed back, an interview the owners and watch. Try on the physical identity, I can tell you this. Not one of those people came back and said they want to start a bed breakfast? Heck,
no. No. But, oh, I realized I'm Hewlin
era li interested or I like to create event space or I actually, like just serve people. But so what I always say is you must do what you must to stay afloat, but plant the seeds for your future self every day. So make that list. What are the things you've thought of? So that to answer that question, I don't think people know what they want to d'oh because they're not career coaches. So they might glom on. I always say, there's form the form of what you want in the essence of what you want. Figure out the essence 1st 0 I love design. I have to be with people I love to cook, but don't glom onto the form of it because you're probably not right. I love that. Unless you try it on physically, behaviorally financially, you have to try on. So I can't tell you how many people say to me. I want to be a coach like you
know you don't you don't want me. Oh, I'm pretty sure you don't because they think it's
just sitting there being on the phone, helping people.
That's 15% of coaching. It's marketing. It's branding. It's thought leadership. It's creating new packages. You know, it's social media. So understand. Don't let this,
don't you what I'm saying, But get clear on what you think you want, why you want it and then go through, try on three new directions.
I love that, Cathy. I think that is brilliant. And I think that the way I'm gonna put it a little bit in my legs. Beautiful. Um And what I see the way I would describe it is a lot of a lot of people have fantasies, right? As which is, I think, what you're describing.
fantasies of There's going to be a perfect world where I have a quaint being be somewhere in New Hampshire and I'm living this amazing life and I'm cooking great breakfast.
And I'm writing a book on the side
and I'm ready, but yes. Oh, good. With all my free time and so that you know, any time we have a fantasy That's a one sided, you know, sort of view of reality. And so what I love about trying it on is Okay, let's get both sides. Because everything in the world is supporting challenge. And I always tell my clients what challenges do you want because you're gonna have to think about them as long as what support you're going to get. We all grow with support and challenge. Pick the challenges you want. But I'll tell you this to your point. You know, back in. Oh, gosh, this is about 10 years ago. I was in a long term relationship. People are gonna laugh when they hear this. Cathy, you're not even gonna believe it. I was in a long term relationship, and I decided that I was going to become a romance novel writer.
Okay. Okay. Had an aptitude for that? No, but I loved as the time I I loved reading romance novels, and I can write one of these. This is trash. I did you It's better. I can write picking trash. And you know, it's funny because I was a writer. I've always been a right. I'm like like that's not a stretch then, Yeah, I could definitely do that. So what I would d'oh is I said, Well, I need to do research. And so I my research would be reading these books. Of course. Over the course of probably two years, I never actually wrote a word of that romance novel and, in fact, a CZ. I came to understand what was really going on is I was missing in my relationship the romance that I wanted. And so I was finding it in other forms. No, but, um, that that quote unquote dream was nothing more than a fantasy because I don't want to accept the challenge of writing it. I only wanted the fantasy of having it done and putting it on Amazon. Gosh, you're human. And this is
what about 98% of people? Yeah, you know, it's interesting. Can I just tell you people? So writing this book and I am a writer professionally sitting down to action. So I did the proposal. 50 pages friggin rocked it. Yo, it went through. A lot of it orations in my agent, Casey Kotchman is amazing, and now it's Harper, Collins and Murdock Books were publishing. It went through a lot of it orations. But the proposal, I could do it. Sit down and write the chapters. I actually had a physical reaction of procrastination so strong, like Okay,
what happened? So
for me and I'm writing the workbook now. And, boy, did I procrastinated on that.
When I don't know
how something is going to take shape. It's
so challenging. It's so hard, I sit there and go, eh? But once I pushed through that air, then I
start to see it takes shape. Oh, I get what I'm doing here. I get that it's going to be a little bit about the power gap. Then we're going to tell a story about this, my client or she's going to tell her own story. Then we're going to dimensional eyes what she did to get over this cap and then I'm gonna share. But oh, I get it. Like for me. If I don't have a stew dra sure I can't do it. So I pushed through it, But it was one of the hardest things I've ever. Did
you create a structure than to help you write it? Or did you still I mean, I knew that that's
how it was gonna go, but
Okay, I know that I'm going to talk about the gap and I'm gonna have a story, and then we're gonna have advice. Yeah, that's one thing sitting down and crafting it so that it flows seamlessly. And these people's stories are incredibly riveting and the work of actually storytelling and, you know, it's It's a non fiction book with there's P. I feel people learned through all different ways through story, through advice, through directive, prescriptive stuff and also through Just
look what Janine
did. Wow in a Yeah, just, um,
it's doing the work
and and I want to tell you
it's doing the work. Then I have,
ah, past life memory that has come to me so strongly angelic everything that I wanted to write a screenplay about it. I don't know anything about screen place, and to your point, I was like, I want I watch a lot
of movies, right? I can't do it. I'm like, What
am I doing? So I hired an amazing coach grew scale, Finn, and you know what happened? Interested in order to write a fantastic unless your this is your writing that you do all the time. I'm a non fiction, right? I had to be basically turned upside down inside out to understand these characters. And what is it that I'm really saying? So I thought it was gonna be an easy little thing, because it I saw it in my head. This this past life, um, revelation. I thought it was gonna be easy. Well, I you know, I've worked with him, and it's still incredibly hard, but I'm not giving up.
Does he have you considered outsourcing it? You know, I think because I'm a writer, I don't want to do that. Like, to your point. I want
the experience of pushing through it. I don't just want the outcome. I
write a screenplay.
I want to
understand how to do it in sound bites and and create the you know of the
That's the joy I get. Cathy girlfriend. I hear you. I don't think you know this, and I don't know how much of our audience knows this, but I recently produced a radio feature for NPR. What? Tell us about it. Tell you about it. Um and this is I'm a storyteller by trade, right? You're
right. My my past life story.
Well, I don't write fiction. I don't write fiction. I don't like you nonfiction, but I love telling stories. You know, You guys know some you know, I worked with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. I'm very, very invested in storytelling A za power to heal and ah, amazing tool. Anyway, I, um Cathy, did I ever tell you Did I tell you on our pre call about my DNA story? No. Okay, so I'm gonna tell you guys the brief little snippet. You can go listen to the actual produced piece. I'll put it in the show. Notes.
This was the NPR
show. This is the NPR thing. I mean, this achievement. Well, you know what? I'm driven. You cannot stop
home. I like that.
Here we go. So I put two years ago. Um, I received a very surprising message on 23. And me. I've been on 23 me for about five years. At that point, nothing came up. Just, you know, DNA ancestry stuff. And I got a message from a member who said, Hey, Laur, we share a surprising amount of DNA. Ah, would you liketo connect anyway? Turns out, um, that we were half sisters. My gosh. No, Your face.
My God, What a life changing Find
it was chain. It was shocking, and I'll just fast forward. Um, but come to find out that I actually have 9/2 siblings. Oh, hey, guys, you gotta watch the video of this. If you're not watching the video, it's amazing. I'm 9/2 siblings. We are all apparently not. Apparently, we are all ah, were conceived through artificial insemination via a sperm donor.
And you don't know that I did
not know my end. For those who know me or have seen me, you know how white I am. And my father. It might might, um, my sort of dad who have grown up
ways you biological, not
my bio de might. The dead who raised me as his own child is Egyptian. So for I always looked very different from my community. And I always thought I'm such an outsider. Why don't I look like these people? Well,
and they raised you believing you he was a logical fallacy. And this this information was the first you knew. Yes. My God. Laure
No, don't, Kathy. I know. Mike. Hang on. Hang on. There's more. Also, I'm the only one who has parents who are heterosexual heterosexual couples. All of my other set Most if not all, of my other siblings are the, um, Children of single moms, most of which you are lesbians.
How did this happen?
Well, I'm gonna tell you, because in the 19 eighties, when we were all born, I'm the eldest. At that time, there was only one doctor in Southeast Michigan who would help lesbians or single women have Children. And it just happened to be the doctor my parents used. Oh, it brings tears to my eyes. All said, It's really sweet. I mean, wow, I know. And most of them a guy or the woman who is amazing. He's amazing. He he's on the show. We interviewed him. I tracked him down, um, anyway, and there's, you know, they all actually grew up together, and they had no idea they were related. What do you mean?
They grew up together
so riveting. This is not where I expected this episode to go drinking my water, drink some water, I hope. Um, they So they were uh, all of their mothers, most of their mothers war lesbians who lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My gosh. And what happened was they thought, well, in how are we gonna have kids? We can't have kids. And we talk a little bit more about that in the episode. The climate in the seventies and eighties for having Children for single women. Horrific. Uh, and so we, uh, So anyway, one of them found a doctor, and then this this little baby was sort of brought around the lesbian and gay community like, Oh, my God, We did it. We had one and everyone went and said, Where did you go? Find who does? So you're eight
siblings here, half siblings. They all knew that the by their parents weren't their biological parents. I
don't know if it it's just unbelievable. That unbelieving a story. I know, right? So back to my point. So I've got this story and I'm a storyteller, and I'm like, I have good to tell this story. And so can I
share this story? It's audio, only it's not. Ah,
I'll send you the link. It's There's a There's a written thing attached to the audio. So I contact our NPR affiliate, and I just went in there like, you know, bull in a China shop. And I basically said, I have got a story you need to hear this. And we need to put this on the air. Now, Guys, for those listening, I have zero experience working in broadcast. I mean, beyond the podcast, right? Which isn't really the same thing, is working in our broadcast. And I just said, I believe in it so strongly, and they looked at me and they were kind of like, That's a great story, but what the hell do you know? And I said, Give me a chance. I want to do it. And so they did. That gave me the resources to do
it. If they love
it. Oh, my God, Cathy, it's Listen. I am documentary won an Academy Award. Listen in in terms of like the pat. What is it? The power gaps. I do not have a power grab around knowing my strengths. Okay, I know what I'm good at. And I know I can tell a story. And so they heard that story, and they were I mean, it blew out of the water here. It's unbelievable. There's more to it. But anyway, um, yes. Tonight. Highlight this. Yes, Well,
and later we'll talk
about it later.
No, no. I want to highlight this one thing. But later I'll ask you, you'll I'll have you on the show. Okay, I'll
talk about it, but I feel
like what you just did here is opportunity in crisis. Exactly. I'm sure this rocked your world. I'm sure that there is, you know, a 10 part series in this story about what it did for you. But look, you said I got to tell this story. Can
I just ask
this one thing?
Like me And in this book, you know, when you have, you have to distill life down to its barest, you know, elements to make sense sometimes. And for me, women need more power and bravery, period. But in order to navigate through what the challenges are if you if you distilled it down toe five words. What did you How did it change you that you learned this? Can I ask that?
Yeah. I'm thinking about the answer. Um, in five words. Oh, God. Cassie. Who were reeling who he can't. They were not on your show. All right, let me How did it change me? Yes, it really, um, families a construct com. That's gorgeous. It's just the truth is that these, you know, there's eight sisters and one brother, and the truth is that these women and men, he's wonderful. I don't want to exclude him. His wonderful. But these women, um I mean, I'll tell you this. Cathy, my parents, our our, um my mom just went through a bone marrow transplant. My father's over 80 years old. Um, we are, you know, I don't want to say like, you know, this is that, You know, this is the end, But like, you know, as you get older and you watch your parents get older, you inevitably are faced with, um, thinking about hey, like, what's life gonna be like after mom and Dad are gone? And I think that one of the most beautiful, beautiful and profound gifts, and by the way, this is really strengthen. My own spirituality is the sense that as I begin to watch certain doors close at the exact moment I see other doors open Oh, no, I'm beautiful. and that's how it feels. It feels like I was given a gift it because I'm an only child. Obviously, my parents couldn't have more Children. Um, or chose not to, um, do more insemination. But, uh, it feels it As I walk them home, I bring these other people into my life, and I am so, so incredibly grateful for their presence in my world. Oh, my gosh. Learn. So that's Yeah, I'm over here crying. But wait, let me wipe it off. Look,
I think this is it comes up in this discussion because it's exactly that. Yeah, I think it would not be unusual for someone to feel like their entire world collapsed.
And the anger and the rage. How did you not let me know this You Maybe that isn't your nature. But look what you did with this, then you did. The other thing that I think is opportunity in crisis when we just think about ourselves is a bleak, darn place. It's just bleak. It's just little and constrained and scary. But when we go, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Here. How can I turn my mess into a message? Somebody said that. I wish I made that up.
You You kind of turned your mess into a message sent to
Yeah. Help. You found
the higher level message for you? Yeah. I mean, that's the opportunity in crisis. I think
it really is. Cathy, this is such a beautiful note for us to wind down on Tonto moving into our two. All
right. I guess people have other things to
do today. Happy. Let me ask you this. Let's leave the I love for you to leave the audience with a couple of key messages. One or two key messages about you're in if you are in crisis. If you are saying, how the hell do I find this opportunity? What am I looking for? How do I deal with these? This cataclysmic situation, whatever it may be, what do you advise? Okay. I'll look at the
you know, the, um, the gaps. Which, when you flipped. Um, there's brave site. Braves speak brave. Ask brave connection. Brave challenge, brave service and breathe healing. So take one of those. Oh, take one or two. But here's Here's a tip. First of all, you know, there's a
us feel like the world is not a nice place. There isn't help. There are good people. Well, that's nonsense. There are Angels, angels everywhere. Be angel. Retentive is one of my interview is in Great dam Break. Breakthrough said Ask reach out and ask people for help. If you're struggling to put food on the table, if you're you're depressed, there is so much help. So Number one don't try to hack this out on your own. The world you know, people who might hate this. But I you know, I talked to my angels. I talked to the spiritual help, and one thing this is doing here is it's a reset. It's a reset, and we were heading down a really violent Rachel path. Hateful, violent and rageful. And I think we're coming together and we're having compassion. Watch what's happening in Italy or whatever. So we're coming together, and there are people who want to help. So ask for help. Number two. Think about what have I learned from this about my own vulnerabilities in terms of how I'm structuring what I do, how I earn money and how can I make this an opportunity if you've wanted for instance, to leave your corporate job and actually be a consultant or a private practitioner or or launch that thing. Look, there's
no better time. We're all well, we've flown it all up in the air. We don't nobody
knows what they're doing. So
take a little step with this. Doesn't mean
throw the baby out with the bath water. Don't do that. Just take a little step. As you have said, to explore writing that block or or get on zoom and start. It's
to do upon cast. You know
it's your get the microphone you got Zoom and you got a few other things and you got something to talk about. So embrace this as I know you don't want it. I know it's hard, but what could it give me? And what could I start exploring today? That isn't gonna be risky. I'm not gonna go broke doing it. What can I do? That there would be some peace that enlivens me in this situation off confusion and uncertainty, I would suggest most enlivens. I love
that. Think about that guy's in life. What brings you to life, right? I love that Kathy Caprino. Thank you so much for being here is so, so, so much fun.
T be here and I can't wait to feature you on my show soon, Laura.
Thanks, Kathy. I want to thank you for joining me. And remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and comment on apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on Lincoln. And I'm also on instagram at force of Bad Ass Irie. All that information will be available in the show notes until next time. Stay brave.