Cathy & Todd answer listener questions (about the practice of self-awareness, highly sensitive kids, and how to talk to our kids about every important thing before they graduate…) and they also discuss Taylor Swift, her popularity, and how she is connected to Full Catastrophe Living. For the full show notes, visit

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Time Stamps

(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:03:08) Question #1- What are some self-awareness tools you’ve cultivated through your parenting
(00:10:48) Question #2 How do I get my 8 year old daughter to calm down when she is dysregulated?
(00:17:57) Question #3 Is it common when your child is graduating from high school to have this inclination to want to panic and “cover all the information you haven’t shared with your child yet

(00:23:48) Full catastrophe living

(00:19:59) Who Smarted?

(00:39:29) Avid Co DuPage County Area Decorating, Painting, Remodeling by Avid Co includes kitchens, basements, bathrooms, flooring, tiling, fire and flood restoration.

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Ask Us Anything

Who Smarted?



Ask Us Anything

In this episode of the Zen Parenting Radio podcast, hosts Todd and Cathy Adams explore various topics related to parenting and self-awareness. They emphasize the importance of self-understanding for effective parenting and discuss the significance of validating children’s emotions. Additionally, they delve into the concept of “full catastrophe living” and its relevance in their lives. Throughout the episode, Todd and Cathy provide valuable insights and guidance for parents looking to enhance their parenting journey.

The podcast hosts highlight their show’s motto, which emphasizes the crucial role of a parent’s self-understanding in shaping a child’s well-being. They encourage parents to trust their instincts and recognize that they know their child best, despite external advice. Cathy shares how becoming a parent forced her to become more self-aware, identify her triggers, and acknowledge her need for personal freedom. They stress the importance of exploring emotions and understanding their underlying causes, fostering curiosity about one’s inner world.

Responding to a listener’s question about supporting a highly sensitive child, Todd and Cathy offer valuable advice. They suggest creating a safe space for emotions rather than suppressing them and understanding the child’s sensitivity instead of labeling them as problematic. The hosts emphasize the need for parents to educate themselves about their child’s unique needs and practice the same techniques they teach. They highlight that accommodating emotional needs does not imply inherent problems but celebrates the child’s individuality.

Todd and Cathy emphasize the significance of emotional validation and fostering connections with children. They encourage conversations about emotions during calm moments, creating an environment where emotions can be openly discussed. By actively listening to their children’s experiences and lessons learned, parents can deepen their understanding and strengthen the parent-child bond. The hosts also address the anxiety parents may feel when their child is graduating from high school, suggesting creative ways to impart wisdom and reminding parents that their teachings have been absorbed throughout their child’s life.

Drawing inspiration from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Full Catastrophe Living” and Taylor Swift’s lyrics, Todd and Cathy explore the concept of embracing the full spectrum of life. They discuss Taylor Swift’s song “Getaway Car” as an example of navigating relationships and rebounds. The hosts highlight how public figures can inspire and reflect aspects of our own lives. They stress the importance of recognizing that life encompasses both joy and suffering and advocate for approaching each moment mindfully. Embracing the present with resilience, wisdom, and compassion allows individuals to thrive amidst life’s challenges.

Todd and Cathy’s discussion also touches upon the contrast between the idealized portrayal of life on social media and the value of vulnerability and authenticity. They encourage individuals to acknowledge imperfections and accept the truth of their experiences. The hosts reflect on the challenges of capturing perfect moments, like family pictures, and emphasize the significance of capturing the essence of a moment rather than adhering to posed perfection.

In conclusion, this Zen Parenting Radio podcast episode offers insights for parents seeking to enhance their parenting journey. Through their emphasis on self-awareness, understanding triggers, and embracing emotions, Todd and Cathy empower parents to trust their instincts and build strong connections with their children. The hosts highlight the importance of validating children’s emotions, providing them with a safe space, and nurturing their unique sensitivities. Moreover, they encourage open conversations and exploration of a child’s experiences to deepen the parent-child bond. Finally, Todd and Cathy emphasize the concept of “full catastrophe living” as a means to navigate life’s complexities with mindfulness and authenticity. By embracing both joy and suffering and living in the present moment, individuals can cultivate resilience, wisdom, and compassion.


ZPR#713 – Ask Us Anything Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD

Todd: Here we go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number, geez, I don’t even remember. I do. What is it? 713. 713. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio because you’ll feel outstanding and always remember our motto, which is the best predictor of a child’s wellbeing, is a parent’s self understanding.

Cathy: Wanna know why I remembered it was 713? Tell me why, because on today’s show I wanna talk a little bit about Taylor Swift and her favorite number happens to be 13. Which is kind of, coincidental. 

Todd: And I think 13 gets a bad rap. I think it’s supposed to be a really special good number.

Cathy: And actually isn’t. It got a little demonized. Yes. Got a little turned against us 

Todd: women. Oh, is it like a witch hunt thing? Yes. Some history. Oh, I didn’t know that. So on today’s show we’re gonna do, we have this thing called on our website and it’s in the show notes called Ask Us Anything.

Todd: And we have three questions that we may not get to all three. And then Cathy has some other things that we’re gonna bring up. What’s the topic? 

Cathy: Well, I wanted to talk about Full Catastrophe Living, and I was thinking about it in terms of Taylor Swift because this weekend is, and actually this show is out on a Tuesday and we’re doing this a little early, so by the time you guys listen to this, the Taylor Swift weekend in Chicago will be over and are you gonna be a part of that? But yes, I will be going Friday. So I will have been, by the time you listen to this, so I will comment about that later. But I was just thinking about the amount of energy around Taylor Swift and why people like, why people connect with her so much.

Cathy: And it’s not, I’m not gonna spend a lot of time talking about her specifically, but I wanted to talk about Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living which he actually got from Zorba the Greek. That’s a whole nother thing. I’ll get that, I’ll get to that later. But go ahead with the questions and then I’ll talk about that.

Todd: Oh, should we do just that parenting moment or no? 

Cathy: Well, Zen Parenting Moment was about pre grieving. Yes. I took it from succession did a whole show on it last week. Yes. We did a whole show on succession and my last actually a different Zen Parenting moment has probably come out since then.

Cathy: But it, I think your point in bringing it up is I do a newsletter every Friday and it’s really not even a newsletter, it’s just me writing something. It’s called a Zen Parenting Moment. So if you wanna subscribe to that, just scroll down and do so. 

Todd: And then we also have this thing called Team Zen that we talk about every week.

Todd: It’s a community of Zen Parenting listeners that come together a few times a month. We do Zoom calls. It’s interaction with Cathy and I with an amazing community. We got these micro communities. And then last thing is our buddy Brad is our tech person and our marketing person and our good friend. And we’ve been doing a lot of these YouTube clips and that we post on social media 

Cathy: on TikTok. So find us on TikTok and on Instagram. 

Todd: So if you if you like YouTube, you, I go to YouTube all the time. Make sure you subscribe to Zen Parenting Radio. So here’s our first question. Are you ready, sweetie? I’m ready. All right. Let’s see if this works this time. Okay. And every time I do that, it doesn’t work.

Todd: So I’m gonna press it again. 

Shane: Hi, Todd and Cathy. This is Shane Adams. I’ve been listening to you guys since the very beginning, and I’ve learned so much from you over the years. My question for you is I know that your motto is borrowed by Dan Siegel, who’s also one of my favorites. And that is the best predictor of a child’s wellbeing is a parent’s self understanding.

Shane: So my question is, How have you gained a deeper self-understanding and increased your self-awareness over the years to improve your parenting? What are some of the tools that you’ve implemented for better self-understanding? 

Todd: There we go. And that is Shane Adams, who is my sister and is also a therapist. So sweetie, what do you think? 

Cathy: So her question, tools for self-awareness. Her question is tools and thank you Shane, for using the SpeakPipe thing. We appreciate it. Tools for self-awareness. Well, I mean, I kind of feel like we get, as parents, you know, especially when we’re starting out, we get pushed into becoming more self-aware.

Cathy: You know, as I’ve written about a lot, and as a lot of people have said, parenting becomes a mirror for you. So you get kind of. Forced to look at your patterns and you get forced to recognize what your triggers are and what bothers you. And what, like one thing that I realized was very early on is how much I needed an appreciated freedom.

Cathy: And I didn’t realize, I didn’t take into account what having a baby would do to my feelings of freedom and I’m not talking the patriotic freedom I’m talking about like, Ability to make choices and do what I wanted to do. So what I had to do really early on was to find ways to recognize what meant most to me and what I needed to feel to to feel connected to myself and to feel like I had something to offer.

Cathy: You know, it’s a very like, You know, fill your cup kind of thing. But I realized I needed to be alone. I re I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I became a parent. I think that what I’m getting to is that instead of pushing against the things that our kids pull up, you know, bring up in us, like, instead of being like, no, I shouldn’t wanna be free.

Cathy: I should just wanna be with my baby all the time, or This is wrong, or I should, you know, be a better mom in this way. Instead of pushing against what I was feeling, I kind of went into what I’m feeling, like why is this, what does this represent? And so everything is in my parenting journey has been okay.

Cathy: This scares me a lot. Why is it about my history? Is it about a fear I have for. Or with my kid, is it a misplaced need for them to fulfill one of my dreams? Is it me thinking that if they don’t do this, then they won’t be successful? I’ve had to redefine, I. Success I’ve had to redefine every emotion and how I experience it.

Cathy: I’ve had to learn how to process emotions differently. I’ve had to learn to ask for help. I’ve had to learn to do really uncomfortable c conflict conversations. I don’t think there’s anything about me except, you know my essence. You know who I came to here to be. That is the same. Than when JC was born.

Cathy: You know, meaning I’ve changed so dramatically. Maybe not externally, but internally, my insights have been 

Todd: dramatically changed. And I guess The way I interpret the question is like, what do I wish I would’ve done more of when I was a younger parent? And this, I’m piggybacking on everything you just said, sweetie, but really cultivate the idea of getting curious about everything.

Todd: Not curiosity about the outer world, but more getting curious about our inner worlds and how we get triggered and how we react and you know, be willing to investigate everything. Like, oh wow, this really bothers me. Or, oh wow, I’m scared to have this conversation with this person. Oh, I’m really scared to disappoint my kid.

Todd: Wonder what’s underneath that. You know, is this love conditional or am I just pretending that it’s unconditional? But actually I do need something more. So that would be my 

Cathy: 2 cents. And just really practice listening a lot. I think that the ability to not think, you know, Everything is really important.

Cathy: I think that the ability to, it, it’s like it’s both sides of the coin. I have had to learn to speak up about what I need and say, I know I need this. And I’ve also had to learn how to listen to what others need and not believe that I have all the answers for them. So it’s like I have had to learn to be more confident and I’ve also had to learn to be.

Cathy: It’s not about being less confident, about being more of an open, an empty cup. You know, like that. I don’t know everything. Well, 

Todd: and the only other thing that I think of that I think we say more now than we did in the first, whatever, 10 years of this podcast is we don’t, you know, when people write in or call in or talk to us at a presentation And maybe you’ve been saying this forever, but like, we don’t know your kid.

Todd: Like only you know your kid. So for anybody to take advice from us or anybody else, go ahead and solicit information to equip yourself. I’m sure that’s probably why you’re listening. I. To this podcast, but at the end of the day, just tune into one’s self and do it. Even if it’s against what Todd or Cathy would say, or what your own mom and dad would say, or what this parenting book says, and you know you’re gonna screw up.

Todd: That’s what parenting 

Cathy: is. So I think what all these podcasts and books are good for, because any kind of. Any kind of methodology or advice that’s like, do A, do B, do C, and then move to the next stage. It’s ridiculous. Like I feel like we figured that out really early on with things like sleep training or things like your kids should be eating this or doing this at this time, and no book can tell you when that child is gonna do that.

Cathy: Like, it’s nice to have milestones or have an idea, you know, it’s like what to expect when you’re expecting when you’re pregnant. It’s nice to have that book because you’re like, okay, I can kind of. Depend on, this may be happening, but nothing is cut and dry. It’s like it’s not set in stone. And just having that awareness of that you are You are going along for the ride.

Cathy: Like you have to buckle up. You have to be there was like another thing I was gonna say about it and I forgot cuz I got lost on the one, the track of the books. Whoa. Because I think about the books and I think about how mad they would make me and it takes me down a totally another path, right?

Cathy: Like I do, you know, other, oh, I know what you were saying Todd. You were saying that we don’t know about your kid. And I think what podcasts and books can do. Is it allows us to process and think through our own belief systems. I think if you’re listening to something like there’s a few podcasts, I listen to that nothing extreme, but that I don’t necessarily agree with everything they’re saying it.

Cathy: It’s not that I’m listening to them to like, you know, to hate on them. But I’m like, ah. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I still listen because it helps me process some of the things that I think, or why do I think that? Or wait a second, could they be right or should I reconsider that? And I think that’s important.

Cathy: So podcasts and books are not about, they’re gonna give me the answer. It’s more about how do I process, you know, how do I get into the discussion? In my own mind or with other people about these challenges I’m facing as a parent. 

Todd: There you go. Okay. 

Todd: We got two more to get through. Okay. You ready?

Todd: Right. I’m ready. I believe that my oldest, almost eight, is a highly sensitive child. I would love some advice with how to support her while holding boundaries. She’d be quite mean to her younger siblings when she’s dysregulated, but quickly goes to shame and negative self-talk when we enforce limits.

Todd: Or consequences for behavior. Any tips on how to navigate this and give her tools for self-regulation and self-understanding with it would be appreciated. We’ve done calm down corners and lots of breathing technique practice, but in the moment she’s very resistant and hard to pull out her emotional pull out of her emotional spiral.

Todd: My 2 cents on this is, It’s terribly uncomfortable to observe your child in a meltdown. So my heart goes out to this mom or dad, I forget if it was a mom or a dad that did this. And you wanna keep them safe, right? From themselves and from others. But as long as that’s happening, I feel like these emotions need a place to go.

Todd: And if we’re trying to somehow curb it or squash it it’s. We don’t wanna do that. Right. 

Cathy: And I think that one of the challenges of when you have a kid who is maybe highly sensitive or struggles with anxiety or you know, you know, neurodiverse, I think when we make everything all about them like, You are doing it wrong. You need to calm down. You need a corner, you need, and they are, they become like where all the arrows are pointing to them. Like they’re the problem versus they might be more, they’re sensitive people living in kind of a complex world and maybe the world is the problem really.

Cathy: And I’m not saying then we, you know, we point at the world, we just have a grand a bigger understanding. Of that. We don’t need to get our kid to become like everybody else. What we need to do is learn how to know our kid. We need, and I’m saying learn how to know our kid. I’m saying it in that way because I.

Cathy: We need to do the practices we’re trying to share with them. Like I, the practice that, you know, that you just read to me was [00:13:20] some a corner calm down corner. Calm corner. So are you doing calm corner too? Maybe later or in a different situation where you can demonstrate to your kid that they’re not the only ones.

Cathy: Do you, and maybe you, and it’s not, don’t put yourself in timeout and that kind of thing. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m saying are you utilizing tools? In front of them where they recognize they’re not the only people who have to learn how to breathe and to, you know, take steps to calm down and to back out of a situation rather than escalate a situation like they need to see it role modeled.

Cathy: And we need to not look at them as the problem. Instead, we need to say, okay, this kid has a different set of needs. So how do I create situations that. You know, accommodate or understand these needs. Now I know parents will say to me, but I can’t do that all the time. They still need to get in the car to go to school.

Cathy: They still need to put on shoes to go outside. I get it. Like it’s not going to, every situation is not going to be perfect or simple. But if in bigger ways, in ways that maybe are less conflictual, we can demonstrate that we are trying to understand them, learning to understand them. That we are ourselves taking steps to understand who we are.

Cathy: Then they may be more open to conversations about, okay, we need to get in the car and go because they’re feeling seen and heard in all these other areas. 

Todd: Well, I think it’s also important to understand, and I’m not smart enough to tell you exactly why, but when somebody’s completely dysregulated, their brain shuts down.

Todd: Correct. This is true. So we cannot reason, or they’re not they’re not. Playing with all of their tools in that moment. So it’s important for us to know that is a lot of the things that they ordinarily can do when they’re not dysregulated is not available. So there’s an exercise of empathy.

Todd: We need to validate their emotions. We need to offer them comfort using simple language and not make it really super complicated. But I think the most important thing, Is when these meltdowns happen, it’s what energy am I coming at this from? Because instinctually my nervous system goes up when I hear somebody crying, especially if it’s one of my children.

Todd: So can I practice all the tools that I want my kids to practice? Because if you can go in with that energy, it’s you’re much more likely to have a more productive 

Todd: experience. 

Cathy: Well, and what is my belief system about this kid is it a problem that they’re highly sensitive or is it interesting?

Cathy: And can we see the benefits of their sensitivity, their heightened sensitivity? Do we, you know, and like you said they go very quickly to shame or guilt and that. The going quickly to shame and guilt is them saying, I know that something’s wrong with me. You know, and again this is not a parent blaming thing because all of our kids go to shame and guilt sometimes no matter what we do because they’re human beings.

Cathy: But it’s about understanding that, and even saying it in that way, like, I watch you, you know, and maybe like Todd said when your child is highly dysregulated, you’re not gonna be able to have a deep conversation with them at that time. I’m always a big believer and have these conversations when these events.

Cathy: Are not happening. It, you know, before bed or take them to breakfast or go on a walk and talk about, you know, last night when you were so sad, remember you were so sad, and, you know, saying things like, is there anything that I could have done in that moment to support you? And if they’re like, no, I’m like, they could go either way.

Cathy: Like, I don’t wanna talk about it, or, oh, I’m so sorry. And either way you can say, well, It’s okay. That’s what happens with emotions sometimes. And it’s not about the emotions, it’s how we’re gonna practice moving through them or processing them or talking about them so they don’t feel ashamed by the experience they’re having because they can’t help that.

Cathy: Sure. And then, like Todd said, once they’ve hit that wall, they can’t unwind that immediately. And so what you’re teaching them is to that they might. React to things differently than other people do, and that’s okay, but we also need to then find different tools that work for them. So it’s like you’re not being like, that’s fine and you can explode anywhere.

Cathy: You’re saying the, it’s not the I. Anger that you’re showing or the frustration, I understand that. But then let’s practice some other things together. Not because you are the problem, but because you may handle things differently than your brother or your sister or me. And we all have our own tools cuz my tools are different than Todd’s tools.

Cathy: And JCI’s tools are different than Cameron’s tools. And ca like we, none of us do the exact same thing for self-care in this family. 

Todd: You ready for number three? I’m ready. All right. Last but not least. Hi. Is it common for your child when your child is graduating from high school to have this inclination to want to panic and cover all the information you haven’t shared with your child yet?

Todd: For several years, I’ve been trying to listen more than I talk or guide with my child, and now I have this urge to impart all my wisdom. Good grief. Please tell me I’m not alone. 

Cathy: No, I think that’s so common. I think we have that feeling before our kids go to preschool, kindergarten, middle school, where we’re like, wait, did I tell ’em everything they need to know?

Cathy: I mean, we definitely feel that way when they’re graduating high school, going to college, getting married. Like we’re like, wait, did I tell you everything? Here’s a suggestion for you so you don’t freak out. I would make something for your kid or write some things down and write them a letter that you can give them either now there’s, you don’t have to wait or give it to them the day they graduate as a present or the day they go to college.

Cathy: If they’re choosing to go to college. Like write the things down that you don’t think you’ve discussed or do something creative and fun. This depends on your personality. Put a jar in the middle of the table. Put a bunch of things in there that you hope you’ve told your kid, and have your kid pull one out every night.

Cathy: And read one and say, okay, I just wanna make sure I told you that. 

Todd: And maybe have a conversation about it, or maybe not. Maybe you just, they just read the piece of paper. The only thing I was gonna say is and. 

Cathy: Before you say that, Todd, hold that thought for one. I’m not saying you should be anxious about it, and I could very much make you feel as if, no, don’t worry, this kid has been in your home.

Cathy: For 18 years or however long, I’m sure you’ve said, done, shown, role modeled things that you are not even aware of. So I don’t want you to feel like, yes, you should be anxious, but what I’m saying is sometimes to alleviate our anxiety, we need to take action. And if that action is, I wanna just write it all down.

Cathy: So I know I got it outta my system and I somehow shared it with my kid, then that’s a way to do it. Okay, go ahead Todd. 

Todd: Well, you kind of stole my thunder. Oh, honey, I’m sorry. That’s okay. But it’s really, I, for some reason, Rob Bell springs to mind because he did this audio thing about launching rockets.

Todd: Basically what his perspective on how to be a good parent, I guess. And he said, don’t, you’re teaching them all the time. All the time. And sometimes they’re wonderful lessons, and sometimes they’re not wonderful lessons. But our kids are learning every day from us. Not by what we say, but how we live, how we interact, how we communicate, how we listen, how we get dysregulated, how we come back to regulation, how we avoid conflict, how we lean into conflict, like we’re teaching them all the time. So I can understand this, the person who wrote this, why they’re kind of jacked up saying, I gotta make sure I give them all these lessons and I think everything you said is valuable and it’s seeping in one way or the other.

Cathy: And you shouldn’t have final answers to anything, like, anything you want them to know. It shouldn’t have a period on the sentence like, you want. It’s more about what do I wanna discuss with them? What do I wanna process with them? What do I want? What am I curious about in regards to my kids? But it’s not as if you’re like, okay, here’s the lesson, take it into your brain and use it.

Cathy: That’s not the way we teach. I mean, it’s the way a lot of people teach, but what I mean is the, what really sticks is a conversation. Where you honor how they experience something and how you experience something, and then finding this place of connection through it. So, that in itself, that’s why like the idea of, you know, reading things at the dinner table and saying, you know what I’ve said to my kids whenever I’m writing a Zen Parenting moment, or I’m writing a new book right now, trying to put it together and I’ll just say to my kids, what did I teach you about drinking?

Cathy: What did I teach you about sex? Like, and I’m honestly asking them like, what, when you think about what you learned in this house, what did I teach you? And then all of them have recited back to me different things. And some of them just give me, you know, one of my daughters just gave me a sentence like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Cathy: And another one of my girls was like, she had all sorts of things throughout the day that she was saying to me that she’s learned. And some of it was funny and some of it, but we can also ask, you know, to alleviate your anxiety, you can say, Kid, what have I taught you? I’m just curious. Like recite back to me.

Todd: Oh. And, but that’s dangerous because they might be like, I don’t know. 

Cathy: Well, I’m you’d be specific. Like you would say, what did you learn from your dad and I about, you know, what college is for? What did, if they’re going to college? What did you learn from your dad and I about, you know, human dignity?

Cathy: You know, like you be very specific and. And again, Todd, you may say again, well, ooh, that could be dangerous. Cuz then we could feel like, oh my God. Yeah, did too many did. But if you can maybe dig into the things that you know, you did discuss you know, I think all of it’s valuable. Even if you’re like, shoot, did I never speak about this?

Cathy: That gives you an opportunity to speak about it. Sure. So maybe we shouldn’t be scared of what we thought we missed cuz now we have an opportunity and it’s not, I, we have a kid in college now and we have one going to college in the fall. They’re not gone. I just had lunch with my kid in college.

Cathy: Do you know what I mean? You’re not done talking to them. 

Todd: It’s not this end all be all. Once you drop ’em off, it’s very momentous. 

Cathy: And I’m gonna have the exact same experience with Cameron when we leave her at school. Like it is a change, it’s an end of an era. It is a shift. It’s a milestone.

Cathy: It’s a milestone. We’ve gotta honor it. I love the rituals around it. I expect there to be a lot of tears around it, but they also are still there. Like you still text with them and call them? 

Todd: Well, that’s the other thing, like when we get dropped off. See you at fall break. We’ll call you in two weeks.

Todd: Call you in two weeks. Right. And the world’s a lot different. All right. So we got about 19 or so minutes for the rest. 

Cathy: Sure. Okay. So do you remember the Jon Kabat-Zinn book, Full Catastrophe Living? No. Okay. So it’s huge. There’s like 720 pages in the book and I, it’s too long for a book. I was gonna say, I, we have it somewhere on one of our bookshelves, but I remember being like, talk about, you know, speed reading and like going through like parts of it.

Cathy: It was years ago, I think it came out in 1990, so that was really early. And I think they redid it in 2013. So it’s just out there. It’s just a Jon Kabat-Zinn book and for those of you who don’t know him, he’s a meditation teacher. Beyond that, he, you know, basically is one of the founders, or not founders, how do I say this?

Cathy: He brought meditation to the Western world in a way that was accessible to people. And he also, he became scientific about it, the things that he was doing with people in his you know, meditation centers. He was able to gather science around it. Research. And so we actually have information about what meditation does to your brain and body, and we can, we owe a lot of that to Jon Kabat-Zinn and many other teachers.

Cathy: But since we’re talking about him, I’ll just say he’s one of the people who brought it mainstream. And what I loved, what I, why I thought about it is that, So this is gonna be a weird shift. So I’m gonna shift to Taylor Swift for a second. Like, why do people love Taylor Swift? Like why is this tour that she’s doing the biggest tour, why are we so obsessed with her life?

Cathy: Why What is it? You know? And again, obviously she’s a good singer and you know, we’ve grown up with her, even US adults, we’ve grown up with her because when we started listening to her, I was like in my early thirties and now I’m 50 and I, you know, we have all these albums. And I think if we were to like pinpoint one thing, it’s that she’s allowed us to walk through her full catastrophe living with her, like her life, her full catastrophic life. And that sentence right there, basically John Kabat-Zinn took that from Zorba the Greek where he said, I actually, I think I wrote down the exact quote blah, blah, blah. He, I actually don’t have the exact quote. It’s that Zorba said that someone asked him about who he was and he said, I’m married, I have children.

Cathy: I work. It’s the full catastrophe. That’s how he described life and what I love. It’s so pessimistic. Well, but Jon Kabat-Zinn turned it around, Todd, because the truth is all those things carry. Heaviness and you can’t have the joy of a partner, [00:26:40] children and work without also dealing with the challenges.

Cathy: Sure. Of those things for those for people who choose to do work I, you know, that they love, they may not be making as much money as somebody else cuz they’re choosing work they love. If you choose work you don’t like for the money, then you get the money, but you don’t get the thing you love. If you partner, then you have a partner, which is wonderful.

Cathy: But there’s challenges with having a partner. And then vice versa. If you don’t partner, then you maybe miss that connection. So the full catastrophe is to take on all the challenges of life. And I think what I love about. Taylor and a lot of other artists, you know, I think about people that we really know a lot about their life, like Beyonce or Lady Gaga or, you know, I used to be a huge Madonna person, is that we get to walk through stages of their life with them and they go through the same things we do not the fame part, but the heartbreak or having children or big decisions or taking, being taken advantage of, you know, by business or not being taken seriously, especially when it comes to women.

Cathy: And we get to see ourselves reflected in these people. And you know, for those of you who follow Taylor. You know that she had a big breakup this year with someone that she had been with Joe Alwyn. She had been with him for, as my girls would say, five albums or three albums. Like she’s been writing about him for a long time, I think since Reputation.

Cathy: And then she did Lover, and then she did Folklore, and then she did ev Evermore. And then Midnights, we, that song, that album is like a mixture of things from her past, but I think there was some Joe on there. So that’s five albums that people have been listening to. And when they broke up, people felt it like it was their own.

Cathy: Now we can say, well, then you’re just way too into this fandom. But people aren’t just feeling Taylor’s experience, they’re feeling the truth about that. Not everything stays. You know, like when I read to my girls, cuz I was actually on my phone when all this news broke. I said, you guys looks like Taylor and Joe broke up.

Cathy: One of my daughters is like, I can’t take that in right now. Like, it was too much for her because what does that mean? It means something that, you know, Taylor had written a song called The One, an Invisible String and Lover, and all these things about, I Finally Found you and it didn’t work. 

Todd: And I don’t have, I had no sadness when she broke up with her boyfriend.

Todd: And I think our daughters had a tremendous amount of sadness because Taylor is a friend of theirs. Yes. Right? So like, yes. Somebody you love. It’s going through a breakup, there’s pain. So it’s normal. 

Cathy: And it’s also about the story of life. Like, you know, there’s the very I totally hear you, Todd. Like there’s the literal, they care about her.

Cathy: They don’t want her to hurt. There’s that surfacey level, but then there’s the truth about life, which is hard. Is we still kind of have this romantic ideal about. She worked so hard and she went through so much. Like the whole, my favorite album is Reputation because of everything she went through.

Cathy: Right. I was like, I, you don’t talk about full catastrophe living, you know, you’re, it was just, and just the whole visuals of it, it was just dark and gritty and I loved it and she, you know, everyone watched her walk through all this and then all of a sudden she met this guy. You didn’t see it. 

Todd: Just a little taste.

Cathy: The tires were black. The lies were white and shades of gray and candlelight. I wanted to leave. It’s interesting though, Todd, weird pick because this isn’t actually about Joe. That’s okay. I like this Christmas. Well, we fell pop. He poisoned. No. Well, I was lying to master. I knew it from the first old fashioned.

Cathy: We were cursed. We never had shotgun shot in the dark. 

Todd: So is that Joe’s, oh, this is pre Joe, isn’t it? This 

Cathy: was as far as what, you know, pop culture, or I should say, you know, pop Well, what do I, cultural literacy. What we have come to understand is that song is about when she was with Calvin Harris and then she ended up with Tom Hiddleston and it was her trying to get out of that relationship.

Cathy: And Tom Hiddleston was kind of a, what we call like right after you break up with someone and you rebound. Rebound. So that’s not really a Joe song, but. When she was with Tom Hiddleston at the Met Gala, that’s where she met Joe. Cause that’s, you know, that’s a whole nother story, like when 

Todd: Harry met Sally, where Sally’s mad that Joe is getting married to the next girl that he dates. That’s 

Cathy: her rebound. That’s supposed to be your rebound. She’s not supposed to be the one that’s not supposed to be the one. Okay. So anyway, I think that there are and again, for those of you who don’t dig Taylor, think about the musicians or actors or literary figures or authors that you follow in love.

Cathy: Like what is it? You know, when I think about, like, if I were to go into literature, The two women that I tend to hold up really high on a pedestal. There’s three or four actually. But yeah, I was gonna say, I have a lot of women, but I think about like Mary Pfeiffer, I, the way that she has conducted her career and what she did and what she wrote about, and the things that have been most important to her, or, you know, Anne Lamont or Anna Quinlan.

Cathy: There’s something about their life that looks like mine, that feels like something I want to emulate. And so I follow what they do. And you know, Anne Merle Lindbergh, like, she talked about things that we’re talking about on this show way before her time. And so we, it doesn’t have to be Taylor Swift, but then do you understand how these pop figures or these literary figures they allow us to tap into parts of ourselves all alive?

Cathy: Yeah, sure. And so I, you know, Full Catastrophe Living is, do you recognize that even when things are good that they can be, they can go bad? 

Todd: Well, it reminds me of you know, we have the yin yang sign. Exactly. That’s Catastrophe Living is about recognizing that life is filled with both joy and suffering. And that by embracing the present moment with mindfulness, we can navigate through difficulties with greater resilience, wisdom, and compassion. Seemed very Buddhist. 

Cathy: Well, it is. I mean, it’s Jon Kabat-Zinn. Right. And he, but he took, I love the way that this played out because I read it to you that what Zorba the Greek said, and you said that sounds negative.

Cathy: And it’s really not. He’s like to say the full catastrophe doesn’t mean we’re not being optimistic. We’re telling the truth. Like there is a truthfulness in saying I had kids. And I completely lost my freedom. I also gained a deeper sense of compassion, connection, understanding. I had kids and I lost sleep for like 10 years, but I also developed patience, you know, a deeper love acceptance.

Todd: How many examples of catastrophe living you think is shared on Instagram and Facebook and TikTok is, 

Cathy: and that’s what it’s for. 

Todd: Right? Right. But everybody’s sharing how great everything is. 

Cathy: Oh, well, you know, that’s where I’m going. Well, you know what’s funny, Todd is you’re right. I would say that about Instagram because a lot of ’em are just screenshots and like capturing perfect moments.

Cathy: But one thing that is interesting on TikTok is a lot of people overshare their catastrophes. And so, well, let me say that differently cuz we’re talking about, you know, They share their vulnerabilities where it becomes a selling point where instead of sharing the beautiful, they share the heart because misery loves company.

Todd: They’re gonna get more followers 

Cathy: and they get more followers and people are more interested and people be like, you know, they’re pouring out the heart story and then they’re like, come back for part two tomorrow when I share what actually happened, you know, there’s like, 

Todd: and that’s when I hear that. I’m like, I’m just being sold a bag of guns. 

Cathy: Well, and that’s kind of how people think. So, It. In our world of catastrophes, are we, can we find that gray place? Where we recognize that some things are beautiful, but sometimes when we’re doing a family picture and everything looks perfect, it was the worst day ever.

Cathy: Like we have family pictures in a couple weeks. Todd, I hate family picture. I know. Everybody can’t stand it. Everyone gets really mad at me on that day. Well, no, that’s not true. I think everyone’s annoyed.

Todd: I don’t get mad at you. I just hate ’em. I know it’s not directed to you and I, it’s not bad cuz now we go to the field right when it was Target Day with toddlers and we don’t go freaking target.

Todd: Ugh. I hated that. 

Cathy: I know. And now we are at least kind of on our terms. We’re like outside and you know, but it’s a hard day because you’re trying to capture, this version of perfection that doesn’t exist. True. You know, everyone wants to look a certain way. You want your hair to be right. You want the perfect smile, you want the perfect ba.

Cathy: It’s all such a contrived thing. The thing I’m trying to capture is less about the perfection and more about the moment in time because for as much as people get annoyed at me for family pictures, look at our house like it’s filled with time. Like, here’s us, then here’s the girls there, here’s, oh, I’m grateful that we have it.

Cathy: Exactly. In the end, we’re happy we have it, but there isn’t. But can we tell the truth about that day? And can we be like, that day is brutal. Let’s just mull through it rather than smile and be happy. You know, like that’s full catastrophe living. So 

Todd: we should take a picture. We should have, whoever the photographer person is, Uhhuh, we should have them take a messy pic?

Todd: Like, How are you really feeling right now about having to get all dressed up when you probably rather be somewhere else and then show that. 

Cathy: Well, this gets really interesting too because something, you know, candids have always been popular, even, you know, way long ago when we had our Polaroid cameras.

Cathy: But candids are now people try and capture the perfect candid. Oh I happen to be looking at the ocean or here’s my, here’s the perfect, you know, like we try and capture these, like 

Todd: what about that picture in our bedroom where we’re looking just to the right. 

Cathy: That’s our wedding picture. What do you mean the picture? That’s like our wedding picture. 

Todd: It’s, I don’t get it. It’s a, it’s 

Cathy: a posed picture and they, people still do that to the, that’s 

Todd: stupid pose. I don’t know. It just seems like you’re either, it should either truly be candid or just look at the camera. 

Cathy: Well, so let’s think about those two pictures.

Cathy: On our wall in our bedroom, there’s two big pictures. One of them is our wedding day, where we’re looking the wrong way, and Todd’s always like, why are we looking the other way? And then the other picture is us walking. On a trail. And we weren’t really walking on a trail. No. True. Somebody said walk.

Todd: Yeah, that’s what I think. It’s our, oh no, it’s our front. It’s the front of us. Got it. 

Cathy: The one of the girls see now. Interesting. We have a picture of the girls in our bathroom downstairs and that is real. That is them. Now your mom dressed them up in dresses. They don’t normally do that, but basically they’re just wandering.

Cathy: They’re just walking around. But ours, it’s not real. And I know like when it meaning that, I can capture the essence of that moment, meaning we’re just trying to have a conversation in the picture, but it’s all made up. 

Todd: You know what I mean? It’s all name in this podcast, it’s all made up. 

Cathy: It’s full catastrophe living.

Cathy: It’s like some of it, there’s truth in the picture and there’s also falseness in the picture. And do you accept the. Full picture rather than pretending it’s one thing or the other. It’s not all pessimistic, it’s not all optimistic. It’s this place in between. And so again, ending, cause I know we have to go.

Todd: Should we title this podcast? It’s Full Catastrophe Living. I don’t know how many people are gonna tune into that. 

Cathy: I know maybe we should call it Taylor Swift. 

Todd: Some people might tune in if it’s a Taylor Swift, some people may. 

Cathy: What if we called it Taylor Swift in full Catastrophe Living? 

Todd: Well, people only read the first two words at least on my phone. I can only see the first two or three words of the title of the podcast. Okay. I think so. 

Cathy: Well, we’ll work on that marketing stuff in a second, but no, let’s do it in real time right now. Just to finish. I will be at the Eras tour this weekend everyone 

Todd: and I will be picking you up and dropping you off at Soldier Field because that’s the type of guy I am.

Cathy: Yes. Todd will be, can’t wait. Not going to the show. He did not need a ticket. He 

Cathy: Wanna know why? 

Todd: Because it cost an arm and a leg. Yeah, it 

Cathy: was some of them did, some of them didn’t. Some of them we got at face value because we’re big fans and then the rest of it not so much. Not so much. So anyway. 

Todd: So I wanna say thank you to Jeremy Kraft.

Todd: He’s a Baldheaded Beauty. He does painting and remodeling throughout Chicagoland area. 6 3 0 9 5 6 1800. Give him a call, have him do a project. He does amazing work. Who else? Sweetie is got a book called Zen Parenting, Parenting Ourselves and Our Children in An Unpredictable World. Join Team Zen through any guys out there.

Todd: Check out I also do coaching one-on-one. Anything else, sweetie? Sounds good. So next week Field of Dreams. Yes. And the week after that we’ll be we’ll be back. We’ll be back. But, yeah. 

Cathy: You guys will love Field of Dreams. It’s a really good discussion. It’s deep. Truth. I had fun doing that podcast.

Cathy: Truth. 

Todd: Keep trucking everybody.