ZPR#716 – The Outcome is Not the Outcome 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 716. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio? Because you’ll feel outstanding and always remember
Todd: your energy is so
Todd: our motto is the best predictor of a child’s wellbeing. Is a parent’s self understanding.
Todd: Todd’s mad cause I made him start again. So his energy is low. I hate starting again. I know. It’s hard. It’s just funny cuz you just said all that very monotone,
Todd: a little bit like this.
Cathy: So get back to what your
Todd: favorite thing is. My favorite thing is I, because we’ve already played this once, it’s no longer a surprise, but for the listeners Cathy’s been saying this phrase to me as of late, and instead it’s three times.
Todd: Instead of saying it, I only can only remember two, by the way. Oh, really? But we’ll see what the third one is. But instead of saying what the phrase is, I’m going to play a clip, a musical clip. That will be a hint on what the phrase is.
Todd: For anybody who’s born in the early seventies or
Cathy: before or eighties, is this a seventies show? 1976.
Todd: Oh my gosh. This is a show called, what is It? What’s Happening, which is a phrase Cathy’s been saying to me as of late.
Cathy: I’ve been actually on the end of that sentence, I’ve been saying what’s happening right now,
Todd: or just what’s happening.
Todd: You’ve actually been saying what’s happening. Have I really? So I walked in on Friday, walked into the kitchen, and you’re like, okay, what’s happening? What was the
Cathy: catalyst? You’re wearing this hat and I know whose hat it is. I don’t wanna rip on the hat because it’s Frank’s hat. So for those
Todd: of you who have not yet subscribed to our YouTube channel, this is a great opportunity to do that.
Todd: The subscription link will be in the show notes but you’ll be able to see the hat and it’s
Cathy: beauty and it’s glory. So it’s so Frank. If you’re listening, it’s not about your hat, it’s about the fact that Todd is wearing your hat. I know he’s gonna want it back soon. I know. And Todd usually wears like baseball hats and like, you know, a curved bill, or what’s it called? Is that the bill? That the Yeah, it’s called a curve bill. It’s called a curve. Kinda nailed it. You’re like wearing a flat hat and it’s got like a design in it. And it’s just, it’s, I don’t, I have just never seen you wear such a thing.
Todd: Right. So you’re like, what’s happening?
Todd: Like, and I’m like what’s, why are wearing there’s nothing happening. I’m wearing this awesome hat. I don’t, there’s no explanation needed and you’re welcome or me giving this. But then you continue to, everybody out there,
Cathy: You’ve been wearing it like the whole time. Like you didn’t just wear it.
Cathy: Now you’ve been wearing it for like three days.
Todd: Because it looks so good. And then the only other time I can remember of you seeing what’s happening was this morning, what happened there?
Cathy: So, Todd took the girls, took our younger girls to Great America, and he left in clothes as people do. And then that’s what I do.
Cathy: So first of all, when we, in our family, our side door is kind of the door we normally come in and out of, cuz it’s the driveway and it’s, you know, you can get to the garage easier and everything. So people typically don’t come in and outta the front door. And Todd left, took the girls to Great America and then all of a sudden I was sitting at our table and the front door opens and Todd comes in and he has no shirt on, no sweatshirt on. No. He’s completely like, I, so I said, what’s happening? Why are you coming in the front door? And why are you wearing no clothes?
Todd: Because my daughter forgot to dress herself properly for the elements supposed to be rainy and windy and coldy.
Cathy: you just said coldy, rainy,
Todd: windy, and coldy. That’s what time scaling said. Speaking of Great America, for those of you guys who live in the Midwest do you remember this theme song?
Todd: No, I think the words are gonna kick in here. Okay.
Todd: No where is, actually, this is not the one I remember. I remember it going, I don’t remember that. I remember the commercial going by like, Marriott’s Great America.
Cathy: Yeah I remember a different version and it’s funny. I still sometimes say, Marriotts Great America, six Flags bought it so long ago.
Cathy: But I remember being bummed to have to call it, it’s like when they changed the Sears Tower. And they were like, yeah, it’s now the Willis Tower. I’m like, is it really? It’s not to me. Maybe.
Todd: No. Same thing. Bummer. Remember they had that kind of, man who was dressed in Oh a mask and a tuxedo.
Todd: Yeah, he was, he would dance and he was a little creepy. Yeah, I thought so. I think so. Anyways okay, so quick shout out to all of our Team Zen members. All 90 plus of you, or maybe it’s a hundred. No, it’s a hundred and something. And if anybody’s interested in getting some free fuzzy socks. It’s not free.
Todd: You gotta join Team Zen. Fuzzy Socks or Zen Parenting t-shirt. All you gotta do is try us for a month, 25 bucks a month. It’s a virtual community. And Cathy and I and an app provide, and an app, and we give you all these resources. You get to spend real time with Cathy and I and a whole bunch of other wonderful team members.
Cathy: And there’s, you know, all of our podcasts are there. We have groups. We have you know, community resources that are shared. It’s just a really great place to be. If you’re like interested in like how we do it, just join for a month and see.
Todd: This is how we do it. So the main topic, do you remember
Cathy: that thing that I sent you?
Cathy: It’s like a guy. It’s so funny to be, and I’ve sent it to so many people and I, it hasn’t gotten the reaction that I have that I had. It was on TikTok and it’s just this guy’s picture and he is an older guy, middle-aged guy, and he’s got like on just like a t-shirt and then, but his name is Howie, h o w i e.
Cathy: And his last name is Dewitt, D E W I T T. And someone on TikTok just took his picture and his name. And put that song over it. What this song,
Todd: how we do,
Todd: I don’t know if you sent this to me.
Cathy: I didn’t. I don’t think so. And so it’s just his picture, it says how we do it and they’re like, this is how we do it.
Todd: Oh my God, it makes me laugh so hard. Does this remind you of high school or college? Or neither?
Cathy: It’s actually post-college, I think. Oh really? I think it’s early nineties.
Todd: I don’t remember. I remember they played a, they played the song in the movie, a classic, Multiplicity with Michael Keaton.
Cathy: Oh, really? So when did Multiplicity come out? Cuz that would be
Todd: your I have no idea. Oh, okay. I think in the 2000s.
Cathy: Oh really? So I think this is a, I kind of remember this being like a bar song.
Cathy: You know what I mean? Like it was a dance song. But anyway, this is
Todd: how, who does what? That’s my question. This is how we do it. This is how we do, it’s Friday night. This is how we have fun. Yeah, this is like this, sweetie. How did you have fun on Friday night? What did we do? Oh, we went to the Sox game.
Todd: Oh, you mean
Cathy: now how do I have fun? Yes. We went to the Sox game. We had a grad party,
Todd: We had a busy weekend.
Cathy: We did it. Put it this way. We started, I think I started like doing very social things starting on Thursday and there were just things back to back to back. So Sunday morning when I woke up, I was like I have a headache.
Cathy: Like, I think my body’s like, you need to just not do so many things. And here’s the thing that I have learned from other people in my life and obviously my kids, cuz they’re younger than me, some people can do that. Some people can go thing to thing to thing to thing to thing to thing.
Cathy: And they keep going. I can’t. So the reason I’m saying that out loud is because I think there’s some people that think they should be able to, or that they’re lame and I. My more introverted tendencies mean that if I’m gonna be social, I have to balance that with being alone.
Cathy: Alone, alone. And if I’m doing heightened you know, social time, I really have to take a break. You need to balance it out. And I think that’s hard sometimes for people, even in the family to understand. True. You know what I mean? Because if they can keep going, they’re like, why can’t you keep going?
Cathy: We have set our boundaries, peeps.
Todd: Well, and it’s cuz some of us are in our fifties.
Cathy: Right. Some of that is just age stuff. But my hair’s bothering.
Todd: So if you had this hat on, it wouldn’t be bothering you at all. The I
Cathy: was, I still have wet hair. The other thing that’s funny is, you know, I always talk about on the show how Todd doesn’t notice things.
Cathy: Like he doesn’t notice if I got dressed up or put on makeup, whatever. So I basically run downstairs. I’m wearing shorts and a Def Leppard t-shirt and I have wet hair. He’s like, you look really nice. I’m like, do I?
Todd: You blow
Cathy: dry it or something? Well, ki I mean, not kinda, but it’s, it’s kinda like all you know, you know, but this is like a ripped concert t-shirt.
Todd: I know. It’s better than ballroom dresses. They’re not that sexy.
Cathy: I promise to not wear a ballroom dress.
Todd: When we do, we should do it one of these times. Just record and I’ll be in a tux. And you’ll be in a ballroom dress.
Cathy: Well, the only people who are gonna see it, other people who subscribe to YouTube, and I don’t think there’s a lot.
Todd: By the way, you don’t still watch the whole podcast on YouTube. We just have these little 30, 60, 90 second
Cathy: clips. Well, and just. Not that anybody cares that much, but we had, we’ve had a YouTube channel forever, but we lost access to it. Like it’s this weird thing. We’ve had it since like the girls were little, we didn’t really promote it, but our guy Brad, who takes care of us in this techy ways, he’s like, you just gotta start over.
Cathy: So that’s what we did. So that’s what we’re doing. So just come join us on YouTube.
Todd: So sweetie, I’m gonna read a sentence to you. Okay. Let’s hear it. And you tell me how you wanna have a discussion about it. Okay. The outcome. Is not the outcome. Correct. It’s just not, it’s not so that, so just so everybody knows what our process is, I’d be like, you got anything for the podcast?
Todd: And you’re like, I got it. The outcome is not the outcome. I, and that’s as much prep as I’ve
Cathy: done. So I went on a walk today. I, as I do, and I’m listening to, I’m doing something I don’t normally do. I’m listening to a book and I’m reading the same book. And I’m doing that because sometimes when I’m listening to the book it’s Rick Rubin’s book about the creative way of being.
Cathy: And who’s Rick Rubin for those? Rick Rubin is a music producer. He’s like one of the most famous ones. He’s super interesting. Like his process is super interesting. And he’s not a musician, by the way. And he’s not even a producer. Like he will say, I don’t know how to run the board or anything. I think he’s being a little Do you think he’s being Yeah, like I think he knows how to run the board.
Cathy: Okay. Okay. Well, he claims to be a very hands-off, but what he helps people with is finding their, the essence of what they wanna share. So he’s a creative who really, I found him to be really inspirational because you know how last week, Todd, we talked about that, you know, spirituality and how we used to talk a lot about spirituality, and that’s still a really big part of my life, but I’ve kind of, I was, my friend Annie and I were talking about this on Friday.
Cathy: I’ve integrated it and kind of rolled it into lots of other aspects of humanity where I don’t talk about it as being a separate thing. It’s just kind of part of the everyday process. What that means though, is sometimes it’s like it’s harder for me to find. Spiritual self-help books that really speak to me anymore because they get, they’re, they seem to be so esoteric.
Cathy: You know, and you know, this is gonna be really interesting. I don’t know how people feel about me saying this, but sometimes when a book is written by someone who’s really like, You know, 20 years younger than me. It’s not that I don’t think the book isn’t good, it’s just there’s so many life experiences I’ve had beyond that, that it doesn’t speak to me the way that maybe it used to when I was 30.
Cathy: And so it’s not about knowing more, it’s just about having life experience that’s different. And so I’m reading this book and listening to Rick Rubin’s book, and it’s tapping into that thing that I’ve really been missing, which is, you know, our sense of creativity and our spiritual sense and our essence and our unique self and how to bring that out in creative projects.
Cathy: And he as a musician, as some, or he’s not a musician, but he is a music producer. Talks a lot about writing music and lyrics, but it’s the same with writing books, which is why I’m using it cuz I’m writing a book right now. And I’m trying to really be, trying to not cater to the industry so much and trying to write something that I really believe.
Cathy: And and that can be hard to do because there’s a lot of boundaries around it, you know what I mean? But he’s really inspiring me and he is a I don’t think there’s anybody like him. Do you know what I mean? Todd? Like, do, can you think of anyone who’s like Rick
Todd: Ruben? It’s kinda a world that I don’t quite really understand that much.
Todd: I mean, I know a few music producers and I don’t know what their process is versus, you know, Who produced U two s Une baby and produced a bunch of Good Pumpkins albums, or like
Cathy: Max Martin who did all the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, and even some work to [00:13:20] Taylor Swift. Like there are people who can do pop songs
Todd: and then isn’t there, George Martin, wasn’t he like the big guy for The Beatles?
Cathy: Maybe. I don’t, I So what? You know, if you’ve ever seen a. You know, listen to Rick Rubin be interviewed, or if you’ve ever seen him on, he was on 16 minutes and, you know, he’s kind of got he’s had some he’s been
Todd: doing long enough where it’s people are just starting to write
Cathy: stories, talk about him, and he he will literally just sit and meditate and listen to the musician and lay back and close his eyes and he can feel.
Cathy: Something that’s not real and something that feels new and innovative. And he’s always been on the cutting edge. What he tries to promote in. You know, all of the artists that he works with is who are you now? Just do now, don’t try to recreate something that you did before. Don’t try and work an old pattern.
Cathy: Don’t do things because your audience wants it. Who are you now and what do you wanna share? And what he talks about that I believe in deeply. And you know, people who listen to this show know I say this all the time. You’re not doing it for the likes and the notoriety and all those things, you’re doing it because it feels right to you.
Cathy: And if you are in alignment with your work, then you are experiencing what everybody’s looking for, meaning, intention you know, sharing of your deepest self, like people who are just chasing the money and the next contract and the next, you know, you know, big thing, you’re missing the part that everybody’s
Todd: looking for.
Todd: Sweetie, do you think these guys were looking for the next big contract?
Todd: What do you think Rick Rubin would’ve done with these guys? He, today?
Cathy: He probably wouldn’t have been able to keep his eyes.
Todd: Now I
Todd: All day,
Cathy: all night, you.
Todd: Think we should repeat that A again?
Cathy: I think we should
Todd: Heat. Are we rolling on that? It’s definitely cool. We’re recording. Let’s lay it down. Let’s lay it down. We’re thinking about maybe doing that for pop Coltrane
Cathy: and that, for those of you who don’t know, that was from Boogie Nights. That was Mark Wahlberg and John C. Riley. It’s like when Mark Wahlberg has to, like, he’s really mad and like doing a lot of drugs and he needs to bust away from the porn world, and he decides he’s gonna cut an album.
Cathy: And they think they’re really good. And there’s some great
Todd: scenes in that movie when they’re trying to make music
Cathy: And what we, what I love about that whole thing, Is John C. Riley? What’s his name? Rockwell. No Chest. Rockwell is his fake name. What’s his real name? I don’t know. He looks like Han Solo
Todd: He does. People tell him. So he’s so supportive of Dirk. Like,
Todd: oh, we get, when we take a deep dive into bug. Nice. It’s gonna be
Cathy: interesting. I know. I just love his, like their friendship. He like so has his back. He’s like not even jealous when he comes into the porn industry. It’s a whole thing.
Cathy: Anyway. So, no, I don’t think Rick Rubin worked with them unless that’s really their essence and he’s like, give it a go.
Todd: Well, my last question is I know Mark Wahlberg is not the best singer in the world. No. But he can sing. Yeah, I think And was he trying to sound really bad? Yes. Yes, for sure. Is it easy to sound bad if you’re a good singer?
Cathy: Well, no, let me say I don’t know because I’m, I am not one of those, whoa, sweetie, you are. No. I’m not a singer. I love to sing, but there are people who understand how to sing. Like my daughter’s taking singing lessons and she’s learning how to breathe and she’s doing, you know, she’s been singing her whole life.
Cathy: And where I am just a, we would call me a singing in the car, singing in the shower type girl. How come you don’t sing in the shower? I do sometimes. Oh, you do? Oh, and then karaoke. I like to do duets. Oh yeah. That’s good stuff. Duets are great because then you’re not the only one up there.
Todd: Anyway, I’m gonna bring you three different ideas.
Todd: When I heard your topic today is the outcome is not the outcome. And
Cathy: just so you know why we’ve gotten here is Rick Rubin said this in his book and that’s I came to you and said, I love this sentence.
Todd: So think about this. The outcome is not the outcome, correct. It could mean that the result may not be as important as the process or the journey.
Todd: Okay? Okay. The second idea I had is that it’s unpredictable. The outcome itself is unpredictable and can change or evolve over time. Okay. And then lastly is that the outcome itself just may be ambiguous. There may be no clarity. Whereas when I think of outcome, I’d be like, black and white, yes or no. Like, we made it.
Todd: We won. We lost. Whereas sometimes, Even when you win, you lose. Or even when you lose, you win. So those are my three outta ideas. Yeah,
Cathy: I think all of them represent what he’s trying to say. I think what he, where he was going with it is sometimes we have a story and I kind of wanna dive into Don Miguel Ruiz’s second in his book, the Four Agreements.
Cathy: The second agreement is, don’t Take Anything personally, and he kind of talks about this. So I’ll put a pin in that for a second and go back to it, but. When there’s an outcome, let’s say as parents, something happens with our children. They make a team. They don’t make a team. They get A, they get a D, whatever it may be.
Cathy: We’re like, that’s who they are. That’s the outcome of them. Look at what happened, and we get very lost in whatever that experience is, whatever that truth is. We’re like, that’s who my kid is, or that’s what my work is. You know, I’ve tried to do all these things and this is where they are. And really that outcome is just a moment in time.
Cathy: The outcome is not the outcome, it’s just this is a very. You kind of have to, this is kind of a very Zen idea, like you kinda have to roll with us, like be, don’t get too literal here, what we’re talking about, because this is a perspective shift. That’s the goal of this conversation is sometimes something will happen with our kids.
Cathy: Like, say something really you know, sad happens. Your kids in fifth or sixth grade, all their friends blow ’em off and you know, they. They don’t really know who they’re gonna hang out with anymore. Their friend group is gone or whatever, and you’re like, oh my gosh, you know, this is the end.
Cathy: My kid’s not gonna have friends, whatever. That outcome is not the outcome of their life. That’s a moment in time, so, And that experience is an outcome of that moment. Yes, we can get really, you know, get into the layers of it, but that’s not their full story. Sure. That’s just an outcome right then.
Cathy: And sometimes we get lost in the set. Like the way I think about this out this, the outcome is not, the outcome is you have to have a balance in how, in your perception, the ability to zoom in and zoom out. And let me give this as an example, if you zoom in too tightly, To that outcome, you will be miserable if it’s a negative outcome.
Cathy: You will be like, I can’t believe this happened. How did we get here? What are we gonna do? How are we gonna handle this? My kid’s life is over. This is, how are they ever gonna get through this? You’re too tight. You’re suffering and you’re in pain. If you zoom out too far, if you get too much of an expansive view where you’re like, oh, big deal.
Cathy: It’s a blip. There’s a bit of spiritual bypassing there where you’re not paying attention to that. There really is an emotion. There’s something that needs attention. Correct. And there’s an experience that is important. It’s just not everything. The outcome is not the outcome of this kid’s life. So I kind of was thinking about it as far as a Zoom lens.
Cathy: It’s gotta be a really balanced lens where you recognize that your kid, is, you know, we’ll just stay with, you know, the sixth grader whose friends blow them off or they’re feeling lost and that is hard. And you wanna be there for your kid and you’re not gonna zoom out and go, oh, you’ll be fine.
Todd: You don’t wanna minimize it and you don’t wanna maximize it. Maximize it. You wanna just be in the moment as best you can. For some reason I thought of You know, thinking about outcomes. What I just wrote down is there is no end. Like there is no outcome. And the example I gave from a pop culturing perspective was River Phoenix’s character and stand by me, Chris Chambers.
Todd: He came from the bad family. Chris made a lot of bad mistakes. Nobody liked Chris and he’s a fictional character, but he decided he was gonna make something of his life and he ended up becoming a lawyer and a really successful guy. He did. And a lot of people would just have this conclusion of, this is who this kid’s going to be.
Todd: Right? And we could say that about all of our stuff. Like, oh, I am good at this, but I’m not good at that.
Cathy: Well, let’s take Chris Chambers, you know, let’s keep going with this story, cuz we, for those of you who know the movie, you know, what happened to Chris Chambers, but let’s pretend that, you know, he became a lawyer and he’s doing really well, but he’s fiery, right?
Cathy: And he’s got a lot of, you know, he has beliefs and strong values. Let’s pretend he got fired from his law firm. Okay. That’s, that outcome is not the end either. Sure. He could find something else that he does, become a private investigator, work in a different field, get into government, like it is a moment, but it’s not like, see? he got fired, so he was always that kid from a bad, you know?
Cathy: From a bad family or, you know, he, there’s always these stages in life that I think they, they knock us to our knees for a realigning and for a perception shift like. I try to be really careful about not saying things like we get knocked to our knees so and so it’s all purposeful. And because that can make us think that everything, the, you know, everything happens for a reason.
Cathy: That’s too cliche because really crappy things happen in life and, you know, good things happen to, or bad things happen to good people, and I don’t want to be flippant about that. I know that when I have been really struggling and someone’s like, well, you know, you’ll learn from it or whatever, that doesn’t help me.
Cathy: I’m like, but right now it hurts. The thing is zooming out enough, we can see that this is when we get knocked to our knees, it does allow us the time and space to gain a new perspective and to maybe realign with something. You know, like I, this is a little different than Chris Chambers, but when I was.
Cathy: Know when I was 20 I was doing pretty well in my early twenties. When I say pretty well, I mean, like I was, I had a job, there was a path, I was, you know, gonna go to grad school and then when I was about 25 there, bunch of stuff knocked me on my butt. Like all these things happened that I couldn’t have been predicted.
Cathy: And I was like, well, as long as all this is happening, I might as well just think about what do I really want from life. You know, and that’s when I decided to not go to grad school to become, to get my education master’s. I decided to become a therapist, which everybody’s like, what are you doing?
Cathy: Why are you doing this? My point is if life hadn’t knocked me down, I would’ve never really thought about that. But that takes, you don’t wanna say that to your kid when it’s happening. No.
Todd: What you wanna say to your kid when it’s happening is it makes sense that you’re angry. Correct. It makes sense that you’re scared it made sense, makes sense that you’re sad.
Todd: All that
Cathy: stuff. I think the balanced zoom is that when your kid is struggling in sixth grade and they are hurt, you get to support them and help them and be with them and allow them to share their feelings and sit in that darkness with them. But you’re zoomed out enough that, you know, this is just a moment in time.
Cathy: If you are so zoomed in with them. They have nothing to pull from because you’re just as empty, you’re just as scared. But if you can, if you realize this outcome is not the outcome, this is just, this is now. And it’s really hard. And you and I, you know, Todd and I always talk about how you don’t wanna create these negative experiences for your kid.
Cathy: You don’t wanna like play a role in them having a hard time. You don’t wanna do that kind of stuff. You don’t wanna create things. But when things happen, cuz they will, you wanna be supportive in the moment and also have enough perspective that they feel safe.
Todd: So it’s funny, I was kind of stuck on this without even being conscious of it, but as you said in the beginning of this show I came in shirtless today because my kid under-prepared the weather.
Todd: For the weather. Yeah, for the weather. And part of me is like, I’m gonna let her deal with it. And then I’m like, no, that doesn’t seem like that friendly. And then I said, Skye I have a few layers on and if you want ’em, and or initially she said No. I’m like, all right, whatever. And then I just kind of gave that last gentle nudge, like, all right, last chance, cuz I’m getting in the car and you’re gonna be on your own.
Todd: And she kind of is like, well maybe. And then I knew, so like it’s, this could be really big things or they could be sure. Really small things. And there’s a part of me that’s like, what’s funny is that. I Because they don’t take cash at Great America anymore apparently. They only take credit cards.
Todd: Correct. So I even said to her like, well if it’s too cold, just buy a stupid Six Flags sweatshirt. Sweatshirt for like $84 that sucks. So I knew I was gonna have to pay for it one way or the other, so I paid for it by taking off my shirt and hoodie. How did people
Cathy: feel as they were driving by you and you were naked driving?
Cathy: I really, you weren’t really naked cuz you had like pants on, but you just, the
Todd: whole naked thing is interesting because whenever we [00:26:40] go to a pool or a beach, we’re all in our underwear. Correct. So like it’s all like, perspective on what’s appropriate in this moment. So I context, I actually stopped for gas in the way cuz I was almost out and I have my shorts on and no shirt.
Todd: And I’m sure people are like, all right, who’s this dude? But I honestly don’t
Cathy: care. I know you don’t and it really doesn’t matter. Like, you know, I, it’s not, I’m not embarrassed or I’m not like telling you to be different. It’s just funny. It’s outta context when you walked in with no shirt. And through the front door and you also didn’t say anything.
Cathy: You just busted through.
Todd: Well, I knew you were gonna come up with what’s happening. I was like, what happen? I didn’t happen. I didn’t need to say
Cathy: anything here. And so there, you know, so it’s really, it’s not about bad, it’s just about different. Well the
Todd: reason I brought this up is there is a school of thought and some parents are like, no, we gotta like teach these, teach ’em all lesson, these kids teach and all that.
Todd: And I usually, as we said on the show, I usually err on the side of safety connection. Nurturing the whole teaching thing I kind of leave that most, not all, most of that up to their world experience.
Cathy: And I think maybe even more specifically, I leave it up to the reality of the experience. For example, if my, you know, my kids are now out of elementary school and middle school where they’ll, they were calling and saying, bring my instrument, bring my lunch if I’m home.
Cathy: Okay? And this is what time I can be there. If I’m at a meeting or I’m gone or I am meeting with someone, I’m literally like, I can’t, and then I don’t jump through hoops and make my neighbor do it or something. I’m like, I can’t do it today. It’s real. It’s honest, it’s authentic. It’s, if I can do it, I will.
Cathy: If I can’t. Doesn’t that, to me, that makes the most sense versus I can do it, but I’m gonna teach them a lesson and not do it, or I’m at a meeting and I’m gonna leave my meeting. To go drop it off because I think that I need, like, there’s some reality in here where and again, there’s all sorts of different things.
Cathy: Like if some, you know, that, that was my experience, if you are someone who’s at the office all the time, so leaving the office would be difficult. Maybe sometimes you do have your neighbor help you out or sometimes you don’t. It’s, but I think the place I wanted to be was in my integrity. I didn’t wanna lie.
Cathy: And I also didn’t wanna jump through hoops, so my kid thought that I was readily available when I wasn’t. Right. You know? So. I think that’s just like a nice middle ground. And when people say things to you like, oh, if you do that, they’re gonna leave their lunch every day. That’s not true. They don’t really love having you, you know, I mean, unless there’s some kind of game going on or power play going on.
Cathy: The kid is not, that’s not the way I see people. And so I don’t, and I think that what can happen though is if you put up a big, you know, if you’re like, I’m not willing to do that and I can’t believe you left your lunch and you should be ashamed and you’re not responsible, then your kid probably won’t call you much.
Cathy: When they’re in trouble because they’re like, I’m gonna get judged and shamed. I think there is a and I know this just from working with the amount of kids I’ve worked with, they, they’ll be struggling with the biggest things and they won’t call their parents because they’re like, well, when I tell my parents I need help, or that I left something or forgot something, the whole first 20 minutes is me getting judged.
Cathy: And so now, let’s take the lunch thing a little further. You can also say that night when they get home, let’s figure out a new plan of getting your lunch to school, because I’ve had to drop it off twice in the last couple weeks and we need to figure that out. It’s okay. Well, and I’m scared that I, my patience goes down
Todd: If I have to do something on a Wednesday and then they didn’t learn their lesson on a Thursday, I be actually, I really kind of have to work today. And you and I. Not specifically that’s happened to me, but like, It’s one thing, you know, we all make mistakes. Human beings, like, you know, if your partner forgot their wallet, and I think we shared this example, do it for ’em or your first, you help. But if I if I forget my wallet at home twice in two days and say, you know what, honey? I need to drive my wallet to my office. I have a feeling you’d be like, less patient, more frustrated the next day. Sure. If it happen every day. I think same with our kids.
Cathy: The phrase learn their lesson is interesting to pick apart because I think our kids are constantly learning things and they don’t just because they.
Cathy: You know, they can do really well one whole year of school, remembering things, doing things, and then the next year, because what’s going on in their life or because of certain class or because of a certain social situation, they’re not going to remember as much.
Todd: Well, we had that Zen talk last week, and there’s a woman who wrote something in that their 11th grader failed math, right? And we kind of came up with and the mom, the Team Zen member said, you know what? I know I’m really triggered and reactive cuz we paid for the tutor and we did all these things. I’m like, I know I’m not in a good place to have a connective conversation. So she actually wrote in on Team Zen circle, on the app saying, does anybody have any words of wisdom?
Todd: Help me out, normalize what I’m going through. And they all did that. And then we talked about it on, then we talked about it on the Zen Talk and we said something like, it could have been a crappy teacher. Or I think this mom’s daughter, I think it was a girl. Just got a boyfriend. Like there’s so many different variables and we just make up this story that our kid is irresponsible or they haven’t learned their lesson.
Todd: And by the way, the kid also I think got A’s and B’s in all the other classes. Correct. So there’s so many different things at work, and yet we tend to spend a lot of our time judging quickly.
Cathy: And again, we live in that binary of either we say something or we don’t, or either we’re permissive or we’re, you know, authoritarian and there’s this place in between where what this mom ended up doing, it was really lovely.
Cathy: You know, everybody we talked about on the Zen Talk and, you know, the other things like Todd said that she talked about is my kid, you know, is really enjoying her friends. She has someone that she’s romantically involved with. She is you know, very active in school. And so the year had been different for her.
Cathy: And she was, this is math is tough for her, it’s this teacher was a little more challenging. It’s not necessarily that it’s a bad teacher, it’s just that what was expected in the class was maybe more than the kid, like had the, you know, bandwidth.
Todd: Maybe she’s in over her head on math. Maybe she sucks at math.
Todd: And why is she’s, why is she in advance when she should be in normal? Why is she normal? When she should be in the one that’s a little bit slower for math, right?
Cathy: There’s a lot of variables. Right. So the mom eventually sat down. She was actually in a divorce situation where she and her ex-partners sat down with their daughter and they said, okay, we’re curious.
Cathy: Like, talk to us. Tell us, you know, what’s going on here. And the daughter basically shared all those kind of things. And we were talking about like, it’s been a rough year for these reasons. I already feel bad about this class. It’s stressing me out too. So they didn’t need to bring the hammer down cuz she already felt.
Cathy: Not great about the situation. But if we come down on our kids immediately and we think they need to learn that lesson without even becoming curious about how did this come to be? You know, one things we, one thing that I’ve been asking my daughters and their friends when they’re over, what is the thing that, you know, what’s the messiest conversation that you have with your parents and all of them, surprisingly, like, I thought it would be a wide variety of things.
Cathy: Most of them said grades. And I was like, really? And why? They said grades. The reason why the conversation is messy is because the kid already feels bad about it. They know what they should have done, could have done. Maybe, you know, there’s a lot of pieces of like, Ooh, I could have studied longer, or I could have turned this assignment in.
Cathy: They know, and yet they’re still they’re kind of learning through their mistakes of how to do it better, but when they’re. Parent comes down on them about it, they’re like, I know.
Todd: Don’t tell me things I already know. Just because there’s a difference between knowing and applying follow through.
Todd: Or knowing and integrating. I just wanna read her her comment that she wrote in the app. After, I think it’s afterwards, after she chilled out. She said we had a good talk last night. Her dad came over, we’re divorced, and I opened the talk with, let’s put this into context. Your other grades are great because you work so hard.
Todd: Math has always been your hardest subject. I’m not mad about the grade, but I would like to, I would just like some reflection about what happened. Other than that, this is a logistical pro. This is a logistical problem to be solved. It was pretty amazing what happened. We all three relaxed after that. My daughter looked so relieved.
Todd: We’re able to have a pretty frank conversation about how this happened. A combination of all the things the podcast mentioned. 11th grade is intense. She had a difficult teacher. It was a hard class, and then her part, which was missing assignments and letting things spiral until it was too late to salvage.
Todd: From my own reflections, I think it has a lot to do with money. The expense of the tutor cuz she said about tutors. So
Cathy: what the mom is saying, the reason she, cuz Todd kept asking her, why do you feel more reactive about this than usual? And she, and then she came up with these things. She was worried about money.
Cathy: And then this last one too, she said she was worried about the vacation.
Todd: There was a family vacation. So if she had to go to summer school it’s gonna f up the vacation. So I just think like, think about how that could have gone sideways in so many different ways. And what I would honor and applaud this mom who went through this journey with her child and her divorced husband is she took a breath. She looked at, she investigated her own reactivity feelings. She went in with an intention of connectivity with her daughter. Not like, you know, it’s us against you.
Todd: It’s like, let’s figure this out together and how out of a hundred. Examples of parents who have a kid who flunks out on math. How many of them go this way? And I’m guessing probably not that many. Well,
Cathy: I think we get scared and we’re reactive and we think the outcome is the outcome. We think my kid is gonna fail life.
Cathy: Right. My kid is gonna, my kid is, you know, manipulating me. My kid is a jerk. My kid doesn’t care. And where they could be in a moment in time where some of those things, you know, they’ve dropped the ball or they’re scared, there’s a reason, especially if it’s a change. You know, like if you have a kid who’s constantly struggled with school, there’s probably a lot of things.
Cathy: Like, it could be a processing issue, it could be you know, a diagnosis of some kind. It could be a, you know, a learning disability. But if your kid has, you know, been in school and doing, been doing pretty well, and all of a sudden there’s a huge drop off, there’s a story in there somewhere. Not a story that you need to be afraid of necessarily.
Cathy: But a story that may be discussable and if you’re open to what they’re experiencing, even if it’s all social. Like even if it’s You know, so this is so random, but Todd and I were watching Fargo the other night. Love it. And there’s just this scene before Gene gets picked up, you know, by Steve Buscemi and his buddy where Gene, the, you know, the wife says to her son, Scotty, you know, how are your grades?
Cathy: You know, if you don’t, if you don’t get those up, then no more hockey for you. And the kid’s like, oh my God. Hockey’s my life. Like, what are you thinking? And I know parents think, well, I’m gonna scare them. And I’m not saying you don’t do anything. I’m just saying that maybe you figure out that if something, if there’s something they love, how do we negotiate these things and not take the thing they that helps them feel inspired and connected socially and all these other aspects of their life away from them.
Cathy: Right. I think we’re very like, it’s either this or that. Black or white. You’re either doing this or doing it and it’s. I kind of think of it as being not a creative solution. I mean, going back to Rick Rubin about creativity, like there’s so many different ways we can go. It’s not black and white.
Cathy: There’s so many different conversations we can have, you know, and I also think that, you know, I was talking to Todd this morning sometimes when we’re having big feelings about something, you know, about something that our kid did or our kids said. It’s okay to share how you feel. Again, outcome is not the outcome.
Cathy: It’s okay to share about how you feel about it in the moment and know that this isn’t the way you’re always gonna feel and that you do see the big picture. But you do want to, you know, like the, when the mom, you know, the example of her kid failed this class and her first feelings are this, and this and this.
Cathy: And they’re big feelings and they’re strong and that’s okay. She those, it’s important to say those things first to someone you trust to journal them to say them through your therapist so you can get that all out. And then you can have an expansive picture like I think Todd would say that I do that a lot.
Cathy: I will share a story that sounds really like, I think you would probably think you know better than this, Cathy, but I need to say all the things, the
Todd: triggers. I have our brain is wired to worry. And our brain is also wired to think of worst case scenarios. So instead of like getting mad at our brain for doing this right, saying, oh, I’m noticing I’m going down this really doomsday path, but it’s really hard to engage from that place.
Todd: So if we can flex our self-awareness muscle enough where you can share something with me before you engage in whomever it [00:40:00] is that it’s about, then I just think it’s gonna be a more productive conversation.
Cathy: And a lot of times, even in the midst of sharing it, you know, I’ve been. Doing this practice for so long that I’ll say, you know, this really bothered me and I know this isn’t about her.
Cathy: This is about my grief, or, this really made me mad, but it’s not because she did it. It’s because it reminds me of somebody else. Like I can say, anybody, all of us can say all these things we’re feeling and be self-aware about why we’re saying it. I think the worst case scenario is when we share with someone and someone is like, well, I can’t believe you think that.
Cathy: Or, oh my gosh, you’re so weak. Or those kind of things. Those like pushing back where we may. If we’re reacting from that place of, like Todd said, if we’re having all those feelings and then we keep trying to engage with our kid or with a person from that really heightened place, that’s not great.
Cathy: But if we’re just kind of sharing in a moment, this is how I feel the be able to release that air out of the balloon.
Todd: And the air needs to be released, not with the person that this is about. Therapist, the ocean. Your journal, your best friend, and then engage with whomever that is.
Todd: Yes. And it just allows you cause it’s too personal.
Cathy: It is. And, but that’s the thing is because we’re human. When our kids fail a class, when our kids when their friends blow them off, when our kids have a hard day, when our partner makes us mad, when any of those things, we’re gonna have a human reaction to it.
Cathy: Like people, we are going to have triggers, there’s going to be old things that come up. We’re gonna have old concerns, real worries. And we need to talk about them. So then we have perspective, and when I say talk about them with someone, or again, if you’re not, if you don’t like doing that, write that.
Cathy: Write it out, journal it, you know, you know, this generation gen, you know what Gen Z does? Not everybody but I work, you know, talk with so many teenage girls and pre-adolescent girls and they video themselves. They’ll like video themselves crying and talking and sharing.
Todd: Are they videoing it for
Cathy: No, they don’t post it.
Cathy: Okay. They just wanna see themselves crying. Interesting. They wanna see their emotion on the outside. And some kids keep it so they can look back and see the struggles they had. It’s almost like a video. It’s like a, it’s like a video of their life instead of a journal of their life.
Todd: I did that one.
Todd: One of our daughters was really struggling, and I’ve shared this with you, and there’s something that happened in one of our daughter’s lives and it was really hard. Very challenging, and I use this online platform called Marco Polo, and I pulled two of my best friends, and I just kinda let it all out and I was weeping and crying, and weirdly, it was easier to arrive at that point because I was recording it versus I I mean, I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like it was because I was trying to connect with other human beings whom I loved.
Todd: It seemed easier for me to access it versus if I just would’ve been sitting in my office doing it without that.
Cathy: And you were looking in your own eyes While you’re recording it, right? I did the same. That’s true. I, you know, my college friends and I, we all have a Marco Polo as well, and I did.
Cathy: I’ve done that. Also when I’ve really struggled with something, cuz I can really, it’s a big group so I can dump on them. They know me, they trust me. They’ve known me since I was young. Like there’s no, they’re not worried I’m gonna completely fall apart. They just know that I need to release and there’s something about looking at myself.
Cathy: While I’m sharing. That can be really a relief. And so I say all this because all of these. Aspects that we’re talking about sharing, you know, being honest about how you feel you know, zooming in, zooming out, it’s about recognizing that the outcome is not the outcome. That this is a moment in time and the, I wanted to end with the.
Cathy: You know, Don Miguel Ruez’s the Four Agreements. Second agreement is, don’t take anything personally, and he starts, he, when he talks about in this chapter, I can’t really remember, you know, what’s first in the chapter, but he shares. The fact that every single one of us is watching our own movie, and every single one of us is the protagonist in our own movie.
Todd: And the Anta and the antagonist probably.
Cathy: Sure. And that, but that goes like into a deeper level. This is more of the surface of how we see the world. Yes. So when I wake up in the morning, I’ve got a story about the way things should go, how people should react. What things are good, what things are bad?
Cathy: What works for me, what doesn’t? And then that shapes my perception of the world. I am the prote. Pretend you’re in a movie. Pretend it’s a screenplay. It’s your perspective. You are the hero. So everybody around you are just these peripheral characters and you’re like, oh my gosh, how did they not know that?
Cathy: And I can’t believe this person did that. And they are, the thing that’s the zooming out is they are also in their own movie. They are having their own story, like when my daughters are going through something and they’re kind of taking up a lot of space in our house, and I mean that emotionally and energetically.
Cathy: I always have to remember that they are dealing, they are in their own movie feeling that everybody in the house should understand their movie. You know, like this is a really hard thing for me. How does everyone not understand this? And it’s because everybody else is in their own movie. Right?
Todd: I was
Todd: gonna say like we’re all, and actors is probably not the best, but we’re all role players in everybody’s movie.
Todd: Yes. But I’m gonna spend most of my attention to. My role in this movie and a little bit less attention to your role in my movie. Correct.
Cathy: And you’re kind of like, how are you not understanding my movie? Didn’t you read my screenplay? Which is another way of saying like, how do you not know
Todd: Chance, but you know the history of all the things that came to me. Yes. To write this screenplay. Yes. And the answer is, unless you really know somebody intimately. The answer is no.
Cathy: And even if you know them intimate intimately, you still don’t know everything. That’s why we always talk about, you know, with couplehood, you know, people who will, people who have been longtime listeners have heard Todd and I work through a lot of things and we still work through those same things. We still have the same triggers, the same challenges. Yes. We have a little more of a shorthand about it and we don’t get as worked up about it, but you find that it’s the same issues that you’re dealing with.
Cathy: I wanted to read a few things from Don Miguel’s book because it’s, I think it’s powerful, and actually, I don’t even think this from the book. I think this was just a blog that he wrote, but he’s talking about you are the star of your own movie and everyone else is in their own movie. You look at yourself acting in your movie, but you start to no longer believe that you’re watching, you no longer believe your own story.
Cathy: Story because you can see that it’s just a story. Again, the outcome is not the outcome. Now you know that all the acting you did your whole life was really not that important because nobody perceives you the way you want to be perceived. You can see that all the drama that happens in your movie isn’t noticed by people around you.
Cathy: All that stuff in your head. People have no idea. It’s obvious that everybody’s attention is focused on their own movie. They don’t even notice sometimes when you’re sitting right beside them in their theater. They’re still lost in their movie. The actors have all their attention on their story.
Cathy: It’s their only reality. Their attention is so hooked by their own creation. They don’t even notice their own presence observing the movie. They’re just in it. They’re like, they can’t even see themselves as an actor. They’re actually the character. But here’s the good news. In that moment, everything shifts.
Cathy: Nothing is the same, because now you see people live in their own world, their own movie, their own story, and they invest in that story and in, you know, this is why we’re not gonna take things personally with this awareness. You realize how ridiculous it is to say, my, my partner, my children, whoever don’t understand me.
Cathy: Nobody understands me. Of course they don’t. You don’t even understand yourself. Your personality is always changing from one moment to the next, according to the role you’re playing, and according to the secondary characters around you, according to the way you’re dreaming at that time. At wor, you know, you have different personalities, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Cathy: I’m trying to like paraphrase cuz it’s a lot and, but basically you made an assumption that everybody else should understand your story and they don’t, and when they don’t do what you expected them to do, you took it personally. With anger, you and you use the word to create a lot of conflict and drama.
Cathy: And now again, this is a self-help book. This is Don Miguel Ruez saying, Hey, just get over it, move through it. This is just perspective taking. You’re still gonna have a reaction to other people not understanding you. You’re still gonna have a reaction that other people don’t understand your movie. That’s human.
Cathy: But when you can zoom out and realize that, And understand them, that, you know, Todd doesn’t always know what mood I’m in. He doesn’t always understand what I need in that moment. My kids are often in their own story and they’re not trying to offend me. They just are so lost in their own story and screenplay that I’m a peripheral character.
Cathy: So this is just a way. Not to keep you from having feelings, but to help you negotiate your feelings. We can do both
Todd: Well, and I just wanna, because we’ve been talking a lot about the Four Agreements, which is a book I think I read once a long time ago, and it’s probably one of those books that I could read every year for the rest of my life.
Todd: I can still, if I could live by these four agreements, I think I would be a more alive, happier person. And sometimes I do a great job and sometimes I don’t. Number one, be impeccable with your word. Number two, don’t take anything personally. Number three, don’t make assumptions. And number four, always do your best.
Todd: I mean, that’s a lifetime.
Cathy: And it’s a book and a discussion, meaning you can’t take those words at surface value when you say to someone, oh, number two is, don’t take anything personally. It’s like, how do I do that? Blah, blah, blah, blah. Of course you’re going to, but then can you have a new perspective where you’re like, that really isn’t about me.
Cathy: When you’re driving and someone’s honking at you and trying to cut you off, do you think that’s about you? They don’t even know you. Remote. It’s got nothing to do with you.
Todd: The road rage thing, it’s like, it’s hard not to have a reaction of somebody cutting you off or honking the horn or all that.
Todd: It’s like, but can we minimize a recovery time or our time of self reflection or how quickly we can get curious about, maybe he’s in a rush because there’s a big meeting he has to get to, or maybe going to the hospital. He’s going to the hospital. There’s all these different things. So anyways and
Cathy: what you’re doing is it’s okay to have a reaction or a feeling, but do you take it personally? Because we get very lost in, especially if we’re dealing with anxiety and depression where we get very lost in, it’s all about me. It’s my fault, it’s my problem. I did it. I made this person feel this way. If I would’ve said something different, they’d be different. And that’s a very, you’re so lost in your own movie that you think everything’s about you.
Cathy: And it’s not everybody’s having their own experience. They may tell you it is. People may say, if you hadn’t said that, I wouldn’t be mad. Well, okay. You know, you can apologize for the impact of your words, but in the end it really is they’re looking to kind of point the finger at other people for how they’re feeling.
Cathy: And this is very intricate because if you are someone who’s very knowledgeable about this and you really have great self-awareness and you do understand everybody’s watching their own movie, but you’re partnered with someone who doesn’t. That can be hard. That’s a hard conversation. Or you have a kid, you know, I never say to my kid, you guys are watching your own movie, but I do try and give them awareness about how they’re affecting other people.
Cathy: Sure. That sometimes they’re so in their movie. Then I’m like, I understand you’re very upset about this and you have a right to be and I’ll be here to support you, but when you do A, B, or C, now you’re harming other people. You know, it’s like, We can give people that kind of awareness while simultaneously honoring their experience.
Todd: So, so I wanted just share that. Cathy has a book called Zen Parenting. Parenting Ourselves and Her Children in an Unpredictable World. It’s on the anywhere you buy books. So if you haven’t already got it. It’s one of the best books out there. It won an award on Friday. It won an award on Friday uhhuh, and it’s won three or four, I think it’s
Cathy: won three awards on Friday.
Cathy: I got an email that it won the International Book Award and I was excited about it because I, my other book the. What was my other book? The one before Self War Repair? The, no, not the, oh. Living What You Wanted. Living What You Want Your Kids To Learn. I always forget that sentence.
Cathy: Living What You Want Your Kids to Learn. It wa It also won an international book award, but it was a finalist and this one was the winner of the book award, so it was kind of a fun. You know, it felt good and then it won a Nautilus Award and a Reader’s Choice Award. And really all these, you know, we talk about these kind of things like not valuing these things that much.
Cathy: I think for me it’s less about, it’s not that it necessarily translates to sales that much, but as a writer, what I like is that other readers and other writers read something I’ve written and say, yeah that’s a book. And regardless of I it when you were doing, it’s like having another musician like your song.
Cathy: Do you know what I mean? Where you feel it’s less about now everybody knows who you are and more about other people who do the same craft that, or, my God, I can’t believe I just used that word. So. Like, do you know how actors are always like my craft? Other people who do the same work or creative work that you do honor your creative work?
Cathy: That means something to me. So, but thank you for bringing, I, I actually brought it up. Thank you Cathy, for bringing that up.
Todd: Your book. Yes. Why I brought up the book. You brought up the award your Yes. You know what hasn’t won an award? What? Our YouTube channel, we have 32 videos on there and 48 [00:53:20] subscribers.
Todd: Are there awards for YouTube channels? I don’t know, but our videos almost are more than our subscribers. So this is a gentle thing. If you wanna just check out some of these cool, funny little impactful clips on YouTube, go ahead and just scroll down on your phone and you can subscribe with the click of a button.
Todd: I also am the Executive Director of Men Living. So if there’s any guys out there that want to connect authentically, go to men living.org. And then also I’m a life and leadership coach for guys, so Todd adams coaching.com. Anything else that we wanna push?
Cathy: Oh, I mean, just that there’s all these places, like on our website, and actually you could scroll down below our, to our resources page.
Cathy: I mean, it, it has everything. But I would tell you if you like Zen Parenting, just join Team Zen, everything is there. Give it a, it’s so great. But just thanks for listening everybody. And I hope you’re having a great summer
Todd: and keep trucking. Oh, Jeremy Craft, he’s a baldheaded beauty, love that guy.
Todd: Just had lunch with him. Painting and remodeling throughout the Chicagoland area. 6 3 9 5 6 1800. If you’re in Chicago land and you got any general contract needs, he’s your guy. Have a co.net.