Cathy and Todd exchange quotes and mantras that remind them to stay in the moment, alleviate their anxiety, and prompt them to center their thoughts on gratitude. They discuss how they use these phrases and explore why our brains tend to fixate on what’s wrong rather than what’s already working.  For the full show notes, visit


(00:00:00) Introduction and the podcast’s motto.
(00:00:37) Discussing Cathy’s meditation area, post-it notes, and the importance of quotes and mantras.
(00:01:30) Mention of Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” and its influence.
(00:01:50) Introduction to the Zen Parenting in-person event focusing on teens: discussing the complexities and challenges faced by today’s teenagers.
(00:03:00) Explanation of the event’s approach: Opening up conversations and fostering communication with teenagers.
(00:04:15) The importance of understanding and accepting children as they are.
(00:06:20) Discussion on neurodiversity and the challenges of labeling.
(00:09:03) The significance of self-awareness in parenting and personal growth.
(00:12:45) Diving deeper into specific quotes and mantras that inspire Cathy and Todd.
(00:14:47) Delving into the mantra of “You are enough” and its implications.
(00:18:07) Reflecting on the interconnectedness of life and the importance of perspective.
(00:28:19) Exploring the idea of “letting go” and its relevance in various life situations.
(00:34:20) The role of vulnerability in personal development and parenting.
(00:42:16) The concept of “holding space” for oneself and others.
(00:43:56) The importance of gratitude and its impact on daily life.

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Our Favorite Quotes & Mantras

In a fast-paced world, parenting poses unique challenges that are often magnified by societal expectations, digital distractions, and evolving definitions of personal success. Zen Parenting Radio, in this enlightening episode, delves into the transformative power of mantras, quotes, and the essence of authentic connection in the realm of parenting.

The podcast begins with a nod to the significance of everyday affirmations. Cathy’s meditation area, adorned with post-it notes, is more than just a serene corner; it’s a testament to the power of words and how they shape our thoughts and, by extension, our actions. These mantras and quotes serve as gentle reminders, anchoring us during turbulent times and providing clarity in moments of doubt. Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” is referenced, emphasizing the profound impact that literature and well-curated words can have on the psyche, influencing not just individual growth but also parenting approaches.

The discussion then transitions to the complexities faced by today’s teenagers. In an era where the digital realm often blurs the lines between reality and virtuality, understanding the unique challenges that teens navigate becomes crucial. The Zen Parenting in-person event aims to bridge this gap, fostering open conversations and encouraging genuine communication. It underscores the importance of seeing children as they are, not as projections of our expectations or societal standards.

An essential theme that surfaces is neurodiversity and the challenges posed by labeling. In our quest for understanding, we often resort to categorizations. However, these labels, though created for clarity, can sometimes limit our perspective and hinder genuine understanding. Recognizing and celebrating neurodiversity is a step towards inclusive parenting, where every child feels seen and valued.

Self-awareness emerges as a pivotal aspect of the discussion. In the intricate dance of parenting, introspection becomes the compass, guiding decisions and molding interactions. As Cathy and Todd dive into specific quotes and mantras that resonate with them, listeners are invited to reflect on their personal philosophies. One such powerful mantra, “letting go,” underscores the need for fluidity and flexibility in parenting. It’s a call to release preconceived notions and embrace the present, with all its unpredictability.

Vulnerability, often misconstrued as a weakness, is spotlighted as a strength. It’s through vulnerability that authentic connections are forged, both with oneself and with one’s children. This theme ties in with the podcast’s reflection on the interconnectedness of life. Every action, every decision, every word has a ripple effect, emphasizing the importance of mindful living.

The episode culminates with an exploration of two powerful concepts: holding space and gratitude. To hold space is to offer unconditional support, devoid of judgment. It’s about creating an environment where emotions are acknowledged, and feelings are validated. Gratitude, on the other hand, serves as a grounding force, a reminder to appreciate life’s myriad experiences.

In conclusion, Zen Parenting Radio’s episode offers a meditative exploration of parenting, emphasizing the transformative power of words, the essence of genuine connection, and the importance of self-awareness. In a world teeming with noise, it serves as a gentle reminder to tune in to the symphony of authentic experiences, forging meaningful connections with oneself and one’s children.


ZPR#732 – Our Favorite Quotes & Mantras 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 732. 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 well being is, in fact, a parent’s self understanding.

Todd: On today’s show, we’re going to talk about a few mantras that Cathy uses. I am gonna, I don’t really have, so Cathy has this meditation area and there’s just 465 sticky notes, like little post it notes. And you got like words scribbled on every one of them. I don’t have that. I have a vision board that has been, let’s just say it’s been stale.

Cathy: It’s been sitting there a while. But and I’m just thinking to myself, like, I like the word mantras. I’m fine with it because obviously we use that, but it’s also just quotes that help you.

Todd: All right. We’ll call it quotes. Yeah. Quotes that help you. Quotes. And then, so I’m just going to, Cathy’s like, can you come up with a few quotes or mantras?

Todd: I’m like, Oh, first thing I thought of like, okay, just breathe. And that’s not very inspirational. Yeah. Let me do a little sound effect there.

Cathy: Not that it’s wrong. It’s just, who hasn’t heard that? That’s a snoozer.

Todd: So, when I, my vision board happened as a result of me reading, actually taking like a eight section course with Michael Singer who wrote The Untethered Soul.

Todd: And it’s really, that book and that course that I took really hit home for me and it is something I do go to. So maybe I’ll just share a little bit about that. But first, we have this, Zen parenting in person event coming up in January. And we’re focusing on teens, so pre teens, teens, even young adults, but back in the 80s and 70s when we were growing up, the things we were most worried about were drunk driving, pregnancy and illicit drugs.

Todd: These days, it’s a little more complicated to be a kid. I don’t know if you figured that out yet, sweetie. Have you figured that out? Yeah. So some of the things we’re going to address at this in person two day event in Oak Brook Hills. Oakbrook, Illinois. Anxiety, depression, suicide, self harm, cyberbullying, but we’re also going to have it be inspirational and uplifting and everything.

Todd: This is our sixth go round.

Cathy: You didn’t even say everything. Eating disorders, neurodiversity, technology. I mean, we’re trying to cover a lot of bases. There’s no way we can cover every base of what teenagers are dealing with. The whole point is just to open up these conversations. You don’t have to show up or leave knowing everything.

Cathy: It’s, it’s about the ability to have a conversation and ask questions to your team, like to be able to communicate. So don’t feel as if, it feels like too much pressure to show up or it feels like too much pressure to take it all home. It’s just the ability to engage. And it’s never about having all the answers.

Cathy: It’s just about the ability, the ability to participate.

Todd: When I was thinking about this, It’s 350 bucks to attend if you want to do the Shefali thing, so we usually don’t reveal the speakers, but one of our keynotes is Dr. Shefali, it’s an extra 50 bucks, so it’s 400 bucks.

Cathy: So what he means by that is it’s 350 for the conference.

Cathy: There on Friday night, there is a deep dive, like an extra hour and cause Shefali’s coming in on Friday. And so if you want to do that as well, that’s, that’s 50.

Todd: And I thought about it. It’s like. As somebody who is nicknamed as 50 McSaves a lot, that sounds like, an investment, but that’s all it is, is an investment.

Todd: Even if somebody got like three good ideas out of this two day event and implemented them to put you and your family in a position to, be healthier, be more impactful in the world. I think it’s a really good investment of time and money.

Cathy: You know what I remember from all the, cause this is our 6th or 7th conference that we’ve had is that what kids tend to say, teens or otherwise, to their parents when they know they’re going is like, what’d you guys talk about?

Cathy: What’d you learn? And it creates a conversation right away to be able to say to your teens, I’m going to this conference and they may be like, well. They may not have big thoughts about it, but the fact that you are telling them that you’re investing and learning more about their generation, that’s really what we’re doing.

Cathy: Let’s learn more about these kids. Let’s find a community. And I just feel like kids really appreciate that. I think that they may not show you as much as they appreciate it.

Todd: They may not say it.

Cathy: But I think they do. I know my girls do.

Todd: So. And we’re going to talk about teams and maybe middle of the show or maybe towards the end, but let’s get into the quotes.

Todd: Let’s just jump in with both feet.

Cathy: So I wanted to do this because I feel like, if you listened to last week’s show that we had with Dr. Solomon, it’s the last couple of months have been just a lot of like, like taking deep breaths because my kids left for college and for my other daughter left for Italy and, we’re starting a new year.

Cathy: My. Their daughter just got her license, just everything’s changing, and I’ve just not been able to like stop and breathe. And so for the last week or so, I’ve been really trying to be like, okay, I need to get grounded. Like I’m, I’m aware now that I’m like running really fast, going nowhere, you know?

Cathy: And so I was going back to, I don’t know about. You people who are listening, but sometimes I get emails from places that I’ve like subscribed to their newsletters and a lot of times I just like, don’t look at it, I just am like, whatever, but lately I’ve been really reading things that people have been sending me because I’ve been appreciating quotes.

Cathy: I’ve been feeling like I’m in that open raw space to take it in so. The first one that I want to share is something that I put up on my, like Todd said, I have this meditation area and I’ve just got a, I mean a million quotes of it up there. We, we really couldn’t get through them all, but I was just kind of looking at them before I came down and what is most meaningful to me.

Cathy: And one of them that always puts me in like a good space, And these are not necessarily quotes from other people. Sometimes there are things that I wrote down like that, that came. And when I say came to me, I don’t mean like it’s a mystical thing. It showed up in my mind. And one day I just wrote down a day.

Cathy: Feeling good is an extra special day. Enjoy. And why I wrote that is, and I still get migraines by the way. I had a headache this morning, but they’re much less because now I have kind of a. something I’m, working with a neurologist, so I’m much better, but I used to feel not good a lot of the time.

Cathy: So if I had a day where I was like, I don’t have a headache. I had to be like, dude, this is the best day ever. And I didn’t even have to convince myself. It just was, and I didn’t care what I was doing or how much I got done. I could sit and stare at a tree all day. I was just like, this is what it feels like to feel good.

Cathy: So for those of you who are listening, who deal with chronic pain or maybe chronic grief or. Whatever it may be, depression or, or just something that you’re struggling with. When you have a day where you’re not struggling with that, I think just having a reminder where if you’re feeling actually pretty good today to not step over that too fast, to like really have a moment of like, wow, this feels really great.

Cathy: And, I just, I think that that’s one that really puts me. It really grounds

Cathy: me.

Todd: I think I’ve shared this on the podcast before, but it reminds me of, I was listening to Thich Nhat Hanh talk on YouTube or something, and he was talking about when, and I, I’ve shared this before, but it’s been years, when we have a cold, like the one nostril is clogged and the minute that it opens up, it’s like euphoria.

Todd: Like, oh my gosh, I can breathe. And most of the time I’m walking around without clogged nostrils. I know. So like, it’s so weird how I can be so euphoric the moment that the one nasal passage opens up. And then I get used to being able to breathe in and out without any discomfort. So I don’t appreciate

Cathy: it.

Cathy: Yeah. And so let’s, let’s talk about that just for one minute because sometimes it ends up being a guilt trip. Right? Like, wow, I don’t appreciate anything I have. That’s not the way our brain works. Our brain is always looking for a problem. So when things are kind of status quo, or when we’re breathing through both sides of our nose, we don’t focus on it because we don’t need to.

Cathy: Our brain is like a processing machine and looking for bugs in the system, right? So if something is working, we don’t put a lot of attention toward it. That’s what mindfulness and quotes and mantras and meditation and journaling is about is taking a moment to notice things because our brain won’t do that on its own.

Cathy: Like my college students are always really questioning about why I have them do gratitude journaling, the mindfulness stuff we do. And I try to explain it to them neurobiologically. If you don’t make this a plan, if you don’t spend time focusing and noticing on what’s working, your brain And again, there’s different people, so I don’t want to say nobody does, but your brain doesn’t do it naturally.

Cathy: You have to make it a part of your day. So Todd, I just mean, I know you don’t feel guilty about it, but

Todd: sometimes I think we can very easily be like, yeah, beat ourselves up. So it’s the inner critic. It’s funny. I, when I press record, I’m like, I’m going to talk about these quotes that are on my little vision board, but instead I think I’m going to go around and talk about the pictures that are on the vision board.

Todd: Okay, let’s do that, kind of the anchor, the thing that, I don’t know how big this vision board is, three foot squared, let’s say. And the biggest thing I have on the entire vision board is a photograph that I pulled off of Google. It’s not a photograph, it’s a cartoon of Calvin and Hobbes. Yeah. And it’s my favorite.

Todd: Actually.

Cathy: I’m sorry, but I gave it to you. You did? Is it the one of where he’s That one. No, I didn’t give that one to you. Yeah. I thought you meant the one that I got

Todd: framed. Yeah, that’s even better. Maybe I’ll talk about that one. Okay. I think I have that somewhere else. Where is that?

Cathy: That’s my, I think that’s you.

Todd: Oh, I did. Times 10. Oh, for sure. But anyway, so, Calvin, I think my brother introduced me to Calvin and Hobbes back when I was like 10 years old or whatever, and I’m like, what’s the deal with this? And he’s like, oh, it’s this kid and his pet. Tiger. And he explains like, but when the parents are in the house or, or nearby, he goes dead or limp or inanimate.

Todd: Oh, that’s just wrong. Inanimate.

Cathy: Like. He becomes a stuffed animal. Thank you.

Todd: Stuffed animal. Goes dead. He goes dead. And then the minute the, the, anybody bails, Cal, Hobbes, Spring to life. Right. And Calvin and him have this like, just friendship and they fight a lot and they disagree and they appreciate nature and they go on these rides down hills when it’s snowing and wagons down hills appreciating nature.

Todd: And. It’s just a reminder for me as I am in right smack dab in the middle of my middle age, I think, to never forget, the joy of life. Right. And your imagination. Imagination, youthfulness, playfulness.

Cathy: And the inner, the inner people that we have, you and I, talk a lot about it and what we, I don’t know if we do on the show, but in life, we talk about inner fam, internal family systems a lot and all the different, parts of us, all the different pieces of us.

Cathy: And sometimes we call it inner child work. There’s many names for understanding all of our parts, but the, The thing about Hobbes is it’s just a piece of Calvin. It’s just a friend. It’s an imaginary friend. So you back up. I know, but it’s… Hobbes is real. It is real. It’s just like, honestly, you’re talking to someone who, when you’re not around, sometimes my stuffed monkey that lives in our room sleeps in bed with me.

Cathy: I believe my monkey… My monkey is a part of me that keeps me safe. Yeah. And it is something from childhood. I have no… I don’t care what language you use, but it is our imagination and making sure those parts of ourselves stay alive.

Todd: Maybe we should back up and say, what is it that your quotes and your mantras do for you?

Todd: And why do, like, what’s the point of all this? And for me, it’s a moment of reflection. It’s an invitation to pause and get out of my day to day rat race in my head. So, but, but what do I have it for? Why, why, how does it serve me? I think the answer is it brings me presence. Okay. For a bit.

Todd: It reminds me of things that I so easily forget. So, that’s what that does for me. What do, what do the quotes do for you? Like, I’m going to say, like, if somebody’s listening to this, why do they want to do this?

Cathy: Why do they do this? So I started doing this a long time ago, only because I had to figure out who I was because I feel like from starting at a young age, just like everybody, this is very common. You have people tell you who you are or what’s most important or society or cultural demands that you just buy into. And when I started to, when, I was like, I don’t know who I am in [00:13:20] this.

Cathy: What do I believe? And so, and it’s had its own iterations, but I started at an early age. Whatever quote spoke to me that had a strong resonance, I knew that that belonged to me. That was something that woke me up to who I was. So over time, and like you said, you started with just breathe. it early on, like in my teens or my twenties, it was just basic ones like that.

Cathy: Like, oh, just breathe. Right. We need to breathe, you know? And then they start to get a little more complex where you start to recognize this is meaningful to me. And I know this to be true because what is resonance? Resonance is I already knew this. This is what resonance is to me. I already knew this and now I’m reclaiming it.

Cathy: It’s something that someone reminded me of. So whenever anyone Listen to our show or reads my book or anything and they’re like, Oh my God, that part spoke to me. And it’s because you already knew it, it’s like, it’s something that woke you back up. So I think that’s what quotes do. They wake me back up to myself.

Cathy: And I don’t think that everybody, loves the same quotes. I think it’s very individual depending on what parts of yourself needs it. Because it could be young parts, older parts, future parts.

Todd: So before you offer your second quote, my invitation, my hope for the listener is if they have a vision board or a meditation area where they jot down quotes, just take a look at it.

Todd: Like maybe spend a little extra attention than you otherwise would. And if you don’t have one of those things, maybe this is your invitation to do it. So anyways,

Cathy: so I’ll just read a few and then you just tell me what is meaningful to you. I have so, I mean, like there’s so many, I, that’s why I, if I want to really help people or share some, so I have one that I love that just says enough is good enough.

Cathy: That’s just, that’s just how I start a day. Like, and again, that word enough, what does that mean? I’m sometimes ironic with my quotes, or I don’t know if that’s the right word. Sometimes it’s a playing with words, which is why I love Zen. It’s like a playing with language, but it, it. Again, it resonates with me.

Cathy: Enough is good enough. Like, I don’t have to do more than enough, and enough means something different every day.

Todd: Yeah, from, I, I’ve used a version of that, but instead of saying enough is good enough, what I say is sometimes good enough is good enough. Right. That’s, I think it means basically the exact same thing, right?

Cathy: Absolutely. I have another one that I go to all the time that says it’s, it’s not what it feels like. Okay, what is that? Dig into that one. To me, that is like sometimes when I’m having a really strong. experience with something I, I call, are you guys listening? No, I call it my terror. It’s this terrified feeling that I get.

Cathy: And what I tell myself is it feels terrifying, but what’s happening is not what it feels like. That it gives me a reality check. Like, the feeling I’m having, the terror that I’m having is a child part of myself that couldn’t deal with something or didn’t have the tools. So became terrified by something.

Cathy: But as I get older, I do have tools. I have you. I have friends. I have all these abilities. I’m an adult now. So when I feel terrified about something, I have to remind myself that it’s not what it feels like. It’s different now. Yeah. I like that. Okay. And then I’ll just do one more and then we’ll go back to you.

Cathy: Let’s see, this, this one. How about this? I don’t know. Todd, this is hard. Because there’s so many. Okay, how about this one? Nothing is always.

Todd: Yikes. See, now you’re starting to remind me of that Buddhist one a day calendar.

Cathy: I’m sorry. I, these, the, the statement one day meant something to me where I was struggling with it’ll always be like this.

Cathy: It’ll I’ll always struggle with this. I’ll never get through this because I could have said nothing is never Always and never don’t they’re not real. So nothing is always does that make sense?

Todd: I think I know what you mean. It means everything’s temporary. Maybe

Cathy: yeah, and and that when I say the word always It’s not true.

Cathy: Nothing is always.

Todd: So like, Todd, you always leave the toilet seat up. Nothing is, that’s not true. That’s not true. Like, rarely is always.

Cathy: True. The only always is that the sun comes up every day, right? Or that the moon comes out. Like, there’s some things that always happen, but it’s really in life.

Todd: Well, and even before there was a time before our solar system existed. Correct. Even that’s not true.

Cathy: Good point. And then the last one, cause you’ll like this, I wrote, this is like, I didn’t even notice this one. I wrote, drop everything and follow the bird.

Todd: What the hell are we talking about?

Cathy: I think I probably, cause I look out a window and I think the bird to me seemed free.

Cathy: Uh huh. And I had a bunch of, and when I say drop everything, I don’t mean literally, I mean mentally. Yeah. So it was like, I think it was my way of saying be a bird.

Todd: Drop everything and follow the bird.

Cathy: Uh huh. Like follow the lead of the bird.

Todd: Yeah. Your turn. I’m going to go back. So I have in there, it’s a little, once again, it’s an image I pulled up Google and there’s two images next to each other.

Todd: One is, it just says 13. 8 billion years old, right? That’s how long. That’s when the scientists say the Big Bang happened. And then the picture next to that is a picture of the earth that we’ve all seen as taken from the moon in 1969 or whenever that was that we landed on the moon. And it’s just, it’s a reminder that, let’s see, what am I worried about today?

Todd: Oh, so we got some plumbing issues today. And I got to call a plumber and, our sump pump may not be connected to the battery, whatever, blah, blah, blah. It’s

Cathy: a pain.

Todd: It’s a pain. The universe is 13. 8 billion years old.

Cathy: It’s going to be alright.

Todd: It’s going to be okay. Like, God forbid, even if our basement floods, even that is going to be okay.

Cathy: It’ll be fine.

Todd: So it’s just a reminder, I guess said in other ways, don’t sweat the small stuff. Yeah. And isn’t there a book out there, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, because it’s all small stuff? Yeah, it’s Richard,

Cathy: No, Richard. I want to say, I’m thinking of his wife. Richard Kimball? That’s the fugitive, sweetie.

Cathy: Richard Simmons. No, that’s the exercise guy. Richard Gere. That is the actor.

Todd: Richard, Richie Rich? He’s a

Cathy: cartoon. Yeah. Richard Roper, writer. Richard Roper,

Todd: writer. Richard Roper, writer.

Cathy: Richard, Richard. I don’t know any other Richards, but his name is Richard Carlson. I got it. Yeah, that was funny. His name is Richard Carlson and his wife also wrote some books and he died really early, that guy.

Cathy: Again, another sad, I feel like I was just talking about this. There was an, oh, we were talking about Covey a couple of weeks ago and how he died early and Richard Carlson was like in his, 50s. Yeah. He was like young and they had young children, but he wrote, don’t sweat the small stuff. And it was similar to chicken soup or the soul, where then it became all these books.

Cathy: And so anyway, yeah. So don’t sweat the small stuff, right? All right. Your turn. Okay. I’m going to give you all the ones that will make you go wet because I know, I know what

Todd: I mean. Yeah. Give, give me the confusing ones. That way we can talk about it.

Cathy: One day I wrote down, I trust them because it’s theirs.

Todd: Who are them?

Cathy: Everybody in my life that I love, sometimes I try to work through their stuff in my body because I feel like I need to figure it out, so that will help them. But

Todd: So can you read it to me one more time?

Cathy: I trust them because it’s theirs.

Todd: So let’s just say our middle daughter Cameron is having a bad day at college today.

Todd: Yeah. Your invitation to yourself is, I trust her

Cathy: because it’s hers. That’s the thing is because parents, one thing that I’ll say to you, because I say this to myself all the time, is sometimes when we’re struggling with something our kid is going through, we have part of the information. We may have the pain that they’re sharing.

Cathy: We may have the logistical information or the data from an email or something, but we don’t have the whole picture because it’s not ours. We don’t know their daily experience. We don’t know their friend support. We don’t know their ability in their mind to be, to get through it and to process it. We can’t.

Cathy: And so to believe that we can run it through our body, figure it out, and then give our kids an answer is ridiculous. And that’s true with our spouse. Our parents, like, we don’t have all the information and we have to trust other people to do their work because it’s theirs. Yeah. That’s, I, there’s no, like, I over the course of my lifetime have made myself, I don’t feel like I’ve done this for decades, but I’ve made myself sick trying to work other people’s crap through my body.

Cathy: Boom. Right? Like headaches, pain, like fainting, mental health issues, like I’ve been trying to work through everybody else’s stuff, and when you trust, and again, it doesn’t mean you don’t show up and support, I think that’s the thing is, I sometimes, it’s not binary, it’s not you either show up or you don’t, it’s you trust them because it’s theirs, and then you show up in a more outside, like an outside of it way, and I really think That I know my clients appreciate it.

Cathy: I know my students appreciate it. I think you do too. And my kids appreciate it when I trust them. When I say, well, I know you have what it takes. I know.

Todd: What’s weird about that is it’s possible that let’s just, we’re using this, this example of our daughter where she’s having a really bad day to say that you trust her while she’s in the midst of whatever, like 18 year old crisis that’s going on that may be, it may not land that well, right? Like, Oh, I trust you. You got this. Like, no mom, you’re not helping me.

Cathy: It’s all about tone because it’s not about, I trust you. You got this, a spiritual bypassing of like, it’s your problem. That’s the other extreme, right? I’m not going to help my kids with any of this.

Cathy: It’s theirs. That’s like the, that’s the other version. Extreme. It is. I know this is hard right now. I am going to help you in any way I can. What kind of supports do you need? And what I know about you is you have, and and I’m saying this from a psychological way, you have the ability to get through this.

Cathy: And I know that they are hardwired for challenge. Mm-hmm. , they are literally hardwired to do hard things. These quotes about we can do hard things and we’re, we’re neurobiologically hardwired for connection and stuff. This is all true. We literally can do hard things. It’s not a decision. It’s like we have the ability.

Cathy: So trusting that people can do that, but knowing that part of the ability for people to do that necessitates support from others. But support is different than doing it in your own body. That’s the, that’s, these are all, I don’t know how well this will land, but these are all the things I’ve had to learn.

Cathy: Okay.

Todd: Do you want to do one more? Sure. Or do you want me to go?

Cathy: How about this one? And I won’t swear because I know we, we try to keep our non, what’s it called? We try to keep the rating at like, G or whatever. But one day I just wrote everything is an effing miracle for real. Yeah. Some days I just have those experiences where I’m like, this is all crazy.

Todd: So, when you say that to yourself, is it when you are inspired or appreciating something beautiful or is it even when bad things are happening?

Cathy: All of the above. I mean, I like to read that one when I realize, when I am stuck on, our plumbing isn’t working or, my kid’s having a bad day or I didn’t get something I wanted.

Cathy: It’s like, hold on. It’s a little like your billion years thing. Yeah. It’s like, wait a second. This whole thing is an effing miracle. We were at my aunt’s house, yesterday in Galena, or a couple days ago, and she has this spider in front of her house that is, it’s like a big spider and Galena has all sorts of critters and creatures, so you gotta enjoy them.

Cathy: And it’s so beautiful, and on its back, it has this design that looks like someone drew it on this spider’s back. It’s perfect. Yeah. And that’s a spider . Right? And there there’s this ability for us to recognize that everything is effing amazing.

Todd: Well, I got one for you. Okay. Let’s hear it. This one, this you came up with this and this is like the beginner’s mind stuff.

Todd: Okay. ’cause you, we just started gardening sort of a few years ago. we’re trying and you put down some tomato seeds. Yes. And you watered it. Yeah. And we put it under in the dirt and the sun hit it, and then all of a sudden, It grew and we could eat tomatoes. We eat tomatoes. That’s the craziest thing ever.

Todd: Like a tomato literally just showed up.

Cathy: I’d be like, girls, this tomato is from our backyard. They’re like, we are aware. Yeah. And it’s

Todd: like, of course, like we drive by corn all the time. Like there’s nothing [00:26:40] big about this. In the middle of corn. There’s nothing special about this yet. It’s amazing. Sun and water and oxygen and nutrients from the dirt or whatever takes something in a seed and makes it something we can eat that nourishes us, that gives us energy.

Cathy: Todd, JC Cameron and Skylar grew in my body. Yeah, that’s nuts. I’m sorry. Sometimes Todd and I have to have these like deep out of body conversations where I’m like that human grew in my body because of you and I. Yeah. Like you and I made a decision.

Todd: Sweetie, it wasn’t easy, but somehow… I managed. You helped?

Todd: Yeah, it helped.

Cathy: And we, and these people came out of my body and now they’re like grown people. Like, what’s going on? Yeah. Like, you have to have moments like that.

Todd: So one more. I remember one of my buddies, Jim, I’ll say his last name Gatone, he’s got nine or ten siblings? Yes. And they all had babies and his dad, who I think has since passed away, I’m pretty sure he has.

Todd: He, Jim was telling me how many grandchildren he has because he had nine or ten of his own kids. Yeah. He’s got like 30 some odd grandchildren. Like, I just can’t imagine what that’s like to be an elderly man and know that somehow he helped Create these people. 30 people. Right. It’s so crazy.

Cathy: It’s nuts. And this is what I mean. Our brain will not go there naturally. This is why mindfulness as a practice is not just about like doing yoga, even though I love yoga. I want to, I just, I want to talk about that later. I want to talk about how much I loved yoga today versus the like really. That might be another podcast.

Cathy: I know it’s just today I came out of yoga. I was so happy and I’m like my body likes this. It doesn’t like. The other stuff. Anyway, that self awareness stuff. Okay. Anyway, you want me to go to my, Oh yes. You don’t want me to go on to a tangent.

Todd: Upper right hand corner of my vision board has a picture of, there’s a tug of war.

Todd: It looks like it’s on a beach. It’s like, it’s a cartoon once again. And there’s a bunch of people on the other end of the rope that are pulling. And then here, I’ll show it to you. Okay. Let me see. You see it? Yeah. Let go. He’s just letting go. Or I’m going to say it’s a man’s hands. And then below that I said, the strongest position you can be in is complete surrender, which is the opposite that I’ve been taught my entire life.

Todd: And then there’s like a picture of a silhouette of like a Buddhist monk just praying with the sunset behind it. And then the last thing says, let go of my stuff. So like, that’s like surrender corner, I guess, on my vision. And I think it is. Really helpful. Like just that idea. The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender.

Todd: So think about that when we’re frustrated at our kids or stress frustrated at our boss and surrender doesn’t mean in action. No. But if if we could surrender first. And then take whatever action and then detach from the outcome. I think my world would be a lot less complicated. But what happens usually is there is no surrender.

Todd: I’m, I’m swimming against the current of life. And I’m trying to force my will, my way of things happening. When in fact, we live in a world that has its own agenda and its own ways and patterns of being. And I spend. a lot of my time in other people’s business, in your business, in my kid’s business, in the government’s business, in the weather’s business.

Todd: We’re going to Vegas tomorrow. I know. And I was frustrated because it was going to be cold. Because I looked it up and it’s gonna be 33 at night. I’m like Vegas in October.

Cathy: What you said to me, you said the most confusing thing to me. It wasn’t confusing at all. You said, you said Kevy, it’s gonna be 58, which is like 33.

Todd: No, it’s not what I said. I was like that mean, I said during the day is gonna be 58, but low is 33.

Cathy: And I just couldn’t believe that because Vegas is a desert.

Todd: The moral of the story gets cold in the desert is I was looking up Las Vegas, New Mexico. Yes. And not Las Vegas airs. So I found myself getting like frustrated because I want to go to the pool.

Todd: And you can’t go to the pool if it’s 58 degrees, it’s going to be in the 70s, it’s going to be fine. But I spend a lot of my time, and I’ll just say, God’s business. God kind of decides what the weather, mother nature, universe, whatever word you want to use. And if I could just surrender to it. I think my life would be a lot less complicated.

Cathy: Yeah. I wish we kind of had, I always like to make up other words in my mind. I don’t always show them, but, or share them, but like surrender is just a perspective shift to me because surrender is me questioning whether or not I’m right. And if I can, like, if something’s going on, I’ll just send this as a parenting podcast, with my kids.

Cathy: I may have a train of thinking where I’m like, and if this doesn’t happen, then this will happen. And then they won’t have this. And then their life will be nothing. And there’s this whole path of thinking where if I just surrender and be like, I don’t know anything, then I can just show up for what is and what naturally happens as things evolve and change and we never knew anyway.

Cathy: So there’s a lot of belief. This is kind of going back to the empty cup. There’s this belief that we think we know what’s going to happen or that. If we do A, B, or C, then our kid will be successful or safe, and none of it’s true. Meaning, sure, could it have been true for you? Sure. Could it possibly be true?

Todd: Yeah, you can increase likelihoods of a lot of, I’ve often said that we don’t have any control over our kids, but we have a lot of influence. Sure. Which is why we do this podcast. Like, let’s be the best version of ourselves so we can model the behavior, blah, blah, blah. That doesn’t mean our kid may never has a challenge.

Todd: Yeah, of course they do. Of course. Even in, in, I have some, some friends who are single parents and I just, my heart goes out to all the single parents because you and I are lucky enough to be happily married with healthy children and it’s still really hard.

Cathy: I had a dream last night that we had another baby.

Cathy: Oh, okay. And I remember very vividly, it was a boy and I was very nervous because you kept putting it on top of the dresser. Oh, that’s where he goes. And I kept trying, I was trying to sew a, like, one of those things to keep the baby in, like, what’s that called? Like, not a block, but you know where I would put it.

Cathy: To make sure the baby didn’t roll out. Okay. And then all of a sudden I realized I was doing dishes in the kitchen and I hadn’t finished. Like I would be pulled away from it and I’d be like, the baby’s going to roll off the table.

Todd: It’s very traditional. You got, you’re sewing stuff and you’re doing dishes.

Todd: Yikes.

Cathy: And having more children. None of these things are

Todd: Am I hunting buffalo in this dream?

Cathy: Oh no. It was honestly like I haven’t gone through it. I like to figure out my dreams later, but that one I’m just remembering because, anyway. That’s good stuff. Okay. Your turn. So, here’s one that I just, I’m finding it in the, like, I’m just basically like looking through all the pictures I took in my room.

Cathy: This one says. You can full bodied take up space without fear of loss. What are you talking about? Okay, so I think, I, this is old, like I can just tell because the ink is like, it’s, it’s like, Faded. Faded. I think what I was worried about is if I show up and I am fully myself, That I would somehow be, not as loved.

Cathy: I think that’s a woman thing. I don’t want to be too gender specific because I’m sure men feel this way too. But I think I felt like if I was too vocal or if I was too, open about things that if I was fully myself then I would lose something that I would maybe not. I don’t know. I’m curious. I wish I put dates on these because If I could trace back when I wrote it, it might give me it. Maybe it was like my first book was coming out.

Todd: Well, I don’t know what you were thinking, but for me, I think it’s a very universal idea. Like if we show up as ourselves, there’s a story inside of our head that nobody will love us. Yeah. So instead we got to mold ourselves to fit in with our caregivers, the world, our job, society, our peers.

Todd: And that’s what’s great about vulnerability and openness and honesty and all that. And there’s times when I practice that quite well and there’s other times I’m pretending to be somebody I’m not to fit in.

Cathy: Well, it’s one of those things where sometimes, part of the reason some people show up not as themselves is they feel more protected because if they get rejected, then it really wasn’t them.

Cathy: There’s a false self that’s being rejected and so they’re like, well, that really wasn’t me anyway, and if we come out really as we are, and this is in every aspect of our lives, our, our personality, our, who we believe ourselves to be, sexuality, gender, the way we dress, the way we look, the way we are.

Cathy: If we are rejected in that vulnerable state, it hurts more, and it’s very childhood based. As a kid, we are being our full selves, and again, it depends on your age. Some of us held onto that for longer than others, but the rejections are harsh because it’s you. Yeah. This is really who you are.

Cathy: This is really what you think.

Todd: You are exposing your heart self. Yeah. Now what’s interesting is that there’s a cost because so like, well, it’s easier if I just pretend and I get rejected. I know that I’m safe because it wasn’t you. The problem with that is there’s a cost to that as well. Correct. Nobody really knows.

Todd: Nobody knows you.

Cathy: Yeah. Like it’s one of those things where, sometimes we pretend to show up in a certain way. If we’re like, trying to find a partner or we’re trying to find a roommate or we’re trying to find, someone that, that we can like, enjoy in our work life or whatever it may be.

Cathy: But if we’re showing up false, then we are going to get a false person that doesn’t really fit us. And so the only way to really have like reciprocity in a relationship, whatever type of relationship it may be, is to show up fully as yourself. I believe this. Very much so even in the parenting world, is that I have always advocated for be who you are with your kids, and I don’t mean dump all your emotions on them and like treat them like friends when they’re little.

Cathy: I mean be yourself, tell them the things you like, like listen to the kind of music you like, share with them the books you like. Now they may not like it, but you’re demonstrating who you are because I think the, a really difficult thing is, is when our kids get older and they’re like, They don’t know us.

Cathy: They’re like… They don’t know who we are and they, and what we lose in that process is then they can’t appreciate like, for example, if my girls were like at a party at college and a Doors song came on or a Smashing Pumpkins song came on, I guarantee you they’ll think of their dad. Yeah. And that’s

Todd: kind of a good

Cathy: party, but that’s kind of a cool connection, right? They, they, they would be like, Oh, my dad loves this. They know their dad, or if they were playing pickleball, they’d be like, my dad loves this, you know? And I know there’s a million things with me too, that they’d be like, my mom loves this. My mom, and they do that. They send me things like this made me think of you because I’ve shared with them who I am.

Cathy: They don’t necessarily love everything I love. They just know me. So the goal is not to impose it on them.

Todd: Well, I think that’s really good. For lack of better term advice is I think we’ve Feel, I’m going to, I’ll use I statements. There’s times when I feel like I need to be in dad mode. Right. And I just need to show my kids the version that’s going to most likely help them be successful in life.

Todd: But that is at the expense of my real. Right. As soon as we, we identify with this role so much that, like my kids are old enough where they can handle, like, I don’t know, I was talking to my oldest on the FaceTime. On the FaceTime? On the FaceTime. I shared something with her of something that didn’t go well.

Todd: I forget what it was. I think it was about work. Uh huh. Or something.

Cathy: When I fell down when you were dressed up as Kiss.

Todd: Or it was, I think a dream I had about my mom, which was not a comfortable one. You told me about that. And I wouldn’t have shared that with my seven year old, but my kids are 20, for goodness sake.

Todd: Yeah. And, I, I want to show them. a messier side of me. I try to present myself in this really, put together way. And I don’t necessarily think that that’s a good thing.

Cathy: Sorry. I’m sorry that I was interrupting you when you were in the middle of a thought. What, the reason I wanted to interrupt is you and I had this discussion in the car the other day, and you often, when we’re having these conversations, you often say, I want to show myself in this way. I want to show up this way. And I always say to you, just be yourself because you’re still in teaching mode. If your mentality is, I want to show my kids this, just be yourself. And again, for you, this is just words. I totally know that Todd. And this is not a criticism of you, but I think here’s the thing.

Cathy: It gets too teachy. If you’re trying to show yourself,

Todd: I totally agree with you. The problem is I’ve [00:40:00] been in this mode for so long. Yeah.

Todd: To unwind that, to undo that and show up as my vulnerable, flawed self is really different for me. So sometimes I have to like go to the, okay, right now I’m going to share something vulnerable with my kids about a dream I had. I have to like intentionally decide that because if you’re like just Share that without having that first thought.

Todd: And I’m not wired. I’m not that I’m not wired. It requires intention for me to show the messier side of myself. And I think your invitation is like, just be messy. And my, and my response is I need to decide to be messy before I could be messy.

Cathy: You’re right. And it is a process. Like I think this has come up before because you have been talking about, I’m going to tell the girls that I cried yesterday.

Cathy: And it’s like, well, That I mean, not that you can’t do that. It just feels so teachy and preachy.

Todd: I think your invitation is just cry in front of them.

Cathy: Yeah, or yeah, but it’s not. No, I’m not because I know that’s not easy. And that’s a setup. I’m not saying, but I’m saying sometimes when you, I think You know what?

Cathy: Both of us are, are like, we’re saying the same thing here. It’s just that I think it’s less about do this and more about sometimes when you do share something and it doesn’t land the way you want it to. I’m just trying to let you know why, which is because you’re still showing up in a teaching mode of girls.

Cathy: Guess what? I have something to share. I cried yesterday. It’s better than never sharing your emotions. It’s a step. But it also feels a little like, thanks dad, like we, that’s great. And but sometimes to your point, that’s what you need to do right now because that’s your step toward a more authentic version.

Todd: You know? Let’s both do one more. Okay.

Cathy: Let’s see. I wrote, I’m going to go to a different page and see if I could find something from my library. Do you have one already?

Todd: I do have one. I’m trying to.

Cathy: Oh, I have one. This is an old one. This is from my office. This is really old. It’s really, come. This was someone else’s quote, and I don’t know whose it is, but I cut it out.

Cathy: Probably mine. Come sit down beside me, I said to myself. And although it doesn’t make sense, I held my old, my own hand as a sign of trust. And together we sat on the fence. I think that was all about me just taking care of myself. And that remembering, like, if, if there’s this whole big, like, poster in my meditation area of having to go back and remind my younger girl that she’s not alone.

Cathy: And so I do a lot of, those quotes that are like, I’m going to hold my own hand. That’s a really good mental practice for me.

Todd: Kind of like inner child work. It definitely is. Because to the logical and practical person that I sometimes identify as like, well, hold your own hand. That’s stupid. Like, no, there’s a, there’s a younger one living inside of me still.

Todd: Correct. Who still needs to be accepted, loved, appreciated. And I, that’s what I thought of when I, when I heard you share your piece.

Cathy: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s like, Just so many different versions of it, you know. And then the, the last one I’ll share because it’s about this work that you and I do, is, this is really old.

Cathy: I think this is so old that it’s like a Wayne Dyer quote. Your vocation in life comes from where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need. And I think I, Put that in and obviously it’s in my office. So it’s on an old board that I used to have. It’s very hard for me to get rid of my old boards.

Cathy: Like I used to make vision boards all the time throughout my life and it’s hard to throw them away because they all have, they’re a part of your life. But I think when you and I were deciding what to do, like in our early thirties, those decisions and sometimes those are privileged decisions.

Cathy: I understand that sometimes we have to just do a job and then the vocation that I’m talking about becomes more of our, like. the things we do in our free time, but to figure out where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need. And to me, I believe the world’s greatest need is the ability to connect, understand our emotions.

Cathy: Recognize our mental wellness or lack of and to, I get reminded every day, of, I had a student yesterday who told me her niece tried to take her own life. We all the time, unfortunately, hear of people who have attempted or, or have been successful, with those issues with their own mental health.

Cathy: And we realize that without our mental health, without our sense of connection, without having a purpose, even if it, it be to just do this earthwalk and enjoy, follow the bird, that we don’t sometimes want to stick around. And that is, we, that’s a need we have is to take care of each other and to take care of ourselves.

Cathy: So that’s what, that’s what I’ve always wanted to focus on.

Todd: I have a few things. One is, is I had no idea that we’re going to talk about this today, but yesterday, it just so happened I put something up yesterday on my vision board. Oh, great. I’ve had like six mission statements in my life, and I always forget about them, and they’re always too long.

Todd: And I texted this to a friend because we were having an exchange, or I think maybe I said it on Marco Polo, but I said, I just want to do impactful things with people I love. And I’m like, yeah, that’d be a good mission statement. Yeah. Now it’s not perfect. Cause I don’t like the word things in it do impactful things.

Todd: Like what are things, but you’re keeping it general. It’s, it’s a foundation for, cause I like mission statements that you can just like say real quick, it’s easy to memorize versus, all the other things that go into the development of like a corporate mission statement. Like who are you, where you want to go?

Todd: How are you going to get there? All that. Blah, blah, blah. Doing impactful things with people I love. The other thing I want to mention about this vision board is I have two different pictures of myself on here. One is as an infant and I can barely hold myself up. I think my mom or dad has pillows behind me, but I’m like brand new, like six months.

Todd: And then another one I have of me is, me, I’m probably six or seven years old. I got kind of like a scab on my head probably because I’ve been playing outside or maybe it’s dirt. But I remember. My friend, Tony, we went to Palm Springs together with some in living guys and they said, bring a picture of you when you were a kid and we all brought a picture and the invitation was just to share about who that young person was.

Todd: And I remember I started crying. Now, I did have a few cocktails in my system, which tends to reduce my inhibitions, but I just felt really connected to this, this version of myself that I had like photographic evidence of. And I, I. I look at it almost every single day. It’s like right next to where I sit in my office.

Todd: So, because when we’re that young, we’re all innocent.

Cathy: Well, and it’s, the word innocent is a big one, but we’re all just being ourselves. Yeah. That’s it. Like I, like you have pictures of myself as a kid in my office, in my meditation area, in my bedroom. And why do I have pictures of myself as a kid?

Cathy: Because she knew what was going on. She knew herself. Yeah. And I, when I feel resonance or when I feel like something fits me, I look at her and she agrees. You know what I mean? Like she knew what she liked. One of the activities that I always have my college students do is they have to write about what they loved when they were around that age that you’re talking about Todd of that picture.

Cathy: And if you don’t remember, look at a picture of yourself. What did that person love? And, and it doesn’t, it, it just gives you. A better understanding of, of remembering yourself because culture and society and people who Often have very good intentions do a number on us where we forget and we forget over and over again.

Cathy: So we have to remind ourselves like you for my birthday, you gave me, a shirt. So when I was little, I used to know different than now. I used to love shirts that said things like it would have, like I had a sweater that said, I like you. And I had, I just had things like that. And I had a shirt that said Cathy, and I loved it.

Cathy: Like, it was so important to me. So I have a picture of me wearing that shirt from when I was little, and Todd got me another one for adulthood that says Cathy. And I was so moved by that because I love that shirt.

Todd: My gift giving talent is a lot to be desired, but I’m slowly getting better. What else? I got you something else good for your birthday.

Cathy: You gave me a bunch of meaningful things this year.

Todd: It was the Cathy shirt and there was something else that was good. Couldn’t have been that good because I don’t remember. All right. In closing, I want to remind anybody who likes this podcast to join the Circle. It’s the Team Zen membership platform.

Todd: It’s an app on your phone with Zen Parenting Radio’s complete parenting content collection, plus live talks all in one place. 25 bucks. Cancel at any time.

Cathy: Yeah, basically, if you just feel like you just want to be part of a virtual community where you get a lot of good stuff and it’s all in one place and it’s not complicated and we’re not going to make you do anything and you can just be you, I just love our app.

Cathy: I just think it’s the best thing in the world.

Todd: Some more personal time with, with the two of us and a bunch of a hundred or so other awesome Zen parenting parents.

Cathy: And all the opportunities. We have so many speakers coming up that you can just come, ask some questions, listen to them. Just, it comes to you in a podcast form.

Cathy: So even if you miss it, you can listen to it. And then, all these micro communities. I have a women’s circle. It’s just really fun.

Todd: So if you’re interested, just go to our website. There’s stuff for Team Zen all over the place. In the meantime, I want to thank Jeremy Kraft. He’s a bald headed beauty.

Todd: He does painting and remodeling throughout the Chicagoland area. The phone number is 630 956 1800. We’ll catch you all next week on Zen Parenting Radio. Keep truckin