Everybody’s journey can take many twists and turns. For Leanne Kabat, those twists and turns started with an almost nuclear explosion in her life. With two toddlers and a baby on the way, Leanne got up in the middle of the night super hot and super dizzy and fell on the floor paralyzed for over five hours. Eight months later with an undiagnosed brain condition, she was told she only had five years to live. In this episode, Amber Hawley and Maelisa Hall talk with Leanne Kabat about the seasons of her business and life as Leanne opens up about her battle with a brain crash and how she was able to get her life back through MamaConnects, helping and connecting with people, and writing.
The Seasons Of Business And Life With Leanne Kabat
We have with us the amazing Leanne Kabat. Welcome, Leanne.
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.
We are excited to have you on. Leanne has an amazing story and also, she is a prolific writer, so we’re excited to have her come on and share about her story and her book. Why don’t you give our readers a little bit of background, a little bit about who you are?
I am a Canadian living outside of Seattle. I bring a lot of very kind and compassionate bits of me to all the things that I do and that is especially relevant in the work that I’m doing. I’m hired by entrepreneurs to help them find their business brilliance. It feels a very complete package and a very solid offering and it has been the bumpiest road to this place. It has been the most treacherous journey. I’m grateful for a moment to be at peace with where I am because as we all know, everybody’s journey can take many twists and turns. Mine started with this almost nuclear explosion in my life and that is never a good place to build something from because the fallout is so enormous.
Isn’t life good at that though? I was talking to someone else about that. We talk about like, “These things keep happening.” You keep getting bombed with stuff or you get something on the left field. I remember talking to somebody, “Every time I think I’m ahead, this happened.” Somebody said, “Do you mean life?”
If you want to be dropping that four-letter word on me, very good.
That’s the cleanest four-letter word I ever share. Tell us what was that nuclear bomb?
We had moved down to the Seattle area in February of 2006. We had been here a month, we didn’t even have our stuff delivered yet. It was bare-bones living and my husband was sent to California for a business trip. I had two toddlers at the time. Alex was four and Nicole was two. I was five months pregnant with baby number three. One night during the week when he was gone, we all climbed into bed because when daddy was gone, the rules went out the window and we all slept together and ate eggs for dinner and it was glorious. In the middle of the night, I got up to go to the bathroom, as pregnant women do. I got super-hot and super dizzy and I fell on the floor and I couldn’t move.
I was paralyzed on the floor for over five hours and I had fallen on the front of me. I was on the baby. As I lay there, I went through all the stages of everything you could imagine. I was angry, I was begging, I was crying, I was panicked. I was trying to find the gratefulness in the moment so that the universe would hear that I needed to get off the floor. Five hours later, everything just started to spin and burn. I was finally able to move. I woke up the kids and I threw them in the van and I went to the hospital. That set off a series of experiences for me medically where we went down every avenue possible. Once the baby was born in July and thankfully he was born healthy. It was a testimony to how many medical professionals could get involved in this situation. “Do you have Meniere’s disease? You need to go here. You might have lupus, let’s go here. It’s got to be epilepsy, let’s put you in the hospital for three days and try to trigger some seizure. You must have a brain tumor, let’s scan you.” You have everything you can imagine I was tested for. Finally in November, eight months after the event, they called me back to the hospital. It was almost this scene out of flash dance. There’s this big long table and all these doctors on one side and one chair. I sat in the chair and they lit up the light boxes behind them and my scans were up there. They went through all the stuff over my head. I was a nervous wreck.
At the end of it all, they said, “We don’t know what it is but we are pretty sure it’s going to kill you.” I said, “What? When?” “Five years.” I said, “That’s not okay.” I have three babies. My birthday that year fell on Thanksgiving and I said, “My birthday is on Thanksgiving. Are you saying I have four more Thanksgiving with my kids? Four more birthdays with them?” They said, “Go home, hug your kids. Live your life and get your stuff in order. We don’t know how long you have, but take this seriously.” For the next three years, I started to die. I didn’t go out, I didn’t take care of anything. I cried all the time. I was still experiencing neurological complications. I would lose track of time. I did not know how to cook. I didn’t know how to turn on the stove anymore. I couldn’t open a cheese string wrapper. I didn’t understand how you make the cheese come out of the wrapper. Everything was super hard.
These would just come and go, it sounds very terrifying.
I stopped driving because I thought, “I could die when I’m on the highway with my kids.” My world became very small. They were still little, they didn’t know what was going on. They knew that mommy couldn’t do a million things. Mommy could do very little, mommy could lie on the floor while we played Play-Doh but we had to clean it up before daddy got home. It was a very hard time to be a mother and to be a child in our house. My husband asked his mom to come down from Canada and help out a little because I was struggling and she saw what was going on. At one point, she’s this tiny little Polish powerhouse with this very heavy accent. She came and said, “When you’re gone, I raise children. I’d be a mama.” I was like, “What?” In that moment, it took everything I had not to explode. I could not believe the atrocity of somebody else saying that they were going to raise my children. It was that moment that I left the house. I went and walked around my neighborhood and I screamed into the air and I swore like a sailor like, “It is not ending this way. I am not dying. This is not okay. This is not how it ends. I have not lived through everything in my life to have this be what takes me down. You’re going to need way more than this stupid undiagnosed brain condition to take me down.”
I started sleeping a lot. I was eating clean, I was exercising, I was doing yoga, I was playing. I did not clean, I barely cooked. I was like, “You have to solve that somehow.” Buy food, ready to go, order in. I don’t care. I am literally doing the bare minimum around my life so that I can heal whatever it was. I played with the kids all the time. I chose tennis, biking and activities over anything else that I had to do. There was no obligation I was required to participate in because I would not do it. A woman came to me at my kid’s school when I was picking them up one day and she’s like, “I’ve got these tickets to this thing.” I’m like, “No, I don’t go to things.” In my mind I’m screaming, “I’m dying.” If we look at the clock, I have three months left. I’m not going to a thing. She said, “Just think about it. It’s a fun thing. It’s a new thing. It’s a mom thing. You should go. I don’t think you do things so you should do something.” I thought, “I don’t know, I don’t do things.” I put the tickets in my bag. Then on Saturday was the day of the event and I was like, “There’s this thing.” I called up a woman who I didn’t know but I’m like, “I’ve got these tickets to this thing. Do you want to come?” She met me there later that day. When I arrived by myself, it was almost magical.
The music was pumping and I had never been to a conference for women before. Any of the conferences I had ever gone to in my corporate life were not like that. There was a spa set up that you could have massages and hand treatments and there were makeup applications. There were food vendors and jewelry vendors. It was this woman’s life explosion all over and I could not believe it. I emailed the people at the end of the day and I said, “I don’t know if you’re ever going to do this again, but I would love to volunteer.” The woman wrote me back and she said like, “Why would you want to volunteer for this?” I didn’t want to say because I’m dying and I don’t want to commit to something that I won’t be around to deliver.
I said, “I’m home with my kids and I want this very casual experience where I can contribute but not be holding the responsibility for anything.” That started off this love affair with this event. I lived for January when the emails came around and they had said, “It’s time to get going.” I was like, “I know. I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for this email.” One year, in 2016 I emailed them and I’m like, “It’s the second week of January. I’m ringing the bell here. What’s going on?” The women who had started, MamaCon, had said, “We’re not doing it anymore. We’re out.” It was almost the second crevice that I fell into and I said, “I live for this.” I live for my children but personally, I live for the opportunity to be around like-minded women and create things that are magical for other people.
One of the women wrote back and she said, “Leanne, I know you love it so much. Why don’t you just buy it?” I was like, “Buy it? I can’t buy it. I’m dying.” She’s like, “No, you’re not.” There were some personal hurdles hearing that you’re dying. For me, it changed me to my core DNA and everything I did came from that place of, “I don’t have time. I’m running out of time. Time will disappear. I won’t live to see my kids go to college. I won’t live to do all of these things.” I did a couple of things at that time. I said yes. I bought the business and I became the new owner of this company. I also, on a personal level, decided that I was going to visit 50 countries before I turn 50. I think for me, this five-year expiration was a little bit taunting.
I would get $5 and change or the speed limit was 50 or the time on the clock every day that I happened to look was 5:05. The universe kept poking me like, “Leanne, are you living? Are you living yet? You’re running out of time.” The 50 by 50 was an opportunity for me to take the number five and put it into something that was something I wanted to see. Show me 50 on a speed limit sign. I want to be reminded that I need to be booking more travel and I need to research our next destination. It was one of those pivotal places where I had to decide and choose that my life was going to be what I made of it however long it lasted. I worked on MamaCon for a number of years. At one point I felt I wasn’t connecting with people, which is why I loved the event in the first place. I was so busy doing the thing, I wasn’t actually enjoying the thing. I know most of us feel that way in our businesses when we’re so caught up doing the business, we don’t actually enjoy why we have the business in the first place. I put up this campaign that I wanted to help 50 women in 50 days. It was 50 days before my event. I guess at some level I thought it would drum up a little bit of PR, a little bit of buzz for the event and maybe some of these women would want to come.
I found myself never talking about the event. I never told them I had MamaCon. I never told them May 16th was the day they needed to be in Bellevue. I showed up in their house to 69 women and we cooked, we cleaned, we shopped, we trained, we decluttered, we built businesses. We did everything that they needed for those times and I felt that was a little bit of the gift that I had. I can drop into a space and fix things and shine a light on things that people might not be able to see or maybe they have purposefully or subconsciously turned away from. I was there to say, “You don’t have time for this anymore, so let’s get this done now because if this is your block, we are not going to have you say this is your block. We’re fixing it.” I was very much motivated by action. We built chore charts, we made family meal plans, we set up mission statements and all of that great stuff. It was awesome. From that place, I felt empty. I felt a little bit like, “Is this all there is? Do I literally pity around in the dark corners of people’s lives and make these small adjustments to help their lives better? Is that what this is?” I felt I needed to do more because this isn’t scalable. This isn’t something that I can get up to heaven and say, “I touched these 69 people. Lucky me.” I felt I could have an impact that was greater than that.
I went to Toronto for a conference. I sat alone at my sister’s house and I was, not in a begging way, but just an I’m a ready way. “I’m ready for you to tell me where I go next because I don’t know and I trust that I am still here past my expiration date because I still have things to do. You now need to step in and show me a sign of what that is.” I sat there on the bed and I was doodling and then this flood. I am not joking you, it was almost tsunami-like of this idea about these seasons. The seasons of our life, the seasons of our relationships and what does summer look like? What is winter? There was this extra season. I got very curious and I wrote it all. As it was coming, I wrote super tiny because I didn’t want to run out as space. I still have the book and I photocopied and framed those pages because that was a divine inspiration in and of itself. That was not from me. It was totally through me.
What ended up happening was I took that framework and I created The 5 Seasons of Connections to Your Child because that was who I was serving at the time. I use the five seasons, so obviously, the four seasons that we know, and then this fifth season that came from the universe or creator, source or wherever it comes from, and I wrote a book. It’s a great book. I still read it. I bring it with me everywhere. I give it to moms at grocery stores. I’m like, “You might want to read this. Just check this out.”
The interesting thing happened was I published it on Friday in February of 2019 and then on Saturday, I jumped on a plane and I went to Iceland for a week. It was almost like I just had to get it out and it wasn’t mine to hold. It was this very weird thing. When I was in Iceland, I didn’t think about the book. People were excited, they were reading it, they were texting me and I did not engage in anything. When I got back, I thanked everyone. I’m like, “Enjoy the book. I hope it makes a difference. I hope you connect deeper with your children. I hope this helps you in some way.” I started to write the next book.
In three weeks, I was finished with The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Business Brilliance. That to me felt like when you see a river and you want to get to the other side, you can’t jump that far. The five seasons created this pathway through the river. The first stone was definitely the book for parents. This next book coming out is for entrepreneurs. It is not about SEO, it is not about Facebook marketing. It’s not about the things. It is about connecting to the greatness that you have inside of you already from which you can build a business. It is not about the business. It’s about who you are when you show up in your business, which then led me immediately to the next book in the season in the series, which would be The 5 Seasons of Connection to Yourself.
I think this whole unfolding is using this framework to guide us from our relationships with others. One of the books in this series will be your 5 Seasons of Connection Into Your Love Partner because I think that’s a massive step in who we are in the world is how we relate to those that we intimately allow into our space. It’s interesting that this book has become almost a journey in and of itself to both self-exploration but also partner exploration, who I partner with in the world. Do I partner with the moms that I guided on the 50 moms in 50 days? Do I partner with entrepreneurs as they are trying to figure out why their businesses aren’t working because they aren’t showing up fully as who they are? As we come around the corner, is it who am I to myself? What has my life given me to create who I am able to be? I think the brain condition, as much as I have cursed it like a crazy person. I have hated a couple of things in my life as much as I have hated this. Not many, but I have hated this brain disease. I’ve hated the things that it has taken from me and the symptoms that it forces me to live with. The pain, the loss and the victimization that I feel I can get stuck in sometimes. I hate all of those things. I love that it has given me the opportunity to live a life I never would have lived otherwise. I say yes to things I would have never said yes to.
I am this crazy introvert who would love to live in a mountain and read books, write little smart things, drink tea and eat chocolate-covered almonds. This journey says, “We’re doing different things with you, Leanne. You’re not here for that. Thank you for waking up in 2011 when you decided you are going to live. Thank you for living. Now, let’s push what living means into your own personal space. The space of your family, the space of your community, the global space of having a podcast, writing these books and coaching women all over the world for their own business brilliance experiences.” It makes me super grateful for that gift, even though it has hurt my heart so deeply sometimes. It has broken me in places that I didn’t even know were fragile. It has shaken me so deeply, but I think from there I chose what I wanted. What is the legacy that I want to create? What is the gift I want to give my kids? What is the gift I want to leave the world? I had this weird experience.
One of the things that this brain condition does for me, which it didn’t do before and maybe it does this for other people. This is new for me. I will be living my life. I will be cleaning, I will be washing dishes, I’ll be raking the leaves and then a movie will just start. I don’t know how long the movie lasts, but in my mind, it’s a five-minute little novella in my head. One particular movie was I was driving to see my girlfriend. She lived in the country and this is actually what happened. I’m driving on the road and I’m coming around a corner and a tractor is coming out of the field. He hops the curve of the road and he lands in the middle of the street and I run into him and I die.
I immediately go up to heaven. God is sitting there on a chair with his feet up on a desk and his glasses are over his nose and he’s got a clipboard. He’s like, “Hey.” I’m like, “Don’t you hey me. Do you not know how hard I’m working? Do you not see that I’m trying to build these businesses and make this life, pay these bills, get this reach and do these things?” I ranted and he sat there and took it. I got it all out. In the movie, I am ranting and I’m listing all the things that I feel I have been wronged or have been made too hard for my life. He let me finish. He says, “Did you use everything I gave you? Did you use your connections? Did you use your experience? Did you use your wisdom? Did you use your resources? Did you use your research ability? Did you actually use it all?” Of course, I sunk and I said, “No.” I could have said, “I’m too shy or I’m too scared or I’m not smart enough, or I’m not educated enough, or I’m not enough-enough.” I just said, “No.” He just said, “You’re not done.” I’m back in the car, I’m driving on the road and I’m approaching my girlfriend’s house. That was the story of the movie in my mind.
I think that shook me more than anything. Even talking with you, Amber, at that event, a part of me was, “I’m not a biz bestie.” I don’t have the thing. At some point it was like, here she is, this glorious redhead sister goddess in front of me, open up to trying to say yes. Open up to the possibility that this is a thing that you can say yes to in your life. Is this everything? Did you do everything? Did you try everything? People will say, “I tried to lose weight. I drank water for three days and I gave up.” That’s not everything. You presenting me just that sparkle and that twinkle that night I thought, “This is part of that everything.” No, I didn’t use everything. I don’t know what I’m here to do exactly, but I know that when I speak with people sometimes, I flicker light on a path that they think is too dark for them to walk on alone. If that’s all I can do is twinkle a little bit of sparkle as I walk forward and they see there’s a path there and someone’s done it before me and I think I can try that too, then that is enough. That makes me enough in this world to keep doing what I’m doing for as many days as I get to do it.
I think it’s so powerful. It’s more than enough. Sometimes we don’t understand how much that impact has on people. Even you choosing to say, “Have I done enough? Have I used all my resources?” is inspiring other people to question for themselves and put things in perspective for themselves, even if they aren’t facing the same hurdles or the same things as you. It’s this idea that I think a lot of us are going along in life and we don’t know. I think sometimes it is harder for people when they feel they’ve been given that information. It can either devastate you and it did for a little while or it can make you say, “I have perspective and I’m going to savor every moment.” To me, it was such a powerful story. There’s a lot to unpack here, but I want to go back to something and highlight that for me was universal. What I love about it is when you decided, “I’m going to go into this and I’m going to heal because I’ve got to savor the time that I have with my kids.”
What I liked too is it wasn’t a story of it happened and I went right into that mode. When tragedy happens, people feel guilty. This tragedy happens or you have this huge event happening in your life. If this was a real movie, it would be the click and then they changed their life forever. That’s not how it happens. In my experience as a therapist, you have that and you have the thought of it, but then you have the grief, the devastation, the PTSD and all the other stress that comes with it. It takes us time to get there. For me, having gone through having my son’s accident, it took me years to get to a place where I felt like, “I’m going to start doing different things.”
I know that self-care as a term has gone through the pendulum of feeling it’s something no one talks about, something that everyone is talking about. It is not about manicures and massages. I find it a little offensive when anyone belittles the process of coming through the other side. I literally was driving back from a conference. It was five and a half hours through the mountains. There’s snow, there’s wind, there are trucks and there are idiot drivers. I thought, “I’m not dying on this mountain for sure.” I started talking. Me and my source, we’re having this five-hour conversation. One of the things that came up for me was I thought about PTSD. I don’t claim to know anything about it actually. I do think that there are things in my life that have created trauma and I have to repair myself from those things. It actually isn’t just post-traumatic. For me, it feels it gets repetitive traumatic stress disorder because I keep having instances in which this shows up. I have on my calendar a ping that my pharmacy has my injection ready. I’m doing this funky doodle, experimental, crazy business, which hurts. Injections hurt. Anyone who has to inject themselves at all for infertility or MS, I bow to you. It hurts and it hurts your soul.
I know when I have to do those things, I am going to build in quiet time. I am going to make sure that my kids have playdates because I don’t want them here seeing me sad. I also want them taken care of. “Can I bring you cookies? Can you take my kid for two hours?” I need to sit on the floor and whatever that looks like. If I cry, if I lie in the sun like I like to do, if I want to go for a walk, if I want to put on soul-wrenching music and be in the moment. Whatever self-care is, I think giving ourselves permission to process it as we need to. It’s painful to keep shoving down the hurt, the grief, the loss and the fear and bottling it up so that we look okay.
I don’t have a disease where anyone would think there was something wrong with me. I am super high functioning and I have brain damage. I have workarounds. I know how to hide this. I know how to do things so that it doesn’t look I have deficiencies. At the end of it all, they’re masks that we sometimes wear with people because we have shame that we can’t do all the things. I can’t go to this event and dance around because I think I’m going to throw up. I’m in so much pain or I feel so hurt and lost. I need to be in this space of sadness for a moment and I will pick myself up. It’s okay to be sad. For me, writing this 5 Seasons book is literally a gift from God to identify what those seasons are. I can feel all the seasons in a moment.
When I’m in an emotional winter, things are stormy. Things are cold and disconnected. I might be snapping at people. I might be feeling the worst I’ve ever felt, but I know spring is there. I know what spring cleaning looks for me because I’ve done that work. For me, spring cleaning is these eleven practices. Go pick one, Leanne, and pull yourself out of winter. If you can, call one of these people on your spring cleaning list and help them help you get back to summer. It is this tool of reframing the pain to propel you back to where you want to spend the time that you’re given to live.
The thing that strikes me about a lot of what you’re saying is a focus on not just letting life happen to you. You’re accepting that everybody has challenges. Everybody has different circumstances. Everybody has bad things happen. Sometimes it’s a big major thing that happens and sometimes big major things that happen consistently. Sometimes it’s lots of little things. You’re saying, those things happen. I know they’re going to happen. I’m planning ahead for it. I’m expecting it and I am prepared and know how to make sure I can handle it. I love even what you said about calling up someone and telling them helping them help you. It sounds you’ve done a lot of reflection like, “This is what I need right now. Can you do this for me?” Whether that’s literally asking someone to take your kids or more emotional support. It takes so much of that. That’s a big reason why we started this. It’s all of these things. It’s having the community around you. It’s also a lot of deep reflection and knowing yourself in order to seek out what it is that you need.
That is the key because when you know yourself and you know what you need, I know who to ask for those things. I am not going to ask my husband at the end of a fourteen-hour a day from his crazy stressful job to come and hold my sadness or to hold my irrational fears that we think we have. I’m not going to ask him because that is not what I know he can help me with. I’m going to call the person who I know is the queen of holding my crazy. I’ll be like, “Sweetie, I’m so afraid right now that this is happening.” She’ll be like, “I’m here for you. What do you need? What is it? Do you want me to listen? Do you want me to advise you? Do you want me to butt kick you? Do you want me to help you set another goal? Let’s talk about planning country 49. What is it?” Knowing who I am at this ridiculously intimate level makes me feel so crazy empowered.
I feel I can own the world because I’m not waiting for other people to rescue me and read my mind. I’m not waiting for them to come save me. I’m not waiting for them to do the thing. Buy my book or don’t buy my book. I’m not counting on you to validate what I’m doing in the world. I’m not filling myself with all of these stories that I think some people get caught up with. I am doing my stuff for my growth and development. I hope to be reflecting to other people that things are possible. They don’t have to do my things. They can do their own things. What is possible for you is only limited by what you think is possible for you. My doctors don’t know why I’m still here. My test results don’t indicate that I should still be here. They don’t understand how all of these things are. I am dying and I am living. They are not mutually exclusive. I can do both. We’re all dying. When you’re told you’re dying, when you’re told that you have something growing inside of you that is going to take you down, it changes everything. It’s not that you don’t care about the little things. When I get stuck in traffic, I’m not praying for everybody. I’m still angry that I’m stuck in traffic. I think it makes what I actually care about the right things for me.
There’s a lot to unpack and I think Maelisa touched on what you were saying about how you’re reaching out and who you’re choosing to reach out to at different times. That’s why we talk about this support network for your business or for your life. As a therapist, we talk about it for your life because you need to have more than one person. You cannot rely on one other person to do all the things. I think that’s an important message for people to know. Even your partner doesn’t have to be the one that can fulfil all the things. You can understand their limitations, their burdens or their stress and you can choose other people and not to expect them to read your mind but to reach out. I think that’s an important message, especially for women to hear. The other thing, going back to the beginning of your story that struck me is one, when you first got all of this information and you were in the devastation of it all, and then you’re like, “I’m making a different choice here because this alternative is not okay with me.” I love that you said no to anything that wasn’t directly involved in you healing or you being with your kids.
I love that so much because so many women, and I hear it from men too because I do work with a lot of men, but so many women, especially moms, they feel so guilty like, “I’ve got to do that. I have to cook their dinner or make this or do that.” It’s like, “No, you don’t. Those things don’t have to happen. They can be figured out by somebody else or figure it out in a different way.” I want to honor that because I want people to know that part of that story, to understand that part of healing and part of choosing the life and making the life you want to saying no to things. I also love the juxtaposition of that, and then there was a point where you had to say yes to the event. I love those two things. Saying no, having the boundaries and understanding what’s going to be important to you in this season of your life. Then there’s, “I also have to say yes to myself at some point when I got to that place where I was doing better and I was in a more healed space.”
I think so many of us, you don’t have enough of that no time. It’s when you’re doing that then when that yes opportunity comes up, it doesn’t feel like, “I want to do that. That sounds exhausting.” It’s like, “No,” or it’s like, “Yes, I’m ready to do it and I’m ready to do it all the way.”
I like that it took a couple of years of the no because that’s the thing. I think we rush ourselves like, “I should be writing now. I should be up to do this.” It’s the should-ing all the time. I like the analogy of the seasons because if we think about that, that also means things are impermanent and that can be a good thing. In the sense that this suffering or this season of the ship storm or whatever it is, it’s going to pass because it does. That’s how life is.
Two things I wanted to add. One, on the previous point, I’m not going to kid anyone. There are consequences to decisions. Me deciding to not clean my house had consequences. My husband was not used to that at all. He’s Eastern European, his mother is Polish. His mother works very hard to maintain a proper home. It looks hoarders and it felt a tornado had ripped through at any given moment. It wasn’t about the children. Children make messes but just the living makes messes and I didn’t care. When she came one day and said, “Do you want me to clean the baseboards?” I’m like, “I don’t even think I own anything to clean baseboards.” I couldn’t care less.
There are consequences because judgment comes. People would send their children over to play with my kids. They would come in and be like, “You’ve got a lot of stuff.” I’m like, “I do.” There’s a judgment in that. I have to be okay with that. It’s hard to be okay with your own mess, your physical mess or your emotional mess. If you go to a conversation with someone and you bubble all over and you have this verbal diarrhea and then you go, “I shouldn’t have done all of that.” We can’t always contain the messes that we exist within. Finding a place to which your boundary says, “I can be okay up until this point.” Some people could never live with their island mountainous of stuff. I’m okay with that. To me, my boundary is other things are more important. Make those decisions for yourself and then renegotiate the consequences of what happens with the people who it impacts. For my husband, I had to say, “I will do my best to get all the dishes loaded in the dishwasher every day, but that’s it. I can’t do any more than that.” You pull the kids and they do chores and so you delegate it and they’re older now. At the time, there were some sticky conversations because of course, we don’t always look sick. It’s like, “You could take the kids to the park and you couldn’t sweep the floor?” No, I couldn’t. I made a choice. It’s a hard choice I know.
I think that is such a good point. It’s easy to say that, but that’s where I think so many women even have that themselves. It’s like, “If I’m well enough to take the kids to the park, then why can’t I sweep up the house?” The problem is that’s what leads us to burnout because we don’t know when to stop and when to shut it off. There are going to be consequences because I think most of us would love to live in a pristine home and not feel any of that stuff. I’ve worked with people that and I’ll talk to them. In this season, that doesn’t matter. What you’re going through, you need to figure out something else. If you can’t tolerate it, you need to hire it out because you need to find someone else to do it. You’ve got to build up a tolerance and you have to find out where your tolerance lies.
I think you’re right on the cyclical nature of using the seasons for this framework. It’s something that I use in my own life. I’m happy that I was able to write a book about it and other people might be able to find benefit from it, but it is cyclical. Great things don’t necessarily last forever. The hard things don’t last forever. Every time we spiral around the cycle, we are better than the last time we came. If you have been in a winter storm, your mother is diagnosed with cancer or you had to put your dog down or your child had a horrific situation with asthma and you were very scared. Whatever that winter was for you, when you come back to that point again, when you are back in winter, the hope is that you aren’t there as deep, as dark, as long and as disconnected as the previous time.
If every time you go through your own personal winters, your own professional winters, your own relationship winters. If you can find the spring cleaning strategy that was most effective in that situation, you’re building evidence that you can pull yourself through the seasons and go back towards summer. We feel sometimes that things outside of ourselves are out of our control, uncontrollable. To some extent that’s true, but how are we in those situations? Those things will constantly happen. It’s a brain disease. I might get into a car accident or a tree might fall on my house. Things will always happen. Having the tools to count on yourself and to have that deep core level of trust that you can get through it because you’ve tried these things that have worked, I think is so powerful that you don’t have to stay where you are if you are somewhere you don’t want to be.
I didn’t want to be where I was. It took an outside force. It took my mother-in-law pointing out that she would be the mother of my children. How many winters we go through in our lives, in our businesses? We lose the sale. This thing doesn’t happen. This client doesn’t enjoy our services and smacks us out in the universe and we’re like, “What happened? I was so good for you.” Whatever that was, we have the ability to learn the tools to cycle through the seasons and be better than the previous time. It is this Nautilus all the way until the very last day when we get there and we’re like, “We used it all.”
I think that is a perfect note to end on. This is very inspirational. If people want to check out the book for entrepreneurs, what is the title again and where can they go to find that?
It’s called The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Business Brilliance and it should be up on Amazon. Whenever your readers would to check it out, that would be great.
If they want to find out more about you and what you’re doing?
I’m on Instagram, I’m on Facebook under my name and my company is called The 5 Seasons Life. That will be a place where they can find out about membership opportunities to be in this space of uncovering their business brilliance with me, as well as private sessions to just go through their seasons and the five elements that they need to uncover their own brilliance.
Thank you so much. It’s a very compelling story. I didn’t expect to get emotional, but you had to do that to me. That came out of nowhere. That’s why I knew it would be powerful.
I’m very tingly inside to be a part of what you guys have created. I am so honored for the work that you do and I thank you both for your professional work. This is amazing, but someone who has tapped into therapy many times, I am so grateful for your ability to hold space for people to process their pain in whatever way feels right for them. Thank you from a client’s point of view but also from an audience’s perspective. I am a huge fan and I am so honored to be here.
Thank you. We’re honored to have you and honored that you would share your story and be so open. We all need to honor that in one another. You’re inspiring other people.
Thank you, ladies.
ABOUT LEANNE KABAT
I am the CEO of MamaCon, a premier conference for moms in the Seattle area, a former elementary school teacher and a mom to three delightful children.
I’ve been working in the family connection field for years and only recently bundled my expertise and knowledge into a powerful system called The 5 Seasons of Connection.
Using the seasons we know, plus one bonus season, I have helped hundreds of families find their way out of the dark, angry, frustrated world of parenting, and into more fun, loving, playful places with their kids.