Episode 73: Kathy Caprino, Women's Work-Life Expert and Career Coach: Dealing with a Professional Crisis
It is ever so refreshing to interview an empowered woman like Kathy Caprino, MA who is not afraid to talk about energy work, meditation and “going within” to find answers. In this interview we discuss some of the “12 Hidden Crises of Professional Women” outlined in her new book Breakdown, Breakthrough as well as how we can identify and heal them. It seems more and more we are no longer looking outside of ourselves for important information to the burning questions we have in our hearts, and this interview continues to usher in this shift in how women are growing in love, self care, self reliance and using our own internal guidance systems to live our most authentic life in this somewhat challenging day and age. A must listen to for ANY woman facing difficult times right now – there is a way out and up! Tune in and bring your support sisters!
Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. I’m your host Alissa Kriteman. This show is dedicated to providing modern women with useful information they need to make empowered conscious choices.
Today on the show we’re talking about what to do if you find your life in crisis. Why now is a ripe time for women to experience major breakdowns in their professional and personal lives. On today’s show we’re going to talk about the many ways to identify if you are in a professional crisis as well as powerful steps you can take to make the necessary changes in your life.
Our guest today is Kathy Caprino, executive life coach and career transition consultant.
I conducted a year long research study with over 100 women and again these twelve common crises emerged. But what I think is really happening here has a number of factors. First of all, if we’re working in the corporate world and this is not to blame and bash men in any way, there is still evidence of a white male competitive career model in corporate America. And by that I mean there are some assumptions that underlie what people assume that successful professionals are and do.
Women can be very hard on other women and very competitive. I have to explain my frame of view, which is that we are all inherently good. We don’t pop out of the womb being cruel and petty. I think when we are not helping others we are empty. We are hacking it out, we are not comfortable in our own skin. So I notice that when women judge other women you can pretty much bet that they’re judging themselves and they are not coming up with a favourable evaluation.
I think that money flows when you flow. You know that you’re of value and you know what you stand for and you claim it, meaning you’re authentic. You respect money and what you can do for your life but you don’t revere it, don’t be subservient to it. Know how it can be a trusted friend, right? You have to have a clear idea of what you’re going to do with the money that you’re earning.
And fourthly, we do have to take actions that reflect a positive, expansive view of yourself and allow it to grow. You have to look at your behaviors and beliefs.
Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to Just for Women Kathy.
Kathy Caprino: Thanks for having me Alissa.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, so Kathy Caprino is a trained psychotherapist and author of the book “Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose.” With 18 years experience she is a recognized expert in professional women’s empowerment and is an avid writer and speaker on women’s issues. She’s the president and founder of Ellia Communications, Inc and lives in Connecticut with her renowned husband and two children. So now Kathy, everybody wants to know why your husband is renowned. [laughs]
Kathy Caprino: Ah, he’s a world-renowned jazz percussionist.
Alissa Kriteman: Isn’t that cool?
Kathy Caprino: Arthur Lipnur, yeah. So he just came back from Croatia and Slovenia so he has quite an interesting life.
Alissa Kriteman: Wow that must be fantastic. Do you travel around with him?
Kathy Caprino: You know I did an awful lot before my kids, who are now 11 and 14. So I’ve taken a little hiatus but we think we’re going to start bringing them with us. So that will be fun.
Alissa Kriteman: Well Kathy, I know my listeners really care about how to recover if they are experiencing a professional crisis. So I’m really pleased to have to have you on the show today.
Kathy Caprino: Great, thanks.
Alissa Kriteman: Today I want to talk about why right now, in particular, is a ripe time for women to experience this kind of professional crisis. I want to talk about your new model for empowered living and how we can claim this passion and power and purpose in our lives.
Kathy Caprino: Great.
Alissa Kriteman: So I’d like to start of with a little bit of information about you. You story is probably common. And I’d love for you to share a little bit with the audience about what happened for you and how you knew it was time to make a change.
Kathy Caprino: Great, I’d love to. Well, I had an 18 year corporate career in publishing and marketing and the interesting thing is, on the outside it looked like a very successful career. I rose to VP level from several reputable companies, made lots of money, promotions, travel, etc.
But inside, I realize now, I was breaking down. It started to become very clear as I approached 40 - I’m 48 now - because a number of things really broke my life down. First I had some chronic illness; I had four years of tracheitis, which is like a serious laryngitis. Every three months I’d have a week of fever, I couldn’t move out of the bed, no voice, really terrible.
And then I started experiencing other crises. Discrimination, I started experiencing sexual harassment and if I got really honest with myself, I started hating my work. Or I guess I would say more specifically, finding it meaningless, not aligned with what I felt like I could be doing in the world.
But the crisis that really happened was that I went to get help, I went to a career counsellor, a therapist, I went to find a role model and I couldn’t discover what to do. I was so stuck.
So what often happens when we don’t take forward movement for ourselves – right after 9/11, right after moving to a more affluent town in a bigger house, so more financial responsibilities for me, I was laid off. But in a way that just felt so brutal to me that I said, “Something snapped.” I also knew that something dramatic had to change. That kind of a major reinvention was called for and I did it.
Very quickly I was in my therapist’s office and crying about being laid off and he said, “I know this is a crisis to you but to me it’s the first moment in your adult life that you can choose consciously the next chapter. What do you want?” And I remember saying, “I want to do what you do!” And he said, “What is that?” And I said, “Helping people.”
So it just seemed to flow so quickly. I got a master’s in marriage and family therapy, coaching training, became a therapist and coach and embarked on this seven year journey of researching and working with women in professional crisis, which came to fruition with the book.
Alissa Kriteman: Great, wow. Thank you for that story, it sounds great. It’s amazing to me how much we’ll tolerate before we actually do something. Your body was breaking down, there was all this harassment and still it took this almost – like a hit from a two-by-four…
Kathy Caprino: Definitely.
Alissa Kriteman: …to say, “You have got to do something.”
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, and you know that’s one of the many things I work on with women. We often wait until it’s almost too late. And that’s part of the problem. And I still suffer from this a little; that when something isn’t going right I think I’m to blame. I think that I blew it or I need to revise. And that’s one key lesson of all this. If it’s not going right and you’re stuck and you’re miserable, it’s meant to be that way. You’re meant to change something. It’s not that you’re blowing it, it’s that this is not the right fit for you so what can you do about it?
Alissa Kriteman: It’s like finding the silver lining in any sort of devastating problem. There’s something good coming from it.
Kathy Caprino: I believe that with all my heart. Not that we want to experience how difficult these times are, but if you have the mindset that there’s something you’re going to be thankful for in the end of it, something through this that’s going to make you grow and stretch and be bigger and maybe more joyful and more aligned with who you are. Then you can actually embrace these hard times, you know?
Alissa Kriteman: That brings us to a great question. How do we know if we’re in crisis or if we’re just going through a difficult time?
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, they are different. A crisis is a time of real reckoning and evaluation, when you wake up and realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that the time for change is now. I mean usually these things are happening. You’re saying to yourself, “I just can’t do this; I can’t do this one second more.” Or you’re desperately longing for change. It’s not just a niggling feeling, it’s an urgent longing. Or you fantasize about a radically different life but you think there’s no way you can have it. Or finally, you realize the way you work or who you are when you work or what you’re focussing on is just no longer acceptable to you. That’s a real crisis.
Whereas a tough time is: Wow, I’m not enjoying this but it doesn’t feel like you have to make a radical change right this second.
Alissa Kriteman: OK and so, you know, I’m just trying to think if women who are thinking that – because it’s so illusive right? I’m sure you thought through all of the, especially the chronic illness where you couldn’t even talk, you still weren’t getting it. So is there a clear…OK, it sounds like you’re fantasizing, you’re just…it sounds like you’re got to snap.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, you know I’m asking - I’d like to be the wake up call for women in America that they don’t have to snap, do it before I did it. Literally I had written these 12 crises working women stages. I had all of them. Don’t wait until you have all of them, start to look now. But usually there is something that snaps.
For instance, after four years of chronic illness and no doctor could help, they couldn’t find the cause and all they could do was give antibiotics which really wreaked havoc with my body. I said, “I need a paradigm shift.” And a friend of mine said, “How about an energy healer?” Which, at that moment in time I thought, “What?” Now of course I really do believe in energy work and healing.
But I went to two separate healers because I couldn’t believe it the first time but both said that tracheitis is right in your throat and your throat, if you know about energy work, is the seed of personal expression. So they both said, “What are you speaking that isn’t true? What’s going on that’s making you be really false?”
So often, yeah, we do have to feel like “I can’t take this for one more second” to look at more alternatives than we’re used to looking for.
Alissa Kriteman: I really appreciate that and I think that speaks to what’s going on in our culture today with this transformation that seems to be happening. There’s all these ideas about 2012 and this new dawn that’s happening with women.
Can you speak to that a little bit? Because I don’t think that energy healing would be in a conversation about professional women finding their power in transforming their lives even five years ago. I don’t know, it just seems really fresh and new. I know I do a lot of that work but most mainstream women, like you said at first, “Hmm, that’s a little bit weird.” But what’s going on in our society now that makes that more acceptable?
Kathy Caprino: What a great question. I think that’s exactly what we’re talking about. I think many people, men and women, are realizing something that we’ve broken down in a number of ways and the traditional way we are looking at things whether it’s physical or what it is to live a fulfilling life. Things are radically different.
I noticed that there are generation themes. I grew up with wonderful parents who are 80 and 90 now. They have seen, coming out of the Depression and war, that it wasn’t about self-actualization, it wasn’t about finding out about who you are, it was about safety and security, you know?
Alissa Kriteman: Right, surviving.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah. So I was raised, and I think this is one of the reasons crisis hits mid-life women now, we weren’t really raised and encouraged to look at ourselves and what’s our unique reason for being here in the world. Whereas our world and future generations, they are really looking for different things. How are we all connected? What going on beyond yet the content of our lives, not jus the process. How we interrelate, what effects us, you know?
And I think we’re beginning to see that energy is part of the picture. That we’re all connected, that we all have an energy. It’s not so controversial now I think.
Alissa Kriteman: Yay! I think it’s a lot more digestible too and I’m a big advocate of energy with massage therapy and Reiki background so this is kind of what I talk about a lot and it’s so encouraging to hear that there’s more and more professional and empowered women talking about this too. It’s kind of like the right of being a feminine being that we can tap into our intuition, that we can trust what’s going on with us.
So speaking of that, how are women breaking down in ways men are not?
Kathy Caprino: Oh, you know this is still in fact a little bit controversial to some, although I think in their heart they know this is true.
I conducted a year long research study with over 100 women and again these 12 common crises emerged. But what I think is really happening here has a number of factors. First of all, if we’re working in the corporate world – and this is not to blame and bash men in any way – but there is evidence still of a white male competitive career model in corporate America. And by that I mean there are some assumptions that are underlying what people assume that successful professionals are and do. And they are four quick assumptions.
First, that you’re career will be linear, that you’ll come in at 22 and you’ll move along a very linear career path. Number two, that there is full time and face time. You will be a full time employee and you will be there; you will be at meetings, you will be physically present, face time. The third assumption is that the most intensive commitment is in your 30s and 40s. You can see how these assumptions – that doesn’t work necessarily for women who are having babies then, often.
And the fourth assumption is that power and money is what motivates best and most. I believe with all my heart that women aren’t just men in skirts, which the research is showing we are motivated…And of course we need to be compensated equally and fairly and money is important to do what we want in life. But it’s not power and money that are the top motivators in life, it’s respecting what we’re doing, contribution, collaboration and doing something with meaning.
So until we can really discuss how these assumptions are crushing us and not working – of course not for everyone, these are sweeping generalization but for many women. Until we can really articulate that, find advocacy for how it’s not working, then we’re breaking down in ways men aren’t, you know?
Alissa Kriteman: It’s so funny because it is true. What you’re saying is that the model for corporate America is very masculine and women coming out of parents and being raised in these ways and maybe survival and scarcity, definitely not for self-growth like you were talking about. Yeah, we get to this place where it’s like: Yeah, there’s all these opportunities but what we generally have grown up with is exactly what you said. Here’s how you work, here’s how it’s going to go. And nothing gets respected.
Even women, when it’s time to have their period and they’re not feeling well…Does any of that get addressed? Is there any sort of give for that kind of thing? I can sort of see where women would just be fed up.
Alissa Kriteman: I think it’s true. You know I look at how I was raised: My dad was a GE guy. He left at seven in the morning each day and came home at seven at night and I viewed that as what being a successful professional is. And you know, you’re just absolutely right. We have to start realizing where it doesn’t fit and we have to understand what battles we want to fight.
There’s this other reason where women are breaking down in ways men aren’t. I do understand that balancing life and work is a male issue as well. However, it’s still the fact of the matter, and research shows it, that women are doing the majority of domestic responsibility. Elder care, child care, the home. So here they are doing the majority of that plus trying to carve out a very full professional life.
Well, that can often lead to break down often because we are over-functioners, right?
Alissa Kriteman: [laughs]
Kathy Caprino: Women, and this is not true of men in general, women tend to do more than is necessary, more than is required and more than is healthy.
Alissa Kriteman: Why, I then wonder why that is? You know why that is? Here’s why I think that is: We were trained that way. We were not trained to be the…you know in Buddhism it’s the red essence of the feminine. Just the feminine energy of flow and nurture and relax and trust. It’s like we weren’t taught that.
Like you said, you saw your dad go to work. You know, my mom was like, “You have to go to business school, you have to go to business school.” I wanted to sing and dance and be in drama and I went to business school and I hated it! I’m glad I got out of that in my late 20s, I knew I couldn’t do it.
But I can see where women, you just keep going and going and finally there’s this breakdown.
So we’re going to take a short break to support our sponsors. See, I’m all heated up now. [laughs] We’d better take a break now. So listeners, I’d love for you to listen to the ads that are coming up. They’re ads created by my sponsors for Just for Women and they help me bring these great experts like Kathy Caprino to you. So if you could support them, I’d really appreciate it.
This is Alissa Kriteman, I’m with Kathy Caprino, psychotherapist and women’s career coach and we’ll be right back to talk more about how to identify and recover from professional crisis. We’ll be right back.
Alissa Kriteman: We’re back. I’m Alissa Kriteman, we’re talking with Kathy Caprino, psychotherapist and women’s career coach about how to discern whether or not you’re in a professional crisis and what to do about it.
So before the break we were talking about some of the things that have happened in our society that have caused women to break down. Some of the confusion in the workplace, what a crisis actually is. So now, Kathy, I want to talk a little bit about your model. You’ve developed a model for empowered living, let’s talk a little bit about that.
Kathy Caprino. Wonderful. What I’ve seen is that when we’re talking about being disempowered, that can be a word that people cringe at a little bit because it can be overused. But what I’m talking about is that when we’re empowered, is that we’re connected with ourselves, we feel comfortable about advocating for ourselves and others and we know to move forward in the world. The opposite of that is when we can’t do that.
And what I’ve seen when I look at these 12 common crises is that the disempowerment breaks down in four levels: With yourself, with others, with the world and with your higher self. So really what that means in yourself, do you love and respect yourself? Do you believe you’re worthy, of value, right? With disempowerment with others, do you feel respected, do you feel an equal with others, do you feel well-treated? With the world, do you feel you are an effective vehicle for what you want to do in the world?
And the higher self, not a religious concept, but a concept of are you connected with a dimension that’s bigger than you, bigger than your ego, bigger than your individual self. You know, where you can tap into higher skills and wisdoms and insights.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, you know I love this model and I know in your book you have this great chart where you can actually pin point yourself. If you’re struggling in a particular area you can actually see what to do. So if women are struggling with self, they aren’t feeling worthy in their love and acceptance of themselves, what can they do to transform that?
Kathy Caprino: Yeah and these are big questions so we can’t just transform overnight. You can’t just do an exercise and, done.
Alissa Kriteman: There’s no pill?
Kathy Caprino: [laughs] I’ve tried to find one but no. Here’s the deal. I really believe that under each of these there is an underlying cause, a root cause that’s contributing to the problem. So the first piece is to really understand, where am I broken down? So let’s take even chronic health problems. You know I think that the underlying root there is the body communicating with the lips or not?
So we have to take, whenever we’re in a crisis or a mode where we’re just not moving forward, there are three steps: to number one step back to gain an empowered perspective. Number two to let go of what holds you back and that’s behaviors and thinkings and patterns and expectations. And three to say “yes” to what compels you.
There are specific things to do under that, but first we have to get at what is the root problem and how do I shift it?
Alissa Kriteman: OK, so getting at the root. What are the methods of that? Is that like meditation or going to a therapist? How do you do that on your own? Can you or do you need outside help?
Kathy Caprino: It’s interesting. You know, Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem on the level it was created.” I believe that with all my heart. I believe that we need to get an outside perspective, but not just any perspective. It has to be empowering.
By that I mean, and one way to define it is, is this person someone who believes in the future vision of you before it’s been hatched? They believe inherently that you have what it takes to follow your dreams, be all you can be and you just need a little guidance to find the best way for yourself.
So often we ask the advice of the wrong people. People who want to keep you stuck, really. People who are jealous of you. People, who to watch you grow and stretch and fly is very threatening. Well that’s not the kind of help we need. We need empowered help.
Alissa Kriteman: Hmm, I like that. That makes a lot of sense. I know, we’re women, we want to connect with our girlfriends. But that doesn’t mean they’re trained or they’re really clear as much as we love them. It’s really not the role.
And I love what you said about, we have to heal it at the level it was created. So if we had these unconscious patterns of thinking from our childhood that we didn’t know we were living in that world, we’ve got to go back to that unconscious place and look at it. And probably with someone who is trained in those things, whether it’s energy or psychotherapy – whatever it is.
Kathy Caprino: That’s right. I look at my situation and people ask, “Why, with all the help that you got: the career counsellors, why did that not really shift you?” And that’s because I needed a paradigm shift that they weren’t giving me. What I mean by that is, when I look at what kept me stuck – as I mentioned my husband is a famous jazz musician but that doesn’t represent financial stability and security. And I thought I was the one who had to deliver that. I thought, he is the creative one, I’m just the money-maker.
And I put myself in this box that that’s why I’m a keeper – because I make a lot of money. And when you put yourself in a box like that you don’t see opportunities when they hit you on the head, you know?
So for me that’s one of the beliefs that I had to let go of. That I’m in fact worthy and valuable for many reasons other than how much money I make.
Alissa Kriteman: Isn’t that beautiful? Do you have a section in your book where we go over those beliefs?
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, definitely. There’s some great exercises. And in fact, money, wow. Isn’t it one of the most powerful or disempowering concepts we’re dealing with today? So the book does give you a whole look at how do you heal your relationship with money.
Alissa Kriteman: That’s so funny, I had that for a little further down in the talk. [laughs] Let me see what time it is, ah! Yeah, money, sex – these are the big themes that really can whack us out.
So you needed a paradigm shift, you needed it from somebody that was going to help you and show you and look at this in a way that you couldn’t. I do want to talk about money later but I want to follow on this track.
There’s a phenomenon you write about in your book that women think “I can’t do this” and it’s kind of particular to women. What is that about?
Kathy Caprino: You know, I think in some ways it’s how we’ve been socialized, it’s how we’ve been trained. If you look at men in general, there’s almost a sense of entitlement – and I don’t mean that in a negative sense, but a belief that, an optimism that “I can do this.” Women often struggle with “I simply can’t.” Whether that’s because they’ve tried and have been unsuccessful or they haven’t had the role models.
Think about, as we said, what we grew up with. Did we see women doing what we’re trying to do? No. So it’s not really in our framework to come from the place where “I don’t know how to do this but I’m capable of it.” I think women go through a lot of self-doubt and that keeps us very stuck. I think that’s different from what men experience.
Alissa Kriteman: Right it’s true. It’s like the pink pile and the blue pile and it’s like you were saying, you were in this box, you were in the pink pile and your flavour was a little different but this is how it should be and this is where your self-worth should be and outside to totally unconsciously living that.
And again it gets back to this conditioned thinking.
Kathy Caprino: Right. And there’s always what you said, pieces of us that we think we’re very tied up with the importance of nurturing others. As a mom I know the importance of that from my life but yet you can’t let go of nurturing yourself. You have to be able to look at what do you need?
I often see women who have experienced what I’ve experienced that the single hardest challenge in my adult life is being what I want to be as a mom and balancing that with what I want to be as an individual and do as a professional.
It can be extremely challenging but you have to honor yourself equally with others otherwise you do get lost in the shuffle.
Alissa Kriteman: And you’ve got nothing to give!
Kathy Caprino: Right.
Alissa Kriteman: You know, this is what I’ve heard echoed so often with a lot of the experts I’ve talked about on this show. It is not in our culture for women to really take care of themselves and it’s a part of our power as women to really bring that. The nurturing that we want to bring to our children and to ourselves.
It’s true. I think there is a paradigm shift happening like planetary.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, I do too, I’m with you. You know I would even say – and I have to preface this by saying I know the pain and fear that people are having financially today. You know I get that. And I feel that with what we’re going through right now is a shift that’s going to re-calibrate things. It’s going to connect us individually and globally to a new sense of power and a new sense of value and meaning. I do believe there is a silver lining there.
Alissa Kriteman: Right and to your point, the question is: Who is going to lead this way and where are we going to find the support? And where we’re going to find it is in ourselves and each other – like minded people who are just putting down their arms and saying I’m just going to take care of myself. I’m going to live a life that’s in alignment with what’s really true to me and I’m going to find out what that is and I’m going to do it and that’s it.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah! And I talk about, I know this is interesting to you, women can be very hard on other women and very competitive.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, let’s talk about that. Where is that coming from?
Kathy Caprino: I have to explain my frame of view which is that we’re all inherently good. We don’t pop out of the womb being cruel and petty. I think that when we’re not helping others we are empty. We are hacking it out, we’re not comfortable in our own skin.
I notice that when women judge other women, you can pretty much bet that they’re judging themselves and they’re not coming up with a favourable evaluation.
Alissa Kriteman: It’s like the finger pointing out, there’s always three pointing back.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, I really think that. So when we are stuck in an intense competition with someone else whether it’s – I happen to live in an area, for instance, where there aren’t a lot of women who work. And boy, I can be on the receiving end of judgements about being a working mom. Cruel judgements. And I certainly know it goes the other way too.
So I think when we’re feeling intensely competitive we have to do those three steps. We have to step back and look at why. Why am I feeling so intensely competitive and what does it mean? And usually it means that you’ve had to prove yourself, you feel unworthy in some way and you have to prove yourself over and over right?
The second piece is: What am I gaining and what am I losing by being in this competition? What am I winning by competing and running over everyone around me?
Alissa Kriteman: But how do you go about accessing the thinking of these women in your own neighbourhood that are judging you? Like, how does that get transformed into helping them realize that you’re doing what feels good to you even though they have a judgement about it? Like how do we impact that?
Kathy Caprino: I think that the…I really believe this: the change that we want to see we really have to embody. I mean it’s Gandhi’s principle, right? But when I get judged, I mean obviously I’m human, I want to slap them upside the head, you know? I do. But I go home and I commit some time to thinking about it. The first is: Know that they are doing the best that they can, this is the best they can do right now.
Number two, I learned this in my therapy training: What someone says about you is much more about them than it is about you.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.
Kathy Caprino: And I try to remember that. This is their filter. This is what they believe, OK.
And the third piece is, I try really hard not to snap back and simply judge them, but to find a place in my heart to forgive that, to really say, “Wow, I just got judged.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where you have to step up for yourself. Stand up for yourself. There have been times where I’ve had to say, “Look, I get that you and I don’t see eye to eye here but the way this is going down is not positive, so let’s talk about it.” You know, you do have to stand up sometimes.
Sometimes it’s best to shift yourself and realize that it’s really their problem. And if I can really stay centered in myself and know what matters to me, I don’t really have to convince them, do I?
Alissa Kriteman: Right. You know, you said it, you have to stay centered in yourself. What practices do you do on a daily, weekly basis that help keep you centered.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, I do have…you know I don’t even call it a meditative practice but I do take time usually in the morning about just 15 minutes and I do deep breathing. And I will be honest, I access what I call my guides, or what I call my own angels. I ask for help. I open my connection with that dimension that’s going to show me new ways to be.
Secondly, every day when I ask, “If things aren’t going the way I’m wanting, what can I do about them?” I believe, and this is also from the therapy training, I’m 50% of the problem. I’m 50% of it. I have the responsibility to shift it and I want to learn what can I do?
So I do take those three steps. I try to gain the empowered perspective and everyday that situation, that case is connecting to a higher level. I ask to understand what I have to let go off that day and I think about what I want to say “yes” to. What’s compelling me that I know I want to move forward to?
Just thinking aobut that for 15 minutes before my day starts, that really shifts the outcome of the day, you know.
Alissa Kriteman: I really like that. It’s the remedy, it sounds like, for all this habitual thinking we’ve grown up with. It’s like, “Oh, we have these new tools now to really focus on what we want.” And the thing I love about what you’re saying is a lot of this stuff might sound a little metaphysical to some people, new-agey or something. But I don’t think it is, I think it’s totally necessary and I appreciate you being a bridge to professional women because that’s your focus, talking about: How can I ground and in deep breathing ask for information from another dimension. I mean, this is breakthrough.
Kathy Caprino: Oh, thank you for saying it! You know it’s interesting, there are many people that live in one world or the other, let’s say professional women, who would never talk about this. And there are other people who that’s all they talk about. It’s interesting to be that bridge because I was a high-power profession woman and because I had those responses. “Ach, too woo-woo!” You know?
I can understand and intervene in a way that I think people can hear me. And if you don’t have that belief system, I’m certainly not going to throw it at you. We will talk about practices that make sense for you. But certainly slowing yourself down and quieting down that chatter in your mind, it’s not “woo-woo” it’s essential today, I think.
Alissa Kriteman: Absolutely, it’s just a lost art and that’s what I think. And again it really goes back to what we’ve been saying this whole time. “We just didn’t know! We just weren’t told”. How are we supposed to do things that we didn’t grow up doing. It’s foreign but it’s essential.
OK, we’re going to take one more break to support our sponsors. Again, listeners, I’d love it if you would support these fantastic sponsors who are kicking down some great deals for you so check them out. Also, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] or give me a call: 206-350-5333 and leave me a message. I’ve love to hear your feedback, your questions, your comments, all that good stuff.
This is Alissa Kriteman, I’m with Kathy Caprino and we’ll be right back to talk more about how we can continue to learn to develop, to break these old habits that no longer serve us and create mind – new thoughts, new thinking, new practices that are really going to help empower us in our lives. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
Alissa Kriteman: We’re back. I’m Alissa Kriteman, we’re talking with Kathy Caprino, psychotherapist and women’s career coach. And I’m just having the best time here today, Kathy thank you so much. This is really breakthrough, amazing information for professional women to start to really tap into what’s authentically going on for themselves and how to live a life that’s truly empowering.
So I want to get back to the money, the money, the money, money [laughs] topic before we go because it’s so powerful. You were saying that, as we should know, our economy has been an interesting place and money always seems to be an issue in relationships. I’ve read that it’s been one of the number one things that couples fight over.
So what do you have to say about money and our understanding and relationship with money that could empower us?
Kathy Caprino: OK, here is what I discovered. And I have to say that I live with this every day. This is where I am most challenged so when I have a breakthrough with this I know, “OK, this is powerful!”
First of all, I think money flows when you flow. And what I mean by that is, here’s what has to happen for it to feel like a positive essence in your life: First of all, you know that you’re of value and you know what you stand for and you claim it, meaning you’re authentic. You respect money and what it can do for your life, but you don’t revere it.
I notice some people treat money like ancient people did their ferocious gods, right? So don’t put yourself below it, don’t be subservient to it. Know how it can be a trusted friend, right?
Thirdly you have to a really clear idea about what you’re going to do with the money you’re earning because often we have old, leftover beliefs that having great prosperity or being rich or having a lot of money is dirty or selfish or there is not enough to go around. We have to shift that.
But to do that you have to know: Well what am I going to do with my money? What value, what good is it going to bring to myself, my world, my family, my community – what is it that I’m going to do with my money?
And fourthly we do have to take actions that reflect a positive, expansive view of yourself and allow it to grow. So on the flip side, you have to look at your behaviors and beliefs. Are you shopping addicted? I know I was. Often we’ll go and we’ll alleviate our own fears and upset and anxiety by shopping.
What are your behaviors around money? Are you saving? Are you investing in what matters to you? Are you over-spending? Do you have a healthy relationship with money? Do you believe it’s good, not dirty or bad, to have money?
Alissa Kriteman: You know it’s interesting, even with women in particular, I can see some old beliefs being: The man makes the money. You didn’t necessarily have that. You had something else which is, “I’m going to make the money” which was another trap. So how do you find the balance?
Kathy Caprino: That’s a great question and I want to tell you, I think one of my problems was, even though I said, “I’m going to make the money”, I was still mad that I had to make the money.
Wow. These are layers that don’t immediately come to you but I know for me, the balance has been: I want to find soulful, enriching work that all still makes a great income. I think we have to throw out the belief that when your soul is enriched or you are aligned, that you’re actually going to make no money. We have to stop believing that.
Alissa Kriteman: Exactly.
Kathy Caprino: It’s a very American belief but if you go to other cultures they don’t have that belief at all.
So we have to really look at: What are the beliefs that are keeping us stuck? Do you really think that following your heart means you’re going to have to live on the side of road? [laughs]
Alissa Kriteman: [laughs] With all the other people who are living their dreams.
Kathy Caprino: Right. The other piece that I’m finding this in my own business and I can throw this out, I adore working with women, it’s my passion. I like working with men too. But you do have to name and claim what you love and what you’re good at. You can’t keep it a secret and you have to invest in that and you have to risk that. You have to risk putting yourself out there.
If you keep yourself a secret in your business, in your life, money often, it won’t flow to you because you’re not saying to yourself, “I believe in myself”. Does that make sense?
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, totally, it really makes sense. And what makes sense the most is that it’s like a process; it’s like turning this boat around that’s being going this one way you’re whole life and then slowly saying, “OK, there’s an iceberg ahead, we’ve got to turn this around and go the other way.”
And there’s new practices, new thinking, all of this stuff. You know, a lot of it is about identifying old beliefs and replacing them with ones that actually work and are uplifting.
Kathy Caprino: That’s right. But then I do want to point out, if you have your own business, for instance, it’s critical that you have a money-mindset. You have to do stuff that is essential to building your business. You have to have a business plan; you have know what you’re PNL looks like. And if those words scare the bejeebies out of you, then get help.
But I’ve also lived with and worked with people who have flipped to the other side and said, “It’ll all just work out. Built it and it will come, they will come.” And that’s not necessarily true. You have to take aligned action: Smart, realistic steps to building a business or turning your financial boat around. So often we need empowered help to do that.
Alissa Kriteman: So if a woman is looking at changing her life and she does get the hebejeebies from a PNL statement and she hasn’t created it yet, when’s a good time to get the financial advice? Before you’re even launched into it?
Kathy Caprino: Oh, that’s an interesting question. Well I think, let’s say you want to embark on your own business. It’s important to do a lot of research in the beginning and know what your skills are. Does this make sense in this time, in this economy? Do you have the skills?
So the first piece is, get a role model or a mentor who really knows it and do your research. In a way even intern or try on the professional identity of it. So often we think, “Oh, I’m going off to be a massage therapist or therapist, that’s going to save my life.” Do you know what the professional identity of that is? Get really real about that.
If you’ve done that and you think you’re ready, then I think it’s time to get a terrific financial consultant. And you know, for women, I happen to have a wonderful woman who, that’s her job, to support other businesses that are owned by women. It’s great to find empowering people that are aligned with what you’re doing.
Alissa Kriteman: Exactly, I think it’s imperative, definitely.
Kathy Caprino: Yeah, I’ve done the other and it didn’t work. Don’t just seek out somebody your husband says he likes. That may be great but it may not be. Find someone who is really going to get what you’re trying to do. And if you’re good at your job and get some references, they’ll help you with the practical, but they’ll also support you with the other pieces.
Alissa Kriteman: Nice. Kathy, we are almost out of time but I want to ask you one quick question before we go. If there was only one practice you could recommend to women on their journey to overcoming professional crisis or even personal crisis, what would it be?
Kathy Caprino: It would be one of the three steps. It would be: Say “yes” to what you long for. My belief is that we didn’t come to this planet at this time to simply pay our mortgage. Yes, that’s critical, paying the bills or whatever is, to do what you have to do but you came here to do what you long to do as well. So don’t doubt it for a second. Stop and say “yes”. Yes I want to try this out, yes I want to learn this skill, yes I want to start my business – whatever it is, say “yes” but get on an empowered path to doing it. Does that make sense?
Alissa Kriteman: Yes, that totally makes sense. Just start saying “yes”. Would that be the one?
Kathy Caprino: Yes, I think so. But you know, the other two steps are important: Get the empowered perspective and let go of what holds you back. Figure out the root cause of the patterns that keep being repeated in your life.
And you can certainly turn to my book “Breakdown, Breakthrough” for a little advice about that.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, tell us more about that. How can we find you and your book?
Kathy Caprino: Ah, yeah. There’s a website on the book, breakdownbreakthrough.com. My business is Ellia Communications, which, by the way, is named after my two children Julia and Elliot, elliacommunications.com. Or the book is on Amazon.com or at your bookstore. So I hope people will check it out.
Alissa Kriteman: Perfect. It is a fantastic, fantastic book for women not only personally but definitely professionally. Clear maps, clear models, addressing all the issues that we go through and so I really appreciate this book. And again I love that you’re being the bridge to some practices that aren’t so linear.
Kathy Caprino: Wonderful, thank you for letting me explore it with you.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, thank you so much for being on Just for Women. That brings us to the end of the show. Thank you to everyone for listening. For texts and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media Network please visit our website at personallifemedia.com. And for a copy of my book, “Alissa’s Four Cornerstone’s to Living Your Dreams” just go to my website sacredspa.org and click on the bookcover icon.
I’m your host Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your choices here on Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. Join us next week on Just For Women for more juicy news you can use.