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Join Shannon & Christine as they chat about Intellectual Wellness with special guest Kate Arms.

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Shannon M. 0:08
Hi ladies, I am Shannon Mitchell, a black millennial business owner, the founder of shallow glow LLC, an all natural skincare company that helps you glow from head to toe. I am a champion for your daily self care, business care and intentional wellness. Hey, y’all.

Christine Gautreaux 0:23
I’m Christine Gautreaux, a white social justice advocate, and international speaker, coach, published author and dancing social worker who helps you upgrade yourself and community care.

Shannon M. 0:35
Together. We are women connected in wisdom, a podcast grounded in the eight dimensions of wellness.

Christine Gautreaux 0:39
And we like to get together every week for intentional conversations between us and special guests about how to be wise in business relationships and wellness. How do we do this in the midst of this chaos? How do we do?

Shannon M. 0:55
That? Really, yeah, they’re all sums it up right there. Yes. And let’s go ahead and get into the definition for this week, episode 85. We’re talking about intellectual wellness. And intellectual wellness includes having access to different sources of information, and developing critical thinking and timely decision making skills. continual learning through intentional intellectual growth situations, and artistic creativity can help maintain one’s intellectual capacity.

Christine Gautreaux 1:25
Love it? Yeah. Hello. You know, I’ve been hanging out with my siblings this week, the three year old? Yeah. And that is such a fun age and stage when you talk about intellectual wellness, because like you see their brains like developing as you watch them, I think, like how they put things together, and we read stories. And this morning, we woke up and we’re putting, we were doing a sticker book about track, like in matching the shapes. And I love stickers. Yeah, right. Me too. I think about playing right, then how much when we play we learned things with which y’all know, I’m a huge proponent of interplay, and our guest today is an inner player. That’s how I met her, I don’t see that in her bio, we’re gonna about to find out. And you know, just that, how sometimes we can think about oh, intellectual wellness, we have you serious, right. And I just was thinking about it this morning, as I was playing with those guys. And just like how much fun it is to learn, the fun it is to learn something new, and grow. Right?

Shannon M. 2:31
Right. And for me, that’s been the biggest thing of all of this, right? We have the shea butter, we have the eight dimensions of wellness and all this stuff that we talk about. But what it’s really all about is you will have to continue to learn stuff, and the stuff that you learn the stuff that you didn’t know before, right? So what is the best way to learn something new, put an action behind it so you can see the result that you need and expect in your life based on the things that you’ve done right and then go to the next goal, go to the next incremental step. And I found that when it’s a safe space, right, that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. When it’s a fun space, and it’s not heavy with stress or unrealistic expectations. It makes it more effective, it makes it more realistic to reach those things in a continuing a healthy way that flows naturally instead of sometimes in an unhealthy environment to learn, like we’ve seen in different places, you know, what, how can we affect it positively. So I’m looking forward to our conversation today. Me too.

Christine Gautreaux 3:26
Let’s go ahead and get her up here. If you’re ready. Do you want to read the definition one more time? And then I’ll read her bio.

Shannon M. 3:32
Absolutely. So intellectual wellness includes having access to different sources of information, and developing critical thinking and timely decision making skills. continual learning through intentional intellectual growth situations, and artistic creativity can help maintain one’s intellectual capacity.

Christine Gautreaux 3:51
Oh, I love that definition. meets Alright, y’all, let me introduce my friends and my colleague. I’m so excited to have her with us today.

Kate Arms has been helping smart and sensitive people thrive since 1984, when she realized she could turn the lonely outlier kids in her middle school into a group of friends. I love that what she has learned through experience and every person has the power to improve the culture of a group with or without formal authority. She specializes in thriving in complexity, and helping people manage conflict in healthy ways. As a professional coach, she brings a trauma informed approach to helping adults who have struggled with anxiety, depression and drama and trauma, almost a drama but trauma and is committed to gender aware and gender inclusive coaching. Her career has taken her through law technology, publishing nonprofit in the arts. She has seen firsthand that the same set of skills improves culture in every industry, whether she was an adjunct coach, customer service Service Rep. Individual creative contributor, project manager, lawyer, Director, board member or company founder. She has been honing her skills and improving cultures. As a leader, she has a reputation for getting exceptional performance out of her direct reports delivering quality results with limited resources and creating engaged teams that have fun through the process of working hard and delivering excellence. And she’s such a badass that’s not in her bio y’all but she just really is. Since 2013. She has been helping others transform the cultures of their workplaces, communities and families through coaching and training. She is a sought after as a speaker on topics at the intersection of individual wellbeing, collective accomplishment and inclusion. Her superpowers we love superpowers her superpower is facilitating open, challenging and respectful conversations on controversial topics on Facebook. She has a JD including negotiation and mediation training from Harvard Law School. Her coach training includes coaching certification from the coactive Training Institute organizational and relationship relationship systems coaching training from CRR global and certification and creativity coaching from the creativity coaching Association. She is a certified IC agile expert in enterprise coaching, a certified scrum master and certified Interplay leader and graduate of CTI is CO active leadership program. Whoa, I told y’all She’s incredible.

Welcome to the stage, Kate.

Kate Arms 6:39
I want to hear what this woman you just introduced has to say.

Christine Gautreaux 6:45
Incredible? Well, first, before we get into intellectual wellness, how are you today?

Kate Arms 6:53
I’m good. I have had a long, full day already after a long, full half week to get here. But this morning, I had two teams that I’ve been working with to transform the way of working and we’ve been doing all of the training. And then this morning, we did the like here’s that we’re going to go and do it now. And I warned them that it was going to be uncomfortable and it was going to go badly. And that they were going to have all kinds of mistakes. And that it was just as these are professionals who have been doing this stuff for a long time. So like permission to fail until as part of the learning process was really, really important. And they rocked it, and I rocked it and like we’ve now made a pivot, and we’re gonna go from being awful. But smart, pretty fast, we’re gonna get to being like pretty good.

Christine Gautreaux 7:46
I love that I love in your bio, where it says no matter where you are, or what position you’re in, you can make a cultural change. And I know our title is about safety, psychological safety. But I know that that ties into it.

Kate Arms 8:05
So yeah, you know, it’s really interesting, because if you’re at the top of the hierarchy, if you’ve got formal leadership, you have more cultural impact, because people look to you for guidance. And so if you’re creating fear around you, it’s harder for the people around you to bring safety and courage into the space. And if you’re creating an inviting, welcoming, courageous space and courageous conversation, it’s much easier for people who are otherwise afraid or uncomfortable to step into it. And even if there’s not courage from the top, and there’s not trust from the top, if you as an individual, or if I as an individual have done my own work so that I take care of my own emotional activation and my own anxieties and I show up trusting, curious, playful. I show up in that open learning space. And I am stronger in that than I am in absorbing what’s around me. I leak and it spreads.

Christine Gautreaux 9:20
Right? Yeah. Oh, I love that. So if I’m hearing you correctly, what you’re saying is one of the ways to create cultural change is to show up, grounded and with joy and curiosity and playfulness and shine in your light. Yeah,

Kate Arms 9:41
absolutely. Yeah. And it’s challenging. Like to pretend that that’s hard. That’s easy. Is it like it sounds so simple when we say it like that, and, and it is simple, in that if you show up with your light shining. People reflect that pick that and their own light start to shine. And for people who are used to working in spaces where that’s not permitted, it’s very, very uncomfortable. I mean, it really is change. And so part of creating the cultural change is actually to give them permission to be uncomfortable. And to not dim your light, because they’re uncomfortable to actually be like, my light can shine, and you can be uncomfortable. And that’s beautiful. That’s huge.

Christine Gautreaux 10:28
I love that so much. I was, you know, you heard me say earlier, Kate. And y’all know, I’m out here taking care of the nibbling. So I’ve been watching more cartoons, and I’ve watched in a really long time. So have you all seen this short on Pixar? Called Perl? Not yet. Alright, I’m gonna put in the show notes. But I highly recommend it. But it’s exactly what you’re talking about. Right? So it is about this female, she’s a pink little ball of yarn, Pearl, get it PU. And she’s coming to this new job that she’s really excited about. And she’s shining. But it’s a culture that is very male dominated. Everybody looks the same, everybody acts the same. It’s a very bro culture. So she tries to change, it’s not safe for her. So she tries to fit in and change herself. And she’s doing okay, until another bright, sparkly shiny ball of yarn gets off, and she has to make the choice. Am I going to stay with this culture? Or am I going to create culture change, and she creates culture change. So I know it was a cartoon, but it was so awesome. Like, I was like, what, what is happening here.

Kate Arms 11:42
And I mean, what I love about that is that we’re talking about intellectual wellness, here, we’re talking about learning. And we’re talking about play as a form of engagement for learning, like those children don’t know what they’re learning. And we don’t know quite what they’re taking away from watching that story. But they’ve got a myth, a story, an analogy that they can use to talk about this. And there’s an analogy that the adults who work with them can use to talk about this. And because Pixar is amazing, and makes films that are enjoyable for adults, we can use it like the number of times that I’ve been giving a talk, since Inside Out came out when I’ve been talking about emotional intelligence, and the need to actually embrace all of who we are in order to be comfortable with who we are. Because if we, if we walk into a space, and we’re sort of putting sadness in the back, and we’re not bringing all of us were broken. And so I use inside out in the talks I give with adults, it’s now sort of been out for long enough that I sort of go did you see it? Do I need to tell you that? But yeah, we be stories that teach us how to be courageous. Yeah, yeah.

Shannon M. 13:04
And I think it’s important to sometimes even as adults to see it as a little kids movie, Oh, this isn’t supposed to be for me. So you can kind of look like this is for a friend, right? You learn it on accident. But also think that kind of like Peter Pan, I want to stay, like we talked about playful, you don’t want to get to on the serious side where you can’t laugh at yourself, or, or you lose touch with joy to a certain extent. That’s how I think about things like animation and cartoons, because the stories are relevant. You know, and even as a woman, the way a story might hit before you have children, and after you have children is different, because your perspective is different. You know, so that’s the beauty of sharing stories, because just like art or creativity, it can mean different things to different people at different times.

Kate Arms 13:48
Yeah, I love your piece about like, sometimes we need to wink at it and go this is for kids, but I’m here because if we are working in environments where we don’t feel like it’s okay to be playful, fully and to really embody that, finding the places where that group of people is willing to wink and is willing to go, Okay, we’re going to play even if it’s just a little tiny thing, and we go when we’re not supposed to do this. And like that’s your entryway, that’s your place to start.

Shannon M. 14:20
Yeah, yeah. And I love that you talk about the creating communities that support each other in that way, right. I know that no matter where I’m working, I have a group of people who I know are going to train me the right way. Tell me the blueprint of the social landscape of the job and tell me what’s going on, you know, and hold space, even if it’s something we’ve been doing at the restaurant is a water break. We used to do right, making sure that hey, we’re giving water and food and drinks all these people. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and then the work environment. Sometimes that can be the kind of the outsiders Everybody’s used to just go go go well, I’m gonna pause so that I can keep going

Kate Arms 15:00
Yeah, and sometimes those communities are sort of formal, and they might be your team. Like, if you have a really great team at work, your team can be that and you can actually have that in your meetings. And you can have that. And if you don’t have a really great team, then like, maybe there’s an employee resource group, or maybe there’s a bunch of people you’re in a mastermind group with, or maybe there’s some friends who are in your industry that you get together with and talk about it. Or maybe there’s some people that you know, at the company, or you know, in that that are like, Okay, you’re my people, and we can actually take this out to the hole, but at least we can have it here. And so there, there’s all that different sort of scope for scale. And if there are six of you having a conversation, and one of you has the courage to say something in a bigger meeting, that six is actually all responsible, right? Because the five who are helping the one have the courage. They’re part of what happened in the bigger meeting?

Shannon M. 15:53
Absolutely. Oh, that’s

Christine Gautreaux 15:54
a good thing. I love that cake. Because you know, there’s so many, we don’t do it by ourselves. I mean, we talked about this hill on the on the on the show all the time, that we don’t do this by ourselves, and to acknowledge that like the shoulders on whom we stand, and I love that. I think that’s powerful. That’s something that was coming up, oh, go Shannon. And then I have something that was coming up.

Shannon M. 16:16
No, thank you. And even like, like you said, K to if we’re talking and then one person says it in a meeting, what I’ve been thinking a lot about is holding the door open, you know, who makes it possible to get to that next step and the work that they did. So even if it was to Christine’s point, if this person did change who they were a little bit to fit, it still made it possible for the next person to be a little bit more themselves and a little bit more themselves. And I think that that’s where we’re getting as women in different aspects of how you could think about it like that.

Christine Gautreaux 16:50
Now, what was bubbling up for me is I was thinking, and I’d love your perspective on this case, but I was thinking about women who might be listening and thinking, Oh, I don’t feel safe enough to joke and do that. And I so I was, I was thinking, first of all, honor, where you are, and know that anything that has gotten to this point has been probably a survival mechanism, right? And then how do we start making those shifts? If we’re not used to that? Like, if we’ve been guarded, and really, just in a protective space? How do we start? How do you shift? How do you start to shift?

Kate Arms 17:27
Yeah, and I think that we start really, really small. And when I say really, really small, I actually mean with self awareness. Like, that’s where I always start with this, so you don’t feel safe, you feel like I have to fit in this mold. And this is the one that I do, and that if I don’t, if I bridge that too much, I’m gonna put my you know, in the worst condition, I will put my livelihood at risk, right, and I’ve got my kids to feed and I got right, so Right.

So I don’t, I don’t feel safe, like I can’t take that risk. So the first thing you do is you actually, from time to time, as much as you can stand it, when you’re in that meeting, when you’re in that setting, you actually sort of just check in with your inner felt sense of what your body is feeling. And just notice what your body is feeling. So like I’m imagining it, and immediately I started imagining it, my toe, shoulders got up and my shoulders got tight, and my arms, my elbows got squeezed into my chest. And my jaw went a little bit tight. And I felt it. And if you have that felt sense, it actually honors yourself more fully in that moment, because it honors that there’s the mask you’re putting on for the performance you think you have to do. And there’s the pain that you’re experiencing, putting on that performance.

And if you do that, that actually starts to shift like that actually starts to leak. And that actually might actually bring a little bit more awareness to the whole group, even if they don’t know what’s happening. And we start small, because there are lots of places where lots of us have been trained into believing that it’s not safe, and we have to test those waters. And if we’ve got something important, like a job where sustenance and that is on the line, it’s totally okay to say this is as brave as I am today. And this is as brave as I am this week. And this is as brave as I am this year. And there’s a reason that women who get their kids off to college, get their kids launched in school, get the kids out of high school, like whatever it is, that’s the launching, whether it’s, you know, anything so that the kid is now young adults in semi self supporting so that they’re not so much about that. They need me to have this much money coming in, or they need me to have this much space for them at home. So many women, the kids launch, and then they come out of their shells. And it’s because it’s safe. It’s because this need to protect the children. It has lesson like, we still care, and we still want to protect them. And we still hurt when they hurt and all of that. But we know that if something bad happens to us, it’s not immediately going to turn into something bad happening for them.

Christine Gautreaux 20:35
That is a really good point came like, because that’s a survival instinct, right? And it’s a it’s an instinct that people who have children have that, you know, they may stay in jobs longer, or be unhappy, because of what it does for the entire family. And that’s a really great point. Go ahead, I’m gonna go ahead.

Shannon M. 21:00
And I was gonna say that, I think that’s why we have the whole situation that we have, with the resignations, and the silent quitting, or whatever term is the newest today, you know, because we see the balance of it. But of course, the question is still, where’s the sustenance coming from. And that’s why I love having these conversations with women like UK that are doing things and having projects and helping people get connected in ways that they’re actually supported. Because the money still has to come in, but also have the right to say, this is a boundary that I have, though, if it’s genuinely not safe for me, then I need to have options so that I can be safe and take care of my children.

Kate Arms 21:38
Yeah. And an enormous amount of the work that I do in organizations is actually teaching people the skills to say, No, I can’t put that on my plate right now, in a way that lands as a reasonable statement, rather than as a statement of like, I’m not doing this job.

Christine Gautreaux 22:04
I love that you’re bringing that up. Because you know, in Stillpoint, our fifth skill of self care is the boundaries, saying yes, and saying no. And just like you were talking about earlier, it is very simple, but not easy to do. Right. So I love what I’m hearing you say is that you literally go in, and you teach people how to say this, how to do this, how to stand up for themselves and become safer?

Kate Arms 22:29
Yeah, I mean, the conversation that I had with this, this team, the way of working is actually that we’re shifting to is actually designed so that every two weeks, the whole team commits to what they’re going to do for the next two weeks, based on assessing their own capacity, their own what they can take. And then there are a couple of people whose job is now and it’s not their job. It wasn’t their job before. So this terrifies them. Their job is now to turn around to the people who are coming in from sales and from business and the people who are concerned about the revenue generation, and who are saying we need this now. We promised this as a customer, and why haven’t we delivered in and all of that pressure, and they have to turn around and say to them, we’ll look at whether we can take that on in two weeks.

Shannon M. 23:20
I love that. And it’s so important to even we talk about the definition, right, Christine? Like what part of the definition stood out to you, for me this week is capacity that is so important, especially after COVID When we’re talking about the psychological safety in the workplace or in different environments where we have responsibilities, right? If we put the same amount, let’s say of work on the schedule, as we had before COVID, if it feels different, the question might be because of the capacity, you know, maybe before we had somebody else who could help the children, but now maybe they don’t feel comfortable with the children being over there with the children being in school or whatever that means, if the details have shifted, I might not realistically be able to do that for you. And it’s interesting that have to be in a position to say that for work. But that’s where the black and the white comes from. And this list of things that I’m supposed to get done might not always fit into real life. So how do we reach our goals as a business and as a team? I love that. That two week marker, even for when to put it on the schedule as far as timing stuff out correctly?

Kate Arms 24:26
Yeah. When I was first running my own business and I was not managing it well at all. My very first business coach said to me, okay, I want you doing these two weeks sprints and sprints come from agile and technology, but he was like, I want you doing this two week sprints. I want you to decide, every two weeks. I’m gonna work on this and I want you to have three things you’re working on over that two weeks. And that was it. And I was like, but I’ve got to do my website and I’ve got to like make cold calls and I’ve got to do all these emails. Listen, I’ve got to do this. And I want to start a podcast and write a book. And he’d be like, Okay, what three things you’re gonna do in the next two weeks? And then I’d show him and he’d say, and when are you going to eat lunch? And I’d be like, Oh, I didn’t put lunch on the calendar. Oops, literally,

Christine Gautreaux 25:17
right? Like, yes. And

Shannon M. 25:19
cooking lunch or the travel time to get to lunch? Yes, yes, to be included.

Christine Gautreaux 25:24
I think that’s so common, especially for a lot of people, but especially women who are, tend to be the caregivers, whether it’s for partners, or children of the community, or, you know, whoever that we talk about this on the show a lot. Kate is like scheduling that time. Like, because if you don’t put lunch in your calendar, somebody’s going to take that time, because it’s gonna show up available on your calendar. And so I was gonna go, let me have that. Right.

Kate Arms 25:51
You know, it’s interesting, because I just want to sort of poke a little bit at the especially for women Park, I think it’s really easy to see how women do that in the I’m caretaking for everybody. family context, like I will take my lunch break to go and take the kids to the doctor instead of having lunch, right. Like those kinds of things, it’s really easy to see how the gendered assumptions for women push in that direction, I think it’s harder to see the way that men are subjected to the same pressure. And so I work in a male dominated industry in or in that organization. And the, the back to back meeting culture, the I start my meeting at seven, my day at 730 in the morning, and I have three meetings I’m supposed to be at at 815 and two I’m supposed to be at at 930. And it’s there. And it’s a different structure that creates exactly the same pressure.

Christine Gautreaux 26:57
Yeah, thank you. Thank you for that. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that, yeah, we have to acknowledge all those struggles, right? We have to acknowledge all of that, and realize that, when, yeah, you just said it perfectly. It’s gonna be quiet now.

Kate Arms 27:19
Yeah, I have a bit of a, a thing about gender in the way that we talk about gender and these things. And you mentioned in my bio, I put gender aware, because I think that it’s important for us to know that the manifestation of these things can very often look very gendered because of the gender norms, and they assumptions and sort of some of the structural assumptions about what mothers do compared to what fathers do and what what is what is tough and weak in a man and what versus what is tough and weak in a woman or not are different. And that fundamental need to have access to our playful curiosity so that we can learn is the same. And the need for community is the same and the need for diversity of thought so that other people sort of challenge us so that we learn is the same. And the pressures to look like we know what we’re doing are the same, that we’ve all got them. And one of the things that I find very, very exciting right now, is there are a lot of things like this podcast that are really focused towards women. And there’s starting to be a much more public kind of acceptance that men need to do this work to. And it really, really excites me because as women, if we’re in relationship with men, which most of us you know, whether that’s a romantic relationship, or a friendship or collegial relationship where we have men in our lives, the more they get to do this work, the more we don’t have to protect ourselves for that from them not having done the work.

Christine Gautreaux 29:15
Oh my gosh, can you say that again? Can you say that one more time? Like that was everything right there? Okay.

Kate Arms 29:21
Yeah. So the more that men do this work, the less we have to protect ourselves from them not having done this work.

Shannon M. 29:34
When you said thank you for joining us for episode 85.

Christine Gautreaux 29:47
Though, like, it’s true. Men, women, all people, right. However you identify, if we do our own work, what I what I heard you say in that case is if we each do our own work, it’s gonna make the world a better place. I mean, you know, we know that to be true. And that’s a simple thing that’s hard to do, right? Yeah. Like if you there’s so many and I can’t give attribution right now you may know it. But you know, if you want to save the world, go home and work on yourself. And it’s a piece like we have to do both right as as activists and people who want to make a difference in the world we’re holding both at the same time. But we can’t forget that piece of that self awareness that working on ourselves to starting with our body. Like the taking the deep breath when things are not going well. And

Shannon M. 30:38
check yourself a certain way. Yeah.

Christine Gautreaux 30:42
Hey, y’all, this is a great place to take a break. Take a deep breath, and hear from our awesome sponsors that make women connected and wisdom podcast possible. Shana, we’re so grateful that Shayla glow is the sponsor of the women connected in wisdom podcast. And I wanted to take this moment to ask you when you think about the people who use Shayla glow, what are we talking about?

Shannon M. 31:07
That’s a good question. I think about three groups really one group that’s removing hair, right, so whether you’re using laser hair removal, waxing, shaving, you gotta make sure that you’re putting back what you’re taking out. The second group, I think about those with dry skin, and the problems that that might cause right, the scars, itching, burning, whatever the situation is, you definitely need all three steps, right? The exfoliation making sure you’re taking the dead skin cells off the oil, putting in the moisture, and then the shea butter with the aloe, sealing it helping you heal those things help both groups, right. And third, for the third group is those with chronic illness. You know, the story is personally from cancer and different diseases that our population is dealing with on a daily basis throughout families as individuals. So I’m thinking about my mom and my grandmother, and those around me with the same generational ties, right, and what positive healthy habits, we can start to make sure that we’re maintaining our wellness, especially because the skin is like the cape, the exterior the the shield for your immune system. So with COVID, we have to be intentional about covering ourselves. And those are the groups I think about.

Christine Gautreaux 32:19
I love it. And you know what else I love about your product? It’s all natural, handmade, and it smelled great, y’all, so yay.

Shannon M. 32:29
Yes, Esthetician tested and approved. Yes. Yes. What about you? When you think about your company? What groups of people do you think about?

Christine Gautreaux 32:39
Well, you know, I work with individual coaching clients, I work in community classes and with corporate teams, and with all of them, I use a strength based embodied approach to help folks connect with themselves and access joy, reduce burnout, and build resilience. You know, especially during these times, I think we need it. I think we need all the hashtag partnership power we can get. Yes.

Kate Arms 33:03
Yeah. And people are starting to have that conversation in public too. Sharon Salzberg most recent book, real change is a really good one, because she’s looking at how does mindfulness meditation she’s a, she’s a Buddhist teacher, how does that support social action. And, and she talks very, very explicitly about two things that I think are really valuable. One is that piece of we come in, we work with ourselves in order to nurture ourselves so that we’re re energized for the new work, and also to train ourselves in ways of doing the work. And she in that book is really interesting, because mindfulness is in the subtitle of that book. And every single exercise that she suggests, is not an awareness, mindfulness exercise. It’s a loving kindness exercise. So what that book actually says, is the work that we do that, in training our beings to be more innately loving, kind nurturers us and changes the world.

Christine Gautreaux 34:16
Heck, yeah. A year ago, I did Ruth kings year long program meditating with race. And it was kind of similar, but it was done in a group setting. And I’ll put a link to the notes into that book too, Kate, thank you. We love good resources. But it was the same concept. Like we start with ourselves. We’re meditating every day, we had the focus of ending racism, and we did it in, in groups, but it was that practice it really is a practice of being with ourselves and what our intentions and and what is ours to do in the world and, and being more loving and kind. Yeah,

Kate Arms 34:56
and getting back to this sort of intellectual wisdom sort of definition. There’s a conscious about that, about choosing that and being deliberate about the decision making that this is how I’m going to spend some of my time.

Shannon M. 35:06
Yeah. And I mean, especially like, everything that you talk about came with the psychological safety, right? I have to be safe with myself, we talk about inner ally, and how you talk to yourself, when it’s just you and your body and your mind, is it safe, you know, whatever is inside, like you said, is gonna start spilling out. So whether or not you tell somebody or not, it’s not always the only you know where that social wellness and that has a part to play in it. But the way that you treat yourself will affect the way that we treat the people around us. And that’s why we always talk about self care, and community care, both individually and then together. But it’s also why we created connected and wisdom press, and made sure to not just have it say, women connected in wisdom, because the eight dimensions of wellness are very important to everybody, you know, everybody has skin, everybody needs healthy habits in order to stay healthy and to be whole and well and wise, and all these things that we talk about. We love uplifting women’s voices. Because a lot of times they’ve been hushed, or we haven’t gotten as many opportunities to exercise those, those skills, and those vocal cords and you know, all the things that go with it. But the information is for everybody. So I love that you spotlighted the men, I love the men and the strength that it takes to do everything that they you know, need to do and are the situations they’re put in. I remember I was listening to Brene, brown, dare to lead. And she was talking about how this husband walked up to her after one of her speaking engagements. And he was talking about how the women, his family would prefer that he die up on the horse, then he get off of it. I think he that he said that he fall off of it, something along those lines. And basically what he was saying was, you would love to you would rather pretend that I was okay, and think that I’m this person that I’m not then may not be okay. And maybe I’d be in the position where I need some help, you know, so to really bring everybody to the table to be taken care of is one of the things I love to do with everything that we talk about here.

Kate Arms 37:05
Yeah, yeah, the piece in there that I want to sort of poke at just a little bit because I love it is the the like learning and practicing. And like the the need to lift up the voices of the people who haven’t practiced because it’s scary to not be skilled at this. And these are skills, which is the thing that I think is really optimistic, like really hopeful is that becoming confident in your body, finding your voice, finding a way to be in relationship with people where you have your voice, and you honor their voice, and those are skills, and we can develop them. And if we haven’t been trained in them, we’re bad at them.

Christine Gautreaux 37:50
We just we don’t start We’re not born being able to do all this.

On top of it, and go back to Oregon some of these.

Shannon M. 38:05
Yeah, yeah.

Christine Gautreaux 38:07
Well, Kate, that’s why I love interplay and how we met. Because it is a modality that to me, lets you play with these things in a safe environment, right? It lets you play with people that are different from you, and be silly and have your voice heard and have equal time and, and it is one of the things that I use in my toolbox all the time with my coaching clients and organizations. Often, I may not tell them, we’re doing an AirPlay because you know, that gets a little scary itself. But I want to circle back around to what you said at the very beginning that you were working with on this team about permission to fail. I want you to say a little more about that. Because when we think about things that are scary when we think about trying something new and new skills, will you speak to that just a little bit?

Kate Arms 38:58
Yeah. So learning is really, really bad for our egos. Because learning starts from the place where we have something to learn. And so it starts from the place of I don’t know. If it starts from I don’t know, and I think maybe I’m expected to have already learned it’s like who we are, is that pressure like big time sort of like okay, now do I have to go do I have to pretend that I know and then go and study off in the back room while I so that eventually I can catch up. And that brings tension to our bodies to our minds. It brings a narrowness of focus. That means we’re not actually open to the learning that we need to do. And so finding the self compassion for our imperfection and permission tend to be bad at something for ourselves is really important. And then in a group, it’s really important. So this is a podcast, when somebody decides they want to do a podcast. And so first podcast, they don’t know anything. They’re like, I don’t know how you record it, I think I need, I need to record it. And I need to get it out somewhere. And I don’t know how to do any of that. And in order to get from there to a live stream in this thing, you actually have to have done a whole lot of research, a whole lot of trying things out a whole lot of just not being so good at it, and doing it in public. Because the moment you learn how to distribute a podcast, it’s in public. And yeah, for anybody

Christine Gautreaux 41:00
that’s interested, go back and listen to episode one, you will notice a difference.

Kate Arms 41:06
I have I have I have two podcasts. They’re both. One of them is in process now. And one of them is on hiatus. But yeah, I do not go back and listen to episode one for a reason. And episode, one of the leadership arts review is one of the most listened to episodes not just because it’s episode one. But because we went for the big one, we went for a Brene Brown book, so we didn’t start.

Christine Gautreaux 41:37
I love that. I love that so much. So you dare to you dare to fail? Yeah, you went for it. I mean, I resonate with that, like Shannon and I, like 85 episodes ago, we started this thing, and we’re just like, we’re gonna go for it. And we get asked that question all the time. Like, in in, we’re like, we had the basic understanding when we started. But you know, we’ve grown a little bit over this last last year and things we didn’t know, we would learn, we’ve learned to write about ourselves and each other, and this industry and all of it.

Kate Arms 42:12
Yeah, I got a text from one of my kids earlier today. And it was that he had learned a thing. And he’d learned a technology for editing some images. And it was the first time he had done image editing. It was the first time he’d learned the tech. And so he sent me the thing he did, and it’s the Texas full of all caps on gonna change this. And I like it’s like, okay, and I was like, so there’s the courage, right? He shared with his mom, something that he knows isn’t what he wanted. And he knows that I’ll celebrate his having learned that. And what I texted back to him was like, Wow, that’s awesome for a first go. And then he came back with the self deprecating, but I’m going to need to fix this, this, this, this isn’t the other and I was like, but he but he’s been my kid for a long time. So he said, but this is okay, for now. And I texted right back out, I’m good enough for now. It’s such an awesome place to be. Like, go to

Christine Gautreaux 43:15
these skills, the psychological safety skills, like transfer work home. And Kate you haven’t mentioned, and I don’t think it was in your bio. But before we get off, I want you to mention your book about parenting. Because you are you take a different approach to parenting and you take a coaching approach. And I want people to know about that, because it’s such a valuable resource.

Kate Arms 43:37
Yeah. Okay. So yeah, so I’ve talked a little bit about why the, the book came apart. And then and then I’ll talk about the book. It’s called Lift li f t, and it’s L dot i dot F dot T dot, and then a colon, a coach approach to parenting, which is a really awful title. And you should never title with that kind of punctuation in it. All of the search engines are bad. It’s a really awful title.

That’s it. That’s the title I gave it. And it’s I haven’t changed it yet. But it came about because I have two kids who are on the autism spectrum who are intellectually really gifted, and then the autism. The Autism theory that makes sense for my children is that it’s a manifestation of behavioral response to really, really high sensitivity, and particularly, threat response, sensitivity and autonomy need sensitivity. And so all of the parenting techniques that were like I am the parent and I decide what the rules are in this house, and then I teach you how to follow them. None of those worked. And I had to drop them very fast.

What I needed was to find something else that worked and I read all the books, all the books, I go to books when I I feel out of control. And so I read all the books. And nothing that I read in the parenting books helped. At the same time, I was doing coach training, and leadership training. And I started practicing the coaching skills with my kids. And I started teaching my kids and myself in the context as so I took my leadership training, and said, Well, I’m not leading a team right now, I’m not leaving a company, I was just a solopreneur. So I said, but I’m a parent. So I’m leading a family. So I applied all of that leadership training to my role as a leader in the family. And what I discovered was that all of that coach training, and that that particular form of leadership, the CO active leadership model is really about leading in pairs. So it’s not one leader with lots of followers. It’s actually how do we co lead. And I found that that was working with my children. And it was working with all my children. It wasn’t just working with my autistic children, it was actually also really working with my, they’re not neurotypical children, they’re identified gifted, and one of them has a learning disability. None of my kids are quite straightforward. But But everybody’s kids quirky, right? Like anybody who tells me that they’re like, little kids. I’m like, you haven’t met enough kids to know that everybody’s quirky. They’re just some that are really, really quirky. Yeah. So I discovered that it was working with all of my kids. And then, as I was coaching, and I was working with parents, there were a lot of parents who had kids kind of like mine, that I was meeting on the internet, and they were like, you’re not pulling your hair out and your kids seem to be thriving, what are you doing, because this is you’ve got some magic. And and at first, they started being like, Who are you and like, they didn’t believe that they could do what I was doing. So I wrote the book. Because I’d started teaching that these are skills that I didn’t start out knowing how to parent in this way I. But I absorbed an enormous amount of information, because I am an information junkie. And so this book was my way of trying to talk to more than one parent at a time about what had worked for my children.

Christine Gautreaux 47:36
Thank you, Mike, thank you for taking your knowledge. I mean, this is perfect for when we talk about intellectual wellness, right? You took all this stuff that you learned, you synthesized it, and you created this book as a resource for other parents. Like, that’s fabulous.

Kate Arms 47:52
Yeah. And so it comes from so basically, there are a handful of principles, and an approach and then a bunch of tools. But the tools are not the important part, because the tools are child specific, exactly sort of how this plays out is child specific. But the things that I focused on was first li f t is listened to learn, inspire, facilitate, teach. And so listen to learn as the first thing you do is you listen to learn who your child is. And then you try and figure out how to inspire them. So inspiration, this is the permission to fail, the playfulness, the How can their natural creativity and their natural learning be exposed, then if they need your help to learn something, facilitate that learning, put things in front of them that they can try. If they are interested in something like look for a club that they can go to look for a place that they might be able to play with other people who are interested in that facilitate the learning, and then not teach until afterwards. And that was the most important thing was like we most of us are 100 parents, we start as teachers. And so this was like you and you only teach if you have to, and preferably if you are asked, and in order to do that we have to trust that they are naturally creative. They’re naturally resourceful. They’re naturally wired for learning. They actually want to grow up to be functional adults.

Christine Gautreaux 49:28
I think how much of that applies to to colleagues, right? Like everything is like crossover right on listening to learn and it’s about that time y’all for wisdom and action and Shannon, I know you normally go first but I’m jumping in because mine is going to be hashtag listen to learn. I am totally doing that one for this week.

Shannon M. 49:53
Okay, Kate, what’s yours? What’s your wisdom and action?

Kate Arms 49:56
Um, so um, I am actually sorry. of thinking and trying to figure out what to do with a talk I went to yesterday, the rabbi Daniel Rutenberg, just published a book on repentance and repair, which sets out for the one of the classic Jewish philosophers approach to making amends and repairing damage. And one of the things that I quite frequently do is take religious wisdom and translate it into secular language. And so figuring out what to do with Rabbi written Burke’s wisdom is where I’m at right now.

Christine Gautreaux 50:38
So would you call that hashtag figure it out? Or hashtag break it down? Or? Hash tag? Oh, me it’s hashtag

Kate Arms 50:53
Secularize. Okay. All right. A lot of what I do is bringing religious wisdom into the secular world.

Shannon M. 51:01
I think it’s important things are relevant, you know, they’re relevant. Okay? So listen to learn I like it secularize. I love getting the message out to people mine, I wrote it down earlier. Let me see something that Kate inspired. Who hashtag you ready for this? Christine? Hashtag collaborative accomplishment, excuse me a collective accomplishment because this time next week will be published. Yes, our first compilation book.

Christine Gautreaux 51:32
Yeah. I love it. I have so enjoyed this conversation. Okay, thank you. I feel like we could just talk for a couple more hours, but we have to wrap and three two year olds are going to be two three year olds, I flipped are going to be coming through that door in a fight in about five minutes. So we definitely have to have a bring it close to this awesome conversation. But I am so grateful for your work in the world and who you are and your commitment to culture change your commitment to making the world a better place. Thank you.

Shannon M. 52:08
Absolutely. And thank you too, for the I feel like I’ve always been that type of person, to the people on the outside? And how can we include you to include you in the journey of life and helping you get what you’re looking for you for yourself? I love that. Thank you so much, Kate,

Kate Arms 52:23
thank you so much for the invitation to come and participate in this. I love talking to you, and also spreading some of these ideas further to the people who are listening.

Christine Gautreaux 52:35
And we’re gonna have it in the show notes. But if folks want to reach out to you, how do they find you? What’s the best and easiest way?

Kate Arms 52:41
The easiest way to reach out to me is to find me on LinkedIn is the social media that I use most for to email me I’d Kate Kate

Christine Gautreaux 52:51
All right, that’s awesome. We’ll put that in our show notes for our listeners. So thank you so much for your time. And we look forward to chatting with you more. We’re so grateful to be connected. Oh my goodness. Station,

Shannon M. 53:08
you know how I feel about it? Yes, it is so important.

Christine Gautreaux 53:13
Good stuff, good stuff. Good stuff. Well, my friend, we’re literally almost out of time. But I know there’s a few important things that we need to tell folks about, including if you haven’t already, check out our new website at women connected in It is a way to find out about the book that is coming out in a week. The link is not up there yet, but it will be on Tuesday when it is available. And also you can find out about our upcoming upcoming women connected in wisdom conference that is at the end of October and sign up for your free ticket. Is there anything else we need to tell them about?

Shannon M. 53:51
You tell them about the website, you told them about the book launch free ticket. I mean, we talk about a lot, you know, so you do have the free option for the conference. You also have the VIP option, you’re gonna get a goodie bag with some products from our speakers and our authors and be able to get the replays you know, sometimes you want to go back through stuff we were talking about watching episode one, we have 85 episodes is going to be four days packed of information. We’re intentional about not giving you too much. But if you want the replays, that’s an option as well.

Christine Gautreaux 54:23
And I think you know, this is just coming up top of mine. So tell me no, but I think we’re not just going to send out replays I think we’re gonna send out transcripts with it, too. So somebody wants to read it, because I know like I’m a reader. Yeah, so I could listen, I could watch or I could just read it and glean out because y’all the people we have speaking at the end of October have some serious wisdom to share with you and we are grateful. Absolutely. Well, my friend, I am so glad to have this conversation with you today and grateful for just being able to do this on the road and the completion of episode 85.

Shannon M. 55:03
Yes, and the book and the book, I’m including everything because next week we’re celebrating energies gonna be

Christine Gautreaux 55:10
right off the charts. Yes.

Shannon M. 55:12
Intellectual wellness. And thank you guys for being here. We will see you guys live at five next week, Eastern Standard Time. In the meantime, don’t forget, be well be wise and be whole we’ll see you soon

Satimara 55:34
thanks for listening. This has been the women connected and wisdom podcast on air live on Wednesdays at 5 pm. Eastern via Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to like, share and subscribe be part of the conversation and get connected at