We are aware of the basics of physical fitness – working out, following a fitness diet, doing a certain routine. But how aware are we of the things that we should be doing to take care of our inner well-being? We are often faced with inner roadblocks such as insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, and overwhelming stress that hinder our growth. Kate Eckman, the author of The Full Spirit Workout, joins Kim Sutton for an inspiring talk about getting over these less-tangible barricades in order for us to actualize our full potential. Learn to shed all the negativity inside of you and experience collective healing to be able to create a more fulfilling life.
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Fight Through Inner Roadblocks, Actualize Your Full Potential With Kate Eckman
I am happy you are here with me and our fantastic guest. This episode’s guest is Kate Eckman. She is the author of the Full Spirit Workout. Kate, I am happy you’re here.
I’m delighted to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
I told you that I was a little bit triggered by the book. I want to share with you why. In 2013, my older brother died and he was an entrepreneur. He was a leader in our home community of Rochester and he did work with the Ronald McDonald House and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was found dead and to this day, the FBI is involved. They are thinking that it’s assisted suicide. He had lost his grant and the world started tumbling down. In 2016, just prior to launching the show, I was working while I had gone through about eighteen months of working 20 to 22-hour days, seven days a week. I was sleep-deprived that I was suicidal myself. When I was reading even the first chapter and hearing about your friends and your anxiety, it touched me to the core. I totally understood how that felt for you. I want to thank you for being openly transparent, right there to start your book.
Thank you for saying that. I’m sorry for your brother and that tragedy, loss and pain that stays with you forever, as you know. You went to your own dark place, which is very human, I wish more of us acknowledged and talked about it. We have to start erasing the stigma in a more profound way and just talking about it and how normal and human it is. We aren’t too precious, too enlightened or too positive to have a bad day or a bad moment or be in a dark place. The more we talk about it, the more we stomp shame to the ground where it belongs. Thank you for sharing that. I feel like I’m triggering people. It’s triggering for me to talk about it.
It’s part of my story. I’ve had best friends and family members, nobody knows those things about me. I didn’t talk about it. To write and share it with the world has brought up many emotions in me. It’s healing. I talk a lot about purpose in my work. It’s one of my five P’s of confidence. I’ve realized that my purpose is not only my own healing but collective healing. Each time I dare to tell the truth and share what’s going on within me, it creates the space and allows others to go there too. Maybe, they’re not going to tell me, the world or anyone, but at least they’ll tell themselves and start to get clear and honest with themselves.
When I was a child, my parents were divorced, but it was much the same in both households. We don’t talk about the bad. We don’t talk about the things that aren’t working. As far as everybody outside of our door knows, our life is perfect. I got raised thinking I have to be perfect. When I was building my business, I have to pretend that everything is perfect and going well. I then saw all these people who were also doing the same. I found out later, because they started becoming more transparent, that they were going through the same as me. They didn’t want people judging them based upon things that weren’t going well. Why are we doing that? We’re making people feel less connected to us because they feel like we’re on a different level because we’re pretending that we’re something that we’re not. I don’t want people to feel that way.
You are touching the core and the heart of what I’m writing and talking about here. That’s the gift that I want to give people because that’s what I get a lot. I did a live TV interview. The host was kind but she blatantly said to me, “I can hear my audience saying, ‘This woman is young and beautiful. She gets everything she wants.’” It’s something along those lines. I had to eloquently keep it together and respond to that, live on television. I thought, “Thank you for the compliment. Thank you for approving of my parent’s and grandparents’ genetics and their physical products.”
There’s this whole notion that if you look a certain way, or you’ve gotten to certain schools, or you’ve achieved a certain level of success that it must be nice to be you. Everything is easy. What could you possibly know about struggle, heartache and all of that? How harmful it is to judge other people and thinking that you have them figured out based on what they look like, whether you approve or don’t approve. When you’re judging another, you’re also judging yourself. You’re judging probably the shadow part of you that you don’t even realize. That’s not even in your consciousness. We need to stop judging ourselves and policing each other. Assuming that we know everything about someone because of what they look like, where they live, what their husband does for a living, how well-behaved their children are or not, it’s such a disservice that we do.
That’s another part of my calling. Writing a book is much work. It isn’t easy. It’s not a moneymaker unless you’re a massive celebrity. It’s blood, sweat and tears that trigger every insecurity in you that you know you have or you don’t know. It is a lot to put yourself out there. That’s why I say this book and this project is much bigger than me. I did look around and see how much people were struggling. The reason I knew is that I was struggling. I saw myself and everybody. Even losing two loved ones to suicide and what it brought up in me. Someone said, “I know someone who could use this book.” Everyone needs this book because everyone is having the human experience. Everyone needs to look within themselves and get to the core of who they are, what they want and know who they are underneath all the titles and labels.
The fact that you see clearly what’s happening here is the reason I wrote this book. Thank you. I want people to go on a journey of self-discovery with themselves. To start loving themselves in a more profound and meaningful way, and start living a life that is fulfilling. Many are plugged into societal standards they don’t even believe in. They’re living someone else’s dream. They’ve fallen asleep to the truth of who they are. This is your gentle wake-up call and your friendly reminder. I’m not telling you what to do. I’m simply saying, “I thought you’d like to know,” and reminding people how powerful they are. That they can do whatever they decide is important enough.
Before the interview, we found out that Kate and I are probably within 90 minutes of each other in Ohio. I’m bringing that up because of my childhood dream. I’m in my 40s. I watched Ghost on constant replay. I loved the loft that Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze had. My childhood dream was to have a loft like that in Manhattan, and become the Head of the Interior Design department with this beautiful loft and all those beautiful arts. All the money I would make was what was going to make me successful.
This is not my first entrepreneurial venture. After becoming an entrepreneur this round, I started judging myself because here I am in the Midwest. I’m in Ohio on a ranch, driving not the newest car. For years, I was driving a car that was older than my oldest kid who’s already eighteen. I was like, “What are people going to think if they see that I’m driving this monster man van?” I then started joking about it. I realized, “I don’t need to be in New York, LA or San Diego to be successful. I can be successful right here. My success doesn’t depend on how expensive my house is. Do I still have a huge dream house on my vision board? Yeah. I need my own bathroom. That’s not going to mark my success. When I stopped measuring how well I was doing in my business by how much I was making and more on how much I’m sleeping, that’s when it started getting good.
You’re taking me back to that interview where the woman was saying, “You’re beautiful. You must be nice.” I said to her, “Our inner success and how we feel about ourselves has absolutely nothing to do with our outer success.” I have proven that theory time and time again because I was “living the dream” in New York City. I was the face of many global beauty brands as a TV presenter. I worked for some of the biggest names in fashion as a model. I was making great money. I lived in a fancy place. I had it all. I found myself in midtown Manhattan, having a massive panic attack at the Duane Reade at the corner of 34th and 8th Avenue, across from Penn Station, contemplating taking a bottle of antidepressants.
It was grief from losing Sam and Rob to suicide in one year and everything that brought up in me. The whole point is that nothing outside of ourselves can bring us permanent happiness. We may get the job, the money, the Soho loft next to Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. We’ll be happy for twenty minutes. It’s then onto the next thing and the next thing. We find ourselves sweating to death, running frantically on the hamster wheel. When we do that, we can never have enough or be enough. That was me. I was the product of that mentality.
I contemplated leaving. I didn’t know what I was doing. That’s what happens in those moments. We forget who we are. We don’t know what’s going on. Luckily, my brother who is a physician helped me through it, brought me back to reality and the present moment. This is what happens. That explains why so many people are deeply unhappy, unfulfilled and lacking in meaning. I work with many business leaders and professional athletes, all the material success, notoriety and fame you could possibly imagine. More money than they’ll ever know what to do with.When you’re judging another, you’re also judging yourself. You’re judging the shadow part of you that you don’t even realize.Click To Tweet
In our work together, they’re thinking, “What does all of this mean? What do I want my legacy to be? Why do I not feel fulfilled?” It’s because they haven’t done these inner exercises that I’ve outlined in the book. It’s because they haven’t taken the time to go deep within and figure out who they are and what that means to them. We’ve had more time during COVID. Now, as I’ve understood you, it doesn’t matter where you live. I’m here in Ohio temporarily. I can’t believe I’m saying this because it was a rough transition.
I’ve only been here in a few months. In the first few months, I was wrapped up in my New York identity, missing it and all of the things that are New York. Now I’m here and I’m like, “Do I want to go? I’m living in this beautiful spacious home. Do I want to go back to living in a small, tiny place for much money?” I’m shifting. That’s what the universe does. It shifts us. There are some discomforts. Step one of my book is Stretch Your Comfort Zone. When you dare or are willing to make a change or take a risk, the universe steps up and supports you. That’s been my experience. I feel that.
What is the gift? The gift is you shift, change and grow because you’ve taken yourself outside of the comfort zone, what is familiar, what you think your identity is and how it has to be. I feel the tremendous growth that I’ve had because I’ve shaken things up. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Has it been stressful? Have I had breakdowns and questioned all the things? Absolutely, but that’s when life gets juicy. I invite you to switch it up, to take that risk, and to allow yourself to be willing to do something different so that you can be a different person and actualize your full potential.
I’m thinking back to my days. I didn’t work in Manhattan for too long. My first husband and I got unexpectedly pregnant. I was young. I was 23. I was out of college. I was not prepared to be a mom. I was an interior architect for a decade. When I was in Manhattan, I was designing hedge fund offices and trading firm offices. After my son was born, I went up to Greenwich, Connecticut and worked which is a crazy horse of its own. On the days that I had the car, which was amazing, I would go up there in our Saturn Vue, which is a nice SUV for the time. I would be parked between a Porsche Boxster and whatever else was on the other side. I was like, “Do I fit up here?”
I then would get out and wearing my Express. I don’t remember the last time I saw an Express store. My boobs and my butt no longer fit in Express. Five kids and Express don’t necessarily go together. In the next car, they’re getting out in their Gucci and whatever else that I don’t even know how to pronounce properly. I was like, “In order to be successful here, that’s what I’ve got to have?” Now I feel like it’s a milestone of its own. I can feel comfortable going to Walmart in my sweatpants, cut-off T-shirt, where I cut the collar off because it was too tight in my messy bun and no makeup. I would have never dreamt of leaving the house or the apartment in New York with no makeup. It wouldn’t have happened. I would have been scared about what other people thought. Now I’m like, “Who cares?” If they’re going to judge me based upon the fact that I’ve got undereye circles, go ahead.
It’s liberating to get to that place where you don’t care what people think anymore and you aren’t comparing. That’s the goal. That’s where we all want to get where we are firm and grounded in who we are. We’re comfortable in our own skin and body with who we are and where we are, not just geographically but where we are on our journey. That’s why social media can be damaging because you’re having a perfectly great day and you log in to see what’s going on for a minute while you’re waiting for your doctor’s appointment. You don’t even realize you’re doing it. Suddenly, you’re comparing yourself to, “That woman has a cuter husband, dog house, car, vacation, outfit,” and then your confidence and your well-being plummets.
If you are going to get on, use it as a tool of connection. I like to make posts that get people to think, reflect or add some inspiration or perspective shift or something of value. Engage with the people who comment or click on someone. If I saw your photo, it’s like, “How great that you’re in Connecticut on vacation. I love your perspective on this topic.” Use it as a tool of connection rather than the doom and despair cave of comparison that we fall into. There is something about getting older, even when that woman called and said, “You’re so young.” That’s all relative. She’s like, “You’re so beautiful.”
Thank you but in society’s terms, I’m too old and I’m not skinny enough. Few of us get a pass when it comes to pleasing everybody to fitting into every box. That’s the other thing. Who wants to be in a box? Society loves to put especially women into a box and you’re allowed to be one thing. If you’re a mom, why are you working and spending time away from your kids and your husband? The stay-at-home moms get shamed. The career women with kids get shamed. The women like me who don’t have kids, “Why don’t you have kids?”
That’s why this is important to take the time out. I do at least five minutes a day. I do more like an hour and a half. I call it my sit-and-stare time. I sit and stare out the window or stare straight ahead. I check in with myself like I’m a small child and say, “How are you doing? What do you need? What’s working? What isn’t working?” Even going a step further, which is foreign to all of us, “Good job. I’m proud of you. You rocked that interview. You were struggling but you showed up and were present. You did your best and had fun. Well done.” That’s success for me. All of us could spend a little more time sitting and staring and redefining success, beauty, who we are and what we want. It’s simple but I know that it isn’t easy.
The people say a lot of times, “It must be nice. I don’t have time for that.” What I say to that is, “I don’t have time to be angry. I don’t have time to yell at my loved ones because I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and not spending any time taking care of myself. I don’t have time to not be the person that I’m here to be.” If you can’t show up for yourself, show up for your family, team, organization or a cause greater than you. That will make it easier on the days where you want to throw in the towel or you think, “Why does this even matter? Nobody cares.” It does matter. Take a look at the world around you. We need more people living their strengths, using their gifts and showing up in a meaningful way to help uplift what I term a very sick society.
I hired a therapist. It’s been huge for me to go every week. First off, setting aside that time for myself, which I have rededicated my nighttime to sleep. I don’t work late anymore. I can’t for my own mental wellbeing. I wasn’t willing to take that 1 to 2 hours with the drive included to find a therapist, but I realized I have to. My husband is a disabled vet with PTSD. There are challenges some days. I realize I don’t need to carry all that burden. I’d love to know what personal practices you have besides sit and stare, which I loved. I am going to need to adopt that. I journal. I used to start every single day jumping in the email, text messages, WhatsApp, social media, responding to everybody else. Now, you are part of that starting of the day. I start my day by journaling. I then read and journal my thoughts about the reading.
Your book is what’s getting journaled on. It’s not a fast process. I probably spend 90 minutes on that every single morning and I may open my email by 10:00. That’s probably on the early side. Some days, it’s not until 11:00. Don’t email me if it’s an emergency. If you know me, text me. You might get a response faster but you might not because that’s the other thing that I’ve had to do. I realize everybody else’s emergencies are not my own. My notifications on my phone are for the most part off, except for my kids and my husband. Those are the only ones that will pop up.
I commend you for reaching out for support. What that reminds me of is when people say, “I’m already confident. I’m already doing well. I don’t need an accountability friend. I don’t need this book. I don’t need therapy. I don’t need a coach.” I think of Tom Brady because he and I were both Big Ten athletes at the same time together. I was a swimmer at Penn State. He played football at Michigan. We’re the same age and he’s still winning Super Bowls. My knees hurt when I go to Pilates. I have a little laugh about that. I bow down to Tom Brady the way I bow down to people like you who are parents, working, doing all the things and keeping it all together.
Tom Brady trains harder than anyone and has more coaches than anyone not because he’s the worst but because he’s the best. Talent merits an investment. Whatever you’re doing, whether you are a janitor, a CEO, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, an entrepreneur, I don’t care what your job is. They’re all amazing. You’re talented. You merit investment and support. You are not meant to do life on your own. Friends can only take us so far because we love them but they’re our friends. You need someone who’s going to do what we call in coaching honest labeling, who’s going gently and kindly call you out and get you to see things differently. Friends are not trained unless they are. I’m a friend to many people. I’m a trained Certified Professional coach. I’ve been through a lot of rigorous training but I don’t want to coach my friends.So many are plugged into societal standards that they don’t really believe in. They’re living someone else’s dream.Click To Tweet
It is good to reach out to people and to start putting our well-being first. If I’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that this is no longer some cute thing to post about on Instagram or a luxury we might get to someday. No. We have to put our well-being first and we’ve all been guilty. I certainly have that, “I need to set a boundary with this person. No, I don’t want to do that.” We don’t do it because we think, “I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” That’s certainly something to take into consideration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hurt myself and my own feelings at the expense of putting someone else before me.
There are kind ways to set boundaries and to say, “This is no longer a fit or a match,” and to walk away from certain jobs, people or relationships, and put our well-being first. In the book, we have all the journaling exercises and the meditations to take you on a journey deep within yourself. They’re all mixed and mastered. They’re on my website, KateEckman.TV. You can listen to them for free. I mix them and high frequencies. It is helping to change your brainwaves and soothe your mind, heart and soul. I invite you to take advantage of that. Also, the Coach Kate Check-Ins where I’m asking you heartfelt but very gritty questions and getting underneath the hood of the car. I know not everyone can afford therapy or coaching. It’s great to have all these questions and do the work.
We have to be quite candid here. This is like going to the gym. You can’t just show up in your cute outfit and expect your personal trainer to do your sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups for you. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I wonder how much that would cost but I would pay for it. You have to put in the work. Like physical exercise, you get the results if you put in the work. Do these and ground these affirmations into your body. There’s this beautiful quote by Asaro Tribe out of Papua New Guinea. It says, “Knowledge is a rumor until it lives in your bones.” Meaning it’s not enough to know something intellectually. You have to move that knowledge down into your heart and body. Ideally, implement it and take action through your hands.
A lot of us understand these basic principles. Why aren’t our lives changing? Why aren’t we getting results? Because we haven’t done the practice and preparation enough to move this wisdom into our bodies. We aren’t implementing. We aren’t taking action and practicing in the real world. It is a process. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Take bite-sized steps. Do five minutes a day. Start there with the sit-and-stare, with the journaling exercise, with that time for yourself. You will then start to crave it. You’ll want to do it more and more because you’ve developed the practice and you’ll start to feel much better. You’ll notice that “My relationships are improving. I feel much better. I feel much more confident and optimistic. People are emailing and calling me. I don’t even have to try. Everyone’s finding me. I’m getting these new job offers.” It will seem like magic but it’s not magic at all. You are getting out of your own way. You’re clearing out all the gunk. You’re becoming the person who naturally attracts money, opportunities, relationships and experiences.
I have two big thoughts because I was reading your book. I highlighted in the Course of Miracles, “Teachers that have good intentions are not enough. Our willingness is everything.” I’ve signed up for a club membership. I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t have the padlock for my locker or the duffel bag for my clothes. Good intentions, but we have to be willing to take those little steps.
Be willing to not be great yet or ever. That’s me at dance class. I’m never going to be good at dance class but I still go. It boosts my confidence because I’m like, “I’m here in a room full of dancers, looking and feeling like a jackass,” but it’s not about that. For me, dance class is the ultimate rebellion against my inner perfectionist and my obsession with performance. I’m never going to give a “perfect performance” in dance class. First of all, there’s no such thing. That’s not the point. Dance class. It’s about moving my body, being present with my body, having fun and being in the energy of other people, pre-COVID.
If we can even allow ourselves to do things that we know we’re not that great at that, that builds our confidence because we dare to suck. It’s then no longer like, “Who am I to do this? I can’t do this,” or your imposter syndrome popping up like, “What are you thinking?” It’s like, “You can all go sit back down because I’m here, I’m doing it and I showed up.” That’s what I would tell myself when I would do live TV, with QVC and you have to hit certain sales numbers. It’s so much stress and pressure. It was getting to me and so I reframed. Reframing is another great tool. I reframed that whole career and redefined success for myself which became, “Did you do your best? Did you have fun?” If I could answer yes to both of those questions, then you’re a success. That airing was a success, regardless of what the number said, regardless of who I impressed or didn’t impress, regardless of what you think, say or feel about me. I know I did a good job. I did my best. When we then start to live our lives in that space, then we do start to see the results in the material world.
Can you make a wall decor that says on it, “Did you do your best? Did you have fun?” I will be your first customer and I will put it on my shelf right behind me because that’s it.
I love that. It’s got the chills because I know you do marketing. After this, we’re going to stay in touch. These are some things I want to discuss. It’s so simple. That’s another thing I talk much about core beliefs in the book. What often happens to us is that we develop negative core beliefs from something that was said to us usually in childhood. You have to go way back. I go back to origin stories and talk about even being a four-year-old at the Swim Club and what happened to me there in terms of a limiting core belief. We then go about our lives and collect evidence for why that lie is true. Why don’t we take the compliment to heart? Why don’t we take the truth to heart or what we know to be true? That we are powerful? That we are loved, supported and being guided. Collect evidence for all of those things. We would feel much better. We would make much better decisions. We would uplift others. It has a ripple effect. That’s why I say, “When you can’t do it for yourself, show up for other people because it creates that ripple effect in the world.”
You’ll start to notice if you’re holding on to that mean comment or lie, or someone said something about you and you’ve made that your truth. Consciously be in the act of releasing that, then immediately co-creating with a higher power if you believe. A new thought system or a new belief that says, “Everything that’s best for me is either already here or on its way.” That puts me in a place of trust and surrender. I can focus on keep going and put one foot in front of the other. Knowing that whatever is best for me is either already here or on its way rather than forcing controlling and being attached to things, and people being a certain way that we block our blessings and repel our goals.
You’re my bonus therapy session. I’m going to expand on that for a quick second. Do you know what your love language is?
Words of affirmation.
Mine is service. When I was growing up and my parents were divorced, my dad would tell me over and over again that he would do things and then not do them. It’s hard for me. My husband and I had an argument about it. It’s hard for me when my husband says that he’s going to do something and then he doesn’t because my love language is service. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Don’t tell me you’re going to do something within a specific timeframe if you’re not going to do it within this specific timeframe. The reason why I say it’s another therapy session is like I need to let go of assuming that he doesn’t care because he doesn’t do it within the timeframe.
This is one of the hardest things to do. It’s to detach from outcomes and release expectations, especially when it’s a close family member, your best friend, spouse, kids, something like that because we’re hurt. We have to acknowledge that we’re hurt or we’re triggered. This happened to me too. Thank you for sharing. As a word of affirmation person, I’m like, “How hard is it to say congratulations and see and acknowledge my achievement?” It takes two seconds. It’s great. That’s all I need. I don’t need much. You are someone very important to me. Can you acknowledge that I’ve done something challenging and hard and that it’s a good product? This person for whatever reason, I don’t want to say they couldn’t, but they didn’t.
I called it out and brought it to his attention. I then had to remember that this person is an act-of-service love language. He showed me he loves me by washing my car, cooking me a salmon burger and stuff like that, which is amazing. That’s why that book is popular, The 5 Love Languages for those who don’t know what we’re talking about. We need to let other people off the hook because we need to let ourselves off the hook. We appreciate it when people let us off the hook and we’ve had a human moment. Sometimes the lesson is this person is not healthy to be in my close proximity. We need to let people fall away, at least temporarily and maybe permanently, and release them with love so we don’t attract more of the same.Our inner success and how we feel about ourselves have nothing to do with our outer success.Click To Tweet
The more that we can be the people who we want others to be, that’s when we are in a place of empowerment. That’s when we are more in a place of showing people how it’s done or how it works and giving what we would like to receive rather than thinking, “This person is such a jerk. I want to tell them that they’re a jerk,” because that doesn’t feel good. Spiritually speaking, when we attack another, we are attacking ourselves also. That’s why we feel like crap. It’s like, “I told this person off and told them my truth. Why do I feel crappy?” It’s because we’ve attacked ourselves.
There’s something that I heard a long time ago. I don’t know who said this if it’s an original quote. It says, “The truth said without kindness is violence.” That hit me like a ton of bricks because I’m passionate about truth-telling. If you’re telling your truth without kindness, that is an act of violence and our words can be violent. It’s cleaning that up and maybe you aren’t ready to have that difficult, uncomfortable conversation because you are stinking mad and it’s justified. You do need to do some of these full spirit workout exercises to get to a place of calm, where you’re centered and grounded. You are in a place where you can speak your truth, where it could cause some healing rather than harm.
I haven’t heard that before. I have disconnected from an immediate relative who would be bluntly truthful in their opinion. They’re like, “I’m not being mean. I’m just being honest, but you’re being mean. Were you taught or were you raised to have healthy boundaries? I’m not saying that I’m teaching my kids to have boundaries. That’s not what I’m saying at all. To know when to let go when things aren’t going well with somebody. For example, my fifteen-year-old son has been hurt by girls. He’s totally girl crazy. I was like, “Let her go. She’s not good for you. She keeps on breaking your heart.” For me, I was always taught to build bridges and don’t burn them. Don’t cut anybody out. You always want to make sure that you maintain that relationship. It wasn’t until I was 40. I’m already 42 in 2021 that I learned. I can’t do that. For my own mental wellness, I need to not have some people in my life.
I’ll share with you what a mentor shared with me years ago that I’ll never forget. There are little nuggets that have been said to me throughout the years. When I said something to her about a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend like, “When should I let him go? How will I know?” She said, “You let him go every morning.” She was talking about people who are married, people who are in a serious relationship. Meaning our culture has set us up for, “There’s that one special person.” All the pressure that puts on that person. You are that person too if you’re in a relationship. Someone’s also putting that pressure on you even subconsciously that you need to fulfill all these needs. You need to say, do and act a certain way for them to be okay. That is unhealthy and that is our culture.
We have to consciously unsubscribe from that and plug into something that says, “I am complete. I am here to share my completeness with another complete person. Letting that person go every day.” Whether you are married to them, dating them, it’s a casual something, your son or somebody has a crush at school, you release them every day. Let them be who they are. Don’t put all that pressure, expectation and control on them. They will feel that even if it’s subconsciously. It will repel the person from you. People can feel it too. That’s why it feels good. I met you for five minutes. I felt so seen in your presence. You didn’t have your hooks in me. You didn’t say, “You’re wearing a white shirt. You need to be in purple. You need to have this and this.” It would have been an uncomfortable conversation. I showed up as I was. This is how it is. I see you. You see me.
We forget to do that to the people we love the most a lot. It’s easy to love someone when they’re saying everything we want them to say and doing everything we want them to do. The challenge is to love people when they aren’t behaving how we would like when they aren’t saying nice things. Sometimes this means you stay in the relationship. Sometimes it means you leave. Only you know that. You can sit and stare, do your practices, journaling, meditations and come to that conclusion on your own. Ask your intuition and God’s spirit universe to lead the way, to send you signs and show you the way. The more that we can become our own dream partners, the more we will attract our dream partner and not self-sabotage it.
One of the things that I’ve had to work on in the last years is when my husband and I get into an argument, not allowing it to cut me to the core. I know those are strong words but that’s how it felt. It crippling me. I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself. This is horrible but it’s funny and a great tool for me. I’ve created a mental music playlist. If I don’t like what he’s saying, I turn the music playlist on in my head. I tune him out. I start singing in my head. It works well except for when I accidentally start singing while he’s talking.
Have you told him that the things he’s saying are hurtful?
We’re working on it. I’ve realized I need to take charge. Your book is awesome. I’m going to digest it in bite-sized pieces because that’s how I know I need to do it. It’s an awesome reminder of me taking ownership of my mental wellness.
Fun is in the subtitle. I consider myself a fun person. It was my birthday and my mom asked my dad, “What’s one word you would use to describe Kate?” Of all the words my dad could choose, he said fun. That’s cool. I’ve made the book fun so that you want to show up and do the work and go for it. People have said and I agree that it’s an easy read because I don’t want some daunting textbook. I appreciate what you said because I did have a friend say, “I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days.” She’s a super reader and I appreciate that. She did say, “I’m going to go back again and do bite-size.”
You can read it quickly. You need to go back and it is a resource to turn to again and again. Take a moment to read one paragraph and sit. I’ll do that. I’ll sit and savor it and take it in, not just read it. Not just intellectually understand. Move that into the body so that you know it. Take it a step further and move it from the body into your hands and into the actions where now you’re living it. You are it. That’s why people say to me and it’s the biggest compliment anyone can give an author, “You match your book. You are the words. You live your words.” I say, “Yes and thank you,” and that should be everyone who writes a book.
What’s important to me is integrity and living what you write, what you speak and what your truth is. It’s not always easy and I don’t always get it right. That’s why I have to sit my butt down and course correct and do the work because I am a human. There’s no moment where you reach the Buddha on the mountaintop and stop learning. You think of a professional athlete. You don’t win the Olympics and then think, “I never have to train again.” No, you have to train even harder to even maintain that level of mastery. I do invite everyone to take your little small, bite-sized bits. Go through it again and again. Maybe there are certain exercises even for myself that stands out. I will visit them again and again until I’m able to move them from the head into my body.
Did you have to give yourself a full spirit workout to write The Full Spirit Workout? I can expand what I mean. I’ve been working on my book for seven years, Chronic Idea Disorder. For the first six years, we’re trying to write it in somebody else’s voice because I was worried about what do other people want. I then realized, if they want somebody else’s voice, they can buy somebody else’s book. I’m writing this book. I was worried about my humor. It’s very dry sometimes. It can also be dirty. I realized in the conversation that chronic idea disorder is like bad sex. You can try and try but you’re never going to get anywhere. For a chronic idea to start, you have all these ideas and you’re going to work. If you’re working on a gazillion ideas, you’re never going to get anything done. I realized by not giving that comparison, I was trying to be too proper. Going back to my New York roots. That’s not me. I speak my voice. If it turns them off, then fine. They can shut the book but the people who need to read it will read it. Did you go through that in your writing at all?
I didn’t go through that because that sounds exhausting and limiting. I’m glad that you’re moving out of that space because we need you and your unique voice, perspective, rawness and realness. That’s what people want. They want the real and the raw and the vulnerability. I know that to be true in the interviews that I do, especially when I’m with men. I let stuff rip. You can tell they’re like, “I’m not used to people saying that.” I said saying the truth candidly and vulnerably. People are craving that. I know I was craving it being in a world that was all about appearances. I’m like, “I’m not doing this anymore. I can’t keep going down this route.” I saw the detriment that it did to my two friends who were in that world and that they chose to leave us. I would sit down.
There was some fear that came up in the beginning because I’m about to share some things that nobody knows about me, maybe 1 or 2 people in private. I’m just letting it rip but I followed spirit. I let it out and told the truth. It was so freeing, liberating, healing and knowing that it was going to offer freedom, liberation and healing to anyone and everyone who picks this up and reads it. That is the whole point. It isn’t about looking cool, feeling cool or appearing to have it all together. It’s being real and your realness is sexy, gorgeous, brilliant and all that anybody wants. If they don’t like it, not everyone’s going to like you. I talk about that in the book. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to touch the people who need that. This era of pretending like “Look at me, I’m so together” is over. We’re entering “This is who I am. If you like it, great. If you don’t, great because I like it.”Nothing outside of ourselves can bring us permanent happiness.Click To Tweet
Before all of this, did you ever put a post on social media and get a less than optimal comment, then delete the post because you were embarrassed by the comment that had come in?
I didn’t delete the post but I have deleted the comment before.
Fall of 2019, I put a post out there. I’m going to share a quick story. There was a comment that came in from somebody I had bought a course in 2017. I bought it on a payment plan and paid the first payment. I will admit, I didn’t have money for the rest. I wasn’t buying it, intending to not pay. When the second payment came through, I contacted them and said I was going to pay. Financially, it didn’t work out. The person came back and left a comment, “You bought this from me,” and it wasn’t even related to the post.
My first instinct was, “People are going to see this. What are they going to think?” I almost deleted the whole post. I almost deleted the comment. I was like, “I know, I’m not alone here.” Entrepreneurs go through this all the time. Things don’t go as planned. I decided to leave a tactful reply to theirs, “I still plan on paying you.” By the way, everybody, I have since paid off what I owed that person. They were shocked because many people don’t. I let it be known, what had happened. The responses that I got from being authentic, sharing the truth in response when I could have been combative. I could have deleted it. They were amazing. I decided to take ownership in that moment of what had happened.
Thank you for sharing that. You needed to know this. That’s your proof to show up, be you and who that person is gorgeous, gifted and good enough. There’s also that fine line for me. I was a TV news anchor, reporter and the biggest takeaway from my TV news career is, “You don’t talk down crazy.” Meaning I would go knock on doors sometimes to get a sound bite. It would be some man with a shotgun telling me to get off his property. I was in a Stand-Your-Ground State in Florida. If you don’t know what that law is, that means you can be on someone’s property. They can shoot, kill you and they don’t even get any charges. I would say “Thank you, so much,” turn around and walk away.
When I say the comment that I deleted on my post, for example, I don’t get a lot of hate. I’m quite fortunate for that. I try to put out more unifying messages and talk more about love than some politicians I may not like. That’s not what my page is about. If someone is coming and their only intention is to spew hate, I love a good debate. I’m like a wannabe lawyer in some ways. I love to talk to people who have different opinions than me and try to get their perspective and understanding. It brings us all closer together. When someone is showing up to be hateful, and I feel that and they’re saying something that isn’t true. I don’t talk down crazy. It serves me no purpose to engage with someone who is committed to misunderstanding, who is committed to spewing hate, who is committed to taking their own self-loathing and projecting it outward. I will send that person love. I delete, forgive, bless, send them love and be like, “You are in pain. I wish you well on your journey. This is not the place for that.” We need to be conscious of that too. I see a lot of people engaging in things they don’t need to engage in. It’s this pissing match. What is this doing besides bringing you down?
I need a T-shirt that says, “I don’t talk down crazy.”
Isn’t that good because there will be a moment? There’s that saying that says, “You don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to.” It’s like, “This person is committed. Nothing that I’m going to say to this person is going to be heard.” They are filtering it through sometimes a personality disorder or something another lens which I have compassion for. Recognizing it and saying, “I picture this man.” I’ll never forget it. He was like a toothless man with a shotgun. I’m like, “He will shoot us.” My photographer was arguing with him. I’m like, “If you want to lose your life over a soundbite that we’re not going to get anyway, that’s on you. I’m walking to the live truck. In two minutes, I’m driving away with or without you because I love my life and value it. This is not worth it. You don’t talk down crazy.” We all have those moments in our life. This is not in a place of judgment. It is not a nice word, crazy. It gets thrown around a lot. We’ve all been there. You can choose. You can walk away and know that you can be the world’s greatest attorney and still not get your point across and win that day in court with that person. You can win in silence. You can win your sanity. You can keep your good mood and dignity.
What is your biggest goal for your book?
To reach as many people as possible because I’m getting great feedback. People love it and I love it. This is a big step for me because my inner critic has nothing but great things to say about the book, which is a huge win for me. I want people to find hope, healing, celebration and improve their relationship with themselves on every level. In turn, that will attract everything they could ever possibly desire, everything they deserve into their lives. To have fun with it and return to this again and again. This book speaks for itself and will have its own legs. I want to be in a place of surrender and trust, and not trying to control. I wish I sold one million copies on the first day. I’m a first-time author. I’m not Oprah Winfrey. It’s going to take some time.
That’s why it’s great to have these conversations and what you did to me in the first 30 seconds of this interview with you. Getting the value from it and sharing it with friends, relatives or whomever, and letting it have its own place in the world of a whole different way of looking at life, and a workout system that works. That’s going to make you feel confident within. Not that performance confidence that a lot of us have where we can turn it on for ten minutes outwardly. I’m talking about that unshakable, unbreakable, full-body confidence that can weather any storm. It will carry you through any chaos, uncertainty or crisis that comes your way.
Do you see another book in your future?
I do. A lot of podcasters have been saying this. Energetically, I am already thinking of the next. You’re a parent so you get this. It’s like I just had my baby. I want to focus on this baby for now. I am thinking about giving this baby a sibling.
We thought we were done after our seven-year-old and then we got twins sixteen months later. That’s the only reason why I say that that book could hit you like a zinger in the middle of the night. I’ve heard of that happening.
I’m open to it.Allow yourself to be willing to do something different so that you can be different and really actualize your full potential.Click To Tweet
What legacy do you want to leave? What do you believe your life purpose is at this time?
When I think of legacy, I think of people who are thinking, saying and believing, “I felt much better in Kate’s presence. She made me feel better about myself and uplifted me. She gave me energy. She’s like a ray of sunshine. She made me believe in myself again. She made me believe that I am capable and that I am powerful. I can do what I say I want to do and I can have the life that I say that I want because of Kate.” That ties into my purpose of deep collective healing, empowerment, joy and leading with our gifts and strengths rather than this notion of, “We don’t add up in some way.” No, we are incredible beings. All of us. People feeling that to their core and then implementing that belief and work that helps uplift the world.
Before we hopped on, I was talking about the monthly themes of the show. I keep on thinking about how my periods of the roughest physical health were connected to the periods of the roughest mental health. My friend, Devi Adea, from the Spiritual Entrepreneur, I was having a chat with her one day and I was like, “My stress has an appetite of a ton.” She’s like, “It does. Cortisol.” I was working out but I was stressed. I kept on tacking on the pounds. I decided that you’re going to be episode 707. If you’re wondering readers why this conversation is in the month of physical health, it’s because I know that my mental health was at its worst, my physical health was also at its worst. Kate, when my stress was at its worst, the week before my 40th birthday, I spent a week in the hospital because I had all the classic signs of a heart attack but I didn’t have a heart attack.
I am sorry. That is scary. Everything you’re saying is true and connected. That’s why I wrote this book because a lot of people think that health is just the physical, “I have to run. I’ve got to lift my weights. I have to do cardiovascular and stretching to maintain my vessel and my physical health.” That is true but oftentimes, we neglect the mental, emotional and spiritual muscles. They are all connected. When you are fit, strong, healthy mentally, emotionally and spiritually, it does play into your physical health. We put so much mental and emotional stress on the physical body that it was not meant to carry, which is why you can eat well, exercise and you’re like, “Why am I not seeing results?” It’s because your body can’t take that much stress. They are all connected.
I’m reminded of a quick story about when I was a TV news reporter and I was under so much stress. I had psoriasis and it was flaring up. It was uncomfortable, painful and even embarrassing. The week I left not just that station and that job, but the TV news business, that psoriasis went away and never came back. That was 2009. Case in points and how horrifying that is. The time I was in the ER with this toxic migraine they called it, people thought I was having a brain aneurysm or had a brain tumor. It was just stress. That is horrifying. Sometimes, you do need to leave the job or the relationship, but even in those toxic, stressful situations, if you take even five minutes a day to do any of the exercises in this book, you will notice profound effects. Like physical exercise, they do have cumulative effects.
I’ve had two kidney infections in my life. I don’t wish those upon my worst enemy. They were at the time in my business when I was most stressed besides the fear of a heart attack time. A heart attack that wasn’t a heart attack and two kidney infections. I’ve never experienced anything like a kidney infection. It would challenge childbirth. I’ve got to put it out there. That was the stress. I didn’t even realize I was sick. I was recording a podcast one day when I had the first one. I got off the podcast and all of a sudden, I was freezing cold to the point that I was shaking at my desk. I went into the bedroom where my husband’s desk was. I climbed into bed and I bundled up with covers. He came over, touched my head and he’s like, “You’re burning up.” I was like, “I’m freezing cold. How does that make any sense?” It was just the stress. My team threatened to quit if I didn’t go to the hospital. We all need people like that. The ones that we can confide in when we’re emotionally stressed. If you don’t have that person now, dear reader, keep on looking.
Invite it in and say, “I am willing to invite that person in now.”
Where can readers connect with you, get to know more about you, purchase your book, and all that great stuff?
I love connecting with people, so please find me and please send me a note. I will write and follow back. It’s KateEckman.tv. You can also go to TheFullSpiritWorkout.com that links to my website. I’m @KateEckman on social media. Please reach out and tell me that you’ve read this episode so that we can have a big Kim love fest. If you’re looking for your person, I can’t talk to you every day, but we can communicate online and I can support you there. You can follow along and be in a community that is energetically uplifting. You will feel at home, seen, heard and acknowledged. Please do find me, connect with me and we’ll keep the conversation going.
I’m even thinking about the Ohio Full Spirit Workout. Readers, if you’re in the Ohio area, Kentucky or Indiana, head on over to TheKimSutton.com/pp707. Before Kate ventures off to wherever life takes her next, maybe we could do something in the Ohio area. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
I would love that. Great idea.
There’s that Barnes and Noble at Mason, if it’s still there.
I’ll even rent out of space. We could do a whole event and ask questions, have a good time, do our spiritual exercises and connect. Everyone is craving for connection.
Kate, thank you for coming on. I know this is just the first of many conversations. I can’t wait to plan somewhere in the middle of the 75 date with you. I am looking forward to that.
I am excited. Thank you for your friendship, your show, having me on and all the great work that you’re doing in the world. To your community, thank you for being here. This is where it starts. It starts with us getting it together, sharing that and uplifting each other. This is how real change happens. We got to be committed to showing up, trying our best and being consistent about it. You can do what you want to do.
Readers, let us know what you thought about this episode and what your biggest a-ha moment was. Pick up your copy of Kate’s book and as you’re reading it, come back and leave more comments. Kate, I would love to know what is a parting piece of advice or golden nugget that you have for readers?
You are powerful. You can do whatever you decide is important enough. Keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other, trust, surrender, give up your worries, stresses, anxiety, fears to a higher power or whatever you believe in, and know that you are going to be great. You already are great and you truly can live the life that you desire. You can have, be and do whatever you decide is important enough. Let’s go. The time is now. I’m here for you. Let’s do this.
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About Kate Eckman
Kate Eckman is the author of The Full Spirit Workout and a Columbia University–certified executive leadership coach. She leverages her experience as a well-known communications, performance, and mindfulness expert, accomplished entrepreneur, and elite athlete to equip leaders with the tools, methodology, and energetic boost they need to excel.
Kate’s work is rooted in neuroscience, positive psychology, and whole-person coaching techniques. Passionate about mindfulness practices for both brain and body health, Kate is a meditation teacher and course creator for Insight Timer, the world’s number-one ranked free meditation app. Visit her online at http://www.kateeckman.tv.