NYT bestselling author Katherine Woodward Thomas is one of the greatest teachers I know for helping people finding love. Listen to her speak, and you know you’re in the presence of a life-changing wisdom. This interview is a must-listen for everyone who’s serious about intimacy, and everyone who really wants healthy, lasting love.
Katherine Woodward Thomas, M.A., MFT is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After which was nominated for a Books for a Better Life Award, and the national bestseller, Calling in “The One:” 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and teacher to thousands from all corners of the world in her virtual and in-person learning communities.
Katherine is the originator of the Conscious Uncoupling process made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin as well as creator of the Calling in “The One:” 49 Days to Love online course.
To date, Katherine has trained and credentialed hundreds of people as Certified Conscious Uncoupling Coaches and as Certified Calling in “The One” Coaches.
Episode Table Of Contents
- Katherine’s Life-Changing Wisdom That Stands Out
- Finding Our Way To The Future
- A Profound Level Of Self Responsibility
- Life-Changing Wisdom That Touched Katherine Most Deeply
- The Insecure Attachment Patterns
- Dating Is A Challenge Today
- The Most Important Thing
Resources and links
- Links to books, resources and courses mentioned in this episode can be found at the bottom of these show notes
Episode Introduction: Life-Changing Wisdom
Hello everyone and welcome to the deeper dating podcast. I’m so glad to be here with you and very excited about the show today because today I have Katherine Woodward Thomas with us. Katherine is a person whose friendship I treasure and a person whose work I treasure on so many different levels. And Katherine is going to be talking today about the life-changing wisdom gems that inspire her the most, that are the most helpful, and the most important to her out of all of her decades of work in this field, the wisdom gems that touch her the most. But let me start, well, first by a welcoming you, Katherine, thanks so much for being here.
Katherine: Thank you Kenneth. It’s a pleasure to be one of your first people that you’re interviewing on your podcast series. I’m very excited about it. I think it’s going to help so many people that’ll see right here.
Meet Our Guest Katherine Woodward Thomas
Ken: Thank you so much. And it’s a joy to have you here. So I want to tell everybody a little bit about Katherine. I want to tell you about what she’s done, what she’s doing, and then I just want to share a reflection or two of my own about her work and why it’s been so important to me to have her on this show.
So Katherine Woodward Thomas MAMFT is the author of the New York Times bestseller Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After, which was nominated for a books for Better Life Award and also the national best seller, which is how I discovered her work, Calling In “the One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. She’s also a licensed marriage and family therapist and a teacher to thousands from all corners of the world in her virtual and in-person learning communities.
The Conscious Uncoupling Process
And Katherine is also the originator of the conscious uncoupling process, which was made famous by many people, but including Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin as well as she’s also the creator of the Calling In “the One”: 49 Days to Love online course, which I highly recommend and Katherine to date has trained and credentialed hundreds of people as certified conscious uncoupling coaches and as certified calling in the one coaches.
What I love most … well there are many things I love about Katherine’s work, but I would say that the thing that means the most to me is her unwavering commitment to the discovery of life-changing wisdom and truth. She faces hard, hard truths and consistently faces and reveals her struggles with those truth in her own life and then works so hard to turn those into gems for all of us and does that with an exquisite effectiveness. And that is what we’re going to be talking about today.
Love Out Loud Daily
Katherine is going to kind of look into her decades of work in the field and her life experience to pick out and articulate the life-changing wisdom gems that have touched her the most and that she has found the most powerful and the most effective for the people that she works with. So sounds like a lot Katherine, but you are more than up to the task and I’m just thrilled to have you here.
Katherine: Thank you so much. And I think you were one of the first people to notice that I was sending out these daily love letters to people in the form of the love out loud daily. And we picked up on that right away. That’s really what I was wanting to get to people and wanting to support us all because look, anybody who’s here is a conscious, caring person.
Katherine: And we’re all on the path together of learning how to love each other. And as the Dalai Lama said, “Kindness is my religion.” And I think that’s [inaudible 00:04:54] for a lot of us and we live in a really complex world at a very complicated time. So I think we need to hold each other’s hands as we’re crossing the street.
Katherine’s Life-Changing Wisdom That Stands Out
Ken: I think that’s so true. And that is the antithesis of the cultural unkindness that surrounds the search for love in so many different ways. So I love what you’re saying. And I’d just like to launch in and just ask you some questions. First question I’d like to ask you is, as you think back upon all of the teaching that you’ve done, all the lives, specifically of people who were searching for love, that you’ve touched with your work, what is one piece of insight, that kind of from this summit place of looking at so much of what you’ve taught, what is one life-changing wisdom gem that at this moment stands out to you as profoundly important that you would want to impart to this community?
Katherine: Well, I think that a lot of us are looking to the past to try and sort through our childhood traumas and the issues that we developed to be [inaudible 00:06:12] that we developed out of what happened to us in the past. Calling in the one begins with the future. And that future is not fixed.
Many of us kind of go through life like there’s a fixed future out there somewhere and we’re hoping that it’s a good one. And so calling in the one is really about this intention to generate a certain possibility that’s present even if that possibility is a narrow possibility. We all know that the past does tend to duplicate itself, which is why we’re looking into the past.
Take a big, bold stand for love
I want to encourage people, if you’re wanting love, to take a big stand, a big bold stand and it’s unpredictable from where you’re sitting right now, it would be like a miracle happened for you. And you just take that as an intention. You take it out of, “I want this, I’m hoping for this, I’m praying for this.” And you put it into that space of deliberate creativity, “This shall be so.” And then you start allowing that future to pull you forward. Who would you need to be in order for that future to happen because it will change it.
There are going to be things you’re going to need to let go of, certain defenses, certain ideas about yourself, certain habits that you have relationally. You’re going to have to give up victimization. You’re going to have to give up your resentments because then you’re still blaming other people and not seeing your part in it. It’s really like it’s going to call you forward to be the best that you can be because the way for you to have the best possible relationship is by becoming the best possible version of yourself.
Your past does not determine what’s possible for your love
Ken: That’s so powerful what you’re saying in a number of ways. And I love the call to bravery, the call to a kind of inner warriorship, of getting past those inner glass ceilings that say, “I can’t ask for that.” Or, “I can’t imagine that.” And say, “Yeah, I am going to envision a truly beautiful love and I’m not going to start with where I am looking at all the barriers that I have up ahead. I’m going to start with where I want to be and call to myself from that place.” That’s just a very beautiful regiment.
Katherine: We want to look at the past, not to kind of ruminate on the past. I mean I know a lot of us who’ve been in therapy for a long time and because we’re not newbies to personal development, but what you’re doing is you’re looking at the past only to see the consciousness that you created in response to what your environment was and what happened to you and the choices that you’re making now that are perpetuating that particular story. So we’re looking in the past to see the inconsistencies with the future. So a very simple soundbite way to say this is your past does not determine what’s possible for your love. The future that you’re standing to create will determine what’s possible.
Finding Our Way To The Future
And then we have to find our way to that future. And we do that by asking ourselves, “Who would I need to be in order for that future to come to me? What would I need to let go of and what would I need to begin to cultivate and embrace? What are my missing skills and capacities that I didn’t get in my childhood that I can now learn that will equip me to create happiness and health over a long period of time within a [inaudible 00:09:55]?”
Ken: Okay. We need to stop there for a moment because there was such richness in what you just said that I’d like to go over that so that people can really kind of work it, really work with that. I’d like listeners to be able to work with that. That question that is almost like the paramount life-changing wisdom question in the search for love, which is who would I have to be in the world with myself to be able to attract that kind of love? So I’d like everybody to take a minute and sit with the profundity and the promise of that question.
What do you need to let go of?
If we did nothing more in the rest of the podcast. That was so empowering, and beautiful, and promising, and challenging as well. So I love that. But we are going to do more. And I want to go with one other part of the questions that you asked, which is what would I need to let go of? Such a rich question. Do you have anything that you want to say about that question to just kind of prepare people to think about that in a moment?
Katherine: So I liken it to if you wanted to up level your home, you wanted to up level the beauty of your home, which I’m likening to, we want to up level our relational field and include beauty, and sweetness, and happiness. So if you were going to do it in your home, you wouldn’t just start bringing new furniture into the home you have. You first have to clean up the clutter.
“Destruction before creation.”
You have to make space in your home for something new. Joseph Campbell once said, “Destruction before creation.”
And what he was talking about was that we have to let go of the structures as the structures exist, the habits as the habits exist in our lives. And a lot of us have relationships that are out of integrity. A lot of us are out of integrity in our relationship with ourselves. A lot of us are walking around blaming other people, angry at other people for what we ourselves have not really taken responsibility for yet. A lot of us are not living our best lives. We’re kind of settling or we’re compromised in our own lives. That’s not the space from which to call in the highest and the best love that life has to offer you.
What do you need to give up?
So there’s some house cleaning. And in order to break lifelong patterns … and a lot of us have struggled with patterns of aloneness, or patterns of abuse, patterns of being with narcissistic people, whatever the particular pattern is, unavailable people and whatever that is, we each have our own flavor variation on that theme. We can’t just automatically have a new pattern. You actually have to begin to see yourself as the source of that pattern, how that pattern’s been happening through you, and begin to up level how you show up in life in a way that’s actually consistent with generating and sustaining a deeply happy, healthy relationship.
So there really are two parts to this question. There’s like, “What would I need to give up?” Well, the clutter that I have around me, all of the dysfunction, all of the ways I’m giving away my power, all of the ways that I’m dimming down and compromising. I might need to start to give those up and actually clean them out. And then this other piece, “What would I need to now embrace and cultivate?” I can’t tell you how often I hear things like, “I just don’t know how to set boundaries.” Or, “I can’t speak up for myself.” Or just kind of this victimized relationship with our own psychology.
So something got arrested, you didn’t learn something, you didn’t see it modeled or it wasn’t safe in your home, but we’re grown now and we’re not responsible for what happened to us when we were children. But we are responsible for how we’re showing up today and what we’re creating today.
Why we’re repeating the patterns
And there are so many resources to learn the skills that we didn’t get in childhood. A lot of us have this idea that we keep repeating all patterns because we’re quite trying to “heal”. I think that’s telling a very small part of this story. I think we’re repeating all patterns because we don’t know how to do it differently. You don’t know how to engage conflict. You’re probably always going to wind up in codependent people pleasing situations that end up blowing up. That’s a predictable thing.
If you’re missing the skill of how to have a difficult conversation with someone, what you might predictably do instead is withdraw when you’re upset, cut them out of your heart, dismiss them, not engage it, and then you’re alone in life. These are very predictable. So if you track that back, you see, “Oh, in that moment where I’m upset with someone, rather than withdraw and do what I want to be done, I have to pick up the phone. I have to learn how to actually share my feelings and share my concerns in a way that would allow repair to happen in that relationship.”
The Final Curve
Ken: Yes, I love the dance between manifesting, visualization, picturing the dream, picturing the outcome, and then doing the work, and that back and forth process. And just in appreciation of what you said, I really want to take a stand for depathologizing pathology, depathologizing fear of intimacy because if you’re breathing, you’ve got fear of intimacy.
Nobody doesn’t have this work to do, the work that Katherine is describing. That’s our hero’s journey, is to admit that we do have that work. There’s a wonderful poem by Langston Hughes that I really love, which is when you turn the corner and you run into yourself, then you know you have turned all the corners that are left. And this is a beauty of this work that Katherine teaches is that we do the work. And I just also want to say that in my experience, it’s when we tackle these hard realizations and decide to make changes that our worlds open up in the most dramatic ways. There is a payback for the heroism of facing these things. So I just really want to honor both pieces of what you’ve just talked about Katherine.
A Profound Level Of Self Responsibility
Katherine: Thank you. It’s a journey and it’s an orientation to life because I think, Ken, that most of us are oriented to think inside of victimization. So I’m talking about a real profound level of self responsibility. That poem is beautiful. And I think the Buddhist said it too,
“There is no one out there who really looked at life from that perspective.”
A lot of his theory stuck, even those of us who were conscious of working on ourselves, we’re kind of stuck on ways that other people mistreated us in the past, or we’re stuck on how the culture, or our reaction to what you called the unkind dating culture. How people show up their or interaction to what happened to us as children. We feel victimized by the psychological development that was arrested, what we didn’t get, what we don’t know how to do.
Now all of these things are understandable. I don’t have a problem with why we go into victimization. I think people do behave badly. I think the dating culture is objectifying people. It can be a very unkind place to be. However, when we’re focused here, we’re not looking at our current in the subtle ways that we’ve given our power away, turned away from truth, turned away from our own knowing.
Ken: Beautiful words.
Take responsibility of your choices
Katherine: We’re trying to get people to give us something that we were unwilling to give ourselves. All of the subtle ways that we kind of throw ourselves under the bus. We want to take responsibility for the choices that we’re making and the actions that we’re taking and face them so that we can truly change because that’s the only place where change is going to reside. So I always say even if it was 97% the other person’s fault, look at your 3% because that’s where your growth journey is. That’s where the breakthrough is going to happen is in your 3% because once you [crosstalk 00:19:16]-
Ken: I love that.
Katherine: … yet, then you can make a different choice. But we have to make these things conscious.
Ken: I think that’s so true.
Katherine: [crosstalk 00:19:23] conscious, they’re running our lives.
The Conscious Uncoupling Book
Ken: Yes, yes. And you really teach that in your Conscious Uncoupling book in very powerful ways. I just want to say to the listeners, as you hear points that touch you, as you hear points that just feel kind of redolent with life-changing wisdom, I just want you to allow yourself to let them ripple through you. They’re going to be moments … excuse me … in this conversation where ideas and insights touch you. Allow yourself the luxurious feeling of letting them ripple through you because when they do, they will begin to kind of download and shift your circuitry. And I imagine there are going to be many moments like this listening to Katherine speak.
Life-Changing Wisdom That Touched Katherine Most Deeply
Katherine, I have another question for you now. It’s another wisdom gem angle that I’d like to take. In your own personal intimacy journey, I’d like you, if you could, it’s a vulnerable question, what I’d like to ask you to share, one life-changing wisdom gem that possibly has touched you the most deeply in your life and your journey, means the most to you in your ongoing journey.
Katherine: Well, I find that there’s so much that’s coming out about attachment theory. And one the things that I’ve been working with is the core sense of self that happens inside of ruptures and attachment, particularly when you were young. But what I have discovered is that once you identify the core breakdown and begin to make different choices, you see yourself responsible for things, you start to make different choices, everything changes.
Ken: How so?
Katherine: Well, I guess, you’re asking me something I don’t think most people would ask me. So it’s not like I have a retort for this question.
Ken: Well, good.
Katherine: So, I mean, the thing that I can point to just recently because I’m a stand for happy, healthy love across the board. So I’m always working on all of my relationships to have great relationships. Relationships matter a great deal to me. So I work on my relationship with my daughter and with members of my family.
When I was young, my mother had me when she was a teenager and she was really ill-equipped to be a mother and she was quite a terrible mother, actually. I mean she [inaudible 00:22:04] admit it now. We talk about it, we’re fine now, but she was a very rejecting mother, she was a depressed mother, an overwhelmed mother. She did not want to have a child. It ruined her life. All of that was going on. So here I am [inaudible 00:22:23] and all I know is that I’m just alone because there’s nobody holding me.
The Insecure Attachment Patterns
So that’s a rupture of attachment. That created what we call insecure attachment patterns for me that then followed me throughout adulthood, like confusion with things like object constancy, the ability to hold someone in my heart even when you’re not there, which of course created a tendency toward we activity. These are all the things that were underneath my painful patterns in love from that core place within myself. So my mother tends to still be a little bit avoidant of closeness. Now I don’t take it personally. I understand my mother and I love my mother. And I have a teenage daughter. So I told her last year that I wanted to come down to Florida to just visit with her.
Now I hadn’t visited just alone with my mother in decades. [inaudible 00:23:28] I bring my kid. So it’s just not something I do. Her first response was, “Well, don’t travel all that way just to see me.” Because that’s her. And I said, “No, no, no. I’m going to come just to see you. This the only reason I’m coming. It’s just to see you.” And we ended up having a really delightful time and it was very healing. There was a lot of repair then happened. We touched a little bit upon the past. She doesn’t like to talk about it too much, but those conversations were productive. I went in the spirit of forgiveness. I went with [inaudible 00:24:04] being close to her. So it’s really a lovely trip.
Entering into the rupture and building the bridge
Interestingly enough, when I got home, I’d been having struggles with my teenage daughter that anyone who has a teenager understands and I know you understand. They get distant and we start getting a closed door. I came home and without making any particular effort with my daughter, we suddenly just got closer. We were just more bonded. So I could say, “Oh, my teenager’s a teenager. She’s got her door closed. It’s her.” This is what I mean by orientation is it’s other people. But see, I shifted something in my relationship with my mother. I deepened into my forgiveness and my compassion and I made the effort to be close to her in spite of her defensiveness and it shifted my relationship with my daughter. How did that happen?
Ken: Isn’t that fascinating? Yeah. Yeah. Entering into the rupture, and the heart of the rupture, and the heart inside the rupture is such a brave and healing journey. And I love the way that you are speaking about those core, core ruptures of trust and also actions and jumping back and forth, the actions that heal that, not just staying in that ancient rupture forever and exploring it and exploring it, but finding the tools to build a bridge out of it. So I just acknowledge both of those pieces of what you’re saying and also the bravery of the journey that you propose to your audience, which is that they do this too.
The commitment to have great relationships
Katherine: Well, and let me just point it out, it’s what I was saying at the beginning of the conversation because I have a commitment to have great relationships across the board. And so that is the future that’s calling me. So I not only have a psychological understanding of what happened between my mother and I, and I not only have a psychological understanding of her wounds with her mother, and have labels for who she is, that she’s lovable and that she’s tendency towards being self absorbed and a little narcissistic.
We know all these labels, but when you’re standing for a particular future, you’re accountable for showing up in ways that are generative of that future. So I picked up the phone and I said … how it got started is that I told her I was taking my daughter somewhere and she said, “Oh, I wish we could go on a journey like that too.” Right? So she actually planted the seed and she said it another time, a couple of months later about something else. So I said, “Okay, that’s the invitation.” So I called her, “I’m coming. I’m setting this week aside. I’m going to come just to be with you to be closer to you.”
Ken: You heard her, you heard that call.
Have an empowered relationship with everyone in your life
Katherine: [crosstalk 00:27:13] future. And I’m just saying, it completely transformed my relationship with my daughter outside of any conversation that I had with my daughter, outside of any intentional effort because everything’s connected to everything. And if I’m disconnected from my mother, there’s a rupture in our attachment, it’s going to show up in my relationship with my kid. This is why one of the principles of Calling In “the one” in the second week, we have like you need to get into an empowered relationship with everyone in your life.
If you want to call in an empowered partnership. If you’re in a toxic dynamic with your bossy, narcissistic sister, if you’re people pleasing your mother all the time and you’re afraid to set any boundaries, if you’re in this relationship with a boss where you feel exploited because you’re working every night and every weekend for no extra money, that’s going to be a problem. When you then go to call in happy, healthy love, you can’t see them as separate. They’re not separate.
We have all dated that guy
Ken: It’s so true. It’s so true. And then in the dating arena with these people that you might have had one date with, or one conversation, or one text, or two dates, these same lessons really, really apply. I’m remembering a story of somebody I was dating and he frustrated me a lot for kind of very similar qualities that you’re describing about your mom. He didn’t listen, he wasn’t that interested, he liked talking about himself. And I remember thinking, “Well, I just have to-
Katherine: We have all dated that guy.
Ken: It’s only one guy. It’s only one guy with a lot of costumes. Yes. But I remember speaking to my closest friend at the time and and saying, “It’s probably the why’s and sane thing to do to just end this.” And he said, “Why don’t you try something else?” He said, “Because I think this guy really wants to be a good guy.” And he said, “Why don’t you create an ask where you really ask just for what you want and see what happens.” And I did. It was a little … it was scary and embarrassing.
There are so many options for the same kind of learning
“I want you to be able to listen to me more when I’m saying something. I want to feel like you really heard me and you have questions about it.” And I did that. And he said, “Oh yeah, you’re right. I need to do that more.” And he couldn’t, of course. And I ended up having to end the relationship, which was fine, but to turn my hurt and anger into an ask was one of the most empowering lessons. And so in our dating life, the same kind of thing applies just what you described, Katherine. Right? There’s so many options for the same kind of learnings. And I’m wondering if there’s anything you want to share about that, like in the dating world, how these things apply as well.
Katherine: Well, I love that, hearing you comparing that to an ask. That’s wonderful. I think it’s about not giving our power away. Gosh, there’s a beautiful Hafez quote. I have to kind of search for it for a little bit, but I have it up here just for this, just on my desktop, just in case I want to open it. Okay. So this is Hafez. I should know when Hafez lived, but Sufi poet,
“Your love should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger. Only to someone who has the valor and daring to cut pieces of their soul off with a knife and then weave them into a blanket to [inaudible 00:31:07].”
We’re giving too much away
So I share that because too many of us give too much away. Like somehow our gifts we have to over give to prove our value and that’s loss of power. And then we leave little pieces of ourselves out there and then we get mad at other people for it.
So for example, if you’re on a dating site and you’re aware that there’s like a certain meat market aspect to the dating site, you don’t pour your soul into what you’re saying to someone on first communication because you don’t know who that person is, you don’t know what they’re up to, you don’t know what they’re available for, you don’t know that person.
So sometimes we go into fantasy and then we started over giving. So for us it’s about holding our power and waiting until someone has shown something about themselves or kind of emptied up before we give too much of ourselves away.
Dating Is A Challenge Today
I think a lot of our resentment is because we’re just giving our power away to people and then we feel disempowered and we resent them for it. So I think dating is a challenge today, but I think it’s a wonderful thing to do if you’re not giving too much of yourself away, you’re just enjoying people’s company and getting to know them and you’re not taking things personally. You’re seeing everything is information about the other person, and what they’re capable of, and where their consciousness is, and what their commitments are. You’re getting to know someone.
Dignifying yourself along with the innate spirit of generosity
Ken: Yes, yes. And how do you hold that kind of dignifying of self along with an innate spirit of generosity? Part of this is that so many people have a kind of innate spirit of generosity, but it’s hard to sync that up with the dignifying of self that you’re describing. Do you have any thoughts or reflections on that?
Katherine: I think generosity is tricky because we all want to be generous people. And those of us who have patterns of codependency, we’ll often source our value in giving to other people. So you have to do a bit of work to understand what’s motivating your generosity. If it’s true generosity and it’s not reciprocated or received well, then you are not diminished by that because you understand that that’s about that person and you’re no longer interested in that person. But that’s the information you needed about them.
Ken: That’s exquisite. Yeah. Yeah.
The loss of power in giving
Katherine: But if you have given to somebody and then you feel that somehow you are diminished in that exchange, my guess is there’s some way that you were giving to try and get something. You wanted them to like you, you wanted them to choose you, you were kind of auditioning for the role of girlfriend, or husband, or wife. There’s a loss of power in giving and it has to do with the motivation. And this is where self awareness is so important for us.
Ken: Wonderful. So that’s a reflection point. Am I expressing this generosity because there’s something I want or am I expressing it with full consciousness that it’s my generosity and I’m choosing to give it out. And just the subtle, but very powerful difference between those two, that’s a wonderful, wonderful tip.
Katherine: And also I’m choosing to give it to see, to learn more about this person. Do they reciprocate it and do they [inaudible 00:34:54] and then expect more? Who is this person?
Does your soul feel safe with this person?
Ken: That’s right. That’s right and to me that is the question that I ask people to ask as the primary question. Does my soul feel safe with this person? And of course we might not know that right away. But that’s the question or a question.
Katherine: It is a question. I think it’s actually the number one question-
Katherine: … what we’ve been talking about is someone with good character. [inaudible 00:35:21] good character is the number one thing on someone’s list of what they want.
Ken: You know what? That’s right.
Katherine: We know we want someone who is good looking, and sexy, and fit, and has money, and is funny, and really super smart. And we have all these lists and we don’t even think, “oh, how about they’re trustworthy, they’re honest, they’re in integrity, they know how to apologize when they’re wrong and make amends.”
Ken: Because if you don’t have that character, if you don’t have that, nothing is going to work. So I want to highlight and honor this life-changing wisdom gem as a really big deal. It’s the foundation of that.
The Most Important Thing
Katherine: It’s the most important thing. So whenever you’re dating, you’re assessing character and people will not accurately self report. [crosstalk 00:36:23] tells you a narcissist looking for a codependent. They don’t write that in their profile. Narcissist seeking beautiful co narcissist to admire me and give me all of your pearls for very little in return. Nobody writes that profile.
Ken: No, you got to assess that one out.
Katherine: So I think it’s important for us to focus on character. [crosstalk 00:36:57] it matters. So we’re looking at someone consistent. Do they do what they say they’re going to do? Are they responsible for themselves? Are they blaming everybody else for why relationships haven’t worked or are they coming up with some humble self reflections on what they needed to learn?
The integrity of the message
Ken: Beautiful. And Katherine, what I notice about this is that those questions that you’re asking people to ask about the people they date are precisely the questions you ask them to ask themselves about themselves. Those were all the questions you asked in the beginning of this podcast for us to examine within ourselves. So I just want to acknowledge the integrity of that message.
Katherine: Thank you. Well that’s what’s going to create good relationships everywhere. Back to the toxic dynamic, I love what you did with that guy you were dating. I think there’s a kind of blanket assumption that we should just get rid of all the toxic people. But the problem with doing that is that then you’re not owning how you were a co toxic person. You’re a part in that. The ways that you kind of were people pleasing, you were not playing the truth, or were not setting boundaries and then you’re likely to just great another dynamic like that elsewhere. So it’s very, very important when you have someone you have this kind of unhealthy dynamic with, to have the courage to do one of two things.
Tell the Truth and Set a Boundary
One is to tell the truth and the other is to set a boundary. So in a way, you told the truth, you had the courage to tell the truth. “This is what I desire from you. This is what I need from you.” And then my guess is, when he didn’t do it, you might have pointed it out and eventually you just decided that that was done, but you graduated from that.
Ken: I graduated.
Katherine: How nice is it?
Ken: Yes. That’s right. And the way that I know that I graduated was that my heart swelled and I felt my humanity. I felt generous. I felt stingy when I wanted his attention. When I asked for what I wanted, I felt generous. So yeah, that kind of point, do you feel like a victim or is there some love lesson that you’re really embracing?
So thank you for pointing that out. That’s so true. Katherine, you have given us riches. You have given us gems and your work is to be plumbed, and to be explored, and to be followed. And there are so many ways that people can do that.
The last question I’m going to ask you is going to be for one last piece of life-changing wisdom for the community of listeners. But before I do that, I’d love it if you could tell people how they can learn more about your work, how they can follow your work, how they can become students of your work, and become part of your learning community.
Gift from Katherine: 375 Minute Seminar
Katherine: Thank you. Yeah. And there’s actually two things I want to give. I think it’s because I’m not sure what … there’s two offerings that I want to make and you can take both if you like. One is at callingintheone.com. I have a 375 minute seminar that takes people through this process and helps people to identify the specific ways they’ve been getting in their own way. We have different offerings. I can’t remember exactly what’s not there, but I call it, calling in the one starter kit.
Gift from Katherine: Love Out Loud Daily
The other thing, because we’re talking about life-changing wisdom today is at katherinewoodwardthomas.com. People can sign up for the love out loud daily, which I write five days a week. And it’s just a journey of continuing to grow our capacity to love and be loved, simple truths for having extraordinary relationships. And I sent them out. I started them about a year ago because I realized that with everything that we’re going through in the world and how difficult life is for so many of us right now, that I needed to just be giving a lot more way. So that was my integrity as a teacher. So they’re not trying to get anybody to enroll into anything, they really are like,
“We’re all in this together. We’re all growing our capacity to love and be loved.”
And it’s my thoughts along those lines.
Ken: It sure is. And I got to say something about this. I want to encourage every listener to sign up for these. They’re amazing. I look at them and I think, “Every day? How do these things come out of Katherine every day?” Because she writes with an exquisite hand and with a deep commitment to truth and life-changing wisdom. So we really are talking gems and they come out every day. I just think no student of intimacy should miss these.
Devote yourself to a certain discipline
Katherine: Thank you so much. And at this point, you know because you’re a creative person. I know a lot of listeners know this too. That when you devote yourself to a certain discipline, you start getting into almost the vortex of that particular discipline and then it starts coming through you. I was just like [inaudible 00:42:16] about art.
So really, literally, no matter what state I’m in and, “Oh, I have to write the [inaudible 00:42:22] all daily’s now when I’m distracted or whatever.” And I sit down to write it and within 30 seconds, it’s just pouring out of me. So I’m grateful that that’s happening. I think there is a commitment that I have and many of us share, to living truth, to living wisdom, and in response to the escalating tensions in our world to up level our commitment to learn to love. Have a wonderful [crosstalk 00:42:53].
Ken: Beautiful. Yes.
Katherine: Thank you.
Cultivate and guard a sense of possibility
Ken: Thank you. Thank you Katherine. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these beautiful resources. I’m so excited to have gotten to have you share these insights and these tools, these life-changing wisdom tools, these dating tools with our community. And are there any last words that you would want to impart to this audience before we close?
Katherine: I just want to encourage people to really cultivate and guard a sense of possibility in what it is that they’re committed to creating and to even take all of the disappointments as learning opportunities to get you closer to what it is that you’re committed to creating and stay close. Stay close.
Ken: Beautiful. Katherine, thank you so much.
Ken: Thank you all for being here for the deeper dating podcast.