Wendy Posillico | Unleash Your Talents By Transforming Your Mindset | K&C 17

Wendy Posillico Unleashing Your Talents

In this episode Wendy Posillico joins Gordon in a conversation about how it is important to sometimes challenge our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Our mindset has everything to do with how well we can tap into our talents and unique gifts as people. Hear Wendy’s story of transformation and how she changed her mindset about herself and the direction she was going in her life. Also learn the questions you should ask yourself to begin your own transformation.

Meet Wendy Posillico

Wendy PosillicoWendy is a former golf professional. She played as a touring professional and a teaching tour, touring pro. She is now a high performance mindset coach. She is the owner and founder of Live Your June. Her goal is helping people become aware that they have a unique gift. She wants to create the space to allow you to 1t. She works with all types of clients from athletes to entrepreneurs, to moms that have left the working world. She is passionate about helping people find their uniqueness and taking that uniqueness to explore who they are. And in their own unique way they can make their impact in the world and for future generations.

Her Passion to Help Comes from her Past

Wendy grew up in New York. She is one of 6 in a big Italian family. She’s a middle child. At the age of 10 she knew she had athletic ability and she could go somewhere. She remembers telling her mom she wanted to be a tennis pro. But her mom’s plate was full with 6 kids. At that time her athletic dream ended. After that, Wendy said she really struggled in school. She says she was in “survival mode” She remembers not having any passion or guidance. “I didn’t have anybody who believed in me and or asked me questions to make me explore.” After her master’s degree she knew there was something deep inside of her that was missing. She knew she had to explore what that missing piece was, even though she did not have all the answers. She remembers having a good teaching job but then thinking “Is this as good as it’s going to get?” At this time Wendy did not feel alive.

An Opportunity to Make A Change

Along came some feedback that started to change her beliefs. She was 28. While she was on spring break she went to play golf with her mom and dad. As she was hitting the ball she remembers another golfer watching her. He shared with her dad, “She’s really good.” They continued playing and somebody else mentioned that she really had talent. Something inside Wendy clicked. She thought maybe this is her second chance. She began to question if this was her opportunity.

Sometimes You have To Listen

Wendy had no idea how to take advantage of this opportunity. She says that sometimes you have to listen to the Instinct that is speaking to you, even though you have no clue where it is taking you. Even if the calling seems crazy. Sometimes you have to just walk towards it. Wendy started walking towards her opportunity and that’s when her mindset started to change. She began to wake up and become more courageous about taking a risk. Over the next seven years she learned life lessons that gave her confidence and courage. These lessons were learned after her first steps.

Train Your Mindset

Wendy says people are not trained in fueling and developing their mindset. People train their bodies to be their best. People trained their brains to learn a vocation in schools. But the important skill of training your mindset is not taught. Learning about mindset is all about how it aligns with who we are. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we have been thinking. Thoughts are coming from every direction and it’s difficult to unwind the thinking and make sense of it.

Seven Questions to Help you Discover Your Mindset

When he believes everyone has a backstory. There are reasons for the current mindset you possess. In order to build positive mindsets like courage and confidence she believes you have to understand and explore people’s stories.

Here are seven questions to help people discover their mindset:

      1. What made you strong?
      2. What made you stand for something?
      3. What are your stories of success?
      4. What are your stories of failure?
      5. What or who influences you?
      6. What makes you want to draw to that person?
      7. What is in the character of people you want to be around? Why?

Learn More

You can learn More about Wendy and her Performance Coaching at Live your June.
Instagram: @liveyourjune

Gordon (00:59):
Awesome. Well, hello folks, and welcome again to the kindness and compassion podcast, and I'm happy for you to get to know today. Uh, Wendy Silco and Wendy. Thanks for being here.
Wendy (01:15):
I am so happy to be on the podcast with you. I mean, kindness and compassion podcast. It has such a great message.
Gordon (01:22):
Oh, well, thanks. Thanks. And, um, as I was getting to know Wendy before, um, we started recording, I think you're gonna really enjoy kind of hearing her thoughts and just really how, how she's landed on this whole topic. But Wendy, as I start with everyone, why don't you tell folks a little bit about who you are and how you've landed, where you've landed?
Wendy (01:45):
Gosh, how I've landed, isn't it a journey, right?
Gordon (01:48):
Wendy (01:49):
So, um, so as I mentioned, I am a, um, mindset coach. Um, I work with all types from athletes to entrepreneurs, to moms that have left the working world. Um, CEOs, I just, I really am passionate about, um, helping people find their uniqueness and making, taking that uniqueness, taking any influencers that help them to explore who they are so they can make their impact in the world and for future generations. And really how I got here is I was really lost in my, um, I was a super athlete, but I was very shy and I played division one lacrosse, but once sports was done, I was lost in my twenties and I didn't really have direction. I did what I was supposed to do. Um, you know, it looked good on paper. I had my master's, I was teaching in Harlem, but, um, something inside of me I knew was missing and through the journey of taking up golf at the age of 29 to become a professional and going that route of where I had to explore myself through a sport, um, I really discovered more about myself than ever before. Mm-hmm um, so, and then I also had a child at the age of 40 on my own through IVF. So both those it's really no different mindset. It's really similar mindsets to go after the thing you want. Um, and that's what I, I really first teach people who they are and then what they want and how to get after it.
Gordon (03:28):
Right, right. Yeah. So what, um, what you, you had mentioned that you really kinda grew up with maybe a different mindset. And so what were some of the things that happened for you that caused you to kinda begin to change your mindset or begin to look at at life a little differently?
Wendy (03:51):
Yeah. I mean, I, first of all, I grew up in New York. I'm one of six in a big Italian family. I'm in smack in the middle mm-hmm . And I just, I mean, I knew at the age of 10, I, I had athletic ability that could go somewhere. And I remember telling my mom, like, I wanna be, you know, a, a tennis. I wanted to be a tennis pro. I remember Chris Everett and I, and, and all my mom was, I think we explored it for a year, one less than a week with a really good tennis pro. But I think my mom was her plate was full with six kids. And then I just, I didn't really have a dream, like, because as a woman after college sports, you kind of lose that. Um, so I did, and I also wasn't great in academics.
Wendy (04:38):
So I really struggled in, in school. Um, so I was just in survival mode in school. I really didn't have a, like any passion. And so my twenties, I just, I, I was trying to put a finger on where to go and I didn't have any guidance. I didn't have anybody who believed in me or asked me questions to make me explore that. And it was after my master's, I think this is what you're asking. Like, where did it shift? It was like, there was something deep inside of me that I knew was missing. And I knew I had to explore it, even though I didn't have the answers. I had no clue what it was, but there I was in Harlem with my masters, had a great job, but I remember my head going is this is, is this as good as it's gonna get?
Wendy (05:23):
And there's nothing wrong with being a teacher. It's just in my soul. I didn't feel alive. Mm-hmm . And, um, it was an opportunity basically what happened was on a spring break. Um, my dad and mom played golf and I was, my dad asked me to play golf. And one day that when we went to play, I was hitting balls. And I remember this guy looking at my dad and being like, God, she's, I was 28. Oh, she's good, Joe. She can hit it better than you. And again, the same day we were on the course. And, um, another guy was like, Joe, she's got talent. And I think my dad underneath that night was like, you know, maybe you should try this game because he knew I was teaching in Harlem mm-hmm and something clicked inside of me was like, is this my second chance?
Wendy (06:09):
Like, is this my opportunity? I had no idea how to get there. Like, I, I didn't, I, when I think back of making that decision, I'm like, what? But sometimes we have to listen to our instinct that that's speaking to us, even though we have no clue, or it seems crazy mm-hmm and walk towards that. And I think that's where my mindset, I started to wake up and be a little more courageous to take risk, to take, um, to take steps that I never maybe knew the answers, but something was pulling me in that direction. And that is really when you say kindness and compassion, like it, could you take it all different ways, but to me, it's like allowing someone to take that risk, even though it seems bizarre. And having the compassion to support that human, even though it doesn't make sense, right.
Wendy (07:01):
Because you could fail. Like I never made it to the LPGA after seven years, but the lessons I've learned about myself has given me confidence, courage. Um, it's, I've met amazing people on the road. So, you know, when you, I, I mean, just your listeners, whether it's you that have this instinct, that's coming up for you listening to this, or you hear someone else, um, say something that seems bizarre, like why would they wanna go be an artist that's such a hard road mm-hmm , um, maybe actually find more compassion and get more curious about that person that's yearning to do something that's outside the box of the norm.
Gordon (07:42):
Right. Right. Well, I think there's a, you know, that several things, as you were saying, all of that Wendy kind of came up for me is that I think a lot of times we kind get kind of blinders and we kind of get locked in just to certain way of, of seeing things. And sometimes it takes the kindness of others to point out things that we might be missing along the way mm-hmm . And so I think being able to take that, uh, that courageous step of just kind of putting yourself out there and then treating not only others with kindness and compassion, but treating yourself with kindness and compassion around those things. Because I think, um, so many times people get kind of into, uh, this kind of way of thinking, or, you know, I know as you mentioned doing the mindset work, I think that is, that is key to making changes in our life, um, is really a shift in her mindset
Wendy (08:46):
A hundred percent. And I, I, first of all, you're when it resonates with me because we all can get so we can be, so sometimes we're so kind to everybody and we forget to be kind to ourselves. Mm-hmm , especially when we're taking a harder road or when we're standing for something we believe in, you know, mm-hmm, inside, it looks like we're okay, but inside we can beat ourselves up. And so really taking a little, like pause and say, how can I be a little kinder and believe that whatever you're believing in or trying to go after that, it's O you're, you're, you're doing the best you can mm-hmm and, and you're, and even if you make a mistake, like, I, I, I make mistakes all the time. Whether I say something poorly or, you know, like it's okay, we all, we are human mm-hmm and we're just trying to do our best.
Wendy (09:36):
Everybody's trying to do their best. I really believe that from my heart. Right. Um, but I will say like the, the, the one thing about mindset is we're not taught that we're trained to teach like craft in schools and we're trained to teach, to train our body, whether it's fueling our body or working out or staying in shape, but we're never trained our mindset. I mean, very, we're just crossing the edge of this, of getting more mindful and learning about how we think, but learning mindset is all about how we think and how does it align with who we are. Right. Um, so, you know, I, I think this is a, it's, it's a really important skill to have, and everyone needs to find someone to help them explore. Cuz sometimes we, we don't realize what we're even thinking. Mm-hmm , you know, our thoughts are so coming in every direction and until we do the hard work and give it space to unwind the thinking, can we actually make sense of it?
Gordon (10:42):
Right, right. Yeah. So somebody that's listening to this is thinking, uh, hopefully it's cutting their, their wheels turning, as I like to say, uh, uh, of thinking about how they think about things, where in your work with people, where do you start with them to get them to kind of maybe,
Wendy (11:00):
Yeah. Look at that, uh, such important thing. Uh, cuz I think in mindset we can get caught up with like, okay, how do you build confidence? How do you build this? How do you build this? Um, I believe you have to start with the individual and who they are, their essence. So I, I really go into going back into your stories. What made you strong? What made you stand for something? Because something makes you do certain things or say certain things and really revisiting stories of success and failure. Um, so you can learn, I go into also getting people to go. Why do you gravitate to that person? What, who influences you? What, what makes you want draw to that person? What is in their character? How do they walk? How do they talk? So getting a little clearer of like why you get attracted to certain people and also the strengths that have made you, who you are today.
Wendy (11:58):
Mm-hmm um, and then getting really clear on their own personal life philosophy. Right? So it gets you a lot. Like it gets you really clear for instance, it's taken me a long time to get to mine, but it, it it's always evolving. We're evolving. Um, but mine is disrupt your norm and instigate your soul for me mm-hmm so I become my best self so I can inspire others to do the same mm-hmm so, but when I say it, I feel it. And I know when I do something today or tomorrow and I'm off that. Okay, well, how do I, and then I gotta reassess like me, I'm not really testing myself here or I kind of just went with the flow here or I said yes to a party that I really don't wanna go to. You know? So when you get clear on your personal philosophy, you start to realize the thoughts that don't align with who you wanna be. Mm-hmm you start to realize the actions that don't align with who you wanna be. So I think that's a, the foundation of my, uh, work that I do, cuz it always goes back to your essence of who you are, your your
Gordon (13:02):
Right. Yeah. And that's a, the, the, the whole importance of getting, knowing yourself well is, is really in my mind that kind of the key to mindfulness and my being able to change your mindset of really, you know, like you said, getting at the essence of who you are and you know, why you think about the world, the way that you think about it.
Wendy (13:26):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and especially like, you know, I went after being a athlete for seven years, busting my tail, missing things sacrificing. But like when I know who I am and if I fail, I'm still okay with it. Like I think there's so many people, whether it's a job or a marriage and then when something doesn't go the way you expected and you don't know who you are, you can crumble fast mm-hmm mm-hmm . So the work of mindset is really about allowing you in life to go through the ebb and flows of the ups and downs with embracing who you are. So we're, it's not to say struggle doesn't happen. It's just how you handle those moments is more clarity to align with who you are.
Gordon (14:10):
Yeah, yeah. I, to, I totally agree. You know, the other, other thing that I thought about as you were, as you were talking was, um, just the, you know, most of us don't I think sometimes go about the task of changing something kind of kicking and screaming. We get, we get locked into a comfort zone that we will, we will clinging onto, but yet at the same time, we it's a, it's a crazy phenomenon is that people will be miserable in their comfort zone and not really want to get out of it. And so, you know, always, always tell folks that, you know, my work as a therapist, always tell folks, you know, you know, if you want your life to change, you have to change something. And so being able to have the courage to make changes, um, is, is, is really kind of the key to, to it all to some degree,
Wendy (15:12):
A hundred percent. And it's, it gives you power. Mm-hmm even if, if you change something and it's not the right direction. I mean, I think most people get paralyzed because they don't know where to go. They feel this thing. They're not sure of how to get out of it. So they just stay because it's scary to make whether you're in a marriage or a job. Like the, the, the, I, when I ask someone that's miserable in a job, why aren't you like looking to explore mm-hmm what other options and the, their head, they can't even fathom another option. Like they, they can't go there. And, and that's the fear like of the unknown mm-hmm, , that's really what it is. It's the fear of the unknown. And I, and I say to my clients, when they get in that state of fear is, is it, I'm not asking you to change it right now.
Wendy (16:04):
Like, just go explore. That's why I say it's to get your soul, to disrupt your norm. Doesn't mean disrupt it, like, like a tomorrow I'm gonna quit everything and start, you know, like it take those things, little steps and inside you'll know what the direction, the right direction mm-hmm is if you take a little step, right. If you make a little change yeah. If you explore. Yeah. And I I'm big into exploring because then it's less like the ch like a big change is too big for someone who's never done got outside their comfort zone. Mm-hmm . But if you just take a little step and even go call, make a one phone call, or, you know, take a step and do something different with somebody else, or, you know, like, I don't know anybody's scenario, but I just really believe in the word exploration. Yes. Because that's what gives the answers they're looking for that they don't know yet.
Gordon (16:58):
Yeah. Yeah. And I would add to that curiosity as well. Yep. Yes. Yes. Getting curious about things and really, uh, I love the word explore as well. Just really kinda looking at those, those things. You know, the other thing that you mentioned, uh, Wendy, um, is just with change, you know, none of us grows unless we get outside our comfort zone. And I I'm, uh, you know, one, one metaphor that I like is if it, for those of us that can maybe remember when we first learned to ride a bicycle, um, how scary that felt. Uh, but you, in order to learn to ride a bicycle, you had to get outside your comfort zone. You had to kinda, kinda push yourself through the uneasiness of, uh, feeling like you're gonna fall. And that the truth of the matter is, is once you kind of get it, you figure out, oh, the faster I go, the easier it is to control this thing. Yeah. And so, yeah,
Wendy (18:00):
I mean, it's funny, uh, that you mentioned this, I think learning from kids is so important to just like, look back, watch them mm-hmm , some of them will freeze, but if you watch, most of we were just at, um, a pool lap pool, and there were kids that are pretty good divers there. And my daughter yesterday was watching, one of the divers were on top and she was, she was freezing. She was trying to do something new, but she kept, and everybody waited and she kept wiping off the water on her legs with her little towel. And then she'd go back to the edge of the, the diving board, then go back again and back again. But she finally did it. And then I, I said to my daughter, like the next time she does that, she now will do it at a different pace.
Wendy (18:43):
So we all, like, we all go into that scary moment. I'm not a fan of going on, live on, you know, videos, but I know the more I do it, the more I learn. Right. Um, you know, so it's just it's as adults. We, I feel like we weren't trained to learn to teach that muscle mm-hmm and, and when you, if you can help the young ones realize, like what they're doing, mm-hmm I always tell my daughter going on stage now, she was freezing to go on stage at five and now she's done it again and again, and now it's like, this is like normal to her and she loves it. Yeah. So I think, especially to me, what you're saying is like, if something's pulling at you to do it and you have a, either a passion or you're curious, you have to get uncomfortable. Mm-hmm you have to take that step
Gordon (19:33):
That's right. So it is the only way that we only way that we grow the, the other, the other thing too, is, is that, um, to kind of connected to this is, is vulnerability. Um, mm-hmm and I'm reminded of Brene Brown's, uh, talk, if, if anybody has not seen it, I would recommend it. I think it's still available on Netflix, but Brene Brown's talk on the call to courage and just talking about how we can, the, the only, only way that anybody can demonstrate courage is that they have to be vulnerable first. Yeah. And so it takes, it takes both kinda working together in order to, to cause us to grow and to, to get ahead.
Wendy (20:18):
Yeah. And I also, I also think, I believe that we, as, as leaders, the more vulnerable I am, then it opens up my clients to, if I share something mm-hmm , mm-hmm , you know, it, it allows them to go, oh, wow. She experienced something that's or like, she can handle this moment of, of embarrassment or, or failure or whatever. Hey, I happen to go through something similar. It opens a can of worms, the more we share our vulnerability, um, and our experiences, it allows for growth in that aspect. Um, as you know, right. Um, but, uh, I, I think that's the one thing I love about group coaching, actually. Like I have a group I've had for four over four years, and they're mostly moms that were entrepreneurs, but that's the one thing they say is like, it's first of all, number one, they're they have space every day that they can come, not every week that they can come to us and we're vulnerable, like, right. You know, we're raw, you know, cuz we don't have time to express every motion that we have during the weeks. But if you can create space to have the moment to be vulnerable and let and let unfold what you couldn't do during the week in front of like all the todo lists and, and functioning survival mode, right. Then you have this space to just like, let go, you know, it's so important.
Gordon (21:45):
Yeah. And that's a, and, and too, as people have maybe heard in previous episodes of this podcast to, to me, the sign of a healthy relationship with anyone is their ability to be vulnerable with each other. And that be a safe space in doing that because when two people can be vulnerable with each other, that's what builds connection. And that's what brings us together.
Wendy (22:13):
Yeah. I mean, and it goes from your work as your clients and mm-hmm and me as a coach or, or even like, I see a lot of, um, leaders in the sports arena that it's like, I'm gonna dictate and there's no trust, especially with these young kids, there's so much pressure mm-hmm . So if we could just, you know, if you're a coach or a teacher, like if you let those kids feel your vulnerability and that you share something, there's, there's a rapport that you, that will magically happen and create whether it's in work or whatever, as a leader, um, that's necessary for growth. Right. You know, safe space, the safe space. It's so true.
Gordon (22:57):
Yeah. That's absolutely true. And, and that brings us full circle around to kindness and compassion. I think in that when we can create a safe space for other people, that's what is going to heal the world really in the long run is to be not. Yeah,
Wendy (23:14):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I agree. And, and a safe space to, for everyone to have their, I just listened to a thing from Kobe Bryant last night. Mm-hmm and it was, we all have our box. Like everybody has their own unique way of being, can they all be in a safe space to be that where we give compassion kindness. So how you operate is different than I operate. And it doesn't, it doesn't mean we can't have the compassion and kindness to support that. Right. Um, right. So I, I really believe in your work and I thank you for having me on here.
Gordon (23:51):
Oh, awesome. I love it. Awesome. Well, Wendy, and I know what, uh, we could probably spend a whole day talking about this stuff, but I wanna be respectful of your time. Tell folks that want to learn more from you and maybe some of the coaching that you do. How can, how can they get in touch with you?
Wendy (24:10):
Right. Um, well, um, my, my business is called live your June. Um, I didn't really give you the backstory mm-hmm , there's a reason. Um, mm-hmm and, uh, it's really about living your uniqueness, your independent, uh, the essence of who you're meant to be, to make your imprint for future generations. Mm-hmm cause I believe we all leave our mark and it's ha it's our responsibility to live into that. Mm-hmm um, and so it's live your june.com. Uh, Wendy live your June. You can email me if you have any questions or you're curious, or you wanna share something like I am, I'm all open. Um, I also am on Instagram, live your June. Um, and I think I'm on LinkedIn as well. Um, okay. And uh, yeah, we're building, I'm almost done with my first online product, but like, I, I wanna actually hold the space. Well, someone does my work, so, um, but it's really come out really good. And I think it allows people to explore that whole thing that we're talking about their ethos and the essence of who they are. Um, so it gives them a tool. So some of it's it's worth looking into, if you have any questions, definitely reach out.
Gordon (25:26):
Awesome. Awesome. And we'll have links here in the show notes and the show summaries, so people can find it easily. So well, Wendy, it was so good to have you on the podcast and hopefully we'll have some future conversations.
Wendy (25:39):
I would love it. Thank you so much for having me.

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L. Gordon Brewer Jr., LMFT |Podcast Host – Gordon has spent his career in helping professions as a licensed therapist, counselor, trainer, and clergy person.  He has worked with 100’s of people in teaching them the how to better manage their emotions through self-care and the practices of kindness and compassion.  Follow us on Instagram and Facebook .  And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


Katelyn Printz | When We Change Our Mind About Things | K&C 11

In this episode, Katelyn Printz joins us to talk about the process she went through in changing her mind about some things. Katelyn shares her story about growing up with some fairly narrow conservative Christian views.  As an undergraduate in college, Katlyn’s eyes were opened up to various ways of thinking, allowing her to reconsider some of the opinions she had as a child. Katelyn speaks about the importance of allowing your faith to be a continuous process as you grow and learn. Tune in as we chat about the many ways to love and worship and why it’s critical to have kindness and compassion for yourself and others as they make changes to their faith and beliefs. 

Meet Katelyn Printz

Katelyn Printz
Katelyn Printz

Katelyn is a middle school teacher who has spent the past 5 years teaching science and Bible/Theology classes. She grew up in and attended seminary in a very conservation denomination that did not look fondly on her wrestling with big questions around racism, LGBTQ theology, women in leadership, ect. This led to many months of study and deconstruction of old beliefs. Her process eventually brought her to the Episcopal Church. Leaving her childhood church community has resulted in many difficult conversations with family and friends who disagree with where she has landed. The process of reckoning with hard questions and being pressed towards hard conversations has pushed her to spend lots of time thinking about how to disagree with compassion and kindness.  Katelyn lives in Kingsport, TN with her old rescue dog, Buddy. 

Rethinking Conservative Christian Views

Katelyn grew up in a very conservative Christian denomination; views were narrow in what was permissible or not permissible. She found a lot of safety knowing where the boundary lines were for right and wrong. However, Katlyn was always curious and had a lot of questions about her ethics and morals. However, she was afraid to be as straightforward about all her questions. Katlyn went to a Christian university, where she was exposed to liturgical-style things for the first time. At university, Katlyn realized that there are Christian people who think differently than the minimal perspective that she grew up with. 

Permitting Yourself To Be Patient When It Comes To Faith

Before Katelyn has a conversation with someone else, she has had to learn how to permit herself not to understand something fully. She permits herself to wrestle with her thoughts and allows faith to be a continuous process. You don’t need to have airtight boxes when it comes to faith; this can be a challenging idea to understand. Many people struggle to give themselves grace and compassion. Remember to be patient with yourself as you read and learn. It can be exhausting to undo the beliefs that you have held since childhood. Overall, give yourself permission to have a conversation and say, “I don’t know.” 

There Are Many Ways To Love and Worship God

Katelyn was working at a bush hospital in Kenya during college. She enjoyed watching people love and worship God in a way that was just very different from her own. At a Kenyan church, there is a lot of exuberant, joyful dancing. Plus, there is a lot more openness to the supernatural. The activity of angelic or demonic forces is just more prominent in Kenya versus the United States. Watching other people worship with such explosive joy was very beautiful, especially when compared to a formal religious ceremony in America.

Working on Kindness and Compassion With Yourself and With Others 

Katelyn is working on showing herself kindness and compassion. There are still a lot of aspects of her theology that she is rethinking. Have compassion for yourself; you don’t need everything figured out. Plus, you don’t need to act like you know exactly what you’re doing. Also, Katelyn makes sure to have kindness and compassion for the people around her. Find the humanity in every person. It’s critical to be kind about accepting change and how slow or fast others are willing to change. Lastly, Katelyn knows when to pull back. If she has an unhealthy conversation, she knows when to stop engaging. 


Ultimately, kindness and compassion comes to fruition by being curious about people.  As Katelyn points out, when we allow ourselves to get curious rather than defensive, we can have a discourse that is based on compassion.  We might not always agree with another’s point of view, but we can still be curious.  And you never know… it might just lead to changing you mind about some things…


Gordon (00:00):
Hello, everyone. And welcome again to the podcast. And I'm so glad for you to get to know Caitlin prince Caitlin. Welcome to the podcast.
Katelyn (00:08):
Thank you. B, I'm really excited to be here.
Gordon (00:11):
Yes, yes. And I've gotten to know Caitlin over the last few years, really again, through, through my church context and just conversations we've had about theology and just, um, a lot of the different changes in life that come along and in getting to know Caitlin, I know that she's been on this pretty fascinating journey just with changing her mind about things and changing kind of her view of things, particularly theological, but, um, Caitlin welcome and tell, tell folks a little bit more about yourself and how you've landed, where you've landed.
Katelyn (00:50):
Okay. Well, I grew up in a very conservative, um, Christian denomination, um, very, I guess, narrow in what was viewed as, um, permissible or not permissible. And I just soaked it all up. I think I was a little, um, I rule follower and I found a lot of safety in knowing where the boundary lines were and what was right and what was wrong or what I thought was right and wrong. Mm-hmm, based on how it was taught to me. And so I think in my early years, the very black and white way of looking at things really, um, fit the way my brain was wired. Mm-hmm
Gordon (01:39):

Katelyn (01:40):
And, but I've also always been very curious. And so I had a lot of questions and there were aspects of the black and white contrast, I think, to sing right versus wrong, or, um, complicating questions about God that I think have always bothered me and also made me feel a little on the fringes, I suppose, of that, um, church community, um, because my questions maybe introduced, uh, doubt or uncertainty about the strength of my faith. And so I was very curious, but afraid to be as straightforward about all the questions that I had, um, as maybe I, I could have been, I, um, went to a Christian university where I was actually exposed to, uh, liturgical style things for the first time. And that's where I was first introduced to some authors that I now spent more time with. like held Evans and Peter ends and stuff like that.
Katelyn (02:48):
And that started, uh, helping me realize that there are beautiful Christian people who think differently than the very, um, limited perspective. I guess I had known up to that point. I really loved theology and I wanted to do something in the field of theology, but my church upbringing top that women could not be ordained or hold any kind of position of leadership. And so after I finished college, I did go to seminary, but not with the ordained. I just wanted to learn and study more, um, and maybe be involved in a church in some capacity. But at that time I didn't believe that, uh, being ordained was something that was possible for me. Mm-hmm
Gordon (03:41):
were, what were some of the things maybe that, um, through your readings and education that really kind of caused to begin to change your mind or get curious?
Katelyn (03:58):
Hmm. Um, to be honest, it started with beliefs around, um, racism and white privilege. So even when I was still very deep in the conservative world, I started reading, um, Austin chaning brown was the first book I read. I'm still here. Mm-hmm . And that kind of started me down this path of, wait a second. Maybe, maybe my denomination has missed the vote on some things. And if we've missed the vote on how we, um, have cared for and loved people of color, are there other people in the margins that we have, um, rejected or hurt in the way that we have
Gordon (04:51):
Mm-hmm um,
Katelyn (04:52):
Moved in the world, I guess. And that led to questions around, um, sexuality was next, I think . Yeah. Um, but then mixed in all of those things was just wrestling with this idea of God as a very wrathful and vengeful, um, punishing entity who is very exacting in this, like, um, there was a lot of talk about grace, but I didn't really understand how that grace applied because it was very, uh, conditional, I guess it felt like mm-hmm um, and yeah, a lot of questions around God's WRA and, um, my denomination taught predestination. And so I really struggled with this concept of certain people being chosen to go to heaven and others being chosen to go to hell like that was something I wrestled with for a long time. Just not feeling like it was consistent with the loving pieces of God that we see in scripture though.
Gordon (06:00):
Katelyn (06:01):
Gordon (06:02):
Yeah. So as, as your, as your theology and it might be helpful for us to maybe tell folks that are listening, you know, when, when, when we speak of theology, what comes to mind for you? Because I think that's at least in my mind that has a lot to do with why people believe what they believe
Katelyn (06:23):
Mm-hmm um, well, I guess being a language nerd, I just think of like, very literally like the study of God and mm-hmm I think I found the path originally to be very narrow of like, this is the very specific way in which you must study and know about God mm-hmm , but I think now I'm starting to see that that's a much wider and broader path than I ever thought in the beginning.
Gordon (06:58):
Right, right. Mm-hmm yeah. So yeah. So I, if you were to describe your theology now, what is that, what is that like?
Katelyn (07:10):
I think now the question I tried to ask is does this look or sound like love, um, and kind of work from there, I've really come to realize that there was talk of grace before. Um, but I don't think I really wrestled with the expansiveness of it and the welcomingness or hospitality of God and the way that his people can mirror that. I suppose.
Gordon (07:47):
Mm-hmm mm-hmm yeah. So yeah. You know, one of the things that I know that, uh, you had shared with me, Caitlin, is, is that part of the, part of this journey for you has been, you know, really maybe confront is too strong of a word, but really having to have conversations and interactions with people that maybe, you know, whether it's family members or, or for, you know, people that you grew up with or went to church with mm-hmm and being able to have that discourse. And so how, how has that been working for you and how have you been able to do that?
Katelyn (08:30):
Well, it's tricky and I don't necessarily think I have it figured out or that I've done it right each time
Gordon (08:37):
Mm-hmm .
Katelyn (08:38):
Um, but I think foundational to, before I could go into a conversation with someone else was really learning how to grant myself permission, to not understand something fully permission, to wrestle and to allow faith, to be a continuous process of trying to draw near to God. And it not meaning that I have my airtight boxes of this means this, and this means that mm-hmm . Um, and I think, honestly, that was the hardest part, um, because I had been trained at the graduate level in mm-hmm the theological doctrine in my previous denomination. It was, I just struggled so much to give myself grace and compassion in this whole, like, I know that I don't believe that , but I don't know what I do believe instead right. Like it's not, but what is it? Um, mm-hmm and that was really difficult for me to sit with and to be patient with myself as I read and got tired of reading and then had to take a break because it's exhausting to really, uh, undo a lot of things that turn out to be kind of central to your identity and your formation as a child.
Gordon (10:09):
Right. Right.
Katelyn (10:11):
So that's the hardest part I think. And what I'm still working on when it came to O conversation with other people like my parents or family members, who've watched me kind of go through this changing of my mind. Um, I think I've also had to work on, um, what that passage just says, like always being ready to have an answer for the hope that's in you or whatever. Mm-hmm . I was always told that as a kid and I always would play it in my mind as like, well, whenever you're sharing what you think about something, you need to be able to be very winsome and very clear and just lay it all out there in a like properly defensive way so that it makes sense to the other person mm-hmm um, because that's how you are a faithful witness for Christ mm-hmm
Gordon (11:05):

Katelyn (11:07):
And rethinking my beliefs on things made that aspect very difficult. And so also trying to give myself permission to have conversations and then say, I don't know, mm-hmm or to say when things are getting uncomfortable or maybe a little tense to be like, I really love you, and I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not ready to talk about this any further mm-hmm yeah,
Gordon (11:41):
Yeah, yeah. That's a, yeah. And that's a, I think a, a struggle for a lot of people is, is that being able to, in many ways, by doing that in the way that you described is really kind of an act of kindness and compassion, not only towards yourself, but also to the other person, cuz I think a lot of times we can get into heated these discourse where things mm-hmm, just get more and more emotionally flooded and then, then we're not doing, then it becomes no discourse at all. It's just two people yelling at each other kinda thing. Mm-hmm yeah. And so that's a, that's a, I think an important, important piece and it's been a, been kind of a theme that's come out in other episodes of this POS podcaster, just being able to slow things down enough to respond to each other rather than just react to mm-hmm yeah.
Katelyn (12:37):
I've tried to kind of in myself and in the person that I'm talking to try to tease out, is this curiosity or is this defensiveness mm-hmm because I think when we're both coming from a place of curiosity, the conversation becomes more about relationship with each other. It becomes more about, uh, wanting to know and understand the other person better it less about wanting to be right, or to be agreed with, but more about mutual understanding of the other person. Even if you don't walk away with a, um, a feeling of agreement I suppose.
Gordon (13:19):
Right, right. Yeah. Well, I, to change gears a little bit, Caitlin, one of the things that I know just about your, your background is that you spent quite some time working as a missionary or mission kind of the mission field, so to speak, how, how did that impact your life and how did that really kind of change your theology to some degree?
Katelyn (13:47):
Well, so I was working at a Bush hospital in Kenya, in the summers, in between my college years. And then once again, after college and it was a, a Christian organization, um, I really think that it, this was before like I really started deconstructing or had left my previous sound this before all of that. But I think the biggest thing I took away from it was watching people love and worship God in a way that was just very different from mine. So Kenyan church is this like exuberant, joyful dancing, extremely long, like the whole day experience. Um, mm-hmm and there's a lot more, I guess, openness in their mind to the supernatural. So like the mm-hmm activity of, um, angelic or demonic forces was just more prominent or talked about more than I think it is in the us. And so to kind of think about faith in that sense and to wash, watch others worship with such joy, um, just like explosive joy was, uh, was very beautiful coming from a tradition that is much more formal Um-huh
Gordon (15:26):

Katelyn (15:27):
Yeah. And very like we sit in our chairs and we sing kind of softly
Gordon (15:33):
Katelyn (15:35):
Gordon (15:36):
Yeah. It's uh, I've I've heard it referred to as, uh, the, the happy clappy versus the frozen chosen. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, yeah. Yes. So yeah. It's well, it's, it's been nice and as be in being, uh, CA's friend and just being connected with her to see, to see your growth in this and what you're discovering about yourself and just how you live into that live into all of this with kindness and compassion and yeah. So what, what sort of maybe kind of, um, closing thoughts do you have just about, about that? Um, you know, how are you, how do you see yourself living into kindness and compassion through this, these changes you're going through with changing theology thing, changing beliefs and, and all of that.
Katelyn (16:28):
Mm-hmm, , I'm still working on showing myself kindness and compassion as there's still a lot of, um, aspects of my theology that I am still rethinking or, you know, I have a stack of books, a mile high, but I'm, , mm-hmm, working through them very slowly. And so just having compassion with myself for not having to have everything figured out and to be willing to, uh, welcome others into that piece and not try to act like I, um, I know exactly what I'm doing cause I don't mm-hmm
Gordon (17:05):
. Yeah.
Katelyn (17:07):
And then I guess for, uh, dear friends around me, just having kindness and compassion around their, um, the rate at which they themselves want to change or are accepting my change. I, I find myself frustrated sometimes and I have to remind myself that, you know, just a few months ago, that's exactly where I was or what I was thinking. Mm-hmm I, I don't know, just finding the humanity in knowing the person's story and my relationship with them and understanding exactly the fear and the need for certainty and control. That's just so prevalent and mm-hmm, kinda under probably undergirding a lot of these conversations about what is faith
Gordon (18:07):
Mm-hmm .
Katelyn (18:09):
Yeah. And then knowing when to pull back and be like, this is not a, a beneficial or a healthy conversation right now. I love them still, but I, we cannot, I don't, I don't want to engage in it in an angry or hurtful
Gordon (18:30):
Katelyn (18:31):
Of course.
Gordon (18:32):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that. And I think it's, um, I think it's, for all of us, it's an ongoing, it's an ongoing kind of thing, ongoing journey and struggle to really kind of, to, to wrestle with these, these deeper issues. Um, I'm always, always reminded in, in thinking about people that go through kind of changes in their, their belief system or whatever is, um, uh, J Jacob wrestling with the angel, which is an image out the Bible. And I always think of it as Jacob wrestling with God, which might, might not be literally cardiac, but that's how kind interpret that that particular scripture in the Bible is, is that I think God wants us to wrestle with these things. And I think to be able to, to know ourselves better and also know each other better is, is our wider communities to be able to, to talk about these things and understand 'em and, uh, you're exactly right.
Gordon (19:33):
There are no clear black and white answers and that's where we get, I think can get into the weeds. Mm-hmm is, um, another way I think about it is that we, we tend to want to think of is in, in terms of either, or it's either this mm-hmm or it's that mm-hmm , but most of the time it's not either, or, but both, and that there's this kind of, this, this melding of ideas that is somehow another greater than the whole, so mm-hmm yeah, yeah. So, well, Caitlin, I'm so glad, um, I wanna be respectful of your time and I'm so glad you joined me in this conversation and this is, uh, this is exactly the kind of meaty stuff I love talking about in this podcast. So, uh, tell, and, and we'll have some more information, uh, in the show notes about if you wanna maybe somehow or another contact Caitlin or talk to her, I'm sure she'd be, uh, not, not to put words in your mouth. I'm sure you'd be O open for that. Somebody would like have conversation like this and we'll have her information in the show notes and the show numbers for people. So, but Caitlin, thanks for joining me in this episode.
Katelyn (20:49):
Yeah. Thank you, Gordon. And thank you for your role in helping me rethink some things.
Gordon (20:55):
You're welcome. You're welcome. Mm-hmm .

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L. Gordon Brewer Jr., LMFT |Podcast Host – Gordon has spent his career in helping professions as a licensed therapist, counselor, trainer, and clergy person.  He has worked with 100’s of people in teaching them the how to better manage their emotions through self-care and the practices of kindness and compassion.  Follow us on Instagram and Facebook .  And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.



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