The Whole Shebang

The Power of Transformation: From Pain to Purpose with Kim Witczak

May 16, 2024 Jen Briggs Season 1 Episode 34
The Power of Transformation: From Pain to Purpose with Kim Witczak
The Whole Shebang
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The Whole Shebang
The Power of Transformation: From Pain to Purpose with Kim Witczak
May 16, 2024 Season 1 Episode 34
Jen Briggs

When Kim Witczak suddenly lost her husband Woody, due to an undisclosed drug side effect of antidepressants, her life changed forever.  She says her calling chose her, and since then she's been instrumental in helping get the FDA black box suicide warnings added to antidepressants. 

As a drug safety advocate and speaker with over 25 years professional experience in advertising and marketing communications, she's been featured in major news media such as Fortune, reader's Digest, consumer Reports, wall Street Journal, new York Times and Star Tribune. She's testified before the US Senate on FDA-related issues, as well as numerous FDA advisory committees. 

While Kim has dedicated the majority of her career advocating and sharing her late husband Woody's story today, she shares her story; how she walked through those early days of loss,  and the connection between self-love and manifesting external change. You'll hear her courage to confront pain, and her discovery of joy, self-love and playfulness in its wake. She shares life lessons we can all learn from and you'll be inspired to hear the woman she's become since then. 

It was an absolute honor to hold space for her story and I trust that there are gems for you here as we continue to see ourselves in one another.  xx - Jen

2:52   Introduction to Kim
3:35   The Life Changing Phone Call
4:00   Woody's Story
10:47  Journey Through Grief and Transformation
22:08   Embracing Grief and Healing Through Pain
31:03   Uncovering the Power of Body Wisdom
32:20   Following Intuition
37:06   The Importance of Self-Reflection and Play
39:14  Trusting Ourselves
47:43  Embracing Self-Awareness and Facing Fears
54:00  Realizing Our Own Strength

Connect With Kim:
Website: www.kimwitczak.com
Instagram:  @kim_witczak  
Twitter: @woodymatters  

We'd love a "follow" on the podcast, and a 5-Star Review is especially powerful!





Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When Kim Witczak suddenly lost her husband Woody, due to an undisclosed drug side effect of antidepressants, her life changed forever.  She says her calling chose her, and since then she's been instrumental in helping get the FDA black box suicide warnings added to antidepressants. 

As a drug safety advocate and speaker with over 25 years professional experience in advertising and marketing communications, she's been featured in major news media such as Fortune, reader's Digest, consumer Reports, wall Street Journal, new York Times and Star Tribune. She's testified before the US Senate on FDA-related issues, as well as numerous FDA advisory committees. 

While Kim has dedicated the majority of her career advocating and sharing her late husband Woody's story today, she shares her story; how she walked through those early days of loss,  and the connection between self-love and manifesting external change. You'll hear her courage to confront pain, and her discovery of joy, self-love and playfulness in its wake. She shares life lessons we can all learn from and you'll be inspired to hear the woman she's become since then. 

It was an absolute honor to hold space for her story and I trust that there are gems for you here as we continue to see ourselves in one another.  xx - Jen

2:52   Introduction to Kim
3:35   The Life Changing Phone Call
4:00   Woody's Story
10:47  Journey Through Grief and Transformation
22:08   Embracing Grief and Healing Through Pain
31:03   Uncovering the Power of Body Wisdom
32:20   Following Intuition
37:06   The Importance of Self-Reflection and Play
39:14  Trusting Ourselves
47:43  Embracing Self-Awareness and Facing Fears
54:00  Realizing Our Own Strength

Connect With Kim:
Website: www.kimwitczak.com
Instagram:  @kim_witczak  
Twitter: @woodymatters  

We'd love a "follow" on the podcast, and a 5-Star Review is especially powerful!





Speaker 1:

I don't think change on the outside can happen until you have change on the inside. So until, like, if you want to change and you're like I want the world to be better, I want this like I think we can. Only the way we view things is through the lens that we view ourselves. I have to look at the person that's in the mirror and I actually love the person that's looking back at me in the mirror. That that took that took me through the last years after my breakup, after doing a lot of that stuff In the last couple of years. I can actually say that I love the person I've become and I could never say that before.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Whole Shebang. I'm Jen Briggs, your host. Let me tell you what you're in for here. Many of us have been running at breakneck speed, functioning mostly in our heads, and we've suffered from disconnection, burnout and lost passions. I believe it's because we functioned in part and not in whole. So we're exploring a new path, embracing intuition, creativity, playfulness and connection in all of life. It's vibrant, powerful and magnetic. So come on with me and buckle up Buttercups. We're diving in. Our guest today is such a bright light and brave soul. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Speaker 2:

Kim Witzak became involved in pharmaceutical drug safety issues after the sudden death of her husband, woody, in 2003 due to an undisclosed drug side effect of antidepressants.

Speaker 2:

Since then, she's been instrumental in helping get the FDA black box suicide warnings added to antidepressants. So, as a drug safety advocate and speaker with over 25 years professional experience in advertising and marketing communications, she's been featured in major news media such as Fortune, reader's Digest, consumer Reports, wall Street Journal, new York Times and Star Tribune. She's testified before the US Senate on FDA-related issues, as well as numerous FDA advisory committees. Now, while Kim has dedicated the majority of her career advocating and sharing her late husband Woody's story today. She shares her story how she walked through pain and challenge, how she's uncovered joy, play and conquered and found her greatest fears. She shares life lessons we can all learn from and she shares who she's become as a woman since then. It was an absolute honor to hold space for her story and I trust that there are gems for you here as we continue to see ourselves in one another. Kim, welcome to the whole shebang. So happy to have you here today.

Speaker 1:

Oh, thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to this conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's just dive right in if you don't mind and if we can start off with you sharing a little bit of your background and the work that you've been involved in for the last many years.

Speaker 1:

Sure, Well, I like to call myself the accidental advocate, and I call myself that because sometimes our greatest purposes in life choose us and because I certainly would never have chose the path that I have been on for the last 20 years. 20 years ago, my life looked very different than it does today. I was happily married, I was working in advertising and my husband and I traveled the world for fun, but also we both had successful careers and we were starting to talk about having a family. However, on August 6, 2003, I got a call that literally, literally, changed my life forever. My dad called. I was out of town for work and I hadn't heard from my husband. And I got a call from my dad saying it's bad, it's bad. I'm like what do you mean? It's bad and he's like Woody's dead. I'm like what? I'm like what do you mean? He's dead and he's like. He was found hanging from the rafters of our garage. And in that one phone call, everything that I knew, everything that I it was almost like I was living a nightmare like what? And um in and I was like what? What do you mean? Like, how do you know? Because Woody wasn't depressed, woody had no history of depression, woody had no like mental health issues. He had just started his dream job with a startup company a couple months prior and was having trouble sleeping. And, woody, you know, at that time he was a guy who always needed eight hours of sleep and he went into his doctor because, you know, doctors fixed him he was an athlete, you know, they've stitched him up. They, you know, put casts on broken bones. They fixed his knee, you know, through surgeries, and so he did what a lot of people did and he went to the doctor and was given, and, and was given an antidepressant for insomnia and told him it would take the edge off and help him sleep. And the three week sample pack that he came home with automatically doubled the dose after week one.

Speaker 1:

I happened to be out of the country those first three weeks. He was on the drug. I was down in New Zealand on a shoot. It was our big, busiest time of the year. We had a new launch for BMW. I was down in New Zealand and so I wasn't even there when Woody got put on this drug.

Speaker 1:

But I'll never forget when I got back into town, excited to see him, woody came walking through our back door in his blue dress shirt, dropped his bag at the floor and was bawling. He fell into a fetal position with his hands around his head, like this, kim, you got to help me. I don't know what's happening to me. My head's outside my body looking in, and he's just rocking back and forth bawling. And at that time I remember like, uh, I'd never seen this, like we'd been together for almost 13 years Um, you know, including dating and I'd never seen, ever seen this.

Speaker 1:

And he, you know, we eventually calmed him down. We did breathing and praying and he eventually called the doctor and the doctor goes you got to give the drug four to six weeks to kick in. So every night the next week, woody was like, what do you think about acupuncture? What do you think about hypnosis? Like, what was this guy who loved life? He, during this time, he was still running. He just couldn't run like his 10 miles because he was super anal. He kept track of, like, how many miles he was running and he was like, kim, I don't know what's going on, but I can only run like three miles a day, and so he kept it in a journal. So when I had to go out of town again, I there was nothing in me that was like, oh, this is going to be the end of the life. That I knew before when I left. And so, yeah, and at that time we never once questioned the drug.

Speaker 1:

When Woody got put on it, remember, there were no warnings and you know, it was given to him by his doctor. It was sold and advertised as safe and effective and it was given to and it was FDA approved, right. So that night when my life in DC, you know, I was out in Detroit and when that, when I got that call, I remember, like everything it was a blur, but the coroner asked if Woody was on any medication and the only medication he was taking was Zoloft and she said we're going to take it with us. It might have something to do with his death, and so that was number one. And again, the other thing that was I call it a clue was the front page of our newspaper had an article that said the UK finds the link between antidepressants and suicide in teens. And there was no note.

Speaker 1:

And Woody, when he traveled because, like I said, we both traveled he always left notes and I'm, like you know, five years later, when I moved, eventually moved from my house. I was still looking for that note, you know, because I thought there's no way, woody, on the biggest trip of your life you didn't leave a note. But he left no note and that really became, you know, the the my mission, and it became my brother-in-law and my mission is to get warnings put on these medications, cause we had no idea that, um, that when my brother-in-law Googled Zoloft and suicide, that the FDA had warnings, or they had hearings in 1991, when it was just Prozac on the market, on the emergence of violence and suicide and this was adults, and at that point and this was adults, and at that point they did nothing, and so that really became like you know.

Speaker 2:

Obviously that became my mission. I'm sure that there are countless of lives that have been saved and will continue to be because of your work. So, first of all, I've been advocating for him and for others, and when we chatted, you know you've you've got a story in this too, and I'm excited to excited maybe not quite the right word, but I'm um, I'm eager to kind of uncover what your experience was and how you got from there to the woman that you are today. So when you look back to that time, like before your life changed, before you got that phone call, who were you then?

Speaker 1:

It's funny. I, you know, obviously time is perspective. Right, you know, it's been 20 years. But when I look back at who I was on August 5th, before I, you know, before I got that call, I, you know, I was living life. I did not stir the pot. I, you know, I certainly would never speak out on something that was going to take on, uh, you know, a big issue. Um, I was doing my free arts. I had helped start free arts, which is an organization that worked with um, abused, neglected kids using art. You know, I was in some ways I was always like a people, like a little bit of a people pleaser, not a people pleaser per se, but I cared what people thought. And this profoundly changed my life, because I had to go into the lion's den and I would never like.

Speaker 1:

I remember this is a perfect example in our neighborhood. The city of Minneapolis was putting two cell phone towers up in the corner of competing companies and what he was like hey, Kim, let's go around the neighborhood and get people to sign this petition and we'll go to city council. They, you know, they should be sharing one. It's lighting our neighborhood, whatever. And I remember, like no thanks, wood. Like what are you going to do? You're never going to win. Like you're going up against city council and two cell phone companies Like no thank you. And I remember him saying, kim, I'd rather try like hell and lose and do nothing at all, and I was like, all right, well, good luck to you. I mean, I had no interest at all, and so that's kind of who I was, you know, and um very different than who I am today.

Speaker 2:

It's almost like Woody passed the baton to me. That's powerful. I can't wait to hear who you are today. We're going to like to go through this journey. So, so you get this phone call and what? What happened after that? What is the process like for you, sort of behind the scenes? What did you journey through?

Speaker 1:

Well, I can tell you, that night I was literally I don't even know how to, and I understand when people are like grief. It's shock, like what, what? And you're almost like out of your body, like what just happened. And I remember walking in and I was like, oh, I don't want to really show my emotions, like you know, I got to hold myself together and literally my whole life had just fallen apart. I remember walking back in the studio. I'm like um, to somebody that I worked with. I go, can you bring me back to the hotel? And he brings me back and we get in the car and I'm like, um, my husband just killed himself. And he was like what? And I'm like, oh yeah, like in that second it was like that in itself is the most bizarre thing, and I remember none of it seemed real.

Speaker 1:

I actually, that night, trying to figure out how we're getting back to Minneapolis, I had I happen to have a color, a box of color, because my hair I've been gray my whole life since 20. I'm like, I think I'm going to color my hair right now. I mean, I stayed up coloring my hair the night that Woody died. I'm like. It was like the one thing I could control is that I can't go back and have you know whatever. But anyways, those days and months afterwards, like you know, I didn't go right into this advocacy mode. I was walking around like almost in shock still, or like what just happened. And yet, you know, I had a lot of people surrounding me, you know, going to the funeral, I remember, because Woody always knew that he wanted to like be ashes thrown and I'm like no, guess what he goes. I went cremated. I'm like no people need to see you and I need to see you dead like I need to. So I went back and when we got back into Minneapolis I actually was like I need to go see his body. I needed to almost have that like shock that he's dead because I didn't see him right and I went they I remember I'll never forget they pulled him out of um, which is almost like a movie in itself, pull them out of the box at the thing, and I went and laid with him and I was like, and just because I had to like have that, what just happened, um, and that was probably one of the most raw moments of my life and also mad and crying and and also healing in a way that I didn't understand then because I needed to, like you know, I had to see it with my own eyes because it almost felt so surreal. And so you, you know, through that back then the somebody from the funeral home was like you should go to a grief group or suicide support group.

Speaker 1:

And I remember going once and I remember like going telling people I think it was the drug, and I'm watching all these people that were there for like 1520 years and I'm like, uh, I can't be like this in 20 years, like this cannot be my life. Like I saw, like I was looking through the eyes of the people that were in the room still grieving and crying and all that, and I'm like I can't be like this. There was something that was like, oh my God, I got to get out of this and I wanted to run from it, but I also knew that I didn't want it. And and I remember coming home from that grief group that night and my friend said why are you doing that? And I'm like I don't know, aren't I supposed to? And she goes no, you don't need to do that. And I realized at that moment there was something powerful that just because there's a way to do something or you think there's a way, you actually start feeling it and intuitively knowing if it works for you. And I don't know that I ever really thought about it, but that going to that group did not work for me and it made me even worse and mad, and I'm watching this.

Speaker 1:

And so I eventually went to grief group at church and realized that for me, my faith had to be a part, a huge part, of my healing and I think I always believed. But really, when I think back, it was having all of a sudden I kind of understood like wait, god isn't out there, god's here. It's who I'm talking to. It's like I had no one to talk to because now my husband, my everyday life was gone, like you know people, other people had loss of, you know whether it's their son, brother, but my everyday was gone and so my faith was super uber, uber important to me.

Speaker 1:

That, um, and I remember also that idea of hope and finding somebody that could help me with hope. And there was a friend of a friend, of a friend whose husband had died the same way, like 10 years earlier, and she was the only person I wanted to talk to initially was like please tell me. Well, I like, am I going to always feel like this? I'm going to always? And she's like no, I tell you you are going to I go. Well, I'd laugh again. Well, I'd love again. Well, I smile again. She was, I promise you. And so I remember like holding on to like that and like my faith, and then, you know, being surrounded by like loving family and my sister and my brother-in-law and friends that stayed with me. But you know, those were those early days and really having to spend a lot of time looking at almost like me too. Right, I didn't know what had just happened, but I remember, um, and then there was something that, um, I'll never forget.

Speaker 1:

After the funeral and, um, my agency had built these huge poster boards of life-size pictures of Woody and I was in my basement and I was crying, and so anybody who has like grief, and it's real, like I just wanted the pain to come out of my heart and I was like literally trying to scratch it out. You can see when people, when you hear that you know anybody who's going through it, like I honor it because it's real. But I remember, like kept praying and going God, take my pain and use it. It does me no good. Take my pain, and that's what I just kept praying. It was like my mantra, and little did I know that eventually you know what it would do. And so when I look back, all of this kind of you know it was, it was kind of like two parallel paths were going on at the same time. There was like the advocacy that was helping me, but then there was my own personal journey and they were like two very different paths.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and this was I mean. Obviously they're very interconnected, intertwined and that kind of you know, as you're talking about that pain that's in you and that experience of what it feels like to be. I don't, I don't know if I I don't, I certainly cannot put myself in your shoes, but but having just looking at pain in general or grief in general and that feeling of like it, feeling overwhelming and want it, wanting it to leave, but then also sit sitting with it and allowing it to move and sort of the how it can alchemize, and and to hear you say that that was the prayer at the time was like take this pain. It does me no good that it was a prayer of transformation of the pain and the process Is that. You know, when we talked last, you talked about that dark night of the soul. I'm assuming that was that time. Would you say that that was that period of time? Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

I think, because everything that you were, you know, you almost had to go in and sit with the pain and you had to sit, almost had to go in and and sit with the pain and you had to sit. And I remember one thing that um, in the grief group, you know, a lot of times, like I understand people wanting to numb, I numbed it my own way. I numbed it because I didn't want to feel it. I went into a relationship right away because I didn't want to feel it. So I will never like when I didn't go the drug route or you know, antidepressants, but I remember going to the doctor. The doctor goes, do you think you need something? And I'm like, uh, I think this is what killed my husband, number one and number two. She goes, I go, I looked at her and I go aren't I supposed to hurt Like my husband died? And she said, well, you don't need to. And I was like, yeah, I do need to.

Speaker 1:

And so that was one of those things that I realized where grief is. I think you have to almost go through it and you have to, like, sit with it, you have to look at it, you have to feel it. As much as I wanted to run from it. Eventually, you know, I did go into a relationship, and when that ended and because it probably wasn't the right thing that when it ended, guess what I had to go back, and it was there. I was finding myself doing things that I'd never done before, and with that you also see, oh wait, I am strong. But then when I come home and everybody thought, oh, you're so strong, I'm like you don't see me falling apart at home, you don't see this person out here, and so I had to sit and make you know and understand what that was all about too, and and I think that was a lot of how I grew up I kept things to myself and didn't share myself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh well, I'm so glad you're sharing today and this is like this is all of life, all of these, these threads and these lessons and these experience we've through all of our lives.

Speaker 2:

I just and just even this idea that there's, if there's anything we're avoiding, it can be massive grief. It can also be like knowing that there needs to be a shift or a change in our life and we numb and we run and we avoid or a lot of people do, or we do. I think everybody does it put times in our life and then, when that numbing wears off, or when we run into a wall or when we really hurt ourselves or we get to the end of our ability, the pain is still there waiting for us. And my experience has been that the pain is the pathway that the pain like is sort of this portal to the rebirth, to the new, to the, to the other side of it. And um, and it's kind of you know, it's not a new idea or a new phrase that like the only way, the only way out, is through and and it's so, it's so, it hurts so good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, it's so funny you say that, cause I was actually my in my writing this morning.

Speaker 1:

I was looking at and I remember saying God, thank you for all the pain that I have gone through in my life and and I realized the pain is what led to the next thing and then led to the next thing, and that's all the threads of my life and also the beauty of it.

Speaker 1:

And I'm a huge like, um, clearly, because I butterflies are my thing and I have a tattoo that's a butterfly and and really, um, what I have found is like butterflies don't come out butterflies in the world, they have to to be in that dark, gooey, messy first, and then they have to go through the darkness to like, and then eventually it shakes off. And I think that shaking off for me also was a realization through this process, that grief, whatever grief is like, I don't think we can ever compare our grief Like oh, my experience is just different than somebody else's experience. You know somebody else might be a divorce, it might be like you lost your job and you never thought you were. It could be, you know, anything Like grief is whatever it is, but it can be anchored in our bodies realized. As part of my healing, I started doing a lot of body work and realizing that grief got stuck in my like um diaphragm, and also my, um, my throat chakra, um how did you know that it was stuck?

Speaker 2:

or like how did you discover it?

Speaker 1:

Well, I discovered it through um.

Speaker 1:

I did something called ralphing, which is a body where it's the myofascia system and it's like 10 sessions and you know it's really what holds your skin and your muscles, it's right under your layer.

Speaker 1:

But when they got into session six, which is your diaphragm, and they're like pulling apart and, you know, stretching your ribs, all of a sudden I, out of the blue, started bawling and I cried, for I mean, it was gut like, gut wrenching and I'm like, and it scared me and I gut wrenched, cried and she had to leave me. The cause she had other clients, she had to leave me on the table and I cried for almost two hours and it wasn wasn't like I don't even know where that was coming from. It was deep and that at that moment I was like, oh wait, where, what was that? And then I learned that diaphragm. Probably what happened is when I and that's probably the lifetime of holding stuffing in my life, but then when Woody died, like holding it into my diaphragm, I didn't ever breathe again, fully, fully. And then, um, also when I got to here, um, I would find myself like yeah, and um, doing a lot of like.

Speaker 1:

I started doing yoga and I remember one yoga it was like a workshop, so it was this really bizarre kind of workshop and they're like, all right, we're getting, when you go home tonight our kind of workshop.

Speaker 1:

And they're like, all right, when you go home tonight, like, go in your car and scream. If you get like all you feel this like um, like contract, like you're feel really constricted, get in your car and scream as loud as you can Maybe don't do it at home, cause they might think and scream and I realized I'm like, oh my God, how freeing it was once I did that, cause he was like and so I, you know, through this whole thing, and especially you know we're looking at mental health now and obviously a lot of my work is around those mental health medications and stuff. Mental health, I have come to realize it's our body, mind, soul and it's moving and it lives in our body and it's all of that is really about healing and I started that as part of my journey as I started getting into my body, and not so much in here, because this keeps me like in a spiral Spinning in your head.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how did you get? How did you get into your body? Like I love, uh, Kim, I love this. I don't know, I just keep. I'm so encouraged because I don't think it's a coincidence that the conversation I'm having with people, the same things surface, like the same themes are coming up over and over and over, and I'm like, okay, universe, you're speaking like this is a thing right now and the embodiment is just a really prevalent theme that I'm not looking for in conversations. Right, I didn't expect this from our conversation. I'm like, okay, what is it that needs to be shared and said? Because I'm finding that there's so much our bodies hold so much wisdom and I want to help people understand how to get into their body. So, when you said you, you started to get into your body, how did you do that? What were some tools or what did you learn?

Speaker 1:

Sure, well it is. It's funny, like part of it was I mean, I think that was my first aha is when I saw that pain crying from my body light, and then I think there was for many years after Woody died I started doing yoga and I did yoga but I learned, like I started to see, that yoga was a tool that I was using to run from my pain. I was able to like put it up on a shelf and like breathe through it, like oh, I'm not facing it. And it wasn't until, yeah, it was really a fascinating because I had done it and I got really good at hiding, which I think has been part of my. I've learned that that's part of something that is kind of my constant mirror of looking at myself is, when I start running and I can breathe it away, I'm really good.

Speaker 1:

But it wasn't until I had that breakup and I went and did kickboxing and I had to punch because I realized that I was actually mad and I had anger and I had stuff inside me that I had to punch it out and then I started lifting and then from, this is all physical, but it was like, oh wait, I am strong, and it was a shift of putting the body, that things that I was doing in the body, and then going, oh, but wait, I am strong. Like there was something that was like a light, like a light switch turned on, saying wait, it's all of it, it's like it's punching Cause it's. You can hold all of those emotions. You can hold the peace, the joy, the anger, and you have to move it and get it out because it doesn't no good in here and our bodies are our vessels.

Speaker 1:

Like, if I go back to when Woody died, everything intuitively in my body told me there's no way that Woody took his own life, that I knew that something didn't make sense, and then I thought, well, that is wisdom in itself, that intuition, that intuition that if we would listen to when, when you get that snagging voice that's inside, that's like something doesn't make sense. Listen to it. Um, because your this doesn't lie, this up here kind of convinces you it might not be real, but like it's really sitting with that um, wow, or like I've had things where something came to me in the middle of the night. It was like, oh, it was, you know something silly. But it would be like, hey, did you check with?

Speaker 1:

Cause they're running this big story on all of my advocacy work and and and something literally woke me up in the middle of the night and said did you make sure that the website was in this article? That you told the journalist and I was in my head was like oh, stop, whatever. And then, literally, the article, and it was like a three page big article. It didn't have the website and I missed something. And that thing woke me up in the middle of the night and I chose to ignore it. So I started going wait, our body tell us things and we ignore it. And I've ignored things so many times when I hear that voice.

Speaker 2:

I think it's so good to just like, yeah, pause on that and note that sometimes it's like easy to dismiss it and go. Am I just crazy? Is that just crazy? And I've realized that usually, when I'm asking myself that I'm in the most flow state, spiritual state that I could be, because it is super natural, it isn't. It isn't necessarily natural according to how society is currently functioning, which is so logical, logic based. But to just go, let me.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I've been doing this for the last many years now I have that little. Either it's a feeling in my body and now I can start to feel like where in my body I'm feeling it, and I I know that those feelings are associated with certain things or it's kind of a little whisper, like it's just a little tap on the shoulder, and especially when the stakes aren't high, it's like, well, why not just try it? Why not follow this thing and see what happens? And 99% of the time I'm like, oh, wow, that's cool, cause you see how things are being orchestrated, right, and it it takes even if it's silly little things. I think it takes some courage to follow that, because we've sort of been told, whether it's overtly or not, that that stuff is crazy, right Would you agree with that A hundred percent.

Speaker 1:

Like I loved what you just said supernatural, because a lot of that is supernatural. Right, it's coming from somewhere, but it's being like, if you think that we are mind, body, spirit, that spirit is the supernatural and that is speaking to us and you can feel, and sometimes it's a whisper, like you said, sometimes it's a whisper and then other times it's like, hit you over the head and you're still ignoring it, but you and you're like, wait, who is that when? And then it comes through. I'm like, oh, there was somebody, something that was telling me, but it wasn't coming through here, it wasn't coming through logic, it wasn't like I read about it, it was like it was coming through my body.

Speaker 1:

That woke me up, got ready to move from this my last place, I remember and I was afraid and I was like I can't and I was doing the pros and cons and should I move, should I not? And then I was like, okay, actually, what if I just asked my body, am I like, am I nervous? Is there a nervous energy in it? Was there a peace energy? And I was just calm, even though I didn't know what it was going to be like and I was afraid. And when I asked my body, I literally remember saying, body, I have a question for you. And I'm a little crazy. I'm like, body, I have a question for you. And because what was happening when I did it in my head pros and cons I was like, okay, I can see it now get out of that, like, and I felt really calm with my decision to sell my place.

Speaker 2:

So did your body tell you in the moment. How did your body tell you? So did you ask it Like should I buy this place body? I need an answer. Should I buy this place body? I need an answer, should I buy this place? And the answer came through a calm sense in your body yeah, okay, I was. I think this is so great but I didn't.

Speaker 1:

But if I look, if you looked at my paper of my pros and cons, because I already had, I already had bought another. So I was trying to like I had two places at the same time and I was trying to, should I stay at the bigger one or should I downsize and move? And I was afraid like I wouldn't like the downsize, should I just stay here? But I literally everything was like I'm like I don't know, you have no idea what it's going to be like. And that was what my body was saying, like I, I don't know, that sounds kind of fun and I wasn't. But if you looked at my paper it was like well, you know, I mean, and, and that was my head logic, and the body was like a piece. There was a sense of peace with my decision.

Speaker 2:

So when you were going through if I'm just going to like to extrapolate that and go back to your process of like moving through the chrysalis and and coming out becoming new was your body one of the main tools as a guide on how to walk through that, or like the process of growth?

Speaker 1:

Well, I would say it was a little bit of a lot of different things, right, I think. The body, in that I started realizing that it talks to us and that there's wisdom there, and and also the confidence when I was doing things that I couldn't physically do or thought I used to tell myself I couldn't do, but then I saw that I could do them, that there was confidence when you see that you can do things that you thought you never could do, right?

Speaker 1:

So I think, that was also part of the, and that also comes with me not thinking I was smart or stirring the pot or going out to DC Like are you kidding me? That would be the last thing. I never spoke up to authority. But then when you do, you're like, oh wait, I actually am strong, or I am smart, or like I'm, we are more capable, all of us as holistic than we think we really are. So I think that was part of it. I think there was. You know, I did a lot of therapy, self-help, I went to a lot. I love learning, I love going to conferences, I love being challenged and this idea of looking at the mirror of yourself. I love. Where can I be better? And constantly in the questions that I ask of myself.

Speaker 2:

What's important about that question to you, or about living that way, where you're, where you're looking in the mirror and asking how can I be better, why? Why is that important to you?

Speaker 1:

Well, I'll tell you, because I don't think change on the outside can happen until you have change on the inside. So until, like, if you want to change and you're like I want the world to be better, I want this, like I think we can. Only the way we view things is through the lens that we view ourselves. And so, if we like, if I'm thinking I'm being judgmental, or if I'm actually another way of, if there's a trigger of somebody or something that triggers me, like it gets me and this is where you listen to your body and you can feel it that that trigger Is it really about them or what is it about them that's actually a trigger for me? Like, is it?

Speaker 1:

I have something that they do that it's annoying me because I do something, or maybe I'm envious that they're, like you know, always better on social media, like putting their brand, and I don't want to do it because I feel like it's, you know I'm being, you know like, oh, look at me everybody. But wait, is that because I'm afraid to do it? I'm afraid. So I'm like I'm judging them, but I'm actually judging myself, because I'm I'm afraid to put myself out there, because I don't want to be judged, but no, you're judging yourself, kim.

Speaker 2:

This is good work and it's so much easier said than done.

Speaker 2:

But I think this is the nature of how we evolve and and it goes both ways it's.

Speaker 2:

You know, I grew up with kind of a belief system around we want to be better so that we can do better for others, and I think that that is so great and so true. And I think the other side of it that I missed or I didn't fully understand was that when we take the time to look in the mirror and do the work on ourself, we do better for ourselves. I mean, if you can do that work and then all of a sudden be less triggered, I'm assuming your days feel more delightful and like you're not irritated and you're not, you're feeling empowered and you're uncovering. But then also, oh guess what? Maybe now Kim's going to be posting more and putting yourself out there and and seeing what comes of that. You know who knows what adventure that could bring you on that, that little look in the mirror, you know, can can change a lot, a lot for the good for everybody and for ourself. Right, and I, you know, can can change a lot, a lot for the good for everybody and for ourself, right.

Speaker 1:

And I you know it's interesting, you said that, cause I think I probably did too like oh, it's about everybody else, right. Like oh, you, you know, do for others, do for others. But you know, if you think back to and I know that we've heard it's kind of seems like you know, like it's trite, but you put on your mask first on the airline, and then you help the next person, right, your child or whoever. And I think there's something there when we take care of ourselves, we're a better version that we can help others. But if we're not and we're given all of our energy out and we're not taking care of ourselves, and it's not selfish.

Speaker 1:

And I remember like I mean I'll, I will do this work on myself because I want to be better than I was yesterday. I want to be better than I was even five minutes, like I will never. I remember one of my friends are so called friends and it's important to surround yourself with people that actually are like-minded because you realize they're energy takers and givers. But somebody said are you ever going to be done fixing yourself? And I'm like I'm not broken, but I am not. I'm not fixing myself, I'm just like learning about myself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think well, and I think that there is this thing with a personal growth journey that feels like from the outside, looking in, it's just self-help, but to me it's. It is growth. It's not fixing anything that's broken. That's another belief that I've kind of undone in my life, that that I wasn't born broken, I was born whole, and so I'm not broken, in need of fixing. I'm just evolving and unfolding over, over and over in these different ways, but it you know, I think there is a time where that work can be tiring.

Speaker 2:

It's like let me go play for a little bit. I'm tired of looking in the mirror.

Speaker 1:

You know what Talk to me about that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I was just going to say I think, um, I have to say that I think play is a huge part of um. I just did some body of some other body work that I do and and we were working on something and like again the body holds score, and I started like unbelievably laughing Right and he goes um. And this was body work and he goes, he goes um. That's trapped joy that you haven't allowed yourself to have fun and I was like, oh, my god, and I literally was like oh, my god, I was unbelievably out of control, laughing.

Speaker 1:

I'm like and it hurt, like it was just like anything. And I'm like and he goes trap joy and trap grief are the same thing, oh yeah, and and what I realized in the play, like, is that we get to not be serious, like it's just, it has to be all of it, like that is part of it too like.

Speaker 1:

I recently um, I never went to prom and so which is you know, that's another whole thing. And I went to an adult prom. There was like a teen party and it was like an adult prom. And I was like, oh my God, I'm going to go out and like I'm going to go play. And I pretended and I used my imagination. I went to a costume shop and we were like running through it and I was like, completely not in my care, like care, I was just playing. I was playing like a kid, putting on a bunch of costumes and dresses and like playing. And I was like, oh my god, if I ever need to get out of like my head and like be, um, get some inspiration for something, I'm gonna go do this. And I realized that, kim, when did you lose your sense of play?

Speaker 2:

You are preaching woman. I feel that so much. I feel the more that I'm sort of unblocking and becoming an open vessel, open channel in life. Those things want to move through us, whether it's grief, whether it's play, joy, and I don't know when or what. Well, I have ideas, but we've sterilized so much of life. You know we've, we've to control and sterilize and have that be the nature. We're supposed to show up, buttoned up and, um, I'm finding that it part of why I don't think we do. It is because it makes other people uncomfortable because maybe they're confronted by their own. Again, they're triggered because it's something in them like whether they're jealous cause they can't play or they're. They're uncomfortable, like you feel out of control when you're giddy and silly, and you know that's because they can't handle it in themselves. But that's a real, that's a real thing.

Speaker 1:

It is a real thing and I think that goes back to the trigger, right, that there is something. But there is like we, when we become I don't know where it is, like, okay, stop playing, you're an adult, you're going to go now, you're a mom now, or you're married or you have a job. You can't play. You have to be serious, you have to do this. Like there's all of societal things that get put on us or like, oh, that play is for kids. Like you know, you need to work. Like I grew up with a family or my dad, who I love dearly, but you know, play is you play after you work, you don't work, work first, work, work, work, work, then play, work, work, work. You know, and I'm like, and so you kind of grow that up that way, like, oh, I got to do this, it's serious, it's serious. But what if we can play and play can just be like, even if it's like you like to doodle or maybe you love to get?

Speaker 1:

I believe that we all come into this world creative. Um, yeah, what I mean by creative is not necessarily artistic, but we come in as creative self, like our little souls want to express, be seen and like just do, and then everything you know starts happening and we're told that we're not this, or you got to play in this box and you got to do this, you got to do this. And we then, when you become like something happens and and actually, um, I described it the other day is like I had a mat or with. Actually, at my doctors I said, you know, maybe in some ways the gift that came out of Woody is I had a massive pattern, interruption.

Speaker 1:

What if Woody never died? I always think about that. What if Woody would never die? Would I be the same person? I don't think I would be. Would I still be on that person that I almost. That pattern, something had to like shock me out where I'm now trying to come back to that person, like that girl that came into this world to be self-expressive and to find ourselves, and we do that our whole life, our whole life, until we end at the end, isn't't that?

Speaker 2:

wild.

Speaker 1:

If we're lucky, right, if we're lucky. And then you're on your deathbed and you're like why didn't I allow myself? Well, who didn't allow yourself? You didn't allow yourself.

Speaker 2:

You let everybody out. We're the only ones getting in our way. We're the only ones getting in our way when you had said if Woody hadn't died, would I have not become who I am today, and we started by talking about who you were then, and I'm hearing parts of who you are now. How would you describe who you've become?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think who I've become is. I realized that I'm more powerful than I ever thought I was, that to speak my truth, and I think I held my truth in because I was afraid somebody wouldn't like me. And I think I have had to take on something which was not a popular, you know, back in the day when, when there were no warnings on antidepressants, people would call me like you're a Scientologist, because I was having to, I was going up against tension of societal tension and what people were thinking, and and I'm I mean that still will impact me because that's kind of been something that'll be one of my soul lessons in my life. Yeah, but I have found that I have. I still do it. It doesn't stop me like it did before.

Speaker 1:

Now I still do it and I might even like with everything the last couple of years, just asking questions about products that we're going to put in our body, and I'm like, hey, I'd wait, you know, like these are my questions and I had people, friends, attack me about like just even the COVID vaccine stuff and I'm like I'm just asking questions and I'm like, and I learned that there's power in doing it anyway and not holding myself back because ultimately I have to look at the person that's in the mirror and I actually love the person that's looking back at me in the mirror. But that took me through the last years after my breakup. After doing a lot of that stuff In the last couple of years, I can actually say that I love the person I've become and I could never say that before.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, it's bringing me so much joy. I love to hear that I don't know that. I hear many people say that and I I've done the work too and can feel that. But to hear you say that and share that, I think it also. There might be more people than we realize that feel that, but that don't feel like it's okay to feel that. You know, like that, you know like is it actually okay to look in the mirror and be like wow, I am proud of you and you're, you're amazing?

Speaker 1:

So here's what I learned Like I do say that to myself, like, kim, you're brave, you're brave. A lot of people will not speak their truth. You're speaking your truth, despite what people are thinking, you're brave. And so I'm like, if I'm not telling myself that, who's telling me that? Because other people can tell you things.

Speaker 1:

But if you don't like and I think when you tell yourself, whatever it is like, it's not like looking in the mirror, going, oh, you know where I might've before gone. Oh, your head, you know your hair's too, you know whatever your head, you know, it's not criticizing, it's actually loving things about, like who you are as a person. And if you're not saying it to yourself, who is saying it? Cause you're not, if you don't believe it, like somebody else can say it. And then, okay, let's say that they leave like Woody dies, or you know, I had this massive breakup like they leave. And then also, now I'm like that's outside me, right, and you have to find it here, because then it's not based on circumstances, it's because you are, it's a knowing.

Speaker 2:

It's a knowing and we never I mean, it seems so basic, but it and I don't mean this to be like a I'm highly independent, I don't need anybody, but we know that we can trust ourselves and we're always with ourself and we have that relationship with self. I had that a moment like that, uh, probably a few years ago, where I was I don't know if I got a new job or if there was something hard going on. It's like when I have these highs or when I have these lows as a single woman. That's when I have the moments of I wish I had a person and I wish they could tell me that, that, that, that, that.

Speaker 2:

And then I it was kind of this little voice in that moment that said write down those things, write down the things that you wish they were saying to you right now. And so and I was just kind of following the voice, so I'm like okay, so I'm writing it down like in the words, in the way that they would say it. And then the next thing, after I had written it all down, was now read it to yourself.

Speaker 1:

I just got like total chills in my body.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because that, that is it. That is the truth. We have the knowing, we have the relationship. It's there, and when we know that and feel that within us and we start to attract different people in our life, for better or worse, we know what the truth is, we can see it for what it is and we're not dependent on it. I also think that that makes it easier for us to receive from other people because we're not coming from this insecure, needed place. It's thank you, that's true about me. I know that to be true, right and you know what I love.

Speaker 1:

Um, I'm going to actually say it because I think there is times like when you're feeling down or whatever, and you're like, oh, I just wish somebody, like if I had something like, no, say it to yourself, like, write it down, what is it that you want them to say? Because that's actually what you want to hear. Right, that's not the issue with the person. But I also think when you know who you are, there becomes it's not an incentive independent, I don't need anybody it's more that you're grounded, of like when I look back at again this long, this long relationship I had that I should have ended it years before, but I was afraid to end it and I don't think I would. I wouldn't do that because I was cheating on myself.

Speaker 2:

Oh wait, break that down for me. You didn't want to end it because I was afraid.

Speaker 1:

I was afraid of being alone and that was something I had to. Um, it was fine that things were happening and somebody was not very like cheating on me. I ultimately realized I was cheating on myself because I couldn't leave something, because I was more afraid of being alone. Then, um, and I was willing to stay in something because I didn't want to be alone, which is what I, when I look back to what happened at the end of, you know, being with Woody. I didn't want to be alone and that's what I had to face. And so since that time, now I'm like, oh wait, I'm okay, like I will never do that to myself again, because I am now not afraid to be alone, which is what the thing that I was afraid to face, and why I stayed in something way longer, is because I was afraid to be alone, and that was the big aha, good work you didn't do the work there.

Speaker 1:

So you like, and that's where I'm like whoa, I'm good by my like, not by my, you know, I don't mean it like that, Like, oh, I don't need anybody, but I am good by myself, I don't, I am enough. I'm enough.

Speaker 2:

Well, gosh, and going through that to me. I don't want to assume this, but was that another, maybe smaller version of the dark night of the soul? Like when you needed to face that, like fear of being alone. Did that feel dark to face? That? Was that hard to face?

Speaker 1:

Oh, a hundred percent. It's why I also had to look in the mirror at myself. Why did you stay with somebody that you knew wasn't being good to you? Because you weren't being good to you, Kim, because you're afraid to be alone, Like you are afraid to go back to doing what you were afraid when, after Woody died, you didn't want to be alone, and so that was all part of which it's to me going.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, really it took you 20 years to get here, but, like well, and sometimes we can't see what we can't see until we can, until that blind spot becomes illuminated, until we're, until our system's ready to handle it, you know. And then it surfaces, and then we've got a choice of if it's kind of brings a conversation full circle, where we've got a choice of either we can face it and walk through that pain or we can ignore it and circle around the mulberry bush a few more times, but it's going to keep presenting itself until we walk through it.

Speaker 1:

So might as well just face it. But you know, it's funny that I think about when I said about listening to your body. There were many times I just ignored everything that my body was telling me of like this isn't right, this isn't right. But until it had to like end, and it ended in a way that was kind of like I never talked to him again after being together for a long time, talked to him again after being together for a long time and but it had to almost be the same kind of pain of like ending with Woody, where I never talked to Woody again, meaning because he was dead, and and I realized, wait, your body was trying to tell you this for a long time.

Speaker 1:

You just chose to ignore it. So it does. You can like keep circling that bush, but ultimately you're gonna have to face what the biggest thing was that you were back then afraid of being alone, kim. You were afraid that you were on your own. Like what do you left you and you had to like in your you know whatever ego things that you were telling yourself back then, because that is what you needed to deal with.

Speaker 2:

Mm. Oh Kim, this is so encouraging and empowering to hear. So how do you feel now? How do you feel now that you face that?

Speaker 1:

I feel like I have to say now I'm kind of curious what I would be like if I ever was in a relationship again. Right, like will I learn? Because I think sometimes I bet you will be, I have a hunch. Like will I learn, because I think sometimes I bet you will be, I have a hunch. But I think there's some things that a lot of times you're like oh wait, I think you can. You need relations like not really, not romantic, necessarily even, but people are you, relationships are reflections, right, yes, and so you need them, whether it's's your family, whether it's your friends, whether it's like somebody who drives you crazy. Like how do you know that you grow unless you have something that's reflecting back to you? And so I think you know that's.

Speaker 1:

When I say, where am I now?

Speaker 1:

Like, right now, I'm like kind of like I honestly I feel giddy. But when I say that, I say that because I'm like my friends are always like, you always seem like whatever I'm like, you know what I feel like. I feel like I've come through that tunnel that I was waiting for so long, and I say this for anybody who's going through grief like unfortunately, you can't go down, you can't go around, like the only way to ultimately is you have to go through it and it's dark. And then, like the pinhole, and you'll see a pinhole, like if you're like a train, and it gets bigger and bigger. And then you think like I think I'd see it down there and I kind of feel like I've gone through um the tunnel, yes, and I feel like I've gotten through that tunnel of grief, that, and it took me only 20 years, oh, but I well, you know welcome, but yeah, and then there's still things that trigger it too, but I think that's just part of what life is right, it's all of it right absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Oh, this is so beautiful. Before we end our time together, is anything else on your heart or mind that you would like to share that you feel like maybe the listeners need to hear today?

Speaker 1:

yeah, you know, I think, no matter what happens in your life, there's something about magic when you show up and show up, whether it's to yourself, whether it is showing up and taking on something like that. I never thought I was capable. If I would have just stayed back and didn't do it, despite the fear, despite the um, I wouldn't have grown because I wouldn't have seen what I was actually capable of and I could have stayed back. But I know that we're all more capable. God doesn't just give one of us, he gives all of us, like there's so much abundance and good if we take the step.

Speaker 2:

That's so good, okay. Last thing, I'm going to do some rapid fire at full disclaimer. I heard the these questions on Oprah and her podcast and I loved them, so I'm going to rapid fire some questions at you. You ready, all right, I hope I'm good. You're gonna be great. You can just finish the sentence. I would like to thank.

Speaker 1:

I'd like to thank my parents for being there and showing me the lessons that I've had to learn through life and still being part of my main family. The world needs love, starting with ourselves, because if we have love, that is what overcomes fear. I believe. I believe we're more capable than we ever think that we're able to do something. We're more capable than we ever think that we're able to do something Beautiful.

Speaker 2:

Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story today. This was such a joy.

Speaker 1:

Oh, thanks for having me. This was a first for me because most of that, like I've told you before, most of my podcasts, everybody wants to talk about all the things that I've learned about the system and taking on what is it like, and taking on the drug companies and FDA. But this was very the first that I've actually realized it's time to tell my story so that can help other people. I'm honored that you're sharing it here, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Kim, thank you. I'm honored that you're sharing it here. Thank you, kim. Thank you if you've enjoyed this episode or taken anything that's helped you out. The best thank you would be to join me in moving this forward by doing two simple things. If you haven't already, following the podcast is very helpful. Also, apparently, the algorithms really like reviews. If you can take a minute to leave a review, artificial intelligence would love it and I would be so grateful. Feel free, of course, to share an episode with someone you think may need to hear what you heard today. Thanks again, everyone. I genuinely appreciate you and I'm so thankful to be building a community like this together here. I'll catch you later. In the meantime, have a banging day. Bye.

Introduction to Kim
The Life Changing Phone Call
Woody's Story
Journey Through Grief and Transformation
Embracing Grief and Healing Through Pain
Uncovering the Power of Body Wisdom
Following Intuition
The Importance of Self-Reflection and Play
Trusting Ourselves
Embracing Self-Awareness and Facing Fears
Realizing Our Own Strength