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Feb 20, 2024 | Podcast

How I’m Inviting More Simplicity in My Life and Business in 2024

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About the episode:

Welcome to the newest episode of The Prosperous Empath® Podcast, I am so delighted to be here with you. At the time of this recording it is a Monday morning and I’m coming off the most magical weekend where I celebrated the Lunar New Year with a group of girlfriends in Boston. We spent time with Louise Hay’s book, Colors & Numbers: Your Personal Guide to Positive Vibrations in Daily Life, which in the past, has forecasted some very synchronistic and powerful moments in my life. I tell you this because the time spent this past weekend has allowed me to finally feel confident in choosing my word of the year for 2024, a word that has been calling me but I initially felt resistant to – simplicity. Throughout this episode I’m going to first rewind a bit to share how my word of the year for 2023, leisure, created a lot of amazing shifts in my life. Then, I’ll share the four areas where I’m inviting more simplicity in my life and business in 2024. Heads up that this episode also includes details on upcoming changes of how you can work with me. So if you’ve been thinking of joining our Emerge or Unbounded Masterminds, I invite you to listen all the way through then check out the links provided in the show notes. Enjoy!


Topics discussed:

  • A look back on 2023 and how Catherine incorporated her previous word of the year “leisure” and was able to call that experience into her life
  • How so many of us struggle with giving ourselves permission to relax, and often forget the time freedom we sought for ourselves when creating our businesses 
  • The struggles that Catherine faced when choosing her word of the year for 2024 and why she initially resisted the word that was calling her 
  • The four big areas of Catherine’s business where she is seeing a call for simplicity 
  • The reminder that how you craft your schedule is completely up to you as the CEO of your business and your time
  • Why Catherine is leaning into facilitating her two masterminds rather than her 1:1 practice 
  • The disconnect that Catherine is feeling with social media and why she’s decided to take a step back


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode


Catherine A. Wood  00:00

Hello, hello, welcome back to the prosperous Empath cat here. I am recording this episode bright and early on a Monday morning. And I am so delighted to be here with you all this morning because I just said the most magical weekend and a little delightful start to my Monday morning. I celebrated the lunar new year with a group of girlfriends in Boston, one of them hosted a luncheon at her home and made all these traditional Korean dishes. And we pulled tarot cards. And I brought one of my favorite books by Louise Hay on numerology, called, oh gosh, colors and numbers, I believe we’ll drop it in the show notes. And it’s a book that I read at the beginning of every year, when I want to figure out what my intention for the year is, are my word of the year. And based on your charts and your birthdate in the universal year. It kind of recommends a mantra and an intention and kind of like this prognosis for the year and I’ve been doing it for, gosh, every year for the past decade. And I I pull my number for my hair. And I do the same for my best friend Emily and for my husband. And it’s just been really fun and magical. And it’s forecasted some very synchronistic and powerful moments in my life. And so I did that for everyone in everyone who came to the luncheon. And it was just super fun and and just like intimate and connected. And I don’t know about you all. But I find myself as I get older, wanting to entertain so much more at home, be surrounded by friends and family, in the comfort of my own home or their own homes, it feels so much less formal, less, less expensive, but also just so much more comfortable and at ease. I also spent the weekend just going on so many beach walks with the dogs. And of course taking my daily plunges in the ocean with this beautiful community I’m a part of and reading books. And last night I had dinner with my family and took one of the pups for a long walk with my mom. And it was just really delightful and slow and intentional. And I’m sharing all about my weekend because really, it is the embodiment of what I envisioned for 2023. When I claimed leisure as my word of the year last year, it felt a little frivolous to claim leisure as a word, especially given how much free time I already have in my schedule. I mean, as an entrepreneur and my own boss, I am very intentional about designing my calendar when I’m available for calls when I’m not when I’m available to respond to client support requests when I’m not I’m just super intentional. And so giving myself even more time to live leisurely, felt a little uncomfortable. And I think that’s often how it goes for me at the beginning of the year, I feel a little uncomfortable about my word of the year, I might resist it, I might not want to claim it, I also may not want to share it. But when I really think about the experience that I’m wanting to call into my life, the new the new expression of life, I’m wanting to cultivate the new habits, traditions, pastimes, ways in which I want to experience my day to day. It was really leisure for last year, I was really wanting to create more of an energetic divide for myself from when I was working. And when I wasn’t. And, you know, I always say that we need to work to live rather than live to work. And so many of my ambitious audience members and clients, they are just so driven by their work motivations and their business goals. And we forget what it’s all in service of we forget that, you know, the reason so many of us want to go into business is for the time freedom, it allows us and then when we become our own boss, and we get sucked into the day to day of business, it’s often the first thing that goes out the window, just this reminder or this knowing that we get to design our own schedule and that we get to let people know when we’re available when we’re not when we respond to email when we don’t when we’re available for calls and when we’re not. And for me, you know I’ve been very boundaried around my schedule and when I’m available for other people. And when I’m not but energetically last year, I still was kind of experiencing this, this time creep or this work creep, where when I wasn’t thinking or when I wasn’t working, I was still thinking about work on the weekends, I was still thinking about what there was for me to do, or what were my priorities, or what was outstanding on my to do list and listen as ambitious and pass, there’s always going to be items outstanding on your lists, because you’re always going to have three 510 priorities or next to goals that you’re already irrigating on for the next season of your life, your business, your home, your relationships, your your health, etc. But we really need to be able to create this energetic break for ourselves this energetic boundary, where we turn off work, perhaps we close our laptop or close the door to our home office, and then allow ourselves to be and to leisure, and to enjoy the beautiful lives that so many of my colleagues and clients have created for themselves. And I see, gosh, I see so many of us struggling with this, I see so many of us struggling to give ourselves permission to truly enjoy, to truly be to truly be present and relax and enjoy our leisure. So that was what 2023 was all about for me. And I really want you to know that it was something I brought so much intentionality to throughout the year. And, and fulfilled I honestly I think I can say without a shadow of a doubt, like I declared and fulfilled on on cultivating that experience for myself. And I know I’ve said this before. But I think sometimes when you’re wanting to create a different energetic experience for yourself, sometimes shaking up your environment, which I know is a very privileged thing to say and not possible for many of us. But for those of us for who it is possible, or, you know, perhaps you can’t move to a new home, or perhaps you can’t move to a new city or state or by the ocean like I was blessed to do this winter. But I’m sure there are ways you can cultivate temporary new environments for yourself, whether it’s to get out of the city, or to get to a park or to get to green to get to nature, to get to a local city park, just changing up your environment, can really jumpstart your nervous system and activate your parasympathetic nervous system in a way that kind of keeping your head down and maintaining the status quo cannot and you know, part that I moved to a small seaside town about an hour away from Boston for the winter close to my family. And that move. Gosh, it just created such an impetus for me, when you’re surrounded by beauty, it’s really challenging not to appreciate beauty and be reconnected with a deeper sense of gratitude for all that you have. And I have been present to that over and over again over the last year. Alright. So, you know, I always love to start with a recap of My Word of the Year from prior years and share how it went. And I recorded will drop the episode from last year in the show notes talking about I just shared some of my words of the Year from the prior five or so years and some of the magical things that I created in those years in alignment with my word of the year. Now, onto this year. So this year was a little different for me. And you may recall last month that I recorded an episode with two of the members of my mastermind communities because they had both decided and declared their words of the year for 2024. And I hadn’t and something I’m really committed to as a coach and a community facilitator is to not only share the gems, and the lessons learned, but also to put my process on loudspeaker because I noticed so many of us coaches like we just forget to share our process in which we landed on our our aligned decisions and actions and revelations. And oftentimes the process is so much more valuable than the gym at the end of the tunnel. And so I have been struggling With my word of the year for 2024 it, it wasn’t coming to me. And oftentimes, it usually like just hits me like a sack of bricks like, I always seem to start the year already clear on what my word of the year is having already meditated on it or brought a lot of intention to what I wanted to cultivate. And that just was not the case for 2024. So I put out a call for support in my online private community with all my mastermind members and asked, you know, I just asked for Hey, who, who already knows their word of the year and wants to come on the podcast, talk about your process to land on your word and help support me and landing on my own. And so I was so thrilled to be joined by two Rebecca’s one of them is in a man bounded mastermind and others in the eMERGE mastermind, and we just haven’t a joyful conversation, I think something I really appreciate about working with Empath printers is that there’s such values alignment, that you don’t really need to have a deep connection with one another or kind of background information around who you are, you can just kind of instantly create meaningful and deep connection. And that was totally my experience recording the episode with them last month. So we’ll drop that episode in the show notes if you’re wanting some more support, or ideas, or perspectives, and how to either arrive at your Word of the Year, or perhaps create a new one mid year through, which we chatted about on that episode, as well. But that brings me to my word of the year for 2024. Now, I want to say I’ve since figured out what my word of the year is for 2024. And I also just want to acknowledge that when I first landed on it, I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel like a word that was powerful enough, or what I thought was aligned with what I was wanting to create more of. But then as life happens, we experienced some different changes in our family and our own kind of lifestyle. And, guys, just just just some personal information that I’m sure I’ll be sharing about in a future episode. And it really started to provide some meaning and or, and context for why this was truly meant to be my word of the year for 2024. So my word of the year is simplicity. And I’m not gonna lie, it seems a little boring for me. I’ve had words in the past, like leisure and prosperity, and pleasure and spaciousness. And simplicity, just feels a little simple. Truly, I mean, not gonna lie. And honestly, I think that that’s, I think that that makes sense. I think that so often, the experience that is meant for us is something that we initially resist. And so of course, I resisted the experience of creating more simplicity in my life, because it felt just that too simplistic. But as I sat with it, and I thought about, you know, what would the experience of cultivating simplicity look like in different areas of my life, in my schedule, in my business, in my purchasing decisions, and my lifestyle, it really started to clarify and, and really provide some very clear direction, around some big changes that I’ve been seeing for myself for a while now in the business, and had been resisting. So there’s really five big things, big changes that I’m really seeing a call for more simplicity in my life in 2024. So I’m going to share with them, share them with you now. And then, like I do every year, we’ll come back at the end of 2024. And we will see how I did. So the first one is re empowering my schedule. Now. I chat about this a lot in my masterminds and I’m going to record an episode on this soon with really how I design my schedule at length. But for now, what I want you to know is that as the CEO of my business, my schedule is on me when I want to see clients when I want to be available for discovery calls when I want to respond to clients requests for support that is completely on me. And in the past, I’ve had such a time intensive schedule, I’ve had such a large private practice. I think at one point, I had 15 clients in my private practice and close to 20. And my masterminds and it was just insane, it was way too much. And I realized that just because I could do something, didn’t mean that I should. So I have really cultivated and reinvented my schedule a lot over the past decade of being in business. And something I really noticed in the last year is that I have more spaciousness in my schedule than I ever have. And I noticed the kind of this like experience of the slight pull on my time, because I had so much available time, I was making myself more available for work, and people then was in alignment with my ideal schedule, because I could, and because I had so much spacious time that I would, you know, I kind of negotiate with myself, no, why not, I have nothing else to do. But the truth of the matter is that that free time becomes absolutely essential for us as Empath entrepreneurs as we, as we scale and grow our business because as the visionary of our business, that means the vision is on us. And we actually need that quiet space, we need that free time in order to connect with our creativity, to connect with our vision. So what I realized is that it was giving away a lot more of my time, then served me and ultimately serve my clients. And I’m really, really empowering my schedule this year. And coming back to this simplistic nature of who I want to be serving how I want to be serving clients, and really like what is the expression of me being of service to my clients, that is the full expression of my gifts, that’s the full expression of my joy, that lands squarely in my zone of genius. Which brings me to the second thing that is a huge change in 2024. And it’s something that I’ve been noodling on for a while, and resisting, not gonna lie. And it’s that I’m closing my private practice in 2025. I’m no longer accepting one on one clients into my practice, at least for now, at least in this iteration of my business. Because what I’ve realized is that I have six amazing coaches on my team, who I trained with all of them more than a decade ago. ago, they’re amazing, certified, credentialed, highly trained coaches. And I’m really interested in filling their client practices because they’re amazing coaches and individuals and we share so much value alignment in, in how we approach our work as coaches in the world. And for me, personally, I’ve realized that my heart is in my mastermind communities. I love cultivating community, I love the support, and championing and accountability and calling forth that’s kind of naturally ingrained when you belong to part of a mastermind community. So when you work one on one with a coach, there’s definitely a deeper level of intimacy and connection and time available with your coach. But when you’re in a mastermind, you not only benefit from the wisdom in the coaching and the support of your coach, but you also gain from all of the shared experience, the learnings and the process of all of your mastermind peers. And I tend to attract just a super values aligned group of, of entrepreneurs to my practice and to my communities. And there’s just so much joy that I gain from connecting like minded creators, and just kind of supporting those collaborations and partnerships and support and just that deep sense of belonging and acceptance and compassion that is available when you bring a group of people together, who share the same values. So I I am, gosh, just pivoting my personal time and energy and passion towards facilitating my two masterminds. And if you if you’ve had one of our masterminds on your horizon for you, I also, I want you to, I want you to tune into this part of the episode because there will be a couple invitations over the next couple of months here to join us in one of our masterminds. And we will only be opening the doors for the eMERGE once more in 2024. And we’ll be opening the doors for our higher tier mastermind, the unbounded mastermind, just twice more through through the end of 2024. So if you’ve, if you’ve been eyeing our masterminds and you’ve been really longing to join, I really want you to reach out and make your desires known and, and let myself or my co coach Laura initiate a conversation with you to hear more about your vision and what you’re looking to create. And we can we can support you and making the best decision for you. So, our emerge mastermind is our six month mastermind for early entrepreneurs who are really getting their feet wet or their feet. Let me say that again, Haley. Our emerge mastermind is a six month mastermind for early entrepreneurs who identify as empathic and sensitive and are really finding their footing as the CEO of their business. They’re working on clarifying their signature offers and designing their marketing and sales approaches and really finding their way in business. And not wanting to do it alone. And really craving community and accountability and ideas and the genius of others, to support them in finding their way in the business world. We will be opening the doors for a merge at the end of February. And we’ll be launching that program at the end of March. So keep your eyes peeled. If you’re interested in eMERGE, and please DM me over on Instagram or shoot me an email I would love to start a conversation with you and share more and hear what you’re up to in the world. And unbounded is my signature mastermind. It’s the mastermind that we launched back in 2019. And it is just a beautiful ongoing mastermind for established Empath partners who are wanting to grow alongside established peers who share their values and are above the six or multi six figure level and are really looking to be supported in an intimate container with high level coaching and with peers who have a similar foundation and some of the mindset work that that many of us purpose and mission oriented creators are committed to. So we will be reopening the doors to unbounded to join us and jump jump on with us in April. There is an application system for for both and we are super committed to supporting you in finding the best path for you and really setting you up for success. Okay, so those are the first two big changes and alignment with simplicity in 2020. For the third is something that yeah, it’s a little sad, but I’m parting ways with my tech, virtual assistant and social media team and 2024. Now, I have worked with my current team for a couple years now. And I’ve worked with multiple teams before that over Gosh, since launching my business in 2014. And what I realized is that a lot of my presence on social media recently has felt just off in some way, it felt a little bit more like an expectation, or something I felt like I needed to be doing or should be doing. And what I was realizing is that that pressure was coming more from this, just this scarcity based mindset that I had to do it because everyone was doing it. And I had always done it for a decade and and I didn’t want to be motivated by that intention anymore in business. I no longer wanted to be making choices based on what I had always done or what I had seen my peers doing when it just was no longer feeling aligned. And what I’ve noticed is Is that I don’t really want to be on social media that much anymore. Now, sometimes I’ll get off a mastermind call, and I’ll feel so inspired or I’ll feel so deeply connected with one of my clients wins that I’ll want to share, not their wins without their consent. But you know, just some of the takeaways are my own process as a coach. And in those moments, like, that’s what I want to be on social media. That’s what I want to share, when I feel deeply connected with my purpose and the intention and why I want to share it. But I am no longer available for posting on social media, just because it’s in alignment with my social media calendar, or my social media plan. Because, honestly, I am just so much more interested in connecting with you all this way, via the podcast in a way that feels more authentic, more intimate, I feel like I am connecting on a deeper level with my community and my network here than really I haven’t quite some time on social media. So I decided that it was time to part ways with my tech VA and social media team, and we’re wrapping up our work together. Right now, actually, at the end of February, we’ll part ways, and I will be limiting my presence moving forward on social media, I noticed that, you know, I was just getting so many spam requests, and so many cold pitches. And that’s just not how I do business. It’s not how I create connections, it’s not where I want to be giving any of my time or energy to. And even even engaging in the comments with people’s responses to my posts, I noticed I feel just less less called to be present on someone else’s social media platform where To be honest, I don’t share a lot of values with some of the creators of a lot of those social platforms. So moving forward, I am going to be less than less available on social media. And I’m going to be a lot more available and accessible. On my own platform, and this is the fourth, I would say huge change I’m making in 2024. And it’s something that I’ve also been noodling on for a while and, and I went through a process with my mastermind community to really get their feedback and their buy in to make this change. Because this is something that goes against what a lot of my mastermind members kind of invested into when they signed me in, they signed up for the masterminds, and that is that within our mastermind communities, we have a a private community hosted on mighty networks, for those of you may be familiar with mighty networks. And it’s just a private, a private space for all of my mastermind members. So that’s past and present alumni and present members to connect and support one another to share wins, to ask for feedback to ask for support. And to do it in a way where there’s kind of this. Really, this it’s a safe space, there’s no cold pitching in the DMS like it’s a pitch free environment to just be in community with other Empath printers. And we’ve had the community for the past several years now. And I noticed I just love being there. Like I love celebrating my members past and present. I love seeing what they’re up to. I love seeing them share what they’re creating, and how they’re getting stopped and in their own way. And just seeing that, that support and generosity of spirit that is so present amongst Empath printers. And so the the fourth and final huge change that we’re making and 2024 is that I’m going to be opening up are mighty networks platform to other values aligned and path partners who are looking for community, you know, perhaps considering joining us in one of our masterminds or perhaps it’s way above the level of investment or level of business that you’re at right now. But you’re still seeking a community where you feel a sense of belonging and safety and we’re opening our community up for vetted and bath partners who align with our community agreements and share our values to join us now it’s a big change. It’s something I’ve wanted to make in the business Gosh for probably the past Maybe the past six months. And, you know, like we all notice, like change is uncomfortable. And sometimes we resist those, those big changes in our business that we know are in alignment with, where we’re headed, or what we’re wanting to create, or cultivate more of. So stay tuned for that, because that is something we’re going to be changing. here over the next couple of weeks, it may also be available by the time this podcast launches, that’s really just going to depend on how fast we work through some of the backend logistics and the vetting process. But this is going to be a great space for those who have tuned into the podcast and want to have a deeper connection with me and with my co coach Laura, or who want to meet some of our mastermind members, or perhaps you’re considering the mastermind, and you’re not ready to jump yet and you’re wanting to kind of feel into our vibe a little more, this is a great way for you to do that. Or conversely, like maybe you’ve attended one of our non networking power hours, gosh, we’ve been hosting them monthly for well over the past year. And we’ve made met some amazing creators. And there have been some just beautiful collaborations made in that space over the past year. And now, you can join us in mighty networks and continue collaborating over there in our private space that will be Gosh, advertisement free, algorithmic free of that targeted posting. And, you know, we’ll have we’ll have specific invitations to share what you’re up to and to share your offers. But it will be in a very intentional and boundaried way, just like I do everything in business. So if that is something you’re really wanting more of, in 2024, I hope you will join us I am really proud of my personal or my private community. And I’m thrilled to invite more values aligned creators to join us in a super accessible and meaningful way. So let’s just quickly recap, or do the year for 2020 for simplicity. The four main areas these are shifting in my business is really empowering my ideal schedule. The second one is I’m closing down my private coaching practice no longer accepting any new one on one clients, I will be referring them out to the amazing coaches on my team. And if you’re interested in working with me, you can join us in our emerge or unbounded masterminds, which we’ll be opening the doors to here over the next two months. The third is that I’ll be parting ways with my tech VA and my social media team and really limiting my presence and energy spent on social media. And the fourth and final is that we’ll be opening up our private community for our mastermind that’s been private and only available for our mastermind members for the past three years now to the public to values align creators who are looking for an accessible way to be part of community and also get a deeper sense of my work in the world and if you are wanting to join us and then I guess just finally just to put in I’ve also been making some changes in my personal life in the area of simplicity you know, I am minimalistic by nature i i don’t like to be I’m not a I’m not like fashion conscious. I don’t like to buy the newest items on sheen or any of those cheap. got cheap textile companies like no and actually, Haley I don’t want to reference Jean. So just cut that out. I’m no longer interested in Wait, let me just rewind that altogether. I’m very minimalistic by nature. I like to have fewer clothes and gosh, personal mementos and things that are super meaningful to me and don’t just take up space or create dust. And in 2024 This is looking a lot more like buying local for me limiting how much I shop online like really wanting to support local commerce, local business, looking at what I can discard what I can donate what I can sell and really Just creating more spaciousness in my environment, having more a more simple aesthetic and design, to be able to appreciate more fully all that I have, and, and really what’s the most important and meaningful for me. I hope you found this episode helpful. This was a deep dive into my word of the year for 2024. Thank you for tuning in. This was a super vulnerable conversation for me, and we’re making some huge changes in the business this year. So I appreciate you for being here with me. If you found anything helpful, or if any of our conversation resonated, I would love to hear from you or whether you want to join me in our, our private, mighty networks space and come connect and collaborate or you want to DM me over on Instagram. That’s probably where I’m most available these days. Please do so. I would love to connect and hear more about your takeaways from the episode. And if you’re wanting an opportunity to connect and just come have an intimate experience with our unbounded mastermind community, I invite you to join us for our non networking Power Hour. It is our monthly gathering with members of our mastermind community and other values aligned creators to get a taste of our work and our community. And our next one is coming up here on Monday, March 11 at 12 noon, Eastern Time, we will drop the show notes. We’ll drop the link in the show notes. And we’ll see you next week.


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Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

The Prosperous Empath® Podcast is produced by Heart Centered Podcasting.

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