Jan 09, 2024 | Podcast

The Power of Rest and Resistance for HSPs

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About the episode:

In today’s episode, I’m excited to share my recent experience as a speaker at the HSP Awakening Virtual Summit co-hosted by my friend and past guest of the podcast, Josh Speraneo. During my talk, I share what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) for me and how embracing my empathic nature has reshaped my understanding of strength and vulnerability. I dig into the topic of internalized capitalism, what it means, how it plays into our life and how we can start to break up with this systemic challenge that so many of us, especially highly sensitive intuitive empaths are living and operating inside of. This discussion is a heartfelt exploration of how HSPs like us can turn our sensitivity into our greatest asset. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the world’s expectations or struggled to honor your inner sensitivity, this episode is a gentle reminder that you’re not alone.


Topics discussed:

  • How rest can be a form of resistance in today’s hustle culture, especially for HSPs
  • Addressing the issue of workaholism and exploring strategies for HSPs to consciously choose a healthier, more balanced approach to work and life
  • How discovering her introverted and empathic nature helped transform Catherine’s life
  • Why sensitive empaths often are underestimated in business, and what unique strengths they offer
  • The importance of creating rituals and normalizing leisure for empathic entrepreneurs
  • The significance of creating supportive and inspiring communities for HSPs and empaths, emphasizing the role of masterminds and group support


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode


Josh Speraneo  00:03

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the HSP awakening virtual Summit. My name is Josh and today I’ve got Katherine wood with me as my guest. Catherine will be leading this session and Catherine’s talking about the power of rest and resistance for HSPs. So Katherine, welcome to the summit.


Catherine A. Wood  00:21

I’m so happy to be here with you.


Josh Speraneo  00:23

It’s great to have you. So Katherine is the founder and head coach of unbounded potential. And she is also the host of the amazing podcast called the prosperous Empath podcast for anyone who’s not familiar with her work. So, Katherine, I’d love it. If you don’t mind to start out with, could you tell us a little bit about your HSP origin story. So maybe share a little bit of share a little bit about when and how you found out you were a highly sensitive person, and how that’s that discovery has impacted your life and relationships.


Catherine A. Wood  00:57

So my journey was a bit of an indirect route. And I don’t think I’ve ever shared the story. So that’s a fun question to start with. So in 2017, I was a coach trainer and training coaches in Washington, DC, and in San Diego. I did that for about four years. And I was in San Diego training coaches, and my co facilitator passed me a note that said, Read quiet by Susan Cain. And I was like, why? And I think he sent me a follow up post it that said, Are you an introvert? And I was like, have you met me? Because no one would ever guess I’m an introvert. Um, I have such a full big personality. I take up a lot of space. I talk loudly, I laugh even louder. Like I have a big presence. And I read that quiz. I was in an airport, going on vacation with my now husband and I took this 30 question quiz. And I was like, Oh, I was like, such an epiphany for me. And it felt like, like a challenge of knowing myself because I was like, how? How could this be at such odds with I was who I thought myself to be. And it was really kind of it opened this can of worms around who I am. And embracing that I was an introvert was the first step and then I you know, as I’m sure so many of our speakers on the summit talk about I read Dr. Elaine Aaron’s book, The highly sensitive person that was kind of a check the check along the way, but to be honest, of, of the three kinds of personality traits that I most identify with, which are introvert, highly sensitive person, an empath empath is the one that I connect with the most on just a real soulful, level level. And what’s fascinating about being an empath is I, when I first trained as a coach, back in 2014, we did this exercise where we distinguished each of our top five strengths. And one of my top five strengths was empath. And I never claimed that. For myself, I never saw the power and I’ve never really kind of connected with it’s the presence of it in my life until probably two years ago. Oh, wow. And I think that that’s really normal. I think that we have these intrinsic gifts that we’ve learned to disconnect from or to minimize in our lives. And that has been a huge part of my own experience with, with all those qualities.


Josh Speraneo  03:48

Yeah, that’s amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that story in that part of your journey. And I think, yeah, there are so many pieces that I can relate to. And I’m sure others can as well. And it’s, it’s interesting, because I think, in finding out you know that we’re introverts, whether that’s through the Myers Briggs test, or however we come to that realization, and then learning what it means to be a highly sensitive person from there and realizing that that checks off a lot of boxes and then seeing, you know, what it means to be an empath and discovering that the phrase that actually has kept coming up in different interviews that I’ve either done for the summit or heard is coming home to ourselves. And I love that expression, just because it it resonates so deeply. And I think that’s the thing, there are these innate traits that we have, that have become part of our lives. And oftentimes, our gifts and abilities that we don’t even realize are special or different than many of the people around us. They’re just things that we’ve learned to utilize in helping others and in making the impact that we want to have. But when we are able to put those pieces together and really understand how they fit, and how that can allow us to serve people on an even deep We’re level, especially in terms of being an empath and emotionally resonating with people on a deep level. And using that, to encourage them and inspire them wherever they’re out on their journey. And form those deep connections. I think it’s just so often we, we don’t fully appreciate it until we learn what that means and, and what, what it allows us to do and why it makes us a little different maybe than some other people who just aren’t naturally wired for empathy. And so it’s amazing that, that that’s been part of your journey. And I love that, how that unfolded. And I think just the so often we underestimate, I think, just the the courage that it takes to go on that journey of self discovery. So I appreciate that you were willing to ask those questions, you know, to, because you could have ignored the post, its you could have just moved on. There’s nothing for me there. But I think so often our hearts will prompt us that now there is something let’s look at this, let’s discover, explore this. And I love that your journey started with quiet because that is an amazing book, I absolutely love that one. And it does open up so many different doors,


Catherine A. Wood  06:01

I, I just feel a need to add that I think it is such an internal process, to be able to own these traits, and to really connect with them as gifts, and as individual strengths. So I appreciate the summit for that reason. Because, you know, even for me, like a decade of being in this work, highly trained, I still notice telling my husband from time to time, don’t be so sensitive. And I’m like, No, like at this point, I am so grateful for having that. That self awareness to catch myself and perhaps prevent myself from saying it. But I think we are culturally conditioned to be a certain way, right? Like even in our American education systems, right? We were all educated to be extroverted. So me being in an introverted, sensitive, highly empathic body, like I, from a very young age, really learned that I needed to be someone different. And so coming home to yourself, having these opportunities to hear from leaders who’ve really done that internal work to celebrate these qualities as gifts, is a huge part of our journeys.


Josh Speraneo  07:21

Yeah, absolutely. I love how you express that. That’s awesome. So I guess from there, if you don’t mind, I’d love I know you as the founder and head coach at unbounded potential, you guys are doing some amazing work. So can you tell us a little bit about what you do, who you help and how you help them over there?


Catherine A. Wood  07:39

Absolutely. So I have a team of six coaches who I partner with, we coach, empathic entrepreneurs and conscious leaders to become more effective leaders to scale and grow their businesses while keeping the burnout and sabotaging their joy keeping that really just that polarity at bay, and growing and scaling in a sustainable, conscious way. And we do that through one on one coaching. And I run to masterminds and truly I, I find myself being more and more called to group work, because I think specifically for the sensitive empathic community, having peers who are walking the talk and inspiring each other like it just provides another layer and level for being called forth for being held accountable for being held up in the face of our fears. So I think in particular, for for those of us who identify as sensitive, empathic, that we can really thrive in a values aligned community.


Josh Speraneo  08:58

That’s awesome. And that’s actually I love that you touched on that. That’s one of the other themes that has come up in in each of the interviews that I’ve done, and in many of the sessions is first that theme of coming home to ourselves, but then also the idea of community and finding a community of people who can support and encourage us and who we can share both our struggles and also our celebrations with and so I love that you’ve created masterminds that allow people to do that, especially people who are sensitive who are introverted. It’s a safe place for them to come and share their big ideas and ask for feedback and ask for guidance and, and also find kindred spirits to journey with so that’s amazing.


Catherine A. Wood  09:40

And you know what, just to add, add to that because this is feels it comes hits home. So for me so much like we’re often underestimated in the business world, right, like sensitive empaths are often underestimated because we listen first, we might speak more slowly, more intentionally, more quietly. We might respond versus jump into the game. So we’re often underestimated. And so being surrounded by people who think so conscientiously and intentionally like we do, it’s a game changer. being underestimated my entire business journey has been such a part of my personal experience and something that I’ve had to overcome at each step of the way. And so I think that that that’s a game changer for for sensitives and empaths.


Josh Speraneo  10:32

That’s awesome. You’re absolutely right. And I think what I’ve noticed is that when I first started hearing about what it meant to be a highly sensitive person, you hear all of the, for lack of a better term, namby pamby explanations, you know, and it’s this idea of, you know, highly sensitive people are fragile, they’re weak, they’re frail, they, at the end of the day, just need to go home and take a bubble bath and, and unplug from the world. And not that there’s anything wrong with a bubble bath. But it’s just one of those things where as I’ve learned more about the trait, and learn what it means to be highly sensitive, I think no, we’re badass is like, there, there’s, there are so many gifts, and there’s so much potential that comes with this trait. And that comes with the wiring even as introverts, you know, like he said, when we do that deep inner work, when we take the time to formulate our thoughts more carefully, oftentimes others are shouting over us. But if they’ll listen, there’s wisdom and insight and connections that our minds have made, that can bring value to everyone in the group. And oftentimes, we can see the Win Win solution that others don’t see, we can see how, you know, we can mediate and in a way that is fascinating, it is, at times, almost impossible to explain. Because I think we pick up not just on the conversation that’s happening out loud, but the nonverbal conversation and oftentimes the energetic conversation under everything. And so we bring all of those elements that people will listen, and then like you’re saying, so often, the other part of it is helping people to rediscover that innate courage that we had in our youth, and learn how to draw on that to raise their voice and to make sure that they’re heard and make sure they find a way to, to speak out and speak up. And whether that’s in a meeting, or whether that’s about a cause that’s near and dear to our heart, we all have that potential. And so I love that, that you’re creating communities that help people do that. But also that just that you brought that into this conversation, because I think it’s so powerful, and so incredible to see people really step into that and become the forces of nature that they were born to be totally.


Catherine A. Wood  12:35

And honestly, this hits upon something we were talking about before we hit record, which is the idea of just our own individual journeys with connecting with our intuition. Because as sensitive empaths, we are highly intuitive. So we need to create the space, the permission, though the ability to come home to ourselves, to our bodies to our hearts and souls. So that we can connect with that intuitive knowing because so much of our business journeys, is intuitive. We do not need some system to follow some more hype marketing plan to implement, we just need permission and support to hone our intuitive knowing and then the support to hold us accountable to what we already know there is to do for us. It’s why we’re highly creative. It’s why we’re naturally intuitive. It’s why we thrive in community, because there’s those multiple layers of accountability, and calling each other forward and in.


Josh Speraneo  13:39

I love that. That’s amazing. Thank you so much for for adding that and leaning in there into the intuition side of things, because you’re you’re absolutely right. And I love that we’ve brought that in. So diving into your topic for the day, the power of rest and resistance for HSPs. I’d love to know just first of all, why this topic. So


Catherine A. Wood  13:57

I, I really need to kind of credit the inspiration for that topic, which is a book that I highly recommend for our audience to listen to. It’s called rest is resistance, a manifesto by Tricia Hershey. And that was truly the the it’s been such a part of my journey. It’s a book that I recommend to so many clients. And it’s just this idea that we need to prioritize rest. Now more than ever, in the wake of the pandemic, we are still experiencing this world trauma that we don’t have research. We don’t have statistics to back, but that does not take away from the reality that we are still in the experience of this collective exhaustion. And we don’t have words for it. And we certainly don’t have kind of the historical precedent to normalize it, but we’re living it now. And as highly conscientious and conscious and intuitive creators, we need to create permission in our bodies to rest, to disentangle from our internalized capitalism, to ground to grieve, so that we can reconnect with our purpose, our inspiration and our missions and our contributions, we are highly purpose driven, and mission oriented creators and entrepreneurs. And if we’re not giving ourselves permission to ground, to come home to ourselves, to activate our parasympathetic nervous systems, to let go of what we’ve both individually and collectively been experiencing for the past four years now, we will never tap into our full potential.


Josh Speraneo  15:56

Wow, I love how you’ve explained that and explore that. And I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve been reading some articles recently, about people who, you know, may have gotten COVID, at the beginning of the pandemic, who are still struggling with brain fog and exhaustion even now. And I think you’re right, there is both. There’s research being done, and people are still figuring out why that’s going on. But the element that you mentioned, especially the trauma of that, I mean, I think almost all of us, if not all of us on this call, can think of somebody that we lost in that time period, or many people that we lost, or people who were connected through our friends and family. And just that shared trauma, you’re right, there’s so so much to explore there and so much that for many of us hasn’t been healed, because it was one of those things where we were isolated in that time, and not necessarily able to process that out loud with others. But then when the world started back up again, it ramped up and it hasn’t slowed down. And most of us haven’t been able to figure out how to slow down, we’ve been in this rush ever since then. So I love this topic, I love where we’re going and love how you’ve led into that, because you’re right, there’s so much and each of us that needs healing that needs hope that needs restoration, needs rejuvenation. And so many of us that are walking around still with the broken hearts that we we encountered or that we acquired during the pandemic, that still are hurting, but we’ve just not had time to really process and think through those losses. And again, losses on every level as a society as a culture, individually with family and friends. And so, but I can see now and here in the direction we’re going, how important rest is in light of all that. You


Catherine A. Wood  17:47

know, it is primordial, I think that’s the word I’m looking for. Like it’s essential. And, you know, we’re, we’re talking about the pandemic, right. But that’s, and that’s just the last four years. But there is so much we need to disentangle ourselves from and be able to let go of, you know, like this, this grind culture and this hustle mentality that so much of so many of us have grown our businesses amidst like, it’s it’s generational, its ancestral. Its racial. It’s the founding of our American dream. It’s the founding of how our country here in the US was birthed. And it was on the heels of racism, it was on the heels of some benefiting at the expense of others. And, and we are living with all of that in our bodies. And this topic, it just feels so so deeply connected with my own journey and with what I’ve experienced, because, you know, I, I’ve lived in DC for the whole past decade, and I’ve been a coach there. And I have I cannot tell you how many exact same conversations I’ve had with high powered, highly ambitious driven successful leaders, politicians, attorneys, just these high powered figures in our nation’s in our nation who are succeeding professionally, at the expense of their, their their lives, right. They’re just kind of unconsciously moving forward and plowing forward. And, you know, I read a study recently put out by the UN that today more people die from workaholism than alcoholism.





Catherine A. Wood  19:54

I mean, think about that, you know, like, there are some addictions in our everyday lives that At are simply more socially acceptable than others. workaholism socially accepted in many cultures, in many circles, it’s lauded. Yeah. But it is highly unconscious. And it is kind of continuing these systemic problems that the next generation will have to deal with if we don’t learn how to rest, and disentangle ourselves from this need, Truly, this need to connect our self worth with our productivity, to define who we are, and our self value and our self identity on what we accomplish and what we achieve, and the acronyms that we place after our names.





Josh Speraneo  20:56

Wow, there’s so so much depth there to that. I love that, especially the workaholism element that you pointed out? And how, how socially acceptable that is, and this idea that, you know, when you ask somebody, how are you and they say, I’m busy, it’s like, Oh, that’s great. And you know, what, from what you’re saying, That’s not great, you know, and especially so often the way that that impacts our health, but also the health of our relationships, and especially with our significant others and with our families. And going back to a little bit of what we were discussing, again, before we hit record, that idea that as families, we can be sitting together at the dinner table and everybody on their own device. So we’re close together. But we’re so disconnected. And that can happen as friends getting together and hanging out, like you mentioned as well, that idea that we could be with people we truly care about and have the intention of connecting and journeying through life together. And yet, even though we are sitting at the same table be so far apart in terms of where our attention is, and where our focus is. So I guess one thing I love, if you don’t mind kind of delving into it, what are a few of the steps we can take to start to come back to an awareness of these traps that we’ve fallen into, and what can we do to maybe change that momentum that’s leading us deeper into workaholism in the name of ambition.


Catherine A. Wood  22:21

So there’s four practices I want to leave everyone with. And then there are some resources because I am such a book nerd, that I really, I would be remiss if I didn’t share some of my favorite books on this topic. But before we get there, so the four places that I think we all need to begin with, are we need to contend with our origin stories.



We need to accept that


Catherine A. Wood  22:48

this is a systemic problem that we’re all experiencing. This is not a me problem. This is not a you problem. This is not an individual problem. This is the consequence of the origin story of our country here in the US, but also at large on a world scale. Right. So and I think that that is just so, so important to start with, because we can’t change what we are unwilling to accept. What when we can’t accept what we’re unwilling to acknowledge. And it is so much easier to acknowledge something when we see how we all do the same thing. How my workaholism is in my body, because I grew up in a bed and breakfast, where my parents always worked, where we were always on where we were always required to have a friendly face and be of service and prioritize other people over ourselves and come downstairs dressed, you know, like it that lives in my body. That tendency to always work right my grandparents grew up in the depression. So it’s really multi generational and so many more generations. And you know, coming back to rest is resistance like Trisha Hershey talks about the importance that while we all need to rest, our black body brothers and sisters and beings, like they need to rest even more. They then the need for, for, for our people of color in this country who were oppressed to such extreme levels in our country’s origin story, like, we need to disentangle from that. And all of our issues are in our tissues, right. So our stories, it’s just, it’s ancestral, it’s multigenerational, it’s it’s something we celebrate you know, our country’s origin story is so is so raw with with highs and lows and oppression and freedoms and stories that you know, we’re still rewriting So I think it starts there. The second place I would invite us all to look is just where the opportunity lies to embrace ritual in our life. A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called belonging, overcome your inner critic and reclaim your joy. And what stuck out for me most about the feedback I received from the book was the chapter on ritual was time and time again, the message that’s that resonated the most across the board with almost all my readers, it was like, Wow, that’s amazing. Like, how can I embrace more ritual in our lives, because when we, when we learn how to ritualize our life, and we can we gain more access to be present in the moment, we gain more permission to be here now, to prioritize ourselves. And when we, when we pour from a full cup, we’re just so much more grounded and centered to be of service and to contribute and to be creatively self expressed and live out our life’s purpose. So I, I talk about this a lot. But you know, my morning routine is it is the kind of the heart and the soul of of my day. And I could talk about this for hours, Josh, but I think that really like, what what’s the one practice that if you were to start there would make the biggest difference in your experience of your day. And just allow that to be enough for now. And as you gain muscle memory, as you reprogram your subconscious to give yourself more permission to take that time for yourself, whether it’s in the morning or in the evening, then then you can have it stack right, then you might replace that habit, or you might add another one before or after, after you’ve already created that muscle memory for consistency. And, and just ritualizing. So I’ll stop there, but we could we could go on. The third one is normalizing leisure, really looking at how can you normalize the experience of taking time for yourself, of prioritizing pleasure of leisure of empowering leisure as a as a daily habit as a daily practice. And one of the books I’m going to recommend, and I’ll just share it now it’s called do nothing. It’s by the author’s Celeste higly. It’s do nothing how to break away from overworking, overdoing and under living. She talks about this statistic that some of our nation’s historians that they were historically and largely known for how few hours they worked a day, Einstein, four hours day he worked. His naps were non negotiable. And I think that there’s room for us to come back to some of those roots to really look at how we can live in alignment with the seasons, how we can take more time for leisure, how we can reinvent our relationships to naps and siestas and extended breaks. And the fourth one that I’ll that is really just kind of where we began this conversation is find like minded conscious creators, it can be hard to pave a new path, when you are the only one growing your business differently. But if you have a commitment to rest, to disentangle from hustle culture and grind mentality, if you have a commitment to prioritize ritual and leisure, find other people who are committed to those same values, it will make your path so much easier.


Josh Speraneo  29:16

That’s amazing. There’s so much value there. And those four points in in, in the examples you gave and it is just it feels like a wake up call for so many of us who are who have been stuck in that hustle and grind mentality. And it’s interesting, you touched on you know, especially for for each of us just you know, early in life, the influences that we have. And so often in those first seven years where we literally are being programmed by the environment around us, not to you know, even go into the origin stories behind that and earlier that are built into how we’re wired. But even just in those initial years, so many of us see our parents working nonstop and hustling and building their dreams oftentimes, but at the expense of relationships at the expense of their health, even. And we just, we, it’s so easy to assume that that’s normal, because that’s the model we were given. And like you said, also along the way, when we get into school, and when we’re growing up, that same thing is encouraged, you know, work as hard as you can, you know, become a great employee become the best you can be, which means staying busy all the time. And, you know, always going after these bigger and better dreams and the next model up and so many of those odd things that when we slow down and really think about, does this enrich my life? Or is this just the vision that I was handed by somebody else? Or the list of expectations, I was given by somebody else? I think if we’re really honest, many of us would say, Yeah, I’m not living my dream. I’m living the dream that somebody else gave me and somebody else set up for me. And so even just taking the time to question that, and come home to ourselves, and really ask ourselves, what do I really want from life? I think that’s the beauty of those four exercises. And those four points that you made, is that any in each of those, if we slow down and take the time to contemplate those, and I hope everybody will go back and re listen to that heart again. But I think that there is a message there crying out to us to take better care of ourselves, and to really be present with the people that we love. And to really look at how we were programmed in those early years, and what that has yielded. And maybe for some people, they had amazing examples and role models growing up. And they they’re living the life that they always wanted. But I think for many of us, it’s like, no, I’m not I’ve been going after what I thought I wanted, or what I was told I should want, but it’s not really what I want. And so I just appreciate everything you’ve shared so far, but especially that Wake Up Call of let’s, let’s pause, let’s stop. And like you said, let’s, let’s look at okay, is there even anything, any point in my day, when I’m doing something for myself, that I’m demonstrating healthy self interest, and taking care of myself? Or is every single day of my life, about the hustle about the grind, or about other people, and am I neglecting my own health in order to take care of others, and I loved the way you express it was the idea of, you know, the beauty of giving from a full cup, but so many of us are giving out of a cup we barely fill up enough to give to others. And then we collapse again, and we’re exhausted. So absolutely.


Catherine A. Wood  32:31

And when we’re giving from an empty cup, we’re where we’re in fight or flight, right? We are in our our activated nervous systems were really just surviving. And so how can we give? How can we give the best of ourselves? How can we tap into our potential? How can we step outside of our comfort zones when we’re just operating unconsciously? So we need to activate our parasympathetic nervous systems, we need to get on the yoga mat, we need to meditate we need to create space and permission to rest and to take space so that we can show up from a grounded, embodied, centered place. And, and do what here what we’re here what we’re meant to do here, right to truly live out our full expression to come home to ourselves to to become


Josh Speraneo  33:31

Yeah, I love it. If, if you don’t mind, I know this is not necessarily part of the plan conversation. But I’d love it if you would explore for just a moment. What that could look like. If we look at the system, the way it’s designed. Now, the hustle and grind the constant burnout and the normalization of burnout. The idea that companies treat their employees like they are disposable resources, you know, if this one collapses from compassion, fatigue will just plug in somebody else. So but if we start to follow these tips and this advice that you’ve given us in these insights that you’re sharing and these resources that you’ve shared, if you were to dream out loud for just a few minutes here, just a few moments. What do you think the world could look like if we start to integrate these practices that you’ve shared? And especially those that you share with your your clients or in those communities that you lead? Can you just paint a picture maybe for us of what you see that looking like and where we could go on the bright side of things.


Catherine A. Wood  34:30

And I think we would wake up. I think that we would realize that we always have choice, that we always have agency that we always have the ability to make a conscious choice. So many of us are living unconsciously were putting boots to pavement, we’re doing what we were taught to do. We’re living our lives, the way that was modeled for us and they may not be in alignment with our own values. may not be an expression of who we really are. So I think I think creating permission and space to rest is oftentimes a shortcut. And that’s why I start there. Because if we can learn how to rest in our own bodies, we can connect more with ourselves, we can connect more with our own thoughts, we can become more self aware. And as we become more self aware, we can make different choices. But we can’t choose differently, what we’re not aware that we believe, or what we’re not aware that we’re doing. I think, in my work, a decade of being in this work, I think one of the breakthroughs that I am most proud of with my clients time and time again, is when they shift from. And to put it bluntly, when they shift from victim mentality to being at choice, when we realize that we are being at the effect of our environment, our work environment, our parents, our spouses, our home money, our circumstances in life, cancer, right? Like our it could be anything, when we realize that we are being at the effect of something that we are being victimized by these conditions, these environments, these relationships, and we take that power back, we realize that in any single moment in time, we have the opportunity to make a different choice, we are reclaiming our consciousness, and we’re paving Our path


Josh Speraneo  36:42

is amazing. I love that. And I could just listen to continue on all evening long


Catherine A. Wood  36:49

about laughing at myself at how impassioned I am. But oh,


Josh Speraneo  36:53

it’s amazing. And it’s beautiful. I love I love hearing that passion. I love hearing that vision. And I appreciate you sharing that just as part of this wake up call as part of this conversation, because I think many of us need to hear that. And maybe we even need to hear it a few times for it to really sink in for us to realize the logical conclusion of the programming we’ve received. And where will continue if we don’t start to take back control of our lives and take back the agency like you talked about, and to decide that we’re worthy and deserving of the good things that we desire in life, and that those things are available to us. But not necessarily if we continue on autopilot, not necessarily if we continue just following the script that we were handed, and we don’t question those things. And we don’t really tune into ourselves and ask, you know, am I happy? Am I living the life that I desire? Or have I fallen prey to the dream that somebody else handed to me and told me I should want? So I love so much of what you’ve shared and so many of those things, the exercises the thoughts and the points that you made? So, is there anything else before we wrap up that yes,


Catherine A. Wood  38:05

there is. So glad you asked that question. Um, just to come full circle. I am I am a workaholic, right, like I identify as a recovering workaholic. And so much of my life was lived unconsciously so much of my life, I was at the effect of being a people pleaser, and a perfectionist and trying to do things right and get it right and take care of other people. And I, I lived unconsciously right, like so many of those patterns, I was just victimized by these tendencies. And when I first started working with my own coach back in 2014 the the first breakthrough that I had that made all the difference was prioritizing a morning routine. It was the single habit change that changed it all for me. Because I as a workaholic, like I just went from one task to the next right I it took me over two years to build my business while I was working full time as an economist for the government. Like I worked my nine to five to come home to work my five to nine I worked seven days a week, I would take client calls before I went into the office during my lunch break and when I raced home because I loved it and that’s what I had to do to create that safety. But it was at the expense of my rest it was at the expense of taking care of myself. And when I reclaimed my schedule when I made my morning routine non negotiable. I realized just how much power I had over myself and how I managed my time and my energy and my choices. So that single change was the access point to it all. So it’s really why I feel so passionate about this topic. But it’s also what I want our listeners to take away from this talk is that if you identify as an ambitious Empath, if you are experiencing burnout, if you’re, you’re exhausted from over giving, take back your time. Start with a morning routine, like really connect with the difference that would change your experience of your day that if you were to commit to and make it absolutely non negotiable, it, it would be the impetus for you to fall back in love with your schedule with your routine with yourself.


Josh Speraneo  40:47

I love that thank you so much for adding that here at the end. That’s beautiful thoughts for each of us to take with us. So for those who like me, this message is resonating on a deep level, who want to learn more about the work you’re doing? who’d love to have a follow up conversation with you and your team? I know we’ll have some links below the video in the notes, but just so they can hear you maybe explain a little bit where’s the best place for them to get started on that journey of connecting with you and your team? I


Catherine A. Wood  41:17

think you’ll have the most intimate experience connecting with me by tuning into my podcast, a prosperous empath.


Josh Speraneo  41:24

Yeah, I absolutely recommend that show. It’s one that I tune into, on a weekly basis. And definitely, it’s, it’s beautiful in so many ways, I always learned something, there’s always something for me to take away and apply. But also, I think it’s one of those things where it, it does instill a sense of community just by listening and hearing the common shared experiences between you and the speakers on there, as well as those of us who are listening. And it is a great jumpstart to that sense of community that you’re you’re building through the work that you do. So that’s great. And I know you’re also active on LinkedIn, like many people who will be watching our as well. And I look forward to your posts. And there’s always something new new to explore there. And so yeah, I just would, would recommend everybody go and look Katherine up, find her podcast, find her on LinkedIn, connect with her follow along with the work she and her team are doing. And don’t be afraid to reach out and schedule a call or learn more about those communities, her masterminds. There’s just, I feel like looking at it from where I’m at in my business journey. And in my journey as an empath. I learned something from you every time I tune in. And every time, you know, I hear hear you share or speak through the podcast. And so I hope everybody else will will follow along. And we’ll maybe look to you as somebody that we can look up to who’s maybe a little bit ahead of us as far as some of these things that you talked about today. And somebody who has really figured out how to structure their lives not not to say that everything’s perfect not to say that there’s not definitely have not painted yourself in that light at all. But just to say that there’s a lot that you’re getting, right. And there’s a lot that I admire about what you’ve discussed today, and a lot of a lot that’s challenged me on a personal level. And I hope all of us will just continue to follow along with the work you’re doing and continue to challenge ourselves based on this conversation, and to say, Okay, what is it I’d love to do in the mornings? If I made time for myself? What would that look like? If I hit the pause button and really tuned into how I want to start my day? And what would start my day off on the right now. I mean, even just that one question, I think can lead to so many different discoveries, like you’ve talked about, and so much growth. So just to wrap everything up, I just want to say thank you so much for your time, your insight, and for being willing to join us here on the summit.



Thank you, Josh, I really appreciate you. Yeah,


Josh Speraneo  43:53

you’re welcome. And again, I just, I want to drag the conversation on too long. But everybody, go learn more about Katherine and the work she’s doing, follow her podcast, fall in love with her work just like I have, and you will not be disappointed to tune into everything that she is doing and sharing. And just to wrap things up. We appreciate you all sitting with us through this session, and being here on the summit with us. And we just I truly hope that each of you will hear that message of community that we’ve been sharing that’s been a resounding theme in this conversation and get connected with one another with the speakers. And with the beautiful community of highly sensitive people who are out there and who are longing for the same types of connections that you are. The the key thing to remember is that we’re only alone if we choose to be and you have that choice to reach out and connect and I hope you will. So thank you again all for your time and for being here with us and we will see you in the next session. Thanks again.


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Exploring Sensitive Leadership with Nina Khoo

On this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®, we’ll explore how to effectively lead as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), mitigate challenges, and work with your strengths. I’m thrilled to sit down with Nina Khoo, a Sensitive Leadership Coach and a Master NLP Coach who helps HSPs understand and embrace their unique wiring so they can become confident and empathetic leaders. It’s common for Highly Sensitive People to believe that they’re not capable of effective leadership and struggle with overwhelm, perfectionism, and second-guessing. Nina and I uncover how our greatest strengths can sometimes be the traits we feel most self-conscious about and pose a central question: How does a Highly Sensitive Person protect their gifts as a leader? As an empath and an HSP, your brain is physiologically wired to take more information in and process it more deeply, which can be an incredibly powerful leadership skill. Yet, it can also lead to overwhelm and self-criticism. Through our conversation, you’ll learn how to approach leadership in a more sensitive, empathetic, and compassionate way so you can own your gifts and make a bigger difference in the world  

Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

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

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