A Whirlwind Awakening with Catherine Kontos

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Carol and Travis are joined by Catherine Kontos to discuss her book, her battle with cancer, and operating Retreat Boss. They discuss having their Facebook account banned, developing breast cancer, starting anew at age 40, and learning to stop caring what other people think.

Catherine discusses how to deal with someone making a disparaging statement about you and how to grieve when a piece of your identity is lost. She also discusses launching her company, Retreat Boss. 


{03:07} Getting kicked off Facebook

{10:15} Getting breast Cancer

{21:00} Starting over after 40 and learning not to care what others think

{30:00} Grieving when you lose part of your identity 

{39:20} When someone has a negative comment about you

{41:28} What makes you upset

{51:00} Retreat Boss

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Catherine Kontos Bio

Catherine built her retreat business from a blank canvas. Since then, she has explored every aspect of the retreat world and has helped plan for retreats with thousands of guests around the world, providing memorable retreat experiences. After years of coaching retreat leaders, she has decided to pivot her teachings to the digital world with her Retreat Boss brand and podcast. She is also a Speaker and Author of the book Soul Shaker: A Whirlwind Awakening.

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Full Transcript

I’m here today with my host, Carol, and we’ve got a treat for you. Catherine Kontos, the retreat boss, will tell us about all the wonderful things. How are you doing today?

I’m doing fantastic. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on your show. Yeah, glad to have you. I think it’s good at that time, right? It’s payback time. Because yeah, it’s payback time because Catherine had me. Gosh, she stripped naked at her first show! When was that?

Yes, it was shortly after the pandemic was declared.

My God, it hasn’t been that long.

Yes, yes, it is.

We have a lot to catch up on.

We do.

We do. So now it’s paid back.

Well, we were just saying before this that I had made one of our guests cry in an interview, and then wasn’t it you, Catherine?

That said, oh, I made you cry and I’m like, “Uhm, is it payback time now?”

Yeah, and I remember you being so, ” Oh my God, I don’t believe I cried. I’m so sorry, and I’m like, “What do you mean no, of course, this is what the show’s meant to do, so like to?” I did something to make you cry, but it was meant to strip you.

This show is not meant to make anyone cry; it’s meant to sing. Your genuine synthetic self. No masks, none of that stuff was that Oscar Wilde said, “Don’t try to be everyone else, everyone else.” is already taken.

That’s a great quote.

No, and that’s what makes everyone unique. You know, I have a hard time when I see people kind of starting to look like everybody and start acting like everybody, like everybody is kind of the same, and it feels robotic to me and truly not authentic. So, it’s like if you have something that makes you unique. A facial appearance, or a characteristic, or do you think you’re weird? I’m as weird as hell. I love the fact that I’m weird. People don’t get to see that side of me too much because I’m a businessperson, but, you know, I close the door behind my home after 9:00 PM when I have zero filters in my brain because I’m exhausted. So, everything just splatters out of my mouth, like without a filter, in a good way, but not in a good way. In a bad way. And I say the funniest **** that’s out there. My daughters like other friends like, “Your mum’s weird.” We love her, you know. And it’s like, “Yeah, that’s just me.” I don’t know what happens after 9:00. I have zero filters in my brain. I cannot.

I’m so tired I can’t even process it. I thought it would just go into my mind and out of my mouth instantly. So, we should all go out. One night, you know? To see what happens with alcohol.

Oh yeah, I’m down. Make it happen.

Well, I already know what I have got when Carol gets in. I got to spend a week with her in Texas, but I’m interested in seeing how we can sprinkle in a little bit of Katherine and how that will change the dynamic.

Oh, dear God. Well, let’s see what happens. Oh no. Oh yeah, baby.

We love Catherine Dahl, but when I came on your show, you had written that book, Soul shaker, and we had discussed the fact that they pulled it because of the cover. I was so astonished because you remember Demi Moore when she was pregnant and she was just covering up the bare essentials, right? They didn’t censor her, yet they censored your book, which was not even I didn’t think the book bore more than that. No, no, no, even less. What did she do?

It’s funny because what happened is OK. I’m launching this book on Facebook Live while sharing it with friends and family. For it to get banned, somebody would have to complain. That’s how it works, right? Nobody complained that it was inappropriate. And to this day, nobody has ever complained. I share it. I love that nobody is offended by it at all because there’s nothing offensive about it. But when I went to pay for advertising on Facebook, they banned me, and I argued, and you could see all the responses were generic. It’s like you’re trying to sexualize yourself. You know you’re using sexuality or sexualizing. It’s a sexualizing image, it’s provoking, it’s whatever, and all I did is because I’m a breast cancer survivor. All I did was basically; you don’t even see cleavage. You see, it’s the side of my breasts and you see an inch scar like it’s not even like, uhm, something that would freak anybody out, but you know, I was naked for the picture, but it doesn’t show. I had a scar on my face, arm, and hand, and I covered myself, and it came back a few times, and I kept arguing. I was like, “I’m arguing with the machine” because you could tell this just wasn’t human, so I went to the news.

And the local news called Facebook emailed them because they’re very hard to get to. And they got my book back on. And they said, “We apologize.” Of course, there’s nothing offensive about it. You know, uh, and who knows? We were thinking That if it weren’t generic or whatever, the machine would say the computer is saying it’s no good. Maybe it was a person, but maybe they’re in an area where it would be risky. You know, maybe they live somewhere where this is a risqué kind of thing. I don’t know what it was either way.

I see more people at the beach in bikinis, and it blows my mind.

No, just go on Facebook itself, and you will see what’s on there. You know, more than that, yeah.

I see more on the beach in Dubai. I’m looking at your picture right now, Soul shaker, and it’s a whirlwind awakening. Catherine Contra. I’m looking at the photo right now, and I don’t know what they have a problem with on Earth. First, we were created to be beautiful beings and find each other. All those things, such as how someone perverts that image in their head, are their problem. It has nothing to do with the human body.

And you know what I wrote to Facebook at one point? Because I was getting annoyed. I go to whoever is banning whoever is making this decision on banning. Do you know my image? I’ll tell you one thing. There’s nothing sexy about being scarred by breast cancer. You know, I was just so annoyed, so annoyed with this decision.

I got banned. They took me down and would not allow me to post on Facebook. We tried for weeks, and it was impossible. I understand the frustration.

I think. Maybe it starts with somebody complaining, but they don’t understand the long-term effects it has on you. Or maybe they do understand the long-term effects it has on you. It is almost damn near impossible to get back on and be able to post. Again, I have another freeze on my account right now. What we’ve kind of

That’s what happens after 9.

I didn’t realize I was with such rulebreakers here. Like, look at what I see.

Wow, well, paint a bar, let’s talk.

Let’s get him banned from Facebook. My account got banned. I posted something that had to do with free college and all this in that I had Mike Rowe, who is very active talking about why people should go to tech schools and all this and that, and a lot of people on the left don’t like him for whatever stupid reason. And I had my account banned because my crow photo is depicted there. I’m like, you want to read the post and tell me what’s wrong with this thing, please? Dear God, I have no idea why I have. Right now, I’m digging by association band. Yeah, the person came back and wrote it two days later. It’s like, “Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with this.” I don’t know why it got hit because they have bots that scrub, and micro was on the oh. You better watch out. List Micro has got political things to say or something. I’m like, “What on earth is it?” It’s micro, like what does go? He’s not hurting. Does anybody know what the what’s? What’s the deal?

I didn’t get banned. It was my advertising that got banned before my book. If I tried to post that, it got banned again after it was put up. It got banned again when I tried to advertise it after two weeks, and they will not accept it.

Yeah, it’s almost like they don’t have humans keeping an eye on it. They say it’s so robotic that it’s an automatic reply to it, and they just do it and figure they’ll deal with it later. But let’s be honest, wouldn’t it be easier just to put a human being on a set? Of course, you know about it. and say, “Oh no, no.” That’s OK, and then maybe put it somewhere in the file. If this person tries to come back and advertise, You know. We’re aware of the situation, and it’s fine. Instead of you fighting it every time you try,

Look, I understand the first set is like the first set for it to be barred or banned because you cannot. There are billions. I’m not sure how many billion people are on this platform, but if the person is complaining and arguing with you, it should be escalated to the next level, which is

Escalation, yeah, right?

Is behaving. Yeah, well, mine is obviously due to the name of my company, so sometimes that just alone gets me back, yeah? Well, if you look at my profile, it’s not like naked **** **** and stuff like that. So, you know, it’s all motorcycles and stuff we do at the track, so if somebody would just look then.

You can’t do that on Facebook.

We would swap wishes.

You can’t do it on Instagram, which Facebook owns.

Go figure.

My dad

So, we’ve talked a lot about the book and getting banned on Facebook, all due to breast cancer. Tell us about how you discovered what was going on in your life when you were diagnosed with breast cancer.

I was 40 years old, and it’s weird because I never. I’m, you know, a lot of people, especially women, whenever they get to that type of 20, any birthday over 25. I think they started feeling like, “Oh, another birthday.” They get down and, you know, 30 hits, and it’s difficult. I never had that issue. I was always like, “Happy.” I have my birthday, but on my 40th birthday, I don’t know what to do. I just wasn’t having it. It was a difficult few years. You know, my relationship was going to hell. I had just launched what I thought was my dream business, which was I was very much into real estate investing, making a lot of money, and in doing so, I bought many buildings.

Then there are the businesses that result from it, and so on—et cetera. And I bought this and converted it into a retreat center for addictions. I was working a crazy number of hours like I would say I would. I was waking up with my laptop next to me and falling asleep with my laptop next to me. That’s how much I was working. Weekends were not weekends where I could socialize. It was all about work. I was losing a lot of weight while launching this business. I thought it was because of stress. Because I was overworking myself, I wasn’t even remembering to eat, so I didn’t think I was sick. It was like everything was just spiraling for me.

Things were so bad at one point that I came home, and I just cried so hard that I fell on the floor and asked, “Like God, please end this for me,” and I meant my life. And two days later, it’s like all of a sudden, I have these symptoms. ” ” “My, I was at work. I was driven up to them. My job was in the mountains, so I went to the mountains, and I was in my office by myself in this big building. Suddenly, my face went numb, and then parts of my body started going numb, and just these twitches began to occur, and I thought to myself, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” Like, OK God, I was. I was joking. I wasn’t serious. I asked for the other. As you know, Day is a no, no, no. You know, like I don’t want to, I don’t want to. I don’t know why, but I meant it when I asked for it. I tried. It was heartfelt like just let me go, and soon after I found out, I found a lump in my breast. I was lying down and it just kind of popped up. And I felt the lump within 24 hours. I had an appointment. They did all the mammograms at the ultrasounds and did a biopsy. They saw something. They didn’t see anything in the mammogram. They saw something in the ultrasound.

They saw something in my lymph nodes. They did the biopsy, and it came back fine. They simply stated that some cells looked abnormal, but it’s not cancerous, but we suggest you remove them. So, I’m like OK, I’m fine, I’m fine, but something in my gut was telling me something was wrong on the day I went back after the surgery to get my final results. I asked for my husband to come, who I wasn’t getting along with at the time and my mom. I never have anybody come with me to my appointments. Like never. I don’t know why I’m like, “Come with me.” And I was told at that point that I had stage two and possibly stage three if there was cancer in my lymph nodes because they didn’t go for the lymph node lump that they saw because they didn’t see anything in the breast. And I’m like, “What do you mean?” The biopsy came back normal. No, it wasn’t you. You have stage two breast cancer, and now we have to go. You have to go under the knife again to remove it. The lump in your lymph nodes?

So, did they just not test properly or?

Hello, listen to this, OK? The hospital’s pathologist did the biopsy and then surgery and afterward said he had never seen cancer work this way. Maybe if a doctor is listening out there, you can inform us if you have. When a tumor opens up, it spreads like a big ball and takes over, right? It was as if my body was trying to, So it was like a braid, so you had a bit of cancer, a bit of fibroid, a bit of cancer, but you know, when they punctured three places, by the way, the punctures did not hit the spot where the cancer was. They hit everything around it, like ah, oh no. It was time, so my body was attempting to stop it. And I was told at that moment that the type of cancer I had was growing at a 70% rate. It was like a monster I did not see. I had done a mammogram the year before. And an ultrasound. So, there was nothing there. This thing grew over just a few months. It was super fast. And I was like, “Oh my God, I got my wish.”

Now here’s the trick. This is how I saw it afterward. OK, that gave me power during my cancer, which is now. It will take me ten years to realize that I could take away cancer if I gave myself to cancer. So, I did everything in my power. I did get rid of this disease in me. Visualization meditation Uh, I got, I got divorced during my treatments. I was on chemotherapy. OK, a big decision to make at that time. I became a single mom. My business had to close, but I launched my new business, which exists today, and it won an award two years later. I did it on my laptop after opening it. I was very determined, but. Nobody around me was negative towards me. I refused to be around anyone negative towards me. There was no negative talk. I barely told anybody I had cancer because I was like, “I’m going to control what goes into my mind.” There was no TV unless it was a comedy. It had to be very positive. Anything being introduced to my mind had to be extremely positive, motivational, and inspirational. Whatever you want to call it, prayers, whatever. There was nothing negative around me happening, and my sole focus was on getting myself better, which was all I was doing to help myself, which was visualizing my healing.

My daughter was trying to survive with my business, so that’s what happened, and I got through it. I got through it. They were shocked at how I got through it because I had a kidney stone during the treatments, and they had to do surgery. I was neutropenic, meaning you have 0 white blood cells and cannot do surgery on someone like that because they could easily get a fever just by existing. I didn’t even get a fever. I gave myself shots twice a day for four weeks to increase my white blood cells and another one because I developed a blood clot for three months twice a day on my stomach, so it was serious. My side effects were severe, but I made it through. I got through it.

I got through all the struggles that I had to go through, which was realizing that I could easily be left on the street because I just have nobody to support me anymore, and I have a business. I collapsed because I couldn’t launch it, and I was a single mom trying to be strong for her, who was ten years old at the time, and you know, making me breakfast when she could or like lunch. She would bring me a little sandwich, and I would get through it. I got through it because I switched from wanting to die to want to live. I believe that I will be OK if I do this. I believe that at my core, I’ve visualized it. These little things, like when I would get chemo, would be like OK, it became, you know, my enemy because I hated it, but then I’m like no, it has to become my friend. So, I wish you life.

Essentially, all the energy that used to be negative has now become positive. You had to change it too positively. Recover, but then you made it.

We were talking about your case, and considering your struggles, it was silly and almost ironic. You’re now acting like everything started falling away, and the negativity has started. You need to fight. Your daughter must be proud of you. Seeing you struggle through it and being successful on your own.

You know, uh, I’m proud of her because she went through a lot. You know, I went through a lot, but for a 10-year-old to lose. Like the stability of a marriage, a father and mother being together are the loss of the possible. The very real loss of thinking that her mom could die and she could lose her These are also frightening. I am scared of them. The stuff they watch on TV. This was happening in real life, so you know, and she would sit there, and she would hug me, and she would kiss me. She tried to make me laugh like I was in her job. Right, but it became her job. She was adopted very quickly at ten years old. So, you know, I’m very proud of her.

I’m proud of both of you.

You know, she sees me.

I’m proud of both of you. This is just a quick recap. If you didn’t catch all this, no white blood cells, kidney stones, cancer, divorce, blood clots, single mom all at the same time, and you guys didn’t see this before we hit record. My wife was on the camera, and we were all bad laughing, having a brilliant time. So, these things that happen to us, these terrible, horrific things, we can get through. We can laugh about it later, and then we can build an empire as you’ve built with retreat boss.

Yeah, we do our best, don’t we? Every day, that’s what you know, whether you’re building an empire or starting. That’s what you do. When you show up

Yeah, and it’s it.

People think you have to be this 20-something and just be a mover and shaker when you’re in your 20s. I’m surmising from our discussion that, you know, you didn’t start later in life by doing this particular right.

And I’ll tell you. You know, it’s not that I wasn’t. I was very successful before I got 40. As far as money is concerned, that’s not an issue. Do you know where I wasn’t successful at worrying about what other people would think about me? I was so concerned about the image. You know, you know she has a nice car. The Nice House, the happy marriage, the Vista that I was, the yes girl, what do you want? Yes, I never thought of myself thinking, Oh my God, what will people think if I get divorced? What are they going to think if I fail? What is it? What if? What if everything goes wrong?

Hold me.

Amen, sister.

Yeah, you know what? People will talk about you for that moment when you die, and then they’ll forget about all this. You know, unless you did something crazy, you know? These are minor details, such as who? Just who cares?

Yeah, but we’re ready.

Live your life like it’s your last, honestly.

Well, I don’t know about you, but in the time frame I was raised in, and you know my parents were always, you should care about what people think about you. You should always, you know, be dressed to the nines. You should always have your makeup on. You should always be presentable. You should always act like a lady. You should never curse. There was a whole list of **** I wasn’t supposed to do it. Sorry. “Curse, you know what I’m saying, huh?”

It’s a long *******

It’s always a freaking long list, man. So, I’m telling you. So, if you think and then put it on yourself, you are right to put this pressure on yourself. You don’t have to worry about that. I think you reach an age where you know we’ve all reached. We won’t give up. A ****, and quite honestly, you like me if you know, and if you don’t, I’m sorry. You’ll never get to know me because I’m pretty cool.

Oh, my goodness.

Great, and I’m not going to. I will change myself to adapt to you.

I agree. I fully agree with Carol’s coolness, but here’s the deal. Like someone like, “Oh yeah, Travis.This person has a problem with you. Oh, they do. I just haven’t texted me. You know, I don’t have your number. Oh, they must not know me well enough to hate me. Don’t hate. I’m here for the stuff. You will get to know me and then really hate me.

I like that, yes. Yeah, Who, I mean, is going to wait? Hate me. Right, so here’s the thing. When you live for others like that image, you’re not being authentic to yourself, and I think that’s the point of your show here, right? So being genuinely authentic is OK. When you are living off of an image, I promise you; you are not happy.

Because you have adjusted your lifestyle and life to please that person, to make them think you are that person. When you’re not, and when you’re not aligned. To you too. Who do you are? So, let’s say you’re a lawyer, but truly. You wanted to be a singer. Uh, you know? You hit your job, you whatever, and even if you don’t realize it, you know you’re unhappy and don’t know why you’re unhappy. But yeah, you’re not aligned, so you know. People say things like, you know, divorce this and that. You know, I come from the European Guild culture. You know, and what are they?

I’m going to say when I’ve

I get the Asian culture, so I get it.

So, you know, it’s like when my mom would say to me, “God bless her.” You know, she’s gone way past that beginning. What are they going to say? Is it? I don’t care. That wouldn’t be my answer. I don’t care. They don’t like it. They don’t need to be around me like I don’t care. I’m going to be me, my good, my bad, my whatever; I’m not going to be a mean or cruel person; there’s not a bone in my body that can be that way. Anything I do, yeah.

Travel, come on now.

I’m, I mean, I can be with you.

Yeah, you’re mean.

Oh no, I can’t. But you’re not me. He just wants to be everything he is. So he can keep his circle small. You were the one who turned him on. You’re on to it.

I was thinking, “How did I introduce myself to the group?” Hi, I’m Travis. I’m an *******. We did. This is just to cut through the attention because some people will think that about me.

When you said that, I was like, “I like the dude.” I want to get to know him.

That’s funny, and you know, in psychology, so that you know, this might change your mind when someone says something bad about themselves in psychology. OK, it’s usually the truth because people don’t want to show their bad side. OK, so you know if someone says I’m a big chore. I’m at this. I’m like, “That’s usually the truth when they see.” If they say things like “I’m not a mean person,” then you might have to question it because, of course, you always want to paint yourself in a good light, which is Norm. And some people might like to tweak it a little or whatever, but when someone says so, please don’t go around saying that you’re an ******* because I don’t know as far.

As I know, I say it as an icebreaker, and the reason I do is that so many people have said this to me. Real conversation times 50 people. When I met you, Travis, I thought you were an *******, And then, now that I’ve gotten to know you better, it’s some variation of now I’m OK with it.

Oh, that’s

So, do you have a relaxed face or something that everybody thinks you’re in?

I’m like super angry; every time I leave the house, I make sure I pack my anger. Yes, that stuff, you know? I don’t know, so I think it. I don’t know. What is it?

Does it have something to do with his voice?

Yeah, maybe it’s my…

The feelings are so deep. And you get all serious, and you’re focused.

I don’t know.

Well, the story

I don’t know. What is it? Maybe it’s because I’m always willing to speak up right away. I’m always willing to ask questions right away, and when someone says that they’re not holding themselves accountable, I’m willing to do it right away because it’s something that matters to me, like, right away.

Well, and maybe it makes him uncomfortable. The truth is that I’m sure it makes him uncomfortable.

We need people to be more uncomfortable with this. When I was going to talk with my son last night, he was like, “He’s kind of moving around the room.We’re behind, and we’re like, “What the heck? Be in front of someone we could see?I don’t want to. I don’t like eye contact. Well, the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get with it because it’s a really important skill to have, and you have to go through and stretch your comfort zone to do things you’ve never done before.

Carol, what? Do first impressions matter? People are with you. You’ve probably heard of this value.

So, uh, and honestly, this was a problem when I first came out and started my business.

OK, for a second, I thought you came out of nowhere and said, “Wait, what?”

I had the same impression.

Did you hear that it’s absurd?

No, because I stayed out of social life. I avoided the media and everything for a long time, and then I put myself out there, and I didn’t want to write, and they said they’re either going to hate you or they’re going to love you. And I said, “Why do you say that?” And they go. because of the way you present yourself. Do some people say they’re going to think you’re just naturally a like a stuck-up, right? and I. Go, but they don’t know me. Right?

I can’t see that. That does not occur to me. That was the joke. Oh my gosh.

This was a joke, too, not really.

That’s hilarious, that’s how. But anyway, I can find all my friends. I go to my kids and say, “Hey, did you?Drop this in. The corridor and the like. Oh yeah, that’s what mine is like. So, there you have it. We’re flipping each other off camera for those who are now watching the video.

I know, I know, it’s awful, but you know, we love each other, so it’s OK. It’s all in jest. But it was. It was difficult because I had to go. How do I change? That, and he’s gone. You can’t; you absolutely can’t. They simply have to get out. They have to get to know you, or they have to presume you’re a *****. And I thought, wow, that, and just like we were saying, the way we’re raised, we want everybody to like us, right? So, I did everything I could, too, kind of. I will reduce the size myself. I had to engage with these people, and what I realized in doing that was that I was not myself. I continued to do that for many men. When you do that for that long, you start to lose yourself and become very disconnected from yourself and the real person you are. Yeah, it’s it. It doesn’t make it easy.

Well, how does this work? So, we all have similar situations. I’m going to say something, and you’re going to say this, Travis, it’s not. It doesn’t apply to you. We always include labels as part of who we are, right? So, you are both mothers. Right, and at some point, the kids move out, and you’re a mother, but you’re not actively participating with the kids taking care of the day-to-day stuff.

You almost lose that part of your identity. I served in the military for 22 years, and now I’m no longer a Lt, as I like to be called, you know, Lieutenant Lt. I like that part of me. How does the loss of that external thing that you associate with your identity affect you?

There’s a grieving process for it also. Do you know why? Because you’re detaching yourself from it. Now you’re no longer that there’s a grieving process. And just like a grieving process, there’s some denial. There’s some acceptance. There’s some sadness, and then you go back to it and whatever, and until you get over that grieving process, you don’t. You won’t find it. You have to go through it to find out who you are. It’s normal if you’ve been a mom for 20 years, you’re you, you’re in the military, and that’s your identity. There are a lot of gymnasts and people you know that work. And there are sports people who, my goodness, later were football stars, then whatever. Now they no longer have that. Where do they go? Who are they now? What are they going to do with themselves? It’s not easy because you’re living a different life now. It’s not the same at all.

Well, what sucks is that we came into it. We were individuals. Before we met her husband, we became wife number one. Right then, we became a mother. And you somehow lose the individual part of yourself when you become a wife and a mother. And then, when your children leave home, and you get divorced, you have to reacquaint yourself with the person you once were because you no longer know them.

Yeah, and in your twenties, you’re still discovering yourself. If you marry in your twenties, you’re now discovering yourself with another person in the picture, so your personalities are mingling. And you don’t know anymore if this is really what you want to do. Let’s say you fall in love with something, and then you’re no longer interested in that thing when it’s gone.

Oh, yes. I know that all too well.

Well, you get it. Ladies, tell me, tell me, if this is so, as my wife has explained to me. I don’t get these questions as a guy. I don’t know if it’s just me or all guys. If you’re listening to this, let us know. Send us a comment. Choose an e-mail address if this is true for you. She used to say things like, When she was growing up, was like, “Oh, when you’re going to get a boyfriend, and your relationship status defines you, then you get a boyfriend, like,” “Oh, well when you guys are going to get engaged, and then when you engage, then the question becomes, “no warning to get married.There are now concerns about her legal status, right? Then you get married. You’re like, well. When you’re going to have kids, we’re going to be grandparents. Did you, too? You get bombarded with all these questions about your relationship and things like your birth canal status.

Oh yeah.

When we go home with the kids, it’s like having the kids’ house, Travis.

I hated that. It’s not my house, Megan.

Yeah, uh, there’s a lot of pressure with these milestones, and if you’re in that, we’ll sometimes, you know, like, people don’t want to get married anymore, but because they’re in that, we’ll get married. This is why. I’m saying this when you’re in that we love you. OK, I’m getting married in four or six months. Whatever it is, you know, or in two months. And now I don’t want to get married. But oh my God, I. I’ve committed to dying of this. I’ve got What are people going to see? The wedding invitations are out, whatever it is. And then they go through with it. Because the pressure is crazy, especially if you’ve been raised that way and then suddenly, you’re in a marriage. Yeah, it just doesn’t work out, you know, because you are just it, you were part of that wheel, that process, and it’s like, literally a snowball effect, it just gets bigger. And bigger and bigger.

Well, let me ask you. I come from European culture. Was it just pressure? From your family, did the cultural part of it play a part in the guilting of the oh? You know, what will people think of you? Would they associate it with something like, “Oh, this will?” You’re familiar with the family, Affect. If you decide outside, you know what to let’s do. Just say marriage, right? It’s what are people? Say you’re getting married?

I’m going to say

Look back in the days. Okay, so this was me, you know, my first marriage. I was shocked that that happened. I was young and concerned about what people would think of me. That was because I saw red flags and the red flags did not. Even though I knew they were there, I continued because I was like, “No, you know, I can’t embarrass the family.” I can’t be OK, so you did have the

That whole embarrassment of the family thing, that idea in your head, that’s what I was kind of getting to.

But not effectively.

And it’s the worst. Things you could do to yourself, right? It’s the worst thing you could do to yourself and the person you know, like my spouse at the time. It’s time for my husband to be a nice guy. He didn’t deserve that, so you know it was. I had to live with it afterward because I did go through with it. He would have been hurt anyway, even before that. But I’m just telling you.

So, like, I was young, I was scared, and I just went through with it because I was like, “No, I can’t.” I can’t be disappointed. I know all these things go through your head, and some people still do, but you know what? If you fast forward now, because now it’s been many, many years, you know. Decades later, my mom has the same concept. I don’t care what other people think. Do you know? Like with me, you know, and with her other kids, she’s like, “No way, you do.” Whatever, but it shouldn’t have been that way back then. I don’t know if she had that mentality or not, but it didn’t feel like I had that mentality for me at that point. The point, but now.

It doesn’t feel that way right now, but I said this in another episode, like, don’t be worried about what your neighbors think.

It’s completely changed.

They’ve never had a real thought in their life. Think about it right now. Both Carol and Catherine think about it just for a moment. How often do you honestly spend time thinking about it? Other people are not talking about your family. I’m talking about just random other people I know. I’m pretty high on the list, but how often? How much time do you spend thinking about other people? A lot.

I’m a huge gem path.

But only one specific person. For example, if you disagree with your neighbor or they did something stupid, the thoughts come and go in a split second. Do you know what I mean? Like a random person in the mall, like yeah, three weeks later, I wonder what that guy was up to. No, the thought is gone right, unless there’s

Now hold on. Some wow. If he was particularly good.

The thought is gone.

Looking, you might wonder. I’m just kidding.

I might not wonder unless I want to know what Jimmy will figure out. am I Deciding where to go in both directions but I. That’s kind of the point, right? Like, outside of the people we care about, my neighbors don’t. I mean, my neighbor, Darryl,

Yeah, acquaintances.

Buddy, but he dislikes it. It takes up any space in my head.

Yeah, strangers and acquaintances. You know, you wouldn’t spend much time on it. There are people that you care about and know. They’re they. You could be going through some things, and they’re on your mind. They’re in your thoughts constantly, at least in the back of your mind.

You know, yeah?

Yeah, I know that if someone acts in a bad way toward me or says something inappropriate or offensive,

The thought that goes in my head and I’ve tried to teach my daughter is that if you’ve done nothing wrong and you know it, and they were rude to you or meant to you, just know that there’s something that’s either going on with them or something bad happened.

Something is going on with them. Do not take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. It doesn’t mean you have to take it.

But don’t take it personally. Do not take it personally. Walk away saying, “boy, they’re in trouble, you know, or they have a problem, you know.”

Or even reach out to. Help them like, hey, everything is OK, you know.

Well, it depends. Turn it around. If they’re a stranger, yeah, only not. Yeah, I’ve acted that a lot when I’ve even done it with strangers, to be honest with you, and I’ve, let’s say you’re at a cashier, you know. And she’s not even looking at you; her face is down, and she’s just passing everything. I’ll look at her, and I’ll be like, “You know, you know, I’d love to see you smile today, and they’ll just smile.” You know, I’d love to see you smile. Today, you know, you have a pretty face that left some fresh.

We probably never have anybody engage them in conversation and treat them respectfully.

I am making it a point because I realized someone had said this, and I’m like, my God. I’m guilty of that too. When you’re in the checkout process, do you look them in the eyes and know most people don’t? If you observe it next time you go to the grocery store, nobody looks at them in the eyes. They just liked it. In contrast to bound

I try on conversations with the cashier and my barista. I mean, that’s how you develop, you know, great relationships with these people. I ate a barista scan before I pulled in so they saw my car and had my coffee ready because I ordered the same thing every time. I know you know. Now that’s like, these are the relationships you develop. I want to know all their names. I love them…It has this reanimate feel.

See, it adds a nice interaction. If you do that’s right, it’s another plus another win. You know, I made someone smile today, or you know, oh, it was nice to see. I don’t know, Shelly, you know, like whatever, whatever it is instead of just like here, give me my coffee. I was talking

You never make eye contact about anything. Yeah, yeah.

I want to jump back to the negative comment thing I started doing within the last few months. This is when someone has something crappy to say. I take a moment and ask myself, “Does this person know what they’re talking about?” Is this person an authority on the thing that they’re criticizing? Do they have any ground to stand on? And if I can get through those questions, it takes all the negative energy out of the interaction, and I don’t like to file it as a bad thing. In my head, if I can delay whatever is going on for just a few moments,

Don’t let it get away. It doesn’t enter my being and ruin the rest of my day. Of my evening and the rest of the week. Do you guys do this?

I’ll tell you what I hate about me if someone shocks me with something resulting.

OK, someone that I’m not expecting. Maybe I knew then, whatever, and they saw something, so I don’t know if it’s insulting or not. I don’t know how else to use it, just something that reaches me off guard instead of responding with a smart remark back. Or something nice. Whatever it is, I almost like it frozen. I’m like, OK, you know, like and then. It takes me a few minutes to process and, like, why didn’t I respond better to that? Why did I just take that? I just think it’s because I’m shocked. I’m like, how can someone just say that? Whatever it may be, I don’t know if that’s ever happened to any of you where you’re shocked over something someone just said. You’re like you walk.

After about three days, you have this… You’re like, “Yeah, I should have.”

Said, “I wish I were one of those people.”

I am not a good comma. I’m not that quick on my feet, oh. You want to know something I have said, like who’s in your Cheerios today, ******* ******? I know that you know, but it’s like the extent of it. I can’t believe they must be having a bad day. So I will say something funny like, “Who kissed your Cheerios today?”

Yeah, I don’t know. Hey Catherine, tell us something that really.

Uhm, disrespect.

Something in the industry gets you riled up, and you can’t control it.

Yet I find anybody who lies or disrespects another person, even if it’s more. Suppose it’s not me, like if it’s someone close to me. If someone says something like to me and someone says something like to them, that is like, not that I’m less valuable, but I get even more upset if someone is self-righteous and down talks to somebody because they think they’re rich or they’re better, they’re wealthy or whatever. Whatever they think, their **** doesn’t stink. I don’t know. They talk it down to a friend or a family member. Whatever is someone next, even if I don’t know them. And I see this action happening that they could be a stranger, doesn’t it? If I see this happen, I become extremely astute in their presence. That’s when you’ll see a very similar

Catherine comes up with the ****** in a unique way.

Like I’ll suddenly be very hyper, my hyperintelligence comes in. I’ll be talking to them in words they’ll never understand, and I’ll make them understand, and I’ll be like, “You have a dictionary for that second.”

You have to Google that word often.

You know to make them understand that if you want to make this person feel less than you, I’ll make you understand that you have no right to do that without being mean or rude.

I’ll just become very, all of a sudden, very serious and

So, you’ll still maintain their presence. Let’s just say their dignity.

Yes, yeah.

But they’ll know not to **** around.

See, I love talking bs like that because I love just firing at them. I love that because I like condescension. It’s not like the art of condescension is that you do it so that they don’t know that they’re being talked down to, right? That’s what real condescension is.

We’ve interpreted it to mean that you’re just talking to somebody. Real condescension is when they don’t know they’re being talked down to, and no one else does. It’s a real art. It’s a big but in the manner of snobs. I have someone doing this to me. My wife and I are bowlers. We like to bowl. I know that’s not true all over the country or in Canada.

Yeah, I would not have guessed that. In a million years, thank you for sharing it.

I’ve been to bowling nationals like three times. It’s not the story’s point, but I went to go get on a base league, and I was like, “Oh yeah, it’s exciting.You know, my brother-in-law has been doing great this year. My one brother, like his 3rd, and my other brother-in-law. He’s rolled eight this year, and I was just, you know, happy for them, and he was like, “Well, how many of you roll?” I was like, “Oh, none. I’m not that into it. ” And he scoffed at me. Oh, I was like, who the **** do you think you are? We’re bowling at an On Base, not making any real money here, so why were you talking down to me for not having bulletproof **** **** what you like? How are things going? This is a thing. How is this a conversation?

Well, he’s got to be a big man. on campus for that moment in the conversation.

I don’t care. I don’t care, but why would he try to make me feel bad for not having bowled a 300?

I don’t know if you get it off as a woman in business more often than not.

Yeah, I think it’s par for the course, right? You almost expect it and anticipate it. It’s not a rarity.

And I’ve dealt with it because of the, you know, the real estate that I’ve had, especially at the end, because I am re-place. I’ve dealt with many construction guys and all that, so they’re all like, “Whatever,” and one time, “The Boss” or whatever, the construction company owner. I don’t know what he said to me. I can’t even remember. But I remember just being in this place in front of everybody, like, “buddy.” Don’t talk to me like that again, you know, but in a way where? He seemed surprised that he wasn’t everyone. He just thought, OK.

I don’t understand that point. I have never met a woman who hasn’t done everything better than a guy likes. I don’t get sexism or anything like that. I don’t feel there’s any chance my house will look this good without my wife. There are women I’ve worked with in the military that can run around me like everyone I’ve met, especially in the group that we’re in. They’re all phenomenal. I’ve never understood what someone can be like. Oh well, she’s a woman, so she must not know how to do whatever industry they’re in. ******* ****** Obviously, I don’t.

I never got that point.

Well, look, you’re professional, everybody. This is how I see it. Sometimes people get intimidated by somebody because they’re like, “Oh, he’s a doctor.” He’s at this. He’s the president. He’s whatever it is. I promise you; you’re an expert. You’re an expert in those things. He’s not OK with what you’ve been through or what he hasn’t. You could teach him. I don’t care if he’s the smartest person in the autobiography. I know a New Zealand Mosque, you know, and a genius. There’s stuff that I know that I can. Ellen, you wouldn’t call me Ellen. OK, Elon, what’s his name? Elon or Ellen? How do you pronounce it? It’s Elon, right?


Elon: OK, so you know, I’m sure there’s something all three of us can teach Elon, right that he does not know. And, of course, vice versa. He could teach us a whole lot of stuff, but I mean, there’s nobody who knows everything, so you know what, don’t underestimate him.

We cannot learn from one another. Essentially, yeah.

Yeah, don’t underestimate me. You can’t take advantage of me just because I’m a woman or because I’m nice. It doesn’t equate to stupidity. You know, there are a lot of things that you know you have to deal with as a nice person, and they think, “Oh yeah, she’s.” She’s pleasant.

They think it’s an It isn’t. If anything, it takes courage. It’s kind and thought-provoking because some people don’t deserve it, yet you still extend it to them.

Yes, yes, and yes again.

I think nice is overused. I think “nice” is a word used to downplay anything. Oh, how was dinner? Uh, it was nice.

overly used

Misused because you said kind, and you used to be polite and generous. And there are a thousand other words to describe it, but when you’re going to forget somebody immediately, I like them. They were nice. And then you never think about him again.

I feel like most things are cuss words.

Yeah, yeah.

“Nice” is a ****** word.

“Nice” is a four-letter word.

It is way worse than any of the words we’ve been saying seriously. Oh, that’s nice. She’s so sweet.

What’s her name? I can’t remember because

I don’t know.

They were unremarkable.

Yeah, yeah, no, hold on a second, hold on a second, hold on a second, hold on a minute, I forgot many names. Please do not say that it’s not because

and not noteworthy in the slightest.

They’re not important. You know, I honestly have a horrible memory.

Well, if they were important, you’d remember their name.

I forget the entire week.

You don’t know; you don’t. There’s something that you know more than anybody else in your memory is legit. You just don’t care that much about someone’s name.

I swear to you.

Yes, I do.

That is not necessarily true. When you reach menopause, your memory literally **

 I hit menopause; you guys will know about it.

Yes, I would like to know when. You hit menopause. So what?

I have memorized

It’s one of those things I always had a great for until I hit menopause. And then I was like, “****, I can’t remember anything anymore.”

I don’t think you have a bad memory. I think you just have so many files. You have so many more files to search through than I do, and I have many more to search through than my kids do, right? Hey, what’s this? They’ve got three files. They’ve got video games in school and on YouTube.  Obviously, in one of these.

You forgot food.

Right? But you don’t even have to like it. The older you get,

Get more files than you have. It’s not that you have a poor memory; it just takes you longer to get there. Through all the files I like

Well, it’s also very hormonal. Yeah, all I know is when I was pregnant, right, that was one of you, you know. You forget that I had chemo that fried my brain. Quite a bit. And then menopause. Oh yeah. So, like, literally, it’s a joke in the family, like my daughter is like I just told you, and I’m like you did.

Maybe that’s the case? Naming is one of my superpowers; I just don’t recognize it.

I think that’s very true. Because you remember a lot of people’s names like that’s not. That’s not my strong point. It takes me about six months to get through A person before it’s solid in my head.

It’s something I used to do because I moved 36 times before graduating from high school. I’m at 50 total right now. Every time I went to a new place, I would get a yearbook and have to study and memorize people’s names because otherwise, how do I even interact with people?

I don’t know anybody. So, I first met new people. All the time, yeah. I made a study. I forced myself to study all these names in a book, especially the pretty girls. Let’s be honest because I didn’t want to miss any of the names; I mean, seriously. That’s, uh, yeah, I’m not a player; I just brush a lot. There are seen this somewhere on Tik T.O.K’s Instagram. I don’t know what to call it when a guy calls a girl by the wrong name, but he knows me, and the guy is nice.

Oh, that’s a movie; it’s

And it’s like, have you seen that? Oh yeah.

Love and other drugs, and that was Jake Gyllenhaal.

Oh, OK, yeah.

personality and interests

So maybe you were doing it wrong.

I’m not sure how many girls there are.

Well, I saw that I saw the clip because it’s a great clip, but if you watched the whole movie, like that girl that he called the wrong name on purpose and then told the story about how she hated him the

Pick it up right here.

all of the time and

It never picked up on the click.

 It didn’t work out, yeah?

The clipping referred to is fantastic, yeah? Tell us a little bit about this retreat business that you have. What is it not about how powerful people get involved? I see you registered for a retreat at boss.com. For those of you not watching the video, she’s got it on her name in the video, which is very much appreciated.

Tell us about the retreat, boss.

As I told you ten years ago, what happened to me put me in a space where I had to figure out what I would do with that building. So, I turned. It was in a retreat center at the time, and, uh, from there, it just kicked off. I started staging venues. I had a reservation with a reservation agent. I stage different venues for different types for the hospitality board by talking to the city. Whatever everything was and everything had to do with the venue to set them up to coach the owners. And then I started planning, and all of t and I was planning for people from across the world and everything. So, it started back then, ten years ago.

While you were doing chemo.

It just fell into my lap.

Yeah, literally. During chemo, you know, my purpose for the first few years was that I needed to get recognized in a sense. So, I went and got awards, and I ended up in the newspaper because I was creating some newsworthy events, and my competitors started asking me, can you replicate your success, and I said sure, and I opened up a reservation agency.

Oh good.

Yeah, and I started doing it that way for them and, again, like I said, staging and all. That is correct. It grew from there, and then two years ago, I had to shut down again because I was in the worst business in the world. It’s all about gathering and traveling, right? So, I had to start from square one again. So, what I did was a rebrand. The business is now called Retreat Boss.

What was it? Her name was Prior Catherine Stanfill was her name. I like this name a lot. It’s better.

Yeah, well, this is different, right? It was because my purpose now is a little different. After all, I’m. After all, transformation space is what happened to me. I got transformed during my cancer and saw the impact on my life. I said, “How can I spread my wings further and get people to transform others, and others, and others?” I’ll use the ten years of experience that I have. I’ll put it in courses, sell them online, and help people do it for others. So that’s where we’re at. We’re at, you know, a retreat. BOSS has courses to teach people how to plan, create, and profit from a retreat. I’m going to teach people in the retreat business how to make money because a lot of them don’t know how to make money because they’re heart-centered and don’t. That’s not their first goal. Their first goal is transformation. So, because I’ve been in this business long enough, and because you know, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, the transformation and the impact it has, the more money they make, the more transformation they can do. Because I want them to continue doing it. The greater the impact, the So now I have exactly

what they can make. It’s not even just about the transformation; I mean in order.

For us to have an impact, we need funds to do it. And the more funds we have, the more people we can have an impact on.

Exactly, so we have courses now available. We plan for others, and soon there will be a lot of other offerings that I’m going to have on the website as well, which I won’t announce until it’s launched. But many great things are happening, and that’s where I’m now.

Oh, I love that. Yeah, I know you mentioned impact, and I wanted to bring this up. I did a lot of work with them. Nonprofit and I still host the nonprofit architect podcast that Catherine was a guest on. But if you want to impact a million people and only spend a dollar or person to do it, it still takes you a million. I don’t know what this hang-up against earning money and generating money is. The more money you can create through your business, the larger retreats become—impact on you.

1/2 If it costs you $5 to help each person you help and help a billion people, it will take you.

$5 billion It takes money to make that impact, regardless of what kind of systems are in place or anything else. So, I love that you’re doing that and helping your industry earn the cash they need to have the impact that they want to have.

Thank you, and that’s a great way of putting it. People don’t think about that, you know. A dollar per person equals $1,000,000.

Well, they think that earning a dollar is just evil. And you go, “No, no, I think you’re mistaking that.”

Or they think someone on the Forbes list, like Elon Musk, is worth $400 billion. They think they have $400 billion.

Like in a money bin or something like that, there’s Scrooge McDuck, like that’s how much companies are valued at, his stock is valued at. It’s not that he has 400 billion in the bank, but if you’re going to help, if you have to help that many people in business to have that large of an impact, and they’re like, well, they shouldn’t have all this money, how? Many families have full-time paychecks with benefits and health insurance. Or they are getting. They’re doing a great thing when they’re doing it because they’re impacting so many people.

 So, if we could get that out of our heads, it’s hard-centered. You know, because I consider myself a heart-enterprise entrepreneur. We could impact others in great ways by including events in your coaching, wellness, yoga, and whatever program you have there. Even in corporate, you do this for your employees. You’re going to get so. Much has been taken away from it. As a host, I’ve been a host. The transformation in front of my eyes made me feel guilty because I was like, “My God.” I think I’m getting more out of this than they are, like just watching this happen in front of my eyes.

I mean, quite honestly, it influences you. Continue doing what you want because this is already your passion. But when you see everybody else getting so much out of it, too, it makes you feel like you’re also a part of their transformation and that process, and since you made it possible, it’s got to be a great feeling as well.

And you know, I know. You have a book, right? And if you’re able, if it impacts even one person, that’s what I said with my even one person changed their life with your word. That’s like, that’s your legacy. That is your legacy. One person can change someone’s life. That is huge.

Well, I think we all know. All go through. These are our struggles, and we don’t necessarily go through the same struggles. I was telling you that you don’t get it—a free pass. You know, everybody goes through pain. Pain and issues come, but at the end of the day, if there’s something that maybe resonates with you, something that maybe I’ve experienced that you know you’re currently experiencing or you have, and you didn’t, you know, you don’t know how to get out of it and if you can hear that, there.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just that. A spark of hope. If I could do it, you could do it too because I don’t think we were all put here on this earth just to lead our lives separately. I think we were put here to help each other make it through. Because it’s not easy, it becomes easier when you have support. And when you have people that you know who are also going through these things, or you know people don’t talk about the struggles that they’ve gone through, it’s almost like it’s a shameful thing to say. Oh no, I have no problems. You’re a ******* Idiot if you say that we all have more minor problems or really big gas props, right?

We will, however. All have problems. All you need to know is, hey, I’m not alone. That’s just the core. You’re not alone.

And that’s one of the main reasons that we started this show. Carol says, “We’ve got Catherine, who’s amazing, who does fantastic stuff with retreat boss.And you can see all of Katherine’s stuff on social media channels. But until people understand the struggles that people go through because everyone gets them, you know, we could talk about it. Carol, being American-born Chinese, could talk about my time in trailer parks and foster homes. We could talk about Catherine surviving press cancer in her whole laundry list of things she was doing simultaneously. Just because someone looks different than you, has a different upbringing or background than you, or has more or fewer followers doesn’t mean everyone. They had to go through an enormous amount of **** to get where they are, regardless of where they started. People are people, and that’s one of the biggest reasons we wanted to start the show: to showcase that people are people. People love being around each other. They are having fun. They like talking. We’re lucky we’re on Zoom, or it would have been thrown down by now. All the experiences that humans have as if we all have them collectively. Are they a little bit different? Yeah, they’re a bit different, but they stuck a little more or less. They stuck a little bit more or less, but they still are. The human experience is in the human condition, and as we get ready to wrap up here, Catherine. What kind of advice? You have to think about someone that’s struggling out there right now.

Never lose faith in the journey because the journey is there for a reason. The lessons, the breakdowns, the moments you know when you want to give up everything. Don’t lose faith; know there’s a light behind the clouds. The sun always shines. Eventually, you just have to wait for the cloud to pass. I think that for the center to shine is so cliche, but you know it’s the truth. It’s the truth. You just wait it out. You should wait it out and learn from that lesson. Don’t let it be there, unseen, or unheard. Learn from that lesson. And use it as a stepping stool on your journey to get you where you want to be.

And share it with others so that others do not have to go through the same difficulties you did.

Exactly, and that’s why I wrote my book to do that. To give that to people, I felt it was my obligation and purpose to write that book. I didn’t do it to make money. That’s 100% true. I did it. By the way, you don’t make money. Oh, but we were saying, OK? Do you know? You just don’t. You’re making yourself vulnerable the minute you put that out there, right? And at the end of the day, what if you’re not making money out of that book? What you’re hoping for is that it reaches the people it intended to reach.


Is your book available on retreatboss.com?

No, it’s not. No, it’s not because the focus is on retreats, but because they could go to Amazon and pick

Up from there,

And are you still doing podcasts, Catherine?

My podcast right now is focused on retreats.

It’s the Retreat Pause podcast so that anybody can be an expert in the field, or they don’t even have to be in the retreat space. They could be marketing guys. They could be anything that helps somebody in business Because it is a business. Then they’re invited to come on.

Catherine, thank you so much for being our guest today. Sharing your insights about wishing for death and then being shocked that death appeared at your door. How you went through that, how you and your daughter struggled through that whole process, and how you came together poured the positive into your life. Comedic shows on TV are having a great time so you could be with us today. Congrats on growing your business, and thank you again for being our guest.