Act 2: You're On!

How to Queen not Crone with Kathy Elkind

March 21, 2022 Kate, Rhonda & Linda Season 1 Episode 36
Act 2: You're On!
How to Queen not Crone with Kathy Elkind
Show Notes Transcript

For any woman entering the third stage of life….
For anyone who knows and loves a woman entering the third stage of life….
From anyone who has failed and rebuilt, struggled and learned, self-soothed by binging and then healed and helped others….
For anyone who loves a good reinvention story, an empowerment story - boy do we have the podcast for you.

Meet the perceptive, adventurous Kathy Elkind, an Eating Psychology Coach, a Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and owner of Elkind Nourishment. Kathy helps women feel their emotions instead of eating their emotions and feel comfortable in their bodies. Adventurous by nature, hear about her travels and reinvention and her encouragement for women to grow into their next great act. In the podcast, Kathy shares her grand adventure of spring of 2018, at the age of 57, Kathy Elkind walked the Grande Randonnée Cinq (GR5) with her husband of 27 years. The 2,286K (1,400-mile) journey started at the North Sea in The Netherlands and continued through Belgium, Luxembourg, and the whole length of France through the Alps to end at the Mediterranean in Nice.

Tune into learn about the Queening ceremony she believes everyone woman deserves to experience. Kathy also candidly shares her experience being dyslexic and the long journeys to understanding this as a strength after wading through years of unhappiness, shame and emotional eating to self-soothe.

Highlights include:

“So many of us also weren't taught how to deal with our difficult emotions in life. And we all have difficult emotions and being vulnerable and learning to hang out with your difficult emotions and not freeze up, or, or reach for cookies and numb.”

“There's sort of the traditional archetype, the princess, the mother, and then the crone. Well, after we've been mothers, nowadays, women are living a lot longer. And, and it doesn't have to be a mother of children, it can be a mother or a career and things. So, we're incorporating all women. But when you get to be 50, and you're going through menopause, you know, you don't want to be Crone, we're not ready for old age yet. Donna Hentz was the first person who I read about this. She stuck in the word queen to add another archetype. And so the idea is that when you get into your 50s, you've lived a long life - and so let's embrace our wisdom and embrace this body that's shifting and changing, and use this wisdom and step into our power.”

“Stay open to the possibilities because you never know where life's gonna take you and just stay open to all the possibilities. And many, many of us have taken mindfulness or done yoga and, and I kind of felt like I had done all of that. But, it wasn't until I went on the walk that I really used it so much.”

More Information about Kathy Elkind:
https://www.elkindnourishment.com/

Support the show
Rhonda: Welcome to Act 2:

You're On! Join Us Weekly at our studio roundtable as Rhonda

Kate:

Kate

Linda:

and Linda invites spectacular guests to weigh in on staying sexy, vibrant and healthy.

Kate:

Launch your next great outs with authenticity and purpose. Summon your courage superstar and step into the limelight. So grab a coffee

Linda:

or a martini

Kate:

and let's set the stage for a grand entrance. It's Act Two...

Act 2 Share Our Stage:

You're on.

Linda:

Greetings friends. I am Linda Tighe and I have the great pleasure of podcasting with my two dynamic A2YO podcast hosts,

Kate:

Kate Leavey

Rhonda:

and I'm Rhonda Garvin Conaway. We are also joined by our very talented producer, Cathy Carswell.

Linda:

So I am thrilled today to talk with Kathy Elkind. Kathy and I met many years ago - we're not sure how many years ago - but we met through another podcast actually. And I interviewed Kathy on that podcast as well. And in talking with her, I just found her to be just she's so perceptive, and she's got this sensitivity toward life in its beautiful way. She's adventurous, and she's, well, kind, right.? Such an appropriate name for you. And she's been through some difficult and wonderful transitions and reinventions in her life and I know you are going to love this conversation. Kathy was eight years old, when she discovered she had dyslexia. She was ashamed and avoided reading out loud at school, she did not learn to read until she was in seventh grade. At home, she would eat to soothe her pain. Thus began her difficult, complicated relationship with food. She made it successfully through college and graduate school and has now learned and learned to love reading and loves reading and is even writing a book - but still struggled with binging or overeating to heal hurt. She eventually became an Eating Psychology Coach, a teacher of Mindful self compassion, and owner of Elkind nourishment. Kathy helps women feel their emotions instead of eating their emotions and feeling comfortable in their bodies. In the spring of 2008. Teen at age 57, Kathy walked the grand randonee sink of the GR 5 with her husband of 25 years. This 2,286k or 1400 mile journey started in the North Sea in the Netherlands and continued through Belgium, Luxembourg, the whole length of France for the Alps, and the Mediterranean in Nice. Kathy always longed for an epic adventure. Finally her children had flown the nest and she shifted from the body that we women all know when we're young, right young, fertile body into our what do we do with our non fertile body? Like how do we make how do we stay vital? And what could this new body do? So Kathy has come to believe it is necessary for women entering the third, the last third of their life to experience a quest or challenge. And she is writing a memoir about her adventure. So Kathy, and welcome. Thank you so much for being here.

Kathy:

Thank you. Thank you for having me. It's kind of fun to hear. All

Linda:

right, always fun to hear somebody else tell your life story. Briefly.

Kathy:

Yeah, and I think one thing is that I, I get bored, I have to keep kept to keep moving and trying different things and doing different things. And I love being an Eating Psychology Coach. And I'm actually just deciding to shift it into the calling it a Kind Eating coach. So that really focusing on the self compassion and kindness to ourselves and the clients that I work with overeat or emotionally and we all emotionally eat - food is emotional. And we all do it to some extent, it's when it gets in the way of your life that you might be seeking help, or if it's really taking up a lot of brain and emotional space, and you might want to seek help and I really enjoy working with them. And most of the time I work with them for four to six months. It's a long process - they'll get it and move forward in their healing journey and then they'll come back a year later two years later and work a little bit longer. It's not it's not a quick fix. We've been taught it's a quick fix that we just need to diet diet diet. That doesn't work as we all know.

Linda:

I would agree that to different levels. We all have an emotional attachment to food. I know I do. I know when I get stressed out I eat sugar like and I know it's bad like that's the thing is that you can know what you're supposed to so talk to us about that. Like we all kind of know what we're supposed to eat right? But yet, there's the pull to do the wrong thing anyway.

Kathy:

Yeah, so the the thing to do is what I help clients do is sort of backup what can you get into your body and feel what's going on when you're want that pull of the chocolate or whatever it is the chips, what is going on? What emotions are under the surface and usually it's some sort of shame not feeling good enough. Not getting the love that you need and or you do It's connecting to hurt from childhood. And so you have to practice doing these long pauses. And again, it's long, it's a long process, I'm making it sound a little bit, not easy, but - So you have to learn to give yourself Self Compassion. And notice when things are going bad, that's when you need self compassion. And we can, yes, we can rely on spouses and partners and dogs, to give us kindness, but we're not always with them. And we are always with ourselves. And so we have to learn to give self compassion. And that's why I did the training on Mindful self-compassion. So again, there's the mindfulness of tuning into what emotions are underneath there, when I'm reaching for the chocolate or cookies, whatever it is, and practicing giving yourself compassion at that time and kindness and connecting. One of the things to self compassion is also connecting to common humanity, we're human, somebody else on this world, Earth at this time is lonely, is feeling bad is feeling sad, is breathing. You're not, you're not alone. In our culture, where so many times we're supposed to be happy, there's such a push to that, let's be happy. And you know, everything's fine. And so many of us also weren't taught how to deal with our difficult emotions in life. And we all have difficult emotions and being vulnerable and learning to hang out with your difficult emotions and not freeze up, or, or reach for cookies and numb. So that's the process.

Kate:

I wonder, have you noticed an uptick in anxiety, stress, in terms of the times that we have lived through? Not to enumerate them all? But yeah, divisive - In general, where we're very divided from each other pandemic environmental issues. Have you noticed that in your work?

Kathy:

Yes. But there's always some interesting so I have clients that have been thinking about coming to me for like two or three or four or 10 years, they finally come. But yes, of course, with the pandemic, people are more isolated. And when you're working at home, food is much more easily accessible. So yeah, definitely, I've had some more and seen it. And, yes,

Linda:

I don't know that any of us can do the journey alone, right? Because we all walk the journey of someone who's felt shame, we all walk the journey of somebody who has pain for whatever that reason is, we all walk these journeys, like you said, there at any given moment, there's somebody else in the world feeling whatever it is, you're feeling. We don't get there alone, we get there from other influences in our life, we get there from other experiences. And we feel shame, because we associate with other things. So I think it makes sense coming to you makes perfect way to help to start to heal that and it doesn't go away. It's a constant thing that was a deal in their life, because triggers are going to always happen. So I would imagine it would be a positive experience, to, to come to you and do that work alongside you, and maybe alongside maybe do group sessions as well come back to that community that you're creating, so that you can continue that journey and take care of and not to feel bad about slipping back. Life is cyclical. It's not a linear path ever.

Kathy:

Yeah, yeah. And I'll have clients come in and say, Oh, I was good and bad. I tried to get rid of, but they'll come in and say, I've been really good. Well, if there's, if you've been good, there's nothing for us to deal with. I need to see, you know, we need to go through and back up and see where you did falter and where you did reach for those cookies and what was going on. So instead of looking at that time of spiraling down, let's let's look at it as a time to learn, we learn from our mistakes, and we have to accept those were humans.

Kate:

And some times it's good to have a cookie, like joy, you're sitting down with your family and you've made some popcorn and that's, that's good. It's not bad, like to be able to enter into a relationship with food that, you know, that's appropriate. And you don't scold yourself afterwards if you've just had a cookie.

Unknown:

Yeah, exactly. Savoring the food. We talk a lot about savoring.

Rhonda:

I really appreciate this conversation about your personal transformation and how you now partner with others as they embark on transforming their relationship with food. But it seems like it's about food. It's really about with themselves, isn't it?

Kathy:

Yeah, food is just the doorway. Food is just the doorway to what's going on. And many times my clients are also seeing therapist or I'll suggest that they see a therapist or they had seen therapists had done therapy because I'm not a therapist. I'm a coach need to make that distinctions.

Rhonda:

Thank you for sharing that because We are complicated and, and sometimes we need to pull from a variety of resources to have our needs met. And there are so many amazing people doing good works out there. Yeah, encountered this experience of transformation. I loved researching you before meeting you today for this conversation, he there's a part of you that I just sense has a lot of energy about next great act, or act two or three. And we talk about that on the show. And I discovered this analogy you use about queens, and queening. And I was hoping you could speak a little bit about it, because there's such empowerment with that that language.

Unknown:

Yeah, so there's sort of the traditional archetype, the princess, the mother, and then the crawl Well, after we've been mothers, nowadays, women are living a lot longer. And, and it doesn't have to be a mother of children, it can be a mother of a career and things. So we're incorporating all women. But when you get to be 50, and you're going through menopause, you know, you don't want to be Crone, we're not ready for old age yet. Donna, hence, was the first person who I read about this, she stuck in the word queen to add another archetype. And so the idea is that when you get into 50s, you've lived a long life. And so let's embrace our wisdom and embrace this body that's shifting and changing, and use this wisdom and step into our power. And yeah, it was really powerful for me. And I also ended up designing a Queening ceremony for myself and I put together Whoa, I basically just did it my backyard and invited some close women friends, and I really tapped into my intuition. And when you think about it, so many times, women are the ones who are planning anniversary parties, birthday parties, all those different parties and parties and celebrations and rituals, but we don't do it for ourselves. And so this is a celebration for yourself to step into the next part of your life. And all I did was basically wrote down intentions that I wanted, and I left big spaces for intentions that had not even come about yet, I walked down there and archway and I had my friends walk onto the archway to it can be very simple, but it was very powerful. And I actually believe that was the catalyst to helping me. So again, in the back of my mind, I had always wanted to do the Appalachian Trail. I've been an outdoors person all my life, the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. But at this A, and I never, it just never happened. And my husband loves to do outdoor activities, but I don't I don't want to camp anymore. And I don't want to carry a heavy pack anymore. So I researched a lot and found the GR five, which is the grand run today. See, a lot of it is in France. But I found this long walking, grand walk. We were leaving Massachusetts and moving up to Vermont, and we thought it was a good year, we're going to take a gap year, the way kids take gap years in between before college and we were taking a gap year before sort of our next act. We walk that far. And I don't think I could have done it without doing the Queening ceremony. I really think that opened me up to possibilities. We just walked and walked and walked.

Rhonda:

I just love that imagery of you crossing the threshold, making a statement and then continuing to take step by step through this unknown travel and going with your partner in this next phase of your life that is so powerful.

Unknown:

Yeah, it was it was amazing. It really was. And we did our homework, both Jim and I - I'm more of the big picture thinker, and he's the detailed techie guy. So I read all the blogs and books and I could visualize it because as a dyslexic brain, I can visualize things pretty well. And I could visualize each part of the journey and break it into and he was very good at finding the app, you know, the guy app so that we had an app to you know, some GPS so we knew exactly where we were and that's a good thing to have. If you've ever hiked with a partner or walked with a partner. It's good to know exactly where you are. So you don't argue I think we're here No, I think we're away a lot of the stress. Yeah, we just enjoyed amazing food and got up every day and croissants, places in Europe. You drink the coffee right out of the bowls. Out of bowls. Then yeah, walked and walked and the wonderful thing about the GR five is so it starts out in the Netherlands which is flat and Belgium which is flat so it was flat in the beginning. then rolling hills of Luxembourg, and, and then into Lorraine, Northern France. Well, the voge for two weeks, the jurors and finally six weeks through the Alps, it's pretty, pretty amazing get harder and harder, more difficult and more difficult.

Kate:

This is such a great role modeling for so many reasons, the invention, or the addition of an archetype of a queen, as opposed to just straight to Crone. Yeah, and then this ritual, and then going on a quest. And I wonder if you can talk a little bit about why you think it's important for a person entering their third act, or what is it whatever, the fourth act? Why is it important to give yourself a challenge and a quest,

Unknown:

we can do it. You can do so much more than you think you can do. I, you know, you hear we're conditioned that women get older, and after menopause, you can't do anything. And that's just not true. I do think there's a dip. And I think you do need to take care of yourself during menopause and listen to your body. And I mean, I stopped running and just and just walked for quite a while and start running again and decided not to. But I do think you need to listen to value, but I sort of call it WHY strength, you need to tap into what you can, what you can do, and you can do anything. So if you love art, maybe your quest is to go to 50 art museums in the next three years. And, and write an article about it or something like that, to share it, I do think it's kind of neat to share the idea of sharing what what you've done to in some way. So, you know, pushing ourselves pushing ourselves again, it's gentle pushing, you know, also we have to be careful of the competitiveness but tapping into the wise, your wise wisdom of what's right for you. And maybe that's you'll find it through journaling, maybe you'll find it through taking pictures, you'll you'll find what your quest is, or, or find a life coach who helps you find your quest, but you'll find it it's there something to just to step up and break out of maybe some of the molds that we've in society we've been put into.

Rhonda:

I'm curious now, how did your quest create more transformation in your world?

Unknown:

So when I got home, everybody kept saying so well, what did you learn from it kind of felt like oh, my goodness, I need to write a book reported what I learned on my, you know, like my summer vacation. And that idea of writing something actually kind of scared me because again, dyslexia - I never pictured myself writing. But the strange thing is, the next winter after home, I didn't have much energy to push my business up here in Vermont, I did push it some, but I was starting, I would offer some classes and they just didn't go anywhere. I saw on the snow, all these paper birch tree leaves blowing around, and I kept seeing them and it was like a sign. And I asked a friend who's an intuitive and she's like, Well, it seems like the white is a blank page. And the leaves flowing by are the dead things that need to be moved out of the way. And I did love that journey so much that I felt I wanted to write it down and it was sort of in the back of my mind. But that putting that all together, it came out and I did start writing and I kind of felt like well, if I can walk across the continent, I can take it one step at a time and write you know, write a little bit each day. And, and that's what I did. And it's been you know, it's been three years of writing or two and a half years of writing. So it's a process the act of writing to we you relive it and it's so interesting to try to write down some of the dialogue between you and your husband as as a real in your relationship. And you know, to make it interesting you need to show the some of the struggles that we went through and so you're rehashing it in a whole different way and in a much deeper way and and then I'll go and ask him and and so our relationship has grown a lot just from that process. So that's been really interesting to see it a new light,

Kate:

It feels like a really important book. I cannot wait to read it because I love this idea. I always think about doing a pilgrimage and the Compostella De Santiago and but this invitation to take a gap year here you've done this caretaking, whether it is caretaking a career or caretaking a family whatever it is, and the idea to take a little time to figure out what comes next. So it's almost we talk about lot of our here about how to live your why this is almost beyond the why this is because what comes next. And what a marvelous thing to be invited into this really vital, new part of life. It's a real antidote to this youth obsessed, sort of, yeah, climate that we've been living through. And I do think that is shifting. And I feel like people like you, Kathy, are are shifting in your role modeling and leading the way, I feel like this is a huge invitation. So I think that books gonna really be important for lots of people to read. But I personally can't wait to wrap my arms around that and and anticipate because I'm on the verge of empty nesting. And it is really actually exciting to hear your role modeling but to hear what could be next.

Linda:

Quite inspiring. And I'm wondering, just thinking about did you train before you did it? I know you're a runner, right? I think - gosh - can I even do it? I'm I'm almost 58 Like, you're this is when you did it? And then what is it like to, to walk your way, like that's a different kind of traveling, like that's a traveling that a lot of us don't do and it has to be really powerful to do that. So I would love to hear about that.

Kathy:

Yeah, I actually, I haven't really run too much - I keep trying to run but it doesn't work. So I'm, I'm going to let that go. But I did walk so we had moved to Vermont, and I did walk luckily it was a that winter was a wasn't a hard winter and I would go out and three or four hour walks, I didn't do longer than that. And we ended up walking, you know, six hours or seven hours. So we, you know, we did you we built we built up to it, we definitely built up to it. And so the other interesting thing as you know, your I was with Jim for such a long time, we ended up about on the third day, he was taking pictures like of an anthill. And I was like, I don't want to take a picture. So I just started walking ahead. And we ended up walking, I call it alone together. In the mornings, we would walk not talking, you know, just in our own heads. And the amount of mindfulness that we could each do was pretty amazing. So we did walk alone together, at least in the morning. And sometimes, too. You know, in the beginning, we had blisters, but we took care of our feet. And we took days off in the beginning. And I actually got kind of sick in the beginning and had to go to the doctors and really take care of myself and and for me. So this was something that else I grew up with a mother who did everything for everyone else. So she put herself last. And that's still my role model. And I'm still constantly working on getting away from that. And so to ask for Jim - to say we got to stop - I need to go to the doctor's was actually difficult. And it's really it was really interesting to write it, because I could see myself not doing that. And part of it it also to do an adventure you kind of have to put on a call it your my tough girl skin or something like that you kind of have to put on this a little bit of a shield to get you motivated to keep going and and you know, it's not easy all the time. And so you and if I had said I need, you know, to go to the doctor's, then that would have been, I would have felt like I was failing. And so I had to work through all of all of that and work through it during the walk. And then you work through it again, as you're writing it. Very interesting.

Kate:

So much wisdom there. And we usually at this point in our conversation asked for a golden nugget, it feels like every single segment has had so much richness so much wisdom already. I wonder if there is something in particular that you think our listeners would need to hear as they're reinventing themselves or getting to launch into what comes next. Any particular golden nugget.

Kathy:

Stay open to the possibilities because you never know where life's gonna take you and just staying open to all the possibilities. And many, many of us have taken mindfulness or done yoga and, and I kind of felt like I had done all of that. But it wasn't until I went on the the walk that I really used it so much. I mean, I definitely used it day to day stuff, but use any little mindfulness that you have practiced and tune into yourself and your, your higher your higher goddess, whatever you want to call it. Your intuition will guide you your inner wisdom will guide you and trusting, trusting that.

Rhonda:

This conversation is a fabulous reminder and invitation I think for us all to look at what quest we might be seeking Getting in our next act of life, wherever we are in it might be involving a career, or a passion, or just being more still, whatever it is, and it might involve you with a partner or friend or a spouse. It's just the possibilities are endless. And money doesn't have to prohibit us. It could happen in our own backyard. So wherever we want to take that quest, Kathy's letting us know, we can do it. And you've offered amazing wisdom about that. But I think there's more to come for you. So as we wrap up our time with you, we are very curious to know what comes next, Kathy?

Kathy:

Well, obviously, I'm so I'm still working on the book, but learning to the whole publishing foray is going to be an interesting, I've signed with a, she writes press, which is a hybrid publisher, you I will be doing a lot of my own marketing and things like that. And so you know, having my business I have some background and that but it's, you know, pushing it, pushing out the message, getting the book out to the world. So that's, that's what that's what's next and some more long walks.

Kate:

And you'll definitely share that information with us when the book comes out. And we will let folks know, we will be the first three - four with our producer over there. But that is we will absolutely let folks know when that that is coming to to press.

Linda:

Absolutely. Yep. And we'll all be reading the book for sure. Yeah, and you can learn more about Kathy for those of us who are listening on her website, Elkindnourishment.com, and she's on LinkedIn, she's on Facebook alkine e l k i n d. Thank you, Kathy, so much. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your inspiration, your courageous, beautiful queen, Goddess self that you are. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Kathy:

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Rhonda:

Thank you and to our other Kathy, our producer behind the scenes who makes this all possible. Thank you to Cathy Carswell as well.

Linda:

And so it has left for me to say go forth be brave, live well and do good because it's act 2

All:

you're on

Kate: Act 2:

You're On was brought to you by act 2 Share our stage

Linda:

You can us at a to wyo.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Rhonda:

Please listen and subscribe wherever you find your podcasts you can support us using Patreon. Thanks for listening