Ali Katz logo

Honoring My Father: a Story of Inheritance, Legacy, Privilege and Responsibility

An honoring of my father, William Samuel Katz, with love from Alexis Katz

My father led me to this name. His spirit guided me to a journey in the jungles of Costa Rica to re-discover my name, my integrated identity, the truth of all of who I am.

It would take more than 3 years for me to be ready to say yes to stepping fully into it. And, once again, it would be his spirit guiding me.

Last Fall, I did a creative immersion with Adam Roa, Ryan Fontana and Matthew Ayriss (the creators of the show the Art of Choosing Love). We did it in service to them creating a 2-minute “essence” video for me. I had no idea what it would be, and I think going into it, they didn’t either.

Adam Roa and Alexis Katz, in Vancouver

After the immersion, they left to travel the world, and we reconvened this past May in Vancouver to film.

When I got to Canada, I didn’t know what we would be filming, but I knew we would only have 8 hours to figure it out and get it done.

Upon arrival, Adam told me we’d be filming a letter to my dad. A tribute to all that he meant to me and the conflict he caused within me, and that I had 30 minutes to write this tribute.

“30 minutes?!?” Jeez louise, okay.

I better get to writing then. And, of course, it would be a letter to my dad because honoring him, and my lineage, is what it would take for me to be ready to step into my one true name.

The first draft of what I wrote is pasted below, in full, unedited. It gives more of the context of what ended up in the final shoot.

Dear Dad,

I’ve inherited a lot from you. I watched you make your life choices from a place of survival, scarcity, blame, and an unwillingness to take full responsibility for your life, while at the same time trying your best to instill just the opposite in me and Courtney.

I watched you go to prison for taking from others to support yourself, and our family. And I watched you justify your actions based on a belief that you had to earn your livelihood that way because you were neglected by your parents, not raised right and that you had a right to take from others who weren’t as smart as you were.

I watched you live the life of a con artist, and I saw how it ate away at you, even when you pretended it didn’t. I knew when you died so young, at just 58, that you were giving us a gift of seeing the results of those choices.

You left me a legacy of questioning my value, and a constant wonder and worry if the work I did in the world was truly meaningful or if I was just really good at selling things, like you?

My inheritance has been to wonder: am I a con man just like my dad? And to constantly question the motives of others.

I inherited your beliefs in scarcity and not enough, and turned those fears into multi-million dollar businesses that I wanted to believe helped others, but I wasn’t really sure.

As a result, I turned my back on all of it, so I could discover what was more true, constantly asking myself who I really was, why I was here, and what was mine to do.

I came to recognize that my inheritance was the key to finding the answers to those questions. Your legacy is not the survival mentality and actions that have rippled through our family for generations, but my willingness to use the privilege and opportunity you gave me to find the truth of myself beyond them.

My terror that I would be just like you caused me to surface what needed to be healed in me, to heal our lineage, from this choice-making and decisions based in a survival mentality, and win-lose dynamics, perpetuating an economic reality in which there could only be winners and losers.

I learned to tell the truth, to trust my heart, to only create from a place of win/win and ultimately to thrive — not from need or greed, but from a desire to give everything I could — in service to creating what Charles Eisenstein calls and I have seen as the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

Thanks to you, I know that compassion is the key that will shift the trajectory of humanity.

Compassion for ourselves, and the inherited belief patterns that are so hard to see, and digest, and forgive and heal.

Compassion for others who may have forgotten who they are, why they are here, and what’s theirs to do, and still be playing out the old ways.

Compassion for the pain that you and so many others suffer when choices are made based in fear, instead of love.

I honor you for the pain you must have suffered to be living so out of alignment and out of integrity with your own truth.

And, in this honoring of you, I serve others to see how their own inheritance of survival is playing out, to know and appreciate their privilege — even if it was created from a lineage of harm — and to accept the opportunity and responsibility to heal so we can create a future in which we can all thrive together.

So it turns out I did inherit a lot from you dad, and that, yes, you were and still are my hero. I may have never acknowledged that before, so today I do. Thank you. I love you.

With love, Alexis

Writing and Re-Writing in Vancouver, preparing for the shoot

Through the creative process, Adam asked me to edit down what I wrote twice, shortening it each time, for the sake of the length of the video and to take out any words of intellect, keeping just the emotion.

I deeply appreciate the thought and care that Adam, Ryan and Matthew brought to the creative process. I’m still amazed at what they were able to pull through me in such a short time. And how integral they were to my seeing that it was time to take my name.

What was perhaps lost in the editing process was the fullness of the understanding of inheritance, legacy, privilege and responsibility. And the questions and reconciliation I believe many of us are going through today. I hope both the video and the written words that originally came through serve you to look at these questions in your self.

So today, I say a full yes to my lineage, to my inheritance, to the legacy I am creating, and the work I am here to do in the world. Welcome, Alexis Katz.

Immense gratitude to all those who have played a role in this becoming.