Yesterday, my daughter turned 23 years old. And, I am beyond happy to report that she’s become a human that I like, love, trust, want to spend time with, think is amazing, and am truly proud to hold out in the world as “my daughter.”
Of course, she’s nothing of the sort. She’s not mine, and never was. As Kahlil Gibran so eloquently reminds us: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
Yet, as a parent, there is little more satisfying in life than feeling the relief of “holy cow, I did it. I raised a human who I think is absolutely amazing, and who I trust to navigate life, to be resourceful, to contribute to the world, and to take care of me if I ever need care in the future, because we’re truly in this together.”
There were so very many moments along the way of her (and my becoming) that had me question whether we would ever get here. There were times I projected my dislike of myself on her, and that I wondered if I would be able to get to where we are now.
First, before she was born, when I found out I was having a girl, I was terrified. My relationship with my own mother was tumultuous back then, and I was scared of repeating our fate.
Then, throughout the process of her birth, I sure questioned whether I was going to make it, at least a few times.
And in those early days, when all she did was cry and cry and cry and cry, I wondered how we would possibly get through.
The worst part was just as she began to enter her teen years.
I had a feeling it would be hard because by then I had learned that Life has a way of forcing us to revisit each and every trauma of our own childhood as adults, again and again, until we feel the pain all the way through and heal it once and for all.
And, there’s been no better catalyst for me to feel everything I’ve wanted to avoid than through the lens of my own children.
They are the ultimate reflections of all that is living inside of us, aren’t they?
So, when my daughter was on the verge of 14, and I snapped at her impatiently just before this photo was taken and we were about to leave for a Halloween party, and I watched her face crumble in confusion, I could sense the foreboding of what was about to come.
Kaia’s entrance into her teen years would bring me to my knees in a way I hadn’t quite been prepared for adequately.
I’ll be sharing many of the details here in the months and years to come, including video from that time during an upcoming training I’ll host in 2023 on Inheritance, but for today I’ll say that her journey through her teen years led me to understand what it truly means to Mother, and brought me to the beginning of my path of re-parenting my own little one.
Be Her Mother
At 14, I almost sent her away to a wilderness therapy program because I was certain I could not parent her into the woman I knew she could become. But, Life would gratefully intervene and invite me to grow bigger than I imagined possible, and to not just parent her, but myself in the process.
Together, we grew up. But I went first because I realized that if it had to be one of us, it should be me. I needed to go first. I needed to grow the fuck up so I could show up for her. And for myself. And for all of us.
But, first I’d need to do it for me.
So, I did. And in the process, I got to face all the parts of myself that were hard to look at, and all the places in myself that needed to be held, and all the places in myself that I didn’t love, or even like.
And, of course, it began with my own mother. And my grandmother. I needed to heal with them first.
I’ll be letting you into that journey starting in just a couple of weeks. Watch this space for an invitation to my first ever Legacy Masterclass Series — it’s coming, and it’s a good one.
And, you are going to meet my amazing, sweet mom, as you learn to heal with your parents (or your adult children, if you are the parent now).
Here’s a little preview of the branding …
Registration link coming soon! Watch for it.
If there is one thing a pregnant woman knows, and then every mother gets reminders about regularly, it’s growing pains. Did you ever get growing pains when you were growing up? The pain of stretching is seriously no joke.
I’m pretty sure that growing Kaia (both in my belly and through her teen years) was preparing me for what was to come here and now.
There’s no chance in heaven I’d be able to make it through my current growing pains had I not first been motivated to expand my capacity by her.
Now that I’ve experienced the expansion and contraction and expansion and contraction and expansion and contraction of the labor and birth process plus supporting Kaia to grow into a woman I love, like, trust and respect by facing my own insecurities, fears, and shadows and owning them, I get to bring this capacity to hold a huge amount without collapsing into my work in the world, and to my leadership.
Holy cannoli batman, I have wanted to collapse a lot in the past couple of months. I am being stretched beyond limits I didn’t even know I had.
I thought I was well-rooted in who I am, why I’m here, and what’s mine to do. And, Life is definitely testing my conviction and persistence around what’s mine to do.
But, it makes sense that it must.
I’m here to support the transformation of the humans who advise us on legal and financial matters.
By supporting them to transform, they will choose to advise us in full alignment with the values of all of Life itself …
By supporting lawyers and financial professionals — insurance advisors, wealth managers, and tax strategists — to transform the way they advise us, how they get paid to advise us, and their entire ethos of advising us from the unconsciously extractive models of the past into whole systems models of love, heart, and harmony that are in alignment with the principles of permaculture …
This is a big mission, and can only be accomplished if I myself have done the work of transformation, through and through.
I must be incorruptible.
I must be clear on where I’ve been corruptible in the past, and where that corruptibility originates from, and how it gets healed through me.
So Life is testing me to see how aligned and committed I am.
Life is testing me to see how much I want to support this transformation in myself, and then ripple it out because rippling it out is So. Much. Growing. Pains.
And the motivation must be as big as the motivation that Kaia showed me was necessary as I gave birth to her, and stayed present with her through her teen years, because this ripple out is requiring me to stretch even more.
I don’t need to ripple it out to make money.
I’ve got enough now to get off the train and chill out in Costa Rica for the rest of my life.
And, I’ve finally accepted that I do need to ripple the transformation out to feel satisfied with my role in life.
So, I will accept the tests that come to check how serious I am, and continue to commit, and recommit, and commit again, as needed.
Because it’s worth it, as one of my mentors says “for me, for you, and for us.”
Your relationships with your parents, and your children, and all of Life are also worth it. It starts with your relationship with you, and extends to your relationship with those closest to you, and finally to your relationship with all of Life.
When you are in right relationship, the economy “out there” is irrelevant. What matters is what’s happening in here.
I look forward to showing you the way that’s worked for me, and my relations, next week.
And, in the meantime, happy BIRTHday to Kaia and to me.
With so much love,
PS … during the time that was the most difficult with Kaia, instead of sending her away to a wilderness therapy program, I took her with me to Costa Rica. And while we were there, we found Stephen Brooks and permaculture, the answers to my dreams of a life in community.
It just so happens that Stephen, and his collaborator Penny Livingston have a free training available for you, if you would love to build community based in permaculture too. You check check it out here. Register to Watch Stephen and Penny’s Community Training Here
⭐In this free on-demand webinar, Stephen Brooks and Penny Livingston bust through three myths people commonly believe when building an earth-friendly community.
Teaching from their over 50+ decades of combined permaculture experience, they will show you the possibilities of having a community that shares your values and helps the Earth, too.
Plus, learn the secrets Stephen learned from building 3 eco-communities and his most recent endeavor, Alegría Village, which now has over 145 families living together in Costa Rica!
And, last, for our lawyers with heart I appeared on a podcast recently with Sigalle Barnes, and I think you’re going to love it.
I’m excited to share that I spoke with host Sigalle Barnes on the latest episode of the Lawyers Who Lead podcast. You’ll get a chance to hear my heart and find out where I’ve been, where I’m going, and just how many amazing lawyers I plan to bring along with me!
“Our hearts are here to lead and our mind is designed to be in service to the heart.”- Ali Katz
Put this episode on during one of your commutes this week. My hope is that you get so much value out of it.
Click here to easily access the episode and transcript of what I shared: https://lawyerswholeadpodcast.com/leading-with-heart-with-ali-katz/
You can also listen on your preferred platform. Simply search “Lawyers Who Lead” on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.