Mid-week Live Coaching: Kayla
Despite being clear with your purpose, you will still have a hard time chasing after it if you are falling short in managing your wants. Jumping from one desire to another without actually achieving tangible results will only keep you stuck in a repetitive pattern that hinders growth. This exact attitude is what coach Kayla MacArthur aims to shake off once to unlock the full potential of her adventurous self. Together with Adam Quiney, she dissects her views about freedom, sovereignty, and money-making, determining how these forces impact her decision-making about the things she wants to put her entire energy into. They also share their thoughts about coaching experiences, emphasizing why the bias of those in their profession to impose beliefs on other people must never be tolerated.
Listen to the Episode Here:
Mid-Week Live Coaching: Kayla
In this episode, we are coaching with the inimitable Kayla MacArthur. I am super stoked that I managed to say that word without stumbling over it. It’s a little bit like Worcestershire sauce where you say all syllables. You run over them and hope that you get it. The inimitable Kayla MacArthur. Kayla is a coach. She has worked with Bay and me in The Forge in the past and also worked one on one with Bay. That’s my wife, in case you didn’t know. This is a neat conversation because first of all, it’s relatable for a lot of people, this desire to have all of everything.
A coach of mine once said to me, “You can have anything you want, you can’t have everything.” I took that and tweaked it a little bit. The way I would word it is, “You can have anything you want, not all at once.” That’s a little bit of the dynamic that you’ll hear that Kayla’s working with. One of the things that were neat in this conversation was, we had someone commenting while we were doing this, asking me or Kayla to get clear on her why. Why do this? What for? You’ll hear me point to why that’s not the direction I sought to go and to bring us back to noticing where we are. Before we start figuring out where you want to go, before we start to figure out why you want to go where you want to go, we need to know where you are.
A lot of this conversation is about getting clear on the pattern that she’s caught in, how that plays out, the benefits and the consequences of it. It’s tough for us to let go of something. If we’re not clear on what we’re letting go of, and if we’re not willing to allow ourselves to hold on to it, first of all. That’s where a lot of us get stuck in our patterns because there’s a part of ourselves that wants to hold on to that pattern. We or someone else would tell us, “You’ve got to let go of it,” and that creates resistance in ourselves. If you’ve ever felt that internal struggle with yourself, “I want to let go of this but I don’t want to let go of this. I should but I shan’t.” That’s what I’m talking about.
One of the ways for us to start to move past that is to get clear on hanging on to including the benefits and the consequences and empower that without beating ourselves up for it for a while. Let ourselves have it. Let yourself eat your cake until you get sick of it. Let yourself be aware that it’s going to give you added calories, and practice not beating yourself up for that while you eat it. If you can do all of those things, eventually, you’re probably going to get sick of it and want something different. That’s a little bit of what we’re doing here. It’s bankrupting this pattern and who knows, there might be more to have happened but you’ll see that in the process as we go through this.
The other thing that Kayla reflects at the end of this conversation that is also worth mentioning is you’ll read stories, metaphors, or assertions into the space. This is something that early on when I’m training someone in coaching, we want to take that entirely away from them. As humans, we’re so biased to put ourselves onto other people, to project our beliefs to make assertions without labeling them to tell people what to do. We can’t see our agenda.
The first step is to stop doing that entirely. Over time, to move from the science of coaching into the art and the magic of it, we have to learn how and when to step over those initial rules. You’ll enjoy this conversation I absolutely did. If you would like to be a volunteer and be one of the people to be coached, you can send an email to PR@AdamQuiney.com. We would love to hear you. Thanks so much.
That’s a lovely introduction. Thank you, Adam.
Did I do good?
You did. I loved it.
I asked everyone this because it’s fun. How is it being in the green room while I’m nattering away?
It’s a little nerve-wracking but I was getting more and more pumped and excited to come on. I also owe you a Happy Birthday because I might have missed your birthday so I want to say that.
I wasn’t going to say anything I was going to hold it against you resentfully throughout this conversation and throw barbs at you and undermine you as we were coaching but now that you’ve done that, we can step over that.
How’s it going? How have you been in the midst of all of that COVID mania?
I’ve been great. I have a coach so I feel that has helped me be able to generate a breakthrough during these times, adaptability, possibility and that’s been helpful. I’m noticing too that it’s being reflected back to me in the people that are coming to me. They’re ready to generate breakthroughs and they’re ready to make the most of this time. I’m excited.
It is an incredible thing how I’m amazed, in my own life, what COVID has driven up. Even if the way it’s driven up is a tornado comes and rips the roof off your house and you have to confront the fact that you don’t ever want to ask people for support. That’s a way of having our stuff driven up. Whatever it is that drives up our stuff, it provides this amazing opportunity. With the councilor Bay and I work we often say, “To let it go, you have to let it come up. It has to come up to the surface so we can set it down.”
COVID provided this amazing opportunity and for those of us fortunate enough and committed because it’s not luck, it’s a commitment too, to have a coach and work with a coach. I find it provides so much opportunity to do our work, “Shit, there I am showing up there. Here I am judging people for how they’re showing up online. There are all these opportunities. Yay.” What are we going to dive in on? What’s our topic at hand?
I would love to take a look at this story that I have and I’ve noticed it come up time and time again. It seems like every time I go to the next level it comes back around in a different way. I’m coming up against that right now. It’s the story of, “I can have some of what I want, but not all of what I want.” It’s the story of, “I can have this or you can have that.” To put some real examples in there, I can travel the world and be a nomad, or I can invest at a high level in myself, but I can’t do both. I want to shift that and see what’s possible or see how it’s possible to have both.
Got it. I’m going to say hi to some people here Simon, Heather and Sheila. Sheila is someone you became close within The Forage. That’s created some bestie relationships there.
We always talk every week.
The way you describe it sounds like two things are on the scales and you can have one and not the other or the other and not the one. Do you ever find some balance, but it’s not quite what you’re after? Does that remain elusive?
Yeah. I’ve found some balance. I definitely traveled when I was working with Bay, which was cool and now I’m thinking about leaving my home and living out in the world. That’s a much bigger expense than a two-week trip somewhere.
Investing in yourself at a high level versus travel. Are there other things that seem to be at odds with each other in your life? Other ways that this plays out?
Yep, totally. Through my work with Bay, we realized that I have freedom and love pitted against each other so I can either be working hard in my business. I’m making a lot of progress there and a lot of headway but I forget about my love life and vice versa. When I find someone that I connect with, I am all in with that person and I forget that I have to do those activities that will move my business forward.
When you find it, it’s like, “Here’s the stuff I’m committed to doing. I’m doing it,” and the rest of it all or nothing it sounds like.
Is that up for you now or is that a thing that you’re feeling the impact of right now?
I feel proud of myself. I have been tending to both of those well. I could be putting more effort into love but it’s a weird time. For me, I know that I’m going to find love out in the world so I’m setting myself up to be able to go on that adventure to find that person. Although I am doing some work in that area as well. They feel pretty balanced.
Have we resolved it? Is it handled?
It feels handled maybe with that aspect of it, freedom and love pitted against each other but there’s still this other piece around that I feel I can’t have everything that I want and the denominator here is money. There’s a fear like, “Would I be able to keep my business going if I’m traveling out in the world?” There is a gap too like, “Can I still invest at a high level and take care of myself out in the world?”
It sounds like there’s a way it is for money. Tell me more about that.
I will say that I did a little bit of work with my coach now around this. We did look at the gap being money. I feel that what’s happened to her my journey, and you can attest to this when I first met you and Bay, it was so scary to make that leap to invest at the level that you guys have us commit to playing at. For me, back then, I don’t understand how I could possibly pay my bills and invest that much money. That’s what the game I’m in right now looks like then.
It’s at a higher level.
It comes back around again. That’s easy. It doesn’t faze me to invest in myself and be able to pay my bills. That’s my normal on how things go. I’ve gotten used to that. I’ve gotten comfortable in this new game and now it’s like, “I’ve got to go do the game again but in this bigger way.”
Help me get a sense of it. Let’s assume you’re playing the new game in the best way or whatever. We address that. What is it that you want life to look like that this stands in the way of?
I want to be completely sovereign and independent. I want to be able to travel whenever I want to. I want that to be my home. I want my home to be out in the world. If I want to go to Costa Rica for a month, I get to go to Costa Rica, and I decide I want to go over to Bali, I get to go over to Bali for two months. I get to go to Spain or wherever I want to be. I can do that. I can have that experience while I can be investing in myself. While I can have a full practice of amazing clients. While I can be having the time of my life adventuring. While I can be saving money for the other things that I want. I’d love to have a new car someday. I’d love to be able to have long-term investment savings. There’s all of it. I want all of it.
Let me make sure I’m hearing right. First, you’re sovereign and independent. You can travel whenever you want. Simultaneously, you’re investing in yourself. You haven’t said it this way but I’m guessing that means you have a coach, you pay for programs, whatever and you also invest in long-term savings, and that stuff. To be clear, in this part of the conversation, I’m like, “What are we aiming towards?” I’m not super clear on it yet. That’s not a critique of you. It’s like, “I’m still not quite clear what we’re aiming towards.” What I’m wondering a little bit is, is this a problem of not making enough money? What is the thing that you perceive to be in the way of this?
It’s definitely money, but it’s not the doing. I’m doing everything. I am creating clients. I’m amazed at myself for what I’ve been able to create even in two months. There’s another piece in the way. There’s money and there’s like, “Is this too good to be true? Can I keep this up? Can this be consistent? Is this my life now?” I’ve only been a full-time entrepreneur since last October 2019. I’m proud of myself for sustaining that but there’s this fear of, “Can I sustain this? Can I keep this up? Can I keep growing?”
I can relate to that fear certainly. Is the fear of doing anything aside from leaving you feeling afraid? Because what I mean by that is, we all have fears. They’re only problematic when they dictate our actions. It’s fine for me to be afraid that I might get mugged but as long as I’m willing to go to the store, be with that fear, buy my groceries, whatever, it’s not such a big deal. If I’m staying inside, I put more and more locks on my door. This is a weird example but you get the idea and now the fear is becoming problematic because it’s dictating how I can live my life. I get the fear, “It’s a little too good. Am I in trouble?” Is it doing anything or is it like, “I feel afraid?”
As you were speaking, what came up for me was responsibility. The word responsibility. I’m terrified of taking on more responsibility, because how am I going to meet that responsibility? How can I take on these responsibilities without necessarily knowing if I’m going to have the money to sustain those responsibilities? That’s keeping me small. It’s keeping me in this little life.
There are a couple of conversations I’m present to. One conversation would be like, “How do I make all the money so I can do all the things?” I can plunk down $20,000 every year for long term investment. I want to make $50,000 to hire the coaches I want to work with. I want to make another $10,000 through the program I want to do. I want to have a budget for this and it’s like, “Great, what are the things to do to generate that income?”
There’s also the conversation of, “I want to be doing all of that, regardless of the amount of money I’m making and I noticed that I tend to go all or nothing.” It’s like, “I put all my money into my investment until I’m tired of that and I put all my money over here into traveling. Rather than making $10, $1 go to long term investment, $5 goes to the coach, $2 goes to travel or whatever.” It’s that conversation. What’s showing up for you as I’m laying this out?
I had the first conversation with my coach already. I feel like maybe the second conversation would be better to let go of that all or nothing. Even as you say that, I feel my body constricting.
What’s that constricting around? What is it trying to hold on to?
It makes me angry and it makes me sad to think about splitting up my income in that way.
It’s because I want to have anything that I want.
Tell me more about that. That’s super interesting. I was going to say intriguing.
If I had a certain amount going to every pool, I would be saving money essentially now for the things that I want in the future. I wouldn’t be able to have a coach now. I wouldn’t be able to travel now. It’s not enough.
Tell me more.
I would have to live this small life for 1 or 2 years and maybe I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I want to do and I don’t want to do that.
It sounds like there’s this feeling. I’m hearing the all or nothing of it. You want everything and you want everything at the maximum level?
A coach once said to me, one of the first coaches that I had, at least ontological deep in her work, it drove me nuts that she said this, “You can have anything you want, not all at once, Adam.” I was like, “But I want it all at once. What about the possibility of coaching?” It sounds a little bit like where you’re at, “I can put $1 towards long term savings every month, but I want it to be whatever the number.” You probably have some number that is the right number or the number you want and that’s what it should be. If it’s not that number, it’s not enough. Is that accurate?
I imagine doing everything at a bit of a reduced scale like a balanced approach but then I’m stuck. I’m not getting to do anything fully so then the game you play is, “Do this fully until you get tired of doing that fully and you’d do this one fully. I’m going to do relationships fully. I’m going to invest in myself fully.” You spin from thing to thing to thing. Is that right?
What’s going on for you there?
It feels heartbreaking. It feels sad. I don’t like that. It’s what you said about, “I can do this thing, but it has to be watered down. It can’t be that full expression.”
I want to speak to something that showed up in the comments, which is Melissa saying, “Because of your why. Get why. Get a powerful why,” which is definitely a direction we could take. The reason I’m not going to that is because that would be like, “Let’s solve this for Kayla. Let’s get her so clear on something that then she will do this.” Where we’re at in this conversation is getting clear on what even is happening?
If someone keeps finding themselves in a hole, then the obvious solution might be, “Get them inspired for why they might want to leave the hole,” but first, we’ve got to figure out what it is that keeps getting them in a hole. If the thing that has them keep finding themselves in a hole is that they are unconsciously going out into the world and looking for holes and falling into them, then motivating them to get out of the hole is going to speed this cycle up. They’re like, “I got out of the hole,” and fall back into it.
Before we even go to moving Kayla out of this place, we want to get this place. We want to understand what’s the play that’s creating this dynamic for her. A different way we could put this is that we can’t leave a place until we’ve been there. Kayla, who I know to be highly motivated to go places would love I’m sure for us to create a powerful why now. What my sense is for us to get a little closer with where things are. It sounds like I can see the dynamic that you’re playing. Is that fair?
Do you ever try this balanced approach? I’m curious. In this one you seem pretty good at or you’re more familiar with or used to. Have you ever tried the one where you’re like, “I’ll do everything in a balanced way and I’ll do a little bit of that and that?” Have you ever tried that?
I’ve made attempts to try that and the thing that I want comes up and I’m like, “Forget that. I want this thing more than the balanced approach.”
How long does that usually last?
Trying the balanced approach?
Until the thing until something that I want comes up. It’s like a squirrel. Which is not long, Adam because there are a lot of things that I want.
That’s what I’m wondering. I get it. It’s only a matter of time until a squirrel shows up but my hunch is, you’re going to create a squirrel one way or the other so this is all created. I’m wondering if we looked historically, roughly, how long is it before somehow a squirrel happens upon you?
I can give you an example. I have one student loan that’s almost paid off and they have suspended all interest and you don’t have to pay it right now. I was like, “I only have X amount left. I’m going to shell my money towards that and get that paid off.” All good plans. The next one, my car had to get fixed so I decided that I’m going to put the money towards that and I’m like, “The money divvied out for that next month I want to do The Forge so I’m going to do that instead.” It’s not long.
Weeks, months, days, or hours?
Got it so it’s 1 or 2 weeks. You’re trying to balance this out and you’re like, “There comes the squirrel.” What is the experience of this? It sounds like it’s a bit of a fluctuating game where you try to be measured or whatever you’re speaking to yourself is around this. You get sick of that. Go for gold and go for gold. Tell me about the experience of being inside this pattern that we’re looking at?
It starts with getting excited about this plan that I’m creating. I have my coach and I’m going to pay off the student loan. I get excited looking at the numbers and coming up with the number that needs to occur.
We’re in the balanced approach right now. You’re like, “I have a plan. I’m excited.”
I get excited creating the plan and the thing comes up that I want. I don’t take action right away. I sit with it and I’m like, “I’m noticing that I want this thing and I want this thing.” I let the feelings sit in my body and I get excited. If the feelings continue, I’m like, “Yes. This is the thing. I want to do this instead. Forget that other thing. This is where my heart is calling me. This is the guidance I’m receiving.” I act on it and that other thing gets pushed to the side.
Is the other thing being the plan at this point?
Yeah. Oftentimes, it’s the lesser prioritized thing. No one likes paying off debt. It feels good, but it’s not necessarily the thing that you want to do. I did this with my credit cards for a long time. I did pay all those off, which is good.
Thank you. I did that for a long time with those. I would be like, “That plan that I have to pay all that off, nope. I’m going to invest with this coach.” It’s this experience of being excited to do that thing and get that priority handled. Something else more exciting comes up and I get excited about that. That other thing gets put on the shelf longer.
Let me make sure I’ve got this. It sounds like this is a cycle so we can begin distinguishing this anywhere in the cycle but where we’re starting is step one, Kayla’s got a plan. It’s time for a plan. Step two, excited by plan. It’s novel, new, array, and, “I’ve got a plan.” Step three, I’m on the plan. It’s measured. Step four, new hotness shows up. There’s a sexy new thing that is not immediately going to become available, etc. and go for new hotness. Is that about right?
Great. What happens next, how does it go from here?
The lower priority thing falls off and I keep doing the bare minimum. The squirrels that often get in the way are traveling and investing in myself.
Which is hiring coaching or programs.
Yeah. I do one or the other. I either go and travel or I invest. I’m realizing I always make more money when I do those things. I ended up having to sacrifice for a little while but then I made more. I bring in return on investment and we’re back at square one again. Now I’m like, “I have all this new income coming in. I’m going to make a plan with what I’m going to do with that,” and we start again.
I’m a bit curious because as you’ve described it, it sounds like the only casualty in all of this is that the plan falls by the wayside, but you invest, make more income and things gradually move forward. If not for making a plan and not fully sticking to it, this sounds great. I’m imagining it’s not quite that great based on your being about it. What are we missing? What’s showing up for you now?
I’m looking for the answer and the answer is not coming super fast. Sometimes it does and sometimes it takes a moment. What’s missing is part of me wants to say speed. Speed is missing and having speed towards having everything because this is the game where Kayla gets to have some things that she wants, but not everything.
What don’t you get inside of this thing that we’ve drawn out so far?
It changes depending on what squirrel is in front of me.
Let’s imagine that I totally get what you’re talking about down on the ground. What squirrel shows up is the thing that takes you away from the particular at the moment. There are particulars to this but if we zoomed out so we couldn’t quite see the particulars, we’re looking at a broad sense. The way it goes through Kayla is, create a plan, get excited by plans, see a sexy new thing, do the bare minimum towards the thing that’s not the sexy new thing, go after the sexy new thing, sacrifice, get return new income repeat, what in all of that, consistently, do you not get?
I don’t get sovereignty.
Tell me more about that.
I don’t get to live my life fully in the way that I want to live it. Choices get limited instead of being able to choose everything, I have to choose this or that. Sovereignty and a level of independence.
What does sovereignty mean to you?
To me, it means being able to live your life in the way that you want to live it. Freely and there are no constraints around you. If you want to do this thing, then you get to go and do it. You get to choose it.
That sounds like what you’ve described, which is, “I’m going to make a plan because I want to make a plan,” and there’s a new thing. You’re like, “I want that new thing,” and you go after the new thing.
Maybe it’s freedom. Maybe that’s the better word because you’re right I am making these choices and I’m making these choices from a place of sovereignty. I’m fully choosing to invest when I invest in knowing that it might be uncomfortable. I might have to give up something that is sovereignty to me so it’s freedom.
I want to be clear to you that I’m not trying to move you off of the word sovereignty. I’m having us look a little deeper into what that is for you. We could go with sovereignty and freedom. Let’s go with freedom because that’s what you brought. How would freedom look inside of the way this goes as opposed to the way it goes?
There’s a way things currently go for you in this pattern and you’re saying, “Part of what I don’t get is freedom in this pattern or sovereignty if we go back to that one.” My question is how would this play out if you had freedom. If you were embodying or had the thing that you’re saying you don’t get into this pattern, then how would things go differently?
I like this part. This would be living my vision. It would be either traveling and living out in the world or choosing somewhere to live and having my own place and having that, maybe both. It would be both. It would have my own place, my own home, and traveling when I want to. It would be investing in everything that I want so I’d want to have a private coach at all times. When a program or an event calls me, I want to be able to do that. It would look like having a new car, being able to have that money for a new car, and taking care of myself completely and fully, doing all of the things that nourish me. Feeding myself, going to the gym, being able to go for a massage when I want to do all the healing modalities that speak to me or call to me, having savings, and having long-term investment savings as well. That would be freedom.
Thanks for doing great. I noticed that the way you described freedom was entirely a product of your circumstances. That’s not a criticism. You invest in this, you have a new car, you get to travel, you get to do this, and you get to do that, all of the stuff you have. Tell me about who you’re being from freedom? Let’s remove the circumstances entirely out of it because it sounds a little bit this pattern that we’ve drawn out is trying to create all of the circumstances but I’m not hearing about who Kayla gets to be in this future she created nor now.
I love that and thank you for bringing me back to that because that’s something that I tend to do. I focused outside of me as opposed to inside. Freedom, internally, I would feel completely held and supported. There would be no resistance and no funky energy in my body. As I’m speaking this, I tend to feel this on a day-to-day basis already within my current circumstance. It’s this complete freedom. I’m completely supported. Presence wise, I would feel more integrity because as a coach it’s my job to help people live into their possibility. I’m committed to always living in my possibility. I’m not perfect, but I feel if I was at this level, it would be even more in integrity. I would feel that people would be drawn to me because of the way that I’m living my life.
Let me read you the answers you gave and I want you to tell me what you notice about them. I asked you, who would you be being from freedom? You said, “I would feel supported. I would feel more integrity in my presence, in who I am and people are drawn to me based on how I’m living my life.” What do you notice about those answers?
Supported, integrity, magnetizing.
They went a little bit from internal to external, perhaps?
A little bit. Also, feelings, if I was generating the being of freedom, I would feel supported and I would feel integrity. We’ve moved from the external circumstances now to more of the internal ones because feelings are not something, and people will argue with me on this and that’s fine. In my experience, our feelings are fickle. They’re like the weather. I take on a lot of work, I get to live this amazing life and some days I wake up and I’m like, “Life is lame.” I’m making fun of myself but that’s true. I’m like, “Everything sucks.” You can look at the circumstances and it’s ludicrous. You can look at who I get to be in my life. It’s insane. It’s amazing.
People would love to have this life. Sometimes not all but that’s fine. The reason I’m mentioning this is because my feelings are fickle. They’re not the measure of how my life is and I noticed that if I chose my feelings, I would create a lot less in my life. On those days, I would cancel this conversation with you. I would eat ice cream out of the freezer, drink beer at 9:00 AM, and all of the stuff that from how I feel would dictate my actions.
I’m curious. I like the word sovereignty on you. There’s something about it that feels like there’s truth there and I’m curious about the being of sovereignty. If you were to truly embody sovereignty, what does that look like in terms of how you’d be?
What’s coming to mind are some actions that represent the being. Maybe you can help me pull out the being from actions?
I would be showing up for my business in the ways that I know I needed to grow.
What does showing up for your business mean?
It means taking the actions, connecting with people, inviting people to conversations, proposing to people, caring for my clients, and supporting them in the best way that I can. It means creating.
Do you do that?
What is different about true sovereignty? How is a sovereign? Think of a king or a queen because that’s what sovereign means to me. Is that what it means to you?
It would be way more selective. I’ve been going down that road for a little while, just only reaching out and connecting with people that call to me that I’m inspired by and I vibe with as opposed to just anyone who comes through the door. It would be that on a totally different level and there would be less of it, too. The connections and all of the things within those things that I said would be more intentional and impactful.
Let’s try a different tack. Imagine a queen and she has a kingdom. There’s much that she wants to do with the kingdom. She has this much wealth, but no more. She can tax their citizens, but only to a certain extent. That’s like you. You have this kingdom, which represents your life and travel, investing in yourself, and all of these things. I’m curious, what if we took how you’re currently being about your life and transplanted it onto that queen? What does she look like as she manages her kingdom on a daily basis? The pattern we’ve distinguished for you tells me that story as that queen.
It means connecting with people. Same actions but going into those actions is a lot of work. I feel like oftentimes, I’m casting a wide net. The people that end up being the people that maybe I want to serve or support, I could cast a huge net and there’s one person, and I’m like, “Whoa.” I am in awe of you. It took so much to get there to that one person.
Let me take a stab because I didn’t ask the question clearly. That’s totally my bad. I’m going to tell you the story of this queen in her kingdom using your pattern as an overlay. The metaphor of a queen running a kingdom overtop of your pattern that we’ve distinguished. We have this queen and she loves her kingdom. She wants to do right by it and she does many things that she wishes for the kingdom. She decided she has a plan for her kingdom. “We’re going to make sure that garbage gets taken out. We’re going to make sure that the roads are safe. We’re going to invest in our military. We’re going to do all of this stuff. It’s important. We want the kingdom to have all of these things.”
She does that for a week and she shares with her subjects, “This is what’s going to happen.” The next week, she goes, “I changed my mind. I’m going to invest in this prince that has come into my kingdom. He’s handsome.” She does that for a little bit of time, and then she goes, “I changed my mind. I’m going to travel far and learn about this silk road that I’ve heard so much about, then I’m going to bring that back to the kingdom. Don’t worry.” To me, that doesn’t occur, particularly sovereign. It occurs a little fickle. More princess than queen.
That’s the adventurer in me.
I’m not criticizing you, Kayla. I want to check and make sure. Part of the gift here might be realizing, “I don’t want to be sovereign. I don’t want to do that.” I’m not saying that’s what it is. All I’m doing is reflecting one of the things that you said, a desire for sovereignty, and then I’m reflecting at least in terms of the way of being that you’re coming from occurs less like the queen, sovereign archetype. More like the debutante, the princess swayed moment by moment, but with what the world puts in front of her. I don’t think that’s a bad thing even. That’s totally fine. I just imagine there are some consequences to that approach. Where’s that left you?
I’m chasing after sovereignty or trying to generate a breakthrough here but is that what I want? I like adventure more than I want to be that queen that you described. The one that keeps an even keel all the time for her subjects.
It doesn’t even have to be even keel. There are many ways that this can look like. It could look like, maybe you set aside 75% of your funds towards adventure, and then you deal with the rest 25%. The thing I noticed in this is that these are the things that I’m present to. I’m not trying to give you a solution to doing this, just to be clear. It seems like some of the things you miss out on are being able to trust your word because you give your word through this plan you create, and then you throw it out two weeks later. I imagine there’s not a lot of being able to rely on yourself or to trust yourself in this, which I could imagine might contribute to that fear you have. It’s good, but will it stay good? I don’t have any certainty of that because there isn’t any certainty in this. There’s just whatever is next. Would that be fair?
Yeah. It points to that whole thing where it’s the inner and the outer. To my word, if it’s something that I’m holding me to for myself, but if I have someone else to pay, if I invested in myself and I have bills to pay, I will throw away my word to keep my word to the other person.
Which is another way of saying your word doesn’t carry much weight for you. If it doesn’t carry much weight for you, predictably, it won’t carry much weight for other people. Maybe to some extent, but much more powerful as their word, and then you can rely on their word or whatever like, “I can source myself that way.” The first consequence I noticed maybe in this pattern is a bit of a disempowered relationship to your own word. What you say you will do is a little woefully for you, it sounds like. That’s okay. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s a consequence for every choice, every action, and every way of being has some consequences to it.
I could also imagine part of the consequence of this pattern is there’s not a lot of consistency for it. That lack of consistency is super familiar for me and the way it often showed up in my life was around money. The way I was raised with money was you have to budget it and be tight with it. My dad to this day still wears the crappy Chuck Taylor Converse All Star sweatshirt that he stole out of the lost and found the university he worked at 40 years ago. That’s the sweatshirt he wears. I’m like, “Buy yourself a new sweatshirt.” I got to buy him a new sweatshirt. That’s what I’m going to do.
Anyhow, the relationship I was raised into with money was to be tight and responsible. There are consequences to that. My parents are not good at treating themselves. It’s hard for them to pay a lot of money, hard to buy things that aren’t on sale, hard to not get a deal, etc. Decisions requiring money require years. It took my mom ten years and after she’d retired before she could renovate her office.
That’s one way of being with money. I swung out to the other side, which is, “Screw all that. Be free with that.” When I’m flashed, I spend and when I’m not, I don’t and that’ll be my way of money, which is the opposite of this one. Do you see that?
Both of these are not the most empowered relationship with money. What tended to happen for me is I’d swing back and forth between these two poles, so I’d be like, “Free and easy. Fuck it I don’t want a budget,” and then I’d get like, “Where’s all the money?” I get scared, and then I’d swing all the way back over to this side and be like, “Budget,” and it’d be restrictive, restrained, and unpleasant for Bay. I would be empowered by it for a while until I got back to, “Fuck it,” and I’d go back and forth. Before I say anything more, does this sound at all familiar and relatable for you?
That’s like me, totally.
I would be, “I don’t want to have to be in that restraint mode, but I also hate the fact that I have no idea where my money is at. I’m making good money, but every time a bill comes in, I’m a little worried because I don’t know where the money is at.” I want to read you the vision I created for my project around money when I was taking this on in my own life, and then we’ll bring this back to you and away from my dad’s crappy sweatshirt.
This is my vision. “My experience of money has completely shifted. I don’t stress about it and I don’t ignore it. I’m with it every day. The way I’m being with regards to money is being in integrity. I’m on top of money in a way that feels clean. I’m prepared and ready. I’m not caught off guard when a bill comes or stressing because my accountant lets me know how much we need to pay in taxes. I’m wise. Ninety percent or more of the time, I feel good about how we are with our money instead of feeling clueless with spikes of feeling good. I am consistent, while money ebbs and flows and our bank accounts grow and shrink, the way I relate to it is consistent. My actions with it are consistent. I show up in a way with money that allows us to be consistent. Finally, possibility. Here’s the catch. While I’m being consistent, wise, responsible, and on top of our finances, I’m working with it in a way that allows your possibility and spontaneity.” What do you think about any of what I shared?
It definitely stood out. Situations or circumstances could change but there’s still this solidness around it.
Are you saying you learn that from me or is that something you know for yourself?
A little bit of both. That’s my reflection back that sticks with me. There’s this feeling that circumstances can change but you can be solid and definitely wise.
I wish I had an answer for you, which I don’t.
I see it now because if I keep being an adventurer, then it doesn’t matter how much money I continue to make. It’s always going to be this way. That’s going to be my relationship to it. I have to start somewhere, and then I can still make more money. If I am relating to it in that way, things are changing. Maybe there’s an opportunity for a little bit of both. It never occurred to me like, “Maybe I could still invest in myself and pay my bills,” but then whatever I have leftover, I do that divvy thing. I immediately was thinking, “I got to take all the money I make in a month and I got to divvy it out.” Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. That was the all or nothing. That’s what was making me sad.
I’m always a little cautious about us getting into solutions because it’s like, “Got it. Now we can solve it this way. I’ll put 75%,” or whatever. I love what you saw for yourself there. One of what showed up was the adventure. Money is a little bit that way for you, too. It’s like, “Is there enough? I don’t know. Let’s find out. Let’s go after this and let’s see what happens.” You’re on a boat on an ocean and the wave goes up and you get to see over it, and then you dropdown. You’re like, “Fuck, it’s a sea monster,” and then back down, “A mermaid.” Who knows what’s showing up? The place I would steer you back towards is who do you want to be in all of this that will best give you the experience of life that you want, and enable all of these things?
The wise adventurer. I don’t want to kill that adventurer part of me. I love that part of me. That’s what makes me unique. That’s the heart and soul of me, but that part of me can also use a little bit of wisdom and checking and not being in all or nothing all the time.
If we were to frame this in masculine and feminine divine energetics, you have a lot of feminine energy, and then you swing all the way to all of the masculine. The plan is the thing, and then you get swept away by the feminine, which is very exciting. The feminine energy is exciting, it’s the energy of love, life, adventure, and all of that stuff. In my own experience, what most enables us is when we can create a bit of structure to support us and that, at least for me, tends to give us a lot more freedom than that teenage freedom, which is like, “I don’t want any restrictions on myself,” whatsoever. We get to say yes to whatever shows up at the moment, but we never get to say yes truly to the stuff longer-term unless it happens to line up with whatever has been showing up at the moment.
It’s how it goes for me usually.
The desire to be more balanced or more consistent or wiser, what are some of the things that would open up in your life that you would love to have, be it the experiences or whatever?
I would still be able to choose an adventure to have in the forefront but then in the back, there would be this ever-growing pot for having it all still experience adventure now and whenever I choose, but then there’s this pot that’s collecting, and then eventually, when that gets bigger, then I can have all those things, but I’m not keeping adventure out either. I’m getting to invest in what I want to invest in, but there’s this growing pot that when it comes time to travel, I have that pot to dig into. If it’s time to pay off that loan, I got this pot to dig into and I can just pay it off, but I’m also investing in a forefront adventure.
Melissa was talking about why, I noticed. Now we’re getting into the conversation about the why and the what for Kayla because she’s clear on where she is. We can start to see this stuff. You said, Kayla, that there’d be this pot you could invest in things or build-up or whatever. What experience in your life would that provide you that you don’t get and feel kept out?
Let’s say, for example, I’m investing myself. That’s the adventure at hand. Let’s say someone was like, “I want to go on this adventure.” I would have this pot behind me that would be like, “Maybe I want to dig into this pot to go do this thing that I do on the side.” It would give me more of that freedom. It would give me more of that ability to choose. As opposed to like, “I can’t because I’m investing in myself now and I don’t have anything leftover outside of that.”
It provides some access to more spontaneity, it sounds like.
What else? Imagine you’re bringing this way of being that you’ve said you want to the way you show up around your money and the choices you make. You’ve been doing this for several years. What is present in your life that is not currently? What else becomes available for you?
This answers your question somewhat, but it came to me while you’re asking the question. The integrity with your word and trusting of your word. I could trust myself more.
What would I notice is different in your life as a result of you being able to trust yourself more?
There’ll be steadiness, stableness, and solidness like what we’re talking about with the money.
I want to keep building this out a little bit. What are some ways that we might expect to see that tangibly manifested? You’re more reliable in your word, being able to know and trust the power of your word, creating what you say you want to create by virtue of speaking into the world, steadiness, and solidness. What could we expect to see in Kayla’s life in a couple of years that wouldn’t be predictable from where she is as a result of those things?
I could have my own home and I could travel whenever I wanted to. I would be charging much higher fees and I would feel totally in integrity to do that. I’d be creating clients at that level.
Higher fees, creating clients at that level and having not just adventure, but also a home of your own.
On top of the travel. I’ll be able to have everything. On the way to that couple of years thing while still being able to have an adventure at the moment.
Anything else that you see?
Not right now, but I will later I’m sure.
What’s present for you at this time?
Expansion and excitement.
There’s a part of me that’s curious if there’s something underneath that for you. I may be making it up, but it feels a little bit like there’s happiness over top of something.
Adam, this is me at the beginning of the cycle again like, “It looks like a plan. Let’s get excited about this plan.”
What else is under that excitement? What shows up with that given you shared that?
I feel like I’m so excited by it that there’s not anything but what I could see is this could be a potential to turn it into a plan, and then get excited about it, and then like, “Am I going to go against my word again? Am I not going to be able to do this?” Is there something that you feel underneath it?
I don’t know. I already reflect there. It felt like there were some joy and some excitement and I was left wondering, “What else is underneath that?” As though there was something underneath that layer of excitement and joy. That might just have been me or there may be nothing there. It sounds like you’re not present to anything.
No. I feel excited.
What do you see there might be to practice with all of this?
The practice would be practicing being wise with my money. Deciding like, “What’s the adventure currently in front of me? Where am I going to put the bulk of it? Is it going to be in investing? Is it going to be in traveling?” Whatever’s left over after that, I like this idea of divvying that up. I have already a plan that I’ve created that I was like, “I can’t do this until I’m making this much money.” I can do that now. Maybe it just won’t be the amount that I had in mind. There’s something freeing about that to me.
To have this growing pot, even if it’s not that much.
The practice is to be wise and do that. Another one would be to notice and keep an eye on feeling that excitement, but then being wary of when I feel like I want to go against it. I’m calling myself out on that.
Noticing this pattern as it’s going. Would it serve you to write this pattern out and post it somewhere? It’s like, “There it is. Where am I on the pattern?”
I’ve done that in the past with another one and it’s been helpful.
Would you take that on?
The other thing that I might suggest is most of the time, we’re like, “I want to do this thing, but I’m not willing to.” We make ourselves wrong for being unwilling, but we’re not willing all the same. It’s like, “I want to stick to my plan, and yet, I’m not willing and I’m wrong for that.” It’s like eating your cake and hating yourself while you’re eating it. “I shouldn’t have this cake.” You may practice one, noticing, so you can be clear-eyed and sober about it.
“This is the next step in the pattern. I’m going through it,” and then empowering that if that’s what you’re choosing. “I’m choosing this. I know what happens next. I’m going to do the program. I’m going to sacrifice. I’m going to bring a return and there’ll be new money. I’m going to come back here and I’ll probably make a plan again.” I’m guessing somewhere in this cycle, there’s some disempowered story, some berating yourself, some frustration, or some flavor of that. Would that be fair?
Not as much right now, but sometimes.
It’s not like the whole thing you hate yourself. You’re here in this conversation. If you hated yourself constantly, you’d be in bed.
For example, I haven’t berated myself for not putting that money that I set aside to go to my student loan.
That’s the case with all of our cycles. There is part of why we’re in them because there are moments of joy and excitement. I imagine that when you see the sexy new thing and think about it a whole bunch and eventually say yes to it, and then that period of time afterward, there’s a ton of excitement, adventure, and joy in that part. I’m imagining at the bottom of the cycle, there’s also a part that is the counterpoint to that, where you’re like, “I suck. Nothing’s happening. I’m not moving my life forward towards the thing that I say I want,” or whatever the flavor happens to be.
All you might do is consciously notice yourself. If you’re like, “I want to be wise and I can’t seem to stop myself from going after the sexy new thing,” then maybe the way to practice wisdom at that moment is like, “I’m leaning in and I’m going to keep my eyes on it. I’m going to know that there’s a part of the cycle coming up that won’t be as fun, exciting, and adventurous, and I’m choosing that as well.” A much wiser man than myself said, “All that we need to do to break out of a cycle is avoid taking the next step,” which sounds easy, but it’s so hard.
Every step leads to the next step. He said, “If you’re noticing yourself in that pattern, that is doing something different,” because typically the way the pattern works is, we’re not aware and conscious. By starting to bring some awareness to this cycle and noticing what it gives you and what it doesn’t, you’re starting to create a different pattern. Anything else that you see you might want to take on out of this conversation, Kayla?
No, that feels good for now.
I love the desire for sovereignty. For me, a lot of people who are adventurer and embodying freedom can find it challenging to empower structure and commitment. I acknowledge you for being in all of that. To me, even there is a challenge there, it’s more of a reflection of the adventure and the freedom you have. I feel in you a desire to deepen your ability, power, the weight with which your word carries itself, and deepen your relationship to commitment.
I love that you can see to some extent that in that, there’s more freedom that becomes available. One of the great paradoxes of the world is that by being willing to take away some of the freedom in the moment, we create a much greater experience of freedom in our life. That’s why we tend to get stuck. The moment it doesn’t feel that way when we’re like, “I’m being told no and I don’t want that. I should be able to say yes to everything right now.” Thanks for modeling grace and elegance throughout this conversation and for your tenderness as we flowed through whatever showed up.
You’re welcome. Let’s do a quick little bit of debrief. We don’t have too many comments, so we won’t spend too much time there. Anything that you were present to like, “We’re going here. I thought we would go over there,” or anything like that?
I want to say I appreciated when there were times where maybe you asked me the question, but maybe you had a metaphor or something that you want to bring, like with the queen. I do love peer coaching and I love the questions, but it’s powerful when a coach can also bring that metaphor and can help lead you a little bit. I’ve noticed I like that in coaching. It gets you over that hump. That was a part that once I saw that, I was like, “I get that.” That led to a much different place than where I was thinking we were going.
That said, it’s a funny thing, early on when people are learning to coach, it’s like the rule, “Don’t put yourself into the space. Just ask questions and be curious.” Pure coaching, as you put it. If you’re a new coach, follow that and do that thing because as humans, we’re so weighted to putting ourselves and our agenda into the space. We have to learn to train ourselves out of that. The way you train yourself out of something is you take it away from yourself entirely, and then once you’ve done that long enough, there becomes real value in like, “Something is showing up. I can share that and I can offer that.” Always give the reins back to the client. It’s like, “Here’s the metaphor. Here’s the thing. What do you take from that? What do you hear for yourself?” We then go back along those lines. One of the things I love about the art of coaching is we first have to learn the science of it, and then we have to learn how to step beyond that science so we can create art and be in the dance together.
There’s one other thing, too, that I want to highlight. I do a lot of this work, too, with my clients and I’m thinking of a particular one that we’ve nailed down our pattern. As you invited me to sometimes empower that and choose that. I don’t think I’ve ever brought that to her before. A lot of our work, she notices it now. She comes to me and can tell me exactly where she is on our calls. I’m like, “Yes, this is awesome.” She’s like, “What am I going to do instead? I don’t want to go where I’m going.” I feel like something that I took away from my own coaching. Your clients being able to choose that, see where it goes, and own the consequences of what could follow or own the experience.
Another example of us not being able to leave a place until we’ve been there because most of us are pulling the cake out of the fridge or rating ourselves for the calories, putting it in our mouth, chewing this delicious cake, hating ourselves while we’re doing it, and repeat. We would all heal a great deal faster, transform, or whatever you want to call it, if we were willing to love ourselves and bring love to whatever we’re doing because at least then we can be conscious. We can be more at choice from that place.
It’s so great because it’s such an edge for me, too. I’m all about coaching, leadership, and being ever more responsible for my life. Sometimes, what’s called for is for me to be right in my victimhood. I’m doing it anyhow. I’m just layering responsibility over top of that, and that doesn’t work. What there is this like, “Adam, be right that person is an asshat. Let yourself be right about that. Stop trying to look over on your side for a day. Go back to it, but spend a little more time in that victimy place for yourself, Adam, and empower it because that’s true for you at the moment.” That can free us. Thanks for drawing light to that.
One of the things I was present to was Melissa. Melissa, thanks for what you were sharing. She said, “First, Kayla, this is so cool to see you being vulnerable in the hot seat. I resonate with a conflict of being all or nothing so much lately. A lot of us do.” Melissa was speaking a lot early on to have a why, make your why crystal clear that nothing can stop you from pursuing it every single day, then create the structure.
Getting clear on our possibility is important, provided we’re not layering possibility over top of the existing pattern. Almost always what we first have to do is get clear like, “What is the nature of where we are?” Once we can see that, great. “Now, what do we want to create?” The reason I didn’t go to the why early on with Kayla was because she would create her why from inside this hole. Someone who’s inside a hole and keeps putting them inside the hole, if you ask them, “Why do you want to get out of this hole?”
They’re going to be like, “It won’t be dank and musty and because I’ll be able to eat food that not got dirt in it.” That’s not what they’re craving in their life. They’re craving that because that’s the pain that they’re feeling. We want to help people distinguish the context that they’re stuck in so they can get some altitude, and then choose a why that’s free entirely from the confines of their current circumstances. Any thoughts on that, Kayla?
I’m glad you didn’t go down that road with me because the why has never resonated with me. It doesn’t pull me forward. I have a vision. I’m solid and reliable there, so I don’t necessarily need help with that. I know what I want. I know what my adventure is going to be, but that hasn’t been enough.
You occur a little more to me where I’m like a horse champing at the bit. Wherever I’m going to go, it’s already too late, so I’m running down the road. What often serves me is to be invited to stand or sit still in whatever tension I’m feeling. It’s like, “Rather than running off to joy, maybe you sit in your sadness for a bit, Adam,” or whatever the thing happens to be in the moment. You’re a coach. Do you have programs you want to tell people about or anything awesome that you’re up to that people should know?
I could use this opportunity to announce it even further. I am officially and finally writing a book and I’m excited about it. In the past, I’ve said this. What usually happens is I’ll announce it. I’ll have this great adventure. There’s a ton of space that happens between me and that adventure. I lose that excitement to write about that thing that I wanted to write about in the first place. I was living in Bali and I had a lot of interesting experiences and insights occurred for me. I’m ready to write about those and I want to bring that into a book format. I’ve been blogging about it and the blogs have gotten great feedback. I’m excited to draw out the story and bring it to the world.
Do you have a title for it yet?
I don’t have a title, but the theme is going to be around becoming her. I feel like it’s going to be the greatest love story of my life, whether I end up by myself or with someone else.
I love the way you worded that, too. One of the things I love about a book is that, at least in my experience, as I’m writing it, the book is also writing me in a way. It feeds back and forth into itself, so that’s cool. That’s exciting. If people want to know more about you, where do they go?
You can go to my website. My blog is there. If you’re interested in the coaching I do, my website is my name, www.KaylaMacArthur.com.
Thanks for hanging out, Kayla. You’re awesome. Thank you to everyone who stayed. A special thank you to Melissa, Megan, Christa, Sheila, Heather, Sherifat, Simon, and Michelle. I appreciate all of you for commenting and hanging out. I’m going to give a plug briefly here to The Forge. Registration is open. Kayla has planned. Although we may have coached you out of that at this point. We don’t know. Maybe that’s not going to be a part of it. We have 5 of the 12 seats taken.
There are seven remaining and we were in conversation with about four people that are tentative yeses, so that leaves about three spaces open. If you’re interested, reach out to me or to Bay or go to the website, EvergrowthCoaching.com/the-forge. It’s going to be amazing. You’ll get to do cool work with people like Kayla. We’ve got a retreat and it’s truly transformational and life-changing work. Thank you, everyone. Love you. We’ll see you next episode and bye for now.
About Kayla MacArthur
I’m Kayla MacArthur and it’s my personal mission to help you create what feels impossible NOW instead of years from now.
I know you know what I’m talking about—that big vision you have to bring your dreams to life? Yep. That’s it! This is the point where you stop saying and START DOING.