sol interview with kate lynch
[00:00:00] if you've been around for the past couple of years, you probably have heard the phrase neurodivergence, it's becoming sort of a buzz word on the internet on social media. It's everywhere. It's folks are starting to become more familiar with the term. So maybe you already have some embodied sense of what it means, or maybe you don't, maybe that term is new to you. You've heard it. And you're just not really sure what it is.
[00:00:23] This episode is going to help demystify that in a very raw and real and relatable sense. Um, so the episode. Is as always by way of a story. And our guest today is a parent of a neurodivergent or what she and her son preferred to call atypical child. Um, because to them, atypical is better than typical, right? Like who wants to just be typical, that's kind of lame and boring. So, um, we will of course get there by way of a very beautiful and relatable story.
[00:00:58] So one thing I've found is that. Most people who love yoga, have some similar threads to their yoga story, so that part's always fun to listen to for me. And so our guest today, Kate Lynch is the author of an upcoming book called. Atypical kids mindful parents, the joys and struggles of raising neurodivergent kids. So in this episode,
[00:01:22] It's not just for you. If you're a parent, it is also for you. If you perhaps think you have. You know, Maybe an inkling of . Neurodivergence or you want to learn more about what that is, or maybe you just want to hear another good yoga story because that's what we do here. On this podcast. So Kate shares her yoga story, her parenting story, and how that beautifully led into birthing this book into the world, which is what she's doing now. And so it's a good story. It's a good listen. It's also packed with wisdom.
[00:01:56] And relate-ability and vulnerability, and it just touched my heart to record the interview. So I really hope. You enjoy it. Um, I hope you get something out of it. And I hope if you are a parent or even if you're not, I hope it starts to spark because everybody. Even if you don't have children was parented.
[00:02:18] In their childhood. Right? So I hope this starts to spark some curiosity about mindful parenting and what that could mean, what that could look like if you were perhaps parented in that way. If you are a parent in that way now, It's just good things to think about. It's a beautiful story. Welcome to the science of light. I'm your host, Rosemary Holbrook, your friendly neighborhood, Vedic, astrologer, and yoga teacher.
[00:02:41] Here too. Share yoga stories. Share. People who are finding their Dharma, their life path, living out their life path. And that's what we do when we share the stories we get to hear from people who are. Birthing something beautiful into the world based on what they've experienced and what the world needs. And that's exactly what Kate is doing. And you'll get to hear towards the end, her definition of atypical her definition of neurodivergence what that means. So buckle up, enjoy the story. And here we go.
[00:03:13] Hello and welcome to the Science of Light. I'm your host, Rosemary, and today I am joined by Kate Lynch. Hi Kate. Hi Rosemary. So welcome. I'm glad you're here. So I'm super stoked to learn about what you do and how you got into that. So can you just start off by telling us who were you before you found yoga?
[00:03:34] Okay. This is gonna be hard to believe, um, for those who know me at all. , I was a stress out fashion designer in Manhattan. Wow. Yeah. Very cool. So I, I grew up an artist, but I also grew up, um, with a lot of like housing and food insecurity. So I wanted, um, I'm gonna start crying like the first minute , you said you want a vulnerable interview.
[00:04:05] Yeah. Um, I wanted financial independence, so I went for fashion design. Mm. And I did that for 10 years and I basically crushed myself. I was very stressed out. I had had a couple of car accidents and um, some like neck issues. And I got into yoga basically to deal with the. Okay. Yeah. So was it like a, somebody was like, you should try yoga situation?
[00:04:35] Yeah. My best friend from high school, actually, she moved to California and I went and visited her and she took me to her, um, like regular neighborhood yoga class.
[00:04:44] Nice. So was it like a, I don't know. I feel like when I hear of California and yoga, I'm like, Baron Baptist, like power yoga, something like that.
[00:04:53] Actually it was a Kundalini yoga class. Nice. And that was my practice and my main teaching style for the first at least decade, if not more. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So what made you decide to start teaching? Like how did you go from that first class to becoming a yoga teacher? So I got, I got more into it. I was trying to get out of, uh, the fashion industry and I ended up moving years later to California, um, and started taking more yoga classes,
[00:05:33] And then I had always wanted to backpack around Southeast Asia or just to travel, like I was very into travel. So I decided that by my 30th birthday I was going to be, Traveling in Southeast Asia, so on. I was on a plane on my 30th birthday for a six month trip. I basically had saved up for years for this trip.
[00:05:59] Nice. And, um, ended up meeting an Australian, had a great time, kind of discovered a lot about my own spirituality and. Did a lot of these kind of more spiritual things in Southeast Asia for sure. Um, but then I met a surfer, an Australian surfer, and moved to Sydney, Australia.
[00:06:24] Wow. Trying to keep the story short. Um, no, it's fine. . So, in Australia there was no one in Sydney. There was no one teaching Kundalini yoga. So I started doing ashtanga at the local, like surf club with a. Like a surfer who was just sharing her practice and it was really fun. But I was like, you know, I wanna, I wanna practice Kundalini.
[00:06:50] Nobody was doing it. And before I left California, my teacher had said, oh, well you should just start teaching. And I was like, what? No, I'm not a teacher, I'm an artist. . And then, um, nine 11 happened and I was in Sydney and my family was in New York. And yeah, I, it, it impacted me very, very deeply. I didn't know where my dad was for quite a while.
[00:07:24] Mm-hmm. , he was fine, but yeah. That's hard. It was a lot. And that was the final. Kind of fire to start my training as a yoga teacher. So did you do that training in Australia or did you go back to California? How did that, so I began with a, they have colleges that do certifications there in yoga.
[00:07:53] So I started with a couple of, um, foundational. Modules in anatomy and physiology and um, counseling. And then one thing led to another and I had an opportunity to go and study in New Mexico, do a intensive with the Kundalini guy whose name I won't mention. . Right. Okay. and, and I, I came back and basically was like, okay, this is my, I'm doing this now after like 30 days of training.
[00:08:30] Wow. So what was that like? But still, yeah. Um, you know, you know how teenagers kind of think they know everything in toddlers, think they know everything once they learn a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. You know, whenever you learn something and you're like, oh, now I've got all the knowledge , but I was, I was so earnest.
[00:08:50] Getting up at five o'clock every morning doing my practice extremely earnest and you know, doing everything the way that I had been taught. Exactly. Mm-hmm. . And it was really interesting, um, who ended up, I just opened up my living room and put a bowl out, you know, and I just said, put flyers up. This is how long ago it was, you know, I put flyers up and put my phone number and like invited people.
[00:09:19] So the very first person who came to my living room was pregnant with her third child. First of all, I hadn't, I had no training in prenatal beyond what they kind of, the, the dos and don'ts that they give us. In regular teacher training. Right. Um, so she was pregnant with her third child and she was aware that her child was going to have down syndrome.
[00:09:45] This was my really initiation into teaching yoga. Wow. And I was just super curious and wanted to support her and probably asked too many questions and um, and since I didn't really have any advice for her, I just let the yoga do the work. Right. And that turns out that was the right thing to do as it usually is.
[00:10:12] I think. So was this in California or still Australia? I was still in Australia. Okay. And then also second question, I know you have a child now, this was pre you having a child, right? Yeah, so this is like, I fell in love with this Australian, um, that was in the late, in 1999 and um, now it's, it's a lot later than that.
[00:10:35] So, um, that was in 1999 and my, I, I started. My training in 2000 and Well, yeah, 2002. Right, right. Um, and so I was teaching in 2002, so it sounds like, you know, This is the, the common thread that I hear most times. I, that's why I love hearing people's like yoga story, how people become yoga teachers, right? Is the common thread is like you live your life and then you find yoga somehow usually to, you know, deal with stress or an injury or whatever it is.
[00:11:12] And then you wanna put good into the world. So then that's how you start teaching, you know, is that you've experienced the, the positive impacts it had on you. Does that sound like, you know, sound like the common thread?
[00:11:25] I've chill listening to you say that cuz that's exactly what it was for me, is like I started to become more and more aware and awake and I alway I had known for a long time that I didn't wanna be part of the problem and the more I learned about the fashion industry, at least where I was.
[00:11:42] I felt like I was part of the problem contributing to harm. Right? So I wanted to get away from that and yoga gave me the courage to do that. Mm-hmm. . And then when nine 11 happened, my level of suffering went way up. Right. And I saw the suffering in the world and my level of like compassion went way up.
[00:12:04] And I knew I needed to do something to. To alleviate not just my own suffering, but the suffering that I saw in the world, right? Because it had helped me on a personal level. Yeah. I mean this is, this is the story, right? Right. Yeah. That's ama and that's what I hear from a lot of folks and the, the particulars are always different, but it's just beautiful to see all the different ways it sort of plays out.
[00:12:29] And so then everybody has their little like specialties or whatever that you get into, which I usually find for most folks, it comes from like, Things, their life experience. Right. So when you, this first person that showed up, did, did that make you take a great interest in like prenatal yoga or, yes. Kinda.
[00:12:46] What happened from there? So I had always wanted to be a parent and the reason I moved to Australia is the guy, right? Yeah. He said before he asked me to marry him, he said he wanted to be a he, he also wanted to be a parent. So I married him, moved to Australia. Six years later, it still hadn't happened. He kind of backed out of that and we ended up ending that, that relationship, and I moved back to Brooklyn.
[00:13:16] Okay. So just to kind of put that in context. So those first couple years teaching, I was in Australia, right? And then I, I moved back to New York and I still wasn't a parent, but I had always wanted to. So I, very soon after the divorce, I did meet my current and hopefully final husband , um, my beloved, the father of my child.
[00:13:42] Nice. That's beautiful. And, and I got into, um, pretty soon I got into teaching in New York. Um, reconnected with my teacher trainer. and she had helped start like open a, a new studio and it took a little while, but not that long for me to be teaching like 20 classes a week in New York all over. Right. Were these all Kundalini classes?
[00:14:15] No, I had done a, um, Vinyasa training that summer when I moved back, I moved to. , the Omega Institute in, in Rhinebeck, New York. And I lived there for a season and worked there and lived in a tent. It was amazing. And I connected with Sean Corn and I hadn't heard about her. Do you know her, know the name. Yep.
[00:14:39] So then I did a Vinyasa teacher training with her so that it kind of, the idea was I'm gonna be able to be more marketable as a yoga teacher. Right. But I really loved. The way she taught it was very soulful and I connected with it. Yeah. So it was easy to offer myself a vinyasa and Kundalini teacher at that point.
[00:15:10] That's cool. And then I, um, I had already done several prenatal trainings by then and, um, parent child trainings or parent child and also kids yoga trainings like I. Kept adding on those trainings because my mission at that point was really about contributing to the future of our planet through, through working with families.
[00:15:37] So even before I was a parent, you know, I felt very connected to that and I became known as a kind of a trusted educator in Brooklyn. For For families. A prenatal teacher. Postpartum teacher. That's awesome.
[00:15:58] So side note question I wanna ask, this is like backtracking in your story, but when you talk, you were talking about the fashion industry where my mind went when you were talking about the harm done of the fashion industry.
[00:16:09] And I'd just love to hear your perspective. Maybe I should ask your perspective before I give like what I thought. No, go ahead. Of what I was thinking was like, My first thought was fast fashion. And when you said the future of the planet, I was like, yeah, fast fashion, right? Like we see all this stuff.
[00:16:24] Then crowding thrift stores with the fast fashion and then, but then also like what is the role of that with like, is there like a bo body positivity piece and like body image with the fashion? Was it one of those things, or both? I think the first thing was traveling to, um, factories. Mm. And seeing the conditions and we were using some of the better conditions, you know, factors with the better conditions and learning about ways that indigo was made by basically like digging a pit and pouring all these chemicals in.
[00:17:02] And, um, yeah, so it was harming the planet. It was labor practices. Those were the things I was most and waste. Those are the things I was most concerned about. Okay. That's cool. I was just curious And that was just like a side note. Yeah. That's important though because also, I've seen this conversation happening now, like in yoga. Teacher communities where they're like, what yoga clothes do we wear that aren't, you know, harming? Like practice ahimsa with our clothing that we wear. Right? So that's just, you know, I think it's an important part of the conversation.
[00:17:37] So thanks for like, you know, at least doing your part, I guess to not. Participate in that. So anyway, I mean, it's still going on. I didn't stop it from happening. Right. Well, I just walk away from it. You know, I think about all the time, it's like there's these systems that are bigger than us and we can influence them or we can choose not to participate in them.
[00:17:57] And there's no right answer, always. Right. You know, we have to choose something. Yeah. Um, so I, and I'm, my biased opinion is, Being a yoga teacher puts a lot of good into the world. So, um, anyway, so back to like, sort of your yoga journey, how, um, how did your career evolve beyond, beyond there? So like how did you go from, like, what happened next in this story
[00:18:25] what happened next is what I'm asking.
[00:18:27] So, um, my husband and I started trying to conceive even before we were married. Don't tell our parents That's okay. Yeah. But. That didn't work out so easily as we expect it. We were both on the older side and who knows. So I was teaching a lot of prenatal and postpartum.
[00:18:51] I really wanted to be a parent and it felt hard sometimes, you know? Mm-hmm. . So we went through a couple years of fertility, um, before conceiving, and it was, um, 2010 December when he was born. So, okay. Backtrack. . Yeah. Um, so when I found out I was pregnant, I was walking with a good friend under. The Manhattan Bridge, which is Dumbo, is like a place in Brooklyn that's very, um, well known for being very noisy.
[00:19:35] There's a train going over. The fertility clinic calls me, they say something. I'm like, I can't hear you. They, they scream, you're pregnant. And I screamed back. What? I was super excited, but I didn't really think it would take the first time. So anyway, it.
[00:19:53] So the pregnancy was really hard. I was older ish. and I thought that I was gonna be this amazing, you know, pregnant person because I knew so much about prenatal yoga and about pregnancy, and I thought that I would have this amazing, ecstatic birth because I knew so much about birth. I had done like doula trainings and Right.
[00:20:15] I had read a lot of books, , I've known a lot of other people's babies and other people, pregnant people and people. Having kids and we had our own experience. Mm. So Ocean is my son and he was born at home, but it was not blissful. It was super hard. Right? , neither were either of my births so I just thank you for pointing that out, because , there's a lot more to pregnancy than the glow.
[00:20:46] Yeah. And you can't just, um, gratitude yourself into being a, I don't know. I couldn't just gratitude myself into being this like perfect earth mother. You know? I have, you know, I have a lot of baggage and well, that's, I have the body that I have. Yes. That's an important sentiment because I think, you know, there is a.
[00:21:08] Ecstasy around having a child. Like it's a beautiful experience. But I think that's like, that seems like a good metaphor for like something larger going on in our culture that you can't just gratitude yourself, you can't, toxic positivity your way through hard things and having a child is hard. Like giving birth is hard, you know?
[00:21:26] So just wanna point that out. That exactly. . Yeah. And to be honest, I really tried toxic positivity my way through until my son was, A toddler and then I just couldn't anymore. It was like I hit, um, a breaking point. So he was, he was colicky as a baby. We didn't know it. He needed a lot of support. We had , a lot to give.
[00:21:55] So our level of support and matched his needs and. It. So it took a while to figure out. It was really, once we started interacting with other babies the same age, even though I knew lots of babies, this was my first mm-hmm , it took a while to figure out that he was struggling with his development and to then get over the denial that came up around that for both of us.
[00:22:29] and then to figure out what to do. Yeah, so he was about a year old when I self-referred him to early intervention, which is the kind of the, the pathway towards special education basically. Okay. Where they start evaluating your child for whatever needs they might have. So what were some of the signs that made you make that self.
[00:22:58] The ultimate one was that he, he, his gross motor skills were developing slower, which I wasn't initially worried about, but it became like, oh, he's stuck here. Right. I can see that he's stuck. I had seen lots of kids with their own timeline, but he was like, not even on the timeline, like he wasn't doing certain things developmentally Right.
[00:23:27] He couldn't really get off his belly. So he eventually did manage to crawl on his belly, but he couldn't really get off his belly. So that was where we were at. 12 months. Yeah. So were you still like working, I mean, and you know, and work for you is like teaching lot yoga. How did that fit? Yeah, I went down, um, When I was pregnant, I went down to like a dozen and then half a dozen classes.
[00:23:55] And when I started back up, he was five months and then at six months I was back up to, I don't know, maybe half a dozen classes and sort of slowly ratchet it back up. Yeah. But because I worked in gyms, I could drop them off for the hour at the, at the, uh, childcare and then pick him up, which was so.
[00:24:15] That's why I teach at gym's now. Yeah. I have a nine month old and a three year old, so yeah. And that was his first social, real social interaction, you know, or first drop off. And it was wonderful. It really worked for the time in my life. Mm-hmm. that I was at, like you're saying, as a yoga teacher, because generally my income would cancel out any childcare.
[00:24:44] So then I, you know, I really hit when he was a toddler.
[00:24:49] Um, we eventually, he was diagnosed with autism and I. I felt extremely lost. . Yeah. I didn't really feel like I had time to, like, I couldn't go lock myself in a room and practice yoga for an hour. I felt isolated. Um, very stressed. There was a lot to learn and a lot to advocate for, for him, and my practice wasn't helping.
[00:25:27] Or I wasn't leaning into my practice, one or the other. Probably a combination. Yeah. So I really had to remind myself and relearn, and it was something as simple as somebody reminding me, another yoga teacher who was a parent reminding me, feel your feet on the ground. Mm. You know, something as simple as that.
[00:25:50] Just like spread your toes and feel the souls of your feet connecting with the earth. That was the level I could handle. At that point. I was still teaching, but that was like in a box, you know, in a box for other people. It is different. Yeah, it is different. It's just like mindfulness is different from meditation.
[00:26:10] I was meditating with my husband every night before bed, but I would kind of close my eyes and drop into that meditative space. It would help me get to sleep, wake up and be, you know, with my son all day stressed and running around and not taking care of myself. For sure. Yeah. Well, I imagine at that time, You know, social media wasn't as robust as it is now.
[00:26:33] Like the resources out there for parents probably weren't as robust as they are now. Right. Well, I tapped into a email, um, like an online like email group that was very helpful, Brooklyn Special Kids, and that was great for resources. Yeah, but there was nothing like supporting people on that, like emotional, spiritual, mental health level.
[00:27:03] So I did eventually get back to therapy, thank God. Nice. Yeah. And um, so there was therapy
[00:27:11] . I started getting more into mindfulness as a meditation practice, but also as a way to integrate that into my daily life. So it wasn't, it wasn't like this separate thing that I needed a certain amount of time for because I didn't have that.
[00:27:32] So it was something I could integrate into what I was already doing as a caregiver. Yeah, that would help me to stay self-regulated. Nice. Then when I was able to be self-regulated, I was more helpful to my son because I could co-regulate with him. Co-regulate. I love that. Could you say more about what that is?
[00:27:59] Mm-hmm. . So when babies are born, they can't self-regulate. Their nervous systems are just not operable in that way. Mm-hmm. , that's why. Mm-hmm. They need. Right to, to hold them and care for them and cuddle them and all of that. It helps them to regulate. So the more self-regulated we are, like I'm sure you've noticed with your kids, if you're stressed, they pick up on it, right?
[00:28:24] Mm-hmm. , well, he was like hypersensitive to that, and I was hyper anxious because it was a stressful experience. It wasn't exactly what I had expected as a. And I was navigating a lot of systems and, um, obstacles that I wasn't, I wasn't prepared for, for sure. So the, so as parents, if we, and as anyone, right?
[00:28:51] If, if someone else is dysregulated, unable to cope, If we are regulated, if we are not just calm, but like aware of ourselves, aware of what our emotions are, aware of our bodies, aware of our breath, self-aware, mindful, however you wanna say it, just by being in proximity with us, those people near us, benefit.
[00:29:17] Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And there's this great author. Larry Cohen, who wrote about the second chicken, and I think this really applies to yoga, right? Okay. And the second, the second chicken is like a chicken is kind of just pecking away and it hears a sound and it looks up and it looks around. And if the other chicken is running around in circles, it starts freaking out and running around in circles.
[00:29:40] Mm-hmm. . But if the other chicken is just sitting there like everything's cool, I'm packing away, then that chicken will go back to packing away and be fine. Yeah, I've heard a quote before to that effect that was like the strongest nervous system in the room wins. So if you're really strongly calm, you can bring other people to match.
[00:29:59] You're really strongly calm. Or if you're really strongly stressed out, you're gonna bring the calm person a little bit into your stress. Right? Yeah. So I would say for the first few years, my son's nervous system was definitely the strongest in the room, and he was winning. Like that was winning, and so I really needed to overcome that.
[00:30:17] That was something I needed to. I feel like that even as a yoga teacher with like over 10 years experience teaching by that point, um, I needed new tools. Mm. That resonated. So I discovered self-compassion and specifically with Tara Brock. So I was like on this mindfulness journey and then found her way of teaching self-compassion through the, the rain technique.
[00:30:46] Do you know this one? I don. Recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture. I like it. So yeah, there's a lot. Yeah. Online you can find about it. It's a Buddhist technique, but she was the one who kind of, who I learned it from. Nice. And this was what helped me to get over that toxic positivity. Mm, mm-hmm. and rather than just in therapy, I was just kind of explaining all the triggers and in meditation I was just like, oh, calm it down.
[00:31:24] This was what helped me kind of really heal. Mm-hmm. . Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. Can you say a little bit more though, like of how those three things worked together? Like the therapy. Meditation and the self-compassion piece, it sounds like mindfulness piece. Yeah. Okay. So the therapy was giving me the awareness, helping me with awareness, which is also, mindfulness also helps with awareness, but awareness of like things in my past that would, would be triggering.
[00:32:01] Mm-hmm. as my son turned three, you. Maybe something that was happening when I was three was affecting me. Now, who knows? Um, but to kind of unpack and be able, be willing to unpack, but then I would just kind of label them and look at them with a little distance. So then the meditation, I was very experienced as dropping into this calm place.
[00:32:26] Mm-hmm. . So I could do that. But then I. , integrating it into what was happening in my daily life, the stressful things that were happening in my daily life. So there was a disconnect there. So there was these two disconnects, right? And then what I found, and maybe it's just because I got to that point where I was like desperate and needed to figure something out, but what I found was self-compassion was it gave me an opportunity to really befriend.
[00:32:55] The, rather than just calming things down or looking at them from a distance and being like, yeah, that sucked befriending the, the pain and the struggle. Right? And seeing, listening to that pain and struggle and that part of me that was suffering. So it, it's kind of a reparenting process almost, right?
[00:33:16] Mm-hmm. , when you get to the nurture, I was gonna say that sounds like inner child work, which is like a buzzword nowadays, but that's what you're describing, I think. But that stuff's great. . Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so it was, you know, I would recognize sure that was what, um, what the therapy gave me. I could recognize what was happening.
[00:33:39] Allow was new, right. That I would actually allow it rather than trying to calm it down or push it away, or toxic positivity it. Right. I would allow it to be there and then I would investigate, like start to ask questions where do you feel this in your body? How old are you? You know, whatever questions I was willing to ask.
[00:34:07] and then ask what that part of me needed, and then I was able to give that part of me what it needed. Which sounds like nurture. Right. Right. So that's the nurture step. Exactly. And it's not easy, but it's a, it's a reproducible process. Mm-hmm. that I just now use on repeat. Yeah. So then I started teaching it
[00:34:33] Perfect. Yeah, so then I started teaching it and then things got a lot easier with my son, and part of that was me and part of that was him was maturing. Mm-hmm. , right? Getting more support because he was in a good setting, good school that helped him a lot of support with therapists, and he was getting what he needed.
[00:35:00] So I was able to kind of ratchet down my nervous system co-regulate, and it was kind of that upward spiral rather than downward spiral. Yeah. So we're in a good place then. Guess what happened? What, oh, what the pandemic , of course. Yeah.
[00:35:18] So right before the pandemic, I made a commitment to write a book about, um, the, the tools that I had used.
[00:35:28] That helped me navigate parenting my son. Mm-hmm. . So it was really just gonna be a set of tools. And then somebody suggested maybe put some of your story in there. Yeah. So it took, um, then the pandemic happened, so it was like right next to each other, . Um, and at the same time actually this, this scandal about Kundalini yoga broke.
[00:35:57] Oh yeah. So I was pretty, I felt pretty alone as many people did, and I was very triggered. Mm-hmm. . Um, and it took a really long time to write the book, let's just put it that way, as it does life. Yeah. So, so the book became more, way more than just a kind of a list of, or a group of tools for parents. And is is much more just interwoven with story.
[00:36:27] Yeah. So that's kind of bringing us up to the present day. Yeah. In a beautiful way. So clearly I agree with the story component. That's like how I built this whole podcast, cuz I think it's important. I think it's like we can all see the parallels. It's like the little human threads that we all have, right?
[00:36:48] Um, yeah. But. Yeah. I also just wanna savor her for a moment.
[00:36:53] You said the, the Kundalini scandal, because that's something I'm noticing is that we have these lineages, right? And they're usually a lot of times, Uh, fathered, for lack of a better word, by usually a male. Right? And that's the guru. And the whole lineage comes from that person.
[00:37:12] And so when the person is a person and does people things and falls from grace, then it feels like the whole lineage is crumbling. And then we've seen some lineages kind of carry on without the person versus some, I don't know. It's just that's a very real thing happening. Yeah. In the yoga world. and there are people who are able to compartmentalize.
[00:37:35] Like I've heard the thing of, oh, you know, don't focus on the teacher, focus on the teachings. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. But to, but I, I read everything including this report that was very graphic mm-hmm. and, you know, stories and accounts, um, and. I couldn't practice or teach anything that came from him anymore. Mm. Yeah.
[00:38:08] A lot of the stuff he did make up and a lot of the, the way he taught was designed to, and I have to say I did benefit a great deal from it, but I had already, I already had enough of a self concept that I wasn't. I was very peripheral to the cult , let's just put it that way. Um, I never changed my name. I, you know, I was close, but not, not sucked in, if that makes sense.
[00:38:39] Um, cuz like I said, I already had a very strong self-concept by the time I even started practicing, Kundalini yoga. Mm-hmm. , I wasn't as vulnerable as some of the people. What the teachings, many of the teachings were designed to do was to break people down. Yeah. So it's, it's called Inducing Behavior.
[00:39:03] Yeah. Well, and then give them a whole new identity, like, and then they're, they're more attached, more, more connected to that and, and isolated from their families and their history. Thank you for pointing that out, because that's something that I'm. The reason I brought that up is because I, as a yoga teacher, am always wanting to examine how my behavior could contribute or not contribute to that kind of dynamic.
[00:39:30] Right? So thank you for pointing out some of the specifics of the dynamic. . And also I agree with like I never, Kundalini wasn't really my jam. Like I've taken some Kundalini classes, although I took one recently and I was like, this is pretty much just hyperventilating and that's why you feel something in your head cuz you're hyperventilating.
[00:39:47] Anyway. When I take a Bikram class, which I haven't in years, but I did sometimes here and there for a while, it was triggering to hear the language that was triggering to me even then, even before his scandal broke out. Yeah. So, That's important. So thanks for kind of pointing that out because I, you know, it's important to point out these dynamics in the yoga world.
[00:40:11] I think so. Right. And I had to unpack it in myself in the way I taught. And so I learned from a lot of, um, trauma informed women, and I really dove into that. How to hold space. How to hold space online, first of all. Right? Once that happened, and how to hold space in a much more, um, trauma informed way. So that's really important to me.
[00:40:42] Yeah. So to create more of a circle, right? More of I agree. Yeah. And you know, teachers, great teachers who have never, um, exploited or. Been, you know, not all women teachers are without any blame, but I can think of several. Cindy Lee, Angela Farmer, just off the top of my head. Yeah. No scandals, right? , right.
[00:41:09] Yeah. Scandal free, those ones. Um,
[00:41:12] so I guess your teaching style had kind of evolved by the time you wrote the book anyway. You know, what I ended up doing is going back and really researching the heck out of all the practices to make sure that, like, for example, there are mudras that were just called something else in Kundalini yoga, but they are from a, a more ancient lineage and they have a different name.
[00:41:40] Right. Okay. So as long as I could find. And understand and not appropriate the practices from, you know, from various sources. I felt comfortable sharing them Nice. In the book. That's awesome. So can you tell us the title of your book? So right now the publisher likes Atypical Kid's. Mindful Parents, huh? So that's why I wanted to ask, cuz I knew Atypical kids was in there.
[00:42:18] Um mm-hmm. , can you tell? And there's a subtitle. Okay. What's the subtitle? The Joys and Struggles of Parenting Neuro Divergent Kids, I think. I think that's what it's, yeah, so, well, thanks for sharing that part too, because I've had a few authors on here and I like to also point out, like we were talking about with giving birth to a human, giving birth to a book is this weird, messy process.
[00:42:42] Oh my God. Also . So thanks for sharing that. Um, but so I, I wanted to ask, this was one of the things that I wrote down to ask you was, can you share your definition? Like, I know there's like a definition somewhere, but what is your definition of. Atypical and neuro divergent, if those are the same thing or there's overlap, can you just define those in your, in your way?
[00:43:05] So as I unfold my own neuro divergence, um, it's, it's really interesting right? Because language does change all the time. Yeah. And as my son gets older, his willingness to be, um, open about his. You know, what's his story too, changes? When I originally was beginning the book, I asked him, I gave him a series of descriptors words, and he chose atypical.
[00:43:41] And he thought it just felt like kind of better than typical, right? Like who wants to be typical, right? I wanna be atypical. Yeah. Um, and. What it encompasses is pretty much the same as neuro divergent. I think it's when it's, or it could also be other more invisible differences because I think there is something different that happens when.
[00:44:14] you're parenting a child whose differences are invisible. Yeah. Parents, other people, not parents, but other people observing make instant judgments. Mm-hmm. about your parenting all the time. Yeah. Where if someone has, if a child has a visible disability, that's less likely. Um, right. So neuro divergence is just, Having a brain that is different right.
[00:44:48] From the typical, and is there, is there a typical brain? I really don't know. Yeah. But the, the world or our culture was created for a certain neurotype, right? And the farther we are from that neurotype, the harder it is to navigate this culture. That's what makes it hard. Yeah. Does that make sense? I don't know if I really gave a specific definition.
[00:45:18] There's probably No, that's fine. What I was hoping for was like an explanation for somebody who may not be familiar with that word, because I know there's a whole, like people that are down that rabbit hole are down that rabbit hole, you know what I mean? And then people that there's tons of people out there who, that might be a new concept for
[00:45:33] So a couple of, first of all, my book is not just for parents of kids with diagnoses, like mm-hmm. , if you feel like your kid is like more intense, more, um, sensitive, more anxious, more challenging, whatever, you can get something out of the book for. But a lot of parents whose kids have been diagnosed with autism, anxiety, adhd, giftedness, um, OCD, depression, mental health issues, um, what am I forgetting?
[00:46:09] ODD that's a new one. ODD. Yeah. So O od D is one that, yeah, that, that's probably a whole nother podcast for someone else to do, but yeah. Um, that's one that some people I know won't even diagnose. Oh, okay. Well, so I just, I know about that one because this is a side note that's late in the episode anyway.
[00:46:29] My mom is a lawyer for juvenile p so people under 16, and a lot of the folks on her caseload are diagnosed with that. And so I have my own opinions there. But, um, yeah, it's not, it's not the time or the episode for that, but it's just one that I'm like familiar with. Yeah, I mean, for a child to be diagnosed with something like oppositional defiant disorder, Wow.
[00:46:53] Like, yeah. Wow. . Yeah. They need to be taught new skills, basically. Yeah. And they haven't been taught those skills. So just like any child, until they've been taught a skill, they can't, they can't do it. So we wouldn't punish a child for not being able to swim. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's one. Yeah, it's just uh, and I feel like that's why I see all these kids on my mom's caseload.
[00:47:19] You know, she talks about it all the time. They're the school to prison pipeline kind of thing. And now they get this diagnosis and now they're just hopeless cuz they have a diagnosis and whatever, you know, anyway. And what kind of support are their parents getting? See, I would love to be able to reach those parents.
[00:47:35] I would love to be able to provide tools for those parents. Parents, yeah. Well, and then's parents' suffering and they're struggl. And isolated. Right. A lot of the times. Yeah. They're the ones that're also like working three jobs because they're in chronic food insecurity. And poverty and all the things that you mentioned.
[00:47:53] It's, yeah, I had it easy compared to a lot of, right. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. But um, yeah, so then the book is for kind of anybody. Yeah. Like you don't need a diagnosis. It's not like a prerequisite. Right. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I asked a lot of people to read it and the, the consensus was this, this could benefit most parents.
[00:48:23] Yeah, I agree. That's what I think. I'm like what you said earlier about. You know, needing to regulate our own nervous systems because obviously like is, you know, it seems like when your kid, when you're late, you're running late and then that's when your kid acts worse, so then you're even more late.
[00:48:39] That's a good example of that, of like your stress cuz you're late and your stress is impacting your kid whether you realize it or not. Right. And then now your kid's gonna act out because their stressed cause you're stressed and maybe you recognize what's going on, maybe you don't. Right? Yeah. So, Can you tell us about the, also the resource you created around this?
[00:49:04] So I have a mindful meltdown, cheat sheet, . I don't have a magic pill to get rid of meltdowns, which is what a lot of parents wish for. And my son had a meltdown. It's his 12th birthday today, by the way. He had a meltdown this morning. Yeah. . Um, I don't see them anymore as something to be, uh, eliminated because it's a way of discharging their stress.
[00:49:40] It's not the funnest way. Right. And it's not easy to stay self-regulated. Your child that you love is having a meltdown. Or I should just put it on myself. When my child is having a meltdown, it is not easy for me to stay self-regulated. Mm-hmm. . So in on this just one page cheat sheet, I share four practices that I have used.
[00:50:05] You do need to kind of learn them ahead of time. You can't just pull out the cheat sheet and look at it during the meltdown. I think that would make it harder. . Right. But if you learn them ahead of time, they're really. Really, really simple. And this is the thing is that simpler is better. Repetitive and boring is better because then when you're in that, in that place of, um, hyper arousal or triggered or whatever you wanna call it, when you're stressed, you'll still be able to call on it because you'll have that kind of, as they say, samskara
[00:50:35] right? You've, you've kind of created this groove of this new habit, right? Yeah, that's available for free on my website. Nice. And then once you have that, you can get in touch with me, hit reply on any email and ask me any questions. That's awesome about it, that you want it to. So it, even if you don't want the cheat sheet, I'm very, very available.
[00:51:03] Yeah, agree. And I love your, your social media posts are always like, really good about this. So that's another good free resource. It is. Thank you. I love, uh, Instagram. I, I wish I could say have fun on it. . That's awesome. Yeah. I mean, for, for someone over 50, I think , I'm really enjoying myself on Instagram.
[00:51:28] Yeah. And you're, well, that's the thing is that I think it, it comes through because the posts you make are like useful and relevant anyway. Like to me as a parent also, I'm like valid. Good. Thank you. Um, but so then it sounds like your membership that's opening in January, Has some of these same tools, right?
[00:51:48] That's kinda, yes. I would say the membership is for people who are a little further along than those who need the mindful meltdown cheat sheet. Like generally they would get that, they would try out some of those tools. If they decide they wanna work with me more, um, they might look into the membership because it's, it's a commitment, you know?
[00:52:13] Mm-hmm. , it's not.
[00:52:19] I don't know how to put it. . It's like, it's like after someone kind of gets to know me and trust me, they Yeah. Might try the free week of the membership. There is a free week. Um, and they also need to have a little more time because mm-hmm. , there's, there's a lot of, there are a lot of. Sessions because this is what my members want.
[00:52:43] They want the support. Mm-hmm. , the encouragement and accountability and connection that come from. Live online sessions? Well, I think that's, yeah, there's a lot of value in that. And like you said, there's not a magic pill. Like that's, I think that's why I resonate with yoga personally. I was just talking with somebody about this yesterday, like the difference between like sort of yoga and Ayurveda and say like going to the chiropractor, getting a massage is like you have to put in the time to work on yourself.
[00:53:14] versus like going to somebody else and they do it for you and you go leave feeling better cuz somebody else did something. Right. Which to me is still like that magic pill kind of thing. And so, yeah. So when you want to start learning about the tools within yourself, you gotta dedicate the time to practice it.
[00:53:30] Yeah. Yeah. And the other thing is like people. In my membership don't come to every single live session. There are people I've never seen live, but they love the replays. Yeah. They, they email, they go on the, they go on the, um, membership portal and they connect with each other. So there's a lot of of support there.
[00:53:49] And they have fun too. Yeah. Awesome. So that's beautiful. Thank you for putting those resources in the world cuz I think they're, they're beautiful developments of your life experience and what the world needs and where those things converge, which is what I love to highlight on this podcast. So are there any like, final thoughts you wanna leave us with or like one take home point you hope that folks would get maybe from your work or from this conversation?
[00:54:17] That's a really good question, Rosemary, and I feel like it's been such a, you know, an arc of my whole story that I wouldn't know which to pick out except I guess the self-compassion piece, just being my, um, kind of my favorite tool. Mm. Yeah. And something that I would recommend. People who you know, who are curious about it, to look more deeply into it.
[00:54:51] Yeah, I agree. It's a good tool for a lot of things. So thanks so much for sharing all that with us. Thanks for sharing your heart with this, you know, the audience of this podcast and you're so welcome. Yeah, thanks for being here.
[00:55:06] So that's all for today. Folks. I hope you enjoyed that interview and that story as much as I did.
[00:55:13] And I also highly recommend connecting with Kate on social media, especially if you are a parent, because there's a ton of value in her. Content there, if you do, and then. Side note. If you. Got value out of this episode. If you know somebody that might enjoy it, helping get the word out by sharing with somebody that might enjoy it or leaving a review on your podcast player. I know apple lets you write or review Spotify. Lets you just put little stars I think just for now. So if you could leave a review, help me get this message in front of more people and make sure you're subscribed.
[00:55:49] So you get notified when new episodes drop. So thanks so much for being here. I'm. Rosemary holbrook your host remember to always keep your feet on the ground you're heading this stars and stan light until next time friends take care