Growth Brings Clarity
When my best friend asked me the other day how the speaking trip to Texas went, I paused, and thought about it for a minute. Because I wanted to listen to my heart and respond intentionally.
Not only did I present my signature talk, but I also saw SO clearly what my mission and purpose in this life is.
As you know, my business is called Leave Your Box With Kat, and most people laugh and say “I like it, but WHAT BOX are you talking about?” Sometimes I get wrinkled foreheads, with the comment “sorry but it reminds me of a cat’s litter box - you might want to change that!”
And I did indeed think about changing it.
But when this name came to mind, I felt SO strongly connected to it that I had decided to keep it. By reliving my story through my author and now speaker journey, as well as working with my clients, and the students, I see and feel WHY!
Originally, when I named the business, I thought of leaving the box of external expectations. Of being kept in a small box to fit in other people’s standards and needs.
While that definition still holds true, I know that my heart saw a bigger why, a deeper meaning to it.
You see, in my HR career and even now in coaching, one of my gifts is to clearly see people’s potential. I meet someone and I immediately SEE them. I can see if they already live their true potential, if they are on their way, or if they’re getting IN their own way.
And so this ability of mine, led me to say that we all have unique super powers and unique reasons for why we are here.
And so, the box, to me, symbolizes a gift box that we need to unpack.
We, the human, are the gift.
To this world. - Think about it, when we are born, as little kids we naturally leave that box because we want to explore, to learn, and play, and to express ourselves. You might think ‘Well - if it’s a gift box then why would we leave it?” - bear with me, please :) Have another cup of your favorite beverage.
Growing up, our life experiences, the way we are raised, the people we are around, the rooms we are in shape us. They affect us. Some make us better. Some break us. And over time, whenever we get burnt, we build up layers of protection. - Well, we think it’s protection. And with these layers of protection, like little turtles, we hide parts of ourselves in our turtle house - our box! And while we think it’s protection, it actually builds up walls that protect us from showing our true colors, and the problem with that is, is that while we stay in our box, we deny ourselves from building the deep connections with others that we secretly crave.
Makes sense? We think by holding back we protect ourselves, but by holding back and playing in the box, we actually do the opposite. We put walls up, and don't allow what we need to come in! - Read that again! ('But Kat, don't we need boundaries?' - YES, but boundaries are different from walls. Only when you know who you are in your core, when you let your beautiful, pure heart be seen, can you set healthy boundaries.)
The sad part is, is that most of us, never find the courage to revisit and review our past experiences, and so we never resolve the layers we built up to protect us from getting hurt again. I was one of these humans.
I used to hide. I used to just read self help book after self help book without actually changing anything. Without actually taking a look if I was living with my whole heart. In 2020, I had hit the crossroads in the communication with my previous boss. That journey changed my life forever. I investigated my triggers in detail. Explored why I reacted to life experiences the way I did. I hired my coach because I was hired to bring positive culture change to the company I worked for. To put my people and empowerment skills to use. All of these were skills my boss - according to him - he was lacking. Yet, every interaction with him felt like a fight. Felt like an argument. I needed help. - What I didn’t know OR expected was that I HAD to do the work, Despite his tone. Despite his demeanor. I impacted our communication and relationship just the same way as he did.
On this journey I learned for myself what pain points he triggered in me. You know how cows are on fields with electric fences around them. That’s pretty much how interactions with him felt. And the electric fences around my heart that he triggered were the fear that I wasn't good enough. The fear that I still did not have found my place on this planet. My fear that yet again I had to prove myself.
Through my own coaching journey I learned that only I can explore my filters, how I perceive everything, and how deeply that is rooted in my heart, in the box I played in. Because yes, I felt like society put me in my box.
But what I learned and trust me it was shocking at first, was that I actually chose to stay there by NOT resolving my layers of protection.
Because as long as they were there, the electricity in the fences was turned on! The peace I was longing, the joy I wanted to express, I couldn’t.
To sum it up :) We all are a gift to this world, delivered in a box, with a bow on top. Then as kids we embrace our heart, we speak the truth, our truth. Then we learn what to do, and what not to do. We get hurt. We try to protect ourselves from emotional pain like shame, rejection, and guilt.
So we crawl back into our box. I want you to know I am here for you, when you are ready to go on your journey to leave your box, with me, as your guide, cheerleader, and coach by your side.
Because if I know ONE thing, then it is that all of us are born with a beautiful, unique heart.
And what makes the world go round is us living with these beautiful hearts on display. Our gifts. If we don't leave our box, and don’t shed and resolve the pain, we do not carry love, but pain into the world. “Hurting people hurt people”, if I am certain of something, we don’t need more pain.
We need love, and light. Shine bright, my friends! Shine bright.
PS: Sometimes people approach me with the fear that they don't want to change too much, because of the relationships they are in. With friends, family, or significant others. I’ve been thinking about this a lot.
My friends, here is what I’ve learned:
This process is not about changing who we are. This process is about uncovering and unleashing who you always have been. It is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and your loved ones. Me letting go of the fear of judgment, rejection and shame, allows my heart to shine in joy, energy, and curiosity!