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De-Programming the Bullshit

newsletters Feb 17, 2024

Storytime with Kate

hi friend, I want to put this work into perspective for you,  

What Ruby and I get so often when people are deciding whether or not to join the Self Study Program is, "what is it?!"

And as ABSOLUTELY CRINGE this sounds yall, it's a journey.

We can't promise you'll get something specific out of it because, even though all the marketing gurus tell us to promise you the world and a million dollars, that's... bullshit. And Ruby and I don't do bullshit.

We do integrity.

We do respect.

We do honest.

We do responsibility.

We do "inherently connected."

We do "you matter."

We do "it can be better."

But we don't do bullshit even though it feels like that's the name of the game.


I got a lot of messages growing up that said that my job in this world was to make other people feel... good, right, heard, understood. What else?


We might not share the same identity markers but tell me if you resonate with any of the following:

*Speaking of identity markers: As a young middle class white girl from the south who grew up in the church (y'all I was a paid member of 4 church choirs my senior year of high school, I gave the sermon on Mother's Day...) I wasn't ever supposed to be aggressive, or mean. 

  • Politeness was the name of the game.
  • Passive aggressiveness through a little chuckle to make sure the other person didn't feel threatened...
  • Don't be faster than the boys on the playground because it will make them feel bad.
  • Ask other people to help you do things you can already do so they'll feel good about helping
  • Don't argue with teachers.
  • Don't correct anyone when they're wrong because probably they're right and I'm wrong.
  • It's not nice to do what you want to do instead of what everybody else wants to do.
  • You can't be mad if someone is trying to help you.
  • Compromising (aka, doing what the other person wants) is what will make you lovable.
  • Don't ask for the spotlight because it's nicer to give it to someone else.
  • Be the best but be quiet about it so you won't hurt anyone else's feelings who isn't as good at this as you are.
  • Everybody gets a trophy and you're not special.
  • Be excellent, but don't brag about it.
  • Be better but don't act like you think you are.
  • Don't be confident because confidence is threatening to other people and it's mean to threaten people.
  • It's mean to tell people you're angry at them because what if they didn't mean to be a total asshole - you're misunderstanding them.
  • When you say something and the other person gets defensive and yells at you, you didn't say the right thing... if you had, they wouldn't have acted like that.
  • My job, and what I should be oriented towards, is everyone's comfort
  • The narrative that I got was that it was my job to be excellent, get it right, always be learning. But never let them know, and always stay in your lane. It makes it easier for everyone this way.


I spent a lot of my life living with these guidelines, these rules, these expectations.

At 17 my world came crashing down as my parents got divorced and I went to college.

I was furious. I was lost. I was crushed. I was abandoned.

And the guidelines kept me quiet.

I silently imploded on myself. Drugs, alcohol, sex, busyness.

I started dating someone, on and off for 7 years or so, and the reason it was on and off was because I was on and off. I was on and off of being there. Like, literally being in the relationship.

Because the niceness I had to uphold kept me separated from him. I couldn't just tell him what I wanted or how I felt.

The politeness I had to uphold kept me from breaking up with him because I didn't want to hurt his feeligns.

The compromising kept me living the life of HIS dreams but having no idea what my own were.

My smartness and my talents didn't have a place to go because they were frivolous and threatening to the *peace.*


But inside, there wasn't any peace.


This pattern spilled over into my first business: I let my clients and employees walk all over me. I was the Giving Tree. And I was raised to believe that the Giving Tree was this beautiful story of helping people you love. But what I know now is that the giving tree is a tragic story of what happens when we enable the people around us to feel entitled to our gifts.

And as much as I want to blame the boy in that story for being a TOTAL asshole, which he is, but you can't control what other people are going to do and ask for and expect.

But you can control how you respond. 


My Self Study Practice has taken me on a journey of personal responsibility and integrity.

I used to think my personal responsibility was everyone else...

But now I know it's just me.


I used to feel like personal responsibility and integrity were these super heavy things to carry, because I carried them as perfectionism - and that other people had the say as to whether or not I was doing personal responsibility and integrity RIGHT.

My Self Study Practice has helped me practice taking that power back. That my opinion about me matters more than theirs. That my orientation towards what personal responsibility means and looks like, is much more powerful and authentic then always trying to fit in a million different molds.

It's my integrity that helps me apologize to someone. My integrity asks me every day, "do you feel good about that?" And sometimes the answer is no. Then she asks, "so then what do you want to do about that?"

TRUST  has consistently been the theme of the My Self Study Practice that changes me, evolves me, grounds me, finds me.


We've all been programmed with our own version of what I listed above. Chances are, you got a lot of the same programming as I did - it's not just stuff from our parents in our home. It's society as a whole. Your identity markers impact the beliefs that you have about how you should be in the world.

To be clear, your identity markers are some of the least exciting things about you... but they're what we cling to so tightly. My Self Study Practice will help the YOU part of your identity markers come through instead of just being a laundry list of : class, race, sexual orientation, gender, nurodiversity, etc.

Breaking it way down: there's no such thing as normal or regular and the entirety of YOU cannot be broken down into a collection of labels.

YOU are the entirety of all of your experiences and desires and gifts.


Just last week I had to send a colleague an assertive and firm email about how he had not upheld his end of the bargain of an agreement.

Afterwards, my old shit flared up about how my email was mean. So I checked in with my people. I asked people who love me to bring me back to the reality of who I want to be: firm, direct, helpful, kind, assertive, and in my bag, you know? 

I lose connection to myself sometimes - I go into those old patters still. But I've cultivated my closest relationships to be people who see my potential and hold me to it. They don't let me slip backwards into my old bullshit because that's not the version they love the best - that's the version they feel disconnected from.

Their love proves all my old shit wrong.

Together, with me, we love Kate forward.


I would love to see you at our upcoming free class: from not enough to owning your YOU era. It's a perfect opportunity to love you forward!

I see you, Gabrielle ❤️

I know you're trying to shake off your old bullshit. You can, you are, and it's a journey I am here to go on with you.

You're doing great,



PS Keep it up, friend. Your consistency carves the new path forward. It's why we created the My Self Study Practice. So that you can have a framework to support you in showing up for yourself better. So that you can bridge the gap between who you want to be and how you show up. So that your shame can transform into an unshakeable sense of belonging.

The Self Study Program is the first-of-it's-kind 9-month, comprehensive growth and empowerment curriculum to guide you into self-discovery,  authentic connection, and personal integrity.
Take a deep dive into your Self through guided personal development, accountability, and care.
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