Ep.31 - Freedom With: Codependency & The Sovereign Self — Candice is wrapping up the spring season with a special guest and dear friend, Kim Dawson. Kim candidly shares her personal story and the pivotal moment when her dream of becoming a prima ballerina were shattered due to an ‘emotional injury’ that would linger for decades. She talks about what it was like working in Silicon Valley back in the 80s when blatant misogyny went unchecked and how resentment around her early-life successes eventually led her to make self-sabotaging choices in her professional life. Candice shares how she & Kim met, and they speak honestly about what it was like to work for a personal growth organization where self-sacrifice and codependency were the norms. Candice tells you about the teaching colleague who woke her ass up by setting an example of sovereignty that rocked her world wide-open and why. Kim gives you a taste of her work, leading Candice in an exercise that demonstrates how often what we see in others is what we most need to recognize within ourselves. Sovereignty is defined and discussed, as well as how the shift from 'freedom-from' to 'freedom-with' can help us to reinvent our relationship to the world around us. The episode wraps with a very intimate moment when Kim shares about the recent passing of her mother and how she is re-authoring her life anew.

Kimberly Dawson is the founder of REVOLUTION Business & Life Design. She co-conspires with creative purpose seekers and changemakers to bring their love to business and life. Kim was a strategic innovator in marketing, sales and operations roles with ground-breaking businesses and organizations primarily in the Silicon Valley and Europe. She invested in her own transformative life journey and saw an opportunity to shift from empowering companies and organizations to engaging deeply with individuals. Kimberly earned a bachelor’s degree in communication design with a minor in art and business from Chico State University (summa cum laude). Kimberly’s work has become a powerful platform for designing innovative businesses, co-operating in healthy relationships, and helping people lead lives they most desire.

revolutionbizdesign.com | IG: @thepointofyou

Ep.31 - Freedom With: Codependency & The Sovereign Self

Candice Schutter: 0:08
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of The Deeper Pulse. I'm Candice Schutter. This is it, my love. The final episode of the spring season. We're going to finish strong. I'm sitting down with a true soul friend today, and I can't wait to share our conversation with you. So let's dig in. Today I'm talking to Kim Dawson, a close friend and ally of mine, who in part inspired the creation of this podcast. I first met Kim in the fall of 2003, when she interviewed me via phone for a management position at a small mind body fitness organization. When I moved to Portland, Oregon to take the job, Kim became my boss and soon after, a friend. The roughly two years we spent working alongside each other was a challenging time for the both of us. We were both pushed to grow professionally and personally. But interestingly, it was when Kim and I left the organization that our work really began. We each set off to create businesses of our own and we became even closer friends and confidants. Over the years, we took turns leading and leaning into one another, and in 2013, when I was feeling disenchanted with my journey as a solo preneur, it was Kim's work as a business design coach that helped me get back on track, that gave me the confidence to continue expressing myself. I'll share with you some of the insights she helped me to discover and the clarity that it gave me to trust that my voice, my story, and my perspective has value in the world. Kim courageously shares her personal story of abandoning, and then coming back home to herself. She gives us a taste of her brilliant work. And toward the end of the episode, she shares very intimately about the recent and bittersweet loss of her mother. This episode is dedicated to Kim's mom, Linda, may she rest in peace. And to all women and men doing their part to heal the mother wound one sovereign and collaborative expression at a time. Thanks for tuning in here's my conversation with Kim Dawson.

How are you today?

Kim Dawson:
Yeah, always a good question, huh?
Candice Schutter: 2:32
Uh huh. Especially right now, huh?
Kim Dawson: 2:36
Yeah. Um, peaceful. Vulnerable.
Candice Schutter: 2:41
Kim Dawson: 2:42
Yeah, it's right there.
Candice Schutter: 2:45
You have to wonder at the timing of this, right?
Kim Dawson: 2:49
There's no accident.
Candice Schutter: 2:50
No, there's not. Like our reunification and everything that's going on, well, in both of our worlds and particularly me inviting you to show up here today with everything that you're holding. Which you can share as much or as little about as you like, of course.
Kim Dawson: 3:07
You know me. I'll share.
Candice Schutter: 3:08
It just speaks, it just speaks so much to what this podcast is all about. And it just feels so perfect that this is going to be the conversation that takes us out of the season before I go on break. I know the connection that you and I have and how deep and rich that is. And I also am witnessing you go through this, this time that you're in and all the ahas that you're having, and just feel super honored that you're here with us today to have this talk with me right now in this moment. It's beautiful.
Kim Dawson: 3:38
Well, I appreciate your invitation and, you always hold space for the truth, right. The raw truth. And, and it's okay, you know. So in so many ways, this is a huge gift to me right now to get to be here with you in this way. Yeah, and I was.
Candice Schutter: 4:01
You've already got me teary-eyed and we just started.
Kim Dawson: 4:04
Well, I think that's, you know, part of what that vulnerability and those, you know, tears just under the surface are, is the reconnection with you right now, you know. We've known each other so long and I was reflecting last night, actually throughout the night. I didn't sleep very well. Cause I was remembering times together and our experiences and what we were going through at different times, not really in the same world, but sort of always in the same world. And, um, and these touch points that we have are so profound and here's another one.
Candice Schutter: 4:39
Yes, yes. I think it would be great to let folks know how we know each other.
Kim Dawson: 4:43
Candice Schutter: 4:45
I'll start the story because it's quite a ride. So we're going to give the CliffsNotes notes here. I was living in Newport Beach, California where I had moved to teach a movement modality that I loved. And I was just struggling to make ends meet being a mind-body fitness teacher and living in Orange County. And so I just, I made the choice to leave and I was planning to move to Atlanta, to be with family while I figured out my next steps. And I stopped in Boulder, Colorado to attend a next level of the training of this particular modality. And I think that it was right before I left for that training. I kind of already knew that I was moving, that I got the call from the corporate office there from the CEO, essentially in a very sort of casual way, offering me this position to work for this company. And it's worth noting that I was incredibly flattered. Cause it was kind of a big deal. I was, as I say, enamored with this organization and to be a part of it was exciting. And also I had worked in upper management before, and I knew that it was a little odd, the way that it was playing out. And looking back, it was like a big red flag. I won't go into the backstory, but he didn't know me very well. And so I stopped in Colorado to take this training and the founders of the organization were there, and they decided they were going to interview me for this position, which made a lot more sense. That I would be interviewed and that I also needed to interview with the Operations Director of the company. And that was, I think, our first point of contact, we might've, you might've given me a reality check before I left now that I think about it. Because I think you may have called me and said, Hey, just want to let you know, you've been offered this position, but we need to go through this process of actually interviewing people for this position and figuring out who the best fit is. And I sighed with relief because I thought, okay, that's kind of how this should go. So this is great. And I remember I was staying at some like cheap hotel that I could afford in Boulder, Colorado. And I was sitting outside having this interview for this job that I really wanted. And, I just fell in love with how grounded you were and how knowledgeable and how direct and clear you were about what the opportunity was and what was necessary. And you asked me what I perceived to be all the right questions. And it went really well. And then I had an interview with the founders, and I don't remember how it all played out, but eventually a few days later I was offered the position. And, instead of moving to Atlanta, I drove my car to the Pacific Northwest for the first time I might add, which was a stunning thing to drive in on highway 84 through the Gorge, into this beautiful place that I had never been. And just that I had been, I felt called to be there. Like I was destined to take this job. It was very big. And I began working for you. I mean, you really were my boss, you trained me in the position. And, you led our team and that was not an easy thing to do.
Kim Dawson: 7:51
Ya think?
Candice Schutter: 7:52
We could have a whole podcast on like what went on there and how all that was, and this particular organization I'm going to talk about in future podcasts in a different way. So we don't need to unpack all that, but maybe give us a little background that led you to that point and like where you were in that position and in your life. And then we can talk about how we met there, but we both left after not long. And yet we stayed connected over all these years. So bring us up to the point at which I spoke to you. Whatever feels alive in terms of that story.
Kim Dawson: 8:22
Yeah. I just got to say, I remember that phone call.
Candice Schutter: 8:26
Kim Dawson: 8:26
Yeah. And I remember being very direct, I think when you were expressing concerns, you know.
Candice Schutter: 8:35
That's right. I did. I expressed the red flag things.
Kim Dawson: 8:38
Yeah, you did.
Candice Schutter: 8:39
In that conversation, didn't I?
Kim Dawson: 8:41
Yeah. And I, and I was, I remember basically saying good on ya. Right?
Candice Schutter: 8:45
Yeah, that's right.
Kim Dawson: 8:46
Like, those are real.
Candice Schutter: 8:48
Kim Dawson: 8:49
To know what you're walking into. Right. So that honesty and that directness and that trust was right in that first moment.
Candice Schutter: 8:59
From the get go.
Kim Dawson: 9:00
From the get go.
Candice Schutter: 9:01
That's so true. Yeah.
Kim Dawson: 9:03
I know. Yeah. So, you know, boy oh boy, I gotta cliff note it here, how I got there. I had moved to Portland right after September 11th in 2001. I moved up to Portland, not having a job, not knowing what I was going to do. Just because I loved the area. I just wanted to be there and at the time I was married to a guy from Munich. And we had been living in Sacramento after moving from Europe. So let me back up for a second. Here's the cliff note of my, my journey there. Ballet dancer. Injury, quote injury, takes me out. I now understand very clearly that that was an emotional injury. And that I took myself out.
Candice Schutter: 9:48
And just to clarify for the listeners, not just ballet dancer, I do this on Saturdays, like ballet dancer on her way to New York City to study.
Kim Dawson: 9:57
Yeah. I was given everything needed to be the next world's best ballerina. And that's what was expected of me. By the teacher I grew up with, by San Francisco Ballet where I got full scholarships. American Ballet Theatre where I got full scholarships until, you know, Baryshnikov took over and he didn't want anybody that was taller than he was. And I grew from 5'6" to 5'7" so that next year it was like, no thanks. But you know, that was the ballet world back then. I had true trained with the best to be the best, and was on my way to becoming one of the world's best ballerinas, because I was given everything needed to do that. Including, you know, the work ethic of a mother who was a concert pianist, performing artist, you know, and a father who was a Naval officer. I mean, it's just like the discipline, right, was so there. What I see now is that, what was reinforced to me was no matter how much I loved it, no matter how much it was me, it was just so inherently me, moving in this way and expressing in this way and mastering myself in this way. And at the same time, there were these messages of what's the value, right? You're going out and creating this thing and then it's gone. What's the value of beauty? This questioning of, is that really what you want to do? You know, you have so many other gifts and talents. I was, as you know, like you straight a student, and I could do anything I wanted. Are you sure that's what you want to do? The arts? You know, you really can't support yourself that way. You really can't make a living that way. Right. So there's always this doubt. So there's all this encouragement and expectation. And then this doubt. And so where is my back injury? Lower back sacroiliac. Where your spine sits in your pelvis, right? It's how you hold yourself up. So how am I going to hold myself up with this? Right. So ultimately end up choosing to walk away in my early twenties, after quitting and going back and being offered an apprenticeship, basically entry-level into San Francisco Ballet and I turned it down because the back injury was still there. And I didn't know, I wanted to be able to walk when I'm my age. So then like, okay, now what am I going to do? Right. I have no idea. I graduate co-valedictorian. I missed all the college entrance paperwork and ended up at the community college, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I ended up going to a four-year institution, what I really wanted was to still be an artist, but that's not practical. Right. No, I don't get to be an artist. I already failed at that. I already let everybody down who had invested in me. What am I going to do? So I end up going into communication design, which is basically what my life has been about ever since, right. I went to a communications program with an emphasis in visual design. So then after that, it's like, okay, well, what do I do with this now? Um, I was in a relationship in college that was emotionally and ultimately physically abusive. And my last year of college, the guy asked me to marry him. My parents hated him. I was trying to finish school. I was really stressed out. And I was dependent on him and ended up saying, yes. Didn't want to, but then, you know, basically after asking me to marry him, he forced himself on me, basically raped me. So it's like, okay, I need to get out of college fast. Right. So I didn't really get to develop the art part again. The portfolio to maybe go be a graphic designer or do something that way. Once again, no, no, no. You're not going down that path, you know.
Candice Schutter: 13:42
And just to interject for a moment that that experience of trauma, you know, a violation and an experience of trauma and what that does to the creative self. It takes the creative self offline because we are in survival mode and our nervous system is in a whole different, a whole different set of skills that are needed that disconnect us from that expression. And maybe it'll circle back around and that experience can inform something. But in that moment, it doesn't surprise me also, like you've already got all of this working against you. In terms of your conditioning and the story you're telling yourself about, you absolutely can't do this. And then this thing happens, this traumatic event happens in your life, which in some way further reinforces that it's not safe for you to show up as you are, which is really what art is about. So just go ahead and continue. I just think it's really important to highlight what trauma does when it comes to our expression and how it can take us a while to bring ourselves back online in a way that we actually can express ourselves and feel safe in the world. So
Kim Dawson: 14:47
Well, and not to belabor this, there's more to this you don't get to be yourself piece for me. Because I wasn't only handed in this life everything I needed to be the world's best ballerina or one of them. I was really just inherently talented in school. I was the fastest runner and I was, you know, great at art and I was good at violin. And then I was MVP in basketball and, you know, I make the all-star team in softball the first year I play. This sort of like giftedness that for the longest time I just denied. Because I didn't want to be. I was punished for it. I was resented for it. I was disliked for it. I was bullied for it. So it was not ever safe to be me in the ways that were just fun. It wasn't that I needed to be the best at things. It wasn't that I was competitive in that nature. I was just out being me. But what I learned really early is that me being me hurts people. Now that's not truth, but that's the way my brain internalized it. My existence hurts people, was a huge part of what was already there. And so back to that trauma episode after, my fiance forcing himself on me in this very aggressive way, on some level, there was a belief that I somehow deserved that. So I'm going into my adulthood in this kind of a place, you know, I'm a quick learner. I'm successful at whatever I do. So on the outside, there's this perception of this person who is very successful and very capable and all of these things. And on the inside, this was my reality that nobody knew about.
Candice Schutter: 16:40
Kim Dawson: 16:41
So I'm going out into the world now, I'm going to figure out what I'm going to do with myself. I don't get to be an artist. I need to find a way to make a difference in the world where I don't need anything or want anything, because that would hurt somebody.
Candice Schutter: 16:56
So the concept of centering yourself in any way was a dangerous thing? Right.
Kim Dawson: 17:01
Not even possible. Right. And not even possible. So, so I'm going out into the world. What am I going to do? I ended up in this awesome ad agency. I grow fast. You know, as a woman, I start out as an account assistant where all the men came in in media planning or account executive that was real.
Candice Schutter: 17:19
Kim Dawson: 17:21
I graduate top of my class, but I got to start, you know, you're going to be here for two years. Nope. Six months, right. Assistant media planner. You're going to be here for two years. Nope. Six months. Keep growing, keep growing, keep growing. It was the number one ad agency in the country. It was the ad agency that had created still the ad of all ads. It was the launch of the Apple Macintosh in 1984. "Why 1984 won't be like 1984." right. And the guy who was the president of the agency was the one who had led that. And people were terrified of this man. His expectations were so high. I loved him. I loved him. Right. He could get it to the point so clearly. Like, what is this about? And then from there bah unlimited in terms of creative possibility. He was brilliant. But people were terrified of him. And when you started at this place, it was called Chiat/Day. And they gave you a toothbrush that said "Chiat/Day and Night." And the promise when they hand you this toothbrush is you're going to work day and night and you're going to get to do great work. And I'm like all in, right. Like great. A great place for me. Because good enough isn't, right. Like, what's all everything that's possible. That's what I want. Right. So anyway, Chiat/Day and night. Perfect. So I get promoted. I get promoted. And about two years in, I quit. I was working 18 hour days and weekends, and just felt like I was doing mediocre work. I never get to do great work because the more I work, the more you pile on me to do. It's always mediocre. And I hate mediocrity. Like I don't thrive in mediocrity. And so, I quit and I asked for an exit interview. I don't know if anybody had ever asked for an exit interview with this guy, but I asked for an exit interview and I said to him, I want you to know why I'm leaving. And I brought my toothbrush, like I've used this a lot. 18 hour days, weekends, wanting to do great work here. And all I'm getting to do is mediocre. You promised me I'd get to do great work. And he's like, oh, well, what if we said you could work on just what you wanted to do? Yeah, no, that would last about three months, and then it would go right back to the way it was. And he, you know, he was like, Hmm, well, what if you helped me figure out how to change that? And what I now see is that I could've probably. All the work that I'm doing now is basically all the work to figure out how to change that.
Candice Schutter: 20:03
Kim Dawson: 20:03
And you know, back then, I didn't know that I had that. So I said no, and I went into another ad agency position. And then I went into sales in the publishing industry in the Silicon Valley, you know, before there were any sexual harassment laws. You know, tall, short skirts, high heels, long hair. Fair game, everywhere, fair game.
Candice Schutter: 20:29
And it should be noted that Kim rarely wears anything other than high heels because of her ballet feet. Just want everyone to know.
Kim Dawson: 20:36
People are always like, aren't you tall enough off already?
Candice Schutter: 20:39
Do you wear high heels because you're, you know, fancy? And you're like, no, they're just comfortable.
Kim Dawson: 20:43
Right? Because I stood on my toes. My legs are in their power, their strength, when they're like standing on my toes.
Candice Schutter: 20:50
I love that. I always think of you when I put them on. I'm not a ballerina. Okay, continue.
Kim Dawson: 20:56
So, you know, progressing again quickly in this number one ranked publishing company in the computer industry at the beginning, you know, with tiny little companies like Apple and Intel and Microsoft. And yet again, whenever I would be successful. Not safe. Really, really not safe. Not safe to be seen because you know, publishers were trying to get their way, forcing their way sometimes. Just things like, I was like the number one sales person. And I was like, yeah, we know how you get those sales. Right. Just, just, you know.
Candice Schutter: 21:32
Kim Dawson: 21:33
It wasn't safe anywhere. I remember my favorite day of the year back then was the day after Comdex in Las Vegas. Because it was a whole year before I had to go back into that environment being one of few women in that environment and men who, you know, spent a lot of time in computer boxes and then come into this show and it was just, you know, it was just so gropey. And so, I'd walk out of there going, I cannot wait to get out of here. Right? That'd be a whole episode we could talk about, but. So, you know, that company takes me to Europe. I'm in Europe for three years and I come back and I become director of sales of an internet startup. You know, by the time the internet thing came around, I was living in Sacramento, commuting to San Francisco, and really getting tired of the industry. I don't want to be in the Silicon valley or in the computer industry or whatever, because what interested me always was the people. The reason I was actually successful was I was helping individual people to be successful in the industry. But I didn't love the industry itself. So two things were happening. I was done with the industry and this is the point where instead of continuing to grow and grow and grow, I start pulling back and pulling back and pulling back and pulling back. And when I met you, I was at the bottom of the pulling back and pulling back almost at the bottom. There was one more step for me to get to the bottom. Of making myself smaller and trying to be safe, trying to find a place where I could be safe, right. It went from the internet startup into working with agencies that helped to build websites all of that into going and working with an interactive museum, which was awesome, but also super, super small. And then that's when I moved to Portland. Right. And what am I going to do with my life? No idea. But what I'd been doing was taking this very big being with all of this big energy, this big passion and putting it into teeny, teeny, tiny places where I was too much. So when I took the job with the company that we were working with, I took the job at one fifth the pay that I'd been making. One fifth. And what I see now is that that is how much I valued myself.
Candice Schutter: 23:50
And what was the hook with the company itself, for you? What was the hook?
Kim Dawson: 23:55
Well, it was a dance based fitness, right? So it was a way for me to bring this, this love that I had. And all of this wisdom and experience and knowledge and all of that into an organization, you know, that I saw that dance could actually make a difference in people's lives.
Candice Schutter: 24:13
Kim Dawson: 24:14
And I wanted to be a part of bringing that out into the world, right. I wanted to help that to become all it could be. And I came into it from this place of being willing to take so much less than I was worth. And then try to prove my value.
Candice Schutter: 24:33
While kicking against a current, simultaneously. There, that's a lot in and of itself. Like what you just said is, is big. And I think a lot of people are, I know I can relate to that. And also when you're doing that in an environment where there's forces working quite contrary to that. So kicking against a current, bringing all your skillsets. Which, you know, if I'm being objective about it. And I feel like at this point I've been away from the organization for 16 years, I can be objective about it. And I can say that, had you not been kicking against the current, I think that you could have succeeded in helping to make that vision a reality just based on what you were bringing. You just were in an environment where the current was so strong. So I'll let you speak to that. But I just want to just really say that I feel like I need to always continually presence this, especially when women are sharing their stories, because there's a real tendency for us to be so self-reflective, to take so much responsibility that we don't always name the dynamics that are at work outside of us that are also working against us, that isn't about us. We don't need to own that part. And I know that you know this, but for the listeners out there, I just really want to underscore that because I think it's really important to say there were two things happening simultaneously. Your internal process and how you were in some ways working against yourself. And then also these forces outside of you. Had you been in a different environment, you may have been able to. Well, I guess the question becomes, would you have even chosen that environment? Like part of the choice was in the fact that it was sort of a self-sabotaging thing. I mean, my,
Kim Dawson: 26:06
It was.
Candice Schutter: 26:07
Myself included, like I said, I mean, we were on the phone, our very first conversation was Hey, hi, I'm interested, and I'm seeing all these red flags. And you're saying, yeah, sister, the red flags are here.
Kim Dawson: 26:20
So you wanna go on the ride or not?
Candice Schutter: 26:24
I just want to say like, we, we chose to be there. And we'll just let that lie for now. We chose to be there and it was what it was, so continue.
Kim Dawson: 26:32
Yeah. And, there was a lot of great stuff that we did at a certain level. Right. We created a pretty cool team of collaborative. Everybody got to be in their own power with what they could do and, you know, and then I was sort of in the middle trying to manage up some chaos with three owners in a very complicated relationship, you know? And, yeah, there's a whole bunch we could talk about around that. But the reason I left was that, I kept mirroring back to the owners the way they were out of integrity in their company with their own work. They didn't like it a lot. Right. It's like people, this is what you're teaching and this is your business. And could we apply some of that here?
Candice Schutter: 27:16
Kim Dawson: 27:17
So as I was doing that, right, that's like, who are you to tell me what to do? And I will never forget this meeting never, ever, ever, because it was a major turning point where one of the owners said to me, she said, when I look at your life and I look at my life, why should I listen to you? And the thing was was that I had taken a job for 20% of what I used to make to help this person to grow their company. And I was dependent on them actually being in integrity with their own work, right. In order to grow the company. And then I was being thrown down on the mat.
Candice Schutter: 27:56
Kim Dawson: 27:57
For not being as successful because I was willing to go in and work my ass off, in a company that wouldn't, couldn't get to the place to pay me what I was actually worth.
Candice Schutter: 28:08
Because they weren't doing the very thing that you were pointing out that they weren't doing. There was a lot going on there that was dysfunctional and it happens in personal growth circles, happens in spiritual hierarchies, happens in corporate environments and this gaslighting where the accountability isn't there. And then it's projected onto the people that surround. You know, the environment that we worked on was this really interesting blend of personal growth and corporate. All the employees, we were busting our asses in our work, but also to embody these principles that we were being taught and try to fuse them into this conscious way of doing business and to be with each other. And all of these things that we were all working so hard to embody and be examples of and the leadership wasn't walking the talk. And yet we were forging these incredible bonds with each other, which also made it kind of hard to leave because, you know, you'd never worked in an environment like that, right. Where it's like, wow, like everyone's doing their best. The communication's really open. It's just a really wonderful and nurturing place to work. But then you have a meeting with said individual and the cruelty. I mean, that's what it is. Like the cruelty that would happen and reconciling that, it was, it was tricky stuff. It was kind of like the closer you got to the inner circle, the more not kind of, it was definitely true that the closer you got to the inner circle, the more dysfunctional it was. And that was why you and I, I think our bond grew so quickly so fast because I was in a leadership role in the area of the company that I was working in. And so I had to interface with you more and you had to do a lot more, sort of damage control for me in terms of the leadership from the top. And then they just started coming to me directly and it was just a big, it was just a big mess. And fortunately, you and I had such strong communication the whole time that it never worked for them to turn us against one another. Like it didn't work for a second.
Kim Dawson: 30:10
Yeah. One of the things that I see now that I think is super relevant for today for where we are now, is that what I saw, what you saw was that they weren't doing their own work. Right, now I'm projecting out now I'm going to own it. What was my part in it was that I wasn't doing my own work either. I was trying to get them to do their work so that I could be successful.
Candice Schutter: 30:38
Kim Dawson: 30:39
Like, yeah, you be creative, you be courageous, you stand up, you be accountable, you do all of these things so that I can grow with you. But what I wanted from them, I wasn't doing for myself. What I was trying to get them to do was what I needed to do for myself. And so when that conversation, if you will happened where, you know, when I look at your life and I look at my life, why should I trust you? I didn't fully see it the way that I see it now, but it was the beginning. It was the beginning of what I see now which is that whatever it is that we're trying to get other people to do is our own work.
Candice Schutter: 31:25
Kim Dawson: 31:25
Right. It's our own work. And so everything that I wanted them to do in their own business, I needed to just do and develop in my own work.
Candice Schutter: 31:35
I a hundred percent agree with that. And in certain spaces... I remember one conversation we had just, as you were about to leave, and I'm not going to remember verbatim what you said, but I remember you talking about sort of having this sensation of being ready to like spread your wings open, like the full expanse of them and how you were really aware that you weren't doing that. So you were owning that. So that's true. Also true. There's not enough room for me to reach and expand my full wingspan in this environment. Right. Also true. Like they're both true. And that's just felt like I really wanted to hammer that home cause we can get, so oh, if she had just stepped into her power there, then everything would have been hunky-dory. It's like, no, it was about you having that awareness and also understanding what choices am I making in terms of environments where I can actually do that. You chose to leave for a reason.
Kim Dawson: 32:30
Yeah. In many ways, maybe I haven't expressed, the power that I was in there because in many ways I was very much in my power there.
Candice Schutter: 32:37
Yeah, sure. As was I.
Kim Dawson: 32:40
As were you, right. We stood in our power. I mean, in power and not in power, right? Like why would I put myself in this position? There was a co-dependence in there, which is a word that is a big word for the both of us.
Candice Schutter: 32:51
Yeah, a hundred percent.
Kim Dawson: 32:52
Right? Like I am dependent on you for my success. I'm going to be over here and be in my power and be all these things. And yet still underneath it all is that I can be in my power as much as I want to be. But with this codependence thing going on right here, it's never going to happen.
Candice Schutter: 33:07
Kim Dawson: 33:08
It's just not going to happen. And so I was in my power and not in my power. Right. Like being able to navigate these difficult situations where emotions are flying and things are going all over the place and being able to stay grounded in it and guide through it, without having any training around that. Like that's what I was doing. And dealing with these places where things were out of integrity and then making it right. So there were so many ways that I was in my power and yet very unfulfilled. And I think that's probably the more important point here is that it's like, yeah, why am I here? Why am I doing all of this? I mean, is this for me? Who's this for? And then all that I'm giving is now sort of resented. When I left, it was like, well, we're really glad that she's leaving because now we can do things our way again, it was just like, thanks for that. You're welcome, you know? Right. And I don't mean to be slamming an organization. It's just me. Like, why would I put myself there?
Candice Schutter: 34:12
Right. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Kim Dawson: 34:14
And you know, all kinds of reasons for that. Right.
Candice Schutter: 34:17
Let's talk about for a second a pivotal moment before... you left before I did. Well, because I quit four times before I actually left, which is its own story. Future podcast. Stay tuned.
Kim Dawson: 34:29
And I quit twice.
Candice Schutter: 34:31
You quit twice.
Kim Dawson: 34:32
Candice Schutter: 34:32
It was a pivotal moment for me in my story with the organization and me understanding kind of what you were just describing around, okay, been doing all this work. I'm like learning how to be in my power in an environment that is in many ways, kind of off the rails a little bit. And doing my best to find a sense of sovereignty in that. And also, I'm sick, and I'm Just, something feels off, something feels off, something feels off. And yet, I'm just so confused and conflicted because I'm so in love with this practice and these people that I work with. Just like the best community that I've ever been involved in. And, I was managing the training center for the organization. This was before the organization moved all the offices into the area in which I worked. So I was downtown by myself and everyone else in the company was working elsewhere. And as an introvert, I was totally fine with that.
Kim Dawson: 35:25
You had no idea how lucky you were.
Candice Schutter: 35:29
Exactly. It turned out. But this one particular day, a man walks in to the studio and into my office and I'm just immediately struck by his presence and his energy. And he begins speaking, and I'm just like, who is this person? He just had a magnetism, a charisma, a groundedness about him that I was just really drawn to. And it turns out he's a Tai Chi teacher who just moved into the area. He's looking for a space to host his classes. And he's very, this might sound a little strange, but like he very humbly just stated the fact that I'm moving to this community and want to start teaching classes. My classes tend to build really quickly. So I just need to make sure that I have a large space and that we have an arrangement that works. And so I go to Kim and the owners and I say, we have to hire this person. So of course they meet him. Everyone says, yes. We're receiving class fees. Fast forward just a few months. I want to say three or four months, his classes are building very quickly. The studio is filling up. People just love his teaching. He's a really gifted teacher and he comes to me and says that he wants to rearrange the monetary agreement. Which is a reasonable request. He's bringing all these new people into the studio and they're buying class punch cards and the organization's making money off of this guy. And I don't remember the details of it, but the owners were really reluctant to do what was right in the situation. So he comes in. I give him the news and he says, very non reactively, okay. I guess I need to go somewhere else. So I go to you and to the owners and deliver the news. And suddenly they're backpedaling, like, wait a second. We don't want him to leave. Now the bottom line is impacted. Like, wait, what? And so they give me some counter thing to tell him. And he says, no, I'm sorry. It's too little too late. I'm moving on. So they call a meeting, which was so just the way things happen there. It was like, everything always escalated really quickly, really fast, fast. And so we all get together in this meeting and here's what we'll do for you and all the wheeling and dealing and said person who threw you down on the mat, I think at first tried to throw him down on the mat and realized it wasn't going to work. So then she changed, she started whistling a different tune.
Kim Dawson: 37:32
Yeah. I recall that too.
Candice Schutter: 37:33
Yeah. So she kinda stepped back and one of the other owners spoke and he was a lot more grounded and level and they had a good rapport. And I remember he said to this individual, okay, we see now the error in our ways. We messed up, let us do better. And I'm going to call him Tai-Chi Daniel said, I'm so glad to hear that you want to do better. I really am and you can do better. Just not with me. And That moment when he said that was such a turning point for me. It would take me a while to line up with what he was demonstrating in terms of that sovereignty and that, in his power and not codependent at all. You get to do it differently. Good for you. Bravo. And I'm taking myself out of here because the choice that's best for me is to step out. And I do hope you learned something and it's not my job to stick around so that you get to.
Kim Dawson: 38:23
So that you can learn on me.
Candice Schutter: 38:25
Exactly. You don't get to learn on me. I like that. You don't get to learn on me. And meanwhile,
Kim Dawson: 38:30
You go figure that out with somebody else who needs to learn that with you.
Candice Schutter: 38:34
Exactly. And so, that, that was big for me. And I, I remember you and I having some really big heart to hearts on the heels of that. And I think we actually reached out to Daniel and asked him to meet us at a coffee shop because we wanted to hear from him what we couldn't see. We were asking him, tell us,
Kim Dawson: 38:53
How did you just do that?
Candice Schutter: 38:54
How did you just do that? Exactly. And also, what do you see that we're not seeing? We were humble students of his in that way. We were like, we're so close to this. We're clearly very enmeshed. We can see our co-dependency like crazy right now because of what you just did. Tell us. And that was that conversation, I think we were both crying in that meeting with him. Yeah. Um, it was a big moment for us. And I wanted to share that story because I think it's such a great example of what over the years since then, I've been trying to step into and embody in myself and it's been a process. Yeah. So my process of stepping away and your process of stepping away, were kind of right on the heels of that. The timelines were very different because our relationships to those players at the top were very different. Like the role that we were playing in their story was very different. My journey out was different in that they, the reason I quit four times is that they kept revising my job description. So when you said, when you sat across the ad guy and he said, well, what job would you want? They kept doing that. So they would say, what job do you want? And then I would rewrite my own job description essentially. Cause I kept thinking, oh, if I get into the right position, it'll be okay. And it was sort of missing the point, like, no, this isn't going to ever be okay.
Kim Dawson: 40:07
Going back to, you know, we often miss that what we're seeing in other people is actually for us. I see that, you know, you guys need to show up in this way and be creative and do all these things. I mean, it is about them, but the thing is, is that we see in them something that is related to us.
Candice Schutter: 40:28
Well, it's like, in some ways you can't see what you don't know.
Kim Dawson: 40:30
Yeah. Okay. That's a good way of saying it.
Candice Schutter: 40:32
Yeah. So it's not always this linear thing of like, and I know you, so I know you don't mean that linear. It's not always this linear thing of like, oh, I see that therefore, that's the thing I need to be paying attention to. Everything's a projection. It's like, no, it's about what you notice. It may still be true. What you're noticing. Your ability to notice it though has so much to do with your point of view, which to borrow a phrase that is going to just lead right into the next part of the story. There's something for you to see within yourself through that reflection. I guess that's what I'm hearing you say. Does that sound right?
Kim Dawson: 41:05
Yeah, and I would go so far as to say, um, there's an exercise that I do with my clients, and I do it in the intro meeting to give people a taste of the work. And it's, think about somebody that you really, really care about. You love this person and you see them not seeing themselves the way you see them. You see them holding themselves back. Cause we all do it. Right. And so, you know, fill in the blank, you don't have to, you get to, by. I even did this in session, just a couple of days ago with somebody I work with all the time. 100% direct hit, not in the same ways that it was for the person that she was talking about. But it gave her insights that she really needed in that moment that would have gone completely by.
Candice Schutter: 41:57
Let's do the exercise, let's do the exercise. So the listeners get to experience it. I'm going to put myself on the spot, knowing that I can edit this out if I need to.
Kim Dawson: 42:05
No, you won't want to. Think of anybody who you love and you care about, who you see might be struggling or not allowing themselves to live into what they're capable of, you know, what they deserve to what they want. You know, you get what I'm saying, right?
Candice Schutter: 42:24
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Kim Dawson: 42:25
So the three fill in the blanks are: you don't have to, you get to, by, which is a how. So there's something that they're doing to limit themselves. You don't have to limit. So what words come up for you?
Candice Schutter: 42:46
You don't have to keep yourself hidden. And what is it? You don't have to keep yourself hidden and protect yourself from being seen.
Kim Dawson: 42:59
You get to.
Candice Schutter: 43:02
You get to show up in every arena, exactly how you are.
Kim Dawson: 43:08
Candice Schutter: 43:11
By risking exposure and receiving love. You don't know me!
Kim Dawson: 43:22
Candice Schutter: 43:23
It's so true.
Kim Dawson: 43:23
It's a 100% direct hit.
Candice Schutter: 43:25
Kim Dawson: 43:26
Way more than we know. Way, way, way more than we know. There's always a reflection. And, what happens is we take the reflection at face value rather than at energetic value.
Candice Schutter: 43:39
Kim Dawson: 43:40
And we go, well, that's not for me. Well no that, but the energy underneath that.
Candice Schutter: 43:45
Kim Dawson: 43:47
Is exactly. And that's why we're even noticing.
Candice Schutter: 43:50
Well, it makes me think of a conversation that we had when, and I'm fast forwarding in the story a little bit. And you said, I'm going to step out and all these things I'm trying to get these people to do, like I'm going to go do them myself. And that was the intention. Right. And so you began working as a coach yourself. Like a business coach, right? And at one point we were trading sessions and another point I had just hired you to help me. And over the next few years, we were exchanging and being there for each other in different ways. And this exercise that you just demonstrated reminds me of a moment that I remember in that work where I was working on business stuff with you and you were really helping folks to get in touch with what you called their point of view when it came to business and branding. And so we had been working on that for some time. And at that particular moment in time, there was something really deeply painful going on in my primary relationship. And I was struggling and I wasn't sure if my relationship was going to survive it. There was a lot of triangulation going on. There was another individual involved and I was just deeply triggered by this individual and her role in our lives. And I came in and I think we were going to talk about business stuff, and then we just started talking and you had me really go there. You were like, I want you to really go there, like what really pisses you off in this situation with this person? Like, what is it? And I was just like how she's like, I don't know, what's this and that's this. And I was throwing out the narrative and, and and this is one of the things I love about the way that you witness is that you're able to listen to what's being said, and you're sort of able to be the highlighter. I'm going to say the highlighter because that's the next story. You're able to be the highlighter in the moment, even in listening. And so I'm sharing all this and I'm just like spit firing. And I know you so well, so I'm holding nothing back, right? And I'm saying all the things. And I, towards the end of it, I kept repeating this phrase... just look at yourself, look at yourself. I just want to just just grab this person and just be like, you keep pointing your finger at me and you keep saying me this and this. And I just like, look at yourself. And you just wrote it down on a piece of paper and you just very calmly, let me finish. And you tilt your head to the side and you smiled and you turned it around and you slid it across the table at me. And you said, all this work we've been doing, this is one of the keys. Like, this is it. That thing that you get so fired up about in other people, in the world and whatever, like, that's your point of view. That's the place you're coming from. And I, you know, I've always been resistant to like, there's one thing, right? So I said to you, this is it. This is your point of view. And I was like, that's not the only thing, you know, but you were right. Like, that is definitely a hundred percent, one of the key pieces for me. And it stayed with me and this podcast, if y'all listen back, if you hear everything I'm saying, what am I saying over and over again? Like self-expression which we're going to talk about that one in a second, but look at yourself. Look at yourself. Rather than paying so much attention to what he/she/they are doing, look at yourself. Take that responsibility and that power back. And that exercise you just did is a really great example of that similar thing. I'm looking at this person in my life and I'm saying, here's what they shouldn't do, here's what they should do, here's what they get to do. And it's really just reflective of what I need to see within myself. So yeah.
Kim Dawson: 47:15
I remember that so well, can I add something to this?
Candice Schutter: 47:18
Yeah, of course.
Kim Dawson: 47:19
So I love that you remember that, right? Because that is the point of, and now it's not view it's 'you.' It's changed because it's the point of you. But I remember that the reason that we were together doing that was because I was going to participate in one of your classes that you did as part of your program. And I was trying to figure out how to give your group a taste of this work. And back then, I just kind of intuitively got there. I didn't have this exercise. And this is how tied together we are. This is how close we are and how meaningful your relationship with me is because we call on each other in these really important times, right? It's like, Hey Kim, you know, let's collaborate on this. And in that moment with you, I developed what has become my point of you exercise, the primary exercise that I do with people, the very first major session that we do. And it's you are being so... that's the unloading, right? You make me feel like I... nobody makes us feel, but it's like, you're making me feel like...
Candice Schutter: 48:36
Yeah, that's what the voice is saying.
Kim Dawson: 48:38
I am. I'm not. I should, have to, need to, am supposed to. Right. Don't get to. And the last one is why can't you just. And that was developed with you in that moment spontaneously and it holds today. And I use it all the time.
Candice Schutter: 48:58
I love that.
Kim Dawson: 48:58
Yeah. Again, it just speaks to the cooperative nature.
Candice Schutter: 49:03
Kim Dawson: 49:03
I was listening to several of your podcasts. And one of them was talking about how we can't, you know, sort of do this personal growth thing by ourselves. Right. And we can't figure out our stuff by ourselves, but you and I have been cooperating, collaborating, co conspiring. Helping and supporting each other in these ways where I show you something, but you showed me something and both were like really powerful together. And neither one of us would have gotten there without the other one.
Candice Schutter: 49:35
Yeah. Well, that's the beauty of, I think this paradigm shift into this more, and I'm going to use this word, woman in the sense of whomever identifies as a woman, but this sort of woman led way of operating and doing business and connecting and like the synergy that happens versus I'm going to a person who's an expert and I'm the one who's receiving. It's like, no, it's, it's very much. And I know this in my work with clients, like I gain so much from every session that I have with a client. My clients have no idea how fed I am and working and playing, co conspiring, whatever you want to call it with you really helped me to understand that even more so. And it wasn't like, oh, well, the reason why Kim and Candice have the synergy is because they're both coaches. It's like, no, this is what happens when women come together and bring their full selves and are in service to one another. And there's a reciprocity in that. It grows both individuals in this really beautiful way. And even the things that I remember, like the other story that I wanted to tell in my work with you. I know, based on a conversation we recently had that, that moment there was something for you to see in it too, even though you were helping me to see something. You had created this beautiful questionnaire for me to answer all these questions. And at the time I had like four plates spinning at the same time. This business and that business and this business and that business. And I had come to you and I said, what's wrong with me? Like, why can't I just pick one thing? Why am I doing all of these different things that are sort of connected, but sort of not. I was really in a place of self judgment around the fact that I didn't see the umbrella that was over top of all of it. I was searching for that. And I just felt like I was this flaky little gal in her early thirties who couldn't figure herself out. And I was exhausted. I was doing a lot. And I came to you and you have me fill out this questionnaire and,
Kim Dawson: 51:37
The business clarity questionnaire.
Candice Schutter: 51:39
The business clarity questionnaire. And I typed in all my responses on the computer and I sent it back to you and you printed it out and brought it along. And we met at Starbucks on Northwest 23rd, right across from our favorite new age bookstore, because I was still kind of dabbling in that at the time. And you sat across from me and you said, okay, are you ready? And I was like, yeah, I don't know. I'm so sorry. Like all that stuff I threw at you. I know it's a lot, like, good luck. I'm quite a case. And you handed me the piece of paper. There was highlighting all over it. And I'm flipping through it. And you're like, I want you to look at what I highlighted. And I want you to tell me that there's not a thread that's connecting all of these things. And I looked down and I had written the word expressed, expressing, or expression two dozen times.
Kim Dawson: 52:32
At least.
Candice Schutter: 52:33
It was every question. Expression, express, express. I did not see it, y'all. I did not see it at all. And you said, this is the thread that connects all these things. This is what you're passionate about. Expression. No wonder, it's always changing. If you're passionate about expression, like why would it stay the same. It makes no sense. So this is it. And it would take me a few years to figure out what to do with that information, and we worked on that. But just that moment, I was looking on the surface trying to connect all the dots and I was missing the deeper pulse. I share that story because it led to this podcast in many ways. And also because I think that's how it is a lot of times when we're trying to do that work on our own and why it's so important to have relationships like this. When we show up with love and empathy for each other, we can reflect things that they're right under our noses. It's just that we can't see them on our own and we just need the mirror of one another. And that's just one of the things that we've been for each other. And I don't remember a lot of our conversations because I was in you know, nervous system arousal for a lot of it, over those years. Yeah. But those particular pieces that I was lucid and I can remember, I'm sure there's a lot of other threads that have stayed as well. But the pieces that I do remember really stayed with me and have impacted me long-term and I want to thank you publicly for that. And just underscore how much all of that came out of us just showing up for each other. You said something in our talk that I just love. You said all those years, we were seeing each other when we couldn't see ourselves. And that's what deep friendship does. It's what it's meant to do, I should say. Yeah.
Kim Dawson: 54:19
Yeah. And in a sense, we were seeing ourselves, we just didn't know it.
Candice Schutter: 54:23
Yeah, exactly.
Kim Dawson: 54:25
The reason we were seeing all of this in the other person was that that's really how we wanted to get to see ourselves too.
Candice Schutter: 54:30
Exactly. We're like shouting at each other faces the things that we want to see in ourselves. Yeah. It's true.
Kim Dawson: 54:36
Can I share one thing around that expression story?
Candice Schutter: 54:39
Kim Dawson: 54:41
When you were coming in, you were exhausted, right? Because you were looking at, I am doing this thing, coaching. I'm doing this thing, teaching. I'm doing this thing, xx. I'm doing this thing. And so I'm doing all of these different things, seeing them all from a different perspective, like they're different. But the thing is, is that every single one of them was a platform for the same thing.
Candice Schutter: 55:08
Kim Dawson: 55:09
That's what we miss. That's what in my business work right now. That's a huge part of it that I would just really want to share on this platform here for people to just consider. Because when there's all these different parts of you and we feel like we have to choose, you know. It's like, oh, do I want to be this? Or do I want to be that? Or, or, or, or right. All of these different things that I've done and I've done well and I like. And how do I do all of them together? Too many plates spinning. Right. And the most, the most amazing thing is, is that with just the slightest little shift in perspective. There's a way in which when we understand the point, right, expressing expression expressed that kind of a thing, then we can bring all of ourselves to that.
Candice Schutter: 55:59
Kim Dawson: 55:59
And we can do that anywhere we want to do that. We're not limited. We don't have to choose. We don't have to cut out. We don't have to select, we don't have to whatever. And you know, there was a point where I walked away from my work, went back to the Silicon Valley. I was so unfulfilled and the reason I was so unfulfilled was that I was trying to get everyone else to step into themselves. It's not about showing off. It's about showing up. Show up fully. Be all of this from a place of being completely hidden and not having a right to put myself out into the world because that's never been safe for me. So I can see how to do it all. I'm helping other people and they're doing it, but I'm not modeling it. And so it got, you know, so it got unfulfilling. I'm like, ah, I just want to go back to the Silicon Valley. I want to think big. I want to be on teams. I want to do all this stuff. And I got down there and there was no place for me. I was trying to apply as a marketing director or as an operations director or as a sales director or as all these things that I've done. Then people would say, well, you haven't done that in 10 years that doesn't even really show on your resume anymore. Or, well, we really want somebody who has, you know, a career in this, you look like you never knew what you wanted to do when you grew up. So that was when I came back, and we reconnected then. And that's when I started the business design group. And that's when I really, really, really knew you know, do your own work. But I will never forget a few months later, I was sitting there working at the table in the little studio I was living in. Cause I kind of lost everything and had to start all over again. And I was doing some creative branding work and I was doing some sales work and I was doing some marketing work and I was, you know, it was all these different aspects of me and I was doing all of them and I literally fell out of my chair. Wow. I am doing all the things. I'm not limited by anything, right. I'm getting to be all of me. I knew what I wanted for people, right. This point of you, which is like, this is what you're trying to bring to the world. But the only way to bring that to the world is to bring it to yourself first. And what we tend to try to do is bring it to others in order to get it ourselves. And that's completely backwards. That piece around expression. Do whatever you want with that. And you get to choose whatever platform you want to do it on. Obviously I get super excited about it because it's like all of a sudden the fulfillment potential goes way up. Because it's not like we're having to choose who we get to be or who we don't get to be.
Candice Schutter: 58:33
Well, it's that, apologies to the listener, cause I belabor this all the time, but in depth psychology, my favorite question is: what is this in service to, really? Like this thing that I'm doing. And when you have a sense of what your real motivation is and when your eyes are open to that, then it's not about, do I say yes or no to this thing based on the surface of, you know. It's like, if I'm looking at a lineup of potential guests for the podcast, and I have the sense of being able to ask the question, is this in service to self-expression? My courageous self-expression and the courageous self-expression of the individual who's showing up. Because to me it's just as important that the person who I'm sitting with is having an experience of that reach in terms of expression, you know. And that's a much easier question to answer than, you know what all the websites would tell me to ask, like what would be the visibility be if you talk to this person and you know, I won't even go into the whole list of other things that are potentially factors. But to me it's do I want to talk to this person? Is it in service to self-expression? Will people listen to it? Quite frankly, is sort of a secondary concern for me. It's really about what am I being called to do with this project? I'm getting ready to start volunteering and I'm going to be a CASA advocate. So a court appointed special advocate for a foster child, and it's this huge training program and all this stuff. And when I went to the initial interview that was two and a half hours long, it might seem like, well, you know, okay, Candice has got this podcast and she's a coach. And like she's former movement teacher. And then she went and got a degree in social impact. And now she's going to go volunteer at the foster, like I don't have the same feeling of like, what am I doing? Like now I'm like, I know exactly what I'm doing and what I'm in service to, and the desire that I have for everyone to be able to be free and supported and liberated in their expression. And I know in order for that to happen, we have to deal with the foundational elements of agency, which is food, water, shelter, love, belonging. Those things are essential to expression. And if I know that, then I don't feel I'm fragmented in any way. I'm like, this is all part of it.
Kim Dawson: 1:00:39
Love it.
Candice Schutter: 1:00:40
So the work that you do I just really want to champion it because it's so important in terms of liberating as somebody who, and when I get fired up, having freedom to choose and change one's mind because expression's all about freedom. When you give people the ability to tap into the deeper pulse in the way that you do in terms of our vocation and livelihood and how we're expressing ourselves in the world, then it is like this massive permission slip to do all sorts of things and change your mind as much as you effin' want to. It's your one life, you get to live it however you want. And if you know what you're in service to, it's nobody else's damn business,
Kim Dawson: 1:01:19
Right. Because it's, you know, if you know what you're in service to, and you're in service to it, then you feel fulfilled. And, I know when I'm on that track and I know when I'm not on that track. We know when we're not on that track. We feel it big time, really fast. You know, whether we listen to that or not, that's other part of our work that we, that we both do, right? Yeah. Yeah. But that ability to just have the clarity, to understand what this is about, you know, what it's about for us I mean. Um, I taught for several years in a fashion design program. Taught strategic marketing, and really brought point of you into strategic marketing and the designers would come into this class, you know, a little like, Ooh, strategic marketing, right?
Candice Schutter: 1:02:07
Of course. Yeah.
Kim Dawson: 1:02:08
Yeah. So these designers would come in, you know, in and they're in a program where they're going to launch their first lines and you know, they're like designers, right? Most, not super comfortable with strategic marketing or whatever. So we're talking in this, you know, friendly and all that. And it's like, okay, you guys ready to get going? So I have kind of a tough question. Does the world need another dress? Do we need another pair of pants? Do we need another coach? Do we need another massage therapist? Do we need another realtor? Do we need another artwork? Do we need another right? Do we need, we really need any of this?
Candice Schutter: 1:02:38
Kim Dawson: 1:02:39
So why are you here? Right. And it's not because I'm trying to tell you, you shouldn't be a fashion designer. I'm saying what's the point? What is it that you design for? What possibility? And what was interesting was that in class they started to understand that emotional possibility that they stood for, for people and that impacted their designs. And then when they go into design class and the, you know, the teacher, the sort of big wig designer would be like, well, no, I think you should do da-da-da-da. And they go, oh no, This is the point. That's why it's like this. It's very, very intentional. And that competence and that power to just be able to bring it when we know what that point is, right. When we know what we really care about, what we stand for.
Candice Schutter: 1:03:28
One of the things I love about it so much is the approach that you take is really in service to this new paradigm of leadership and collaboration, like genuine collaboration. And all of those students in that room are not there because the world needs another dress. And like let's all hustle and compete against one another to make the next best dress. When you help people connect to what they're really in service to, and their point of you, it simplifies the whole idea of, like, I have a lot of friends who are coaches. When you understand the work that you're doing on this deeper level, competition is sort of absurd. It's like, how do you compete with the point of a person? Like, you can't. Every person has a certain point of view and a point of them in their expression and it's unique to them. And even if we were, let's say that we had graduated from the same quote unquote coaching academy. And we were using the same templates. Like even that if you do this kind of work becomes irrelevant because people are aligned with who they're aligned with because of these deeper things that run through. And every product is unique unto itself if it's in service to that. And there's no need to compete with one another and we can instead, and this is where I think I'm really wanting us as women leaders, especially to take things is like, I feel like a lot of female leaders have gotten to the point where they're like, okay, we don't compete with each other. We lift each other up. I see it happening more and more like women lifting each other up. And I think that's great and wonderful. And yet they're all operating in their own silos still.
Kim Dawson: 1:05:01
There you go.
Candice Schutter: 1:05:02
And struggling and fighting and doing all the things in a capitalist economy that one has to do in order to keep their head above water. And so now I'm interested in like huh, which is why I went to get the social impact degree was like, what could we do if we did things together? And yet we still were all in our own power and expression and doing the things that we do, but we were somehow weaving this path together that's much wider and more developed and there's all these different lanes in it. And we're creating this together and collaborating in service to the same. Cause most of us like you and I, our work is in service to the same thing on the level of impact on the ground. We have different ways of going about it and very different focuses and very different things that draw clients to us for different reasons. But in terms of impact.
Kim Dawson: 1:05:51
And they're very complimentary.
Candice Schutter: 1:05:53
Very complimentary. And we've referred clients to each other before. Very complimentary. And the impact though, that road that we're paving is like the same road. And that's kind of where I would love to see, we have to create that paradigm together because in this capitalist culture, it doesn't exist, really. I'm sure there's examples out there. I know there are. And yeah, I just, I'm just really interested in that. And I think you talked about when we spoke about freedom-with.
Kim Dawson: 1:06:22
I'm picturing the graphics that I've created around this concept for myself to understand it. There's a way in which, we start off in a massively codependent way, growing up. Like as a kid, we're actually dependent on people. So we learn what our role is and how to play and how to function and all of that kind of stuff within that unit. And then we go out into the world and we recreate it. And we recreate it, we recreate it and recreate it. And it's codependent in all those ways, in the ways that we've talked about, right. These jobs that we've been in. And then, we get to the point where we go, ah, and in order to find our freedom, we need freedom from all the co-dependence. And so we end up isolated, right? We have to separate ourselves. The silos that you talked about, right. We're all siloed so that we can do our own work together. Right. But the thing is, is that when we are sovereign, we recognize that we don't have to be separate to be sovereign.
Candice Schutter: 1:07:26
Yes. Yeah.
Kim Dawson: 1:07:27
Right. Sovereign is that I am own drop of water and you're your own drop of water and so-and-so's their own drop of water. And we start bringing these drops of water together in cooperation. And bring this back together in a way, instead of all of this mesh of co-dependence, which is what I see in the world.
Candice Schutter: 1:07:48
Oh yeah.
Kim Dawson: 1:07:48
It's just a big great big mesh of co-dependence that we're trying to get ourselves out of. We want freedom from the other person, rather than being able to have freedom with the other person. We end up isolating in ways and then we got like, oh wow, is this it? Right? I'm out here by myself. And, you know, interestingly enough, when you reached out to me a little over a month ago. I just done that graphic and was in my own life going, okay, I really want to reconnect with people in my life. You were on my top three list. When your email came in, right. It is from this place of, we are so much more powerful together when we're not competing with each other to be powerful, right. When like, you know, your work or my work. It's like, no, we can cooperate. And what would happen if we did? What possibilities would we be able to create? We're operative on our own individually. So we're each in our own power. There isn't a co-dependent need where, you know, you've got this and I don't have this. How most people come together.
Candice Schutter: 1:08:53
That's true. That's true.
Kim Dawson: 1:08:55
Right? And then it creates all the, but we come together from this place of I see from this perspective, and you see from this perspective and both of these perspectives have value. And what happens if we bring these perspectives together with an and. And we have freedom with. For me, there's sovereignty in that, you know, I am a drop of water and I am the ocean, but I get to be a drop of water in the ocean. I am my own unique being, even though we're all connected and we're all in it together in that way. But if we can have sovereignty, then we can have sovereign relationship. And even in sovereign relationship, we can have sovereign leadership. Like I can lead my life forward. I can still lead. And you can still lead.
Candice Schutter: 1:09:45
In which case each person is leading themselves.
Kim Dawson: 1:09:48
Leading ourselves together.
Candice Schutter: 1:09:51
Yes, yes, yes.
Kim Dawson: 1:09:52
And I know you are. I mean, sovereignty is a big word for both of us.
Candice Schutter: 1:09:56
It has been for years and years.
Kim Dawson: 1:10:00
I think it goes back to Tai Chi Daniel.
Candice Schutter: 1:10:03
Perhaps. Yeah. I didn't know what to call it at that moment, and now of course, as happens with all language, it's like things become used more and more and more, and then they become watered down and I'm finding that starting to happen just a little bit, unfortunately with the word sovereignty, but we know what we mean. And whatever language people want to use around it, having that sense of self dominion is so critical. And speaking of I want to take a turn. It's going to feel like a hard turn and you and I both know it's all part of it. You mentioned the drop of water. You actually just picked up your water glass and took a swig. And it made me really think if you're comfortable sharing about your post that you wrote. Was it last night?
Kim Dawson: 1:10:51
Oh, yeah. It was yesterday.
Candice Schutter: 1:10:53
Yeah, the post that you wrote in, in this was some of what you shared in this post that you posted on social media so bravely, and I just really want to say it was expressed so beautifully and I just felt your vulnerability in a way that, I can just feel how this recent loss that you experienced is just cracking you open on a whole other level. And I just really want to celebrate that. And I know how scary it is, too. Not to name your experience. But for me, that's always scary. And I just, I mentioned the water because it's a metaphor that you you spoke to in this beautiful post that you wrote about your mother's recent passing and are you comfortable sharing a little bit about what's happening for you around all that?
Kim Dawson: 1:11:36
Yeah. So, yeah. It's five weeks ago tonight. Five weeks ago today I was my dad, my sister, and I. It was like day five of really just sitting with her in her, you know, process of letting go. And, this has been a journey. This was not a surprise. Although it was, you know, her passing happened sooner than we had expected. She experienced vascular dementia and Alzheimer's. So, you know, there's been this sort of journey of losing my mom over the last probably 10 years, but really intensely over the last three years during COVID. You know, which was tricky to navigate, but also really brought the family together. But so, her passing was, was really beautiful. This five days of like letting go, letting her go saying it's okay. You know, and I noticed energetically, there was one point where we were all sitting around with her and I could just feel, I call them energy tentacles, my energy tentacles, just in there, like in trying to talk to her, trying to let her go. I am grabbing on.
Candice Schutter: 1:12:52
I'm going to cling to you in order to let go.
Kim Dawson: 1:12:55
Yes. And literally at one point, my arms just started doing this in the room. I was like, reeling in all of it, you know, and this was just a few hours before she passed. Right. There was this, process of detaching going on in a way. Letting go, not wanting to let go, letting go, not wanting to let go. And so, you know, it was this very beautiful process. And then since that night, my whole world has energetically felt different. Like upside down and backwards. It's just been the strangest sensation. Like everything feels different for me. And I was looking for words for weeks and what I realized was that I was feeling the sensation that I am water that has been in a glass. And when my mom passed the glass vanished and I just went xx. Like have no form anymore. Right? Like there's a way in which her existence has defined me so much in my life in lots of beautiful ways. And then also in her own trauma ways.
Candice Schutter: 1:14:09
Kim Dawson: 1:14:10
You know? These ways in which I have defined myself that were so related to her, it was like, energetically, that was just, it's just gone. And I'm actually seeing just how much, even though I've been conscious and understanding and healing around so much of this, how much every decision I make in my life has still been to prove to my mom that I am not bad. And to do that so that she can feel not bad, right? Which is basically she gets to feel like a good mom.
Candice Schutter: 1:14:50
Kim Dawson: 1:14:51
Right? Because if I'm struggling or if something's gone, it's like, she was a bad mom. And this is not new for me. It's just that when she passed and that energy left.
Candice Schutter: 1:15:04
Yeah, it's huge.
Kim Dawson: 1:15:06
It was like, wait a second, hold on, wait, wait, come back, come back. Because all the choices I'm making in the way I do my business and the goals that I had. Had, right? Is that, wait, is that what I want? Is that really what I want? Is that how I want to do that? Why would I be doing that? Right. I could still do it like that. There's nothing wrong with that. But how much was I doing that to try to become something, to prove something to, you know. I'm shaking right now from the inside out so much, because,
Candice Schutter: 1:15:38
Kim Dawson: 1:15:39
Literally it's like the floor came out from underneath me or the glass is gone or the rug is pulled out or, you know, like, there's these metaphors of like, whoa, what is real here? What is real? What am I choosing? Going back to sovereign choice. And sovereignty. This connection that was such an important connection in my life that I'm no longer responsible for that in a way, right? Like that responsibility just left. I mean, it's just like gone. Just poof. And it really is bringing into question everything. And interestingly, so much of what's been coming up this year, that now comes up really big with my mom's passing has just been bringing the artist back in. There's this freedom that comes that isn't because my mom trapped me. I mean, I was in sovereign power. I'm making my own choices and choosing what I want in my life. There's just that piece of me that has been so much a part of my life my whole life is now irrelevant.
Candice Schutter: 1:16:42
Kim Dawson: 1:16:43
You know, and I'm getting to feel how much it's defined me. And in many ways confined me, in ways that were similar to the way my mom confined herself.
Candice Schutter: 1:16:55
Yeah. That makes me think of the Carl Jung quote, one of my favorites: "the greatest burden a child can bear is the unlived life of the parent." And that the way that without consciousness that a parent, or even with some consciousness, I think it probably always happens on a certain level of that vicarious projection onto the child and the child carries that. And it makes perfect sense to me. And I would understand the bittersweet ness of that and the feelings of relief might bring about feelings of guilt as she passes and realizing that that unspoken, energetic pressure is now gone. And I love that you spoke to, you know, you said I'm shaking right now. I feel, I love the metaphor. Yeah, of the water being everywhere is it's like, your vulnerability and your willingness to share this so openly is such a great opportunity for us to really highlight how it is when identity shifts. Like we, we sort of romanticize that like, Ooh, a new identity. But in fact it feels like, it can feel almost torturous in terms of the anxiety that it produces. Depth psychology talks about this a lot in terms of the neurotic anxiety that we feel, one when we are trapped inside of the glass. When we are confined within that interpersonal complex that we have to play out, that role that we have to play. There's a certain kind of anxiety there, inauthentic suffering. We stay there because the authentic suffering, when there is no fucking glass, talk about anxiety, it's like, whuuutt? And you're just so in that right now, and it's mixed with grief and I don't want to oversimplify any of this. Right. It's like.
Kim Dawson: 1:18:32
Well, in many ways it is very simple. It's not easy to navigate. It is quite simple underneath, you know. And I think in some ways I want to let it be quite simple.
Candice Schutter: 1:18:47
That's fair. Yeah.
Kim Dawson: 1:18:48
Which doesn't mean that it's easy to navigate at all. The glass goes away and there's this feeling of freedom. And we go, oh, great freedom. You know, we talk about how great freedom is, right? The thing is, is that there is so much responsibility with freedom and we don't know how to be responsible for ourselves. We don't know how to allow ourselves. We don't know how to accept. And so right now, I do feel this sense of freedom. And it's almost like, it's like, I don't want the freedom. Because there's so many unknowns. There's so many things that are not defined for me anymore. And the thing is, is I can put myself right back into a glass.
Candice Schutter: 1:19:30
Oh yeah.
Kim Dawson: 1:19:31
And that's often what we will do is just like, okay, well, I'll just rebuild it. I'll just rebuild that energetic form. But the thing is, is I've been working and working and working and healing and healing and healing to get to the place where that energetic form can fall away. It feels like I'm, all over the place, but I'm actually not. I'm still here. It's just that I'm used to this thing holding me here in a sense, and it's not holding me here. And now it's really just me standing on my own, in my power. And that reminds me of something that you said years ago, which was super poignant for me. And it was when I came back from Sacramento and it was the launch of this work nine years ago. Recommitting and starting to do my own work. And at the time I felt like I was at rock bottom, because I had worked for eight months trying to find work and, you know, trying to do these things. And I was avoiding what I needed to do, which was this. I was trying to go get it somewhere else. Right. And look, keep trying, keep trying. And there were reasons I needed to be close to my mom, be close to my dad and see some things and understand some things as to why I felt the way I felt. And we were talking shortly after that. And I just, you know, I was like, wow, I just feel like I'm at rock bottom. And you were so right when, what you said is, you know what, Kim, I actually think you're standing at the top of the mountain now. I wasn't at rock bottom. I had shed and shed and shed and shed and shed and shed and shed. And I was standing up here and I had a lot of clarity about where I wanted to go next about why I had lived life this way and why I'd made these choices and why they didn't work out as I had hoped they would, or why I wasn't fulfilled or all of those different things. And so it felt like, okay, now I'm at the bottom down here. Right. I was really tired. And you're like, what if you're tired because actually now you're standing up here, at the top of this mountain. You just pulled yourself up above the treeline and you can actually see now. And you're tired because it was a lot of work to get there. Not because you're, you know, at rock bottom. Um, which was a very profound gift that you gave me nine years ago at the relaunch and beginning of the journey that I've been on. It was profound and it helped, it really helped. Because I have been basically starting over. And you kind of helped put me on that sweet gift.
Candice Schutter: 1:22:01
Likewise, it's just very reciprocal relationship and connection. And thank you for sharing on this platform. It's really meaningful to me. And I know that it's going to touch a lot of hearts. That's the thing about courage and expression is like saying the thing that often goes unsaid. I think a lot of times when people connect on that authentic level, this is just what naturally happens. Like any sort of relationship where you feel seen, and you show up and there's a person in your life that sees you when you can't see yourself, and gives you that reflection, it's just invaluable. And when those connections last over the course of years, and you get to see each other have like lifetimes within lifetimes circle back and there's space and you circle back again. And you inspired me all those years ago to really highlight expression. And that it took me this long to create a project that centers around expression. And that it's brought me back to you is so cool.
Kim Dawson: 1:23:06
It is cool. I love you.
Candice Schutter: 1:23:08
I love you too. Thank you for doing this with me.
Kim Dawson: 1:23:11
Thanks for the chat. And
Candice Schutter: 1:23:21
A huge thank you to Kim for her transparency and her wisdom. If you like what you heard in today's episode, and you'd like to reach out to Kim directly, you can reach her at revolutionbizdesign.com or follow her on Instagram @thepointofyou. As I noted in the intro, this episode is the last of the spring season. Now, of course, I wish that I could endlessly deliver weekly episodes to you, but as you know, sometimes we've got to regroup to keep our expression fresh and in its integrity. I'll be going on break in part for some personal travel time, but also to prepare for the summer season where I will be rolling out an extra special series that's pushing me outside of my comfort zone in a really big way. In the meantime, I encourage you to circle back to previous episodes, relisten, share them with friends and if you so happen to five-star enjoy this podcast, pretty please take a moment to rate or review The Deeper Pulse on apple podcasts. This is most certainly a labor of love. And to be honest, I would probably do it even if you were the only one listening. That said, growing our listenership is what helps me to do this work, so your support is deeply appreciated. Either way, until next time know that you are loved through and through and keep on moving toward what moves you. Caio.

© The Deeper Pulse, Candice Schutter