Beth Killough on horses and what we can learn about leadership from animals

horses and leadership

Value through Vulnerability (boosted by HumansFirst) Host Garry Turner

VtV Coalition

Garry Turner  0:00  

Welcome to Value through Vulnerability. This is a podcast dedicated to putting the human back into humanity and really grateful that we are boosted by HumansFirst and I have co-founder Mike Vacanti with us today. And we also have the wonderful Beth Killough with us today, who is a lifelong cowgirl and licenced psychotherapist, coach and counsellor. She owns Take a Chance ranch in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing leadership programmes through the circle up experience. How are you, Beth, and welcome to the podcast.

Beth Killough  0:31  

I am doing great and so excited to be here.

Garry Turner  0:35  

Well, it’s so so good to have you here. A little shout out to Pam for connecting us. Thank you so much. And please can you just expand a little bit on that intricate introduction I just gave, you know, how did you get into the work that you do today? Give us a bit of a whistle stop.

Beth Killough  0:50  

Yeah, the work got into me I didn’t get into it as most of the good things that have happened in my life. They kind of have have found their way into me through working on me rather than me working on them. So I’ve had a lifelong interest in humans. And part of that came from a really chaotic upbringing. And, you know, sometimes what we do is just really try to figure things out in order to be able to survive them. And so I really went down that track of, of trying to figure out the world of humans. And I have a memory at a very young age of me noticing because I was very drawn to animals. I had a lot of animals in my life, that the animals made sense. And that was all things were very clear and coherent. I didn’t have the language that I’m using right now at that time, but I remember watching the humans next to the animals and the juxtaposition was something felt really off about the chaos that the humans were creating. 

And so while I was spent, you know, many years studying psychology and becoming a therapist, I always had this other part of me that was exploring my life with the animals to try to make sense of the world. And then eventually those two paths came together, but it was certainly my making. It was basically the animals, just the animals in my life dominated eventually and shoved their way into my work and, and when I started working with animals more directly with people, I could no longer work in a traditional psychotherapy office and I couldn’t do that work anymore. I realised we were missing a huge part of the equation which was the mammal in us, the human animal and us and that was what I I saw and felt as a child because children have access to that we just lose it. So that’s how I got here to this this kind of strange world I live in that’s about this, this mammal bringing the human animal back to our communities.

Garry Turner  3:15  

It’s so interesting for you because I get the feeling, Beth, well, I certainly know from my own upbringing that actually that animalistic element has always been suppressed. It’s actually like we’ve evolved, we’ve moved on from being an animal, like we’re now these humans, we’re educated, we’re bright, we’ve got high IQ. And it seems it’s really interesting paradox

Beth Killough The Circle

Beth Killough  3:36  

It is and I think that there are certain aspects of that that we all appreciate. Like, it’s really good. We don’t throw our food and you know, like, beat each other. But hopefully we don’t, like there’s certain aspects of our socialisation as human animals that we’ve really benefited from, but there’s, I think, a calling right now for an integration which is that we’ve allowed the human mind to get a bit out ahead of itself without integrating this other part. And so it’s not that we want to disavow that intellect and that creativity and the ways that we’re able to innovate are amazing. And so I think sometimes when people say, you know, if there’s a fear across that part of us that’s evolved into this incredibly balancing, it’s about bringing some of these elements of instinct and intuition and sensation that come from the body and come from being in a family of mammals. That’s what we’re bringing back.

Mike Vacanti  4:50  

Yes, I love that that because it’s often thought of is, is it’s  too different or outside of our regular experiences and, I think what you’re sharing is the integration says, no, actually it’s within, it’s a part of, it’s just the part we don’t spend enough time exploring. Right? We, you know, as we innovating, create and look forward and grow and educate ourselves and like you were saying along the journey of, of your therapy work, all of a sudden we discover, what am I trying to force myself into, rather than pause for a moment and say, What am I need ripping out of myself? And always held, we just get so focused on forcing ourselves into something.

‘I had a lot of animals in my life, that the animals made sense. And that was all things were very clear and coherent. I didn’t have the language that I’m using right now at that time, but I remember watching the humans next to the animals and the juxtaposition was something felt really off about the chaos that the humans were creating. ‘

Beth Killough

Beth Killough  5:50  

t’s almost like the thinking part of us creates like a thicket, of activities that actually doesn’t allow us to see the whole picture and use things like intuition instinct. And I think that’s actually a predatory part of us that gets drawn in. And it’s like the hunt and the pursual of truth or an answer is actually is a natural instinct, we just get pulled into that and when we get single a singular focus, which takes us out of what we call in my work and natural leadership is called just an understanding the ability to use scope. And so there we use that predatory part of us that’s a singular focus when we should be using scope. And so it’s even that element isn’t coming from a bad place. It’s just an overused part of us.

Mike Vacanti  6:49  

Yeah. And I think of you know, when you talk about the human animal in us and I think of so I really like I love horses, they’re majestic and and I’ve ridden and and really enjoyed that. But as as I would approach a horse to saddle the horse, right, it knows where I’m coming from. And so if I’m carrying that tension forward like you just expressed that, that hunter, if the horse feels coming at them like that, they’re going to respond in kind right there. They’re going to resist me in whole. When I let that go, and just approach the horse with my heartbeat with my care, that horse just comes right to me like a puppy almost. And is welcoming the saddle and says that we can go enjoy a journey together and people just miss that. You help us discover that is that right?

Beth Killough  8:03  

Yeah, I should hire you to talk about my work because you just nailed it. Yes, that’s exactly right, the mammal nervous system will always look to sync up with the calmest one available. And humans have stopped giving honest feedback or seeing honest feedback about when we’re dysregulated. So the reason why the horses are, I’m so grateful to them for so many things. But one of the things I’m most grateful for is their radical honesty about what is actually happening in the moment. And so they help us wake that up. So and then when we, they help us wake up to what’s actually going on inside of us by showing us that tension. And they refuse to be with it, which is actually part of their survival, because it’s not in their best interest to be using their energy and focus on defending themselves, so they want to get to a calm state as fast as possible. 

corporate corral The Circle

And I think that’s actually one of our core lessons from them and with them is actually learning just how much stress we’re holding, and how we actually need to learn. Not in just a self-care day that we do once a month, but actually all day, how to keep bringing our nervous systems back down to a homeostatic state. And so they refuse to be part of that. That is like they’re, they’re adamant about it, which I love. Like they give me feedback. I live with the herd and so they give me feedback all day long. 

And I have a lot of dogs too, and they do the same thing where they’re like, what is wrong with you fix yourself because none of us are doing this energy and then you don’t need it. So they’ll give you calming cues and start yawning and licking and chewing and dropping their heads and they’re like, you should really go back to grazing. And we need to be doing that with each other. We need to be telling each other the energy you’re using, you don’t need to be right now you’re safe. We’re good. Let’s take a breath. And now we can think through things we can connect, we can relate. And that lesson, I think, is it’s like a core lesson that I notice in the work that I do.

Mike Vacanti  10:31  

Well, if that just doesn’t say value through vulnerability right there. Big way, that’s that. You know, it’s so beautiful because, Beth, it’s calming just to hear you describe that, right? Like, I start wandering away to seeking that state that you’re describing, and it feels better.

Beth Killough  10:58  

Just by talking about it. We can bring ourselves back to it. And that’s the beautiful thing about the neocortex is actually using it and talking about it. And being more intentional about how we’re using our thought, and how we’re using our connection, it can actually help bring our regulator, our body. And that’s how we want to be using that beautiful thinker is actually just with more intention. So, yeah, we can talk each other down from a ledge for sure. But we’re just not used to doing it. And we’re used to, we know, in a group of other humans when it’s gotten dysregulated because we can feel it, but we’re so used to not doing anything about it. So we exist in this kind of freeze state, where we’re like, we just hunker down and duck and cover and hope we’ll survive those circumstances.

 But what’s needed is some emotional leadership for somebody to say, let’s take a breath because things have gotten really tense, and maybe they don’t need to be. And it’s not going to help us. But we don’t. I mean, I work with a lot of corporate groups, a lot of professional organisations, groups of people are kind of my I like the human herd. And what I try to help people understand is whoever notices that tension first is your responsibility to try to bring the group down if it’s not needed. It’s not up to the leader, you know, the named leader, it’s whoever notices it. If it’s not needed, our survival depends on the courage to say what the group needs.

Mike Vacanti  12:41  

Magic, absolute magic. So when you say that the first thought in my mind is a company hires an employee and welcome to your first day, here’s your computer and the place you’ll set and all these neat tchotchkes we put on your desk and here’s the coffee machine. And that lesson that Beth just told us, is your next session. And we’re going to start training you on that because that empowers everyone in the organisation to bring their best to show up authentically, and lead when it’s your turn. Wow. And everybody leads at different times in different situations. It’s phenomenal the power and what you just described to us.

The Circle Experience L

Beth Killough  13:37  

So when we’re talking about psychological safety, which is a really important topic in groups, that is that the formula for it is having a culture that welcomes that and teaches it, how to speak up when something is needed in the group and to do so in a way with the goal of people. Being able to go back to stability. And so you described onboarding the way that humans have been doing it. And, you know, I call it relational onboarding. So I have a whole body of work around this, which is how do we actually set up how we’re going to do our relationship? And that and so when I work with groups and do long term culture projects, it’s one of the first things that we do is practice giving lots of feedback in the moment. 

So the horses when you bring in a new herd member, they do all their relational onboarding right from the get go so that they don’t ever have to do, they have all these shortcuts for giving feedback and communicating with each other so they don’t have to get mired in drama and risk infighting. Because it doesn’t benefit any group of mammals to have infighting or just engagement or numbness that’s not going to benefit any group. It’s actually dangerous. I would call and we have to start thinking about it that way. What is it that is it costing us around our humanity, our health, our mental health. And so this is like a fundamental, if we’re trying to think of ourselves as mammals, what is it costing us to not take care of ourselves and our groups in that way. And these formal onboarding processes are missing this relational onboarding component, and then much of your new employees’ system is occupied with trying to feel safe, which doesn’t actually optimise their ability to be innovative and creative and nimble in their actual job. So when we’re preoccupied with not feeling safe, we can’t actually do the things we were hired to do.

The Circle

Mike Vacanti  15:59  

And I actually have a when you say, what’s it costing us? So I would like to share what I, the research, indicated that I put into my book. And that number is very close to $2 trillion annually, annually, when we look at, you know, the the failure of projects and being able to go through transformation, and those additional health costs, and I don’t mean the regular costs, but the additional health costs, which, you know, we looked at last time, and everything else climbs up to about 600 billion annually. So that is there’s about a $2 trillion bogey on the table to figure this out and do better. And the resistance to it is amazing. So I’m interested in that. What are the common resistors that you hear?

Beth Killough  17:07  

The work that we’re talking about has been called soft skills for a long time and they’ve been considered auxiliary. They’re like these extra things we do and boxes we check rather than seeing them as core needs. And the same thing is true in our medical system where mental health has been treated the same way. But if your mental health isn’t in proper or good enough working order, you actually can’t take care of the rest of yourself because you can’t think your way through your own bodily needs if your mental health isn’t, like stable enough. So we’ve always, it’s part of this mental health stigma, I think. And then I think the other piece is not really understanding what culture leadership really is. And so I’m going to go out on a limb here. But I’m with the woman in a conversation with two men, but in every mammal group, it is the females, the matriarch of the group that set the culture.

So every other mammal group besides humans. And so I think, you know, and I, a lot of women in leadership, are afraid to use it. So they’re in this kind of bind you absolutely know what’s needed relationally and culturally in a group and you’re probably your brain is set up to be able to detect it faster than a male brain. And yet we have been socialised to that that’s a soft skill that we should really keep at home. And so it’s we’ve separated workplace and home place and not seeing that actually what we’re talking about culture and cultural leadership, we’re talking about emotions. And they thank goodness for our science findings because now we can have functional MRIs that show that, like, emotions are happening, you know, in the brain and that gives us a little I think it helps us to feel less afraid to go there. It’s like, well, if science says emotions are happening, then maybe it’s not just a soft skill. So we will look for all these ways to be okay with it. But I think it’s just a lot of socialising, that you know, emotions that we can compartmentalise, our emotional selves, and especially for men are socialised even more so in that way, then women to not nurture and grow that part of themselves, even though they’re absolutely capable and gifted at it.

Garry Turner  19:53  

It’s so important so I was one person that suppressed those emotions for 25 years but after being bullied as a kid wasn’t taught it then understood how to do it. And it’s people that look like me that are running most global organisations and most governments. So there’s a very real societal and work need for us to step into this. And I think what’s particularly powerful, what you just described is the only mammal group that is missing the matriarchal lead is actually humans. And I wonder if the time has come though, if we look at the New Zealand Prime Minister, and we look around the world at the countries that are dealing with our current challenges the best. They are matriarchal leads. So I wonder if we’re a bit of a juxtaposition point right now.

Beth Killough  20:40  

I think so. And I think matriarchal lead, meaning women that really have stepped into what female leadership, not female leadership that’s distorted into, and then kind of twisted and contorted in, but really and she’s a beautiful example of that and very just I think that we have to look for those examples and learn and we are it is really about reclaiming that. And it doesn’t mean that it, we’re talking about something very specific around a mammal group, it doesn’t mean that the matriarch leads everything. It’s just that she leads how we’re going to do the relationships. And that’s, you know that piece is absolutely led by females in every mammal group. So we might want to take some lessons from that. I have a matriarchal Mayor named Sally here in my herd who is my leadership coach, and I’ve learned so much from her and in feedback she gives me about me but also in watching her and then she had a baby two years ago, and watching her integrate her baby into the herd and the herd raising the baby with her and what kind of how she holds them to the culture she’s created and how quickly she can regulate the group.

‘We’re going to stay together, and we’re going to support each other and we’re going to listen to each other and that’s it. The culture is up and running. But her, the fierceness with which she shows up.’

Beth Killough

And it’s not always her responsibility, but she’s got her eye on that piece. And they know the rules that have been set up. So when someone new enters, she spends about two weeks I know and the whole herd does, like this is how we do things here. Well, we’ll show you and then that that new horse is integrated and on boarded, and they’re committed to it. There’s a commitment. We’re going to stay together, and we’re going to support each other and we’re going to listen to each other and that’s it. The culture is up and running. But her, the fierceness with which she shows up. If you know, like, when a new member has shown up if they don’t, if there’s not a listening like there’s she’s really standing. She stands her ground with a lot of power. And, and then she and it’s like that because of the commitment to that stable culture is everything. It’s everything.

Mike Vacanti  23:11  

You know, there’s a whole thing that emerges for me and knows your role, right? So it doesn’t take away the contribution of any other part of the herd or any other part of the company or the group or the team to allow that right energy to step in on the right things, right. It’s knowing the role and now the whole thing is better. And actually, the male energy when needed, when appropriate, then fits in more naturally than just being the dominant. Right? It’s just, you know, the context that you’re putting into is really powerful to help understand ourselves. And understanding ourselves is important because we could all clearly state that whatever we’ve been doing the past few decades is not working. I mean, all all indications all evidence says this is failing. This is not a good path. Um, we can fix this. And, but let’s not change your mind about anything or doing let’s just do the things we’re doing improperly better. Right?

Beth Killough  24:33  

Yeah, it’s, it’s so true. I think I’m a firm believer in the power of rock bottom. And I think that we have to have natural consequences before we wake up. Really wake up and recommit to something new. And so I think there’s an exquisite opportunity right now, because we are where we are like face first in natural consequences in so many parts of our world and so, you know, you can go into duck and cover and just try to get through it, but you’re not going to learn the lessons that are happening right now about what’s needed. And I’m seeing a lot of people actually staying awake to those which is super exciting. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you’re joining the party that you’re like ready to have the conversation. This is really good. We’re, you know, you were in pain enough. We had enough pain and it was pressure and kind of annoying and then it became tense, and then it became stressful and then it became painful. From there, if we just stay in pain, it’ll go into numbness, or it’ll go into an explosion. But there’s also something else we can do with pain, which is called adjusting. It’s making an adjustment and so I see an opportunity for that right now, which is you said earlier, we’re just not spending enough time on this sort of work. And that’s what we’ve been given right now.

Mike Vacanti  26:16  

And, you know, the time frame is not changing very fast for us, right. I mean, if, in any of the information we could glean right now is we’ll see in the fall that the economic fallout will continue from where we are now. That’ll be a long journey. And this virus is not disappearing. So we’re going to be in this state for another year from now, at least. And if we duck and cover, I mean, we’re going to start to wither. So  we have to use our strength to stand. And when we know and we have the guidance like you’re sharing today, like Garry shares in his work, like, we’ve heard from so many on this podcast in this journey of value through vulnerability and, and then the, you know, the hundreds of thousands that come together in HumansFirst, we’re experienced that the awakening is certainly happening the better path is known.

And capitulation will not be the answer, right? We’re going to be and we’ll end up lying face down for a long period of time. If we don’t step up dustoff and learn these lessons that you’re sharing today.

Beth Killough  27:44  

Yeah, the resilience piece of ever really expanding that capacity. Really, I mean, I love Victor Frankl’s work and looking at you know, what, what are the factors that you know, in his story of like the people that survived versus the people that perished and, and obviously there are many factors but what do we do with the situation that we’re given? And how do we become more resilient and become become agents of change and hope and trying to actually learn from what we’re experiencing and you know, it’s a primary factor in resilience work is being able to take whatever it is even if it’s traumatic, and be able to learn those lessons and to overcome to overcome the hardship and so, duck and cover is a recipe for stress injury, or post traumatic stress situation and there will be giant mental health crisis. The question is like, do you want to be part of this solution or do you want to be in the problem? And that’s, that’s each individual’s choice.

Garry Turner  29:09  

What’s really fascinating for me, Beth, is a number of times during our conversation today you made the comment around in the moment when dealing with the horses with the herd. I just find that that’s something I’ve been waking up to in the last three years. Is that being okay? With realising we are in the moment, like you don’t have the past or the future we literally have now I’m just wondering, like it’s such a common theme and you’re sort of exploring on this call. And I’m just wondering, is that always something you’ve been conscious of like that in the moment, understanding was that something that came with a different experience? I’m just wondering where or how that’s come about for you.

Beth Killough  29:50  

I think it goes back to, it’s really interesting because when I do ever listen to a recording myself, I’ll notice that I use that for He’s allowed and, and my daughter who’s nine, she uses it now, which is super funny to me. And it’s just, it’s very interesting. I think that going back to my early experiences, as you know, as a child, we are very much in the moment, we don’t live in the past. We don’t live in the future. It’s very much in the moment and I connected with the animals in my life because of what I was like we’re doing now. And we’re taking care of now, when we’re in the now we’re able to make the adjustments that are needed, and take care of ourselves and our relationships right now. 

‘I think awareness is a superpower. And it’s very underutilised. And it’s not the same as mindfulness. It’s about accessing the whole part of our mammal sense and being able to pick up on me, you, what we’re co creating and what’s happening around us.’

Beth Killough

If we don’t do that, we hold all this tension and pressure and pain, and it makes us sick, and so on every level like physically, emotionally, spiritually relationally sick and so are you disease or dis ease comes from not adjusting so we can have ease. And so I saw that at an early age, like very early age, and it just took me a long time to find like how to, you know, I trust, an awareness of being in the now of like, what I was taught by a mentor to ask the question what’s happening right now? Because I can then that’s how I want to use that brilliant thinker to be able to, to, whatever I come up with is going to help me know what is needed. What’s out of balance. So that awareness, I think awareness is a superpower. And it’s very underutilised. And it’s not the same as mindfulness. It’s about accessing the whole part of our mammal sense and being able to pick up on me, you, what we’re co creating and what’s happening around us. And when you get into the habit of weaving that into all day every day, which is what the animals do, you can actually adjust and take care of your needs and other’s needs and and keep going back to ease. And that that is an antidote to disease is just continuing to go back to ease.

Garry Turner  32:25  

It’s so beautiful. Would you say that it’s just me being curious now, but would you say that ease then is our innate states? 

Beth Killough  32:35  

Yeah, I would because it’s in our best survival interest as a mammal to go back to conserve energy. This is like a basic calories in calories out formula. So if you are overusing your energy, it’s not good for your survival. So we want to find all I learned from my dogs. I’m like, why do they lay down? While they look for places where they can, like study because they go, they are energy conservers, horses even more so as prey animals. But the human animal has forgotten this and so we’ve forgotten that we, yes, absolutely. It’s a primary instinct that we have our overriding, there’s like a brain glitch. And so this busy disease that we’ve got going is completely against our nature and instincts. It’s completely I it’s a distortion of our, our innate survival system.

Mike Vacanti  33:45  

And I love you know, going deep into that, right so like, it is a fascinating system, and we are mammals. And if we look at, you know, how we approach business and do all these things, you would think that you The head is, you know, like, nobody looks in the mirror anymore. It’s like, you know, how, how big is your head in proportion to the rest of it, the brain is awesome, of course, the whole system, right and, and we look at how we make business decisions, and it would be like we’re dragging this, you know, big ball on top of our shoulders along because we put all the emphasis there. 

This is like this cartoon just came to mind is, and I think of that being in the moment and being at a place of ease, how many good decisions would be made when we’re in that place, and not that pressured place, or in that place where I have to know the next five decisions and until you can line those up for me and I can be absolute about it. I can’t hit my mark of perfection that I’m dealing with. And now I’m almost pretty paranoid about making the decision I have available now. Because I can’t see how the next decisions line up. And, and that feels like part of the diseases that do not have to be certain of the outcome. And that that sense of perfectionism that also holds us back from being in a place of ease.

Beth Killough  35:24  

Yet we’re not used to adjusting in the moment. And so we hold this pressure, I talk about pressure a lot, because it’s an untapped resource that helps us connect to our natural leadership. So if we’re not adjusting to little pressures, we’re not improvising. And so it puts a lot of what creates perfectionism because we don’t and this is the part that actually breaks my heart a bit. We actually don’t many people do not believe that many people are capable of improvising at the moment. So that is like a core piece of perfectionism is I have to get it right, because I won’t be able to adjust in the moment because we’re just not used to doing it. 

We’re not used to changing courses, if you do it enough, you can practice. Like, I know that I have that capability. And it’s a core piece of my resilience. So I could get on a podcast with you guys without a script, or questions and know that I can adjust in the moment or I can ask you guys, you know, I can ask a clarifying question, or I can take a breath, or I can say, I’m confused or I know I can take care of myself, which means I can adjust. But if you don’t know that, you’re kind of in a bad you’re in a bind. And that’s a lot of what feeds perfectionism is I actually don’t think I can handle new things that come my way so I have to get it right. I have to get it the way that you need to set everything up a certain way because I won’t be able to change course.

Mike Vacanti  37:03  

Just again, it feels like dealing with life as an interrogation rather than a conversation. 

Beth Killough  37:13  

Right. Right. Like, I won’t know how to say what’s going on for me or ask for help or you know, like, but if you hadn’t been using those skills, then you wouldn’t know that you can do them. And that you will be okay. And whatever it is you’re facing, you will figure out and so it doesn’t need to go perfectly because you’ll be able to take care of yourself and, and find people that can help and support you. If we’re not using that then we actually don’t know it if we don’t believe it exists. So we put huge pressure on ourselves to set things up a certain way, because we’re just trying to control it. We’re trying to control the outcome. Because we don’t think we can handle the variability of, you know, surprise.

Mike Vacanti  38:06  

And going back to the mammal system again, which we are and think of that pressure again. And another kind of metaphor or experience that we would have is when we go to greater depths in water, there is greater pressure. And when we come out of that pressure too fast, what happens? We experienced the bends. And so now think of that environment even in a week when we get so deep into that pressure, and then have to depressurize things that go wrong.

Beth Killough  38:42  

That’s actually what causes migraines.

I mean, it’s like, like, there’s a lot of physical manifestations of that where and, and so if you think about that $2 trillion dollars that you talked about the cost. One of the pieces to look at is if we’re doing that kind of pressure system in our work lives, and then we come down. It’s like we’re in the depths, right? And then we come up too fast, which is the equivalent of a weekend. Or, like Friday night, you know, what happens is people that answer transitions for families, between like Fridays and then the stress of going back into the pressure on Mondays it’s like diving into the depths too fast like it’s very jarring to us. So part of what’s happening right now we’re in this like, work from home situation as we’re actually having to find balance. And you know, we’re, it’s very messy because we haven’t ever done it and we haven’t done it in a long time. It’s not that we’ve never done it, but we used to do it. We used to be much closer to our home life and work life it was more integrated. So we’re in a learning process right now super messy.

Garry Turner  39:57  

But a huge opportunity, as you said first, and I think this is what I’m really excited, excited. I did a course recently around regenerative leadership and what I feel you’re speaking to as well, and please correct me or challenge me is this. I think a lot of the work you’re doing is around you say wholeness. So it’s sort of, it’s not about separate parts. So it’s not work life. It’s not masculine, feminine likes, actually, how do we show up as full, whole people? You know, and I think that’s something that we just, I don’t think we’ve ever held people in the last hundred years.

Beth Killough  40:30  

Yeah, I think that’s right. I think that Yeah, I think that’s spot on. And it’s back to like this, this, maybe we’ll call this this period, like the great integration or something. It’ll be like, you know, it’s like, there’s it. That’s what’s being called up I think is integrating. We, it’s amazing. In March, we decided we never had chickens at the ranch and decided that while we’re home, it’s a good time to raise chickens and everybody’s always bugging me about chickens and so I of course I’m kind of an all in type of person so I went from zero chickens to 15 and like I started like a an aviary, but you know what, you couldn’t find chickens anywhere because all of a sudden people are stuck at home we need to start providing for ourselves, like there was there were all these signs of like people realising they needed to like grow gardens like you couldn’t it there’s there what we’re what’s being called up at when you’re more close to home is taking care of yourself, which is beautiful. So now I’m you know, I’ve got these chickens and I’m learning about chicken culture.

‘I’ve noticed in this shelter in place quarantine environment, noticing things like people really understanding that they need each other like really experiencing their loneliness. And that that’s always been there. It’s just now we’re feeling it, you can be out and be busy. You just didn’t know the loneliness was there.’

Beth Killough

But, I’ve noticed in this shelter in place quarantine environment, noticing things like people really understanding that they need each other like really experiencing their loneliness. And that that’s always been there. It’s just now we’re feeling it, you can be out and be busy. You just didn’t know the loneliness was there. So you’ll see families starting to have these like reunion zoom calls. And you see, you start to see the resilience for deeper social connection rising up. And so those are some of the gifts we want to pay attention to and look for. How do we integrate that and not lose it? And you know, I think just like, like Mike said, the good news is, it’s not going anywhere for awhile. I mean, the bad news is it’s not going anywhere for awhile. The good news is that we’ve got plenty of time to learn and stay and this is going to force an integration. Nature has a way of doing that. But it’s going to be a virus. Apparently, that forces it’s not a person. It’s not a great idea. It’s a virus. It’s gonna force us to integrate.

Garry Turner  43:04  

As we look to wrap up, it’s just been stunning. This, I don’t think I’ve ever been so quiet on the first 40 minutes of a podcast my whole life like, it’s not because I’ve not been, I’ve been absolutely loving, listening, okay to explore, no, it’s been viewed. It’s that meaningful, like, and I think it’s not gonna be lost on anybody listening in the parallels, like so many points. The acupuncture was like, Oh my god, that’s so relevant to my life. Oh, my God, that’s so relevant to me. You know, there’s just so many intersections I had to be able to sort of experience what you’ve shared with us, I’m just, yeah, so I’m just a little bit in or in a bit blown away and trying to process it all. Mike.

Mike Vacanti  43:50  

You know, I think Garry’s just surprised that I talked a little bit and didn’t babble. I think that’s part of the amazement right. Okay.

Beth Killough  44:01  

I was doing all the babbling for us

Mike Vacanti  44:04  

You know, I’m, I love the integration, right and and no matter what prompts it is kind of irrelevant to being here in this place now and that’s the opportunity and and so again when you talk about all those different points that resonate, Garry, you know being at ease, understanding our whole system, find ourselves appreciating the moment we’re in. And, and, and then balancing that energy. I mean, those are those that are deep foundational underpinnings and, and if we can just stay there long enough to explore those pieces. We can make decisions to continue that once the pressures go forward or the speed increases. Because what we know is we’re going to be faced with, you know, more significant and more rapid change than at any period before. And this is a really great opportunity to prepare for it and, and I love how you brought so many of those elements home for each of us individually, to think about how we’re preparing for that. So thank you.

Beth Killough  45:36  

Thank you, thanks for letting me be part of I’m just excited. My work can be part of this conversation. And it gets to be our work, you know, it gets to be. I think there’s an activism around this piece that’s important, about really energising and inspiring people to relate to learn the lessons. It’s really just learning. That’s all it is learning and healing and it’s right there. They’re all it’s every hour, every one of us has those key foundational elements you’ve listed. And that part, I hope that brings people comfort is like we all have that within us. And it’s just a matter of relearning and doing some practice and now we have time for it.

Mike Vacanti  46:26  

You know, I agree that that will be. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. And Gary, I, I think that will be Volume Two of our discussion. Maybe next spring or we talk about the healing that we’ve come to understand between now and then. So six months from now, if we make progress, and because you just use that word, Beth, and I think that’s so important, is the healing peace. And so revisiting it and coming back and saying, did we experience any of that here. Did We Learn a in those classes just kind of captured a little snapshot of the future for me.

Garry Turner  47:08  

I love that. Can we have like a part two, three and four please Beth, because like this is like, honestly, the parallels towards the racism conversation, the parallel, like, just the healing on every single so called social strata off, or worry or anxiety or disconnection is all grounded in what the lessons you’ve shared today. Like I can feel it.

Unknown Speaker  47:35  

Thank you.

Garry Turner  47:36  

That’s why I’ve been so quiet. I’ve sent every single thing that I’m thinking about around society, work, family life, but it all plugs back to what you shared. Right? Like systemically, it’s just breathtaking.

Beth Killough  47:50  

Thank you. I was trained in systems theory, so it should apply if we’re thinking systemically it should apply. That’s a great test. Whether the idea or the concept or our hypotheses are, are spot on, if we can apply them then they keep working. So I’m always testing that, you know, an open and adjusting so

it’s been such a pleasure. I would love to do volumes two or three or four and keep talking with you guys. It’s been delightful. 

Garry Turner  48:24  

It’s been stunning,

Mike Vacanti  48:27  

Explore our natural state.

Garry Turner  48:35  

How exciting is that? We’ve all got it already amazing. Just like let it in.

Beth Killough  48:39  

Let your natural state explore you. It’s trying. It’s trying. So I think that’s the part that you don’t have to work so hard. That’s actually part of the problem. So if you let your natural state explore you. So back to the first question you asked like my work found me, I do. Didn’t go looking for it. That’s that’s where we’re forcing things. So let your natural state talk to you. It has a lot to say.

Garry Turner  49:10  

Mic drop. I’d love to, but I can’t add any more. How can people find you Beth what’s the best way to reach out and connect with you?

Beth Killough  49:19  

I have the website and you can reach out to me through the social channels @THECIRCLEUPEXPERIENCE

 or just just send me a note. I love being in conversation with people and pointing them in the direction of resources and reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

Garry Turner  49:42  

Thanks for joining us. I’m so, the one downside of this situation is I want to get on a plane to Silicon Valley. Like right now, like I’m so excited, like, brilliant. Keep doing what you’re doing it’s so inspiring. Thank you, Beth.

Beth Killough  49:57  

Thank you. Thank you, Mike.

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Garry Turner

With over 20 years of international sales, business development and relationship-building experience combined with a deep understanding of people, team and culture dynamics, Garry Turner serves individuals, teams and leaders as a strategic advisor and interpersonal catalyst.

Mike Vacanti

Mike’s mission is simply to help as many people as he can discover their potential, embrace a growth mindset and achieve at inspired levels individually, as a brilliant team and for the betterment of their company and community.