How To Be A Human Episode 004 – How To Find Your Person with Caleb & Kara Campbell

“Know that there’s no formula to love. There’s no prescriptive way it happens. So I’m speaking from my story and my experience, but I had this experience where, when I met him, I just was like, Oh, there you are, I’ve been missing you.”

On this very special Valentine’s Day bonus episode, I chat with Kara & Caleb Campbell.  We are talking all about the journey to finding your person, as well as the separate personal journeys that led Caleb and Kara to each other. This conversation was absolutely beautiful.  Kara and Caleb share some real advice about how to work on yourself first, to be in the right space for the right person.

Grab some tacos and join Caleb, Kara and I!

Tap the podcast player above to listen now, or continue scrolling to read the full transcription and find out how to connect with Caleb & Kara.

Leisse 

Welcome back to How to be a Human, the podcast with Leisse Wilcox. And today I am just, I am so delighted to be joined by Kara and Caleb Campbell from Nashville, Tennessee recently relocated from LA. Welcome you guys. It’s such a pleasure to have you here. 

 

Kara

Thank you. We’re so pumped to be here. We just got to Nashville three days ago.

 

Leisse

That’s amazing. 

 

Kara

New homeland. 

 

Leisse

I know, this is the new normal, right? It’s just like we adapt and flow. And then we do it all over again. 

 

Kara

We have to really. 

 

Caleb

It’s been such an incredible move, though, to just simply because I don’t, It’s almost like you don’t know how much chaos or how much stress you’re living in until you experience peace until you leave it right. And then you get into like this ecosystem of peace and like stress free, and you’re like, Oh my god, like, I love Los Angeles. And I still love Los Angeles. But it was evident now looking back that the grace has lifted. 

 

Leisse

Wow. 

 

Caleb

When we were there in Los Angeles. And now knowing that Nashville home and where we were supposed to be. It’s a night and day experience. 

 

Leisse 

So I’m really, we are going to talk about conscious relationships, for sure. But just so we can get a chance to really get to know you. I love this part of the conversation. And I got to be really honest with you. I’ve been playing with this idea of like multiple timelines, how we can exist in several places at once. And we just don’t know it right? And there’s a part of me that’s really toying with this fantasy that in an alternate timeline, I am currently a TV writer in LA. And I’m like no, that checks out for me. I love LA. When I went there, I was in Venice and Malibu, and I drove the coast like I went to a convertible. I drove the coast, like all the way up to Seattle, it was so badass. 

 

Caleb

You did it. 

 

Leisse

Yeah, I did it. Like, I really did it. But what’s interesting to me is that when I got to California, I was like, Nobody leaves California. Why would you ever leave California? This is a perfect place. So now that you’ve left, I’m so intrigued to know why, like, what was the chaos versus what is the peace now in Nashville? 

 

Kara

Yeah, that’s such a good question. You know, I think I love this idea of multiple timelines. I’m thinking about all the other egos that are elsewhere in the world. Well, my other expressions, but I think for us, we, you know, I lived in LA for nine years. And LA is a magical city, it’s a city of dreamers, it’s a city where anything is possible. It’s a city where you go, and you could literally have an idea for like, you know, a plastic bag company. And that’s amazing. 

 

Caleb

Maybe not plastic in Los Angeles. 

 

Kara

Yeah, not plastic, and literally just there’s a, there’s a communal support, because everyone is there chasing a dream. And the beauty of that is that you can do anything you want, you can pursue anything you want, you can build anything you want. And you’re gonna have, you’re gonna have this energy that you’re surrounded by to do that. 

 

Caleb

It’s electrifying. 

 

Kara 

It’s electrifying. The dark side of that, the underbelly of it is that it always keeps you chasing. And it never allows you to just settle in. And so I felt like I think we both felt like all that Caleb would speak for himself. But I feel like I was always just looking for the next big thing to happen. And it does, like there’s always the TV pilot that you’re going to film and the experience that you’re going to have and the party that you’re going to go to. So I think there’s a dark side to it.

 

Caleb

Not dark, underbelly side.

 

Kara 

Underbelly side. But I think that, I say dark not in a bad way. Not representing dark as in a bad way. 

 

Leisse

It’s the other side of the coin, right. 

 

Kara 

Yeah. But I think once COVID hit truthfully, the city changed quite a bit for us. And all of our work ended and, you know, our experience of socializing in the way that we are socializing ended. And so I think we lost a lot of community, and we lost a lot of feeling connected to people. And so a big part of the move for us was where do we go to find this sense of community connection? And groundedness?

 

Caleb

Yeah, and I think, to add to that, it’s, like Kara said, always something else, the next thing, and if we were in a different season of life, maybe five to seven years ago, like that would have been awesome. And like that’s where we were in life. But now I think for where we are at in life, the community dynamic is so imperative for us in our own emotional well being. And also I think the work that we want to do in this world is community driven. And it’s just a reality that so many of our friends live in Nashville. 

 

Leisse

Right on. 

 

Caleb

And I’m as introverted as they come. And I woke up one morning and I was just like, oh my god, I am so incredibly lonely. This is not healthy, like I need help right now. And honestly what’s cool is for both of us for the last eight months, we haven’t slept through the night and lost sleep. Literally have not slept through the night. We’ve been having some aches and pains and all these symptoms and this doesn’t happen to me. And then we moved to Nashville in a new home in a new neighborhood. I have not had better sleep in my life. It was just like I’m telling you the peace. 

 

Kara

Both of us. 

 

Caleb

It was just like, Oh, this is where we’re supposed to be, this is what it feels like to be home.

 

Kara 

Part of that, like part of what was a challenge with the move is we really wrestled with it. Like we, we left LA still in love with LA. Like, it wasn’t even sometimes you leave a place and you’re like, I don’t like this place let’s go on to the new one. But we left la really in love with LA. And so I think that the wrestling caused, you know, some of that insomnia, some of that just constant like, are we making the right decision, and then to land on the ground and be here and really, in our bodies feel like Yep, this is it. This is, we did the right thing. 

 

Leisse 

That’s awesome. This is why I wanted to have you guys on the show because you were so by your very selves, like your nature as each independent person, you are so conscious, and you are so intentional. And that’s what’s so, like what I’m personally so drawn to because I really want to talk about your own conscious relationship. And I am so adamant and so passionate, that like killer relationships are basically a Venn diagram, right? It’s two independent people living this overlapped or interdependent life, but they have to be individuals first, and if not 100% individuals like 95% of individuals, right? Like, I know, we’re always growing and changing, but this is what I love specifically about you. And I’m going to be so vulnerable with you. This is either gonna make you laugh, or it’s gonna make you just run out of the room, but I’m hoping for laughter. So, to frame this in context, it cracks me up because like incidentally, I left the city of Toronto, Canada. Oh my god, like a decade ago. Specifically, why you left LA like it was too loud. Toronto also has a pulse of like, what next? What next? What next? Like, you could be at the coolest, like the newest French bakery. And while you’re in line, somebody be like, oh, but have you been to like the better newer, cooler French bakery, it’s like, oh, fuck sake. Like, I gotta get out of here. And so I moved to a small town. So I totally relate to that. But so what I was gonna say is that, because I live in this small town, virtually everybody I meet is from Instagram. So like, all my guests are from Instagram, if not close personal friends. And this story of how we got connected is no different. Because I remember saying to a friend of mine in Wisconsin a few years ago, I was like, You know what, I just really want to marry a West Point grad who’s played in the NFL? Like, this can’t be too much to ask for. And fucking that week, that fucking week. The algorithm blessed me with Caleb. I was like Catherine, you’re not gonna believe what just happened?

 

Kara

That is amazing.

 

Caleb

That is actually hilarious. 

 

Leisse 

Oh, good. So you’re not totally freaked out? 

 

Kara

Oh, my gosh. Leisse that’s so funny. Because I, you will laugh at this, I didn’t know what West Point was and I said I would never date an athlete.

 

Leisse

So I got my strategy wrong here is what you’re saying?

 

Caleb

So funny.

 

Leisse 

Here’s why I think this is so beautiful. Because I was reflecting before we did this before we were gonna do this podcast. And I was like, I believe so strongly in the concept of expanders, right? So we like, we have this notion of what we want. And we either align with that subconsciously, or we don’t, and I personally do. And so and then it’s like, I’m gifted with conscious proof that what I want exists, and so as soon as Caleb came up, I was like, you’ve got to be fucking kidding. Like, here’s, here’s a guy who went to West Point, who played in the NFL, who definitely is American, but has lived in Canada. I was like, This is wild. And so just voyeuristically. If that sounds creepy, sorry, not sorry. But like voyeuristically. It’s been such a beautiful experience for where I stand to watch like your story unfold Caleb and then Kara, have you like, come into this picture and be like, Oh my god, they found this amazing, this amazing love.

 

Caleb

Yeah, it was interesting, too. It’s just funny as I literally live 90 minutes down the road from you. At one point I lived right down the road from you at what was the town of Fort Erie, Ontario. This journey is just like, you know, this life. It really is magical once you are able really, I guess, to do the work of settling in, releasing the expectations of how you think it should unfold and make no mistake it’s a daily practice and I’m still doing it. I feel like and I told the care of this other day I feel like if there’s one thing that I’m constantly grieving is I’m grieving the expectations about how I thought life would unfold. And learning how just to be you know, and having the courage to be, but it’s just, it’s just amazing how you can really honor your past. Honor your heart space when you learn how to connect and live with that soulful relationship to life, how life unfolds and will bring you the most magical and unexpected gifts, when you really learn how to open your heart and receive and I feel like that’s really what Kara, you know, I wasn’t looking to find love. I wasn’t looking to find my soulmate. I was like, that wasn’t on my radar, all for it. But it was never on my radar because I had a different journey. And it’s just cool, because I thought that my journey would lead me to one thing, but maybe it will like this idea. I thought let me say like this, I thought my journey would lead me to my life looking a particular way. And a relationship was not what I was looking for. But finding Kara finding love, finding this relationship is everything that I’ve ever wanted and was looking for. It just came in a different package. And might I add, the package that came in is much more beautiful than what I was looking for. Yeah, I think it’s just so beautiful when you can honor your path and say yes to life and go on this journey and really learn how to let go of the expectations of how you think is going to unfold. Like the universe is for you. 

 

Leisse

I know. 

 

Caleb

It [universe] wants you to succeed more than you want to succeed and wants to bring into your presence, everything and more than you’ve ever wanted. We just have to do the work of letting go of what we think that’s going to look like or how we think that’s going to unfold.

 

Kara

Creating the space to let it in. 

 

Leisse 

100%. That letting go, you know, when we talk about the dynamic between masculine energy and feminine energy and what drives each of us in our own unique cocktail that we possess, right? It’s like that act of surrender is very, it’s very feminine energetics. And it’s such an act like that’s an active work, what you’re talking about, it almost makes me weep because I know that you’re right. And I’m like, oh my god. It’s so hard. And like, I’ve seen it in some aspects of my life. It’s been easier than others. And it’s just like, I know exactly what you’re saying. And it’s like to truly wrap your head around that. It’s so it is, it is work. 

 

Kara 

Yeah, it requires the deepest level of trust. Yeah, like you have to feel so safe to surrender. 

 

Leisse 

Yes.

 

Caleb

It’s like self compassion, like, you’re doing the best you can, you’re showing up that has to be enough, like, show yourself love. 

 

Kara

Yeah. It’s funny to, oh go ahead. 

 

Leisse 

No you go ahead.

 

Kara

I was gonna say it’s funny to like, the first night we met. Caleb and I were sitting on this back porch in Kentucky. And I asked him, I said, Have you ever prayed for your wife? He was like, No, I was like, Are you kidding me? I’ve been praying for my husband my whole life. Since I was like five years old, I’ve been wanting my husband. And it’s just funny that we both came from such different, like pathways of desire. But I think in the same way, when I met Caleb, he was in a completely different package than what I expected or thought I wanted. And I was 34, when we met, and I was the girl who literally at 21 was like, I’m getting married later in life, like 25. I thought that was so late, and to get to 34. And finally meet this person, you know, between those years of like, again, unraveling expectations of unraveling expectations of being married at a certain age or having something at a certain time. And I feel like when we adopt this principle of or really sit under, in rest under this truth that the universe is for us, yes, the timing of things is less. And it’s less intense, like you let things come at the right time. If we actually believe that, that God or universe is working for us. 

 

Leisse

Yeah, I love that. When you zoom out, it’s like, let’s say we each live for 100 years, let’s say and that’s pretty generous, right? Like, if we each live for 100 years, then to zoom out on the timeline of our own soul, which I believe we totally just, we just keep coming back. Like we’re just so infinite, that like, already on our souls timeline, that’s not even a drop in the bucket. It’s like, it’s so cute, how tiny that drop is. And if you look at, you know, the overall context of civilization and of, you know, historical timelines, like 100 years is nothing. So all of a sudden, for example, if you’re 39 and a half and single, it’s like, oh, my God, when is this guy gonna show up? And it’s like, Dude, chill out, like 5 years versus 2 years versus 10 years in the big picture. It’s just so insignificant. Right? And I love how clear because I can feel it. How clear you both are that that is that’s not like a nice ideology or philosophy. That is the truth. Like timing just matters. 

 

Kara

It’s funny to like, I think when I met Caleb, one of the things I realized is that he was there all along. He was always there. He was in. He was in, in my story. I just didn’t know him yet. So sometimes even working with women who you know are like really longing to meet their soulmate. It, it, some of the work is just again creating that space for him to come in at the right time. And recognizing that he’s already there. I had this experience. Know that there’s no formula to love. There’s no prescriptive way it happens. So I’m speaking from my story and my experience, but I had this experience where, when I met him, I just, I was like, Oh, there you are, like, I’ve been missing you. And again, we think about past lives or future lives or whatever it might be. But there was this. Caleb and I both, we were like, I think we believe in past lives after we met each other. Because it was this experience of like, Oh, there you are. My soul already knows.

 

Leisse

Did it feel like you were just catching up?

 

Caleb

Yeah.

 

Kara

Yeah. 

 

Caleb

It was a strange experience, I was like, Oh, my God at the deepest parts of my knowing and being like, I have met you time and time again. But at the same time, I’m like, are you allergic to gluten? I know nothing about you. But I know you. It was strange, just a strange but not like experience altogether. 

 

Leisse

Man, I love this. So can you, would you be comfortable in like telling us each a little bit about your own stories, and specifically, like not only what you do for work and for, you know, passion? But also, what did you think? Because you each have to have mentioned that, like you each thought that your life was gonna be different, or the package is going to look different? Are you comfortable speaking to what you thought it was gonna be? versus what it is? And then we can talk about the overlap in between? This is like my favorite day.

 

Kara

Totally. And you want me to go? 

 

Caleb

Yeah. 

 

Kara 

So I’ve referenced this, but I grew up in a really conservative Christian home, and I went to a conservative Christian College where I would say like, 90% of my classmates got married when they graduated. Not literally 90%, that’s an exaggeration. But a lot of people, that was the goal. So I left this college kind of feeling like, Oh, did I miss it? Did I like to miss the thing I was meant to do. And at the same time, I’ve always been quite independent and like a free spirit. So I moved to Los Angeles when I was 28. Probably. And I think that so much of my story was wrestling with my singleness. When Caleb and I met, I was writing a book about being single. And it’s called ‘Single and Hungry’. And now the whole premise of the book has changed. Because now the thesis is different. Because I have, you know, the culmination of a meeting my person, but yeah, I think that so much of my wrestling was this idea of, I had an inner narrative going on that I don’t get what I want. And I’m a middle child, I’m, you know, when everybody wanted fruit snacks in their lunch boxes, and I wanted gushers, the majority won, so I had this running narrative of I don’t get what I want. And that really, really played into finding love. And I, I think that what I, gosh, I’m trying to think what I would have said I wanted 5 years ago, but I always dated, like skinny, emotional, musician types. And I was really drawn to, like, you know, like, just these emo dark souls. And we can do all the analysis on that and it was probably mirroring back something about myself, you know. I think that the biggest turning point for me in my story was, I was, gosh, two months before we met, I had done all this wrestling, I had done it. I went to England for 6 months in 2018. And I say I blew up my life a little bit. But really, I just left LA and got still for 6 months and all of my inner shit that I hadn’t dealt with came up. And so that that caused, not caused, it gave me the opportunity to go into a lot of healing. And then, probably 2 months before Caleb and I met, I was on a retreat and this woman was speaking and she asked this question, she was like, if God or universe doesn’t give you the thing that you want more than anything in the world, are you still gonna believe that he, she was referencing God, that universe is good? And I was like, Fuck no. If I don’t fall in love, I’m not gonna believe the universe is good or for me, because that is the one thing I want. And I went back to my hotel room and I had this like, spiritual experience on my floor where I just kind of surrendered it. Truthfully, I was like, Okay, if I look at my life, my life at this moment at 34, and single is so good. I’m surrounded by incredible human beings that love me. I’m in like 40 marriages with intimate friends. I’m in committed, communal relationships with people and I’m so loved. My life is good. So if that’s the case right now, fast forward 40 years if I never find this one person to love. Does that mean that God or the universe isn’t good? Absolutely no. So it was, again, a wrestling and surrender moment for me. And I think another piece of the story that plays into this is I’m, I’m a 7 on the enneagram. I don’t know if you’re familiar with enneagram. 

 

Leisse 

No, I never really connect with enneagram. 

 

Kara 

It’s fine. It’s a tool that some people love, but one of the things about my number is that we’re really, and this is probably true for all people. But I’m really bad at being present in my own life. I’m really good at thinking about the future. I’m really good at…

 

Caleb 

Frolicking around the world.

 

Kara

Avoiding pain. I’m really good at avoiding pain. And so for me to just be still and sit with the reality of my life and to choose my life and to choose to love the very experience that I’m in is a challenge. And I had this wrestling moment, probably in July. And then in August, when Caleb and I met. The night before we met, I was sitting actually in Nashville on a back porch with a girlfriend drinking red wine. And I looked at her and I said, I feel so present in my own life, I feel so connected to my life. And I didn’t need anything else. And for so long, I think I had needed to meet a person to satisfy this emptiness inside of me or to satisfy this longing. And in that moment, I was like, I don’t need that. And I don’t I don’t understand the energetics of this. I’m sure there’s something around it. But I think sometimes when we want something so badly, we have to let go of the need for it to allow it to come in. Because I think the universe loves desire. But I don’t know that the universe loves neediness. Because he or however we reference the universe doesn’t want to fill some kind of neediness.

 

Caleb 

Well need is in and of itself scarcity, right? It’s lack. So it’s reinforcing the lack. 

 

Leisse

And I also think, first of all, you’re so bloody honest, like I just I am hugging you right now. I just love this and thank you for being that honest. What came up for me when you were talking is like first of all, I 100% relate to literally everything you’re saying minus the religious background. I didn’t have that I grew up in an atheist household, which has its own set of confines when you realize that we’re all just spiritual beings. Right? It’s like it’s breaking free of a totally different ideology to like, there are less rules, I guess. But anyway, so I’m really picking up what you’re putting down and what, what really resonated was, you know, at this retreat, hearing that like, Okay, if this is what you want, so badly if you don’t get it, do you still love God? And I would say God, universe, whatever. Like it’s, it’s all this. It’s just nomenclature, really. But like, will you still love God? To me that’s like, this whole thing like this whole enchilada. It’s all about the experience of unconditional love. And I feel like in that moment, I don’t really believe in tests, but it’s almost like that litmus test of like, Okay, so what’s your unconditional love? Like, are you there yet? Are you still putting a condition on it? And that kind of punched me when you said that? Because it’s like, ooh, metaphor, within a metaphor within a metaphor.

 

Kara

Yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy. I didn’t even realize I was, I was holding God accountable to that.

 

Caleb 

I think like, there’s such a big healing part is like, I oftentimes will tell people like you need to forgive God, or you need to forgive the universe. And I’m like, What? Like, nobody that doesn’t like to click with people, because you’re like, why did God didn’t do anything wrong? But no, but you’re holding the universe. You’re holding God to these expectations, how you expected God to come through in your life, and God didn’t come through in that way. And you’re mad about it. So like, let it go. And that frees up a lot of space. And I think it’s important to care, not just before you, but like, you have this moment of wrestling. But something clicked in that moment, but that there were hundreds, if not 1000s, little moments of wrestling rendering leading up to that moment.

 

Kara

Binging on popcorn and wine,

 

Leisse

And tears and praying.

 

Kara 

I have this, I tell this story in the opening of my book, but there is a Friday night probably when I was 32. And I was single and all my married friends were out, you know, on dates or whatever. And I was in my, in my loft, literally drinking white wine out of the bottle and bingeing on popcorn. And this girl sent me one of this, I had led a retreat for influencers and one of the girls she had written me on Instagram and said, like, Oh my gosh, I posted a cheese board. And she was like, ‘Oh my gosh, your life looks so glamorous. You’re always eating amazing things and drinking good wine and like traveling everywhere’. And I’m alone, like with mascara running down my face, literally on a Trader Joe’s bottle of wine and feeling sick from like salty popcorn. And I just had this moment of yes and, and yes, my life is that that’s true. But that experience I’m currently having is like loneliness and pain about being single. So it’s interesting that we can be in these experiences that the universe is for us. And life is so good. But also you can still have longing, you know, you can still have these moments of my heart, like my heart just misses something. 

 

Caleb

I remember having a conversation with you early on. And you kind of go into the Rolodex of the men you had dated, and was right. What I loved about it, too, is like you honored them for who they were in your life at the time. But I remember thinking like, Wow, you really did choose men that could not choose you. 

 

Leisse 

Wow. 

 

Kara

100%.

 

Caleb

And I was so and obviously like, and I think that you can go into like the work you’re doing. You chose me that didn’t choose you because it was safe, right? Because you were still I think, doing the work of learning how to choose yourself. And now like in this embodiment process of learning how to be reconnected with who you are, and be connected and present in your body. You are able to choose yourself which creates a space and removes the neediness or remove the want to remove the I need something outside of myself to come be something for me that I am supposed to be for myself? 

 

Leisse 

I love that the coach in me is like, Oh, yeah, like I want to explore that pattern. You know, because we do, right, we want to revisit the scene of a crime our brains do. It’s like, Can we now get the love we didn’t get from our Father, for example? Or can we heal that emotional unavailability by this person? It’s like, No, we can’t because that healing comes internally. We don’t get that healing from somebody else. We get it deep down. Okay, so Caleb, before I ask you the same question, I just want to like interject with a few, maybe a few months ago now. I did an additional podcast I had, like, I wrote a book called to ‘Call Myself Beloved: A Story of Hope, Healing and Coming Home’. And it really was about it’s like the story of overcoming, right? Like all this stuff that I overcame, and I realized I was getting so attached to my story of overcoming my trauma that I was like, I have to get the hell away from this. And I did like a massive rebrand, hence this new podcast, etc. But my final episode of that podcast was based on his moment of awareness, where suddenly I was like, I was really trapped in that narrative of like, nobody ever chooses me, Oh, my God, like, nobody ever chooses me. And then I got that flash of like, honey, you chose you, period. And I had a self commitment ceremony in the woods. And I bought myself this really thin, beautiful gold band to wear on my ring finger. And it’s so symbolic that moment of like, no, I actually did and I, you know, I had cancer, I went through a divorce. So I was like, I’ve literally been with me through sickness and health, richer or for poorer, good times and bad. And that symbolism of choosing to commit to myself and actually, like wearing a ring to kind of cement that relationship was so profound in my own energy that it was like, there’s no, there’s no lack here. Right. And that almost feels anticlimactic. And I think for a lot of single women who are, you know, quote, unquote, later in life, aka like, after 30, which is I know, a fallacy, but it’s like a cultural fallacy, but like to be in your 30s and be like, Oh, shit, now I’m okay with being single. So what does that mean for me? And how am I sending mixed messages? So I think that’s like its own dynamic exploration.

 

Kara

I love that. I love that idea of self commitment ceremony. That’s really, really profound. 

 

Caleb

That’s really beautiful, I honor you too for that, because it takes a lot of courage to show up for yourself like that. 

 

Kara

Leisse, when I was in grad school, I had a journal. And I was an avid journaler. I wish I could pick it back up again. But one of my journals is on the cover. I wrote the word Beloved.

 

Leisse

Oh my gosh.

 

Kara

I was sitting in a Starbucks doing work and journaling. And probably, I think it was 28 or something. And this guy walked in and he looked at my journal, and he went ‘be loved’. And I was like, cool, but it actually gave me this idea that being loved, like Beloved, Be Loved is an action right? Like we actually have to choose to be loved. Which is why it’s the word Beloved, but he was like, be loved. 

 

Leisse 

Wow. I’ve never ever seen the word broken down into two words. 

 

Kara

But isn’t that kind of a cool way to see it. Like, oh, it’s an action. 

 

Leisse

I love that. Okay, and one more quick story. Sorry, Caleb because I desperately want to hear you. So okay, so then after that podcast, my like relaunch of this current podcast was telling more of what happened that day and during the commitment ceremony, and again, this notion of expander came up because as I was like, in the woods with my friend who’s a photographer of like, doing the ceremony, she’s taking pictures like, this beautiful bearded man who’s building my dream house on the lake fucking walked out of the woods, like he walked out of the woods and he just appeared and his name is Chris which I have had like a total like divine dream about this guy’s name being Chris and I was so gobsmacked. We chatted for a little bit and he walked away and out of nowhere, like I couldn’t make this stuff up like if I tried unless, of course, I’m actually a showrunner in LA right now. But Honest to God, out of nowhere, I heard that the chorus of ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. And then it went away. Like it was one line. And I was like, What magic is this? anyway? So expander, isn’t it so good.

 

Caleb

That’s so good way. Wait have you talked to Chris anymore? 

 

Leisse

No, Chris is married. And I feel like he’s actually building the house…

 

Caleb

Chris is representing. 

 

Leisse

Chris totally represents. It’s like Honest to God, this bearded man walked out of the woods. We watched him walk back into the woods and where he lives in the woods is this fucking like, modern cabin overlooking the water? And it was just like, what is happening? It was number 22. Let’s we’re just like a master number. And it was just like, it was so divine. And it was such a joke. And it was just so beautiful to have that experience. All in one. It was amazing. 

 

Kara

Wow. 

 

Leisse

Yeah. Anyway. 

 

Caleb

That’s so good, no, I love it. 

 

Leisse

Caleb, What’s your story? 

 

Caleb

Oh, yeah. Well, I always start with like, when I remember so vividly, being six years old, playing a flag football game, and scoring a game winning touchdown as a flag football six year old boy. And then my sweaty hot face. My mom grabs me and says son, like, I love you so much. You scored the game winning touchdown. And it was just in that moment where it was just like, wow, if I score touchdowns, I’m loved. Right. And this performance-ism in me became my journey of if I can just perform metaphorically, enough touchdowns in life, then I’ll find what I’m looking for. And as I got older, just one performance after the next right like I, I was the highest of high achievers, right there was this need and need to do more to achieve more to be more. And then it led me to West Point to become, you know, the second person in the history of the school to get drafted playing in the NFL to bobsledding with the Olympic team like doing all of these things. But the problem was like, I remember sitting in the middle of my childhood dream inside the Kansas City Chiefs locker room, we were watching a film as a team. And I had you know, like in that moment when the most like the best practice of my NFL career in practice in the NFL is your currency. Like, it’s how you it’s how you survive in the league. And I just crushed it. And I remember sitting there and up to this point in the league. It was like I hated watching films with the team because it was always like a watch Caleb screw up, right? Like I was suffocating with fear in the league. And that’s another story. But this moment, I was like, hell yeah, I just kicked ass like, this is what I’ve been looking for. Like, I’m finally going to be like, you know, not breathing into a paper bag and hyperventilating because I did well. And it wasn’t like I was starving for a compliment. But I was just proud of myself. Yeah. And we watch the film. And I remember in this moment, the coach stops the film and he looks around. He’s like, Where’s the new guy because I just signed a contract to it the day before. I was like, I’m here coach. And he looked at me with this stern look. And he was just like, if you ever do this again, like you’ll never see the film again on this team. And I was just like, what the fuck? Like, everything in me was just like, about to walk out. But only this inner narrative is like, when is good enough finally enough. Right? Like, when is it enough because I’ve always been chasing this more like, because deep down it was never enough. And through this series of like, just honoring my heart walking away from the league. And that’s really when this journey started. For me, though, coming back home to myself. When I moved to Canada and became a janitor of a church and slept on the basement floor for five years so that I could get this intense somatic trauma informed therapy. I began to realize that deep down it was never enough because I didn’t believe I was enough. And that’s what happens when shame is the driving force behind your life. It’s never going to be enough because shame says you’re not enough, right? And I learned how to cope with my shame through performance. And so it was this journey of trying to be enough but it never be enough created like this divine, what I call holy frustration, right? It’s this holy frustration that you’re trying to close this gap. And I just honored my heart. And the funny thing is, it is through all of these different seasons of life, like trying to find enough and trying to honor my heart and say yes, I’m trying to figure out this. This thing that I’ve been chasing, I would date girls at every, Leisse this is so funny, at every transition. I would date a girl and I’m not joking, the last three relationships before Kara every single relationship lasted six months, I broke up on or around their birthdays. 

 

Leisse

Oh my god. 

 

Caleb

I know, I felt terrible. There was one point where I dated like one girl, she was a real estate agent. She had this particular set of sheets on her bed, and I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses in that relationship, and broke up in the bed. 

 

Leisse

I thought you meant you lost your sunglasses in the bed, I was like Okay, we got to explore that a little bit more

 

Caleb

They were these sunglasses that I really loved that I lost at some point in time, in my relationship, I left that relationship at a massive transition. And then I started dating another girl, and she lived in Florida, and I went and visited her. And when the first time I visited her, I was like, Oh, my God, you’re a real estate agent. You have the same exact sheets on your bed. And I just lost my new pair of sunglasses on the flight here. I was like, wait, wake up Caleb repeating patterns, 6 months later we broke up on her birthday. And here’s the deal, though. It was like, I also didn’t know how to choose myself. As I was saying yes to this journey. And every time I’d come to this very big, transitional season, point in my journey, I didn’t know how to choose myself. And it was like this, the girl would choose me in that moment, about 6 months in, because I was very anxious attached. And I’ve always avoided women. So I finally would get them to choose me about six months into the relationship. And then it was like, Oh, I’m worthy of being chosen. I’ll choose myself and say yes to my life. And so I break up and leave the relationship. I say all that because I land in, does this make sense. I land in Los Angeles, right? I’m sitting in New York, and I’m like, what’s going on in my life, I get a DM from a girl. And she’s like, Hey, I have this big, you know, company out here in Los Angeles, I love because at this point, I’m, you know, just slowly starting to write about vulnerability and my journey of healing and so on and so forth. And didn’t think anything of it. But she was like, I have this massive greeting card company. And I would love and it’s like 99% women. But we are now getting more like requests. Like I need a card for my husband who just got laid off from his job. I need a card for my son who just got cut from the football team, I would love to partner with you and see if we can do something. So they flew me out to Los Angeles. And up to this point, I’ve never had the thought of ever moving to Los Angeles like, I’m a Texas farm boy, like Los Angeles? 

 

Leisse

Are you? Are you from Texas? 

 

Caleb

Yeah. 

 

Leisse

Oh, this is so funny. Did you know that I also have like a wild fantasy of marrying a Texan. Like this is too like, this is too much. This is like too expansive. It’s so good. 

 

Kara

Like no joke the week before we met, I’m not kidding. My best friend calls me and jokingly we like to joke all the time. And she’s like, Where do you want your husband to be from? And I’m like Texas. And she’s like why? Texas is awesome and I want to marry a cowboy. Caleb’s dad is a certified cowboy. That is what he does. He grew up being a cowboy.

 

Leisse

This is so funny. 

 

Kara

We’re manifesting men. 

 

Caleb

Anyway, I got out to Los Angeles. And you know, it was still chasing this more like, when is it enough? Like, like, at what point can I rest in life. And that had always created that holy frustration where I learned how to surrender and let go. And really look back at myself and really build the resilience around the shame narratives that were the driving force behind my life, like shame is an incredible motivator in your life, that fear of being exposed will take you to great heights. The problem is that there’s just no rest in it. 

 

Leisse 

And there’s no end. Like, just to reiterate here, like West Point in itself is a massive accomplishment. NFL? Uh, yeah, like it’s such a, it’s right. It’s pinnacle. It’s so elite. So it’s like mind blowing. And I understand the human experience. I understand how this is true. But like, you know, outside looking in, it’s like how, like, how could that not be enough? Well, if you’re, if you’re not enough on the inside, literally nothing will be enough. And like, that’s a pretty solid example of that. 

 

Caleb 

Yeah, it’s crazy, because I just, I was going through all our boxes as I was moving in. And I have a tub that’s like all football stuff. And I was up here in the office yesterday by myself and I started crying, looking at these articles, because it’s just like, I’m just now getting to the point where I can honor who I was. And that season of life and for what I did do and accomplish like wow, Caleb, like, I’m finally able to, like, just see it for what it is. And say, Oh, that was good. It was really good. Because for the longest time, it was never enough. It’s so easy to get mad at yourself and hate yourself and do better and all that stuff. And I just was you know, in the seasons of like holy frustration in Los Angeles of like, trying to surrender and let go. And I think you know, you said it earlier like you built an identity around like your story, you know, and I really did turn and I see this so much in our country, especially in the Western world where like you know, there is this hustle mentality we turn our healing into a performance so that we get the thing that we want. Well, then it was in LA that I really began that healing is a radical acceptance of my life here. And now, you know, is saying if my life never looks the way that I thought it was going to look, is it okay? Yeah because I’m present. And it’s good. I believe that I’m good, and so on and so forth. And it was in Los Angeles, where I was like, just honestly, it was, at this point, a series of events that happened where I had my first panic attack in almost like seven years, I had this Reiki encounter with this woman who gave me this talk. And it was like, it was what I needed. Her words were so healing, which then she opened me up to go into a breathwork class at night, she sent me to a breathwork class, it was my first breath, work experience. It was probably in that experience, I would say, like, I’ve never met God, and I grew up in a church and I had never met God, like I met God, in that moment of breath work. And after that, the next day or two days after that, I took a drive up the coast. And I was just like, Oh, my God, like the wind, like rushing through my car with my windows down just hitting me differently. And I remember pulling off the side of the one. And I saw this, like random stairs that went down into like this little secluded private beach. And I walked out there on June 3, of 2019. And I was sitting there and this like, wave of peace rushed over me and I started weeping. And I was like, Oh, my God. And this has been the question that’s been defining my life. Like, if my life never changes from this moment forward, is it good? Is it enough and that’s never been, it’s never hit me right? It’s never settled with me. There’s always more. And I’m sitting there that day. And I’m like, Oh, my God. It’s enough. If my life never changes from this moment forward. It’s enough. This place of radical acceptance of the here and now and abiding in the present. And I really felt like this is what I’ve been looking for my entire life. And it was this. It was just like this, it was almost like my life is being held. Like, like I could tangibly feel my life is being held. It was like, at one point, when I was playing football with the chiefs, I went to a theme park with some friends, and I hate roller coasters. Now I love them, but at this point, I hated roller coasters. And I had made it through the entire day, like getting out of rides. And we walked out there was a group of us and we walked, we’re walking out and we literally walk next to this like bungee jumping thing, right? Like, let’s do this. And I’m like, look at the time, guys. It’s time to go.

 

Leisse

I gotta go like get a waffle cake and then go to whatever it’s called.

 

Caleb

I was terrified, and so long story short, I’m sorry if I’m rambling but long story short. I have to go up with this guy and my friend Zeke because he was an odd number out and I couldn’t get out. And so they’re like, Caleb, you’re going with Zeke. And I’m the one that’s positioned next to the ripcord that drops us, we get to the top and there’s this red light. And when the green light goes you pull the cord, I have a full on meltdown up there. And I’m like, I’m not pulling the cord. And I’m like, about to cry. Zeke is yelling at me pull, the fucking cord! I’m like, I’m not pulling the cord and I’m terrified. But finally, I close my eyes, and I pull the cord and that initial drop. I thought I was dying. But then something happened where I had this magical experience of like, what it tangibly felt like for something outside of my ability, my power, my strength to hold me. And it was this moment where I was just like, what am I experiencing right now? And it was the first time that I would say that, because when shame is the driving, you’d never live in the present. Because you never want to spend time in the present. Because deep down it’s not enough. Like why would you ever be here now. 

 

Leisse

It’s not safe enough, right? 

 

Caleb

It’s not safe. You’re not enough. Like, I couldn’t live in the present. And that was probably the first time of me really embodying and experiencing what presence felt like? And I was like, What is this? And then I say that because I never experienced it again, until several years later, when I’m sitting on this beach. And I’m like, my life is being held like this experience. And then like, I experienced that, and then two months later, I met Kara. 

 

Leisse

You guys are killing me. Oh, my God. 

 

Kara

Like as I’m listening to him tell the story. I’ve heard it so many times. But I feel like there’s just this theme of like, and it sounds so cliche, but surrender and choosing yourself.

 

Caleb 

I’m sorry to cut you off. But surrendering from, like surrendering can’t be a performance. 

 

Kara 

Exactly. And I have clients I’ve worked with that say like, I have surrendered. Well, then you haven’t because of the fact you’re having to tell me that you have, like it’s constant. And then it’s over and over. And it’s this idea that like, I feel like choosing ourselves really, really mattered. 

 

Caleb

There’s  like you can surrender in an attempt to get what you think you want, like, of course, I will surrender if it leads me to this life.

 

Kara 

Like a conditional surrender

 

Leisse

Totally conditional. 

 

Caleb 

Exactly, like philosophers will talk about the idolatry of God. Where like, of course, I will serve God when my life unfolds a certain way. And it becomes this idolatry way of life. And it’s the same thing with surrendering, like, the point of surrendering is to give up any expectations of what’s on the other side and learn how to accept what is and learning how to accept what it is, is you’re actually opening your heart to receive what life does have for you, and it’s good. It’s just not gonna look like it. It’s like looking at ‘beloved’ your entire life. But then somebody comes along, it’s like the words were in front of you, you’re alive, but here’s a way to look at it. And that’s what we do to live the life we want right in front of us, but we just need a new perspective and paradigm of like, approach it. And that happens whenever, on the other side of surrendering to what is and accepting what is. 

 

Leisse

Yeah, man. So last year, not last year, a couple years ago, I’m gonna condense the story, but I was planning a relocation and you know, my, I am in a divorced family, right. So like, we have a blended family. He was already living with like, an hour and a half down from here. And it was like, every, all signs point is yes, all kinds of families, they I went to school there. It’s like the best city in Canada, it’s like, so it’s not Montreal, but it’s a close second. It’s like, Alright, it’s happening. I put my house on the market, my house has been featured on HGTV, I got an apartment therapy thing, like this was like a no brainer that this house was gonna sell. And that it was all so aligned. And it didn’t sell. And it didn’t sell and it didn’t sell and it didn’t sell. And then my ex did something and the whole plan changed. And now like, the feeling of trapped has been like a massive narrative in my own life, like this Kafka notion that like, oh, everybody’s laughing, like, I’m just a beetle on my back and I can never flip myself over, right? Like, that’s like a really dark part of my old story. And so the house didn’t sell, I had to stay in this little town, which I don’t really love. Like, it has a lot of great things. And if I had a partner, I’m always like if I had a partner, this town would be like the best place on Earth. Right? But that moment of like, wow, I wanted that, it was so aligned, my values checked out. And it didn’t work. It shook me, that it really shook me. It shook my faith, it shook all kinds of things, because it was like, Oh, my god, there’s no algorithm to this. And I think you know, if there’s an outcome or if there is a lesson, because I really think there is always a lesson and not to bypass the lesson, but to really, like, get the lesson. I think I kind of learned from that exactly what you’re saying that, like, you have to believe that this works out. Period. And it’s I think sometimes it’s almost like manifesting it like it becomes almost like a comfort blanket. It’s like spirituality. And it’s such a great gateway, right? Let’s look at the gateway drug into faith. And spirituality is like, oh, if you can think about it, and want it hard enough, you’ll get it. And it’s like, and your soul has a plan. And it’s like, sometimes what you are manifesting is in total alignment with your soul’s plan, your souls like, cool, you can have this car, whatever you’ve been dreaming of. Right. And other times, it’s like, I’m so sorry, honey, but that’s just not in the cards for you. Because something else is and I feel like that. And I don’t even know that I’ve 100% accepted even still a couple of years later, but it’s like, that is surrender. To really be, what you’re both describing, like to be so at peace with like, right, I’m not actually in control here. And I’m choosing to be okay with that. Not afraid of that. Because I believe deeply enough that this is working out for me. And then Incidentally, you know, that algorithm kicks back in, like, oh, but you actually kind of got exactly what you want. It just took me in a totally different way. 

 

Caleb

I feel like a lot of people and this is my own experience. It’s like, surrendering to it. There’s this very, the fear is like if I surrender and let go, like, I won’t get what I want or the worst will happen. Right? Like, if I have to surrender being here, like I’m gonna, like, I’m afraid that my life’s never gonna change. Like, so we have this, let’s go, let’s go, let’s push through and let’s make our life happen. But surrendering, and then having that fear that your life has never been changed. It’s not how it works surrendering means that you’ve dealt with the fear of your life never changing and ironically enough, it actually creates space for your life to change. 

 

Leisse

Yeah, that’s so true. This is so fascinating.

 

Kara

It makes me think about the body that I just always do think about the body but I feel like so in so much of my story I tried to will my body into change like I tried to will my body into being a certain size or a certain shape, and it works really well. For seasons but then you, then become addicted to diets, addicted to all kinds of dysfunctional things with the body and I feel like for me, in my own story, I referenced I went to England for those six months and all my shit surfaced And so much of it was around the body. And what really happened for me in a very short way of explaining this is I realized that nothing, nothing was going to change until I fell in love with my body. Until I really chose to love her without expectations of her changing. And when I did that, ironically, my body did change, like, my body did actually change but it wasn’t I had no expectation of it changing to love it. Does that make sense? 

 

Leisse

Like you are free of conditions? 

 

Kara

Yeah, when we love something, we create the safety for it to change. But we don’t love something with the intention of changing it. Like even being in a relationship with Caleb, I’m like, I love him so much. I don’t, I don’t need him to change. But I know that by loving him really well. He inevitably will change, he just will. Because in a ground that is covered in love, like things grow and things shift and things change. 

 

Caleb

I love how you talk about, like the willfulness side of things like we know how to will our lives into existence. We’re good at that, that is the way that the American dream is taught. But the whole journey of spirituality is to shift from willfulness to willingness. Yes. And what I mean by that like willfulness is I think it’s fear driven. And a lot of ways it’s like, it’s not enough. So let’s do more, more, be more, willfully attempt to strive for life forward. But the problem with that is it’s not sustainable, because life is fucking hard and we have down seasons, and it’s just, we can’t keep it up. The energy is not there. Sometimes they just let go. Right? 

Then there is the other side of radical acceptance and like now, your heart is postured on this throne of willingness and willingness is what I spoke to, I feel like from my experience earlier, is like your life is being held. Willingness is a life driven by love, because you’re willing to open up your heart to receive what God or the universe has in store for you. Right. And so let’s just the other side, like this is the journey of spirituality. This is the journey that we are saying yes to if you are saying yes to that. It’s just a radical. A radical different way of viewing life. And this is why, you know, for me, moving to bring a full circle, moving to Nashville, and being in our community is so important, because when you’re doing life differently, like it is fucking lonely. Right. I can’t tell you how many times, I felt so deeply misunderstood, because people just don’t understand it doesn’t mean you’re one way or their or you’re better and they’re better. What, that’s irrelevant. But it’s just lonely and finding a community where you’re around people that are like, yeah, we’re on the same like, we’re, we’re flowing, man. It just makes a solid difference. And I feel like, that’s the piece that we’re really feeling here in Nashville. 

 

Leisse

I’m writing a second book this year. And it also started out being about being single because I was like, oh, man, like this has to have meaning I’m going to give it meaning. I’m going to write a book about it, right. And then, as I started writing it, I was like, Oh, my God, this is not about being single. This is about being alone and especially during COVID. Like, I think that concept of alone versus single versus loneliness versus by myself. Like, they’re very independent concepts, right. And you know, you’re both talking about this, Caleb, you just said it that, like, I felt lonely. I was surrounded by success, I was surrounded by people and like, trust me, there is no kind of loneliness, like the loneliness you feel when you’re in the company of other people. And if you’ve ever been in a relationship, or a marriage in which you feel lonely, it’s the fucking worst. And people are like, Oh, I’m terrified to leave this marriage because I don’t want to be by myself or I have to date this guy, because he’s an asshole and I know it, but I’m, like, terrified to be by myself. And it’s like, no, the terror and I understand that. And the terror comes from being Oh, shit. I’m not alone and I’m profoundly lonely. And that, to me, is really fascinating. Because I think that’s human, that human experience of having these feelings, I need them to be witnessed, but I actually don’t feel safe enough to have them witnessed. So instead, I internalize them, and maybe I eat more, or I fuck around a lot more, or I achieve more, but I’ll do whatever it takes. As long as I can repress that. And then shame comes on. And it’s like, it gets deeper and deeper and deeper, right? And the reality is that we’re all having that experience. Like we’re all having these feelings of isolation and loneliness and not enough and I love these conversations because it’s like, yep, or like, is it clear yet? Like, are we getting the message? Yes, that like, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re on your own individual path of healing and that’s going to look different, right? Those experiences are going to look different. But it’s based on this emotional foundation that I would argue is almost identical to everybody else. 

 

Kara

Absolutely. It’s wild you say that on the drive out here, Caleb and I drove across the country, obviously. And we drove separately, he drove the U haul behind me and then I drove in my car. And I had started this movie on Amazon Prime called Herself. And it’s about a woman who’s in an abusive relationship, and she leaves to build a home for her daughters. And we were driving the next day, and I had this moment of being in the car, and being like, I love being with me. Like, I love being just with me alone in this car. And it was so interesting for me, because I think five years ago, three years ago, I hated being alone. Like I hated being left alone with my thoughts. And all of a sudden, as I was thinking through this, I was remembering this movie. And in the movie, this girl, you know, as she’s escaping this abusive marriage, she keeps having flashbacks of this husband who’s been really violent with her. And I was making this connect in my brain of like, Oh, that’s why I didn’t like being alone because I was really mean to me when I was alone with me, and my inner voice was not kind and it was not gentle and it was not loving. I was mean to me when I was alone. So I would want to fill my space with other people, because they were nice to me. So I think it again, who knows, like, we all have our different stories and our different experiences. But I think so often, we don’t want to be alone, because we’re scared of what happens when we’re just with ourselves. 

 

Leisse

Okay, I’m gonna tell you a personal story and I want to see where this lands with each of you. But this could make people run screaming from the room and be like, ‘Wow, she’s so arrogant.” But I was like, at home on the couch, watching, I think watching Succession or maybe The Office, but I’m really into both of them. And I had this moment where I was like, that feeling of inner peace that you described, to me that feels like warmth, that’s where I feel it in my body, it just feels like this full body radiation of like, holy shit. I’m good. And you know, again, as somebody who experienced a lot of trauma, who has worked really hard to create, like a general level of safety, and in turn, my coaching practice has changed so dramatically, because for me, it’s like, we’re not talking about x, y, and Zed. We’re talking about safety. So let’s talk about safety first, and then everything else falls into place, right? But so I’m sitting here on the couch, and I’m like, not only do I feel so safe, but I feel so good. And this feels so warm. And I was like, all I really want to do right now. Like if I could add one thing to this, I would turn to somebody beside me and share this moment. And I was like, Oh my God Leisse, the person you want to share this moment with is like the male version of you, who has like, a sense of you. And suddenly I was like, well, this is interesting. Like, now I like my own company so much that I just want to duplicate myself into the male form. I mean it’s true, right? Like we’re constantly mirroring off of one another. And when I look, I have a massive crush on John Krasinski and like, when I hear him in interviews, I’m like, everything I love about that guy is just qualities I love about myself. And so it’s like, do you feel that way? Do you feel like you’re a mirrored reflection of one another? 

 

Kara

Oh, that’s a good question. 

 

Caleb

Yeah. That’s interesting. 

 

Kara

I would say yes and no

 

Caleb

I would say yes and no, but mostly no

 

Leisse 

Okay. 

 

Caleb

You mirror back to me parts that I long to connect with in me. So like Kara is the queen of play. She knows how to play. She knows how like, because the seven in her is just like let’s frolic around the world. Let’s play and it’s good. And also it was, you know, how she avoided pain for so long to, like, being still being present was hard for her. And so I didn’t know how to play because life was just a mission. There was no space for play. Like, I guess she’s mirrored back to me a part that I longed to connect with in myself more than anything. 

 

Kara

Yeah. I feel like yes and no. There’s things that I think that Caleb is a mirror to me for. But then there’s things where I feel similar to what you said, I’m like, you make me aware of what’s possible inside of myself. Or like a mirror back like, yeah, that is me. Oh, that is me. I forgot about that part. But that really is me. 

 

Leisse  

I love that. And when you met you, you both mentioned you had that sense of like, Oh, you’re right there. There you are!

 

Kara

Oh my god, right. Yeah. People would say to me all the time you’re gonna meet him when you’re least expecting it. It’s so true, but it’s the worst to hear, you’re just going to know when you know. I’m the most analytical person ever there’s no way I’m just gonna know. But I did.

 

Caleb

My feeling when I met you was like, Oh, this is what was waiting for me all along. And so it was like I can look back at my life and now as I move forward, it’s like, oh, like something like Kara is waiting for me all along, like something as beautiful and so much depth and magic energy. So it just gave me more confidence to say yes to the journey. 

 

Leisse 

Anybody that I’ve ever had a significant relationship with, it has been that like lightning bolt. And it’s like, you feel it instantly. And any again, any significant relationship I’ve had has been like, oh, oh my god. That was easy. Like, it’s just it’s like, there’s no, there’s no doubt. And that doesn’t mean it’s an easy road. And honestly, some of those relationships that I believe were divinely orchestrated for definitely divinely orchestrated to become like, the greatest teachers and you can read you can read between those lines as you wish but like, they became great teachers in my life. So for me, when we talk about dating, I’m like, I’m sorry, I don’t even relate to this. Like, I can’t imagine just dating for the sake of dating. I’m like, when I know I you, you’re fucking right I know. Because I get like a lightning bolt in the heart from God that’s like, oh, he is right there. And I’m like, Oh, that was so easy. And interestingly, it’s almost always met with like, it’s not a disappointment, but it’s almost that sense of like, Oh my god, what was I even worried about? Like, it’s so anticlimactic that it’s just like, you know, the Buddhists say that if you feel that rush of butterflies right away, it’s actually nervous energy. And that when you really meet like, a very significant person in your life, it feels like you’re just coming home. It feels like you’re catching up after who knows how many years of being apart? Right? 

 

Kara

Yeah, that’s so true. Yeah, I feel like when I look back, I feel like all of my exes were such teachers to create the space for me to choose Caleb. And when he came, there was the sense of like, Oh, there you are. And the choosing piece was so easy,  it was natural. 

 

Caleb

I would say like that was, besides the one question, Leisse you know, Mark Groves right? So I had a conversation with him and I’ve written about this before, but I had a conversation with him. And he was telling the story of his, you know, like getting engaged back in the day and realizing on basically the day before his wedding this is not the person I’m supposed to be with. And it’s because he got on this random chat room and this woman asked him this question. And this question was always that which, like, I govern in my previous relationships, in all my relationships is having that conversation that was too old. And the question was, ‘Is there anybody out there that can love her better than you?’ And Mark answered, ‘yeah’ . I too in relationships, I would ask that question and if I would say ‘Oh, my God, like, yeah, like somebody can definitely love her better than me’  then I knew that it was time to let go. But when I found Kara, I asked, I remember I was scared too for a second. I had to wrestle with it because I was like, I don’t want to ask because it’s so damn good, I don’t want to know, I just want to live in denial for a bit, But I did ask it and from the depths of my heart, it just was like, nobody can love her better than me. Like I honestly really deep down feel like I can love you so well. And there was a moment where I was like, Oh yeah, this is right. And I say that, because the thing about our relationship, and you can say it’s, you know, we’re still in the honeymoon phase and whatever. But everything from meeting Kara, to the first conversation, to meeting every single one for 5 million friends. Meeting her family. Everything! Doing life with her is the easiest thing I have ever done and there’s something to be said about that. 

 

Leisse

That’s so remarkable. I’ve heard Mark tell that story before and I love to hear you tell it again, and how it related to your own life. For me again, as somebody who called time of death on a marriage, that conversation blows up every socio cultural story we have around the end of a relationship, right? Because suddenly, it’s like, no, this is not a selfish act. And when you leave a marriage, or when you’re the person who called time of death on it, people will be like ‘You’re so selfish’. And you’re standing over here being like, No, I’m not for that express reason. Somebody else can love this person better than I can’t. That’s not a judgment it’s a fucking fact. Yeah, right?. And then it’s like, okay, congratulations on having the bloody courage to end that relationship, because you’re actually doing the right thing for not only yourself, but for the other person as well. I just love hearing that over and over again. So good. So my final question to you is that, you know, life is hard, relationships are hard. And to me, that hardship is like, I think in life, it’s a series of challenges and life gets much easier and so much more joyful when you learn that you are safe. And when you learn how to self trust, right? And then it’s like, you can face any hardship because your reverberation time shrinks. Right. And to me in a relationship, yeah, it’s hard because it’s relentless. Communication is relentless, like identifying what I need to feel supported, and being so consciously aware of what my partner needs to feel supported, right? And that’s hard until you realize that’s what the hardship is and then it becomes easy, because when you have great communication skills, or you’re really, truly in that space together, I believe that creates ease in a relationship. So if it kind of feels like baseline ease for you, which I know a lot of really healthy, conscious relationships, like they identify that it just feels so easy. What would you say are some of the challenges that come with that? 

 

Caleb

She takes up all the space in the bathroom.

 

Leisse 

Gotta get that three step skincare in there.

 

Kara 

Amazing question. I would say I love that you are referencing safety. I feel like the biggest conflicts that we’ve had, have come from me not feeling safe. And it’s not, not safety with Caleb, it’s me not say self soothing and finding safety and myself. Yeah, I’m even thinking of this one, like cry I had in the kitchen over I think it was over money or something. And, and the conversation, it becomes a conflict between the two of us. But when I step back and remove myself and look at what’s actually going on, you know, I’m having to unpack a narrative that was birthed in me and my childhood. And I think that, I think that that’s kind of the key really, to like making it not so hard as I’m just repeating what you said, but really finding this space to be like, Oh, this is actually about my stuff. Like, this is me having a little Kara meltdown here, and I need to figure that out with a little girl Kara. And then I can go communicate that with Caleb, and then we can come up with a system for me finding safety in the relationship. So that’s what I think. 

 

Caleb

Wait what was the original question? What’s your challenge?

 

Kara

Yeah what’s hard, yeah. 

 

Caleb

Yeah, I think for me, it’s just the. Hmm, it has been challenging I feel at times, because I have walked away from conversations feeling like, oh, wow, you don’t see me there. And that’s like something that I would say in my head. But then I look at it. I’m like, did you communicate it?

And like something as simple as honestly, like, I watch one football game a year, and it’s the Super Bowl, basically. And we were going to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl last night, and I had not communicated that I love to watch the pregame of the Super Bowl. Like I just love that experience and Karas, like taking her time and like, just whatever it started at 530, so we have to be there at 529. But I feel myself getting angry. And I’m just like, oh, I’ve never communicated to her that this is important. And it seems so trivial and so simple or so you know, cheesy or whatever. But I think that’s just like a it’s, it’s something that can… When you don’t when you don’t communicate those expectations, and they need to go unmet and you don’t speak about it. It’s so easy to talk about or to build up the resentment and contempt towards one another. And I think that’s just been the challenging part is like I’ve lived with myself for so long. I know what I’m thinking. I know Kara’s like I would I’ll drop bombs on Kara sometimes and like, just like a totally different belief system. And Kara’s like, What the fuck is this? Where did this come from? And I was like  what are you talking about? I’ve been processing this for the last two months. Like you’ve never communicated once to me like, Oh, that’s right. And I also In addition, I would say, the last thing I’ll say to this is, how do I want to phrase, for Kara like, I would run my life, my life run, life is only as good as we are. And it’s, like, I’ll find my time and stuff at times of like, when Kara is working something out like this, like little ego nature, you’ll be like, figure that shit out. Because we’ve got to, we got shit to do. But then I’m like, No, she needs to feel safe to work that out, like, meet her where she’s at. And vice versa, like Kara meets me where I’m at, where I feel like slowing down and being like, you know what, we are only as good as our relationship is. And if we take the time to be still for three months, and we connect in this stillness, it would catapult us further than what we would do, trying to force our way like trying to make life happen, you know? So like, that has been challenging for me at times to sit back and be like, Oh, wait, no, we don’t. There’s a million things that we need to do. But what’s most important is to create this ecosystem of safety so that we can heal and learn how to kind of co-suit together. 

 

Kara 

Yeah, yeah, it really is just a matter of getting so aware of your internal world and your internal narratives and your internal communication, so that you can externally communicate them. I feel like our biggest conflicts are always like a miscommunication.

 

Caleb

Yeah, miscommunication. I will say, funny story, though, is Kara. Kara is like a person. Like when she sits down with somebody, she wants that person to feel and walk away like a million dollars. Like, and I love that about her. Caleb on the other hand. 

 

Kara

I want you to walk away feeling like you’re better than before you sat down.

 

Caleb

Yeah, sometimes, if I get rubbed in the wrong way, I don’t feel like I’m like, I’m at this point now, Leisse. And you can probably attest to this. Like, it’s not my responsibility to make you feel a certain way. Like I love to create an emotional experience for people. Right, like, but at the end of the day, like, I’m a human too, and it’s just not my responsibility to manage your fucking emotion. So sometimes, I will be like,Fuck you. Like I, I’m thinking of one specific situation where Kara there’s this somebody wanted to meet with both of us. And she sat down and literally like, turned her shoulders to me. Like, away from me and just had a one on one conversation with Kara. And like totally excluded me. And like would bring up Kara’s exes and all this stuff, like right at me, and I go into fuck you mode. Yeah, like, I don’t give a shit work Kara’s to like we are a team. I need you to show up for me. I think that was our biggest argument and me realizing that Okay, I have to put away my fuck you attitude sometimes. I’m looking at a poster that I have on my wall that literally says 50% Namaste and 50% Go Fuck Yourself. I have to realize that yeah, I am a team with her. And I need to show up and carry some of this weight inside in terms of like sometimes when it’s not easy, managing other people’s emotions. 

 

Kara

And I think I love that. I think one thing that I’ve been thinking about in terms of like, what came up for us in the move, is like, not what is my way isn’t better? And can’t wait isn’t better. But we both think our way is better. So I’m an event planner by trade, and I packed our whole house, because Caleb broke his back. Before we left, he literally threw out his back. I packed the whole house. So again, because I’m an event planner, I’m thinking about the 940 things that have to happen in order for the move to happen. So I’m thinking about changing our address and thinking about, you know, ever getting the right bubble wrap at Home Depot, I’m constantly my brain is full of the to do’s. Yeah. And I feel like Caleb doesn’t necessarily anticipate in the same way I do. So I immediately am thinking my way is better. Yeah. But part of it is that I just didn’t even communicate my way of thinking. I didn’t communicate like, hey, it’s really important that we sit down and we lay out the to do list of the 940 things that have to happen so we can work through them together. Instead, I have this expectation that he’s already thinking that but he’s not his brain is so different. 

 

Caleb 

And I feel emasculated often. Well, part of me will be like, cause you’ll be like this. We should do this, this and this. And I’m like, I need to make my own decisions here sometimes like this and it will communicate and like I love that. You have all that stuff like in your brain and like how you think it should go down, I don’t think like you and we should be happy if that’s the case. I would say like I, I’ve had to communicate to you that, hey, this makes me feel really emasculated when you question every decision that I make. 

 

Kara 

And then when he says that I’m just like oh my god, that’s the last thing I wanted you to feel. But if you didn’t communicate that to me and just reacted, I don’t even know if I would be able to meet you at that. 

 

Caleb

Totally.

 

Leisse

So this is so brilliant. This is like a brilliant. I love you guys. So this is like a brilliant example of like, relationship dynamics, like right here. And right now, there’s a pretty old book, I think it was written in the 70s called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. And it’s like, it’s problematic for a lot of ways. But when one thing it does really, really well, is it communicates that you know, while we can all be these, like woke individuals, our brain evolves at like, I’ve heard it described as a glacial pace. So there’s so much of our internal not programming but internal wiring, that is still so stuck in caveman cavewoman brain, right, and, you know, Caleb you like you just said it, you just said it from the very male or female. And this is like totally heteronormative. I know, which is problematic in itself, but like, caveat, caveat caveat. Like, what you’re saying is like, Kara, you are a woman who is blessed with this internal wiring of being able to step back and see like 180 degrees, right. And that is a skill set unique to most women in our like biology. And Caleb, what you’re, what you’re saying is that you are blessed with this gift of being a man again, like all the caveats, that focus is like, so task oriented, period, right. And together, it’s like a super team to have those two overlapping skill sets that’s how you get a full big picture. thing, I have somebody who can see all the like, the matrix of things that need to happen. And then I have somebody who’s like, born to execute, right? And, and I love that book, he spells it out that typically, women want to go to the fire, when there’s a problem, they want to go to the fire, they want to talk about it, they want to get at it from all angles, and like to hash it out. And in that time of conflict, men are like, I’m going to the cave. Bye. Right because like, I gotta go and process internally. And, you know, I love the solution or the. So it’s not a problem. So it’s not really a solution. But like something that really it’s like this soothing balm to ease that dynamic is like, I need to talk to you about this. Well, I need to retreat. Okay, beautiful. How long do you need to retreat, then I have created a safety that I know, we will talk about this in 24 hours. So now my brain can be like, yeah, you are safe, you are held, you are seen, you have 24 hours to process and you’re like, Oh, thank God, like I have 24 hours to myself to think about this. And it’s like, again, then both people in the relationship have created exactly this safe space they need to be held, and then also in turn to hold one another because our fucking brain takes so long to evolve that we still want to snap back into these like, really like primordial patterns of relationships, right? 

 

Kara

Totally, totally. We have this standard in our relationship now, because I’m such a verbal processor that I’ll walk in. And I’ll be like, Oh, my gosh, let me tell, you know, this conversation I just had with Lindsay. And now we have a standard in our relationship brand. Like, do you have space for me to tell you about something? And then he has the freedom to say, No, I don’t, or Yes, I do. Or like can it be in an hour?

 

Caleb 

That’s massive that like, Oh, I’m in a relationship, but therefore I’m just going to just, I think that you have the space for me to verbally vomit. That is such a selfish and dangerous relationship where it’s like, yeah, you are that person who’s closest to me. But I want to honor you. I want to honor your own emotional needs. Therefore, I’m going to actually ask you if I can process it. 

 

Leisse

Yeah. And then when, again, when you frame it from that perspective of safety. It’s like, I don’t feel like because the opposite is the risk of feeling like you’re dismissed, right? Like, I can’t listen to this right now. Because I’m full, I can’t, then I feel dismissed when you tell me all your things. Well, when I don’t have a chance to communicate all the things that I need to share with you, I feel dismissed. So it’s like, this is the work of a relationship. This next level communication of like, this is what I I have identified, me, the individual person I have identified this is what I need to feel safe. And here’s how I can safely communicate that level of safety for me and vice versa. It’s fucking genius. It’s like tiny little tweaks, but it’s all stuff and I will say this ad nauseum, but like literally not hyperbole, the most important relationship you have is with yourself, so that you can function to this healthy conscious degree in any other relationship in your life. 

 

Kara 

100%

 

Caleb

Love it, so good. 

 

Leisse 

You’re so good. Thank you so much for being here. How can people connect with you?

 

Kara

Great question. 

 

Caleb

Just come over to Nashville. 

 

Kara 

Yeah just come down to Nashville. 

 

Leisse 

I’m halfway there like as we’ve been talking I just got in the car.

 

Caleb

The thing we do in Nashville is we sit on the porch, and we drink bourbon, so just come on over. 

 

Kara

Or at the fireplace. 

 

Caleb 

We have a friend Oh, he actually lives in Atlanta, though, but he always carries a case of beer trunk, in a cooler and two lawn chairs. And he was just like, well like, if people are having a hard time if like, somebody’s going through something, just open a beer and he’ll just like, let’s talk about life. Yeah, that is the way here.

 

Kara

Our neighbours brought us cookies yesterday. I almost peed my pants. 

 

Caleb

I wanted to cry. 

 

Leisse

I haven’t had gluten in like nine years.

 

Kara

I was just like this is amazing.

 

Caleb

This would never have happened in Las Angeles.

 

Leise

I brought you some goji berries. Okay, short, short of packing up and just showing up on your porch. Where can we find you online? 

 

Caleb 

Yeah, I think the best way to find me is just on my Instagram. I’ve taken a little bit of a break but I’m slowly, slowly coming back in, easing back in. Yeah, I’m gonna start writing more like a weekly blog at calebcampbell.me. But Instagram is just @caleb_campbell. 

 

Leisse

Awesome. 

 

Kara

Yeah. And mine is just @bykaraelise. And you can find all our other stuff on our Instagram, like our podcasts and our website things 

 

Caleb

And we’re bringing back Kara and Caleb Podcast. We have Kara and  Caleb and then my podcast is called Finding Your Way and then yours is called 

 

Kara 

Back to the Body. 

 

Leisse

Awesome. Awesome. And you know when your book comes out Kara? 

 

Kara

Not yet. We are shopping it right now. 

 

Leisse 

Caleb is your book out? 

 

Caleb

Hell no.

 

Leisse  

Under the work in progress category.

 

Caleb

Yeah, like do we have another hour we can talk about it. Yeah, it’s a work in progress.

 

Leisse

Okay. Cool. Well, you guys again, like I don’t thank you doesn’t encapsulate what I want to say. But in linear language. Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate you for so many ways. 

 

Caleb 

Thanks for having us.

 

Kara 

Thanks for having us. 

 

You can find Caleb & Kara online at:

https://www.bykaraelise.com/

https://www.calebcampbell.me/

Have questions? Comment? Enjoyed this episode? Want to connect with me on social media?  Wahoo!

Instagram: @leissewilcox

Website: leissewilcox.ca

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