We’ve all been experiencing a "Looking Over the Edge” moment having to face fear, find our way & all the lessons in between such as:
Why do we feel we’re not doing enough?
Why do we feel guilty when we don't make being kind a priority?
The courage & kindness it takes to put our ego aside to listen to our inner calling.
The power of acknowledging & being appreciative of everything that happens.
How we’re always in training for something bigger if we choose to find the lesson.
Connect on Instagram @CarolinedePosada
Click here for your copy of Looking Over the Edge: A True Story of Fear, Finding Your Way and All The Lessons In Between
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Hey, welcome back PARKer. I'm Marly Q and this is Episode #10 with Caroline de Posada. Our guest today is a professional speaker, writer, attorney, wife and mom of three boys. She's the author of Looking Over the Edge, a true story about facing fear, finding your way and all the lessons in between. Coming from divorced parents and a famous father who traveled the world extensively as a global speaker and best-selling author, Caroline teaches people the art of how to be there, even when you're not, a lesson she learned firsthand from her dad, Dr. Joachim de Posada, who I had the immense privilege of meeting almost a decade ago. It wasn't until five years ago, shortly after he passed away, that I got to meet Caroline and be impacted by her kindness. This interview was recorded a few months B.C. (Before Corona) and it's so relevant to what we're experiencing today because this global pandemic is a looking over the edge moment, where we've all had to face fear, we've realized how quickly things can change, how little control we have, and how it's up to us to choose how we handle crisis and find the lesson. Because, as you'll hear Caroline say, “life is always training you for something bigger”. Let's listen.
[01:31] Marly Q: You know, you're here for several different reasons. First, I really see you as an incredibly kind person, in your own being. But also, I really admire the way that you instill kindness in your children, and how you prioritize kindness in your family and in your own circle, and I just really honor and celebrate that. So, welcome to the show.
[01:55] Caroline: Thank you. Well, I-- for me, that's an honor coming from you because I consider you to be the guru of kindness, and you inspire me to be more kind and I just-- for me, it's an honor that you look at me that way. So, thank you Marly.
[02:11] Marly Q: Oh my goodness, absolutely. Well, you're very welcome. I remember how we first met, actually a little indirectly. I was producing an event several years ago, and there was a speaker at this event, this world renowned, bilingual, amazing man talking about Don't Eat the Marshmallow, and he just was this really magnificent energy was coming out of him; his name was Dr. Joachim de Posada.
[02:39] Caroline: I remember the event that you're speaking about, but I don't remember noticing you at that event. What I do remember was the event where we did meet, and it was at one of our friend's houses, and you were-- you came in and you were this force of energy, and you were bright and bubbly, and walking around and somehow somebody said to you, "You know who she is? She's Joachim de Posada's daughter.", and you turn to me and you hugged me, you hugged me like if you had known me for years. And my dad had just passed away, and for me, that connection to you was so profound because it was-- I could see through that hug how much you cared about him. And that made me so happy and grateful to be around-- every time I'm around somebody that loved him, it was like, I have him back for a little while. And that was just, it was wonderful. So, that first impression of yours, for me, was so profound that I became loyal to you after that.
[03:35] Marly Q: Well, it's mutual, we're each other's fans. Well, thank you for sharing that. I know that this interview wasn't to talk about your dad, but I couldn't not put him out into the airwaves here and share the great Joachim de Posada. I actually have his little cards, I remember when we had lunch one day and he was talking to me about what he was going to talk about at the event and he pulls out of his like suit pocket these little cards, it was like a little mini--
[04:00] Caroline: A mini book.
[04:01] Marly Q: A little mini book, and I just thought that was the coolest thing, how he walked around with something on his, you know, attire to be able to PARK, to Perform an Act of Random Kindness, and hand off inspiration to other people, and I still have those cards, right here in my home; they're right here.
[04:16] Caroline: And I still give them out in his honor, and I use his exact wording. So, I-- whenever I meet someone, I did it last week, I was at a event in Orlando and there was a cleaning person coming by and he was so nice to me, and I stopped him and I said, "Pick a number from 1 to 31", and then he picked the number and it was number 9. I said, "Okay, open to page 9 and read your message for the day, that's the message the universe has to give you.", and I said, "My dad wrote this book, and if he were here, he would have done that so, I do it in his name.".
[04:46] Marly Q: There's always time to be kind, always time to be kind. And isn't it interesting how sometimes we think that we don't have time to be kind? Because to be kind, in some people's minds means, "I have to go and feed the homeless, I have to, you know, put together this big project and collect toys, or produce this event or, you know, spend all weekend and go travel to, you know, Africa and do, you know, a whole retreat.", when really, there's always time to be kind in these small ways, and I'm just such a fan of small acts of kindness, I feel are just as powerful as these bigger acts of kindness. And the difference is that sometimes we don't acknowledge, we don't see these small acts of kindness like, you stopping to, you know, tell this person, what's your page and give them that inspiration for the day, that could have changed that person's day around, they could remember you way down the line, they can use that little book when they're feeling down and those small acts of kindness make a huge difference and they're just as valuable, right?
[05:54] Caroline: You know, you're saying that because of the conversation we had before this podcast started, when I told you that I felt guilty that I wasn't being kind enough. I am so guilty of feeling that way. I confess-- I confess to you that I just, you know, I would not attribute that little story that I just shared with you so organically, I would never have attributed that as an act of kindness at all, and I actually looked at it as, a you know, something to inspire someone but I just wouldn't label it kindness and when I think about being kind, I think, "God, I wish I could do a toy drive like Marly Q or, I wish I could do-- I could go feed the homeless.", and I really feel guilty when I don't have-- when I don't make that a priority. I don't like saying that I don't have the time to do things because I think we all have the time to do whatever we want to do. So, I don't-- I'm not saying I don't have the time, what I am saying is, is that, I have not made that a priority because I have so much on my plate that I consider to be my priority right now that haven't wedged that part of it, and I want to.
[07:08] Marly: So, let's talk about that. Let's talk about that because I think that it's so relevant and a lot of people listening can relate to that, which is why I brought it up. Because I started off by saying that I consider you to be a PARKer and one of the kindest people out there, and it has nothing to do, I have no idea what you do on the weekend, and if you go do beach cleanups, and if you do, you know, feed the homeless, it's not about that.
It is about the little things. The day to day time that you make to speak kindly to someone, to give a smile, to lend an encouraging word, to drop a compliment and actually seeing the value of those things as really powerful acts of kindness is really one of the things that I hope to achieve with this podcast.
We all have time to be kind, even if in your current situation, in this current moment in your life, doing these, you know, bigger "PARK" projects, you know, whatever, if your current situation doesn't allow for that, having the self-kindness to be like, "It's okay, how can we, in every day, share kindness, inspire kindness?", and those are just as valuable, just as powerful as these bigger acts of kindness and going easier on yourself, right? Not feeling guilty because that's not a helpful emotion, right? And it's not even a real one. There's no reason to feel guilty, you haven't done anything intentionally wrong in order to feel that way. The problem or the reason why you maybe feel that way is because you're not seeing the value in your daily, daily, daily, many, many, many acts of kindness that you do.
[08:51] Caroline: And I think the reason we don't see the value in it is because people take for granted what comes easy to them. So, for example, it is not difficult for me to smile at someone, it's not difficult for me to share a kind word, or for me to share an inspirational message, that's-- for me, it's like breathing. So, if it doesn't come, I think that oftentimes people equate love with suffering, and kindness with sacrifice, right? There has to be some hardship in order for us, to give ourselves credit for it, for us to be able to validate ourselves, like, if it was difficult, or if it was out of our way, or if it was something that we did, despite how busy we are or despite-- then, it's valuable. But if it's something that is just part of our persona, or a part of our personality, or something that comes naturally to us, and we didn't "earn it", then all of a sudden it doesn't feel as good.
[09:49] Marly Q: I think a lot of people can relate with what you're saying. And I really just think
it's a practice of shifting our mindset and starting to see kindness in its true essence, in its true form, the big and the small and everything in between, because the energy of kindness is the same in all of the acts ...
... whether they're in your mind small, insignificant or natural to you, or whether you had to put in, you know, 200 hours in order to, you know, execute that, and I understand and I say this not from any kind of, you know, pedestal or high horse, I just had a baby about a year and a half ago and one of the most challenging things, you know, for me was kind of putting on hold all of my philanthropic desires, all of my big PARK projects, I mean, I love producing events in order to inspire people to come together and be kind and give back to their cause. I love coordinating, you know, our awesome toy drive and the beach clean-ups and all these different philanthropic projects, but for almost two years, I put that on the shelf and I definitely went through that kind of internal, you know, talk of, "You're not doing enough, you're not doing enough to spread kindness, you've like, abandoned your mission and your message.", and none of these things are true. I had to become aware of that self-talk, let's call it negative self-talk, really it's just disempowering self-talk and see how within those two years where I didn't produce a large scale event, where I didn't, you know, produce the clean-ups and see, well, what did I do? I'm raising a family that's, you know, based and rooted in kindness, and I'm focused on being kinder to myself, these last two years more than I ever have in my entire life. And I'm focused on speaking and creating this podcast in order to be able to leverage my time a little bit better, right? And be able to still share kindness in a way that makes sense with the current chapter that I'm in, in my life.
The current chapter of my life is, I'm a brand new mom, and my time is really stretched and limited, I cannot donate 200 plus hours of my time to produce a large scale event for a little while, that doesn't mean that I'm failing in my mission to spread kindness worldwide at all. That's where the self-love and kindness comes in, that's where acknowledging that me speaking at, you know, schools for Career Day is still me doing my mission and spreading it, right? And me doing a beach clean-up that somebody else produced is still you know, doing the work. So, in your current chapter in your life, I invite you to invite some more self-love and kindness and see that you are spreading kindness in your own life every day and you don't necessarily need the big project, you don't-- you know, I'm not saying that not making time to feed the homeless isn't important, of course it is. But if your current chapter in your life is focused on this brand new book that you just launched that we're about to get into, that your current you know, chapter in your life is focused on your three boys raising them to be kind young men, which this book shares oodles of beautiful, you know, stories of how you are instilling kindness in your kids and in your family and seeing them as powerful and enough, right?
[13:04] Caroline: You're absolutely right.
[13:06] Marly Q: So, I wasn't trying to be right, was just trying to, you know, share, because I've been through this as well. And I think it's just a practice, I think it's just a practice of seeing kindness in its everyday expression, in the small things and seeing that as absolutely beautiful and powerful, and enough. With that, I would love to kind of jump into your book, because I know it's been quite a journey for you to get this book out into the world. I think it is an act of kindness, it's all the time that you spent into putting, you know, this beautiful story together and getting it out into the world. So, if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about your book, Looking Over the Edge, what's it about?
[13:45] Caroline: Looking Over the Edge. Well, so this book, actually, I've been in the process of writing for a long time and this book was not the book I intended to write. I started writing a book with my father and it was my goal to finish that book and during that time, I found myself struggling to finish that project, and really, really sitting down and trying to get the words out and feeling like it wasn't coming together. And it was during that time that my husband called me one day and said, you know, "Why don't we go on a spontaneous road trip to Asheville, North Carolina, for the winter holidays?", which it would have been two years this winter, so two years, almost to the day that we're having this podcast, and I hesitated a little bit, but I ended up caving, and we did go on this road trip. And I had no idea when I jumped in that car, what our life was going to look like and how this trip was going to change our story. And it was because of that decision to get in that car and do something spontaneous and fun and different, that this book was born. So, the cliff hanger, if you will, of the book is that while we were driving in North Carolina, there was black ice on the ground, and my husband lost control of the car as we were driving, and all of a sudden, we found ourselves sliding towards the edge of a cliff. And I looked over and I, honest to God, thought that we were going to fall off that cliff. And we didn't, spoiler alert, we all lived.
[15:24] Marly Q: Yes, you're here.
[15:25] Caroline: We're here. But I honestly thought at that moment, that we were going to die. And that was the turning point and that was kind of the culmination and what led me to write this book. But the story came so much before that, we'd been on that we've been on that road trip already for four days, and when I tell you what, and you've read the book, so you know, the story, it happened for me, the book wrote itself. I didn't have to do much, right? I just had to put those stories down on paper because I honestly felt like it happened for me, and as a result of that trip and as a result of that culminating moment and all the lessons that I learned from it, I sat down and I said, "Dad, I love you, and I know that we have a book together and I know that it's going to come out one day, but today, I have to work on this.". And, and I felt like I just had to. So, I put the project aside, I shelved it, like you like to say, I put my other book on the shelf, and I really committed to writing the story, and I rode that wave, I rode that energy that had been given to me. And what I learned from doing that, was that, and in my opinion, which is one of the biggest lessons in the book, is that we're always in training. We're in training for something bigger, and for me, writing that book was training me for the book that I have to write with my dad.
[16:57] Marly Q: That's exactly what I was thinking.
[16:59] Caroline: I just-- I was wasn't ready then and it was almost like this happened for me and it put me in a position where, it took me away from that project only to bring me back to it. So, I feel like I am more prepared now, and when I write that book with my dad it's going to be that much better and that much stronger and that much more powerful because I have this book under my belt.
[17:23] Marly Q: Yeah, I love that you just shared that, you know, you just said that you felt that this book basically like wrote itself, right? That it was calling you, I believe that that's the currency of kindness, right? That's the tap on the shoulder like, hey, you know, and it's up to you. It was up to you to decide, "No, no, no, I committed to you know, writing this book with my dad and I'm going to like force myself to finish. I can't think about this other you know, thing.", or listening to that call and deciding to step into that currency or tune in to that currency of kindness and make that time to be kind is what it is. Putting this book together and putting this out into the world is a huge act of kindness and putting your dad's project, your co-project, on the shelf for a moment is also an act of kindness. It's of self-love and kindness because you had this desire, this currency, this calling to move in a different direction, to make sure that this "wrote itself", which I know it didn't, I'm sure it took a huge amount of work and effort to put this book out and to write it, but it gives you the right energy from which to create your next one.
[18:37] Caroline: Yes. And when you say that, about the currency of kindness, and using those words, I'm a big applier. So, when I understand the concept, I know how to apply it. And when you said that, and the way that you've described kindness to me, and I will admit that it did take a lot of self-love and kindness to put that project aside because there's ego attached to that, right? Because it was something that I had not finished, it was something that I had not completed, I felt in a way that I was maybe betraying my dad for a little bit, that's how I felt. And it did take a lot of compassion to put that aside and listening to my intuition and my gut, that this was the course that I had to follow right now, this was the process that I had to go through. So, it was-- it did take a lot of self-compassion and putting aside ego, and I think when you're talking about kindness, and I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're talking about kindness, I think part of it is putting aside that ego and not making it so much about you. Now, even though, it's funny, even though the story was about me, it wasn't the story I wanted to tell at the time, interestingly. And it is a true story about my family, but I truly felt like I was like, I had-- like, I was called to write that story for someone else.
[20:03] Marly Q: Well, I honor you for answering that call and stepping into that current and trusting that the project that you have on the shelf isn't a dead project, isn't something that you're going to leave there on the shelf, it's something that you're going to pick up when you're ready to answer that one, right? And the energy from what you create is everything. So, the energy wasn't in tune with it when you were first writing it, and that's why there was some resistance, why it wasn't flowing, right? Why that currency wasn't making it easy for you, you said it, this one kind of wrote itself, it was calling you, right? Because when you're in that "currency of kindness", it does feel like it's flowing. It's guiding you into like that next step, and it feels effortless even though it's a huge amount of work and effort to put out any kind of book, there was a sense of flowing to it. And I do understand, you know, how sometimes we have our ego, you know, or even our own like self-guilt inflicted, that guilt that kind of keeps us into thinking that we've got to focus on this because it's what we should do, rather than what's really real for me in this moment and having that self-love and kindness to answer what you really truly want to be working on in this moment.
And another reason why you're here today is because one of the only people that was reaching out to me to, in essence, holding me accountable to starting my podcast was YOU. You reminded me like three or four different times, whether it was through Instagram or when we would see each other at an event in person you're like, "Hey, so how's your podcast coming along?", and from the moment that I announced I wanted to start a podcast to the moment that it's actually launching or that it launched, that was a good year and a half in there, and what was I doing within that year and a half? I was transitioning into becoming a new mom and as much I wanted to hold myself accountable for what I said I was going to do and, this call, this desire that I had to start a podcast and to share my message in a bigger way, as much as I wanted to do that, my current chapter in life, my current responsibilities, what was calling my energy was my brand new baby, and my husband and my family. And I had to honor that first and launch my podcast when I'm ready. And now, you know, the energy from which I'm creating is the right one. It feels like it flows, you're here in my house, and we're having this interview, right? So, it wasn't right when I wanted it or when I said I was going to do it, I had to allow myself to feel uncomfortable, my ego to feel uncomfortable with not following through right away with what I said I was going to do by the end of the year, right? It's like, "Wait, well, who made up that timeline? Who put that pressure on me?" ME. All by myself. So, I also have the power to put that project on the shelf until I'm ready to pick you up because right now, I'm focused on something else and having the self-love and kindness to allow that to be okay, I think is a really huge lesson that I've learned in my life. I hear it in your story as well and I think it's something that's really relevant and that everybody can take and apply to their life because I think we all go through that.
[23:21] Caroline: And I think it's relevant in your podcasts, you come from a place where you can express a time to be kind differently because you know what it's like to not have time anymore, you know what it's like to be a mom and have to prioritize other things. So, in essence, that year and a half has been training you so that you can relate to people that need to hear your message more.
[23:43] Marly Q: Look at that, right? And going back to your point about you know, it's not really that everything happens for a reason, it's that everything happens in order to train you for the next thing, and we need to start learning how to just be appreciative of all of it, even though on the outside it seems like you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, you're not doing what you said you were going to do you know, you're not doing enough. Like, all of that noise, even if it's there--
[24:09] Caroline: Well, and I actually am not a believer of everything happens for a reason. In the sense that I don't know everything happens for a reason, but what I do know is that everything that happens, happened. And once it happened, then we need to look for the lesson, right? So, it may not have happened for a reason, necessarily, but the fact that it happened is training you for something bigger and therefore, we decided what that looks like.
[24:34] Marly Q: Absolutely. So, coming back to your book and on that topic, I feel that Looking Over the Edge and the story in this book is so valuable, not just for you and your family, and I don't think that you've learned all the lessons that you guys are going to learn from this story. I think there's so much more in here to unpack. There's a lot of really beautiful lessons, there's kindness weaved into this book from start to finish, what I love is that you can read it in an afternoon. I read it in a day in three different chunks with, you know, a year and a half year old baby interrupting me, but I did get to read it so, if I can read it--
[25:05] Caroline: Which I think is admirable.
[25:08] Marly Q: Right? So can you, if I can read it, right? In little chunks, so can you. But it really is an awesome read, a great story, so many beautiful lessons. Where can people buy your book?
[25:18] Caroline: On Amazon
[25:20] Marly Q: On Amazon? Great and where can they check you out and connect with you further?
[25:24] Caroline: Carolinedeposada.com.
[25:26] Marly Q: Awesome. And I know you're really active on Instagram and you share a lot, you know, about the events that you speak at, and the things that you teach about, and about your family and the lessons within, you know, your own family on your blogs. So, please, if you're listening, please connect with Caroline de Posada, follow her on Instagram, check out our website and pick up this book for yourself or someone you love, it truly is an awesome gift. Not just the book, but awesome gift to have had you here today. Thank you for joining.
[25:53] Caroline: Thank you for having me.
I sure hope this interview was as enriching for you as it was for me. Originally, we were just going to talk about her book and there ended up being so many more gold nuggets of wisdom to take away from this episode, don't you agree? Caroline generously gave me a copy of her book to give away to one of you listening.
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