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The Principles And Blueprint For Freedom And Empowerment At Work With Catherine Casey

Within the realm of work lies a profound opportunity for freedom and empowerment. In this episode, our special guest is Catherine Casey, a renowned training consultant specializing in empowering individuals and groups through the Three Principles. Today, she unveils the essence of the Three Principles and how they can revolutionize your work experience, empower people to break free from limitations, and tap into their potential. Kathy also introduces the concept of the blueprint for all human experience. She digs into finding the source of an individual’s energy, behavior, and life in order to address them and finally begin transformational change. If you're seeking greater freedom, power, and liberation in your work and life, this is the conversation for you. Tune in now and elevate your work and life!


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The Principles And Blueprint For Freedom And Empowerment At Work With Catherine Casey

My guest is Catherine Casey. She's a training consultant specializing in bringing the three principles to leaders, individuals, and groups. I know Cathy because I went to a conference in 2018. I read some books by Syd Banks, and I met Cathy. She was speaking at the conference. I was so connected to what she was saying. I wanted some of that for myself and personal empowerment.

Cathy, can you briefly share what the three principles are? Before you do, I want to do a brief intro about this show. People who read this want more freedom, power, and liberation in their work life and also in every area of life. How do the three principles do that? How do the three principles give me or anyone freedom and power at work?

This is interesting to define something that is the foundation of all human experience. Most of the time, people want to do better in their lives and be more successful, or they have issues and they're dealing with issues. I was trained as a traditional therapist, and people would come out and work on those specific issues. The principles are what we would call the foundation or the blueprint for all human experience. Instead of focusing on the issue, or we may start on the issue, I quickly want to back into what's behind not just the issue, but everything else. People get a sense of why certain things bother them. You're in a relationship and there are days when they get on our very last nerve. They just drive you.

Even if I ask people, “Think about that person,” they'll start to experience, “Yes,” and their eyes start rolling. How does that experience occur? How does that happen? The person's not even there and you're now experiencing them. That's what the principles do. They explain the phenomena of that. Not to say all after that, you'll never be bothered by that person again. There are days when they don't get on your very last nerve.

On other days when they do, now what's the variable there? They're still the same. What's creating not such a bad experience one day and like exasperation another? It's where I am. It's where my state of mind is. When people start to get hip to that, people start to be less bothered by things that they used to be bothered by, or people who feel like they're not moving in their career. They're stuck.

If you start sitting with somebody who's stuck and they're not getting anywhere, they have all this attachment and thinking about they need to get from point A to point B. What they don't realize is that's what's getting in their way. It’s this tremendous amount of thought about moving forward. When they're no longer attached to that, their minds get free and clear, and they get a wider vantage point, then they see more possibilities.

They can tap into their creativity, which is always there, regardless of how much weight they have or not. When people realize what's there and what's getting in the way of it, then they start to understand, “I'm just innocently caught up in this thing now.” That's all it is. It's an understanding of the blueprint. It’s the foundation. I have witnessed transformational change. You can't even imagine when people get a tiny inkling of what we're talking about here. It's not like a how-to. It's not like a technique. It's not like something you do. It’s something you see and understand.

Can we do a little example? I'm going to try to do this. I have known for a long time that I need to take my business online. I consult and coach. I can only physically touch so many people in a day. Some days, other people are like, “You're crazy. How do you coach eight people in one day?” I've resisted the online network. I start googling it, and then I have all these people because their cookies caught my cookies, and now they're all flooding me with emails. “Take your business online.” I get completely overwhelmed. I'll pick three that have a message that I liked, and then I start getting the prices. I'm even more overwhelmed, and then I don't do anything. How do we take everything you said and apply it to that? Does this sound familiar?

It's very familiar. I could get that way by trying to pick a flight to fly somewhere, the different routes you can take, and the different times. I've been there. You get so much information and reach a point where you can't. You're in overwhelm, and I'll walk away from it. Usually, when people are having to make a decision and they do due diligence, so you did the right thing, you went out there and checked in on what's out there, and then you get all this information, this is what happens next.

You walk away from it and you wait. What you're waiting for is this other dimension within you to give you the answer to what you should do. If you don't allow that, if you get back in there and re-examine it, you check the whole thing out, and then you step back and you go, “I don't know what to do now. I just don't know.” Here is the hard part. It is being okay with not knowing, but also being open as soon as you're okay with not knowing, that opens you up to knowing.

I'm hearing slowing down. It was you who told me, “Take your hands off the stove.” Stop engaging in this crazy-making of having to figure it out, having to do this, or having to do that. I’m doing a book called The Presence Process. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. It's with this guy named Michael Brown. I highly recommend it. It's not just meditating. It's actually slowing down the breath so that we can hear the whispers or hear the infinite intelligence. I've been getting where one, “Stop,” like, “Who said that?” Now, it was condition. I don't know, condition what? Condition my body condition my mind, condition my hair, what? It was condition. I am doing that. It’s good that I am practicing it, but tell me a little bit about that.

Could I say something a little bit further? What you're doing is brilliant. He's pointing you in that direction. I'm saying understand the nature of how we know what to do. Where does that come from?

That's what I want to know. What is that?

That is something that every human being is connected to. There are many different words to describe this. It's an intuitive knowing. It's limitless potential. It's energy. It's formless. It's universal. It's the life force. In biology, they call it the life force. In Physics, they call it energy. In religion, they call it God. In Psychology, they call it mind.

I call it the human spirit. Is that what it is?

Whatever you want to, the human spirit, the soul, these are just words describing something intangible, invisible, and formless, yet it's responsible for everything. I don't tell people what to do. I tell people what they're connected to. It is knowing what we're connected to, and knowing how we moment to moment create anything. We're creating this experience now through this energy, through our thinking, through what we see, feel, touch, and hear. We're creating that. I want people to know about that. They have their own insights about their lives, whether it's doing the business that they want to do, or they've been addicted to heroin for twenty years, or everything in between. This is having a knowing and a set of eyes versus the doing.

There are two kinds of people that read this. There are business leaders and managers who want to create a culture that is life-giving and inspiring. There are people who are saying, “I'm not liberated at work. I want freedom in what I do for a living.” What would you recommend to a business leader that wants to shape a culture and create the kind of energy that gives life and inspires everybody to slow down and allow people to settle into their own innate intelligence or wisdom? How would you suggest doing that? Cathy, they all want quick fixes.

First of all, I've worked in the corporate world. I've worked in Silicon Valley. People don't even remember when PCs were being built. This is before dot-com, so it's a very high-speed industry. It’s insane. I was lucky to be a part of a team that brought what I just described into a huge defense company. The top guy said, “If you could tell me why dedicated smart people make stupid mistakes,” because in the situation of this company, the cost of these mistakes was astronomical and the burnout rate of the people. They couldn't just hire people because of all the security clearances. They were struggling.

They brought this what I just described in as a leadership program. This is a true story.

My colleague, George Pransky, worked with the top tier ten people, the top dogs. He presented this to them. They looked at him like, “Whatever.” They didn't get it. He went home. George says, “Forget it. It's not going to work.” This guy in the company said, “No, we're going to try it again.” The next month, the same ten guys did it again. Two guys caught on.

They were, “I see what you're pointing to,” but just two. George said, “Forget it.” This guy, he's amazing. “No, we're going to do this one more time.” He brought him out again and talked about the nature of this in the context of a corporate role, being a manager, working with people who don't follow directions, and working with complex problems, silo thinking, and all that stuff.

In the third round, it kicked in. One guy didn't get it. The nine guys did. They then took it to the next level, the next tier. There was such a change in that company. It's been documented. Everything changed. The lightness in management showed up. They became more efficient. They were able to solve complex problems. They put out these fighter jets. They put out anti-stuff to keep missiles from coming in. They were dealing with super complex stuff. They had physicists, engineers, and they got it. It was so simple.

The point I'm making is if a company or leader wants to support their team, first is the leader, and then the rest of them get a sense of what this is. It has a huge impact. Mayo Clinic has been impacted by this from the top down.

What I'm hearing in layman's term is there is the mechanics of how human being works. There is slowing things down so that the adrenaline bias isn't pushing us into getting a lot of stuff done, which is how mistakes happen. We're settling into who we are and what we want to accomplish. When we slow down, that becomes available to us. It's not as simple as just going to meditation class.

People tend to have a lot of thinking about slow. In fact, when we first started presenting this, the guys were looking at us like, “You could have done this in two hours.” They couldn't hang with us. We had to stop and tell them the method to our madness, meaning we needed you to disengage to hear something. They were super smart.

I looked and said, “I'm trying to bypass your head now. If your head is zooming as it usually does, then you're not going to hear me. I'm cool with it. I'm just letting you know ahead of time. I'm trying to look at a different part of you. I'm connecting to a different part of you.” They caught on. They started to get, “We know what that is. When we get stuck, I'll walk around the campus and clear my mind to get a new solution.” They knew already. It's just that we were describing something that they didn't value or respect.

It wasn't part of the culture. This behavior is different than the go-and-go culture work, 80 hours a week, get shit done, and not necessarily think about how we can do things differently.

Anybody can be in the zone and be very active and engaging. Think of a basketball player, the great ones. They know how to play, but when they go into the game, it's not them anymore. They go into the zone. We all have that. When they're not in the game, they forget that. They have problems in their families, or they have issues with drugs or whatever. They know it on the court, but they forget about it in their life. When we would do this training, they started asking us about parenting and relationships. I can't believe I'm talking about parenting to a group of engineers. They said, “If that's true here, what about over here?” I go, “It's the same.”

Let's break it down even more. Back when I met you, you and your colleagues were saying thought, mind, and consciousness. Are you still teaching it that way?


Could you tell me?

We all know what thought is. We're thinking beings. We're all just thinking our way.

I think, therefore, I am.

We're born into thought. There's no escaping it. If you're no longer in thought, you are no longer alive. It's that simple. When I say the word thinking beings, people don't appreciate what that truly means until I have people reflect on it. Think of something funny that happens. People say, “I drive to work every day the same way. One day, I missed the exit.”

WOLI 10 | Principles For Freedom
Principles For Freedom: If you're no longer in thought, you are no longer alive.

All of a sudden, I realize too. I missed my exit. Your mind was somewhere else. You experienced that somewhere else. That's why you didn't see the exit. If it's not in your thinking, it doesn't exist. I want people to appreciate that thought is big. Anybody who's reading this, think of a time when you walked into another room, and you're like, “Why did I come in here?”

How many of us had that experience? You're looking for your glasses everywhere, but you can't find them, and you give up. You didn't have the thought that you had put them here. We're thinking beings. The more we appreciate the fact that we're in thought all the time, it's like the ocean is still out there putting waves up on the beach. Whether we see it or not, we know that's still going on. It's the same with thought, where the constant flow of thoughts always comes in. There are times when we know what we're thinking and we experience it. If I'm driving and say, “Look at that great red car,” all of a sudden, I'm now having a red car experience because I have a thought. How did that happen?

Consciousness gives me the experience of my thinking. It gives me a physical. I'm using my sight. I see a red car, and I see red. I'm having a red car experience. That's very simplistic, but we're doing this all the time. I torture people. I tell them, “Think of your most favorite food now. What is your most favorite?” I used to teach inmates in jail. They're locked up. I'd say, “Think of your most favorite.” They say, “My grandmother's enchiladas. My aunt makes this great lasagna.” All of a sudden, I said, “What's going on now?” “I can taste it. I can smell it. I can see it.” They're sitting in a cell in a room in prison, and they're experiencing their favorite food.

How did that happen? Consciousness makes your thinking. It gives you a physical, sensory experience of your thinking. Even though the enchiladas are not there physically, I'm still almost tasting them. That's consciousness. Mind is just the power that allows us to do those two things. We're connected to this source of energy life that allows us to be thinking beings and experience an enchilada in a jail cell without it being there. Mind-thought consciousness gives us our moment-to-moment experience of whatever thinking we're having. It gives us the special effects of the whole thing. We get to see, hear, and smell everything around us.

WOLI 10 | Principles For Freedom
Principles For Freedom: Consciousness makes your thinking. It gives you a physical sensory experience of your thinking.

Is the mind the power source to all?

Mind is the power source. We're talking about things that are intangible and formless, yet they're all powers. You can't have one without the other. They're just words to represent something indescribable.

Here you are in a defense company, helping them reduce stress, make less mistakes, and be happier.

We're not going in there with that intent. That's the result of it. I want to make that clear.

What's the intent?

For them to know the blueprint of how their experience comes about. We call it leadership. We put titles on things to make them relevant, but we're pointing them to the blueprint. As a result of that, then the mistakes go down and the burnout goes down.

I would call that developing the leader within.

There are so many ways to describe this. You could call it anything you want. The key thing is, for me, it's the blueprint. It doesn't matter what we call it. What I just described, I want people to know that. When they know that, then anything's possible.

You've also gone in and worked with inmates. How did you get into that? Why did you do it? What was the outcome?

It was by accident. I was in the jail system here locally in San Jose, California. I was in charge of a research project for the federal justice system. They were doing surveys, data collection, and all the cities throughout the country to find out what were the drug trends or what drugs were out on the street so that they could better fund programs, etc. My job was to interview inmates coming in to find out, “What drugs were you using out there?”

I was conducting that for the National Institute of Justice. This was putting me through grad school. I'm doing this job at night, putting me through, I had a team of interviewers and I'm sitting there while they're doing their data collection and doing the interviewing. I'm listening to women on the phones freaking out about their kids because they're locked up.

All of a sudden, it hit me, “Maybe they would benefit from knowing this.” I call my dear friend and go, “We got to teach this to inmates.” She goes, “You're kidding me.” I go, “Why not?” We wrote up a proposal, we got funded, and then we looked at each other, “Now what do we do?” We made up this program. We made up a curriculum. We got funded, and the next thing you know we're in there teaching this to inmates. Over time, there was a point where I had 100 guys in front of me learning this, and I could tell you stories about how this impacted them. Violence went down and recidivism improved.

The bottom line is it was amazing. They would hear us. At first, it was the gang guys tattooed up. They're only sitting there just to look good to the judge. “I got to take this stupid class.” At some point, they're like, “Could you say that again? What is that?” They would see it. I have this great little video where you can see them talking about this. It's awesome. At one point, we showed the videotape to the business guys at this defense company.

George says, “We're going to show them the tape of the inmates.” I go, “Maybe not.” He said, “No, we're going to do this.” Do you know what was amazing? At one point, at the end of the video, the business guys loved it. “Who's harder to teach this stuff, to us or them?” I go, “What do you think? We're probably harder, aren't we?” The inmates knew what I was doing in the corporate world, “Cathy, who's harder to learn this, them or us?” I go, “What do you think?” “We're probably easy because we know we've screwed up.” It's so amazing because what we were teaching was universal but in a different context. It was universally the same for both.

How has knowing the blueprint impacted your personal life?

A night and day different. I was a very intense person you describe, go and go, work and work, achieve and achieve. I had an edge. I'm the oldest of ten, so I probably learned that growing up. I could get the job done. People loved me. I got a reference from this woman I used to work for, and I used her as a reference. They called her. The guy looks at me and says, “Do you want to hear what she said about you?” I said, “I guess.” She said, “You can walk on water. You're hired.” I had that in me. The thing is I was so burnt out. I loved what I did, but it took a toll on me. Being a big people person on the weekends, I didn't want to deal with anybody. What I didn't realize was I was walking around in a ton of thought while I was doing what I was doing. This is the problem.

You have competent, brilliant people walking around in this. It feels heavy. It feels like we're always striving and we're working against the tide or whatever you want to call that. When I started to learn this, it was like, “I don't need that.” The other part of me is making me successful, not this extra achieve and achieve. My life changed. I went from feeling this intensity and urgency to taking things as they come and taking care of business. I did just as much traveling. I was traveling all over the world. It didn't have that impact because I wasn't in all this intense thinking while I was doing what I was doing. I became very successful. I still did all that I did, but it didn't take a toll on me physically, but not mentally.

It sounds like you were still successful, but you were now fulfilled, and you could enjoy your success because you were more present.

We don't talk about trying to be present. I want people to know what presence is. It's in us all the time.

What is it?

It's our mind's being free and clear. That means I'm either in me, “How's Cathy doing?” or I'm out with you. As soon as I'm with you and connecting with you, Cathy disappears. When our minds are free and clear out of the blue, we slip into it. It’s there already. It's not like you get it and put it back in. Our free and clear minds are there already. We slip into it. All of a sudden, I come out of Cathy, and I'm now with you. When I'm with you, and I'm just with you right now, time disappears, things are light, and things are connected.

Presence is when our minds are free and clear.

In my book, Ignite Culture, we talk about that as level four generative. It's like we're connecting. You taught me this soul-to-soul. We're truly with each other. There isn't anything else there.

You got hit though. It's amazing because I know you're sponsoring so that a lot of people can get certain things from this. I get you're facilitating, but when I said what I said, you stopped and you got hit. That's what we're talking about. That part in you recognizes. We recognize this. This is not new. We recognize we're in this already. We just forgot.

We forget all the time because of the way we've been enculturated in the world of work, at least the way I was. For as ever many years as I've been working since I've been eighteen, you go to work and you are productive every second of the day. Productive means looking busy. It’s doing this and doing that.

In this big company we were working in, when they saw what you just said, they said, “Cathy, if we don't look urgent and serious, they think we're not.” I go, “Pretend like, ‘I'm working really hard.’” You're going to get what you need to get done. You're right. People are conditioned. We have to look or be a certain way. Pretend, but once they see that you're productive and that you're doing a good job, after a while, they won't care what you look like. If you do a good job, that's all they care about. The bottom line is we're innocently programmed that way.

We're innocently programmed to look busy to seem productive.

Let's say somebody wants to do this work with you directly. How do they find you?

Email. That's the only way. I don't do Facebook.

What's your email address? There's a whole story with that. That's how people find me.

Let's say somebody wants to do this work for themselves. They say, “I loved that moment in time when Cathy and Marg connected and I want that.” They get it and they work with you. They want to tell their boss about this thing and they think that the company should do some work on these three principles. How do they talk about it?

I've done a few programs where part one is seeing this for yourself. It is seeing the truth in this, and not me telling you. It is me having you look at your life to see how that did happen.

I did that program with you. You were up in my living room. We looked at the wall of thought and it was a great three days.

You seeing it for yourself, that's the first thing. Then part two is, “Now that I see this for myself, how is this playing out with a client or an organization? What set of eyes do I want to have on that?” At the end of that, then we talk about, “How do I engage an individual or group to see the possibility of this? How would I go about this?” That would be the final piece. First, we call it grounding. I like to say the more I just see this play out in me, Cathy, the deeper I see that for myself, then it's really easy to go, “That's what's going on. That's the deal.” It is helping them see that. There's a way to go about that. You don't want to go there until you really do this first part.

That's the premise of my entire book. You have to take care of the leader within before you start pointing over there at everybody else.

That's what I do with people. I've done a couple of groups doing that. Also, I'm designing a program where I do more about having this curiosity with a leader about what their take is on what's going on in the organization. On the surface, they could say, “We don't have enough money.” They see the problem here, but I want to get more curious. What do you mean you don't have enough money? You take it more vertically. You start with money when actually it's something else.

I do a program on how we get with people from a vertical place to the point where you're backing them into the blueprint is what you're doing for them to realize, “I see why I'm stuck. I think it's money when it's actually this or that.” I'm designing a program because people are asking for that more than anything. Once they learn this for themselves, how do I engage with others?

That's for the company part. I imagine if somebody works with you like I did and starts to look at my own wall of thought, everybody has separate realities. I am not in tune with their reality that it just makes people better communicators and gives them more compassion and empathy. I don't want to put you on the spot, but I'm going to put together a summit. There's going to be one summit for igniting culture. It's myself and the book is promoting it, but I'm bringing together all of the teachers who have ever made a difference for me in my life. We're going to host a two-day summit where people come on and talk about their unique skillset of how they create transformation in themselves and their organizations. Would you be my guest on that?


I'm going to do another summit for women called Ignite Your Power. It's going to be all women for women. Would you want to be a guest on that?

Absolutely. That's my biggest dream. I was working with a lot of men. Look out for what you asked for because I said I wanted to work with women. They've got a lot on their plate. They're out there being professionals. I thought, “This is it for me.” I ended up working with thousands of women, but not in Silicon Valley, not professional women. I ended up working with Orthodox Jewish women throughout the world. I'm like, “How did that happen?” Again, look out for what you asked for. I love teaching women. I’d sign up for anything helping women with this.

Thank you so much for being my guest. I miss you.

You look fabulous. You look younger.

I feel younger. I went to Peru. I did two weeks in the jungle, and I have to do a show to share about that.

It’s that spirit within. You're so much lighter than when I first met you.

Thank you so much.

My pleasure.

I will be in touch.

Take care.

Important Links

About Catherine Casey

WOLI 10 | Principles For Freedom

Catherine has been teaching, coaching and training a wide range of people in many different environments throughout the world for the past 20 years.

Catherine has implemented a coaching Based Resiliency Program in Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, California, one of the largest public hospitals in the United States.

She also pioneered the first coaching based program in the Santa Clara County, CA jail system and San Quentin Prison, CA. For the past 20 years, as a result of her work, thousands of inmates have been exposed to the three principles.

She has conducted training of trainer programs in Belgium, Israel, Finland, Norway and Russia.

Catherine’s passion and vision is to reignite the resiliency and wisdom in all persons in any environment. She currently lives in San Jose, California.


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