Episode 5: Katherine Redlus #COVID Coping Now

Episode Synopsis:

You’ve been asking for it, and she is here for her 10xTotalPodcast debut. Katherine Redlus, my daughter, follows up our Thanksgiving 2019 co-authored article entitled, “Gratitude and Thanksgiving” with a 50-minute gem of rich content and conversation during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. As many of you know, Katherine attempted suicide in August 2018, and has taken that moment in her life to learn and transform herself. She shares many of those learnings including building and fortifying an inner fortress, self soothing, meditation, and other practical tools that seem especially relevant to what everyone is going through across the world today. In addition, I have a special co-host for this episode, Paul Castaldo. Paul is a colleague and dear friend, and when interviewing your own child, it’s important to do that with someone that you trust. We hope that you enjoy one of my favorite episodes.

About Katherine Redlus

You can visit Katherine Redlus at http://www.katherineredlus.com

Katherine’s blogs, music samples, and updated keynotes and concert information can be found here. You can also hear music from her debut album, Brutal Waltz, on Spotify or purchase select tracks or the album on iTunes.

About Paul Castaldo

You can learn a little more about Paul by visiting him at Tridiuum at https://tridiuum.com/about/#meet-the-team

About References to Stoicism

You can learn more about “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday and other of his related works at http://www.ryanholiday.net which are available on Amazon and Audible for reading and listening, respectively.

References to Marcus Aurelius and more can be found also on Amazon and Audible for more in-depth review of Stoic source materials.

Finally, Tim Ferriss also provides one of the most comprehensive stoicism resources and recommendations lists on the Internet.  You can find and explore here: https://tim.blog/stoic/



Mark Redlus [00:00:10] Welcome to a very special episode five of the 10 X Total Health Podcast hosted by me, Mark Redlus. Today, I’m joined by two people. The first, a special guest host, Paul Castaldo, who happens to be the Chief Development Officer of Tridiuum, working with me in my day job. And a special guest, my daughter, Katherine Redlus, singer, songwriter, performer, blogger and recently speaker around a passion that we both share — mental health. As some of you who follow Katherine and have read the article that we co-wrote this past Thanksgiving, know, Katherine attempted suicide in August of 2018 during an especially challenging time in her life where hopelessness abounded. Many of you have reached out to me personally, wanting to hear more from Katherine as a follow up to our coauthored article entitled “Gratitude and Thanksgiving.” Well, here’s your chance to really hear from her! As you might imagine, it’s pretty difficult to interview your own child. So I’ve enlisted the help of Paul Castaldo, who, as I mentioned at the top, is the Chief Development Officer of Tridiuum. In addition to being a critical member of our executive team, Paul has a clinical background in social work and his most recent job before coming to Tridiuum included leading behavioral health for Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. Paul is a dear friend, and it was important to me, given the guest and the delicate subject matter, that we team up for this episode. Since we recorded this episode during the COVID-19 crisis, we spend a great deal of time discussing our various experiences during the pandemic, the quarantine, and the impact that’s having on our own psychology and the psychology of those around us. Katherine builds on themes that she began to frame up in the Thanksgiving 2018 article around building an inner fortress or citadel, self-care and practical tools and steps people can take right now if feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.

Mark Redlus [00:02:17] It goes without saying that we are not providing clinical advice, but rather shared experiences and tools that have worked for each of us. It’s up to you to explore these ideas and see what works for you. As always, a full transcription of this episode is available at 10 X Total podcast dot com that’s 1 0 X Total podcast dot com. We also will be posting links to references brought up during the course of the episode by our guest and our hosts. If you enjoy the episode, please feel free to drop us a line by visiting our web site and saying so. Now, without further ado, please enjoy this very special episode with my daughter, Katherine Redlus.

Mark Redlus [00:03:11] All right. We are coming to you live from parts unknown. So today we’ve got me Mark Redlus, Katherine Redlus and Paul Castaldo — it’s really good to be with these two.

Mark Redlus [00:03:28] We thought we would do a podcast sequel to an article that Katherine and I wrote this past Thanksgiving. That was just a real joy to write. And a lot of folks out there have asked to hear more from Katherine. And I thought, who better to do more from Katherine than Katherine herself? But I also asked one of my colleagues to join me and a friend, Paul Castaldo, who both Katherine and Paul will introduce themselves in a second. But this is an opportunity to spend thirty five to forty minutes kind of following up on that and also branching out into some new areas, given the fact that we are kind of right in the center of this COVID-19 pandemic crisis in this country. For posterity, this podcast will undoubtedly live past COVID-19. So I’m really excited to spend time with Katherine and Paul today. I think it’ll be easier if we let everybody introduces themselves. I’ll do the the last intro myself, but maybe Katherine could kick us off.

Katherine Redlus [00:04:35] So I’m glad to be here. I am a singer, songwriter and harpist. I was primarily a classical musician until I was about twenty six, which I think is important to know for a lot of what we’ll talk about today. And now I work a lot with electronic music. I work with an electric harp and compose and perform my own music. And I’m also a speaker and an advocate for health and wellness, specifically mental health for artists. And so my dad and I share that passion, which is is really great. And it’s been fun.

Paul Castaldo [00:05:09] Hi, I’m Paul Castaldo. I’ve had a long career in mental health. Most recently, I’m the Chief Development Officer for Tridiuum where I work with Mark. Prior to that, I. I ran a behavioral health service for Southern California Kaiser for many years. And my training is originally as a social worker, a psychiatric social worker. Happy to be here.

Mark Redlus [00:05:35] It’s so fun to do this with you guys. And I always enjoy this because five to 10 minutes in it gets so much more comfortable and conversational, but it seems always like a natural thing to to record these podcasts and do this. But the audience, I think, will enjoy this. This is really good for those of you out there listening to this, We, we did kind of 20 or 30 minutes a couple of months ago, maybe a month and a half ago. And it was just a great 20 minutes. We probably all have to dig it up and put that in an archive somewhere. There’s some great stuff in there and gems, but I’m sure we’ll cover some of that. Mark Redlus, that’s who this person is. That’s talking to you right now.

Mark Redlus [00:06:19] I am the most of the time CEO of Tridiuum that Paul started to talk about there. Tridiuum is a digital behavioral health software company, platform company and we power behavioral health interactions. And those behavioral interactions for the most part include areas of mental health and substance use. And we support, I guess, close to 6,000 providers on a daily basis and power more than 10,000 patient interactions every day on our products. And as Katherine said, we share this pursuit and interest in mental health awareness and raising that up. I’ve been with the company now six years. I’ve been the CEO for just a little over, I guess two and a half years. And it’s just a joy to get to to work on such inspired stuff and inspired work. So I guess I wanted to kick it off a little bit, to, to recognize that we are in a unique times, these times. Include this COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which is an evolving situation, and maybe just ask, Katherine, how are you doing with this?

Katherine Redlus [00:07:44] Oh (laughs) I get to go first?

Mark Redlus [00:07:47] It seems fitting. Think that would be perfect.

Katherine Redlus [00:07:50] OK. So I am… The positive thing is I’m doing a lot better than I would have a few years ago and we can talk more about why, but this is the time where whatever tools you have to manage your own anxiety and issues and we’re all dealing with crisis points, whether that’s at work or at home or a combination of both. No matter what you do and a lot of my work right now is in concert production. And of course, that’s been hit really hard in New York City, as you can imagine. And it is very stressful. And but with all of that. Considered. I am doing better than I could have ever expected. Still meditating, still, still doing what I what I can and cultivating practices that kind of helped me through and taking it a day and a week at a time. So that’s mainly where I’m at. And then feeling a little bit sad, definitely about going back to New York. I’m in Florida. My husband and I came. Bryan, and I came down to Florida when we felt like New York City was getting a little scary. And that’s proved to be a really good thing for both of our mental health and spaces. But definitely sad about going back and so just trying to kind of process things each day.

Mark Redlus [00:09:09] Thanks, Katherine. I mean, yeah, it’s New York is a tough place right now. And and, you know, we obviously send our best to everybody there…it’s very challenging. Paul, how are you doing?

Paul Castaldo [00:09:25] Well, all things considered, I’d have to say that I’m super fortunate. We’re about a month into sheltering in place, and I suppose, like everyone else, a little bit afraid, sort of isolated. But mostly just coping on the fly. You know, you you’re not being able to do all the things you normally do and have access, particularly to all the people that you normally have access to in the ways you normally do. Really is requires a lot of new ways of trying to, you know, feel like life’s OK. And so we’re just coping on the fly here. Pretty fortunate, really.

Mark Redlus [00:10:10] Yeah. I think as of this recording, I think we’re all and our families are relatively healthy and we’re together. So its just… Count our blessings, I think at this point. Paul, you want to take it from here?

Paul Castaldo [00:10:29] Well, Mark, I mean, you’ve been such a source of strength during this time, but what’s been particularly challenging for you during this time?

Mark Redlus [00:10:39] Yeah, I I you know, I was I started thinking as we were kind of preparing for the podcast about things that are challenging and and also things that have been really good. And… You know, I think from a challenging perspective, I think it’s frustrating. I’m sure everybody feels this way. It’s it’s been frustrating to see people how how many people are suffering right now. And I don’t mean necessarily from COVID directly, you know, having having a reaction or from being infected. But but from a situational impact standpoint, you know, economically and psychologically, which is, you know, we’re going to cover a lot in this conversation. But, you know, so many family members that are connected to me are struggling to feel vital during this time. And, and at the same time and Paul, you and I have been on these conversations with behavioral health clinicians. You know, we’re hearing that they are starting to be challenged. And I just wrote an article this past Sunday posted up on LinkedIn. How much they’re challenged with experiencing the same feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, depression, you know, and more, that their patients are feeling. And right alongside of their patients and how challenging it is to be present for their patients when when they’re kind of knocked off off kilter. And I just think that that’s that’s been tough to hear and see. And I think a lot about that. I definitely am, am concerned for kind of the general well-being of folks at this point. So so that’s kind of what’s been challenging, I think, from my perspective.

Paul Castaldo [00:12:26] It reminds me a lot, Mark, of 9/11. During that time, I was a director of behavioral health care for Medical Center. I remember during that time having so many conversations with clinicians who were so frightened either because well, because of what just happened or just shook up over that or they had family in the military and they were part of everyone’s trauma about it. And they weren’t used to helping patients while going through the same things patients were going through. Exactly. Exactly. So how do they maintain that sort of professional distance and how do they be available for them? And I think I spend all my time, all my time for probably two weeks just checking in on people, just sort of asking how they were and letting them talk to me. And it was sort of like, OK, I got a patient now. So they’re..

Mark Redlus [00:13:26] Yeah.

Paul Castaldo [00:13:28] But there are people.

Mark Redlus [00:13:31] Yeah, they are. And and well. No, I think I think, you know, we talked about this or I wrote in the piece that I think these are kind of the next line of heroes that are going to emerge. This kind of… I wouldn’t even say it’s delayed, but I think that surge, that mental health surge is coming. And I think that is something obviously we’re helping to prepare for at Tridiuum. But, you know, clinicians themselves. The intensity is picking up. It already is picked up has picked up. But there’s there’s more coming and way more than probably we can even guesstimate at right now. So it’s it’s very serious. What’s going on out there. But, you know, on the other on the flip side of that, something that’s been really surprising and good. are, you know, we talked about this just before the podcast, the folks in our company at Tridiuum. They’ve they have been performing at such inspired level in both tempo and work quality and the product quality that’s been coming out of every everybody’s efforts. I was interviewed on a podcast, as you guys know, like a week or two ago, and we’re talking about leadership in these times. And while I’m certainly leading, I think the people in our company are also kind of, and maybe they don’t realize this, but they’re propping me up a lot and inspiring me. And, and I think, you know, we all have our moments where we are anxious and have doubts, especially around this time. You know, what’s tomorrow going to be aside for being Groundhog Day, which I think everybody can identify with. But, you know, I think the key is that when you’re around people that feel like they’re making a difference and you feel like you’re making difference and you feel vital, you know, inspiration catches and it’s awesome. It’s super inspiring to see the work.

Paul Castaldo [00:15:28] So I have a great experience of that just in my home. And Mark, I’ve spoken to that about this recently. My wife is the Chief Nursing Officer in our local hospital and our community has been hit reasonably hard. And so she’s right in the middle of trying to lead a hospital through this. And. She comes home every day and we debrief. And so I get to be part of her resiliency plan, if you will, because there’s a lot of really high stress stuff that’s happening there between just the shortages and the death and the illness. And just the people don’t always you know… There’s that old saying, “crisis reveals character.” Well, it’s it’s really true. And so at the same time, she’s doing that, she’s dealing with very different sort of work relationships than she’s experienced before. And so I get to hear all that and I get to help her with that, which is really great. And I’m actually pretty inspired by how resilient she is. I get to listen in on their daily calls couple of times a day. But I hear now that things are beginning to get a little better in California where I live, that the team is really frayed. So the sort of the mental health aspects of this. Now I think are really starting to show for those caregivers. And I think that they’re going to be really, really hard hit in the coming months.

Mark Redlus [00:17:14] Yeah, you get this feeling of fatigue, you get the sense of real fatigue. And folks are just super tired. And, you know, and I was on a call with some investment folks this morning. Analysts for for the economy and markets. And they’re like, yeah, we’re we’re kind of like we view this is we’re… We’re not….We’re closer to the end in the beginning, but we’re pretty close to the middle. And that is sobering to think about. So your wife is a total hero in this. And just you know, I know it’s it’s a lot for all of you, but we’re all very grateful for it, so.

Paul Castaldo [00:17:54] Well, it’s kind of fun. It’s kind of fun to get to see our kid, to see how heroic she is. So that’s been really cool.

Mark Redlus [00:18:05] It’s awesome.

Mark Redlus [00:18:07] Katherine, how about you? If you were to kind of look at …I know your work is it’s kind of complicated right now and challenging, but what are what what’s the most challenging thing that you’re kind of either witness to or have seen? And then the flipside of that, what are you what do you see as the you know, the other side of that? What are some things that have surprised you to the upside during this?

Katherine Redlus [00:18:33] Oh, wow. So, first of all, I didn’t realize that you your wife was the Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital. It’s incredible to hear that. And I’m glad things are going better in California. That’s good to hear. In terms of back to your question, Dad, in terms of…How things are going. I think what’s different about this vs. a 9/11 or I was… I lived in York City during Sandy and kind of weathering that. The way this is different is that this is ongoing. And so as opposed to, you know, how…how terrible 9/11 was. It was an event that happened and stopped and people were able to go through the process of grieving. And this is so ongoing that it keeps re-triggering people. We don’t know the timeline of when it will actually be done. So there’s a sense of uncertainty, which, as I mentioned, working in the business I do for my day, my quote unquote, day job. It’s very, very stressful because there’s no end date. Exactly. And we’re going off what the city tells us. So there’s that stress. In terms of people that I have to interact with and we talked about this a little bit, I’m discovering sort of not surprisingly that people have people really in general do not self-soothe very well. By and large, people do not have a practice of kind of calming themselves and looking at things rationally. I think humans are mostly emotional creatures and our logic comes in second place. And unfortunately, what I’m seeing in my my work is that people are just reacting and making rash decisions. A great example of this and this happened during other crises is in our country, including the financial collapse, collapse back in 2008. But our neighbors here in Florida, the day that the market plunged, she pulled out her entire retirement savings. And my grandfather here just was horrified. Why would she do that? And so I’m seeing a lot of things like that, which is very frustrating, but at the same time, having a lot of trying to have a lot of compassion. But just before we got on this call, I had to talk with someone who was trying to cancel something in November for a concert. And that’s just doesn’t make any sense. So dealing with a lot of that, which is it’s a lot.

Paul Castaldo [00:21:09] You know Katherine, when we talked last week, when we had her talk before the podcast, we talked a great deal about how… I’m going to paraphrase how you sort of have worked to develop your internal resources, your resiliency following your suicide attempt and how it became so important for you to… I think you called it your inner fortress, I think. And. And I wonder, you know, certainly I would imagine that you’ve needed that lately. What have you learned out? What would you have learned about it during this time? Has it revealed something to you that you hadn’t thought of before, or has it made you feel stronger than you thought, given you an idea of more ways in which you need to solidify it? Just curious.

Katherine Redlus [00:22:13] Yeah, that’s a good question. So there’s a couple or several questions in there. So I’ll start with… How I think your question was how I kind of developed the inner fortress, which I stole from Marcus Aurelius, who was a stoic and ruler…

Paul Castaldo [00:22:35] He’ll never find out you stole…

Katherine Redlus [00:22:37] Yeah, he’s he’s dead. But i fear… If anyone has if anyone knows about stoicism, they’ll be like she ripped that off…So his idea is that you need to cultivate an inner citadel and specifically for the times we’re all going through whatever we’re dealing with and especially sounds like your wife as well. This idea that every day Marcus Aurelius cultivated, this idea that every day you’ll encounter… He words it very colorfully, but essentially you’ll encounter people who are hysterical and idiotic and incompetent, and that is life. And you have to be prepared to deal with that instead of surprised that people are that way, because that’s the essence of human nature. And it sounds kind of egotistical, but it’s really pragmatic that you because you and I see this all the time in New York City in general, people are always like, oh, you know, how can people be so incompetent? How can people be so slow to respond? And all of this? It’s like because that’s the way people are. And once you kind of lower your expectations around that, it becomes much easier to actually handle things directly rather than living in a state of reaction and in shock and surprise. So cultivating that attitude that I’m going to encounter challenges every day so I’m not I don’t need to be surprised by them. It seems that we have kind of a financial recession every 10 years. So we don’t need to be shocked that we’re experiencing recession. We don’t need to be shocked about these things because they happen. You know, that’s what’s that’s what’s been happening. So it’s uncomfortable, but that attitude has helped a lot. I think before my attempt, you know, I worked a lot in self-development and cultivating better attitudes. And by and large, I was successful. But the key missing component was this attitude that you’re going to have incredible obstacles, you’re going to have horrific things happen. And far from that, being a source of something that makes you depressed or more anxious, you can kind of relax with the knowing that you will encounter obstacles. So the question isn’t. Will you or won’t you encounter things that are terrifying? But what are you going to do? And how are you going to show up within those situations? And so partially because I was hospitalized and suicidal, I chose even in that moment to this is one of the things I’m proud of to learn from it and go, what did I miss here? How can I? How could I do this better? How could I avoid this in the future and cultivate a real plan for my health, not just for my survival. So I think taking each scenario that you find yourself in and going, how do I want to show up here? What can I learn from this is is really helpful. And so that’s been key… And then I’m trying to remember your other question.

Paul Castaldo [00:25:32] Well, it’s OK, because I do want to say something to you listening to you right now. When we talked before you started by telling the story about your suicide attempt and calling your Dad and. In a way, what you’re describing now in terms of dealing with this this crazy crisis where so much is unknown and focusing on keeping yourself strong and capable, taking some kind of perspective on it so that you can move through, it is exactly the opposite of what that moment was like for you in your life where you were so… You were you were considering ending your life. It couldn’t be any more different. And that’s that’s really great to hear. It really is the exact. It’s like turning it inside out.

Katherine Redlus [00:26:26] I totally agree. And at the start of this, Bryan and I, my husband and I, he turned to me and said he just looked at me with that kind of look that only your spouse can look at you with and just said, hey, we’ve been through much worse, so we’re gonna get through this. And we both know what that means. So part of it is that I’ve just I’ve been through personally much, much worse, not just that moment, but moments before with with family and with my mom in particular. And so I’m more I’m more confident in my ability to navigate crisis. That’s not to say I don’t have sad moments, but it’s it’s not the same. Yeah.

Paul Castaldo [00:27:07] Well, it’s like what I said, crisis reveals a lot. And so in your case, it also reveals the great progress you’ve made in strengthening yourself. Awesome.

Mark Redlus [00:27:20] Katherine You know, it’s it’s awesome to get to sit and listen to you get interviewed and I… I I’m so glad I got to throw a few questions in there. You and I obviously talk more often than this podcast, but we’ve talked about this in the past. But, you know, with your inner fortress and citadel, do you have any tools or books that or anything that have been particularly helpful for you? You mentioned Marcus Aurelius, so I figure this is my by chance. So I don’t forget that have been helpful for you in helping to do that. I get the sense that, you know, when the student is ready, the master will appear. So this isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart if you’re not ready to lean in. But anything you would you would kind of highlight there.

Katherine Redlus [00:28:16] Yeah. So it depends on not …just speak to your comment about not for the faint of heart. Depends on where you’re at. So if you are really receptive to this kind of topic that we’re talking about, about cultivating an inner citadel and you’re ready to go all in. I would say the place to start is is definitely stoicism. It’s not going to conflict with anyone’s religious ideas or religion. And it will definitely bolster your personal philosophy towards struggle, which is very important right now. So I would say that’s a great place to start. Ryan Holiday’s books, as you know, Dad, are phenomenal. And I would say if you’re looking for something that’s going to help you right now. His book, The Obstacle is the Way, is a great entry point into stoicism. That’s very easy to read. Definitely takes time to absorb the concepts, but will be a great starting place. And there’s actually I think if I remember correctly, Dad, you can correct me if I’m wrong. I believe in the back of the book. It’s been awhile since I read it, but I think there is a resource guide to guide you to further reading on stoicism. And if there is not, you can type in Tim Ferris and Stoicism. And I know he has a resource list that will guide you in the right direction as well. So yeah.

Mark Redlus [00:29:34] Yep, that’s right. And you know, you mentioned The Obstacle is the Way, you’re the one who turned me on to that. And I wouldn’t call it required reading for the executive team. But I think a lot of the folks on the Tridiuum executive team, you know, have read that. And it it was just weeks before COVID kind of emerged as, you know, a real dynamic situation that many folks had started it, and we’re kind of finishing it as this thing started to really heat up. And I can’t think of a better book that I’ve I’ve read in the last five years for this moment in time. And, you know, all all credit to Ryan Holiday on that. But, you know, in that in that book, you’re right, there are there are materials referencing other other stoic pieces, stoic materials and and the audio version, the audible version, there is a is like a commercial for Ryan holiday. We should we should get some kind of commission fee for this.

Katherine Redlus [00:30:33] But I feel like that every time I mentioned him for sure.

Mark Redlus [00:30:37] Yeah. We’ve rarely sold more of his books in the last month than anybody. But but but in the audio version there’s actually an embedded Tim Ferriss – Ryan Holiday podcast in The Audible. And so it’s an interview. It’s really good. So I think a lot of that makes it very accessible. But it’s a short book and it’s very simple to read. But it is not simple to digest, which I think you kind of mentioned there. So it’s a really great it’s a great starting point.

Katherine Redlus [00:31:09] Yeah, and it’s a it’s a great entry point for kind of what what Paul was saying earlier about how this is really a 180 for me in terms of surviving crisis from my last big crisis, which was unfortunately my suicide attempt. I chose to not just survive that, but to learn from it and use it as a redirect. And just like that was a moment for me. This can be that moment for anyone listening. So if you feel like, wow, I haven’t survived crisis well before, this is another crisis. You know, what do I do? This is your chance. This is your opportunity to ask yourself, how do I want to show up now? You can choose to pause and take a breath and learn from what’s happening at any moment, no matter how challenging it is. You know, I’m scared for my personal income. I’m I’m scared for my friends who are in New York right now who are isolating in place. And… But that isn’t an excuse to freak out and lash out at everyone around me. I’m actively choosing how I want to show up for people, how I want to speak. I want to handle myself. And everyone has that that ability. We just have to take the time.

Paul Castaldo [00:32:26] I think that we see at times like this that people gravitate towards that sort of message. They think it’s a natural part of being a human being that you try to create meaning at times like this. And the voices that help you do that, you want to listen to the ones that don’t, upset you. And so I think that’s what I’m learning in listening to you, how you’ve taken so many of the challenging things in your life and really tried to create meaning as a result of them. Yes, you had you had your moments where you didn’t think it was worth it. But you’ve done it and you’re continuing to do it just the way you’re talking about your response to these challenges right now, it’s very impressive.

Katherine Redlus [00:33:21] Yeah, the meaning piece is is so important because without meaning, I mean, what’s what’s the point? Right. You have and the thing is that we all sometimes forget in certain moments of fear and struggle as we all have to go through this, we don’t get a choice. There’s no like option B where we curl under the covers and ignore this and wake up and everything’s OK. We’re all going to go through this challenge. And so it’s up to us if we come out better or worse for the wear. That’s really the only issue is…

Paul Castaldo [00:33:54] But People try right? and it’s super not healthy to try.

Katherine Redlus [00:33:57] Yeah, exactly right.

Paul Castaldo [00:33:59] And you’ve been there, right?

Paul Castaldo [00:34:00] I mean, you you hear folks who still talk about what’s happening now as if it’s not a thing. There. It’s those voices are more muted now. And many people have been sort of convinced also, though, those folks are who are trying to get through something by denial and refuse to deal with the reality of it usually end up the most injured.

Katherine Redlus [00:34:30] Yes. Because they don’t grow from it. They don’t get the opportunity to grow and get stronger, which is at the core of stoicism as well. But also a lot of religions. Right. The idea of being put to the test and becoming stronger. So, yeah, you’re just gonna miss the lesson and then you’ll have to go through this again and, you know, five to ten years. And, you know, it’s just going to keep happening until you learn the lesson and grow.

Mark Redlus [00:34:57] I think that’s such a big thing that you both have been talking about there, this idea of and and maybe I’m reading or interpreting it in this way, but there’s real power in an acknowledgement. And I think this comes out, you know, again, in “The Obstacle is the Way”. But that acknowledgement of this is terr… You know, this is not fun. This is terrible. It’s more terrible for certain people than others. But no one finds this to be a great moment in our in our time, for the most part. And and I think being able to say that out loud and maybe saying it on this podcast that, you know, we hear we totally get you. All of you out there, we feel the same way. And it’s really just kind of how you process through this and what you take from it. That’s going to define you now, but also later. So I think that’s a really powerful thing to just acknowledge and say out loud.

Katherine Redlus [00:35:57] Yeah, I think to speak to that point. This is a great time to talk about something that is happening a little bit right now. So if you feel like, oh, you know, what we’re all saying is, is just positivity, it’s just fake positivity and and self-development nonsense, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I am so anti-positivity non-sense that just drives me crazy. So stoicism is the opposite of that, right? And you know, you see people who are in the self-development world who are really like positive thinking wins and, you know, positive this and that and law of attraction, you know, God Bless if you believe in law of attraction, that’s fine. But, you know, it’s it’s it’s own thing. And that whole like visualize and be positive and blah blah blah. That isn’t really going to help you right now because you actually have to be able to acknowledge that it’s bad like what you were saying, Dad. And so…There’s a difference between being positive and that’s leading to a lot of people trying to ignore what’s happening and being pragmatic and having kind of internal fortitude to get through crises. That’s what you want. And that doesn’t mean being pessimistic. It means looking at things as they are and having a vision for the future. So hopefully that’s the takeaway rather than, you know, you don’t have to go vision board and list positive affirmations unless that’s really helping you.

Mark Redlus [00:37:27] So you’re saying I need to get rid of my vision board?

Katherine Redlus [00:37:29] Get rid!… throw it out now. (laughs)

Mark Redlus [00:37:32] I put a lot of work into that vision board.

Paul Castaldo [00:37:36]  In another way. Remember I was talking before about how I’m hearing the health care professionals begin to really fray now that things are getting a little more under control for them. I think there’s there’s kind of a sort of an adaptive way this all happens sometimes that runs the same course when you’re in the middle of something and you don’t have the luxury of paying attention to everything that’s really bad about it because it’s either too overwhelming or because you have to function at a super high level and people are depending on you. That’s the that’s a similar thing to not not acknowledging the thing would be bad. Right. But then you you reach a point where you don’t have to do that anymore. And that’s the crash, right? That that’s that’s when it crashes. And that’s just that’s the same sort of process to somebody who is dealing with tremendous stressors, whatever they are, the sorts of things you dealt with with your mom, Katherine, and you reach a point where you keep trying to stuff it in. And then you can’t anymore. It’s the same sort of normative process that we’ve been talking about. Unfortunately, the folks on the front lines of this right now don’t have the luxury of processing it like you and I can. And that’s why that’s why I’m really worried about them.

Katherine Redlus [00:39:05] Right. Exactly. That is the big concern. And I have talked about that as well. It’s it’s definitely coming. I think, you know, it’s not even healthy. You can’t. You definitely can’t process it and it wouldn’t be healthy for you to be weeping as you’re dealing with a patient. So, yeah, it is a different ballgame entirely. It’s it’s very stressful.

Mark Redlus [00:39:30] Katherine, we we you know, we wanted to keep this to certain time, so… I’d love to for people to hear about kind of what you’re passionately kind of working on this kind of convergence of mental health and entertainment. You have your own blog and you’re writing your own pieces on this and in this work and yet COVID has taken a front seat. And maybe that’s a little bit of a backseat today. We could do it this again. This is great. But people, I think, are kind of really interested or very interested in your story. I get a lot of outreach still, about your music and your blogs and and now podcasts. As… As of today. But you want to talk a little bit about that and kind of what you’re working on?

Katherine Redlus [00:40:19] Yeah, so I did quite a few speaking engagements last year. Obviously, live events have taken a back burner. So to answer your question, yes, things are a little bit on the back burner in that regard right now until things are back up and running. But I do have a blog. I write a lot about the convergence of creativity and wellness. And we have talked a little bit before about kind of what I’m most passionate about is an idea that I was trapped in for a long time, which is the idea that you have to or it’s OK to suffer or even inevitable to suffer with mental illness to some degree, even anxiety, depression, which is what I’ve experienced and be an artist, that they go hand in hand and that the degree to which your suffering is the degree to which you have some level of genius or talent or something to say with your art. And that’s really rampant still in the arts. The tide is starting to turn. There are more reasons, resources now than ever for artists, including things like backline, which is a way to line up artists with mental health, especially artists that are on the road, on touring, you know, on tours throughout the United States and the world. So there are more resources, but it’s still woefully inadequate. And unfortunately, the mentality is still running rampant that, you know, you have to be struggling to be a real artist. So that’s that’s really at the core of what I’m trying to kind of open people’s eyes around that actually, the degree that you’re healthy is the degree you’re able to show up and have a meaningful life and that you deserve to have a meaningful life as an artist.

Mark Redlus [00:42:04] It’s super interesting work, I think. I think, you know, we spent a lot of time on her on our prep podcast work six weeks ago talking about that or eight weeks ago, much prior to this situation. And it’s it’s worthy of its own kind of conversation…Paul, I don’t know if you have any questions around that or or want to highlight any of that, but?

Paul Castaldo [00:42:30] Well, I would really stuck with me from our pre podcast conversation was the notion that Katherine was describing of the same sort of resilience that have… Well, I think it’s fair to say saved her life and made her life fuller and… Is the same sort of resilience that too many artists tell themselves they either don’t need or shouldn’t do because it’s kind of the enemy of creativity and her turning that on its head is such a valuable and powerful message for her colleagues and I’m…I’m…and it stayed with me since we had our last call.

Katherine Redlus [00:43:20] And I think to kind of wrap it back into COVID, I mean artists are struggling so badly right now. And if you were someone who took the time to cultivate some internal tools and to pay a little bit more attention to your behavioral health care and be clearer about what your plan was, this wouldn’t… This wouldn’t hurt as badly. And unfortunately, it’s taking something like this to wake up a lot of people that to go, hey, you know, the way you were doing it might not be the best way. There might be another way. And so I’m seeing a lot of artists kind of find new ways of showing up. And hopefully that’ll lead to them also looking into better care for themselves or are taking that seriously. So hopefully this will be one of the positives that comes out of this, that the artists are actually taking their health and their behavioral health more seriously. But we’ll see.

Paul Castaldo [00:44:21] So let me ask you a question for for someone, an artist who has not paid enough attention to their own behavioral health, and very often when that’s the case, people feel like they they don’t know. Especially in challenging times, they’re not really sure how to start doing it. It feels a little hopeless. What would you what would you tell them? Is it a small first step? A doable small first step. What would what? What would you say to them?

Katherine Redlus [00:44:58] Yeah. So when you’re in a crisis like this, even if you’re not personally in a crisis, maybe financial, you know, your finances are a little bit shaky or you lost work. If you’re in that kind of crisis mode because of what’s happening rather than your own crisis. I would say the first step is to try like do anything practical and write it down. Write down if you need to call your student loan people and ask for or get clear about what your next month payment looks like. Very basic things if you need to call your credit card company. So basic living situation stuff. If you need to talk to your landlord, there’s so many work arounds right now. So I would just say make a list of all the practical life things that you need to take care of. And then the second piece which comes out of being in a hospital, in a hospital for a suicide, is that what they tell you is that you need to make a plan for when you get out. So similar to that, what you can do right now is once you’ve made that plan and this goes for everyone, by the way. Once you’ve made that, that list of practical things that you know, you need to do is that you can actually say who’s who’s in my corner, who could be on my team if I ask them and come up with three people right now that you feel comfortable with. Even just one person. But if you have it, 1 to three would be great that you know, you could ask for help, even if it’s just support saying, hey, I’m going to call my landlord or my employer on this day and talk with them about X Y and Z, that you have a support system, even if it’s just a check in to hold you accountable. So that’s really important. And then the next piece is there are many, many groups online for artists that are just support systems and and mentoring and that kind of thing that are very in-expensive, like 20 to 40 bucks a month where you can have access to resources. I would say if you have a group, even if it’s online or in a Facebook community, that’s a source of positivity that you can make some deeper connections there. That that’s a really great step to take right now, especially if you don’t have access or haven’t figured out a one on one health care sort of routine with a therapist. And then the last piece is that there are many online support systems for therapy. And also, this is a great time to talk about to your therapist about if you do have a therapist about sliding scales and payment options because people are being really flexible at that. So just make a list, get some accountability and support. It will feel a lot better.

Paul Castaldo [00:47:36] Great advice.

Mark Redlus [00:47:37] Wow. That was Awesome. That seems like a great place to end at least this time around and have a chance to come back and talk more about when times return to or become the next normal, which is a phrase I’ve heard bandied about lately. But I think it’d be great to get back and talk about, you know, some some more on the creative side and and kind of your passion around around that work. But it has been awesome to get to do this with both of you guys and to record a podcast with my daughter. It’s got to be a bucket list item. So it’s it’s so cool! Like for those of you out there, it’s it’s incredibly joyablel. If you if you hear it in my voice, I am genuinely excited about this. So. Can’t wait for everybody to listen to it. So thank you. Thanks, Katherine.

Katherine Redlus [00:48:33] Time. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for bringing us all together. It’s been great.

Mark Redlus [00:48:37] Awesome. Paul, thank you so much. Thanks, brother. It’s always fun that we talk all the time, but it’s fun to do stuff like this together. So wish everybody the best out there. Stay safe and and talk to you all soon. Thank you so much.

Mark Redlus [00:49:03] Those of you who are hearing this podcast for the first time, thank you for listening. As we mentioned at the top of the show, a full transcription of the episode is available on our Web site at 10xtotalpodcast.com, that’s 1 0 x total podcast dot com. If you’re interested in finding out more about Katherine, you can do that in a couple of other ways. You can visit her at KatherineRedlus.com where you can find available free downloads of sample tracks from her complete debut album, Brutal Waltz. That album is available on iTunes for purchase and download. Also by clicking through her Web site, you can check out her blog and see some of her recorded speaking and keynote concerts. And when life turns to the next normal, you’ll be able to check out where she’s performing with live shows and updates. Finally, we will return from our hiatus in the coming weeks with a new co-host, Don McDaniel, the CEO of Canton & Company. Like Gabriel Eichler, my previous co-host and dear friend, Don is one of those certified smart people that I know. Canton & Company delivers comprehensive growth services that accelerate sustainable success for providers, payers, vendors and innovators. Like their CEO, they’re a certified smart company, too. So more on all of that soon. Wherever this podcast finds you today, we hope that you and your families are safe. Be well everybody.