Let's start with 1995, when I moved to Seattle with my first husband - the boy I started dating when we were 16 years old. Engineering degree in hand and ready to live out my dreams of being in the coolest city in the world at that time.
That relationship would only last two more years in the Emerald City, coming to its end in the concourse of Memorial Stadium, during a Beck concert. He always wanted to return to Kansas and there was no way I was ever going back.
Waiting in the wings, however, was the man who would become my next husband and the father to my kids. And in our ten years together, I would begin my fateful and amazing journey into entrepreneurship and motherhood, all at the time same time. It would start as I completed my master's degree and I invented a recycled-content countertop product in our garage called Squak Mountain Stone.
Success for me looked like having it all: family and my career. It looked like seeing my name in magazines or being on TV. But little did I know that I would lose it all.
Photo: Popular Mechanics Magazine
Host of Rescue Renovation, Kayleen McCabe
As it was coming apart in 2010, I didn't know that it was going to get worse before it got better. In fact, even after I had divorced my kids' dad and left the company I had started when my son was only a year old, I believed there was no place to go but up.
For seven years, I lived vicariously the life of a woman I thought was me, but she was a dark figure of the pain and wounds I was struggling with and never knew it.
On the outside, however, I realized more business success when I evolved from countertops to weddings. And so it came as yet another surprise to me when I was left, again, in the middle of a mess of personal and professional disaster in 2017.
The day of my rebirth is December 17, 2017 but changes happened a couple of months earlier. I was sitting on my couch in the tiny, 900 square foot home I was sharing my two teenage children, emotionally and financially broke, and decided it was time to figure out what the hell was really going on.
I had seen the pattern and I couldn't look away: I was repeating history, all of it. The good and the bad. And my curiosity that gifted me with creative ideas fueled me to solve this puzzle.
And I did. But that wasn't good enough. I knew I needed to change immediately - for my sake and for my kids. And that also wasn't good enough. I wanted to help other people too.
I wrote about it. I spoke about it. And then I felt this inner peace that comes when we re-discover ourselves and who we are meant to be.
What does motherhood have to do with any of this?
Everything. Believe it or not, motherhood has everything to do with this.
In fact, the most powerful, awesome, and dangerous person we will ever have in our lives is our mother.
For a while, I thought that I had failed at motherhood. And then I realized it was the other way around. That in fact, this thing we call "parenting" in our culture failed me. Because it was not like I was given all of the tools to be successful at mothering and I just didn't do it right. The truth was I wasn't given enough to begin with - I was handicapped from day one and I simply did the best I could with what I had.
Like many people, I became a parent with genuine intention and optimism to do my best and to give my children a better life than I had known. But I had little understanding of the unconscious forces at work below the surface that actually doomed me to repeat the sins of my mother. I experienced firsthand what passing down trauma, from generation to generation looked like.
And then I had that horrifying realization I was robbing my kids of their future, just like what happened to me.
How we learn to love, to talk, to believe, to think - all start in our childhood and with our very first relationships and that is usually with the person we call "Mom." And our unresolved issues don't just hurt as parents but they hurt us in all of our relationships, especially the one we have with ourselves.
50% of us have experienced some forms of adverse childhood experiences. And...
50% of businesses begin and end quickly
50% of marriages end in divorce
Poverty is passed down from generation to generation
Gender gaps in power and pay keep hurting women
Suicide is rising
Those are not coincidences. That's why I do this.