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Illness, Accidents and Vulnerability with Mike Watts (001)

It’s our first episode of Plenty and I’m so excited that this inaugural episode is alongside my loving husband, business partner and previous co-host, Mike Watts. 

In this episode we discuss our journey as a couple, including the challenges of dealing with illness and injury. Mike shares more about his experience with a chronic skin condition. We openly discuss the challenges of finding a diagnosis and ultimately, why we chose to stay in Florida and its positive impact. 

We emphasize the importance of getting support and how vulnerability is crucial for a healthy relationship. This episode focuses on aligning your time, energy, and money with what truly matters to find more meaning and joy.

We also touch on our roles as parents and business partners. Mike and I discuss the logistics of running our company and how we handle our responsibilities and the nuances of working together as spouses and parents. 

I have so much gratitude for Mike’s support. Overall, the episode offers a glimpse into our personal and professional lives and sets the tone for future episodes of Plenty. Hope you enjoy it!

Listen on…

Key Takeaways

  • The journey of being the partner of someone who is struggling with illness and injury can be challenging but also an opportunity for growth and empathy.
  • It is important to ask for support and build a support team, especially during difficult times.
  • Masculinity and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. Men can benefit from opening up and seeking help.
  • Moving to a new location can bring new opportunities and a deeper relationship with abundance.
  • Relaxing and letting go of stress and pressure can lead to unexpected growth and success.


00:04:00- Mike’s health issues and diagnosis
00:10:00 – Recap of leaving Maine and moving to Miami
00:21:00 – Kate’s default pattern of feeling responsible for everything
00:42:15 – Understanding pain and the importance of support during hardships
00:47:00 – Embracing masculine energy and its impact on relationships

Show Transcript


[00:00:00] kate: Hi. Welcome to our first episode of Plenty. I am so excited that you’re here, and today we have a really special guest. This special guest is somebody I spend the most time with, and I wanted to start off with interviewing my husband and business partner, Mike Watts, because our story together is very much, what has written my own relationship with Plenty, and there have been so many lessons.

Many of which we talked about, especially around the journey of being the partner of someone who has struggled with illness and injury a lot over the last six years. So we talk about the importance of getting support, masculine’s relationship with vulnerability. We talked about why we ended up moving from the hometown that I thought I was gonna live in my entire life, and how to access a deeper relationship with plenty and abundance.

[00:01:00] So I’m really excited to introduce you to my husband and business partner, Mike Watts. He’s the dad of our two daughters. He is the, uh, I don’t know if he’s the c e o of our company. We don’t really have titles like that, but he runs everything and, um, he has an MBA, he has a background in engineering.

He is the most logistically gifted person I know, and I love him very much. So let’s listen to the episode. 

Hi honey. 

[00:01:28] mike: Hello, I’m Mike. 

[00:01:30] kate: Thanks. Nice to meet you. The first guest on Plenty. 

[00:01:33] mike: Thanks for having me. Yeah, yeah. You really had to call my people to get this done. 

[00:01:38] kate: I had to do a lot of arranging. I really appreciate you taking the time to be here.

So I wanna start out with, it was September, 2020. September, 2020, we finished the Kate and Mike show. So for those of you who are subscribers and you are here, it’s three years later. It is. And uh, we’re back [00:02:00] with a new show and the show is called Plenty. And I thought it would be great if we had the first guest be Mike Watts, my husband and business partner for I think obvious reasons.

So a lot has happened in the world and in our lives since September, 2020. And I kind of wanna catch folks up. So where are we living now? 

mike: So, we left Maine. 

kate: We left Maine. The last time you heard from us on this podcast feed, we were, uh, we, we were actually in Bethel, Maine, Bethel. We recorded our last episode in Bethany.

[00:02:34] mike: You were doing an event, I was Mountain biking. 

[00:02:36] kate: Oh wow. Okay. So,

[00:02:40] mike: but now we live in Miami. Now we live in Miami, so we live in 

[00:02:42] kate: Miami. And so I would like folks to hear the story, which I’ve told a few places here and there, but we have not really talked as much in depth about what brought us here and what we are doing here.

And so many people [00:03:00] made huge shifts in 2020. In 2021. It was a period of time that shook so many people up in terms of their priorities, in terms of what mattered, in terms of reassessing. Like what is it that I am doing with my life and am I aligning it with what matters? And really this show is about aligning your time, energy, and money with what really matters so you can amplify and fertilize more of what matters in your life and find more meaning and joy. 

mike: So, we did that. 

kate: We did that. Yeah. However, it wasn’t a particularly conscious decision, at least not on my part. Um, so what happened, tell, bring, bring us back to January, 2021. Where were we? What happened with you?

[00:03:44] mike: Yeah, so we’ve been on this journey, I think for the two of us, where my physical health has forced us to make decisions based off of.

My body taking the brunt of those things. But basically we went on vacation [00:04:00] in outside of Tampa in January, 2021 for a month. 

[00:04:05] kate: We weren’t on vacation. We just went to Tampa to live and work with the kids in January, 2021. 

mike: True, true. 

kate: Because we wanted to get away from the Maine winter. 

mike: Yes. PS Tampa in January is actually cold.

kate: So much colder than you would think. 

[00:04:20] mike: So not as cold as Maine. But then I ended up getting in, I took the auto train from Maine, got down to Florida before you. And I, my skin started to explode. And for those who have listened to the podcast for many years, this has been an ongoing situation.

[00:04:38] kate: But for those who have no idea what you’re talking about, what happened? 

[00:04:41] mike: You, yeah, so this is a much longer story. We won’t go into it, but basically my, if you think of like a snake shedding its skin, that’s what happened to me. Uh, it started in 20 17, 20 18, and then happened again in 2021. Just not as bad. And then what happens is my entire immune system pretty much [00:05:00] stops working and the toxins that are inside of our bodies as we operate, comes out through my skin since it’s our last barrier.

And so my skin flakes off and it’s walking around the house and you see dry skin all over the place. And that’s what, and you’re in excruciating pain.

[00:05:16] kate:  He’s in excruciating pain. And both times this has happened, Mike has dropped like 20 to 30 pounds. Yeah. Very quickly. Yep. And is exhaust exhausted in a month, basically.

Yeah. And really cold, like walking around with a winter jacket on, which in general we are, you know, a classic couple who is fighting over like the colder temperature and the warmer temperature. I’m like turning the seat heater on, driving around in Miami and I’m on the lowest, on the lowest setting, blasting him in the face.

So, um, yeah, so really, 

[00:05:45] mike: so that happened in 2021 and then it ended up the people, I actually found somebody who. Knew what was happening inside of my body because it was a challenge to find somebody that could really understand what was 

[00:05:58] kate: going on. And just to be [00:06:00] clear, like there’s not a clear diagnosis for, people are always asking like, what our, our culture really like diagnosis.

[00:06:10] mike: it, it is a, it’s called T S W and it’s topical steroid withdrawal. And that’s exactly what exactly, that’s 

[00:06:14] kate: how it started. Also known as Redman syndrome. Yeah, same thing. Mm. 

[00:06:19] mike: I don’t remember the exact. But red, yeah, something. It’s red, something something topical steroid. But, but it was basically the term that’s being used the these days is topical steroid draw, t s W.

And with steroids it weakens your immune system and then it, you get affected by everything else. So pretty much the environmental is just crushing me and it doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happened to me. And so we ended up deciding to stay in. So once we talked to our folks, Michael and Sinclair about what to do, had a conversation at some with you. They’ll be on the podcast? Yeah, they’ll definitely be there and detox. Rejuvenation detox [00:07:00] And so they told us it’d be better for my health if we ended up staying in Florida. So within 48 hours after 

[00:07:06] kate: ’cause of the humidity, right? Because of the warmer weather.

[00:07:10] mike: Right. And so because of that, within 48 hours of them having a conversation with Kate about how in rough shape I was, ’cause even though Kate was living with me, she kind of just like put me over there in a way and was like, I have to heal. And Kate was running the family, et cetera. And so it was like, okay, we’re making these decisions and found a school.

[00:07:33] kate: And found a place to live within 48 hours of that in Miami. Well, because I was like, I’m not gonna stay in Tampa while I’m running the business by myself. Mm-hmm. I’m the primary parent at the time, Ruby was two and a half, Penelope was five. Um, I was like, I, I don’t have community here, but I knew some people in Miami, so I was just like, I called a few friends and all of them.

We’re basically saying, come to Miami, like, join my life. I’ll throw a brunch. I’ll introduce you to all my friends. [00:08:00] And it just felt like my girlfriend said, um, Kate, you’re not getting breadcrumbs. God is like throwing out like loaves of bread for you. Yeah. That this is a green light decision. There’s 

[00:08:10] mike: a, I don’t know if we’re gonna talk about this today, but there is a whole nother conversation that you and I have had around, and I hear this a lot with people that maybe have a sick parent or a sick spouse.

It’s really hard like to be the person that’s sick and then also the person who is taking care of the sick person that’s living with this person as well. And so I, there’s a dynamic that exists where there’s a lot of empathy that has to be in that dynamic, was there. And I think we’ve learned that over, over the last six years, where in the beginning when I was getting sick, like we weren’t there.

I would say, and so it has been a place that me having empathy for Kate, Kate, having empathy for me, what we’re going through, because it, it’s a space that. I would say it’s not discussed that often. [00:09:00] 

[00:09:00] kate: Well, this could be an entire other episode, but I will say, you know, and I see this in a lot of marriage dynamics that we were maybe previously, we had a default to go into competition with each other.

Yeah. Especially when you have young kids, you know, it’s like who’s getting their needs met? And with, with babies and running a business, it really felt like. It was a trade off. Like one of us got to have our needs met at the same time. So it did feel like there was this undercurrent of co competition in our marriage and going through this period of time, of five years off and on where you’ve been six, six years off and on, um, where you’ve been sick.

And then he also and broke his knee and hit by car

[00:09:41] mike:, and broken kneecap. 

[00:09:43] kate: So yeah, it’s been a whole thing. Um, so it certainly has sanded off the edges. And yeah. So just to summarize 

[00:09:50] mike: that, we ended up, we learned a lot. We ended up moving to Miami in 2021 in January. Sold our house in Miane

[00:09:55] kate: temporarily at first.

mike: Right. 

kate: And then we decided once we were already here that [00:10:00] we would list our house and we sold it without going back. Yes. 

[00:10:04] mike: Yeah. And then we went back in the summer, but then we ended, then I ended up breaking my kneecap. I fell off my bike in the parking garage. I was just getting over the skin situation and then fell off my bike in the parking garage.

And then a year after that I ended up getting hit by a car and broke my leg and had two surgeries and hospital stays. Okay. And then so I, but we also have an amazing life that’s been happening in Miami.

[00:10:29] kate: I wanna put a pin in this and back up, ’cause I wanna come back and talk about how that this, that whole scenario set us up actually for the work that we’re doing now in our company with relaxed money.

Mm-hmm. But first, Because some folks here might be new and, um, they may not know our story. Mm-hmm. Um, I want to ask you about our [00:11:00] first year and what happened. So I’m gonna set it up and then I’m gonna allow it to, to you first.

[00:11:05] mike: First year in Florida or together. 

[00:11:07] kate: No, we’re going, we’re going farther back. Back to the beginning.

[00:11:13] mike: So this is fun. I like being your guest, the guest on your show. This is fun. Maybe that was our problem for four years. We tried to co-host

[00:11:20] kate: we didn’t have a problem. It was a great podcast. So it was 2011 and no, 2010, 2010. And all at the same time, I took a yoga teacher training and I took this class with my friend Josh Pece, who runs a com, a company called Committed Impulse, where he teaches actors and entrepreneurs how to use what’s actually happening in their bodies, in their emotional life for compelling performance and magnetism.

And I also was doing a yoga teacher training, so life coaching, yoga, teacher training, and Josh’s committed impulse. And I had this. Whole experience where all of a sudden I realized there were all of these places in my life where I was lying, where I was not telling the truth. I was telling [00:12:00] half truths. I was not living in alignment with what was actually true for me.

And so I decided to sell all my stuff. Get rid of my apartment in New York and take off on a road trip that I was calling the Freedom Tour. And I was blogging and I was teaching these workshops called Women in Wealth. And very shortly before I left, I was leaving in the middle. In, in the beginning of February in 2011, I got an intuition to invite this person that I barely knew.

I had met him two times, twice. Yeah, two times, three times, actually three times we saw each other. We hung out three times. Yeah. I had an intuition to invite him to go on this road trip with me just for the first five days. And my logical mind was like, well, you’re taking off on a, on a road trip by yourself in a Prius in the middle of the winter from the Midwest.

And so if you were to get stuck in a snowbank, [00:13:00] you might want somebody capable to help you dig yourself out so you don’t get stuck by yourself. I had a girlfriend at the time, we were at a New York Rangers game and she said, and I told her this idea and I showed her this email I had written to invite him.

And she goes, this is a crazy girl email. And she deleted it. I wish she had not deleted it ’cause I really wish I still had that crazy girl email. But she was like, you cannot send this. Give me your phone. And she gave me my, I gave her my phone and she typed, I just had a really fun idea. Do you wanna drive across the country with me?

And she hit send and she sent it to Mike Watts. So this was January, 2011. What was going on in your life at the time and what happened when you received that text message? This is, mind you, we had, we had met through business and had only hung out platonically three times in groups? Pretty much. 

[00:13:53] mike: Yep. Uh, I was living in Phoenix then, ’cause I had just left [00:14:00] Tampa and then I ended up moving to Phoenix. And I remember the tech, I put my, I bought a, a giant desk. I still, I can picture this. I put it in my living room. I had a two bedroom apartment that was by myself. And I just, I always wanted, I felt, wanted to feel powerful with those big executive desks.

So I bought one and then I put it in the middle of my living room. And I remember getting a text message from you that said, do you wanna drive across the country? I think my response was like, let me think about it, or I’ll get back to you. I think it was.

[00:14:25] kate: It was, I’ll get back to you. 

[00:14:25] mike: And then I called my buddy at the time, Steve, and I was like, bro, you’re never gonna believe.

Like Kate just asked me to drive across the country. And he’s like, what did you say? And I said, I will think about it, or I’ll get back to you or something. And he goes, what are you doing? Call her right now and tell her you’re in. Don’t be stupid. Like he’s just yelling at me around the situation on the phone.

So then I got back and then I texted you back and said, I’m in. It. And, and not only 

[00:14:51] kate: did he text me back and say he was in, he also emailed me an entire itinerary for our first five days. Yep. [00:15:00] That included where we were staying, with whom, who we were gonna stop by and see. And also what I needed to bring and what he was gonna be bringing and, and mine included a jumbo road.

[00:15:12] mike: You needed the roadmap atlas, but you needed the atlas with the big pictures. Yeah. Anyway, it’s like the ones the truck drivers uses use, because then you can see things. Right. 

[00:15:21] kate: So yeah, I was like okay.

[00:15:22] mike: And the skin cream also,

[00:15:23] kate: I was bringing, I was responsible for toiletries, so because I have to break it, I was like, okay, this guy, okay.

Like mm-hmm. He’s, he’s, he means business. Yeah. 

[00:15:34] mike: So our five day road trip turned into 10 months. It was 34,000 miles, and we went around 41 states in a Toyota 

[00:15:42] kate: Prius. Basically. He never left. Um, so he was supposed still on it, supposed to drop me off. Our first date we’re still on. He was supposed to, I was supposed to drop him back off in Phoenix and he kept coming up with reasons to stay.

Um mm-hmm. And that was that. So that was, that was 2011. And, uh, we’ve been together ever since, two [00:16:00] babies, a company, a couple houses. We’ve moved a lot more times than we should have, like 10 maybe. I don’t know. I dunno. Yeah. So anyway, that’s the catch up. 

[00:16:10] mike: Okay. Then we started doing business together along the way and then takes us to present moment.


[00:16:14] kate: a whole other thing. Yeah. You’ll be back, you’ll be back to talk about all those things. But for now, I wanna come back to, okay. Over these past couple of years, it has been an incredibly expansive time. It’s been incr an incredibly difficult time. I know. We were, we are not the only people to have experienced that.

And I am not the greatest partner of a sick person. It is a real growth edge for me to have my person be down. 

[00:16:46] mike: Um, it’s the same for me though too, like when you were pregnant it was, it was hard for me. Yeah. So it was, I was like, what happened to my woman that was vibrant and excited and. Like, [00:17:00] yeah. With Penelope. 

[00:17:01] kate: I’m not the most vibrant pregnant person. 

[00:17:02] mike: No. So it’s not just a one, I mean, it happened the same way when you were pregnant. Yeah. 

[00:17:09] kate: Yeah. So, it activated in me. You know, I believe that life gives us opportunities to work on our healing. And I don’t know that I would sum it up in, everything happens for a reason.

I think that’s a little overly simplified, but we are given invitations to go deeper. And those invitations can look a lot of different ways and I think, I think we’re actually given infinite opportunities to do that same healing work that is asking for our attention if we wanna take those invitations.

So your illnesses and accidents. For the first really good chunk until like literally about a year ago, maybe even six months ago, I looked at it as like, Unfortunately. Unfortunately I grew up in a household where the [00:18:00] prevailing belief was that illness is an opportunity, right? And that we call in illness, not consciously in any way, but it is our bodies asking us to look at something in a new way and our souls asking us.

To look at things in a new way, like really mind body connection that our emotions and our emotional lives are related to our physical bodies, which is pretty common knowledge for many people now. But at the time when I was growing up mm-hmm. That was like very. Out there. And so the problem with that way of thinking is that I, I mean it’s great mostly and, and true.

There’s so much data and I was like, why does your soul continue to choose illness and why is your soul continuing to choose? Accidents. I mean, I knew that on a conscious level, Mike would never choose excruciating pain. You would’ve never chosen this traumatic, you know, car accident where you had to [00:19:00] get two surgeries and with a hospital stay, you would’ve never chosen these things.

But on some level, I was like, your soul is choosing this. And I was mad. I was so mad about it for a very long time. And then I realized, oh, I am here too. Like I married a man where this was part of the deal. And of course, I also think that we choose our partners for a reason. Mm-hmm. And so I realized, oh, if this is happening for Mike and his growth, it’s also happening for me because I am here too.

That created a lot of space around it for me to look at, okay, what’s the, what’s now, listen, I think sometimes like sucky things just happen. I do believe there are accidents and there’s, you know, there’s like the, we live in an incredibly chaotic world, so stuff just happens and stuff is always gonna keep happening.

So why not use it as [00:20:00] grist for the mail? That’s, I mean, that’s kind of my personal philosophy. So 

[00:20:05] mike: for, yeah. Well, no matter what happens in our life, we can. You might as well use it. Something can come out. Something’s gonna come out of it. Exactly. Whether we listen to it or not. 

[00:20:14] kate: Like we can either use it to grow and expand.

Yeah. Or not. And so one of the pieces that, that your illness and accidents activated for me was this kind of like deep seated. Wounding around feeling unsupported and feeling like I had to do everything myself and like I was the only capable one. And, you know, I’m sure that that has some sort of ancestral relation, uh, it certainly has to do with my upbringing.

And so there we were with, with in, uh, by the way, Mike’s first instance, first most intense instance of this. Uh, topical steroid withdrawal was, uh, erupted the moment that I pushed Ruby out. [00:21:00] So we talked about that before on the Kate and Mike show. We don’t need to get too much into it now, but we, this has been a journey that we’ve been on for a long time.

Mm-hmm. And so I’ve had like all of these moments to just step up to the plate and the way my default patterning was to step up and say like, It’s happening again. I’m here alone. I have to hold it all together. I’m responsible for making the money. I’m responsible for the kids, I’m responsible for the house, da da da da.

And I did that for years and I had this sort of deep running my life from a place of pressure and anxiety where it was like if I let go, Everything will fall apart. And who we are is who we are, and these patterns are who we are. I had a boyfriend in high school who wrote me this poem while my parents were getting divorced, and the poem was entitled Child of Atlas.

And it came with a drawing and [00:22:00] the drawing was of a girl with the world on her shoulders. And it was the poem. I wish I had it, but it said something about like, You know, basically child of Atlas, like if you put the globe down it will keep spinning. Like is this not your job? And so, you know who I was at 16 is apparently like who I was at 38 as well.

We are who we are. It’s true. So anyway, all of that to say, and I’m coming back to you, but all of that to say like finally in March of 2021, I had to admit that I was really burned out, which was embarrassing because I wrote a book called Do Less and. You know, the origin membership and our program heal the way you work, um, was all about running a business without burning out.

And I had to really admit like I am effing exhausted and all I wanted to do was cry and lay on the couch all day. And, um, our therapist in March of 2021. March 

[00:22:59] mike: of [00:23:00] 2021. Yeah. And go out with your friends. 

[00:23:02] kate: Yeah. ’cause I really didn’t, I really didn’t. You really, I really didn’t wanna be around Mike because was you really lived Miami up?

Yeah. Was he was such a bummer. Yeah. All he could do was sit in bed and then later all he could do was sit in bed with his fricking broken knee up. But anyway, David, so our therapist, David, David Coates, um, in a session said to me one time, he said, okay, so you’re feeling all this financial pressure. You feel like the world is on your shoulders.

I imagine right now that you, that Mike comes home and he says, babe, I just, we, I just got $10 million and you don’t have to do anything. Like we’re, you don’t have, there’s no money worries right now. Like, we, we don’t have to do anything. You can put it down now. And he said like, go inside and how would that feel?

And I was so shocked by. My response [00:24:00] and what came up for me and what came up for me was I feel I would feel dead inside, like I would feel totally flatlined. And what I realized in that moment was that I was using stress and pressure as a stimulant and as a way to feel alive. I was using stress and pressure as my primary fuel source.

I knew that that A, was not what I wanted to represent for our kids. And B, it was totally unsustainable and it was making me sick on some level. Yeah. And it was just not in alignment with who I wanted to be. And so I went about making some really big changes. And the first one is, even though there was no evidence that it was a good time to relax, I just decided.

To relax anyway. 

[00:24:55] mike: And your husband broke his kneecap, so you got to howl. [00:25:00] You got to start living that lesson very quickly. Those learnings, right? Yeah. 

[00:25:05] kate: So, yeah. Yes. So that was in, that was in March when I started that journey. And then in, in May you mm-hmm. You broke your kneecap. So you went from being incapacitated from your skin thing to now not being able to walk.

Right. And I mean, it was almost. In retrospect, it was almost comical. It’s hilarious to just like, oh, this is happening now. And to really be given the opportunity to deepen this feeling of, okay, it was a working theory that I had come up with mm-hmm. That I was forced to come up with, which is, it’s not really a theory, but it was a question, and the question was, is it possible to feel safe?

Calm and source my sense of wellbeing from inside as opposed to from [00:26:00] externally, like a spreadsheet with numbers. Like, can I look inside to see if I’m okay instead of looking at our revenue or at our bookkeeping or at um, my husband’s health or Right. Like, can I source my sense of enough? That I am enough, that this moment is enough, that life is enough, that I am safe, can I find a way to find that inside?

Like, can I relax now? Mm-hmm. Even though externally things are, the evidence is that it’s not a good time to relax like the evidence was, it’s a good time to push because you have so much to carry, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. And so before I kind of say what happened as a result of that experiment, Is there anything, now this will be a classic, like what do you think?

I love to go on forever and then I say to Mike, so what do you think? And he is like, about what? About what part? 

[00:26:53] mike: He just talked for 20 minutes and so what do you want me to, I think for, but it also works for me too. ’cause what I [00:27:00] learned really after I broke my, I think when we first moved here, it was asking for support, which I did a lot in Maine When my skin first.

Broke out. But I kept asking, like I just kept seeing a lot of people who they didn’t know what to do. Like I went to one dermatologist and they’re like, take steroids again. And I was like, well, this is the whole reason. Like this doesn’t make any sense. Right. And so down here right after I broke my kneecap, I w I really had to start building my support team in this where it’s not that I was putting every, like, I wasn’t expecting you to do really anything.

And so, so it was keep our kids alive. Yeah, yeah. Help with the kids. You gotta drive in places, places, keep our 

[00:27:41] kate: business 

[00:27:42] mike: running. So, yeah, to some degree to, to drive, you know, drive or drive me around because I couldn’t drive during that time. 

[00:27:49] kate: Luckily we moved to a city that has Ubers. Yes, 

[00:27:52] mike: there was a lot of Ubers, but it was for me to also get my support team in order and who is it that I could ask for assistance when I needed to, [00:28:00] and I was able to call some buddies who were able to drive like our stuff from Maine and then down here and back up, et cetera, help us pack, like those type of things, and really get the support team in place for that too.

So, and 

[00:28:11] kate: what was, I think, you know, I talk a lot. To women, especially moms, about how difficult it is to ask for help because of all the conditioning, I think for women. But I’m, I’m curious as a man. Mm-hmm. What came up for you around asking for help with your conditioning more with the masculine? 

[00:28:31] mike: That it’s really hard, you know, like the society that we currently operate in, I mean, it’s very dysfunctional that we are working in, in a way, and with men, it’s very vulnerable for men to ask for support and help.

Why does it feel vulnerable? And I’ve seen that because we’re supposed to be able to do everything ourselves and like take care of it. And asking for help expressing emotions is weakness in this way. And you hear it all the time when men, men would be like, they’ll [00:29:00] like win a championship. And they’re crying and they’re like, I’m so emotional.

It’s like, no shit, dude. Like you just worked your for 25 years of your life to this sport and you just won the whole thing. Of course you should be emotional. Right? But we have to say it. It’s like I’m feeling so emotional right now and, and I think there it, for me, I have a lot of, it’s your way or the highway programming that’s been established inside of myself and to change that dynamic to be like, I don’t know everything.

Right? And so I have to, Ask for help from other dudes, and like going to other men to ask for support in this is a way of like, there’s ego that’s attached to it. There’s the masculine approach of like, we are only in battle together and we’re fighting for a common cause. And, and I see it now as, as I’ve become older with friends, that kids like everything’s dedicated to kids and it’s this whole thing.

And we forget like the brotherhood that exists that needs to [00:30:00] happen for us to kind of maintain that in a way So, Yeah, it became, for me it was I, and then I would ask indirectly, like I remember my buddy Aiden, who helped drive, who I did a podcast with, it’s called The State of Men for a period of time.

And I would ask him, and he told me this, he goes, he got off the call with me and I was like, well, I think I might need help getting from Miami to Maine. So what are you doing on this day? And he’s like, well, I’m free. I’m like, okay. Then he got off the phone and he goes to his wife. He goes, I think Mike needs help, but he won’t ask me that.

And I think I had a conversation with you about it or something. And so I just called him back. I was like, I actually need help. I need somebody to drive the car because I couldn’t drive to get back to Maine. And he goes, oh, okay, great. I can do that. And so it was just this indirect. In that process, I was learning much more about just be, which I don’t have a problem with directness.

[00:30:55] kate: You definitely do not have a problem with being direct, 

[00:30:59] mike: sorry to [00:31:00] everybody that I’ve ever offended with my directness sometimes, and it comes from a good place, you know? And so, but it is you, 

[00:31:07] kate: you never have to wonder what is going on with my will just tell 

[00:31:11] mike: you. Yeah. But when I’m asking for something that I need assistance with is it’s different.

It’s different. It becomes very indirect and it’s just, it’s very passive. 

[00:31:23] kate: But something I’ve witnessed in you since moving to Miami, you actually did a great job about it in Maine too, but it’s, it’s like next level here is you wanted a crew, like you wanted a crew of guys. I’m a persistent pain in the ass to get a crew.

You are. And, and it’s really something that I notice, um, with our married friends. Is that the social life gets sourced through through the woman, right? And the guys often won’t really have buddies, um, outside like. There’s not like men 

[00:31:58] mike: friends [00:32:00] in a way. 

[00:32:00] kate: It’s like man hangouts that aren’t like about drinking or, and, and Mike doesn’t drink.

In my previous 

[00:32:05] mike: life it was like going to bars, watching sporting events, doing all this stuff, and it was, but when you become 

[00:32:10] kate: a parent, when you stop drinking that it, it’s like different. And so I’m curious, is there any connection between your, um, vulnerability in your illnesses and your injury and. The connections you now have with men.

Is there anything there, do you think? Um, 

[00:32:31] mike: no. Great. Like 

[00:32:34] kate: how you’re trying to tie that together, something you don’t think that you’ve been able to create deeper connections with men because of what you’ve gone through over these past six years? 

[00:32:43] mike: No. Really? No. I think for me, okay, that’s, so I guess if you say like, I broke my leg and then I needed somebody to drive the car, then the answer would be yes.

But I think, right, because 

[00:32:55] kate: like I think that, you know, being able to ask [00:33:00] Joey for help, being able to ask Aiden for help, like having these real times where you actually really needed support, you did reach out in a way that you might not have otherwise, and there was like a softening where you became more available.

For people to really connect with you in a deeper way. So I guess when you 

[00:33:19] mike: reflected back, so I think you’re wrong back that way, when you do that reflection, the 

[00:33:23] kate: answer is true. Sorry, that was a really leading question. I should have just told you what I thought. ‘

[00:33:27] mike: cause with, even when I was really sick at your mom’s house in 2018, like I asked my friends to bring me food.

Yeah. You know, and I had to text and it was very challenging. For me, I’m suffering by myself. Like think I’m going to die ba. I thought I was just gonna die on your mom’s couch. And I’m just there on the floor. Megan Waterson is like leading me through some sort of, oh my God, like visualize gold flow down your head to soul voice meditation.

Yeah, the soul voice meditation. And so in that process, I [00:34:00] was there, but I had to ask people and be to be like, can you bring me, what are you doing? And they’re like, well, I’m at work. And I’m like, well, if you have time, can you bring me food? And I was like, yo, I need food. Can you just bring me food? I’m suffering in this place.

And so I guess the answer is yes. I’ve definitely, now that I, when I got hit by a car, I’ve been, I had five years of buildup for that. I was really good with it. Yeah. When I was at the house, when I got home from the hospital, I had friends that came over. I had, there was a dude coming like every single day.

And it was just him and I hanging out. Yeah. Just so you weren’t alone. It’s like I always valued, like I wanted to have more men in my life with purpose instead of not having men. Like I’m surrounded by women all the time, and so it was like, I need testosterone. Totally. 

[00:34:46] kate: Yeah. And, oops, one thing that I’ve noticed, um, happens with.

Married friends with my girlfriends is they are the only source of emotional support. Mm-hmm. [00:35:00] For their husbands. Yeah. And when you were really sick the first time in 2018, I remember you would be struggling obviously, and you would talk to me about it, but we had a newborn. Mm-hmm. And we had a toddler and also a company, and I had literally, I had zero to give.

I had nothing left. And so when you would come to me, I would say, Thanks for letting me know who can you go to for support around that? It’s true. Yeah. And I honestly think that you have done the most incredible job creating a network for yourself. You have so many people you can call when you’re having a hard time.

You have so many people you can call when you’re having a great time. Obviously like you and I are still each other’s primary person. Mm-hmm. But I think it can be really dangerous to have your spouse be your only. Source of emotional support. And not only, it’s very dangerous, would it like wreck your sex life, but it would [00:36:00] also possibly create a lot of resentment.

Mm-hmm. And I know I just wasn’t available for that ’cause I had nothing left to give. So, well there 

[00:36:07] mike: there’s more to that. You’re kind of leaving a whole thing out. Oh. There’s the element of, uh, with men expressing emotions to women. They want us to. Be more emotional. Mm-hmm. But you would also shut down.

Yeah. It was really hard not, yeah. So where someone’s being vulnerable. And we’ve talked to David a lot about this too, right? So this isn’t happened just because I was sick. This happens in general where this was going on as we, there was a process that you had to be able to receive the fact that I was struggling and open up from there too.

Yeah. But yes, there isn’t a way. I never wanted to put everything on you where it’s the aspect of like, heal all of my emotional struggles. Right? And so there was the question of like, who else can you get? Which was helpful. That’s why it was helpful for me to have a therapist on, [00:37:00] like, we working with David, we’ve been working on and off with him for like six years, probably seven.

Yes. Longer. 

[00:37:06] kate: Longer than that. And just to be clear on the setup, he’s our couple’s therapist. Yeah. But Mike also does. Sessions with him one-on-one. And then I have a separate therapist just for you who I do sessions with. Yes. So just, just to be clear, there’s like a whole thing. There’s a team thing going, team on.

There’s team. It really, it really requires a lot. And I know that that’s not accessible for everyone. Um, however, I love that there are so many more, um, affordable and accessible options for people to access really good help that are pop, that are popping up. Okay. So I shared the behind the scenes of how.

That the, that moment of March in 2021 when I had to really admit like I’m super burned out and I’ve, I’ve had it and I need to change the way I’m approaching life and business and stop using pressure and stress as my primary fuel source and switch my fuel source to, [00:38:00] um, Maybe joy. Yeah. Or pleasure or whatever.

Imagine that. And just to see like, okay, I’m just gonna relax and then see what happens. So what ended up happening is, um, we were able to hit our financial goals and while yes, of course there were some months where we needed to dip into our line of credit over all, because that’s the way business goes.

It’s like, it’s like this, anybody, I hear this so much from people. They say like, what if I’m an entrepreneur? What if my income is inconsistent? I’m like, That welcome. That is what entrepreneurship is. And so there, of course, there are strategies to even that out so that you have money to pay, you know, your mortgage and your rent every month.

Um, and that’s part of what I teach in Relax Money. But what ended up happening, which was so revelatory for me, was that from a place of relaxation, we were able to hit our goals and continue to grow. And so, I took away, I just like stopped giving [00:39:00] myself permission to work from a place of stress and pressure, and I just decided to take the chip off my shoulder just temporarily.

I gave myself a 90 day window where I was like, okay, as an experiment for this 90 days, I’m just gonna like put this down. I can pick it up again later. But, and then I didn’t really need to pick it up again. Of course, like these patterns come back, but mostly it’s been a huge shift. Um, and so, That part. A lot of that work has to do with healing my nervous system and going back into those deeper patterns and literally like changing my inner wiring.

And so that’s why in relaxed money we do so much nervous system healing work. Mm-hmm. Um, to be able to combine really feeling safe and, and, uh, working on trauma patterns with our money patterns. And I’m curious for you. So I’ve really shared kind of like the headline and the highlights of what the, what being by your side during your [00:40:00] illnesses and your injuries, how it really revolutionized the way I operate in the world because it really did happen for both of us.

Mm-hmm. And, um, I’m curious, like what are some of the threads for you in what it has shifted in you and how it’s helped you grow and expand? 

[00:40:17] mike: Just the keep adding support in my life. So to have an ongoing friends group, but also from a therapy group reaching out for assistance in that process, which we’ve talked a lot about so far.

But I think also I really understood a level of pain and how that the body. I started listening to a lot of David Goggins. For you who don’t know David Goggins, you can look him up, but I think there’s a point in time that a man, not very do less, not do less. There’s a point in time that that, that man exists, and for me, [00:41:00] in the last leg break when I had surgery, was for that and to realize instead of resisting the pain to go into it, and also I stopped.

I decided to sell my mountain bike. I let go of a hobby that I really appreciated and loved, and I sold all my mountain bike gear and realized that my biking days are over because this isn’t something I do professionally. Nobody pays me to ride mountain bikes. It was, uh, something that I really enjoyed.

Um, but it, it’s caused a lot of, from broken ribs to broken legs to surgeries, uh, The last time the, the two broken, like I wasn’t mountain biking, I was just riding my bike, you know, in the, in Miami. I was riding my bike in a car, pulled out and hit me. And, um, crazy leg situation. But I think for there, I remember when I was, we were in Tampa, my skin was itching.

It was so bad. And I have empathy now [00:42:00] for people who are in chronic pain for a very long time. And you were putting the girls to bed and I was like, I need to go in the garage. ’cause all I wanted to do was scream. And you’re like, are you gonna turn it on like the car? And I remember you asking me that. I was leaving downstairs 

[00:42:15] kate: and I said, yeah.

I said, are you gonna shut the doors and turn the car on? Yeah. 

[00:42:18] mike: And so, and I’ve never thought like, had suicidal thoughts in this way or like gone in that direction. But I, there was, I understand why people go that direction and what they do in that moment. ’cause I went down there and I was itching the crap outta myself and I just was pounding the steering wheel and I was screaming at the top of my lungs and just bawling.

And I called six people and nobody answered the phone. And then Cheryl Richardson ended up answering the phone, our friend, and she was able to talk me off, like talk me down to where I was. So there’s the, like, I’ve really become, in this search of this, we’re always riding this fine line and [00:43:00] it’s this light in the darkness that’s there.

There’s the, when we choose to go in that direction, I become very fascinated with, I get people talk about the yin and yang, or whatever you wanna say, but in that moment it’s like there was an element where I could have gone to the, you know, in this darkness, in this place. But I chose to ask for support and it brought me back down and it called my central.

And calling me my central nervous system is something I’ve been working on big time. Right. And realizing for me to heal a lot of things in the, from the men perspective, I guess you could say. I went to Sacred Sons event in North Carolina a year ago, and I’ve been really doing a lot of Joe Dispenza work and in that process, They said it’s sacred sons For men to heal their relationship with men or the masculine, they have to be around other men.

They can’t do it with around other women. ’cause I could hang out in a group of 200 women. It’s no problem. Right. It’s like it’s easy. You do, you do that all the time. All the time. And so it’s, but being around a group of 18 dudes at this event, at the Sacred [00:44:00] Sons event was very uncomfortable for me.

Mm-hmm. And for me to go there was very uncomfortable. But once we were there and we were diving in and realizing, How different it is. It’s so different. Hanging out with a group of, there was 450 dudes in the woods in North Carolina, like it was the largest men’s gathering in the United States, and it was incredible.

And so to be around a group of dudes is way different than being around an entire group of women. And what that experience was like for me and how healing that was in that process. So it, and then for me to just dive deeper into, we talk, we’ve talked a lot about the masculine feminine energy and. In that process and just going deeper into that masculine energy for myself has really been helpful.

And it’s changed our dynamic, it’s changed our relationship. It’s allowed me to, to really own my healing process. ’cause when you’re injured, you see this in athletes all the time where somebody, this dude just tores a c l, like for the inner Miami team and they’re like, okay, he’s gonna be back in eight weeks and.

Like you don’t know that. Like we don’t know that it’s always a speed to [00:45:00] get back. Now, when you’re a professional athlete, that’s your job, right? It is. You have an entire arsenal of people helping you get better. But when you’re Mike Watts sitting at home, like, I don’t, there’s not an arsenal of people coming to my house to like train, train me, all this stuff.

[00:45:14] kate: bunch of people’s income is not tied up in your, tied up your a c L. 

[00:45:18] mike: So I think for, for me, it was this process of understanding what healing do I want it to be like this time. How do I wanna process this healing aspect? And then with the piece of, um, listening to my body and what feels good and what doesn’t feel good, but also you have to go to the dark side.

Like I have to get into this place to push my limits of and through a pain and that I’ve experienced that I’ve never been through before to get to the place of like getting my leg work again. You know, and having both my physical therapist and my surgeon tell me that this is gonna be so intense. So I would say through a lot of that, that’s what it’s been.

And it’s also been really fun [00:46:00] to cultivate a new relationship with you. In the past six months that we’ve gone, that has been a lot different than we’ve done before that even though we’ve been together for married for almost 10 years next year. And, but we are, it’s like it’s starting over in a way. Like yeah, we’re starting it next chapter.

To do through all of this and then realize in the, what I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last three months with this is how my thoughts like Joe Dispenza talks a lot about how your thoughts create the reality. And so it’s like, okay, I’ve been sick for a long time, so how do I change? So I’m noticing when I get into this sickness aspect and then when I wanna heal myself, right?

Like, how can I heal myself? So what are cha thoughts and changes Do I need to do? And even my physical therapist and everybody else is always like, okay, we gotta do more of this and make sure you do the work and all of this stuff. And I’m like, you know what? Like if it takes me an extra six months to get my leg and back running again, like that’s the way it is.

But I, because I’m also pushing myself in that way, but also changing the thoughts that are happening. So I would say those [00:47:00] are some of the biggest learnings that I’ve gone through. The 

[00:47:02] kate: Absolutely. Amazing. It has been, Um, once I got over myself, which took years. Um, it’s been really inspiring too, 

[00:47:12] mike: once you got over yourself.

Yeah, I like that. To it. That can be the next book title. Once I got over 

[00:47:17] kate: myself, you just really stepping up. Like I feel like if, if illness and injury and, you know, difficult things in our life are an invitation, um, you really have taken the invitation like you’ve stepped up for the assignment. In a variety of ways.

And one of the things I love and appreciate about you is how open you are and you’re just like, willing to do stuff. You know, like there was like the tiniest bit of resistance when I suggested we get a therapist, but minor in the grand scheme of things. And, and you’re just like, all right, like, bring it on.

Like, just let’s, let’s try something. And I, and I love that about you and I don’t think it’s common. Um, why do you think you are so open? [00:48:00] What, what has made you. That way. Like open-minded, open-hearted. 

[00:48:04] mike: Uh, I’m curious. Yeah. Like I just am curious about life. I’m curious about, I was listening to this. It’s like I, this is so crazy, but I’m just gonna just go with it.

I was like listening to just anything. I’ll listen to whatever, whoever talk about whatever. I definitely am. The darker the better. Yeah. It’s like I listened to Tucker Carlson interview Donald Trump like last week. Oh wow. And listening to that. And then I get in the car and I’m listening to this woman talk about how.

You know, it’s your heart and your being and you gotta be here and you gotta step into the emotional, and I’m like, these two, like this is so opposite. Like it’s so opposite. And that’s what actually you do. You cut a wide swat and the, I guess for me it’s, that’s what’s fascinating to me. The fascinating piece is the middle.

Like where it all comes together. It’s not like jumping on one silo bandwagon and hanging out here. It’s like, that is not interesting to me. Mm-hmm. Like if I’m diehard gonna be here and then I’m gonna [00:49:00] die, this, that is not fascinating to me because the middle is where everything is the most interesting.

Like when you are able to hold. Both spaces to recognize like the, the, the Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, like the folks that are listening, he had like 200 million views on Twitter. I don’t know how that calculates anyway, but like the people listening to that and then also going over here to listen to this woman talk about the poetry of words and like drop, like, you know, you go in these circles all the time and I’m just like, being there in the middle to me is the most fascinating place.

Yeah. So I’m very curious because also like I wanna live. When it started, it was about the house in the car, and I want a big house in the big car and you know, but there’s so many adventures that we can be on regardless of what it is like now I find that stuff, it’s like, oh, that’s great, but it’s also, it’s more of a game.

It’s like enjoying. And I also really like luxury, nice things. You too. You know, you like nice things. That’s why I married you and there, so for That’s what’s, that’s [00:50:00] what I am like, I’m always fascinated by that. And how people, and then excellence, right? It’s like Lionel Mess just started playing for inner Miami and, and you know, number wise is probably the greatest soccer player that’s ever been in existence.

And so for me it’s just like, how does he operate? What does he think about on the day-to-day basis? How does somebody like that? That’s bombarded by people more. I will never experience that in my life. Like I’m not gonna walk out the door and there’s gonna be 700 people waiting for me. And we went to the Taylor Swift concert this year, the same situation.

I saw a video of her in the concert at. Where she was, but outside of the stadium. So there were 70,000 people out in the stadium and then outside the stadium was like another 10,000 people listening to the concert, which they can’t even see. Really? Oh wow. They’re in the parking lot and like the people out there and I’m like, what is it?

How do you take that much energy? That’s so much energy coming at you. And like seeing that at the Beyonce show and how does each person deal with that? Like to me that’s fascinating. It’s energetics. It all comes back down to, that comes back to energetics. Like we talked about 

[00:50:59] kate: that [00:51:00] a lot and really like, this is a whole other conversation and I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna bring this one home, however, I’ll just put a pin here to continue the conversation.

It really is energetics. Mm-hmm. And it is how wide can we open up to let life force. And sort of divine energy run through us. And really it comes down to undoing the lie of separation. Yeah. And the lie of separation says that you and I are separate. That we are separate from God, that ultimately like.

You know that we are isolated, but actually we are just a wave. Mm-hmm. In the ocean. We are not individual like we are, we are individual waves in the big ocean. Mm-hmm. We are all made of ocean. And so even what you were talking about, that feeling of vulnerability of like, because as a man. It’s seen as weak to need to ask for help.

[00:52:00] That too is a symptom of the lie of separation, right? Because if we are all unified, if we are all like tiny sparks of light that came off from the original, like the original source with a capital Ss, then it’s not possible to be weak asking for help. Like it, it, the whole thing sort of becomes actually like a big joke.

This whole idea that there could be better than or worse than. Mm-hmm. Or weak or strong, like we are all just waves in the ocean. Yeah. And I, 

[00:52:31] mike: I’m not afraid to, there’s two other pieces is this, I become really comfortable with death in a way. And so it’s like if I die tomorrow, there is a backup plan for our family.

Like we have that in, in our life. And so that you’re taking care of the kids are taken care of. And emotionally, there’s a, there’s a piece that’s there that I can, you can never prepare for. Right. But like from the resource financial [00:53:00] perspective, we’ve done a good job of preparing for that. And then not for me, it’s not resisting it.

I mean, when I was in so much excruciating pain and think, I’m like, is this it? Like, is this, so it’s being comfortable with that in that place and not having resistance that we’re all gonna die like humans we’re born and we’re gonna die. It’s, there hasn’t been a, it’s guaranteed, you know? And so that is going to happen.

So in that place, for me has been really relaxing to just kind let go and then really understanding my ego and how it dictates things like it’s never gonna go away. But that’s the other piece in this process with being sick. Because when your skin is covered and falling off and you have to go in public like you, it’s really like people are looking at me strange, you know?

And people are like, what’s wrong with that guy? What’s going on there? And so the visual, we moved to Miami, which is probably one of the most unbelievable human body experiences I’ve ever seen in my life. [00:54:00] Like visually. And it’s just like, but for me, when in that process, I just became. I’m not a hundred percent comfortable with my body of where it is, but it, it really lowered it from a visual ego standpoint of what was there and yeah, just allowed a lot of peace.

Mm. Yeah. 

[00:54:19] kate: All right. Well honey, thank you for being my first guest. I love you. I love you too. Thanks for showing up for the assignment. Thanks. Anything you wanna say? What does plenty mean to you for the very end? What do you think about, when you think about the word plenty? How do you feel? 

[00:54:35] mike: After our road trip, we stayed in the Hamptons.

I’ll just share the story and this kind of sums it up and this is what really explains plenty to me where we were in, in the Hamptons for six months, living in your friend’s non winterized in the middle of winter house, which was really nice of her to allow us to do that is I just walked around. I’ve never seen financial clunkiness, I guess you could say, or resources in that way ever that was there [00:55:00] and I was like, oh, there is so much that’s out there.

So there’s an element of. Just it’s, there’s an abundance that there’s plenty of whatever we want that exists. And for me it’s, there’s plenty of health. Like I don’t have to keep breaking bones in this experience of life is, I can believe that I’m healthy in this way. Thanks for having me. I love you. Love you too.

Oh, kiss. 

[00:55:26] kate: Thank you so much for tuning in to the first episode of Plenty and for my first guest, my husband and business partner, we went a lot of places that I expected and some that I did not, which is to be expected always on this show. We are full of surprises, so make sure you subscribe and that you follow along on all the socials, and I will see you for our next episode.

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