Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Lee Gaitan
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Introducing Lee Gaitan
Most of the time on Join Up Dots I write the intros to the show, by researching many different resources to get a flavour of what the guest is all about.
And then every once in a while a guest comes along who basically writes their own intro, and this is what happened today
I checked her “about page” and saw the following, and thought wow how can I top that…..so in her own words
“In the past twelve years I have had to deal with more than a healthy helping of “are you kidding me?” moments.
In 2002, I hit rock bottom. It was so bad I lovingly refer to it as a year of “shock and awfulness.” That year my father died, my mother was in the hospital, semi-comatose from grief, and my husband of 22 years lost every penny of our money BEFORE running off to Arizona with his girlfriend, who just happened to be a former stripper.
That was just the beginning.
How The Dots Joined Up For Lee Gaitan
I spent the next decade struggling with loss and challenges on every front, from finances and family to health and career.
While there were many bounces up and down over the years, I have finally bounced back and it was well worth the effort. I’m now happily remarried, employed and have published my second book. I even have children on three continents and a granddaughter far too far away!!”
Now that is a movie in the making if I ever saw one.
So what is it about todays guest that has managed to find the strength and desire to pull herself back in such a spectacular way?
And why is her book called “My Pineapples Went To Houston”?? I can’t wait for the reason behind that.
So let’s not wait any longer, and start joining up dots with the one and only Lee Gaitan
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects such as:
How she feels that it would be a bad thing to have two people like her in the world….I think she was joking!
How her husband came home after quitting his job and taking out a two million loan and didn’t tell her about any of it.
Why it is so important to allow your time for reflection when a part of your life ends.
Why she believes that you can do anything in life, even the stuff that you hate, if it means you are getting closer to your goal
How when something seems so hard to do, we should simply look for another way to do it!
Products By Lee Gaitan
How To Connect With Lee Gaitan
Return To The Top Of Lee Gaitan
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Interview Transcription For Lee Gaitan
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there, everybody. Hello, it’s New Year’s Eve. Yes, 31st of December, the whole year has been done. All the things you’ve been trying to do in 2014 should have been done, you should just have a list with a load of lines written approval, and you should have another list preparing for 2015. So hopefully 2015 is going to be an even better year when the last one and we’re going to finish with a bang today because we have got a guest on the show where generally I like the intro to the show by researching many different resources to Gonna flavour what the guest is all about. And then every once in a while a guest comes along, who basically writes their own introduction and this is what happened today I checked her about page and sort of following and fall. Wow, how can I top that? So in her own words, in the past 12 years I’ve had to deal with more than a healthy helping of. Are you kidding me moments in 2002 I hit rock bottom. It was so bad I lovingly refer to it as a year of shock and awfulness. That year, my father died. My mother was in the hospital semi comatose from grief. And my husband of 22 years lost every penny of our money before running off to Arizona with his girlfriend, who just happened to be a former stripper. That was just the beginning. I spent the next decade struggling with loss and challenges on every from from finances and family to health and career. While there were many bounces up and down over the years, I finally bounced back and it was well worth the effort. I’m now happily remarried, employed and have published my second book I even have children on three continents, and a granddaughter far too far away. Now, honestly, that’s a moving and making if I ever saw one. So what is it about today’s guest that has managed to find the strength and desire to pull herself back in such a spectacular way? And what is a book called my pineapples went to Houston now can’t wait for the reason behind that. So let’s not wait any longer and start joining up dots with the one and only lead dighton. How are you Lee?
Lee Gaitan [2:27]
I am the one and only and you are very fortunate that there’s only one of me.
David Ralph [2:33]
Is that true?
Lee Gaitan [2:34]
It is true.
David Ralph [2:37]
Like a clash of personalities that could destroy the Earth.
Lee Gaitan [2:41]
It could it could be the potential there is not good. It’s not good. But it wouldn’t be fun. It would be a spectacular disaster. But I’m great. I’m great. And I’m so happy to be here with you.
David Ralph [2:54]
Well, we’re delighted to have you on the show. What What is it about your personality vein that you quite open? Please saw you at the very beginning, put two of us together and bad things could happen.
Lee Gaitan [3:06]
I have a lot of energy. And although I don’t have as much now, as I did 12 years ago, I have used up a bit of it, but I do I am high energy person, although I’m a bit of a contradiction. I’m high energy high spirited, very high spirited. But I do like to sleep I do. But I am very high spirited and boy listening to that introduction, David. I’m like, Oh my god, that poor woman. What the heck? Yeah, that was me. He’s
David Ralph [3:39]
a bit of a ride, hasn’t it? I have to be honest. Look at looking at that. As I said in the intro, you couldn’t write that it would sound like I was just making up.
Lee Gaitan [3:47]
Well, that’s what I mean. And so many of my friends were like, just can’t even be happening. This cannot even be happening. But it was happening and it wasn’t stopping. You know people say the gift that keeps giving this was like the gift that kept on taking some of my life. It really started. Well, like you said that year was really the banner year. My father died which was very, you know, hard he was he was 82 but it was very unexpected because he was quite healthy. He was diagnosed with cancer and was gone in four months. So that was you know, that was upsetting. My mother stopped eating and she almost died. She was in a really in a in a coma for a while. And in the middle of all this would come up on Christmas, and I’m trying to be festive and not be sad for my daughter. She was coming home with her new boyfriend and my husband of 22 years who had earlier in the year quit his very successful career quit his job without telling me right now let’s
David Ralph [4:57]
just slow because there’s there’s gonna be So many areas, this story that I’m going to jump in, and I feel like your lady that goes on goes at it like a train. So what was there? Obviously, that’s a big thing for a husband to do. He’s the provider. So he didn’t tell you what was a lack of communication in your life, or was this a really strange thing that he did?
Lee Gaitan [5:18]
Um, it was it was kind of a strange thing. Um, yeah, I would. Yeah. You know, what it happened was he had been downsized out of the long term position that he had. And I think we don’t fully appreciate the effect that that has on anyone, but I think it’s much harder on men. And it was not really a reflection on his ability or anything. He was very successful and very good at what he did. But it’s just very hard on men and on their self image and on their confidence. But three months he was hired in, you know, hired by another company. Because he was very well known in his industry, so I thought that that was okay. That everything was okay. We just we moved we just build a new house. Our daughter had just started her first year college at a very pricey private school. And he came in the door one day I was sitting at that I just had my first book had just been published. And I had just come from a book tour and things were just I thought everything was just great. You know, I was finally getting to do exactly what I wanted to do was a lot of which was a lot of speaking and writing for myself not writing for other people. Because I’d worked in public relations all my life and TV and radio. I was sitting at the keyboard, working on a on a piece of freelance piece, and he came home and it was early, walked past the office. I said, Hey, what are you doing home early? He said, Oh, yeah, I quit my job. Yeah, right. Hi. No, really. I did. And I’m going to start this business that I’ve been secretly had. meetings and plans about and I’ve taken out a loan for two and a half million dollars. And so, what’s for dinner? Yeah, there you go.
David Ralph [7:12]
That almost screams like kind of breakdown, doesn’t it? But that Yeah, yes. So remarkably different from what a man would generally come home.
Lee Gaitan [7:21]
Yeah, you would think you would think. Um, so there you know there was a bit of a discussion. Follow that because one thing about me that is absolutely true. I am a huge emotional risk taker. I am not a financial risk taker. I am very, very conservative in that way. Not many ways, but definitely in that way. So this was really frightening to me and not that I don’t think you should, you know, go for your dreams and I wouldn’t have supported something but this just seems so unplanned and unthought out that It was very frightening to me. And he talked me down from that ledge and a lot of double talk, but you know what, you just don’t understand that this is going to be this and, and, you know, with this whole business plan and everything So, okay, okay, I kept trying just don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic. And that went on for about a year and it was really just turned out to be David, a huge show game we’re in. He just, you know, moved money around and played games and I was gone a lot between book stuff and taking care of my mother. And in that time, bottom line here, he emptied everything when I wasn’t looking. So that the night that he announced he was leaving me there, the savings and I was 4344 at the time, savings was gone. Retirement was gone. investment funds got everything gone. And he informed me I had about 100 $2,000 of debt.
David Ralph [9:02]
So you really did hit rock bottom at that point.
Lee Gaitan [9:05]
Yeah. Merry Christmas.
David Ralph [9:08]
What was it wasn’t anything else other you know, obviously, I imagine that you were physically healthy at that time. So that was a good thing.
Unknown Speaker [9:14]
Yeah. That was a good thing. But
David Ralph [9:16]
other than that, was there anything else that could have come your way? Or really, when you look back on it? That was as bad as it was?
Lee Gaitan [9:24]
Yeah, yeah. Within about
a month, less than a month, I started having a lot of health problems, which you would think Well, that would not be unusual. And they really weren’t related to that. But I don’t know. I kind of think that the stress brings all this out in you. But fortunately, everything did work out alright. But it was, it was just one hit after another because when all of that was gone, and the company was gone. Of course, my health insurance was gone. And then I you know, this onslaught of health issues which involved in so much Expensive testing in my car fell apart and let me tell you at work people would not stand close to me. I’d never had a car accident I was rear ended like four times and they would burn you know, sage around me
trying to kill the evil spirit Did you don’t
David Ralph [10:24]
run away at the same time or anything?
Lee Gaitan [10:27]
Oh no, but he developed a thyroid problem okay,
David Ralph [10:31]
stress you say these dogs I can pick up on it.
Lee Gaitan [10:36]
And it I joke and I so we had a male dog at the time. And I said, Oh my god, oh my god. Now he’s having gender identity issues. He stopped lifting his leg he started squatting I’m not kidding you.
David Ralph [10:50]
So So how does somebody start making movements past but did you have a week or two weeks or a couple of days when you just kept the curtains drawn and you played sad music and you just dwelled in it.
Lee Gaitan [11:05]
Okay, so like you were here, and I didn’t know that is that, as someone told you about me, you know, the best thing that I can say, Excuse me, if something this sort of catastrophic happens. It’s really nice to have the luxury of time to kind of process at least some of it or begin to begin processing. What’s happening? I didn’t have a lot of time to do that, because of the financial pressure. Excuse me, I had to start making moves quickly. But in one of the more bizarre twists of this whole thing, he dumps all of this on me just as my daughter’s walking through the door basically with her boyfriend and I have dinner ready. And after he tells me all this, he says, Now, here’s the thing. You can’t I don’t want you to tell anybody until Christmas is over because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday? Apparently I was not any. I had to play act for like two weeks with people and opening presents and oh, everything is just fine.
David Ralph [12:18]
What? He’s come back and he’s taken the rug from you, basically. Yeah. Why did you then go Okay, I will play to your rules and not go well, screw you. Mr. you’ve just done this to me when I was thinking that I’m going to do is make you seem good.
Lee Gaitan [12:33]
Exactly. Yeah, many people asked that I asked myself, I think is a combination of things. One shock. I, there was part of me that was like, Oh, this is crap. You know, he’s, he’s just, he’s, this is in two days. He’s gonna say, I don’t know, I lost my mind. I don’t know what I’m talking about. You know, yeah, I lost, you know, a lot of our money and everything but we’re going to work. Everything’s going to be okay. So It just didn’t seem real to me. And honestly, my daughter was walking through the door with her new boyfriend. So that was not the time to you know, fall apart. And then people my whole family was coming, were coming the next day, all kinds of things. So it just I really just didn’t feel like I could do that. At that moment. I didn’t make it all the way through the whole two weeks. I I did after the company had gone I did tell my daughter what was going on. And, and my family and my sister and my family. You know, I didn’t tell my mom at that point because she was still not really well.
David Ralph [13:43]
You know, she a strong person. Are you somebody that can play a role when it’s required?
Lee Gaitan [13:49]
Apparently, Apparently so. I did do a lot of theatre. This was Theatre of the absurd in ESCO has nothing on me but he Here’s what he took off. Part of the Part Part three or four of this was an okay after the Christmas he set out then on New Year’s Eve, so we’re coming up on an anniversary of sorts here for me. He said I am I’m leaving and I am going out to I was we were living in Atlanta, Georgia at the time. He was going out to Arizona, the other end of the country to go hiking in the mountains for a week. And I was there was no cell phones. Oh, that was this whole elaborate thing. Well, of course he was with his girlfriend, but it did. I just couldn’t join up those dots at the time. So the week that he was gone, that’s when I did what you described. I was on my bed, crying, unable to move, just unable to move for about that whole week. And
you know, just absolutely.
in shock paralysed and not knowing what to think half like I said, How With me not believing it, and the other half not knowing what am I going to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do?
David Ralph [15:06]
So So what made you stop moving? Ben, you’re laying on the bed and obviously you’re not in that bed now. So was it just right? I’ve got to get going. I’ve got no other option or was there something else?
Unknown Speaker [15:18]
Well, I moved from the bed to the couch.
Unknown Speaker [15:21]
That’s a good thing.
Lee Gaitan [15:23]
Really, it was that I didn’t have any other option. Because financially, I had to really get my ducks in a row so to speak. Because this was just the beginning. Unfortunately, what he revealed to me then, was the tip of the iceberg as far as his financial flim flamming. And chicken and I liken it it’s like when you see a little string on your sweater and you pull it thinking that you’re going to get rid of that little string and, and all of a sudden, the whole thing is unravelled and you’re standing naked. And that’s kind of what it was. It was too years of, you know, he’d put a second mortgage on the house, he’d taken out lines of credit things that just came to light over time. I he had not paid the tax at our property taxes. I didn’t know that. So I had to come up with all of this money. And the I did have a little bit of money that my dad had left me when he passed away by ear, but that was supposed to be for me. Well, it was just, you know, try to stem the bleeding. So I immediately had to find a job. I had a job I was working but I was working part time because I was writing I’d finally gotten to the point where I could afford to work part time and focus on writing. And so I had david for about six years I worked anywhere from I never had fewer than two jobs, and many times for jobs, sometimes six for about six years to pay to keep a roof over my this was not to live in luxury. This was to of course I had to sell House immediately he left he said, okay, the house is yours. Yeah, well guess what? There’s like all kinds of debt on this house. And so I still had to sell the house at a fire sale. sold everything I could think of. It is quite possible that I still have a kidney on eBay. I’m not sure if that listing has expired or not. What you
David Ralph [17:22]
did is, you know, fascinating you gave yourself a moment of reflection. Yes, you were laying on your bed. Yes, she was laying on your sofa. But most times we need that we need to be able to actually shut out the noise and just think and listen to that inner voice inside. And then that inner voice pretty much said to you, right? Okay, you got to start taking action and you may not like it but you’re going to do that. Now when you when he was doing your two jobs over time. Did you ever get to a point of acceptance or was there gritted teeth all the way through it.
Lee Gaitan [17:56]
Um, there were some good there with Indeed, because this had not been my plan at all. And it was very hard that my biggest challenge mentally was to stop myself from ruminating, which is a bad habit I have to begin with. And to stop saying this is not what I’m supposed to be doing this is because it felt to me like I had just arrived at where I needed and wanted to be. And things were just about to open up for me. I handled him around the country for 20 some years as he was getting transferred and promoted and you know, that kind of thing, and raised my daughter pretty much as a de facto single parent because he was gone time and travelling. His job was involved a lot of travel, and sort of putting myself on the back burner. So it’s okay, she comes first. This kind of family comes first. I’ll do what I can where I can, and I’m going to get my chance and I just had gotten my chance to get back into everything I loved, which was you know, a lot of interviews with wonderful people like you and a lot of speaking to women’s groups and all that kind of stuff and a lot of writing and boom, it was gone. Because that, you know, I needed money immediately not Oh, well yeah, maybe we’ll hire you, you know, for a freelance piece or something, or maybe the book will sell more or whatever. So that was my biggest challenge to quit saying, I’m losing Look how much ground I’m losing. And this was taken away from me. Fortunately, fortunately, the things I was doing my another one of my, you know, career passions or field is teaching and in teaching English as a second language. And so that’s what I was doing during those times. And I did like a lot of that. That’s not what I wanted to be doing at that time. But it’s, you know, you have no here’s the thing that no one would have suspected that I was miserable. I was the only one that knew so, so
David Ralph [20:00]
If somebody came along with a magic wand and said, Look, I can waive this and your husband will be back in your life. Would you? Would you have taken it? Or would you have gone? No, actually, no, I’m not closed the door and I’ve moved on.
Lee Gaitan [20:14]
Oh, yeah. No, because he had just revealed himself to be you know, marriage is breakup. I just wanted to normal divorce I normal divorce would have been good at that. That kind where they said, I’m, you know, I’m not happy I’m leaving up, but I’m going to honour all my financial obligations. I’m still going to be a father to our daughter. I’m not going to abandon her and not speak to her for five years, and run off with another woman who had five children. So while my daughter’s dealing with the fact that her father has basically told her you’re not worth my staying here in this location, not in the marriage, but in this town. I’m going to go play daddy to five other children. No, I did not want him but if someone David had said I will wave a magic wand and fill your bank account. I really would have taken that. Yeah, I would have circum then I would have short circuited any learning process and going for that. But here’s the thing. There are all kinds of hidden blessings, lessons, whatever you want to call it along the way. And one of them is this a really big one. I am here talking to you today. I’ll tell you why I talk about I think connecting the dots are joining up the dots. I was speaking at an educational conference that I did not want to go to. I was furious that it was on a Saturday and Anyhow, I end up speaking, impromptu. It was not not supposed to be speaking. But one of the things that went on during the marketing part of this, I ended up doing a presentation. The person in the audience watching this I did not know was the keynote speaker for this conference, who sought me out and said, Is there a reason you’re not doing This full time professionally as it is because my life was hijacked, okay. And I don’t have I can’t do that right now. So through him, I got involved in a speaker’s group. And someone I met in there introduced me to another person who is the person who recommended you to me or me to you or introduced you to me. So there you go.
David Ralph [22:26]
It’s amazing how that happens time and time again. But it only happened because you got off that sofa and you went to that thing because you didn’t want to do it once you put yourself out there and you start connecting. And you’re doing it in the right way. And this is one of the messages I tried to get over on the show, that if you want a dream and you want something that is tangible, and you can almost taste it, you got to go to it. It’s not going to come to you. You can’t make a mountain to you. You’ve got to go to the mountain and climate.
Lee Gaitan [22:56]
But once you start making steps toward that mountain, it’s amazing. You find new paths, maybe an easier path, a faster path or just opportunities come to you and I tell you know that quick, the bottom line on all this is, these are the steps I tell people when something happens. First take some time to process and just get your you know, collect yourself and allow yourself to grieve because, you know, even if it’s not a death of a person, which I was fortunate, you know, I mean it all it can always be worse, you know, I didn’t lose a child, I was not living in a world or anything like that. But it was still it was the loss of a job is the loss of a dream, the loss of your house, whatever a relationship, whatever that is, you grieving a loss every bit as real as the death to you. And so you need to take time to do that and you need to honour that and you need to not Mark eyes or you know, diminish how much that hurts. So it’s not to gloss over Something it’s to get over something and I really get frustrated with this whole get over it, you know, fast culture beat. No, it’s a process. That’s the goal to get over it. But you don’t do it the next day, it doesn’t happen in five minutes. If that’s what you’re doing, then you’re just in denial and you’re setting yourself up for much bigger problems. So process, okay, then once you kind of have a clear head, assess the damages, you know, and can you contain this disaster stem the bleeding where you can and see what’s left, once the dust settles, what do you still have to work with? I did not have anything really except myself. So maybe you have to take inventory of yourself. You have to look for skills, and abilities maybe you had not used in a while, or that could be used in a different way and see what you can make with what you have left. And then I think you really have to get your team together. Surround yourself with people who can support you in whatever ways you need for whether it’s, you know, maybe legal, if you need an attorney, if you need an accountant, if you need a therapist, if you need a career counsellor and your friends and the friends that are going to let you scream and yell and cry, but not let you stay there. So, that’s the thing. I mean, it’s you’ve got to have moments where you do just little you, you just cry and scream and you know, wail and gnashing of teeth and curse the heavens. That’s fine to do. But the next day, you need to get up and get back at it.
David Ralph [25:36]
Well, let’s play some words now that really sort of take it into the motivational. You’ve been on the journey which started at a very low air, but there are so many people out there that are not as rock bottom, they’re just kind of somewhere there somewhere lost, doing jobs, relationships further. Yeah, but they’re drifting. So let’s play some words. Hopefully you can stir the mud around them and get them going. You see Tim carry.
Jim Carrey [26:01]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [26:27]
Well, you did anything you could to survive you really at that point, as he was saying, but did you find the thing that you love was the thing yourself, it seemed to be quite insightful, but you said the only thing I had was myself was was that a realisation? But actually, your way forward was within you.
Lee Gaitan [26:50]
Exactly. And I can’t believe you I didn’t know you were going to play that particular clip. But oh my god, what I have written down here is at the bottom of all of this, even You know, you’re going through and doing what you have to do because you have to pay bills and you have to eat. Never, Never did I let go of the the real core belief, not that there weren’t doubts, of course, that I am going to get back. What is really me, I am going to somehow make my way back. It seems like a million miles away. But I just kept telling myself, it’s okay, I just need to get through this. I need to get through this. I’m going to get back what I want. I’m going to get back because it’s not really even what I want in the terms of, Oh, you know, I would like that. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. And what I do comes out of who I’m going to get to get that back. And even when I was doing things that weren’t exactly where I want it to be. If it’s really who you are, you can’t help but have that come out. I mean, I was teaching sixth graders about the last thing on God’s earth I would ever want to do. I don’t like Six credit, the kids were, you know, had no idea they loved me. They loved my class my kids performed at the top of you know, their group, because I couldn’t help but perform for them. And every day I thought of, okay, you’re doing your own show today, just pretend that you’re are doing your TV show again, and we’re going to put on a performance and that it comes out and, you know, you just sort of gravitate and people, you start pulling in the right people because people notice that you need to be who you are. And you cannot, cannot stop believing. So So do you think that
David Ralph [28:43]
everyone out there can do something that will lead to something because I think a lot of people they’re in a crappy job, whatever, and I go, right, Okay, the next job is going to be one. But of course, it’s not like that in life. It’s you need a journey. So As long as you know that you’re moving towards something, you can do stuff that you don’t like, if you know that you’re gaining experience or you’re gaining financial rewards or whatever, which will make that dream come closer.
Lee Gaitan [29:12]
Exactly. That’s exactly what I think you have, I think it’s two parts and you have to find a balance between being realistic and practical and pragmatic. And also, you know, the more intangible kind of thing, which is the belief I just think there is such power in real belief and faith. It is incredibly at once you really connect in yourself once you are really have that at your core. There is a lot of personal power that you have. And of course, you can’t just say, Okay, I’m quitting my job today paying any bills and I’m just going to go you know, I’m moving to Hollywood or something, or wherever your dream may be. No, you have to, to balance that with what are the real things that I can do right now? The They’re going to take me step by step closer and some people are very fortunate and the steps are big and few and you get there. Other people, you know, who knows why? There are lots of things we can’t control, you know, the economy crashed and all kinds of things happened. But you don’t stop. The only way you lose this game. David is if you quit the game.
David Ralph [30:24]
Well, I think you can lose it if you don’t start the game as well.
Lee Gaitan [30:27]
Well, that’s true. Yeah, that’s true. And if you don’t see it through if you I don’t care how dark the night is, there is going to be a morning but if you don’t make it to the morning, you’re not going to know that and and how terribly sad. That is. I’m certainly not, you know, all the way there but I am much. I’m certainly on the road. I’m much closer and you know, the fact that you have survived a crisis doesn’t mean there isn’t another one around the corner. And you hope that there isn’t, but you also know something, you know that you have Strength and much more than you ever thought. And you know that you have an incredible amount of perseverance that you didn’t think you would have. So what you’re not not that you’re inviting disaster into your life, but it won’t be quite as scary, because you know yourself much better now. So they’re kind of it takes a while to get the perspective of being able to turn around and look back and be grateful for what happened. Or at least, you know, maybe it wasn’t the way you would have planned it, not the way you wanted to learn lessons and to be able to Join Up Dots as you say, and see how one thing led to another
David Ralph [31:42]
because of it mentally.
Lee Gaitan [31:44]
I’m well I’m an older person, David and
my whole thing is I talked about but don’t just bounce bounce back. And you know, just about everything on me is bouncing now, but um, yeah, I think I think in a lot of ways I am I’m certainly I don’t know better. Um, but I’m certainly stronger. And I’m a lot more resilient than I thought I was. I know myself a lot better. And I’m prouder of myself.
David Ralph [32:14]
And you connect with people more because you’ve got you’ve got a story I mean, you the people that have been through hardships Yeah, we can we connect to them easier because we look at anything Oh my god. Thank God, I didn’t go through that. But then when you do go through it, when you got a point of reference, do you find that’s how so many people find you because you have gone through? But yeah,
Lee Gaitan [32:36]
I can’t believe it’s, I mean, I thought that what happened as far as my ex husband was just so a typical and in just, you know, out of the house, I never heard of such a thing. You know what, it’s not all that crazy. I mean, not his particular things, but I have met so many women now with similar stories of men just up and I meant to and you both ways the husband or the wife just kind of out of the blue boats, whether they’re having some and it’s, you know, like, I do what would seems to be a stereotypical period like a midlife crisis kind of thing. But just these, you know, totally unexpected twists twist where someone just, you know, ups and abandons or leave someone else. So it’s exactly what you say now I don’t see someone Oh my god, that’s so horrible. Oh, I’m so sorry. No, I say, huh. I know. I know. It is horrible. And then Part two is, but let me tell you what, you can get through this. You really can. I know. You don’t think that right now? I absolutely know and I can’t tell you how. Exactly, but I know that you can and I know that you will. So So where do your clients come
David Ralph [33:53]
from they global of it all a local?
Lee Gaitan [33:56]
No, I would say well, I was at least continental. I Haven’t had anyone from outside of the country. But yeah, and most of the attend more women than men. But I have had a lot of men that have read my book not so much signed up for any kind of coaching or, you know, some of the classes that I do the online courses that I do, but um, a lot of people will write to me men and women. So yeah, they find me through the book, they find me through my website, they find me because they hear me talking to someone like you. And it’s just it’s, it’s amazing to me because one of the biggest things that one of the biggest hurdles for me when this happened was I did feel very alone in my particular circumstance. Not that I didn’t have friends and well wishes and that kind of thing. But I didn’t know anybody else that had gone through anything like this and there was a lot of shame and embarrassment. So it really makes me happy that I can take kind of less than that for others. people and say there’s nothing wrong with the it’s just, you know, human nature to feel I did something horribly wrong. All these bad things are happening to me. You know God the universe and everyone hates me and I’m a terrible person or else bad things would like this wouldn’t happen of course that’s absurd, but you, you know, you still feel that way. And it’s a very solitary kind of feeling so I’m glad if I am able to make other people not feel so alone in that because that’s that’s one of the hardest
David Ralph [35:32]
parts. Life hits hard, doesn’t it?
Lee Gaitan [35:35]
Yeah, and it really sucks.
David Ralph [35:39]
Let’s play some words that sort of emphasise that as well. I like these words. So when it when this is an opportunity, I’m gonna throw these in. This is Rocky,
Steve Jobs [35:46]
you, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward how much you can take a keep moving forward.
David Ralph [36:03]
Were you surprised at how much you could take and keep moving forward?
Lee Gaitan [36:07]
Yeah, and I just have to say, yo, Adrian. Oh my god that’s from rocky Bell but you don’t know. This is like a secret one else not gonna be so secret. My guilty pleasure. I absolutely love rocky rocky two was my favourite. I cry every time. And then Rocky Balboa which was that quote was from his I loved how he ended that series, the middle ones three and four. Were just embarrassments. But the last one was really good. And that’s exactly right. You have to keep getting back up. And it is like the stuff that your parents told you is true. And you really hate that your parents were right. But but they they were and since I’m a parent now I do like the idea of parents being right. You don’t know what’s coming. You know, I had had a very comfortable existence. And that was completely gone and shattered and by mid life you feel like You’ve gone through the struggle, you know, you’ve gone through the financial win, you know, starting out with nothing and building a life together and all of that and taking the crappy jobs. That was hard, because I felt like I’d been thrown backwards. You know, I’ve already done this, I’ve already done the crappy jobs and paid my dues to get to where I want to be. It can be gone in an instant. So you need to really get real with who you are. And, by the
David Ralph [37:29]
way, because so many people are engulfed by life, they almost don’t give themselves a chance to find out who they are, is only when a situation like this occurs. It really does sort of knock you back on your heels and it makes you reflect and quite often at those times, you will come back stronger and be somewhat surprised that you have come back that way because you just don’t think you’ve got it in you. So how do you think people can find their thing in life?
Lee Gaitan [37:54]
I would, you know, don’t wait for a crisis to hit. Do not wait for a crisis to It, you need to start take, you need to stop and look at your life and really get serious about what your goals are and stop just drifting from one day into the next. And having this sort of intangible ephemeral idea of, well, someday, you know, I’m gonna have this or I’m gonna have that, and that is something I don’t think I took seriously enough when I was younger, and that was, you know, your goal setting and, you know, younger people might, as I was at one time, kind of seemed to be, you know, contend to be dismissive about that. And we have these grandiose visions of, Oh, well, this is going to happen and I’m going to get everything I want. It doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t opportunities may seem to happen. But even if an opportunity just happens to you, you need to be ready to take advantage of it. You need to think about very practical concerns. What kind What do you want your life life to look like and I mean every aspect What do you want it to look like financially? Where is it you want to live? What kind of lifestyle Do you want to have? What really is important to you? Is time more important than money? Is money more important than time? is a particular Do you want to have a job that dependent on location? What and be honest with yourself about what your skills and abilities are? Don’t diminish or don’t you know be little the skills and ability DS that you have, but at the same time, don’t think that you can do things that really you can’t I’m not going to be a ballet dance sneak to be clear about as my ex husband’s girlfriend, the now ex wife is the second ex wife said to me, I’ve seen your pictures. You couldn’t be a stripper. She’s right, David. So I need to get real about about that.
David Ralph [39:55]
When it comes together for you bow it seems almost effortless, doesn’t it? What you’re doing in your life is so you you’re playing to your experiences, you’re playing to your strengths, your talents, and all those kind of things. And in many ways, you are probably like so many of the people that I speak to you almost look over your shoulder and think, how am I getting away with this? How am I making a living doing something that I love? I’m very good at but in many ways, it doesn’t feel like work.
Lee Gaitan [40:25]
Exactly. And boy, that’s like the dream situation. Isn’t there a high can you it is a high that is anything else. And that’s when you have those moments, those the ones you need to take seriously when you’re young and you’re sort of trying out different things when you have those moments where it feels like that I can remember years ago, I was in an editing booth. I didn’t realise I was producing a 30 minutes and I was in there for like 12 hours. It I had no clue that it was 12 hours in this tiny little editing, editing film for 12 hours. It I came out of there and it was like one of the most amazing days I’ve ever had. Because that’s what you need to take seriously. When you have those kinds of moments that’s telling you something about the direction you need to head. Not that you need to lock yourself in a booth for 12 hours. But that’s, that’s the area that you need to pursue, and not the ones that that zap all of the life out of you. And sometimes, you know, you have to do stuff, but you can’t lose sight of finding your way to that moment where all of those where your life is, is comprised of those moments.
David Ralph [41:44]
We’ve got a chap coming on next week. And he is he calls himself flow culture. And he believes that we can train ourselves to get into that point as you’re saying, when you are in a state of flow and you’re enjoying the work so much but you you Lose hours of your life. And I find that on a daily basis I I look up more often than not because my tummy rumbles and I think to myself, Oh, I must have something to eat more than thinking, I need to stop because it’s just so enjoyable.
Lee Gaitan [42:15]
It’s so much fun. It’s so much fun. I can’t believe you said that flow I have written here in my notes, you need to balance between intentionally planning and letting things flow. Once you get into the flow. Once you get into your flow, there’s a book called flow dreaming. By summer, I can’t think of her name. She used to work with Wayne Dyer. And it’s a one and that’s exactly what she talks about. Once you really get into your flow. Things happen. It seemed it’s not magical thinking like, Oh, I don’t have to do anything. I’m just gonna sit here and I and things will happen to me. No, but you do kind of get into your flow and into your truth. And you just things sort of gravitate To you, you start pulling in opportunity. To you, I always say you need to have that belief, belief belief which is inside of you. It’s not anything on paper. It’s not anything you can apply for. But once you really get in touch with that belief, then in the outside, that’s the internal, the outside external world, you need to be making choices and decisions that are in support of that belief. Because if you’re not making those choices and decisions, then I don’t think you really have that belief. You’re not there yet. You tell me I’m going to lose 30 pounds and every and I know I can I believe I can’t, I know I can do this. And every decision I see you making is to eat ice cream and garbage and or I’m going to get healthy and you don’t do anything. Consciously to support that belief, then you don’t really believe that. So you need to go back to the belief you need to go back to square one and fight What do I believe? Because what you’re telling the world is, I believe that’s never going to happen for me. And that’s why I’m making all these bad choices. So, you know, they go hand in hand, but I think it starts inside of you.
David Ralph [44:13]
And when we see in sports world all the time, you’re in the zone, where they just hit a golf ball, and they don’t even have to think about it and everything just flows around you. It’s, it’s something that I’m very aware of. Now, if I feel that I’m pushing too hard against something,
I now try to find a different way to push because there’s got to be an easier route.
Lee Gaitan [44:35]
Exactly. And I was very, very guilty of trying to shove things in, you know, trying to shove that square peg into a round hole in many ways, in relationships, in job career choices. That’s that is telling you when there’s that much resistance, not that you should give up if it doesn’t work the first time but when you are Continually meeting with nothing but resistance and failure of something to complete failure to complete something. That’s a message. You know, that’s like you said, You’ve got to either change what you’re trying to do or change the way you’re trying to do it.
David Ralph [45:18]
So let’s get into the point now of your story. Because you are, you’re a career coach, a life coach, you you’re an author, you’ve got so many things going on in your life. When somebody sort of comes up to you and says to you, you know, Lee, what do you do for a living? How do you actually phrase it?
Lee Gaitan [45:37]
Um, I bounce back. It’s a way of life. Yeah, yeah. I you know what, I think you say, I’m living my truth. And my truth happens to be reaching out to help others live their truth and maybe find their truth.
David Ralph [45:55]
And do they accept that answer, or do they look at you with a kind of quizzical quizzical look
Lee Gaitan [45:59]
They look at me like that and I said why right and I speak you know?
David Ralph [46:04]
And what was your book called my point I was went to Houston then what? What’s the Houston business?
Lee Gaitan [46:10]
Exactly. This is something that happened. Years ago I was coming back on a very early morning flight from Miami. I my first book had just been published. I was on a little book. My first book was nothing but humour. It was about women in midlife turning 40 and that was called falling flesh just ahead and other signs on the road to midlife. And it was a very funny book. And it was very popular. Good morning talk show, you know, kind of stuff very light. And I was coming back from doing this little promotional tour in Florida, flying back to Atlanta, and an older gentleman was sitting next to me and we started talking. And he said, I asked him what, you know, he asked me what I was doing, and I told him, and I asked him what he was doing. He was was coming back from Central America. He and his wife had gone down there to help with relief efforts after a terrible hurricane. And I was oh, I was commending him and he was just, you know, no, no is No, thanks. What we wanted to do is nothing special for us. We just, you know, no one had paid them to go. They didn’t go with an organisation. They took care of all their own expenses. They just wanted to go and help. And he was a Southern Gentleman, and he just talked like this. And he said, you know, about the only thing I did want was a crate of fresh pineapples because man, then pineapples you get down there ain’t nothing like what you get in the stores up here. And I said, Oh, I’m sure I’m sure you know, they’re wonderful and fresh and all that. And so he had made arrangements to have a creative pineapple sent back to their home in Missouri, to surprise his wife. And oh, the logistics were a nightmare. There were flights were cancelled. And the weather was bad at bottom line he told me well I’m on this connecting flight here and going to Atlanta my wife she’s back in Miami waiting for her flat am upon apples name upon apples done went to Houston That was
Unknown Speaker [48:20]
hilarious. Hey struck
Lee Gaitan [48:23]
exit I said oh my god. That’s exactly right. You plan and you plan and you plan and you try to do all the right things. And sometimes you’re dying pineapples end up in Houston. And so at that moment, I told him I said, you know, I’m working on my second book, and I’m going to use that title. But David the book that was being written at that point in time very different from what it turned out to be in the end so but that I just you know, it’s that’s exploited my pineapples ever go to Houston, honey, they went way further than Houston.
David Ralph [48:56]
Let’s play some words now back kind of okay. Go on the theme of the pineapple was about life, you can’t really plan it. This was said by Steve Jobs back in 2005. Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [49:07]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:42]
Do those words make all the difference to you, Lee?
Lee Gaitan [49:45]
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Exactly. That is profound, absolutely profound truth. You have to trust it. And that’s what I tell people. You’re going to get through this. I’m going to help you. I’m going to give you you know some steps But really, we know exactly how but you have to trust and believe that somehow or other, you are going to get from.to dot dot. And it’s going to look crazy for a while. And it’s like there’s, you know, no, this is not leading anywhere. But at the end or, you know, different junctures not the end of your life. But at the end of maybe this crisis, or this part of your journey went back, it’s going to blow your mind that things connected in ways that made absolutely no sense at the time or that you it even if you had the power to do connect things you would have never been able to do that on your own.
David Ralph [50:41]
happening to you.
Unknown Speaker [50:42]
Um, yeah, I guess.
Lee Gaitan [50:46]
I mean, you know, it’s, nobody wants to go through really hard times. I mean, let’s be honest. You know, there’s a certain superficial reality to all of us, and we prefer easy, pretty and nice. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of you know, Hard, ugly and mean. And so yeah, I am glad I am glad that things happened the way they did. And in many ways I am in a much better relationship. I tell you what, David, I would have never had the courage to leave. You know, my marriage was starting to really kind of deteriorate because of the lack of quitting the job and he was really starting to go down a path I was not comfortable with a was more and more cut off not speaking at a I was really probably would have never been able to say I’m not happy because that was very hard for me to say what I wanted. So it wife that problem was solved. And I am remarried and to probably someone who’s much better suited to me. And we have a very nice step family has come together in an incredible way. I had one daughter and I always wanted more children, but my ex husband did not. And I have inherited two incredible step sons and they and my daughter, you would think they’d been hatched together. They are all very, very close. And now everyone’s married and we the spouses are great. And boy, I never when I said I wanted three children, I always said I wanted three children. And I wanted sons and daughters. And you know what? I got them. It just wasn’t the way I thought it was going to be.
David Ralph [52:29]
That’s perfect. Isn’t it? that that that is a title to a show.
Lee Gaitan [52:32]
Yeah, yeah. And guess what? I didn’t even have to have stretch marks for those others. Our mom did all the hard work. And she is incredibly generous, and lets me share them. So
David Ralph [52:45]
he’s perfect, absolutely perfect. Well, this is the end of the show. Now, this is the part where I’m going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. We recorded the Sermon on the mic. But if you could go back and speak to the young version, what age would you You choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme now and when it fades, you’re up this is the Sermon on the mic. The Mount
Lee Gaitan [53:29]
I would tell myself if I could go back and talk to my younger self Well, obviously I would say do not marry that man. But in a more in a more general and more applicable way for other people. I think the biggest thing I need would love to tell myself because this even sometimes makes me cry when I think about her the young girl. Do not fear ever do not ever fear or apologise for having a dream. Do not ever fear or apologise for your ambition. Do not downplay your abilities or your ambition to make other people feel feel better or feel more secure. And don’t let others be little your dream. And it’s good to be there. For others, it’s very good for others and to, to care about others. But do not forget to show up for yourself because if you don’t show up for yourself, no one else is gonna show up for you. So you need to show up first for yourself and take care of yourself. You have the right to be present in your own life. And that doesn’t mean you’re being selfish and it doesn’t mean that you’re an egotist, that you’re not concerned about other people, but you need to take care of yourself and that is your that’s your birthright. And from that care for other people grows and you are able to take much better care of yourself. It’s just like when you’re on the plane and they tell you if there’s a lack of oxygen. Take your oxygen mask first before you try to help others because you aren’t getting oxygen You certainly can’t do anything to serve other people. And I think those are pretty much the basic truths that I wish I had really taken to heart when I was younger.
David Ralph [55:10]
Me, how can our audience connect with you?
Lee Gaitan [55:14]
Um, website is probably the best. It’s www dot lead guy tan, gi ta n.com. And all kinds of signups on there for free stuff. offer courses from time to time. I blog, please read my blog comment. I always read the comments and we’ll answer back to you. So that’s probably the best portal for getting to me.
David Ralph [55:39]
We will have over links on the show notes leave. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures league. gaitan Thank you so much.
Lee Gaitan [55:55]
Thank you, David. It’s been such a treat.
David doesn’t Want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.