We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlin & Paul Kindman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaitlin & Paul, how do you think about risk?
Risk-taking permeates our life together. We believe that risk is essential to cultivating an enriching existence: to engaging your purpose, feeling true joy, and having meaning.
A life without risk is playing it safe, which often means that the world remains quite small. Without risk, you don’t learn to challenge yourself or build resilience and courage. Yet when we push ourselves, we tend to have very meaningful and eye-opening experiences that shape our perspective. To be your authentic self, you have to embrace risk. We believe this fully and attempt to embody it in all aspects our lives. We bring this to our business by transparently communicating about the ways that we’re impacted by our clients, our work, and the world, as well as in taking a clear stand for our inclusive, anti-oppressive values. This opens us up to the possibility that our openness may alienate people or that others may judge us, think less of us, or be disappointed in us. We’re okay with this. If we prioritize caring about what others may think, or the customers we may lose, we compromise getting to be our full selves and living our values.
Everything we have learned–both as therapists and as humans—tells us that vulnerability is an essential value and mode of being, if we are to have depth in our relationships and find intimately nourishing connections. Vulnerability is the feeling of taking risks and tells us that something we care about is at stake. Vulnerability and risk-taking are also impactful: they help to open your heart towards others and be more embracing of change. If you’re talking to someone who is clearly putting themselves out there and you know how scary this feels, you are likely to appreciate the way that they’re showing up. You probably feel more connected to them, even if what they’re saying is contrary to what you think or believe, and you’re more likely to be open to considering their point-of-view.
Benefits aside, taking risks is not easy to do! We recognize that the conditions have to be right in order to take a risk and often that intersects with having some privilege and security. To have courage to do things that scare you, you need to have supports; to feel like you are standing on steady enough ground to be able to take a jump. You need to know that you have people around you who are rooting for you and most importantly, will catch you if you fall. Take starting a small business, for example. There is significant emotional and financial risk in deciding to become a business owner. You don’t know if things will work out or if you’re going to fall on your face, feel ashamed, and be in heaps of debt. At the same time if you play it too safe, you won’t be breathing enough life into your endeavor for it to actually stand a chance to thrive.
For us to start our business, we had to know that we had a little cushion and that there’d be people to help us pick ourselves back up if things fell apart. The other piece of braving risk is asking for help. We know we need support, but our supports are only as good as we let them be. If you are prideful around asking for help or carry stories of “needing to have done it entirely on your own,” you will likely avoid support. If you aren’t comfortable leaning on your people for a little while or if you feel ashamed, you are really going to struggle if things don’t work out! Thus, you are less likely to take risks; in the end, the consequences may just be too great. We feel that risk-taking is where the juice of life is.
We encourage you to cultivate supports and practice asking for help when you need it so that you can embrace vulnerability and risk. We want for you to get to have all the experiences that you’re wanting and to live as meaningfully, purposefully, and joyfully as you can.
What should our readers know about your business?
Kindman & Co. is a social justice-forward psychotherapy group founded by Kaitlin and Paul Kindman. We’re a husband and wife team, offering therapy services in partnership with a diverse group of skilled clinicians. Located in Highland Park, we provide healing support for individuals, couples, and families on the Eastside of Los Angeles.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Cafe Birdie, Gold Line bar, Huaraches Azteca, Huntington library and Gardens, Langer’s deli A bloc for coffee Drive thru pupusas Din tai fung Cliffs edge patio Cinerama dome Mission tiki drive in
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to the Relational Center, a community agency which provides low cost, social justice informed therapy services, which has deeply informed our practice values and approach to therapy. It’s also the place where we met – so our practice would not exist without it.