#20 | Ex-Pilot & Mother of Three on Flying & Postpartum Depression with Kim Cooper
About This Episode
Kim Cooper started flying at 17 after getting a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology and was one of the three women out of 400 pilots at the beginning of her career. She was flying planes even when she was five months pregnant with her first son. Figuring out the technology on her computer or spending time with kids is more stressful for Kim than flying a plane.
After college, Kim started flying right away to build hours to be able to move further up the career ladder. She flew cargo planes for a while, corporate airplanes, and then commercial airplanes. When Kim had her first son, she was gone three days a week and at home for four. She realized that was a good time for herself to recharge, a clear delineation of work – home.
Kim never felt less because she was a woman, in fact, she always tried to blend in. She was determined and had made it work: the life-balance thing (even though she now calls it flow.) She calls herself a motivational storyteller. She’s a real believer in intuition.
“I spent most of my adult life as a pilot. I’ve always tried to blend in with the men around. I would wear the male tie. I was almost afraid to be feminine; I didn’t want to be different.”
In 2014 Kim’s husband quit his job, they sold their house and planned to travel around the world with their 8-year old son. Kim’s dreams had suddenly crashed when she found out she was pregnant with twins. After going through a very tough postpartum (post-pilot) depression, Kim had turned her life around and started a coaching business helping women who know “there is more to life than their current circumstance.” Kim prefers to reframe a “mid-life crisis” into a “spiritual awakening” experience teaching women meditation and other spiritual growth techniques to take them to the next level.
“I succeeded in the masculine world with power and drive, but there is something to be said for communication, softness, and vulnerability.”
As a mother of three boys Kims feels the enormous responsibility raising conscious men. She admits that at 41 one has way less energy and it’s harder to deal with sleepless nights which led her to exhaustion. Being a mother 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Kim was caught of in the hamster wheel of needing to do more. The generation she grew up in told her: “you can do it all, you can have it all.”
“Stop stressing over what’s coming. Right now, in this moment, everything is FINE.”
Having gone through a tough time juggling it all, Kim says one of the critical lessons to avoid anxiety and depression is finding some minutes to meditate during the day, go off by yourself, sit in the quiet. Stop stressing over what’s coming. Right now, in this moment, everything is FINE. Self-care is essential. You don’t need to prove to anyone you are worthy because YOU ARE WORTHY.
Tools & Resources Mentioned
People/Blogs to Follow
- Cerries Mooney’s Business Archetypes Test – By answering a few simple questions, the test can help you be clear on who you are, and what your strengths are. It can help you understand what it is you’re supposed to be doing, and which direction to focus your energy on.
- Dr. Shefali Tsabary – Conscious Parenting – This ground-breaking approach to parenting has taken Dr. Tsabary’s books to the top of The NY Times best-sellers list. Her blend of clinical psychology and eastern mindfulness sets her apart as a leader in the field of mindfulness psychology.
- “Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers” by Gordon Neufeld – Explains the causes of this crucial breakdown of parental influence—and demonstrates ways to “reattach” to sons and daughters, establish the proper hierarchy in the home, make kids feel safe and understood, and earn back your children’s loyalty and love. This updated edition also specifically addresses the unprecedented parenting challenges posed by the rise of digital devices and social media. By helping to reawaken instincts innate to us all, Neufeld and Maté will empower parents to be what nature intended: a true source of contact, security, and warmth for their children.
- “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson – The authors offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.
- “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown – Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.
- “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine” by Sue Monk Kidd – Kidd tells her very personal story of the fear, anger, healing, and freedom she experienced on the path toward the wholeness that many women have lost in the church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore, to monastery retreats and to rituals in the caves of Crete, she reveals a new level of feminine spiritual consciousness for all women—one that retains a meaningful connection with the “deep song of Christianity,” embraces the sacredness of ordinary women’s experience, and has the power to transform in the most positive ways every fundamental relationship in a woman’s life—her marriage, her career, and her religion.
- “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story” by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor – A wise and involving book about feminine thresholds, spiritual growth, and renewal, Traveling with Pomegranates is both a revealing self-portrait by a beloved author and her daughter, a writer in the making, and a momentous story that will resonate with women everywhere.