Meet the Burnout Expert who is ready to serve you
(excerpt from The Bouncebackability Factor)
My name is Caitlin Donovan and I am...
They say the words that follow ‘I am’ are the most powerful words in your vocabulary. My natural tendency here, especially as author of this book, is to write about the parts that will impress you. My degree, my accomplishments, my blue ribbons would be the things I would say first. But I’m going to flip that on its head. I want you to know what kind of human I am before you find out what kind of schooling I did and why I’m qualified to write this book.
My name is Caitlin Donovan and I am a highly sensitive person with a tendency toward anxiety, covered in a tough shell of Massachusetts brashness for protection. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I get full body chills when I feel that something that was said is really true. I have mediumship abilities that I never took the time to expand upon or learn more about. I come from two incredibly strong ancestral lines that I feel coursing through my body every day.
For most of my life, my biggest pride was book smarts. I was a nerd in school. I loved all things science and getting perfect grades. I left high school assuming I’d be an MD someday. An amazing professor and a love for all things Eastern led me to a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine instead. I have always loved living on the edge of what’s considered ‘normal’. I’ve always had different and creative friends who I cherish more than they’ll every probably truly understand. I like things that are different. I like to live a life that makes good stories.
Most of my growth has come from reading and travel. I have spent well over a decade of my life in foreign countries. I am a polyglot and speak both Polish and English at home with my Polish husband, Marcin. My parents and sister are my true North, and my ability to travel and live abroad was built on the foundation that they created. I always knew exactly where home was, no matter where I was in the world physically.
My biggest flaws are my big mouth, my sugar addiction (feel free to send chocolate if you loved this book), and my uber independence, which can make people feel disconnected from me sometimes. I like being with a book and a mug of something warm (but not hot) more than… well, almost anything. I spend most of my money on Kindle books and love a good pencil skirt and sneaker combo.
My burnout happened while I was doing a job I loved and that was so confusing for me. I followed the rules of finding the thing that makes you happy and doing it. I even did it successfully. I helped hundreds of couples have babies in the first six years of my life as a fertility acupuncturist. I made enough money to cover my bills, my student loans, and nearly any vacation that I wanted. I married my perfect person. What life could be more rewarding or satisfying?
I sure as shit didn’t know the answer to that question. I was disappointed with adulting, especially because I did all the right things.
While I was in Poland, just after grad school, I met Ewa Blaszczak, life coach extraordinaire, and we started a fertility coaching business while I apprenticed with her. We had so much fun but fertility had never really been the right fit for me. In the end, I learned the life coaching skills and Ewa and I let the initial excitement for our business fizzle.
So, here I was, gathering all the skills that I would use, 10 years later, to get myself out of burnout. I just didn’t know it at the time. Instead, I kept plugging on, as one does, ignoring the stress I was facing – in denial about it really.
All these things together, plus my experience of burning out twice, make me the best person to write this exact book right now. (or help you with your burnout journey as your coach!) I’ve taken in the information, I’ve read the books and embodied the wisdom. I’ve traveled to China to do weeks of self-cultivation. I’ve transformed my life little by little. My skills in Chinese medicine and life coaching combined create the perfect backdrop to support you on a burnout journey. It also helps that I’m dying to tell you about it and dying to help you change that path. If you’ve found yourself following the rules and ending up disappointed and disconnected from your passion, this book (or some coaching!) is for you.
New podcast episodes, new courses or membership opportunties - you'll always be the first to know once you're on my mailing list. I send out a heartfelt message to you every week with burnout tips and encouragement (and offers to grab VIP and limited slots in upcoming courses!).
You'll know me well in about 5 minutes :)
1. My magic power is knowing the things that you're saying in your head before you say them outloud. My clients and patients often say 'Get out of my head!' with a laugh or, 'How did you know that? I was JUST thinking about it yesterday!' I believe this skill is a combination of knowledge, experience, intuition, and a side of channeling thrown in. My strongest psychic ability is clairsentience - which means I hear things more than I see them or feel them.
2. I believe in swearing. For f's sake. Intentionally using strong language often breaks down barriers between what we're saying and what we want to say. I need you to have the freedom to LET IT ALL OUT, no matter how ugly you might feel it is, so when the time is right, I'll encourage you with an F bomb or two ;)
3. I'm an easy crier. I have a love/hate relationship with crying. As an HSP (highly sensitive person), I'm moved by - nearly anything. I sob big fat ugly tears watching Queer Eye episodes, or even sometimes sobby commercials will get me. Anything that includes families reconnecting or major personal transformation will have my eyes spilling salty water in zero seconds flat.
4. I love puzzles. It is one of the things that made me love Chinese medicine. As a specialist in Chinese medicine, my job is to put together the symptoms in your life like a puzzle to come up with a full, holistic picture of who you are, what your life is like and where to make changes for maximum impact. I also love actual puzzles - they give me time to think and stay away from screens. I usually have one going on my kitchen counter.
5. I have over 20 first cousins. My dad is one of 9 kids and my mom is one of 7. Family gatherings were always big and loud and even being the sensitive type, I always loved being a part of a big family. A holiday dinner with less than 25 or so people feels empty to me!
6. FRIED - The Burnout Podcast is hosted by yours truly! I started FRIED in the summer of 2019 after an unfortunate Achilles rupture followed by surgery. I was off my feet for 3 months and used the time to finish a book (coming soon!) and start a podcast. It's been one of my most favorite things that I've ever done.
7. I speak Polish (fluently) and Czech (conversationally). My husband is Polish and we spent our first 6 years together in Warsaw, Poland and the next 6 in Prague, Czech Republic. I loved living abroad (maybe it'll happen again someday!) and I'm also glad to be home now.
8. Giving back matters. A percentage of sales here at Cait Donovan go to Together Rising, every month. Choosing to give means to me that I am recognizing and acknowledging my privileges and good fortune.
9. I focus on burnt out successful entrepreneurs because that's who I was. I come from a deep place of understanding for your situation because I LIVED it. My burnout story is a bonus podcast episode on FRIED where one of my guests, Nathalie Norris came back an interviewed me to switch things up. You can listen to it here.